Tag Archives: indie publishing

Magic in the Dark and Dust

Aisha, freelance witch, certainly doesn’t have any work to keep her busy lately. That specter has cast a pall over her normally cheery, if unpredictable, life. The offer of a potluck and a new friend couldn’t come at a better time. Meeting Ben’s art buddy could be just the distraction she needs.

“I don’t need pity jobs. I’m a real witch for hire, not just some kid.” She could find work, someday. More work. Eventually. But most people didn’t need or want a witch to fix their printer, when all it really needed was a properly installed toner cartridge. (Josh at the local copy store got an earful, which might be a good thing, but Aisha wasn’t interested in making a career of that.)

By dessert, Aisha thinks she might make it through this with no intrusive thoughts and only minimal babbling on her part. It’s all fun and mug cakes until the microwave explodes, turning the kitchen into a battlefield.

It had only counted down two seconds when the display fizzled, scrambling the numbers into gibberish. Aisha opened her mouth to ask what it was doing. Before she could, the light within the microwave increased, becoming a hellfire glow.

Something more than packing boxes has started lurking in the corners of the apartment. Something dark just moved in the periphery of Aisha’s vision. Something plans to drive them out and steal a home for itself. And whether this is a paying gig or not, stopping it is going to keep Aisha very busy.

“Something dark,” Charmaine added in time. “I’ve seen—you know how you see something out of the corner of your eye and your caveman brain goes, ‘oh no, a predator’ until you look at it directly?”

Aisha shivered. “Yeah?”

“Only when I look at it, I can still see something moving.” Ben hissed, baring his teeth in a grimace both comical and horrified.

Have Magic, Will Meddle, a story of new friends, old junk, and a whole lot of uninvited housemates, now available for purchase in my shop, on Amazon for Kindle, and on Barnes & Noble for NOOK.
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Unexpected Uses for Ordinary Things: January Poetry Fishbowl

Over on LiveJournal, ysabetwordsmith is doing her monthly poetry fishbowl. The theme this month is unexpected uses for ordinary things. You can leave prompts and donate to unlock the poems. (There’s still a little time left!) There’s also a freebie up.

Over on the Dreamwidth mirror, I left the following prompt:

If you stay alive long enough, everything ends up being useful at some point. Packrats and people with a knack for anticipating future usefulness, hanging on to seemingly useless objects until the critical moment. I would particularly love to see this in the Frankenstein’s Family verse, but anywhere would be lovely.

Which turned into the poem “Life Is an Improvisation,” so if you feel like tossing a few coins to the bard to help unlock it for everyone, I’ll be extra happy!

For a full explanation of the fishbowl concept, see Ysabet’s post. The short version is indie publishing at its best: readers want stuff, writers make it, money (or linkbacks like this post) support the writer so they post the materials.

Ysabet’s poetry is swell: diverse cast, smart science and magic, wicked sense of humor. Go. Read. Support.

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What You Can’t See Can’t Hurt Them

monster making AMZ cover 1If you needed to start life over in a better place, Darby-on-the-Sea might not be your first choice. Minna has been on the road for days, though–alone, exhausted, and living intentionally blind. By now, she’ll take whatever help she can get, even if she doesn’t believe she deserves it.

His footsteps across the boards gave Minna her only warning, for he took hold of her elbow and hauled her after him without so much as a by-your-leave.

“My darling child, you might have been killed, standing in the street like that.” Still holding her by her arm, he directed them up the street toward his own house.

The villagers in Darby have good reason to distrust strangers. With the rocky island off their coast home to monsters, it takes a special sort of hero to win their approval. Minna, anxious, shy, and obviously fleeing misfortune, just doesn’t fit the bill. Pinewood does.

“Weren’t no wolf, sir,” the man began as though halfway through an argument. “No wolf as I know can open pen gates, nor lock sheepdogs in the barn without a hair out of place on them.”

Pinewood began pulling on the leather coat hung by the door and pushing feet into boots, even as they said, “A human, then.”

“Any human who could tear apart a ewe like that—well, I’d say that monsters come in all shapes, then. Please, you will help, won’t you?”

The offer of shelter and rest is too tempting for Minna to resist. Worst of all, Pinewood offers Minna a friendship like she has never had before. She knows, though, that one wrong look could bring it all down in flames. She knows what will happen if a hero finds out the truth about her.

Her secret revealed, she waited in her self-imposed darkness—for the blow of a hatchet, or a hunter’s knife against her throat, or any of the thousand other deaths she imagined earned Pinewood their reputation and their keep within the village.

Monsters of Our Own Making, a story of losing everything and finding where you belong, now available for purchase in my shop for all ebook formats, on Amazon.com for Kindle, and on Barnes and Noble for NOOK.

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Mops and Magic Just Go Together

Wireless Mice AMZ cover 1It’s not easy being the new witch in town. Aisha wants to make the perfect first impression by finding a neighbor in need of magical help. Too bad her familiar just came home with a stolen robotic vacuum.

The cat hopped down and spat a small black triangle onto the bed.

“Ew, Jasper, what’s that?” Aisha scuttled back as the object flopped itself over and started trundling across the bed on…little wheels? “That’s a ChurchMouse, isn’t it?”

The vacuum’s owner has bigger problems to worry about, though. With an angry appliance flooding his house, Ben’s happy for any help–be it magic or a mop–he can get.

His eyes looked wide and panicked. Aisha hurried to yank a towel out from under a protesting Jasper and toss it into the slowly shrinking puddle. With a towel under each foot, the man skidded around the laundry area, even as he asked, “Can I help you?”

Aisha has her chance to help at last. If she can’t figure out what has this washing machine so cranky, though, that chance will slip through her water-logged fingers.

The only warning was a rumbling in the pipes and a too-late yelp of alarm from Ben. A jet of water shot from inside the washer, hosing Aisha down.

“Oh, hell no.” She planted her hands on her hips. “Now it is on, buster.”

Wireless Mice & Washing Machines, a story of annoyed appliances, interfering familiars, and solutions both magical and mundane, now available for purchase in my shop for all ebook formats and on Amazon for Kindle.
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Just Discovered In Open Space…

forecastAMZcoverWhen your daily grind involves traveling to new planets and being the first human to set foot on them, it can seem like nothing in the universe will ever surprise you again. Irina, with her partner Milo, freelances as a miner of exotic, exo-solar materials. She thinks she’s seen it all. She’s about to discover how wrong she is.

Magnetic radiation streamed around us and off into open space. The normal solar wind pattern had been disrupted, though, by a thick stripe of purple out ahead of us.

“That’s weird, right?”

The adventure Irina wished for might shape up to be the wrong kind: deadly. Investigation of an anomaly in space earns her an unexpected new companion in the void…and a ship which could fail before any hope of rescue or escape.

“What’s happening?” I asked as I broke into a jog.

No shaking, shuddering mess marked whatever had gone wrong. Accidents in space came quietly. The lights faded and went out. Though I couldn’t see anything, I knew the ship’s communications had gone down with them. External sensors had almost certainly cut out as well. With a series of hollow thunks, the big mechanical systems that generated the ship’s artificial gravity came to a halt.

Malfunctioning ship. Unresponsive mining equipment. Something very large and very live in open space. Irina just stumbled into all the excitement she could hope for. Now she just has to survive it.

“It’s no good,” I said when Milo continued to demand that I return. “There’s no way I can get back before it reaches me. I’ll probably just end up spacing myself if I try. I’m gonna go with the ‘don’t make any sudden moves’ tactic.”

Local Forecast, a story of rediscovering your sense of adventure AND living to tell the tale, now available for purchase in my shop for all ebook formats and on Amazon for Kindle.
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