Nov 18 2016

Book Launch: Gail Murphy and the Piskies

I’m very pleased to share that I have a new children’s book out, again beautifully illustrated by Ingrid Steblea. It’s a funny read-aloud story about mischievous sprites and the wise teacher who must keep them from causing chaos in the classroom. I wrote it as an homage/gift to the director of the Peter Pan Cooperative Nursery School, Gail Murphy, who has been a tremendous force for good in the lives of our children and our community—and those of you who are part of the Peter Pan co-op, I would urge you to wait and buy this book at the holiday auction, where you’ll be able to pick it up for a discounted price and the satisfaction of knowing that all proceeds will go to benefit Peter Pan.

For the rest of you, the book is now available in either Kindle ($2.99) or paperback ($15) formats. I can also provide free copies in exchange for your honest rating and review on Amazon: please contact me to request a review copy.


Jul 5 2016

Speculative Story Bites Available for Pre-Order

I have a story coming out in this anthology, which will be released in e-book form August 9th:

There’s also a plan to publish each of the stories on a separate website, one a month I believe, so I’ll link to my story when it goes up. It’s the flower-fairy noir detective ghost story, for those of you who may have read that one in draft!


Dec 1 2015

Love Hurts On Sale Now!

Okay, I know I need to do an actual life-update post soon (capsule review: FINE BUT VERY BUSY) but hey, the Love Hurts anthology is on sale now, so that’s cool! I can’t wait to get my copy and read the other stories!

Here’s the Amazon link–you can also order it from any other bookstore.

If you are a person who posts book reviews to any social media site, review copies are available from the publisher—let me know and I can put you in touch with them.


Nov 10 2015

Love Hurts Cover Reveal

Wow, look at this gorgeous cover for the Love Hurts anthology!

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I’m super excited to get my copy in a few weeks!


Nov 8 2015

Love Hurts Release Date: 12/1

I’ve just been notified that the release date for the Love Hurts anthology from Meerkat Press (which will include a story of mine) has been set for December 1st. I don’t think pre-orders are available yet, but I have been given permission to share the illustration that will accompany my story:

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The art is by Sergio Garzon; it illustrates a scene where my heroine, Tess, is fighting a monster in an alien arena. I really like the dark, stylized feel of the art. There’s almost something vertiginous about it, which perfectly suits the subject matter.

And I’m particularly pleased that the black-and-white style preserves a lot of ambiguity as to Tess’s exact features. I think the only physical description I gave her in the story was a single reference to her “brown human hand,” so really the only important thing is that she not be whitewashed. This illustration works very well on that level.

I’ll post more about Love Hurts as we get closer to release; I was just really pleased to be able to share the art!


Jul 21 2015

Fae eBook is 99 Cents This Week

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The electronic version of the Fae anthology is on sale this week; it’ll be 99 cents until the 29th. The promo image above links to Amazon but you can also buy it at Kobo or directly from the publishers at World Weaver Press. Just wanted to pass that on!


Oct 17 2014

Book Reviews: Spirits Abroad, Dragonfield, Wonders of the Invisible World

Spirits Abroad

I have raved about Zen Cho before—quite frankly I think she’s phenomenal, the most exciting new SF/F writer of this generation. And this short fiction collection really showcases her range of talent. These marvelous, fresh, transporting, inventive stories generally include elements drawn from Malaysian folktales and culture, rendered with a global, modern, magical-realist sensibility and a tremendous amount of literary talent. Some of the stories are funny–some are spooky–some are devastating–some are thoughtful. I cannot recommend the collection too highly. I am summarily making up a Book of the Year Award so that I can award it to this book.

Winner! Book of the Year (According to Shannon) Award!

On a five-star scale I give it ten stars. Seriously, so good.

Dragonfield: and other Stories

Well, what can I say—she’s no Zen Cho, but that Jane Yolen lady can spin a rather ripping yarn, can’t she?

I mean, Jane Yolen is a grande dame of fantasy, and if you read in the genre you probably already know whether you like her stuff. I do, very much, so I found this short fiction collection utterly delightful. This is the stuff of traditional fantasy–selkies and king’s sons and river-maidens and, yes, dragons–rendered by a master of the genre who is still writing at the top of her game.

Wonders of the Invisible World

Yep, I’ve had good luck with short story collections lately. This is another strong one. McKillip’s stories skew a bit odder (and sometimes harsher/sadder) than Yolen’s, but her writing is texturally gorgeous, and her characters can win you utterly from the first paragraph. Very good stuff for genre readers.


Jul 30 2014

Interview with Laura VanArendonk Baugh

I recently had the pleasure of a one-on-one conversation with Laura VanArendonk Baugh, whose story “And Only the Eyes of Children” is included in the Fae anthology. Laura’s story is a modern-day urban fantasy piece featuring a rather terrifyingly skilled “Robin Archer” in service to Titania, seeking stolen children. It’s fast-paced, snappy, and filled with the local color of its Indianapolis setting.

I’m posting my side of the interview here, and Laura will be posting her questions—along with the answers I gave—to her blog on Monday.

Robin’s world is filled with the kind of specific, convincing detail that makes it feel like a snapshot of a larger setting. Although your story stands alone, do you plan to explore this character further?

I wrote it as a standalone one-shot, but I have to say that the idea kind of grew on me, and now I have a few ideas jotted down for future Robin stories. And I’ve even started the next one!

References to A Midsummer Night’s Dream are woven through the story. Can you say a little bit about what that play means to you—when you first read or saw it performed, and how Shakespeare has influenced your writing and imagination?

I really can’t think of when I first saw A Midsummer Night’s Dream, except I remember it referenced when a man dressed as Shakespeare to talk to our elementary school. I remember bits and pieces of his presentation, including his explanation of a play in which a man played a wall and had to make a hole in the wall with his fingers. (Also he made a bad pun about Queen Elizabeth caking on seven layers of white makeup and a seven-layer cake. Why do I remember bad puns from school assemblies, but not that I needed eggs while I was at the grocery?)

But a more recent production definitely influenced “And Only the Eyes of Children.” One of my favorite actresses played Queen Titania, and while I’ve always thought Titania’s character a bit of a sap—let’s be honest, that subplot is one of Shakespeare’s weaker efforts—seeing Jennifer Johansen’s take made me consider her anew. What if Jennifer were free to play her like she played some other characters, from tough-as-rattlesnakes villains to gothic mistresses? What if Titania got a bad write-up in Midsummer but some unconcealable truths, like her love of children, showed through?

So I thought of a Faerie Queen in the older, darker sense, something made manageable in the reduced story of Titania’s pranking, and that became the Queen who charged Robin with watching over human children.

Both of our stories zero in on the “stolen child” aspect of fairy tales, and in a way both of our stories offer a happy—or at least hopeful—view of fairy abductions. If a fairy offered to take you “to the woods and waters wild,” would you go?

Ooh, a good question….!

I think I’d have to be pragmatic and say no. At this point in my life, I have too much here I don’t want to lose—everything from dreams come true (getting paid to make up stories!) to an awesome husband. (You have no idea how old and boring I feel, writing that.)

BUT, if we could work out a visitation deal, THAT would be a go. Then when life is getting all harried and full of hassle, I could just hop over to the fae world and wait for things to blow over. (And given the fabled slippage of time between our world and theirs, that might be a very effective solution, indeed!)

I agree with Laura: I wouldn’t go, but I’m sure the missed opportunity would haunt me forever.

What about you?


Jul 22 2014

Fae Anthology Now Available

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The anthology Fae, including one of my short stories, was released today! I got my contributor copy in the mail and it looks really nice—I can’t wait to sit down and read the other stories.

There’s also a “virtual launch party” happening on Facebook from 7 to 10 PM Eastern time, with prizes and stuff, so feel free to pop by if you like!


Jun 2 2014

IndieReader Discovery Awards

I’m very pleased to announce that The Millennial Sword has been named the winner of the 2014 IndieReader Discovery Award in the Fantasy category. IndieReader also posted a nice review of my book and named it a “top book pick” on their site. And they’re sending me some shiny gold award stickers that I can put on the books at the store, so, you know, that’s pretty fun!