Equus Battle Royal

Equally inspired by a conversation with Cat McDonald about which equine from the Equus anthology I thought could beat up all the other equines, and Hal Friesen‘s character Death Match events from a couple years ago, I present to you:

Fourteen Equus contributors have agreed to pit the equine from their story against the equines from all the other stories and fight it out until only one remains standing!

Dun dun dun!

This is going to be a whole lot of fun 🙂

Here is what the tournament looks like:

(Thank you PrintYourBrackets.com!)

Since those titles are abbreviated allow me to elaborate–the competitors are:

  • Lightless by K.T. Ivanrest
  • Rue the Day by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
  • To Ride a Steel Horse by Stephanie A. Cain
  • Neither Snow, nor Rain, nor Heat-Ray by M.L.D Curelas
  • Stars, Wings, and Knitting Things by J.G. Formato
  • Eel and Bloom by Diana Hurlburt
  • Above the Silver Sky by Daniel Koboldt
  • The Boys from Witless Bay by Pat Flewwelling
  • Different by Sandra Wickham
  • Riders in the Sky by VF LeSann
  • A Glory of Unicorns by Jane Yolen
  • The Last Ride of Hettie Richter by Cat McDonald
  • A Mother Unicorn’s Advice to Her Daughter by J.J. Roth
  • A Complete Mare by Tamsin Showbrook

The battle begins on May 2nd when I will post the character stats for the first two competitors and we will open up voting. Because guess what? You get to help choose the winner. You’ll be able to vote by leaving a comment on the blog post.

We didn’t want this to just turn into a straight-up popularity contest though, so our competitors won’t just be sitting quietly and watching votes come in, they will also be stealing those votes.

Each Tuesday I’ll post that week’s competitors. Then on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday each of the competitors will roll a d20 (that’s a twenty-sided die for those of you who don’t speak that particular geek dialect) either in 3 dimensions or using Roll Dice Online. They will then steal that number of votes from their opponent and add it to their own total.

I will update those totals as a comment on the blog post as well as on social media.

Votes will close each Sunday at midnight MST, and the winner of that round will be announced the next day (Monday). Just in time for the next set of opponents to be announced on Tuesday.

If all goes well, and I counted correctly, the victor should be crowned the week before Equus comes out 🙂

Combat Schedule
May 2nd
To Ride a Steel Horse vs. Different
Rue the Day vs. Eel and Bloom
May 9th
A Glory of Unicorns vs. Neither Snow, nor Rain, nor Heat-Ray
Lightless vs. The Boys from Witless Bay
May 16th
Stars, Wings, and Knitting Things vs. Riders in the Sky
Above the Silver Sky vs. The Last Ride of Hettie Richter
The schedule after this becomes a bit more complicated because we need to know the results of the earlier rounds to determine who will be competing.
I am excited about this and can’t wait to get started. I mean, I will wait because I said we’d start Tuesday, but I’m anxious for Tuesday to arrive LOL
In the meantime, check out this slideshow of some of the competing character’s portraits!

Why I Love The Oilers

I posted something about the Oilers on social media a week or two ago and my sister said, “Wait. Why are you watching hockey?” and I said, “Because playoffs and bandwagons?”

But that’s not true. Not entirely.

It is true that I don’t watch regular season games*, but I’ve loved the Oilers for quite some time now so I don’t think I can really claim to be jumping on a bandwagon. Not really.

I’ve always sort of resisted the idea that one should choose a sports team to cheer for based on proximity. It’s kinda ridiculous when you think about it, especially since if you’re talking about major league sports (and for the sake of this blog post I’ll be talking about the NHL) most of the players on that team probably came from away.

I grew up in Southern Alberta. Hockey was integral to life where I lived–you either played it or watched it or both. I spent a fair amount of time in arenas and I loved it. The game. The food.There’s something about the smell of an arena, of the ice… but I digress.

The closest NHL team to me geographically was the Calgary Flames. So I cheered for the Flames. I never really felt an affinity for them but everyone I knew cheered for the Flames (probably because those were the games we saw most on television), so I did too.

As I got a bit older we moved to a different town, still in Southern Alberta, still in the Flames catchment area. Hockey was slightly less of a Big Deal there, but still plenty big enough. I started collecting hockey cards (I still have them. Well, most of them. My brother used some of my ProSet cards as target practice. Because that’s what brothers are for, amirite?).


I developed a thing for goalies. My favourites were Manon Rhéaume:


and Patrick Roy:


So while I still vocally cheered for the Flames I also quietly cheered for Montreal.

But I never really felt like either of those teams were my teams.

Some years later I had a baby, and I was going to school, and working and, well, hockey pretty much dropped entirely off my radar. Then I met Jo, fell in love and moved to Edmonton to live with him.

I grew up on farms and in small towns and then suddenly here I was in Edmonton, the “big” city. And when I first moved in with Jo the neighbourhood we lived in was one of the more poverty and crime-stricken ones in the whole city. There were used condoms and hypodermic needles in the grass up against the playground’s fence, lots of prostitutes and homeless people and more than once our street was blocked off by the police. One house across the street from us was a drug house that had an armed dude standing at its gate once a month or so (during delivery days, I assume), while another had working girls coming and going all the time. To say I found the transition from town to city difficult would be a huge understatement.

We moved to a different part of the city not long after but despite the fact my mother now referred to Jo, Dani and I as ‘city folk’ I still didn’t feel comfortable. We were pretty far away from downtown or Whyte Avenue and buses made me anxious (What if I took the wrong one? What if I missed my stop?) and I didn’t know anyone except Jo’s family, Dani’s teacher and a couple neighbours who I had nothing in common with (and who played their music far too loud). Jo was worried I was turning into a “weird hermit” (his words LOL) but I didn’t know what to do about it. I was completely out of my element and floundering more than a little.

We bought a house (in part to get away from the loud neighbours) and moved again. This neighbourhood suited me better. It was central, but not too central. I could walk anywhere I needed to go, but it was also right on a major bus line. I started to settle into this new location, this new life, but still… a bit out of my element.

And then the Oilers made the playoffs and I started paying attention to hockey again.

It was in the air.

By the time the Oilers made it to the finals hockey was everywhere. People were talking about it on the radio, in stores, on the streets. You couldn’t go anywhere without seeing Oilers colours–painted on the windows of businesses, worn on people’s backs or on flags hanging off cars.

It was awesome.

Once the Oilers got to the Stanley Cup finals I was in love, and not just with the team but with the city.

The games were broadcast everywhere. I’d go to the grocery store, Canadian Tire, a restaurant–it didn’t matter–the game would be playing overhead. I’d run into the gas station for a pop and ask the stranger behind the counter “What’s the score?” and not only find out but start a whole conversation. When games were won our quiet little residential neighbourhood erupted in honking horns and airhorns and shouts and celebrations. I felt like it brought everyone together–the whole city.

For that little window in time the Oilers made Edmonton feel like a small town and I fell in love with it. And that is why I love the Edmonton Oilers. Why they are my team. It’s not because of proximity, it’s because of that feeling they inspired in me. The role they played in my finding my home.

I don’t watch regular season games* (and for far too long that’s all we’ve had here in Edmonton) but my team has made the playoffs again and it feels good. Man it feels good.




*Actually, I do watch regular season games now (ETA in 2017)


Equus Cover Reveal

Cover by Jonathan C. Parrish

Is it a horse? A unicorn? A pegasus? One of the best things about this cover for Equus is that you can’t tell — but you know it is equine. The cover was done by Jonathan C. Parrish and I love it. I think the sparkles add the perfect fantastical element, the equine is beautiful and the white will stand out among the other covers of the series while still fitting in with them. It’s an awesome collection and I’m super happy that it has an equally amazing cover to go with the stories!

There’s always something magical about horses, isn’t there? Whether winged or at home in the water, mechanical or mythological, the equines that gallop through these pages span the fantasy spectrum. In one story a woman knits her way up to the stars and in another Loki’s descendant grapples with bizarre transformations while fighting for their life. A woman races on a unique horse to save herself from servitude, while a man rides a chariot through the stars to reclaim his self-worth. From steampunk-inspired stories and tales that brush up against horror to straight-up fantasy, one theme connects them all: freedom.

Featuring nineteen fantastic stories of equines both real and imagined by J.G. Formato, Diana Hurlburt, Tamsin Showbrook, M.L.D Curelas, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, VF LeSann, Dan Koboldt, J.J. Roth, Susan MacGregor, Pat Flewwelling, Angela Rega, Michael Leonberger, Sandra Wickham, Stephanie A. Cain, Cat McDonald, Andrew Bourelle, Chadwick Ginther, K.T. Ivanrest, and Jane Yolen.

Pre-order your copy now:

World Weaver Press
Barnes and Noble


Add Equus to your Goodreads To-Read shelf now!


Equus Cover Wrap


C is for Chimera Release-versary

Cover art and design by Jonathan C. Parrish

Today C is for Chimera turns one–by which I mean, it’s the anniversary of its release.

Like most people my favourite project tends to be the newest one–it’s shiny, it’s bright, it’s… well, new. But right now is the middle of ‘nominate things for awards’ season as well, so I was just re-reading this anthology* to choose which stories to nominate for things and I fell in love with it all over again. This is a strong, diverse collection with re-told fairy tales, hard science fiction and fresh new fantasy that tackle subjects as diverse as regret, victimizing women, devouring knights and post-apocalyptic playgrounds. I continue to be incredibly proud of it. Because it is awesome 🙂

This installment of Rhonda Parrish’s alphabet anthology series asks skilled storytellers to write around the theme of chimera. The resulting tales are part fable, part poem, part dream. But like any chimera, the parts make up a greater whole. Blend reality with fantasy. Mesh science fiction with mystery. Mix history with what should have been. They are all chimera. A shadow tells a tale of schoolyard bullies. A long-vanished monster returns from the cold dark. Make-up makes up a life. Alchemy, Atlantis, and apocalypse. These 26 tales bring both chaos and closure to dark and elusively fantastic geographies.

Contributing authors include:

~ BD Wilson ~ Jonathan C. Parrish ~ Alexandra Seidel ~ Pete Aldin ~ Beth Cato ~ L.S. Johnson ~ Marge Simon ~ Simon Kewin ~ Samantha Kymmell-Harvey ~ C.S. MacCath ~ Suzanne van Rooyen ~ KV Taylor ~ Sara Cleto ~ Michael M. Jones ~ Michael Fosburg ~ Milo James Fowler ~ Laura VanArendonk Baugh ~ Megan Arkenberg ~ Michael B. Tager ~ Gabrielle Harbowy ~ Steve Bornstein ~ Lilah Wild ~ Amanda C. Davis ~ Megan Engelhardt ~ Michael Kellar ~ Brittany Warman ~


Find it online:



Barnes & Noble


*skimming more than reading, I suppose, but to be fair I have read it cover to cover a ridiculous number of times LOL

Aurora Award Nominations are Open

It’s the time of year again! Nominations are open for the Aurora Awards.

This year I have two eligible anthologies, Sirens and C is for Chimera.

In addition, the following individual stories from the anthologies are also eligible:


  • “Moth to an Old Flame” by Pat Flewwelling
  • “Notefisher” by Cat McDonald
  • “Nautilus” by V.F. LeSann
  • “Experience” by Sandra Wickham

C is for Chimera:

  • “G is for Gladiator” by BD Wilson
  • “T is for Three (at the End of All Things)” by C.S. MacCath
  • “Y is for Yahoo” by Jonathan C. Parrish

If you are eligible to vote and nominate and would like a copy of either (or both) of these anthologies so that you can fairly consider them I would be happy to provide. Just let me know.

More details about the Aurora Awards can be found here.

Mrs. Claus Wishlist

Mrs. (1)

I won’t even pretend that this anthology wasn’t originally inspired by a commercial. It totally was. I watched this commercial for Marks and Spencer:

…and, after I stopped crying (every. single. time.) I started thinking about Mrs. Claus.

Mrs. Claus is often in the background of Santa Claus stories, or playing a supporting role, but it’s not very often that–like in the M&S commercial–she gets to the be star. As a middle-aged woman in a world where middle-aged women are often somewhat invisible that really spoke to me. I really, really wanted to edit an anthology that let Mrs. Claus step into the spotlight.

And on a related note, seriously what IS her first name? I mean, I’d be pretty pissed if the only way people knew me was through my relationship with my husband. “Oh, that’s Mrs. Parrish!” “What’s her first name?” “I don’t know? Mrs.?” Nahhh….

Some submissions have been trickling in but I wanted to share a wee bit of a wishlist for what I’d like to see before I started reading them. Since I haven’t started reading submissions yet (I will after posting this) I don’t know what’s in there. If you’ve already sent me a story that nails something on this list yay! If you’re stuck for an idea maybe some of these thoughts will kick something loose in your brain 🙂

Wishlist for Mrs. Claus

  • I’ve got nothing against younger versions of Mrs. Claus, and if she stars in a kick-ass story I will accept stories that feature a younger version of her, but mostly I’m focusing on middle-aged and older women for this anthology. I’d also really like to see women of colour represented in the anthology so please don’t feel constrained to white versions of Mrs. Claus.
  • One word: lightsaber
  • As always if you give me a well-imagined story set during the Great War you’re going to check a box on my wishlist.
    • *cough* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce *cough*
  • For me to consider this anthology successful I need to include stories set on Christmas Eve, but also stories set on other days of the year.
  • Mrs. Claus in space? Yes, please!
  • *punk. Solarpunk. Dieselpunk. Steampunk (c’mon a steam-powered sleigh? Victorian North Pole?!). Anything that fits into any one of those categories would be brilliant.
  • I like reindeer. They like games. I’m just sayin’…
  • Mrs. Claus as a ninja? Why not? Someone needs to be in charge of security at the North Pole! You can’t just leave all that magical stuff laying around unprotected…
  • Mrs. Claus as a pirate? Why not? Something might need to be stolen in order to save Christmas… or sustain the North Pole… or just because it’s shiny.
  • I’m game for a good “Something happens to Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus saves the day!” story–just so long as it doesn’t feel contrived and Mrs. Claus doesn’t go from being in the shadows, to being in the spotlight, to deciding she wants to go back to the shadows. Because no.
  • Mrs. Claus in the wild west.
  • Claus Noir.
  • This anthology isn’t only about empowerment, but it’s also about empowerment, so show me that.
  • I want stories set at the North Pole, but I also want them set in other places; tropical places, fictional places, underwater places, ancient places, future places. All. The. Places.
  • Have fun with it! Christmas is about a lot of things, but one of them is fun. My favourite Christmas movies are always the cheeseball ones that make me cry and the magical, colourful ones where people re-imagine the North Pole.

There… just a few wee hints in case you’re stuck. As always, though, the best story is one I could never have imagined by myself. I hope you’ll write one and send it my way!


Mrs. Claus Call for Submissions

For a long, long time Santa Claus has hogged the spotlight relegating his wife to the shadows, but no longer. Now it’s Mrs. Claus’ turn to shine!

We’re looking for stories that let Mrs. Claus (or is it Ms. Claus?) take centre stage. Whether she more closely resembles Michelle Obama, Betty White, Shohreh Aghdashlooor or Maggie Smith, Mrs. Claus must be a developed, independent character and not simply an extension of her husband. She can help and support him—of course she can—but there needs to be more to her than only that.

What’s her role on Christmas Eve? What about the other days of the year? Is she into sleek red snowmobiles or is she more of an old-fashioned magic sleigh kinda gal? Does she prefer baking cookies or kickboxing? Betting on the Reindeer Games or Avon parties with the elves?

And what is her first name, anyway?

Stories are encouraged to re-imagine the North Pole in new and interesting ways (steampunk? alien? magically relocated to the equator?) and to explore a variety of other settings as well. They can also take place in time frames both real and imagined—Christmas in 1940 Poland, Mars in 2050 or a rediscovered Atlantis in 2017 would all be welcome in this anthology.

Note: This anthology is intended for an adult audience, please don’t submit children’s stories.

Rights and compensation: Payment: $10 and a paperback copy of the anthology from World Weaver Press. We are looking for previously unpublished works in English. Seeking first world rights in English and nonexclusive right to continue to publish for the life of the anthology.

Open submission period: April 1, 2017 – May 31, 2017

Length: Under 10,000 words

Submission method: Upload story as .doc or .rtf to niteblade.submittable.com/submit

Simultaneous submissions = okay. Multiple submissions = no.

Expected Publication Date: Winter 2017

Inside a Writer’s Mind — On Editing

Inside a Writer’s Mind – On Editing

Guest Post by Tabitha Lord

Inside a Writer's Mind- On EditingI actually like editing. The bones of my book are already there, and at that point, I know I have a good story. I’ve worked out the major plot tangles and character arcs, defined the conflicts, and sorted the ending. It may not be smooth yet, but I know where I’ve started, where I’ve ended up, and I have a lot worthwhile material in the middle.

It’s out. I’ve birthed a novel. Well, I’ve birthed a manuscript anyway. I know it’s a long way from the finished product.

Editing will take that raw material and refine it, smooth out the flow, and create balance. I know that my fantastic editor will see the things I can’t and cue me to fix them. I know that when I’ve finished this process I will have a much better book. I know that I can get through it because I’ve done it before.

And yet, when I turn in the draft of my manuscript, after months of intensive work, I don’t even want to think about touching it again. I’m exhausted, and the thought of tearing it apart and reassembling it is daunting. It’s also the time where I am plagued by the most crippling self-doubt. What if it’s terrible? What if I have to scrap the whole thing and start over? I’ll never write again. I have no talent. And so it goes…

Inside my head, it’s a strange and dark place during those few weeks. At first, I’m elated that I’ve finished writing, and can confirm with myself that yes, I did it again. I wrote another book. Almost immediately, the doubt sets in. See above. Then, I actually receive the manuscript back from my editor. Let me say this about my editor before I go any further. She’s incredibly skilled at her job. She gets my vision for the story and helps me define it more clearly. She works with the structure of the whole, while digging into the subtle, fine details. She’s masterful and I love her.

But when I receive her five-page editorial document filled with commentary, and my own manuscript covered in red ink, I want to cry. I want to call her on the phone immediately and beg her to tell me she loves me and that I’m not a horrid writer with no talent whatsoever. I’m sure she’s pleased when I refrain from doing this.

Instead, I read what she’s sent me thoroughly, and then I put it aside for a few days, maybe a week. I let the ideas percolate. I begin to see that what she’s suggesting resonates with what I already knew. I take it seriously when she reacts to something in a way I didn’t intend. I recognize my own bad writing habits.

Creative ideas for how to fix things start to flow, in the same way they did when I wrote the draft. I scribble notes everywhere, from the backs of napkins to the little pad I keep by my bed for middle of the night inspiration. I form a plan of attack. Then I call my editor. We talk. We even laugh. And I remember that I love writing, and I’m reassured that I might just have some small bit of skill at it.


Originally posted on Book Club Babble

Dream Eater

Dream Eater Banner 1

Dream Eater is an urban fantasy with a difference — K. Bird Lincoln didn’t rely on vampires and werewolves for her mythical creatures. Nu-uh. She includes awesome Japanese, Middle Eastern and Native American mythological creatures. Love!

Koi Pierce dreams other peoples’ dreams.

Her whole life she’s avoided other people. Any skin-to-skin contact—a hug from her sister, the hand of a barista at Stumptown coffee—transfers flashes of that person’s most intense dreams. It’s enough to make anyone a hermit.

But Koi’s getting her act together. No matter what, this time she’s going to finish her degree at Portland Community College and get a real life. Of course it’s not going to be that easy. Her father, increasingly disturbed from Alzheimer’s disease, a dream fragment of a dead girl from the casual brush of a creepy PCC professor’s hand, and a mysterious stranger who speaks the same rare Northern Japanese dialect as Koi’s father will force Koi to learn to trust in the help of others, as well as face the truth about herself.

When Dream Eater came into the World Weaver Press slush pile there was more than one editor who was interested in it. I had to elbow and arm wrestle* ’em to be the one to acquire it. I’m forever grateful to be the one who got to edit it because I freaking love this book.

I love the concept.

Dream Eater Banner Baugh Quote

I love the characters.

Dream Eater Banner PW Quote

I love the setting.

Dream Eater Banner Cato Quote

Reading Dream Eater has made me want to visit Portland, Oregon so bad. You don’t even know–the struggle is real! I intend some day to go there and visit all the places from the book… okay, maybe I’ll skip the professor’s office (because trespassing) but all the other places. Yup, yup, yup!

And it’s out today! You can get your own copy right now!

Do it. Doooo eeet…

You won’t regret it.

Dream Eater Front

Find it Online:
World Weaver Press
Barnes and Noble
iTunes/Apple iBooks


*Not literally. Sheesh.

But really, aren’t we all winners?

Dream Eater Banner 1

Well, the rafflecopter has ended and a winner has been chosen from the over 200 entries.

Congratulations Patricia J.!

I have emailed you with the information I need in order to send your prize and I hope to hear from you soon.

Rafflecopter believes it has chosen our winner, and it has, but K. Bird Lincoln’s book Dream Eater is coming out tomorrow so really, aren’t we all winners?

Pre-order your copy here!


Dream Eater Banner PW Quote