Mrs. Claus

You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I’m telling you why
Mrs. Claus is coming to town…

And now that I’ve got that stuck in your head (sorry, not sorry) I’ve just gotta say, “It’s here! It’s here!” Mrs. Claus is here!

Each anthology is an adventure all its own but this is the first I’ve done that was inspired, at least in part, by a commercial. This commercial:

If you haven’t seen it already give it a watch. I’ll wait.

🙂

I love that commercial. Not just because it makes me cry every stinking time (though it does. That particular flavour of sappy cheese always makes me cry) but also because it’s about Mrs. Claus, and she gets to be awesome and independent of Santa.

That is where the seed of the idea for this anthology came from but the stories contained within it are incredibly diverse. Some of the Mrs. Claus’s look and act like Janet McTeer… some most decidedly do not. Some bake cookies, some smoke cigars. Some hunt monsters, some deliver presents to aliens, some are alien, and some enjoy a quiet life in a magical wood. All of them are awesome. Even if I do say so myself :-p

But I’m not actually saying so myself. Check out some of these reviews:

“Parrish (Haunted Hospitals) delivers comfort, joy, and more than a little Christmas spice in this adorable anthology that explores the woman behind the Christmas mythos in various guises, drawing on mythological influences that span the globe.”

Publisher's Weekly

“What a delightful anthology that blends myth, magic and folklore with a healthy dose of reality.”

Ann

Goodreads Reviewer

If you like your holidays blended with fantastical paranormal and sci-fi elements combined with a touch of dark holiday magic then this book is absolutely perfect for you.”

Roxanne Rhoads

Author and Reviewer

“Editor Rhonda Parrish performed well, giving readers many different types of females Clauses. These women are not merely takeoffs on the one we have always heard about, but imaginative stories that transform Mrs. Claus into someone else.”

Dee Arr

Goodreads Reviewer

“All of the stories in this collection were creative, diverse, and well written. I never would have guessed that Mrs. Claus could be interpreted in so many different ways or that she could be frightening in one plot and sympathetic in the next. ”

Reviewer

Long and Short Reviews

Mrs. Claus Christmas Songs #3

Once all the editing for Mrs. Claus was done I asked all the contributors if they had ideas for how we could promote the anthology. Jennifer Lee Rossman, brave soul that she is, offered to write Christmas carol parodies inspired by some of the stories from the anthology. I said if she did that I would feature them on my blog. Because Christmas is meant to be fun and so are parodies 🙂

Over the next couple days I’m going to share some of the resulting songs with you. I hope they’ll make you smile and I’d like to thank Jennifer for all the hard work she put into creating these — Thank you!

None of these songs contain egregious spoilers but they do contain plot points so if, like me, you prefer to go into stories without knowing anything about them, you might want to skip the songs and just pre-order the anthology.

*shifty eyes*

What? I’m just sayin’…

😉

Desperately Seeking Santa — To the tune of “Deck the Halls”

Christmas tree is trimmed and glowing
Fa la la la la, by Mrs. Claus
Weather outside: cold and snowing
Fa la la la la, la Mrs. Claus
Mistletoe’s been hung for kissing
Fa la la, la la la, Mrs. Claus
Gifts are wrapped but Santa’s missing
Fa la la la la, call Mrs. Claus

In the workshops, she’ll go searching
Fa la la la la, la Mrs. Claus
in the caves he keeps his merch in
Fa la la la la, la Mrs. Claus
Caves are dark but she will brave them
Fa la la, la la la, Mrs. Claus
From the goblins, she will save him
Fa la la la la, la Mrs. Claus

Christmas ride is quickly nearing
Fa la la la la, la Mrs. Claus
If she saves him, we’ll be cheering
Fa la la la la, for Mrs. Claus
Hurry, hurry; faster faster
Fa la la, la la la, Mrs. Claus
Stop this Christmas Eve disaster
Fa la la la la, la Mrs. Claus

*

Christmas Magic — To the tune of “Jingle Bells”

Crashing to the snow
in a pod from outer space,
Bringing joy and hope
to the human race

She married Santa Claus
Dressed in velveteen,
Photo on the cover of
every magazine

Mrs. Claus
Mrs. Claus
made his reindeer fly,
But he shouldn’t trust her
’cause it all might be a lie!

 

Reserve your copy now!

Paperback — $12.95

Direct from the publisher

Electronic book — $0.99!

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

iBooks

Mrs. Claus Christmas Songs #2

Once all the editing for Mrs. Claus was done I asked all the contributors if they had ideas for how we could promote the anthology. Jennifer Lee Rossman, brave soul that she is, offered to write Christmas carol parodies inspired by some of the stories from the anthology. I said if she did that I would feature them on my blog. Because Christmas is meant to be fun and so are parodies 🙂

Over the next couple days I’m going to share some of the resulting songs with you. I hope they’ll make you smile and I’d like to thank Jennifer for all the hard work she put into creating these — Thank you!

None of these songs contain egregious spoilers but they do contain plot points so if, like me, you prefer to go into stories without knowing anything about them, you might want to skip the songs and just pre-order the anthology.

*shifty eyes*

What? I’m just sayin’…

😉

You’d Better Watch Out — To the tune of “O Come All Ye Faithful”

O come, all ye children, orphaned or in danger!
O come ye, O come ye up to the North Pole
Work with the Clauses
Mrs. Claus will care for you
while she helps train the reindeer,
and calculates the Nice list,
and practices carjacking,
and drinking Scotch.

*

Red to Hide the Blood — To the tune of “Good King Wenceslas”

Monster hunter Mrs. Claus
checking on the reindeer
Awful scene that gives her pause:
all of them are slain, here

Santa begs her not to kill,
but she must protect him
from the things that wish him ill
and that disrespect him

 

Reserve your copy now!

Paperback — $12.95

Direct from the publisher

Electronic book — $0.99!

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

iBooks

Mrs. Claus Christmas Songs

Once all the editing for Mrs. Claus was done I asked all the contributors if they had ideas for how we could promote the anthology. Jennifer Lee Rossman, brave soul that she is, offered to write Christmas carol parodies inspired by some of the stories from the anthology. I said if she did that I would feature them on my blog. Because Christmas is meant to be fun and so are parodies 🙂

Over the next couple days I’m going to share some of the resulting songs with you. I hope they’ll make you smile and I’d like to thank Jennifer for all the hard work she put into creating these — Thank you!

None of these songs contain egregious spoilers but they do contain plot points so if, like me, you prefer to go into stories without knowing anything about them, you might want to skip the songs and just pre-order the anthology.

*shifty eyes*

What? I’m just sayin’…

😉

Miss Lil’ Toe Head — To the tune of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

Hark! Her girlfriend had to leave
her alone on Christmas Eve
She reflects upon her scars
then hears bells and smells cigars
Joyful little Martians guys
flying down out of the skies
With their boss who makes it known:
“With Mrs. Claus, you’re not alone!”

*

Good Morning — To the tune of “Silent Night”

Magical night,
Christmas Eve night
Mrs. Claus,
works all night
Round the clock casting magical spells
Makes the sleigh fly and jingles its bells
When will she see the sunlight?
When will she see the sunlight?

 

Reserve your copy now!

Paperback — $12.95

Direct from the publisher

Electronic book — $0.99!

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

iBooks

Prairie Starport

Not the actual cover. Just a pretty blog graphic :-pA couple months ago Greg Bechtel and I were supposed to be working on stuff for Tesseracts Twenty-one but we’d become distracted and were instead talking about Candas Jane Dorsey and the advice we’d received from her over the years. For both of us, she’d told us precisely what we needed to hear exactly when we needed to hear it. Possibly, in my case, more than once.

During my conversation with Greg I was struck by the fact that for years and years–decades, really–Candas has offered advice, encouragement, education and been a mentor to writers, editors and friends. She has worked tirelessly both inside publishing and outside of it, doing what she can to fight the good fight and stand up for what she believes in. She’s given so much to so many and I wanted to give something back.

After talking with her partner, Timothy Anderson, we decided the thing to do would be to create an anthology of stories (and poems) that celebrate Candas–her life and her work.

We tried to keep this anthology a secret from Candas while still soliciting contributions from people in her circle. Do you know how difficult it is to keep a secret from Candas? It’s freaking tricky! There were [Top Sekkrit] emails, whispers and plenty of abbreviated conversations at conventions, lemme tell you! In the end I gave up — and so today, on Candas’ birthday, I’ve decided to lift the veil of secrecy and share this with the world. And with Candas.

Happy birthday, Candas!

 

We’re calling this anthology Prairie Starport: Stories in Celebration of Candas Jane Dorsey and I would like to invite you to contribute to it.

And here’s the thing — I’m not asking you to ‘submit’ I’m asking you to ‘contribute’. I’m not accepting or rejecting works for this anthology, I am collecting them. Similarly, I’m not going to be editing the works sent to me — I’m much more of a compiler than an anthologist for this project, because everyone who wants a chance to contribute and honour Candas should be able to, no matter where they are along their publishing journey.

 

What to send me:

  • A story or poem of any length up to 7,500 words long formatted in something resembling standard manuscript format
  • A short description of how the story/poem relates to, was influenced by, or is otherwise connected to Candas, her writing or her mentorship.
  • A short bio (written in the third person) of no more than 100 words long.

Contributions should be emailed to me at rhonda.l.parrish@gmail.com before Valentine’s Day 2018. That is, before February 14, 2018. Please use the words ‘Prairie Starport’ in your subject line to maximize the chances of it getting filed in the correct place.

Reprints are welcome and encouraged.

Payment to contributors is a token payment of $1, an electronic copy of the completed anthology and the option to buy physical copies at a 50% discount.

All the profits from this project will be donated to a cause Candas cares about. Nothing has been finalized yet but, the money will be going somewhere other than my pocket and all contributors will be kept in the loop as that aspect of the project develops.

Any questions or concerns should be addressed to me at the above gmail address.

Note: If we receive too many submissions to fit into a single paperback one of two things will happen. Either all the stories will be included in the electronic version of the book and a select number in the paperback or, if there are enough to fill two physical books, all the stories will be included in the electronic version of the book and we’ll have ‘Volume 1’ and ‘Volume 2’ in paperback. This decision will be solely at my discretion but I will keep all contributors in the loop.

Fae is $0.99

Super short post today, I just wanted to let you know about a great sale. Although it wasn’t my first rodeo, in many ways Fae was the anthology that changed everything for me, and this week it’s on sale for less than a buck 🙂

Available Online:

From the Publisher

Amazon (US) (CA) (UK)

Kobo

iBooks

B&N

 

Update:

First of all, Amazon, this is irksome:

…because no, I most certainly did not mean ‘face’ I meant ‘Fae’. Sheesh.

However, this is not irksome:

...on Amazon.ca

...on Amazon.com

If you bought the book and helped make this happen, thank you! I’m excited to see how long we can hold those #1 spots 🙂

Hollow

A car accident shattered sixteen-year-old Morgan’s family. Now her brother’s dead, her mom’s like a wheelchair-bound shadow, her dad lives at work and her seven-year-old sister Amy tries too freaking hard to salvage everything. What’s more, high school is its own special kind of hell, where her ex-boyfriend delights in spreading rumors that shred her reputation and make her feel like a loser.

When she finds an old camera in a creepy abandoned hospital, it seems like her luck is finally changing. And it is changing–from bad to worse. Because of course it is. Each time Morgan photographs one of her classmates they become corrupted versions of themselves. It’s like the camera steals their goodness, their essence, and leaves them hollow.

Then her sister uses the camera to take a selfie.

No matter what the cost, Morgan will find a way to reverse the effects of the cursed camera and save Amy, before her already-fractured family completely self-destructs.

‎October ‎31, ‎2012 I created the file that would become the first draft of the novel that eventually came to be titled Hollow.

I’ve written a few novels, a few NaNoWriMo novels, even, and this was the hardest one to date. In 2012 it was supposed to be my NaNoWriMo novel but every word was like pulling teeth so, if I remember correctly, I set it aside and cranked out something else to hit my word goal. I tried working on it again for Camp NaNoWriMo but again ended up putting it aside and working on something else while my subconscious worked away at it, figuring out my way into the story.

The next year, in 2013, it was my NaNoWriMo novel again and that year I finished the first draft.

Then came editing. So much revising. Turning one of my NaNoWriMo first drafts into something other people might want to read is no small task.

And yesterday the latest chapter in the story of this book was written. The paperwork is done and the contracts are signed. It’s official —

Tyche Books is going to publish Hollow!

 

I am so excited! I can’t imagine a better publisher to help me share this book with the world 🙂

I’ve worked with Tyche before as an editor, and of course they’ll be publishing Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinns next year, but this is a different kind of excitement. I love editing, anthologies in particular, but writing will always a little bit closer to my heart. And this story, for all sorts of reasons I’m sure I’ll talk about between now and when it comes out, is even a little bit closer than most.

This feels pretty awesome.