Category Archives: Editing

Last Dream of Her Mortal Soul

Last Dream of Her Mortal Soul is out today and I am so excited about this release!

I’ve been excited about this series since the first query for it landed in the World Weaver Press inbox — in fact, I fought/made a deal with another editor in order to be the one to acquire it. I love this world that K. Bird Lincoln has created. I love the characters that inhabit it. I love her writing style. I just love it.

Especially Kwaskwi.

So maybe it seems a little odd that I’m so stoked about this book, because it is the end of the series. It means saying goodbye to all those things that I love…

But I am.

And maybe because I know those things will always be there, on my bookshelf, waiting for me to revisit them, but also because I think this book nails it. It works as a stand alone, but it also ties up the series in a really good way. A way that I can appreciate. 

Series (in books or television) which go on and on just because they can drive me a bit bonkers. I really appreciate things that have a solid arc and then end. Things that know when and how to say goodbye.

This series does that. There’s loads of room if K. Bird Lincoln ever wants to do another stand alone, or a spin-off series or whatever but this trilogy is done. And it’s done right. And that feels good.

So yes. I am ridiculously excited about this release. And I hope everyone who has read the whole trilogy will enjoy this final installment in it. And for anyone who is brand new to the series — whether you are being introduced to it via the first book or this one, you are in for a treat.

And just wait until you meet Kwaskwi!

 

Even a dream eater can’t escape the final sleep…

After her trip to Japan, the Head of Portland Kind calls Koi home to help solve a murder. The body of a powerful magical being was found in the witch’s hut in Forest Park, along with a strange, haunting quotation about dreams and death written in blood. Can Koi discover who seems to be calling out a Baku before others from her new-found family die?

Buy it Now!

World Weaver Press

Amazon

B&N

Kobo

“Koi, who can enter and manipulate other people’s dreams, comes into her own in Lincoln’s capable third urban fantasy…series fans will enjoy watching Koi learn to control her abilities and sort out her romantic life along the way.”

Publisher's Weekly

Though Last Dream of Her Mortal Soul works as a stand alone title, you will definitely get more out of it if you have read the first two books in the series as well. Check them out at your local library or pick up a copy online at all the usual suspects. 

Clicking on the cover below will take you to the book’s official page on the WWP website which will tell you all about it and give you links to purchase 🙂

Cover Reveal: The Cassandra Complex

Why restore the timeline when you can create a better one?

Cass is a 22nd century university student who – like most young adults – has always believed her parents were a bit stuck in the past. But on her eighteenth birthday she learns exactly how true this is: not only are her parents time travelers, living in an era different than either was born in, but now, to ensure that history plays out as it’s supposed to, she must travel to the year 1914 to live out her adult life.

Cass isn’t the type, though, to just sit back and watch while all the tragic events she’s learned about in her history courses play out in front of her. Not when she’s the only one in the world with the foreknowledge – and determination – to change it.

The Cassandra Complex is the third novella in the Place in Time series, which began with The Continuum and The Grandmother Paradox.

I’ve had the pleasure of editing this series and I love it. The Cassandra Complex picks up where The Grandmother Paradox left off and brings us another awesome adventure in a different time period than our main characters are from, but it also totally stands alone. So even if you haven’t read the first two books you can totally pick up this third in the series and enjoy it unreservedly. Wendy is kind of a magician in that regard 🙂

Anywho, today was cover reveal day, so I am pleased to share this gorgeous purple cover, designed by Sarena Ulibarri.

Add this book to your Goodreads shelves or pre-order your copy today. Or do both! I vote for both 😉

Cover Reveal: F is for Fairy

Check it out!

F is for Fairy, the sixth installment in the Alphabet Anthologies series, has got a cover! Yay!

As always with this series, the cover was designed by Jonathan C. Parrish.

“Anyone who believes that faeries are wee, golden-haired creatures with dragon-fly wings and sweet intentions has never met a real faerie.” –Suzanne Willis, “A Silver Thread Between Worlds”

Retellings of familiar favourites from new perspectives, and brand new stories share the pages of this fairy-themed collection. Within these offerings you’ll find fairy music and food, contracts (making and breaking them), changelings, circles and curses–these stories deliver all the things you already love about fairies and a few new tricks as well.

A dusting of dragons, shapeshifters and ogres accompany these tales which include feminist fairies overcoming trauma, Norse fairies breaking the rules to interfere in human affairs, intergalactic fairies hitching a ride to a new home, political satire featuring an idiot king and talking animals, a new Robin Archer story, fairy run nightclubs and so, so much more.

Altogether this anthology includes twenty-six brand new tales–one for each letter of the alphabet–from contributors Pete Aldin, Steve Bornstein, Andrew Bourelle, Stephanie A. Cain, Beth Cato, Sara Cleto, Cory Cone, Danielle Davis, Megan Engelhardt, Michael Fosburg, Joseph Halden, Lynn Hardaker, L.S. Johnson, Michael M. Jones, Jeanne Kramer-Smyth, Samantha Kymmell-Harvey, C.S. MacCath, Jonathan C. Parrish, Alexandra Seidel, Michael B. Tager, Rachel M. Thompson, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Brittany Warman, Lilah Wild, Suzanne J. Willis and BD Wilson.

Though it’s not going to be available until May 7th, F is for Fairy is currently available for pre-order:

Amazon (US) (CA) (UK)

Kobo

B&N

Apple

OR

If you’d like to read a free advance copy in exchange for an honest review you can get a free review copy on BookSprout.

Whatever you choose to do, don’t forget to add it to your ‘Want to Read’ shelf on Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Last Dream of her Mortal Soul

Writing cover reveal posts are difficult, because you just KNOW the reader’s eye has gone to the cover before it focused on the words… or at least I assume that’s the case because that’s what always happens to me LOL So given that, there is no point in writing long introductions to the cover, or the book, and trying to be like, ‘Drum roll please…’ because everyone has already seen the cover.

Though apparently that didn’t stop me from rambling a bit just now.

But here it is! The cover for Last Dream of her Mortal Soul:

Designed by Sarena Ulibarri, I think this cover is the perfect addition to the series, and a wonderful way to end the trilogy.

What trilogy, you ask? Well, let me tell you about it 🙂

This is the third book in K. Bird Lincoln’s ‘A Novel of the Portland Hafu’ series. This is an urban fantasy series that, rather than focusing on vampires or werewolves, includes more Japanese mythological creatures. Also dragons. 🙂 The main character, Koi, is half-Baku/half-Human. She is also half-Japanese and half-American. Hence the series title. The official description for this final book is:

Even a dream eater can’t escape the final sleep…

After her trip to Japan, the Head of Portland Kind calls Koi home to help solve a murder. The body of a powerful magical being was found in the witch’s hut in Forest Park, along with a strange, haunting quotation about dreams and death written in blood. Can Koi discover who seems to be calling out a Baku before others from her new-found family die?

Dun dun dun!

The book will be available in March and you can pre-order it here:

World Weaver Press

Amazon

B&N

Kobo

It does standalone but you will definitely get the most out of it if you’ve read the previous two books as well:

Book One:

Book Two:

And in the spirit of full disclosure — I edited this series so I’m very biased when it comes to them. But I’ve been in love with them from the beginning when I had to arm wrestle another WWP editor for the privilege of acquiring and working on them 🙂

Earth Open to Submissions

It’s today! Today is the day that Earth: Giants, Golems and Gargoyles opens to submissions! This will be the second volume in my elemental anthologies series and I’m really looking to build on the awesome that was Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinns.

Call for Submissions: Earth: Giants, Golems and Gargoyles

Keep your feet on the ground. Sink in roots. Stay grounded. Mother Earth. We come from dust, and to dust we return…

Earth is steady. Solid. Reliable. It is the source of life and the thing which sustains it. But it’s not always serene and peaceful. It takes a lot to stir the earth but when it does, things get dramatic. Quakes swallow cities. Oceans rise. Mountains crumble. Earth is not weak, and it knows no pity.

In this, the second installment of the Elemental Anthology series, I want to explore the many facets of this often under-estimated element and the creatures associated with it so Earth: Giants, Golems and Gargoyles will be filled with stories about every kind of earthy creature you can imagine, not only those listed in the subtitle. I’m looking for trolls, dwarves, earth dragons, goblins, ogres, orcs, grotesques and earthen beasts no one has ever heard of before. And of course this anthology will not be complete without at least one giant, golem and gargoyle!

Rights and compensation: Payment: $50 CAD flat fee and a paperback copy of the anthology. In exchange we are seeking first world rights in English and exclusive right to publish in print and electronic format for six months after publication date, after which publisher retains nonexclusive right to continue to publish for the life of the anthology.

Open submission period: January 1, 2019 – February 28, 2019

Length: Under 7,500 words

Submit here: https://niteblade.submittable.com/submit/131075/earth-giants-golems-and-gargoyles

No simultaneous or multiple submissions.

No reprints.

Canadian spelling, please.

Fire Up Your New Year!

We’re ending 2018 with a bang! Between today and January 4th you can pick up an electronic copy of Fire: Demons, Dragons & Djinns for just $0.99! At the risk of sounding like a total commercial, it’s an amazing deal. Whether you’re a reader who loves short stories, or an author who would benefit from seeing what sort of things I’ll be looking for when I read submissions for book two in the series (Earth: Giants, Golems and Gargoyles) you can’t lose when it comes to getting a copy for less than a buck. Honestly.

Get Your Copy Now!

Direct from the Publisher

 

Electronic:

Amazon (US) (CA) (UK)

Kobo

B&N

 

Paperback:

B&N

Amazon

 

And, if you have already purchased and read Fire (thank you, thank you!) please consider leaving an honest review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. I would really appreciate it 🙂 Your review doesn’t need to be long or detailed, but a couple sentences and some stars could really make a difference. Thank you!

 

Award Eligibility Post (2018 Edition)

Woo… it’s that time again! Generally speaking I put off making these award eligibility posts because I find them a bit awkward but last year I put it off way, way too long and I just stumbled across this photo on a stock art site and I wanted to use it. So I’m actually on the ball this time. More or less. Because look at that girl? How aspirational is that?

Right. Eligibility.

Here is a quick and dirty list of work I did in 2018 which would be eligible for award nomination in 2019:

Anthologies

E is for Evil, Poise and Pen Publishing, May 15, 2018
Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinns, Tyche Publishing, August 2018
Tesseracts Twenty-one: Nevertheless (co-edited with Greg Bechtel), EDGE Publishing, September 2018

Long Form Editor

Hearing Voices by E.C. Bell, Tyche Books
The Continuum by Wendy Nikel, World Weaver Press
The Grandmother Paradox by Wendy Nikel, World Weaver Press
Black Pearl Dreaming by K. Bird Lincoln

I am also eligible for short form editor for my work in the aforementioned anthologies.

If you are nominating for any major awards (and I count the Auroras among those) and would like to read any of my eligible works, just get in touch and we’ll make it happen.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Looking Back at My 2018 Goals

Because I have an awful lot of things on the go at any one time and generally lack focus in general, I set goals for myself each year to try and provide a sort of framework to work within. And then at the end of each year I look back over those goals and assess how well I did at achieving them.

It’s that time of year again…

Goals I feel I’ve accomplished will be in bold.

  • Write a book
    • I know this is super vague and that’s intentional. I have several ideas tumbling about in my mind and I haven’t settled on one yet.

Huh. I don’t know if I should bold this or not. I’m going to though… because I really turned up the amount of writing I was doing. Also, though I didn’t write a single book from start to finish I did write 20k ish words on a new book I sold to Dundurn Press (Eerie Edmonton) and wrote 50,000 words of a NaNoWriMo novel. I feel like that’s close enough to count.

  • Make at least one blog post a week

Uh… I don’t know if I did this, to be honest, but I don’t want to go back through my archives to count and see. If I didn’t actually write a post a week I definitely wrote more than 52 posts altogether and surely that’s good enough? Really, I question the judgement of Past Me in picking this as a goal because it’s definitely better to not blog on any given week than it is to blog about nothing, right?

Well, nailed the first half — I read over fifty books so far this year. I didn’t finish reading all the ones from my partial reading list, however. I guess that goal will get bumped to 2019 LOL

  • Increase the number of my books available in libraries
    • I wish I had a more concrete goal to go here, but I still need to figure out what my system is going to be (Am I going to focus on a specific book? If so, which one? Am I going to focus on a specific library location? Where? How much time am I going to dedicate to this?). As I figure out the details I will share them on this blog.

So technically this goal was achieved, but not through any effort on my part. Really what happened is D2D started distributing to Overdrive and a couple other places where libraries get books and a handful of libraries acquired some of my titles. I didn’t spend any time on this, though, which may be a thing for 2019 or may be a thing to put on a shelf for a wee bit longer. We’ll have to wait and see, I think.

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage this. I planned to. I bought tickets, booked a hotel room, hell, I even had plane tickets, but I was just too sick to go. That’s twice in a row I’ve had to cancel. Both times were for good reasons, but, bleh…

However, I did participate in STARFest in St. Albert, Alberta and CoCoKon in Phoenix, Arizona this year and I hadn’t planned to do either of those things. So hopefully that will make up for the convention I had planned to attend but couldn’t.

Done and done. It was a good one this year. I felt like I had just the right amount of programming and a happy amount of social time too. Win/win!

  • Successfully participate in NovPAD
    • NovPAD is November Poem-A-Day. I haven’t successfully pulled this off in ages, and I miss it.

Narp. Sadly. I tried. I even picked a theme and bought a premade cover to use as inspiration and everything, but by the end of November I did not have thirty poems. I am still working on this though, I want to finish that chapbook and put it out… maybe 2019? Maybe 2020?

It was a busy year 🙂

  • Have a successful submissions window for Grimm, Grit and Gasoline
    • Have a Table of Contents decided by the end of the year.

Whoot! That TOC was tricksy, but I finalized it just this month. Edits will begin in January and then contracts which means I’ll probably be able to announce it in February or March 🙂

  • Continue in my role as Assistant Editor for World Weaver Press
    • At present this looks like it will include acquiring and/or editing at least three titles.

I edited some of these WWP titles in 2017 for a 2018 release. Some I edited in 2018 for a 2019 release. To be fair, the bulk of my work ends once edits are complete, but not all, so I’ve included all of the titles. I didn’t list those I copy edited though, so it seems balanced to me 😉

The Continuum by Wendy Nikel (Edited in 2017 but released in 2018)

The Grandmother Paradox by Wendy Nikel (Edited in 2018 for a 2018 release)

Book #3 in the Place in Time Series by Wendy Nikel (Edited in 2018 for a 2019 release)

Black Pearl Dreaming by K. Bird Lincoln (Edited in 2017 for a 2018 release)

Book #3 in the Portland Hafu Series by K. Bird Lincoln (Edited in 2018 for a 2019 release)

  • Edit the next book in E.C. Bell’s Marie Jenner series

Hearing Voices is out in the world and I’m ridiculously proud to say that I’m its editor. The previous book I edited in this series, Dying on Second, also won the Bony Blithe award this year. Of course, Eileen did all the work for that, but I get to brag about it a bit too 😉

  • Work on putting together TOC for [Top Sekkrit] anthology

So close to done on this. Close, but not quite.

  • Organise a Giftmas Blog Tour

Done and done. At the time of my writing this post we had exceeded our goal and still had several days to go. I am very proud 🙂

  • Increase my mailing list subscribers by 20%

I actually increased my numbers by significantly more than that — like closer to 30x at its peek. I used a couple builders to do that, however, so after the cycle of unsubscribers leaving and purging zombie members my subscriber numbers are much lower than that peek but those who are on the list really seem to want to be there. And even my current numbers are significantly higher than they were last year. About 9k at last count (because why am I being vague?)

  • Increase my BookBub followers by 20%

LoL Well, Past Me. It would be easier to know how I’d done in regard to this goal if I had written down my current number of BookBub followers somewhere memorable at the begining of the year. Alas, I did not. I wrote it down. I remember that much, but I can’t remember where… so I guess this one will have to remain a mystery. However… I think my ultimate goal was 1,000 BookBub followers (because that would open up tools to me) and I currently have just over 800. So probably this goal wasn’t nailed. Yet.

Not listed as goals but other things I accomplished this year include editing F is for Fairy (forthcoming), pitching and selling Eerie Edmonton to Dundurn Press and doing loads of research for it, sold an anthology about swashbuckling cats that was wholly conceived of on Twitter, and successfully completing NaNoWriMo.

I spent a good part of this year quite unwell so I was nervous about looking back at these goals but overall? I’m pretty pleased with how I did. I’d also set a fitness goal for myself that I totally failed to hit, but given how sick I was for over half of this year I’m going to cut myself a whole bunch of slack on that one.

Looking forward to seeing what 2019 will bring!

Pay What You’d Like For Mrs. Claus!

Tis the season for Mrs. Claus to shine once more 🙂

This anthology came out last year and though can pick up a copy from all the usual suspects I am excited to tell you that for a very limited time you can also pay what you want for a copy. And not just of my Christmas anthology, but up to nine other Christmas books as well!

Here’s the deal. Mrs. Claus is a part of a StoryBundle. That means you can pay whatever you’d like to receive these four books:

But if you spent $15 or more you won’t just get those four titles, but these six as well:

Pretty sweet, right?

You can click here right now to go to the Story Bundle page.

There you will not only be able to learn more about each of the books, check out some reviews, and even some excerpts. The excerpt for Mrs. Claus is from Laura VanArendonk Baugh’s story, “Wight Christmas” in which Mrs. Claus is a Valkyrie. Go check that out even if you don’t pick up the book. The story begins with a fight scene that will amuse you 🙂

Good news, everyone!

“Good news everyone! I think I’ve invented a plague that will destroy all life on Azeroth!”

~Professor Putricide

Sorry, sorry… I just couldn’t help myself, I have had that line stuck on repeat in my head ever since I woke up. Because I knew I wanted to start this blog post with the first three words. Hopefully, you will be more excited about my news than about that very old news from Ice Crown Citadel.

Good news, everyone! For the next few days only, the electronic version of Fire: Demons, Dragons and Djinns will be on sale for $0.99!

The ability for people to control (to some extent at least) fire has long been held as one of the major events that contributed to human evolution, but when fire eludes or escapes our control it is also one of the most destructive forces on earth. Associated with passion, power, transformation and purification, fire is a ferocious element with an unquenchable appetite.

Discover the power of Fire and the creatures that thrive on it in these twenty-one stories, including: the true inspiration behind Jim Morrison’s songs; a special weapon used in World War II; the secret in the depths of a mortuary furnace; a fantastical card game; and a necromancer out on what may be his last job.

Featuring: Blake Jessop; Kevin Cockle; Lizbeth Ashton; Dusty Thorne; V.F. LeSann; K.T. Ivanrest; Hal J. Friesen; Laura VanArendonk Baugh; Krista D. Ball; Mara Malins; Claude Lalumière; Susan MacGregor; JB Riley; Damascus Mincemeyer; Heather M. O’Connor; Gabrielle Harbowy; R. W. Hodgson; Chadwick Ginther; Wendy Nikel; Annie Neugebauer; and J.G. Formato.

Available Now:

Direct from the Publisher

Electronic: Amazon Kobo | B&N

Paperback: B&N | Amazon

“Rhonda Parrish’s fascination with all aspects of fire and fantasy has resulted in a gift to readers: Fire: Demons, Dragons, and Djinns is an incredibly eclectic and carefully curated collection of short stories. The theme is exactly as the title says – a stunningly original array of tales involving fire. There isn’t a clinker in the stack… The authors who have enriched this anthology are among the most imaginative storytellers I have ever read. ”

~Melanie S. Amazon Review

If you haven’t already, please consider checking it out. For less than a buck I guarantee you can’t go wrong!

Bright Spot — Alison McBain

When Brian Hades and I were discussing themes for Nevertheless (Tesseracts Twenty-one) one of the possibilities he suggested was optimistic speculative fiction. I pounced on that idea for two reasons. First, because I’d just recently become aware of solarpunk (largely through Sarena Ulibarri) and was excited to work on an anthology that might include some and second because I’d become convinced that we were living in the darkest timeline.

That was in 2016. I had no idea how much darker it could become.

Still, despite a very difficult couple of years, I manage to find reasons for optimism. Lights in the darkness. And I’m not alone in that.

In the coming weeks I will be hosting a series of blog posts I’m calling “Bright Spots in the Darkest Timeline”. Each will be written by a Nevertheless (Tesseracts Twenty-one) contributor and I think they will serve the dual purpose of giving me an excuse to talk about the anthology, and shining a bit of light into people’s lives.

This post from Alison McBain talks about something that’s all too easily forgotten and taking steps in the right direction…

NEVERTHELESS BLOG POST

by Alison McBain

I think the most important lesson I’ve learned in my writing journey is there is no down without an up, too. Writers talk a lot about harsh critiques, bad reviews, and rejections, rejections, rejections—but there’s also the opposite. Those days where you not only get one acceptance, but you get FIVE. Or when you get your story into your dream journal or magazine or anthology. When someone emails you and says, “Hey, I like your writing.” Or the best yet, when you get another writer saying, “You’ve inspired MY writing journey.”

Now, how cool is that? I had that happen to me this year, and when the person said it to my face, I wanted to turn around and look behind me to see who the person must be talking to, because it couldn’t be me. MY words were an inspiration to someone else who wanted to write? That just blew me away.

This year was a great one for me for a number of reasons—I had a lot of “firsts.” While I’ve had a number of short stories and poems published over the past five years, 2018 was when my debut YA novel, The Rose Queen, hit shelves in July. It’s a gender-inverted retelling of Beauty and the Beast and the first of a trilogy, and people seem to be enjoying it so far. In fact, I’ve had several readers ask when the next in the series will come out (answer: 2019).

Also this year, I became lead editor for the first time and helped put together a very awesome time travel anthology containing stories by a number of award-winning authors from around the world. It’s called When to Now and will be available for sale on October 1st. I was also “promoted” at Bewildering Stories, so I’m a coordinating editor and a member of the Review Board, and get to help choose the quarterly and annual awards to celebrate the best writing the magazine publishes each year.

I feel that now is the best time to be a woman, a POC, and a speculative fiction writer. Every day I hear /read about another anthology or another award that is going to an author in one of these aforementioned categories, to say nothing about the growing popularity of speculative fiction writers from many other marginalized communities and groups. For example, in the Fairfield Scribes’ soon-to-be-released anthology that I’m editing, When to Now, ten out of the eighteen stories are penned by women. And for the second year in a row, the Hugo Awards were dominated by women writers. I can’t say how inspiring this is to me.

I’m not blind to a number of ongoing trends around the world, however—and sometimes it’s hard to stay optimistic when I’m writing science fiction stories, since it seems like perhaps there won’t be a world as we would like to imagine it in 1000—or even 500—years. And perhaps, despite focusing on an optimistic outlook, things could change for the worse sooner than that.

I’ve written dystopian. I know how that line of reasoning goes.

On the other hand, I’d like to think that for every step backward, we’re taking two steps forward. Not just me, personally, but in all the realms of technology, society, and culture. We’re a global community of writers, now more than ever, and it’s a great time to celebrate how far we’ve come. And to look forward to where we have yet to go, and how we can get there together.


Alison McBain was born in Alberta, grew up in California and received her B.A. in African history and classical literature at U.C. Santa Cruz. After her nomadic twenties, she settled in Fairfield, Connecticut, where she is raising three girls and her husband.

She is an award-winning author with more than 70 short stories and poems published, and her YA fantasy novel, The Rose Queen, was released at the end of July. She is also an editor for an awesome time travel anthology coming out October 1st called When to Now. It has contributions from more than ten local authors, in addition to stories penned from around the world, including writers from India, New Zealand, Britain, and Canada.

When not writing, she practices origami meditation and draws all over the walls of her house with the enthusiastic help of her kids. Once in a while, she puts on her editor hat for the magazine Bewildering Stories, or interviews authors and artists at her website www.alisonmcbain.com.


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