Category Archives: Writing

Night of Promises

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All month long I’m going to be hosting the posts of other people as part of my 2015 Giftmas Blog Tour. All the guest bloggers are welcome to write about anything they’d like so long as their post touched on a December holiday in some way, no matter how tangentially. The blog tour extends beyond my blog as well, and I will do my best to link to each external post from the here and share them on social media using the hashtag #GiftmasTour.

But wait! There’s more!

We’re also giving away a whole whack of prizes (check out the list here) which you can enter to win using the Rafflecoper code below. Whatever December holiday you celebrate (or don’t) winning a stack of books will make it better!

Night of Promises

by Fred Warren

Beneath soul-crushing darkness, a chill, silent shroud blankets the earth
We are alone, shivering, hungry, stalked by ravening despair among the barren trees
We glance upward and notice the stars, distant gems scattered across the inky abyss
One stands out, brighter than the rest—there, in the east!
And we remember an ancient promise that night will have its end

We hasten to fill our dwelling with brave little motes of light
Candles and lamps, shouting against the darkness, tiny echoes of the celestial vision
They flicker and dance, shimmer and shine
We feel a bit braver now, watching them
And we remember an ancient promise that winter’s death-grip will not endure

We wrestle a gnarled oaken burl from our meager woodpile and set it ablaze
Warmth overflows the hearth, searing cheeks, thawing fingers, toasting toes
Huddling around the fire, absorbing the heat of its growling, spitting defiance
We wonder why we ever feared the cold
And we remember an ancient promise that the frozen earth will live again

We raid the cellars, larders, and pantries for a feast–we will not stint!
Aromas fill the air, sweet and savory, cinnamon and nutmeg, sage and rosemary
They enfold us as we eat, drink, and laugh in fellowship generous and loud
We banish hunger from our midst this night
And, once more, we remember an ancient promise that we will not be abandoned

We gather close together–family, friends, and the wanderers among us
Sharing gifts of love, gaily wrapped, freely given, gratefully received
See here! Look at this! Thank you! How wonderful!
We feel our loneliness overwhelmed, melting away; we share a song of joy
And we wonder at promises made and promises kept

Afterward, tired and happy, we drift off into sleep
Caressed by candlelight’s soft glow, safe and warm, comforted, wrapped in love
Yes, on this night, of all nights, we will not despair
For we are here, all of us, together
And we remember

Fred Warren writes science fiction and fantasy, with over thirty published works of short fiction. His first novel, The Muse, debuted in November 2009 from Splashdown Books, followed by a collection of his short stories, Odd Little Miracles, in July 2011, and The Seer, a sequel to The Muse, in October 2011. He works as a military contractor in eastern Kansas, where he lives with his wife and three children. He’s probably shoveling snow by starlight right now. You can find him online at http://frederation.wordpress.com.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Advent Ghosts 2015

For the past few years I have enjoyed participating in I Saw Lightning Fall’s Advent Ghosts. It used to be that ghost stories (or just creepy stories) were a part of the holiday tradition, and Advent Ghosts is just one way to re-embrace that tradition, if only in a small way. The rules are that you’re supposed to write a scary/creepy/unnerving drabble and share it on your blog on the 19th. A drabble, for anyone scratching their head right now, is a story that is exactly 100 words long.

As with every year that I’ve participated my story this year is not a drabble–though I think it’s the shortest one I’ve ever shared for this event so who knows, maybe someday I’ll hit the mark 😉

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Trying to be Brave

by Rhonda Parrish

Though she could no longer hear it, Wren knew the beast was still out there somewhere, somewhere near—skulking, still and silent, among the cedars. She pressed her back harder against the tree trunk, praying it was wide enough to hide her, and tried to be brave.

She slowed her breathing—in, hold, out—and exhaled through her woolen mittens—in, hold, out—to keep feeling in her fingers and diffuse the cloud of breath that would give away her position.

In…

Hold…

Out…

She was trying to be brave—trying so hard to be brave—but Jack’s screams lingered, echoing inside her like the ding, dong, dong of the church bell. It would be ringing soon—the bell—but there was a frozen lake between her and it, and the beast was near.

But help wouldn’t be coming. She’d sneaked away, tip-toeing past her parents door while they still slumbered. Danced from shadow to shadow through the village, across the lake, to meet her love beneath the treetops to steal kisses and play at magic. Help wasn’t coming, because it didn’t know it was necessary.

And now, even the sun was retreating, soundlessly creeping across the sky to hide behind the treeline. She could stay and wait for the end—the sneaky, silent, forever sleep offered by the cold, or the screaming, struggling, steaming death of the beast—or she could run.

Wren took a couple good deep breaths—in, hold, out. The village needed to be warned. Needed to know what waited in the woods, what she and Jack had awakened.

With a whispered prayer Wren leapt from her hiding place and tried to be brave.


 

You can also read my past attempts at Advent Ghosts stories:

Come In (2013)

A Million Pieces (2014)

or check out the rest of this year’s entries at I Saw Lightning Fall.

 

Aphanasian Stories on Sale

Aphanasian Stories by Rhonda Parrish

Aphanasian Stories is on sale for $0.99!

Available now at:
Amazon
Kobo
Smashwords

“Rhonda Parrish’s descriptive and action-packed prose grabs you by the hands and doesn’t let go. This is the kind of story that’s so good you clutch right back because you don’t ever want it to end.” ~ Carrie Jones, New York Times Bestselling author of NEED

Call it a Black Friday sale.

Call it a Cyber Monday sale.

Call it whatever you want, but for a limited time only Aphanasian Stories is on sale for less than a dollar!

Three of Rhonda Parrish’s beloved Aphanasian stories brought together in one collection for the first time!

A Love Story: Z’thandra, a swamp elf living with the Reptar, discovers a human near the village. When she falls in love with him, she faces the most difficult choice of her life, one that will change the Reptar for generations.

Lost and Found: Xavier, the escaped subject of a madman’s experiments, and Colby, a young lady on a mission to save her brother, must combine their efforts to elude capture and recover the magical artifact that will save Colby’s brother before it’s too late.

Sister Margaret: A vampire hunter and a half-incubus swordsman are hired by a priestess to kill the undead pimp that is extorting, torturing and murdering vulnerable girls.

On Sale Now!

Amazon
Kobo
Smashwords

Giftmas Giveaway Prize List

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This year’s Giftmas Blog Tour contains a giveaway. A pretty freaking big giveaway. We’ll be using Rafflecopter to get entries into the draw and choose our winners, but there are so many prizes I didn’t want to have to try and list them on the Rafflecopter widget. That’s where this post comes into play–it gives me a single URL I can use to link to and list all the prizes 🙂

2015 Giftmas Giveaway Prizes

 

Grand Prize (shipped anywhere)

Slay Ride* by Simon Kewin
Seeing The Light by E.C. Bell
Language of the Bear by Nathanael Green
Through the Narrows by Nathanael Green
ARC of The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller* by Manda Pepper
The K-Pro by Manda Pepper
Odd Little Miracles by Fred Warren
Knitted Coffee Cup Cozy from Brenda Stokes Barron
Grim Crush* by S.L. Bynum
Dream Vision* by S.L. Bynum
Vitality Magazine subscription* from Jaylee James
Choosing You* by Jaylee James
The Naughty List edited by Cori Vidae
I Heart Robot by Suzanne van Rooyen
Touching Spirits by Kevin R. Hill
Art Print from Barbara Tomporowski
So To Honor Him* by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
Con Job* by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
Guarding Angel* by S.L. Saboviec
Set of 4 Bookmarks from Joselyn
Fossil Lake (featuring Doug Blakeslee)
Fossil Lake 2: The Refossiling (featuring Doug Blakeslee)
Signed copy of Fae edited by Rhonda Parrish
Signed copy of Corvidae edited by Rhonda Parrish
Signed copy of Scarecrow edited by Rhonda Parrish

Second Prize (shipped anywhere)

Slay Ride* by Simon Kewin
Seeing the Light by E.C. Bell
Touching Spirits by Kevin R. Hill
Guarding Angel* by S.L. Saboviec
Aphanasian Stories by Rhonda Parrish
Signed copy of Metastasis edited by Rhonda Parrish
A is for Apocalypse edited by Rhonda Parrish
B is for Broken edited by Rhonda Parrish

Third Prize (shipped to US)

Slay Ride* by Simon Kewin
Guarding Angel* by S.L. Saboviec
The First Bite of the Apple by Jennifer Crow
Touching Spirits by Kevin R. Hill
Book 1 of the Dead Song series by Jay Wilburn
White Noise* by Rhonda Parrish
Waste Not* by Rhonda Parrish

*these are electronic copies

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Opens to entries December 1st!

#99CentNovember

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Milo James Fowler is hosting an event called #99CentNovember — it’ll be like Cyber Monday all month long 🙂 In the spirit of (American) Thanksgiving season myself and several of Milo’s other friends will be knocking the prices on one or more of our books down to $0.99. Check out the full list of participants and titles here.

For my part I will be discounting Waste Not (And Other Funny Zombie Stories):

Waste Not (And Other Funny Zombie Stories)

“Hit-you-in-the-gut dark humour will have you howling.” –Vanessa Ricci-ThodeAuthor of The Dragon Whisperer

Although completely discordant on the surface, zombies and comedy complement one another immensely and have a long history of doing so. This collection of three funny zombie stories nods to that tradition and continues it.

Waste Not – The coming of zombies forces humankind back to the land, to a simple lifestyle where ‘Waste Not, Want Not’ becomes more than a motto, it becomes the key to survival. And revenge.

Feeders – The zombie apocalypse will affect more than just humans, explore the repercussions of walking dead through the eyes of a cat in this story guaranteed to make you smile.

…Oh My! – What if the Wicked Witch of the West wasn’t killed by Dorothy’s house? What if she couldn’t be, because she was a zombie. Dun dun dun!

Available now for less than a dollar at:

Amazon
Smashwords
Kobo
And also on Goodreads

Women in Practical Armor

WomenInPracticalArmor

I have a story in this anthology!!!

Dudes.

I’m so excited I can barely speak in sentences, forget about paragraphs. So. To elaborate:

It’s an Aphanasian story featuring Bayne.

It’s my first pro-rate story.

I’m sharing a table of contents with amazing people.

It’s got that a-freaking-mazing cover.

And it’s edited by Ed Greenwood and Gabrielle Harbowy.

!!!

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Gabrielle before, and she’s awesome and I adore her. And Ed Freaking Greenwood?

Guys. C’mon. That’s just freaking nuts.

Playing D&D in the Forgotten Realms setting has consumed years of my life and Ed Freaking Greenwood read and liked my story.

I could just die.

In the meantime, while I flail and squee you should pop over to the Kickstarter, take a look at the perks and see if there’s anything there that tickles your fancy because I’m 1000% sure this anthology is gonna kick ass.

*flails*

Imaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing

Imaginarium 4OMG!

I have been DYING to share this news and now I can–I have a poem in Imaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing!!

I’m so excited. Firstly to have my work, Hereditary Delusions, included in this collection at all. It means an awful lot to me to share a table of contents with the mind-blowingly talented authors whose work is included here, it means a lot to have my poem chosen for inclusion in any anthology by two awesome editors and possibly most of all, it means a lot to have my poetry under a cover that says ‘Best Canadian Speculative Writing‘*.

I left this announcement off for two days in the hopes I’d be beyond gushing by now and able to post a nice, professional announcement, but it seems that isn’t going to happen–I’m still too full of squee–so just check out this amazing TOC:

Introduction
Margaret Atwood

Bamboozled
Kelley Armstrong

Witch I
Courtney Bates-Hardy

Witch II
Courney Bates-Hardy

The Smut Story
Greg Bechtel

Kafka’s Notebooks
Jocko Benoit

The Full Lazenby
Jeremy Butler

Wendigo Nights
Siobhan Carroll

A Spell for Rebuilding Your Lover Out of Snow
Peter Chiykowski

Túshūguăn
Eric Choi

Jelly and the D-Machine
Suzanne Church

The Perfect Library
David Clink

The Colour of Paradox
A.M. Dellamonica

The Man Who Sold the Moon
Cory Doctorow

Brains, Brains, Brains
Puneet Dutt

The Lonely Sea in the Sky
Amal El-Mohtar

A Wish from a Bone
Gemma Files

We Be Naked
Zsuzsi Gartner

The God of Lost Things
Neile Graham

The Lark, The Peat The Star, and Our Time
Neile Graham

Chant for Summer Darkness in Northwest Climes
Neile Graham

The Beat that Billie Bore
Lisa L. Hannett

The Trial of the Beekeeper
Shivaun Hoad

Self-Portrait as Bilbo Baggins
Ada Hoffmann

The Parable of the Supervillain
Ada Hoffmann

The Mermaid at Seaworld
Ada Hoffmann

Left Foot, Right
Nalo Hopkinson

Return to Bear Creek
Louisa Howerow

The Inn of the Seven Blessings
Matthew Hughes

What You Couldn’t Leave Behind
Matthew Johnson

Hollywood North
Michael Libling

Sideshow
Catherine MacLeod

Aversions
Helen Marshall

Death and the Girl from Pi Delta Zeta
Helen Marshall

You’re a Winner
Matt Moore

Man in Blue Overcoat
Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Exorcist: A Love Story
David Nickle

Hereditary Delusions
Rhonda Parrish

The Marotte
Tony Pi

Charlemagne and Florent
Ranylt Richildis

Standard Deviant
Holly Schofield

The Tun
Trevor Shikaze

Demoted
Kate Story

The Snows of Yesteryear
Jean-Louis Trudel

Giants
Peter Watts

From Stone and Bone, From Earth and Sky
A.C. Wise

Outside Heavenly
Rio Youers

Release Date: Aug 18, 2015

*Again. I had a poem in the first one too

Poise and Pen

Poise and PenI’m super stoked to announce that I have finally got the Poise and Pen website up and running. Yay!

I’m using Poise and Pen as an umbrella that encompasses the Alphabet Anthologies as well as my self-publishing projects. I have zero plans to expand it beyond that, but I really wanted it to have a clean, professional face. Right now I’m still puttering around adding and removing spaces but the website is up, functional and (I think) lookin’ pretty spiffy just in time for the launch of B is for Broken on Tuesday.

Take a peek at it — I’d love to hear any feedback you might have 🙂

Published: Coming Storm

Shroud Issue #16 -- Spring 2015
I LOVE it when my name is on the cover!

One of my favourite stories ever (that I’ve written, anyway) was published this weekend in the latest issue of Shroud magazine. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am that Coming Storm has not only found a great home (just look at that cover!) but is now available for me to share with the world. When I showed this story to my favourite critic (my husband) he said, “Rhonda, this might be the best story you’ve ever written.” and since he doesn’t give unwarranted praise, that made my heart soar.

Annnnd then on Shroud’s Facebook page they said:

“Rhonda Parrish’s story “Coming Storm” is a particularly powerful piece of writing in Shroud 16. It addresses a number of important issues under a thin but riveting veneer of dark fantasy.”

*squee*

One more cool thing? If you check out this issue’s Amazon listing and use the ‘Look Inside’ feature you can read the first couple pages of it for free. Because #winning.

Proud writer is proud.

🙂