When you think of Mrs. Claus, do you imagine a quiet North Pole homebody who finds complete fulfillment in baking cookies, petting reindeer and crafting toys alongside elves? How about a magic-wielding ice goddess, or a tough-as-nails Valkyrie? Or maybe an ancient fae of dubious intentions, or a well-meaning witch? Could Mrs. Claus be a cigar-smoking Latina, or a crash-landed alien? Within these pages Mrs. Claus is a hero, a villain, a mother, a spacefarer, a monster hunter, and more. The only thing she decidedly is not, is a sidekick.
It’s Mrs. Claus’ turn to shine and she is stepping out of Santa’s shadow and into the spotlight in these fourteen spectacular stories that make her the star! Featuring original short stories by Laura VanArendonk Baugh, C.B. Calsing, DJ Tyrer, Jennifer Lee Rossman, Kristen Lee, Randi Perrin, Michael Leonberger, Andrew Wilson, Ross Van Dusen, MLD Curelas, Maren Matthias, Anne Luebke, Jeff Keykendall, and Hayley Stone.
Did you catch the part where the ebook version is less than a dollar if you order it now? Because deals don’t get much sweeter than that, do they? The price goes up upon release so you’ll want to reserve your copy now. Don’t wait 🙂
P.S. Subscribers to my mailing list got to see this cover a couple days ago and pick the subtitle (Thanks, Hal!) so if you’ve not subscribed yet, maybe you want to change that? 😉
The voters came out in droves for this one. That, coupled with some really good rolls on one side and some really bad rolls on the other made this round a bit of a runaway.
The winner of the second round of the semifinals and our last finalist is:
Every person who votes has their name tossed into a virtual hat for a chance to win their choice of any of these unclaimed books. This week’s winner is Tobin Elliott, please contact me to claim your prize
Equine Combatant’s Name: Nova & Reaver (they’re a team)
Starting tomorrow our combatants will be:
The War Unicorns from “Rue the Day”
The Damned Soul “Riders in the Sky”
Excerpt from “The Boys from Witless Bay” by Pat Flewwelling:
Jimmie and I, well, we used to get in all sort of trouble down in Halifax when we were away at the university. The only way you were safe from his pranks was by holding his beer for him.
Like that time we tied up Berton Blake the night he got drunk and started pawin’ on my girl Millie while I was away to home one week. Soon as I had come back, we took him out for a good night’s drinking, and once he was about half-cut, we left him down on Barrington wearing a tutu and bra filled with about three bags of sparkles—you know the kind you get at what’s-it, Michael’s? Anyways, he comes to in the middle of Friday morning traffic, and he sees what ‘e’s wearing, he screams blue bloody murder, and rips the two cups apart like he’s Hulk Hogan—sparkles everywhere, like friggin’ fireworks from his man-titties. I handy ‘bout died dat day, laughing so hard. Berton never laid another hand on Millie, but he sure laid a few on Jimmie and me.
Jimmie, he’s an engineer now, and I’m a financial advisor. That means he thinks up the pranks, and I’m the b’y who pays for it all. Five times now, I’ve had to cough up Jimmie’s bail, and it was worth every penny.
So you’d think I’d have known better than to go out to his house, middle of October, dark as Satan’s arse, raining so hard you can’t tell sea from shore – the same night I’d forgotten it was Millie’s birthday—when he calls me up all out of breath and begs my help.
“What’s wrong for ya, b’y?” I ask.
“You remember Buddywhatshisname?” he pants.
“Oh, sure! Him! The one with the face and a couple of arms.”
“George MacCrae!” The name rings a dim bell from our boyhood days.
“He the one with the growth over his eye?” I ask.
“The one who married his own sister by accident?”
“The b’y who disappeared in ‘82, suspected drowned in Dunker’s Pond.”
“Oh him,” I shout, and Millie turns up the TV. On the maps, it’s Dunkirk Pond, but it’s so deep and deadly that it’s been called Dunker’s since long before Georgie took his final dip. There’d been a hell of a hue and cry when he went missing. Nobody could ever explain why the ten-year-old had walked off in the middle of the stormy night, leaving one shoe on the banks of Dunker’s Pond, and the other under his bed.
“What about ‘im?” I ask.
“I think I know what got ‘im.”
“Come over, and I’ll explain when you’re here.”
I laugh at that and lean into the phone with my hand around my mouth to tell him I’ve already got a pan-shaped face, thanks to me forgetting it was Millie’s birthday.
“Tell her you left her present here!” Jimmie says.
“I’m not coming over in falling weather like this just to hear another ghost tale about Georgie Frigging MacCrae!”
“No ghosts,” he says. “People. And they’re at it again.”
Pat is currently raising money for adult literacy. To learn more, and perhaps support this worthy cause, click here.
If you like what you’re reading, you are going to love Equus. And good news — you can reserve your copy now to make sure you’re among the very first to get it when it’s released on July 18th!