Semifinal Round Two Results

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 🙂

(More details and a larger version of this picture are available at http://www.rhondaparrish.com/incentive/ )

Story Title: “Rue the Day”

Author: Laura VanArendonk Baugh

Equine Combatant’s Name: Nova & Reaver (they’re a team)

Species: Unicorn

Starting tomorrow our combatants will be:

The War Unicorns from “Rue the Day”

vs

The Damned Soul “Riders in the Sky”

Kelpie by Kasey -- http://kasettetape.tumblr.com/post/96373863232/this-was-just-supposed-to-be-a-sketch-but-then-i

Kelpie by Kasey

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.

“No.”

“The one who married his own sister by accident?”

“No.”

“The one—”

“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.”

“What?”

“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!

Pre-order Equus now:

World Weaver Press
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
iBookstore

Equus Battle Royal — Semifinals (rnd. 2)

Fourteen Equus contributors have agreed to pit the equine in their story against all the other horse-like creatures in the anthology and fight it out until only one is left standing. That victor shall win bragging rights… and maybe I’ll make a little ‘I won!’ graphic of some sort 😛

How it Works:

Each Tuesday the competitors will be announced and voting will open. Every vote a story receives counts as one point.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the competitors will each roll a twenty-sided die. The resulting number of points will be added to their own score. I will update the scores via a comment on the blog post and social media.

Voting closes on Sunday at midnight MST.

Monday the winner (the story with the highest score) will be announced and move on to the next round.

Story Title: The Boys from Witless Bay

Author: Pat Flewwelling

Equine Combatant’s Name: unknown

Species: Kelpie

Strength: 13

Dexterity: 9

Constitution: 12

Intellect: 16

Charisma: 16

Special Attacks: Super sneaky musical abduction attack! Underwater zombification of enemies!

Special Defences: Superglue skin, now with more hazardous waste slime!

Story Title: “Rue the Day”

Author: Laura VanArendonk Baugh

Equine Combatant’s Name: Nova & Reaver (they’re a team)

Species: Unicorn

Strength: 18

Dexterity: 17

Constitution: 16

Intellect: 11

Charisma: 18

(per Pathfinder stats w/ D&D mod)

Special Attacks: Goring Horn (+8), Striking Hooves (+4)

These specially-trained war unicorns are skilled in the “airs above the ground,” or in RPG terms Acrobatics, and thus can Rogue their way across a battlefield to stomp you dead while simultaneously stabbing your buddy. And there’s not a thing you can do about it.

Special Defences: Magic Circle Against Evil, Too Damn Pretty To Die.

Evil Alignment creatures have difficulty closing distance against a unicorn. They also are a natural example of Reynolds’ Law, being Too Damn Pretty To Die.

How to Vote:

Comment on this blog post with the title of the story you are voting for.

For example, if this week’s competitors were:

Star Wars vs. Star Trek

and you wanted to vote for Star Trekyou would leave a comment that said, “I vote for Star Trek.”

It’s just that easy.

You may vote once each round, and each vote enters your name into a draw to win an awesome book (details here) so you could win alongside your favourite equine!

 

Cast your votes now, and may the best equine win!

Round Two Results

After a week of dice rolling and vote collecting the results of round two of the Equus Battle Royal are in.

 

Our victors are:

Story Title: Neither Snow, nor Rain, nor Heat-Ray

Author: M.L.D. Curelas

Equine Combatant’s Name (if known): Beezus

Species: Thoroughbred cross

Kelpie by Kasey -- http://kasettetape.tumblr.com/post/96373863232/this-was-just-supposed-to-be-a-sketch-but-then-i

Story Title: The Boys from Witless Bay

Author: Pat Flewwelling

Equine Combatant’s Name (if known): unknown

Species: Kelpie

They will be moving on to compete in future rounds, but not right away. Starting tomorrow our combatants will be:

Stars, Wings, and Knitting Things by J.G. Formato vs. Riders in the Sky by V.F. LeSann

and

Above the Silver Sky by Dan Koboldt vs. The Last Ride of Hettie Richter by Cat McDonald

Equine Battle Royal

For now, let’s enjoy short excerpts from the stories whose equines were eliminated in this round–because even though they didn’t prevail today they are great tales, and they’re all good equines, Bront.

🙂

Excerpt from “A Glory of Unicorns” by Jane Yolen:

A tapestry, a tempest, we

Have nothing sentimental. See

That herd of odd-shaped stallions cross

The valley, sort of, kind of horse

With horn.

Excerpt from “Lightless” by K.T. Ivanrest:

Already Fulsa was halfway across the room, nerves coursing around his stomach while he unbuttoned his shirt and tossed it on a nearby chair. Immediately the room grew lighter, and desperate hope fired in his heart. Perhaps he was brightening after all. Perhaps his nightmare was finally over.

He slid a sheer coat across his shoulders and then studied his hands, but could discern no difference in their glow. Here in this secluded tower with only Phaios for company, he had no way to determine whether there had been any further dimming. Beside the lightless slave he always looked radiant, so bright he could almost forget what was happening, and then the empress would visit and he’d see just how quickly his dignity and worth were seeping out of his skin.

A last glance out the window while he clenched his fists and tried to calm his heartbeat. Another last glance toward Phaios, whose silent nod spoke more clearly than any words.

Then he knelt before the door and waited.

Aithra’s footsteps were mere tps on the polished stone, her presence announced instead by the brilliance which preceded her up the staircase, pressing away the shadows with proud disdain and careless ease.

“Your Majesty.”

Her gossamer coat rustled softly, scattering specks of light like jewels for the less fortunate. Even knowing how much of it was unnatural, he envied her splendor. To have so much to shed…

Equine Battle Royal — Round Two

Fourteen Equus contributors have agreed to pit the equine in their story against all the other horse-like creatures in the anthology and fight it out until only one is left standing. That victor shall win bragging rights… and maybe I’ll make a little ‘I won!’ graphic of some sort 😛

How it Works:

Each Tuesday the competitors will be announced and voting will open. Every vote a story receives counts as one point.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the competitors will each roll a twenty-sided die. The resulting number of points will be stolen from their competitor and added to their own score. I will update the scores via a comment on the blog post and social media.

Voting closes on Sunday at midnight MST.

Monday the winner (the story with the highest score) will be announced and move on to the next round.

VS.

Story Title: A Glory of Unicorns

Author: Jane Yolen

Equine Combatant’s Name (if known): A glory of unicorns

Species: Unicorns

Strength: 18

Dexterity: 14

Constitution: 15

Intellect: 16

Charisma: 16

Special Attacks: Can hypnotize with the rhythm of their hooves, are a tempest of flesh and blood, sinew and horn. The herd can trample and pierce, turn like a page and appear anywhere at a thought.

But their horn is proof against poison and can cure any ill-gained wound for foe and friend alike, especially if it is brought against a young horse. Or young page.

Special Defences: Have the ability to mesmerize lesser beings and make them question their reality (and the unicorn’s very existence). Run in a herd making individuals difficult to target. Vanish in a heartbeat.

Story Title: Neither Snow, nor Rain, nor Heat-Ray

Author: M.L.D. Curelas

Equine Combatant’s Name (if known): Beezus

Species: Thoroughbred cross

Strength: 18

Dexterity: 18

Constitution: 12

Intellect: 7

Charisma: 12

Special Attacks: Beezus’s Thoroughbred blood has gifted her with speed. She can start and stop on a dime. She also uses her fast breaks for surprise attacks, quickly closing the gap between her and her foe. Once Beezus has brought the battle to her enemy, she will crush their skull with her hooves. Beezus’s speed also makes her ideal for delivering payloads.

Special Defences: Beezus has highly developed senses, especially her hearing and sense of smell. Those senses aid Beezus’s tactical skills, helping her choose the ideal battle grounds. Her natural agility, honed by her field-hunting training, allows her to elude attacks. In tight situations, Beezus will employ deadly force with her teeth and hooves.

And

VS.

Story Title: Lightless

Author: K.T. Ivanrest

Equine Combatant’s Name (if known): Sona

Species: Selphoros (space pegasus)

Strength: 15

Dexterity: 16

Constitution: 12

Intellect: 5

Charisma: 10

Special Attacks:

Wing Strike: A strike to the opponent with the wing(s); can only be used while the selphoros is on the ground

Capriole: A midair strike; the selphoros leaps into the air and strikes out with the back hooves

Plummet: A flying attack in which the selphoros flies above her opponent and drives downward—can be used to knock a flying creature off course, or to crash down upon a creature on the ground. It hurts. A lot.

Special Defences:

Starfire: A selphoros’ fiery coat will burn any creature which comes into contact with it; the longer the contact, the higher the damage

Story Title: The Boys from Witless Bay

Author: Pat Flewwelling

Equine Combatant’s Name (if known): unknown

Species: Kelpie

Strength: 13

Dexterity: 9

Constitution: 12

Intellect: 16

Charisma: 16

Special Attacks: Super sneaky musical abduction attack! Underwater zombification of enemies!

Special Defences: Superglue skin, now with more hazardous waste slime!

How to Vote:

Comment on this blog post with the title of the story/stories you are voting for.

For example, if this week’s competitors were:

Star Wars vs. Star Trek

and

Pirates vs. Ninjas

and you wanted to vote for Star Trek and Pirates you would leave a comment that said, “I vote for Star Trek and Pirates.”

And you don’t need to vote for something in each bracket–if you didn’t have a preference between Star Trek and Star Wars you could totally just vote for Pirates.

It’s just that easy.

Cast your votes now, and may the best equine win!

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!
Cover by Jonathan C. Parrish

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
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
iBookstore

 

Add Equus to your Goodreads To-Read shelf now!

 

Equus Cover Wrap

 

SIRENS -- cover by Jonathan C. Parrish

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:

Sirens:

  • “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.

Equus Table of Contents

Equus

It’s time, it’s time, it’s time!

I was telling the contributors to this anthology that I look at the TOC reveal a bit like the part of a show where the house lights go down and the curtain begins to open. Not wide open, just a peek — enough to whet your appetite and make you excited for what’s about to come next. This is me introducing you to the anthology… the cover reveal is, I dunno, the handshake perhaps? And the release is when you really get to know one another.

I love Equus. I think it’s the strongest anthology I’ve ever put together and I can barely wait for you to meet and fall in love with it like I have, but for now the introduction. The lights are going down… here’s your peek behind the curtain:

Equus Table of Contents

 

Stars, Wings, and Knitting Things by J.G. Formato

Eel and Bloom by Diana Hurlburt

A Complete Mare by Tamsin Showbrook

Neither Snow, nor Rain, nor Heat-Ray by M.L.D Curelas

Rue the Day by Laura VanArendonk Baugh

Riders in the Sky by VF LeSann

Above the Silver Sky by Dan Koboldt

A Mother Unicorn’s Advice to Her Daughter by J.J. Roth

Ladies Day by Susan MacGregor

The Boys from Witless Bay by Pat Flewwelling

The Horse Witch by Angela Rega

Eli the Hideous Horse Boy by Michael Leonberger

Different by Sandra Wickham

To Ride a Steel Horse by Stephanie A. Cain

The Last Ride of Hettie Richter by Cat McDonald

We Us You by Andrew Bourelle

Scatter the Foals to the Wind by Chadwick Ginther

Lightless by K.T. Ivanrest

A Glory of Unicorns by Jane Yolen

Release date: July 2017

Be sure and add it to your shelves on Goodreads in the meantime 🙂

SIRENS -- cover by Jonathan C. Parrish

Sirens Cover and Table of Contents

Here she is, the much-anticipated cover and table of contents for the fourth of my Magical Menagerie anthologies: Sirens!

SIRENS -- cover by Jonathan C. Parrish

Cover by Jonathan C. Parrish

Sixteen siren songs that will both exemplify and defy your expectations.

Sirens are beautiful, dangerous, and musical, whether they come from the sea or the sky. Greek sirens were described as part-bird, part-woman, and Roman sirens more like mermaids, but both had a voice that could captivate and destroy the strongest man. The pages of this book contain the stories of the Sirens of old, but also allow for modern re-imaginings, plucking the sirens out of their natural elements and placing them at a high school football game, or in wartime London, or even into outer space.

Featuring stories by Kelly Sandoval, Amanda Kespohl, L.S. Johnson, Pat Flewwelling, Gabriel F. Cuellar, Randall G. Arnold, Micheal Leonberger, V. F. LeSann, Tamsin Showbrook, Simon Kewin, Cat McDonald, Sandra Wickham, K.T. Ivanrest, Adam L. Bealby, Eliza Chan, and Tabitha Lord, these siren songs will both exemplify and defy your expectations.

Table of Contents:

Siren Seeking by Kelly Sandoval
The Fisherman and the Golem by Amanda Kespohl
We Are Sirens by L.S. Johnson
Moth to an Old Flame by Pat Flewwelling
The Bounty by Gabriel F. Cuellar
The Dolphin Riders by Randall G. Arnold
Is This Seat Taken? by Micheal Leonberger
Nautilus by V. F. LeSann
Siren’s Odyssey by Tamsin Showbrook
Safe Waters by Simon Kewin
Notefisher by Cat McDonald
Experience by Sandra Wickham
Threshold by K.T. Ivanrest
The Fisherman’s Catch by Adam L. Bealby
One More Song by Eliza Chan
Homecoming by Tabitha Lord

Coming July 12, 2016

Reserve your copy now!

Amazon

Kobo

And add it to your Goodreads shelves!