Tag Archives: Vanessa Ricci-Thode

#99CentNovember

99centnovember

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

The Long Dark

This month I’m sharing holiday-themed guest posts. Today’s post is a bit of fiction courtesy of Vanessa Ricci-Thode. Thank you Vanessa! 🙂

The Long Dark

 by Vanessa Ricci-Thode

Shemmer awoke in the middle of the night, cold and shivering, and a little disgruntled about having been woken. At least when she was asleep she didn’t really feel the cold. She pulled the blankets tighter around her and pulled her hat more firmly over her head. She didn’t know how Summer did this for months on end with little reprieve. She almost understood why her friend was still dating a monster—at least she was warm around him.

Shemmer inched herself a little closer to Summer, huddling against her in the long dark—the longest dark of the year—and wondering if maybe it wasn’t cold she was feeling, but a physical manifestation of her friend’s misery.

Can telepaths project thoughts and feelings as well as pick up on them?

But she realized now what had broken her tenuous hold on sleep. Summer was whimpering in her sleep, and Shemmer wondered if she’d stopped crying at all this night. In the faint starlight, she could just make out the lump of her friend next to her, still clutching that damn stuffy she’d bought for Aurora, hoping for a Yule miracle.

Shemmer wrestled her hands out from under the blanket, and fumbled through her mitts to turn on the battery-powered lamp next to her. It was set to dim, but still pushed away the deepest of the night’s shadows so that Shemmer could see more than just a lump beside her.

Summer turned over, facing Shemmer and the light, and rolled right into Shemmer, bumping her.

“Aurora?” Summer asked, her voice thick with sleep and pitiful with hope. She squinted herself awake, the hope in her voice carrying into her waking expression, but when her shielded gaze found Shemmer, the light went out of her eyes. There was a beat so still it was like the whole of time had ceased, and then Summer began to sob.

“I’m sorry,” Shemmer whispered. “Just a dream.”

She slid her arms around Summer as best she could, all too aware that her small size only mimicked the child her friend missed so desperately. Part of her wondered if her presence wasn’t somehow worse. But she simply could not leave Summer to her despair.

“I don’t think this darkness will ever end,” Summer lamented.

Shemmer squeezed her tighter and wished there was something more she could do. She knew the little girl was the light of Summer’s life. She hadn’t seen the two of them together as much as she would have liked, but Summer always seemed to shine when she was with the girl. Losing her seemed to have snuffed out Summer’s very soul.

The cold night pressed in around them, and Summer finally stilled. Shemmer was certain her friend was simply too exhausted to cry anymore, and Shemmer settled in to sleep, just beginning to drift off again, when she felt Summer get up. She watched on as Summer walked out onto the balcony, still clutching that stuffy—the only gift the impoverished woman had been able to afford.

This could get interesting.

Shemmer climbed to her feet and crept out into the night to stand with her friend in the long dark.

**

Vanessa is an author and editor whose life seldom strays from the world of books, especially during winter hibernation. Even her volunteer work revolves around the literary world, with involvement in the Editors’ Association of Canada, Canadian Authors Association, and regionally for National Novel Writing Month. She’s the author of two fantasy novels: Dragon Whisperer and After the Dragon Raid, both released through Iguana Books.
When she’s not being bookish, she’s into astronomy, hiking, kickboxing, gardening, “collecting” stunning national parks across the continent, and being a massive geek. She loves Halloween and hates to be cold. Vanessa lives in Waterloo with her husband, daughter, and three crazy dogs. To learn more, visit www.thodestool.com

The Balancing Act

This month on my blog I’m sharing holiday traditions, mine and other people’s as well. Today Vanessa shares what the holidays look like in her family 🙂

The Balancing Act

by Vanessa Ricci-Thode

Celebrating the winter holidays in my family is often like doing acrobatics on the tightrope, as we mix and blend friends and family, old traditions and new, religious elements with secularism, trying to keep our holiday true to our atheistic roots without spoiling the magic of the season for our little one (or ourselves, when you come right down to it).

It starts with the holiday letter that I draft up and send out to nearly five dozen friends and family members. I like to spend time with people. Quality time with loved ones is the best gift I can receive, but we all have busy lives, and some of my favourite people also live the farthest away. So I send a letter to them all as a substitute, shining a light into my life, sharing in the family’s activities.

Then, in early December, the lights go up on the house—just a few—and we head out to the tree farm to hunt down our very own Christmas tree. There’s cider and hot chocolate, and crafts to buy, cookies to eat, and a hay bale pyramid for the kids and kids-at-heart to climb. We decorate the tree as a family—even the dogs will get involved—and don’t forget the TARDIS ornament! There are the usual holiday parties with friends and colleagues, and the obligatory picture with Santa for my daughter (and sometimes the dogs). We hang stockings, one for everyone in the house (yes, dogs too!) and everyone gets something “from Santa” to delight in on Christmas morning.

Holiday family time begins, usually, on Christmas Eve when we attend my in-laws’ holiday party in Hamilton. Sometimes things start a little sooner, if I have family arriving from out of town to entertain. This year will be particularly interesting as my mother has just moved to our city, so our usual traditions will need some tweaking, and there will be a lot more family around this year.

On Christmas morning we check out our stockings while breakfast is being made. We’re a house of cereal eaters, so we have bacon and eggs or pancakes as a special treat Christmas morning. Then we dive into the presents, stockings first (yes, yes, the dogs too), those of us with holiday pyjamas are wearing them. Pictures are taken, gifts are enjoyed, and we spend the afternoon playing with our new toys and watching less than traditional Christmas movies. My favourites are Die Hard, Bad Santa, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. And then there’s always the Doctor Who Christmas Special.

For Christmas dinner, we pack up and head to my in-laws’ again, bringing presents for our nieces and nephew, and the kids all open more presents there and play and eat and generally have an excellent time. Drinks all around for the adults, and plenty of treats for all.

We top off the year with a family-friendly New Year’s Eve party at my friend’s house. Sometimes watching more Doctor Who, always eating and drinking some very tasty things with excellently geeky company.

**

Vanessa is an author and editor whose life seldom strays from the world of books, especially during winter hibernation. Even her volunteer work revolves around the literary world, with involvement in the Editors’ Association of Canada, Canadian Authors Association, and regionally for National Novel Writing Month. She’s the author of two fantasy novels: Dragon Whisperer and After the Dragon Raid, both released through Iguana Books.

When she’s not being bookish, she’s into astronomy, hiking, kickboxing, gardening, “collecting” stunning national parks across the continent, and being a massive geek. She loves Halloween and hates to be cold. Vanessa lives in Waterloo with her husband, daughter, and three crazy dogs. To learn more, visit www.thodestool.com