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Support my Thunderclap!

Hello, everyone! I’m trying out something new: a Thunderclap campaign to get the word out about the Storenvy sale this Black Friday, where signed copies of of both TRIXTER and TALES OF ARILLAND will be 30% off!

Here’s the widget (which I hope works…)

And here’s the link just in case you don’t see the widget: http://thndr.me/IWXnHG

Please click to support me — and THANK YOU!! xox

Thunderclap Black Friday

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The Princess Formerly Known as Snow White

The Unicorn HunterReaders often ask me about my favorites. Favorite book that I’ve written. Favorite character I’ve invented. Favorite EVERYTHING. It’s so tough–like choosing a favorite child!

But I will admit…I do have a favorite short story. To this date, my favorite story that I’ve ever written is “The Unicorn Hunter.” I dreamed up the concept a very long time ago: if a certain unsavory character wanted to hunt unicorns, what better bait to use than “the fairest of them all”? But the story never came together. There was something missing. Until John Skipp asked me to contribute a story for his Demons anthology and it hit me. My missing element was A DEMON. Four days later, I wept as I wrote the last line because I didn’t want the story to be over.

Skipp published “The Unicorn Hunter” in his anthology, placing me right next to Neil Gaiman (again!). Apart from that claim to fame–and a very enthusiastic show of support from SF author Cat Rambo–nothing else really happened with the tale. But it was still my favorite.

That’s the thing about favorites. We just can’t let them go. I held onto these two characters so tightly that I wrote them right into the Woodcutter-filled world of Arilland. And when I assembled all of my fairy tale short stories into Tales of Arilland, I knew that “The Unicorn Hunter” had to be first in the Table of Contents.

While no names are used in the short story, it’s clear from the first paragraph which princess is being referenced. And while it’s not terribly obvious when Ashes makes her cameo appearance in Hero, eagle-eyed fans were incredibly excited to put two and two together. As was I.

This interview was posted on a friend’s website right around the release of the anthology. That post has gone the way of the Internet Black Hole–for that reason, I am publishing it again here for you to enjoy.

Perhaps in the next fairy tale anthology, I will include all the Troubadour interviews I’ve done with my characters. Come to think of it…I’m really going to need to write this Troubadour into Arilland, aren’t I? Oh, that will be FUN…

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Interview with The Princess Formerly Known as Snow White

Tales of ArillandTroubadour: I’m here today with Her Royal Majesty Princess Snow White, who has agreed to speak with us about some of the challenges she faced during her tumultuous–and infamous–childhood.

Princess: I agreed to meet with you only because my story-loving aunt sent you. I don’t want to talk about Snow White. She was a silly, stupid princess, and her jealous stepmother killed her. My name is Ashes-on-the-Wind.

Troubadour: Please forgive my impertinence. May I call you Ashes-on-the-Wind?

Princess: You may call me “Your Highness.” And I would thank you to not go transforming what I’m about to say to you into some sappy ballad; I don’t care what Aunt Sunday says.

Troubadour: I’ll do my best, Your Highness. But I really must implore you–the world is desperate to know what happened to that beautiful little girl the Huntsman led into the forest so many years ago. Were you frightened? Did he attack you?

Princess: (sighs and touches her left shoulder, briefly) I wasn’t afraid until he attacked me. But he didn’t get very far. I was saved by a…Unicorn Hunter.

Troubadour: Rumor has it that this Unicorn Hunter was a demon.

Princess: There are no such things as demons or unicorns, and don’t you dare tell the world any differently. I won’t have innocent girls or arrogant men chasing after either. I am the only one who knows what happened in that forest, and you will take me at my word.

Troubadour: As you wish, Your Highness. So this Unicorn Hunter–whatever his origin–saved you from certain peril?

Princess: He did. He needed my virtue intact, you see, to catch the unicorns. One can be the fairest of them all and still lose her virtue. (A far away look haunts her eyes) Instead, I lost my innocence.

Troubadour: The two of you became friends?

Princess: Yes. I believe we did.

Troubadour: Do you and the Unicorn Hunter still keep in touch?

Princess: No. He is…no longer a part of my life. I moved in with a band of hardworking miners and moved on with my life, just as we should move on with this interview.

Troubadour: Yes, Your Highness. One more question, if I may?

Princess: If you must.

Troubadour: It is also rumored that you are currently employed on a pirate ship. Is that correct?

Princess: (Smiles broadly) That is correct! (Pulls a folded paper from her breeches pocket) Here is a list of the captain I serve under, the men I work with, and all our ports of call.

Troubadour: Really?!? (Unfolds the paper. It is blank.)

Princess: No, not really! I used to be stupid, remember? (Drains the rest of her tankard and wipes her mouth on her sleeve) Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a deck to swab. Are we done?

Troubadour: Yes, Your Highness. Thank you, Your Highness.

Princess: No problem. Do send my aunt best wishes. And remember, no sappy ballads.

Troubadour: I’ll do my best, Your Highness.

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CLICK HERE to purchase a copy of Tales of Arilland in paperback or on Kindle — hardcover coming soon!

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Time for Tea…MOVE DOWN ONE

"How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.” This year is the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

I have long since discovered that I can’t be friends with anyone who doesn’t like Alice.

Two days ago, Lisa Mantchev and I spontaneously broke out into a dialogue on FB that would have been appropriate at a certain mad tea party. Which reminded me that TODAY IS MY UNBIRTHDAY.

Now, by Mad Hatter standards, a person has 364 unbirthdays (and a stopped watch is correct twice a day). But today–this day right here–is a very extra special unbirthday, and I’ll tell you why.

As most of you know, my *actual* birthday is January 11th. A fortuitous birthday to be sure — easy to remember, no matter which side of the pond you’re from, and pretty darn lucky from a numerological standpoint.

However, as any good Capricorn (and a few Saggitarians) will tell you, any birthday within two weeks of Christmas is just too darned close to Christmas. Everyone is  exhausted–mentally, physically, and monetarily–from the slew of holidays, and your birthday is just one more thing on the to-do list that should have been over already.

Now, I’m a fan of Christmas, so I’m not one of those folks (*cough*Robin*cough*) who goes ballistic if my birthday present happens to have Santas all over the wrapping paper, and after many years I got over the whole “Birthday-Christmas Combo Present” cop-out that most folks take.

No…what really got to me was the month of June.

Every June, giant boxes would show up at our house from all around the world. My mother’s birthday is in June, as is my little sister’s (yes, I grew up with two Geminis and learned how to be strong and patient because of it).  While my father is a Capricorn like me (he shares a birthday with Elvis and David Bowie), June is also Father’s Day.

That’s right–every June our house was like Christmas all over again.

With nothing for me.

Sometime around my thirteenth birthday, I decided that I’d had enough. I announced that I was changing my birthday to June 11th — my half-birthday of sorts — a day that dovetailed nicely alongside the Kontis Birthday/Father’s Day Summer Extravaganza. Everyone thought this was a great idea.

You guessed it: It totally backfired.

Not only did I not get any presents for my *actual* birthday that year, but by the time June rolled around, everyone had forgotten about it. Everyone, that is, except my Memere, who sent me a card (and other cards, randomly, in summers after that because she never could keep my birthday straight).

As written in Enchanted: Some things are meant to be, and some things are meant to be great stories. “Alethea’s June Birthday” is one of the Kontis Classics.

Which brings us to today.

As a Very Merry Unbirthday present to us all, I am super crazy excited to reveal to you the cover of my fairy tale short story collection TALES OF ARILLAND.

Want it on Kindle right this very second? CLICK THE PICTURE. Happy unbirthday!

Want it on Kindle right this very second? CLICK THE PICTURE. Happy unbirthday!

That’s right — those clever folks have already figured out that by clicking the title or cover photo above, you can purchase Tales on Kindle RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND. (It’s also been uploaded to Nook, Kobo, iBooks & Google Play, but those sites take longer to go live–check back here for links tomorrow.)

These stories are all fairy tales I have written, and every single one–in some way, shape, or form–relates to the world of Arilland.

It’s a nifty thing. Some of them I wrote on purpose based on Arilland mythos (“Hero Worship”) and some I loved so much that I actually found a way to include it in the Arilland mythos (“Unicorn Hunter” and “Blood and Water”).

You don’t have to have read any of the Woodcutter books to enjoy this collection–though you will appreciate the original novelette of “Sunday” and “The Cursed Prince” history of Rumbold a lot more, I suspect…

What am I doing talking? Shoo! Go forth and read! And be sure to share the magic!

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