Last Day to Win a Unicorn!

That’s right! At midnight EST tonight, my dearest bosom companion Leanna Renee Hieber will be randomly drawing from the commenters on THIS BLOG POST to see who wins a copy of John Skipp’s DEMONS anthology, autographed by MOI! (I hear there are some other pretty decent authors in this anthology as well. Like this Neil Something.)

All you have to do is click over and tell Leanna one thing you love about Fall. That’s it! Just one thing! That’s easy, right? Of course it is. Because EVERYONE LOVES FALL.

Bonus entry points are gven if you follow me on Twitter. (And once I get to 2000 followers, *I* am going to give away an autographed collection and a box of books…so it’s a win-win-win-win-win situation!)

October is Halloween Awareness Month. It’s All Hallows Read. It’s even Friday, which qualifies this as a #FridayReads. You are covered on ALL BASES. So what are you waiting for? Click on my picture of the story below, go on over there, and comment.

Happy Friday!


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The Princess and the Unicorns

A few years ago — 2009 to be exact — I decided I was going to bring the unicorn back. I missed it. Not as something to bastardize or make fun of, but the honest-to-god legendary immortal being of magnificence and power. I remember reading all sorts of historical books about unicorns when I was a teenager, so I started collecting them again.

And then I started writing stories.For who better to bring the unicorns back than a Princess?

Now, selling stories with unicorns in them used to be about as east as selling stories with elves — which is to say, impossible. But I got Beth Wodzinski to cave and buy not only a unicorn story, but a STEAMPUNK unicorn story called “The Giant and the Unicorn,” against her better judgement. And that was just the beginning.

I wrote a postapocalyptic space opera called “The Unicorn Tree” and sold it to an anthology. I wrote what I consider to be the best story I’ve ever written — “The Unicorn Hunter” — for John Skipp’s upcoming DEMONS anthology. I even wrote a very short (500ish-word) new fable about the unicorn for New Myths, but their site went down when I wanted to submit it, and by the time it was back up again, I’d forgotten all about “Unicorn Gold.”

When Jason asked me if I had anything to contribute to his new Apexology: Science Fiction and Fantasy e-Anthology, I pulled up my fiction file and went through the stories one by one…and found it again.

“Unicorn Gold” is about a selfish prince, and the lessons he learns from trying to snare a unicorn. It’s a lovely little story — I’m so glad Jason came along to rescue it from the depths of oblivion known as the “AK WRITING” file.

I encourage you all to pop over and purchase Apexology: Science Fiction and Fantasy (only $2.99!) for your e-reader. I am only one of many stories on this fabulous Table of Contents!


“Dedalus and the Labyrinth“ – J.M. McDermott
“The Imagination Hospital“ – Guy Hasson
“Ride of a Lifetime“ – Patrick S. Tomlinson
“The Komastu“ – Jennifer Brozek
“Stinker City“ – George R. Galuschak
“Tailfeather“ – Monica Valentinelli
“Temple of Regrets“ – Maurice Broaddus
“Haunted Empire“ – Deanna Knippling
“And Night Swallowed the World“ – Paul Jessup
“BollyWorld Gods, Bubonic Men, and the Cyberpunk Samurai“ – O.M.R. Anwar and M. Zak Anwar
“Coming Home“ – Gene O’Neill
“Extremum“ – R. Thomas Riley and Roy C. Booth
“Ride the Wild Wind“ – Gill Ainsworth
“In Her Image“ – Michael A. Burstein
“Unicorn Gold“ – Alethea Kontis
“Gemphalon“ – Elizabeth Engstrom
“G-O-O-D-B-Y-E“ – Nick Mamatas
“Covenant“ – Lavie Tidhar

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Genre Chick Interview: Diana Peterfreund

May’s Month of Writers Blog Festival brings you an interview with another of my fellow WRW writers, fellow unicorn hunter Diana Peterfreund.


Mac or PC?
I’ve been using a Mac since my college newspaper days. But I have a Droid phone. Her name is HALey and she’s thanks to our family plan. My husband is a PC. We haven’t yet decided how to raise the kid.

Coffee or Tea?
TEA! I actually hate coffee, and coffee-flavored things. Even coffee ice cream. I have a coffee pot I imprison in the basement and only let out when my mother visits. And I adore tea. I collect antique teacups, I have a slew of lovely teapots, and I have a collection of tea that takes up an entire shelf of my pantry. My favorite teas are flavored black teas, which I hear is a bit declasse in true tea aficionado circles, but oh well.

Travel the World or Travel Outer Space?
Oh, the world, definitely. So many fascinating things to see and do, and so many great people to meet. Plus, you can travel in a lot more comfort, and a lot less time.

Fantasy or Science Fiction?
Do not make me choose. (Though I’d definitely pick both over realism!)

Music or Silence (while you write)?
It really depends. If I make myself a playlist for a given book and listen to it over and over until it’s just background noise, it can help trick my mind into that mood. But some writing requires silence. I had a great playlist for the killer unicorn books, but my most recent book was music free, and I could only write it in silence.

What weird food do you like?
I don’t know if anything I like is weird. People tend to think it’s weird, however, that I DON’T like cake. I made my best friend taste-test my wedding cake for me. My husband and I wanted wedding oysters. Are oysters weird enough?

What is one of your most irrational fears?
I’m afraid of sleeping in the dark. Seriously. I can’t sleep with the lights off unless there’s someone with me — whether that’s my husband, or my dog. However — I love spelunking. Go figure.

Did you watch the Royal Wedding? Why or why not?
No way. I have an infant — every minute I can get of sleep is vital.

How many novels/short stories/screenplays/poems/etc have you published?
Seven novels, two short stories, a handful of lit crit and a bunch of food reviews.

How much do you write every day?
Not enough. Unless I’m on deadline, and then it’s too much.

How much do you WISH you could write every day?
If I could do a steady 2k a day, I’d be a happy camper.

What are you working on now?
A new short story. It’s about a girl and a cult.

If you could write like one author, who would it be?
Currently, I covet the muse of Laini Taylor. She puts the most beautiful images in her work.

If you could be one superhero, or have one superpower, who/what would it be?
Oh, that’s such an impossible question. Telepathy would be fun, but I’d have to be able to control it. Can’t have my dog sitting at my feet all day going, “Can we go to the park now? How about now? Now? NOW?!?! Park park Park!”

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done?
Right now, I’m daily in awe of the fact that I made a whole entire baby, from scratch. But since several billion other people did that, too, I don’t know how “cool” it sounds to the outside observer. A few years after college, my now-husband and I saved up all our money, quit our jobs, strapped on back packs and went hitch/hiking around Australia and New Zealand for the better part of a year. We worked the occasional odd job on scuba boats or in hostels, slept in a tent, and lived primarily on lentils. We dove the Great Barrier Reef, learned how to surf, went black water rafting in New Zealand, walked the majority of the Great Walks (and even ran a few), climbed Mt Doom (Ngauruhoe), walked on glaciers, and other adventures.

What’s the coolest thing you’re about to do?
Soon I’ll be publishing a book (FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS, Balzer & Bray, Summer 2012) that is representative of a few things I’ve always wanted to do: write something post-apocalyptic, write a retelling, and write something Jane Austenian. And it’s set in New Zealand.

Name three things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
Go back to New Zealand.
Go on a sailing trip with my husband and baby (and maybe dog?) We went for our honeymoon and it was awesome.
Write a bestseller.


Diana Peterfreund is the author of four books in the Secret Society Girl Series, as well as Rampant and Ascendant, two young adult fantasies about killer unicorns and the virgin descendents of Alexander the Great who hunt them. Her first published short story, “The Care & Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn,” was recently included in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 5; and, along with another killer unicorn story, “Errant,” appeared on the Locus 2011 Recommended Reads List. Her next book is a post-apocalyptic retelling of the Jane Austen classic, Persuasion. Diana lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, her daughter, and her dog Rio. Her website is

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Princesses and Unicorns

Yes, I’m being silly and trying to review/revise and entire manuscript in just a few days so I can send it off to my editor before the WRW retreat this weekend. (More like the Sherrilyn Kenyon signing in Alexandria on Thursday, actually.)

So only a brief blog from me this morning before I shower and get to work.

In the meantime, check out this really cool article about Unicorns and the Unicorn Tapestries over at Fantasy Magazine.

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Why, yes, thank you.

I would love some Freaking Magical Unicorn Gum!

It’s a by-product of unicorns farting rainbows, apparently, and ThinkGeek has it on sale here. It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas, folks! (Dear Santa, don’t forget my UniCORN holders either, please.)

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Not the Last, Just the Latest

The lovely Sara Larson recently pointed me in the direction of this video from Discovery of the birth of a fabled unicorn.

I wonder how Unicorno’s doing now. He was born a few years ago. Anyone heard of a follow-up? And more importantly…did the horn he shed have healing properties?


Discovery News: Legend met reality recently as Italian researchers discovered a deer with a rare abnormality – a single antler growing from the middle of its head. Rossell Lorenzi tracks the find.
Air Date: 6/17/10
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New Comics

In the last run to the comics shop, I caught up with The Guild (they’re up to issue 3, guilty pleasure) and the run of IDW’s graphic novelization of Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn. You’d think I probably had enough The Last Unicorn stuff (I’d probably own more merchandise if Hot Topic licensed it), but I just enjoyed the film so much as a kid — and I think it’s truly stood the test of time. (Barring the soundtrack by America, which I’ve come to understand you must be grandfathered in to appreciate.)

I am VERY impressed with the artwork for The Last Unicorn, both inside and out. (You know the drill, sometimes they get Alex Ross to do the cover and the rest of the book I could have sketched with my toes…or not.) It’s reminiscent of the Rankin & Bass production…so much so that it even LOOKS like you’re watching an enhanced versions of the film. (Because the comic’s art blows the film’s art away.)  I can hear Mia Farrow’ voice as the unicorn’s soliloquy, because the unicorn LOOKS JUST LIKE the unicorn from the film.

Is that sort of thing allowed? I wonder if they had to get some sort of permission or something to make the images exactly the same. I mean, it must have been on purpose, right? I have to say, I’m actually quite surprised. I would have been fine with — even welcomed – a new, different image of the unicorn. There have been so many over the centuries…what’s one more?

Perhaps Amalthea really is the last. But this Princess refuses to believe it.

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I really, really, really, REALLY need to own a set of these. I think it’s absolutely criminal that I don’t already have some. I may refuse to attend the next BBQ at Awesome Porch if I don’t have some.

They are rainbow colors and dishwasher safe, and while Urban Outfitters sells them for $10, you can totally find them cheaper elsewhere. Perpetual Kid has them for $7.99.

You know what every summer family BBQ needs more of? That’s right. Uni-CORNs. Your children might even eat a vegetable for once.

I told you, I’m bringing Unicorns back, people…

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