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ClockworkUniverseJMWeb

Just in time for you to see what all the fuss is about before Zombies Need Brains  starts up another Kickstarter, ZNB's first anthology, Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens has landed at a retailer near you. It's got Steampunk. It's got little green men, bug-eyed monsters, secret agent chickens and Chihuahuas. What more do you need to know?
A table of contents? We can do that:

"The Cavorite Job" by Ian Tregillis

"Gracie's Fire" by Leah Cutter

"Quinta Essentia" by Bradley P. Beaulieu

"When Comrade Ekaterina Died for the Motherland" by J.R. Hargenrader

"A Clockwork Alien" by Gini Koch

"Heart of the Empire" by Jason Palmatier

"The Red Queen and the White" by C.B. Pratt

"The Wizard of Woodrow Park" by Jean Marie Ward (me!)

"Of War and Wings" by Tansy Raynor Roberts

"Airship Down: A Sound and Fury Adventure" by Gail Z. and Larry N. Martin

"Steamsuit" by David J. Fortier

"Fingers of Steam, Veins of Gold" by Brad Hafford

"Heart of Clockwork" by S.C. Butler

"Lady Antheia's Guide to Horticultural Warfare" by Seanan McGuire

All edited by the irrepressible Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray, the same folks who brought you The Modern Fae's Guide to Surviving Humanity and After Hours: Tales from the Ur-Bar. Wanna taste? I've got your excerpt right here. Or you could check out one of the early reviews:

"They take a steampunk nineteenth century…and add aliens. Would Earth even recognize the threat? It’s a nod to industrialism… A high-five to technological advancement… And, above all, kudos to the genius of action-packed prose."
Not only that, the book comes in all your favorite flavors:

Trade Paperback

Kindle

Kobo

Nook

What are you waiting for? Those Chihuahuas can't hold out forever, you know. ;-)




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Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

I missed the posting deadline for Six Sentence Sunday for the second week in a row. Bad blogger, that’s me. By way of apology, I thought I’d offer a slightly longer excerpt from “Burning Down the House” from Hellfire Lounge 3: Jinn Rummy which will be launched at Balticon, May 25-28. I promise to share the date, time and details as soon as I learn them. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy what happens after our poor protagonist Eddie Woodhouse sits in that big comfy chair:

“Do you have the bottle?” he asked.

A flash from the dance floor lit her eyes like an evil smile. She placed an empty absinthe bottle on the table.

“May your next transfer run as smoothly as the one from your bank.” The blare of the music muted the scrape of her scimitar nails along the glass. “Are you sure you wouldn’t rather do this someplace more private?”

“No.” The jinni inside him lashed his face. He couldn’t hide the bulge of their shared skin or his flinch of pain.

The woman added teeth to her smile. “Your funeral. I trust you’ll be more careful where you stick your straw in the future.”

Her exit line raised a different kind of welt, but he didn’t care as long as she left. Nobody paid any attention to a fat man in a club full of beautiful people. More importantly, the security cams and warding spells focused on the tables would keep her from trying anything more than what he paid for. He’d never been a contender in the magical department, but he never thought he’d sink so low that he’d owe his life to the sorcerous paranoia of Ducky “Duc d’Or”.

Eddie’s teeth chattered against the glass as he closed his lips around the neck of the bottle and chanted the first of the thirty-one goetic evocations from The Secret Key of Solomon under his breath. The words didn’t always make sense, but he suspected the real spell lay in his mind’s desperate prayer: “Take this damned thing outta me and I’ll never do magic. I’ll never so much as make a wish. Never. Ever.”

The words burned his throat. Never. The jinni swelled inside his lungs until he thought his ribs would explode. Ever.

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What happens next? Well, you’ll just have to read the story–or come to the launch–to find out.

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

Modern Fae Cover for "On the Shelves"

Here it is, your last Six Sentence Sunday entry for the month of “Fixed”, my story in The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity. And because I am evil, it is a cliffhanger. If you want to read more, well, you just have to buy the book. ;-)

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“Just as I thought,” she said. “Prepare this animal for surgery. I need to operate immediately.”
His head shot upward. Backed against the steel bars, he couldn’t help seeing past her glamour. The lines scoring her forehead and bracketing the corners of her wide, lipsticked mouth floated like a painted veil over a pale, ageless face as perfect as a marble Madonna.

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Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

You already know about “Fixed” my story in The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity (aka #ModernFae in the Twitterverse), the wonderful fantasy anthology edited by Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray. (My blurb and an excerpt can be found here, if you somehow escaped my blog the first time through.) But what you may not know is there are thirteen (yes, exactly thirteen—for Thursday, no less) other wonderful reasons to buy the book. To quote the web site’s table of contents:

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“We Will Not Be Undersold” by Seanan McGuire
Dan discovers the sinister reason why the employees of Undermart are always cheerful and ready to help consumers buy the latest cheap plastic imports. But when his snooping takes him to Oberon’s realm, Dan must pay the price for his trespass.

“The Changeling” by Susan Jett
Marisol Martinez thinks her son Tomas died in childbirth, until a midwife tells her it’s been stolen by the fae. Now she needs to save her son from the fairy’s clutches…by heading into the hill hidden in…Brooklyn?

“Water-Called” by Kari Sperring
The water spirit Jenny had once ruled a wide expanse of marshland, but now she was hemmed in by the modern world of concrete and drainage canals. But when a killer dares to hunt in Jenny’s realm, Jenny ventures into the modern city, and returns to her old ways.

“The Roots of Aston Quercus” by Juliet E. McKenna
A copse full of dryads is threatened by the construction of a new road, right through their heart. But how can they save their precious trees without exposing themselves to the world? All they have is their copse…and their memories, built up over hundreds of years.

“To Scratch an Itch” by Avery Shade
Young Autumn Sky has been told to always, always act normal. But when a storm threatens her roof garden, she acts without thinking, using powers she didn’t know she had…endangering not only her family, but all of the fae as well.

“Continuing Education” by Christine Smith
Stuck in a dead-end career, Lee had returned to college, seeking a different life. But when a fellow student disappears, she learns that the picturesque brick and ivy buildings of the old campus hide ancient secrets, and corporations aren’t the only ones recruiting students.

“How to Be Human” by Barbara Ashford
Is there anything more pathetic than a menopausal faery? Yes. A menopausal male faery leading a motivational seminar. For humans. At the New Rochelle Radisson. And when some of the local fae youngsters stop by to cause trouble, Finn rediscovers his own passion, and that his talks may apply more to the fae than the humans he’s glamoured his whole life.

“How Much Salt?” by April Steenburgh
Cut off from his clan as humans claimed the beaches once reserved for selkies, Dan finds a new home–and a new place to hunt–when he joins an aquarium show.

“Hooked” by Anton Strout
A rogue fairy lures unwary New Yorkers to their deaths in the heart of Central Park. But her latest victim is more than he seems, and the predator has just become the prey.

“Crash” by S.C. Butler
Where would a crafty leprechaun hide out in the modern world? Wall Street, of course! And Janet has just found the end of the rainbow. But stealing the leprechaun’s “gold” has consequences that she couldn’t have imagined.

“A People Who Always Know” by Shannon Page and Jay Lake
Someone is stealing the changelings and returning them to the fae world before their time. Hestia, the former queen of faerie, knows who is behind the kidnappings, but proving her suspicions requires her to venture into the mortal world.

“The Slaughtered Lamb” by Elizabeth Bear
Edie, a drag queen werewolf, has always been an outcast–from the fae and her pack. But when the Wild Hunt rides through the streets of Manhattan, she ends up learning that times have changed, and perhaps the pack needs her after all.

“Corrupted” by Jim C. Hines
Jessica had spent years as an FBI agent, protecting humans from rogue fae. But the years–and the steel of modern life–have taken their toll, threatening to turn her into one of the very monsters that she hunts. When the rogues threaten to destroy the fae realm, can Jessica find the strength for one last case?

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Photos of The Modern Fae’s Guide in the wild at the Tustin Ranch, California, Barnes and Noble taken by the wonderful Catherine Gross-Colten on March 7.


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Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

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This week’s Six Sentence Sunday offers offers the opening of a story you can read right now, “Billy’s Monster” from Hellfire Lounge 2: Rat Pack Redux. If you like your horror with a big helping of humor and fun, this is the book for you. I haven’t posted my usual information slug on the main page only because resizing the cover is giving me grief. The delay is killing me, too. In addition to great stories by C.J. Henderson, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, KT Pinto, Robert Waters and our fearless editor (and he has to be!) Rick Allen Leider, the book features a fabulous cover by Ben Fogletto and amazing interior art by Ed Coutts, Ben Fogletto, Denny Fincke, Jason Whitley and Paul London. (Face it, I’m all about the pictures. :D )

“Billy’s Monster”

Billy was six years old when he brought home a monster. It had sharp, pointed teeth all around its mouth like a possum. Two rows of three stubby horns each grew from its forehead. Its spotted feathers were as soft as bunny fur, and it churred when Billy rubbed its tummy and fingered the satiny leather of its wings.
Billy’s parents didn’t know what to make of it. But it wasn’t too big, and they never did see a creature better at catching the mice and other varmints around the farm.

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

Not only does my new anthology The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity have one of the world’s most gorgeous covers, it now has its very own web site, thanks to Joshua Palmatier (who also writes as Benjamin Tate), one of my two fabulous editors for “Fixed”. You can check it out here. Now to fill that events calendar!

jmward14: (Default)
Last August, Jim Levin of the York Emporium bookstore and curiosity shop announced a writing competition. The only criteria were the story had to be under five thousand words and it needed to carry the title "Yesterday I Will". Inspired by a preview of Weird Tales' first One-Minute Weird Tale, I wrote a 69-word story that I thought was pretty funny. Fortunately, the judges agreed. The story made it to the final anthology, which I finally got to hold in my hot little hands at Balticon. No reviews so far, and it's only available through Fortress Publishing, Amazon and The York Emporium, but if you like new voices and edgy science fiction, this is the anthology for you.

And then there's my story... ;-)

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Jean Marie Ward

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