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Author Jennifer Quail

Fantasy, Steampunk, Science Fiction, and More

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Short Stories

So Back to Trying To Finish Things

After another miserable NYCMidnight Short Story Contest first round where, for the third year straight, I drew Horror as my category (your randomizer is broken, NYCM), I’m back to trying to get things written that I want to write. For those who enjoyed “Storm-Spun” (and if you did, please review, and if you haven’t read it yet, please grab a copy!) I’m playing around in the same universe with the same characters.

Which of course means I’m looking up riddles. I’m thinking of borrowing this one:

In the marble walls as white as milk, lined with skin as soft as silk, within a fountain crystal clear, a golden apple does appear. No doors are there to this stronghold, yet thieves break in and steal the gold.

Too obvious?

And in other news, baileyback

Bailey isn’t speaking to me because I didn’t agree that 3:30pm was suppertime. When the silent treatment didn’t work, she went and got the Corgi as backup.

We have a Winner! Actually Two Winners!

Maggie has chosen! (Because Bailey was busy stealing Maggie’s other toys.) Through the extremely scientific method of writing down all the names on slips of paper, burying them in the toy bowl, and seeing who got knocked out first when Maggie yanked her Bark Box Turkducken out, we have two winners of our drawing for paperback copies of Tales of the Siblings Not-So-Grim featuring my story “Storm-Spun”!

The winners are:

Susan Depping

Clarawayne Starrett-Wolford

Please contact me via Facebook or using the comment form here about where you’d like your book sent and if you’d like it signed to anyone in particular or to you!

Everyone else, thank you for all your shares and likes and comments! I may be doing more contests in the future, and as always a lot of my work is available via Amazon and Lulu! If you’re interested in a signed copy of any of the books, let me know via the comment form here.

5000 words a day doesn’t have to be one document, right?

So while I should be either really getting going on the novel-length story featuring Aleksandra and Mattias (who’ve so far cropped up in  three flash fics and a lot of notes) or maybe that food-theme fantasy sequel to “Storm-Spun” with a December 31st deadline.

Instead I’ve got two lines for what MIGHT be an adaptation of “Ghost Life” to something a little brighter and more upbeat:

“Our arrangement probably seems strange, or it would if anyone knew about it. For the record, his being dead since before we met has only been a problem in a few, tiny ways.”

Just In Case You’d Like to Buy Some Books!

While you can always check out my Amazon Author Page for books by me or featuring my stories, there are a few other options.

For Tales of the Siblings Not-So-Grim featuring my story “Storm-Spun”, besides Amazon, you can find links to other ebooks at the universal link below. For paperback copies, click the Lulu link!

Universal link – https://books2read.com/talesofsiblings

Paperbacks – http://www.lulu.com/shop/product-24352918.html

If you’d like a paperback version of Machinations and Mesmerism: Tales Inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmanit’s also available on Lulu.

If you’d like to skip Amazon and order direct (or are in the UK) for Urban Crime Short Stories, You can shop direct on Flame Tree’s website.

And please, if you read, consider dropping a review at Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites! Authors love reviews. (Well, when they’re nice. Okay, even if they’re not nice, at least you noticed us!) For example, here’s the first first Goodreads review for Tales of the Siblings Not-So-Grim!

The Fun of ARCs!

Nothing like opening your e-mail to see a notification that the ARC for the anthology your story is in is available! I can’t wait to see what Hollow Hills Books has done with “Storm-Spun” and what else is going to be along with it.

And it’s a good day for writing, since we’re currently going through Snowpocalypse Now here. The sun IS out, the goats are freezing, the drifts are over the Corgi’s head, but it’s a nice day to stay inside with more of my August Uncommon teas (not sure whether to fire up another cup of Golden Arrow or switch to Passage), writing Gorey-inspired suspenseful horror. Though it would be nice if the sun kind of went away for a bit to set the mood a little better. Bright sunshine’s killing the winter-isolation vibe here.

However that wasn’t a request for more snow out there. 12″ is more than enough, thanks.

First Review! Vampires, Zombies and Ghosts Vol 1

via Vampires, Zombies and Ghosts Vol 1

And I know whose I’m going to read next!

Vampires, Zombies, and Ghosts

No, believe it or not, my story isn’t a vampire story! It’s a ghost story, and needless to say, a wee bit of a romance, too.

Vampires, Zombies and Ghosts, Volume 1 (Read on the Run) by [Valenti, Catherine, Gienapp, Laurie Axinn, Fiorini, Lucy Ann, Long, Laird, Hinkle, Larry, Penncavage, Michael, Tomlinson, T. M., Leen, Geri, Leergaard, R. S., Howell, R. J.]

Now available for Kindle on Amazon!

Be sure to check it out. The paperback should be coming shortly.

Jet Setting in a Heat Wave!

Just back from a very fun, very fast, but very hot, trip to New York for the launch of Machinations and Mesmerism: A Tribute to E.T.A. Hoffman at The Footlight. Apparently if I’m going to New York, it’s going to be stupidly hot as instead of doing some exploring after arrival, I decided it was better to hit the hotel restaurant and take a car service over, since the heat index was pushing 105.

It was a small but enthusiastic turnout to see me, Michael Cisco, and LC von Hessen read our stories from the anthology and to hang out at the very fun little venue. Don’t let the address fool you-this is not a scary area (though the route the driver from the hotel took me gave me some interesting ideas for Aleks’s adventures as a P.A. in New York–more on her later. Remember, leash, curb, and clean up after your thug!*)

*Actual sign seen on a chain-link fence in one of the more dubious areas.

There was a strange theme of teeth going on with the readings. Of course, Sophie Vestergaard, my rather mundanely eerie character, has every good reason to be interested in them as besides her more unsavory hobbies, she’s a forensic ondontologist. I’m sure my mother (who used her DDS for much more general practice) would admit, it’s easier to examine the teeth when you can just flip the skull over and detach the lower jaw!

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I’d hoped to dress a little nicer, but after trying on everything in my closet I realized 110 in the shade combined with airline air conditioning meant jeans and a peasant blouse was the most practical thing I had. Not pictured: my new pearl-encrusted tiara from Half Lucid Jewelry, which the amazing and talented Kendra L. Saunders made me and which will be making its debut at a Cunard masquerade ball near you (if you’re in Nova Scotia or the North Atlantic.) Not only does she work for the fantastic Footlight and write the Dating an Alien Pop Star series, she makes sparkly things! For very reasonable prices, too.

Looking forward, I’m happy (and relieved) to announce that my story “Storm-Spun” will appear in the forthcoming Tales of the Siblings Not-So-Grim anthology from Hollow Hills Books. Pleased, because I’m always happy when someone decides they want to pay me for my writing, and relieved because this is a story that’s been picked at and revised and resubmitted several times, so I’m thrilled it’s finally found an appreciative home. Hopefully this means there’s a reason to keep going now I’ve decided this one has longer potential after all!

Available, Forthcoming, and Jet-setting!

First, Urban Crime Short Stories are now available at Amazon!

I have my own copy in my hot little hands (and a couple spares; use the contact form if you’re interested in a signed copy!)

And now on lulu, with an Amazon edition coming soon, is Machinations and Mesmerism: A Tribute to E.T.A. Hoffman from Ulthar Press, including my short story “Deadhead”. Of course I had to submit. It’s Hoffman. I read The Nutcracker every year at Christmas (and sometimes in the middle of summer, too.)

Machinations and Mesmerism: Tales Inspired by E.T.A. Hoffman

Related to that, I have my first real jet-setting author experience coming. Ulthar Press is holding a book-launch party and readings at The Footlight in Queens, New York. I will be reading, as will several other contributors (and the fact the club’s managers include my friend the amazing and talented Kendra L. Saunders is just one of those weird coincidences Hoffman I’m sure would appreciate as much as I do.)

And coming up, Smoking Pen Press, publisher of A Kiss and a Promise (featuring my short story “Only Ever Slowly”) is only weeks from release of Vampires, Zombies, and Ghosts: Volume One, which will include my short story “GhostLife.”

In non-writerly (mostly) news, I have a question: how long in advance is too long to be planning everything you want to do on your September vacation? Like, daily itinerary! And given where I’m going, I’m hoping for some inspiration for Anders (see my Urban Crime entry) and Julie and their adventures on her home turf. I wonder what Anders will think of poutine?

Hope everyone is getting better weather than here. Not that I’m biased in both respects, but around here, this is excellent weather to chill a bottle of white and stay in the shade (or the air conditioning!) with a glass of wine and a good book.

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