Hi y’all. I added a page to this website for short stories I feel like giving away for free. Each story has a content advisory so you can avoid stuff you prefer not to see.
A few things to know:
For a couple of years I was working “J-O-B-S” to pay the bills and give me some emotional energy for writing.
At the end of Summer 2018 I returned to my (emotionally demanding + weird hours required) profession.
Consequently, writing (incl. blogging) has sloooooowed down.
But it hasn’t stopped. (Go me!)
Right now I’m working on:
- The Blood Rain sequel, Blood Down the Bones
- A YA novella called Gaia Shrugged
- A second volume of short stories in the Fables series
In other news, my publisher, Filidh Publishing, advises that Blood Rain is no longer available on Amazon. Apparently this is because of recent US legislation that has had a chilling effect on what kind of books Internet bookstores feel comfortable offering. It’s easier for them to simply not carry certain titles than it is to fight the power.
Apparently the child trafficking theme in Blood Rain is a no-no. For the record, I’m against child trafficking. That should be pretty obvious to anyone who actually reads the book. That said, keyword searches for (what some think of as) objectionable content are not context-sensitive, so it would seem the fact that child trafficking is a theme is a problem, regardless of the frame placed on it by yours truly.
Trying to figure out work-arounds. *sigh*
Hey y’all, I need some reviewers!
Here’s the deal:
- I send you an epub or paperback copy (your choice)
- You post an honest review without spoilers on Good Reads or Amazon.ca (Canadian author, eh?) within thirty days of receipt
- You send me a link to your review via email [ chloe(dot)a(dot)firstname.lastname@example.org ]
- I send you a nice “thank you” note
Be advised that Blood Rain contains violence, gore, and other stuff not suitable for sensitive adults. If you enjoy horror, this is the book for you. If you don’t enjoy horror, give it a wide berth.
The short stories in Fables, Fictions, and Fantasies: A Compendium range from humorous to drama/action/adventure and back. There is a some cursing and a bit of (what I think of as) mild violence. It’s a much lighter read than Blood Rain, so it’s suitable for general adult readership. Continue reading “Reviewers Needed!”
Our cat Smokey, otherwise known as “Empress Smokey Jade Mountain, First of Her Name” (doesn’t everybody give their cat a grand long nonsensical name?) died abruptly and unexpectedly yesterday, June 16, 2018. She was aged only ten years (give or take–she was a rescue, so we don’t know for sure).
Though my partner Rob was clearly her favourite human, she had room in her heart for me too.
She often served as a muse for me:
- there is a cat based on Smokey in my novel Blood Rain
- in Fables, Fictions, and Fantasies: A Compendium she appears as herself under the pseudonym ‘Small Cat’ in the story called “Feed Me”
- she was the inspiration for a poem I wrote called “Ergot Incantation for a Cat” (that poem is included in at the end of this post)
My very small human and animal family is still in shock at her abrupt passing.
I will never forget her sweetness, her ferocity, her weird obsession with the clothes dryer, and the feel of her featherlight fur on my skin. It was like Gothic cotton candy.
I know that not everyone is “an animal person.” I am also aware that our world has much bigger problems than one dead companion animal. Y’all, those are bigger problems for other days.
Today I ask that you share some of your kindness and compassion with me as I grieve for the most dainty and ferocious fur-child I’ve ever had.
Then please offer a gesture of love tonight to your own dear ones, regardless of species.
If you’d like a free-of-charge epub of the recently-released Fables, Fictions, and Fantasies: A Compendium sent to your very own email inbox, just email me and I’ll forward it to you as soon as I can. (Don’t like to be crying and on the Internet at the same time, so it might take me a couple of days to repond. Crying while Interneting it’s almost as dangerous as drinking while Interneting.)
email: chloe (DOT)a(DOT)email@example.com for your free book.
Ergot Incantation for a Cat
steely blue with
claws and teeth, claws and teeth, claws and teeth
steely blue with
claw and teeth
asleep, a-twitch beside me
mealy brew with
paws and heath, paws and heath, paws and heath
mealy brew with
paws and heath
a-peep, an itch inside me
freely flew with
freely flew with
slaws and sheath
a-creep, a witch bestride me
Sometimes when writing poems I use unfamiliar or less common words. When I do that I like to include a few footnotes to help all y’all out, just in case you’re like “Ergot, wtf is ergot?!” If you are a smarty pants and know all this stuff, well, all I can say is “good job, guess you can skip the footnotes.”
 Ergot is a small black mold that can infest stored rye grain. It has hallucinogenic properties. Some believe the women, men, and children who “confessed” to cavorting with the devil, riding broomsticks through the sky at night and so on during the European Witchhunts (aka The Burning Times) were describing ergot hallucinations to the inquisitors.
 Heath is a plant common in many parts of Europe. You could cook it up in a cauldron for some ‘boil boil/ toil and trouble’ action if you want, but I’d advise you add in a few (ethically sourced) animal paws for good measure.
 “Slaw” is regional contemporary North American slang used to denote “a slut” or anything that is “broken down, beaten up, or worn out”. I don’t have the energy at the moment for a feminist polemic about the connections between so-called “sluts” and witches, so : : Hundreds, if not thousands, of books and articles have been written about this topic by humans much smarter and more accomplished than me, so happy Googling.
 “Sheath” has, in some historical contexts, been used to refer (rudely) to women’s genitals, much as “sword” has been used for male genitals.
I just saw the cover images for my forthcoming book of short stories, Fables, Fictions and Fantasies: A Compendium and it looks gorgeous!
The front cover photo:
The back cover photo:
Both a shout-out and my sincerest thanks to the two photographers for sharing their gorgeous work with the Interwebz under a CC licence. Indie publishing thanks you generous artists, too!
But Chloe–you are saying to yourself–what is this collection of short stories about? I thought you’d never ask! Here’s the back-of-book blurb:
I’ve blogged before about how it took me twelve years to complete Blood Rain.
I’m pleased to say that the manuscript for my new book (a collection of short stories) was sent to the publisher a couple of days ago.
Which means that I can run around and tell everyone “the first book took me twelve years to finish, but the second book took just six months” and it will actually be true.
Here’s a fragment from chapter two of Downward Dog. A few notes:
- It’s in first draft form
- Jewel,the protagonist, is kidnapped the day of her husband’s funeral and stuffed in the trunk of a car. The fragment you are about to read starts with her in the trunk.
- Jewel is a yoga instructor. She is very physically fit. She knows how to use her strength and height to her advantage. . . in other words, Jewel is nothing like me. I say this because– as I’ve mentioned before– people assume that writers are their main characters. Here are some nice lists that demonstrate how very wrong this is:
- 28 years old
- Five feet, ten inches tall
- Fitness professional
- Kinesthetically aware
- 47 years old
- Five feet, six inches tall
- Laughing out loud at the mere idea of “fitness” while I sit on my roly-poly ass typing this
- Trips over own feet, barks shins on coffee tables, affectionately called “My Lil’ Flailer” by my partner.
Now that we have all that out of the way, the fragment . . .
My holiday gift to anyone who’d like to read it: a 3788 word seasonal short story with strippers, shotguns, and zombies. Season’s Greetings! (Be advised, it’s a first draft).
35 Arrested After Riot in Vegan Strip Club
Kalee stifled a sigh as she rubbed John’s face in her sweaty cleavage. She tossed her long black hair over one shoulder in a practiced gesture. Wednesday nights were always a very slow night for lap dances. Continue reading “Short Story: 35 Arrested After Riot in Vegan Strip Club”