Friday, November 17, 2017

Fairest's Rebirth Is Nigh Upon Us!

Do you like LGBT fairytales?

If so, check out Once Upon a Rainbow, a collection of some classics gathered together in a single volume.

Among them is a revised version of my first release, Fairest, a story where a princess falls under a sleeping spell. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Only this princess has no prince. She ends up falling head over heels for the witch who cursed her.

Here's a little blurb telling what it's all about...

All of my life, I’ve been haunted by her dark eyes. At birth, she cursed me to prick my finger on the spindle and sleep for a century. She appears in my dreams, my reflections, shaping my desires. Who is she? My guardian has only revealed a few enigmatic words as to her identity, the fairest of them all. Follow me into the lonely Forest of Tears where the dwarves dwell, walking where she once walked. Gaze into the depths of the magic mirror which reveals her secrets. For I refuse to fear her, even if I should. 


Here's an excerpt from Fairest...


MY FIRST MEMORY was of her dark eyes. They captured all the colors of my infant universe, even as they threatened to swallow me.
Her eyes should have been terrifying, but they weren’t.
Her blood red lips moved, shaping words I could not recall.
My parents remembered them only too well, as did everyone else who’d gathered at the castle for my christening.
“I, too, have a gift for this child. She shall grow up, with all the beauty and promise of the dawn, but her sun will never rise.”
My mother told me she nearly swooned with terror at the look of sheer malevolence the witch gave to the sunbeams playing about my cradle. She wanted to stop the witch from speaking, as did my father. 
No one could move, no matter how much they wished to. Everyone stood still, spellbound by the witch’s gaze. 
“Before the sun sets on the eve of her sixteenth year, the princess shall prick her finger on a spindle. With the first drop of her blood, a sleeping curse will fall upon her, claiming her for a hundred years.” 
My mother tried to call in another witch to remove the curse. My father burned every spindle he could find. 
For all their efforts, nothing could remove the curse. 
The witch had disappeared into a cloud of green smoke. No one could find her after my christening, despite many attempts. The only thing she left behind, besides her curse, were dreams of dark eyes. 
I wondered if she’d been real. Her appearance was the sort of thing I’d heard about in old legends. The way she haunted my dreams was too much like giggled tales of falling in love. 

Look for Fairest within Once Upon a Rainbow at








Wishing you enchantment of the sweetest kind! 




Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Paula's Prompts: Wednesday Words

On October 4, 2017, P.T. Wyant posted this picture as her Wednesday Words prompt at ptwyant.com.

I came up with this Tale of the Navel/The Shadow Forest in response. It goes a little further of answering a question posted over at inspirationcauldron.wordpress.com. What does Damian want?

The light was only just ahead. Cool and sweet, he could almost hear it whisper with the hushed innocence of a boy’s voice. 

No. Two boys’s voices. They giggled, mocking him with stolen vitality, an essence which didn’t belong to them. 

That essence should have been safe within another, safe in a reality he’d left behind. Not here. 

The owner of that vitality would have denied it was rightfully his. 

“I’m a creature of shadow. Nothing I am belongs to me.” He could almost see that bright, coppery head, capturing and reflecting the sun’s glow overhead as it shook. “You’re the one that’s filled with light. I wouldn’t be standing in this garden if you hadn’t brought me here.”

“Ah, Christopher, why didn’t you realize the truth?” He stretched out a hand toward the giggling. “Any light I possessed came from my memories of you!”

It was impossible to reach the light, the ones giggling. A monstrous dark shadow of a trees blocked his way with its skeletal blackness.

“Don’t touch my brothers.” The tree whispered on the breeze with a young man’s voice, soft and menacing. “I’ve done you a great wrong, Damian Ashelocke, but you’re not allowed to go near them. Neither you nor Christopher shall ever get past me.”

Damian Ashelocke. 

For one moment, the name struck him, awakening his memories in a painful cacophany. He heard a woman laughing. He saw her expose her fangs, using one of her eight arms to seize Christopher. 

“No,” he whispered, closing his eyes. 

Before Christopher had been a shadow, he’d been a boy. Just a boy, but for one night, a marriage feast. 

It didn’t matter that Christopher had been the most precious thing in Damian Ashelocke’s life. Damian Ashelocke was just a boy himself. 

No mere boy could stand against the will of the Lady Duessa Ashelocke, arachnocrat among arachnocrats. 

What the lady wanted, she took. No one was strong enough to stand against her. 

“Gabrielle, ‘Brie, I’d hoped you were the answer to my prayers, my wish incarnate.” Love and sour disappointment curdled the inside of his mouth at the thought of his former master. “You had no desire to fight Duessa, no matter how I wanted you to. You played the fool and welcomed her into the Navel as a friend!”

Oh, he knew only too well what ‘Brie’s reply would be. The Navel was neutral ground. Gabrielle would protect her own there, but she’d make no moves against Duessa. 

Not as long as Duessa did no harm within the Navel. The harm she’d done in other places didn’t matter. 

Rage rushed through Damian Ashelocke, remembered purpose strong enough to create a Door. He’d needed power, enough power to keep Duessa Ashelocke from ever taking what was precious away from him. 

Gabrielle wouldn’t understand. After all, Christopher and himself were safe enough in the Navel.

She didn’t understand the twisted way Duessa’s mind worked, exactly how she planned to exploit the gaps in ‘Brie’s protection. 

The moment Christopher or Duessa stepped outside ‘Brie’s shop, they were fair game. Duessa already had a spy watching the Navel, posing as a regular customer. 
In order for Christopher to be safe, for Damian to be truly free, Duessa would have to be dealth with. 

Damian needed the power to deal with her. It didn’t matter if Gabrielle never understood this need. It didn’t matter if the shadows ripped him apart and ate him! Pah, what did such a threat matter to an arachnocat? He lived with the promise of being devoured as Christopher had been! 

It didn’t matter if he had to turn his back on Christopher’s tear-streaked face…

Christopher. The memory of those glistening eyes, the last thing he’d seen in the Navel made him fumble with the name and identity of Damian Ashelocke. 

Damian Ashelocke had been the sort of person who’d make Christopher cry. 

Once, he’d never have done that, not ever if he could help it. Disregarding the feelings of someone he loved…Damian Ashelocke had take a step closer to being as ruthless as Duessa. 

“No,” he whispered, allowing the name and purpose to slip from his mind. 

They took the form of tiny rose seeds falling to the earth. 

“You are weak.” The tree’s roots claimed the seeds of identity, sucking them into the soil. “Your lack of resolution allows me to feed on you, again. I will not make the same mistake.” No trace of them remained on the ground. “No one in this or any other world will disturb my brothers’s existence.”

“Leiwell, isn’t it?” Nameless and purposeless once more, he recalled the hungry house Dyvian wished to feed. 

The same innocent hunger exuded from the tree in a soft scent of a green and damp things. Only there was more a sense of purpose and awareness. 

“It is you, isn’t it?” He tilted his head to regard the tree. “Or part of you.”

“It doesn’t matter.” The branches trembled a little. “You shall not come near my brothers. I’ll destroy you if you do.”

“Beware of your own resolution, Leiwell.” He nodded his head in the direction of the light the tree guarded. “Resolution can rebound on the ones you want most to protect.”

The guardian didn’t respond to this, although its branches creaked a little. 


Monday, November 13, 2017

Secondary Characters Speak Out: Quartz and Opal

It’s that time of the month again…when Quartz, deceased dwarf from Fairest, hijacks my Forbidden Cauldron and Facebook Author Page to run off his mouth. (groans)

He doesn’t have his own blog yet, Paula, but he has his own File in my Blogs folder. You had to encourage him…(rueful grin)

Quartz: Yes, it’s my time of the month, since scribblers are stingy, particularly mine. Won’t let me have my own blog, won’t let me post more than once a month-

Opal: Quit bellyaching and get on with it. 

Quartz: Speaking of secondary characters, here’s my younger brother, Opal-

Opal: I open the door in Chapter 3. I considered slamming it in Oriana’s face. 

Quartz: Go ahead and gloat, you’ve got one of the few speaking parts. You’d think you were the elder brother, not me. 

Opal: I am the elder brother. I had to become that, once you left me to look after all of our brothers. 

Quartz: That wasn’t my choice!

Opal: It’s been a century. Do you know how much we suffered after we lost you? Only now I find you’re here on our writer’s blog, complaining about your lousy existence. 

Quartz: I’m still dead!

Opal: That didn’t stop you from speaking out! Why didn’t you come see Garnet or any of the rest of us?

Quartz: It’s a fourth wall thing. Right now, we’re on it. In actual storytime, I’m still dead. You ought to know that. We’ve done the fourth wall before. 

Opal: Right.

Quartz: You didn’t complain during previous posts about me being a blog ghost. Why now? 

Opal: This is Secondary Characters Speak Out, right? You encourage us to complain!

Quartz: (looking a bit flustered) Right. 

Opal: I’m the Eldest Brother. I have to be stoic around our younger siblings. 

Quartz: Right…

Opal: It’s only now I’ve got a chance to speak to you, brother to brother without the younglings present. You think you’ve got it rough? You have no idea. Do you have any notion how little of Garnet’s beard is left? Barely a few patches have grown back since we lost you!

Quartz: (now looking a little guilty) He misses me that much?

Opal: And her. 

Quartz: And her. Blanche, the closes thing I have to a daughter. This is why I’m so angry at what happened. (regaining his former indignation)

Briar: (offstage) Ugh…I hate that name.

Opal: Briar. She’s prefers Briar. I’d tell you the rest of the story, only I’d be spoilering things. 

Quartz: (glowers) See? You got to see her happy ending. You even got to visit her in the castle!

Opal: Spoilers. Shut up, brother. You’re ruining it for the readers who haven’t finished Fairest. 

Quartz: *I* didn’t get to finish Fairest! I was finished off! 

Opal: Were you? You seem pretty lively to me!

Quartz: Only because I refused to shut up and accept the secondary part that scribbler gave me!

Opal: Is your secondary part really so awful? You said something to our girl which healed her ailing heart. 

Quartz: That was only in a magic mirror flashback…who’s spoilering things now?

Opal: Only a magic mirror flashback…is that all that moment was?

Quartz: (nose turns red) All right, I’m glad I helped her. Only I ended up ruining her life without a chance to explain anything! 

Opal: What was there to explain? You’re an old dwarf with an old heart, that’s all. Shock killed you. 

Quartz: I’m not that old! There should be more to it! Which that scribbler might figure out if she’d only take the time to write it!

Opal: About that. How come you’re the only one of the seven of us who gets a story out of the scribbler? Poor you. 

Quartz: (blustering a bit) Now see here…I’m the oldest. Look at what happened to me. I’m the blemish on the romance’s happily ever after. I should be fixed. 

Opal: Poor, martyred you. If you do get your own story, you won’t be a secondary character any more. 

Quartz: Well…

Opal: If that happens, I’m taking over Secondary Characters Speak Out. 

Quartz: (bristles) Look, you-

Opal: Look, all of you. Is there anything you liked about your role as a secondary character in your story? I loved visiting the castle and seeing Briar happy in mine.

Quartz: It’s not your blog, yet, you little-

Opal: Even if Harold stepped on my toes while we danced. 


Quartz: There you go, spoilering the story again! 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Promo Friday: Seven Tricks

It's Promo Friday! A day to show the world what you've got!

Whee! Whoo! Seven Tricks has cheese, err, I mean buy links! Heh, I'm channeling Mousetrick here.

You may be wondering who Mousetrick is. Not to mention what in the world is Seven Tricks?

Even see The Nutcracker? Or read A.T.A. Hoffman's classic, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King?

Seven Tricks is the misunderstood mouse perspective of this particular tale. What humans don't understand is that the mouse prince did it all for love.

Here's a little blurb telling you a bit more about it from Mousetrick (my main character) himself...

Some say a mouse king has seven heads. Hah, trust a human to get our legends wrong. A mouse prince must perform seven tricks before the twelve days of Christmas are up. It’s how he wins his crown, but I’ve got my whiskers set on something else. A stiff beauty with a magnificent jaw, waiting for me under the holiday shrub. I caught his scent in a dream, which I’ve been sniffing after ever since. Scamper with me through my adventures and misadventures, dodging traps, cats, and giants, while I win a steadfast nutcracker’s heart.  


Here's an excerpt from Seven Tricks...


Some say a mouse king has seven heads with seven crowns. In a way, this is true. A mouse prince must play seven tricks before the twelve days of Christmas are over. If he doesn’t, he cannot claim his throne.

“You must prove your worth before I acknowledge you as my heir,” Madam Mousenip said to me in the shadow of the enormous ticking tower. “Only by succeeding at seven tricks will you possess what you desire.”

She herself had become our sovereign through seven capers of her own, earning the name Mousenip for delivering tiny bites, which left cheese looking unscathed and humans whimpering. She’d nipped a human princess once. The bite turned the girl’s face into something so beautiful her people fainted at the sight of her. That was Madam Mousenip. Kind even to hideous giants.

I flicked my whiskers in humble acknowledgement of the Mouse Queen’s words.

In truth, winning the throne was what she desired, not I. What I wished for was a bit more romantic and complicated.

I’d had a dream involving our coming Christmas, but it wasn’t of me ascending the throne, oh no. I’d dreamed of an endless supply of tissue, scattered about the giant shrubbery humans insisted on covering with baubles.

Not that the shredded paper was what I desired, although there was enough for all my subjects, saving the king-size portion for myself.

No, what I wanted was the exquisite creature standing half in and half out of a giant box left open on the floor.

Wooden was he, keeping his arms and legs stiff and motionless in his bright red coat and green trousers. Wispy white hair stuck out of the crown on his head and square chin.

Ah, he had to be a prince of some sort. Perhaps a prince of the wooden dolls? Some of the humans kept such poppets as toys or slaves. Not much of a royal title.

The beauty bared his teeth at me in a seductive show of defiance. Never had I seen such an enormous, toothy jaw. The scent of roasted nuts wafted from his mouth, making my nostrils flare with hunger.

I crept up to this still, defiant beauty.

He didn’t move, or acknowledge me, even when I was a paw away from his face. The strange prince just stood there and grinned.

This infuriated me. Who was he grinning at, if not myself? Was he mocking me?

I nudged him with my snout.

He rocked on his stiff wooden legs but didn’t budge. The creature stood like a human being, but no human possessed so broad and beautiful a mouth as he. Nor did they smell so deliciously of roasted nuts.

“Maybe you’re a giant nut yourself,” I said in the way of mice, which sounds like chittering to anyone without the talent to understand our speech. “Do you taste as good as you smell?”

I sank my teeth into his hard shoulder.

His head turned very slowly. He regarded me with wide hungry eyes. The strange prince dropped his jaw, only to close it on my snout.

In a moment of intimacy, we bit each other.

I awoke with the taste of bitter sawdust in my mouth, mixed with the salty residue of nuts.



Have I intrigued you? 

Here are buy links...








Happy Reading! 





Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Paula's Prompt: Wednesday Words

On October 11, 2017, P.T. Wyant offered up the picture below as a prompt at ptwyant.com.

This Tale of the Shadow Forest is my response. Can you guess whom it's about? I'll give you a hint...it involves a previous prompt using a picture of a ramshackle cottage/hut surrounded by greenery.

It was starting to appear again. The ghostly outline of a castle or was it a temple? 

Someone on the other side of the Door was willing this ornate building into being. Or was it someone on this side?

Will. Once he’d had it, along with a name. 

Now he could only follow the pale lights, traces of the path which he was able to follow. 

Name and purpose were both gone. 

He didn’t recall losing him, although he remembered purple flowers in pale hair. A ramshackle house had nestled in the greenery and light, back when everything had been savagely bright and clear. 

They’d taken the brightness from him, along with the name and purpose. Unless he’d given them up?

It was possible. Names came with so many unpleasant associations and relations. Such as a woman with auburn hair, eight arms, and fangs always ready to pop out of her hungry mouth. 

No. He wouldn’t think of her. He didn’t have to. He’d cast her off, along with the memory of her name. 

The price had been his own. 

Let the pale-haired beauty and his hungry house choke on the memories of her, along with the consequences of his name and purpose. 

Only without those things, he couldn’t find the path. All he had was the recollection of a pale light. 

He moved in the direction of the ghostly palace, the temple flickering in and out of existence. 


At least he was going somewhere. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Me Me Monday: Seven Tricks

It's Me Me Monday! A time to promote, strut, and celebrate your Me-ness!

Only the center of the celebration is Queer Sci Fi on Facebook. This poor little Cauldron can't participate since it's Forbidden by Facebook.

This doesn't mean it can't celebrate in other places. Or that my Facebook Author Page won't reflect some of the contents of this Cauldron. :)

We're going to play even if Facebook won't let us play with them. After all, there are other social mediums we can scamper into. :)

On the general theme of scampering, here's a little taste of Seven Tricks, my upcoming holiday tale.


Some say a mouse king has seven heads with seven crowns. In a way, this is true. A mouse prince must play seven tricks before the twelve days of Christmas are over. If he doesn’t, he cannot claim his throne.

“You must prove your worth before I acknowledge you as my heir,” Madam Mousenip said to me in the shadow of the enormous ticking tower. “Only by succeeding at seven tricks will you possess what you desire.”

She herself had become our sovereign through seven capers of her own, earning the name Mousenip for delivering tiny bites, which left cheese looking unscathed and humans whimpering. She’d nipped a human princess once. The bite turned the girl’s face into something so beautiful her people fainted at the sight of her. That was Madam Mousenip. Kind even to hideous giants.

I flicked my whiskers in humble acknowledgement of the Mouse Queen’s words.

In truth, winning the throne was what she desired, not I. What I wished for was a bit more romantic and complicated.

I’d had a dream involving our coming Christmas, but it wasn’t of me ascending the throne, oh no. I’d dreamed of an endless supply of tissue, scattered about the giant shrubbery humans insisted on covering with baubles.

Not that the shredded paper was what I desired, although there was enough for all my subjects, saving the king-size portion for myself.

No, what I wanted was the exquisite creature standing half in and half out of a giant box left open on the floor.

Wooden was he, keeping his arms and legs stiff and motionless in his bright red coat and green trousers. Wispy white hair stuck out of the crown on his head and square chin.

Ah, he had to be a prince of some sort. Perhaps a prince of the wooden dolls? Some of the humans kept such poppets as toys or slaves. Not much of a royal title.


The beauty bared his teeth at me in a seductive show of defiance. Never had I seen such an enormous, toothy jaw. The scent of roasted nuts wafted from his mouth, making my nostrils flare with hunger.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Promo Friday: Once Upon a Rainbow(s)

Like fantasy f/f fairy tales? I've got blurbs and excerpts from a couple of them.

First, there's Fairest, my f/f fantasy fairytale. It's being reborn in a brand new edition within Once Upon a Rainbow, a collection of LGBTQ legends reimagined.

Fairest is a combination of Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, with a dash of Cinderella thrown in for good measure. Here's a little blurb explaining what it's about...


All of my life, I’ve been haunted by her dark eyes. At birth, she cursed me to prick my finger on the spindle and sleep for a century. She appears in my dreams, my reflections, shaping my desires. Who is she? My guardian has only revealed a few enigmatic words as to her identity, the fairest of them all. Follow me into the lonely Forest of Tears where the dwarves dwell, walking where she once walked. Gaze into the depths of the magic mirror which reveals her secrets. For I refuse to fear her, even if I should. 


Here's an excerpt from Fairest...

MY FIRST MEMORY was of her dark eyes. They captured all the colors of my infant universe, even as they threatened to swallow me.
Her eyes should have been terrifying, but they weren’t.
Her blood red lips moved, shaping words I could not recall.
My parents remembered them only too well, as did everyone else who’d gathered at the castle for my christening.
“I, too, have a gift for this child. She shall grow up, with all the beauty and promise of the dawn, but her sun will never rise.”
My mother told me she nearly swooned with terror at the look of sheer malevolence the witch gave to the sunbeams playing about my cradle. She wanted to stop the witch from speaking, as did my father. 
No one could move, no matter how much they wished to. Everyone stood still, spellbound by the witch’s gaze. 
“Before the sun sets on the eve of her sixteenth year, the princess shall prick her finger on a spindle. With the first drop of her blood, a sleeping curse will fall upon her, claiming her for a hundred years.” 
My mother tried to call in another witch to remove the curse. My father burned every spindle he could find. 
For all their efforts, nothing could remove the curse. 
The witch had disappeared into a cloud of green smoke. No one could find her after my christening, despite many attempts. The only thing she left behind, besides her curse, were dreams of dark eyes. 
I wondered if she’d been real. Her appearance was the sort of thing I’d heard about in old legends. The way she haunted my dreams was too much like giggled tales of falling in love. 

Here's a buy link to Once Upon a Rainbow at


Second, there's At Her Service. 
If you liked Fairest, you may want to check out my second f/f fantasy fairytale. It's coming out in Once Upon a Rainbow 2 on January 18, 2017. 
This one is all Cinderella. Here's a little blurbiness, explaining the general plot...

Cinders would much rather fondle her mistress’s bony feet than go to a ball. Magic whisks her away, in spite of herself to a night of lights, dancing, and mystery where she discovers her true heart’s desire. For nothing is what it seems where enchantment, fairy godmothers, and princes are concerned. 


Here's an excerpt, unedited...

Ever since I could remember, my life revolved around my mistress. I did my desperate best to serve her, even though I wasn’t very good at it.

“Fetch me my slippers,” she’d say, waving a slender hand idly in the direction of the closet. She’d be busy reading a leather bound book she’d managed to swindle from a stuffy order of monks, or carefully going over the household accounts. My mistress would never entrust her money to any of the servants.

Eager to please, I’d open the closet. A cascade of all kinds of slippers, scarves, and gowns would come pouring out of the wardrobe, knocking me to the ground.