Saturday, December 31, 2016

Saturday Snippet

It's Rainbow Snippets time! Alas, this Cauldron can no longer participate officially, since it's being blocked on Facebook. I'm hoping it'll be able to take part in QueerBlogWed. However, it would like to offer up a snippet. One that's a little longer than six sentences.

Here's a teaser for 'Waiting for Rebirth'. One of my things to do for 2017 is to clean this story up and post the whole thing at It's the first of the 'Tales From the Navel/The Shadow Forest', a prelude for all my other novels in that universe.

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The first thing I remember was darkness, It howled and swallowed everything for longer that I can tell, until the light came. It split the shadows, sent them scurrying away. 

A young man stood in the very center of the light. He captured my attention the way nothing had in a long time. He extended his gleaming white hand towards…me?

Yes, me. There was a me in the darkness, shivering in the light. Shivering at the sight of those pale, slender fingers.  

“It’s all right,” the young man said. “This is your rebirth, Christopher.”

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Paula's Prompt

Here's my response to another Wednesday prompt from the amazing #PTWyant! To see her prompt, go to It involves a return, an encounter with a former friend, and a single snowflake.

Thank you, PTWyant, for giving me such excellent material for the April flash fiction challenge coming to Queer Sci Fi! I'm only posting a teaser here, since I'm submitting the entire story to that challenge, which I'm hoping they'll accept. (crosses fingers) Here's a taste of 'The Dark Lord's Heart', the story I wrote. Thank you so very much for inspiring me with your prompt to create this story!

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The dark lord appeared at the gate of the wizard’s cottage. This time, he didn’t bring his hobgobin army of twisted, lost desires, or his spectral minions to bring their shadow of despair on the rolling, green hills. 

Neither of these had ever moved the wizard, even though the dark lord had brought them chiefly to impress him. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Me Me Me Monday

Happy Boxing Day! It's Me Me Me Monday, a day to celebrate one's me-ness. :) For the holiday season,  I thought I'd share a little bit of my WIP; 'Wind Me Up, One More Time'.

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“People still tell tales of a more primitive time,” Nathalie used to tell me. She had the kind of voice, which made you sit up straighter, holding your teddy bear close to your chest. Maybe your bear could share your excitement, as you listened. Nathalie’s voice was deep, but soft, giving every word a special significance. “Before gas and gears, before towns and cities, when people shivered within tiny villages, protected by the hunters among them. This doesn’t protect them completely. Monsters and beasts would still attack them, confident in tooth and claw. Physical might was still as important, as the quality of your weapons.”

This was scary, since I was very small. I’d never been mighty. I was glad to live in a time, when you could survive, even if you were small and weak. I might have survived, though, if I’d had the right weapons. Or if I’d been a beast, like Ted. Only Ted wasn’t a beast. She was soft and squishy. She had neither teeth, nor claws. This meant neither one of us would have done well, during this time. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Holiday Snippet

Happy Holidays, everyone!

It was hard deciding which Rainbow Snippet to post for Christmas Eve. (I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to snippet today, for that matter! :)) 'Seven Tricks', my m/m Nutcracker based tale? Or 'Wind Me Up, One More Time', my tale of teddy bears and childhood dreams?

I've got two Cauldrons, so why not do both? 'Seven Tricks' is appearing at Therefore, here's a taste of my f/f WIP, 'Wind Me Up, One More Time'.

“People still tell tales of a more primitive time,” Nathalie used to tell me. She had the kind of voice, which made you sit up straighter, holding your teddy bear close to your chest. Maybe your bear could share your excitement, as you listened. Nathalie’s voice was deep, but soft, giving every word a special significance. “Before gas and gears, before towns and cities, when people shivered within tiny villages, protected by the hunters among them. This doesn’t protect them completely.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Me Me Me Monday

It's Me Me Me Monday, where one promotes, struts, and shares one's Me-ness! :) Today, I thought I'd offer a little taste from 'The Hand and the Eye of the Tower'. It's the first book in my 'Tales from the Navel/The Shadow Forest'. I'm currently revising it for publication.

This site uses cookies I don't quite understand, but I need to warn you about. Especially if you live in the U.K. Consider yourself warned.

A chill ran down Danyell’s spine. Every hair on the back of his neck stood up and shivered. He rose from the grass. Behind his brother was the cottage where the two of them had spent the last thirteen? Fifteen? Danyell couldn’t recall exactly how many years he and Dayell had lived there. Not that they’d lived anywhere else. 

No other cottages kept their home company. It was alone in an empty field, which stretched out in either direction, until it reached the forest. While trees could be watchful, they tended to be sleepy and relaxed. The only energetic thing in the woods was the bubbling creek and the wildlife it drew.  Nothing there had the focused hunger in this gaze, not even a snake eyeing a squirrel.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Paula's Prompt

Here's an answer to another amazing prompt from PTWyant! To see her prompt, go to 'Wednesday Words' at  This time it involved a flower, a gear, and a lost charm.

I got really attached to this story I wrote. I wonder if I can shrink it down to 300 words for the Rebirth Anthology in April?

This site uses cookies I don't quite understand, but I'm supposed to warn you about. Especially if you live in the U.K. Consider yourself warned.

The gears rolled when Gear turned the crank in the machine. 

All of the other girls waited, breathlessly as they stared at the clear glass bubble at the top of the device which would decide which of them was the incarnation of the Lost Charm. The legendary charisma the first queen had possessed, until a witch drained it from her and trapped it in a machine. 

Now it was a small, golden locket to be dropped in the hands of a different woman every six years. That way, no one would be queen for too long. No one could make the land suffer as the first ruler had. 

No one would have a chance to get so angry, a curse would well up in her heart. A curse like the one which had activated this machine. 

Now, it was part of their sacred tradition. 

“Turn the crank!” an old woman wailed. Her cry was taken up by other woman. “Turn the crank! Turn the crank!”

She pushed the lever in a counterclockwise direction. Objects appeared within the bubble to whirl around. Trinkets, snatches of ribbons, boughs of holly. A flash of gold appeared amid the other items, a hint of the locket’s presence. 

At the end of a queen’s reign, she’d surrender her locket to Gear. Gear would drop it in the opening on the top of the machine, even as it filled with ribbons, holly, and flower petals. 

Not that anyone was interested in these other things. All eyes were fixed on the charm. Whoever owned it would possess the legendary charisma which could ensnare a witch. It was every girl’s dream to ensnare a witch. A woman who could catch one of these legendary charm creators might possess something even better than the locket. 

Once, twice, thrice, Gear pushed. The gears groaned in protest. The machine wanted to go on turning. It wasn’t ready to stop. 

She’d learned to trust the machine over the years. Three turns was law, though. What’s more, it was tradition. Three cranks would determine whom would be queen. 

The girls crowded together. Every one of them stretched out their hands towards the machine. One pushed others aside to put her hand directly beneath its opening, a girl with a sallow face and a pinched mouth. 

The charm dropped into her hand. She closed her fingers over it before anyone could see it. 

“I have the charm! It came to me!” the girl, Brusque said. Only she was Brusque no longer. Like every queen before her, she would be known as Charm. 

Whoever possessed the charm became Charm. No matter how ill suited she seemed to such a name. 

“I am now Queen Charm!” Brusque, no Charm crowed. The queen allowed her mouth to pucker into a smirk. “You all have to do what I say, even if you hate it!”

“Congratulations, Your Majesty,” Gear said, forcing her lips to smile. She dropped into a bow, just as she’d bowed to every Queen Charm before her. 

“Quiet!” Queen Charm said, wrinkling her thin nose. “I refuse to accept congratulations from a mere mechanic!”

The new queen turned her back on Gear and stalked away. Almost every girl followed after her. 

Once, they would have stayed for Gear to turn the crank. To snatch a bough of holly, a little ribbon, or anything else the machine might offer them. 

Only Queen Charm had turned her back on ‘the mere mechanic’. The other girls did the same. They surrounded Queen Charm, simpering and fawning, each one trying to get their new queen’s attention. 
All except for one girl. A dark haired, dark skinned maiden, who lifted her open hands towards the machine. 

“Won’t you turn the crank for me?” she asked. She smiled and met Gear’s eyes. 

Gear looked into those black, intelligent orbs and wondered what would have happened if she’d kept turning. If she’d given over to the will of the machine. 

Only it was against tradition. 

She pushed the lever around, allowing the machine to dictate how many. It allowed her to go for five turns before it let out a shuddering groan. 

A flower dropped from the machine’s opening. Not flower petals, but a camellia in full flower. It fell into the girl’s hand. 

“Thank you,” the woman who might have been Queen Charm said. She lifted the flower to her nose and breathed in its scent. “Maybe I’ll change my name to Camellia now.”

Gear found herself smiling in spite of herself. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Me Me Me Monday

It's Me Me Me Monday! A day where you promote your me-ness. :) I'm in bad need of a pick me up right now, so how about a little f/f between an arachnocrat and a wandering celestial? If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you will in a moment. :) It's a rather heated conversation between Duessa Ashelocke and Gabrielle about boys. Or men. Particularly Damian Ashelocke, Duessa's nephew. Warning, this is a dark discussion. Males don't have a very pleasant existence in arachnocratic society, nor a very long one. Gabrielle is hoping to do what she can to change that for Damian.

I'm thinking of putting this scene in 'My Treasure, My Tool', the next book planned in 'Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest'.

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“Manflesh? Tough with arrogance and rigidity?” Duessa let out a laugh, which was mostly hiss. Gabrielle noted the way all eight of her knuckles whitened, as some of them gripped the railing in front of her. Others formed childlike fists.

Duessa raised her her arrogantly. Gabrielle wondered if she was defying the spirit with her words to come back to haunt her. Duessa had an almost superstitious dread of words at times. She also had a dislike of mature males, which felt quite personal.

“We have our marriage feasts of boymeat. Best to savour them, while they’re still young and sweet,” Duessa said. Two of her eyes opened. They were an almost human hazel, wistful and pensive. “Best to strike them down, when they’re young and bursting with hope. It’s better than waiting for their dreams to curdle into the sourness, which is every man’s lot.”

Including Damian’s? Gabrielle wanted to ask, but she didn’t dare. 

“Sweet or seasoned?” ‘Brie asked instead. She leaned against the railing as well. Its stone was smooth and impersonal. It carried no sentiments, or judgments. “Experience is what truly adds flavour to anyone, man or woman.” She shot Duessa a sidelong glance. “One wonders why one of your marriage feasts might be like, if he lived to attain such experience. Especially if he was extraordinary to begin with.”

“Are you flirting for Damian’s life, ‘Brie?” Duessa asked. Her third pair of eyes opened. They were a brilliant, blood rose, unveiled from under thick, curling eyelashes. Gabrielle wondered which marriage feast had gifted her with a pair of eyes so like Damian’s own. “Or are you saying one of my ladies is missing out on a feast beyond measure, in not allowing my nephew to ripen properly?”

“You of all people appreciate the value of patience,” Gabrielle said. “Whether it’s in giving yourself time to savour a meal or a man.”

“Such a value is not limited to men,” Duessa said. Her fourth pair of eyes opened. Hot and hungry, they moved over Gabrielle’s lips, the curve of her cheek, following the line of her throat. 

A part of Gabrielle wanted to shrink back from such dangerous attention. Memories of Rafaelle came back, of her trembling hands, as they brushed Gabrielle’s hair. Only Duessa wasn’t ashamed of her desire for the younger woman of a different species. Duessa Ashelocke wasn’t ashamed of anything. 

“I’m willing to make a deal with you, ‘Brie,” Duessa said, as her tongue emerged to moisten her red lips. It was easy to imagine her rouging them with young men’s blood. “I wonder if you’ll take it?”

“I’d be a fool, if I dismissed it out of hand,” Gabrielle said, tensing from something other than the delightful fear of shared desire. Ashelocke deals were legendary double edged swords for those who accepted them. “However, I’d be a fool if I accepted it too quickly, as well.”

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Queer Blog Wed

It's Queer Blog Wednesday! Where you share something GLBT at your blog and tweet it with the hashtag #QueerBlogWed. If you want to find a variety of queer posts, look for the hashtag on Twitter!

I thought I'd share a snippet in a book I'm revising for publication, 'The Hand and the Eye in the Tower'. It's the first in a series called 'Tales of the Navel: The Shadow Forest'. The second book, 'Stealing Myself From Shadows' was last year's NaNoWriMo project. This third book, 'A Godling for Your Thoughts?' was the third book. All three books need revision, so a revising I go. :)

This site uses cookies I don't quite understand, but I'm supposed to warn you about. Especially if you live in the U.K. Consider yourself warned. :)

This is a little longer than six sentences. I wasn't sure if I should follow the Rainbow Snippets' rule of six sentences or not. I tried to make my sample fairly short, though.

“I know you’re there.” Something cold and damp was inches from his face. A misty breath kissed his quivering lips. “I can taste you!”

“No!” Danyell cried, trying to squirm away, waking up as he did. Grass prickled his cheek and tickled his nose. He rolled over and looked up to squint into the sunshine.

A shadow leaned over him, blocking out the sun. Danyell gasped, as a face exactly like his own loomed overhead.

“There’s no need to be afraid,” Dayell said. His twin was looking down at him. “At least, not of me.”

Monday, December 5, 2016

Trying to Get My Rights Back

I have a sad announcement to make. I'm asking for the rights back from Torquere Press, LLC, of which Prizm Books is a Young Adult line for 'Fairest', 'A Symposium in Space', and 'At Her Service'.

I haven't been paid by Torquere. Not even once since I signed my first contract for them. Not one single paycheck. I'm not the only writer who hasn't been paid. A lot of the staff I worked with on 'Fairest' and 'A Symposium in Space' are no longer with them. No one has gotten paid from what I can see.

This feels like I'm unpublishing myself in many ways, but I can't afford to continue on in this way. I'm trying to be a professional author. I'm happy to offer free samples, but I can't write for free. Not all the time, not even a lot of the time. I'd be spending a lot more time at 'Archive of Our Own', if I could.

I've asked for my rights back via email. I've also sent a certified letter to the publisher. I have yet to receive an answer or the paperwork for my Revision of Rights. My stories are still up and for sale. I'm simply not getting anything for them even though I wrote them.

Please spread the word. Let other readers know I'm trying to get the rights to 'Fairest' back. Along with 'A Symposium in Space' and 'At Her Service'.

I'm not going away. I plan to keep on writing. I'll continue to share bits of my work here. I'll continue submitting my stories to publishers and looking for ways to self publish.

Keep an eye on myself and my work. Remember, the Cauldron is always bubbling with potential stories, waiting to be shared with the world.

This blog uses cookies, which I don't quite understand, but I need to warn you about. Especially if you live in the U.K. Consider yourself warned. :)

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Saturday Snippet

It's Saturday, a day of Rainbow Snippets! This Cauldron can no longer officially play, since it's been blocked on Facebook. However, it wants to offer up something. Since this isn't officially a Rainbow Snippet, it's longer than six sentences. I tried to keep it fairly short, though.

Here's a little teaser from 'The Hand and the Eye of the Tower', the first novel in 'Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest'. It's got m/m. It's got f/f. Above all, it's a bromance between a pair of twins, living in isolation with their family in the shadow of a mysterious tower.

This site uses cookies I don't quite understand, but I'm obliged to warn people about. Particularly people living in the U.K. Just so you know. :)

“We’re all like that rose.” Someone was speaking to him, someone who wasn’t Dayell. His voice sent a shiver of mingled fear and devotion down his spine. “Every boy with magic in his soul is a rosebud waiting to bloom. If I don’t force my dream upon you, you’ll never blossom. I hope you understand this.”

Danyell felt himself nod, the strange thoughts filled with eager anticipation. He took a step forward, feeling the Shadow Forest closing in around him...

“Danyell! Don’t let yourself be stolen away!”

Dayell’s frightened cry brought Danyell back to himself. He looked down at his hand, which was small and thin, as always, though his palm had red marks upon it. The sky overhead was morning blue, as it should be.