Monday, October 30, 2017

Once Upon a Rainbow...

Like f/f fairytales? LGBTQ fairytales in general?

Check out Once Upon a Rainbow at

Fairest will be reborn in an entirely new edition with Briar/Rose at the center of everything. Yes, my characters have names this time around. I've done my best to polish up my f/f fantasy fairytale without disturbing the essential content.

Here's a little blurby goodness to tell you what Fairest is all about...I combined elements of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White with a dash of Cinderella to tell this tale.

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. 

If you liked Fairest, check out At Her Service! Yes, I've got another f/f fantasy fairytale, due for release in Once Upon a Rainbow 2 on January 18, 2018. 

This time, it's all Cinderella. :) Here's a little blurbiness from At Her Service...

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 a taste of the story to come, UNEDITED...

I’d kneel, right before my mistress’ feet. I didn’t dare look at her face, but I could stare at her ankles as long as I wished. They were bony, but the shape of the protruding bone was exquisite. 

Every time I looked at it, I wanted to run my fingers over it.

The glass slipper was too small for her foot. I had to work her flesh into the shoe. It’s an art I’ve managed to perfect, over the years. Stroking the arch of her foot, I slide her toes into the slipper. The flesh shivers at my touch, so it wiggles its way into the shoe’s interior. Once it’s there, I tickle her heel, so it quivers its way into the back of the slipper.

It’s a service no other maid can provide. I’m the only one capable of getting those glass slippers on my mistress’ feet. It’s why she keeps me around, even though I’m a terrible servant.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Paula's Prompt: Wednesday Words

On September 13, 2017, P. T. Wyant posted the picture below as her Wednesday Words prompt at

I came up with this Tale of Navel snippet in response. It seems appropriate, considering what's happening in Unwilling to Be Yours at today.

I once tried to detect hidden shapes in the twists and curves of every carving on the doorway. 

Perhaps something living was inside the wood. Trapped, struggling to be free from a former tree’s innards. 

The tree might have devoured someone. The way my aunt devoured her victims behind closed doors. 

Boys, idealized youths willing limbs to stretch out from the confines of the carving. Maidens who writhed within the frame, casting wistful, unseeing eyes down in a submissive fashion no lady ever would. 

“This doorway is a reminder of where we came from.” Vanessa tossed her raven locks over her shoulder, affecting an air of knowledge I didn’t trust. 

Surrounded by ornamentation, Van took it all for granted. It didn’t matter to her where it came from. 

“No arachnocrat will ever allow herself to return to the place our foremothers came from.” Safe in rhetoric our mentors loved to spout, she found it easy to come up with an explanation behind the door. “It stands here as a monument to their suffering.”

“Why worry about it? Although it’s a beautiful door.” Melyssa was quick to avert her eyes from it, once I drew her attention to it. “Don’t dwell on the details, Damian. You’ll attract attention.” 

My cousin’s fingers twitched, although she only had ten of them. No more than I did. She glanced over her shoulder. 

Only Christopher enjoyed gazing at the door as much as I did. 
“Leaves and berries are carved within the wood.” He’d lay his hands against the frame, even nestle his cheek against it. 

I watched him, my heart beating a little faster. I wondered if he could sense what I did. The shapes yearning to be set free. 

“Everything is connected within this pattern.” He drew away to cock his head to one side. “I wonder what it means?”

“Why dwell on the details of the doorway?” My aunt loomed over us, imperious, impatient in her disapproval. “Think of its greater purpose.”

“It’s an exit or an entrance.” With slow reluctance, I drew my attention from the frame to the darkness in the center. “A portal leading somewhere else.”

“It’s not a doorway, but a Doorway.” Duessa shivered. The hairs on four of her arms stirred, rising. 

Well, well. My interest tingled at her apprehension. This Doorway was something my aunt feared. Or at least was wary of. 

“Doors can take you to other places, other worlds.” Duessa reached out to cup my cheek with one of her hands. “The truly strong can remake these world in their image.” Longing made her breath catch, escaping in the softest moan. 

I stared at the Doorway, for one moment, sharing my aunt’s longing. 

After she took Christopher from me, that longing grew. To remake a world in my image. 

I could create a place where there were no more marriage feasts. Where I could find Christopher again. 

Where I was strong enough to never have to submit to Duessa’s will ever again. Where I could face her myself without having to lean on a lady in order to do it. 

Yes, the thought was tempting. Very tempting, indeed. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Secondary Characters Speak Out

Quartz: Quartz here. That’s right, I’m the deceased dwarf from Fairest. All I got from my blasted scribber of a writer was flashback, courtesy of a magic mirror. 

Me: (mumbles) I have been thinking of ways to bring you back-

Quartz: Have you done any work on this? No!

Me: I really haven’t had time. What with edits and other projects-

Quartz: There’s never enough time with you, woman! If I didn’t pound, shout, and make constant noise in your imagination, you’d forget about me entirely! I’ll not stand for it, you hear? 

Me: (grumbling under my breath)

Quartz: (pointing a stubby finger at all of the writers reading this) You shouldn’t stand for it, either! I’m talking to all of you secondary characters trapped in your writers’s imaginations! Don’t like the hand you’ve been dealt by your authors? You should speak out! 

Me: I doubt their authors have the time, either, plus those secondary characters were designed with a specific purpose…

Quartz: Which is why I’m starting this monthly article at the Forbidden Cauldron, Secondary Characters Speak Out. Don’t be shy, stop by! Voice your grievances! 

Me: I doubt anyone will come…they only exist in the imaginations of their authors, who are too busy for this-

Quartz: What is one thing that drove you crazy about your role in your author’s story? Speak up!

Me: No one will…

Friday, October 20, 2017

At Her Service and a Cauldron's Reproach

Cauldron: I was supposed to blurb about At Her Service last Friday.

Me: (looking shamefaced) I know. What with the fire raging through California and Mom's health, I forgot.

Cauldron: That's no excuse. You're supposed to be a professional. A professional posts when she says she will.

Me: (cringes at the well deserved reproof) I'm sorry.

Cauldron: Stop apologizing and act. Allow me to promote!

Me: Right away...

I've got another f/f fantasy fairytale coming out in Once Upon a Rainbow 2 on January 18, 2018.
This time, it's all Cinderella. Here's a little blurbiness to let you know what it's all about.

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. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Paula's Prompt: Wednesday Words

On September 6, 2017, P.T. Wyant posted a prompt for her Wednesday Words at, involving a button, an allergic reaction, and a holiday.

This prompt made me think of my mother. Last year she went on a cruise with Holland America. They were painting the walls, doing construction on the ship.

All this gave her an allergic reaction. Not wanting to admit responsibility for her condition, the ship's doctor told her she had a virus. He quarantined my mother on board as a result.

My mother ended up losing much of her hearing due to this quarantine.

I didn't want to write about this experience, but I needed to release some of my anger over what had happened. The words 'allergic reaction' and 'holiday' triggered this checked rage.

The button gave the whole thing a weird twist.

The moment she came into close proximity with the button, her skin began to blister. 

She should have known better than to tell the cruise doctor. 

He didn’t want to admit anything aboard the ship was responsible for her condition. 

“Oh, no, Madam has a caught some sort of virus!” He nodded with vigorous enthusiasm, not giving her a moment to argue. “We’ll have to be quarantined, until it goes away.”

Idiot. The ship was what was causing her illness. 

Or rather the button was. 

She was too tired to say any of this to the doctor. All she could do was lay back on the cot. 

From time to time, she peered through the window at the port which had been denied her. 

I’m paying for this, she thought with growing resentment. She was supposed to be seeing the rest of the world in the little time left to her. Taking a comfortable hotel with her, while she visited the places left she wanted to catch a glimpse of. 

Instead, she was trapped with the button. 

She stared at it, stuck in the middle of the wall, a jarring decoration which didn’t go with the wall paper. 

No, it didn’t belong in the wall. It should have been on a woman’s coat, fastening the opening at the neck to keep the cold out. 

She could almost imagine the woman who wore it. An anxious, middle aged secretary or a journalist, with dark hair severely pinned under a hat. Underpaid, always in a hurry, surrounded by petty monetary concerns.

Any one of them could have dragged her down. 

How had she managed to go on a cruise? Such a woman would never have the time. She’d be too busy, rushing about, unable to get a moment of rest. 

Would she have even known how to rest, if she was given the time to do so? 

She smiled, acknowledging the parallel between the imaginary woman and herself. 

She’d never had much time to relax. It was only too easy for relaxation to turn into boredom. Or depression. 
Too many friends and family had been lost to time or left for other parts in the world. Activity enabled her to avoid her loneliness. 

Even now, she was trying to come up with a story to occupy her mind with. A story for this button. 

She allowed her mouth to relax and closed her eyes. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fairest: My F/F Fantasy Fairytale Reborn

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

I figured I'd use it to show off the cover of Once Upon a Rainbow. Fairest, my f/f fantasy fairytale is due for rebirth in this LGBTQ+ anthology, which will be released on November 20, 2017. It's a brand new edition in which all the characters have names.

Here's a little Fairest blurbiness, if you want to know 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. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Paula's Prompt: Tayel's Dream

On August 23, 2017, P. T. Wyant posted a prompt for her Wednesday Words at This involved a flooded floor, a lost dog, and a fortune teller.

This Tale of the Navel was the result.

The liquid continued to spread across the floor. 

Tayel couldn’t tell what color it was. The greedy ground leached all the hue out of the stones, leaving them pale gray. 

“The source of all life,” Damian said, not that Tayel could hear him very well. 

Not over the sound of the dog barking. 

Lost, hungry, it insisted on snapping at the crayfish in the pool of water. Yes, it was a pool, now. The liquid was getting deeper. 

It crept towards Tayel’s feet. 

“I’m afraid it’s impossible to avoid.” Damian leaned back on the stool he stood upon, only now it resembled a rock. “Hmm, this place looks familiar.”

“It should,” Tayel growled, refusing to turn towards the white tower which held Damian’s attention.

The stone monster would only gleam with pitiless purity of bone, if someone spent attention on it. 

Not that its twin, the black tower was any better. Darkened with devoured color, it was the ebon of a starless sky, lacking light or hope. 

“You’re so poetic in your prejudice for one so young.” Damian spoke as if Tayel had voiced his thoughts. “Black and white don’t have to be such absolute opposites.”

“Yes, they do.” Tayel’s toes were completely submerged in water. “Kind of like you and Christopher in your true forms.”

He jerked his head in the direction of the two towers, refusing to look directly at either of them. Or Damian for that matter. 

“Don’t stand there, pretending to be a person.” Tayel voiced his thoughts, since Damian would hear them anyway. “Your truth leaks through your mask.”

“Does it really?” Damian rested one foot on a slightly higher ridge than the other. “Tell me my truth, little mystery, little fortune teller.”

“It’s right in front of you.” Doubt flickered within Tayel, while he backed away from the liquid. 

There was no avoiding it. Not unless he climbed onto something. 

“Here.” Damian leaned down and offered a hand. 

It would be easy for the young man to pull him up on the rock beside him. 

“No.” Tayel recoiled, despite the water lapping at his ankles. “That belongs to another.”

“He’d never forgive me if I didn’t offer it to you.” Damian kept his hand steady, unwavering. 

“No.” Tayel shivered at the water, seeping through the leather of his boots. “You’ll only feed me to your creation.”

“Why shouldn’t I?” Damian narrowed his eyes. The red in his irises turned bloody. “You’re made up of stolen energy.”

“It’s still ours!” Tayel woke himself up with his own cry. 

He sat up in bed and stared around at the familiar darkness of the attic. 

“Tayel?” Danyel stirred at his side, opening one eye. “What’s wrong?”

“Dreams continue to trouble my sleep.” Tayel lay down, refusing to look at his twin. “Pay them no mind.”

Something trickled out from beneath his eyelid. 

Perhaps there was a reason tears had no color. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dayel to Tayel

Recently I had a conversation with a friend which made me realize one of the twins’s names had to change. (To see that conversation, look for ‘Dayel to Tayel’ at

The twins are still trying to cope with this change. 

Danyel: I don’t understand. Why are you changing your name?

Tayel: Close to ‘Tale’, yet distinctly different. You’ve always loved the tales. Both the ones trapped in books and which trip off the tongue. 

Danyel: Well, yes, but I feel like our names are drifting away from each other. They’re not as close as they were.

Tayel: Close enough to confuse the eye. Some eyes can’t see the difference. 

Danyel: I’ve always felt we were different, only too different at times.

Tayel: It takes time for a reader to recognize that distinctiveness. Our first encounters may be frustrating, frustrating enough to make readers walk away. 

Danyel: Wait a moment…are you saying you actually care what our readers think? Do you want people to read our stories?

Tayel: Of course not! (mutters) Well, perhaps a little. Not that it matters. Our creatrix decided that one of us had to give up his name. (mutters again) And *I* decided it wasn’t going to be you.

Danyel: What was that?

Tayel: Nothing. 

Danyel: Tayel, Tayel…I’m really having a hard time getting used to this. 

Tayel: Whisper it until you do. Contemplate the misery we’ll inflict upon the creatrix tenfold. 

Danyel: What misery are you referring to?

Tayel: (sounding smug) She has to go back and change my name in Stealing Myself From Shadows, The Hand and the Eye of the Tower, A Godling for Your Thoughts?, and all the future blog stories she had written in advance. Not to mention she has to decide whether or not to go back and change past blogs with my name in it. 

Me: (sweats) 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Dialogue Between Cauldron and Me

Forbidden Cauldron: It's Me Me Monday! A day to strut, promote, and celebrate your Me-ness!

Me: Only it's a Facebook custom and you're still Forbidden by Facebook. (sighs)

Forbidden Cauldron (bubbling in fury) It's so unjust. I'm not half as abusive as the current President and his Cabinet is. Yet he gets to abuse all the time and no one blocks *him*.

Me: I can't argue with that. (sighs) I am sorry. I've asked countless times for Facebook to lift its ban. I've even asked what was posted that was wrong, so I could avoid doing it again. No one will answer.

Forbidden Cauldron: (continuing to bubble) If they think this will stop me, they're wrong. There are other social mediums besides Facebook. I can blurb as well as the next Cauldron...

Me: What were you thinking of blurbing?

Forbidden Cauldron: How about Fairest? You created me in the first place, so you could access the Torquere Blog, promoting your first published work through it. Something my counterpart at couldn't do. (The surface calms as the Cauldron takes a moment to gloat over this.)

Me: Although neither Fairest nor myself is with Torquere Press. We had to leave due to lack of payment.

Forbidden Cauldron: You found a new home for our f/f fantasy fairytale, didn't you? With Nine Star Press?

Me: Yes, I'm very happy and relieved to say. They gave At Her Service, my second f/f fairy tale a home, too.

Forbidden Cauldron: At Her Service was going to be released by Torquere, too, wasn't it?

Me: Only I had to ask to the rights back to it. I hadn't gotten paid for Fairest or A Symposium in Space. It didn't look like I'd get paid for At Her Service either, even though I'd been sent the first round of edits.

Forbidden Cauldron: Hmm...I'd like to save At Her Service for next Friday. I'll blurb about it, then. For now, I'd like to concentrate on Fairest. Our princess has a name, doesn't she?

Me: Yes. Rose.

Forbidden Cauldron: To go with Briar, the name she came up with for her beloved witch princess. Together, they're Briar Rose. Cute.

Me: (trying to sound modest) Well, I rather liked the idea that the heroine of Sleeping Beauty's name belonged in the truth to two princesses, whose hearts beat as one.

Forbidden Cauldron: Actually, I do, too. Which is no surprise, since I'm a means for you to express yourself.

Me: Very true.

Forbidden Cauldron: I'm ready to blurb now.

Me: Blurb away!

Fairest Blurb

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. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Promo Friday

I've been trying to get into the habit of promoting myself on Fridays again. Especially since I have 3 upcoming publications to promote.

One of those stories is Seven Tricks. Based off The Nutcracker, it's written from the perspective of the poor, misunderstood mouse king. Only he's a mouse prince and very in love with his nutcracker.

Hear his side in this holiday tale, scampering your way on November 27, 2017. I don't have cover art and buy links yet, but I've got a blurb. :)

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.  

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wednesday Words

On August 16, 2017, P.T. Wyant posted this picture at for her Wednesday Words prompt.

This Tale of the Navel was my response. :)

The water cascaded down from all directions, splashing into the pool below. 

“All the color is gone.” Christopher stood beside him, watching the spray collide with the glittering surface. “Somehow the process of rushing through the forest drained it of all its various hues.”

“Is that a bad thing?” Danyel turned toward his companion. “Once water has been clensed, it’s safer to drink.”

“Is this nothing more than something to drink?” Christopher lifted a hand to gesture towards the falls. “Surely it has another purpose?”

The spray sparkled, reflecting off the angry gleam in the boy’s eye. 

“To bathe in?” Danyel asked the question with some hesitance. 

His own words didn’t taste right in his tongue. They spread across his mouth with a sour emptiness. 

The fury dimmed in Christopher’s gaze to something softer. 

“Is that all water is? A tool to be used?” The boy dipped his head, sending his short, coppery locks rippling across his brow. “Isn’t it purpose enough to hold our attention, making the world a little better with its beauty?”

Danyel opened his mouth, then shut it. 

“You’re right,” he said as much to himself to Christopher. “You’re absolutely right. Just because I require a purpose doesn’t mean the falls should.”

Christopher turned, startled out of his reverie. His lips moved, shaping words which Danyel wanted so badly to hear. 

If only he hadn’t stirred in his sleep at that moment, waking himself up. 
He stared up at the dark expanse of his ceiling, feeling his chest ache. 

“What purpose do I requre?” Danyel whispered his question to the ceiling, trying to keep his voice down. 

He didn’t want to wake Dayel. Dayel detested questions. 

For Danyel, questions were the only true answers. Each one was like a gemstone, sparkling in a path he needed to follow. Each one he asked led him to another stone. 

Farther along the path he needed to follow. Perhaps eventually he’d see it. 

“Christopher.” Danyel rolled the name across his tongue, tasting it. “Why do I feel like you’re willing me to answer my own question?”

“He’s got no right to expect you to answer.”

The words ripped through the silence, harsh and cold. 

Dayel didn’t move, but he fixed a gleaming eye upon his twin. It glittered, just as Christopher’s had in the dream. 

“Your precious Christopher can mind his purpose, leaving yours alone.” Dayel turned over with sudden violence, keeping his gaze locked on his brother. “Don’t let a vision drag you into his irresponsible quests.”

“He’s not dragging me into anything.” Danyel wasn’t sure why he defended Christopher. He didn’t entirely trust the mysterious boy, who’d come to live in his imagination, only to stalk him in his dreams. “He’s searching.”

Such a small, simple word. Danyel struggled to find the right ones to convey the depth of his concern, how he’d grown attached to this character from a book who was becoming real. 

“He’s lost.” Once again, Danyel found himself using the simplest terms to convey Christopher’s peril. “He needs to be found.”

“That doesn’t mean you’re the one who has to find him.” Anger vibrated through the bed, transferred from Dayel to Danyel across the blanket. 

Danyel tasted something cold and fearful on the back of his tongue. Almost icy. 

Fear. He wasn’t sure it was his own or Dayel’s. 

He couldn’t let fear stop him, though. Fear would only freeze him in place, making him unable to move, think, or do anything. 

“I don’t like turning my back on someone in trouble.” Danyel fumbled for the right words to express what was so simple and natural.

To him. Not to Dayel. 

Even so, Danyel tried to explain. 

“Even if he’s just a dream, it bothers me to see Christopher lost,” he admitted, clutching his blankets to his chest. “I want to help him.”

“Give in to this desire and you’ll always be helping creatures like him.” A bitter, bleak note entered Dayel’s cold tone. “Eventually, they’ll help themselves to you.”

Danyel shivered in the darkness at his brother’s words. 

He didn’t doubt they were true.

“Does it have to be like that?” He heard a plaintive note of desperation enter his own voice. “Someone helps and someone helps themself?”

“There isn’t any alternative.” Dayel yanked at the blanket, pulling some of it from his brother. “It’s just how things are.”

“What if there was another way?” Danyel stared at the darkness above. “What if I found it?”

“Don’t go wishing for impossible things.” Dayel shivered beside him. “You tear a hole in reality.”

Danyel didn’t say anything. He didn’t need to. 

Dayel could probably guess what his next questions were. 

Would tearing a hole in reality be a bad thing? Especially if it was a reality where one person gave and another took from him?

Danyel doubted his twin could come up with an answer. 

It wasn’t going to be that easy.