[New Release] Tales of Excellent Cats

Tales of Excellent Cats | Edited by Melanie Meadors

I’m so excited today! I have a new short story to share with you called “Arrows, Blood, and a Long Overdue Catnap”. This short story is set in the fantasy setting Monarchies of Mau and is part of an anthology titled Tales of Excellent Cats. The main character, Zach, is inspired by my orange tabby. Nicknamed “Lord Lardbottom” due to his unique features, he is a polydactal manx and I love him dearly. He doesn’t move around like most cats because he has no tail and extra toes–just like Zach in the story.

Preview of “Arrows, Blood, and a Long Overdue Catnap”

Zachary slumped against the side of the Sneakin’ Inn to wait for his next client in the
alleyway. He’d have preferred to meet inside at midday instead of outside at sunset, but
while the Sneakin’ Inn served award-winning mead, the noisy tavern was also a popular
destination for opportunistic thieves and spies. Zach hated all that cloak-and-dagger stuff
because he couldn’t sneak around or pick a pocket — even if he wanted to.

No, Zach was good at two things, punching and napping, but only liked one of them. If
he could afford it, the older orange tabby would spend his afternoons dreaming about his
younger days, back when he was a lithe scrapper taking on those oh-so-proud members
of House Korat. He didn’t have the fancy pedigree, house, or coin required to lie about in
his hammock all day. What he did have was an intimidating reputation. His closest friends called him “Lord Doglover” on account of his doglike meaty paws — seven digits on each one! — and extra heft in his tailless, round bottom from a love of dog mead. He hated the nickname, but he let his friends get away with it. When his massive fists landed a blow, most other cats didn’t say much of anything.

Thankfully, Zachary figured out a way his unique “talent” could earn him enough coin
to keep his thatched roof from leaking. Being a guard for hire wasn’t enough to get him
off a steady diet of dried cod and the occasional pinch of lake grass, though, not for a poor tomcat like himself. Oh, what he wouldn’t offer to the Temple of the Nine for a freshly cooked hen? Or a smoked duck! But Zach wasn’t the wishful-thinking type; he knew no amount of prayer could whip up an expensive feast. Coin was the only thing that mattered. He preferred to earn his coin legally, but sometimes he didn’t have the luxury of picking his clients. Hopefully, Zach still had a few lives left. If not? Well, he didn’t want to think about it. Nobody paid him to be a philosopher; his clients gave him coin to ensure their safety.

“Zachary? Von…Shadow?” A cloaked figure stepped from behind a stack of empty barrels, and the waning light of the sun behind them cast a long shadow as if to say: Be careful, Zach. This cat’s not to be trusted.

To read the rest of the story, check out Tales of Excellent Cats from Onyx Path Publishing which was edited by Melanie Meadors. This collection of short stories is now available in multiple formats. You can grab a copy of this fun cat-themed anthology on DriveThruFiction.com, Amazon.com, and the Barnes and Noble Nook store.

[Now Available] Hath No Fury Anthology

Hath No Fury Anthology

Looking for a kick ass book about fearless women to read? Hath No Fury is a collection of stories and essays edited by Melanie R. Meadors. The anthology features 21 stories and six essays about women who defy genre stereotypes. Here, it’s not the hero who acts while the heroine waits to be rescued; Hath No Fury’s women are champions, not damsels in distress. Whether they are strong, bold warriors, the silent but powerful type, or the timid who muster their courage to face down terrible evil, the women of Hath No Fury will make indelible marks upon readers and leave them breathless for more.

My contribution to Hath No Fury is an essay titled “This is Not Another Why Representation Is Important Essay”. This collection of women-as-champions is now available wherever fine books are sold.

A New Alchemical Addition to a Rare Auction

Dear readers,

Today I am happy to share with you that I have finished my preparations to ensure a mysterious book called the Mythica d’Argent(1) will be included in book filled with similar listings for other, enigmatic tomes of the occult.

This new book, called The Dagon Collection, will be a follow-up to The Starry Wisdom Library edited by Nate Pedersen.

More news will be forthcoming!

(1) Mark this as a momentous occasion, for reasons I’ll get into later.

Thank You For a Successful Anthology Launch

Thank You eCard! Really appreciate the signal boost for Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling. Woo!

Thanks so much for backing the Kickstarter, spreading the word, and being patient with me for the release of Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling. We were all thrilled with the starred review from Publisher’s Weekly prior to its release, and have been working on guest blogs hosted by literary luminaries such as John Scalzi and Mary Robinette, and interviews as well. As a result of this visibility and excitement, we broke the Top 20 in three Kindle categories and debuted at #1 in Science Fiction Short Stories. We are also the number one hottest seller on DriveThruFiction.com, our digital fulfillment partner, too!

This success would not be possible without you. Thank you! Oh, and before I wander off to scare the cats, if you enjoy the collection please consider leaving a review. That helps your fellow readers know what the stories are all about, and it also adds a vote–which is crucial for online bookstores.

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Official Release Date for Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling

Upside Down Inverted Tropes in Storytelling CoverApex Publications is happy to announce the upcoming release of Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling edited by Jaym Gates and Monica Valentinelli.

Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling is an anthology of short stories, poems, and essays that will highlight the long-standing tradition of writers who identify tropes in science fiction, fantasy, and horror and twist them into something new and interesting.

Successfully funded through Kickstarter, Apex will release the anthology on December 13, 2016. Pre-orders are now available through Amazon.com.

“Speculative fiction fans tired of clichés will want to grab this expectation-subverting anthology.”
–Publishers Weekly, starred review

Over two dozen authors, ranging from NYT-bestsellers and award winners to debut writers, chose a tired trope or cliche to challenge and surprise readers through their work.

Read stories inspired by tropes such as the Chainmaille Bikini, Love at First Sight, Damsels in Distress, Yellow Peril, The Black Man Dies First, The Villain Had a Crappy Childhood, The Singularity Will Cause the Apocalypse, and many more… Then, discover what these tropes mean to each author to find out what inspired them.

Join Maurice Broaddus, Adam Troy-Castro, Delilah S. Dawson, Shanna Germain, Sara M. Harvey, John Hornor Jacobs, Rahul Kanakia, Alethea Kontis, Valya Dudycz Lupescu, Haralambi Markov, Kat Richardson, Nisi Shawl, Ferrett Steinmetz, Anton Strout, Michael Underwood, Alyssa Wong and many other authors as they take well-worn tropes and cliches and flip them upside down.

ISBN: 978-1-937009-44-1
Title: Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling
Release date: December 13th, 2016
Cost: $18.95 (trade paperback)
Page Count: 365 pages

Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling is editor Jaym Gates’s (War Stories) second anthology with Apex Book Company, and it is the first for editor Monica Valentinelli. The two have put together an anthology with a strong mix of fiction and essays that is sure to both entertain and educate readers on tropes and how they are used by writers.

About Apex Publications: Apex Publications is a small press dedicated to publishing exemplary works of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Owned and operated by Jason B. Sizemore, Apex publishes the thrice Hugo Award-nominated Apex Magazine. The Apex catalog contains books by genre luminaries such as Damien Angelica Walters, Catherynne M. Valente, and Brian Keene.

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