Exciting new releases!

Exciting times we live in, right?

A car just drove down my street. I don’t live in a high traffic area, so cars don’t drive down from the top of the hill often, but it made me realize how few cars I’ve seen when I’ve been out and about lately.

Like a lot of people, I’m staying home as much as possible. The last time I ventured out, I went to one grocery store, got there early, found most of what I needed, and came home early.  I tend to be a homebody anyway, but it’s weird staying home because I’m supposed to, not because I want to.

Although the family and I are starting to catch up on a lot of the series we’ve DVR’d. [WTF Evil?? Did you really plan to emasculate a totally great villain or what? Sheesh!]

I know some people are using the down time to catch up on their reading. If you’re like me, you have a huge TBR pile. But what if you don’t? What if you’d like something new to take your mind away from all the craziness of these “exciting” times?

Have I got a deal for you! [cue used car salesman voice]

Now, for a limited time only, Storybundle presents The Cats! Bundle!

Our furry feline friends have not only invaded memes and videos on your social media of choice, now they’ve invaded Storybundle!

[/end used car salesman voice]

Whew! I can only do that just so long.

Seriously, though—I’m really excited to be a part of this bundle. My collection Life With Cats is exclusive to this Bundle, but that’s not the only exclusive I’m in.  I have a brand new cat story in Cat Ladies of the Apocalypse, a spanking new anthology (not available elsewhere) that turns the “boy and his dog” post-apocalyptic tales on their… well, tails.  Plus, I have a story in Fiction River Presents: Cats!, also exclusive to this bundle.

I’ve been a cat person all my life. Haven’t turned into the crazy old cat lady down the street yet, but give me time. If you’re like me and harbor a love, secret or otherwise, for kitties of all flavors, grab this Storybundle today.  For as little as $5, you can get four of the books in this bundle, including Fiction River Presents: Cats!  But for as little as $15, you can get all ten books in this bundle, including not only exclusives like Life With Cats and Cat Ladies of the Apocalypse, but also exclusives by Dean Wesley Smith, Lisa Silverthorne, and Stefon Mears.  None of these books are available elsewhere.

All of the authors in this bundle have not only banded together to bring you great cat stories at a terrific low price, we’re also supporting Able Gamers. We’re stuck inside for what (hopefully) will only be a relatively short time. For most of us, we can read or play video games or otherwise distract ourselves without too much effort. Many disabled folks have to contend with much harsher conditions on a daily basis. Able Gamers helps them participate in online games by providing equipment tailored toward their needs. If you decide to purchase a bundle, I hope you’ll also add a donation to help support Able Gamers. Every dollar counts.

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If your reading tastes don’t trend towards cats, or if you’d like your fiction a little more on the dark side, I’ve got a brand new collection just for you!

This collection focuses on shapeshifters of all types.  Changelings. Were-creatures. Beings who live in the shadows, hiding their true selves from the world.

This six-story collection’s available in ebook form for $2.99 US from your favorite distributors.

Exciting news!

First of all, a belated Happy Thanksgiving to those in the U.S. who celebrated the holiday yesterday! If you’re not out braving the crowds or the weather, or you’ve already done both, I wanted to take a couple of minutes to share some exciting news about what’s been going on behind the scenes.

A BRAND NEW ME!

Well, sort of.

I primarily write mystery and crime related fiction and urban fantasy. When my muse struck me over the head recently with a clue-by-four and I surfaced with the idea for not one, but a series of sweet romance novels and stories, I figured it would be best to split my writerly personality in two. In other words, I’m now going to be writing sweet romance under the pen name Liz McKnight.  The first novel will be out shortly, but in the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at the cover:

Isn’t that pretty?

Wedding Belle Blues, the first in the Liberty Springs series of sweet romance novels, will be available at your favorite e-book retailer on December 10th, and will be available in print shortly thereafter.  I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it.

And if you’d like a sneak peek one of my romance stories, check back here on Sunday, December 1st, for a special holiday story I’ll be sharing on my website for one week only!

NEW DIZ & DEE STORY!

That’s right, our favorite detective duo are back for a brand new holiday story “Gobbler, Gobbler, Who’s Got the Gobbler?” which will be exclusively available in The Diz & Dee Holiday Mysteries:

As you might guess, “Gobbler” is Diz & Dee’s first Thanksgiving mystery, and tells the story of our detectives’ attempts to locate Dee’s mother’s missing rescue turkey Simpkins before the very special bird becomes someone’s very special dinner.

The Diz & Dee Holiday Mysteries will be available on December 3rd.  Look for it at your favorite e-book distributor!

THE UNCOLLECTED ANTHOLOGY TURNS 20!

No, not twenty years old, but twenty issues strong!

Wow. That’s hard for me to wrap my mind around, but the Uncollected Anthology, which started out as a “let’s try it for a year and see how it goes” project among a group of friends who also happened to write urban fantasy is now twenty issues strong and still going. We’ve got great issues planned for the foreseeable future, but in the meantime, we did something extra special for our twentieth.

This time around, we not only decided to write on a common theme, but also in a common location: The Crossroads Hotel.

Each of the stories in The Crossroads Hotel issue starts with a very Twilight Zone-esque opening, and then dives into a story set in each writer’s vision of the hotel.  My story is “Room 308” and tells the story of a performer who returns to the hotel on Christmas Eve to keep a promise she made twenty-five years ago.

The Crossroads Hotel issue of the Uncollected Anthology is out December 1st, but “Room 308” is available for pre-order now at your favorite e-book retailers.

New Release!

Long time, no site updates, right? Well, I’ve been busy writing!

I’m thrilled to announce my latest novel, IRIS & IVY.

Wait, I can hear you saying. Didn’t you write a short story with that same title?

Yes. Yes, I did. Back in 2011 and 2012, I wrote 52 short stories as part of a challenge to write a short story a week for an entire year. (Writers do these crazy challenges all the time as a way to keep ourselves motivated, keep practicing and learning our craft, and just to see if we can.)

Here’s the cover for the short story:

(The cover for the novel’s much better, wouldn’t you say? *g*)

“Iris & Ivy” was a part of my 52 stories in one year challenge. So was “Famous.” Both stories are part of my Moretown Bay urban fantasy series, named for the fictional Pacific Northwest city where magic intersects with everyday life.

Well, I loved the idea behind Iris & Ivy so much that I decided to write a full-length novel with the same basic premise: a woman goes on the hunt for the killer who murdered her identical twin to help her sister’s ghost find peace. Only with a twist, because I’m me and that’s how I write.

I can just hear you saying, “But, Annie, if I’ve read the short story, isn’t the novel the same thing?”

Nope!

Novels have a way of taking on lives of their own. Even writers don’t always know where these things are going. Sure, I thought I had this great road map with the short story, but the novel surprised even me. Not only did Iris & Ivy take on new lives of their own in the novel, whole new characters showed up, including a character from “Famous” that I got to know a whole lot better, whether I wanted to or not. *shudder*

If you haven’t read “Famous” in a while, click on over to Free Stuff on this website. I’ve posted the story there to read for free. It’s a great way to get started on the dark ride of IRIS & IVY, the novel.

Great! you’re saying. So where can I get my hands on a copy of IRIS & IVY?

(I hope you’re saying that, especially if you’ve read this far.)

Boy, then, do I have a deal for you!

IRIS & IVY is currently exclusive to The Darker Realms Fantasy Bundle over at Storybundle.

Curated by editor/publisher extraordinaire Allyson Longueira, this bundle gathers ten great dark fantasy books (okay, two of them are humorous dark fantasy stories, but you get my drift) written by #1 New York Times bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson, USA Today bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith, World Fantasy Award winning author Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Hugo award nominated author Steve Diamond, kickass writer Stefon Mears (who’ll be featured in the next issue of The Uncollected Anthology), Walter H. Hunt, D. J. Butler, Mark Leslie, and me, plus an entire issue of Fiction River Presents.

Storybundles are easy to buy (you can even given them as gifts!), but there’s a catch – they’re only available for a short time.  This one will only be around for another seventeen days. I know that sounds like a long time, but we’re already almost done with September, and those seventeen days will fly by before you know it.

So don’t delay! Pick up your copy of IRIS & IVY, a Moretown Bay novel, at Storybundle today along with a bunch of other great fiction. You set the price, and part of the price benefits AbleGamers.

What a deal, right?

BTW, I have to mention how much I love the cover for IRIS & IVY! The novel cover was created by Deranged Doctor Design. If you’re in the market for some great cover work, check them out!

One Week Left!

How are we all doing in this post-eclipse week? I spent the eclipse working in my office, but I had a nifty view of the little crescent eclipse shadows on the garage roof. And I’ve really been enjoying all the eclipse photos and stories I’m seeing on the web.

What I really want to talk about this morning is the Universe Between storybundle.

The great thing about StoryBundles–well, two great things about StoryBundles–you get a bunch of awesome books, not to mention all the short stories in the Fiction River: Universe Between issue, for a terrific low price, but you also get to support a totally worthwhile charity in AbleGamers.  But there’s a catch — this bundle’s only available for a short time, and then it goes away forever.

And the Universe Between bundle is the only place you can find my newest Twig and Jocko book Unbroken Familiar. That’s right. If you don’t nab a copy of this bundle now, you’ll have to wait until October to read Unbroken Familiar.  And who wants to wait that long?

So don’t miss out. Pick up your copy of this fabulous bundle today!

Freebies, New Releases, and a Great New Bundle!

Boy, there’s a lot of stuff going on around here for a Monday! Let’s dive right into it, shall we?

An astute reader recently asked me where the heck my Free Fiction Thursday stories went. Good question! I’ve been so busy working on new projects that my weekly free stories have fallen by the wayside. But no more! Free fiction rides again, only instead of once a week, I’ll be posting free stories once a month under the Free Stuff tab on this website.

First up is “The Magic of Home,” the first story I wrote for the Uncollected Anthology. “The Magic of Home” introduced Twig, my street-smart elf, and her friend Jocko, the oversized dwarf.  Why did I start out with a Twig and Jocko story?  I’m happy you asked, because I have a brand new release featuring my favorite mismatched elf and dwarf.

UNBROKEN FAMILIAR won’t officially be released until October 1st, but if you’d like to get your copy now, UNBROKEN FAMILIAR is part of the wonderful new The Universe Between Bundle over at StoryBundle!

In addition to UNBROKEN FAMILIAR, this bundle features nine other great fantasy books by some of the best writers working in urban and contemporary fantasy today. Here’s what bundle curator Dean Wesley Smith has to say about the idea behind the bundle:

I grew up on Twilight Zone back in the late 1950s and through the early 1960s. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I heard the sentence, “In the middle ground between light and shadow…” in that opening sequence to the Twilight Zone.

Thankfully, my parents didn’t seem to mind that I watched that show every week. And for some reason that sentence out of the opening sequence stuck with me for my entire life. I loved living in that middle ground. All my writing falls in the middle ground between two places. Every story. Some more obviously than others, but without a doubt, every story or novel that I write, or every book or magazine I edit, falls in the “between” place.

I revel in that, no matter how hard rules tried to force me one way or the other. I liked living there in the middle, in that place between light and dark. With this bundle, I was looking for the very same thing.

This bundle once again features one of my favorite charities, AbleGamers. So not only can you get UNBROKEN FAMILIAR two months early along with nine other great titles for one low price, you can support a nifty charity, too!  Don’t delay, though. StoryBundles are only available for a short time and then they’re gone for good.

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UNBROKEN FAMILIAR is just one of my new releases.  The latest issue of Fiction River – PULSE POUNDERS: ADRENALINE features my story “Dust to Dust.”

Here’s what editor Kevin J. Anderson had to say about “Dust to Dust.”

Annie uses her mystery and fantasy chops to create a heroine with a mission straight from Hell, a ruthless demon bounty hunter with a hole in her heart and a quest from that most horrible of bosses—and she manages to give us a story both edgy and touching.

Nifty, right? PULSE POUNDERS: ADRENALINE is available now in ebook and paper from your favorite online booksellers.

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And last, but certainly not least, the latest issue of the Uncollected Anthology – MYSTICAL MELODIES – just released my new story “The Last Night at the Crowley.”

People say haunted houses contain the longings and nightmares of the dead who couldn’t leave their lives behind.

But what about places where the living left parts of their souls behind? Where singers and musicians willingly played their hearts out, night after night, just for the love of music?

What haunts places like The Crowley?

Mazie’s about to find out.

You can purchase each individual story in MYSTICAL MELODIES from your favorite ebook distributor, or you can purchase the entire issue at one great low price!


That’s right, due to popular demand (and the great folks at BundleRabbit), we ‘re collecting the Uncollected these days. Check it out!

And happy reading!

A Bundle Here, a Bundle There…

This year is definitely turning into the year of the bundles, and I couldn’t be happier about that! Why? Because bundles are an awesome way for readers to get a whole lot of great fiction at a low, low price.

I want to tell you about not one, but two new bundles from the great folks at StoryBundle.

The first is the BUMP IN THE NIGHT THRILLERS bundle curated by award-winning author Kevin J. Anderson: If you’re ready for summer thrills and chills (ones that don’t even require air conditioning), you’ll love the new “Bump in the Night Thrillers” StoryBundle, which just launched today. Sixteen suspenseful, fun, and entertaining reads, including my story “Dust to Dust,” which is part of the brand spanking new Fiction River publication  Pulse Pounders 2: Adrenaline.

The bundle books include compelling urban fantasy reads with some of the strangest detectives you’ve ever met, including Dan Shamble Zombie P.I. in Kevin J. Anderson’s Unnatural Acts, as well as ghosts, elves, vampires, sorceresses, modern-day dragon slayers, immortal Shakespearean characters, and more in Dean Wesley Smith’s The Deep Sunset, R.R. Virdi’s Grave Beginnings, Patrick Hester’s Into the Fire, Susan Sizemore’s Living Dead Girl, J.A. Pitt’s Night Terrors, L. Jagi Lamplighter’s Prospero Lost, Alex Berg’s Red Hot Steele and Cold Hard Steele.

For thrilling adventures in other times and places, there’s Death Wind by Travis Heermann and Jim Pinto and Lady Sherlock by Brooks Wachtel. For straight suspense with a high-tech or a darker edge, you’ll enjoy the Daredevils Club novel Artifact written by Kevin J. Anderson, F. Paul Wilson, Matthew J. Costello, and Janet Berliner, and The Demon in Business Class by Anthony Dobranski, Whack Job by Mike Baron, and The Devil’s Churn by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

The bundle is only available through August 16. Get a huge bundle of reading material, help support indie authors, as well as the Challenger Center, a terrific non-profit organization that engages students and teachers in dynamic, hands-on exploration and discovery opportunities that strengthen knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), inspires students to pursue careers in these fields, and provides an outlet to learn and apply important life skills.

But that’s not all! (Here’s where I channel my inner late-night TV infomercial salesperson.)

If you love short fiction like I do, or if you love really digging into the worlds authors create, or if you love binge-watching TV series on your streaming service of choice and want to do that with your summer reading, have I got a deal for you!

THE SF&F BINGE READER BUNDLE, affectionately known as the Bundle Bundle, curated by award-winning author Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

I’ve kinda lost count of the number of stories I have in this bundle. I have four stories in the Uncollected Anthology’s Year 1 Omnibus, two stories in the Fiction River bundle (one’s a Diz & Dee story!), and one story in the The Faerie Summer bundle. That’s it. I think.

Here’s what Kris has to say about the Bundle Bundle:

Usually, StoryBundle provides bundles of books, individual titles by individual authors who band together to provide a great reading bundle.

This time, individual authors and editors have banded together with bundled books to give you the deal of the summer.

By my count (and I might be a bit math-challenged), you get 19 standalone novels in this bundle. Some of the novels are long, and some of them are short. But 19 novels! Plus more short stories than I’m willing to count, wrapped in 7 anthologies and a gigantic bundle that is bigger than your average anthology.

What kind of fiction will you find here? Science fiction and fantasy only, but written in such a way as to blur the lines of genre. You’ll find books in which high-tech gaming meets the world of faerie, books which hack reality (and involve crime lords!), time travel to the Old West, wreck diving in space, space pirates (!), librarian witches (complete with feline familiars), and the Fates—who just got fired.

Honestly, there are so many books and stories in this bundle that even if you’re the world’s pickiest reader, you’ll find a series or a group of books that are perfect for you. You’ll be saving a bundle too, since these boxed sets and omnibuses and bundles all retail for at least $10 (ebook) and sometimes much more.

Oh…and if you’re so inclined…please toss in a few extra dollars to help AbleGamers. AbleGamers tailors game equipment and systems to help disabled gamers join the large online community of gaming, providing social outlets and entertainment for folks who usually struggle to participate. Since two of our book series deal with gaming in this bundle, I figured AbleGamers would be the appropriate charity to add on.

Like all great deals, though, this one’s around for a limited time only. The Bundle Bundle, or the Binge Readers Bundle, or the “I can’t believe I got such a great deal on all these books!” Bundle is only available until August 9.

Publishing news!

Some exciting publishing news this week!

First of all, I can finally announce that my story “The Color of Guilt” has been selected as part of the YEAR’S BEST CRIME & MYSTERY STORIES 2016!!  Look at the names on this cover — Joyce Carol Oates, Mary Higgins Clark — wow!  Another one of my stories, “The Flower of the Tabernacle,” made Honorable Mention (along with a Stephen King story; color me gobsmacked!).

Mystery_Anthology_draft_ver6_8Many thanks to editors John Helfers and Kristine Kathryn Rusch for including me among such stellar writers. THE YEAR’S BEST CRIME & MYSTERY STORIES 2016 is available now at Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.

The newest issue of the Uncollected Anthology is also available!

TrampsThievesReed600x900The theme this time around is Fortune Tales, and features my story “Tramps & Thieves” along with stories by guest author Stephanie Writt, and UA members Leah Cutter, Rebecca Senese, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Leslie Claire Walker.  Great urban fantasy reading!  Check it out here.

FINAL+cover+-+3200x4800And in case you missed the Fantasy in the City bundle, all twenty stories are now available in one big book for $3.99, but for a limited time only!  What a deal!  The book’s available at Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks for $3.99.  FANTASY IN THE CITY includes my Diz & Dee story “Here, Kitty Kitty.”

Fantasy bundle!

Fantasy+in+the+City+-+Facebook+image+1200x628I’m thrilled to be participating in a brand new bundle over at Bundle Rabbit – Fantasy in the CityThis bundle includes stories by some of my very favorite urban fantasy authors.  I’d name them individually, but then I’d end up naming all of them, and this picture does a much better job:

Fantasy+in+the+City+-+Montage+of+all+covers+800x501

Aren’t those covers cool?

You can get this bundle of twenty different stories, including my Diz & Dee story Here, Kitty Kitty, for one amazing low price.  Well, two low prices, actually.  For a minimum cost of $2.99, you’ll get eight stories.  Pay at least $3.99, and you’ll get all twenty stories (including mine).  Plus, you can donate part of your purchase price to help two great charities:  The Humane Society of the United States and Doctors Without Borders.

The bundle’s only available until July 10th, so don’t wait. Where else can you get over $40 worth of stories for such a great price?

Cool stuff!

The newest issue of the Uncollected Anthology is out!  Woohoo!  This time around we’ve got great stories by guest author Ron Collins and regulars Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Leslie Claire Walker, Leah Cutter, Dayle Dermatis, and our newest regular member Rebecca M. Senese (rhymes with menace *g*).

Oh, and I have a story in this issue too. *g*  A brand new Diz and Dee mystery, no less! Take a look at this cool cover:

Woods cover 200x300Here’s the blurb:

Private detectives Diz and Dee have worked for some pretty odd clients. Leprechauns. Fairies. The occasional Greek God.

Even Dee’s mother.

But their newest client could be the oddest yet.

Horror movie director Morte (as in death; he had it legally changed) can’t find the star of his latest B-movie flick, currently filming in the woods outside Moretown Bay. The guy’s a method actor who needs to “live the part,” and he occasionally takes off to do a little research. Only this time he’s playing a werewolf, and the full moon is right around the corner.

Hollywood invades the offices of D & D Investigations in this latest addition to the Diz & Dee mystery series!

Nifty, right?  The story’s available at the usual ebook vendors.  I had a blast writing this one. I hope you enjoy it!

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I’m participating in an upcoming bundle over at Bundle Rabbit (which my subconscious insists on referring to as Bundle Bunny).  More details to follow, but in the meantime, take a look at some of the great bundles going on right now.  Great deals on a whole lot of good fiction!

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Speaking of great deals, Dean Wesley Smith has put all six weeks of his Originality in Fiction online workshop up on YouTube for free!  Go check this one out, especially you writers out there.  I took this workshop a couple of years ago, and it’s well worth your time.

New releases!

On this last day of November, I have a whole bunch of new releases to be thankful for.

FR16 Hidden in Crime ebook cover lighter webFirst up is the latest volume of Fiction River Hidden in Crime contains my story “The Color of Guilt,” a period piece about a crime that’s thankfully no longer a crime. At least not where the story takes place.

AQuietShelterThereCoverwebNext up is a cool anthology that’s close to my heart.  A Quiet Shelter There benefits Friends of Homeless Animals rescue in Virginia as well as other shelters and rescue organizations. My contribution to the anthology is “Life, With Cats,” a science fiction story inspired by a wonderful ginger kitty who came to live with us several years ago.

HangoverCover600x900And finally, the latest issue of the Uncollected Anthology is out! This issue’s theme is Enchanted Emporiums and features my story “All Hallows’ Hangover,” a fun little post-Halloween romance.