Archive Introduction

A brief note on how I’ve set up my reviews archive:

The tags represent where a review ran the first time around, whether online, or in print. This includes defunct magazines such as Absolute Magnitude, Science Fiction Chronicle, and Realms of Fantasy.  All reviews that appeared in those magazines can now be found here, with the exception of a very few that were lost along the way. Reviews originally posted at The Green Man Review (and its sister site, The Sleeping Hedgehog), SF Site, and Tor.com remain on those sites indefinitely.  They are uploaded here at irregular intervals after their original publication, and are reprinted for my archives with all due credit and permission.

The categories, obviously, represent where a particular item falls into the grand scheme of things. This is pretty obvious, but a few things bear a little further explanation. Historical means that the book is set in the past of a world either meant to be ours, or pretty darned close. I’ve applied the Fairy Tales/Folklore/Mythology label to anything which I feel takes inspiration or influence from those themes, and as such, this is both a specific and nebulous category, applied at my whim and discretion. The Zombies, Shapeshifters, Vampires and Superheroes are in place simply because it amuses me to do so. Lastly, I’ve also marked some books as being of greater than usual interest because of LGBTQ themes – featuring a gay or lesbian character, for instance, or dealing with gender issues, or addressing matters of alternate sexuality. In all cases, this is a work in progress, to be fine-tuned and adjusted until I’m satisfied…whenever that might be. More categories may appear, some may vanish. I welcome feedback, suggestions, and comments, especially if you feel a certain book deserves (or doesn’t!) a specific, existing, category that I’ve overlooked.

Enjoy.

New YA Releases

I am pleased, nay thrilled, to announce that more of my work is now out in the wild and available for your enjoyment and enlightenment.

First up is my brand new story, “A is for Anger,” which can be found in the anthology D is for Dinosaur, edited by Rhonda Parrish. While the title sounds pretty explanatory, I’ll share this excerpt to whet your interest.

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Tanith Murray is always angry. Not the cool sort of angry that comes with superpowers, because at least then she could save the world and feel like she was making a difference. No, the awful kind of angry involving lots of yelling and slamming doors and hitting walls. The sort of angry where everything sets her off, from burned toast to an accidental bump in the hallway at school. The sort that always ends with bruised and bleeding knuckles.

She hates being sixteen and half-white, half-black and not fitting in with either race. She hates being poor, she hates being unattractive, unpopular, unloved. She hates the way she doesn’t fit in with her family. She hates the way everyone else seems so confident, so accomplished, the way they have their crap together when she doesn’t. She sees the world through the red haze of perpetual fury, stomping around like Godzilla and people scatter out of her way. She hasn’t hurt anyone yet, but everyone knows it’s a matter of time until punched walls become punched people, or worse.

At night, when she’s tossing and turning in the too-hard, too-small bed tucked into what used to be a storage space in the basement until she demanded she not have to share a room with her little sister, she dreams of something ancient and reptilian. It squirms inside her, restless and hungry.

In her dreams, Tanith rips at her skin, tearing away big flaky chunks to reveal green scales underneath. She picks and shreds and soon there’s nothing but a pile of Tanith-skin, of clothes and hair and everything that makes her her. Oh, and the dinosaur. There’s a dinosaur standing where Tanith used to be. It’s human-sized, whip-thin, built for speed and meanness all scales and tail and teeth, radiating menace and hunger.

Oh, she knows that supposedly dinosaurs had feathers and weren’t really green, or whatever, but Dinah, as she thinks of her dino-self, doesn’t care about scientific accuracy, she’s something dredged up from the foulest part of Tanith’s psyche, anger made real, and in her dreams, Dinah runs free.

Does this one end in tears and bloody gibbets of people all over the hallways? Buy the book to find out.

 

Meanwhile, the audio market Far Fetched Fables has just released their adaptation of “Sea of Strangers,” which first appeared over at the short-lived but fondly-remembered Inscription magazine. This one takes place in Puxhill, my go-to setting for all of my favorite urban fantasy pieces, and stars the team of Audrey “Aud” Martinez and her girlfriend Charm as they try to figure out why everyone at school is acting so -weird- lately. Go read it for free at Inscription, and listen to it for free at Far Fetched Fables, then tell me which version you prefer! And an excerpt…

There was a weird vibe in the halls before first period today. As I made my way towards homeroom, weaving between people with experienced ease, I picked up a thousand different emotions– everything you’d expect from a building packed to the gills with hormone-ridden teenagers and long-suffering adults– and something new, strange, and impossible to identify. A slippery, elusive, emotional flavor that tinted the rest without revealing itself. It poked at my subconscious, put me on edge, made me just a little careless. I bounced off a man-mountain wearing a football letter jacket, and got a snarled, “Watch it, lesbo,” for my troubles. The shove he gave me wasn’t gentle; I stutter-stepped away, trying to regain my balance.

It was going to be one of those days. Some people hate Mondays; this was proof that Tuesdays could be just as bad, given the opportunity.

Sometimes, it really sucks to be queer and out in high school. I blame the combination of pack and herd mentalities. Those who aren’t preying on the weak and different, are shunning those who don’t belong… and every group has a different idea of what’s appropriate. Unfortunately, when you draw a Venn diagram of “different” and “doesn’t belong,” the overlap tends to include people like me. The black-clad loner types with few friends and a thing for the same sex.

That’s it for now. Remember, authors rely on word of mouth and reviews, just as much as they do on sales. So please, write a review, leave a comment, share on your Facebook, rate us on Goodreads.

More news to come very soon.

New Short Story Releases

Hello, all! Once again, it’s been far too long since my last update. And while I work furiously behind the scenes on some projects, I thought I’d take the time to alert you to some of my stories which have surfaced in various places around the net…

First up, we have “Raven Takes Flight,” a very short piece which appears in Flight, the third annual Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction Contest Anthology. It’s a fun story about Izzy Sparks, the Raven of Puxhill, and how she copes with stress…

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Next is “Home by Halloween,” which is a YA story about a changeling who didn’t die as expected, and how she just wants to go home. How do you survive in a world where you’re allergic to almost everything? What would you do to live? This appears in Fitting In: Historical Accounts of Paranormal Subcultures, and is a story I dearly love and am thrilled to share.

 

If you’re in the mood for something a little spicier, I have several offerings.

First, “The Last Bite Before Dawn” is a lesbian vampire erotica story, in which a vampire tired of spending her life in the shadows has the opportunity to change… or end… things once and for all. This is in Blood in the Rain II, a fun vampire erotica anthology perfect for the cold autumn nights.

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“Sun Chases Moon,” which originally appeared in Puxhill by Night, makes an encore performance in the anthology Like Myth Made Flesh. It’s another classic tale of love and desire between a mortal and a goddess…

Meanwhile, “The Sea’s Bargain” appeared in audio form over at the Nobilis Reed Podcast back in July. Check out Episode 352 for all the sexy details of what happens when a young woman is obligated to fulfill her family’s bargain with an ancient sea creature.

Finally, “The Fairy’s Reward” appears in Ever Dream of Me: An Erotic Romance Anthology, from Fantasia Divinity. This is my riff on a certain subset of fairy tales, in which an act of kindness is rewarded in unusual ways…

So whether you’re in the moon for vampires, fairies, sea monsters, or goddesses as your supernatural partner of choice, I have you covered!

 

New Story Release – Taste Test

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I can also announce that my story, “Taste Test” has been released in the Cleis anthology Sex Objects: Erotic Romance for Women, edited by Delilah Devlin. One of my very rare non-speculative/supernatural/paranormal stories, this is about a food critic who receives an invitation to a private menu showing at the hottest new restaurant in town. But when he shows up, he gets an encounter that’s not on any menu… It’s a fun piece, and I’m happy to see it finally out in the wild.

 

 

New Audio Release: Your Name is Eve

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No, I’m not dead yet. It’s just that grad school always eats my brain for about six weeks every summer, and while I love it, it’s really hard to do anything else that doesn’t involve school or work. But once again, I’ve emerged, mostly unscathed, and ready to tackle the world.

Today’s news is that my story, “Your Name is Eve,” which originally appeared in Clockwork Phoenix 3, edited by Mike Allen, is now available in audio format from the delightful online magazine, Far Fetched Fables. Pop on over and give it a lesson, why don’t you?

I know I owe a lot of people updates, and those will also be coming in due time. There is progress, it’s just behind the scenes, and I’m working as fast as I can as I reset my brain to “not grad school” mode…

New Story Available: The Sainted Pirate Nicholas

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Ladies and gentlemen, I’m pleased to announce the release of my newest story, “Regarding the Sainted Pirate Nicholas,” available right now over at Metaphorosis Magazine.

Pull up a chair, draw yourself a pint of ale, and thrill to the terrifyingly bizarre tale of a former pirate who encountered that scourge of the Emerald Sea, that terror of the deep dark waters, that fearsome figure who punishes the guilty and rewards the innocent… the Sainted Pirate Nicholas.

 

Yo.

Ho.

Ho.

 

Brag Shelf – Level 1 Achievement

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I know I promised cat pics last time, but this is just as pleasing to me, and I figured it deserved an update all its own.

Many authors have what’s known as a brag shelf… or bookcase… or room, where they keep copies of everything they’d done. I, being a relatively normal person of some small ego, have my own brag shelf, where I can see the tangible, physical evidence that I occasionally accomplish things.

With the arrival of physical copies of Puxhill by Night (you may have heard of it), I have finally filled an entire shelf. Okay, so many of these items are multiple copies, but the principle remains the same. I earned these, fair and square. And I am very very happy. I might even get to start working on a second shelf by this time next decade! :)

Okay, cat pictures. Why not?

Gideon: The belly is not a trap.

Gideon: The belly is not a trap.

Molly is not impressed.

Molly is not impressed.

Jenny and Sebastian have important cat bed business to handle.

Jenny and Sebastian have important cat bed business to handle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll close out by reminding people that my Amazon and Goodreads giveaways are still live and going strong, and you too can obtain copies of my books. Just about everything has been linked to Amazon through my Bibliography page, so feel free to check them out.

 

Puxhill by Night Giveaway, Round 2!

As promised, I’m back to tell you all about the many wonderful ways in which you can obtain a copy of Puxhill by Night: Lesbian Erotic Urban Fantasy.

Obviously, you can buy it. I like that option. I like it a lot. Sales mean I, the author, get money for my work. Sales prove that there’s a demand for what I do, give me encouragement to do more, and allow me to occasionally treat myself to luxuries like pants and steak. I like steak. Not so much on pants, but… y’know, society demands.

So you’re thinking, it’s erotica. That’s just porn, right? Bedtime reading? Not for polite company? And to that, I say piffle. Because I write urban fantasy that just happens to have very very sexy bits in it. My stories have moon-crossed lovers, shapeshifters, amnesiac magicians, and half-forgotten gods. I reinterpret lesser-known fairy tales, kink up mythology, and play with pop culture. Puxhill by Night is fun, and I want people to enjoy it.

If you want to buy this lovely book, which contains eight sexy stories of love and lust, magic and mayhem, set in a mysterious North American city, you can go to Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Circlet. You can buy it in ebook or in trade paperback. All of these options make me happy.

But you’re the gambling sort, and would rather try your luck at a free copy. And again, I have you covered.

Going on RIGHT NOW, until either May 2nd or until all copies are given away, you can try your luck with my Amazon giveaway, which will reward electronic copies to 4 more lucky winners. All you have to do is follow me on Twitter, which is painless and hardly onerous. I sometimes remember I have Twitter, and occasionally say funny things. If you unfollow me…it’s okay, I understand. You’re busy, and some people Tweet a lot and it’s hard keeping up with them. But putting up with me for 5 minutes is worth a shot at a free book, right?

Hey, maybe you’d rather have the physical copy. I dig it. It’s gorgeous. It looks great on a bookshelf. If I had a copy on hand, I’d show you, but I sold my last trade paperback to a wandering evangelist after he asked if I was familiar with the Good Book. But starting RIGHT NOW, and ending on May 25th, you can enter my Goodreads giveaway for one of three physical copies. Which I will even autograph. And that could be worth something, someday. For that, they gave me a widget. Let’s see if it works…

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Puxhill by Night by Michael M. Jones

Puxhill by Night

by Michael M. Jones

Giveaway ends May 25, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Awesome. I expect you ran off to enter that contest also. I’ll wait. I have to do dishes anyway. My wife doesn’t approve of “let the cat lick the plate clean” as a method anymore.

Okay. So there are your current chances. I really want you to win. I like you. Really I do. You deserve this.

And please, I can’t stress this enough: every review, good or bad or indifferent, helps. If you win this, if you buy it, if you read it, please say something about it on Amazon or Goodreads or your blogs. Word of mouth is EVERYTHING for writers these days, and it’s unethical for me to write reviews of my own work while sockpuppeting as my cats. (And the cats object on ethical grounds also, and I didn’t even know they HAD ethics. Furry little weirdos.)

I promise my next post will have cat pics, just you can see what I’m talking about.

So let the games begin.

 

 

 

Updates and Announcements

/tap…tap…/

Is this thing on?

Splendid! So yeah, it’s been a while. Where do I even begin?

Well, let’s talk about new releases. Because I’ve actually had a few of those in the past few months.

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First up, there’s “E is for Eidolon” in the C is for Chimera anthology, edited by Rhonda Parrish. I wrote my story last summer as part of a creative writing class taught by Delia Sherman at Hollins University. It’s about a living shadow that thinks it’s a girl…and it’s about what happens when the shadow stops silently observing the people, and tries to get involved in the life of a lonely teenager. It’s definitely one of my favorite stories, and I love it.

 

 

 

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But say you’re in the mood for one of my spicier offerings. That’s fine, I got you covered there, too. “The Shape of Camelot Today” appears in Nights of the Round Table: Arthurian Erotica, edited by Jennifer Levine. In this story, a modern incarnation of the Lady of the Lake is faced with the task of delivering a certain sword in the stone to the Arthurian figure of her choice. Only her heroine would rather find a woman for the job… Not only can you buy the anthology, you can hear me read from an excerpt of the story in Nobilis Reed’s podcast, which was recorded live at the annual Circlet Press editorial retreat a few weeks ago.

 

 

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Maybe you’re here for an update on my anthologies-in-progress. Well, unfortunately I have no immediate news on either Schoolbooks & Sorcery, or Like a Haunted Trail. They’re still in progress, in various stages of production, and I plan to have -real- news very soon now. Fear not, my friends. Have faith and patience. Editing is hard, and planning a Kickstarter can be a daunting task.

 

 

 

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Lastly, I’d like to end this with the promise of FREE STUFF. In honor of Puxhill by Night’s first birthday, I’m launching both an Amazon and a Goodreads giveaway. The Amazon giveaway is for several electronic copies of the book, and can be found here. Enter for a chance to win a copy of the book. The Goodreads giveaway, which starts next week, will run for a month with several autographed print copies available as the reward. I’ll post here again when that goes live. So again, go to this Amazon link for a chance to win an ebook copy of Puxhill by Night, -and- keep your eyes open for the Goodreads giveaway as well!

 

Oh, and I can tease at a few upcoming things as well. Look for audio versions of “Your Name is Eve” and “Sea of Strangers” coming from Far Fetched Fables at some point in the near future. I’ll announce when they’re available. Also, my story “Home by Halloween” will be appearing in Fitting In: Historical Accounts of Paranormal Subcultures, from Mad Scientist Journal. What happens when a teenage changeling, who lived instead of dying, decides it’s time to return home to a Faerie that abandoned her? Find out soon… I am SO EXCITED about this one.

That’s it for now!

 

 

 

 

Introducing Sebastian

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It is my honor to announce that following several retirements in the past few years, and a lengthy hiring freeze, the Feline Supervisory Committee has finally acquired a new intern. Sebastian, aka the Tiny Tabby Terror, aka Streaky, aka the Mini-doofus, comes to us after a short stay with the Roanoke RCACP. At only six months old, his resume is somewhat light, but he has already proven himself extremely talented in the arts of nose-licking, cheek-rubbing, head-butting, and finger-chewing. He is a skilled wrestler, a champion at hall dashing, and apparently fearless (and perhaps lacking in common sense.)

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Committee members Gideon MacFluff and Professor Virgil the Weird have already taken him on as an apprentice in The Feline Arts, a comprehensive curriculum which will enable him to become a full-fledged member. The female half of the Committee refuse to have anything to do with these shenanigans; they think boys are silly and rambunctious.

We look forward to spending many years with Sebastian.

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Schoolbooks & Sorcery: The Lineup Announced At Last

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I’m pleased as punch and proud to announce that, with all contracts in hand, the final lineup for my upcoming YA anthology, Schoolbooks & Sorcery, is ready to be revealed. This is a project which has been in the works for quite a while, and I’m just so thrilled to share the Table of Contents with you. (Mind you, this isn’t the final -order- but this is everyone who will be in it…)

 

“Finals” by Seanan McGuire
“Protection” by Cheryl Rainfield
“The Grimoire Girls” by E.C. Myers
“Where We Come From” by David Sklar
“Bad Roommates” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
“Dirty Deeds” by Kelly Swails
“Blood Magnolia” by Nicole Givens Kurtz
“Heart of a Fox” by Aaron Canton
“The Delicate Work of Bees” by Emily Horner
“Awaken” by Rain Fletcher
“All That Matters” by Elizabeth Shack
“The Chosen One” by Katrina Nicholson
“Fishing for the Dead” by Eric Esser
“The Nightingale and the Goblin” by Bri Boozell
I can hear some of you squealing with joy, and jumping up and down. “When will it be available?” you ask. “How can I get my hands on this?” you want to know. Well, have patience. There’s a lot of editorial fiddly bits left to be hammered into place. The next step is going to be the Kickstarter so we can acquire the funds to pay these brilliant authors what they’re worth, so keep watching this space!