Fable is in the Top 100!

Woohoo! 🎉

The anthology, featuring my short story, Stealing Beauty, is currently sitting at #95 for Fantasy Anthologies.

It’s really exciting and I can’t wait for Release Day on Friday!

So, please if you haven’t… PREORDER a copy of Fable now. Myself and the 15 other authors would love to see this anthology reach new heights!

Pre-order Today!

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Fable Cover Reveal

🦋✨Cover Reveal✨ 🦋

My short story, Beauty, which is my own take on Beauty and the Beast appears within its pages!!! 🥀

I cannot wait to share it! It’s so pretty 🥰

Fable, the debut anthology from Iron Faerie Publishing is compiled by Stacey Jaine McIntosh.

This anthology features 16 authors who have each weaved their own take on a fairytale, each with their own unique twist.

It’s set to release on the 5th of July, so keep an eye out for this and be sure to grab a copy when it drops!

Purchase links to follow once they become available.

It’s Better to Believe

I thought I’d put it out there that Iron Faerie Publishing has a few Submission Calls currently open. The latest of which is…

✨Faeries Anthology✨

They are seeking stories about faeries from Irish, English, Welsh and Scottish origins be they from the Seelie or Unseelie Court or the unaligned. Dark and Light elves are also welcome, as well as the more domesticated (household) fey.

Genres wanted are urban fantasy and paranormal or dark paranormal fantasy. No horror.

Word Count: 2000 to 4000 (No stories over 4,000 or under 2,000 words will be accepted)

Submissions Close: 1st August 2019 or UNTIL FULL

Response Time : within 3 weeks after submissions close.

Compensation: A Contributors Copy (eBook)

Reprints Accepted: No

Estimated Release Date is TBA!

So, what are you waiting for? Get writing!

Summer’s Splash

So, I ended yesterday on a bit of a high, having received an acceptance for my short story, Summer Storm to be published in Fantasia Divinity‘s Summer’s Splash anthology.

The contract has been signed and returned. Now I await edits.

The story itself is just over 500 words and picks up after the events of The Dawning of Spring, so if you haven’t picked up a copy of Spring’s Blessing: A Spring Fantasy Anthology, you may want to.

A little about the story appearing in Summer’s Splash…

Mercy, the newly crowned Queen of the Seelie Court, broods over her deal made with the Goddess of Spring, Ostara as the Midsummer festivities begin.

Le Fay is Coming!

For all those who may be wondering, the second installment of my novelette series, Le Fay is in the works. I’m about two thirds of the way into it and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’ll be ready for release mid April.

It is the prequel to Morrighan and tells the story of Morgan and how she met Prince Arthur and the domino effect that befalls her which follows in the wake of her father’s death and propels her mother, Igraine, into the arms of Uther Pendragon.

For those that are familiar with the Arthurian Legends of old, my version is a little different in that there is a paranormal undertone to this story, but to tell you more would be giving too much away. I do however hope you’ll enjoy it.

For now though, I’ll leave you with a teensy excerpt and a look into Le Fay.

Enjoy!

He was standing right in front of her; Morgan couldn’t move. She licked her lips that had all of a sudden gone dry and remembered to breathe, and blink, least she be accused of staring at his all too beautiful face.

“Hello Morgan.”

Morgan shook her head, momentarily breaking the daze. He was too pretty to be real. Too pretty by far to be a boy. None of the boys Morgan knew had hair down to their shoulders.

“H-how do you know my name?” Morgan stammered, taking one step backwards. She shouldn’t have been out on the sidewalk. She should have been inside, but the apartment was dark and cramped.

“I know a great deal about you, Morgan,” he said.

Morgan swallowed hard, as fear bubbled up inside. She felt as if she’d throw up any second.

“Who are you?” Morgan sucked air into her half-starved lungs.

It tasted like roses. The garden behind him was full of them. All white to match the fence that ran all the way along the street.

Morgan shouldn’t have been talking to him, she should have turned away and walked inside, but hopscotch was way more fun than playing inside by herself.

“Now, now Morgan, there’s no need to be hostile,” he said. “I thought you could do with somebody to keep you company. It must get awfully lonely playing by yourself all the time.”

“Who are you?” she shrieked, so loud, that he reached out to put a hand over her mouth to shush her.

“If you promise to be quiet, I will tell you,” he said. “Do you promise, Morgan?”

Morgan nodded, and he took his hand away from her mouth. “Yes… I promise. Now tell me who you are!” her voice, while practically inaudible, was pitched.

“I’m Arthur. Arthur Pendragon,” he said, his blue eyes shining like sapphires.

“Arthur Pendragon,” Morgan repeated.

Despite the presence of a lisp when she said his name, Arthur forced a smile. “Yes.”

“Are you real?” she asked.

“Of course, I am!” he said with an air of indignation. “Aren’t all faeries real?”

Lost is LIVE!

freya

My short story collection, Lost is now available in eBook and paperback (soon) on Smashwords and multiple other platforms including Amazon.

The first story, Freya, is a 500 word flash fiction piece that tells the tale of the Norse Goddess Freya and her fabled necklace, Brisingamen.

To kick off the release of this collection, here’s an excerpt:

“Freya,” she heard a voice whisper. “Freya!”

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She bolted awake; surprised that it was still dark outside her bedroom window. She hadn’t been dreaming that much she knew because fey didn’t possess the ability with which to dream. That was the stuff of human conscience and beings with souls; Freya had neither.

“Who’s there?” she asked into the darkness, afraid that if she turned on the lamp she might scare off whomever it was that was around.

“I am,” the figure said. She squinted her eyes against the darkness, but to no avail, she still couldn’t see anyone.

“What do you want?” she asked.

 

 

Pre-order Your Copy of Lost TODAY!

Lost paperback.jpg

Lost, my collection of short stories is available to pre-order digitally across select retailers HERE. They’ll continue to roll out, culminating with the release of the Amazon kindle and paperback versions, available on the 28th.

The collection brings together all my previously published short stories in one volume, and includes a few new, never before seen stories as well.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

For those of you who would like a taste of the stories within, here is an excerpt from the story, Owl Eyes.

The owl screeched again. The sense of urgency drew Lleu’s eyes back to the sky. There above, a trail of white flowers blossomed before stopping short.

His breath hitched as the bird fell from the sky and landed at his feet. A small cry escaped from his lips. Looking down upon the tiny mass of white feathers, he saw an even tinier heart-shaped crimson stain spring from the bird’s chest.

The owl – Blodeuwedd – was dead.

The crimson stain had barely begun to dry upon the bird’s downy feathers when the creature transformed back into the shapely form of a woman.

Llew sighed and bent to caress the soft – though now cold – cheek of his once beloved and cherished wife.

“Blodeuwedd,” he whispered.

 

Beauty

My short story, Beauty is being published in Iron Faerie Publishing‘s forthcoming anthology, Fable.

It’s a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale, which was first recorded by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve and published in 1740.

I’ll share more as soon as I’m able.

Morrighan is Available in Paperback

greg-staples-morrigan

Back in September, I published my short story, Morrighan and yesterday I published the paperback version. For those of you who are interested in purchasing a paperback copy it is available on the Amazon.com website and will be available to non US residents in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Morrighan is my twist on the story of King Arthur and Morgan le faye. A what if… kind of story inspired by Marion Zimmer Bradley’s tale and the Merlin miniseries featuring Sam Neil and Helena Bonham-Carter.

Now, for those of you who might want a sneak peak, here it is:

Camelot was burning.

Avalon was under attack… from dragons.

The very creatures that graced the banners which flew high and proud on the many flag poles that graced the castle’s turrets were going to bring about its end. The symbol of Pendragon no longer stood for power, peace and protection, but death and destruction. Their very existence in the skies above spelled ruin for all of Camelot; not just its King. It was just a matter of time.

Was this what the Morríghan spoke of when she foresaw Arthur’s death? Rather than what Morgan herself feared. That the death of Arthur would be at the hands of the son she carried within her womb? Could this be the downfall of Camelot that was prophesised so long ago when she herself was only a child, trapped in the crystal cave beneath the earth with nobody but her cat Merlin for company?

She laid a hand on her stomach. The child within grew restless, as if it too sensed the calamity surrounding the world outside the womb. She’d tried and failed to stop one travesty from coming to pass. In the end the child would be born, and born healthy, she knew for the herbs she taken early in the pregnancy had not touched her – they hadn’t even made her sick as they often did with other women. And if she couldn’t stop the child from being born, how then was she supposed to stop the Dragons from destroying the entire world? Dragons were much harder to expel than a child. Harder by far than even Uther’s death had been, and back then she’d had the aid and favour of the Morríghan.

She doubted very much that Morríghan would help her twice, and Arthur wouldn’t suffer her insolence for long, not that she cared much what Arthur thought of her. She’d sooner take up residence in a nunnery than carry his favour. She wondered why her mother allowed herself to suffer under his rule; she’d already suffered the rule of one King, why not a second? But Arthur was no greater than Uther, just as she was no greater than Igraine.

January

So, January has drawn to a close and while it’s been a productive one it’s also been a little bittersweet.

Not only did I start the month with a rejection but, I’m ending it with one as well.

It’s okay though because I do have plans for the two stories that were rejected. So keep your eyes on my blog for an announcement soon.

And, somewhat surprisingly I’ve managed to write a massive 10,556 words. All of those words have been accrued through penning various short stories.

It’s actually nice to complete something for once. As much as I love working on my various novels, there’s a lot more involved in completing a novel.

At this stage I’m not quite sure what February will bring story wise but whatever it is, I’m looking forward to it.

What are you all looking forward to in February?

Story Submissions

I’ve been writing more and submitting a lot of stories this month and it seems to be paying off.

I received an acceptance email from Blood Song Books in my inbox for four of my drabbles to appear in their upcoming anthology, Curses and Cauldrons.

The stories are: Down the Rabbit Hole, The Keeper, The Witches Mark & Undersea.

Each is just 100 words but packs a punch in their own way I think.

I can’t wait to see this anthology in print. There’s nothing better than holding a copy of a book that has your work inside.

I Just Hit Publish!

I just hit publish on the kindle version of my short story Morrighan and I’m so impatient that I’m literally sitting at my computer compulsively clicking refresh hoping that it’s gone live in the last five seconds. And, finally it has!

So, why did I decide to publish a few short stories? Well, because I’m still working on the edits of The Winter Princess I wanted to share something instead of appearing idle to the publishing world. And hopefully build up a bit of a readership along the way.

The first story, Morrighan, deals with a retelling of the Arthurian Legends from Morgan le Faye’s point of view with a paranormal twist.

morrighan cover 2.jpg

It is available for purchase on Amazon and Smashwords for 99c.

Here’s an excerpt from the story…

The wind whipped through her hair, tossing the dark strands over her face and obscuring her vision. High above the sea, on the rocky crag the aerie was full.

Nemain settled on Morgan’s shoulder; the bird’s talons digging into the soft leather pauldron. She had become so used to it now that she didn’t even wince as the bird took its time hoping about on her shoulder before settling down.

As she turned her head and looked Nemain straight in the eye, the bird cocked its head to one side, its beady onyx eyes staring back at her. “Where are your sisters?” Morgan asked.

Nemain cawed once before raising one wing upwards, just as two more birds few in, circling once around Morgan’s head; the beat of their wings echoing in her ears. Badb and Macha landed one after the other on the leather gauntlet that covered her left arm from her fingertips right up to her elbow.

Smiling, Morgan gave a brief nod to each bird in turn. As she picked up the reins in her right hand, she nudged the dapple grey gelding on with her thighs, while being careful as she navigated her way down the steep path, that that had been worn into the cliff face after years of repetitive use and headed across the field for home.

It was true that she could have spent all day up at the aerie, looking out at the sea below while observing the hatchlings, but Morgan knew if she did she was only putting off the inevitable. That eventually she would have to see Arthur, and while she quite enjoyed the solitude, in having only the birds for company, she feared his wrath more.

Arthur, like most fey, was deathly afraid of birds, ravens in particular. It was said to see one was a bad omen, to lay eyes on three signified one’s own death. So superstitious was Arthur that when he and Morgan had been presented the murder of ravens as a wedding gift he’d threatened to spill their blood then and there in the reception hall.

What had been seen couldn’t be unseen, however; Arthur was destined to die.

Had it been anyone else but the Queen of Camelot’s kin that had presented such a gift to the newlyweds, the lives of Badb, Macha and Nemain, wouldn’t have been spared at all.

Pressing her thighs to the gelding’s flanks she worked him up to a trot before she gave the animal its head and allowed him to lengthen his stride until he was pacing at an even canter. Spying Arthur not far from the castle she brought the horse under control, knowing full well what was in store for her, should feathers wind up shedding on his clothing.

Bringing the ravens out of the aerie at dusk was not entirely wise, but Morgan was never one to play by anybody else’s rules but her own.

“Those creatures belong in the aerie not out here by castle walls,” Arthur said facing her.

“And fey belong in children’s story books,” Morgan spat.