Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Countdown: Two Weeks to 365 Days of Flash Fiction



Science fiction, fantasy, dark fantasy, speculative fiction and a touch of horror, this collection plays with just about every genre it can lay its hands on. C.M. Simpson explores new worlds, new settings and lets loose some ideas that just needed to be gotten out of her head.

If short stories are your thing—and the shorter the better—you can find tiny tales from a wide variety of genres in 365 Days of Flash Fiction.

Here’s another taste of the kinds of tales you’ll find:

Storm-Riding Raiders


Written on Sunday, September 15, 2013, for this collection. Another battle, but not with swords.


They came in the clouds, riding the wings of a storm. Mighty predators, they struck, driving fear deep, driving it through bone, triggering bladder and bowel, making those who faced them feel fuelled by ice with innards to match. How could we hope to face them, defeat them, when our limbs trembled and sweat slicked our weapon hands, making grips tricky.
“Your families need you to stand!”—a healthy bellow—“Archers! Fire!”
Arrows whistled, upwards-falling rain, matching them shriek for shriek. The sky turned black, and not from clouds—the second volley. The third volley brought them down, saved us.



365 Days of Flash Fiction is scheduled for release on October 4, 2014.

Friday, September 12, 2014

About Candy Cane Dancer

This post was originally featured on the Dark Side Downunder blog in March this year. Here, Ellie talks about Candy Cane Dancer, the first in her Downtown Wizards and Weres series. This is what she had to say to the questions asked at the time:



Can you, in less than five words describe your book/story Candy Cane Dancer?

No, but I can do it in six: erotic, explicit, captivity, dubious consent, disturbing

Who is your favourite character in this book? Or Who would you get to play your hero / heroine in a movie?
     
      This is always a hard question to answer. I like my werewolf captain and Rajanigandha, the nagini. I also like the slightly deluded and hopeful Martinette, but I think my favourite character has to be Selene, the margot fairy who was meant to be the central character to this novel. She has the immortality of fairies, but has grown to care for those around her in a way that many fairies don’t—and certainly not the Scottish fey. Overcoming her fear of werewolves to acknowledge her attraction to the werewolf captain heading the hunt for the serial killer stalking the club, is just one example of her ability to adapt. Preparing to face down the killer is an example of her courage. She deserved a romance of her own, but ended up sharing a dark tale of erotica with the enemy she had to hunt, and did so very graciously.
      
      What inspired you to write it?

I think the inspiration came while I was while reading a book on different kinds of fairies (which I cannot find and cannot remember the title of – frustrating, as I want to buy it for my bookshelf). Anyway, there was a section about a German fairy called a margot who loved to dance and adored sweets, and a section about an evil male sea fairy who played beautiful music and then killed his victims, trapping their souls in a bottle. I was, at the time, writing a piece about a werewolf-run gentleman’s club (not based around pole dancing) and decided to have another club in the locality where dancing was the feature, because what else would a margot fairy be doing in modern times (and don’t say Swan Lake, although that is an idea). The sea fairy became a threat to the dance club, and the story kind of grew from there, but not with the margot as the main focus as I had originally planned. This tale ended up a lot darker than I originally intended, metamorphosing into a tale of erotica and suspense, as opposed to the erotic romantic suspense I originally intended to write.

Excerpt (abridged to remove the naughtiest bits)

“Are you a vampire?” Martinette asked, feeling her face rapidly lose its look of lazy post-coital contentment. “You should have told me.”
“Then there’d have been no surprise,” Hubert replied, shifting to wrap an arm around her shoulders, and crushing her to his chest. She wrapped her arms around him and arched against him.
“Are you going to kill me now?” she asked.
“No, but you live because I want you to dance for me, again,” he murmured, letting his lips brush her ear lobe. He shifted against her. Martinette gasped, but it wasn’t one of protest.
“So, you’ll kill me later?”
“Not necessarily,” he said. “I am growing fond of you.” He slowly laid her on the floor and she pillowed her head on one arm and gazed up at him. Her expression showed confusion and pleasure, and just a little fear, the emotions rushing across her face as he started again, letting her feel how her body reacted to his, seeing the moment when she thrust the fear aside to accept the pleasure he offered. That acceptance was flavored by apprehension when he spoke again. “Don’t make me change my mind.”
He dipped his mouth to the small tear he’d made at the base of her throat and licked it, raising his head, so she could see her blood on his lips.
“You taste good,” he said, watching her eyes widen half in horror, and half in surprise, “and there’s a large part of me that wants to drain you dry, but I like your body. I love the way you move it when you dance, and I love the way you feel.”
He propped himself on his elbows so he could watch the battle of emotions raging across her face. One part of her couldn’t resist the purely physiological reaction her body was having to his, one part of her fascinated that she could be enjoying something with a creature like him, and one part terrified of what he might do next.
“I’m going to let you live just a little while longer,” he said. “How much longer is up to you. I love the way you dance. Say you’ll dance for me, Martinette. Say you want to live.”
He saw the moment she gave in to her desire to survive.
“I’ll dance for you,” she whispered, and as she relaxed beneath him, he gently tilted her head sideways and drank.
She tasted divine, but Hubert knew he had to stop, that the rest of his hunger would have to be sated by the salmon and reef fish he’d had his servants prepare. It was a hard-fought thing. He desperately wanted more, to drain her dry as he had the dancer he’d taken two nights ago, to feel her death throes as he rode her over the edge and desecrated her still-warm corpse.
Martinette was lucky he loved the way she responded to his music. She was lucky she could make him jealous of the pole on his private stage. She was lucky she drew him in a way he could not explain. As much as he didn’t want to acknowledge it, for the first time in a century Martinette, his flame-haired dancer, made him feel something for his intended prey. And it felt good.
Slowly standing, Hubert gave a soft whistle, summoning his servants.
“Care for her,” he ordered. “Give her private quarters and see to her comforts. Feed her like a queen, for she has my heart.”
Even as the words left his mouth, Hubert was surprised to find they were true.
With a small smile of surprised satisfaction, he returned to his chair and retrieved his flute. While he often travelled without it, tonight he wanted it nearby, at least until he went hunting. There were other dancers at the Candy Cane.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Sneak Peek 5: 365 Days of Flash Fiction



Science fiction, fantasy, dark fantasy, speculative fiction and a touch of horror, this collection plays with just about every genre it can lay its hands on. C.M. Simpson explores new worlds, new settings and lets loose some ideas that just needed to be gotten out of her head.

If short stories are your thing—and the shorter the better—you can find tiny tales from a wide variety of genres in 365 Days of Flash Fiction.

Many of my tales feature dragons, but I hope some of these are a little different to other dragons.

A Dragon in the Last Day’s Light


Written for this collection of flash fiction on  the evening of September 8, 2013. Outside my window is a tree full of delicate white blooms, gradually being hidden by leaves. On my mind, the next anthology of dragon fiction, where it will also appear. I guess I can see where my inspiration came from.


I saw the dragon land, soft as thistledown, delicate as glass, dangerous as midnight—not even as long as my thumb. I watched each tiny claw turned a blossom to dust, how jewel-bright it shone in the last day’s light. For it was the last day. I had seen it in; I was bound to see it out. I watched the dragon crawl, methodically touching each flower, deliberately destroying each delicate bloom and our chance of surviving through the long, dry months of winter. I shot it, fast and clean, closing the window before I went to catch the shuttle.


365 Days of Flash Fiction is scheduled for release on October 4, 2014, a and pre-ordering should be available soon.