So...new release! The writing group I'm a member of, Out In Colorado, has put together an anthology of stories set in our very own state. They run the gamut from contemporary sweetness to paranormal suspense to mythologically displaced (the last one would be mine, yeah;). All proceeds go to helping us pay for our Denver Pride booth, so any interest is truly appreciated. There are some really great authors in this antho, and some really excellent stories. You can find it here: Out In Colorado 2.
Want a blurb? I got one for you!
Seven gay stories that could only take place under the impossibly blue Colorado sky. Whether you want love (or lust) in the mountains, or prefer the busy streets of Denver and the eclectic environs of Boulder, we have your next read. Seven Rocky Mountain authors have joined forces to take you Out In Colorado. .
Join George Seaton, Caitlin Ricci, Cari Z, Jess Roth, A.J. Marcus, Carter Quinn, and P.D. Singer for adventure and a bit of romance.
How about an excerpt from mine? The title is The Price of Magic and the story is about the descendant of Vasilissa the Beautiful and his search for Baba Yaga in the wilds of Estes Park. Plus there's pot. And craft beers. Because Colorado, right?
The door opened a moment later, and Vasily found himself face-to-face with Baba Yaga herself. Well, more nose-to-nose with. Her nose seemed to take up most of the middle of her face, a jutting blade as pockmarked and warty as the stories said. She also, he noted with the small part of his brain that wasn’t currently consumed with terror, had a ring in one nostril. It was a little one way back at the base, probably silver but so tarnished that it looked like a circle of soot. Her teeth were jagged, her eyes were small and squinted narrowly at him, and her hair was as smooth as barbed wire.
“I smell something Russian!” she shouted. “Who are you then, little Russian mal’chik?”
Somehow he managed to pry his voice up from the bottom of his lungs and answer. “My name is Vasily, Baba Yaga.”
“Vasily, a Vasily, always the Vasilys of the world, they are the ones that give me trouble,” she muttered darkly. “The boys, the girls, all trouble, nothing but that. I suppose you do not come alone, then?”
“No, Baba Yaga.”
Her enormous eyebrows rose a bit. “You have the doll then? Authentic Vasily, at least, that is something. And what would you ask of me?”
“I need magic that will save someone’s life.”
Baba Yaga sighed. “Why couldn’t you just ask for fire, hm? I’m good with fire! I would give you fire for old times’ sake, no need to barter with yourself. Are you sure you don’t want some fire? Or some marijuana, maybe. The kids who play in the field, they plant some here and I tell you, it is very fine. Better now that I tend to it, better and stronger than ever before.”
Vasily was halfway to thinking he was high right now, honestly. This wasn’t exactly how he’d pictured his meeting with the witch of the woods going. “No thanks, I don’t smoke pot.”
“You don’t eat it neither, then. Not even in brownie? Is very tasty, completely legal.”
“No.” Vasily shrugged. “Sorry.”
“Well, fine then. You want to barter for a life, you need to step inside, you letting all my warmth out.” She turned around and he followed her inside, which was way bigger than seemed possible from out there. It actually looked pretty cozy: there was a ceramic stove letting off radiant heat that circled the room, cupboards and baskets full of food and blankets and there, beside the fireplace, an enormous mortar and pestle.
“Home sweet home,” Baba Yaga said with a sneer, but Vasily noticed that she patted the stove like a friendly pet before sitting down on top of it. “Pull the table over to me, my bones ache tonight.”
Vasily grabbed the wooden table in the middle of the room, which was laden with so much food it seemed about to collapse, and carefully shifted it over next to the stove. There was kvass, which he’d expected, and red wine, and also what smelled like a…porter, maybe? There was also cabbage soup, thick, dark rye bread and an entire roasted pig.
“You like beer?” Baba Yaga asked when she noticed him discreetly sniffing the mug. “I brew it myself, in the walls of my home! I think my little house is getting little drunk from it, eh?” She laughed and reached for the mug.