Now Available! Unicorn Seasons: Four Magical Unicorn Tales

 My ebook collection, Unicorn Seasons, is now available!

From a mythical time before the winds were fixed to the corners of the earth to a present-day forest where unicorns are not—quite—extinct, this ebook exclusive brings together four magical tales about unicorns and the humans who are forever changed by them. Written over the course of two decades, these stories reflect my lifelong fascination with the mythical creatures.

Learn more about the collection and read excerpts here.

Or order your copy now from any of the e-tailers below:

Kobo (and their many independent bookstore partners)
Barnes and Noble
– Apple (to come)

If you know any unicorn-loving readers who might enjoy these stories, please spread the word.

And if you finally meet a unicorn one day, whether in the heat of summer or upon the winter snow … well, I won’t say to run away, not exactly.

But be careful. Be very careful. Mythical creatures are, after all, chancy things.

For all those who never really stopped looking for unicorns

One day back in college, I declared myself through with unicorns. I pulled a childhood’s worth of accumulated unicorn posters off my walls, fully convinced I was finally growing up and moving on.

I was wrong. I never did move on, not really, not for good. I gave up my unicorn posters, but I never stopped telling unicorn stories.

Which is why I’m thrilled to announce that my ebook collection, Unicorn Seasons, goes on sale Monday and is available for pre-orders now.

 A unicorn for every season.

From a mythical time before the winds were fixed to the corners of the earth to a present-day forest where unicorns are not—quite—extinct, this ebook exclusive collection by acclaimed fantasy writer Janni Lee Simner brings together four magical tales about unicorns and the humans who are forever changed by them.

In Lost or Forgotten, a unicorn sacrifices his mortality for the woman he loves, leaving their descendants to mourn the loss. When sisters Sara and Amelia hear the trees calling to them one spring night, they have to decide whether to take on an ancient sorrow—or accept an ancient magic.

In Unicorn Season, Megan’s small-town summer turns more interesting when a local boy offers to help her find unicorns in the nearby mountains. But why is Josh so interested in the elusive creatures? Megan may not know as much about unicorns—or Josh’s motives—as she thinks.

In Tearing Down the Unicorns, Stacey is furious when her older sister tears the unicorn posters from their walls. Then she sees a real unicorn dancing in the autumn night, and she discovers there’s more to the mythical creatures than those rainbow-and-butterfly bedecked pictures show—and more to herself, as well.

In Windwood Rose, Miranda has been haunted all her life by strange music and uneasy dreams. When a unicorn appears in the snow one winter afternoon, it may have the answers she longs for. But will it be willing to give her all that she seeks?

Unicorn Seasons is available most places ebooks are sold. Read excerpts here, or pre-order your copy from any of the e-tailers below:

Kobo (and their many independent bookstore partners)
Barnes and Noble
– Apple (to come)

And of course, if you feel inclined to spread the word, I’d be grateful!

On doing a thing I needed to do

As many of you know, my first sale was to one of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover anthologies, and that sale gave me my first glimmer of hope that I could build a professional writing career. I recently had a story appear in a second Darkover anthology, produced by MZB’s estate, and I tremendously enjoyed returning to one of the places where my career began.

As some you also know, this week Marion Zimmer Bradley’s daughter revealed in public that her mother abused her.

I read and reread her daughter’s words this week. I read, too, portions of MZB’s own court deposition (from her husband’s trial, also for child abuse) that I hadn’t read before. Then yesterday I took a deep breath, and I added up the advances from my two Darkover sales, my Darkover royalties, and (at his request) my husband Larry Hammer’s payment for his sale to MZB’s magazine.

And then we made a donation to the anti-abuse charity RAINN for that amount. I’ll donate any future Darkover royalties, as well.

I remain proud of the Darkover stories I’ve written, and I respect the many fellow writers who also got their start on the pages of MZB’s anthologies and in her magazine. MZB played a huge role in many of our careers, and it’s not my intention to deny that, or to deny how deeply many readers were touched–and in some cases saved–by MZB’s work.

But I also can’t deny the harm caused by the flawed creator of that work. What I can do is see to it that my having written in her worlds goes towards fighting those same hurts and abuses in the places they’re happening now.

So that’s what I’m doing.

And I’m posting about it here–though this feels more like a personal decision than a public one–because silence about abuse creates the illusion of acceptance, and illusions gain power over time, and so sometimes, speaking aloud is more important than staying comfortable.

Poisoned Pen holiday signing! Plus other things!

I’ll be signing at Poisoned Pen’s Yuletide Universe event (in Scottsdale, AZ) along with Kevin Hearne, Lisa McMann, David Lee Summers, and Sam Sykes on December 11 starting at 2 p.m. Come join us! (If you’d like signed copies of any of our books and can’t join us, you can also contact Poisoned Pen and ask them to send one aside for us to sign.)

lnhammer and I are offering up a ten year run of our holiday cards over at magick4terri. Originally designed for family and friends, these contain a mix of original poetry (by lnhammer), fiction (by me), and other stuff (by both of us).

I’ve made the e-chapbook of my short story “Drawing the Moon” available for free on Smashwords until the end of the month–just use the coupon code LS36E at checkout.

“And when October goes / the snow begins to fly / above the smokey roofs / I watch the planes go by”

1. I’ll be reading from Faerie Winter at World Fantasy Convention—this Thursday, 8:30 p.m., in Pacific 6/7. If you’re going to be there, come by!

2. Just in time for Halloween, I’ve made one of the short stories I’m most often asked about—”Drawing the Moon,” which first appeared in Bruce Coville’s Book of Nightmares—available as an e-chapbook! Copies are available from Smashwords (multiple formats for all ereaders and computers), Barnes and Noble (epub format for Nook and most other ereaders), and (mobi format for Kindles). (ETA: Am also working on google books–will update when I have more info there!)

Here’s a short excerpt:

Andrew knew that the moon had stolen his parents away.

He tried to explain to Elizabeth once, after the funeral, but she didn’t understand. Her face turned horribly pale, and she whispered, “They’re dead, Andrew. Don’t you know that?” And then, just in case he didn’t, she drew him a picture. She used her red pencils, and some of Andrew’s crayons, besides. She used rusty-red for the brick buildings, brownish-red for the mugger’s jacket, rosy-red for Mom’s torn sweater on the sidewalk. And bright red for Dad, where the knife had gone through his chest.

Andrew tore the drawing up—not because looking at it sent icy shivers up his spine, though it did—but because she’d gotten the drawing all wrong. She’d left out the moon, large and round in the night sky, and that was the most important part …

“Maybe being alone was the only way you could see a unicorn.”

Here’s a very cool thing. Some years ago I had a story called “Tearing Down the Unicorns” in Bruce Coville’s A Glory of Unicorns; it was also later reprinted in Cricket magazine. (It was one of several stories I wrote for Bruce Coville’s anthologies, all of which played a role in helping me realize that yes, I really did want to be writing for kids and teens.)

Last month, for her final senior project, illustrator Elizabeth DiFiore created a series of illustrations based on the story, which were interspersed with the story’s text at her final show. They’re a take on what the protagonist Stacey’s fiery unicorn-inspired dance might look like, and you can see them here at her Imagekind store. Elizabeth DiFiore was kind enough to send me prints of Dancing Fire and Like I’m Flying, and they’re even more lovely in person than in these pictures–so much joy in them.

So much fun, to see a story transformed! This has had me smiling all week. (And hey, since the artist has just graduated, there’s a good chance she’s available, should you need an illustrator. I look forward to seeing more of her work out in the world, myself!)

The Way is open, and magic is loose in the World

Welcome to Bordertown is now available! (With my story, “Crossings,” within, a fact that continues to amaze me.) The Way to the Border between the human and elfin realms is open once more, and all manner of magic is loose in the world.

Maybe the universe really does know. I’ve been coming on all sorts of small reminders of just how magical story is the past couple weeks.

There are some Bordertown stories available online here and here, along with some Bordertown poems here. Kirkus and Underwords both have interviews with Welcome to Bordertown contributors up, and there’s still time to enter the Welcome to Bordertown giveaway, too.

Now, I think I’m going to turn off the wifi and imagine I’m sitting in a Btown cafe as I work on my book about faeries and humans. Doesn’t seem too much of a stretch today, really. 🙂

Heading for the Border

Why are so many teens fleeing to Bordertown? is a Welcome to Bordertown trailer that feels like a Bordertown ficlet all its own. (But I’m beginning to understand that Bordertown just sort of spawns things that are ficlets of their own. It’s part of the magic.)

And speaking of magic … this collection of magical prizes for helping to spread the word about Bordertown is just breathtaking. I’ve been helping gather and organize donations for it, and it’s been all I could do not to talk about it until now. Seriously, go look! And then mention Bordertown somewhere (on your blog, on twitter, on facebook) and link to it from the contest post for a chance to win.

Welcome to Bordertown ARC tour

I have a copy of Welcome to Bordertown, begged off of the lovely folks at Random House when I visited this winter. I’m unwilling to part with it entirely because my name is on the cover for various sentimental reasons, but I also feel like the whole point of ARCs is to spread the love and the word about a book. So I’ve come up with something else instead.

If you’d like to borrow Welcome to Bordertown, and you’re willing to commit to both reading it in about a week and to them talking about it somewhere online, leave a comment below. I’ll mail you my copy, and then when you’re done, you’ll mail it back to me, and I’ll send it on to the next person on the list. (ETA: And will keep doing so until the book itself goes on sale at the end of May, however many people that turns out to be, and at that point see whether it’s still in good enough shape to keep sending around.)

What do you think? Anyone interested in an early read?

(Hey, Kirkus and Bookslut both liked it!)