Impact is Coming!

26824445 - conflict, close up of two fists hitting each other over dramatic sky

Source: Impact is Coming!

Excited to announce that my flash fiction story 20/20 Hindsight has been chosen to appear in this upcoming anthology! Impact will include 110 stories of 300 words or less.

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Beautiful, Broken Things ~ a collection of short stories by Rose Blackthorn

Beautiful, Broken Things text cover

Travel to the shores of an alien sea where the search for pearls may cost more than expected. Experience the early days of Viking exploration to the New World, and learn why they didn’t stay. Meet those things that hide in the darkness of attic rooms, the shadows beyond the fenced-in yard, the narrow confines of the kitchen pipes, or even right out in the open beneath a warm summer sun. Learn to be wary of lost children, the kindness of strangers, or even the promises of those you trust. Enjoy the beauty of the sea, the lush growth of greenhouse roses, the love and longing of family, and even the fondness of old memories.

“Broken things can be useful, even beautiful…” But they can also be dangerous.

I am so very happy to announce that my first collection of short stories has been released by Crossroad Press. It is currently available in digital format at Amazon as well as other major eBook retailers, and will soon be available in print!

A super-fast note to say thanks so very-very much to Christopher Jones, Kurt Criscione, Daniele Serra, Deena Warner, David Dodd, and David Wilson for all their help in getting my collection ready to be published. Thanks to Janet Joyce Holden for the amazing introduction she wrote. And thank you to everyone who has read my stories, and encouraged me to keep writing and sharing my words with you.

Reading Book Love Heart

My Smoke-Free Anniversary

secondhandsmoke

Seven years ago today I quit smoking. I really don’t miss it, which is kind of surprising, because I loved smoking.

I had my first cigarette when I was six or seven years old. I was at a friend’s house, her older sister had swiped a pack from their parents, and she gave me one. I didn’t know how it worked–I tried to suck on the filter like a lollipop. Not too long after that, I bought my first pack from a cigarette machine in the lobby of the restaurant my family had gone to. No one said anything to a little kid buying smokes out of the machine–maybe they thought my mom or dad and had sent me to get it. Maybe they just didn’t care. I hid that pack in my dresser when I got home, sneaked a single cigarette out every few days and smoked it in the field behind our house. When my mom found the open pack, she sat me down and gave me a talking to. I don’t really remember what she said, just that she was upset and very disappointed in me.

I left them alone then, until I was thirteen. That’s when I started spending more time with a cousin who was three years older than me. She had her driver’s license, and she would come pick me up on Friday or Saturday nights to take me ice skating or to the movies, with my parents’ blessing. Then we’d go downtown and drag State Street. We’d meet boys, and hang out in the parking lot of the taco joint, and smoke and b.s. My cousin knew a little store with a drive-up window that would sell her cigarettes, and she’d buy them for me, too. When she graduated from high school a couple years later, we didn’t spend as much time together, and I more or less quit smoking.

The summer between my junior and senior year I started going to cosmetology school, which I continued throughout my senior year. During that first week, we found out the instructors would allow a “smoke break” every couple of hours. If you didn’t smoke? No breaks, except for lunch. So I started smoking again. This time, it really stuck. I smoked a pack a day, every day. I loved it. Me and my friends would go to coffee at least three times a week, and we’d sit in whichever restaurant we were frequenting at the time, drinking coffee and smoking, talking, sometimes taking turns reading my stories out loud. We partied, hung out with some of the local bands, dragged State Street again from time to time. Being a smoker was part of who I was.

In my 30s, I quit for about a year because my husband at that time had been diagnosed with the beginnings of emphysema. He tried to quit and tried to quit, and finally told me he couldn’t as long as I was still smoking. It was just too much of a temptation for him. I loved him, and I didn’t want his disease to progress. So I quit with him. When I found out a year later that he’d been smoking and hiding it from me, along with some other things he’d been hiding, I pretty much said fuck it and went out and bought a pack. It seemed a fair trade–he left, and the cigarettes returned.

Eventually, I got into a relationship with another guy. He smoked, I smoked, and we often discussed quitting. So on December 30th, seven years ago, when I finished the last cigarette in my pack, I just never bought any more. I was lucky, in that I never had any debilitating side effects. I never had the ongoing respiratory illnesses. I never had the smoker’s hack. I’ve never been diagnosed with any kind of lung or heart disease related to my many, many years of smoking. And as much as I loved to smoke, for the most part I really don’t miss it. I’ve had a couple really stressful situations where I wished I could light up, but I haven’t done so. I don’t miss going outside in the freezing cold or the blistering heat to have a smoke (and I never allowed smoking inside my house, because I think that’s just gross). I don’t miss paying for them, either. When I bought that very first pack of cigarettes from the vending machine all those years ago, they were 60¢ a pack.

I woke up this morning and looked at the date, and it occurred to me that it’s been seven years since I last smoked a cigarette. It made me think about all those years that I smoked, without ever giving it a second thought, without ever considering why. Here’s to seven more.

A Short Little Tale for the Holiday

I wrote this a few years ago for a drabble contest – 100 words or less, and the requirement to use certain words in the story. I was quite pleased with how it turned out, and actually placed in the competition. I thought I’d go ahead and share it here:

A Different Christmas Tradition

Grak burped long and loud, then added a flatulent note to the already redolent air. Teeja sighed theatrically, but her disgust was lost on him.

“More grog,” he growled, slamming his cup down on the table.

“More manners,” she snarled, dropping a new jug beside the cup.

“We’re goblins,” he said, filling his cup, “Spending the ass-end of winter in a cavern in Finland. Who cares about manners?” and he gulped some more ale.

“It’s Christmas,” Teeja said sorrowfully.

Grak rolled his eyes. “I’ll take you into town later, you can slay a caroler.”

Her smile was grotesque, but heartfelt.

 

Merry Christmas / Blessed Yule / Happy Holidays

Renewal anthology now available

Renewal - A

Re.new.al (noun) 1) Resuming an activity after an interruption, or 2) Extending a contract, subscription or license, or 3) Replacing or repairing something that is worn out, run-down, or broken, or 4) Rebirth after death. Four definitions to spark inspiration, a limitless number of stories to be conceived. Only 110 made the cut. Thrilling to hopeful, Renewal features 300-word speculative fiction ficlets about sexual and gender minorities to entice readers. Welcome to Renewal.

Excerpts:

Because these stories are only 300 words each, we’re not supplying long excerpts, but here are the first lines of several of the stories. Enjoy!

“Griselda pulled the weeds from between the rows of Valerianella locusta plants in the garden, careful not to disturb the buds that would grow into the babies that were her only real income-producing crop.” —The Witches’ Garden, by Rie Sheridan Rose

“I didn’t know how truly the world was in trouble until I went journeying to look for Anisette’s bluebonnets.” —Bluebonnets, by Emily Horner

“The ship’s drive malfunctioned at the worst possible time.” —The Return, by Andrea Speed

“Before we continue, there’s a rather macabre fact about me I should share.” —Rejuvenation, by Christine Wright

“When I died they buried me at the bottom of the garden and returned to the fields.” —Below the Hill, by Matthew Bright

“The world is ending and I can’t look away from your eyes.” —Sunrise, by Brigitte Winter

““Losing one’s superpowers to your arch nemesis sucks donkey nuts, I tell ya. And trust me when I say I suck a lot of them.” —Rainbow Powers, by Dustin Karpovich

“The day I was born again was damp, rainy—a good day for rebirth, all things considered.” —The Birthing Pod, by Michelle Browne

“Intwir’s twelve eyes roved over the container, taking in the cracked outer lock and the elasticated fabric stretched tightly over its exterior.” —In a Bind, by S R Jones

“‘You’ve reached Androgyne HelpLine. Press one to start service. Press two to interrupt or cancel service. Press three—’” —Auto-Renew, by Ginger Streusel

“The doctor tells me that my wife is dying, but I already know.” —I Will Be Your Shelter, by Carey Ford Compton

“‘San Francisco was the first to go dark, followed by Los Angeles.’” —When Light Left, by Lex Chase

“My fingers lingered on the synthetic skin, trailing soft patterns across my work.” —Miss You, by Stephanie Shaffer

Buy Links Etc:

Mischief Corner Books (info only): http://www.mischiefcornerbooks.com/renewal-qsfs-fouth-annual-flash-ficiton-contest.html

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074ZPB4ZM/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/renewal-j-scott-coatsworth/1127042522?ean=9781975654368

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/renewal-27

iBooks: Coming Soon

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36113415-renewal

 

Authors:

‘Nathan Burgoine

A.M. Leibowitz

A.M. Soto

Abby Bartle

Aidee Ladnier

Alexis Woods

Andi Deacon

Andrea Felber Seligman

Andrea Speed

Andrea Stanet

Anne McPherson

Bey Deckard

Brigitte Winter

Carey Ford Compton

Carol Holland March

Carrie Pack

Catherine Lundoff

CB Lee

Christine Wright

Colton Aalto

Daniel Mitton

Dustin Blottenberger

Dustin Karpovich

E R Zhang

E.J. Russell

E.W. Murks

Ell Schulman

Ellery Jude

Eloreen Moon

Elsa M León

Emily Horner

Eric Alan Westfall

F.T. Lukens

Fenrir Cerebellion

Foster Bridget Cassidy

Ginger Streusel

Hannah Henry

Irene Preston

J Alan Veerkamp

J.P. Egry

J Summerset

J.S. Fields

Jaap Boekestein

Jackie Keswick

Jana Denardo

Jeff Baker

Jenn Burke

Joe Baumann

John Moralee

Jon Keys

Jude Dunn

K.C. Faelan

Kelly Haworth

Kiterie Aine

Kristen Lee

L M Somerton

L Brian Carroll

L.M. Brown

L.V. Lloyd

Laurie Treacy

Leigh M. Lorien

Lex Chase

Lia Harding

Lin Kelly

Lloyd A. Meeker

Lyda Morehouse

M.D. Grimm

Martha J. Allard

Mary E. Lowd

Matt Doyle

Matthew Bright

Mia Koutras

Michelle Browne

Milo Owen

Mindy Leana Shuman

Naomi Tajedler

Natsuya Uesugi

Nephy Hart

Nicole Dennis

Ofelia Gränd

Patricia Scott

Paul Stevens

PW Covington

R R Angell

R.L. Merrill

Rebecca Cohen

Redfern Jon Barrett

Reni Kieffer

Richard Amos

RL Mosswood

Robyn Walker

Rory Ni Coileain

Rose Blackthorn

Ross Common

S R Jones

Sacchi Green

Sarah Einstein

Shilo Quetchenbach

Siri Paulson

Soren Summers

Stephanie Shaffer

Steve Fuson

Tam Ames

Terry Poole

Tray Ellis

Vivien Dean

Wendy Rathbone

Xenia Melzer

Zen DiPietro

Zev de Valera

 

Looking for a shiver? Try Trembling With Fear at Horror Tree…

trembling-with-fear

Horror Tree has started publishing drabbles and flash fiction under the heading Trembling With Fear, and this week my 100 word story Starting Over… In Style is available for your reading pleasure. Go check it out, along with the flash story Resurrection by Chanelle Pina, and another drabble, Separated Again, by Patrick Winters.

 

(I had a previous drabble, Young Love, that appeared in Trembling With Fear back in January, which you can find here…)

GAIA: Shadow and Breath Volume III

Gaia III front cover

Gaia: Shadow & Breath Vol. 3 is now available! You can get it at Amazon here. Or, enjoy a 15% discount for the next few days when purchasing from CreateSpace (link and code: CFAK5JBZ). As with past volumes, the proceeds will be donated to The Nature Conservancy.

Fantasy by David Tallerman, Sandi Leibowitz, Janet Haigh, H.L. Fullerton, Tim Major, Rose Blackthorn, Gwendolyn Kiste, Ingrid Taylor, Anjali Ravi, and Scott T. Barnes. Cover art by Verboten Valley Art, interior illustrations by Carrion House.