Mal Keyne came back from the dead five years ago. Since then, she's been fixing the god Hades's problems for him--the kind that are best solved with a
bullet. In the secret war between the gods, discretion is the name of the game, and Mal's got it covered.
But there's a new player in town, someone with power that doesn't work the way a god's power should. They're strong enough to risk open war with Hades,
and reckless enough to disregard the one rule all the gods can agree on: keep the mortals in the dark. And they're assassinating Hades's agents all over
the city--including one of the two people Mal actually trusted.
With the help of a sheltered priestess, and a magic-wielding mortal who may or may not be on her side, Mal is going to hunt down the people--and
gods--responsible. And she's going to show them why you don't mess with the god of death.
Mal's job used to be simple: find the people causing problems for Hades and give them a one-way ticket to his realm. But with Hades's temple a pile of
rubble and his other operatives dead, she has a new mission--prevent the entire world from finding out about the temple while single-handedly holding
Hades's territory against the rest of the gods. And in less than two days, a documentary crew will get access to the ruins of the temple, and broadcast
the truth about the gods' secret wars.
Unless... Mnemosyne, goddess of memory, can alter a few memories and make the publicity problem go away. All she wants in return is one human dead--a
human who happens to have the power to level entire buildings with a thought.
Mal's maybe-ally Bastian offers to provide backup--but nothing is ever free. He needs her help settling an old score against a certain goddess. A
goddess named Mnemosyne...
A month ago, Mal was ordered to close a gate between Hades's realm and the mortal world--by killing Hades's last surviving priestess, one of her only
friends. She hesitated, and saved her friend's life. Now the city is paying the price.
Two spirits are haunting the streets of Manhattan, and one of them has a body count. Victims have been turning up all over the city, each killing more
vicious than the last, and the only way to stop it is to send the spirits back where they belong--before they grow too strong for even Hades to control.
If Mal can't return them to the afterlife, she'll pay a price of her own. When she let the spirits slip through the gate, she violated a fundamental
law of the underworld: the worlds of the living and the dead must remain separate at all costs. For this betrayal of her god, only one punishment
exists--she will be stripped of Hades's Mark. And the only way to remove a god's Mark is to destroy the bearer's soul.
How do you fight a nightmare that's literally going viral?
Manhattan is under siege. The invading army is a plague of waking nightmares: the weapon of choice for the new goddess in town, who has just declared an end to Hades's power in New York City.
Needless to say, Mal is pissed.
With half the mortal population scrambling to flee, and the other half bringing real weapons to the streets to fight the monsters in their heads, the city plunges toward utter chaos. But Mal's race to save Hades's last scrap of territory will turn her against her oldest friends, unearth a secret the gods themselves have kept buried for thousands of years, and test the limits of an alliance she thought was unshakable.
When humans start showing up dead after visiting Manhattan's hottest new club, Mal's mission seems simple enough: find whatever supernatural critter is responsible, and show them the consequences of intruding on Hades's territory. Mal isn't complaining--between moving in with Bastian and dealing with the fallout of Melinoe's attack, she could use an easy job.
But the more she investigates, the less simple it becomes... because someone wanted Mal to find out about these deaths. Someone with the power to command creatures that even the gods fear. Someone with a plan that could tear apart the divine and mortal realms alike--a plan that is missing only its final piece: Mal herself.
Mal would never betray Hades. At least that's what she always thought. But everyone has their price... and somebody may have found hers.
Hades's assassins are closing in, and Mal has only one place left to run: home.
In her previous life, Mal was the dutiful daughter of a prominent United States Senator, and her family is still living and working just outside the city. It's a risky move, but she knows the Marked of the gods won't dare follow her into the public eye. For the last ten years, the world has believed Mal dead. It's time to show them how wrong they are.
But she hasn't taken into account how far her family will go to avoid losing her a second time. Or her knack for finding divine trouble wherever she goes. Or that the long-forgotten ghost of her former self still lurks inside her, desperate to get her old life back... at any cost.
Ciara won't look her in the eye. Kimmy is acting like Mal is going to murder them all in their beds. Ginevra is too friendly all of a sudden. And in the wake of Mal's crimes against Persephone's temple, relations between Hades and Persephone are growing more strained by the day.
When an unexpected attack strikes at the heart of the temple, the rift between Hades and his allies widens--and the bonds between Hades's operatives begin to fracture. The deeper Mal digs, the less she understands her enigmatic enemy, and the more she discovers that everyone has something to hide... including her. As she tries to outthink a foe whose actions make no sense, she doesn’t know who she can trust anymore--or who will make it out alive.
The gods don't do anything by half-measures--including breakups. Persephone has decided she's done with Hades and wants NYC all to herself... and she's willing to play dirty to get it.
Mal knows Hades's temple doesn't have the strength for war, or the leverage to negotiate better terms. But they do have Ciara--Marked of Persephone and Mal's oldest friend. She's working from the inside, and she promises her plan will get them through this alive.
And it had better work. Because if it doesn't, it will be up to Mal to figure out plan B. And unlike Ciara, Mal will have no problem sacrificing whoever and whatever gets in the way of her mission--including her own humanity.
This short story is 6500 words long, or approximately 20 pages. It takes place between books 9 and 10 of the Hound of Hades series, and contains spoilers for the series through book 9 (Bitter Fruit).
She likes her tea mild and her shoes sensible. She may be a spy for Hades, but the most excitement she ever sees is when she files the wrong paperwork as part of her secretarial cover. And that's just fine with her.
But before she was Nina, she was Kate.
Volatile. Unstable. Psychologically scarred from a mission gone wrong. This assignment is nothing more than busywork to keep her out of the way so she can't get herself or the people around her killed.
But she's learned to like disappearing into Nina's meek persona. It's calm. Peaceful. She doesn't have to think about the past.
Radioactive ruins. A radical anti-technology faction known as the Swords of Eden. Sinister scientists performing secret experiments. Shea knows what
horrors await in the world outside the sanctuary she built for herself. Her mother is dead; her father is gone; her body is marked with the scars of what
the outside world did to her. All she wants now is to be left alone.
So when she learns she's a Catalyst, someone born to save the world by making seemingly-insignificant changes that ripple into larger effects, her answer
is simple: no. This world isn't worth saving.
Until she's given her first mission: save the followers of a radiation-worshipping cult in the remnants of Washington, D.C. Until she discovers the secrets
that tie the cult's eccentric prophet to her own past. Until she sees a chance to regain something that was stolen from her long ago: a real family.
But there's more than radiation worship going on in the ruins, and the prophet's plans could put all his followers in the crosshairs of Shea's old enemies...
or cause devastation that reaches far beyond the cult. And as she races against time to stop him, Shea will face a threat that terrifies her more than any
of that: the risk of starting to care about the world outside her walls.
The enclaves of the Swords of Eden. Peaceful communities offering refuge from the outside world's threats. Insular dictatorships ruled by
an army of fanatics determined to prevent another apocalyptic war by wiping out everything--and everyone--that could bring back the technologies of the past.
And the last place Shea should be, with the implant in her arm that marks her for death in the Swords' eyes.
So of course, that's exactly where her next mission takes her.
Plague has come to the Central Enclave--the same plague that devastated the country after the war. But hope arrives with a small group of doctors, armed with
forbidden technology, willing to risk infection or execution to save the lives of their enemies.
And for the sake of humanity's future, Shea has to stop them.
You've all heard the story many times before--the one about the girl who overcomes violence and tragedy to lead her world to revolution.
This is not that story.
This is the story of an ordinary family: a mother who tortures confessions from rebels for a living, and a daughter torn between family and rebellion.
This is the story of an ordinary world, where every day parents go off to work and kids go off to school and dissidents are taken away in the middle of the
night and never seen again. This is the story of an ordinary girl, who doesn't have the power to singlehandedly right the world's wrongs--but chooses to
This is the truth behind every dystopian story: that even the darkest world seems normal when you've never known anything else.
A year and a half ago, Becca Dalcourt joined the resistance. Three months ago, she started working undercover inside Internal Defense. A year from now,
she'll probably be dead. She knows the odds. She's seen how the life of a double agent ends.
All she wants is a chance to do something with what little time she has left. Something big. Something meaningful. But the resistance doesn't trust her,
and her job transcribing torture sessions hasn't given her anything but the names of dissidents whose lives, according to her resistance contact, aren't
So when she discovers a secret government program designed to brainwash dissidents into loyal citizens, she resolves to shut it down, no matter the
cost. Even if her plan puts everyone she loves in danger. Even if the most experienced resistance fighters say it can't be done. Even if it means
betraying the only person who sees past the mask she wears every day.
Even if she has to do it alone.
The sequel to The Torturer's Daughter, which has been praised for its dark realism, Necessary Sacrifices asks how you fight an enemy
that can't be defeated... and what sacrifices are worth making along the way.
When a dissident working undercover as an interrogator is ordered to torture a confession from the only girl he's ever loved, he chooses to defy both the
totalitarian regime and the resistance by helping her escape--but she has an agenda of her own...
This dystopian novella is approximately 14,000 words long, or about 50 print pages. Set in the world of the Internal Defense series, it takes place
between Necessary Sacrifices and the upcoming No Return, but can also be read as a stand-alone story.
They know about the lives she's saved. About the prison break she carried out against impossible odds. They know she turned a dying resistance into the
first real threat Internal Defense has faced in a long time.
And even now, with the resistance under attack from the inside, they know Becca can save them.
The conclusion to the story that began with The Torturer's Daughter and Necessary Sacrifices, No Return explores what happens
when an ordinary person becomes a legend--and how to choose between who you are and who the world needs you to be.
The Adventure of Creation (Think Sideways Writers Anthology #1)
This anthology contains my story 'After the Fire,' a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy short.
Follow a girl to the Below-World to slay the Sharkshadow, or help a timid girl to overcome the destructive criticism of her art teacher. Witness a
solitary drone on Mars or a naive homunculus struggle to become human. Sew with a mother who lost her daughter in a unicorn quilt, defeat bank robbing
super-villains with an unlikely superhero, or join a great mage in the fire.
In thirty-five imaginative stories, emerging authors present the diversity of their creativity. Each author found a different angle for the unifying
theme: The Adventure of Creation. Witness the talent nurtured by writing teacher, Holly Lisle. For the 5th anniversary of her first big writing course,
How to Think Sideways, this anthology features the best of her talented students in a great variety of genres.
This short story is 14,000 words long, or about 40 pages.
Quarantined in a haunted house...
With the world in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, Ben is locked down in his brand-new house, with nothing to keep him company but his chessboard and the boxes he still hasn't unpacked. Or so he thinks.
But he's not alone. Before this was Ben's house, it was hers. And the dark spirit will do whatever it takes to keep him inside. If he doesn't find a way out, Ben will stay locked down... forever.
But which is more dangerous? The ghost in the house... or the virus outside?
This short story is 15,000 words long, or about 50 pages.
For three hundred years, Leila's family has protected the town of Whispering Sands. When the beast beneath the waves grows restless, they offer it the blood it demands, and the waves are quiet once more.
But now outsiders have come to Whispering Sands. Newly out of lockdown, seeking a respite from the stress of the pandemic, throngs of tourists are spreading the virus through the town Leila's family has sworn to protect... and waking the beast from its slumber.
This anthology contains my story 'Flight,' a retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
A variety of writers come together to twist traditional fairy tales into unusual and mysterious stories. From Beauty and the Beast, to Hansel and Gretel,
to the Ugly Duckling, these stories will be sure to pull you into a fantastical world of princes, romance, and maybe a little science fiction.
'Plan B' by Katie French. When Nolan is selected as one of the few candidates to work in the Breeders' hospital, he thinks all his troubles are over. Now
he can afford precious medicine to save his ailing father. He's heard of the Breeders' cruelty, of their inhuman experiments, but he's sure they're
fabrications. Then he stumbles into the Plan B room and learns how truly awful the Breeders can be.
'Tailless' by Ariele Sieling. A retelling of the Ugly Duckling, set on a far away planet in an unknown galaxy. While fighting a war with her people's
biggest enemy, young Bode struggles to understand why she feels out of place in her community, and why she, unlike her comrades, was born without a tail.
'I Am the Maid' by Sarah Dalton. A hostile zombie killing Maid Marian meets an ill-behaved ex-soldier Robin in this post-apocalyptic retelling of
Robin Hood. When a young girl falls deathly sick, the two are forced to join forces in order to outwit the Sheriff, and the mysterious Guy Gisbon.
'Three Wishes' by Marijon Braden. When Aladdin rubbed the magic lamp, things went pretty well for him. But a few thousand years later, the world
has changed and the genie is old, cranky, and doesn't play fair. Young Alison thinks she's found the answer to all her prayers, but instead finds
that having wishes come true isn't all it's cracked up to be.
'Killing Snow White' by Jamie Campbell. A magical retelling of the story of Snow White, told entirely by the Evil Queen who supposedly tried to
poison her. Think Snow White is innocent? Think again.
'A House in the Woods' by H.S. Stone. At the conclusion of a scavenger hunt for Old World artifacts, Hansel and Gretel find themselves lost on the
outskirts of the city after dark. They stumble upon a house in the nearby woods, hoping that they will find help inside, but the house's inhabitant
has other ideas.
'Flight' by Zoe Cannon. A retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Dragged to the palace at swordpoint, commanded to cure the cursed prince with a kiss,
Lucia wants nothing more than to return to her solitary world of books and magical study. But she soon discovers that she and the prince share more
in common than she could have imagined... and that the truth behind his curse could destroy--or save--them both.
This anthology contains my story 'The Sleeping Goddess.'
From the beginning of time, the mysteries of the night sky have captivated humanity. Our ancestors foretold the future through the phases of the moon,
worshiped the countless stars, and feared the comets that streaked across the sky before disappearing back into darkness.
Now, ten YA authors have come together to explore the impact the appearance of a comet can have on a life, a relationship... or an entire world.
'Shadow' by Sarah Dalton. When Mary visits her Aunt Izzy's remote seaside bungalow, past and present collide. She soon realises a dark shadow hangs over
her childhood memories, leaving her a task she would rather not complete... A haunting ghost story that explores the delicate relationships between women.
Part of the 'Mary Hades' series.
'The Sleeping Goddess' by Zoe Cannon. On the eve of a once-in-a-thousand-years celestial event, the last surviving priestess must decide whether to
obey her goddess and destroy an entire race... or follow her heart and let her own people die.
'Comet Cotillion (A Celestial Mini-Wave)' by Sutton Shields. Marina Valentine spends her days in The Helena Hambourg House for Maladies, where each hour
presents a new fight for survival. Life in an institution isn't exactly ideal, but for Marina, nothing could be more dangerous than being caught in the
middle of a vicious scheme cooked up by the evil Head Hoodooess, Madame Helena. Now, Marina and her quirky friends must find a way to escape before
everything that makes them special is taken away forever. 'Comet Cotillion' is a short, fun-filled prequel to the events occurring in The Merworld Water
Wars series by Sutton Shields.
'The Shadow Keepers' by Anya Allyn. At the terrifying moment that seven-year-old Molly discovers her mother dead, she sees a stranger standing in the
room: a teenage girl. The girl holds a shocking secret. A new story from The Dark Carousel series.
'Tragic Magic' by Jamie Campbell. A stalking ex-boyfriend is one thing. When he is a demon, it's a whole new ballgame. Lacey would like to think she is
an average teenager, except the witch is anything but. In order to get rid of her crazed ex, she must draw on all her powers to vanquish him forever.
'The Greenhouse Gas' by Ariele Sieling. Galya wakes up to the flash of a falling comet, and discovers that her escape pod is floating in a graveyard of
spaceships. Confused and scared, she and her brother set out to search the destroyed ships for signs of their father... or any life at all. This story
retells Hansel and Gretel is set in outer space.
'Project #45' by Marijon Braden. The Brightness wasn't the end of the world, but it might as well have been. Now, Amy and her family are trying to
rebuild their lives, trying to return to some kind of normalcy, all the time wondering...why did it happen? How? And when will it happen again? And a
million years (Miles? Worlds?) away, the answer is so simple...
'Moon Warrior' by H.S. Stone. Separated from her tribe after a sand dragon attack, Luna finds herself alone with no food or shelter. She must
cross a desert wasteland to find her people again, but when she loses their trail, she discovers that her warrior instincts may not be enough to save her.
'Love Me or Love Me Not' by Katie Hayoz. Six months ago, Star's parents left her with a disturbing secret, one she's guarded despite everything.
But as the comet she's been observing grows brighter and brighter in the sky, the consequences of keeping that secret come to light. A tragic story
exploring sanity, love, and the quest for fulfillment.