5 Short Stories About Witches (that you can read for free right now)

I’m going to be a witch this Halloween. I’ve got the hat and the black dress, and I just need to figure out my makeup.

Witches have always been one my favorite paranormal beings. Maybe it’s the spells and potions or the feminist undertones. It could also be a side-effect of growing up reading Harry Potter. Or maybe it’s just the aesthetic.

Witch Aesthetic
It’s probably the aesthetic.

Anyway, if you can’t get enough witches, either, here are five short stories about them that you can read online. They all have different tones and fall under different subgenres, but each one is spellbinding in its own way. (See what I did there?) Continue reading 5 Short Stories About Witches (that you can read for free right now)

Short Story: Around the old Hawthorn Tree

Addison found the box one Sunday afternoon when her mom asked her to clean out the closet in the guest bedroom. It was a dusty old cardboard thing, and inside, she found a few notebooks with her late grandma’s name on the front and a beautiful silver necklace with a jeweled rose pendant.

“Look what I found,” she said, bringing the box to her mom.

Her mom turned from her computer, and her eyes widened. “I remember that. I kept it just in case…”

“In case what?”

“Nothing.”

Addison pestered (She was good at pestering) until her mom heaved a sigh and sat her down for a Serious Talk.

“I guess you’re old enough now to know that your grandma… She just disappeared one day. I always hoped she’d come back, but… We never found out what happened.” Continue reading Short Story: Around the old Hawthorn Tree

Free ebook Friday: Balanced on the Blade’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker

Being a bookworm ain’t cheap. Fortunately, there’s a ton of free ebooks out there. Unfortunately, sorting through them to find one you like can feel as tedious as searching through receipts during tax season.

Free ebook Friday spotlights a free ebook I’ve personally read and enjoyed, and hopefully, it’ll help you find a good read. The posts come out on random Fridays, not weekly, and the books featured will probably be speculative fiction.

This week’s pick is:

Balanced on the Blade's Edge

Book Description

Colonel Ridge Zirkander isn’t the model of military professionalism—he has a tendency to say exactly what’s on his mind, and his record has enough demerits to wallpaper the hull of an airship—but as the best fighter pilot in the Iskandian army, he’s used to a little leniency from his superiors. Until he punches the wrong diplomat in the nose and finds himself issued new orders: take command of a remote prison mine in the inhospitable Ice Blades Mountains. Ridge has never been in charge of anything larger than a flier squadron—what’s he supposed to do with a frozen fortress full of murderers and rapists? Not to mention the strange woman who shows up right before he arrives… Continue reading Free ebook Friday: Balanced on the Blade’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker

Short Story: A Magical Education

Ever wonder how the wise old mentor character puts up with the whiny, annoying hero he’s training? Then have I got the tale for you.

My short story, A Magical Education, follows a group of aging mentors drinking mead and venting about the next generation of heroes they’re trying to educate. It’s a humorous fantasy short, and you can find it in Issue 81 of Swords and Sorcery Magazine here or by clicking the image below.

Check out the magazine’s archives while you’re there. It’s full of entertaining and adventurous sword and sorcery fiction. Enjoy!

A Magical Education Cover

Book Recommendation: Rebellion’s Song by J.E. Brand

The battle is over. The heroes lower their weapons as the crowd cheers. The evil overlord has been defeated, and the hero’s people are free.

…what now?

That’s the question asked in Rebellion’s Song by J.E. Brand. Earlier this year, I posted about how much I love The Freedom Game, my sister’s first book. Now, the sequel is out, and I have to gush about how great it is, too.

Rebellion's Song Cover

The rebellion is over. The real fight has just begun… Continue reading Book Recommendation: Rebellion’s Song by J.E. Brand

Five Favorite Book to Screen Adaptations

“The book was better.”

If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard that about a movie or TV show, I… well, I wouldn’t be rich, but I could certainly buy myself something nice.

Adaptations of books to the big and small screen have a tricky balancing act to pull off. It’s impossible to accurately turn every single page of a book into a movie or TV show; the visual medium is a completely different animal from the written word. Screenwriters and directors have the challenge of making structural changes to adapt the story to the screen while remaining faithful to the spirit of the book.

Or at least, that’s how I think about it. Some movies don’t seem to care, presenting an adaptation that shares nothing in common with the source material except for a title, leading to masses of disappointed fans.

But I’m not here to talk about the disasters. I want to talk about my favorites. Continue reading Five Favorite Book to Screen Adaptations

Turn Back the Pages: Red Sonja

Turn Back the Pages is a biweekly monthly feature where I spotlight a comic that is not fresh and new. It may have come out a few months ago or even a few years ago. Maybe it was hyped and popular, or maybe it was an underappreciated gem. Whatever the case, it’ll be a great comic that’s well worth a read.

Red Sonja Cover

My first exposure to Red Sonja was that weird movie from the 80s, so while I was aware the character existed, I wasn’t a particular fan. The chainmail bikini is not a fantasy trope I generally enjoy, and I doubt I’d have been interested when the comic series was announced if the writer hadn’t been Gail Simone—one of my all-time favorite people in comics.

I caught previews and snippets of the issues online and was hooked. When the first trade paperback came out, I had to buy it.

Best decision ever. Continue reading Turn Back the Pages: Red Sonja