Bundle story: “The Lesson of the Love Spell” by Jamie Ferguson

Anna’s new neighbor is a witch.

Anna tells her parents, but they don’t believe her – as if any grown-up would believe a ten-year-old girl who said that type of thing.

Besides, her parents are so busy fighting with each other that they barely seem to remember Anna even exists. If only they’d stop fighting and be nice to one another!

But perhaps the witch could help…by casting a love spell on Anna’s parents…

“The Lesson of the Love Spell” is in the Witches’ Brew bundle. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the bundle’s Facebook page.


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About the Author

Jamie focuses on getting into the minds and hearts of her characters, whether she’s writing about a saloon girl in the old west, a man who discovers the barista he’s in love with is a naiad, or a ghost who haunts the house she was killed in – even though that house no longer exists. Jamie lives in Colorado, and spends her free time in a futile quest to wear out her two border collies since she hasn’t given in and gotten them their own herd of sheep. She’s temporarily in between cats, and therefore sneaks them in to many of her stories.


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Bundle story: “Here, Kitty Kitty” by Annie Reed


Dee and her gorgeous but grumpy elf partner Diz find missing people for a living. Tracking down a fairy’s missing ceramic cat should be a snap, right?

Wrong.

Dee should have known any case involving one of the fey would lead to disaster. Much less an angry little fairy who hurls weapons at her head and yells at her in Japanese.

To save her skull and find the kitty, Dee and her partner plunge headlong into the world of manga, anime, and cosplay. Diz might never be the same again!

“Here, Kitty Kitty” is in the Fantasy in the City bundle. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the bundle’s Facebook page.
 


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About the Author

Award-winning editor and writer Kristine Kathryn Rusch calls Annie Reed “one of the best writers I’ve come across in years.”

In addition to appearing in numerous issues of Fiction River, Annie’s short fiction also appears regularly in The Uncollected Anthology, stories written quarterly on the same theme, and in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. Her longer works include the private eye novels Pretty Little Horses and Paper Bullets, the crime novels A Death in Cumberland and the upcoming Missing in Cumberland, and the suspense novel Shadow Life, written under the pen name Kris Sparks.


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Bundle story: “The Beforedeath” by Brigid Collins


Tamra grips the rotted banister. Gasps in the terrifying waves of a hot spot four steps up.

Should she step into the heart of that heat? Let its unnatural pulse thunder through her corpse?

When had she stopped believing she was safe?

Do you believe in life before death?
 
 
 

“The Beforedeath” is in the Haunted bundle. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the bundle’s Facebook page.
 


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About the Author

Brigid Collins is a fantasy and science fiction writer living in Michigan. Her short stories have appeared in Fiction River, The Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide, and The MCB Quarterly. Her fantasy series, Songbird River Chronicles, are available in print and electronic versions on Amazon and Kobo.


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Bundle story: “Witch” by Leslie Claire Walker

Betrayal. Magic. Freedom.

Erynn and her unlikely friends have dethroned their terrible master Sebastian, killing him and leaving his soul to suffer and fade into oblivion. They guard his soul to make sure he dies a true death, while keeping their revolution secret, lest Sebastian’s rivals and those under his influence rise against them. After all, in Sebastian’s underground criminal cult, bodies, souls, magic—and power—are the only currency that matters.

Erynn and those she loves are nearly home-free when Sebastian stages a rebellion of his own, reaching out from beyond the grave.

To stop him, Erynn must face her greatest fear—becoming just like the man whose all-consuming lust, greed, and twisted magic made her into a monster with a clockwork heart.

A heroine willing to risk it all. A world where dark enchantment endangers every soul and, for the right price, anyone can live forever.

WITCH is the second story in the Clockwork Heart Tales short story series.

“Witch” is in the Witches’ Brew bundle. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the bundle’s Facebook page.


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About the Author

Leslie Claire Walker grew up among the lush bayous of southeast Texas. She lives in the spectacularly green Pacific Northwest with cats, harps, and too many fantasy novels to count. She takes her inspiration from the dark beauty of the city, the power of myth, and music ranging from Celtic harp to heavy metal. Her short fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies.


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Bundle story: “Angry Sean” by Eric Kent Edstrom


Sean doesn’t know where the Medallion came from. He just woke up one day with it embedded in his chest, right over his heart. Even worse, the artifact makes him angrier and angrier until he has to “split”. Making the best of the curse, Sean uses his Split, Angry Sean, to do dirty work for people in need.

So when a miserable client asks him to help rescue her young daughter, Angry Sean is more than ready to deal out some pain.

 
 
 

“Angry Sean” is in the Fantasy in the City bundle. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the bundle’s Facebook page.
 


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Eric is the author of the science fiction and fantasy series The Undermountain Saga and The Scion Chronicles. He lives in Wisconsin with his family.


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Bundle story: “They Stole My Love Last Night” by Alexandra Brandt

Jessamyn and her grandmother, Marie, return to the Isle of Skye for one purpose only: to lay Granmarie’s personal ghosts to rest.

But confronting old memories of her lost love sends Granmarie into an odd sort of reverie, one that soon catches Jess in its grip as well. Why do they both hear the same haunting melody?

And what secrets lie in the heart of the woodland behind the White Skye Inn?

In “They Stole My Love Last Night,” Celtic fairies, music, and ghosts collide, turning a bitter story sweet.
 

“They Stole My Love Last Night” is in the Haunted bundle. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the bundle’s Facebook page.
 


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About the Author

Alexandra Brandt spent most of her childhood dressing up in fairy wings and parading in front of the mirror telling stories to herself. Not much has changed – she still loves a good costume, and tells herself stories every day. Two of her recent short stories are appearing in Fiction River anthologies in 2017.

When not spinning tales, reading, or debating worldbuilding details with her writer husband, she writes web copy and functions as a content marketer and graphic designer. She also dabbles in art, watches too many Sci-Fi TV shows, and welcomes any excuse to sit down and play tabletop games – from D&D to board games to cards.


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New Bundle: The Faerie Summer

The summer sun bathes the earth in warmth and light,
Faeries dance under the moon at night.
Cross through the portal into a land ancient, beautiful, and wild.
See the wonders that enticed the stolen child.
Come away, O reader! To the Realm of Faerie.
But if you want to make it back home, you had better be wary…

This collection includes twenty tales of faeries and magic set in our world – and in others.

Where can you find the bundle?

BundleRabbit
Amazon
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
iBooks

Check out the bundle’s page on Goodreads!

Stories in the bundle

This collection was curated by Jamie Ferguson, and contains stories about faeries, magic, and enchantment by Alexandra Brandt, Leslie Claire Walker, Roz Marshall, Anthea Sharp, Deb Logan, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Leah Cutter, Annie Reed, Brigid Collins, Dayle A. Dermatis, DeAnna Knippling, Brenda Carre, Louisa Swann, Jamie Ferguson, Linda Jordan, Marcelle Dubé, Karen L. Abrahamson, Rebecca M. Senese,Steve Vernon, T. Thorn Coyle

Bundle story: “A Hearth Witch at Chisholm Keep” by Thea Hutcheson

Misha Millik, a hearth witch brought to Chisolm Keep by the headmaster, feels out of her depth at this magic school for the children of established magicians.

Branded a misfit by the wealthy students, she finds a friend in a stray cat who can talk to her. Desperately unhappy and completely inept at any kind of magic the school teaches, she wonders why the headmaster insists she stay at the school.

When she finds the horrifying answer, will her humble powers be enough to save herself and find her true place as a practicing witch?

“A Hearth Witch at Chisholm Keep” is in the Witches’ Brew bundle. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the bundle’s Facebook page.


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Thea Hutcheson explores far away lands full of magic and science with one hand holding hope and the other full of wonder. She lives in an economically depressed, unscenic, nearly historic small city in Colorado with four semi-feral cats, 1000 books, and an understanding partner. She’s a factotum when she’s filling the time between bouts at the computer.


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Using Jetpack’s “Related Posts” feature

Jetpack is a WordPress plugin that packages a number of features that are provided to people whose sites are hosted on WordPress.com. If you’re hosting your site on WordPress.com, you already have these features; if you’re hosting your site somewhere, you will need to install the Jetpack plugin (which is free).

The Related Posts feature analyzes previous posts you’ve published on your site, then underneath each individual post it displays links to three other posts that are related to your current post.

If you’ve set a featured image for a post, that’s what will display when it’s listed as a related post; otherwise, an image attached to the post will be used. The image will be resized and cropped to be 350x200px.

Note that if the contextual analysis doesn’t come up with at least three good results, no related posts will be displayed.

Activate Related Posts

In the administrative section of your WordPress site:

  • Go to Jetpack / Settings / Traffic
  • Under Related posts, turn on “Show related content after posts”

There are two configuration options listed:

  • Show a “Related” header to more clearly separate the related section from posts
  • Use a large and visually striking layout
    (This will display an image from each related post.)

Note: When I turn ‘Show a “Related” header’ on, that actually turns it off – although it correctly displays in the preview while you’re configuring Jetpack. 🙂

Here are examples of how the different permutations will look.

No header, no images

“Related” header, no images

No header, display images

“Related” header, display images

Customize Related Posts for your site

You can customize what image is displayed, how the image is resized, change the “Related” header text, modify how many related posts are displayed, and a number of other things.

Most of these changes require modifying your WordPress theme, so make sure you’re comfortable with that (and that you’ve backed up your site!) before proceeding. Jetpack provides detailed instructions on how to modify your WordPress theme on their site.

Bundle story: “City Shadows” by Chuck Heintzelman

Clara works hard, juggling high school, her waitress job, and eking out time with her friends.

And now, finishing work far too late on a school night, she wants nothing more than to get home and sleep.

But dark and otherworldly things lurk in the shadows of her city.

 
 
 

“City Shadows” is in the Fantasy in the City bundle. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the bundle’s Facebook page.
 


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Chuck writes quirky short stories, usually with some sort of fantastical element. He’s as surprised by this as anyone. Even after dozens of stories he stills stays up too late at night, feverishly working on the next tale.

He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his beautiful wife and their three daughters.


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