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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Behind the Mask by Kelly Link, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Cat Rambo, Lavie Tidhar and Others - Book Tour - Guest Post - TWO Giveaways!! - Enter Daily!!

Hey lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host these fabulous authors and their new book, “Behind the Mask”!  For other stops on their Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Not only is there this fabulous giveaway, but there is a SECOND fabulous giveaway!!  This second giveaway is for an Ebook copy of the featured book!!  See below for more details.

Also, come back daily to interact with these wonderful authors and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

Behind the Mask
by Kelly Link, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Cat Rambo, Lavie Tidhar and others



Behind the Mask is a multi-author collection with stories by award-winning authors Kelly Link, Cat Rambo, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Lavie Tidhar, Sarah Pinsker, Keith Rosson, Kate Marshall, Chris Large and others. It is partially, a prose nod to the comic world—the bombast, the larger-than-life, the save-the-worlds and the calls-to-adventure. But it’s also a spotlight on the more intimate side of the genre. The hopes and dreams of our cape-clad heroes. The regrets and longings of our cowled villains. That poignant, solitary view of the world that can only be experienced from behind the mask.



From Inheritance by Michael Milne

“Can Dad come to my birthday?” Oliver asked a week before the party.

“You’d like him to come?” Angie asked. Oliver knew he had some degree of leverage—there was a new boyfriend, his name was Craig and he wore loafers and already took the liberty of telling dad jokes. Angie spent the last week seeming deeply apologetic. “It’s your birthday. We’ll see if he can make it.”

In what Oliver hoped to be a carefully negotiated peace, Edward appeared at noon that Saturday. He was out of breath, overdressed. And though this was the first time Edward had entered the new house on Roxborough Street, it seemed totally natural, like he could be walking in, covered in the scent of cut grass or holding a greasy bag of take-out. Oliver moved to meet his father away from the few other press-ganged partygoers, and Edward handed him a gift.

“Open it,” Edward said. Under the poorly bound newspaper was a blue monster truck toy, years too young for Oliver. A half-peeled price sticker stained the side, and Oliver pretended not to notice.

“I love it, Dad.”

Oliver watched his parents perform a careful dance of evasion, two planets on opposite ends of an orbital path. One in the kitchen, the other awkwardly holding court outside; one leaning over the cake, the other repelled to the outer reaches of the meager crowd. Oliver eyed the assembled middle schoolers, here mostly out of parental decree and the promise of snacks, and was certain they were logging this for gossip purposes.

“Can you stay for dinner?” Oliver asked. He knew the answer, deliberately asking by the fence and far away from prying eyes and ears. He knew that even if it had been yes, it would have been awful. And yet he still wanted it, like the dogged need to rip off a hangnail.

“I don’t think I can, Oliver.” Edward Clark glanced up to the sky, listening to something far away. “I need to go. Now. I’m sorry. I’ll see you soon.”

Soon turned out to be nearly two months later, and each subsequent excuse began to feel worn and ragged. Edward rarely told Oliver the truth about where he was—Oliver knew this—but he grew to wish his father had a deeper reservoir of alibis, that he didn’t simply cycle through the same two or three. Emergency at work, left the stove on, looking after the neighbor’s dog.

Holidays passed. At Halloween, Oliver, newly 13, said he felt too old to go out. In truth, he worried that he would see people dressed up in too-familiar masks, juvenile caped heroes shadowed by half-bored but devoted parents.

Edward finally made a token Christmas appearance, taking Oliver to visit his grandparents at the cemetery. They ate limp turkey sandwiches and talked quietly, at the only table in the restaurant occupied by more than one person.

“I’m sorry I’ve been so busy. You’ve seen the news,” Edward said. Oliver downloaded four different news apps and habitually checked headlines. “I should call more, visit more. I will call more.” As Edward spoke his eyes kept drifting to the window, assessing every passerby for telltale bulges, aggressive postures. Oliver began to feel like Edward Clark’s hobby, an electric guitar stashed in a guest room closet, furtively taken up just seldom enough to lose all previous progress.

“There was an emergency,” his mother would always say, half-sincere. She said it through gritted teeth at first—until after months, and then years, she seemed to offer this genuinely. “You know he wishes he could be here.” Oliver tallied the number of times he heard these lines from either parent. “You’re the most important thing in the world to him.”

Other than fires and bank robberies and bus crashes, Oliver would think but wouldn’t say. It felt hard to compete with disasters. There were so many of them.



My Evolving Writing Habits, or, Chronic Editors Anonymous

By Michael Milne

When I pressed the period key, I felt an immediate frisson tangoing up my spine. The sentence I had just rehashed was gold. It was perfect. Funny, astute, it really got the human condition and expressed it through the mouth of a giant flapping space robot. I was just so goddamn clever, and my words were so amazing. I sipped my coffee, leaned back, and prepared to congratulate myself.

I had only written about twenty words in an hour, and this was my fourth re-edit of that same sentence. I seemed to spend a lot of time writing, but I never seemed to actually write.

Certainly, pace is not the only consideration when you settle down to write. Pure volume is not laudable in-and-of itself. (Though how satisfying is it to check that word count after a writing sessions, right? No? Just me.) But hacking back a paragraph a dozen times or more just to make one particular sentence perfect won’t mean anything if it’s part of a story that never seems to get written. You can, in fact, polish a turd, but you can’t polish anything if you don’t even have a turd to begin with.

The start of my change was setting real, smart goals for myself. Sometimes this meant large, grand word-count numbers, living like every month was NaNoWriMo, finding scraps of time through the day to just think of some words and put them down. I placed notebooks on the nightstand, knowing that inspiration might come to me just as I closed my eyes, and that I could scribble in the dark, satisfied I was approaching my daily count.

Other times, it meant a more calculated approach, deciding how many stories or chapters I could reasonably produce, then breaking that down on a day-by-day basis. Tuesday’s word count is this, Wednesday’s word count needs to be this. It was rigid, and sometimes unrelaxing, and despite my goals being arbitrary and meaningless, I still felt beholden to them. I was committed. I would work in my daily writing sessions, no matter the cost in cups of coffee, centimeters of hairline recession, or time away from the internet and its multifarious distractions.

Having readers makes the word count goals a little more real, too. No matter how crackerjack the idea behind a new short story is, no one is impressed by Word document with a one-paragraph elevator pitch and three lines of snappy, non-sequitur dialogue with a cool metaphor that maybe, probably could go somewhere. Now, hunting for new readers can be harsh and unrewarding, and much like inviting people to your one man show, a lot of people are busy that night, washing their hair, taking their dog to the therapist. The closer people are to you, the more you can harness their innate like of you into doing the favour of reading something in beta, but their kindness only goes so far! Even my mom can only tolerate so much science fiction, so if I’m forcing the old girl to read something, it had better be good, and it had better be done. Quid pro quo can push the tolerance for many of your would-be readers. Online writing communities often have this part-and-parcel of work-shopping your pieces (show me yours, I’ll show you mine, and then we’ll both take out red pens). But people in real life often don’t always have cute little flash fics about space mermaids for you to edit, so sometimes the bartering has to get creative. Maybe this means being willing to help someone move, cleaning out some gutters, or attending an actual one man show.

The greatest change to my writing habits, to convincing me to let go and just write, was teaching writing to young writers. We banned erasers from our writing space, talked craft, read mentor authors, and shared tips and tricks. We discussed what to do when writer’s block inevitably hit. We talked editing, and how it could improve our work, but that the most important thing was to write. And if a room full of seven-year-olds could commit and find their flow, if they could spend a little bit of every day just writing, then I had better be up to the task as well.



Michael Milne is a writer and teacher originally from Canada, who lived in Korea and China, and is now in Switzerland. Not being from anywhere anymore really helps when writing science fiction. His work has been published in The Sockdolager, Imminent Quarterly, and anthologies on Meerkat Press and Gray Whisper.



Kelly Link is the author of four short story collections: Get in Trouble, a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, Pretty Monsters, Magic for Beginners, and Stranger Things Happen. She lives with her husband and daughter in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Seanan McGuire lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest, in a large, creaky house with a questionable past.  She shares her home with two enormous blue cats, a querulous calico, the world’s most hostile iguana, and an assortment of other oddities, including more horror movies than any one person has any business owning.  It is her life goal to write for the X-Men, and she gets a little closer every day.

Seanan is the author of the October Daye and InCryptid urban fantasy series, both from DAW Books, and the Newsflesh and Parasitology trilogies, both from Orbit (published under the name “Mira Grant”).  She writes a distressing amount of short fiction, and has released three collections set in her superhero universe, starring Velma “Velveteen” Martinez and her allies.  Seanan usually needs a nap.  Keep up with her at www.seananmcguire.com, or on Twitter at @seananmcguire.

Carrie Vaughn is best known for her New York Times bestselling series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty, who hosts a talk radio show for the supernaturally disadvantaged, the fourteenth installment of which is Kitty Saves the World.  She's written several other contemporary fantasy and young adult novels, as well as upwards of 80 short stories.  She's a contributor to the Wild Cards series of shared world superhero books edited by George R. R. Martin and a graduate of the Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop.  An Air Force brat, she survived her nomadic childhood and managed to put down roots in Boulder, Colorado.  Visit her at www.carrievaughn.com.

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches atop a hill in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld Magazine, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. She is an Endeavour, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award nominee. Her second novel, Hearts of Tabat, appears in early 2017 from Wordfire Press. She is the current President of the Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers of America. For more about her, as well as links to her fiction, see http://www.kittywumpus.net.

Lavie Tidhar is the author of the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize winning and Premio Roma nominee A Man Lies Dreaming (2014), the World Fantasy Award winning Osama (2011) and of the critically-acclaimed The Violent Century (2013). His latest novel is Central Station (2016). He is the author of many other novels, novellas and short stories

Kate Marshall lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and several small agents of chaos disguised as a dog, cat, and child. She works as a cover designer and video game writer. Her fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Crossed Genres, and other venues, and her YA survival thriller I Am Still Alive is forthcoming from Viking. You can find her online at katemarshallwrites.com.

Chris Large writes regularly for Aurealis Magazine and has had fiction published in Australian speculative fiction magazines and anthologies. He's a single parent who enjoys writing stories for middle-graders and young adults, and about family life in all its forms. He lives in Tasmania, a small island at the bottom of Australia, where everyone rides Kangaroos and says 'G'day mate!' to utter strangers.

Stuart Suffel's body of work includes stories published by Jurassic London, Evil Girlfriend Media, Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine, Kraxon Magazine, and Aurora Wolf among others.  He exists in Ireland, lives in the Twilight Zone, and will work for Chocolate Sambuca Ice cream. Twitter: @suffelstuart.

Adam R. Shannon is a career firefighter/paramedic, as well as a fiction writer, hiker, and cook. His work has been shortlisted for an Aeon award and appeared in Morpheus Tales and the SFFWorld anthology You Are Here: Tales of Cryptographic Wonders. He and his wife live in Virginia, where they care for an affable German Shepherd, occasional foster dogs, a free-range toad, and a colony of snails who live in an old apothecary jar. His website and blog are at AdamRShannon.com.

Jennifer Pullen received her doctorate from Ohio University and her MFA from Eastern Washington University. She originally hails from Washington State. Her fiction and poetry have appeared or are upcoming in journals including: Going Down Swinging (AU), Cleaver, Off the Coast, Phantom Drift Limited, and Clockhouse.

Stephanie Lai is a Chinese-Australian writer and occasional translator. She has published long meandering thinkpieces in Peril Magazine, the Toast, the Lifted Brow and Overland. Of recent, her short fiction has appeared in the Review of Australian Fiction, Cranky Ladies of History, and the In Your Face Anthology. Despite loathing time travel, her defence of Dr Who companion Perpugilliam Brown can be found in Companion Piece (2015). She is an amateur infrastructure nerd and a professional climate change adaptation educator (she's helping you survive our oncoming climate change dystopia). You can find her on twitter @yiduiqie, at stephanielai.net, or talking about pop culture and drop bears at no-award.net.

Aimee Ogden is a former biologist, science teacher, and software tester. Now she writes stories about sad astronauts and angry princesses. Her poems and short stories have appeared in Asimov's, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Daily Science Fiction, Baen.com, Persistent Visions, and The Sockdolager.

Nathan Crowder is a Seattle-based fan of little known musicians, unpopular candy, and just happens to write fantasy, horror, and superheroes. His other works include the fantasy novel Ink Calls to Ink, short fiction in anthologies such as Selfies from the End of the World, and Cthulhurotica, and his numerous Cobalt City superhero stories and novels. He is still processing the death of David Bowie.

Sarah Pinsker is the author of the 2015 Nebula Award winning novelette "Our Lady of the Open Road." Her novelette "In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind" was the 2014 Sturgeon Award winner and a 2013 Nebula finalist. Her fiction has been published in magazines including Asimov's, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Uncanny, among others, and numerous anthologies. Her stories have been translated into Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Galician. She is also a singer/songwriter with three albums on various independent labels and a fourth forthcoming. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her wife and dog. She can be found online at sarahpinsker.com and twitter.com/sarahpinsker.

Keith Frady writes weird short stories in a cluttered apartment in Atlanta. His work has appeared in Love Hurts: A Speculative Fiction Anthology, Literally Stories, The Yellow Chair Review, and The Breakroom Stories.

Ziggy Schutz is a young queer writer living on the west coast of Canada. She's been a fan of superheroes almost as long as she's been writing, so she's very excited this is the form her first published work took. When not writing, she can often be found stage managing local musicals and mouthing the words to all the songs. Ziggy can be found at @ziggytschutz, where she's probably ranting about representation in fiction.

Matt Mikalatos is the author of four novels, the most recent of which is Capeville: Death of the Black Vulture, a YA superhero novel. You can connect with him online at Capeville.net or Facebook.com/mikalatosbooks.

Patrick Flanagan - For security reasons, Patrick Flanagan writes from one of several undisclosed locations; either—

1) A Top Secret-classified government laboratory which studies genetic aberrations and unexplained phenomena;

2) A sophisticated compound hidden in plain sight behind an electromagnetic cloaking shield;

3) A decaying Victorian mansion, long plagued by reports of terrifying paranormal activity; or

4) The subterranean ruins of a once-proud empire which ruled the Earth before recorded history, and whose inbred descendants linger on in clans of cannibalistic rabble

—all of which are conveniently accessible from exits 106 or 108 of the Garden State Parkway. Our intelligence reports that his paranoid ravings have been previously documented by Grand Mal Press, Evil Jester Press, and Sam's Dot Publishing. In our assessment he should be taken seriously, but not literally. (Note: Do NOT make any sudden movements within a 50' radius.)

Keith Rosson is the author of the novels THE MERCY OF THE TIDE (2017, Meerkat) and SMOKE CITY (2018, Meerkat). His short fiction has appeared in Cream City Review, PANK, Redivider, December, and more. An advocate of both public libraries and non-ironic adulation of the cassette tape, he can be found at keithrosson.com.




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The publisher is offering a special contest!  Leave a comment on this post to enter to win a copy of the featured book in the winner’s choice of book format – either Epub or Mobi.  Be sure to leave your email address so we know how to notify you if you are the lucky winner!



The authors will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase made I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Fabulous Authors ~ It is great to have you here! Congrats on your new book and good luck on the book tour! :)

  2. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  3. I love your post/writing advice. It made me laugh both as a writer and an editor, and I'm happy that you were able to find the golden sentence of perfection.

  4. What is your favorite movie based on a book. Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  5. My question is open to any of the authors: What would your superhero name be provided you had a superpower?

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