Jean Marie Ward

fiction, nonfiction and all points in between

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Madicon, BroadPod and More!

Madicon 22

You may have noticed a new con in the sidebar. Madicon 22 has invited me to be a guest along with longtime buds (and great writers!) Jana Oliver, Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine, as well as friends-to-be Jonah Knight, Megan Amberly and R.S. Belcher. The dates to remember are March 8-10, 2013. The place is James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

For the here and now–or the hear and now, if you insist–I read a selection from “Lord Bai and the Magic Pirate” in this month’s BroadPod, the Rapid Fire Reading of the air sponsored by Broad Universe. I’ve read bits and pieces from this story before, but never this section.

I’ve also posted the opening of “Burning Down the House”, my story in Hellfire Lounge 3: Jinn Rummy. If you put it together with the excerpt here, you can get a real taste of the tale. Yes, that was another bad pun, but you’ll have to read the excerpts to find out why. Enjoy!


Posted 6 years, 6 months ago at 9:26 pm.

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Six Sentence Sunday: Highway From Hell

Let’s see if I can squeak in under the Six Sentence Sunday wire with the first six sentences of my ongoing WIP, Highway From Hell–the story of Orpheus from Eurydice’s POV. Enjoy!

Snakes. Why did Orpheus have to collect snakes?

“It slithered right past me. It’s a miracle I’m not dead!” Our housekeeper was screeching so loud my phone couldn’t handle it. Her distorted voice hooted in my ear like she’d pushed it through a wah-wah pedal.


Posted 6 years, 7 months ago at 8:00 am.


To quote Mark Twain

“Wagner’s music isn’t as bad as it sounds.” :D
Just got home from the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD production of Siegfried. Greg is the Wagner fan. I confess, I’m meh on opera, but from the music to the singers, the performances were glorious. I don’t think I’ve ever heard or seen a more perfect Siegfried–the boy who doesn’t know fear–than Jay Hunter Morris, and Greg has 78s, LPs, CDs and DVDs of every production ever. Even better, off-stage Morris sounds just like Owen Wilson. Hee!

Posted 6 years, 8 months ago at 11:08 pm.

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Duzell, we hardly knew ye

Cat-assisted writer. (Photo by Greg Uchrin)

The iconic Duzell, born we don’t know, entered our lives in September 2006 and left as considerately as he did everything sometime around eleven this morning. He got me through some of the worst times of my life, always gentle, always the gentleman. I wasn’t ready for him to go. I don’t think I would’ve ever been ready. Sometimes you are blessed with a friend, human or animal, too good for just one life. I wish my sweet boy many such lives, all of them filled with the love he deserves.

Posted 6 years, 9 months ago at 6:39 pm.

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Six Sentence Sunday: “Fixed”, Part 2

It’s getting closer and closer. The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity goes on sale March 6. To whet your appetite, here’s another Six Sentence Sunday snippet from my cat shifter story, “Fixed”. Enjoy!

He feinted right. With a triumphant woof and the crackle of dead weeds, his pursuer plunged into the brush. Jack veered left, gaze locked on the outdoor balance beam. If he could run the dog into the log . . .
“Look out!” a female voice screamed.
He turned just in time to see a bicycle twice his height tearing up the center of the path.


Posted 6 years, 10 months ago at 8:00 am.


Six Sentence Sunday: “Hoodoo Cupid” Three

This will be my last Six Sentence Sunday excerpt from “Hoodoo Cupid”–at least until next year. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the excerpts as much as I’ve enjoyed revisiting the story.


No matter how hard or how loud her inner paranoid told her he couldn’t be trusted, the rest of her wasn’t listening. Her respiration slowed, lulled by hints of scents which had no place in a sickroom—sandalwood and ginger and the faintest trace of sweat. The longer she stood there and watched him breathe, waiting for her to act, accepting it…

Something fluttered, soft as feathered wings, inside her belly.

“Maggie?” he whispered.

Why did he have to say her name like it mattered?


Posted 6 years, 11 months ago at 8:00 am.


Six Sentence Sunday: “Hoodoo Cupid” Two

Hoodoo Cupid Cover Image

As promised, February’s first three Six Sentence Sunday entries are all from my short contemporary romance, “Hoodoo Cupid”, available wherever fine ebooks are sold.

Today’s scene takes place in the ER after Maggie Scanlan’s hoodoo has done it’s work on her professional rival and new boss, Dan Constantine:

When [Dan's] eyes focused on a person—the way they focused on her now—it was like being targeted by a pair of lasers. The fan of creases deepening at the corners of his eyes and his slowly widening smile only made it worse.

“My ride.” His voice had a husky quality—a subtle roughness like vintage mohair upholstery, which inspired almost as much thigh wriggling and skirt palming among the agency power groupies as his eyes. “Talk about answered prayers. Please tell me it’s going to be a long one.”


Posted 6 years, 11 months ago at 8:00 am.


Six Sentence Sunday: “Hoodoo Cupid”

Hoodoo Cupid Cover Image

In honor of February’s big day, I plan three Six Sentence Sunday excerpts from my Valentine’s Day romance, “Hoodoo Cupid”, a short romance published by Red Rose and available wherever fine ebooks are sold. As the blurb says:

Maggie Scanlan’s voodoo was a bust until she took her scissors to a poppet on Valentine’s Day. She never expected professional rival—and voodoo victim—Dan Constantine to break his leg, much less sweep the rug out from under her in an Emergency Room. Her brain says, “Run!” Her heart…

“Hoodoo Cupid”

The tattered rag doll flopped on the brushed metal table as Maggie Scanlan wrapped a thread thrice around its stubby legs.

“Let’s see how you like being cut off at the knees, Daniel Curtiss Constantine!” she shouted into the doll’s expressionless face.

A raw, exhaust-scented wind skittered under her hair, raising goose bumps across the back of her neck. She paid the goose bumps no mind. She wasn’t scared. It was just the cold.


More next week!

Posted 6 years, 11 months ago at 8:00 am.


Six Sentence Sunday: “Billy’s Monster”


This week’s Six Sentence Sunday offers offers the opening of a story you can read right now, “Billy’s Monster” from Hellfire Lounge 2: Rat Pack Redux. If you like your horror with a big helping of humor and fun, this is the book for you. I haven’t posted my usual information slug on the main page only because resizing the cover is giving me grief. The delay is killing me, too. In addition to great stories by C.J. Henderson, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, KT Pinto, Robert Waters and our fearless editor (and he has to be!) Rick Allen Leider, the book features a fabulous cover by Ben Fogletto and amazing interior art by Ed Coutts, Ben Fogletto, Denny Fincke, Jason Whitley and Paul London. (Face it, I’m all about the pictures. :D )

“Billy’s Monster”

Billy was six years old when he brought home a monster. It had sharp, pointed teeth all around its mouth like a possum. Two rows of three stubby horns each grew from its forehead. Its spotted feathers were as soft as bunny fur, and it churred when Billy rubbed its tummy and fingered the satiny leather of its wings.
Billy’s parents didn’t know what to make of it. But it wasn’t too big, and they never did see a creature better at catching the mice and other varmints around the farm.

Posted 7 years ago at 8:00 am.


Jean Marie’s Six Sentence Sunday: “Burning Down the House”

Welcome to my first Six Sentence Sunday (you have no idea how many times I’ve written that “Six Second Sunday” lol) Today’s excerpt is from a little story called “Burning Down the House” commissioned for Hellfire Lounge 3: Jinn Rummy. Take a New York nightclub, combine with two feuding sorcerers and one large jinni–and get the hell out of the way.

“Look, Eddie, I wasn’t born yesterday, or yester-century, for that matter. You’ve got another bottle hidden in that bundle of fabric you’re holding. You want me to show you how I fit into a bottle ‘no bigger than…’ by turning myself into smoke and popping down in there so you can slap one of those extra Seals of Solomon you brought with you over the top. The beer bottle or whatever you scrounged on your way over here won’t hold me as well as a charmed number, but you figure it’ll last until you can get it enchanted. Like I’m gonna give you the chance.”
“But it always works in the stories.”

Posted 7 years ago at 8:00 am.