Jean Marie Ward

fiction, nonfiction and all points in between

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Six Sentence Sunday: Highway from Hell, Clip Three

Still working on revisions, so I’ll stick with Highway for this weekend’s Six Sentence Sunday. This snippet comes after DeeCee deForrest, aka Eurydice, has made it past Deadlands Immigration to the ground transportation area of the main immigration terminal:

After all the times I’d wished Jim had been around to take care of things lately, it felt as if I’d conjured him. He was almost exactly the way I remembered—drugstore shades crushing a swept-back tangle of light brown hair, cheekbones, chiseled lips and strong chin, white t-shirt, worn jeans. Almost. I couldn’t put my finger on the difference. If anything he seemed more…more something, which didn’t make any sense. Weren’t we supposed to be mere shadows of ourselves?


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

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Six Sentence Sunday: Highway from Hell, Clip Two

I’m still working my HfH rewrite. This time my Sunday Six is a little bit of description. Enjoy!

A storm system dumped a couple inches of white stuff on the ground a couple days after Martin Luther King’s birthday. But snow doesn’t usually stick on the mesa, even when it’s cold. Three days after the storm, there wasn’t enough left to worry about. Nothing the leather-topped trainers I’d worn to the construction site couldn’t handle, at any rate. Brisk snaps of wind carried the scent of pine and creosote. Between breezes, the late afternoon sun warmed my back under my borrowed jacket.


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


Six Sentence Sunday: “Burning Down the House”

Jinn Rummy, Draft Cover

Hellfire Lounge 3: Jinn Rummy

Balticon is less than four weeks away, and I’ll be participating in two (count ‘em, two!) launch parties for two amazing anthologies, The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity and Hellfire Lounge 3: Jinn Rummy. In honor of the occasions, this month’s Six Sentence Sundays will be devoted to the stories featured in those anthologies. Since you’ve already had several snippets from “Fixed”, let’s take a taste of “Burning Down the House”, my story in Hellfire Lounge 3. Enjoy!

Eddie Woodhouse lurched between the tables of the Sixth Circle Club, apologizing every ponderous step of the way. Carrying a full-grown jinni inside his skin was hell. Its spine-crushing weight was only the start. Despite the swelter of July in New York, his thermal fleece sweatsuit, the heat of the crowd and the flames jetting in the six upright iron cages evenly spaced along the club’s circular wall, it was all he could do to keep from shivering as he approached the sorceress waiting at the shadowed table furthest from the door.

Gritting his teeth, he eased his tripled girth into the wide-armed leather chair across from her. The puffy cushions clenched around him like a boxing glove around a fist.


To read the rest, you’ll have to buy the book–and you can get it at Balticon. Hope to see you there.

Posted 6 years, 9 months ago at 8:00 am.


Six Sentence Sunday: “Stealth Guest, or How to Succeed at Cons with a Cunning Plan”

Our beloved Feline Overlord is ailing, and last weekend was devoted to him. But I’m back this week, with a little nonfiction in honor of RavenCon, where I’ll be next weekend–the story of my first RavenCon in 2007:

The email from RavenCon’s assistant director of programming was polite but not encouraging:

“Right now our guest list is full, but I will put you on our short list if a guest cancels…”

A lot of writers will take that as a hint. In other words: “Stay home, little girl, you’re not big enough/you’re the wrong genre to play in our sandbox.” But I’m evil and wise in the ways of science fiction/fantasy conventions. And I had a cunning plan.


If you want to read more about my first RavenCon, you can find the full story here.

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


Six Sentence Sunday: “Fixed”, Part 4

Modern Fae Cover for "On the Shelves"

Here it is, your last Six Sentence Sunday entry for the month of “Fixed”, my story in The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity. And because I am evil, it is a cliffhanger. If you want to read more, well, you just have to buy the book. ;-)


“Just as I thought,” she said. “Prepare this animal for surgery. I need to operate immediately.”
His head shot upward. Backed against the steel bars, he couldn’t help seeing past her glamour. The lines scoring her forehead and bracketing the corners of her wide, lipsticked mouth floated like a painted veil over a pale, ageless face as perfect as a marble Madonna.



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


Six Sentence Sunday: “Green Eyes”

For the regulars here, this story is old news. But it’s only six sentences long, and for Six Sentence Sunday, I couldn’t resist:

“He came in through the window,” the princess said. As if that explained everything.
Fortunately, for her father the sultan, it did. The sultan ordered the harem eunuchs to remove the corpse of the Byzantine ambassador’s brash young son, and the wedding went forward as planned.
Nine months to the day, the caliph’s beautiful new wife delivered to her aged husband a fine, lusty son. The boy’s eyes were the same shade of pale green as the caliph’s–well, close enough.

Posted 7 years ago at 8:00 am.


Six Sentence Sunday: “Lord Bai and the Magic Pirate”

This week’s Six Sentence Sunday feature is the opening of a story I just finished. It was timely when I started it, but even more so now.

“What do spells, copying and writing have to do with pirates?” Lord Bai, White Dragon of the West, whined—no, repined in a light baritone befitting his human form.
“Not ‘copying and writing’—copy rights,” hissed the sorcery student sitting next to him. “Like Professor Yeoh said: All magicians are endowed as creators with certain unalienable rights, among them the right to profit from all copies of their spells, amulets and charms.”
“Even if somebody else does the copying?”

Posted 7 years 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, 1 month ago at 8:00 am.