Keep the (Sexy) Halloween Spirit Alive w/Circlet Microfictions

A dragonfly from the Japanese Lanterns exhibit at Roger Williams Park Zoo, summer 2021

Happy a week past Halloween! It’s been a long year. Wait, it’s been (more than) a year? A year since I blogged? How did that happen?

Has 2021 been rushing by in a blur for you, too? What are we rushing toward? Or are we just swept up in the tide of time…

I didn’t use to believe that time would go faster as I got older, but it definitely has recently. The pandemic — and the stress going along with it — has made it worse. So many layers of uncertainty in the world: threats to democracy, changing climate, evolving viruses…

Writing has been a refuge, even though I haven’t published much. And I’m around on Twitter–follow me there (@AveryVanderlyle) if you want more glimpses into my life. I warn you, I back way too many projects on Kickstarter.

Circlet Press has published erotic Halloween Microfictions on their website every year for a few years. I wrote one last year, and wrote one this year as well. Microfictions as they define them have a maximum of 1500 words. I’m not a natural at these shorter forms, but I enjoy the discipline they require to fit a complete story into a compact form. I never blogged about last year’s microfiction “A Little Knowledge…”, so today you get a blog entry with a double dose. It’s especially appropriate to talk about them together, since both are sequels of a sort of previously published works.

“A Little Knowledge…” is set in the same world as “Rule 34,” from Grumpy Old Gods. While “Rule 34” is humorous, there are hints that events in the story could also have negative consequences. This microfiction explores some of those consequences. but pulls back from the brink of disaster. It’s also explicitly erotic (unlike “Rule 34”), so adult readers only, please.

This year’s microfiction is titled “A Little Magic In Me,” and it’s a sequel to my story “Passage, Performance, Passion” in Circlet Press’ Like a Spell 2: Fire. It takes before Jonah and Raavi meet the wererats in their story in His Magical Pet. It can be read independent of the longer stories, but I hope fleshes out the characters and their relationship just a little bit. I hope you enjoy it.

There’s lots of fun, free, smoking hot stories in these sets of microfictions, so check them all out from the 2020 Roundup and the new 2021 Roundup. Happy Reading.

His Magical Pet is out…. And more links on diversity in writing/reading

First, if you’re reading this in the USA and you don’t have a plan to vote, drop everything and figure out a plan to vote.  Vote early if you can, if you plan to vote in person. Otherwise, take your mail-in or absentee ballot to an official drop-box if you can, or mail it as soon as you can.  Look up your local county, city and state rules for your options and deadlines. is a good resource site that can send you to details for your state. 

Cover photo of His Magical Pet

His Magical Pet is now available with my new story in it! “If Not for the Rat” features Raavi and Jonah, who met in my story “Passage, Performance, Passion” in the Circlet Press anthology Like a Spell: Fire. Two years later, Raavi is still opening magical portals, and Jonah is still appreciating the wonders of magic (and Raavi). In a new city, they meet a wererat, and returning him home leads them to a group of people who need their help.

I’ll admit it, “If Not for the Rat,” is fluff. It’s a fun and happy story, where people solve problems with art and words and throwing an awesome dance party. I guess I wrote a bit of a world I’d like to live in. 

The other stories look fun too, both in His Magical Pet and in the companion anthology Her Magical Pet. All proceeds from these stories go to OutRight Action International, helping fight for human rights for LGBTIQ people around the world. Please spread the word, and support these anthologies if you can. These collections are for the Kindle only at the moment, but paperbacks will be coming soon.

We live in a diverse world and I try to populate my world with diverse characters. I wrote briefly in my previous blog entry about the work it takes to do that authentically and how educating myself is an ongoing project. I’m going to add a bit more here; however, there are many, many people more qualified than I am to discuss this and I hope you’ll seek them out.  One advantage of so many SFF conventions and other events going online this year is that many of them have left their sessions available online for free; a little googling and you’ll come up with a wealth of panels discussing how to write diversely. I learn something new every time I listen to one of these panels.

Also, read diverse authors. There are more non-white, non-straight, etc. authors than ever before getting traction in the speculative fiction space.  Some are with mainstream publishers, others are with small independent publishers and some are self-publishing. Whatever sub-genres you’re into, you can find a diverse group of authors writing in that arena. 

Once you find an author(s) you like, following them on twitter or other social media is a great way to find other authors of a similar demographic, and once you’ve followed some of those others you’ll have a great pool to read from.

Just a few links to get you started:

Author Olivia Helling has 15+ Must-Read LGBTQ+ Sci Fi and Fantasy Books by BIPOC Authors. In addition to a very solid list of books (I’ve read a few in this list and have my eye on some others), there are some bonus links at the bottom to other lists and YouTube videos.  I’m looking forward to checking out the ones I haven’t seen yet.

I’m a fan of Gail Carriger’s work, so I’m definitely checking out her recommendations, especially for Queer Comfort Reads by Black Authors.   Gail also has a list of recommended books by Black authors broken down by characteristics of her varied bibliography (steampunk, YA, etc.) with many more lists at the end. 

It’s looking to be a long winter so what better time to try out some new, diverse authors. Happy reading!

Update: Fiyah, the magazine for Black Speculative Fiction, and the associated Fiyahcon, just announced the winners of the first Ignyte Awards! The list of nominees and winners is a great way to jump into reading great books with authors from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Wow, this year….

A confession of the obvious: I wasn’t that great at updating this site before 2020.  And then, 2020:  Covid-19, protests against police brutality and racism, an election year, yet more Covid-19, yet more and more information about the systemic inequities in our culture and their historical roots.  Fascism and bigotry presented as virtues by a portion of the population.  I could go on…

Black Lives Matter

Learning about the past (and the present systemic racism it engendered), doesn’t mean descending into a well of guilt and nihilism, but it is hard. I know I still have work to do. I’m not done learning, or working for change.

In the midst of all this socio-political and emotional upheaval, I did manage to finish two short stories. One story will be in a charity anthology, His Magical Pet, one of a pair of anthologies that will be released via Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program this month, with proceeds benefiting OutRight Action International  an organization that fights for the human rights for LGBTIQ people everywhere.  I’m very proud to be part of of this effort.

Cover for His Magical Pet anthology

The story, “If Not For the Rat,” is a sequel of sorts to “Passage, Performance, Passion” that was in Circlet Press’ Like A Spell: Fire anthology. The new story isn’t erotica, but I wanted to check in on the further adventures of the couple featured there. They make some new friends, and help them figure out how to move forward. Oh, and they’re wererats. 

In addition to a few LGBTQ characters, I made an effort to have my cast of characters be racially diverse. I’m not perfect at it; I’m often rushing to get these short pieces in by the deadline and don’t have the time to pull in beta readers or sensitivity readers. For those interested in writing diverse characters, here are a couple of resources:

Writing the Other:  I heard one of the writers of the original book, Nisi Shawl, talk about this effort years ago. Since them, the site and mission have expanded to a variety of online webinars and resources on how to write about everyone from folks of different ethnicities to how to write fat characters.

Writing Diversly:  Renee Harleston has put together this site with some handy tips and a listing of sensitivity readers available for hire. 

It’s important to read diversely, too. In addition to Google, there are lots of curated lists and organizations to guide you to just the right books. More on that in another posting.

Stay safe — and VOTE!

More Grumpy Gods news and “Rule 34” Trivia

Great news!  Grumpy Old Gods: Volume 1, with my story “Rule 34,” is now available in paperback.  Great for a beach read during these last few weeks (oh, no) of summer.

And hopefully you need more Grumpy Old Gods in your life, because Volume 2 is available on Amazon via Kindle Unlimited or in paperback.  For more Grumpy news, check out the publisher, Storm Dance Books.

Want to know some “Rule 34” trivia? Possible spoilers ahead!




I was in Wicked Good Books the other day — yes, it’s a real place, located — where else could it be but Salem, Massachusetts?  It’s a wonderful local book store, and Salem has so much history, I had to use it for the setting of the final scene where Zeal Forge gives his reading.

And, of course, Zeal Forge is a convoluted synonym for Lovecraft.

Want to know more trivia?  Ask in the comments! Or if you want to learn more of the tricks Anansi was up to in the traditional tales told about him, Wikipedia has a few examples and some links (Google will bring you many more).

Happy Reading!

New story: Rule 34

At last, the drought is over! 2018 was a tough year for me creatively, but finally I have news: I have a story in Grumpy Old Gods: Volume 1, due out next week and available for pre-order. This story is not erotica, but it’s titled “Rule 34,” so you can be sure there’s something sexy going on somewhere.  (For those unfamiliar with it, “Rule 34” states:  If it exists, there is porn of it. If there isn’t, there will be.

Here’s the publisher’s blurb: “When the Primal Terror goes AWOL, Demeter is forced to chase him down in order to keep humanity from destroying themselves; unfortunately, he has a new hobby, and it’s for mature audiences only.”

How did I manage to combine a Lovecraftian deity, climate change, and porn — and make it funny? I hope you’ll buy the book and find out.

I’ll be updating here and also doing guest posts at the Storm Dance Publications blog, along with the other fantastic authors in this anthology.  Stay tuned!

Superlative Speculative Erotica

Welcome to the summer of 2018? Dear Reader, I hope your summer is going well…. the state of things in the USA, unfortunately, leave much to be desired.

This isn’t a political blog — except queer voices are political. Diverse sexuality is political.

So I’m thrilled to announce that Superlative Speculative Erotica: The Best of Circlet Press 2012-2017 is now available.  My story, “Deflowered”, is included.


The Circlet staff put together a short list, and then Circlet’s Kickstarter and Patreon supporters voted for which stories to include.  So it’s really an honor (and a boost to the ego) to be included alongside authors I like and admire such as Annabeth Leong, Michael M. Jones, Nobilis Reed, Julie Cox and so many others.  I’ve been reading this collection, and it’s amazing.  I’ll have a full review for you soon, but if you’re looking for a hot, diverse and entertaining collection of stories, I guarantee you’ll enjoy Superlative Speculative Erotica.

“Deflowered” Blooms

Dear Readers, it’s been a while.  I hope 2018 is treating you kindly and you are remembering to treating yourself with kindness, too.

While I was digressing, my story “Deflowered” came out in Circlet Press’ anthology A Beastly Affair.  The other stories in this very fun, sexy collection vary from Annabeth Leong’s “weird west” adventure “Bete Noire” through science fiction and urban fantasy, with a couple fun, gay re-tellings of the familiar fairy tale before getting to my tale.  I’ll quote editor J. Blackmore’s description of “Deflowered” from the introduction:

“It’s silly and hot and it definitely, definintely, takes place in the Disney version of the Beast’s castle, but with one very major, and critical difference.”

Deflowered” was also selected to be read as part of Circlet’s partnership with the Nobilis Erotica podcast.  Read by the amazing Veronica Giguere, I’m honored to be in company with Julie Cox, Thomas S. Roche and so many others. (They’re rapidly approaching episode 400!)  If you enjoy audio stories, check out the Nobilis Erotica Podcast site!

Finally, “Deflowered” was selected to appear in Circlet Press’ most recent best of anthology. Superlative Speculative Erotica: The Best of Circlet Press 2012-2017, will be out within a month.  Circlet supporters via their Kickstarter or Patreon campaigns voted on which stories to include, so it’s even more on an honor to know that people are reading and enjoying it.

“Deflowered” started as a pansexual romp paying homage to and tearing up references to fairy tales that are related to Beauty and the Beast, with, yes a dose of Disney.  It’s super exciting that it’s had such a great reception.

Decompress from Halloween with a Sweet, Sexy Ghost Story by Terry Poole

Had enough of spooks but missing the Halloween vibe already?  Seeing is Believing by Terry Poole is a sweet, sexy M/M paranormal romance ghost story that I enjoyed quite a bit.

Romance writer Max Cooke is celebrating a movie deal for his books when he witnesses an attack on a stranger in an alley.  After calling the police, he rushes to check on the stranger — who dies in his arms, leaving him inexplicably heartbroken.

The murdered man was a police detective, Nick Horvath.  The next day, Nick turns up  in Max’s bedroom and the two begin a delicate dance as they navigate the reality of Nick’s special state of existence and the bond he has with Max.  Nick is only solid when he touches Max, convenient as they overcome initial misunderstandings and learn their attraction is mutual.

Poole doesn’t linger on the angst; while Nick has some trouble adjusting to his semi-corporeal state it isn’t long before he’s making a move on Max.  Max meanwhile, is scarred by his experiences with an abusive ex and takes some gentle coaxing to realize the handsome former detective wants him for himself and not just for convenience.  Once the couple get together, the sex scenes are hot and varied and show the couple’s growing affection.

Continue reading

Like a Spell – Fire — and Building a contemporary fantasy world

Passage, Performance, Passion,” out now in the Like a Spell 2 — Fire — anthology, is my third story set in the same urban/contemporary fantasy world.  It’s been a lot of fun building a world where the species and rules are consistent, even though each story stands on its own.

A note on terminology:  People are more familiar with the term “urban fantasy”, but my stories aren’t focused on a particular city so technically they don’t fit into that sub-genre.  Contemporary fantasy, as they are fantasy stories in the contemporary world, is more accurate.  


I digress. On the occasion of the third story published in this world, I thought I’d share a little bit about the history of the world’s creation, what ties the stories together, and some ideas for the future.  

Continue reading


Like a Spell 2 Out October 12th — and a Circlet Press Kickstarter!

I just heard the news and had to share it:  Like A Spell 2, containing my story “Passage, Performance, Passion”  is due out in less than two weeks.

Publication date is October 12th! 

It’s been a long journey for this story, but I really love it!  It’s also set in the same universe as “Drink to Seal the Bond” from the Coffee: Hot anthology.  Will the characters in these two stories ever meet?  Time will tell!

To keep the diverse and sexy stories like those in Like a Spell going, Circlet Press is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund it’s 2018 run of anthologies, including a 25th Anniversary anthology.  Please check it out: