Re.new.al (noun)

QSF Renewal-Print

QSF has a new book out, the latest in our series of flash fiction anthologies:

Re.new.al (noun)

1) Resuming an activity after an interruption, or
2) Extending a contract, subscription or license, or
3) Replacing or repairing something that is worn out, run-down, or broken, or
4) Rebirth after death.

Four definitions to spark inspiration, a limitless number of stories to be conceived. Only 110 made the cut.

Thrilling to hopeful, Renewal features 300-word speculative fiction ficlets about sexual and gender minorities to entice readers.

Welcome to Renewal.

Mischief Corner Books (info only) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

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 Print (b/w illustrations only):
Paperback (color illustrations, est available 9/16 – preorder now)

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Excerpt

Because these stories are only 300 words each, we’re not supplying long excerpts, but here are the first lines of several of the stories. Enjoy!

“Griselda pulled the weeds from between the rows of Valerianella locusta plants in the garden, careful not to disturb the buds that would grow into the babies that were her only real income-producing crop.” —The Witches’ Garden, by Rie Sheridan Rose

“I didn’t know how truly the world was in trouble until I went journeying to look for Anisette’s bluebonnets.” —Bluebonnets, by Emily Horner

“The ship’s drive malfunctioned at the worst possible time.” —The Return, by Andrea Speed

“Before we continue, there’s a rather macabre fact about me I should share.” —Rejuvenation, by Christine Wright

“When I died they buried me at the bottom of the garden and returned to the fields.” —Below the Hill, by Matthew Bright

“The world is ending and I can’t look away from your eyes.” —Sunrise, by Brigitte Winter

““Losing one’s superpowers to your arch nemesis sucks donkey nuts, I tell ya. And trust me when I say I suck a lot of them.” —Rainbow Powers, by Dustin Karpovich

“The day I was born again was damp, rainy—a good day for rebirth, all things considered.” —The Birthing Pod, by Michelle Browne

“Intwir’s twelve eyes roved over the container, taking in the cracked outer lock and the elasticated fabric stretched tightly over its exterior.” —In a Bind, by S R Jones

“‘You’ve reached Androgyne HelpLine. Press one to start service. Press two to interrupt or cancel service. Press three—’” —Auto-Renew, by Ginger Streusel

“The doctor tells me that my wife is dying, but I already know.” —I Will Be Your Shelter, by Carey Ford Compton

“‘San Francisco was the first to go dark, followed by Los Angeles.’” —When Light Left, by Lex Chase

“My fingers lingered on the synthetic skin, trailing soft patterns across my work.” —Miss You, by Stephanie Shaffer


Included Authors

‘Nathan Burgoine
A.M. Leibowitz
A.M. Soto
Abby Bartle
Aidee Ladnier
Alexis Woods
Andi Deacon
Andrea Felber Seligman
Andrea Speed
Andrea Stanet
Anne McPherson
Bey Deckard
Brigitte Winter
Carey Ford Compton
Carol Holland March
Carrie Pack
Catherine Lundoff
CB Lee
Christine Wright
Colton Aalto
Daniel Mitton
Dustin Blottenberger
Dustin Karpovich
E R Zhang
E.J. Russell
E.W. Murks
Ell Schulman
Ellery Jude
Eloreen Moon
Elsa M León
Emily Horner
Eric Alan Westfall
F.T. Lukens
Fenrir Cerebellion
Foster Bridget Cassidy
Ginger Streusel
Hannah Henry
Irene Preston
J. Alan Veerkamp
J. P. Egry
J. Summerset
J.S. Fields
Jaap Boekestein
Jackie Keswick
Jana Denardo
Jeff Baker
Jenn Burke
Joe Baumann
John Moralee
Jon Keys
Jude Dunn
K.C. Faelan
Kelly Haworth
Kiterie Aine
Kristen Lee
L M Somerton
L. Brian Carroll
L.M. Brown
L.V. Lloyd
Laurie Treacy
Leigh M. Lorien
Lex Chase
Lia Harding
Lin Kelly
Lloyd A. Meeker
Lyda Morehouse
M.D. Grimm
Martha J. Allard
Mary E. Lowd
Matt Doyle
Matthew Bright
Mia Koutras
Michelle Browne
Milo Owen
Mindy Leana Shuman
Naomi Tajedler
Natsuya Uesugi
Nephy Hart
Nicole Dennis
Ofelia Gränd
Patricia Scott
Paul Stevens
PW Covington
R R Angell
R.L. Merrill
Rebecca Cohen
Redfern Jon Barrett
Reni Kieffer
Richard Amos
RL Mosswood
Robyn Walker
Rory Ni Coileain
Rose Blackthorn
Ross Common
S R Jones
Sacchi Green
Sarah Einstein
Shilo Quetchenbach
Siri Paulson
Soren Summers
Stephanie Shaffer
Steve Fuson
Tam Ames
Terry Poole
Tray Ellis
Vivien Dean
Wendy Rathbone
Xenia Melzer
Zen DiPietro
Zev de Valera

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Double Trouble: Chapter 114

Wednesday Briefs

The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to other flash fictions.


Chapter 114

Danny stepped out of the hot gymnasium with his arm intertwined with Rob’s. The evening air was a blast of cold after having spent the last several hours having a great time. He felt like a wrung out dish cloth after the dancing. He and Rob had no problem sharing, especially with some of the fast dances they’d been practicing with Trent’s help. His skills had impressed Danny, and he appreciated how easy it had been to recruit him into given them lessons. It had been a rough start, although Trent had been good about keeping everything casual and loose. A few weeks before the prom, Danny and Rob were polished enough he invited his sister and Levi to join them.

He squeezed Rob’s hand before moving into a relaxing stretch. He dropped his arms around Rob’s waist and pulled them together. Then he leaned closer and whispered. “We’ve showed them all how good we are at the two-step. What should be doing now?”

Rob ran his tongue over his lips then smiled at Danny. “How about some chow? I could eat a horse.”

“Well, I’m not sure about a horse, but how about a burger from Tom’s?”

“Sounds great.”

With a destination in mind, the pair headed down the road that bisected their little town. They pulled into its crowded parking lot and walked inside. It only took a few minutes to reach. Danny knew what he wanted. He’d eaten here a few days a week since he’d been a kid and after he got his license, it might have been even more often. But out of habit he scanned the menu board as if he’d choose something else.

When he looked down the girl working gave him a hundred watt smile. “Hey, Danny. You gonna get the usual?”

He returned the smile. “Yeah, cheese burger with the works.” Danny stepped to one side and let Rob order, then paid for their meals. They found a table and sat across from each other. He glanced around and realized the other customers were mostly their classmates. The familiarity made him more comfortable. He turned back to Rob. “Seems like everyone from the prom has changed clothes and are out at the typical hang outs.”

Rob chuckled and shook his head. “I’m kind of over dressed now. I should have followed your lead.”

Danny leaned across the table and whispered. “Maybe I’ll get you out of that monkey suit after we finish eating.” When Rob turned red, Danny settled back into his side. But then it became Danny’s turn to be teased as Rob’s sock covered toes ran up the inside of his leg. A few passes, and Danny was uncomfortably erect. There was no way for him to leave now until he wasn’t tenting out the front of his jeans to an embarrassing degree.

He leaned close again and raised his brows. With his cock so hard it ached, his biggest desire was to release some of his steam with Rob. Before he could reply, their food arrived. With their focus on eating, the heat of lust lessened until Danny’s pants no longer looked like a six-man tent at the Boy Scout jamboree.

He polished off the last of his fries and turned to Rob with a smirk. “You want to go parking? I found a good place where we’ll be hidden.”

Rob ran his tongue over his lips in a come hither motion. They reached the dark county roads and Rob rubbed along Danny’s thigh. In seconds, Danny was hard and throbbing. By the time he pulled into a hay field he’d worked in last summer, he was close to unloading.

Danny wrapped his hand around the back of Rob’s head and pulled them together. He pressed his lips against Rob’s and a were soon making out.

Their hands slid over each other, exploring their bodies. Danny slipped his fingers into Rob’s pants and gave his package a squeeze.

There was a series of hard knocks at Danny’s window which sent the pair into a panic do trying to make it look like they weren’t doing anything.

“Come on, Danny. Open up.”

Danny wasn’t certain if it relieved him to hear Trent’s voice, or mortified. But with no other choice, he pushed the window button. The beam of a flashlight hit him and he wanted to be anywhere but here. He started to explain, but got cut off.

“Are you fucking kidding me? The biggest hayfield in the county? What if it had been Sheriff White Cloud who found you?”

Danny shrugged and Trent shook his head.

“Get back to the prom and save the fooling around for when you have a room with a lock.” With that, Trent walked to his pickup, hopped in and roared off a few seconds later.


The links listed below go directly to the individual stories.

General Release for “A Matter of Priorities”

Beginning Tuesday, August 29th “A Matter of Priorities” will be available from all your usual places including Pride Publishing and Amazon.

About A Matter of Priorities:

After being disowned by his family, Cooper judged his self-worth by his latest hook-up. But circumstances change as he learns about true love.

Cooper Dias is a better-than-average college student with a major in architecture and a love of dogs. But while he plays the role of campus playboy, he believes no one would care enough to worry about him—except his best friend Liam. His expectations are simple—searching for the latest hook-up. His newest obsession is his professor, Lucas Nyman, who has asked Cooper to work as part of the team for an out-of-class project, which he eagerly accepts.

At a celebratory evening at Professor Nyman’s home, Cooper is invited to fulfill his latest fantasy—a ménage à trois with the professor and his husband. But the fun turns into something much weightier when pillow talk turns into friendly advice from the pair whose bed Cooper has shared. After a close call that leaves Cooper shaken and a confession from Liam, Cooper begins to realize that life is not as he thought.

Double Trouble: Chapter 113

Wednesday Briefs

The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to other flash fictions.


Chapter 113

Danny eased into the parking lot for the high school gymnasium. He turned off the engine but then sat without speaking. As he remained frozen, Rob glanced around them.

“Are we going in? My folks weren’t too sure how they felt about me taking you to the prom. But they’ll be pissed if the money for a tux and stuff was wasted.”

Danny grinned at Rob before leaning over to plant a kiss on his cheek. “Sorry, I was getting all mushy about finishing high school. I guess I’m being sentimental.”

Rob straightened the flower on Danny’s lapel then gave him a peck on the lips in return. “Tonight will be fun. Everyone knows us and we’ve been going together. It’s not like it’ll surprise anyone we’re with each other.”

Danny let out a long sigh before laying his arm across Rob’s shoulders. “You’re right. It’s the end of high school jitters. I might have put too much weight about it being prom and the stuff that goes with it. Now it’s here and I’m all twisted up about it. Damn.”

Rob spun around and grabbed Danny’s wrists. “Come on. Let’s see what’s going on.”

Danny rolled his eyes but smiled as he let Rob lead him into the gymnasium. They’d decorated the cavernous room in the tradition all small rural high schools. But he knew he would remember the experience for the rest of his life. Actually he had no idea if he’d recall much about tonight or not, but every adult he’d talked to for the past month said he would. Josh seemed to be on the verge of tears each time he saw either him or Samantha.

Trent became the only voice he trusted. His only advice to Danny had been don’t get anyone pregnant and to call him if he needed a ride home. Danny thought it had been a funny crack, but he’d given him nothing more than an eye roll. He realized Rob had pulled him into the gym. They stood at the edge of the boisterous crowd and took it all in. He saw several friends who smiled and waved.

But there were also people with scowls plastered across their faces. They were the same assholes that complained to the school board about same sex couples at the prom. But the screaming shit fit it generated had enough backlash that the vote to allow gay couples was unanimous. It was good they did, otherwise everyone in his family would be upset.

Samantha and Levi appeared at their side and for once he was glad for the advice he could tell she was about to share. I might not always agree with my sister, but she covers my back. I’m sure this was no different.

She caught Danny’s eyes and cocked her head. “You look good. You ready to show these city slickers how to do it?”

He met Samantha’s gaze and motioned her ahead of him onto the now vacant dance floor. They’d takes but a few steps when a boo drifted through the space. Danny spotted the hate filled person it had came from and moved toward the offender. But then an iron grip manifested on his shoulder. He turned in time for Samantha to step in front of me.

She locked eyes with the source of the outrage. In an unblinking glare, she dominated the encounter. In less than a minute, he dropped his gaze to the floor. Samantha studied the room, challenging any others. When none was forthcoming, she moved back to Levi’s side and grinned at Danny.

“I’m ready to dance!”


The links listed below go directly to the individual stories.

Double Trouble: Chapter 112

Wednesday Briefs

The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to other flash fictions.


Chapter 112

Danny stood in front of the mirror, shifting first one way and then another. His boots had a polish that reflected light across their black surface. He’d spent the better part of an hour cleaning them until they looked new, coating them with ebony polish then working until the final results pleased him. He had put almost as much effort into the jeans he wore. This time Trent rescued him and offered to have Danny’s Wranglers starched. As a result, his jeans were stiff as a board and a professional crease ran down the length of his leg.

Now the search for the appropriate shirt and jacket had begun. He fought with not wanting to create the vampire, goth, or cowboy. All black wasn’t the combination he wanted. He flipped through his starched shirts until he stopped at a solid white one.

Maybe this will work.

He took the hanger off, slipped the shirt on and buttoned it. He focused on the mirror again and turned from side to side. After a short time, he concluded that the black and white reminded him of a waiter. Not what he wanted tonight. He sighed and hung the shirt up again. He knew better than to end up with a pile of pressed clothes getting messed up in the floor. His family made a healthy contribution to the local dry cleaner, but his dad’s would be so pissed off if he didn’t take care of them.

“Try something that has an actual color. Almost no one can wear head to toe black and not be the vampire in the room.”

He glanced to find Trent leaning against the door and grinning at him. Danny sighed and rolled his eyes. “Come help me then.” Trent cocked an eyebrow. “Please.”

Trent pushed himself from the doorframe and ambled to Danny’s closet. After flipping through his impressive collection before selecting a few of them and tossed them onto the bed. He motioned to Danny and nodded at the clothing. “Try them on. I think any of them would work, but let’s see how they work out.”

Danny picked up the first shirt, one in shades of coral and white and glared at Trent. “Are you kidding me? Everyone would think I’m a fucking rodeo clown. There’s no way I’ll wear this. It’s like Halloween colors or some shit like that.”

“Watch your mouth and try it on. Let’s see how it looks.”

Danny tugged on the shirt Trent had chosen to discover it wasn’t as horrible as he’d first thought. It surprised him how much he liked the combination. He turned to admire the match before looking to Trent to give him a grudging compliment. “It’s better than I thought it would be.”

Trent chuckled and shook his head. “Don’t act like you’re shitting gravel to tell me I can put together an outfit. I have been to a club occasionally.”

Danny rolled his eyes but kept his comments to himself. He wouldn’t admit his dad might be right. Otherwise the possibility was too high he would go in a powder blue tux. Which wouldn’t happen. So he tried on the other two shirts. The coral colored one didn’t win out but it was close. He chose a wine red top he agreed looked best with the rest of the outfit.

He turned a few times in the mirror and fussed with his hair. He saw Trent grinning at him. “What?”

“You’re fine, and Rob is waiting.”

“Well crap! Why didn’t you tell me?” Danny said. He shot out of his room to spot Rob all but pacing in front of the whole family. Samantha and Levi were cuddling in one of the huge chairs, and Danny froze. Samantha and Levi were both wearing their corsages. His panic grew when he realized Rob was holding a clear box with dark flowers. Damn! I forgot.

In his panic his mind was gibbering as Rob pinned the arrangement to him. He wasn’t sure how he would recover this time. After a few thumps of his racing heart, he realized Josh stood at his side and held out a white corsage that was the perfect match for what Rob wore.

The parents and grand parents insisted on taking pictures of every conceivable combination before letting them escape. Once he and Rob made it to the pickup, they exchanged smiles.

“Hurtle number one over,” Danny said.

Rob moved closer and kissed Danny’s cheek. “It’ll be a fantastic prom.”


The links listed below go directly to the individual stories.