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About a year or so ago, a good friend and all-around Great Guy Christopher Golden asked if I'd participate in an anthology he was working up - Dark Cities. At first, I hesitated. I was eyeballs deep in other work, and I don't often do short stories anymore. I've never felt that they were really my strong suit, and I produce them sparingly.

But he caught me at a moment. You see, shortly before his summons, a truly appalling family secret had come to blazing light - and I was trying to find a good way of processing it. I wanted to say something about it, but couldn't imagine what, or how, or what it would help if I did so. Maybe nothing. Probably nothing. But saying nothing was driving me crazy.

I won't spell out what happened, but if you read Dark Cities and find your way to my contribution there, you'll figure it out closely enough. I could write off the matter lightly by telling you to imagine that some portion of my family is made up of hillbillies from the "Florida Man" files of internet hilarity - so what can you do? - and that wouldn't be far from the truth; but the facts are frankly too awful to joke about, so I won't.

Instead, I'll say that I found myself genuinely grateful for the opportunity to write "Good Night Prison Kings." The horror of the form gave me room to discuss the horror of the facts, and Chris was cool enough to let me run with what's probably the darkest thing I've ever produced. (Or if not the darkest, certainly one of the most personal.)

At any rate, you can pick up Dark Cities now, online and wherever books are sold. I hope you'll take a chance on it. Let me know what you think, if you do.

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Still alive and kicking and eyeballs deep over here, but so it goes. Just wanted to come up for air long enough to smile and wave, and pass on a little bit of useful information! And maybe some pet pictures. I know what you really come here for.

First up! Brimstone is still chugging along, earning reviews and so forth - and if you've read it, writers such as myself are always greatly appreciative for reviews. Even quick reviews! Hasty, friendly reviews.

They're the single easiest thing you can do to help a writer today.

With that in mind, if you want to pick up and/or review Brimstone without leaving your keyboard:
If you're still on the fence about this one, recent chatter at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books had some very kind things to say about it. In brief, "It’s an evocative, sweet, empowering story despite the horror the protagonists face." (Or if you'd rather read the review in full, just click that link and go poking around.

* * *


In news unrelated to my most recent release...The Family Plot is gearing up for a paperback release AND it's been named as a Locus Award Finalist! That's right - my weird little southern gothic ghost story is up for Best Horror Novel - and I, for one, could not be more thrilled!

This was kind of a passion project for me - one of those things I'd always wanted to write, and hoped someone would take a chance on. I'm proud of the end result, and endlessly grateful to my editor Liz Gorinsky and all the other fine folks at Tor.

* * *


And in pet news, all's well. The eldercat is doing marvelously on her new schedule of fluids and mood stabilizers, and continues to keep the household in thrall. Here she is with her dog entourage, ruling the roost as always.



She also has decided that she likes the dog bed in the foyer, because the sun hits it very nicely in the mornings.



Quinnie continues to be enormous and silly, and prone to games of Whappity Paws around the curtains. She ropes the eldercat into a round every now and again, and even Lucy will play with her - given half a chance.





As for Greyson, he remains his adorable, gentle self. I caught him "guarding" a baby bird in the yard the other day, and thank God Lucy was indoors at the time - which is all I really have to say about that. (The little bird was returned to her parents, and all was well.)





Meanwhile, Lucy ate a squirrel.



But all in all, the household is fuzzy, happy, and healthy.
So consider yourself updated on the most important stuff :)

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By popular request...here goes nothing.

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Cherie Priest

May 2017

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