Short Stories & Novellas

Writing as Angela Fiddler

The Gift of the Raven

gift-of-the-raven2Cory has always been mercurial; passionate one second and frozen the next, but when he was hot, he was scorching. Luke had brought him up as a vampire but couldn’t keep him the first time around. Now evil’s come on an arctic wind, and they’ll need each other to fight it.

This story is set in the same universe as the Masters of the Lines series.

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Originally published in Blood Claim

Random facts: the haunted house in the story is a real restaurant in a historic house in Calgary, is actually supposed to be haunted (although the vortex is debatable), has fantastic biscuits for brunch, and my wife and I got married there. No ghosts or vampires made a guest appearance at our wedding–that we noticed. I love setting books in cities that I know quite well. Cory maybe a bit of a bastard, but I love him.

Forgotten Favor

forgotten-favor2A whole lot of things were looking up the afternoon Jake dropped by Mark’s ranch just outside of Calgary one hot afternoon in August several years ago. The need to go up into the hay loft and do what’s been done in hay lofts for thousands of years had come to a head and it just seemed…right.

What wasn’t right was the black riders waiting for his brother’s fatal accident that same afternoon. They came for the golden, perfect son and heir, and left Mark alone with their disapproving father and the empty hole his brother had filled.

In the following years, Jake has dropped off the rodeo circuit and got pretty much out of Mark’s life forever, until a debilitating accident almost takes Mark and his favourite mare. Mark survives, with pins and plates in his leg and his horse walked away from it too, and yet somehow still ends up in a slaughter yard. But Jake’s been working hard at a horse rescue centre and with one purchase, he’s able to save them both.

But Jake’s rescue centre isn’t a complete haven. It has its own issues and concerns between the constant need for funding and the over-enthusiastic developer who has his eyes on the hay fields Jake is dependant on to feed his herd through the winter.

Mark knows, as he always has, that he and Jake were meant for each other. Arson, extremely disapproving fathers and ghost riders come back to collect someone else close to him are nothing when compared to how good this thing between him and Jake is. A single moment could change his whole life, if he doesn’t remember an old-time favor owed.

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Originally published in Studs & Spurs

Forgotten Favor was the first story that I really married my two loves, horses and smut. There are a lot of real life experience that I pumped into the story. I did not actually get brained in the head by a horse’s back hoof, but I’d been walking up to a horse name Socks from behind, I felt the air move, and I looked up to see the V part of his foot we call the frog about six inches away from my face. If I’d been half a step closer, I would have gotten brained. I wrote this not as a way to rewrite the ending of Brokeback Mountain, but to give the other side of it, where if you can accept who you are, you are going to be happier.

The Bright Side of Midnight

bright-side-of-midnight2Pleasure or pain? The Dose. On paper, it’s a mild mood enhancer that takes the edge of drudgery and keeps workers happy. But people are killing to get it and dying of an impossible disease to make it. Tavish has come home to the corporate mining colony of Midnight to find the cure, where his allies and enemies are not who he expected. His quest will take him from the sickness that threatens his nearest and dearest to inside Alpha Site where the man who controls the colony pushes him to his knees and the edge of his boundaries. Will the bright side of Midnight be Tavish’s ruin or salvation?

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Originally published in Space Escapes

I wrote the line in one of my vampire stories that the humans were still on the bright side of midnight and so were unafraid, and I loved the phrase so much I made it into its own short story. The unpublished book I wrote in 2012, Dome, may be reworked to be a part of this world somehow, I just don’t know how yet.

The Devil You Know

devil-you-know2Years of training have turned Bastian into a sublimely sexual weapon, capable of pulling magic to enthrall. His mission is to captivate the overlord, then kill him, when years of violent revolts had failed. Vashi wasn’t meant for Bastian’s snares, but passion catches him up in them.

Sex to Bastian is means to an end and a method of control. But Vashi shows him pleasure in sex, and that the magic Bastian can use is stronger when the two of them are as one.

Unfortunately, Bastian’s mission is a cruel and harsh one. One that demands complete and total submission, and Bastian has been purchased, body and soul. If he fails, Bastian’s people are at risk of losing their lives as much as their freedom. If he succeeds, he may lose Vashi. As ever, the devil is in the details.

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This story is high fantasy, which is what most of what I wrote for original fiction before I started Castoffs.  I read it over again before re-releasing it, and I hadn’t read this story since the original final round of edits.  Reading it through, I was actually surprised at how much I liked it. I know that sounds stupid, but I was dealing with a lot of issues just before I stopped writing for three years. The magic and the music in this world drew me in.

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