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About RoAnna Sylver
RoAnna Sylver writes unusually hopeful dystopian stories (and now vampire stories) about marginalized heroes actually surviving, triumphing, and rocking really hard. RoAnna is also a singer, blogger, voice actor and artist who lives with family and a small snorking dog, and probably spends too much time playing videogames. The next amazing adventure RoAnna would like is a nap in a pile of bunnies.
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Common Bonds is an anthology of speculative short stories and poetry featuring aromantic characters. At the heart of this collection are the bonds that impact our lives from beginning to end: platonic relationships. Within this anthology, a cursed seamstress finds comfort in the presence of a witch, teams of demon hunters work with their rival to save one of their own, a peculiar scholar gets attached to those he was meant to study, and queerplatonic shopkeepers guide their pupil as they explore their relationship needs and desires. Through nineteen stories and poems, Common Bonds explores the ways platonic relationships enrich our lives.
Contributors include: Morgan Swim, Vida Cruz, Camilla Quinn, Jennifer Lee Rossman, Syl Woo, A. Z. Louise, Cora Ruskin, E. H. Timms, Thomas Leonard Shaw, Jeff Reynolds, Marjorie King, Avi Silver, Ren Oliveira, Mika Stanard, Ian Mahler, Adriana C. Grigore, Rosiee Thor, Polenth Blake
The entire population inside has been quarantined, cut off from the rest of the world, and left to die - directly over the open flame. Eye in the Sky, a deadly and merciless police force ensures no one escapes. Ever. All that’s keeping Parole alive is faith in the midst of horrors and death, trust in the face of desperation… and their fantastic, terrifying, and beautiful superhuman abilities.
Regan, silent, scaly stealth expert, is haunted by ten years of anxiety, trauma and terror, and he’s finally reached his limit. His ability to disappear into thin air isn’t enough: he needs an escape, and he’ll do anything for a chance. Unluckily for him, Hans, a ghostly boy with a chilling smile, knows just the thing to get one. It starts with a little murder.
But instead of ending a man’s life, Regan starts a new one of his own. He turns away from that twisted path, and runs into Evelyn, fearless force on stage and sonic-superheroic revolutionary on the streets. Now Regan has a choice - and a chance to not only escape from Parole, but unravel the mystery deep in its burning heart. And most of all, discover the truth about their own entwining pasts.
They join forces with Evelyn’s family: the virtuosic but volatile Danae, who breathes life into machines, and her wife Rose, whose compassionate nature and power over healing vines and defensive thorns will both be vital to survive this nightmare. Then there’s Zilch, a cool and level-headed person made of other dead people, and Finn, one of Parole’s few remaining taxi drivers, who causes explosions whenever he feels anything but happy.
Separately they’d never survive, much less uncover the secret of Parole’s eternally-burning fire. Together, they have a chance. Unfortunately, Hans isn’t above playing dirty, lying, cheating, manipulating… and holding Regan’s memories hostage until he gets his way.
Parole’s a rough place to live. But they’re not dead yet. If they can survive the imminent cataclysmic disaster, they might just stay that way…
But he’s just about ready to give it up (living with PTSD and pain from the traumatic event that cost him a leg, a friend, and a lot more is hard enough), when something crashes into his life. And his window.
It’s one of these creatures of the darkness – and he’s a lot less scary than expected. More cuddly, with dark fuzzy wings, and neon-bright hair.
His name is Pixie, and he refuses to bite anyone. Assault/murder/draining fluids isn’t punk, even if being a vampire really kind of is. He’s very hungry by now, and the much bigger, meaner, deadlier vamps kick him around on the nightly. Jude would love to find and fight some actual undead bullies. And Pixie could use some help staying… ‘alive.’ Time to make a deal.
Together they fight crime. And maybe even heal.
Of course, life still sucks when you’re a vampire who refuses to suck blood. Fortunately, there’s a really interesting new barbecue restaurant in the mall, with an intriguing new recipe. (We hear that the secret ingredient is… love. No, really.)
Now Parole’s only hope lies in the hands of three teenagers reunited by their long-lost friend Gabriel - in their dreams. Growing up outside Parole, Shiloh Cole always had to keep xir energetic powers a secret, except from xir parents, Parole’s strategist-hero Garrett, and Tartarus expert Maureen. When Parole collapsed, all contact was lost. Now, connected by Gabriel and their colliding pasts, xie joins collapse survivor Annie and the enigmatic, charismatic Chance on a desperate cross-country race, carrying a disc of xir mother’s vital plans, whose encrypted contents may be Parole’s salvation. First they’ll board the FireRunner, a ship full of familiar faces that now sails through Tartarus’ poison storms. Together, they’ll survive Tartarus’ hazards, send a lifeline to lost Parole - and uncover the mystery connecting every one of them.
The world outside Parole isn't the one they remember, and it didn’t want them back. But they'll save it just the same. It's what heroes do.
This is a story about an asexual couple navigating consent, sorting out sometimes-confusing layers of attraction, and discovering new things about themselves and one another - like the fact that their orientations don't entirely match up. But even if their sexualities are farther apart than they realized, it doesn't mean they have to be anything but close.
Tonight's run went off without a hitch. Infamous cyber-revolutionary CyborJ just delivered his best cache of goodies yet to the people of quarantined Parole, while cross the city, his silent partner Regan carries the real treasure in his pocket: a secret that could change all their lives forever. All Regan has to do is get home alive - but this run is about to be intercepted, and Regan is about to receive an offer nobody in Parole could refuse: escape. All he has to do is betray everyone and everything he loves.
Welcome to Parole, where the fire is always burning, and everyone is always running out of time.
She hates it. Hates the moonless dark, hates the endless deep, and hates the fact that without a witch to sing in the tides, sea and land alike would fall to ruin. Riven faces her worst fear every night for years - until she meets a mermaid. Her new friend is lost, starving, and just as lonely as she is. And now that they've found one another, neither of their nights on the midnight sea will be the same.
Life for Jude is finally getting back to normal - or as normal as it gets when your new boyfriend has fangs, your old maybe-boyfriend isn't dead after all (and has even bigger fangs), and everyone's scrambling to adjust their lives accordingly.
There's enough to worry about without evil, ancient vampires closing in, preparing dark rituals, and threatening to undo everything Jude, Pixie, and their loved ones have built together. But as they've all seen, normal doesn't tend to last for long. And it's hard to shake the feeling that something's missing.
But then, it seems like everybody's missing somebody.
* * *
1. Happy REGARDS - It's Evelyn's birthday, and Danae and Rose are determined to make it absolutely perfect. But like the old rule goes, the harder you aim for perfection, if something can possibly go wrong, it will. And in Parole, 'going wrong' will involve robotic cats and dogs, disaster-prone cakes, hungry carnivorous plants, mysterious "coincidences," and strangely morbid birthday cards with elaborate wax seals. Parole never stops being Parole, even for one day. Fortunately, the people who live there wouldn't have it any other way.
2. The Library Ghost - Where the Emerald Bar is Parole's resistance headquarters, if you need a warm bed and a safe haven, you head to the library. There's one problem: people say it's haunted. But like most things in Parole, the truth is both stranger and sweeter than fiction.
This collection of seven short stories from the universe of Chameleon Moon gives readers a look at everyday life in Parole, and the colorful, memorable, and thoroughly human characters who call it home.
In Chronological Order:
1. The Library Ghost - Where the Emerald Bar is Parole's resistance headquarters, if you need a warm bed and a safe haven, you head to the library. There's one problem: people say it's haunted. But like most things in Parole, the truth is both stranger and sweeter than fiction.
2. Happy REGARDS - It’s Evelyn’s birthday, and Danae and Rose are determined to make it absolutely perfect. But like the old rule goes, the harder you aim for perfection, if something can possibly go wrong, it will. And in Parole, 'going wrong' will involve robotic cats and dogs, disaster-prone cakes, hungry carnivorous plants, mysterious "coincidences," and strangely morbid birthday cards with elaborate wax seals. Parole never stops being Parole, even for one day. Fortunately, the people who live there wouldn't have it any other way.
3. Runtime - Takes place directly before the events of Chameleon Moon, Book 1, and leads up to the series' explosive beginning. Parole's fire-ravaged streets are fragile, but filled with secrets and rewards if you know how to run them. Stealth and surveillance expert Regan and his partner, the incomparable yet elusive CyborJ, have just struck a major blow against the evil Eye in the Sky and its leader, Major Turret - and made off with the payload of a lifetime. Now all Regan wants to do is get home alive. But a sadistic grinning ghost named Hans is about to intercept his last run - and make him an offer nobody in this fiery prison can refuse: escape. All Regan has to do is betray everyone he loves. Welcome to Parole, where the fire is always burning, and everyone is always running out of time.
4. Group Therapy - Rose is one of the last remaining (and sorely needed) therapists in Parole. Her weekly gatherings are oases of hope and healing for anyone who needs them. Cairus Maddox is an enigma; he's never missed a Thursday, but never said a word. Until now...
5. Phoenix Down - Everyone knows Parole will one day crumble into the fire below. There's nothing anyone can do to stop that - but they do have an early-warning system. The 'Tin Can' is a listening post ten stories deep underground, and its two completely un-superpowered operators sit inside day after day, waiting for signs of the city's inevitable collapse. One day, they hear it. But something's gone wrong, and nobody can hear them. Now, Parole's last hope rests on two scientists, an experimental aircraft called the Phoenix, and a desperate race to save thousands of lives - and their own.
6. Come Home Alone - There are rules for surviving in Parole. Never leave anyone behind, including yourself. If you can, never leave anyone else behind. And if you have to break the first two rules, break them with everything you have. Never stop running. But most importantly, never lead the enemy home. If you're followed, come home alone, or not at all. When Finn finds an injured Regan out on the street with pursuers close behind, he has a choice. Abandon a friend and live another day? Break a rule of survival, or come home alone?
The deepest of them make up intricately interconnected stories. Damaged survivors finding each other, stitching their lives together in the harshest of places, forging precious bonds amidst the flames. Gradually growing trust, love, and understanding between found families. But there’s no escaping this place, its deadly realities, or its predators. A brutal capture. A hellish withdrawal and fragile recovery. A harrowing escape. A breakneck sprint across a haunted, poisoned wasteland.
Life and death, trust and betrayal, choking smoke and breaths of fresh air—all of these are just part of life within Parole.
* * *
Volume 2 contains ten new Chameleon Moon short stories, and while many stand alone, they’re best enjoyed between Books 1 and 2.