When Alchemy Press editors Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber approached Aunty Fox to ask if we interested in an anthology called Wicked Women they pretty much got straight into ‘things Aunty Fox loves’. Obviously we said yes and we are delighted that one of the stories ‘Change of Heart’ by the marvelous Gaie Sebold is now up for Best Short Story in the BFS awards this year.
Wicked Women Edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber
Cover by Sarah Anne Langton
From thieves and tyrants to witches and warriors, here are twelve tales of women who gleefully write their own rules, who’ll bend or break the social norms, who’ll skate along the edge of the law and generally aim to misbehave.
A. R. Aston – No Place of Honour, Stephanie Burgis – Red Ribbons, Zen Cho – The First Witch of Damansara, Jaine Fenn – Down at the Lake, Juliet E. McKenna – Win Some, Lose Some, Christine Morgan – The Shabti-Maker, Tom Johnstone – Kravolitz, Gaie Sebold – A Change of Heart, Sam Stone – The Book of the Gods, Adrian Tchaikovsky – The Blessed Union, Jonathan Ward – A Change in Leadership, Chloë Yates – How to be the Perfect Housewife
N.R on Amazon : Fox Spirit’s “Wicked Women” anthology is yet another standard bearer for independent women and publishing and well-worth perusing!
From ‘Win Some, Lose Some.’ by Juliet E McKenna
The Martagon is one of those taverns which, while not a brothel, always has enough lasses idling about in low cut bodices to catch a man’s eye through its hospitably open door. And there are always plenty of men passing the door, given it’s in the middle of a street of rooming houses that cater to country folk on some long anticipated visit to this splendid city of Selerima. Such folk always include plough boys desperate to quench their youthful ardour without the risks of sowing their seed in some local furrow. And then there are the older men whose marriage bed has long since staled. They can often be tempted into a slice from a fresh cut loaf.
‘Livak, there’s a man asking for you.’ One of the lasses sauntered over, hips swinging, hem of her pink gown hiked up to show the golden lace on her petticoats and fine white stockings above her soft yellow slippers.
I swept up the rune bones I’d been casually rolling on the table in front of me. ‘Send him for a walk down the Andelane. He’ll find what he’s looking for there.’
Even dressed in a man’s breeches and boots with shirt and jerkin loose enough to disguise my curves, getting the occasional offer is one of the prices of setting up in an inn like the Martagon. Some mistake me for a lad in the candlelight, half blinded by guilt or anticipation or both. Others just see my red hair and green eyes and remember all the whispered stable yard tales about the insatiable appetites of Forest women. Such whispers had mortified my respectable housekeeper mother once I’d reached girlhood, just when she’d thought the gossip about her ill-starred dalliance with the Forest minstrel who was my father had finally faded.