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Add Magic to Taste Author Spotlight: Nina Waters

This spotlight will be slightly different from the other since…it’s me, the one writing all these updates. Hi! I’m Claire Houck, pen name Nina Waters, fandom name unforth. I own Duck Prints Press LLC, and I’m the lead editor for this anthology, and I was selected to contributor a story through the same anonymous process as our other contributors were (and I was depressingly prepared to have to step up and say my own application writing sample wasn’t actually good enough for me to be included in anthology with this many wonderful writers – five members of our management team applied and only two of those five were accepted, though the other three will be in our second anthology).

Working with everyone on this project, from recruitment, through development, through editing, and now during the Kickstarter, has been every bit the wonderful experienced I hoped it would be when me and my advisors first conceived this anthology. We’re so excited to share it, truly. And now, a bit more about me as a writer, and a teaser to my story…

Claire Houck (she/they/he) is queer, 38 years old, married to the lovely Lisa, and a mother of two.  Claire has been writing fanfiction since the young age of seven, when  she penned (well, two-finger typed and printed dot matrix) the timeless  classic “the story of my littl ponies and the glob.” Since then, her  spelling, grammar, and prose have improved immensely. She has written over two hundred short stories, a number of novellas, and 16 novels—some original, some fanfiction—including A Glimmer of Hope, which was successfully Kickstarted and self-published in fall, 2016. Before she became a full-time writer, Claire had a career as a professional grant writer and program evaluator, providing consultation services for  the New York City Department of Education and other non-profit education organizations.

Links: Archive of Our Own | Tumblr | Twitter

Story Title: Knishes and Noshes

tags: blind character, creature character, dragon, fluff, interspecies romance, Jewish character, meet cute, mentions of ableism, mlen, mute character, non-binary character

Teaser:

Aaron wasn’t sure when he developed a crush on the dragon.

It might have been when he realized that the halo over the dragon’s head was the size and shape of a yarmulke with a heat-generating band inserted within it.

It might have been when the dragon special-ordered three of Aaron’s Tu B’shevat platters, then tried to stuff a crumpled-up handful of bills into the International Tree Foundation collection box without Aaron noticing.

It might have been when, on a snowy Tevet mid-morning, the dragon stayed for over an hour, laboriously tapping their way through a one-sided conversation with Aaron.

He couldn’t have said, really—but he could say when he realized that the dragon maybe returned his feelings.

Shevat 22.

A cold and windy Thursday, with the forecast promising overnight ice storms.

The dragon came in and approached the counter. They set down a sheet of paper and a jar, the contents of which sloshed turbidly, turquoise, 16 degrees. Something—a talon, Aaron assumed—dipped into the jar and emerged coated with liquid. The paper’s location shifted, the tip of the talon swept lightly over the page, and letters formed in its wake.

I’m Eli, the dragon wrote.

Eli.

What a lovely name.


This, and 19 other fantastic fluffy queer stories, can be yours by backing the Add Magic to Taste Kickstarter!

Check it out now!

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Cover Reveal for “Add Magic to Taste”

Duck Prints Press will be launching our first Kickstarter on July 15th, 2021, and we cannot possibly be more excited for it! We’ve got a LOT more info to come related to – previews of the merchandise, teasers for the stories, and more – but we wanted to get things started by sharing our amazing cover, which features art by LizLee Illustration (@lizleeillustration, Instagram, Twitter, Personal Site) and graphic design work by @pallasperilous (Twitter, Personal Website), @hermitwrites (Pillowfort, WordPress), and @alessariel.

For Add Magic to Taste, 20 authors have come together to produce all-new, original short stories uniting four of our absolute favorite themes: queer relationships, fluff, magic, and coffee shops! Our diverse writers have created an even more diverse collection of stories guaranteed to sweeten your coffee and warm your tart.

Love wlw? So do we!

Love mlm? We’ve got you covered!

Love genderqueer characters? Raise those trans, enby, agender and other flags high!

Love aces? Same, and we don’t (only) mean playing cards!

Love poly relationships? Oh hey, we’re sharing a brain!

We won’t say this anthology has it all – there are too many identities in the world for us to fit all of them into one anthology of 20 stories – but if you want some queer fluff and happy feelings, you’ve come to the right place. Add Magic to Taste features characters of different races, ethnicities, sexualities, romanticisms, gender identities, religions, and home nations, united by the common theme of finding someone (or more than one someone) to enjoy a muffin and a cuppa with – for today, or for a lifetime, romantically or otherwise!

Learn more about this project:

So, mark your calendars! Follow our Tumblr! Read more about the project! Ask us any questions you have! And save your pennies so you, too, can buy this amazing collection of stories!

The Kickstarter for Add Magic to Taste launches on July 15th, 2021!

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Now Available: Puppetry by Nina Waters!

Duck Prints Press LLC is thrilled to announce our third title – a modern-with-magic novelette by Nina Waters, with three full-page illustrations by Nikki O’Shea!

Summary: Harriet comes to her senses on a bustling New York City sidewalk with no memory of how she got there, where she was going, or how to get home. Terrified that her elderly Puppeteer, Jacob, will be angry with her, Harriet panics. There’s no way she can find her way, not alone!

Fortunately, Harriet isn’t alone.

“Puppetry” is a story about aging, changing, growing up, asserting independence – and finding someone worth spending a lifetime of lifetimes with.

Length: 19,950 words/58 pages

Genre: Modern with Magic

Rating: Adult

Tags: BIPOC main character, asexual main character, magical automatons, found family, aging and old age, memory loss, minor character death, classism, racism, off-screen non-con, happy ending

Format: e-book (ePub, Mobi and PDF)

Price: $1.99 US

Get Your Copy Now!

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Coming April 15th!

Coming April 15th, 2021 – our first new, exclusive release! “The Last Letters of Mrs. Victoria Holmwood” by Nina Waters is an epistolary short story about an elderly woman who stumbles upon an unlikely plan to save her children who died during World War I. It’ll be 99 cents US and available in ePub, Mobi and PDF formats.

(Warning: it’s not particularly queer. There’s a couple side characters with intentional wlw subtext but it’s not an explicitly queer story and queerness isn’t relevant to the plot.)

Want to be among the first to hear when it’s released? Follow us on social media or join our mailing list! (we’ll also post about it here once it’s live on our website)

Cover photography and design by Alessa Riel.