Want to read all the general imprint titles that Duck Prints Press released during April and May of 2023? There’s a bundle for that! This discounted collection includes eight titles in one convenient purchase.
- The Princess and the Maze by A. L. Heard
- An Odd Gathering of Peculiar Cats by J. D. Harlock
- Dead Man’s Bells by Nicola Kapron
- The Ocean Went on Forever by Nicola Kapron
- twin flame by nottesilhouette
- Color by Owl Outerbridge
- Settling Down by Theresa Tanner
- To Fill My Cup by Violet J. Hayes
You save 20% by buying these titles together – only $9.50, instead of $11.92!
Read the teasers for each story!
The Princess and the Maze by A. L. Heard
In a kingdom past the sea, in a land of wild forests and towering mountains, there was a queen who gave birth to many children. Before the royal home was blessed with a son, a princess was born. According to the ancient laws, the princess couldn’t rule on her own. A worthy suitor would claim the throne through her, but it was left to her to determine how such worth was to be measured.
The princess didn’t want a husband and was capable of ruling alone, but these considerations couldn’t change the law, and so instead she endured encouragement from her family that she should entertain suitors and name the task that, should they succeed at it, would in turn name them the future king. She deferred as long as she could, pleading that she was too young to marry.
Her father indulged her… until the summer she turned eighteen.
An Odd Gathering of Peculiar Cats by J. D. Harlock
“Revolution may be unbecoming of a true gentlecat, but when shackled with the bonds of servitude of MAN, I say it would be most unbecoming not to revolt!”
Dead Man’s Bells by Nicola Kapron
The vines were alive. They writhed like snakes as he ran a hand over them. As one, they untangled themselves from the shrouded shape of the spear. A few even dropped off entirely and nudged at his ankles. Underneath, the weapon gleamed with the soft, wet shimmer of fresh growth.
Around it, he could make out the silhouette of something that was almost human. Luminous green eyes. Roots wrapped tightly into the shape of arms, legs, musculature. Foxglove flowers blooming in the hollow of a throat.
A forest demon persisting long after it had been cut down and sanded into a useful shape.
Beautiful, Liam thought. This feeling might be awe. If he didn’t need to keep moving forward, toward it, he would have fallen to his knees.
For a moment, the ringing paused, and the vines slowed in their movements. “I am not dead,” said the voice that wasn’t his own. “You did not kill me. Even like this, you cannot tame me. Raise me, and I will live again.”
The Ocean Went on Forever by Nicola Kapron
“I see you. I’m the only one who sees you. Work with me?”
Rock forgot how to breathe.
The owner of the voice looked like a human, if humans came in rust red. Mottled brown stripes and splotches made the light dance over the length of him, bright pink scratches painted over top. Those scratches stood out. They looked like fresh scars.
Mermaid. That was a mermaid.
twin flame by nottesilhouette
“This universe began with love.” My mama would start like clockwork every night before bed. “The universe began with the stars,” she whispered, and tucked my hair behind my ears.
“Wasn’t there a time before that, just of darkness, before the stars came?”
Color by Owl Outerbridge
“A flower, dear. It’s a flower.”
Ollie is squatting over it with the fabric of her simple dress bunched between her legs. Her bare skin is bruised and scraped from jumping off storage crates and anything else she can climb. The wounds are little trophies, and she wears them with pride. Such wonder fills her eyes. Her lips form a tiny circle as she studies that flower. It’s small, with a scraggy stem and jagged leaves. On the other side of the settlement’s drab, electrified-barbed-wire-topped stone walls, the fancy houses stand. If it had dared grow through the cracks in the pavement or in a well-curated garden there, it’d have been pulled up and killed. There’s no room in the perfect world of our genetically modified—and therefore supposedly superior—masters for things that grow out of place, nor for the beauty of the natural world and natural people.
Settling Down by Theresa Tanner
“I’m dreading having to go back in there. You know how stubborn Galerann can be, and he won’t want to admit failure. I don’t either, but my stake in this isn’t personal. I didn’t go for Adralan; I went for Rann.”
“Quests have a way of changing people, you know,” Grandma said. “It’s possible he’ll recognize that life isn’t like the epic stories we read.”
“Maybe,” Legardo allowed. “On the other hand, then he has to figure out what he’s doing next. While we were gone, he said that no matter what, he’s retired from the Falcons and is looking to stay home and start taking over duties here to let his dad back away. He’s ready to settle down, and…”
To Fill My Cup by Violet J. Hayes
“Here, Grandma, let me get you a stool.” Talia hurried to bring one from the other side of the island and helped her settle down into it. “Do you want a fresh cup of coffee?”
“No, dear, I’m fine.” One by one, her grandmother picked up each sweet potato. Her fingers were stiff with arthritis, the knuckles swollen. Talia wondered if she could get her plain gold wedding band off even if she wanted to. She turned each potato in her hands, murmuring as she did so. Talia knew she was doing math to calculate the number of servings, but it gave the impression of a sorcerer muttering an incantation.
I think my grandma might be a witch, she texted Rachael, and was surprised when her phone rang a moment later. “Hey, Rach.”
It only took that single word for Talia to know something was off. “What’s wrong?”