The official blog of author Jean Marie Bauhaus

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Women's Work by Jean Marie Bauhaus

New Release: Women’s Work

Women's Work by Jean Marie Bauhaus

My first new release of 2019 is out and available pretty much everywhere e-books are sold!

Women’s Work is a short story duo featuring two tough heroines that have captured my imagination, and I hope they’ll also capture yours. Here’s the official description:

A woman’s work is never done, and rarely is it easy — a sentiment that’s keenly felt in these two quick tales of urban fantasy and horror from Jean Marie Bauhaus.

In The Box, retired monster slayer turned single mom Keely Brewster hides out in a small town where she hopes to raise her little girl in peace. But leaving her old life behind proves harder than expected when a mysterious package shows up on her front step.

In Night Driving, Mae always loved driving at night. But this particular drive might be one of the most important of her life. And for her violent husband, it might be the last.

Enjoy these haunting creations from the mind that brought you Eucha Falls, Midnight Snacks and the Restless Spirits series.

Click here to get your copy!

Midnight Snacks and Other Short Stories Now Available on Kindle Unlimited!

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KU subscribers and Amazon Prime members rejoice! Or at least give each other a high five. All of my short indie fiction is now back home on KU. Grab them all here.

“But wait, Jean,” longtime readers might be thinking, “didn’t you just take them all out of KU at the start of this year?”

Yes. Yes I did. But now I’ve moved them back, for reasons. If you want to know those reasons, you can read all about them right here, along with what I eventually plan to do for the benefit of non-Kindle readers. The short version is that after a year-long experiment with global publishing, I feel like Amazon and KU is the best home for my short fiction, at least for the time being. Which means I plan to publish more shorter works there in the near future, so if you like shorter fiction, and especially if you happen to like MY shorter fiction, that’s a good thing! High fives all around!

“But I don’t have a Kindle / I’m not enrolled in KU!”

You don’t have to be left out — you can install the free Kindle app on your smartphone, tablet or PC and read Kindle books to your heart’s content (true fact: I gave my actual Kindle device to my husband because I like the smartphone app better). And if you’re not in KU, you can purchase these books at the regular retail price (or if you’re a Prime member you can borrow them from the Prime Lending Library). Also, like I mentioned in the other post linked up there, eventually I’ll collect all of my shorts into a paperback edition. More high fives!

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Happy Halloween! I Brought Treats!

 

 

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Okay, confession: these treats are recycled. We’re in the middle of getting ready to move and I don’t have time to run to Target and pick up new bags of candy make new content. But these old treats are still yummy, I promise!

Here’s me last year doing a Halloween live reading of my short horror story, Snack Machine:

 

And here’s me narrating two creepy pieces of flash fiction:

 

 

These are all featured in my short story collection, Midnight Snacks. Click here to get your copy. It also includes my horror novella Eucha Falls, which is available as a free standalone wherever e-books are sold. And if you like those you’ll also like my creepy story about a witch’s ghost, Weather Witch. Get it here.

But wait, there’s more! Before you go, be sure to check out my Restless Oklahoma and Stuff I Think You’ll Like blog tags for more spooky reads and recommendations.

And finally, here’s a Halloween tip: If you’ve got more candy corn than you know what to do with, try mixing it into your popcorn. We tried this the other night and it was the perfect mix of sweet & salty — and I’m not even a fan of candy corn. But that was a big bag o’ deliciousness.

Happy Halloween, folks. I hope you’re enjoying it this year. As for me and mine, we’re going to take a break from packing and prepping to enjoy our favorite monster movies and candy. What Halloween traditions are you enjoying this year? Shout it out in the comments!

Free at Last!

I have a laptop again! Thanks to my dear friend Erin Palette‘s quick thinking and organization efforts and the generosity of her Facebook network, I am now the proud owner of a 2005 HP tablet/notebook device. Yes, 2005, so it’s not exactly state-of-the-art, but it’s fine for writing, blogging, surfing, and light graphic design work. And it converts into a tablet — I think this was one of Microsoft’s early attempts to beat the iPad — so that’s fun. At any rate, it has liberated me from my husband’s desk and having to wait my turn on the desktop PC, so I am beyond thrilled and grateful.

And now I can get back to work on the whole author-publisher endeavor. Which I have already done by adding to the short story I’d begun before my old laptop’s screen burned out. And I also redid my Patreon page, where you can read said short story, which is a mash-up of a local ghost story and a terrifying dream I had a few months ago.

I’ve also been working on the outline and story world for the novel I talked about in my last post. I’ll start drafting it once this story is done — although I would like to write one more short piece for the collection I’m planning to publish around Halloween, so we’ll see how that goes. At any rate, pretty much everything I write from now on I plan to post as I go on my Patreon feed, and you can read it all for a measly $2 monthly pledge. Plus you’ll get other stuff too. Because I appreciate your willingness to toss a couple of bucks my way to help me do what I do, and I promise to make it worth your while.

In other news, Matt just had a birthday on Saturday. We spent it with my mom and her sister, who took us to a burger joint my mom used to frequent back in the 1950s. That was the best burger and onion rings and chocolate malt I’ve had in a very long time. Actually, it was the only burger and rings I’ve had in quite a while, and probably the first malt I’d had in about two decades. But it was delicious. At any rate, it was a lovely day.

NaNoWriMo Prep and a Cover Reveal

shiny_web_copyI managed to accomplished two (TWO!) writing/publishing-related things last weekend: I broke through my block and figured out the main plot arc of the next book in the Damned series (and also what book three is about, and that it’s up to four books now instead of being a trilogy); and I came up with a cover for Shiny, my steampunk cyborg fairy story (previewed here), that I’m (mostly) happy with. This is probably not the final final version (I’m not 100% sold on the main font, thanks to the “y” looking too much like a “g”), but it’s close. At any rate, I’m aiming to have it ready for release in December, after Nano is out of the way.

Speaking of Nanowrimo, I had originally planned to do a series of posts throughout this month covering the whys and hows and wherefores of participation in the month-long writing marathon, but I’ve been too preoccupied and overwhelmed with getting my web design and marketing business back off the ground and, frankly, I just don’t have a lot of steam left. What little steam I do have, I should probably save for writing my novel.

The short version is, for those who still question the sanity of Nanowrimo and whether or not they should give it a try, is that I recommend doing it at least once, if you have any book-length writing ambition whatsoever. The primary reason I recommend it is because it’s basically boot camp for learning how to keep a deadline. It forces you to learn how to make yourself write when you just have a few free minutes here and there. If you’re someone who thinks you can’t possibly write unless you have a big, solid block of uninterrupted time to “get your head in the zone” and “find your inspiration,” much like I used to be, this is a valuable and necessary lesson to learn.

2013-Participant-Vertical-BannerAs for me, I still need to relearn that lesson from time to time, which is why this is going to be my seventh year (it would have been my 8th, but I took last year off). After so many attempts–some of which were successful, some of which gave me books that were eventually good enough to publish, some of which produced manuscripts that are best left forgotten at the back of my hard drive–I’ve also figured out that the way Nano works best for me is to use it to write a discovery draft, a “draft zero” that’s somewhere between an expanded outline and a full-blown manuscript. That’s why I’m not going in with a detailed outline. As mentioned above, I do have the main arc worked out, so I’ll know what direction I need to move in, but I’ll basically be pantsing it and figuring out the details as I go.

I am a little doubtful of my chances for success this year, because as I said, I’m not running on a full tank of gas and my day job is still pretty busy. But being that it’s a sequel, I already know the characters, so I don’t have to spend time figuring them out and trying to find their voices. That should help things flow more smoothly. At any rate, I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself to “win.” As long as I get a good start on my next novel, regardless of whether I reach 50,000 words, I’m going to consider it time and effort well spent. And I’ll probably be working on this manuscript for the next six to 12 months, regardless of how far I get in November.

At any rate, it’s only two days away! Which means that Halloween is tomorrow! Which means that my big Halloween book sale is about to draw to a close! Which means you should totally go snag all of my books for 99 cents each before the price goes back up at the close of October 31st (or when I remember to go raise the prices back up on Friday)! So go now!

Quick Update

This has been a busy week, and I wasn’t able to get my final editing post ready to post on time.  So that — along with the reveal of who won the pro bono manuscript edit — will get posted next week.

Meanwhile, here’s a quick update of what else I’ve been working on:

Last weekend I wrote most of another horror short. It’s got two more quick scenes to go, and then I’ll probably post it here when it’s finished, which I will attempt to do this weekend.

Last week I also finished the steampunk pixie story, but I haven’t started editing it yet. I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do with that one.

Once those are both wrapped, I’m going to get back to the flash fiction collection and try to wrap that up before Nanowrimo — which will be a challenge, because my creative writing time is pretty much limited to the weekend right now. But I’ll see what I can do.

As busy as this week has been, last night I hit a wall of both mental and physical exhaustion, and woke up this morning with a big bucket of CAN’T. So I’m basically giving myself a three-day weekend to rest. Well, today wasn’t a day of rest so much as getting chores and errands out of the way so I can relax most of the weekend. Hopefully, two days of putting my feet up and indulging my creative side will give me back my mojo for Monday.

Free Story: Food Scarcity

Sorry for the blog silence. Lately my life has been split pretty evenly between doing the job hunt mambo and writing content for Demand Studios and spending what little free time I do have just trying to rest and recharge my batteries so I can do it all over again. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for blogging. Or unpaid writing of any sort, really.

So since the flash fiction project is on hold I decided to go ahead and share one of the two I’ve actually managed to finish (the other one is still under submission with a local e-zine). It’s only 500 words long, so grab a cuppa and settle in for a quick read. The title isn’t final, but for now I’m calling it…

 

FOOD SCARCITY

 

The lights still came on at night in the city. The girl wondered how long they would keep doing that, without anyone around to turn them on. The screens and news tickers in Times Square had been broadcasting the same warnings to stay inside and lock your doors for two weeks now. She didn’t think there was anyone left in the city still capable of heeding the warnings.

But she kept looking, just in case.

She stuck to the shadows and avoided streets where she could hear the tell-tale moans. She wasn’t afraid of those things. They weren’t that hard to kill, one on one. But swarms were a different story, and she couldn’t afford to get injured. Too many depended on her to lead them. To feed them.

So she hunted, even though it seemed more useless with each passing night.

A scream pierced the silence, filling the girl with hope. Only the living screamed like that. She scanned the street, the shops and restaurants. The living tended to show up where there might be food.

But the unliving tended to show up where there was screaming, so she had to hurry. The woman screamed again, and the girl raced toward the sound. There, up ahead. The Starbucks on Eighth Street. The windows were broken. A woman backed out of the door, clutching a broken and bloody two-by-four like a club. A shopping bag hung over her shoulder.

The girl came up from behind. Peering over the woman’s shoulder, she saw a man lying on the floor, swarmed by the unliving. They were devouring him. The woman sobbed. For now, they were too distracted to hear her.

The girl spun her around. She screamed and raised her weapon, but didn’t swing. “Are you bit?”

Dazedly, the woman shook her head. “My husband.” She looked back at the man on the floor… what was left of him. “David…”

“We can’t help him. Come with me.”

“Where?”

“Away from them.” Inside, the ones who couldn’t get their fill were starting to take notice of them. “Now.” She grabbed the woman’s hand, and pulled. The swarm filed out through the door behind them. They ran together down the street, turning here and there, tracing a path through a maze the girl knew well. The woman kept sobbing as they went. “Be quiet!” the girl commanded.

They ran down an alley, to a dead end. They turned around. The woman screamed again as the swarm followed them, blocking the entrance. There was nowhere to go.

The others emerged from the shadows. Her children. Together, they fought the oncoming horde. It was easy, together. When they were finished, covered in gore and surrounded by squirming pieces of the unliving, they turned to the woman as one.

She looked confused, and terrified. “M… my name is Sheila.” She held out the grocery bag with a trembling hand. “I have food.”

“We know,” said the girl, her fangs descending. “And we’re so hungry.”

###

 

Story Time Tuesday: Eucha Falls, Part Five

Finally! Without further ado:

Eucha Falls

Part Five

Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four

It was lunchtime when Shane returned to pick her up. They grabbed microwavable burgers at the gas station where they stopped to fill the car on the way out of town, but even then it was late afternoon before they reached the stretch of highway that led to the park.

“You’ve still got it programmed into the GPS, right?” Melanie asked as she consulted her map.

“Yeah. Our turn should be coming up soon.”

Melanie looked up from the map and looked out at the highway. Up ahead, she saw a billboard coming into view, and as they grew closer she recognized the ad for the marina. “This is it.”

Shane slowed the car and took a right turn, and they heard the familiar crunch of gravel under the tires. But after a few yards, as the gravel gave way to black tar pavement, he stopped the car. “This isn’t right.” He looked behind them, where they could still see the highway and the billboard. “Wasn’t there a Dead End sign?”

Story Time Tuesday: Eucha Falls, Part Four

I’ve been remiss in keeping Eucha Falls updated for the past few weeks, mainly because I haven’t time to write it. But I finally knocked out the next scene, so… here it be.

 

Eucha Falls

Part Four

Part One | Part Two | Part Three

“I have to show you something.” She and Shane both spoke at once as she opened the door to her room. They stood there blinking at each other, her with her hand on the door and him in the doorway with his computer bag slung over one shoulder.

She turned and headed for her desk, beckoning for him to follow. “Close the door,” she told him. “There’s something new on the video.”

“You should see this first.” He pulled up a chair and started unpacking his laptop. “I kept wracking my brain, trying to remember why Eucha Falls sounded so familiar, and I finally did some Googling. You’re not going to believe what I found.”

Story Time Tuesday: Eucha Falls (formerly Blackwood Park) Part Two

With Blackwood Park being only a working title, I’ve settled on the actual title of my abandoned amusement park story: Eucha Falls. I’ve racked my brain trying to remember what the park in my recurring dream was actually called, but it’s just not coming to me. At any rate, this new title feels more fitting, and definitely less like a rip-off of Rosswood Park (and you get a cookie if you know that reference).

So here’s the next scene.

Blackwood Park

Eucha Falls

Part Two

Click here for Part One.

“You sure you want to watch this?” asked Shane.

Back in the safety of Melanie’s room in the small house she shared with two other renters, she had already booted up her laptop and plugged in the camera. “I’m sure.” As the video player opened to the beginning of the footage, she reached to click the start button, but Shane grabbed her hand.

“Mel, you don’t know what we’re going to see on here. Maybe I should watch it alone first. Then I can prepare you for… for whatever.”

“You mean for watching my brother’s murder. You think I haven’t thought of that? That I haven’t been thinking about anything else since we found this thing?”

“I know. I just meant—”

“I know what you meant.” She took hold of his hand with her free on and gently pried it away. She didn’t let go, but squeezed it as she said, “If that’s what’s on this tape, then I need to see it. I need to know.”

He didn’t look convinced, but he nodded. Melanie took a deep breath, and clicked Play.

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