The Internal Defense Series
The Torturer’s Daughter
When her best friend Heather calls in the middle of the night, Becca Dalcourt assumes it’s the usual drama. Wrong. Heather’s parents have been arrested as dissidents – and Becca’s mother, the dystopian regime’s most infamous torturer, has already executed them for their crimes against the state.
To stop Heather from getting herself killed trying to prove her parents’ innocence, Becca hunts for proof of their guilt. She doesn’t expect to find evidence that leaves her questioning everything she thought she knew about the dissidents… and about her mother.
When she risks her life to save a dissident, she learns her mother isn’t the only one with secrets – and the plot she uncovers will threaten the lives of the people she loves most. For Becca, it’s no longer just a choice between risking execution and ignoring the regime’s crimes; she has to decide whose life to save and whose to sacrifice.
It’s easy to be a hero when you can save the world, but what about when all you can do is choose how you live in it? The Torturer’s Daughter is a story about ordinary life amidst the realities of living under an oppressive regime… and the extraordinary courage it takes to do what’s right in a world gone wrong.
the sequel to The Torturer’s Daughter
A year and a half ago, Becca Dalcourt joined the resistance. Three months ago, she started working undercover inside Internal Defense. A year from now, she’ll probably be dead. She knows the odds. She’s seen how the life of a double agent ends.
All she wants is a chance to do something with what little time she has left. Something big. Something meaningful. But the resistance doesn’t trust her, and her job transcribing torture sessions hasn’t given her anything but the names of dissidents whose lives, according to her resistance contact, aren’t worth saving.
So when she discovers a secret government program designed to brainwash dissidents into loyal citizens, she resolves to shut it down, no matter the cost. Even if her plan puts everyone she loves in danger. Even if the most experienced resistance fighters say it can’t be done. Even if it means betraying the only person who sees past the mask she wears every day.
Even if she has to do it alone.
The sequel to The Torturer’s Daughter, which has been praised for its dark realism, Necessary Sacrifices asks how you fight an enemy that can’t be defeated… and what sacrifices are worth making along the way.
The First Unforgivable Thing
When a dissident working undercover as an interrogator is ordered to torture a confession from the only girl he’s ever loved, he chooses to defy both the totalitarian regime and the resistance by helping her escape—but she has an agenda of her own…
This dystopian novella is approximately 14,000 words long, or about 50 print pages. Set in the world of the Internal Defense series, it takes place between Necessary Sacrifices and the upcoming No Return, but can also be read as a stand-alone story.
The conclusion to the Internal Defense series
Every dissident knows about Becca Dalcourt.
They know about the lives she’s saved. About the prison break she carried out against impossible odds. They know she turned a dying resistance into the first real threat Internal Defense has faced in a long time.
And even now, with the resistance under attack from the inside, they know Becca can save them.
The conclusion to the story that began with The Torturer’s Daughter and Necessary Sacrifices, No Return explores what happens when an ordinary person becomes a legend – and how to choose between who you are and who the world needs you to be.
The Adventure of Creation (Think Sideways Writers Anthology #1)
With a Foreword by Holly Lisle
This anthology contains my story “After the Fire,” a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy short.
Follow a girl to the Below-World to slay the Sharkshadow, or help a timid girl to overcome the destructive criticism of her art teacher. Witness a solitary drone on Mars or a naive homunculus struggle to become human. Sew with a mother who lost her daughter in a unicorn quilt, defeat bank robbing super-villains with an unlikely superhero, or join a great mage in the fire.
In thirty-five imaginative stories, emerging authors present the diversity of their creativity. Each author found a different angle for the unifying theme: The Adventure of Creation. Witness the talent nurtured by writing teacher, Holly Lisle. For the 5th anniversary of her first big writing course, How to Think Sideways, this anthology features the best of her talented students in a great variety of genres.
Through a Tangled Wood
This anthology contains my story “Flight,” a retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
A variety of writers come together to twist traditional fairy tales into unusual and mysterious stories. From Beauty and the Beast, to Hansel and Gretel, to the Ugly Duckling, these stories will be sure to pull you into a fantastical world of princes, romance, and maybe a little science fiction.
“Plan B” by Katie French. When Nolan is selected as one of the few candidates to work in the Breeders’ hospital, he thinks all his troubles are over. Now he can afford precious medicine to save his ailing father. He’s heard of the Breeders’ cruelty, of their inhuman experiments, but he’s sure they’re fabrications. Then he stumbles into the Plan B room and learns how truly awful the Breeders can be.
“Tailless” by Ariele Sieling. A retelling of the Ugly Duckling, set on a far away planet in an unknown galaxy. While fighting a war with her people’s biggest enemy, young Bode struggles to understand why she feels out of place in her community, and why she, unlike her comrades, was born without a tail.
“I Am the Maid” by Sarah Dalton. A hostile zombie killing Maid Marian meets an ill-behaved ex-soldier Robin in this post-apocalyptic retelling of Robin Hood. When a young girl falls deathly sick, the two are forced to join forces in order to outwit the Sheriff, and the mysterious Guy Gisbon.
“Three Wishes” by Marijon Braden. When Aladdin rubbed the magic lamp, things went pretty well for him. But a few thousand years later, the world has changed and the genie is old, cranky, and doesn’t play fair. Young Alison thinks she’s found the answer to all her prayers, but instead finds that having wishes come true isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
“Killing Snow White” by Jamie Campbell. A magical retelling of the story of Snow White, told entirely by the Evil Queen who supposedly tried to poison her. Think Snow White is innocent? Think again.
“A House in the Woods” by H.S. Stone. At the conclusion of a scavenger hunt for Old World artifacts, Hansel and Gretel find themselves lost on the outskirts of the city after dark. They stumble upon a house in the nearby woods, hoping that they will find help inside, but the house’s inhabitant has other ideas.
“Flight” by Zoe Cannon. A retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Dragged to the palace at swordpoint, commanded to cure the cursed prince with a kiss, Lucia wants nothing more than to return to her solitary world of books and magical study. But she soon discovers that she and the prince share more in common than she could have imagined… and that the truth behind his curse could destroy—or save—them both.
This anthology contains my story “The Sleeping Goddess.”
From the beginning of time, the mysteries of the night sky have captivated humanity. Our ancestors foretold the future through the phases of the moon, worshiped the countless stars, and feared the comets that streaked across the sky before disappearing back into darkness.
Now, ten YA authors have come together to explore the impact the appearance of a comet can have on a life, a relationship… or an entire world.
‘Shadow’ by Sarah Dalton. When Mary visits her Aunt Izzy’s remote seaside bungalow, past and present collide. She soon realises a dark shadow hangs over her childhood memories, leaving her a task she would rather not complete… A haunting ghost story that explores the delicate relationships between women. Part of the ‘Mary Hades’ series.
‘The Sleeping Goddess’ by Zoe Cannon. On the eve of a once-in-a-thousand-years celestial event, the last surviving priestess must decide whether to obey her goddess and destroy an entire race… or follow her heart and let her own people die.
‘Before the Pageant’ by Susan Fodor. In a dystopian city where appearances are everything, Ambrose Addams spends all her time striving to be number one. With classical beauty, the hottest boyfriend in Tealé, and the most sought after position in the city, Ambrose should be happy; things rarely go the way they should. One fortuitous exchange will not only change her priorities, but the whole course of her life.
‘Comet Cotillion (A Celestial Mini-Wave)’ by Sutton Shields. Marina Valentine spends her days in The Helena Hambourg House for Maladies, where each hour presents a new fight for survival. Life in an institution isn’t exactly ideal, but for Marina, nothing could be more dangerous than being caught in the middle of a vicious scheme cooked up by the evil Head Hoodooess, Madame Helena. Now, Marina and her quirky friends must find a way to escape before everything that makes them special is taken away forever. ‘Comet Cotillion’ is a short, fun-filled prequel to the events occurring in The Merworld Water Wars series by Sutton Shields.
‘The Shadow Keepers’ by Anya Allyn. At the terrifying moment that seven-year-old Molly discovers her mother dead, she sees a stranger standing in the room: a teenage girl. The girl holds a shocking secret. A new story from The Dark Carousel series.
‘Tragic Magic’ by Jamie Campbell. A stalking ex-boyfriend is one thing. When he is a demon, it’s a whole new ballgame. Lacey would like to think she is an average teenager, except the witch is anything but. In order to get rid of her crazed ex, she must draw on all her powers to vanquish him forever.
‘The Greenhouse Gas’ by Ariele Sieling. Galya wakes up to the flash of a falling comet, and discovers that her escape pod is floating in a graveyard of spaceships. Confused and scared, she and her brother set out to search the destroyed ships for signs of their father… or any life at all. This story retells Hansel and Gretel is set in outer space.
‘Project #45’ by Marijon Braden. The Brightness wasn’t the end of the world, but it might as well have been. Now, Amy and her family are trying to rebuild their lives, trying to return to some kind of normalcy, all the time wondering…why did it happen? How? And when will it happen again? And a million years (Miles? Worlds?) away, the answer is so simple…
‘Moon Warrior’ by H.S. Stone. Separated from her tribe after a sand dragon attack, Luna finds herself alone with no food or shelter. She must cross a desert wasteland to find her people again, but when she loses their trail, she discovers that her warrior instincts may not be enough to save her.
‘Love Me or Love Me Not’ by Katie Hayoz. Six months ago, Star’s parents left her with a disturbing secret, one she’s guarded despite everything. But as the comet she’s been observing grows brighter and brighter in the sky, the consequences of keeping that secret come to light. A tragic story exploring sanity, love, and the quest for fulfillment.