October Daye Contest!

I'm not going to lie, I love Seanan McGuire and the October Daye series.  I gushed over Rosemary and Rue when it first came out, and I've been devouring each book as they come out.  And I'm not the only one--the fourth book in the series, Late Eclipses hit the NY Times extended list just a few weeks ago.

And it just so happens, I have an extra copy of Late Eclipses.


With Blind Michael and his Hunt safely behind her, October "Toby" Daye is doing her best to settle back into a normal routine—or as normal of a routine as she can manage, with her personal Fetch now paying half the rent. Still, things seem to be mostly under control...until the events of a single night send everything reeling. Now, with the Queen of the Mists watching her back and the Lady of the Tea Gardens deathly ill, Toby has no choice but to get involved, no matter how much she wants to avoid it.

The trials ahead will be some of the worst faced by Toby and her strange band of allies, and not even Tybalt will be able to escape totally unscathed. What's worse, the Luidaeg is unavailable to help them. This time, they're on their own. And people keep making Toby wear dresses, which is just adding insult to dangerous injury...

Late Eclipses is the fourth book in the October Daye series, a modern urban fantasy set in both the San Francisco Bay Area and the Faerie Kingdom of the Mists which overlays Northern California.

Which means...

Writing Contest!

Here's what you've have to do.

Write a story, one hundred words or fewer, using these words:


Bonus Points if you use the phrase "These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend"

Contest open internationally. It starts NOW, and runs through midnight Wednesday March 30th. Post your entry in the comments section.

Enter as many times as you want.

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Josh said...

These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend artificial night that will never end. Our habitation is in danger of failing; ever since last October it's gotten worse and worse. The smell of rosemary reminds us of better times. Warmer times. Before the storms. Before the creatures. When we ate, instead of being the eaten. Now we hide, we cook what we can with what we have, we try to keep warm and we wait. I’ve forgotten what we’re waiting for. Rescue or death – either way, it’d be an end to this hell.

KimberlyFDR said...

“These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend...”

“What?” Sally yelled.

Melanie sighed, setting down her script. She walked into the kitchen, where Sally was attempting to make rosemary chicken. She had yet to make a meal without setting off the smoke alarm.

“I've got a part in October Night,” Melanie explained, taking a slip of Sally's sweet tea. She quickly turned to spit it into the sink.

“Did you put artificial sweetener in that?” Melanie coughed.

Sally shrugged. “I used all the sugar on the chicken.”

Co-habitation with Sally was always an adventure.

Super Happy Jen said...

Rosemary, the artificial woman, looks out over the Earth from her orbital habitation. In a few days, the Starship October will return for her; her Captain will hear her report:

“These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us: though the wisdom of nature can reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds itself scourged by the sequent effects: love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide: in cities, mutinies; in countries, discord.”

Now Rosemary, in her silver cocoon, gently presses the off switch at the base of her neck and the world fades to endless night.

Unknown said...

Security systems in VR appeared as dim suns and great watching moons. Gemma Rosemary avoided their artificial lights and waited for the next aperture to obey her hack commands. From here she could surf the stream straight into the core of the dreaded October Systems superframe. Plans for the illegal habitation of contested off-world territories existed inside.
The construct changed with a coronal flash as two lights locked on her. She knew that these late eclipses in the sun and moon portend disaster. The system had discovered her intrusion. She would be lucky to escape this night alive.

Josin L. McQuein said...

Rosemary glanced at the tiny slip of paper that fell from her fortune cookie.

"These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend thy artificial habitation this late October night shall blaze brighter than the noonday sun."

Her companion stared from the other side of the table, a noodle-covered frozen half-way to her mouth, then said, "Deep... check the lotto numbers on the back."

Eliza Tilton said...

I love prompts : )

“These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend the end,” the Rosemary fey sighed.

Her delicate wings fluttered up into the artificial night. Here, she could see the end of the magical globe that encased her people in an illusionary habitation. Streams of sienna swept across the sky, reminding her of October; the season when her young ones would die.

Deep inside in heart, Queen Anais knew she could not let any more cycles pass. "I will save you my children,” she whispered, and flew to the keeper’s gate.

Alex said...

“The most crushing two minutes of my day is when I receive what I know is an artificial laugh from Jean every morning.”

“Lord almighty Jack, then stop telling the jokes you sad sack of crap.”

“Maybe…Rosemary, it’s habitational, like a full moon on an October night.”

“The word you’re Sherlocking for Holmes, is habitual, and I’m not even sure that’s right.“

Jack, mighty CEO, valiant crusader of employee benefits, and surreptitiously desperate pursuer of his secretary’s affections, does not like it when his daughter patronizes him with her somewhat unintelligible hoodlum vernacular.

Anonymous said...

“These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend love and lust and …”

Janet closed the book with a sigh. “If only real life was that romantic; none of this artificial pretend-to-be-someone-you’re-not-crap.”

She thought of Michael’s invitation to the October Ball. “He only asked you because he had to,” the familiar voice whispered in her ear.

She glanced at the herbs growing in a cozy little habitation on her kitchen’s windowsill. “Isn’t rosemary supposed to attract love? Maybe a sprinkle in my bag will help make the night more interesting.”

Anonymous said...

“What was in that stew?” wondered starship captain Anhela Lee idly.
“Rosemary,” Lieutenant Henri Tousson muttered, eyeing his display. One screen showed the night side of the world, habitation proven by artificial light. There it was “October,” a label meaningless to spacers.
“Findings?” Lee asked.
“It’s bad,” Tousson replied, showing her. They contemplated the data in horror. Rivers of comets spiraled lethally into the orbit of the planet.
The governor called, haranguing, “We must know what these late eclipses of the sun and moon portend!”
“Tomorrow,” Lee promised, killing the link. Best they not riot over their doom, she reasoned.

Lynn(e) Schmidt said...

“This co-habitation, it’s got to end,” she stated.
“But October is next month,” I pleaded. “…Our anniversary.”
She looked at me, or right through me. Her hands offered me a cup. Before I could ask, she answered, “Rosemary…to calm your nerves.”
I hadn’t realized I was shaking. I wouldn’t give in to her. I forced artificial happiness as she lifted her bags and walked into the night. I smiled, waving her off as the moon rose.
“These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend the end of my life," I thought. And there she drove off with my heart.

David S. said...

The night we went to the fair, was our last.

It started innocent at first, a date with Rosemary. We spent the evening like Templeton, eating garbage and gigantic turkey legs. Our belly’s gorged and our pockets full of wrappers, we waited in line for the Gravitron. A spinning mass that split the October sky with orange lights and 80s glam-rock. Inside, the dark hid a habitation of teenage creatures with text on the brain.

Round and round we went, where we stopped, nobody knew. Until all the artificial sweeteners I’d eaten came to a head.

My head.

Their heads.

Christina Auret said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tara Tyler said...

"These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend…” Jalinda trailed off, staring into the sky.

“Portend? Portend what? What does that even mean?”

“Oh, Rexana.” Jalinda glared. “Why must you be so artificial?”

“Do you mean superficial? You should talk, Miss Goth. Halloween isn’t for another two weeks!”

Jalinda ignored her and continued, “They portend an ominous night of…”

“A totally awesome party!" Rexana finished for her. “Let’s go! I’m starving!”

“I agree,” Jalinda relented. “Where is Rosemary’s habitation?”

“Close. I love this warm October weather.”

As do I. More tempting skin exposed to sink my teeth into.

Alex said...

Botany Professor M. Kats loves his herbs, his deciduous shrubs, all his plants. He cares greatly for them all, but his students? They traipse after him in the greenhouses dissidently listening to his impassioned speeches on the correct handling of seedlings.

“The night time is not the right time to be relocating artificial rosemary habitations in the middle of October!”

This is why Kats generally stays rip roaring blazed through out every class on his own artfully crafted strain of the perennially flowering herb, Cannabis sativa. To think of the knowledge these young minds are passing up.

Anonymous said...

The scythe of revenge is sharp. Rosemary is the bearer and we shall surely pay for our transgressions in blood before dawn. The night air is saturated with the soapy scent of freesia and it intensifies as she draws nearer. It triggers the memory of the dirty deed we carried out in late October. We expelled her from her physical habitation once we discovered what she was; pure evil, shrouded in flesh and artificial kindness. Little did we know, our perceptions were skewed. Our flawed decision had ignited a fire that can only be quelled by human sacrifice.

Christina Auret said...

Rosemary held out a hand to catch some of the silicon rain. Little bits of October night fell from the sky. The roof of the artificial habitation was shedding, again.

The neon blue glow of radiation made the damage into stars. It was almost beautiful, but she had a repair crew ticket crushed in her other hand.

Unknown said...

“I specified my need for privacy in seven co-habitation questionnaires.”

Dandridge perfected artificial sympathy, “You feel we ignored that?”

“You roomed me with a Telepath! She reads my thoughts, reminds me of things I didn’t know I forgot. There’s always crushed rosemary in my sheets… I don’t want my spirit refreshed every night!”

“These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend difficult transitions.”

“Ma’am, I want to kill her and it’s not even October.”

“We have one other rooming option.”


“A Seer. Have you any objections to knowing your future?”

She should have just gone to community college.

Alex said...

“Late in an October night, we were sneaking into the fish farm’s salmon habitation.”

“Did you know that farmed salmon meat is actually a pallid white color? They inject it with artificial pigment to make it appear like the healthy non-sickly wild salmon that it isn’t.”

“I didn’t know that Rosemary. Now let me finish my story.”

“I know this story Gramps, it ends with a masturbating security guard. It’s inappropropriate. I’m twelve.”

Sighing, Gramps takes another sip of Makers Mark. His precocious daughter must have raised this kid.

Rosemary stairs at him. “Ok, everyone.” Gramps calls, “Time for presents.”

Cayleigh said...

Rosemary presses a hand to her lips, gaping up at the artificial night projected over the skin of the dome, and then back down at the star chart in her fist. The arrangement is off by a month at least, portraying the October sky when it should have shown November’s. The mechanics that run the star’s alignment, along with entire habitation, are out of sync. These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend disaster.

Penelope Wright said...

My sister peered at the bottle. “Artificial rosemary? What the hell is that?”
I rolled my eyes. “Maybe if you got a job, I wouldn’t go grocery shopping at the dollar store anymore.”
“Our habitation is essential, at least through the last night of October. These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend –
“Save your witchy-poo crap for your one client,” I said, stalking away.
“I’ll still perform the spell,” she called after me.
“Don’t you dare follow her tonight,” she barked to the empty room. Ugh. Charlatan or not, she totally creeped me out with that crap.

Anonymous said...

On that fateful October night we placed our humanity on a sacrificial slab along with Rosemary and the others.
"Give us twelve and we'll seek habitation elsewhere," they requested.
The alternative was our total annihilation to make room for their civilization. We agreed, being that their weaponry was far more advanced than anything on Earth. If only we'd asked more questions we would've understood that they didn't want twelve people, but twelve million.
As these late eclipses in the sun and moon portend our doom, we now realize that the bargain was an artificial contract designed to prove our unworthiness.

Anonymous said...

“These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend trouble,” came the correct pass-phrase. Akima the healer answered the door and was astonished to see Bailiff Saros.
“I need something to ward off the effects of October,” the visitor admitted. Her fears of arrest were allayed.
Akima brought forth a small paper-wrapped parcel. “Rosemary salve,” she informed Saros, taking his gold.
As he hid the package, Saros glanced inside and sniffed. “Habitation with elves is not legal,” he warned. He turned and left.
“Goddess, I hate were-men,” Akima grumbled, barring the door against the night.

Anonymous said...

“Scrabble,” Sally announced. Harry groaned. His sisters always creamed him.
Harry opened with “rose.” Misty predictably turned this into a 48-point “rosemary” and Sally used the “o” for a double-scoring “October.” In short order he saw his “habitat” turned into “habitation,” and then a 58-point “habitations/plows.” His next humiliation was Misty making his “art” into “artificial.” After Sally played “redden” off his original word, Harry was reduced to constructing “night” using a blank tile for the otherwise 4-point “h.”
“If you have a `y’ or `s’ you could get bonus points,” Misty offered.
“Screw bonus points,” Harry grumped.

Liz @ Cleverly Inked said...

COol contest, I am no writer though :)

Unknown said...

Did anybody win?