Anniversary Shenanigans: Author Visit + Giveaway - Tali Spencer

Our final Anniversary Shenanigans of 2016 is being spent with one of our fave authors: Tali Spencer! 

Tali visits, shares about upcoming projects, wrote a magical flash fic AND is hosting an AMAZING  giveaway!

We all hoped you had a great month partying with us! (Psst...there are still open giveaways) Try not to wreck the joint as you dash to them. ;)

Take it away, Tali!

Magic and Moonlight
Tali Spencer

Clouds cloak his eyrie. Zyrik protects the floating city with spells clever and fearsome, woven to doom any who seek to invade the heart of his domain. Within his treasure chamber he keeps his prize, a beautiful estrel. Magic-filled. The sweetest of all feasts. So sweet that every night he returns to replenish.

So sweet he never wants to leave the darkness wherein power waits.

He lands on the high window of the highest tower. The stone knows his claws, the frost his breath. Both yield and he enters, spreads his wings again and glides in tight sweeps down the spiral labyrinth. The way glows with silver and veins of living stone, but soon the faint light calls to mind the moon, not the sun.

Zyrik’s dominion extends far beyond his celestial home, over sun-gifted things swollen with sap and blood, over fields golden with grain, and pastures thick with cattle. He reigns over cities and seas. His conquered subjects prosper and, because of this, they are content.

He, however, is cursed with a hunger he cannot quench.

His treasure waits. Moonglow hair spills over the estrel’s shoulders and down his back, brighter even than skin seemingly kissed by white pearls. From his forehead juts a horn of ivory and silver. Virgin. If he were not, the horn would be the color of blood.

“One day, you’ll rejoice to see me.” Zyrik folds his wings and stalks toward his captive.

Amber-bright eyes narrow above the faintest of smiles. “No.”

He moves behind his prey. The estrel is that, also. To possess one is… a jewel beyond kingdoms. Zyrik stands at the naked creature’s back and wraps his arms around him.

“Tell me your truename and I will free you,” he murmurs. He moves ardent lips over the sweet-tasting skin at the back of the estrel’s neck, bestowing a caress.

The estrel leans back, baring his throat. “If you speak my truename, I can never leave you.”

“One day, you will give it to me.”

Zyrik digs a single talon into the tender juncture where the estrel’s neck and shoulder meet, just deep enough, and whispers the blood spell upon the drops that well forth like red jewels. He bends to suck and pure magic fills him.

Magic-drinker. Magic-taker. The estrel’s blood gives him the voice of a god.

He wants to do more than steal sweet hot magic. He wants to join their bodies together, to plunge and soar and claim. But to keep his floating city aloft and his empire strong, Zyrik needs this. The virgin magic is too powerful, too precious.

He drinks.

About the author:

I am fascinated by swords, mythology, and everything ancient and magical. Sword and sandals? I'm in! But I also love bodice-rippers, Regency romances, magical realism, pulpy detective stories, cozy mysteries, and South American literature.

Though I grew up as a bit of a nomad, I currently live in Pennsylvania with my husband and travel whenever I can. Every destination yields a story or three.

When not writing, I read everything (really, everything), experiment with food, and take long walks with my loving, if slightly neurotic, poodle.

Amazing flash fic is amazing, right? Let Tali know what you thought in the comments below!


We all have our happy places. Hometowns. Familiar coffee shops. Those favorite brands we know will satisfy all our quirks. As an author, my happy place is speculative fiction, wherein I gravitate toward fantasy worlds. I’m completely at home in that genre, and trust my readers share my joy in being there.

Every once in a while, though, I want to leave my usual neighborhood and explore. This is how books like The Last Cannoli (free on Goodreads) arise. There’s something quirky in a story about an intense Italian-American cannoli maker in Philly and a Wisconsin-born marketing dropout looking to reinvent his life. For one thing, I’m from Wisconsin… and I live in Philly. With an Italian-American spouse, but I digress.

Or how about “Well, Hello, Eight Eyes” in the Foolish Encounters anthology? Spider shifters, anyone? I wrote that story as a result of a Halloween challenge.

Departures are all about having fun.

After taking a few hits to my health, and not writing for a spell, I am now back up to speed and nudging books into the pipeline. The two with release dates could not be more different. One is a story in the Once Upon a Time in the Weird West anthology coming out in December. Once upon a time I might have said I couldn’t see ever writing a Western… but a friend invited me, so I wrote a Western. The story has a fantasy spin with elemental cowboys (and Comanches) but it’s very much a story with Old West roots and feel. The love story is sweet as can be.

Can I just mention my fellow authors? The Weird West has a great lineup! Kim Fielding, Ginn Hale, Lex Chase, Shira Anthony, Charlie Cochet, Andrew Q. Gordon, C.S. Poe, Astrid Amara, Jana Denardo, Jamie Fessenden, Venona Keyes, Nicole Kimberling, and Langley Hyde. And me.

In April my States of Love novella for Dreamspinner will be out. Breaking the Ice is about a gay man in the wacky culture of sturgeon-spearing and ice-fishing. It’s set in Wisconsin and I had a lot of fun with it. My main character has the “gayest ice shanty on Lake Winnebago,” drinks Fantasy Factory India Pale Ale (love that bottle!), and the story was a hoot to write.

Though not my main fare, these departure stories keep my writing fresh by stretching my skill set and imagination. What do you think? Do you like when your favorite authors do something a little different? Or do you prefer they stay the course with the work you love? Comment for a chance to win my giveaway.

Giveaway Details:
My giveaway includes one copy of any book on my list—including paperbacks where available, or the two unreleased books (to be sent upon release). Also will send fun swag if winner gives a mailing address. For winners not in the States, I do ship internationally.

One winner has the choice of a book from Tali Spencer's back list (this includes paperback and fun swag--open internationally) OR Tali's 2 future books (to be sent upon release)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open until 12:00AM (Eastern time) on 12/7/16. Shortly thereafter, we will contact a winner! 

Please respond to the winning notification within 48 hours or we will choose another winner. Good luck!

Don't miss entering in our month long unicorn giveaway here! It ends tonight!


  1. The fic is gorgeous, and BREAKING THE ICE sounds fantastic!


  2. Thanks so MUCH for hosting me! I look forward every year to holding this giveaway. :D

  3. That fic was wonderful. I need to know more! -Toni

  4. Loved that fic & would definitely love to read more of this story!!!

  5. I want the whole story. That was NOT enough! Looking forward to digging thru your books =)

  6. I loved the fic... I want to know more, though. Can you write the whole story for us, Tali? Please?

    1. Thank you so much, and the others also who want more. This story would be such great fun to write, and filled with angsty things. I'll add it to the queue. :) Winter is prime writing time.

  7. Tali, that was a wonderful tease, I mean, flash fic! It's got me wondering what happens next.

    As for your question, I totally love when authors mix it up, well, really I just love when authors write what they want to. I don't like it when they feel pressured by the market or reader demands (not in the polite way, but the entitled way). But I do think it's fun to see another side to authors you love, and some authors can get a bit repetitive, so I would think moving into a different world would help. I'm so glad you're sharing more new stories with us! Happy December. :)

    1. Flashes are teases, aren't they? I mean, I'm a natural novel writer. I can't possibly fit everything into a flash, or even a short story. Yet in order to write a flash, I have to create the whole world, and figure out how this thing started and why and how it's likely to end... so it's well underway even in flash form. It like a trailer. LOL And I'm SO happy to know readers appreciate the freshness this author finds with writing different stories. Contemporary is interesting; the editor kept saying "I can't find this, is it real?" And I'm, like, "I thought I was supposed to make up businesses, restaurants, amateur sports teams, governors, etc.." Apparently not. 0_O What if I offend them by something I say? This does not happen with my fantasy worlds.

  8. Hi Tali,

    I love the fic, which is no surprise since I am a fantasy junkie (probably due to reading LOTR in 5th grade)! There is no such thing as too much fantasy, so keep writing!

    1. Working on it... typing up a storm! LOL Thanks!

  9. I had the pleasure of meeting Tali at GRL this year, and look forward to reading her books. Love a "new to me" author that I also like personally!

    1. Aw, Paige! *hugs* I hope you enjoy the stories once you read them. I too love new to me authors. Always looking for new voice. :)

  10. Definitely I want more, I enjoyed it. =)

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