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She Wears the Midnight Crown is one of our two paired masquerade-themed anthologies. It features 17 stories exploring wlw relationships developing, growing, and changing while the characters attend or participate in masquerades!

Our contributors stretched their imaginations to present innovative stories exploring what a masquerade can be…and, of course, tell rich, engaging tales of wonderful queer folk finding love, companionship, acceptance, the queer platonic relationship of their dreams, or the found family they deserve. The collected works feature characters in all the colors of the Pride rainbow, queer and genderqueer, and these diverse individuals inhabit worlds ranging from science fiction settings where everyone must be masked to breathe, to fantasies where no one wears a literal mask but everyone shows the world a false guise, to iterations of the real world where some people lean into deception.

He Bears the Cape of Stars is the companion to this anthology, featuring 17 mlm stories.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781946472175
Publisher: Duck Prints Press LLC
Publication date: 03/15/2023
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 276
Sales rank: 219,629
File size: 337 KB

About the Author

Claire Houck (she/they/he), pen name Nina Waters, fandom name unforth, is the founder and sole proprietor of Duck Prints Press LLC. She is genderfluid, queer, 39 years old, white, Jewish/atheist/Unitarian Universalist, married, and a mother of two. Claire has been writing since the young age of seven, when she penned (well, two-finger typed and printed dot-matrix) the timeless classic “the story of my littl ponies and the glob.” Since then, her spelling, grammar, and prose have improved immensely. She has written over three hundred short stories, a number of novellas, and 16 novels, some original, some fanfiction, including A Glimmer of Hope, which was successfully Kickstarted and self-published in fall, 2016. She’s also had three short stories published and edited two anthologies, one successfully Kickstarted, the second pending. Before she became a full-time writer, Claire had a career as a self-employed professional grant writer and program evaluator, providing consultation services for the New York City Department of Education and other non-profit education organizations. She wrote grants that won her clients more than $25 million and successfully juggled as many as 12 projects at a time. After she left that position, she founded and ran an in-home bakery for a year, but shut the business down when she started trying to have children. Her dream has always been to create and help others create, and Duck Prints Press is the culmination of that dream!
When Lacey Hays isn’t dreaming of the stars or magical worlds, she can be found stomping around in the wild areas of Northern Oregon with her wife and son, or sipping on a coffee with her trusty notebook and fountain pens. Her writing journey began in the Star Trek: Voyager fandom and has continued for over two decades. At the moment, she’s plugging away at her first novel—a world that’s taken twenty years to come to life. Lacey is eager to continue sharing diverse stories set in dark, but hopeful, worlds.
Ashley, pen name A. L. Heard, fandom name jhoom, is a 35 year old teacher, writer, and mother of two little boys. She’s been writing fanworks since she discovered back in her middle school days; the platform has changed and the writing’s improved, but Ashley ultimately still spends her free time writing about characters she adores in worlds she’d like to explore. Her first novel, Hockey Bois, was published in 2021. In between writing projects, she works as a language teacher in the Pittsburgh area, plays hockey, and plays trains with her sons.
Adrian Harley works with us as a copy editor. Adrian is an almost-lifelong North Carolinian and a fantasy fiction aficionado who didn’t start delving deep into fandom until adulthood. They are an editor of research by day and an aspiring novelist, also by day. They go to bed early. They have short stories forthcoming in OFIC Magazine and future Duck Prints Press anthologies. They live with their husband and a perfectly reasonable number of cats.


Kevin lives in Maine with his two dogs and his lovely wife. When he’s not writing, he enjoys birdwatching and foraging for mushrooms.

Like Kevin, this author also has two dogs.

Willa Blythe made her storytelling debut at age 4 with indie smash “Sam the Stinky Skunk,” and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Her first audience—her grandparents—shared a love of art and craft with her that remains central to Willa’s writing practice over thirty years later. Today, she lives in New York with her family and primarily writes queer romance and speculative fiction.

Willa’s stories have been published previously in Duck Prints Press’s Add Magic to Taste, and Zombies Need Brains’ Brave New Worlds.

N. C. Farrell (they/he) grew up in California’s Silicon Valley, where they spent long days hiking the coastal mountains, reading an impressive number of books about dragons (and cats, and spaceships, and magic, etc.), and creating stories with their friends. He moved to Massachusetts for college, where he studied psychology while reading more books (some of which were even for classes!), participating in LARPs, and ensuring that the SF/F club’s student-run convention had a solid schedule. Since graduating, N. C. Farrell has worked in various education-related roles. They currently spend much of their free time reading (more translated webnovels than paper books right now), writing (a lot of fanfic), practicing aikido, playing TTRPGs, and being supervised by a small shadow in the shape of a cat.
Rhosyn Goodfellow is an author of queer romance and speculative fiction living in the Pacific Northwest with her spouse and two dogs. She is sad to report that she has not yet mysteriously disappeared nor encountered any cryptids. Her hobbies include spoiling the aforementioned dogs, drinking inadvisable amounts of coffee, and running unreasonably long distances very slowly. She’s secretly just a collection of loosely related stories dressed up in a meat suit.

Mare is a writer and wannabe academic from the US. She’s interested in storytelling and systems of
communication and, for better or worse, has a degree in Media Studies to prove it. Creatively, she likes to write about magical realism, mental health, and people figuring out how to navigate a poorly fitting world. She’s also the wrangler of a cat/gremlin, and unapologetically a Horse Girl™.

Mare writes lots of Shadowhunters fanfic, usually when she’s supposed to be doing something else. She used to write screenplays, occasional poetry, and (unfinished) novels, but this is her first foray back into original fiction in a long time. She can often be found avoiding reality, overthinking, or stopping in the middle of the sidewalk to look at lizards on the ground.

Adrian Harley is an almost-lifelong North Carolinian and a fantasy fiction aficionado who didn’t start delving deep into fandom until adulthood. They are an editor of research by day and an aspiring novelist, also by day. They go to bed early. They have short stories forthcoming in OFIC Magazine and future Duck Prints Press anthologies. They live with their husband and a perfectly reasonable number of cats.
Rascal Hartley is from the southern United States, and when they aren’t busy hiking or collecting various bones, you can find them curled up in their favorite chair, writing. Their favorite author is a tie Jack Kerouac and Kurt Vonnegut, but the book they re-read every year is The Last Unicorn.

Mexican. In love with the world. Teacher. Daydreamer. Collector of fascinating facts and stories. I will tell my dreams to anyone who listens. Voracious reader (and occasional writer) of fanfiction since I was a teenager. My artistic credentials include juggling, match improv, stand-up comedy, and making silly poems and songs I can’t sing. Through my writing I wish to transmit hope, joy, and the courage to come to terms with tragedy and imagine a better future.

One of my horror stories, “Maneki Neko”, was published in Penumbria Magazine #54 Oct 2021 (in Spanish). This will be my first published story in English.

Exhibit Depicting: Lucy K.R.
Born: North Georgia (United States), Summer of 19XX
Died: Nova Scotia (Canada), Winter of Not Yet
Role: Author, waitress, enthusiast

Eager for a change after a decade of waitressing, Lucy K.R. took the chance in March of 2021 to make her first steps into the world of published work. Prior to the success of Nicht Deine Götter, the largelycfabricated German translation of the short-story found in this collection, she was best known for her work on Mageling: Rise of the Ancient Ones and in the second anthology of Duck Prints Press: And Seek (Not) to Alter Me.

She was often seen in the company of what ancient texts describe as “weirdos,” and had a particularly deep connection with an entity known as Tomo, which she appeared to worship. While some historians theorize that Tomo was a type of deity known as a GalPal, newly unearthed records have identified them simply as wives.

Though largely described as a gentle and quiet person in her daily interactions, there can be no doubt that Lucy K. R.’s true legacy lives on in her stories: a legacy of terror, bewilderment, and an enduring love of humanity.

Lex T. Lindsay likes cats, tats, and cool hats. When she isn’t shaking words loose or yelling about Captain America, she can often be found lurking in the woods. Find other sapphic love stories in ADD MAGIC TO TASTE (also from Duck Prints Press); UPON A TWICE TIME (Air and Nothingness Press); and CLOCKWORK, CURSES AND COAL (World Weaver Press). Occasional Tweets @LexTLindsay.
Annabeth Lynch is a genderfae (she/they), bisexual author who writes mostly queer stories, preferring to write marginalized characters finding love. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, daughter, and two very overweight cats.
Sebastian Marie (he/him) is an engineering student with a penchant for writing off-the-wall fantasy, darkly comedic prose, and sickeningly indulgent short stories. He has a lot of opinions about dragons, pirates, and swordfighting that he explores through fanfiction for various fandoms. His original works often combine fantasy and dystopia into what he calls “queer fantasy hopepunk,” something that he will be explored in his future novels. He loves to write conflicting traditional and non-traditional family dynamics, especially where they intersect with queer relationships. And if he can throw werewolves and brujas into the mix? So much the better.
When not writing, frantically completing homework, or reading, he can be found boxing, sewing, playing Dungeons and Dragons, or going on long rambling walks while plotting stories (and occasionally falling into rivers).
Alec lives in the Pacific Northwest, where they write romantic adult fantasy and self-indulgent fanfiction. They make candles inspired by their favorite characters.
Satu Meriläinen grew up exploring the Great Barrier Reef off Queensland, Australia, and foraging through pine forests in rural Finland. Now she lives with her wife and two dogs in Melbourne. She adores fantasy and science fiction with sprinklings of magical realism. In her spare time, she sings along loudly to any song she knows, cross stitches, bangs out a few sentences at a time, and plays video games badly.

Bunny is most often found dreaming of autumn and duvet days.

She’s been creating since she was old enough to speak. Early works include 2-person productions of Titanic with her twin partner-in-crime, featuring a broad cast of stuffed animals (“is anyone alive out there?”), and the night-time serial ‘cowboy babies’, which received mixed reviews from the neighbours on the other side of the connecting wall…

She was born in the USA but lives in the UK, and has grown up between the two countries.

She has recently completed an MA in Creative Writing in London, her second master’s degree. Previously, she studied History.

Emma Victoria was born an old soul, because you’re destined to be one when you’re given two old-fashioned names like that. She grew up with a taste for folklore and history and a penchant for going into the woods to have conversations with trees. As an adult, she’s dedicated herself to the study of photography and art criticism, but writing fantasy is a bedfellow she just can’t give up. After all, it’s the only way to meet dragons.
Lyn Weaver has been writing fanfiction for over a decade and original fiction for even longer. Her preferred genres are fantasy and horror, and her preferred tropes are ‘enemies to lovers’ and anything to do with identity issues. She won’t read a story if something bad happens to the cat.

Table of Contents

Eldest Daughter Seeks Her Wife by N. C. Farrell

Are you in love with the squid? by D. A. Hernández

Tidally Locked by Lex T. Lindsay

The Hollow Mass by Lucy K. R.

Moon-Eyed by Bunny K. Solomon

Tiger Lily by boneturtle

The Brightshadow Curse Breaker by Willa Blythe

Among the Stars by Rascal Hartley

To relish a love song, like a robin redbreast by Alec J. Marsh

So a demon walks into a party… by Adrian Harley

Silver Secrets by Annabeth Lynch

The Thing With Feathers by Lyn Weaver

Carved Of Ice and Snow by S. Z. Meriläinen

That Danger Would Seem Sport by Sebastian Marie

The Scent of Roses by Emma Victoria

Light Pollution by Mare Griffen

Nice Girls Don’t Get the Superweapon by Rhosyn Goodfellow


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