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Guest Post - Vonnie Winslow Crist

Speculative Romance

Spring is the perfect time for love whether found in historical romances, contemporary books, or even in speculative fiction. Wait – what do I mean by speculative? Speculative is the term used for fantasy, science fiction, dark fantasy (including vampires and werewolves), and paranormal (including ghosts and spirits). And I love to include love stories in my speculative fiction.

In my speculative short story collection, The Greener Forest, almost every story has a romance at its core. In “Shoreside,” a ningyo (a type of mermaid) has fallen in love with a man and borne him 3 children. When the family visits the local beach and the ningyo goes into the water to save a drowning child, will the ocean call her home or will she choose her land family? In other words, will love win? 

In “The Return of Gunnar Kettilson,” a young woman sits in her darken home waiting to see if her dead husband will return as a zombie. Oh dear, a zombie love story! I promise it's a tender tale where the lines between right and wrong are blurred, and true love conquers evil.

In “Blood of the Swan,” a man goes in search of a healer to save his village from a life-threatening illness. In fulfilling his quest, he falls in love with a swan maiden, only to discover that in order to save his village, he must kill his true love. To read the beginning of this tale of sacrifice and just rewards, click on the link and scroll down the page:

In “Weathermaker,” a young woman honors her grandfather's wishes and in the process summons a dragon. Unbeknownst to her, she summons the magical creature with a marriage proposal. And if they consummate their marriage, rain will come to an area suffering drought. To read the beginning of a modern love story influenced by ancient myths, click on the link and scroll down the page:

In my new speculative short fiction collection, Owl Light, (due out in April) I continue to use love as the central theme of my short fiction. But this time, I include ghostly love stories and a re-write of the traditional Rumpelstiltskin tale called, “Feathers.” In my version of the fairy tale classic, the dwarf isn't evil, and he's hopelessly in love with the miller's daughter. Ah, what's more fun to read about then unrequited love? To see a sample:

I also have a young adult fantasy novel, The Enchanted Skean, due out any day. The book is a coming-of-age adventure tale filled with magic, miracles, and mystery that follows 14-year-old Beck Conleth as he journeys from his seaside home to Ulfwood to retrieve his father's bones and a family skean (dagger). The dagger turns out to be magical, and Beck draws the unwanted attention of dark mages, goblins, ogrehunches, and worse. Helped on his journey by Wisewomen, warriors, shape-changers, a dragon, a giant, a troop of thieves, and his best-friend, he realizes there is a developing confrontation between good and evil – and he and his enchanted skean have a role to play. Wait, what about love?
There are several love stories in The Enchanted Skean. But each develops in its own way, since not everyone is a “typical” human. And that's the wonderful part about speculative romance, whether it's a shape-changer who falls for a young man, or 2 bickering warriors who discover love, or an elderly mage and Wisewoman who break the rules and bond for life – anything is possible in a world built on imaginary foundations. Who's to say what's impossible? Who writes the rules of love in a speculative novel?

Why, the author, of course! And this speculative fiction author still believes in true love, good conquering evil (even when the price is high), and happy endings! Be the first to read an excerpt of The Enchanted Skean: (with a tiny glimpse of one of the couples who will fall in love). And let me know what you think!

Bio: Vonnie Winslow Crist is the award-winning author-illustrator of 2 speculative short fiction collections: The Greener Forest and Owl Light, a YA novel: The Enchanted Skean, 2 speculative eShorts: Blame it on the Trees and For the Good of the Settlement, a children's book: Leprechaun Cake & Other Tales, and 2 myth-based poetry collections: River of Stars and Essential Fables. Mushroom fairy-rings constantly sprout up in her yard, wild birds have been known to land on her shoulders, and Vonnie has found so many 4-leafed clovers that she keeps them in jars.


  1. Thanks, Allison, for hosting me. I hope your readers enjoy my post. Have a magical day! - Vonnie

  2. Very neat post! I'll have to check out your stories, Vonnie.

  3. Please do check them out, Melissa. I hope you find at least 1 that you like - Vonnie


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