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Holly Messinger is a writer, a costume designer, and a martial artist, not always in that order. Her fiction is strongly inspired by history, and her characters Trace and Boz have appeared in a number of works, including The Curse of Jacob Tracy from St. Martin’s Press and indie prequel The Romance of Certain Old Bones. (Observant readers may deduce that “Scapegoat” takes place between the events of “Parlor Games” and “Horseflesh” in Curse.) Holly’s short fiction has appeared in previously in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Baen’s Universe, and comes soon to Fantasy & Science Fiction (summer, 2020). The next Jacob Tracy book, Curious Weather, is nearing completion. Her website is

Stories by Holly Messinger: