The Bargain by Jess Mahler is now available!

We are happy to announce that The Bargain by Jess Mahler is now available!

The Bargain

the bargain cover

It was supposed to be a straightforward sacrifice. After their mother was killed by Lord Oeloff, Mattin swore to do anything to protect his sister. When the fae lord came for her, Mattin traded his life and freedom to Oeloff’s enemy for the promise of his sister’s safety. He thought he was prepared for anything. Anything except what he actually found…

It was supposed to be a political gambit. Struggling against Oeloff’s latest ploy, Jahlene found an unforeseen opening in the arrival of the bitter Mattin. Bringing the stranger into her household was a risk. Trusting him was a bigger one. To protect her family, Jahlene bargained with him. She never guessed how it would end…

Sometimes, what starts as a bargain, becomes something more.

The Bargain is a #fantasy thriller exploring themes of family, betrayal, trauma, and sacrifice. It is an “own voices” book for polyamory, kink, and PTSD.



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Last Call for Tumblr-Twist Submissions

fantasy short story call for submissions
Only the Chosen of the gods can stop the invaders

The deadline for our Tumblr-Twist anthology is Dec 15th, aka one week from today!

If you have a story that puts a “twist” on a common fantasy trope, we’d love to see it.

A note for spoonie authors: if you are a couple days behind completing your submission, you can send us your unfinished submission on the 15th with a note about why you couldn’t meet deadline.  If we like what we see we’ll let you know and help you get your manuscript cleaned up and ready for publication.

More info here.

Jess Mahler is Supporting Autistic Women’s Network

As part of the Paying Forward Program, Jess Mahler has chosen to donate 10% of her royalties from The Bargain to the Autism Women’s Network.

Cuil Press will match her donation with 10% of our net profits from book sales also going to AWN.

Autism Women’s Network

Autism Women’s Network is a non-profit organization offering support and resources to autistic women, autistic people who at anytime identified as women, and non-binary autists.

Learn more about them here.

The Bargain

The Bargain is a fantasy thriller set in an original world. It explores themes of family, sacrifice, identity, and trauma recovery.

What would you sacrifice to save someone you love?


Introducing #PitMasto: for Authors, Agents, and Publishers

Inspired by #pitmad, the awesome creation of Brenda Drake, we asked folks on Mastodon last week if they’d be interested in a Mastodon version of PitMad. We called it #PitMasto and were pleasantly surprised by the response.

So we’re gonna run with it. And as the people who created it, we get to lay out the ground rules. 😉

What is #PitMasto

#PitMasto is a one-day event for authors to share pitches for their finished manuscripts. You know how it’s bad form to go on social media and say “I’ve this awesome manuscript, here’s the pitch, please represent/publish me!” Well, #PitMasto is the day authors are supposed to do exactly that.  Agents and publishers who are looking to pick up a new author will follow the #PitMasto hashtag and reply or favourite pitches they like.

Now, most of the response we’ve gotten so far has been from authors who are interested in doing a #PitMasto. Mastodon is still a small-ish social media and we don’t know how many agents or publishers will be taking part. It might be just us or it might be a couple dozen folks.

When and Where

The innaugural #PitMasto will run January 15th starting at 12:01 am -500 Greenwhich (aka, US eastern time) and run for 24 hours.

It’ll take place on the Fediverse. We’re based in but we hope to be able to reach enough folks in other instances to have people from a large chuck of the Fediverse taking part.

Recommended Pitch Style

Part of the point of #PitMad is for authors to have a chance to practice their “elevator pitch.” The elevator pitch, for anyone unfamiliar, is the pitch you make for when you end up in an elevate with the agent or publisher of your dreams and only have until the doors open to convince them to look at your book.

While you are unlikely to ever ACTUALLY be in an elevator with the agent or publisher of your dreams, you may meet them at a convention, get into a discussion on social media, etc. And if you do, you’ll have a few seconds to grab their attention before they are off doing other things. (You’re one of a hundred authors whose tried to grab their attention today, they’ve got a short attention space. Don’t waste it!)

So in the spirit of the elevator pitch, we recommend keeping your pitch under 250 characters.

Make sure you tag your boost with #pitmasto and the age range  and genre(s).

Age Range:

#PB = Picture Book
#C = Children’s
#CB = Chapter Book
#CL = Children’s Lit
#MG = Middle Grade
#YA = Young Adult
#NA = New Adult
#A = Adult



Other tags worth using:

#ownvoices (remember to specify what it is #ownvoices for)

Welcome Destiny to Cuil Press!

The Cuil Press team is pleased to welcome Destiny as our newest partner.

Destiny is new to publishing but has experience with social media, video editing, and is also a writer. She’ll be handling much of our social media and online interactions going forward, leaving the rest of us more spoons to dealing with actual book stuff.

We also hope to put her video editing experience to work on video trailers for new releases.

In addition to the work she’ll be doing with Cuil Press, Destiny does her own video production work, including a series of awesome song covers on youtube.

Check out her later cover:

We’re on Mastodon and off Twitter

Hey folks,

We’re changing up our social media a bit.


We’ve joined Mastodon, a new-ish open source social media that Jess Mahler has been on for a bit and has recently become popular in some portions of SFF fandom and author communities. You can find us talking books and tea


We’re also retiring our Twitter account. We won’t be deleting it entirely, but it’s become a time and spoon sink that we can’t afford, and really, Twitter just isn’t a good place anymore for a small business to reach people. Plus, we don’t like a lot of their policies.


We’re keeping Facebook as-is for now. With Twitter not being active, we’ll hopefully have the spoons to keep FB more active.


We’re looking at getting an Instagram account going. Visual images aren’t a huge part of the what a publishing company deals with, but it would be a good way to share cover art, author pics, and photos of events and such.

Tumblr-Twist/Granny Chosen One Deadline Extended

We’ve had several submissions for the anthology already and will probably have enough stories to fill our anthology by Nov 30th. But the Cuil Press team had a lightbulb moment last week.

See, we all completely forgot about NaNoWriMo. It wasn’t until some of Jess’ writing group started talking about their projects that we remembered.

We want to give everyone interested in Granny Chosen One a chance to get their submissions in and we know how much of a time and spoon sink NaNo can be.

So we’re extending the deadline to December 15. If you wanted to get a story in, but didn’t think you would have time, we hope this helps.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

The Bargain, by Jess Mahler Will Be Out January 18th

The Bargain, by Jess Mahler, is a fantasy thriller set in a world where fae, powered by pain-fed magic, rule over the humans they once conquered.

For Mattin, it was a straightforward sacrifice to save his sister. For Countess Jahlene, another political gambit to protect her family. For both of them, it became something they never expected.

The Bargain was previously released as Glamourhai, this is an updated and enhanced edition.

In keeping with Cuil Press’ commitment to releasing inclusive and #ownvoices fiction, The Bargain does not have your typical fantasy cast and Mattin is not the typical fantasy hero. Jess Mahler is a polyamorous, kinky, non-binary, bisexual with PTSD who openly admits to not understanding romance. Her personal struggle to understand relationships and family while embracing who she is shows in Mattin’s struggle to come to terms with the very different approach to love and family he finds with Jahlene. Jess won’t say whether or not Jahlene has PTSD but does say:

“I started this story wanting to explore what it means to be family, and I did. But without realizing it, I also explored how trauma shapes us and how we heal from it. Jahlene’s trauma is the most obvious, but most of the characters in The Bargain are struggling with trauma in some way. How healthy their responses are… you’ll need to decide for yourself.”