Short Stories

Inside a Fairy Tale

Inside a Fairy Tale

Valentina is spending the last few hours of Midsummer by herself, unable to make the trip back home to celebrate the holiday with her coven. She’s questioned whether or not she’ll ever end up in a successful relationship ever since her third divorce, and is starting to wonder if she’ll spend the rest of her life alone.

She overhears a conversation between another couple, and finds herself filled with a strange sense of foreboding. Is she following in her aunt’s footsteps and developing the ability to see the future? Is she concerned about the well-being of the other woman?

Valentina follows the couple, and finds herself inside a modern-day fairy tale.

“Inside a Fairy Tale” can be purchased individually, or as part of Uncollected Anthology Issue 16: Fairy Tales contains six contemporary and urban fantasy stories. Investigate twelve missing sisters, deal with an inheritance, choose your destiny, review a strange invitation, celebrate Midsummer, and make the sale of a lifetime.

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Twin Wishes

Twin Wishes

“Twin Wishes” is in Fiction River: Wishes, which was edited by Rebecca Moesta.

Forget the old adage that cautions against wishing. The sixteen stories in this latest Fiction River contain just the right amount of heart, magic, pathos, and even hope. From a daughter hoping to save her father with a crash-course in wishery to an unfortunate victim at the wrong end of someone else’s wish, these stories show teens trying to wish away their problems—with often unexpected results. But no matter the dilemma, this volume of Fiction River promises to lift your spirits and remind you just how much magic the universe offers.

This collection includes stories by Eric Kent Edstrom, Ron Collins, Dale Hartley Emery, Alexandra Brandt, Bonnie Elizabeth, Lisa Silverthorne, Brigid Collins, Diana Deverell, Robert T. Jeschonek, Lesley L. Smith, T. Thorn Coyle, Dave Raines, Annie Reed, Dayle A. Dermatis, and Leslie Claire Walker.

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The Other Side of the Portal

The Other Side of the Portal

This story is set in tunnels underneath present-day London – because that’s obviously where you’d expect to find dinosaurs. 🙂 I based my dinosaur off of Latenivenatrix, which is currently considered to be one of the most intelligent dinosaurs. I used this fantastic image to help me visualize what the dinosaur would look like, and gave him/her/it both feathers and fur.

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Ilsa and the Dragon

Ilsa and the Dragon

Dangerous spirits lurk in the woods
A bargain can bind a soul
Enchanted sleep can only be broken by true love’s kiss…

You know these things are true…even in this modern world. Your heart still recognizes the power and mystery you can only find in a fairy tale.

In Beauty and Wickedness, the first volume in the anthology series Ever After Fairy Tales, sixteen authors retell and reimagine some of the most enchanting fairy tales ever told. Within these pages, you’ll find beauty and treachery, magic and courage, innocence and wickedness…and at least some happy endings.

Come and lose yourself in the delights and dangers of Beauty and Wickedness.

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Magic and Machinery

Magic and Machinery

Maude and her brother Gerhardt head to an inn in the country for a holiday from their family business designing clockwork systems. One of the other guests is a magician who falls in love with Maude. He demands she marry him and, when she declines, transforms her brother into a stag and imprisons her in a glass coffin.

Maude works with machinery, not magic. Can she find a way to escape the magician’s grasp and free her beloved brother?

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Gilroy and the Kitten

Gilroy and the Kitten

Gilroy is looking forward to spending a day alone. He’s planned it out – he’ll lie in the sun and warm his furry belly, he’ll watch birds, and maybe even scratch his claws on the carpet since Breda, his person – who also happens to be a witch – won’t be around to see.

And then Breda’s 8-year-old grandniece Delaney shows up.

Delaney, who is already Gilroy’s least favorite human, not only doesn’t go away, she also manages to trigger a spell that adds an even greater complication to Gilroy’s day.

This short story is in the Fantastic Feline Heroes bundle, which is curated by Bonnie Elizabeth.

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The Kiss of the Horned God

The Kiss of the Horned God

After finding out she didn’t get her dream job at the arboretum, Holly takes her normal path home through the city park. She’s so upset she doesn’t pay attention to where she’s going, and is startled when she notices the path – and the lights of the city – have vanished. She realizes she’s in a thick forest of oak trees, even though there’s no place like that in the park.
She heads toward a dim light in the distance, and finds herself in a strange place where she meets a man with horns growing from his head. He tells her she’s needed for something that will happen at Midwinter – but what? And why Holly?

This short story is in the Midwinter Fae anthology.

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The Mystery of the Missing Presents

The Mystery of the Missing Presents

Jolper’s unhappiness with the inefficiency and tedium at his job at Santa’s Workshop has diminished since he met Aleana a few weeks before. Not only does she make him merry, she’s also introduced him to a group of elves who are secretly working to improve things at the Workshop.

One of the elves tells Jolper about a recent series of stolen presents. No elf would even dream of stealing anything, so Jolper chalks the story up to elves making mistakes in checking off lists. But when a toy bear that Jolper himself stuffed disappears, he realizes something strange is going on after all.

Will Jolper be able to solve the mystery and make sure the missing presents get delivered for Christmas?

This short story is in the Very Mysterious Christmas bundle, which is curated by the ever festive Rebecca Senese.

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Becoming Free

Becoming Free

It’s 1860, and it’s been a year since Charles’ best friend – and the love of his life – died in a fire in Houston, Texas. Charles kept his feelings for Jim to himself, and even Jim’s wife never suspected anything.

With Jim gone, and secession in the air, Charles has decided to leave Texas forever. On his way to Colorado Territory he runs into a pair of slave catchers – and the young couple they’ve captured. The law is on the side of the slave catchers, but justice is not.

Stars in the Darkness is a collection of stories about why being just matters, and what the ramifications are for individuals, groups, towns, countries, or even worlds if justice is not expected, encouraged, or enforced.

All proceeds from this collection will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Human Rights Campaign.

Available on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Books2Read.

Learn more about the anthology on Facebook and Goodreads.
The Truth About Goblins


The Truth About Goblins

Bean hated Halloween.

It used to be his favorite day of the year. He had fond memories of teaming up with his friends to play tricks on the older goblins, and of the music and dancing and feasting that lasted until well into the next day. But after moving to live among humans, he spends every Halloween terrified that his true nature would win out and cause him to end up eating someone.

One Halloween an old friend visits. To his dismay Bean finds himself out amongst the trick-or-treaters, where he learns the real truth about goblins


This short story is in the On Hallow’s Eve bundle.

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Clyde and the Ghost Cat

Clyde and the Ghost Cat

Ghost-Hunting Critters, which contains my story “Clyde and the Ghost Cat,” is available on Amazon.

These ghosts don’t stand a chance…

From the beginning of time to the distant future, special animals of all species have answered the call to fight evil.

From dogs and cats to birds, horses, even dinosaurs, and one unusual fish, these spirited tales of ghost hunting adventures will thrill and delight readers.

This anthology is edited by J. A. Campbell; all of the stories are set in her Brown, Ghost Hunting Dog universe.


The Switch

The Switch

Edith’s friend Lorraine asks for help retrieving the engagement ring she’d lost over fifty years – but the ring is hidden inside a music box in an exhibit at the local museum. Edith agrees to help her friend, even though it means entering the world of crime at age seventy-two.

They find a music box that looks similar, and Edith sneaks it in to the museum to switch it out for the real one. Will what she finds cause her to make a switch of her own?

This short story is in the Crimes, Capers, & Rule-Breakers bundle. Visit the bundle’s Facebook page!


To Be a Monster
To Be a Monster

Scylla is caught by surprise when her mother, the river nymph Crataeis, shows up unexpectedly. Mother’s infrequent visits are welcome, but also serve as a painful reminder of what Scylla’s life had been like before the evil witch Circe turned her into a hideous, people-eating monster.

The cliff Scylla lives on juts out into a narrow straight of water; an arrow-shot away lives the monster Charybdis, who sucks water – and any ships unfortunate enough to be close by – down a whirlpool and into her great maw several times a day. Mother asks Scylla to allow a ship that belongs to a young man named Odysseus to pass by unharmed a few days hence; that way his boat won’t have to venture too close to the whirlpool. Scylla agrees, on the condition that her mother go to Circe and plead with her to return Scylla to her normal human form.

But when Odysseus’ ship appears, Scylla realizes that perhaps things are not as they seem…

“To Be a Monster” originally appeared in the Beneath the Waves bundle, a collection of stories about water creatures – sirens, kelpies, Hawaiian man-sharks, selkies, kraken, shapeshifters, and more – by twenty different authors.

Beneath the Waves is available on BundleRabbit, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks. Check out the bundle’s pages on Facebook and Goodreads.

“To Be a Monster” was reprinted in the Here Be Monsters story bundle! This monstrously fun collection of 19 tales of myths, monsters, and mayhem was curated by A. L. Butcher.

We love to fear them and fight them. Monsters come in many forms, from the monsters within to the monsters outside and under the bed. Dare you venture into the caverns and the castles? Dare you enter the darkness of an accursed soul?

An eclectic collection of dark creatures and those who fight them. You have been warned.


The Faery’s Choice

The Faery’s Choice

Three faery boys—Nuár, Aodh, and Táinar—are spending their day pretending to be great hunters when they come across a human girl. Annie accidentally crossed from her world to the Land of Faerie, but doesn’t know how to return to her home.

Táinar tells Annie she can’t go back to her world, and offers to show her the wonders of Faerie. The children head off to visit a group of river naiads, and maybe even see a kelpie, but Nuár is troubled.

Why did Táinar tell Annie she can never return to her own world? And is he truly interested in showing the girl the magic of Faerie—or does Táinar have something else in mind?

This short story is in the Faerie Summer bundle. Visit the bundle’s Facebook page!


The Next Dance

The Next Dance

Nelle is a saloon girl in a mining town in Colorado in the Old West. Her job is to get the men who come in to spend their earnings on drinks and dancing. The ‘respectable’ women in town consider Nelle and her co-workers to be only one step above prostitutes, but there aren’t many ways for a woman to make a living.

So Nelle spends her nights dancing and laughing, getting her feet stomped on by poor dance partners, and drinking colored sugar water while the men drink whiskey and beer.

Then one night she meets a different sort of man – and he can actually dance.

This short story is in the Tavern Tales issue of Fiction River.


The Scent of Roses

The Scent of Roses coverThe Scent of Roses

Lori recently moved into an old Victorian which, as is often the case with old houses, makes creaks and hisses and all kinds of noises. One night she hears three knocks in a row, as if someone were knocking on a door, and she swears she can smell the scent of roses.

A few weeks later, on a windy night, Lori’s brother teases her about the knocking sound – so Lori calls his bluff and tells whatever is knocking to come in.

And so it does…

This short story is in the Haunted bundle. Visit the bundle’s Facebook page!


The Least Merry Elf

The Least Merry Elf

Jolper used to like working at Santa’s Workshop with the other elves, but over time he became frustrated with the lack of efficiency and the tedium of making the same toys over and over and over.

He’s tired of his job, annoyed at being forced to wear red and green all year long, and frustrated at having to continually fend off the co-worker who’s decided Jolper is perfect marriage material.

One night he goes for a walk wearing a pair of boots that he, in a moment of anger, cut the jingle bells off of. He runs into a young woman who’s reading a book about the history of Christmas – a history Jolper has never heard of before.

This short story is in the The Santa Claus Files bundle, as well as the Very Merry Christmas bundle.


The Lesson of the Love Spell

The Lesson of the Love Spell cover

The Lesson of the Love Spell

Anna’s new neighbor is a witch.

Anna tells her parents, but they don’t believe her – as if any grown-up would believe a ten-year-old girl who said that type of thing.

Besides, her parents are so busy fighting with each other that they barely seem to remember Anna even exists. If only they’d stop fighting and be nice to one another!

But perhaps the witch could help…by casting a love spell on Anna’s parents…

This short story is in the Witches’ Brew bundle.

Visit the bundle’s Facebook page!


The Cat’s Meow

"The Cat's Meow" cover

The Cat’s Meow

Clifford, a xenolinguist, loves his job. He works with the alien counterpart, Virruni, to learn each other’s languages and culture.

Clifford’s personal life is a bit more complicated, as his girlfriend has recently begun discussing marriage and – as if that weren’t bad enough – children.

At least work is going well…or it was until Virruni decided to show his affection for Clifford by giving him not one but two alien pets.

“The Cat’s Meow” is in the Out of This World bundle.

This short story is in the Out of This World bundle.

Visit the bundle’s Facebook page!


The City Trees

The City Trees

Giulia moved to the city after her husband’s death, but the city trees won’t talk with her – even though she’s a dryad.

One evening, while attempting to speak with the trees in a park, she finds herself caught in the middle between a thief and his pursuer. The thief stole something magical and dangerous, but what? And will Giulia choose escape, or fight to help foil the crime?

Available in the The Fantasy in the City Bundle.

Visit the bundle’s Facebook page!


The Apology

Wormhole Books Fall 2003

The Apology

Wormhole Books catalog, Fall 2003

 

 

 

 

 


Good Neighbors

weird_tales_200

Good Neighbors

Weird Tales Issue #333, Sept/Oct 2003