Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category

ANNOUNCEMENT! When The Villain Comes Home

April 10, 2012

Dragon Moon Press is very pleased to announce a follow up to its award nominated SF/F fantasy anthology WHEN THE HERO COMES HOME: When the Villain Comes Home.

Heroes can save the world. But Villains can change it.

From co-editor Gabrielle Harbowy: We’ve assembled a great mix of science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction. Come with us while we explore villains of all stripes — sons and daughters, lovers and fighters, minions and masterminds, in this giant volume of thirty great stories by award winners, rising stars, and bold new voices.

Camille AlexaPinktastic and the End of the World
Erik Scott de BieHunger of the Blood Reaver
Chaz BrenchleyVillainelle
Eugie FosterOranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me
David SakmysterPrometheus Found
Marie BilodeauHappily Ever After
Richard Lee ByersLittle Things
K.D. McEntireHeels
Peadar Ó GuilínThe Sunshine Baron
Jim C. HinesDaddy’s Little Girl
Ari Marmell Than to Serve in Heaven
Karin LowacheeThe Bleach
Jay LakeThe Woman Who Shattered the Moon
Julie CzernedaCharity
J.M. FreyMaddening Science
Clint TalbertBirthright
Rachel SwirskyBroken Clouds
Tony PiThe Miscible Imp
Leah PetersenManmade
J.P. MooreLord of the Southern Sky
Ryan McFaddenBack in the Day
Todd McCaffreyRobin Redbreast
Erik BuchananCycle of Revenge
Gregory A. WilsonThe Presuil’s Call
Rosemary JonesThe Man With Looking-Glass Eyes
Gabrielle HarbowyStarkeep
Ed GreenwoodA Lot of Sly Work Ahead
Mercedes Lackey / Larry DixonHeir Apparent
Chris A. JacksonHome Again, Home Again
Steve BornsteinThe Best Laid Plans

…and another fantastic cover by Scott Purdy.

Preorder information will be available soon on the Dragon Moon Press website.

The first anthology, WHEN THE HERO COMES HOME is a finalist for ForeWord Book of the Year in the Anthology category!

If you’d like to check it out, it’s available in trade paperback and ebook, at Amazon, Powell’s, Barnes & Noble, and (in print, epub and kindle formats) at the Dragon Moon Press website.

If you have read and enjoyed WHEN THE HERO COMES HOME, please take a moment to review it on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or your blog.

##

So I’m totally going to copy J.M. Frey’s idea and give you a sneak-peek at my story, Manmade, that will appear in WHEN THE VILLAIN COMES HOME.

##

The castle called to him. Lord Andrew Rorin rode on through the creeping grey mist of dusk. He was determined to spend the night within the castle walls. In a sack tied to his saddle, the head of a king bumped a pleasant tattoo against the horse’s flank. Rorin smiled and urged the horse faster toward home.

The siren song of the keep danced together with visions of meats roasting over the fire, fat sizzling and popping on the coals below, of spiced mulled wine to warm his bones, and a wench or two to warm everything else.

The gates came into view and Rorin’s pulse quickened. He was eager to show off his latest trophy. He loved the expressions on their pretty little faces as they looked at, while trying not to see, the grisly proof of his latest conquests. That this was the head of a man only sweetened the victory.

For Lord Rorin’s intolerance for other men was legendary. He allowed no man in his presence save the heads of those he had killed, carefully bound with spells so that their last expression of fear or pain or the sweetness of surprise was forever preserved.

The lights in the windows were a cheery glow and the bustle of activity in the courtyard was proof that the castle had rallied its inhabitants to welcome their lord home. Rorin galloped through the gates and reined his horse to a stop in front of the great doors where, turned out to serve their lord and master…were a dozen men. Tall, hairy things like a grove of blight oaks planted in his yard.

Rorin flew off his horse, trembling with rage.

He stumbled to a stop in front of a thick, furry one. The words rushed to his lips, power gathering in his cupped hand.

Something massive darted in his peripheral vision, slamming into his side. Rorin fell. A moment before he hit the cobblestones he was snatched up by the very blur that had knocked him down.

“Don’t, my lord.”

The deep, resonant voice sent red fury racing through Rorin’s veins. He rounded on the speaker. The man was tall and beefy, with hands that looked capable of snapping small trees in half.

“What is the meaning of this? Get out of my sight! Where are my servants? Charlotte!”

“Here, my lord,” the same man answered.

Rorin stared at him.

“They call me Charles, now,” he amended after a long pause.

It was so absurd Rorin sputtered, a spray of astonishment and rage.

Charlotte, his current favorite, was thin at waist and wrist, plump where it mattered—breast, hips, lips. Her hair was the color of new wheat, eyes the strange, enigmatic dusky color of moss in the dry season. She was the loveliest of the ladies he had acquired in the forty years since he’d claimed the keep.

This thing, this man, couldn’t have been more different. Although the hair that brushed his powerful shoulders and shadowed a strong jaw was the color of new wheat. And under thick, knitted brows his eyes were the enigmatic, dusky color of dry moss.

“Don’t you ever, ever touch me,” Rorin hissed, clenching his teeth against the involuntary shiver the man’s touch had excited.

He wouldn’t have time to craft a spell with the man’s eyes on him. “Don’t even speak to me you lying, disgusting, monstrous—”

Snatching his belt knife, he thrust it two-handed at the man’s neck. The man’s hands flashed up and snatched at his wrists, a painful, crushing grip. Rorin gasped in a breath but before he could do anything with it, a beefy fist slammed into his temple. As darkness descended he heard a faraway, “Forgive me, my lord.”

##

Stay tuned to find out when and where you can get your copy of WHEN THE VILLAIN COMES HOME!

Because I Said So: When the Hero Comes Home

June 23, 2011

At least that’s the default answer when my kids ask me “why?”

So, yeah, that really doesn’t have anything to do with this post. This is a plug for a book. Yep. When the Hero Comes Home. But it’s not just because it’s co-edited by my fantabulous, editor Gabrielle Harbowy at Dragon Moon Press. Or that it includes a story both from her and an author I’m very proud to know and promote regularly JM Frey, author of Triptych. Plus stories from authors I’d like to know, like Todd McCaffrey and Phil Rossi. I’m also plugging it because it’s good.

Really good. This isn’t a real review, not yet. That’s only because I haven’t finished it yet. But last night I read Gabrielle Harbowy‘s and JM Frey‘s. Gabrielle’s was a fascinating story painted in such evocative language.  JM’s had me dying laughing. So incredibly smart and funny. I can’t wait to get home and read some more.

You should check it out. Really. I’ll wait.

When the Hero Comes Home

SEE?

You’re welcome. Enjoy it.

No, Mom, I’m Not Looking at Internet Porn, or The Perils of Social Media

May 5, 2011

I do love my social media, don’t get me wrong, but it’s always good to know where the things you love can come back and bite you in the butt, no?

So, a lovely friend of mine sent my this message through Facebook the other day:

In the nicest most polite way possible, I was on stumbleupon, and apparently, my friends (more importantly, what they follow) are displayed. Not that I care/judge one way or the other, I’m just not sure if YOU were aware. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please disregard.

Isn’t that nice? A heart-attack waiting to happen. I mean, how else do you react to that but ‘OMG! What!

Which is, of course, how I reacted.

Now, I don’t use Stumbleupon, but in setting up the social media widgets for my blog I’d interacted with it in the past, and I think it’s one of those things that if you’re on Facebook it knows who you are and the names of your still-unconcieved offspring too. So I raced over there in a panic to find out what in the world my friend had seen.

What I found was that I’d “stumbled” on Sex Scene, an Anthology. Now, I’ve got no problem with that, I’m in it. (No, not like THAT.) It’s an anthology of literary fiction. From the book blurb written by the editor, Robert James Russell:

Sex Scene: An Anthology aims to decontextualize sex, asking the reader to look at the act itself as not only a form of art, but also as the very basest of human urges.

The problem was caused by the fact that the tags applied to it were “porn” and “pornography.” (I’m not going to get into the erotica vs. porn or art vs. smut thing. Let’s just say this one ain’t for the kiddies.)

What all this boils down to is that my friend went to Stumbleupon and saw “Leah Petersen likes pornography.”

No mom, it’s not me. Promise.

Guest Post – Interview with Robert James Russell by… Robert James Russell

January 27, 2011

A Q&A WITH MYSELF ABOUT MIDWESTERN GOTHIC

BY ROBERT JAMES RUSSELL (AKA “MYSELF”)

Hi: Is that your first question?

No, you just make me nervous. So…who are you? My name is Robert James Russell, and I’m the co-founder (along with Jeff Pfaller), of the new quarterly literary journal Midwestern Gothic.

Uh…what’s all that about? Well, we strive to catalog and show off the very best in  Midwestern fiction.

What in the hell is Midwestern fiction? Good question. It’s, you know, fiction from the Midwest, a geographical region covering roughly the very western part of Pennsylvania, through Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, down to Missouri, over to Kansas and straight up to North Dakota (with everything in between, of course).

Well, what do you mean by “Gothic”? Gothic can mean a few different things.  First, it can refer to “Gothic fiction” which combines elements of horror and romance.  Second, it can, as with Southern Gothic (a literary subgenre),  mean the inclusion of less-than-admirable characters and, more often than not, big sweeping (and at one time controversial) social issues and themes.  We at Midwestern Gothic take away from the latter definition a sense of realism, and that is what our Gothic is based on—we want real life in the Midwest, good, bad, or ugly. And, even if the pieces aren’t physically set there, we want to see how the Midwest has shaped so-and-so as a writer, causing you to produce the pieces you have.

So what is it you’re looking for? Just what I said: We want real life, about or inspired by the Midwest, written by those who have lived or currently do live here. Poetry or prose…bring it on.

When’s the deadline? The deadline to submit for our first issue is February 18th. We will not look at any titles after that date.  Period. (Well, unless we owe you a favor or something.)  The first issue will be printing at some point in March (details on a specific date to come).

Oh, yeah, and what’s with wanting photos? On top of trying to become THE compendium of Midwestern writers and fiction, we really want to catalog the Midwest through different people’s eyes, and year-round we accept photo submissions on our site.  Once you submit, assuming it’s what we’re looking for and not harmful in any way, we’ll post to our site. Four times a year we’ll scour our archives and choose an image to be the cover of the next issue of Midwestern Gothic. Fun, huh?

Got anything else to add? Not really. We’re excited to start this journal up, and we really think we’re doing something different here.  Check out our site for even more info, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and if you are from the Midwest, or have lived here, do send us a piece—we’d love to check it out.

Last question: Do you want to go out sometime? No. You’re not my type.