Tag Archives: short stories

Call for Submissions: Pizza People!

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I am not certain about this one, but it’s too funny not to tell you about. And if you decide to go for it, you HAVE to tell me, and if you are accepted, you HAVE to tell me so I can cheer and buy you a pizza and pick up a copy and read it, cheer some more, tell everyone to read it, and then cheer YET some more.

Because, dude. This one’s fun.

Ready? It’s from Dark Moon Digest, and… it’s called…

Ready?

You sure?

It’s worth my teasing you like this. It really is.

Unless you don’t like cleverness, or puns, or any of that fun stuff. But if you do, why are you hanging out with the likes of ME?

Okay. Fine. Here goes.

You sure you’re ready?

“Tales From the Crust: An Anthology of Pizza Horror.”

I KID YOU NOT.

Pizza horror.

And they are taking it seriously. (How seriously can you take pizza horror? And is there anything more horrific than gluten free pizza?)

Now, this anthology has some editors picked out, two folk named David James Keaton and Max Booth (no, both of them do not have the same name. One is David and one is Max and c’mon. You could figure that out yourself). And it’s a paying market, too.

The submission deadline isn’t until June 1, so you have time to think up some serious pizza horror. Have at it!

Here’s the link again, just in case you didn’t notice it above.

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Call for Submissions: Short Stories

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This is an anthology I’m featured it. It was unjuried and authors were invited to submit. But still! It’s a publication credit, and don’t discount those.

I have some very dear friends in publishing, and because they are dear friends, I’m always happy to share news of what they are up to. This one, however, I almost didn’t talk about, simply because I don’t want to expand the pool of submissions and make it that much harder for myself to make the cut. See how much faith I have in you guys?

But then my sense of fairness kicked in and if it’s good for me, you know it’s good for you. So here you go.

Running Wild Press has put out a call for submissions for a new short story anthology. This will be their second, so you’ll be getting in on the ground floor of something pretty special. Or maybe not the ground floor, but the first floor, right? Because it’s the second anthology and the first was the ground floor…

Yeah, yeah. You’re not here for a close-up look into the demented world of Susan’s brain (but it’s such a good editorial brain!). You’re here for the deets and the links.

I don’t know much else. There’s no talk of payment, so I’d expect that’s not something that should motivate you to submit or not.

What there is talk of is genre. And here’s what they say about that:

Genre agnostic. Great writing and great stories that cross genres.

Now, to me, that’s pretty contradictory. Are we agnostic, or do we want to cross? One or the other, please! Or… as I ultimately decided, maybe they just want really good fiction and won’t care if it’s agnostic or if the story’s been colored outside the lines.

Oh, and a 15,000 word limit, too, so you have plenty of room to have fun and play.

Submit via Submittable before September 15.

Good luck, and if you make the cut, be sure to let me know so we can all cheer you on!

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Featured New Book: In the Shadows of the Onion Domes by Mary Pat Hyland

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I’m not even sure how Mary Pat Hyland and I met. Over Twitter, I think it was — so for all you who don’t use Twitter to chat and network and make new friends, see what you’re missing out on?

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So let’s get to business: Mary Pat, what song reminds you of your book?

This is a great question, and as part of my promotion for my new
collection of short stories, In the Shadows of the Onion Domes, I already
created a playlist on my facebook page.

This song, “Secret O’ Life” by James Taylor, I linked to the final story
in the book “The Reluctant Magnolia.” That tale is about a woman recently
widowed who is forced to downsize her life, painfully aware of the
downward slide ahead. But I think the universal themes in Taylor’s lyrics
fit all of the stories.

The connecting thread in this collection of eighteen stories is the fact
that they’re all set in the same river valley in Upstate New York. It’s an
area settled by a major influx of European settlers seeking manufacturing
jobs during the first half of the twentieth century. Each group bought
its own perspectives and unique flavor that remains to this day. (There
are many Orthodox churches throughout the valley and their “onion domes”
help define its skyline.)

These stories follow families, college students, couples, friends and the
recently widowed, each presented with the challenges of life, love and the
rapid changes that come with the passage of time. “Einstein said that he
could never understand it all,” Taylor sings.

Each tale has a different treatment. Some are sweet, others tinged with
bitterness, and since these take place in the childhood hometown of writer
Rod Serling, some carry a definite Twilight Zone vibe. Two are sudden
fiction, under five hundred words, and “The Reluctant Magnolia” is
novella-length.

I think of them all as drawings in a sketchbook, trying to capture moments
in this “lovely ride” we call life and reminding us to “enjoy the passage
of time.”

Okay, how about you? I’m fascinated. This sounds like the sort of thing I’d love to read, to savor a story each night before bed… it takes me back to my grad student days, when I was an MFA in creative writing and I read short stories the way, one each night, and thought about it as I went to sleep…

Ahh, the memories. I still remember how that bed felt; it wasn’t the most comfortable thing my money has ever purchased. But still… It was mine!

Back to the collection. Here’s the back cover copy, just in case you need to know more.

By the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango rivers in New York’s
Southern Tier lies a verdant valley called the Triple Cities.

The shoe factories that originally drew thousands of immigrants from
across Europe have long moved on.

What remains are the distinct ethnic flavors of a gritty community
determined to overcome economic woes, adapt to the rapid changes in
society and find true meaning in life.

Consider these stories as pages ripped from a sketchbook. Some are quick
studies; others are more detailed portraits inspired by observed
characters, whispered gossip, overheard conversations and the local lore
of the residents whose neighborhoods are framed by the gilded Orthodox
Church domes that span this valley.

You’ll find that each tale has its own tone: some are humorous or
poignant, others are surprising and haunting.

Pick up a copy!

CreateSpace
Amazon U.S.
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

The book will be available via Smashwords and other ebook retailers in
late January 2015

(but I don’t wanna wait! Daddy, I want a golden egg NOW.)

Connect with Mary Pat. She’s fun to chat with!

Website
Blog
Facebook
Goodreads
Twitter

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Featured New Book: Far Away in Time by Maria Savva

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There’s nothing like an old friend when it comes to one of life’s most comforting friends, and Maria Savva definitely fits the bill around here. Not only a fellow music lover, Maria and I share a love for many, many bands.

Remember a few weeks back, when I was impressed we had a three-peat author in the Featured New Book Spotlight? Maria puts that to shame — she’s here for her fifth time. I kid you not.

The new book is called Far Away in Time. Far Away In Time

Purty cover, huh?

So, Maria, what song makes you think of your book?

Echo Beach, by Martha and the Muffins

Although none of the stories were inspired by the song, when I finished writing the story ‘Far Away In Time’, I think I may have leaned more towards that title because it reminded me of the song by Martha and the Muffins. I’ve always loved that song, especially the intro, the saxophone, and the bit at the end ‘Far away in time’! It’s always conjured up a sense of nostalgia when I hear it.

When I realised that the title I’d chosen had a connection to the song, I noticed that one of the other stories had the word ‘Echoes’ in it and another had ‘Beach’. That gave me the idea to find out some more about the actual song and see if I could add a few links to the song throughout the book.

I looked on Wikipedia and found out some facts e.g. the names of the people who wrote the song, the name of the beach that possibly inspired the song etc. I then added a few bits to some of the stories.

For example, I have a character called Martha in the story ‘A Sign’, and many of the other characters in the book are named after the people who wrote the song or sang it at some stage e.g. Toyah.

I also have a character whose job is an ‘office clerk’ in ‘Echoes of her Dreams’, just like the person the song was written about.

When you read the book, perhaps you’ll spot some of the other links! 🙂

Need a summary?

Our lives are a series of stories, and we are the characters with the starring roles. The memories, regrets, secrets, and struggles that fill these pages are at once unique and relatable. These stories belong to us all.

Eight unforgettable tales reaching out to a place Far Away In Time…

Buy a copy — Amazon only, though.
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon FR
Amazon DE
Amazon IN
Amazon AU
Amazon BR
Amazon IT
Amazon ES
Amazon MX
Amazon JP
Amazon CA

Want a gander at the book trailer? Sure you do!

Connect with Maria:
My website
Facebook Page
Twitter

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Featured New Story: Celtic Knot by Gail Oare

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More from my friends in the Lucky Charms anthology! Today, it’s Gail Oare, who is a super lady you all need to know. LuckyCharms_eBook_082113

Her story, Celtic Knot, has what must be the funniest song I’ve come across in all the years I’ve been doing this Featured New Book Spotlight. Ready?

My story in Lucky Charms: 12 Crime Tales is “Celtic Knot.” When I wrote it, I was concentrating on the symbolism of Celtic knot variations and what one(s) would be chosen as a charm bracelet keepsake associated with a family secret. I had no music in mind at all when I wrote this story. This is odd for me since I love Celtic music, having done my thesis on Welsh mythology, taught myself to play the English concertina and am now learning the bagpipes. So when asked by West of Mars for the song that inspired the story, I went on a search for one, a Google search.

And failed. There doesn’t seem to be any tune titled Celtic Knot despite the many possibilities it holds!

What to do? Back to my mental blackboard. I reflected on the underlying sadness of the “Celtic Knot” family tragedy that hung over the family for years until the final resolution. The heavy sound a hammer pounding a piece of metal on an anvil came to mind. Bomp bomp bomp. Regular, relentless pounding. Oddly enough, this sound and rhythm brought to mind an episode of the sitcom “Cheers.” It was almost St. Patrick’s Day and Sam and his competitor Gary were both vying for the most revelers for the holiday at their respective taverns. Sam found out that Gary was planning to hire an Irish band at his bar, so Sam sought one out as well. St. Patrick’s Day arrives. Gary’s bar is packed with patrons reveling to the lively jigs and drinking songs. Then the camera moves to Sam’s empty bar, where a solemn Irish band was singing a slow dirge of “And everywhere I looked was death, death, death.” Like the labored sound of metal on the anvil, like the tragedy that haunted the family in “Celtic Knot.”
So the music I will claim for my story is this heavy, heavy “death, death, death” from Sam’s Irish band. I’m not sure that is even a real song, just a musical prop for a sitcom, but regardless, I’m commandeering it as the soundtrack for my crime story. Who knew?

eBook versions of LUCKY CHARMS are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and iBooks. Print versions are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and CreateSpace although we encourage you to send your sales through Mystery Lovers Bookshop, our local independent bookstore. Support your independents!

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Featured New Story: Strangler Fig by Martha Reed

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Martha Reed is truly one of my favorite people. Join her at a writer’s convention and all you’ll need to do is sit and listen as she spins hilarious tale after hilarious tale. Be prepared to laugh until you cry, and never come back to me and complain that you weren’t warned. I’ll point you right here.

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And here’s a great place to be, because Martha’s story, Strangler Fig, made the cut for the Lucky Charms anthology I’ve been telling you about. She stopped in today to tell us what song makes her think of her book.

What’s Past is Prologue
During the summers when I was a kid I grew up in a house filled with swing music. My grandfather, Pop, had a lakeside cottage with a rotary phone and no TV but he did have a tape player and a stack of vinyl. We listened to big band swing music, mostly Benny Goodman, all day long. To this day whenever I hear a rising clarinet solo I have a flashback to those glorious summer days.

At certain drum solos, Pop would raise his hand and call for silence. ‘Listen!’ He would say. ‘That’s Gene Krupa.’

Pop served in the 3rd Marines during WWII. He fought his way across the Pacific islands. He parachuted into the fight at the battle of Tinian but he wouldn’t ever talk about it or tell me anything more. Then Pop died, and recently I got the feeling that his generation, so defined by its music, was fading away. I decided to write a short story with characters from his age group to try to capture some of that wartime feeling, that genuine camaraderie. The perfect song for that time is The Andrews Sisters singing Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.

My story, STRANGLER FIG, tells the tale of T-Rex, a street thug, and his retirement home invasion. The problem is that all the retirees are all ex-Pacific Naval Command. They’ve had plenty of practice dealing with his particular brand of trouble before. T-Rex has no idea about the deadly situation he’s gotten himself into.

STRANGLER FIG is only one of 12 crime tales found in the LUCKY CHARMS anthology. LUCKY CHARMS was produced by members of the Mary Roberts Rinehart Pittsburgh chapter of Sisters in Crime, an international organization dedicated to the advancement of women crime writers. Each tale tells of surprising good luck or of good luck gone sour. I invite you to explore the anthology and to brace yourself for an entertaining read.

And for a change, Martha said it better than I could.

Get yourself a copy! Only Martha Reed can come up with something like Strangler Fig … and a street thug named T-Rex.

eBook versions of LUCKY CHARMS are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and iBooks. Print versions are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and CreateSpace although we encourage you to send your sales through Mystery Lovers Bookshop, our local independent bookstore. Support your independents!

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Featured New Release: Wicked Intentions by JoAnne Myers

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Author JoAnne Myers has been here before, so I’m more than glad to host her once again.

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She’s back with an anthology of short fiction, seven stories in total, which is a super size for an anthology. Just short enough to keep your interest and whet your appetite without making you feel swallowed by the short story format.

So, JoAnne, what song makes you think of your book?

The song that reminds me of my anthology is the theme song to JAWS, because my book is that kind of on the edge of your seat read. It is filled with mystery, intrigue, danger, and twist endings. If readers love, paranormal/mystery stories they will love Wicked Intentions.

Now, check out the blurbs for the various stories. Buy one, buy ’em all!

BLOOD TIES- word count 15,902
After the mysterious disappearance of twenty-six year old wife and mother Lisa Smalley, her twin, Audra Roper, begins having dark and disturbing visions of Lisa’s disappearance. Trying to survive while looking for Lisa, Audra’s life becomes a roller coaster of risks, heartbreak, and intrigue.
 
 
THE HAUNTING OF BARB MARIE- word count 9,845
Even as a child, Barb Marie saw dead people. This took an unhealthy toil on her throughout her childhood and young adulthood.
 
SUMMER WIND-word count 13,039
When twenty-nine year old Ginger discovers the old mansion Summer Wind, she is mysteriously drawn to it. . Immediately, the haunting’s have a negative and profound effect on the family.

THE TRUTH BEHIND THE LIES-laying the Norfolk ghost to rest-work count 15,354
Solving the brutal murder of American born Ruthie Geil becomes a gauntlet of attacks and more murders for Federal Police Inspector Ian Christian. Between the victims family, ex-lovers, and ghostly occurrences on Norfolk Island, the killer is closer than anyone realizes.
 
THE LEGEND OF LAKE MANOR-word count 8,297
For the young psychic Cassandra Lopez, coming to the infamous and haunted mansion Lake Manor, was more like a mission.

THE APARTMENT-word count 5,188
When young newlyweds Bill and Gayle move into their new apartment, their lives are plagued with sightings of evil ghosts that threaten their marriage and lives.

DARK VISIONS-word count 5,170
When Carrie Reynold’s starts having nightmares on her twenty-sixth birthday, she believes her “dark visions” can solve the twenty year disappearance of her father.

Buy links for Wicked Intentions:
Melange Books
Lulu
Amazon

Readers can find me here also:
Facebook
website Books and Paintings by JoAnne

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Featured New Book: Moment of Truth by Marat M’saev Daan

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The best part of the Internet is that we get to meet and know people from all over the world. This isn’t news to anyone, I know. But I’m old enough that I haven’t stopped being tickled by how easy it is to connect with people in cool parts of the world.

Like Marat M’saev Daan. He’s in Serbia, and while he’s not the first Serb I’ve met (and I count a couple of Croats among my real-life friends, as well), he’s the latest.

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His book, Moment of Truth, is a collection of short work that came out a few months ago. That’s still new in my book! (Yeah, that pun was a groaner. I know.)

So… Marat, what song makes you think of your book?

Song that reminds me most of my book is “Where do we draw the line” by Poets Of The Fall. Metaphors in the song and how they are connected to our lives and surroundings reminds me a lot of words I have written and of my way of thinking.

Pretty cool, huh? I’ve heard of Poets of the Fall, but I haven’t heard Poets of the Fall before now. I’m overdue. What a lovely, delicate, yet lush song. Maybe even a bit haunting.

That brings us to the next question. Marat, what’s your book’s blurb?

There’s always been some thinking. Self-knowledge or knowledge of the environment? It often doesn’t matter. Time periods are different, the question is do we recognize them. Our desires, our needs, our truths, it takes courage to admit to ourselves that after a long night, a new sun is born. One story after another, our lives go with hope for a better future. That’s our moment of truth.

“Moment of truth” is a collection of short stories I have written in different times, each one connected to a particular event, my feelings and emotions and/or point of view at that very moment. It has been written in my own symbols and style that I have found most suitable to describe written above.

Go pick up a copy! It’s exclusive on Amazon (I hate exclusives, if I may take a wise woman’s quote out of context).

My personal links are:

Website

Facebook page

Twitter

Blogger

GoodReads

And once you’ve picked it up and read it, how about leaving a few words of review over at GoodReads? Recommend it to your friends, if you’re so inclined. I know Marat will appreciate it!

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Teen Boy Reads: Guys Read: The Sports Pages

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Welcome back loyal readers!

Today I have yet another book that you should check out. In the final installment in the existing Guys Read series, I bring you: The Sports Pages!

Guys Read: Sports Pages
Edited By Jon Scieszka
😐 out of 😀 (3/5)

Ten stories guaranteed to put you in the ring, under the basket, and right behind home plate, from the following perennial all-stars: Dustin Brown, James Brown, Joseph Bruchac, Chris Crutcher, Tim Green, Dan Gutman, Gordon Korman, Chris Rylander, Anne Ursu, and Jacqueline Woodson

Guys Read is back, again. We will never stay down for the count. This time, we have brought you some of the finest sports writers, in between these covers! So turn the baseball game on, and curl up on a nice lounger with this book.

I am no sports fan. I will play the sports, to some degree, and find watching them slightly unappealing. But this book was pretty good, to me at least. The stories had an element of funniness to them, but others were more confusing than anything. All in all, it was a good book, but it had its ups and downs.
With more blog posts coming your way,

Your friend at TBR

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Teen Boy Reads: Guys Read: Funny Buisiness

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Hi Readers!
This week I have done another great book. The book is actually made for Teen Boys. This is the first of three reviews I will do.
Guys Read: Funny Business
Edited By Jon Scieszka
😉 out of 😀 (4.5/5)

Here it is! Volume 1 of our newest Guys Read undertaking A lot of something funny for everyone. 10 original short stories by Mac Barnett, Eoin Colfer, Christopher Paul Curtis, Kate DiCamillo & Jon Scieszka, Paul Feig, Jack Gantos, Jeff Kinney, David Lubar, Adam Rex, and David Yoo. Wow.

Well, if you need a description, go read the title again. This IS what it sounds like. 10 short stories by some awesome authors, and a whole lot of laughs.
This book was REALLY good, but was not totally funny. I can’t really say much about the book, seeing as the title really says everything. Eoin Colfer’s name is actually pronounced ‘Owen’. Jeff Kinney made ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’. Hey, I’m grasping at straws here. Just know that some stories are funnier than others.

Well, that brings us to the end of our review. Thanks for stopping by, and goodbye.

See you later,

Your friend at TBR

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