Tag Archives: horror

Into the Woods, a fantasy anthology

MyrddinAnthologyECoverWe at Myrddin Publishing Group are starting the new year with the launch of our anthology, Into the Woods. We’re even having an all-weekend-long Facebook party, with Myrddin Authors dropping in and out over the course of the next few days. There will be gifts, and prizes and just fun and games with the Myrddin crew. The online Facebook Party starts here, so stop on by and and hang out with us!

This collection of amazing tales came about almost by accident.

One day last summer I was looking through stock images I’d found for a cover I was designing for another author. I came across a wonderful image of a lonely house set in the woods. I’m not sure why, but suddenly, like the proverbial dog after a squirrel, I was off looking at images of houses in the woods–like that was going to get any work done.

Of course, my brain is hardwired to write stories, so I found myself imagining all sorts of scenarios and plots to go with these amazing images. Then, it occurred to me that if I was inspired to write by these images, my fellow authors here at Myrddin Publishing would also be.

I threw out a challenge to the group: Write a short story about a house in the woods. The only caveat was the tale had to fall under the genre of fantasy, and the theme was “a house in the woods.”

And wow! What a response– I received nine wildly different tales, ranging from humor to ghostly, to romantic, to horror. These ten tales are some of the best I have read.

In the first tale, “A Peculiar Symbiosis,” Alison DeLuca gives us a moving story of a man who discovers he loves his wife–but only after she is dead.

“The Forest House” is my own take on the Tam Lin tale. Tam Lin is a character in a legendary ballad originating from the Scottish Borders as collected by Francis Child, but there are many tales from all over northern Europe featuring variations on his name, and the story will have slight variations. It is also associated with a reel of the same name, also known as Glasgow Reel. I had always wondered if Tam Lin and the Faerie Queen had a child, and if they had, what would have happened to it when Janet rescued Tam?

In “A House in the Woods,” Stephen M. Swartz takes us back to the 1960s with this dark fantasy. Two boys playing in the woods come across an abandoned house, and discover a true ghost story.

Irene Roth Luvaul takes us deep into the forest in “The Guardian.” A woman discovers her family’s history, and the terrible secret a cabinet once held.

Ross M. Kitson offers up a A Matter of Faith.” In this dark prequel to Kitson’s epic Prism series, an uptight paladin must find a way to work with a free-thinking druid, if he is to be successful in finding and killing a demon.

In “If I Have to Spell it Out” Austin musician and author Marilyn Rucker lightens things up with her hilarious take on two cousins quarreling over the tenancy of their family home, via letters.

“A Haunted Castle” by Lisa Zhang Wharton shows us that a house can can also be a haunted castle in the Bavarian Forest, in her hilarious, hallucinogenic tale of ghosts, rottweilers, and a costume party.

Myrddin Publishing Group’s own master of horror, Shaun Allan, swings us back to the dark side with a horrifying twist on the Hansel and Gretel tale, with “Rose.” Told with his usual flair for words and style, this is a chilling story of demonic magic. Definitely not your mama’s Hansel and Gretel!

In “Hidden,” Carlie M.A. Cullen takes us deep into the woods, where two young women take shelter from a storm in an abandoned house, with terrible consequences.

For the final tale in this treasury, fantasy author Lee French presents us with a post-Civil War tale of star-crossed love, in her magical tale, “Forever.” Tara and Marcus share a forbidden love–and only one place is safe for them.

I am continually amazed and awed by the talent of the wonderful authors I am privileged to work with at Myrddin Publishing Group. You can purchase this wonderful collection of short stories at Amazon by clicking on the buy button below:

Into the Woods: a fantasy anthology

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Filed under Books, Fantasy, Literature, writing

Facebook–A Squirrel Ran Through It

After looking at my Facebook page today I am overwhelmed. So many random thoughts are piled up in my forehead I don’t know where to begin.

41TxMnE1AjL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-70,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_First, Dean Frank Lappi has rereleased his epic fantasy-horror, Black Numbers, along with a sequel, Blood Numbers.  The Aleph Null Chronicles has to be the most unique fantasy series ever written.  This book is not for the faint of heart, or for those who shy away from explicit and at times, violent sex. Yet the sex is not for prurient purposes–Lappi’s magic is created by melding high mathmatics (the sort that explain the universe) and that most powerful of human drives, sex. I have been waiting for more than a year for this, and I guess you know what’s on Grandma’s Kindle today!

Then, there was a hilarious post by a fellow Olympia area author, Elizabeth A.. It was a link to a blog called “Death and Taxes”, and the post is called “18 Obsolete Words Which Should Never Have Gone Out of Style.” 

They are all just so awesome, it’s hard to pick my favorite! I do think “Snoutfair: A person with a handsome countenance — “The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten” by Jeffrey Kacirk” is a real winner.

pickleupAlso there were the usual snarky, funny pictures that make the rounds.  So many posts by so many people, all intent on chatting…. If I’m Facebooking on my phone I’m in trouble. It takes me ten minutes to accurately text “On my way” so a readable post by me is out of the question. I do end up with some awesome auto-fill errors.

I love Facebook as much as I hate it.  It is a vast, time-sucking black-hole at the center of my universe, but some of the things I run across are just so hilarious.

Some things are really thought provoking. Today there was the blog post by Traci Tyne Hilton on being a writer and other people’s perceptions of you. It’s titled  “The Proof of the Writer is in the CV.”

“So the other day,when a friend called me a “new writer” my defensive nature kicked into high gear.

What did she mean by that? She just meant I hadn’t been writing long.

What did I hear when she said that? I heard: “You just picked up a pen for the first time, like, yesterday, and now look at you!” (She doesn’t talk like a Valley Girl, the voices in my head do.)”

James_Jefferys_-_Self-Portrait_-_Google_Art_Project Public DomainI think a lot of authors can relate to that feeling of “Whoa– what do you think I’ve been doing for the last 30 years?” but, just as Traci does, we realize it’s perception and semantics, and try not to feel that pang of instant outrage that we suppress and cover with a smile. Frankly, how many people actually know we’ve been holed up in a dark room with only Strunk & White and a typewriter or keyboard for companionship for all these years? Who of my coworkers knew I could wallpaper an outhouse with my letters of rejection? Failure to land a publisher for a novel you penned in your own blood and tears is a deeply personal failure, and is not something you chat about over lunch with the girls in the data-entry pool.

To be honest, before I published my first book, probably only my husband, my kids and my sister knew I had this dark secret, so it shouldn’t bother me to be called a new writer. In the eyes of the world, I am a new writer, so I’ll embrace it, and roll with it.

450px-Tamiasciurus_douglasii_37808I love all the off-the-wall, hilarious and thought provoking posts I find on my Facebook page. In fact, today I found enough to keep me from having to write for nearly 3 hours!  Woot! Now the morning is gone, I guess it’s time to sit on the back porch and read me some Dean Frank Lappi! Strange, how dark and scary he can make a summer’s day appear….


Filed under Adventure, Books, Fantasy, Humor, Literature, Uncategorized, writer, writing