Tag Archives: Irene Roth Luvaul

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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Gearing up for #PNWA2015

House of Sand and Fog Andre Dubus III

I love conventions. Especially writer’s conventions, where the craft of writing is the central theme, so that is why I look forward to the PNWA convention every year. Two weeks from now, that is where I will be, along with fellow Myrddin Publishing Group editor and bff, Irene Roth Luvaul.

It is horribly expensive, but for me, it is so worth it.

This year, Andre Dubus III will be the keynote speaker. While I frequently read literary fiction, I have to say I didn’t really enjoy his book, House of Sand and Fog, although it was excellently crafted. I found it exceedingly depressing, as I did most books touted by Oprah’s Book Club, which I generally don’t find to be much of a recommendation any more. Oprah is a wonderful lady, but her tastes in literature are far different than mine.

Let’s face it–I’m an escape-reader. I read to get away from the misery of the world, so while the story is thought-provoking, and worthy of every honor it has received, I didn’t enjoy it. I prefer happy endings.

But that doesn’t really matter–I want to hear what he has to say. I don’t care for George R.R. Martin‘s work either. But I love to hear George speak, and so I am looking forward to hearing what Andre Dubus III has to say.

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL AUTHORSMy hubby took a vacation-day yesterday, giving himself a 4 day weekend to help me take my books 75 miles north to Bellevue. 3 hours each direction, inching along I-5 and I-405 in 90 degree heat–what fun!

This was so they can  be included in the PNWA July 16-19 convention’s Friday Autograph Party event. I’m pretty excited about that. My good friend, Lindsay Schopfer will also be signing books, as will 58 other authors.

I’ll be showcasing the World of Neveyah series, and Huw the Bard, so 4 books for the signing event. But all my books will be there.

Every attendee will receive an Ebook copy of Tales from the Dreamtime courtesy of Smashwords. I so wish I could give them each a copy of the audio book–Craig Allen’s narration is simply amazing.

I really enjoy the PNWA conference. A lot of people who are going the traditional route use it to pitch to agents and editors, but that doesn’t interest me. I am happy as an indie and have no plans to court a large publisher.

What I am interested in are the seminars on the craft of writing. Every year I come away from this event feeling completely inspired, and ready to write.

Friday morning Irene and I will attend the annual meeting. I do have some concerns which I have made a list of, and wish I lived closer to Seattle to be more of a volunteer. Living 75 miles away limits what I can do to help out, but I could do some virtual assisting, if there is an option for that.

Also, I will be attending seminars given by Scott Driscoll, Robert Dugoni, and Lindsay Schopfer.

creamy_wild_rice_and_mushroom_soup_recipe

creamy wild rice and mushroom soup w/coconut milk

All in all, I think it will be a fun event, and am planning my food ahead for it, as the vegan can never count on the kindness of strangers when it comes to food. The wise vegan author travels well-prepared to stay in a room with no microwave, in a hotel that is less than understanding about what constitutes a vegan meal.

I can honestly say I am NOT looking forward to the dinners, but will be well-able to provide for myself, and who needs food anyway–were gonna be talking books!

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HUW the BARD launch date set

Map of Eynier Valley © Connie J. Jasperson 2014

Map of Eynier Valley © Connie J. Jasperson 2014

I am pretty excited about things right now!  HUW THE BARD will be officially launched on March 31, 2014. I’m having a virtual launch party and everything–with virtual canapes and margaritas.

On Friday, March 28, 2014 we will be revealing the cover, on both Carlie M.A. Cullen’s blog and on this place, right here.  I can hardly wait!

It has been a long journey, to get Huw to this point. I began writing him in November 2011, and had the first draft complete by November of 2012.

I have the good fortune to have a friend, Irene Roth Luvaul, who is a professional author and a fine dedicated editor, go over it, helping me to make the manuscript submission ready. (That process is an entire blogpost in and of itself!)

Inset Bekenberg Trail to Castleton

Bekenberg Trail to Castleton © Connie J. Jasperson 2014

At that point, Huw was sent to the fine ladies at Eagle Eye Editors, where he was thoroughly scrutinized and we went through the editing process. Because of the sometimes difficult things Huw must deal with, that was frequently an emotional ordeal, but Carlie, Maria, and Irene nursed me through it.

In the end, the final product is a book we can all be proud of.

In the meantime–here is the blurb that is on the back of the book:

*

Huw Owyn is the last true bard in Waldeyn.

Fleeing a burning city,

Everything he ever loved in ashes behind him,

Penniless and hunted, no place is safe.

Abandoned and alone, eighteen-year old Huw the Bard must somehow survive.

 It’s two-hundred leagues to safety,

And then two-hundred more.

A lot can happen to a man on a journey like that.

Map of Waldeyn © Connie J. Jasperson 2014

Map of Waldeyn © Connie J. Jasperson 2014

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Christmas O’clock

Christmas O'clock 2013It’s December–Christmas is coming! We have found some awesome presents for the grandchildren and two of my short-stories were published in an anthology of children’s stories. I actually had my bout of Christmas spirit in July when I wrote A Christmas Tail!

This anthology, Christmas O’Clock is available at Amazon for the very reasonable price of $2.99 for ebook OR $9.49 for the paperback.  The book also includes hilarious tales by authors like Sean Allan, Allison Deluca, Irene Roth Luvaul, Nicole Antonia Carro and Mary K. Mitchell.  It is a collection of holiday-themed stories including magic, space travel, and Rudolph. With two complete chapter books, lots of stories, and plenty of spirit, this anthology is great for kids of all ages.
Franz_Skarbina_Unter_dem_Weihnachtsbaum

And best of all, all proceeds go to Water Is Life to help children and families in an international effort. What could be better than being a part of something that helps so many people?  Millions daily go without that most fundamental of necessities: clean drinking water. Every time I turn on a tap in my home, I am grateful to have such a wonderful, valuable commodity so easily available to me.

I shudder to think of what it must be like for the countless people in this world who do not have such a miracle in their homes. For millions of people, the wells where they daily draw their water are nearly dry, and are frequently diseased. Clean water is a rare and precious commodity, but we can help to make this gift a reality by making a small donation. Buy a copy of the book and not only will ALL the proceeds go this wonderful charity, but you will have a great book. If you are a Christmas story nut like me, you will read it for yourself, not just for the kids.

SO where was I going with this – oh yes – the fabulous Jaspersons have been dragging decorations out of the garage in an attempt to show the neighborhood some sort of holiday spirit. Unfortunately, we had an incident of…well, lets just say mythical proportions.

christmas mouseFrom my Facebook post of last evening: “…just went out to the garage to get my genuine artificial Christmas tree. It is in the big zipper bag that has handles for hauling it in and out of said garage. As soon as I picked it up, several somethings went sort of crazy in side the bag.

Sorry kids–mama doesn’t really like mysterious moving somethings in the Christmas tree bag. The bag and the tree are still in the garage where mama dropped it. This looks a job for that super-hero for all seasons—>DAD!!!”

It turned out that it was a “2 beer” mouse – my husband earned his beers and the tree is now in the living room. Unfortunately, the middle section of the tree does not light up, so rather than buy a new tree, today I am going to the local sundries store and getting a string of lights. Tonight, there will be a tree shining in our window!

(edit)  We now have a tree up in our living-room (no mice were harmed in the decorating of this tree):

IMG742

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