Tag Archives: Marilyn Rucker

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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Marilyn Rucker, Nick’s, and September

Albert Bierstadt - Autumn Landscape PD|100 via Wikimedia Commons

Albert Bierstadt – Autumn Landscape PD|100 via Wikimedia Commons

September is the month that always sneaks up too fast. This year we had a long drought, with 80 and 90 degree weather (that is 26.7  and 32.2 degrees Celsius)  and well above from the first of May through most of August.

Then, just about the time we took our vacation to Cannon Beach, the weather turned cold, and a little rain finally began to fall. Over the last week it has been cold and rainy here, so much so that I have had to wear socks in the house, and long-sleeved jammies for work. (!!!) And the rain–in the last two weeks we have had more than in the prior four months.

The unwatered lawns are turning green again in our less-than-affluent suburban neighborhood–it’s likely to be a bad year for hay up here in the Northwest.

Interstellar Pirate QueenLast evening my dear old hubby and I met in Bellevue with well-known musician and author, Marilyn Rucker, who is up from Texas to perform at Tumbleweed Music Festival in Richland, Washington.  Marilyn wrote Sax and the Suburb, a hilarious and entertaining band-geek murder mystery. Marilyn is an awesome performer, and her music has been featured on King of Queens, and many other television shows. She plays with both The Studebakers and the Hootchcakes Band, but is performing solo in Richland.

If you love hilarious, witty music, give her solo album, Interstellar Pirate Queen a spin. It’s full of wry wit and fabulous, entertaining music to write to.

But we did have an amazing dinner at a place we had never been to, as we are rarely in Bellevue, and we discovered this little jewel in the culinary crown of the Puget Sound region by accident. The place is called Nicks Greek and Italian Cuisine, and all I can say is “Ooh, baby.”

And Nick himself is quite the character with his lovely accent and genuine, welcoming way.

My hiatus from contract editing is over, and I am back at work once again. Writing has to assume the secondary position in my pantheon of tasks. I have a wonderful fantasy novel by Carlie M.A. Cullen currently in my editing pile. I’m also editing an anthology for my publisher, Myrddin Publishing. The work I have received for this anthology so far is outstanding–Myrddin has some fine authors under its banner.

I will take another break from editing in November, as that is NaNoWriMo month.

This year I plan to use that as my opportunity to write a 2000 to 4000 word short-story every day until I have my 50,000 words, and then I will wing it, until November has ended. I am currently building my list of prompts.

Autumn Landscape With Pond And Castle Tower-Alfred Glendening-1869

Autumn Landscape With Pond And Castle Tower-Alfred Glendening-1869

September is the month I enjoy the least. It represents the end of fun, the last hurrah of the summer. It means playtime is over and work begins in earnest. I hope the weather will turn nice again for a week or so, to give us those final few days of sunshine and 75 degrees (23.3)–that is the perfect, ideal summer day, the kind of day we were denied this year because of the unusual, San Diego-style heat.

I want to sit on my back porch with my kindle and enjoy the last bits of sunshine before the monsoons close in. I want to sit there, watching the birds and planning my next writing adventure, and I will, if only the rain would relax for a week or so, and allow me that little pleasure.

My wish for this winter is that it snows prodigiously in the mountains where it belongs, and rains frequently here in the lowlands. Then, promptly on July 5th as is expected, may our allotted six weeks of summer begin anew with temperatures in the low 80s. Please, may we have a “normal” year, if normal can be measured in our ever-changing world.

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Filed under Fantasy, Humor, writing