Here Be Monsters

The Here Be Monsters bundle is appropriately of a monstrous size—that is, it possesses 19 titles, which is huge for a bundle. Bundles usually have 10 – 12, at most.

I’m looking forward to Here Be Monsters myself, because I checked Amazon’s Look Inside for every story that had one, and nearly every title seems to be one I want to read! It will be a wonderful cornucopia for my summer.

Of course, one of the Monsters titles is my own, A Knot of Trolls. In previous posts about bundles, I’ve included a little bit about my own contribution, but I think I won’t this time. There are too many choices that aren’t mine that I want to feature, for me to spend space on Knot. If you want to learn more about Knot, check it out here. I will just mention that it’s a collection, with 7 shorts/novellas.

I did say that Monsters has a lot of reading, didn’t I? 😉 With 19 titles, one of which collects 7 titles together (mine), that’s 25 total, consisting of a mix of shorts, novellas, and novels. Perfect for a lazy day on the beach or lounging in a hammock in the shade or staying up too late of a summer night.

Edited to Add: No, I was wrong. A Murder of Crows is also a collection. Since it contains 16 tales, that makes 40 total in Here Be Monsters. Good grief! What are we waiting for?! Go click that buy button!

Check out the 8 titles below (of 40), and then go snap up your copy of Monsters. Links follow.

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A young woman discovers her own brand of magic in a pre-World War II Budapest teeming with monsters, vampires, and demons…

Eva Farkas has managed to survive in fascist Budapest despite her heritage and her congenital lack of magic. But after seeking the help of the Vampire Lord of Budapest, Eva comes to realize that mere survival isn’t enough. She must find the magic hidden inside of her, and not just survive, but fly.

The Magic of Fabulous is a novella set in the world of the Lady Lazarus historical fantasy series, and contains both an afterword by the author and excerpts from the other books in the series.

When the deck is stacked against you, how will you play the game?

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A collection of short horror, ghost, and dark fantasy stories for adults, woven together by a flock of crows, telling stories to entertain a girl trying to survive a tragedy…

“It was we crows who took your daughter, in case you were wondering. She didn’t run away. We had—I had—been watching her for some time, listening to her tell stories in the grass behind the house. She would sit near the chicken coop and watch the white chickens pick at the dirt, pulling up fat worms and clipping grasshoppers out of the air as they jumped toward the fields.

“Some of them were good stories. Some of them were bad. But that’s what decided it, even more than any issue of mercy or salvation or anything else. Crows are, for one, possessive of stories.”

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Reaper Hawk—mightiest warrior in all Lysandria—tells the true tale of the minotaur in this gripping adventure of sword and sorcery, monsters and mayhem. Questing for adventure in the far east, Reaper meets the minotaur and becomes embroiled in his quest to recover his stolen humanity and reunite with his lost love. Before they are done, they’ll have to fight wizards and wyrms and overcome their own greatest fears, but if they’re successful, they’ll turn back the tide of chaos and restore order to the world.
 
 
 

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Monsters hide among the suburbs. Roland McReedy knows because he works for one, under duress. “The Rajah.” Roland and his partner Nelson hunt down occult oddities under threat of death for themselves, and worse for their families. Roland and Nelson face the night with only their knives, billy clubs, and wits to protect them.

But the Rajah’s latest demand pits Roland and Nelson against the foulest creatures in the San Francisco Bay Area, including a horror older than time itself.

In a world full of monsters how can mere humans survive?

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Magic has a cost. Sarah Beauhall, blacksmith and dragon slayer doesn’t know just how high. Her lover, Katie Cornett, has finally been overwhelmed by this spiraling cost and her spirit is blasted from her body and flung into a world of nightmares and monsters.

As Katie’s coma deepens and her chances of survival fade, Sarah’s spirit must make a journey of its own through a world of crystalline eaters and malevolent spirits who exist only to hunt and to consume.

Night after night Sarah delves beyond the hidden paths, going from crystalline landscapes into the wild lands and lost worlds far beyond the great sea of dreams.

When the spirit of a long dead murderer—known only as the Bowler Hat man—begins gathering an army in the forgotten lands, Sarah discovers that more than eaters and feeders pursue her.

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Dani’s family is unusual. She’s the youngest—and only girl—of seven. Being the lone female, her family would like her to be all girly and sweet like her best friend Allie. But Dani is a tomboy born and bred, and on her fourteenth birthday she discovers why.

Life is about to get decidedly strange!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Scylla is caught by surprise when her mother, the river nymph Crataeis, shows up unexpectedly. Mother’s infrequent visits are welcome, but also serve as a painful reminder of what Scylla’s life had been like before the evil witch Circe turned her into a hideous, people-eating monster.

The cliff Scylla lives on juts out into a narrow straight of water; an arrow-shot away lives the monster Charybdis, who sucks water – and any ships unfortunate enough to be close by – down a whirlpool and into her great maw several times a day. Mother asks Scylla to allow a ship that belongs to a young man named Odysseus to pass by unharmed a few days hence; that way his boat won’t have to venture too close to the whirlpool. Scylla agrees, on the condition that her mother go to Circe and plead with her to return Scylla to her normal human form.

But when Odysseus’ ship appears, Scylla realizes that perhaps things are not as they seem…

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Private eye Nick Beasley lives in a world where fairy tales ended a long time ago—where zeppelins now soar the skies instead of dragons, and where the first automobiles have taken the place of flying carpets. He’s made a name for himself across the Afterlands by debunking fake magicians and exposing fraudulent monsters. This is the modern age, after all. Magic and monsters are long gone.

At least, that’s what Nick believes. Until he gets magically transformed into a monster, that is.

The only person who may be able to help Nick is Lady Cordelia Beaumont, one of the last enchantresses in the Afterlands. But in order for her to cure him, they’ll have to retrieve a powerful artifact from a ruthless crime lord—who is also Cordelia’s father.

The fate of the Afterlands lies in the hands of a runaway enchantress and a monstrous ex-detective. What could possibly go wrong?

Perfect for fans of Doctor Who, Once Upon A Time, Indiana Jones, or The Dresden Files, the Beaumont and Beasley series features high adventure in a world where fairy tales are history.

We love to fear them and fight them. Monsters come in many forms, from the monsters within to the monsters outside and under the bed. Dare you venture into the caverns and the castles? Dare you enter the darkness of an accursed soul?

An eclectic collection of dark creatures and those who confront them. You have been warned.

Here Be Monsters features 19 tales (really 40) of myths, monsters, and mayhem.

The Here Be Monsters bundle is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or direct from the BundleRabbit site.

 

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Summer Shimmer

The latest seasonal story bundle curated by A. L. Butcher is out!

I’ve not had a chance to read it yet—super busy with design work on the paperback of my upcoming novella Blood Silver—but there are several titles that especially catch my eye.

I’ll list them below, along with my own novella, Skies of Navarys, also included in the collection.

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IT HAPPENED in early September, the time of year when the city does its damndest to remember what heat was, just one more time before winter rocks on in…

This is a story of horror and haunting regret.

A group of homeless men—fishing for a little fun and folly—latch onto something that MIGHT be a mermaid.

Regret lives on and lingers—long after the last tear drop has fallen.

“If Harlan Ellison, Richard Matheson and Robert Bloch had a three-way sex romp in a hot tub and then a team of scientists came in and filtered out the water and mixed the leftover DNA into a test tube, the resulting genetic experiment would most likely grow up into Steve Vernon.” —BOOKGASM

“Steve Vernon was born to write. He’s the real deal and we are lucky to have him.” —Richard Chizmar, CEMETERY DANCE

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SAN FRANCISCO. Haight-Ashbury. It is midnight in the Summer of Love. Thomas Brock and Evelyn Love are attorneys who crusade for the rights of OTs—Other-Than-Humans. Their clients include ghosts, gargoyles, vampires, and things that have not yet been given names. The city’s OT element is sometimes malevolent, sometimes misunderstood, and often discriminated against. Brock and Love represent them, whatever the case, whatever the species.

Magic hangs heavy in San Francisco, and danger and intrigue is as thick as the fog around the Golden Gate Bridge.

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WHEN ETHAN RILEY earned a summer internship in Yellowstone National Park, he thought he’d won the world’s best lottery, but that was before he met the girl of his dreams, Jenny Leigh.

Jenny’s family had lived and worked in Yellowstone for generations, and the beautiful and fascinating young woman knew all its secrets.

Including a few that might just be the death of Ethan!
 
 

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QUITE HOW Ashley Mason made the journey from rural Kansas to working atop a lookout tower in the Montana wilderness eludes her. This summer’s challenge: coping with isolation.

Brent Tucker dedicates every summer to learning something new. In the past he pursued competitive swimming and ballroom dancing. This summer’s goal: to master hang gliding.

This year they both will learn more than they bargained for during the Summer of Fire and Heart.

~a Firehawks Lookouts romance story~

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WHEN THE KING’S GEOMANCER announces that a tidal wave threatens Navarys—the Atlantis of the North-lands—every citizen on the island springs to action. Amidst the uproar, the aeromancer Palujon steals unique and magical lodestones.

Mago, son of the lodestones’ creator, vows to retrieve his father’s precious artifacts. But Mago’s friend Liliyah questions Palujon’s motives.

Why would a man of his stature break the law? Is he truly a dastard?

Life and death hang on her answers.

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Hot lazy days, cracking thunderstorms, paddling a canoe upriver, long twilights filled with chasing fireflies, picnics under shady oak trees, overnights with friends and ghost stories. The days of summer carry us back to memories of the delights from childhood.

But summertime offers abundance even when we leave the realm of innocence—perhaps especially then. It’s a season of warmth, growth, and strength, embodying the powerful move from inspirations and ideas into reality: action, decision, and works we can touch and use.

This mixed-genre bundle of summery sensations features romance in the wilds of Montana, an alien invasion, revelation in a tropical and buggy third-world country, paranormal adventures during the Summer of Love, a serial killer who targets telepaths, and more.

Available for 3 months only—June, July, and August.

The Summer Shimmer bundle (with 11 titles) is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or direct from the BundleRabbit site.

 

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A Bundle of Fairies

My story The Troll’s Belt is in the Here Be Fairies bundle along with 12 other titles.

I’m excited about it, because some of the other participating authors are amazing. I’ve enjoyed the works of Leah Cutter, Anthea Sharp, and Kristine Kathryn Rush for several years now. But this bundle also features two of my newest favorites: Alexandra Brandt and Leslie Claire Walker.

Here’s a little bit about the bundle:

Fairies, fair folk, imps, trolls, and pixies—they haunt our myths from Ireland to Iceland and everywhere else. Join in the fairy fun, or fairy fear, as good, bad, and mischievous they show themselves. Dare you take the trip to Fairyland? No one who returns is ever quite the same.

And here’s a quick rundown of the titles that especially caught my interest:

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FUNERAL DIRECTORS DEAL with everything at a funeral, but only a few must handle an influx of flower fairies. Or worse: the arrival of a flower fairy child, alone and unsupervised.

Flower fairies are unpredictable…except when they get angry. And then they become terrifying.

So, what will they do if they think one of their children faces danger?

 

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~ USA Today Bestselling Urban Fantasy ~

WHAT IF A HIGH-TECH computer game was a gateway to the dangerous Realm of Faerie?

Feyland is the most immersive computer game ever designed, and Jennet Carter is the first to play the prototype. But she doesn’t suspect the virtual world is close enough to touch—or that she’ll be battling for her life against the Dark Queen of the faeries.

Tam Linn is the perfect hero, in-game. Too bad the rest of his life is seriously flawed. The last thing he needs is rich-girl Jennet prying into his secrets, insisting he’s the only one who can help her.

Together, Jennet and Tam enter the Dark Realm of Feyland, only to discover that the entire human world is in danger. Pushed to the limit of their abilities, they must defeat the Dark Queen… before it’s too late.

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ON GULL ISLAND in the cold North, Eithni awaits Winter Solstice with pride, resentment, and fear. All signs point to a Taking year. And Eithni, chosen to enter the chamber of the gods, prepares to leave her human community forever.

On the other side of the Stone Door, Sable stands guard in anticipation of a successful solstice, when the veil between worlds will lift…and when her liege, a lightlord of the fae, will claim the human woman who willingly steps across into the Summer realm.

But everything changes when Eithni breaks the rules.

Everything changes when Sable hears a voice from the stone.

A fantasy love story set among the Picts in Iron Age Scotland.

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A faery sword — A haunted mermaid — A fallen angel

WHEN THE FAE SWORD named War transports Amy to the scene of a magical crime, she finds more than a dead man. The oldest Watcher, Shadow, newly reborn, saw the murder. The victim isn’t innocent, and the killer remains on the loose.

Haunted by the past, Amy wields a powerful weapon. But the source of her mermaid magic—her wild, untamed feelings—frightens her. She’s no hero, and yet the fight comes down to her.

She must learn to trust her her magic, her emotions . . . everything, or she and Shadow have no chance of stopping the killer.

If they fail, enchantment—and with it, all the worlds—will never be the same.

A story about awakening magic and lighting the fires of hope.

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THE GREATER OREGON Fairy Kingdom hides beneath the Pacific Ocean cliffs. Between their own lost dreams, battles with the dwarves, and the encroaching humans, the kingdom continues to diminish. Only two young humans can save them now.

Will Dale, the young human Tinker, answer their dreams? Can he repair the malfunctioning clockwork of the kingdom? Help them finish their great machine? Can they make him care enough?

Or will Nora, his twin sister and a human Maker, align herself with the hated dwarves and destroy the fairies instead?

The Clockwork Fairy Kingdom—the first novel in this exciting New Adult trilogy—combines fast-paced action with magic and modern day clockwork. A delightful read for all ages!

Be sure to read the other two books in the trilogy, The Maker, the Teacher, and the Monster and The Dwarven Wars.

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And here’s a little about my own contribution to the bundle, along with some kind words by reviewer James J. Parson.

YOUNG DECEIT sprouts timeless trouble.

Motherless Brys Arnsson digs himself into trouble. Bad trouble. Tricked by a troll in J.M. Ney-Grimm’s richly imagined North-lands, Brys must dig himself and his best friend back out of danger. But that requires courage … and self-honesty. Traits Brys lacks at depth.

A twist on a classic, The Troll’s Belt builds from humor-threaded conflict to white-knuckle suspense.
 
 

The writing style is fantastic. It’s somehow youthful (as it’s through the eyes of a twelve year old) and mature at the same time. Normally, it would be a challenge to discuss…responsibility, loyalty and forgiveness with such a young ‘voice,’ but Ney-Grimm does so easily. The result is a thought provoking tale…” —James J. Parsons

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The Here Be Fairies bundle (including The Troll’s Belt and 12 other titles) is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or direct from the BundleRabbit site.

For more about other bundles, see:
Here Be Dragons
Spring Surprise
Immortals
Remembering Warriors
Winter Warmer
Mythic Tales
More than Human

 

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Immortals Bundle

This seems to be the year of the book bundle for me. Across the last 6 months, I’ve had stories in four bundles. Now I have two titles in a new fifth bundle!

My short story, Rainbow’s Lodestone, features the spirit of the rainbow as its protagonist. My novel, Fate’s Door, follows the adventures of a naiad of the Mediterranean Sea.

Both Rainbow’s Lodestone and Fate’s Door are included in Immortals, along with 12 more stories by other authors, amongst them the talented Leah Cutter, the unique Janet Morris, and my new favorite Leslie Claire Walker.

Gods, nymphs, vampires, deathless clones, cursed mages and those who serve them face perils where immortality acts as either curse or blessing or…both. Souls and selves lie at stake in this eclectic bundle.

“The Goddess Problem” by Sherry D. Ramsey
Glamour of the God-Touched by Ron Collins
A Man and His God by Janet Morris
“Unnatural Immortal” by Russ Crossley
First Chosen by M. Todd Gallowglas
Walking Gods by Leah Cutter
“Rainbow’s Lodestone” by J.M. Ney-Grimm
Brainjob by David Sloma
“Silver Dust” by Leslie Claire Walker
“Vale of Semūin” by Eric Kent Edstrom
Fate’s Door by J.M. Ney-Grimm
Kaylyn the Sister-in-Darkness by Barbara G. Tarn
“The Legend of Oeliana” by A. L. Butcher
“Jamal & the Skeleton’s Heart” by Ezekiel James Boston

The Immortals bundle (with 14 titles, including Rainbow’s Lodestone and Fate’s Door) is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or direct from the BundleRabbit site.

For more about other bundles, see:
Here Be Dragons
Spring Surprise
Remembering Warriors
Winter Warmer bundle
Mythic Tales
More than Human

 

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Remembering Warriors: Resonant Bronze

My short story “Resonant Bronze” is one of the 13 titles included in the Remembering Warriors bundle. I’ve had readers tell me in conversation that they enjoyed the tale, but shorts don’t tend to collect written reviews as much as do longer works.

However, one reader on Goodreads shared his opinion after winning a copy in a Goodreads giveaway.

“…I enjoyed it very much. The characters and plot were well developed given the [length] . . . I would recommend [Resonant Bronze] to anybody who enjoys a good medieval-era tale with a little magic and mythology thrown in.” —Tyler Knight

Thank you, Tyler! I’m glad it pleased you! 😀

Resonant BronzeHere’s the official blurb for Resonant Bronze:

The warriors of Torbellai brought back a prize in the night, and young Paitra wants to see it. Even hidden away in the armory, the artifact changed the whole mood of their mountain citadel from dread foreboding to hope. And Paitra’s people need hope to turn the tide in their long war against the troll horde.

Might this small triumph presage a mightier victory?

But the warlord hid the fighters’ plunder for good reason. Forged by trolls and radiating magic, it presents grave risk to the soul and spirit of any who approach it.

Sneaking past the weapon smiths into the armory with his brother, Paitra still believes his home a safe place for boy’s mischief. But bronze hammered by trolls is anything but safe. Opportunity cloaked within its lethal enchantment awaits the right unlocking key. Could Paitra wield that key? And will he survive his curiosity?

Through death into magic and sound, Paitra confronts . . . resonant bronze.

And here’s a list of the all the titles in the Remembering Warriors bundle:

Comrades in Arms by Kevin J. Anderson
Outside the Walls by A. L. Butcher and Diana L. Wicker
Norman Blood by Barbara G.Tarn
The Rise of a Warrior by Harvey Stanbrough
Total War by Russ Crossley
“Resonant Bronze” by J.M. Ney-Grimm
Siren by Blaze Ward
“The Museum of Modern Warfare” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Nothing for Nothing by Harvey Stanbrough
“The Rescue” by Blaze Ward
Soldier, Storyteller by Linda Maye Adams
“Heroes of Old” by Russ Crossley
With a Broken Sword by Stefon Mears

The Remembering Warriors bundle (with 13 titles, including Resonant Bronze) is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or direct from the BundleRabbit site.

For more about the stories in the Remembering Warriors bundle, see:
Remembering Warriors: Siren
Remembering Warriors: The Museum of Modern Warfare
Remembering Warriors: With a Broken Sword

 

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Remembering Warriors: With a Broken Sword

I thought I’d read all of the Remembering Warriors bundle, from its first book to its last. I was so convinced of this that I don’t know why I re-opened the ebook. But I’m glad I did!

There was one more story—a novel—awaiting me, a quintessential war story, telling of an all-but-conquered town, courageous commonfolk facing a hopeless situation, and one lone knight, committed enough and crazy enough to attempt to save . . . as many as he can.

As I started reading With a Broken Sword by Stefon Mears, I was immediately captivated by its protagonist, Ser Colin, with his youthful enthusiasm for deeds of derring-do and his surprisingly wise heart. Ser Colin knows that while he has sworn to serve his king, he has also sworn to serve his country. And his country—the people of Kholost—come first in that oath.

As I continued to read, the world building came to charm me as much as had Ser Colin. The medieval country of Kholost has a vaguely Hungarian mood, as does its mighty river, the Odeda. Its dread sorcerers work their evil with demons in a way new to me, despite all my reading in the fantasy genre, while its “cunning men”—equally unique—work gentler magics through the essences of squirrel, trout, cow, beagle, boar, and crow spirits.

The story is well told, moving from scene to scene surefootedly, from one point of view to another with clarity and discernment. As the challenges facing our heroes escalate, the pace quickens, rising to a brisk sequence of hair-raising events, and then resolving into a brief-but-satisfying denouement.

Through the action and the suspense, I came to care about all of the helpers Ser Colin recruits. Particular standouts included old, wrinkled Farold, the “cunning man”; the devoted husband-wife team, Drud and Ebba, brave and generous; and, of course, the clever and resourceful seamstress-leader, Terrwyn.

All in all, With a Broken Sword was a pleasure. I hope Stefon Mears has written more stories in this world.

One knight stands between invaders and conquest.

His secret mission ended in an ambush. Now Ser Colin awakens on a battlefield under the bodies of his friends, the last knight still alive. And the invaders have seized the town of Three Bridges, with river access to the whole kingdom. How can one lone knight lead a ragtag group of townsfolk to victory over warriors and wizards?

The Remembering Warriors bundle (with 13 titles, including With a Broken Sword) is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or direct from the BundleRabbit site.

For more about the stories in the Remembering Warriors bundle, see:
Remembering Warriors: Siren
Remembering Warriors: The Museum of Modern Warfare
Remembering Warriors: Resonant Bronze

 

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Remembering Warriors: The Museum of Modern Warfare

I first read “The Museum of Modern Warfare” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch long enough ago that I can’t remember where I encountered it. It might have been included in a bundle sponsored by StoryBundle, but—then again—it might not.

Regardless of where I discovered the story—which isn’t really very important—it stayed with me. It’s a powerful and moving narrative, so I was delighted for the excuse to re-read it when I learned it was included in the Remembering Warriors bundle.

When the Ambassador to the Dylft System—a veteran of the Dylft Wars—receives orders to lead a diplomatic mission to Craznaust, she wonders at the wisdom of accepting the assignment.

Still, when she arrives at the controversial Museum of Modern Warfare, she believes herself prepared to face the past and address whatever diplomatic issue she might find there.
 
But nothing could prepare her for what she finds deep within the museum. Something long buried. Something that could change everything she thought she knew about the war.
 
Winner of the 2015 Analog Anlab Award for Best Short Story.

“The Museum of Modern Warfare” is a deeply internal story, compelling and immersive. We are embedded so firmly within the thoughts and feelings of the ambassador that we never even learn her name. And we don’t need to. Her experience as a veteran of war is the centerpiece here. In a sense she is everyman or everywoman who has fought and lost pieces of herself and survived.

As the narrative progresses, we learn the specifics of what made her military posting to Craznaust so challenging, how the planet eroded the sanity of many serving there, and why the ambassador accepted a return to that environment on a mission of diplomacy.

At the heart of the story, we discover a personal secret the ambassador buried so deeply that she’d forgotten she held it—along with the revelation of a universal truth about grief, mourning, and reconciliation.

I enjoyed the story very much, primarily because of how flawless was the illusion it created that I walked in the ambassador’s shoes. I felt like I was her, that I felt her feelings, thought her thoughts, experienced her experiences, and received the gift of her personal internal revelation.

10% of the royalties from the Remembering Warriors bundle will go to the Royal British Legion plus another 10% to Help for Heroes, two charities that support wounded and ex-service personnel and their families, in commemoration of the World War I centenary.

Comrades in Arms by Kevin J. Anderson
Outside the Walls by A. L. Butcher and Diana L. Wicker
Norman Blood by Barbara G.Tarn
The Rise of a Warrior by Harvey Stanbrough
Total War by Russ Crossley
“Resonant Bronze” by J.M. Ney-Grimm
Siren by Blaze Ward
“The Museum of Modern Warfare” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Nothing for Nothing by Harvey Stanbrough
“The Rescue” by Blaze Ward
Soldier, Storyteller by Linda Maye Adams
“Heroes of Old” by Russ Crossley
With a Broken Sword by Stefon Mears

The Remembering Warriors bundle (with 13 titles, including “The Museum of Modern Warfare” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch and my own Resonant Bronze) is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or direct from the BundleRabbit site.

For more about the stories in the Remembering Warriors bundle, see:
Remembering Warriors: Siren
Remembering Warriors: With a Broken Sword
Remembering Warriors: Resonant Bronze

 

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Remembering Warriors: Siren

Vo Arlo survived the destruction of Alexandria Station and RAN Auberon.

In between assignments, at a small college on a back-water planet, he stumbles into a mystery when the prettiest girl on campus suddenly starts throwing herself at him.

Vo, the former gutter punk from the streets.

What will it cost him to understand why he attracts such attention?

I just read Siren by Blaze Ward and enjoyed it thoroughly. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t want it to end!

Set within the milieu of academe, the novella is the brilliantly written story of an encounter between a space marine from the slums and a beautiful co-ed from the wealthy upper crust.

The characters are compelling. The narrative is compelling. I felt like I was Vo Arlo as events unfolded and he assessed and responded out of his unique blend of effective marine, man of honor, and escapee from the ghetto.

I’ll be reading more by Blaze Ward. I only hope he has more stories about Vo, because he’s a character I’m eager to spend more time with.

Siren is one of 13 stories in the Remembering Warriors bundle. (Another of those stories is my own “Resonant Bronze.”) Here’s a little more about the bundle:

One hundred years ago, in 1918, the Great War ended after four terrible years. Never had the world seen such a conflict. All touched by its scythe hoped we would never be thusly reaped again. Their hopes were but desperate dreams. Since that first armistice, there have been many more battles, and thousands have given their lives or their health to preserve freedom and escape from tyranny.

One hundred years after the first armistice we still remember and honour those brave souls. But still the soldiers fall, for the War to End all Wars did not.

10% of the royalties from the Remembering Warriors bundle will go to the Royal British Legion plus another 10% to Help for Heroes, two charities that support wounded and ex-service personnel and their families, in commemoration of the World War I centenary.

Comrades in Arms by Kevin J. Anderson
Outside the Walls by A. L. Butcher and Diana L. Wicker
Norman Blood by Barbara G.Tarn
The Rise of a Warrior by Harvey Stanbrough
Total War by Russ Crossley
“Resonant Bronze” by J.M. Ney-Grimm
Siren by Blaze Ward
“The Museum of Modern Warfare” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Nothing for Nothing by Harvey Stanbrough
“The Rescue” by Blaze Ward
Soldier, Storyteller by Linda Maye Adams
“Heroes of Old” by Russ Crossley
With a Broken Sword by Stefon Mears

The Remembering Warriors bundle (with 13 titles, including Siren by Blaze Ward and my own Resonant Bronze) is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, or direct from the BundleRabbit site.

For more about the stories in the Remembering Warriors bundle, see:
The Museum of Modern Warfare
With a Broken Sword
Resonant Bronze

For more about other bundles, see:
Here Be Dragons
Spring Surprise
Immortals
Winter Warmer bundle
Mythic Tales
More than Human

 

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Winter Warmer: Winter Glory

I’ve been writing mini reviews of my favorite stories in the Winter Warmer bundle to give you a taste of what the bundle contains.

This will be my last blog post about the bundle, but I want to remind you that my own novella, Winter Glory, is one of the 13 stories collected in it.

(There’s a mix of lengths: 6 shorts, 2 novellas, and 5 novels: ).

Obviously I cannot review my own work, but Winter Glory happens to have accumulated a bunch of reviews on Amazon. So I’m going to share a few excerpts with you.
 

The story moves along quickly. The descriptive language is nothing short of gorgeous without being repetitive or taking away from the plot. The characters are interesting, well-written… I love that the protagonists are older—I think the unconventional (read: not young and gorgeous and physically flawless) characters are relatable, and they stuck with me long after I had finished reading. —Mary Anne

The writing is lucid, elegant, smooth. Ney-Grimm creates a fantasy world of Norse legends, but with real people… the settings are gorgeous, sketched with quick perfect strokes. The culture she writes is realized in great detail in few words. I felt as if I had dropped in. —Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

A little atmospheric gem of a novella…puts you into the lead character’s shoes beautifully, and that’s a treat because the protagonist, and his society, is so alien. It’s interesting, beautifully written, and worth re-reading. —Rich S.

An excellent fantasy—well written and absorbing, with a lot of depth in both background and characters. It would be worth reading just for the fascinating details of life and different cultures in this cold landscape, but the characters are people you can care about. —Paul T.

I have been drawn to this writer’s work by her vivid use of language. This story is no exception in how it showcases her skills on that front, but what really makes it magical is that this is a story with a strong heart. In the starkly beautiful Northlands—a place that Ney-Grimm conveys so clearly it’s like watching a movie on the inside of your skull—two people who once knew and loved each other meet up again. This is their story… —Laura M.

Thank you so much to those of you who have taken the time and made the effort to review my stories. I love hearing what my readers think, and when your words are words of praise, I feel great!

Here’s the blurb for Winter Glory:

In the cold, forested North-lands—redolent with the aroma of pine, shrouded in snow, and prowled by ice tigers and trolls—Ivvar seeks only to meet his newborn great granddaughter.

Someone else has the same plan.

Traversing the wilderness toward the infant’s home camp, Ivvar must face the woman he once cherished and an ancient scourge of the chilly woodlands in a complicated dance of love and death.

Ivvar’s second chance at happiness—and his life—hang in the balance.

Bundles remain available for a short time only, usually about 6 weeks, sometimes a bit longer.

The Winter Warmer bundle is now gone, but the stories that were in it remain available separately. A few are so good that each was worth the price of the bundle all on its own.

I urge you to check out the individual titles with an eye to purchasing the ones that particularly appeal to you.

Winter Glory is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes and Smashwords.

For more about the stories and novels from the Winter Warmer bundle, see:
Winter Warmer: Phoenix
Winter Warmer: Nutball Season
Winter Warmer: Nobody’s Child
Winter Warmer: Desperate Housewitches

 

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Winter Warmer: Desperate Housewitches

Kimberly reigns as the witchy Martha Stewart of her neighborhood coven…until Philippa moves in across the street, with her snooty English pagan heritage and her magical one-upmanship. When the annual Winter Solstice ritual goes horribly wrong, can Kim and Philippa put their differences aside and avert disaster?

In preparation for writing this blog post, I re-read “Desperate Housewitches” by Dayle A. Dermatis.

I intended to peruse only the first few paragraphs to refresh my memory, but the story is so good it beguiled me onward for “one page more” all the way until I reached the end. I found it just as delightful, charming, and fun as I did the first time through.

The real heart of the tale is change and jealousy and making new friends, but the window dressing of witch’s hat fascinators, patchwork gift bags, peppermint fudge, and other housewifey projects adds a sparkle that makes the whole story sing.

Kimberly, who was always “the one with the best decorations, the best food at potlucks, the best parties, the best poison garden (for show only, of course),” feels threatened by newcomer Philippa, who uses magic to do her work, instead of doing the work to fuel her magic.

Their rivalry starts at Halloween (or Samhain, as the witches term it) and escalates as the year progresses to its close.

I loved Kimberly’s verve, the inventive world building of the coven and its neighborhood, the clever intertwining of the personal with the ritual, and how the whole desperate situation worsens and comes to a head.

“Desperate Housewitches” is altogether a gem of a short story. I’ll definitely be reading more by Dayle A. Dermatis.

Bundles remain available for a short time only, usually about 6 weeks, sometimes a bit longer.

The Winter Warmer bundle is now gone, but the stories that were in it remain available separately. A few are so good that each was worth the price of the bundle all on its own.

I urge you to check out the individual titles with an eye to purchasing the ones that particularly appeal to you.

“Desperate Housewitches” by Dayle A. Dermatis is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes.

For more about the stories and novels from the Winter Warmer bundle, see:
Winter Warmer: Phoenix
Winter Warmer: Nutball Season
Winter Warmer: Nobody’s Child
Winter Warmer: Winter Glory

 

Share