I have finished up a simple cover for Mythos of Love. While not as striking as some of my other covers, it is a good, working cover and hopefully people will take a chance on this book.

mythos-of-love Yup just changed the font and the color of the text and a bit of placement.  So it is finished and ready to go!

As for the next collection, I am tossing between releasing all the Worlds Apart short stories or the Beyond Realities short stories collections. Either of them will need a new story or three to complete. The stories out all ready as some of my older pieces of work. They will of course be edited, like the other collections, revised and commented on.  I have had my many short stories out for almost three years now so many of them will be coming down and only be available in these collections.

Okay I said I would put up excerpts. So how about a little from both of the collections to be I mentioned? While I have many more collections in the works, these two are fun, odd and different.

This first one is from Earthquake Unexpected. This tale will be part of the Beyond Realities collection and starts back home in NH. Like most writers I do place stories in places I know. This was inspired by a trip over a bridge during a windstorm and my mind went to its usual odd place.

***

Panting as the vehicle came to rest against the tree, she looked over at her daughter, who was tightly clutching her blanket. “Mommy?”

”Yes, sweetie,” Kelley answered, her voice shaking a bit.

”Why is the big man staring at us like that?”

”What big man?” Kelley looked about to where her daughter was pointing and gasped. There, just beyond the fallen tree, was a giant.

This was not a giant in the way of normal humans. He easily stood taller than the tallest tree still standing. He was covered in moss and dirt and there was a ragged beard on his chin. Mercedes was right, he was a big man and he was staring at them

The giant was staring down at them, as if trying to decide if they were real or not. His moss green eyes were locked on their truck and as she watched he tilted his head and reached for them. “Oh God,” Kelley whispered and tried to put the truck into reverse. The gears made a grinding sound and then the truck stalled.

As the engine sound died the tree giant started to move. Faster than Kelley expected he reacted down and picked up the truck, carefully lifting it over the tree and bringing it to his chest. He cradled the vehicle and its frightened passengers, turned and strode across the landscape, the ground shaking under his feet. “Mommy, did he cause the ground to quake?” The little girl seemed more relaxed than her mother. It could be the way the giant was holding the truck or just the fact that she couldn’t feel the shakes any more. It did not matter to the little girl. She looked about curiously.

”No, honey, I don’t think he caused the earthquake at home.” Kelley reached back to calm down Ruffus. The dog was terrified. The thing holding the truck smelled like a tree to him, but looked like a large human. He lay with his tail down and whimpering.

They all rode in silence after that, as the giant carried them away from the shaking forest. To where Kelley had no idea and she did her best to hide her confusion and fear. She reached out and ran a hand that only shook a little over her daughter’s bright hair.

***

Yeah I did it, I have a giant who might or might not be the cause of an earthquake in of all places, southern NH! I just could not resist and who knows where that tale will go.

Now the other collection, Worlds Apart, is a bit odder still. This collection is where I tend to put my even weirder tales. This little bit of excerpt is from the story Down the Rabbit Hole which was inspired by a Google group and a discussion about the end of the world:

***

The day when she finally gave in to the inevitable was when the wildlife around her started to tell her things. The first time a beaver spoke to her in her head she had thought she had finally gone mad. She had dropped to the ground, sobbed and shook like a child scared of the lightening in the sky, but after a good long cry she shook herself all over and then decided that if she was mad then she would enjoy it. It did not take her friend the beaver long to explain that she was not mad, but that she would never return to the world of her birth.

She sipped the tea in her cup till she drained it dry. Sighing, she pushed herself up from the ground. One thing that the land beneath the Rabbit Hole gave her was a body that was strong and resilient. Before, back home, she had arthritis and scars from a life lived hard, but here that had all faded. Something about the water, wind and the plants made her stronger, healthier and younger.

Crystal looked like a woman of middle years, with a touch of silver in the long strands of her rich brown hair. There were fine lines covering her skin, not the deep furrows she had back home. She looked more weathered than old. Deep inside a part of her fought with the belief that she should look as old as she was. She had reached into her fifties before she tumbled into the hole. As the seasons moved here, she had been alive hundreds of years.

***

I do plan to finish these two tales sometime in the next few months and then I will have the same issues I had with Mythos. Editing, revising, editing, finding a beta reader or two and then publishing. Expect more excerpts from my other collections to come and of course my other novels.

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