Twice Upon A Time Book Release

Blurb:

Fairytales don’t always happen once upon a time. Fables don’t always have a happy ending. Sometimes the stories we love are too dark for nightmares. What if waking Sleeping Beauty was the worse thing the Prince could have done? What if Rapunzel wasn’t in that tower for her own protection—but for everyone else’s?

Assembled by The Bearded Scribe Press, Twice Upon A Time combines classics and modern lore in peculiar and spectacular ways. From Rapunzel to Rumpelstiltskin, this unique collection showcases childhood favorites unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

Both traditionally-published and independent authors will take you on a whirlwind ride through fairytale and folklore, myth and majick. Cherished stories are revisited and remastered into newly-treasured tales of hope and heartache, of adversity and adventure.

This collection features 43 short stories ranging in length from 2K-12K words from the following cast of talented writers:

Bo Balder, AJ Bauers, Carina Bissett, Rose Blackthorn, S.M. Blooding, Rick Chiantaretto, Richard Chizmar, Liz DeJesus, Court Ellyn, S.Q. Eries, Steven Anthony George, Dale W. Glaser, Jax Goss, K.R. Green, Kelly Hale, Tonia Marie Harris, Brian T. Hodges, Tarran Jones, Jason Kimble, Shari L. Klase, Alethea Kontis, Hannah Lesniak, Wayne Ligon, RS McCoy, Joshua Allen Mercier, Robert D. Moores, Diana Murdock, Nick Nafpliotis, Elizabeth J. Norton, Bobbie Palmer, William Petersen, Rebekah Phillips, Asa Powers, Joe Powers, Brian Rathbone, Julianne Snow, Tracy Arthur Soldan, C.L. Stegall, Brian W. Taylor, Kenechi Udogu, Onser von Fullon, Deborah Walker, Angela Wallace, and Cynthia Ward.

Edited by Joshua Allen Mercier. Cover art by Luke Spooner.


 

Excerpt from Fire & Ash by Joshua Allen Mercier, a dark fantasy retelling of Little Red Riding Hood:

THE cold, autumn gusts ripped across Salem’s port, stirring the angry waters, stirring the angry spectators gathered before the gallows—gallows which had not, until this day, been used since the Trials several years back. Men, women, children—all bore hateful eyes and twisted faces. All bore a deep-seeded fear of the woman before them; they watched and seethed, anger building like fire fed by the winds, waiting for answers, for closure, for justice—for the devil’s death.

Constance Archer stared at the sea of faces; she despised all of them, save two—two faces that weren’t supposed to be there. Her daughters, Rhiannon and Rowan, hid in the small grove of trees, but she could still see their watery, green eyes piercing through the shadows, their stares stabbing their fear and pain and confusion into her. They weren’t supposed to see her like this. With the gag still tightly secured about her mouth, however, her muffled pleas for them to leave went unheard.

Where was their grandmother?

Constance’s fiery locks were drenched with tears. Her heart ached. For them, for herself, for her husband, Jacob. She shouldn’t have let the rage overtake her; she knew that now, now that it was too late.

“For the crimes of witchcraft, how do you plea?”

Even though the thick rope around her neck made it difficult to escape it—to forget—the reverend’s voice jolted her back to reality.

“Not guilty,” Constance replied through the gag, unsure if her plea was understood.

“Executioner, please remove the gag from the accused.”

The reverend’s statement was cold. They had known each other since they were children, but he was but a stranger now as he stood before her. He was once so compassionate, so caring—what had changed?

The executioner approached Constance with apprehension; she soon understood why. Despite the black hood covering his face, his scent—sweet, woody, musky, like freshly-sawn wood mixed with perfume and sweat—immediately revealed his identity: William Black. He removed the gag with haste and stepped across the gallows with a speed she hadn’t witnessed him have in years.

How fitting that the town adulterer would be the one to hang her. She wondered who the woman had been, the one whose scent lingered on his clothing and skin. Surely it wasn’t his wife, Catherine.

It couldn’t be.

She had killed her, in a way, the memory of the act flooding back to her nearly causing her to faint. Seems Catherine and her husband didn’t understand the meaning of marriage; then again, neither did Jacob (apparently). Catching him with Catherine was the most heart-breaking of all.

Wyatt Thatcher cleared his throat. “Mrs. Archer—your plea, now that we can hear you.”

Constance stared at her old friend, pain and tears welling in her eyes. “Not guilty.”

“If not for witchcraft, how do account for the brutal way you murdered Catherine Black? Surely, you were possessed,” countered Reverend Thatcher.

“I didn’t murder Catherine Black. As I told you all before, she was attacked by a beast.” She wasn’t lying, but she wasn’t telling the whole truth. The truth wouldn’t save her, and she couldn’t have her daughters hearing it. They weren’t supposed to be here, but calling attention to them now would only make matters worse.

“You’re the beast!” a woman’s voice sounded from the throng.

“Witch!” said another, followed by her husband’s jibe, “You’re Satan’s whore!”

Reverend Thatcher held his hand to the crowd; without a word, they fell silent. It wasn’t their first execution; it probably wouldn’t be their last. His attention turned to the defendant, but his eyes remained downcast, staring at the rough wood of the gallows as if it were the most interesting sight he had ever beheld.

Constance knew why Wyatt Thatcher wouldn’t look at her, knew he couldn’t show a hint of weakness or compassion for her lest he be hanged, too, for sympathizing with the Devil. Satan was in Salem Village that day—no doubt about that. But it wasn’t Constance or Reverend Thatcher. The Devil stood in the crowd, reflected in the eyes of every spectator. His hunger bellowed in their calls, their taunts, their glares, and it wouldn’t be satisfied until her limp, lifeless body waved in the autumn winds like a banner for their tainted justice, a flag of their blood-stained victory over evil.

Wyatt’s hardness broke, even if for just a second, Constance the only witness to the silent tear soaking its fleshy path across his regretful face. “And please explain to us why you were covered in her blood.”

“I’ve told you all this before, Wyatt…” Using the reverend’s first name stirred a wave of gasps from the crowd, forcing her to pause. “I carried Catherine into my house to try to stop her bleeding, to prevent her death.”

That was a lie; it was what she wanted everyone to believe, but it had been all for naught. It had only sealed her fate.

“And what of your husband’s disappearance?” An icy gust of wind blew through Constance’s locks of red hair; with it, Thatcher’s own coldness returned. “Did you use witchcraft to dispose of his body?”

“My husband was attacked, too, his body dragged into the orchard by the beast.”

That was a lie, too. She couldn’t tell them the truth—that she had, in a fit of rage after seeing Jacob and Catherine naked in the orchard, cursed her husband’s appetite for flesh. The curse had gone horribly wrong…

 

 

Praise:

“Brilliant change-up on the new flood of “Fairy Tale Twists”. If you’re looking for something that can suck you in right away, this book is definitely it. The collection of short stories makes sure you never get bored with the story or writing style.” ~Jett Murdock / Amazon review

 

About the Publisher:

The Bearded Scribe Press, LLC is an independent publisher of quality Speculative Fiction. They aim to become a platform for emerging writers to get discovered by the mainstream and inversely, through becoming a staple in the literary community, becoming the source for readers to discover emerging talent in the Speculative Fiction realm.

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Watch the [Extended] Book Trailer:

2014 Round-up

2014 was an eventful year for me.

It didn’t start out so well, with my daughter ill and in a full-time healthcare facility. But as the year wore on, and my daughter became healthy again, and she and her twin sister even graduated from high school, things began looking up!

I went to Loncon3, my first time at such a big con. I met old friends , made new ones, and had a great time. Codex breakfasts, Viable Paradise drinks, SFWA drinks , (as arm candy, but still…J), Dutch sff writers drinks, much yawsg talk…

At Loncon3, I discussed how to tell an American sff writer from a British one. I learned being well dressed is culturally determined.

I sold ten short  stories to eleven venues, and one actual novel ( The Wan, forthcoming 2015 with Pink Narcissus Press). I also had about 80 rejections. C’est la vie.

I haven’t yet regretted quitting my job in 2012. I’m poor but happy, following my dream… what more can a person want?

I’ve learned I need to be quite relaxed and quite happy and a lot alone to write at my best. None of these things are completely in my control – if someone you loves get sick, it’s hard to be happily writing away, I have a family, I don’t live in a cave on top of a mountain. My VP buddy Ferrett says:  Better learn to write through the depression, because happiness isn’t something you can count on. I’ve still got to learn that.

My favorite book from 2014: it’s a tie between Ancillary Sword(Ann Leckie) and The Peripheral(William Gibson).

I’m convinced I read at least 50 books, but me and Goodreads are still tussling about that. But if it’s true that I read only 45 or so, why? I think it is because I’ve become so sadly, writerly critical, while really I love nothing more than to immerse myself. That’s the one thing about becoming a writer I regret, the loss of innocence about the reading experience.

Best sf movie this year: so far, Edge of Tomorrow ( yeah, surprised me too).

I wish everyone on my friends’ list a great 2015 and I hope to see many of you in RL. Write On!

 

I just moved to wordpress…

December updates:

“LEGO Man” sold to T. Gene Daviss Speculative Blog , to appear Jan 19 2015;

“She Waxes While We Wane” sold to Spark a Creative Anthology. It will also be published in  Soulful Ember, a midgrade magazine;

“Bog Trade” sold to Twice Upon a Time Anthology, retellings of fairy tales and other well known stories;

“Shelley Unbound” sold to “Dreamscapes into Darkness Anthology by Firbolg Publishing;

Cover of “The Wan” (publication medio 2015) revealed

Archive post (transfer from old website)

Read “The King Must Die” in Electric Spec

Read “The Spume Horse” in Wicked Words Quarterly 2

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Aug 2014: Sold “The King Must Die” to Electric Spec

June2014:

My sf novel  “The Wan” will be published in 2015 by Pink Narcissus Press!

and

Read  “The Knack Bomb” in “The Colored Lens””

Read “Many the Sorrows He Suffered at Sea” in 4starstories

May 2014

Became a member of Codex Writer’s Group

Feb 2014

“Civil Troll” to Local Magic Anthology by Antimatter Press(publication Holiday 2014)

Jan 2014

“Daddy’s Home” to The Big Pulp Zombie Anthology II, publication 2015

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December: Two Dutch shorts published as e-book/ printbook with Link Publishing: Sater and Cirque des Étoiles.

October: Publication eMag Penumbra with “The Doll Is Dead” by Bo.
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15 September
Publication anthology Stitches, Witches and Bitches, with “The Knitted Man” by Bo.

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 5 juli
Ancient New, with “Butterfly Hunt” by Bo is finally here!
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June/July 2013

Bo is participating in the Clarion-West Writeathon, a drive to gather donations for the Clarion West fun. Follow her here orhere.———————————————————————-

June 2013

Forthcoming September 15: “The Knitted Man” in the Stitches, Witches and Bitches Anthology by Evil Girlfriend Media.———————————————————————–

June 2013

Read “The Hump” at Bewildering Stories . It’s been chosen for the 2nd Quarterly Review.

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May 2013

The Ancient New e-ARC is out, with my story “Butterfly Hunt”.

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Daughter of the Djinn 
published by  Books of Fantasy in August 2011

A flying carpet floats beneath Jasmin’s bedroom window. She gets on and it takes her to the world of djinn. The djinn command her to find her father, because more and more of their brothers are disappearing. Together with her friends, Jasmin travels to Asgard, the world of Norse gods. She discovers her mother isn’t a normal human being either…

Her double heritage tears JAsmin’s life apart. She’s Valkyrie on the one side, djinn on the other. If she is to save the djinn, she needs help from the Norse side, but the two are not compatible. How can she keep her balance on this tight rope, save her own life and her father’s?

Bibliografie Bo Balder:

2015:

The Wan (novel) with Pink Narcissus Press (forthcoming

Daddy’s Home in The Big Pulp Zombie Anthology II, (forthcoming )

 2014:

Civil Troll in Local Magic Anthology by Antimatter Press(forthcoming Holiday 2014)

Spume Horse in Wicked Words Quarterly 2

The King Must Die in Electric Spec Aug 31

The Knack Bomb in The Colored Lens Summer 2014

“Many the Sorrows He Suffered at Sea” in 4starstories.com

Sater with Link Publishing (NL)

Cirque des Étoiles with Link Publishing(NL)

2013

“The Doll Is Dead” in eMag Penumbra

“The Knitted Man” in Stitches, Witches and Bitches Anthology by Evil Girlfriend Media.  “Butterfly Hunt” Ancient New anthology, Deepwoods Press

De foefbom in Ganymedes 13 (NL, print)

2012

“The Hump” at Bewildering Stories. It was chosen for the 2nd Quarterly Review.

“Ramkoers” in Wonderwaan (NL, print)