Tag Archive for: Wildside Press

Day of The Dark Anthology Debuts by Debra H. Goldstein

Day of the Dark Anthology Debuts by Debra H. Goldstein
Forty years is a long
time.  In this case, on August 21, 2017, it
will have been over forty years since a total solar eclipse passed over the
continental United States. That’s why, according to news reports, people are booking
hotels, signing up for excursions and making other plans to find a spot somewhere
between Oregon and South Carolina to experience the eclipse. The location one
chooses is important because it can mean the difference of having a second or up
two minutes and thirty-eight seconds to view the moon pass between the sun and
the earth.

Of course, when mystery
writers think about the word eclipse, their excitement can become slightly
skewed. Twenty-four authors proved that point in the anthology, Day of the Dark, which will be released by Wildside Press on July 21.

Edited by author Kaye
George, who also has a story, The Darkest
, in the anthology, the stories roughly track the path across the
United States that the shadow of the eclipse will take. A few occur on
different continents and in timespans other than August 2017. The tales range
from medium to dark, traditional to supernatural, but all meet the same
standard of excellence.

Of course, I’m biased. One
of my short stories, A Golden Eclipse,
was accepted for the anthology. It reminds us that no matter what the event,
there are always people ready to use any occasion to take advantage of others.

But don’t just read Day of the Dark for Kaye and my
stories. There are twenty-two other authors included in the book.  These include Margaret S. Hamilton, Toni
Goodyear, Kristin Kisska, Harriette Sackler, Joseph S. Walker, LD Masterson, Paul
D. Marks, Katherine Tomlinson, Leslie Wheeler, Carol L. Wright, Christine Hammar,
John Clark, Bridges DelPont, M.K. Waller, Laura Oles, Melissa Blaine, Cari
Dubiel, Suzanne Berube Rorhus, Dee McKinney, Nupur Tustin, Cheri Vause, and KB
Inglee.  Some are well known like Paul D.
Marks, a 2013 Shammus winner and 2015 Anthony and Macavity nominee while, for
others, like Nupur Tustin, this is their first published short story.

Not only are the authors
diverse in their writing styles and story ideas, but they also proved their
diversity when, after deciding that a portion of the proceeds Day of the Dark should be donated, they
agreed that the causes to be supported will include Earth and Sky, Petconnect
Rescue, Natural Resources Defense Council, Science Center in Finland,
DonorsChoose.org, Friends of Goldendale Observatory, Friends of the Earth,
Morehead Planetarium, Texas Museum of Science and Technology, DAPCEP.org for
STEM education for future astronomers and scientists in Detroit, and personal
friends in need. 

Whew! And so is the
book.  I won’t be able to be anywhere to
view the eclipse, but I’m okay with that. 
I plan to be holed up with Day of
the Dark
. I’m certainly not waiting forty more years for this eclipse

Summer Reading – Part I – Murder on Wheels

The end of the school year always meant the beginning of the library’s summer reading challenge. My goal was to read the most books for my age level while enjoying what I was reading. Recently, when I finished the first draft of my WIP, I closed my computer and kicked off ten days of fun summer reading.  I devoured mysteries, biographies, literary fiction, and an anthology of short stories.

This post and my July 10th blog will discuss my Summer Reading and a bit of its impact on my writing. Fair disclosure, although the next blog will be devoted to books I purchased, today I am writing about Murder on Wheels, a book given to me because of my interest in reading, writing and reviewing short stories.

Murder on Wheels, published by Wildside Press, LLC (2015), contains eleven stories written by Austin Mystery Writers Kathy Waller, V.P. Chandler, Gale Albright, Kaye George, Laura Oles, Scott Montgomery, and invited authors Earl Staggs and Reavis Z. Wortham.  Ramona DeFelice Long deftly edited the “11 Tales of Crime on the Move.”

The genesis for this wheel related vehicle was a trip Kaye George’s husband took on the Megabus, a commercial double-decker bus.  Seeing the bus, Kaye’s mind instinctively wondered how one could successfully commit a murder and hide the body on the bus.  She consulted members of her Austin Mystery Writers group and their imaginations ran wild.

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round ties together George’s idea and the Austin Mystery Writers’ suggestions for where to hide the body.  What I found to truly make the story is Kaye George’s excellent characterizations.  With few words, she brings a reader into the heart and soul of her characters.

Although the literal me needed to ignore how a few minor things might happen in real life, much as I do when I read the Harry Potter books, Kaye George’s The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round and Have a Nice Trip, and Kathy Waller’s Hell on Wheels and A Nice Set of Wheels hit the mark for delivering perfectly pitched characters.  Each story was different, as were its characters, but there wasn’t one character in the four stories I wouldn’t want to read about again.

Gale Albright’s stories Mome Rath, My Sweet and Aporkalypse Now also depicted characters well, but their literary references to Alice and Wonderland and play on words required a bit more attention than I anticipated sharing with an author during my mindless state of fun time reading.

Rota Fortunae by V.P. Chandler was not a cozy read.  Rather, it was compelling.  Very different than the other stories in the anthology, it used setting, characterization, dialogue, and a sinister feeling to evoke a feeling of unrest that carried this reader from the first to the last word.

Whether reading about tractor, bicycle, bus or car wheels, I found myself transported by Family Business (Reavis Z. Wortham), Buon Viaggio (Laura Oles) and Red’s White F-150 Blues (Scott Montgomery).  Each individually is worth the price of a ticket for a Murder on Wheels ride.

Because it left me thinking afterwards, my favorite story in the anthology is Dead Man on a School Bus by Earl Staggs.  Staggs is a master storyteller who didn’t let his perfect use of the mechanical aspects of short story writing get in the way of crafting distinct characters and plot points. Whether talking about a pencil that isn’t being twirled, using an internal thought flashback, or juxtaposing concrete and suggestive feelings, Staggs managed to summarize a lifetime of feelings into a few pages.

Watch for my July 10th blog to see what else I read during my summer reading excursion.