Michael Kelly – an update on a new anthology

Michael Kelly has been previously featured on Reading Recommendations. He’s back now with news of a new anthology of fiction he has edited and published.

Shadows and Tall Trees
edited by Michael Kelly
Published by Undertow Books
Genre: Anthology of Weird Fiction

The acclaimed literary anthology Shadows & Tall Trees has featured authors short-listed for the Man Booker Award, and World Fantasy Award winners. Several of our stories have been reprinted in “Year’s Best” anthologies and have garnered numerous award nominations. The premiere anthology of weird fiction.

Shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award!

Shortlisted for the Shirley Jackson Award!

Shadows and Tall Trees is a smart, soulful, illuminating investigation of the many forms and tactics available to those writers involved in one of our moment’s most interesting and necessary projects, that of opening up horror literature to every sort of formal interrogation. It is a beautiful and courageous series.”
– Peter Straub

ALL NEW STRANGE TALES FROM:
Brian Evenson, Malcolm Devlin, Rebecca Kuder, V.H. Leslie, Robert Levy, Laura Mauro, Manish Melwani, Alison Moore, Harmony Neal, Rosalie Parker, M. Rickert, Nicholas Royle, Robert Shearman, Christopher Slatsky, Simon Strantzas, Steve Rasnic Tem, Michael Wehunt, Charles Wilkinson, and Conrad Williams

Michael Kelly is the Series Editor for the Year’s Best Weird Fiction. He has been a finalist for the World Fantasy Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the British Fantasy Society Award. His fiction has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including Black Static, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 21 & 24, Supernatural Tales, Postscripts, Weird Fiction Review, and has been collected in Scratching the Surface, and Undertow & Other Laments. He owns and runs Undertow Publications. Undertow Publications is home to two acclaimed series’ of anthologies: Year’s Best Weird Fiction, and Shadows & Tall Trees.

Where to purchase:
Amazon
Undertow Books

J. Michael Fay – five long form short stories

Since 2013, I have had the great privilege and pleasure to assist J. Michael Fay in publishing all five of his long-form short stories under my imprint IslandShorts. Recently, Michael was featured in an article published in The Times, the local newspaper in the town of Minden, Ontario, where Michael lives and near where my family cottage was located. (How Michael and I are connected is explained in that article.) Michael’s was one of the earliest promotions I posted on Reading Recommendations and he came back for an update in Mar. 2016. He wrote On Writing “Tenderness” describing the background and inspiration that went into writing his short story. This is available as a free flipbook. And I have published three guest post written by Michael on my main blog: J. Michael Fay on Bread Loaf, 1978, J. Michael Fay on Banff, 1976, J. Michael Fay on Remembering Alexandra Centre.

So here are the five titles written by Michael that we’ve published so far, and here’s where to purchase all IslandShorts eBooks.

is_tenderness In southern Alberta during the hot, dry August of 1909, young cousins meet again after a lengthy separation of their families. Tenderness is the bittersweet story of Luke and Rachel as they come to terms with their losses through learning more of a shared heritage. Written in a style evoking the prairies of a century ago, J. Michael Fay’s story unfolds with quiet and gentle grace and a reverence for the era, the setting and his characters.

is_whirlabout The Whirlabout takes us back to America during the 1950s, when a quarter bought a movie ticket as well as a bag of popcorn, city neighbours gathered on front porches to listen to a ballgame on the radio while kids played in the street and, for an evening out, entire families climbed into their cars to go to the then-new drive-ins. Through innocent eyes, a young boy describes this time and place with precise detail and the memory of how he learned life’s lessons through the example of his own solid father.

Web In 1957, Danny is struck down with rheumatic fever and discovers a strange and frightening world on the children’s ward of the hospital. During months of recuperation his powers of observation are heightened and ultimately the time spent alone teaches him not only about survival, but about becoming the “big boy” the nurses constantly urge him to be, as he learns to accept the inevitable tragedies of life that surround us all.

cover4 1963 is a pivotal year for Dan James. Believing his destiny was set at the age of eleven when he stood next to his father’s coffin, he enters the seminary at seventeen to become a priest. A well-read fellow seminarian and the world-shaking event later that year cause Dan to question his true passion in life.

dd_cover1b Dan James graduates from college in 1967, a time of major conflicts in the US, when friends are being drafted to fight in the war in Vietnam. Dan, however, chooses to become involved in a different fight, one for human rights. He eventually heads north to Canada, a place where he can pursue a life working for the betterment of all. But also a place where the conflicts turn out to be much more personal.

People Are Strange – a new anthology

Maria Savva, Ben Ditmars and Maria Haskins have all previously been promoted on Reading Recommendations. These three authors are now included in a recently published anthology of stories and poetry inspired by nineteen photographs.

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People Are Strange
edited by Robert Helle
Genre: Anthology
part of the Mind’s Eye Series

12 Stories and 7 poems, inspired by 19 photographs.

We are more than what we say
And less than what we wish

Living together, separately,
United by division

Connected, disconnected
Oh, People Are Strange

Contributors:

Editor:
Robert Helle is a free-lance editor who honed his skills at various newspapers, including The Daily Times in Ottawa, Illinois. As a Daily Times reporter, Bob earned a prestigious news-reporting award for his 1989 series on the plight of Viet Nam-era prisoners of war who were never found. Bob went on to serve other newspapers as a columnist and editor before turning to free-lance work. He is currently working on his own novel.

Photographers:
Martin David Porter is a third generation (at least!) artist hailing from Saffron Walden, Essex in the United Kingdom. Born in 1972, he has always had an interest in natural history, art, and music. All these subjects provide inspiration for his photography. Martin still lives in Saffron Walden with his partner Ruth and his daughter Rosie. Martin has worked with many big names in the music business, but is equally at home alone in the woods and fields as he is in front of screaming crowds and amplifiers.

Helle Gade lives in Denmark with her little diva dog. She is a poet, hobby photographer, nocturnal creature and chocolate addict. She has been writing poetry since 2011 and published four poetry collections since then.

Kim Stapf – Photography is my love, nature mostly. Reading rocks my world.

Poets:
Helle Gade

Ben Ditmars is an author of gnomes, plays, poetry and more. He was first published in his college publications the Cornfield Review and KAPOW and has since been featured in several online literary journals. Currently, he lives in Marion, Ohio where he works in education.

Short story writers:
Darcia Helle writes because the characters trespassing through her mind leave her no alternative. Only then are the voices free to haunt someone else.

Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and translator. She was born and grew up in Sweden, but moved to Canada in the early 1990s and now lives just outside Vancouver on Canada’s west coast with a husband, two kids, and a large black dog. She debuted as a writer in Sweden in 1989. Her first books in English are Odin’s Eye, a collection of science fiction short stories, and Cuts & Collected Poems 1989-2015.

Maria Savva lives in London. She’s a lawyer, and in her spare time writes novels and short stories in various genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and family saga. Maria is also a music blogger for Rock And Roll and Soundwaves Review.

J. Michael Radcliffe published his first novel in 2010, and has since gone on to write three other novels in the Beyond the Veil series. He has also written multiple short stories and collaborated with other writers. He lives in rural Kentucky with his family and their ever-growing cadre of cats.

Julie Elizabeth Powell cannot ignore her dreams, so many of them, with names and places and ideas that spark her imagination and compel her to write; to create stories, whether fantasy or horror, or mystery or psychological thriller or murder or even humour and adventure. So, her garden is sown, flourishing, with all manner of growth, and still the dreams come.

Thomma Lyn Grindstaff gets some of her best ideas when hiking in the mountains. She’s both a novelist and a musician: a classically trained pianist and composer. Other passions include studying philosophy, science,and spirituality. Last but never least, she’s a cat wrangler and shares her home with three Ballicai (cats). If you could sum Thomma Lyn up in three words, they would be Artist, Seeker, and Adventurer.

Purchase copies from:
Amazon

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Bob Van Laerhoven – update on a new story

My favourite Flemish author, Bob van Laerhoven, returns to Reading Recommendations with news of his participation in a new collection of short stories, now available in English.

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After the French publication of the collection of short stories Bruxelles Noir, the English version, Brussels Noir, is now published in the States by Akashic Books in their famous Noir-series.

The collection shall also be published beginning of next year in Poland by Editions Claroscuro.

I’m the only Flemish author in the collection. My colleagues are all Walloons from the French-speaking part of Belgium.

I wrote Paint it, Black, my contribution, originally in English.

Best wishes,
Bob Van Laerhoven-Belgium

Where to purchase:
Akashic Books

Michael Fay – update on a new short story

Michael Fay has been previously featured on Reading Recommendations in Nov. 2013, and was actually the third author to be promoted on this site.

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Passion
by J. Michael Fay
ePublished by IslandShorts

1963 is a pivotal year for Dan James. Believing his destiny was set at the age of eleven when he stood next to his father’s coffin, he enters the seminary at seventeen to become a priest. A well-read fellow seminarian and the world-shaking event later that year cause Dan to question his true passion in life.

Passion is the third in Michael Fay’s series of long-form short stories featuring Dan James, following The Whirlabout and The Healer. Along with Tenderness, all have been published by IslandShorts.

“This is a thoroughly engaging story about a young man’s coming of age and discovering while enrolled in a seminary that his calling is not for the priesthood but for literature and writing. One can smell the incense in the chapel and hear footsteps echoing in the stone hallways while young Dan James wrestles with his decision before walking out into a world with much to relish, treasure and describe.”
~ Dennis Gruending, journalist and author of Pulpit and Politics

For more information about all of Michael’s publications:
IslandShorts

and where to purchase

Michael has recently written three guest posts on my other blog, reminiscing his early days as a writer and conferences he attended during the 1970s.
Guest post: J. Michael Fay on Bread Loaf, 1978
Guest Post: J. Michael Fay on Banff, 1976
Guest Post: J. Michael Fay on Remembering Alexandra Centre

Fran Kimmel Recommends Leslie Greentree

Leslie Greentree photo
Book Title and Author:
A Minor Planet for You and Other Stories
By Leslie Greentree
Published by The University of Alberta Press

What genre is it?
Short story collection

Quick description:
A silver goblet, stale-dated hot chocolate, a telescope aimed at minor planets, abandoned black shoes, magic rope, fancy vinegar bottles. In Leslie Greentree’s exotic mix of stellar stories, these and other objects bring to focus the rich inner lives of girls and women as they sort through their imperfect relationships.

A Minor Planet for You Book Cover

Why I recommend this book:
I reread A Minor Planet for You and Other Stories while I was on vacation this February, and it was like Christmas all over again. The characters in these stories remain so dear to me.

Greentree understands the complexities of the human heart and the lies we tell ourselves as we forge our way through that dark and messy labyrinth of relationships. With crisp prose and searing dialogue, she’s able to bring the feelings of hurt and betrayal front and centre.

There is much humour in these 14 stories and many dark moments too. These characters make plenty of missteps as they try to understand themselves and the people surrounding them. They do bad, sometimes despicable, things. But there is an arc of vulnerability throughout the collection, a jumble of raw feelings that make these girls and women both real and empathic.

For more information on Leslie and her writing, please check her website.

Links to buy it:
A Minor Planet for You and Other Stories can be purchased at your favourite online outlet, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Fran Kimmel PhotoGuest reviewer’s latest title or project: Fran Kimmel is at work on her second novel, (the title TBD) about a rural family that takes in a troubled 12-year-old girl over Christmas, turning their notion of family upside down. Fran has been previously featured on Reading Recommendations.

Maria Savva – update on a new collection of short stories

Maria Savva has been a great friend and supporter of Reading Recommendations, almost since the very beginning of the blog. She was recently included in the Reading Recommendations Revisited group of authors, because she has done so much to promote her fellow authors, me, and the blogs over these past couple of years. Thank you, Maria! Throughout this time, Maria has continued to write and publish her own books, and here she is now to tell us about her most recent collection of short stories.

Lost and Found_eCover_Final

Lost and Found
by Maria Savva

Human nature is not neat and predictable.

What makes us betray a loved one?
Can isolation lead to irrational behaviour?
Why do other people’s lives always look more appealing?

Ordinary people living ordinary lives, torn apart by regret, remorse, and deceit. We’re all stumbling through life together. This collection of stories shows you the Lost and Found among us.

Available to purchase from Amazon.

Maria’s links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter

Rob Doyle

Irish Times photoRob Doyle

What is your latest release and what genre is it? This Is the Ritual is a short story collection.

Quick description: Lost and isolated, the characters in these stories play out their fragmented relationships in a series of European cities, always on the move; from rented room to darkened apartment, hitchhiker’s roadside to Barcelona nightclub. Rob Doyle, a shape-shifting drifter, a reclusive writer, also stalks the book’s pages.

Layering narratives and splicing fiction with non-fiction, This is the Ritual tells of the ecstatic, the desperate and the uncertain. Immersive, at times dreamlike, and frank in its depiction of sex, the writer’s life, failed ideals and the transience of emotions, it introduces an unmistakable new literary voice.

9781408865385

Brief biography:
My first novel, Here Are the Young Men, was chosen as a book of the year by The Sunday Times, Irish Times, Independent and Sunday Business Post, and shortlisted in the Best Newcomer category in the Irish Book Awards. My fiction, essays and criticism have been published widely, and translated into various langauges.

Links to buy Rob’s book:
Bloomsbury Publishing

Rob’s promo links:
My website
Twitter

What are you working on now?
I am putting the finishing touches on a collection of non-fiction writings, and I have co-written a screenplay of my novel Here Are the Young Men, hopefully to be filmed later in the year.

Rob’s reading recommendation:
The books of the English author Geoff Dyer have long been an inspiration to me. His Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It is one of my favourite books.

Maria Savva Recommends Maria Haskins

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Odin’s Eye
by Maria Haskins

Genre: Science Fiction/Literary Fiction

Imaginative, skillfully crafted short stories that will transport you through time to different worlds.

12027794_10153291811246464_9212678525409805684_nWhy I recommend this book: The stories are so well written. I’d recommend it even if you don’t usually read science fiction. It’s not a genre I would normally go out of my way to seek out, but I really enjoyed this book. These twelve stories will make you think about what could happen if science became so advanced that we were able to travel easily through time and space. The stories show a deep understanding of the human condition.

 

Links for people to buy the book:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

MariaGuest reviewer’s latest title or project: My new collection of short stories, Lost and Found, is almost ready for publication. I am having the cover designed by Aeternum Designs because I was so impressed by their design for A Time to Tell and also Book 4 in the Mind’s Eye Series, Tales From The Cacao Tree, available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Maria Savva has been previously promoted on Reading Recommendations.

Robert Runté Recommends Playground of Lost Toys

PlaygroundLostToys

Playground of Lost Toys
edited by Ursula Pflug and Colleen Anderson

Genre: Speculative Fiction

Quick description:
An anthology of 22 original short stories by a cross section of Canada’s top sf, fantasy and horror writers examines the role that that one special toy plays in our childhoods and/or the impact that has on our adult selves.

Ursula Pflug

Ursula Pflug

Why I recommend this book:
This wasn’t an anthology I thought I’d be interested in, but I really respect the editors, so I ultimately got involved. And then, at a prelaunch party I heard some of the writers read from the anthology and it blew me away! So not the sentimental stories about lost dolls I had half expected. Instead, an incredible array of powerful writing that ranged from funny to moving to chilling.

Colleen Anderson

Colleen Anderson

I may never get some of the imagery out of my head! When I finally got my copy I was struck by how the editors had been able to assemble an indispensable collection of some of the best writing this country has to offer. The thoughtful introductions by the editors, and the afterword by Derek Newman-Stiles, are themselves worth the price of admission. Table of contents is available at the website. Ursula Pflug has been previously featured on Reading Recommendations.

Links for people to buy the book:
Amazon
Chapters/Indigo

runte2 Guest reviewer’s latest title or project:
My latest sale was the short story “The Age of Miracles” to the Strangers Among Us anthology, edited by Lucas Law and Susan Forest, due out in August 2016. The anthology is on the theme of, and a benefit for, mental health. (Robert Runté is a contributor to this anthology and has also been previously featured on Reading Recommendations.)