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

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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.

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.

cover4

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 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.)

Sally Cronin – an update on a new collection of short stories

Welcome back, Sally Cronin! Sally was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in March 2015, and has featured me and my books numerous times on her own blog. As well, Sally has been a great support of this blog in reblogging many of the other authors’ promotions. Thank you, Sally!

Sally says: I am very grateful to Susan Toy for her continuing support of my books through the excellent Reading Recommendations. Being featured here in 2015 has certainly been a very positive experience.

Tales From the Garden small- Cover

Tales From The Garden
– Behind the scenes
by Sally Cronin

Writing short stories has always been a way for me to escape for a couple of hours from more mundane but necessary tasks such as homework and then more fact orientated documents such as annual budgets or training manuals. I began to write a weekly short story for my blog as a way to keep me motivated whilst working on other longer term projects. It also provides instant feedback and hopefully keeps interest in my writing fresh.

About Tales from the Garden:

This collection of fairy stories was my surprise book of the year and I am so delighted with the response to its release.

Tales from the Garden is a collection of fairy stories and 80 illustrations, for children of all ages, from five to ninety-five that will change the way you look at your garden forever.

The tales reveal the secrets that are hidden beneath hedges and trees and you will discover what really happens at night as you sleep unaware in your bed. Stone statues and those hidden worlds within the earth are about to share their stories.
There are wicked witches, mischievous dwarves who also spend too much in the sneezeweed patch. Dragons, handsome fairy princes and wayward ladies of the court. The garden is a magic sanctuary and those in danger find their way through the gates to protection.

The guardians who have kept this sanctuary safe for over fifty years will allow you to peek behind the scenes of this magical place. They will take you on a journey through time and expand your horizons as they transport you to the land of fairies, butterflies and lost souls who have found a home here.

The book is available at a substantial discount via my own website
Also at Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon CA

DSC_0869 a About Sally Cronin:

Sally Cronin spent a number of years in each of the following industries – Retail, Advertising and Telecommunications, Radio & Television; and has taken a great deal of inspiration from each.

She has written short stories and poetry since a very young age and contributed to media in the UK and Spain. In 1996 Sally began studying nutrition to inspire her to lose 150 lbs and her first book, Size Matters published in 2001, told the story of that journey back to health. This was followed by another seven books across a number of genres including health, humour and romance. These include Just Food For Health, Size Matters, Just an Odd Job Girl, Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story, Flights of Fancy anthology, Turning Back the Clock and Media Training.

All these can be found on Amazon or Smashwords.

For the last two years Sally has written a daily blog covering the subjects close to her heart including writing, health and music: Smorgasbord Invitation – Variety is the Spice of Life. You can link to it from here.

Connect to Sally on social media.
Website
LinkedIn
Twitter
Facebook
Facebook Author Page
Google+

My thanks again to Susan for inviting me to update you with news of my latest book.

You are most welcome here any time, Sally! Thanks for visiting again.

Maria Savva and Ben Ditmars – update on a new anthology

Maria Savva was originally featured on Reading Recommendations in Dec. 2013, and Ben Ditmars was featured on the site in Feb. 2014. Both authors have contributed to this new anthology recently published.

TalesCacaoTree_eCover_V1B

Tales From The Cacao Tree (Book 4 in The Mind’s Eye Series)
with contributions by Maria Saava and Ben Ditmars
Genre: Mixed – poetry, short stories, photography; an anthology

From a review by Maria Haskins on Amazon:
Tales From The Cacao Tree is the latest installment in the Mind’s Eye Series, a series of anthologies containing poetry and short stories inspired by, and accompanied by, photographs. This fourth book in the series, as you may gather from the title and the delectable cover, is all about chocolate.

Just like the other Mind’s Eye books, Tales From The Cacao Tree is an eclectic and enjoyable blend of different genres and writing styles, and as a reader you get to experience chocolate in every imaginable (and unimaginable!) way. There really is a bit of everything here: beautiful and evocative (and sometimes playful) poetry by Ben Ditmars, Helle Gade, and Richard Weatherly, and short stories by Darcia Helle, Maria Savva, Julie Elizabeth Powell, and J. Michael Radcliffe.

Many of the stories inspired by the accompanying chocolaty pictures involve nefarious and violent crimes: so, obviously, chocolate has a dark side…

The fantastic photos in the anthology were taken by Helle Gade, Kim Stapf, and Martin David Porter. And reader beware, you will probably end up craving chocolate while you’re reading!

Purchase this book from:
Amazon

Axel Howerton

Axelheadshotbw2wbAxel Howerton

What is your latest release and what genre is it? AB Negative – Crime anthology, fiction

Quick description: AB Negative is an anthology of Alberta-based crime stories, by Albertan authors. This is a labour of love for crime writers from across the province, focusing on our beloved home province with stories ranging throughout time, geography and stylistic bent. There are dark noirish tales of sin and revenge, drug deals gone wrong, homey stories about neighbourhood killers, humorous tales of bumbling mafiosa, detectives on Stephen Avenue, and futuristic visions of sexbot domination.

AB NEG COVER Ebook

Brief biography:
Axel Howerton is the author of the darkly funny detective novel Hot Sinatra, a finalist for the 2014 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Axel is a former entertainment journalist, award-winning poet, and editor. His short fiction has recently appeared in such weird and wonderful publications as Fires on the Plain, Steampunk Originals, Clones Fairies & Monsters in the Closet, Big Pulp, Night Shade, Dark Eclipse, and Sleuth Magazine. He is the editor of the anthologies, Death by Drive-In, Tall Tales of the Weird West, and AB Negative.

Axel is a member of the CSFFA, Calgary Crime Writers, The Kintsugi Poets, and serves on the board of the Crime Writers of Canada. He recently brought the “Noir at the Bar” #NoirBarYYC event to Calgary, Alberta, and he is the owner and publisher of Coffin Hop Press. Axel spends most of his time roaming the untamed prairies of Alberta with his two brilliant young sons and a wife that is way out of his league.

Links to buy Axel’s book:
All the links can be found on the Coffin Hop Press website.

Axel’s promo links:
Coffin Hop Press
Axel Howerton website

What are you working on now?
After having produced, edited and published two anthologies this year, as well as publishing new fiction in great new venues like Sleuth Magazine, I’m going to take a little time for myself and get back to some novel-length projects. One is a humorous action-adventure-style historical look at Fort Whoop-up and the formation of the NWMP in Alberta. The other is a sprawling crime saga involving several characters that have appeared in some of my short fiction.

Axel’s reading recommendation:
The Friends Of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins, which was a formative influence on the crime writing of Elmore Leonard. It’s very quick and snappy writing, a lot of dialogue and very little in the way of descriptive prose. Solid crime-writing and excellent criminal characterization from a man who was, at the time, an assistant US Attorney.

Randy McCharles, who has previously been featured on Reading Recommendations, has written one of the stories included in this anthology.

Hubert O’Hearn Recommends Young Irelanders

Young-Irelanders1

Young Irelanders
Dave Lordan. ed.

What genre is it?
Short story anthology

Quick description:
Twelve emerging writers who live in Ireland (two were born elsewhere) contribute short stories with the goal of showing the incredible mosaic of thought and talent present in modern Ireland.

Why I recommend this book:
I have always been a great devotee of short stories. They allow for a degree of experimentation in alternative structures and utterly macabre situations that are wearying in longer formats. Over the years, I’ve probably reviewed more short story anthologies than you’ve had hot dinners and this one actually stands as the best I have run across. There are no ‘fillers’, no story you speculate made it in because the writer had slept with the editor. There is all the experimentation and daring situations I referred to, yet even the stories that follow a traditional narrative structure show a maturity in deep exploration of character that any writer in the world would be proud to author. Ireland has always punched above its weight in terms of literary art – a nation of four million, about the population of Toronto, has once again delivered the successors to Wilde, Shaw, Yeats, Joyce, Beckett, Doyle … well, you get the point.

Links for people to buy it:
The publisher, New Island Books, can be found at their website.

Hubert profile Hubert O’Hearn’s latest title or project:
On a daily basis I am working with emerging writers myself, through my Six Months to Better Writing course (email me at ohearnofireland (at) gmail.com for details). In terms of literary output, my collaborator Ciara Donnelly and I are polishing the one-act musical plays we have written, known collectively as The Four Freedom Plays. There is also a new collection of poetry on the horizon, following up on my earlier Random Acts of Love and comprised totally of the poems composed here in Ireland, where I emigrated in 2012.

Hubert O’Hearn was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in April, 2015. Information on Hubert’s Writers’ Pro Shop was also featured on my main blog.