Spotlight: “One Dark Summer Night” by DeAnna Knippling

Things often take an unexpected turn in DeAnna Knippling’s stories, and One Dark Summer Night is no exception. In this book she’s created a dark, intriguing world with fairies who are more complex than they first appear.

Della Rae is only in this podunk Midwestern university town for the full-ride biology scholarship she’s getting. In a year or two, she’s going to Oxford as an exchange student, she knows it. Her eventual goal: to cure cancer. 

Only life doesn’t go like that. The way you planned.

 Something’s going on in the basement of the science building, something that’s tied up every single professor and sends the summer work-study students running. Rumors are going around that the professors are performing a vivisection. And nobody wants to see that.

 But it’s probably not going to be performed on the lab rats. Because this town has always had something weird going on.

 Something that involves Della Rae’s best friend, Merc, and a few other kids in town, all who have the same face…

One Dark Summer Night is available for a limited time in The Realm of Faerie bundle.

Enter the Realm of Faerie, a world of beauty, danger, and enchantment. But remember the legends if you want to make it back home again…

Excerpt

Back in the days when Ireland was the home of the fairies, well, one of their homes, they hid their bridges between our world and theirs in secret places out in the middle of nowhere. That’s how it is here—this is about as close to the middle of nowhere that you’re going to get in modern America, right? Right. Kinda right. I mean, there are other places. Arizona. You know. But you see what I mean. Too far out in the middle of nowhere, and it’s too obvious to the locals when you cross over.

But a college town? Who even pays attention?

I guess you could call them aliens, kind of. They come from another dimension. I’m not sure how the science works, it’s just too far from anything that I understand. Maybe there’s a scientific way to describe it, but I don’t know what it is. Mom might know—but I am not going to ask her. She gets touchy about things like that. It doesn’t matter. It works, another dimension, blah blah blah, and then you get fairies.

Most of the time they look like us. But it’s a trick. A glamour? If they traveled to another world where the natives looked different (of course they would, wouldn’t they?), then they would put on their glamour to look just like these other natives. They try hard to fit in.

Why are they here?

That’s a good question. I think they just like to get up and shake it. But I don’t know.

— from One Dark Summer Night by DeAnna Knippling

About DeAnna

DeAnna Knippling is always tempted to lie on her bios. Her favorite musician is Tom Waits, and her favorite author is Lewis Carroll. Her favorite monster is zombies. Her life goal is to remake her house in the image of the House on the Rock, or at least Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. You should buy her books. She promises that she’ll use the money wisely on bookshelves and secret doors. She lives in Colorado and is the author of the A Fairy’s Tale horror series which starts with By Dawn’s Bloody Light, and other books like The Clockwork Alice, A Murder of Crows: Seventeen Tales of Monsters & the Macabre, and more.

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Spotlight: “Entangled by Midsummer” by Jamie Ferguson

Mark, a selkie, is trapped on land after his sealskin is stolen by his human lover in Entangled by Midsummer. He turns to a faery woman named Merenna for help. But Merenna has her own problems—she left Faerie to escape a dangerous man whose ambitions would make her his bride and his pawn, and his liegemen have found her. The net of intrigue closes in around Mark and Merenna as Midsummer approaches—a time when vast forces align, sinister plans come to fruition, and destiny itself can be rewritten.

Entangled by Midsummer is available for a limited time in The Realm of Faerie bundle.

Enter the Realm of Faerie, a world of beauty, danger, and enchantment. But remember the legends if you want to make it back home again…

Excerpt

Laran stared at her for a minute, and then bowed his head and walked off toward the wine barrels, the solidity of the steps of his booted feet at odds with his presumed lack of sobriety. Merenna clasped her necklace so tightly her fingers ached, and held her breath as Laran eased through the drunken crowd with the grace of a dancer.

As soon as he was out of sight, she hurried away from the bonfire, Cù close by her side. They ran down the grass-covered hill, leapt across a tiny brook, and entered the dark of the forest. The air smelled of leaves, damp earth, and smoke from the festival fires. The branches and leaves of the tall trees formed a canopy that blocked out most of the light from the stars.

Merenna moved as quickly as she dared. She could feel the energy from the nearby track, but couldn’t see it. She glanced down at Cù. His bits of white fur seemed to almost glow in the darkness. It felt like Laran was right behind her, as if his breath were on the back of her neck. Cù’s footsteps were silent, but she kept stepping on tiny twigs on the forest floor, her feet making crunching sounds as she made her way between the trees. If Laran was following them, he would surely hear her! Where was the track?

And then there it was.

The silvery line curved out of the sky and down to the earth in front of her, like a path made of stardust. She’d been on straight tracks before, but never for very far, and never alone. The light emanating from the track was much brighter than she recalled. The glow before had been faint, like glimpsing the flame of a candle through a thick curtain. The light tonight was almost bright enough to read by.

There was a rustle in the woods behind her. Merenna whipped around, but could see nothing in the dim light. Was it Laran? Had he found her?

She turned back toward the track and set her shoulders. She didn’t know exactly where it would take her, and she didn’t care. Anywhere it led would be somewhere Laran was not. And there was no way he would be able to find her.

Merenna and Cù leapt on the track together and began to run.

— from Entangled by Midsummer by Jamie Ferguson

About Jamie

Jamie focuses on getting into the minds and hearts of her characters, whether she’s writing about a saloon girl in the American West, a man who discovers the barista he’s in love with is a naiad, or a ghost who haunts the house she was killed in—even though that house no longer exists. Jamie has edited over a dozen anthologies, co-edits the anthology series Amazing Monster Tales with DeAnna Knippling, and is a member of The Uncollected Anthology, an urban and contemporary fantasy author collective. She lives in Colorado, and spends her free time in a futile quest to wear out her two border collies, since she hasn’t given in and gotten them their own herd of sheep. Yet.

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Spotlight: “Faery Novice” by Leslie Claire Walker

Faery Novice, the first book in Leslie Claire Walker’s Young Adult series Faery Chronicles, takes us to a fast-paced world of magic, intrigue, and romance where faeries, angels, and demons are all very, very real. Kevin suddenly begins to hear other people’s thoughts, and there are two men hunting him—but why?

Both Faery Novice and the second book in this series, Faery Prophet, are available for a limited time in The Realm of Faerie bundle.

Enter the Realm of Faerie, a world of beauty, danger, and enchantment. But remember the legends if you want to make it back home again…

Excerpt

Oscar met and held my gaze. “Hearing things lately?”

Fuck me.

It had been an honest question, and meant to keep me in my seat. It worked.

“You are, aren’t you?” Oscar asked.

“Not today.”

Oscar leaned forward. “When did it start?”

I crooked my thumb at Rude. “His house.”

“At the party.”

Again with the question that wasn’t. “How do you know all this stuff?”

“I saw it.”

“As in, you were there?”

“As in, that’s what he does,” Rude said.

I took a good, hard look at Oscar’s eyes. Didn’t catch anything special about them.

“I’m a seer,” Oscar said. “But it doesn’t always have a lot to do with my eyeballs. It’s just a term.”

“And that means what to someone like me?”

“You’re straightforward,” Oscar said. “I like that about you. Others might not so much. Check yourself before you get impatient with them.”

How else was I supposed to be? I folded my arms across my chest. “What’s a seer?”

“A person who’s in contact with the other realms—places where humans dare not go, where other kinds of beings live.”

I stared at him, in case he’d actually just said a bunch of stuff about humans and other beings, whatever they were.

“I’m talking about the Fae,” Oscar said. “Faeries.”

For real? “Tinkerbell?”

“Far from it. They’re bigger, for one thing. A lot bigger. For another, they’re not cute. They’re seductive and treacherous and they don’t operate by the same rules humans do.”

He had to be joking. What was I supposed to do—play along? I opened my mouth to snark, then snapped it shut before the first word rolled off my tongue. Man didn’t look like he was kidding. He looked serious as hell. He’d known things about me and where I’d been without Rude or me telling him.

— from Faery Novice by Leslie Claire Walker

About Leslie

Since the age of seven, Leslie Claire Walker has wanted to be Princess Leia—wise and brave and never afraid of a fight, no matter the odds.

Leslie hails from the concrete and steel canyons and lush bayous of southeast Texas—a long way from Alderaan. Now, she lives in the rain-drenched Pacific Northwest with a cast of spectacular characters, including cats, harps, fantastic pieces of art that may or may not be doorways to other realms, and too many fantasy novels to count.

She is the author of the Awakened Magic Saga, a collected series of urban fantasy novels, novellas, and stories filled with magical assassins, fallen angels, faeries, demons, and complex, heroic humans. The primary series in the saga are the Soul Forge, set in Portland, Oregon, and the Faery Chronicles, set in Houston Texas. She has also authored stories for The Uncollected Anthology on a mission to redefine the boundaries of contemporary and urban fantasy.

Leslie takes her inspiration from the dark beauty of the city, the power of myth, strong coffee, whisky, and music ranging from Celtic harp to jazz to heavy metal. Rock on!

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Story spotlight: “An Idol for Emiko” by Travis Heermann


 
In 17th-century Japan, Emiko has always been an outcast in her fishing village. When strange coins wash up on the shore near Emiko’s fishing village, she is the only one who resists the wave of greed overtaking everyone she has ever known. How long can she resist the pressure from her neighbors and from her own poverty? How can she protect her son from the half-seen forms that now lurk in the nearby sea?
 
 
 
 
“An Idol for Emiko” is in the Beneath the Waves collection. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the collection’s Facebook page.
 


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About the Author

Freelance writer, novelist, award-winning screenwriter, editor, poker player, poet, biker, roustabout, Travis Heermann is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and the author of The Ronin Trilogy, Rogues of the Black Fury, and co-author of Death Wind, plus short fiction pieces in anthologies and magazines such as Apex Magazine, Alembical, the Fiction River anthology series, Historical Lovecraft, and Cemetery Dance’s Shivers VII. As a freelance writer, he has produced a metric ton of role-playing game work both in print and online, including the Firefly Roleplaying Game, Battletech, Legend of Five Rings, d20 System, and the MMORPG, EVE Online.

He has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, a Master of Arts in English, and teaches science fiction literature at the University of Nebraska Omaha. He has presented workshops on writing and publishing at the Odyssey Writing Workshop, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, Pike’s Peak Writers Conference, and Colorado Gold Writers Conference, and regularly appears at conventions across the U.S.

He enjoys cycling, martial arts, torturing young minds with otherworldly ideas, and monsters of every flavor, especially those with a soft, creamy center. He has three long-cherished dreams: a produced screenplay, a NYT best-seller, and a seat in the World Series of Poker.

In 2016, he returned to the U.S. after living in New Zealand for a year with his family, toting more Middle Earth souvenirs and photos than is reasonable.


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Story spotlight: “The Black Marker at the End of Time” by Ron Collins


 
 
A lone figure walks a desolate beach. Heart cold and worn. Gun empty.

Behind him the war of all wars destroys humankind. Before him lies the ocean.

Cold. Harsh. Vast. Ageless.
 
 
 
 
 
“The Black Marker at the End of Time” is in the Beneath the Waves collection. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the collection’s Facebook page.
 


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Ron Collins is an Amazon best-selling Dark Fantasy author who writes across the spectrum of speculative fiction.

His latest science fiction series, Stealing the Sun is available from Skyfox publishing.

His fantasy series Saga of the God-Touched Mage reached #1 on Amazon’s bestselling dark fantasy list in the UK and #2 in the US. His short fiction has received a Writers of the Future prize and a CompuServe HOMer Award. His short story “The White Game” was nominated for the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s 2016 Derringer Award.

He has contributed a hundred or so short stories to professional publications such as Analog, Asimov’s, and several other magazines and anthologies (including several editions of the Fiction River Anthology Series).

He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and has worked to develop avionics systems, electronics, and information technology before chucking it all to write full-time–which he now does from his home in the shadows of the Santa Catalina Mountains.


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Story spotlight: “Flower Faeries” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch


 
Funeral directors deal with everything at a funeral, but only a few must handle an influx of flower fairies. Or worse: the arrival of a flower fairy child, alone and unsupervised.

Flower fairies are unpredictable…except when they get angry. And then they become terrifying.

So, what will they do if they think one of their children faces danger?
 
 
“Flower Faeries” is in The Faerie Summer collection. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the bundle’s Facebook page.
 


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New York Times bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch writes in almost every genre. Generally, she uses her real name (Rusch) for most of her writing. Under that name, she publishes bestselling science fiction and fantasy, award-winning mysteries, acclaimed mainstream fiction, controversial nonfiction, and the occasional romance. Her novels have made bestseller lists around the world and her short fiction has appeared in eighteen best of the year collections. She has won more than twenty-five awards for her fiction, including the Hugo, Le Prix Imaginales, the Asimov’s Readers Choice award, and the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Readers Choice Award.


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Story spotlight: “The Queen of May” by Linda Jordan


Sivli, a dryad, senses a deep imbalance in Faerie. Earth energy wanes and the world of Faerie drifts dangerously off-kilter.

With a plan in mind, Silvi decides she must be May Queen. To beat the sylphs in finding the first hawthorn blossoms of summer.

She feels driven to save the day.

This world bursts with an earthy, yet fantastical vision of Faerie.

 
“The Queen of May” is in The Faerie Summer collection. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the bundle’s Facebook page.
 


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Linda Jordan writes fascinating characters, visionary worlds and imaginative fiction. She believes in the powers of healing and transformation.

She’s fascinated by nature’s peculiarities, mythology and spirituality, what makes humans (and aliens) tick, political systems and the creation of music and art. She loves including all this and more in her stories.

In another lifetime, Linda coordinated the Clarion West Writers Workshop as well as the Reading Series for two years. She also spent four years as Chair of the Board of Directors during Clarion West’s formative period. She’s worked many other jobs, more than she cares to count. Eventually, she fled the city to live out among the tall cedars.

She lives in the rainy wilds of Washington state with her husband, daughter, four cats, a cluster of koi and an infinite number of slugs and snails.


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Story spotlight: “The Jaws of the Manō” by Chuck Heintzelman


Kaikala longed to leave her island and visit far-away lands. She wanted to see the exotic places described by warriors around the nightly campfires.

But only warriors left the island. Girls could not be warriors.

When a strange man washes up on the beach, she finally gets her wish for adventure.

And she learns BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.
 
 
 
“The Jaws of the Manō” is in the Beneath the Waves collection. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the collection’s Facebook page.
 


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Chuck writes quirky short stories, usually with some sort of fantastical element. He’s as surprised by this as anyone. Even after dozens of stories he stills stays up too late at night, feverishly working on the next tale.

He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his beautiful wife and their three daughters.


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Story spotlight: “Unicorn Magic” by Roz Marshall


IN FEYLAND, NOT EVERYTHING IS AS IT SEEMS…

Feyland: a new computer game that allows Scottish teenager Corinne MacArthur to escape the sadness haunting her everyday life. It’s a game where legends come to life, the lines between reality and fantasy become blurred, and the impossible becomes—probable?

A stand-alone story with a full plot arc, Unicorn Magic is the first story in the Celtic Fey series set in Anthea Sharp’s Feyland universe (with her kind permission). The story continues in Kelpie Curse.
 
“Unicorn Magic” is in The Faerie Summer collection. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the bundle’s Facebook page.
 
 
 


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A finalist in the global Hugh Howey Booktrack writers’ competition, Roz lives in Scotland with her husband and the obligatory dog and cat. Her writing experience includes screenwriting, songwriting, web pages and even sentiments for greeting cards!


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Story spotlight: “Radioactive Magic” by Bonnie Elizabeth


 
Sickness lies in the ocean. Sean Iverson feels it.

A shapeshifter, Sean feels as if he’s no longer connected to his two different selves. Fortunately, allies come when they are called to his rescue.

The question becomes whether that help will come in time for Sean or for the ocean.
 
 
 
 
“Radioactive Magic” is in the Beneath the Waves collection. You can learn more on BundleRabbit, Goodreads, and the collection’s Facebook page.
 


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Bonnie Elizabeth started writing fiction when she was eight years old. Fortunately that manuscript has long since been lost.

In between a variety of odd jobs, including working as an acupuncturist, Bonnie wrote articles about acupuncture and the business of being an acupuncturist for a variety of acupuncture journals. She also blogged as her cat while transitioning to her real love of fiction writing.

She writes the Whisper series, which begins with Whisper Bound, and has a number of other fantasy, urban fantasy and mystery projects in the works.


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