Thank you so much for hosting us as we celebrate the release of Twisted Tales, A Paranormal Anthology. It features Phoenix Johnson, Stacey Jaine McIntosh, Gina A. Watson, Cherie Nightingale, Jordanne Fuller, Sandra Wiltjer, Liz Butcher and Carole Weave-Lane.
Witches, ghosts, fae and demons. These are just a few of the paranormal creatures that lurk within these Twisted Tales.
Eight talented authors from different writing backgrounds have come together in this anthology to spin stories of beings we find only in our deepest dreaming. Can you handle the power of the Twisted Tale?
The Flight of Phoenix by Jordanne Fuller
I open my eyes to see my seemingly very worried mother looking down at me.
“Oh my god! Honey, are you okay?”
“Um, so you passed out.” My dad obviously tries so very hard to hold his laughter in. He fails miserably. The man chuckles out a few low sounds before he continues. “We rushed you to the hospital. The nurses couldn’t find anything wrong. We told the doctor what the teacher said happened. Doctor. Blake assumed you passed out from the sight of blood.” Doubling over in a fit of laughter, my loving father was gone from the world.
“Oh dear, don’t listen to him. I’m sure it was very frighting. The doctor cleaned you up so he could look at you and make sure there was no sign of trauma. You hit your head pretty hard and he wants to keep you for a few more hours to make sure you don’t have a concussion. It looks very positive though. There are no signs of damage so far. They just want to supervise you while you’re awake.”
Oh how embarrassing. Welcome to my first day of High School ladies and Gentlemen. I wonder how Caellum is doing. He may be the biggest jerk in the world, but he is so damn pretty.
The Summer Girl by Stacey Jaine McIntosh
The ground was fast becoming slick with blood that poured out from the wound in the girl’s chest. It’s then that Tristan realised his mistake. Taking the arrow out now would kill her as surely as it would if it stayed where it was.
“Standing before one of your own,” the wolf scoffed. “How noble.”
Tristan whirled around, pulling an arrow out of the quiver and setting up the bow. “She’s not—”
Tristan’s voice got carried away with the wind, and his eyes too got swept away by the sight before him.
The wolf shifted before his eyes, where there once was a man, was a wolf in his place. He darted forward his jaws clamped around the girl’s neck, shaking his head in a wild frenzy.
Tristan turned away. It was too late to save the girl but perhaps he could at least see that she had a decent funeral. Perhaps Gloriana could help.
Unlike her mother the Queen, the Summer Princess was more generous when it came to granting favours. Favours which he had no right to ask for in the first place.
Putting the arrow back in the quiver he ran through the woods towards the Summer Palace.
“Tristan you shouldn’t be here!” Gloriana hissed. The alarm was clear in her voice. “Mother will—”
“Mother will what Gloriana?” Queen Odessa materialised before them as if plucked out of thin air.
Gloriana bowed her head. “Nothing your Majesty. I-I spoke out of turn. Forgive me.”
“Then perhaps Tristan can explain his sudden appearance in court when he should be out on the battle field, fighting. After all it’s an honour to be fighting out there against those,” the Queen turned her nose up a little. “Those dogs.”
“Your Majesty, forgive me,” Tristan said bowing low at the waist. “But there’s been an accident. A stray arrow shot a human girl in the chest. I was about to assess the situation when a werewolf… tore her to shreds. I thought you might consider arranging a funeral on her behalf. Nothing elaborate, just something simple. I’d hate for something to—”
“For something to what Tristan?” Queen Odessa asked. “Out with it boy! I don’t have all day. My time is precious as you should well be aware.”
“Yes Your Majesty. I’m sorry Your Majesty,” Tristan bowed his head. “As I was saying, I’d hate for something to happen. I mean if word got out that a human stumbled into Arcadia and then died…
So Mote It Be by Phoenix Johnson
“Hecate, Dark One, hear my plea.
Bring justice now, I ask of thee!
Right the wrongs that have been done,
Avenge me now, Oh mighty one.
Turn misfortune back to those
Who cause my problems and my woes.
And heap upon them karmic debt
Lest they all too soon forget
Their wrongful actions, words and deeds
Don’t let them get away scot free.
Bring them forth from where they hide
Bring swift justice-wield your knife.
Hasten, Dark One, hear my plea, do what it is I ask of thee.”
The sudden silence was almost painful as the chanting of those around her halted on her last word. The quiet stretched out and Siobahn threw her head back, arms wide as she allowed herself to feel at one with the night. Her thin white shift flapped around her slim frame and her long red hair took on a life of its own, dancing in the wind. Although her eyes were closed, she could sense her sisters around her swaying and moving to the beat of an unheard drum. They were all connected and were, in fact, dancing to their heartbeats, the music of the earth beneath them and the trees and sky that were over them. Chills scurried across her skin as the moment continued, unbroken by the outside world.
The caw of a raven startled her out of her reverie. Siobahn opened her eyes and was stunned to see a pure white bird perched on the headstone of her love, Pascal. Her breath caught in her throat as the message sunk in. Hecate had heard her prayer, and here was her answer.
She held her arm out and the bird fluttered over to her as though it had always known her. In a way, she supposed, it had. Pascal’s surname literally translated to white raven. There was no way that this was just a coincidence. Siobahn ran her finger down the raven’s soft feathers, and she felt an incredible calm and peace come over her that she hadn’t felt since before Pascal’s untimely death. The raven reached towards her and nibbled on the neckline of her simple dress, then rubbed its head against her shoulder. Her heart ached as she gently patted the bird. A tear slowly travelled down her cheek and she whispered to the raven. “I miss you, Pascal. You were my everything. Why were you taken from me?”
The bird had no answers. It merely leaned against her cheek as she allowed herself a moment to mourn her lost lover.
About the Authors:
Phoenix: Phoenix Johnson is an award winning, bestselling Australian author who has always had the passion for the written word. She had her nose in at least one book ever since she could read and would even scrutinize the back of the cereal box every morning at breakfast. It was only natural she take up writing. Her debut title, paranormal romance novella The Wolf In The Neighborhood, was published in January 2013. The Return of Their Master followed in April 2014, and Easychair Bookstore Award Winner Once Bitten Twice Shy was released in January 2015, with many more to come.
She currently lives in a small rural town west of Ipswich, Queensland, with her partner, their daughter, cats Flash and Sirius, and their red cattle dog x Rusty.
Stacey: Stacey Jaine McIntosh was born in Perth, Western Australia where she still resides with her husband and four young children. Although her first love has always been writing she once toyed with being a Cartographer and subsequently has a Diploma in Spatial Information Services. In 2011 she had her first short story Freya published in an anthology, since that time nine more stories have followed. Stacey dedicated her novel Solstice to her mother who passed away unexpectedly in 2008, and she is currently working on several other novels simultaneous. When not with her family or writing she enjoys photography, genealogy, history, Arthurian myths and witchcraft.
Gina: Gina A. Watson is an Australian writer who has always loved to tell a story. She started writing her first book in 2012 and has enjoyed writing ever since. Gina currently studies a Bachelor of Writing and Creative Communication at the University of South Australia in Adelaide. Her favourite genres to write include Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult, and she loves to read in those genres as well. Gina’s life now revolves around her boyfriend and family as well as studying, writing and trying to squeeze in time to read.
Cherie: Cherie Nightingale is an Australian author making her publishing debut. While this is her first story to be published, it is the third anthology that she has worked on. With a passion for words she worked her way towards a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing and Editing and is hoping to cross the stage and graduate in September this year. Her passions outside of writing are Tae Kwon Do, yoga and gaming; none of which she does very well, but does so enthusiastically. Cherie currently lives in Melbourne with two close friends and a cranky, spoiled, old cat, but admits she misses her dog.
Jordanne: Jordanne Fuller is a mishmash of creative talents whirling into one another, solidified into a woman. She has been writing since she can remember, but didn’t realize how much she enjoyed it until her poetry explosion at the age of sixteen. At twenty, she wrote her first unfinished novel that will likely never see the light of day. Now that she is thirty(ish), Jordanne has finished Night, a novel that she hopes to publish in the near future. Although Dusk (the stand alone prequel to Night) is her first work to enter the hands of a publishing company, Troy was her first work to be released as a contribution to the Love Sucks Anthology, published by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterflies. When she’s not writing, Jordanne likes to do various arts and crafts, but most of all enjoys spending time at home in Toronto, with her son, fiancee and four cats.
Sandra: Sandra Wiltjer was born and raised in The Netherlands. She switched to writing in English somewhere in her teens. She considers herself to be just another ‘endangered Dutch redhead’, who belongs to the freckled minority and wears glasses.
Sandra owns over five hundred books; a collection which is slowly growing. Her favourite genres to read and write are post-apocalyptic romance stories featuring zombies, vampires, and other paranormal activities with a twist of dark humour.
Currently she is trying to make Japanese her trilingual language of choice.
Liz: Liz Butcher resides in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband and two cats, Pandora and Zeus. While writing is her passion, her love of psychology, history, astronomy, reading, art and music, help feed her curiosity and fuel her imagination. She also loves being out in nature, whether it be walking through the trees or relaxing at the beach. Liz has previously published ‘Wrath’ in the “Lurking In The Deep” anthology and currently has a number of projects in the works.
Carole: The pull of the imagination has always gripped Carole. Stalked her, in fact, until the trembling words beneath her fingers lift her into unimaginable realms .So the words become images and she dances with them. The genres that attract her include past lives, historical periods, the mystical realms and the faery tale concept of good triumphing over evil.
Carole lives amidst tall trees, a large garden and she is close to the river. Her companions are birds, a chook , a cat named Dumbledore and a piano. She has written “The Hidden Parchment”, now published and is currently working on ‘Enter the Fey’ and ‘When the Sidhe Cat Beckoned.’ She is delighted to be included in this Anthology.
You can buy Twisted Tales as an ebook at Smashwords or your local Amazon site, or you can buy it in Print from Createspace! Links:
Thank you again so much for having us here!