flash fiction

Frabbles collection now available!

Guess what I did? I released an ebook collection of all my Frabbles, eleven tiny tales I hope you’ll enjoy.

Frabbles are fables written in the style of 100-word drabbles. Each piece is exactly 100 words long.

Get a copy for you or a friend for Kindle, iBooks, Kobo, and more!

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Cover Reveal and Preorder—new short story collection!

I’m releasing a collection of flash fiction and literary shorts on April 25! What do you think of this fresh, contemporary cover?

Featured work includes:
Needles
What a Waist
Just Desserts
Eternity Bound
Counting Sheep
Yellow Snow Cones
Miasma 1.0
Block: A Mixed Allegory

Pre-order now for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and more!

Flash Tales Release Day!

This collection is special to me because I feel like I could tell a personal story about each piece. I wrote the fable,”Morning and the Moon,” as a gift to a family member, and “What a Clown Reads” was my first creative work that won an award. I’ve read from the manuscripts of each story at open mics, and now I’m sharing them with you.

Discover the magic of music, sail with a feisty pirate, and view the stars and moon in a whole new light. Stories range from middle grade adventures to tales that can be enjoyed by teen readers.

Download for Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, and more.

As with all my releases, I’d love to know what you think. Please consider helping me get the word out by leaving a review.

Cover Reveal: Flash Tales (A Collection of Short Stories for Children)

I have one of my own cover reveals to share today. I’ll be releasing a few short fiction books this year, starting off with Flash Tales, my children’s stories. Here are the cover and blurb! Many thanks to CoverMe Design for the beautiful cover art.

A collection of flash fiction and short stories by the award-winning author of The Call to Search Everywhen time travel books. Discover the magic of music, sail with a feisty pirate, and view the stars and moon in a whole new light. Stories range from middle grade adventures to tales that can be enjoyed by teen readers.

Pre-order for Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, and more.

Or, sign up for my newsletter to get an email on release day!

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Holiday Story Hop

Holiday Story HopI’m excited to be part of the 2015 Holiday Story Hop. There are at least twelve authors on board. I’ve posted my story below.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Click here for a full list of authors and stories!

 

“Yellow Snow Cones”

I turn up the heat in the car and flip through radio stations until I find one that doesn’t play holiday tunes. Today wasn’t so bad, but I could care less about reindeers with abnormal noses or snowmen come to life. They can jingle their jolly at millions of other listeners who started rocking their bells before Thanksgiving.

The snow that lines the sides of the road is caked with mud and ash. I’m surprised we had work today and that the snowplows had made it through. Schools closed and so did daycare. Poor Ma.

I yank the steering wheel to the right to make the turn on Ma’s street. I hope to find her all in one piece after spending the day babysitting Anna.

After parking in her half-hidden driveway, I grab Ma’s shovel from her front porch. I dig out a path from the porch to the car so that it will be easier for Anna to walk back with me. When I reach the car I look back at the driveway and sigh. Might as well shovel the rest of the driveway too.

Finally, I prop the shovel back on the porch and ring Ma’s doorbell. The wreath on the door stares back at me as I wait for someone to answer.

Ma opens the door. “Come on in, Michael.” Her hair sticks out all over her head like she forgot to pull a comb through it. But she’s smiling.

“You two had fun?” I say.

“Oh yes, we’re in the middle of making snow cones.”

“Sounds like something Anna would like in the dead of winter,” I say. Who needs a warm fire and a mug of cocoa when you can burn the chill from the inside with more ice?

Ma leads me to the kitchen where Anna sits pouring yellow liquid over small bowls of shaved ice. Anna wears matching socks and her pigtails are wrapped with ribbons; it’s an improvement over what she looked like when I dropped her off this morning.

“Thanks, Ma,” I mutter.

“Daddy!”

“Hey, what are you making over there?”

“Lemon snow cones. They’re so yummy!” she says, swirling yellow all over a fresh bowl.

“You know what that looks like, don’t you?”

I blanch at Anna’s blank, innocent look. “Huh?”

“Never mind. Let me guess, lemon?” My lips pucker before I can hide my expression.

She wrinkles her nose at me. “Yup.”

“Why not cherry or sugarplum or gingerbread mocha? Don’t you think that would be better? More Christmassy?”

“But I looove lemon, Daddy!”

I shake my head. She’s too much. “Why do you love lemon?”

“Because it’s yellow. And I looove yellow because it’s the color of sunshine and ducklings and school buses and dandelions aaand…” She pauses. Her large eyes are opened in round circles, and her chin’s pointed up at me like she expects an answer.

“And lemons,” I say, squinting down at her.

“Yes, lemons! I looove lemon!”

Love and circular arguments aside, what type of kid likes lemons? Consider jelly beans, hard candies, and lollipops. Cherry and orange go first, followed by grape, leaving the sad little lemons and limes last. They wait, like the last two kids waiting to be chosen for a kickball team and hoping to avoid the embarrassment of being left on the island.

Not Anna, though. Not my kid who loooves lemon.

How do I explain that lemon is an underdog flavor, unwanted and unsupported, and that her snow cones remind me of a dog taking a leak on the side of the road? I think quickly, before she has a chance to ask me to taste anything.

“Anna, let’s go for a walk.”

“Okay!”

Ma looks at me like I just made Ebenezer Scrooge cry. I’m no Tiny Tim, so I figure maybe I’m Marley or one of the ghosts—the one that looks like the grim reaper, maybe.

“Come on,” I say. “Grab your mittens and boots. We’ll be right back to clean up the mess, Ma.”

Once outside, I point out the different types of snow. “See that, Anna. That’s fresh, white snow. And that over there is brown. That means it’s dirty. You don’t want to eat that.”

Anna giggles. “Eww.”

It isn’t long before we come across a patch of yellow snow—a big, round splotch that dips in the center.

A mitten-covered hand tugs at my coat. “What happened over there?”

I look at her, right in the eyes. “That’s where a dog peed,” I say, smug with adult knowledge about such things. “What do you think of your lemon snow cones now, huh?”

Her left brow crinkles before her eyes fill with tears. Before I can ask what’s wrong, she starts sobbing. “I didn’t m-make them for me. I m-made them for Mommy to p-put by her grave.”

The sensation of blood leaving my face overwhelms me and makes me dizzy. I sink to the ground, kneeling to be on eye-level with my daughter. “Anna,” I say, wrapping her in my arms. “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand. Why would you want to make lemon snow cones for Mommy?”

“I wanted to make something that I could keep in the snow, that wouldn’t melt all winter. And in her favorite color.”

My mind spins with memories. Joni, my late wife, had loved the sunshine, springtime, and buttercups. Bogged down by the season and the cold, it was as if I’d forgotten her and her favorite color. Several years had passed since her death. I hadn’t made the connection. But Anna had.

“I’m sorry,” I say again, wiping Anna’s eyes. “Let’s go back to Grandma’s house and get the snow cones. We’ll take them to your mother’s grave tonight. Forget what I said about the yellow snow. It was stupid.”

She sniffles and nods her head. “Okay, Daddy. Is it still okay for me to like lemon?”

“Of course,” I say. “You’ve made me love it.”

❄❄❄

Final Echoes of Winter CoverWant more FREE stories of the season?

Return to the holiday story hop or download Echoes of Winter, a collection of YA winter tales.

Book 1: Twelve Days to Christmas by L.A. Starkey
Book 2: Christmas Seasoning by DB Nielsen
Book 3: Merry Chris Witch by CK Dawn
Book 4: Wrapped in the Past by Chess Desalls
Book 5: Butterflies in the Snow by D.E.L. Connor
Book 6: The Darkest Night of the Year by Tim Hemlin
Book 7: Cold Hearth by Kelly Hall
Book 8: Code X by W.J. May
Book 9: Good Saint Nick by Lu J Whitley
Book 10: Soaring by K.K. Allen
Book 11: A Spirit’s Last Gift by Kathy-Lynn Cross
Book 12: Winter Trials by K.S. Marsden
Book 13: The Edge by Fleur Camacho

New Flash Fiction!

I just posted a new flash fiction piece titled Needles. Here’s a sneak peek:

Monday, Oct. 27, 2014

Jan fled for her life, all because of a scarf.

Friday, Oct. 3, 2014

Clack-ting, swoosh. Clack-ting, swoosh.

Jan turned down the volume and zoomed in on the visuals. Her mobile investigation unit (aka Street Van) was cramped and poorly ventilated. She sucked in a breath as she peered at the monitor.

Carny was at it again. Making that thing with knitting needles.

She zoomed in closer. “Size 7,” she whispered. “Shiny pink needles, rusted at the tips.”

Clack-ting, swoosh.

Man, how she hated the metallic ring of each stitch. Worse yet was the sliding of the fabric that grated along edge of the metal, like dragging a string of yarn through her teeth. It was enough to make her goose bumps sprout goose bumps of their own.

Jan deadened the sound and squinted. Six months in and he was still working on the same project. If only she could get her hands on it. Then she’d have proof.

There’d been a series of murders in the area. Every fiber of Jan’s being twitched, knowing Carny was involved. But all she’d ever seen him do was knit. What was she supposed to tell the judge? That there was probable cause he’d created the ugliest scarf she’d ever seen?

Ugly it was, but not enough for a warrant. Jan rubbed her forehead as she watched Carny continue stitching with thick, nimble fingers. His grisly red beard brushed the fabric when he leaned in to inspect his work. Jan bristled, imagining how awful the colors must have looked in person. From what she could see, the scarf was mud-colored, with no discernable pattern, save the haphazard striping of pale yellow, black and gray.

A red light pulsed from the corner of her desk, signaling 11:00 pm. Jan yawned, ready to relocate to the front of the Street Van and drive home.

But something caught her eye.

Read the rest of the story for free on my Flash Fiction Blog.

 

New Flash Fiction Post!

Hi there! Are ‘ewe’ ready for more flash fiction? Sorry, that was baaaad! OK, enough. I just posted a new story, Counting Sheep, on my flash fiction blog! Here is a preview:

I entered Sheep World through the real world on a sunny afternoon.

Crossing my legs in front of me, I leaned back against a tree. Fluffy gray-white balls of wool lazily sauntered past me, some stopping to sample the grass before continuing on their way, others intent on following the single-file line up ahead. I counted sixteen sheep, all of identical size and color, wondering whether this year’s flock had a black sheep, an animal unique among the rest.

My mouth stretched into a yawn. Three more sheep, soft and ordinary, passed by—seventeen, eighteen and nineteen—before my counting took a turn for the worse. The black sheep never showed. A red one did. Its scarlet fleece curled like a barrister’s wig and shined like the sun.

I squinted and pulled my cap down to the tip of my nose. Was it a trick of the eye? Surely the sun hadn’t brightened as the afternoon wore on. I lowered my eyes, then rubbed them with the tips of my fingers. When I looked up again, the sheep were no longer walking in a line. They’d gathered into groups, assorted by color and size.

The largest sheep, as tall as horses, sat back on their haunches. These sheep were green, shades of lime and sour apple. I trembled at their massive proportions as I counted them—six green giants who appeared to be engaged in conversation. Instinctively, my body pressed backward, harder against the tree, my hands skimming the ground. If the animals weren’t peaceful—

Find out what happens next at Flash Fiction Magazine!

Flash Fiction Update

Well Plaid, the next story in the Instruments of Piece collection, has been posted at Flash Fiction Magazine! Here is the story cover along with the blurb.

Well Plaid CoverGrear loses patience with Blair, the worst bagpipe player she’s ever heard.  After damaging both his musical instrument and his ego, she tries to make amends.