short stories

Signed copy of Flash Tales: #Giveaway on LibraryThing now open

It’s a new year, and with it a new chance at an author signed paperback of Flash Tales: A Collection of Short Stories for Children!

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.

Enter Here

Ends Feb. 2!


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:
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.

Darkness Echoes Print Giveaway!

rare copy of darkness echoes first edition printReady for something spooky?

I found a rare first edition paperback of Darkness Echoes. The print edition is no longer for sale. But you can enter for a chance at a copy on Goodreads.

This collection of YA tales includes stories by L.A. Starkey, Kelly Hall, D.E.L. Connor, CK Dawn and DB Nielsen.



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.


“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.”


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

A flurry of winter tales

Today’s launch day for Echoes of Winter! We’re excited to bring you thirteen new stories, all winter-themed.

Final Echoes of Winter Cover Twelve Days to Christmas by L.A. Starkey
Christmas Seasoning by DB Nielsen
Merry Chris Witch by CK Dawn
Wrapped in the Past by Chess Desalls
Butterflies in the Snow by D.E.L. Connor
The Darkest Night of the Year by Tim Hemlin
Cold Hearth by Kelly Hall
Code X by W.J. May
Good Saint Nick by Lu J Whitley
Soaring by K.K. Allen
A Spirit’s Last Gift by Kathy-Lynn Cross
Winter Trials by K.S. Marsden
The Edge by Fleur Camacho

Browse the Amazon sample for each story’s synopsis. The book will be available soon for Nook, iBooks, and Kobo.

Help us celebrate this new release at our online launch party. There’s also a Holiday Giveaway!

Echoes of Winter releases this week!

Chess Desalls Tag T1

My short story, “Wrapped in the Past,” releases this week as part of the Echoes of Winter anthology. Readers familiar with my time travel series will gain new insights into Shirlyn’s character. And everyone gets to spend the holidays Edgar style. We’re having a launch party on Facebook. Stop by to say hello and enter our rockin’ giveaway!

Awethology release–read my story for free!

Today’s the official launch day for Awethology Light and Awethology Dark, a collection of poetry and fiction by an amazing group of authors!

Awethology covers

In my story, “Queen of the Small Seas,” a baby from an enchanted island gets stolen by pirates. Sixteen years later, she discovers that the ruffians who’d raised her hadn’t been the first to take her away from her family and the life she was meant to lead. Find it in the Awethology Light volume!

Awethology teaser Desalls


Spooky tales unleashed!

Be ready for chillsToday’s the release day for Darkness Echoes, a YA spooky short story collection. Grab your copy at Amazon, iTunes or Barnes & Noble and settle in with a pumpkin latte for some Halloween fun. Hang out with all the authors at our online launch party, and don’t forget about the Kindle fire giveaway!

Darkness Echoes–One week to go

7 daysDarkness Echoes releases in seven days! The story titles and blurbs are up on my Pinterest board, and they are so spooky and fun. Stop by the launch party to learn how to enter for a chance at a Kindle fire. The giveaway is open now!Kindle Fire