short story

Three St3ps Forward is #FREE!

Our newest time travel mashup is here! Is it a sequel, a prequel, or an equal? Read and decide for yourself.

>>> $0.00 on Amazon
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If you’ve read our first book, “A Friend In Need,” you’ll know we’ve combined our characters to interact within one intersecting world to create a seamless story. We used characters from our books (and each others’ books) to populate this tale.

We hope you enjoy our short story adventure. Let us know what you think by leaving a review, emailing us individually, or by sending a message through social media.

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Three St3ps Forward Cover Reveal

If you missed the exclusive first peek during our Facebook event, here’s the cover for all to see.

Is it a prequel, a sequel, or an equal?
Step inside the bend of time.

Three St3ps Forward…Coming Soon!

Grab a copy of our first time travel mashup, A Friend in NeedFREE for Kindle and iBooks!

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Free time travel short—new release!

Calla and Valcas are making an appearance in another author’s story world. Download a free copy of the time travel mashup, A Friend in Need, for Kindle and iBooks!

A Friend in Need time travel mashup coverA Friend in Need is a short story collaboration between three different YA authors who combine their talents to create an intersection in an apocalyptic world populated with characters from their respective novels. LX and Jane (from Lynam’s Time Will Tell series) time-crash into Tim Hemlin’s The Wastelanders. Their only hope of returning to their own world requires help from Bear, Caballito, and the time-witch. Enter Calla and Valcas, (time-travelers from Chess Desalls’ Call to Search Everywhen series,) who land in the wastelands while conducting a time-search of their own. Will the travelers be able to return, or are they stuck in the wastelands forever?

Les Lynam ~ Tim Hemlin ~ Chess Desalls

Halloween Story Hop

Halloween Story HopWelcome to my blog! Mine is just one stop along the Halloween Story Hop. What’s this haunt all about, you say?

Well… A group of authors have joined together to post short stories filled with Halloween chills.

My story below won an award from South Bay Writers, a branch of the California Writers Club, for best short fiction. Enjoy. And be careful who you trust this season. Muhahaha!

***

“What a Clown Reads”

I settled into evening with a perfectly ordinary-looking book that I’d purchased at Trixie’s Gags and Gains, a magic shop filled with card tricks, disappearing ink, wax moustaches and soap-flavored candies. The cashier, Trixie herself, had pointed her chin at me and smiled, confirming that my selection had been a good one. It was the shop’s last copy to boot, she’d told me. She wouldn’t be ordering any more. What fortune! I could hardly wait to read it.

The clown that graced the book’s cover had a tiny pink nose and a garish smile. In his gloved hand he held a book that matched, in every way, the book I’d bought from Trixie. Across his shiny gray shirt that just barely stretched across his belly, it read “What a Clown Reads” in bright red scrawl. What a clever little clown, I thought. What a clever little title.

I opened the clever little book and read.

The silver-clad clown wore a silver-clad frown as he took up the Sunday paper. “Good news, bad news, old news, new news” the clown muttered. He feverishly turned pages, looking for the funnies, something to cheer him up. When he reached the last page, however, he began to shake. And then tremble. And quake.

“This isn’t the Sunday paper,” he said. “It’s that fake newspaper I bought from that tricky damsel by the lake.” He flipped over the last page and sighed. Then his nose twitched. He lifted a hand to scratch an itch. While scratching, his eyes bugged out and his frown stretched into a scowl. He tapped his nose with both hands. “Why, this isn’t my nose!”

He ran to a mirror and looked inside. His round pink nose had beaked to twice its size, and was as pale and ghastly as the rest of his face. Sharp fangs poked out between blood-red lips. His breath quickened. His heart pounded—

“The joke’s on him!” I cried, laughing at the clown’s folly. He’d been tricked! And what a clever little trick it was!

I sipped from my teacup, shook my head and read on.

A pale white hand turned the page, blotting out the clown’s memory of the matters previously described. There, in the silence of midnight, hours before the sun would rise, the silver-clad vampire sat over his diary to reread his entries by candlelight. Arching a dark eyebrow, he narrowed his eyes. The first page was blank, as was the second…and the third.

“Where are my entries?” he asked of the book, flipping forward through its pages. “My victims, my sanctuaries, my drawings of the sea backlit by the moon… Where have they gone?” He thought for a moment. “Surely yesterday’s freshly penned entry remains.” He bit his lip, taking care not to draw blood, as he slid the ribbon that marked the page where he’d last written.

The vampire drew in a sharp breath. His marked page was unmarred, a fresh blanket of snow.     

I slapped my knee with my hand and guffawed. “Disappearing ink! What a fool the vampire was to not see that coming!”

The vampire continued turning pages until he reached the end of the diary. After turning the last page, he howled. And then growled. Furious with himself for having lost his words and his voice, he stalked off to his washroom to gargle. Nearing the sink, he shuddered. Someone else was there—inside the mirror above the sink. But I am a vampire, he thought. I do not have a reflection.

With his heart pounding in his eardrums, he moved in for a closer look. The reflection peered at him too, until its wet black nose at the end of its long furry snout bumped the mirror. The vampire and the monster recoiled in surprise. The vampire touched his nose. So did the reflection. Both growled, and wiggled their pointed ears.

I furrowed my brows. An interesting trick, I thought. I lifted my teacup for another sip, but had trouble keeping it steady. Instead of hazarding a shaky slurp, I thought better of it, set the cup back down and continued to read.

A hairy gray paw—thick with claws—turned the page, blotting out the vampire’s memory of the matters previously described. The silver-haired werewolf grunted where it hid in the darkness, using its night vision to decipher—

I stopped reading and rubbed my eyes. I knew where this was going, for I was no fool. Flipping ahead, I mumbled whatever phrases caught my eye as I turned pages. “The silver-clad witch read from her recipe book of potions… The silver-beaked crow…silver-tailed skunk…silver-clad reaper.” Yes, I could see the pattern, and on and on it went. I skipped ahead to the last page and, finding nothing of further interest, I turned it over.

Yawning, I glanced at my watch, then started. I couldn’t make out the time. A reflection in the watch face looked back at me, chilled my blood. It wasn’t me. It couldn’t be! I ran to my bedroom and flicked on the light. “No!” I screamed at the reflection in the mirror. “I’m not supposed to have a little pink nose or silver painted lips that frown!”

A gloved hand, fringed in silver, quietly turned the page.

***

Darkness Echoes E-Book Cover smallReady for more spooky tales?

Click here to return to the Halloween Story Hop.

Download Darkness Echoes, a collection of YA short stories, for FREE right now! Available for Kindle, Nook, iBooks and Kobo

Neophyte’s Tale **Cover Reveal**

nw_pre_2560x1600Abbey Thorne hears voices. Well, one voice repeating one word, over and over again. Soft and sweet with the promise of power, it calls to her. The twelve-year-old has no idea that the tender little word is actually a catalyst that serves to reveal a world hidden to most humans. Abbey has yet to discover that following the word’s call to its origin will change the course of her life forever.

Abbey and her mother don’t have much, and depending on the day, sometimes they don’t even have a roof over their heads. She wants more out of life than just wondering where her next meal will come from. So she shouldn’t be wasting her time daydreaming about going on a selfish quest… or should she? Does she have the strength to leave behind what little she has? Will she have the courage to break through the illusions surrounding her and lift the cloak of shadows?

Publication Date: May, 2015

Author Bio:

Coffee lover, gamer girl, Sci-fi enthusiast, and overall crafty individual, CK Dawn graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Interior Design and a minor in Architecture (I know, right?). Loving to be creative but feeling stifled by invoices, custom orders, and curtain patterns, she decided instead to follow her favorite philosophy: if you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life. So, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… she finally decided to pick one of the stories that had been bouncing around in her head and boom, Cloak of Shadows came to life.

CK lives with the love of her life John, his cat Scout, her cat Hagrid, their mutually adopted and socialized feral kitten Pepper (yes, cats have favorite humans. It’s a thing), and their dog Diesel (aka Methane– Please, don’t make her explain).

She credits her mother for the strong independent woman she is, her father for her inner peace and beautiful outlook on life, and the summers of sweaty, manual labor on her grandparents’ farm for her strong work ethic.

In writing, CK has truly found her bliss. Stay tuned, because there will be a lot more to come in her Netherwalker series. Seriously, things have only just begun.

Author PicFollow CK Dawn:

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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!

Morning and the Moon, a fable

Morning and the Moon Cover

A shiny black rat, living in a starry night sky, drowsily crept along to the sky’s center where the moon sat still.  The rat sniffed the air and then gently brushed the moon with soft whiskers before stopping to let out a big, loud yawn.  It was nighttime which meant that the moon was now fully grown.  The rat sniffed at the air again, this time while looking up at the white gray ball.  It smelled like Muenster, but looked more like Swiss with its bumps and craters, for the moon was made of cheese and the rat was ready to eat.

Nibble after nibble, the rat munched her way round and round, around the edge of the moon until it was small enough to fit between her paws.  She sat back on her hind legs and patted her tummy as she finished the last few morsels of moon.  More awake now, the rat quickly stretched herself out from nose to tail before continuing on her way across the sky.  Night had half passed and her work was only half done.

Filled with energy from the moon cheese, the rat began her next task of drawing out the sun.  She peeked behind the curtain at the other end of the sky where the sun hid warm and bright.  She then wrapped her long dark tail in a noose around the sun so that she could drag it to where the moon had been.  Pulling and pulling until quite out of breath, the rat towed the sun into place.  Her work was finished.  And that was how she came to be called Morning.

Four animals lived in the sky, and all had work that needed to be completed everyday.  Morning disposed of the moon while the stars still showed and drew in the sun so that the stars could rest.  Each day she would nod as she passed by the bright-eyed Midday, a cheerful yellow canary who guided the sun to its noontime position in the sky.  Midday then greeted his friend Afternoon, an easygoing lady basset hound whose task was to track down the stars so they could light the night sky when the sun went away.  Once the stars were in place, Afternoon barked loudly to let Night the owl know it was time to tuck in the sun.

Each night Morning woke up to find that the moon had grown back again.  She had to eat all of the moon cheese to make room for the sun.  Then Midday could do his work, followed by Afternoon and Night.  Yet, something bothered Morning.  The more she thought about it, the bother grew and grew; until, finally she twitched her nose and asked herself, “Why is it that I have two tasks whereas the others only have one?  Midday flaps his wings to guide the sun.  Afternoon uses her keen senses to round up the stars.  Night just has to put the sun back behind its curtain.  But I must eat up the moon and then pull out the sun with my tail.  It’s not fair that I should have to do more work than anyone else.”

And so one night Morning decided that she would not eat the moon cheese.  She walked past the moon without so much as a sniff.  “Today,” she chittered to herself, “I will pull out the sun and do no more.  I will have only one chore—just like the birds and the dog.”  Behind the curtain, the rat wrapped her tail around the sun and pulled.  For some reason it was more difficult to move the sun than ever before.

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