Posts Tagged ‘Valentines Day’

(And older cats can use it as well)

This will be another quickie report, that BURNING LOVE AND BLEEDING HEARTS (see February 5, January 20) is now available in paperback format. To let Amazon tell it:  Britain’s most respected living horror writer Ramsey Campbell has said of this magazine-sized charity book of short stories:- “A fine anthology for a fine cause.  Invest your imagination in it and you’ll be investing in the world as well.”  BURNING LOVE AND BLEEDING HEARTS is a collection of dark Valentine’s Day tales; a charity anthology to raise funds for the Australian bush-fire victims, and ALL sale proceeds will be donated to the Australian Red Cross.  For more information, including a list of all authors and titles, one need but press here.  (Or if preferred, the Kindle edition, to be released officially Friday for Valentine’s Day, is available for pre-order as well.)

That is to say the anthology SEVEN DEADLY SINS:  LUST (cf. February 6, December 8 2019), Black Hare Press’s promised compilation of tales of . . . well . . . lust, careening toward a less-than-two-weeks-after-Valentine’s Day, February 25 release.  My story in this, a brief tip of the hat (or other item of clothing) to sweet lesbian vampire love, “A Cup Full of Tears,” originally published in MON COEUR MORT (Post Mortem Press, 2011).  But before publication, the details of authors’ biographies must be checked over to ensure correctness.

So yesterday late afternoon, mine was.

So sometimes several things come all at once, such is the magical life of the writer.  And so today, Thursday, there are three new items under the aegis of “The Writing Life.”  (1)  For starters, an authors proof copy arrived from publisher Things in the Well for BURNING LOVE AND BLEEDING HEARTS (cf. February 5, January 20, 15) in which my story “A Saint Valentine’s Day Tale” appears in number three slot in the table of contents.  So says the publisher:  We’ve wound the stories and poems — all 60 of them — into a bit of a narrative.  You’ll find no two are alike, in any way.  It’s so wonderful to have such a diverse representation of dark or dangerous love.  We are delighted with how it has all come together, and hope you are too.  (2)  Then second, for Black Hare Press’s SEVEN DEADLY SINS:  LUST anthology, I received an edited copy of my story, “A Cup Full of Tears” (see December 8), to be checked over.  (3)  And then, last, a contract came from The Great Void for using my novelette, “The Garden,” in their upcoming UNREAL anthology.  So. . . .

A flurry of reading, okaying the proof for an already announced February 14th Kindle edition, with paperback following in its time, for vampiress Claudette and “A Saint Valentine’s Day Tale”; more reading to check out Black Hare Press’s edits and find them okay for “A Cup Full of Tears”; and a gimlet-eyed poring over the contract for UNREAL and “The Garden,” with a hoped for publication date of March 14 — all of which I have okayed, approved, and signed and sent back to their respective recipients.  Or, in a word, just another day in the Writing Life lived.

New Year’s Day was on a Wednesday last month which meant taking a bye, but this evening’s First Wednesday Spoken Word Series at local tavern Bears Place (cf. December 4 last year, et al.) came on strong to start a new decade.  The featured readers were Antonia Matthew, who we’ve met a number of times before, with a prose retelling of the Pied Piper of Hamlin from the point of view of a boy left behind; and Bonnie Maurer, author of RECONFIGURED and THE RECONFIGURED GODDESS:  POEMS OF A BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR as well as a 2020 Indiana Poet Laureate finalist, with a gathering of poems on various topics; with musical interludes on sitar and guitar by SITAR OUTREACH MINISTRY.  Illness prevented a third scheduled reader from attending, but there were a total of eleven open-mike walk ons to take up the slack, of which I came seventh with “A Saint Valentine’s Day Tale” (presented about a year ago too but this year to celebrate finally being sold), of the New Orleanian vampiress Claudette and what she once did to an unruly husband.

Then in a somewhat related item, news came today that BURNING LOVE AND BLEEDING HEARTS (cf. January 20), including “A Saint Valentine’s Day Tale,” is officially scheduled for a February 14th release — at least on Kindle.  This is the anthology earmarked for relief for victims of the recent Australian bush fires, details on which, including a partial list of authors, can be found by pressing here.

We are excited to announce the first round of acceptances for inclusion in BURNING LOVE AND BLEEDING HEARTS.  This is our charity anthology to raise funds for the Australian bushfire victims.  All sale proceeds will be donated to the Australian Red Cross and matched dollar-for-dollar by Microsoft (up to $50k) as part of their Giving campaign.  This was the announcement on Facebook today, and so it can now be made known:  This is the “Mystery” acceptance of January 15’s post, with preliminary details just released — despite being still open for submissions “of 1,000 words (ideally, but we’ll consider any length as it’s for charity!)” until January 31.

The guidelines:  The theme is Valentine’s Day, so we’re after dark, suspenseful, menacing, memorable tales of human love gone wrong, or monster love gone right!  We want to have your stories by end of January please!  It’s a tight deadline, but we think it’s a fun theme and a worthy cause, so please get your writer’s heads on and start scribbling.  So what better story for me to send but one concerning those New Orleanian vampire ladies, les filles à les caissettes (see e.g. May 2 2019, et al.), one as yet unpublished of the literal-minded but always ready for fun Claudette?  And best of all, titled simply “A Saint Valentine’s Day Tale.”  And thus, five days ago, Editors Louise Zedda Sampson and Chris Mason agreed.

So there’s no money in it, but les filles are not averse to a worthy cause.  Should you be good with that as well, more information can be found here, or if you would simply be interested in a whole bunch of flash stories on love gone bad, to be out in time for Valentine’s Day, for details/Kindle pre-orders press here.

The wages of sin are not large for Black Hare Press’s SEVEN DEADLY SINS anthology series, but reprints are accepted and it’s an interesting sounding venue.  So when the second in the series, LUST (the first, I believe, was PRIDE, but the deadline had already passed), opened for submissions I thought I had something that might fit the bill.  The theme was broad enough (although, of course, “lust” would be part of it too):  Speculative fiction.  Dark bias.  Can include comedy and romance elements.  Word count was up to 3000 words, with no minimum.  And so I had a slightly less than 1000-word tale (957 in fact, according to the “official” count in the contract) of a lesbian vampiric seduction of, shall one say, a youthful new prospect, which seemed a reasonable one to try.

The story itself:  “A Cup Full of Tears,” originally published in MON COEUR MORT (Post Mortem Press, 2011), and Saturday the word came back.  Thank you for your submission to LUST.  We really enjoyed your story — A Cup Full of Tears — and would like to inform you that it has been accepted for inclusion in the publication.  Congratulations!  With it came more information, a link to Facebook, and guidelines for a couple of future projects, plus a contract which I filled and sent back yesterday afternoon.

And so it goes.  Word is they’re trying for a release date of February 18 2020 — in time for a late Valentine’s Day present?  Also that the next deadly sin to be tackled is SLOTH, perhaps not so exciting, but I might lazily take a look to see if there’s anything I have that might fit that theme too.

Yes, the email said the final week but the site itself says only “five days,” though it also says Sunday, October 6, 7:59 AM EDT, perhaps as an allowance for London time?  But one way or another in just a few days the DISCORDANT LOVE BEYOND DEATH kickstarter (see September 12, et al.), and the opportunity to sign up for bargain copies and even swag, will be no more.   Love takes on many forms, as does death, and this anthology features twenty-two stories that dance the line between Dark Affection and Paranormal Romance, where death is not the end but merely the start of some truly original tragedies, tales that will often stop you dead in your tracks, challenging your preconceptions of what is right and wrong, before allowing you to return and continue reading.  DISCORDANT LOVE BEYOND DEATH offers up twenty-two fabulous inspired short stories, by a fresh line-up of authors from around the world, ensuring that there is something for everyone; and with many being on the macabre side, we believe that this anthology makes the perfect alternative gift for those who want something a little different come Valentine’s Day.

My tale in this tangle is one of hauntings, and gangsters in Depression era Florida, and of a young woman whose life is in danger titled “The Sending,” a slightly longer description of which can be found on the kickstarter site itself, along with descriptions and mini-biographies of all the writers.  And, as said above, many prizes including publisher-related cups and T-shirts and other such merch, but one still must act fast.  (And may one remind, from the authors’ point of view, last minute pledges may mean higher pay?)  So for information and possible action — the book itself is slated to be out on Valentine’s Day 2020, so why not reserve your copy today? — one need but press here.

Well, it’s on THE-LINE-UP.COM and it’s actually titled “10 Romantic Horror Movies To Watch on Valentine’s Day,” by MacKenzie Stuart, but I didn’t run across it until today.  And anyway, really, ten movies on one day?  To quote the author:  Does the word rom-com send chills down your spine?  If you’re a true horror flick aficionado, you’re likely to dread md_e4939c90cafa-auditionventuring outside of your comfort zone of zombies and psychopaths.  However, horror and romance don’t have to be mutually exclusive.  You can enjoy the best of both worlds with a romantic horror movie that seamlessly weaves touching love stories into your favorite gory films.

And indeed, what films are being suggested, something for everyone starting with SWEENY TODD:  THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET all the way down to ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE (these two movies, by the way, with a strong musical interest too).  With, in between, WARM BODIES, HELLRAISER, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES . . . and five in addition, all to be checked out by pressing here.  So break out the amaretto along with the popcorn, snuggle up with your significant other (and/or the family cat — yes, Triana, you’re invited too) and enjoy, enjoy!

The Goth cat Triana, herself a lover of seafood, was given the choice of a short poem of mine to share for the occasion.  Her selection, as it happens, might be dedicated especially to southern hemisphere readers who, in places like Australia where 100 degree plus temperatures appear to be common for this February, might plan to spend Valentine’s Day at the beach.



mermaid vampiress
scarlet billows greet her kiss
a sea of love


“Wet Work” was originally published in the Fall 2017 STAR*LINE.

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