UnCommon Land Anthology – Coming soon!

🎉 Coming August 22 from Fighting Monkey Press

including a story by me :)

Rakka Surprise
It was a simple task, a bit of diplomacy, on a new world for some blue bloods of the Polyverse Coalition. Unfortunately, Captain Drayan failed to read the fine print, the bits that put his sensory system into freefall. Good thing he had Sitik the Rakka, his first mate, to sort it all out. Except, that sorting led to more fine print and a Rakka surprise to end all surprises.

UnCommon Lands

Don’t miss this next installment from the UnCommon anthologies series

UnCommon Lands: A Collection of Rising Tides, Outer Space and Foreign Realms

UnCommon Lands presents 20 unique depictions of fantastic places and alien landscapes. These stories of the human (and inhuman) experience transcend time and place and will transport you to worlds you’ve never imagined. Including new and veteran voices, our UnCommon Authors bring you stories which span multiple genres, but hold together on a framework of quality storytelling and a solid theme. UnCommon Lands reminds us that where we are from isn’t as important as where we are going.

 

Featuring –

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Anne Skinner
Ashleigh Gauch
Bey Deckard
Brent Meske
Chris Godsoe
Daniel Arthur Smith
Chimeras – E.E. Giorgi Author
Shebat Legion
Jeremy Rodden, Toonopolis Author
Jon Etter, Obscure Midwestern Writer
Karen Gemma Brewer
Kenneth Robbins
Levi Jacobs
Michael Schaefer
Michael JP Whitmer
P.K. Tyler
Ralph Walker
Roslyn Cay
Tausha Johnson
Tom O’Brien

UnCommonly on Sale – 99¢

Heads up! UnCommon Bodies is on sale until 2/7 for 99¢ at Amazon.
Get your copy today :)

Murphy approved! Look at that face... how can you say no to a copy? :)
Murphy approved! Look at that face… how can you say no to a copy? :)

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List of Stories Included:

Don’t Touch Me by Bey Deckard: Fighting is what Beau does best, because the very thing he dreads is exactly what lends him the extraordinary strength to defeat even the worst odds. And he does it all with the help of his angel, the woman he longs desperately to hold… but can’t.

We is We By Michael Harris Cohen: We is we follows a day in Mary and Millie’s life, traveling sideshow freaks who’ve lost touch with the outside world.

Undead Cyborg Girl by Kim Wells: When she wakes up undead after receiving a cyborg assassin upgrade surgical procedure, Undead Girl’s life is forever changed. Is it for the better? She has all the skills, but she needs a job, she needs some friends, and she needs to remember who she is. Part 1 of the Cyborg Story trilogy.

Skin By Brent Meske: After constant bullying in high school, Patricia vows to change her name and her entire being. When she gains the ability to mold and sculpt flesh, that vow very quickly becomes a terrifying reality.

Scars: First Session by Jordanne Fuller: After a life of abuse, Abigail made the decision to cover her scars with tattoos. What she didn’t expect was to confront her emotional scars in the process.

Mermaids By Robert Pope: Recently graduated from college, with no work prospects, Aqua-boy—so called because of the webbing between his toes—watches and listens to a group of musicians at a bar/restaurant when he notices the woman playing a diminutive red accordion has six fingers.

In Her Image By Vasil Tuchkov: An English PHD student arrives at the scenic but haunting countryside of Matera, Italy, looking for answers. His translator introduces him to a crippled local painter who claims to have depicted the impossible. As the three men converse near the ancient settlement’s caverns, a mystery unravels.

Three Poems By Deanne Charlton: It Runs in the Family, Brenga’s Body, Eternity in a One-night Stand

Reserved by SM Johnson writes: It’s been five years since the accident that killed Pete Spencer’s younger lover and left him grieving, bitter, and broken. He’s tired of his lonely world, but the kind of young men he’s attracted to dismiss him the moment their eyes land on his cane. Pete’s learned to hide behind the safety of his reserve, but he’s never met anyone like Rory.

UnTamed by Laxmi Hariharan: Wolf girl Leana Iyeroy, the first half breed in her family, only ever wanted to be 100% human. An unexpected encounter with the Hugging Saint of Bombay, forces Leana to face the wolf inside her.

Ruby and Deidre by Robb Grindstaff Writer-Editor: A shorter than average man admires a taller than average woman from afar.

All The Devils by @Keira Michelle Telford: It’s 1889, and women are being killed in the East End of London. They’ve become the targets of a deranged sexual killer, but why? Because they’re prostitutes? Sapphists? Or something else entirely?

Ruby By Bob Williams: It’s nineteen thirty-six and the town of Ransom, Oklahoma is barely functioning after the “Dust Bowl” storm of the year before. Michael Wootten sits upon the porch of his dilapidated house and watches a caravan of trucks pull into town. Melvin Mitchell Presents: Ruby and her Amazing FreakShow Friends. Maybe this is just the thing to pump a little spirit into the near-dead town. But everything comes at a price, and Ms. Ruby always takes her cut.

Phantom Pain By Philip Harris: Phantom Pain follows amputee, Mariana Jacobs, as she visits a man who claims to have information she needs. But that information comes at a cost.

Daedalus’ Daughter By PK Tyler: After her father’s death, Isha begins sprouting feathers.

The Zealot By Chris Godsoe: Six months ago, Tobin Maldovan was in charge of a manhunt for an enigmatic hacker named ATLAS. He lost his man near the Canadian border after a high speed chase, but not before ATLAS pulled strings to transfer the woman he Tobin loves across the country, hampering any chance at reconciliation. With ATLAS having escaped his jurisdiction, Tobin had nothing left but to follow his wife to California, seeking reassignment at the West Coast cyberterrorism field office. His reputation preceeds him, and he has drawn the case pursuing a man the media has taken to calling “The Zealot.” As usual, Tobin pours himself into his work, but the work becomes personal in ways that he never would have imagined.

Made for This By Sessha Batto: On the heels of unimaginable loss comes reinvention. Sometimes the gain is worth going through hell.

Unbreakable Heart By Rebecca Poole: A cyborg must escape her creators in order to survive.

Saltwater Assassin By Samantha Warren: Syren has spent her life as a sideshow freak, caged in a tank of saltwater and gawked at by hundreds of normal humans. She has a secret, though. At night, when the lights are finally off and the fair goers leave, she turns into a human–a mermaid assassin.

The Well-Rounded Head By Sally Basmajian: A woman is smitten with her husband’s big, entirely round head. One day she notices that his temples appear to be slightly indented, so that his head is no longer a perfect sphere. This revolts her, and she moves into their guest room in order to avoid him. When he breaks in, she kills him, in a most bizarre way.

 

Ah qu’il est Beau

 

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I have a new short story coming out next week called Don’t Touch Me in the UnCommon Bodies anthologyIt’s a story about a guy named Beau who has a severe touch disorder.  It’s not erotic. Not gay. Just plain ol’ fiction with a lot of heart. 

It’s a departure from my norm, but I feel like I’ve said that so many times now that I’m not going to say it anymore… I don’t think I have a “norm”. I just write what comes to mind, I guess.

Who is Beau? Where did the story come from?

Well, he’s named after a guy I went to high school with. Stocky, muscular, handsome but sort of brooding. We lifted weights together some. He just had this unexpected, straightforward sweet/nice-guy side to him that I liked. But, I don’t know what happened to him. I just flipped through the yearbooks I have for the last two years of high school, and he’s only in the first one… his name’s not even in it, just his picture. Hell, I can’t even remember if he spelled his name Beau or Bo, and no recollection of his family name. 

The touch aversion thing… Well that’s my problem. As far back as I can remember, I’ve had problems with people touching me. Unexpected touch is the worst – I’ve punched a few friends accidentally when they had the misfortune of startling me awake with a touch. Thankfully, no hard feelings. If I know that I need to be touched, I can steel myself. Blasting music in my headphones on a busy bus works too. By overwhelming another sense, I can limit the effects of human contact. It’s probably why I don’t mind concerts… dark, loud, and I’m usually with my friend Mike who also likes standing in the back where it’s less crowded. Alcohol helps. :) I can get downright cuddly depending who I’m with and how much I’ve had to drink. But generally? Yeah… no touchie.

It’s me. Not you.

I can’t even really explain it. It just feels wrong. Makes me slightly nauseous. My whole body cringes. My mother said that as a newborn, I would rather lay by myself than be held, and, as Beau says about himself, one of the first things I did was push her away. 

 

Unfortunately, I’m the kind of person that people like to touch. Whether it’s my tattoos or my hair or just… reaching out to pat or squeeze my arm while we’re talking (it’s overwhelmingly women who do this heh), people seem drawn to touch me. Then I’m torn about whether telling them how much it bothers me (after which most people either take offence and/or start treating me like a freak) and just putting up with it.

I’m nowhere near as bad as Beau in Don’t Touch Me, however.

Anyhoo… that’s the story of the story. You should check out the book, available for preorder through Amazon. It’ll be live on the 24th of November, and if you haven’t already, you should enter the giveaway… the authors have gotten together to give away a Kindle.

Enter to win a Kindle, hang out with some of the authors, read about the anthology. You know you wanna. :)

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