Echoes In Darkness

Book Cover: Echoes In Darkness
Part of the Bannerwing Collections series:

“Ain’t nothing in the dark that ain’t there in the light…”

Stories of darkness and light — physical… otherworldly… and in the human spirit. From dangerous to romantic to chilling, this collection showcases seven absorbing tales and an unforgettable cast of characters.

In Kate Shrewsday’s “To Hear the Dead Proclaim,” a trans-Atlantic air traveler comforts her seat mate with a sympathetic ear. His story allows her into the mind of a genius, but some conversations are best left unspoken.

In “Flutters,” Angela Amman takes us into the steamy Savannah heat, where the last surviving daughter in a family of women with extraordinary powers struggles to maintain her mother’s legacy at all costs.

Helen has lived her life obsessed with a statue, going so far as to travel the world for a glimpse of it in person. The consequences of her trip reveal an ancient curse and leave Helen’s life forever changed in Mandy Dawson’s “Awakening.”

Previously published as a stand-alone short, Cameron D. Garriepy’s “Requiring of Care” follows Lucy Montgomery to an unusual job interview. The would-be nanny is pulled into the world of Violet, a little girl who holds fragments of a haunting story.

“Bad Deal,” an excerpt from Andra Watkins’ debut novel To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis (Word Hermit Press, 2014), introduces us to an unusual little girl named Emmaline Cagney. Emmaline longs to fly from the dark side of her mother’s affections, but what strangers lurk in the shadows?

From Kameko Murakami: A terrible accident robbed Danaë of her life, but not by killing her. Instead she is cursed, invisible to the world, with one exception: the dying. When her path crosses that of the one living man who knows she’s there, Danaë must decide if she is to remain “Unseen.” [Previously published.]

“Ain’t nothing in the dark that ain’t there in the light, Edie.” Nyctophobic Eden Summerhill has nowhere to go but the lonely family farmhouse she’s inherited, but the darkness is waiting there for her in “Love Apples” by Elizabeth Yon.

Reviews:Michael Carnell on Amazon wrote:

The seven stories here range from the psychological thriller to parental betrayal to the more standard ghost story, but they will all creep into the corners of your mind and take up residence there.


Nothing Goes Away

Book Cover: Nothing Goes Away

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” ~ Pema Chodron

Angela Amman's debut collection of short fiction delves into the private shadows of three very distinct relationships. For these three women, there are lessons to embrace before they can release the turmoil which holds them back from hope.

"Cicada Song" tells the story of a mother's struggle with her daughter's attitude toward food, revealing her own fears and misgivings.

In "Splinters," a young woman on the brink of first love copes with secret pain she thought long buried and banished.

"Scents of Iron and Pine" explores the depth of subtle cruelty and self-delusion a wife is willing to endure to hold her family together.

Reviews:Lisa A. Kramer on Amazon wrote:

Angela Amman's writing is lyrical, powerful, and truly wonderful. I love how much psychology and intense emotion--sometimes disturbing emotion--she packs into a short tale.


Blackfern Girls

Book Cover: Blackfern Girls

Girlhood is hard. Surviving it in the strange wilderness of Blackfern County is a challenge like no other. Liz Zimmers’s Blackfern Girls entices with parlor tricks, whispers of abandonment, and tempts innocence to desperate measures, revealing the lethal dangers of coming of age in a place where reality shivers and changes like a theatre scrim.

In “The Undertakers,” Frankie Blanchard’s mother abandons the eight year-old girl on her sister’s remote farm. Frankie’s cousins, Ariel and Poppy, are less than happy to receive her. They have a horrifying secret of their own, and Frankie must find the courage to save another innocent.

In “The Skeptic,” Juliet Pinkney is born into a tradition of paranormal chicanery, and takes for granted that contact with spirits is a ruse perpetrated on the marks. At the same time her first love blossoms in all its sweetness, she is confronted with the dark reality of Sparrowgate House, and pays a terrible price for her disbelief.

In “Local Honey,” Sylvia Peach stands on the cusp of young womanhood, and at the precipice of a repulsive marriage. Her yearning for independence and romance lead her to an alliance with the strange Dark sisters, and the enigmatic Nathan Love. In their forest inn, she will learn that death is a long and varied journey.

In “The Queen of Ever After,” Cricket Carpenter spins worlds, and companions, from air. Abandoned by her father, and orphaned when first her mother, and then her beloved grandmother die, she embarks on a quest for the mythical land of Ever After accompanied by her imaginary father figure, Pop, and Rob, the wild young farm hand.

Reviews:Cameron D. Garriepy on Goodreads wrote:

It takes a special kind of storytelling to allow a reader to fall in love with a deadly, haunted place, and that it exactly what happened when I stepped inside Elizabeth Yon's Johns Woods, the backdrop for all four stories in Blackfern Girls.

Ms. Yon has a distinct talent for lifting the veil between the world we know and what we cannot see, what is tangible and that which lurks in the corner of our eye. What her very human characters face when the veil lifts tests their mettle at every turn; the outcomes surprise.


Unkept

Book Cover: Unkept

As the live-in manager at her father’s funeral home in Burling Gates, Missouri, Vienna Oaks has succumbed to the mediocrity and abject loneliness of her life.  Her days are suspended between the mundane and the misery of her clients’ throttling grief, of changing light bulbs, and encountering strangers as bereft as she. But after orchestrating the funeral for a little boy named Parker prompts a severe panic attack, she finds herself at a personal crossroads in which she is forced to confront the pregnancy she’s been hiding, her childhood nemesis, the boy she never stopped loving, and the deep-seated secret surrounding her mother’s death more than a decade before.

In another part of town, Heather Turnbull has just learned from her estranged father that her mother, a lifelong recluse, has died.  When making arrangements for her funeral, Heather chooses Oaks Family Funeral home, where she comes face to face with Vienna – the woman she tortured throughout grade school, the woman who has recently had an affair with her husband.

Together, Vienna and Heather navigate through a makeshift friendship born of circumstance and devised to assuage their ambivalence towards motherhood and their tenuous relationship with reality, discovering, in tandem, the art of forgiveness and the will to go on.

Reviews:Priscilla and Her Books on Amazon.com wrote:

...if a writer can keep themselves, their ego, their opinions, their mental junk out of the way and pinpoint the focus, the story tells itself. This is what great writing is about. This is what Unkept is about.


With humor and poignancy, Ericka Clay’s debut novel, Unkept, explores the thorny landscape of childhood trauma and the ferocious politics between little girls — and the adults they become.