"Fatal Plot Device" is a twist on the classic Hallmark Christmas Movie. I absolutely adore Hallmark movies. They are comforting to me. During Christmastime, my mom and I will watch them. For me, a Hallmark Movie is like drinking a warm cup of cocoa on a drizzly day. They make me feel better!
However, in my fiction, I come at stories sideways, and "Fatal Plot Device" is no different. Have you ever noticed how there are a lot of deceased characters in Hallmark movies? A already passed grandparent, or the main character is a young, attractive widow/widower? Yeah, me too.
"Fatal Plot Device" is about one such deceased character and that's about all I can say about it without spoiling this very short story.
Bestselling author and Pulphouse Editor Dean Wesley Smith was floored when he read my story. He bought it immediately for his Really Messed Up issue. Here's what he writes for my introduction before the story:
I am a confessed fan of Christmas romance movies. I know, a bad habit and it always causes me to gain weight over the season. And I know all the plots by heart and am seldom surprised and don’t care. So when Kelly created a viewpoint character who is a fatal plot device in a Christmas romance movie, I honestly doubted she could pull it off. I should have known better. She hit it completely. Kelly Washington has been writing and publishing novels and short stories under various names for more than a decade and knows how to twist a story from normal to really messed up and make it work.
About the entire Anthology -
A crazy collection of twisted stories in the tradition of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, from the editor of Pulphouse, Dean Wesley Smith.
Head-shaking stories such as the one about a cop with a rose for a head in search of the evil murderer The Pruner. Or the one about sentient boogers, or the tale of those pesky Martians…
A truly hilarious batch of stories from some of the best writers working today.
“Resolutions ’R Us” by Annie Reed
“The Birth of Booger Nation” by David H. Hendrickson
“A Menagerie of Messed Up Shorts” by Mark Leslie
“Sniff the Source” by Stephannie Tallent
“In which Dean Wesley Smith Is Forced to Buy a Story about a Queen for Pulphouse Magazine” by Brigid Collins
“Fatal Plot Device” by Kelly Washington
“Goddamn Martians” by Ezekiel James Boston
“Killing Confucius” by Tina Back
“Bodacious Billy and the Bazooms of Droom” by Jason A. Adams
“Why the Cop with a Rose for a Head Wears a Rose-Head Mask” by Robert Jeschonek
Dragons: Cutter's Final Cut, is a must-have anthology for anyone who loves dragon stories! Within the pages you will find my short story, "Adventures in Dragon Egg Sitting." The title is an homage of the 1987 Elizabeth Shue film Adventures in Babysitting.
There's no big city or spoiled kids in my story, nor does anyone sing the blues. Instead, Lady Marguerite de'North, finds herself up in a cave babysitting her younger sister's unhatched dragon eggs. (The sister, Gwenni, has her own story, "The Bridge to Ashlen's Dragon" which appeared in the December 2017 edition of Heart's Kiss.) As a quick aside: "The Bridge to Ashlen's Dragon" is my sister Samantha's favorite story of mine.
Naturally, as Marguerite watches the eggs, nothing goes as planned when one egg starts to hatch. Here's the first three paragraphs:
For one thing, her dress was a problem. Because the mountain cave was so cold, she was wearing four dresses and a wool robe. The layers kept her warm, but it also impeded movement. She would be slow to react. Her second problem was that if one of the eggs moved, then they all might start moving.
And that meant hatching and no one said anything about the dragon eggs the size of newborn calves hatching today. And there were six of them. She did not have time for six baby dragons today. Ask anyone.
"Adventures in Dragon Egg Sitting" is a Regency-esque fantasy/light romance historical short story where a polite and quiet young woman comes into her own, discovers her love of family, and quite possibly might meet a nobleman worthy of her heart.
"EchoDarling" is a historical fantasy novella about a young woman of noble origins in possession of an ancestral object called an EchoDarling.
Lady Julie Darling's life is abruptly altered the moment her father, the Duke of Darling, strips her of her birthright and forces her off his lands. Her only possession: a large egg called an EchoDarling. Inside is a creature that, once hatched, will echo Julie's very essense.
Julie's grandmother's EchoDarling was a fierce falcon that spotted incoming enemies in order to win kingdoms. What will Julie's very large EchoDarling hatch as? Why is it such a dangerous creature that can slaughter men without the slightest provocation?
Is Lady Julie the heroine or is she the villian?
Can she be both?
"EchoDarling" is a 10,000 word novella about love, revenge, redemption, and discovering an inner fortitude that may go against everything a proper young noblewoman was taught.
While the title of "One Ballerina Dancing" doesn't necessarily scream "political thriller" this story is indeed a political thriller. I promise it will go in a different direction than any other story you've read in this genre.
If you've read my Falling For Him series, you'll be familiar with Mary Lovecross' character.
All I can say about my little romance story is this: what would happen if I wrote a story where the "bad guys" got their happily ever after? You get an unexpected and thrilling romance. Callum is an almost-retired mercenary. Joanie is the girl he loved decades ago... but she's got dark secrets of her own... and she's calling him for help. "Love on the Run" is like nothing you've ever read before. But, I promise you'll be rooting for the bad guys in this story.
In this fourth Fiction River Special Edition, best-selling romance writer and editor Kristine Grayson takes readers into the world of romantic suspense. These stories—from military romance, to love in the criminal underworld, to a highly unusual shipboard romance, and breathtaking suspense, capped by a modern gothic novella set on an idyllic island—make a perfect beginning to summer reading. The heat of attraction, the sparks of passion, and the frisson of suspense all thread their way through every story in the volume.
“Night Moves” by Katie Pressa
“Safe Like Cedar” by Lisa Silverthorne
“Flying Above the Hindu Kush” by M.L. Buchman
“Love on the Run” by Kelly Washington
“Need to Know” by Sabrina Chase
“Bribing Ghosts” by Leah Cutter
“Come Summer, Come Winter, I’ll Come for You” by Rei Rosenquist
“Totality” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“That Summer on Blue Heron Island” by Dayle A. Dermatis
My story, "The Refurbished Companion" is featured in Mark Leslie's Feel The Love anthology. Mirna lives in a society that places a high value on marriage and coupling. One day her employer sends her a companion, but it's not what she expected: she has to build him. "The Refurbished Companion" is a science fiction short story.
Love. An essential and important part of the human experience. And in Feel the Love, editor Mark Leslie takes readers on a journey through the various forms of that powerful emotion. From the heartwarming to the heartbreaking, these eighteen talented writers brilliantly capture the concept of love. Comforting and thoughtful, uplifting and warm, these stories might just restore your faith in humanity.
Table of Contents
“Thief” by Michael Kowal
“Death’s Other Cousin” by Lisa Silverthorne
“Making Amends” by David Stier
“Frostwitch vs. the Ravages of Time” by Dayle A. Dermatis
“The Goddess Killer” by Lauryn Christopher
“Love Locks” by Dale Hartley Emery
“Love Bots” by Dæmon Crowe
“Loving Abby” by Angela Penrose
“Foiled” by Brigid Collins
“A Love to Remember” by Tonya D. Price
“The Refurbished Companion” by Kelly Washington
“The Secret of Catnip” by Stefon Mears
“Lifeblood” by Alexandra Brandt
“Who Loves the Unloved?” by Laura Ware
“Henry and Beth at the Funeral Home” by Joe Cron
“Truth and Lies” by David H. Hendrickson
“With Love in Their Hearts” by Robert Jeschonek
“Every Day New, Bright and Beautiful” by Annie Reed
Like the last Fiction River volume Mark edited (Feel the Fear), Feel the Love is the product of a publishing partnership with Kobo. And as such, if you buy the paperback edition, you will find a code in the back for a free ebook edition exclusively from Kobo.
My short story, "Sleeping with the Devil" appears in Issue #6 of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine. This Fantasy story, which is the first appearance by Moira Rothrock in my story catalog, is about an edgy heroine who can travel to hell in order to retrieve stolen and/or dark items from Lucifer and his demons. As she "tether-jumps" to hell (Lucifer has stolen the Queen's brooch), Moira ends up making a deal with the devil that includes some time between the sheets. Moira is a no-nonsense dark retriever who regularly interacts with otherworldly beings. She's a lot of fun to write and there will be more stories featuring her. So, stay tuned!
The Cutting Edge of Modern Short Fiction
A three-time Hugo Award nominated magazine, this issue of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine offers up fifteen fantastic stories by some of the best writers working in modern short fiction. No genre limitations, no topic limitations, just great stories. Attitude, feel, and high quality fiction equals Pulphouse.
“The Fur Tsunami” by Kent Patterson
“Unnatural Law” by J. Steven York
“A Cherub by Any Other Name” by Annie Reed
“PMS and a Hand Grenade” by Brenda Carre
“The Disappearing Neighborhood” by Robert J. McCarter
“Hello Brain, It’s Me” by Ray Vukcevich
“Eye of Newt: A Dan Shamble Zombie P.I. Adventure” by Kevin J. Anderson
“Knock on Wood” by Rob Vagle
“Featuring Martin and Lewis” by O’Neil De Noux
“Double Date” by William Oday
“Sleeping with the Devil” by Kelly Washington
“Upgrade? Up Yours” by Jerry Oltion
“Between” by M. L. Buchman
“The Thousandth Atlas” by Robert Jeschonek
“The Injustice Collector” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“Minions at Work: Burn Noticed” by J Steven York
I'm thrilled to report that Denise Little bought my young adult fantasy romance, "The Bridge to Ashlen's Dragon."
I wrote this little gem back in 2013 and it's been searching for the right home ever since.
Snyopsis: Gwenni and Ashlen live in a magical land on opposite sides of a great river. On the day they meet, they decide to create a bridge by throwing rocks into the river in hopes that one day they can "meet". It takes years, and they fall in love, but there's one [big] problem. One of them wants to become a dragon, so the other does what it takes to make that a reality, even if it means they may lose the love of their life.
The entire issue is amazing and the authors included in this volume do not disappoint!
I've always wanted to work with Rebecca Moesta. She's an amazing editor who buys only the stories she truly loves, which means she is quite selective. So you can imagine my surprise when she bought my young adult story, "Flowers in Winter".
The settings for "Flowers in Winter" is modern day, but the town is actually set in a hidden, magical hamlet. Families can cast light, manipulate water, and even turn invisible. However, Mattie isn't like the rest of her family. In addition to being crippled, her magical abilities amount to nothing more than "sorting" things, like library books. She's not cool like her mom or sister, who can conjure water from thin air, or her little brother, who can talk to animals. But at least she isn't like her dad, a non-magical dentist!! But maybe not all powers have to be "superpowers" and maybe Mattie's sorting skills are nothing to sneeze at!
From the publisher: Many wish for superpowers. But even Superman has his kryptonite. These fifteen stories of super powerful young heroes/heroines demonstrate the humanity possible even among those possessed of great gifts. In this anthology for all ages, join a young girl who must protect those she loves most from a powerful evil, a young goddess who must decide whether to embrace her powers, and a young boy who must choose between superpowers and loyalty. This latest volume demonstrates why Adventures Fantastic says: “If you haven’t checked out Fiction River yet, you should. There’s something for everyone.”