Four Stories to Kick Off Your New Year!

Apparently, I should go on vacation more often—because while I was traveling and visiting family for the Christmas and New Year holidays, four of my short stories were published!

Normally, I’d spotlight each publication individually, but since they all happened in such a tight time frame, I figured I’d tell you about all of them at once.

You can read two of these publications for free (hooray!)—and the other two are part of benefit anthologies with all the proceeds going to two very deserving charities.

First up, my romantic short “Anything But Plain” is included in the Giftmas 2018 Advent Anthology, published by Rhonda Parrish and benefiting the Edmonton Food Bank. Read all about the fundraiser and the advent theme HERE. And yes, while we already surpassed our fundraising goal for December 2018 – and you can read all the stories for free on Rhonda’s blog –  all proceeds from the sale of the anthology itself will continue to go to the food bank. (And bonus, you’ll have them all in one place, so they’re extra easy to read.) So, if you dig the idea of reading a super diverse anthology with stories across genres (for a good cause!), check it out in either ebook or paperback format!

Secondly, my sad but sweet, punk-tinged meditation on teenage grief, “Unspoken Words,” was published in Christmas Lites VIII. This anthology, compiled by Amy Huntley, benefits the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The collection is family friendly (PG13 at most!) and features some stories by kiddos, too! Right now, the anthology is only available in ebook format, but I believe a print version is forthcoming.

Next, my drabble “All That Glitters” graced the Christmas edition of Trembling with Fear, which you can read for free online. Not for the faint of heart, Trembling with Fear keeps the merry scary going with stories of maniacal elves, age-old hauntings, revenge, and, in my micro-story, a grave decision.

Lastly, you can read my image-inspired flash fiction piece, “Le Cauchemar Vivant,” on Nina D’Arcangelo’s blog as part of the Ladies of Horror Flash Project. Can I scare you in less than 1,000 words? Check out my story to find out!

And with that, I’m off and writing into the New Year! On the docket so far for 2019 – a superhero origin story, a trilogy of M/M vampire romance novellas, some Black Mirror-inspired shorts, and much, much more.

Wishing you all a happy new year!

Buy a Book, Impact a Life

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As the holidays near, it’s easy to get caught up in buying presents, visiting friends and family, and building the best snowman anyone has ever seen (out of snow if the climate permits and marshmallows if it doesn’t). It’s easy to forget that there are others out there who can’t get caught up in holiday cheer, because of, well, hard doses of life.

Today, my short story “Devour” is published in an anthology titled Christmas Lites V.

I know what you’re thinking. Another plug for your work, Tiffany? But what about all the feels in that intro paragraph? You sound all kinds of entitled right now.

While this blog post is a way for me to share the news of the publication of “Devour,” it’s also a call to action. Because every cent of the proceeds of Christmas Lites V goes to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).

According to their website, “NCADV is the voice of victims and survivors. We are the catalyst for changing society to have zero tolerance for domestic violence. We do this by effecting public policy, increasing understanding of the impact of domestic violence, and providing programs and education that drive change.”

The NCADV works with the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to financially assist survivors of domestic violence who may not be able to afford reconstructive plastic surgery. They memorialize the victims of abuse through their Remember My Name project. They provide tool kits, in conjunction with The Feminist Women’s Health Center and the National Organization for Men Against Sexism, to help bridge the gap between the fields of reproductive health and domestic violence, educating others about reproductive coercion. They provide financial independence materials to survivors to help them rebuild and maintain financial stability. In short, they do really important work.

So Christmas Lites V is more than a book. It’s a way to support an incredibly worthwhile organization. While you read “A Tale of Two Urchins” by A.F. Stewart, “The Krampus Tree” by Douglas Wynne, or “Keeping Christmas” by Alana Lorens, know that you’re not only enjoying great fiction (donated by each and every author) but also helping to support NCADV’s important programs.

And I’m pretty sure there’s something for everyone in this anthology. All genres are represented – romance, fantasy, horror, action, children’s stories, stories written by children, and more.

Of course, I wrote a horror story. I tried to write something light and lovely for the holidays, but it simply didn’t work. Instead, I wrote about love that’s begun to fade, dark, foreboding woods, and the dangers of skepticism. Here’s a little excerpt from “Devour”:

“Through the Plexiglas of the phone booth, Melody Halliday peered into the dark of the wood – into its empty boughs and dead promises, beyond its gnarled, labyrinthine birch wood limbs, deep into the very heart of it – and felt nothing but utter skepticism. And pity, too. Pity that the provincial town of Einn in Iceland found debilitating fear in something so banal.

‘I’m surprised they haven’t burned the woods to the ground,’ Melody said into the receiver. ‘They say the mannaeta’s spirit lives in the bark of the trees, hibernating all year until Christmas Eve rolls around. Then, it take half-human, half-wood demon form for one night to feed on someone in Einn. Happy cannibal Christmas.’

‘How very jolly,’ Eddie Beckett, Melody’s boyfriend, said from across the Atlantic Ocean. His voice sounded honeyed. He’d been drinking. Pub drafts, no doubt, frothy ones laden with hops. Melody salivated at the thought of a crisp pint. There was no beer in Einn, not around this time of year.

‘It gets better. They systematically starve themselves here,’ Melody said. ‘Begins the first day of December. They eat as little as possible. They don’t want to entice the mannaeta with their wobbly bits.’

“Well, yours certainly entice me,’ Eddie said, humor in his voice.

Melody choked on an empty chuckle and cleared her throat, embarrassment and frustration warming her cheeks. Why was she so bloody uncomfortable? Her boyfriend of three years flirting openly with her should have sent her over the moon. Throttling through space with joy. But it didn’t. Instead, his frisky jest made her stomach twitch with nervousness.”

And you’ll have to purchase a copy of Christmas Lites V to see what happens to Melody, Eddie, the sleepy little town of Einn, and its resident wood-demon, the mannaeta.

If you want a hard copy, CLICK HERE!

If you want a Kindle copy, CLICK HERE!

Purchasing this book to support NCADV is the best Christmas/holiday gift anyone could give me. Thank you in advance for your generosity and support.

Happiest of holidays to you all!