Hello, today I’m the blog tour stop for Twisted Realities Blog Tour!!
Please enjoy your stay!!!
Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity is a collection of stories written by various authors who chose to take on the challenge of bringing the myths of old to a new and modern level. The stories in the anthology reflect the genesis of their selected myth, as well as the varying ways in which each author chose to use their own voice to pull that story into a modern day setting. Admittedly, this was not an easy task. It is much easier to write from your own imaginings than it is to create a worthy re-telling of someone else’s tale.
When the topic of Mythological Horror came up as a possible anthology theme, we were all very intrigued by the idea of what each author would do with a legend given the chance to re-write it. Would we recognize the story they chose to write about without being told what it was, or would we be left in the dark to figure out the origin of their mythological inspiration. It would seem, based on the number of responses we received for this collection, that many of the writers who read our open call for submissions found the topic just as fascinating as we did.
Given the number of creatively re-imagined stories that we received, it was an extremely difficult task to choose only twelve to include in this book. There were additional stories that were very well written and would have made excellent additions to this collection, but to be fair to the authors themselves, a limit needed to be set for the number of stories we could include. Being on the publishing side of the equation, we had the opportunity to experience all of the tales that came in, not just the twelve that made it to the final book. We greatly appreciate the number of talented individuals who chose to write for this collection.
With respects to producing the book itself, the elevated level of writing and creativity expressed in the submissions ensured it wasn’t an arduous task to produce a well rounded and intriguing anthology. The editorial process was a smooth one, all of the authors included are very talented writers, and were a pleasure to work with. As to the actual publishing process itself, again, as we publish both eBook and print-on-demand copies, it was just a matter of formatting with both our house style and the distributors regulations to produce the piece. Our house style is very simple, we have no desire to distort a well written piece; we only do this in the interest of consistency, respecting the author’s right to express themselves in the way they hope the reader will perceive the piece.
Overall, this anthology, like our last one, was a pleasure to create. We have a very simple standard at Sirens Call Publications – when it ceases to be a fun experience to pull these collections together, we will no longer do so. And so far, the authors, editors, creative design and formatting team have all been such a pleasure to work with that none of us at SCP see a day coming when we won’t enjoy the process.
Myth or reality…
Explore the twelve tales of horror and intrigue in Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity and ask yourself, what would you consider a fair price to pay for life immortal… or the chance of life at all?
Would a young woman pass up a shiny bauble if she believed it to be nothing more than a harmless trinket? What transpires once a year in a peaceful and remote village that no one will ever speak of? What better way for a broken man to honor a crippled existence than with a memorial of blood and vengeance? How could a disfigured woman ever dream of chancing across an object that would restore her beauty – and at what cost?
Follow the twists and turns of each writer as they delve into the legends of days gone by, as well as the consequences that are wrought when myths and monstrosities collide with our world.
Contributing Authors include:
Thomas James Brown, Nina D’Arcangela, K. Trap Jones, Amber Keller, Lisamarie Lamb, Edward Lorn, Alexa Muir, Kate Monroe, Joseph A. Pinto, J. Marie Ravenshaw, Julianne Snow, and Jonathan Templar
Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity is available at:
An excerpt from each of the twelve stories contained within Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity
It Lives In Us – Thomas James Brown
But it was not the haven they had envisaged. Such a place could not have existed, did not exist. How could it, except between the pages of the Good Book – or any book, for that matter? No; the winters were long, the nights dark and, whilst there was some shelter from the plague beneath the boughs of the trees, there was no outrunning sin. This was Lynnwood’s real legacy.
In those respects, little had changed. For three hundred and sixty four days of the year, Lynnwood was a pleasant enough place in which to live. Hemmed in by the ancient oaks, there was a very real sense of community, as tangible as the roots that wound their way beneath the moist forest mulch. The trees were not restricted to oaks, but beech too, and yew and holly; any naturalist’s dream. Together they kept the village their own, tucked away behind branch and thistle and trunk. There was but a single bus that went as far as Lyndhurst, which left and returned once each day, and one long, vermicular road. Those were the only ways in and out of the village. Traffic was unheard of. In the hottest months, the dead of summer, the locals would spill out from the pub into the middle of the high street, to drink and talk and celebrate the sun with local ales. Nobody worried about collisions or disruption. There was no need. It was simply the way of things.
Re-Emergence – Nina D’Arcangela
As the ship is tossed to and fro on the frothy angry sea, Michael leaned out, hands cupped to his mouth shouting a warning that he has seen her, for her not to be frightened, they will find a way to rescue her from the water’s angry clutches. As Michael bent further still over the rail in an effort to be heard above the din of the howling wind, the Captain gives orders to his first mate to take the wheel so that he may save his fool of a son before it is too late.
Just as the Captain relinquishes the wheel, the ship is hit by not one, not two, nor even three, but four consecutive waves that force a moan from deep within the bowels of the vessel, sounds of a cracking hull. In the same instant, the main Mast began to give way under the force of the onslaught. The tide of churning water that rushes across the deck knocks all off their feet, including the Captain and thankfully washing him and his first mate into the upper deck railing and not overboard.
When the Captain regains his footing, he looks around to assess the damage done to his vessel. Upon seeing the broken Mast, he calls out to Michael to come help him and the others move the massive piece of wood off the bodies of the men trapped below it. Rushing to the main deck, the Captain is not immediately aware of his sons’ absence. In the confusion that follows, no man can say for sure what exactly transpired, though one deck hand swears he saw the Captains son jump from the rail into the water just before the consecutive pounding of the waves began.
Mosaic – Jonathan Templar
Professor Callan was certainly unconcerned. He was humming a ditty, happily digging at the dirt with his trowel. Beneath their feet was slowly emerging the outline of what had once been a dwelling; a villa, in all likelihood. It was far from unique in this region. There were remnants of Roman settlements all over the surrounding countryside. But that didn’t diminish the excitement of finding a new one, at unearthing the remnants of an ancient life that had been given over to the elements.
Professor Callan held up a small piece of interesting debris to the light, dusted it down gently with a small brush.
“Anything?” asked Andrea.
“Triple-A battery,” Callan sniffed, and tossed it into the bucket of rubbish that was already half full.
“I’ve uncovered some fascinating detail over here, “Andrea told him. “There’s some sign of erosion, but it’s clearly a very detailed mosaic and the quality of the design is exceptional.”
Riddle Me Real – Lisamarie Lamb
She ignores me. It’s a curious tactic for a therapist. If she expects me to speak first, she will be disappointed. I can wait for her. Waiting. It’s what I’ve done for millennia. There’s no reason why I should rush anything now. We sit opposite one another, both outwardly relaxed in our matching leather chairs. Strangely, I can’t read her, or I would know whether this was an act or not. It is for me. I am nervous. I know what I want to say and yet I don’t know how to say it. I wonder if she can section me. I wonder if she should. She’s not a priest – she’s not bound by the confessional – so I have no idea whether she would tell on me. Of course, she would have to believe me first, and there’s the sticking point. I don’t think she will.
“So, why are you here?”
Her voice is as I thought it would be. Smooth, velvet. It is calming and cajoling, and I think I will tell her everything, despite my misgivings. Surely the worst that could happen would be a lifetime – many lifetimes – spent in a white walled hospital where I could rest and be at peace? That doesn’t sound so bad. I clear my throat.
Voices – Kate Monroe
No one believed in the gods of old. Maeve blamed the internet for the birth of the new wave of cynicism that had pervaded throughout the world she restlessly roamed. No one accepted anything at face value these days.
Magic was once widely acknowledged and respected; witches and warlocks were a common feature of every village that she cast her net over. Now it was no more than a child’s fairytale and literary escapism for those who quietly rebelled against the skepticism of the twenty first century. Even the lore of old was dismissed as old wives’ tales and uninformed mumbo-jumbo. What chance did the gods stand when to almost everyone they were intangible, inexplicable; and, in the truest sense of the word, incredible?
Maeve, though – or the being that wore the name of Maeve Regan – was a goddess. She had reveled, once, secure and resplendent in the soothing embrace of unfailing belief in who she was and what she stood for. Entire armies would fall at her feet and sing her praises, lifting their voices to the heavens in exaltation and fear. Oh, yes; fear! She shuddered in delight as she allowed herself a moment’s somber recollection.
Memorial – Joseph Pinto
“What I do…what I did…never constituted a job. A job does nothing to stir the soul. Only passion achieves such a state of grace.” The man inhaled deeply—of the bourbon or the proposal, left to dangle in air—Anthony was not sure. But he did not appreciate the smooth impassiveness across the man’s alabaster face. Did not appreciate it in the least.
“Yes. A job is measured by hours. But passion’s hours are timeless.”
“It seems your passion has nearly left you a cripple, while my job has left me a wealthy, wealthy man,” Anthony sneered.
“You are my brother, Anthony. And had you not been, I’d find your gaffe of words truly insulting.”
“At last, bravado found at the bottom of your glass. Is that the residue of passion, Nicholas, or merely passion’s inspiration?”
A thread’s breadth parted Nicholas’ lips as bourbon drizzled tongue. Eyes danced but to the song of another day, transfixed by noiseless, ghostly chords. “Some people wish to choose their vice. But for others, the vice chooses them.”
The Silver Comb – J. Marie Ravenshaw
Aisling pulled up close to the garage – knowing that both stalls would be in use – and turned off the car. She grabbed the groceries and her purse. Deciding to leave her books in the car -she didn’t need to crack them until Sunday anyway- she slid out and slammed the door behind her.
Aisling glanced toward the front door, mapping out the path she would take in the utter darkness. Out of the corner of her eye she saw a shadow flit by at the edge of the woods. She stopped dead in her tracks and turned toward the area. Narrowing her eyes, she yelled, “Who’s there?” No answer. Chills ran up her spine, making her shiver in response.
A thought crossed her mind, making her smile and immediately staving off her fear. She yelled again. “Cal? You messin’ with me again? ‘Cause if you are …” She shook her head and continued toward the front door.
As she stepped onto the bottom step, the porch light came on, illuminating the front yard and temporarily blinding her. She raised her arm to shield her face from the bright light. Her eyes widened as the front door opened to reveal…
Keine Solche Sache – Edward Lorn
“Parthenogenesis is a dream. Or a nightmare, depending on who you are talking to.” Johan Schmidt said. “Christians call this The Immaculate Conception. They believe that Mary, the mother of the baby Jesus, had never known the internal touch of a man. I believe the lady just cheated on her husband.”
The hotel banquet hall livened with short bursts of nervous laughter. Johan waited for them to subside before continuing.
“No other religion has this belief. Allah didn’t impregnate some unknowing woman. Buddha didn’t tiptoe through the tulips to drops seed in some impoverished house wife. And don’t get me started on Shiva! The Jewish community doesn’t even believe Jesus was the son of God. So, if you’re hearing this, and you are, in fact, Jewish, you think Mary was an unfaithful wife, too. Don’t you? That’s what I thought.”
More sporadic laughter.
“I may be German, but even you must admit I have a point. The Nazis – and yes, my family tree does contain one or two – researched the possibility of this Parthenogenesis. They wanted to make the super soldier, as it were. A cloned man, or woman – they were not sexist – with infinite powers. They theorized that if they could map and control the human genome, then they could unlock the ninety percent of the brain us normal bipedals could not.”
Hades and the Hydra – Amber Keller
It was business as usual. The day had started like any other. New York City was bustling with the normal activity of the big city at dawn. People already crowded the streets, business owners were busy with opening the many stores, and the street was filled with a never-ending stream of taxis and other vehicles. The cornucopia of smells that completed the city wafted in on a cool breeze. There was nothing different, as far as anyone knew. But in truth there was a sinister plan nearing fruition underneath the unsuspecting city.
In the depths of the Underworld, Hades sat in the vast expanse of a large, dark, cavernous room, on a throne built of obsidian bones. Cerberus, the three-headed dog, lay at his feet. snoring.
“Persephone, come to me.” Hades cracked his knuckles as he issued the command.
Persephone glided into the room, her head down. She crossed the expanse and knelt beside him.
“Today is the day that I shall finally have some fun,” he said as he stroked her silken hair.
A Fair Price – Alexa Muir
A splash sounded to Hannah’s left. She swung her head, her copper hair cascading over her neck, but saw only ripples in the water by the side of the pool. Puzzled, she got up from her comfortable perch and walked over to the pool’s edge. Though she peered intently into the pool’s depths, she saw nothing; the water was clear and sparkling all the way to the mosaic bottom. With an internal shrug, she decided to seek out Matt for herself.
Studying her nails as she wandered past the lounger, Hannah reached down one handed to pick up her book, only for her fingers to meet the wooden tabletop with a scrape. It wasn’t there. Grumbling, she went onto one knee and peered under the table, and then under the lounger. Still no book. She could have sworn she put it there. A little worm of unease slinked into her guts, but she decided to ignore it and continued her way around the house. She could hear Matt laughing and knew that Jess would be the source of the amusement.
“Jess, stop, get off, stop it!” The words came fractured between Matt’s laughter, and when Hannah came round the corner she saw that he was having a tug of war with Jess for the hose he’d been washing the paving with. It looked like Jess was winning.
Drakul – K. Trap Jones
My name is Drakul and I have become a lost cause, a faded shadow of my former self. I was once a loyal follower of Dionysus, the God of grape harvest and wine, until the others discovered my weakness. Immortality flows through my veins along with the wine, but only one of them actually helps me to erase the memories of my past. I turn to my friendly liquid for acceptance and for denial of what I have become. I am a satyr; half-goat, half-man, but a full drunkard. I am immortal, but death can greet me from the hands of any God.
The wine has become my only friend, for it is that within the goblet that I truly consider my companion; but alas, even he is not above betraying me on occasion. I had an unfortunate event that pushed me away from the glory of the Gods to where I find myself today. Before I wallow too deep in the present, allow me to reflect upon the past. For it is within the sands of time that my prosperity truly reigns supreme. It was within the protection of the Gods where I truly became gifted, but it was within the winery orchards where I found my betrayers.
The Plight of Phaylen Ponsford – Julianne Snow
Each thin layer of dirt removed had the potential to reveal a relic of a lost time; perhaps a treasure of incalculable value. Phaylen had wanted to be an archaeologist for as long as she could remember. The desire stemmed from the continual playback of a childhood favourite that still held her spellbound; good old Indy never let her down. With all of the bad things that had befallen Phaylen, Indy always remained a constant source of inspiration. Even after the fire.
It happened when Phaylen was nine. An electrical short in one of the wires connecting her favourite pink lamp with the frilly nightshade to the wall. It could have picked any point in its life to short out, but instead it chose a moment when a young Phaylen was sleeping next to it. Within that instant her life changed – in the worst possible way.
Gone were her frilly pink lamp, her bed that had once been covered in a pink and purple polka dotted bedspread, and all her toys. In their stead was just pain; both physical and emotional.
Phaylen had always been a heavy sleeper; a trait that her alcoholic mother had once considered a Godsend. In the wake of the devastation and the mounting medical bills, she began to consider it a curse.
It wasn’t long before she considered Phaylen cursed as well.