Monday, July 1, 2024

Phoenixes Featured

Quick stop to share that two anthologies released recently, one featuring my short story "Fountain and Fire" and one featuring my artwork.

You can read "Fountain and Fire" in Legendary: Havok Season Ten. The story takes my characters Melinda and Kalek from Toch Island Chronicles on an adventure at The Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, Florida. Awesome phoenix cover art by Kirk DouPonce. Purchase the paperback or ebook on Amazon.

And the current issue of Spaceports & Spidersilk features my colored pencil drawing of a phoenix, so we've got a bit of a theme this month. You can purchase this issue on Amazon or directly from Hiraeth Publishing.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Three Published Stories in Three Days!

 Three anthologies released this past week with short stories of mine inside!

Another HAVOK anthology, Vice & Virtue, features my flash fiction "First Impression." This story goes along with "Dude" which you can read HERE for free on Wattpad. You can purchase Vice & Virtue on Amazon.

Ring of Fire contains my story "Fire Wall" that was originally published in The Absent Willow Review (an online magazine that has since closed its doors). In "Fire Wall" a literal wall of fire has appeared, surrounding a city, and a mysterious stranger offers a means of escape.

You can purchase Ring of Fire on Amazon.

And last but not least, my story "Darkness" (which originally appeared in Realmscapes) is featured in Florida Tech's latest issue of their literary magazine Kaleidoscope. This is a magazine that is given out on campus, so I don't know if/how you can get a copy, but you can read a few old issues for free here. What is exciting for me about this one is that my story won their contest for best prose in this issue!

It was pretty fun this past week having three releases and receiving my author copies all within three days of each other. That doesn't happen often. Now, I've got to get to work finding homes for the next batch...

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

New Published Short Stories

The latest issue (Winter 2022) of NewMyths features my flash fiction story "More Than Skin Deep." 

Here's a taste:

Taela stood at the pond’s edge, watching her son swim, her bare toes sinking into the wet soil. Sand clung to her calves, and her sleeveless tunic whispered around her in the warm afternoon breeze. It was their private place, hidden deep in the forest where the other Elven never followed.

The barely rippling surface reflected her image in broken waves—an image cross-sectioned by the tattoos covering her skin like colored lace. Neither the water nor the tattoos did anything to hide the unusual paleness of her Elven skin. Her onyx eyes were a vivid contrast, and the points of her ears were all that identified her heritage. Maybe that was why she felt compelled to trim her hair so short—no one could deny her place when confronted with those Elvish peaks.

She lifted her gaze from her reflection to Calen a few yards in front of her. Taela smiled as she watched him splash in the shallow water. He looked like any other Elven child out there, where no one could see the frail legs beneath him, the narrow ribcage that held a heart beating with the passion of someone ten times his size.

CONTINUE HERE to read the rest for free. 

HAVOK's latest anthology, Animal Kingdom: Havok Season Seven, released in October 2022, and it features my flash fiction story "The Placebo Effect." This sci-fi story will appeal to anyone creative, especially if you know what it's like to have a creative block. As usual, the cover art is lovely!

And the soon-to-release Chicken Soup for the Soul: Lessons Learned from My Dog features my story "A Promise Kept." This is the story of how taking in a neighbor's dog temporarily guaranteed she ended up at the home she really needed, and that really needed her. 

Stay tuned, as I'll be announcing a couple more short story releases in the not too distant future. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Cover Art: A Superhero for Christmas

I've asked author H.L. Burke to post today about the cover art for her upcoming release, A Superhero for Christmas, part of her Superhero Rehabilitation Project series. 

Here's what she has to say:

I definitely know better than to attempt my own art. Both my daughters are (for their age) pretty good at drawing, but I have no attention to visual details, so generally speaking, I just give a vague idea to my cover artist and let them come up with something. I like to be surprised.

For my superhero universe, however, I always knew I wanted artwork that could reasonably fit in a comic book page, so drawn figures of people instead of photo manipulation or graphic design-type work.

I’ve known K.M. Carroll (on Deviant Art as NetRaptor… you should check her out. She’s got her own webcomic too, and she’s done the artwork for this series ever since. I like the illustrated style because it feels comic-booky without looking like it
is for kids (except for maybe the YA series which IS arguably for kids).

Sometimes I’ll just give her a general list of traits, but for this one, I actually had casting in mind
for the characters. This is rare for me. Most actors or known people are too attractive to be my
characters who I generally imagine as everyday people, but with Glint, who is supposed to be
an overly charming, Superman stand-in with a sparkling smile and kind of a cheesy charisma, I
always felt he needed to be played by Nathan Fillion–and for the laughs, since this is a Hallmark
movie, I decided that the female lead would be Maggie Lawson (from Psych as well as some
Hallmark movies). I specifically asked for characters who looked a little like those actors but not
enough that I could be sued for using their likenesses without permission.
I love what she came up with.

Marvel hero action collides with Hallmark Holiday goodness in this new superhero romantic
comedy by Award-Winning author H.L Burke. Launches November 5th, 2022!

A Superhero for Christmas

When superhero, Glint's, aka Henry Nichols's, powers go on the fritz after a supervillain attack,
he finds himself rethinking his priorities. Years of devotion to public service have left him with
little for himself, and with forty swiftly approaching, he finds himself longing for his youth on his
grandfather's farm. An incognito vacation is just what he needs.

Former reporter Lara Landis lost her career and her only long-term relationship all in one
humiliating blow. Broke and rudderless, she retreats to her parents' small town grocery store to
try and make one last career rally, but how is she going to get a big scoop living in the middle of
nowhere? When a poorly disguised superhero lands in her neighborhood, insisting that he's just
a normal guy, she can't help but smell a story.

As their chance encounters turn into a begrudging friendship, Lara is surprised to find a caring,
sincere human beneath Henry's press-conference-ready exterior. When the truth comes out,
though, her big story could turn into his worst nightmare.

What readers are saying about A Superhero For Christmas:
Hallmark and Marvel got together to have a baby, Superhero for Christmas. An adorable
heart-warming cozy read for the reader looking for some superhero charm with their
Christmas, romance, and superheroes...this story lifted my heart up, up, and away!~Ernie
Laurence, Jr, author of the Islands of Loar series.
A cozy Christmas rom-com with superheroes... it doesn’t get better than this! ~ Brianna
This story has all of the feels with, thankfully, not a thing that was sappy. This is how I have
always wished Hallmark holiday stories were written. ~ Veronica Lynn, AKA Mrs. Spellsmith

About the Author:
H. L. Burke has written more books than she can count—because she's written a lot of books,
not just because she can't count very high. Easily distracted by shinies, she has published in many subgenres including fantasy romance, Steampunk, and superhero, and always creates story worlds with snark, feels, and wonder. Married to her high school crush, she spends her time writing, spoiling her cat, and supervising her two supervillains in training (aka her precocious daughters). An Oregon native, she wilts without trees and doesn't mind the rain. She is a fan of delicious flavor, a follower of the Light, and a believer in happily ever after.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Altered Additions -- My Newest Altered Thrift Paintings

Just popping on to share some of the newest art you can find on my Etsy shop. Prints (8x10) are available of all these.

My altered thrift painting featuring the most hard-working sponge on the bottom of the ocean. 

I'll leave it up to you to decide if Gary is running for help, or running away...

This is a painting I found that absolutely screamed for me to add Steampunk elements. I mean, look at that frame! (The original is not listed on Etsy, but I just had to show off the frame. 8x10 prints are available.)

And another adventure for our little green alien.

To find prints of these and more, visit

Monday, July 11, 2022

Mark the Days on Mysterion

My short story "Mark the Days" is featured on Mysterion Magazine today! 

Here's a taste...

Denver blinked against the sunlight blaring through his bedroom window, resisting the urge to pull the thick comforter over his face. Moments later, the sunlight shut off. He blinked more, seeing nothing but pitch black for several seconds. As his eyes adjusted to the dark, the furniture in his room appearing as deeper shadows, he noticed the hum of an engine coming from outside.

Blast it, Jerry. Denver groaned and flipped over on his stomach, scrunching his eyes shut again. Why could his housemate never remember to park on the other side when he came home at this time of morning? His headlights lined up exactly with Denver’s window, sending blinding light through the curtains.

The engine cut off, and soon the front lock clicked, followed by the slam of the door against the wall. Then the clomp of Jerry’s boots down the hardwood floor of the hallway that led to Jerry’s room on the other side of the house.

Denver lifted his head and glanced over at the clock. Three-thirty. He exhaled, glad he at least wouldn’t have to deal with Jerry in the morning. Jerry would sleep in, not rising until long after Denver headed to the office. Then he’d be gone again when Denver got home. Jerry working nights meant Denver had the house to himself most evenings. Simple blessings…

The alarm blasted Denver from a heavy sleep, and he grunted as he slammed the off button. Shoving the comforter aside, he dragged himself over to the edge of the bed. When his feet hit the floor, he let out a sigh. Mornings sucked. Even more so with lack of sleep.

When he reached the kitchen, the barest hint of sunrise lit the window, enough to see the coffee maker. He switched it on, listening to the gurgle of heating water with anticipation. While he waited, he snagged a marker from the mug on the counter and marked off the day on the calendar.

Jerry’s snicker startled him, and he spun around to find Jerry slouched over the breakfast bar, coffee in hand. Denver’s own cup sat steaming on the countertop. The room was brighter than five-thirty would allow.


Denver rubbed his forehead. Had he dozed off standing there?

“Dude,” Jerry said, “you okay?” His blond hair flopped over one eye, and he brushed it back, only to have it flop again.

“What? Yeah. Fine.” But Denver didn’t feel fine. He looked at the calendar he’d just marked. May fifteenth. That wasn’t right. He’d skipped a day.

Jerry snickered again. “I know, I know. You’re fine as long as your little ritual is done. Mark each day, every day. Perfect little X over the number…” He shook his head, eye peeking intermittently from behind his swinging bangs.

Denver stared at the calendar, the number 14 clearly visible with no perfect little X. “You see everything marked through today?” he asked, hoping the alarm didn’t show in his voice.

“Of course.” Jerry slid from the barstool and dumped his mug into the sink. As he walked past, he elbowed Denver’s arm. “What’s wro—I mean…” His voice dropped. “Never mind.” He didn’t say anything more and ducked through the door that led from the kitchen to the back porch. Which would make sense if it were May fifteenth because the fifteenth was Wednesday, Jerry’s day off. He only slept in on the days he had to work.

How was it May fifteenth, though?

To keep reading, visit

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Worth Re-reading: Jinx by Sage Blackwood

Have you ever re-read a book or series and discovered that the second time around it just didn't do as much for you? That's happened to me several times. I've bought a series and kept it on my shelf, only to re-read it later and end up donating the books to the library's used bookstore.

That's NOT the case for me with this series. 

I originally got the first book, Jinx, way back when I was in the Amazon Vine program. I loved it so much, I bought the next two as they released. And recently, I dove back in, not sure if it would end for me the way it has with other series.

It only took a couple of chapters, though, for me to remember why I kept these books in the first place.

The story world is so cool -- the Urwald with its mystical trees and the Clearings where the people of the Urwald dwell. The "evil" magician Simon, smart but cursed Elfwyn, and of course Jinx, the unlikely hero who makes you want to take him under your wing as soon as you meet him.

This is a series I've recommended to many parents in the past when they're looking for books for middle schoolers and upper elementary kids. And now, well, I will be doing so even more emphatically!

Find the series on Amazon.