The theme is winter, and the Thalia Press Authors Co-op rises to the occasion, digging deep into their devious imaginations with short stories of cold, ice, mystery, and of course unexplained homicide.
Eight established crime authors and eight chilling stories to send shivers down your spine: The anthology, Dead of Winter, edited by Katy Munger and Lise McClendon, will release next week as an e-book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Enjoy this collection of intriguing, surprise-filled stories full of buried secrets, back-stabbing and revenge — all set against the wintry backdrop of the cruelest season.
Sarah Shaber brings back historian Simon Shaw in Flesh Upon the Mountains, a story set in the backwoods of North Carolina. Simon’s cousin asks him to investigate his ex’s new fiancé, a flamboyant TV preacher with a dubious past. Is he a holy man in love – or is he hiding the darkest of secrets?
Kate Flora’s Bone China offers up a deceptively innocent account of a loyal wife. She’s a hardworking potter by trade while her husband is, well, something of a handsome bastard with a lifelong flair for mooching. Will she ever discover his true colors or is the wife always the last one to know? Bone China is wicked fun.
Feathersmith’s Excellent Plan by L.A.-based crime writer Gary Phillips brings readers into the world of Charlie Feathersmith, an electronic space salesman with an unexpectedly colorful past who recognizes a fellow traveler in a deli one day and can’t help but turn his mind to murderous thoughts. Think of this story as Walter Mitty meets James Bond – and expect to be surprised along the way.
In The Honey Trap, Rory Tate (a.k.a. Lise McClendon) gives us reporter Mimi Raynard in a prequel to her new thriller, Jump Cut. Set the winter before, Tate’s story begins when a snowstorm hits Seattle at Christmas and quickly heats up when Mimi interviews a source for her television producer ex-husband. The source’s secrets turn out to be unexpectedly explosive and ultimately tragic. Good thing she wore her red heels to get him to spill all.
Taffy Cannon writes about Aunt Betty, a beloved icon in a family beset by tragedy. Iced is the story of a young woman who finds out, far too late, that while the truth can be hidden for years, and sometimes even generations, it is nearly always eventually discovered. Set in the midwest during an ice storm, Iced proves it is possible to re-write history after all.
Brynn Bonner, winner of the Robert L. Fish award from Mystery Writers of America, writes about a North Carolina investigative reporter in High Postage. When a woman tries to free a convicted murderer, she’s viewed as a hopelessly naïve patsy blinded by love by both the reporter and her readers. But could the young woman actually be right about her beloved? Or, worse, more wrong than anyone thought possible? High Postage keeps readers guessing all the way through to a shocking conclusion.
Southern noir thriller writer J.D. Rhoades weighs in with I’ll Be Home For Christmas – a fascinating look at what happens when lowlifes locked in the fast lane collide with local law enforcement desperately hoping to take the high road for Christmas. Evocative, colorful and all-too-real, this holiday story will have you turning on all the lights before you enter your house and checking the bottom of your Christmas stocking for a concealed .38.
In Library of Souls, Katy Munger (a.k.a. Chaz McGee) gives us another fascinating glimpse into the world of Kevin Fahey, a dead detective who is seeking redemption in a lonely afterworld centered around righting the mistakes he made while drinking his way through a botched career on the force. When Fahey encounters another ghost at the funeral of a young girl and recognizes him as a career pedophile he busted long ago, the dead detective unexpectedly discovers that, just like the living, ghosts are not always what they seem.
Watch for DEAD OF WINTER: out November 15 for your Kindle and Nook. Just in time for reading by the fire!