Welcome to the Night

A great philosopher once said, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Actually it was Albus Dumbledore. And we applaud him for that statement because it is inspiring and wise. But the goal of this little slice of internet is to find inspiration in the darkness. We will be writing short stories inspired by the most goose-bump-inducing art, poetry, and music we can find. We invite you to join us four times a month for tales that find happiness (and lots of other things — things with claws and teeth) in shadows. Cimmerian Tales is leaving the lights off.

Welcome to Cimmerian Tales. We hope you brought a flashlight!

Jen, Anne, Julie, Audrey, and Rebecca

Posting schedule:

Mondays – one writer will post a short story inspired by our shared prompt.
Wednesdays – one writer will talk about a book, or books, or music, or anything in the art realm that they’re enjoying.
Fridays – one writer will post anything they want. It’s No Rules Friday!
Months with five weeks – all the writers will join a group discussion on writing craft in the final week.

Find us elsewhere on the interwebs:

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Anne’s Book Club 14 – HARROWED Cover Reveal!

a Rafflecopter giveaway | Join the book buzz and use #WoodsviewMurders

Harrowed (The Woodsview Murders #1) by Brian Letendre & Jolene Haley (blurb):

Journalism Rule #1: Always report the story. Never become the story.

Avery Blair has accepted the fact that nothing exciting ever happens in her small town of Woodsview, Massachusetts. As the editor of the high school blog, she prays for something—anything—to come along that would make for a great headline.

When Beatrice Thompson’s body is found in the girls’ bathroom, Avery has her biggest story ever. The rumors circulating the school say that Beatrice took her own life, but Avery doesn’t believe it for a second. Her instincts prove true when the next day brings another body bag.

The tiny community of Woodsview has become the hunting ground for a killer known as the Harvester. The killer targets Avery and her classmates, stalking their every move and terrorizing them with morbid messages.

With the help of her boyfriend Jason, her best friend Quinn, and an aging detective who can’t keep her off the case, Avery dives head-first into her own investigation. She discovers that the secret of the Woodsview Harvester is buried in the town’s history and its annual Harvest Festival celebration. With every clue she uncovers, Avery grows closer to unmasking the killer—and becoming the next victim.

Avery Blair has finally found a story to die for…if she can stay alive long enough to write it.

More Info on Harrowed (The Woodsview Murders #1):

Releases: 09/22/15 by Horror Twins Press
Goodreads

About the Authors:

Brian LeTendre is the writer of the Parted Veil horror series, which includes Courting the King in Yellow, Lovecraft’s Curse, and Lovecraft’s Pupil.

A gaming, comics and horror lover, Brian has co-hosted and produced a podcast about geek culture called Secret Identity since 2006, producing well over 1000 hours of programming. He also hosts and produces three other podcasts about writing (See Brian Write), design and small business (Kitbash Radio) and gaming (Co-Op Critics).

In addition to podcasting, Brian has worked as a freelance games journalist, and currently writes a webcomic called Mo Stache, which can be read for free online and will be collected in print in 2016.

Brian lives and works in Massachusetts.

Twitter | Blog | Amazon | Podcasts

Jolene Haley is the author of the Woodsview Murders series, Harrowed (out 9/22/15) and Haunted, coming fall 2016. She’s also the curator of the best-selling horror anthology The Dark Carnival through Pen & Muse Press.

She runs a YA horror blog The Midnight Society, the author resource site Pen & Muse, and Hocus Pocus & Co., a small horror press. She writes every genre under the sun, but prefers horror.

When she’s not writing she can be found cuddling her two dogs and enjoying the beach, where she lives.

Twitter | Blog | Goodreads | Facebook

Audrey’s Cimmerian Tales Book Club

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Hello again. I hope you are having a lovely fall full of crunchy leaves, crisp air, and pumpkin filled treats. As you may remember from last year, I am a huge fan of NaNoWriMo (I usually fail but I love the challenge and camaraderie) so I am busy preparing which has left very little time for reading fiction. I have been researching which may *gasp* even lead to an outline… maybe. So most of the books I’ve read the past couple of weeks are about Ancient Egypt and the people unearthing Her secrets and I wish I had a stand out awesome book to share with you, but I don’t. At least not yet. Hopefully, I will have one by November. Or if you have a favorite book about Egypt, I would love some recommendations. But since I’m in a non-fiction phase at the moment, I will share my favorite non-fiction book with you: The Secret Life of Lobsters by Trevor Corson. He seamlessly blends the tales of the lobsters, the biologists who study them, and the lobster fisherman into a truly engaging read. I loved it. Ok, my NaNo stuff is calling me. Ta!

Anne’s No Rules Friday 13

ILoveMusicAround the world, students are headed back to school. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share ten (and I totally cheated) of my favorite lyric-free, orchestra-heavy soundtracks. Some of these were better for studying STEM subjects and some were better for studying non-STEM subjects (like art, history, and english).

Back-to-School Music Recommendations:

  1. Braveheart;  Legends of the Fall; and Troy composed by James Horner
  2. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon composed by Tan Dun and Yo-Yo Ma
  3. Dracula composed by Wojciech Kilar
  4. Gladiator and The Last Samurai composed by Hans Zimmer
  5. The Living Sea composed by Sting
  6. The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring; the Two Towers; and the Return of the King composed by Howard Shore
  7. Othello composed by Charlie Mole
  8. The Red Violin composed by John Corigliano
  9. A River Runs Through It composed by Mark Isham
  10. Snow White and the Huntsman composed by James Newton Howard

Because I like singing, I have a hard time studying to music with lyrics. However, thanks to Cimmerian Tales, I’ve gotten much better at writing to music with lyrics. I edit to classical composers like Brahms, Ravel, Schubert, Chopin, and Debussy (there’s a pattern there). And I rilly like house/techno/trance/dubstep for writing and editing. On loop.

What are some of your favorite CDs to listen to while studying or writing? Do you study or write to music or must it be absolutely silent?

*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Stay tuned for Julie’s No Rules Friday next week.

Anne’s Book Club 13

NearlyGonecover

NEARLY GONE by Elle Cosimano (summary from Amazon.com):

Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother’s job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone’s skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn’t trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance . . . on her.

Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn’t figure it all out soon—she’ll be next.

My Thoughts on NEARLY GONE by Elle Cosimano:

Nearly “Leigh” Boswell has one shot to leave her single mom and the trailer park behind her: a chemistry scholarship. To increase her odds, she tutors classmates. That is, until they start turning up dead with numbers painted, carved, or burned into their flesh. If that weren’t enough, Nearly also has the uncanny ability to know what a person’s feeling just by touching them. An ability she recoils from every time it happens.

Emotion is energy, and if energy is strong enough, it can travel between two points.

The mystery of whodunit holds out until nearly (pun intended) the last page with red herrings and surprises along the way. Nearly doesn’t know who she can trust, as her friends, enemies, and fellow classmates are all suspects—until they die—so like any good detective, I had to rely on my knowledge of “motive, opportunity, and means” to solve the mystery. The clues add up for the police and point them in Nearly’s direction. She overhears one officer telling one of her classmates to spy on her in exchange for a more lenient sentence. Reece Wheelen’s the perfect suspect: trouble with the law, a dark past, and involvement with the local drug dealer.

Throughout the book I tried to figure out why the cover title has a “43” in it. The reason is awesome and ties into both Nearly as a character and the book’s plot. I don’t want to say too much more, or I risk spoiling you. If you like mysteries, fast-paced books, a touch of magical realism, and a smart heroine, this book’s for you!

Audrey’s No Rules Friday

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Rusting © Copyright, Audrey Goshorn 2014. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

The Train

“Noah!” I scream and catch the back of his collar, choking him to a halt. “Those pennies’ll be hot.”

“Ow,” he whines.

“Well try thinkin’ for once in you life.” I’ve gone too far. He’s sniffling and smearing his runny nose all over his new ground suit. I sigh and my helmet fogs up a little. Putting a gloved hand on his shoulder, I try to pull him towards me, but he shrugs me off. “Just wait a few minutes, all right? Grandma’ll be mad if you burn your gloves.”

I walk off a couple yards, kicking rocks as I go. I like how they sound bouncing off the rusting metal of the old scrap yard. Howie and I found this place a couple years back, before he left for the mining colony. The sky is an impenetrable brown haze. I can’t tell where the sun is, but the info screen in my helmet says Noah and I have ten minutes before we need to high-tail it home for dinner.

There’s all sorts of things in the scrap yard. Some I recognize from school like cars and refrigerators, others I just guess at. It was a game Howie and I used to play.

“Hey, Howie,” I’d say. “What d’ya think that was for?”

And he’d say something like, “Honestly, Clarabelle! Can’t you tell? That is a tarfunkel. Obviously.”

I’d laugh and ask what it did. He always knew.

I hug myself as best as one can in a ground suit. It didn’t help. If I could see the stars, I still wouldn’t be able to find the rock Dad shipped Howie to. At the time I was grateful for Howie to have a job. I thought it meant we would have a life together.

A whistle reverberates through the yard, echoing against the walls of metal. I turn around but I’ve wandered far in the yard. My feet send clouds of dust pillowing into the air as I push myself as fast as I can. The whistle sounds again, closer. I skid to a halt before I run into a large metal cylinder. I’ve turned the wrong way.

“Noah!” I scream, but the whistle drowns out my voice.

Audrey’s Book Club

Hello Fellow Book Lovers!

I was so torn this week about whether I wanted to do my Book Club post about a specific book or do another Top 10 List (I was leaning towards my Top 10 Books for Preschoolers) and then I picked-up The Hoarders by Jean Stringham and I knew I had to share this book with you.

51baVnXEPPL[1] The Hoarders is the story of two young boys who do not have a stable home life. It is told from the viewpoint of Cheyenne, the older brother, as he explains all the details leading up to their current predicament. I loved how up close and personal the reader feels to Cheyenne and his family. I’m sure many of us remember being talked over as a child and it’s no different for Cheyenne; he experiences situations where adults are deciding his life without his input and often failing him as caretakers. What helps Cheyenne deal with these difficult situations with an amazing resiliency is that he is a great observer of adults. He learns to control what he can like keeping a hoard of food hidden in his backpack at all times. The story is often heart-breaking, but not only does it teach us as adults (or young adults) the importance of how our actions affect the young people in our lives, it teaches us about what is really important and how blessed many of us are. I hope you will pick this book up and give it a read.