Saturday, 25 October 2014

#CoffinHop Day 2: Legends and Lore Spotlight

For Coffin Hop today, dear readers, we venture into the land of myth as I present a new anthology that I am privileged to be a part of, Legends and Lore: An Anthology of Mythic Proportions. I have a spotlight, the book trailer, and I do quick review of the book. So enjoy...

Delve into myth and legend, where the Fates force post-modern man into a world of the unknown—a world long since dismissed as ignorant superstition.

Legends and Lore: An Anthology of Mythic Proportions

  • The Brother-Sister Fable by Alyson Grauer: a young boy disappears into a realm where only his sister can follow.
  • Faelad by Sarah Hunter Hyatt: Claire Whitaker didn’t even know she was Irish, let alone The Morrigan, the goddess of war.
  • By Skyfall by Emma Michaels: a mer-couple from Atlantis find themselves in the middle of a human murder investigation.
  • Charon’s Obol by. R. M. Ridley: Jonathan Alvey didn’t believe in gods, until he helps a lost child find her all-powerful parents.
  • Peradventure by Sarah E. Seeley: a jinni must choose between the woman he loves and destroying the city that persecuted her.
  • Natural Order by Lance Schonberg: when Carlos Vasquez is kidnapped, he discovers powers within himself to change the world.
  • Two Spoons by Danielle E. Shipley: A little girl’s soul meets its match in the family diner’s most mysterious patron.
  • Grail Days by A. F. Stewart: Living forever has its drawbacks, especially when you spend it clearing away the messes of other immortals.
  • Downward Mobility by M. K. Wiseman: they say love conquers all, but can it save a Valkyrie when she breaks all the rules?

Legends and Lore: An Anthology of Mythic Proportions

If you like your paranormal and urban fantasy chocked full of gods, goddesses, and legends then this anthology is a perfect fit. Nine talented authors bring ancient myth into the modern era, deftly mixing magic into our everyday reality and beyond. All the stories have a unique voice, from a touch of fairy tale in The Brother-Sister Fable to detective noir in Charon’s Obol (think Harry Dresden meets Phillip Marlowe for that one), and much, much more.
My favourite tale in this anthology (and that was a difficult choice) would have to be Two Spoons. I loved the soft, well-crafted atmosphere of the narrative and the setting, and the creative take the author used for a distinctive “deal with the devil” story.

Legends and Lore is a fantastic book, and I highly recommend it.

 Legends and Lore: An Anthology of Mythic Proportion

Charon’s Obol

She came further into the room and stood beside the chair on the other side of his desk.
“I just want to be with my mom and dad. Please, Mr. Alvey?”
“Why did you come to me, kid?”
“Because you’re my best hope of finding them.”
He leaned against the side of his desk.
“And why’s that?”
“Because you’re a magician,” she stated as calmly as one might when talking about the weather.
“Magicians pull rabbits out of their hats. I don’t own a hat.”
“Then, a sorcerer, wizard, conjurer—you’re a Magos, Mr. Alvey.”
He wondered how she knew the ancient Greek term. The accepted term for the past few centuries was practitioner, but what did names matter?
“There’s no such thing, kid,” he lied to her.
 “Sure there is,” she chirped.
“What makes you so sure?”
“Because you are one. It’s obvious to anyone who looks.”

Natural Order

Carlos hissed as the wound burned for a moment before a roar washed over his ears, a thousand years of wind rustling through the trees drowning a stream of curses from Megan. His vision narrowed to the string of blood extending from the wound, bulging at the bottom as it stretched, reaching for the stony beach below them. The second drop came faster, racing to catch the first. As the third slipped free, one joined it from Megan’s hand, the two drops striking rock together just before the leading edge of a wave licked high enough to catch them. The wave pulled back, tiny swirls of blood leaving with it.


Delilah stood rooted to the gritty mud floor of her hut with a mixture of awe and terror as a goliath of a creature with pointed, bat-like ears and glowing yellow orbs for eyes reached for her with a massive hand through the night’s darkness. That hand could have easily crushed her throat or broken her neck before she could think to scream. But she didn't scream. And the giant, claw-like fingers merely stroked back the hair that had fallen into her face.

Two Spoons

“What can I get you?” he asked.
The Black Man answered, “The girl.”
The pen over the notepad in Tidbit’s father’s hand paused in the air. “I don’t believe we have any girl on the menu.”

Grail Days

She waded back into the lake and slowly levitated above the surface until she hovered about three feet in the air. Above us, the sky darkened, the clouds turning the shade of soot, and the air thickened with the smell of ozone. Vivienne moaned, a hoarse, guttural sound, and began to spin violently. A whoosh of lake water ascended, sucked into a gyrating whirlwind, a waterspout funnel that surrounded her. Lightning flashed, the air temperature dropped, and the howling wind bent the trees. I could barely breathe, and I saw Morgan crouched nearly double.
Then the tempestuous weather ceased abruptly, and the sun warmed the cerulean sky again. Vivienne stopped whirling, and water plunged down in a cascading splash that sent a spray of mist over the shore. She faced us, her arms outstretched, and her eyes shone with an unnatural silver light. I knew she’d connected with . . . something.

Legends and Lore: An Anthology of Mythic Proportions

On the Isle of Sound and Wonder by Alyson GrauerAlyson Grauer

Alyson Grauer is a storyteller in multiple mediums, her two primary canvases being the stage and the page. On stage, she is often seen in the Chicago area, primarily at Piccolo Theatre, Plan 9 Burlesque, and the Bristol Renaissance Faire. Her nonfiction work has been published in the “Journal for Perinatal Education” for Lamaze International. Her short fiction can be found in Tales from the Archives (Volume 2) for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences and in one other anthology from Xchyler Publishing, Mechanized Masterpieces: A Steampunk Anthology. Alyson is a proud graduate of Loyola University of Chicago and hails originally from Milwaukee, WI. Her debut novel, On The Isle of Sound and Wonder, will be released in November 2014 from Xchyler Publishing.

A Dash of Madness: A Thriller AnthologySarah Hunter Hyatt

Sarah Hunter Hyatt grew up outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. As a child, she kept notebooks of stories that she would share with her little sisters at bedtime. Now, an adult, her stories have matured but still occupy her thoughts (and notebooks). “Faelad” is Sarah’s second short story for Xchyler Publishing, her first being “Stunner” which appeared in A Dash of Madness: a Thriller Anthology. Along with writing, being a mom to three wonderful kids, and a wife to a patient husband, she also dabbles in graphic design.

Emma Michaels

Emma Michaels is a cover artist, blogger, and author of the Society of Feathers series. Her love of blogging started when she created a book blog in 2009 which gave her the courage to finally submit her own novels to publishers. Emma Michaels’ publications now include Owlet and Eyrie (Tribute Books), Holiday Magick Anthology (Spencer Hill Press), and Cirque d’Obscure Anthology, and Cogs in Time Anthology (Crushing Hearts Black Butterfly). To find out more stop by

Tomorrow Wendell, Book 1 of The White Dragon Black seriesR. M. Ridley

R. M. Ridley lives in rural Ontario on a small homestead, raising a menagerie of animals, including a flock of sheep and a swarm of foul. He has been writing stories, both long and short, for three decades, the themes of which range from the gruesome to the fantastical. As an individual who suffers from severe bipolar disorder, Ridley is a strong believer in being open about mental health issues because myths should be kept to stories. Ridley's first short story featuring Jonathan Alvey, "A Case for Custody," appeared in Shades and Shadows: A Paranormal Anthology (2013), followed by Tomorrow Wendell, Book 1 of the White Dragon Black series (2014). He has two works slated for release in 2015, including Books, Bourbon, and Blondes, an anthology of White Dragon Black short stories, and another full length novel, Book 2 of the White Dragon Black series.

Sarah Seeley

Through two wonderful mentored research experiences, Sarah E. Seeley had the opportunity to work with dead sauropods and ancient odonates while acquiring her undergraduate degree in geology from Brigham Young University. She hopes to study more dead things in the future and contribute to scientific discussions about what makes life on Earth so amazing. In the meantime, she explores the bright side of being human by writing dark fiction. Sarah’s independently published works include Maladaptive Bind and Blood Oath: An Orc Love Story. Another short story, “Driveless,” appears in “Leading Edge Magazine” Issue #66.
You can learn more about Sarah on her writing blog at

Lance Schonberg

In the middle of lecturing one of his children on the importance of following dreams, Lance began to wonder why and when he’d stopped following his. Gathering up a few salvageable shreds of unfinished stories, he began his first novel. He’s written several novels and many shorter works in the years since, and has had twenty or so stories see publication. At any given moment Lance is working on a novel and at least one short story—probably more—most of which fall into the broad buckets of science fiction or fantasy.
Lance can be found lurking on his blog at, on Twitter as @WritingDad, and sometimes even on his Facebook author page.

Danielle E. Shipley

Danielle E. Shipley's first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. . . . Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She's also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble.
Danielle blogs at

A. F. Stewart

A steadfast and proud sci-fi and fantasy geek, A.F. Stewart was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada and still calls it home. The youngest in a family of seven children, she always had an overly creative mind and an active imagination. She favours the dark and deadly when writing—her genres of choice being dark fantasy and horror—but she has been known to venture into the light on occasion. As an indie author she’s published novellas and story collections, with a few side trips into poetry and nonfiction. Stewart's first published work with Xchyler Publishing, "Our Man Fred," appeared in Mechanized Masterpieces: A Steampunk Anthology (2013).
SMechanized Masterpieces: A Steampunk Anthologytewart is fond of good books, action movies, sword collecting, geeky things, comic books, and oil painting as a hobby. She has a great interest in history and mythology, often working those themes into her books and stories.

M. K. Wiseman

M. K. Wiseman is a librarian who recently decided that it would be fun to try her hand at the creation of books instead of mere curation. A 'method' writer, she likes to first try out the worlds that she builds. This has, admittedly, led to some strange results. (For example, she once elicited funny looks at her daily coffee shop by adopting a British accent for one day. We're all in trouble once she decides to write a space novel.) Wiseman's first short story for Xchyler Publishing, "Clockwork Ballet," appeared in Mechanized Masterpieces: A Steampunk Anthology (2013).
In addition to the dozens of stories currently marinating on her hard drive, she maintains two blogs, Flying the Blue Pigeon and Millicent and Rue.

 Legends and Lore: An Anthology of Mythic Proportions

So that's all for me today, be sure to come back tomorrow for my annual Dark Poetry Corner; I have some delightfully dismal ones this year, plus a group poem.

And don't forget to check out the other Hoppers at where you'll find the Official List. (Oh, and there's also my contest; one of the prizes is a paperback of Legends and Lore).


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fantastic anthology Anita!

CA Verstraete said...

Sound like some good stories! Happy Coffin Hopping!

A. F. Stewart said...

Thanks, Julianne. There's some very talented authors in it.

A. F. Stewart said...

Happy Coffin Hopping to you too, Christine, and thanks.

DarcNina said...

The stories sound terrific, the authors all sound great, and the cover is beautiful. The anthology looks great. I wish you and all the other authors great success with it!

Happy Hopping!

A. F. Stewart said...

Thanks. I agree the cover is fantastic; Xchyler Publishing has recruited some talented artists for the covers. You should check out the cover art for their newest novel ON THE ISLE OF SOUND AND WONDER. Absolutely stunning:

James Garcia Jr said...

The collection really does sound great. I would love the chance to read it.
Happy Coffin Hopping!


A. F. Stewart said...

Xchyler Publishing does know how to do a great anthology, James. And Happy Coffin Hopping back at you.

bn100 said...

Interesting books

A. F. Stewart said...

Thank you.

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