New: Coppice and Brake!

A new anthology from Crone Girls Press, including a new story from Literary Underworld director Elizabeth Donald:

I’m really happy to be working with Crone Girls Press for the second time, as they published my story “In Memoriam” in Stories We Tell After Midnight back in October as a reprint. This release, Coppice and Brake, is a little less horror and more dark fantasy, and includes a brand-new short story from me titled “Shiny People.”

“Shiny People” was actually inspired by a panel at Archon 2019, in which we all shared “real-life” ghost stories. I told the stories of Isabel, the woman who was murdered in my house more than 100 years ago, and how we can always blame her when something breaks. Like the living room lamp, the boy’s mattress, the spatula and measuring cup, just in time for the apocalypse. Thanks, Isabel.

But there was a man in the audience who told a story I found so creepy, so fascinating, that I asked him afterward if he would mind if I wrote it as a short story. He said that was fine, as long as I named the little girl after his daughter. I was happy to do so.

I hope you enjoy “Shiny People” and the other stories in Coppice and Brake. It’s $10 from Literary Underworld for a limited time only, and if you prefer the pixel-version, you can get it for $1.99 right now on Amazon.

In the meantime, stay safe, stay home if you can, and wash those hands. Let’s live to make bad jokes about this another day.

— Elizabeth Donald

Coming soon: a new anthology featuring Elizabeth Donald

Gently he pushed her onto the bed and tucked the blankets around her. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I don’t like to go, but we grownups have to do that sometime.”

“Okay Daddy.” She rubbed her eyes, which was the universal signal for sleepy child, thank God. “The shiny people will keep me company.”

“Shiny people?” That was a new one. “Who are the shiny people?”

Rowen’s eyes were drifting shut even as she spoke. In her sleepiness, her voice sounded more like Debbie on the cold meds. “The shiny people in my room.”

“Okay, you have fun with that,” he said, smiling. He leaned over and kissed her on the forehead. “Dream pretty pictures.”

He stood up, his knees popping a little more than he liked. He walked to the door and reached for the knob. Then he caught sight of himself in the large mirror over Rowen’s dresser. “Oops,” he laughed quietly. He was still wearing the silly crown.

He stepped over in front of the dresser and removed the crown, wincing as its plastic curlicues caught in his hair and pulled a couple of strands free. I need to keep the hair I’ve got, thanks, he thought ruefully.

He laid the crown on the dresser. In the mirror, he caught movement behind him.

“Sleep, little lady,” he ordered, turning around.

Rowen was asleep. She lay perfectly still in her toddler bed, the blankets he’d tucked around her undisturbed.

Then who was moving behind him?

Coming soon from Crone Girls Press: Coppice and Brake, an anthology of dark fiction edited by Rachel Brune. This anthology includes an original short story by Literary Underworld founder Elizabeth Donald, who will also see two short stories appear in River Bluff Review this month!

“Shiny People” is a short story inspired by a tale told at a convention last year, and Elizabeth is delighted that it has found a home at Crone Girls Press. River Bluff Review will include two other original stories: “Dear Katrina” and “Sergeant Curious.”

Elizabeth Donald is a dark fiction writer fond of things that go chomp in the night. She is a three-time winner of the Darrell Award for speculative fiction and author of the Nocturne vampire mystery series and Blackfire zombie series, as well as other novels and short stories in the horror, science fiction and fantasy genres. She is the founder of the Literary Underworld author cooperative; an award-winning journalist and instructor; a nature and art photographer; freelance editor and writing coach. She is married to author Jim Gillentine, and their family lives in a haunted house in Illinois. In her spare time, she… has no spare time.

You can preorder a print copy of Coppice and Brake from Literary Underworld for $10! Preorders for the ebook edition are coming soon from Crone Girls Press, and we will have print copies available at conventions throughout the rest of the year.