The Lost Librarian’s Grave: Table of Contents Reveal

Our debut ebook anthology is going to be available on Amazon in a couple of days, so I thought this would be a fun time to post our table of contents.

The book contains 36 short stories, including one novella, and four poems. It is a sizeable tome!

What is more, if you have Kindle Unlimited, you’ll be able to read the ebook for free. Of course one can buy the Grave for $4.99, though I’m planning on running a sale for October.

The book has the usual table of contents listing the stories and poems in the order they appear, but we also collected up the stories by theme under happy categories such as “Demon-Haunted World,” and “The Dead, the Mad, and the Terrified,” and (of course) “A Murder of Gargoyles.” A few of them, naturally, could go in more than one category but as editor I had to make the final call and I did!

The idea is that some people like to read anthologies in order and other people like to skip around the book. So we provided a guide for both sorts of readers. (I’m a skip around type of reader.)

Preface: How I Found the Grave of a Lost Librarian.

“The Savage Night” by Pedro Iniguez

“Inside a Refrigerator” by Adrian Ludens

“Medusa’s Mirror” by Paul L. Bates

“The Maze of Moonlight and Mirrors” by Gerri Leen (poem)

“Ocular” by Nidheesh Samant

“Voyage of the PFV-4” by David Rose

“The Infinity of Worse” by Ken Hueler

“Snake and Sinew, Flame and Bone” by Amanda Cecelia Lang

“They Never Left” by Matthew McKiernan

“Face to Face” by Tom Leveen

“The Problem of Bottling Troublesome Spirits” by Juleigh Howard-Hobson (poem)

“Rathbone” by Zach Ellenberger

“The Ocean’s Misfortune” by Alison McBain

“The Jump” by Pauline Yates

“Good Boy Anyway” by Briana Una McGuckin

“Bottled Rage” by Owen Auch

“Death, and the Scent of Tea” by Cheryl Zaidan

“The Artist” by Mike Murphy

“The Woman in the Wallpaper” by Gregory L. Norris

“Gargoyles of the World, Unite!” by Mary Jo Rabe

“The Grotesque” by Rhonda Parrish (poem)

“Devil’s Oak” by Mary Leoson

“The Day in Gold” by Adele Gardner

“He Gets Hungry Sometimes” by Carol Gyzander

“Valhalla is a Lie” by Benjamin Thomas

“Aegir’s Son” by Edward Ahern

“Butterflies of the Longest Night” by Russell Hemmell

“Odd Job Tom” by Eddie Generous

“Penance” by J.V. Gachs

“Cold Storage” by Jude Reid

“Nature versus Nurture” by Gerri Leen (poem)

“Three Bad Things” by Kathy Kingston

“Blooms of Darkness” by Melissa Miles

“Among Stars and Stones” by Brandon Barrows

“The Little People” by Kurt Newton

“A Bed Both Long and Narrow” by Sipora Coffelt

“The Clearing” by Helen Power

“The Binding of Chrysanthoula” by Angeliki Radou

“The Glorious Protection of Angels” by Michelle Ann King

“Mother Winter” by Matthew Chabin

I will post again once the ebook becomes available in a couple of days. After that, I’ll be working on the paperback version, which I’m planning on publishing later in October.

The Lost Librarian’s Grave: Back Cover Text

We’re putting the finishing touches on The Lost Librarian’s Grave ebook, and Don and I finished sorting out the book description, which we put near the beginning of the ebook. This description will also be on the back cover of the paperback, which I’m working on now..

I also added the black and white illustration on the same page of the ebook. I don’t necessary think you need to wear protective gear when reading this lovely book, but I’m not seeing it isn’t a good idea either.

Welcome, mortal. You have finally discovered that place they told you about where hope crawls off to die.

Where sorcery, vile experiments, and the supernatural are as real as killers from around the corner and those things you cannot see that buzz and wriggle and chew narrow, twisting tunnels under your skin and inside your skull.

Surrender to the unclean darkness living in this malevolent tome. Treat yourself to a bevy of tales where revenge, greed, and malice are the orders of the day and watchwords of pitiless night.

Travel through blood-stained vistas set in forgotten pasts, along rolling centuries of iron and pain, into the strange apocalypses of our present day and several possible near futures. Enjoy this diverse collection of horror, leavened with an osseous dusting of bizarre adventures, verse, and weird fiction written by a loose cabal of thirty-nine authors from around the world.

Unearth… The Lost Librarian’s Grave!

The Lost Librarian’s Grave Title Page Reveal

Work continues on The Lost Librarian’s Grave anthology, and I’ll be hard at it for the rest of the month. Today I’m formatting the ebook, which will run into tomorrow as well.

I’m the meantime, I took a screenshot of the title page, which I think is pretty nifty, but of course I biased. As is often the case, click on the image if you want to see a larger picture.

Back to work!

Tweaked the Ebook Cover for The Lost Librarians Grave

Work continues on The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror and weird fiction anthology, which is good because October will be here before we know it. Today I tweaked the ebook cover a little, giving the gargoyle a bit of an aura or glowing effect, as well as a few other things.

I also decided to put some author names on the cover. It was very hard to decide* so the three of us each picked our favorite story–none of us liked the same one the best. This was easy for Don, a bit harder for Occasum, and very hard for me because I liked all the stories and had several favorites for differing reasons.

Then I added another author because I have misspelled their name now about a dozen times, and while not a huge deal it seemed a way of balancing the scales and achieving some literary Maat. Finally, we all agreed that we had to put Matthew Chabin on the cover because his ten thousand word-and-then-some “Mother Winter” is by far the longest story in the anthology, besides being a great read with an ending I thought very suitable for wrapping up our anthology.

I wanted seven names, because everyone knows that seven is a lucky number, and since all of the authors belong on the cover, I rolled a die twice and left the decision to good Renenet.

As always, suggestions and feedback are appreciated. I’m still toying with the idea of taking the “33” out as well as a couple of other things.


* Again, for purposes of Maat, I decided that the other twenty-seven authors and three poets should be on the front cover too, even if the only people who know it are you and me. So I typed in the remaining thirty names, then occluded them by means of technology both vast and dark. The scales are balanced!

Writing Prompt #4: Book you are reading paired with random text

Today’s writing prompt comes from your own reading, because what you read can fuel your own writing, either deep within the opaque corners of one’s mind and-or self-consciously, welling up to the surface of things.

First, consider the cover of whatever book you are currently reading as general inspiration. See where the artwork takes you in the quest to create something new. You can also work in the text too if that proves useful.

I’m currently reading Under Twin Suns, an anthology inspired by Robert W. Chambers work, edited by James Chambers and published by Hippocampus Press. Pretty nice cover!

Second, pick a book of any sort, go to a random page and pick one sentence, again at random. Work that sentence as an ingredient into the soup that is your new creation.

I picked a random book from my collection, closed my eyes, opened the volume and plunked my finger down on the page. I opened my eyes and read, “Behind these apocryphal tales is the visionary technique of rising in the Planes.”

You can simply work the sentence into your work in progress—with proper attribution of course—or unlike Mr. Nero the Cat, you can try and think out of the box.

Some ideas that quickly come to mind as I type this are:

  • Sprinkle all of the words in your sentence throughout your text. This is what I did for a bit of microfiction I wrote back in 2019 called “I Want My Blanket,” that appeared in Sloth, published by the good folks at Black Hare Press.
  • Write down each word on a separate scrap of paper. You can then manipulate the words in various ways for your project. For example, you can pick one piece at random, use the word in your project, pick another word, and so on. Another possibility is to allow the scraps to fall and only use the ones that are face up or are face down, etc. William S. Burroughs liked to perform various manipulations with words using methods like these as well as many others.
  • Instead of using the words from the sentence you picked, try and find synonyms, antonyms, or (if possible) homonyms for some of the words.

If you came up with something using prompt, please let me know in the comments. I’d like to read your masterpiece!

“The Binding of Chrysanthoula,” by Angeliki Radou, hexes The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror anthology with a sweet, moonlit smile

The Lost Librarian’s Grave—coming October 1, 2021.

Angeliki Radou graces our anthology with her satisfying, short horror story, “The Binding of Chrysanthoula.” Our tale opens with Katerina watching her beloved daughter—the eponymous Chrysanthoula—whither way.* She is losing weight fast, her hair is falling out, and no seems able to help her. Not even a string of big city doctors.

Katerina is not a woman to give up, certainly not on her daughter as she hovers on the brink of death. Will she solve the mystery of Chrysanthoula’s illness? Will the girl live? All will be revealed this October in the thrice-damned pages of The Lost Librarian’s Grave!

Angeliki was born in Greece. She studied Journalism and has published six books in Greek, including a young adult series, The Dark Stories of Young Poe.

She is a member of the nyctophili.gr writing team, and her latest book is entitled Ghost in the Snow: Spirits, Legends and Burial Customs in Japan, from Editions Momentum.

She currently resides in Athens with her husband and two children.

We are proud that “The Binding of Chrysanthoula” is Angeliki’s first published story to appear in English. A fine thing indeed to grace the blasted grave of our lost librarian!


* Angeliki’s Goodreads page defaults to Greek. If you are like me and it is all Greek to you, there are a couple of ways to switch the language. An easy way is to right-click, which will bring up a “translate” option.

Ancient Shark Attack Victim and Helen’s Nifty Graphic!

The Lost Librarian’s Grave—coming October 1, 2021.

Things are moving along nicely with The Lost Librarian’s Grave anthology. As of today we’ve signed contracts for twenty-nine short stories and four poems, and have another contract in progress, which hopefully will make an even thirty!

In the meantime, I saw this nifty promotional graphic on Twitter created by the talented Helen Power, whose work we’ll be announcing soon in this blog. I love the typewriter and many of the other details in the picture too. Thanks, Helen!

Brandon Barrows, author of the fine short story, “Among Stones and Stars,” shared this interesting article on Twitter from the Ancient Origins website entitled, “Oldest Shark Attack Victim Ever, Found in an Ancient Japanese Mound.” Pretty interesting stuff, though one feels sorry for the poor fellow so long ago.

We’ll be back in a day or two with our next short story announcement. Until then, keep reading!

“The Little People,” by Kurt Newton, journeys from a secret place into The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror anthology

The Lost Librarian’s Grave—coming October 1, 2021.

Kurt Newton’s short story, “The Little People,” drops us into the middle of a dangerous situation with a young woman named Becca as she flees into a twilight wood of mystery, magic and misdirection. (From the proverbial frying pan into the fire?) The episode turns out to be the journey of Becca’s life in more ways than one.

I enjoyed how Kurt’s story reads like a fairy story, and how he judiciously uses repetition of certain words and phrases, which to my eye and ear enhances this effect. Despite being set in modern times rather than “Once Upon a Time,” I do think our author has penned a tale that is both fun and fulfills Professor Tolkien’s working definition of a fairy story.*

Kurt has authored two novels, The Wishnik and Powerlines, as well as over 400 poems and 250 short stories, published all over North America, Europe, and Australia. His work is usually set in the rural landscapes of New England, which isn’t surprising since he lives in the northeast corner of Connecticut.

Newton has received sixteen honorable mentions from the editors of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and has been nominated four times for the Rhysling Award for his poetry.

Look for his third collection of short stories, Bruises, which will appear later in 2021 from Lycan Valley Press, as well as, The Music of Murder, a collection of crime fiction from Unnerving Books.

A busy fellow indeed! You can find much of Kurt’s work on his Amazon author page, and of course, this October, ensconced in the profane pages of The Lost Librarian’s Grave.


* “A ‘fairy-story’ is one which touches on or uses Faerie, whatever its own main purpose may be: satire, adventure, morality, fantasy. Faerie itself may perhaps most nearly be translated by Magic—but it is magic of a peculiar mood and power, at the furthest pole from the vulgar devices of the laborious, scientific, magician. There is one proviso: if there is any satire present in the tale, one thing must not be made fun of, the magic itself. That must in that story be taken seriously, neither laughed at nor explained away.”

Tolkien On Fairy-stories, edited by Flieger & Anderson, pp. 32-33.

Michelle Ann King’s short story, “The Glorious Protection of Angels,” wings its way into The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror anthology

The Lost Librarian’s Grave—coming October 1, 2021.

Michelle Ann King begins her story, “The Glorious Protection of Angels,” on a poignant note with the funeral of a man whose partner and son quietly mourn his death. The boy, Drew, is very young and doesn’t quite understand and asks if his father is at work. Shaylie comforts him by saying that his father has “gone to Heaven,” and is going to be their guardian angel:

Drew’s eyes widen. "Has he gone to be an angel? Is that his job now?"

Shaylie squats beside him and pulls him close. "That’s right, honey. He’s gone to be an angel so that he can look after us from Heaven. And Daddy’s always been good at his job, hasn’t he? So you can bet he’s going to be the best angel there is."

I found Drew’s innocence in this scene quite touching, but this being The Lost Librarian’s Grave, I mentally buckled up the first time I read King’s story in the expectation of going into not just a sad but also a bizarre and possibly macabre place. I was not disappointed.

Michelle is a short story writer from Essex, England. She writes in a variety of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, crime and horror. Her work has appeared in over a hundred different publications, including Strange Horizons, Interzone, Black Static, and Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show.

You can learn more about Michelle and her work on her website and also on her Amazon author page, where her collected stories are available in both e-book and paperback.

“Devil’s Oak” by Mary Leoson haunts The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror anthology like a spectre of cruelty

The Lost Librarian’s Grave—coming October 1, 2021.

Mary Leoson’s fine short story, “Devil’s Oak,” is a tale of loss, return and hope for Marguerite, a young woman whose family was “southern royalty” but is nowsome years after the American Civil Warruined after their patriarch died of tuberculosis. The ancestral plantation is now in the hands of the wealthy Haber family.

Marguerite’s mother dreams her daughter will marry the eldest Haber boy and restore both their prominence and family fortune. The young woman is certainly amendable to the idea with the eponymous oak as a “sigil” of hope “burning in her mind”:

"It was a tree for stories, for late lunches on hot summer days, for secrets and first kisses. It held all these memories for her family—at least that’s what her Mama said. She’d see for herself one day, maybe take her own beau there. Walk in the footsteps of their long-gone matriarch, Grandmére Marie, lady of the plantation."

Yet this is The Lost Librarian’s Grave, so I don’t think I’m giving too much away by saying that events don’t unfold in quite the way Marguerite or her mama had planned. “Devil’s Oak” is a story of hope but it is also a story of fear, the phantoms of a cruel legacy, and certain vanitiesin more than one sense of the word.

Mary teaches teaches English composition, literature, film, creative writing, and psychology in the Cleveland, Ohio area and online. She holds an MFA in Fiction, an MA in English, and an MS in Psychology.

She wrote “Devil’s Oak” after being “inspired by an emotional visit to the Whitney Planation in Louisiana, where the lives of enslaved people are honored and remembered.”

You can learn more about Mary, including links to some of her previous published work, by visiting her website at www.maryleoson.com.