“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.

Kathy Kingston’s “Three Bad Things” will buzz and wriggle into The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror anthology

That’s one of the problems with the ‘Three bad things,’ theory. Exactly where does it start and where does it stop?

— Kathy Kingston

Don and I are pleased to announce that Kathy’s Kingston’s classic short story, “Three Bad Things,” will appear in The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror and weird fiction anthology.

A late bloomer, Kathy Kingston became a published writer at the age of 66 in a Sisters in Crime LA anthology.

She has always been an avid reader and her experience as a grocery store cashier, bank teller, wholesale plant salesman and a New York fashion model gave her lots of raw material to work with.

She now resides in Venice, California and is an award winning landscape contractor specializing in drought tolerant landscapes. Short stories are her first love, but she is currently working on a novel.

Kingston’s tale opens with her narrator in a tough spot:

"I lift my head up from the rock and let it drop with a resounding thump. I close my eyes and savor the pain as I would a piece of expensive Peruvian dark chocolate melting slowly in my mouth. I lift my head a little higher, and drop it again. The pain emanates in waves and I am grateful."

Our protagonist is a woman with a vivid imagination, a theory, and perhaps just a touch of entomophobia.*

Kingston takes us down a twisted road where we learn, and have the pleasure of reliving with our narrator, the odd chain of events that led to the opening lines above. Buckle up and enjoy a wild ride along the borders of fate and chance circumstance fueled by dreams, a touch of madness, culminating in a final, mind-shattering horror!

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


* Well, maybe more than a touch.

Writing Prompt #3: Doggo

Today’s prompt comes courtesy of Storybot on Twitter, where I follow them. Their app is also available in the Google Play store.

“Write the first line that’s inspired by this photo.”

When this prompt come up in my Twitter feed, I wrote, “The first thing I noticed after the wizard turned me into a dog was that he smelled like food,” for my first line.

What is the first line that comes to mind when you see this image of a piebald doggo? Write it below in the comments. (I’m particularly burning to know what John of Varnish comes up with!)

Paul L. Bates’ short story, “Medusa’s Mirror,” casts its evil reflection from The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror anthology

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

Paul L. Bates weaves a unique, mystic tale of magic, addiction, mystery, and death in “Medusa’s Mirror.” The narrator recounts his adventures when Enoch, an old college acquaintance who is one part magician and one part “facilitator of forbidden desires,” slithers back into his life, seemingly out of nowhere. Enoch seems to have a strange hold over our narrator, despite past abominations and the promise of future horrors to come:

"Have you ever felt as if your skin were about to erupt into an independent crawling horde? That your body was inhabited by—or composed of—countless squirming maggots or mites scrambling about on tiny legs, living just below the surface, busily transmogrifying all that was not them into more of them? Such was the sensation I experienced every time Enoch insisted I accompany him on one of his outings, as he called them—excursions into the darkness within and without."

“Medusa’s Mirror” is a wild ride and Bates certainly delivers “the darkness within and without,” giving us both physical and psychological horror, a nice taste of allegory, and a satisfying ending. Don and I are proud to offer this fine story in the pages of The Lost Librarian’s Grave.

Paul is the author of the novels Imprint and Dreamer. He has a degree in Architectural Design, and is happily retired from a career in construction management. He lives on the shore of a small private lake with his lady love, swims for distance, and writes when the muse comes to call, which is good for us when she does!

Check out some of Paul’s other writings on his Amazon author page.

The Lucid Dream of Brandon Barrows’ “Among Stones and Stars” shimmers into The Lost Librarian’s Grave anthology

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

Today we journey with the mysterious Brandon Barrows as he guides us through the strange country of his fine piece of weird fiction, “Among Stones and Stars.”

Follow the aging ex-soldier, photojournalist and adventurer, Reese Cook, through mountains haunted by History, down fey valleys to a lonely necropolis of bare memories. If there are ghosts, they are the afterimages of a Hellenistic dream. What draws Reece and his companions is a motivation as timeless as the mountains themselvesgreed fueled by tales of ancient treasure.

Brandon has published over seventy stories, some of which have been collected in The Altar in the Hills and The Castle-Town Tragedy. He is an active member of the Private Eye Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. He lives in Vermont by a big lake with a patient wife and two impatient cats.

Check out Brandon’s website at brandonbarrowscomics.com.

Writing Prompt #2: Arrows and Forest Squash

Use this prompt as a jumping off point for your own short story, poem, narrative, fragment, etc. and see where you goperhaps the picture or the text taken separately or mashed together somehow will lead you somewhere useful or fun…

Suggestion: Create something new that somehow brings both pictures into your work.

Bonus points if you can work in the picture from prompt #1

If nothing gels using both pictures, try using just one. As usual, bring other elements such as music, visual art, and so on into your brainstorming session. Use whatever techniques serve your end goal to create something new!

If this prompt leads someplace interesting, leave a link leading toward your new creation wherever that may be. Of course you can also post your masterpiece, if it is short, directly in the comments.