Recommended Read: Listen to the Leaves

Yeah, yeah…I’m flogging my own book today. But I only have one
story in it – the rest are all by other authors that I absolutely
recommend you check out (after all, I compiled the anthology). So let me
tell you a bit about what’s inside – you can read the official release
notice on the Snake Bites blog (and that includes purchase links).

This is the most multicultural collection we’ve put together yet,
with only a couple of stories from the US. The rest are from Canada, the
UK, the Philippines and even Romania. One author’s native home is
Scotland, though she lives in Canada. All  the stories are in English,
though a most of the authors are not American English speakers which
means you’ll encounter some different usage and spelling than you’re
used to seeing here in the states. Could we have edited that out? Sure,
and in some spots we did for clarity. But for the most part, I generally
prefer to leave it as written as much as possible, because I enjoy the
different cadences and phrasing that non-US writers sometimes

In this anthology, all the stories are centered around one common
theme – the girl on the cover and the leaves she’s surrounded by. There
are several genres covered within, and we’ve also included a few stories
with a more literary bent as well as some poetic prose (which, if you
haven’t read much of, you really should – it’s beautiful). 

Whether you read merely to escape life for awhile, or to gain a
different perspective or both, I’d encourage you to pick up a copy and
broaden your reading horizons. I hope it will be as pleasant an
experience for you to lose yourself in these stories for a little while
as has been for me.

I’ll leave you with an excerpt from my own story in the collection, Lullaby:

You’re breathing too loud. They’ll hear you.

The woman stopped behind a thick tree, her back to the trunk. She leaned over to brace her hands on her knees and drew in a long breath, letting it out slowly only to repeat the process. There wasn’t much time. Even if they couldn’t hear her breathing, they had to be getting close.

Run! Now!

With one last deep breath and a quick glance in all directions, she sprinted forward with no particular destination in mind.

Away. Must stay away.

It was impossible to move quietly through the colorful fall leaves. They crunched and floated around her feet as she ran, cheerfully calling out to her pursuers. The wind was her only hope, sifting almost constantly through the thick canopy above to direct an orchestra of sound and light that absorbed the cacophony underfoot.

It had been three weeks since they’d taken her. Twenty-one marks on a cold dirt cellar wall, fighting off rats of various sizes. She hadn’t been able to beat them all.

Embrace the pain.

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