Sunday, December 8, 2019

"Lost in Wildwood" by Jason Ryan Dale

Lost in Wildwood
(Journeys Down a Long Dark Road Book 1)
by Jason Ryan Dale

Lost in Wildwood (Journeys Down a Long Dark Road Book 1) by Jason Ryan Dale

Author Jason Ryan Dale stops by today to share an excerpt from Lost in Wildwood. Get your copy FREE for a limited time. Also available in this collection of standalone crime stories: Tina and the Big Bad Wolf and Other Stories and Jocelyn’s War.

Tina and the Big Bad Wolf and Other Stories by Jason Ryan DaleJocelyn’s War by Jason Ryan Dale

Joshua has been a thief all his life. The biggest score he's ever seen just fell into his lap. There are stacks of cash in a backroom practically waiting for the right crew to grab them. The planning and preparation have been painstaking, but years in the game have brought Joshua to this moment ... and he's ready!
So why is there a knot in his stomach whenever Joshua wakes up in the morning? Maybe it's because the job breaks every rule that has kept him safe all these years. It involves guns, shady partners, and powerful people who don't appreciate getting robbed. Or it could be the beautiful girl who's bringing out feelings Joshua thought were just for other people. The girl who's making him wonder if there's something more to life than just the next score.
Only two weeks to get everything set. When the big night comes, bullets fly and friends become enemies. This job is going to end in a test of all Joshua's skills, and a reckoning with all his demons.

Chapter 1
Joshua woke up tired and miserable. The unshaped visions of his dreams gave way to the putrid morning light of his cramped little bedroom. A single, perfectly square window lit the four walls, searing Joshua’s swollen eyes through their lids no matter which way he turned. The burning pain was just enough motivation to carry him off the mattress and onto the shaggy carpet and dirty clothes below. Today was not going to be a good day.
In fairness to the morning, Joshua rarely had a good day anymore. If there was ever a time he looked forward to leaving his home and jamming himself into the world, he could not remember it.
Dragging the soap over his shoulders, arms, and stomach, he fought off the last holdouts of fatigue. He loved this time of day. The steamy water over his face, like the warmth of his bed, was a precious thing, cheaply bought and sweetly enjoyed. It seemed to Joshua that this was his time to rest, more even than sleep. As soon as he was out of the shower, everything only got worse.
Dressed and clean, Joshua was nearly ready. He made one last check of his backpack, then bounded down the stairs, brushing aside with his toes some toys that had been left on the bottom step. Taking an apple from the refrigerator, he slung the bag on his shoulder and headed for the door. Often, he would have no memory of this hour between his bed and his car. Some days, it was as if he had been born on the road, his first breath taken from the warm, stuffy air inside a six-year-old automobile, with memories and impressions chewed recklessly into his brain by some alien tooth.
Joshua’s life had become a spinning wheel of sleep, food, and work.
On the front stoop, he pressed his hand over the outer pocket of his backpack. Feeling with his thumb, he sought out the item he occasionally forgot to put there. The outline of a six-inch blade shifted with his touch. Let loose from its sheath, the edge could cut through bone as easily as his teeth had pierced the apple flesh.
Work, Joshua thought. Always work.
* * * * *
The homes in Joshuas neighborhood were built into one another, so nobody needed to pay for an unnecessary wall. Red brick made up every house on Joshua’s side of the street, while across the way there were speckles of gray stone, whitewashed wood, and aluminum masquerading as whitewashed wood. On Halloween, Joshua had been able to fill two pillowcases full of candy without ever losing sight of his front door. He had lived here all his life. Most of his neighbors knew him, though some called him “Keogh” or “Ke-boy” because they could not remember his first name.
As he drove, Joshua was riddled by pangs of claustrophobia. Devereux County was outside of the City, but it was not most people’s idea of a suburb. There was not a front lawn for miles that was as big as the house to which it was attached. Joshua was aware that his work was making him spend more and more time in strange neighborhoods. It was disconcerting to think the experience was changing his idea of home.
The faces of Philadelphia’s tallest buildings sparkled in the rear view mirrors. His work took him far away from those towers, and far away from the row houses that he was speeding past. In forty minutes, without using a highway, he would arrive in a different world.
* * * * *
The landscape became greener on all sides as Joshua approached the area where he plied his trade. An irrational fear kept pace with his travels, trudging behind him and above his shoulder, screaming that he did not belong here, that he should turn around, go back into his house, and crawl into bed. It was an old fear, one that Joshua had come to see as a strange ally rather than as an enemy. Like a spur on a horse’s flank, it kept him moving.
Pulling down a side street, he found the parking lot he had marked on a previous trip. Actually, it was something less than a lot, nestled as it was behind a pizza parlor and a specimen of a large drugstore chain. Little more than an alleyway, complete with dumpsters, chipped pavement, and broken glass, the space was used by only a few locals. Most importantly, it was shielded from view on almost every side.
These neighborhoods did not have sidewalks, so he jogged along the side of the road. No one greeted him as he made his way. If anyone did take notice, they would find nothing unusual. In sweat shorts and a light, blank tee shirt, Joshua appeared to be another twenty-something casually working to improve his cardiovascular health. Only the deflated brown backpack on his shoulders spoke of his intent, and it did not speak loudly.
It was a brutal, humid summer day. Even though Joshua was soon sweating uncomfortably, his mood remained steady and cool. Every movement he made, every thought in his head, was measured and deliberate. The progress of this trip was the product of painstaking preparation. His heart beat a regular cadence, and his breath deepened as he passed the landmarks he had memorized. No jungle creature ever made its way through the brush with more caution or cunning than Joshua as he jogged between the looming faces of the tall houses.
The lawns he passed, wet with dew when he started, were nearly dry now. No other travelers could be seen, except for one fellow runner too engrossed in his own lungs to pay much attention to the rest of the world. Once he passed a woman walking a furry little dog, probably some housekeeper or nanny doing a chore. Neither made any acknowledgement of Joshua, so he reciprocated the indifference.
Everything about the houses on either side of the road, the bushes and trees that framed them, the wooden fences that separated one yard from another, even the birds that lived here, appeared soft and still.
The bright red mailbox that was his final marker came into sight at last. The house at the end of the street was a monster made of gray stone. Some bored architect had realized one day he would never get to build a castle for a medieval count freshly returned from the Crusades, so he designed this abomination as the next best thing. Round towers rose from the front corners, and a jagged parapet watched gloomily as Joshua jogged onto the enormous front yard. If a yeoman sentry had emerged from the roof and called a hue and cry, Joshua would have been only slightly surprised.
Crossing over the driveway, he darted behind the cover of a thick hedge. Now the real danger began. Slipping on a pair of white surgical gloves, Joshua tried to picture the rear door in his head. Though he labored hard to appear innocent, the steady, rhythmic step that carried him from his car faltered. His stride quickened and lengthened slightly, and though it was probably imperceptible, it felt like a mistake.
Upon reaching the door, Joshua turned the knob, half expecting it to resist. He had chosen this house because he was once lucky enough to notice the owners returning home without using a key, but that was no guarantee. There were tools in his front pocket that would serve him if the door was bolted. Picking the lock would have cost him precious seconds, however, and Joshua desperately craved relief from stray eyes when he did a job at midday. The knob gave way and with a crisp, easy motion, he was inside.
* * * * *
A spacious kitchen welcomed him, as well as a little alcove with a two-person table that Joshua imagined was what people referred to as a “breakfast room.” He knew the comings and goings of the house, and he was confident that the darkened hallways signaled that the owners, a bland couple in their fifties, were not at home.
The kitchen was old and plain. Nothing caught his eye as valuable, so he moved directly to the silverware drawer. He always chuckled for a moment as he stole silverware, remembering the day when someone finally explained to him why it was valuable. Up until then, he thought that “silver” was only a figure of speech, and that spoons and knives like the ones he was loading into his bag were made from a shiny kind of stainless steel.
Before moving on, he checked the paintings on the wall of the breakfast room. Joshua rarely encountered artwork worth noticing, but it paid to be thorough. The paintings were cheaply framed pictures of men in rowboats and snoozing dogs. “Bourgeois,” Joshua said to no one. It was a word that sounded awkward in his mouth, though he couldn’t help thinking it sometimes. Satisfied, he checked the two first floor living rooms, wondering briefly how the residents referred to them, and how they used them. Nothing here would justify the space it would take in Joshua’s bag, which had to remain light enough to keep inconspicuous during the return trip.
At the top of the stairs, three closed doors lined a long white hallway. The first two that he tried opened only into empty bedrooms. Guest rooms, Joshua guessed, though each one had peculiar features that spoke of some personality. Pink stripes on the wallpaper, a writing desk by the window, and ancient stains on the beige carpet all suggested that these rooms had, until recently, been someone’s living space. Possibly they had once belonged to the children of the owners. In these very rooms, they had raised their family and seen them grow and leave them.
They’ve lived here many years, Joshua thought. Certainly long before electronic burglar alarms and private security became common.
The last bedroom clearly was still in use. A stale odor of perfume or cologne greeted him inside, so much that he was forced to breathe through his mouth. The closet was open, the bed unmade, and the dresser was covered in toiletries and loose change. As was his habit in fertile ground like this, Joshua placed his bag in the middle of the room and began tearing through the hidden nooks where valuables were likely to be hidden. He pulled out each drawer and emptied it onto the floor, slowly enough that he could sift through the insides with his eyes. He ran his fingers along every shelf top or obscure crease where small items could be concealed. He picked each locked jewelry box and deposited the goods in the backpack, and he did it all with swift, efficient movements.
Beneath the bed he found a rectangular mahogany box that screamed as it slid across the floor. Inside Joshua found a brightly-plated pistol lying on an egg crate lining like some pampered pet on its bed. With a groan, he picked it up by the barrel and walked toward the bathroom. Different laws applied if a burglar carried a gun, to say nothing of what could happen if some jumpy cop or security guard knew he had it. Joshua had been taught certain rules to apply to his trade. The most important one was to eliminate complications. The gun landed in the upper toilet well with a plop.
In fewer than five minutes, he had harvested as much as he had expected. Though it was a good day’s work, Joshua reflected briefly that, if the owners were insured, they would make more out of the job than he would.
* * * * *
No one saw him exit the back door and trace the same path he used to enter. As before, he trotted along the far side of the street, staring straight ahead and looking slightly annoyed at the world, the way runners do. The only difference was the motion of the backpack, bouncing less because it was heavier.
Joshua wasn’t sure why he looked back at the house. It was not his habit, for sure. Maybe the strange architecture intrigued him, or maybe he was simply bored. Whatever the reason, he pivoted his waist as he ran and glimpsed the gray towers one more time before turning the corner that would take him back to the alley and his car.
The gray stone looked sullen against the blue sky. It was an impressive sight, a house more suited to withstanding a siege than raising a family. The fortress only needed a moat to make the picture complete.
Better luck next time, Joshua thought. I escaped you again.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“I enjoyed this exciting and well written novel. I find myself wanting more of Joshua's story, and fans of the genre will too.” ~ Ray Tappan
“This is a very well written story, the characters are great you either love or hate them. Even the villain pulls at your heart. The storyline flows smoothly and is faster pace. Enjoyable story.” ~ Kindle Customer Mimi Davis-Hopkins
“Good read it kept my interest.” ~ Dan
“loved it” ~ Mary Nicoson
“Wonderful story line drifting throughout the entire book. Keeps you interested in Joshua and identifying with him at different intervals. Makes you keep reading even though it is time for bed, time for work or whatever, you do not want to stop! You find yourself lost within the pages of this incredible story. I would love to see what happens to Joshua. Definitely give a two thumbs up!” ~ William C. Trainor, Jr.

About the Author
Jason Ryan Dale
Jason Ryan Dale is a writer of character-driven crime stories living on the East Coast of the United States.
Dale describes his work:
“I write about emotionally and morally conflicted individuals who happen to shoot at each other.”
Dale on crime fiction:
“There is a paradox in every crime, and therefore in every crime story. Stealing, murdering, and running a con job are all acts of betrayal. Yet, to do them well requires a small group of people who are loyal to each other. It is a beguiling contradiction that can play out in an infinite number of ways.”
Dale describes his influences, who are an eclectic mix:
“John le Carre is my favorite author. His plots are always exciting, yet his character development is always strong. Elmore Leonard I admire for his humor and his sense for life's absurdity. His characters are always trying to bring their lives in order and only succeed in increasing the chaos, which I love. Robert E. Howard uses the English language in ways nobody else does. Larry McMurtry is the best at capturing people's psychology. I feel like I know his characters so well I could carry on a conversation with any of them. Joseph Conrad is the writer I most revere, though I admit he gives me a headache sometimes.”


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Quote of the Week by Mary McLeod Bethune

Quote of the Week
by Mary McLeod Bethune

“The whole world opened to me when I learned to read.”  ~ Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary McLeod Bethune

Friday, December 6, 2019

"Figments and Fragments" by Deborah Sheldon

Figments and Fragments:
Dark Stories
by Deborah Sheldon

Figments and Fragments: Dark Stories by Deborah Sheldon

Figments and Fragments by Deborah Sheldon is currently on tour with Silver Dagger Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Brutal. Compelling. Sinister.
From wheat farms, roadhouses, caravan parks and beaches to quiet suburban streets and inner-city apartments, award-winning author Deborah Sheldon tells distinctly Australian stories about violence, loss, betrayal, and revenge.
Figments and Fragments includes three new stories written especially for the collection.

Blue Light Taxi
You stumble from the bar, giggling. The street is a blur of tram tracks, shop fronts and parked cars. There must be stars overhead, but the streetlights are too bright for you to see them.
“Wait,” you shout, and laugh, doubling up.
Far ahead, the two detectives, striding to a Holden sedan, stop and look around. You turn to the couple behind you. What are their names again? They are talking, not making sense, every syllable floating off like a balloon. The earth tilts beneath your stilettos. One of the detectives, the chubby-cheeked one, suddenly has his arm pressed around your waist, his sweating hand on your hip. You smell whisky and cigarettes.
“Come on, you can’t call it a night,” he says. “We’ve got that party, remember?”
You say, “Just help me to the car, Hedgehog.”
The chubby-cheeked detective sniggers. Hedgehog is your name for him; you came up with it during your fifth or sixth or whatever champagne. His short hair is gelled into needles, and he’s pear-shaped, a waddler, a stout little hedgehog on hind legs. You giggle again.
He says, “Can you walk? Do you want me to carry you?”
“Oh, no, I hope she’s not sick,” a female voice says.
You glance at the couple: the greasy-faced girl with her scruffy coat shedding nylon faux-fur from its lapels; the skinny boy with his straight-leg jeans, long fringe and cardigan. They are very young. Older than you, of course, but so cloistered and middle-class that when you and the detectives used them for laughs they didn’t even know it. But they bought drinks too, so what the hell.
“I think she needs coffee,” the chubby-cheeked detective says.
You push away from him and dash along the footpath towards the other detective, who has his hands on his hips, his suit jacket pushed back to reveal his crumpled shirt, his paunch, his shoulder holster, the butt of a .45. Your stiletto heels clack and smack against concrete. Each footfall sends shock waves up your legs. The world is sliding. The detective catches you by your elbows, straightens you up.
“Know what you look like?” he says. “A baby horse, all legs and no balance. I was waiting for you to face-plant.”
“Oh yeah? What would you have done?”
“Left you there.”
Under the streetlight, he’s a lot older than you thought, maybe fifty. He wears his thinning brown hair to his collar in a style too youthful for the lines around his eyes and the yellow of his long teeth.
You say, “If I’m Baby Horse and he’s Hedgehog, then you’re Mister Fox.” You laugh but he doesn’t.
He looks over your head and says, “What about them?” and lets go of you.
You turn. The couple is right there, staring at you. The girl especially seems fascinated, like she’s never seen anything like you before. It’s a look you already know from high school, you with your sneer and your piercings, those scars along your arms. Cliques of girls look at you that same way every lunchtime and recess when they walk on by.
“Hurry up, let’s go,” says the chubby-cheeked detective, standing at the Holden sedan. Then he snatches a parking ticket from under the windscreen wiper and flips it to the gutter without even looking at it, without even commenting. A warm thrill diffuses through you.
A V8 packed with teenagers and thumping rap music ploughs past. A bottle smashes against the footpath.
“Arrest them,” you shout, and lean against the Holden, closing your eyes.
You’re bundled into the back of the car. You crawl along the seat and slump against the window on the far side. The boy gets in next to you, the girl takes the other window seat, and the detectives are in front with the older one behind the wheel. The sedan pulls away from the kerb.
“Oh my God,” you say, peering around the driver’s seat to point at the two-way radio and handset recessed into the dashboard. “Is this an unmarked cop car?”
“Aw, don’t tell me this is your first ride in a blue light taxi,” says the chubby-cheeked detective. “A fine, upstanding girl like you.”
“Wow,” you say, “have you got lights and sirens?”
“It’s a frigging cop car, isn’t it?” he says, and snorts through his nose. “How many have you had tonight, honey? Bottles, not glasses. You’re way past counting glasses.”
Yes, I am, you think. I’m way past counting anything anymore. For a few seconds, thoughts of home come to you, but staccato, each one quickly lost, beads on an open-ended string. It doesn’t matter. You don’t want to think about your family.
“What’s the fastest you can drive?” you say.
“Depends on the traffic,” the older detective says.
“Well, I can’t see much traffic right now.”
The older detective turns his head to catch your eye. He smirks. The chubby-cheeked detective gapes at you joyfully and slaps his thigh.
The older detective says, “She’s a bit of a firecracker, isn’t she? We’re gonna have to watch her, mate, what do you reckon?”
“Oh yeah,” the chubby-cheeked detective says. “Oh, shit yeah.”
“Come on,” you say. “Come on.”
They glance at each other. You become aware that you’re holding your breath. A small male voice says, “I don’t think we should.” Startled, you look around. It is the couple. You forgot about them, yet here they are, two church mice.
The acceleration slams you off balance. The siren and strobing lights almost stop your heart. Then you grab the back of the driver’s seat and hang on, whooping.
The car takes a corner, tyres screaming on the bitumen. You point at the red light up ahead and yell, “Don’t stop.” The car blows through the intersection. You point again, yelling, “Drive on the wrong side,” and the car fishtails over the line. The posted limit is sixty, but the speedometer quivers over one-twenty-five.
The chubby-cheeked detective, his eyes bright, murmurs, “Oh, honey, you’re loving this, right?”
You point at a one-way sign and yell, “Turn into that street,” and the car does. You are god of this machine. The rush threatens to take off the top of your skull.
There is a sudden dazzle of headlights.
The older detective leans on the horn and the headlights slew out of the way. You blast past a hatchback, a shocked face at the window, and your laugh is wild. The detectives are laughing too. You remember Mister and Missus Church Mouse and how much you hated their white-bread sensibilities but you’re expansive now, all forgiving, gracious, and you turn to them, a benevolent deity.
It’s a scene from another movie. The girl appears to be crying. The boy’s lips are pulled back from his teeth. The couple is shrunk into the seat, clutching at each other.
The car lurches to a halt. It is a red light. A semi-trailer is lumbering across the intersection.
The girl flings open the door. The couple tumbles from the car and sprints down the footpath, coat tails and cardigan flapping. Their animal panic makes you understand that you should be bailing right along with them, that these detectives should be watching the pitching frills of your polyester dress as you also run to safety.
“I guess they’ve changed their mind about the party,” the older detective says, and turns off the siren.
“Aw, stuff ’em, so what.” The chubby-cheeked detective gets out of the car, shuts the back door, and climbs into the front passenger seat again.
The older detective turns off the spinning blue and red lights. The car has pulled in its teeth and claws. Now it’s just another vehicle on the road, a plain Holden sedan. Your heart rate drops, your eyes fill. You’ve had enough but the night isn’t over yet.
“Ready, honey?” the chubby-cheeked detective says.
You nod.
The light turns green.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“I really enjoyed this collection, unlike others I’ve read all the stories were interesting, well written and engaging, not just one or two.” ~ Allen James on Goodreads
“Deborah Sheldon is adept at drawing you in, writing fast, furious dialogue, making you smell and taste the landscape and the characters’ sweat, taking you on a journey with the lost, the displaced, the broken, the runaways, the misfits and the mad, who populate the pages.” ~ Alyson Rhodes on Goodreads

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
This is a collection of thirty-six dark short (and extremely short) stories.
In “Basket Trap”, Helen uses the survival skills her father taught her as a child in order to survive an ordeal in the Brazilian wilderness.
In “Risk of Recurrence” Dr. Wainscott diagnoses a patient with cancer but doesn’t get the reaction he expects.
“Family Album” details the poignancy behind a family photograph.
In ”Farm Hands”, Carl hires two men to do some work for him and gets more than he bargained for.
In “Blue Light Taxi”, a drunk girl goes for a ride in a police car.
In “Lunch at the Trout Farm”, Jake’s parents take him to a trout farm for his birthday, but things aren’t as perfect as they appear on the surface.
In “Road Rage”, Chrissy recovers from a road rage incident at her brother’s house.
In “The Caldwell Case”, Detective Sergeant Higgins investigates a case that has him stumped.
In “Beach House” Rosemarie returns to the family beach house years after a tragic accident.
In “Man with the Suitcase”, it seems everyone wants what’s in that suitcase.
In, “Shootout at Cardenbridge”, Sergeant Maggie Drummond is involved in a shootout at a rural property. This one reads like a factual account, so much so that I googled the town to find out if it was real. It wasn’t.
In “Parrots and Pelicans”, Anna gets more than she bargained for when she agrees to mind her grandson.
In “The Sequined Shirt”, Joanne stays at a caravan park and runs into someone from her past.
In “Getting and Giving”, Maureen tells us what happened between her and her abusive boyfriend.
In “We Have What You Want”, Gordon deals with a difficult customer.
In “Baggage”, Aphrodite moves into a new unit and meets her neighbors.
In “Muscle Fatigue”, a mother shows her son how to weight train.
In “Waiting for the Huntsman”, Natalie is forced to spend a few days at her uncle’s farmhouse.
In “Cash Cow”, Sarah is placed in an uncomfortable position when her ex asks her to do something illegal for him.
In “One Grand Plan”, Daniel takes a moving job but finds himself in the middle of a shootout.
In “Free Lunch”, an uninvited couple attends a wake.
In “Paramour”, Janice meets a man in a bar.
In “White Powder”, Lorraine makes a terrible decision.
In “Rooftop”, Nina makes a phone call from the top of a building.
In “Lopping and Removal in Three Parts”, John sets up a tree lopping business.
In “Family Business”, Mimi and Damien get the job done.
In “Burnover”, Mandy worries for the safety of her husband, who is a firefighter.
In “Party Animals”, Reston has too much to drink.
In “Flashpoint”, Rebecca takes her parents hostage.
In “Fortune Teller”, a fortune teller reveals her secrets.
In “Hot Dog Van”, Adam makes a deal he might end up regretting.
In “Broken Things”, Craig moves back in with his father after a motorcycle accident.
In “Crazy Town is a Happy Place”, Dr. Vivienne Leach shows a young reporter around her dementia care facility.
In “Toby Mulligan”, Diane searches for the gravestone of her childhood dog.
In “Last Visit to Samuel P. Garfield”, Belinda struggles to get to the hospital before her father dies.
In “November 9th 1989”, Dr. Ian Webb bonds with his patient over shared memories.
The stories mostly detail the lengths some people will go to in order to survive. They depict violence, rape, and murder, but also longing and regret. Settings include a South American forest, the Australian countryside, the city, small towns, the beach, and even an airplane. It’s nice to read Australian writing that isn’t either historical or all set in the outback. The word “Fragments” in the title is certainly an apt description, as a lot of the pieces aren’t fully formed short stories, but more vignettes imparting a certain mood or feeling. Some stories don’t even conclude: “One Grand Plan” and “Paramour” are especially infuriating with their lack of an ending. There are some minor editing errors, mainly consisting of the use of a mixture of American and Australian English.
My favorite stories: “White Powder”, “Lopping and Removal in Three Parts”, “Crazy Town is a Happy Place”.
Warnings: rape, graphic violence, coarse language.

About the Author
Deborah Sheldon
I'm an award-winning author from Melbourne, Australia. I write short stories, novellas, and novels across the darker spectrum.
My latest releases, through several publishing houses, include the horror novels Body Farm Z, Contrition, and Devil Dragon; the horror novella Thylacines; the crime-noir novellas Dark Waters and Ronnie and Rita; and the dark fantasy and horror collection Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories (winner of the Australian Shadows Best Collected Work 2017).
My short fiction has appeared in many well-respected magazines such as Quadrant, Island, Aurealis, SQ Mag, and Midnight Echo. My fiction has been shortlisted for numerous Australian Shadows Awards and Aurealis Awards, long-listed for a Bram Stoker Award, and included in various “best of” anthologies. I'm also guest editor of this year's edition of Midnight Echo.
Other credits include TV scripts such as Neighbours and Australia's Most Wanted, feature articles for national magazines, non-fiction books published by Reed Books and Random House, and award-winning medical writing.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card or an ebook copy of Figments and Fragments by Deborah Sheldon.


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