Available on June 20 ~ the 3rd story with Isabella Newcombe Tarrant!

“Black Heart”

Cover design by Deranged Doctor Design

Pranks and tricks cause inconvenience, misery, and embarrassment.

After one prank goes too far and injury occurs, will Isabella locate the trickster before the next mishap turns deadly?

“Black Heart” is the third short story in the collection Sailing with Mystery. The collection continues the mystery adventures of the artist Isabella Newcombe Tarrant, featured in the Into Death series. Her introduction is in the novel Digging into Death.

~ What’s Up with “Black Heart”? ~

How to Purchase

Sailing with Mystery  ~ Mystery and Peril are dangerous shipmates for an ocean voyage.

Here’s a link to purchase the short story.

From Amazon or from other online, worldwide distributors like Kobo and Barnes & Noble and others.

If you would rather wait for the entire short story collection, Sailing with Mystery, then watch this space for the announcement of the publication and links to online distributors.

Publishing “Black Heart”

I had hoped to have all five stories available in June ~ thus, the “Available Spring 2023” for the collection. I’m going to miss my personal deadline. I hope to have the next two stories [“Silver Web” and “Red Mask”] out in July, with the ebook of the collection also published in July.

That’s the plan. I’ve had lots and lots of disruptions this spring.

Yet that delay has benefited the short stories. The original story plans were not as rich as the finished stories have turned out to be. Twists and turns–unexpected even for me–have developed. And I’ve fallen in love with a character. Originally, he was just a one-off side character, but he keeps saying or doing interesting things!

Writing “Black Heart”

This story–with pranks revealing evil hearts–kept stumping me for a while. I launched into the writing without a clear idea of the types of pranks. The only clear idea was that I hate pranksters.

You see, I taught teen-agers for a long, long time. I loved their energy. I also loved their welcoming and compassionate hearts. Their idea of fun gave me lots of fun as a spectator of it …. unless that idea of fun was more about laughing at other people, setting them up for ridicule, and mocking them when the results of their “fun” developed. Mild pranks were never the problem. Hurtful pranks, embarrassing pranks, pranks intending to hurt people or their property merely for a laugh: those pranks are ones that I despise.

I had an hour during the previous week mapping out an itinerary for the collection. Isabella boards the ship Nomadic in Southhampton, England. The ship stops along the French and Spanish coasts. The first story occurs on the approach to Gibraltar; the second, into the Mediterranean. This third is set in Port Said, Egypt … except it isn’t.

I decided to visit the pyramids, and that gave me the first prank and the launching point of the story.

Everything developed from the launch point along with additional pranks and the black heart required for a prankster.

A couple of twists developed. A research-based conversation changed a planned event to one that had more reality.

Then the ending was upon me. With the last words, I leaned back in my chair. “Whoo! That was fun!”

I hope you enjoy it as well.

Elemental power. Cold steel. Twisted sorcery. Magical Monsters.

A Trilogy of Novellas in the Fae Mark’d World.

High Fantasy

Spells of Earth: Wizardry burnt out and memory gone, Desora re-built her life in an isolated corner of the Northern Reaches. She only wields the nourishing power of elemental Earth.

She has nothing of Fire, Air, or Water. No fiery bolts, no whirlwinds, no drowning spheres: nothing she can use for defense or attack. Can Desora discover new ways to wield Earth before she becomes prey?

The Wyrded Forest

Shape-shifting wolfen threaten Desora, able to transform out of Moon-turn.

Strangely gory deaths in the High Meadow mean a mysterious monster prowls, looking for life to devour.

Shifters and the eldritch monster kill the defenseless. With death menacing, Desora fears she has no protection except her wards.

The Riven Gate

How will Desora, Captain Brax, and their allies defeat the eldritch monster? Alliance with the Dark Fae Lord Horst offers the only chance.

Yet more than the monster threatens them. Sorcery and magical predators lurk in the forest, waiting to snare them.

Bloody fate balances death on one scale, destruction on the other.

The Mysts of Sorcery

The monster escaped and kills everything in its path. The sorcerer who brought the monster through the portal must also die.

Desora risks losing all she’s regained as she confronts a monster she has no idea how to destroy.

As fierce battles loom, betrayal also rears its ugly head. Will she survive the last battles against the sorcerer, his shapeshifters, and the eldritch monster?

~ Spells of Earth ~

If you like elemental power battling twisted sorcery and cold steel clearing paths through magical monsters, then you will love the adventures in Spells of Earth. 

Paperback or Ebook, at Amazon ~ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B4MKLDV9

Wide Distribution https://books2read.com/u/38PPpL

View the trailer at this link: https://youtu.be/jbayhsxJLqA

cover by Deranged Doctor Design