Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Library of Dreams - publishing for charity

Today I'm sharing with you two excerpts from the short story anthology Library of Dreams, a lovely collection whose entire profits go to charity. These dream-themed tales were concocted by a writers' group I'm a part of; I donated my time as an editor and I can tell you, I really enjoyed these stories. All profits from the sale of this collection will go to LitWorld, a 501(c)3 non-profit literacy organization fostering resilience, hope, and joy through the power of story. Library of Dreams is available in both paperback and e-book format. What a great way to give yourself, or someone you love, a holiday gift while also doing good in the world.

Click on the book cover for more information

From Ribbon Chasers by Len Webster:

It was a dream he had every night, a dream that made his heart pump, his sweat drip and his head hurt. The same damn dream every night. He remembered the squeal and then the gunshot. He watched those brown eyes flash before he heard her final scream, and then silence.

He tried. As much as he tried to change the outcome of his dream, it was always the same. He couldn’t fix the ending. It was set, though he tried desperately to save her. He remembered the day he took the case. Sometimes he wished he hadn’t. Maybe another agent could have saved her.

“You’re talking like you’re not going to do these things,” Patrick said. He could see it all for her. He could see her in university and he saw her living her life. He had to make sure she lived. “Sadie, they aren’t going to get you. Dawson and I will make sure you get to the trial safely and become Rachel Sims. You will become a psychologist, and even if you don’t want to be one after all of this, you can be whatever you want. You will live a long and happy life, Sadie.” Silent tears fell down her cheeks and she gave him a tight smile.

“You weren’t there,” she whispered. Patrick kept quiet and his silence gave her the cue to continue.

“Dad and I, we were talking about my upcoming final exams. We were out for lunch and I already had an early acceptance into Melbourne University. I hadn’t told him because I thought I’d save the good news for when he was down. But I never got the chance, because the moment we hit the corner a car stopped in front of us. I felt Dad try to push me back, but then shots were fired and I felt blood hit my hand. He was shot five times. Five. Dad fell backwards on the concrete and I just stood there. That gangster pointed the gun at me and smiled. Told me that he’d get me when he was good and ready. For being the daughter of the crown prosecutor, I had to die as well. My death would be slow and torturous because I was pretty and innocent-looking. He’d enjoy killing me. Bring me back to life if he had to, until I got to the edge of death again. He promised I’d be begging him to kill me.”

From Lovers' Fugue by Charlotte Ashley:

It had been twenty-two hours and six minutes since Evie Lancaster had gone off the Dimorphazine. So far, she hadn't noticed anything different.

“The symphony is over three hours long,” Rochelle said, waving Evie's concerns away dismissively, “you'll peak sometime in the second movement. Relax, sweetie. Even if you are only half Awakened by then, you'll pick up the projections on display tonight. Believe me, this is gonna be wild.”

Evie tried to affect an edgy, carefree grin and failed. She didn't really want wild. She was pretty sure she was too tightly-laced to appreciate wild. She was so terrified of not just the psychological, but the legal consequences of what might go on tonight, she wasn't sure she was going to enjoy herself at all.

Evie glanced nervously down the road. They couldn't enter the Opera House for another half-hour. She, Dex and Rochelle were slouched on a street corner, sticking out like a trio of lizards in an egg carton. Dex and Rochelle, veterans of the Opera House, were dressed to the nines in slick black corsets over neon blouses with pagoda sleeves and elaborately embroidered silk pantaloons, with brightly-dyed wigs sculpted precariously around Rococo headpieces featuring birds, fish, glass balls, and the guts of scavenged twenty-first century electronics.

Evie was, herself, dressed in a skin-tight, deep-purple dress studded with the remains of a shattered mirror, a flowing starscape over which her bare shoulders and blonde hair rose like the sun. She felt ridiculously exposed, but Rochelle assured her the best projections came when you gave the imagination something to work with. 

For more information about buying a copy (paperback or e-book) anywhere in the world, have a look at the PSG Publishing website. You can also enter to win a free copy through Goodreads, but hurry - the contest ends December 22. Happy reading!