It hasn’t happened in almost four decades. For some, August 21, 2017 will be the only time in their lives to experience a total solar eclipse passing over the contiguous United States. August 21, will you be somewhere between Oregon and South Carolina, wearing proper eye protection, watching the moon pass between the earth and the sun? If not, beginning July 21, when Wildside Press releases the eclipse-related short story anthology, Day of the Dark, different versions of the phenomenon can be experienced anytime thanks to the efforts of twenty-four authors and the creative thinking of author/editor Kaye George.
Kaye is the prolific author of ten mystery novels in four series, numerous short stories and the recipient of three Agatha nominations. Murder on Wheels, an anthology she helped put together with the Austin Mystery Writers, won the 2016 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award. In The Darkest Hour, her Day of the Dark story, characters Tom and Arden live in the path of totality, just south of Knoxville. When Tom decides to rent out the spare bedroom to eclipse viewers, they come bringing unexpected problems and not everyone survives. http://kayegeorge.com
My story, A Golden Eclipse, a tongue in cheek examination of a young law enforcement agent’s plan to take down a con man also is featured. The story reminds us that no matter what the event, there are always people ready to use any occasion to take advantage of others. www.DebraHGoldstein.com
Because I’m impressed with the quality of writing found in Day of the Dark, I’m going to spend the remainder of this week’s “It’s Not Always a Mystery,” blog, as well as my July 31st blog, telling you about the other authors and their stories.
Carol L. Wright, the author of The Dark Side of the Light, is a lawyer, book editor and academic who writes short stories in a variety of genres. Her mystery, Death at Glenville Falls, the first of the Grace McIntyre Mysteries, comes out in August 2017. In The Dark Side of the Light, Carol shows us how a young woman plans the perfect way to reveal an exciting secret to her husband on eclipse day. What she doesn’t know is that she is in the dark about something crucial he hasn’t shared with her. When each finally learns the other’s secret, they discover what is truly important, even though nothing will ever be the same. http://carollwright.com
Awaiting the Hour by Joseph Walker is a poignant tale of gentleness and brutality, side by side. It is inspired by research Joseph did on how to prepare and where to go to watch the eclipse. As he read about the eclipse, Joseph, a teacher of college composition and literature courses and a member of Mystery Writers of America, realized some people have planned for the eclipse for years, even if it means traveling thousands of miles to make sure of seeing it. That prompted him to wonder about the type of man who’s been looking forward to the eclipse forever. He questioned why it would be important to him, how it shaped his life, and what exactly such a man would be prepared to do if, at the last minute, someone threatened his ability to carry out his plan. https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00rTYF3S6
John Clark is a retired Maine librarian with a background in mental health and library systems software support who has been writing for newspapers and magazines for twenty years. He has one published book and has had several short stories featured in Level Best anthologies. Although he is reads avidly, writes reviews, gardens, and enjoys his granddaughter, in Relatively Annoying, he produces a chilling tale which combines horror and sci-fi elements with a partial eclipse and other heavenly happenings. As he notes, the Maine woods are lovely, dark and deep, but when something is stolen and hidden in them, what happens because of the eclipse has far-reaching and frightening consequences. https://www.facebook.com/wizardofhartland
The prophecy “Near the Devil’s table, between the Devil’s backbones, blood shall seep to the earth. As the moon blots out the sun, the powerful reckoning shall be birthed” is central to Melissa H. Blaine’s The Devil’s Standtable. In the story, Department of Prophecies Agent Poppy Inca just wants to watch the solar eclipse, but she quickly finds herself in the middle of a prophecy showdown she must interpret before her blood is the one spilled. Although Melissa doesn’t worry about spilled blood as much in real life, she spent hours exploring the trails of Giant City State Park and its surrounding areas while earning a master’s degree in sociology at SIU-C. Now living in Michigan, Melissa enjoys visiting cemeteries, hiking with her dog, and tracking down local legends. www.Melissahblaine.com
A former Level Best Books co-editor/publisher and award-winning writer of biographies and books about American history, Leslie Wheeler, has authored three published Miranda Lewis ‘living history” mysteries and numerous essays and stories. In Chasing the Moon, she examines how the total solar eclipse touches the lives of four people living along the path of totality: a single mother with a young son, who, together with her mother, runs and Airbnb in Madras, Oregon; a middle-aged man participating in the annual Little Green Men Festival in Hopkinsville, Kentucky; a down-on-his-luck musician in Nashville, Tennessee; and, a fiercely independent elderly African American woman in Columbia, South Carolina. www.lesliewheeler.com
A sampling of other stories included in Day of the Dark are the political Norse historical, Torgnyr the Bastard, Speaker of Law by Suzanne Berube Rorhus; Cheri Vause’s psychological suspense tale, Black Monday; the quirky swindle tale, Open House by Bridges DeiPont, Women’s Work, a historical mystery set in the DC area in 1875 by K.B. Inglee; and suspenseful Ascension into Darkness by Christine Hammar.
Read about the remaining authors and stories in my July 31, 2017 “It’s Not Always a Mystery” blog.