“Cold Seasons” is Here

A project I’ve been working on for a few months now is finally completed, and I’m thrilled to announce that my first mini-collection of stories is now available on Amazon! It’s my first foray into self-publishing and my first collection.

Cold Seasons

Cover design by Matthew Byrne

This collection consists of five linked short stories, totalling about 13,000 words.

  • “Summer Break”
  • “Smoke in Winter”
  • “Street Scenes”
  • “The 12 Days of Christmas”
  • “Westbound Trains”

Three of the stories were previously published in The Newfoundland Quarterly, while two appear here for the first time.

Check it out at http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00SSKZS1K

The Book Assassin

This week’s challenge over at Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds blog is to randomly choose three things from three different lists and create a 1,000 word story with them.

I got a library, an assassin, and a bomb. It’s nice when things work out.

The Book Assassin

Some books were never meant to be written.

Quarto reflected on this as he tightened his cloak around his shoulders. The rain was steady, but his hat and cloak were thick and waterproof. Rainwater filled the gaps in the cobblestone streets, and darkened the facades of the ancient buildings which grew ever more ancient as Quarto made his way deeper into the narrow alleyways. Finally he stood before a door. He knocked firmly with a gloved hand.

The man who answered appeared elderly, but opened the heavy door with little effort. He regarded Quarto for only a moment, then stepped back to allow him to pass through the doorway.

“Greetings,” said Quarto. “A pleasant evening.”

“Indeed,” said the man who had opened the door. “May I take your things?”

Quarto removed his dripping hat and cloak, and handed them to the man.

“Your boots and bag as well,” he said.

“My boots?” said Quarto.

“Our collections here are quite precious,” said the man. “Priceless, and irreplaceable, and quite delicate. We do what we can to keep out the mud and rain.”

“I understand,” said Quarto. He placed his boots by the entrance and, removing his notebook from his leather satchel, handed that over as well. The man took them, then disappeared into an adjoining cloakroom. As he turned Quarto noted the brief flash of steel beneath his formal jacket.

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Songs of the Day Catch-Up, Part 2

Continuing my catch-up of recent “Songs of the Day”:

The Rural Alberta Advantage – Terrified

So apparently these folks are playing a show two shows in St. John’s in March. I do miss live music sometimes…

Hey Rosetta! – Carry Me Home

Another of the Christmas season tunes from Newfoundland’s own Hey Rosetta!

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – What Child is This?

While I’m not a big fan of much “traditional” Christmas music, I am a big fan of TSO’s hard-rock infused reinterpretations of many classic Christmas songs. I also appreciate the many strong vocal performances on many of their tracks, including this one from Broadway performer Rob Evans.

Katzenjammer, Ben Caplan, and the Trondheim Soloists – Fairytale of New York

The second cover of “Fairytale of New York” that I couldn’t resist posting because of the great strings and awesomely contrasting voices of Katzenjammer and Ben Caplan.

Brianna Gosse – My Christmas Song for You

A good, jazzy start to my Christmas Songs of the Day.

Songs of the Day Catch-Up

So I’ve been a little slack keeping up with my “Songs of the Day” posts, but I suppose that’s no surprise for an online project like this.

In any case, here’s a listing of some of my favorite “Songs of the Day” postings from the last couple of months:

Hozier – Take Me to Church

My sister sent me this amazing song a while ago. I’m really enjoying these great videos that are essentially miniature movies.

Carina Round – For Everything a Reason

Another tune I discovered from the TV show ‘Rookie Blue.’ The music director for that show knows what’s up.

Not sure why she’s singing into an antique telephone, but I like it.

Sean Rowe – Jonathan

Sometimes all you need is an acoustic guitar and a cavalry jacket.

Bear’s Den – Agape

Harmonizing both vocals and beards. The album reminds me a little of Bon Iver.

Alan Doyle, Russell Crowe, Samantha Barks et al – “Fairytale of New York”

This round of songs got me into the Christmas season. I managed to mostly refrain from sharing an endless stream of covers of The Pogues/Kirsty MacColl classic “Fairytale of New York.” However, this version featuring the cast of the 2012 film version of “Les Miserables” was too much fun to pass up.