Rachael Pruitt Wins Global Ebook Award

Hazard Yet Forward would like to welcome another award-winner into it’s ranks.  Rachael Pruitt, whose short story “Wolf Flower” appears in the anthology, just received the Global Ebook Award for ancient historical fiction.

Rachael is a writer, storyteller, and teacher with a lifelong fascination for Celtic mythology and the Arthurian legend.

Her award-winning novel, The Dragon’s Harp, tells the story of the coming of age of the famous Queen Gwenhwyfar (the Welsh spelling for Guinevere) in a dark and frightening time. Merlin is her Uncle and, although she is a tribal Celtic princess who possesses both power and magic, she is in great danger from both the human and supernatural realms.

Congrats, Rachael!

The Dragon’s Harp by Rachael Pruitt

*Biography courtesy of Rachael’s website.

Featured Contributor — Mike Mehalek

Two Good Lookin’ Mehaleks

Everyone knows someone who has had to battle cancer.  When I think back as each of my parents fought it, I realize that the many, many, many small acts of kindness are what held us together.  This book is tangible representation of these acts, a collection of well-wishes, prayers, and long distance hugs from me and from the SHU community. It’s a reminder for Donna that she is more to us than an alum, more than a friend—she’s family.

The following excerpt from Mike’s psychological mystery story “The Turnpike”:

Nothing in the last year seemed to matter.  As he strained to stay
awake along this sad and lonely stretch of time, the pure flakes
poured down in long, surreal rivulets, like a swarm of locust, before
splattering into powdery, little starbursts.

That’s when Danny passed himself.  Well it wasn’t himself exactly.  It
couldn’t have been.  It was another white car, bearing the familiar
red and white “Spirit of America” license plate Danny had finally
gotten used to seeing having moved up to Boston five years ago.

But at this hour, nearly five hundred miles away from home, that’s
exactly what Danny had thought.  I just passed myself.
About Mike:

Mike Mehalek is a country boy living in a big city and trying not to get
into too much trouble doing it. He writes thriller, horror, fantasy, literary, and flash fiction.  He is currently finishing up his novel Only Human. When not writing, you may catch him camping, listening to music, at a coffee shop, or showing someone a magic trick. Catch up on his antics at his blog http://mikemehalek.blogspot.com where he writes about writing, his travels, or anything else this piques his interest or by following him on twitter @mikemehalek.

Featured Contributor — Matt Duvall

Why did I choose to participate in this anthology? Donna was one of the first people I met when I started my master’s program at Seton Hill University. She is a good friend and a truly generous human being. While many writers (or maybe just I) can be cynical, Donna is always positive. She supports other writers in many ways: buying their books, giving feedback on a first draft, or just motivating them to write. She’s also a great writer herself. In short, this anthology seemed the perfect way to give back a little bit and let Donna know how much we care.

The following is an excerpt from Matt’s horror story “Happy Holidays”:

It was already getting dark when Bill Harrington left the office, a brisk October night. He hadn’t gotten much done. Every time the phone rang he jolted to attention, fighting back the urge to fling it against the wall. He could sense the people in the cubicles nearby talking about the conversation with Peterson concerning his tardiness that morning– a whole five minutes. The smokers wasted way more time than that on just one break. He sighed, thinking of the endless interviews he’d been on in the past few months, exercises in futility. He was too old to compete with the college kids, his skills obsolete. And no matter how bad he wanted to just leave, there was still the mortgage to pay, the car bill every month.

Bill slammed on the brakes at the stoplight, realizing at the last second it was red. He couldn’t get his mind off Peterson. He was afraid he would cry, like a schoolboy scolded by the teacher. He flicked on his blinker for a right turn, tires squealing as he went around the corner.

There was a flash of white bed sheet and then a frightened ghoul’s face ground across the windshield. He felt a sickening thud under the tires.

“Oh my God, no,” he whispered. He looked at his face in the rearview, terrified. It couldn’t have been… A Dum-Dum wrapper floated through the air. Dimly he remembered passing other children, dressed for the occasion – Halloween.

About Matt…

A former professional wrestler who appeared on national TV shows, he was included in Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine’s Top 500 wrestlers for 1996. He completed his MFA at Seton Hill University, which is also where he met his wife, Natalie. His short fiction has been published in a number of venues, including Chizine, The Ultimate Unknown, and Eye Contact. When he’s not teaching high school students, he practices Krav Maga, runs half marathons, and tries to avoid mowing the yard. You can follow his blog about parenting at reallycrankydad.wordpress.com.

Featured Contributor — Tanya Twombly

Why did I choose to participate in this anthology? Because it’s for Donna. It’s as simple as that. Donna is kind, generous, fun, vivacious, full of spunk and energy, and just plain ol’ good people. If the situation were reversed, not only would she have contributed, she would have spearheaded the project. I’ve suffered several losses to cancer in the last few years. I would do anything I could to help someone else battling the beast. Turns out, this is what I can do.

The following excerpt is a snippet from Tanya’s horror flash fiction story “She Weeps”:

The child hangs limply from her arms.

She lays the child tenderly on the bed, curling her own body around the small form. She shoos away flies attempting to lay their maggot babies on her child’s lips. She holds the child’s tiny hand in hers. Outside the bedroom window, the world moves on. Cars pass. A lawnmower drones. Children on bikes hurl names at one another across the street.

No one knows how she weeps.

The tears slide from under her lids like infection from a wound. Pain sucks the breath from her chest. She presses the tiny fingers to her lips. Loose skin slips over miniscule bones. The sobs finally come, keeping time with her husband’s pounding on the door. The latch gives. The door flings open.

“Jesus Christ. What have you done, you stupid cow?”