Sunday, August 27, 2023

"The Last Witch of Salem" in WITCH WIZARD WARLOCK by West Mesa Press

I am excited to have a short story ("The Last Witch of Salem") in Witch Wizard Warlock

Wizardry is always a draw for attention. Halloween is around the corner too, and there will be special attention toward beloved (feared?) magical arts. Three Cousins Publishing (an imprint of West Mesa Publishing) gathered Carol McConnell, David Lawrence Morris and Robert Allen Lupton to collect tales of spellcasting with a global perspective from contemporary voices, and so Witch Wizards Warlock was conjured. It is available now in Kindle ($4.99), Paperback ($16.95), and Hardcover ($25.99).  An audiobook is in the works.

Salem Witch Trial: This a public domain image via Wikipedia, by an unattributed artist from William A. Crafts (1876) Pioneers in the settlement of America: from Florida in 1510 to California in 1849.

S.E. Lindberg's "Last Witch of Salem."

The "Last Witch of Salem" story revisits possible supernatural undercurrents behind the infamous town during the super-charged time of Leslie's Retreat. That event (aka "Salem Gunpowder Raid") was a standoff between the British military and American colonists in Salem, Massachusetts. Here's the historical context before & after the "Retreat":

  • 1692 - 1693 The Salem witch trials: These infamous Massachusetts: hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between
  • 1775 - 1778 Smallpox Epidemic: The illness spread across the Americas and hurting indigenous cultures tremendously
  • Feb-1775 Leslie's Retreat: The British sent troops to Salem to seize illegally held ammunition. They were repelled (i.e., the British forces under Colonel Leslie retreated), with only one person being officially wounded. The event somehow ended with a compromise, delaying the start of the... [sidebar: it is amazing that an account of this event is available via the Library of Congress, see below image for link]
  • Apr-1775 Revolutionary War leading to the 1776 Declaration of Independence, of course!
"The Last Witch of Salem" puts the Native American woman (presumed witch) Branwen ferch Gwynedd of Pinegrove in the middle of all this: smallpox, persecution, and impending war!

Modes Endicott’s 1775 account of Leslie’s Retreat (Account of Leslie's retreat at the North Bridge in Salem) is viewable online via THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS.

Back Cover Blurb

The massive volume contains thirty-four stories about witches, wizards, and warlocks from the brightest talents writing speculative fiction today, writers from seven countries around the world. Horror stories, fantasy stories, adventure stories, some with a touch of humor, and some that shouldn't be read after the lights go out. Young witches, old witches, pretty witches, and ugly witches, along with wizards, good and bad, share stories with warlocks. Are there good warlocks - who knows?

Readers can attend wizard school, fight monsters and of course, evil witches and warlocks. They can journey on magical quests, seek true love, and even take sides in the American Revolutionary War.

Contributors to the anthology include the following, some of whom may or may not be a witch, a wizard, or a warlock, but they all have a magical way with words. Many of them have books available, If you like their story, consider one of their other works. Three Cousins Publishing would like to thank: Alyson Faye, E. V. Emmons, Campbell Blaine, S. E. Lindberg, Carol McConnell, David Morris, Shebat Legion, R. L. Meldrum, Rose Strickman, Lawrence Dagstine, Catherine Jordan, Tim Pulo, Judy Mowdy, Donna Garren, Shane Porteous, Ann Tjelmenland, Kay Hanifen, Ann Solinsky, Jason Battle, Dwain Campbell, C. J. Carter-Stephenson, AE Stueve, Dr. Ayman Kole, Josh Schlossberg, Rie Sheridan Rose, Chris Adams, George Jacobs, Darren Lipman, Bill Durfy, DW Milton, Yvonne Lang, and Robin Allison Lupton.

One has to be careful when dealing with witches and the like, because none of us is every quite as smart as we think we are, but hopefully that rule applies to those who seek to master the dark arts.

So here's the book, sit down and light a candle, and make sure to keep a bell within reach. You never know when you'll need to break a spell. Enjoy.

From the Foreword:

This anthology contains stories from writers around the world, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, the United States, and the Bahamas. Each country has its own version of the English language, its own idioms, and its own way of spelling certain words. In the United States, the language varies from region to region. A Louisiana dialect bears no resemblance to what’s spoken in Boston. We’ve tried to respect and celebrate those differences. We learned that 'you lot' in the UK apparently means the same thing as all 'y’all' does in Mississippi. A pint in one country is a coldie in another. Innocuous words in one part of the English-speaking world are offensive in another. Our resident punctuation warlock insisted that we use consistent punctuation. Hopefully, we’ve accomplished that. So a quick toast before you start the first story, “To Witches, Warlocks, and Wizards; and to active verbs, proper use of conjunctions, and the Oxford comma. May all intransitive verbs, participles past and present, and gerunds rot away on some ancient alchemist’s shelf.”

... Whether you believe in witches, warlocks, or wizards, be nice if you meet someone who claims to be one. Politeness never hurts and you just never know.

Table of Contents

  • “The Old Magus” -- Alyson Faye
  • “Eggshells” -- E. V. Emmons
  • “Bad Ink” -- Campbell Blaine
  • “The Last Witch of Salem” -- S. E. Lindberg
  • “If You Give A Mule An Apple…” -- Carol McConnell
  • “The Making of Martin” -- David Morris
  • “The Mother Garden” -- Shebat Legion
  • “Witch Stones” -- R J Meldrum
  • “Blood is Blood” -- Rose Strickman
  • “Family Ties” -- Lawrence Dagstine
  • “No Hands of Time” --Catherine Jordan
  • “Witch for Hire” --Robert Allen Lupton
  • “A Wizard, a Centaur, and a Harpy Walk into a Bar” --   Tim Pulo
  • “The Witch Covens of Oklahoma” -- Judy Mowdy
  • “Disappearing Act” --Donna Garren
  • “A Sandy Solution” --Shane Porteous
  • “A Question of Betrayal” --Ann Tjelmenland
  • “The Apprentice” --Kay Hanifen
  • “Alchemy” --Ann Solinsky
  • “A Deal’s a Deal” --Jason Battle
  • “Texaco Thaumaturgy” --Dwain Campbell
  • “Do You Really Want to Know” --C. J. Carter-Stephenson
  • “The Witches Lament” --AE Stueve
  • “Two Candles for Dennis” -- Ayman Kole
  • “Levi Cures the Plague” -- Josh Schlossberg
  • “Where There’s a Witch, There’s a Way” -- Rie Sheridan Rose
  • “The Sorceress Ring” -- Chris Adams
  • “Beyond the Edge of the World” -- George Jacobs
  • “Deadlock Magic” -- Darren Lipman
  • “Wizard School” -- Bill Durfy
  • “His Wire-Rimmed Spectacles” -- DW Milton