Spirits in the Water Elements of Untethered Realms Book 4 Genre: Fantasy Anthology Authors:
Catherine Stine, Gwen Gardner, Jeff Chapman, M. Pax, Angela Brown, River Fairchild, Simon Kewin, Christine Rains, Meradeth Houston, M. Gerrick, Cherie Reich
A haunted journey on a riverboat, water sprites borne of pennies, preternatural creatures, ancient serpents, and the Lady of the Lake lurk in dark waters. Raging storms and magical rainbow fountains. Water is spectacularly beautiful but also treacherous. Spirits in the Wateris an anthology of eleven magical tales by Untethered Realms, masters of fantasy & sci-fi. Take a haunted journey on a riverboat, meet water sprites borne of pennies, preternatural creatures, ancient serpents, and the Lady of the Lake who lurks in dark waters. Experience raging storms and magical rainbow fountains. Water is spectacularly beautiful but also treacherous. This is the last in the Elements series. Get them all!
Gwen Gardner gives us Shake, Rattle and Row.
Harlow Grayson has the chance to rid herself of a pesky ghost but she must first brave a haunted riverboat and recover a family heirloom. What she finds might be more than she can handle.
Jeff Chapman offers The Water Wight.
When a drowned girl changes her mind about suicide, Merliss and her associates face a fearsome, preternatural creature.
M. Pax presents The Wallows.
Evernee Weems wants to escape this world in the worst way. Her daughter needs everything, the rent is being raised, Evernee's job barely pays minimum wage, and she has little hope for better. Inside a puddle is a different reality. She jumps in, happy to trade her problems for a life in which worries don't exist. Or do they?
Angela Brown gives us Extraordinary.
Puberty hits Angelique like a gut punch and brings about a change, forcing an unexpected revelation about her past. All seems well until a vicious storm tears through her Texas community, and Angelique learns there are worse things than a little change.
River Fairchild presents You Can't Go Home Again.
A young woman, filled with regret about the past, goes on a journey and discovers more than she bargained for.
Simon Kewin offers us The Waters, Dividing the Land.
Hyrn the horned god of the woodlands is learning the meaning of fear. Death magic blights the land, threatening everyone and everything. To save what he can from spreading corruption, he turns to the ancient river serpents, but they've grown old and distant and may not hear his call at all.
Christine Rains gives us Frozen.
A necromancer is on the frozen moon of Saturn where the dead do scream.
Meradeth Houston presents The Flood.
Sometimes a flooded kitchen isn't the unluckiest thing to happen to you.
Catherine Stine offers Maizy of Bellagio.
April still searches for her mother who vanished nineteen years ago from the fountain at Hotel Bellagio in Vegas. Can Maizy, a water sprite who works the fountain's pink colors, begin to help the three generations of eccentric women tortured by this tragedy?
M. Gerrick gives us The One Who Would Wield the Sword.
Nikka is supposed to be nothing more than dragon bait so a real dragon hunter can do his job, but the Lady in the Lake has other plans for her.
Cherie Reich presents The Folding Point.
Aimee's fight against those who banned paper magics has begun.
From USA Today, Amazon bestselling, and popular science fiction and fantasy authors comes Spirits in the Water, a supernatural anthology of eleven thrilling tales. Spirits in the Water is the fourth, long-awaited Elements story collection from the dynamic and inventive Untethered Realms group.
I woke in a tomb. No, a cell. Or rather, what was more like a storage closet. A single light shone over my head and seemed to illuminate the throbbing pain engulfing my face.
Raising a hand, I gingerly inspected my nose. It was swollen, but I could breathe. Someone had tended to it and set it with a squirt of bio-gel. It was not something I expected from scavengers. But if they weren’t scavengers, who were they?
I sat slowly, fighting past the dizziness and smacking my dry mouth as I tried to wet it. How long had I been out? Hours? A day? Even more so, how long would it take for anyone to realize I had gone missing? The Planetary Marshals were scarce this far out in the solar system. They might not concern themselves with a missing necromancer. Not many folks would.
My helmet and a small bucket sat by my feet. Someone had fitted me into my space suit. Had we left the colony? Carrying me across Enceladus’ slippery surface to wherever they were hiding would be a lot of work. It meant they might have a hover vessel which would get them around on the surface much easier.
The door opened with a squeak, and my attacker stood in its place. His black hair was shorn short accentuating the shadows around his eyes. His face was like a storm that wouldn’t end, battered with age and angry.
“You better be worth the trouble, Silaluk. If you don’t cooperate, I have no qualms about tossing you off the ship.”
Ship? I gripped the material of suit as I reached out with my other senses. Nothing. Emptiness. People might claim to have haunted ships, but it was their space-addled minds making them see things. Spirits didn’t exist in vacuums. They needed earth to cling to and water to move through.
I squeezed my eyes shut. Not scavengers. Pirates.
“I see you understand your situation now.” The bastard sounded pleased with himself. “I’m Captain Schrader. Call me whatever you want, but do as I say, and you’ll live through this. In fact, you could earn enough to buy yourself a something bigger than a box to live in.”
“What do you want from me?” My voice wasn’t quite my own. Schrader’s friend had done quite the number on my nose. Or maybe it was my resignation.
“I need you to do two things for me.” Schrader held up one finger. “Find a map.” He flipped up a second digit. “And help me get the goods.”
Simple words, but I highly doubted it would be as easy as it sounded. If it were, he wouldn’t need me. “So why do you need me?”
Schrader’s smirk tightened his whole face. “Because only a dead man knows the whereabouts of the map.”
Angela Brown is a lover of Wild Cherry Pepsi and chocolate/chocolate covered deliciousness. Steampunk, fantasy, and paranormal to contemporary fill her growing library of books. Mother to a rambunctious darling girl aptly nicknamed Chipmunk, life stays busy. Angela’s favorite quote keeps her moving: “You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no result.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi. Find out more at publishness.blogspot.com.
Jeff Chapman writes software by day and speculative fiction when he should be sleeping. Many cups of dark hot chocolate power his nighttime imagination. His tales range from fantasy to horror, and they don’t all end badly. He lives with his wife, children, and cats in a house with more books than bookshelf space. Learn more at www.jeffchapmanbooks.com.
River Fairchild is somewhat odd, brandishes a dry sense of humor, and is owned by several cats. Lives in a fantasy world. A fabricator of magic. Makes stuff up and spins tales about it. Believes in Faerie crossings and never staying in one place for very long. Speculative Fiction wordsmith. The secret to her stories? Spread lies, blend in truths, add a pinch of snark and a dash of tears. Escape into her world. She left the porch light on so you can find your way down the rabbit hole.
Gwen Gardner writes clean, cozy and quirky mysteries and don’t be surprised if you meet a few ghosties along the way.
Since ghosts feature prominently in her books, she has a secret desire to meet one face to face—but will run screaming for the hills if she ever does. Gwen adores travel and experiencing the cultures and foods of different countries. She is always up for an adventure and anything involving chocolate, not necessarily in that order. For more about her books go to www.gwengardner.com.
M. Gerrick is the author of The War of Six Crowns and a variety of other stories (as Misha Gerrick). She was born and raised in South Africa, and currently lives on an apple farm with a small menagerie of animals. You can find her at www.youtube.com/channel/UCFRZK0eX_vgzbF7jM91N8DA.
Meradeth Houston likes to write about the real world, just with a big twist—maybe people can time travel or fly or aliens are real. It makes things a little more interesting. She is an anthropology professor by day, spending hours in a lab studying dead people’s DNA. Currently, she resides in Montana, where she wishes a beach were just a little closer. You can find more about her recent adventures here: meradethhouston.com.
Simon Kewin was born and raised on the misty Isle of Man in the middle of the Irish Sea, but he now lives in the English countryside with his wife and their daughters. He is the author of over a hundred published short stories, and his works have appeared in Analog, Nature, Daily Science Fiction, Abyss & Apex, and many more. His cyberpunk novel The Genehunter and his Cloven Land fantasy trilogy were published not so long ago, and his clockpunky novel Engn is to be published by Curiosity Quills Press in 2018. Find him at simonkewin.co.uk.
M. Pax is author of the space opera adventure series, The Backworlds, and the urban fantasy series, The Rifters. Fantasy, science fiction, and the weird beckons to her. She blames Oregon, a source of endless inspiration. She docents at Pine Mountain Observatory in the summers as a star guide and enjoys exploring the quirky corners of Oregon with her husband. Find out more at mpaxauthor.com.
Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees, which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s playing games with friends or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She has one novel and several novellas and short stories published. Find out more at christinerains.net.
Cherie Reich owns more books than she can ever read and thinks up more ideas than she can ever write, but that doesn’t stop this bookworm from trying to complete her goals, even if it means curbing her TV addiction. A library assistant living in Virginia, she writes speculative fiction. Her books include the paranormal horror collection Once upon a Nightmare, the fantasy short story collection People of Foxwick and Their Neighbors, and the fantasy series The Fate Challenges. For more information about her books, visit smarturl.it/CReichWebsite.
Catherine Stine is a USA Today bestselling author, whose novels span the range from futuristic to supernatural to contemporary. She thinks of writing as painting with words and as conjuring magic from the ether. Catherine hails from Philadelphia and lives in NYC. Find out more at www.catherinestine.com.
Water, Beautiful, Dangerous, Magical
Guest Post by Catherine Stine
I’m a Capricorn, an earth sign, but in so many ways I’m a water girl. The ocean is my everything. I’m drawn to it for relaxation, fun and solace. It’s my spiritual compass. Its tides attract, its sea creatures inspire mystery, and its vast existence stretching back into pre-history boggles the mind. I’ve set two of my novels (Dorianna and Witch of the Cards) on the seashore; it’s a natural setting for the unfolding of drama.
And as magnificent as oceans, lakes, and rain are they can be terribly dangerous. To name a few examples think about the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, Katrina, Irma (my granny’s name!) and Maria, and the tsunami that hit Japan. I live in New York City and witnessed the wrath of Sandy. Cars floated away, some subway lines were destroyed and people perished in flooded basements. We were without power for five days and lived in a cold apartment lit by candles and flashlights. We got our news from short wave radio and spent the time the old-school way, playing cards. We were lucky. Sandy was mild compared to some of the other storms. Water is not only perilous. It has its upsides, too. We need it to survive. We cannot live more than a few days without it.
Water is also a perfect vehicle for magic. Last year I took my first trip to Las Vegas, and to the musical fountain at the Bellagio Hotel. The minute I stood by it, I felt touched by magic and imagined that it was inhabited by hundreds of water sprites, who controlled the pulsing movements not by digital mechanics but by the rapid beating of their colored wings. I wondered what the sprites’ lives would be like and what their quests might be. My story “Maizy of Bellagio” in the Spirits in the Water anthology was born, just as Maizy was borne of a wishing penny someone had thrown in the fountain.
In the wake of the recent tragedy in Vegas I was nervous about presenting this story. But what better balm is there for heartbreak and horror than bringing back a little magic to Vegas, and joy to people’s hearts?
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