Happy Release Day to The Impostor and Other Dark Tales

It has sure been busy as I prep for all of the things going on this October, but today I’m celebrating the release of my first self-published full-length book, The Impostor and Other Dark Tales! This collection has been a labor of love and given me the chance to work with some incredibly talented people. I’ve also been blown away by the reviews and support this book has already gotten, but mostly I’m so thankful to have these tales I’ve loved for so long out in the world in one solid place!

Happy book birthday to my dark, twisted, beautiful short story collection!

Now available in ebook and paperback wherever horror books are sold!

Buy a copy of The Impostor and Other Dark Tales

Happy Cover Reveal to The Impostor And Other Dark Tales

Happy cover reveal day to this gorgeous collection of short stories! Divided into sections for the beautiful and the bizarre, the tales range from dark fantasy with sorcery and mermaids, to horror with monsters and unnatural animals. Putting this together has been a labor of love over the last year, and I’ve had the benefit of getting to work with incredible people throughout the process.

The cover itself was created by Shivana Brhamadat at SinsValentine.com. The lettering was done by my sister, Kelley M. Frank at MorbidSmile.com. It’s amazing seeing the talents of two artists combining together to make sure a beautiful piece.

This collection is available to pre-order today! Paperbacks will be coming soon!

The Impostor and Other Dark Tales

The beautiful and the bizarre

Something watches from the corner of the room, peeking through a crack, existing within an impossible space—what does it want?

The ghost of a lover returns at the end of a lifetime, carrying a dark secret—what will she say?

A woman struggling with identity finds herself in the arms of a dangerous woman with a mysterious curse—what will she find?

The beautiful and the bizarre exist side by side in this collection of fantastic and strange tales by prolific short story author, Marlena Frank. From dark fantasy stories of sharp-toothed mermaids and bewitched sorceresses to horror stories with ferocious bird beasts and golden-eyed monsters that live in the peripheral of human existence, these stories bring to life the creatures that haunt the nightmare world.

From heart-rending to heart-pounding, these tales will linger long after reading them.

Creeping onto bookshelves on September 28th.

Pre-order your copy today!

Some Big Changes Ahead

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve probably already seen one announcement, but I wanted to make sure my website followers are aware as well. Things have been moving fast this past month, both expected and not so much, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to organize it all in a way that makes sense for you all.

First things first, let’s start with a beloved book from my backlist.

The She-Wolf of Kanta

This book was my first solo release, available in print so I could hold it in my hands. It’s very tightly written, fast-paced, and is also one of the most highly rated stories I’ve written. However one of the biggest criticisms I’ve received on it is that it’s too short, and I definitely agree. It’s a novella, at a little over 20k words, and while it’s a wonderful story on it’s own, I felt like there was more to be told.

So I felt it was time to pull it from Aurelia Leo Publishing even though it’s had a wonderful run there. Olivia, the owner, was wonderful and the book had some beautiful internal artwork included with it too. When the rights were up for renewal, I felt it was a good time for Mercy’s story to move on.

I’ve already outlined the anticipated sequel, The Blood of Kanta, a full-length sequel to the highly acclaimed novella. It’s a book I’ve wanted to return to for a while, but with my current deadlines with the Stolen series, I haven’t had the chance to. I hope that will change soon and I’ll get to return to the unique world of werewolves and Kanta.

If you want to see progress on things that I’m currently writing, make sure you subscribe to my mailing list. I send out emails on the first and third Saturday of each month, and I plan to show more behind the scenes inspiration and progress of my works in progress.

“The Impostor”

You may have seen some of the news going around about Filles Vertes Publishing recently, and I’m afraid it’s not good news. They had scheduled my short story “The Impostor” to release in Link by Link coming this December. However I just received notice that the publisher has cancelled this anthology.

Based on the information I’ve received, I’m not surprised this happened, but it’s still disappointing to have my story homeless. It was written for a very specific theme, so finding another anthology to take it will be a challenge.

This is honestly one of the struggles I’ve faced in being part of small press anthologies. Some of the small presses do well long term and some don’t, but this leads me to what I plan to do with “The Impostor”.

Making New Plans

Looking at all the stories I’ve published over the past ten years, and the stories that I haven’t published, I have a good amount of spec fic stories (fantasy/scifi/horror) available. I’m looking at publishing them together in an anthology as my first collection of stories. In the rudimentary table of contents I put together this weekend, I found around 7 stories that had never found a home, many of them dark and experimental, misfits who also struggle to find acceptance.

So that’s my plan, and “The Impostor” will be included in this anthology. I’m very proud of all of these stories and I really am looking forward to sharing them with everyone.

Oh, and while I was doing inventory of my writing folder this weekend, I remembered that years ago I actually wrote several short pieces that were the beginning inspirations for the Stolen series. The characters were slightly different then than they are now, but the emotions and the pain expressed in them are very much the same. So… those will likely be included too!

So while I’m disappointed at this turn of events, I’m also excited for what comes down the road. There are a lot of possibilities I see available, and I still have two book releases coming out over the next 7 months. (Oof!)

Thank you all for supporting me through all this and for listening to this little peek behind the curtain. One last bite of advice before I go.

I took part in the Self-Employment Productivity Summit run by John Edward Lawson. One of the big takeaways that he mentioned and that has stuck with me is that when you run a small business, you represent that business in everything you do. And being an author is a business. From chatting online to going to stores to managing a table at a show. Every action you take reflects not only yourself but the business too. As someone who grew up among teachers, professors, and state employees, it’s something I’ve known my whole life. But it does bear repeating during this time of COVID.

Keep your head up and keep being creative. Stay safe out there, folks. ❤

Review: Lullaby of Flames

Finished 4/9/2020

I went in completely blind on this short story, which is how I prefer to experience a story to be honest, so I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t expect our teenage lead, Cori, to fall down a pit into Hell.

This story took a number of unexpected twists and turns, and had a number of characters I really enjoyed, such as Rigel and Lilith. Cori was great from beginning to end though despite her big mistake, and speaking of, wow this ending!

Candace Robinson’s stories are always so creative and this was no exception. I seriously don’t know how she dreams up these stories, but I’m here for them!

This is a great read for fans of the 80s films of Legend or Labyrinth! Especially if you enjoy being taken by surprise.

My Rating: 5/5 stars… that ending!

An Early Peek at La Femme en Rouge

Welcome to this leg of the Filles Vertes Publishing MASKS blog hop!

If you somehow landed on this page and haven’t heard about the blog hop, click here!

If you haven’t already, add MASKS to your Goodreads TBR

Also, pre-orders are available at FVPub.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, or your fave bookseller. Convenient links are listed below:

Enjoy this entertaining glimpse of one of the intriguing stories awaiting you in MASKS. Remember to look for the keyword/phrase and take a note of it!

Happy Hopping!

We are only a little over a month away from the release of Masks, an anthology featuring a slice of the darker side of Mardi Gras. Judging from the list of authors alone, I can already tell it’s going to be an incredible read!

My short story, “La Femme en Rouge”, or French for The Woman in Red, will be part of this piece. It follows a trans woman named Josie who struggles to embrace herself despite an abusive home life. When she encounters a strange woman in red one night, she’s drawn into a mystery and a discover she never expected. As Mardi Gras looms ever closer, Josie finds more questions rather than answers.

<keyword: Masks>

See below for a sneak peek at “La Femme en Rouge” coming March 31st in Masks from Filles Vertes Publishing!

Frosted pink lipstick, sweet summer sunset eyeshadow, and blushing rose rouge: my hands trembled so bad that the eyeliner went on crooked.

“Shit,” I muttered under my breath, arching my face up to the light and dabbing at my eye with my pinky finger, trying to smooth out the line, trying to make it perfect. The false lashes were next, and I swallowed down the dryness in my throat. The lash glue squeezed out slow and smooth, a white strip on the back of the lash. Then the door to the bathroom opened with a loud clacking of heels and I nearly dropped the lash onto the grimy floor.

I turned to look, blowing lightly on the lash, waiting for the white to go clear. A woman with dark hair and spray-tanned skin slipped into one of the stalls. Hopefully she didn’t notice me. No questions, no comments, no wondering why I had a whole makeup bag dumped out on the countertop. I leaned forward over the sink and tried to place the lash on my eyelid, shaking so badly I was afraid I was going to poke myself in the eye.

The toilet flushed and I froze, breathing so close to the mirror that it fogged up. I tried to avoid her gaze as she walked up beside me to wash her hands.

Sidelong glances. Unreadable features. I tried to focus on the lash instead.

“La Femme en Rouge” by Marlena Frank

Next up!

M. Dalto talks about her story, “Epiphany”!

Go check out Blog Stop #4!