This year, Clarendon House has been concentrating on publishing books by individual authors, most of whom have won book contracts from me by winning readers’ votes for stories that appeared in earlier anthologies. It’s wonderful to be able to make these authors’ dreams come true by producing beautiful books which symbolise moments of real triumph for each individual — but it’s a win-win, because it’s also marvellous to be able to present their great stories to a wider reading public.
Here’s a list of the books that have come out so far this year, proving amongst other things that 2020 isn’t all bad. And there are plenty more high quality books to come.
1. Witness Testimony and Other Tales by P. A. O’Neil
P.A. O’Neil has been writing professionally for four years. In that time, her stories have been featured in multiple anthologies (many of them international best-sellers), as well as on-line journals and magazines from several continents. She and her husband reside in Olympia, Washington, with her adult children living nearby.
Some authors paint such vivid pictures with their words that the reader feels as though he or she is actually present, a silent observer or phantom, almost participating in the events of a tale. Such an author is P. A. O’Neil — but that’s not all: there’s a powerful golden thread of charm or warmth or humanity that runs through her stories too. Not to mention that within these pages you’ll also encounter Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes and more, and venture to as far-flung places as Venice, Vancouver Island and Faerie.With a Foreword by Steve Carr.
2. La Quinceañera by Carmen Baca
After 36 years in the classroom, Carmen now teaches from home, helping aspiring authors with their own manuscripts, researching marketing strategies, and working on my next book. You can find her in the mountains of northern New Mexico where she and her husband enjoy a peaceful, quiet life caring for their animal family and any stray that happens to stop by. The traditional Quinceañera is Marguerite Quintanilla’s special celebration, replete with splendid garments, gifts, and decorations. But a little girl disappears from the event, and another vanishes from the same location five years later. No one can explain how Marguerite’s last doll, a Quince gift, connects the two. Before she leaves the town of Pajarillo to begin her religious life, Marguerite gives away the rest of her Quince gifts: her first pair of high heels, the tiara, the scepter—all the regalos go to people special to her. But the gifts come with peculiar gifts of their own and begin to alter their new owners in particular ways. Two strangers and an unseen threat drawing its power from an ancient lost world mean that all is not what it seems, and immortal souls are at risk.
3. On the Wings of Ideas by Gabriella Balcom
Gabriella Balcom lives in Texas, loves reading and writing, and can be reached on Facebook.
Some authors have a range so wide and a scope so varied that it’s difficult to ‘pin them down’ in a few words. Best-selling author Gabriella Balcom can write science fiction, fantasy, children’s literature, literary fiction, poetry, horror, humour, romance and more — and you’ll find all of the above in this eclectic collection of tales, including the award-winning ‘Mouses and Rats Cot Reel Cheep!’ and the story ‘Nun or Not?’ featured in Clarendon House Publications’ special Gold anthology which presented the best short stories of 2017/2018.
4. Song of the Highway by Sharon Frame Gay
Sharon Frame Gay has been internationally published in many anthologies and literary magazines, including Chicken Soup For The Soul, Typehouse, Lowestoft Chronicle, Literary Orphans, and others. She has won awards at The Writing District, Wow-Women On Writing, Owl Hollow Press, and Rope and Wire and is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Some stories are prose compositions that, while not actually broken into verse lines, demonstrate a depth of symbology, metaphor, and other figures of speech common to poetry, producing literary works of acute beauty in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given an intensity beyond the norm. In this collection of tales by the extraordinary writer Sharon Frame Gay, you will find yourself again and again both moved emotionally to rapture and grief while also being entranced by an exquisiteness of language and a close eye for human detail.
As I say, there are plenty more books to come from Clarendon House, including more from David Bowmore, a fantasy epic by Emily Fluke, poetry from Christine Tabaka, short stories from Peter Astle, and much more. Plus Clarendon House’s unique brand of specialist writing books and tools. All you have to do is stay tuned!