Seven Fantasy and Science Fiction authors have twisted time into tales of adventure, mystery, horror, and romance. It is time to present you the Tick Tock: Seven Tales of Time Anthology.
A serial killer returns years later to finish what was started.
A coffee shop offers a respite for the cursed.
A hangover masks the horrors of the previous night.
A princess’s wedding gift comes with a price.
A locked apartment door hides a chilling secret.
A girl wakes up in an asylum and must survive, and escape.
A young woman must protect the past to thwart a thief from the future.
All it takes is a second . . . a minute . . . an hour . . . for everything to change.
“Tick Tock” is an interesting compilation of short s
“Tick Tock” is an interesting compilation of short stories revolving around time. Each story explores a different fascination of the authors—time travel, reincarnation, etc. All the stories are well-written with great intriguing characters.
The story which stuck with me was Rebecca Taylor’s “Jesse’s Girl”. This one should be sent to schools everywhere to make sure kids understand the hazards of drugs. It was such a heartbreaking tale. I couldn’t imagine having to live through the same memory every single day. No need for a prison. The mind is doing a perfect job. An excellent story.
My second favorite story was written by Shawn McGuire, “The Door”. This tale made me think. The door represented an opportunity for each of the characters who went through it. Such an intriguing story.
For Wendy Terrien, I’d love to read more of Genna’s story! What an amazing spin on reincarnation.
A.G. Henley’s “Untimely” is a delightful story of a time traveling criminal. I loved the characters, the premise, and would love to read a whole series about these criminals.
Overall, I didn’t read a story I didn’t like. Each one kept my interest. If any of these turn into full-length novels, I’ll be happy to read them.
(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)
Tick Tock: Seven Tales of Time Anthology
Suicide High by Corinne O’Flynn
People think being psychic is cool or exciting. That being able to get messages from the other side gives us an edge somehow. I can see where they’re coming from—I totally get it. When you don’t understand, you fill in the gaps with what you’d want it to be. There’s an entire industry built around people’s need to tap in to the ethereal and know.
But it’s not like some cosmic vending machine. A psychic can’t pull specific details from the transcendental top hat on a whim. We don’t control what we get. It’s given to us, directed. We don’t wake up knowing which sports teams will beat the spread on a daily basis. And it’s not true that we have the answers to everything. Most people don’t get that.
Countdown Café by Kristi Helvig
Six Days Before
Six months is considered the acceptable amount of time for grieving. Anything over that allotment pushes your parent-mandated therapist to change your diagnosis from the rather blasé and benign sounding Adjustment Disorder to the more somber and serious Major Depressive Disorder. The elusive happiness fairy neglected to wave her magic wand over me by the deadline, so here I am—again—sitting on the scratchy couch across from Dr. Debbie.
While she drones on about the stages of bereavement, which I’m apparently failing worse than senior year trigonometry, I stare at the painting behind her. Ocean waves lap at a deserted seashore while a lighthouse juts out over craggy rocks.
“What are you thinking?” Dr. Debbie asks.I shrug. “I guess I’m wondering why you have an ocean scene in your office when the Midwest is nowhere near the coast?”
She peeks over her shoulder at the painting behind her. “I thought it would be relaxing. Do you like it?”
A deep sigh escapes me. “It makes me wish I were somewhere else.”
Dr. Debbie’s eyes light up like she can sense an impending breakthrough. She leans forward in her cracked, faux leather chair.
Jesse’s Girl by Rebecca Taylor
Her fingers. The barest brush of her touch trailed down his bare back. Like ice crystals at the base of his neck that melted down his spine. Her lips whispered so near his ear he could feel her breath as she questioned him, “Jesse?”
He rolled over. She was so close to him, he pulled his head back across his pillow until he was able to focus on her features. She didn’t look right, pale and lost, her eyes locked on something behind him. Her stare was blank, unblinking.
Her eyes shifted unnaturally to meet his and a cold panic rushed his body, left him weak.
Duo’vr by Sue Duff
Her father’s disgruntled stare was more than she could stomach, and Ciara turned toward the railing. An urge to jump was senseless, thanks to the curvature of the outer sphere. She would probably suffer nothing worse than scrapes and a ripped gown on her rapid slide to the bottom. Her imagined escape came to a halt when Thul took her hand in midconversation.
“We are merging more than royals,” Thul said. “I, for one, understand what’s at stake.” He leaned in and kissed the back of her hand with soft lips. “Do you?” he asked for her ears only, and gave Ciara a piercing stare.
She jerked her hand out of his grasp to stave off the goose bumps bubbling across her arms. She shuddered. Was it from his conspirator’s tone, or something else?
The Door by Shawn McGuire
Luck was with me on this find. Everything else I could afford was miles away and in parts of town I probably didn’t want to live in.
“Technically, it’s a two bedroom.” Mrs. Abercrombie finally settled on a key.
“What do you mean, ‘technically’?” My chest tightened, and my voice raised an octave. A two-bedroom would cost more. I pulled the flyer from my satchel and held it up to her. “This says a one bedroom for six-twenty-five a month.”
Mrs. Abercrombie reached inside her sweats to scratch… something and then nodded at the flyer.
“This is the same place. The price is what it says there. I ain’t pulling no bait-n-switch. The blueprints I got show two bedrooms. You’ll see when we get up there that there’s a stuck door. I figure that second bedroom is what’s behind it. Can’t say for sure ‘cause I can’t open it. No how, no way.” She sucked on her teeth. “Just explaining the door is all.”
The Fate Stone by Wendy Terrien
It didn’t make sense for her to run wearing only a nightgown. But if she could just get somewhere fast, maybe a convenience store or even a police station, she could get help. She’d be okay.
She started down the stairs, but the door opposite the one she’d come through opened wide. Genna pressed herself against the wall. It kept her hidden until the door closed. She dashed down the steps.
“Hold on there.” A boy called out to her. His footsteps followed.
Genna kept going. She reached the bottom landing. Her hand clutched the doorknob but he grabbed her arm.
“You don’t want to do that.”
Genna swung around. “Don’t tell me what to do.”
He let go of her and stepped back. He smiled. “I didn’t exactly tell you what to do. Just strongly suggested you don’t go through that door.”
She crossed her arms. “And why not?”
“Well, first because there are plenty of people on the other side that will take you back to your room, or worse. And second, if by some chance you made it outside, you’d freeze before you got very far.”
Untimely by A.G. Henley
“You’re trying to get rid of me,” I said.
Dad’s face closed up. “We have some things to discuss.”
Mom sat down, avoiding my glare. Richard’s thick eyebrows wrinkled apologetically.
“Whatever you’re trying to figure out,” I said to my parents, “I might be able to help. If you’d ask.”
They didn’t respond. I stalked toward the door that Alec held open for me, but something solid appeared between us.
Not something; someone. Neat blond hair, dark clothes. Jonah.
“Lovely. Just the girl I was looking for.” He smiled, like we’d met by chance on the street, and wrapped his hand around my arm. To Alec, he said, “You don’t mind if I borrow her, do you?”
And he yanked my world out from under me.
CORINNE O’FLYNN is a native New Yorker who now lives in Colorado and wouldn’t trade life in the Rockies for anything. She loves writing flash and experimenting with short fiction. Her novel, THE EXPATRIATES (Oct. 2014) is a YA fantasy adventure with magic and creatures and lots of creepy stuff. She is a scone aficionado, has an entire section of her kitchen devoted to tea, and is always on the lookout for the elusive Peanut Chews candy.
When she isn’t writing or hanging with her family, Corinne works as the executive director of a nonprofit. She is a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. You can find her online at corinneoflynn.comFacebook, , Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Instagram.
KRISTI HELVIG is a Ph.D. clinical psychologist turned sci-fi/fantasy author. Her first novel, BURN OUT (Egmont USA/Lerner Publishing), which Kirkus Reviews called “a scorching series opener not to be missed,” follows 17-year-old Tora Reynolds, one of Earth’s last survivors, when our sun burns out early. In the sequel, STRANGE SKIES, out 4/28/2015, Tora makes it to a new planet only to discover a whole new host of problems—and the same people who still want her dead. Order Kristi’s books through Amazon or your favorite local retailer. Kristi muses about Star Trek, space monkeys, and other assorted topics on her blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Kristi resides in sunny Colorado with her hubby, two kiddos, and behaviorally-challenged dogs.
REBECCA TAYLOR lives in Colorado with her husband and two children. In addition to writing, she works as a psychologist and teaches creative writing at Regis University. If you are interested in having her visit your library or school, please email her directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org and put AUTHOR EVENT in the subject line.
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SUE DUFF dreamed of dragons and spaceships before she could read and it’s only natural that she combines both fantasy and science fiction as her favorite writing genre. She is the author of The Weir Chronicle series. When she’s not writing she can be found walking her Great Dane, getting her hands dirty in her garden, or creating something delicious in her kitchen. She calls Colorado home and, when not saving the world one page at a time, is a speech therapist in an inner city school district.
Check out her website and blog, A Cook’s Guide to Writing and other musings, follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Instagram.
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SHAWN MCGUIRE is the author of young adult novels that blend contemporary settings and issues with a touch of fantasy and magic. She started writing after seeing the first Star Wars movie (that’s episode IV) as a kid. She couldn’t wait for the next movie to come out so wrote her own episodes. Sadly, those notebooks are long lost, but her desire to write is as strong now as it was then.
Her books deal with harder topics (dating violence, death of a sibling, divorce, substance abuse, runaways, bullying, teen suicide, etc.) because she believes it is important to talk about these things. Those kinds of topics can be hard to handle and a bit overwhelming, so she infuses a bit of humor in her work as well because she also believes that a sense of humor can help you get through just about anything.
Shawn lives in Colorado with her family where she loves to read, cook and bake, craft, practice yoga and meditation, and spend time hiking and camping in the spectacular Rocky Mountains.
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WENDY TERRIEN has been writing stories since she was in grade school. Her debut novel, The Rampart Guards, is the first in her intriguing urban fantasy series. Inspired by an episode of Bones that suspected a killer to be a fabled chupacabra, Wendy was fascinated and dove into research about cryptozoology, the study of animals that may or may not exist, or cryptids. Pouring over stories, videos and photographs of creatures others had seen all over the world, Wendy developed her own story to share with middle grade, young adult and grown-up readers.
Raised in Salt Lake City, Wendy graduated from the University of Utah and soon transplanted to Colorado where she completed her MBA at the University of Denver. Having applied her marketing expertise to the financial and network security industries, it wasn’t until a career coach stepped in that she fully immersed herself in her passion for writing. Wendy began attending writers conferences, workshops and retreats.
She regularly participates in two critique groups and is the Secretary of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and a member of Pikes Peak Writers and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. In 2014, she was a finalist in the San Francisco Writer’s Contest.
A.G. HENLEY is the author of the BRILLIANT DARKNESS series. The first book in the series, THE SCOURGE, was a finalist for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award.
A.G. is also a clinical psychologist, which means people either tell her their life stories on airplanes, or avoid her at parties when they’ve had too much to drink. Neither of which she minds.
When she’s not writing fiction or shrinking heads, she can be found herding her children and their scruffy dog, Guapo, to various activities while trying to remember whatever she’s inevitably forgotten to tell her husband. She lives in Denver, Colorado. Learn more at aghenley.comFacebook, , Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.