The editing process is finally concluded and 'Stella and Rose (including 'Rutter's Reject' and Other Stories)' has gone to Cuzzie for her ruthless appraisal. She will go through it with her merciless analytical eye and either pass it as fit for publication or recommend changes. She expects to complete her work by the end of next week. If it comes through unchanged, or with only minor revisions, I will be looking to publish within a couple of weeks.
You will also notice that the book now has a cover. You will also notice that it appears to be a basque made of diamonds. There is a reason for this, and the reason is entirely to do with the first, and biggest, story of the anthology - which is 'Stella and Rose', itself, of course. Slight clue. The diamonds are really glass and the sparkle is induced by powerful lighting.
The other four stories in the anthology - 'The Painted Door', 'Why Me?' 'Out of the Ashes' and 'Rutter's Reject' are completely different. Regular visitors to this website should recognise the title, 'The Painted Door' because it is published on an earlier page. That was the original version of the story, which was part of a collective anthology, for charity, by different writers, published on Smashwords a couple of years ago. The same is true of the following two stories as well. 'Why Me?' and 'Out of the Ashes' (which is really an amalgamation of two original stories, entitled 'A Winter's Tale' and 'Out of the Ashes' respectively). They were also originally published for charity by contributing authors on Smashwords. For this edition, all three stories have been completely rewritten and significantly developed, so they should not really be compared with the originals.
The final story, 'Rutter's Reject', is a Rutter story. Regular readers will be familiar with my 'Rutter' books, which chronicle the exploits of Julie Rutter, the youngest Metropolitan Police Officer licensed to carry a gun. The current canon of 'Rutter' books stands at three. 'Chained in Time' tells of when she is a young Detective Constable on the trail of a Jack the Ripper copycat serial killer. By the time that 'Rutter's Reunion' opens, ten years have passed and she is now a Chief Inspector, chasing a computer genius who is prepared to kill anybody who gets in the way of his goal. At least, that is what it seems to be at the outset. It is only later that she discovers her quarry's real motivation to be something else altogether. The third book, 'Relapse' happens a few months later, and - again - nothing is as it appears to be. 'Rutter's Reject' is a short story (more of a novelette, really) that begins a week after 'Relapse' concludes. In it, a figure from her past re-emerges.
Short stories represent a new venture for me. I certainly enjoyed writing them, and I hope you enjoy reading them.
Writer of Fantasy, thrillers, comedy - and anything else that takes my fancy.