June 2018

alban lake logo no title inverted
The View from the Lake
June 2018

In this View . . .
 A Few Words
 Website Update
 CoreCon Sales and Update
 Tidings of Madness and Joy
 The 11th Great Lake Drabble Contest Winners
 The 12th Great Lake Drabble Contest Begins
 First Ever Kids Drabble Contest
 Infinite Realms Bookstore Update
 New Releases and Reminders
 Upcoming Releases
 A Final Word

A Few Words

Welcome back, Albanlakers! [If you’re here, you’re an Albanlaker, even if it’s your first time].

I suppose we should make this our sort of absolutely official hello. I am Karen Otto and you’ve all seen me before or talked with me on the weekly phone calls for Alban Lake staffers and authors. Along with me is my husband, Bill Otto, and you may have seen him on Twitter or in his previous persona as the “Naked Fat Guy.” Together we are slowly helping move Alban Lake forward and trying to make it bigger and better for everyone. We haven’t officially taken over, but that is a process that is ongoing and we will be in charge one day.

With that in mind, we love chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies and good books. It should be noted that we have plenty of good books and are getting more daily. We are severely lacking in the cookie department.

In all seriousness, though, Bill and I love it here. We never thought we’d be able to do this with our lives and we’re making it our livelihood; we want to make sure that it’s possible for others to do so through us. While we’d love to be making tons of cash right now, honestly, our most important goal is promoting our authors and stories. You all are the reason that we can go to the cons, that we can sell the books, that we have this opportunity and we want you to know that we’re doing everything we can to help you. It’s like the saying from Bill’s old job at a movie theater – “Happy employees make happy customers which makes happy shareholders.”

Put more simply here, if you can make a living doing your writing through us, so can we, and we want to help promote you and Alban Lake so we can all do what we’re passionate about – writing the greatest books and stories of all time.

Website Update

You may have noticed some changes to the website here. Well, that’s because we’ve been diligently working to update it. We’ve revamped and updated nearly all the submission guidelines to make them easier to access and understand. Most of the rules themselves haven’t changed but the pages instead have been streamlined so you can more easily find the information you need for proper submissions. They’re not all done yet, and we have a couple more anthologies to finish up, but the main periodicals – Bloodbond, Disturbed, Illumen, etc. – are done and ready to go.

Please read the submission details carefully.

We hope you like the changes and look forward to streamlining the rest of the site as we continue to learn more about how the whole darn thing works. It’s a lot of fun and if you have any suggestions or comments, send them to us either on the site itself, or through our respective emails – Bill at infiniteotto@gmail.com and Karen at evilbookworm@yahoo.com

CoreCon Sales and Update

We had such a good time at CoreCon this year! It was certainly a long trip but one well worth the effort. We met a lot of great people and learned that there are quite a few scam artists out there taking advantage of new and fledgling authors. They were most pleased to hear that we read and publish if we like what we see and we’ll likely be getting more submissions and a few extra books in our Infinite Realms catalogue very soon.

Overall, while tiring, it was a great deal of fun and we sold a LOT of books. We’re learning a lot about how conventions work and what will sell best at different ones and we’re working to improve sales overall at them and on the sites through them. It’s great publicity and all of you authors can rest assured that we are doing our best to promote and sell all the awesome stuff you’ve published through us.

The big sales winners were:
Book of Tentacles
Bugs in the System
The Idolitors of Cthulhu
Mad Visions of al-Hazred
Nursery Rhyme Noir
and many issues of Scifaikuest

The Cthulhu mythos was extremely popular this year. Speaking of Cthulhu . . .

Tidings of Madness and Joy

We’re doing something a bit odd this month; we will be opening a special submission page for art. We’ve cobbled together a fun little set of stories for an adult themed coloring book we’re calling “Tidings of Madness and Joy – The A,B,C’s of the Great Old Ones.” It will be a full sized coloring book filled with all the delightful madness and delicious dark omens the Cthulhu mythos brings with it. We need line art for the inside and a full color piece for the cover. Details are in the anthology guidelines.

The 11th Great Lake Drabble Contest Winners

The 11th Drabble Contest Winners are:
First Place: Lovers’ Shrike By Scott Hughes
Second Place: ENTRY: Footnote to Uncatagorized Species pseudoformicadae plagiator By Amanda Hard
Honorable Mention: Description of the tooth worm, a symbiotic organism, living on Dentis 3 By Iseult Murphy
Honorable Mention: The Debacalo Fungus, origin: Healy, Alaska By Damien Cowger
Honorable Mention: Imaginary Larry By Francis W. Alexander
Honorable Mention: Don’t Eat the Fishbots by Debby Feo

This is going to be a great issue and will be out shortly!

The 12th Great Lake Drabble Contest Begins

The new Drabble contest begins with a fantastical theme: “Space Western”

Check out the guidelines here and get writing!

First Ever Kids Drabble Contest

The first ever Alban Lake Kids Drabble contest is now open!

The theme is “First Contact with an Alien Intelligence on Another Planet”.

Check out the guidelines here!

Infinite Realms Bookstore Update

The bookstore is growing all the time! Check it out every month for new deals on the ‘Book of the Month’ and great deals on Book Boxes.

E-Books will be available through the bookstore starting this month as well.

Click here to visit the store.

New Releases and Reminders

THE BRIGSTOWE DRAGONS 2: RETURN OF THE BLACK MAGICIAN by Eamonn Murphy.

The highly anticipated sequel to The Brigstowe Dragons.

Pick up your copy here.


UNTIL WE ARE FREE by TM Blayte

Cover art coming soon.

Will be released August 1st.

This book is available for pre-order here.


BUGS IN THE SYSTEM by Karen Otto

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Parasitic brain slugs that control sentient species. Hulking space alligators with bad attitudes. Beautiful blue creatures with psionic gifts that make them perfect therapists and lovers. All of this and more lies within an area of space known as the Sarkos Cluster. Their interactions and clandestine machinations, are just a few of the things you will find floating in The Void. Grab a piece of the action for yourself, and come along to find out how a unique crew came together in a time before a great war tore apart their collective worlds.

Pick up your copy here.


TIME OFF by John Shoberg

Time-Off-John-Shoberg
Have you ever been so stressed out at work that your boss forces you to take a vacation? Ex-Navy Seal, Edward Tanner was. On a whim he decided to take an Interstellar cruise; see new worlds, experience new thrills, make new friends, and it turned out, connect with old ones. Maybe even learn how to control the debilitating headaches that have been ruining his life. But something from his past was coming back to haunt him, a past he couldn’t remember. A past he would need to recall. Something he’d done that he had to make right, before people from that past killed him. And those headaches; they made him physically unable to fight back, even though the fate of the universe hung in the balance.

Pick up your copy here.


POISON PLANET by Jerry Neves

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Aliens rule Earth. Humans are required to provide a tribute of workers. They’ll take Kiri Malik’s brother unless she volunteers in his place. She’s told she need serve only a year—a lie. Kiri is taken to a compound on another planet. The aliens, Centrarqs, treat their prisoners as slaves. Many die under harsh conditions. None ever leave. Escape is impossible because the atmosphere outside the camp is unbreathable.

But Kiri discovers there is nothing wrong with the atmosphere. She can escape, but to escape means being trapped on this planet with no hope of returning to Earth. She will soon die if she doesn’t leave, giving her little choice. Her escape leads her into the hands of another alien race native to the planet. They have a weapon lethal to the Centrarqs, but won’t risk coming out of hiding to use it.

For Kiri to ever see her family again, she must find a way to wield this weapon and throw off the yoke of Centrarq rule.

Pick up your copy here.


MULCIBER by Shelly Bryant

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Mulciber is an alternative name for Vulcan, the powerful Roman god who gives and controls fires, including the liquid spirit spurting out of volcanoes and the sparks in the forging of arms and iron. It’s a strikingly apt title for Shelly Bryant’s questing verse, which feels distilled from literary metalwork, smelted from years of care and dare. There’s a molten energy to her wandering lines, sometimes venturing into ancient mythology and other times into terse, ekphrastic responses to Eastern artworks and forms. One smells danger and excitement, as she nears an actual volcano’s heart of darkness, lured by verdant overgrowth, and emerges, changed – both she and the reader.
– Yeow Kai Chai
March 2018, Singapore

Pick up your copy here.


AOIFE’S KISS BY TYREE CAMPBELL

In the urban legends it is said that when Aoife kisses you, she takes you to a better place, a better world. Thus the disappearances of children and the elderly are explained. But now the elderly are turning up dead. And Aoife is to blame.

The search for Aoife, be she angel or demon, has reached a dead end. The cold case has been assigned to Inspector Marie Brennan, to work on in her spare time. But when Aoife’s journal turns up, she goes to the one person who might be able to help her find the mysterious woman—an embittered and disabled veteran named Andy, who operates a tavern.

The trail takes them into the world of Kate, an adolescent street girl who rules the alleys like a Romanov . . . and into the world of corporate greed and a sinister and deadly government conspiracy that threatens to murder tens of millions of people.

Only Aoife can stop it. But first, she has to be found.

Pick up your copy here.


BRIDGES INTO THE IMAGINATION BY M. R. WILLIAMSON

Stories are Bridges, and they take you deep into the realms of the possible and the what-if. The four novellas herein find you in rural lands dealing with the native spirits, and discovering a unique hiding place and purpose for dragons, and some ordinary folks protecting visiting aliens from the Men in Black. Bridges into stories, perhaps, about the likes of you and me.

Pick up your copy here.


THE GALAXY JUMP BY S. E. SHELLCLIFFE

On their home world of Umvalla, a small group of duckbutts were attempting to complete a Great Scientific Experiment—and instead wound up on Earth. Oops. In Earth measures, they were tiny—just three inches short. They looked like humans with their big brown eyes and sweet faces—except for their upturned duck butts, which were covered with white feathers.

On Earth, ten-year-old Sylvia lives on a farm in Illinois and dreams of seeing a fairy. Instead, she gets seven little duckbutts. She has to feed them and hide them and help them get back to Umvalla. But how? Find out at the link below:

Pick up your copy here.


CANDLE AND PINS BY JACQUELINE WEST

Jacqueline West presents superstitions in a fresh new light. Her poetry not only clarifies them, but also makes you want to try some of the countermeasures. Be careful what you wish for.

This collection is a must-read, even if you loathe poetry…and especially if you’re superstitious. Get a copy here:

Pick up your copy here.


ONLY THE LONELY, Tyree Campbell, ed.

Loneliness is both an emotion and a condition. It can last for a few moments, or for a lifetime. Either way, it leads to a theme that we explore in this anthology. All the main characters you will meet in here experience loneliness in one form or another. And do not mistake loneliness for a solitary condition. A person can be lonely in a crowd if he or she is or feels different from the others.
Someone can also choose to be alone, for a variety of reasons. And sometimes solitude is thrust upon an individual. How they cope, or fail to cope . . . well, that’s what this anthology is all about.
Featuring stories by Teri Santitoro, Christa Carmen, Jay Caselberg, Lisa Timpf, Brianna Fenty, and Tyree Campbell, and delicately seasoned with a few themed poems, this is one anthology you don’t want to miss.

Pick up your copy here.


THE GIRL ON THE DUMP by Tyree Campbell

She’s an amnesiac young woman who looks like a princess, but with a dark side to her. He’s a mage and a former tutor, defrocked because of a relationship with a student. He seeks atonement; she seeks herself. And a murderous black mage is seeking both of them.

Yup, it’s a novella. It’ll take an evening or two to read it. It’ll stay with you for a lifetime.

<a href=http://store.albanlake.com/product/the-girl-on-the-dump/”>Pick up your copy here.


PYRA AND THE TEKTITES: THE UNICORN STONE by Tyree Campbell

Pyra is back! And in trouble as always. She continues to elude the pirates, but can she and her new friend, Chlorine Collingsworth, avoid being recaptured by Ichthia and sold to the highest bidder? Can Flanagan negotiate his way to freedom by delivering a Unicorn Stone to the Tektites? And what of the morrikaru, the creatures that live in the ocean under the surface of Europa?

Pyra acquires skills she could never learn in school—such as piloting a shuttle in space, and how to identify minerals. But these skills also get her into more trouble, such as when she accidentally steals the shuttle. Oops.

This one is for readers ages 8 to 88.

Pick up your copy here.


Upcoming Releases:

And we expect to be adding more each month.

The Clockwork Queen by Michael D. Burnside. Sam Noel’s world has become stagnant and polluted. When he becomes frustrated with the lack of innovation, Sam turns away from school and stumbles upon a wonder from a time gone by that just might save the failing world. September 2018

Come Dream with Me by Sandy DeLuca. A collection of the artist’s work, including side notes about each piece. Looking at June 2018.

The Comfort of Screams by G. O. Clark. Poetry from a master of the unusual, the perspective not taken. June 2018.

Window to the Monster’s Eyes by Tyson E. Lewis. We find our heroine, Leda, transformed—her body the body of a gorgon’s—and imprisoned in a mysterious, underground chamber where she is forced to turn unsuspecting victims into stone in order to appease her captors and feed her own unspeakable desires. Will she be able to harness the powers of Medusa to launch an escape? Will she discover the secrets behind her transformation? May-ish 2018

A Final Word

As you can see, the View from the Lake is currently pretty good. It usually is, but it seems better than ever now. We’ve got more conventions coming up, more ideas for anthologies, special editions, books, and more, and we’re looking into doing a lot more next year. For now, spread the word that we’re doing our best to get your books out there for the populace to find and read and hint that, in the near future, there might be some fun role playing games to buy from us as well.
For now, I’m Karen, and I’m here with Bill, and we’re back to work for all of you.

Later days!