Fiction River: Recycled Pulp

FR15 Recycled Pulp ebook cover webMy short story “Prism of the Crab Gods” appears in Fiction River: Recycled Pulp. This is a fantastic anthology, and I’m incredibly proud to be among the authors below. “Prism of the Crab Gods” was my first pro-sale, and it is a story close to my heart since it is about a a young, disabled and abused boy who clings to the hope that his three hermit crabs will save him and his family.

The editor, John Helfers, had this to say about the story: “In an anthology of excellence, this story stands out for its heartbreaking eloquence, as well as defining a situation that could be happening down the block on your street, and with nary a futuristic or fantastical trope in sight; just the shattering look inside a young boy’s world, and the vivid imagination he uses to keep reality from destroying him completely. I know I’ve been changed by reading it, and I hope you will be as well.”

Publication: September 2015

Publisher: WMG Publishing

Publisher’s Note about the Edition

Editor: John Helfers

The old becomes new again as fifteen talented authors go back to the lurid pulp titles of yesteryear through today’s rich, nuanced storytelling. Enjoy original tales featuring rebel angels fighting a heavenly enforcement squad, a cop whose life might depend on ordering the right deli sandwich, and a wizard who has just three days to pay off the loan on his tower or lose his very soul. Whatever your taste in stories, Recycled Pulp is sure to have something that will amaze, surprise, and delight you.

“…a unique collection 15 tales worthy of the Fiction River name. … Don’t miss Recycled Pulp for a great set of unique and fast-paced tales of the imagination!” —Astro Guyz

Table of Contents

“The Revolt of the Philosophers of Fomalhaut” by Phaedra Weldon
“Marvelous Contrivances of the Heart” by Cat Rambo
“The Flower of the Tabernacle” by Annie Reed
“Lost in the Tarnished Cube” by Thomas K. Carpenter
“Crypt of the Metal Ghouls” by Angela Penrose
“The Imperfect Otter Empire” by Dayle A. Dermatis
“The Unknowable Mansion of the Night” by Sandra M. Odell
“The Portal of Wrong Love” by Dean Wesley Smith
“Sacred Poet from the Future” by Kelly Cairo
“Swamp of the Prehistoric Clan” by Christy Fifield
“The Magnificent Citadel” by Rebecca M. Senese
“Night of the Dancing Champions” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“The Delicatessen from Beyond the Monolith” by Lisa Silverthorne
“Prism of the Crab Gods” by Kelly Washington
“The Gleaming Crater” by Thea Hutcheson

Where to buy: Amazon US Ebook  |  Kobo Ebook  |  iTunes  |  Smashwords  | GoodReads  |  Amazon Paperback  |  Powells  |  Barnes and Noble

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Flash Fiction – The Girl, The Undead, and the Grounds Keeper (Pt1)

"Stormy Weather" by Picolo Kun

“Stormy Weather” by Picolo Kun (Deviant Art)

Flash Fiction – The Girl, the Undead, and the Grounds Keeper (Part 1)

Once there was a young woman who woke up in darkness. She rubbed her eyes, felt around, and her fingertips found softness, like that of a stuff animal clung tight in the night. The air was dark, warm, but a chill spread across her skin, and her nightgown was damp with sweat.

Her nights consisted of whispers to the ghosts and the dead and the near dead. The young woman was none of these things, yet she, in her youth and innocence, the same way that new skin bounces back fast, allowed her–no, cursed her–to see and hear these things. Her walls were void of pictures or drawings. She worried that if the ghosts, the dead, and the near dead found them, they could claim her items as their own, and the girl didn’t have much. Just her mind, her memories, and fond wishes of a different life. Just a sliver of hope, of life, of a different door chosen.

She rarely let these things get to her, but tonight, a different kind of whisper gently spoke in her ear.

It offered her kindness. Release. And the young woman was tempted, but she knew otherwise for other whispers had come to her in the night–always the night–with their cherished words. Words that drowned her fears, echoed her dreams, and reverberated her wants and desires. On this night, she clutched her familiar teddy bear, begging it for strength and assistance, and though none never came, she still felt better. “Demand of yourself, not of others,” her grandmother used to tell her, and in this warm, dark windless night she remembered those words. Then she added a few words of her own, “Guard your soul, girl, and better yet, guard your heart” because the ghosts, the dead, and the near dead could be seductive, and this voice–this whisper in particular–was extremely seductive.

The whisper was a caress, a soft embrace, that made her body glow. It made her want things she shouldn’t want. She was tired of her bland–and blank–room, of her life, and, at times, fancied herself in love with a young man, seen from a far, the grounds keeper. Love that faded, it was never real, and it was swept away from her by the ghosts. The ghosts loved the memories of those faded lovers. The blue eyes, the brown ones, the ones with flecks of gold and green, like leaves turning in autumn. It feasted and feasted, never satisfied, so when the new whisper granted a reprieve, the young woman jumped from her bed, her feet hitting cold stone, demanding, “Who are you? What do you want?”

“I am lost,” the whisper whispered to her, it’s tone low, earthy, and filled with water-like vibrato, as if an entire carnival lived inside its voice. The young woman wanted to live in that voice. Whole. Committed. Deep and long, and forever.

This voice enchanted her, though on her guard, she swayed ever-so-slightly into it, but, also close by, a near dead voice, which lingered near her bed, warned her: “Don’t be fooled by the glitter. I, once, was fooled, and look at me.” The near dead voice was that of a man, old, but he had a voice held together with knowledge, spirit, and grit. His tone was louder since he wasn’t exactly dead, but not quite of the living, so the near dead’s voice was thick, but gurgling, as if drowning.

“Don’t speak of me of glitter,” the young woman chastised. “Why should I listen to you, a near dead?”

“Because I am still part mortal, and I know what the sins of the flesh can do to the mind of a young woman on the verge of a bad decision.”

The caressing whisper that caused her glow chuckled, low, and deep in her chest. It glided its fingertips over her beating heart, strong and healthy, and it demanded payment–a purchase–and suddenly the young woman was scared when it said, “I am more than glitter. I am older than gold. I am stronger than the wind. I know your dreams because I am the one who created them.” Then, turning to the near dead whisper, it said, “Cease, you fool.”

And the near dead whisper vanished into the ether.

“Who are you? What do you want?” she asked the caressing voice when they were alone. She figured it was a strong being. “Why are you lost?”

Shadows played across her bedroom, the moon moving as slow as a snail across the ebony blackboard that showed through her small porthole. It reminded her of her youth, when her grandmother was alive, and she would talk about the origins of the stars and the creator of the ebony painted sky.

“I am your hurt,” the gentle whisper said in return. “Your door was open, so I have come to live in your heart, and heal you.”

“Nonsense,” she replied, but she looked to her left, and indeed: the door was open. “I live in this room of my own free will, just as my grandmother did, guarding the moors and the spirits who inhabit it. I am lonely, but not hurt.”

Near the window a growling voice interrupted. “Don’t listen to the trickster, girl, he will eat your soul, and feast upon your dreams. Then, he will consume the ghosts, the dead, and the near dead. I’ve seen it happen.”

“Oh, poo,” she told the voice of the dead, now more comfortable with the caressing whisper hugging her heart. “You are cold, and dead, what do you know of souls and feasting?”

The dead voice echoed around her, and around the caressing whisper, which shuddered against her heart, “Your heart and soul are not so innocent, little one,” the growling voice answered in an unaffected way. “Even now he consumes you; he gnaws on the edges of reason, of sanity, like the tiny tears trickling down your cheeks.”

The young woman pressed a fingertip to her face, and felt the small trail of wetness. Why was she crying? Granted, the near dead whisper, and the dead whisper confronted her, but that was normal. She knew their voices as much as she knew her own. How had she forgotten so soon? How is it that when the caressing whisper came into her life, she no longer recalled her grandmother’s warnings.

Warnings of coldness, of wanting more than she deserved. Of falling in love. Yet, here was the caressing voice, well, caressing her.

“Are you consuming me?” she asked the gentle voice that filled her. It was in her and around her.

“Yes,” the voice said. “But only because you asked me to.”

“See! I told you so,” the dead voice chirped annoyingly. It had moved back to the window, and was nothing more than the thin fabric of a shadow against the pane. The dead whispers were darker than the near dead, and not as transparent as the ghost whispers.

“When did I ask you to?” she demanded.

“Be gone, you hyena,” the caressing voice yelled to the dead whisper, and it fled through a tiny pin hole in the glass. To the young woman, he said, “It was never said, or asked, in words. It was in your eyes, and the way you smiled at me everyday, and how, when you hummed, it always sounded like you were whispering my name.”

It was then that she realized the gentle caressing whisper wasn’t a ghost, not a dead, nor a near dead being. He was real, and in her room, right beside her, his hand on her heart; and her heart beat hard against her chest, burning a hole in her thoughts and feelings, and the warmth spread all the way through her.

His hand touched her, clasped it, and they embraced. Her lips touched his. Warm Soft. But, most of all, real. He was real, and once he moved into the light, she saw him for who he was, the grounds keeper.

In the darkness she saw her surroundings afresh, and found him. Her heart beat strong, and alive, and her fingertips found flesh and blood, and she clung to him tight in the night. The air was warm, dark, and a sheen of sweat covered her body. But she was no longer chilled. He kept her warm, and the ghosts, the dead, and the near dead never returned.

[I have more like this, and may turn this into a series… what do you think?]

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Collide Into You is .99 cents

NEW_COLLIDE_eBOOKSeriously, what’cha waiting on? My full-length (400pg) non-cliffhanger romantic comedy is 99 cents for a short time. After tomorrow, it goes up by one dollar, until it’s back to its regular price of 4.99

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | GoodReads | Excerpt

An Army Sergeant (who loves rules and order) moves in with her brother’s best friend (a womanizer who loves breaking the rules)… What can possibly go wrong?

When twenty-seven-year-old Keira Holtslander, an orderly and rule-loving intelligence analyst, is reassigned to the Pentagon for a special assignment, she agrees to room with her brother’s best friend, Dillan Pope. But there’s a problem. Several, in fact. He’s sarcastic, egotistical, full of himself, extremely attractive, and a womanizer. Did she mention he was attractive? Within a matter of days, her life is chaos. She didn’t like him when they met nine years ago, and her opinion isn’t likely to change now.

Dillan Pope, a thirty-year-old career businessman climbing his way up the corporate ladder, has learned to use his looks, charm, and sexual skills to his advantage. There isn’t much he cannot accomplish. Women easily tumble into his bed and business deals come about effortlessly. But when his best friend’s little sister moves in, he knows he’s in trouble. She’s rather hostile toward him, which takes him by surprise. Not even his patented smile works on her. Did he mention she was hostile? But maybe that’s why Keira, aka Sergeant Prim and Proper, has always been the one girl he hasn’t been able to forget since their first meeting, nine years ago.

When a meddling barista puts a charm on the roommates, causing them to swap bodies, they must live as the other until they both own up to some hard truths. They quickly learn that panic, fighting, and accusations will get them nowhere. Until they can learn the lessons they refuse to acknowledge, they experience life as the other.

Maybe there’s a reason they hated each other. And admitting the feelings that lay hidden may be the only way to undo the switch.

Kelly Washington’s new contemporary, military romance, written with a touch of magic, will make you laugh and believe in love all over again.

At 92,000 words, COLLIDE INTO YOU is a stand-alone novel. No cliffhangers.

Warning: this story contains a feisty Army sergeant hell-bent on following the rules; a sexy, rule-bending leading-man in serious need of a challenge; a meddling bakery owner; body swapping; a famous major league baseball player who isn’t what the public makes him out to be; an over-protective big brother; a blonde Amazon fond of writing messages with her lipstick; and, of course, crude humor.

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Saturday Snippet

Happy Saturday! We’re having lukewarm – but wet – weather here in Washington, D.C. I’m diligently working the final edits for The Daughter of Lava, #3 Reclaimed Souls.

Below is a snippet.

In this scene, Roland, Rahda, and Roland’s young cousin (Elwyn) leave Royal Alcove, and try to bring Elwyn back to the palace.

Things do not go according to plan.

Happy reading!

<3 Kelly

Once we step outside, Elwyn’s expression is hidden in the ebony darkness. I find it interesting that she hasn’t once asked about her father or why he wasn’t coming with us. Does she already know the real reason?

There’s a snap to the air with the occasional breeze ruffling our hair. Elwyn’s unbound hair flutters about like strands of black ribbons.

“Why didn’t you attend the celebration?” I ask as we walk through the gate.

She thinks Roland made her queen, which means she doesn’t know about me. When she does, I have a feeling she will become incredibly unhappy.

Beside me, Roland listens intently.

“I usually don’t respond to imbeciles,” she says in what I presume is her regal voice. “But I’ll make an exception in your case. I don’t know what you think you know, but I promise that you’re so far off base that you won’t know what hit you until all of your limbs have been removed and you’re six feet under.”

Under her smooth, youthful skin are the trappings of an ogre.

“Is that a particular threat just for me, or to everyone in general?” I ask.

“Assume whatever you like, of course,” she answers. “My only regret will be in not seeing your ugly face as you discover it all.”

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Saturday Snippet

Happy Saturday, Lovelies! Here’s a sneak peek at a scene between Rahda and Roland in book 3 (The Daughter of Lava). Our quarreling lovers are at Lord Jaucey’s mansion (Jaucey is Roland’s uncle), and Rahda’s about to do what she does best.

“Queens don’t often assassinate their rivals,” Roland says.

I scoff. “It’s a ‘learning on the job’ sort of position. Feel free to hand over your copy of ‘Becoming a queen in ten easy steps or less’ manual. Fuck it all, Roland. Would you rather take care of Jaucey? Chances are he’d prefer your equipment over mine.”

“Yes, actually, I would,” he says quickly, but then realizes what he just agreed to. “But not using your methods,” Roland adds without malice or judgment.

“You know who and what I am, and you know the methods I employ. I am not ashamed of it any more than you are ashamed of your scars. They don’t define us, they are us.”

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

<3 Kelly

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The Queen of Scarred Hearts is available for pre-order

Queen-of-Scarred-Hearts-Web-Medium Available September 1, 2015


(Reclaimed Souls Volume 2)

The Queen of Scarred Hearts is the second installment in the four-volume epic journey of Rahda and Roland in a heart pounding blend of romance, fantasy, science fiction, and adventure — perfect for fans of Kushiel’s Dart, Cruel Beauty, Graceling, and Sea of Shadows.

Caught in a web between the opposing rulers of Izkirka and Aschalle, Rahda struggles to accept her newfound title as Lady Sevradan while reconciling her former life as a prized disciple and assassin.

Before she can come to terms with the new arrangement, once-buried secrets and a renewed threat sends her fleeing the palace. As she wades ever deeper in royal and political intrigue, and as a royal coup simmers just beneath the surface, Rahda’s not sure who is friend or foe.

But with Roland, things are never quite so simple as the tension between them flares white-hot and out of control, even as Rahda is suspicious of the darkness hiding in the depths of his eyes. However, once she discovers what Roland has kept hidden, she is forced to confront the future, her true feelings, and whether or not her scarred prince has a place in her life, and in her heart.

The Queen of Scarred Hearts, the second installment in the Reclaimed Souls Series, will have readers asking themselves, “Who Owns Your Heart?”

Pre-Order now at Amazon

This title is included in your Kindle Unlimited subscription!

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New Release!


New Release! THE PALE WATERS, # 1 of the Reclaimed Souls Series.

The Pale Waters begins the four-volume epic journey of Rahda and Roland in a heart-pounding blend of romance, fantasy, science fiction, and adventure, perfect for fans of Kushiel’s Dart, Cruel Beauty, Graceling, and Sea of Shadows.

Summoned by Izkirka’s mysterious ruler, class-zero citizen Rahda clashes with Prince Roland Rexus in a battle of lies, secrets, and seduction. She’s been sent to kill him, he knows it, and, strangely enough, he does nothing to actively stop her.

But once she’s in the presence of the man who everyone calls a dark prince, everything begins to unravel. The disfigured prince has his own reasons for summoning the woman meant to kill him; reasons that will alter Rahda’s perception of the world around her. Within a matter of days, she’s thrust into an unfamiliar society with an untrustworthy prince, and becomes involved in a war she never knew existed.

Rahda’s no longer sure where she fits in when she uncovers the truth about Roland, and about herself.

The Pale Waters, the first novella in the Reclaimed Souls Series, will have readers asking themselves, “Who Owns Your Soul?”

The Pales Waters is part of Kindle Unlimited, so readers who subscribe can read this novella as part of their KU Subscription. Readers not subscribed can buy The Pale Waters for $2.99.

Keywords: romance, science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, aliens, metaphysical, dystopian, sword, sorcery, robots, devil, demon, psychic, witch, spies, nobility, millionaire, medical, second chance, deities, artificial intelligence, mutants, mystery, thriller, spiritual, magic, quest, genes, exploration, action, adventure, alien, death, loss, grief, childhood, friendship, war, religion, bisexual, interracial, urban, suspense

This novella is 42,000 words (~230 pages) and is the first novella in a four-novella series. It ends in a cliffhanger.

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Three Year Anniversary

Photo of Kelly WashingtonA little over three years ago, January 16, 2012 to be exact, I published my first short story, Smolder, on the Amazon KDP platform.

I was testing the waters and since then, I haven’t looked back.

While Smolder isn’t my best, it paved the way for other stories, and gave me the confidence to write what I wanted, when I wanted, and how I wanted.

No rules. No deadlines (except those self-imposed). There was nothing to stop me from writing whatever came into my mind.

And do you know what most often comes into my mind, after romance? Scars… flaws… interesting characters… flawed but interesting characters.

After writing a trio of short stories–Smolder, Captive, and Ignite Me–a new character came into being: Staff Sergeant Justin Hauten. With him came Nebraska, the ultimate sidekick, and then, Justin’s love interest, Lieutenant Aaron Parris.

A gay romance.

The wonderful thing about being a writer is that, in my mind, I often live the lives of other people. Other made-up people. I had no difficulties in imagining Justin and Aaron’s romance. And to be honest, Nebraska practically wrote himself. He was way too much fun to ignore.

Falling For Him turned into a three-volume novella set that I wrote and published toward the end of 2012, and into early 2013. It was with this series that I met my editor, Susan.

And things progress. My writing improves and I have readers reading me! Me! Little ‘ole Kelly Washington!!!

In all of 2013 I wrote what I call an epic fantasy-romance series that’s well over 800 pages long. It literally took me a full year to write it and I published the first novella in Nov 2013, and each book a month or so afterwards, in to early 2014.

But it didn’t sell well. Was it the covers? The blurb? The actual story? I’m not sure. So, right now, even though I wrote Reclaimed Souls in 2013, I am working to repackage the series, pull it under my Kelly Washington name (it is currently published under a pen name of Della Roth) and I have four shiny, brand-new covers from the amazing cover artist James T. Egan ( I look forward to re-publishing this series in 2015.

Also in 2014, I wrote a new military-contemporary-romance, Collide Into You. I adore this genre and I firmly believe it is my best work to date. I published it exclusively with Amazon KDP between Oct 2014 and Jan 2015.

It did well, but nothing extraordinary. During the free days, I had a few thousand downloads, which thrilled me. But at the end of Jan 2015, I removed Collide Into You from Amazon’s exclusivity feature and, today, Feb 8, 2015, I am uploading the novel onto every other platform possible.

So look for Collide Into You on iTunes, B&N, Kobo, and ARe.

What’s in store for the rest of 2015?

I am currently writing the sequel to Collide Into You, titled (tentatively) Out Of Time. It focuses on Alec Huffman (the MLB Pitcher from Collide Into You) and his love interest, Army Captain Courtney Hall. At the time of the blog post, I am 1/3 through the first draft.

All in all, the last three years have been incredibly productive, illuminating, and wonderful. I went from writing one short story in 2012 to writing dozens of short stories and six novels since then. Not all of my work is published. Some of it is under contract with short story markets (magazines and anthologies). Other work (a novel or two) just aren’t ready to be published for a myriad of reasons, but mostly because they are not publish-ready.

I’m incredibly excited for 2015 and every year afterwards as I work toward my goal of writing full time. Many of you know that I have a day job working as a defense contractor for the US Army, and have been in this line of work for 19 years. It is very rewarding work and I’m proud of what I do, who I support, and I am honored to work alongside our military men and women.

I don’t know what the future holds (who does?) but what I DO KNOW is that I am very thankful to each and every one of you. For reading my work. For reviewing and telling others about it. For emailing me, asking when Alec’s story will be published. Most of you email me about Nebraska! One day, I promise, he will have his own story.

And what a crazy story it will be!

Much love!

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Free is Better!

250x_CIYFreebie # 1 – Collide Into You

From November 28-29, 2014 (Fri & Sat), my newest contemporary romance novel is free.

Bickering (and secretly-in-love) roommates Keira and Dillan learn that falling in love isn’t so easy when a meddling barista puts a charm on the roommates, causing them to swap bodies. How they deal with the swap–and each other–is at times hysterical and sweet. A funny (and charming) contemporary romance that’s perfect for the holidays.

For my Falling For Him series fans, you’ll love the fact that Justin, Aaron, and Nebraska play supporting characters in Collide Into You.

Get Collide Into You at Amazon US, Amazon CA, Amazon UK, Amazon DE, Amazon JP, Amazon IN, Amazon FR, Amazon ES, Amazon IT, Amazon NL, Amazon BR, Amazon MX, and Amazon AU.

Freebie # 2 – The Christmas Journey

From November 28-29, 2014 (Fri & Sat), my only Christmas short story is free.

On a quiet, snow-filled, Christmas morning, a nine-year-old boy and his red wagon set out on a journey to find his father in Heaven. Along the way he encounters obstacles that prevent him from reaching his destination, including the supernatural forces of good and evil that make him question his faith. But for every obstacle, his trusty red wagon contains just the thing he needs to overcome the challenge.

Get The Christmas Journey at Amazon US, Amazon CA, Amazon UK, Amazon DE, Amazon JP, Amazon IN, Amazon FR, Amazon ES, Amazon IT, Amazon NL, Amazon BR, Amazon MX, and Amazon AU.

Lastly, the updates…

So, you want to know what I’m working on, do you?

I am hard at work on the sequel to Collide Into You. Alec Huffman (the delicious–and sweet–MLB pitcher from Collide Into You) gets his own story, which is tentatively titled Out Of Time. His leading lady is Captain Courtney Hall. She’s feisty, funny, sarcastic, and, maybe a little bit crazy. Oh, and she dismantles bombs for a living. Are you ready for the really crazy part? The “charm” in this story is that it is sort of a time-travel-story. Oh boy, do I have my work cut out for me on this one!!!

I can’t wait to get this story in your hands. I’m guessing it may be ready at the end of Spring 2015. Fingers crossed!

In between writing Out Of Time, I will be focused on an Anthology Workshop that will allow me to work with some amazing magazine editors on stories ranging from Thrillers, Paranormal, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Western, and Young Adult. This workshop get’s my muse working in overdrive, and I enjoy it immensely.

Well… that’s it my lovelies. Have a lovely holiday season!


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