Nominations for the 2021 Pushcart Prize

Fiction that isn’t fit for ‘them’. Not approved by your parents, teachers, or government. Toxic content. (Keep it secret!)

Source: Nominations for the 2021 Pushcart Prize

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Nominations for the 2021 Pushcart Prize

Nominations for the 2021 Pushcart Prize June 18, 2021 Longshot Island 0 Comments These authors and stories are nominated this year for the 2021 Pushcart Prize. Congratulations to all!   Eric J. Guignard – Footprints Fading in the Desert E.E. King – Hotel Quetzalcoatl Jason V Brock – Verlassen …

Source: Nominations for the 2021 Pushcart Prize

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Nominations for the 2021 Pushcart Prize

Nominations for the 2021 Pushcart Prize June 18, 2021 Longshot Island 0 Comments These authors and stories are nominated this year for the 2021 Pushcart Prize. Congratulations to all!   Eric J. Guignard – Footprints Fading in the Desert E.E. King – Hotel Quetzalcoatl Jason V Brock – Verlassen …

Source: Nominations for the 2021 Pushcart Prize

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The Virgin of Santos de la Tierra

Fiction that isn’t made for this world. So let go. Get unreal for a moment. Let the magic take you away!

Source: The Virgin of Santos de la Tierra

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Feral Cats Publish Dear Leader Tales

A few months ago, I was trading story ideas with my friend; writer, and head of Feral Cat Publishing, Dan Kalin.  

“I bet there are a lot of funny stories about rotten leaders out there,” one of us said. “We could probably put together a great collection of tales.” And so, the anthology was conceived.

Dan is a good Leader

Dan neatly dealt with all the nasty stuff, and I got to read fabulous stories. I was amazed and delighted that we received tales from India, Africa, the corners of Europe and the edges of the Americas, the Middle East, the far East, and the Mid-West. It appears that death and taxes are not the only things that are ubications.

We’d asked for humorous or satirical fictions and poetry to help us weather this election year and we got many. I only wish we could have published more. There were so very many wonderful stories. They ranged from tales of incompetence and mustachios in World War I, to conniving cats, carnivorous deer and murderous vegetables.

I found it heartening to read the words of writers from all around the world and to see our similar needs, desires and longings made manifest through imagination.

We are all connected | Kat Kinnie's Blog

Dan also asked me to write the forward, which this is, mostly. It was a very great honor not only to work on this anthology but to be asked to introduce all of these amazing stories.

This is a timeless collect that will help you laugh your way through this and every season. We’ve always had bad leaders and we always will. But this is also a hopeful collection. A promise that we will continue to joke, and poke fun at our humorless, narcissistic oppressors and that with our words we shall overcome, or at least we’ll have a good laugh trying.

I thank all of the great writers who entrusted us with their words, I am sorry we could not publish you all. I am more than grateful to Dan Kalin, Sarah Kalin, and all the Feral Kittens. And I also thank you, gentle reader, for perusing these pages and allowing all of us, however briefly, to enter your mind and share our world with you.

August 23, 2020 E.E. King

Please buy this book and help support laughter and feral cats.

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On Spec

I am pleased to announce that “Pan de Muertos” Will be coming out in On SPEC

My story, as often happens, takes place in a magic town in Mexico – Usually, the magic town I base my stories in and on is San Miguel de Allende – It is the place I know best filled with beauty, History, mystery, interesting people, and of course,
However this story was written after a trip to Oaxaca.. in Oaxaca they decorate the Pan de Muertos -bread of death – with little icing faces That smile sweetly out from folds in the shiny,heavily glazed, brown dough.

Pick up a copy of the book and take a big bite-

It will satisfy your sweet tooth,  your questing mind and your lonely heart –

It will also help me buy worms for the magpie

-cat food for the cats –

and seed for like dozens and dozens of wild birds in the yard that I raised this summer

Also – as Gini Koch says- The meds aren’t free ya know!

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GRUMPY OLD GODS 2 is available for preorder



Having lived and traveled in Mexico, where grumpy old Gods abound, I have many tales about Gods in retirement.

My tale in this anthology Hotel Quetzalcoatl, tells about Quetzalcoatl’s hotel, logical right?

“Quetzalcoatl had lived too long. Now he was human… for a while. He had survived over two thousand years of changing shape, species and place, undergoing all those pesky cycles of death and rebirth that always befall a God who has lost his followers.

These days he ran a small hotel in Guanajuato.”download (1)

Gudownloadanajuato is in central Mexico. Its network of narrow streets, alleyways and tunnels is typified

by the Callejón del Beso (Alley of the Kiss), so named because the balconies are close enough for a couple to reach across and kiss.

It’s also know for the mummy museum, immortalized by Ray Bradbury in The Mummies of Guanajuato 51QK-FVd6dL._SX362_BO1,204,203,200_

The story was born when I was visiting Guanajuato with my niece Gillian.

We stayed in a hotel that consisted of four suites, each one took up an entire floor.

We were the only occupants.

The walls were covered with odd animal heads that watched us out of glassy eyes.

A deer, a lion, a leopard – realistic, but obviously not real.

The deer antlers were ridiculous, obviously papier mâché and constructed by someone who’d never seen a deer.

Nonetheless, the heads had a quality of life about them that made them peculiarly unsettling, like china dolls, with eyes too knowing, and porcelain teeth too sharp.

The owner, Arturo, lived at another location down the hill. He had a rakish charm, and an easy smile.

The weather was windy and (2)

Gillian, we asked when we would have better weather

He said, “I won’t have any control over the weather for another 10,000 years.” His grin concealed mysteries.

I checked the internet and discovered that Quetzalcoatl was due to return in 10,000 years.2000px-Quetzalcoatl.svg

Next time I saw Arturo I said, “You are Quetzalcoatl, aren’t you?”


“I love tourists like you,” he said, and the story was born.

Of course the mummies made it in the story too.

Mine is only one of many fabulous tales of Gods gone Grumpy! So please buy, and share, and enjoy.

Pre-order Price: $4.99

Pre-order with 1-Click®
This title will be auto-delivered to your Kindle on August 9, 2019.
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Notes from The Cloud Forest, Grumpy Gods, Cat Pix & the Secret to Happiness




Near Monteverde, we stayed in a small windy cottage with a garden of tiny orchids, infested with burrowing Motmots. Seriously, they live in holes.

Motmots look like someone has artistically brushed the silhouette of a bird in flight, right over their eye.

images (13)Some birds are teases, crying enticingly from the green jungle, never visible, but not the omnivorous Motmot. The Motmots has an iron digestion. It’s one of the few animals able to eat poisonous dart frogs.


download (5)download (4)

They have long artfully tapered tails. And when they spot a predator, they wag them back and forth, telling the predator that it has been seen.


“Don’t even bother trying to catch me,” the Motmot is saying. “I can fly, so it will just be a waste of both our time.”


How do they know this? Researchers at the avian research institute, interviewed fifty jaguars, twelve ocelots, three leopards, and a margay.

“When I see a Motmot’s tail moving, I look for other prey;” roared ninety percent of the Jaguars and Leopards surveyed.

images (7) Fifty percent of the ocelots agreed, while ten percent said; “Motmots are tasteless, I wouldn’t eat one if it were wingless.”

The Margay denied all knowledge of Motmots and claimed he was a vegan. When questioned about all the blue feathers lining his den, he grew flustered, insisting they were flower petals, but Margays are notable liars.marhay



Everybody thinks of the Monteverde as THE CLOUD forest, but it’s actually a very small part of a huge plot of mostly privately-owned wilderness. The biggest part is The Children’s Eternal Rainforest (El Bosque Eterno de los Niños), which was begun by Swedish children in 1987.  (Why is it always the Nordic countries and New Zealanders that are “doing the right thing”?)  Over the years, sister organizations, schools, and individuals – children and adults – from more 44 countries all over the world also raised money in numerous ways to expand the preserve. It now combines with several reserves to protect a total area of about 170,000 acres — that’s bigger than Chicago but much, much safer. It’s run by the Monteverde Conservation League (MCL) founded in 1986 by a group of local residents.

It’s all “cloud forest” but in a place where every tree is its own biome, that means that every part is completely different.

I think Santa Elena is my favorite. About 60% of the forest is mosses, ferns, bromeliads, and orchids. The trees are so thickly hung with epiphytes you can’t even see the bark.   Each tree is its own tall, skinny, planet.

images (8)download (2)

Stranger figs wrap around trees, forming hollow lattice rooms inside their trunks, like mini cathedrals.


I wonder if the wind is the voice of trees screaming for help as they feel the first embracing tendrils of a strangler fig encircling their circumference?

Trees scream very slowly, so most people never hear more than that first “H” of “Helppppp- I’m being strangled.”

Next time you are in a cloud forest, listen.

After Monteverde, we went toward the Rio Celeste. We stayed in a transitional forest, the place between tropical and cloud. It’s like the valley between fantasy and imagination, where biodiversity is greatest. It’s surprisingly un-humid in the dry season.


A young sloth slept in a tree outside my door.


This is not the sloth outside our door. “Our” sloth is older and less photogenic.

It hasn’t moved for two days. I can’t see his face,, only a patch of mossy back. It would not make an exciting picture.

Sloths can have over 1,000 beetles and moths living in their hair, no wonder they seldom get asked to parties. They leave the treetops one a week to poo on the ground so that the sloth moths can lay eggs on their excrement. Their larval eat it.  Smelly mutualism at its best!



Rio Celeste means light blue river. Legend has it that after God was done painting the sky he washed his brushes in the river.

Oddly enough, a team of researchers disagreed. They are no fun.

The researchers claim that the blue color is not a chemical phenomenon, but an optical one. Aluminum, silicon and oxygen, suspended in the water, absorbs all the light rays except sky blue.

God disagrees. He favors the paintbrush theory.images (16)

download (12)

There is so much to tell- Each day is a miracle of life.

At Arenal now, overlooking the lake.fullsizeoutput_13a6

Yesterday we saw flocks of great curassows a large, pheasant-like bird, with amazing plumage.

The male is black with a yellow clip- on beak.images (5)

The females have an almost naked head, like a vulture, but on top, she sports a wild tiara of black and white feathers. Her neck is fluffed out in a black and white feather boa and she wears what appears to be a leopard vest. She looks as if she went shopping for plumage during an “Out of the Closet’” Halloween sale.

images (1)

We also saw the lovely, but deadly, eyelash pit viperdownload (13)

and tapirs and…..images (5) a Resplendent Quetzal images (9)

There’s too much to write – and I want to go exploring!

Onto publishing news:

I sold a story, Hotel Quetzalcoatl, to Grumpy Gods II, which will be out next summer. What was the inspiration? I’m so glad you asked…

A few years ago, I was visiting Guanajuato with my niece/best friend, Gillian. We stayed in a hotel that consisted of four suites, each one an entire floor. We were the only occupants. Odd animal heads stared at us out of glassy eyes. A deer, a lion, a leopard, realistic, but obviously not real. The deer antlers were ridiculous – paper mache, and constructed by someone who’d never seen a deer.  Nonetheless, they had a quality of life about them that made them unsettling, like a china doll, with eyes too knowing, and porcelain teeth too sharp.

images (16)The owner, Arturo, lived down the hill. He had a rakish charm and an easy smile. The weather was windy and rainy. Gillian, we asked when we would have better weather
He said, “I won’t have any control over the weather for another 10,000 years.” His grin concealed mysteries.

I checked the internet and discovered that Quetzalcoatl was due to return in 10,000 years!

When I next  saw Arturo I said, “You’re Quetzalcoatl, aren’t you?”

He smiled knowingly and said, “I love tourists like you.” And the story was born.

On a side note, the Mormons believe that Quetzalcoatl was Jesus Christ. But neither they nor Jesus appears in my tale.

In Book News! As always, click for links- books here

My novel, “Blood Prism,” is now available in print, ebook and on Audible

Blood Prism is now available on audible –
Actually, almost all my books are. I like to listen!
And all done by amazing narrators… Really great performers.
They all give fabulous readings and I am so fortunate to have had their talents put to work enhancing my fiction- Simon Prebble, Christopher Graybill, Derek PerkinsGenevieve Sibayan
Even so, Emily Emerson‘s performance of Blood Prism, was unexpectedly fabulous!

The Cat Writes A Declaration Of  Love On A Paper

The Cat Writes A Declaration Of Love On A Paper

She made theimages (4) odd, twisted world of sinister orchids,
old Gods, Indian legends, and an ill-timed timeless love so alive and real, I forgot it was my own creation!
images (5)
If you listen to just one of my books, I hope you will try this one.
I love it.
Thank you, Emily!IMG_0234
Excerpts from Blood Prism:
“Neil feels protected in the redwoods’ shadow. They are love without argument, relationship without compromise. They climb up toward heaven reaching the stars, straight and unafraid. Under their boughs, he is part of the earth. He likes the constant evening, feeling most comfortable at the vespertine hour when dawn kisses night. He loves the rich damp moss, the mushrooms lurking in shadows, stained with lurid colors, a warning to hungry mouths that they might be deadly.”
I wish I’d known that happiness is seeing the water lily you’ve been watching for a week blossom, even though it lasts only a day.”


I’m reading some of the fabulous anthologies I’m fortunate enough to be part of.
I will recommend one or two stories in each blog that are not mine, But only one or two at a time… otherwise this blog will be an encyclopedia.
I love “Barn Raising,” by Buzz Dixon in “Bubble off Plumb.”

Buy a copy or five…One of the best parts of being a writer is receiving and reading all these great anthologies- I want to write about each tale and every author – but better you should read these stories yourself. If I write about every story I’ll never finish my new book.


I’m going to put a list with links and a bit about each publication – I hope you check them out because the writing is amazing! You’ll discover new ideas and ways of seeing, which is almost like discovering a new color,  tasting a new kind of chocolate or discovering ice-cream for the very first time.

I am truly honored to be included in these publications!

Marigolds & Monarchs – Artpost– 2018

ARTPOST magazine was created in 2018 with one simple goal in mind: to find and publish creative works of fiction, poetry, photography and artwork from independent authors and artists around the world and pay them fairly for their work.

24/7- Alluvian-2018

Alluvian is a group of thinkers, science students, and writers examining the human condition in relation to the natural world. — anything intended to provoke thought on environmental science, global sustainability, and human engagement with nature, the environment, and climate change.

For Sale- Flame Tree, Cosy Crime Short Story Anthology, 201

Cosy Crime Short Stories is packed with armchair detectives, murders in the vicarage, family secrets unraveling in gossipy ears, and the ingredients of a genteel bloodbath in an otherwise delightful village. Contains a fabulous mix of classic and brand new writing, with contemporary authors from the US, Canada, and the UK.

images (1) This adorable cat has nothing to do with anything.

I’m Dreaming of a Red Xmas- the War against Xmas 2018

This won’t be out till next year, but Neil Gaiman is in here – So I get to be in two anthologies with Neil Gaiman this year!!! And as usual, the publishers are wonderful.

war on xmas

The Faithless Angel- Alternative Theologiessee my story

This book will remind you that no matter what you believe, we make this journey together. I love Bob and B cubed Press – they are our alternative to hate!

God’s Gifts- The Gathering Storm – 2018

For great, short, thoughtful modern fables check out The Storm.Cover Image 2-9.jpg

Ghost Island- Clarksworld- 2018

Clarksworld is on every science fiction writer’s top 5 list  – it’s a thrill-  they did a fabulous podcast of my story too, read by the wonderful Kate Baker. Thank you, Kate!

Estevan of the Children- Eldritch roots and Cosmic Shores- 

My day of the dead story, digitally illustration by Fran Eisemann in this lovely publication.

The Grammarian’s Grimoire – Re-Enchant –

Re-Enchant takes readers down twisted walkways to discover strange and magical places, people, and creatures. I LOVE THIS BOOK!

And once again: secrets to happiness-
Moderation in all things, even moderation!
Enjoy the beauty and wonder of life whenever you can.
Smile at everyone.

Buy my


PS. One of my favorite things about Costa Rica? 95% of dogs are cared for and happy.
Remember, if properly trained, man really can be dog’s best friend.
download (16)images (9)
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Music, Bugs, Books, Travel and Cat Pix

I am writing this In a Costa Rican jungle where monkeys, scarlet macaws, and toucans are more plentiful than Internet signals.


This post will be a mix of travel blog and book news. I will tell you about one fabulous anthology that’s coming out and a prize-winning novel as well as a bit about bugs, bats and bromeliads.image.png.jpg

I end with some travel tips and the secret to happiness.

As always, click for links- books here

Costa Rica is a tropical wet dream. Last night the scarlet macaws were having a party. They flew across the sky in twos, fours, and sixes, (they mate for life and are monogamous) with an occasional lonely five, a tag-along, winging laboriously across the sky. Macaws and Toucans don’t fly for fun They ’re like the weekend pilot who starts flying for an airline. It’s all about the destination.

It’s magic here!  Eco Tico tourists play in warm seas, we swim past rivers of mating red dragonflies and giant trees linger in the slow, deadly embrace of strangler figs.


We stayed in Drake’s Bay a fairly remote mangrove and tropical forest edging a blue sea.

We took The Night Tour-, hands down the best tour anywhere. Tracy and her husband, Gian are both extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic biologists. I was amazed by how much personal attention they gave each and every guest, considering they do two tours a night. Whether you are a novice or an expert, I guarantee you will see and learn new things.

Gian showed us a velvet worm, a creature so unique it has its own phylum!  I attach a picture of it here, but it’s not very impressive, so I will also include a picture of a cat reading a book.



Velvet worms arimages (1)e kind of like very tiny politicians. They spend most of their time under rocks and use slime as a weapon.


I have decided that I want my own phylum too and plan to start a petition to that effect. #ELIZABETHISHEROWNPHYLUM.


In addition, Tracie and Gian have a lot of cool devices, like a “bat locator,” where you can actually see the echolocation of bats!

It’s an interesting coincidence that I wrote a story about a week before my visit with Tracie and Gian about a machine that creates false echoes, causing bats to hallucinate.

I could claim ESP, but in fact, I had the story in my head for a while and it has less to do with nature and more to do with manipulation.



I’ve been meaning to work on my new book which I’m quite excited about. It’s a tale of possession. A woman who is denied recognition of her scientific work returns from the grave for vengeance but finds love. But short stories keep coming into my brain so I’m writing those instead, and basking in the great tropical wilderness filled with creatures too colorful and loud to exist outside of dreams.

Now- onto my newest anthology and my newest novel. The novel, The Hollywood Portal

51O+BZ8RSTL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgis a sequel to Electric Detective.

41kbOBoAp+L.jpgIt’s the bastard love child of Raymond Chandler or and Philip K. Dick. If you enjoy Chandler I really do think you will like it. I hope you read it or at least buy it. I could really use the cash. And if you like it, please write a review.

The Whodunit Award judges a novel on its first three pages.  Here is the beginning of The Hollywood Portal :

“LA is a desert in a party dress. Despite miles of green lawn and chlorine oasis, the air is full of sand, grit, and hope so tangible you can feel it in the wind. Perhaps it is our thirst that makes us so isolated. Even the LA River is a highway. A drop of rain falling onto the paved thoroughfare in the San Gabriel Mountains ten thousand feet above the City can reach the sea faster than a speeding car. We are a city of twelve hundred thousand gold diggers prospecting on concrete banks.

It was unusually muggy, the air warm and heavy with moisture, the sky low and white. There was no horizon. In the Midwest, weather like this might mean tornados; in the mountains, a sky so pale signaled snow, but here, the blurring of perspective felt like a premonition.”

It was on The AAE Books, Editors’ 2018 Book Picks For Christmas

“I picked E.E. King’s The Hollywood Portal, this year’s first prize winner in the Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition. That in itself says a lot about this book. You can be sure that the words will pull you into the story like a starship’s tractor beam. A terrific read by a talented voice!

The judges were unanimous in their praise. E.E. King paints a colorful picture of the City of Angeles, peopled with odd denizens and surreal circumstance. Having lost his family, Ed Evers gets drawn into a case being investigated by his old FBI boss – thirty or so A-list people radiated to crispy critters inside an old fallout shelter at the former home of a Grade-B movie star. Can Eddy solve the crime? After all, he has an extraordinary vision, the result of a lightning strike that turned him into ‘a human voltmeter.’ You can’t put the book down as you go on an electric kaleidoscopic sci-fi journey in the guise of a nail-biting murder mystery.” – Shirrel Rhoades, Publisher

I am also in this amazing new anthology, Cosy Crime Short Stories, Cosy-Crime-Short-Stories.0.jpgpublished by Flametree.  Not only do they produce incredibly beautiful books, they also do something exciting and unique. They mix new works with classics. Thus, I got to be in a collection with Arthur Conan Doyle, and  G.K. Chesterton! Their books are lavishly illustrated, truly books for bibliophiles to cherish!

“Following the great success of the Gothic Fantasy deluxe edition short story compilations, this latest is packed with armchair detectives, murders in the vicarage, family secrets unraveling in gossipy ears, and the ingredients of a genteel bloodbath in an otherwise delightful village. Contains a fabulous mix of classic and brand-new writing, with contemporary authors from the US, Canada, and the UK.

Contributions by Stephanie Bedwell-Grime, Joshua Boyce, Sarah Holly Bryant, Jeffrey B. Burton, C.B. Channell, Gregory Von Dare, Amanda C. Davis, Michael Martin Garrett, Philip Brian Hall, Tom Mead, Trixie Nisbet, Annette Siketa, B. David Spicer, Nancy Sweetland, Louise Taylor, Elise Warner and ME – E.E. King.

And now… the moment you’ve been waiting for


If you are in Costa Rica near Uvita or Ojochal, go to The Bamboo Room for some amazingly great music! Eat at Citrus for a world-class dinner. And if you’re in Drake’s Bay sure to take The Night Tour   – it just might just change your life! It will open your eyes to new ways of seeing and make you consider all the wonders and tiny secret lives we usually ignore.

I’m leaving today and heading toward Montverde Cloud Forest where new adventures and stories await. I leave you with more cat pictures and wish you all a good beginning to what I hope will be a wonderful year.


I also leave you with these secrets for happiness:

Be kind whenever possible.

Remember to look at all the beauty around.

Don’t read the news.

Stay away from social media and most importantly

 Buy my Books –  Click Buy my Books for my website and here for my Amazon Author Page.

to quote  writer Gini Koch, “The meds aren’t free, ya know!”


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Feral Cats are the best


What do stories about ephemeral Martian settlers, fascinating dimensional rifts, Spanish-speaking hummingbirds, Loki’s children, WWII twins, hitchhiking swamp cats, a steam-punk octopus, Arkham card-games, using bad luck for fun and profit, demon home security systems, alternative criminal justice, workplace time travel, marketing to body-snatchers, alien attraction, and way too many barns all have in common? Simple: in one way or another they are all Bubble Off Plumb.

This genre-busting collection is meant for readers who prefer an odd story with their tea and biscuits. So sit back and let these tales delight, confuse, and surprise you!

Featuring original stories by Marie BrennanDavid TallermanE.E. King, Art Weil, Sarah M. Lewis, Pepper Hume, Karen Ovér, Liz Schriftsteller, Mariah Southworth, Mickey Kulp, Robert Millet, Valerie ManwillBeth Winokur, Simone LW Mounsamy, Buzz DixonTurner Campbell, Frank Kozusko, Ellen Denton, Jill Hand, Veronica Brush, and Tim Jeffreys. Joining this stellar group are in-house authors KG FinfrockSarah Kalin, and Dan M. Kalin.


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