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Violet Hopes

Violet Hopes is a collection of short stories resulting from the question: “What do a violet (flower or color), something living turning to stone, ash or dust, and a sweet life have in common?”

Collected here are the results from a group of those authors who took up the challenge.

From a violet as a harbinger of ill to a beacon of hope. From dust being the end of a sweet life or the beginning of one, to the an unfortunate side effect.

Join us as we look at how a life can be sweet and violet.

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A collection of short stories

The Countryman by D C Mills

All Done, Well Done by David Russell

Small Purple Catalyst by Suzanne H. Ferris

Alone In The City by A. A. Abbott

Zoe and the Dragon by Rebecca Lacy

Winning Violets by Mike Boggia

Turned to Stone by Arlene Lagos

Shadowdeep by Alli Vaughan

Violet Berries by Lynn Johnston

Elta’s Folly by Lynette White

The Echoes of Her Past by Sylvia Stein

Flames of Red Make Violet Blue by Randall Lemon

Lothario by Tom Russell

Something Purple by Linda J Pifer

Together by V. J. M. Christensen

They Paved Paradise–Didn’t They by Gene Hilgreen

Ol Jon Quil by Todd Folstad

The Luck of the Shamrocks by Lena M. Pate

Alone? by Douglas G Clarke


The Authors

D C Mills

D C Mills (a.k.a. Dorthe Møller Christensen) is a word nerd, both professionally and in her spare time.
She teaches Latin to unsuspecting undergraduates, translates obscure Greek poetry, and writes short stories in a variety of genres.

Several of these stories are published in anthologies:
The Future Is Short: Science Fiction in a Flash;
Giant Tales: World of Pirates;
Giant Tales: Dangerous Days;
A Good Tale: Trash to Treasure;
A Good Tale: Violet Hopes;
and more volumes are on their way.

D C Mills lives in a small house in the middle of Denmark with three tall sons. When not teaching, writing, running, or reading, she knits and designs and writes knitting patterns.
She is, of course, also working on a novel or two.

Email: diotima.ktl@gmail.com


David Russell


Professional Website:



Suzanne H. Ferris


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A. A. Abbott

AA Abbott is an English writer. "Mostly, I write thrillers set in the world of big business," Abbott says. "Men enjoy my books just as much as women do, and I guess that's why I chose a gender-neutral pen name. After all, if JK Rowling can pretend to be a guy - twice - then why shouldn't I?"

Abbott is better known in her day job as Helen Blenkinsop. "I work in interim roles in large companies, and then take time off to write," she says. "I've always loved entertaining others with a story, and it's been fun to contribute to Good Tales."

Helen has lived and worked in several English cities. "I aim to convey a strong sense of place in my writing," she says. "Three cities I know particularly well are London, Bristol and Birmingham. London is awash with foreign money and frenzied work patterns. It's hectic and exciting. By contrast, you can lose a lot of time in Bristol sipping cider and watching the world go by. Birmingham is where my heart lies - it's busy, friendly and simply fun to be there. Often, I write about the tensions between different places and people. My characters explore themes of change, darkness and redemption, just as we all do in our journeys through life."

Any last words? "Yes," Helen says. "I'd like to thank Doug Clarke for publishing this great anthology. I really appreciate his gentle encouragement and light touch edits, and of course, the immense amount of work he's put in - he's an amazing gentleman."



Rebecca Lacy

Rebecca can’t really decide what genre she wants to write – vacillating between children’s, business, historical fiction, and fantasy. In addition to having published several short stories, Rebecca has recently co-authored a leader fable and is currently working on a novel and a faith-based book. She also writes a monthly column for Women’s Voices Magazine. In her spare time Rebecca is the President of Pinnacle Management Group, the company she and her husband founded in 1997. She is mom to both human and fur kids. Rebecca enjoys people watching and other activities that often provide inspiration for her stories.


Mike Boggia


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Arlene Lagos

Lagos, a native of Massachusetts has written poetry, stage plays, screenplays and short stories for over 20 years. She began writing the Beyond Earth Series in November of 2011 as a first time Nanowrimo participant, which she successfully completed, and now has three books in the series. Her latest novel, Butterflies Wake was a Nanowrimo winner for 2013.

Currently she is working on a children's middle-grade novel, "Outside The Circle" that she's hoping to have out by Christmas. She's also been asked to have her novel, "Butterflies Wake" adapted into a stage play for a local college theatre department. This November, Lagos will work on the sequel to "Butterflies Wake" with "Butterflies Rising". Lagos also has fourteen short stories published in the Giant Tales Anthologies. Her goal in life is to create and to inspire the world around her. Lagos currently resides in Massachusetts with her husband and their daughter.

Website: http://www.beyondearthseries.com

Email: beyondearthseries@gmail.com


Alli Vaughan

Portland Oregon native Alli Vaughan is an award winning, high energy sales and marketing specialist. In her spare time she enjoys working on short stories.

“Writing is an essential part of my job, but it takes on a very different feeling when it is done in a creative capacity. Then it feels alive, with a pulse and heart blood of its own, rushing out of me at an exciting tempo.”


Lynn Johnston


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Lynette White

Having grown up in Central Montana, Lynette spent many a long winter night curled up with a good book. Her High School English teacher was the first one to point out Lynette’s gift for writing.

Decades came and went and Lynette dabbled in writing but never had the desire to make that transition to professional writer. Four years ago the stars aligned and everything fell into place to start that transition.

The final push came from her favorite author Tracy Hickman. During that encounter she mentioned she would like to one day be published. Tracy’s response “I will never help you get published. Any fool can publish a book. What I will do is teach you how to be read.” Accepting his challenge, Lynette completed his on-line course Scribe’s Forge. An intense course designed for aspiring writers wanting to learn the craft of writing.

On writing Lynette states, “the best thing to happen after completing Scribe’s Forge was coming across the 750 writers group. Each month the challenge is to write a story using less then 1000 words. This group of talented writers have taught me how to expound on what I learned from Tracy and Laura Hickman. Now I understand what authors mean when they say writing is not a choice; it is a passion. Writing is no longer a hobby for me, it is as much a part of me as breathing.”

Lynette’s stories can be found throughout the Giant Tales collection. She also collaborated on the progressive fantasy Gryffon Master, available under the Professor Limn label. Lynette currently has her works in eight books including her own release The Enemy Within, book one of the Destiny Series. You can find Lynette’s books in both paperback and Ebook on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.

Professional Website: http://www.whitefantasybooks.net/

Email: whitefantasybooks@gmail.com


Sylvia Stein

Author Sylvia Stein is a published author of 5 Anthologies. She began pursuing her writing when she joined a Writer's group on Linked in led by Heather Marie Schuldt in 2012. The following year she, along with the other writers, published 3 of her first anthologies in 2013. This year she has published two of them. The Anthologies are entitled, Giant tales from the Mystic Doors, Giant tales from the Misty Swamp, Giant tales World of Pirates, Lava Storm in The Neighborhood and the latest is entitled, Dangerous days, A Good Tale: Trash to Treasure. These are all three-minute stories that contain different types of genres. She continues to write and has been working hard to publish her first solo novella entitled Closure, which is now available on Amazon as an e-book and paperback. Along with that she is happy to report that she has just published another Anthology with 16 amazing authors from Writer’s 750 led by led by Douglas Clarke entitled Violet Hopes.

Professional website: https://ssteinwriting.wordpress.com


Randall Lemon

Randall took a sabbatical from writing and that period of rest lasted almost three decades.  At one time Randall was a regular fixture of the roleplaying community.  He was one of the top ranked players from the inception to the end of the RPGA ranking system.  He also served as a high ranking tournament judge, marshal and coordinator of various events at Gen Con and other gaming conventions.  During that time, he was a frequent contributor to Polyhedron magazine, perhaps best remembered for the creation of one of the most beloved establishments in the Living City, “Embrol Sludge’s Eatery and Seashell Shoppe.”  Along with a co-author he created the adventure known as “Eye of the Leviathan.” Randall also wrote articles for Video Review Magazine and the Quarterly Journal of Speech.
Hailing from northwest Indiana just across the line from Chicago, Randall graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s degree.  While at Purdue he was a winner of the prestigious Purdue Literary Awards contest.  He then received his Master’s degree from the University of Southern California and did some work toward the PhD at the University of Illinois.  He taught high school for thirty-four years, has two children and a wife, all of whom he loves dearly. 
Now Randall has returned to writing.  This time he is concentrating on flash fiction and short stories.  Recent publications by Randall include the round-robin novel, “Gryffon Master:  Curse of the Lich King” and the stories, “A Mouser, a Keg of Rum and a Gunnery Mate” in the Anthology, “World of Pirates”  and “Mercy Killing” in the anthology “Lava Storm.” Randall will have some of his short fiction showcased in some anthologies scheduled to come out in 2014 or 2015 and is currently working on a solo attempt at a fantasy novel.


Tom Russell


Professional Website:



Linda J Pifer

Linda J Pifer is a writer’s writer. She began impressing writers when she was given an A+ for a short story about a lightning storm by her high school English Literature teacher. From that moment she knew she wanted to write.

She became an industrious writer producing regular articles for hospital newsletters and graduating to her first nationally published work ‘The Cloverfinder’ (2003) in Country Magazine.

’Ohio Girl’ Linda’s memoir/ family history launched her into her new full time career as a fiction writer. Linda has since produced educational pieces for writers, more short stories for her growing fan base and two fiction novels well underway. She continues to practice her craft and is without doubt an encouragement to aspiring writers. Her latest short story ‘Something Purple’ is sure to attract good reviews and there is promise of further excellence and entertainment from this Ohio Girl’s pen. Register your interest in hearing the pre-publication details of Linda’s new novel at her professional website.

Professional Website: www.lindajpiferauthor.com


V. J. M. Christensen


Professional Website:



Gene Hilgreen

Gene Hilgreen lives in Lindenhurst, NY with his faithful companion Millie a rescued Border collie. He spent thirty years in Information Technology and ITGC audit. As an ex-gymnast and freestyle skier he lived on the edge with a Devil-may-care attitude.

Now retired, he writes suspense thrillers and monthly short stories for The Writers 750 Group on LinkedIn. He has authored Dragon at 1600, the first of a series in which he relives his rebelled past through his protagonist Buckner Axele Davidssen—a protector of the Constitution—who reports only to God and Old Glory.

His second series is for the YA arena and spins off Jules Alkaysi—a prodigy child—who wants to follow in Grandpa Buck’s footsteps. Look for First of Jules a spy thriller coming soon.

Writing didn’t come easy for Gene, and becoming a published author was a pipe dream. Saddled with the moniker Dutch D Hilgreen in college, it was once said, “Good thing you write on a computer, because if you wrote with a pen you’d hurt yourself.”

The encouragement of his wife Donna—rest in peace darling, I will always love you—gave him the incentive. The family of successful authors and editors from the Writers 750 Group showed him the tools.

What was once a blank stage now explodes with color—living, breathing, and awaking all the senses.


Todd Folstad

Todd is a writer, inspirational blogger, choral singer, human being (in training), and a self-described CHAOS Resolutionist. He began writing at an early age and started primarily as a good story-teller and jokester. As his ability to impart stories grew, he moved to pen and paper and now to computer.

His influences come a great deal from authors like Stephen King, Clive Cussler, and many artists whose books he finds in the bin at the Dollar Tree. Authors who like himself may never get the big push, but whose work and story-telling ability are very solid. He also writes many stories of a science fiction persuasion with the impetus coming from all the years of watching TV shows such as The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling’s Night Galley, One Step Beyond and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

Born in Minneapolis and raised all over the upper Midwest, he is a small town guy at heart and finds his solace and peace in places of nature with water all around. Lighthouses are another of his passions and he is currently working on a photo journal of the Lighthouses of the Great Lakes with all the principle photography done by himself.

Writing is an organic process for Todd as he often pushes through a story idea in just a few hours with little extra time spent polishing it. He prefers the ‘naked and unvarnished’ approach to story composition and tends to trust in his own story-telling ability to finish a project.


Lena Pate

Born in Michigan but settled in Texas, I'm married to a wonderful and supportive husband for nearly forty years. We have two grown children, three spectacular grandchildren, and two adopted dogs and a cat who rule the household. I have worked as a Medical Technologist and an Allied Health Instructor for over thirty years. My passions include reading, writing, painting and gardening. I authored Following the Scent and co-authored a short story, To Capture a Nightingale, which was part of the anthology for the book Whitechapel 13. Another short story, entitled Private Oasis, was featured in the 1st edition 2010 of U magazine. I was published in the TxSSAMT The New Texan Journal of Medical Technology on Pediatric Phlebotomy. I have worked in my current position for twenty-three years as a Medical Technician and an Allied Health Instructor.

My blog has been spotlighting my short stories and poetry since 2008. I am active on several writing sites, as well as, social media including Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and My Space.

Professional Website: lenasstoryandpoetrycorner.blogspot.com

Email: lmpate517@yahoo.com


Douglas G. Clarke

Douglas is a Systems Engineer, Dutch oven cooker, Publisher, Game Developer, and when he has time a Writer of short stories – with two novels in the works. He lives in San Diego with his wife and two almost grown children. When asked about his writing he says:

If things had been different, I may have chosen writing as my primary career, but things weren’t different. I was born with dyslexia and dysgraphia, which in simple terms meant that in seventh grade I was reading at a fourth grade level and writing (penmanship and spelling) at a second. My parents paid to have me tutored outside of school and by the time I was in 9th grade I was an avid reader. The penmanship and spelling, along with what in the 1970′s was high tech – typing – were still far below grade level.

To this day I can’t use cursive writing and my penmanship is something only a doctor, or my mother, could love. Check as you type spelling and grammar checkers have helped a lot, but they sill don’t help much when I correctly spell the wrong word (on instead of one). Thanks to the computer, I can actually write a short story and even a novel. Thanks of course also has to go to my very understanding editors, who probably roll their eyes at the kinds of mistakes I make.

I’ve heard it said, and I wish I knew the exact quote and who said it first, that all great artists create from the dark times they’ve gone through and their disabilities. That somehow if creating is not hard work, that stirs up deep emotions, a masterpiece can not be the result.

It’s funny because as I sit to write a chapter of my book, or a short story, I have some idea about what it is I’m going to write. But the effort required to type each word, (both finding the keys to hit and figuring out how to spell the word), and the effort to keep the sentence structures correct, doesn’t give me much my space left to think about what to write. Instead as I finish each word, the next word seems to just be there waiting for me to write.

I’ve read about how characters in a story start talking and say things that the authors didn’t know they were going to say, and lead the story in directions they hadn’t planned. I have experience this not only in dialog, but in action and narrative as well.

I guess that my writing is very much right brained, or perhaps the Holy Spirit is whispering in my ear. In either case my writing is very much from the heart and at times thought provoking.

My earnest pray is they my writing will both entertaining and inspiring.

Professional Website: DouglasGClarke.com

Email: doug@douglasgclarke.com