Underwater edited by Anthony S. Buoni & Alisha Costanzo @TransmundnePres @bookenthupromo
Genre: Fantasy Anthology
Release Date:February 29, 2016
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When was the last time you came face-to-face with a mermaid?
Ever explore a hidden underwater cave or been haunted by an unearthly creature? Did that passionate childhood fantasy turn into a real, sexy encounter? When was the last time you discovered a bell concealing the entrance to a faerie mound? Have you wondered what would happen if New Orleans was entombed in radioactive water?
UNDERWATER features sixteen exploratory tales that delve into decrepit landscapes and strange magic, inhuman heroes and crushing experimentation. Two-thirds of the world is submerged—experience what happens within, from the fantastical and erotic to the horrifying and triumphant, UNDERWATER showcases stories that will inundate readers with uncharted territories.
Alisha Costanzo is from a Syracuse suburb. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she currently teaches English. She’s the author of BLOOD PHOENIX: REBIRTH, BLOOD PHOENIX: CLAIMED, and LOVING RED, and is co-editor of DISTORTED and UNDERWATER. IMPRINTED, her new novel, is undergoing serious edits for its 2016 release. In the meantime, she will continue to corrupt young minds, rant about the government, and daydream about her all around nasty creatures.
Anthony S. Buoni prowls the gas lamp lit streets of New Orleans, playing moonlight hide and seek with Ouija boards in the Crescent City’s foggy, above ground cemeteries. Anthony is the author of Conversation Party and Synchrony, co-editor to Distorted volume 1, and editor to both Between There anthologies. His stories and articles have been featured in Meow, Small Happy, North Florida Noir, and Waterfront Living. When not haunting swamps and boneyards, Anthony keeps it scary, writing dark fiction, editing, and watching horror movies, using his afterlife to DJ, write music, and conjure other worldly creatures with tarot cards, elixirs, and dreams.
From “The Rainbow Sprite” by Alisha Costanzo:
My vision filled too often with bloody fucking rainbows, and my tongue craved the taste of hot, spring rains. I found myself wired and explosive in my daily duties, biting a claimed renegade but imagining the sprite instead. My queen punished me fittingly for it, caning the bottoms of my feet. I left with a hard-on.
She went easy on me, giving me a lesson in my more preferred manner, because I offered information that pleased her. Now, my orders sent me where I wanted to go: for a way to infiltrate the underwater faerie mound. Mine was through the rainbow sprite.
The woods changed with charms, glittering under the moon like beckons. Nevertheless, I found Nani’s watering hole, armed with a bell and her ring—both held the most curious magick.
Spring rain didn’t greet me as my toes slipped into the brisk water. Instead, a peaches and cream scent emitted from the waters before a pale, golden fluff bobbed to the surface above the slender face of a boy. His features matched Nani’s except that his eyes were a soft orange and freckles kissed the center of his face like a frangipani.
I leaned in as the boy hovered there and coaxed him closer. “Are you the little bugger that dropped a bell in there?”
His minute nod propelled him further forward, close enough for me to snatch him up. My grip found his throat, and I swung him onto land with a thunk of his shoulder blades against the grass. Teeth bared at him.
Sweat beaded along the kid’s forehead and wisps of fear wafted from him. Burning seeped into my chest at his touch, slow and eating at my skin like acid. “Will your blood poison me?”
The scent of his fear matured as he nodded again.
I pulled the bell from my pocket and jingled it by his face. “What does this do to you on land?”
“And if it touches you?”
The boy’s gaze hopped to the bell and back to me. “Make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I get angry.”
Was this pipsqueak quoting the Hulk at me?
I dropped my fangs, flaunted them in his face to the joy of his hyperventilating and pissing himself.
“Pika?” Long, blonde hair slicked back from Nani’s wide, rainbow eyes before they slanted and her mouth puckered. “Vampire.”
“Is this yours?” I pushed his head back to elongate the boy’s throat.
“Nan.” The boy’s voice so brittle it threatened to break.
“You let him free.”
“And why would I do such a thing?”
She tread closer, the water parting to her bare shoulder and dripping down her collarbones. It made me hungrier. “I will make a trade. Me for him.”
I wanted her blood more than the boy’s. “Out of the water.”
Nani climbed into the grass, circling around us and into the tree line.
“It’s okay. He won’t hurt me.”
I will, but I won’t kill her. Not yet. “Aw. Isn’t this sweet.”
Terrified eyes blinked up at me.
“You have five seconds to disappear before this bell hits the pond.” I jingled the bell at him for emphasis.
“Go,” the sprite told her brother.
He shot out from under me, splashing as I counted, tossing the bell in after him. Rolled onto my back, I smiled up at Nani. “I do believe I scared the piss out of the little bugger.”
For the next month-until release day-I pledge to post EVERYDAY with excerpts, author interviews, insights, and other fun stuff. I’m excited for you to learn more about these excellent authors. So stay tuned!