|Some of the stories appearing in the anthology include
From the April - June Issue
Act of War - Lee Martindale
Blood and Ashes - Michele Acker
From the July - September Issue
Nim of the Kamankay - Tracie McBride
Debtor - J.Michael Matuszewicz
From the October - December Issue
Chilpequin 22 Miles - Marva Dasef
Swing A Sparrow on A String - Ken Goldman
Along with several others.
|Some comments regarding A Time To...
|"Whether a warrior or lady, enchanted or free, each story within A TIME TO... artfully reveals the hidden strength that dwells
within a woman's soul and the circumstances that gave it birth."
~ May the Magic always brighten your world ~
Sheri L. McGathy - author of Thief of Dreams
An entertaining anthology featuring gritty female protagonists, A TIME TO sends the reader to an intriguing array of realms -
and times - where often a woman's most challenging task is merely to survive.
Kim Headlee - author of Dawnflight
Kim also had this to say when she read Chilpequin 22 Miles by Marva Dasef
"This line alone is worth the price of the whole antho!!"
--Yeah, my cousins both play for the Seahawks. I've got an aunt who's a linebacker for the Chicago Bears.--
Exciting, thought-provoking, and, at times, wryly humorous, this is a fine collection of short stories and poems. Through its
strong female characters, A TIME TO... accomplishes what science fiction and fantasy do best; it explores what it means to
be human in all possible times and circumstances.
David Lee Summers - author of Vampires of the Scarlet Order
and editor of Tales of the Talisman
From Lee Martindale's spine-chilling story "Act of War" to Elizabeth Barrette's whimsical poem "The Night the Moon was
Stolen," this is a strong collection of fine prose and poetry and has a little something for every reader.
Buy this book. You won't regret it.
Laura J. Underwood - author of Dragon's Tongue
and The Hounds of Ardagh
|Reviews we have received
What a wonderful collection of stories and poetry. Something for everyone, A Time To... will have you feeling a range of
emotions. Each story has their own unique flair, their own distinct voice. I recommend this book to lovers of literature
Curl up and delve into the pages --y ou won't be disappointed.
Act of War – Lee Martindale
A wonderful tale with a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming. A cleverly written piece about war—but not the kind you
would expect. Well-written and a joy to read.
Blood and Ashes — Michele Acker
Sorea, a warrior, is portrayed with excellence in this tale. With wonderful imagery, I was transported to another time and
place. Daryn is also well characterised, and I felt his emotion at the end of the tale.
The Last Vhalgenn — Kayelle Allen
Blown away by this story. Beautifully written, and very vivid. Most enjoyable!
Urania — Bobbi Sinha-Morey
A poem that says so much with so few words. Lovely.
Before Their Time — Elizabeth Barrette
Something to make you think!
Debtor — J. Michael Matuszewicz
A well-written, heartfelt story. Enjoyable!
Nim of the Kamankay — Tracie McBride
Vivid imagery. A well-written joy to read.
When the Vengeance is Gone — M.H Bonham
What a wonderful world created in this tale. To be considered a criminal just because your relative was one is horrendous—to
have to chase down these so called criminals even more so. Great story.
Chilpequin 22 Miles — Marva Dasef
A smile-inducing story. It set my mind to wondering if Bigfoot really does exist. Well-written with a great voice.
New Beginning — Ashley Arnold
A poignant tale, one I enjoyed immensely.
Swing a Sparrow on a String — Ken Goldman
A story that brought great imagery to mind from the first sentence. Enjoyable to read!
The Night the Moon was Stolen — Elizabeth Barrette
Another poem that speaks volumes and gives wonderful visuals within the mind.
A TIME TO… Volume 1
Edited by Carol Hightshoe
Reviewed by Edward Cox for Sam's Dot Publishing
The Lorelei Signal is a fantasy webzine dedicated to strong female characters. With three issues now under her belt, editor
Carol Hightshoe has commemorated the first year of publication with the release of A Time To… Volume 1. This anthology
brings together the best short stories and poems of The Lorelei Signal 2006, and it stands as testament to what a success that
inaugural year was.
The best of issue 1 kicks off with Lee Martindale’s Act of War. This piece of flash fiction uses stark descriptions to build a
tense and creepy atmosphere, as a group of villagers take refuge inside a warehouse. Outside, soldiers are preparing for battle
against something that approaches. The story is tidy and complete, and there’s a great twist at the end, but its briefness has
the feel of a prologue, and that makes it perfect for the first story of the anthology.
Blood and Ashes by Michele Acker plumps us straight onto a blood-soaked battlefield during the height of a war. Our
protagonist, Sorea, is a woman posing as a man in the army, and facing the complications that brings. And as the day on the
battlefield grows long, she soon realises that it sometimes takes a woman to know a woman, and it’s a lesson learned too late.
The sense that everything may not be as it seems is carried through this tale from start to finish. Acker packs a lot of
character information into a relatively short piece, but it doesn’t detract from an otherwise enjoyable story.
Next up comes Kayelle Allen’s The Last Vhalgenn, which is also the longest story in the anthology. Raik is the king’s
concubine, recalled to the kingdom from her duties with the army. The king’s wife is pregnant, and the unification of two
lands depends on the birth. Here, with a clash of cultures, Raik is assigned a covert mission, where she walks a precarious
line between the greater good and an act of treachery. Although Allen’s prose is easy to read, and the story is both engrossing
and poignant, I felt that as a whole The Last Vhalgenn could’ve been developed a little further. The story is 10,000 words
long, and with a few thousand more it could go from being a decent yarn to a great tale.
The final outing from issue 1 is Urania by Bobbi Sinha-Morey. This poem of the ancient Greek muse draws the picture of a
lonely woman, isolated in her dreams of the heavens. For a deity who holds philosophers and astronomers most dear, Sinha-
Morey’s lavish description of the galaxy creates a perfect atmosphere for thought and seclusion.
And this brings us to best of issue 2. First up is Before Their Time by Elizabeth Barrette. This is arguably the best poem in
the anthology. It’s a satirical look at how men have fashioned mythologies in a way that has pushed woman to the back, or
portrayed them in a bad light. Both funny and sad, Barrette makes a strong point that these mythologies have created a mind-
set that can never be rewritten.
J. Michael Matuszewicz’s Debtor is a story of mystery and intrigue. When an old man receives visits from an enigmatic
young girl, he assigns her domestic chores in return for food and board. Here, debts are revealed, both new and old, and it
slowly becomes apparent that this unlikely pairing are not the complete strangers they first appear to be. Matuszewicz paces
this story well, and does a great job of dangling clues that lead to a conclusion steeped in the mythic.
In Nim of the Kamankay, Tracie McBride presents us with a warrior worthy of any Sword and Sorcery story. Nim is
nobody’s fool, a battle-hardened soldier who has to prove her mettle with the band of mercenaries she wishes to join. The tale
is very short, and reads much like an early segment from a full-length novel. The atmosphere and characters McBride creates
reminded me of Robert E. Howard, and that’s what I found most appealing; it took me back to my schooldays, and all those
summers spent reading the exploits of Conan the Barbarian. It would be a crime, I think, if this was Nim’s one and only
The last selection from issue 2 is M.H. Bonham’s When the Vengeance is Gone. This is a SciFi story that parodies the Nazi
witch-hunt that occurred after WWII. In a land that is rapidly becoming a totalitarian state, Lara is a hunter of war criminals.
She is devoted to her job, and never questions the morality of the cause. Until, that is, her very old and dear friend is
implicated in the never-ending war trials. When the Vengeance is Gone stakes a good claim for being the best short story in
the anthology; Bonham’s characters are well drawn, the plot has a good, even pace, and the descriptions are easy for the
imagination to follow. But the problem, once again, is that this tale is crying out to be a much larger piece of work. With its
open-ended conclusion, the author could develop this into something truly special, and quite easily discover she has a novel on
When the best of issue 3 begins, Marva Dasef treats us to Chilpequin 22 Miles. This story follows the journey of a woman
who “liked to take the roads less travelled”. One day, while driving her car, she sees a sign to the small mountain town of
Chilpequin, and on a whim decides to check it out. Once there she engages a barmen in a conversation concerning the yeti
myth, and soon discovers that Chilpequin possibly isn’t the simple town she first supposed. Dasef’s tale is a quaint and
enjoyable affair, where, to be truthful, not much happens. But she makes a clever point that the idea of a myth is a seed that
grows within the human consciousness, and it’s our imaginations that bring it into existence.
Next, Ashley Arnold’s New Beginning brings the age-old warning that we should be careful what we wish for. Bridgette
fancies herself as something of a child goddess, much to the amusement of her friends. But little do they suspect that there
may be a little truth behind her claims, and Bridgette learns the hard way that there’s more to her power than she realises. This
story has a nice feel and encapsulates the innocence of childhood. It’s fun to read, but the smile is soon wiped from your face
with an ending that is both sad and coldly logical.
And this brings us to arguably the best of the best in this anthology. Swing a Sparrow on a String by Ken Goldman gives the
stark account of Angela, a crippled girl imprisoned because of her disabilities. Continually interrogated by a nameless and cold-
hearted guard, Angela has to discover what use a cripple can be to a society where uselessness is punishable by death. Swing
a Sparrow on a String is a Kafkaesque nightmare, and Goldman’s storytelling carries a matter-of-factness that is chilling to
read. He makes us feel for Angela, and wish her reprieve from the situation’s absurdity. He slowly draws us towards a
conclusion that sounds off like a dark punch line, and it’s work like this that sets the benchmark of quality that The Lorelei
Signal strives for.
The anthology ends with a second poem from Elizabeth Barrette. The Night the Moon Was Stolen is a whimsical affair that is
both entertaining and a good pick-me-up after Goldman’s nightmare. There’s a certain mischievousness about this poem, as
the theft of the moon is witnessed by an indignant onlooker. Barrette’s inspiration melds styles from folklore and modern
writings, and it adds a positive epilogue to a collection of tales that form a vastly entertaining read.
A Time To… Volume 1 is a great body of work from a very respectable webzine. Carol Hightshoe can feel proud with her
achievements here. And with the first year of The Lorelei Signal behind her, she can look forward to another year of toil,
which I’m sure will see her publications move from strength to strength.
|I'm proud to announce that A Time To... Volume 1 was named as a Finalist for the
2008 EPPIE Awards in the Fantasy Category
Thank you and congratulations to the wonderful authors who made this possible.
|A Time To... Volume 1
The Best of The Lorelei Signal
A Time To... Volume 1
is now out of print
|Don't Write What You Know;
Write What You Care About -- Passionately!