Valhalla Press-The E-publishing Paradise

Ragnarok-the e-lit journalSpring 2013 Issue

by Anniken Davenport, Ed.

Price $0.99

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Ragnarok presents a great selection of short fiction and creative non-fiction including the winners of the 2013 Valhalla Press Flash Fiction and Flash Memoir Contest and the Legal Professionals Writing Contest. Works include Robert Robeson story’s of heroism in Vietnam, Doc Drevo's Disarming Decision, Orla McAlinden’s flash memoir of growing up in Northern Ireland, Control Zone, Jo Haraf's flash fiction piece, Cherry, the story of how an old car leads to a new relationship, and Satya Khan's flash memoir, The Absence, which plumbs the depths of postpartum depression. Mark Levine’s short story, Margaret Mead, explores a big time lawyer’s fall from grace while his story. The Pain Industry, looks at the legal profession through the eyes of a jaded, sometimes corrupt small time lawyer. Dominic Carew's legal-dystopian vision (a new genre, perhaps?), The Documents, will send shivers down your spine. Joseph Peacock's story, Old, looks into an aging man's attempt to redefine himself in his later years while Wendy Robert's Ouroboros is set in Belgium shortly after the Nazis retreated. Benjamin R. Smith's Two in the House of Happy Air explores a future where the arts are illegal. Finally, an excerpt from environmental lawyer Joel Burcat’s novel of pollution and corruption, The Executioners, rounds out the issue.

The Sorceress of Ambermere (Second in the Ambermere Trilogy)

by J. Calvin Pierce

Price $2.99

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“Put him down!” Marcia barked her command in the sledgehammer soprano of a lady drill sergeant.

The heads of both creatures turned to face her in astonishment.

“Eeewwww,” said the big one with a delighted grin. “More food. Bigger, too.” The thing glanced up at its captive briefly, then dropped it and turned toward Marcia.

The little one fell with a startled shout and danced back out of the way.

The demon looked like something constructed of gigantic orange pipe cleaners. Its limbs were long and spidery, and it stood in a crouch. Its hands and feet were clawed, its grin filled with long, sharp teeth.

“Don’t you want to run?” it asked in a wheedling voice.

Marcia realized she should be afraid. This thing was bigger than she, had a head like a leopard, and teeth like a shark. All she felt was anger and contempt.

“Last chance," it said…

Daedalus, A Tale of Savannah

by Albert Davenport

Price $2.99

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On September 19, 2005, the heat waves danced off the teeming, blackened windows of a small wooden house in the city’s Trustee’s Garden section. Inside lay the bodies of Bob and Tina Stoddard, decaying in the Savannah swelter.

The Stoddards' deaths ended a tragic string of events begun more than two decades earlier by one careless decision. Their fall from grace was as precipitous as Icarus' plummet to the sea. They had partied with their Monterey Square neighbor, Jim Williams, before he faced the legal ordeal outlined in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. In the shadow of those more famous events, their lives crumbled.

This is their story.

The Ecstasy of Michaela

by John Pistelli

Price $2.99

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Michaela is no saint. Living alone in a decaying rust-belt city at the end of the twentieth century, her life completely adrift, she grudgingly attends her estranged mother’s funeral. There she learns about the grisly murder of a local boy named Tony Zabelsky. She becomes obsessed with his story and begins haunting the places he frequented until she meets his former lover, Eliza May Bradford. Eliza has repudiated her wealthy family and now lives in a squatter’s commune with her and Tony’s child. Michaela embarks on an almost hallucinatory journey through the ruined city and through the memories of Eliza and others who knew Tony Zabelsky. Along the way, she learns who holds power in her city and how they treat those who do not. Such unforgettable knowledge compels her to action. A dark literary fiction in the tradition of J. M. Coetzee and Don DeLillo, The Ecstasy of Michaela is at once a philosophical dialogue on the meaning of evil, an image-rich portrait of a country in decay, a political protest against the ravages that avarice and cruelty have unleashed on America’s cities, and a poetic character study of a woman who must find the resources to resist, in any way she can, the world’s crushing forces.

To hear the Valhalla Press interview with John Pistelli, click here.

The Original Party Girl and other (very) personal essays

by Adrienne Terrell Washington

Price $2.99

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You know Adrienne Terrell Washington as an award winning journalist. She's covered our nation's capital for decades with her incisive political analysis and reporting, especially on issues important to African Americans. Now discover another side to Adrienne's work - highly personal essays about growing up and working as an African American in the Washington, DC area. Her essays on life, love and gardening show that the personal is never far from the political.

Meals on Wheels

by J. Calvin Pierce

Price $0.99

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What are a doddering old man and a pretty young girl doing in a dark, lonely rented house, and what secrets might be hidden there? The deputy aims to find out.

The Door to Ambermere (First in the Ambermere Trilogy)

by J. Calvin Pierce

Price $2.99

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IF—King Asbrak the Fat of Ambermere had not allowed his palace magician to involve himself in a political and diplomatic crisis.
AND IF—Rogan the Obscure had not tampered with magic far beyond his skills.
AND IF—Hannah the witch had not been obliged to conduct the maiden with the blinding aura through the wizards’ doorway between her Middle Regions world and ours.
AND IF— A mobster’s spoiled daughter had not developed a crush on Daniel.

THEN—Daniel would doubtless have never heard of :
  • Rogan the Obscure
  • Asbrak the Fat
  • Hannah the witch
  • Princess Iris (Fairest Flower of the Kingdom)
  • The stunning (though perhaps poorly named) Modesty
  • Breksin the giant (and epicure)

  • OR—Any of the dozens of other inhabitants of the two worlds, to say nothing of a rather troublesome demon from the Lower Regions.

The Ambermere books were first published in New York by Berkley as Ace paperbacks in 1992. Nearly a decade later, the Moscow publisher Eksma printed a Russian edition of the Ambermere trilogy in hardcover.

Valhalla Press is proud to present the 20th anniversary electronic release of the Ambermere trilogy.


by J. Calvin Pierce

Price $0.99

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How can my patient look at his wife, who could serve as a painter's model for a sultry odalisque, and see a plain, "presentable girl"? His distorted dream-vision of her as a shameless wanton fits, in caricature, her air and appearance better than his waking one. Though I am sure it is done innocently and unconsciously, she radiates a sensuality that is all but suffocating. Even her voice captivates. It is low in pitch, dark in timbre, and seems to inhabit the ear like the murmurings of some exotic musical instrument. One does not care what she may say, if only she will speak. But now I believe she begins to lose hope. When she is standing near me I can see in her eyes a look of agitation, almost desperation. How I wish there were something I might do to bring comfort to this unhappy lady!

The novelette "Sahib" was originally published in an anthology of Little Deaths, 24 Tales of Horror and Sex and was also included in the later German (FIEBER—24 dunkle Geschicten) and French (LA PETITE MORT—Anthologie érotique de littérature fantastique) editions.

The Ambermere Trilogy (So Far) and Sahib: the complete classic trilogy and a bonus Pierce novelette

by J. Calvin Pierce

Price $9.99

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The first three Ambermere novels and a BONUS novelette at a bargain price!

A must have collection for J. Calvin Pierce fans. The collection contains the first three novels in the Ambermere series:

  • The Door to Ambermere,
  • The Sorceress of Ambermere, and
  • The Wizard of Ambermere.

As a bonus, we have included Pierce's internationally-acclaimed novelette, Sahib. Purchased separately, the same collection would cost $14.96, but this collection can be yours for only $9.99, a savings of more than 33%.

The Wizard of Ambermere (Third in the Ambermere Trilogy)

by J. Calvin Pierce

Price $2.99

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Trolls? She had trolls? Was she going to be responsible for an infestation of demons? Had her apartment become a vestibule of Hell? Marcia stared at the wall behind her guest. Trolls! Or gnomes—whatever. She had never even had roaches. She looked furtively from side to side, moving only her eyes. There were no little creatures in sight. No pixies; no fairies with fluttering wings. Everything was, for the moment, perfectly normal. Just her and one not very large demon, eating doughnuts.

Ragnarok Writer's Guidelines

04/05/2013 03:28 AM

New Ragnarok Issue Published

Due to the large number of entries in our two contests, the judges are running behind schedule in providing feedback to those who submitted works. For those of you who have not yet received feedback, the judges expect to have them all completed by April 15. We apologize for any inconvenience, but rest assured feedback is coming soon.

The Spring 2013 issue of Ragnarok- the e-lit journal of Valhalla Press is available in Kindle form from our website for $3.99. Even if you don't own a Kindle, you may download the issue to your PC or MAC. The Fall/Winter 2012 issue is now available for .99.

03/14/2013 02:57 AM

For five days, starting March 14, readers may download a FREE Kindle copy of J. Calvin Pierce's The Door to Ambermere from Amazon. For those who haven't read the first in Pierce's trilogy, this is an opportunity to enjoy a light-hearted fantasy at no cost. If you read the original 20 years ago when this cult classic was first published, you have another chance to travel with Daniel, Hannah, and Marcia through the Door to Ambermere to meet such memorable characters as the bumbling magician, Rogan, and the insatiable King Asbrak the Fat. Oh yes, there is a demon and a beautiful lady involved.

Amazon prime members may borrow a copy of Door to Ambermere free. Amazon limits the number of books members can borrow to one per month.

03/04/2013 09:16 PM

Complete List of Contest Winners

The judgements have all been rendered and the roll will be called in Valhalla. As stated previously, the winner of the Valhalla Press Flash Fiction/Flash Memoir Writing Contest is Robert Robeson for his story of heroism in Vietnam "Doc Drevo's Disarming Decision". Second prize went to Orla McAlinden for her memoir of growing up in Northern Ireland entitled "Control Zone." Two honorable mention winners from the contest will also have their work appear in Ragnarok-the e-lit journal of Valhalla Press. Jo Haraf's flash fiction piece, "Cherry" tells the story of how an old car leads to a new relationship. Satya Khan's flash memoir, "The Absence", explores postpartum depression.

We had a double winner in the Valhalla Press Legal Professionals Writing Contest. Mark Levine took first prize for his work "Margaret Mead". His story, "The Pain Industry" garnered honorable mention as well. Dominic Carew's legal-dystopian vision (a new genre, perhaps?), "The Documents", took second prize. Joel Burcat won honorable mention kudos for his novel excerpt, "The Executioners". Congratulations to all of our winners.

Ragnarok's Spring 2013 issue will also feature three directly submitted fiction pieces. Joseph Peacock's "Old" looks into an aging man's attempt to redefine himself in his later years. Wendy Robert's "Ouroboros" is set in Belgium shortly after the Nazi's retreated. Finally, Benjamin R. Smith's "Two in the House of Happy Air" explores a future where the arts are illegal.

03/01/2013 11:34 PM

Flash Fiction and Flash Memoir Contest Winners

Robert Robeson has won First Place in the Flash Fiction and Flash Memoir Contest for his story "Doc Drevo's Disarming Decision," which will appear in the next issue of Ragnarok the e-lit Journal. He won $500 and a Kindle Paperwhite.

Second Place goes to Orla McAlinden for her story "Control Zone." Her story will appear in the next issue of Ragnarok the e-lit journal and will receive a Kindle Fire.

Honorable mentions will be selected in the next week or so. In addition, all entrants will receive feedback in the coming weeks.

03/01/2013 09:49 PM

And the Legal Writing Contest Winners Are:

Mr. Mark Levine won First Place for his story "Margaret Mead." He received $500 plus a Kindle Fire and publication in the next issue of Ragnarok the e-lit journal.

Mr. Dominic Carew won Second Place for his story "The Documents." He will receive a Kindle basic and publication in the next issue of Ragnarok the e-lit journal.

The other writers who entered the Legal Writing Contest will receive feedback on their work in the next few weeks and a few will also receive honorable mention and publication in Ragnarok. We expect to announce those honorable mentions next week so stay tuned for more announcements.

The winners of the Flash Fiction and Flash Memoir Contest will be announced later tonight.