A Warm Blanket - a YA Short Story by C.L. Stegall
A Warm Blanket – a YA Short Story by C.L. Stegall

 

Innocence Lost

Two friends. One night. An incredible secret.

After Kit’s birthday party, she invites Josh to meet her at a rundown house where she reveals a secret that changes both of their lives.

Josh and Kit will be bound forever. Yet, forever never lasts.

A coming-of-age tale that will linger long after the last word is read.

 

Amy's Ogre - a short story by CL Stegall
Amy’s Ogre – a short story by CL Stegall

 

You Have to Believe

Amy is a young girl on the cusp of losing her faith in the innocence of the natural world around her, Indeed, she faces a terrible fate. Her friends – fairies, brownies, and more – try desperately to help the girl but she is caught in a web of fear that threatens to cost her everything.

If only she’d believe.


Amy’s Ogre is a tale of the merging of fantasy and reality, a modern fairy tale that holds deep emotion and infinite possibilities.

The Ordeal - a novella by CL Stegall

 

Hollywood Can Kill

Kimberly Severance is an up and coming actress when a terrible twist of fate threatens to destroy her career – and life – just as it is really starting.

Six years later, Kim has tried to put the past behind her and make a fresh start. She is now a top name in Hollywood and a powerful woman in her own right. When a figure from her past resurfaces, Kim realizes you can never escape your misdeeds.

But, Kim is not the same frightened little girl she was those long six years past. She feels much more prepared to face the dangers that accompany being a person of fame. And, she will stop at nothing to protect all that she has accomplished.

Will this twist be the one to destroy her? Or, will she be able to face down the demons of fame once more?

Art

On the rare occasion, CL gets a wild notion and grabs some paint and canvas to capture an idea or inspiration. He hopes to add to this collection soon!

For many years, in both California and Texas, CL owned and operated a professional photography company with his Wife, Mona. Below are just a few examples (low-res) of some of that work, as well as some new photos. These days, it is just a fun hobby.
One Night In Hollywood - by C.L. Stegall
One Night In Hollywood – a Valensi Chronicle by C.L. Stegall

Sometimes It Sucks

Tripp has been around a long time; such is the life of a Valensi. He has seen so much over so many decades in Hollywood.

Still, he loves this town, with its stars and seediness and never-ending-entertainment.

When he meets the blue-haired Greta, however, at a movie industry party, he suspects he might just be in for more than he bargained for.

 

One Night in Hollywood is a short story from the Valensi Chronicles.

A Case of Wrath - a Valensi chronicle novella by CL Stegall

 

Eat Your Heart Out

Dallas Police Detective Sean Fennema has seen some weird things in his career, and some have never left him. Now, a series of brutal murders is vexing the department and Fennema is frustrated that his prime suspect, novelist Damon Gables, seems to have an airtight alibi for each of the murders.

As Fennema runs down every lead, he soon learns that Damon is in as much danger as the murderer’s victims and a terrible truth begins to unfold. Could a case of serial killing actually be a series of targeted attacks spanning centuries? If Fennema is in over his head, can Damon rise to the challenge? Or, will they both be victims in a case of wrath?

A Case of Wrath is the first in a series of shorter tales of the Valensi, following the events in The Waif’s Tale.

COMING SUMMER 2021!

 

 

The Black Stair - a short story by CL Stegall
The Black Stair – a short story by CL Stegall

A modern take on the fairy tale of Rapunzel.

(originally published in the anthology, Twice Upon A Time: Fairytale, Folklore, & Myth Reimagined & Remastered by Bearded Scribe Press)

Locked alone in an isolated tower for over thirteen years, Sage is being punished for a crime she does not remember. Sage is dangerous. Even more dangerous, though, is what happens when a young girl’s eyes are opened to love and possibility for the first time.

Sometimes desire can be tainted by darkness.

And darkness always comes with a price.

Beautifully vicious!

Paris, a 135-year old in a young woman’s body, has the world at her fingertips. As a lethal Valensi (the basis of all vampire myths), she works as a distinguished member of the High Guard, serving and protecting the leader of the Valensi hierarchy in Europe.

With one fateful decision Paris goes from elite bodyguard to wanted fugitive. Making a desperate escape, she flees into the human world, on the run from an ancient assassin who is the only person capable of finding her…and the only one she has ever loved.

With memories of her once-admirable life trailing her every move, she must stay one step ahead of her executioner and somehow find her new place in the world. Can she save herself from her fate? Can she protect herself from her own heart? Or, will she face her lover in a final game of death?

The Waif’s Tale is dark, sensual, violent, and heartwarming – a dance in shadows,  illuminating the truths of what it truly means to be a denizen of the night.

Excerpt from The Waif’s Tale

Jeff, Kenny and Greg were kind enough to buy me several drinks as we chatted at the bar. One look from the bouncer outside and the velvet rope might as well have floated away on its own. He’d hesitated at the trio one step behind me, but when I nodded to him and cast him a little sideways grin and a wink, he allowed them to follow me in. I was beginning to enjoy my newfound power of femininity, which had never worked so well at the Citadel – except with Thorne, of course. The memory of Thorne caused a slight feeling of nausea and I pushed the thoughts aside. Now was not the time to let past loves ruin a decent night out.

“So, Paris, where are you from? Not Paris, I guess,” Jeff said. “Not with that accent.”

I hid my smirk. And here I thought I’d dropped it completely. Obviously, I was mistaken. “Bristol,” I said, leaning in so he could hear me over the thumping music that issued from the dozen speakers around the club. “In the UK”

“Cool,” Greg remarked, raising his glass for a toast. “God save the Queen!”

We all laughed and clinked our glasses.

“How about you guys?” I asked. I knew already, having searched their minds prior to entering the building. In that moment, my target had been set. Nonetheless, small talk was important for getting on their good side so they wouldn’t suspect me of what was to come.

“Jacksonville,” they stated, almost in unison. Again, we laughed.

“What brings you to Orlando then?” Jeff turned away from me as Kenny piped up.

“Our boy here’s about to get hitched!”

“Really,” I said, intentionally making it sound more like a statement than a question. “So, you’re celebrating.”

“Absolutely!” Greg threw his arm around Jeff, causing some of his friend’s drink to splash onto the floor. “Little Jeffy’s last days as a free man!”

“So, why not party there, in Jacksonville?”

“You never shit where you eat,” Greg said. He winked and laughed out loud, pulling our own laughter with his. He’d made it sound like a joke but his phrasing and my current knowledge turned its meaning back onto itself. All of my initial suspicions were proven correct.

“What about you two?” I said, my eyes bouncing from Greg to Kenny. “You guys married? Or, are either of you tying the knot soon?”

They fidgeted at my question and Jeff just smiled.

“They’re single,” Jeff said. “But it’s not for any lack of trying.”

“Hey!” the two responded together.

“Maybe you should hit a casino,” I said. I paused at their blank stares.

“Oh,” Kenny smiled. “I get it. Unlucky in love, huh? Sure. Might not be a bad idea though. Greg here…he’d make a fucking fortune, I bet.”

“Very funny, asshole,” Greg replied. He turned to glare out at the dance floor. I could sense it building in him.

“It’s all about timing,” I said. “You never know when lightning will strike. Comes out of nowhere, ya know? You can’t tell what the future holds. Trust me.”

Greg stared at me for a moment, then turned his attention back to the people out on the floor.

“You wanna dance?” Kenny asked.

I nodded and we slipped through the tables that encircled the area and merged into the undulating masses. It had been years since I’d danced. The music was sort of poppy but it also carried a deep urban beat that allowed us to flow and grind and bounce in wonderful rhythm. It seeped into my muscle and bones—releasing me somehow, as if a piece of myself held in check was ready to burst free at any moment. I recognized the feeling and reined it in. At least for the time being.

I danced several dances with each of them in turn. They got drunker and drunker, but I observed them with a calm, sober eye. Alcohol did not affect me as it did humans. I let the night wax on, until the opportunity presented itself for me to disappear into the shadows of the club. If I planned this appropriately and if the timing was just right…

When the opportune moment arrived, I followed Greg into the men’s room. I’d already ensured that no one else was in there. I locked the door and faced him. He stared at me for several seconds, the gears turning behind those bright blue eyes of his. He wasn’t the most handsome guy I’d ever seen but he wasn’t unattractive either. In any case, I was far less concerned with his exterior than I was with what he harbored on the inside. He hid it well, but I’d had my suspicions when I’d first spotted the three of them ambling across the parking lot. Once I got a peek into his mind, I was certain.

Greg was a rapist.

“Tell me, Greg, how many women have thrown themselves at you?” I asked.

“Huh? What the hell are you talking about? And, why are you in the men’s restroom?”

“How many? I can’t really get a read. Seven? Ten? A dozen? Oh, for God’s sake, more than that?”

“I think you should leave.”

He began walking toward me, but I quickly moved to block his path. I was curious how it was all going to play out. We had a few minutes and we were entirely alone, so I gave in to my desire to toy with him a bit. “I could smell the violence on you a mile away, big guy. You wanna add another notch to your belt?” I lifted an eyebrow seductively and took a step toward him. “Come on, now. Don’t puss out on me.”

“You crazy little bitch. You have no idea what you’re doing.” He paused, hesitant to make a scene, trying to find the right words. “I—I’m not interested. Sorry.”

He made his move to get by me again but I would not allow him passage. I stood there peering at him, with my arms crossed and shaking my head.

“Move! Get out of my way or I’ll—”

“Or you’ll what, big guy?” I said mockingly. I placed a hand on his chest and shoved him backward, perhaps a bit too hard; clearly, I’d let my emotions get the better of me.

He slipped on a wet spot by one of the three sinks and fell. His head ricocheted off the porcelain and he hit the floor. “You bitch!” he spat, holding his hand to his head. It must have hurt like hell but it hadn’t broken the skin. I was glad for that, because I didn’t want to leave any unnecessary markings – at least not until I’d had my way with him.

 

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