Archive for the ‘Three Random Teasers’ Category

Attention Teachers, Homeschoolers, Summer Readers; Three Teasers for You

June 5th, 2016 by Jim Fox

Are you faced with introducing a reluctant student to classic writers?  This might be easier than you think! Let help. (Click the high-lighted anthology links below, then scroll down and click the story titles to preview each story.)

Maybe your student’s taste runs to the out-of-doors and an author recalling his attempts at catching  a wild turkey alive instead of using the shotgun he’d been given on a family hunting trip. That’s the 1916 story “Hunting the Deceitful Turkey” by Mark Twain. Perhaps the student would be intrigued reading a mystery story written by a Springfield lawyer in 1841, “The Trailor Murder Mystery” by Abraham Lincoln.  Or, how about the story of a romance kindled by visits to a health club gym, in 1862.   Yes! Even before the Civil War there were health clubs as we discover in “King of Clubs and Queen of Hearts” by Louisa May Alcott.  Ten whimsical stories by classic authors are presented in the anthology Back In My Day found under the Library Tab at AnthologyBuilder.

Have your student put aside those video game battles and instead read about a soldier’s thoughts after the drums and guns of war fall silent. The Silent Drum contains stories not of battle and glory, but rather, the odd events in the back currents of war that the soldiers recall. Order this at in the Library Tab.

It is hard to believe, but a prediction of social media, such as twitter and facebook, existed in the early 1900’s as evidenced in E. M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops” among the stories contained in It Ends In Fire found through the Library Tab at AnthologyBuilder.

So, visit AnthologyBuilder and get your student reading, or order an anthology at the Library Tab   for your own “me” time this summer. ( Unfortunately this may be the last summer that Anthology Builder will offer these unique books, so make your selections now.)

             Enjoy –    foxtale

*** LINKED NOTE *** Jack London, whose story, The Scarlet Plague, appears in “It End’s In Fire” has stories reprinted now in seven A-B anthologies. Click the author’s name, and scroll down to see which anthologies, click on those to see what other stories have been paired with those of this classic writer of adventurous tales.

Three Random Teasers – For Camping

April 9th, 2016 by Jim Fox

Summer is coming soon and it will be time to put away those electronic devices, head off to a campsite in the mountains or at the seashore where you can lay back in a hammock, or gather near the lantern and enjoy reading some real books. Click the book links below, to preview the anthology and Click the story titles to preview the stories. Then click the authors names and scroll down to see other anthologies containing their work.

– enjoy,   foxtale

     Recall those youthful days at camp with a literary camp tour provided in the anthology Camp Staff Escalator. Enjoy stories that run the gamut from excitement to humor by modern writers as well as classic writers such as Jack London, Bret Harte and Mark Twain.       

… I followed an ostensibly lame turkey over a considerable part of the United States one morning,    because I believed in her and could not think she would deceive a mere boy, and one who was trusting her and considering her honest…          – from Hunting the Deceitful Turkey by Mark Twain.

    What’s camping without sitting around the campfire, and as it dwindles to glowing embers, having a few spooky stories to tell around the campfire, or to read aloud in the flickering light of the camp lantern? The AB Library has an anthology From The Shadows which presents a collection of short stories about vampires! Some are macabre, some are humorous, and there’s even Dracula’s Guest, the short story by Bram Stoker that initiated the whole genre of stories about the undead.         

…The Swiss conductor struggled with English. The Italians seemed to understand, however, for they turned to look at Shelley as the train began its ascent into the Alps. “Carry no valuables at the body and let no strangers in the compartment.” His Swiss accent gave his consonants a scratchy quality. “Turn the lock, and push the bolt.”

“Robbers?” Shelley asked, disbelieving. “Are you saying there might be robbers on the train?” This was a danger she hadn’t foreseen.

“Robbers – yes,” he said gravely, rubbing his red moustache. “And vampires.”

She gulped. “You’re joking.” But the Italians nodded emphatically…          – from Night Train by Rayne Hall

          Stars in the night sky above your campground might remind you that is been a while since you read some good science fiction. The anthology Celestial Horizons offers short stories of travelers in space, including To Kiss The Star, the 2002 Nebula nominated story by Amy Sterling Casil.

Number Eight, I did not incur untold debt with the bankers of D’Or to build this station just so those spacers could tear it apart. Get out there and end this brawl.”                                                                                                                      “Mother, they are ammonia breathers. What else do you expect from them,” her offspring protested.                         …What would the new species think of Labyrinth! Brawls threatening to mix atmospheres, cowardly progeny, toxic drinks too near the airlocks.                                                                                                                                           “I have provided a safe friendly place for species to make contact, negotiate trade and solve mutual problems,” she nearly screamed at her negligent son, “And you jeopardize it all.”….           -from First Contact Cafe by Irene Radford


Also in the AB data base is another story by Irene Radford, Little Red In The Hood,  a saucy and irreverent twist on the traditional Little Red Riding Hood tale, that takes place in the big city.

3 Random Teasers For Winter 2015

November 2nd, 2015 by Jim Fox

As winter approaches there is much to occupy our thoughts. The High School football teams press onward toward Homecoming celebrations and bonfires.  Although the days left for Christmas shopping grow ever shorter, there is still time to order an Anthology as a stocking stuffer for a favorite someone!  Then, all too soon,  New Year’s Eve will be upon us.

Here are Three Random Teasers from STORIES in AnthologyBuilder’s archives that cover these happenings, sometimes with a unique perspective.  After the teaser, Click the Anthology Link, then scroll down through the contents to find the story. Click the title to preview the story. Then click the author’s name to view their other stories, then scroll down to see other anthologies in the AB Library containing their work.  Or Build your own anthology, perhaps as a stocking stuffer for someone’s holiday surprise.

Also don’t forget to check out Anthology Builder’s Newsletter.

                          enjoy  –  foxtale 


Coach was about to go crazy his own self. In the twenty-five years he had been coach, he had done some very extreme things to keep us in the running. But this time he was all out of inspirations. Then, right out of the blue, Lurilene Packet comes up to him and says, “Coach, if you want, I’ll play on the team.” She was always a quiet and shy girl who never was pushy or anything…

How To Win At Football (Without Really Trying)   by  Tommy Bird

 -growing up with five older brothers taught Luri to fight for what she wanted-   Anthology Link 


Of course Santa doesn’t personally tend to his light tree. Being manager of a vast program that covers much of the North Pole, Santa delegates a lot of the day to day work. A crack team of elves is assigned to watch the tree. They are shepherds of Santa’s lights…

Elf In The Attic by  Ray Rebmann

on a special mission for Santa to help save a child’s belief in … ChristmasAnthology Link


The flakes of snow covered her long fair hair, which fell in beautiful curls around her neck; but of that, of course, she never once now thought. From all the windows the candles were gleaming, and it smelt so deliciously of roast goose, for you know it was New Year’s Eve …

The Little Match Girl by  Hans Christian Anderson

  – poignant story of a little match seller’s dreams of warmth and happiness –   Anthology Link


Linked NOTES – The A-B blog entries from January and April 2015  could provide the links you need to find collections of short (very short) stories that would be just right for stocking stuffers this holiday season.


Three Random Teasers For Halloween

September 26th, 2015 by Jim Fox

Why should the kiddies get all of the goodies?  This Halloween as you wait by the door, enjoy (enjoy?) an anthology of short stories filled with suspense, dread, terror and even humor. Here are three random teasers of stories in just such anthologies. Click on the Anthology title, and click on the story title to preview the story, Click on the author to see other stories they maintain in the A-B database and scroll down to find other anthologies containing their stories. Also, don’t forget to visit the Anthology Builder NEWSLETTER for tips on building your own anthology as well as links to other stories and books. Remember to sign up for this tertile newsletter.

– enjoy,         foxtale

I’ve never really gotten along with crows… crows are nasty. They have this way of looking at you as though they are wondering what you taste like, and whether they can fit their beaks around you. As though they’re smarter than people and know things we don’t… from “Dances With Crows” in the anthology Halloween Havoc

– Near Halloween not all dark creatures stalk the lingering shadows.  Some fly –


The man on the doorstep… waved a badge in her direction… “Leo Martinez, L.A. Unified Child and Welfare Attendance Counselor. That’s a new fangled way of saying, truant officer.” This was really too bizarre, Valeria thought, a human asking permission to cross her threshold… from “Survival Skills” in the anthology From The Shadows

-A mother vampire… struggling to raise two vampire children in Hollywood, encounters her worst challenge yet… the elementary school PTA –


Crimson stained the white drop cloths. Until now, Dee and I had never awoken in the same hotel we checked into… so I’d never seen myself dead, even from a distance. “The first time… it is a bit disturbing,” Dee admitted… “You get used to it though”… from “The Wonder Tower” in the anthology Hallowed Ground   (contains some mature content)

-She belonged in this room, with the two-headed calf… and the albino rattlesnake. She could hold a sign declaring “Behold the World’s Only Suicide Junky” –


Linked Note –    “Dances With Crows” a story by M.L. Tentchoff also appears in two other anthologies perfect for Halloween, “Scream In The Forest” and “Twisted Redux.”


Three Random Teasers for Winter 2014

November 28th, 2014 by Jim Fox

Three Random Teasers   –  for Winter 2014   –   Lets hope this winter and the New Year see better luck for the space travel companies trying to launch orbit-bound payloads.   In the meantime here are some random teasers from stories in which the authors have no trouble imagining space travel and the emotions, feelings, and actions of the participants.   Click  the Book Link to peruse the anthology containing the story.   Click  the story title to preview the story.   Click  the authors name and Scroll  down to see their stories and anthologies containing one or more of their stories in the AB Database.    Or,  build your own   Anthology.                                             – enjoy,   foxtale 


… The cold January air still clung to Karen, and gently but quite suddenly, the cold permeated Sid’s room. Almost imperceptibly, he shivered. Then, above the red wool scarf that was tucked up under Karen’s chin, she smiled, and the room felt warm again. With her hands behind her back, Karen sauntered toward her father’s wheelchair.

“I have something for you,” she said… from behind her back she produced a toy spaceship…

–  from   PILGRIMS   by   Diane Gallant    anthology  link


I am Sayla and this house is open to any who seek shelter. This is my daughter, Asha.”

The girl nodded, setting her curls bobbing.

The silver-haired stranger introduced herself, “I am Evriel Pashtan, emissary of our lord high regent.”

“Emissary?” the woman, Sayla, said blankly.

“You are?” the girl blurted, “From Alabaster?”

“From the home star – it’s not possible,” said Sayla, “The ships don’t come anymore, not even to Colonth…”

–  from   Lady of the White-Spired City   by  Sarah L. Edwards   anthology  link


You’re twenty-three,” John said.  “You don’t need your Mum’s permission.

“Twenty-four,” Mel corrected. “I know,” she added, about the permission.

“This is the chance of a lifetime, Mel, I thought you would have done it by now.”

Mel nodded. John was right. She should be getting her implants by now. It wasn’t every spastic, blind, twenty-four year old cripple who won the lottery to explore the stars… chosen for the chance to be a probe controller…

–  from   To Kiss The Star,   a 2002 Nebula Award nominated story,   by  Amy Sterling Casil    anthology  link                    


 *Linked Note*   SURVIVAL  STRATEGIES   by  Vaughan Stanger   also appears in   March of the Robots        

Three Random Teasers for November 2014

November 2nd, 2014 by Jim Fox

For November, you may enjoy this eclectic and random selection of short stories; one story acknowledges the sacrifices required of our veterans, another is about finding the right turkey, and lastly is a story about a toy space ship utilized by a different type of pilgrim.  Each is a short story hammered out by a talented wordsmith; two classic authors and a new talent. Peruse these stories; click on the link, from there click the authors name to see their other works in the AB data base, then scroll down to see anthologies containing one or more of their stories. Or perhaps, BUILD an anthology of your own. Enjoy   – foxtale

WAR and rumors of war. That, and naught else, was what was to be heard flying across the country from west to east along its southern border. Conductors, brakemen, porters, and the desert-dusty cattlemen who boarded the train at the last stop seemed unaware of anything else under the dome of heaven but war…        Jack London       Story link     Anthology Link

…I followed an ostensibly lame turkey over a considerable part of the United States one morning, because I believed in her and could not think she would deceive a mere boy, and one who was trusting her and considering her honest…     Mark Twain     Story Link       Anthology Link

… The cold January air still clung to Karen, and gently but quite suddenly, the cold permeated Sid’s room. Almost imperceptibly, he shivered. Then, above the red wool scarf that was tucked up under Karen’s chin, she smiled, and the room felt warm again. With her hands behind her back, Karen sauntered toward her father’s wheelchair. “I have something for you,” she said…     Diane Gallant     Story Link      Anthology Link


—-     Linked  NOTE  —  Jack London’s famous and jaded dispatch ‘The Red Game Of War’ appears in the anthology ‘Soldier’s Song’ and his humorous Housekeeping in the Klondike is included in the anthology ‘Camp Staff Escalator’

Three Random Teasers – Fall 2014

September 2nd, 2014 by Jim Fox

As the shadows lengthen and summer fades into fall, the time of bon-fires, school-days and Halloween rolls around.

Here are three random teasers from the AnthologyBuilder database of short stories; searched word “Halloween.”

Click the anthology link to view the book, then click the story title to preview story, from there click author’s name and scroll down to see their works in the AB database, or other anthologies containing one or more of their stories. Then perhaps, order an anthology from the Library Tab.

Enjoy these anthologies, or BUILD one of your own!



Trick Or Treat  – Floris M. Kleijne

..Sander’s face was a grinning skull painted in an unhealthy shade of dull creamy white…. Halloween, and all the kids are trickin’ and treatin’.  But is all that candy good for them… or bad… or worse?

 Anthology  Link  –  Mashup


Dances With Crows   – Marcie Lynn Tentchoff

….crows are nasty. They have this way of looking at you, as though they’re wondering what you taste like, and whether they can fit their beaks round you…

Anthology Link Scream In The Forest


The Splatterfairies’ Halloween   – Shalanna Collins

…. the naughty fairies … spread chaos throughout the multiverse… when the veil between the worlds thins, the fairies come to us…

Anthology Link –Scarecrows and Pumpkin Heads

—————Linked Note- Dances With Crows also appears in the anthology Twisted Redux


May 21st, 2014 by Jim Fox

Recent international events have brought about rumblings that in the near future Russia may block US access to the International Space Station, currently orbiting the earth.  It is hard to imagine the US not in space.  But it is obvious from the following selection of tales, in Anthology Builder’s archives, that these writers have no problem imagining living aboard a space station.

Click the anthology link then click story titles to preview the stories. From there, click the authors’ names to peruse their other stories in the archives, then scroll down to locate other anthologies containing their stories.    —-  enjoy – foxtale


-Veteran spacer Victoria Lewis heeds her old mentor’s dying wish that she join him in orbit for a special journey aboard an abandoned station leftover from a bygone era…

“Station Thirteen”  – by Camille Alexa,  available in the anthology,  Existence  

                                          Book Link

-The Gary Hudson Exospheric Laboratory rotated lazily against an expanse of brilliant stars. Sunlight glinted off its blockish airlock, accentuating the trellises that joined its three concentric rings…

“That Undiscovered Country” – by Nancy Fulda,  available in the anthology,    An Eclectic Ten From Twelve

                                    Book Link

-Izzy’s new job aboard the solar station orbiting Earth becomes more complicated when she begins receiving cryptic messages from a ghost… (A winner in the “L Ron Hubbard presents the Writers of the Future” 2010 contest.)

“Digital Rights” – by Brent Knowles,  available in the anthology,  Eight

                                 Book Link

 Linked Note – The story ‘Station Thirteen’ also appears in A CABINET OF CURIOSITIES in the AB Library

Three Random Teasers for this Recurrent Winter

February 25th, 2014 by Jim Fox

 Our East Coast , Midwest and even the South can’t seem to shake off winter this year.  Perhaps giving a begrudging acknowledgement to ol’ man winter will make him leave!

Selecting “winter” as a  Search Phrase  will provide many stories in Anthology Builder that would be ideal in an anthology. Here are three, one by a contemporary writer, and two classic writers. Do you recognize them?                          Good Luck   –  foxtale

 New Year’s Eve was very cold. At home it was cold too, for above her she had only the roof, through which the wind whistled, even though the largest cracks were stopped up with straw and rags. Her little hands were almost numbed with cold. Oh! a match might afford her a world of comfort, if she only dared take a single one out of the bundle, draw it against the wall, and warm her fingers by it.                   Story Link

 A hollow howl resounded from the rocky crags, the only motion a small whirlwind of powder conjured by the gusting wind. She flicked the spelunker flashlight on her forehead on. The beam sparkled on a one of the forms, an almost human statue of ice; too-long arms spread wide like a scarecrow, animal mouth open in a frozen scream. Its melted and refrozen lower body gave the appearance of being fused with the ground.                    Story Link

 He was very selfish about his garden. The only people who were pleased were the Snow and the Frost. “Spring has forgotten this garden,” they cried, “so we will live here all the year round.” The Snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak, and the Frost painted all the trees silver. Then they invited the North Wind to stay with them, and he came. He was wrapped in furs, and he roared all day about the garden, and blew the chimney-pots down.        Story  Link

Click the links to preview each story, then click authors’ names and scroll to bottom of story lists to see anthologies containing their stories, or BUILD your own anthology!

 ** Linked Note ** Daniel Braum’s story “The Yeti’s Hand” also appears in the anthology “Twisted Redux”



January 25th, 2014 by Jim Fox

(Do you recognize these stories? hint: Dark Fantasy)

I found these teasers intriguing, haunting, even macabre and so I’ve presented them here, –as always no endorsement of the stories is implied-          foxtale


What will the price be, I wondered.  In the doorway where Sally-pher usually sat, was a round of flattened grass, and a half-finished basket small as a thimble. Caught between the posts, a shimmer of scale. Squinting down the knoll I thought I saw a thick serpentine path of crushed green where he has passed. Oh yes. I knew then who stole my darling… SCALES


Jeremiah August buried his grandfather in the cemetery of Calamite, a remote, high-plains ghost town.  Alone now, Jeremiah was walking along the empty boardwalk of the Calamite Hotel when a young hitchhiker with a mysterious past arrived, bringing with her chaos and troubles that Jeremiah had never known.           The Last Man In Town


Quietly, so that not a floorboard creaked, he walked to the stairs. A sound came from behind him, high pitched, mewling. In one fluid motion he scooped up the cat that had followed him in. It yowled, squirmed, flailed the air with needle claws. His fingers clenched on its neck. A muscle jumped in his cheek. Then, with a flick of his wrist the alien assassin threw the cat away from him. It twisted as it fell, landed four-square, shook itself and bolted down the stairs, tail high.

 “Stupid little cat,” he whispered, “I didn’t mean to hurt you.” Then he went on upstairs. He found the body in the bedroom…



Click link to preview story, click author’s name, scroll to the bottom of  story index page to find anthologies containing their stories. Or, build your own!

***linked post – another of Liz Holliday’s stories appears in ‘Before Kindle.’