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Cover art by Vivid Covers
Published March 2022, Inkd Publishing: Hidden Villians Athology 2022

Not all things are what the seem. Charlie Douglas takes on a private investigation job to locate a missing woman. The case is standard until the missing becomes found, and culprit becomes the missing person.
Anthology includes stories by: David Farland, Tim Lewis, Sara Jordan-Heintz, Vail Henry, Mark Beard, Sherry Rossman, A. R. R. Ash, L.S. King, Michele Stuart, Stephen Johnson, AJ Skelly, Clint Hall, Rosemary Williams, Katharine Reid, Tracy L. Snyder, Kevin A. Davis, Melva Gifford, and Mike Jack Stoumbos.   Cover art by   Edited by Robyn Huss
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Cover art by Justin Gerard
Published April 2022, JordanCon 2022 Anthology: Neither Begginings Nor Endings

Phillip is any other kid that you would meet in the Chicago suburbs. He goes to college, hangs with friends, and takes risky gambling loans, all while using his ability to flip back in time attempting to correct past mistakes.
Anthology includes stories by: Marie Brennan, Paige L. Christie, Gerald L. Coleman, R. A. Colón, Kevin A Davis, Joe Kielbowicz, Tim Lewis, Katharine Reid, Sarah J. Sover, and Rosemary Williams.   Art by: Michael Bielaczyc, Paul Bielaczyc, Ariel Burgess, Amanda Carman, Melissa Gay, Debbie Hughes, Kelly Keuneke, Amanda Makepeace, Amy N. Romanczuk, and Charles Urbach.   Cover art by Justin Gerard.   Edited by Richard Fife.
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Cover art by Dan dos Santos
Published April 2019, JordanCon 2019 Anthology: So You Want Stories

Jardin Collum runs a small information systems business in a hole in the wall office. The work is dull trying to find new direction in life following marital issues. The world turns upside down when a new client requests work that stretches the grey area of morality. Wit, know-how, a little bit of luck - and a device that manipulates gravity - will be needed to finish the job, and without spending a decade in jail.
Anthology includes stories by: Terry Beyer, Foster Bridget Cassidy, David B. Coe, Blue Cole, Gerald L. Coleman, Milton J Davis, Jason Denzel, P. Andrew Floyd, Charles E Gannon, John G. Hartness, Alexandra Hill, Robert A. Hilliard, Jr, Faith Hunter, David Alan Jones, Tim Lewis, Seanan McGuire, Jana Oliver, Brandon Sanderson, Morgan Smith, and Sarah J. Sover.   Cover art by Dan dos Santos.   Edited by Richard Fife
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Book Cover
Complete - Looking for a home

Travel to Proxima b has become as common as a trip to Europa. Each year a few FTL merchant cargo vessels make the journey to bring supplies to terraformers, and ship back the ore from the processing plants. This was the fifth run for the crew of Osprey, completing one parsec in only twelve weeks, the crew only had one light year to go, give or a take a billion miles. Everything is common for Cargonauts, until it isn’t, and you become marooned in the darkness of space.


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Complete - Looking for a home

Col. Benjamin Markson (ret.) needed to get away from his ex wife, and 250 miles straight up to the space station Glimmer in the ring of Newer Orleans seemed a good distance. He set up a small business, transitioning his experience in his military police role to a private investigator. Life was normal and he wanted to be forgotten until a case made him known to all the wrong people, and he moves from solving a mystery to plain survival.


Book Cover
In Work

Marin is a 9th generation Park Ranger with his family footprints in the dirt going back to Yosemite’s inception in 1890. But the family prints go back further as he is one of very few people left carrying some of the Ahwahnechee blood, the original native residents of The Valley. His role was simple in the summer; patrol the lands for the hints of fires. Control the natural ones, and isolate the accidental. But the worst were the intentional, and one particular pyromaniac simply called Fuego; but no one other than Marin believed this person existed; partly because the fires looked natural, but mostly because the source of the fires were powers imbued into Fuego by the spirit of Kosso.
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The Accidental Assassin

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In Work

Dexter Fatious scouts, plans, prepares, and executes, literally, but each time by chance, his careful plan has a minor fluke of unintended success. He is working to change his fate to re-earn his respect among the guild, and not by accident.

Filled with action, thrills, intrique, humor, and whole scoop of sarcasm. The story has its roots from watching too many Ryan Reynolds movies; as if that's a thing.

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Three Minutes with God

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Complete - Published on Wattpad

A journalists gets a rare opportunity for an interview with God to ask some eternal questions, and obtain some thoughtful introspection.


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In Work

Jardin Collum returns as Switch. Riding the wave of her popularity is short lived when she becomes a suspect for a robbery. Working to clear her name with the police, the more difficult effort is trying to stay alive from those who framed her.


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In Work

The third in Switch series. Jardin Collum, known as Switch by those close, hits a midlife crisis unlike anything expected — parenthood. Battling responsibility with duty becomes a full time job trying to balance life and death, literally.

Soon on Wattpad  

The Edge of Midnight

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In Work

Following my 'success' in eigth grade, I decided to revisit the story and write a longer version when I was a junior in high school. The story provides a little more history to our character's experiences to include some jumps back to ancient egypt. My intent is to do a little cleanup and throw it up on Wattpad, but there is a chance this could turn into a full fledged novella, or more.

Soon on Wattpad  

The Maze at the Edge of Midnight

Book Cover

The story that started it all. Written October 16th 1986 for Mrs. Luke’s 4th period 8th Grade English class. We were given the assignment to create a tale using several Halloween themed words, such as cauldron, apple, gargoyle, and so on. By Mrs. Luke’s urging, I entered the tale as #114 for the annual spooky story Halloween contest at Fegley Middle School in Portage, IN. On Friday October 31st, the principal shared on the school intercom to announce the winner, and I was elated to learn I won first place. This was much to my friend Adrian’s chagrin, who said I plagiarized the story. (And while I will admit I now recognize unintended literary influences, the story is original because it was based on a recurring nightmare I had as a child.) I went down to the main office and my prize was a pumpkin bucket filled with Halloween candy. So I give you my first “published” story, that was handwritten in less than spectacular cursive, and replicated here nearly verbatim, with just a few, dozen, grammatical corrections, and a few returns so it is no longer a monstrous 880 word single paragraph; because even that would be too scary for a spooky story.

For unpublished book covers, notional designes are derived using images from Creative Commons license. Refrences in source code, or contact me.

Story Type by Word Count

Novel Novella Novellette Short Story Flash Fiction
More info |  Novel: Over 40,000 and usually greater than 80,000 for non-YA |  Novella: 17,500 to 40,0000 |  Novelette: 7,500 to 17,500 |  Short Story: Under 7,500 |  Flash Fiction: Under 1,000 |  Sudden Fiction: 750 |  Twitature: 280 |  Drabble: 100 |  Dribble: 50 |  Minifiction: 30

All Book Genres Legend (in work)

Dumpster Fire Sci-Fi Paranormal Religious Horror Fantasy Epic Fantasy Urban Fantasy Mystery Noir Adventure Romance Contemporary Zombie Dystopian Thriller Historical Children’s COVID Comedy/Satire

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Switch - The Details and some History

Near the end of the 21st Century, many things have changed in the world, and too many remained the same. Governments became corporations and the corporations ran the government for profit. But most people still wanted the same things; a few luxuries, a few friends, and a little something to call their own. Jardin Collum was one of those people just looking for something simple to enjoy life; and then a new client showed up, and nothing would be simple anymore.
Spoilers!   Click for some recurring themes, hidden gems and few little darlings I couldn't delete.


Switch Spoilers of themes, gems, and darlings....

  1. The chapter titles were just place holders while writing, and intended to be removed.
  2. The final two chapters, bow and ribbon, are references to my wife who insists that any good movie must be tied with a ribbon at the end with a blue bow to answer all open questions.
  3. Both Switch and Tab thump when they live/die and tie them together.
  4. For her parents, Switch calls her Mom, but calls him father to denote family issues.
  5. The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favorite books and has small notes referencing the book. It’s also an allegory for the next story.
  6. I LOVE puzzle boxes and secret rooms, so they get a place in the story with Swtich’s hidden computer.
  7. “It’d call that a win” is repeated at Two key points; as well as as “I knew the return would be nada” to tie pieces together.
  8. Some character names have symbolic meaning:
    Avery - Ruling with Elf Wisdom
    Mara - Bitter/Sorrow
    Tabitha/Tab - Raised from the dead
    Mauvaise - bad (French)
  9. General Data Protection Regulation of 2018, yep that’s real.
  10. Acoustic Physics at São Paulo, yep that’s real.
  11. All of the locations are real places in the Huntsville area, with just a little name change here and there.
  12. The slogan of Jardin’s office is a toss back to my first website, e-webby: Making the Impossible Slightly Less Than Improbable
  13. Painstaking effort was done to remove pronouns that would identify Switch’s gender until the end of the story. At the time writing this was much publicly and politically about gender assumptions and I wanted to touch on that bias.
  14. However, there are several subtle hints that Switch is a woman before Avery says she’s her wife. When Switch says that Avery is a better business woman. When Flat Nose says ‘even woman’. One more?

JordanCon Staff Summary: A hacker gets drawn into corporate espionage for an estranged wife, and only illegal tech can save the day.
“A brilliant detective noir story about intrigue, humor, and heartbreak” – Avery Collum.
“Certainly, the best book from a new author in 2019 with an engaging villain” – Mauvaise Benderhast.
“A mesmerizing tale of twist and turns that walks you along like you're on a leash” – Tabitha Collum
“At least the paper is recyclable” – Mara Wiley.

* All direct quotes expressed are by characters in the book and do not represent real people. Any association to a real person perpetuates a personal need for notoriety and insatiable desire for adoration.

Switch was only available in the JordanCon Anthology, for now

The story Switch was ordered through the JordanCon Anthology. The stories for the inaugural JordanCon Anthology were chosen and incredible Artist Guest of Honor Dan dos Santos created some beautiful cover art for the book. I may have a few extra copies I excitedly purchased, that have many author signatures. Reach out if you're interested.

The sequels of Switching and the finale Switched are in work!

Accomplice - The Details and some History

The owner of Inkd Publishing contacted our writing group with his intent to create an anthology, Hidden Villians, to kickoff his new company. He set the Fireside Critique GroupMark Beard, Kevin Davis, Clint Hall, Vail Henry, Tim Lewis, Katharine Reid, and Rosemary Williams. to task with plenty of time to imagine and write a story. So of course I waited until the month before submission deadline to get started, as my Scrivener Writing History image shows, which also happened to be the same month I was writing for the JCon Anthology deadline.Scivener image of writing history

Kevin appreciated my other noir-like stories with humor innerspearsed, so as I set to task trying to come up with an idea for the story. I thought I needed to do a little research, which is usually procastinating by binge watching television and old movies. I was rewatching <spoiler>...The Usual Suspects one evening, and that became the impetus for the storyline. Much like my story Switch, I set the backdrop to be Huntsville Alabama as I find it helpful to have a physical area I know well to write in. I'll even walk the streets to get my mind in the character, and even during the weather or time of day that takes place in the story... although I opted not to walk down an alley at four in the morning to get the full effect. Because of the premise of the story, this became a little more dark as I worked to suss out my character and make her both likeable but atypical. Then I become so focussed on the villian, the noir, and tacit feelings for the character that I totally forgot to add a SciFi or Fantasy element! I guess I'm hoping that areas which require a suspenstion of disbelief are enough to scratch the fantasy itch and make the story enjoyable in companion with the others. Here are few other Spoilers about the story.


Accomplice Spoilers, useless facts, and easter eggs

Spoilers!! The following are just a bunch of little hidden references, inspirations, and madness behind the story, and will ruin it if you read these first.
  1. Impetus for the story was The Usual Suspects and putting the Hidden Villain right in front of the reader throughout the story. There were a series of hints throughout that gave it away. Some subtle, and others completely vague.
    1. The opening line tells you Charlie has dealt with, or dealt, death over her life.
    2. Recognizing the smell of fly strips
    3. Watching the body on the shore from a distance so as not to engage with cops
    4. Searching the scene to see evidence the cops missed, or might have found
    5. Reference to Sharne leaving out the back ‘with another woman’ and only seeing her from the back
    6. Looks like Sharne could have used a few good people on her side
    7. Needing to review the security tapes to see who had been with Sharne
    8. Recognizing the spot where Sharne had fallen, implying she had seen the body there.
  2. All of the locations are actual places in or around Huntsville, AL. Voodoo Lounge, Commerce Kitchen, Five Points, Green Street apartments, etc.
  3. The reference to Fred is my oldest brother. No other reference, just wanted to put him in there.
  4. The use of Fly Strips is actually something learned from my friend Mike. He was visiting and picked up the smell of fly strips because he’s a hunter. I’ve never noticed before.
  5. Jen’s number is Jenny’s number, 867-5309, in reverse… and if you don’t get that, you’re too young, or I’m too old.
  6. Lockpicking is a hobby of mine and it’s a lot harder than they make it seem on TV.
  7. I’ve used “Peter Pan’d” a few times in stories as a reference back The Fugitive and Kimble’s leap off the dam.

Twelve - The Details and some History

The idea for the story Twelve orginated about five years ago as a time traveler that cold jump back twelve minutes a single time during the day. As I started writing the story for the JordanCon 2022 anthology, I was looking for a way to add more loops to fit the theme of the anthology, "Neither Beginings Nor Endings". I was at the end of finishing the story Accomplice for the Hidden Villians Anthology, and only had one month to meet the deadline for JordanCon 2022 Anthology. It was an interesting month trying to finish the story, as my writing history shows, and I stuck to my personal mantra "If it wasn't for the last minute, I wouldn't get anything done".Scivener image of writing history

Full House Queens over AcesThere were a few more hurdles and research that needed to be done, like learning how to play Texas Hold'em, and trying to get the voice right for an African American character, which I think still needs more work, and squeezing in probably far too many easter eggs. Also, as with most of my stories, I write a beggining to get the idea, then write a great ending, and then suffer trying to pants... the style of writing, also called Discovery Writing, where the writing happens organically without a clear plot and going along instinctually. I.e. writing by the seat of your pants. the details in the middle that get me to the end. It's not the best process, but it's my process. I guess since I plot a little before I pants, I'm more of a Plantser.

For more about the writing, check out the Spoilers for the story.

Twelve Repeating Themes, Eggs, and Tuckerizations

Spoilers!! The following are just a bunch of little hidden references, inspirations, and madness behind the story, and will ruin it if you read these first.
  1. Tuckerization... the action of using a person’s name or characteristic in a story as a nod or reference
    1. The Panda nightlight is a nod to Jimmy Liang from JordanCon
    2. When Philip’s mom stomps around the house, and calls out for him so all the neighbors could here, this is a nod to my own mother. We lovingly called her ‘Lead Foot’ and ‘Big Fella’ because she walked on her heels and shook the house, and could call me and my brother in for dinner from 10 houses away. Miss you mom.
    3. When Phillip says “Ask for her manager, it’s either Leslie or Rina”, that’s two of my friends, who when I first started coming to JordanCon, would literally mix them up.
    4. The reference to Phillip’s teacher “Professor Dauro” is either a reference to Jay or Sarah, who were the people that got Heather and I engaged in JordanCon and have been friends for a darn long time… I’ll let them decide which of them I’m really referring to.
    5. The phrase “I passed the street performer who played the fife” is a nod to the editor of the anthology, a prolific member of the JordanCon staff, and a friend, who constantly entertains all of us.
    6. The reference to “Uncle Doug” is actually a reference to my nephew who is the kindest and most generous “shirt off my back” person I know.
    7. The poker player that Philip goes up against in the end is named “Wendy” after one of my best friends and who was instrumental in helping me get the right terms and phrases for the game of Texas Hold’em correct. So if you find any errors, I have no problem throwing her under the bus.
  2. Wheel of Time References
    1. “Every swinging Thom who could spin a tale” is a reference to Thom Marilyn who is a Gleeman in the Wheel of Time series.
    2. The bar where Phillip goes to meet Eddie is called “The Stag and Lion” and this is one of the MANY taverns and inns listed in the Wheel of Time.
    3. When Phillip leaves his house to go to the The Stag and Lion on the ‘L’ he cross “Two Rivers”, which is another Wheel of Time reference as the home of Edmond’s Fielders before they too leave and go to The Stag and Lion.
  3. JordanCon References
    1. The first chapter in ‘present time’ is April 22nd, 20022. The first day of the JordanCon 2022 convention.
    2. Mom’s comment about Nana’s garden and “I just can’t believe it’s April already” is a nod to JordanCon and the phrase “Is it April yet?” that is usually said the day after the Con is over, and every day after, as people wait anxiously for the next one.
  4. The number 12. It repeats in multiples places throughout the book
    1. All times in section titles are a factor of 12; 0, 12, 24, 36, 48 and 60.
    2. Flip gets his power on his 12th birthday at 12 minutes after midnight.
    3. The queen is the 12th card in the deck
    4. Twelve stacks of black in poker chips
    5. Flip plays games for 12 days to earn back the money
    6. Flip goes back in time 12 times to try and win back the money to pay off the debt
  5. Little Darlings and other Easter Eggs
    1. Several characters make references to time and the volatility of it, the most obvious is Eddie telling Flip he should 'make time now', but there is the subtle hint of managing time travel throughout.
    2. When Philip decides he needs to “work on getting more time”, the next chapter opens with “Phillip, you’re going to be late!” I was quite impressed with myself making this corollary, but I think I’m the only one who catches it.
    3. The chapter for September 16th is my birthday… but I was not born in 2015.
    4. Not so much an Easter Egg, but the mom’s confusion about the neighbor’s reference to Dr. Livingstone getting lost in the azaleas was a fun little reference to the famous explorer.
    5. When I submitted the story in August 30th, 2021, I wanted a reference to a popular computer game that would be coming out in April 2022. After much research, and hoping developers stay on schedule, time will tell if Elden Ring makes my story prognostic.
    6. I hated Econ. So does Philip. That is all.
    7. The reference to “and Philip, brush your teeth” is a reference to my own wife kissing the kids goodnight and our struggles with their hygeine. Teenage boys are gross.
    8. The reference to the T-Shirt that says “This is the shirt I wear when I just don’t care” is an actual one in my closet that is normal rotation of pandemic PJ attire.
    9. All of the streets and locations in Chicago are real, even the color of the lines for the ‘L’. Google Maps was my resource so I tried to pick close to actual places, but it’s been decades since I was in Chicago so things may not match up exactly.
    10. I worked at weaving in references to gambling songs in the story, hopefully making them fit even if you didn’t know them. The songs were:
      1. The Gambler by Kenny Rogers
      2. Shape of My Heart by Sting
      3. Queen of Hearts by Juice Newton
      4. A Crazy Game of Poker by O.A.R.
    11. In my stories there is often a little political commentary. One of the common themes in writing circles is the discussion that there are not a lot of minority characters, so I wanted to make Philip African America. However, I also didn’t want to be over the top with direct references that came off as ‘agenda’, or showing my ass trying to write AAVE (African American Vernacular English) or code-switching (I have some books but still a lot to learn). The only indications is how Philip refers to his family and the reference to him being named after A. Philip Randolph, a civil rights activist and labor organizer.
      1. Personal note. Philip’s father is not in the story because of a divorce and this could be considered playing into the stereotype of “The absent black father”. The simple reason he’s not there is it is a short story, and I didn’t have time to develop and weave in another character to play off Philip and the situation. I spoke to a few and requested a sensitivity read. The consensus was there was no steretype because the father’s absence is not a driving force in the main character’s behavior/situation. However, you can read into any story and there is perspective I likely missed, so please know the work was written from a place of good intentions to raise voices and create main characters of minorities.
    12. One little darling that didn’t make the final cut was the final sentence of the story where I tried to put too much into one sentence repeating themes and song references, and my editor, Robyn Huss, rightfully cut the heck out of it. The original line was “Maybe the twelfth time playing with the Queen of Hearts would reveal the hidden law of a probable outcome.”

Fuego - The Details and some History

National Park Service Yosemite Fire HistoryMarin is a 9th generation Park Ranger with his family footprints in the dirt going back to Yosemite’s inception in 1890. But the family prints go back further as he is one of very few people left carrying some of the Ahwahnechee blood, the original native residents of The Valley. His role was simple in the summer; patrol the lands for the hints of fires, control the natural ones, and isolate the accidental. But the worst were the intentional, and one particular pyromaniac simply called Fuego. No one other than Marin believed this person existed; partly because the fires looked natural, but mostly because the source of the fires were powers imbued into Fuego by the spirit of Kosso.

More details and spoilers whent the story is finished.

Future Titles

Gladius - Fate follows day by day, and for some, life after life. There is no escaping destiny, but it's possible to shape it.
Wendigo - Some just want a little place in the woods to be alone, but it's hard when your soul is driven to protect the forrest and kill all who enter.
Knot - The interwoven fibers wrapped upon themselves to form a simple clump, and become the source of power for all in the world who can wield it.
Flåte - A young girl sets aloft on her raft to escape a ordinary life in seek of adventure, but when she comes across a boy who needs her help, the adventure becomes more than what she ever imagined.

Friends, Colleauges, Vagrants and Villians

LanthanorMark Beard Author Site
For those who long for far off lands where only the imagination may roam. My purpose has always been to return the joy my favorite authors ignited in me. ~Mark Beard
Inkd PublishingPublishing Company
Hit up BookFunnel for a free ebook of Shattered Blood: The Origin Story if you’d like to get started in Haddie’s adventures.
NecroseamEllie Raine Author Site
Award winning author recipient of Writer's Digest (1st place in Fantasy), Readers' Favorite (Silver medal & Honorable Mention in Fantasy), and Book Excellence Awards.
David B. CoeAuthor and Editor
Fallstaff BooksThe Misfit Toys of Fiction
Sarah J. SoverNoir and Comedic Fantasy
Kevin A. DavisFantasy and Urban Fiction Author

About the Author   

Tim Lewis manages rocket programs by day, and collects hobbies by night. Writing has been the longest running hobby, going back to middle school and first place in a Halloween story contest. He took creative writing at Purdue, but his public works have all been scholastic and technical. In the years following, there has been an accumulation of short stories and scenes brewing that few have seen beyond his laptop. Tim leans toward Sci Fi, Urban Fantasy and Noir, where each contain an element of humor from a life spent as a smart ass. He published his first fiction work, Switch, in 2019 and continues to write and submit as he aspires to his favorite quote by Benjamin Franklin, “If you wou’d not be forgotten / As soon as you are dead and rotten, / Either write things worth reading, / or do things worth the writing.”