The Least I Can Do – Charlottesville, We Are With You

I write fantasy. I’m no historian.  Nor do I claim to understand the lives of nations as entities in themselves. Or politics. Or even the factors that trigger in-group/out-group phenomenon leading to violence.

But even in my ignorance, I feel in my bones that we are at a turning point.  

And it is a turning point that needs addressing.

Still, I hesitate to write this post, for a number of reasons – fear being the most obvious. Continue reading “The Least I Can Do – Charlottesville, We Are With You”

Tales of the Archer: A New Release is on the Horizon!

My next book is just about to be released into the wild! And I couldn’t be more excited.  You can preorder it here.

I used to think I only had one story to tell and that was Dreamwalker. But then I joined a wonderful group of flash fiction writers a few years back and discovered that perhaps I had a lot more plot bunnies in the warren of my mind than I’d originally given myself credit for.

I published Son of Anubis first, a novella that was written as a challenge between friends.  And then I screwed my courage to the sticking point and published Quest of the Dreamwalker.

Now I’m working on the sequel to Dreamwalker, a hefty book called Chasing the Legend. But it seems I’m a girl who likes challenges. Continue reading “Tales of the Archer: A New Release is on the Horizon!”

MidWeek Flash: Poison or Regret

Hello, all. I know I’ve been silent for quite a while.  Real life issues have kept me busy and likely will continue to do so for a few more weeks. However, I did want to set aside some time to write. I apologize in advance for the unnatural darkness of this piece. It has been a hard few months.  This is from a few weeks ago (#13), and hopefully I will catch up with the rest of the MidWeek Flash crew soon.  Enjoy your Fourth of July!

Poison or Regret

From my threadbare cot, I gaze out across the sandy strip of land to the fouled sea. At this time of day, the blue of the sky and sea deceive me, convincing me they are safe like before the War.  But they lie. The intervening junkyard of monstrous gears rusting in the sun accuses me and rightly so. Guilt turns like a nauseous worm somewhere between my gut and my heart.

My world is about to end, has ended already in fact, and the fault is undeniably mine.

I had done this, me and my rose-colored glasses. My blankets carry the sour stench of  my fear. If only I could vomit up the churning mass of rot inside me and be rid of it, this mess of guilt and shame and regret. The torment of knowing how close the end is wracks my soul, pinches in my chest. No God in history, however loving, could forgive me what I’ve done. I will never forgive myself.

I had borrowed from the future to pay for my privileged and lofty ideals, stealing our children’s future as if they wouldn’t notice. Thinking I could pay it back before they realized what I’d done. But I had gambled on bright-eyed hope and love and kumbaya—and lost.

The aliens hadn’t been out to exterminate us. Truthfully, they hadn’t even noticed us at first. Our little blue-green planet had simply been in the way of their galactic feud.

I shiver and my stomach roils as flashbacks shudder through my weakening mind. Giant machines sheathed in sleek oily carapaces of bottle-fly green clash around me.  Earth herself is hard-pressed to tolerate their size and weight. Each footfall, each strike, each crash reverberates through the ground beneath my feet like an earthquake. I imagine myself, pitiful and small, standing between them like a child playing referee to warriors. I try to stop them from trampling the world I love, but they battle on heedless of the fragile life beneath their feet.

We should have attacked when we first saw them, out beyond the moon. We should have thrown everything we could think of at them, but instead I had led a call for contact and diplomacy. I convinced the world to follow me… to our doom.

Is my sin one of hubris, or only short-sightedness? Or perhaps cowardice? A fear of  looking circumstances in the face and calling them by their right name. I’d attributed human processes to the aliens’ actions, thinking that behind the callous destruction lay misunderstanding rather than ingrained aggression. I once thought it was daring and brave to believe in universal Good with a capital G, but in reality I had turned my eyes from the truth. Nature is the only ruler, and she is as blind as Justice. Her rules are simple: kill or be killed.

I swing swollen feet to the ground and teeter on starved legs. Emerging from the sheltering debris where I sleep, I walk my penitent gauntlet as I do every day.  My sleeping quarters had once been an alien diplomat who thought as I did. Or at least that’s what the translators conveyed.  Death found him (it?) quickly. I am not so lucky. Passing beneath the broken bodies of the combatants left behind, I notice rivulets of bright blue and green and oily yellow. Their alien alloys leach into the ground, finding their microscopic way to the water   My gut twists a turn tighter.

Oh, that joyous day when the War ended. Whether by victory or surrender we had no way of knowing, but no one cared. The giant robots simply stopped fighting and one by one blasted off into the sky, leaving their dead and wounded stranded. Such misguided relief, as if Fate was done with us. The simmering backlash of my cause lashed out then and we retaliated with all the spiteful anger of a tormented child, nuking what was left of their number and our world. But it was already too late. The tincture of alien metals left behind and irradiated by our foolishness now poisons us little by little. One cannot survive without water and drinking the water will kill you.

The bleak landscape of my mind is torture. Guilt, regret, sorrow, isolation. I want to die and I surely will along with everything I tried to save. The question is: Will the alien poison or my own regret kill me first?

Fantasy and the problem with Tolkien — The Write Stuff

The eternal dilemma of the fantasy writer: Has every story been told or can I tell an old one in a new way?  Read what Sue Vincent at The Write Stuff says about it. Regardless, I will continue to write my own fantasies and hope they have half the depth of Tolkien’s Middle Earth…

It has to be said that Tolkien causes problems. Quite apart from being so addictive that, once read, you are likely to go back and read the books again, you may never find anywhere quite as rich as Middle Earth within the pages of another book. Anyone whose introduction to fantasy is via The Hobbit […]

via Fantasy and the problem with Tolkien — The Write Stuff

Audiobook Reviewer Has Weighed In

If you ever wanted to find a site that extensively reviews audiobooks of all genres, is the place.  Their library of reviews is extensive. I was so tickled to find them.

The folks at Audiobook Reviewer were kind enough to review Quest of the Dreamwalker and here’s a bit of what they had to say:

Stacy Bennett, the author has skillfully created a world so mystical yet realistic that one cannot stop listening to this epic novel.  It has everything – passion, mystery, action, evil, fighting, and so much more! … Zachary Johnson, narrator, performs this epic novel as if he were born to do so.  He owns the book with his talent to step into the story and wear each character as if it was his true identity…  

You can read more of this review here along with a thousand others in just the right genre to suit your taste.

                Listen to the magic!




Memorial Day Thoughts

I was married to a Marine – once upon a time. And in my heart, there is a room set aside for the military, a room full of tender love and respect.  Even though the men I knew were chock full of bluster and arrogance, they also had brave hearts and uncommon courage when it mattered. Yes, they were human, but they were also heroes in the making. 

Memorial Day is for honoring those who died in our service. Not just served but the ones who faced mortal enemies and lost. And all for an ideal. I wonder, as we move forward into troubled times, if we have become the nation they believed we could be. The nation we should be. I’m not preaching a cause and I don’t care what your stand on politics is. Today is a day to recognize their sacrifice, to acknowledge that someone’s spouse, sibling, or child died so you could live the life you have. Today is a day to consider what it means to be worthy of that sacrifice, that gift.

Are we living up to that legacy? Or is there still work to be done?   

Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known only to God.


I do not understand…
They bring so many, many flowers to me—
Rainbows of roses, wreaths from every land;
And hosts of solemn strangers come to see
My tomb here on these quiet, wooded heights.
My tomb here seems to be
One of the sights.

The low-voiced men, who speak
Of me quite fondly, call me The Unknown:
But now and then at dusk, Madonna-meek,
Bent, mournful mothers come to me alone
And whisper down—the flowers and grasses through—
Such names as “Jim” and “John”…
I wish I knew.

And once my sweetheart came.
She did not—nay, of course she could not—know,
But thought of me, and crooned to me the name
She called me by—how many years ago?
A very precious name. Her eyes were wet,
Yet glowing, flaming so…
She won’t forget!

 – E.O. Laughlin

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