New This Week 09/13/2021

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Trying a different approach this week with the product links. I hope it works out better. If you can’t see the links please let me know in the comments, along with what country you are from. Otherwise I’m going to assume everything is working all right. Thanks.

Floaters : Garrett Boatman

Synopsis: Fire and plague. Certainly no strangers to London Town. But when legions of living dead rise from the Thames’ fetid waters to feast upon the living, the city teeters on the brink of antihalation. And while floaters seek blood, another army takes advantage of the chaos. Boiling out of their rookeries of crime, marauders swarm through London’s affluent neighborhoods looting and burning.

Hooligans vs the Living Dead: A Victorian Zombie Adventure!

With the beleaguered police and the Queen’s army battling twin plagues—human and inhuman—London’s criminal youth gangs join forces to save their city. Will Tagget, leader of the Lambeth Lads, together with his enemies Bill Drummond of the Drury Lane Gang, bull-necked George Fish of the Elephant and Castle Gang, shillelagh-wielding Dirk Bogart of the New Cut Gang, Quincy Bird of City Road, along with their female counterparts—Lambeth Kate, Queen Jane, New Cut Beth, Razor Lil and Dirty Deidre—set out on an adventure the telling of which might earn a man a lifetime of free drinks. If he lives to tell it.

Will these violent gangs put aside their rivalries long enough to get the job done?

Spiritus Ex-Machina: G Allen Willbanks

Synopsis: Pulled from the edge of death, he wakes to find his mind has been preserved in a new body; a mechanical body that will never know pain, illness, or old age.

But it is much more than that.

Zander’s mind has been downloaded into the Spector, an experimental, self-aware, long-distance star ship. For now, he is little more than an observer on board, a ghost in the machine.

One day, if he can prove himself, he may be allowed full control over the ship. If not, he will be turned off and condemned to the Nothing.

Zander will do anything to avoid the Nothing.

The Mammoth Book of Folk Horror: Anthology

Synopsis: Welcome to a landscape of ancient evil . . . with stories by masters of horror Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, H. P. Lovecraft, M. R. James​, Ramsey Campbell, Storm Constantine, Christopher Fowler, Alison Littlewood, Kim Newman, Reggie Oliver​, Michael Marshall Smith, Karl Edward Wagner, and more!
 
The darkness that endures beneath the earth . . . the disquiet that lingers in the woodland surrounding a forgotten path . . . those ancient traditions and practices that still cling to standing stone circles, earthworks, and abandoned buildings; elaborate rituals that invoke elder gods or nature deities; the restless spirits and legendary creatures that remain connected to a place or object, or exist in deep wells and lonely pools of water, waiting to ensnare the unwary traveler . . .

These concepts have been the archetypes of horror fiction for decades, but in recent years they have been given a name: Folk Horror.
 
This type of storytelling has existed for more than a century. Authors Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, H. P. Lovecraft, and M. R. James all published fiction that had it roots in the notion of the supernatural being linked to objects or places “left behind.” All four writers are represented in this volume with powerful, and hopefully unfamiliar, examples of their work, along with newer exponents of the craft such as Ramsey Campbell, Storm Constantine, Christopher Fowler, Alison Littlewood, Kim Newman, Reggie Oliver, and many others.

Illustrated with the atmospheric photography of Michael Marshall Smith, the stories in The Mammoth Book of Folk Horror tap into an aspect of folkloric tradition that has long been dormant, but never quite forgotten, while the depiction of these forces as being in some way “natural” in no way detracts from the sense of nameless dread and escalating horror that they inspire . . .
 

Not of Us

Read for free with Kindle Unlimited

Every dark cloud has a silver lining, some silver linings harbor an even darker secret.

The crew of a downed B-29 comes face to face with harsh reality when they discover the south pacific island where they crash landed is home to a Japanese garrison. But the Japanese become the least of their worries when a wounded gunner is infected by an alien presence.

The pilot is confronted with a terrifying choice. Escape and risk infecting the rest of the world. Or stay and die.

Fridays 5 09/10/2021

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This week I ask the participants: What is the hardest part of writing?

Clicking on authors name will take you to their website or Amazon Author page.

Lee Andrew Tayor

Lee Alan Taylor Author Photo

A: The editing for me. I could never END a story. I would edit, edit, edit, edit and every edit I would change things in the story. It was so frustrating not letting GO…But now I try to edit no more than three times.

Bio: Lee was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, UK, in 1969. He moved to Bedworth, Warwickshire at the age of 9. All his life he’s had a passion for creating things, whether it was new games to play with family and friends, drawing, or creating a story.

Scott Nicholson

A:  Persistence and commitment. Writing is little more than putting one word after another, over and over.

Bio: Scott haphazardly trades words for magic beans and uses “haphazardly” as often as possible while decrying the overuse of adverbs. He had 105 rejections before his first story sale and over 400 before he sold a novel. He hasn’t learned much from his mistakes but thinks he’ll probably improve with practice. If nothing else, he’s become a better liar.

Craig Saunders

A:  Getting published! Ha. I don’t find writing difficult (usually, though I get blocked from time to time, like most of us!). I aim for 500 words a day, and try to hit that every day, but getting published has proven to be by far the hardest thing. It’s a challenge, though, so it never gets tiring, trying…

Bio: Craig Saunders lives in Norfolk, England, with his wife and three children, who he pretends to listen to while making up stories in his head. He has published more than two dozen short stories, and is the author of the novels Rain, Spiggot, and The Love of the Dead. Craig publishes science fiction with Severed Press. He also publishes novels independently under the Dark Fable Books/Fable Books labels and considers himself a hybrid author.

Alice Sobo

A:  Writing. Butt in chair. I have lots of ideas and conversations with my characters, but getting it all into the computer is hard work for me.

Bio: Alice Sabo is the author of character driven stories in post-apocalyptic, space opera, fantasy, and mystery series. Across genres, her characters deal with trying to make positive choices in difficult and often dangerous situations. Whether seeking lost cultures in an unforgiving galaxy or finding a murderer on the streets of LA, her books have strong world building, multi-layered characters, and a satisfying culmination.

Diane Johnson

A: The hardest part of writing for me is interruptions. Especially during the pandemic while in close quarters with family. People see you staring at a screen, fingers paused, and they think you’re not doing anything. Then they speak, and the thought is gone. You can’t explain this without offending someone. Nicholson had it right in The Shining.

Bio: Diane graduated from Binghamton University with a B.A. in Film Theory. She first embarked on her storytelling journey as a screenwriter, and she apologizes. She has a husband. And kids. And if this writing thing takes off, maybe she’ll invest in a dog. A rescue, of course!

ATTENTION

If you write horror, sci-fi, fantasy. Anything that falls under the speculative fiction umbrella and would like to participate. Follow this link: https://richardschiver.com/fridays-5/

Cursed

Before Christine’s father left for Iraq he won her a stuffed bunny at a roadside carnival, promising her that as long as she kept the bunny by her side, he would always be with her. A year after his death she and her mother move across the country to the small Maryland town of Porter Mines.

On its surface Porter Mines looked like the perfect place to raise her daughter. But old secrets lie restless beneath that innocent facade, and Christine soon becomes the target of an old legend that is more fact than fiction.

Will her father’s love be enough to protect her from the wrath of the old witch’s vengeance?

Or will she fall prey to the curse of Porter Mines?

New This Week 09/06/2021

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Click on the cover for more info or to order.

Shattered Skies: Chris Miller

Synopsis: Taut as a guitar string. More relentless than time. Award-Winning author Chris Miller offers up ten tales of terror and suspense to crank up your anxiety in the way only he can.

Desperation, panic, worlds on fire, and much more.

Featuring a foreword by Patrick C. Harrison III and a story co-authored with M. Ennenbach, SHATTERED SKIES will leave you breathless, white-knuckled, and wanting more.

The Master of Suspense is at your service.

“Some books bring the horror. This one also brings the anguish, grief, desperation, despair, and a stark soul-hollowing terror. My nerves are not okay right now.”—Christine Morgan, author of Lakehouse Infernal.

Ravel: Cassidy Ward

Synopsis: During a summer visit to the family farm, Dennis reconnects with his oldest and best friend, Carol Ann. When Dennis is captured by a shadowy creature bent on unravelling the threads of reality, Carol Ann enters a realm of fractured memory to save him.

There, she uncovers the truth of Dennis’ family. All of the women of the Baker clan are Ravellers, knitting-needle-wielding sorcerers, of a kind, responsible for keeping all of existence intact.

More importantly, Carol Ann discovers her own power and untapped potential to manipulate the Skein.

Let me Out I’ve had Enough: Mark Matthews

Synopsis: Grief, depression, loneliness, suicide—these are true monsters who live under our bed. Prepare to be taken by the hand to explore the darkest of human emotions and fears. Stories about those of us who have had too much and cry out desperately for help, begging for relief, asking of anyone who might listen—Let Me Out I’ve Had Enough. The first collection of shorts from Mark Matthews, the author of novels such as Milk-Blood, The Hobgoblin of Little Minds, and the Shirley Jackson Award Nominated editor of Lullabies for Suffering.

Stories range from the most basic horrors to the most cosmic—A father dangling from a noose after an attempted hanging gone wrong. A psychiatrist haunted by the spirits of his dead ex-patients. An alien woman must contract a virus to save the human race, and a father must sacrifice his life to do the same. You’ll visit eight different worlds, created by the ‘master of modern psychological horror,’ and after you’ve returned to where you began, you’ll arrive completely safe, but certainly not the same.


*Content Warning for frequent mentions of suicide*
Includes the previously published work Body of Christ
Includes new fiction set within the world of the author’s novel: The Hobgoblin of Little Minds and multiple other pieces of never published before works.

Dates From Hell: Anthology

Synopsis: We’ve all had them, those special dates with someone brand new, someone who just might be the yin to our yang, that vital missing piece of our lonely heart…

So goes the eternal gamble, the endless game of romance roulette, in which we earnestly wear our hearts upon our sleeves in the thin hope of discovering our soulmate and lay bare our inner selves to find all-elusive true love.

But, for some, that potential soulmate can very quickly become the Devil in disguise, and, boy howdy, how attractive and inherently deceitful those nefarious facades can be!

Here, we deliver for your delectation twenty-one such tales – read them with caution, and thank all that is heavenly it’s not you on these particular Dates from Hell…

Not of Us

Their fight for freedom becomes a battle to save mankind.

The crew of a downed American B-29, trapped on a remote south pacific island, discover the Japanese are the least of their problems when one of them is infected by a creature from beyond the stars.

Work in Progress

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I’ve finished the first draft of Bitter Hollow and I’m letting it sit for a bit. I’ve started working on the book after with the working title, A Bad Place. This will likely change as I get closer to the end of the first draft. It typically does. Knocked out the following 900 words yesterday and have only performed minor edits to clean it up for inclusion today. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.

If there was one thing Gerald learned from life it was to be happy with what you had, and not worry about what others might be doing, or how they succeeded. Unfortunately, his wife Rita had yet to discover that one simple truth. Instead, she constantly worried about the success’s others had, comparing her life to that of her closest friend whose husband worked for the federal government and had moved up to a leadership position, taking over the local IRS office. In reality it wasn’t that much of an accomplishment when you considered he was responsible for an office with only two full time staff.

The labored breathing of his yellow lab, Max, brought him back to reality and he stopped.

“Do you need to take a break, buddy.”

Max looked up at him with a soulful gaze, his muzzle grey, and promptly settled onto the damp pavement. The air was heavy, damp with humidity, carrying the scent of the recent rain and an eternal mustiness. The forest bordering the road lay shrouded in deep shadows, whispering in its secret voice as smaller animals scurried about in search of food. Birds darted back and forth, calling to one another in melodic tones, greeting the approach of the new day. Beside him Max panted in a steady rhythm.

Rita had been after Gerald for several weeks now to do something about the old fella. At fourteen he at times still acted like the puppy he once was, but those moments were becoming increasingly rare. Instead, he preferred his soft pillow and a warm room, or cool depending on the season. His walked that once extended nearly to the old train depot at the top of Depot Road, had been drastically shortened by advancing age. Now he was lucky to make it to the end of Borden Road where it met Depot Road without a break or two. This morning he seemed especially slow, and Gerald knew Rita was right about one thing, neither of them were getting any younger.

“It might be time,” she said just the day before.

“Time for what?” he asked, knowing full well what direction the conversation was about to take.

“Fourteen years is a long time for a lab.” Max was asleep on his pillow in the living room, probably dreaming about taking a long walk, oblivious to the conversation and its implications.

“What are you suggesting?”

“He’s in pain. You know it, I know it. He sure as hell knows it, and if he could talk he’d ask for an end to it. I’ve already spoken to Doctor Foland, and he agrees. We can take him down tonight, stop and get him an order of the fries he likes. Let him pig out and help him along.”

“Is that what you’re going to do to me? When I become too much for you to take care of. Get me an order of fries on the way to hospice.”

Tears sparkled at the corner of her eye and Gerald took savage satisfaction at being the cause of them. “Don’t be ridiculous.”

“What is it really? Debbie at work telling you about their new puppy, I know about it, I spoke to Richard the other day and he was telling me about it. You know them specialty breeds are prone to major health issues.”

“It’s not that, I’m just…” She threw up her arms, surrendering to his argument and walked away. Later that night he apologized for his comment, but inside he was still seething. She’d shown him photos of Debbie’s new puppy. A Pomsky, and Gerald shuddered at the thought. They’d crossed a husky with a Pomeranian. What was the world coming to?

A low growl from Max alerted Gerald he was no longer alone. Footsteps came from the road ahead. They were hard, full of purpose, ringing solidly against the pavement.

Looking up he spotted someone approaching around the bend in the road. The sound of life in the forest grew still as the stranger got closer. It became so quiet the footfall of the stranger’s approach carried a warning that caressed the sleeping part of Gerald’s primitive psyche. Max’s growl became a whine, and he lowered his head to his paws, watching in silent terror as the stranger approached.

“Morning stranger,” Gerald called out in greeting and the stranger stopped. With the stranger’s face in shadows Gerald found it difficult to make out his features. He was aware of a bearded chin with what looked like several days of growth. Below the stranger’s chin, glowing in the predawn darkness, was a small white square.

Was he a priest?

“Afraid I don’t recognize you,” Gerald said, “I’m Gerald Simmons from Broken Heart Mine Road. And you’re?”

The stranger pointed at Max and Had Gerald been the more imaginative type he might have decided at that moment to push on around the stranger.

“Is that your dog?” The stranger said in a gravelly voice accompanied by the faint whisper of a million others raised in soft terror. Gerald wasn’t the imaginative sort and paid little attention to the whispers that replaced the sounds of life in the dense shadows of the forest. It felt like it had gotten darker since the stranger’s arrival and Gerald glanced at the lightening sky, the clouds above tinted at their edges with the golden fire of the approaching dawn. Around him the world remained hidden in darkness.

“Yes, it’s my dog, Max,” he answered, worry blossoming too late for him to do anything about it. The stranger had closed the distance between them and was now less than arm’s length away. Yet he still could not make out anything other than the faint glimmer of white.

“Are you a preacher?” Gerald asked, taking another step back to widen the distance between them.

“May I have your dog?”

End Segment. I know not much to go on, but I know where it’s going after this point and I’ll share later. Thanks for stopping by and if you’re of a mind to do so you can share your thoughts in the comments.

All Roads Lead to Terror

An endless night is closing in.

In a chaotic, post-apocalyptic world, an endless night is closing in, and only the strong will survive. In the midst of the turmoil, fourteen-year-old Meat, and his three closest friends, embark on a mission to rescue kidnapped children from the compound enslaving them.

Battling their way through treacherous terrain and immeasurable odds, the boys must learn to lean on each other if they hope to survive. Little do they know fate has far greater plans for them. For they represent the trinity, a symbol older than time itself, that keeps the darkness at bay.

They are three, bound by a fourth, destined to save mankind.

With time running out, and the cloak of eternal night descending, can the boys find a way to turn the tables on evil?

Or will they be the next to join the growing legion of the dead?

Featured image courtesy of <a href="http://(c) Can Stock Photo / devon

New This Week 08/30/2021

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Soon the august heat will give way to cooler days. The days are growing shorter, the nights longer as we near the reaping season. In this week’s harvest are five new releases with something for everyone. Click on the cover for more info or to order.

Jedi Summer: John Boden

Synopsis: A boy and his little brother wander through the loosely stitched summer of 1983. It was a magical one. Full of sun and surrealism, of lessons and loss, and of growing up and figuring it out.

Nestled in the mountains of Pennsylvania is a small town unlike any other. Things are strange here, always have been. People die but hang around, pets too. Everyone knows your name, and sometimes, a thing as simple as a movie coming to the local theatre is all it takes to keep you going.

Night Terrors 16: Anthology

Synopsis: An elderly farmer learns the horrifying truth beyond the phrase “True love never dies”. Something sinister lurks behind the distant eyes of a mother’s traumatized son. And a gravedigger slowly descends into madness, as he grows obsessed with the corpse of a little girl…

Scare Street’s latest collection shines a flickering candle on the terrifying forces of darkness that haunt our dreams. Death, madness, obsession… The darker side of the human psyche is revealed with each bone-chilling page of these fourteen macabre tales.

Come along on a journey into the eternal night. Delve into the secrets and mysteries that hide in the darkness, just beyond the light. They’re reaching out for you, grasping at your flesh, pulling you closer, whispering in your ear.

And once you give in to their siren song of shadows, there’s no turning back…

Featuring the following short stories:
1. Jelly by P. D. Williams
2. This New Creature by Georgia Cook
3. Stargazer by Laszlo Tamasfi
4. Ant Traps by William Presley
5. Sarah Jane by Don Gillette
6. My Dead Brother by Raymund P. Reyes
7. Metamorphosed by Ross S. Simon
8. It Happened on Sunday Street by Bryson Richard
9. The Delicate Sound of Music by Justin Boote
10. The Briefcase by K. C. Dunford
11. Something Juicy by Jon Clark
12. Charlie in the Attic by Russell Richardson
13. Prodigal Son by John Gallant
14. The Dreamcatcher by Ron Ripley and Kevin Saito

The Deer Kings: Wendy Wagner

Synopsis:  “Deer saints, darkness and the strangeness of family ties; Wagner effortlessly mixes football and folk horror in this terrifying new novel.” -Angela Slatter, award-winning author of The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings

In 1989, Gary Sheldon and his friends created their own saint.

In 2018, they discover it’s become a god.

Gary thought he’d escaped Kingston, Oregon, the town where his parents died and where, one tragic summer, he and a group of outcast teens turned to the supernatural to protect themselves from a deranged drug dealer. But when his wife lands her dream job as a high school principal, he is forced to return to his hometown.

As Gary reconnects with old friends and his son thrives on the football team, the past feels like a distant memory. But unsettling encounters and mutilated animals in the woods reveal that the Deer Saint is still at work. Now Gary must look into his past to find answers: Who is making sacrifices to the Deer Saint? And what do they want with his family?

Haunt : Anthology

Synopsis: Ghosts. The souls of the dead. Tied by gossamer threads—trapped between this world and the next, just beyond the veil.

Sometimes death isn’t the end. Sometimes it’s just the beginning.


FEATURED AUTHORS

Find the Child by B.F.Vega
Vacancy by Chris Bannor
One of These Days by Chris Hewitt
Judgement Call by Darlene Holt
Be With Me by David Green
The Girl by David Green
Freely Given by Eric Butler
Hide and Seek by Helen Merrick
No Man’s Land by J.M. Faulkner
Until Death by J.W. Garrett
The Well Spirit by Jay Alexander
Hangman’s Ledge by Jodi Jensen
Lost at the Crossroads by Kate Campbell
Oil Slick Eyes by Kimberly Rei
Morning Tea by L.J. McLeod
The Haunted Ones by Leanbh Pearson
The Promise by Lynne Lumsden Green
The Mineshaft by Lynne Phillips
The Thanksgiving Dinner by Lynne Phillips
Vandal by Maxine Churchman
Dessert by Patrick Winters
Witch ‘n Seek by Peter J. Foote
The Ghost Train by R.A. Goli
Love Me Dead by S.O. Green
Before and After by Sarah Jane Justice
The Viridian Hotel by Scott McGregor
The Last Train by Stephanie Scissom
Dressing Room Seven by Warren Benedetto
House of Whispers by Warren Benedetto

Palladiums Gate: Janet Joyce Holden

Synopsis: Clairvoyance isn’t a gift, it’s a curse, or so believes Rogan Moore, a troubled psychic in a desperate search for his sanity. Help arrives when he takes a job as caretaker of a magnificent old Victorian, the Rothe house. For despite its ancient lineage and potential for haunting, the house becomes the perfect sanctuary. It’s a place he can recover and while hiding behind its protective iron gate he can hardly believe his luck.

Except Rogan isn’t the only one under the house’s protection. New guests arrive. Lennox, a precocious and inquisitive young boy, and a tall, mysterious stranger named Jake who carries an inexplicable aura of menace. Rogan’s job becomes decidedly more complicated when the younger guest goes missing and the house shows its true colors. For beneath it lies another world, complex, fragile, sometimes deadly and saturated with myth and monsters—just waiting for those who can see things better than most.

Rogan is tested to the limit as he and Jake attempt a rescue. But will his enhanced perception help him survive? Or will he finally succumb to his nightmares?

A fantasy tale of adventure and dangerous alliances, Palladium’s Gate is the first in a series.

Cursed

After the loss of her husband, Susan sought a safe place to rebuild a life for herself and her six-year-old daughter, Christine. Quaint and picturesque, Porter Mines seemed ideal. Susan soon learns appearances can be deceiving.

Like many small towns, the history of Porter Mines was woven in a tapestry of dark secrets. One centered on a witch, who vowed with her dying breath to claim vengeance against those who wronged her. A ghost story rooted in grisly truth.

Can Susan protect Christine from a wrath even death couldn’t tame?

Or will her only child fall prey to the curse of Porter Mines?

Fridays 5 08/27/2021

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This week I ask: How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

Click on the authors name to be taken to their website or amazon author page.

Wednesday Lee Friday

A:  Let down. I was expecting some magical transformation out of obscurity. I thought strangers would buy my book just because it existed. I had a very, VERY skewed perception of what publishing was going to bring to me.

Bio: Wednesday lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband and two crafty cats. She is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association, and also enjoys Shostakovich, Dexter, loom knitting, The Simpsons, crafty things, quality horror of all kinds, and kettle cooked potato chips. She covers TV and movies for 411Mania, sexy stuff at Kinkly.com, and has done a ton of ghostwriting…though not about ghosts.

Justin Boote

A: Coinciding with my answer to question no.1, I would say it made me feel that maybe I was capable of writing something that not only people enjoy reading but that publishers are prepared to pay for. That made a big difference as opposed to just hearing friends tell you they love your work. It was a confirmation of sorts.

Bio: Justin Boote is an Englishman living in Barcelona for over 25 years and has been writing horror stories for 5 years. In this time, he has had around 40 short stories published in a variety of anthologies and has published 4 short stories on Amazon plus 2 story collections and now dedicates his time to writing novel series. In the summer he hopes to release the first of his series on Amazon-The Ghosts of Northgate.

Rick Hatuala

A:  I was thrilled, of course, but I was also nervous. I felt like I was an imposter. It was like standing in the middle of a shopping mall with no clothes on. I was insecure enough about my work (and still am) to not allow myself to enjoy … to savor the moment.

Bio: Rick arrived on the horror scene in 1980 with many of his early novels published by Zebra books. He wrote and published over 90 novels and short stories from the early 1980s on. In 2011 the Horror Writers Association awarded Rick and Joe R. Lansdale the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement. Sadly, on March 21 of 2013 we lost Rick to a heart attack. For me personally he was a writer who was always willing to help those of us starting out, and though I never met him personally I counted him among my friends.

SJ Krandall

A: I felt really proud upon publishing my first completed project.  I set out to do something fun and it turned out to be an amazing experience for me.  I could not wait to share it with others and am looking forward to doing more. 

Bio: S. J. Krandall is a horror author whose recent work was published in summer of 2020.  She was born in Florida but raised in New Jersey where she still resides with my husband, their two sons and two dogs. For more than twenty years she has worked with children with varying abilities as both a teacher and an aide. Now, a stay a home mom, she cares for her family and takes time to enjoy other interests. Her work in progress includes her second book to her series and a variety of short stories. 

Thad White

A: Relieved that Bane of Souls was out there, but also immensely nervous of public reaction. Getting the first few reviews was cathartic. I also felt very keen to get cracking with the next book.

Bio: Thaddeus White is a pen name for someone else. He’s a Yorkshireman, and as well as being an avid fantasy reader/writer enjoys classical history. In addition to his fantastical writings, he offers tips on F1, with varying degrees of success.

New This Week 08/23/2021

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Click on cover image for more info or to order.

The End of Halloween: Greg Chapman

Synopsis: Five short Halloween themed tales by Australian Shadows Award finalist, Greg Chapman

“DAUGHTERS OF THE VEIL” – A young woman discovers the death of her twin sister was not suicide, but something much more sinister.

“OCTOBERVILLE” – When Tom Crane crashes his car into a tree he heads to the nearest town, only to find that Octoberville has a very unhealthy obsession with Halloween.

“HELL-O-WEEN” – A group of demon children go Trick or Treating in Hell, meeting some of humanity’s worst along the way. (Originally published in 2009).

“THE END OF HALLOWEEN” – Death looks upon the Earth to find no one celebrates Halloween anymore.

***INCLUDES THE NEW TALE “Left on October Lane”***

There is no Death, there are no Dead: Anthology (pre-order for 08/27/2021)

Synopsis: First appearing in the late 1800s, spiritualism became a religious movement that swept the nation. Under the assumption that the dead live on in the afterlife, spiritualists believed that contact with the dearly departed was not only possible, but something those who crossed over longed for. Contact was usually made through a medium, a person who claimed to have the ability to speak with the dead.

There Is No Death, There Are No Dead is a horror anthology that tackles all aspects of the spiritualist movement: from the true believers to the nay-sayers, the hoaxes to hauntings, the real mediums to the scam artists. From ghosts to possessions, from profound loss to insurmountable grief, these short stories explore limitless genres (historical fiction, Gaslamp mystery, modern horror, and everything in between) with a diverse cast of characters challenged at every corner.

There Is No Death, There Are No Dead includes new work from some of the most talented and respected authors in the horror and dark fantasy genres, featuring stories from Gemma Files, Helen Marshall, Kathe Koja, Lee Murray, David Demchuk, Lisa Morton, Gwendolyn Kiste, S.P. Miskowski, Seanan McGuire, Catherine Lord, Chesya Burke, Nadia Bulkin, Michelle Belanger, and Laird Barron, and edited by Bram Stoker Award winner Jess Landry and Aaron J. French.

The dead are speaking. Will you hear?

Gorefest – Extreme Horror: Anthology

Synopsis: The Evil Cookie Publishing presents Gorefest, an extreme horror anthology. 14 Authors carve their path through the muck and grime to celebrate the art of gore. From a demented love triangle to the hollowed pleas of a blood-soaked savior, the following stories grip and grind through a labyrinth of demented deception of unflinching and often humorous betrayals of society. The only thing for sure is that after each encounter…only the stain remains. Edited by K. Trap Jones

*Including the never before published, Stephen Kozeniewski’s 2x winning stories from 2016 & 2018 KillerCon’s Gross-Out Contests.

FEATURING STORIES FROM:

Wrath James White, Stephen Kozeniewski, Armand Rosamilia, Wesley Southard, Jay Wilburn, Jonathan Butcher, Jack Bantry & Robert Essig, Patrick C. Harrison III, Amy Grech, Donnie Goodman, Natasha Sinclair, Lucas Milliron, Daniel J. Volpe

Broken Moons: Multiple Authors

Synopsis: Dark magic, a dying pack, and a showdown for the ages. Can one group of werewolves rise up to defeat the darkest magic they’ve ever known?

As the beta of his pack, Lyle is fiercely protective of the wolves he calls family. But when they’re forced to banish one of their strongest members, Lyle worries their close-knit bonds will be jeopardized. When the pack alpha goes missing, Lyle is tasked with confronting the reality of a dark and dangerous threat.

Scared for their safety, the wolves are forced to band together to try and get the angle on their new enemy. But when they discover their adversary was once one of their own, they’ll need to find the strength to fight a familiar wolf. Can the dwindling pack defeat the traitor before the future of their kind is destroyed?

Broken Moons is a thrilling paranormal adventure with chapters written by twelve incredible authors. If you like gritty underdogs, dangerous black magic, and supernatural adventures, then you’ll love WPC Press’s newest release.

Buy Broken Moons to fight for vengeance today!

Cursed

After the loss of her husband, Susan sought a safe place to rebuild a life for herself and her six-year-old daughter, Christine. Quaint and picturesque, Porter Mines seemed ideal. Susan soon learns appearances can be deceiving.

Like many small towns, the history of Porter Mines was woven in a tapestry of dark secrets. One centered on a witch, who vowed with her dying breath to claim vengeance against those who wronged her. A ghost story rooted in grisly truth.

Can Susan protect Christine from a wrath even death couldn’t tame?

Or will her only child fall prey to the curse of Porter Mines?

Fridays 5 08/20/2021

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This week I ask. In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?

Click on the authors name to be taken to their website or amazon author page.

Lisa Marie Wood

A: Teaching. I love sharing what I’ve learned along the way with students who are interested in honing

Bio: L. Marie Wood is an award-winning psychological horror author and screenwriter. She won the Golden Stake Award for her novel The Promise Keeper. Her screenplays have won Best Horror, Best Afrofuturism/Horror/Sci-Fi, and Best Short Screenplay awards at several film festivals.Wood’s short fiction has been published widely, most recently in Slay: Stories of the Vampire Noire and Bram Stoker Award Finalist anthology, Sycorax’s Daughters.

Marc Todd

A: I answer this question in my author description. When I’m not portaging, enjoying the starry night skies under my small one-person tent, or reading, or watching endless TV series and movies, or working at my government job, or spending time with my beautiful wife Sandra, or our two daughters, Julianna and Kristina, or napping with my cats, Lily and Misa, or making craft beer in my garage, or playing cards with friends and neighbours, or listening to psychobilly heavy metal punk music, or playing first-person shooter video games, or hosting trivia nights, I have been known to write stories and poems, in an attempt to capture the musings of my mind.

Bio: Marc Todd is the writer and author of the thrilling horror novel ‘Chains’ (released in March 2021). He was raised and still resides in the Niagara Region, in southern Ontario Canada. Twice a year, in early spring and fall, he and a varied collection of friends enjoy portaging the northern Canadian woods of Algonquin, Killarney, Temagami, and the French River.

Mike Sherer

A: Hiking. I love a good hike in the wilderness.

Bio: I live in the Greater Cincinnati area of southwest Ohio. My screenplay ‘Hamal 18’ was produced in Los Angeles and released direct to DVD. My paranormal suspense novel ‘A Cold Dish’ was published by James Ward Kirk Fiction. I have also published 4 novellas (including Under a Raging Moon) and 18 short stories.

Graham Masterton

A: Poland. I didn’t find out until I was married to a Polish woman that my great-great-grandfather was Polish, and when we first travelled there (before the end of Communism) I felt an affinity with the country that I feel even more strongly now. I have travelled all over Poland and five years ago I started to organise an annual short story writing contest for Polish prisoners, in order to help their rehabilitation.

Bio: Graham Masterton has published more than thirty-five horror novels and three short story collections: his debut novel, The Manitou, was an instant bestseller. He is an Edgar Award and Bram Stoker Award-winner and a World Fantasy Award-nominee. Born in Edinburgh in 1946, he lives in Surrey in England where he is currently working on his next horror novel. 

Phil Yang

A: Business, personal finance, personal health.

Bio: Phil currently lives in Florida and is a Stetson University graduate. In his free time, he likes to watch YouTube, surf the internet, play video games, eat new food, travel and take pictures.

They are three bound by a fourth

In a chaotic, post-apocalyptic world, an endless night is closing in, and only the strong will survive. In the midst of the turmoil, fourteen-year-old Meat, and his three closest friends, embark on a mission to rescue kidnapped children from the compound enslaving them.

Battling their way through treacherous terrain and immeasurable odds, the boys must learn to lean on each other if they hope to survive. Little do they know fate has far greater plans for them. For they represent the trinity, a symbol older than time itself, that keeps the darkness at bay.

They are three, bound by a fourth, destined to save mankind.

With time running out, and the cloak of eternal night descending, can the boys find a way to turn the tables on evil?

Or will they be the next to join the growing legion of the dead?

New this week 07/26/2021

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Click on the cover image for more info or to order.

Rooster: John C Foster

Synopsis: John Gallo is a professional hitman with a history that’s spattered in blood and littered with bodies. Known in the criminal underworld as Rooster, Gallo is an assassin suffering from mental illness and constantly battling the black dog of depression that stalks him. When able to crawl out of his downward spiral and throw himself into the job, he’s a proficient, stealthy and unforgiving killer. A relentless wheeler-dealer in the game of death.

But now he finds there’s a price on his head. A vendetta that could have been placed by anyone in the gangland underground. And everyone wants to collect. From two-bit street punks to the highest echelons of organized crime. The Mafia. Yakuza. Russians. Chinese. Every crime syndicate that’s ever been on the bullet-end of his gun is now taking aim at him, intent on ending the reign of the Rooster.

After making a fast break from New York with a young actress rescued from certain death at the hands of the Chinese mob, Rooster is on the run and headed to his native Boston and promised refuge with his on-again, off-again criminal associate Grace. He quickly learns Beantown’s dark underbelly is only interested in welcoming Rooster home so thugs and gangsters can line up to seize the prize that is his head.

Determined to solve the mystery of who wants him dead and exact his own revenge, Rooster uncovers a deadly plot with tendrils that stretch across the country, revealing a conspiracy designed to achieve the ultimate retribution.

J is for Jack-o-Lantern: Anthology

Synopsis: J is for Jack-o’-Lantern, the tenth book in an epic series of twenty-six horror anthologies. Within these pages you will find a collection of thirteen disturbing stories from some of the most creative independent horror writers on the scene today. While each tale features a Jack-0’-Lantern at its core, the events taking place around it are wildly varied. From Halloween pranks going too far to creatures stalking their prey, from evil entities of the Underworld to Halloween slashers, J is for Jack-o’-Lantern will make every day feel like October 31st… Just don’t let that candle go out! are out for blood.

Her Home: Boris Bacic

Synopsis: The old walls of their home are hiding a dark secret. And with the owner in a coma, it is up to the daughters to discover what it is.

Jill and Cheryl are two estranged sisters who are brought together after their mother with dementia mysteriously falls into a coma. Eager to return to their own lives, the sisters wait for an attorney to arrive and finalize the legal issues around the house. Forced to spend time together in their childhood home, the sisters begin experiencing strange phenomena in the house.

Creepy sounds carry through the walls at night, nightmares plague them in their sleep, and dark figures manifest themselves in the corner of their eyes, only to disappear when they look at them. The longer they spend in the house, the more they begin to realize that something unnatural is going on.

They follow in their mother’s footsteps to find the dark secret that drove her to lose her mind and finally fall into a coma. But the more they find out about the foreign darkness that inhabits the house, the more they start to realize that leaving the house will solve nothing, and they have only two choices.

Put their differences aside to defeat the evil in the house, or stay divided and share their mother’s fate.

Death Rattle: Robbie Dorman

Synopsis: The newest residents of Fleet, Texas are out for blood.

The town of Fleet, Texas is dying, and long-time resident Ebner Graves can only watch. Ebner grew up in Fleet, fought for it in Vietnam, grew old there, and now it’s drying up.

Until the addition of Sunny Meadows, a planned community on the city’s outskirts. Built by foreign investor Oskar Fuchs, it’s bringing wealth back into the area, and Fuchs wants more. He’s buying up property all over town, and making generous offers with old money. But Ebner’s not buying it. Fuchs isn’t what he seems, and Ebner won’t see his town become something he hates.

And then townsfolk start dying.

Everyone who stood in the way of Fuchs, all ripped apart in gruesome murder. Suspicious, Ebner sneaks into Sunny Meadows and finds the source of the killings.

Vampires.

Sunny Meadows is their den, and Fuchs their master. Now Ebner must stop him, before Fleet is bled dry.

Introducing

This Way to Heaven

New zombie serial on Kindle Vella

On the eve of the zombie apocalypse four young boys bear witness to the dawn of a new age of extreme brutality. Trapped on the roof of the apartment building where they live, they will be forced to put aside their innocent ways and embrace the darkness that lives within all of us if they hope to survive.

Click the link below to read the first three installments for free.

This Way to Heaven

Fridays 5 with William F Nolan

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This week I’m dedicating Fridays 5 to William F Nolan, who shed his mortal coil on Thursday, July 15, 2021.

1.) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

A.)  When I sold my first story to Playboy. At that point, I knew I was a professional. That was in 1956.

2.) What is the hardest part of writing?

A.)  Sitting down in front of a sheet of blank paper (or a blank screen nowadays) and filling it with good words is the hardest part.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

A.)  Seeing my name in professional print gave me a tremendous lift, and seeing my name in print still gives me much of the same feeling today.

4.) In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?

A.)  I love cartooning and sports car racing, and the work of Max Brand.

5.) If you could ask any author, living or dead, one question, what would it be?

A.)  Bradbury said that he wanted to be buried on Mars in a Campbell soup can in the “Bradbury Abyss”. I’d ask Ray Bradbury if he found his way home to Mars.

William writes stories in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres. He is best known for coauthoring the novel Logan’s Run, with George Clayton Johnson. He co-wrote the screenplay for the 1976 horror film Burnt Offerings which starred Karen Black and Bette Davis.

Among his many awards, he was voted a Living Legend in Dark Fantasy by the International Horror Guild in 2002. During 2006, he was bestowed the honorary title of Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. In 2010, he received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Horror Writers Association.

New This Week 07/19/2021

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Click on the cover for more info or to order.

Only the Stains Remain: Ross Jeffery

Synopsis: Only The Stains Remain is the haunting story of Jude and Kyle, two brothers whose lives are destroyed when, following the death of their mother, their three abusive uncles Dwight, Lucius, and Lenny move in to the family home. But whilst Jude suffers to a degree, Kyle is the one who takes the brunt of their attention, submitting himself to preserve his younger brother’s innocence.

As a grown man, Jude’s mind turns to vengeance for what they have endured. He has waited a long time, but now he is strong enough, and cold-hearted enough, to do the deed. Enacting one harrowing revenge after another, Jude’s dark quest to punish the wrongs of the past will show that after all is said and done, only the stains of the past will remain.

To Be a Dark Mother: Anthology

Synopsis: Seventeen years ago, when the stars were right once again, the Old Ones returned to Earth to parcel out its lands amongst themselves. Some of the ruling Lords and Ladies are benevolent, providing for their humans so their lands would prosper. Some are simply aloof and govern their realms with indifference. Others, however, have grown twisted. Demented.

Sick.

The Lord of the Lake deeply adores all his Dark Mothers, but he has developed a particular fascination with his next bride-to-be. The rising adolescent, Hope, is such a promising young female, bright and spirited. What beautiful offspring she will provide him! Zung’Reth’s keen anticipation of the courtship is palpable among his many acolytes, but it is especially significant to Charity…Hope’s older sister, and five years a Dark Mother.

In this shared experience, five separate voices cry out into the cosmos to tell their woeful tales. Come explore the depths of love, passion, hope, and hopelessness as the saga plays out in this bleak, dying corner of Ronald Linson’s Patchwork Lands.

With stories by:
Ronald Linson
Deidre J Owen
Benjamin Michael Greene
Tim Mendees
and E. L. Giles

The Island: Sara Brooke

Synopsis: It is an island paradise in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

After years of preparation, Derth Island is finally ready for its first weekend guests.

But something isn’t right on this small island. For starters, there are rumors about a witch who once lived on the land and cursed the sands after her lover betrayed her.

And then, there’s the island’s northern woods—dark and dense—easy to get lost in.

Sometimes there are screams coming from the darkness …

For three unsuspecting couples, a fun weekend getaway on Derth Island turns into a nightmare.

There’s nowhere to run … nowhere to hide …

Slattery Falls: Brennan LaFaro

.Synopsis: Travis, Elsie, and Josh, college kids with a ghost-hunting habit, scour New England for the most interesting, haunted locales. Their journey eventually leads them to Slattery Falls, a small Massachusetts town living in the shadow of the Weeks House. The former home of the town’s most sinister and feared resident sits empty. At least that’s what the citizens say. It’s all in good fun. But after navigating the strange home, they find the residents couldn’t be more wrong. And now the roles are reversed. The hunters have become the hunted. Something evil refuses to release its grip, forcing the trio into one last adventure.

Abhorent Siren: John Baltisberger

Synopsis: Something is mutating the aquatic wildlife on the South Texas border, making the animals larger, hungrier, and more vicious. Something is mutating the people of Texas, turning them into cannibalistic monsters driven by their basest instincts to feed, nest, and reproduce. Something approaches San Antonio, shaking the earth with each step, driving the mutating power forth and poisoning everything it comes across. Something…abhorrent. An extreme horror novel from the author of War of Dictates and Blood & Mud

Let the adventure begin

A new kindle Vella tale

This Way to Heaven

Coming of age during the zombie apocalypse.

On the eve of the zombie apocalypse four boys bear witness to the dawn of a new age of brutality. Trapped on the roof of the apartment building where they live, they will be forced to put aside their innocent ways and embrace the darkness within if they hope to survive.

This Way to Heaven

In All Roads Lead to Terror, Meat and his friends are confronted by a cult of boys who worship a creature of the night in a twisted mockery of Christianity. This Way to Heaven, is their story.

Episodes one and two are currently available, episode three will drop the end of this week. The first three episodes will be free. As most of the book has already been written my goal is to add two, or more, episodes per month until the story is complete.

Read Episode 1 (The sky is burning.) HERE!

New This Week 07/12/2021

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Not much to share this week, summers in full swing and its usually not the best time for publishing speculative fiction. A couple are pre-orders due out next week. As always click on the cover image for more info and to order. Yes, they are affiliate links, but I only get pennies for any purchases and every little bit helps offset the costs.

Dead Jack and the Old Gods: James Aquilone

Synopsis: COSMIC HORROR! LOVECRAFTIAN MADNESS! FAIRY DUST!

In the third book in the Dead Jack series, Eldritch terrors threaten to invade Pandemonium. Can Jack, Oswald and Zara Moonbeam stop them?

The series is being developed for film and TV. Read Dead Jack and the Old Gods now before it hits the screen! The book also features several interior illustrations.

Only the Stains Remain: Ross Jeffery

Synopsis: Only The Stains Remain is the haunting story of Jude and Kyle, two brothers whose lives are destroyed when, following the death of their mother, their three abusive uncles Dwight, Lucius, and Lenny move in to the family home. But whilst Jude suffers to a degree, Kyle is the one who takes the brunt of their attention, submitting himself to preserve his younger brother’s innocence.

As a grown man, Jude’s mind turns to vengeance for what they have endured. He has waited a long time, but now he is strong enough, and cold-hearted enough, to do the deed. Enacting one harrowing revenge after another, Jude’s dark quest to punish the wrongs of the past will show that after all is said and done, only the stains of the past will remain.

To Be a Dark Mother: Anthology

Synopsis: Seventeen years ago, when the stars were right once again, the Old Ones returned to Earth to parcel out its lands amongst themselves. Some of the ruling Lords and Ladies are benevolent, providing for their humans so their lands would prosper. Some are simply aloof and govern their realms with indifference. Others, however, have grown twisted. Demented.

Sick.

The Lord of the Lake deeply adores all his Dark Mothers, but he has developed a particular fascination with his next bride-to-be. The rising adolescent, Hope, is such a promising young female, bright and spirited. What beautiful offspring she will provide him! Zung’Reth’s keen anticipation of the courtship is palpable among his many acolytes, but it is especially significant to Charity…Hope’s older sister, and five years a Dark Mother.

In this shared experience, five separate voices cry out into the cosmos to tell their woeful tales. Come explore the depths of love, passion, hope, and hopelessness as the saga plays out in this bleak, dying corner of Ronald Linson’s Patchwork Lands.

With stories by:
Ronald Linson
Deidre J Owen
Benjamin Michael Greene
Tim Mendees
and E. L. Giles

Fridays 5 07/09/2021

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If you could ask any author, living or dead, one question, who would you ask? And what would you ask them?

Clicking on the authors name will take you to their website or amazon author page.

Diane Johnson

A: I might ask Stephen King why he disliked Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining so much (also written by Diane Johnson, who isn’t me). I loved King’s book and I loved the movie. His answer might give some insight on how to handle book to screen adaptations. Because movies are a different thing, and book readers often expect movies to be exact replicas of the book. Having started as a screenwriter, I think it’s important to understand why that doesn’t often happen.

Bio: Diane graduated from Binghamton University with a B.A. in Film Theory. She first embarked on her storytelling journey as a screenwriter, and she apologizes. She has a husband. And kids. And if this writing thing takes off, maybe she’ll invest in a dog. A rescue, of course!

William F Nolan

A: Bradbury said that he wanted to be buried on Mars in a Campbell soup can in the “Bradbury Abyss”. I’d ask Ray Bradbury if he found his way home to Mars.

Bio: William writes stories in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres. He is best known for coauthoring the novel Logan’s Run, with George Clayton Johnson. He co-wrote the screenplay for the 1976 horror film Burnt Offerings which starred Karen Black and Bette Davis.

Among his many awards, he was voted a Living Legend in Dark Fantasy by the International Horror Guild in 2002. During 2006, he was bestowed the honorary title of Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. In 2010, he received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Horror Writers Association.

Scott Nicholson

A:  I’d like to ask Mark Twain what he thinks of the 21st Century. I am sure he’d have a grand time making sport of Facebook!

Bio: Scott haphazardly trades words for magic beans and uses “haphazardly” as often as possible while decrying the overuse of adverbs. He had 105 rejections before his first story sale and over 400 before he sold a novel. He hasn’t learned much from his mistakes but thinks he’ll probably improve with practice. If nothing else, he’s become a better liar.

Entering the digital era with a vengeance, Nicholson has sold more than half a million ebooks. He is releasing original titles, audio books, children’s books, translated editions, and graphic novels.

Craig Saunders

A: Joe Hill…when’s the next book coming out!? haha – I love Joe Hill, since reading Heart Shaped Box.

Bio: Craig Saunders lives in Norfolk, England, with his wife and three children, who he pretends to listen to while making up stories in his head. He has published more than two dozen short stories, and is the author of the novels Rain, Spiggot, and The Love of the Dead. Craig publishes science fiction with Severed Press. He also publishes novels independently under the Dark Fable Books/Fable Books labels and considers himself a hybrid author.

Craig writes in a shed and blogs about writing and his ongoing battle with schizophrenic affective disorder and he is a fierce advocate for mental health rights.

David A Simpson

David A Sinpson Author Photo

A: John the Revelator on the isle of Patmos shortly after he had his visions. I don’t think I have a specific question, I would ask him to tell me more. As a 20th-century man, I think I could understand what he saw better than he did.

Bio: David A. Simpson is an Amazon bestselling author of the Zombie Road and Feral Children series. He loves to travel and has a long list of places to visit on his bucket list. He likes weird things and will drive a hundred miles out of his way to see a weird sculpture made from junkyard parts or a Bonnie and Clyde museum.

Goodreads Giveaway.

100 copies.

Click on the cover to sign up.

Work in Progress

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Here’s another little taste of my current work in progress, Bitter Hollow. I’ shooting for fall of this year with this one. Sheriff Burris stops by the hospital to check on my main character. Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

“One more thing,” I said.

“Sure,” he said with a strained smile and I began to suspect I was pushing my luck. But he settled into his seat with no further comment.

“Harold said something got into them, and about a place called Bitter Hollow, what is it?”

The Sheriff, whose gaze had been wandering, suddenly zeroed back in on me, pinning me to my pillow with a stare that tried to mask an uneasiness fluttering around the edges of his hardened features.

“What did he say, exactly?” the sheriff said as he leaned forward.

“He said it got into him, it was in all of them, and something about warning him to stay away from Bitter Hollow.”

“It’s nothing to worry about, really.” Sheriff Burris patted my good shoulder with a reassuring touch. “It’s just an old wives’ tales, and folk lore. The older folk around these parts come from a time and place where such things were believed to be real.”

“So, what is it?”

“Nothing, really, you focus on getting better.” The sheriff pushed himself up from his seat.

“You know, I spent six years walking a beat in Baltimore, another six carrying a gold shield, three of those on major cases. I know when someone’s lying to me, and you’re lying, what gives about Bitter Hollow?”

Taking a deep breath, the sheriff settled back into his seat, “there’s not much to tell, really, back when my father was a young boy a traveling preacher held a tent revival in Bitter Hollow, said the name fit as everyone he met seemed bitter and distant. Of course, in them days if you weren’t family or known by such, no one really trusted you. He felt he could do some good for the people of the area, bring god into their lives and give them some hope.”

“The night of the revival someone knocked over an oil lamp and the old canvas of the tent, dry as tinder, went up like a match. Only about twenty people, the preacher among them, managed to escape. There were some in the area who believed an evil spirit was responsible for what happened and avoided the place from then on. Some even went as far as to accuse the preacher of being a demon in disguise.”

“What happened to the preacher?”

“Word was he got lynched by an angry mob who had relatives that perished in the flames. Many of the older folks in the area believe to this day the hollow is haunted by the ghosts of all who died there. Hunters who stray into the hollow talk about seeing strange lights and hearing voices where there should be none.”

“A few years later someone built a church on the site of the revival fire, but it never really took off and quickly fell into disrepair. I’m not sure if it’s still standing, haven’t had much call to go that way. The last of the families that lived in the hollow left while I was in high school. The only people who go that way now is the occasional tourist that gets lost. The county doesn’t even plow the road anymore. A waste of taxpayer money as the road dead ends in the hollow.”

Sheriff Burris glanced at his watch and pushed himself to his feet, “I need to get going, I’ve got a meeting with the county budget office to go over next quarters budget.”

“Sounds like fun, thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate it.”

“Of course, and don’t worry about what the paper says, the state police will issue their findings that I know will clear you of any wrongdoing. People will soon forget what happened, they always do, especially when a new scandal draws their attention. You get some rest, and I’ll see you a couple of weeks from today.”

Goodreads Giveaway

Click on the cover to enter.

100 copies up for grabs.

New This Week 07/05/2021

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I hope everyone enjoyed their fourth of July weekend, if they celebrate the holiday. If not, hope you had a good weekend. We’ve got some new releases this week. Click on the cover for more info or to order. Yes, they are affiliate links, but I only make a few pennies on any sale.

Side Roads : Rachel A Brune (Collection)

Synopsis: Clockwork fairies, arachnid mothers, the Carnival Ghost…

The stories gathered here take the reader on a winding trip down a darkened road as the battery in your phone slowly dies. The threads of this collection weave a tale of wrong turns in the early morning hours, of faded photographs that don’t quite fit one’s memory, of dying monarchs and has-been superheroes.

In these pages, you will find the eerie, the grim, and the lost souls that wander the gloom. These stories were born of dark nights and cold drives and the certain knowledge that, as winter sets in and the nights grow longer, there’s more out there in the darkness than the shadows let on.

Glass House: John Palisano

Synopsis: A housesitting job at the Glass House unlocks lost memories and forgotten regrets. The house was see through, and so became the things that dwelled inside . . . This is not a dark ride. Come to a place where the dead are still alive.

Told through poetry, lyrics and prose, GLASS HOUSE: A novella is an expressive and experimental exploration of grief and memory from author John Palisano, Bram Stoker Award winning author of GHOST HEART, NERVES and DUST OF THE DEAD as well as numerous short stories.

Encyclopedia Sharksploitanica: Susan Snyder

Synopsis: Five decades ago, Jaws scared the swimsuits off of us and lit the fuse for a beloved little horror movie sub-genre called Sharksploitation. From the blatant rip-offs of the 1970’s to the CGI assault of modern movies, shark movies are going strong and still satiating our appetite for toothy carnage.

With her education as a marine biologist and her experience diving with sharks, Susan brings her distinct perspective to 85 of Sharkploitation’s most notorious, ridiculous and sometimes pointless contributions to film. Don’t let her fool you though. This is really a tongue-in-cheek love letter to shark cinema … the good, the bad and the “so bad it’s good”.

In this all-teeth-no-bones collection of reviews, interviews, essays, rants and even some poetry, Susan dissects the genre as a whole and explores everything she loves, and hates, about Sharksploitation movies.

Lambs Among Wolves: Russell James

Synopsis: Evil may soon consume mankind, if the demons have their way.

After the death of her father, young Cyndi Fisher travels to Paris to meet the grandfather she never knew. That man turns out to be Father Jack Cahill, a renegade exorcist who was unaware he’d fathered a child before taking his vows.

Cyndi is soon drawn into Father Jack’s world, where demons from Hell are possessing humans and robbing Europe’s churches of sacred relics. From the cathedrals of Paris, through the graveyards of France, and into the sewers of Rome, they confront the possessed, battle risen corpses, and fight gang members sent to stop them.

They uncover a plot to set Satan free upon the Earth, but stopping it seems impossible. Demons are always one step ahead of them, and each manifestation is more powerful than the last. Stopping Satan’s return will take courage and faith. Will an aged priest and an agnostic teen have enough of either?

Smashwords Summer Sale

My books Cursed, and All Roads Lead to Terror are included in this sale. Get Cursed for only $0.99. Or grab a free copy of All Roads Lead to Terror, the first book in my post-apocalyptic series This Lawless Land.

Click on the cover to order.
Click on the cover to order.

Fridays 5 07/02/2021

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Happy 4th of July for those who celebrate the holiday. As you may have noticed this week I’m back. Hopefully for good. Real life has been rather intrusive of late. Anyways, this week I ask:

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Click on the authors name to be taken to their website or amazon author page.

Thomas F Monteleone

A: When I was 12 years old and spent a summer’s worth of lawn cutting money on a Royal manual typewriter.

Bio: Thomas F. Monteleone is an American science fiction author and horror fiction author. His first novel, Seeds of Change was the lead-off title in the critically unsuccessful Laser Books line of science fiction titles, but he went on to become a popular writer of supernatural thrillers.

Thomas F Monteleone has been a professional writer since 1972, and 4-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award. He has published more than 100 short stories in numerous magazines and anthologies. His stories have been nominated for many awards and have appeared in many best-of-the-year compilations.

Eric A Shelman

A: In 1992, I sold a short story called The Crossing for $2.00. That was the moment I felt I was a writer.

Bio: Eric lives in southwest Florida with his wife, Linda. A fan of horror since he was young, he’s been writing since his teens. Growing up his room was filled with monster models, including The Wolfman, Dr. Phibes, Frankenstein’s Monster, and many others. His first novel, A Reason To Kill, was about a serial killer before he moved on to his true passion with The Witches of Laguna Beach. In 2009, after a 12 year hiatus, he wrote Dead Hunger. He currently has over 20 books to his credit, all but two of which are novels.

A.M.  Harte

A:  I’ve been writing for far longer than I can remember, but I honestly never seriously thought of myself as a writer until recently.

I started out as a voracious reader. I lived books, breathed books. Writing was something I did on the side, for myself, a clumsy attempt to emulate the books that gave me so much pleasure. A way to get those characters rattling around in my head out onto a page, to live out my dreams.

Throughout my late teenage years, things changed. From emailing chapters to my sister, I progressed to posting work online. I gained readers — readers who came back every week for more. Their encouragement and support made something click in my head. It confirmed to me that I wanted to be a writer, wanted to keep writing and sharing stories.

That’s when I started thinking of myself as a writer.

See, despite the romantic ideal of the lonely author locked up in a cave somewhere, inscribing words on a stone tablet fueled only by alcohol and caffeine, I ultimately believe that writing is for readers. If you don’t want someone to read that story one day, why write it down? I think that’s why I only recently began to think of myself as a writer, because previously I wasn’t really writing to share.

 Are you a writer if you don’t have readers? If a tree falls in an empty forest, does it make a sound?

Bio: A.M. Harte writes twisted speculative fiction, such as the zombie love anthology Hungry For You. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what ‘free time’ means, and is utterly addicted to chocolate.

Lee Taylor

Lee Alan Taylor Author Photo

A: That is a tough one. Consider because I got paid? or because I wrote something? I think most writers consider themselves a writer after writing something but for me, even though I’d been writing since a child, I never thought about considering myself a writer until I started getting positive feedback from readers. My mind changed from – I like writing to Wow! people like what I write –

Bio: Lee Taylor was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, UK, in 1969. He moved to Bedworth, Warwickshire at the age of 9. All his life he’s had a passion for creating things, whether it was new games to play with family and friends, drawing, or creating a story.

Alice Sobo

A.)  I think it was Rita Mae brown that said to celebrate your rejections, it means you’re off the porch and running with the big dogs. When I started submitting to magazines and contests, I considered myself officially a writer. Before that I think it was just a hobby. The commitment to finish a story, polish it and research a market for it made me feel like it was for real.

Bio: Alice Sabo is the author of character driven stories in post-apocalyptic, space opera, fantasy, and mystery series. Across genres, her characters deal with trying to make positive choices in difficult and often dangerous situations. Whether seeking lost cultures in an unforgiving galaxy or finding a murderer on the streets of LA, her books have strong world building, multi-layered characters, and a satisfying culmination.

This month I’m taking part in the smashwords summer sale.

Follow the link below for some great deals on my work.

I’m giving away copies of All Roads Lead to Terror

I’ve knocked down the price for my latest, Cursed, to only $0.99

Follow the link below.

Richard’s Smashwords Sale!

Work in Progress.

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This week I want to share a little taste of what I’ve been working on. An excerpt from my current work in progress, Bitter Hollow. I hope you enjoy, and would love to know what you think, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

BITTER HOLLOW

“Is everything okay, Harold?” I stepped onto the deck, unsnapping the strap that kept my pistol secure.

“I tried to warn him,” Harold said, turning his head to look at me with a distant stare. It was the same thousand-yard stare I saw every morning gazing back at me from the mirror while I shaved.

“Who did you try to warn, Harold?”

In the yard Harold’s German shepherd barked again, a high-pitched whiny sound I knew so well. The dog sat at the top of the yard, keeping its distance while favoring its left paw.

“It doesn’t matter.” Harold turned his attention back to the German shepherd. “It’s gotten into all of them, and there’s only one cure for what they’ve got.”

“What have they got Harold?”

“I told him to stay away from that place.”

“What place Harold?” I had to keep him talking, as long as he was talking everything would be okay.

“Bitter Hollow, you’re not from these parts,” Harold said, “you wouldn’t understand, you’re from down around the city, I’ve heard about you, and why you came here.”

“Why did I come here?” I’d eased my way onto the deck and was carefully moving towards Harold when he spun his head around and stared at me. I’d seen such fear before, in Afghanistan when the shit hit the fan, and everything went sideways. It burned in Harold’s eyes, flowing across his lined face like the touch of a shadow barely seen. It was then I spotted the revolver in his right hand hanging at his side.

“Doesn’t matter,” Harold said, bringing up the revolver. I took a step back, pulling my own weapon. But Harold didn’t turn his pistol in my direction. Instead, he aimed at the German shepherd.

“We can’t let it get out,” Harold said as he drew a bead on the dog.

“Put your weapon down.” I took a two-handed stance and settled the forward sight on Harold’s chest.

“Fuck you,” Harold said before squeezing off a shot. The German shepherd darted to the right as a spurt of dirt was thrown up to his left. The sharp crack of the shot rolled away into the distance.

“I said put your weapon down.”

“Or what?” Harold said as he abruptly swung the muzzle in my direction. Instincts, fine turned by the brutality of the war, took over. I squeezed off one shot as Harold fired. The sound of our dual reports echoed through the forest like thunder. My bullet hit Harold high in the chest, above his heart, and a surprised expression replaced the terror lurking on his brow.

My left shoulder was driven back. It felt like I’d been hit by a sledgehammer, and my entire arm went numb. My calm, rational half, took a step back while the more primitive side took over as adrenaline flooded my system. I knew the feeling, had experienced it several times on the battlefield. It was a survival mechanism, a throwback to our distant past when reasoning with one’s enemy was not an option. When the only thing you could do was fight to survive. I knew I’d been hit, my left arm was useless, hanging dead at my side. Thankfully, I was right-handed.

Harold stood his ground for a moment, weaving back and forth on his feet. The color draining from his face as understanding dawned in his eyes. He was about to die, and he knew it. He staggered towards me, the pistol still clutched in one hand, the muzzle weaving back and forth as his own blood mingled with the other blood on his clothes.

He squeezed the trigger, the sharp report echoed through the shadows as the wicked sound of the bullet slamming into the post behind me came to my ringing ears. I flashed back to another time and place when I’d been confronted by an enemy that refused to die. There was no time to dwell on these memories and I pushed them away as I steadied my weapon, and the old man took another step towards me.

A shadow washed across Harold’s face, contorting his features. The dog barking in the back yard came to me as if from a million miles away. The old man smiled and opened his mouth to speak, darkness escaping the prison behind his teeth as I fired again, aiming higher this time. Harold’s head whipped back, a bloody wound forming a third eye in the center of his forehead. Something old and terrifying crawled through my belly when Harold lowered his head to look at me with those flat, dead, eyes. A wicked smile bisecting the bottom half of his face.

What do you think?

I’m currently running a Goodreads giveaway from my latest novel CURSED.

Sign up here: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/326463-cursed

Cursed

New This Week 06/28/2021

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Click on the cover for more info or to order.

Dismal Dreams: Red Lagoe

Synopsis: Every day is steeped in horror. An inexplicable force in the wild. A serpent lurking in the shadows. Or the sinister thoughts forged in the deepest abyss of a tortured mind.

Lagoe offers a gamut of horrific experiences artfully woven into thirteen stories. Explore the darkness within a selfish heart, face death among ghosts, and roar into the snarling maw of the beast. Horror can be empowering if we can survive our most dismal dreams.

Red Lagoe, author of Lucid Screams, brings us her follow up collection of horror shorts, Dismal Dreams, with a foreword by Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Devil’s Dreamland, Sara Tantlinger.

As The Wheel Turns – More tales from the weald: Stephanie Ellis

Synopsis: The Weald is full of strange folk. A rural idyll on the surface, it is home to many a bloody tradition. The novel, The Five Turns of the Wheel, outlined the most horrific of these – or did it?

In these short stories, Tommy, Betty and Fiddler reappear alongside others of their kind and continue to spread their unique brand of cruelty across the Weald.

The Wheel never stopped turning.

Beneath a Pale Sky: Phillip Fracassi

Synopsis: Beneath a Pale Sky collects eight stories of horror, including two original novellettes, that will take you from the high-security ward of a mental hospital to the top of a Ferris Wheel on an ocean pier. These stories will bury you in the rubble of an earthquake, pull back the veil on a soul’s journey into the afterlife, and turn a small midwestern town into the secret domain of cross-dimensional gods. Combining old-school horror with the modern weird, Philip Fracassi will take you places you’ve never been before, and show you sights you won’t soon forget.The supernatural intrudes upon a wedding; a pier becomes the site of tragedy; a collapsed building is only the start of the nightmare for those trapped in the ruins; a scientist who makes the discovery of a lifetime, only to find out that what he’s unearthed has dire consequences not only for himself, but for all of mankind.

Under Twin Suns – Alternate histories of the yellow sign: Assorted Authors

Synopsis: In this anthology of weird fiction, twenty-two authors share their harrowing visions of worlds shaped by the Yellow Sign, in stories and poems inspired by Robert W. Chambers’s foundational works of weird horror. From the personal to the historic, from the macabre to the fantastic, the stories and poems gathered here illuminate new, unexpected realities shaped by the King in Yellow, under the sway of the Yellow Sign, or in the grip of madnesses inspired by their power.

Goodreads Giveaway

I’m running a Goodreads giveaway for my novel Cursed in the U.S.

100 copies available.

Click on the cover to enter.

New This Week 05/31/2021

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Let us pause for a moment to remember our brothers and sisters who gave their lives so others could live free.

Click on the cover image for more info or to order.

Til We Become Monsters: Amanda Headlee

Synopsis: Monsters exist and Korin Perrin knew this as truth because his grandmother told him so. Korin, raised in the shadow of his older brother Davis, is an imaginative child who believes his brother is a monster. After the death of their grandmother, seven-year-old Korin, blaming Davis for her demise, tries to kill him. Sixteen years following the attempt on Davis’ life, racked with guilt, Korin comes to terms with the fact that Davis may not be the one who is the monster after all.

Past wrongs needing to be righted, Korin agrees to a hunting trip with his brother and father. But they, along with two friends, never make it to their destination. An accident along the way separates the hunters in the dark forests of Minnesota during the threat of an oncoming blizzard. As the stranded hunters search for each other and safety, an ancient evil wakes.

Unburied – A Collection of Queer Dark Fiction: Anthology

Synopsis: In a bloody twist on the antiquated trope of “burying the gays,” the newest anthology from Dark Ink Books boasts brand new short stories spotlighting LGBTQ+ characters. Presenting the darkest of themes as explored by sixteen established and award-winning genre fiction scribes from around the globe, Unburied contains creature features and paranormal hauntings, shadow fables and dreadful delusions. This twisted box of curiosities serves the readers a cornucopia of chilling horror, sci-fi terror, and dark fantasy. Prepare to unearth your deepest nightmares.

Featuring brand new fiction from Felice Picano, Greg Herren, Daniel M. Jaffe, J. Askew, Laramie Dean, Laura DeHaan, Christina Delia, Sarah Lyn Eaton, Thomas Kearnes, Veronica Kirin, George Daniel Lea, Azzurra Nox, Elin Olausson, Robert P. Ottone, Louis Stephenson, M.C. St. John

Malignant Summer: Tim Meyer

Synopsis: It’s 1998 in Hooperstown, New Jersey and people are getting sick. Some citizens blame the local chemical plant. A select few believe something far more terrifying is responsible, a dreadful force that causes nightmarish visions and aberrant illnesses. Bad things are blooming in Hooperstown, and the stench of death is growing stronger…

Standing on the edge of summer break after the longest last day of eighth grade ever, Doug Simms and his two best friends join a group of older kids for an all-night scavenger hunt. It’s supposed to be a celebration, an evening of fun and freedom. But what happens that night will change their summer in the darkest ways imaginable. And not just their summer…but their entire lives.

MALIGNANT SUMMER is a coming-of-age epic where innocence is lost and the path through adolescence is painful. Where dreamscapes merge with reality. Where love seems possible, and the best season feels like it can last forever.

Snailbutter: Ben Fitts

Synopsis: A campy horror of regret, synchronously morphing into a monstrous, unexpected outcome. High school adultescent can be tough sometimes, especially if you’re hiding inside a snail shell refusing to come out, shelling out the world around you even your best friend. Snailbutter is a Bizarro punch of imagination packed with evil genetically-modified animals, sexy robots, Nazi scientists, cannibal lovers, cute British girls from other dimensions, and much more. What will become of Brian while he is inside the giant snail shell?

New This Week 05/23/2021

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Click on the cover for more info or to order.

With Teeth: Brian Keene

Synopsis: For a group of middle-aged friends, the trip into the forest was supposed to be simple. All they had to do was find a place to set up their criminal enterprise, and all of their financial problems would be solved. But now, night is falling, and with the darkness comes something else. Something fast. Something ferocious. Something… with teeth.

Determined – Ghost Cat Canyon: Delta James

Synopsis: An ancient tale tells of a powerful shifter who loses his heart to a human.
Their love is doomed by a father who disapproves.
Is the curse still alive and well?

Cade Waverly is a decorated member of Delta Force. He has come back to his small town in the Idaho Panhandle to lay his mother to rest.

Trey Mitchell is the self-assured girl next door who has loved him for as long as she can remember.

After a night of secret and undeniable passion, Cade leaves her sleeping in order to return to his unit and to keep her safe from the dangers that lurk everywhere in Looking Glass Falls.

When their paths cross in the Capitol, will Cade and Trey find the courage to face down the evil that kept them apart?

As Though Before a Vengeful God: Hugh Neill

Synopsis: 1937. After surviving a gunshot wound, a man starts having the nightmares of the man who donated the blood that saved his life.

1943. A team of rugged special ops scouts in Alaska are tasked with escorting a mysterious prisoner across a remote island where a battle against no enemy somehow resulted in 300 casualties.

A historical horror. Part one of a trilogy.

Fridays 5 05/21/2021

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Clicking on the authors name will take you to their website or Amazon Author page.

This week I ask: What is the hardest part of writing?

Dave Wimset

Dave Wimset author photo

A: The first draft when I have to start with nothing and create the initial story and characters. Once that is down, the second, third and so on drafts are much easier.

Bio: David A. Wimsett’s stories contain female and male characters who examine themselves and their place in the world. He is the author of the women’s fiction novel Beyond the Shallow Bank and The Carandir Saga, an epic fantasy series consisting of Dragons Unremembered, Half Awakened Dreams, and Covenant with the Dragons.

He is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, the Canadian Freelance Guild and the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia where he sits on the Writer’s Council. He lives in Nova Scotia, Canada near the sea.

SJ Krandall

A: The hardest part of writing for me is editing. Editing is a must and I have editors that are very helpful. It is the time when I get to add all the details which is the fun part. However, it is a long repetitive process and it takes time involving many rewrites. 

Bio:  S. J. Krandall is a horror author whose recent work was published in summer of 2020.  She was born in Florida but raised in New Jersey where she still resides with my husband, their two sons and two dogs. For more than twenty years she has worked with children with varying abilities as both a teacher and an aide. Now, a stay a home mom, she cares for her family and takes time to enjoy other interests. Her work in progress includes her second book to her series and a variety of short stories. 

Mike Sherer

A: Promotion. I do not enjoy it. I’d rather be writing.

Bio: I live in the Greater Cincinnati area of southwest Ohio. My screenplay ‘Hamal 18’ was produced in Los Angeles and released direct to DVD. My paranormal suspense novel ‘A Cold Dish’ was published by James Ward Kirk Fiction. I have also published 4 novellas (including Under a Raging Moon) and 18 short stories.

Pete Mesling

A: It’s all hard. No single aspect of it is easy. But the pleasure it brings can be great. In fact, the pleasure has to outweigh the difficulty, I think, or you won’t last very long in this discipline. It takes too much from you, demands too many sacrifices, to be undertaken without joy.

Bio: Pete Mesling has published poetry and fiction widely, including two highly regarded horror collections, a book of poetry, and a novel of intrigue and suspense. Other publishing highlights include All-American Horror of the 21st Century, the First Decade: 2000 – 2010 (Independent Legions Publishing); Survive the Night: Three at Dusk, Two at Dawn (forthcoming from Dark Regions Press); Shallow Waters, Vol. 3 (Crystal Lake Publishing); and two of the Poetry Showcase anthologies put out by the Horror Writers Association. Mesling is the official Clive Barker proofreader for Gauntlet Press.

Phil Yang

A: Avoiding procrastinating. Persevering through difficulties and doubts in general of being a writer.

Bio: Phil currently lives in Florida and is a Stetson University graduate. In his free time, he likes to watch YouTube, surf the internet, play video games, eat new food, travel and take pictures.

New This Week 05/17/2021

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Click on the cover for more info or to order.

The Crucifixion Experiments: Gord Rollo

Synopsis: Jake Mercer’s life is spiraling out of control. As a criminal profiler and one of the senior homicide investigators in the Oakland Police Department, he’s spent the last twenty-five years getting inside the heads of killers and trying to understand the way they think. He’s the best at what he does, but constantly playing in the minds of madmen carries a heavy price, leaving Jake an out of shape, alcoholic loner suspended from active duty.

THE MURDERS HAVE STARTED…

Another serial killer is prowling the streets now, a violent lunatic who’s making a game of nailing retired Catholic priests to trees and bridges and hydro poles around the city. Torture and murder isn’t enough, the predator experimenting with the bodies of his victims to further whatever diabolical plan only they seem to know.

THE EXPERIMENTS HAVE BEGUN…

Broken down or not, Lieutenant Mercer just might be the only man who can catch this killer before the frightened citizens of Oakland start to panic. Reinstated back onto the force and trying his best to stay out of the bottle, Jake finds himself teamed up with two rookie detectives in what will be his most difficult case ever, and quite possibly his last.

Night Terrors and Other Tales: Lisa Morton

Synopsis: An abused child finds comfort in the friendship of Frankenstein’s monster…a near-future Halloween party becomes an act of global terrorism…one of the world’s wealthiest men goes in search of his fate as he rots from within…Hans Holbein’s famed “Dance of Death” engravings are revealed to be an instruction manual…a man trapped on an isolated road confronts both a terrifying creature and the legacy of his tough-as-nails grandfather…

Night Terrors and Other Tales is the first major collection to gather together twenty of Lisa Morton’s finest short stories (chosen by the author herself). During a career that has spanned more than three decades, she has produced work that has been hailed as “consistently dark, unsettling, and frightening” (the American Library Association’s Readers Advisory Guide to Horror).If you’ve never encountered Lisa Morton’s work before, you’ll find out why Famous Monsters called her “one of the best writers in dark fiction today.” If you’re already a fan, this collection will offer up a chance to revisit these acclaimed and award-winning stories. You’ll also find a new story here, written just for this collection: “Night Terrors” reveals ordinary people trying to cope with extraordinary and terrifying dreams that have spread like a plague.

Before He Wakes: Mark Allen Gunnells

Synopsis: Patrick and Clare wake up trapped in a basement, a thin wall separating their cells. Their captor is mysteriously absent, which at first seems like a blessing. As more time passes with no food or water, they begin to realize a clock is ticking for their survival.

Six: Mark Cassell

Synopsis: From Mark Cassell, author of the Shadow Fabric mythos, comes SIX!
Featuring a variety of dark tales, from the sinister to the outright terrifying, this unique collection is a must for horror readers everywhere.
Includes the stories Skin, All in the Eyes, In Loving Memory, The Space Between Spaces, On Set With North, and Don’t Swear in Mum’s House.

Fridays 5 05/14/2021

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This week I ask: How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

Click on the authors name to be taken to their website or amazon author page.

Lisa Marie Wood

A: Elated. Accomplished. Like I had taken the title for “most amazing moment” for one second in time. Seriously, there is nothing like holding your finished work in your hands, printed, and published. To call it joyful is simply not enough.

Bio: L. Marie Wood is an award-winning psychological horror author and screenwriter. She won the Golden Stake Award for her novel The Promise Keeper. Her screenplays have won Best Horror, Best Afrofuturism/Horror/Sci-Fi, and Best Short Screenplay awards at several film festivals.Wood’s short fiction has been published widely, most recently in Slay: Stories of the Vampire Noire and Bram Stoker Award Finalist anthology, Sycorax’s Daughters.

Lee Andrew Taylor

Lee Alan Taylor Author Photo

A: That is a tough one also – It’s hard to get excited for me when a publisher wants to publish my work. I think I had three publishers who took on my first novel. The first one ended up to be a waste of time. A wannabe publisher that was just a bunch of self-published authors with a TITLE to get attention. It was the same for the others. They wanted 70% to just advertise my novel on their website. No marketing of my work. I can do more than what they did being a self-published author and get the 70%…

Bio: Lee Taylor was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, UK, in 1969. He moved to Bedworth, Warwickshire at the age of 9. All his life he’s had a passion for creating things, whether it was new games to play with family and friends, drawing, or creating a story.

Eric A Shelman

A: At the completion and release of my first full-length book, it was a major milestone … a hump that once you’re over, the floodgates open and the next and the next are easier.

Bio: Eric lives in southwest Florida with his wife, Linda. A fan of horror since he was young, he’s been writing since his teens. Growing up his room was filled with monster models, including The Wolfman, Dr. Phibes, Frankenstein’s Monster, and many others. His first novel, A Reason To Kill, was about a serial killer before he moved on to his true passion with The Witches of Laguna Beach. In 2009, after a 12 year hiatus, he wrote Dead Hunger. He currently has over 20 books to his credit, all but two of which are novels.

Diane Johnson

A: I was nervous with my first publication. I’m sure everyone is. I’m not good at self-promotion, and it was a self-published book, so there’s a little bit of a stigma with that. Imposter syndrome is real! But I was also excited to get that first book out there, to have something finished and in my hands.

Bio: Diane graduated from Binghamton University with a B.A. in Film Theory. She first embarked on her storytelling journey as a screenwriter, and she apologizes. She has a husband. And kids. And if this writing thing takes off, maybe she’ll invest in a dog. A rescue, of course!

Alice Sobo

A: Ecstatic! I think it was an essay for a local free magazine – small beans in the writing world – but it was a thrill. I snatched a ton of copies and mailed them to all my friends.

Bio: Alice Sabo is the author of character driven stories in post-apocalyptic, space opera, fantasy, and mystery series. Across genres, her characters deal with trying to make positive choices in difficult and often dangerous situations. Whether seeking lost cultures in an unforgiving galaxy or finding a murderer on the streets of LA, her books have strong world building, multi-layered characters, and a satisfying culmination.

Fridays 5 05/07/2021

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This week I ask: In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?

Click on the authors name to be taken to their website.

Marc Todd

A: I answer this question in my author description. When I’m not portaging, enjoying the starry night skies under my small one-person tent, or reading, or watching endless TV series and movies, or working at my government job, or spending time with my beautiful wife Sandra, or our two daughters, Julianna and Kristina, or napping with my cats, Lily and Misa, or making craft beer in my garage, or playing cards with friends and neighbours, or listening to psychobilly heavy metal punk music, or playing first-person shooter video games, or hosting trivia nights, I have been known to write stories and poems, in an attempt to capture the musings of my mind.

Bio: Marc Todd is the writer and author of the thrilling horror novel ‘Chains’ (released in March 2021). He was raised and still resides in the Niagara Region, in southern Ontario Canada. Twice a year, in early spring and fall, he and a varied collection of friends enjoy portaging the northern Canadian woods of Algonquin, Killarney, Temagami, and the French River.

Thomas F Montelone

A: I am passionate about my family. Son, daughter, grandkids, and wife are simply everything to me. (. . . And bourbon isn’t so bad either. )

Bio: Thomas F Monteleone has been a professional writer since 1972, and 4-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award. He has published more than 100 short stories in numerous magazines and anthologies. His stories have been nominated for many awards and have appeared in many best-of-the-year compilations.

A.M. Harte

A:  Reading. Chocolate. Yorkshire puddings. Roast potatoes. Food in general, actually. Mmmm, food…

 I love languages. As a child, I was shunted around Europe a lot, so I speak four, in varying degrees of fluency. I’d like to pick up a fifth at some point…

A.M. Harte writes twisted speculative fiction, such as the zombie love anthology Hungry For You. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what ‘free time’ means, and is utterly addicted to chocolate.

William F Nolan

A:  I love cartooning and sports car racing, and the work of Max Brand.

Bio: William writes stories in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres. He is best known for coauthoring the novel Logan’s Run, with George Clayton Johnson. He co-wrote the screenplay for the 1976 horror film Burnt Offerings which starred Karen Black and Bette Davis.

Among his many awards, he was voted a Living Legend in Dark Fantasy by the International Horror Guild in 2002. During 2006, he was bestowed the honorary title of Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. In 2010, he received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Horror Writers Association.

Pete Mesling

A: Music, especially writing acoustic guitar music. It’s been one of the sacrifices I’ve had to make in order to bring fiction writing front and center, but I hope to be able to return to making music in a more serious way again. Music is really the other side of the coin for me, on par with fiction. And I’m talking about reading/listening as much as writing/composing.

Bio: Pete Mesling has published poetry and fiction widely, including two highly regarded horror collections, a book of poetry, and a novel of intrigue and suspense. Other publishing highlights include All-American Horror of the 21st Century, the First Decade: 2000 – 2010 (Independent Legions Publishing); Survive the Night: Three at Dusk, Two at Dawn (forthcoming from Dark Regions Press); Shallow Waters, Vol. 3 (Crystal Lake Publishing); and two of the Poetry Showcase anthologies put out by the Horror Writers Association. Mesling is the official Clive Barker proofreader for Gauntlet Press.

New This Week 05/03/2021

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Click on the cover to order.

I is for Internet: Assorted Authors

Synopsis: I is for Internet, the ninth book in an epic series of twenty-six horror anthologies. In this book you will find a collection of thirteen unsettling tales from some of the most imaginative independent horror writers on the scene today. Each story takes a new look at the potential horrors of the online world, from stalkers to cyber-demons, artificial intelligence to predators. I is for Internet will plug you straight into the mainframe and have you desperate to pull the plug.

Bayou Whispers: R.B. Wood

Synopsis: Bayou Whispers, the latest thriller from horror writer R.B. Wood, is the story of no-nonsense New Orleans native, Jeannine LaRue, the sole survivor of her family after the devastation brought on by Hurricane Katrina. In the aftermath of the storm, she believed she’d been saved, but soon found herself held hostage and sexually exploited, rescued months later by sheriff’s deputy Curtis Jones.

Twelve years after Katrina, Jeannine is a new attorney who returns to New Orleans to save her old friend Curtis Jones—now a local thief and trafficker of stolen goods—after he is arrested for the murder of Jeannine’s captors, whose bodies have recently been found. But Jeannine discovers more than she bargained for when she uncovers a family history of dark voodoo magic and an unholy alliance with an ancient evil Haitian god.

Maya’s New Husband: Neil D’Silva

Synopsis: As heads of famous celebrities begin to roll, ritualistically beheaded by a secret cult and displayed in prime locations of the city, Maya Bhargava finds herself sucked into a quagmire of her inescapable past.

Still healing from her catastrophic marriage with serial killer Bhaskar Sadachari, Maya is no longer the same person. Bhaskar is dead, but his eerie presence lingers. At nights alone in bed, she still feels his carnal touch…

Now, as the mother of Bhaskar’s child, Maya finds herself in the most conflicted maternal relationship ever.

A widow and single mother, Maya finds herself surrounded by new men—a renegade policeman who shares deep secrets with her, an affable security guard whose eye never leaves her, a sage who is now an astute politician… Men never seem to leave her alone.

Will Maya be seduced into another toxic relationship? Will she find herself again at the vortex of the terrifying crimes in the city, which carry the mark of Bhaskar Sadachari?

Will she be able to protect herself and her infant from the demons of her past and present?

Telecomuting: L. Marie Wood

Synopsis: Working from home has its perks, being able to attend meetings in your pajamas chief among them. But when the house you occupy all day is empty – when the only voice you hear after work comes through television speakers, it can get a little old.

Unless you like it that way.

And Chris did like it that way.

… until the whispering started.

Telecommuting is a modern psychological horror story set in what could be your town, your street, your house. The lyrical slow burn is subtle; the terror in this tale sneaks up on you before you know it.

An endless night is closing in.

In a chaotic, post-apocalyptic world, an endless night is closing in, and only the strong will survive. In the midst of the turmoil, fourteen-year-old Meat, and his three closest friends, embark on a mission to rescue kidnapped children from the compound enslaving them.

Battling their way through treacherous terrain and immeasurable odds, the boys must learn to lean on each other if they hope to survive. Little do they know fate has far greater plans for them. For they represent the trinity, a symbol older than time itself, that keeps the darkness at bay.

They are three, bound by a fourth, destined to save mankind.

With time running out, and the cloak of eternal night descending, can the boys find a way to turn the tables on evil?

Or will they be the next to join the growing legion of the dead?

Fridays 5 04/30/2021

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This week I ask: If you could ask any author, living or dead, one question, who would you ask, and what would it be?

Click on the authors name to be taken to their website or amazon author page.

Phil Yang

A: I would talk to Stephen King and ask if they thought my book was good enough or not so far.

Bio: Phil currently lives in Florida and is a Stetson University graduate. In his free time, he likes to watch YouTube, surf the internet, play video games, eat new food, travel and take pictures.

Mike Sherer

A: His or her opinion on my writing.

Bio: I live in the Greater Cincinnati area of southwest Ohio. My screenplay ‘Hamal 18’ was produced in Los Angeles and released direct to DVD. My paranormal suspense novel ‘A Cold Dish’ was published by James Ward Kirk Fiction. I have also published 4 novellas (including Under a Raging Moon) and 18 short stories.

Lee Andrew Taylor

Lee Alan Taylor Author Photo

A: What keeps them going in the writing world?

Bio: Lee Taylor was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, UK, in 1969. He moved to Bedworth, Warwickshire at the age of 9. All his life he’s had a passion for creating things, whether it was new games to play with family and friends, drawing, or creating a story.

David A Simpson

David A Sinpson Author Photo

A: John the Revelator on the isle of Patmos shortly after he had his visions. I don’t think I have a specific question, I would ask him to tell me more. As a 20th-century man, I think I could understand what he saw better than he did

Bio: David A. Simpson is an Amazon bestselling author of the Zombie Road and Feral Children series. He loves to travel and has a long list of places to visit on his bucket list. He likes weird things and will drive a hundred miles out of his way to see a weird sculpture made from junkyard parts or a Bonnie and Clyde museum.

David A Wimset

Dave Wimset author photo

A: I would ask J.R.R. Tolkien about how he created the many elements of his world.

Bio: David A. Wimsett’s stories contain female and male characters who examine themselves and their place in the world. He is the author of the women’s fiction novel Beyond the Shallow Bank and The Carandir Saga, an epic fantasy series consisting of Dragons Unremembered, Half Awakened Dreams, and Covenant with the Dragons.

He is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, the Canadian Freelance Guild and the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia where he sits on the Writer’s Council. He lives in Nova Scotia, Canada near the sea.

Can Susan protect her daughter from a wrath even death couldn’t tame?

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Bitter Hollow

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No weekly writing challenge this week, I’ll get back to that eventually. What you will find is a brief excerpt from my current work in progress: Bitter Hollow. I hope you enjoy it.

From the center of the door a small figure hung. At first I couldn’t tell what it was but as I drew closer its details emerged from the night. It was a small statue of Jesus on the cross, only it hung upside down, and from the crown of thorns upon his head tiny rivers of blood flowed down the surface of the door.

Unable to stop myself I knocked on the door, waiting as the sound of movement came from behind the worn facade. I focused on the small statue, realizing as I did it was not a statue as I first assumed. It was alive, and the figure of Jesus watched me with blue eyes that glowed softly in the firelight. That radiance vanishing every time he blinked.

What are you afraid of? A voice whispered in my mind.

Everything, I responded with a thought of my own.

At that point, a latch was thrown back and the door swung open to reveal Laura on the other side.

“Laura,” I whispered as I stepped closer, a part of me was still watching the cross and the tiny figure nailed to it. His head slowly shaking back and forth, as if he? It? Whatever was denying me entrance to the only true love I’d ever known.

She didn’t respond, but stood beyond the threshold, watching me with big, frightened eyes. I moved towards her, my arms outstretched. She shook her head and held out her hands to stop me from entering the house. 

“Don’t,” she said.

“I love you.”

She shook her head. “It’s too late for me.”

“What do you mean, too late?”

“Just go, forget about me, I’ve ruined things enough as it is.”

“Come with me.”

“I can’t.”

“You can.”

She shook her head, taking another step back. I took another step closer. From somewhere came an expectant sigh, the release of a pent-up breath filled with anticipation.

Don’t go in. The voice in my head warned and I glanced at the upside down cross on the door. Jesus standing on his head, thin lines of dark red blood slowly oozing down the door. He watched me with unblinking blue eyes.

What did she mean?

“Laura, please, come with me.”

“I can’t. It’s too late for me, they own me.”

“Who owns you?” My question fell on empty darkness. The door was gone, as was the upside down cross with the animated Jesus. All that remained was a crumbling doorway filled with the night. Somewhere in the black depths of the abandoned house something stirred, some ancient thing that had been waiting for eternity, stirred to life by my presence. I felt it reaching for me with the twisted claws of night and I stepped back. Away from the house that was falling in upon itself.

New This Week 04/26/2021

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Click on a cover for more info or to order.

Wild Hunters: Stuart R Brogan

Synopsis: Amid the worst storm in living memory, five Royal Marine reservists and a handful of civilians battle to survive.
But mother nature and the heavily armed mercenaries hunting them are the least of their concerns. A seemingly unstoppable Pagan force has been unleashed from the darkest depths of our ancient past – a phenomenon that will stop at nothing to see humanity reduced to ashes.
Low on ammo, no chance of rescue and surrounded by the unspeakable, it’s going to be 24 hours from hell.
Let the hunt begin.

The Caged Heart: David Speranza

Synopsis: Welcome dear Reader, just beyond is a gathering of eleven short stories on the knifes edge of reality. It is a dark place filled with a chilling insight into the human heart.
In the pages to follow, you will find out what happens to Maurice Henkell , a plane crash survivor stranded in the jungle when he’s schizophrenic medication runs out [The Delicate Sound of Madness].
Also, Rena Winters, the real estate temptress who is determined to sell, sell, sell no matter what the heinous cost to her client [Incident on 57th].
You will be introduced to Harold Stinson and witness to his dark heart as he takes heinous advice from his friend Frankho [The Gathering of Silent Strangers]
… and many, many more.
So please bring your torch and if you meet the button eyed woman along the way just remember it might just be a dream [Four].

The Hive: SW Fairbrother

Synopsis: It’s been a year since Vivia made the deal that brought her back from the underworld, and life is slowly getting back to normal. Or as normal as it can be for a death hag who has recently leveled up.

Vivia has turned full crone but along with the increased wrinkles and warts, her powers have rapidly increased and she’s struggling to keep control in a city with far too many living creatures in close range.

She’s back at her old job at the Lipscombe Trust and has no intention of being drawn into more drama. But this time it’s different. A werebee has been murdered, her body found in the shadow of her hive’s famous high rise and an old friend needs Vivia’s help to stop a coming war.

The werewasps have taken their chance to finally take down their mortal enemies the werebees. Or perhaps it’s the other way around. Either way, Vivia needs to get to the truth of an ancient feud before outright war spills onto the streets of London.

Haunted-Possession: Lee Mountford

Synopsis: Sarah Pearson and her team are sent on their first assignment together—to investigate a case of possession in Kutná Hora, Czech Republic.

Father Hus, a respected priest, has reportedly succumbed to possession from a supernatural entity. On top of that, there are stories of a ghostly and bloody monk wandering the halls at night.

As the investigation gets underway, it becomes clear there is more going on at the cathedral than they first thought. The team realise they are in a fight for their lives against a terrifying enemy with a plan that dates back centuries.

Sorry!

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My apologies for dropping the ball on this blog. I am currently changing jobs in RL and have not had the time needed to take care of things here. Everything will go back to normal in a week, two at the most, and I will continue with the regularly scheduled posts. Again I’m sorry I’ve let everyone down.

New This Week 04/05/2021

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Clicking on the cover image will take you to the books amazon sales page.

Terror in the Shadows: Various Authors

Synopsis:

When you play hide and go seek in the shadows, you never know what will find you…

A cartoon character’s crazy antics take a sinister turn when viewers become trapped in his sadistic show. Matrimony turns deadly as a husband and wife compete in a grisly game of confession. And a young child unleashes the beast within after he discovers his neighbor is not what he seems…

Scare Street is proud to present thirteen tales of supernatural horror in one volume. A cornucopia of nightmares that will capture your imagination. And it won’t let go until the final scream rings out…

As the sun sets, darkness crawls across the land. You’ve lost track of time. The witching hour has begun! Evil creeps and slithers from the shadows, and the only thing you can do now is hide.

Footsteps shuffle closer. A child’s eerie laugh echoes through the night. You close your eyes, praying they don’t see you. But deep down, you know it’s already too late.

And once you let out your final scream, the game is over…

Negative Space: Mike Robinson

Synopsis: Twilight Falls is just your standard northern California town, right? It’s not a playground for anything dark and unfathomable, right?

A provocative painter named Max Higgins is on the verge of local fame. What is the secret to his work’s haunting allure? He collects photos of missing persons and incorporates them into his paintings, giving the faces, as he puts it, a “new home in his work.” This fascination stems from the bizarre disappearances of people he knew growing up, including his father.

When someone recognizes a face in one of his paintings, he’s suddenly thrust into a journey as surreal as anything from his brush, a journey into his past that will irrevocably determine his future.

Wind Catcher – Demon in Exile: Rory Surtain

Synopsis: Don’t confuse insanity for intent.

Colivar is a Kingdom plagued by attacks from the Infernal Domain. For centuries, the Order of the Vigil has fought to stem the demonic tide and preserve the Realm, but politics and uncivil wars have depleted their ranks. For reasons unknown, the High Prince of Hell has decided to lend them a hand in the form of a demon in exile.

Politics and purpose draw a demon-slayer into a distant valley plagued by the black winds of war. In his bid to stem the dark tide of a demonic horde, he soon finds that the only path forward offers madness with every step that he takes.

In this genre-bending fantasy series, coming of age takes on a whole new meaning for a young man grappling with his inner demons as he learns to battle the fiends that are plaguing his land.

The Monsters of Chavez Ravine: Debra Castaneda

Synopsis: Before Dodger Stadium, dark forces terrorized Chavez Ravine

Los Angeles, 1952. When her father is attacked under mysterious circumstances, 22-year-old Trini Duran must return home to Chavez Ravine, a neighborhood mostly abandoned after the government sent letters to residents demanding that they leave.

Only two hundred stubborn holdouts remain.

While the Mexican American community fights to save their homes, they face a new threat that is even harder to combat than the politicians who want them gone.

Trini discovers the city and the supernatural have joined forces against her old neighborhood—monstrous creatures emerge at night, terrorizing the holdouts.

Trini, a handsome community organizer, a healer with dubious skills and a ragtag group of fighters, take up arms against the elusive enemy.

But to stop the demon invasion, Trini must decide how far she’s willing to go to save the place she once left behind.

Fridays 5 04/02/2021

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This week I ask: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Clicking on the authors name or image will take you to their website or amazon author page.

Eric A Shelman

A: In 1992, I sold a short story called The Crossing for $2.00. That was the moment I felt I was a writer.

Bio: Eric lives in southwest Florida with his wife, Linda. A fan of horror since he was young, he’s been writing since his teens. Growing up his room was filled with monster models, including The Wolfman, Dr. Phibes, Frankenstein’s Monster, and many others. His first novel, A Reason To Kill, was about a serial killer before he moved on to his true passion with The Witches of Laguna Beach. In 2009, after a 12 year hiatus, he wrote Dead Hunger. He currently has over 20 books to his credit, all but two of which are novels.

Phil Yang

A: I guess in 2012.

Bio: Phil currently lives in Florida and is a Stetson University graduate. In his free time, he likes to watch YouTube, surf the internet, play video games, eat new food, travel and take pictures.

Mike Sherer

A: When I wrote my first rock lyrics in junior high.

Bio: I live in the Greater Cincinnati area of southwest Ohio. My screenplay ‘Hamal 18’ was produced in Los Angeles and released direct to DVD. My paranormal suspense novel ‘A Cold Dish’ was published by James Ward Kirk Fiction. I have also published 4 novellas (including Under a Raging Moon) and 18 short stories.

Lee Taylor

A: That is a tough one. Consider because I got paid? or because I wrote something? I think most writers consider themselves a writer after writing something but for me, even though I’d been writing since a child, I never thought about considering myself a writer until I started getting positive feedback from readers. My mind changed from – I like writing to Wow! people like what I write –

Bio: Lee Taylor was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, UK, in 1969. He moved to Bedworth, Warwickshire at the age of 9. All his life he’s had a passion for creating things, whether it was new games to play with family and friends, drawing, or creating a story.

Thomas F Montelone

A: When I was 12 years old and spent a summer’s worth of lawn cutting money on a Royal manual typewriter.

Bio: Thomas F Monteleone has been a professional writer since 1972, and 4-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award. He has published more than 100 short stories in numerous magazines and anthologies. His stories have been nominated for many awards and have appeared in many best-of-the-year compilations.

Start your adventure today!

An endless night is closing in and only the strong will survive.

Amazon

Weekly Writing Challenge 03/31/2021

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As is normally the case when doing this I only uncover the title for a story as I near the end of it. This week the title presented itself to me as I was writing the last segment. Permit me to introduce you to ‘The Line’. As noted before I knew this would be brief as was its nature that you will become aware of momentarily.

The Line

Part 3

Chastised I returned to my work, but thoughts of what I wanted to do to Simon, and his wife, never strayed far from my mind. I threw myself into my job, working twice as hard to regain the respect I lost over my earlier failures. It wasn’t long before the line was humming along as it should, and my welds improved to their former beauty.

There’s something spectacular about a good weld that those who have never welded would understand. Like Rembrandt, Picasso, Steinbeck, and Dickens. Artists in their own right who understood the medium they worked in, just as I understood my chosen medium. I was meant to weld, and I had the talent to be the best, but that didn’t mean a damned thing on the line. On the line the only thing that mattered was keeping to the schedule, and the schedule was brutal. There was little time for anything other than hitting your welds and moving onto the next piece, and on to the next, and the next. A never-ending line of steel stretching beyond forever.

Walking the line was Simon, always watching over our shoulder, never letting up. Push, push, push, that was all he did. Meet that quota. Beat that deadline. Give yourself to the line only to make him look good. He got all the credit, and rest of us got nothing. No recognition, no praise, just more work slammed down our throats until it felt like we were going to choke.

I couldn’t take it anymore. The line was my world, my life, and my nemesis. I felt him behind me, Simon, always checking always watching what we were doing, and I felt myself coming apart at the seams. It wasn’t fair he should get all the credit for our hard work. The life we worked for and deserved. He stepped around to my side, inspecting my work and I responded.

It was an accident really, my response to his presence was mostly reflex. I shifted and spun around. When I did, I inadvertently knocked him into the line. The line was no place for soft flesh and fragile bone. Blood sprayed the base of the pillar I operated from, alarms sounded, and for the first time in my memory, the line stopped.

Voices and footsteps raced to my position. One of the technicians knelt down and grabbed my power cord. I tried to stop him, but he was too fast. He yanked the cord before I could intervene and the power supplying my brain was interrupted. A system wide shut down went into effect and the world around me dimmed as electronic circuitry stopped functioning.

The last thing I saw was Simon’s lifeless body trapped in the mechanism of the line. The carrier after the one I’d been working nearly decapitated him and for the first time in my miserable life I felt a moment’s joy. Then I felt no more.

The End

I know, it needs some extensive editing. I’ll let it rest for a few weeks before I tackle it again. So what do you think?

New This Week 03/29/2021

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Click on cover image for more info or to order.

Eidolon Avenue – The Second Feast: Jonathan Winn

Synopsis: Eidolon Avenue: Where the secretly guilty go to die.

One building. Five floors. Five doors per floor. Twenty-five nightmares feeding the hunger lurking between the bricks and waiting beneath the boards.

The sequel to Eidolon Avenue: The First Feast (“a great read…powerful and jarring” – Cemetery Dance) returns to the voracious Eidolon as it savors The Second Feast.

A narcoleptic man in apartment 2A battles a vengeful past determined to rob him of everything as he runs from the barbaric disaster of a delusional love. A woman in 2B, reinventing herself to please a callous boyfriend, discovers the horrors that wait in the shadows of her self-renovation. The man in 2C, a teacher at the nearby Catholic girl’s school, collapses beneath the brutal consequences of his lecherous desires. An older woman in 2D, after decades dedicated to the church, is cornered at last by the grisly carnage beating at the hollow center of her faith. And a college student in 2E, hungry to escape an ignored life of invisible anonymity, finds herself captured between the pages of a ravenous book.

All thrown into their own private hell as every cruel choice, every drop of spilled blood, every silent, complicit moment of cowardice is remembered, resurrected and relived to feed the ancient evil that lives on Eidolon Avenue.

A New Death – Director’s Cut: Josh Vasquez

Synopsis: Jeremy Riggins seems to be going nowhere fast. Until the zombie apocalypse floods into Savannah, Georgia. Now, the 19-year-old grocery clerk finds himself fighting for his life against the undead horde.

As he journeys across the southern city, he’ll team up with other survivors, fight off the living dead, and go toe to toe with sociopaths created by the zombie madness.

The Fearing – The Definitive Edition: John FD Taff

Synopsis: What if all humanity’s fears were unleashed on the world…all at once?

A series of cataclysmic events are felt around the globe, and throughout the United States the last vestiges of society band together in rag-tag groups to face off against the ghastly horrors of their shattered world.

Opposing them is the enigmatic Adam Sigil—a man seemingly able to inflict others with his own darkest fears—and his equally mysterious companion Jelnik.

As the world slips into darkness, the survivors of the onslaught struggle with the new normal of their now-dystopian lives amidst ongoing skirmishes with mankind’s nightmares. With devastation and atrocities continuing to escalate, and hysteria threatening to rip their tenuous society apart, they find themselves on a collision course with this malevolent duo, headed toward a terrifying showdown that could ultimately signal the end of humanity.

Nana: Mark Towse

Synopsis: Meet Olly’s nana, Ivy. It takes more than clean dentures, brandy, and bingo night to keep this one happy!


Nana Ivy lives in Newhaven Crescent, where most of the other residents are past their expiry date and all kinds of batshit crazy, the kind of place where you hang your sanity up at the door.
Being the matriarchal type, Ivy cares for the other residents as though they were kin, so of course, it’s of enormous concern when their veins begin to blacken and they start shedding skin, not to mention the glistening things crawling out of their hair. They’re pushing their luck, and Nana Ivy knows it.
Did I mention she has a dark secret?
Young Olly doesn’t know what to make of it when he comes to visit, but he’s about to find out there’s more to his nana than cough drops and slippers. Oh yes, he’s in for a long night.

Fridays 5 03/26/2021

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This week I ask: What is the hardest part of writing?

I’m honored that Thomas F. Monteleone , and Eric A Shelman have agreed to participate. If you write horror, sci-fi, or fantasy, and would like to join in, follow this link Fridays 5. Click on the authors name or photo to be taken to their website or amazon author page.

David A Simpson

A: Finding the time and still having the energy to pour into it.

Bio: David A. Simpson is an Amazon bestselling author of the Zombie Road and Feral Children series. He loves to travel and has a long list of places to visit on his bucket list. He likes weird things and will drive a hundred miles out of his way to see a weird sculpture made from junkyard parts or a Bonnie and Clyde museum.

Graham Masterton

A: Continuously thinking about plot developments night and day. The world inside a writer’s head is just as real as the world outside it.

Bio: Graham Masterton has published more than thirty-five horror novels and three short story collections: his debut novel, The Manitou, was an instant bestseller. He is an Edgar Award and Bram Stoker Award-winner and a World Fantasy Award-nominee. Born in Edinburgh in 1946, he lives in Surrey in England where he is currently working on his next horror novel. 

Eric A Shelman

A: The hardest thing about being a writer is finding the right story. A story you’re not excited about will not inspire you to write.

Bio: Eric lives in southwest Florida with his wife, Linda. A fan of horror since he was young, he’s been writing since his teens. Growing up his room was filled with monster models, including The Wolfman, Dr. Phibes, Frankenstein’s Monster, and many others. His first novel, A Reason To Kill, was about a serial killer before he moved on to his true passion with The Witches of Laguna Beach. In 2009, after a 12 year hiatus, he wrote Dead Hunger. He currently has over 20 books to his credit, all but two of which are novels.

David Winset

A: The first draft when I have to start with nothing and create the initial story and characters. Once that is down, the second, third and so on drafts are much easier.

Bio: David A. Wimsett’s stories contain female and male characters who examine themselves and their place in the world. He is the author of the women’s fiction novel Beyond the Shallow Bank and The Carandir Saga, an epic fantasy series consisting of Dragons Unremembered and Half Awakened Dreams. The third volume, Covenant with the Dragons, will be released for Christmas of 2021.

 He is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, the Canadian Freelance Guild and the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia where he sits on the Writer’s Council. He lives in Nova Scotia, Canada near the sea.

Thomas F. Monteleone

A: Forcing yourself to do it every day… even on the days when you have other stuff you must do or don’t feel the urging of the muse.

Bio: Thomas F. Monteleone is an American science fiction author and horror fiction author. His first novel, Seeds of Change was the lead-off title in the critically unsuccessful Laser Books line of science fiction titles, but he went on to become a popular writer of supernatural thrillers.

Monteleone has been a professional writer since 1972, and 4-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award. He has published more than 100 short stories in numerous magazines and anthologies. His stories have been nominated for many awards and have appeared in many best-of-the-year compilations.

Click on cover for more info or to order.

Cursed

“…a page turner that’s extremely hard to put down.”

“A great story that integrates true love and loss into a folk tale.”

“…creepy and exciting.”

“..cleverly plotted and well-paced.”

“…a story line that had me engaged from the start.”

“a cool, old fashioned ghost story.”

Weekly Writing Challenge 03/24/2021

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I know where I want this story to end, and I believe I have a plausible ending figured out, but we’ll see. I do know this will by its nature be a short one. I managed another 409 words and I estimate the story will come in at a little over 1200 words. So next week should be the last segment.

I’d spend my nights dreaming about what could have been. One day Simon’s wife showed up along with their son and my dreams drifted into more erotic territory as I imagined what I’d like to do to her. She was a short little blond with a heart shaped face, full red lips and a pert little nose turned up a little at the tip. She wore a tight-fitting dress that accentuated her curves and fueled my fantasies as I imagined what it might be like to unwrap that present.  

It was Simon’s birthday and she had come to surprise him. Some of us on the line caught a glimpse of her in the hallway that led to the break room. Several of the less couth offered up lewd suggestions of what they’d like to do to her. Going into more detail than was necessary and it made me just a bit uncomfortable. She deserved better than that. Hell, she deserved better than Simon. Were she my wife I’d never let her near this place. But Simon took the comments in stride, and I believe he was a little proud of the fact her presence had elicited such a response. It was sad really. The only way he could earn respect was by letting those on the line talk about he woman he was supposed to love.

There was no love there, and that would be my way in. Get Simon out of the way. It wouldn’t be too hard to stage an accident on the line. Wait till he was distracted and knock him into the rails that carried the work to us. The line didn’t stop for anything, and it wouldn’t stop for him. The more I thought about my plan the more it looked like it would work without a hitch. But it was these thoughts that proved to be my downfall. I became so focused on getting rid of Simon my work started to suffer. My dimes were not as nice as they once were, and I was leaving small gaps I my welds.

It wasn’t long before they pulled me from the line, and I had to endure my first ever quality interview as they tried to figure out what was wrong with me. I could have told them easy enough what was wrong, but they wouldn’t have listened. The inspectors have only one thing on their mind, getting the line moving as it should.

To be continued!

Have you read All Roads Lead to Terror?

Book 1 This Lawless Land

In a chaotic, post-apocalyptic world, an endless night is closing in, and only the strong will survive. In the midst of the turmoil, fourteen-year-old Meat, and his three closest friends, embark on a mission to rescue kidnapped children from the compound enslaving them.

Battling their way through treacherous terrain and immeasurable odds, the boys must learn to lean on each other if they hope to survive. Little do they know fate has far greater plans for them. For they represent the trinity, a symbol older than time itself, that keeps the darkness at bay.

They are three, bound by a fourth, destined to save mankind.

With time running out, and the cloak of eternal night descending, can the boys find a way to turn the tables on evil?

Or will they be the next to join the growing legion of the dead?

You can check it out here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016MLXM32

New This Week 03/22/2021

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Click on the cover image for more info or to order.

The Night Stockers: Ryan Harding & Kristopher Triana (03/26/2021)

Synopsis: Attention shoppers!

The employees of the Freshway grocery store aren’t too happy about having to do an overnight shift, but they’re about to be even unhappier. Their rival store, Devil’s Food, is about to lay siege upon them with extreme prejudice. This is no ordinary grocery chain. Devil’s Food is run by a cult of murderous Satanists committed to killing the competition—literally.

Armed with hatchets, knives, maces and motorcycles, they enter the store and start picking off their victims in the most ghastly and depraved ways possible. The Freshway’s only chance of survival is to fight, and this leads to a bloody battle royal of crazed cashiers, knife-wielding demo ladies, brutal butchers, and teenage clerks determined to make their favorite death metal albums come true.

The Night Stockers is a gory horror comedy by Splatterpunk Award-Winning authors Kristopher Triana and Ryan Harding, the men who brought you Full Brutal and Genital Grinder. Filled with bone-crushing carnage and the heaviest metal, this one promises customer satisfaction.

Halloween Land: Kevin J. Kennedy

Synopsis: An action-packed, coming of age horror tale, full of twists, turns and unexpected adventures.

Zak and Wendy are a couple of horror buffs who love Halloween.
In their sleepy, run-down little town, an exciting attraction promises to inject some life into the place for one special night only. A travelling carnival, making its debut on Halloween.

Anticipation builds, and the mysterious ‘Halloween Land’ carnival is the talk of the town; the calliope music, bright lights, and sweet and savoury smells from the pop-up carnival lure in the crowds flocking to the pier. The two teenage friends Zak and Wendy are eager to be among the first.
Revelations unfold, mysteries peek from the outer limits. The kids have to think and act fast to defeat the evil that’s come to town and it’s nothing like in the movies!

This tale is full of mystery, fun, magic, tension and dread.

Step up for the ride, give your ticket to the clown, she’ll show you a good time; no one can say where you will end up, but it’ll be a wicked ride!

A Predisposition for Madness: Aurelio Lopez III

Synopsis: The indication of suffering with madness under peculiar situations; dire consequences and a baggage of other genre bending horror verse with a propensity of violence. This substantial collection depicts a deathly theme that arrays in no particular order and inks madness in all its forms. Aurelio’s lunacy is sometimes gruesome, haunting, or cadaverous—the tendency that something is likely to happen is heavy and leaves no burdens behind.

The cover images contain affiliate links that help offset the cost of maintaining this website. If you see something you like I’d appreciate it if you used the link provided for your purchase. I don’t earn much from each click but every little bet helps. Thanks.

Fridays 5 03/19/2021

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How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?

Authors name and image links to authors website or amazon author page.

Graham Masterton

A: I was a newspaper reporter before my first book was published and so loads of articles and features had been published with my byline every week for years, so not particularly thrilled.

Bio: Graham Masterton has published more than thirty-five horror novels and three short story collections: his debut novel, The Manitou, was an instant bestseller. His more recent critically acclaimed novels include The Chosen Child, Trauma, Spirit, and Prey. He is an Edgar Award and Bram Stoker Award-winner and a World Fantasy Award-nominee. Born in Edinburgh in 1946, he lives with his wife Wiescka in a Gothic mansion in Cork, Ireland, where he is currently working on his next horror novel. 

https://www.grahammasterton.co.uk/

Pete Mesling

A: I’ll go back to my very first short story publication. It was actually my first time publishing a poem, too. Both appeared in the very last print issue of Black Petals Magazine. I was pleased to have my first publishing credit in a print publication, especially since I had submitted my work by snail mail. I felt like I got the classic writer’s experience out of the gate, and of course times were about to change drastically in the publishing world, so that was becoming an unlikely scenario by 2007.

Bio: Pete Mesling has published poetry and fiction widely, including two highly regarded horror collections, a book of poetry, and a novel of intrigue and suspense. Other publishing highlights include All-American Horror of the 21st Century, the First Decade: 2000 – 2010 (Independent Legions Publishing); Survive the Night: Three at Dusk, Two at Dawn (forthcoming from Dark Regions Press); Shallow Waters, Vol. 3 (Crystal Lake Publishing); and two of the Poetry Showcase anthologies put out by the Horror Writers Association. Mesling is the official Clive Barker proofreader for Gauntlet Press.

http://www.petemesling.com

Justin Boote

A: Coinciding with my answer to question no.1, I would say it made me feel that maybe I was capable of writing something that not only people enjoy reading but that publishers are prepared to pay for. That made a big difference as opposed to just hearing friends tell you they love your work. It was a confirmation of sorts.

Bio: Justin Boote is an Englishman living in Barcelona for over 25 years and has been writing horror stories for 5 years. In this time, he has had around 40 short stories published in a variety of anthologies and has published 4 short stories on Amazon plus 2 story collections and now dedicates his time to writing novel series. In the summer he hopes to release the first of his series on Amazon-The Ghosts of Northgate.

https://www.facebook.com/BooteJustin

Diane Johnson

A: I was nervous with my first publication. I’m sure everyone is. I’m not good at self promotion, and it was a self published book, so there’s a little bit of a stigma with that. Imposter syndrome is real! But I was also excited to get that first book out there, to have something finished and in my hands.

Bio: Diane graduated from Binghamton University with a B.A. in Film Theory. She first embarked on her storytelling journey as a screenwriter, and she apologizes. She has a husband. And kids. And if this writing thing takes off, maybe she’ll invest in a dog. A rescue, of course!

https://dj-screenwriter.blogspot.com/

Alice Sobo

A: Ecstatic! I think it was an essay for a local free magazine – small beans in the writing world – but it was a thrill. I snatched a ton of copies and mailed them to all my friends.

Bio: Alice Sabo is the author of character driven stories in post-apocalyptic, space opera, fantasy, and mystery series. Across genres, her characters deal with trying to make positive choices in difficult and often dangerous situations. Whether seeking lost cultures in an unforgiving galaxy or finding a murderer on the streets of LA, her books have strong world building, multi-layered characters, and a satisfying culmination.

https://www.amazon.com/Alice-Sabo/e/B006VG041W

Weekly Writing Challenge 03/17/2021

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Real life has intruded once again and I was unable to update the current story in progress. I believe it has a lot more to do with the fact I’m trying something new with this story, stretching my literary muscles if you will. I lack the confidence to continue, but continue I will. In its place I’m sharing a snippet from my current work in progress, my novel, Bitter Hollow. I’m shooting for a late summer release for this one. I’ll keep you posted. Here is a little taste of chapter 2.

A shadow washed across Harold’s face, contorting his features. The dog barking in the back yard came to me as if from a million miles away. The old man smiled and opened his mouth to speak, darkness escaping the prison behind his teeth as I fired again, aiming higher this time. Harold’s head whipped back, a bloody wound forming a third eye in the center of his forehead. Something old and terrifying crawled through my belly when Harold lowered his head to look at me with those flat, dead, eyes. A wicked smile bisecting the bottom of his face.

The old man fired a third time, the round embedding itself in the wood at my feet as I returned fire. Harold took another staggering step, driven by an unseen darkness that wrapped him in its embrace. The pistol, a well-worn .22 revolver, slipped from Harold’s hand and fell to the surface of the deck. He took another step, reaching for me with bloodied hands as blind panic overwhelmed reason.

“Why won’t you die?” I screamed as the old man crumpled to the deck.

The world shifted around me and I realized I’d fallen onto my ass, sitting with my back against the railing as Harold pulled himself towards me. His fingernails, dirty and cracked, dug into the wooden surface softened by past rains and the passage of time. Harold’s hands flexed, each finger digging into the wood. Several nails had broken as a result, peeling back from his fingertips, blood spotting the wood a soft pink.

I realized Harold was looking at me, his eyes filled with an impenetrable emptiness that reached out to envelope me in an endless despair.

I tried to warn him, Harold’s words whispered in my mind.

 Laura’s face swam into view, her features twisted into a grimace of pain and terror, and it filled me with a blind rage. From somewhere a dog barked hysterically and I searched for the source, only to find a vast emptiness that lay spread out all around me. I felt like I was lost,

The sound of a distant siren was punctuated by that frightened whiny bark. I looked back at the old man sprawled out before me. One hand outstretched, the fingers curled into a partially closed fist, and in it I spotted an object that glittered with a light all its own.

It held all the answers, and I wanted it. I leaned forward to retrieve the object as the siren filled the world around me. Running steps and voices came as a hand pulled me back until I was resting against the railing. I glanced into Sheriff Burris’s face, noting the worry in his eyes, then looked at the shimmering object as others gathered around the body.

It knew the answers to all my questions. Why Laura left. Why I’d been fired. Why Harold did what he’d done. Everything I needed to know lay hidden in that soft glow.

I tried to reach the object, only to be pushed back by a paramedic working on my wounded shoulder. Someone was shouting my name and I glanced at Sheriff Burris, then back to the glittering object in the old man’s hand. I had to have it.

Something poked me in the arm, and I was overwhelmed by a desire to lay down and take a nap. But I couldn’t. I had to have it. Michaels knelt next to Harold’s hand and retrieved the shiny object. No, that’s mine, I wanted to scream but found no voice as a mind-numbing cloud enveloped me. I’ve earned it, it’s mine, the thoughts whispered as the world dimmed.

New This Week 03/15/2021

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Click on the cover image to order.

Howls From Hell (Assorted Authors)Available 05/18/2021

Synopsis: Spacefaring researchers disturb an ancient horror. An enchanted object curses a grieving widow. A haunted reel torments a film student. A murder trial hinges on a chilling testimony.

In Howls From Hell, sixteen emerging horror writers pave the way for the future of the genre. Fans of dark and macabre fiction will savor this exhibition of all-original tales born from one of the fastest-growing horror communities in the world: HOWL Society.

With a foreword by GRADY HENDRIX, this anthology unveils the horror writers of tomorrow with spine-tingling stories from:

P.L. McMillan, J.W. Donley, Shane Hawk, Christopher O’Halloran, Alex Wolfgang, Amanda Nevada DeMel, Lindsey Ragsdale, Solomon Forse, Justin Faull, M. David Clarkson, B.O.B. Jenkin, S.E. Denton, Thea Maeve, Joseph Andre Thomas, Joe Radkins, and Quinn Fern

The Devil’s Mistress: David Barclay Available 03/16/2021

Synopsis: Virginia, 1705

Darkness has come to the town of Blackfriar. The beloved millwright, John Ashford, has been poisoned. His daughter, Isabella, stands trial for murder. Rumor has it that she consorted with the Devil to do the deed. That she’s become a witch.

The worst thing, however, is what the townsfolk don’t know: Isabella is innocent.

After visiting the local enchantress for a simple love spell, her life is beset by catastrophe. Her father turns up dead. Her sadistic fiancé spurns her. Now in shackles, Isabella faces torture and death. Her only friend, the enchantress. The old crone offers Isabella a new choice: continue to suffer at the hands of her tormentors, or become the very thing they fear.

Agoraphobia: A Short Story: Rami Ungar Available 03/16/2021

Synopsis: Peyton fears the outside world. It has brought him nothing but pain and misery. He even bought and renovated an entire house to get away. However, when a hurricane threatens his home, he must contemplate leaving for the first time in years. Especially when the hurricane throws something living into his sanctuary. Something with teeth and claws.

Fridays 5 03/12/2021

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In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?

Click on authors name or image to be taken to their website or amazon author page.

Pete Mesling

A: Music, especially writing acoustic guitar music. It’s been one of the sacrifices I’ve had to make in order to bring fiction writing front and center, but I hope to be able to return to making music in a more serious way again. Music is really the other side of the coin for me, on par with fiction. And I’m talking about reading/listening as much as writing/composing.

Bio: Pete Mesling has published poetry and fiction widely, including two highly regarded horror collections, a book of poetry, and a novel of intrigue and suspense. Other publishing highlights include All-American Horror of the 21st Century, the First Decade: 2000 – 2010 (Independent Legions Publishing); Survive the Night: Three at Dusk, Two at Dawn (forthcoming from Dark Regions Press); Shallow Waters, Vol. 3 (Crystal Lake Publishing); and two of the Poetry Showcase anthologies put out by the Horror Writers Association. Mesling is the official Clive Barker proofreader for Gauntlet Press. Learn more at http://www.petemesling.com.

Diane Johnson

A: I have a passion for movies. As I said, my writing focus began with screenplays. I’m a big fan of the TV series Supernatural, no longer in production. I even wrote a few spec scripts that did well in competition—the Austin Film Festival, for one. But the underlying theme of that horror series was about family. I have two boys, and I wish the best for them everywhere and always.

Bio: Diane graduated from Binghamton University with a B.A. in Film Theory. She first embarked on her storytelling journey as a screenwriter, and she apologizes. She has a husband. And kids. And if this writing thing takes off, maybe she’ll invest in a dog. A rescue, of course!

David A Simpson

A: Cars. I have entirely too many and I want entirely too many more. I do a bit of racing and have held a couple of world records. I seem meet up with car community guys a lot more often than I do the writing community folks.

Bio: David A. Simpson is an Amazon bestselling author of the Zombie Road and Feral Children series. He loves to travel and has a long list of places to visit on his bucket list. He likes weird things and will drive a hundred miles out of his way to see a weird sculpture made from junkyard parts or a Bonnie and Clyde museum.

David Wimset

A: I am a composer, an actor, a film maker, a photographer and a journalist.

Bio: David A. Wimsett’s stories contain female and male characters who examine themselves and their place in the world. He is the author of the women’s fiction novel Beyond the Shallow Bank and The Carandir Saga, an epic fantasy series consisting of Dragons Unremembered and Half Awakened Dreams. The third volume, Covenant with the Dragons, will be released for Christmas of 2021.

 He is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, the Canadian Freelance Guild and the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia where he sits on the Writer’s Council. He lives in Nova Scotia, Canada near the sea.

S. J. Krandall

A: In addition to writing I am most passionate about my family. Family life is important to me and I enjoy spending time with my sons sharing their interests as well. I have also worked for many years with children so I advocate for students in need when given the chance.  Photography and art is another passion of mine and I will often be found working on various projects.  I have many passions and enjoy life to its fullest. 

Bio: S. J. Krandall is a horror author whose recent work was published in summer of 2020.  She was born in Florida but raised in New Jersey where she still resides with my husband, their two sons and two dogs. For more than twenty years she has worked with children with varying abilities as both a teacher and an aide. Now, a stay a home mom, she cares for her family and takes time to enjoy other interests. Her work in progress includes her second book to her series and a variety of short stories. 

Weekly Writing Challenge 03/10/2021

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This week I’ve rolled the dice and I’m starting a new story. No title yet but the roll is as follows.

Character roll: Clock face, time? Maze? Machinery. Is my MC a factory worker? An assembly line drone? Factory worker on the graveyard shift. Infestation? Reminiscent of night shift. Don’t want to go in that direction. Gonna try something different. Main Character is a disgruntled worker pissed at being passed over for a promotion.

Story roll:

Beginning: Question mark / theater faces, happy, sad / Insect, bug

Middle: Moon / Eye / Sleeping figure

End: Fire / Embarrassed expression / Scales

You’re welcome to use the roll to create our own story. I’d love to see what you come up with.

Managed 514 words, I’ve an idea of where this is headed, but I’m not sure if I can pull it off. We’ll see.

It was the story of my life, a day late and a dollar short. Take my job for instance, I’m a welder on an assembly line. I’m the fastest they’ve got and can lay a line of dimes that would make any welder worth his salt jealous. Every weld, every time is as near perfect as possible. Yet when they needed someone to oversee the line, who do they get? Not me. That’s for sure. No, they gave the job to that pencil neck Simon. All he does is wander the line with his hands in his pocket, making sure we do our jobs right. The bastard doesn’t even know how to weld. I’ve never seen him weld anything and I’ve been here since the beginning. Why don’t they give the job to someone who actually knows what they’re doing, instead of a college kid whose only smarts come from between the covers of a book.

In a way you could say I shot myself in the foot. After all those who can do, and those who can’t, oversee the rest of us. I understand why they wouldn’t want to pull me from the line. I mean since I’d been here over ninety percent of my work has come down the line like it’s supposed to. In the beginning it wasn’t like that, we call gotta start somewhere, but I proved to be a fast learner and picked up the knack for welding pretty quick. But now I’ve got this wannabe watching over my shoulder and it more than a little irritating. The thought has crossed my mind to screw up a few times, just to see their reaction, but it’s not in my nature to do that. I guess the best thing I can do is let this all blow over, but still, it irks me no end.

I can’t believe this asshole. He came to me today to tell me, in front of everyone else, that I needed to adjust my welds. They were a tad bit off, he said. Little pencil neck prick couldn’t tell an undercut from an underfill and he’s gonna tell me I need to adjust my welds. I had half a mind to walk right into the CEO’s office and tell the whole board to kiss my rosy, red ass. But I didn’t, I took it like a man, and turned back to the line to adjust my weld as he said. But I will tell you this. If I see the prick outside of work, I’m not gonna be so kind.

One day led to the next and I kept my head down, focused on the work at hand. Simon wandered the line every day, a constant reminder of my failings, and my thoughts, I’m ashamed to say, drifted into more frightening territory. The line’s a dangerous place to work. You’ve got heavy equipment moving about, the line itself moves of its own accord and there have been several instances in the past when hapless workers became distracted long enough for the line to get them. It was never a pretty sight, but I couldn’t help smiling at the thought of Simon falling victim to the line.

To be continued.

New This Week 03/08/2021

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Click on the cover image for more info or to order.

His Own Devices: Douglas Wynne

Synopsis: In 2016 an occult cabal activates a psychic trigger in a popular video game and a countdown to chaos begins.


While her husband is deployed in Afghanistan, Jessica Ritter finds herself navigating the pitfalls of parenting on her own. That includes moderating her ten-year-old son’s screen time—an obsession that hits a fever pitch when YouTube sensation Rainbow Dave releases an addictive new iPad game. Gavin knows he isn’t supposed to keep secrets from his parents, but when his achievements in the game unlock personal messages from Dave instructing him to embark on real world mini-quests, he can’t resist.

In the aftermath of an ambush that leaves her husband missing in action, Jessica grapples with fear and sorrow while clues to a threat closer to home evade her detection. Rainbow Dave, the charismatic host of Scream Time, is America’s cool big brother—a gamer who built a video empire on the strength of his personality. He is also the focus of a shadowy conspiracy hell-bent on sowing chaos with vast technological resources. Dave’s anonymous benefactors have granted him a glimpse of paradise between the pixels, and the real world hasn’t looked the same since. Now, wired with a head full of unholy revelations and a crate full of dangerous devices, he’s on a mission to help his fans “level up” at a live event. Scream Time is coming to town, and it may be too late to stop a deadly game.

The Feverish Stars: John Shirley (Collection)

Synopsis: New and uncollected stories by Bram Stoker Award Winner John Shirley. From the Introduction by Richard Christian Matheson: “In the brooding precincts of dark fiction, Byronic gangster John Shirley’s writing is distinguished by swans and knives of style; divine menace. Twenty of his finest stories are gathered in this volume of poetic distress calls and whether horror, artful heresy, or a cosmos seeping bleak karma, Shirley’s visions autopsy and awaken. Amid such torrents, the many addicted to his brilliance savor Shirley’s work as sodium-pentothal and grace, ground zero of the real deal.” Cover art by Luke Spooner.

Always Beside You: Damir Salkovic

Synopsis: Help her open the door. It wants to come through…

First, the dream. Now this message from the mouth of a stranger. It was too much of a coincidence for Nate Carver, and has him dropping everything to help a woman he hasn’t even thought about in eight years, not since the overdose that almost took Cathy Deveraux’s life.

The prison escape of Thomas Elbert stirs up memories for Detective Alec Palmer, and the man’s death raises questions. Why would a catatonic convicted killer suddenly wake up and escape, only to commit suicide days later? Or was it murder? And what connection did he have to Nate Carver, a man on the run with a daughter he never knew he had?

All roads lead to Boston, where, in their search for answers, they will be drawn into the dark world of the occult and mysticism. Of parallel worlds and alternate realities. Of doors that open onto other times and other worlds. Of dreams that won’t be denied.

By the time they realize they are merely pawns in a much bigger game, a game where the fate of the world is at stake, will it be too late?

Fridays 5 03/05/2021

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If you could ask any author, living or dead, one question, what would it be?

Click on the authors name to be taken to their website or amazon author page.

Alice Sobo

A: That’s a tough one. It would probably be the author of the last book I was reading, and my question would be – “And then what happened?”

Bio: Alice Sabo is the author of character driven stories in post-apocalyptic, space opera, fantasy and mystery series. Across genres, her characters deal with trying to make positive choices in difficult and often dangerous situations. Whether seeking lost cultures in an unforgiving galaxy or finding a murderer on the streets of LA, her books have strong world building, multi-layered characters and a satisfying culmination.

Dave Wimset

A: I would ask J.R.R. Tolkien about how he created the many elements of his world.

Bio: David A. Wimsett’s stories contain female and male characters who examine themselves and their place in the world. He is the author of the women’s fiction novel Beyond the Shallow Bank and The Carandir Saga, an epic fantasy series consisting of Dragons Unremembered and Half Awakened Dreams. The third volume, Covenant with the Dragons, will be released for Christmas of 2021.

 He is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, the Canadian Freelance Guild and the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia where he sits on the Writer’s Council. He lives in Nova Scotia, Canada near the sea.

A. M. Harte

A: To Neil Gaiman: Would you give me your brain?

Bio: A.M. Harte writes twisted speculative fiction, such as the zombie love anthology Hungry For You. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what ‘free time’ means, and is utterly addicted to chocolate.

Justin Boote

A: The one thing I’ve always wanted to ask Stephen King for example is how they would go about things today with how big and easy self-publishing has become. Still continue submitting to publishers or go the self-publishing route?

Bio: Justin Boote is an Englishman living in Barcelona for over 25 years and has been writing horror stories for 5 years. In this time, he has had around 40 short stories published in a variety of anthologies and has published 4 short stories on Amazon plus 2 story collections and now dedicates his time to writing novel series. In the summer he hopes to release the first of his series on Amazon-The Ghosts of Northgate.

Pete Mesling

A: This is the kind of question that makes me slap my forehead. I’ve probably come up with a couple dozen beautiful hypotheticals in this vein over the years. Can I think of a single one right now? No. But I can say who I’d most like to meet: Charles Dickens. All the Victorians would be amazing company, I’d imagine, though they wouldn’t know what the hell to make of me. Poe would also be great fun. Maybe I’d ask Poe if he’d like to collaborate on a story.

Bio: Pete Mesling has published poetry and fiction widely, including two highly regarded horror collections, a book of poetry, and a novel of intrigue and suspense. Other publishing highlights include All-American Horror of the 21st Century, the First Decade: 2000 – 2010 (Independent Legions Publishing); Survive the Night: Three at Dusk, Two at Dawn (forthcoming from Dark Regions Press); Shallow Waters, Vol. 3 (Crystal Lake Publishing); and two of the Poetry Showcase anthologies put out by the Horror Writers Association. Mesling is the official Clive Barker proofreader for Gauntlet Press. Learn more at http://www.petemesling.com.

Weekly Writing Challenge 03/03/2021

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I suspected I knew where the story was headed when I first started. In that lonely elevator, but at the time I did not have a firm handle on my character. Now I do. When I do the rewrite, I’ll cast Nick as the overly possessive, extremely jealous type who happens to be rich. An untouchable character who believes the legal system is powerless against him. Who discovers in the end that some legal systems exist beyond the mortal plane.

Next week we’ll start a new story. I’ll share the roll of the dice at that time. Anyone who wants to participate is welcome, I’d be delighted to see what you come up with. Without further adieu I give you, the conclusion of,

Third Times a Charm

After being cuffed and stuffed into the back seat of a patrol car Nick was taken downtown and left alone in one of the interrogation rooms. He called his lawyer from the patrol room and was waiting for his arrival. No one had told him what was going on and his thoughts were a whirlwind of questions spinning endlessly around one another.

The wall opposite from where he sat was a mirror that he knew from past experience hid several detectives who could watch his every move while they remained undetected. Inside he was seething at the injustice he felt at what was going on yet outwardly he remained silent, his hand folded before him, his unwavering gaze fixed on the mirror. He knew it wasn’t doing him much good to act as he was, but what else was there for him to do?

Detective Martin stepped through the door, closing it behind him before he crossed to the only other seat directly across from Nick.

“Would you mind telling me why I’m here?”

Detective Martin settled into his seat without a word, opened a manila folder, and slid several photos across the table to him.

Nick was shocked by what the photos contained. Denise lay face down on the kitchen floor, a pool of blood around her body, the handle of his butcher’s knife protruding from the center of her back.

“I didn’t do that,” Nick said.

Detective Martin slammed the table with his open hand. “Bullshit. Your fingerprints are on handle of the knife. You were seen rushing from the apartment shortly before she was found by your neighbor. I have numerous witnesses who place you at the scene of the crime when it occurred.”

“But it wasn’t me.”

“Then who was it?”

Nick almost said his dead wife’s name but stopped at the last moment. “I don’t know,” he answered instead.

Detective Martin scowled at the knock at the door. “Come in.”

“His lawyer’s here.” Someone at the door said as Nick’s lawyer stepped into the room.

“Don’t say another word Mr. Morton, we’ll take care of this. Were you questioning my client without me being present?” Nick’s lawyer turned on Detective Martin.

“We were just chatting, passing the time until you arrived.”

“I see,” Nick’s lawyer glanced at the photos on the table, “I do hope you read him his rights.”

“Crossing my t’s and dotting my I’s is all part of the job.”

“Come along, Mr. Morton, let’s get you out of here.”

“Now wait one minute, your client is the prime suspect in a woman’s murder.”

“And I’ve already spoken to Judge Timmons who had released Mr. Morton to my custody, now if there’s nothing else?” Nick’s Lawyer motioned to the handcuffs holding Nick.

Detective Martin shook his head as he released the handcuffs binding Nick to the table. “Don’t leave town.”

“Or course not detective, now if you’ll excuse us,” Nick’s lawyer led him from the room.

His lawyer had agreed to wait in his car while Nick ran up to retrieve a few things. The officer on duty had been informed of his arrival and was waiting for him. In the elevator car Nick watched the screen indicating the floor when he realized it had gotten so cold he could see his breath. He was rubbing his hands together when he became aware of a presence behind him. A chilled hand rested on his shoulder as an icy breath enveloped his ear.

“Third times a charm,” Mona whispered behind him as a cold blade slid between his third and forth rib and his earthly worries came to an end.

New This Week: 03/01/2021

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The Sins of the Past: Eric Butler

Synopsis: Once an ancient race of supreme beings ruled over the earth. Banished by the light centuries ago, one has returned. With the help of its disciples, it desires to plunge the world into a new age of darkness and horror.

Ephraim Godwin is searching for the truth about his family’s disappearance. After conventional ways failed, he turned to the world of spiritualism, only to discover it filled with charlatans and tricksters. As a known skeptic, Ephraim fights to shine a light on those who prey upon others as he searches for the truth.

As Ephraim attends another séance, he discovers not everyone is a fraud and is drawn deeper into the world of the supernatural. With the help of noted spiritualist Zona Whitlock and famed explorer Doctor Livingstone, he hopes to stop this evil from consuming the world.

It’s All Fun and Games Until Somebody Dies: Anthology

Synopsis: We all know the games. The ones we played as kids. The ones we all have fond memories of, crowded around a kitchen table with family, piled in the floor with friends around the tv, or standing in front of the flashing lights of an arcade game. The games that when we look back at our childhood, we have at least one memory of. But what if, those games turned sinister? What if they were real and out for revenge? In this story collection, the games are taking over and they’re out for blood.

The Occupation: W. J. Lundy

Synopsis: A world turned sideways by pandemics, war and debt. Nations make the extraordinary move from individual rule to corporate outsourcing. The change came quick, and not without controversy. Some complied, some just wanted to be left alone. 

When noncompliance becomes criminal one man finds himself on the wrong side of the law.

John Warren has sacrificed in his life but is now resigned to a quiet existence in a secluded home in Northern Michigan. All of that changes when he is falsely accused, with everything taken from him. Now John Warren will fight to prove his innocence and to save the Country he loves.

He can never go home, but he can still ensure his life amounts to something.

A Baptism for the Dead:  Charles Bernard

Synopsis: In the 19th Century American frontier, powerful forces gather to counterpoint the golden trumpet song of destiny.

Pursued into a landscape of death and madness, what can salvation mean?

Leonidas Pyburn and his heirs seek wealth and power in the west but are diverted by a strange and sinister encounter.

As journeys intertwine, fortune, fate, and fell circumstance combine to produce a rarefied tincture, rich with an identity belonging only to the Mountain West.

Fridays 5 02/26/2021

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When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Click on the authors name or image to be taken to their amazon page.

Pete Mesling

A: Garrison Keillor once remarked that an artist is someone who gets up in the morning and does art. By that definition I remain something of a failure. I get up most days and go to work like a schmuck. The writing I do when I can, and that means lunch breaks evenings, and weekends, folks. But publishing has done a lot to make me feel like a proper writer, especially having some books out there with only my name on them. Writing every day is important for me, too. I’m not masochistic about word counts, and I’m happy to let blog posts qualify on a slow day but having my head in the game more or less daily keeps me going—and feeling like a writer.

Bio: Pete Mesling has published poetry and fiction widely, including two highly regarded horror collections, a book of poetry, and a novel of intrigue and suspense. Other publishing highlights include All-American Horror of the 21st Century, the First Decade: 2000 – 2010 (Independent Legions Publishing); Survive the Night: Three at Dusk, Two at Dawn (forthcoming from Dark Regions Press); Shallow Waters, Vol. 3 (Crystal Lake Publishing); and two of the Poetry Showcase anthologies put out by the Horror Writers Association. Mesling is the official Clive Barker proofreader for Gauntlet Press. Learn more at http://www.petemesling.com

A. M. Harte

A.)  I’ve been writing for far longer than I can remember, but I honestly never seriously thought of myself as a writer until recently.

 I started out as a voracious reader. I lived books, breathed books. Writing was something I did on the side, for myself, a clumsy attempt to emulate the books that gave me so much pleasure. A way to get those characters rattling around in my head out onto a page, to live out my dreams.

 Throughout my late teenage years, things changed. From emailing chapters to my sister, I progressed to posting work online. I gained readers — readers who came back every week for more. Their encouragement and support made something click in my head. It confirmed to me that I wanted to be a writer, wanted to keep writing and sharing stories.

 That’s when I started thinking of myself as a writer.

 See, despite the romantic ideal of the lonely author locked up in a cave somewhere, inscribing words on a stone tablet fueled only by alcohol and caffeine, I ultimately believe that writing is for readers. If you don’t want someone to read that story one day, why write it down? I think that’s why I only recently began to think of myself as a writer, because previously I wasn’t really writing to share.

Are you a writer if you don’t have readers? If a tree falls in an empty forest, does it make a sound?

Bio: A.M. Harte is a speculative fiction enthusiast and chocolate addict. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what ‘free time’ means, and enjoys procrastinating.

An avid reader, she’s been writing fiction far longer than anybody’s been paying attention. Her work includes the dark fantasy novel “Above Ground” and the zombie love collection “Hungry For You”. Some wonderful places that have featured her short stories are: Best of Friday Flash Volume 2, Flashes In The Dark, 12 Days 2010, The Random Eye & the charity anthology Tales for Canterbury. 

WEBSITE http://amharte.com

Wednesday Lee Friday

A: From age 5-11, then not again until my 30’s. There was this whole, wide swath of time when I didn’t think I could ever “really” be a writer. I thought I needed someone else to tell me I was a writer, instead of just getting the hell out there and writing. Glad I finally figured it out—but wish I’d started 20 years earlier.

Bio: Wednesday lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband and two crafty cats. She is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association, and also enjoys Shostakovich, Dexter, loom knitting, The Simpsons, crafty things, quality horror of all kinds, and kettle cooked potato chips. She covers TV and movies for 411Mania, sexy stuff at Kinkly.com, and has done a ton of ghostwriting…though not about ghosts.

David A Simpson

A: Hard to say. Even though I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little kid and I went full-time for about a year until Covid hit, I’m still not sure if I consider myself a “writer”.  So far all of my releases have been self-published. I have a New York literary agent and a Hollywood film agent, and I’ve sold 100,000 copies but I still don’t consider myself a writer. Is that the imposter syndrome, I’m pretending to be one although I know I’m really not?

Bio: David A. Simpson is an Amazon bestselling author of the Zombie Road and Feral Children series. He loves to travel and has a long list of places to visit on his bucket list. He likes weird things and will drive a hundred miles out of his way to see a weird sculpture made from junkyard parts or a Bonnie and Clyde museum.

S. J. Krandall

A: I first considered myself a writer as soon as I began to filling pages with stories. I believe that if you are enjoying it and you write often then you are a writer no matter what you produce. Whether it be poetry, blogs, short stories, graphic novels, or anything else you are writing… have fun with it! 

Bio: S. J. Krandall is a horror author whose recent work was published in summer of 2020.  She was born in Florida but raised in New Jersey where she still resides with my husband, their two sons and two dogs. For more than twenty years she has worked with children with varying abilities as both a teacher and an aide. Now, a stay a home mom, she cares for her family and takes time to enjoy other interests. Her work in progress includes her second book to her series and a variety of short stories. 

Webpage: sjkrandallbooks.com

Weekly Writing Challenge 02/24/2021

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Managed another 620 words even though I was tired after a day shift at the hardware store where I work. But it’s what you gotta do when you’re a writer. You have to develop the habit of consistency, and the only way to do that is to write every day whether you want to or not. I’m far from perfect when it comes to that, and I’ve let distractions take me from my work, watching TV or playing games when I should be writing. It is what it is though, and for me the writing itself is the best reward. To see the story come together in the readers mind and know I’ve touched their life no matter how brief is what drives me.

I’m anxious to get to the end of this one so I can start the rewrite, and add the emotional elements to the skeletal structure of the story. So without further adieu I give you the next installment of

Third Times a Charm

“I’m fine, I’ll be right back.” He wasn’t sure what was going on, how could Mona be here? He killed her. He saw her die with his own eyes. Was someone playing games with him. Was it her brother?  Her Sister? They had never liked him, believing Mona was too good for the likes of him. That’s what it was, wasn’t it? Her siblings were playing mind games with him. He’d show them. He waited for the elevator, watching the light above the door as it counted down to his floor. The doors opened with a ding and he stabbed the button for the lobby with his thumb. He’d show them.

Reaching the lobby he raced out the front doors and stopped. The flow of pedestrians had dwindled to a trickle and he stood on the sidewalk, looking first one way, then the other. A siren wailed, its warbling voice getting closer with every passing moment and he ignored it. Focused on trying to find the person or person responsible for this little game. From his right came a familiar sigh and he swiveled his head in that direction, catching sight of Mona as she slipped into the alley.

He followed, one hand on the butt of his pistol as he raced down the garbage strewn street. A couple of vagrants were arguing over the contents of a garbage pail. He paid no attention to them as he walked by, his gaze scanning every possible hiding place for his target. He imagined they were watching him while he searched. Probably laughing at his futile attempt to find them. Reaching the end of the alley he was forced to admit defeat and turned back to return to his apartment.

Coming around the front of the building he saw a police cruiser and an ambulance parked at the curb with their emergency lights flashing, a small crowd gathered around them. It was a common enough sight for this area so he didn’t pay much attention to what was happening as he entered the building. When the elevator doors slid open he knew he was in trouble. The hallway was filled with the other resident that lived on his floor, all eyes fixed on the police officer at Nicks door, whispered questions followed him to his apartment.

The policeman held up his hand as he approached. “You can’t come in here, sir.”

“It’s my apartment, what’s going on?”

The police turned to Nick’s open door. “Detective, the occupant of the apartment is here.”

“On my way,” a young Latino dressed in a suit said. Nick recognized him as the detective that originally questioned him when he shot Mona, but he couldn’t recall the detective’s name.

“Nick Falon,” the detective said, extending his hand, “strange we should cross paths like this again.”

“How’s that, Detective, I’m sorry I seem to have forgotten your name.”

“It’s detective Martin, do you know a Miss Denise VanMeter?”

“She’s my neighbor from across the hall, why? Is she okay, Denise? Is everything all right?” He tried to see what was happening in his apartment but there were two other people standing at the doorway to the kitchen, blocking his view. What is happening?”

“That’s what I was going to ask you. Did you invite Miss VanMeter to your apartment?”

“Of course I did we were going to have dinner, I had to run an errand.”

“I’m going to need you to come down to the station.”

“I can’t, not until you tell me what’s going on.”

“We’ll talk about it down at the station.”

“I’m not going, not until you tell me what’s happening.”

“You don’t have a choice,” Detective Martin said, nodding at the patrolman behind Nick.

To be continued!

I know it’s too early to say, but what do you think?

New in Horror 02/22/2021

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Hallucinations (Trigger Warning) Anthology

It is important to remember that we are ruled by our minds. Our reality is our perception. How can we move forward when that becomes untrustworthy, how do we move forward when we become aware that our perception is different than that of everyone around us?

Our very sanity comes into question; we can’t shake the notion that we might be mad. Or worse, what if we aren’t insane. What if everything we see exists?

Included in this anthology are 13 stories of shifted perceptions by up and coming horror authors. You’ll find the stories inside bizarre, bloody, and upsetting. But before you open this collection and enjoy the stories inside, remember…

You were warned.

Bow-Legged Buccaneers from Outer Space: David Owain Hughes

The year is 2082—the not-so-distant future—and Chinatown is a prison. One hundred years ago, between 1980 and 1990, hardcore arcade gamers, cinemagoers, TV freaks and comic book nerds took over the large oriental area and turned it into a no-go zone. The streets became violent, corrupt and the powers that be lost control. A large wall and river were constructed around the city; the waters were filled with sharks and patrolled by the government’s secret police, who had more artillery than Rambo.
Paul ‘Frank Castle’ Hoskins is one of the good guys, doing his best to keep the streets clean and the innocent people safe. When Chinatown comes under attack from space pirates, will Frank have finally met his match? Will he be able to protect the woman he loves and save his beloved home? Bullets will fly, blood will be spilt, and vengeance will be sought.
Includes the bonus short stories Sticky Buttons and The Last Freakshow on Earth!

Cult Cinema: Howard David Ingham Non-fiction

Religious extremism is one of our most acute current anxieties, but it has been with us for centuries. And from the birth of Christianity right through to the post-Trump era, it has always been tied to personalities and the cults they inspire. And the stories we tell about them reflect that. Cult Cinema uses cinematic and televisual depictions of isolated sects, self-help pyramid schemes, pagan village conspiracies, evangelical grifters and more to shine a lens upon what happens when belief goes bad. Drawing from sources ranging from situation comedy to exploitation horror and beyond, this book examines why people join abusive religious groups, what we really mean by “brainwashing”, and what it means to escape. Howard David Ingham has been writing about media, horror, the occult and the storytelling of religious belief for two decades. Their last book, We Don’t Go Back: A Watcher’s Guide to Folk Horror, was nominated for a 2018 Bram Stoker Award (Superior Achievement in Nonfiction). “A personal and cinematic journey through the strange and terrifying world of cults, this is a deeply honest and empathetic look at how people fall into – and escape from – damaging group dynamics. Cult Cinema is a breathtaking achievement…” Gwendolyn Kiste, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens

Imperfect Lodgings: Pete Mesling Poetry

“The most important thing about dreams is the existence in them of magical emotions, to which waking Consciousness is not ordinarily sentient. Awe of vast constructions; familiar eternal halls of buildings; sexual intensity in rapport; deathly music; grief awakenings, perfected lodgings.”
—ALLEN GINSBERG, JOURNALS: EARLY FIFTIES, EARLY SIXTIES

Therefore God becomes as we are, that we may become as he is.
—WILLIAM BLAKE, THERE IS NO NATURAL RELIGION

Fridays 5 02/19/2021

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What is the hardest part of writing?

Clicking on the authors name will take you to their site.

Rick Hautala

A: Ideas are easy for me. And writing is a struggle, but a fun one. Revision is always fun. And editing is tedious but necessary. But the absolute hardest part of writing for me is developing the ideas once I get them. That’s where you have to fill in the blanks and piece the story together to get an outline or, at least, a clear idea of where you’re going. That is the worst and hardest. After that, it’s easier … but never easy.

Bio: Rick arrived on the horror scene in 1980 with many of his early novels published by Zebra books. He wrote and published over 90 novels and short stories from the early 1980s on. In 2011 the Horror Writers Association awarded Rick and Joe R. Lansdale the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement. Sadly, on March 21 of 2013 we lost Rick to a heart attack. For me personally he was a writer who was always willing to help those of us starting out, and though I never met him personally I counted him among my friends.

Jo-Anne Russell

A: The hardest part of writing for me is getting started. Social networks are my drug of choice, and make for many a day wasted – to a point. Other than that, knowing when to stop going over a piece is hard for me.

Bio: Jo-Anne Russell is a horror writer, and publisher, living in Edmonton, AB, Canada. Her stories have appeared in anthologies by Brazen Snake Books, Static Movement, Wicked East Press, and Hidden Thoughts Press, just to name a few.
Her taste for the macabre has provided her imagination with a feast that fuels her writing and creativity. If you like horror, the bizarre, or you just don’t like to sleep at night, give her books and short stories a try.
Her debut novel The Nightmare Project is the first in the shocking trilogy called Dangerous Minds, and is now available.

William F Nolan

A: Sitting down in front of a sheet of blank paper (or a blank screen nowadays) and filling it with good words is the hardest part.

Bio: With 85 books to his credit, plus hundreds of scripts, articles and short stories embracing a dozen genres, William F. Nolan is an official Living Legend (voted that honor by the International Horror Guild).
As a noted pulp historian, he is a recognized authority on Black Mask, Dashiell Hammett, and “Max Brand” (Frederick Faust). Nolan has edited six collections of Faust tales, has written Max Brand: Western Giant, and is the author of the forthcoming biography King of the Pulps: The Man Who Was Max Brand.

Wednesday Lee Friday

A: The obvious answer is finding the time to write. For me, it was also believing the work is finished enough to let it be seen by other people. And of course, finding people who actually want to read what you’ve written. Turns out, writing a novel is the fun, easy part.

Bio: Wednesday lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband and two crafty cats. She is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association, and also enjoys Shostakovich, Dexter, loom knitting, The Simpsons, crafty things, quality horror of all kinds, and kettle cooked potato chips. She covers TV and movies for 411Mania, sexy stuff at Kinkly.com, and has done a ton of ghostwriting…though not about ghosts.

A.M Harte

A: Finishing!

You start off in that wonderful honeymoon phase, where your idea is wonderful and amazing and smells like roses. Then halfway through you hit that slump. It hasn’t met your expectations, it’s horrible, you’re wasting your life with this writing malarkey. You can’t possibly inflict this crap on anyone. This is when a lot of people give up. But you need to persevere, dig in your heels. If you don’t finish the book, it’ll haunt you.

You muddle your way through to the end of the book, and finally realize that it’s not so bad after all. Sure, not as amazing as you’d originally thought, but passable. Phew…. Except you’re not done yet. Then comes the dreaded revision. Edits. Rewriting. The story loses all meaning and becomes a string of words.

Finally, finally, you hand the book over to your readers. Then you start the next book, and go through the entire cycle again.

Bio: A.M. Harte writes twisted speculative fiction, such as the zombie love anthology Hungry For You. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what ‘free time’ means, and is utterly addicted to chocolate.