Weekly Update 05/27/2022

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As a writer of dark fiction my thoughts tend to stray into some pretty strange territory from time to time. My wife is always complaining that sometimes I’m not really there, as my mind has wandered off following an errant thread in search of an answer, or the germ of a story idea. Most of these thoughts take on the form of a what if question. Of the notions I’ve followed with that question the most intriguing one to me is: What if the universe we live in is contained within one molecule in a drop of water. Surrounded by 1.5 sextillion molecules, each containing its own universe. A vast multiverse within a single drop of water.

There have been multiple books written about the multiverse, of those I’ve read the best one in my opinion was Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.

Naturally we have to take this thought one step further. Where is this drop of water? In my mind it resides in a cosmic garden, a drop of dew clinging to a blade of grass, surrounded by hundreds of billions of other drops of water, each filled with multiple universes. This patch of grass lies at the base of a tree whose shadow protects the droplets of water from the sun. But the sun is moving, following its course. In a short period of cosmic time, for us that would be hundreds of trillions of years, that light will fall upon our little drop, and we will evaporate. Pretty gloomy end huh?

Writers typically begin their careers as readers. I’m no exception, and the musing above can find its genesis in Stephen King’s The Gunslinger, book one of his Dark Tower series. Instead of a dew drop on a blade of grass, the multi-verse is contained within the molecules of the grass itself lending it a more substantive future, that is until a cosmic gardener comes along to cut the grass.

Everyone who writes knows there is really nothing new under the sun. It’s all been done before it’s been said. The only unique thing we bring is our own view of the world and our own voice.

Work continues on This Way to Heaven.  

Word count update.

Beginning total : 64,575

Written this week: 4,668  It was actually more but I tend to edit while I write.

New total: 69,243

Work continues on this as well as the two shorts I’ve been focusing on.

Here’s a little taste of Nobody’s

Excerpt

Another dark alley opened before me, and I hurried through the gloom, ignoring the things in my peripheral vision. I believe they were human, as least I hoped they were. At the far end of the alley a car pulled up and Velma slipped into the passenger’s seat. She looked back at me, her mouth forming an oh of surprise, then she was gone as the car sped away.

The alley spilled out onto forty second street where life continued at its hectic pace. I was trapped between my desire to learn what happened to Velma, and a moment of time that was slowly drifting from the consciousness of those all around me.

Sure, they remembered where they were the moment it happened, but that moment had taken a back seat to life’s nature to move on, a feat I seemed unable to perform. When I returned home that day I realized the events I’d witnessed had changed me. I no longer felt the same desires as before. In their place a hollowness had opened. It was like I was no longer a part of the living organism that was society as a whole. I was an outsider, destined to spend my life looking in at what would have been my life if I could only bring myself to accept what happened and move on.

How many others were out there like me? Survivors for whom a simple stroke of fate saved their lives when everyone else they knew perished. Office workers who woke up with a head cold, a hangover, or simply a desire to play hooky that day. A janitor who missed his mid-town connection only to arrive as the cries of a city under attack overwhelmed the usual bustle of everyday life. We were survivors in a sense. If I had not been dwelling on the events of the day before I might have gotten a good night’s sleep and arrived in time to take my place on the stage in destiny’s ongoing play. If the janitor left a couple of minute earlier instead of grabbing that extra slice to toast, or a last kiss from his wife, they might have shown up when they were supposed to and died as destiny demanded.

End Excerpt

That’s all I have for this week. If you like what you’ve read and want updates when I post I’d appreciate it if you hit the like and follow button for this post and my blog. I’ll soon be giving a free short story away every month for everyone who signs up for my newsletter. I’ll share more details when they’re available.

What book or short story have you recently read that really stuck with you? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by.

Have you read All Roads Lead to Terror?

Click on the cover image to order.

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?

Grab your copy of All Roads Led to Terror today!

Amazon

Weekly Update 05/20/2022

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Welcome to my weekly update, if all goes well I’ll be posting every week with updates on my current works in progress along with comments about the books I’m reading and any movies I may have watched in the past.

Current Project

The biggest project I’m currently working on carries the title This Way to Heaven which will likely change once the book is finished. It was a story I started working on for Kindle Vella at the end of last year. I pulled it from the platform after Amazon wrongly accused me of having multiple accounts and closed my account. I managed to get my account reopened but the fact they could so easily close it without cause made me reconsider remaining exclusive with them.

The story is tied to my series This Lawless Land that I will take up again this year. I started book 5 at the beginning of the pandemic, and as the story unfolded I came to understand where the series was headed. I realized I needed to take a step back to explore this new route in detail, which I have been doing. Stay tuned for more details.

In This Way to Heaven, eleven-year-old Jimmy and his three friends bear witness to the dawn of the zombie apocalypse. The story follows the survivors who live in the Willowbrook apartments in Richmond, Virginia. Willowbrook is a stately old place constructed by the rich for the rich before the start of the civil war. Rebuilt afterwards it became a playground for those with means who had some rather unsavory appetites. There are many dark secrets hidden in the bowels of the building. Now in a state of disrepair and undergoing a conversion to offices, the few remaining tenants will struggle to survive in the dawn of this new age as the ghosts of the past emerge.

The apartment building was featured in the first book of my post-apocalyptic series, All Roads Lead to Terror. Meat, the main character from all roads, and his friends are captured by a feral cult of children who inhabit the building and worship an ancient creature that lives in the basement.

Word count update  

Beginning: 61,238  

Completed this week: 3,337

New total: 64,575

Sneak Peek:

Tommy lay on the floor, whimpering as blood seeped from around the hand he’d clamped over his shoulder. Ronnie was on his knees beside him trying to see how bad the damage was, but every time he tried to move Tommy’s hand, the boy cried out in agony.

“How is he? Randy said, standing above Ronnie the pipe still in his hands.

“How do you think he is. One of them bastards bit him. If you had stayed where you were it wouldn’t have happened. But no, you gotta be Mr. smart ass.”

“Are you done?” Randy said, unmoved by Ronnie’s rage.

“You asshole, you don’t give a shit about anyone but yourself.” Ronnie was pushing himself up to his feet when Randy brought around the iron pipe and struck him across the back of his neck. Ronnie dropped with a grunt, sprawling across his brother. He struggled to pull his hand under him, to push himself up when Randy brought the pipe down and shattered his skull.

“Whadidja do that for?” Tommy said, watching him with the glassy eyes of someone going into shock. Faint black lines were spreading up the flesh of his neck, growing from his injured shoulder.

“Because I’m gonna have to kill you Tommy, you’re gonna become one of them, and I didn’t want your brother trying to stop me from what I’ve got to do.”

“You son of a bitch,” Tommy said as he tried to push himself up.

“I’m sorry,” Randy said before he jammed the end of the pipe into Tommy’s left eye, driving it down through the boy’s brain, killing him instantly.

End Excerpt

Short Stories

I love reading short stories but have always found it difficult to write them, yet I persist.

One of the best I’ve read recently is Christopher Golden’s God Bag. It appears in the anthology Beyond the Veil edited by Mark Morris, go look it up, it’s chock full of some good shorts.

Comments from early readers of my 8500-word short story, Nobody’s, is promising. A first-person account that follows a character who was late to work and witnessed the fall of the twin towers. He then starts running into people from his office who should have perished that day.

Moving forward with Laundromat People after some very illuminating comments from early readers. When he was six William uncovered a secret in the local laundromat. As an adult he will come face to face with that secret again and will never be the same after.

Current reads:

Beulah by Christi Nogle

Do not Weep For Me by Tony Tremblay

Recently completed.

Come With Me by Ronald Malfi 5 stars. I’m a big fan of his work.

Summer of Night by Dan Simmons 5 stars.

Movies:

Haven’t watched a movie in some time, not since I saw The Quiet Place for an assignment, but I am looking forward to the next season of Love Death & Robots on Netflix, which should drop today if I didn’t mess up the scheduling of this post.

That’s all I have for this week. If you like what you’ve read and want updates when I post I’d appreciate it if you hit the like and follow button for this post and my blog. I’ll soon be giving a free short story away every month for everyone who signs up for my newsletter. I’ll share more details when they’re available.

What book or short story have you recently read that really stuck with you? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by.

Fridays 5 03/04/2022

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

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

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. 

Thad White

A: Depends if you mean writing specifically, or include peripheral stuff that’s essential but not actually writing. For the latter, it’s promotion/marketing. There’s a stereotype of Englishmen being a bit backward about coming forward, and I’m even more introverted than that. It just feels awkward trying to promote myself and my work.

For writing specifically I don’t get writer’s block often but when I do it often takes days or even weeks to properly overcome. Better background work (planning the plot and building the world) have helped to reduce the number of times this happens.

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.

David A Simpson

David A Sinpson Author Photo

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.

J.A. 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: J A 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.

Craig Saunder

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.

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.


This Way to Heaven

Coming of age during the zombie apocalypse

Click on the image above to start reading today.

Kindle Vella, stories told one episode at a time.

How far would you go to survive? On the eve of the zombie apocalypse four boys witness the dawn of a new age. Trapped in 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.

It’s not long before they learn the walking dead are the least of their worries as rivalries threaten to divide them, and an evil presence in the basement seeks to enslave them.

New This Week 02/28/2022

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

The Shadow Dreams : J. Dispenza

Synopsis: A neophyte psychic. A horrifying premonition. A battle between destiny and those gifted few who can change it. High school has never been so rough.

When 16-year-old Ophelia Clark has a clairvoyant nightmare about a murder, Isra Kawn – a watcher for a mysterious order – comes to the picturesque southern town of Monroe to put the girl’s budding talents to the test.

Ophelia’s challenge will push her beyond her abilities and into harm’s way as she gathers clues from her terrifying dream to stop what is already in motion before it’s too late.

Monroe’s townsfolk are oblivious to the threat of death that could strike at any moment. But a newcomer psychologist, a county cop, a full-time mother, and a high school classmate soon find themselves in the crosshairs of fate. Each will give their own account of events as they become entangled in Ophelia’s mystical journey.

Will Ophelia prove she has what it takes to bend the future and save a life?

The Girl Who Didn’t Die: Ruby Jean Jensen

Synopsis: Waves of terror swept me as I huddled, cold and wet at the water’s edge. Over and over, the accident haunted me. The bridge—wet, slippery, so narrow. And then the fog—thick, condensing, coming from behind, then covering the windshield. Smothering me, blinding me. Oh, God, where’s the railing? Then blackness … and icy water lapping, lapping. The hunters who found me on the shore were puzzled. How had I escaped? My car was still under water, locked. I knew no answers, only that I must go on to the dark house I would use as a hunting lodge, to welcome the strong young men who would come as hunters and might stay as lovers.

Men, Women, and Ghosts: Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward

Synopsis: “Men, Women, and Ghosts” is a short story collection by Elizabeth Phelps that deals with primarily the supernatural but also a whole host of topics never publicly addressed at the time. Apart from a few stories such as ‘The Day of My Death’, the ghosts here aren’t the stereotypical clanking chains and wailing type, they’re beleaguered, frustrated souls who have suffered great hardship. “One of the Elect” reads like a changeling story, but gradually becomes a tale dealing with sentimentality and the pains of prostitution. One of the strongest tales is ‘Kentucky’s Ghost’, an old sailors tale of bullying and revenge at sea combined with a compelling and gripping narrative.

Termination at the Halt: Ghost Train Murder Mystery: Yvonne Marrs

Synopsis: Discovery of the decades old skeleton somewhat throws restoration plans…

With a passion for ‘The Golden Age of Steam’, Mike Izzard decided “Bringing the Past into the Present” at Old Ghost Station Nast Hyde Halt must be done. Undertaking the four year renovation independently in 2015, it is little surprise this amassed him a worldwide following.

Tantalised by the tale, author Yvonne created Mike’s website about the St. Albans to Hatfield branch line. (www.nasthydehalt.wordpress.com) Realising this would make a great plot for her 40th book, Yvonne has weaved together a biographical story with paranormal goings-on, historical facts and fictional elements.


Now Available

Click the image below to read my short story, Black Ice, for free in the March issue of The Horror Zine.

You may also order the paperback, or kindle version at the following link. Kindle

Or visit the horror zine site for tons of free fiction from some of the top names in horror today, along with the up and coming writers of the future. The Horror Zine Scroll down to the fiction tab for back issues.

Fridays 5 02/25/2022

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

Clicking on the authors name will take you to their website or amazon author page. Check them out, show some love, maybe you’ll find a new author to follow.

Dave Wimset

Dave Wimset author photo

A: I was taking a novel writing course many decades ago with a bestselling author and thought the manuscript I handed in the first week was fantastic. The instructor detailed numerous deficits, all of them true. I wandered out of the classroom feeling terrible and reached an intersection. There was a trash can next to me. I said to myself, out loud, “All tight. This is where you choose. Either throw this manuscript in the trash and never write again or accept that you need to stop thinking of your writing as your baby or your blood on the page and learn to take criticism and use it to improve. That is the point at which I became a writer.

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.

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.

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.

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 fuelled 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.

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.


This Way to Heaven

Click on the image above to start reading today.

26 Episodes now available.

Kindle Vella: Stories told one episode at a time.

Synopsis: As if their lives weren’t tough enough, a zombie apocalypse has changed the world for four boys living on the hard edge of life. Trapped in the apartment building where they live, they will be forced to embrace the darkness that lives within, if they hope to survive. It isn’t long before they learn the walking dead are the least of their worries as rivalries boil to the surface within their small group.

If that wasn’t bad enough they find out the basement is haunted by the ghosts of the past and a creature that needs to feed on their fear. Trapped between the terrors outside, and the horror within, their only hope lies behind a solitary door in the basement that appears to offer refuge.

But what will it cost to escape.?

About the author: Richard is the author of eight novels, three novellas, and a collection of short stories. His most recent novel is a paranormal ghost story titled Cursed. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association, and the Maryland Writers Association.

New This Week 02/21/2022

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

Burning Vengeance: K Turner

Available 02/24/2022

Synopsis: Hell hath no fury like that of a witch scorned.

Bob Carver was not only exceedingly handsome, but he knew how to turn on the charm; not to mention having been born into one of the wealthiest families in town. There was no doubt that he was used to getting his way. That is, at least, until he meets Sarah. When his efforts to charm her backfire, the only way he knows how to respond is through anger. But when he unknowingly ushers in an age-old prophecy, he has no idea the reign of terror that he has just unleashed on himself and his friends. This small town is about to become the background for their worst nightmares. Some secrets won’t sleep. They beckon from beyond the grave to be revealed.

Dark Spirits – The Lemp Family : Candace Adams

Available 02/25/2022

Synopsis: The prodigal son of a respected beer Baron, William Lemp inherited his family’s legacy in the form of a brewery his father Adam Lemp raised to an empire. This empire was built on blood and an American dream hiding a nightmare. William soon discovered that the good fortune of the Lemp family came with a price. What followed was an era of grief and madness, plagued by war and prohibition, sending what once seemed a charmed existence spiraling into darkness. Because the dead don’t always stay buried, and when you make a deal with the devil, he will come to collect.

Celeste : Marie O’Regan

Available 02/22/2022

Synopsis: Adoration has a high price

Celeste is ancient, beautiful, and deadly. Aided by her servant, Clive, she has lived for over 200 years, drawing her life force from the adoration of others – first in her native country of America and, when forced to flee her home there, in London. Now she has a new target for her affections in Sam. And when she invades his dreams and his life in order to seduce him and feed on his desires, she doesn’t reckon on the power of his love for his wife, Marianne, or the terrible price her obsession with him will exact. A terrifying novel from the Shirley Jackson and British Fantasy award-nominated Marie O’Regan (Mirror Mere, In Times of Want and Other Stories), this will make you think, make you shiver and make you question your own closest relationships.


This Way to Heaven

Coming of age in a post-apocalyptic world.

Kindle Vella: Stories told one episode at a time

26 Episodes now available with a new one posted every week.

Synopsis: As if their lives weren’t tough enough, a zombie apocalypse has changed the world for four boys living on the hard edge of life. Trapped in the apartment building where they live, they will be forced to embrace the darkness that lives within, if they hope to survive. It isn’t long before they learn the walking dead are the least of their worries as rivalries boil to the surface within their small group.

If that wasn’t bad enough they find out the basement is haunted by the ghosts of the past and a creature that needs to feed on their fear. Trapped between the terrors outside, and the horror within, their only hope lies behind a solitary door in the basement that appears to offer refuge.

But what will it cost to escape.?

Fridays 5 02/18/2022

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

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

Thomas F Monteleone

A: When I saw my name on the cover of the March 1973 issue of Amazing Science Fiction magazine, I realized I had accomplished something that 99% of the population would never do. And most likely would never think to do.

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.

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. 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: Not published—yet! I will self publish my fiction series when it is done though. No one can stop me! Only myself, ha.\

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.

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!

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.


This Way to Heaven

As if their lives weren’t tough enough, a zombie apocalypse has changed the world for four boys living on the hard edge of life. Trapped in the apartment building where they live, they will be forced to embrace the darkness that lives within, if they hope to survive. It isn’t long before they learn the walking dead are the least of their worries as rivalries boil to the surface within their small group.

If that wasn’t bad enough they find out the basement is haunted by the ghosts of the past and a creature that needs to feed on their fear. Trapped between the terrors outside, and the horror within, their only hope lies behind a solitary door in the basement that appears to offer refuge.

But what will it cost to escape.?

A Kindle Vella feature, stories told one episode at a time. Click on the image above to read the first three episodes for free.

New This Week 02/14/2022

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

My Ouija Boyfriend : David Irons

Synopsis: Kathy Waltz is a very lonely girl. Her mother died when she was fourteen – a careless hit and run. Her father, a policeman, was killed on the job. Now it’s just Kathy and her stepmom, Suzy.

Life can be cruel at times.

Kathy Waltz is a fortunate girl, however. She’s just turned Sweet Sixteen, and she’s found the one thing she’s always wanted: Love.

The only problem is … her new boyfriend is dead.

She gave him her heart, but he wanted … her soul.

My Ouija Boyfriend.

Falling in love has never been so frightening.

Conversations With Dead Serial Killers: Ashley Lister

Synopsis: “A clown can get away with murder.”
John Wayne Gacy, the killer clown.

Derek Turner makes his living as a psychic. But, when he makes his first genuine contact with the spirit world, it is an encounter that starts him on a pathway to holding conversations with dead serial killers.

Someone is recreating the most infamous crimes of the world’s sickest serial killers: including Jack the Ripper, BTK, Charles Albright and Ed Gein. Derek learns that it’s within his power to either profit from this situation or bring it to a needed conclusion and prevent further unnecessary deaths.

But profit can be a compelling argument.

Blending the reports from true crime stories with the lies from a professional psychic, Conversations with Dead Serial Killers explores the danger and obscenity that comes from glamourising murderers.

Mothman – Return to Point Pleasant: Scott Donnelly

Synopsis: Between November 1966 and December 1967, the small Appalachian town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia was stalked and harassed by a terrifying entity dubbed, The Mothman. The sightings came to an abrupt — and suspicious — end after the bridge that connected Point Pleasant to Ohio collapsed, killing forty-six people.

Over a half a century has passed since the tragedy in Point Pleasant, when Billy Slater and his mom move to the small town, blissfully unaware of the horrific things that have cast a dark cloud over the town to this very day.

But then, in one sudden gust of unimaginable horror, the close-knit community of Point Pleasant is thrust back into the same madness, chaos and nerve-shredding fear they suffered fifty-five years earlier. Inhuman screeches erupt in the night, glowing red eyes appear in the darkness, and the town is forced to face their demons once again. But this time things are different. Evolution is inevitable.

The MOTHMAN has returned.

The Beyond: Ken Brosky

Synopsis: Moon Song’s brother has gone missing in the town of Blackrock, Pennsylvania. Worried that her brother has slipped back into addiction and desperate for answers, Moon hires private investigator Ben Sawyer to help her uncover the truth. Together they discover what the people of Blackrock refuse to acknowledge: something terrible has happened inside the coal mine that defies all logical explanation, and it threatens the lives of every single person in town. Bodies are piling up at the funeral home, and many others have seemingly vanished.

Moon’s only hope of finding answers rests in the hands of a local professor who knows the mine’s horrible secrets. But the professor has problems of his own, and unless he can confront the creature that’s hunting him, Moon’s chances of making it out of town alive are darker than a seam of coal.

The Wayfarer House: Mitch Sebourn

Synopsis: Six years after he was sentenced to prison for beating a man to death with a guitar, Ryan LaFaye finds himself back at the scene of the crime: a quiet, unassuming house on the Arkansas River. Ryan’s goal is to settle in for a few weeks with his laptop and guitar and write an album that will reignite his career as a singer-songwriter. What better subject matter than the past he has to face, anyway?

But there is a malevolent spirit inside the house that has no intention of letting Ryan LaFaye leave with his life.

And that is only the beginning of the horror.


Cursed

Read for free with Kindle Unlimited

Before Christine’s father left for Iraq he won 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 moved 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. 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. 

Will her father’s love be enough to protect her from a wrath even death couldn’t tame?

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

Fridays 5 02/11/2022

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

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

Lisa Marie Wood

A: Interestingly enough, the writing itself (the crafting of the tale) isn’t hard to me. It can be challenging, sure, and it’s not without its ups and downs, but hard is not a label I would place on the process. The hard part about writing comes later – when I have to put together back cover copy or overviews or – shriek! – marketing copy. Condensing the behemoth of a novel down to 150 words… that’s where the difficulty lies! 

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: Time -finding the right time. Some days the ideas and the writing are synched perfectly. But there are days when the ideas are there but the writing is laborious, or vice-versa, I’m in the mood to write but have no inspiration. With working full-time and a busy social and family life, finding the right time where that synchronicity of ideas and ability merge is sporadic. Even if I were to set aside time, I don’t think it would work. Everything needs to come together perfectly for me to be truly productive. During the pandemic I was able to find more time – thus my book was completed.

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.

Lee Andrew Taylor

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 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.

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.

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.

New This Week 02/07/2022

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

Ghost of a Marriage: Richard Dansky

Synopsis: There’s something in Gary’s house that doesn’t want him there.

Ever since his marriage fell apart, he’s been seeing things, things that everyone keeps on telling him aren’t there.

But Gary’s not just seeing things, and soon it’s more than his peace of mind that’s at stake—it’s his life.

Something in the Groove: Glenn Rolfe

Synopsis: Lee, an urban shaman, gets tasked with tracking down a vinyl copy of the Dark Light EP by the ’80s hard rock band, Bad Obsession. The extremely rare record is said to be cursed. Nearly every copy of the album burned in a fire at Tower Records in Los Angeles the day of its release. With only one remaining member of the band alive and living in a home for those battling Alzheimer’s, Lee must return to Maine, a place where he’s battled evil forces before, and see if he can retrieve the album.

Living her life on autopilot and working in an economy motel, Rhiannon is visited by a dark force she’s not felt in years. The evil is familiar but not quite what she remembered. This is something else. In over her head, she calls out for Lee, hoping her old friend can hear her.

Brought back together by a force beyond anything either has dealt with prior, Lee and Rhiannon must combat powers beyond their realm. The Master wants to come through, and should someone spin the crimson vinyl, that’s just what he’ll do. A portal is about to open, and the world is about to learn the true meaning of pain.

Something in the Groove is calling… Can you hear it?

The Airplane Haunting: Carrie Bates

Synopsis: Stay off of Flight 161.

Something bad happened on Flight 161 many years ago. Something that Tara is not aware of, and the flight from Chicago to Las Vegas is never a smooth one. Mechanical issues mysteriously appear, people mysteriously vanish on board, and passengers experience terror each time they board.

When Tara and pilot Parker uncover the evil that is terrorizing the plane, they must find a way to stop it before their, and their passengers’, lives are ended, and Flight 161 will go down in another horrid history.


This Way to Heaven

As if their lives weren’t already hard enough, a zombie apocalypse has changed the world of four boys living on the hard edge of life. Trapped in 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. They quickly learn the walking dead are the least of their worries as rivalries boil to the surface within their small group.

As if that wasn’t bad enough they find out the basement is haunted by the ghosts of the past and a creature with a need to feed on their fear. Trapped between the terrors outside, and the fear within, their only hope lies behind a solitary door in the basement that seems to offer refuge.

But how high is the price to pass through?

This Way to Heaven

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Fridays 5 02/04/2022

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This week the authors answer the question: “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 amazon author page.

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.

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.

Rick Hatuala

A: I’d ask Shakespeare not where he got his ideas, but how he developed them … or I’d ask Hawthorne why he seemed to be depressed all the time.

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.

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 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. The world lost William in July of 2021.

Peter Servido

A: Tolkien. I would want to know his inspiration for his world, creatures, and languages he created in Middle-Earth in his own works. And of course, I would also need to know if a hotdog is a sandwich?

Bio: Peter Servidio is a life-long learner with a passion for writing and is the author of the Earth Has Fallen series. After a childhood filled with reading books by Tolkien, Hubbard, Greenwood, Matheson, and Salvatore, Servidio has brought his imagination to life in his writings. His interests range from post-apocalyptic and dystopian worlds, to dabbling in crime novels and the metaphysical.

Having earned his doctorate from St. Thomas University, Servidio works as a College and Correspondence Coordinator for the Maine Department of Corrections as well as teachers part time at the University of Maine at Augusta. 


All Roads Lead to Terror

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?

All Roads Lead to Terror

Click link above to order.

New This Week 01/31/2022

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Clicking on the cover image will take you to that book’s sales page.

Bandun Gate : Miriam Van Scott

Synopsis: Ghosts and demons are very different creatures, but sometimes they keep company…

When I wrote a book about Hell, I never dreamed the demons would come after me.

Now, two decades later, dark spirits I had unwittingly riled have descended on Charleston, South Carolina, intent on revenge. Led by the malignant spirit of an executed murderess, the unholy alliance has set its sights on my only daughter, Abby.

Will help from an exorcist, a former cult member, a root doctor, and other preternatural sources be enough to stop the evil? Or will saving my family require a blood sacrifice?

Ghost Tours – Fact or Fiction : Erica Jackson

Synopsis: Married podcasters Bill and Darcy Robertson investigate haunted locations around the U.S. to discover if the supernatural is as real as the air they breathe. During their visit to Charleston, S.C., the couple gets more than they bargained for…

Cracked Sky : Ben Eads

Synopsis: Reeling from the loss of their only child, Stephen and Shelley Morrison take a harrowing journey through a world beyond the crack in the sky, where their daughter’s spirit is trapped with The Lost Ones. They must stop her murderer before it fulfills its goals: Terrorize. Consume. Destroy.

Do Not Weep For Me : Tony Tremblay

Synopsis: Goffstown, New Hampshire has seen its share of supernatural mayhem, murder, and monsters. With the banishment of the demon James Moore, some in the town believed their bloody past was behind them. The devil knows better.

For weeks, an old disabled woman hesitates then waddles past the window of the Goffstown News building. On the day she finally enters the office, she has one hell of a story to tell the editor, Manuel Chance, but there is a caveat to his publishing it. Manuel is skeptical of the bizarre tale and suspicious of her motives. When she removes her clothing to provide evidence for her story, his skepticism vanishes, but his suspicion grows when he hears the basis for her caveat. She wants Manuel to investigate her husband to determine if he is behind the disappearance of four local children.

As Paul Lane steps out of his home, uneasiness overwhelms him. While he’s distracted, his daughter Cindy asks to play on the swing set in the backyard. In the unguarded moment, Paul agrees, making it the biggest mistake of his life. After Cindy disappears without a trace, a woman approaches Paul with a similar story. Together, they wait for the return of their children. When the two girls are found and returned to their parents, relief turns to confusion after the two girls make an astonishing claim. Confusion turns to horror when they discover the children have brought someone else back with them.

A battered, bruised, filthy woman pulls her stolen Subaru into a parking lot across from The Goffstown Pawnshop. With two decomposing bodies in the back of the car, she has driven non-stop from the Midwest to procure an item from the pawnshop owner. Possessed, she will stop at nothing to retrieve it. Inside the shop, the owner and his assistant Rex notice the woman on a surveillance camera. When the three of them do battle inside the pawnshop, it will be the first volley in a war to decide who will rule in Hell.

Shaken from his conflict with the demon residing in The Moore House, the pawnshop owner in Goffstown had hoped for a reprieve from supernatural carnage. Instead, violence remains his only option when a possessed woman enters his shop demanding an item he is sworn to protect. Three who had assisted him in defeating the demon James Moore are pulled back into battle. They, along with three innocents sucked into this new vortex of evil, are the only ones preventing an overthrow of Hell. The problem for the pawnshop owner is, God isn’t the one on their side.


Kindle Vella. Stories told one episode at a time. Read the first three episodes for free. Get 200 free tokens when you sign up.

This Way to Heaven

As if their lives weren’t already hard enough, a zombie apocalypse has changed the world of four boys living on the hard edge of life. Trapped in 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. It isn’t long before they learn the walking dead are the least of their worries as rivalries bubble to the surface within their small group.

In the basement they find a door unlike all the others. Beyond lies a place that offers a safety they’ve never known.

But what will it cost to enter?

Fridays 5 01/28/2022

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

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

Wednesday Lee Friday

A: Abnormal psychology, sociopolitical issues, carnivorous plants, mentoring young authors, all things horror.

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.

SJ 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. 

Thad White

A: I follow Formula 1 pretty closely, and love reading classical history and fantasy. As well as being fascinating in its own right history makes it easier to understand the modern world, the context of events and to build a more coherent and realistic fantasy world for writing.

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.

David A Simpson

David A Sinpson Author Photo

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.

J.A, Russell

A: I am passionate about reading and horses. I own a beautiful white appaloosa mare named Whisper. It is because of her I put together a charity anthology called Scarlet Whispers, that benefits a local equine rescue called Hilltop Haven. I even board my horse there – at least until I find my new country home.

Bio: J A 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.

Cursed

Read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

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 becomes the target of a legend that is proving to be more fact than fiction.

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

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

Get your copy HERE.

New This Week 01/24/2022

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

The Pale Horse : Michael Tyree

Synopsis: Welcome back to San Dismas. Take a trip through six tales of dread and heartache. A modern-day martyr is given a second chance at life as a vengeful avatar in The Psalm of Saint Jackie. An ex-politician learns to live with the ghosts of war crimes past in Survivor’s Guilt. In Cherrywood Hearts, a soon-to-be mother loses everything in one day of ill-fated luck but soon finds a new purpose in her journey through grief. She is thrown into an extraordinary situation where she must ask herself, how much would she sacrifice for the life of a child that is not her own? So come along if you dare, through stories of life. death, loss, closure, transformation, and finality, as we court the rider, of The Pale Horse.

San Dismas isn’t a place you’d want to visit, but you might find yourself there. When you do, pray you’re not in a Tyree story because you’ll find yourself trapped in a cataclysm of nightmares and collapsed dreams with nowhere to turn. The bastard son of Ballingrud and Barker, Tyree peels back the human layers of fear and is more than happy to examine what breaks us.
Robert P Ottone, Author of Her Infernal Name & Other Nightmares.

Beulah : Christi Nogle

Synopsis: Beulah is the story of Georgie, an eighteen-year-old with a talent (or affliction) for seeing ghosts. Georgie and her family have had a hard time since her father died, but she and her mother Gina and sisters Tommy and Stevie are making a new start in the small town of Beulah, Idaho where Gina’s wealthy friend Ellen has set them up to help renovate an old stone schoolhouse. Georgie experiences a variety of disturbances—the town is familiar from dreams and she seems to be experiencing her mother’s memory of the place, not to mention the creepy ghost in the schoolhouse basement—but she is able to maintain, in her own laconic way, until she notices that her little sister Stevie also has the gift. Stevie is in danger from a malevolent ghost, and Georgie tries to help, but soon Georgie is the one in danger.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea : Gord Rollo

Synopsis: Charter fishing boat captain, Miguel Santora, is an honest man who’s in serious trouble. He’s in over his head, owing money and allegiance to a slimeball mafia boss named Alberto Tonelli, who runs the shadier sections of Brooklyn with an iron fist. As payback, he’s forced to let Tonelli and his goons have access to his boat, the Amada Maria, to drop some of their enemies’ dead bodies into the Atlantic Ocean, chained to concrete cinder blocks.

Miguel’s life goes from bad to worse, as Tonelli and his massive henchman, Hugo Taft, show up unannounced, with yet another body in need of disposal. Only this time, the man destined to be tossed overboard is still alive. He’s been beaten and tortured, but he’s still breathing. Helping these thugs in the past was morally wrong, but Miguel knows that assisting the mobsters this time means becoming an accomplice to murder. But how can Miguel refuse Tonelli’s orders without becoming a casualty of these ruthless men himself?

Victor Matheson, the condemned man, is someone who harbors many secrets, and he’s far less helpless than anyone aboard the Amada Maria knows. Before finally being thrown overboard, chained to the heavy concrete block, he confides in Miguel that he is ‘undrownable.’ This revelation is only the beginning of a strange adventure that will see Miguel tested to the very limits of his sanity as he tries to uncover the truth of who this mysterious man really is. His search will take him from the docks of Brooklyn’s East River to the small coastal New England town of Newburyport, where a secret race of horrific creatures and a century’s old curse foretold in the fantastical stories of H. P. Lovecraft are preparing to unleash Hell on Earth.

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.

Quaint and picturesque Porter Mines looked like the perfect place to raise her daughter. But old secrets lie restless beneath that innocent facade, and Christine becomes the target of a legend that is proving to be more fact than fiction.

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

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

Read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

Fridays 5 01/21/82022

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

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

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.

Dave Wimset

Dave Wimset author photo

A: It was great to hold the book in my hand. The big emotional experience was when I finally finished the book and cried as the accomplishment sank in after years of work.

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.

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.

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.

A.M. Harte

A: Exuberant and incredulous… and also really relieved. I feel that way with every release, to be honest.

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.

What’s waiting behind the door in the basement?

How far would you go to survive?

On the eve of the zombie apocalypse four boys witness the dawn of a new age. Trapped in 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.

It’s not long before they learn the walking dead are the least of their worries as rivalries threaten to divide them. In the basement they stumble upon a door unlike all the others.

What waits on the other side?

But more importantly, what will it cost to enter?

Read This Way to Heaven

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Stories told one episode at a time.

This Way to Heaven

Click the link above.

A new episode every week.

New This Week

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

City of Saints and Madmen: A Novel (The Ambergris Trilogy Book 1) – Jeff VanderMeer

Synopsis: City of elegance and squalor. Of religious fervor and wanton lusts. And everywhere, on the walls of courtyards and churches, an incandescent fungus of mysterious and ominous origin. In Ambergris, a would-be suitor discovers that a sunlit street can become a killing ground in the blink of an eye. An artist receives an invitation to a beheading—and finds himself enchanted. And a patient in a mental institution is convinced that he’s made up a city called Ambergris, imagined its every last detail, and that he’s really from a place called Chicago . . .

By turns sensuous and terrifying, filled with exotica and eroticism, this interwoven collection of stories, histories, and “eyewitness” reports invokes a universe within a puzzle box where you can lose—and find—yourself again.

L is for Lycan (A to Z Horror Book 12) Anthology

Synopsis: L is for Lycans, the twelfth book in an epic series of twenty-six horror anthologies. In this book you will find a selection of thirteen frightening tales from some of the best independent horror authors of today. From bloody tales of revenge to experiments gone wrong, from the historical to the futuristic, L is for Lycans puts a spin on the traditional theme and will have you avoiding nights when the moon shines bright.

Paused : Stephanie Ellis

Synopsis: People are stopping, bodies halting regardless of situation or location. They are still alive but completely unresponsive, vulnerable statues utterly at the mercy of their environment. Unable to run from fire, some burn. Unable to return to shore, some drown. Unable to move from the path of a truck, some are crushed. Nor are you safe at home—unable to move, you starve.

Dr Alex Griffiths heads a research department in a university hospital. As more and more succumb to this strange affliction—including his own family—it becomes a race against time for his team to find an answer before they too are affected.

This Way to Heaven

How far would you go to survive? On the eve of the zombie apocalypse four boys witness the dawn of a new age. Trapped in 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.

It’s not long before they learn the walking dead are the least of their worries as rivalries threaten to divide them. In the basement they stumble upon a door unlike the others.

What waits on the other side?

What will it cost to enter?

A Kindle Vella story told one episode at a time. Click on the image above to be taken to the story.

Fridays 5 01/14/2022

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

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

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.

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 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.

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. 

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.

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!

Have you read The Locked Room?

Greed can drive a person to do some pretty crazy things. It drives Peter to ignore the warning signs in his quest to find out what lies behind the locked door on the third floor of the Warrnick Mansion.

Why would someone nail a door shut? Unless it was to keep something in. Driven by dreams of riches beyond measure Peter does everything in his power to get into that locked room.

What’s waiting behind that silent facade?

Read The Locked Room to find out.

The Locked Room

A kindle Vella read, stories told one episode at a time. Read the first three episodes for free. Get 200 free tokens when you sign up.

New This Week 01/10/2022

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Captives and Prisoners: a Jen Rice novel – Shannon L Mayer

Synopsis: When Jen Rice witnesses the murder of a werewolf, she wants the culprits brought to justice. Soon, she discovers that people she thought she could trust will turn on her and allies can be found in the most surprising of places. When a demon-possessed psychic targets her for assassination, she must find a way to thwart his scheme before falling to his traps. Not only that, but the psychic isn’t the only demon-infested being with Jen in his sights.

It seems like everywhere she turns; danger waits in the shadows for a taste of her blood. With the help of her brother Patrick and Troy, her half-werewolf friend, she discovers that treacherous waters run deep and she will have to be fast on her feet if she wants to survive.

In a world where werewolves, vampires, and poltergeists are common, sometimes just being human can be the biggest challenge of all. 

Paused : Stephanie Ellis

Synopsis: People are stopping, bodies halting regardless of situation or location. They are still alive but completely unresponsive, vulnerable statues utterly at the mercy of their environment. Unable to run from fire, some burn. Unable to return to shore, some drown. Unable to move from the path of a truck, some are crushed. Nor are you safe at home—unable to move, you starve.

Dr Alex Griffiths heads a research department in a university hospital. As more and more succumb to this strange affliction—including his own family—it becomes a race against time for his team to find an answer before they too are affected.

The Haunting of Bridge Manor : Marc Layton

Synopsis: A mysterious manor, a dark history of death, and a young woman who must unravel the secrets… or die.

Rachel wants to start over and heal after a devastating injury. When her parents buy a creepy old manor on a lake, she’s wary at best. The home gives her the creeps and the neighbors seem to think the place is haunted. But ghosts aren’t real, right?

When strange things start happening, Rachel becomes determined to uncover the truth. What really happened at Bridge Manor?

The home’s brutal and twisted past only disturbs the girl further and inexplicable events begin to make her wonder if there’s truth behind the rumors. One thing’s for sure; there’s something very, very wrong with Bridge Manor. Is the apparition of the Lady on the Lake Rachel sees just a dream? Or are ghosts, in fact, real? Rachel must uncover the truth… before it’s too late.

This Way to Heaven

What secrets lie behind the door to room 19 in the basement?

Follow this link to find out, a Kindle Vella story. This Way to Heaven

Fridays 5 02/07/2022

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

Click on the authors name for their website or amazon author page.

Dale E Lehman

A: I’ve been writing since childhood, but it wasn’t until high school that I thought of myself as a writer. Thereafter, it took years of study, practice, and my wife’s brutal red pen to develop my craft to the point of publishability. 

Bio: Dale E. Lehman is an award-winning writer, veteran software developer, amateur astronomer, and bonsai artist in training. He principally writes mysteries, science fiction, and humor. In addition to his novels, his writing has appeared in “Sky & Telescope” and on Medium.com. With his wife Kathleen he owns and operates the imprint Red Tales. They have five children, six grandchildren, and two feisty cats. At any given time, Dale is at work on several novels and short stories.

Lisa Marie Wood

A: Very early. I wrote my first work (I guess we’d call it a novelette now) when I was five years old. I knew I had put together a story that was capable of getting a reaction, so I labeled myself “author” right then and there.

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’ve always enjoyed writing, ever since I started reading. The idea of being able to tell a story that other people would want to hear has always been captivating to me. I loved public speaking (still do) and performing in front of people (still do). Writing is part of that process. My favourite classes in school were English Literature and writing book reports was something I genuinely enjoyed. I remember writing song lyrics and singing in a band with friends. Music pulled me into writing my own poems, and studying poetry in school made me want to become better. I would say that I’ve always considered myself a lover of writing, but I had never considered myself a professional writer. And even now, with my first book published, I don’t think that my feelings have changed. It is super thrilling though, to have received positive reviews from strangers.

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.

Lee Alan Taylor Author Photo

Lee Andrew 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.

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.

This Way to Heaven. How far would you go to survive?

Life has changed for Jimmy, Robert, Todd, and Wayne. Four young boys who live at the hard edge of life. Their world has been turned upside down by a zombie apocalypse. Follow along to see how they cope, but be warned, sometimes to survive we have to unleash the darkness that lives within all of us.

A kindle Vella read with a new episode every week. Read the first three episodes for free. Get 200 free tokens when you sign up.

This Way to Heaven

New This Week 01/03/2022

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I am so sorry for dropping the ball last year. Between Covid and a couple of health issues in the family I was unable to remain focused on getting my weekly posts up. Hopefully with the new year I’ll be able to keep up my end of the bargain. So without further adieu I give you this weeks new releases.

As always click on the cover for more info or to order.

Sinister Sacrament: The Soultyers Saga Book 1 – Jordan Gray

Synopsis: A restless ghost. A missing body. A killer with more than bloodlust on his mind…

Seth Clarke is a Soultyer, a psychic who has used his abilities to help the dead move on. Emily Bell is a ghost, the last victim of notorious ’90s serial killer, Harrison Kennedy. Unlike Kennedy’s other victims, however, Emily’s body was never found.

And she can’t pass on until she’s been put to rest.

With the help of a fellow Soultyer, a witch, and a deputy sheriff on the Bell cold case, Seth races to find Emily’s body and give her a proper burial. But Harrison—executed nearly thirty years ago, and now a vengeful spirit—thwarts them at every turn. And as Seth discovers, this killer’s plans are far more sinister than anything he ever committed in life.

Wadhurst Ghost Stories: James Ward

Synopsis: Could there really be a gargantuan snake, sleeping the sleep of the ages, somewhere beneath a hillock, just outside Wadhurst? And are there other, equally strange, beings ‘living’ (if we can really use that term) beneath the same earth? Was there once a spectacular magical ‘obelisk’ sited in a local field?

And, while we’re on the subject, who, or what, is ‘The Oilman’? Where did Dr Jenkinson’s mysterious machine come from? Who was Simon Francis Geffers? Did such a person ever really exist? And how can anyone possibly explain that ‘forty-foot wide spectre with teeth’ we still keep hearing about?

Demon House: The Haunting of Demler Mansion Penny Wright Book 3 – A. N. Willis

Synopsis: Demler Mansion has seen its share of darkness. In 1995, serial killer Edmund Demler set a fire there, ending his own life. A quarter century later, urban explorers break into the old ruin. They find a once-grand house now falling into decay—blackened walls, broken furniture, echoes that sound like voices.

Then something far more terrifying finds them.

After this latest tragedy, medium Penny Wright arrives to investigate. She’s now part of a team of para-sensitives—sent by the mysterious Mercury Group—charged with ridding Demler Mansion of its haunting. From her first moments inside the house, Penny suspects that the spirit of Edmund Demler has never left.

But the ghost is watching her, too. Luring her closer. Waiting for his moment to strike.

And once he claims her, Demler has no intention of ever letting Penny go.

Read for free on Kindle Unlimited.

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, but 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 her daughter Christine from a wrath even death couldn’t tame?

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

Vella Update.

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I’ve just uploaded the 13th episode to my Kindle Vella story This Way to Heaven, and wanted to share a little taste of what you will find inside. The following excerpt comes from episode 13. When you don’t have time to sit down and read a whole book serialized fiction offers stories in bite sized chunks that can be read in a matter of minutes.

“Say cheese,’ Randy said as he brought the pipe around in a nasty arc. The tip clipped the side of Jimmy’s mother’s face, and her head was whipped around to the right, black blood spraying across the floor. The threaded tip had opened her cheek, removing most of the flesh, and shattering several molars. She appeared unfazed by the violence of his attack and swiveled her head back to look at him with impassive hunger.

Randy took a step back, his bravado collapsing in the face the woman’s lack of emotion. Having watched the popular zombie shows of the time he’d always imagined himself as one the heroic survivors wading through masses of the undead without thought. Now, face to face with one of these creatures, especially one wearing a familiar face, he found himself unable to carry through with what he knew needed to be done. Jimmy’s mom had always been nice to those around her. Even in her dealings with him, when she and her son first moved to the apartment, she had a kind word to share. Even when he was picking on Mr. Knowitall she never held a grudge against him. As if she knew what they were going through was all a part of growing up.

Unlike his own parents who were always distant, unable to show even the most basic of emotions for their only child. They never abused him physically, but emotionally was a different matter. He never lacked for anything save the most important thing, his mother’s love. He was jealous of what the other kids in the building had. Parents who gave a damn. Even Pete’s father, who was known to abuse him, or Robert’s dad whose verbal assaults were legendary. Deep down, where it really mattered, he knew they loved their kids.

The realization drove Randy into a murderous frenzy. It wasn’t fair! And he lashed out savagely, the only way he knew how. Jimmy’s mom had gotten to her feet, and he whipped the metal pipe around, lost in his fury, the vibration of the pipe striking bone numbed his fingers, but he maintained his grip, wading into the women like a dervish.

If you’d like to check out the story follow the link below. You can read the first three episodes for free, and you get 200 free tokens when you sign up. Tokens are used to open additional episodes beyond the first three.

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B0999T5T9N

Kindle Vella

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I’ve dipped my toe into the Kindle Vella pool.

For those who have never heard of it, in a nutshell, Kindle Vella provides serialized stories to readers. Chapters are called episodes and a collection of episodes can be combined into a season, or a book.

The first three episodes of a season are free. Tokens can be used to purchase access to additional episodes. From what I’ve seen the cost of an episodes is tied to the word count. So an 1800 word episode would typically cost 18 tokens to access. Two bucks will get you 200 tokens. 5 bucks will get you 525, and so on up to 1700 tokens for 15 bucks.

In the first book of my post apocalyptic series This Lawless Land, Meat and his friends are captured by a cult of children who worship a creature that lives in the basement of their apartment building. I’ve always wanted to explore that group further, to delve into the events and motivations that brought them to that point in their life. But to do so in a single book would not be feasible. I played with the idea, even went so far as to start writing the book, but began to realize as I passed the 25,000 word point, that it was going to take more than one book to do the story justice. I wanted to start getting the story out there. I even considered posting a chapter a week here, but realized that wouldn’t be feasible. Then along came Kindle Vella

I’ve posted the first nine episodes of This Way to Heaven, with plans to post a new episode every week. Each episode will be between 1500 to 200 words. I hope you’ll follow along on this new journey. For those of you looking for book 5 of This Lawless Land, I’m working on it. I’m so sorry for the delay, but the past two years have been sort of weird for all involved and though I had all this time to work, I couldn’t seem to get focused on anything until lately.

Anyway, here’s the link to my Kindle Vella story, This Way to Heaven. I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I am writing it.

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B0999T5T9N

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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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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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.