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 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?

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

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!

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.

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.

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.