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

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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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