This Week in Horror 12/13/2017

Mouth of the Underworld - Clint Westgard


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Synopsis:

The Mouth of the Underworld, the eater of souls, has long been lost. But Kasuir and Jasryl, Hautlyrun youths who have heard endless tales of it, discover its entrance in the highlands above their town.

They are forbidden to enter the cave, warned that the old tales may be true. But they are both young. They do not believe in those old stories, told to scare them as children. The old ways were all proven wrong when the Ven conquered and brought the railroad and modernity.

But sometimes old tales do have a kernel of truth. For something awaits them in the Mouth of the Underworld. From it, there will be no escape.

Piercing the Veil - Guy Riessen


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Synopsis:

What do flesh-eating cell phones, brain-enhancing tacos, and a real live dead foot have in common?

They're all tools in the destruction of our world, and a weapons-grade team of heavily-armed Miskatonic University nerds may be humanity’s last hope.

Something is ripping holes in the Veil of energy that separates our world from that of the ancient evils writhing just beyond what we think is reality. Time is running out for Professors Derrick LeStrand, Howard Strauss and their team of researchers as they race to hunt down a mysterious Frenchman who wields Necromantic Death Magic unlike anything they’ve seen before.

Tearing open psychological wounds from Derrick’s past, the cabalistic sorcerer is gathering ancient icons of power to pierce the Veil and bring down the only thing shielding mankind from the relentless horrors beyond.

If they fail, the only questions that will remain are who will live in servitude to the Great Old Ones and who will die…and who will supply Derrick with tacos?

Set against the backdrop of a world where H.P. Lovecraft was not a fiction writer, but a Sweep, a special operative trained to protect the collective sanity of the human race with misinformative blends of fact and fiction … where the Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual is little more than a slightly skewed Audubon Field Guide, and the monster movies you grew up with are more documentary than not.


The Cosmic Case of Chevy California - Aaron Ramsay


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Synopsis:

Chevy California is a private investigator, hired gun, and occasional killer of cosmic creatures from beyond the stars. Contracted to investigate the occult and strange in 1970's New Orleans, she has made a living out of dragging dark secrets into the light.

When the dirty cop who fronts her intel asks her to disrupt a drug deal as a personal favor, Chevy discovers that there's more to the back alley bargain than just cash and narcotics. The revelation of a secret society reaching the very top of New Orleans' government threatens to herald the return of a dead god--one whose first order of business will be to wipe clean the Earth of all human life squatting on it.

Chevy, between killing gods and tackling cults, keeps an eye on her ailing mother. Beyond the threat of human extinction and the human struggle of loss, Chevy must take stock of who she wants to be, so that she may confront who she is supposed to be.


The Ghost Game - J.D. Dixon & James Dixon


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Synopsis:

They got me in the cradle and they got me in the playground, following me, speaking to me my entire life.'

At first he didn't know who they were, these unquiet dead. From the earliest age they came to him, begging his attention, until one day he learned the horrifying truth. Now they are back once again to disrupt his peaceful life, and they will ask unspeakable things of him before the end. For Thomas, this is going to be a Christmas to remember. For his family, it will be a living nightmare.

From the critically acclaimed author of 'The unrivalled transcendence of Willem J. Gyle,' this novella will haunt you long after the final page has been turned.


Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare - Stephanie M. Wytovich & Steven Archer


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Synopsis:

Roll the windows down, wipe the blood off your cheek, and turn the music up. Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare by Stephanie M. Wytovich is a collection spattered with dirt and blood, sage and corpses. The poems inside are confessionals and dirges, their stories the careful banter of ghosts and sinners over tequila at the bar.

These pages hold the lyrics to the beautiful grotesque that Wytovich is known for, but here she writes with a raw honesty that we haven’t seen from her before. This new direction takes readers to hospital rooms and death beds, shows the mask that was skinned off her face time and time again. There’s a brutality to her lines that cuts with the same knife she fantasized about it, her blood and tears mixed in with stanzas as she talks about suicide and abuse, heartbreak and falling in love.

Written during a time when the road was her home, these poems were sung under the stars and screamed in the woods, carved into trees. They are broken bottles and cigarette butts, stale coffee and smeared lipstick, each its own warning, a tale of caution.
Listen to them carefully.

They very well might save your life.

Free Read Friday: Detsination Unknown

Photo courtesy of Olivier Guillard

Destination Unknown

Author note: Still struggling with this one as I try to wrap my mind around the details of the shadowy realm of the "In-Between". Following the original challenge of only allowing myself one hour to actually write the story I was only able to get down 460 words. As I told a writer on Facebook, I don't vomit on the page, I approach each session in a reasoned manner as I slowly uncover the gem of the story hidden from view. Still not sure where this one is headed but I sense a culmination lying out there beyond the next hill, wanna come along?

Read this story from the beginning HERE!
Every time I stepped over these creatures emerged from the shadowy depths, stalking me as they circled in to get closer. I don’t know if it was the warmth of my body, my scent, or maybe it was the spark of life I contained that drew them to me like an iron filing drawn to a magnet. I never let them get close, I didn’t want to see what they looked like.

They were always there, getting closer with every passing moment, even when I stepped back across they continued their search. Circling my last known as they narrowed in on where I’d been. I made the mistake once of stepping back over from the same place a few hours after I had been there.

You know how it is with kids, they discover something new they have to experiment with it. That was me, experimenting as I tried to understand what it all meant. After all this special talent didn’t come with an instruction manual. When I returned that shadowy realm from my bedroom they were nearly on top of me, the sound of their approach coming to me like the echo of a rock skipping across the surface of a silent pond.

Everything had changed as well, the landscape no longer resembled a shadowy copy of the world I came from, the walls of my bedroom were gone completely, along with the rest of the trailer and the other trailers crammed around ours in the trailer court.

The landmarks I needed to keep myself tethered to the world I came from was gone. In its place were towering spires of rock, columns of massive stones stacked haphazardly atop one another against all the rules of logic and physics. They moved among that forest of stone, shadowy shapes whispering through the spaces between the spires, like blood slowly seeping through torn skin, a sight I was sadly, intimately familiar with.

Within their soul they carried the spark of nightmares. Unimaginable creatures that lived in the shadowy realm of our own sub-conscious, fed by our own fears, and the self doubt that plagues us as we struggle to fall asleep. What I feared most was what lived in those flowing clouds of eternal emptiness, and they were hungry. As they got closer I detected dark shapes flitting to and fro frantically within those gloomy depths.

I came to understand later what happened. You see when I first step across I’m not all the way over into that other world, it takes time for my essence to bleed through. When I move and step back across my essence follows my movement at the same slow pace. Aside for that one time when I conducted my little experiment, I’ve never stepped back through and remained still. You have to keep moving or they’ll find you.

To be continued!

If you've been enjoying what you've read why don't you stop by my one of my Author Pages listed below to check out my other work. 





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This Week in Horror 12/6/2017

ALT-Reich: A LitFPS Nove - Craig Saunders


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Synopsis:

Think you’ve got what it takes to go toe-to-toe with the Nazi war machine?

Then step up, because this time, it’s not just your country.

Your world wants YOU.

Henry Brandon’s an old school gamer, real old school – nudging fifty, and living in heart attack county. A game falls into his ample lap, a game called ‘The New Reich’, in which he plays John Severance, badass last hope of mankind against the Nazi threat.

Henry races across the world, to Europe, Asia, fighting the menace which rules most of the world. But the true fight is at home. The U.S.A. is in the Nazis’ crosshairs, and only John Severance has the skills to save it.

From VR to Reality, Henry learns there are no reloads. When the Nazis march on the Capital, it falls to Franziska and him to fight the big boss, and save the free world from itself.

It’s only a game, though, right? One with an engine so good you can practically feel the warmth of all the blood on your hands...but sure, it’s just a game.

Fatal Game - Linda Ladd


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Synopsis:

ONE WRONG MOVE
Private detective Claire Morgan has come home from her honeymoon just in time for Christmas at Lake of the Ozarks. And for the sheriff's department, laid low with flu, to hand her a case guaranteed to chill her to the bone.

ONE CHANCE TO DIE
One of the homes in the local Christmas On the Lake House tour—the mansion of an aging rock star trying to turn his life around—has been "decorated" with the body of a young woman, arranged as a bloody angel on the balcony above his Christmas tree. There's a piece from a board game, gift wrapped and left under the tree, a hint that connects this murder to other deaths. With evidence of a gruesome pattern appearing, Claire suspects she's on the hunt for a serial killer.

IN A GAME WITH NO RULES
But the closer she comes, the more certain she is that the killer is playing his game with her, just waiting his turn. The next move might be on Claire herself—or worse, the people she loves . . . 


Glass Town - Steven Savile


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Synopsis:

There's always been magic in our world
We just needed to know where to look for it

In 1924, two brothers both loved Eleanor Raines, a promising young actress from the East End of London. She disappeared during the filming of Alfred Hitchcock’s debut, Number 13, which itself is now lost. It was the crime of the age, capturing the imagination of the city: the beautiful actress never seen again, and the gangster who disappeared the same day.

Generations have passed. Everyone involved is long dead. But even now their dark, twisted secret threatens to tear the city apart.

Joshua Raines is about to enter a world of macabre beauty, of glittering celluloid and the silver screen, of illusion and deception, of impossibly old gangsters and the fiendish creatures they command, and most frighteningly of all, of genuine magic.

He is about to enter Glass Town.

The generations-old obsession with Eleanor Raines’s unsolved case is about to become his obsession, handed down father-to-son through his bloodline like some unwanted inheritance. But first he needs to bury his grandfather and absorb the implications of the confession in his hand, a letter from one of the brothers, Isaiah, claiming to have seen the missing actress. The woman in the red dress hadn’t aged a day, no matter that it was 1994 and she’d been gone seventy years.

Long buried secrets cannot stay secrets forever. Hidden places cannot stay hidden forever.

The magic that destroyed one of the most brutal families in London’s dark history is finally failing, and Joshua Raines is about to discover that everything he dared dream of, everything he has ever feared, is waiting for him in Glass Town.



Flame in the Dark - Faith Hunter

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Synopsis:

Nell Ingram has always known she was different. Since she was a child, she’s been able to feel and channel ancient powers from deep within the earth. When she met Jane Yellowrock, her entire life changed, and she was recruited into PsyLED—the Homeland Security division that polices paranormals. But now her newly formed unit is about to take on its toughest case yet.

A powerful senator barely survives an assassination attempt that leaves many others dead—and the house he was visiting burns to the ground. Invisible to security cameras, the assassin literally disappears, and Nell’s team is called in. As they track a killer they know is more—or less—than human, they unravel a web of dark intrigue and malevolent motives that tests them to their limits and beyond.


Babyteeth Vol 1 - Donny Cates


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Synopsis:

Sadie Ritter is sixteen years old, nine months pregnant, and scared out of her sweet nerdy mind. Having a baby that young is tough, but with the support of her loving family behind her, everything should be okay. OH YEAH, and also her baby is the antichrist and it's going to break open the barriers between the earthly and demonic planes and unleash eternal suffering to all of humankind. Other than that, though...should be fine.

From Donny Cates, writer of Buzzkill, Paybacks, Rednecks and the break-out hit God Country, comes a pulse-pounding new series with art from THE REVISIONIST’s Garry Brown!


Free Read Friday: Destination Unknown

Photo courtesy of Olivier Guillard


Destination Unknown



Author note: Still not quite sure where this one is headed, but my character has slipped over to a place I've ventured to in the past. The in-between first made it appearance in Legion of the Damned, books three of my post apocalyptic coming of age series. In it Window, who had been infected by a reaper, discovers he has the ability to slip behind the veil of reality into a place that is neither here, nor there. Just as the narrator in this story is able to step behind the curtains we imprint our reality upon. But there is a price to pay for doing so. 

Read the story from the beginning HERE!

But that didn’t matter to her, she needed a target for her anger, and since her prince charming had abandoned her the year before, that meant I was next in line. It didn’t help that the moment she went down I laughed, assuming in my innocence that it was all part of the show. She turned on me so fast I had little time to react. Transforming from a tipsy, good natured drunk, to a demon from the depths of hell in an instant.

I still carry the scars from that day, both physical and emotional. It was the day I stopped being a child filled with innocent wonder, and took my first step into manhood as I endured a torturous night that would have left many others begging for an end to their suffering.

I had no choice, there was no one I could call, no one who really gave a damn about some stupid seven year old kid from the wrong side of the tracks. If I ran from the trailer to escape from her, where would I go? The neighbors? Hell they had problems of their own with their own kids without me adding to their troubles. I was trapped with nowhere to run, and I knew if I turned up dead no one would shed a tear. Sure, my mother might face the punishment she deserved, but when you stepped back and looked at the big picture who would give a damn?

That’s what I did that night. I stepped back. As the woman who had given birth to me, she had lost the right to call herself mother, expressed her anger with the burning tip of a cigarette, I escaped the pain by stepping back emotionally, and mentally. I slipped through a door of sorts, into a nighted world that made little sense.

To a place I call the in-between.

The walls of my bedroom were still there, but they carried an ethereal, shadowy, quality. As if one could just walk right through them, which I discovered later that night was possible when I left my bedroom. The few posters hanging above my bed had been transformed into gloomy caricatures. The friendly demeanor of the teen age mutant turtles had been distorted, twisted into enraged sneers that were so like my mother’s angry features.

Was that where she came from? The in-between? Cast out into our world to live among us. Was that why I could slip across so easily? Because the in-between was really my home?

Here the sounds of the night were amplified, yet muted. It reminded me of the time I went swimming with my mom and wandered into the deep end of the pool, the bottom dropping out from under me as I slipped beneath the surface. I didn’t know how to swim and sank to the bottom like a rock. I could hear the people around the pool above yelling, but it was muffled by the water.

As I grew older it became easier for me to slip across. In no time I learned that a few steps in the in-between, translated into a hundred feet on the proper side of reality. After that first night, when I fled from my mother’s wrath, I awoke the following morning in Mrs. Ankers flower bed, her gladiolas and assorted other flowers crushed beneath my weight.

At first she had been angry, yelling at me to get out of her flower bed, but then she saw the burns on my arm and her features softened. She glanced at the trailer my mom was in and her eyes hardened, her lips pressed into a thin line. Then she took me inside to care for my wounds. I only remember all this with such clarity, thought it happened nearly thirty years ago, because of the in-between. You see every time I step back into my realty the details of the world around me come into sharp focus. Everything becomes crystal clear, as if I’m seeing it for the first, which in a sense I am.

You see, there’s a price to be paid for everything. Stepping across into the in-between does not come without its share of risks. There’s things living on the other side that make little sense, creatures on the prowl looking for a way to slip through into our world. 


To be continued! 

If you've been enjoying what you've read why don't you stop by my one of my Author Pages listed below to check out my other work. 





Itunes


Become a member of my
readers group and get a
free starter library.



That's 2 complete novels and a 
collection of short stories.
Absolutely Free!