New this Week 7/26/2017

There are a couple of interesting anthologies this week. Definitely worth checking out.

Dark Rites by Heather Graham

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A series of bizarre assaults is mystifying Boston police: an unknown attacker is viciously beating random strangers and leaving a note quoting an old warning about witchcraft. History professor Alex Maple was one of the victims, and now he's gone missing. Vickie Preston is certain that someone has taken her friend for malicious purposes. She's having blood-drenched visions that seem to be staining her waking life, and the escalating attacks suggest that a dangerous cult is at work behind the scenes—a cult so powerful that its members would rather die than be apprehended.

Vickie is grateful to have Special Agent Griffin Pryce and the FBI's elite Krewe of Hunters on her side. She and Griffin are finding their way in an increasingly passionate relationship, and Griffin is desperately trying to keep her safe and the two of them sane amid the disturbing investigation. The search for Alex will take them deep into the wilderness of Massachusetts on the trail of a serial killer, and it will take everything they have to survive the ancient evil that awakens and threatens not just the man they're striving to save but their very souls.

Bloodstone Book 2 by M.V. Stott & David Bussell

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Joseph Lake doesn’t know who he is or where he comes from, but he’s beginning to learn that the answer might just be the death of him.
Horror, humor, and fast-paced action collide in this thrilling urban fantasy series from the Uncanny Kingdom.

My name is Joseph Lake and I’m a warlock. Yes, this came as something of a surprise to me, too. Up until a few days ago, the worst thing I’d had to deal with was mopping up vomit from the floor of the hospital I work at, but now it seems that monsters and demons exist, and I’m expected to mop those up too.

There’s just one problem: I can barely pull off a convincing card trick, let alone toss around magical lightning bolts, which would be fine if I didn't have to contend with killer standing stones, a woman who sold her soul to the Devil, and the unexpected return of a dead sweetheart. I'm telling you, life was a whole lot easier back when I was an oblivious idiot.

Dark Screams Edited by Brian James Freeman & Richard Chizmar

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Robert McCammon, James Renner, Kaaron Warren, Brian Hodge, Bill Schweigart, and Mick Garris reveal sinister secrets and unsavory pasts in a haunting anthology of short stories collected by acclaimed horror editors Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar.

LIZARDMAN by Robert McCammon
The lizardman thinks he knows about all the mysterious dangers of the Florida swamps, but there are things lurking in the bayou that are older and deadlier than his wildest dreams.

Although every child dreams of visiting Hundred Acre Wood, only one has ever actually frolicked in that fabled forest—and survived.

FURTHEREST by Kaaron Warren
She’s been going to the beach since she was a child, daring the other kids to go out past the dunes where those boys died all those years ago. Now she realizes that the farther out you go, the harder it is to come back.

After the success of their latest album, Sebastián, Sofia, and Enrique head to Mexico for a shoot under the statue of Santa Muerte. But they have fans south of the border who’d kill to know where they get their inspiration.

THE EXPEDITION by Bill Schweigart
On a quest to bring glory to the Führer, Lieutenant Dietrich Drexler leads his team into the ruins of the Carpathian Mountains. But the wolf that’s stalking them is no ordinary predator.

SNOW SHADOWS by Mick Garris
A schoolteacher’s impulsive tryst with a colleague becomes a haunting lesson in tragedy and terror when he’s targeted for revenge by an unlikely, unhinged rival.

Behold Oddities Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders Edited by Doug Murano

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Want to see something weird? Embrace the odd. Satisfy your curiosity. Surrender to wonder.

From Crystal Lake Publishing and the Bram Stoker Award-nominated co-editor of the smash hit Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories comes Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders.

Sixteen stories and two poems take you into the spaces between the ordinary—and the imaginations of some of today's masters of dark and thrilling fiction.

  • A travel writer learns the terrible secrets at a hotel that's not at all as it seems.
  • A disfigured woman and her daughter explore methods of weaponizing beauty.
  • An amateur beekeeper acquires an object that shows her the true danger of the hive-mind.
  • Drifters ride the rails seeking something wondrous that could change their fates forever.
  • A strange creature that holds our very existence in its hands shapes the lives of two lovers to touching and devastating effect.
  • A young man helps his grandfather—and something much more monstrous—atone for bargains made during wartime.
  • And much, much more…
Featuring Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Lisa Morton, Brian Kirk, Hal Bodner, Stephanie M. Wytovich, John Langan, Erinn L. Kemper, John F.D. Taff, Patrick Freivald, Lucy A. Snyder, Brian Hodge, Kristi DeMeester, Christopher Coake, Sarah Read and Richard Thomas. Foreword by Josh Malerman. Illustrations by Luke Spooner. Cover art by John Coulthart. Brought to you by Bram Stoker Award-nominated editor Doug Murano and Crystal Lake Publishing. Tales from the Darkest Depths.

The Devil's Agent by John Alexander Steele

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On the day of his sixth birthday, Isaac Gale becomes the victim of a road traffic accident. The boy survives but lies in a coma, with his father dead and his mother lost in grief.

In the darkness only Sebastian, the boy's imaginary friend, can help him. But Sebastian is not a friend to be trusted. He is a dark and powerful force capable of creating terrible nightmares and dark psychological visions in order to prove his worth to the devil, eradicating anyone who stands in his way. Two such people are neurologist Dr. Harish Dhami and nurse Alison Clark, who believe something far more sinister lurks in the damaged mind of their six year old coma patient.

So begins a terrifying struggle between good and evil, reality, fantasy and everything we fear.

Once again.

Once again I've dropped the ball on Free Read Friday. Once again my sciatica has made it nearly impossible for me to sit and concentrate for any real length of time. I have so much work piled up as a result. Blog posts I wanted to write, a novel that needs edited, new work to flesh out, and of course my ongoing series of short stories. 

I've built a stand up desk to help with the sitting part but it's proving to be a difficult change, going from writing while sitting down, to writing while standing up, it's hard to believe it would be so difficult to do that.

I've also invested in Dragon software to help speed the process along, again it's been interesting teaching the software to recognize my voice and inflection. First time I tried it after installing and going through the voice recognition set up it wrote the opposite of what I said.

Like learning to write while standing up, and writing by speaking, it's going to be a process I need to dig in my heels and keep focused on completing.

My goal is to finish Billy this week, and move on to the letter C

Any suggestions for titles?

This week in Horror

A selection of new releases coming this week.

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Guy de la Moroz is a direct descendant of a Dutch mercenary who had come over with William the Conqueror. As magic often attracts magic, natural evolution has made Guy into the most powerful witch in the country and he had risen to be a Madge. By travelling the world, he had also become a shaman in many cultures including Aboriginal, Hindu, American Indian and Amara, Inca and Nazca from South America.
Guy lives on a seventy-two foot Big Woolwich ex-working narrow boat named The Wizard of Oz. His boat is also magical and often talks to Guy. His brown and white spaniel called Dorothy is his witch’s familiar. Although never married he has two children in the village of Coven, his adopted home. His relationship with the mothers of his two children and various lovers in the village only complicates his life.
Coven is a quiet little village in Shropshire until one day the vicar’s wife is killed on the village green in broad daylight; another murder soon follows which embroils Guy in a merry-go-round of jealousy, madness, revenge and passion as he uses his magical abilities to help solve the case.

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 How did Roderick Helms' and Geofrey Anteil's journey as members of Fiat Lux begin? We find out this issue as a journey of another sort is underway for Fiat Lux — a race to rescue the Pope himself in Avignon! What knowledge of the zombie plague does the Pope possess? And will he share it with Roderick and his men before it's too late?

Written by the master of violence, gore, and mayhem, Frank Tieri (Marvel vs Capcom, Wolverine, Deadpool), with spectacular art from Disney illustrator, Oleg Okunev, and covers by Eisner Award-nominated artist Tim Bradstreet (The Punisher, Hellblazer)!

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Delaney Green may have found her way back to the living, but her new body isn't going to last. Without magic, and still separated from Percy, she is forced to rely on the tangled memory of what might be to find a way to reclaim her bones. With the help of an old ally, and the reluctant assistance of new enemies, Del must take the final steps down a long road home.

The Touch Trilogy is a series of Southern Gothic novellas, short novels with a lyrical style and eerie tone, perfect for fans of True Blood or Flannery O'Connor.

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Here it is in its entirety. You have twelve books and well over one million words of zombie goodness.


Welcome to the world of TW Brown's DEAD saga. This raw, violent, and brutal world isn't populated with military supermen and women, or preppers that have been waiting for the human extinction event to arrive. This is a world of normal people...some good, some bad...and some pure evil.

This is a global look at the end of the world. Follow Steve and his group as you see the apocalypse unfold through a single person's eyes. With The Geeks, you meet four young men who thought a zombie apocalypse would be cool...and quickly discover that it really isn't.

In the Vignettes, you will get short glimpses of the state the world has fallen into. Some will only be a single offering. Others might stick around for a while, but rest assured...NOBODY IS SAFE.

Welcome to TW Brown's DEAD world.

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Emily Sparrow takes a job at a run-down guest house in the strange and mysterious Tramman Court. There’s something wrong with the house and its owner, Mr Thresher, is hiding something. Why does Emily come across a seemingly abandoned battered brown suitcase as she cleans and tidies and what is the dark secret that the house holds? But Emily has secrets of her own and is running from something. When the her past and Thresher’s dark heritage collide, something terrible is bound to happen. Another short story based in the world of author Edwin Torr's Dead Means Dead series.


Free Read Friday: Billy Part IV

Reading over the past installments before writing this one I see I have a serious problem with repeating myself. Something I'm working hard on controlling. Will need some editing for sure to whip this one into shape. Let's get to it.


Part IV

He yanked his hand back from the poster, his finger coming free with an audible pop, and he turned and fled from the room. The image of those shadowy shapes leaping and jumping around one another in a primitive dance to some ancient god burned into his memory.

He raced down the hall, stopping when he spotted his dad standing in front of the mirror in his bedroom, his gaze fixed on some distant point that existed beyond the reflective surface.

“Dad,” Billy said as he pushed into the room.

His father remained motionless, frozen in place, and when Billy slipped his little hand into his father’s larger one he felt how cold his father’s flesh had become. At one time his hands had provided a comforting warmth that offered a sense of well being and security that had been absent lately.

“Dad?” Billy said as he gazed up at his father’s immobile features, unblinking as he continued to gaze into the mirror.

“Dad?” Billy said again, more forcefully this time, yanking on his father’s hand, pulling him off balance. His father straightened up, his stare never leaving the mirror, and Billy released his hold.

Downstairs, in the kitchen, he found his mom standing at the sink, the water running into the bowl, slowly reaching the lip over which it would flow into the bowl next to it. Her hands were in the soapy water, her gaze fixed on the small window over the sink.’

“Mom,” he said with quiet fear that blossomed into unrelenting terror when she remained where she was, never acknowledging his presence, blinking, or looking away from the window where sunlight filled the day with warmth.

It was then he realized that not a single sound was coming from the neighborhood beyond the walls of the house. Racing to the front door, his heart clambering into his throat, he yanked the door open on a silent world that appeared to have stopped in mid-stride.

Mr. Winslow sat on his silent mower across the street, the spray of grass issuing from the chute on the side of the deck hung in mid-air. The Baker kids had ceased their rowdy yells, becoming frozen in place, the football they had been tossing back and forth suspended in mid-air between them.

Struggling to catch his breath he took a hesitant step back, then another, before he slammed the door on the silence that awaited him outside. When he did he became aware of a steady pounding that was coming from somewhere in the house. He went from room to room, searching for the source of the pounding that kept its distance. Once he’d finished with the first floor he stood at the bottom of the steps gazing into the shadowy hallway above as the pounding intensified.

He knew where it was coming from.

His sister’s bedroom, the poster over her bed, and with a slow gait he mounted the steps to the second floor. 

To be continued!

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