New This Week in Horror 8/30/2017

The Soprano  Sarah England

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'It is 1951 and a remote mining village on the North Staffordshire Moors is hit by one of the worst snowstorms in living memory. Cut off for over three weeks, the old and the sick will die; the strongest bunker down; and those with evil intent will bring to its conclusion a family vendetta spanning three generations.
Inspired by a true event, 'The Soprano' tells the story of Grace Holland - a strikingly beautiful, much admired local celebrity who brings glamour and inspiration to the grimy moorland community. But why is Grace still here? Why doesn't she leave this staunchly Methodist, rain-sodden place and the isolated farmhouse she shares with her mother?
Riddled with witchcraft and tales of superstition, the story is mostly narrated by the Whistler family who own the local funeral parlour, in particular six year old Louise - now an elderly lady - who recalls one of the most shocking crimes imaginable.'

Tales from the Boiler Room  Assorted Authors.

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Leprechauns are out to get me. I'm not kidding. They're real, and they're a**holes. I'll tell you why. And while I'm at it, I'll tell you about the two guys who took on Hades’s demons on a drunken dare. What they brought back you'll never believe. I also heard about a dude who answered a help wanted ad from a vampire hunter. Hoo, was that a bad idea… But I bet you thought vampires weren't real or ghosts either. Pull up a chair. I'll tell you some stories that'll give you the creeps, maybe make you laugh a little, too. That's ok. I used to laugh at this stuff, until I met Patrick.
Terrors That Tingle  Wesley Thomas

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Want to experience terrors that make you tingle?

'The pages are drenched in blood, dread, and fear. Read at your own risk! But trust me, you will want to read this collection. It's sure to scratch all your horror related itches.’ – Horrornerd.

From the British horror author that brought you the bestselling horror collection 'Nightmare Fuel' comes his latest collection of horrifying tales.

From ominous messages, doll makers, transformational stairs, stage fright, crazy old ladies, malfunctioning elevators, and terrifying helicopter rides.
This collection is a must-read for horror bookworms.

‘This thriller will tingle your senses and send shivers down your spine. Another great collection by a go-to author of horror.’ – Pamela Winn, Author.

'A great collection of scary short stories.' - MP Book Reviews.

Broken  Stefan Mears

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Darien, a man on the verge of collapse. Not eating. Not sleeping. Not since his wife died. Not since the night of their last fight.

Darien visits a psychic. A specialist in hauntings. His last hope.

Darien will do anything to contact his dead wife.

"Broken", a tale of ghosts and one man's quest to reach beyond death. From Stefon Mears, author of The House on Cedar Street.

The Demon of London  Ayse Hafriza

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What does every demon want in life? To be invisible of course. Jassassah the Demon finds herself on the London Tube, and just what is a demon meant to do when traveling with busy distracted commuters? Well if she isn't ruining their lives it would be a wasted opportunity. Jassassah picks off her victims one by one, delving into their secret, dark and most disturbing thoughts. Reminding them of the monsters they once were or showing them the monsters they can become.

How would Jassassah play with your mind? Or could you even distinguish her whisper from your own thoughts?

Read the first book in The Demon Series and follow her adventures. Just don't read it in the dark, because she might be reading over your shoulder.

Free Read Friday: Covenant Part II


Part II

He’d found the booth buried beneath a pile of cast offs in the back of a barn on the vast Kansas plains. The owner had been a man closing in on ninety and had been happy to part company with it for the right price that Archie readily agreed to.

Archie’s dad had served in the European theater in World War II, wading ashore at Normandy on D-Day as Hitler’s finest mounted a stiff defense. Archie himself had served in the jungles of Vietnam, so he understood that need to make contact with those close to you before you stepped into the fight. That final moment to say your goodbyes. He closed the door behind him and settled onto the narrow seat as his emotions overwhelmed him.

The doctors said it wouldn’t be much longer before she required twenty four hour care, and the discussion had then turned to his options, that were becoming  limited with every passing day.

Nursing home? Absolutely not!

Twenty four hour in-home care was an option that came with a price tag far beyond his ability to pay. Even if he sold everything he had ever purchased in his den it still wouldn’t be enough. They had some money socked away, but nothing close to what would be needed to provide the care she required. She had reached the end of a life well lived and in a cosmic twist of fate was destined to spend her remaining years as a stranger.

Oh how he yearned for the old Pat, the young girl with the mischievous eyes and the quick smile. She was a flirt, even as they grew old together she had that ability to have every man anywhere she went eating out of the palm of her hand in no time. Yet she had given her heart solely to him. They’d had a good life together, raising two sons who had gone on to make both of them proud. Of course she would have been proud of them no matter what.

A rapping on the glass pulled him from his thoughts and he looked up startled. A young man in uniform stood on the other side of the door, knocking on the glass impatiently as Archie gathered his thoughts, trying to make sense of what was going on.

“Come on, Pops, I’m shipping out soon and I gotta get back, I need the phone to call my girl,” the young man said as he pushed on the center of the door to open it.

“I’m sorry, what? Where am I? What’s going on?” Archie stuttered as he looked around the room. His den was gone, as was his collection of signs and toys. In its place was the smoky interior of a tavern. A narrow bar ran the length of the wall on the left, several patrons, an even mix between civilian and military types, sat as the bar with cold drinks in front of them as tendrils of white smoke rose from what seemed like a cigarette in every ashtray.

“”Let me use the phone for just a minute then you can have it back, I just want to tell my girl I love her before they ship me out.”

“Where are you going?” Archie asked before he could stop himself. He had never been as open with strangers as Pat.

“Somewhere in the Pacific, won’t know for sure till we’re on the ship, just hope I get to kill some Japs for what they did in Hawaii,” the young man, no more than nineteen said as he tipped his head and slipped into the phone booth, closing the door behind him.

Everything around him was dark, dreary, not black and white, not quite, it was like a photo that time had taken the color from. Even the neon sign over the bar glowed with a dingy light that had been sapped of any brilliance. 

Then he saw her, at the end of the bar, her blue summer dress the only spot of color in an otherwise drab world, her eyes sparkling with a playful light, her red hair set off by the color of the simple dress she wore.

She got up from the bar, and was walking towards him, when from the baby monitor on his belt she cried out his name.


He looked up from where he was sitting to find himself  back in his man cave. Sitting in the phone booth, his shoulder resting against the glass side.

“Archie.” Her voice crackled from the monitor again, a forlorn cry from the wilderness of her disease.

His back was stiff, his buttocks numb from having sat so long, and he struggled to pull himself to his feet.

How long had he been out? He glanced at his watch as a sinking despair overwhelmed him. She had been alone for four hours. How long had she been calling for him before he realized it?

Pushing open the door of the phone booth he rushed upstairs to find she had messed herself. He had no idea how long she had been calling for him, but the look in her eyes, that humiliation of having lain in her own waste, burned with a brilliant intensity. 

“I’m, sorry,” he repeated as he worked to clean her, swearing to himself that he would never forget her again. As he worked he realized that while he was standing in that smoky bar, watching the red head walk towards him, he had completely forgotten, for the briefest of moments, about his ailing wife. He was surprised when he realized just how liberating forgetting her could be. His childish side sought to counter his guilt by reminding him that she had already forgotten him.

To be continued

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New This Week in Dark Fantasy 8/23/2017

Captivated by Crimson by Brynn Myers

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She is the fated one I have been waiting for...
The crimson in her veins will restore me…

My desire for her burns like no other…
I must possess her…
Dare to touch her and you will be the one to suffer…

Nola Blair is a free-spirited photographer sent to cover the party of the century in Elizabeth Bathory’s ruined castle. It was an assignment she'd declined––twice, but when she was offered a hefty sum to indulge the wealthy eccentric, she finally gave in. Little did she know that the guests at this party were centuries old and their desires reached far beyond those of a normal partygoer.

One captivating night will change her life and the two vampires vying for her will fight to the death to get what they want. One wants her to be his and the other wants her blood.

Who will decide Nola’s fate?

Throne of the Bastards  by Brian Keene &  Steven L Shrewsbury

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Sword and sorcery collides with horror once again in this sequel to Brian Keene and Steven L. Shrewsbury’s award-winning KING OF THE BASTARDS.

Learning that his family is in danger, Rogan returns to his former kingdom, now under siege from foreign invaders and supernatural forces led by his bastard son. With time running out, the aging barbarian and his trusted companions, Javan and Akibeel, must forge an alliance of new friends and old foes, mustering an army to retake the kingdom. Surrounded by savages, soldiers, demons, and dark magic, it will take all of their cunning, skill, ruthlessness, and courage to survive the slaughter and determine once and for all who shall sit upon the THRONE OF THE BASTARDS.

Swarm and Steel by  Michael Fletcher


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Zerfall awakens in an alley, wounded and unable to remember her past. Chased by an assassin out into the endless wastes of the desert, she is caught, disfigured, and left for dead. Her scabbard is empty, but the need for answers—and the pull of her sword—will draw her back to the city-states.

When Jateko, a naïve youth, accidentally kills a member of his own tribe, he finds himself outcast and pursued across the desert for his crimes. Crazed from dehydration, dying of thirst and hunger, he stumbles across Zerfall.

Hunted by assassins and bound by mutual need, both Zerfall and Jeteko will confront the Täuschung, an ancient and deranged religion ruled by a broken fragment of Zerfall’s mind. Swarm, the Täuschung hell, seethes with imprisoned souls, but where gods—real or imagined—meddle in the affairs of man, the cost is high.

In Swarm and Steel, the power of belief can manifest and shape reality, and for political and religious leaders, faith becomes a powerful tool. But the insane are capable of twisting reality with their delusions as well, turning increasingly dangerous as their sanity crumbles. It is here that a long prophesied evil will be born, an endless hunger. The All Consuming will rise.

Blood Huntress by Izzy Shows


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What does it say when vampires aren’t the thing most feared in the night?

Nina Rodriguez has become the most lethal weapon in the world. A blood mage trained by werewolves to hunt and kill with no remorse, no morality, and no hesitation. All that matters is the thrill of the kill, and the danger that comes with it.

When she’s given orders to infiltrate and observe the vampire court, she couldn’t turn it down anymore than she could cease to breathe.

The sweet taste of danger was enough to tempt her, and that only doubles when the vampire king chooses her as his own personal thrall.

He’s a temptation she wasn’t prepared for, but dangerous, and his attention could mean death if she doesn’t watch her mouth. Words are weapons in a vampire court, weapons she was not trained to use.

She can fight off any enemy, but no one prepared her to fight for her soul.

Bound by Sorcery by Antara Mann

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A supernatural apocalypse is brewing. And only secret magic can defeat it.

Alexandra Shaw may be an elemental mage, but she prefers the quiet life, running her struggling occult bookshop. With secrets of her own and a magical lineage shrouded in mystery, she keeps a low profile. But when a New York banker is found gruesomely murdered with an ancient symbol carved into his chest — one representing a cult of demon hunters long thought extinct — the supernatural community, including the Magic Council, is stunned.

Alex reluctantly joins the investigation to keep her shop afloat, but tensions between gods and demons continue to rise and threaten to break into a devastating war. To diffuse the situation, the Council assigns a fiercely powerful and sexy fae to the case.

Ancient cults, demons, gods, ritualistic murders, a tempting fae — and as if all that weren't bad enough, now someone’s trying to kill her…

Bound By Sorcery is the first book in the Half-Goddess Chronicles urban fantasy series. It features a kick-ass heroine, a hot hero, mystery, and otherworldly adventures. Fans of Ilona Andrews, Ella Summers and Linsey Hall will enjoy this series.

Free Read Friday: Covenant Part I

Some promises are kept for a lifetime

“Archie,” Patricia’s voice shrieked through the plastic mesh of the baby monitor on the counter top. He had installed them to keep tabs on his wife when he wasn’t in her room, and she needed him. All she said anymore was his name and even that was becoming an increasingly rare occurrence. It was if the disease had not only robbed her of her mind, and her memories, but was taking her voice as well.

Doctor Patterson had said it would eventually come to that as the disease progressed through its varied stages.

With her sandwich and a pile of potato chips on the Styrofoam plate he placed them on the plastic tray he used for her meals. There was already a Styrofoam cup full of lemon water, and a Styrofoam bowl of butterscotch pudding. Next to the plate were two napkins, and the only utensil, a plastic spoon for the pudding. Anything with sharp edges had to be avoided. She was past the physically violent stage, almost completely bedridden, with the exception of her bathroom visits that she insisted on continuing, even though a bed pan was available.  

Yet it was always wise to be careful.

With the monitor clipped to his belt he carried her tray down the hall towards her bedroom, and with every step the sadness settled deeper into his heart. She had once been a vibrant, loving, woman. A fiery redhead whose personality matched the color of her hair. To this day he was still in awe of the fact that she had chosen him over the array of suitors who were constantly at her beck and call.

At her door he paused, mentally preparing himself for what waited beyond the closed door. Once he was ready he stepped into the brightly lit room. The windows were open and a gentle breeze stirred the curtains as the steady sound of the oceans waves came crashing through. Birds twittered in the trees beyond the window as life contiued beyond the walls that surrounded them.

She had always loved the sound of the ocean

“Good morning Patricia,” Archie said as he placed her tray on the table next to her bed. The table was the kind found in every hospital, it looked like an angular letter C, mounted on four wheels that were capable of slipping under the hospital bed, so the surface could be brought close to the patient.

She watched him from the pillows under her head, her once vibrant red hair now the color of the sheets she lay on, her faced lined with age, eyes that once sparkled with a mischievous light now watched him with guarded mistrust as he moved around the foot of her bed, and crossed to the window.

“Is this too cold for you?”

She watched him silently as he pushed the window down, cutting off the sound of the ocean’s waves, and he turned to face her, the smile he’d plastered on his face faltering under her relentless gaze. She was in there somewhere, he knew it, it was just a matter of time before she managed to find her way back to him.

“I’ve brought you your favorite,” he said as he returned to the other side of the table, and settled into his seat as he slid the hospital table across in front of her. She looked from Archie to the sandwich, then back again.

He nodded at the sandwich and she cautiously picked it up from the plate, several pieces of chicken falling onto her chest as she brought it to her mouth.

After she had fallen asleep, he sought out the sanctuary of what she once called his man cave. Half the basement had been converted into a den of sorts for the assorted objects that Archie had come across in his travels.  The upper half of the walls were covered with signs from the past, advertising everything from Standard Oil to Wonder Bread, builds strong bodies eight ways. Beneath the signs, shelves overflowed with assorted small toys from the past, from cast iron to wind up tin toys all gaily painted in a variety of colors, many of which were also marked with the rust of neglect.

This was his sanctuary from the trials and tribulations of life and many a time he would just come down her and sit as he admired his collection, and listened to the music of the past, trying to recapture the innocence of the time period much of these items had come from.

His pride and joy was the nineteen forties telephone booth that occupied one corner of the room. It had been painstakingly restored to its former glory, its wood frame glistening in the light from a number of old style neon signs that were situated here and there among the other signs of the period. Every time he looked at the phone booth he imagined a line of GI’s waiting to use the phone for one last conversation with their sweethearts before they were shipped off the war.

An easy chair sat in one corner of the room, next to a bookcase filled with old volumes, and an old style table lamp whose surface reflected the light from above. Tonight he ignored the easy chair and turned towards the phone booth whose bench seat offered very little comfort.  The interior still smelled of old smoke, sweat, and the spilled tears of many a brave boy marching off to war. The phone mounted in the corner was black, its box like body designed with an eyes towards function over fashion. 

To be continued

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New This Week in Post Apocalyptic Fiction

Five Suns Saga Part III by Jim Heskett

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Kellen Richter survived the end of the world and the chaos that ensued. Now, he and a band of fighters will have to pull support from unlikely sources to prevent a familiar enemy from assuming control.

The final battle has begun. The warring factions will stop at nothing to destroy each other to seize control of what’s left of America.

Will Kellen and his friends maintain their freedom and find a way to live out their days in peace, or will the onslaught of power-hungry opportunists destroy everything?

The Blood Will Dry by Kate L. Mary

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Five years after an alien invasion, the earth is unrecognizable. The human race has been decimated and the sun completely blotted out by dark clouds that bring constant rain. All indigenous plant life has been killed off and replaced by vegetation that has proven to be as deadly as it is invasive, and the aliens that have taken over the planet are seemingly invincible.

Living in a crowded building with other survivors, Diana Foster wants nothing more than to forget what she lost the day the aliens arrived. But an incoming platoon brings a familiar face, one that not only opens old wounds, but also forces her to deal with the painful memories she's worked hard to forget. Bryan may not be the same cocky kid he was before the invasion, but his sudden appearance still turns Diana's world upside down in ways she never expected. When he showed up she knew it would mean finally facing her past, but she never thought she’d find a future that was actually worth living.

After years of struggling to find a weakness in the aliens' defenses, Diana stumbles upon a solution just as a new and more deadly threat surfaces. Faced with an attraction she never expected and a battle that most believe can't be won, Diana must work through her painful past as the survivors mount a battle that may determine the fate of mankind. If her plan fails it very well could be the end of humanity, but if works it will mean having a real future, and a chance to allow the blood to dry once and for all.

Winter Smith The Secrets of France by J.S. Strange

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A new world order, a city under control, and a new breed of zombie known as The Martyrs living alongside humans. France isn't safe. It never has been.

After fleeing from London, seventeen-year-old Winter Smith and her surviving friends learn that to survive in Paris means trusting those they don't know. An anti-government, known as The Union, are forming to take on V, a woman who has gained control of the world and has created the dead to establish a new world order.

But surviving in Paris is hard, as those who don't conform to V's new rules are quickly wiped out.

This not-so-typical zombie novel is the second instalment of the Winter Smith series. An action packed young adult horror that will keep you guessing, and wondering what could possibly happen next.

Dusk: A Dark Fantasy Novel by Tim Lebbon

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Kosar the thief senses that Rafe Baburn is no ordinary boy. After witnessing a Red Monk plunder Rafe's village and murder his parents, Kosar knows the boy needs his help. And now, for reasons he cannot fathom, others are seeking the boy's destruction.
Uncertain where to begin Kosar turns to A'Meer, an ex-lover and Shantasi warrior whose people, unbeknownst to him, have sworn to safeguard magic's return to the land of Noreela.

It is Rafe who bears this miracle of magic.

Now Kosar and a band of unexpected allies embark on a battle to protect one special boy. But horrific dark forces are closing in, and if they take magic for themselves dusk will fall forever.

Knight of the Wasteland by Jon Cronshaw

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Finding hope in a hopeless world...

In a world ravaged by dust storms and poisonous rains, Abel has survived feral dogs, raiders, and drug addiction...but he’s done with just surviving — now, he wants to start living.

When Abel stumbles across a boy suffering from the same addiction that almost killed him, he takes the kid under his wing and offers him a new life...a life free from drugs.

But when a brutal drug gang comes after the kid, Abel must risk everything to keep him safe and end The Family’s reign of terror, or die trying.

This Friday I will begin the next short story titled with the letter C, thank you Robert for the suggested title, Covenant. Nice juicy title, now which way do I go.

Help Wanted!

Beta Readers Needed

As I near the end of my current work in progress I want to try something different with this one. In the past I've always relied on an editor alone to get a second set of eyes on my work. This time I'd like to add 4 to 5 beta readers to the process. If you enjoy reading works in the horror / dark fantasy genre and wouldn't mind sharing your reaction to a work by completing a questionnaire at the end I'd like to talk to you. 

The work in progress had been titled A Father's Love and my goal is to win a kindle scout deal with it. I'm currently searching for a title that better reflects the story in a single word. But that's my problem, unless you as a beta reader come up with a better suggestion. 

I've added the first few paragraphs below so you can get a feel for the story.

I'm sorry, there is no compensation aside from a mention in the acknowledgements in the finished book, my eternal gratitude, and the chance to read something no one else has seen yet.

The manuscript will come in at a little over 80,000 words. I have the first 20 chapters ready for beta readers, though I still have to put together the questionnaire. 

If you're interested, drop me a line at  I'll be setting up a closed beta readers group on Facebook where everyone participating can share their thoughts. 

Thank you.

Richard Schiver


At night the world slipped on a different mask, as the shadows grew long and deep. A menacing disguise that transformed even the most innocent objects into terrifying creatures. The stack of boxes sitting drunkenly in the corner had become a crouching beast, a thing of fangs and claws ready to leap out and devour her the moment she looked away. Even her Little Princess table, where she had served tea to her collection of stuffed animals on many an occasion, had become a frightening object, whose long shadow reached out for her with the searching fingers of some nameless thing.

“It’s okay, Puddles,” she whispered to the stuffed bunny tucked under the covers beside her, “it’s just your magination.” She pulled Puddles closer to her side, and as she did, she saw her father with her mind’s eye as he wound up to throw another ball. His face a mask of determination as he focused on the task at hand, fading into the dark recesses of her memory as another emerged.

“It’s the witch,” Marjorie, her best friend from school whispered in her mind, drawing her gaze to the pair of windows that looked out upon a night filled with myriad possibilities. The pale moonlight was broken by the passage of dark clouds across the face of the moon, creating alternating bands of light and dark that served to deepen the already threatening nature of the night.

She was out there, the Witch, if Marjorie was to be believed. Searching for her next victim, looking for the next bad little boy or girl to lure back to her lair. With the blankets pulled nearly up to her eyes, her gaze tracked around the darkened bedroom in an endless search for threats.

She was a good girl, she sought to convince herself as the shadows of the night swirled around her in an endless, primitive dance. She listened to her mommy as best she could, and at this thought, she remembered her dress lying on the floor of her closet. She had been told to hang it up.

But had she?

No. The answer chilled her to the bone.

Come join me in this adventure, it''ll be fun, I promise. Drop me a line

Free Read Friday: Billy, The End

Read the entire story from the start:  BILLY


Instantly they were transported to the black depths of that gloomy forest, Sarah was clinging to his hand as he ran through twisted branches that reached out to snatch at his clothing. Ahead of them, in the distance,  he saw a square of soft yellow light that offered safety from the creatures of the night that crashed through the forest all around them.

His path was lit by a soft glow that seemed to be coming from him and he held up his free hand to look at the splayed fingers, each glowing with a soft luminescence that emanated from his flesh.

“Keep going,” she said from behind him as his feet faltered and he slowed in awe at the light that was coming from his own body.

The sounds of trees being torn asunder came from the forest around them, the frustrated thrashing of those shadowy beasts that could do nothing more than keep time with his flight.

“Hurry,” she said and he looked back to see she had nearly vanished into the shadows. Fear blossomed in his heart and the effervescent glow of his body flickered. As it did the night intruded upon the small circle that around them, ebony claws piercing the illumination, adding to the terror thundering through him.

His steps faltered as the glow diminished and the night, filled to overflowing with those ancient things, pressed in close around them. So close they brushed against the bare skin of his arm and he was overwhelmed by a calming sensation that sought to lull him into a more relaxed frame of mind.

That was how they go into you. Not through terror, or fear, or even the promise of respite from all the bad that was going on in your life. No, they slipped in when you least expected them to, when you were drifting in the featureless void between the light of vigilance and the shadowy realm of your dreams. When you were off guard was the most dangerous time of any night.

But once they got their hooks into you it was all over, unless.

As the night pressed in all around them he looked into his sister’s fading eyes, fear battling the sorrow that was once more welling up from that bottomless void. He felt their touch on that deep primitive level.  They were coming for them and there wasn’t a damned thing he could do about it. More claws cleaved the fading light as his terror swelled to overwhelm him.

“I’m sorry,” he said, reaching out for her with one hand. A shadowy appendage caressed his fingers, leaving a chill in it’s wake as she slowly faded into the shadows that now surrounded them. The light of safety was too far away, on the other side of a vast gulf of nothingness that seethed with the creatures of the night.

“It’s okay,” she whispered in his mind, “I will always love you,” the words were so alien coming from her. Words she had never once in his memory spoken, and the realization struck him with the force of a physical blow. He loved her too, as only a younger brother could love an older sister.

The light that had been waning suddenly flared as his love for her infused him with renewed strength and a desire to save her. Those shadowy things were overwhelmed by the pulse of light, several becoming trapped in its glow, their misshapen figures devoured by the light that turned them to ash upon its touch.

She came back to him, gaining more substance, fed by his love for her. Her grip tightened on his hand as he turned and ran through the shadowy depths with her in tow, straight for the small opening that offered them an escape from this place of shadows. Around them the forest crackled as those shadowy things fled in the wake of the light that burned from him.

Reaching the opening he dove through, into he light and the safety if offered. At the last moment her hand slipped from his. He bounced onto her bed once before rolling off the side onto the floor.

“Sara?” he called out as he scrambled to his feet and looked around her empty room, his gaze coming to rest on that poster.

“No,” he screamed as he attacked the poster on the wall. Jamming his hand into the shadows, coming up hard against the unyielding surface of the wall behind it. He had failed and the shadows had gotten what they wanted. Sara was still trapped on the other side, and he couldn’t get to her.

“Sara,” he screamed as his rage was deflated by the helplessness of a six year old. He had been crazy to think he could do anything to change what had happened. Sorrow overwhelmed him as he dropped to her bed and cried into her pillows that still carried her scent.

From outside came the sound of a car door closing and he pushed himself up from the bed, climbing down he crossed to the window and saw his father walking up the short walk to the front door. Turning from the window he crossed her room to the hallway, and took the stairs down to the first floor. His footsteps heavy with sorrow and bitter disappointment.

“Hey sport, let’s go, Sara’s awake, she wants to see you,” his father said and he stopped to state as him, his mouth hanging open.

“Don’t just stand there catching flies with your mouth hanging open, let’s go, Sara’s waiting. I wanted to call but she insisted I bring you to the hospital.”

“Sara’s okay?” Billy said as he slowly approached his father who stood by the front door. From outside came the sound of Mr. Winslow cutting his grass, and the Baker kids still playing.

She was okay? They had made it? But what happened at the end, when he lost her hand?

“She’s not one hundred percent yet, and she’ll have to stay in the hospital, but she woke up this morning.”

Then he remembered the poster still hanging over her bed.

“Hang on a second,” he said before he turned and raced back up the steps. In Sara’s room he crossed to the poster and pulled it from the wall, rolling it up as the sound of thrashing came from the shadows around the base of the tree. Once he was done he raced down the hallway to the attic doorway. In the attic he searched through the old Christmas stuff piled in the corner until he found what he was looking for. A cardboard tube from a roll of wrapping paper. Sliding the poster into the tube he crossed to the darkest part of the attic and hid the tube behind a pile of old boxes.

As he walked down the steps from the attic he heard a faint clicking coming from where he’d hidden the cardboard tube. It would be safe for her to come home now, and he promised himself that once he got home he would sneak that tube out of the house and bury it somewhere deep in the forest behind their house.


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That's 2 complete novels and a 
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The Dark Tower Movie: Review

I've been a fan of Stephen Kings work since the mid seventies when I was in the military. Anyone who has served knows military service is comprised of long periods of unrelenting boredom punctuated by brief moments of sheer terror. It's during these down times that most people turn to books as a way to pass the time. I was no different and quickly amassed a library of paperbacks that followed me around the world. You always had a book handy for when it was time to hurry up and wait.

I see you there in the corner nodding your head, you understand what I'm talking about.

As a fan I read each of the  Dark Tower books as they were released, following Roland of Gilead in his travels as he sought out the man in black. So it was with a mix of trepidation and excitement that I watched as The Dark Tower movie came into being. I've seen many of the movies based on his books, and with the exception of The Shining, most were failures. Which I can understand, Stephen King is a writer whose prose tends to draw you into the story, making you feel as if you are a part of the action. A feat that is very difficult to pull off on the screen. There is an intimacy in his work that you either get, or you don't.

So back to my thoughts about the movie.

On my day off I attended the noon showing of The Dark Tower. I'd read the reviews, saw the low ratings on rotten tomatoes, but I had to see for myself. My first clue that things were amiss was when I entered the theater to find only three other people there. About twelve more showed up before the movie started. Of course the time of day could have been a factor, I kept hoping.

To say I'm disappointed in what they did, would be an understatement.

For those who haven't read the dark tower series I believe the movie would be great to see. It's got everything one would want in an action fantasy. The misunderstood child whose dreams are in fact reality. The brooding hero who grudgingly accepts the task of protecting the child. A villain everyone loves to hate, a man who can kill with a word, and doesn't hesitate to do so. And whose only purpose in life is to destroy that which stands in his way, while at the same time taking down the hero. 

The use of the children to attack the tower was reminiscent of The Shining and its sequel Doctor Sleep. Of course that psychic ability Uncle Steve refers to as The Shine, and alternate realities are a common thread that populates much of his work.

But if you've been a King follower for any length of time you will likely be sorely disappointed by the movie. While it's an action packed thrill ride that adheres to the main thread of the series, with impressive special effects, and likable characters, it falls far short of the depth and breadth of the book series. It might have been better to not even link it to the series, instead of saying based on The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, in the opening credits maybe they should have went with inspired by.

But there's enough there I believe, to draw new readers to the series to find out what all the fuss is about.

The previews for IT were astounding. Hopefully it fares much better than The Dark Tower.

Overall I rate the movie a solid 3.5 stars. 

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The Dreadland Chronicles is a post apocalyptic dark fantasy inspired by Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, that seeks to answer the following question.

If Roland Deschain was the last gunslinger, who will be the first?

They are three, bound by a fourth, coming together in a post apocalyptic world to confront a growing evil that threatens to destroy mankind once and for all. But can they overcome their own differences in time to save their world, and the fate of all the others?

Fourteen years have passed since the dead walked, and obscurity means survival in an increasingly dangerous world. For the survivors compound at Bremo Bluff that obscurity is threatened when a group of children are abducted.

Four boys embark on a quest to rescue the children. A journey that will lead them into adulthood, with a brief detour through the Dreadlands, as they come face to face with the harsh reality of a brutal world beyond the barriers that had served to protect them.

In the dead city of Richmond they will face a savage cult who worship a creature of the night. They are not gods, nor are they demons. Born of despair these creatures lived along the shadowy edges of our well lit world. Where misery dwelt hand in hand with anguish.

When the dead walked, and man fled the cities to the east, he left behind an offspring of man’s despair. Once viewed as the nightmare imaginings of a fevered mind, these creatures were now awake in a world where the population that served as their food source has been severely reduced.

Awake, and very, very, hungry.

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This Week in Horror 8/9/2017

The Secret of the Sculptures by Monika Thakur

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Lifelong friends Aditi and Maitreyi meet up in Delhi when Maitreyi returns for her holidays. The holidays start with innocent fun but before long the girls are embroiled in the theft of a priceless sculpture that is stolen from Aditi’s college. Mr. Seth, a mysterious stranger with hypnotic eyes, keeps crossing their path. For him, the sculpture seems to be more than just a relic of history. Events unfold rapidly which make the girls become the prime suspects of a heist. As if being at the center of crime and priceless history was not enough, the girls realize that there is a supernatural element to the sculptures that is directing the fates of everyone involved. What will the outcome be?

All in a Days Work by Brian Francis Slattery

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Magic is real . . . and hungry.

The new, secret Team Four-Asanti, Perry, and Frances-plans a small experiment with magic in order to test their control. But the magical servants they summon keep going . . . and going . . . and interpret Asanti's orders in a much more extreme way than intended. The Orb summons Team Three, and while Menchú and the others are able to contain the damage, they're left wondering just who started this outbreak-and who the servants were working for.

Things have changed for the Vatican's magic-fighting Team Three: their forces are depleted, and internal rifts are coming close to tearing this close-knit group apart. But some things never change. Magic still threatens to overwhelm our world, and when a startling appearance from Menchú's past reveals new dimensions to this danger, the team will have to reassess their loyalties-to their jobs, their beliefs, and even to each other.

The 7-8-9's by Todd C Elliott

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After an incident involving an escaped mental patient in upstate New York, Leslie Parkhurst tries to forget her deadly encounter with an elderly woman named Mament. Leslie and her brother, Declan, soon discover that Mament was part of the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which now has become a secret, religious sect within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) known to conspiracy theorists as "The 7-8-9s."

The Muse by Arjay Lewis

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Famed novelist Jack Court has a secret: the wealthy writer is a serial killer. He has another hidden treasure, a small antediluvian creature that dwells within his body and gives him youth, strength and a superhuman ability to avoid capture. On his trail is Sheriff Neil Trajan, who is certain Court murdered his wife three years earlier.
When the author is hit by a careless driver, the creature leaves him and through a series of events, ends up with lowly writer, Harold Godwine. Godwine begins to write faster and better, but is troubled by dreams of blood.
However, Jack is healing and devolving into something not quite human. As Court seeks the young author, he leaves a trail of destruction, pursued by Trajan and his FBI associate, Bill Morris.
Will Jack Court do anything to retrieve the companion that inspires his dark desires?

Lay Her Ghosts to Rest by Eda J. Vor

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The veil has been lifted and spirit counselor Catori Khan has been tasked with sending a never-ending stream of wayward spirits off to their final destination. But where she excels in communicating with ghosts, she falls short with the living and no amount of empathy can help mend her broken connections. It’s not until she recognizes the negative patterns of behavior in her work and her social life that she can move forward, practicing self-care and sympathy, and form healthy, fulfilling relationships both professionally and personally.

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