Tag Archives: Horror

Halloween Special – What Was Left

Travis West wrote my favourite story in the forthcoming Awethology Anthology. He scares the absolute crap out of me, here’s another of his brilliantly chilling tales What Was Left.

 

Extract – Part One

Valerie heard screams. A girl. Probably a young one, maybe even younger than Valerie herself. The girl was coming towards Valerie, she could sense it from the changes in pitch and volume. The girl wasn’t the danger, but the danger would be there, following close behind.

Valerie ran across the road and into a nearby shop, her well-worn shoes kicking up a trail of dust and ash behind her. The particles lingered in the still air, painting a giant arrow pointing to the door that Valerie was now hiding behind. She hoped the danger wouldn’t notice, wouldn’t search her out. They would probably be too focused on the girl they were chasing. Valerie would probably be safe.

Valerie peeked through the window in the door to look outside. She knew she was increasing the likelihood she would be spotted, but she couldn’t help it; she had to look. She always had to look. She saw the girl run by, the danger close behind. There were three of them chasing, and the girl was even younger than Valerie had thought. Probably ten or eleven.

One of the men launched himself into the air, tackling the girl to the ground in an explosion of cloudy ash that momentarily obscured them both from view. Once the air had cleared a little, Valerie could see the man had the girl held down easily with one hand, and was extracting his knife from his belt with the other. Valerie knew what was coming next, and she wanted to turn away, but she didn’t. She always had to watch.

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Halloween Special – Fang and Claw

What Halloween would be complete without a vampire and a werewolf? Thankfully author Markie Madden has a great story for us, introducing Fang and Claw part of her Undead Unit series…

Lieutenant Lacey Anderson of the Dallas Police Department heads up a elite new squad dedicated to solving crimes involving Immortals like herself. Lacey, a Vampire left for dead when her family was slaughtered by Werewolves, still has nightmares about the attack.

Detective Colton Scarber is her unwilling partner and second-in-command. He’s a Werewolf, a descendant of those who killed Lacey’s coven. She’s unaware of this, but she doesn’t trust him from the start. When the fragile beginning of the team is threatened by the truth, can they learn to trust one another as partners must, or will the Undead Unit be doomed to failure?

A mysterious suspect and strange physical evidence leads them to solve a case spanning decades, and leaves Lacey with no other choice but to rely on her enemy when her very life is at stake!

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Halloween Special – The Threshold

I’m very pleased to introduce a very talented author, Anita Kovacevic. I had the pleasure of working with Anita on a forthcoming anthology and she’s absolutely brilliant, I know you’ll love her work.

 

Spanning over a few centuries, this urban legend revolves around a mysterious house and its alleged secret treasure. The original owner is obsessed with the house, but once he enters it, he never leaves, till his death. Over a century, a creepy urban legend develops about it. But nobody tampers with it till a real estate mogul wants the property to build a business tower on the site. To gain legal control over it, he strikes a deal with the city officials, and starts a reality show in which contestants are asked to enter the house and retrieve the treasure from it. The show does not go as planned, and the newly built tower will hold deadly secrets of its own. Who will end up having the upper hand – the tycoon or the threshold?

 

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Halloween Special – The Devil’s Lieutenant

Another series today, check out Suzi Albracht’s The Devil’s Lieutenant, first in the Devil’s Due Collection.

The Devil’s Lieutenant is a macabre dance of Good and Evil where nothing is as it seems. Will you dare to experience the “dance”? There are many dance partners to choose from – Dimitry Ivanovitch with his filthy promises; Jake Holyfield with his innocent belief in the power of good; Max Wilson, a conflicted soul who simply wants to care for his mother; or perhaps Mikael Ruskoff, a man driven by the fumes of pain. Or you could partner up with Carl Royce but if you do, don’t let him touch your thumbs. Need to know more?

Jake Holyfield, a young, married homicide detective, finds himself investigating a series of barbaric murders where the bodies are dissolved leaving blood, sinew and globs of fat at the scene. A mysterious informant provides insider clues on the murders that challenge Jake’s belief system. The informant claims the killer is the Devil’s agent sent to collect unpaid debts.

Soon Jake and the informant, Mikael Ruskoff, join forces to stop the killer. But Mikael is a man with deadly secrets that he holds close. Secrets like—he is on the run from the very same killer.

Meanwhile, Jake’s best friend, Max Wilson, gets caught up in the web of a mysterious man. At first his benefactor seems sent from heaven when he takes care of Max’s money woes but before long the man’s darker, more nefarious side is revealed.

As Jake’s investigation heats up, Max spirals into a dark world that he can’t escape. Their paths crisscross in an unexpected way when a grainy video is discovered that shows Max as a witness or participant to one of the murders.

Jake is warned to back-off, to end his investigation. When he refuses, the Devil’s agent threatens Jake’s pregnant wife and small child.

Soon, the lives of everyone Jake loves depend on what he does next.

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Halloween Special: Don’t Turn Around

I’ve done a lot of writestorms with this #awethor and every time his work has always scared me – seriously he’s a very disturbed mind – you’re going to love him.

Introducing Rocky Rochford and Don’t Turn Around…

I am Death.

And I am hungry.

And there you are,

Unaware of my arrival.

Don’t turn around.

Buy Now: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dont-Turn-Around-Rocky-Rochford-ebook/dp/B00NY9T8W0/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_4?tag=geolinker-21


Halloween Special – Portraits of Dread

This month it’s all about horror and darkness. I’m going to be showcasing a great collection of ghoulish books to get you in the mood for Halloween.

First up is an amazing #awethor and buddy Michael J Elliot – who has possibly the greatest book cover ever. Pre-order your copy now in time for Halloween…

In this collection of twelve stories, Michael J. Elliott examines dread in all it’s many forms,
In MOTHER CALLED TODAY a woman becomes increasingly fearful of her demanding mother’s incessant phone calls. She has a horrible secret about her mother, something she is too scared to share with anyone.
In THE LITTLE MAN ON TOP OF THE WARDROBE Four year old James has always been very good about going to bed but recently he’s been too scared to go to sleep. There is a little man living on top of his wardrobe and it wants his soul.Of course that’s just his overactive childhood imagination….Isn’t it?
In A GLUTTON FOR PUNISHMENT we visit a future that isn’t too hard to imagine. It’s a world where the overweight are social pariahs, where a government controls their eating and shopping and failure to loose weight after three attempts results in the obese being sent to a detention camp. Lynda Whittaker has just been sent to one such camp and she’s about to learn a horrifying government secret which shows they till have one final use for the overweight.
Portraits Of Dread contains these chillers and more.

http://www.mjewrites.com/portraits-of-dread-now-available-for-pre-order/


Halloween Special – Death Most Wicked

Here’s the final book I have for you from Suzi Albracht (and if you haven’t checked out the rest of the series then make sure you do), introducing Death Most Wicked…

The thing Evil craves most is innocence. When small children disappear, you can be assured that Evil has crawled out of its dirty corner. And when those children turn up dead, Evil has clawed its mark on humanity.

What if you were a homicide detective and little girls were suddenly being kidnapped and murdered by a devious pedophile? And what if that pedophile left no evidence behind except for the broken bodies? What would you sacrifice to save just one innocent child? Would any sacrifice be too great? What if it cost you someone you loved? What if, by saving that child, you unleash a horrific monster into your own life?

Mikael Ruskoff was living his dream. He was a highly successful, homicide detective working a career he loved. He had a mother who adored him, a son he took skateboarding, and a wife he loved more than words could express. He played a mean drum set every Thursday night with his best friend on guitar. His life was comfortable and pleasurable. Then he caught a case that would change his life forever.

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Almost Invincible

Here’s an exclusive guest post from Mary Shelley Biographer Suzanne Burdon.

BEHIND THE BOOK

Don’t leave me alone with her. She’s been the bane of my life since I was three years old!” These were the words of Mary Shelley to her daughter in law, who kindly proposed giving Mary, then in her 50s, some time with her visiting step sister.

I read this some four years ago and found it so intriguing, that it led me on a fascinating journey into the early 19th century. What could have caused such vehemence? Why was Mary so anxious about being alone with her stepsister? I knew little of Mary Shelley. Like many people, I was vaguely aware that she had written Frankenstein when she was quite young. I knew also that she was married to the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

That is when I discovered that I am an obsessive researcher. As a sociologist, most of my working life has been spent conducting market and social research and when I started reading Mary’s story there were many aspects of it that resonated strongly with modern life. It was operatic – even a soap opera! There were more scandals, deaths, tortured relationships, loves and losses than in several seasons of Desperate Housewives. Through it all there was Mary, a strong but also vulnerable young woman in socially unsympathetic times. I glimpsed someone who was a teenage rebel, grieving mother, determined author, and long suffering lover of a man well ahead of his time. I wanted to get to know her better, and especially to understand the insidious and damaging influence of her step-sister, Claire.

There are many biographies of Mary, but she is often crowded out by the famous people around her and the complexities of her lifestyle. Finding the real Mary seemed a bit like trying to find a lost child at central station in rush hour. I badly wanted to l understand her emotions and motivations more clearly.

One of the pleasures of writing this book has been the research, not only visiting many of the places associated with her life, but also spending hours burrowing in libraries around the world. There are two major collections of documents associated with Shelley. One is in the New York Public Library and the other is in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. (Since I had daughters living in both the UK and NYC, this was an added incentive to visit). There are many boxes and files of letters and manuscripts from the Shelleys and those associated with them. Even though most of it has now been digitized, there is nothing like touching and seeing the originals. In the Bodleian boxes there was a lovely little notebook where Mary had sketched a story, with a lock of hair pressed between the pages.

The lock of hair

The first thing that struck me was how young they all were. Mary was sixteen when she met Shelley. He was already married with a child. With the Geldorfs recently, sadly in the news, it struck me how like Bob Geldof Shelley must have appeared. He was radical, wanting to save the world, wild in appearance, charismatic, and an atheist – a rebel who had been disavowed by his baronet father. He believed in poetry as a force for reformation and change. Poets, he asserted, ‘are the unacknowledged legislators of the world’.

One of the places I visited was Pancras churchyard in London, where Mary’s mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, is buried. (She died giving birth to Mary). Mary spent hours there to be near to her mother, and it is where she first met Shelley. I thought it odd that a churchyard would be a place to spend time, but it is still pretty, with lawns and trees and a smattering of monument style graves.

The Old Pancras Churchyard

Mary was just back from a year in the hills of Scotland with some family friends. She was strong-minded and clever, raised in a world of books and ideas. Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, was author of A Vindication of the Rights of Women. Her father was William Godwin, a philosopher and political theorist, who wrote a groundbreaking book called Political Justice. Shelley was a disciple of her father, and in Mary he saw a girl who had the genes to achieve great things in literature and philosophy, as well as being attractive. His wife was beautiful but could not match him in intellectual aspiration. In Mary he had found his soulmate. However, she had a surprisingly conservative streak, and Shelley I suspected, would have needed all of his persuasive powers to convince her run away with him. Their diaries and letters are no help for this period, but the recollections of their friends give some clues as to their dramatic and clandestine courtship.

When they eventually eloped they were like kids on a gap year, recklessly setting off to France, weeks after Napoleon was defeated, through villages still ravaged from war. They had little money and few clothes and only the optimism of the very young. The only shadow on their bright future was that when they had left London in the early hours of a July morning, they had taken Mary’s step sister, Claire, with them. There seemed to be no good reason for it, especially as Claire and Mary were not blood relations and were not exactly close or even compatible. It was even more incomprehensible, because Claire was in love with Shelley and had a history of jealousy of Mary. Why did Mary let this happen, especially as it was a decision that infected every thing that happened to her from then on and impacted on her relationship with Shelley? This was one of puzzles I tried to unravel.

Penniless, they had to return to England cheaply and so they travelled on a boat along the Rhine. I discovered that there is an old Frankenstein Castle, near Gernsheim in Germany, where the alchemist Dippel lived, who was reputed to exhume bodies for anatomical research. The seed of inspiration for the novel’s title may have been planted there as the travellers passed close to the ruins.

Frankenstein Castle. I loved the way the leaves look like a bat!

On Lake Geneva, where Frankenstein was conceived in Byron’s villa as a result of a challenge to write a ghost story. The Villa Diodati is still there and overlooks the Lake as it would have in 1816. I had always been puzzled that it was July, when the driving rain

and thunderstorms set the scene. Then I discovered that 1816 was known as The Year Without A Summer. Mount Tambora in Indonesia produced the the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history and Europe was blanketed in dust. People thought the end of the world had come.

Villa Diodati

My researches also took me to the Buckinghamshire village of Marlow, where they lived a happy year just after Claire gave birth to Byron’s baby, and where Mary and Shelley helped the poor lacemakers. I visited many sites in Italy where they spent the last four years of their time together. In Pisa, in particular, they felt happy. They called it the Paradise of Exiles. When I was there I was surprised to discover that at that time they had camels pulling boats along the Arno, the wide river that runs through the city. Casa Magni, on the Gulg of Spezia is hard to imagine as the wild and isolated place of their last days. Now it is overrun with holiday makers, but there is till the verandah where Mary and Jane scanned the sea in hope that their men would return alive.

The Arno in Pisa. No camels now!

Author and guide, Maria, on the steps of Byron’s villa at Montenero

Casa Magni. It was one right on the sea shore

Another discovery was that Frankenstein was adapted for the stage several times in Mary’s lifetime. She seemed to feel no concern that they added music and meddled with the script. One production was so scary that women in the audience fainted.

I have loved every minute of the years I have spent with Mary Shelley and I hope that readers will, like me, see her as a complete person, flawed as well as favoured, applaud her courage and sympathise with her trials, as well as understanding something about life in the early nineteenth century.

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Halloween Special – The Alastair Stone Chronicles

To spice it up here’s a little bit of urban fantasy with dark elements from R L King and his Alastair Stone Chronicles.

SAFE AS HOUSES
It’s hard enough for Alastair Stone to keep his two lives—powerful mage and mundane Occult Studies professor—separate without an old friend asking him to take on a new apprentice. Especially after a university colleague wants him to investigate a massive old house for things that go bump in the night. Still, Stone figures it’s an easy job: just turn up, put on a little show, and announce that the house is clean.

Only it isn’t. A malevolent spirit is reawakening in the basement, imprisoned between dimensions and intent on escape. If it succeeds, countless people will die. Worse, a trio of dark mages want to help it break free so they can control it for their own sinister purposes. They’ll do whatever it takes—including seducing Stone’s young apprentice and using him against his master—to get what they’re after.

With time running out, Stone has to stay alive long enough to uncover the spirit’s secrets. But even if he does, he fears that his own power won’t be enough to send it back.

“I am reminded of Jim Butcher here…” — Wulfstan, Amazon top 500 reviewer

“Somewhat reminiscent of the Dresden files but with its own distinct style.” — John W. Ranken, Amazon reviewer

“Tension throughout novel kept pulling me forward…I definitely want to see more from this author!” — Shawna Reppert, award-winning author of fantasy and steampunk

Check Out The Series


Tales of Blood and Sulphur

Best part about my job is all the great authors I get to meet. And today I can showcase a fellow Brit and great writer (even if his covers give me nightmares) J G Clay and his book Tales of Blood and Sulphur.

 

Blurb for ‘Tales of Blood and Sulphur: Apocalypse Minor

 

Eleven Tales steeped in Blood and reeking of Sulphur

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J.G Clay takes you on a journey through the voids of Reality and into dark places where demons, mutants and inter-dimensional creatures taunt, taint and corrupt Humanity. Survival is not guaranteed, sanity is not assured and death lurks in every corner. These are the Tales of Blood and Sulphur: Apocalypse Minor; eleven twisted tales of terror and mayhem………………………

There are cracks in the skin of Reality. Some are microscopic, others are as wide as a four-lane motorway. As the fault lines increase and widen, the door to our world shines like a beacon in the darkness, a warm and inviting sight to others beyond our understanding. When They cross over into our realm, The Tales begin……

A gambler taking one last desperate throw of the dice. A struggling writer making an unholy alliance. An eternal being fighting to stay alive in the financial capital of India. A man burdened with a terrible town secret. The Law Enforcers who must never cry. The End of Days live and direct from the rural heartland of England.

The blood is warm, the sulphur is burning, the tales will be told,  Apocalypse Minor is imminent!

 

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Biography

J.G Clay was born in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire in 1973. A life-long horror and science fiction fan, he has written for his own amusement since his teenage years, taking time off to do the usual things that adolescent boys do and growing up disgracefully. Now in his forties, he has returned to his passion for the dark, the weird and the twisted.

Off duty, he has a passion for music, films and Birmingham City FC. He can also hold down a half decent bassline.

J.G lives with his wife and step-daughter in Rothwell, Northamptonshire – the heart of the English countryside.

 

J G Clay’s Amazon Page