INDIE SPOTLIGHT: Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed | #Horror #Anthology

Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed


They haunt us all.

Those whispered tales of monsters hiding under the bed, or of the demons lurking in the shadowy corner where we dare not glance for fear that seeing them will make them all too real. Oh, how the innocent landscape of a child’s imagination lends fertile soil to horrors ready to be sown on the slightest of sounds; the tales and the terror they wreak on our youthful minds never quite leaves us.

We asked the authors in this collection to reach into the forgotten recesses of their twisted minds and share with us the tales of nightmares that can only thrive in the hidden corners of a child’s imaginings; the bogeyman under the bed, the outlandishly fiendish creature lurking in the dark, the slight murmur of sound coming from the hall… did you close the door completely?

Explore the myriad terrors that only a child can twist from nothing into some ‘thing’ in the span of a single rapid breath. Do you dare delve into your own memories? Perhaps you’ll start sleeping with the lights on again…

Tell us, who is Under the Bed?

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FRIDAY FICTION: Never Saw It Coming… | #FreeFiction

Never Saw It Coming…

Was it wrong to imagine that infernal can being driven deep into his forehead?

I don’t think I can fucking take it anymore! All that infuriating sipping, the sucking of the last drop; it was enough to drive a woman to drink. But never from a can… Ever! Why won’t he simply give up; admit defeat? How can he possibly not know he’s done? Does he do it just to grate on my nerves? There’s a part of me that believes he does it for that very reason. He’s slowly filing down each of my nerves, waiting for me to strike out. I certainly will not disappoint him one of these days, but I need to bide my time. Stupid fucking ass is going to get what’s coming to him and I will be the one to give it to him! Oh yes I will, and I dare anyone to stop me. Hell. I don’t even care if I go to jail – it would be worth it never to have to hear that infernal slurp again.

The skin on the back of my neck crawls as I hear it again. My blood boils as my last nerve is frayed beyond repair. It snaps and so do I. I grab that fucking can from his finger and crumple it, hearing the tiniest of tinkle as the last of the amber liquid sloshes against the aluminum side. Fucking perfect! This time he really wasn’t done, but I don’t care… It’s going to be the last time he ever sucks the fumes from his beer again. My hands hurt as the sharp, pointed edges draw blood from my fingers as I shake the can in front of his dumbfounded face. That look… I want to savour that look. He never saw it coming…

Copyright © 2013 Julianne Snow

A REVIEW FROM MY COMMUTE: Riding the Bullet — Stephen King | #Ghosts #UrbanLegends

Every once in a while I like to take a step back from books that come on 10 discs and involve 11 to 13 hours of listening and pick up something that’s a little shorter. Riding the Bullet by Stephen King is one of those listens.

515z098fqel-_sx372_bo1204203200_A Stephen King ghost story in the grand tradition, Riding the Bullet is the ultimate warning about the dangers of hitchhiking.

A college student’s mother is dying in a Maine hospital. When he hitches a ride to see her, the driver is not who he appears to be. Soon the journey veers off into a dark landscape that could only be drawn by Stephen King.

Sometimes when you listen to something, it hits you. You get a small shiver that runs up your spine as the story unfolds and you find yourself really enjoying it. Riding the Bullet was one of those stories for me.

I enjoyed the easy plot and the throwback to many an urban legend within it. Definitely an enjoyable read.

Rating: 4 stars

SPOTLIGHT BLITZ: Welcome to the Family | #Romance #Suspense @nancyreece62

Romantic Suspense

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Raised in a dysfunctional family, Cassandra Devlyn Ferguson has tried to leave the past behind and carve out a new life with her husband, former Black Ops specialist, Sean Ferguson. Her family’s shady business dealings never involved her, and she intends to keep it that way.
Sean wants nothing more than to be a devoted, loving husband. But his new job sends him to the front lines at some of the world’s most dangerous spots. For years, he’s blamed his Irish wanderlust for the risks, but the truth is he enjoys the rush of adrenaline danger brings. When the Devlyn family’s mistakes come looking for Cassie, it’s up to Sean to bring her home safely.
The one positive? Cassie knows all about her family’s true nature and is willing to walk away from everything to stay with him. The negative? Someone wants them dead and will stop at nothing to keep all the skeletons in the closet.
Welcome to the Family is available for purchase:

About the Author —  Born in the North, raised in the South, Nancy S Reece grew up surrounded by books. Now living with three horses, three dogs, three cats, two children, and one very supportive spouse, when she isn’t writing, Nancy can be found wandering old abandoned buildings looking for inspiration.
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SPOTLIGHT BLITZ: The High Yield Vector | #Espionage #Thriller @NighthawkFencer

Espionage Thriller

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Former British intelligence agent Mark Savannah escapes the international arrest warrant hanging over his head by taking refuge among the Tuareg of Mali. In 2008 the resurgence of fighting in the North of the country causes him to change his plans, forcing him into hiding in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he works undercover as a doctor at the hospital in Kinshasa. Trying to survive the widespread corruption in the country, Mark becomes a direct witness to the devastating and deadly effects of a transgenic plant project funded by an international consortium that is looking for breakthrough OMG production strains while ruthlessly taking huge risks with the native population’s health. Approached once again by British intelligence to investigate the activities of the consortium, Mark finds himself involved in violent clashes between several countries’ intelligence services as they fight for control over the territory and its markets. Mark once again finds himself facing a deadly confrontation with his mortal enemy and the “sniper” who has never stopped hunting him.
The High Yield Vector is available on:
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Catch up with the first book in the Series!
Mark Savannah has already lived two lives and now he is looking for a third, but he is trapped by a past he can’t escape.
Professor Zimmermann of the University of Buenos Aires has warned him: “They have been able to cover up the whole affair and destroy all the evidence”.
Mark has discovered an extraordinary secret hidden deep in CIA director Colonel Reed’s past and in the neural transplant operations of Biosketch Technologies Inc., a biotech company set up by Reed.
Mark came into contact with Biosketch Technologies Inc. and the diabolical Project “Transtem 1.1″ while studying civilian and military neural transplant patients. As Mark attempts to uncover the truth, he is pursued by Anaïs Degann, a CIA agent with orders to terminate him.
Project “Transtem 1.1″ is just the tip of the iceberg of Reed’s dark plans and, in order to get his life back, Mark has to break the ties connecting Colonel Reed with Colonel Kozlov of the Russian counterintelligence service. Reed’s links to Russian intelligence threaten to compromise international security and Mark must stop him at all costs.

About the Authors — Baibin Nighthawk writes spy fiction, thrillers and science fiction. She is the co-author of the Mark Savannah espionage series and of the Dhungwana Chronicles. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Certificate in Art (Martenot Arts Plastiques, Paris).

Dominick Fencer writes spy fiction, thrillers and science fiction. He is the co-author of the Mark Savannah espionage series and of the Dhungwana Chronicles. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and an MBA.

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INDIE SPOTLIGHT: Screams The Machine | #Dystopian #SciFi

Screams The Machine

Sam Mortimer


Cash carries a disease; one that’s already killed a large majority of the population and something needs to be done. To stop the crisis from escalating, The Solution (a worldwide organization) is formed and rises to great power. They monitor people’s dreams and shape reality to fit their own wants and needs. In an effort to control existence itself, The Solution is searching for what they believe to be the ultimate tool; a person with the ability to master a deep connection with the mysterious, pervasive energy known only as The Ultimate Reality.

Watching her neighborhood decay, her friends and family perish, Elizabeth Reznik needs to find meaning in her life. She discovers her existence is more meaningful than she could ever have imagined. Operatives of The Solution seek her out, take her from her home and perform brutal experiments on her. Their conclusion? Elizabeth is the one they have been searching for; she is the key to gaining complete power.

The stratagem of The Solution is single minded – own the resources and you own the people. And the last resource available is free will. They will own your thoughts, they will orchestrate your dreams; they will dine on your fears. But there is always a cog in the machine… or in this case, a scream.

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SamMortimer-AuthorPicture.jpgABOUT THE AUTHOR – 
Sam Mortimer has worked the graveyard shift in law enforcement, attended film school, and has been writing strange stories since age eleven. He loves reading, music, and strives to meet the demands of his five cats.

FRIDAY FICTION: The Event | #FreeFiction

The Event

prints.jpgThey came from the sea, leaving evidence of their arrival in the sand. Millions, perhaps even billions of them in an organized display of power and existence across the beaches of the world. At first no one truly understood why they chose to reveal themselves to the human world, their existence having been so well hidden in the depths of the oceans. But nevertheless, they came, dragging their scaly tails, and smiling through their reptilian-like mouths. Their grasp of our languages was astounding, further evidence they had been planning their relocation for quite some time. We had no real idea what their agenda was, but in time it all became very clear.

Governments gathered to discuss the event—each of them worried about what a collective show of force would do to their popularity in the polls. So far the veritable army hadn’t displayed any aggression, only asking for equal rights as a sentient race on the planet from the shanty towns that had been hastily built to house them. Pro-inclusion groups sprung up like weeds, picketing the steps of all the major governments, demanding those rights be granted. How could they have known? How could any of us have known?

New laws and charters were drawn up, public opinion amounting to more than common sense. They were not deemed a threat by the scientists and consultants at the UN, so it only seemed fair as the reams of information flowed freely between us and them. They helped us to understand the sea better than ever before. But with it came a hefty price. Only a few years after they walked out of the water, they’d found a way to turn the tables, enslaving us. Now we serve them. And when our bodies cannot work any longer, we become dinner.

Copyright © 2014 Julianne Snow

A REVIEW FROM MY COMMUTE: The Woods – Harlan Coben | #Mystery #Horror

This is the first book I’ve read by Harlan Coben but after finishing The Woods, it won’t be my last.

51ulwevyyHL._SX301_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgTwenty years ago, four teenagers at summer camp walked into the woods at night. Two were found murdered, and the others were never seen again. Four families had their lives changed forever. Now, two decades later, they are about to change again.

For Paul Copeland, the county prosecutor of Essex, New Jersey, mourning the loss of his sister has only recently begun to subside. Cope, as he is known, is now dealing with raising his six-year-old daughter as a single father after his wife has died of cancer. Balancing family life and a rapidly ascending career as a prosecutor distracts him from his past traumas, but only for so long. When a homicide victim is found with evidence linking him to Cope, the well-buried secrets of the prosecutor’s family are threatened.

Is this homicide victim one of the campers who disappeared with his sister? Could his sister be alive? Cope has to confront so much he left behind that summer twenty years ago: his first love, Lucy; his mother, who abandoned the family; and the secrets that his Russian parents might have been hiding even from their own children. Cope must decide what is better left hidden in the dark and what truths can be brought to the light.

I enjoyed the twisting mystery of The Woods immensely. While I wouldn’t classify it as a ‘cozy’ mystery, it certainly had the same appeal. The mystery itself was well drawn and kept me guessing up until a certain point—making me change my mind every few chapters until I finally settled on the killer.

If you’re a fan of mysteries with a little bit of horror thrown in for good measure, give The Woods a chance.

Rating: 4.5 stars

INDIE SPOTLIGHT: The Calling | #Supernatural #Horror

The Calling

Brent Abell


Carl Volker has a problem. After waking one morning with a hangover to find his wife gone, he notices a crow stalking around his yard.  As days go by with no word from his wife, more and more crows gather.

Frank Hill is sheriff in the seemingly pleasant town of White Creek. Up until recently, his job has been fairly mundane but after a recent spree of murders, bodies are beginning to pile up and Frank has no clue as to who the killer may be.

White Creek has kept its secrets hidden well over the years but the sins of its past are coming to light; the town harbors an evil and the bindings that keep it in check are beginning to unravel.

As Frank and Carl’s friendship is tested and their destinies are revealed, the dead accumulate while the crows watch and The Calling begins!

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brentabellpicABOUT THE AUTHOR – Brent Abell lives in Southern Indiana with his wife, sons, and a pug who sits around eating the souls of wayward people. His stories have been featured in over 30 publications from multiple presses. His work includes his novella In Memoriam, collection Wicked Tales for Wicked People, and novel Southern Devils; which are now available. He also co-authored the horror-comedy Hellmouth series. Currently, he is working on the second book in the Southern Devils series and the next book with Frank Hill in the White Creek Saga.

Twitter: @BrentTAbell

Facebook: Brent T. Abell

Blog: Our Darkest Fears

FRIDAY FICTION: Zukunft | #FreeFiction


August 4th, 1942

Today is the day. I shall be making medical history doing something that has yet to be done before. How all of my peers scoffed at me, telling me what I envisioned cannot be done. I shall show them, the fools! Sometimes if you want to create something new and unique, you have to be willing to break a few eggs in the process. And that is exactly what I shall do.

August 30th, 1942

My subject appears to be showing the first signs of pregnancy. I cannot be 100 percent certain at this point, but all of the signs are pointing in the right direction. The subject has missed her menses this month and complains of tenderness in her female organs. Have I already attained success in my first attempt? Was what I envisioned easier than I had even dreamt? I am excited and nervous at the same time – but my peers will have to bow to my superior intellect in this instance. For if what I have created does in fact reach full term, I will have means to create an army that will surpass all those comprised of mere humans. When this comes to pass, I shall be the one laughing.

October 15th, 1942

The subject is indeed pregnant; her abdomen already stretching as if indicating the fetus is full term. Internal examination reveals normal gestational signs but the distension of the uterus is somewhat troubling. I fear the subject will not be able to sustain the growth of the fetus and that her uterine wall will tear, nullifying my creation before it can take its first breath. Not much can be done at this juncture. I shall have to wait to see if divine miscarriage is in the cards.

December 2nd, 1942

The subject can no longer sustain her own life as well as the life growing insider her. She has been placed on intravenous fluids to feed her body while I have rigged an iron lung to ensure that she still breathes without causing harm to the fetus within. With some difficulty, I have measured the circumference of her abdomen at 107 inches – well over 8 feet. I am shocked that the skin on her stomach has not split, especially given the rapid rate of growth but the body is a miraculous thing. I can see signs of wear on her epidermis, something I liken to metal fatigue; something I am certain will create a distressing problem should the skin rent. The fetus is active, the entire surface of the distended stomach rippling as it moves. If my calculations are correct, the subject will not survive the pregnancy, nor will the fetus. I give the entire experiment only three more weeks at the most before catastrophic failure occurs.

December 24th, 1942

It lives. I cannot believe it. I was called to the laboratory early this morning as the epidermis of the subject finally failed to contain my creation growing inside of her. While it was a shame we lost the subject, the spoils of our experiment are ever so much more exciting! I have never before seen anything so monstrous and yet so beautiful! I feel like a father seeing his child for the first time. I have nicknamed it Zukunft as that is what it is – the future. More to follow once I have had a moment to observe and examine.

December 27th, 1942

Zukunft has been very hungry, a sign of viability in my eyes. I cannot believe how quickly it has grown since its birth, having gained an astounding 62 pounds already. It weighs well over 150 pounds at the moment and if its accelerated growth is any indication, it will outgrow its enclosure in no time. I will admit I find some of this troubling. Zukunft shows an incredible amount of awareness already and I can feel it studying me as I observe its behaviour. I think it’s doing things simply to demonstrate that it can; using a stick to bring its food closer, drinking from its hands in order to keep its face as dry as possible. It should not be demonstrating such things but I am happy it does, even if the ramifications of such gestures are troubling. I swear I see cunning in its dark eyes, but of that I cannot be certain.

March 14th, 1943

Zukunft has killed two of my most trusted aides. It was a gruesome attack perpetrated at feeding time. I had assumed it was used to our presence, wanted to be feed instead of starving but perhaps I have been wrong all this time. At the window of the enclosure, as I looked in on the men I had trained personally, their bodies mangled and bloodied, I realized for the first time what I had created. As sad as I am to see my experiment end, I know I must kill it before it kills me.

March 16th, 1943

It cannot die. Nothing I have tried has worked and in the process it has killed three more of my aides. I simply cannot have this, but what can I do? Why can I not kill what I have created? What is this abomination? Have I created a new god? I must think and weigh my options carefully. Something must be done.

April 1st, 1943

I have figured it out! Or rather someone else has given me the answer that I desire. Zukunft will be going to an underground facility buried in the heart of Hamburg. It’s meant for research, but it has the capacity to contain Zukunft without worry. I shall be able to wash my hands of the entire experiment and begin anew. While the transport will be dangerous, and many are likely to not live through it, it only matters that miles of concrete lock Zukunft away from the rest of the world.

April 6th, 1943

I fear this shall be my last entry in this journal as I must flee for my life. It is not the Allied forces; Zukunft has escaped and with it a new hell on Earth.

Copyright © 2013 Julianne Snow