WICKED DEEDS: WITCHES, WARLOCKS, DEMONS, & OTHER EVIL DOERS | #Release #Horror @Sirens_Call

Wicked Deeds:

Witches, Warlocks, Demons, & Other Evil Doers

WD_WWDED_Final_FrontCover.pngSometimes wicked people do wicked things simply because they can…

The twelve stories in Wicked Deeds tell tales of witches and warlocks with ill intent, devilish demons bent on destruction, and other doers of evil who make the world a terrifying place. What is a mother to do when her daughter is gifted but lives under the thumb of her fanatical preacher husband who will brook no talk of the supernatural? What of a demon so desperate to free himself of a trap that he will force another to repeat his atrocities and condemn a young boy to his demonic fate? Or maybe the story of a crotchety old witch with a score to settle against the town she lives in is more to your liking – what evil will the seemingly harmless town-crazy call upon when faced with an ultimatum?

If you’re looking for wicked people with supernatural abilities doing wicked things, this is the collection for you!

*This book is a collection of similarly themed yet varying fictitious short stories from multiple authors.

Wicked Deeds: Witches, Warlocks, Demons, & Other Evil Doers is available on:

Amazon: US | UK | Australia | Canada | Germany | Italy | France | Spain | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

CreateSpace (Print)

Smashwords

(other venues to follow…)

MONSTER BRAWL! | #Release #Horror @Sirens_Call

Monster Brawl!

MonsterBrawl_FrontCover_FinalIt’s time to let the monsters loose!

For this book, we collected stories of monsters doing epic battle with other monsters! The beasts could be classical by design with a unique twist, or they could be spawned straight from the author’s imagination. The only rule: there must be a clear-cut winner at the end of each story; one of the creatures had to die!

Some of the stories in this collection pit a single monster against another, while others are all-out gang warfare. Some are campy, some serious, but all a fight for the ages!

It’s time to get your game face on for twelve tales worthy of the title Monster Brawl!

**No monsters were hurt in the writing of these stories**

*This book is a collection of similarly themed yet varying fictitious short stories from multiple authors.

Monster Brawl! is available on:

Amazon: US | UK | Australia | Canada | Germany | Italy | France | Spain | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

CreateSpace (Print)

Smashwords

(other venues to follow…)

FIVE LINE FRIDAY: ‘Bernard’ from #DragonsofFaith

Dragons of Faith is a round robin novel from 7DS books. My contribution was Bernard and the first five lines follow…

Ever been hit by an airplane and lived to tell the tale? Bernard had. It was 1907 and Bernard, a guardian dragon from the celestial heavens, was travelling back to his mountaintop home in China from one of his favourite places in the world – Italy. His mind was on the Aria he had just heard, replaying the melody in his head over and over again and he didn’t see the painted wooden body with wings slicing through the clouds until it was too late.

The impact sent him spiralling down to earth, able to slow his descent only marginally with his outstretched wings…

Here’s a little more information about the book:

DragonsCoverChristianity | Hinduism | Judaism | Atheist | Satanism | Confucianism | Buddhism.

A keeper for them all. Seven Dragons must join together in order to open the ring of Heavens and stop mankind from continuing its own demise.

With contributions from Michelle Anderson Picarella, Sean Hayden, Julianne Snow, Frantiska Oliver, Marc Quaranta, Richard Graham, and Daniel Picarella, and narrated by Valarie Savage Kinney, Dragons of Faith is a fantasy journey through faith and humanity. Click on the cover if you’re interested in learning more!!

Red is for Rage Blog Tour: An Interview with Connie Corcoran Wilson

Today I bring you a special treat. Connie Corcoran Wilson is touring the blogosphere with her newest novel Red is for Rage and she has stopped by to answer some questions for us. For those of you unacquainted with Connie, let’s take a moment and delve into her world…

Connie 'Press Pass' ImageConnie Corcoran Wilson is a University of Iowa grad and college professor with 55 years of writing experience. She has written for 5 newspapers and 7 blogs; founded 2 businesses; plays 4 musical instruments; and has 2 children born 20 years apart. Connie followed the ’04 and ‘08 presidential campaigns “live,” wrote for Yahoo, and is sometimes referred to as T.Q. (Trivia Queen). She also has 2-year-old twin granddaughters who are great fun.

Welcome Connie! Tell us about your writing process?

I find it helpful to create believable, three-dimensional characters and have them start interacting with and talking to one another. The plot—which I have loosely planned out while discussing possible developments with fellow writers and friends—is well-served by the dialogue my characters produce. I also follow John Irving’s advice of knowing your first line and knowing where it may end, but more the former than the latter.

Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?

As far as I’m concerned, I am already writing suspenseful thrillers, but, as a member of ITW (International Thriller Writers), I see myself heading in that direction more. I also would like to do a “true crime” novel. I still write humor and children’s books (for my granddaughters) so those are areas I’ve already explored, and I’ve written nonfiction since the age of ten so I will continue to do that when the spirit moves me, usually as a Christmas gift for the girls (my twin granddaughters Ava and Elise). I wrote “The Christmas Cats in Silly Hats” for them, and I’ve written “The Christmas Cats Chase Christmas Rats,” which I hope to have out at Christmas this year for them.

What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?

As a Literature major with no minor, I read extensively. I would find it impossible to point out just 5 books from the many I’ve read both as a student, a teacher, and an avid reader.

If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?

Interestingly enough, I pointed out Tom Holland’s photo to my blog girl (Allison Levine) to represent Tad McGreevy, the hero of “The Color of Evil” and “Red Is for Rage.” [Tom Holland is the young star of “The Impossible” movie and he also starred in Britain in “Billy Eliot.”] The nice thing about the rest of the major characters (Stevie Scranton, Janice Kramer, Jenny SanGiovanni) is that the parts could and should be played by unknowns who are, in reality, teen-agers. Therefore, I’d expect unknowns to play the parts, with the possible exception of young Tom Holland.

What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?

Well, first of all, it depends on what you mean by “one morning.” I try not to do anything before 10 a.m., which is a direct response to the years I spent teaching 7th and 8th graders. I would be very grateful and happy, of course, and, were my parents still alive, I’d want to share the news with them. Since both are deceased, I’d probably call up some close family members and friends and then go back to work writing. I might treat my husband to a special dinner or buy something I had always wanted but never gone out and obtained.

Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?

I write late at night. I might write all night and watch the sun come up over the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. I am not the disciplined “write 300 words a day and you’ll have a novel in a year” person that writer Neil Gaimon recently cited as being Stephen King’s advice to him. I’m often compared to King—which is flattering but most likely undeserved—but, while I’m disciplined when I get down to writing, and I do set deadlines for myself, I don’t have the kind of discipline that those two wonderful writers obviously have. I’m more of a streak writer and I’m a perfectionist who is probably driving my staff people (Donnie the web guy; Reno the trailer guy, Alli and Phil the website people) crazy, as I keep tinkering long after they’d like me to be “done.” My E-book conversion guy—(who is wonderful, and a writer, himself)—finally said, “You know, at some point, you have to say, ‘This is the final draft.’ Donnie (Light) is absolutely right. That is a vice I wish I didn’t have: constantly wanting to make what I have written better. I once shut myself up in my Chicago Writer’s Lair for a week during a blizzard to write. I’ve written a book in one week (a short book—only 18,000 words plus pictures) in a week on 3 separate occasions, but that was “work for hire” and I’m very persnickety about my own lengthy novels and short stories.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m writing you these answers from Sydney, Australia. Last week I was on a cruise ship floating around New Zealand. I was in New Orleans in December for Writers for New Orleans and I’ll be in Cancun (Mexico) for 2 weeks in April and potentially back in New Orleans (the Stokers and WorldCon) in June and in New York City (ITW) in July, so it would appear that I like to travel. I like warm weather, beaches, conversation and meeting up with good friends, film, music, reading and writing—not necessarily in that order. When we return from this one-month trip, we will head for our friends’ in Des Moines, Iowa, for our annual Oscar party, complete with predicting the awards and a traveling trophy, and lots of good food and good times. I used to throw fantastic parties, but the guests never reciprocated, so I quit in 2005 after throwing 3 really good ones.

Please share us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.with us.

I’m sharing the first 9 lines of KHAKI = KILLER, the third book in THE COLOR OF EVIL series.

***SPOILER ALERT: Don’t read these first 9 lines if you don’t want to ruin the suspenseful ending of RED IS FOR RAGE.***

Having said that, there are many other suspenseful surprises within Book #3.

Chapter One, December 26, 2004

No Christmas This Year

It was the day after Christmas, a Sunday, when they disconnected the heart-lung machine that was keeping Melody Harris Carpenter alive. A fierce internal struggle broke out both between and among the Harris and Carpenter families.

Some, like Sean, her new husband, and Melody’s parents were in denial. Sean and the Harrises kept insisting, “Everything’s going to be fine.”

Others, like Sean Carpenter’s mom and dad, said little, but looked grim. A week was spent this way, before a final decision was made.

The ambulance ride to Cedar Falls Memorial Hospital had been full of barked commands and frantic actions by the paramedics, actions designed to save the life of the gravely injured Melody.

Where do you find your inspiration?

At the back of my short story collection Hellfire & Damnation II, I explain how, where and why I wrote each story. I’ll probably continue to do that in future books.

If you’ve read the book (and if you haven’t, check it out at www.HellfireAndDamnationTheBook.com), you’ll know that the inspirations are as far-ranging as an article about the sale of human organs on the black market in the Philippines to a real-life celebration dubbed the “Frozen Dead Guy” festival in Nederland, Colorado. I also was inspired to write a story set in Cancun by being a regular visitor there every Easter for the past 18 years and having just read Jaycee Dugard’s story of kidnapping and captivity. Check out the “From the Author” sections at the end of that book or at the end of future books.

As for my novel series THE COLOR OF EVIL, I taught 7th and 8th graders for nearly 20 years, had 5 students on Death Row in Illinois (when Illinois still had a Death Row) and was told that our district had “the worst cases of child abuse in Rock Island County, Illinois” by the Sheriff one year during teacher orientation, so that has had something to do with my writing.

Thank you Connie for taking the time to answer my questions! Now it’s time for a sneak peek inside Red is for Rage

Oh and there’s a Rafflecopter giveaway!!!

Win a copy of Red is for Rage!

Wilson_RAGE_Covercon_7RED IS FOR RAGE is the second book in the award-winning THE COLOR OF EVIL series by Connie Wilson. THE COLOR OF EVIL won the E-Lit Gold Medal for Horror (Jenkins Group) and the Silver Feather (IWPA). Three evil-doers rise up to wreak havoc on a small, mid-western town in this hot follow up.

When Stevie Scranton goes missing, best friend Tad vows to do everything he can to find him. Even if Stevie is dead, his family craves closure. Tad enlists the help of retired policeman Charlie Chandler and a team of volunteers, including Charlie’s old partner, Evelyn Hoeflinger. This rag-tag team of detectives continues searching for Stevie Scranton, the runty misfit of Cedar Falls’ Sky High. In their search, they discover a monster every bit as dangerous as Pogo the Killer Clown.

Michael Clay (the serial killer Pogo) escapes custody. On the loose again, Pogo’s actions restart a vicious cycle of violent nightmares for Tad McGreevy. Pogo has one main goal: kill Tad McGreevy so that Tad cannot disclose Clay’s location. Pogo doesn’t realize that, up until now, Tad has been unable to harness the paranormal ability he possesses. Now, Tad McGreevy must try to learn to use his unique gift. Stevie Scranton’s fate hangs in the balance. Tad’s power, if precognitive, could save everyone he loves.

Jenny SanGiovanni returns from her father’s home in Boulder, Colorado, to finish her senior year with her old classmates. She brings home a new set of problems. Jeremy Gustaffsson, the fifth-year senior boyfriend in Jenny’s junior year, graduated. But Jeremy is still in town, still obsessed with Jenny, still dangerous. When Jenny broke up with Jeremy, it made Jeremy mad. Bad things happen to good people when Jeremy Gustaffsson gets angry and descends into a red rage.

All Jenny’s cheerleader friends from her junior year are back and have problems of their own. Jenny deals with adolescent issues such as self-esteem and self-worth, problems that tax her soul. But Jenny is not alone. Another Sky High student is driven to the brink. Will that individual plunge into the abyss of despair?

Interested in buying a copy of Red is for Rage? Just click on the cover to be whisked away to Amazon!

New Release: The Haunting Season

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New Adult/Horror Recommended for readers 17+

Be careful what you let in…

Siler House has stood silent beneath Savannah’s moss-draped oaks for decades. Notoriously haunted, it has remained empty until college-bound Jess Perry and three of her peers gather to take part in a month-long study on the paranormal. Jess, who talks to ghosts, quickly bonds with her fellow test subjects. One is a girl possessed. Another just wants to forget. The third is a guy who really knows how to turn up the August heat, not to mention Jess’s heart rate…when he’s not resurrecting the dead.

The study soon turns into something far more sinister when they discover that Siler House and the dark forces within are determined to keep them forever. In order to escape, Jess and the others will have to open themselves up to the true horror of Siler House and channel the very evil that has welcomed them all.

Available now!
Amazon
Amazon UK
B&N

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If you’d like to connect with Michelle, you can find here at the following:

Check out Michelle’s other booksVisit Michelle’s BlogFollow her on Twitter, or join her on Michelle’s FB Fan Page

Now I Lay Me Down To Reap – New from Sirens Call Publications

Have I got a treat for everyone today! I’m going to be showcasing Sirens Call Publications newest anthology! It’s called Now I Lay Me Down to Reap and it’s chock full of stories that will give new meaning to the phrase you reap what you sow. Shall we delve inside?

The eighth commandment; thou shalt not steal.
But everyone covets something that isn’t theirs…

Wander down the darker paths of the minds of twelve brilliantly talented authors as they conjure stories of retribution, deceit and betrayal.

Would you chance your family’s fate to the gods in return for a favor? Are the finer things in life worth having once you know the cost someone else had to pay for you to indulge in them? Would you give up your most addictive passion so that others might reap the benefits, regardless of the reward? Or perhaps, the chance at a fresh start and a new life appeals to you? Are you prepared to reap what you have sown?

Within this collection, you’ll find tales all too believable and beyond your oddest imaginings. But there is one thing you will not find… In this anthology, there are no happy endings.

Featuring the talents of:

Ryan C. Anderson, Thomas James Brown, Aspen deLainey, John H. Dromey, Amber Keller, Christian A. Larsen, Jeffery X Martin, Lori Michelle, Sergio Palumbo, J. Marie Ravenshaw, Bill Read, and Adrian Tchaikovsky

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Available at:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon IT

Amazon DE

Amazon FR

Amazon ES

Amazon Print

CreateSpace

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

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Interested in something to whet your appetite? Check out these excerpts from each of the stories in Now I Lay Me Down To Reap

Fugue State – Christian A. Larsen

It was Tuesday, August 5th, and now that he knew it, he didn’t know if that information helped him or not. His eyes drifted downward over the text of the top story; something about how one of the candidates was promising tax breaks to gay couples. Was he for that or against it? Was he a Republican? A Democrat? A Libertarian? Constitution? Green? These were the kinds of issues that made people run to their ideological bunkers. He had an inkling that he might have come down hard one way or the other before… well, before he came to in the alley, an alien in his own skin.

His eyes refocused on the glass of the newspaper box, and he saw his own reflection. There was nothing familiar in the face staring back at him, and he was a little distressed to find that he was thinning and graying up top, either prematurely (which he hoped) or right on time for a man in his mid-40s. Either way, he didn’t really feel old, at least until he tried to stand up and his knees crackled like a bowl of Rice Krispies. Did he have bad knees? Some injury from his past (assuming he had a past)…

Gable’s Leatherworks – J. Marie Ravenshaw

A shrill scream rang out across the pasture.

Abigail snapped her head up upon hearing the jarring sound. A brisk evening breeze filtered into the room, sending a chill up her spine. She glanced up at the fluttering curtains, pushed out her chair, and stood. As she walked over to the open window, she rubbed her arms trying to stave off the goose bumps.

With her palms resting on the window jambs, she gazed out over the pasture. There was nothing out there that she could see, but she had an unnerving feeling that she was being watched. She knitted her brow and allowed her eyes to scan the field one last time before closing the window and drawing the curtain. Like every other night, the scream had come from the direction of Mrs. Gable’s barn…

Me and the Monster – Ryan C. Anderson

There was something sinister about Phil Winikoff, and even though his skin was sun-kissed and he smelled of expensive, French cologne, I could see the darkness that festered deep below.

“Dr. Skidmore, your two o’clock.” My receptionist protracted his neck around the door.

“Send him in,” I said.

Phil passed through the threshold of my office like a wounded creature, being mindful of his steps and careful of his surroundings, fearful of some far off thing beyond the boundaries of my spackled walls. He reached for my hand and thanked me for seeing him on such short notice. “It’s really hard to find good people these days,” he said in shallow utter. His fingers wrapped around mine like tentacles, and I could feel the sweat of his palms mash together with mine. His eyes were beady bloodshot balls of sleepless jelly. We stood there, our hands entangled in a strange, sweaty chimera, until finally he released and I was able to skulk back to the safety of my imported, Carpathian Elm desk…

Sweet Addiction – Aspen deLainey

Aeryn peered cautiously around the corner of the schoolyard. Although dusk had fallen, that didn’t necessarily mean they’d be gone. He just had to ensure guardians weren’t nearby.

Standing silently, he considered prancing towards the swings. Two, he counted. Two of the precious things. Just waiting for him!

He shook his mane and tail free of any tangles. He rubbed his hooves on a convenient bush. He licked his lips. He so wanted to look enticing.

A snarl came from directly behind him.

Aeryn didn’t even chance a look. Better safe than sorry. He galloped off, down some alleys, hoping he’d evaded pursuit. Damn he was getting hungrier and hungrier. Finally, he stopped in a shadowy alley, panting…

Good Taste – Adrian Tchaikovsky

The instructions said not to eat for 24 hours beforehand, but, seriously? There are articles in the Geneva Convention about that sort of thing. I had a light breakfast; that was all. The appointment was 11.30am and I read somewhere that bacon gets digested faster than most foods anyway. Or maybe I dreamt that.

And if I had a Twix on the tube, well, I have blood sugar issues. A man of certain dimensions needs a bit of an energy boost when he’s out and about. I can’t think that I was setting back medical science a hundred years or anything, not just a few mouthfuls of chocolate…

The Game – Amber Keller

Stephanie sang the song on the radio like an angel. Her ice blue eyes closed, her head tilted back, the sun glowing off of her cheeks and shoulders, she had her knees tucked up into her chest. Her golden hair spilled down her shoulders in soft waves.

David reached into his pocket and rubbed the small, velvet box. This was the moment he had been anticipating for weeks. He would ask her when they got to the lake.

The winding road was starting to become covered lightly by leaves. With fall almost here, the late afternoon sun warmed the breeze that swirled through the trees, bringing the smells of summer’s last moments. A golden glow cast across the hood of his car as he crested a small hill, reflecting into his vision and temporarily blinding him.

David’s eyes filled with tears and he rubbed at them vigorously to try and clear his vision. White spots danced before his eyes, and he let off the gas, not able to see the road.

Stephanie’s piercing scream suddenly filled the car.

“DAVID! LOOK OUT!”

You Should Have – Lori Michelle

“Henry Jones liked order. His clothes had to hang in his closet a certain way. His coffee had to be made just right. Anything that disrupted his schedule was immediately loathed. This OCD-esque perfection drove everyone crazy and it wasn’t surprising that Henry lived alone. So when he found out that his secretary had to take leave for personal reasons, he wandered through the bank in a haze.

That’s when she walked into his life.

He saw her across the room and tried not to stare. She had an air about her that he hadn’t seen in a woman in a long time. She looked over at him and smiled; he was taken aback by how confident she was. He smiled back and walked over to her.

“Can I help you miss…”

A False Odor of Sanctity – John H. Dromey

Financial arrangements had been made in advance, so there was no need for conversation. By the flickering light of a lantern, the two men worked in a grim silence, broken only by the susurrus of twin shovels slicing through the packed earth and an occasional grunt of exertion as the loosened clods were tossed high in the air to land outside the pit.

Farther up in the sky, a gibbous moon played hide and seek with slow-moving clouds. Although more than half of the lunar orb he called home was open intermittently to earthly view on this particular evening, the Man in the Moon could bear witness with only one eye. No one else was watching.

When a new sound emerged from the surrounding shadowy darkness—a faint metallic clinking of chains—the diggers were too absorbed in their work to notice…

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing! – Jeffery X Martin

One time, when you were little, we were in the car. All of us. You, me and your mommy. Your mommy was messing around with the radio in the car, trying to find some music to listen to. She landed on this one station, far right on the dial, and there was an old preacher, rattling on about the End of Days. I made a face. Your mother giggled a little and reached down to change the station.

You were in back, in your car seat, and you said, “Who’s that man talking?”

Your mommy said, “Just some guy telling stories.”

You laughed and clapped your hands. “He’s funny! He talks funny,” you said. “He says funny things!”

And the guy did have that cadence going on, that deep Southern rhythm, adding extra syllables onto his words. “Jesus-ah! He is-ah coming back-ah! He is coming-ah! To retrieve his people-ah! To take his people-ah! Into the sky-ah! Up to his holy kingdom-ah! The holy kingdom of heaven-ah!”

Beasts of Burden – Thomas James Brown

Four months ago we could barely afford to eat and now this… By the Seven Courts of the Seven Sins, the land itself would not satisfy you, Frederick!”

For three generations, Hanker Farm had endured in the Dorsetshire region. When just a boy, Coll had watched studiously from the fields as his father managed the land. The lessons in those days were many, and taught the merits of diligence, hard work and glistening sweat, in favour of parchment or prayers.

“As you reap, so shall you sow,” his father used to say, “sow bad seeds and happen you’ll have a bad harvest.” Even in those early days, he had realized his father was imparting more than agricultural wisdom; he was a moral man with just beliefs, which did not indulge slovenliness or ill manners…

The Fairies in the Wood – Bill Read

Even from a distance, Edward Carter had no problem spotting her. Every other arriving passenger was garbed in suits, anoraks or tee-shirts – but not his daughter. Even though he hadn’t seen her for six months, there was no mistaking the figure in the dress standing next to an out of date poster advertising a talk at the village library on local superstitions. She was even wearing a straw hat – she looked like a character out of a Pollyanna book.

“Sorry I wasn’t here to meet you off the train,” he apologised giving her a hug. “I took the wrong turning on the way to the station – I don’t know the roads around here yet.”

“That’s all right dad,” replied Maribel pecking him on the cheek. “The train got in at 10.30 and I’ve hardly been waiting at all. A few seconds is hardly a matter of life and death…

The Eater – Sergio Palumbo

    Only a few people really know the true story of Jenő De Carignano. In fact, he was a peculiar nobleman living in an ancient and windy European seaport. He was born in a northern Italian town in 1800, long ago, but nowadays he doesn’t think much about that city. It has been a very long time since the man was back there and, with the passing of the years, he has almost forgotten its name.

But, the name of the place wasn’t important anyway.

Dark haired, with a bristly, curly beard, and two wild eyes on a  face glowing with health, Jenő was 32 years old when he got married for the first time. The birth of his son, Flavio, soon followed. The wedding was expensive and ostentatious, but as he wasn’t from one of the most famous noble families in town, it was nothing like the wonderful marriages of the richest families in that community. Anyway, the man was very relieved about that, as he was mainly an introvert, and very mean in general. He had a lot of reasons to behave that way: Jenő was an alchemist and had discovered something very important while busy with his other studies, something he didn’t want to share with anyone else…

Go to Sirens Call Publications to download a longer glimpse into each of the stories!

Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity

Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity from Sirens Call Publications…

A unique collection of tales from old told in a new tone of voice, Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity is comprised of twelve stories told by a group of twelve extremely creative and imaginative authors pulling on the mythology of the past.

The world ends on an expected date, but not for the reason everyone is expecting; a tragic figure tears apart the only thing left in his power to control to reclaim what should have been his; a maimed demi-god is demeaned and degraded by his peers – does he deserve justice in the end? All of them questions that intrigue and enthrall. The question now remaining is will you be one of those who learn the answers?

Myth or reality…

Explore the twelve tales of horror and intrigue in Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity and ask yourself, what would you consider a fair price to pay for life immortal… or the chance of life at all?

Would a young woman pass up a shiny bauble if she believed it to be nothing more than a harmless trinket? What transpires once a year in a peaceful and remote village that no one will ever speak of? What better way for a broken man to honor a crippled existence than with a memorial of blood and vengeance? How could a disfigured woman ever dream of chancing across an object that would restore her beauty – and at what cost?

Follow the twists and turns of each writer as they delve into the legends of days gone by, as well as the consequences that are wrought when myths and monstrosities collide with our world.

Contributing Authors include:

Thomas James Brown, Nina D’Arcangela, K. Trap Jones, Amber Keller, Lisamarie Lamb, Edward Lorn, Alexa Muir, Kate Monroe, Joseph A. Pinto, J. Marie Ravenshaw, Julianne Snow, and Jonathan Templar

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Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity is available in print and digital forms from these find retailers:
Print: Amazon, CreateSpace
eBook: Amazon, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, Amazon.es, Smashwords (Nook, Kobo, Sony and Kindle eReaders)

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Excerpts from three of the twelve magnificent stories contained within Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity. For a preview of all 12 stories, please go to SirensCallPublications.com

The Plight of Phaylen Ponsford – Julianne Snow

     Each thin layer of dirt removed had the potential to reveal a relic of a lost time; perhaps a treasure of incalculable value. Phaylen had wanted to be an archaeologist for as long as she could remember. The desire stemmed from the continual playback of a childhood favourite that still held her spellbound; good old Indy never let her down. With all of the bad things that had befallen Phaylen, Indy always remained a constant source of inspiration. Even after the fire.

     It happened when Phaylen was nine. An electrical short in one of the wires connecting her favourite pink lamp with the frilly nightshade to the wall. It could have picked any point in its life to short out, but instead it chose a moment when a young Phaylen was sleeping next to it. Within that instant her life changed – in the worst possible way.

     Gone were her frilly pink lamp, her bed that had once been covered in a pink and purple polka dotted bedspread, and all her toys.  In their stead was just pain; both physical and emotional.

     Phaylen had always been a heavy sleeper; a trait that her alcoholic mother had once considered a Godsend. In the wake of the devastation and the mounting medical bills, she began to consider it a curse.

     It wasn’t long before she considered Phaylen cursed as well.

Hades and the Hydra – Amber Keller

     It was business as usual. The day had started like any other. New York City was bustling with the normal activity of the big city at dawn. People already crowded the streets, business owners were busy with opening the many stores, and the street was filled with a never-ending stream of taxis and other vehicles. The cornucopia of smells that completed the city wafted in on a cool breeze. There was nothing different, as far as anyone knew. But in truth there was a sinister plan nearing fruition underneath the unsuspecting city.

     In the depths of the Underworld, Hades sat in the vast expanse of a large, dark, cavernous room, on a throne built of obsidian bones. Cerberus, the three-headed dog, lay at his feet. snoring.

     “Persephone, come to me.” Hades cracked his knuckles as he issued the command.

     Persephone glided into the room, her head down. She crossed the expanse and knelt beside him.

     “Today is the day that I shall finally have some fun,” he said as he stroked her silken hair.

Re-Emergence – Nina D’Arcangela

     As the ship is tossed to and fro on the frothy angry sea, Michael leaned out, hands cupped to his mouth shouting a warning that he has seen her, for her not to be frightened, they will find a way to rescue her from the water’s angry clutches. As Michael bent further still over the rail in an effort to be heard above the din of the howling wind, the Captain gives orders to his first mate to take the wheel so that he may save his fool of a son before it is too late.

     Just as the Captain relinquishes the wheel, the ship is hit by not one, not two, nor even three, but four consecutive waves that force a moan from deep within the bowels of the vessel, sounds of a cracking hull. In the same instant, the main Mast began to give way under the force of the onslaught. The tide of churning water that rushes across the deck knocks all off their feet, including the Captain and thankfully washing him and his first mate into the upper deck railing and not overboard.

     When the Captain regains his footing, he looks around to assess the damage done to his vessel. Upon seeing the broken Mast, he calls out to Michael to come help him and the others move the massive piece of wood off the bodies of the men trapped below it. Rushing to the main deck, the Captain is not immediately aware of his sons’ absence. In the confusion that follows, no man can say for sure what exactly transpired, though one deck hand swears he saw the Captains son jump from the rail into the water just before the consecutive pounding of the waves began.

What Keeps You Up At Night?

 “Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed”

What crawls through a child’s terrified mind in the darkest moments of the night? We asked twelve different authors to reach deep into their own imaginations and spin for us twelve tales so disturbing that any child would cringe at the thought of having to turn off the light before going to bed…

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?

 

Contributing Authors:  Colin F. Barnes, Nina D’Arcangela, Phil Hickes, Amber Keller, Kim Krodel, Lisamarie Lamb, John McIlveen, Kate Monroe, Brandon Scott, Joshua Skye, Julianne Snow, and Jack Wallen

Available in:

Print format –     Amazon.com, CreateSpace.com
eBook format – Amazon.com, Amazon.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, Amazon.itSmashwords.com (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony, PDF)

««»»

A small taste of what you can expect to find in “Childhood Nightmares: Under the Bed

‘Madeleine’ – Julianne Snow

     “Mommy.”
     Nothing.
     “Mommy?”
     Still nothing. No tell-tale shuffling sound of socked feet on the hardwood floor.
     “MOMMY!”
     Nothing… Where was she? How could she have not heard?
     “MMOOOMMMMMYY!”
     With tears streaming down her cherubic face, Stella wondered if her dream had come true. As she debated running the short distance over the oaken surface to her parent’s room, she listened intently for the sounds of her mother’s imminent stirring.
     Finally.
     Stella heard the soft sounds of her mother’s footfalls in the hallway. She was coming.
     More tears welled up in her young throat.
     As her door burst open, she was surprised to see the form of her sister in the light of the hallway, a smell pervading the room unlike anything she had ever smelled before. Burnt. Wet…

‘Show and Tell’ – Kate Monroe

     He belatedly realized that tonight, there had still been no answer, no response. He leaned over the edge of the bed and cautiously lifted the sheets.
     “Are you there?”
     A blast of fetid air; putrid, repellent.
     Satisfied, Tommy continued.
     “I wish they’d bloody die.” Awestruck by his bravery in making the grand pronouncement, he allowed himself a few moments in which to savor the forbidden words on his tongue before he spoke again. “Yeah, I do. I wish they’d both just shut up and die.”
     A sigh, no stronger than the breeze outside, lifted up the bed sheets and danced around Tommy’s bare feet, curling up his toes as he pursed his thin lips.
     “What do you think, then?”
     Before any answer could come from under the bed, shuffling footsteps announced his great-aunt’s arrival in his room…

‘Seeing is Believing’ – Amber Keller

     At supper no one mentioned what had happened, and that was fine with Timothy. It was strange, but he felt like if he talked about it, it would make it more real.
     When his parents went to bed, he stayed on the couch, saying he would go up to bed soon, that he wanted to finish this television show first. It was an easy lie, and they seemed to be happy that he wasn’t bringing the rat back up, so they allowed it.
     He went to the closet in the hall and scooped up a blanket and extra pillow to take back to the couch when he noticed his bedroom door was shut. It had been open when he went to the bathroom after supper. Looking back he paused before going back to the living room.
     From sitting on the couch, Timothy had a view of his bedroom door in his peripheral vision. He couldn’t help but be aware of the door since it was odd that it was shut…

Please visit the Sirens Call Publications web site for an extended preview available for download.

Surviving the Werewolf Apocalypse: A Guest Post from Jason McKinney

Today I present you a guest post from Jason McKinney; a family man, a good friend, an all around stand out chap, and one hell of a writer! He’s currently touring in support of his book Dog World – an apocalyptic tale that will make you think twice about what you know of werewolves. Here’s at little more about the book:

“It is the summer of 2005, near Tikrit, Iraq. Captain Paul Demarti is the executive officer of communications when a report is received from a patrol that is incredible, at best, or ridiculous, at least. The patrol begins to report hostile contact with giant canine-like creatures when the communication is suddenly cut off. Little does Demarti know that these transmissions will change the course of his life and commence events that will threaten humanity’s existence. In Jason McKinney’s furiously fast-paced and viciously fanged Dog World, it’s werewolves versus soldiers stationed in Iraq, with no less than the fate of humankind hanging in the balance. In a werewolf action thriller like no other, bloodlust reigns and battles rage as a few of America’s bravest struggle to suppress an enemy who is stronger, more cruel, and, at the onset, far hairier than any terrorist they have ever known. Readers craving a compelling, craven story that is coursing with humor will relish sinking their teeth into Dog World.”

Sounds intriguing doesn’t it?? Stay tuned after Jason’s guest post for links on where you can pick it up!

Surviving the Werewolf Apocalypse: Four Tips from Expert Jason McKinney

I believe knowing how to survive a werewolf apocalypse is just as important as knowing how to survive a zombie apocalypse, a natural disaster, or your in-laws staying with you for an extended period of time. The truth of the matter is that if you’re not prepared to deal with a werewolf dominated society, then you’re just a walking Porterhouse steak. This guide reads, in large part, like any other survival guide, but I’ve added a few tips that will help you prepare for when werewolves, or “poodles” as I call them in Dog World, launch their offensive.

Communication:

The definition of communication isn’t limited to knowing how to talk to your spouse, partner, or kids. It also means having a way to communicate with the outside world. Whether or not you decide to talk to other survivors is up to you, but you will need a radio capable of receiving the Emergency Broadcast Network and/or private broadcasters in the event of a lycanthropic attack. This is extremely important. When rescue shelters are set up you’ll need to be able to receive updates pertaining to any shelters that have been overrun with hostiles or are at capacity.

You should think like the military. Planning and information gathering from the world at large is essential. Many private citizens will have ham radios, broadcasting information, so pay attention to the situation around your location. Be advised that some incoming info may be bad so always go with your gut when analyzing or responding to outside communications. A good radio and an analytical method for processing incoming information will help you to plan for worst and best case scenarios while on the move. Communication and information equals situational awareness.

Food:

Most survival experts say three to four months of rations for a family of four is needed in the event of any catastrophe. If you have a family of five or more, then I’d stock up with four to five months worth. Staples like peanut butter, crackers, canned vegetables, canned fruit and bottled water are no-brainers. Ramen noodles (some people love them, my 7 year-old is one of them) are a good, inexpensive item to keep in stock. Rice, oatmeal, various packaged noodles, and dry cereals are also good to have plenty of. Those items can be stored in Ziploc bags for easy transport and can be snacked on as a dry food that will expand to fill you up.

Fresh or bottled water is a must. Go with the three to four month plan for a base set up then expand on that a little at a time. It also couldn’t hurt to prepare for a time when you’re constantly on the move. For those times you will want to have desalination kits or water purification tablets on hand so you can purify nearly any water source. They are available at many sporting good stores or on the Internet. These are very handy to have especially if you take to sea or live near an ocean. Remember to always sanitize your water sources. Werewolf physiology doesn’t have a problem drinking directly from a filthy river, but your body does.

When it comes to cooking or sterilizing metal implements, Sterno tabs or Sterno chafing fuel is great. You can use these in the field and, if you’re careful, indoors. The tabs can be found at military surplus stores or online and the chafing fuel can be found at most big wholesale shops like Costco or Sam’s Club. These are cost efficient and easily portable for heating any food stuff you might have.

Lastly, if you have the money to spend on supplies then military issued Meal, Ready-to-Eat, or MREs, are excellent for emergency planning. The pouches contain everything from an entrée to toilet paper and in some instances water powered entrée heaters. MREs come in a variety of choices and it’s my understanding that a Vegan menu has been added to the MRE list.

Guns and ammo:

It’s more than a magazine, it’s something you need. Like surviving a rise of the undead population you’ll need a firearm, proper training, and at least 400 rounds of ammunition for your weapon of choice.

In time you’ll have more than werewolves to deal with as you travel to safety. There will be human raiding parties to deal with as well. When dealing with hostile werewolves and humans the phrase to remember is escape and evasion. Unless you’re in a group of 20 or more, you should never engage lycans head on. Werewolves have and always will have an advantage over humans. Mentally they operate from both a human and wolf understanding. You should only attempt to fight them if no other alternatives are left. If you have to engage lycans remember to never open fire at a distance. You’ll only be wasting your ammo. When it comes time, engage lycan attackers at 20 feet or less. Make your shots count and always aim for the eyes. Werewolves have a wider cranium than humans, and their eyes and forehead make for perfect kill zones. Werewolves are not invulnerable. They can be killed.

As it was pointed out to me recently, crossbows are also good short range weapons suitable for hunting and minor defense. Crossbow ammo is reusable and can be replenished from nature. Never discount a weapon just because it doesn’t go bang or lacks a trigger.

Sanitation:

Everyone knows that cleanliness is important in day-to-day living, but in the event of a lycan overthrow you have to change your thinking. Manufactured deodorants, body wash, and toothpaste will be detrimental to your survival. A werewolf’s olfactory senses are legendary and the smell of today’s hygiene products will set you apart from your surroundings. The best thing to do is learn how to manufacture everyday hygiene needs from nature. It can be done. We’ve made toothpaste, deodorant, and soaps from natural ingredients that work just as well, if not better in some cases, than items bought from any store.

Learning natural personal hygiene is vital to surviving werewolves. You must smell as close to nature as you possibly can and these items not only keep you fresh, but they also mask your scent. Believe me when I say that choosing natural body odor over these items won’t save you. Your natural body odor will draw werewolves to your location just as surely as walking around smelling like Degree or Ivory soap. I say again, your natural odor will work against you. My best advice is to think like hunters. Many mask their scents while hunting to keep from alerting their prey to their presence. This tactic will work as well for masking your presence from werewolves.

If you follow these guidelines during Werewolf Apocalypse-Day then you’ll make it through to the end.

My unending thanks to everyone for reading, and to Julianne for allowing me to guest post.

***

About the Author ~ Jason McKinney is a writer and storyteller. A busy husband and father of three, he started writing fiction in his spare time for his wife. Dog World is the written answer to his seven-year-old daughter’s questions: Are there any good werewolves and what do they do when they aren’t hairy? McKinney is also the author of the zombie comedy, Memoirs of the Walking Dead: A Story from the Zombies Point of View. He resides in Madison with his family and seven pets. Also available is his children’s novel of a canine sheriff in Nebraska, Sheriff Teddy and the Mysterious Egg Thieves.

Wondering where you can pick up Dog World?

It’s available in Print and Digital(eBook) on Amazon. Make sure to get your copy today!

Days with the Undead Blog Tour – Flash Fiction – Found: An Interview with Julie!

For those of you that have been wondering what I’ve been doing for the past five weeks, I’ve been promoting my novel Days with the Undead: Book One on a whirlwind blog tour that has me stopping at blogs all over the place! It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve written on quite a lot of different subjects from Zombies and other supernatural creatures to discussions on writing. I’ve also done a fair number of interviews. If you’re interested in checking out the other stops on the tour, you can find links here. Don’t forget to read this post first though!

*****

I’ve been watching the news like everyone else these days and I have to say that I’m completely riveted. I probably shouldn’t be; I’m only fourteen and I live in one of the worst neighbourhoods of Los Angeles. I should be watching for any sign that gang violence is about to erupt, and continuing to avoid the guys on the street corner trying to sell me drugs. Instead, I’m glued to my laptop screen watching the images coming out of some place called Toronto. It’s in Canada, I looked it up.

A riot or something is happening up there. The weird thing is that people aren’t dying when they’re shot. I’ve been reading stuff on the ‘net too. Some are saying the rioters are dead, but that can’t be possible; they’re still walking around. I asked my dad the other night while he was still sober what he thought was going on. He just told me to stop being so nosey. I don’t see it as being nosey, frankly. I view it as taking an interest in current affairs. I want to be a journalist when I grow up, so I need to take a keen interest in what is going on in the world around me. I even have the best name for journalism; Gloria Gonzales. It has a nice cadence, doesn’t it?

Today I start my career as a serious journalist. I might not be the best yet, but I only plan on getting better. I have a feeling that something is going on up in Canada and while I can’t get there, I can take a look from here and see if I can’t help figure some of the confusing bits out for everyone. Not only have I scored an exclusive Skype interview with someone fleeing this riot, she actually has an idea about what is really going on! Without further ado, I give you my interview with Julie Odette, a resident of Toronto and witness to the situation that’s unfolding there.

GG: Welcome Julie! Thank you for agreeing to talk to me today.

JO: Gloria, thank you for giving me this unprecedented opportunity.

GG: Can you tell me what exactly is going on in Toronto?

JO: At the moment, I don’t know much about what is currently going on but I think it’s safe to assume the city is lost. However, I can tell you what happened eight days ago, if you like.

GG: Yes, please do. The public has been trying to get a grip on why the riot started in the first place but with no information coming out of the city, it’s been very difficult.

JO: Eight days ago, a situation arose that I cannot fully explain. A man was brought into the Emergency Room of St. Michael’s Hospital with very weak vital signs. That man passed away and then came back to life. Only it wasn’t life that returned to him. Within minutes, the Emergency Room was in utter pandemonium and the infection was spreading.

GG: Infection? So it’s something communicable then?

JO: In a manner of speaking, yes. I’m not quite sure how to break the news to the rest of the world so I’m just going to say it. That man was dead and when he woke up, he was still clinically dead. Whatever infection he had been exposed to allowed his body to reanimate and caused him to wreak havoc throughout the Emergency Room, spreading the infection. This may be hard for you to hear but what we are dealing with is a full scale Zombie infestation.

GG: Zombies? Seriously?

JO: I’m completely serious Gloria. I examined some of them myself while they were under full restraint at the Centre for Forensic Sciences where I work – I meant where I worked. I know that it’s hard to believe but trust that what I’m telling you is true. My friends and I have been fleeing from them for the past eight days. Hell, we barely made it out of Canada alive.

GG: I don’t understand. Is this some sort of hoax?

JO: Gloria, listen to me carefully. This is not a hoax. I swear. The public needs to be made aware that Zombies are walking the earth at this very moment and there is no one out there in any position to stop them. They are going keep spreading, that’s their nature and as they catch more and more living people off guard, their ranks are just going to explode exponentially. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still time to focus and prepare yourselves.

GG: Prepare ourselves? How?

JO: The first thing you need to do is get out of the big city. High populations are just a higher food source for them and the last thing that you want to do is get stuck in the city with hordes of them roaming the streets. The most important thing is to head in the direction opposite to where they are. You’re close to Mexico; I suggest heading there first and then keep on going. Don’t stop once you think you’ve gotten far enough away. If no one stops them, they will find you eventually.

GG: If nowhere is truly safe, what is the point in running?

JO: There is always a point in trying to survive. The government has to respond at some point and there is always the possibility that they can stop whatever is happening. It’s a slim possibility, but –

As you can see from the video, we lost our Skype connection to Julie there. I don’t know why and I hope that it wasn’t something bad. Can you believe what she said about the Zombies? Can it possibly be true? Maybe she will be able to call back and continue to fill us in. In the meantime, I suggest that we all keep our eyes on the news in the hope that someone will be able to tell us what is going on.

*****

Days with the Undead: Book One is currently available for purchase at:

Print –

CreateSpaceAmazon, and Barnes & Noble

Digital –

SmashwordsAmazon USAmazon UKAmazon DEAmazon FRAmazon ESAmazon IT, and Kobo

*****

Julianne Snow

It was watching George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead at the tender age of six that solidified Julianne’s respect of the Undead. Since that day, she has prepared herself for the (inevitable) Zombie Apocalypse. While classically trained in all of the ways to defend herself, she took up writing in order to process the desire she now covets; to bestow a second and final death upon the Undead. As the only girl growing up in a family with four children in the Canadian countryside, Julianne needed some form of escape. Her choice was the imaginations of others which only fostered the vibrancy of her own.

Days with the Undead: Book One is her first full-length book, the basis of which can be found in her popular web serial of the same name. You can find Julianne’s The Living Dead of Penderghast Manor in the anthology Women of the Living Dead and stories in upcoming anthologies called Childhood Nightmares: Under The Bed and Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity from Sirens Call Publications.