Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November Update: Covers, Announcements, Free Stories!

This post will include a big announcement, links to THREE FREE stories, and three new anthology announcements!

Before the end of the year, Grinning Skull Press will release my debut novelette, a weird western titled "Bottled Spirits" as part of their Grave Markers series. Initially, this will be issued as a standalone Kindle single. Later, it will be collected with two other Grave Marker novelettes with historical settings in paperback. More details--including a cover reveal, and ordering information, coming soon!

Newly released (and long-awaited) is Cranial Leakage 2 from Grinning Skull Press. This non-themed horror anthology includes a number of up-and-coming and established horror authors. Among them, Ken Goldman is an author who I have shared quite a few tables of contents with.

My story, "Another Mouth to Feed," is about a blue collar family struggling to make ends meet. Things go terribly wrong when the youngest member of the family tries to do a good deed for a stranger.

This story has an interesting background. One editor accused me of racial stereotyping (not the case) while another editor accused me of making poor people look bad (not the case). I'd like to thank Harrison Graves and Michael Evans for seeing the potential in--and the meaning of--this story and buying it for this book!

You can order a copy for Kindle here. A link to the paperback is here.

Next up we have a dark science fiction anthology, Dark Horizons, from editor Charles Zaglanis and Elder Signs Press. My story, "Making the Rounds," is included.

Authors I have read and/or appeared with before include: James Dorr, Lee Zumpe, Jay Caselberg, and Aaron French.

Note: My name is misspelled in the first pressing of this anthology. It has been corrected for Kindle (due soon) and will be corrected by the second pressing. I will keep readers updated (and will likely re-announce this title) when I have confirmation.

In my story, a dystopian, Mythos-inspired tale, medicine and health care have taken a huge step backward.

The paperback can be ordered here.

The debut volume of Turn to Ash, a new literary horror magazine (in book form) includes my story "Sod Webworms." Edited by Benjamin Holesapple, and from Turn to Ash Media, LLC.

Turn to Ash features work from Lucy Snyder, CC Adams, J. Daniel Stone and others.

My story is inspired by true events. There is no supernatural aspect to this story, but the end result is truly horrifying. Anyone know what 'sod webworms' are? They're a small, seasonal moth that look like tiny bits of rolled-up parchment. What do they have to do with a radio announcer showing up for a remote broadcast at a car dealership on the wrong day? Find out (and try to separate fact from fiction) in "Sod Webworms."

Here is a link to order.

Finally, below are THREE links to free stories published online this year. All three stories are new. All three stories are VERY different from each other. I hope you enjoy them.

Storm Cloud Rain, Graveyard Dirt

Little Hearse on the Prairie (co-authored by Heidi M. Roth)

Nic Fits

As always, thank you for reading!
More announcements coming soon!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Honest Reviews of Creepy Campfire Quarterly #3 (and) Muffled Scream: Corner of the Eye

Amazon typically does not allow authors to review anthologies to which they have contributed. With that in mind, here are honest reviews for two more collections that feature my work.

Title: Creepy Campfire Quarterly #3
Publisher: EMP Publishing
Editor: Jennifer Word
Number of stories: 18
Pages: 164
Price: $2.99 Kindle, $7.45 for paperback.
Theme: non-themed horror stories
My story included: Everyone Wears A Mask. A woman battling brain tumors finds herself face-to-face with her daughter's abductor/killer on Halloween night and plans her revenge in an effort to find peace before her passing.

I also wrote the introduction to this issue and my story leads the issue. Creepy Campfire Stories for Grownups, the first anthology from EMP had more violent stories as a whole, but this issue carries on a proud tradition of dark fiction and horror. Collage-style cover is pretty good. The stories are all solid, and worth the money.

My favorites were: "Exit" by Mark Silcox (I knew what was going on right away, and still enjoyed the heck out of this bittersweet tale); "Impure Breed" by Ken MacGregor (very unique "monsters" in this one), and "Second Smile" by Aaron Wright (this disturbing tale resonated with me as a parent). Rounding out my favorite five would be Eric I. Dean and Marc Sorondo.

I give it an A-. It's a good anthology/magazine at a very good price. You can order a copy here.

Title: Muffled Scream I: Corner of the Eye
Publisher: Wicked Tales
Editor: Douglas Owen
Number of stories: 8
Pages: 172
Price: $2.99 Kindle, $16.95 for the paperback.
Theme: loosely themed anthology of horror stories involving eyes, or something seen from the corner of ones eye...
My story included: Balloon Animals. A dark suburban fantasy about a grumpy, blue collar Archie Bunker-type whose wife buys a TV from--and trades away her body and soul to--a mysterious new neighbor. Revenge and retribution follow to a bittersweet ending.

The good: this editor paid well and I appreciate that. It's also the only anthology I've ever contributed to that actually made good on their promise to pay royalties. The editor also took the editing very seriously and my story improved as a result. Also, the cover is really unsettling. I like it.

The bad: my last name is misspelled in the headers above my story. There is no table of contents. (I hear from another contributing author that this was deliberate--the editor doesn't want any stories skipped.) The text on the back cover is pretty tough to read and another author has the wrong title (it's the next author's story) in the header above his. These things could (and should) all be fixed in a new, corrected edition, in my humble opinion.

My favorites were "Six Miles to Bastogne," a well-written WWII story by Ambrose Stolliker, and "Dark Matter" by B.D. Prince, which has a great ending and great last line.

Rating: I give it a C because of the misspelling of my name and the other formatting mistakes.
Here's a link to order, but I'd recommend getting the Kindle and just focusing on the stories.