Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bad Sunset by Alex S. Johnson

The little southwest border town of Malpuesta Del Sol is no stranger to trouble. But when a routine saloon brawl knocks a hole in space-time and a creeping black ooze slithers in, it's going to take more than the usual jabber and bravado to set things straight. Featuring Jesus Christ, a 6,000-year-old medicine man who rides a salamander, the Devil in a red dress, a Pre-Columbian death god, Aztec b-ball, zombies, steampunk bondage, Smallification, the ultimate archetypal showdown and much more, Bad Sunset stretches the conventions of the Western genre farther than anything you've ever seen. From the author of Doctor Flesh and Black Tongues of the Illuminati comes the wildest ride yet. Prepare yourself for an unforgettable journey, back to a time when the West was Weird.

Bad Sunset is available here:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

An excerpt from Hallowed Volume II

An excerpt from my story "Temple of the Life-Giver," part of Hallowed Volume II:

Frank finally held up his hand. “Settle down, now. Settle down. The door is closed shut. We can’t get out that way. But there has to be an exit in here somewhere. We just need to find it.”

Eddie frantically informed, “We’re trapped in here! If there were another entrance, don’t you think we would have seen it?!”

Old Pete shook his head, “Quite a predicament.”

Bartleby reminded, “I don’t like it in here, Frank.”

Jesse asked, “What can we do?”

Frank shouted, “I said settle down!” He studied their faces in the torchlight. “Now, the one thing we’re not going to do is panic. You got me? Any man loses it, and I’ll kill him myself.” He pulled out his knife and swiped the air a few times, for good measure.

They stared back at him, but remained silent.

He continued, “Now, we can’t get back out the way we came in. So, we find another way. Meanwhile, we keep looking for the treasure. No sense in wasting time or what may be our limited supply of air. Although, I just have to believe that there is some ventilation built into this place.” He moved down the darkened hall, and then reached up with the torch in his hand. When he pulled it away, a growing light remained. Frank explained, “This place is too dark to conduct a proper ritual. So there are lamps installed all along the halls. Spread out and let’s shed a little light on the subject.”

Reluctantly they moved about, lighting lamps until the surrounding area began to glow with reflected radiance. There was enough light to see by, but the temple still had a gloomy appearance.

Jesse whispered to his brother, “How long do you think the oil will last?”

Frank replied, “Long enough, I hope.”

Available now, for $1.99:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

My 5-Star review for Storyscape by T.K. Wade

Stories are like dreaming when one is awake. But what if you could enter these dreams, just by staring into the eyes of another?

Richard Sable has a gift: look into his eyes and you will experience a story of his making. Just recently, he shared this ability with his daughter Katy. The young girl was caught up in a world of wonder, where anything is possible and adventure awaits. But the ‘storyscape’ holds a hidden danger…

This is a tale of loss, and renewed hope. You can easily see what the girl sees, and get caught up in the stories that her father prepares for her in his mind’s eye. In the midst of this, is the drama of a man grieving over his comatose wife.

And Richard is forced to make a difficult choice: continue to grieve or be grateful for what he has left. Can a father face his worst fears and deepest regrets? Or will he risk everything to get back the one he loves? Dreams become nightmares and one man is sent spinning into the web he has weaved. A story can begin by will alone, but a happy ending must always be earned…

Storyscape is available here:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My 5-Star review for Eldritchville by Shawn O'Toole

What would a man give for his soul? A simple drive leads John Elderberry, his daughter Grace and her best friend Annie into a town that should not be: Eldritchville.

The author takes us to a place where the barriers have broken, and the inhumanity of humanity is on display. Wolves hunt sheep, and monsters roam the streets. One man’s slow descent into madness is clearly seen in vivid detail.

The two girls are morsels of innocence in the midst of this wicked stew. Grace will learn a terrible truth, and her awful destiny: for magic has a price, and the Teacher intends to exact said toll in his pursuit of power.

John Elderberry will face his worst enemy: himself. Can he hold onto his sanity? Or will he be consumed by a fire that destroys from within? Trapped in a town that should not be, one man struggles to save his soul. But how much blood will be shed for him to be made pure?

Eldritchville is available here:

Sunday, October 6, 2013

An excerpt from Hallowed

An excerpt from my story "The Golden City," part of the Hallowed collection:

And a voice spoke, “Senses for the senseless, Joey.”

Joe felt a chill go up his spine and the short hairs on the back of his neck prickled. That voice, rich but not deep.
The tone was that of an announcer, but it was snarling in the background. Joe stared ahead, and gasped.
There was someone standing in the path!

All at once, Joe Thompson knew the voice had been no dream hallucination. The gnawing sensation in the pit of his stomach told him that.

Shining even in the shimmering mist, the chalk whiteness of the face contrasted with the darkness around the eyes and covering the mouth. And the sharp points of blackness extended beyond the lips like a smile. An ever-widening smile… “Come into my playroom, said the spider to the fly…”

Joe’s eyes went wide. “I want to go to another realm. Please?”

And the snarling sound grew louder. “Pleas? Do I hear pleas, Joey? Pleas of fear? Fear from the fearful? Oh, how sweet a sound… Ahh… Don’t you hear it? It’s the sound of pain…”

“You’re not real.”

“I’m as real as you, Joey. As real as the playroom.” The thing bowed its head. “You remember the playroom, don’t you?”

Available now, for $1.99:

My 5-Star review for Sha'Daa: Pawns

Once every 10,000 years, the walls between dimensions weaken, and the forces of evil surge forth to wreak havoc on our world. This series of tales from disparate authors is actually one big story incorporating common elements. The enigmatic Johnny the Salesman appears throughout: tall and gaunt, clad in a long black trenchcoat and fedora with one gold tooth that gleams forth like a signal flare. And the battle commences!

Edward F. McKeown brings us "Forces of Evil." A vampire and a werewolf, forced to fight against those they have befriended, decide to team up instead and take on their wicked masters. From the mind of John D. Manning, "Asylum" is a tale of an indigent drawn into a dangerous and deadly cult. "Hunter's Run" by Arthur Sanchez is told from the perspective and through the eyes of a deadly beast, whose bloody quest is the stuff of legends.

Jeff Barnes' "Fall from Grace" is about a demon who crosses the barrier between dimensions only to find himself a child's plaything. In "Lifeguard" by Michael H. Hanson, we learn the secret of one man's pain and the ruinous desire for vengeance. Sarah Wagner brings us "Dust": an alien shapeshifter moves through the populace, preparing for the destruction to come.

"Door 790" by Diane Arrelle is the story of a demon trapped in human form, who finds the key to his release. In "Bloodstone" by Gustavo Bondoni, an old man finds his courage, and the means to fight back. Leona Wisoker gives us "Silver and Iron": an ancient being plots to sacrifice the one she loves.

In "Gloom" by Michael Griffiths, unsuspecting campers must face unspeakable horrors. "Double Cross" by Paul Barrett: a couple of teens ensnare a demon, only to fall for an infernal scheme. Richard Groller's "The Bokor" casts us into the midst of a monstrous struggle where one man will confront his dark past in a desperate fight for survival.

Mallory Makepeace gives us "Gypsy Curse": a false disgrace will give rise to a bloody reprisal. In "The Saglek Incident" by Bruce Durham, a demonic huntress learns that time has changed the game. Jamie K. Schmidt's "Soul Provider" is the story of an aspiring dancer imperiled by an implacable evil.

Larry Atchley Jr. gives us "Time for a Change": a group of musicians are lured into a dark ritual, which will unleash hell upon their world. In "Crouching Seal, Sleeping Dragon" by Jason Cordova, an ancient serpent will face a modern assault. And in "Northlight" by Deborah Koren, an alien entity will confront his own, to save an innocent. Once more, the Sha'Daa is upon us! And who can stand in this hellish storm?

Sha'Daa: Pawns is available here:

Twisted Pathways of Murder and Death: a collection by Rebecca Besser

When emotions go to extremes murder happens.

Sometimes it’s because of betrayal.

Sometimes it’s in revenge.

Sometimes it’s to hide a lie or in self-defense.

Sometimes it’s to feed a secret hunger.

Whatever the reason, the human mind lends itself to twisted pathways that lead to murder and death…

Twisted Pathways of Murder and Death is available here: