Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Music of the Gods

As the story begins, Richard Schiver introduces us to Donald and Susan. Donald has the idea to get away for a weekend as a way to work on saving their marriage. Susan believes Donald has lost it because she thinks the marriage was over the moment they said "I do."

Just as Donald admits that they're lost and he's uncertain how to get back on track, a random truck come by and runs them off the road. After a moment to collect themselves, Donald gets out of the car (much to the amusement of Susan) and tries to call for help.

Donald is unable to get a signal, but notices a sign for White Hall, indicating it's only a mile away. Donald persuades Susan to head to White Hall, regardless of her concern about her footwear. When they get close to White Hall, they notice there really isn't any noise- no sounds of nature.

While not much is going on in town, Donald spots a phone booth and Susan starts to hear music. Donald tries to phone for help while Susan tries to find the source of the beautiful music. The phone call doesn't go well, so Donald joins Susan on her quest to find the beautiful music, even if he's not able to hear it.

When they reach a forest line, Donald starts to realize something isn't right. He starts calling out to Susan to make her stop, but she never stops moving.

Soon Donald comes to realize that everything he saw may not be what he actually saw and this is where we leave him.

It's short, sweet and sad. Definitely worth the download!

Let's make a story

So Lacey Lane (@LaceyLaneAuthor) says on Twitter this morning:

Let's make a story. I was walking through the woods ...

and this sounded like fun, so here goes!

I was walking through the woods enjoying a peaceful day when I noticed a squirrel crawling out of an empty coffee cup. Remembering the meme of "Squirrels + Coffee Dear God Help Us," (because random stuff like that happens a lot. I spend way too much time on Google Image search) I decided to choose another path to walk.

As I strolled along listening to the birds sing and enjoying some nice sunshine, suddenly there was a cloudburst and I got drenched ($#@*& Midwest summers). As I tried to get as much water as possible off myself, I noticed I wasn't the only one annoyed by the sudden rain. A couple of rabbits were shaking themselves off and doing a cute face cleaning move with their paws.

The rest of my walk was pretty uneventful and by the time I left the woods, I felt refreshed and ready to start my day.......by hitting the local coffee shop for a hazelnut mocha. What? I was clearly inspired by the possibly caffeinated squirrel in the woods!

Hmm.....you know, I think I should just keep my day job......

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Commute: Short Bursts of Terror Volume I

The whole premise to this anthology is the writers had to write the stories during their commute and they had to submit the first draft. This is a very interesting concept because you have to wonder how the writers managed to pull off being so creative with so much going on around them.

The Ten Hour Project- Our ride begins with Julia Benally's tale of a writing project. The teacher gives the outline and the subject, but when she reads the outcome of the project, it's not what she expected. She's horrified by what she reads and thinks the student lied. Too bad she learns the hard way they weren't lying.

A Man Walks Into A Bar...- Randy D. Rubin finds a fun way to run a joke into the ground.

Breaking The Circle- D.L. Smith-Lee presents a centuries old war between two ancient factions. Two friends are caught up in the mess that another person started and sadly, the friendship does not survive. Just know that if you cause a mess, you go from one trap to another.

Catacombs- Layla Cummins presents someone out for a stroll to forget. They're being followed. Something in the shadows has found them.

Merge- Brian Ennis shows us multiple time threads and parallel occurrences all converging at 0:11 with 23 miles to Peterborough.

The Temptation of Eve- Helen Mihajlovic present a take on what happened to Eve in Paradise. Heaven was seen before the true Hell began.

The Midnight Ride- The ride comes to an end with a story by Stuart Conover. It's Halloween night and Ryan is on a train home. While he agonizes over what the woman he loves is doing, he doesn't realize he's met Death.

With Death's scythe, our ride comes to an end and we must return to the hustle and bustle outside the train.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Beneath Blood and Bone

Welcome back to the zombie apocalypse already in progress!

Madeline Sheehan and Claire C. Riley pick things up from the perspective of Eagle. You met him in "Thicker Than Blood," he was the devil.


The story picks up with Eagle dealing with the aftermath of letting Evelyn and her crew leave Purgatory (the little slice of heaven it is). He's told the public face of Purgatory isn't happy with what he's done and his cotton candy trollop isn't thrilled either.

Soon we meet Autumn. She's been surviving in the only way she knows how- avoiding everything. She's caught outside the gate while foraging for food and gets dragged to Eagle. The cotton candy trollop has decided he gets to sort the nooblets.

Initial suggestions go awry, and Eagle meets back up with Autumn while she's trying to get the heck out of Dodge. In her own way, she knows what was planned for her and she really wants no part of it. Something clicks and Eagle decides to take her home and keep Autumn.

It takes a little time and a few mishaps, but Autumn gets a grip and starts to figure out some form of normal in Purgatory and that really doesn't sit well with the cotton candy trollop. She's got it figured out that she'll be replaced and no one really has time for that nonsense.

While fighting the reoccurring demons that led Eagle and his friend to create Purgatory, Eagle begins to realize what Autumn means to him and vice versa. Soon it becomes evident that with these feelings, they're not going to be safe for much longer in Purgatory.

Gut instincts prove true and while some obstacles stand in their way, Eagle and Autumn manage to free themselves from Purgatory and set off on their own, in search of their own form of happy. Good luck!

Loved the first book, devoured the second book and will likely now start stalking the Kindle page on Amazon waiting for book 3 to go on pre-order. The world these ladies created, while bleak like most things post apocalyptic, is still rich and makes you want to be there. Awesome. Simply awesome.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Thicker Than Blood

Welcome to the end of the world as presented by Madeline Sheehan and Claire C. Riley. They very clearly explain that we saw the end coming and did nothing about it, which let's face it, is completely correct. For every person who claims they're ready to go when the shit hits the fan, by the time they're really ready, it'll be too late.

Meet Leisel and Evelyn. They're the best of friends making things work in the new world. They live in a community of survivors who seem to continue on living while the undead roam around them. They're married, they have jobs and golly gosh doesn't that seem great?


When we meet Leisel, she's dealing with the ramifications of her most recent actions- killing her husband. No, he wasn't infected, he was just a wife beater and she had reached her limits. Normally, it would be considered self-defense, but not any more. Not only is it just outright death, but Leisel's husband was the leader of this community. Knowing what's going to happen, Leisel gives up and allows herself to be arrested.

When we meet Evelyn, she's getting it on with someone who isn't her husband because she finds her husband to be repulsive and someone she never wanted in the first place. Evelyn's fun is broken up by someone in the community telling her what Leisel has done. Evelyn tries to help her friend, but it falls on fat deaf ears.

Luckily, there are others on their side and now the only option is to escape from the community before Leisel's execution in the morning. This isn't fairy world you know.

The group of four becomes a group of three with Leisel and Evelyn learning life on the outside isn't much better than life had been on the inside. Life happens and soon Leisel is becoming more than what she had been before and Evelyn learns her friend may not always need a protector.

After a mishap and an encounter with a broken yet decent person, the group finds themselves in a place called Purgatory. It's pretty much what you'd expect, but it works just as well as any community. Everyone finds a "place" and they try to make things work until they can get what they need to continue on. They grasp pretty quickly that Purgatory lives up to its name and they won't be safe for long.

It takes some time, but a deal with the devil sealed in blood allows them to escape Purgatory. Soon it's just Leisel and Evelyn and their memories of the before times.

And then it's just one.

I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to see how the rest of the series unfolds!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Imagine, if you will, a world where the gods of Olympus are real. They went to war, they lost the war and the survivors came to live among us.

Now imagine the lineage of those survivors and what hunts them.

This is the world that Ken Mooney presents to us in the book Godhead, the first novel in The Last Olympiad series.

In this telling of the Greek myths, demons have laid siege to Mt. Olympus, Zeus has been killed and the land is in ruin. Other gods have been killed in the ensuing battles with these demons and what set in motion the ruin of Olympus falls on one of their own- Aphrodite (guess this really means love is a bitch).

The story picks up many many years later with the descendants of those who survived the slaughter and sealing of Olympus working to keep Aphrodite from getting what she wants and that's where The Circle comes in. They're a group made of up of the surviving lines- the gods who made it out of Olympus and managed to blend in with mortal society. Their purpose is to ensure Kaos remains right where it is and Aphrodite does not carry out the full weight of her revenge. Her revenge against the gods that never truly accepted her and whose leader sent her beloved husband into a war he never should have been a part in.

While we're spared recruitment and training montages, there is still betrayal to be had. We get to see the extent a person is willing to go for their own selfish means. All it really takes is one wish of selfishness seen through the eyes of righteousness.

As this chapter closes, one wish is granted, one wish is denied and a whole lot of hell has broken loose.

I was a little skeptical on the premise of the book, but the way everything was presented was really well written. In mythology, Aphrodite was a bit of a wild card when it came to her origins and she really wasn't the most stable (but then again most of the Greek gods were a little off in their own ways), so it's easy to see her losing it and causing mayhem on an epic scale.

Can't wait to see how this story continues and book 2 is already out, so happy reading ahead!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Secret Life of H.P. Lovecraft

Based on a tweet, I found this book was trying to be funded over at Indiegogo. I checked it out and the premise sounded interesting enough, so I added my 2 cents (not literally, but you get the idea) and waited for the funding period to end.

I received the book in the mail today and sat down to read it.


The book is more like a novella. It insinuates another side of H.P. Lovecraft- one where he was living the very things he wrote about. Where he was surrounded by so much death that it left him a hollow shell of himself. It's written from the POV of Lovecraft himself- how he keeps getting mysterious letters that lead him to different people in different locations with different outcomes.

It reads like a season of the Twilight Zone.

I'm not sorry that I decided to support the author's effort to get their words out there, but I think there is so much more that could have been done with it. It just felt lacking and I have no real emotions about reading it.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Creeping Death

Armand Rosamilia puts together a collection of tiny stories to give tiny glimpses into the horror the mind is capable of producing.

Dead Grass- Susan is alone with her mother. Everything is dying around them. It's all because of Justin. He says he has it under control. He wants to cure her. They're all alone now.

Creeping Death- Remember all those things your mom said would happen if you went listened to heavy metal music? Enjoy the artist's rendition found here!

God's Will- They say there are signs all around us put there to be a divine message to guide us, but what if they guided us to kill? And what if they guided us to our replacements?

Obsessed With a Song- Have you ever loved a song so much that you center your entire world around it? Commit murder for it?

Last Cigarette- Meet Daniel and Samantha, a couple having a nice conversation in their home. Then the dinner guest arrives. Welcome to the end of the world as they know it.

Rarest of the Rare- What would you do if you were given the rarest of the rare to read? Would you skip ahead? Read the ending before you should?

Tears of Blood- A happy story about getting rid of sparkly things.

Necromance: Bad Omen- The NSFW adventures of a necro bounty hunter.

Undead On Arrival- Working in a hospital can be pretty stressful, but when there are zombies involved, it's a whole new level of stress. Can the undead exact revenge on living?

'Til Death Do Us (Body) Part- A twist on what happens when you don't take your vows seriously. How long would it take you to listen?

Anger Issues- If you have trouble controlling your temper, then the zombpocalypse is just for you!

Three In the Morning- Sometimes you learn you're observing the wrong things at the wrong times, even early in the morning.

Armed and Dangerous-  In summation: Trophy wife puppet master

Whipporwil Valley Road- There are things that haunt us from our youth, some more literal than others. There are sacrifices that need to be made in order to move forward.

First Settlement- The zombie apocalypse started in Virginia and toddlers were the root cause. Google it!

Annie Morgan- Annie is just your average girl trying to make her way in a zombie filled world. She's managed to avoid any real killing, but nothing lasts forever.

Stories don't need to be very long to scare you. Fear of the unknown comes in all sizes. Once you are pointed in the right direction, your mind will fill in the blanks.........what was that bump in the night?