Archive for the ‘Ghosts’ Category

Publisher/Editor Weldon Burge has noted that Smashwords has several Smart Rhino Publications titles on sale for the month of March.  Or, from the as it were horse’s mouth:  Smashwords is holding its annual sale of ebooks!  Now’s the time to get most of the Smart Rhino books at a 50% discount.  Browse the sale page or search for the specific titles.  Just use the following codes before checking out.  Look for the codes on the list below, but I’d also note that I’ve two specific hounds in this hunt (a third, ZIPPERED FLESH 3 with my “Golden Age,” seems not to be included, however), the “Assassins” books UNCOMMON ASSASSINS including my story “The Wellmaster’s Daughter” and INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS with “The Labyrinth,” for all of which on the Smashwords site one may press here.  And, for the list of all Smart Rhino sale offerings:

Promotional price: $1.50
Coupon Code: CY79N
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: Get GREEN TSUNAMI, the horror/SF novella at a 50% discount!

Promotional price: $1.50
Coupon Code: MK84N
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: Get THE BOX JUMPER by Lisa Mannetti at a 50% discount!

Promotional price: $2.00
Coupon Code: DT99X
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: Get INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS at a 50% discount. Get it while the sale lasts!

Promotional price: $1.98
Coupon Code: JZ46D
Expires: April 5, 2018

Promotional price: $2.00
181_UncommonAssassinsChrome_smallCoupon Code: AE27W
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: UNCOMMON ASSASSINS now at a 50% discount. Get it while the sale lasts!

Promotional price: $1.50
Coupon Code: JJ76E
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: The first ZIPPERED FLESH is now at a 50% discount!

Promotional price: $2.00
Coupon Code: PB42R
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: ZIPPERED FLESH 2 now discounted at 50%. Get it while you can!

Promotional price: $1.50
Coupon Code: FX52L
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: Get Lisa Mannetti’s THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER AND HUCK FINN at a 50% discount.


And talking about a good start to the month, another acceptance came in today, also for a reprint originally published in the Spring 2006 DARK WISDOM.   Thank you for sending “The Wind” to the FORBIDDEN anthology.  As usual, you submitted a well written and captivating story.  I really enjoyed this supernatural take on the theme, and I have kept it under consideration for a long time.  Now, after such waiting, I am pleased to accept it to the collection.  I have attached the publishing agreement which you can send back when you have the chance.

FORBIDDEN, to cite the guidelines, is to be an anthology of repression, restriction, and rebellion.  Quoting Editor Martin T. Ingham, [t]hroughout recorded history, there have been rules and regulations, customs and traditions.  Some have been libertine while others oppressive; the morally strict and the sinfully decadent.  There have always been those who impose the law, and those who reject it.  Wherever there is civilization, there are things that are Forbidden!  In the case of “The Wind,” a once religious man has lost his daughter in a freak accident and, instead of accepting it as he should, he questions not law or society about it, but God.

Long-time readers may note this is not the first mention here of Martinus Publishing/Martinus Press, publishers also of the zombie anthology LIFE OF THE DEAD (with my “Girls Gone Dead”) and ALTERED AMERICA (“Avoid Seeing a Mouse”), and while paying in royalties has — especially with ALTERED AMERICA — done so fairly handsomely (cf. July 31 2016, January 20 2015, et al.).  Publication for FORBIDDEN is tentatively set for spring, most likely in May.

And speaking of things not overly jolly, let us hark back to November 26’s post (see also November 11; January 18 2016, et al.), “Cthulhu Christmas Special Cover Revealed, Publication Set for December 1,” and note that DEADMAN’S TOME CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL AND OTHER LOVECRAFTIAN YULETIDE TALES is now out in both Kindle and print.  And it’s also already picked up a review, by “JME” who has noted four stories out of a total 11 for special mention.  AND the first of these mentioned is “A Christmas Carnage,” by meA favorite, this story is aptly named.  Lots of carnage, and in a sick way for a sick purpose.  Who comes up with this stuff?

(*A moment while I sit, quietly proud.*)

To see for oneself, one may press here.  And then click the book’s title above the review for more information, including ordering.  It’s a short book, listed as only 82 pages, but judging from the stories and poems I’ve read thus far, worth it!

The email arrived today, along with a pre-publication electronic copy, to the effect that (to give it it’s full name) DEADMAN’S TOME CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL AND OTHER LOVECRAFTIAN YULETIDE TALES is scheduled to be out December 1 in Kindle, with a print edition expected “soon after.”  My story in this is third in the lineup, “A Christmas Carnage” (see November 11; January 18 2016, et al.), originally published in IN THE BLOOD (Mocha Memoirs Press, 2013) as well as THE FIRST ANNUAL GEEKY KINK ANTHOLOGY (Riverdale Avenue Books, 2015).  And, yes, Santa’s elves under the age of 18 may not find this tale entirely appropriate.

Indeed others may find “A Christmas Carnage” inappropriate also, including lovers of Charles Dickens’s immortal A CHRISTMAS CAROL.  Or lovers of puns (the dead don’t approve of such things, you know).  It is the tale of a rather high strung young man (he keeps a chainsaw in his closet for personal protection) with a very specific Christmas wish, and an “umpty-umpth-great” aunt named Carol who might be in a position to grant it.  Or possibly not — but to find that out you’ll just have to read a copy yourself, available for pre-order by pressing here.

‘Tis the season to be jolly . . . in about a month and a half!  But starting the jollity, at least for now, has come this email from Jesse Dedman:  Your story, [A] Christmas Carnage, has been selected for DEADMAN’S TOME CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL.  The issue should drop on December 1st and will be available through Amazon in ebook and paperback.  With the email came a contract which has been perused, agreed to, and sent back earlier this evening.

As the title may imply, “A Christmas Carnage” is based quite loosely on Charles Dickens’s immortal tale of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and has a Carol in it, the narrator’s many-times great aunt Carol who has been dead, lo, these many years.  It is a reprint, having premiered in IN THE BLOODSTREAM (Mocha Memoirs Press, 2013) and also appeared in THE FIRST ANNUAL GEEKY KINK ANTHOLOGY (Riverdale Avenue Books, 2015, and, yes, it’s that kind of story).  Also, of course, it follows the DEADMAN’S TOME guidelines requirement of Genre:  Horror, Dark Fiction, Lovecraftian, including, if not a cameo by Cthulhu itself, a goodly dollop of Lovecraftian lore.  Also a chainsaw.

July seems to be the month for sending a thing to one place, seeing it come back accepted by another.  One example, “Flightless Rats” (see July 7), the tale of an innocent vampire maid and a bounder’s attempt on her virtue in 19th century New Orleans.  For today, the call had been in April.  It took some time, but the time has come:  we’re putting together an anthology of  poetry and flash fiction about spirits, ghosts, seances, Ouija boards, famous hauntings, not-so-famous hauntings, possessions, and anything else relating to supernatural bumps in the night (or day, we aren’t fussy).  And there it was.  Reprints being okay, I responded with the 300-word saga of a young lady with an interest in witches, but, if these weren’t available, other bump-in-the-nightly creatures would do, and lessons she learned in a house she was told was haunted.  Originally published in GOTHIC BLUE BOOK IV:  THE FOLKLORE EDITION (Burial Day Books, 2014), the title was “School Nights.”
Today the word came back from Managing Editor Kate Garrett, not for the anthology, WHITE NOISE & OUIJA BOARDS, but for the publisher’s seasonal magazine THREE DROPS FROM A CAULDRON.  I really enjoyed this story, and though it isn’t quite right for the ghosts anthology, I wondered if it would be okay for me to publish it in the Samhain 2017 edition?  I like spookier, horror-tinged work for that one, and would love to include your story.  The Samhain special will be published online and in print on 13th October.  (And it isn’t technically open for submissions until 21st August, but I really like this.)
So I emailed back, “Yes.”

There are some things one cannot resist.  One example, an anthology titled THE BOOK OF BLASPHEMOUS WORDS, a weird fiction, horror, and speculative fiction anthology about humanity’s relationship with its gods.  When we answer the call for salvation from the bondage of the material — when we believe in gods — we reach a hand into the unknown and risk losing it to something peckish.  When we forget the power of the hearth, we risk a conflagration that can return civilization to the dirt from whence it came.  Brave words those, and so I answered, the guidelines calling for stories, not 13245380_1039385802818613_30970547213403742_npoems, with a 32-line “story in verse” called “Tit for Tat.”

Originally published in James Ward Kirk’s GHOSTS:  REVENGE anthology (see March 29, March 17, February 16 2015), “Tit for Tat” is a poem “of a type sometimes known as ‘Little Willies,’ about a naughty boy who either causes or comes to grief, resulting in the poet reacting with either glee, gross indifference, or sometimes drawing from it a tragically inappropriate moral” (Feb 16).  And today the response came from Adrean Messmer for publisher A Murder of Storytellers:  Thank you for sending us “Tit for Tat”.  We all sat around a table and gushed about this story for a while.  We would love to include it in BOOK OF BLASPHEMOUS WORDS.

Details followed, including a contract (to go back to them this afternoon), with a bio, etc., the usual things, between now and Friday, with a tentative publication date to be on or before January 31.

How about we get in the mood with a horror poem by Rick Powell, then I’ll share a SUPER EASY pumpkin cookie recipe you can make last minute to enjoy this evening, and to top it off… How about sex in a haunted house? Haha. That is, how about we watch the short horror film ‘Sex in a Haunted House’?😛

For news of the day for Tuesday, Gillian Whitaker of Flame Tree Publishing tells us, “You may be seeing hints already on our website and elsewhere, but I am pleased to report that the now-published MURDER MAYHEM and CRIME & MYSTERY anthologies are finally available to order!”  I have stories in both, as it happens, “Mr. Happyhead” about a not-so-nice man who won’t let death deter him in the first and 1998 Anthony Short Story finalist “Paperboxing Art” in the second (cf. July 11, et al.).  They also can be found on Amazomurdermayhemn, etc., but for more about them from, as it were, the horse’s mouth, one simply need press here for MURDER MAYHEM SHORT STORIES (to give it its full name) or, for CRIME & MYSTERY SHORT STORIES, here.  And if that weren’t all, one may still check out last year’s CHILLING GHOST SHORT STORIES with my “Victorians” (see November 4 2015, et al.) by pressing here.

Also on Tuesday, Editor Clifford Garstang sends news for those who might be in the Washington DC/Northern Virginia area that EVERYWHERE STORIES:  SHORT FICTION FROM A SMALL PLANET, VOLUME II (cf. July 5, et al.) will be one of the books featured at the 2016 Fall for The Book festival, at George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus from September 25-30.  The EVERYWHERE STORIES panel will be on Tuesday September 27 at 1:30 p.m. in the Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza, according to festival information, with Editor Garstang “joined by some of the contributors whose stories follow the new edition’s theme of ‘it’s a mysterious world’:  Frances Park and her story ‘The Monk in the Window,’ set in Korea; Joel Hodson and ‘Memiş the Conqueror,’ set in Turkey; Brandon Patterson and ‘Jonkshon,’ set in Sierra Leone; and Chris Cleary and ‘An Idea of the Journey,’ set in Norway.”  My story in this one is “The Wellmaster’s Daughter,” originally from ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE and set in Mali; I myself, however, will not be able to attend.

Is the cusp of autumn on us already?  Tuesday, ending music practice, we noticed that it was already twilight — how many more weeks until twilight comes at the beginning of practice?  Then today at the market, after the first Writers Guild meeting following its annual summer hiatus, I saw — and bought — a half gallon of “Pumpkin Pie” ice cream, a specialty flavor not usually available until close to Thanksgiving.  And this, on Facebook this afternoon via Robert Dunbar and LITERARY DARKNESS, in turn via HORROR NOVEL REVIEWS, a link to THEWEEK.COM and “9 Classic Horror Stories You Can Read Right Now” by Scott Meslow, “[f]rom Washington Irving to H.P. Lovecraft, a collection of terrifying tales to get you into the Halloween spirit.”  This, yes, another list, but with each description and opening sample a separate link to read the whole story there on the spot.  Long ones such as “Carmilla” and “The Turn of the Screw,” and shorter ones by Lovecaft as well, and Blackwood and Poe, and maybe even a surprise or two.

To see — and read — for yourself, press here.

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