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Monday, January 31, 2022

Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding Cynthia Fridsma

 


Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding
Cynthia Fridsma

Genre: horror/thriller/urban fantasy
Publisher: CynhiaFridsma.COM
Date of Publication: November 24, 2021
ISBN Paperback: 979-8773139225
ISBN Hardcover: 979-8779427166 
ISBN Audiobook: 978-1669614173
ASIN: B09MJXPCMY
Number of pages: 280
Word Count: 67,415
Cover Artist: Cynthia Fridsma

Tagline: Since the pandemic, she stayed home. Then they kidnapped her friend.

Book Description:

Since the pandemic, Sybil Crewes hasn’t left home. She stopped her duties as an ATU agent (Anti-Terrorism Unit). But then, she got a disturbing phone call. Her friend, Harry Brown, has been kidnapped, and this forces Sybil out of her house.

While doing so, she uncovers an illegal lab where they created a deadly COVID-19 variant that turns its victims into skinned zombies. She contacts the ATU to resume her duties as an ATU agent to stop the new threat and save the world from its undoing.

Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding is a fast-paced modern horror/thriller novel, and partly based on true events.


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Excerpt

The cold air was refreshing as she sprinted to her Ford Mustang in the parking lot. After she sat down in the driver’s seat, she opened Windows Maps on her cell phone to search for the address her evil handler had texted. Since Microsoft stopped supporting Windows Phone, she couldn’t use her voice to enter the address in the navigation app of her cell phone.
It felt weird to go unarmed, on a mission unknown, while the navigation calculated the best route from her current location. Whoever captured Harry held all the cards. At the moment, she had no other choice but to follow up on their instructions. She started the car and drove off. Luckily, there wasn’t much traffic on her way to the mansion.

Since the pandemic, life was slow. People had more time on their hands, working from home, distracted by their kids and spouse. Eating more comfort food—watching TV all day, or in Sybil’s case, spending time with her pet rabbit, Max, and trying to avoid the news. She didn’t have a TV. Well, she did, but she used her 70-inch display as a monitor. It was connected to a Windows 10 laptop with an external soundcard attached to a Dolby digital surround set. Felicity installed the equipment and showed Sybil how to use her dinosaur cell phone as a remote control for the laptop.

The laptop offered her a safe window to the world. She had online meetings once a week, on Sunday night at eight, and sometimes she watched the news on CNN. Most of the time, she used the laptop to binge-watch streaming media. Prime video, Netflix, Disney Plus, and reruns of her favorite TV shows: Body of Proof, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and she loved movies starring Denzel Washington. My life during the pandemic.

She wanted to floor the gas pedal, but then she noticed a police car and she slowed down considerably. The police vehicle turned left at the intersection. She glanced over her shoulder. A truck came into sight, and a few more cars appeared on the street ahead of her. Morning rush hour was about to begin, even though she hadn’t expected it.

Sybil reached her destination in twenty-six minutes after she floored the gas pedal when she reached the outskirts of Boston. She had some time to kill, but she didn’t want to waste it by sitting in her car. So, she explored the area. The mansion didn’t stand out by itself. It was a wooden, two-story building, Victorian architecture style, late 1800s, set in a rural landscape outside Boston, normally a thirty-five-minute drive if she hadn’t gone way above all posted speed limits. Its shingles used to be white at some point.

She exhaled and contacted Vanessa Dogscape—an ATU data analyst, and currently married to her friend and coworker Felicity Walker. Perhaps Vanessa could help her—off the record. She didn’t want to involve the ATU. It took a while before Vanessa answered the phone.

“Sybil. You know what time it is?”

“I’m aware of what time it is. Look, I need your help. Harry’s been kidnapped by—I don’t know who. Anyway, they want me to do some errands.”

“My God!” Vanessa replied in a worried voice.

“I need you on this. But please, keep it off the record. I don’t want to endanger Harry’s life.”

“Sure. How can I help?”

“Perhaps you can pinpoint them somehow and get their location so I can kick some ass?”

“I need more intel before I can do anything,” Vanessa said.

“They contacted me via my cell phone and sent me a text message. Oh, and a picture of Harry’s battered face.” She gritted her teeth at the thought.

“Send the text message and the picture to me. And please activate the ATU app Felicity programmed three years ago for your Windows Phone, so I can tap into each conversation and perhaps ping their location while you talk to them. Are you sure you want me to help you off the record? It’s better to make this an official ATU investigation. At least, let me inform Jack.”

Sybil closed her eyes for a moment. If the criminals found out she had informed the ATU, it’d complicate things. Perhaps endanger Harry’s life. But then again, she sure could use all the help she could get. Otherwise, she wouldn’t bother Vanessa with it. Taking that into consideration, and the knowledge that Jack was a professional, Sybil agreed to Vanessa’s suggestion.

Despite the sun in a clear, blue sky, her body responded with a shiver that ran down her spine. She did not know what to expect as she stood near the abandoned mansion with its weather-beaten, cracked walls covered in pointless graffiti. But she knew she had to go inside as she sat down on her haunches, studying the rusty sword lying in the mud. She took a deep breath before she carefully touched its sticky handle. Blood! Clotted blood.

Her stomach gnawed at the sight. She smelled. It wasn’t human. She stared at the mansion as she heard a strange sound she couldn’t identify. Immediately, her old instincts kicked in—weird sounds coming from an abandoned mansion equals danger. She grabbed the sword in both hands, jumped up, kicked the battered door wide open and ran inside. It was time to act; this was no time to be cautious. Lives were at stake.

The wooden planks creaked under her feet as she rushed into the dark hallway. The sound of rasping breathing reached her eardrums when she entered a dark room with just enough light to see the overturned furniture and the bloodstained, fractured walls …


About the Author:

As far back as she can remember, Cynthia Fridsma has been listening to exciting stories told by her mother. She grew up reading books by Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, and Philip K. Dick, among others. It was Cynthia’s mother who inspired her to start telling—and writing—her own stories.
Ms. Fridsma’s writing career started after a handicap in 2014—she has a tremor in her right hand, numbness in the fingers, and pain in her wrist. She had to give up her other creative outlets, such as photography, computer programming, and gave up on juggling, so focused on what she could do rather than what she couldn’t do. Besides writing, she sometimes plays guitar—in Jimi Hendrix style.

Cynthia lives with her husband and pet bunny, Max, in Amsterdam.











Friday, January 28, 2022

Discovery of the Five Senses The Urban Boys Series Book One K.N. Smith

 


Discovery of the Five Senses
The Urban Boys Series
Book One
K.N. Smith

Genre: YA Action-Adventure, YA Thriller, 
Urban Fantasy, Mystery/ Thriller
Publisher: Two Petals Publishing
Date of Publication: September 15, 2021 
ISBN:ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0989474755 
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0989474757
ASIN: B015ZS01MI
Number of pages: 340
Word Count: 53,490
Cover Artist: Pauline Malt

Tagline: Welcome or unwelcome. Fate has arrived.

Book Description:

A suspenseful incident in a forbidden preserve heightens the senses of five friends. But furious battles confront the boys as they try to understand their sensory superpowers in a race to save mankind. With light beings and mysterious strangers complicating their plight, will the boys be able to defeat the evil Druth before it’s too late?


Amazon     BN     IndieBound

iBooks     Kobo     Smashwords


Book 2 Coming Soon


Excerpt Chapter Eleven -Mixed and Mashed

As one would imagine, a mysterious forest might offer deep, eerie chills, especially at night.

Instead, the forest cast a rich glow, and the environment was beautiful and serene.
Walking slowly with their eyes absolutely feasting on the horticultural delights, the boys were approached by something they weren’t sure was real. It floated effortlessly, lighting up in a sporadic pattern, but had neither sound nor discernible shape, other than being somewhat clear and round.

Its fluttering wings suspended it in the center of their disbelieving huddle. All eyes were on it, but what it was provoked more mystery than the forest itself. It bounced in a cheery, beckoning fashion, flashing its stunning wings, drawing the boys into a never-ending waltz. They were transfixed, unable to glance at each other, prevented by the daze each silently battled.
The little glowing being carried about, moving closer to their faces. It moved in and out of trees, spewing sparkle and splendor, then floated away from the boys, yet stayed close enough to continue the enticement.

Contributing to the amazing glow ricocheting from sprawling fronds to soaring trees and fallen leaves, the being’s creativity advanced in a display of twirls and spins, astonishing the boys. And they followed their little friend further and further into the forest.

Deeper ahead, the visual spectacle beautifully intertwined with the clicking noise, which grew louder and more defined, moving up the scale into high notes. The repetition of the noise mesmerized the boys, equating to an invisible lasso.

The friends grouped together, looking ahead and behind. Their stomachs tightened as the tension grew.

What they saw next would pale in comparison to their little, wondrous friend, who steadily bounced around several curvy pathways.

The small creature led them into an area deep within the preserve housing two large, floating, clicking balls of light. The boys instinctively covered their eyes, yet still tried to peep through their fingers.

The light balls began spinning wildly and grew louder, with their tops spitting out free-falling shavings of light like fireworks.

The sputtering light bounced off the dirt only to end up against a tree or one of the boys, then back down and up again.

Slowing down, the beings moved in between the boys. Too scared to move and struggling with reality, the boys’ eyes locked onto the radiant balls.

And with a striking force, the five friends were encased by a bright, piercing light as the balls exploded, emitting their energy onto the boys.

Mixing and mashing north, south, east, and west, bright waves covered the soil, spreading across trees, rock, and all plant life. The forest fell silent, frozen like an inhale without an exhale. It was dark and quiet, except for the liquid energy dripping from the huge, wavy leaves.

Being subjected to drifts both in and out of reality, the boys succumbed to the lure of a vacant black space within the deepest parts of their minds. They fell to the ground unconscious, laying in this forbidden domain in the center of a place they had been warned not to approach.

And from some distance toward the other side of the preserve, a draped shadow had been looking inward and saw this mysterious incident.

The curve of his black hood was loose enough for him to witness the unthinkable. But it also shrouded his expression, which was impassive.

This figure, a dark stranger, had been watching the boys for a period of time and saw the explosion of light. He knew it had exposed them to a grave risk in this place of both awe and fear. He realized time would now take the reins as a master guide for these stricken young men, all of whom would need hope as a rod and stamina as a spear on the long journey ahead.

Knowing the veil of normalcy would need to be maintained in order for this inconceivable episode to be minimized, the Dark Stranger drew upon his strength to physically move each of the boys to Rhee’s house.

He knew familiar surroundings would ease them as they roused, barely able to comprehend their predicament.

For he knew much, and every step, every footprint left an indelible impression on the path leading to the studio in Rhee’s backyard. Indeed, footprints providing a window to the past meshed with hope for the future.

And like a laser, the Dark Stranger steadied his gait, hurling each one up and over his powerful shoulders.

As he absorbed the totality of the scene, he breathed deeply. His head hung in a manner to which only trauma could relate. But in a sign of resilience, it swiftly sprung back.

Under the circumstances, he knew time would not be patient nor friendly.

Welcome or unwelcome. Fate had arrived.


 

About the Author: 

K.N. Smith, winner of the “Best of” in the category of “Outstanding Young Adult Novel” at the Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Awards, is an author, screenwriter, and passionate advocate of literacy and arts programs throughout the world. She inspires people of all ages to reach their highest potential in their creative, educational, and life pursuits. She lives in California with her family.

Visit K.N. Smith at 

Website: www.knsmith.com 





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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Blood and Fire Alpha and Omega Book One Kim Mullican

 


Blood and Fire
Alpha and Omega
Book One
Kim Mullican

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher:  Syn Publishing
Date of Publication: 01/17/2022
ISBN: 978-1-942632-39-9
ASIN:  B09NN4GLTZ
Number of pages: 160
Word Count: 62k
Cover Artist: Get Covers

Book Description: 

I am Maia Delacroix and I hunt people and relics. My life does not lack excitement or danger. I have it in spades.

Then the Mageri surprised me with an orphan...yes, an orphan. I can’t even keep a house plant alive, let alone a kid. It turns out that I’m her only living relative, and even though we’ve never met, I’m her only hope. Great. Can I feed her after midnight? What does she eat? I have no idea what I’m doing.

They tell me this little witchling will need care for a few years until she comes of age. The bizarre fire leaking out of Elaina’s hands is a pretty good indicator that she is no witch.

Then the coven comes—they want her back. Necromancers show up, turning my vampire friends into enemies. If that isn’t bad enough, I have a demon problem now too. 

Join me, and see if we can make it out alive!


Excerpt:

She leaned into me and sobbed.

I didn’t know her but damn if I didn’t suddenly feel responsible for her. How in the hell had that happened? Because I lost my mother too? Because this poor kid had big blue eyes and pleaded for me to help her? Damned if I knew.

She wiped her face on her shirt. “We should probably get some groceries.”

And we did. While she did buy some junk food, I was a little surprised at how much healthy stuff she put in the cart. She even claimed she knew what to do with it.

When she grabbed a box of Earl Grey tea, I laughed. “You liar!”

She looked slightly embarrassed. “My mom drinks it,” she looked down at the box, “she drank it.”

I snatched it out of her hand and threw it in the cart. “If nothing else, we’ll brew it just to sniff.”

She blinked back tears before grabbing a bag of coffee. “Sounds good.”

The bill at checkout nearly gave me hives. Did teenagers eat this much every week? The paperwork the attorney left did show a nice monthly allowance for necessities, but if the grocery bill was this much each week, I’m not sure how much would be left.

I tried to hide the shock from Elaina. My poker face must not be as good as I thought, however.

“Don’t worry, we had to get a lot of staple items this week. We won’t need this much each time.”

Smiling, I started piling bags in my truck. “You noticed my mini-stroke?”

She laughed. “I’ve never seen a mage turn white like that. It was like a vampire had sucked you dry.”

After returning home, she helped me put all the groceries away then volunteered to start making dinner. I poured a glass of wine and leaned against the counter, watching her. Something was niggling at the back of my head.

“I wanted to ask you about that awesome fireball you made earlier.”

I noticed the pause in her movements before she went back to work. That spoke volumes.

“Cool, huh,” she said, keeping her back to me.

“What kind of magic is that?” I asked. “I’ve never seen a witch make a fireball.” I studied her movements while she worked. Her hands started to shake a little. The topic made her nervous. Interesting.

Her shoulders rose and fell as she took a deep breath. “As it turns out, I’m not a witch. I turned twelve and mom put me through all of the usual tests. Nothing.” She shook spices on the meat in the pan.

“Wow, that must have sucked.” I was trying to stay on her level to keep her comfortable.

“Not really. She didn’t make a big deal out of it. I helped her with her projects, learned about ingredients, spells, and relics. Last year, I felt something.”

She turned and looked at me. “I don’t know how to explain it. It was like a switch flipped and I could feel something here,” she said pointing just below her sternum.

“Warm and kind of moving?” I asked.

She nodded. “Exactly, except sometimes it feels icy too.”

Warm and cold? Was this kid defective?

“Anyway, I told my mom. We were close and she was just, awesome. I always knew I could tell her anything. She said it was excellent. So, we went into the woods and tried several things.

Nothing I tried worked. Then she said to do what felt naturally. That’s when I cupped my hands and made a tiny light ball. It was the size of a marble.”

This made no sense. It didn’t sound like any magic I knew.

About the Author:

Kim Mullican is a cross-genre author with over 20 novels under her belt. She enjoys the farm life in Northwest Indiana with her husband. Between chasing chickens and herding cats, she and her husband enjoy gardening and old episodes of Top Chef.

Website: https://kimmullican.com/

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/hgbPUn

TikTock: https://www.tiktok.com/@kimmullican

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKimMullican





Monday, January 17, 2022

Omitted Pieces Transformed Nexus Book Two by Stephanie Hansen

 



Omitted Pieces
Transformed Nexus 
Book Two
Stephanie Hansen

Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publisher: Fire and Ice YA and Tantor Audio
Date of Publication: 03/01/22
ISBN: 978-1-955784-21-4
ASIN: B09MMF5QLQ
Number of pages: 268
Word Count: 67,302
Cover Artist: Caroline Andrus

Tagline: The amazing conclusion to the Transformed Nexus duology explores uncharted territory with dangerous compassion.

Book Description:

In “Omitted Pieces,” the conclusion of the Transformed Nexus duology, the year is 2164 and the new Sierra is on a new planet with a new problem. The mad scientist Cromwell has kidnapped her mother and set up shop on planet Scepter. In order to save her, Sierra will need the help of friends in this place of glowing leaves and a floating capital. Back on Vortex, Al has shut down the old facility, but will he be able to make it to Scepter? What about those who made it to Earth? Can they all work together or are they closer to danger than they realize?

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/D7UtD6OJeHg


Amazon     iBooks     BN     Linktree

Excerpt

I awake hungry and thirsty. Is this what the afterlife is like? I never expected Dr. Cromwell to follow through on his promise to put my conscience and memory in a qualified body. Hunger pains me again and I rise to find myself in a tropical forest. I’m surrounded by lush green, but the color is unlike any I’ve seen before. It’s as if the leaves are neon shining off of their surroundings. My body knows what to look for, even though I don’t. Where am I? What planet have I been transported to? Where’s Mom? I look down at it, this hourglass figure. I’d never been blessed with such curves in my sixteen-year-old body. I wonder if my dad will recognize me in this new one. I wonder if Al will still love me after everything? I also try to map out how to get home, but it’s all too much for this newfound body and I quickly find myself napping under a sea of green.

I’m roused by a series of clicks and identify the circular metal in front of me immediately out of place as it may be.

“Vex, how’d you get here?”

“I told ‘past’ you your mission was full of danger, Sierra.”

“How long has it been since I lost consciousness?”

“I calculate two weeks and five days since the ‘new’ you left Planet Vortex.”

“What? How have I been out for that long? Where’s Al? Did the shuttle make it to Earth?”

There’s a stream of beeps. “My universe data scan shows that the Al you’re asking about still has a pulse. It’s the Al ‘old’ you met on Planet Vortex, right?”

My heart warms, it beams. “Yes. Wait, your universe data scan, what’s that?”

“The World Government equipped all clopils with new scanners and applied all Counter Friction strings when the Planet Vortex revolution hit the news. The scan also shows that everyone who had been on your scheduled shuttle made it to Earth. The processes at the medical facility ended, too, but more on that later. We need to get to your mother.”

Mom, are you okay? I try to reach her telepathically, the way I had back on Vortex.

I’m fine. Just need to figure out where I am exactly.

“Sierra, there’s much at stake. We must embark on our journey at once,” Vex says.
Sunrays stream through openings in the canopy of leaves above us as we hike. I keep having to reassure myself it’s me when I look down and see someone else’s smaller feet. At least Cromwell dressed this body in proper attire. I don’t know what I’d do without these boots. Vex, on the other hand, is not well equipped for this terrain at all. He was made for modern city living.

He’s used some of the tools he brought to lengthen his arms in order to help, but I keep assisting him, wishing he’d move faster. I think being locked up in the Vortex facility for so long gave me a sort of cabin fever. Now, being out in the open, I want to stretch my (these, no my, oh whatever) legs and cover the ground between us and Mom as quickly as possible.

Also, the weight’s gone. My legs had felt like they were filled with lead because of the guilt. But now, now that Viscerous and Albina are alive and safe on Earth; now that Pixie’s where no more harm can be done (well, no more harm than a painful exam in the graduate mathematics program at Stanford); now that Dad is free and no longer having to save Cromwell’s subjects, my legs feel light as air.

Mom, we’re headed to you. How are you doing?

I wait for what seems like an eternity, but she doesn’t respond.

About the Author:

Stephanie Hansen is a PenCraft and Global Book Award Winning Author. Her novella series, Altered Helix, released 2020 and book one of the Transformed Nexus duology, Replaced Parts, released 2021. Her short story, Break Time, and poetry has been featured in Mind's Eye literary magazine. The Kansas Writers Association published her short story, Existing Forces, appointing her as a noted author. She has held a deep passion for writing since early childhood, but a brush with death caused her to allow it to grow. She's part of an SCBWI critique group in Lawrence, KS and two local book clubs. She attends many writers' conferences including the Writing Day Workshops, New York Pitch, Penned Con, New Letters, All Write Now, Show Me Writers Master Class, BEA, and Nebraska Writers Guild conference as well as Book Fairs and Comic-Cons. She is a member of the deaf and hard of hearing community.

https://www.instagram.com/stephaniehansenauthor/

https://www.pinterest.com/writershansen

https://www.goodreads.com/writerstephaniehansen


https://www.tiktok.com/@stephaniehansenauthor




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Friday, January 7, 2022

The Haunting of Black River Forest Jaydeep Shah

 


The Haunting of Black River Forest
Jaydeep Shah

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Jaydeep Shah
Date of Publication: 12/14/2021
ISBN: 978-1-7349826-3-3
ASIN: B08V4ZY7QY
Number of pages: 86
Word Count: 8611
Cover Artist: Jaydeep Shah

Tagline: A spine-chilling story in which adventurers struggle to survive on the land of a cold-blooded psychopath who enjoys slashing humans.

Book Description:

A forest of blood and corpses. The land of a cold-blooded psychopath.

In Black River Forest, it’s best not to wander too far off the beaten track. There’s no telling what you might find.

Mia and Oliver have long wanted to explore the forest, and one cold, rainy October day, a week before their fifth anniversary of the day they met, they finally make the trip.

But they’ve heard the rumors as well. The haunting. A psychopath hidden somewhere amidst the towering trees. Too many missing. Too few answers.

It’s only rumors, though. Stories. And stories can’t hurt you. Yet as Mia and Oliver venture deeper into the Black River Forest, they’ll soon discover that there’s more haunting this quiet woodland than hikers and bears.

The psychopath is very real. And he’s excited to meet them.

From Jaydeep Shah, author of Tribulation, the first book of the Cops Planet series, “The Haunting of Black River Forest” is a bloody, spine-chilling story best read with the lights on.

Kindle US      Kindle UK    Kindle CA      Kindle AU

Nook      Kobo      iBooks      Google Play


Excerpt 2:

After walking for three or four miles, the trio hadn’t found a way out of the forest.

Their hearts were beating in fear and their legs were tired from walking.  

“When will we find the way out of this creepy forest, man?” asked Mia, her arm linked with Oliver’s.

“I wish we hadn’t come here,” said Oliver. “But we have no choice except to keep trying to find the path.”

“I just hope we get to the right path before . . . he finds us,” said Jany.

“That’s what I’ve been praying to God for this whole time,” said Oliver. “I don’t want to encounter him.”

“Right. I just want to escape,” said Mia. “However, if we do meet him, and if he tries to block our path, I will kill him with my axe.”

“You must be kidding!” said Jany. “Please don’t say that again. I’ve seen enough horror.”

“What did I say wrong?” said Mia. “If he finds us, we must fight him and kill him. Otherwise, he will kill us.”

Walking, walking, and walking. Eventually, the trio reached a divide in the path. Following Mia, they took the left.

The trio walked for one more mile, until they saw something that stopped them in their tracks.

Skeletons. Hanging on almost all the trees ahead, as far as their eyes could see. Not one, not five, not ten, but at least a hundred skeletons, swinging on the trees in the breeze.

Jany gaped at them, her eyes filling with tears.

Oliver felt a chill furling through his body.

And Mia stood completely petrified; somewhere inside her, a voice said: My heart may stop beating if I let the horror possess my senses.




About the Author:

Jaydeep Shah is an avid traveler and the author of gripping horror, thriller, and romance stories. As a bachelor’s degree holder in Creative Writing, he aims to entertain as many as people he can with his stories. He is best known for Tribulation, the first book in the “Cops Planet” series.

In addition to those books, The Shape-Shifting Serpents’ Choice, Jaydeep’s first young adult flash fiction written under his pen name, JD Shah, is published online by Scarlet Leaf Review in their July 2019 issue. Currently, he’s endeavoring to write a debut young adult fantasy novel while working on a sequel to his first apocalyptic thriller, Havoc.

When Shah is not writing, he reads books, tries new restaurants, and goes on adventures.














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Monday, January 3, 2022

Witches of Wildwood: Cape May Horror Stories and Other Scary Tales from the Jersey Shore Mark W. Curran

 

 

Witches of Wildwood: 
Cape May Horror Stories and 
Other Scary Tales from the Jersey Shore  
Mark W. Curran  

Genre: Horror/Speculative Fiction 
Publisher: NMD Books 
Date of Publication: Sept 15, 2017 
ISBN: 978-1-936828-51-7 
Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 83,365
Cover Artist:  Robert Gonzales 

A Collection of Contemporary Horror Fiction 

Book Description: 
Werewolves... vampires... swamp beasts... zombies... even a Jersey Devil... all of these chilling creatures and more await you in this haunting collection of 11 contemporary horror fiction stories by Mark Wesley Curran. Uniquely set 'down the shore' in South Jersey's Cape May County, these scary tales are sure to terrify and entertain both adult readers as well as young adults.

The spooky offerings include: 

- An abrasive radio talk show host is stalked by an angry werewolf in 'Werewolves of Dennis'  

- A Fun Pier boardwalk worker falls under the spell of a strange attic dwelling girl  in 'The Girl In The Attic'

- An ancient sailing ship filled with bloodthirsty zombies crashes into the Jersey Shore in 'Night of the Wildwood Dead'  

The cornerstone of the collection is 'The Witches of Wildwood,' the harrowing and suspenseful tale of a witch-hunting preacher hell-bent on killing four teenage sisters determined to destroy the world from their Wildwood boarding house.   

This collection contains: 
The Girl In The Attic - Dante's Inferno At Castle Dracula - Neptune's Revenge - Night of the Wildwood Dead - Captain Harvey's Wildwood Seafood Palace - Showdown In Anglesea - The Fortune Teller Machine  - Jersey Devil - Werewolves of Dennis - Swamp Beast of Grassy Sound  - The Witches of Wildwood [novella].      


Excerpt:

 Dante snapped out of his flashback in a startled daze.

He tried shutting the images out of his brain as he swam through the smoke and flame – peering forward as the shaft of white lantern sliced through the smoky darkness. As he walked the creaky floorboards, he heard the groaning and falling of smoky timbers in the unseen floors above him; he knew the ceiling could give way at any moment. His radio crackled with warnings to exit the building immediately. He reached down to his radio, switching it to off, then fought his way through the haze and flame.

He fought hard against the images; the memories as ghosts floated around him; he saw visions of his father, a fifth-generation firefighter, his tough, angry face floating disembodied on a thin veneer of white smoke. Then the image of his father: lying in a casket in a Northeast Philly funeral home, looking like some strange wax figure from a horror movie. The embalmers and makeup people had done the best they could but there was only so much that could be done with burn victims. It had been a fire in Manyunk, a section of Philly, that had taken his life.

Dante fought against the exhaustion and inertia he’d been feeling for months now; tried putting it all out of his mind; the divorce from Kathy; losing the custody battle; losing their home to the mortgage crisis. Guilt and depression had dogged him for the better part of his life, but a man had to remain strong, to fight his way through it, that’s what his parents and friends had told him.

It’ll pass, they said, in the meantime, man up.

But they could not know the debilitating effect of depression, how it freezes you and turns your life into a living nightmare of psychic pain. He’d tried sleeping it off, twelve hours a day; he’d tried drinking it away but it only made matters worse.

Snap out of it, they all said. Tough it out, Petrillo, suck it up. Yeah, he thought, if I don’t snap first.

The roar above his head was an angry crescendo; it sounded like a thousand railroad trains thundering over his head. He pushed forward into the oily black smoke and the ominous arms of orange and yellow flames that reached out all around him like angry beckoning spirits.

There was crashing overhead as sections of the burning roof fell into the floor above him. It did not slow his resolve or lessen his courage, he simply pushed the fear down below the surface He heard voices ahead of him. He stopped dead and tried to ignore the ghosts. Ahead of him in the glow of flame and smoke was Gracie-Lynn, his mother – the strong, silent pillar of strength that had endured so much before she’d died.

For years she’d dealt with his father’s unspeakable anger, the deep bouts of depression, the unexplained rage that would erupt in a split second into violence.


About the Author:

Mark Wesley Curran is a writer of contemporary fiction, specializing in the horror and suspense genre. Born and raised in Suburban Philadelphia, he spent many summers living and working in Wildwood, New Jersey during its heyday. He now resides in Los Angeles where he enjoys creative pursuits as a writer, filmmaker and musician. He moderates the Horror Fiction Central website and edits the weekly horror fiction Newswire, resources for fans of horror fiction.  




Horror Fiction Central: www.horrorfictioncentral.com 





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