Quentin Marks’ mother can only love one son, and from the day Rowdy was born, she makes Quentin, his little brother’s keeper. She demands that Quentin fix every problem for Rowdy and that he also protect him. The truth is, after a deadly snakebite, Quentin owes his very life to his little brother, a debt that will never be paid in full. Only now a man is dead, and once again, their mother calls on Quentin to make the problem go away and save Rowdy from prison. When is enough enough, and how much of his own life will Quentin Marks have to sacrifice?
As the mother of two sons, this short story appealed to me. Also having two sons, I’d never put mine in this position, and I’ve love to strangle Quentin’s and Rowdy’s mother.
As a responsible adult and business owner, Quentin is a productive member of society – in spite of how he was raised. Younger brother Rowdy has been coddled his whole life and is a major screwup. Unfortunately, Quentin has been tasked by his father on his deathbed and his loathsome mother to keep his brother out of trouble and watch over him. Rowdy attracts trouble like a magnet, so Quentin has his work cut out for him. When Rowdy kills a man, Quentin takes the fall for it, believing an innocent man will never be convicted.
This is a quick read and a bleak tale about a dysfunctional family and a man who is never able to fully live his life because of the promises and sacrifices he makes. Trust me when I say you’ll want to throttle his mother. Kudos to the author for writing such a despicable character.
Hope you’re all getting into the Halloween spirit by watching scary movies (or It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown – it’s a must watch every year for me), carving pumpkins, or eating all the candy and then going out to buy more before the trick or treaters get there tomorrow – whatever works for you. Today’s author regularly uses tarot cards – but not in the typical way. If you’re a writer, you may want to adopt her technique. I know I’ll be looking into it. Welcome Paula Cappa!
Have you ever had a tarot card reading?
Not exactly. I have had psychic readings. I do like the tarot. I have a stack of tarot cards on my bookshelf over my writing desk and often use the book “Tarot for Writers.” I pick the cards out with a question in mind, and it triggers my creativity. Kind of like brainstorming with the inner self, exploring my subconscious to deeper creativity. It’s very exciting and I’m often surprised how well the tarot directs me and the character in my story. Word out there has it that John Steinbeck used tarot cards to inspire his creativing writing process too.
If you watch horror movies, are you the person who yells at the characters, covers your eyes, or falls asleep?
I’m not fond of hard core horror. I’m more the quiet horror type. I like the supernatural to be so mysterious that you have to find out what truth is coming through the action. Hauntings attract me and that’s why almost all of my fiction deals with ghostly presences. I consider my work supernatural, not horror, because it’s the spirituality of those existing in the beyond who fascinate me. I want to get to know them and bring them into our physical world.
Do you ever see figures in your peripheral vision?
Oh yes. Often when walking in nature, the woods, or in cemeteries (I frequent a local cemetery near my home) there are shadows and light flashes that catch me. They are not figures exactly, but presences that draw my eye and my thoughts. So I spend time listening. In my novel The Dazzling Darkness (which takes place in a cemetery in Concord, MA) I spent weeks in cemeteries, walking through the statuary and headstones to get a sense of the dead. Gray rainy days are especially inspiring. Rain ghosts!
What do you do to get inside your characters’ heads?
I spend time being them by eating the food they prefer, dressing like them, speaking in their tone of voice and performing their jobs. In my novel Greylock, the central character is a Russian concert pianist. I don’t play piano, but I spent hours listening to Rachmaninoff concertos (volume turned up) and played an imaginary keyboard on my desk. This experience gave me a deep feeling of what it’s like to feel the music inside my hands and mind, letting the music fill me. I became Alexei Georg for the two years I spent writing Greylock, a mystery with a music phantom.
How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?
My ideal reader is someone who loves to explore the spiritual side of ghosts in fiction. Why do the dead come back to us? Why do they hover in our lives? Learning from ghosts is a lifelong endeavor of mine and my readers aren’t afraid to go into the world of fiction to find a ghost come forward on the page. There is a truth in that we are in the midst of the spiritual world all the time. If you believe spirit is everything and life is indestructible, you will enjoy my supernatural mystery stories.
What are you working on now?
I am half way through a novel about a rain ghost who haunts a windmill in Bedford, NY. A poet, a sketch artist, a shaman, and murder by magic.
The force of nature, force of death, force of consciousness. A short story of Agatha Ashfield who explores the spiritual realms of ghosts. Come meet Falling Water, the ghost beneath the hickory trees on Mohawk River.
Agatha Ashfield, a wise woman in her late years, has long been fascinated by the power of Nature. She meets a ghost called Falling Water who dwells beneath the hickory trees by Mohawk River. As Agatha seeks her destiny, she struggles to overcome fears of her impending death, find a way to trust goodness, the power of Nature, and release her everlasting consciousness. This is a short tale of mystery, love, passion, and spirituality. If you enjoy exploring the spiritual world and its realms, you will enjoy entering Agatha’s mysterious Wild Darkness. Wild Darkness was originally published at ParAbnormal Magazine, March 2020.
Amazon reviewer: “Imaginative and creative story. The narrator places you firmly by Agatha’s side and you feel like you are taking that final journey with her.”
Paula Cappa is the recipient of a Chanticleer Book Award and American Book Fest’s Best Books Award Finalist for her novel Greylock. She also earned the prestigious Eric Hoffer Book Award, Silver Medal Winner at Global Book Awards, The Readers’ Favorite International Bronze Medal for Supernatural Suspense, and is a Gothic Readers Book Club Award Winner in Outstanding Fiction. She is the author of Greylock,The Dazzling Darkness, and Night Sea Journey—print editions published by Crispin Books, Milwaukee WI.Night Sea Journey was featured as an on-air reading at RiverwestRadio, Fearless Reader Radio in Wisconsin.Cappa’s short fiction has appeared in ParABnormal Magazine,Coffin Bell Literary Journal,Unfading Daydream, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Whistling Shade Literary Journal, SmokeLong Quarterly, Sirens Call Ezine, Every Day Fiction, Fiction365, Twilight Times Ezine, and in anthologies Journals of Horror: Found Fiction, Mystery Time, and Human Writes Literary Journal. She is a freelance copy editor and writes a short story blog, Reading Fiction, at paulacappa.wordpress.com. Paula Cappa is Co-Chair of the Pound Ridge Authors Society in Pound Ridge, NY.
Thane’s arms curved around his back and he felt the younger vampire trembling as he rested his head on Taku’s shoulder. So easily broken, Taku often forgot what it had been like in the beginning. For him things had been different, he reminded himself. He had already known what it felt like to take a life.
With Nagasaki in the grip of a bitter winter, two vampires struggle to hunt in the challenging conditions. When an opportunity to feed from a dying man presents itself, Taku insists that they take advantage of it. Yet his newly turned lover is left feeling devastated by their actions. Seeing Thane so distraught is more than Taku can bear and so he makes a decision to shield Thane as much as he can from the darker side to their existence. However his desire to protect Thane might one day cost him everything.
Never Change is a short story set in the Demon’s Blood universe.
I “met” this author through hosting Bad Moon Rising a few years ago. Although I haven’t read this series, no prior knowledge is required to read this short story.
I’m always a vampire fan – have been since watching the original Fright Night. Even when they were out of fashion for a while in the book world, I had faith they’d come back. I’ve never been one to bow to fashion anyway. It’s a bitter, cold winter in Nagasaki – not that the temperature affects Taku and Thane. But plenty of snow makes it difficult to hunt and limits their food sources. Not very many warm bodies are out and about. Being a fairly new vampire, Thane still struggles with their darker side. With years (centuries?) of experience, Taku is more practical about what they should do when coming across a dying man.
Don’t think the whole story deals with heavy themes. There’s a fun, light-hearted snowball fight between the two, and even a snowman. It’s a sweet novella, and I can tell I’d enjoy this series based on meeting these wonderful characters.
Today’s author is making her first appearance at BMR, but some of you are probably familiar with her books – she writes in a variety of genres. Between sleeping in a coffin or spending the night in a haunted house? She’ll take the haunted house – she’s already lived in one, so what’s another to add to the list? Welcome Stevie Turner!
Would you rather sleep in a coffin for one night or spend the night in a haunted house?
I am claustrophobic, and so nothing would ever induce me to spend the night in a coffin. When younger, a flatmate and I made a coffin for a party we threw at our new flat, but everybody had a go at climbing into it except me! I spent many nights in a haunted flat as a child. My bedroom was haunted by the ghost of a previous tenant who had committed suicide, and so yes, I’d rather spend the night in a haunted house.
Name three items you’d take to spend the night in a haunted house.
I’d take my phone of course, just in case I needed to call in reinforcements. I’d also take in a good time-lapse camera and leave it running, and lastly I’d take something to eat because I know I’d not sleep a wink!
Would you rather use an Ouija board or participate in a séance?
I’ve done both in the past, although neither one was very successful.
If you had to give up snacks or drinks during writing sessions, which would be more difficult?
Drinks, definitely. My salivary glands hardly function at all due to 34 sessions of radiotherapy to the neck for thyroid cancer back in 2017. The cancer is gone, but the after-effects linger for life. I sip, sip, sip all day long…
Do you write to music?
No, I have to have total silence as I find music too distracting. I cannot write a word if music or the TV is playing in the background.
What are you working on now?
I’ve just finished ‘Barren’, a family relationship drama, and am in the process of reading it through a few times. By the time this promotion comes out, the book will be published.
When Karen and Mick Curtis attend a demonstration of clairvoyance for the first time, Karen is singled out by the medium, Rae Cordelle. Rae has a message from Karen’s son David, who passed over to the spirit world many years before. The message shocks Karen and sends her on a journey of discovery, rocking her previously happy relationship with second husband Mick, David’s stepfather.
Stevie Turner is a British author of romantic suspense, humour, paranormal stories, and women’s fiction family dramas. She is a cancer survivor, and still lives in the same picturesque Suffolk village that she and husband Sam moved to in 1991 with their two boys. Those two boys have now grown, and she and Sam have 5 lovely grandchildren.
One of her short stories, ‘Lifting the Black Dog’, was published in ‘1000 Words or Less Flash Fiction Collection’ (2016). She has also written an article ‘Look on the Bright Side of Life’ which was included in the 2016 book ‘They Say I’m Doing Well’ which are articles about mental illness, proceeds of which go to the charity MIND. Her screenplay ‘For the Sake of a Child’ won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival, and her novel ‘A House Without Windows’ gained interest in 2017 from an independent film production company based in New York. ‘Finding David’ reached the quarter-finals of the 2019 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Competition.
It’s day two of Bad Moon Rising, and today we’re welcoming one of my publisher siblings, Joseph Carrabis. Read on to discover why he thinks he’s part werewolf and is waiting for aliens to take him home.
Would you rather be a vampire or a werewolf?
In the realm of TMI, I’ve been confused with a black bear when I take my shirt off (I’m a bit of a chia pet from the neck down), so I have the werewolf aspect covered, me thinks.
But a vampire? Dracula is the personification of evil because he’s so pitiable. Imagine a creature so driven by a hunger so strong it can never rest. Business owners know these creatures as investors and venture capitalists. I have such a character (vampiric, although not for blood) in my Empty Sky novel. Fun to write, not fun to be.
Okay, I’ll go with werewolf. I’m already half-way there. What the heck. Go for it.
Would you rather be abducted by aliens or a serial killer?
People always ask me if I came on the mothership and I don’t like cornflakes (although not so much as to harm them) so I’ll go with the alien abduction. It’d be nice to go home after all these years.
Would you rather be part of the X-Files team or Ghostbusters?
Ghostbusters (original). Much better music.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I’ve studied aboriginal cultures world-wide and regardless of culture, location, ethnic basis, racial basis, mythic depictation, any of the standard concepts of self-identity, they all tell me I carry strong teacher and storyteller/storykeeper medicine/magic with my female energy being storyteller/storykeeper and my male energy teacher. Restricting ourselves to aboriginal North America, that would pretty much be spider (GrandMother Spirit) and Wolf (GrandFather Spirit). The personifications may change, the energies don’t. Or haven’t yet, anyway.
There’s lots more involved in such things and that’s a good place to start.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
A question for the mathematicians in your audience; Which is greater, Infinity or (Infinity + 1)?
Unpublished is easier. I have lots of work completed, submitted to editors, et cetera, and not yet published – 300+.
Now we ask, “How many of those are half-finished?” and I’ll include “rough draft” in “half-finished”. Maybe another 900+.
So 300+ and 900+. Infinity or (Infinity + 1).
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?
Asking them out for a date. I get enough rejection from editors and such.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Wait a second…”not writing”? What is “not writing”?
What are you working on now?
Improving my storycrafting and storytelling.
What if… You’re born and raised Hill but got City educated and now you drivin’ a big state issue Buick back into Hill ’cause you gonna show them you something else? And what if one town you drive through’s got secrets it don’t want nobody to know? And what if you plan to tell City those secrets and those secrets got they own idea who you gonna tell?
Joseph holds patents covering mathematics, anthropology, neuroscience, and linguistics. His time is spent loving his wife, playing with his dog and cat, flying kites bigger than most cars, cooking for friends and family, playing and listening to music, and studying anything and everything he believes will help his writing.
Vincent likes nothing more than rootling round second-hand shops in search of the interesting and unusual. Items that are lost and forgotten. Why not? He needs the diversion. Time on his hands and money to burn. His life is affluent and empty. Little on the horizon and memories tinged bittersweet. That’s all about to change. He’s about to find something that is perhaps better left unfound.
CALL DROPS is a darkly swirling mix of horror and mystery that will stay with you long after the reading is done. It’ll maybe make you think twice about impulse buying, those moments when you simply must have something, even though you don’t need it. It might cause you to look again at the apparently mundane and everyday …and possibly, just possibly, wonder at what twisted marvels lurk within your mobile phone.
Call Drops is a short (ish) horror story, the first in a series of sinister tales from the Dead Boxes Archive. Some objects are scary things. Dead Boxes definitely fall into that category. They can be easily overlooked. They’re ordinary on the surface. At first glance anyway. If you look a little closer, you’ll see something unique. You could have one and not know it. Be careful. They hold miracle and mystery. Horror and salvation. None are the same. Except in one regard. You don’t need one. You might think you do, but you really don’t. Believe me.
A Short Horror Story From the Dead Boxes Archive.
This is one grim, twisty, short story that filled this horror fan’s heart with glee. It’s been a while since I’ve read short stories, and I’d forgotten what a pleasure it can be to immediately get down to the business of storytelling – and this author does it well. He takes the reader by the hand and gradually reveals Vincent’s life, both in present day and through flashbacks. All the while, you just know something sinister might be waiting around the corner. And trust me, it is – you won’t be disappointed.
Don’t expect blood and gore horror – this is more about the dark side of human nature, and what people are capable of doing to each other. The only negative for me, and this is my personal preference, is the cover – if I saw this book on the shelf, it isn’t something that would immediately grab my attention. But the contents inside surely did. Call Drops has a Twilight Zone/Black Mirror feel, and can easily be read in one sitting.
I received a copy of this book from the author through Rosie’s Book Review Team.
It’s month after the dead first began to walk. The miracle vaccine that was supposed to save us all has failed.
Now, four teens fight to stay alive as a stronger, smarter breed of zombie begins to appear, threatening to end humanity for good.
Four short stories, 11,000 words total.
Prequel to Mortality (March, 2013). – Goodreads.com
You know I’m a zombie fan and I’ve read Mortality, so I was excited to see this short story prequel. And the cover is absolutely killer – it caught my eye immediately. If you haven’t read Mortality, I highly recommend you do before reading End Dayz.
This novella gave me more information and background on some secondary characters from Mortality, but also a little about Savannah. Some of what I learned was expected, but I was surprised about the actions of a few characters. I enjoyed the journal style of writing in some of the chapters, allowing the reader a more introspective view of the characters’ thought processes. Alex’s story was especially heartbreaking.
Overall, this was a great companion piece to Mortality, giving me a broader perspective of events that happened before that book and I’d definitely recommend reading it.
I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley.