Eleanor Merry Presents: “Dark X-Mas” Anthology Now Available for Pre-Order

dark xmas

Promotional image for the anthology of drabbles “Dark X-Mas.”

Not the news I had hoped to deliver by now, but I just found out that “Eleanor Merry Presents: Dark X-Mas is now available to pre-order both at Amazon US and Canada for delivery on your Kindle device December 1, 2019.

Here’s the “blurbs” again for the two drabbles I have featured within its virtual pages:

Christmas Feast

For centuries, the innocent belief of children breathed life into Santa Claus, bringing him into the homes of millions every December 24th, laden with gifts for precious cherubs. But the world changed and children changed, and finally there was too little faith left to keep the old elf going and he expired.

But this year, Santa’s chief servant Alabaster found ten wee ones he could spirit away from their cozy beds at the stroke of midnight in order to supplicate themselves at the grave of St. Nicholas. These children desperately want Santa back, but what horrible sacrifice will they be expected to make to resurrect a very different Santa from what the world has ever known?

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Another Mysterious Announcement

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Image found at compellingreads.co.uk – no attribution given

This morning, I received another bit of good news, but I’m sworn to secrecy, at least for the next 24 hours or so, until it becomes official. All I can say is that the email made my day, especially since I was up at a quarter til four in the morning because I couldn’t sleep.

Actually, it gave me time to do the research on a short story submission due in about ten days or so. I’ve been struggling with this one until inspiration seized me, as it usually does, when I’m trying to get some rest.

I spent the early morning working Google into the ground, collecting links, beginning to create characters, and I was starting to outline the plot when the clock told me I only had an hour left before I had to leave for my day job.

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Brief Update on the Still Unnamed Erotic Horror Story to be Published

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Image found at compellingreads.co.uk – no attribution given

I still don’t have word from the publisher about when I can start talking about this short story and the anthology in which it will appear. I did get an email update yesterday to which I have already responded:

Good evening!

First of all, a million thanks on behalf of XXXX Books for working with us to produce a terrifyingly fun anthology! We are working hard on producing cover art befitting this masterpiece – we will circulate it as soon as it’s ready!

If you could please give your story a read-through and get back to us by November 6th 2019 with any tweaks our editors may have missed (page#, line#, edit) that would be awesome! If we don’t hear from you, we will assume all is perfect.

Once again, thank you for being part of the XXXX family!

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Two of My Tales to be Published in “Dark X-Mas Drabbles Anthology”

dark xmas

Promotional image for the soon-to-be published anthology of drabbles “Dark X-Mas.”

Not one but two of my drabbles have been accepted in the Eleanor Merry Presents Christmas Horror anthology “Dark X-Mas”.

According to the blurb for Dark X-Mas Drabbles Anthology:

I’m dreaming of a Dark Christmas
With every little tale that I read
When the knife blades glisten
And scared children listen
To hear slayers in the night
Where sugarplums can be gory
In the frightening elf story
And trees eat favorite household pets
There are gifts on all the pages
Of terror through the ages
Told of gift giving regrets
I’m dreaming of a Dark Christmas
With every little tale I read
While the bright lights shine
And the family dines In the soft fireplace glow
So hold loved ones tight
It’s not Santa visiting tonight
Death lies buried in the snow.

I actually don’t know a whole lot about co-publishers Eleanor Merry and Cassandra Angler, but some other authors I’ve been published with before, including David Bowmore and Shawn Klimek, are participating, so I figured “what the heck?”

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No NaNoWriMo

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Logo for the National Novel Writing Month

Once again, in November, I will not be participating in National Novel Writing Month, more popularly known as NaNoWriMo.

First of all, I can barely stay awake, even though it’s not even six in the evening (as I write this). That means, I can’t think clearly. I’ve been trying for several days to finish a short story, but every evening when I get home from my slave job, I’m exhausted. My hours changed, so I have to get up at 5 in the morning. That used to be pretty normal for me, but as I get older, I have discovered that getting and then staying asleep at night is becoming more difficult.

Also, writing a novel in a month is either a challenge at best or torture and tyranny at worst. I did manage to write a 10,000 novelette in a week for a similar online challenge. It wasn’t chosen for publication, so now what do I do with it (actually, I have plans, but I still need time and a clear head to enable them)?

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Stories to Chill Your Halloween Night!

Just in time for Halloween!

Fall into Fantasy 2019 Anthology

I’m thrilled to announce that this fantasy love and horror story is available on Amazon now!

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Cover art for the Cloaked Press anthology “Fall Into Fantasy 2019”

Here’s what you can expect from my short story “The Demon in the Mask:”

Andre Paul LeClair was an orphan, an infant found on the steps of a monastery. Raised in the midst of Priests and Nuns, he grew to be an intelligent, charming boy, and then a handsome, bewitching man. Coming to the attention of a sinister Cardinal, LeClair was whisked away to remote mountain Chateau. Trained for a decade by soldiers, spies, and courtesans, he was honed to be the perfect instrument of assassination. His target, the secret ruler of the Kingdom, the Princess and witch Katia Asa Vajda. But when the moment came to liberate a nation, would he kill the princess, or fall in love with her?

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Truth, Justice, and Superman on Radio

Screenshot of the cover of the graphic novel “Superman Smashes the Klan” found at Polygon.com

I know I’ve been booted out as a follower of Mike Glyer’s fanzine File 770, but he can’t block my internet access, so occasionally I pop over to see what’s up. Most of the time it’s “not much,” but I did happen upon Pixel Scroll 10/23/19 The Little Green Man Was Very Sad, One Pixel Was All He Had.

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Cover art for a World War 2 era “Superman” comic book

Item 11 is titled SUPE’S AN IMMIGRANT, TOO. It links to an article where a 1946 version of Superman fights Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and befriends a Chinese immigrant family. I was all prepared for yet another reinvention of Superman who behaves like a 2019 progressive over 70 years in the past. That is to say, out of character and historically anachronistic.

And yet the Polygon article The Superman story that set the Ku Klux Klan back years is now a comic was a pleasant surprise.

A few days ago, I wrote Truth, Justice, and the American Way to illustrate how classic superheroes such as Superman and Captain America represented, not necessarily the United States as it is or historically has been, but as we want to be as a country and a people, a united people.

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The “Unravel: A Crime MicroFiction Anthology” Arrives On My Kindle Fire

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© James Pyles

Yes, it’s here and I offer photographic proof. I received the book in several digital formats and installed “Unravel” via email this morning. I did get a strange email from Amazon asking me if I wanted to do this and giving my 48 hours to respond. That’s never happened before. Of course, I approved it and BAM! I have another book.

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UNRAVEL: A Crime Microfiction Anthology is Available Now!

unravel

Cover image for the Black Hare Press crime drabble anthology “Unravel.”

My “drabble” or exactly 100 word short tale “Death Visits Mexico” was just published by Black Hare Press and is available in Unravel: A Crime Microfiction Anthology on Amazon. The theme for the “Unravel” anthology was dark, criminal mysteries, and so I took a tale I’d crafted a few years back and re-edited it to meet the publishing requirements. It’s historical fiction set in 1947 where Jewish private detective Moshe Katz is about to deliver justice to a war criminal in a particularly dramatic way.

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Truth, Justice, and the American Way

superman

From the “Adventures of Superman” television show

“Truth, justice, and the American way.” The introduction (video) to the 1950s television show “The Adventures of Superman” starring the late George Reeves still sends chills up my spine. I first watched this series as a kid, and while it hasn’t always aged well, given its limited budget and it’s target of six-year-old boys, I still cherish some of its episodes.

But the whole “American way” thing seems to have fallen out of favor, at least in the entertainment industry.

Well, maybe not entirely. This scene (video) from the 2012 film “The Avengers” pretty much says the same thing. The clip is a little short, but the whole thing goes:

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