My Short Story “Retired” is to be Published by HellBound Books

toilet zone

Promotional image for the HellBound Books upcoming horror anthology “Toilet Zone”

I just got word from the folks at HellBound Books that my short story “Retired” will be appearing in their forthcoming horror anthology Toilet Zone. No, wait! It’s not what you think. Here’s the blurb from the submissions page:

…no, don’t panic, we are not looking for lavatory-themed tales of terror – although should your short story involve the smallest room in the house, we’d be more than delighted to read it! The theme for this anthology is short horror stories that will make an ideal sit-down read, just long enough for those extended stays at the convenience, and terrifying enough that they really are best read whilst over water….

This anthology will be compiled by the incomparable author and filmmaker Bret McCormick, so be sure to write to impress!

We have based story length upon the average time spent upon the convenience (10-15 mins) and the average reading speed (200-250 words per minute), so that the stories within this exceptionally unique anthology will be the perfect ‘per visit’ length!

Needless to say, I’m thrilled.

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1929: A Zimbell House Anthology is Now Available

1929: A Zimbell House Anthology

1929

Promotional image for Zimbell House Publishing’s anthology “1929”

My short story “The Devil’s Dilemma” is featured in the Zimbell House Publishing anthology 1929, which includes six tales in multiple genres, all set in the year 1929.

Sixteen-year-old Timothy Quinn grew up in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, working as a “printer’s devil,” an apprentice in a newspaper print shop since age twelve. One day, the teen and would-be boxer starts hearing strange news announcements on the radio that seem to come from the future. Then he learns that in the next seven weeks, a ten-year-old girl will be kidnapped and murdered by a notorious serial killer. No one believes his wild tale, so he sets out to confront the killer himself, but will he succeed in saving the life of an innocent child only to sacrifice his own?

“1929: A Zimbell House Anthology” is now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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Back cover of the Zimbell House Anthology 1929

“1929: A Zimbell House Anthology” is Now Available for Pre-Order!

1929

From cover image for “1929: A Zimbell House Anthology”

I’ve been checking periodically, and the Zimbell House Publishing anthology 1929, which features my short story “The Devil’s Dilemma,” is now available for pre-order at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble for delivery March 26, 2019 (that’s for digital books, the paperbacks will take a little longer).

I’m really excited about this story since it’s one of my more ambitious projects.

Sixteen-year-old Timothy Quinn grew up in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, working as a “printer’s devil,” an apprentice in a newspaper print shop since age twelve. One day, the teen and would-be boxer starts hearing strange news announcements on the radio that seem to come from the future. Then he learns that in the next seven weeks, a ten-year-old girl will be kidnapped and murdered by a notorious serial killer. No one believes his wild tale, so he sets out to confront the killer himself, but will he succeed in saving the life of an innocent child only to sacrifice his own?

My story is one of only six appearing in “1929.” Be the first to buy, read, and review this unique anthology.

Death Unmasked: A Book Review

death unmasked

Cover image of the novel “Death Unmasked” by Rick Sulik

Disclosure: Almost three months ago, author Rick Sulik asked me to review his 2015 novel Death Unmasked. We had an email discussion and I agreed with the understanding that I would provide an honest review, no holds barred. I subsequently received a kindle edition of the book and finished reading it yesterday.

You should probably know two things about Rick before we get started. He’s a retired police officer, having served on both the Houston and Pasadena (Texas) police forces. He believes in reincarnation. Both of these figure prominently in this novel.

Imagine that you’re a homicide detective in Houston and nearing retirement. You’re a loner, both on the force and in your personal life, and yet there is this longing in you for connection.

Then, little by little, you begin to recall experiences from a past life, your previous name, your wife, how you died, and how she was raped and murdered.

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When Sean Met Sally

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Image: mookychick.co.uk

From the Unlife and Curse of Sean Becker

This is an open police investigation, so why am I involved? Because my boss, private detective Aidan Burke is paying me to be involved. More to the point, Conrad Grey, a wealthy commercial real estate tycoon, hired Burke to find his only granddaughter, thirteen-year-old Marianne. The kid went missing almost two weeks ago. LAPD thinks she’s a runaway. Grey thinks she’s been abducted. That’s why I’m walking the streets, contacting my informants, trying to get a lead.

Oh, by the way, my name is Sean Becker and I’m a vampire.

Officially, I can’t be licensed as a private detective because I’m dead. I work as Burke’s assistant by night, and sleep in his spare bedroom by day.

Being a vampire, I can cultivate information sources the police would never get close to. A few are other vampires like me, some with legit night jobs, others living on the edge of society, making it anyway they can.

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The Last Woman

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Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Harvey couldn’t believe how easily he’d lured his latest victim out of that seedy bar and into an even more seedy motel room across the street. She was a beauty, a bit of a rarity in the places where he normally sought his prey.

The news media called him a serial killer. Seven women between the ages of 19 and 37 all strangled during the act of sex over the past fifteen months. The police couldn’t catch him. They had his DNA but it wasn’t on record anywhere else that would identify him. He moved from city to city, chose different venues to pick up women, a bar here, a concert there. He kept shifting his pattern around so they couldn’t predict where he’d strike next.

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