Author: Stephanie Ellis

Friday Update: Pandemic Book Launches, Events and Supporting Creatives

Pandemic Author Support, Book Launches and Events  09/18/20

In addition to Jim McLeod’s Pandemic Book Launch group on Facebook – go here for more infomation – Joe Mynhardt has set up a collaborative Facebook group for the independent presses: Hot Off the Indie Press, check it out here.  Click on the book covers for more information.

Support Your Indie Authors and Reviewers

This is a feature which I hope will help bring extra work to those who’ve been hit economically by Covid. If you’ve lost your day job, had hours cut, are struggling and have services to offer, a patreon page to promote etc, let us know and we’ll plug them here.

Image Max Stark is a teacher in Mexico, a reviewer, a wonderful photographer and all round nice guy. He’s been developing his photography work and has been receiving commissions for this but unfortunately his laptop has given up the ghost and he, like so many others, is struggling. We are hoping to share a fundraising project which will help him fulfill his commissions and continue expanding his work in this area. To connect with him, find out more about him, see his work, go to https://twitter.com/Max_Stark8 and https://www.instagram.com/max_stark8/. The image on the left is a sample of his work.

 

Devil's CreekTodd Keisling – author of Devil’s Creek, Ugly Little Things is not just a writer. He also designs book interiors, frontispieces and can provide other services related to marketing campaigns. For more information go here. Buy his books here. Support him on patreon here.

Victoria Wilder – writer, singer, actress. Someone who must surely be experiencing career hits in all directions at present – buy her book here and please check out her patreon here.

Irene Lofthouse – author of Strange Tales in Bradford Dale, editor of Stories from Stone, creator of performances, is not just a writer. She’s also a historical researcher, editor, tutor, creative facilitator and can provide other services related to education and learning resources. For more information go here. Buy her books here.

Erin Al-Mehairi – writer, editor and stalwart of the community has lost a lot of work recently and is offering discounted editing services to new clients for short stories, novellas and novels. Payment plans are also possible! For more details go here https://hookofabook.wordpress.com/editing/

Chad Lutzke – a writer whose name is frequently seen in indie horror has a patreon here. Get free stories, interact or simply offer some much-needed support. You can also buy his books here. I just picked up a copy of Of Foster Homes and Flies.

 

Events

15th-29th Sept inclusive – StoryFest 2020. The Westport Library will we will premiere 13 live and pre-recorded events. These events will feature top authors and creators in genre fiction, comics, young adult fiction, and middle grade fiction. In cross-genre panels, they will explore the big ideas at the heart of telling stories in today’s world. Information here.

7-11th October – GrimmFest. Manchester’s International Festival of Fantastic Films. Information here.

16th October – Phoenix FearCon. Online Horror Film Festival. Information here.

Please send us details of any online panels, conventions, festivals and workshops and we’ll list them here.

Pandemic Book Launches 

*********** Charity Anthologies ************

Autumn! ImageWe are Wolves       26th Sept Trickster's Treats #4: Coming Buried or Not (Charity Anthology) (Things in The Well Book 26) by [Matthew R. Davis, Chris Mason, Herb Kauderer, Kevin David Anderson, Andrew Cull, Jenny Blackford, Liam Hogan, Kurt Newton, Louise Zedda-Sampson, Geneve Flynn]

August 2020

26th   26th Into The Forest And All The Way Through by [Cynthia Pelayo]

September 2020

2nd Weird Rhody: Five Tales From The Ocean State That Aren't Quite Right by [Rob Borkowski, Paul Lonardo, Dennis Kafalas, G.A. Miller, Bob Sherman, Mary Carlos] 3rd 3rd Whigmaleeries & Wives' Tales by [Jessica Augustsson, Jason Lairamore, Mike Adamson, Dawn Vogel, James Rumpel, Sharon Kae Reamer, Damon L. Wakes, Mike Morgan, Liz Michalski, Johannes Svensson, Kimber Camacho, Susanne Hülsmann, Edward H. Parks, Marta Pelrine-Bacon, Daniel Delgado, Ed Ahern, Michael Sherrin, Robert Dawson, Jennifer Jeanne McArdle, David Rogers, Rebecca Gomez Farrell, Michael Anthony Dioguardi, Jamie Zaccaria, J9 Vaughn, Adam Slavny, Natalie Cannon, A.D. Black, KT Wagner, Matt McHugh, Delilah Night, Jay Caselberg, Nicole Tanquary]4th Night Voices

4th And Blood Did Fall by [Chad A. Clark] 4th Of Witches... by [Steve Stred, Miranda Crites]6th The Horror Collection: Pumpkin Edition by [Mark Lukens, J.C. Michael, Steven Stacy, Zoltán Komar, Kevin J. Kennedy]8th

10th 15th Image may contain: night, text that says 15th 15th FULL METAL HORROR III: The Unknown by [Adam Bennett, Sam M. Phillips]

15th The Body Will Follow by [Rob E. Boley] 15th 16th E is for Exorcism (A to Z of Horror Book 5) by [P.J. Blakey-Novis, S.P. Oldham, Dona Fox, Mark Anthony Smith, Holley Cornetto, Joshua Bartolome, Michael Anthony Dioguardi, Kristina R. Mosley, Jeremy Billingsley, Ethan K. Lee]18th Unbecoming Me & Other Interruptions (Short Sharp Shocks! Book 51) by [Christopher Stanley]

18th Curfew (Short Sharp Shocks! Book 55) by [Kev Harrison] 18th The Cliff House (Short Sharp Shocks! Book 53) by [James Marx]25th Prepare to Meet Thy God by [Matt Starr]29th The Essential Sick Stuff by [Ronald Kelly]

October 2020

6th Alice by [Alledria Hurt]13th SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire by [Nicole Givens Kurtz, Craig Gidney, Michele Tracey Berger, Alicia McCalla, Steven Van Patten, Jessica Cage, Sheree Renne Thomas, Milton Davis, Ekpeki Oghenechovwe Donald, Nicole Givens Kurtrz] 13th   13th Image may contain: text that says

20thDownwind, Alice 26th Forest of Fear 2: An Anthology of Halloween Horror Microfiction (Fright Night Fiction) by [Zoey Xolton, Stacey Jaine McIntosh, J.E. Feldman, Kevin J. Kennedy, Majanka Verstraete, Cindar Harrell, Stuart Conover, Beth W. Patterson, David Green, Valerie Lioudis]   27th

November 2020

17th The Lupin Project: Amazon.co.uk: Allan Leverone: 9780998416144: Books

Happy reading.

Steph

 on behalf of Stuart and the Horror Tree Team

 

Friday Update: Pandemic Book Launches, Events and Supporting Creatives

Pandemic Author Support, Book Launches and Events  09/10/20

In addition to Jim McLeod’s Pandemic Book Launch group on Facebook – go here for more infomation – Joe Mynhardt has set up a collaborative Facebook group for the independent presses: Hot Off the Indie Press, check it out here.  Click on the book covers for more information.

Support Your Indie Authors and Reviewers

This is a feature which I hope will help bring extra work to those who’ve been hit economically by Covid. If you’ve lost your day job, had hours cut, are struggling and have services to offer, a patreon page to promote etc, let us know and we’ll plug them here.

Image Max Stark is a teacher in Mexico, a reviewer, a wonderful photographer and all round nice guy. He’s been developing his photography work and has been receiving commissions for this but unfortunately his laptop has given up the ghost and he, like so many others, is struggling. We are hoping to share a fundraising project which will help him fulfill his commissions and continue expanding his work in this area. To connect with him, find out more about him, see his work, go to https://twitter.com/Max_Stark8 and https://www.instagram.com/max_stark8/. The image on the left is a sample of his work.

 

Devil's CreekTodd Keisling – author of Devil’s Creek, Ugly Little Things is not just a writer. He also designs book interiors, frontispieces and can provide other services related to marketing campaigns. For more information go here. Buy his books here. Support him on patreon here.

Victoria Wilder – writer, singer, actress. Someone who must surely be experiencing career hits in all directions at present – buy her book here and please check out her patreon here.

Irene Lofthouse – author of Strange Tales in Bradford Dale, editor of Stories from Stone, creator of performances, is not just a writer. She’s also a historical researcher, editor, tutor, creative facilitator and can provide other services related to education and learning resources. For more information go here. Buy her books here.

Erin Al-Mehairi – writer, editor and stalwart of the community has lost a lot of work recently and is offering discounted editing services to new clients for short stories, novellas and novels. Payment plans are also possible! For more details go here https://hookofabook.wordpress.com/editing/

Chad Lutzke – a writer whose name is frequently seen in indie horror has a patreon here. Get free stories, interact or simply offer some much-needed support. You can also buy his books here. I just picked up a copy of Of Foster Homes and Flies.

 

Events

11th-14th Sept inclusive – Writing in the Dark.  ‘Celebrate the craft and industry of all things dark in publishing with Tim Waggoner, multi-award-winning author of the brand-new writing guide Writing in the Dark.’ This three-day symposium on horror writing and publishing will feature workshops, lectures, extensive networking opportunities, and more. Featuring many well-known writers, find out more information here.

15th-29th Sept inclusive – StoryFest 2020. The Westport Library will we will premiere 13 live and pre-recorded events. These events will feature top authors and creators in genre fiction, comics, young adult fiction, and middle grade fiction. In cross-genre panels, they will explore the big ideas at the heart of telling stories in today’s world. Information here.

7-11th October – GrimmFest. Manchester’s International Festival of Fantastic Films. Information here.

16th October – Phoenix FearCon. Online Horror Film Festival. Information here.

Please send us details of any online panels, conventions, festivals and workshops and we’ll list them here.

Pandemic Book Launches 

*********** Charity Anthologies ************

Autumn! ImageWe are Wolves   Image may contain: text that says

August 2020

26th 26th Into The Forest And All The Way Through by [Cynthia Pelayo]28th 31st Outback Horrors Down Under: An Anthology of Antipodean Terrors (Things in the Well Book 46) by [GM Hague, Chris Mason, Matthew R Davis, Robert Hood, Tracie McBride, Marty Young, Lucy Sussex, Dan Rabarts, Simon Dewar, Tabatha Wood]

31st

September 2020

1st    1st  1st Coffin Shadows by [Glen Krisch, Mark Steensland]  2nd Weird Rhody: Five Tales From The Ocean State That Aren't Quite Right by [Rob Borkowski, Paul Lonardo, Dennis  Kafalas, G.A.  Miller, Bob Sherman, Mary  Carlos]

3rd 3rd Whigmaleeries & Wives' Tales by [Jessica Augustsson, Jason Lairamore, Mike Adamson, Dawn Vogel, James Rumpel, Sharon Kae Reamer, Damon L. Wakes, Mike Morgan, Liz Michalski, Johannes Svensson, Kimber Camacho, Susanne Hülsmann,  Edward H. Parks, Marta Pelrine-Bacon, Daniel Delgado, Ed Ahern, Michael Sherrin, Robert Dawson, Jennifer Jeanne McArdle, David Rogers, Rebecca Gomez Farrell, Michael Anthony Dioguardi, Jamie Zaccaria, J9 Vaughn, Adam Slavny, Natalie Cannon, A.D. Black, KT Wagner, Matt McHugh, Delilah Night,  Jay Caselberg, Nicole Tanquary]4th Night Voices  8th

10th 15th Image may contain: night, text that says 15th 15th FULL METAL HORROR III: The Unknown by [Adam Bennett, Sam M. Phillips]

15th The Body Will Follow by [Rob E. Boley] 15th 16th E is for Exorcism (A to Z of Horror Book 5) by [P.J. Blakey-Novis, S.P. Oldham, Dona Fox, Mark Anthony Smith, Holley Cornetto, Joshua Bartolome, Michael Anthony Dioguardi, Kristina R. Mosley, Jeremy Billingsley, Ethan K. Lee]18th Unbecoming Me & Other Interruptions (Short Sharp Shocks! Book 51) by [Christopher  Stanley]

18th Curfew (Short Sharp Shocks! Book 55) by [Kev Harrison] 18th The Cliff House (Short Sharp Shocks! Book 53) by [James Marx]29th   IMG_0672.JPG

October 2020

13th SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire by [Nicole Givens Kurtz, Craig Gidney, Michele Tracey Berger, Alicia McCalla, Steven Van Patten, Jessica Cage, Sheree Renne Thomas, Milton Davis, Ekpeki Oghenechovwe Donald, Nicole Givens Kurtrz]13th   13th Image may contain: text that says 20thDownwind, Alice

November 2020

17th The Lupin Project: Amazon.co.uk: Allan Leverone: 9780998416144: Books

Happy reading.

Steph

 on behalf of Stuart and the Horror Tree Team

 

Trembling With Fear 09/06/20

Two days back at work this past week but it also saw me cram in a few more tasks before I had to start readjusting my available time due to the day job. I’ve been editing more stories for the Inferno anthology – and I’ve also been reading a book sent to me prior to its release. This book is something I would class as a YA Dark fantasy which, in keeping with my current dive into Hell, via the Inferno, focusses very much on that dark place, as well as Heaven and in between. Surviving Death by Sarah Gribble is a very smooth read with some great dashes of humour amongst the tragedies of human life. With my librarian head on, it’s one I would also put on the shelves for my older teens.

Still as a librarian, I would like to say something here to all those who write YA or younger and would like to see their books on school library shelves. I’ve read some indie press YA books which – whilst being very good stories – have been let down by the editing/proofreading/formatting. Typos which we know exist and can tolerate as an adult, understanding they will be addressed as newer editions come out, are something I cannot allow in. I rarely see them in books by the big publishers – possibly one, even rarer two, but that’s it. As someone who has to ensure quality in a school environment, the book has to be as near perfect as possible. If you intend to aim for this market, get an editor/proof-reader and go through your book with a fine toothcomb. I’ve cringed over the years at letters home from school, and even spelling lists, which have included typos. It’s an environment which has to set an example and I cannot wave a book at a student which has a noticeable number of such mistakes, regardless of the brilliance of the story. Sorry for the rant but that is a bugbear of mine in the day job. By the way, I’m not saying I’m perfect – I make mistakes and sometimes they slip through and I cringe when that happens – but the school environment is different.

Another shoutout here. This time to ourselves and I’m sure Stuart will mention this in his editorial bit. Our anthologies live! It’s taken a bit of time as real-life commitments have impacted on their progress but they are now available on amazon. Like Cerberus, the anthology has grown three heads: Year 3, More Tales from the Tree and Serial Killers. If we had combined our 2019 output in one volume, the result would have been a brick! Thank you to everyone who has contributed to TWF – your support has been really appreciated.

And the final mention today goes to the wonderful Kevin M. Folliard. A regular contributor to TWF with consistently excellent writing (his novelette, Candy Corn is terrific), he has a new collection of his dark stories available – The Misery King’s Closet. Grab a copy, let him know what you think!

The first story this week in Trembling with Fear, A Bloody Hounding by Mark Anthony Smith, is told simply –  a straightforward dive into a teen’s angst, the typical moody teen, and a chilling transformation. Each step leads you on to an end whose impact is all the greater because of its bluntness. I often decry the lack of emotion in the characters of a story but when it is stripped away at a certain point – as it is in that last paragraph, it becomes a powerful tool.

Escape Room by RJ Meldrum uses a more modern setting, something which has provided a popular form of entertainment in recent times. Keep up with new developments and use them in your stories.

In the Flood by Mike Rader shows that some things never stay buried. Nature always has a way of getting involved. Use Nature’s ability to change the landscape of both the environment and a story. The paragraph beginning ‘The skeleton floated …’ is a perfect mini-chiller.

Nurse by G.A. Miller is a classic misdirection, set the scene and then undermine it with the last line.

Enjoy the stories and send us yours!

 

Take care

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

I’m so excited… and I just can’t hide it!

‘Trembling With Fear Year 3’ is out at long last! Today, you can buy it on Amazon as well as pre-order digital copies of ‘More Tales Volume 2 and ‘Serial Killers Volume 1‘ today. Whew. It has been a long ride and has taken longer then I wanted (my fault! Without Steph we wouldn’t have gotten this out the door in time!) but I’m thrilled to unveil it to the world.

WHEW!

With that in mind, we have a couple of big things in the works which I’ll hopefully be able to share more with you soon. Some of it has been on the back burner until we got these out the door.

Remember, if you like any of today’s stories do comment so that the authors can get some feedback. Have a great weekend everyone!

An extra shout out our contributors today. Mark Anthony Smith has been a huge supporter of Horror Tree on Twitter over the past year with RJ Meldrum, Mike Rader, and G.A. Miller all being strong contributors to Trembling With Fear. Thank you, all of you, for your great stories!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

(more…)

Friday Update: Pandemic Book Launches, Events and Supporting Creatives

Pandemic Author Support, Book Launches and Events  28.08.20

In addition to Jim McLeod’s Pandemic Book Launch group on Facebook – go here for more infomation – Joe Mynhardt has set up a collaborative Facebook group for the independent presses: Hot Off the Indie Press, check it out here.  Click on the book covers for more information.

Support Your Indie Authors and Reviewers

This is a new feature which I hope will help bring extra work to those who’ve been hit economically by Covid. If you’ve lost your day job, had hours cut, are struggling and have services to offer, a patreon page to promote etc, let us know and we’ll plug them here. Note, Todd didn’t approach us – I saw his post on Facebook and thought this would be a good way to support a terrific writer (and yes, buy Devil’s Creek!)

Devil's CreekTodd Keisling – author of Devil’s Creek, Ugly Little Things is not just a writer. He also designs book interiors, frontispieces and can provide other services related to marketing campaigns. For more information go here. Buy his books here. Support him on patreon here.

Victoria Wilder – writer, singer, actress. Someone who must surely be experiencing career hits in all directions at present – buy her book here and please check out her patreon here.

Irene Lofthouse – author of Strange Tales in Bradford Dale, editor of Stories from Stone, creator of performances, is not just a writer. She’s also a historical researcher, editor, tutor, creative facilitator and can provide other services related to education and learning resources. For more information go here. Buy her books here.

Erin Al-Mehairi – writer, editor and stalwart of the community has lost a lot of work recently and is offering discounted editing services to new clients for short stories, novellas and novels. Payment plans are also possible! For more details go here https://hookofabook.wordpress.com/editing/

Chad Lutzke – a writer whose name is frequently seen in indie horror has a patreon here. Get free stories, interact or simply offer some much-needed support. You can also buy his books here. I just picked up a copy of Of Foster Homes and Flies.

Events

28th-31st Aug inclusive – London FrightFest. Showing up to 25 films, special guests and Q&A sessions. More information and tickets here.

15th-29th Sept inclusive – StoryFest 2020. The Westport Library will we will premiere 13 live and pre-recorded events. These events will feature top authors and creators in genre fiction, comics, young adult fiction, and middle grade fiction. In cross-genre panels, they will explore the big ideas at the heart of telling stories in today’s world. Information here.

7-11th October – GrimmFest. Manchester’s International Festival of Fantastic Films. Information here.

16th October – Phoenix FearCon. Online Horror Film Festival. Information here.

Please send us details of any online panels, conventions, festivals and workshops and we’ll list them here.

Pandemic Book Launches 

*********** Charity Anthologies ************

Autumn! ImageWe are Wolves   Image may contain: text that says

They Slipped Through the Net

This section features books published during lockdown but which have only just come onto our radar (plus special editions newly released).

30th July

August 2020

25th 25th 25th Recall Night (An Eli Carver Supernatural Thriller Book 2) by [Alan Baxter, Anthony Rivera] 26th Madman Across The Water: The Curse Awakens by [Caroline Angel]

28th 31st Outback Horrors Down Under: An Anthology of Antipodean Terrors (Things in the Well Book 46) by [GM Hague, Chris Mason, Matthew R Davis, Robert Hood, Tracie McBride, Marty Young, Lucy Sussex, Dan Rabarts, Simon Dewar, Tabatha Wood] 31st

September 2020

  1st    1st 1st Coffin Shadows by [Glen Krisch, Mark Steensland]4th Night Voices

8th 10th 15th Image may contain: night, text that says 15th

15th FULL METAL HORROR III: The Unknown by [Adam Bennett, Sam M. Phillips] 15th Image may contain: 1 person, text that says   15th 29th   IMG_0672.JPG

October 2020

13th SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire by [Nicole Givens Kurtz, Craig Gidney, Michele Tracey Berger, Alicia McCalla, Steven Van Patten, Jessica Cage, Sheree Renne Thomas, Milton Davis, Ekpeki Oghenechovwe Donald, Nicole Givens Kurtrz]13th   13th Image may contain: text that says 20thDownwind, Alice

November

17th The Lupin Project: Amazon.co.uk: Allan Leverone: 9780998416144: Books

Happy reading.

Steph

 on behalf of Stuart and the Horror Tree Team

 

Unholy Trinity: Delivered To Your Door, One Door Too Many and Unexpected News by Scarlet Berry

Our church worships at the altar of the Unholy Trinity. Its gospels are delivered as a trio of dark drabbles, linked so that Three become One. All hail the power of the Three.

Delivered to Your Door

“It’ll cost you,’” the man on the phone told me.

“No problem,” I replied and gave him my credit card information.  “How soon can I get it?”

“Well, with the pandemic, we have a no contact delivery policy.  We can drop it off at your door in a few hours.”

The doorbell rang promptly at midnight.  I counted to ten and opened the door.  A full body bag greeted me.  As I eagerly tried to carry it into the house, I threw my back out.

I should have known better.  What had I expected?  After all, it was dead weight.

 

One Door Too Many

Anthony walked down another long, empty corridor, his footsteps echoing off the grey walls.  He had passed many doors that refused to open.  It had seemed like hours since he had entered the building, trying to find an unlocked door.

Finally, Anthony found one.  He turned the doorknob and entered.  He was surprised to find a room full of seated people.  Anthony found an empty chair and quickly sat down.

He whispered to the woman on his left.  “Quite a crowd, eh?  Been here long?”

Anthony was startled by her reply, “Don’t you know?  This is where the dead wait.”

 

Unexpected News

“Read this,” said my wife, shaking hands holding the newspaper.

Neighbors were complaining of an odd smell coming from the house next door.  The police were called and found the body of the homeowner, who had apparently died in his sleep.

Upon further investigation, the police discovered a pot on the kitchen stove containing rotting human fingers and toes.  They also found at least 6 human heads in the freezer.

They could possibly be connected to the missing persons cases of the past year.

The next line made my stomach lurch.

The deceased homeowner’s name was my brother’s, Dedd Wayte.

Scarlet Berry

Scarlet Berry is a Yooper. She’s been married over forty years to the same man and they raised four children together. She enjoys writing drabbles and sending them to Horror Tree’s Trembling With Fear.

Serial Killers: La Serenissima (Part 4) by Susan Anwin

Serial Killers are part of our Trembling With Fear line and are serialized stories which we’ll be publishing on an ongoing basis.

She crept on cat paws past offices crammed with the sediment of theatre life; costumes, moth-eaten tutus, chipped headdresses with holes where rhinestones used to be, tattered feather boas that cast odd shadows in the light of her mobile torch. Cobwebs fluttered in the weak breeze her passing created.

“Kian,” she whispered as loud as she dared. In one of the rooms she found a back door that looked promising. To reach it she had to move the boxes piled in the way. She was almost there, the door almost uncovered, when she must have budged a broom. It fell with a deafening clatter. Holly stood trembling, hearing nothing apart from her own thundering heartbeat. Her only hope was that so deep in the bowels of the building the people at the front couldn’t possibly have heard her. After counting to hundred she went on dismantling the box fortress. The swirling dust twisted her nose and she muffled a couple of sneezes in her sleeve. She had just one more box to go. 

“Move away from the door and out to where we can see you.”

Holly felt like her heart would fall out at the bottom of her body. She was so close! There was no use resisting; there must have been at least a dozen of them. It was hard to tell in the glare of torchlights. She’d be lucky if she got away with just being kicked out of the theatre. 

They marched her back to the front. “We found her backstage,” the leader of the construction workers reported to the council suits. 

“Who is this?” one of them asked. 

“Just what were you thinking, lady?” the one that seemed to be the boss asked. 

There was nothing Holly could say. She was about to lose her job; they might even press charges against her for trespassing. 

Chief suit turned to her guard. “Call the police, they should sort this out.” Then he turned back to his phone, already forgetting about the whole incident.

Holly looked up at box 5. Where was Kian when she needed him the most? Was he just a figment of her imagination after all? The contractor nudged her towards one of the exits. Chief suit droned on behind them. Holly and the man were almost under the gallery, when his speech was abruptly cut off. The momentary silence was replaced by the frightened clamour of men as they nearly trampled each other on their way to the exits. Her escort turned to see what the commotion was about. The metallic twang was too soft to hear over the ruckus, but there was no mistaking the crossbow bolt sticking out of the chest of Chief Suit, his limp body draped on a seat, crimson flowers blossoming on his expensive white shirt. His right hand man turned to see the source of the confusion. 

There he stood on the stage, melting into the background apart from the gaily painted mask, the crossbow leaned against his shoulder casually. Holly’s companion stood rooted to the spot, his mouth agape. 

The remaining Head Suit lifted his hands. “Now mister, there’s no need–” 

He was cut short by the bolt in his throat. That was enough to jolt the contractor into action; he bolted and Holly was left alone under the glass ceiling lights. The smell of blood mixed with the building’s smell of dust and age. The silence was broken only by the gurgling noises coming from the dying man’s throat as he was slowly choking on his blood. She watched his thrashing and gradual quietening with a sort of fascinated horror. 

Kian leaned the crossbow back on his shoulder. “Figured you might need some help.”

Her whole body felt numb and strangely disconnected from her. “You killed them.”

“Would you rather they called the police on you?” He jumped off the stage and headed her way. She backed away. 

“Holly,” he stopped and reached out to her, “you have no reason to fear me. Told you they can’t raze my theatre to the ground.”

Harmless fool, my ass. She took another step backwards, her glance jumping between the mask and the extended hand. Four grotesquely tall and thin figures Holly had seen in the Underneath before separated from the shadows and carried the bodies away. 

 “They will send more people. Are you planning to kill them all?”

“There is no need.” He spread his free arm to encompass the building. “This old girl knows how to look after herself. Come.”

Holly didn’t move. She had a choice between a man who killed without a second thought, a possible sociopath, and… what? Nothing. 

“I can’t go back to my job,” she muttered, assessing the damage, rather than talking to Kian. “Or to my life. Not after this.” 

“I know. Come.”

Holly took in the clothes sack, the vibrant colours of the mask, the outstretched hand. On her way down she daintily stepped over the still glistening patch of blood. 

***

The construction of the new office building was carried out later that summer. It was riddled with malfunctions from the beginning, and all kinds of urban legends sprang up around it. There were some who claimed it was haunted, that it was built on an ancient graveyard or that there was possibly a portal to another dimension hidden somewhere deep within the cellars. There were whispers about freak accidents during construction, about forbidden, clandestine rituals. No matter how many times the bulbs were replaced in the surrounding street lamps, they all started blinking and died within a few weeks. Ghostly lights flashed in windows that nobody noticed during daytime, strange characters lurked in nooks that weren’t there before. In the twilight gloom the building didn’t look like an office building at all. It must have been because of the faulty street lights, but it looked like something completely different. 

Susan Anwin

Originally from Budapest, Hungary, Susan Anwin graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 2019 (Creative Writing postgrad). She has 50+ publications to date; my flash-fiction Talk of Armadale trees was published in the anthology My Favourite Place (Scottish Book Trust, 2012). Her name appeared on the cover of Aphelion Webzine in March and July 2017, February and August 2018 and November 2019. Starting in March 2019, Art Here Art Now serialized her stories. Reprinted in Horror Without Borders, an international anthology, one of her stories has been translated into Russian.
 

Trembling With Fear 08/30/20

Autumn is upon us and this week will see me returning to work, albeit two inset days where we learn how we are to cope with the coming term. Where has the summer holiday gone?

Whilst I’ve pretty much done my bit with the Trembling With Fear anthologies, I’m now part way pulling the Infernal Clock’s Inferno anthology together. I’m also judging the Flash Friday fiction comp this weekend (if you enjoy flash, join in here). I’ve written a new short story – the first for a while, due to time constraints and with an idea bubbling in the back of my mind, I’m thinking about a new novel. This is going to have to be fitted in to my return to work, somehow.

The first story this week in Trembling with Fear is Tick, Tick, Tick by Ed Burkley really draws out the tension, from the first hearing to the continued build up and the corresponding sense of panic in Matheson it adds up to an explosive ending. Making sure we know how a character is feeling, not just mentally, but also physically is important, builds that bond between the character and reader, underpins engagement.

Beached by Tabatha Wood plays despair and hope off against each other so you’re not quite sure which will get the upper hand and keeps you reading.

Camping in the Woods by Alyson Faye uses some excellent phrasing and words to convey the nature of her character. The ‘straightjacket’ pyjamas, the rat, the drowning – it all points to something not quite right. Shown and not told.

In Silver Plume by Hillary Lyon shows what happens when you bypass the middle man. The setting is painted to give not just place but also time period. Nicely done.

Enjoy the stories and send us yours!

 

Take care

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

I’m not saying that the anthologies are done and will be released over the course of September… But the anthologies are done and will be released over the course of September.
All 3 of them.
YES! We had so many quality stories come in this last year that we’ll be releasing three anthologies in 2020.
I’m a bit shocked as well.

We’ll have posts with all of the details coming out over the next couple of weeks 🙂

Just to keep me busy, we’ve also got something else that we’re preparing to launch. More details on that in the next few months. It’s something we’ll either be launching later this Fall or likely early next year. Only time will tell!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Friday Update: Pandemic Book Launches, Events and Supporting Creatives

Pandemic Author Support, Book Launches and Events  28.08.20

In addition to Jim McLeod’s Pandemic Book Launch group on Facebook – go here for more infomation – Joe Mynhardt has set up a collaborative Facebook group for the independent presses: Hot Off the Indie Press, check it out here.  Click on the book covers for more information.

Support Your Indie Authors and Reviewers

This is a new feature which I hope will help bring extra work to those who’ve been hit economically by Covid. If you’ve lost your day job, had hours cut, are struggling and have services to offer, a patreon page to promote etc, let us know and we’ll plug them here. Note, Todd didn’t approach us – I saw his post on Facebook and thought this would be a good way to support a terrific writer (and yes, buy Devil’s Creek!)

Devil's CreekTodd Keisling – author of Devil’s Creek, Ugly Little Things is not just a writer. He also designs book interiors, frontispieces and can provide other services related to marketing campaigns. For more information go here. Buy his books here. Support him on patreon here.

Victoria Wilder – writer, singer, actress. Someone who must surely be experiencing career hits in all directions at present – buy her book here and please check out her patreon here.

Irene Lofthouse – author of Strange Tales in Bradford Dale, editor of Stories from Stone, creator of performances, is not just a writer. She’s also a historical researcher, editor, tutor, creative facilitator and can provide other services related to education and learning resources. For more information go here. Buy her books here.

Erin Al-Mehairi – writer, editor and stalwart of the community has lost a lot of work recently and is offering discounted editing services to new clients for short stories, novellas and novels. Payment plans are also possible! For more details go here https://hookofabook.wordpress.com/editing/

Chad Lutzke – a writer whose name is frequently seen in indie horror has a patreon here. Get free stories, interact or simply offer some much-needed support. You can also buy his books here. I just picked up a copy of Of Foster Homes and Flies.

 

Events

28th-31st Aug inclusive – London FrightFest. Showing up to 25 films, special guests and Q&A sessions. More information and tickets here.

15th-29th Sept inclusive – StoryFest 2020. The Westport Library will we will premiere 13 live and pre-recorded events. These events will feature top authors and creators in genre fiction, comics, young adult fiction, and middle grade fiction. In cross-genre panels, they will explore the big ideas at the heart of telling stories in today’s world. Information here.

7-11th October – GrimmFest. Manchester’s International Festival of Fantastic Films. Information here.

16th October – Phoenix FearCon. Online Horror Film Festival. Information here.

Please send us details of any online panels, conventions, festivals and workshops and we’ll list them here.

Pandemic Book Launches 

*********** Charity Anthologies ************

Autumn! ImageWe are Wolves   Image may contain: text that says "Coming this Halloween... TRICKSTER'S TREATS #4 Coming, Buriedor Not! TRICKSTER'S TREATS #4 Coming, BuridorNot! A Charity Anthology for The Indigenous Literacy Foundation Edited by Louise Zedda- Sampson and Geneve Flynn Call for submissions will be issued soon on htp:// htp://ThingslnTheWell.com ACharityAnthology"

They Slipped Through the Net

This section features books published during lockdown but which have only just come onto our radar (plus special editions newly released).

30th July

August 2020

25th 25th 25th Recall Night (An Eli Carver Supernatural Thriller Book 2) by [Alan Baxter, Anthony Rivera] 26th Madman Across The Water: The Curse Awakens by [Caroline Angel]

28th 31st Outback Horrors Down Under: An Anthology of Antipodean Terrors (Things in the Well Book 46) by [GM Hague, Chris Mason, Matthew R Davis, Robert Hood, Tracie McBride, Marty Young, Lucy Sussex, Dan Rabarts, Simon Dewar, Tabatha Wood] 31st

September 2020

  1st    1st 1st Coffin Shadows by [Glen Krisch, Mark Steensland]4th Night Voices

8th 10th 15th Image may contain: night, text that says "DANIEL BRAUM UNDERWORLD DREAMS"15th

15th FULL METAL HORROR III: The Unknown by [Adam Bennett, Sam M. Phillips] 15th Image may contain: 1 person, text that says "THE BODY WILL FOLLOW ASHO CKING tale of POSSESSION and PERVERSION! ROB E. BOLEY"  15th 29th   IMG_0672.JPG

October 2020

13th SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire by [Nicole Givens Kurtz, Craig Gidney, Michele Tracey Berger, Alicia McCalla, Steven Van Patten, Jessica Cage, Sheree Renne Thomas, Milton Davis, Ekpeki Oghenechovwe Donald, Nicole Givens Kurtrz]13th   13th Image may contain: text that says "THE BLIND DEAD Ride Out ofHell EDITED B4: TIM MURR 6 WILLIAM TER"20thDownwind, Alice

November

17th The Lupin Project: Amazon.co.uk: Allan Leverone: 9780998416144: Books

Happy reading.

Steph

 on behalf of Stuart and the Horror Tree Team

 

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