Author: Stephanie Ellis

Trembling With Fear 04/18/21

Still in Southampton but now the house proudly displays a ‘Sold’ sign outside. It appeared by magic, though we haven’t had any updates from solicitors but I’m taking it as a positive. In keeping with this mindset, I’ve gone back to the gym after a long absence even before Covid. I am now aching. I will say that after seeing how clean and organised they are inside, I seriously can’t see why they weren’t allowed to remain open during lockdown. The gym is definitely cleaner and safer than those shops now heaving with returnees. By the time this has posted, I will also have gone into town for the first time – I need some Waterstones therapy! I hope everyone else’s experience of lockdown is improving.

Before we go to the stories, here’s my usual weekly reminder to check out the submission guidelines for TWF. Also remember we are currently closed to short stories (unless for one of the Specials) but open to drabbles, unholy trinities and serials.

This week Trembling with Fear starts with The Top Step by Benjamin Gardner. A ghostly, and somewhat surreal, tale. One minute, the main character appears a spectral figure, the next he is very human but performing an act of horrific self-martyrdom. This fluid quality creates an ambiguous but powerful feel to the story.

Everything You Wished For by Robert Allen Lupton is a perfect example of how the Devil will always win.

Hero vs Physics by Kaylie Night in similar vein to the previous drabble shows how carefully you need to choose your words when making a wish.

The Children Who Screamed by Christopher M. Palmer wreaks tongue-in-cheek revenge on annoying children.

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

The new contact form I mentioned last week is working splendidly!
For writers looking for something to do, I would like to point out that we’re currently taking drabble (stories at exactly 100 words not including the title) and guest posts on writing/editing/marketing/etc!
From what it sounds like we should have our final cover hitting our inbox this coming week for the next physical release of Trembling With Fear so I hope that we’ll be able to share that soon with everyone. (Starting, of course, with our amazing Patreons are the lifeblood of the site!)

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Indie Bookshelf Releases 04/16/21

Click on the book covers for more information. Remember to scroll down to the bottom of the page – there’s all sorts lurking in the deep.

Got a book to launch, an event to promote or seeking extra work/support as a result of being hit economically by Covid? Get in touch and we’ll promote you here. The post is prepared each Thursday for publication on Friday. Contact us via Horror Tree’s contact address or connect via Twitter or Facebook.

Image

 

Book Covers! – Gemma Amor, artist and writer, will have slots available in May to work on ‘watercolour, acrylic, all sorts. Colour or black and white.’ Get in touch with her on twitter.

 

Events

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

Image

 

Charity Anthologies

 

30th Oct 2020 Tales Of The Lost Volume Two- A charity anthology for Covid- 19 Relief: Tales To Get Lost In A CHARITY ANTHOLOGY FOR COVID-19 RELIEF by [Gaiman, Neil,, Hill, Joe,, Johnson, Eugene M,] 31st Jan Flashes of Hope by [Anna Taborska, Dave Jeffery, Amy Grech, Matthew Davis, John Cady, Emma Lee, Gwen Weir, Ken Goldman, Alyson Faye, Theresa Derwin] 9th Feb  

 

Latest Book Launches

Horror Tree Sponsor* and Patreon Releases!

*All Horror Tree sponsors are able to claim a spot at the top of our listing during the donation of their sponsorship. Please use our contact form for more advertising pricing.
 
 

They Slipped Through the Net (I think!)

11th Feb

April

3rd Murder and Machinery: Tales of Technological Terror and Mechanical Madness by [Cameron Trost, Paulene Turner, Michael Picco, Sarah Justice, Karen Bayly, Kurt Newton, James Dorr, Linda Brucesmith, Chisto Healy, Danielle Birch] 6th The Mother We Share by [Jennifer Soucy] 7th Everything's Annoying: A Collection of Dark Fiction & Horror by [J.C. Michael]10th Taken (Arcadia Book 2) by [Mary Brock Jones]

13th From Death Reborn by [Kenneth W. Cain] 13th STERN-web-medium.jpg15th Dispossessed by [Piper Mejia] 15th She Who Rules the Dead by [Maria Abrams]

16th Agoraphobia: A Short Story by [Rami Ungar] 20th Nunchuck City by [Brian Asman, Lucas Mangum]20th The Nirvana Effect by [Brian Pinkerton]22nd

23rd Dark Missives by [Dan Howarth] 27th Gulf by [Shelly Campbell]27th 27th Image

TBA May be an image of text that says "THE LAST NIGHT OCTOBER GREG CHAPMAN"

 

May

7th Unfortunate Elements of My Anatomy by [Hailey Piper] 11th May be an image of text that says "THE CRUCIFIXION EXPERIMENTS FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE JIGSAW MAN GORD ROLLO ROLLO" 14th May be an image of text that says "BEFORE He WAKES MARK ALLAN GUNNELLS"15th

18th Howls From Hell: A Horror Anthology by [HOWL Society, Shane Hawk, Alex Wolfgang, Christopher O'Halloran, J.W. Donley, Solomon Forse, Amanda DeMel, Lindsey Ragsdale, P.L. McMillan, Grady Hendrix] 25th The Fearing: The Definitive Edition by [John FD Taff, Anthony Rivera, Ray Garton]

June

1st Malignant Summer by [Tim Meyer] 1st TBA

July

1st 20th

Audiobooks!

Dream Reaper

 

Kickstarters

Cafe Macabre II‘This is an all female horror anthology that also features original artwork by indie artists. There are some nice rewards for backing this project such as art prints. Also, you will be helping support Women in Horror. Remember, if you can’t back it, another great way to support it is by sharing.’

Go here for more info.

Happy reading.

Steph

 on behalf of Stuart and the Horror Tree Team

 

Unholy Trinity: Arnie Apples: Be My Bride, Birdie Benton! by Patrick Winters

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.

This is the final instalment of Patrick Winters’ Unholy Trinity serial.

Arnie Apples: Be My Bride, Birdie Benton!

 

(Love)Sick Puppy

It was a real gas for Arnie, being his own man, out in the real world. But after a while, his spirits took a nosedive. Dropping bricks from rooftops, cutting brake lines, and all his other antics were fun enough, but not when he was the only one laughing.

He started to miss his friends from his comic strip, who’d laughed plenty with him. Most of all, he missed his sweetheart, Birdie Benton. What a doll! A figure that’d make a monk cry and a smile to win the heart.

If only there were a way to get her back…

 

Arnie Went a-Courtin’

The sweet thing who worked at the corner cafe would do just fine.

Arnie brought her home one night and began his little experiment. A mix of sweet talk, tough love, and conditioning.

He had her read his old strips, learning her role, and even used some of the same “adjustments” the Nazi’s had used on his buddy William when he was a POW, reinforcing it all.

In between the shocks, cuts, and screams, he’d dance with her, playing a record of “Says My Heart” by the Andrews Sisters.

Three weeks later, she finally said it: she was his Birdie.

 

Tying the Knot/s

Birdie was at his side again, but that wasn’t enough for Arnie. He proposed to her almost immediately, declaring his undying love for her.

She accepted, through rivers of tears.

They had the ceremony as soon as possible, held in their apartment, with only a kidnapped priest and a witness present. After the “I do’s” were shared, they celebrated. They shoved cake down their witness’ throat, and instead of throwing Birdie’s bouquet, they tossed the priest off a roof; whoever was hit with the most blood spatter below would be next to marry.

The perfect start to a wonderful marriage…

 

Patrick Winters

Patrick Winters is a graduate of Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL, where he earned a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. His work has now been featured throughout several magazines and anthologies. A full list of his previous publications may be found at his author’s site, if you are so inclined to know: http://wintersauthor.azurewebsites.net/Publications/List

National Poetry Month – the Darker Side

National Poetry Month – the Darker Side

Poetry holds a dear place in my dark little heart and as it’s #NationalPoetryMonth – as it is every April – what better time to share the joy of verse with you? Note it wasn’t always like this. Back in the mists of my youth, like so many other bored teenagers, I was forced to study poetry and found it elitist and irrelevant. I didn’t understand it, couldn’t get to grips with form and metre and felt it held no message for me. Fast forward to my late twenties when I was studying for my degree with the Open University and I attended a tutorial on poetry during Summer School. We analysed the poem, Porphyria’s Lover by Robert Browning and it was the first time I really got to grips with a poem and understood it. To discover that poetry wasn’t just for lovelorn folk batting eyelashes at each other and could be used to tell tales of murder and dark deeds was wonderful. I would urge everyone to read this poem. Its use of language disguises the madness of the narrator with casual, almost throwaway phrases, for example, describing the killing of his lover as it was ‘a thing to do’, an everyday phrase which makes the act more horrifying:

I found
A thing to do, and all her hair
In one long yellow string I wound
Three times her little throat around,
And strangled her. No pain felt she;

Extract from Porphyria’s Lover – Robert Browning
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Trembling With Fear 04/11/21

It’s April and I’m still in Southampton, still surrounded by boxes, still waiting for the moving process to speed up. At times like this you need to distract yourself and so in addition to writing, I’ve been playing with graphics for promotional pics for an anthology I’m in which’ll come out in autumn from Brigids Gate Press. Were Tales, A Shapeshifter Anthology, ed. S.D. Vassallo isn’t just werewolves, there’s bears and all sorts, so I’ve been finding (free) photos and developing my skills(!) with a drawing tablet. It’s been a lot of fun. Even better, Steve’s started announcing the TOC which includes the wonderful Jonathan Maberry, so I’m pretty chuffed to appear alongside him.

It’s also National Poetry Month, a great time to challenge yourself whether to write more, or read more – and there are some wonderful dark poets out and about: Alessandro Manzetti, Linda D. Addison, Sara Tantlinger, Stephanie Wytovich, Christina Sng and so many others. I’ve set myself a challenge to write a found poem a day – currently based on the blurbs of books from my collection. A way of sharing poetry and book recommendations! I’ve been posting them over on twitter and Facebook. Found poetry is quite a good exercise as you are already provided with the words.

Before we go to the stories, here’s my usual weekly reminder to check out the submission guidelines for TWF here. Also remember we are currently closed to short stories (unless for one of the Specials) but open to drabbles, unholy trinities and serials.

This week Trembling with Fear starts with The Penitent Line by Aristo Couvaros is a powerful story about hypocrisy as well as love and forgiveness. Original and moving.

A New Beginning by Toshiya Kamei is a wonderful piece of Japanese-flavoured horror. We really enjoy having stories set within the folk lore of other cultures.

English 101 by Patrick Winters offers a different way to getting ahead, if only it was that easy!

The Eyes Have It by G.A. Miller gives us a warning about perhaps not looking too closely, that moment when you try and recall something could be your last.

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Between work, my MBA program, writing, Horror Tree, and a big piece of news that landed in my lap this week… I can’t even begin to tell you how crazy things have been.

So, obviously, there hasn’t been too much done on the site above the standard updates. My apologies as I know that we have a TON in the pipeline to start delivering to you soon and I’m chomping at the bit to be able to let you in on everything. Soon my friends, soon! I will say that we had a broken contact form for about a week there, we have a completely new one in place which will be modified slightly over the weeks to come as we allow for more features and customizations on it. While that might not seem like a big deal, the emails coming to us will be a LOT more organized depending on who you’re trying to get to!

In case you missed it last week, once again, please welcome Amanda Headlee for joining the team as our new Specials Editor! She will be handling the submissions of both serialized stories, Unholy Trinities, and our special calls.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

(more…)

Indie Bookshelf Releases 04/09/21

Click on the book covers for more information. Remember to scroll down to the bottom of the page – there’s all sorts lurking in the deep.

Got a book to launch, an event to promote or seeking extra work/support as a result of being hit economically by Covid? Get in touch and we’ll promote you here. The post is prepared each Thursday for publication on Friday. Contact us via Horror Tree’s contact address or connect via Twitter or Facebook.

Events

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

Image

 

Charity Anthologies

 

30th Oct 2020 Tales Of The Lost Volume Two- A charity anthology for Covid- 19 Relief: Tales To Get Lost In A CHARITY ANTHOLOGY FOR COVID-19 RELIEF by [Gaiman, Neil,, Hill, Joe,, Johnson, Eugene M,] 31st Jan Flashes of Hope by [Anna Taborska, Dave Jeffery, Amy Grech, Matthew Davis, John Cady, Emma Lee, Gwen Weir, Ken Goldman, Alyson Faye, Theresa Derwin] 9th Feb  

Not originally a charity anthology but currently part of fundraiser for RAICES (The largest immigration legal services non-profit in TX, focusing on under-served immigrant children, families & refugees. “Never willing to help ICE” endorsed.). Three more days to go when all monies raised go to the charity.

 

 

 

Latest Book Launches

Horror Tree Sponsor* and Patreon Releases!

*All Horror Tree sponsors are able to claim a spot at the top of our listing during the donation of their sponsorship. Please use our contact form for more advertising pricing.
 
15th March
 

March

12th 15th 16th 17th Halloween Land: A Coming of Age Novella by [Kevin J. Kennedy]

19th 19th 22nd The Exercise by [Mark West]26th Eidolon Avenue: The Second Feast by [Jonathan Winn, Crystal Lake Publishing]

26th The Devil's Mistress by [David Barclay] 26th The Night Stockers by [Kristopher Triana, Ryan Harding] 26th Nana by [Mark Towse] 28th Scorpio: Speculative Fiction Inspired by the Zodiac (The Zodiac Series) by [Aussie Speculative Fiction, Nikky Lee, Stephen Herczeg, Tee Linden, Mikhaeyla Kopievsky, Sasha Hanton, Helena McAuley, Austin P. Sheehan, Alannah K. Pearson, Neen Cohen]

29th 30th Farallon Island by [Russell James] 30th 30th

30th A New Death: Director's Cut (A Savannah Zombie Apocalypse Novel): A Savannah Zombie Novel (Savannah Zombie Novel series Book 1) by [Josh Vasquez, Valhalla Books Publisher]

April

3rd Murder and Machinery: Tales of Technological Terror and Mechanical Madness by [Cameron Trost, Paulene Turner, Michael Picco, Sarah Justice, Karen Bayly, Kurt Newton, James Dorr, Linda Brucesmith, Chisto Healy, Danielle Birch] 6th The Mother We Share by [Jennifer Soucy] 7th Everything's Annoying: A Collection of Dark Fiction & Horror by [J.C. Michael]10th Taken (Arcadia Book 2) by [Mary Brock Jones]

13th From Death Reborn by [Kenneth W. Cain] 13th STERN-web-medium.jpg15th Dispossessed by [Piper Mejia] 15th She Who Rules the Dead by [Maria Abrams]

16th Agoraphobia: A Short Story by [Rami Ungar] 20th Nunchuck City by [Brian Asman, Lucas Mangum]20th The Nirvana Effect by [Brian Pinkerton]22nd

23rd Dark Missives by [Dan Howarth] 27th Gulf by [Shelly Campbell]27th 27th Image

TBA May be an image of text that says "THE LAST NIGHT OCTOBER GREG CHAPMAN"

 

May

7th Unfortunate Elements of My Anatomy by [Hailey Piper] 11th May be an image of text that says "THE CRUCIFIXION EXPERIMENTS FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE JIGSAW MAN GORD ROLLO ROLLO"15th 18th Howls From Hell: A Horror Anthology by [HOWL Society, Shane Hawk, Alex Wolfgang, Christopher O'Halloran, J.W. Donley, Solomon Forse, Amanda DeMel, Lindsey Ragsdale, P.L. McMillan, Grady Hendrix]

25th The Fearing: The Definitive Edition by [John FD Taff, Anthony Rivera, Ray Garton]

June

1st Malignant Summer by [Tim Meyer] 1st

July

1st 20th

Audiobooks!

Dream Reaper

 

Kickstarters

Cafe Macabre II‘This is an all female horror anthology that also features original artwork by indie artists. There are some nice rewards for backing this project such as art prints. Also, you will be helping support Women in Horror. Remember, if you can’t back it, another great way to support it is by sharing.’

Go here for more info.

Happy reading.

Steph

 on behalf of Stuart and the Horror Tree Team

 

Unholy Trinity: The Continuing Antics of Arnie Apples by Patrick Winters

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.

Patrick Winters brings us something new in the realm of the Unholy Trinity. He has written a serial comprising three Unholy Trinities of which this is the second. Come back next Friday for the final instalment!

The Continuing Antics of Arnie Apples

 

Out & About

Arnie wasn’t the best roommate. Leaving his things everywhere. Staying up all night. Pulling pranks on William.

He was worse in public. Stores, theaters, church. Wherever they went, Arnie looked for mischief. He’d whistle, catcall, and curse at passersby, stepping on their heels and tapping shoulders.

Sometimes, William was forced to apologize for Arnie. People would invariably ask who the hell he was talking about and get riled up. Then Arnie, upset at going unseen, would try to lash out. William could often hold him back, but sometimes, Arnie got a lick in.

Sometimes, it was more than a lick.

 

Butting Heads

Things might’ve been rough, but everything went straight to hell once William found Anna Carmichael in his closet. His neighbor was wearing her favorite tea dress, now ruined with cuts and blood.

William went right to Arnie, begging for an explanation. Arnie said that he’d been bouncing a ball in the hall last night when the woman came out of her apartment. She’d given him a dirty look he didn’t care for.

William asked how that could be possible, when no one else had seen Arnie before.

Arnie smiled. “Found myself a way, while you were off with the Sandman.”

 

“Get Lost, Creep!”

William tried to remain vigilant, staying awake as best he could, keeping Arnie inside the apartment and out of trouble.

But it wasn’t enough. He’d nodded off twice, and Arnie slipped past him, bringing back proof of it both times. Fingers from one person, toes from another.

Finally, William had enough. He told his old friend that he wasn’t welcome anymore. Arnie declared there was no going back, he was there to stay, and maybe William needed to “move out.”

The two tussled. In the end, Arnie was the only one left in the apartment.

King of the castle.

Free.

Patrick Winters

Patrick Winters is a graduate of Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL, where he earned a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. His work has now been featured throughout several magazines and anthologies. A full list of his previous publications may be found at his author’s site, if you are so inclined to know: http://wintersauthor.azurewebsites.net/Publications/List

Trembling With Fear 04/04/21

So I wrote off last week because my covid jab reaction but that’s all done – although my eldest is now suffering a response to her own vaccination. But like me, she says a day or two of discomfort is a small price to pay!

And this week, TWF has some great news in the form of the wonderful Amanda Headlee who has stepped up to take on the role of Unholy Trinity, Serials and Specials co-editor. You do not know how much of a relief this is as it really helps lighten our workload.

My writing life has seen a couple of short story rejections and a poetry acceptance whilst I continue to work on my sequel to Five Turns. Always the pantser, I have become very non-linear. I’ve written about 2/3 of the story with about 5-6 chapters to go but I’ve actually jumped to the last chapter and am writing that as I suddenly saw how it was all going to end. I even had my last line. This may not be the way we’re all told to do it but it’s my way and being able to see the end clearly brought back a bit of fun to the process – although it’s sadly not fun for those involved. I’m beginning to think my writing process is a bizarre form of dot-to-dot.

To submit to TWF, please check out the submission guidelines here and do include your bios with submissions as we no longer hold them on file. Also remember we are currently closed to short stories but open to drabbles, unholy trinities and serials – plus our specials accept all forms.

First story this week is Trembling with Fear is Boneyard by R. Michael. A gothic piece which slips from one setting to another through eerie mists and strange-coloured skies. I enjoyed this partly because of the scene setting but also because I felt the nature of that setting, its isolation and almost abandonment, reflected the emotional turmoil of the main character.

Final Visitor by Radar DeBoard is face-to-face with Death. A strange sense of peace accompanies this visit which is a change to the usual terror induced by the Reaper.

Tennyson’s Terror by Mike Rader is a poem which parodies a certain Lady of Shallott and gives us a fun haunting in said vein. I am always open to poetry by the way, and for info, we treat them as drabbles on the site for contract purposes even if they don’t fulfil the 100 word drabble requirement.

Welfare is our monthly offering from R.J. Meldrum – I think you’ll see one from him a month for the rest of the year! A nice little dark offering as always.

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Introducing Amanda Headlee – TWF’S New Co-editor for Serials, Unholy Trinities and Specials!

My Twitter profile indicates that I like writing, cycling, and the macabre—not necessarily in that order. It’s true, I have an equal obsession with all three. And it is even better when I can combine them. Trust me this has been done…

The Jabberwock fascinates and terrifies me. He’s my first monster and the inspiration for my love of horror and fiction. As a child, I found the best way to connect with literature was to reconstruct existing stories and sending the characters on new adventures. Sadly, those tales are awful and not unique. They shall never see the light of day. Writing infected my brain at a young age and has since then flowed through my veins. I’m happiest when I’m scribbling away or riding one of my bikes.

My debut novel, Till We Become Monsters, will be released on June 1, 2021. It’s been a few years in progress and finally seeing the light of day. A dream come true and the first of many more novels to come.

If you want to connect with me or find out more, you can find me here Www.AmandaHeadlee.com and on twitter and IG as @amandaheadlee.

Amanda Headlee

Editor, Trembling With Fear

I would also like to give a huge shout-out to Amanda Headlee for joining the team as our new Specials Editor! She will be handling the submissions of both serialized stories, Unholy Trinities, and our special calls.
Speaking of Trembling With Fear, as always, Trembling With Fear is looking for Drabbles, Unholy Trinities, and serials.
Things are pretty busy this week so I’ll keep it short and sweet, just no, changes are coming! 😉
A huge shout out to our Patreons this week! I love you all! (In a totally platonic and not strange kind of way!)

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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