Hank Walker woke up in a bed in survivor camp. He should have been dead, and a short time after that, he should have risen and joined the ranks of the shambling biters—those who had died and come back seeking the flesh of the living. Instead, he woke up alive and in a safe place.
Or is it truly safe?
Ruled by Harrison Avis, a militaristic leader, Hank realizes quickly Fort Survivor S.C. #3 might not be so safe after all, especially for those who do not find favor with Avis.
When a member of the camp is exiled to the outside world, Hank launches a plan to expose Avis as corrupt. It’s a plan with possible grave consequences for all involved. Though he knows the dangers of failing, Hank is willing to take the risk to protect what remains of his family, if not from Harrison Avis, then from himself.
Will Bentley is an Iraq War veteran turned Pulitzer Prize winner after his military memoir, I Can Hear the Shi’ite Weeping, propels him to seemingly overnight literary stardom. But Will craves nothing more than a quiet, uneventful life spent with his longtime girlfriend, Mina, and Alberta (“Albie”), a big German Shepherd Will adopted after discovering the destitute animal on a tour of duty. Albie is like a child to Will and Mina, an indispensable member of their small family. She is also an animal haunted by her horrid experiences at the hands of abusers during her time spent in a ravaged Iraqi province. Will is of the belief that “love heals all” and spares none when it comes to his faithful companion. It’s a good life for Will and his girls in the rural, sleepy Pennsylvania town of Comstock…
But they say you never really know who your neighbors are…
Neighbors like Stella Post, a kept, agoraphobic twenty-something who lives a quarter mile north of Will’s farmhouse. Stella’s husband Jack, a serial cheater and abuser, who has made it a game of chipping away at her sanity by slow degrees. Stella has been keeping a secret correspondence with a sociopathic “old flame” named Karl Tarlick, who is serving time in prison for unspeakable crimes. Stella Post’s life is one of hidden misery and madness until her “old flame” is released from prison. Tarlick promises to deliver Stella from her suffering and to help her exact vengeance upon her unfaithful husband. A revenge that is tailor-made for a man as cruel as Jack Post. Broken Birds is a story of two families set on a blistering collision course with one another. When Stella and her sociopathic lover abduct Will’s faithful companion, Albie, to use for their own devilish purposes, it becomes a race against the clock. To deliver Albie from her captors, looking to exploit the dog’s own inner demons. To save innocent lives. To save the ones he loves. Can Will Bentley protect his family from the strangers down the lane before they cost him everything?
From the author of "Low" and "Ashley's Tale" a new cosmic horror novel.
We have made a grave error in vigilance, brothers. The dark comet has drawn near. The cultists have selected a vessel. He dreams of the hidden place, where the Gods Sleep, banished there by our Lord.
After centuries of inactivity, Korrobbathith and his followers are attempting, once more, to open the gate.
We must move with haste if we hope to stop them.
You know the consequences of failure. Korrobbothith and the other gods will walk this earth again, and I fear, this time, they will not remain in the shadows. None of us - man, woman, or child - will find refuge from their barbaric reign unless we submit and serve them.
God help us all if we are too late.
"WHERE THE GODS SLEEP is a love letter to the world of Cosmic Horror. Mike Duke has given us a living, breathing world where the Old Gods walk among us once more." - Amazon Review
"The beginning of "Where the Gods sleep" doesn’t wait long, but tears me directly and without digression into Lovecraft’s primeval worlds, without acting as another (bad) copy, but as a very conscious reverence, which never lacks the individuality of Mike Duke: Lovecraft in modern language with a dystopian Dark-Sci-Fy note.
"Where the Gods sleep" shows itself stylistically as a homage, without crawling before its providence, presents itself characteristically as a (modern) interpretation, without getting lost in the depths of R’lyeh or the vastness of the cosmos and so I soon feel like on my way, feel like in a small suburb of Providence…
With "Where the Gods sleep" Mike Duke succeeded in making the big leap (at the latest): depth without missing speed, action without losing interpretation and a final, which literally screams for a sequel (on which Mike Duke is already working, by the way)!" - DaRo (Die Büchergnomen - Noldoli Librorum)
21:24 is a wild ride and a dangerous read, taking your mind to places it may not want to visit. It will give you guilty pleasures and challenge your values. It peels open the unsavory layers of the human animal and questions the justice of locking up the all too real monsters who live among us. Officer Katrina Hyke answers a 911 call and is confronted by a horror that changes her life forever.
Across thirty disquieting stories, we'll encounter such tales as, "Sovereign's Last Hurrah", featuring a team of retired super-powered villains embarking on one last caper with their legendary super-hero rival.
"A Comedian Walks into a Bar", in which a hungry and ambitious amateur learns that the fabled secret of comedy may come attoo high a cost. "83", where the interview for a dream job becomes a nightmare, and "In Vino Veritas, In Vino Mors", where a dying wine collector takes part in a very special tasting session, courtesy of a very special visitor.
You'll encounter possessed little fingers, magic swords, sanity-defying factories, stranded astronauts, lovecraftian librarians, virulent plagues, and pork scratchings ... all with a twist in the tale, courtesy of the equally twisted mind of David Court.
"If you enjoy short stories with elements of horror, humor, and science fiction, you'll enjoy Scenes of Mild Peril. Even though some of the stories were just okay to me, they were all well-written and kept me entertained. The ones I mentioned above were the ones I liked the most." - Amazon Review
"This collection made me feel a much broader range of emotions than I expected. The pieces herein evoke humor, horror, sadness, anger, surprise, and variations thereof. They vary greatly from one another in content, intensity, and theme.
Scenes of Mild Peril is superbly done. The flash fiction hits you like a brain freeze. The stories twist your mind, your gut, and your emotions. And the poetry … ah the poetry. A surprising bonus for the mind.
It is disturbing.
It is chilling.
It is exhausting.
It is a must have and a must read." - Lisa Lee Tone
The mind is a terrible thing to waste. It is also a terrible place to live. Thoughts, fears, and paranoid thoughts lurk in the shadows, waiting to pounce when you are most vulnerable. Those thoughts whisper words of no escape. But what happens when the mind settles on revenge instead?
"Brown pulls no punches with his presentation of the horrors that go on around us. His characters will pull on your heart and mind and may even draw forth a few tears. Some of these stories left me physically tense even after completion and one left me feeling physically ill with emotional response. This is my warning to you. This is not light reading. It is true horror: deep, dark, and disturbing. While not extremely graphic in description, Voices is daringly extreme to the extreme in content." - Lisa Lee Tone
"Great book with spooky stories in abundance, this is a great midsummer read when you're pining for the colder months and some Halloween fun. If you like suspense mixed with your horror, grab Voices, You won't be disappointed!" - Amazon Review
A gun, a razor, and some pills. Life-threatening panic attacks. A harmless bedroom accident. Predator turned prey.
The Reaper has arrived.
"Crafted in gorgeous prose by an artist exceptionally skilled at populating her stories with three dimensional characters, Reaper was an intense, incredibly entertaining read. My comments regarding the latter part of “Prey” aside, I highly recommend this one to fans of dark fiction. Briana Robertson is an author you should be reading." - Duane Ullery
"Briana Robertson takes Death and her avenging scythe on a roundabout through tale after tale of gripping, gut wrenching disaster. It’s as if Lady Death, aka the Grim Reaper, stood beside Mrs. Robertson and whispered in her ear some of her millennia old exploits, from ancient nights to modern days. This is a must read collection." - James Matthew Byers
Young Morrigan, the daughter of a local aristocrat, is full of innocence and life. Angus Wulfe is an eccentric and devious doctor who stalks her while he cultivates a plan to win her affection. Their two worlds collide in a grisly twist of fate when the Plague arrives on the shores of their town. With no cure in sight, and bodies dropping incrementally every day, the doctor uses his influence, along with his reputation in medical advances - stemming from his clandestine and macabre experiments-to manipulate Morrigan’s father. In return for her hand in marriage, the doctor would save her life. Clinging to life, Morrigan begins to feel a change.
Has the doctor cured her, or did her father make a deal with the Devil?
"The Unfleshed: Tale of the Autopsic Bride is an exquisite dive into the madness brought on by love ... a rose nourished with blood, rendered with the precision of a surgeon's scalpel. A compelling blend of Mary Shelly, Baz Luhrman and the Grand Guignol!" —John Palisano, Bram Stoker-winning author of NERVES
The author pulls us through a tale of horror with a heart-stopping nastiness that will make your toes curl in pain for the victims. The scenes are set in old England, and the author sets them with precision. Dr. Angus's character is so twisted that the human consciousness will be pressed to comprehend such madness. Angus, a delicious unpredictable villain. I've read many horror genre novels, and this one had me swiping pages on my Kindle app. With tangential storylines, the plot grips you from start to finish in an immersed world of evil. Will be following this author for new releases. —Judith Price, Amazon Best Selling Author of the DECEPTION series
Madness: extremely foolish behavior.
Imprisoned for the murder of his best friend, Johnny Cleary sets out to tell what happened on the day Bobby “Buster” Lennon died, but are the words he writes true or does the deception run deeper.
Madness: the state of being mentally ill, especially severely.
There is something wrong with Irene. Momma’s dead and a ragdoll speaks to her in a voice that is hauntingly familiar. And what about the stitches, the very things that just might hold Irene together?
Madness: a state of frenzied or chaotic activity.
After an odd stranger pays Robert Wallenger a visit, his world begins to unravel and the past comes rushing back, along with a sickly sweet scent.
There is madness in everyone. For most, the madness never surfaces. For others, all it takes is one thing, big or small, for them to spiral out of control.
My first venture with this author and I'm impressed. While I enjoyed all three tales of madness, Stitches really creeped me out. I felt bad for most of these characters but something about Irene's tale was more horrific than the others. I will definitely read more by this author and I recommend to fans of modern horror! —Fans of Modern Horror
I have to admit, I'm getting a little burned out on zombie books ... but this one is different. It drew me in right away and then I didn't want to put it down. I love a story that lets me see into a character's heart and soul. Dredging Up Memories does this very well. At times, I wondered if the main character, Walker, is crazy—his friendship with Humphrey??—but it didn't matter. Crazy or not, he is so human...so fallible. AJ Brown's story has more depth than most zombie apocalypse books; it's almost philosophical in parts. Everyone the main character comes across has an impact, leaves him with new lessons learned. In this sense, it reminded me of The Little Prince—only much darker and filled with zombies. What impressed me most about Dredging Up Memories is the high level of talent Brown shows in his writing. When I finished this book, I immediately got another story by AJ Brown. I'm still reading it, but it's proving to be just as compelling and well-written as this one. One final comment: I found it interesting that Brown was able to write a ZA story without using obscene language. I'm not a prude when it comes to language, but this was refreshing. —Indie Reader
When Houston was devastated by Hurricane Harvey, a group of authors pooled their talent together and donated their stories for you to dive into your worst water phobias, and to benefit those who lost everything to the power of one of Mother Nature's most destructive forces.
Hydrophobia: The fear of water.
The human body is made up of approximately 60% water. We need it to live, to keep clean, to cool off, and we'd die within ten days without it.
** Proceeds from this anthology will go toward victims of Hurricane Harvey. **
Officer Mark Adams is fed up with God, his wife and the legal constraints of his job. He longs for a life he can enjoy and to see true justice meted out.
Chad Bigleby is a lawyer thrown into a deadly moral quagmire, forced to decide whether he will abide by man’s laws or make his own.
Each man is being driven to the edge of his limits.
Both men are on a collision course.
All because something wicked has arrived in Pleasant Grove, something ancient and obsessed with vengeance, eager to punish the souls of men for their sins.
How LOW will they go to get what they desire most? And what will it cost them in the end?
Hell only knows…
"This is definitely Mike Duke's Magnum Opus. Low is a character driven piece that blends well developed characters, emotion, and horror into a perfect recipe. Each and every character causes an emotional reaction from pity to joy to pure hate. You find yourself falling into the lives of these characters and feel as if you know them as they traverse through the nightmare Duke has created here.
The story flows really well. As each event leads to the next you won't be able to help but bite your nails waiting for the next revelation; the next horrific encounter. Bouncing between our world and the parallel Hell attached to it creates a chilling feeling.
The effects of our own inner darkness and free will will lead you on a roller coaster ride that feels like that first plummet from the start to the finish." -Amazon Review
Called from across the ocean, BEOWULF responds to KING HROTHGAR's plea. Bringing a small band of warriors, he arrives in Daneland under Hrothgar's instruction. There the mighty fighter learns of the terror GRENDEL, a heinous monster, inflicts night after night on the king's people. Murders by the dozen craft panic and fear into the citizens of Daneland. Seemingly unstoppable, Grendel devours flesh and bone as he sees fit.
Weaponry cannot penetrate the creature's hide, but Beowulf does not need sword or shield to accomplish his duty. Choosing to lay all weaponry aside, the warrior prepares for battle. Feigning sleep, he waits, until the beast arrives. The two battle. Conquering the creature's horror, the mighty one surpasses Hrothgar's expectations. Ripping Grendel's arm from its socket, the beast flees into the night howling. Beowulf and all of Daneland celebrate in HEROT, Hrothgar's monstrous mead hall construction. Its creation lured the now defeated monster from the depths of the unknown.
Victory, short lived, ends in yet more tragedy. Grendel's MOTHER appears, unleashing the full fury of a woman scorned. Dismembering and beheading Hrothgar's closest friend nearly brings Hrothgar's ruin. However, as with Grendel, Beowulf answers the call to battle. Diving beneath murky waters, slaying serpents and sea beasts, he makes his way to the lair of the demon. Grendel's mother awaits, prepared for the mighty warrior. Her venomous touch brings some difficulty in the undertaking, but as with Grendel, Beowulf prevails. Using a magical sword from the days of the giants, he courts her doom. Severing her head, the Geat fighter brings peace to Hrothgar, Herot, and the lands beyond.
Spanning fifty years, peace ensues. Once a thief steals a cup from a sleeping DRAGON's hoard, this alters the state of retirement Beowulf enjoyed. Silent no longer, the giant wyrm rises from its pile of hidden treasure unleashing fiery death upon the great hero's countryside. Many lose their lives, but their cries do not fall on deaf ears. WIGLAF, a young pupil of the now aged warrior, aids him in what will become Beowulf's final conflict. Many thanes flee during the altercation, for the dragon's bite means sudden death. However, Wiglaf stands by until the bitter end. Beowulf triumphs over the old wyrm, but in the process is bitten by its venomous fangs. The ancient legend of a man passes into twilight as Wiglaf chastises his comrades for their cowardice. Beowulf lives on in song and story for generations to come
Stitched Smile Publications presents: The Voices Within anthology.
They start as whispers, or static, beckoning you to listen and to be heard. They are the voices that creep into your psyche and coil around your own thoughts until one day you can't tell the difference between which ones are yours and which ones aren't. What happens when the voices become too much? What happens when the voices become too real? Come explore what happens when the voices are unleashed.
In the best of times, loneliness is difficult. At the end of time it can be deadly.
Hank Walker is alone and struggling not just with the undead but with depression that threatens to swallow him. Searching for the family he sent away at the beginning of the rise of the dead, Hank is left to deal with loneliness, desperation, and his own memories that haunt him.
The dead are everywhere. The few people still alive are scattered, and the ones Hank comes across may be more dangerous than the biters.
With an unlikely traveling companion, Hank’s search takes him across the state of South Carolina and to the depths of darkness like nothing he has ever experienced before. Can Hank find his family and survive the biters? Or does he completely unravel in the world of the dead?
Also available on Audible, narrated by award winner John Malone
(Voice Artists Award, Best Narration-Science Fiction: Dredging Up Memories)
"In Jeff Brown’s story, he does pretty much the same thing with just two characters. Some might argue that there are more characters than that, but he dredges up those characters through memories the same exact way that Paul Sheldon does in King’s “Misery.” Those snapshots are memories of only one character, and the thoughts and ideas are those of only one character.
King and Brown have achieved the same results.
I’m going to have to give this body of work the highest rating possible simply because it does what Stephen King could not do in “Misery.” Although both King and Author Jeff Brown completely humanized their characters and made them realistic, Brown allowed his character to control the pace of the story instead of letting the ‘monsters’ do it for him. And that is why Hank Walker has become the strongest and most realistic character in any zombie story I’ve ever read. Although he weeps, although he has low points and gets depressed and drunk, he’s still strong enough of a character to control, to overpower and dominate the world of zombies. And that, alongside the character development of Hank Walker, is why this book simply must receive highest marks." - Amazon Review
Not all monsters are made. Some are born. And sometimes, history gets it wrong.
A freelance writer is invited to an elderly man’s home to witness his telling of the family history to his sons. The patriarch’s reason for requesting a stranger into his home as he shares his tale is a simple one. He wants the young man to write the true history of Family Dracul, to trace the lineage back to the very first member of a family cursed. But, the old man has another agenda. He wants to warn humanity; what happened in the past was nothing compared to what is to come.
Also available on Audible, narrated by Al Benelli
Esme Jackson grew up in the slums around the Southampton docks with dreams of travel and a better life for her sister. Bridget Grafton was born to Boston wealth and married to an arrogant, violent English industrialist. The two young women board RMS Titanic for her maiden voyage. Separated by money and divided by class, their lives become fatally entwined by a single act of humanity. Murder, deceit, betrayal, and friendship—all set against the violent destruction of the social order in the face of a rapidly spreading deadly virus. The voyage quickly becomes a struggle for survival...
Jeff Strand, author of BLISTER, calls this story "crazily imaginative" and "dark-humored."
Raising Hell is a dark, humorous tale of a man who wakes up on a rickety boat, captained by a monster from Hell. Throw in a demon with a peculiar affliction, a feisty demon mother, a case of mistaken identity, and a mission against impossible odds, and you've got yourself a roller coaster ride bound for Hell.
Better strap in.
What if the Zombie Apocalypse was man made, but not the way we think? It wasn't some virus that started with patient zero resulting in an accidental outbreak. It is true, it was a bio-weapon that when released failed to accomplish what scientists created it to do, and it had an unintended side effect.
And, what if werewolves really did exist, but they haven't been our enemy for years until one ruthless man bent on domination is turned?
Strychnine is the story of two brothers torn apart by an experiment forcing them to fight against one another. It is also the name of a metal band made up of another set of brothers and their girlfriends.
Life for Thorne, his girlfriend, Blaze; his brother, Seminole; and Seminole's girlfriend, Spaz, is about to be flipped on end as they find out zombies are real, werewolves have always been real, and certain werewolves are mankind's saviors and its enemies at the same time.
After being bitten by a werewolf fighting for mankind's survival, Thorne unwittingly creates his own small pack to continue the fight over the worst kind of terrorist, one with large fangs and claws.
Are you tired of the same old zombie stories? Have you had your fill of man vs. zombie? Stitched Smile Publications presents some of the most creative minds in Horror and their tales of Monsters Vs. Zombies. Which side will you be on?
Eighteen of your favorite authors take you on a trip to discover the reinvented "Origin of Monsters". Meet the primogeniture from each horrific bloodline as told from creative minds like Ramsey Campbell, Nicholas Vince, Josh Malerman, and more.
Dark thoughts from a dark place of devotion, madness, and love.
Each word has been carved from blood and loss, etched with effortless precision onto every page. Morton is a rising talent, digging his way from the dark recesses of his mind and into the light, exposing the battle with mental illness and the loss of a loved one.
Monica is just like any girl entering her final years at high school. When she moves to her new home and transfers to a new school in a small Texas town, she tells herself she'll make the best of it. But when the house unravels a dark secret which threatens her family, she can barely hold it together against the terrible darkness dwelling within the walls around her.
What will she do when a mad ghost terrorizes her family? When she comes to grips with the realization that there is life after death, will she have the strength to battle the malevolent ones?
Ashley, a young college student with a horrific past, is immediately thrust into a living hell when she is kidnapped. In the lair of her captor, she will be forced to choose between submission and defiance, between folding under his punishment or finding the strength to endure and escape.
But Ashley will also have to face the horrors of her past in this twisted game. Can she prevail against the demons that made her weak, as well as the tortures the sadist set before her? If so, what could she become in the process?
Because the fans of Ashley’s Tale demanded it! Making Jake gives you the backstory of how an unpredictable killer was made.
In a mind twisted by abuse, there is little more than the hope of breaking free from its chains. Barely a teen, Jack starts a ripple effect that will follow him into adulthood and irrevocably shape him. He can see now, the world needs to be fixed... and he can start with his best friend and unrequited love, April.
Through a brutal intervention, Jack plans to break April's cycle of one despicable boyfriend after another and teach her how to stand up for herself. But can he navigate the obstacles and pull it off without going to jail? And, more importantly, can he free April from the psychological chains she clings to and bring about lasting change – not only for her, but perhaps for him as well?
It's been two years since Ashley was abducted and thrust into a horrifying ordeal that changed her life for good. In the aftermath, her world fell apart; any sense of connection with friends and family were severed by Jake's legacy. She sees the world through his eyes now—a filter of dark strength, power, and violence. As a social pariah, after desperately struggling for months to find a place where she could belong, Ashley decides there's only one option left to her …
She must go back to Jake.