Not for the squeamish.

When Brandon asked me if I would like to read his new short story The Card, I was all over it!

The Card

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Some of you might think this story is predictable. Not so for me. Brandon threw in some curve balls that distracted me long enough to forget a few hints.

Jason is the moderator for the three. Even close friends get into it now and then.

Brian’s ticked off. He’s adamant he didn’t do it.

Freddie’s furious. He’s sure Brian slipped the card into his deck.

They get in each others faces, causing Jason to step in and try to diffuse them.

Freddie designs his tarot decks himself, and he’s positive the card was slipped into his deck by Brian. Even though the back has the same design, there’s no way he created the picture of the creepy old man in the hooded cape. The figure is surrounded by fog, and the raised hand holding up three fingers, what’s up with that? No way does this card belong in his deck.

Brian’s tired of hearing about it. He didn’t put the card in the deck and doesn’t get why it’s such a big deal. It’s just a card.

Freddie storms out. When Jason suggests to Brian that he apologize, Brian storms out too.

Great. He’ll just let the two cool off for the weekend and see them next week when they’ve had time to cool down.

Monday comes and Freddie doesn’t show up for work. After his shift, Jason heads to his mobile home to see what’s up.

The minute he steps up to the door, his radar starts warning him somethings wrong. He has a sick feeling, but continues inside.

OhGodOhGodOhGod

What he discovers sends him to his knees. Before everything fades to black he sees it lying there. That card.

I love short stories. I get something similar to tunnel vision when I read them. There’s nothing like them. So much is revealed in so little words. I let myself go and just become engrossed in the story, knowing I’ll only be allowed to be there for a short while.

Brandon is great at getting you to connect with his characters quickly. They become familiar and you grow to care about them. At least the good ones.

Then comes the twists. You have to have some good ones and know where to place them. Brandon does this very well, drawing my attention this way and that, my mind trying to visual each scene.

I didn’t get the ending I expected and that was a nice surprise. I’m usually close when I guess the ending and thought this story would go another way. But, nope. I got a different ending and thank Brandon for that.

The Card gets Four Stars from me!

Next up is Out After Dark. Another creepy short story by Brandon.

Out After Dark

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Eric had to get out of the safehouse. He couldn’t stand it for one more minute.

That’s how he finds himself in the alley with the woman. Not sure if she’s spotted him yet, he slips deeper into the shadows.

He’d first spotted her in the club. they exchanged passing glances. He should’ve known the night was going to be bad when he thought he saw her again at the next club.

When he spots her in the shadows of a doorway outside, his worry turns to dread.

Sure enough, she follows him, so he ducks into the alley to hide.

But she follows him.

She calls out to him.

“Come on out and play, you little bastard….”

She casually steps forward as Eric slips further down the alley, and her hand, when she withdraws it from her coat, holds a gun.

Not good.

This was fun. At first I thought Eric was one thing, then I thought he was another. It was fun finding out what he was or wasn’t and whether he was a good guy or a bad guy. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about that.

You know that feeling you get where the hair stands up on the back of your neck and you’re sure someone or something is watching you? That’s what I experienced when reading Out After Dark. I’m sure that’s how the author wanted me to feel. Good job creeping me out.

When the true story of the mysterious woman became clear, I was delighted. I had it somewhat figured out, but then Brandon did the twists thing again, and took it in another direction. An exciting one too!

I just wish it had been longer!

Four Stars for Out After Dark!

About the author

Brandon R. Luffman

Born in Statesboro, Georgia in 1976, Brandon Luffman was raised in rural North Carolina from the time he was old enough to walk. In the sixth grade he discovered The Chronicles Of Narnia. Soon after that, he was on to Stephen King and Arthur C. Clarke. At the same time, he was making his first forays into writing fiction. After creating a series of short fantasy pieces for a class assignment that were received with praise, he was hooked on writing fiction for the entertainment of others. Now Brandon writes supernatural horror as well as fantasy, science fiction, and other genres. His short fiction is available online in various formats. Brandon still lives on the family farm in northwestern North Carolina with his wife and family. Taking inspiration from his homeland, he brings southern sensibilities and a modern flair to these classic genre themes. His upcoming survival horror novel, Frostwalker, is expected to be released in 2013.

Frostwalker

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Coming In 2013!

There’s something in the woods behind Jake Marsden’s house – and someone wants him to find it. A strange dream shatters his sleep, night after night, and a compulsion to find the dark presence in the forest wars with his logical and ordered nature. What’s a geek to do?

When his small hometown of Wynn falls under an ancient curse, Jake will find himself in a battle against creatures worse than any he’s faced in a game. Playing for keeps, it will be geek versus god in the fight to stop an evil force bent on destroying everything he holds dear.

The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth – If They Live Long Enough.

For more information, or to sign up to be notified upon release, please visit the Frostwalker site.

I’ve been anticipating this one for a while now. Excited to know it’ll be here soon!

For more about the author

Website

Twitter

Goodreads

Amazon

Click on the covers to purchase the books.

More free books from the Light Brothers

Evans Light is at it again! He’s giving away more books!

Go here to get your copy of The Black Door.

It’s free on Amazon through Friday, Feb. 15th.

BLaCK DooR

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William and his brothers are on their way to summer camp. But when a wrong turn leads them to an abandoned campground, things start to get weird in this nail-biting tale of adventure and suspense. Appropriate for pre-teen to adults.

This is one of the few books by Evans I haven’t read, YET!

You’ll be reading my review soon!

And Adam is doing it too!

Great news for ya’ll. It’s free to download on Goodreads here.

Vengeance By The Foot

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This is a wicked fast read. Only takes around 10 minutes. I love the play on words Adam used in the title. You’ll get it when you read the story.

If you like stomach turning horror with your dark humor, you’ll like this one. Just a warning!

It’s a lot darker than other stories by Adam that I’ve read.

Go here to read my review.

I wasn’t kidding when I warned you about this one.

How do you take your vengeance?

I’ve just finished reading Vengeance By The Foot by Adam Light.

Great news for ya’ll. It’s free to download from Amazon here from Jan.22nd thru Jan. 26th!

Vengeance By The Foot

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This is a wicked fast read. Only takes around 10 minutes. I love the play on words Adam used in the title. You’ll get it when you read the story.

If you like stomach turning horror with your dark humor, you’ll like this one. Just a warning!

It’s a lot darker than other stories by Adam that I’ve read.

They used to be the happy couple. That is, until the infection.

Now he’s had to have his foot and part of his leg amputated and he’s turned into a bitter, self-pitying jerk. His wife can’t take it anymore and abandons ship.

He plies himself with booze and pills until he’s nearly unconscious. When something comes calling, he’s not sure if it’s real or a product of his indulgence.

Even though I was grossed out by some of this story, I found Adam’s writing to be stellar, again. He really knows how to stick it to you, with a twist or two for good measure!

I wasn’t kidding when I warned you about this one.

The Light Brothers have been very busy.

They’ve set up their own Q & A on Goodreads

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Adam and Evans have been working on setting up a Goodreads Q&A group, which can be found here: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/8…

I’m thrilled to join this group. Goodreads is where I met Evans and Adam and discovered their awesome stories.

I’ve read many of their books and am making my way through all of them.

About Adam Light and where to find him.

I have spent the better part of my life in northeast Florida, but I was born in West Virginia. I was consumed at an early age by an unquenchable thirst for the written word. Words, in general, when I think about it.

I was a quiet bookish kid, but after moving down south I grew into a wild and rebellious teenager. I grew my hair long, became enthralled with heavy metal music, and all the rest.

I’ve mellowed somewhat, but I love life, I love my family, and I love to write stories. I have a mad passion for it.

I am proud of the stories I have written and sincerely hope that readers like myself have enjoyed reading them as much as , and plan to continue tapping away at this keyboard until my fingers won’t move anymore.

Thanks to everyone who has supported my madness so far; I look forward to sharing much more of my mind’s crazy ride with you.

Goodreads

Amazon

To purchase Adam’s books, click on the covers.

Books written with Evans Light

AKAQ’s First Anthology: Let’s discuss

First of all, this year is going to be a busy one. In this month alone I’m going through lots of personal changes and they are all very significant, life changing type changes. Writing-wise I have huge plans, both for my own endeavors and for this blog here. The most important is an anthology.

Right now? I would love to just hear input from any writer, any reader, or just anyone who frequents this blog.

When and if I get this going these conditions wont change:

1) Genre: Speculative fiction, crime, noir, horror and sci fi. Pretty much any pulp type material.

2) Cheap and nonprofitable: Depending on the amount of authors I’d like to keep the ebook under $3 and over 99 cents. All profit will go towards the AKAQ website, which includes upgrades, access to more images (Which this website lacks, except for book covers. We have tons of those thanks to Amazon.) and other website related costs.

3) Availability in Amazon. Others are up for debate.

Now, these are topics I would like to discuss:

1) Submission length. Maybe flash/poems in-between stories.

2) Help. I would like either someone who wants to help editing or perhaps some beta readers. I personally like using the writers to go through the whole book, but surprisingly I feel like I’m the only one that ever does it and I feel like I’m bothering the editor, even though I want the whole book, which has my story in it, to be as polished as possible.

3) Covers: I have some ideas already maybe using the image we currently have on our frontpage.

4) A physical book: I once sold pre-orders to my first book and found how successful it was. But after that found almost no sales through lulu.com After that I moved over to Amazon and found a way better and pleasant market. I would like to sale pre-orders through lulu.com again. It’s cheap, I can drop the price to $5 bucks and still make the donation worth it. After all the primary point is to get writer’s work out there and the website’s funds are, if anything, not important at all.

5) Do you want in? I want to include at least 20 authors, and I think I can easily get pieces from the usual bunch around here. I think I plan to send some invites first and then open it up to submissions. This way I could get some bigger names mixed with some new talent.

So discuss, I love a good online discussion. 🙂

-L. Vera

Get Gone for Free

I’m keeping my word. I said I’d be back to tell you about more of Adam Light’s books and I’m here with some great news.

GONE is free to download from Amazon from Jan. 7th thru Jan 11th.. Go here to get yours.

Gone

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Greg awakens with a sense of urgency. A quick glance at his clock confirms it. He’s overslept and it’ll be a mad dash to get to work on time. He forgoes breakfast, figuring he’ll grab a java at Starbucks and throws on the cleanest clothes he can find.

He spots one of his shoes but for the life of him, can’t find the other. Where is it? With no time to search any longer, he throws on a dirty pair of tennis shoes and heads out the door.

A quick glance at his living room gives him a sense that it’s different, empty somehow.

Traffic isn’t too bad until he gets close to Starbucks. Cars are lined up around the block. A huge SUV gives up its spot and he squeezes into line.

Crushing pain seizes his chest. Oh God, not a heart attack. As the pain subsides and leaves completely he has to give up his place in line or he’ll be late for work.

Just a few minutes late, he sneaks to his desk while no ones paying attention. Before he knows it, it’s time for lunch. How could that be?

Why the feelings of dread, the panic attacks, the missing time? What is it about today?

While not as polished as his later works, I still had a great time reading Gone, Adam’s first published book.

The suspense builds, you feel Greg’s confusion and panic, and then the twist is revealed.

Anyone who likes short stories with a feel of The Dark Side or The Twilight Zone will like this.

About Adam Light and where to find him.

I have spent the better part of my life in northeast Florida, but I was born in West Virginia. I was consumed at an early age by an unquenchable thirst for the written word. Words, in general, when I think about it.

I was a quiet bookish kid, but after moving down south I grew into a wild and rebellious teenager. I grew my hair long, became enthralled with heavy metal music, and all the rest.

I’ve mellowed somewhat, but I love life, I love my family, and I love to write stories. I have a mad passion for it.

I am proud of the stories I have written and sincerely hope that readers like myself have enjoyed reading them as much as , and plan to continue tapping away at this keyboard until my fingers won’t move anymore.

Thanks to everyone who has supported my madness so far; I look forward to sharing much more of my mind’s crazy ride with you.

Goodreads

Amazon

To purchase Adam’s books, click on the covers.

Books written with Evans Light

Review: Apostle Rising

Apostle Rising
Richard Godwin

Detective Chief Inspector Frank Castle never caught the Woodlands Killer and it almost destroyed him. Now years later, mauled by the press and traumatised by nightmares, he is faced with a copycat killer with detailed inside knowledge of the original case.

He and his partner DI Jacki Stone enter a deadly labyrinth, and at its centre is the man Castle believes was responsible for the first killings. He’s running a sinister cult and playing dark mind games with the police. The investigation has a shattering effect on the lives of Castle and Stone. The killer is crucifying politicians, and he keeps raising the stakes and slipping through their hands. Dark coded ritualistic killings are being carried out on high profile figures and the body count is rising. Castle employs a brilliant psychologist to help him solve the case, and he begins to dig into the killer’s psyche. But some psychopaths are cleverer than others.

Review: Godwin offers a brutal tale of murder, trauma and heartbreaking suffering. Castle and Stone face a villain whose chutzpah is matched only by his malevolence — and his seeming inability to get caught. Castle, haunted by the elusive killer years before, has been consumed by the case, drinking his way out of his marriage and nearly his job. Stone finds herself slipping toward the same fate, and begins fighting her way back from it. The addition of a second set of serial murders seems impossibly vicious — the only thing worse is that the two killers seem to be working in concert.

Not for the faint of heart, Apostle Rising offers a bloody bouquet of excruciating murders and bizarre religious mania. Right down to the final, cruel twist of discovery, each page offers more horror. But you read on in hopes that Castle and Stone will survive ad that they will finally stop the unrepentant mastermind behind the crimes. Prepare your heart for darkness — and like most of the characters in this book, you’ll probably want a strong glass of something to help you bear it.

~ K. A. Laity

They are endless.

The Dark Horde

by Brewin’

The Dark Horde

Part thriller, part crime-fiction, all supernatural horror, The Dark Horde tells of the return of an ancient evil that is neither stoppable nor comprehensible…

From the opening page to the horror driven end, this story had me riveted.

Howqua Hills is under siege by something. Monster, demon, alien, or creature from another dimension, who knows? They have been waiting, but no more. Out of the shadows they come, the Dark Horde.  Hungry for flesh, they thrill to feel our terror and revel in our pain. Want a taste?

“The beast had an acute sense of smell, enabling it to smell the raw terror in the sweat of its quarry. The smell of this human was strong, indulging its senses with delectable wafts. Hungry for the kill, it gripped the wooden handle of the trap door and slowly teased it open. The shrieking cry of its hinges rang out, enhancing the fear of the cornered prey…It entered, scraping its clawed feet across each wooden step with calculated intent to terrify… Two down, one to go.”

The action is intense and relentless and the creatures are absolutely terrifying. Want a bit more?

“It glared at them with red, hate-filled eyes the shape of swollen slits as its bloodied snout curled to reveal a chaotic array of sharpened teeth. It grinned.”

Able to manipulate our minds, they invade our dreams with heart-stopping nightmares. I was worried they would invade my dreams. I read this book in one sitting and finished in the wee hours. Maybe it was because I was sleep deprived, but I didn’t remember dreaming. However, there are many more nights to come.

Brewin’ is a master at making you afraid of the dark. I suggest you sleep with a flashlight

“…..Come Dark Horde, remember, and once more be!

We are as one, as many are we,

Become one, once more be.

We are as one, as many are we,

Become one, once more be…”

About Brewin’

Brewin’ knew he wanted to be a writer when he was only seven and that has shaped his life. A gift from his brothers of a Role Playing Game Book was a pivotal moment in his life. Game books(along with role-playing games) made him the writer he is today. The last third of his first published novel, Evermore: An Introduction, is a choose-your-own-adventure and his second novel, The Dark Horde, has one of the characters from Evermore in it. For more about Brewin’ and his work visit:

http://www.thebrewin.com

You can purchase your copy by clicking on the image below.

Freefalling Terror

Clouds by Matt McAvoy

I spotted this on Amazon as a free download. Seeing it was only 10 pages long, I thought why not, and nabbed this puppy.

Being only 10 pages, I figured it would be quick and over. Those 10 pages felt like an eternity!

Imagine waking up and you’re falling. Falling from the sky. The rate of your fall causes the friction to rip at you, trying to tear out your hair and rip off your eyelids. It’s freezing cold, so cold it burns. Have you ever felt that burning sensation when your hands are wet and freezing? Imagine feeling that all over your body.

Your body tumbles from the sky in an out of control descent, making it hard to tell if you’re falling up or down to the clouds that are looming closer. And you have no parachute!

You have the insane hope the clouds will buffer your fall, maybe cradle you. It’s irrational, but your mind races for a solution, a way to change the inevitable.

Most people have had that dream where you’re falling and you jerk awake before you hit the ground. That’s how I felt while reading Clouds, but I couldn’t wake up, I didn’t wake up.

If you’re looking for a quick, intense story, I recommend you grab Clouds. There are no wasted words, it’s well written, and don’t you want to know how  this could happen and what the end is?

Go get Clouds now. I don’t know how long it will be free to download. Just click here and it’s yours.

Matt has written two more stories I plan to read really soon.

One of Matt McAvoy’s “Modern Tales of Horror”, available as a complete works, and the author’s first foray into supernatural horror.

Modern day London – a proud day for a very proud man, and why shouldn’t he be? Boris has worked so very hard, and is now launching his new driver-less tube train on the pioneering Tower Line. But while some consider the line a triumph, not all are as pleased; in fact some, the more spiritually-attuned perhaps, are downright terrified.

For the line, along with its creators, hides a secret… a secret darker than the tunnels under the Thames, and darker than the stories around the bodies buried there. As dark as the blackest evil of which man is capable. Bear witness – in the tunnel there is no way out.

WARNING – ADULTS ONLY

I can’t wait to read this one! It’s around 60 pages and sounds like it’s packed with scary goodness, or I guess you’d say badness. And it’s only 99 cents or free for Prime members. Click on the cover to buy a copy.

Meet Ollie. Well-educated and spoilt – a rich kid, fun-loving party-goer and brutal sociopath.

Ruthlessly arrogant Ollie takes what he wants, when he wants it. But Ollie’s going to learn, the hard way, that for every action there’s a consequence, and for every bounty a price.

Because living with Granjy isn’t the bed of roses he thought it was going to be; the blind old lady sees everything – sees him – and most of all sees the monster he is becoming, in a way that nobody else can. And that strange and terrible perception that surely only she has frightens Ollie more than he’ll ever admit.

It was she that spoilt him rotten-to-the-core, and now his payment is due. Her sightless eyes and her creepy, knowing smile will compel him to tear apart his own dark soul.

Granjy will teach him new meaning of the word ‘remorse’.

Ooh! Scary! I can’t wait to read this one either! It’s a bit longer than the others, around 100 pages Click on the cover to buy it. Only 99 cents or free for Prime members.

This contains all three of the tales from Matt McAvoy. Click on the cover to get your copy. It’s less than three dollars.

About the Author

Matt McAvoy was born in Hertfordshire in 1974. As a child he moved with his family to Devon where he attended the Torquay Grammar School for Boys and started writing fiction at an early age. He has studied screen-writing and production, and has graduated from the Open University (which he recommends highly) in psychology, social policy and criminology. Although he originally undertook the studies, he says, to make him a better writer in his favoured subject, since their completion he has spent many years working with young offenders as a mentor/project worker, and adult offenders as an officer with the public protection team; he is also the founder and chairman of the web-based organization for victims of violent crime justice4victims.org, which he uses as a platform to campaign for changes in the criminal justice system.ting fiction at an early age. Matt enjoys writing dark, often comical, usually violent and sometimes even romantic fiction in the drama and thriller genres (though recently departed temporarily into horror, after being bought a cool, gothic, bound parchment journal as a gift); he writes in a variety of formats, including short stories, novels and screenplays. He is equally content publishing theses and essays on criminal behaviour and the British criminal justice system. All of his diverse work can be downloaded from his website – most of it for free. Matt lives in London with his wife Katherine.
You can visit Matt here .

Like a Writer Possessed

Whatever Possessed You? by Evans Light

Struggling author Gerard Faust never thought his trip to the book store would go down the way it did. He’s approached by a scruffy young man asking for his help. The man hands him a scrap of old parchment and tells him to read it. It’s in a language unknown to Gerard and he politely declines, but the man insists it’s to be read aloud. That’s the only way it could be understood. So Gerard reads it aloud.  Maazo Maazo…

Gerard feels something enter him, nestling deep inside. The stranger runs off and Gerard writes him off as disturbed, feeling surprisingly good after the odd encounter.

Now he’s writing like a man obsessed, or possessed. He types until his fingers ache, with no memory of what he’s written. Are the words even his own?

He has stopped taking care of himself, neglects his supportive wife and young daughter,  and is experiencing missing time. Something has control of his mind and body.

He may be writing that coveted “best seller”, but what is he writing?

I love stories about authors. Even in fiction I love to hear about their thoughts and writing processes. I just hope this story is all fiction. Wouldn’t want to pick up a book and run into this problem.

I enjoy stories that start off innocently and slowly pull you into the abyss. This book gets darker and darker and I feel sorry for Gerard. You hope it won’t end badly for him, but it’s probably not in the cards with a last name like Faust.

Like a relentless,suspense? I recommend you get Whatever Possessed You? and  ride the ride.

You can find all of Evans books here

Evans Light

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Halloween Season For Horror Writers: The List Of Who’s Accepting

Well it’s that time again. Halloween is around the corner and publications love to get horror anthologies, stories, and novels out before and around the Halloween season. So here’s a quick rundown of places that are accepting.

Less than 4000 word

AKAQ Deadline: Oct. 10th

Arcane 2 Deadline: Sept. 30th

ATOMIC AGE CTHULHU Deadline: Oct 1st

Blood and Roses Deadline: Oct 31st

Brief Grislys Deadline: unknown

Dead North Deadline: Sept 30th

Paranormal Horror – an anthology Deadline: unknown

Grave Robbers Deadline: unknown

Tortured Souls Vol. 1 Deadline: Sept 30th

Year’s End Deadline: Oct 15th

Zombie Lockdown Deadline: Oct. 30th

Zombies VS Werewolves Deadline: Sept. 15th

4000+ word

Bellows of the Bone Box Deadline: (steampunk horror)Sept 17th

Dark Visions Deadline: Dec 21st

Mental Ward: Stories from the Asylum Deadline: Oct. 15th

Ten Terrors (anthology series) Deadline: unknown

Urban Occult Weird/Horror Anthology Deadline: Nov. 1st

If you know of any others, let me know. 🙂

-L. Vera