With the post-Christmas shopping rush about to kick in, I thought I’d make a few suggestions for all of you out there looking to add something to your new holiday toys. Below is a list of my fiction work, available at Amazon and various other online retailers. Nothing beats a good book to kick off 2012.
Life is hard. We’re all broke these days, struggling to make ends meet. Our money is burning through us faster than we can earn it, eaten up by our credit card interest, balloon payments on the mortgage, or upwardly spiraling gas prices. Then your car breaks down.
You’re girlfriend is cheating on you with the guy she met at the gym, or you’ve caught you’re husband fooling around with his secretary. The kids just got suspended for something they put on their Facebook page, and you’re dog got sick and died, but not before ringing up four grand in vet bills. Then next week, the company you work for is set to start downsizing.
We’re all living through the 21st century version of the Great Depression, and you have to take off your shoes to get on a plane. But here are twenty-five stories about people who, whatever your problems, are much worse off. There are bodies to hide, ghostly Indians out for blood, cannibalistic homeless people, ever-present blizzards, soul-crushing isolation, loneliness, man-eating trees and much more.
So the next time you start complaining about your cell phone bill, or the dent left in your car door at the grocery store parking lot, remember that you’re not one of these folks. Life is still hard, but it could always be worse.
Obscure (adj) 1. Lacking light, dark 2. Not easily perceived 3. Undefined, ambiguous, cryptic, hidden
Most of us dwell in the occasional bright places between the shadows, trying to find a few rays of light to lead us out from the darkness. But all too often, the undefined gloom becomes as a black hole, so dark with such a gravitational pull that no light can break through the veil, leaving us to only stumble around without clarity or vision.
And once we become trapped, unable to see the way, we discover that there are other things in the dark with us.
Strange (adj) 1. Of another place, foreign, alien 2. Not previously known or experienced 3. Quite unusual or extraordinary 4. Peculiar, odd 5. Distant, cold in manner
Some of these things in the dark with us are benign or even friendly, fellow travelers just searching for the path home. But there are the others, malignant and evil, that use the dark to prey on the lost and helpless. Those are the ones you need to watch out for because, sometimes, lost in the blackness, you can’t tell the difference.
This book is a collection of 13 tales of people getting caught in the dark, and whether or not they can find light enough to escape it. Violence, madness and death await those that fail, and sometimes, they’re the lucky ones. Being trapped in the dark can be terrifying, you can pull yourself together and find a way out or you can collapse in on yourself, lost forever. These tales are like guideposts, a path through the dark where some have fallen by the wayside.
But before you start reading, you have to ask yourself one simple question, are you afraid of the dark?
The Watershed Chronicle’s 13 Days of Halloween
Halloween is my absolute favorite time of year! It’s so much fun that I had to stretch it out into a two-week long celebration of all things creepy and frightening. Every day for 13 days leading up to Halloween, there is something scary good to do. In The Watershed Chronicle’s 13 Days of Halloween, there is a little something to entice even the most hardcore horror fan.
Horror is such a pervasive genre in our culture, and it’s all covered here. From the spookiest author ever, Edgar Allan Poe, to the most terrifying actor, Vincent Price, to the most ghoulishly brilliant director, Alfred Hitchcock, their best and most horrifying works are covered. There are real-life ghost stories, a look at where some of the most popular rituals of Halloween originated, and rundowns of the best movies, books and television horror stories ever devised. To top it off, there’s even some ghostly fiction, culminating in a never-before-published short story by yours truly.
October is a time of year like none other if you enjoy being scared out of your wits. But what happens in October doesn’t have to stay in October. Halloween is the best of all holidays, and there’s no reason you can’t celebrate year-round. This book can help. Happy Halloween!
This is an ongoing series of individually published, longer-form (5,000+ words) short stories available for sale. Each tale is an independent, stand alone story for only 99 cents.
The Long Walk
What happens when your conscience is over-ridden by your orders? Is it better to simply do as your told, even when you find the actions abhorrent? And if you do, despite your better judgment, what kind of consequences will follow, if any?
In The Long Walk, a young cavalryman gets assigned the duty of escorting some particularly violent prisoners to their place of execution. The manner planned for the deaths of the condemned is particularly horrible, but no one questions their actions or orders until it’s far too late. Honor doesn’t supersede duty in the unforgiving desert, and the results are severe.
Kingdom of the Sick
It’s often been said that money can buy happiness, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, great wealth can create far more problems than it solves. For Ashley Blair, daughter of wealthy businessman Charles Blair, trouble and torment has been the story of her life.
The family home, and an almost ethereal garden hidden on the property, has been the one constant in her ever-shifting existence. Now that her father is nearing his own death, and the vultures of her siblings are circling to pick his bones for their inheritance, Ashe needs the solace of her childhood secret more than ever. But will she find that peace she desperately desires?
Faded Summer Leaves
You hear so much about the innocence of youth, but in truth, youth isn’t all that innocent. The same mean-spirited viciousness, rage and emotional trauma adults suffer through exists for the young, as well. And often, the lack of experience of youth amplifies the problem.
Growing up is a hard row to hoe sometimes, and for a small, scrawny little kid like Tommy, it can be even tougher. But everyone has their limits, even someone who you wouldn’t think could ever stand up for themselves. A group of young boys on an afternoon fishing excursion is the stuff of sweet anecdotes and quaint paintings. That is, until things go sour. On this particular day, Roy, the town bully, really should have kept his mouth shut.
Reporters and war correspondents regularly put themselves in harm’s way all in the name of journalism, ratings and informing the people. Most times, things work out; sometimes they go horribly wrong. When a military madman rises to power in a former Russian province after the collapse of the Soviet Union, threatening Moscow and London with some old Soviet nukes he’d managed to get his hands on, it looks like the story of the century.
A bevy of reporters from all the major news agencies in the world make their way through the war-torn countryside in pursuit of an exclusive. But when they find what they’re looking for, these newsmen discover that instead of covering the story, they are about to become it.
Isolation can do strange things to a person, and there can be no place more alone than the depths of space. Duane’s an astronaut on a 20-year mission to test technology for mankind’s greatest exploration ever. His ship, being fully automated, leaves him with lots of time to fill. The large garden that provides his food, water and oxygen for the journey is his only distraction from the tedium.
But several years into his mission, he loses contact with Earth. The constant loneliness begins to dredge up memories of his unhappy past, and the garden that provides not only the elements for his survival but also his sanity, is threatened. Will Duane find within himself what it takes to survive and make it back home or will he be lost forever?
This edition of Watershed Tales also includes a short bonus tale, Travis Walton Never Had It So Bad, a story of planetary exploration and how very wrong things can go.