Tag Archives: short story

My Friend Richard: A True Ghost Story by William Hart Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author William Hart shares the true story of his connection with a friend who passed away years ago, but has returned to his life as a ghost in his book, “My Friend Richard: A True Ghost Story”.

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The Synopsis

A close friend of mine, maybe the brightest student in our high school of four thousand, came to see me some years back. He came as a ghost with a favor to ask, renewing a friendship that continues a decade later.

Richard has the same immature young adult personality he had when he died in a Haight-Asbury fire in 1970. But as a spirit he can travel very far very fast, appear and disappear at will, or shape-shift into a feisty moth. He enters locked homes to visit loved ones, sometimes projecting powerful images into their minds. Annoyed, he’s a smelly, destructive nuisance. Sometimes he’s affectionate.

Anyone wanting to know more about ghosts will find a wealth of firsthand information in this true narrative, which follows the life and afterlife of my artistically gifted but dismayingly self-destructive buddy. For adults and young adults.

The Review

For those of you who aren’t familiar with me beyond my book reviews, aside from being a writer and author, I am a paranormal enthusiast. I have a paranormal podcast, have joined several paranormal communities, and have even investigated a few locations with more to come. So anytime I am able to get my hands on a nonfiction narrative surrounding the paranormal, I am thrilled to do so. The author here did an incredible job of presenting a personal and relatable story of experiencing the paranormal and connecting with the spirit themselves. The imagery and tone the author struck felt both casual and yet emotionally in-depth. 

Yet it was the thoughtful and emotional journey the author went on that really resonated with me. The experience of seeing or hearing something paranormal can be a profound one. The experience is always unique to the individual. Sometimes it can be a loved one, family member, or friend who visits us. Other times it can be an encounter with something otherworldly altogether. Yet those moments that William Hart captures here with his friend Richard felt both relatable and heartfelt in the author’s delivery. The short-story format allowed the author to focus solely on this paranormal experience, and the relationship both in life and death that the author had with Richard is something so many people have experienced at one point or another in life, adding a very real human level to this nonfiction narrative.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, engaging, and memorable, author William Hart’s “My Friend Richard: A True Ghost Story” is a must-read short story and a nonfiction book. The book was both an easy read and yet a powerful and striking story of coming face to face with the unknown, opening oneself to new possibilities, and reconnecting with the people who have made an impact on our lives, even if they are no longer physically here. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

William Hart is a novelist and poet living in Los Angeles. After earning a doctorate in English from the University of Southern California, he taught college writing courses in LA and wrote. Now he writes–fiction mostly–while helping produce the documentaries of filmmaker Jayasri Majumdar, his wife. Hart’s work has appeared in several hundred literary journals, commercial magazines, newspapers, and anthologies, and fourteen books. A pair of one-hour documentaries from Hartfilms aired nationally on PBS, the latest receiving Emmy nominations. 

Interview with Author Philippa Jabouin 

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

This is my first book and my initial intention was to publish in French, which is my first language. However, I stumbled upon a writing contest for micro fiction and French was not one of the languages in which you could submit your work. I ended up submitting 2 stories but I had almost fifty that I was not using. That’s when I decided I would publish them and that’s how my collection ended up being in English. 

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

Short stories have always been my favorite type of fiction. Two of my favorite authors, Françoise Sagan and Chimamanda Adichie, write with so much emotional intensity. I was inspired by their work and wondered, what triggers intense emotional reactions for me? This is what motivated me to write the stories in my book. 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I hope they appreciate the deep inner workings of the human mind. Things are not always what they seem at the surface, and it is almost impossible to read other people’s minds. When you are not in someone else’s shoes, you just never know what is going on for them.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I enjoy novels in general and I think short stories simply give me the impression that I am getting even more out of an author. Great short stories leave you with a sense of awe and wonder because the length leaves you wanting more. I would love to create that feeling in my readers. 

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5) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I don’t use much social media. Maybe I should. I use the old fashion social networks, i.e. word of mouth!

6) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

The author Hala Alyan states that she allotted 30 minutes a day to her creative writing as she was working on her doctoral thesis. I decided to try it out and soon 30 minutes a day became 1 or 2 hours. That is how I got my book written and published in a year. 

7) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I would like to keep writing and publishing short stories for the moment. I feel I need the practice before I devote time to a full novel. My next collection of short stories will be in French!

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About the Author

Philippa c. Jabouin has authored many articles and short stories under her name and as a ghostwriter. As a recovering ex-lawyer, she now spends her time writing as a freelance journalist, editor, and consultant. This is her first published collection of short stories. She lives in the Ottawa/Gatineau region of Canada.

https://a.co/cp41DxM

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/short-shorts-on-family-and-other-issues-philippa-c-jabouin/1140828868

Creation of the Inevitable by The Raven’s Doctor Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

After facing and succumbing to his sickness, one man discovers a new world full of promise and health in author The Raven’s Doctor’s “Creation of the Inevitable: Volume 1”. 

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The Synopsis

All his life Malcom Doxon has only known fragility and sickness. Most days were spent on a hospital bed counting the hours go by day by day. One day his aliments got the better of him and he soon passed from our world. But through unexpected circumstances, he finds himself in a new world where he can start a new life without fear of his body breaking down.

The Review

The author did an incredible job of crafting a powerful story in such a short read. The character development was rich with action and the writing did a fantastic job of giving readers a sense of history and depth to these characters. The heart and passion with which the author wrote these characters also allowed readers to connect with them and seeing the protagonist’s unique relationship with each character introduced was a great way of making this fantastic story feel a bit more grounded.

Yet it was the world-building and powerful themes that really kept me invested in the narrative. The creative and highly original mythos that the author developed concerning Death and the protagonist’s relationship with Death, as well as the concept of what life after death truly looks like was such a powerful idea to explore, and the theme of life, death, and finding purpose felt so powerful and blended so well with the fantasy genre. 

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The Verdict

Captivating, richly developed, and entertaining, author The Raven’s Doctor’s “Creation of the Inevitable: Volume 1” is a must-read short story that meets the fantasy narrative of 2022. The cliffhanger final chapter will have readers breathless, and the promise of new worlds and new threats will keep readers eager for the next chapter of this epic-growing saga. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

The Raven’s Doctor likens himself to a weaver; his computer is the loom, and the words are the threads. Every day, without exception, the Doctor weaves his tale throughout. Additionally, he will examine his work closely to make sure there are no visible nicks or crevices. He aims to make the reader feel as though they are a fly on the wall witnessing the action take place in real time. What more could The Raven’s Doctor want for? He will also weave his book such that it may continue beyond his death for future generations.

Wolf at the Door by Joel McKay Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

An attempt at a lovely Thanksgiving dinner takes two drastic turns as family drama erupts and a deadly encounter with a werewolf throws the entire dinner for a loop in author Joel McKay’s “Wolf at the Door”. 

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The Synopsis

All Charlotte Deerborn wanted was a nice Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. Too bad for her no one else wanted to be there. By the time the turkey is carved, old grievances, bad behavior and crass remarks have transformed her dinner party into a disaster. And then a werewolf shows up to do some carving of its own.

Wolf at the Door is a fast-paced, absurdist take on modern creature horror, levering humor and action to highlight how one family comes to grips with what really matters in life.

The Review

This was one of the most unique and charismatic dark comedy horror novels I’ve read in years. The clashing dynamics between this cast of characters immediately stood out to me above the monstrous aspect of the narrative. The unique tensions and awkward moments that the holidays lend to themselves in a family dynamic or large dinner gathering is iconic comedy gold, (looking at you, Christmas Vacation), and the use of this dynamic between this cast of characters gave some heart and humor to the characters who find themselves caught up in this horrific nightmare. 

The blend of unique setting with the holiday dinner theme and blood-chilling horror made this story shine so brightly. The juxtaposition of how the holidays can bring out the worst in some people, especially those with underlying tensions, and the explosive entrance of this werewolf attack made this such a gripping and brilliantly creative storytelling device. Yet the author also did a great job of capturing the horror aspect of the narrative too, building upon the classic and iconic “creature feature” genre and adding a depth of character to it to make those bloody scenes more impactful.

The Verdict

Haunting, chilling, and entertaining, author Joel McKay’s “Wolf at the Door” is a must-read horror comedy. The story works well as a short story or novella, and yet hits the reader with an impact that can be felt from a novel or even a film script, bringing a greater sense of imagery and atmosphere that keeps the reader invested in this story as the narrative takes off. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Joel McKay is an award-winning writer and economic development professional. He calls Prince George, B.C. home, where he lives with his wife and two daughters. Wolf at the Door is his first novella. His most recent published fiction was the short story Number Hunnerd in Tyche Books’ anthology Water: Selkies, Sirens and Sea Monsters.

The inspiration for his fiction is drawn from the landscapes and people of British Columbia, particularly the province’s vast, untamed and often misunderstood north. It’s the small towns and the people who call them home that inspired the good ol’ boys featured in Number Hunnerd, or the cool, crisp evenings and early sunsets of October that planted the idea for werewolves at a Thanksgiving feast.

Joel is passionate about Canada, its history and the history of the peoples who have called it home since time immemorial. As far as he’s concerned, New England has got nothing on Northern B.C. when it comes to perfect settings for supernatural tales.

In his spare time, Joel is an avid fly fisherman, mountain biker, hiker and reader. His work as an economic development professional, public relations specialist and journalist has earned him numerous national, provincial and local awards and recognitions.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0B35X89CH/ref=x_gr_w_glide_sin?caller=Goodreads&callerLink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goodreads.com%2Fbook%2Fshow%2F61248506-wolf-at-the-door%3Fac%3D1%26from_search%3Dtrue%26qid%3D4fvf1djqZI%26rank%3D1&tag=x_gr_w_glide_sin-20

Short Shorts on Family and Other Issues by Philippa C. Jabouin Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Philippa C. Jabouin’s “Short Shorts on Family and Other Issues” helps readers take a journey into the everyday and seemingly mundane experiences that can reflect on the issues and problems that can arise in our everyday relationships.

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The Synopsis

In these thirty snippets of everyday life, Philippa c. jabouin offers vignettes of seemingly trivial moments of her characters’ interactions with themselves and others.

Through deep reflection, existential questions, misunderstandings and eloquent silences, the stories offer quick snapshots of the complexity of the human mind and its dynamics.

The Review

This was a profound and moving read. The author did an incredible job of layering these short little vignettes and stories with a healthy balance of theme and story-driven narrative. The way the author included pages adjacent to the stories for readers to write down their reflections on the lessons and themes they picked up on in the stories themselves was just incredible and made for a more personal and interactive reading experience.

What stood out to me and made the lessons stand out, even more, was the way the author framed each story’s “characters”. The obscurity of the characters allowed the reader to hone in on the messages and themes of the stories far more, allowing them to place themselves into the narrative in place of a more elevated “character”. The themes that focused on family, friends, romantic relationships, and so much more really brought an emotional depth and allowed the reader to connect to the stories themselves in a more personal manner.

The Verdict

Heartfelt, personal, and engaging, author Philippa C. Jabouin’s “Short Shorts on Family and Other Issues” is a must-read short story collection. The fast-paced read and brilliant storytelling will hook readers instantly, and the way the author writes will allow readers to able to see themselves in the narratives and connect on a much more personal level. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Philippa c. jabouin has authored many articles and short stories under her name and as a ghostwriter. As a recovering ex-lawyer, she now spends her time writing as a freelance journalist, editor, and consultant. This is her first published collection of short stories. She lives in the Ottawa/Gatineau region of Canada.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/short-shorts-on-family-and-other-issues-philippa-c-jabouin/1140828868

Save the World: Twenty Sci-Fi Writers Save the Planet (Writers Save the World) Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Twenty sci-fi authors come together to tackle the very real threat of climate change and use their creative skills to find a solution to our current and future threats to our world in the collection “Save the World: Twenty Sci-Fi Writers Save the Planet”, part of the Writers Save the World Series!

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The Synopsis

Twenty ways to fix the planet.

Modern building on the island.3d render

Climate change is no longer a vague future threat. Forests are burning, currents are shifting, and massive storms dump staggering amounts of water in less than 24 hours. Sometimes it’s hard to look ahead and see a hopeful future.

We asked sci-fi writers to send us stories about ways to save the world from climate change. From the myriad of stories we received, we chose the twenty most amazing (and hopefully prescient) tales.

Dive in and find out how we might mitigate climate change via solar mirrors, carbon capture, genetic manipulation, and acts of change both large and small.

The future’s not going to fix itself.

The Review

This was a fantastic and highly creative collection. The themes of climate change and the impact it’ll have on everything from worldwide pandemics to coastal cities being overrun and so much more were thought-provoking, to say the least. The imagery and detailed storytelling that went into the narrative really painted an image in the reader’s mind. 

What stuck out in each story in this collection was each author’s ability to naturally infuse the themes of this narrative into their stories and still manage to implement a very human and emotional depth of character into each story. From a young woman seeking more of not only her life but the life of everyone on Earth, to a teenage boy separated from his mother and forced to make a new home for himself, each story adds so much emotion and heart to the more broad climate struggles that make this such an engaging story.

The Verdict

Heartfelt, entertaining, yet striking in its delivery, the short story collection “Save the World: Twenty Sci-Fi Writers Save the Planet” is a must-read book and a great continuation of the Writers Save the World Series! The balance of emotional character growth and stark yet hopeful themes of climate change and the progress needed to fix it all make this one collection readers won’t be able to put down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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Save the World cover

Other Worlds Ink has a new book out in the hopepunk cli-fi Writers Save the World anthology series: Save the World. And there’s a giveaway.

Climate change is no longer a vague future threat. Forests are burning, currents are shifting, and massive storms dump staggering amounts of water in less than 24 hours. Sometimes it’s hard to look ahead and see a hopeful future.

We asked sci-fi writers to send us stories about ways to save the world from climate change. From the myriad of stories we received, we chose the twenty most amazing (and hopefully prescient) tales.

Dive in and find out how we might mitigate climate change via solar mirrors, carbon capture, genetic manipulation, and acts of change both large and small.

The future’s not going to fix itself.

About the Series:

“Writers Save the World” is an annual hopepunk anthology from Other Worlds Ink, featuring hopeful stories by sci-fi writers about ways to solve the world’s problems.

Universal Buy Link | Liminal Fiction | Goodreads


Giveaway

Other Worlds Ink is giving one lucky winner their choice of $25 Starbucks GC or a $25 donation to the Sierra Club in the winner’s name:

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47244/?


Excerpt

Save the World Meme

No one ate for a full day. At night, they sat around their fires and counted the stars, their boats bobbing in the quiet, dark waters. No electricity was permitted. The drones were shelved. The holo-projectors unplugged. Even the radios were shut off. The next morning, they washed in the invigorating cold of the ocean, and beat their bodies with branches.

This was what Edgard instructed. And what Edgard instructed, everyone obeyed.

The waters seemed bright that morning, despite the depths below. Small dots of sea foam dotted the surface, reflecting the eager light of the new day. The weather was calm, and the ocean peaceful. It was an auspicious morning.

Jason leaned against the rails, elbowing between his crew mates as everyone shuffled for the best view. There was laughter and chatter, some singing, a few rude jokes. The ocean was alive that morning, all the ships of the tribe lining up, energy buzzing across the wide decks.

Then the drumming started, and silence fell. People leaned forward, craning necks.

The canoe emerged from between boats, paddled by a small crew, its painted bow slicing through the water. At the front was Edgard, standing tall. Jason felt someone nudge him, and as he looked over at Amelia, she nodded at the cloak draped over Edgard’s shoulders. The Thunderbird.

The canoe stopped, and Edgard placed a hand in the water. As he rose, he started to sing, lighting a bundle of dried cedar, and waving the smoke over his harpoon. He removed the muscle-shell hooks and wrapped them in cloth, tied rocks around the yew shaft, and placed it in the water. As it sank, his song ended. Edgard turned to face the ships, opened his arms wide, and smiled.

The crews erupted.

It was done.

The harvesting was complete.

—From “Thunder on the Ocean,” by Christopher R. Muscato


Author Bio

Gustavo Bondoni is novelist and short story writer with over three hundred stories published in fifteen countries, in seven languages. He is a member of Codex and an Active Member of SFWA. His latest novel is Lost Island Rampage (2021). He has also published three other monster books: Ice Station: Death (2019), Jungle Lab Terror (2020) and Test Site Horror (2020), three science fiction novels: Incursion (2017), Outside (2017) and Siege (2016) and an ebook novella entitled Branch. His short fiction is collected in Pale Reflection (2020), Off the Beaten Path (2019) Tenth Orbit and Other Faraway Places (2010) and Virtuoso and Other Stories (2011).

J. Scott Coatsworth lives with his husband Mark in a yellow bungalow in Sacramento. He was indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine. He devoured her library, but as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were. He decided that if there weren’t queer characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends. A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, and Other Worlds Ink with Mark, sites that celebrate fiction reflecting queer reality, and is a full member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and the head of its self-publishers committee.

Rachel Hope Crossman is an ex-fry cook, ex-substitute teacher and retired Montessori teacher. Her childhood year in Athens, Greece left indelible imprints of olive groves, pomegranates and the sparkling, turquoise blue of the Mediterranean upon her mind. She is the author of SAVING CINDERELLA: FAIRY TALES & CHILDREN IN THE 21ST CENTURY, (2014) The Apocryhile Press, which examines the world-wide Cinderella story as an archetype and explains the symbolism of rings, knives, birds, pumpkins and more. Her personal heroes are Harold (and his purple crayon), Peggy Hill and Nancy Pelosi.

Jana Denardo is Queen of the Geeks (her students voted her in) and her home and office are shrines to any number of comic book and manga heroes along with SF shows and movies too numerous to count. There is no coincidence the love of all things geeky has made its way into many of her stories. To this day, she’s still disappointed she hasn’t found a wardrobe to another realm, a superhero to take her flying among the clouds or a roguish star ship captain to run off to the stars with her.

Derek Des Anges is an emerging cross-genre author working in London, who consistently fails to stick to a single format or genre but does at least really consistently write about the queer experience (or some of them, anyway). He’s into fungi, industrial and experimental music, and trying to avoid the climate apocalypse actually flooding his flat too many times, because he has far too many books to consider moving out.

CJ Erick’s stories have appeared in anthologies from WMG Publishing, WordFire Press, and others. He won the FenCon short story competition in 2015. He writes in multiple genres, publishes novels in a space fantasy series, and dabbles in poetry. He’s an MFA student in creative writing at Lindenwood University, and an editorial assistant for the Lindenwood Review. He lives in Dallas area with his wife and their rescue superhero dog Saber-Girl, calls his sourdough bread starter “Ursula” (K. Le Guin), and cooks crazy-good Cajun food for a Midwest Yankee.

J.G. Follansbee’s short stories have appeared in several anthologies, including Others Worlds Ink’s Fix the World. Other publications include Bards and Sages Quarterly, Children, Churches and Daddies, the collection Still Life 2018, and the speculative fiction anthologies Satirica, After the Orange, Spring Into SciFi 2019, Rabbit Hole II, and Sunshine Superhighway. He is the author of the series Tales From A Warming Planet and the trilogy The Future History of the Grail. He has won several awards in the Writers of the Future contest, and he was a finalist in the inaugural Aftermath short story contest. He also has numerous non-fiction book credits. He lives in Seattle.

Geoffrey Hart: Startled by an aggressive dictionary late in her pregnancy, Geoff’s mother was delivered of a child with a precocious antipathy towards users of words. Over time, he transformed this antipathy into a more functional, if equally passive-aggressive, editorial career. After nearly 35 years, the flame burns brightly as ever, leading to an errant, semi-evangelical career ranting against the evils of words from pulpits at any editing or technical writing conference that will have him, seeking new recruits for his cause. In his spare time, he roams the globe, entertaining locals with creative and unrestrained interpretations of their linguistic conventions. He also commits occasional fictions, and has sold 46 stories.

M. J. Holt lives with her husband on their 60-acre family farm with many animals on a peninsula in Puget Sound. She is horrified that the entire world isn’t working to decrease pollution of all kinds. When she was a teenager, she and her mother sat under an ancient crabapple tree and read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. Her mother told her that future generations would pay the price for the sins of past generations. That price has increased and now several generations later, some not yet born, will pay the price. Lightning struck that crab tree decades ago. It grew on land her great grandfather bought in 1892. Her great grandmother farmed the land and had the current house, started in 1900, built. The farm passed to her grandfather, and then to her mother. She lives in that house amid the surviving bits of her ancestors’ lives. This generational continuity informs her fiction. Her crime thriller novels, The Devil’s Safe (2021) and its sequel Making Angels (2022) can be found on Amazon. Recent short stories have appeared in the anthologies Black-Eyed Peas on New Year’s Day: An Anthology of Hope, Low Down Dirty Vote Volume II, Alternate Theologies, and her poetry may be found in the poetry anthologies 300K, Timeless Love, and other periodicals. She earned separate undergraduate degrees in History and English Literature, and a Masters in English Literature. She is a member of SFWA, MWA, and other writing organizations.

Jennifer Irani lives and works in southern California. Her story, “Graft,” was inspired by the recent fires in California, Greta Thunberg, and generation Z. A version of this story first appeared in Writing in Place: Stories from a Pandemic. Her work has been published in the anthology Dove Tales Empathy in Art: Embracing the Other. She has published essays in Orange Coast magazine. Her essay, Regeneration, received honorable mention in the Writers Challenge 2021 on Medium.com. Her poem, “Cool Colors Warm the Soul,” was selected for the Connecting Through Color, Art and Poetry exhibit. She is a member of Barbara Demarco’s Literary Posse.

Andrew Rucker Jones was born and raised in Falls Church, Virginia. No muse heralded his birth, and he has not been writing novels since he was in diapers. He received his Bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University in mathematics with minors in computer programming and German. He has always loved reading, so when the time came to choose a new career after twenty years in IT (programmer, system administrator, manager), he decided writing looked like fun. If only it paid. He now lives in Mannheim, Germany, with his Georgian wife, who actually earns money, and their three children, the eldest of whom also earns more than he.

Micháel McCormick likes to write stories in his Batman pajamas. He and his wife also enjoy travel, hiking, Tai Chi, and perplexing cats. They split their time between Saint Paul, Minnesota and Lake Superior. Mike’s work has appeared in Arcanist, Daily SF, DreamForge, Frozen Wavelets, Grievous Angel, Metastellar, Talking Stick, and elsewhere.

Christopher R. Muscato is an adjunct history instructor and writer from Colorado, as well as the former writer-in-residence for the High Plains Library District. He has published over a dozen short stories and is thrilled to be a part of this project.

Masimba Musodza was born in Zimbabwe, and has lived most of his adult life in the United Kingdom. His short stories, mostly in the speculative fiction genre, have appeared in periodicals and anthologies around the world. He has written two novels and a novella in his first language, ChiShona. His collection of science-fiction stories, The Junkyard Rastaman & Other Stories, was published in 2020. Masimba also writes for stage and screen.

M.D. Neu: Growing up in an accepting family. internationally award-winning author M.D. Neu always wondered why there were never stories reflecting our diverse queer society. Surrounded by characters that only reflected heterosexual society, he decided to change that and began writing, wanting to tell epic stories that reflect our varied world. When not writing, M.D. Neu works for a non-profit in Silicon Valley, and travels with his husband of twenty plus years.

Jennifer R. Povey: Born in Nottingham, England, Jennifer R. Povey now lives in Northern Virginia, where she writes everything from heroic fantasy to stories for Analog. She has written a number of novels across multiple sub genres. Additionally, she is a writer, editor, and designer of tabletop RPG supplements for a number of companies. Her interests include horseback riding, Doctor Who and attempting to out-weird her various friends and professional colleagues.

NRM Roshak is an award-winning Canadian author and translator. Their stories have appeared in various anthologies and magazines, including Galaxies SF, Daily Science Fiction, and Future Science Fiction Digest, and has been translated into several languages. They live in Ontario, Canada, with a small family and a loud cat.

Holly Schofield travels through time at the rate of one second per second, oscillating between the alternate realities of city and country life. Her stories have appeared in Analog, Lightspeed, Escape Pod, and many other publications throughout the world. She hopes to save the world through science fiction and homegrown heritage tomatoes.

Lisa Short is a Texas-born, Kansas-bred writer of fantasy, science fiction and horror. She has an honorable discharge from the United States Army, a degree in chemical engineering, and twenty years’ experience as a professional engineer. Lisa currently lives in Maryland with her husband, two youngest children, father-in-law and cats. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association and a Futurescapes 2021 alumnus.

Heather Marie Spitzberg is an environmental author, scientist, and lawyer who lives in New York’s Hudson River Valley with her family. Her writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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Interview with Author Chad Miller

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I’m Chad Miller, I’m originally from Philly and I’m a pharmacist. I live in Delaware with my girlfriend, Natasha. I first got into writing after I started reading for pleasure. The first books I picked up were the Shining and Cat’s Cradle (they’re very different from each other). I was in college at the time, struggling with my classes, got kicked out of the dorms (long story), and my friend, DK, wrote a short story and it blew me away. It was so well crafted, so interesting and it stuck with me. Even though we were interested in different subject matters, this gave me the inspiration to start writing on my own. I sat down and wrote a story, which an adaptation was included in my current book, The Void, and I’ve never stopped writing. That was 25 years ago.

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What inspired you to write your book?

This book, The Void is a culmination of some of my favorite short stories that I have written over the past 25 years. My full-length novel, The Prisoner of Fear, is coming out on October 1st and my publisher (Hear Our Voice) and I wanted to get my name out there pre-release. Before The Void, I’ve had several short stories published in print anthologies and online, but nothing on this scale. Writing is my passion and these 15 tales in The Void show my writing journey.

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I want some of the themes, morals, and feelings to stick to the reader, much like DK’s story stuck with me so many years ago. I want to elicit emotion, whether it be fear, sadness, or laughter. Most of my writing is dark, but I try to show a human element in my characters, something the reader might be able to relate to, to empathize. I don’t want to give the reader nightmares, I want to cause them sleepless nights as my tales haunt their thoughts 🙂

What drew you into this particular genre?

There is so much potential in horror. Yes, there are the slasher, vampire, zombie, and werewolf books, and there is definitely a need for these, but I tend to go to the more cerebral. I’m not tied down or boxed in relying on historical accuracies or limited to the physical world. The palate is literally wide open. I feel horror taps into human emotion, much like comedy does. You have to set the groundwork and have a low build to reach that crescendo, the high water mark.

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If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

In my story Always There, I’d like to meet the ghost, Henry Keijman. First, I would love to learn about his journey in the afterlife, as I’m not a believer in ghosts, I think meeting one would blow my mind and I’d have a million questions. What did he see? Is there a concept of time? Also, he was a prisoner in the Holocaust. My Grandmother, Helen, was a Holocaust survivor so this subject matter runs deep with me. Recently I found an hour-long interview with my Grandmother with the Holocaust museum discussing in detail her experiences. I’d love to hear more of Henry’s story and hear how it related and differed from my Grandmother’s.

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

So far, I’d say Facebook. There are so many writer forums and groups that are so helpful and supportive and helped me find several outlets. Now, I’m moving my focus to Goodreads as it is full of readers. I’m, currently learning how to build my base and use this platform to grow my audience. This is all a learning process. Recently, I got into the conversation about the thin line between advertising yourself verse Spamming, and where that line is. I’ve put out a few Facebook ads and most of the feedback was positive, but there are some trolls out there, which is an interesting experience.

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

I’d say two things. Just write. Don’t listen to others, don’t listen to the doubt in your head, just get something down on the page. For me, writing isn’t painting a picture, it’s whittling. Sometimes it’s painful to start, and at first, it looks crude, but as the story gets honed, you can see the art come into view. Secondly, once you think you’re ready to publish, do your research. Whether you self-publish or go traditional (there is no wrong avenue) put in the work to how to be successful in this endeavor. Don’t just put it out there into the ocean and hope to be discovered, hope for a miracle. Odds are without putting in the legwork your work may get lost into the abyss, into the void (he-he, get it?).

What does the future hold in store for you? Are any new books/projects on the horizon?

My new book, The Prisoner of Fear is due out on October 1st, and its follow-up, Paroxysm of Fear will come out a few months later. This is a horror novel set in the late 1800s in Philadelphia and follows John Doyle and Thomas Braham as they investigate mysteries that the authorities deem too mysterious to investigate. There are monsters, insane asylums, and suspense. I’d say it’s a cross between Dracula and Sherlock Holmes. My current work in progress is a series of 3 Novellas, called Cerberus. I’d call it a spaghetti western with all its characters based on Greek mythological Gods. What is currently on my mind is a story based on a loose alliteration on Lizzy Borden. It will be called, Confession, but right now it’s just swimming in my mind.

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About the Author

Chad Miller has a B.A. in Psychology from Syracuse University and a Pharm D from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. He’s a pharmacist and lives in lifeless Delaware with his girlfriend, Natasha and her daughter, Sasha, and his three kids, Killian, Willow, and Halina. His novel, The Prisoner of Fear, is being published by Hear Our Voice and will be out fall of 2022. His short story collection, The Void is available on Amazon now! His short story, The Thorn, is published by Sweety Cat Press and is included in the anthology, Beautiful: In the Eye of the Beholder and is out now available on Amazon. His short story, Guilty Pleasure, is published by ILA magazine and is out now. His story, The Nick was published in The World of Myth Magazine and won the story of the month. His story, Diseased, will be included in the anthology, Movement: Bodies in Motion, and will be out 06/01/2022. His story, Last Victory and the Manicure, will be included in the anthology, Year Four and will be out 01/23.

https://www.facebook.com/chadmillerauthor

The Void

The Captivating Flames of Madness by Jeff Parsons Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Jeff Parsons takes readers on an exhilarating and chilling journey through 22 short stories that explore the moment that everyone in life finds that changes the course of their personal journeys forever in the book, “The Captivating Flames of Madness”.

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The Synopsis

This book’s title comes from the reality that – like a moth to the flame – we’re all just one event, mishap, or decision away from things that could change our lives forever.

What would you do if fate led you astray into a grim world where you encountered vengeful ghosts, homicidal maniacs, ancient gods, apocalyptic nightmares, dark magic, deadly space aliens, and more?

If you dare, why not find out?

Read for yourself the twenty-two gloriously provocative tales that dwell within this book – but be warned, some of my dear readers have experienced lasting nightmares…

The Review

This was a memorable and engaging collection of short horror stories. The author has such a great command of atmosphere and tone, as each story strikes a balance between haunting atmosphere and captivating character growth. The unique structure of these stories and the range of sub-genres that this collection holds gives a wider range of readers a chance to sink their teeth into these amazing stories.

The heart and core of this collection have to be the theme, which the main underlying theme the author delves into is the concept of one key event changing the course of one’s life in an instant. The characters range from shockingly sympathetic and relatable to terrifying, and yet each story delivers a well-rounded narrative that captures the passion and imagination the author delivers consistently while also bringing some depth and thought-provoking material to the horror genre overall.

The Verdict

Haunting, chilling, and entertaining, author Jeff Parsons’s “The Captivating Flames of Madness” is a must-read horror short story collection. The brilliant imagery and thrilling storytelling made this collection just fly by on the page, and readers will be hard-pressed to put down this eclectic and mesmerizing collection. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!


Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jeff is a professional engineer enjoying life in sunny California, USA. He has a long history of technical writing, which oddly enough, often reads like pure fiction. He was inspired to write by two wonderful teachers: William Forstchen and Gary Braver. In addition to his book Algorithm of Nightmares, he is published in SNM Horror Magazine, Bonded by Blood IV/ V, The Horror Zine, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Chilling Ghost Short Stories, Dystopia Utopia Short Stories, Wax & Wane: A Coven of Witch Tales, The Moving Finger Writes, Golden Prose & Poetry, Our Dance With Words and The Voices Within.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialJeffParsons/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jeff-Parsons/e/B00FIOQCY6%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6860100.Jeff_Parsons

The Void: 15 Creepy Tales by Chad Miller Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A chilling collection of short stories exploring the darkest depths of humanity takes center stage in author Chad Miller’s “The Void: 15 Creepy Tales”. 

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The Synopsis

Welcome to the dark world of Chad Miller. Presented before you are 15 dark, morbid, and sometimes humorous tales that explore the evil, depravity, and sickness that devours the human condition. Goodness and light exist in our world, but sometimes the darkness is inescapable, like a black hole, encompassing us all as we fall into the void.

We see an AI life form trapped in his computer cage, as the world has died around him. He’s in despair, his only eyes staring at his decaying creator as he’s forced to face the reality of eternal isolation.

Meet Ana. On the eve of her first day, living away from home in a college dormitory, she slumbers off to sleep on her first night. Ana receives a mysterious night visitor as he pulls up a chair to her bed, so that he can tell his tale. Ana’s father recounts the story of how he was stolen away from her life in a Nazi concentration camp.

And then poor Jared. He’s a pharmacist, overworked, never receiving a break. His overfilled bladder is ready to burst, but the demands of his job won’t allow even a minute for a bathroom run. See Jared’s horror in excruciating detail when his biggest nightmare comes true when he finally reaches the toilet.

The darkness is unavoidable, so pry your fingers from your eyes and take a peek inside. Enter if you dare…

The Review

This was a fantastic and diverse collection of stories. The author did a wonderful job of developing heart and emotions into a rich dynamic between character growth and narrative in such a short amount of time. The ways in which the stories varied and played out were what added to the diverse narrative the author was sharing. From the painful and horrific experiences of addiction and parenthood to the humorous yet identifiable problem of mother nature’s call to the tragedy of WWII and the horrors the Jewish people faced, each story connected a very relatable yet equally terrifying horror moment to our own lives and experiences.

The thing that stood out to me however was the author’s ability to utilize a strong sense of pacing in the narrative. Not one single story in the author’s collection felt rushed or incomplete somehow, which is quite unique when you consider the number of stories the collection features and how varied the length of each story is. Yet each story hit both the emotional and thrill factors that one would expect from a horror collection, and the author’s ability to transport readers into these stories so effortlessly was incredible to read.

The Verdict

Fast-paced, entertaining, and moving, author Chad Miller’s “The Void: 15 Creepy Tales” is a must-read short story collection that readers won’t be able to put down. The rich variety of characters and the relatable yet equally profound horror moments were an excellent exploration of the human condition and humanity as a whole, and the author’s talent shines so brightly that I cannot wait to read more of the author’s work in the future. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Chad Miller has a B.A. in Psychology from Syracuse University and a Pharm D from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. He’s a pharmacist and lives in Delaware with his girlfriend, Natasha and her daughter, Sasha, and his three kids, Killian, Willow, and Halina. His novel, The Prisoner of Fear, is being published by Hear Our Voice and will be out fall of 2022. His collection of short stories, The Void is now available on Amazon. His short story, The Thorn, was published by Sweety Cat Press and is included in the anthology, Beautiful: In the Eye of the Beholder and is out now available on Amazon. His short story, Guilty Pleasure, is published by ILA magazine and is out now. His story, The Nick was published in The World of Myth Magazine and won the story of the month. His story, Diseased, will be included in the anthology, Movement: Bodies in Motion, and will be out 06/01/2022. His story, Last Victory, will be included in the anthology, Year Four and will be out 01/23. Check out other stories on his website, chadmiller-author.com.