Free for the Kindle: Eucha Falls

Eucha Falls coverWake the kids and phone the neighbors: today through this Saturday, my horror novellette, Eucha Falls, is free on Amazon.com!

The description: A year following her brother’s mysterious disappearance, Melanie Fisher is determined to get answers. Her quest takes her to the site of an abandoned amusement park, where she finds a lost video camera containing evidence that her brother was losing his mind. As she digs deeper, she finds that the madness is catching. But is it really madness, or evidence of something much more real, and much more sinister than she could have ever imagined?

If you enjoy Slender Man stories, creepy pasta, found footage horror, Lovecraft, or simply having your spine tingled, this short story is for you. So check it out! It’s free! Tell your friends!

And grab the book right here!

Free Flash Fic: Blood

So, I had all these posts planned for October, mostly revving up for Nanowrimo and explaining why you should do it and how to go about it, but work day-job need money to live blah blah blah busycakes. So have a free flash fic.

PS: My books are still on sale!

 

BLOOD

 

I was a boy when the monster killed my parents. Of course nobody believed me. It was put down to a bear attack. But I know what I saw. I watched from under the bed as it fed on them. And when it was done, it sniffed me out, lifted the bed off me like it was made of cardboard. It bent down and put its big ugly face in mine, its breath fetid with the stink of their blood, and stared at me with nightmare eyes that I still see every time I sleep.

Then it left.

I don’t know why it spared me. I don’t care. It orphaned me. I’m going to make it wish it had killed me.

My entire life prepared me for this. Learning about it, studying the lore. I found others who had seen it, who had been victimized by it. I found those who knew how to track it, and how to kill it. They taught me, and when I was ready, I hunted it.

I found others of its kind, and killed them. It took a silver-tipped sword, forged by monks and tempered with holy water. Beheading worked. So did stabbing through the heart, but the heart was hard to locate, so I generally stuck with beheading. I’ve taken out five of them since I started hunting. But none were the one I wanted.

That one is here before me now. I tracked it to a back alley in Tulsa of all places. I know it by its eyes. It’s looking at me, and I see recognition. And regret.

Good.

I draw my sword. It swipes at me. I dodge, but not fast enough. Its claw grazes my arm. Not deep, but it tears through my coat and makes me bleed.

We dance like that for several minutes. Time slows, and it feels like hours. Then my sword finds its home, slices clean. The head falls, and just like that, my life’s work is done. My parents are avenged.

I hear a wild howl, and I turn. My monster had a mate, and she charges me. I raise my sword. She runs onto it. Miraculously, it finds the heart. She falls.

I pull out my blade and wipe it on her fur. I hear another wail, this one small and pitiful. It’s coming from a Dumpster.

Inside I find another one. Just a pup. An orphan now, like me. If I spare it, it’ll only grow up to be a killer. And it’ll want vengeance. Also like me.

I won’t make that mistake.

I raise my sword, but as I look in its eyes, I see only myself.

It trembles as I wrap it in my coat and tuck it under my arm. As I carry it to my car, I wonder first how it will ever forgive me. Then I wonder how on earth I’ll feed it.

We’ll figure it out, together. We’re family now, bound by our parents’ blood.

###

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Free Story: Snack Machine

It’s the first day of fall! Hooray! To celebrate, here’s a free story to help get you in the mood for the Halloween season.

 

Snack Machine

 

You think strange thoughts sometimes when you work the night shift. Coming home in the dark late at night, it’s easy to imagine that something in the darkness is out to get you.

If your imagination is like Tina’s, you might think how creepy it would be if the thin, dark gap between the wall and the vending machine at the end of the hall was really a doorway to some otherworldly dimension.

And then you might laugh the thought away as you grab your chips and resist the urge to run back to your apartment.

She was tired when the thought occurred to her, after a long night on her feet at the diner, and it was a nice distraction from worrying about getting mugged on the way home. Or worse.

Tina liked having the machine there. It was her one consolation when her budget had forced her to settle on the tiny basement efficiency. She almost hadn’t been able to afford even that, what with the landlady wanting two month’s rent up front. Thankfully, she’d relented. “Had a lot of trouble with drifters sneaking out without paying their rent,” she’d said, “but I guess you don’t strike me as a drifter.”

Anyway, takeout places were usually closed when her shift ended, and a bag of chips was better than nothing when she felt too tired to cook. She kicked off her shoes and turned on The Late Late Show and munched on her bag of Sun Chips. At least she could pretend those were kind of healthy. When they were all gone, she brushed off the crumbs, crumpled up the bag and headed to bed.

Continue reading “Free Story: Snack Machine”

News and Progress for Halloween Week, 2012

  • First of all, if you’re visiting from the Halloween Blog Hop, hi! Please enjoy my little blog, and click here to read about my top 5 scariest film monsters, and tell us who your scariest monster is in the comments.
  • Speaking of Halloween, if you’re looking for a fun and spooky read to get you into the holiday mood, my paranormal fantasy novel, Restless Spirits, is FREE for the Kindle from now until midnight on Halloween. Get it here.
  • It’s been a while since I’ve made a progress report for Dominion of the Damned. I edited Chapter 38 this morning, and I’ve got about a dozen chapters left to go. I have now shorn up all of the plot holes and character inconsistencies, and there’s only one major thing left to fix that caused all of my beta readers to raise their eyebrows. So the rest of the edits should go pretty quickly. I’m hoping to be done with it by the end of this week.

    After that, I still want to set it aside for a week or so and then give it one more read-through to make sure I caught all of the errors and typos, and that I didn’t create any new ones during my revisions. Once that’s done, I’m thinking of offering free ARCs to a handful of volunteers who are willing to give it an honest review in a public place (as opposed to just telling me what they think) and to tell me if they catch any errors that I missed. So I think we’re looking at an early-to-mid December release (I don’t want to release it in the middle of NaNoWriMo, anyway).

    And in the mean time, I think I’m going to experiment with pre-selling it on Kickstarter. Mostly, I want to have experience with Kickstarter so I can teach others how to use it, but if I can pre-sell enough copies to raise the funds I need to finalize the cover, that would be awesome.

  • In other news, I thought I knew what my next book was going to be, but my actual next book came and whapped me upside the head the other day and told me to write it instead. I’ll tell you more about it when I’m closer to actually starting it, but for now I’ll tell you this–it’s a real departure from anything I’ve written before, and my most ambitious story yet in terms of world-building and the prep-work and research that I’ll have to do. That’s why I usually write contemporary and urban fantasy and horror–I tend to be really lazy in the research and world-building areas, and it’s so much easier to write in an era and setting that I’m already familiar with, and just make up the fantastical parts.

    But this… it’s steampunk, for one thing, and historical (well, alternate history, but you have to know something about history in the first place in order to alter it convincingly), and it’s going to be a lot of work. But I’m really excited about it, and I can’t wait to get started, and I really can’t wait to tell you what it’s all about.

  • Authorly Updatiness

    I’ve been mostly chilling and enjoying the fall weather this week, and also enjoying what’s left of my down time before the hecticness of NaNoWriMo and my new client’s web project both kick into high gear by doing a lot of crafty stuff and working on my Halloween costume, both of which will get their own posts in the near future.

    But in the mean time, the IWU blog tour has been chug-chug-chuggin’ along. I’ve done two new interviews just this week, both with smart women who asked some great questions. Some excerpts…

    …from Susan Jean Ricci’s interview:

    SR: I loved the post on your Twitter, that went something like this: “It’s a good sign you’ve hit all the emotional notes, when editing your own story makes you cry.”
    What makes you cry about your writing that you’d like to share with our readers today?

    JB: I tweeted that while I was editing the first chapter of my current novel-in-progress, Dominion of the Damned, and it was a scene where my protagonist was going through something really horrific and tragic that would shape her for the rest of the book. As I re-read what she was going through and what it was making her feel, I really got choked up. When I write an emotional character like that, I think back to watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and how every time Buffy cried about something, without fail, I would cry. So I really strive to create characters that my readers can connect with on that level, and care deeply about what they’re going through.

    …and from my interview with Jennifer Rainey at Independent Paranormal:

    JR: Do you watch many horror/supernatural movies? If so, what’s your favorite and did that inspire you to write a ghost story?

    JB: I’ve always been a big fan of horror movies, although I tend to like monster and slasher movies better than ghost stories; mainly because, as mentioned earlier, ghosts freak me out. Movies about ghosts and demons and exorcism–those tend to stay with me and give me the wiggins in the middle of the night (I STILL have nightmares about that little girl from The Ring). I enjoy a good scare, but I prefer to be able to shake it off and get on with my life once the movie’s over. I decided to write a ghost story mainly to confront that fear. That said, my favorite horror movie of all time is John Carpenter’s Halloween. I’m also partial to his version of The Thing. As for more recent movies, it doesn’t get much better than The Descent.

    Also, don’t forget: Halloween weekend is the last chance to get Restless Spirits FREE at Smashwords with coupon code FU23M!

    Get Restless Spirits FREE Through Halloween!

    ‘Tis the season for ghost stories and haunted houses… with a little zombie and vampire action thrown into the mix. To help get into the Halloween spirit, you can get my paranormal fantasy about a ghost hunt gone wrong, Restless Spirits, FREE on Smashwords with coupon code FU23M. And that’s not all! As a bonus I’ve added a special sneak preview of the first two chapters of Dominion of the Damned, my in-progress vamps-vs-zombies post-apocalypse epic. And that’s a lot of hyphens right there.

    So if you’ve read it, now’s a good time to read it again, or just snag it for the free preview. Now is also an excellent time to tell other people about it. And remember, on Smashwords, you don’t need an e-reader. You can download it in any format, or just read it on the web site. And if you DO have an e-reader, that’s covered, too.

    Freebie Friday

    I’m going to try to give something away here every Friday, probably most often a printable graphic of some sort, but also the occasional book or craft-related giveaway. This first offering is a bit of a cheat because I already gave it away on my other blog a few weeks ago, but I didn’t have time to make something new this week, and besides, it’s free, so what’s your beef, anyway?

    Just kidding about the beef part. Anyway, here’s a printable note sheet. Print a few sheets at a time on your personal printer*, or send the file off to your favorite print shop and have it bound into notepads. Either way, enjoy.

    Click here to download the PDF.

    *Be sure to set your printer margins to print the entire sheet.

    Free! Awesome! Fiction! Cornucopia!

    I’ve got several short stories by awesome authors open in my browser, some of which have been sitting there for weeks waiting for George R. R. Martin to give me back my brain so I can make time to read other people’s stuff for a change (yesterday I finally finished Storm of Swords and started Feast for Crows, so I’m over the halfway mark; meanwhile, husband is reading Dance With Dragons and managing to neither gloat (…much) nor spoil me).

    I have actually read two of them, so let’s start with those:

    The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman

    A Sudden Absence of Bees by Nick Mamatas (aka )

    The others are all by Catherynne M. Valente (aka ) and I haven’t read them yet mainly because her writing is so rich and I’m saving them for a rainy afternoon when I can curl up with them along with my knitting and a cup of tea:

    The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland — For a Little While

    The Wolves of Brooklyn

    White Lines on a Green Field

    None of these are indie. They’re just awesome.

    Oh, and there’s also this, which is not a short story, but is making me giggle endlessly today (via dooce).

    And now I can close some tabs.