Writer of Horror Fiction

Posts tagged “short stories

Review of Matheus Macedo’s “We With Daisies Lie”

We With Daisies Lie is a short story/novella about one man’s journey during the first few days and months of the zombie apocalypse.  Told in first person, it sticks with tradition, bringing nothing new to the table as far as the undead are concerned.  Whether you get bit or not, when you die you turn and the undead are slow moving.  The main character meets up almost immediately after the dead start to turn with a group of three younger kids led by a bully.  They search for places to survive and they overcome several incidents with the dead while dealing with turmoil within the group.  The living continue to be a major threat later in the story as the character grows stronger and more equipped to handle himself with the undead.  With new friends in tow, he tries to lead them to his grandparent’s farm and the fallout shelter they had made during the cold war, which is filled with enough supplies to last them several months.

The author makes a solid attempt at developing his small group of characters, though the length of this tale does limit most of them from being more than archetypes.  The main character and Emily, the girl he grows attached to, are the most fleshed out.  There were some good components to this tale, including the brief conversation the main character has with an ex-girlfriend on the phone after things go haywire.  She is surrounded by the undead in her sky rise apartment in New York City with no way to escape.  The blunt suggestion the main character makes was startling but at the same time made all the sense in the world.  Emily’s work on a poem was a nice touch as well.  There was also something that stretched believability related to an incident surrounding a stab wound to the gut.  I won’t provide further details, but suffice it to say it was a stretch buying what happens.  Otherwise, the story is a pretty straightforward analysis of how people cope with unbelievably horrible circumstances and what they must become to survive.  There were some typos and missed words here and there-the story could have done with another editing run through, but overall, it is a quick read with definite entertainment value.  The author shows solid promise here and I look forward to checking out his other works.

We With Daisies Lie can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/We-Daisies-Lie-Matheus-Macedo-ebook/dp/B00M4M32IY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408377720&sr=8-1&keywords=we+with+daisies+lie

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Review of Dean Giles “Alien Apocalypse Payback”

Alien Apocalypse: Payback concludes the three short story/novella arc of the Alien Apocalypse serial.  Leon Weber has faced down the alien enemy and figured out its weakness, has saved his son and discovered that not all of the alien’s offspring are inherently evil.  With a desperate plan in mind, he wants to defeat the alien once and for all, or die trying.

Like the other installments in this tale, the odds are stacked against the slim bits of humanity that still remain, especially as the alien entity continues to evolve and works at creating genetic mutations to do its bidding and find the few humans remaining so it can feed.  But Leon has discovered one of its very few weaknesses and has a slim chance to exploit it.

This was a satisfying series.  The author has created a rollicking science fiction tale that is dark and filled with despair and yet could easily be translated into a good old fashion alien invasion movie for the masses.  It was a fun and easy read and I would recommend checking out all three installments since all three are fairly cheap on the kindle and are a fun, if quick, ride.

Alien Apocalypse: Payback can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Alien-Apocalypse-Payback-Dean-Giles-ebook/dp/B00LBEQ7EW/ref=la_B005AQTGUY_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406760050&sr=1-9


Review of Lee Brait’s “Oil To Ashes 1: Picnic”

Oil To Ashes 1: Picnic is a short story that I picked up free for the kindle.  Set in the not-so-distant future, we are introduced to Linc Freemore, who works for a company dedicated to the war effort.  A war that appears to be occurring between the United States (or perhaps, more generically, the “West”) and the oil rich countries of the Middle East.  The U.S. is actually being bombed in this war and gas has reached around $10 a gallon.  Linc is just trying to finish a project so he can get a day off, but his day starts off dealing with some gang violence and saving some school children who are almost ran over by a runaway car that was shot up.  Gangs have grown more courageous and willing to assault just about anyone, and later that same day Linc discovers that first hand when he comes to the rescue of a girl on a rural road who is being chased on foot by another biker gang.  Linc’s cowardly coworker flees, forcing him to take action and improvise ways to keep the girl safe and to stay alive.

The story is short, sweet, and to the point.  Better yet, it was a free introduction to the Linc Freemore saga and it appears that the second short story is also available via the kindle.

This short tale was a fun introduction that can somewhat stand on its own, though the author made sure to give you reason to want to check out what is next.  Linc is probably more than what he appears to be given his willingness to jump into a fight and become the hero.  A simple corporate schmo he is not.  The bits and pieces of the near-apocalyptic world the author has created is interesting and fairly plausible, which in some ways makes this story somewhat tantalizing.  A precursor to the world of Mad Max and company, where fuel is rapidly disappearing along with civility, law, and order?  Perhaps.

Oil To Ashes 1: Picnic can still be (at this time) picked up for free at http://www.amazon.com/Oil-Ashes-Freemore-Apocalyptic-Science-ebook/dp/B00F6KB7I8/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406757781&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=oilt+to+ashes


Review of Rebecca Besser’s “Twisted Pathways of Murder & Death”

Twisted Pathways of Murder & Death is a compendium of grim short stories, each with their own interpretation of the title of this work.  No one is safe here, with a rogue’s gallery of villains that range from the tragic to the demonic that all lust for blood, flesh, and the demise of all who cross their paths.

I read the paperback version of the book, which note that there are 4 bonus tales vs. the electronic version.  I will provide a brief synopsis of each tale without providing any spoilers.

Deadly Mistakes tells the tragic tale of a man out for revenge after a clerical error at a law office that lets a murdering monster free to slaughter his wife.

Turn of Events turns the tables on the traditional sad tale of domestic violence.

Stalkers Beware provides some new ideas of how to deal with all those pesky groupies if you are a rock star.

Hope of a Future takes a look at a bleak apocalyptic future where hoping for even the most simple things can make things even more grim.

Game Gone Wrong mixes science fiction with the very prevalent fear of the government watching your every move, and doing whatever it takes to find out what you know.

Mystery Meat is a simple tale of a meat packing facility trying to find out where several bins of prime cuts of meat came from that no one knows about…with morbid results.

Father’s Revenge is a succinct, blunt tale of a father’s revenge when his wife betrays him, as seen through the eyes of his daughter.

Innocent Blood starts out much like the previous tale, but with the desire for revenge going dreadfully wrong.

On Account of Bacon speaks of how unspeakable tragedies can occur for the most innocuous reasons…or in this case, thanks to a delicious breakfast meat.

Evil Mountain asks the question ‘what do you get when a werewolf, vampire, witch, zombie, and dragon walk into a poor, innocent villager’s hut?’  Nothing pleasant, I can tell you that much.

The Heart of Heroism tells the tragic tale of Billy Jack, a mentally handicapped man-child who simply wants to be a superhero and gets his chance when the zombie apocalypse starts up in the tenement he lives in with his overbearing father.

Historical Significance is a traditional ghost tale with a demonic twist.

Memories starts out asking the question ‘Have you ever heard a rabbit scream?’ and goes deeper down the rabbit hole from there.

Overall, this set of macabre tales are solidly written, though some are stronger and more compelling than others.  Each share a very fatalistic perspective, though they range from the gore splattered to the sinister.  Hope of a Future, Innocent Blood, Evil Mountain, and The Heart of Heroism were my favorites of the lot, while a couple of the very short tales didn’t do it for me, like Turn of Events and Father’s Revenge.  When the author works with more than a page or two, she is able to craft characters that are real, vivid, and accessible.

Twisted Pathways of Murder & Death can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Twisted-Pathways-Murder-Rebecca-Besser/dp/0615858163/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1401418967&sr=8-2&keywords=twisted+pathways+of+murder+%26+death (paperback) and here: http://www.amazon.com/Twisted-Pathways-Murder-Rebecca-Besser-ebook/dp/B00E1LPQZS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401418967&sr=8-1&keywords=twisted+pathways+of+murder+%26+death (kindle).


Review of Jessica Meigs’ “The Becoming: Brothers In Arms”

The Becoming: Brothers In Arms is a prequel novella to The Becoming series of zombie apocalypse books by Jessica Meigs.  It introduces us to the brothers, Theo and Gray, who were introduced to the main characters in the first book of trilogy.  It provides another perspective on the beginnings-the initial days of the virus and provides a more detailed understanding on these two peripheral characters to the main storyline found in the trilogy.

Theo, the older brother, is a paramedic who is on call the night that the infected come back to life.  Not the best profession to be in when the accident victims who appear to be dead are trying to tear into your flesh.  Gray is the younger brother who Theo feels more than just a brotherly obligation to.  Ever since their parents died, he has been taking care of him.  Especially since Gray has severe asthma attacks.  Gray is working as a mechanic but is shooting pool at a local bar with a friend when things go haywire.

Most of this quick read takes place on the first night, where the two brothers face off against several harrowing experiences against the undead, while they do their best to survive long enough to reconnect with one another.  The pacing is solid and the story could serve as a standalone first night of the apocalypse tale, thought it bridges the brother’s experiences from their initial experiences up until they meet with the rest of the characters from the trilogy.

For those who have read some or all of Jessica’s Meigs’ trilogy, reading this tale is a nice way to learn more about a couple of interesting characters.  For those who haven’t ready any of her work, it is a nice brief introduction to her take on the zombie apocalypse.

The Becoming: Brothers In Arms can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007K1KO26/ref=cm_cr_thx_view


Well that didn’t take long-Roms, Bombs, and Zoms is out on Kindle!

I guess if I had waited a day I would have seen the link for the new anthology from Evil Girlfriend Media, Roms, Bombs, and Zoms.  But I was excited and had to share the cover art.  Well, I’m going to do that again, but this time if you click on that cover art, you will be directed to Amazon where you can purchase this wonderful new anthology (complete with my short story “Until The End”) for the low, low price of $3.99.  21 authors writing about stories with those three little words driving the tale.

Check it out:

Dedicated to all those clueless in romance,
dropping bombs without intent,
and for those brave zombies of heartache,
who love and rise again.

When hearts rot, fuses ignite.

Super geek gets the girl, a righteous preacher and his undead wife, fantastical zombies, the tantric art of zubbing, mindless hive workers, and traditional flesh eating walkers, this anthology has a bit of everything. Our twisted tales pull you into the darkest of darks, where hope is lost, and sustaining life is no simple feat.

Twenty-one authors congealed romance, bombs, and zombies into stories that are diverse, witty, and occasionally gut-wrenching. Travel through time to walk in alternate histories, visit magical realms, and face down pestilence that will literally rot your insides. This collection is sure to warm your cold, dead, heart.

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Coming Soon from Evil Girlfriend Media: “Roms, Bombs, and Zoms” including one of my short stories

Earlier this year, a friend requested that I take a look at a new publisher and the anthologies they were looking to publish.  She was going to be editing one of these tomes and thought I might want to try my hand at the writing a story for it.  Evil Girlfriend Media is a new publisher of novels and anthologies and the book my friend thought I might be interested in submitting a short for was intriguingly entitled “Roms, Bombs, and Zoms.”  In fact, it was clear that EGM likes titles with three rhyming words.  Other anthologies they have coming out:  “Stamps, Vamps, and Tramps” and “Witches, Stitches, and Bitches.”

The criteria for writing a story for Roms, Bombs, and Zoms was simple.  It had to include those three concepts: Romance, a bomb of some sort (literal or figurative), and of course, my favorite slouching dead things, zombies.  Simple, huh?  Well, not when you aren’t used to writing romance.  Sure, I’ve written about relationships in my stories and even have a story written that has a bit of an erotic slant to it, but romance?  This was a new genre for me to tackle.  So of course, because I am always up for a challenge, I proceeded to come up with an idea and write a story….but not until about two weeks before the deadline for submitting a story occurred.  I was able to squeak in under the wire with my submission, which was a bit longer than what the publisher would have liked (thank God for editing!), but there you have it.  I had written my first romance.  I guess the fact that the story also had zombies in it was like a security blanket for me…because, you know, I have this thing for zombies.  No, my story does not have zombies falling in love, but they serve as a very traumatic backdrop to the love story I created.  More shocking than the fact that I had written a romance was that my story was accepted.  Honestly, I didn’t know I had it in me, but you are a better judge of that than me if I truly did with this effort.  My story is called “Until The End” and I am quite happy with the results.  I hope you are too.

Today, EGM released the cover for Roms, Boms, and Zoms.  It is very sharp and has wet my appetite for the book itself.  I am looking forward to the book’s release, which will be next month.  I will share the links to where you can check this book out via Amazon and elsewhere once it is released.  But for now, check out the cover and stay tuned for more details!

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