Category Archives: Kindle Unlimited

Horror Book Spotlight: Gretel by Christopher Coleman @c2coleman


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Dark Fantasy, Horror


gretel by christopher coleman

“One of the best collections of strong female characters that I’ve seen in a long time.”–Errant Dreams

Alone. Frightened. Captive. If you hear someone approaching, RUN. She is not there to help you.

There is an ancient evil in the Back Country, dormant for centuries but now hungry and lurking. When it sets its sights on an unsuspecting mother one routine morning along an isolated stretch of highway, a quiet farming family is suddenly thrust into a world of unspeakable terror, and a young girl must learn to be a hero.

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt:

She’d never gotten used to the taste.  Even with the life and strength that teemed in every molecule, the russet fluid always went down heavy and crude.  Like swallowing a fistful of thin mud that had been lifted from the bottom of a river.

There was a time in the early years of her life—this second life—when she was forced to mix the liquid with soup or tea, or to stir it into the batter of the sweet confections and pies that even today she took pleasure in baking.  She had experimented relentlessly with temperatures and combinations—using ingredients she wouldn’t have otherwise fed to a cockroach—hoping to create a formula that, if not tasty, was at least palatable enough to override the involuntary rejection by her mouth and throat.

But she’d had little success, and soon began believing the more she tampered with and diluted the delicate recipe, the more the regenerative effects were diminished.  Her nails and hair didn’t seem to grow quite as quickly, and her teeth, though they were restored, felt as if they had just a bit less length and severity.

Of course, it was plausible she was entirely wrong about the effects of the tampering, and she accepted the possibility that her observations were paranoid inventions of an overprotective mind.  But she also wasn’t taking any chances, and over time she had trained herself to drink the mixture straight.  After all, it took mere seconds for the solution to make it over her taste buds and down to her belly.  After that, it was ecstasy.


Book Trailer:



About the Author:

Christopher Coleman lives in Maryland with his wife and two children. He received his degree in English Literature from the University of Maryland and has been writing professionally for over five years.

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Steampunk Mystery Book Feature: Whispers of Bedlam Asylum by Mark C. King @MarkCKingAuthor


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Thriller, Mystery, Steampunk


whispers-of-bedlm-asylum

Even the splendor of Victorian Age London was not without its faults. In its heart is one of the darkest places in human history, Bedlam Asylum. The whispered rumours of brutality, fear, and hopelessness turn out to be only the beginning of its cruelty.

One man is trying to protect his family by uncovering the worst of Bedlam’s hidden secrets. One woman is following in her late husband’s footsteps to try and help those that can’t help themselves.

They will both find that looking for evil does not necessarily make one prepared to find it.

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt:

Even the splendor of Victorian Age London was not without its faults. In its heart is one of the darkest places in human history, Bedlam Asylum. The whispered rumours of brutality, fear, and hopelessness turn out to be only the beginning of its cruelty.

One man is trying to protect his family by uncovering the worst of Bedlam’s hidden secrets. One woman is following in her late husband’s footsteps to try and help those that can’t help themselves.

They will both find that looking for evil does not necessarily make one prepared to find it.


About the Author:

mark-c-king

Mark King is an easy-going writer with a talent for finding enjoyment in most any situation. He’s a lifelong reader whose literary interests include science fiction, adventure, thriller, and mysteries. He grew up in California but now lives in upstate New York with his wife. When not working or writing, he can be found watching movies, kayaking, associating with friends, and of course reading. Mark is happy to have been recently accepted as a Goodreads author!

Visit Official Website at: www.MarkCKing.com


Historical Fiction Spotlight and Interview: In a Time Never Known by Kat Michels @FictionofTruth


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Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction


in a time never known

New Release!

Wife, mother, spy. Anna is hiding a dangerous secret from her family, especially her Confederate General husband. However, it is not her covert work for the Union that she finds the most daunting, it is dealing with her spoiled Southern belle daughter. When Kady discovers that her mother has been leading a carefully constructed double life, she must choose whether to work by her mother’s side in the shadows or return to the pampered life of a Southern planter’s daughter.

Cast into the bloody fray of one of the deadliest wars in our history, In a Time Never Known is the story of women who courageously defy the expectations of the era to do unprecedented things, altering the course of American history and their own lives.

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

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Barnes and Noble


Excerpt:

“Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of…” Martha stopped speaking to stifle a rising sob. She knew she had to stay strong for her children, but she could not get past that word. Another scream pierced the air and even the young Confederate soldier, guarding the door with his gun at the ready, flinched at the sound. Biting her lip, she swallowed past the lump of fear lodged in her throat, let her eyes fall shut, and started again.

“Lord, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil.”


About the Author:

kat michels

Kat Michels lives in Los Angeles, CA, with her two puggles. She is the author of a historical fiction novel, three children’s book, and a series of mini-biographies about extraordinary American women. Kat has received multiple awards for her writing, including two regional Emmys for her work on short-form documentaries.

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Author Interview:

Thanks for doing an interview! Could you tell our readers a little bit about your writing journey?

I’ve been writing stories and poetry for as long as I can remember. My life has been a series of scraps of paper and napkins with brilliant, spur-of-the-moment ideas hastily scribbled on them. Despite this, it took until I was in my mid-twenties before it occurred to me that not only was I a writer, I wanted to write as my profession. From there I started dabbling wherever I could. I wrote the narrative to a couple of short-form documentaries. I was a theater critic in Los Angeles for four-ish* years. I discovered the joy of uncovering and writing about historical American women who did extraordinary things, but received little to no recognition for their work. And the need for a heartfelt baby shower gift plus the chorus of a show tune getting stuck in my head became my introduction to the world of children’s books. While I have a place in my heart for all of these things, I have learned that it is really in the novel that I feel most at home. I love a good sweeping story that carries you away – to watch, to read, and to write.

* I say “ish” because I still get pulled back in by the siren song of live theater and write a review when I see something that truly blows me away.

How many books do you currently have published?

Four – three children’s books (Children Have Got to Be Carefully Taught, 10 Cheeky Monkeys, Monsters in the Night) and one novel.

What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why?

The novel is my favorite medium to tell a story, but children’s books are my favorite to write. I get to play around with rhymes and poetic structure and they are way less work than a novel. As much as I love writing, it is work. When the entire book is less than 100 words, it feels less like work and more like play.

Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release?

I am actually working on four different books right now, which didn’t seem crazy until I said it. Now it sounds a little crazy. I don’t know which one will be my next release, but the smart money is on one of the children’s books. I work with two different illustrators, so I’m working on the text for a prequel to Monsters in the Night for M. McCune to work on, and a book called Because I’m a Girl, for A. Sutton to work on. Then I am also working on the sequel to In a Time Never Known, as well as a non-fiction book about the Civil Rights Movement as told through the eyes of the women who fought for the movement.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

I get to write the stories that I’ve always wanted to read.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?

I have come to realize that I don’t get writer’s block, I get writer’s fear. The ideas are flowing and I have words to put down, but I am afraid that what I put down won’t be good. That I won’t be able to make the words on the page match the idea in my head. This fear builds to the point that I become paralyzed and incapable of putting anything down on the page. At those times, I turn to friends for encouragement. There was one piece of advice/encouragement that has really stuck with me. I called a friend one night and told her all about this book that I wanted to write, but was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. She said to me, “The first draft may suck. But you have the talent, the passion and the dedication to fix it, so that the final draft will be great. Just start.” Those words are now my mantra when the self-doubt starts to creep in, “Just start.”

Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you?

Yes – Jacob. No matter what I threw at that guy, he would always come out on top. He’s just one of those characters that can see where he will benefit in every situation he’s faced with. In early drafts I fought against that, because I wanted him to have some sort of comeuppance. It never worked, and I just wound up with chapters that felt false. Eventually I gave in and let Jacob be Jacob.

Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why?

Mary, Anna’s personal slave, is hands down my favorite character. She is so strong, both by necessity to live as a slave, but also as part of her nature. She has learned how to survive in the circumstances she was dealt without giving up her dignity and sense of self. Yet despite all of her hardships, her capacity to love and empathize with those around her is immeasurable. If I could sit down and have a chat over a cup of coffee with anyone in my book, it would be Mary.

I don’t know that I would call him my least favorite character, but definitely the character that I love to hate is General Bell. He has a set of rules by which he lives and he is going to stick to them even if it means turning on those he holds most dear. He is just so awful in so many ways, but underneath that cruel exterior is a sad little boy that didn’t get held enough as a child. There are times that I want to give him a hug, then punch him in the face, because he both needs and deserves both.

So far, what has been your favorite scene to write?

The battle scene was particularly fun to write. I studied stage combat for seven years, so I got up and acted out most of the fight to help me get the descriptions and the flow of the violence correct.

What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers?

I have learned so much about criticism. First and foremost, that any critique is simply one person’s opinion about the work in front of them. Outside of memoirs that work has nothing to do with you as a person. While the work may feel like your baby, it’s not, and a critique of that work is not an attack on you as a person. As such, it should not be taken personally. Which is definitely easier said than done. However, the only way to get better is to let people read your work, and comment. So this realization and acceptance made me more open to criticism. The more open I was, the more I actually listened, and the better my writing became.

The one thing that I always tell new writers is that they have to learn the difference between criticism (This sucks!) and constructive criticism (Jane reacting this way feels forced. Why is she so disturbed by the situation?). On the whole, the former can be ignored and the latter should be considered. But at the end of the day, it’s your work. Just because someone says they don’t like something, doesn’t mean you have to change it. Now if ten people all say the same thing, then you have a problem that needs addressing.

Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release, a summary of a deleted scene, or a teaser about a surprising plot twist or character?

My most recent children’s book was released on October 5, and I had a lot of fun doing a recorded reading of it for Youtube. https://youtu.be/VCWeDDSV4lY

Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read?

When I’m reading for pleasure my tastes run toward historical fiction, fantasy and young adult. I live in this world every day, so when I read I like to enter a different world. That being said, what gets me excited about a story is when an author can paint the world of their book so vividly that I can picture every aspect of it in my mind. I’m willing to overlook mediocre writing or shaky plots as long as the world-building is fantastic. Suck me into your world and you’ve got me till the end. Young Adult books are my guilty pleasures. They read quickly, often have better writing than adult books, and sometimes are downright silly. Sometimes you just need to read about a giant peach smashing some nasty aunts.

What about television shows? Movies?

I’ll watch just about anything by Joss Whedon. Years ago, I was reading an interview he did in a magazine and came across a piece of advice that has stuck with me. He said, “Give your audience everything they want, but in the worst possible way.” That concept intrigues me, and I love to see him play that out in his work. I also love how he is able to inject moments of comedy into even the most serious of scenes. As George Bernard Shaw said, “”Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.” I’m also a huge fan of Criminal Minds. I find the psychology of deviant behavior fascinating.

Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why?

Loath as I am to admit it, I was not a big reader when I was younger. I read what was required of me for school or the summer reading program at the library, but no more. Books were often chosen because they contained the correct page count for an assignment, with little regard to their content. In 7th grade, I read The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye because it was so long, I could be done with the semester’s reading assignment after one book. I didn’t even know what it was about when I opened it and read the first page. Ironically, it was the first book that truly enveloped me in a story and made me fall in love with sweeping historical dramas. Looking back, that is probably where the kernel for historical fiction was planted.

The only other book that truly stands out to me is, A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf. I read it in college and was completely absorbed in the concept of alternate truths, which was sparked specifically by her discussion of Shakespeare’s sister. What if she had been the brilliant writer in the family? What if she had tried to pursue that career? Would we have even a tenth of the canon that we do today, had the author been a woman instead of a man? I was fascinated by the ‘what ifs.’ I already had a love for history, and reading her words opened up a whole new angle of exploration.

If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say?

Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Did I say rewrite? Rewrite again!


From Author Dan O’Brien: Two Chilling Horror Books To Read This Halloween @AuthorDanOBrien


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two-chilling-horror-books

With the leaves falling, the nights lasting longer,  and the temperatures dropping, it’s the perfect time of year for horror fans to curl up with a chilling read. See these two books from Dan O’Brien to get your horror fix, but be warned. You might want to leave a light on if you read these at night!


Bitten

bitten-dan-obrien

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:

“Bitten is an extremely well-balanced and engaging novel. It contains mystery, suspense, horror, romance, and best of all – a creative, genre-bending twist on werewolf mythology. The story is quick-paced and dark without being too heavy or overdramatic. The protagonist is a strong and courageous FBI agent who is able to assert herself without casting aside her femininity. She reminds me of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum…If a sequel follows, I will definitely read it.”

“Author Dan O’Brien Left His Mark With BITTEN. For some there will always be a fascination with discovering answers…I’ve now read three books by O’Brien but BITTEN is by far my favorite. It not only showcases his literary skills but leaves the reader wanting more. What else could an avid reader ask for?”

A predator stalks a cold northern Minnesotan town. There is talk of wolves walking on two legs and attacking people in the deep woods. Lauren Westlake, resourceful and determined F.B.I Agent, has found a connection between the strange murders in the north and a case file almost a hundred years old. Traveling to the cold north, she begins an investigation that spirals deep into the darkness of mythology and nightmares. Filled with creatures of the night and an ancient romance, the revelation of who hunts beneath the moon is more grisly than anyone could have imagined.

Free on Kindle Unlimited

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Drained

drained-dan-obrien

A frightening new case.
A mysterious journal.
The beginning of the end.

Lauren Westlake has left behind the horrors of northern Minnesota to investigate a strange package with a cryptic return address. Crossing the country to the city by the bay, Lauren discovers that Locke was only the beginning. Crossing paths with a stoic SFPD detective and a surprise from her past, she must figure out what hunts the foggy streets of San Francisco in this new novella.

Is it vampires?

Is it something more?

Love supernatural, paranormal, and scary stories? Then what are you waiting for?

How about gory horror stories, women sleuths, and occult assassins? The Prime Lending Library allows you to grab this book at no cost if you are enrolled in Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited.

Get it today!

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

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About the Author:

dan-o-brien

Dan O’Brien has written over 20 books, including the bestselling Bitten, which was featured on Conversations Book Club’s Top 100 novels of 2012. Before starting Amalgam, he was the senior editor and marketing director for an international magazine. In addition, he has spent over a decade in the publishing industry as a freelance editor. You can learn more about his literary and publishing consulting business by visiting his website at: www.amalgamconsulting.com. Contact him today to order copies of the book or have them stocked at your local bookstore. He can be reached by email at amalgamconsulting@gmail.com.

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Looking for more Halloween reading recommendations? See our 31 Nights of Haunted Reads event!

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Halloween Must Read: The Bride Wore Brains: A Horror/Comedy Zombie Apocalypse Story by Emily Wesley Stringer @EmilyWStringer


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Horror/Comedy/Zombie


the-bride-wore-brains

Claire’s perfect wedding takes a horrific turn when her guests start turning into zombies. It’s up to her best friend, Kat and a motley crew of wisecracking misfits to save the day.

Praise for “TBWB”:
“This book really did it for me. I have finally found a situation in which I love wedding details – the author has planned a wedding right down to the bouquet and pink satin bridesmaid shoes, then trashed it all with zombies and a chainsaw. Exquisite! It was a beautiful combination of hum our and zombie horror/action – I would recommend it to anyone looking for a refreshing read with a bit of gratuitous gore!”-Nia Wright

“This is most definitely a book I’d come back to. I recommend zombie lovers to read this, I think many of us especially The Walking Dead fans would enjoy reading about a zombie outbreak at a wedding!”-The Sweet Little

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt:

“Got some fresh ones for you,” the EMT said to the morgue attendants as he brought the sealed black bags into the room. “Wedding guests. This one should be interesting.”

Brody and Cody were the quintessential nightshift science dweebs. They looked like brothers in their matching, black-rimmed glasses and white labcoats. Their rhyming names also didn’t help to quell confusion.

“A wedding? No shit, man. That’s awful,” Cody said.

Brody rose from his computer, where he was watching Return of the Living Dead. “Til death do them part.”

“Christ, man. That was a bad one. Don’t give up on your day job,” Cody replied. “How many of those you got? Please tell me it’s not the whole wedding party,” he said to the EMT.

“About ten right now. There’s more coming, though.”

“Damn. You have any idea what happened to them?” Brody asked, crossing his arms and furrowing his brow in concern.

The EMT shook his head. “Nah, not yet. The cops and coroner are still out there trying to piece it all together. The call came in from the event management at Ridgewood Farms a few hours ago. The wedding was Saturday. To me, it looks like some kind of mass food poisoning, then Jason Voorhees showing up and hacking everyone to bits. There were just bodies everywhere, dude.  Never seen anything like it. Just a warning, they’re pretty bad.”

Cody nodded. “Thanks for the word of caution. We’ll get right on it.”

Brody chugged down the rest of his Mountain Dew. “Alright then, let’s get to work.”

They lifted the first body onto the table and unzipped the bag.

“Holy shit! What the hell happened to these people?” Cody asked as he eyed their grayish/green flesh and bloodied clothing.

Brody scrunched up his nose and recoiled. “They smell like week-old, microwaved ass, too. How long have they been out there?”

“He said the wedding was Saturday, so two days. They look worse though, like they’ve been dead for weeks. Smell like it too,” Cody replied, scrunching his nose up.

“What if they have been dead for longer than just two days? Ooohh,” Brody said, moving his fingers ghost style.

Cody gave him skeptic glance. “You’ve been watching too many monster movies, man.”

“Hey, at least I haven’t watched season 5 of Game of Thrones four times in a row,” Brody said and grabbed a scalpel. “Dude, Halloween is next week. Have a little fun.”

“I make my own fun, thank you very much. Let’s bust this lady open. You think she was the mother of the bride or groom?”

Their customer’s decaying corpse was dressed in a gaudy pale pink sequin suit covered in blood.

“Either that, or a recently divorced aunt hoping to score from the free booze and get laid for the first time in ten years,” Brody said in a scientific manner as he cut the clothes and started making the y-incision, only to jump back as he cut into the cadaver’s chest.

“What’s the matter?” Cody asked, looking at him as if he was crazy.

Brody pointed at her with the scalpel. “I think she just moved, man.”

“That’s not possible. You’re probably just tired and seeing things. We’re on hour ten of a twelve-hour shift. It happens. Get back over here.”

Brody stepped back to the table just as the woman rose from the slab, making horrific growling and hissing noises. She lunged towards Cody, who screamed and reached out for help. Brody repeatedly stabbed her in the arms and chest with his scalpel, to no avail. She pulled Cody in closer and took a massive bite out of his shoulder. His flesh and muscle dangled from the bone and he screamed.

“Call the police! What the fuck is happening?”

Brody tossed his co-worker a clean gauze pad for his fresh wound and ran over to the landline to call the police. The reanimated woman continued to gnaw on Cody, rendering the gauze useless. His screams echoed as the woman made him her meal.

“No freakin’ way, dude. That can’t be,” Brody said as he watched in shock and awe as this corpse devoured his colleague.

He dialed 9-1-1 only to be disconnected. He tried again and got through to the operator.

“I’m in the city morgue! You’ve got to send an officer down here now! There’s been an attack!”

“What kind of attack?”

“It’s kind of hard to explain. Just bring in the guys with the guns! NOW!”

Brody slammed down the phone. The woman sauntered over to him, but he managed to escape from her fast enough to grab a brain from an autopsy they had performed earlier, and threw it at her. The organ slapped onto the floor and sounded like a raw hot dog hitting linoleum. The woman picked the brain up — the second course of her impromptu meal — and ripped right through the frontal lobe.

She gobbled up the brain in less than a minute, and turned her attention back to Brody before starting to shamble towards him. He tossed a few chairs over another slab to try and trip her up, but it did little to stop the flesh-hungry monster of a woman. He grabbed a skull saw and cranked it on — the small, sharp blade a last-ditch effort for his own survival. The woman caught up with him and reached out to take a bite, only to have Brody jab the skull saw into her head. She made a shrieking noise as blood, pieces of gray,rotten flesh and chunks of brain cascaded into the air, until she fell back and hit her head on the slab. What was left of her skull exploded like an overly ripe Gallagher watermelon.

Brody pulled the saw away. “Take that, bitch!”  He leaned against the counter and caught his breath.

What the hell is going on? Where are the cops?

He heard a noise across the room and clutched the saw tighter.

Arrrrrggrah!”

He turned around just in time to see Cody lunge towards him. His eyes were bloodshot, his skin was gray, and he was chomping his teeth trying to take a bite out of him.

“Holy freaking hell! He’s a damn zombie!”

Brody ran towards the door. He was the type of person who theoretically “lived for this shit,” the type of person who never missed a zombie movie or video game. Even his Kia Soul told the world he “Will break for zombies.”

As his former friend and co-worker bit into his neck, Brody realized he was going to die because of this shit.


About the Author:

emily-stringer

Emily Wesley Stringer lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband and dog, Bloo.
She enjoys writing humor, horror, and mystery.
Her first eBook, “The Bride Wore Brains”, was published in October 2015.
Check out her website emilywstringer.com