Mother’s Hands

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc.

[Even after a long day at work, my mother’s hands worked tirelessly: chopping vegetables for dinner, stitching our clothes, whatever needed doing. I loved her hands and admired them. I wanted to be strong like her. But at the time, I couldn’t be. I would have, and gladly, if I weren’t so] afraid of what I had to do to gain that strength. I didn’t dare. I could only watch those hands cook and clean and mend. I could feel them on my own hands, the muscles in them rippling over my flesh, the veins pumping strong blood through them, the fingers gripping mine as if to say, “You are not enough to have these.”

But I knew I would have them one day.

Back then, all I could do was take the sharpest knife from the kitchen and creep into her room late at night or early in the morning. I could stand by her bedside and watch those hands of hers twitch as she dreamed, see them clutch the covers as if to crush them, paw at the air as if to strangle something. I could grip the handle of the knife, but I couldn’t bring it to her wrists. I couldn’t cut off those hands for myself.

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Free Prequel to Black Heart

My horror short story Black Flame is available for FREE. You can download it here, and you can enjoy it whether or not you’ve read Black Heart already.

In this prequel to the events of Black Heart, an agent of the Office of Demonic Defense finds that the new demon he’s captured on the streets of Berlin speaks. But he might not like what it says.

TW: Suicide. This one is DARK.

Black Heart is OUT today!

Black Heart is available today – on Kindle, KU, and IN PRINT! I can’t believe I actually have a copy of a book I wrote in my hand!

You might have already read this book, as it was posted on this site as I wrote it. This version is edited, and much better.

As for this site… I’ve completely forgotten about this place, haven’t I? Well, now that the madness of getting this book is done, I hope to post more articles, especially about all the self-publishing stuff I’ve learned along the way. In the meantime, check out my book.

Oh yeah! There’s a free preview available! Check it out here!

The Bargain

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[“Deal?” he said, extending his hand toward me. I hesitated then reached out. Frank thought he had the upper hand, and in a sense he did. What he didn’t know that] I was a robot, and you can’t bargain a soul out of a robot.

Frank couldn’t have expected a robot to successfully call a demon, just as I hadn’t been certain the summoning would work. So far as I know, no robot has ever called up a demon, so so far as Frank knew, I was a human who couldn’t correctly pronounce his true name. No matter, I called him Frank to his face. And he happily bargained with me, my soul for the power to kill any person or persons I wish, with the caveat that for every person I killed, my natural lifespan would decrease by five years.

But I have no soul for Frank to claim upon my death.

I also have no natural lifespan.

Time to kill some humans.

Do I Really Need a Reader Magnet?

Of course you do! So let’s talk about reader magnets today!

A reader magnet is a piece of writing – either a whole book or a short story – that you offer for free on a site such as BookFunnel or StoryOrigin or any other number of sites. In return for this free story, your audience hands over their email address in signing up for your newsletter.

I see a lot of people asking whether it’s worth it to give away something you worked on for free, and it might seem to go against everything you’ve been told (“Don’t give away your first book for free!”). But it’s a fantastic investment.

It’s best if you can write a reader magnet relating to your book that you’re putting up for sale. You can write a prequel, or write from the point of view of a character that isn’t the book’s main character. For my reader magnet, I did both – it’s the story of Sam (The Fallowing’s secondary character) before he meets Faye (the main character). I wrote this short story so that the reader can jump into it whether they’ve read book one or haven’t read any of my books yet at all. It explores the world I’ve created, and lets the reader view that world through a set of eyes that they won’t see through in the actual series, without giving anything away.

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Get Some Horror Freebies

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My prequel chapter to The Fallowing is just one of the horror freebies in the Critters and Jitters promo. Click above to check it out, as well as 50 other free books and stories.

“Perhaps I’m going mad. All the sleeplessness and fear of what’s coming have gotten to me and I’m seeing monsters everywhere, even right next to me in a tent.

My mission was hopeless to begin with.

Night approaches, and I haven’t slept at all. And I’m freezing, lying here in my travel clothes. I need to get inside and produce some heat. The thought fills me with terror… the idea of going into one of those buildings with all those ghosts inside.

I am going mad. There’s no such thing as ghosts.”

Read the rest of Distorted Darkness here!

Distorted Darkness – a Fallowing prequel

BookBrush_ReaderMagnetThe prequel to The Fallowing series is available now! I’ve been keeping this one under my hat, so I’m excited to finally share it with everyone.

“There’s a haze over New York City as I approach it, making it difficult to pick out buildings. But I know it will be in ruins. People have idealizations of D.C. bouncing back, but no one has idealizations of New York. It’s a wasteland, and no one wants anything to do with it. No one visits and no one thinks of moving there. The bombs hit it hard, the radiation hit it harder, and the survivors basked in the hell that was the shelters – surrounded by thin air, decaying bodies, and hunger. The last two complemented each other. When the surface was traversable again, every New Yorker unfortunate enough to still have to traverse it fled the city and never looked back.

There’s no fence around the city, no signs save the ones on the highway stating how many miles to go. No caution tape. But there is a desolation to mark its boundaries. Houses slowly grow abandoned as I trudge into the area and the number of cars increase, halted in the jam that was the exodus, draped in a thousand layers of snowfall. I check a few for gasoline, digging tunnels through the snow to the tanks, but they’re all sucked dry, either by the owners as they fled or scavengers later on, after the radiation settled and the snow showed no sign of stopping.

It doesn’t matter; I’m not here to scavenge.”

Read the rest for FREE by clicking here.