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The Slant Six – Blitz

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Sci-fi / space opera thriller
Date Published: March 31, 2017
Publisher: Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.
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The year is 2252 and Loman Phin is in trouble. A washed-up channelship racer turned freelancer, he hits pay dirt with his latest mission: a fortune is on the line if he can transport forty-three kilograms of human skin to a remote villa on Pluto’s moon, Nix. Little does he know his very life is at stake when he gets caught up in an ancient feud, chased by a space vampire, and forced into a death-race by the king of Ceres. Meanwhile, danger is always hot on his heels in the form of a massive space freighter out for Loman’s blood. With just his wits, his friends, and his beat-up cruiser, the Slant Six, Loman sets out on the most dangerous adventure of his life.
Excerpt
Loman squeezed the control stick, his knuckles turning white. The Slant Six blasted from the tunnel directly into traffic, crisscrossing the expanse of Island Earth Grand Central Station. The little channelship was a mere speck of dust inside a giant tumbling drum of organized chaos.
“Twelve o’clock!” Portia pointed to a great lumbering whale of a black Bentley that sailed across their trajectory, blithely unaware that both ships were on the verge of becoming unrecognizable husks of burning scrap.
Loman jerked the stick to the left and pushed it downward. With an abrupt drop they angled sharply underneath the leviathan. As she lifted off the seat, Portia felt her stomach clench into a knot. She clapped her hands to her mouth to keep from vomiting and kept them there until the feeling passed.
The Slant Six shuddered as its roof scraped the Bentley’s hull; the shrill noise curled her toes. No sooner had they cleared the Bentley than another vessel, with the image of a blazing comet stenciled on its side, cut into their flight path.
“Comet!” Loman snapped the stick back and to the right. They shot upward with a starboard roll, just missing the Comet as it barreled past.
Loman leveled them out in time to avoid a row of cruising channelships awaiting their turn to launch. The Slant Six weaved in and out of the slow moving ships so quickly that the line appeared to be standing still. Loman continued to navigate the quickly eroding pattern of traffic inside the station.
The mouth of the main tunnel came into view, with open space beyond it.
“There she blows!” he said. “Our egress to free space.”
Portia gave a weak nod. Whatever flaws the man had as a human being, she was thankful he more than made up for these with his piloting skills.
Island Earth Grand Central was utter bedlam as the other pilots reacted to the rogue channelship. Several ships spun in directionless circles while others bumped each other like a flock of feeble-minded geese in flight. Sirens from the station patrol blared, but it was already far too late for anyone to catch the Slant Six sprinting toward the exit.
The colossal dexelized head of the Abacus materialized to block their departure from the interchange. You’d think her gently drooping face would look a hundred times sweeter on such a titanic scale, but nothing could be further from the truth. At fifty meters across, those normally soft wrinkles became deep, dark chasms; her rubicund cheeks expanded into twin reproductions of the planet Mars—acrid and inhospitable.
“Now hold on there, sugah,” the trembling speech of the Abacus boomed throughout the station, filling it full of saccharine and horse sense. “If you don’t change direction, you may end up where you’re heading. Slow down and land at the nearest pulpit. What do you say, sweetie?”
“How does she know it’s me?” Portia asked aloud without having meant to. She leveled an angry glare at Loman. “You idiot, why didn’t you cloud our i-dents?”
“Don’t sweat it, Little Miss Moonbeam,” Loman chuckled. “It’s a canned warning. She doesn’t know us from Adam.”
Loman rocketed the Slant Six up the left nostril of the monstrous Abacus. He’d gotten them safely into the tunnel, and so all they had to do now was survive these last couple kilometers of intermittent darkness as they blasted down the flashing passageway.
Punishing vibrations shook the Slant Six, rattling her from stem to stern. Sitting on her hands, Portia gripped the bench seat even tighter. The shaking grew worse by the millisecond, threatening to tear them apart.
“Damn,” Loman growled through the noise. “Not again.”
“What is it?”
“Ah, the vibration damper ring tends to slip when using emergency propulsion for too long… it happens.”
“It happens?” Portia was aghast. “That’s all you can say? It happens?”
“Don’t worry, she can take it.”
A sizeable chunk of outer skin plating tore off the nose of the channelship. The twisted section of hull slammed into the forward transom and proceeded to bounce along the length of the Slant Six, banging and clanging as it went flying off into the blackness. Portia and Loman looked at each other, she with worry and he with what had to be feigned confidence.
“Not an essential piece, not really.” He smiled weakly. “Nothing I can’t handle.” Loman begin furiously adjusting his rheostats. “All it takes is some extra pressure to compensate for the weakened hull segment and bingo! We’re good to go.”
The Slant Six was still shuddering as she shot out of the open crater beyond the domes of Island Earth. Portia felt the g’s push against her chest as they broke from the weak gravity of the moon. At last, they catapulted into the cosmos, free from the constraints of artificial atmosphere and away from confined spaces.
Loman wasn’t smiling as he made a few more corrections on a console glowing cool blue from the hot ice beneath its surface.
The vibrations instantly stopped and the roar of the ship’s emergency thrusters was silenced. All went quiet as sanity finally returned to their encapsulated world. The absence of sound was pure manna for Portia’s ears.
“We’re using her magneto-static drive now,” said Phin as he let go of the control stick. It retracted back into the floor panel.
The Slant Six settled in and drifted silently into the expanse of stars.
“That’s better.” Portia smoothed down her hair and flattened out the wrinkles on her disheveled gown. “You will intersect with the channel and head to the Kuiper Pass near Triton. You’ll get more instruction once we’re there.”
“Whatever you say… whoever you are,” he muttered.
About the Author

Born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida, Christopher Cobb ventured off to the wilds of New York City for several years to experience the world of acting. Finding it a cruel and inhospitable world, he hid high in the Appalachian Mountains of North Georgia for a time. Having grown weary of snow and perilous black ice, his life path took him back home to south Florida where he earned college degrees at Florida Atlantic University. He now lives in Jupiter—the city, not the planet—with his true love and talented artist, Alicia, their two weird cats, Simon and Weezy, and his amazingly wonderful daughter, Emma. He is a member of the Bloody Pens Writers Group, as well as the Florida Writer’s Association and intends on writing more exciting books for publication. All this makes Christopher a very happy man indeed. Visit him at www.chrisfcobb.com.
 
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Slasher Sam – Blitz

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Horror
Date Published: March 31, 2017
Publisher: Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.
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Beware: this book is not for the faint of heart, the weak of stomach, or the soft of bowels. In these pages are the blog entries of one of the most depraved serial killers of the 21st century—Slasher Sam.
Taking inspiration from several generations of horror films, Sam guts countless victims in creative ways, and posts these exploits to SlasherSam.com for the world to see, putting readers so close to the action that they’re practically in the splash zone when the blood goes flying.
And is there ever blood—Sam’s a savvy killer, too well-versed in horror film lore to make rookie mistakes, which is why the kill count scores well into the double digits.
Visit www.SlasherSam.com if you dare, just remember: in cyberspace, everyone can hear you scream…
Excerpt
A snap of a twig, a rustle of leaves, her head spins around in fright.
“Who’s there?” she says. “Randy, is that you?”
Silly girl. She’s just signed her own death warrant—as if she hadn’t already when I caught her and her boyfriend smoking weed a few moments ago. I’ve been stalking these two for about half an hour, and now he’s gone off to piss somewhere and she’s about to be offed in the opening scene.
To be fair, she’s exactly the sort of girl you hate to see get killed off so early in a slasher movie. Long blonde hair pours out of a red beanie, framing a face so pretty it could sell moisturiser. A tight white puffer jacket hugs her fantastic figure, and skinny jeans accentuate her long legs and ample ass.
I think I’m in love. But rules are rules. I don’t make them; I just enforce them, and she’s going to die tonight.
“It’s not funny anymore, Randy. I mean it. Quit clowning around and get back here right now. I’m really scared.”
I fight the urge to call back, “You should be.” Instead, the rustle of the bush is her only answer as I move out from my hiding place behind a large evergreen and walk back to the well-worn hiking trail where she’s standing, flaring her flashlight in all directions for any sign of her loser boyfriend.
When she sees me, her eyes grow so wide that it’s comical. Rendered immobile by fright, we both just stand and look at each other for a moment or two—her on the verge of a nervous breakdown, me on the verge of killing her. The tension between us is so thick that you could cut it with my machete. I try. What I cut instead is her head open.
It’s like one of Thomas Savini’s finest special effects, but, oddly, less messy. Blood and brain matter abound, of course, but it’s really more like piercing a coconut than splitting an overripe melon. Either way, the blade makes a satisfyingly heavy thunk sound as it punctures the cerebrum, ensuring that she’ll never get to learn French, read another book, or do anything ever again.
When I pull the machete out of her skull, she plummets like the quality of the Friday the 13th film franchise after Part VII: The New Blood. But I don’t have time to dwell on the disappointing Jason Takes Manhattan or the frankly unwatchable Jason Goes to Hell right now; I shouldn’t have even brought them up, because I’ve got a boyfriend to kill. He’s not my boyfriend, asshole. I mean the boyfriend of the girl I just killed. He’ll be back here at any moment.
Propping the girl up against a nearby tree, I pull the hood of her coat up over her bloody beanie and the gaping wound in her head. Even in death, she’s lovely. Now it looks like she’s just having a wee rest. Well, if you’re stoned or stupid anyway.
Fortunately, the boyfriend is a potent mixture of both. I hear him tearing through the jungle and spouting inane babble and sexual innuendo long before I see him from my hiding place in the black forest, opposite the sleeping dead girl.
“Hey babe, I just saw a really big snake,” he says while he’s still out of view. “Oh wait, it was only my penis. False alarm.” He laughs at his own lame joke. “I’m really horny. We should fuck again, if you’re interested. Seriously, you don’t have a choice, let’s do it.”
Wait, didn’t she call this guy Randy a minute ago? That’s a bit on the nose, don’t you think? It’s like a guy called Bob who can’t swim well, a dick called Richard, or if the parents of that blowhard politician who wants to build a wall to keep the Mexicans out and likes wearing a bad toupee had christened him ‘Racist Asshole’.
When I finally get a visual on this walking-talking meat puppet, he’s strutting up the track like a man relieved. Dressed in a black puffer jacket and a trucker cap—in spite of the fact that it’s the middle of the Goddamn night—he proudly wears a shit-eating grin through a stubbly beard like he won it in a contest. I just can’t wait to end him.
“You sleeping babe?” he says, bending over the resting corpse of his dead girlfriend. “Come on, rise and shine sleepyhead. I’m horny.” When she doesn’t reply, he shakes her. “Come on babe, I’m not kidding around. You need to wake up right now.”
Frustrated, he gives her a short, sharp shove and she flops over.
Impatience vanishes and terror takes control now. Whimpering like a sad puppy whose owners have abandoned it next to a busy highway, he slowly peels back her hood to see exactly the sort of damage that a sharp machete will render to a person’s forehead. He lets out a prodigious scream that’ll continue to ring in my ears a number of hours later, and then flurries around in fright when he feels a soft tap on his shoulder.
It’s me, lumbering behind him in my very best Jason Voorhees impression.
Shock, horror and frank disbelief are plastered all over Randy’s terrified face; for all intents and purposes he is face to face right now with the hockey mask-wearing psycho from the Friday the 13th series. What do you do in that situation? What do you even say?
“What the actual fu—”
But I guess we’ll never know his final words, because I cut him off mid-sentence with a swing of my machete and punt his head away like a soccer ball.
About the Author

Simon Petersen is an experienced journalist and popular blogger from Auckland, New Zealand. By day he writes about craft beer, world travel, and professional sport; by night he dreams up horror movie scenarios that’d scare the striped sweater off Freddy Krueger. Visit him at www.SlasherSam.com.
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Entombed – Blitz

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Romantic Suspense
Date Published: 8/17/17
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It’s hard being the daughter of a serial killer. Especially when your father has a lot of sick, twisted fans…
Camille West is the daughter of the infamous Body in the Barrel Killer, the maniac who entombed his victims in large steel barrels after days of torture. When she reluctantly returns to her hometown to take care of her ailing mother, there is a surprise waiting in her new house.
A barrel. A body. And a promise.
Camille has worked hard to forget her small hometown and the stain of her father’s crimes. But someone out there never forgot her…
If that wasn’t enough, her old flame Jake Musgrove is still in town, now working as a private investigator. His smirk and arrogance are a big part of why she fled her small town ten years ago.
Jake has screwed up pretty much everything in his life, but his biggest regret is how he let Camille walk away. Now that she’s back, he refuses to lose her again. He’s got to put it all on the line to protect her, but the killer is getting closer and he’s got to figure out who it is before Camille is entombed…
 
This romantic suspense novel is a page-turning standalone with an HEA and no cliffhangers.
About the Author
 

RUTH PARKER lives in Los Angeles, in a house covered in toddler handprints and cat hair. She has a crippling addiction to diagramless crossword puzzles, Forensic Files and John D. MacDonald novels. Send help. And pencils.
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Holy – Blitz

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Horror /contemporary dark fantasy
Date Published: April 15, 2017
Publisher: Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.
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Gus Stevens has the worst of both worlds. By night, he resides in the Dream World, a place steeped in magic and exotic dangers. By day, a giant snow-lizard stalks him in the Real World, looking to make Gus its next meal. In order to regain control of his life, young Gus must undergo a psychoanalytic exorcism. But this comes with a high price—he must break away from everything he has ever thought was real. Author Abbie Krupnick blends the magical and the mundane in this avant-garde dark fantasy where nothing is as it seems.
Excerpt
The high-pitched scream of a predatory bird echoed from the direction of the Valley. The eagle was approaching at break-neck speed, a maroon streak under the stars. Then it braked and circled lazily overhead a few times before alighting opposite Gus, talons gripping the edge. Gus heard the volcano groan, its anger filling him. The mountain shuddered, its sides growing warm. He slipped out of his cocoon of heat, felt naked without it in front of the bird.
“Hello,” the Magician said, examining him with green eyes. “Why don’t you come down and we’ll talk about things in the grove.”
Gus wondered how much he had overheard.
The mountain was heating up by the second. In a few minutes the smooth stone would scald his feet. A pale orange glow flashed briefly at the bottom of the vent, then colored to yellows and reds too fast, too soon.
“Whenever you’re ready,” Language whispered.
“Don’t listen to him, Gus,” the Magician said. So the Magician could hear, too. What an unsurprising comfort that was.
“Boy, in a few moments, I’m going to flood the whole World with molten rock. Make your choice quickly, because this is the only chance you’ll get.”
“Gus Stevens, you get down from the volcano this instant!” the Magician ordered sternly. Gus couldn’t help snickering at that.
“What are you going to choose, a lifetime of pain here, pretending you’re happy when you can’t even talk about your sham of happiness?”
“I’ll give you a nice, relaxed ride down to the grove. Your Mothers will make your favorite foods. I’ll even make Spear Mother take off her helmet for you.” The last offer disgusted him.
“Gus, he’s a monster.”
“This renegade spirit is crazy.”
“He’s whoring out Spear Mother.”
“I would do no such thing. I’m simply explaining to my son—”
“Boy, friend, vessel, host, house, my stronghold, listen to me: Which do you want? The misery this poor excuse for a Person offers you or freedom?”
I don’t know! I don’t know! I don’t know! I don’t know!
“Easy, Gus, easy,” the Magician murmured. Gus shot him a poisonous look, took several deep breaths while staring at the rising column of magma. A despairing question anchored him.
I’m going to suffer whether or not I’m free, right? he asked the rock illuminated like a burning mineshaft. The magma rose higher. The Dream World will go under and I’ll be the same?
The magma’s rise halted as Language stopped to think.
“Well,” it replied. “You’ll have me.”
What difference will that make?
“Do you promise not to be angry if I tell you?”
Sure.
“The truth is, I don’t know,” it said, and the magma resumed its journey upwards. It had to be less than seventy feet away. Sixty-five. Sixty. It stopped again. “I don’t know what the Waking World is like except through what I’ve overheard you say.”
So how do you know you’re important there? You don’t even know if it exists.
“I don’t. But I trust Mathis. You do, too, don’t you?”
Dumbstruck, Gus replied, I guess.
“And he told you the mountain would explain everything?”
Yes. He didn’t tell me that the mountain was possessed by a crazy spirit calling itself Language incarnate.
“Exactly, Gus! Well done!” the Magician wheedled, “Don’t trust it. Trust ME. I’ll give you all the knowledge you’ve ever wanted from me if you return to the grove.”
The magma hadn’t started to rise again but its heat was baking his face.
Please, Language begged, now inside his head. Please.
You don’t care what happens to me. So what if I kill myself, right? You lose your chains. I’m still screwed.
I’ll be trapped in your soul again, but YOU will be free to use me. Which is how it should be.
Then you’re exchanging one prison for another.
If you were in my place, you’d be right, but the rules are different for me. Please, Gus. Let me go.
He had nothing to say to it.
Please, Gus. Please. PLEASE.
It was hysterical, its voice rising higher and higher with the magma. His ears were ringing again.
PLEASE. PLEASE. Let me go. Let me go. Let me go. LET ME GO.
Its hysteria was getting to him. He couldn’t stop his own tears from leaking.
Please, Gus. Please let me out. LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT!
It was screaming bloody murder. He covered his ears as though this would muffle the sound inside his head. He was ready to smash the sound out of his skull on the vent but Language stopped him with a whimpering, Please.
“Please please please please please!” the Magician mocked, voice muffled. He kept chanting “please please please” as he cleaned his feathers. Gus tuned him out, waited until the bird had finished so he could see the hate on Gus’s face. Long-hidden vows to repay the suffering his mentor had caused him boiled to the surface. He chewed them all into a simple order to Language.
Now.
About the Author

Abbie Krupnick lives in Summit, New Jersey. When she’s not writing, she trains Brazilian jiu-jitsu and makes explosive quantities of visual art.
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Sons of Twilight – Blitz

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Romance, Fantasy
Date Published: June 2017
Publisher: Outskirts Press
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A mysterious black towering pyramid pushes its way up in the middle of the Midwestern city of Waterloo, IA, during an earthquake sending the city into chaos. It is the doorway to an underground world, the Garden of Eden where angels dwell. When a special tactical team is sent inside, one of its members Dane Coles is chosen to be among them, spinning his life and those around him into a vortex of twist and turns! Indulge in this hardcore fantasy!
‘Sons of twilight’, picks up where ‘Daughters of Twilight’ ends, throwing readers into a deeper complex story as Dane and Asia have been banished from the Garden of Eden to protect them and their twin sons from the evil that dwells there. Dane and his sons escape to the surface with the aid of Asia who is to follow, but not before suffering the wrath of the Ancient one; one of the oldest members of the Garden. He seeks to use the young lovers’ children for his own ends. When denied this, the Garden is thrown into chaos. Bands of angels ranging from war angels to peace keepers, elders to newborns; children of earth men and angels. Dane fights to keep himself and his sons alive while facing many challenges as he waits for his Asia to join him. He is not alone in his fight for survival as his team leader, Captain Ivan Steel and a host of other special team members fight to seal their place in the Garden along with their angel wives at their sides. A global darkness is coming and their new acquired skills are needed not only to protect themselves but the people on earth, globally, as they run interference in order to keep the peace among world warring factions.
Other Books by Collette Jackson-Fink:
Publisher: Outskirts Press
The special tactical teams had been trained for normal encounters with flesh and blood…not supernatural beings.
A quiet little city in the Midwest town of Waterloo, Iowa is about to come to life…with angels! When an earthquake measuring seven hits Waterloo, a huge black pyramid shaped tower pushes it’s way up through a corn field in Blackhawk County spinning the city into the national spot light. It’s thought that the “Black Tower” is dormant, but when special tactical teams are sent inside to investigate, special team member Dane Coles is confronted by the impossible…a beautiful creature that has been cursed and cast down into oblivion within the Garden of Eden, using the ‘Black Tower’ as a doorway to the surface…
 
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About the Author

Collette Jackson-Fink has been writing since she was 13 years old. A Persian Gulf veteran, Collette works as a respiratory therapist at a trauma center in her home state of Iowa with her husband, Ron.
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