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Shadows and Teeth Vol. 3 – Blitz

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Horror
Date Published: June 15, 2017
Publisher: Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.
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Out of the shadows and meaner than ever, volume three of this award-winning horror series packs international star power. Featuring ten brand-new stories by the legendary Guy N. Smith, the prolific Adam Millard, master of horror Nicholas Paschall, and others, this collection is certain to keep you up at night. Take care as you reach into these dark places, for the things here bite, and you may withdraw a hand short of a few fingers.
Excerpt
 
My body crumpled forward, my forehead resting on the floorboards. I would have remained this way, if I had not been roused by a shout from behind me. Rosario roared and shook his head like an enraged bull, stamping his feet and frothing between gritted teeth. He clutched his temples and shook his head, and when he had gathered enough clarity of mind, he leveled a penetrating stare at the djinni and yelled, “Enough!”
All around Rosario, the peasant men stood frozen as though they were statues, eyes on the djinni. Clenching his jaw, he staggered forward a step, inadvertently brushing against one of the men. The man instantly spilled to his knees in supplication, droning, “I adore thee, oh my lord!” in such rapid succession that the words were hardly perceptible.
Scowling with rage at this irreverence, Rosario let fly an uppercut swing with his hook. The metal flashed in the dim candlelight and caught the man in the crook of his lower mandible. The man did not so much as scream, so overawed was he by the djinni.
Rosario raised his arm aloft, lifting the man fully erect, looking like a fisherman with a prize catch. Then he tore his dagger out of his belt with his opposite hand and plunged it into the side of the man’s neck between the skull and the shoulders. The skin at the peasant’s neck pulled apart, opening his throat as though his shoulders were yawning wide, until at last the weight of his collapsing body snapped his head off his neck. The body slumped to its knees and spilled headlong, gushing blood in spurts from its severed arteries.
Something like a sigh came from the djinni. Then it said, “Man is a foolish child who calls many things gods. Man knows not the gods.”
Its skin seemed to dull, losing some of the magnificent radiance it exuded, and I found that I was no longer overawed in its presence. Rosario helped me to my feet and together we addressed the djinni. The remaining three peasants all were unconscious, seemingly asleep on the floor.
“In the name of the most high, I command you to speak your name, djinni!” I yelled, thinking it could be cowed in the same manner as a demon might.
The djinni’s eyes widened. If it had eyebrows, they would surely have bobbed at my effrontery. Its eyes narrowed into angry slits that contained all the deadly chill of a winter snowstorm. “Hadst thou instead come to visit me, I would have attended thee in the manner befitting of a guest. I would have filled thy mouth with rotten pus until thy belly were full. Thou wouldst have told me a great many wondrous things of thy life, and I, having learned such, would have sent thee home with an anus so full of scorpions the trail of blood behind thee would stretch for miles.”
The images each word represented, along with the concepts and sensations those phrases conveyed, flashed in my mind as the djinni spoke. They are as vivid now as then—by God, I still taste the pus! These images are always in the forefront of my mind, constantly playing out before my eyes, and it is hard to focus on anything else except through purposeful concentration.
“Wherefore hast thou brought me here?” it asked.
Seeing how my last attempt at communication had failed, I bowed my head and spoke in lowered tones. “Djinni, we have called you to ask a favor.”
“Indeed,” it cut me short, “it is always so when mortals call upon the djinn. Impudent humans! What boon seeketh ye? Be it pleasure? I shall show ye such pain that the greatest pleasure would be anticipating its end! I ask again: wherefore disturbest me thou?”
It was then I explained we sought to spare your daughter from the ailment that would surely take her, and requested the djinni’s succor.
The djinni sighed, if otherworldly beings can be said to sigh. “Alas, thy mortality is a concept thy limited intellect can only dimly grasp.” It looked down at the floor as it considered this, then raised its gaze to make eye contact with me. “What wouldst thou have me do? The child is already dead.”
An image of her flashed in my mind’s eye. I was there, in the room with Bernadette as she languished in her bed, delirious with fever. The eyes I saw her with were not my physical eyes, as they saw more than human eyes could ever hope to detect. Bernadette’s body was like a red-hot fireplace poker, glowing orange from her core. The glow collapsed on itself, giving way to lifeless, cold black, shriveling into her center like a bonfire shrunk to embers. I knew she was dead when the light faltered and snuffed out, leaving nothing but a dreadful stillness in its passing.
Brother, do not think for a moment that so terse an account of your daughter’s death should mean I was hard-hearted about the matter. Nothing could be further from the truth. She was my niece, and—by God!—my only living relative; that is, save for you of course, if ever you should return to read this.
Her passing crushed me. It opened wounds in me, wounds that weep much as my eyes might weep. And while time has dried my tears, it has done nothing to soothe the ache of missing her.
I was flashed back to my study with the djinni standing before me. The realization that Bernadette was dead weighted my body; I crumpled to my knees and collapsed to all fours.
All of this, for naught! Frustration churned the searing bile in my stomach. “You must be able to do something,” I pleaded.
The djinni cocked its head to one side. “Thou hast misunderstood. I can do a great many things.”
“You could not save her!”
“Thou didst not ask.”
My mouth went dry on realizing it was right—I had not asked it to save her from the disease. “Save her!” I blurted, figuring this was as good a time to ask as any.
“I cannot. She has died.”
I plunged my fingers into my hair and clawed at my scalp. “Quit speaking in circles!”
“I speak as plainly as I can. Ye men possess little aptitude for understanding.”
“If you cannot save her, then…” I stammered. At the time, I did not know why I had broken off; I was only aware that I had stopped mid-sentence. I had found that strange, especially since I had already deliberated on what it was I wanted to say before saying it. In retrospect, I think I know what halted my tongue—some combination of my conscience and divine intervention giving me one last chance before I could commit a heinous sin.
“Then… bring her back,” I finished my sentence.
“It is already done.”
I blinked, and then again, looking upon the djinni in mute shock as its words sunk into my mind. Was Bernadette alive? When had she been brought back—when I asked, or sometime prior? Had she even died? It was not lost on me that the djinni could be lying, but before I could ask any questions, it said, “Thy niece lies upon her deathbed. Lay her body down in this circle before moonrise tomorrow night, and thou shall have what thou seeketh.”
A thought occurred to me then that I wanted to give voice to, but I stopped myself. To even reflect upon it sent shivers down my spine. What might the djinni want of me in exchange?
As if it had sensed my thoughts, the djinni said, “Thou wonderest what thou must offer to uphold the bargain. Rest assured, human, thy debt is paid in advance.”
About the Author

Our award-winning horror series brings together the very best in international horror. Volume three features the UK’s legendary Guy N. Smith, the prolific Adam Millard, and master of horror Nicholas Paschall, among other established names in the genre.
Bio For Series Editor, Ramiro Perez: 
Born in Cuba in 1941, Ramiro Perez de Pereda has seen it all. Growing up in a time when then-democratic Cuba was experiencing unprecedented foreign investment, he was exposed to the U.S. pop culture items of the day. Among them: pulp fiction magazines, which young Ramiro avidly read and collected. Far and away, his favorites were the Conan the Barbarian stories by Robert E. Howard. Ramiro, now retired from the corporate life, is a grandfather of five. He devotes himself to his family, his writing, and the occasional pen-and-ink sketch. He writes poetry and short fiction under the name R. Perez de Pereda. He serves Darkwater Syndicate as its Head Acquisitions Editor—he heads the department, he does not collect heads, which is a point he has grown quite fond of making. Indeed, it’s one reason he likes his job so much.
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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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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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Forgotten – Blitz

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AM13 Outbreak Series Book Two
Post-Apocalyptic, Horror, Dystopian, Sci-fi Thriller
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
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Every attempt to contain the deadly AM13 virus has failed, leaving humanity on the brink of extinction…
The plague is spreading out of control with no cure in sight. Then the government announces its new plan—a sanctuary in an area completely untouched by the infected—as long as you can get there alive and unscathed.
Ethan Watton has managed to survive this long, even with OCD making every day more hellish than it already is…
Ethan’s obsessive-compulsive disorder dramatically affected his life before the infection began. Now he’s desperate to get as far away from the zombie virus as humanly possible. Isolated and afraid, Ethan thinks there is no way in hell he will survive the epidemic.
Alyssa Turner has spent her teenage years prepping for the undead to challenge her zombie killing skills…
Alyssa knows with absolute certainty that she will survive the AM13 virus. She’s read all the books, watched all the films, and done all the research. She’s strong, tough, and a self-proclaimed badass. Any group would be lucky to fight alongside her…until the unthinkable makes her doubt every skill she’s acquired.
Dr. Jones is a scientist who doesn’t understand why he was selected to produce a cure…
Surely there are survivors more experienced in virology than he is. And what will happen to him—and the rest of the species—if he fails? Is the fate of the human race really resting on his shoulders? Or are there others working toward the same goal?
With the zombies multiplying and survivors struggling to make it to the sanctuary, Ethan, Alyssa, and Dr. Jones fight to fulfill their destinies. If they fail, their fate is sealed, and they will join the millions of others who have been…
Forgotten.
 
Other Books in the AM13 Outbreak Series:
 
 
AM13 Outbreak Series, Book One
Leah Watton’s practical joke has spiralled way out of control—all to impress a crush…
With a prank online video, Leah hopes to catch the attention of Jake Colton, a cute, blond-haired, blue-eyed co-worker she’s had a crush on for months. But instead of sending it to Jake, she manages to forward the clip to her boss—who buys every gory second.
When mass panic ensues, Leah learns the video is more than a staged act…
The government is calling the virus AM13. As the outbreak spreads, citizens are forced to stay indoors while they assess the gravity of the illness. Most people are quarantined in their homes, but Leah, Jake, and Leah’s best friend Michelle are some of the unlucky few who are stuck at work when the Lockdown occurs.
That’s where she first encounters one of the infected…
Aside from a contaminated woman devouring one of her co-workers, Leah has another problem. Does she do as she’s ordered and stay at work? Or should she disobey government orders and break free to reunite with her family?
She can’t go it alone—after all, Leah has none of the skills needed to survive—but with Michelle and Jake by her side, not even a contagious virus and a sea of the dead can keep her from…
Breaking out of the Lockdown…
AM13 Outbreak Series, Book 3
Writing books about the horrors of the zombie apocalypse is one thing—but Georgie Blake can’t believe it has become her reality…
She never expected her fictional stories of blood, death, and the consumption of human flesh to jump off the page into the real world. She certainly didn’t think she’d survive this long if they had. As a shy novelist, she was sure she’d be one of the first to die.
Safe in the Sanctuary, Georgie holds on to hope for a cure…
But that’s not all she holds on to. The government has promised the people of the Sanctuary that they can return home. The rumours are rife that there is an antidote on the horizon. But even if not, the infected are dying out, throwing the treacherous AM13 virus to the brink of extinction. If the infection dies out, this horrible nightmare Georgie is living in will be a distant memory.
Until everything that’s right goes terribly wrong…
Soon after meeting some new friends in the Sanctuary, Georgie learns she’s going to have to face the monsters outside the walls if she wants to return to her old life. But for a scared, introverted bookworm, it may be too much to consider…
Will Georgina conquer her fears of the dead to return home, or will she be one of the countless others who have gone Extinct?
About the Author

Samie Sands is the author of the AM13 Outbreak series – Lockdown, Forgotten, Extinct, and Not Dead Yet. She also has shorts featured in best-selling anthologies, and featured stories on Wattpad.
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LAKE OF SINS: ESCAPE – BLITZ

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YA Fantasy, horror
Date Published: December 26 2014
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Only the best are chosen to breed.
The rest are loaded onto carts and taken away from the encampment.  Never to be seen again.
Trinity has one week to escape into the forest and discover the fate of her kind.
Dive into the Lake of Sins and discover a world filled with human-animal hybrids where predators are friends and monsters aren’t nearly as scary as those who create them.
The YA, dark fantasy series people are calling dark, gritty and too disturbing to put down.
 
 
About the Author

L. S. O’Dea grew up the youngest of seven in a family that uses teasing and tricks as an indication of love (or at least that’s what she tells herself).  Being five years younger than her closest sibling often made her the unwilling entertainment for her brothers and sisters.
Before she started kindergarten her brothers taught her how to spell her first and middle name—Linda Sue.  She was so proud she ran into the kitchen to tell her mother.  She stood tall and recited the letters of her name:  L-E-M-O-N   H-E-A-D.
Perhaps, she has her siblings to thank for the demons that whisper through her mind and help to create these dark and demented stories.
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