Planetary geologist Dr. Micah Clarke, his nine-year-old daughter Faye and his assistant Catalina Abril are abducted at gunpoint; forced to join a megalomaniac’s paramilitary expedition down an Amazon tributary ruled by murderous pirates and cannibal tribes. The goal—recover a meteorite capable of providing clean energy for the world. But prehistoric terrors lurk around every bend in the river. Swarms of six-inch titan ants and a seventy-foot Titanoboa tear a bloody swath through the flotilla. Micah is convinced that some unknown intelligence is manifesting these primeval horrors to protect the meteorite’s secrets. To defend his daughter, Micah must battle monsters, pirates and cannibals, all leading to his ultimate confrontation with an ancient force possessing the power of creation, or total destruction… and the doomsday clock is chiming midnight.
About the Author
Primeval Waters is William Burke’s third novel, following a long career in film and television. He was the creator and director of the Destination America paranormal series Hauntings and Horrors and the OLN series Creepy Canada, as well as producing the HBO productions Forbidden Science, Lingerie and Sin City Diaries. His work has garnered high praise from network executives and insomniacs watching Cinemax at 3 a.m.
During the 1990’s Burke was a staff producer for the Playboy Entertainment Group, producing eighteen feature films and multiple television series. He’s acted as Line Producer and Assistant Director on dozens of feature films—some great, some bad and some truly terrible.
Aside from novels Burke has written for Fangoria Magazine, Videoscope Magazine and is a regular contributor to Horrornews.net
Journey into a land of fairy tales like none you’ve ever experienced before with this baker’s dozen of original and often horrific fanciful treats! Madame Howell, the world’s greatest witch, will lead you through some of the most unique journeys into the Enchanted Forest, through great castles and villages, and even into uncanny realms of newly imagined dangers in her ‘Book of Very Bad Things.’ Featuring many elements from classical fairy tales while paying homage to the imaginations of the Brothers Grimm, this deliciously sinister volume delivers its own unique versions of true love and the all important ‘happily ever after.’ Within, you’ll discover dark changelings, wicked queens, houses of snakes, disobedient children, the world’s tiniest people, vicious goblins and dwarfs, a baker with a taste for blood, and so much more. Settle back and fall under the wicked spell of this dastardly and mesmerizing journey into the darkest realms of fairy tales and folklore.
From the story ‘The Woman with Wings’
Once upon a summer afternoon, a brother and sister went frolicking in the woods, in search of berries and wildflowers. Their parents were long dead, and so it was up to them to scavenge for their food every day. They enjoyed making games of it, like chasing one another through the winding forest paths or even pelting each other with berries that were rotten on the stems.
It was raining on this particular afternoon, and the siblings became wet and muddy as they played and hunted their food and foliage.
“Sister,” the brother called in warning as she glided swiftly across the slick mud, “ye shouldn’t run so fast near there! That hill be steep!”
“Bah!” she squealed, giggled, and spun around in a circle. “It’s lovely to slip and slide! Join me!” She squealed again and spun once more. Then, she lost her footing and tumbled backward. Brother watched as she fell off the ledge, tumbling down the hill.
“Sister!” he shouted and then slipped and slid his way to her in a hurried but cautious manner. “Sister, are ye alright?”
Brother looked over the ledge, staring down as he watched his sister roll to the foot of the hill. He began after her but came to a pause as a winged creature swooped down from the sky and gathered Sister into its grip. In the blink of an eye, the creature swooped upward again with Sister in tow.
“Sister!” he cried out again and watched as the creature carried his sister to the great forbidden mountain, which was a good day’s trek away by foot.
Distraught, the brother contemplated how to save his twin sister. He knew he would have to venture to the forbidden mountain and climb its dangerous terrain. Once he found his sister, he would also find the creature that had taken her. Surely, a battle would ensue. Before going after his sister, he had to be well prepared.
From the story ‘Jacob and the People Tree’
Today, for the first time, he decided to bypass that lovely and relaxing stone. He wasn’t by any means tired or ready to relax or nap. He felt energized and chipper, and he was surrounded by his woodland friends… his only friends, but friends who welcomed him into their domain with seemingly open arms.
“Oiko, doiko, ba dunk dunk dunk,” he sang cheerfully to himself as he strolled down the path – a path that grew narrower the further he walked. “Watch out for the stinky skunk!” It was a silly song he sang – one he’d made up long ago on a walk such as this, where he’d encountered a skunk that fortunately hadn’t stunk.
As the path grew narrower and the forest thicker, everything became darker – shrouded in shadows. Several of the flowers and plants nearby glowed when shadowed, and they helped to make the scenery more mystical and brighter. Never before had he seen such glowing plants as these. They were remarkable and glowed softly in a vast array of color. He knelt down to one such flower and sniffed it, wondering if it smelled as marvelous as it looked. It was, indeed, the sweetest scent he’d inhaled in perhaps forever.
He stood and sighed. It felt like he’d found a sort of nirvana – a land of beauty and wonder. It was so magical that he yearned to bring a part of its splendor home with him. Crouching down once more, he leaned to the flower he’d sniffed and started to pluck it.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were ye,” he heard a voice say. It startled him, and Jacob unhanded the flower and stood upright.
Turning around, he looked for the voice’s source but saw no one. Deciding it had been nothing more than his imagination playing some tomfoolery on him, he shrugged it off and turned back to the flower.
“Ye should never pick anything from here,” the voice spoke again, and once more, Jacob turned around to see its speaker.
Again, there was nobody.
“Perhaps I am going mad,” he contemplated aloud and then chuckled. “Ah well… being so lonely can do that to a man, I imagine.”
“Mad!” another voice noted, mimicking what Jacob had said. Whilst the first voice had sounded male, this one sounded like the voice of an old woman. “Ye will know mad if ye pick one flower from this path!”
“Who said that?” Jacob asked, looking all around. Still, he saw no one. For a moment, he considered he was hearing the voices of ghosts, but if a ghost was going to speak, surely it would have shown itself. “Where are ye?”
Everything was quiet again as he sought for the mysterious voices. He looked all around and even down low, but he could find nobody. When he was about to give up in his search and leave this place behind, he heard giggling from above.
From the story ‘The Baker’s Dozen’
He lifted her into his arms and carried her up the road to the bakery. Once they were inside, he sat her on a stool and grabbed some cloths from the back. With one of the cloths, he cleaned the blood from the wound. The other, he tied around her leg, putting pressure on the cut and stopping the bleeding.
“Oh, Mister Baker, I do not know how to thank thee,” she said to him as he stepped away to throw the bloody rag into a pile with other dirty rags. “I cannot imagine anyone else showing me such kindness.”
He noticed he’d gotten some of her blood on his fingers as he’d cleaned the wound. He stared at his fingers for a moment and then rubbed the blood between them. Coyly, he sniffed them. The blood had a unique scent to it – one that he’d never really thought of before. Curiously, he licked a bit from a finger and tasted it. It was surprisingly sweet and delicious.
“I do not know what I would have done had ye not come around,” the young woman continued from the front room. “Everything felt so dire! Ye be a saving grace for certain!”
“Think nothing of it,” he said slowly and almost too lowly for her to hear as he looked at the remaining blood on his fingers. Swiftly, he licked the rest away. “Ye may need to have that sewn up.”
“It will be fine,” she replied as he stepped back into the room. “I have come to accept some things.” She smiled. Her words were curious, but he thought she was lovely, even if she did have a few additional cuts and scabs on her face and hands. Her blood was immaculate though… delicious.
“Nourishment first,” he told her and took a piece of pound cake from his counter top and handed it to her. “Eat this. Ye must be hungry.”
“How gracious!” the peasant exclaimed and accepted the pound cake. A moan slipped from her lips as she ate it.
Also from the counter, the baker took his bread knife. While the woman was distracted with her treat, he came around behind her and pulled her hair back. The knife sliced through her neck before she had a chance to make a sound. When she did try to scream, it was low and gargled.
From the story ‘A Heart Unfrozen’
At the moment, the Queen sat upon her ‘traveling throne’ on the platform that stood as a political stage in the center of the village square. Two young lovebirds stood before her, each with a guard positioned behind them. They were guilty of kissing behind the castle and had been caught by Mathavious, Queen Estella’s most entrusted guard.
“I see no use in debating this matter,” the Queen said to the charged. “Ye shall lose yer heads. Guards!” She looked toward the uniformed men standing behind prisoners. “Take them to the chopping blocks!”
The executioner’s chopping blocks sat several meters away from where the Queen was currently perched on the platform. Nearly everyone in the village was present for the event, as it was mandatory for many who were in attendance. The platform itself had been built in such a way that no matter how an execution was performed, it could in some way be seen by anyone and everyone, from presumably any angle.
As expected, the accused protested their sentencing, but Queen Estella had heard it all before. Every sob story – every excuse plausible. None were forgivable, as she had made blatantly clear over the years. Her rules were not to be broken, and those who did were subject to punishment.
The young man and his young female lover were forced down onto the chopping blocks, and one by one, the royal executioner silenced their pleas as he chopped off their heads.
Down to the audience, the heads rolled. For a moment, they stared up at the spectators and blinked repeatedly until their brains finally died. Then, their expressions went still – frozen in time.
“Would anyone else care to lose their head today?” Queen Estella asked in a loud and enthusiastic tone as she stood tall and prominently. “I would like enjoy my midday tea as quickly as possible, so please… do speak now if ye have done anything blatantly unforgiving. I will not be so kind and yer deaths will not be so swift if I find out someone is withholding their guilt.”
About the Author
When the muses speak, Jae El Foster writes, and he has been doing so for nearly twenty years, tackling some of the most intriguing genres out there. Delivering fresh, incomparable tales of horror, science fiction, and romance – sweet or spicy – he pens with seasoned skill the tales that his muses deliver to him. His bestselling works include the paranormal romance ‘Restless,’ the gothic horror tale ‘Where the Demon Is,’ and the gay holiday romance ‘Only at Christmas.’ Follow him on Instagram @jaeelbooks and ‘like’ him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/authorjaeelfoster.
Zylen LaRocque, a twenty-eight-year-old depressive, arranges to be taken by
Death, but his suicide fails, and he ends up proposing to the supernatural
entity instead. Death accepts Zylen’s heart and takes up partial
residence in his being, which allows Death to affect the tangible realm at
whim. Manipulated like a puppet, Zylen becomes entangled in Death’s
countless affairs and finds himself continuously washing blood off his hands
as his life, and everyone in it, descends into a whirlwind of mania and
Excerpt from Part I
For the Love of Death
A vast amoebic shadow,
He sifts between the snowflakes
Cascading over this mountain peak.
Beneath the moon’s bleak beam,
His silhouette deviates,
Casting a dozen twisting ribbons into the night.
Their tips fade,
As if reaching from the living dominion
Into the one after this—
The world that he calls home,
The world in which I’ll soon be.
I shiver and lurch in the storm wind,
But he glides steadily toward me.
Made of spirit, he is not moved by mortal things—
As I, a mortal, am.
Jealousy sears me,
Who yearns to be like him:
I ache to shed this prison of flesh and bone
Anchoring me to an earthly plane
That’s composed from strata of deceit and pain.
For twenty-eight years I watched my every love and intention
Gradually pollute until it shook and withered,
Then crumbled and dissolved
In this plane’s invisible, insatiable mouth,
Completely gone—along with the piece of my spirit it owned.
Lost, I wander meandering fruitless paths
With a hollow heart.
About the Author
Dripping blades, psychological experiments, bone homes, human bombs,
sanguinary sonatas, hungry straightjackets, supernatural lovers, fleshy
snacks—and so much more. Amy Langevin loves peering into chaotic
psyches, trying on their masks, seeing through their eyes, and writing their
stories. To her, there is so much more to every ‘evil’ character. Habitually
closing books with the gnawing desire to experience the story from the
‘bad guy’s’ view, she began writing such stories herself.
In so doing, she discovered reflections of their darkness in herself. It
felt as if her soul was calling out to be seen—for her to shatter her
shiny façade and explore herself in her full spectrum.
Amy’s first horror poetry collection is The Man Who Married Death
(2017), and her first novel is Spineless (2017). Her short story “Tied
in Love” was published in Thirteen Vol. 3 (Easkey Castle Books), and
“The Required Bits” was published in 100 Doors to Madness
(Forgotten Tomb Press).
Currently she lives in Los Angeles, in a strange man’s basement,
knowing one day she’ll escape.
When Lucio Argento is dumped by Amteep High’s most popular girl, he plots revenge in a way he’s certain will crush her. He convinces Jamie Blair – the target of his ex’s bullying – into doing a makeover that will garner enough votes for her to be Prom Queen. What he doesn’t expect is to fall for Jamie, or to become her willing accomplice in uncovering who is behind the spate of deaths of animals in their community. When their classmates begin to die in the most horrific ways, Lucio and Jamie discover dark supernatural forces are at work, and unless they can conjure a miracle, everyone will die at Prom.
Other Books in the B Mine Series:
His Final Girl
B Mine, Book 1
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Published: April 2019
DON’T GO IN THE WOODS
Computer nerd, Wes Carpenter, dreads having to spend ten days at summer camp with the rest of his in-coming high school senior class. But when he meets strong-willed and confident farm girl, Linnea Langenkamp, everything about being away at camp improves immediately. When a malicious prank awakens an ancient evil, turning their summer romance into a bloodbath, Wes and Linnea pray they make it home alive while fighting for the survival of their classmates. With Wes’s ingenuity and Linnea’s knowledge of the forest, together they may be able to stop the killer, save the camp, and maybe even find their happily ever after on the way.
When Zelda Shaye inherits the infamous Sazerac House, she immediately senses that something’s not right about the ancient mansion. Strange noises interrupt her sleep, the garbage disposal hates her father, and things move on their own. Her cute nerdy neighbor, Tobe Friedkin, confirms her suspicions when he tells her everyone knows the house is haunted and over the years members of the Sazerac family have suffered mysterious deaths until they were nearly wiped out. Zelda is the last female descendant to inherit the legacy, and the family curse. Since her parents don’t believe her, it’s up to her and Tobe, with the help of the crazy recluse down the street, and a cat named DeLorean, to lay the unquiet spirit to rest before it’s too late.
Brittney Shaw allowed Brandon Teller to kiss her as the clock struck midnight. He’d be the perfect candidate to be her king at the prom if only he went to Amteep High instead of Sunnydale Prep. Looking at the glittering throng gathered in the Skeetshue Country Club ballroom, she wondered if she should have asked Daddy to transfer her to Sunnydale. But no, she’d gone to public school with the same classmates since kindergarten, and they’d witnessed her transformation from a dull, stringy-haired, middle-class girl to the rich, beautiful, popular princess she was today. And before graduation, those peers would see her change from a princess to a queen.
Brandon snapped her attention back to the present. “Hey. My parents are still in Cabo. I can have my driver take us to my place if you want to go somewhere where we can…talk alone.” He trailed his fingertips across her collarbone.
“That’s very tempting,” Brittney purred. “But I have a headache. Maybe next time.”
Brandon’s protests chased her as she left the dance floor and had one of the club employees call her driver and bring her fur from the coatroom. The employee brought the luxurious mink and even placed it over her shoulders.
Brandon didn’t take the hint, instead following her out onto the shoveled patio and down the slick flagstone steps. Rock salt crushed under the heels of her red leather Oscar de la Renta shoes as Brittney thought of how easily she could silence him forever if she felt like it.
Once she was delivered home to the gorgeous mansion on Lake Skeetshue that her father had purchased two years ago, Brittney kicked off her shoes and raced up to her room. She only had a few more hours before her parents would return home from the party.
Quickly, she changed out of her puffed-sleeve red chiffon gown and into a ski outfit that was so two years ago. Something she could easily throw away if things got too messy.
After grabbing the suitcase that she kept hidden in the back of her walk-in closet, she went back out into the winter night. Her boots crunched over the frozen snow. Her nose and cheeks stung from the cold, but it couldn’t be helped.
This was the first day of the new year. A time when she had to give thanks for all she’d received the previous year and ensure the fortunes for this one.
The gardener’s shed was unused in the winter, which made this ritual easier. In the summer, she had to store her sacrifices elsewhere.
The animal whimpered when she opened the door but didn’t try to escape. It was too weak for that now. Instead, it allowed itself to be led to the birdbath in the backyard. Brittney set her suitcase on top of the glass-hard ice surface of the marble birdbath and opened it to reveal the tools that had helped her grant her every heart’s desire.
With practiced ease, she withdrew a large dagger and carved a pentagram in the snow around the birdbath. Then she placed red candles at every point and lit them. Opening one of the books she’d stolen from the library three years ago, Brittany chanted the words that summoned her own personal genie.
Scar rose up in front of the birdbath, looking more solid than he had the first time she’d called him forth from the netherworld. Long, sharply pointed horns extended from his large head. His eyes glowed yellow, and his massive jaws were filled with sharp teeth. The animal let out a piteous squeal and tried to flee, but Brittney was used to this part of the ritual. Still gripping the knife she’d used to carve the pentagram, she slit the creature’s throat.
Steaming blood sprayed through the air, glittering in the moonlight. As she’d expected, crimson droplets splattered on her ski suit, more than a stain removal spray could handle. She shrugged. She’d have to burn the outfit.
Brittney extended her hands and chanted the ritual words, “Oh, Scarlionapskhis, scourge of the soulless, most infernal, please accept this blood sacrifice as a token of my gratitude for the favors you’ve bestowed on me, and as a gift in exchange for making me beautiful.”
The demon inclined its head sardonically and fell upon the still-twitching body of the sacrifice.
Brittney used to gag when Scar devoured the animals she’d killed, but after so many years, she was used to the sight and aftermath. Now, she only wiggled her numbing toes in her snow boots, impatient for the ritual to be over with.
When Scar finished dining, he fixed Brittney with yellow glowing eyes. His growling voice sounded like a rabid dog coughing up shards of broken bones. “Do you have a wish you want me to grant?”
“Not tonight.” Brittney did not fall into the trap. She’d quickly learned not to get too greedy with the demon. Not only because it would grow angry with her if she demanded too much too soon, but also because she didn’t want to owe a debt before she was ready to pay it.
Wishes called for careful consideration, cautious wording, meticulous ritual, and a proper sacrifice.
“This night, I gave you this gift, and now allow you to return to your realm in peace.” Brittney then said the guttural words that banished the demon before she blew out the candles. She then lit a sage bundle and trailed the smoke behind her as she kicked snow over the pentagram. After packing her candles and knife away in the suitcase, she hauled the grisly remains of the sacrifice over to the edge of the cliff where the backyard ended and kicked it over where it sank into the black waters of the lake below.
Back inside, she stripped off the bloody clothes and tossed them in the fireplace. The smell of burning nylon wrinkled her nose. She hoped it dissipated before her parents got home.
After a luxurious soak in a hot bubble bath, Brittney changed into a nightgown and settled into her king-size four-poster bed.
Her parents’ drunken laughter carried up from downstairs.
Mother spoke in a fake, Zsa Zsa Gabor wannabe voice she’d been affecting lately. “Can you believe that Cora Neery dared to show her face at the gala tonight? I would have thought that she would be persona non grata after the incident at the charity ball last month. Some people have no sense of class.”
Brittney’s father cleared his throat and spoke in a grating, patronizing tone. “The Neerys have more money than us and are friends with Mr. Hogadane, punkin’. They’ll always be able to behave as they like, unlike us, who weren’t allowed among their ranks before my promotion.”
“Well, I still think she’s a tacky hussy,” Mother sniffed. Daddy must have made some sort of expression of disapproval, for Mother’s voice shifted back to normal. “I am of course grateful for the improvement of our circumstances. You’ve worked so hard for our family.”
They have me to thank, Britney thought furiously. If I hadn’t learned the mysteries of the occult and called forth Scar, Dad would still be a junior at Woodward & Paulson instead of a full partner, and Mother would have been getting her manicured nails dirty working at the jewelry counter at J.C. Penny. We still would have lived in that ugly subdivision on Locust Lane, and the doors of Hogadane’s country club would still be slammed in our faces.
But it wasn’t her parents’ misfortunes and mediocrity that had motivated Brittney to check out that book at the library on casting spells. It was the desire that every fourteen-year-old girl had.
To be pretty.
Brittney still didn’t know if the spells from that first book had actually worked, though just enough things that she wanted had happened and made her think it wasn’t coincidence. Her acne had cleared, and her hair did seem a little thicker, and the other girl competing for a spot on the cheerleading squad had indeed suffered a terrible fall and had broken her ankle. That was enough of an impetus for Brittany to delve further into the occult.
That first book mentioned the possibility of summoning spirits to do one’s bidding, so she looked up books on that. Most were full of useless ghost stories, but one directed her to exactly what the spell book had promised. Only this book referred to the spirits as demons. Brittney had felt one icy shiver prickle the back of her neck before tossing her hair and deciding that it didn’t matter what they were called, only that they gave her what she wanted.
Months of chants, arcane symbols and a pentagram drawn on her bedroom floor beneath her rug, three dead mice and four dead rabbits later, she brought forth Scarlionapskhis for the first time. All the demon’s names were impossible to pronounce, that was the first challenge in summoning them.
Brittney called her demon “Scar” for short but learned quickly that demons did not appreciate nicknames.
The first wish Scar granted was for her dad to have enough money to buy a new wardrobe from the J.Crew and Esprit catalogs she and her friends pored over. That wish was granted when one of the partners of Woodward & Paulson Law Firm committed suicide, and her father was made into a full partner.
The wardrobe got Brittney a foot in the door with the A crowd at school, but since the queen bees, Heather Price and Jennifer Armstrong, were part of the country club set, Brittney’s family had to be as well.
That wish was granted when her grandmother died shortly after visiting, leaving Brittney’s mother a small fortune, and around the same time, her father landed a prestigious client, gaining the Shaws their coveted invitation to Hogadane’s country club.
Wayne Hogadane was the richest man in Amteep, maybe even the entire northwest. He owned the most prestigious country club, two giant lake cruise boats, the Amteep Resort, the Amteep Press, and, some said, the entire town. Becoming part of Hogadane’s social sphere guaranteed high social status.
Brittney never returned the library books. She couldn’t stand the idea of someone else gaining the power she had. Besides, she reasoned, if these books fell into the wrong hands, good people could be hurt. Demons demanded sacrifices. And while Brittney only offered up creatures that wouldn’t be missed and people who were bad, like her father’s mistress, someone else might not be so discerning.
The return to school after Christmas break had Brittney energized. She’d spent an invigorating morning at cheerleading practice in the gym, demonstrating that extra edge of agility that Scar had given her, and examining the loyalty of her friends who’d been away for the break, making sure there were no cracks in their devotion to her as their leader.
After practice, she showered and changed into one of the new outfits she got for Christmas, an oversize, off-the-shoulder cashmere sweater of the palest pink with a large matching hair ribbon, high-waisted acid-washed Guess jeans with rolled-up cuffs, a pink Swatch, and tons of new bangle bracelets. She blow-dried her hair and sprayed it until she had amazing volume.
On the way to first period, her best friend, Heather Price, leaned over and asked, “I heard you dumped Lucio Argento after Christmas.”
Brittney shrugged, trying to ignore the pang of envy at Heather’s new burgundy blazer. “He was beginning to bore me. Men of his breeding simply cannot understand the importance of the finer things in life.”
While Heather nodded in sympathetic understanding of the vast chasm between those who had class and those who didn’t, her other friend, Jennifer Armstrong, stared at her with wide, curious eyes. “Is it true that Lucio’s dad is a mobster?”
She shrugged. “He’s a restaurant owner. I barely saw the man. Besides, if I’d learned the truth, I wouldn’t be alive to tell it, now would I?”
Later, at lunch, Brittney couldn’t fight off a pang of bittersweet regret when she saw Lucio in the cafeteria looking decadently gorgeous with his long black curls, and eyes dark as sin, which perfectly complemented his Mediterranean complexion.
The narrow arching upper lip made him look a little wicked, while his full lower lip promised sensuality. His square jaw and broad shoulders made him look powerful and dangerous. And his large hands… She bit back a sigh, remembering how they felt on her bare skin.
He was fun while he lasted. Her friends had been amusingly awed that she was dating “a bad boy,” and the popular guys had been driven crazy by the fact that Brittney had passed them over in favor of “slumming with a dumb…” She’d never heard so many slurs for Italians in her life until she’d agitated the WASPs’ nest.
Ah, but Lucio had been fantastic in bed and treated her like a queen. Brittney wasn’t so sure that she’d be treated as well when she began dating someone who was her social equal. And being with him was hardly slumming.
Lucio’s father owned Bava’s, one of the fanciest restaurants in town, and if Mr. Argento really was a member of a crime family, then he and his son weren’t poor. Hell, Lucio drove a Trans Am, albeit an older one, and had motorcycle.
But Brittney wanted to be prom queen. Therefore, she needed a worthy king. And no one would vote for an Italian delinquent who’d been held back a year in tenth grade.
Her musings broke as she crashed into Jamie Blair, a friend back in Brittney’s middle-class days, now a pariah who must be avoided at all costs.
Brittney fixed her with a glower. “Watch it, trailer trash.”
Jamie backed away, her black hair falling forward to hide her reddening face. But her light brown eyes flashed a hint of defiance and accusation. “Watch yourself, bimbo,” Jamie’s retort was barely audible as she retreated.
If I hadn’t been staring at Lucio like an idiot, I wouldn’t have bumped into her. I need to focus on finding my king.
But Brittney couldn’t let Jamie’s defiance stand. “Do you want to be dumped into a trash can again?” Her friends were dutifully laughing at Jamie’s retreating form.
Brittney noticed the strong arms of Chet Morgan wrapped around Heather Price’s waist. Now there was an excellent candidate.
His sun-bleached hair and tanned skin attested to a Christmas vacation spent in a warm paradise. His eyes were the color of aquamarines, shining nearly as bright as his perfectly white, straight teeth. His shoulders were broader than Lucio’s, and since Chet was quarterback of the Amteep Devils, he was also more muscular.
And he was definitely more fashionable, looking like he stepped out of the latest L.L.Bean catalog, with his sandy-blond Ken Doll hair, popped-collar polo shirts, and loose-fit tan slacks.
Yes, Brittney mused as she appraised her best friend’s boyfriend. Chet would be a perfect prom king. A lot of people would vote for him because he’s the quarterback. He should be with me anyway since I’m head cheerleader.
She closed her eyes and pictured him being crowned beside her. It should be easy enough to snare him, either with her charms or with magic if she needed to.
And if Heather decides to get in my way, I can get rid of her. The demon likes human flesh better than cats or dogs anyway.
About the Author
Formerly an auto-mechanic, Brooklyn Ann thrives on writing romance featuring unconventional heroines and heroes who adore them. Author of historical paranormal romance in her critically acclaimed “Scandals with Bite” series, urban fantasy in the cult favorite, “Brides of Prophecy” novels, and the award winning, “Hearts of Metal Series, she’s now writing the “B Mine” series, horror romances riffing on the 1970s and 1980s horror movies.
She lives in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with her gamer son, rockstar/IT Guy boyfriend, and four cats.
On July 15, 1991, an isolated village in Northern Wisconsin is ground zero for an unprecedented, fiery tragedy. Of the community’s 600 residents, there are only five survivors. Detailed accounts by the victims contradict each other; the only link is a man named Anthony Guntram, but because he is presumed to be dead, this claim can’t be verified. Further investigations reveal a culture enshrouded in mystery. What are the survivors hiding? Only the villagers know the secret of Amber Hollow, a place where sanity is checked at the town line and the parameters of reality become blurred. An unconventional horror story by design, Edgar Swamp delivers an action-driven page-turner that will keep readers guessing until the calamitous ending.
The call came when they were five blocks from St. Mary’s, blaring from the radio in a raucous hiss of static that made both of them jump. Sadie looked at Jeremy, and the confusion in her eyes would be almost comical if the situation wasn’t so dire. He grabbed the handset on the radio, pressed the button.
“This is Detective Jeremy LeFevre. Please repeat the transmission.”
“There is a ten fifty-six A in progress on the Tower Drive Bridge, I repeat a ten fifty-six A.”
“We’re two miles from that location,” he said calmly, although his nerves suddenly felt as if they were live wires spitting enough electricity to power the entire city. “We’re en route.”
“Ten four,” the dispatcher said, and Sadie flipped a switch on the dash that fired up the siren. She then grabbed the bubble next to her, rolled down her window, and tossed it onto the top of the car where the magnet on the bottom held it firmly in place. For some reason, she always felt like she was in an episode of Starskey and Hutch when she did that.
“You thinking what I’m thinking?” Jeremy asked his partner.
“What are you thinking?”
“I don’t know, maybe I’m jumping to more conclusions, but somehow I think this is one call we need to take.”
Turned out, he was right.
About the Author
Edgar Swamp is the author of the “Gyre Mission,” “Glitch in the Machine,” and “Blackout.” His short stories have appeared in Alienskin, Macabre Cadaver, and Urban Reinventors. When he isn’t holed up in his office playing online poker, he likes to dig up the recently deceased and make furniture out of their skin. He lives and works in San Diego, California.