Press Release : BEHOLD! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders by Doug Murano

Crystal Lake Publishing and Doug Murano, the Bram Stoker Award-nominated editor of GUTTED: BEAUTIFUL HORROR STORIES, are proud to present BEHOLD! ODDITIES, CURIOSITIES AND UNDEFINABLE WONDERS.

Slide into the spaces between the ordinary. Embrace the odd. Indulge your curiosity. Surrender to wonder. Witness as the finest talents of our time bring you tales of the strangeness at the edges of existence.

Featuring:

Clive Barker, John Langan, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Lisa Morton, Brian Kirk, Hal Bodner, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Erinn Kemper, John F.D. Taff, Patrick Freivald, Lucy Snyder, Brian Hodge, Kristi DeMeester, Christopher Coake, Sarah Read, and Richard Thomas.

With a foreword by Josh Malerman.

 

The Scarlett Dahlia Episode 6 Masks by Jesse Orr

The Scarlett Dahlia Episode 6 Masks by Jesse Orr

 

The being controlling Jack had never been in an automobile. It had heard of them existing in far-off lands and dismissed their tales as immaterial. Now, as it approached the Prius, it had not the slightest clue how to start. The reflection of the body it inhabited seemed to have its own ideas, and moved to the left side of the vehicle, digging in a pants pocket. A small black device with buttons was in its hand now, and the being inside regarded it with curiosity. Unbidden, the thumb crept to one of the buttons and pressed it. The car’s lights flashed and it beeped. Jack’s heart hammered in its chest.

“It’s okay,” Jack’s voice said, unbidden, yet reassuring to the thing inside. “Perfectly normal.”

Jack’s body went to the front left-hand door, where it took it only a moment to figure out the door handle, then it was sitting behind the wheel of a 2017 Toyota Prius, a piece of technology so far removed from the Manor that it may as well have been science fiction. It cast Jack’s eyes over the dashboard, reading labels on buttons and knobs with care, finally stopping on a large round button saying “ENGINE START STOP.”

The being inside Jack hesitated a few minutes, wondering how an ENGINE could start and stop at the same time. A more thorough examination of the dash revealed no alternative potential power source. Bracing Jack’s body against one of the vehicle’s pedals(the brake, fortuitously), the being poked Jack’s finger at the button as though it expected an explosion. Instead, the seat beneath it quivered and with a beep, the dashboard lit up with an entire galaxy of blue lights.

Jack’s eyes were wide as it stared at everything for a few moments, trying to take it all in, before taking the steering wheel in hand. It turned the wheel back and forth and after experimenting with the two pedals at Jack’s feet, it discovered one made the ENGINE louder. The other pedal was a mystery, but it figured the pedal would reveal its use once they started moving. Jack’s hand touched the blue knob sticking up and Jack’s thumb caressed its smooth surface. Jack’s eyes took in the options. R, N, D, or B.

D, the body said, and slid the shifter to the left, and down. The vehicle began to roll. Jack’s voice yelled in alarm and Jack’s hands twisted the wheel just before the Prius ran into the staircase. Jack’s heart hammered as the being guiding it in a wide turn back toward the driveway. By the time the driveway returned to the main road, the being controlling Jack had figured out how to roll down the window and was enjoying the breeze. It was nice to be a physical being once more.

Mr Fenton Hayes looked over the rim of the glass containing his third mint julep at his wife. Mrs Claudia Hayes was reaching into her pocketbook for her silver cigarette case. She met his eyes, and they shared a look of long-suffering. Mr Hayes drained his glass as his wife lit her cigarette and reclaimed her own julep.

“How long are we stuck here?” Mrs. Hayes asked, her voice low and whining. With them, his eyes said with a flick in the general direction of the kitchen where Don and Carly had retreated. “We don’t even know them, we hardly know Marcie. Jack hardly knows Marcie! They just met at school, now they’re getting married and there are two strangers in our kitchen!”

Her voice had risen and Mr. Hayes waved a hand at her, whispering, “Shhhh…”

Mrs. Hayes’s voice dropped again but continued in an urgent tone. “Two strangers in our kitchen, and you just sit there drinking-”

“Claudia!” Mr. Hayes snapped. “Our son and Marcie are going to be back any minute, then she and her sister…” Damned if he hadn’t forgotten her name. Oh well, not like it mattered.

“Carly,” Mrs. Hayes said, taking a nervous sip at her own drink.

“Well, whatever, her and her boyfriend and Marcie will be going back to wherever she and her sister live, so relax.”

“They could be stealing the good silver!” Claudia Hayes hissed, gripping the edge of the couch and her cigarette with fierce intensity.

Mr. Hayes was about to retort that they didn’t have any good silver or china, because he didn’t hold with such rubbish, when the kitchen door swung open, admitting Don, bearing a tray, and Carly, bearing nothing but a strained smile.

The Hayes elders beamed at them, masks well in place. Claudia extended an arm. “Thank you, dear! Come, sit by me.”

Don moved with care, his tray laden with a cheese, crackers, and pitcher of mint juleps. “Set it here, son,” Fenton Hayes said and moved his empty glass from the coffee table in front of them. He held it up, rattling the ice. “You are just in time.”

Don’s smile was mechanical. “Let me pour you another, sir,” he said and filled up Fenton’s proffered glass.

Carly gestured at Claudia’s cigarette. “Ma’am, would you mind if I asked you for a cigarette?”

A flash of contempt in Claudia’s eyes could have just been Carly’s imagination, but she didn’t think so. “Of course, dear, help yourself.”

Carly did so, lighting up and puffing quickly. She glanced at Don, who was devoting his attention to the cheese, crackers, and juleps, and not looking at anybody.

“So!” Fenton said, his voice too loud for the room. “Dan-”

“Don,” Carly said to her cigarette, and not even Claudia heard.

“-what do you do for work?” Fenton raised his glass and drained half of it. Claudia’s lips pursed.

Small talk, thought Don and prayed for deliverance. “Well, I’m in-”

“They’re back!” Claudia broke in, the note of delight undisguised in her voice.

Carly turned and looked out the large window behind them. It overlooked the front lawn and the immaculate new driveway, and she could see only one head in the Prius. “Not they,” she murmured and crushed her cigarette out on the ashtray beside her. She didn’t smoke anyway. “Which one?”

“Looks like Jack. Maybe Marcie went to get her hair or nails done,” said Don, and stood up. “Sir, might I use your facilities before we depart?”

Fenton took another mighty swallow of his drink and set it down. “Oh, why not. Let me show you where it is.”

“Thank you, sir. Carls, I’ll be right out,” Don said.

She nodded, watching the Prius lurch to a halt. Probably high, the numb shithead, she thought, and sighed. She’d have to look over the Prius once he turned over the key fob.

Outside was like a furnace. The heat and humidity made her long for air conditioning. Jack wasn’t getting out of the car, probably for the same reason. Too bad. At almost a run, she crossed the scorching asphalt and pulled at the door. It didn’t open.

Numb shit, she thought. “Jack, unlock the door!”

Jack was studying the buttons on the dashboard like he was going to be tested on them later. “Oh my God it’s on the door you idiot!” she howled.

He looked to the door and poked several buttons.

Un-fucking-real...

The door made a chunk and she grabbed at the door handle before the numb shit could lock her out again. The door opened and blessed cool air hit her in the face. She hopped in, slamming the door behind her.

“What the fuck, Jack? You know how hot it is out there, why didn’t you unlock the fucking door?” She glared at him, pushing her hair out of her sweaty face. “Where’s Marcie?”

Jack was staring at her as though he had never seen her before, his eyes traveling up and down her body. Carly felt her irritation turn to unease and discomfort. She had never liked Jack but had never been afraid of him until now.

“Jack?”

“Marcie stayed at the Manor,” he said, though his eyes never stopped roaming. “She wants you to join her.” They stopped on her eyes at last, and his smile was that of a predator’s. “You’re PERFECT,” he said, and it wasn’t what he said that made her scream. It was the voice in which he said it.

It was a woman’s voice.

Don emerged from the home of Fenton and Claudia, tucking his shirt into his pants. He could see Carly had already taken her spot in the Prius and that was fine as paint with him. He just wanted to get the fuck out of here before he had to spend any more time with Jack’s frigid parents. Going around to the driver’s side door, he noticed it was half open.

“Babe, where’s Jack?”

“He went inside,” Carly said and smiled.

“Weird, I didn’t pass him,” Don muttered, getting in and slamming the door behind him. He looked at Carly. “Ready to go?”

“Yes,” she said. “Can we go to the Manor first? I want to see it again.”

“Scarlett Dahlia Manor?” Don looked at her as though she were mad. “That’s completely out of the way, and have you forgotten the texts we were getting? What happens if-”

“I would like to go back now,” she said, and the tone of her voice made Don look at her. She was staring at him with a look in her eye that he had never seen. It was almost as though…

“All right, Carl, we’ll go back now, damn.” He put the Prius in drive and it whispered forward. “At least I can grab our phones. But I don’t want to stay long.”

“Of course not,” Carly agreed. “Not a moment longer than necessary.”

The Prius turned out of the driveway and accelerated. In the trunk, the body that had once belonged to Jack Hayes rolled over on its side as the vehicle hit a bump. Blood trickled from its unseeing eyes and ears, staining the carpet in the trunk a dark, sticky, red.

 

 

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult Press Release : 30th Anniversary Tour Schedule

 

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult 30th Anniversary Tour Dates:
10/05 @ 
Club Red – Mesa, AZ (All Ages)
10/06 @
191 Toole – Tucson, AZ (21+)
10/07 @
Tricky Falls – El Paso, TX (21+)
10/08 @ 
Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM (21+)
10/10 @ Diamond Ballroom – Oklahoma City, OK (All Ages)
10/11 @ 
Trees – Dallas, TX (All Ages)
10/12 @ Industry – San Antonio, TX (18+)
10/13 @ Elysium – Austin, TX (18+)
10/14 @ 
Scout Bar – Houston, TX (18+)
10/15 @ 
The Parish HOB – New Orleans, LA (18+)
10/17 @ 
Ready Room – St Louis, MO (All Ages)
10/18 @ 
Skully’s – Columbus, OH (All Ages)
10/19 @ 
Machine Shop – Flint, MI (18+)
10/20 @ 
Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL (17+)
10/21 @ 
Amsterdam Bar – St Paul, MN (21+)
10/24 @ 
Oriental Theater – Denver, CO (18+)
10/27 @ 
Studio Seven – Seattle, WA (21+)
10/28 @ 
Dante’s – Portland, OR (21+)
10/30 @ 
The Ritz – San Jose, CA (21+)
10/31 @ Brick & Mortar – San Francisco, CA (18+)
11/02 @ 
Beauty Bar– Las Vegas, NV (21+)
11/03 @ Club 80’s – Corona, CA (21+)
11/04 @ 
Teragram Ballroom – Los Angeles, CA (All Ages)
11/05 @ 
The Casbah – San Diego, CA (21+)

 

Press Release: Florida Gothic by Mitzi Szereto

Press Release: Florida Gothic by Mitzi Szereto

 

FLORIDA GOTHIC by Mitzi Szereto

Stuck in a twilight world between life and death…

A hit-and-run driver leaves Ernesto Martinez to die by a Miami canal. Then an alligator comes along to finish the job.

Being dead gives Ernesto plenty of time to think. He thinks about his wife, taken from him too soon by illness. He thinks about his daughter, the victim of a drunk driver. He thinks about his death as he watches his body slowly decompose.

Most of all, he thinks about injustice.

The meth head ex-con living in the Everglades. The judge enjoying retirement on the Gulf Coast. The son of a Colombian drug kingpin partying in South Beach. These men care nothing for the pain they’ve caused. But they’ll soon know what it is to feel pain.

Set against the sweltering bug-infested backdrop of South Florida, Florida Gothic weaves a darkly unnerving and visceral tale of sex, drugs, crime and vengeance.
 

“Mitzi Szereto’s dark night of the soul is one wild, soul-blasting old mother of a trip, plus maggots, cockroaches, and cocaine. Solid, slippery, bug-eyed fun.”—Peter Straub, Interior Darkness: Selected Stories

(Book #1 in The “Gothic” Series of standalone horror novels from Mitzi Szereto.)

Buy links:
Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/Florida-Gothic-Book-1-ebook/dp/B06ZZ6QCXN/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Florida-Gothic-Book-1-ebook/dp/B06ZZ6QCXN/

About the author:
Mitzi Szereto (http://mitziszereto.com) is an author and anthology editor of multi-genre fiction and non-fiction. She has her own blog of humorous essays at Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog (http://mitziszereto.com/blog) and a web TV channel Mitzi TV (http://mitziszereto.com/tv), which covers the “quirky” side of London, England. Her books include Oysters and Pearls: Collected Stories;Phantom: The Immortal (co-authored with Ashley Lister); Rotten Peaches (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles) and Normal for Norfolk (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles)—the cozy mystery/satire series co-authored with celebrity author bear Teddy Tedaloo; Love, Lust and Zombies; The Wilde Passions of Dorian GrayPride and Prejudice: Hidden LustsDying for It: Tales of Sex and DeathThrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire and Getting Even: Revenge Stories. Her anthology Erotic Travel Tales 2 is the first anthology of erotica to feature a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She divides her time between the Pacific Northwest and the UK.

Press Release: Marco Navas Studio

Press Release: Marco Navas Studio

 

 

On occasion of the 120th anniversary of its publication, Marco Navas Studio offers you a recreation in miniature from the most famous horror novel ever written: Dracula. A numbered limited edition collection featuring the mythic characters created by Bram Stoker. 12 characters in 6 monthly deliveries, plus the last one including another figure as a gift and a showcase cabinet of the Transylvania Count’s castle specially designed to display the collection.

The following details the ‘Dracula Collection” by Marco Navas.

 

A total of 12 figures, over 6 monthly deliveries. 2 figures / monthly deliveries

-The final delivery  will include a custom made display case of the Transylvania Count’s castle

– Figures size approximately 7 cm.

– Handcrafted in resin.

– Individually painted by hand

– A limited and numbered edition of 100 sets

– Includes Certificate of Authenticity.

– Single Figure Price – 35 € – Pack of 2 figures for 65.

 

Due to the interest shown in this collection we have created a list for pre-sales to which you can subscribe without any cost

This limited edition of figures needs to be paid for at the time of shipping and will be dispatch once payment of the order has been received.  Initial orders will be dispatched from mid-July.

If you have any question, please contact us.

www.marconavas.com

Press Release : Crystal Lake Publishing : Twice Upon an Apocalypse

Twice Upon An Apocalypse

Edited by Rachel Kenley & Scott T. Coudsward

These aren’t your mother’s fairy tales. Throughout history parents have told their children stories to help them sleep, to keep them entertained. But we’re pretty sure none of those parents had this in mind. These are the fairy tales that will give you and your children nightmares. From the darkest depths of Grimm and Anderson come the immortal mash-ups with the creations of HP Lovecraft.

The stories in Twice Upon an Apocalypse will scare and delight “Children” of all ages!

Twice Upon an Apocalypse is one of the most refreshingly inventive, entertaining, thoughtful (and thought-provoking), not to mention unnerving anthologies I’ve read in years.”Gary A. Braunbeck

Watch the latest episode of Beneath the Lake videocast, with host Todd Keisling interviewing TWICE UPON AN APOCALYPSE contributors, Armand Rosamilia and Bracken MacLeod:

THE SCARLETT DAHLIA BY JESSE ORR EPISODE 5 BLEACH AND HEDGE CLIPPERS

 

THE SCARLETT DAHLIA BY JESSE ORR EPISODE 5 BLEACH AND HEDGE CLIPPERS

 

“JACK!” Marcie screamed.

Her voice echoed in the still air before being swallowed by the trees. There was no answering call.

“Stupid motherfucker, probably in a bathroom doing the rest of that blow,” she muttered. Turning to go, she saw movement in the shadows of the largest tree at the edge of the house. Her nerves, jacked on white powder, jerked her heart into her throat and she froze. Her bulging eyes remained locked on the spot and the lump in the shadows which had moved. Just as she was about to dismiss it, it moved again, this time enough that she could make out the shape of a large burly man, apparently asleep next to a set of hedge clippers which leaned against the trunk of the tree which shaded him.

A landscaper, her mind informed her, and red alert was canceled. Her jaw relaxed at the familiar sight of an underlying, employed to complete menial tasks beneath her own station. She smiled. Calm down, Marcie.

“You called?”

She screamed and whirled, her hands clutched into involuntary fists. Jack raised a hand. “It’s just me,” he said.

“God damn it!” she snapped. “Didn’t you hear me yelling?”

“That’s why I came out.” His hand lowered.

“Thank you so much,” she said and thrust her hand out, open this time. “Gimme the bullet.”

Jack looked confused. “The what?”

“Oh God, did you do it all already?”

“I don’t know what–”

“Jesus fucking Christ,” Marcie snarled, and yanked Jack forward by his shirt, digging her hand into his pants pockets. “The fucking bullet, that holds the fucking coke you’ve been sniffing all day you fucking RETARD!” She yelled the last in his face as she dug the bullet out of his left pocket and waving it in his face. “See?”

Jack’s face showed dawning comprehension as Marcie unscrewed the business end and dumped a healthy pile onto the hollow between her thumb and forefinger. Jamming her nose into the pile, she inhaled and gasped.

“HOLY SHIT!” she screamed, dropping the pieces of the bullet and grabbing for her throat. “What the fuck was that?”

“I’m not sure what Tide is,” Jack said, a smile playing around his lips, “but the box also said powdered bleach.”

Marcie didn’t hear him. She had fallen to her knees and was both gasping for air and vomiting, her eyes streaming red. “Jack! Get me to a fucking–” she retched again “–doctor!”

“What’s going on?”

The commotion had finally roused Maurice, the landscaper Marcie had spied napping. He stood at the edge of the lawn, eyes wide as he stared at Marcie. “Oh my… is she okay?”

“Does she look okay?” Jack asked, smiling pleasantly. “I put bleach in her cocaine device, although I did not know it was called a ‘bullet.’” He stepped around his stricken fiancee. “You are going to put her out of her misery for me.”

Maurice’s brain, never his strongest muscle, was still struggling to comprehend what he was seeing. “You gave her… what? Misery?”

“That is correct,” Jack said, and grasped Maurice’s calloused hand.

The laborer’s body gave a mighty convulsion, his eyes rolling back and staring, unseeing at the sky. His wide open mouth gaped without a sound. Spittle dribbled from one corner. In Jack’s grip, the hand was vibrating as though an electric current were flowing through it. Maurice felt as though his brain had been whisked out of his skull and replaced with a large empty room. Inside that room a man and a woman were laughing while something screamed. The man’s laughter got louder and louder until it was all Maurice could hear, he wanted to die if that was what it took to stop this…

It stopped.

Maurice’s eyes rolled forward and his knees buckled. Jack was expecting it, and reached to catch him. He needn’t have worried; the being which now inhabited Maurice’s body was already rising back to his full height, taking in the world as it did so.

“Missus?” came the voice of Hans the slave master, looking doubtfully at Jack.

“Yes,” said Jack, and a ghost of a grin flitted across his face. “He was the best I could do on short notice.” He gestured at his body.

Hans grunted, flexing his arms and taking some breaths. “This one feels good, missus.” His gaze shifted to the prone figure on the ground. At some point, Marcie had passed out. “What ’bout that’n?”

Jack looked at her with disdain. “She’s dirty. So is this one, but she’s just disgusting. I can smell her. That’s why you’re going to put her out of her misery. You remember where the bodies go?”

Hans nodded.

“Then do it,” Jack said, “and go back to minding the yard. I’ll be back with some more after I slip into someone more comfortable.”

“It will be as you say, missus,” Hans said and grinned. “If you don’t mind me saying, I’m looking forward to you getting back to your old self.”

“So am I, Hans,” Jack said, his voice prim. “Be about your work now.” He turned and rounded the corner of the house toward the car.

Hans grinned, and after a little searching picked up the hedge clippers Maurice had left under the tree. He gave them an experimental snip, and his grin grew wider. He liked the sound they made. Maybe he would see if he could wake up the bitch on the ground so she could hear it before dispatching her.

It was nice to be back at the Manor.