“The Dark is Silent” an Advent Ghosts 2014 contribution

Who doesn’t like to read ghost stories? Isn’t that a staple in childhood? Loren Eaton hosts Advent Ghosts, a yearly call for micro ghost stories to be shared during the dark days of winter. Writers write a ghost story in exactly 100 words and then post it to their blog on Friday, December 19th.

Here’s what I came up with this year, “The Dark is Silent.” Want to read a few more? Visit Loren’s blog, I Saw Lightning Fall, and find links to over a dozen more.

Happy Winter Solstice!

 

The Dark is Silent
By Erin Cole

It happens after the kids fall asleep. When she comes. Always a whisper, always cold. She wants me to understand why she ended it all. I’m told the voices are only fabrications, but I’ve never invented such darkness, not like she does.

Tonight, I stand in the kids’ bedroom, hoping, praying she will leave. They whimper and toss. Is she whispering her darkness into their little ears?

The nightlight dims, flickers. I wait. The icy wind blows outside, still not as cold as her thoughts.

I don’t hear her. She’s gone.

No—

Now, I can see her.

She screams silence.

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“Skipping Stones” @ Fantasy Scroll Magazine

FSM 04Last year, at this time, I penned a story about two brothers struggling to find their foothold in the outskirts of a town that had exiled them and their sick mother, a witch and seer. As one brother works his way back into the village, the other brother, much younger and still in need of guidance and support, is forced to confront his fears and face the inevitable challenges ahead. It’s nice to see the story published one year later, and at Fantasy Scroll Magazine at that.

Read “Skipping Stones,” today for free or consider buying the issue, FSM 04.

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Feral Things Giveaway Results

Rafflecopter, Rafflecopter, Rafflecopter, O how you fail me so. December 1-5, I ran a Rafflecopter Release Party for my new novella, Feral Things. The release was a great hit, and I’m thankful to so many people for their support. Yet for some reason, my Rafflecopter Giveaway didn’t turn out as I’d anticipated. I don’t know if it was an error on my part (a likely scenario), installing the giveaway, marketing it right, etc. or if Rafflecopter just requests too many hoops for the busy person to jump through.

Nevertheless, I did have almost 70 boosts from supporters ranging from a tweet to full-on interviews. I recorded everyone’s name, giving the appropriate lines in Excel for their support (interviews were 5 lines, blog posts 3, Facebook posts 2, Like my author page, tweeting, or sharing the news 1.) I shuffled the names and selected 11, 28, and 47 with a random number generator.

The winners are Jason Michel, Chris Allinotte, and Richard Baron. I also selected  three more winners to receive an eBook of Feral Things for going above and beyond: Milo James Fowler, James Everington, and Blaze McRob.

The other thing I had a feeling I might run into was that my three winners were international (which makes shipping print copies of my other books a little spendy), so winners will receive an eBook of Feral Things. My apologies if you were looking forward to a print copy, and if you were, email me and maybe we can work out an arrangement.

Again, super thanks everyone! I really appreciate your support and hope you all love the book.

Erin

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Feral Things Rafflecopter Giveaway and More

Damnation Books

I’m sure you’ve heard today marks the release of my new novella, Feral Things. It is also the start of my Rafflecopter Giveaway. If you want to help promote my book, you’ll get a FeralThings_150dpi_eBookchance to win one of three, signed, printed books, “Grave Echoes: A Kate Waters Mystery,” “Of the Night: witches, zombies, monsters, and more,” and “Between Feathers & Fins: 10 tales of strange, speculative fiction.” (Outside US winners will receive a free eBook of their choice, including Feral Things!)

Dark Fiction by Erin Cole 2Chances to enter include tweeting about the release of Feral Things, blog posting, Facebook share/post, an interview with me on the book, and/or liking my author page, Dark Fiction by Erin Cole or my Amazon Author Page.

In the meantime, I’m blog hopping around this week, starting at Simon Kewin’s blog, Spellmaking, and Deborah Walker’s blog, an interview at Pulp Metal Magazine tomorrow and at Chris Allinotte’s, The Leaky Pencil. Also, 12/1 12:01 am through 12/1 11:59 pm, Feral Things is on sale at Damnation Books.

Read 1st Chapter Here.

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Water Devil Lake @ Liquid Imagination

water-devil-lake

I have a new story up at the terrific eZine, Liquid Imagination in their November Issue 23, Water Devil Lake. This story goes back to my Write1Sub1 days, Week 49, 2012!

Jolie is about to embark on the simple mission of retrieving her lost Tilly down by the Water Devil Lake, and what she encounters will change her forever.

[Illustration by Sue Babcock]

Thanks Sue Babcock for the perfect illustration to my story and for another acceptance with Liquid Imagination. Interested in submitting? Check out the guidelines here and submit your best fiction, flash, poetry, and articles.

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New Book Release – Feral Things

FeralThings_150dpi_eBook

It’s almost December 1st, the release date for my new novella, Feral Things! In celebration, I’ve a few things planned. First off, head over to Damnation Books as early as you can on 12/1/14 for a *possible* discounted price on an eBook of Feral Things… starting at 12:01 am PST, the first eBook download at Damnation Books website only is FREE! The second download is just $0.25, the third download $0.50, and so forth until the regular price of $5.95 is reached or 24 hours has passed.

Second, is the (Rafflecopter Giveaway), also beginning December 1, and running through December 5th. There are several ways to earn points for a chance to win one of three books: Grave Echoes, Of the Night, and Between Feathers and Fins. Click on the link for more information. Three random winners will be selected to receive a signed copy. *Note, with many apologies, international winners will receive eBooks.

 

Read the first chapter of Feral Things now:

Clark County Insane Asylum

Through an obscure veil of dust and shadows, I see George lying on the floor beside me. We’ve been beaten for two days straight, and my thoughts handle like strained pulp. Our faces parallel each other, a crack in the floor runs between us, but in no way does it divide us from the horror we have both brazened here in Clark County’s Asylum, a place that specializes in sinister practices and primitive treatment. I owe my life to him. After the flu broke out, which killed many of the patients in the asylum, George and I remained uninfected. He warned me about Doctor Baker and her suspicions that we were not fully human. She thought I was a witch, and George convinced her to not burn me alive.

George coughs up water-thin blood fresh from somewhere inside him. His eyes are fixed open and vacant. His face is as pale as rocks at the bottom of a dead river. His injuries reflect the pain I feel flooding into every corner of my body. We are in this together, and yet, we are alone, for our losses differ.

I imagine he has a family in some pocket of a Wyoming small town: children, a wife, a dog, and a hamster. They are probably wondering where he is and if they will ever see him again. I have no one to worry over me. I own a solo journey. I’m the proverbial tumbleweed that crossed too many paths and wound up colliding into the chain-link fence, left only to crumble and wither away slowly. It sounds a bit dramatic, but this place will do that to you. It will try to turn you into something you are not or something you least want to be.

I hear George at night talking to what I think is an imaginary childhood friend or stuffed animal, Mr. Bartimus. He whimpers himself to sleep even though he is a grown man. I only whimper over my loss of freedom. The pain imposed on me is excruciating, but it doesn’t take my tears, and that infuriates Doctor Baker. She wants to break me and collect my cries for some perverted reason of her own. Destroying me is her sole passion. I have something she wants, and at each attempt to take it, I mock her—it’s my only weapon—and every ruthless consequence afterwards is worth seeing her seethe with hate.

I believe Doctor Baker wants Naja, a spirit girl that possesses me. Naja’s long, dark hair drapes over skin at her shoulders, skin like wood jasper. She smells of mint and dirt and wears black and red tribal tattoos and a necklace of feathers and bones pulled tight at her throat. I don’t think she is of this world. Most people can’t see her. I don’t know why she appears to me or who she really is, but I do know that I need her. More often than not, she is all I have.

Footsteps and voices echo down the hall. Doctor Baker and her minion nurses are returning to our cell. From the corner of the room, Naja waves her arms at me, as if directing the scene to unfold. George used to be able to see her, but not anymore; now he just seems to want to die. Naja pins her spellbinding eyes on mine, continuing to dance her arms as though churning a spell forth. Her lips move but not with words. She speaks to me in another form of language. She wants me to stay alert—freedom may be close. She stops and points her left hand to the door where I hear footsteps approaching. The door cracks open, and at the stab of light, Naja fades into the gray of the brick wall.

Male nurses walk into the room with thick, squeaky white shoes. Behind them is Doctor Baker with her petite, slim ankles in black clog heels. Her footsteps clap between George and me. She stands over us, domineering, positioning herself so that her shadow drapes us with her darkness.

“Any change in them?” she asks, her tone cool and heartless.

“No. He hasn’t transformed.”

“And the girl?”

“She won’t either.”

Dark things reside in me, an uninviting blackness teeming with danger. I belong to something wild—something made of distrust and detachment, a leaden heart, skin mapped with jagged, opal-ribbon scars, and a cold, rootless spirit. I am a monster, incarnate, with rake-like claws, elongated, spiny teeth, finely-honed senses, scraggly dark-brown hair, and an overwhelming hunger to kill, and I do. I kill people.

Doctor Baker’s nurses unlatch the silver collar from my neck. They believe it keeps me from turning, which it does, but unknowingly to them, the I.D. bracelet at my left wrist must also hold a small amount of silver in it. This too keeps me from transforming. Obviously, I do not want them to discover this.

“Take him downstairs,” Doctor Baker says. “If he doesn’t talk, torture him more.”

The men lift George onto a gurney.

“Leave him alone!” The voice is not my own. It’s soft and desperate.

Doctor Baker laughs. “Oh look, the two of them have bonded.” She stoops to my eye level. “Perhaps if you did what I want you to do, you could save him.”

“You’re a fucking, bitch liar.” That’s my voice, rumbling like a garbage truck engine.

Doctor Baker’s smile shortens. She stands and kicks me in the ribs. “Change now or I will kill him!”

A tear slides down the bridge of my nose. I want to change more than anything, to tear her face apart, but Doctor Baker will kill George anyway. I don’t think he will live to see the break of sunlight. I doubt I will either.

Doctor Baker and her minions will continue to beat and torture us for the rest of the night. They think George is a monster like me and take liter upon liter of our blood and inject the other patients with it. They want to see if they can transfer our ‘monster’ into themselves, but they are cautious enough to avoid potential fatal blood transfusions, so instead, they use the other patients as guinea pigs. Most of them have died. Doctor Baker could not care less. She will do anything to uncover a means of transference. She wants to be a monster too, but she doesn’t realize that she is already a monster —and more so than I will ever be.

“I will never give you what you want,” I tell her.

“As you know, there are worse things than death, Ms. Payne.” She gestures to a nurse who holds another silver collar. He snaps it back on my neck.

Doctor Warren, Doctor Baker’s assistant and lover, wheels a second gurney into the room. Meaty hands grab me, pick me up roughly, and toss me down on the gurney. Metal straps buckle snug to my wrists. Naja appears at my feet, watching every move with cagey, midnight eyes. I feel her surrounding me, as though she is an extension of me. Her heartbeat echoes mine. Her breath heaves with my chest. Her mind sharpens into my own.

Doctor Warren kneels beside me. His face is flushed and glistening with sweat. “If you try anything, I’m going to get the iron out again. Do you understand?” His breath smells as bitter as his words.

“Yes.”

I still have nightmares about the iron. The pain of burning is more than a terrible feeling; it’s a vivid nightmare from my past. I watched my parents die in a house fire when I was young. My father saved me and then went to save my mother. Somehow, Doctor Baker found this out, and now she uses fire to torture me.

“Good,” Doctor Warren says, rising from his crouched position. He stands over me like the owner of a bad dog. “Take her down to the observatory. Give her 20mg of Haldol, and whatever you do, do not undo the collar.”

The nurses push me out of the room and down the hall to the elevator. The bright steel-blue track lights trace above me like lines on the freeway. Though I can’t see her, I know Naja is still with me. I turn my head sideways, catching the last glimpse of Doctor Baker and Doctor Warren walking into an office. His hand cups her buttocks. While they go fuck, George and I will die.

The nurses stop the gurney at the elevator. The doors ding open. Naja moves in front of us, her eyes as wild as any predator’s. Something is going to happen, and it churns in my stomach like a giant eddy. Naja lifts both of her arms up so I see them, hits her right wrist repeatedly as though hitting it against something. I wriggle my right hand in the cuff, pump blood into my fist, and prepare for an opportunity.

The nurses jostle the gurney into the elevator. The wheel jams into the track of the doors. I ready myself, muscles poised, mind alert. My stomach clenches in on itself like teeth waiting to bite. The nurse inside the elevator tugs on the gurney. The other one at my head gives it a shove, but the gurney doesn’t move.

“Tilt it,” the nurse at my feet says.

I look to Naja. She nods at me. One. Two. Three. The nurse at my head tilts the gurney sideways, and I heave with it as hard as I can. The gurney cranks to the side, too far for the nurses to hold up. It tips over and crashes to the floor. I land on my shoulder with a jarring force, but the weight of my fall cracks the cuff at my wrist. My right hand comes free.

“Dammit,” the nurse at my feet shouts. Both nurses struggle to pick up the gurney. By the time they realize that one of my cuffs has busted open, I am already unlocking the other with a simple switch at the side. The nurse at my head lunges at me. I am too close to freedom now to let him ruin my chance of achieving it, and I slam my elbow into his nose. Blood spills from his nostrils. The smell of it rouses something in me, like a corpse coming to life.

Naja is still there, and she points to his waist where keys dangle. Ultimate freedom. I need them to unlock the collar at my neck – the silver band that keeps me from turning animal.

While the nurse is still gripping his bloody nose, I rip the keys off the loop of his pants. The other nurse inside the elevator advances on me, scrambling over the gurney. I kick up, hard as I can, between his legs. He expects it and blocks my foot. Then he hops over the gurney, coming at me with brute purpose because he knows what will happen if I’m successful, but I push the gurney aside and trip him. It allows me just enough time to flee down the hall.

I race into the first room and lock the door. I flip on the light switch to a crude cell with a bed, toilet, and sink, all stained by lives now dead. My heart is a pounding fist, a replica of the nurse’s on the other side of the door. I see him through the small window, the fierce alarm on his face as he shakes the handle and shouts out to someone down the hall.

First, I rip the I.D. off my wrist. Then, I fumble with the keys. Naja is in front of me, standing still, her eyes sliding from me and back to the door. The nurse watches me, making sure I haven’t released the collar yet. When I do, he’ll want to get the fuck out of here. If, and only if, I can unlock it, that frail, exhausted girl they beat docile will exist no more. I will become their worst nightmare. He knows this. I see it in his eyes.

A siren screams through the building. The lights go out, and a red light flashes in the corner of the room. I go through each key, twisting it into the key hole at the back of the collar, desperate to find the right one. In my haste, the keys drop from my hands. I can’t stop shaking. If I don’t succeed, they will beat me to death after this little stunt. I will get the hot iron. Doctor Baker will burn me to death. My hands quake again at the thought. Naja moves closer to me. Her calmness emanates around me like sunlight, and I try to breathe it in and take control.

More nurses crowd in the door’s window. They watch me struggle with the keys, and I realize with a ripping dread at the faint jingle behind the door that they are doing the same.

I slow myself, like Naja does. I touch one of the keys, and it feels different than the rest. It’s heavier. Longer. It’s the one. Naja steps back into the darkness, out of the pulse of red light, but I can still see her. She’s metamorphosing into a crow. Her hair slicks back into ebony-green feathers. She is getting ready for flight. I know this means I’m close and that I am to follow her.

One nurse shouts, and his face disappears from the rectangular window. Then, something slams into the door, repeatedly. The doorframe bends, letting in slivers of light along the side.

I position the key behind my neck, searching for the key hole. I can’t find it. The door pushes in. My hands tremble. I must have it upside down. The nurses keep ramming what I think must be the gurney into the door. It busts at the corner, letting in more than a sliver of light. Their hands grope around the frame for the lock, attempting to pull it off the hinges. It finally busts free, and one of the nurses steps inside, the one that was at the foot of my gurney. Another nurse, holding another collar, joins him.

The key slips into the keyhole. Neither of them advances. They study my stance—my hands at the back of my neck, a key at the collar—wondering if I’ve found the right one. My poker face sucks, and I cannot stop the triumphant smile that breaks across my mouth at the sound of the collar clicking open.

The nurses have heard stories. They pause for a second. They doubt what Doctor Baker and Doctor Warren have told them. Naja flaps her wings and caws from the corner of the room. She flies over their heads. One of them flinches, and at that, I awaken.

I begin transforming before the collar clangs to the floor, faster than ever before. The nurses stumble backwards over each other. Horror-stricken expressions bend across their faces. They believe now.

After having been beaten, starved, scared to death, and provoked to no end, the animal within me roars out in a savage rage. My eyes change first, my new vision swallowing in the scene around me, every detail sharply outlined. My limbs stretch out, morphing into long, knobby bones, rake-like fingers, while solid lean muscle bulges from new parts of me. My face contorts, broadens, and expands. My back arches with a burning shot of pain, one that feels more right than wrong, and when I open my mouth, a scream bleeds into a howl and vibrates deep within the marrow of my soul. All of this happens within a matter of seconds.

My mind is animal like Naja’s. I don’t think in full sentences, just images and feelings. Instinct reigns with a heightening of senses, and at this moment, all I see, smell, and hear is the warm beat of blood and muscle. Unable to hold back another second longer, I spring for the nurses. Their screams charge me like the wind on flames. My body is a machine—an engine of wrath and vengeance, death and destruction.

I catch up with one of the nurses, the one that used to hold me down for shock treatments. He scrambles for the stairwell, sobbing to God. I cut short his prayer and sink my teeth into his back, hook my fangs into muscle and bone. I jerk back greedily. I want to sit and gorge myself on him, but my instincts burn with revenge, and I leave the nurse to bleed profusely. He isn’t dead, but will be soon.

Naja is at the end of the hall, perched on an exit sign at the corner of the ceiling. She caws at me, urging me to follow her, but my senses twist and pull me in the direction of a faint odor – Doctor Baker’s perfume. The fire inside me is a thrashing inferno. I can’t leave until I kill her and Doctor Warren; otherwise, they will hunt me forever.

I turn away from Naja and run to the next room. People converse heatedly behind a door, and I recognize the voices of Doctor Warren, Doctor Baker, and the other nurses. I crouch and slam my body against the door. It crashes open at once. I scan the room, passing over Doctor Warren holding a gun until I find Doctor Baker. I want her at all costs. The cool character she prides herself with crumbles before me as she looks at what I’ve become, the monster she wants to be. With both terror and awe in her eyes, they lure me in, warping my will, but the overwhelming urge to kill takes over. I want to give her everything I am—all my hate, anger, claws, and teeth. I want to bathe in her bittersweet blood.

I lunge for her. A shot fires from Doctor Warren’s gun. The bullet strikes me in the shoulder, but I am already in motion, leaping across the room for Doctor Baker. He shoots another and another. They are all regular bullets and do nothing to me. In a desperate effort to protect his love, he flings himself in front of Doctor Baker, and my jaws clamp down on Doctor Warren’s throat. In a seething rage, I shake my head rapidly side to side, ripping a gaping hole in his neck. Blood pours out of him and sprays over Doctor Baker and the wall next to him. Although it’s intoxicating in both scent and meaning, it is not who I crave.

Doctor Baker screams. I catch movement in my periphery and see the other nurse running to my side. He holds the metal rod with the silver collar at the end, the same tool they had used on me before when I changed, the one that will turn me back human.

Naja flies into the room as a large falcon now and dives between Doctor Baker and me. She wants me to leave, to save myself before it is too late, but I’m obsessed with killing Doctor Baker. One of us must die. Just one deep cut to her carotid artery is all I need, and I leap forward raking my claws out at her. The tip of one sinks into the softness of her flesh, but I’ve misjudged the speed at which the nurse behind me can move. He whips the rod and clamps the collar around my neck.

An instant burning force sears into my body as though I’ve been electrocuted. I begin changing back into human form, beginning with the loss of hair, the shortening of bone.

Naja caws loudly, flaps her wings at my face, and spears her talons into my back, as though picking me up. I jerk back from the nurse with what little animal strength I have left. The door to the room is still open, and I run, following Naja into the hallway. Regret is a thorn in my throat. Hate clouds my eyes. I’m no longer roaring like beast, but screaming like woman.

Naja steers toward a window at the end of the hall. I know my actions are all that I have left because being captured by Doctor Baker again is not an option. I will seek death before that. There is only one thing left to do.

I wasn’t human yet. Fractions of seconds mattered. I charge at the window. Two, three, four stories high, I’m not sure. I will be injured, but I won’t die. I jump at the window with as much force as I can collect and push my still clawed hands through the panes of glass. Shards fracture and scrape into me, cutting into flesh. Gravity seizes me, and I fall, a drop that stretches my gut into icy ribbons of fear. I land in dirt. Cold earth chills my skin.

I am human now. Human and free.

I turn for the woods, following Naja. I run until I can’t remember anything.

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New Book Release: Yakuza Territory, by Milo James Fowler

Today, I’m swapping blogs with the very talented, Milo James Fowler, in celebration of his new book release from Musa Publishing, Yakuza Territory. Charlie Madison is at again, and I can’t wait to read another thrilling ride in Milo’s science-fiction-noir-adventure mash-up. Check it out:

YAKUZA TERRITORY, by Milo James Fowler

Yakuza TerritoryMusa Publishing is proud to announce the release of Milo James Fowler’s most recent science fiction novella Yakuza Territory.

Take a moment to discover what happens when a hardboiled detective story is set in a science fiction world:

A detective with no way out.
A telepath with something to prove…

World-weary detective Charlie Madison has seen more than his share of war. When he stops by the 37th precinct late one night to check on his old friend Sergeant Douglass, the place is as quiet as a morgue. The last thing he expects to find: half a dozen Russian gunmen with a score to settle.

What starts out as a vicious Alamo-style battle soon evolves into something more sinister as Madison’s past comes into play. Will his ties to a branch of the Japanese mafia be a help or a hindrance? And who is the strange man in holding? Why are the Russians determined to break him out?

Struggling to survive the night, one private eye must rely on his wits to solve a mystery where he’s outnumbered, outgunned, and trapped inside a police station with a soulless killing machine.

Available from Musa Publishing
Add Yakuza Territory to your Goodreads bookshelf

AN EXCERPT:

Maybe checking in on Sergeant Douglass late that night hadn’t been the best idea. I should have paid more attention to the warning signs right off; things weren’t exactly business as usual at the precinct. The pencil-necked clerk wasn’t at his post, and an eerie quiet held the foyer as still as a morgue. No cops, uniformed or otherwise, to be seen. In a city that never slept, one expected its law enforcement personnel to share the same god-awful insomnia—graveyard shift or no.

The vacant front desk didn’t sway me from my course, though. Little glitches out of the ordinary seldom did. I’d trained myself over the years to file them away, but not focus on them too much. As a detective, it was easy to get distracted by particulars while going after the big picture. Besides, I was suspicious by nature. I questioned everything as a matter of course. But as far as I knew, everybody on duty was partying in back, throwing Douglass a well-deserved soirée after his recent ordeal and return to the land of the visible.

I paused at the unlocked door leading into the bullpen—an open-concept area with clusters of desks for everybody ranked lower than lieutenant. Access into the station’s inner workings wasn’t usually so free and easy. As I quietly stepped inside, I knew without a doubt something was amiss.

The whole room lay empty except for five guys standing in the middle with assault weapons slung over their shoulders—AK-12s and SIG MPXs by the looks of them. Not what your average citizens usually carried around concealed on their person.

“Hey.” I saluted the first one to notice me. “Am I late to the party?”

He glared my way, and I couldn’t help feeling like I was back in high school; once again, I’d forgotten the beer. They weren’t in uniform—unless black nubuck jackets and jeans counted, not to mention the scruffy stubble, slick hair, and stocky frames. Come to think of it, that’s pretty much the look of your standard-issue thug for hire these days.

“Charlie—get down!”

I would have recognized that Scottish brogue anywhere. I’d already assembled a good enough picture of the situation to know it was in my best interest to hit the floor a split second before the deafening staccato of weapons fire and a hail of bullets headed my way.

The rounds blasted straight through computer monitors and potted plants on desks; sparks flew upward along with shards of clay and clouds of potting soil. Chairs disintegrated as I cringed behind a solid steel desk and drew the snubnosed Smith & Wesson from my shoulder holster.

“Sarge, you all right?” I barely heard myself over the stampede of slugs plowing into the steel that sheltered me. The rounds were making some serious dents, but none had punctured through—yet. It was only a matter of time.

I wouldn’t be able to stay put for long.

GET TO KNOW THE MAN BEHIND THE BOOK:

1. When did you start seriously pursuing writing as a career?

I’ve been writing since I was a kid, but I started submitting my work for publication in the summer of 2009. I’d always thought I would pursue publication at some point—probably after I retired from teaching or turned 40. My first story was published in January 2010, and I’ve had another 96 accepted for publication since then. I won’t turn 40 for a couple more years, and I’m still teaching full-time. Doesn’t look like I’ll be retiring anytime soon!

2. How did you create the character Charlie Madison?

When I was a kid, I learned to type on an old-school manual typewriter. That’s where I learned to write, too. My first novels were messy, full of typos and plot holes. But they were fun. And at age 15, that’s what it was all about for me. Private eye Charlie Madison was one of the first characters I created, based on Box 13 and Dixon Hill, and The Double Murder was his big debut. By the end of it, I had over a hundred pages of snappy banter, mob hits, double-crossing dames, car chases, and even some alligators on leashes. It was a horrible parody, and I knew it.

Halfway through Write1Sub1 2011, I came up with the first Charlie Madison story I’d written in decades: Girl of Great Price. It wasn’t anything like his original case, but he was the same quick-witted, intrepid detective I’d known before. I transplanted him into a more serious and gritty “future noir” sci-fi setting, and once I’d envisioned that world, I knew I’d be back. Immaterial Evidence soon followed, and Yakuza Territory will be available from Musa Publishing on November 7th.

3. Are you working on more Charlie Madison stories?

I’m outlining the follow-up to Yakuza Territory, and it’s going to be full of assassinations, kidnappings, killer robots, and maybe even a mad scientist. The working title is The Gifted Ones, and it follows the origins of the mysterious suprahumans who have appeared in all three Charlie Madison detective stories so far.

MJFprofileAUTHOR BIO:

Milo James Fowler is a teacher by day and a speculative fictioneer by night. When he’s not grading papers, he’s imagining what the world might be like in a dozen alternate realities. He is an active SFWA member, and his work has appeared in more than 90 publications, including AE SciFi, Cosmos, Daily Science Fiction, Nature, Shimmer, and the Wastelands 2 anthology.
Visit http://www.milojamesfowler.com and join The Crew for updates about new releases as well as exclusive promotions.

***

Thanks for stopping by Milo, and cheers!

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Winners Announced!

Creepy Freebies - Banner

 

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween. Let the candy wars begin. But first, the winners of my Creepy Freebies Giveaways…

FeralThings_150dpi_eBookThe winners of my Rafflecopter Giveaway, Feral Things, are in: Congrats to Billy Pauly, Jr., Lori Titus, and Michelle Anne King! Each will receive a free eBook of my soon-to-be-released novella Feral Things!

 

 

createspace 10-2-13And the two winners of my Goodreads Giveaway, Grave Echoes, is also complete: Congrats to Suzanne from Massachusetts and Kimberly from Louisiana! Each will receive a signed copy of my novel, Grave Echoes.

 

 

Thanks to everyone for your support.

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#CreepyFreebies this October 26th – October 31

Creepy Freebies - Banner

It’s that awesome time of year again, and courtesy of Milo James Fowler, Creepy Freebies is here! Time to get some great reads for the dark winter months ahead…for free! Stop by Milo James Fowler’s blog for the skinny on your creepy freebies today through Halloween and take the blog tour to scoop up some great treats.

Here’s the line up this year:

 

And here are my treats:

  1. October 26th – Nov. 1: get a free ebook copy of “After Dusk” and “The Shadow People” at Smashwords! No need to enter into anything, just click the links above, download, and enjoy
  2. October 26th – Nov. 1, like my new author page on Facebook, Dark Fiction by Erin Cole, and enter to win a chance of three eBooks of Feral Things, my new novella release by Damnation BooksFeral Things Rafflecopter Giveaway
  3. October 27th-Oct.31, I’m running a Grave Echoes Goodreads Giveaway for two signed copies of Grave Echoes. Click the link to enter.

Also, for more updates, follow us on twitter – #CreepyFreebies.

Happy Creepy Freebies!

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Feral Things Cover Reveal

The cover reveal to my latest novella “Feral Things” is here! Cover artist Dawné Dominique from Damnation Books put together a great cover. I love the fabulous building in the background, as it represents the asylum that my MC, Jamie, escapes from, and the wolf in the corner … did I mention it’s a werewolf horror story? I especially liked her added touch of dripping blood, because it does drip from the pages.

Here’s the scenario:

A monster possesses Jamie Fisher, one with claws and sharp teeth. After waking in the Nevada desert, not sure of who she is or how she got there, her key to survival may lie in traveling with a dangerous guy named Ray.

A trust develops as they both flee state to state, running from Ray’s own troubled past and blindly heading into Jamie’s. Ray will have to face new monsters and Jamie will have to embrace her own if she wants to save Ray and herself. It’s a bloody mess, and only the feral will survive.

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The set date for its release is December 1, 2014. I will be hosting a raffle for three winners to receive a signed, print copy of one of my books: “Between Feathers and Fins,” “Grave Echoes,” and “Of the Night.” See the link at the top, right hand corner, Rafflecopter Giveaway.

Help me spread the news about the release of “Feral Things,” and increase your chances of winning one of my books. The raffle will run between the week of December 1 – December 5. If you are interested in interviewing me about its release or would like participate in a blog tour, please contact me at erincole [at] live [dot] com. I would be forever grateful! Erin

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