Summer Freebies

Summer isn’t complete without a long list of books to read. Why not save some cash and download some freebies! I have three free books available to download at Smashwords for the entire month of June. Enjoy!

Between Feathers and Fins

This collection of flash fiction and short stories by Erin Cole will lead you into the savage hauntings and restless fears that plague the females in them. From ghosts to mermaids, witches to beasts, ‘Between Feathers and Fins’ is an imaginative collection of dark and strange stories you won’t soon forget.

(10 stories at 14K words)

 

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image5967895

 

Everyone has a shadow, but most of them don’t come to life.

It will take more than guts for Kori to get her shadow back, specifically an enemy, a geek, one police officer, two red necks with tractors, and a couple sticks of dynamite.

(6.6K words)

 

After Dusk 5-28-13

In these six short stories, there is a unifying theme that darkness is a more than just a brooding atmosphere filled with the unknown. It threatens to become apart of the character and a presence in the reader

(6 short stories at 24K words)

Catching Up…

I’m catching up on life and writing. Since last July, my world was turned upside down and put on hold—I’m still taking care of my son suffering from PANDAS, but since my previous post, he’s received IVIG treatment and is doing much better. OCD is still a monster in our house, and one that’s given me lessons in real horror, but that is life – it’s not supposed to be easy. Struggle is natural, to be expected, always lurking just around the corner, or so it should be for our characters, and such is the focus of my writing lately. Putting my characters in the here and now with true pressures and real worries. Yes, writing again!

Since my brief absence, I published a story in Christina Escamilla’s, The Deep Dark Woods anthology, titled, “Forever, No More.” It’s a great collection of stories that take place in the woods – and what’s scarier than a crypt in the woods? Spirits who want out of that crypt.

I had a reprint story, “Skipping Stones” in Fantasy Scroll’s first anthology, Dragons, Droids, and Doom, edited by Iulian Ionescu and Frederick Doot. Sharing pages with Ken Liu, Cat Rambo, Mike Resnick, Alex Shvartsman, Michelle Ann King, Anna Yeatts, and so many more greats is somewhat surreal, and I owned Cloud 9 on that one for a day.

Currently, I have a story shortlisted with a publication I’ve been eyeing for a few years (fingers/toes/knees crossed), and I just completed a long fiction (17K sci-fi/horror), “The Blood Berries,” and am polishing up some others. Also, I have hopes for new pieces over the summer.

“It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.”
– Confucius

My Horror: A True Story

My son was abducted overnight, July 12, 2015, 12:15 a.m. to be exact, he says. It wasn’t aliens or a serial killer. It was—is—a brain infection. It has taken me and my family 7 months of utter, unimaginable hell just to get it diagnosed. We are still battling to find him treatment.

His disease is called PANDAS, and it is so rare, that most doctors not only have never heard of it, those that have, don’t even believe in it, even though it is recognized by the National Institute of Mental Health as a medical/physical disorder expressed psychiatrically because of its location in the basal ganglia of the brain. Those that do believe in it are still hesitant to treat because they’ve never done if before.

Six months ago, our son was playing at the river with his friends, his dog, and family. He was eating hotdogs and smores, chasing water skippers, and catching salamanders. He was laughing and smiling. He was living.

Today, our son is unable to go to school. He wears his dad’s shirt pulled over his head, though at times, he goes nude for days. In January/December. He hides all the time because he’s afraid—of what, he can’t clearly define or make sense of. He doesn’t eat, has gone days without food, has lost substantial weight, and hasn’t touched/drank water in weeks. He barely sleeps, can’t touch anything, uses his feet and elbows to open doors and turn on lights, has incontinence, and his pupils are constantly dilated (demonic-like if I didn’t know better and some days I didn’t).

He performs elaborate rituals for the simplest of daily activities. He has a variety of tics (arm swinging, spitting, leg kicking, eye rolling, shirt pulling, head tilting), Tourette’s (it’s not cute or funny at all), and has patterns upon patterns, that if you can’t also follow along with (which is like walking the tightrope over Mt. Kilauea), he goes into an aggressive, psychosis state.

We’ve been to the ER six times. There are 75 holes in our walls, two the size of a cookie sheet, most caused by his own hands, feet, and body. It would be easier at this point to tear the walls down rather than fix them. His behavior has digressed, he acts like he’s four, but he’s eleven, yet sometimes unusually clever. Once very brave, he’s now terrified of everything. We have to circle the block before we go home if people are near our drive. The clock is set for numerous tasks, and no one can move during them or something bad will happen to us.

We’ve met with so many physicians, psychiatrists, counselors, nutritionists, and psychologists, that I have to keep a running log just to remember who I talked to and what was said. After a tip from a social worker, who told us to look into PANDAS/PANS: Pediatric Autoimmune Neurological Disorder Associated with Strep / Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome, we finally, after a ridiculous amount of phone calls and $1000, were able to order the Cunningham Panel from Oklahoma with lengthy instructions on a blood draw, test tubes, and ice packs included.

But it would pay off. My son tested dangerously high on five out of five of elevated levels of antigens in his body being hijacked by his own antibodies. He only needed to be high for one of them. We believe a scarlet fever outbreak ( a form of strep) brought this on. Hearing this news felt like a win. We found out what was wrong, but now, we have the harder task of finding a physician that will treat him. And fast. He’s redlining.

For all you wonderful people still reading my post – please keep PANDAS in mind. Look it up, read the symptoms, remember them, SPREAD THE WORD, because there are families out there right now suffering unbelievable horror and they have no idea what is even wrong with their child and no one can help them. They and their doctors have probably never heard of PANDAS, so they need every shred of help, advice, tips or guidance they can get.

As far as writing goes, I haven’t had time for fiction, but I am still writing horror. Lots of it.

PANDAS NETWORK

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH

INTERNATIONAL OCD FOUNDATION

FOUNDER: DR. SUSAN SWEDO (video)

LATIMER, “One Size Doesn’t Fit All” (video)

 

Goodreads Giveaways

I’m giving away 9 books on Goodreads this October! All signed and sent straight to the lucky winners’ doors. OCTOBER 11-18. It’s free and easy to enter.
Luck be with you–


Grave Echoes: A Kate Waters Mystery (Book 1)

ENTER GIVEAWAY

October 11 – 18

Grave Echoes 2-11-15 Ghostly


Wicked Tempest: A Kate Waters Mystery (Book 2)

ENTER GIVEAWAY

October 11 – 18

Wicked Tempest 2-11-15 Ghostly


Feral Things: a werewolf novella

ENTER GIVEAWAY

October 11 – 18

FeralThings_150dpi_eBook

Story acceptance for ‘The Deep, Dark Woods’ anthology

I am grateful to have a new story acceptance in Christina Escamilla’s The Deep Dark Woods anthology, titled, “Forever, No More.” 

Forever to Jesse, and three other ghosts, is a locked crypt inside the dark woods of the Black Mountain Cemetery, that is until two young children set them free. The woods are about to get much darker, and for Jesse, her forever trapped in the cemetery is no more.

This short story was born the night I found my kids jumping on the trampoline, holding hands, and chanting, “Dead man, dead man come alive, come alive on the count of five, One, two, three, four, five, come alive!”

This creeped me out. My children never hold each other’s hands because that’s ‘so disgusting’. Moreover, it’s a creepy-ass chant when sang by a small chorus of children on a waning-moon dusk. And when asked where they heard it, I was told by my daughter that Sally’s friend taught her it. Sally is my daughter’s invisible friend. For me, invisible friends having invisible friends is a notch up on the horror factor.

Follow me or Christina on Facebook for news about the release date.