Tag Archives: Deadlock Press

ODD MAN OUT – Prologue

(I have three new stories ready to go; I'm just dragging my feet on publishing them because I want to get a few other things in place before I start running them out there.  One is a long version of my short story "Odd Man Out," which was published as a standalone (with another short story called "The House at the Bend in the Road") and as part of the collection 14 DARK WINDOWS.  What follows is the Prologue of that story, which is novella-length (about 33,000 words, if I recall correctly).  Watch this space or sign up for my soon-to-come mailing list to find out when it is available on Amazon.

ODD MAN OUT

Prologue

Roger Sinclair checked the calendar that hung on the wall over his computer. October nineteenth. Only the nineteenth. It seemed that the thirty-first was taking forever to arrive this year. Time was dragging. Anticipation had a way of making the passage of time seem very slow. The Cabin Weekend was approaching, and Roger had big plans for the traditional yearly gathering of his friends. Friends. That was a laugh. They didn't like him any more than he liked them. They used him. They always had. Vinnie, Jack and Paul – they hung around with him – no, they let him hang around with them – because he was smart, dependable, and well-off. He made them feel superior – Look at rich, smart, loser Roger, who can't get a girl and gets shunned by everyone...but us! We'll take pity on the loser, and we'll take advantage of his brains and his wealth. Like the Cabin Weekend. They always went to Roger's cabin. None of them had cabins. And why spend money on a real vacation when they could just sponge off Roger? Vinnie and Susan, Jack and Nancy, and Paul and whatever hot-looking hosebag he was dating at the moment. Well, not this year. Paul wasn't dating a hot-looking hosebag anymore. He was engaged. To Amy Wellington. Amy might be hot, but she was no hosebag. She was the epitome of class. She was the girl of Paul's dreams, as Paul himself had pointed out. She was also the girl of Roger's dreams, but that was beside the point. Paul never cared about what Roger wanted, only what he wanted. He wanted Amy, so of course he ended up with her. That's how it worked with Paul. No matter that he had been Roger's guest at a charity function when he met Amy. Paul had deigned to accompany Roger to the event when Roger's own date fell through. 'Fell through' is sort of misleading. She dumped me on my ass, he remembered. Bitch. Focus! Roger forced himself to get back on track with his thoughts. This wasn't about Melissa, the stick-up-her-ass bitch that worked in the IT department of Roger's family's company. The point was Paul, and how he met Amy, and how he had practically run Roger over in his zeal to get to her first. Paul knew that Roger saw her first, that Roger wanted to take a shot with her, but could Paul let him have a chance? No, of course he couldn't. What Paul wants, Paul gets. Roger's fantasy was that Amy would see Paul for what he was and eventually they'd split up. It would be Paul's fault, of course, and Roger would be there for Amy. He'd be the understanding friend she would need, the shoulder she could cry on, the guy who'd be there for her as she worked through the pain of their broken engagement. Of course it would end Paul's friendship with Roger, but that was okay. It wasn't a real friendship, and it had not been one for a long time. Ever since that day at the frat party back in college... Focus! he told himself again. This isn't about embarrassment that Paul caused him in college, this is about Amy Wellington. Paul's fiancee. Roger's one true love. And the Cabin Weekend would be the time when things would turn in favor of Roger.

#

(To find out what happens at the Cabin Weekend, watch for ODD MAN OUT at Amazon or on these pages...)

THE INN is live!

I finally did it!  THE INN, my 37,000 word horror/suspense/thriller, is live on Amazon! Take a look at the cover: The Inn Cover 4 Here's the blurb from Amazon:
BAND TRIP TO PERIL... The Jackson High School Band and student director Kimberly Bouton are making their biennial journey to a music festival in the deep South for fun and educational opportunities. Kim expects to deal with hormonal teenagers, a severe lack of sleep, and long boring bus rides, but the roadside inn where the band stays on their visit hides a sinister secret – and it translates to unimagined horrors for students and teachers alike... Check into THE INN, where the guests are the entertainment...
It's not for everyone.  It's horror (nothing extreme, but people die and such, like in most horror), and it's the realistic type of horror, not the supernatural type.  But please take a look if you are so inclined. !!!!! *****

New title coming out…

I finished up my final editing pass over the weekend, and I think it's time to post the cover for what will be my most recent and my longest published work to date:  THE INN. THE INN is about a high school band who takes a school trip to a music festival in Alabama, and focuses on their student-teacher, a 22-year-old college senior named Kimberly Bouton.  But this inn has some strange goings-on, and both the teacher and the kids experience that strangeness first hand. I haven't written the blurb yet, but I'm working on it.  This is a serial-killer-horror type of novel (or is it still a novella at around 37000 words?  Probably...) with the standard trappings of horror novels of this type.  I wouldn't call it "extreme horror" -- there are no graphic descriptions of -- well, anything, really.  But it's full of mature and disturbing occurrences, like most horror novels. I've alway been a fan of horror movies, even the slasher-type of movies (though I think it's been really overdone and I haven't seen many in the last several years), and I recently read some novels by indie horror writer William Malmborg , especially one called TEXT MESSAGE and one called NIKKI'S SECRET.  After I read them, I thought that I could probably write something like those stories, and this is my attempt.  I'd like to think that it has my usual level of character development (for better or worse) but I don't think it is for every reader.  If you don't care for this sort of horror novel, take a pass on this one.  OTOH, if you liked RED DRAGON or SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, you might not be totally put off by this one. THE INN, a horror thriller which clocks in at about 37000 words and contains a sample chapter of THE CAVE as well.  Here's the cover: The Inn Book CoverI'll be posting links to it on Amazon in a day or so... *****

Going all-in on KDP Select…

Yesterday I was reading blog entries on The Passive Voice, on Joe Konrath's blog and some Hugh Howey thoughts, and I thought, "Wow!  Why am I not in KDP Select?" So why wasn't I? I put my short stories in KDP Select when I wanted to give some of them away several months ago.  But I never put my longer collections and my novella into it.  My reasoning was that I was going to move to publish the works with other platforms, like B&N, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords.  I was thinking that maybe Draft2Digital was the way to go, but I wasn't sure. I never did any of that.  Honestly, I can't see myself putting in the work to do so at this time.  Maybe if I was seeing income worth talking about, I could justify putting in the time.  But right now, I can't. So, I placed everything into KDP Select.  My novella, THE CAVE, costs $0.99 to buy, but can be borrowed in Kindle Unlimited or through Prime.  My short story collections, DIE 6, 14 DARK WINDOWS, and THE STRIKER FILES, are all currently priced at $0.99, and all can be borrowed via KU or through Prime.  And my four short stories (all of which are found in 14 DARK WINDOWS as well), are also priced at $0.99, and all are part of KU and Prime. Here's what one reviewer said about my short story ODD MAN OUT:
A pair of creepy tales, well written if on the short side. Worth a read, especially via Kindle Unlimited. I'll be checking out the collection that includes these.   EC, Amazon review.
Another review about the same says:
The book is two short word pictures of atmospheric horror. They both nicely evoke a feeling of creepy dread, and in the case of the House At the Bend In the Road, mystery. Worth a read!  Scott R. Turner, Amazon review.
(ODD MAN OUT is available as a standalone short story or as part of the collection 14 DARK WINDOWS.) Anyway, there it is.  I'm all in on KDP Select for now.  Grab 'em or borrow them.  They're not pricey.  I think they're good reads, but of course I would think that, since I wrote them.  But a few others think the same.  Don't let others do your thinking for you; check them out yourself... *****

THE CAVE is live!

My 25,000 word novella, THE CAVE, is live on Amazon! (Click on the image to link to the file on Amazon...)
The Cave Novella

The Cave Novella

Here is the description: WHEN IS A CAVE NOT A CAVE? While exploring the woods near their bike trails, four soon-to-be eighth grade boys make an exciting discovery: a real cave! Of course they decide to explore it, and they make a pact to keep it as their very own secret. But Steve breaks the pact in order to win the attention of the neighborhood girl that they all dream about: Gina Lawson. To their surprise, Gina wants in on their adventure. As the five of them explore further and deeper, they begin to realize that their cave is not simply a cave – but does the strange pocket of darknesss merely pose serious danger, or does true evil lurk within? A 25,000 word horror novella mixing teenage exuberance with a touch of the macabre. (Contains adult themes and some adult language.) It only costs $0.99!  For 25 THOUSAND words!  (maybe a few more, actually.)  Grab it today! *****

Price reductions!

I have reduced the prices of everything I have published to $0.99!  Is that good news or bad?  That remains to be seen, I suppose.  If the lowered prices result in any sales at all, it's great news!  If not, well, then, it isn't any different from what's going on now. The truth is, until the 13th of May, I hadn't seen a sale in over a month.  One of my short stories, "Night Family," was purchased on that day and has not been returned.  The last three before that had been returned.  Why?  Because whoever downloaded them was disappointed that they were too short?  Or because they realized that they'd already read them as a part of either 14 Dark Windows or The Striker Files. I've redone the descriptions in a very minor way, making the first line an indicator that the stories are contained in larger collections, also costing $0.99.  Hopefully that will help.  Also it will hopefully take away the "being upset at the length" factor, even though every one of them clearly shows the number of pages AND I state the length of the short stories in the blurb. So now everything is $0.99, including the 25K novella THE CAVE which will be out very soon.  The short stories are also in KDP Select, so they can be downloaded as a KU borrow or used as a "Prime" borrow in a given month. Although you can see all the titles by clicking on the "Books" menu tab above, here they are: 14 DARK WINDOWS DIE 6 THE STRIKER FILES 3-in-1 Collection SOLE OCCUPANT (two short stories) ODD MAN OUT (two short stories) JACK'O'LANTERN (three short stories) THE GATEWAY   (three short stories) DEAD OR ALIVE (a Striker Files short story) NIGHT FAMILY (a Striker Files short story) RICK'S RULES (a Striker Files short story) And that's all of them.  Except for THE CAVE, which isn't live yet on Amazon. Oh, yeah.  Did I mention that they're all $0.99?  They literally can't get cheaper as long as they're exclusive to Amazon... Take a look, assuming anyone sees this post. *****

Sales report

All I can really say is, it's a good thing I'm a dentist!  Haven't sold a book or had a short story bought since October 23rd. I counted, and I have eleven titles out there.  They range in length from the very short (14 pages) SOLE OCCUPANT, which is in Kindle Select and KU, and costs $0.99, to my six-story collection DIE 6, which has 123 pages and is priced at $2.99.  Also there is THE STRIKER FILES 3-in-1 COLLECTION, 93 pages also priced at $2.99, and my non-fiction title (under my real name) DOING DISNEY, which is again priced at $2.99 and contains 101 pages of information about visiting the Florida resorts.  14 DARK WINDOWS is a fourteen-story collection of short "flash" fiction, 63 pages, and is once again priced at $2.99. What could I do?  Perhaps a full collection of ALL of my short stories, would come in at something around 250 pages (maybe a bit more), and price it at $4.99?  I have five stories in the very early stages of readiness for publication, all need rewriting and editing, but none are ready to go tomorrow. Anyway, I know I don't do much to promote the stories.  The only people who have bought them are people who know me through Facebook, for the most part, or knew me from my days at Delphi Internet Service when I helped run the Book and Candle Pub.  I submitted a story to the anthology QUANTUM ZOO with low expectations, but it was one of the twelve that was selected for inclusion, and I'd hoped that perhaps someone would read my story there and decide to check out at least one or two of my other stories, but the problem is that very few of the stories I've written and published would excite the QUANTUM ZOO target audience.  So perhaps my efforts for that collection are wasted. Who knows?  For me, a good story is a good story.  I've bought several of my co-authors' stories but I don't know if it is working in reverse.  Oh well.  I don't really NEED the income.  I can just keep writing, and when they're ready, publishing, and if they catch on, great.  If not, so be it. As the saying goes, it was worth a try. *****

Works in Progress

And then there were four. Most of what I've published so far is short fiction.  The longest is a three story series, coming in at about 24K words.  The stories are roughly 7K, 8K and 9K, and they're all about the same story but told from different points.  The longest short story I've put out there so far is THE GHOST TRAIN, part of the DIE 6 collection.  It comes in at something over 10K words. But I've been working on longer stories.  And I finished my fourth over the weekend.  This is not to say it's ready to publish.  It isn't.  None of the four are.  But the story is complete. Here are the four:
  • THE CAVE - a horror story about five eighth graders who find a cave in a forest preserve and the cave is something more than just a hole in the ground...  (around 23K words)
  • THE NEVER ENDING NIGHT - when the sun fails to come up for several days in a row, a girl's familiar street becomes a frightening place to be.  (Around 27K words)
  • DEATH BY APPOINTMENT - a who-dun-it featuring a young dentist as the sleuth.  (around 45K words)
  • COLLEGE EVIL - a college kid researches the nature of good and evil, and starts seeing assaults which are happening on his campus in a very graphic way.  How is that possible?  And they are getting more and more personal... (about 45K words)
Those are all just working titles, obviously.  I'm not great with my titles.  But 45K is short-novel length, right?  I'm thinking of combining THE CAVE and THE NEVER ENDING NIGHT into one novella-collection, then putting the other two out individually. Look for them sometime after I get them edited... *****

New Short Story – RICK’S RULES

I've released a new short story titled Rick's Rules , available for Kindle for the low low price of $0.99! Rick's Rules coverRick's Rules is the third and final story in the saga of detective Rick Striker and his involvement with vampires.  The other two stories are Night Family and Dead Or Alive . Here are the links: RICK'S RULES NIGHT FAMILY DEAD OR ALIVE Please feel free to check them out!  Thank you! *****

14 Dark Windows to be released soon!

My short story collection, 14 DARK WINDOWS, is almost ready for release.  I thought that now would be as good a time as any to reveal the cover: 14_Dark_Windows If it looks familiar, it might be because I'm using a different version of my SOLE OCCUPANT cover, also done by the talented Mr. Rich Siegle. The collection should be out by this time next week! *****