Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My Latest Short Story

This past year I've been writing on a lot of different projects, including several short stories that I plan to release over the next few months. This week, for Halloween, I'm releasing my latest short story as a .99 eBook.

The Jack-‘O-Lantern Man:

Every few years, on Halloween night, a legendary bogeyman stalks the rural town of Millcreek. For ten-year-old Corey Wilkes, tonight will be one filled with terror as he fears the killer is creeping through the darkness of his house. Will Corey and his family be the next ones slaughtered?

I first wrote The Jack-‘O-Lantern Man back in 1990, when I was in college. It’s based on all my childhood fears of the dark and a couple of true experiences where I had thought an intruder had broken into our house when my dad was out of town and it was just me, my mom and my sister. We heard a loud banging sound coming from the kitchen. I was about twelve and considered "the man of the house" when my dad was away on his trips. After hearing the strange noise, I grabbed a baseball and searched the house with my mom and sister behind me. I turned on lights as I went, but every room ahead of me was pitch dark and I had this strong fear that I was going to confront an intruder and that he’d have a butcher knife. We got to the kitchen but no one was there. In the adjoining dining room, which was pitch dark, we had these double slatted doors that were partially open. I crept toward them and peered through the cracks where the doors were hinged to the threshold. I saw a shadowy shape there that looked like a man holding a bat, ready to clobber me as soon as I entered the dining room. I remember my heart racing. I thought my family and I were going to die that night. The shadowy shape behind the door turned out to be a metal hutch that was curved and had a prong sticking up that I had mistaken as a bat. We never did find the source of the banging. I learned that night that a boy who watches a lot of horror movies can scare himself half to death with his imagination. This and another experience where I felt someone grab my feet while I was sleeping inspired me to write a story from ten-year-old Corey’s fear that a bogeyman was inside his house. I’m releasing the short story in time for Halloween.    

The Jack-‘O-Lantern Man is available for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iPad.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Guest Author Russell James: Blood Red Roses

Author Russell James has been taking the horror fiction genre by storm with books like Dark Inspiration, Dark Vengeance, and Sacrifice. Russell and I have done a few book signings together, and I’m happy to have him here on my blog to talk about writing and all things horror. Today he discusses his latest horror books, including his Gothic novella Blood Red Roses, which released this week.

October is the month where all things creepy begin to crawl out of the woodwork and it ends with Halloween. There’s no better time for a new horror book to release.

What Waits in the Shadows is a collection of the four novellas that won Samhain Horror’s Gothic horror competition. My Blood Red Roses story is the lead off, and the three that follow by Devin Govaere, Catherine Cavendish and JG Faherty only get better from there. My story is set during the Civil War in Alabama. After a boy’s father dies in combat, his uncle sells him into indentured servitude at Beechwood Plantation. Once there, he’s caught up in the mystery of disappearing young boys, a tyrannical overseer, and an owner of questionable sanity. An escaped slave brings witchcraft into the mix and pretty soon the dead are ready to rise. It is here on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

I’ve always been interested in the Civil War period, and I have a Civil War short story in the Deeper into Darkness collection. Blood Red Roses gave me the excuse to do more research, especially into the realities of slavery. None of the usual artistic embellishments were needed to make the conditions of bondage more horrific for the novella. I read several contemporary accounts by escaped slaves, including Fredrick Douglass’ autobiography. The awful conditions and the cringe-worthy treatment the slaves in the story endure are 100% straight from fact. I can write about the demons and werewolves all day, and sometimes it seems that mankind can be more terrifying than any fiction I can spin.

January will be a big month for new releases. Dreamwalker, a novel from Samhain, follows the story of Pete Holm, who can dream himself into an alternate reality run by an evil voodoo spirit. This reality is a bombed out urban landscape called Twin Moon City, where zombies hunt the souls the voodoo spirit has captured. When asleep, Pete must rescue the literal girl of his dreams from eternal hell, and when awake, he has to avoid a drug lord’s gang after him in Atlantic City. If he dies in either reality, he dies in both.
A second January release will be a second benefit anthology of time travel stories by my Minnows Literary Group. The first collection, Out of Time, has been a consistent Top 100 anthology on Amazon and earned thousands for Doctors Without Borders. We hope this second collection will do just as well for them. Both will be under a dollar, and the four star-plus Amazon rating should prove that the purchase is risk-free.

There’s also some sci-fi on the near horizon, and a novel about Long Island in quarantine after a virus goes wild called Q Island. 2015 should be a big year. Come aboard for the ride.

What Waits in the Shadows blurb:

Four original novellas of Gothic horror!

Enter if you dare four worlds of chilling Gothic horror. Feel the oppressive heat on a plantation in the Old South, where the spirits of the dead do not rest easy. Smell the salt air in a dilapidated coastal restaurant on the Chesapeake Bay, a restaurant with a very deadly past. Explore a British manor house, but remember, what you find may have been looking for you. Hear the pounding surf beyond the stone walls of a looming castle that shouldn't even exist. But regardless of the setting, no matter what you may think you hear or see, the truly terrifying thing is...

Russell R. James grew up on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching Chiller, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and The Twilight Zone, despite his parents' warnings. Bookshelves full of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe didn't make things better. He graduated from Cornell University and the University of Central Florida.

After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army, he now spins twisted tales best read in daylight. He has written the paranormal thrillers Dark Inspiration, Sacrifice, Black Magic and Dark Vengeance. He has two short story collections, Tales from Beyond and Deeper into Darkness. His next novel, Dreamwalker, releases in 2015.

His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says "There is something seriously wrong with you."

Visit his website at and read some free short stories.

Follow on Twitter @RRJames14, or drop a line complaining about his writing to