Tag Archive: paranormal


Short Reads for Shorter Days

Do you find yourself looking for a book you can finish because your day hasn’t got enough “day” in it and you’ve been so busy that by the time you sit down to read, you either hear a thud and snap awake to find the book on the floor, or, you find yourself wearing it on your face?

Or, did you sign up for the Goodreads Reading Challenge, and now it’s down to the crunch and you’re running out of time to reach that goal of thirty (or fifty, or twenty, or even ten) books you said you’d read?

Or perhaps you’ve simply decided that you’re going to start reading for enjoyment but you’re intimidated by all the books out there that have two hundred chapters and six hundred pages to get through, and you’re not sure you want to start quite that big

Well, have no fear, short reads are here!

Here are some great ebooks that were written by eleven fantastic indie authors who are also short story writers. Go on, take a look, browse around and pick up one or two – or more because most can be had for only .99 cents and some are free; most can be read in one sitting, and some are so short you can read ‘em in ten minutes!

Take a shot at some awesome stories… there’s something here for everyone!

Enjoy!

Amanda Siegrist

 
(All above are available through Kindle Unlimited)

Jane Jago

 
(Also available through Kindle Unlimited)
(Pre-order for release on Dec 1st)

Bea Cannon

  
(All above also available through other ebook retailers such as Kobo & Nook)

Dwayne Fry

  

 

  
Austism 99¢
(All above are available through Kindle Unlimited)

Kathryn Meyer Griffith

(Also available through other ebook retailers such as Kobo & Nook)

Lyra Shanti

  
(All above are available through Kindle Unlimited)

V.M. Sawh

Cinders 99¢
(Also available through Kindle Unlimited)

David M. Kelly

   
Atoll 99¢
(All above are available through Kindle Unlimited)

Kimelene Carr

(Also available through Kindle Unlimited)

C.B. Archer

  

 

  

 

  

 

 
Vambrace 99¢
Fallin 99¢
(All above are available through Kindle Unlimited)

Christina McMullen

  
Dissonant 99¢
(All above are available through Kindle Unlimited)
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Only .99 cents at these ebook sites!

Amazon

Smashwords

Barns and Noble

Apple iBooks

Kobo

Inktera

Bea’s Books

Boucher’s World series:

  Raven and C'elie: A Love Story - A Boucher's World prequel (novelette)   Moving Day - A Boucher's World prequel (short story)

Boucher's World: Emergent Book 1 of the Boucher's World trilogy  Boucher's World: Encounters - Book 3 of the Boucher's World trilogy

Cady and Sam werewolf series:

050413_0018_FREEBOOKS2.jpg 050413_0018_FREEBOOKS3.jpg A Blankie for Baby 1 Trilogy of Quiet SW the-other-shoe-6

Un-serialized books:

eyesfirst012a shaniqua4 Adams and Eves2 

Spaceships and Magic series:

Bitter Change15 Bitter Change bc change23 

All available at these and other ebook sites: SmashwordsAmazonB&NKobo Apple, Inktera.  Also available at  Scribd subscription site.  Reviews at any of these sites are welcomed.

(All novels, novelettes, and novellas available as paperbacks; the first three books of the Cady and Sam werewolf series available in A Short Trilogy of Quiet as a paperback – see at Amazon, B&N, Createspace, etc.)

Yep, it’s that time of year again! Click here (or on the image below) and download all of my books for either a deep discount or absolutely FREE thru March 11th. (Novels are $1, all others are FREE. (Coupon RAE75 also appears on the listing for each ebook; just key it in on the checkout page to receive the discount.)

 

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(Note: the novel, Turner: Bitter Change is also FREE with the coupon. Boucher’s World: Emergent and Interruptions are permafree and do not need the coupon)

(The novellas, Seed, Swallow and Dove, and the novelette, Raven and C’elie, contain some scenes of sexually explicit material which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience.)

 

Click on this image to browse ALL discounted and FREE books for Read an Ebook Week at Smashwords!

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Click to buy @:

Amazon

Smashwords

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Apple iBooks

Inktera

 

Three stories in one…

 

Trilogy of Quiet SW

A Short Trilogy of Quiet – contains the three stories of the Cady and Sam series – Only 2.19! Or buy them separately (see below)

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Excerpt from chapter 2 of  “Interruptions” (FREE as a single at Smashwords, no coupon needed. Also free at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Apple iBooks)

 

“I recognize that car, Cadence.  It was parked beside mine at the Harris-Teeter,” she whispered in that breathless voice.  She had her cell ‘phone out and was turning it around trying to detect a signal.

I looked at the car, and could see why it would be recognizable.  Damned thing was a real rust bucket with flaking green paint, and the grill looked as if it had tangled with a pole or a tree at some point and then pulled back out into some half-assed semblance of straight.  Eloise had probably been relieved that whoever owned it hadn’t slammed the door into her Mercedes.

The door opened, and a big, burly guy stepped out.  “You ladies need some help?” he asked, languidly.  I could see two other heads in the car and the door opened out on the other side.

Uh-oh.  I smelled them and knew.  In my mind I said: Sam, we got a problem.

How many?  he asked the same way.  He knew I wouldn’t call him without a good reason.  I could handle three regular human guys.  These guys were not human.  I surreptitiously sniffed again, to be sure of exactly what they were.  Ghouls.  I wondered, absently, why the hell they were bothering Eloise.

Three big ghouls, SamGet here fast.  “Eloise,” I said quietly, “Get behind me.  Don’t say anything.  Let me do the talking.  I don’t think they’re here to help.”  They were probably the ones who’d put the antifreeze in her tank.

Taking Annamae next door, Babes, then I’m on my way.  Hang tough, he said.  Good daddy.  He wasn’t about to leave our kid in the house alone even though it would delay him a few minutes.

The big guy walked over to us swaggering a little.  I could see the two others coming around the car to start across the road.  They were nearly as big as the first one.  They were confident they had this.  Ghouls can’t smell worth a crap so no way they knew what I was.  Some paras  can tell even if they can’t smell, but ghouls can’t.

I’m small as a human, though even then I’m stronger than I look.  When I’m outside my neighborhood, I often pretend to struggle with heavy objects, just so I don’t get strange looks.  I’m a not-so-small wolf, and even stronger then.  I could probably take on three little ones though it wouldn’t be easy, but three big ghouls was a whole different bucket of bolts.  I could have taken one of them, maybe even two, but three this size especially with Eloise to look out for – not so much.  And I knew I’d have to change.  I hoped it wouldn’t scare the bejeezus out of Eloise.  Maybe she’d just faint and roll under the car or something.  Still, I wasn’t changing until I had to.  Even though it’s fast, it hurts like a sonofabitch.

“We’re fine, sir,” I said as if I didn’t know what he was.  “My husband is on his way.”

They looked at each other and grinned – horribly.  Behind me, I heard Eloise gasp.  Yeah, razor sharp teeth.  She hadn’t seen yet, that they also had very long claws.

“Oh, we’ll just wait right here with you, then,” he drawled, “just to make sure you’re…safe.”  The other two snickered.  I could see their pointed teeth gleaming in the faint light from the far off street lamp.

They were trying to get us rattled to heighten our fear.  They got off on it.  I backed into Eloise as they came closer, and I could feel her shaking.  I could smell her fear, too.  Damn.  That was just going to excite them even more.  “If you don’t mind, sir, please stop right there,” I requested politely.

I’m on my way, dear, keep ‘em talking if you can, sent Sam.

Trying, but I think they’re about to attack, I sent back just as the big one abruptly moved fast, coming at me like a suddenly unleashed pit-bull, claws extended.

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Excerpt from chapter 3 of  “Living in the Moment” (.99 at Smashwords as a single)

 

I bounded forward and went through the broken door after the ghoul.  Very faintly, I could hear Eloise screaming.  She was in a safe room.  Too bad she didn’t have sense enough to be quiet so that the ghoul would have to hunt for her instead of just going up and starting to rip at the wall.

I started for him, but suddenly smelled one of the vampires.  I needed to take it out first.  I hoped the ghoul wouldn’t get into Eloise’s safe room, and turned to find the vampire.

I couldn’t see it, well, actually it was a “her”, but I knew where she was, and jumped at what appeared to be thin air, hitting Miss Fang and knocking her against the wall, which jarred her back to visibility.

She screeched and grabbed me around the neck, trying to pull my head off.  I did my twist and slipped out of her grip, and bit her right leg off.  I felt something rush past me as the vampire jumped up balancing on her remaining leg.  Boy was she pissed.  Those take a while to grow back.

She changed into that huge bat-thingy with three-inch fangs they can become, and came at me.  That was a bad move on her part.  Not enough room to stretch those wings out.  She must have been relatively young or she wouldn’t have tried something like that in an enclosed area, anyway.  It was the last change she ever made.

She fell forward, and we went tumbling through the living room, she trying to sink her fangs into me as we rolled, me trying to avoid that and get mine into her.  We bumped and crashed into just about everything in that poor room, each trying to get the upper hand.  Eloise’s stuff was taking an awful beating.

We separated, and she immediately hopped at me on her one leg, missed, and skidded into the crushed coffee table.  I jumped on her back, grabbing the back of her neck in my fangs, and bit her head off.  I batted the head farther into the living room and plunged my claws into her chest.  Taking her head off would kill her, but I wanted to be sure.  She started crumbling into a pile of dust.  Okay, beg pardon.  That was the last change she ever made.

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Excerpt from chapter 2 of  “A Blankie for Baby” (1.99 at Smashwords as a single)

 

“Fight’s in the woods to the left!” I yelled, turning and running the few feet to the tree line.

As soon as we passed the first trees, I shucked my clothes and changed on the run, and from the grunts I heard, so did the other three.  The transformation is always instantaneous and painful.  You get used to it after a while but it can still wring a groan or two from you sometimes.

As a wolf, I was just as large as the male and a lot bigger than the females.  I could tell they were surprised but we all kept running toward the sound of the fighting.

We burst through the trees and into a clearing to see three werewolves surrounded by a slew of ghouls and several…things.  From the shriveled remains on the ground in various places, there had been more ghouls, and from the ugly sulfurous smell lingering in the air, the things were demons.

I jumped on the back of a big bruiser of a ghoul, extended my claws and ripped his back open.  My claws shredded his heart, and I quickly flipped the remains away and whipped around to find myself facing one of the demon thingies.  Shit. Shit. Shit.  I abhorred demons.

My face and head had been ripped open by a demon during that battle over eleven years ago, and my scar was now throbbing as if in memory of it.  We circled, each looking for an opening, some kind of weakness.

Cady, they’re minor demonsI dispatched one by hamstringing it.  Go for its legs!  Sam sent urgently.

Trying, I sent.

I darted in snapping at its ankles and dodged away just as it grew rapier sharp blades from its fingers and swiped at me.  Yikes.  Shades of Wolverine!  Fucking copy-cat!  I rushed back in between its legs and it stumbled.  Yes!  I twisted around and grabbed its scabrous looking calf in my jaws and bit down – yuck it tasted awful – it screeched out in a high pitched whistle and brought those blades down again but I was already moving and it only managed to clip some of the fur on the left side of my head.  Damn.

If I survived this, I was going to have to even up my hair on the other side.  Good thing I wore it short.

I saw the smoky fumes coming from the holes I’d put in its calf and I did a roll and wriggle and grabbed the other leg and bit through its ankle.  Its foot came off amid more reeking fumes and the demon vanished, dispatched back to Hell.  Whew.

Something smacked me in the top of the head and though I was seeing stars, I pushed off and twisted around to see a ghoul drawing back his ham fist to have another try at busting my head open.  He must not have been too experienced at this.  Everybody knew you couldn’t bash a werewolf’s head open that way.  Skull’s too hard.

I whipped around and extended my claws and the ghoul looked at me in shock.  That claw-extension thing of mine takes ‘em by surprise, sometimes.

The dumb-shit goon yelled, with indignation: “You ain’t no damned cat! How th’ hell…!” He didn’t get any further with that thought as my not-supposed-to-be-able-to-be-extended claws took his head off just then, as I leaped high and swiped hard.  Then I opened his chest up and pulled his heart out and tossed it into the trees.  The ghoul immediately began that shriveling thing they do when killed.

Stupid-ass.  Who the hell stops to get outraged during a fight to the death?

 

 

“No.  I cannot.”

“Oh com’on, Max!  You already have some of the right colors.  Why, that pink is perfect! And the blue – it’s the exact shade needed!  All you have to do is put this on–”

“No!”

I did not wish to be harsh with him, as he was a friend, but I still had bad memories from the last time I agreed to impart such aid.

“Do you recall what occurred when I assisted Nick when his leg was broken?” I asked.  “I would not care for a repeat of that, and this is a similar situation.”

Everyone had heard of the problem that arose during that event.  It had not been a pleasant  moment.

“Aww…the kids will be so disappointed!  If only my foot hadn’t got snagged in that thing.”  He shook his head, and sighed.

He sat down and stretched out his leg, observing his bandaged appendage.  It had been caught in a trap.  He sighed again, rather sadly, then peered at me.  His large, brown, watery eyes appeared to beseech me.

I beheld him.  He was truly a woebegone sight, and a sudden feeling of compassion arose within my chest.  I felt contrite.  I had known him for years, and he was an excellent friend.  My brain was telling me it was not a good idea, but, I reconsidered.  And so, with a sigh, I surrendered.

“I will do it, but I do not think the suit will fit.  It appears to be much too small.”

There was relief on his expressive face, and it lit up with elation.  He hobbled – with a little hop – over to hold the suit up to me.

“Hey, no worries, Max.  It’s adjustable.”

So I struggled into the suit and he handed me the items I would need to implement the job.  I felt foolish.

“I feel foolish,” I said.

“Oh, you look fine!” he said, waving me off down the walk.  “Don’t let anybody get a close look and you’ll be good.”

I studied the controls of the waiting vehicle and ensured that all the packages were properly affixed.  I sincerely hoped that matters would proceed much better while making deliveries for him, than they had when I substituted for Nick at Christmas, wherein I was discovered by the family at my final stop.  They had not appreciated an eight-foot tall, horned, blue demon in a red velvet suit, placing presents under their holiday tree.  They dialed 911 and I had nearly been exposed.  Had that occurred, I would have been dispatched back to Hell.

As I prepared to leave, Bun Rab called to me, “Don’t forget to hop!  It helps keep you unnoticed!”

I made sure the hoodie-type head covering with lop-ears attached, was straight; felt to confirm the cotton-tail was in place, cranked up the Easter cart, and set off down the Bunny Trail to begin the delivery of Easter baskets.

At least the color of the rabbit suit matched my pink eyebrows.    ###

Second Coming: It’s all just a game by Andrew Smith

 

This is a very well written mystery/ thriller/supernatural/horror story which also dips into metaphysics.  I know that’s a mouthful, but that’s how I see it.  Not to mention the very interesting historical component involving the Crusades.  This story has a lot of twists, and I’m going to be as general as possible as I don’t want to introduce any spoilers, but it’s definitely not for children or the faint of heart.   There is no fluff involved here.   This is deep and dark with lots of violent action, and a lot of the horror is not of the supernatural variety.

The book starts a little slow, in Jerusalem, with the very pregnant wife of the protagonist, Charles, stopping on a lark to see a fortune teller, or oracle, and immediately getting into a situation that went terribly wrong.  The plot builds up from there, and  I must admit that at first I thought it wasn’t going to be my kind of story or to my tastes at all because of the violence, or the political/religious aspects, and I’m not much into either of those.  If you feel that way, I would advise you to keep reading.  I did, and am extremely glad I did.

The author is so descriptive with his characters that in short order, the reader gets to know them well and they become real people with personalities that are likeable (or not, such as the priest Estevez).  One can get pissed at them for doing something thoughtless, such as Charles’ seeming obliviousness in certain areas of his life which, among other things, strains his relationship with his son, Marcus.

There are plots and subplots, and things are not all black or white; the reader gets a sense of people doing the things they do because they believe it’s their duty or is the right thing to do (even if they’re wrong).  These are not cardboard characters; even the bad guys have layers (though some are what I, or anybody else, would consider to be just plain bad).    We learn a great deal about the revenant, Izz al-Din, and to my shock, there came a point where I found myself actually sympathizing with him, and believe me, I can’t remember a time when I’ve done that before!  And, he’s a truly bad, bad guy.  Trust me: this bad guy’s story has a real twist, in more ways than one.   The author sure knows how to surprise you and how to use words to paint images so you actually see a particular scene, some of which get pretty graphic.

This is a full-length, standalone novel but did leave what can only be construed as some “loose ends”, so I’m sincerely hoping there’s a sequel in the works.  In the meantime, this book is a highly intriguing, thrilling and enjoyable read.

christmas-wallpaper-Blue Demon

“You look great, Max.  Thanks, I owe you one.” Leaning on a crutch, he favored his broken leg.

I felt ridiculous.

“What if I am seen?”

“Don’t worry about it.  Just be careful and you’ll be fine.  I’ve been doing this for years and I’ve always gotten clean away.”  He explained how I was to get in and out.

“Why that way?” I asked.  “Why can I not just –”

“It’s traditional,” he replied.  He patted me on my back and sent me on my way.

I was dubious, but I climbed into the vehicle and took off.  I was somewhat worried, I mean, a lot of people kept firearms.  What if I were seen and someone was to fire upon me?  Or called 911? After all, it was breaking and entering.

I did not care for the outfit he had given me to wear, either, even though he insisted it was what he always wore for this particular activity.  He said it was wonderful at helping keep him concealed in the dark.  And it was traditional.

As I worked through the night, things were going well, so I began to relax.  I arrived at my last assignment, finished up and stooped to get my bag and leave.  Then, I heard soft footsteps.  I did not have time to go back out the way in which I had come, and there was nowhere to hide.  I was discovered.  I hoped they did not have a firearm.

Two small pairs of eyes peered up at me.

“It’s him!” squealed a small voice.

“No it’s not!” cried the other.

A man entering the door behind the children stopped and stared at me wide-eyed, his mouth agape.  The cup in his hand clattered to the floor.  He shoved the small ones behind him and out the door, backed slowly away from me, then turned and ran.

A woman’s voice sang out.  “What is it, Honey?”

I heard him shout,  “Get the door, I got the kids!  Let’s go!”

“What?”

Get the door!  And call 911!”

She glanced in as he hustled them away, saw me and emitted a piercing shriek.

It appeared the clothing I was wearing were not such good camouflage after all.  Of course, the bright, unblinking tree lights were somewhat revealing.

They rushed off and I felt it was time I also left.  As I passed the window, I saw them dashing frantically down the driveway dragging the children with them.  I could hear a siren in the distance.  I did not have time to hold to tradition.  I needed a quicker way out.  The chimney was not going to be fast enough.  I teleported to the roof, leaped into the sleigh, grabbed the  reins and gave a whistle to the deer.  We took off expeditiously.

I suppose seeing a big blue, horned demon dressed in a red velvet suit putting gifts under their Christmas tree was a bit surprising, but, gracious, I was merely aiding a friend.

 

End

 

septembercontest

It lay atop a red, upholstered pillow on a bench in the lobby of the hotel.  I picked it up.  There was no title on the scratched cover and it was adorned with an undefined, brownish pattern.  It was held shut with a small, buckled strap trimmed with raised decorations, and had a bright blue, tasseled bookmark hanging from the bottom.

There was no one around so I took the old book to the counter.

“I need your name, Sir,” said the clerk.  “If it’s not claimed, it’ll be yours.”

“In that case, just toss it.  I don’t need it.”

“Yes, Sir.”

Two weeks after I returned from my trip, a box bearing the book arrived at my home with a note that said since there had been no claim, it was mine.

I shrugged, supposing the clerk had put my name on it after all.  I had no wish to keep the ancient, decrepit volume but decided to take a look inside before disposing of it.  I unfastened the holder, allowing it to fall open.  There were several missing pages and the other yellowing leaves were blank.

It was apparently a journal or diary and whatever had been written before had been removed.  I didn’t need it so I put it back inside the box in which it had been shipped and tossed it in the trash.

That night as I was leaving, the book was on my kitchen table.  Puzzled but deciding I’d absently laid it down instead of actually throwing it in the trash can, I dropped it in the garbage on my way out.

But it was back when I returned.  I checked to make sure no one was getting in and no one was.

Again I threw the book away and again it returned.  Unsettled, I flung it once more.

The third time it came back, I found it lying open on the table.  I snatched it up and words written in a familiar script began to appear and continued for several pages.  My heartbeat quickened as I read what was being written and I sat down, shaken.  The handwriting was mine.

It was a description of certain activities in which I’d engaged including my most recent ones.  I took it outside and placed it into a metal bucket, poured in lighter fluid, and set it afire.  I stirred the ashes, noting the blackened buckle and decorations, satisfied.

The book was lying open on the table when I stepped back into my kitchen.

With ice coursing down my spine, I read the new entry.  I pulled out my gun.

The dark entity that appeared after I pulled the trigger tore out the pages, placing them beside my shattered head.

“Come with me, now,” it said.

We left, but before we moved on, it stopped and laid the book on the upholstered, red pillow of a bench in a hotel lobby.

I watched as a man picked it up and took it to the counter.

End

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