Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Kaleen Rae and Other Weird Tales by David Brian

Release date: November 20, 2018
Subgenre: Horror collection

About Kaleen Rae and Other Weird Tales


Take a walk into darkness with nine tales of the weird and macabre...

Just how far would you go to win someone's heart? Would you gamble with your soul?

Jonathon is a good man, but he struggles with body issues and bad skin. When he meets the beautiful Belinda he realizes he would do anything to be with her. With no other options, he turns to the mysterious Kaleen Rae in the solitary Gothic house on the far side of the meadows.

In the Welsh countryside, a werewolf is spurred into action by an alluring scent. But is it ever wise to hunt in daylight?

For Pvt. Eddie Coates, surviving Afghanistan is looking increasingly unlikely. The few remaining members of his unit are pinned down under heavy fire. All seems lost, and then they hear wings beating in the darkness…

A troubled youth plots his revenge. But what price would you pay for retribution?

Hellish demons, haunted houses, shape-shifting monsters, and genetic mutations, make up this unsettling collection, which also includes the original short story version of The Strange Case at Misty Ridge.



They had walked halfway across the valley before finally deciding to set themselves down among a clearing in the long grass, where they drank lemonade, and enjoyed the selection of freshly sliced fruits and sandwiches Belinda had packed for the expedition.
   It had been Belinda’s intention for them to venture right up to the front gates of the property. Thankfully, at least as far as Jonathon was concerned, they never made it. He hadn’t wanted to get anywhere near the place. This was the reason he had been so reluctant to enter the meadows.
   Belinda and Jonathon were sitting on the ground nibbling sandwiches when Harry, who was prone and resting on his elbows, suddenly sprang to his knees. Reaching for the binoculars, he began scanning the distant house.
   “Hey, I think that’s her!”
   “Let me see, let me see,” Belinda pleaded.
   They took it in turns to look through the binoculars at the hooded figure stepping out across the front courtyard of the property. Though even using the naked eye, it was impossible not to be troubled by the weird events which followed. They all agreed that the form moving slowly across the courtyard, before coming to a stop amid an unmanaged area which should have been the property’s front lawn, was definitely female; being both slight of nature and graceful in movement.
   She stood deathly still for what seemed an age, although, realistically, it was only a matter of minutes. Belinda, who had commandeered the spy glasses, noted that the woman’s mouth appeared to be moving in a manner suggestive of a chant or mantra. As they continued to watch, birds began gathering around the property; all were of a certain ilk; ravens, magpies, jackdaws and crows. This swathe of aerial cousins amassed on every aspect of the building and surrounding trees and outhouses. Every fence, gate, wall and statue occupied by feathered visitors. The roofs on both the main house and its outbuildings were lost beneath a moving, squawking, blanket of dark birds.
   Harry commented that there must have been hundreds of the creatures blanketing the property.
   In truth, there were thousands.
   And then, as rapidly as it had begun, it ended. The woman suddenly raised her arms above her head, rotating her wrists as she did so, and the birds began to take flight. They flew a tight circular formation, directly above the busy arms of the woman beneath them. A narrow vortex of living creatures formed, giving the impression of a huge black funnel emanating out from the daunting figure below. Until, for no obvious reason, the birds began to break rank and fly away. When the skies were finally still, the hooded woman walked slowly back across the courtyard. She turned just once to cast her eyes over the landscape, before disappearing inside the house.
   Harry beamed. “Holy shit, that was weird!”


About David Brian:

David Brian is an internationally published author of several novels, novellas, and short story collections. He writes Mystery/Suspense/Horror and Dark Fantasy. His novels include the Amazon bestseller The Strange Case at Misty Ridge. He is inspired by authors such as Richard Matheson, Clive Barker, James Herbert, Daphne Du Maurier, Lisa Tuttle and Stephen King. A father of four, he lives in Northamptonshire, England, with his partner Karen and a Staffordshire terrier named Ralph. Now that the children have reached adulthood, he gets to spend more time relaxing down by the ocean. When he is not writing or reading, you’ll often find him down on the beach, watching seals playing in the shallows along the North Sea coast.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Strange (Linked Worlds, Book 3) by Masha du Toit

Release date: November 13, 2018
Subgenre: Biopunk, Genetic engineering

About The Strange:


Constable Elke Veraart and her cyber-dog Meisje are peace keepers, patrolling the Babylon Eye. It’s a good job, but there must be more to life than chasing smugglers and settling domestic disputes!

Then three children ask Elke to find their mother, who’s been missing for more than a year. The search attracts the wrong kind of attention. Elke and her young friends are in desperate danger.

Unable to resist the powers that have been unleashed against her, Elke is swept out of the Babylon Eye and into another world. While she struggles to regain her freedom, the children are unprotected. They must face, all alone, a new danger that stalks the corridors of the Babylon Eye.

The Strange is the third book in the Linked Worlds series.




Constable Elke Veraart poked at the charred fragments with a piece of wire. "Human teeth. And these are bits of bone."
"You're sure?" Elke's boss, Hoofdinspecteur Dolly Ngcobo, steadied herself with a manicured hand on the incinerator's door.
"Sure." Elke sat back on her heels, trying not to breathe too deeply. The incinerator chamber reeked of ash, burnt rubber and the fumes of a disinfectant so strong it stung her eyes and nose.
"Do we know who it could be?" Dolly turned to the workers crowding the corridor behind her. "You lot have any ideas?"
"Kipper's been missing since three days ago," said one of the workers. "I bet it's him." The speaker was a burly young glim, an algae tech Elke often saw working at the tanks on her daily patrol of Works level.
"What about his badges?" said a young woman behind the algae tech. "Those bits of metal. Kipper had all these badges..."
Elke looked more carefully at one of the blackened lumps, warped and charred but still recognisably oval, and stamped with a star. "Come have a look," she said to the woman. "Recognise this?"
The woman pushed through the crowd. She was small, almost child-sized, her bronze skin patterned with pale tattoos, and wisps of dark hair curled from under her tight, waterproof cap. The name Ghatak was embroidered on the pocket of her algae-stained overalls.
"Hard to say, with it all burnt so much." Ghatak considered the charred remains with calm interest. "Kipper collected Prussian army badges. Kind of looks like that, don't you think?"
"Kipper?" Elke rose from her crouch. Ghatak and Dolly stepped back so that she could get out into the corridor.
"That's what we called him," said the algae tech. "Kipper. Short for something."
"Benderek Kiprosomov," said Ghatak. "Old guy. Realworld. Been in the Eye forever."
Elke dusted her hands on her trousers. "Did you know him? Work with him?"
Ghatak shook her head. "Nope. I'm a biotech. He's a mech, and pretty much a loner. Always worked by himself."
The crowd of technicians and mechanics murmured their agreement. They were glims and realworlders, some with safety goggles pushed up on their heads, others wearing stained aprons or rubber gloves.
These were the people who kept the Eye going. They maintained the air and water filters and oversaw the processes that converted waste into energy.
"Meisje got anything to add?" Dolly said as she stripped off her latex gloves.
"Not with this disinfectant stink." Elke looked at the white gardag, who was waiting at the far end of the corridor. "This stuff kills her nose."
"When you've recorded all of this"--Dolly gestured at the incinerator--" bag those ashes. We'll see what the tests show."
She turned to the crowd. "You people can go back to work. If any of you know anything about mijnheer Kipromosov, give your statements to Constable Veraart. And you," she said to Elke, "come to the office when you're finished."
She tucked her gloves into her handbag and pushed her way through the dispersing crowd of workers, her heels clicking on the concrete floor.
"Poor old Kipper." Ghatak was still looking at the heap of burnt fragments in the incinerator tray. "What a way to go." She smiled wryly at Elke. "Not much for you to work on, is it."
"Nope." Elke crouched again, peering at the ashes. "You can say that again."




About the Linked Worlds series: 



About Masha du Toit:

Masha du Toit is an artist and writer living in Cape Town. She was trained as a visual artist, majoring in sculpture at Michaelis and went on to study bronze casting at the Natal Technicon. After many years as a teaching the creative use of digital technology, she finally focussed on her true passion: writing and illustrating her own stories.  The second book in her "Linked Worlds" series, "The Real", was shortlisted for the 2018 Nommo awards for best speculative fiction by an African writer.


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Monday, November 19, 2018

Beatrice Beecham's Ship of Shadows (Beatrice Beecham, Book 2) by Dave Jeffery

Release date: November 16, 2018
Subgenre: Superatural YA

About Beatrice Beecham's Ship of Shadows:


Beatrice is back to face her greatest threat since. . .well, the last time!

In Cooper’s Cove a hapless team of archaeologists unleash the vengeful spirit of a 16th Century witch on the sleepy seaside town of Dorsal Finn. Hexes and curses fly as Beatrice and her friends must find out what links the appearance of this incredible foe and The Spirit of the Ocean, a super-yacht hosting the biggest celebrity charity event the town has ever seen.

As the population of Dorsal Finn succumbs to witchcraft, so Beatrice must gate-crash the party with her motley-crew of friends and allies in the hope of stopping the witch's sinister plan, and save everyone from endless oblivion. . . Again.

This novel is great for those who like their supernatural adventures laced with humour, sinister action and mystery. Fans of Stranger Things, The Goonies, The Librarians, The Monster Squad, Ghostbusters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Nancy Drew will delight in the antics and adventures of Beatrice and her off-the-wall friends.

Murder. Mystery. Monsters. Welcome to the world of Beatrice Beecham!

Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.




Chapter Four

Elmo stood outside the gates of Dorsal Finn High School, his large frame clad in his usual black tee-shirt, blue jeans and training shoes. Deep in thought, he considered what he’d witnessed during the game. 
At first, things were going as predicted, with his school team scoring early in the first half, and fellow Newshound, Emily, making two crucial saves as the opposition sought to reassert itself with an equaliser. By half time, however, the home team were two goals to nil up.
Then came the second half and things went kind of weird. Well, even Elmo knew this was a colossal understatement. By the first fifteen minutes, AOS FC had smashed four goals past Emily before she was substituted. Then Millie Weatheroak put away three more. End result: seven goals to two, and quite possibly the most humiliating defeat in a long, long time.
It was not this that had Elmo mulling things over in his quiet, considered brain, though. It was a concern for Emily. Because even before she came through the school gates and threw her kit bag angrily onto the pavement, Elmo knew things were not quite what they appeared to be.
“What happened?” he signed to her.
“Bad stuff,” Emily signed back.
Elmo thought that perhaps he’d misread her signing, but Emily’s reply came to him in large agitated movements to accentuate her irritation.
He responded after she’d finished. “Bad stuff? Slow down. You mean losing the game, right?”
“No,” she said in exasperation. “Bad stuff made this happen!”
“Okay,” Elmo said carefully. “Can you explain it?”
Emily took in air, letting it go as one long hiss. Her shoulders sagged a little as though she was deflating like a faulty inflatable at a kid’s birthday party.
Explaining such things was not always easy, even to the well-meaning, open-minded boy standing before her. The problem was always where to start.
Emily had powers. Precognition, extra-sensory perception, foresight, whatever name people wanted to give to it, she had the ability to see things, and while these images were not always bad, more often than not they had very real meaning, and their interpretation was not always clear.
Despite this, and under the intent and considered gaze of Elmo, Emily explained her vision.



About Dave Jeffery:

Dave Jeffery is author of 12 novels, two collections and numerous short stories. His Necropolis Rising series and yeti adventure Frostbite have both featured on the Amazon #1 bestseller list. His YA work features critically acclaimed Beatrice Beecham series and Finding Jericho, a contemporary mental health novel which has featured on the BBC Health and the Independent Schools Entrance Examination Board’s recommended reading lists. Jeffery is a member of the Society of Authors, British Fantasy Society (where he is a regular book reviewer), and the Horror Writers Association. He is also a registered mental health professional with a BSc (Hons) in Mental Health Studies and a Master’s Degree in Health Studies. Jeffery is married with two children and lives in Worcestershire, UK.


Crystal Lake Publishing