Guest Blog Post and Book Release: Tom Olbert

Today, I’m taking a break from my blog and handing the reins over to sci-fi and horror author Tom Olbert. Tom is talking about his new release, Long Haul, a Science Fiction Action-Adventure novella.

 Space truckers? Yes, please.

This trucker’s haul takes him to the end of time and space, and beyond…

Take the wildest ride of your life!

In the near future, physicists have stumbled on a way to open rifts into other universes, making it possible to transport goods and people anywhere in the world in nothing flat. The unscrupulous corporation that owns the new technology uses it to monopolize shipping worldwide.

Thrill-seeking, death-defying truckers like veteran army driver Garth Jenkins and his gun-toting trucking partner Sally Drake earn hazardous duty pay by hauling rigs through perilous alien universes often infested with deadly alien monsters and many other dangers besides.

Garth and Sally accept a shady corporate contract to deliver some unknown cargo to an alien universe, no questions asked. It looks like an easy way to score big money. But, things go south fast when their truck is hijacked by the beautiful and mysterious Keira Takahashi, and they find themselves pursued by hideous alien parasites in undead human bodies.

On the run and in danger, Garth and Sally find themselves on a crooked cosmic road leading to bizarre other worlds and exotic time periods. They have one chance to unravel the company’s twisted plot and save themselves. Whether they succeed or fail may decide the fate of a universe…

***

Garth Jenkins is the kind of guy who just can’t stay out of trouble, as both his ex-wives will testify. But, when trouble comes (and, to him, it always does BIG TIME) there’s no one you’d rather have in your corner. Sally Drake has her hands full trying to keep Garth on the straight and narrow. They fight over everything (including women.) But together, they are an unbeatable team. To hear Garth tell it in his own words:

Excerpt:

Three suns burned brightly in the sky, the Earth was breaking apart, and giant moths were attacking us. For most guys, that would describe a bad dream after a bender, but when you’re trucking a load on the long haul, that’s business as usual.

A big mama moth was comin’ straight at me, and she looked pretty damn pissed. Wing spread of about fifteen feet, jaws bigger than my head. Yeah, that’s how big they grow in the crazy gravity in this parallel ’verse.

I squeezed the trigger of my flamethrower. A long, twisting stream of fire snaked out and nailed that sucker right between its foot-wide sparklin’ silver eyes. The shrieking noise those mothers make when they burst into flames cuts to the marrow and curdles the blood. Kinda like my ex-wife when I’m late with a payment.

It was still coming straight for me. I felt the fire on my face as it swooped in. Those things go up like freakin’ gas balloons, y’know. As it passed over, I held onto the rearview side mirror, crouched down on the running board, and nudged that big flaming bug with the muzzle of the flamethrower. It passed on over, stinking, singed pieces of it falling onto my hair and coveralls.

“Damn!” I yelled at the top of my lungs as the truck hit the guard rail, sparks flying, metal screeching. My feet slipped off the running board, and the rearview started coming loose in my hand. I looked down. My feet dangled over a damn long drop into a kind of island floating in mid-air, a jungle landscape splitting apart, volcanoes erupting and lava bubbling up.

There was nothing but sky all around, filled with other floating islands, and swarms of those moth things were taking off from them. Behind that, the moon filled half the sky. It looked close enough to touch. I held on for dear life as the rubber screeched over the tar. My trucking partner, Sally Drake, was spinning that wheel blind, trying to keep the damn rig on the highway. A highway that was built in mid-air, stretching out from one floating island to the next. Don’t ask me how. Our road crews just paved over old highways that were already there. Built by aliens from another ’verse, maybe. Or by humans from our future. I just drive. I don’t ask questions.

***

Coming from Musa Publishing on Friday, Aug 1, 2014.  Find Long Haul here.

 

Rise Up, Kittens! Or at least stop lying down . . . .

Eden Royce:

Truth. It’s easy to become jaded about publishing. Ask questions. Take the time to find people willing to help. They are out there.

Originally posted on lucybluecastle:

Without writers, publishing as an industry would not exist.  Well, duh, you may well say; how obvious; how trite; how could any sane person not know that?  And I would agree.  But I begin to suspect that this truth we declare self-evident is in fact the greatest of mysteries to the rest of the monstrous machine.

One of the great traditions of traditional publishing is treating the people who write the product they sell like galley slaves, a necessary inconvenience that whines too much and smells kind of funny.  Myself, I’ve spent immense slabs of my professional life waiting around on some agent or editor to give me an answer on something even when they called me first.  Hurry up and wait and don’t ask for anything has always been the order of the day, and writers have had the choice to either take it on the chin or head…

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Dark Gothic Resurrected: A Publication

I am pleased to announce that I am the first (first!!) short story in the Summer issue of the award-winning Dark Gothic Resurrected magazine.

It was wonderful to work with author and artist Cinsearae Santiago. She is super talented and also adds graphic designer, editor, jewelry crafter, and publisher to her list of achievements.

Here’s the cover (and Cinsearae designed it):

Is that my name on the cover?   *Peeks, rubs eyes* It is!

Is that my name on the cover?
*Peeks, rubs eyes*
It is!

 

In addition to short stories, art, and poetry, the mag has interviews with authors and filmmakers, and the fascinating column of Ask Mambo.

The magazine is available in print or on Kindle, so show some love and support for small press publications!

Also, take a peek at her Etsy shop for creepy dolls and one of a kind jewelry and accessories.

Butcher’s Road: A Review

I’m a bit behind on my blog posts at the moment.  Things have been… incredibly busy. Writing, editing, beta reading… Whew!

Anyway, I am intent on catching up. So here’s a review for a book that you need to read:

 

Butcher's Road: A gangster paranormal mystery.  And that's just the beginning.

Butcher’s Road: A gangster paranormal mystery. And that’s just the beginning.

Read the full Hellnotes review here.

Graveyard Shift Sister: Nuzo Onoh

I’ve just started a series of Black female horror author spotlights and interviews on the Graveyard Shift Sisters blog.

Graveyard Shift Sisters founder Ashlee Blackwell has created this eye-catching tagline for her blog: “Purging the Black Female Horror Fan from the Margins”.

Ashlee is a Philadelphia-based critical media writer who specializes in writing about film (sci-fi/horror) with a niche focus on representations of Black women in horror: fans, artists, filmmakers, and characters. She’s also curated film screenings, developed creative programs and organized logistics for arts based non-profit organizations, most notably with Lil Filmmakers, Inc.

I’m so pleased to be working with Ashlee on this project of featuring Indie Black female horror authors. Read about their writing process, what inspires them and how they came to love horror.

Sound like a tiny, niche market?  Not anymore.

The marvelous Angela Bassett. Above in American Horror Story - Coven.  Also see her in Supernova and Strange Days.

The marvelous Angela Bassett. Above in American Horror Story – Coven.                                  Also see her in Supernova and Strange Days.

My first victim, er… volunteer is Nuzo Onoh, author of The Reluctant Dead, a collection of African horror short stories. Head on over to the Graveyard Shift Sisters website and check out her work.

Author spotlight: http://www.graveyardshiftsisters.com/2014/06/author-spotlight-nuzo-cambridge-onohs.html

 

Interview: http://www.graveyardshiftsisters.com/2014/06/interview-with-african-horror-writer.html

 

 

 

Short Story Month: “Sweat”

The end of Short Story Month is upon us and I have a final few tales to share.  (Not that won’t still periodically share them throughout the year. I’m sure I will–I’m such a rogue.)

I’m ending the month with two of Zora Neale Hurston’s stories. While modern books on writing tell aspiring authors to stay away from writing dialect, Hurston is a master of it. The contrast between the dialogue of her characters and her crisp “King’s English” narrative voice is stark, but she balances her stories with the right amount of each.

I've always loved this quote.

I’ve always loved this quote.

Maybe this dialect is easy for me to read as I am from the American South and grew up around similar pronunciations. If you have trouble with this patois–I’m going to sound like an English teacher here–sound out the words and their meaning should become clear.

“Sweat” is a tale of what happens when a woman has had enough. Enough abuse and enough of her abuser.

***Warning*** The “N” word is present in this story. Thought you should know before you read her story here.

Also read her short story “The Gilded Six Bits.”

Short Story Month: “The Open Window”

My next recommendation is Saki’s “The Open Window”. A short story about a with an unexpected ending.

I hate to say too much about it in case you haven’t read the tale. (Do it now, it won’t take long.) But I’ll say that its subtly handled twist has made it a perfect story to translate to the visual medium. It’s been the subject of several tv adaptations.

I watched this on PBS one Sunday afternoon, then made a point to look for the story.  I was not disappointed.

I watched this on PBS one Sunday afternoon, then made a point to look for the story.
I was not disappointed.

Saki is the pen name of Hector Hugh Munro or H.H. Munro, as he is sometimes called.

saki-cover

 

Reading this, you’ll see why you should not always listen to the stories of little girls. Check out Saki’s story here.