THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Paphos 1, N.R. Burnette {$0.99}

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Description of Paphos 1:

When Austin brought his daughter to the unexplored planet Paphos, it was supposed to give him a chance to reconnect with her. But when he and his crew of scientists discover an alien facility, all of that changes. Eager to become rich, the crew ventures inside, surrounded by the remnants an alien massacre. By the time they realize that something has been luring them in all along, it is already too late. Now Austin isn’t worried about reconnecting with his daughter, he’s worried about keeping her alive.

This book is part 1.



5 Star Reviews from Amazon:

From the very beginning until the end it was one of those books that once I started reading nothing else was accomplished.

I was captivated from the very beginning!!! 

Engaging and fresh story by an upcoming science fiction author. I see Paphos as the next step in the evolution of N.R. Burnette’s career. Looking forward to where he takes us…


Paphos 1 currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 4.7 stars from 9 reviews. Read the reviews here.


An excerpt from Paphos 1:

Carolina blinked. There was a wall here, buried into the hillside.
This was interesting, she had discovered a new place or something. But then Carolina’s face grew puzzled. She thought they said no one else had ever been here? She was certain they said that. Didn’t they? Wasn’t that the point of coming here?
Carolina blinked again, trying to remember what the grownups had talked about. She was certain they said something like that. She went to scratch her head, but her breath froze when she saw something move out of the corner of her eye. Carolina whipped her head around, frightened by the suddenness of it. But nothing was there, just trees and bushes, unless the forest had eyes. Carolina took a moment and tried to relax. She was just a kid, she knew there must be a logical reason for what she found. Obviously someone had been here before, or the wall wouldn’t be there. She would just have to go ask her dad, assuming she wasn’t going to be grounded for traveling this far.
When her fear subsided she followed the long stretch of black steel to see where it went. The hillside had mostly grown over it, giving it natural camouflage, and there wasn’t a window or door. She climbed around long gnarled tendrils of foliage, it reminded her of ancient ruins from Earth. She didn’t understand why they hadn’t seen this before landing, she thought they had different satellites that could read building materials and stuff. Now she knew she would have to ask her dad. He always had the answers, he was the scientist.
This felt like trespassing, and she still felt like someone was watching her. She continued to walk along the ominous black wall another thirty meters, wondering when she would reach the end. The more she walked the farther she felt from home. Finally the wall disappeared completely into the dirt and it didn’t resurface. She stopped for a moment to notice her reflection in the wall, surprised at how messy her hair looked. She was much farther beyond the second perimeter than she was supposed to be. Carolina bit her lip disappointingly. With a huff she realized it was time to tell her dad about it and walked back to the quadrohuts.
The walk back, a few kilometers it must have been, offered no greater relief from the feeling that she was being watched. She stopped and turned her head at so many shadows, so many branches swaying in the wind, each of them a looming figure in her imagination. If something else moved out of the corner of her eye she was likely to break out into a full run.
Finally she approached the quadrohuts and waited for the door to open. Upon entering she found the crew inside, all looking ill as they listened to Dmitry speak. Muster, they called it. Apparently Dmitry wasn’t happy with their progress, they were running out of time to make good on key projects that the company had commissioned them for. So many big words, being an adult didn’t seem very fun. Carolina didn’t understand why they couldn’t just stay until the job was done, not that she wanted any delays in their return home. Daddy mentioned something about a schedule, something about a launch window, gravity, alignment… he was never good at explaining simple questions with simple answers.
Carolina paced, wanting to interrupt, but daddy noticed and glared, so she waited. Dmitry was long winded tonight. Carolina sat down and out of boredom began to draw little circles and shapes on the wall next to her. Then, realizing what she was doing, she quickly put her markerpen away. All she could think about was what she had found. She wanted to go back but it was getting too late for today. She could at least go back tomorrow with her photolense and take some pictures this time. Dmitry’s voice drawled on. She was excited, knowing something that the others didn’t know, she wondered what else she might find. When muster was over Dublin and Athen sat at the tiny table they called the mess hall and ate, Austin and the others took their meals to their own rooms. Carolina decided to follow him, she grabbed a packaged ham slice and a juice. They ate in silence on the bottom bunk bed, she had a feeling even if she did say something he wouldn’t hear her. He had a far away gaze that didn’t break for many moments.


Paphos 1 is available for purchase at:

 Amazon Kindle for $0.99


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THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: The Fridgularity, Mark A. Rayner {$0.99}

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Mark A. Rayners Frugal Find Under Nine:


Chill out. It’s only the technological singularity.

Blake Given’s web-enabled fridge has pulled the plug on the Internet, turning its owner’s life – and the whole world – upside down.

Blake has modest ambitions for his life. He wants to have his job reclassified, so he can join the Creative Department of the advertising firm where he works. And he wants to go out with Daphne, one of the account execs at the same company. His fridge has other plans. All Blake knows is he’s at the center of the Internet’s disappearance, worldwide economic and religious chaos, and the possibility of a nuclear apocalypse — none of which is helping him with his career plans or love life.

The Fridgularity is the story of a reluctant prophet, Internet addicts in withdrawal and a kitchen appliance with delusions of grandeur.



“With plenty of humor and much more, The Fridgularity is an exciting, sci-fi view askew, highly recommended.” ~Midwest Book Review

If you’re looking for a combination of humor, romance and a power hungry refrigerator, look no further than The Fridgularity, a very enjoyable read. 5 stars!”

“The Fridgularity is a fun, quirky story that makes you ponder our dependence on the Internet, and intertwines it with a sci-fi feel in the spirit of War Games. I especially like Mr. Rayner’s sense of humor.” ~Literary R&R

“Comparisons to Douglas Adams are legit. Read and enjoy.” ~Mark Young

Amazon Reader Reviews:

The Fridgularity currently has an Amazon Reader Review rating of 4.2 stars, with 44 reviews. Read the reviews here.


An excerpt from The Fridgularity:

The Fridgularity begins with the Big Crash — the Internet goes down, as an entity takes over all the horsepower available through all the devices connected to it. This has certain deleterious effects on the folks who NEED the Internet to live. One of the main characters, Will Valens, is one of them:

Will Valens couldn’t believe the length of the downtime. It had been two hours already, and still, nothing had changed. He’d been to the server room and bugged the IT guys, but they didn’t have any idea what was going on. But, damn it! He’d uploaded his first major art projects just the night before, and he wanted to know what people thought. Of course, if it was true what they were saying on the main floor, that everything was down, not just in the building but all over the world, then nobody could see his stuff on anyway.

Will was a junior graphic designer at McClinchey, Hill & Grandfig, but if asked that most Anglo-Saxon of questions “What do you do?” Will would say he was an artist. And it was true, he was an artist. Most of his work tended towards the abstract, but he had taken a Fine Art degree before learning how to push pixels around at graphic design school, which was a way to pay the bills until he got established as an artist.

Will had two major barriers in his way. The first was just the difficulty of getting “established” as an artist — even in Canada, where an experimental visual artist could create “a post-modern abstract paradigm based on neo-nihilist methodology and high-velocity dog shit” and still get some kind of grant. Secondly, Will had a little bit of an Internet addiction. He was constantly checking Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Facebook, Abberant-Art (of course) and his new favorite, the inventive and “paradigm-maiming” next wave social media aggregator, Sturbr. He even checked his ancient MySpace account obsessively, as he said, “Just in case.”

Will’s addiction made the creation of high art (with or without the use of accelerated canine fecal matter) extremely difficult.

That said, he’d still managed to produce a few works, if only so he could photograph them lovingly, Photoshop them to correct their flaws, and then post them to the large number of websites where he spent the majority of his non-working hours. But currently, the web seemed to be down. Not just his connection to the web — a temporary setback that could be remedied a number of ways — but the web itself.

The Internet outage was worrying. So worrying that Will had turned off his computer and his two screens. He was a graphic designer, so naturally he worked on a Mac with screens only slightly smaller than the ones on the bridge of the starship Enterprise. He waited for another five minutes, and thought he’d try again.

He rebooted his system, turned the monitors back on, and was greeted with more pixelated madness.

Will laid his head on his immaculate, paper-free desk, and began to cry.


The Fridgularity is available for purchase at:

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Connect with Mark A. Rayner:

Author Website:



THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Shakespeare v Lovecraft, D.R. O’Brien {$2.99}

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Description of Shakespeare v Lovecraft:

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”

William Shakespeare

“In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”

Howard Phillips Lovecraft.

In the same putrid vein as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Shakespeare v. Lovecraft slithers hideously onto the literary mash-up scene, whispering of cosmic horrors and eldritch tales whilst espousing sweet soliloquys and profoundly contemplating mankind’s place in the universe.

Prospero, driven dangerously insane by prolonged exposure to the dread Necronomicon, makes a terrible pact with the titanic alien beast known only as Cthulhu. Now only his enchantress daughter Miranda and a handful of history’s greatest heroes are all that stand between humanity and blasphemous eternal subjugation.

It’s a bloodbath of Shakespearean proportions as Cthulhu and his eldritch companions come at our protagonists from all manner of strange geometric angles in a hideous and savage battle for supremacy.

This horror-comedy novella of 36,000 words will seize you in its clammy grip and not release you until you have gone positively mad with delight! Witness all this and more:

Histrionic Heroes vs. Tentacled Terrors!!! Endless Soliloquys vs. Unnatural Silences!!!

Romeo vs. Mi-Go!!! England’s Royal Beasts vs. A Shoggoth!!!

The Author vs. Iambic Pentameter!!!



“I think that you will enjoy the way Mr. O’Brien ties everything together and pits some of, if not the most famous characters in literature against each other. The story is fast paced with lots of action and adventure: a very enjoyable read and I wholeheartedly recommend it”

“Luckily for is it seems that D R O’Brien is tainted with just enough craziness to pull this task off. O’Brien has breathed new life into these well known and well loved characters. Thrilling, horrific, and funny at the same time which is no mean feat… O’Brien is a talented writer.”

“Shakespeare’s characters duking it out with Lovecraft’s creatures? Sign us up immediately!

“All very inventive, clever and ghoulishly entertaining… Bizarre, baroque and amusing…”

Amazon Reader Reviews:

Shakespeare v Lovecraft currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 3.6 stars, with 8 reviews! Read the reviews here!


Shakespeare v Lovecraft is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99

Excerpt from Shakespeare v Lovecraft:

Chapter One
Something Wicked This Way Comes

The wind wept with the fury of a thousand bereft mothers but was met with only the dispassionate gaze of the ageing magician as he clung tightly to his gnarled staff high upon the island’s loftiest peak. Clad in a skull-cap and billowing tunic of dark colour, his long hair and flowing beard were of a terrible and intense black hue.

His blue eyes, though a trifle bloodshot, seemed inexplicably keen and burning. The sorcerer cut a figure as distinguished looking as it was impressive.

A chaotic whirl of waters crashed against the rugged cliff face as ghoulish black clouds of grotesque contour rested and brooded like unwholesome vultures. Sheet after sheet of tropical rain lashed against the meagre threadbare cloak, soaking him through to the skin, yet the focus of his attentions remained unaltered and his frame remained resolute.

Could the opportunity for revenge really have presented itself so easily, dare he believe it to be true: that his villainous brother would solely by happenstance to have simply come across his island prison in the current storm? Perhaps his mind had finally snapped, and what he now saw was merely an illusion of the mind, the last step before falling off another precipice down into an inescapable spiral of self-pity and self-deception. Or perhaps It had been the architect of this most unlikely of opportunities, rendering all present merely pawns gracing its cosmic chessboard. He shuddered at the thought, knowing full well that the latter prospect was by far the most likely.

Beneath Prospero’s detached exterior surged a deluge of doubt and desire, more chaotic and malignant than any force of nature could conceive in its most perverse fantasies, resulting in a conclusion that even the strongest of stomachs would have balked at. The events that had led him to this unnatural epiphany unfurled at a furious rate in his fevered mind…

His beautiful collection of arcane texts, each meticulously thematically ordered in his labyrinthine study back in Naples all those years ago: the canonical Story of Atlantis and the Lost Lemuria, Liber Investigationis and of course, the text. Necronomicon ex Mortis, the Book of the Dead. It had been rigidly suppressed by the authorities of most countries, and by all branches of organised ecclesiasticism.

He had studied beyond the custom of his kind, seeking such things as the Philosopher’s Stone and the Elixir of Eternal Life, and swiftly became wise in the terrible secrets of black magic and alchemy. Shunned by all honest folk, he was suspected of the most hideous practices. Yet through his dark features ran one redeeming ray of humanity; the evil old man loved his offspring with fierce intensity, and she in turn loved and respected him.

Prospero had delved deeper and deeper into the mysteries of the hidden world of black magic. Isolated as he was, he became wrapt in the acquisition of demonological and alchemical learning.

His academic curiosity had resulted in his neglecting his position as Duke of Milan in order to dedicate his life to the perfection of the magic arts. His abrupt and savage usurpation, left to die by his opportunistic brother Antonio on a decrepit vessel in the middle of the ocean with only his infant daughter for company, was as swift as it was unexpected.

Upon being washed ashore, their initial solitude was interrupted by the discovery of the vile witch Sycorax whose stories of unholy unions with beings from another world, although pitiable, were also disturbing in ways that the magician could not fathom. The crone had died in his arms, uttering words which although unintelligible then to Prospero, now had a dread familiarity to them. The creeping realisation that Sycorax may indeed have had carnal relations with infernal beings concerned him greatly. This dread suspicion was soon confirmed by the inescapable and undeniable proof of her wicked folly: the arrival of the wretched invisible beast known only as Caliban, an unstoppable, unrelenting writhing mass of tentacles and madness. It had taken all of the mage’s craft and guile to bind the monster to his bidding and he was sure that it was then, in the very act of subduing Caliban, that his soul had been tainted by the beast’s own otherworldly nature.

He had tried to occupy his mind with other matters: teaching his beautiful and gentle daughter Miranda the arcane arts on the sandy shores of their island home Prospero had experienced an inner calm that had otherwise eluded him in the years before his tragic exile. He dared to dream that somehow, in some small way, he had finally achieved inner-peace.

It was then that the dreams began. Nightmarish visions of vast cyclopean cities situated either in Hell or some obscure astral plain, he knew not which. Cities whose dimensions changed with every step one took, and whose very architecture posed questions that the most liberally minded of men in Rome would shudder to acknowledge, let alone answer. And at the centre of it all, like some immense, bloated arachnid lay… something… the Thing which should never be woken… the un-creator to be… weaving the dreams and visions of mankind for its own unfathomable amusement.

At first Prospero had attempted to oppose the Thing. He had conjured every conceivable spell, called upon a lifetime’s worth of incantations, all to no avail. And all the while It had called to him seductively, promising power beyond all imagining, retribution for all wrongs against his person, if only he were to use the text and open the portal… and the knowledge that it had promised, such knowledge… languages and tomes never experienced before by mortal man, all his for the taking, should he be prepared to forsake his species. His one condition, that his only child should be spared stipulated, the magician eagerly accepted the offer, turning his back on the world that had spurned him and setting about bringing about its demise with a zeal that would have impressed even It, were It remotely interested in the peculiarities of the human condition.

And now the time had finally come to answer Its summons, the call of the dark one, the call of the dread lord Cthulhu, to shatter the gate between Its world and ours, and wake It from Its millennial slumber.

Below in a vessel buffeted by the waves and Prospero’s own craft, was King Alonso of Naples and the accursed Antonio. Prospero closed his eyes, and, tugging at an object concealed by his cloak, spoke quietly to himself so that none but the storm and his conscience could hear:

“If it be now, ‘tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come.”

Prospero shuddered with excitement and terror as his hands struggled to open the aged tome at the required passage. The required passage located, Prospero read from the book with horrible intensity:

“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!!!”

The waves below rose to unnatural heights, lapping at the ship’s sides, threatening to submerge it and its occupants entirely. The vast, inscrutable sea continued to command its sinister, colossal breakers to lacerate the desolate shore.

Out of the mage’s peripheral vision a person appeared, slight of frame and swift. In an instant it was upon him, attempting to wrestle the Necronomicon from outwith his steely fanatical grasp. Prospero’s maniacal anger swiftly gave way to disbelief and horror as he recognised the figure of his own daughter. How could this be? He had hidden her far from this place, safe from Its baleful eyes.

“You are mad, father!” the youth announced incredulously.

Prospero’s hard features appeared to soften for a moment, as his voice took on a tremulous tone that surprised his daughter:

“Oh, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven keep me in temper: I would not be mad!”

As Miranda leaned in closer out of concern Prospero burst into mocking laughter and rounded on his daughter, beating her back with the ancient text:

“Mad?!? No, I am not mad!! I wish to heaven that I were so!!! For then ‘tis like I should forget myself!!! Come now – do not wait until later; it is better to repent and be forgiven than to defy and be condemned. If I am mad, it is mercy! May the gods pity the man who in his callousness can remain sane to the hideous end! Come and be mad whilst It still calls with mercy! ”

Father and daughter shared a glance that saw each view the other anew: one as a good man now lost, the other as a pitiable example of a now obsolete race.

They were momentarily distracted by a blinding flash of light that appeared to eclipse and neuter any and all activity: even the storm itself appeared to be cowed by this new phenomenon. Then, ponderously yet purposefully, there emerged a ripple upon the ocean surface, almost imperceptible amidst the raging tempest to anyone other than Prospero with his supernatural senses.

What started as a solitary emission swiftly became a symphony of sound and fury as the sea itself boiled and raged, as if keen to expunge an unwanted and ill-natured foreign body.

Prospero howled his approval:

“Ho! A dish fit for the Gods art thou now, Antonio!”

Miranda, sobbing, grabbed weakly at her father’s arm:

“Thou tread the path that thou shalt ne’er return!”

Prospero brushed his daughter aside with one short dismissive gesture, yet she defiantly clung to the tip of his staff as the Heavens themselves seemed to splinter.

The boatswain screamed over the tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning:

“Take in the topsail. Tend to th’masters whistle! A plague upon this howling!”

Antonio ineffectually attempted to assist but was pushed aside by the experienced boatswain, who gruffly warned the agitated Duke:

“The sea and wind contend which is mightier. Keep your cabins, you do assist the storm!”

With an authoritative stamp of his foot and sweep of his staff, Prospero sent a pulsing luminous blue fireball thundering into the ocean depths.

As the enraged Duke sought to admonish the insolent mariner he turned to face the immense countenance of his hated brother.

Antonio sunk to his knees in terror, whimpering in despair:

“Angels and ministers of grace defend us! Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damned, bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell, be thy intents wicked or charitable, thou com’st in such a questionable shape that I will speak to thee. I’ll call thee Prospero, my brother and one-time Duke of Milan!”

A titanic head, constructed from interlocking eels as black as sin, a writhing, terrible vision of hatred personified, hovered hideously in front of Antonio in a blasphemous recreation of Prospero’s own face. In a deep, nightmarish drawl the apparition spoke to the Duke:

“Signor Antonio, many a time and oft in Milan you have rated me about my books and my incantations. Still have I borne it with a patient shrug, for sufferance is the badge of all our tribe. You call me misbeliever, heathen, cut-throat dog, and spit upon my Magi gabardine, and all to obtain the use of that which is mine own.”

The sea creatures formed into a deeply unpleasant smile, making sickening guttural noises as they did so.

“Well then, it now appears you need my help. What should I say to you? Should I not say ‘Hath a dog compassion? Is it possible that a vile necromancer could save one such as thee’?”

At that, Prospero clapped his hands and the blasphemous structure collapsed, sending its constituent parts flooding back to the depths of the turbulent black ocean.

Antonio stood up warily, brushing his fine silken gown. Once completely assured that the apparition had entirely disappeared, the Duke screamed haughtily:

“A pox o’your throat, you bawling, blasphemous, incharitable dog!”

Laughing nervously, the Duke turned to witness a site which froze the very blood within his veins: the deep waters of the sea had grown clear and phosphorescent, granting grim glimpses of the scenes beneath.

Grotesque beyond all imagination, strange amphibian creatures had begun to crawl up the ship’s bough and clamber onto its decks. They were damnably human in general outline despite webbed hands and feet, sporting shockingly wide and flabby lips, glassy, bulging eyes, and other features less pleasant to recall.

The hideous waves rolled in frightfully, lashing away cargo and men with ghastly monotony and deliberation.

Miranda instantly recognised the beasts as the inhabitants of the many-columned back abyss of Y’ha-nthlei, the storied Deep Ones, and wailed in terror:

“How many damned creatures there are! How frail mankind is! O foul world that has such things in it!”

The creatures descended upon the boat in a limitless stream – flopping, hopping, croaking, bleating, and surging inhumanely in a grotesque, malignant ecstasy of fantastic nightmare.

Their prominent colour was a greyish-green, though they had white bellies. They were mostly shiny and slippery, but the ridges of their backs were scaly. Their forms vaguely suggested the anthropoid, while their heads were the heads of fish, with prodigious bulging eyes that never closed. At the sides of their necks were palpitating gills, and their long paws were webbed. They hopped irregularly, sometimes on two legs and sometimes on four. Their croaking, baying voices, clearly used for articulate speech, held all the dark shades of expression which their staring faces lacked.

The denizens of the deep advanced purposefully, hissing their defiance at the terror-stricken sailors.

Alonso, King of Naples, stared in horrified disbelief at the diabolical menagerie emerging from the depths. Trinculo, his jester, pranced in front of him and, half in ill-advised humour and half in general inquisitiveness, shouted out to the rasping creatures:

“What have we here? A man or a fish? Dead or alive? A fish, he smells like a fish: a very ancient and fishlike smell. A strange fish! Legged like a man and his fins like arms! Were I in England now and had put this fish painted, not a holiday fool there but would give a piece of silver: there would this monster make a man: any strange beast there makes a man!”

“I marvel how these fish live in the sea…” Alonso admitted in awed amazement.

“Why, as men do a-land: the great ones eat up the little ones!” quipped Trinculo, the fool shuddering as he realised the grim ramifications of his own hypothesis.

An awful scream went up as one of the mariners was dragged to the primal depths by a webbed claw.

Water cascaded across the groaning the decks, obscuring vision and favouring the Deep Ones who slithered effortlessly across the stricken ship in search of fleshy sustenance. Another unfortunate traveller, the butler Stephano, was seized by a slimy assailant that scratched and gnawed at him with its nightmare jaws.

Drenched and terrified men fought an impossible battle against the daemonic beings that croaked and gurgled with dark delight.

In the fabled city of R’lyeh something inconceivably large and bloated stirred.

Miranda shook her head, imploring the sorcerer:

“Pity cease this foolishness my father!”

Prospero roared his frustration at her entreaties, ranting in furious delirium:

“Silence! One word more shall make me chide thee, if not hate thee! How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!”

The golden haired teenager, to the astonishment of her father, prised the forbidden tome from his clammy grasp then recited the incantation once taught to her by her now-adversary.

An impenetrable, invisible shield swiftly and silently encircled her slight frame.

Prospero, his face terrible to behold, chanted with dark menace as tendrils of thick black mist coiled round the sphere, seeking access to the trembling youth:

“Blow winds and crack her cheeks! Rage, blow! You cataracts and hurricanes, spout till you have drenched her steeples, and drowned this daughter! You sulphurous and thought-executing fires, vaunt-couriers of oak-cleaving thunderbolts, singe her fair head! And thou, all-shaking thunder, strike dead this woman!”

Miranda closed her eyes and focused, reciting words she had long practised.

The stricken ship rose and half-floated in mid-air, then disappeared into the sightless vortex of the unimaginable.

Prospero, his revenge thwarted, howled in annoyance.

Miranda called out across the limitless oceans of time and space to those who could assist her most. People, places, eras all merged into one fluid entity, a beacon of hope that would provide humanity with the best chance to oppose the coming forces of darkness. There was a misplacement in Time and Space, whereby those that were needed were born earlier or later than before in order to harmonise the world being forged. Miranda whispered to herself in amazement as she regarded the swiftly-merging realities:

“The time is out of joint. O cursed spite, that ever I was born to set it right!”

She had a sense of forward, outward motion, moving intolerably, incredibly, cosmically swiftly.

It was exactly then that the Earth began screaming with unimaginable fright and frenzy.


Shakespeare v Lovecraft is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99

Connect with D.R. O’Brien:


Twitter: @obiedan


THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: The Painted Darkness, Brian James Freeman {$0.99}

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Brian James Freeman‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of The Painted Darkness:

The Painted Darkness: A Novella

When Henry was a child, something terrible happened in the woods behind his home, something so shocking he could only express his grief by drawing pictures of what he had witnessed. Eventually Henry’s mind blocked out the bad memories, but he continued to draw, often at night by the light of the moon.

Twenty years later, Henry makes his living by painting his disturbing works of art. He loves his wife and his son and life couldn’t be better… except there’s something not quite right about the old stone farmhouse his family now calls home. There’s something strange living in the cramped cellar, in the maze of pipes that feed the ancient steam boiler.

A winter storm is brewing and soon Henry will learn the true nature of the monster waiting for him down in the darkness. He will battle this demon and, in the process, he may discover what really happened when he was a child and why, in times of trouble, he thinks: I paint against the darkness.

But will Henry learn the truth in time to avoid the terrible fate awaiting him… or will the thing in the cellar get him and his family first?

Written as both a meditation on the art of creation and as an examination of the secret fears we all share, The Painted Darkness is a terrifying look at the true cost we pay when we run from our grief—and what happens when we’re finally forced to confront the monsters we know all too well.



“The tone and building dread reminded me of classic Stephen King. Great velocity and impact, and super creepy. Don’t go in the basement!”
— Stewart O’Nan, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Country and A Prayer for the Dying

“Spooky stuff!”
— Richard Matheson, New York Times bestselling author of I Am Legend

“Brian James Freeman’s evocative tale about the dark corners of an artist’s imagination is elegant and haunting.”
— David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of The Shimmer

“The Painted Darkness is a dark, terrifying, and deeply moving gem of a novella. Brian James Freeman managed to both scare me and move me to tears.”
— Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Keepsake

“Wonderfully reminiscent of the quiet horror of Charles L. Grant, The Painted Darkness takes readers on a gently chilly walk through the forest of fears both conscious and subconscious. A very impressive achievement.”
— Bentley Little, award-winning author of The House and His Father’s Son

“The Painted Darkness delves into territory that fascinates so many of us — the fine lines between beauty and horror, faith and fear, art and the unconscious. Both a wonderful allegory and a gripping read, Brian James Freeman has written a taut, memorable tale.”
– Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author of So Cold the River and The Cypress House



The Painted Darkness currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 4.6 stars from 74 reviews. Read the reviews here.

An excerpt from The Painted Darkness:

Just start at the beginning, Henry’s father once told him, and the rest will take care of itself.

These words of wisdom came during the waning hours of a beautiful March day when Henry was five years old, a day that began with a gift from Mother Nature and ended with the little boy running home as fast as his legs would carry him, bounding through the snowdrifts and dodging the thorny branches lining the path through the woods.

Once inside the safety of his family’s home at the end of Maple Lane, Henry fell to the hardwood floor in his bedroom, exhausted, his skin scratched, the wounds burning like they were on fire. His hands were bruised and bloody.

Henry crawled under his bed and closed his eyes and he prayed like he had never prayed before. Not the type of praying he did at bedtime every night as his mother watched, and not the generic prayers he said every week in church with the rest of the congregation. For the first time in his life, he was directing his message straight to God Himself, and Henry’s request was simple: please send a mighty angel to undo what had been done.

An hour later, the room grew dark as the sun vanished behind the mountains to the west, but Henry hadn’t moved an inch. Exhaustion and fear wouldn’t allow him. He still wore his yellow rain slicker; his clothing was soaked in sweat; his face was damp with tears. The snow melting off his winter boots had trickled across the hardwood floor, forming a puddle of dirty water.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity, Henry heard the house’s front door open and close. A few minutes passed, but he didn’t dare move. He held his breath as he listened to the floorboards creaking through the house. The footsteps stopped outside his room and Henry almost couldn’t bring himself to watch as the door swung open.

A pair of heavy work boots crossed the room, every step a dull thud, and Henry let out a small cry. The boots stopped. The man’s pants were stained with grease and grime and bleach. He took a knee next to the puddle of melted snow and, after a brief moment, he reached under the bed with his weathered, callused hand.

Henry grabbed onto the giant hand and his father pulled him out in one quick, smooth motion. He hadn’t turned the lights on yet, but a bright beam of moonlight sliced the bedroom in half.

Henry stared into his father’s big eyes, which seemed to glow in the sparkling light. His father was a bear of a man, but he gently lifted Henry and sat him on the bed like someone moving the most delicate of antiques. Henry sobbed while his father rocked him in his enormous arms, but for a while this did nothing to make the little boy feel better.

His father whispered, “It’ll be okay, Henry. Just start at the beginning and the rest will take care of itself.”

Henry, still shaking, told his father what had pushed him to the brink of his sanity that beautiful March afternoon: a series of events so terrible he wouldn’t allow himself to remember them once he grew up. He did his best to describe what had caused him to run as fast as he could through the woods and to hide under the bed, as if the bed might protect him from the horrors he had witnessed. As if the monsters would leave him alone there.

“Son,” his father said when Henry had finished, “the monsters don’t live in the dark corners waiting to pounce on us. They live deep in our heart. But we can fight them. I promise you, we can fight them and we can win.”

Henry listened to his father’s words, which were soothing and comforting and wise. His father suggested Henry get a piece of paper and some crayons. He said, “I know something that’ll help you feel better.”

Henry did as his father instructed and before the night was over he would be repeating a mantra: I paint against the darkness.

Those words made Henry feel strong in a way he couldn’t describe. The words opened doors within his mind; they set him free and gave him courage to face the night.

But in the end would that courage and his father’s wisdom be enough to truly save Henry from the monsters he feared so much? Or had he just delayed the inevitable?

The answers to those questions wouldn’t be determined for another twenty years.


The Painted Darkness is available for purchase at:

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THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Alice in Deadland, Mainak Dhar {$0.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

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Description of Alice in Deadland:

The sensational bestseller. #1 Science Fiction and Horror bestseller. More than 50,000 copies sold in less than three months.

Civilization as we know it ended more than fifteen years ago, leaving as it’s legacy barren wastelands called the Deadland and a new terror for the humans who survived- hordes of undead Biters.

Fifteen year-old Alice has spent her entire life in the Deadland, her education consisting of how best to use guns and knives in the ongoing war for survival against the Biters. One day, Alice spots a Biter disappearing into a hole in the ground and follows it, in search of fabled underground Biter bases.

What Alice discovers there propels her into an action-packed adventure that changes her life and that of all humans in the Deadland forever. An adventure where she learns the terrible conspiracy behind the ruin of humanity, the truth behind the origin of the Biters, and the prophecy the mysterious Biter Queen believes Alice is destined to fulfill.

A prophecy based on the charred remains of the last book in the Deadland- a book called Alice in Wonderland.

Now also available:
Through The Killing Glass (Alice in Deadland Book II)
Off With Their Heads (The prequel to Alice in Deadland)


“ALICE IN DEADLAND is a fast paced, creative zombie tale.”
- Reads A Lot Book Reviews

“Alice in Deadland may be a ‘zombie-like’ story, but it is a metaphorical tale of how we tend to demonize that which we do not understand. It is obvious that there are socio-economic and geopolitical undercurrents in the story line and shadows of colonialism, post-colonialism, jingoism, and intolerance. If you can read between the lines and see the deeper meaning to the story, Alice in Deadland is a wonderfully entertaining ebook.”
- eNovel Reviews

“Words to live by: Eat all your vegetables. Exercise like a fiend. Sleep a solid seven to eight hours a day. Never, ever read Alice in Deadland before you sleep. Ever. Because if you do make the mistake of idly perusing the first page, you’re going to want to finish the last and that, ladies and gentlemen, is a foul surprise to learn on a work day. An unusual blend of the zombie mythos, conspiracy theories and Lewis Caroll, Alice in Deadland is self-proclaimed ‘cubicle worker by day, author by night’ Mainak Dhar’s most recent offering and one of the best reinterpretations of the childhood fable yet.”


Alice in Deadland currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 3.6 stars from 338 reviews. Read the reviews here.


Blood and Honour – The Battle for Saxony is available for purchase at:

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An excerpt from Alice in Deadland:


Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the hill, and of having no Biters to shoot. Once or twice she peeped through her sniper rifle’s scope, but could see no targets. ‘What is the use of an ambush,’ thought Alice, ‘without any Biters to shoot in the head?’

Alice was fifteen, and had been born just three months after The Rising. Her older sister and parents sometimes talked of how the world had been before. They talked of going to the movies, of watching TV, of taking long drives in the countryside, of school. Alice could relate to none of that. The only life she had known was one of hiding from the Biters. The only education that she knew to be useful consisted of three simple lessons: if a Biter bites you, you will become one of them; if a Biter bites someone you know, it doesn’t matter whether that person was your best friend; they were now a Biter and would rip your throat out in a heartbeat; and if you could take only one shot, aim for the head. Only the head. Nothing else would put a Biter down for good.

So here she was, lying on a small hillock, her rifle at her shoulder, waiting to pick off any stragglers who escaped the main force. The first few years of her life had been one of hiding, and of surviving from one day to another. But then the humans had begun to regroup and fight back, and the world had been engulfed in a never-ending war between the living and the undead. Alice’s parents were part of the main assault force that was now sweeping through a group of Biters that had been spotted near their settlement. She could hear the occasional pop of guns firing, but so far no Biters had come their way. Her sister was lying quietly, as always obedient and somber. Alice could not imagine just lying here, getting bored when the action was elsewhere, so she crawled away to the edge of the small hill they were on and peered through her scope, trying to get a glimpse of the action.

That’s when she saw him. The Biter was wearing pink bunny ears of all things. That in itself did not strike Alice as strange. When someone was bitten and joined the undead, they just continued to wear what they had been wearing when they were turned. Perhaps this one had been at a party when he had been bitten. The first Biter she had shot had been wearing a tattered Santa Claus suit. Unlike kids before The Rising, she had not needed her parents to gently break the news that Santa Claus was not real. What was truly peculiar about this Biter was that he was not meandering about mindlessly but seemed to be looking for something. The Biters were supposed to be mindless creatures, possessed of no intelligence other than an overpowering hunger to bite the living. She braced herself, centering the crosshairs of her scope on the Biter’s head. He was a good two hundred meters away and moving fast, so it was hardly going to be an easy shot.

That’s when the Biter with the bunny ears dropped straight into the ground.

Alice looked on, transfixed, and then without thinking of what she was getting into, ran towards the point where the Biter had seemingly been swallowed up by the ground. Her heart was pounding as she came closer. For months there had been rumors that the Biters had created huge underground bases where they hid and from which they emerged to wreak havoc. There were stories of entire human armies being destroyed by Biters who suddenly materialized out from the ground and then disappeared. However, nobody had yet found such a base and these stories were largely dismissed as being little more than fanciful fairy tales. Had Alice managed to find such a base?

Her excitement got the better of her caution, and she ran on alone. She should have alerted her sister, she should have called for reinforcements, she should have done a lot of things. But at that moment, all she remembered was where the Biter had dropped into the ground and of what would happen if she had truly found an underground Biter base. She was an excellent shot, far better than most of the adults in the settlement, and she was fast. If there was one thing she had been told by all her teachers since she started training, it was that she was a born fighter. She could put a man twice her size on the mat in the wink of an eye, and she had shown her mettle in numerous skirmishes against the Biters. Yet, she was not allowed to lead raids far from the settlement. That had always grated, but with her father being one of the leaders of the settlement, she was unable to do anything to change that. He claimed that her excellent shooting and scouting skills were better used in d efensive roles close to their settlement, and had promised her that when she was older he would reconsider, but she knew that was a nervous father speaking, not the leader of their settlement.

This could change all that.

Suddenly she felt the ground give way under her and she felt herself falling. She managed to hold onto her rifle, but found herself sliding down a smooth, steep and curving slope. There seemed to be no handholds or footholds for her to slow her descent or to try and climb back up. She looked up to see the hole through which light was streaming in disappear as the tunnel she was falling down curved and twisted.

Alice screamed as she continued falling in utter darkness.


It took Alice a few minutes to get her bearings, as she was totally disoriented in the dark and also winded by her fall. She saw that her fall had been broken by a thick cushioning of branches and leaves. She had heard whispers that the Biters were not the mindless drones that many adults dismissed them to be, but those accounts had been dismissed by most people as fanciful tales. She wondered if there was some truth to those rumors after all. As her eyes adjusted to the darkness she saw a sliver of light to her right and crawled towards it. As she went deeper into the tunnel, while she still could not see much, the smell was unmistakable. The rotten stench that she knew came from only one possible source: the decayed bodies of the undead. Even though she had seen the aftermath of many a skirmish with the Biters and was no stranger to the stench, she found herself gagging. As she came closer to the light, she saw that the tunnel opened into a small room that was lit by crudel y fashioned torches hung on the walls.

She could hear some voices and as she peeped around the corner, she saw that the rabbit-eared Biter she had followed down was in animated conversation with two others. One of them was, or rather had been in life, perhaps a striking young woman. Now her skin was yellowing and decayed and hung in loose patches on her face. Her clothes were tattered and bloodied. The other Biter with her was a plump, short man who seemed to have the better part of his left side torn off, perhaps by a mine or a grenade. Alice had been around weapons for as long as she could remember, and while all humans now needed to be able to defend themselves, Alice had shown a special talent for fighting, perhaps one her mother did not always approve of. Her mother had wanted Alice to do as the other young people did and stand on guard duty close to the settlements, but Alice had always wanted to be in the forefront, to feel the thrill that came with it. Now, Alice thought, she had perhaps got more thrills t han she had ever bargained for. She was trapped in an underground Biter base, with no apparent way out.

The Biters were talking in a mixture of growls and moans, but they seemed to be communicating with each other. Now that she got a closer look at the rabbit-eared Biter she had followed in, she realized that he had been in life not much older than her. Perhaps he had been on his way to a costume party when he had been bitten. As he turned his head, Alice saw what may have once been a smile now replaced by a feral grin that revealed bloodied teeth.

Alice’s heart stopped as Bunny Ears looked straight at her. For a second she hoped that he had not seen her, but he bared his teeth and emitted a screeching howl that sent a shiver up her spine. As all three Biters turned to look at her, she exploded into action.

Alice’s grasp of the alphabet may have been tenuous despite her mother’s many failed attempts to teach her the languages of yore. But after The Rising, Alice saw no use for them; there were no books to read, and no time to read them even if they had remained. But what Alice excelled in school at, and could do almost without conscious thought, was how to thumb the safety off her handgun and bring it up to a two handed hold within three seconds. The first shot took the fat Biter squarely in the forehead and he went down with an unceremonious flop. As the two others bore down on her in the slight loping, lumbering gait the Biters were known for, she fired again and again, the shots from her gun echoing in the underground cavern. She hit the female Biter at least twice in the chest and then knocked her flat with a head shot. Bunny Ears was now barely a few feet away when Alice’s handgun clicked empty. She cursed under her breath at her horrible aim, realizing just how much easier it was to shoot at targets in practice or snipe from hundreds of meters away compared to being so close to Biters out for her blood, and with her heart hammering so fast she could barely keep her hands straight, let alone aim.

Alice heard footsteps and howls behind her, and realized with a stab of panic that she was now well and truly trapped between Bunny Ears and others who may have come behind her down the hole.

She looked around frantically and saw a small opening in the wall to her right. She ran towards Bunny Ears, diving down at the last minute beneath his outstretched fingers, which were crusted over with dried blood. Alice stood only about five feet tall, and was lean, but she had been top of her class in unarmed combat. She swept her legs under the Biter, coming up in one seamless motion as Bunny Ears fell down in a heap. She ran towards the hole in the wall and turned around to see at least four more Biters coming behind her.

Alice fumbled at her belt and took the lone flash bang grenade she had slung there. As she ran into the hole she pulled the pin and rolled it on the ground behind her, and then continued to run at full speed into the darkness of the hole. She heard the thump of the grenade a few seconds later, hoping that the intense flash of light it emitted would slow down her pursuers for a few seconds and buy her some time.

With that hope came a sobering thought. Time to do what? She was stuck deep inside what seemed to be a Biter base, and was running ever deeper into its recesses. She was well and truly trapped.


Alice ran till she was out of breath and stopped, going down on her knees, more tired and scared than she had ever been. The darkness and narrowness of the passage she was in did not help, as it made her feel disoriented and claustrophobic. At least she could no longer hear footsteps behind her. That did not surprise her. While the flash bang would not stop the Biters, she knew they hated very bright light, and it would certainly have slowed them down. Also, she was a very fit young girl who could outrun most of the people in their settlement, whereas the Biters pursuing her, while feared for their feral violence, moved with their characteristic stiff, loping gait, which meant she would be able to outrun them in any flat out race. The problem was that she was trapped in their base, and all they had to do was to tire her out.

When she thought she heard distant footsteps behind her, her fear gave her a second wind and she started running again, clutching her side, which had begun to hurt from the exertion. She ran into a wall, and fell hard on her back, realizing that the tunnel turned ahead of her. As she looked past the turning, she saw what appeared to be a door framed by light coming from behind it. She ran towards it, and as she came closer, she was stunned to see a familiar figure drawn on the door. It was a seal showing an eagle framed by letters that were barely visible in the light coming from behind it. She started trying to read the letters and got past the U, N and I before she realized she did not need to tax her limited reading skills to understand what it showed. She had seen a similar seal in old papers her father kept locked away in a dusty box. Once he had told her something about him having worked in the United States Embassy in New Delhi before The Rising. She had understood lit tle of what he had meant, though other kids around the settlement had told her that her father had been some sort of important man in the governments of the Old World. They had told her that she and her family had come from another land called America, which was why her blond hair and fair skin looked so different from her brown friends. But none of that mattered much to Alice, or to anyone else anymore. The old governments and countries were long gone. Now all people, irrespective of their old countries, religions or politics were bound together in but one overriding compact: the need to survive in the face of the Biter hordes. She had heard tales of how human nations had waged wars against each other, driven by the gods they worshipped, or the desire to grab oil. Alice remembered laughing when her teacher at the makeshift school in the settlement had told her class about those days. She had thought her teacher was telling them some tall tales. What was it the old folks cal led them? The ones who had read the books before the undead rose and the world burned?

Yes, fairy tales.

When Alice heard footsteps behind her, she was snapped back to reality, and she struggled with the door in front of her, trying desperately to open it. She found a handle and pulled it with all her strength, and finally found the door budging. The door was made of heavy metal, and it sapped all her strength to open it enough for her to slip through. She looked back through the open door and heard the roars before she saw shadows appear in the tunnel. She pulled the door shut, hoping that what she had heard about Biters being stupid was right. That old joke about how many Biters it took to open a door.

She took a look around the room she was in and saw that it was lit by a single small kerosene lamp on the ceiling, and was filled with papers and files that crammed the shelves lining the walls. There was a small desk in a corner and when she walked to it, she saw some old newspapers on it. She had never seen a newspaper in her life, and was fascinated by the pictures and words she saw. She didn’t need to read the words to know what they showed. They were relics of the last days during The Rising and its aftermath. There were grainy pictures of the first appearances of the undead, which she imagined for those who had never seen before them must have been quite a sight. Then there were pictures of burnt and charred cities: the remains of the Great Fire that the human governments had unleashed on so many cities when it seemed like all was lost. That was the barren, bleak landscape that Alice had known as home: the wastelands outside New Delhi, where millions had died in th e Biter outbreak and then millions more as governments tried to contain the outbreak by using nuclear weapons on the key outbreak centers. Man had proven to be the most jealous of lovers, preferring to destroy the Earth rather than give her up. But it had not been enough, and in the fires of that apocalypse was born a renewed struggle for survival between humans and the undead in the wasteland that was now known simply as the Deadland.

Alice had been so transfixed by what she saw that she had forgotten all about securing the other doors to the room, and she screamed in agony when she realized that there was another door, partially obscured by a chair, which was ajar. She heard footsteps behind it, and realized that what she had taken for escape was in fact nothing more than a death trap.

She took out her handgun from her belt and as she felt for the safety, remembered with dismay that in all the chaos she had forgotten to reload. As she saw shadows enter the door, she realized she had no time for that any more. She unslung the sniper rifle from her shoulders. As such close quarters, there was no hope of her putting it to much use as a long range weapon, but there were other ways to make it count.

As a child, Alice had forever been getting into scrapes, and her parents would never tire of telling her to back down once in a while, instead of wading into every fight. But once, after she had shot two Biters during a night-time raid, her father had got quite drunk to celebrate and told her that he loved her spirit and that no matter what the odds, she should never give into fear. To be afraid in the face of the undead was to die, or worse, to become one of them.

As Alice remembered her father’s words, she felt her fear slip away. She knew that the Biters tried to bite and turn every human they found, but also that the humans who fought back the hardest sometimes enraged them so much that they ripped them apart, killing them instead of turning them into the undead.

Better dead than undead.

That had been the motto of the school where they had been taught survival and combat skills. Whereas little girls before The Rising may have been playing with their toys or watching TV, Alice had grown up playing with guns, explosives and learning the best way to destroy the undead. And she had been the best in her class.

She was now swinging the rifle in front of her like a staff, moving it around her fingers so it cut sharp circles through the air. Three Biters came in, and as the first reached for her, she cracked him across the forehead and leaned toward him, sweeping his legs under him as he went down. The next up was a squat woman wearing the tattered, bloody remains of a saree, and incongruously enough, a huge diamond solitaire earring on her left ear. The right ear was missing. Alice delivered a roundhouse kick that sent Ms. Solitaire stumbling back and then reversed the sniper rifle in her hand, firing a single shot that disintegrated the Biter’s head. The third Biter, a tall man with his jaw missing, was almost upon her when she hit him hard in the face with the butt of her rifle. Biters might feel no pain, but it unbalanced him enough for Alice to jump back a few steps and put another round into his chest. Only a head shot would put down a Biter for good, but a high powered sni per rifle bullet did impressive enough damage and slowed one down no matter where it hit. A gaping hole opened in the Biter’s chest as he slumped back. Alice knew he’d be at her throat soon enough so she tried to chamber another round in her rifle.

That was when she felt her right arm caught in a cold, clammy grip that was so strong she screamed and dropped her rifle. Bunny Ears was back and he was bringing his face back to bite her arm. Alice kicked him in the shin, but he did not even wince as he came closer to delivering the bite that would be the last thing Alice felt before she became one of them.

Alice did the last thing he perhaps expected. She head-butted him, and as he staggered back and loosened his grip on her arm, she vaulted over the desk and stood with her back to the wall. There were now no less than six Biters gathered in front of her, and Alice suppressed the welling panic within as she unsheathed the curved hunting knife that was always by her side. Bunny Ears snarled and screamed in rage, a hellish concerto that was soon taken up by all the Biters in the room. Alice had heard of this ritual before. It meant the Biters were going to rip some human apart instead of trying to convert them. Alice reversed the knife in her right hand and stood with her legs slightly spread apart, just as she had mastered in countless hours of unarmed combat practice. Her teacher there had been some sort of elite commando in the armies of the old governments, and he had told her she was his best student. She slowed her breathing, focusing on the creatures in front of her, tryin g to block out her fear, trying to still her mind. As Bunny Ears stepped toward her, she gripped the knife handle tight and readied herself. Better dead than undead.


Alice in Deadland is available for purchase at:

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SPIRITS IN THE TREES (THE SPIRITS TRILOGY), Morgan Hannah MacDonald {$2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}


An abandoned house, a psychotic killer, and a victim reaching out from the grave. A woman must unearth deadly family secrets before she becomes a ghost herself.

Madeline Anderson goes to Isabelle Island, Washington, to sell a family home abandoned over forty years before. Bizarre things occur the moment she steps on the property. Inside the dilapidated old house, items move about of their own accord. Strange noises come from empty rooms. She has a vivid, recurring dream of a woman running for her life. The wind rustling through the trees sounds like urgent, murmuring voices. When the cacophony dies down, one single word emerges:


At first, Doug Lindstrom, the hot fireman helping Maddy restore the old home, doesn’t believe anything is going on. He’s certain Maddy is jumping at shadows because she heard the local kids call the house haunted. That is, until he witnesses horrific violence himself that he can’t explain away. After Maddy’s life is threatened not once, but twice, Doug vows there will not be a third time.


While searching for answers, Maddy uncovers astonishing secrets about her aunt’s past. Finding more questions then answers, she digs deeper until she stumbles across evidence of a cold case involving a serial killer nicknamed The Seaside Strangler. Together, Doug and Maddy must unmask a killer. The lives they save just might be their own.

What readers are saying:

I read the first book by Ms. MacDonald and found it a very excellent read, so that when this book came along I was excited to dig into it. I wasn’t sure what the book was about and when I found it was a paranormal, I hesitated as I do not read those kinds of books, but continued because of “Sandman”. I have to say I was not disappointed. I was laughing so hard in parts of the book that I began snorting (terribly embarrassing at work, I was on my lunch break) and my cat thinks I’m crazy. Other parts will have you biting your nails.

I truly love the way Ms. MacDonald writes; she doesn’t bog you down with a lot of detail, allowing your mind to wonder and imagine and if there are ghosts around, well, it becomes a rollercoaster of a ride!

The hero in this was exciting and I too, would have been drooling over him. I like the fact that the heroine was able to overcome tragedy, live through strange occurrences, and welcome love.

This is one author to watch for; her mysteries are exactly that, and to also to tell your friends about, I know I have!

Great work, can’t wait for your next book. A trilogy? Brilliant!

BUCKLE UP FOR AN AMAZING RIDE!,By Skye Doggett (Oklahoma City, OK) Morgan Hannah MacDonald does it again! When I read “Sandman”, I thought it can’t get any better than this but Spirits in The Trees does just that! I know, “I couldn’t put it down” is highly overused but it is the truth. I started reading it first thing in the morning, and literally got nothing done until I finished it (thank goodness it was my day off)! It has the best of everything; edge of your seat suspense, a mystery that deepens with each page, a nail biting ghost story, and a passionate love story. Ms. MacDonald breathes flesh and life into characters that are deep and whom you come to care about very quickly. I love that the main character Maddie, though she endures more than your average woman in a mystery story (not giving away any spoilers!), still comes across as having strength. I highly recommend this book to anyone loving a good mystery/suspense/ghost story with a he althy dose of romance.

The average Amazon Reader Review is currently 4.5 stars {71 reviews}.

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares Book 1, Bradley Convissar {$2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

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Description of Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares Book 1:

Note: These stories contain adult language, adult situations and violence that may not be suitable for all ages.  You have been warned…

For the first time, the twenty-two stories found in Pandora’s Children books 1-5 and Dark Interludes have been combined into two easy-to-navigate volumes.

This collection contains almost two dozen dark stories, tales where men become monsters, monsters become men, and no one is ever truly safe. You will find ghosts, demons and monsters; evil men, madmen and broken men; a wood-chipper, Santa Claus and yes, a handful of dentists. Each book contains eleven stories, over 90,000 words (almost 300 pages) of disturbing, provocative tales which will keep you thinking long after you’re done reading.

This Volume 1 includes 11 stories.

Bonus excerpt- The first half of my 25,000 word novella, Dogs of War is also included in this volume.



“Evocatively written, the prose in this story feels more like poetry… The good doctor delivers!” -Amazon review of The Madame Penitent

“The writing style was tight and the stories short enough to read in one sitting.” – Amazon review

“I have found a new author to get excited about! I found these stories easy to read- like listening to ghost stories around the campfire.”- Amazon review

“The stories are well written and suspenseful and not just scary, but horrifying….sometimes our minds are scarier than any space spider or alien or what have you. Great book!” -Amazon review


Amazon Reader Reviews:

Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares Book 1 currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 5 stars, with 6 reviews! Read the reviews here!


Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares Book 1 is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

Excerpt from Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares Book 1:

From “Higher”, the final story in the collection:

“We live in a world where people don’t want to take responsibility for the consequences of their decisions. It’s hard to take the blame when things go bad, much easier to pass the buck. But ironically, as a parent, as a father, it’s much easier to blame yourself than your child when your child screws up. It’s easier to say that your child failed because you didn’t do enough, because you weren’t supportive enough, because you weren’t there enough. Much harder to admit that your child is a failure because that’s what he is. When things started to go wrong with you, I blamed myself. I tried to convince myself that you turned out like you did because I failed you. But then I look at your sister, happily married with two children and successful as a lawyer, and I know that I did the best I could, and my best was damn good. No, it wasn’t me that failed you, it was you that failed you.”

“When I first saw you tonight, saw what you had become, I tried to convince myself that what I was looking at was not my son. I tried to convince myself that you had become a complete and utter stranger to me. That my Harrison was dead. I thought that if I could convince myself, it would make tonight easier. But it’s not supposed to be easy, is it? For either of us.” He looked over at Harrison’s profile, trying to read something in his expression. He thought he saw something approaching a sad smile behind the tape, but he wasn’t sure. It could have been his imagination. Or wishful thinking. He quickly turned back to the photos, the current one featuring a five year old Harrison boldly petting a sheep at the zoo. “But I was fooling myself, Harrison. As much as I wanted to distance myself from you, deny you, I couldn’t. Because there’s something of this,” he pointed at the screen, “still in you. You wil l always be my son. And that’s why I’m doing this. And that’s why it’s so damn hard.”

A photo of Harrison, six years old, appeared on the screen, his face screwed up in pure glee as his mother blew on his naked belly.

“You may be sitting there and wondering at this tableau, at the purpose, wondering if this is a final attempt by me to save you. It isn’t. I put this together not as a prelude to a new beginning, but as the final act of a play sadly coming to its conclusion. I did it for two reasons, Harrison: first, for myself. This…” a casual finger directed at the screen, “this is how I want to remember you. This is what I want to remember when I close my eyes at night. I don’t want my last memories of you to be of a corpse lying in a hospital or in a morgue. I refuse to be woken one night by the police asking me to come downtown to ID your quickly cooling body. And don’t deny that that’s how this would ultimately end, Harrison. I see it every week, young adults in jail one day for drug possession or assault or burglary, dead on the floor of their apartment or in the garage at their parent’s house or in an alley or on a hospit al gurney the next. You know damn well that if I let this continue, there’s no coming back for you, and the last time I see you you’ll be dead. Is this selfish? Damn right it is. Damn right. But I’m your parent and I’m entitled. After everything your mother and I gave you, after everything we suffered for you, I deserve to remember your life for what it was, not what it is. I deserve to remember this-” Another wave at the slowly flashing photos, “-and not this.” He reached over and gently patted Harrison’s trapped left hand with his own, noting the dryness of the skin and the prominence of the underlying bone. “I gave you life, and I refuse to allow you to dictate how I remember you.”

Gerald finally stood, his legs heavy and stiff beneath him but his soul pregnant with purpose. He grasped the small package which rested on the couch to his left then walked around the chair and stood behind his son. He rested his hands on Harrison’s shoulders, the muscle beneath sweatshirt and skin so atrophied he felt bone. But he ignored the uncomfortable sensation and spoke. He fought back the tears that he knew were imminent, scraping every last vestige of resolve from his tortured soul to keep his voice strong but soft.

“But this, Harrison,” Gerald said, focusing on the photos on the screen, “this is also for you. Because when you die, I don’t want your spirit stained with the horrible things you have done. With the indifference and misery which have defined your life the past year and a half. I don’t want your final memories to be of searching for the perfect vein. When you reach your moment of judgment, I want Him to know that you were loved. I want Him to see the boy I raised, the boy who wanted nothing more than to experience everything life had to offer. I want your soul to be stamped with memories of joy, memories of innocence, memories of a world filled with wonder. When you reach your judgment, I want you to shine like a star so that maybe your sins will be forgiven.”


Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares Book 1 is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!


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Rabbits in the Garden, Jessica McHugh {$3.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

At twelve years old, Avery Norton had everything: a boyfriend who was also her best friend, the entirety of Martha’s Vineyard as her playground, and her very own garden to tend. By thirteen, it was all over.The discovery of a secret crypt in her basement starts the Norton family down many unexpected avenues, including one that leads to Avery’s imprisonment in Taunton State Lunatic Asylum. Set in 1950s Massachusetts, Rabbits in the Garden follows Avery Norton’s struggle to prove her innocence and escape Taunton with her mind intact.

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The average Amazon Reader Review is currently 4 stars {40 reviews}.

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“I Know Your Secret . . .”

Boarding school junior Stacey Brown has nightmares too real to ignore.  Her nightmares come true. This time they’re about Drea, her best friend who’s become the target of one seriously psycho stalker. To  try and protect her, Stacey’s working with what she knows-candles, cards, incantations, and spells…


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Mike is a tattoo artist running his own shop, and Deb is the piercing artist he hires to round out the motley crew at his studio of four. The last thing either expects is romance, but that’s exactly what happens when they follow their off-kilter careers and love lives into complete disaster.

When Mike follows a growing trend and tattoos the ashes of deceased loved ones into several customers’ tattoos, he has no idea that it will one day provide the solution—and solace—he will sorely need. And when the life of a serial killer tragically collides with the lives of those in the tattoo shop, Mike and Deb will stop at nothing in their quest for revenge, even if it means stepping outside the known boundaries of life and death.

Ink that is full of crematory ashes, a sociopathic killer, and pain in its most raw form combine for one of the most imaginative, haunting thrillers in recent memory. Full of wit and heart, A Good and Useful Hurt delivers the goods with the pain of a needle in skin.

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