"Welcome to Count Gore De Vol's Tomb of Dark Delights. I'm J. L. Comeau, horror writer and resident Tomb Keeper. I have been charged with the daunting task of sorting and cataloging the Count's vast library of horror, science fiction and fantasy. Take a torch from the wall and follow me down the stone stairway into the darkness deep beneath the Dungeon. It's cold and damp down here--perfect for the kind of reading we're going to do. Never mind the shambling figures in the shadows, they're probably just some friends of ours looking for a good book. If you click on the cover, you'll be taken to a wonderful place where you can buy the book.
Now, let's reach into the musty stacks and see what we can find..."
(Clicking on the covers gives you more information and prices from Amazon.com and other outlets.)
This week, TombRats, I’m presenting a pair of extreme screamers from specialty
publisher Permuted Press. Come shriek with me!
THE INFECTION by Craig DiLouie
Cult zombie author Craig DiLouie earns his cult status with THE INFECTION, a bangin’ character-driven action adventure with enough thrills and gore to satisfy the most rabid zombie fans, but wait! This is not the all-purpose, faux Romero zombo-trash littering the bottom of the genre barrel—this is the real deal: finely crafted and skillfully written horror fiction. The story opens from the point of view of a high school teacher named Ethan, whose students begin to shriek uncontrollably before collapsing. He soon understands that what he is witnessing is a worldwide pandemic with all of the infected being struck down by the virus simultaneously. Ethan is one of perhaps a fifth of humanity who is not affected by the global virus that begins with The Screaming and, three days after the victims of the virus collapse, arise all at once in a fury, becoming rampaging homicidal maniacs that attack and kill the unaffected to spread their disease. Ethan joins a band of uninfected compatriots traveling in a Bradley armored vehicle driven by Afghanistan vet, Sarge, in search of the refuge where survivors are gathering to stage a final battle. Ethan and Sarge are joined by a young high school student eager to prove his manhood; a clergyman who is questioning his faith; Wendy, a police officer frantic to restore order and law to a chaotic landscape; and Anne, the leader of their desperate crew, who has a dangerously obsessive loathing for the Infected. Mr. DiLouie has created a road-trip into hell with a group of fascinating characters ensnared in a riveting plot. Good news: THE INFECTION is available in print and digital formats.
WINDS OF CHANGE by Jason Brannon
Digital readers, rejoice! Permuted Press has published the title story of Jason Brannon’s stellar collection of the same name for your Kindle, Nook, smart phone and computer. WINDS OF CHANGE is a tightly constructed novella that opens with a shooting star streaking to Earth, a phenomenon that is hardly noticed due to the strange, bright red blood moon filling the sky at the same time meteorite falls. Not long after, a violent wind begins to blow, and anyone caught outside is instantly consumed, transformed into a mound of salt where they once stood. The story focuses upon a group of shoppers trapped in a hardware store in the small town of Crowley’s Point who witness the wind’s deadly ferocity from the store’s windows. Although they were strangers when they came into the store, they soon find themselves dependent upon one another for comfort and strength. Among those who find themselves stranded is an elderly man, a secretive newlywed couple who seem to be hiding something, and a hardscrabble local family of four who have had trouble with the law. It soon becomes apparent to the group that one among them is a fraud. While the wind shrieks outside, the clues and portents pointing to what is happening begin to accumulate. Who is the imposter among them, and who will survive, if anyone? Now hear this: you can purchase this great digital novella for $1.99! Are you kidding me? Go get it now! For more about the author, check out www.jbrannon.net.
We’re chasing dark fantasies this week, TombRats—there be dragons and hats here,
both dangerous and wondrous! Enjoy!
CHASING THE DRAGON by Nicholas Kaufmann
Fans of intense horror will love this fast-paced demon of a novella by Bram Stoker Award-nominated author Nicholas Kaufmann that combines ancient legend and modern horror fiction. A young dragonslayer, Georgia, who hails from a primeval order of dragonslayers, is charged with vanquishing two mighty beasts: The Dragon of legend and lore that has killed her descendants throughout antiquity and into present times--including St. George, whose conquest was a lie—and the dragon called heroin that Georgia has chosen to chase. The Dragon moves from location to location causing death and destruction, and Georgia is charged with following The Dragon’s path of horror intent upon concluding the pursuit that is her family’s mission. But the scaled, reptilian Dragon is protected by the gruesome remains of the humans it murders in the form of an army of shambling, homicidal undead that The Dragon is able to manipulate. With a narrative that streaks past the reader like a ground-to-air missile. Mr. Kaufmann engages the reader’s senses with heart-stopping scenes and set-pieces that never recoil from the grim business of horrific storytelling. Join Georgia in her kick-ass, blood-drenched, pulse-pounding dragon quest armed with awesome weaponry and the resourcefulness of an ancient heraldry. This is high octane horror that leaves the reader breathless. Whew!
THE MAD HATTERY by Marge Simon, Illustrated by Sandy DeLuca
Two of dark fantasy’s finest practitioners have collaborated to produce a trippy, funny, spooky, subversive, uplifting and thoroughly entertaining illustrated poetry collection all about…hats! In this wild and free volume about women’s chapeaus, you’ll find black hats, red hats, old hats, new hats, fantasy hats, gardener’s hats, spiritual hats, witch’s hats, voodoo hats and more! Marge Simon’s sublime poetry is accented to perfection by Sandy Deluca’s brilliantly-hued illustrations that dig deep into the heart of what it is to be a woman. Free-spirited, beautiful, transcendent and invigorating, Simon and DeLuca break into the fantasy realms of female life and sisterhood that make us sing and laugh with joy. In a compelling introduction, the author and artist discuss the genesis of this volume, which alerts the reader to the heady wildness within. Rejoice in THE MAD HATTERY, as I did. Men: you will better understand the female heart. Women: you will want to rediscover your favorite hat and dance, dance, dance! For more about the author, please visit www.MargeSimon.com. For more about the artist, click on www.SandyDeluca.com.
To get even more information about these titles, including some of the best prices on the Internet, just click on each of the book covers and you'll be connected to
To visit the individual writer's website, just click on any underlined name.
About the Tomb Keeper (Or, who is this person of mystery)
J. L. (Judy) Comeau is an award winning short story writer whose work has appeared internationally in major horror and dark fantasy anthologies such as the Borderlands series, Best New Horror, The Years' Best Horror, the Hot Blood series, and the Dark Voices series in the UK. She is an active member of the Horror Writer's Association, and she lives in the Washington, DC area where she also teaches short story writing. Click on FIREBIRD to read one of her most anthologized stories.
To learn more about the Horror Writer's Association, just click on their logo!