Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Guest Blog: New from HorrorAddicts.net Press - Crescendo of Darkness


Music has the power to soothe the soul, drive people to obsession, and soundtrack evil plots. Is music the instigator of madness, or the key that unhinges the psychosis within? From guitar lessons in a graveyard and a baby allergic to music, to an infectious homicidal demo and melancholy tunes in a haunted lighthouse, Crescendo of Darkness will quench your thirst for horrifying audio fiction.

HorrorAddicts.net is proud to present fourteen tales of murderous music, demonic performers, and cursed audiophiles.


Please enjoy an excerpt below from Crescendo of Darkness.
“The Music Box” by Daphne Strasert
When a mom finds her childhood music box, she unleashes a tragic
horror on her family, dooming them to repeat history.

Great Gran died in the bathtub. Beverly saw poetic tragedy in her grandmother’s demise, since it seemed to be a grim sort of family tradition. Some forty years earlier, Beverly’s brother, Aaron, had died the same way, in the same bathtub. Although, Aaron had drowned at the age of six and Great Gran at eighty-nine.
“I have something for you girls.” Beverly had returned from packing Great Gran’s things and signing off on the Salvation Army pickup.
Ava and Carolyn sat at the kitchen table, drawing and doing homework respectively. Ava, the youngest, had started kindergarten the previous fall and Carolyn was about to finish second grade. They got along as well as sisters sharing a room could be expected to.
“It was something I had when I was your age.” Beverly pulled her purse into her lap, a smile playing over her lips.
From inside her purse, nestled in tissue paper, Beverly pulled a music box and set it on the table between the girls. It was a small, rectangular box that fit comfortably in the palm of her hand and stood on delicate claw feet. The silver filigree was untarnished, although the box was antique. The soft kitchen lights glinted off the shimmering, white mother of pearl inlaid on its surface. A key protruded from the side and wound the box with a series of clicks when turned. The song played once it was released.
Carolyn and Ava’s eyes fixed on the box, shining with the awe of children entrusted with something precious for the first time. Beverly knew the feeling. She’d felt it herself when she first received the box from Great Gran. She thought the trinket had been lost to the dust of time until the movers toppled a forgotten trunk. The muffled melody, like the ghost of a forgotten friend, had lured Beverly into Great Gran’s attic, where she’d found it amidst the shadows and cobwebs.
Ava reached for the box first, but Carolyn swatted her hand away.
“You’ll break it.” Carolyn turned the key for two careful rotations, then let it go. The melody tinkled to life and the girls watched the box in fascination until it wound down and stopped. Carolyn picked it up and examined it from all sides.
“What is it?” Ava edged closer.
“A music box, stupid,” Carolyn said. “Like the one in Anastasia.”
“Don’t say ‘stupid’.” Beverly lifted the box from Carolyn’s hand and passed it to Ava. She looked around the kitchen for any sign of her mother who had watched the girls while Beverly took care of Great Gran’s final estate. “Where’s Nana?”
“Doing laundry,” Ava said.
The door leading from the kitchen to the garage swung open.
“Girls, can you—” Nana looked up from the basket of clothes in her arms, saw Beverly, and broke into a smile. “Look who made it home.”
“Girls, go help,” Beverly said and Ava and Carolyn rushed to grab the basket.
Nana gave it away gratefully and kissed Beverly on the cheek. She stilled when she saw the music box.
“Where did you find that thing?”
“In Great Gran’s attic. Do you remember it?” Beverly turned it in her hands, admiring how the box glittered in the light.
“I remember.” Nana smiled, but the edges of her lips were tight. “I thought Great Gran got rid of it.”
“Why would she do that? I loved it.” Great Gran always had a soft spot for Beverly, especially after Aaron had died and left her as the only grandchild.
“You just collected so much old junk when you were a girl,” Nana said.
Ava threw a sock at Carolyn, instigating a burst of giggles and Nana went to fold the clothes.
Beverly wound the music box’s key again so the song started anew and opened the lid to watch the device inside. The soothing music washed over her and she watched the gears and chimes move until the trinket played its dying notes.
¯
The music box played all the next morning while Carolyn and Ava got ready for school. Carolyn held it in her lap, winding the key again every time the music slowed and stopped. Beverly hummed along as she helped Carolyn comb her hair into the braided pigtails she liked. As she wrangled the brown curls into some semblance of order, a dark smudge along her daughter’s neck caught her eye. She licked her thumb and rubbed at the mark, thinking it was dirt, but it didn’t come off. Beverly frowned and moved Carolyn’s sweater out of the way to see a ring of similar marks around her collarbones and chest. Bruises?
“Sweetheart, how did you get these?” Beverly hadn’t seen them before, but that didn’t mean they hadn’t been there.
“Dunno.” Carolyn shrugged, not looking up from the music box she had been holding in her hands all morning. Beverly frowned.
Beverly thought it over later that day as she made a quick sweep of the rooms, clearing the clutter as well as her mind. Carolyn was a rough and tumble sort of kid, always wrestling with Ava or a neighbor’s child. Scrapes and bruises were common enough. Even so, something about the way the pattern settled around Carolyn’s neck made Beverly’s throat tighten.


*********************************
To read the rest of this story and thirteen
other horror music shorts, check out:

Direct link: https://www.amazon.com/Crescendo-Darkness-Jeremiah-Donaldson/dp/1987708156
Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson
Cover by Carmen Masloski
HorrorAddicts.net Press

Let music unlock your fear within.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

DeadCades Anthology - Final Author Announcement



Recently we published details of the last of our time-themed anthologies at The Infernal Clock. This final edition will give you not hours, or days but DeadCades. This book weaves its dark stories from the 1880s through the Swinging Sixties and desolate Seventies, and then sprints into the future, finishing at 2020.

From across the globe, Australia, the USA and Europe and from the Bram Stoker nominated to newer contributors to the world of dark fiction, you will find a wealth of talent in this latest anthology. We are pleased to announce our final author line-up as follows:

1880s     Deborah Sheldon
               Drabble: Christopher Stanley
1890s     Martin Fuller
               Drabble: Michael Carter
1900s     R. J. Meldrum
               Drabble: Andrea Allison
1910s     Sian Brighal
               Drabble: Sean Fraser
1920s     Alyson Faye
               Drabble: Pattyann McCarthy
1930s     Chris Milam
               Drabble: Dominic Davis
1940s     Sal Page
               Drabble: Ewan Smith
1950s     ChristopherLong
               Drabble: Arthur Unk
1960s     Robert Lupton
               Drabble: Bart Van Goethem
1970s     StephanieEllis
               Drabble: Voima Oy
1980s     StuartConover
               Drabble: F.E. Clark
1990s     David Shakes
               Drabble: Marc Nash
2000s     Ruschelle Dillon
               Drabble: Stella Turner
2010s     Marie McKay
               Drabble: CR Smith
2020s     AJ Walker
               Drabble: Catherine Connolly

All drabbles have been written and received. For those invited to write our longer stories, the deadline remains June 30th, 2018.

Our expected publication date - October 1st 2018

This anthology is non-paying (our future intention is to pay writers) but each contributor will receive a copy of the ebook and will retain all rights to their story.

Please note that we do value writers and our next project, something which is going to occupy our summer and autumn in terms of research and planning, is one in which we intend to start offering a return. We are building our foundations ...


Steph and Shakes


Saturday, 14 April 2018

DeadCades – Anthology Announcement and Flash Fiction Submission Call



Here it is, everybody, the last of our time-themed anthologies at The Infernal Clock. Until now, you have only had hours and days but this time we give you DeadCades. This book weaves its dark stories from the 1880s through the Swinging Sixties and desolate Seventies, and then sprints into the future, finishing at 2020.

From across the globe, Australia, the USA and Europe and from the Bram Stoker nominated to newer contributors to the world of dark fiction, you will find a wealth of talent in this latest anthology. We are pleased to announce our author line-up as follows:

1880s     Deborah Sheldon
               Drabble: Christopher Stanley
1890s     Martin Fuller
               Drabble: Michael Carter
1900s     R. J. Meldrum
               Drabble: Andrea Allison
1910s     Sian Brighal
               Drabble: Sean Fraser
1920s     Alyson Faye
               Drabble: Pattyann McCarthy
1930s     Chris Milam
               Drabble: Dominic Davis
1940s     Sal Page
               Drabble: Ewan Smith
1950s     ChristopherLong
               Drabble: Arthur Unk
1960s     Robert Lupton
               Drabble: Bart Van Goethem
1970s     StephanieEllis
               Drabble: Voima Oy
1980s     StuartConover
               Drabble: F.E. Clark
1990s     David Shakes
               Drabble: Marc Nash
2000s     Ruschelle Dillon
               Drabble: Stella Turner
2010s     Marie McKay
2020s     AJ Walker
               Drabble: Catherine Connolly

In addition, we are inviting all our flash friends to contribute a drabble for each decade. If you would like to be included in this anthology, send your drabble (100 words exactly, excluding title) in to us at theinfernalclock@gmail.com. As these slots are filled, we will update the Infernal Clock website so you can see where the gaps remain.

Deadline – June 30th 2018

Expected publication date - October 1st 2018

Content: nothing extreme or gratuitous please.

This anthology is non-paying (our future intention is to pay writers) but each contributor will receive a copy of the ebook and will retain all rights to their story.


Steph and Shakes



Friday, 22 December 2017

Merry Christmas from The Infernal Clock

So, we did it. The year is almost over and we saw the publication of not one, but two, anthologies: The Infernal Clock and CalenDark, The Infernal Almanac. At times it was tough as both Shakes and myself have demanding jobs, demanding families and the need to write for ourselves, yet despite this we somehow managed to pull things together and produce what we both regard as quality publications. Yes, we've made mistakes as we've gone along - this publishing lark is a huge learning curve - but we've gone on and done it (and hope to continue). But we couldn't have done it without the following:


 CalenDark, The Infernal Almanac
CalenDark, The Infernal Almanac

Christine Dalcher
Ewan Smith
Mark A. King
Marie McKay
Sal Page
Clive Tern
Catherine Connolly
Sian Brighal
F.E. Clark
Craig Anderson
Christopher Stanley
AJ Walker
Chris Milam





The Infernal Clock

 The Infernal ClockKaren Gray
Sean Fraser
Emily June Street
C.R. Smith
Tim Kimber
Brian S. Creek
Chris Milam
Karl A. Russell
Andrew Patch
Mark A. King
Marie McKay
James Knight
Dickon Springate
Carlos Orozco
Eric Martell
David Southwell
David Parkland
Voima Oy
Bart Van Goethem

So, to all the above who helped us create The Infernal Clock, a huge and heartfelt thanks. And to those who've read the results of their endeavours, again our thanks.

If you haven't read either book yet, why not check them out,

Merry Christmas,

Steph & Shakes

x
              

Friday, 1 December 2017

CalenDark, The Infernal Almanac is here!

This is the moment when both Shakes and I can sit back and breathe a collective sigh of relief - for a little while. Over the past couple of weeks we have been able to show you the author listing and the cover. Now, we have the completed product and are both really proud to present the second of our publications, CalenDark, The Infernal Almanac, to the world at large.

It contains sixteen stories by some very talented writers, their tales reaching into many of horror's darker corners. Some of these writers inhabited the pages of the inaugural Infernal Clock anthology, others are new additions, either way we hope you will enjoy their offerings and would love it if you got in touch with them to let them know what you thought of their stories. A contributors page at the rear of the book contains links to the writers. Get in touch and show them some love - they deserve it.




The book itself is available from Amazon in both Kindle and print formats.






UK PRINT VERSION

UK KINDLE VERSION

US KINDLE VERSION

The US BOOK LINK will follow

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Cover Reveal


David Shakes and Setphanie Ellis extend their infernal thanks to artist Tim Youster for following in the footsteps of Tam Rogers and delivering an awesome cover for our second anthology. Release date to follow...

Monday, 6 November 2017

CalenDark, The Infernal Almanac TOC Reveal


The Infernal Clock is proud to announce that CalenDark, The Infernal Almanac is almost here. For the past few weeks I have been working with the anthology's contributors to craft the book into a product of which all can be proud - and I may be biased, but it does contain some rather wonderful stories. And who are these writers? Well, it's about time we let you into our little secret:

CalenDark, The Infernal Almanac

Table of Contents


The Hazing of Philip King – Christina Dalcher
The Presentation in the Temple – Ewan Smith
The Blessing of the Throats – Stephanie Ellis
The Wind of the Hurricane – Mark A. King
Last Laugh – Marie McKay
The Dance – Stephanie Ellis
Revels with the Devil – Sal Page
The Green Man’s Fete – Clive Tern
A Question of Lila No Name – Catherine Connolly
The Exile’s Harvest – Sian Brighal
Mabon – F. E. Clark
Punky Night – Craig Anderson
Crying the Neck – Chris Stanley
Soul Searching – AJ Walker
Neon Hearts – Chris Milam
The First Visitor – David Shakes

What next? The majority of the stories are now safely tucked up in the master draft of the anthology and I have just a tiny number of stories to finish editing in conjunction with their creators. I am also waiting on one submission. Once these are incorporated into the master, there’ll be another proof-read/edit to pick up any little glitches and it’s off to preparing the anthology for release into the digital and print worlds. Over to Shakes at that point.

Most bios have been submitted – if you haven’t sent in yours, could you please email one in (100 words max).

Art work? Well you’ve seen Shakes playing around with images on twitter and we do have someone working on the cover but you’ll have to wait and see for that.

Yes, timescale has been shunted slightly BUT not by much. Definitely in time for a few Christmas stockings!

Infernally Yours,


Steph

Guest Blog: New from HorrorAddicts.net Press - Crescendo of Darkness

Music has the power to soothe the soul, drive people to obsession, and soundtrack evil ...