Other Voices [formerly The Edge of the Map] No. 10

Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.”

~ Sue Monk Kidd

UPDATE:  I said last week in my Liberation Post (some might prefer to call it the Doomsday Post) that I still had hopes of writing horror novellas for a certain publisher.  I’ve had no word yet, and they did say that it could take until the New Year’s, but in an effort to be ready should the call come, I’ve been preparing the second story in the proposed series, and teaching myself the discipline of sitting down to work on them; later in the day seems to work better for me, mid afternoon especially.  I’ve gotten a couple of good sessions in during the past week, and have four stories in development.  Time will tell . . .

I had a series of conversations with a friend in last week’s comment section, who suggested that I should either quit, or quit talking about it.  I agree in principle, but as I have always tried to be more than simply disembodied text to people who take the time to give me their attention, I like to keep you up to date with what’s going on in my writing life; the sad fact is that I barely know myself.  But sparked by that conversation, I think I have come closer to nailing it down.

I was raised by extended family members, all older females, who had no patience for small boys nor the things they get up to.  Child psychology and teaching in general in the 1950s weren’t what they are today; if you didn’t excel, you were just a rotten kid who was going to grow up to be a ditch-digger or a career criminal.  I think now that I started writing in order to prove myself to the caregivers and educators who all agreed that I was never going to amount to anything.  Of course they were all long-dead before I ever published, but if they’re watching from some form of afterlife, they know among other things that I have four books on Amazon, and more stories and novels that I’m giving away for free just because I can.  But the proving is done, and there is no longer that “prod” goading me to excel anymore.  I need another one, and that’s why I’m waiting on, and working toward that possible book deal.  That would be the new prod at the next level, and I would dearly love to move on to that.  I am preparing plots and stories while I wait so I’ll be ready, but if the offer doesn’t come through, then I’m going to have to reassess my whole writing situation.  So keep an eye on this space; you’ll know when I do.

Turning to the primary purpose of this site, delivering items created by writers and bloggers laboring far beyond the edges of the map where the major publishers and studios won’t be seen for another decade, I present for your approval the following efforts.  Note that with Halloween looming, I’ve gone heavy on the horror this week; I trust such theme-based selections will meet with this audience’s approval:

~ Books ~


Indie Writers Review #11, P.J. Blakey-Novis, editor.  Indie Writers Review is a monthly magazine showcasing the best of the independent writers scene.  This Halloween special includes short stories, poetry, horror reviews, and author interviews, as well as a chance to win three books.  £1.99 on Kindle.


1:05 AM by C.M. Moore.  Yearning for a normal life, assassin Karmen-Marie has had enough — enough of surviving contracted hits, and enough of the post-apocalyptic world.  Forced to take one last job, Karma sets out across the frozen landscape of Earth.  Rea MacBain’s job is to ensure the safety of Earth’s precious few water purification plants.  He believes his abusive past must stay buried under the snow that encases his domain.  A single bullet will send Karma and Rea in a direction they’d never expected.  Ice-cold assassin’s blood drives the woman sent to kill him, yet it ignites the fire which thaws Rea’s heart.  Free on Kindle [reg. $2.99]


Breath Thief by Steve Hill.  A forgotten IRA arms cache.  A new generation of terrorists.  Only clairvoyant Annie Taylor can stop them.  If only they weren’t stealing her breath.  Thinking she’s entering a competition to win a dream holiday Annie uncovers a terrible secret and her world is shattered as her children become entangled in a terrorist conspiracy.  As a wave of violence explodes across Britain, victims of long forgotten crimes are seeking retribution and old comrades in arms must once more choose sides.  When the Breath Thief steals Annie’s gift, time is running out and to save her children Annie must find the power to reshape the future.  Free on Kindle [reg. $2.99].


19 Gates of Hell, a horror anthology.  From the darkest places imaginable, both outside and inside the mind, comes 19 tales that will drag you into places you never dreamed of seeing, not even in your worst nightmares.  Come along as these tales open up 19 gates into hell and experience the supernatural, the darkness of night, and the unimaginable like never before.  Authors such as Byron Craft, Matthew V. Brockmeyer, Rich Restucci and many more have come together to show you in . . . and they won’t let you leave until you’re crying out for mercy, begging to live to see one last sunset.  What are you waiting for?  The gates are opening.  $3.99 on Kindle.


The Bastard Boys of Montezuma by Jaromy Henry.  Cash Holliday and Marshall Earp are the illegitimate sons of the most notorious gunslingers in the West.  Despite a lingering bad economy in 1896, the two operate a flourishing detective agency, largely thanks to selective partnerships.  When Sheriff Kristof Varga hands Marshall a bounty for the infamous Cactus Kid, they realize their business could change overnight.  But Cash receives a letter stating some of his late father’s possessions are in Tombstone and he becomes interested in a different pursuit.  Faced with lying to his best friend, crazy superstitions, a girl with a mysterious past, and a Pinkerton agent who is hot on their trail, Cash must decide if he’s willing to risk their lives for the secrets of a father he never knew.  $4.99 on Kindle.


Fall by Jeff Thompson.  Earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis . . .  They happen all the time, and when they do, people wonder:  What about the Big One?  Truth is, no one alive has ever seen a real Big One – not since Toba erupted 75,000 years ago and created a bottleneck in human evolution.  Then there’s the biggest of them all:  Yellowstone, where the Monster Under the Ground has been biding its time for 640,000 years.  What if it erupted tomorrow?  How would humanity and human society react?  How would they survive?  Pressure is that story, and Fall is just the beginning.  $3.99 on Kindle.


The Cost of Living by Marla L. Anderson.  A life for a life.  No one need die until someone new is born.  Then you’ve no choice.  This novella will take the reader to a dystopian future of a world of adults where birthmothers are a privileged class and every child is a celebrity.  Death has been conquered, but overcrowding has led to government enforced zero population growth.  When Janice becomes pregnant without government authorization, she must find a life donor or forfeit her own.  For every child born, someone must die.  The math is simple, but the politics behind it are anything but.  Janice soon finds herself diving into a deep conspiracy.  For those who love The Handmaid’s Tale, here is another take on what the future may hold.  $2.99 on Kindle.


The S.T.A.R.S Project by Lee Andrew Taylor.  The S.T.A.R.S Project was established by the government to increase the survival of the slowly decreasing rat population in the town of Aaronsville.  After a virus killed off a vast majority of rats, rats that humans need to help heal the sick, the local authority set up a lab in the university to help breed the rats, but after three years of experiments by the professor, the rats want out.  Tonight they will flee the lab.  Flee to take revenge on the humans who thought it was best to cage them.  Tonight, the town of Aaronsville will awaken once again with the scurrying rodents.  But this time the outcome will be different.  $3.99 on Kindle.


Once Upon a Rebel Fairytale is one of those huge Amazon collections that are quite simply the best bang-for-the-buck available to the reader today.  Cinderella has a dark secret.  The Little Mermaid loses more than her voice.  And Little Red Riding Hood isn’t so little anymore.  Join our heroes and heroines as they travel through the underworld to Mars, rescue damsels in distress, and battle deadly foes in Once Upon a Rebel Fairytale, a limited edition collection of beloved stories from today’s bestselling authors.  Inside these pages, you’ll find 25 action-packed fairytale retellings that rebel against tradition, from dark and gritty paranormal romances to sexy and thrilling supernatural fantasies.  The princesses, queens, kings, and villains of your childhood return in these adrenaline-spiking spins on your favorite bedtime tales.  But reader beware: these fairytales are not for the faint of heart.  99¢ on Kindle.


Boston Metaphysical Society by Madeleine Holly-Rosing.  Politics and power.  Demons and spirits.  When ex-Pinkerton detective Samuel Hunter married Elizabeth Weldsmore, the heir to one of Boston’s Great Houses, he knew his life would change forever, but he never expected the return of Elizabeth’s psychic abilities.  Not only do they have to keep it a secret, but Elizabeth must learn quickly how to master them.  For a psychic in a Great House is a political liability which her father, Jonathan Weldsmore, knows only too well.  As the Great Houses jockey for power, the three of them must contend with treachery, subterfuge, and potentially a new demonic threat, in this political and supernatural thriller set in an alternate-history Boston of 1890.  This novel is a prequel to the original graphic novel series, Boston Metaphysical Society.  $4.99 on Kindle.


The Last Rite by Chad Robert Morgan.  The Last Rite was never meant to be found.  Ten years ago, the love of Daniel’s life disappeared.  Then Daniel learns that not only did she commit suicide, but she left behind a daughter he never knew he had.  Taking his estranged daughter home, Daniel gets detoured to the small logging town of Shellington Heights, a town that is no longer on any map and a population that is no longer human.  Daniel and his daughter find themselves pawns in a supernatural war, with the apocalypse hinging on one question – how far will a father go to save a daughter he’s never known?  99¢ on Kindle tomorrow through Halloween [reg $4.99]

~ Blogs ~

In preparation for Halloween, Elves Choice has been printing easy recipes for spooky treats.  As of this writing, recipes for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Rice Krispie Witch’s hats, Spiced Candy Corn Crispies, Mac-O-Lantern and Cheese Bowls, and my favorite, Spider Oreo Pops.  There may well be more by the time this goes to press, so if you have kiddies in your life or at your door, this is well worth looking into!

Nerd Lunch is also celebrating Halloween in their own inimitable style.  Jeeg and Pax are joined by Jay of The Sexy Armpit, and Michael May for the 2018 Halloween episode.  In this episode they select 16 movie monsters, put them in tournament brackets, and debate until they get a winner.  And there are some good discussions in this one.  Download the podcast and find out for yourself!

MovieBabble and Irevuo are prolific sites that publish multiple times each day.  MovieBabble, as the name suggests, looks at films through the lens of reviews, top-ten lists, and philosophical discussions.  Irevuo takes a broader view of the arts in general, books, painting, music, and some films as well.  Both have an intellectual tone, and cater to the serious connoisseur, so if that’s you, join the discussion at either of these fine sites.

I haven’t pushed Richie Billing for a while, and it’s high time I corrected that oversight.  Mr. Billing’s self-titled blog is a treasure trove of wonderful advice for the aspiring fictioneer, and his last couple of posts have concerned themselves with some great advice on World Building.  Very much worth checking out.

This one is a little off my regular path, but it is powerful, and needs to be shared with anyone who can be convinced to read it.  Angie K. Elliston and her husband of 20+ years have adopted 13 children of all ages and backgrounds, and writes at great length about the experience at her self-titled blog.  Incredible reading, and definitely worth a few moments of your time.

My drone-flying friend Eva Newermann has chosen to share the first chapter of Fear is in the Air, her sci-fi thriller.  I personally think that this is a wise decision on her part, as this is a grabber of an opening concerning a flight attendant’s dark little pastime.  Having been a flight attendant herself, Eva brings an authenticity to the page that stands out in the writing, though we can only hope that personal experience doesn’t extend to what the girl is doing in this passage!

Sarah Zama, who goes by the handle of JazzFeathers, is a Roaring Twenties enthusiast with a dieselpunk angle.  This week on her blog, The Old Shelter, she explains in depth her process for writing to a themed anthology.  A very useful post for anyone thinking about participating in that sort of event.

A couple of weeks back I promoted a unique blog collection called Inmate Blogger.  Monday, the operator posted the method for submissions, so if you know someone who is incarcerated who might like to contribute material to the site, be sure to check this out.

Sandy at Aging Disgracefully is a Newfoundlander who is prepping for another brutal northern latitudes winter.  Today she writes of strong broths, multicolored hair, autumn walks, and embracing your inner weird.  Fun reading on a regular basis.

Writers Helping Writers, a wonderful site that I promote frequently, has a post up for novelists, which I’m sure describes at least some of my readers, talking about the often overlooked benefits that writing flash fiction can bring to those novelists.  Check this out for a real and serious eye-opening.

I’m long overdue to mention Daimary John’s Pixel Edit again.  His whole blog is a collection of tutorials on how to use PicsArt, and it is a wonderful free course for anyone who wants or needs to become proficient at that particular program.  This week’s lesson is on creating a logo, and like all his presentations, it’s thorough and easy to follow.

And that’s 30 for this week.  See you next week with another roundup, and of course, breaking news will be posted when it breaks . . . if it breaks . . . who am I kidding?  See you Thursday!

5 thoughts on “Other Voices [formerly The Edge of the Map] No. 10

    1. Ah, you must have some experience in this area. Now consider what it’s like when you aren’t 100% sure that you want what it is you’re waiting for! If the call comes, though, I will enthusiastically answer it. It represents a new voyage, something I’ve always been eager to undertake.

      Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


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