Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Blood Race Trilogy Books 1 and 2 by K.A. Emmons



The Blood Race
The Blood Race Trilogy
Book One


K.A. Emmons

Genre: Young Adult/SciFi/
Paranormal /Urban Fantasy / Time Travel

Publisher: K.A. Emmons

Date of Publication: July 27, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-7321935-3-6
ASIN: B074CQ64NG

Number of pages: 321
Word Count: 104,000

Cover Artist:  Stuart Bache

Book Description:

All Ion Jacobs ever wanted was to be normal. But when you’re capable of killing with your very thoughts, it’s hard to blend in with the crowd.

Running from his past and living in fear of being discovered, Ion knows he will never be an average college student. But when Hawk, the beautiful, mysterious girl next door unearths his darkest secret, Ion’s life is flipped upside-down. He’s shocked to discover a whole world of people just like him -- a world in another dimension, where things like levitation, shape-shifting, and immortality are not only possible… they’re normal.

Forced to keep more secrets than ever before, Ion struggles to control his powers in the real world while commuting between realms -- until his arch enemy starts a fight he can’t escape. Now he has sealed the fate of the Dimension, severing their connection to the real world, and locking himself inside forever. But a deadly threat hidden in plain sight may cost Ion more than just his freedom -- it may cost him his life.

The Blood Race is the first book in K.A. Emmons' riveting new sci-fi/fantasy thriller series. If you like epic urban fantasy, fresh takes on super powers, deep allegories, raw emotions and intricate plots that surprise you at every turn, you'll love the first novel in Emmons' page-turning series.




Excerpt Book One:
I had no idea where I was or who I was really speaking to, in fact. Up until the car incident, Sensei had simply been “the crazy old guy next door.” Now he was beginning to feel like my only connection to sanity. I had no reason to trust him, but something in me gravitated towards it.
“Sensei, how did you know about me?” I asked. “Hawk said that you’ve been watching me—how did you find me? How did you know about my powers?”
His deep-set eyes studied my face. “You still have not answered the question.”
I held his gaze for a moment, then let go of a sigh. “I don’t know the answer to your question. I don’t even know who I am.”
“Would you like to know who you are?” I nodded slightly.
“Then that is the answer to the question,” he said. “You wish to learn who you really are. Where you have come from. And it is for that reason that you have been brought here.”
“But why?” I asked.
“Because you were created to protect that which is to come, Ion.”
I thought about it for a moment before shaking my head. “I don’t get it.” “Every generation to walk the earth has, hidden within its repetition and
pattern, a few who will resist. A few who will realize that they are inherently different from others,” Sensei replied. “Most will follow the pattern cut through the density of the forest, because they are afraid to stray from that which is familiar. But a few will stray—the anomalies. Those who recognize their own powers and allow their abilities to guide them.”
There was that word again. The word that had provoked me to the point of driving a knife through Hawk’s hand only hours before. Coming from him, though, it didn’t have the same effect.
“I created this dimension to protect you. Because you are the only ones who have awakened to protect the future from what it has become.”
“How do you know what the future is going to be like?” I asked. “You talk about it like it already exists.”
“Because,” he said, “I have seen it.” “You’ve seen the future?”
Sensei nodded.
“So this whole…” I looked for the right word. “Dimension. You created it?”
“I am it.”
I stared at him. “Wait, what?”
“When you healed Hawk, when you altered reality with your very thoughts, you projected that which is within you into that which is without. When you practice that for eternity, this,” he gestured towards our surroundings, “is the result.”
“You’ve found every one of us… every one of the anomalies?” “From past, present, and future.”
My head was starting to hurt.
“You were the one who fixed my face, weren’t you.” It wasn’t a question. Sensei nodded. “I could imagine how much it hurt.”
“Yeah, well. You imagined correctly.” I laughed mirthlessly. “God, this is
insane.”
“It is your choice to make, Ion. Hawk will teach you how to utilize the portals, and you may come and go.” He folded his hands. “Or you may return to your world permanently—but you must tell no one what we have discussed or what you have seen here.”

“I want to stay,” I said, without hesitation, surprising myself.


Worlds Beneath
The Blood Race Trilogy
Book Two
K.A. Emmons

Genre: Young Adult/ SciFi / Paranormal /
Urban Fantasy /Time Travel

Publisher: K.A. Emmons

Date of Publication: July 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-7321935-1-2
ASIN: B07CPXPFJG

Number of pages: 389
Word Count: 106,000

Cover Artist: Abbie Emmons

Book Description:

I used to think that seeing was believing, but now, as I struggle to stay alive below the ravine, I begin to realize that - good or bad - I will see whatever I believe.

“Who are you, Icarus, that the earth opens its mouth to receive your blood?” Sensei’s words were my last thoughts before I fell into the bottomless ravine, plunging toward my own death, and bringing about Hawk’s at the same time. Or so I thought.

I woke up underwater. I awoke in a strange and unfamiliar world, filled with maze-like forest, shadows, and nightmares seemingly as vivid and dangerous as reality. I had no idea who I was, or how I got there - I couldn’t remember anything, until I remembered her: Hawk. The other half of my soul.

I knew that in order for her to stay alive, I had to survive and find a way out. But that’s easier said than done when you’re trapped in a realm as deadly as your every thought - and dominated by a hierarchy of ravenous wolf packs.

Alerted by a dream, I realize that Hawk has left the Dimension to come find me. For an instant, I rediscover hope. But that hope quickly burns to ash when I realize that we may not be the only ones down here. Someone else with a thirst for her blood may have survived the fall too. And I may have just lured her right into the jaws of a predator even fiercer than the wolves.



Excerpt Book 2:
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. The very things that were potential beacons of hope were also bright red warning flags. There was no way for me to know what I was walking into.
I waited until nightfall. Until the sky was dark and the stars were like sparkling pinpricks in satin overhead. I watched him light a fresh fire after failing to rekindle the last, using two rocks. It reminded me of my own newly acquired ability to channel fire. When I thought about it, I could practically feel the heat tingling in the tips of my wings.
He sat down, cross-legged, by the fire, and the black wolves dispersed into the woods, seeming on edge as the starlight flickered down through the trees. I heard distant howls on occasion.
The young man’s features were illuminated by the crackling fire. He seemed to have all but forgotten I was there. He held a small journal in his hand and seemed to be writing or making a sketch with charcoal.
Finally, he rose again and went inside the shelter, and the opportunity for me to make my entrance presented itself.
I left the branch and flew several yards into the forest. I landed softly on the ground below and transformed back into my human form. I didn’t want him to know I could shift; that had to remain a secret.
I straightened my clothes and took a shaky breath.
I slowed to a halt at the very edge of the clearing, waiting to see if and when he would emerge from the shelter. When he didn’t, I finally stepped forward into the clearing.
I walked farther in towards the flickering shades of yellow and orange. The snap of a twig under my foot disrupted the chorus of crickets and the distant, occasional howls. It was enough to cause an audible stir from within the shelter. A moment later the curtain parted. The dark eyes met mine from across the flames. He stared at me like someone who hadn’t seen another living soul in a hundred years.
He stepped out completely. The connection between our eyes didn’t falter.
“Who are you?” he asked, in a curious voice edged with an accent. “Where did you come from?”
I pulled in a deep breath, debating what kind of cover story to give.
“The wolves,” I replied slowly. “I followed one of the black wolves, and it led me here.”
I swallowed, watching his expression closely. “Where exactly is this place?” I asked.
He stared at me for a moment longer, seeming puzzled by the question, and then he looked around us. “Must everything have a name?” He seemed to be musing more than asking. “It is reality. I know nothing beyond it.”
“Nothing?” I questioned. “You’ve always lived here?” He nodded. “It certainly feels like it.”
“Are you alone here?” He nodded again. “How is that possible?”
He shrugged, turning his attention back to me. “Could I not ask the same of you?”
He could indeed.
I struggled to come up with something to say.
“I awoke in a place like this, but covered in snow.” I thought back to the tunnel in the embankment. “And then the wolf led me here. The wolves you talk to.”
He studied me a moment longer and then smiled. “I talk to them because they are mine.”
“Yours?”
He knelt beside the fire, picking up the journal and closing it. “It is hard for you to understand, but if you stay, you will learn that no one knows where exactly this place is.”
He paused to pick up a stick with which he began prodding the fire. “And no one knows how to leave,” he said, seeming to muse once more to himself. “Or should I say, escape.”

I watched him for a moment. “I don’t want to stay.” “You wish to find your way home, then?”


About the Author:

When she’s not hermiting away in her colorfully-painted home office writing her next science fiction, passionate story-teller Kate Emmons is probably working on the nonprofit organization she founded, Blue Freedom. An organization designed to teach students and young adults about whales and dolphins and the importance of keeping them in the wild.

Katie’s other passions include traveling, hiking, and surfing, which she also loves to blog about.

She lives in the often-snowy hills of rugged Vermont with her husband and dog named Rocket.









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Eve of Endless Night by SD Simper - Halloween Flash Fiction


Eri awoke when the candle at her window blew out. The light in her bedroom shifted, the warm glow replaced by translucent, silver wisps of moonlight.
Her bed creaked when Eri sat up, the wood groaning from age and use. All the world was silent beyond, and when Eri stood up and gazed out her window, she saw faint flickering lights shining from other homes in her village, offering the same respects.
She always kept her matches close at hand – as she ignited one, she recited a whispered chant to the Goddess: “The light shall burn away all your fears.”
There were terrors in the night, rumors of a monster decimating villages after dark. The Endless Night, they called it, but Eri did not fear, the comforting light of the candle illuminating her bedroom like an embrace from her beloved Goddess. Soft hues of orange cast deep shadows across the furniture. Eri gazed out across the sleepy elven village, the home she loved, but then a shadow blotted out the moon.
It passed, but not before Eri saw the eerie silhouette cast across the celestial light.
The candle, she realized, had been a warning.
She ran to her sister’s room. The girl slept peacefully, despite the first hints of screaming from beyond.
Eri gathered her courage and shook her sister awake. “Lirita, awaken. We have no time.”
Her sister blinked and rubbed her sleepy eyes, her precious pointed years just visible as they poked from the blankets. “Eri-”
“Put on your robe – we must go!”
Lirita obeyed, and thank the Goddess for that. Eri herself ran to throw on her shoes and grab a satchel of food – one set aside for this very purpose. When she looked back to the bedroom, Lirita approached. “Eri, is it-?”
Eri nodded as she stole the girl into her arms, the tiny thing barely half her height. Eri had raised Lirita for six months now, after their parents’ death, and she had vowed to do whatever it took to give her little sister a home – even if it meant abandoning it now.
Outside, the cold air bit her skin. Winter would soon be here, but that precluded they survived until then. Eri saw a great shadow moving in the distance, illuminated by the full moon – elongated limbs, far too thin. Flashing in the backdrop of darkness, Eri saw glowing eyes in the brightest blue, icy enough to freeze her blood
Screaming erupted from beyond. Eri heard shattering stone and wood. She ran away, to the great river beyond.
Lirita clung to Eri’s neck. “Where are we going?”
“As far as we can.” Already, her breath began to burn, the added weight of her sister more than she expected. They would escape, but so many others would fall. “Lirita, I want you to scream as loud as you can. We need to wake everyone up.”
The child obeyed, her shrill voice cutting through the false peace. Though deafened by the noise, Eri continued running, her boots stirring up dust beneath them. Through winding streets – their village was dense and older than most – Eri ran, knowing the path by heart, and watched as curious faces peeked beyond their windows. She realized she wasn’t alone, after a point – other feet echoed behind, the lucky few evacuating before the monster could come.
When the houses grew sparse and the road suddenly ended, they face a great river, wider across than the road. It rushed, dangerously so, but it brought the hope of escape. The Goddess would deliver them, and Eri offered a silent prayer of thanks. She glanced back and saw a small crowd running towards them, some carrying children, some with supplies.
The monster stepped out of the trees beyond, emerging from the shadows cast by the moon.
Eri saw it clearly now – its elongated limbs sickly and pale, impossibly thin, yet it balanced on all fours, great claws at the front. Its jaw hung slack as though broken, revealing rows of fangs and a maw of infinite darkness – as endless as its cursed name. Intelligent eyes, glowing brighter than the moon, surveyed the crowd, and Eri swore it smiled.
Here is stood, The Endless Night. It leapt across the river, and Eri screamed.
Prepared for death, Eri clutched her sister tight, then gasped when great claws flung her aside. The monster raked through the crowd of people, but though it tore through them like paper, Eri and her sister yet lived – thrown instead of gored.
With a pained yelp, they smacked against the wall of a building. Though bruised, Eri lived. She glanced at Lirita; the girl sobbed, but she remained unscathed.
Blood dripped from a gash across Eri’s crown, droplets of blood steadily staining her blouse. She ran back into the village, screams and her sister’s own sobs echoing through her head. From behind, she heard the monster’s booming voice, deep and yet shrill, two dissonant tones coming to speak words that grated against Eri’s ears. It recited a language not meant for this world – the dialect of the demons from beyond.
From the shadows emerged hazy figures, and Eri watched as one grabbed an unfortunate soul and pulled him back. They both disappeared into the darkness, his screams ceasing at once.
All around, more shadowed figures emerged. Eri had heard stories of demons seeking hosts, that to be stolen was to be eaten or possessed or worse, but they could not manifest alone. The monster summoned more of its kin, for what purpose Eri could not say.
Eri heard the monster laugh – a horrid, guttural, gleeful sound – and somehow it frightened her more than the demons or the monster itself.
Stragglers were stolen, those who ran with Eri. She saw fire ahead and wondered if it would save her. Goddess, burn away my fears, she prayed. Let Lirita see the sun again.
Fire blazed in the city square – started by the villagers themselves. A great pyre burned, and armed guards stood around it, some swinging at the shadowed figures. The shadows dissipated when struck, and if the flicking light touched them, they vanished with a whispered scream. “Stand in the light!” she heard a guard cry. Another bonfire erupted, fire quickly eating through the dried tinder. “The Endless Night is weak in the light. We need only survive until dawn!”
Or so they said, Eri knew.
From the great shadows cast by the fire, the monster emerged beyond the town square. It stood taller than the buildings, and when it balanced on two legs and bellowed a roar, Eri tucked Lirita to her chest and covered her fragile ears. Eri’s own pointed ears rang and lingered in pain.
Fire cast grotesque shadows across The Endless Night, highlighting its gaunt, unnatural face. Guards rushed as it approached the square, prepared with their swords and shields. With unnatural speed, the monster swept them aside. It grabbed the last and slowly tore him in half, visibly reveling in the man’s screams. Eri heard that perverse laugh as it dangled the halves before the crowd and threw them into the fire.
Eri ducked, then screamed when fire caught her skirt. Burning wood scattered across the earth as Eri dropped Lirita and rolled on the ground.
Its laughter sickened Eri to her core. On the ground, she beat the fire licking at her skirt while The Endless Night continued its rampage. Lirita joined her, the tiny girl braver than Eri had ever felt.
Eri would not die in flame today. Bells rang through the cursed night, deafening even amidst the cacophony of screams and demonic words. The cathedral stood as a beacon of hope, the great bell warning the village of its eminent demise.
Some drawing in Eri’s soul bid her to rise. Perhaps the Goddess would deliver her yet. Eri grabbed Lirita and a burning slab of wood – fire for protection – and ran for the cathedral doors.
It rose in white stone, the richest of all the buildings in town. She banged on the great wooden doors, appalled to find it was locked. With a prayer of apology, she ran instead to the side, and with her makeshift torch swung and shattered the stained-glass window. Rainbows hues scattered across the cathedral floor, reflecting the fire in opalescent shades.
With as much care as she could muster with one arm, Eri helped Lirita inside. The girl made it in without a scratch on her skin, but Eri was much less fortunate – as she fell inside, glass caught her leg, ripping a deep gash across her thigh.
Eri gasped and landed sprawled on the floor, driving the shattered shards deeper into her flesh. The torch licked at the stone floor as her own blood pooled around her. Within, the tentative peace was as fragile as the glass Eri had ruined. She withheld a scream, her pain steadily rising, and with how the blood spurted, she feared she could not walk for long.
Adrenaline spurred her forward, as well as screams from beyond. She grabbed her torch, illuminating the great church, and limped toward the altar.
A statue of the great Goddess smiled down at them, her eyes filled with the kindness of a mother gazing upon her child. Before her was a stone altar draped in fabric, and a chance breeze from the broken window rustled the fabric, revealing a hollow opening – one small enough for a child. “Lirita-”
She gasped as she stumbled and fell, slipping in her own spraying blood. The stone floor caught her, and the glass embedded in her leg cut fresh wounds within.
Tears welled in her eyes as Lirita tugged on her hand. “Hide underneath,” Eri said. “No matter what you hear, do not come out.”
Lirita shook her head and knelt beside her, uncaring of the blood staining her nightgown. “What about you?”
“The Goddess brought me this far. My life is hers.” Small arms wrapped around her head. With the last of her strength, she brought her own arm up to embrace her sister. “I love you. What you can do for me is live.”
“I love you, Eri.”
The enormous doors shattered, the monster’s claw sweeping clean through. Lirita’s touch disappeared, and Eri saw the fabric shift around the altar as The Endless Night approached.
It gazed around the cathedral with its horrid, glowing eyes, its gaping mouth pulling into a vicious, broken smile. Its stared landed on Eri, and she moved to stand on her feet – but collapsed.
Her head swam from blood loss. Despite the instinct to flee, she scooted herself away from the altar, toward the monster, unable to help the sob that tore from her throat.
She stared into the abyss, at the face of this monster from hell, and it stared back. “Goddess, deliver me,” she whispered, and it must have heard, for its cruel laughter met her ears.
It swiped out an enormous claw and ripped the statue of the Goddess from its pedestal. Eri drew a breath, tearing her gaze away from the monster and to the Goddess’ countenance—
The monster threw the statue down. Eri’s death was swift and clean.

* * *

In the aftermath of hell, the endless night did end. Dawn broke across the horizon, casting light onto the ruins of the once thriving village. Every inch of land lay covered in debris and carnage, and already the scent of death and stagnant blood began to rise.
But with the sun rose survivors, the lucky few who escaped the demons and The Endless Night. They gathered their own and formed a caravan, desperate to leave before nightfall – by nightfall, the dead would rise.
Lirita emerged with the living, the only child among the small throng. She did as she promised – she lived.



The Sting of Victory
Fallen Gods
Book One
S D Simper

Genre: Adult Dark Romantic Fantasy (LGBT)

Publisher: Endless Night Publications

Date of Publication:  September 14th 2018

ISBN: 978-1-7324611-1-6

Number of pages: 400
Word Count:  102K

Cover Artist: Jade Mere

Tagline: The cost of love is always high.

Book Description:

“When faced with monstrosity, become the greater monster. The sting of victory will fade with time.”

When Flowridia, a witch granted power by an unknown demon, deceives an alluring foreign diplomat, she is promoted to a position of power to conceal her falsehood. Thrust into a world of politics and murderous ambition, she has her gentle heart and her Familiar to guide her – as well as a drunk Celestial with a penchant for illusion.

Meanwhile, Lady Ayla Darkleaf, Grand Diplomat of Nox’Kartha, smiles with predatory charm and wields her blades with a dancer’s grace. Flowridia falls into a toxic love affair, one she knows will end in heartbreak. But as Ayla’s legacy as a vampiric creature unfolds, Flowridia begins to see the broken woman behind the monster.

When a foreign emperor dies at the hands of a mysterious interloper, one who seeks to collect the greatest sources of power in the realms, Flowridia’s kingdom is charged to stop him. But Flowridia’s devotion becomes torn between duty to her own and the woman whose claws grip her heart.

In the ensuing clash of Gods, Flowridia must choose her loyalties with care – the fate of kingdoms rest in her hands.




About the Author:

S D Simper has lived in both the hottest place on earth and the coldest, spans the employment spectrum from theater teacher to professional editor, and plays more instruments than can be counted on one hand. She and her wife share a home with their two cats and innumerable bookshelves.






Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Pawned by Laura Bickle



Pawned

Laura Bickle

Genre: YA Dark Fantasy

Print Length: 345 pages

Publisher: Syrenka Publishing LLC

Publication Date: September 13, 2018

ASIN: B07FZQWDF8

For fans of Stranger Things and the works of Neil Gaiman, Pawned is a Young Adult novel that blends dark fantasy adventure and noir — on the New Jersey boardwalk.

Book Description:

You can hock almost anything at my family’s pawn shop…even your own soul.

You think running a pawn shop full of cursed objects with your dad and grandpops is cool? Try it for a week and get back to me. Now try picking up any random object and seeing its creeptastic history play out right before your eyes — yup, that’s my little “gift.” It’s my job to sort out what’s haunted and hexed from what’s not, and do my best to keep all of us — including Bert, our ice-cream-truck-driving-lizard demon — employed.

So it wasn’t all sunshine, roses, and possessed samurai swords even before grandpops’ heart attack — but now things are garden-gnome levels of bad. Dad made a deal with the wrong end of the dark side to save grandpops’ life, putting my whole family smack dab between the forces of evil and our friendly local blow-your-pawn-shop-to-smithereens mobsters. And Lily next door…I shouldn’t even be thinking about Lily.

All I ever wanted was to get out of this crap town and away from my messed-up family, and instead it looks like I’m gonna have to use every scrap of magic in this joint or there won’t be any family left to leave behind…

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About the Author:

Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology – Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs, also writing contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams.

Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016.


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Monday, September 17, 2018

Friday the 13th 3D: 36 Years in the Making - Guest Blog by Thomas S. Flowers


Friday the 13th 3D: 36 Years in the Making
Guest Blog by Thomas S. Flowers

As a horror fan I feel rather fortunate that so many of my favorite thrillers released on the year of my birth. A quick Google re-search will reveal a VHS candy store of goody gore and lovable murderers, from The Thing to Poltergeist to Halloween III (the one without Myers) to Amityville II: The Possession (the one that was like The Exorcist but with incest) to The New York Ripper to Pieces, Parasite, The Slumber Party Massacre, and... Friday the 13th...PART 3D (cue groovy disco music). And among the other entries in the franchise, PART 3D is I would say my second favorite. There are many factors that play into my rating but unless you've seen it you probably won't understand. So, do me a solid and go pop in that flayed VHS cause this review will be chopped full of SPOILERS. Readers...you have been warned!

Directed by: Steve Miner
Writing Credits:  Martin Kitrosser, Carol Watson, and Sean S. Cunningham.
Music by: Harry Manfredini
Special effects: Martin Becker
Release Date: 13 August 1982 (USA)

"Having revived from his wound, Jason Voorhees takes refuge at a cabin near Crystal Lake. As a group of co-eds arrive for their vacation, Jason continues his killing spree."

Among many reasons why I love Friday the 13th part III, one would be that it is the first true Jason Voorhees slasher. Yup. Obviously part 1 was really about mommy Voorhees, a character who wasn't even given a first name until...what, part 2? And while fantastic in its own right, it was not a "Jason" movie, not yet anyway. Now some would say, "But hey, Tommy, what about part 2? Isn't that considered a Jason Voorhees movie, it does have Jason in it after all?" And I would of course nod my head knowledgeably. Yes, part 2 does have Jason...but not the Jason. What we got was a backwoods deranged potato sack wearing weirdo who at times certainly had classic Jason mannerisms, but in the end still just an inbred acting mongoloid. Now that said, part 2 has its charm and some really excellent kills, but if you want Jason as we love him today (hockey mask and all), you gotta start with part 3.

Part 3 is also really awesome because it has what every good indie horror movie should, a cast a unrecognizable actors and actresses. While still young, parts 1 and 2 had some fairly recognizable cast members, including Kevin Bacon, John Furey (a known TV actor), Harry Crosby (son if Bing Crosby), and not to mention the late great Betsy Palmer who was one of the most veteran and highly respected actors on set. Part 3? Nadda. They didn't even have Chong, of the Cheech and Chong variety, star as the lead stoner, instead they dressed some dude named Chuck in a blue bandanna, green button down, and red pants with not quite as much weed as Up In Smoke.

I'd be amiss not to comment on what PART 3 has no other addition does. Shelly. Shelly is the best part of this movie. From humble awkward to cartoonish to a astonishingly flamboyant runner, Shelly is still by far my favorite character in the film. Sure, he fails to get the girl Vera and he's socially immature, who isn't?!? Shelly does have a few things going for him. Sweet yo-yo skills and a magic box that is literally "his entire world" full of tricks and gags to annoy the entire gang of friends, and the largest white-boy fro ever shot on a 3D film.  On a low par, I wasn't all that thrilled with leading lady Chris Higgins (Dana Kimmell).  She seemed too annoyed at times. Bored. And too drawl. The best part about her, I thought, was her really strange back story of a previous "unfilmed" encounter with Jason Voorhees. An encounter that sounded almost as if it were some kind of sexual assault. Going back to the amazing documentary
Crystal Lake Memories, actress Dana Kimmell confirms this backstory, but she says that producers did not want to pursue it in any kind of depth. This revelation is kinda dark for a Friday the 13th film as they typically follow a blood, guts, and gags methodology.

So, we've covered the more manly killing machine Jason. We got the actors. Next is the music. Harry Manfredini, who scored most of the Friday the 13's, including the original, crafted one hell of a soundtrack for this third installment. Part disco, part horror, 100% awesomeness. It is also one of the few, if not only, horror sound track to garner its own cover band by the name of Nilbog. Check them out on YouTube. Link provided below.

But like any horror slasher flick, there's gotta be a seemingly solid foundational plot. In PART 3, Chris Higgins invites a gang of friends to include a pregnant bestie (who gets slaughtered later btw...also a very dark moment for a Friday the 13th movie), two stoners, a Mexican chick, and Shelly. They met up later with lurch looking boytoy Rick (Paul Kratka). Events escalate into a series of weed smoking, beer drinking, skinny dipping, practical jokes, and heartfelt life lessons until Shelly and Vera end up pissing off a low-level biker gang. After Shelly runs over some of their motorcycles, the b-squad gang vows revenge that never really materializes. Instead, after following Shelly and Vera back to the cabin, they are quickly dispatched by Jason.

After Chris goes off with Rick to blow off some steam, the night consummates in more weed smoking and beer drinking, a sexual encounter, and Shelly in a wet suit. I know, sounds amazing doesn't it? Where does all this debauchery go? To one of the coolest kills. Once Shelly is dispatched, Jason finally obtains his moniker look by putting on the hockey mask that Shelly was so kind enough to bring along. Jeez, imagine if he brought a faded Captain Kirk mask? Talk about a lawsuit! Anyways, with Jason now complete, he causally strolls out on to the deck where a waiting Vera is fishing for Shelly's dropped wallet on the edge of the lake. He aims at her, much to her confusion, as she thinks he's Shelly. Just as she says, "Wait...who are you?" Jason pulls the trigger on the speargun popping her eye out the back of her head. Simply amazing. Its the small things folks.

More killings ensue until finally Rick and Morty...oops, Rick and Chris arrive back at the cabin. With everyone gone and blood everywhere, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to put two and two together. During the attack, ole handsome lurch Rick gets his eyeball popped out his socket, which must have been a real thrill for kids who matched this back in 1982 in 3D. And finally, Chris and Jason go toe to toe. During the struggle, one of the surviving bikers revives just to be killed again, but distracting Jason long enough for Chris to throw a noose around Jason's neck and shove him out the barn. When that proves useless, she plants an ax deep in his skull. That seems to have done the trick and as the credits roll, the cabin is surrounded by police and paramedics.

For me, my horror appetites are not hard to please. And PART 3D, given some of its flaws, is a groovy good time for a slasher flick, and especially a Friday the 13th slasher flick.




The Last Hellfighter
Thomas S. Flowers

Genre: Historical Fiction/Horror

Publisher: Darker Worlds Publishing

Date of Publication: Aug 10, 2018

ISBN: 1724369202

ASIN: B07FFND86J



Number of pages: 277 (Kindle)
410 (paperback)

Word Count: 78K

Cover Artist: Michael Bray

Tagline: They thought vampires were fantasy. They were wrong.

Book Description:

In the year 2044, reporters from the Public Relations Ministry gather at the home of Benjamin Harker, the last surviving member of the Harlem Hellfighters. At the age of 144, he is the oldest recorded man alive. Hidden among them, Clyde Bruner is looking for a different kind of story. Across the United States, despite the Great Walls and patrol drones built to keep America secure, something has found its way in. And now towns are vanishing during the night. Entire populations, gone. Only to return after the sun sets, changed, unholy, and lethal. And whatever this evil is, its spreading west.

According to a bedtime story Bruner’s grandfather told him when he was a boy, Benjamin Harker has seen this before. He’s faced this scourge. Fought this evil. Survived them. Killed them. From the trenches of the Great War to the jungles of Vietnam to the sands of Iraq, Harker will search his past to save our future.

But as each city light extinguishes across the country, is there no time left to stop what’s coming?


Excerpt:

“Hey, Mr. Green. Any ships due in tonight?”
“Huh?” the older man grunted, his full attention glued to the small box television set. Family Feud was on and Silas never missed an episode. As long as Julius had worked with him at least, in these past four months on the night shift, the seasoned longshoreman who acted very content with his life—who moved slow and never liked causing “trouble,” as he called it, to his superiors, could recite the most complex trivia questions.
Julius looked back to his monitor. Part of his job was to watch for ships that may have wandered off course, or even scheduled docks on the quay. The program displayed on his monitor was linked to AIS Marine database that monitored all vessel traffic around the world. He kept the screen displaying his assigned port—which showed a few red, which meant docked and inactive. The one that concerned him was another ship, inbound and blinking green.
“Mr. Green?” Julius pressed. 
The older black man sighed loudly, turning away from his small TV screen. “What? Why the hell would—listen son, you can’t let this job spook you. Working nights on the dock, I know, the long hours can get to you. But trust me, this sure beats working days out in that sun all day offloading ships.”
“But look,” the younger longshoreman pointed his screen.
Frowning, Silas rolled his chair over to the computer monitor. The green blinking ship reflected off his thick glasses. He pushed them back up on his nose, “That ain’t nothing, probably just a glitch in the system.”
Julius looked at the screen and then out the large window that overlooked the Port of Jerusalem. He’d just moved to town not more than six months prior from Bangor and he wanted to make a good impression.
“Okay,” the younger man said.
Silas nodded in quiet victory and rolled back over to watch his show.
Julius continued glaring at the blinking green ship as it approached the port on the screen. He swallowed hard as it inched closer and closer. He glanced at the old man as he howled at some man on the TV having missed a question that Silas thought was a “no brainer.”  On the monitor, the green blinking ship was upon them. Beads of sweat dripped down his forehead.
Closer.
And closer.
“Mr. Green, I don’t think is a glitch,” Julius protested.
Exhaling loudly, Silas stood and turned. “Listen, young blood, I’ve been doing this job for twenty years and I’ve never heard of no ship coming in that wasn’t on the manifest.”
Julius shrugged. “Yeah, but…” he gestured to the screen.
“There is no ship coming—”
Just outside, a large wave crashed against the port levee walls. A thunderous metallic screech vibrated off the walls of the little trailer office on the wharf. Manuals and notebooks and ship logs fell from the shelves as the ground itself felt as if it was opening. The small TV still playing Family Feud rattled off the table and crashed to the floor, sizzling out. The florescent bulbs above them burst raining shards of glass and casting the room into a yellow gloom. The horrendous grinding seemed to go on forever, shaking and shuddering the world.
And then it was over.
Silas Green was the first to prop himself off the floor. Looking around cautiously, as if any wrong move would send the world into chaos again.
Julius propped himself up, moving into a crouch. He peeked through the blinds. “What the heck was that?”
“Shit!” the older man hissed.
Julius glanced over his shoulder at him. “What? You okay?”
Silas held up what remained of his TV. “No, damn tube is busted.”
Shaking his head, Julius peered back out the blinds. “I think we should go check the dock.” He stood, not waiting for approval and went through the door of the office.
“Hold on, young blood.” Silas gave the TV a final kiss—he’d had the device for more years than he cared to confess, and then set it down on the floor as gently as he could. Standing, he opened the bottom drawer of his desk and retrieved a flashlight.
Outside, Silas trotted to catch up with Julius who was standing at the edge of the wharf looking up into the gloom.
“Somethings out there,” the young man said.
Silas wafted the fog around his head. “Can’t see shit out here.”
“Use the flashlight,” Julius suggested without taking his gaze from in front of him.
“Oh,” Silas grunted, flicking on the switch. A beam of bright white broke apart the misty smoke like haze. He shined out toward the wharf and at first still could not see anything. And then the fog parted as if controlled by some unknown force, separating and unfolding around a large cargo ship.
Silas traced the hull to the edge of the ship deck. “Mother of God,” he whispered, taken back by the sudden massive size of the ship. He’d never been this close to one. The larger vessels normally dock at Freeport. 
Julius stepped toward him, asking, “What do we do?”
The older man couldn’t think—this wasn’t on the schedule, the ship manifest, nothing. This ship shouldn’t be here. The harbourmaster would have said something. Hell, his superintendent would have damn sure said something. It would have been on the log. Silas moved the beam of light to the wharf itself, noting the broken shards of rock in the thick cement and the thick crack in the hull of the ship. It was taking on water for sure—it hadn’t even bothered slowing down. It ploughed into the quay. But why? Wasn’t there someone steering this damn thing? This wasn’t right. Something about this—everything about this wasn’t right.
“Mr. Green?” Julius pressed, whispering hotly.
Silas looked at him, the kid was rattled; he was rattled. He took a deep breath. “Okay, listen, I’m going to call this in—pray the lines in the office are still operating. Here, take the flashlight.” He handed it to Julius. “Stay put, yell out if you see anyone. Some dumbass is going to pay bigtime for this screwup and it ain’t going to be you or me.”
He gave one final glance at the monstrous freighter and started off for the office. Inside, he could use the phone on the floor. He scooped it up and dialed his supervisor.
“Green, there better be a good fucking reason why you’re calling me at—” Silas’s superintendent started through the speaker of the phone.
“A ship crashed into the port,” Silas blurted.
“What?”
“A ship, some damn cargo ship. Large motherfucker.”
“Are you fucking with me?”
“No, I ain’t fucking with you, sir. A cargo ship crashed into the port, took a good-sized chunk out of our wharf too.”
“Was it on the manifest?”
“No—that’s what I’m saying. This ship ain’t supposed to be—”
A scream from outside on the dock jarred Silas from the phone.
“Julius, what the hell was that?”
“Green, what’s going on?” his superintendent asked, sounding more and more irritated.
Silence.
“Green?”
“Hold on, sir.” Silas set down the phone, ignoring the muffled protest from his superintendent on the line. He glared at the open door and crept toward it. There were no other sounds, and he didn’t like that one bit.
Stepping outside he called, “Julius?”
It was hard to see through the fog as it rolled across the walkway.
Silas squinted, peering through the gloom turned yellow by the glow of the dock lights. “Julius, what’s going on?” he called to the dark shape in front of him.
And then he heard it.
A sucking sound.
He stopped.
The dark shape unfolded.
The fog parted slightly, revealing a tall, bald woman with pale skin. Her eyes burned red. She was looking at him with an expression of mild satisfaction, the look of a thirsty soul finally getting a cup of water. She was holding Julius, cradling him almost as if they were dancing.
“Who are—” Silas started, until he saw her teeth, her large fanged front teeth, salivating in blood. He took a step back as she let Julius go. His body crumbled to the wet dock.
“No,” Silas managed to say, like a child refusing to go to bed.

And then she was upon him. 

About the Author:


Who doesn't love a good story? Thomas's favorite books include All Quiet on the Western Front, Salem's Lot, and Hell House.

In his own writings, he aspires to create fantastic worlds with memorable characters and haunted places. His stories range from Shakespearean gore, classic monster tales, and even stories that hurt him the most to write about, haunted soldiers and PTSD. Residing in the swamps of Houston, Texas, with his wife and daughter, Thomas's debut novel, Reinheit, was eventually published with Shadow Work Publishing, along with Lanmò, The Hobbsburg Horror, FEAST, Beautiful Ugly, and Planet of the Dead.

His veteran focused paranormal thriller series, The Subdue Series, filled with werewolves, Frankenstein-inspired monsters, cults, alter-dimensional insects, witches, and the undead are published with Limitless Publishing.

In 2008, Thomas was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army where he served three tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2014, Thomas graduated from University of Houston-Clear Lake with a Bachelors in History. He is the senior editor at Machine Mean, a site that reviews horribly awesome and vintage horror movies and books from guest contributors who obsess over a wide range of strange yet oddly related topics.






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