paranormal

Audio Flash – Naughty Puss

I decided to take Auphonic for a test drive and recorded an audio version of my latest piece of flash over lunch. I hope you enjoy it!

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The Collector – Naughty Puss

This is a bit of flash I wrote for a character that I want to do a lot more with. I’d love any thoughts or feedback you have. This contains adult language/situations.

Suzanne crawled out of bed and groaned. She sat back against the edge of the bed, her bare ass on the carpet, held her head and wondered how she had let herself be talked into drinking Scotch again. It always gave her a shattering hangover the next day. When she had the strength to stand, she did so slowly, making sure to use the headboard for support. The oak bedposts were stout. Her fingers brushed the cold steel of a handcuff and she smiled. The night hadn’t been a complete loss.

She looked at the bed and frowned. Liam wasn’t there. He must have found a way to get his foot free from the other set of cuffs. That wasn’t surprising. The man had been a hacker and security specialist for a decade. He knew his way around a lock whether it was electronic or physical. The distant sound of a shower gave her a clue as to where he was.

She stretched towards the ceiling, working the kinks out of her nearly six foot frame. As her hands came down, she let them wander over her body. She thought about his lips on her and smiled as her fingertips brushed her mons. The stubble there made her smile at the thought of no longer having to wax thanks to Sean Michael no longer being in her life. He’d gone “walkabout” and there was no telling where he’d wind up. She wanted to grow a proper seventies bush for once.

As her fingers continued down she reached her vulva and winced. She was a bit raw from last night’s escapades. Liam had thrown her over the back of the couch and rogered her properly. She’d been wet, but not wet enough. The rest of the night had been more leisurely, it not exactly tender. She imagined he’d have fun explaining certain visible marks to his colleagues.

She reached down and touched her toes, letting her spine curve. She held the pose and then moved into a Downward Dog. Keeping that pose for just long enough, she walked out further into a full plank and held it until she began to sweat and her arms trembled. She could feel the toxins leaving her body. Her headache hadn’t abated entirely, but she was no longer mildly nauseous. The odors of last night’s sex mingled with the Scotch from a nearby decanter and sweat from the sheets and her own body. She needed a shower.

She walked out of the bedroom and into the short hall to her bathroom. She hated not having a bath she could access directly from the guest bedroom, but using her actual bedroom for a casual visitation was a no-no. She kept too many precious things there and all under lock and key. The guest bed was comfortable enough and had everything it needed for the love nest it was.

The door to the bathroom was closed. A dark shape waited just on the other side. Its body was size of a rugby ball, and she could see the bifurcated tail switching back and forth.

“Nermal, no!” She hissed at the nekomata.

The creature, on the surface a normal looking gray tabby except for the tail, turned its eyes on her. “But mistress.”

“But me no buts. Liam is a guest and he’s not to be trifled with.” She heard a groan from inside the bathroom. It was followed by a girlish giggle that sounded entirely too familiar. She hissed at Nermal and rushed to the bathroom and threw open the door.

The shower doors were clear glass, but had been fogged up by the three shower heads going full blast. There was room in there for four and right now she could make out Liam’s bulky silhouette and that of someone on their knees in front of him. She had her guesses as to who that was supposed to be.

She slid the door open to two shocked faces. The first was Liams, his strong features twisted in a mixture of pleasure and surprise. The second was her own. Her father’s almond shaped eyes were set in a dark brown complexion she inherited from her mother. After two blinks and what she could swear was a wink, the illusion’s face quickly dissipated leaving only the confused and surprised man.

“What the fuck?” Liam looked down at his throbbing cock, where her mouth had been only seconds before. He looked back up at Suzanne.

She smiled at him and followed the same path down and back up his body with her eyes. “I’m touched dear. You couldn’t get enough of me last night and you were dreaming of me in the shower.” She stepped into the steamy cube and pulled the door closed behind her.

“But you were just here.” He didn’t sound entirely convinced.

“Silly man. I was in the bedroom. You wore me out last night.” She looked down into his eyes. They were brown and sharp as Excalibur, if a little confused. “I’m here now though.” She placed her hands on his chest.

He grabbed her wrists. “I love you babe, but I swear by all I am that you were in here and on your knees doing…” he rolled his eyes to the left “wicked things with that tongue of yours.”

She leaned in and kissed him deeply. Their tongues played. She broke the kiss. “Do you taste anything familiar?”

He bit his lower lip. “Just the Scotch from last night.” His eyes slitted. “Maybe it was a dream after all. I do have an active imagination.”

“It seems you’ve left some things unfinished. Shall I?” Without waiting for an answer, she took the place of the illusion that had been here moments before.

The rest of the shower didn’t take long. Soon they were dressed and staring at each other over mugs of coffee.

Liam was dressed for the day in jeans and a bright red tee shirt with a hammer and sickle at its center. She envied him his dress code.

She wore a dark grey suit over a white blouse with simple hammered silver jewelry at her throat and wrists. The client she had an appointment with was looking for a unique item and the potential retainer was in the six figures. She needed to impress.

“About earlier this morning.” Liam sipped his coffee, leaving the question unfinished.

“Not buying the dream explanation?”

He smiled and shook his head. “Not that I haven’t had just such a dream about you, but it was too real.”

She sipped at her own coffee, careful not to smudge her dark red lipstick. There were rules concerning what could be said about such things. She wasn’t bound by any of them, but respected most of them to keep her status as a neutral party intact. “I can explain it, but you probably won’t believe it.”

“Try me.” He sat his mug on the island’s marble countertop and rested against the counter behind him.

“I have a two hundred year old cat that has gained sentience, the power of speech, and the ability to project powerful illusions.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Not going to tell me then?”

Suzanne laughed. “Let’s just chalk it up to the alcohol, the sex, and your meds.” She couldn’t blame him for not believing the truth. It took her a few years of low level exposure to the paranormal before her brain could handle it.

Liam shrugged. “I do love a good mystery. If I figure it out, will you tell me if I’m right?”

“Deal.” She put her mug down and he set his aside. The spent a few minutes in a goodbye snog, one that would require her to fix her makeup. She let him out and sighed as she closed the door behind him. Now it was time to deal with the naughty little puss.

Suzanne went looking for Nermal. She found him in her inner sanctum. He had his own ways of getting in and out no matter what she did. He lay stretched out on the deep purple sham covering the top pillow. “I suppose you are pleased with yourself?”
Nermal lifted a hind leg and began licking himself.

“We don’t treat guests like that.”

Nermal paused in his grooming. “But mistress was treating him precisely like that last evening.”

She sighed. “That is true. But he was getting the real thing last night.”

He cocked his head and flicked an ear at her twice. “Had you not entered he would never have known the difference.”

She wanted to argue the point but Nermal had made her the target of one of his illusions once upon a time. They were disturbingly realistic. “I won’t argue semantics with a two hundred year old cat. I will remind you that you’re here under probation. The Powers The Be said that it was either live with me, or be cast into the Outer Darkness.”

He stood and walked to the end of the bed. He did his own version of Downward Dog, bowing in an obeisance that she wasn’t sure she bought. “I offer my apologies. I will not do anything quite like that again,”

She walked to the foot of the bed and reached out to scratch him between the ears. “I accept your apology and remind you that when you make statements that precise it smacks of creating loopholes. I’m not your jailor or your lawyer. I turn you back over to them and you’ll be in a spot of trouble that I can’t get you out of. You need to stay on my good side.”

“Yes mistress.” He ducked away and returned to her pillow.

She’d gotten used to the hair. It smelled faintly of ginger. She wouldn’t miss it or its owner though. Much.

Review – Purgatory by Tim Dodge (Podcast)

Purgatory-cover-final-sm I’ve been friends with Tim for a while. I was hunting for something short to listen to on a recent road trip and thought I’d give his story Purgatory a try.

Synopsis:Charles Cunningham, a wealthy real estate developer, dies unexpectedly and finds himself in Purgatory, the place between heaven and hell. Though depressed about his early death, he befriends two other souls doing time there — the writer Edgar Allan Poe and a music-loving deadbeat named Billy. Upon receiving a letter from God telling him he must learn some unnamed lessons before he can go to heaven, he convinces Poe to join him in the portal back to earth. They hope to make up for their past mistakes, but they arrive on earth in the year 2049, 42 years after Charles’ death. Traveling from mid-21st century New York City to Las Vegas, Charles seeks out the daughter he neglected in life, though she is now in her eighties. However, an unfriendly soul from Purgatory follows them to earth. This soul, an employee with whom Charles had an affair and summarily fired, is determined to keep him from winning passage to heaven. She teams up with Charles’ grandson, a debt-ridden gambling addict who has a talent for messing things up. Together, they hatch a deadly scheme to foil Charles’ plan to get to heaven and net the grandson badly-needed money. Charles learns of their plans and enlists his friends to help stop them. Will they succeed?

Production: I dinged Tim on my review of Acts of Desperation for his audio quality. There was no paper rustling. There was some breathiness and he could use a pop-filter. I hope he can invest in some better audio gear for future endeavors. I’ve heard a lot worse, but this will bother some people enough to take them out of the story.

Grade: C-

Cast: Tim reads this himself. He does a good job, particularly voicing the character Billy. It’s largely a straight read.

Grade: B-

Story: This is billed as a “comedy”. It’s only true in the classical sense. There are some smiles here and there. There’s also a bit of tension as Charles, Ed, and Billy try and stop a dangerous plot. My outright favorite part of this story were the interactions between Charles and Ed. Tim nailed the character of Edgar Allen Poe.

The religious aspects of this story are a bit on the “soft” side. This is basically a morality play. We get to watch the characters as they deal with the repercussions of their actions both in this life and the life after. Some of them succeed and others fail. It’s hinted at that the failures will get another try. Makes me wonder what the Hell in this universe would look like and who would be there.

Don’t expect a treatise on the afterlife along the lines of Mur Lafferty’s Afterlife series. Do expect a fun listen with engaging characters and a dash of sci-fi.

Grade: B+

Verdict: I sense that his writing is stronger this go around. If you’re not an audiophile or a religious purest give this a listen. I think most folks would enjoy it.

Grade: B-

Podcast Link
Get a signed copy!

Review – Unkillable (Podcast)

unkillable_podiocover Today I’m reviewing Unkillable, an audiobook/podcast novel by Patrick E. McLean. His site can be found at http://www.patrickemclean.com or follow him on Twitter at PatrickEMcLean. This book falls into the gritty paranormal genre. I’ve been a fan of Mr. McLean’s for some time and have enjoyed all of his stories.

Synopsis: Unkillable is the story of a young man who is cruelly murdered then brought back from the dead to revenge himself. The kicker is: He’s not really alive. He can be hurt, he just can’t be killed.

It’s dark and funny and sad and beautiful and violent and magical — if it could be summed up with just a few words, there would have been no point in writing a novel.

Unkillable. Life sucks. Death blows. In between is worse.

Production: Solid recording. I didn’t catch any flubs. The music sets the mood and is the same from episode to episode.

Grade: B

Cast: I love his voice and his characterizations. He does voices for each character.

Grade: B+

Story: There’s a reason that Patrick has a business helping people put good words in the right order. There’s a lot of that here. I found myself chuckling at the dark humor and there’s a LOT of that. There are some nice twists and turns. I wouldn’t call this a zombie story per se. The protagonist is a kind of revenant I suppose. In any case, it’s certainly a story unlike any I’ve read or listened to lately.

Grade: A+

Verdict: I would suggest putting this in your queue and bumping it to the top. Then you’ll want to find the rest of his stories and listen to them as well.

Grade: A-

Available as an e-book on Amazon.

Ebook Giveaway – Eyes of the Seer/Half Past Midnight

Congratulations to Michael Spence for winning One Way and Betty Curran for winning Stuck In Estrogen’s Funhouse! If you’ve already won, please feel free to comment, but I really want future e-books to go to folks that haven’t won anything. Also, though I’m giving two books away this week, I’ll do a separate drawing for each. You might still win both, but this way there’s a chance for two people to win.

The first book up to bat this week is Eyes of the Seer by Peter Dawes.

It all started with a murder. Two victims lay dead at the hands of Peter Dawes, but what laid in wait for him was not the sound of sirens or the banging of a gavel. It would turn a doctor into a killer and a man into a monster.

Follow Peter as he exchanges his blood-stained clothing for tailored suits, his scalpel for fine-crafted daggers, and is reinvented as the newest vampire-child in a coven of decadent sophisticates. He even takes on the name ‘Flynn’ – a child of red – in honor of his new-found devilish side and to further distance himself from his human past.

For four years, Flynn embodies every bit the bloody immortal he was sired to become. Under the reign of his maker, Sabrina, he establishes a reputation as the most feared assassin to ever terrorize the covens of Philadelphia. But the surefooted-steps and quick hands that make him a virtuoso when it comes to killing humans and vampires alike are attributes of the mortal destiny which haunts him even beyond death. And despite all efforts, Peter’s humanity is not as dead as some would prefer.

On the verge of completing their vie for power, Sabrina’s ‘dark-killer’ will suddenly find himself wrestling his devotion to his mistress when an impish sorceress named Monica awakens the hidden powers he was destined to possess. In this world of macabre and shrewdly practical immortal beings, will Flynn’s supernatural gifts be used to orchestrate the wicked deeds of his maker? Or can the cold-blooded nature of a vampire be warmed by the compassion of a Seer?

EYES OF THE SEER is a gripping tale conspicuously authored by Peter Dawes – years later, he’s decided to put the story of his life to paper, albeit listed as ‘fiction’. (Vampires can’t really claim to exist, after all. It would ruin the whole gig.)

The second is Half Past Midnight by Jeff Brackett.

The Doomsday Clock gauges the threat of nuclear war. Currently, the clock is set at six minutes before midnight.

What happens after the hands reach midnight?

Survivalist Leeland Dawcett finds out when he and his family are plunged into the nightmare of their country returned to a third-world state.

No phones. No computers. No television.

At first, Leeland thinks basic survival is the answer.

Until he crosses the path of the wrong guy…

Someone who wants to do more than just survive…

So how do you get these? Merely leave a comment below and your name will be dropped into the virtual hat. There will be two drawings, one for each.

I plan on giving away a book a week this year, but none of them will be my own. Why? Well, I believe in helping introduce people to new authors and nothing does that like FREE! The contests will be as simple as leaving a comment on the blog, or showing me that you’ve left a review on Amazon or Smashwords of books you’ve picked up in the past. I’ll try and change things up to keep them interesting, but by and large you won’t have to work hard.

If you’re an author and you’d like to pitch your hat into the ring, let me know. I’m not asking you to give me anything for free. I plan on buying your e-book from Amazon/Smashwords as a gift for the winner. So in addition to you getting your name out there, you’ll also get a sale for the contest. The most I can budget per week is $2.99, so if you have a book in the $.99-$2.99 price range let me know. I reserve the right to turn you down, but I will try and do so gently. I’d like to have a variety of genres represented.

If you have a free book and would like me to just get the word out I can do that, but you won’t be part of my contest. If your book is more expensive and you would like to donate a copy, that works too.

Shoot me an e-mail, a DM, or leave me a comment to enter your book.

Ebook Giveaway – Legends/The Sekhmet Bed

Congrats to Jon Spear for winning Eat At Joes and Between the Land and the Sea!

Two more books this week. The first is Legends by Paul Elard Cooley

In a time before the written word, a young warrior, the last of his kind, does battle with the ancient evil threatening his people.

Pursued by the supplicants of an ancient religion, a man travels from the Indus Valley to Akkad to seek those who can write the symbols of history.

Legends is the first installment of the Garaaga’s Children series. The stories of the god Garaaga, its half-human progeny, and its worshipers, blend history with supernatural fantasy and ancient mythology. From the cradle of civilization to the modern world, Garaaga’s Children transports readers through time and the rise of a new religion.

The second is The Sekhmet Bed by Lavender Ironside.

Queen Ahmose knows her duty: to give the Pharaoh a son. But she is young, and has just watched her closest friend die in childbirth. If the Pharaoh plants his seed in her she will die the same way, in a pool of blood, surrounded by wailing women. She has her husband’s love, but a king must have an heir…and even the Pharaoh’s patience will run out. Meanwhile, a lesser queen – Ahmose’s own sister – has given him three sweet, bright children, all of them boys. Ahmose knows her grasp on the Pharaoh’s heart is loosening.

Desperate, she begs the gods for courage to become a mother. They give her more than courage: she is granted a vision of a shining prince, her son – a gift for Egypt who will bring glory to the land. He will be more than the son of a king. He will be the son of the god Amun.

But when the child arrives, it’s a girl.

Ahmose knows the vision was not wrong. Her daughter Hatshepsut has a male soul, and Amun intends the girl to rule. But the Pharaoh will not scandalize Egypt by proclaiming a female successor. If she cannot convince the Pharaoh to accept Hatshepsut as his heir, everything Ahmose loves will be destroyed.

So how do you get these? Merely leave a comment below and your name will be dropped into the virtual hat. Winner gets both!

I plan on giving away a book a week this year, but none of them will be my own. Why? Well, I believe in helping introduce people to new authors and nothing does that like FREE! The contests will be as simple as leaving a comment on the blog, or showing me that you’ve left a review on Amazon or Smashwords of books you’ve picked up in the past. I’ll try and change things up to keep them interesting, but by and large you won’t have to work hard.

If you’re an author and you’d like to pitch your hat into the ring, let me know. I’m not asking you to give me anything for free. I plan on buying your e-book from Amazon/Smashwords as a gift for the winner. So in addition to you getting your name out there, you’ll also get a sale for the contest. The most I can budget per week is $2.99, so if you have a book in the $.99-$2.99 price range let me know. I reserve the right to turn you down, but I will try and do so gently. I’d like to have a variety of genres represented.

If you have a free book and would like me to just get the word out I can do that, but you won’t be part of my contest. If your book is more expensive and you would like to donate a copy, that works too.

Shoot me an e-mail, a DM, or leave me a comment to enter your book.