Check Out Our October Horror Releases!

New for Halloween!

We Shadows Have Offended by KW Taylor
Teaching Man and Other Tales by Nell DuVall
The Dead Hate the Living by Tom Gueli
Cold Revenge by Catherine Cavendish
The Loosening by Ralph Hartman

We Shadows Have Offended

KW Taylor
Genre: Horror
Length: Novella
ISBN: 978-1-936751-76-1
Editor: Annetta Ribken
Cover Artist: Annie Melton

They’ll never forget what they did to that little girl…

After the death of a mutual friend, Sam, Bill, and Roger can no longer hide from the memories of what they all did that day… the day they killed the little girl. The little girl who wasn’t a little girl. Now it’s back, and it’s looking for them, leaving death and destruction in its wake, hell-bent on revenge. Can Sam summon the strength and courage to make a sacrifice that will save his friends and family?

Excerpt

The memory often played itself inside Mensonge’s head as he slept, though seldom vivid enough to cause him to wake up screaming. On the plane from New York to Chicago, he fell into a twilight slumber full of an endless loop of the worst thirty minutes of his entire life.

One second, it had been four boys sitting on a rusty metal carousel as it lazily spun in the late October breeze. Bill was lighting matches and flicking them off into piles of leaves. Hammond was smacking him on the back of the head for doing so every time he caught him. “My mama’s going to bust you, fool,” Hammond would say. “Gonna burn the whole house down.”

Sam just laughed at the two of them, while Roger himself wished he were brave enough to go play with tiny Nona Centini as she sat on the sidewalk nearby, alternately hugging and beating her beloved gray teddy bear. Roger’s tiny cousin, whom they’d left back in Haiti, was just Nona’s age, and he missed her painfully.

“What’s the funny talker think?” Bill was asking.

Roger glared at him and longed to answer in his native tongue but didn’t dare. Bill was the only one of the boys who mocked him, and Roger didn’t care for his attitude. “Something is wrong with your head,” he told Bill.

That was when Sam had gasped and began to point. “Not his head,” Sam had murmured. “What’s wrong with Nona?”

There was no longer a sweet toddler on the sidewalk. Nona’s bear was cast onto the grass, and there was still a tiny figure wearing her crisp, white dress. The thing inside the dress, however, was very clearly no longer human.

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Teaching Man and Other Tales

Nell DuVall
Genre: Horror
Length: Short Story Collection
ISBN: 978-1-936751-74-7
Editor: Annetta Ribken
Cover Artist: Annie Melton

The Devil comes calling on Halloween…
A young woman learns that black cats see all…
Not all brooms are created equal…
Some relationships really do last a lifetime…

Nell DuVall brings us four deliciously creepy tales of good and evil, perfect for All Hallow’s Eve.

Excerpt, Teaching Man

The evening of the day John left for Danville, a firm, sure knock sounded on the cabin door. For a moment, Sarry stood still as a rabbit hiding from a fox. Then, the knock came again.

Bears didn’t knock, Sarry told herself. She brushed the flour from her hands and went to answer it. “Who is it please?” she called out, her heart racing.

“Sam Willoughby. May I come inside?” The deep voice carried through the plank door.

Sam Willoughby. Now who might he be? Sarry wondered as she lifted the heavy bar, set it down, and opened the door.

“Good even’, mistress.” The tall, dark suited stranger stood hat in hand. “I’ve lost my way this cold night. Your light shown through the shutters so I came hither seeking shelter. May I enter?” He looked sort of like a traveling preacher or even a teacher.

“Come in, come in. The wind’s fierce out there tonight.” She closed the door behind him, and he helped her replace the bar.

“Aye, that it is. I thought it might blow me to Danville, but no, I pulled up here instead.” He looked toward the fire burning cheerily on the hearth.

Sarry followed his glance. “Sit by the fire and warm yourself. I’ve some mulled cider, if you’ve a taste for it.”

“Aye, that would be right fine, mistress. I thank ye.”

He set his bedroll on the floor and folded his lean body into the rocker by the fire, watching Sarry as she pushed a poker into the fire and poured a mug of cider from John’s jug snug in the corner. Leaning over the crackling fire, she waited a moment to get the poker hot, shook off the ash, and plunged the glowing poker into the mug. Steam rose in twisting tendrils and the aroma of apples filled the small cabin. She handed the heated mug to the stranger.

“Thank ye, mistress, I do appreciate it.” He took the mug and sipped the hot liquid, watching her with eyes that seemed more of night than life.



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The Dead Hate the Living

Tom Gueli
Genre: Horror
Length: Short Story
ISBN: 978-1-936751-75-4
Editor: Annetta Ribken
Cover Artist: Annie Melton

Unfortunately, death isn’t the final resting place…

When a man awakens on a cold, steel table, unable to move, speak, or breathe, he learns a terrible truth. He’s dead. And he’s being prepped for an autopsy. But it is what happens after the autopsy that makes him realize just how painful death can be…and the dead are hungry.

Excerpt

All at once I remember: After getting ready for work, I kissed Louise goodbye, asked her to whip up a special dinner, and went on my way to work. I felt a slight numbness in my left hand and a shortness of breath, but I had experienced the sensation before and it always passed in a few minutes; I had grown accustomed to it as a fact of life. As I neared the first toll on Grand Island, I felt the numbness spread up my arm, the pressure on my chest tighten, and the air become more difficult to breathe. Within seconds, a thousand needles of fire were piercing my heart, lungs, and left side. The world grayed. The last thing I remember through the haze is the blaring of a car horn followed by a bone-jarring crash as my Lexus and the world beyond it disappeared from my consciousness.

I am dead.

It explains why I cannot move, why I cannot breathe, and why I was in a vinyl bag before being laid out on this table with the overhead light. It also connects the dots to the brief glimpse I had of the room when I was on my side. The metal tables are operating tables, and the wall of doors contains the refrigerated slabs where bodies are stored. I am in a morgue.

It doesn’t quite add up. If I am dead, then why am I awake? Why am I aware of everything that’s happening? Why can I feel pain?

This last question triggers a recent memory that terrifies me in a way I haven’t felt since I was five and thought Animal of The Muppets wanted to eat me. Had I not already unleashed my bowels in my dying moments, I doubt they would hold now. The voice I didn’t recognize said something about confirming their suspicions concerning my cause of death. I want to cry; they are going to perform an autopsy.

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Cold Revenge

Catherine Cavendish
Genre: Horror
Length: Novella
ISBN: 978-1-936751-77-8
Editor: Thalia S. Child
Cover Artist: Annie Melton

Some dinner invitations are best ignored…

For no apparent reason, Nadine, Maggie, Gary, and Nick are invited to dinner at the lavish home of top fashion writer, Erin Dartford. But why has she invited them? Why doesn’t she want her guests to mingle? And just what is it about the mysterious Erin that makes them want to run for their lives?

Little do they know that as they prepare to eat their first course, an evil as old as mankind is about to be unleashed. And revenge really is a dish best served cold…

Excerpt

Nadine felt Paul’s eyes burning into her, and she couldn’t look at him. He seemed to want an explanation for her protracted absence, but what could she tell him? After she had shot out of that bathroom, she had leaned, panting against the wall, trying to calm herself, desperately telling herself that she had imagined that voice. Yet Julie’s Lancashire accent was so distinctive. As long as she lived, Nadine knew she would never forget it or the events of that awful night. The last night she had seen Julie alive.

How could she explain the mist that had descended in that tapestry-walled passageway, or the shapes that started to emerge? How could she explain the awful smell of burning and the lost minutes when she must have fainted?

She needed to eat something. That was all.

But… She had starved herself many times before and never once hallucinated. She looked around at the other couples. This was certainly a strange dinner party. Apart from chatting to Erin, no one seemed to be mingling. The only other person in the room she recognized was Maggie O’Donnell, that writer whose books were virtually the only ones she read, and then only on long plane journeys. Now and then she caught furtive glances from another guest, and she began to realize that she wasn’t the only one who felt uneasy tonight.

“Come on, Nadine, snap out of it. Try some of these hors d’oeuvres. I don’t know what’s in them, but they are very tasty.” Paul handed her a tiny canapé.

She took a small bite and grimaced. “Oh God, Paul, it’s vile. It’s so bitter. What the hell has she put in here?”

“What are you talking about? I just had one. They’re gorgeous. A kind of curried chicken.”

She thrust it back at him. “Whatever that is, it is not curried chicken.”

His quizzical expression remained until he sniffed at, and then popped the offending morsel in his mouth. “Exactly the same as the one I had. Delicious,” he said, swallowing and wiping his hands on a small linen napkin handed to him by a passing waiter. “Honestly, Nadine, I think you’re losing it today.”

She glared at him, opened her mouth to say something cutting but decided against it. Not here. Not now.

“This is just weird,” she said, watching Erin speak to one of the two liveried waiters. “Have you wondered what we are all doing here? I mean, there’s no atmosphere, apart from a little piped Muzak in the background. No one is mingling, and our hostess doesn’t seem inclined to encourage it anyway. Everyone looks wary.”

“Perhaps they’re all waiting for someone to make the first move. Maybe our Miss Dartford isn’t the hostess type. Maybe she just invites a collection of people and sits back to watch what happens. Who knows? Now come on, I am much more interested in what happened to you while you were away all that time. Did you meet the resident ghost?”

“Paul, how long have we been together? As a couple, I mean.”

“About eighteen months. Why?”

“And in that time, have you ever known me to behave in an irrational way?”

He laughed. “Do you really want me to answer that one?”

“No I’m being serious. I know I get a bit premenstrual sometimes—”

“Not to mention the stressing out when your hair won’t sit right or your latest designer dress doesn’t hang the way you think it should.”

“You know what I’m getting at. I’m not one to imagine voices in my head or see… Oh, I don’t know what I saw. But something in this house doesn’t feel right and something about our hostess doesn’t gel either.”

“Oh come on, Nadine.” He sounded exasperated.

She was about to tell him to forget it when Erin Dartford’s shrill voice called above the muted conversation. “Ladies and gentlemen. Dinner is served, if you would all like to follow me.”

The four couples filed in two by two in total silence. It’s almost like going to a funeral, Nadine thought. But why? She caught Maggie O’Donnell’s eye fleetingly before the writer looked away, apparently searching for her name card on the table.

“Please be seated, everyone.” Again Nadine noticed how Erin’s smile never moved beyond her slightly upturned lips. Her eyes were everywhere, not missing one single move.

Nadine shivered and then found her place, between Maggie’s husband and another man she didn’t know. In front of her was her favorite starter, Parma ham wrapped around slices of melon and chunks of fresh peach. She saw that, in front of each guest was a different dish and, by their reactions, each person was being served their favorite cold starter. Opposite her, sitting between Maggie and a very pretty blonde woman, Paul caught her eye and pointed at his plate of caviar and smoked salmon. His favorite. He smiled and nodded at her dish. Nadine managed to return his smile but the fear that had been haunting her since they’d arrived knotted itself tighter in her stomach.

She turned to Maggie’s husband and was about to ask him how he reckoned Erin could have known so much about her guests’ tastes in food, when their hostess tapped her wine glass.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you enjoy your meal. However, as is the way with these things, I am quite sure some of you will enjoy it more than others.”

“What a curious thing to say.” Nadine realized she had spoken out loud. Neither of her neighbors seemed to have noticed but, judging by the way Paul was now staring at her as she raised her fork to her mouth, it appeared he had. He wore a triumphant expression and she didn’t know why.

She stuck her fork into a chunk of juicy peach and put it into her mouth.

Her world exploded.

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The Loosening

Ralph Hartman
Genre: Horror
Length: Novel
ISBN: 978-1-936751-78-5
Editor: Annetta Ribken
Cover Artist: Annie Melton

Witches! Above all else, do ye no harm!

Newcomer Gaye Rawlins was a sliver of hope in the dark despair of Stills Valley, Oregon. The girl would bring an end to the nightmare, a sacrifice to end the ancient evil. Now they could begin. They would call out to the Maid, the Mother, and the Old Crone. They would embrace the Goddess; they would chant and sing the old songs. They would repair the rent in the fabric of life.

And the Great Serpent would stop them…

The ancient evil has been unleashed and a thread is pulled loose from the Weave, flailing, slashing, unraveling. An unknowing heiress, a Hunter Druid, and a coven of witches must reweave the threads, but their task will bring them to the very limits of life and death. And they will bring Gaye with them…

Excerpt

Marion Peterson wiped her hands on a damp towel and picked up the phone. “Hello?”

“Oh…” A pause.

“Yes…she’s here.” A longer pause, listening now.

“She’s walled off… I couldn’t see in. I don’t think she’s even aware…”

The faucet at the kitchen sink dripped, plip-plop, onto the gleaming stainless steel. Marion stiffened, gripping the handset tight, listening intently.

“Are you sure? Did you bind him?” There was a tightening in her stance, a squaring of her shoulders as though bracing for something terrible. “And you think it will hold?” Her shoulders sagged forward then, tension deflating. “Okay Joyce. I’ll be there. The ward should hold… And Joyce? I think you might be right about the girl. It’s a shame… Yes… Yes… Of course.” Marion carefully hung up the phone. She looked toward the staircase leading up to Gaye’s room and sighed.

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About etopiapress

Etopia Press is an electronic publishing house dedicated to readers and authors. We're looking for the best, most unique, most well-crafted stories out there -- and we know they're out there. By taking advantage of emerging electronic markets and media, as well as existing online and print opportunities, we can provide readers with a wider variety of books and ideas, and give authors an opportunity to get the best editing and cover art in the business. The only requirement: the book has to be good. Good plots, interesting characters, engaging conflicts, well-crafted prose. Write a good book, and people will want to read it.
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