Sinister Reads ~ April 2010

“The process of delving into the black abyss is to me the keenest form of fascination.”

H.P. Lovecraft

What terrors lurk within morbid minds? What evil lingers on a whispered word? Once you learn the truth there’s no going back. Each story, each journey into darker hearts changes you as you learn about the limits to your own dark fascinations. Maybe you expected more gore, more blood for your buck, and you seek out writers to satisfy your thirst. Perhaps your last trip through a demonic domain left your psyche scarred and now you have to leave the TV on when you read. Which ever situation fits you best there’s one thing for certain – you keep coming back for more, and more is what they give you. This month’s update is proof of that.

And the winners are… Australian Shadows Awards Update

Congratulations to this year’s winners Karron Warren (Long Fiction ~ Slights), Jennifer Brezek & Amanda Pillar (Edited Publication ~ Grants Pass) and Deborah Biancotti (Short Fiction ~ Six Suicides). The judging panel had their work cut out for them this year trying to select winners out of the record number of submissions, and the quality keeps getting better. The AHWA would like to thank the judges for their tireless efforts and everyone that submitted and supported this year’s awards. Next year is set to be bigger and better!

The proof is in the ink.

Be sure to check out the Sinister Reads spread in Midnight Echo #4 to be released in May/June!  We offered up a kidney and claimed a third page (let’s see them try and get it back next issue /evil laugh) to help promote your work. Be sure to send through your submission to be a part of our campaign to claim a fouth page in Midnight Echo #5. Feed the beast here.

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Sinister Reads

~Pre-Order~ RealmShift

by Alan Baxter

Gryphonwood Press

ISBN: 9780982508749

RRP: $9.99 US

Release date: 27th April 2010

Available from: Gryphonwood Press

Check out the first 3 chapters free!

Isiah is having a tough time. The Devil is making his job very difficult.

Samuel Harrigan is a murdering lowlife. He used ancient blood magic to escape a deal with the Devil and now he’s on the trail of a crystal skull that he believes will complete his efforts to evade Lucifer. But Lucifer wants Samuel’s soul for eternity and refuses to wait a second longer for it. Isiah needs Samuel to keep looking for the crystal skull, so he has to protect Sam and keep the Devil at bay. Not for Samuel’s sake, but for all of humanity.

RealmShift is an engrossing Dark Fantasy thriller; a fascinating exploration of the nature of people’s beliefs and their effect on the world around them. Magic, action and intrigue, from dank city streets to the depths of Hell and beyond.

Reviews:

“…fast-paced and full of vibrancy, the characters fascinating, and the plot intriguing” Maggie Pragratis – Author

Realmshift is action packed and keeps you wanting more, with a plot that builds to an exciting crescendo… If you, like me have found yourself getting tired of the usual stuff being churned out by well known authors, then give this book a read. You will not be disappointed.” James Frost

the story is fast-paced and engrossing… a book that was thoroughly enjoyable. I look forward to reading the sequel! 4 1/2 Stars (out of 5)” Linda – Clubreading.com

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~Pre-Order~ MageSign

by Alan Baxter

Gryphonwood Press

ISBN: 9780982508756

RRP: $9.99 US

Release date: 27th April 2010

Available from: Gryphonwood Press

Check out the first 3 chapters free!

Three years have passed since Isiah’s run in with Samuel Harrigan and the Devil. He has some time on his hands – a perfect opportunity to track down the evil Sorcerer, Harrigan’s mentor. It should have been a simple enough task, but the Sorcerer has more followers than Isiah ever imagined, and a plan bigger than anyone could have dreamed.

With the help of some powerful new friends Isiah desperately tries to track down the Sorcerer and his cult of blood before they manage to change the world forever.

In this long-awaited sequel to the highly acclaimed RealmShift, Baxter once again keeps a breathless pace and blistering intensity with gods, demons and humans entangled in magic and conflict. This is dark fantasy at its best.

Reviews:

MageSign is a thriller, a mystery, a love story and a thought-provoking examination of the relationship between religion and humanity in all its glory and shame. Alan Baxter takes the reader right to the edge and then pushes us over. And I thank him for it.” Bitten by Books.

difficult to pin to any particular genre … fantastic qualities … horrific at times. “MageSign” is a great addition by Alan Baxter, and I highly recommend it.” William Estep – Clubreading.com

“MageSign by Alan Baxter, is a fast-paced ride through a visceral reality which holds a mirror up to today’s apathetic society.” B. Tomlinson – Horrorscope

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Return of the Prophet

by Greig Beck

Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781405039826

RRP: $32.99 AU (Trade), $19.99 AU (Mass Market)

Available from: Big W and Pan Macmillan

Alex Hunter, the Arcadian, returns in an adventure that takes him deep into the deserts of the Middle East that will test out every one of his fantastic skills.

During Iranian tests to enrich uranium in a secret laboratory buried below the ancient Persian ruins of Persepolis, a freak accident with new laser technology accelerates atoms to a speed of light and forces particle collisions that generates the most powerful entity in our universe, a black hole. Seen as a powerful new energy source, tests to generate the black holes continue. However, what they have accidently done is open a doorway; a portal through which something slips through, something that should never have walked amongst mankind.

Meanwhile the Iranian President wants to use the black holes for a much more sinister use. He sees their creation as proof of an ancient prophecy, one that spells doom for mankind and the end of the world. Now, Alex Hunter and his team of HAWCs combine with a brilliant Israeli scientist and a beautiful and skilled Mossad agent, to find the source of the powerful gamma radiation spikes, and stop an end of world event.

Alex must stop the black holes growing to absorb our very planet, and confront a terror from another world in an adventure that is both thrilling and terrifying.

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In-human

by Anna Dusk

Transit Lounge

ISBN: 9780980571738

RRP: $29.95 AU

Available from: Transit Lounge and Dennis Jones

In-human is a snarling, glittering creation, a funny, yet disturbing story of transformation set in Oatlands, Tasmania. The irrepressible Sally Hunter is turning into a werewolf. As a string of killings takes place we are drawn into her sensual, visceral and highly charged world. The way she embraces her change into a powerful beast challenges us to confront our own lusts and capacities for violence, while the small town setting and the people in Sally’s world ring with a disarming truth. Dusk’s bone-deep understanding of her characters, and the chilling narrative set in motion a complex fugue of memory and confrontation that builds to a shattering climax. Described as a cross between Catcher in the Rye and Buffy, this is a heady mix of horror and reality. Dark, poignant and oddly affecting, In-human is destined to make waves and attract fans.

Reviews:

There are moments of distilled beauty and home  truths here but this is no simplistic, pretty coming of age story. Horror fans accustomed to dark humour and unrelenting rampages of gore should enjoy but the squeamish, those offended by details of bodily  functions, graphic violence, sex or obscenities probably won’t.” Paula Grunseit

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Pilgrims ~ (Pendulum, Book One)

by Will Elliott

Publisher: HarperCollins (Voyager)

ISBN: 9780732289478

RRP: $22.95 AU

Available from: HarperCollins Australia

Eric Albright is leading a normal life until a small red door appears under a train bridge near his home. Then a ghostly being wakes him in the dead of night, with a message from another world: You are Shadow.

In Levaal, the world between worlds, the dragon-gods grow restless in their sky prisons, and the Great Spirits struggle to contain them. Vous, the world′s Friend and Lord, simmers 
in madness as he schemes to join the ranks of gods. He and the Arch Mage have almost won their final victory over the Free Cities. A dark age dawns.

But Eric and his friend Case are now Pilgrims, called to Levaal for a battle more ancient than the petty squabbles of men. And they will learn why some doors should not be opened …

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Sinister Slices

Dead Letter Drop

by Pete Kempshall

Published in: Close Encounters of the Urban Kind

Available from: Apex Publications

Monster

by Amanda Spedding

Published in: Shades of Sentience Anthology

Available from: Shades of Sentience Anthology

Thief of Tears

by Jason Crowe

Published in: Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine ~ Issue #43

Available from: Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine

Cursebreaker: The Welsh Widow and the Wandering Wooer

by Kyla Ward

Published in: Scary Kisses, Ticonderoga Publications

Available from: Indie Books Online

Past Engagements

by Mark Farrugia

Published in: Eclecticism E-zine ~ Issue #12

Available from: Eclecticism E-zine

Fireflies of the Bushfire

by Marty Young

Published in: Masters of Horror

Available from: Triskaideka Books

Clip Notes

by Marty Young

Published in: Blade Red Press

Available from: Blade Red Press

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