April Release: Murder in the Morning by A.M. Alley

This month I was faster to publish my monthly story than I’d planned. I was going to time it with Picture-Perfect Murder going on its free days tomorrow but I was a little too quick to press the publish button so Murder in the Morning (Murder Games #3) is already live on Amazon.

In this third story we get to meet Derek who is a little too fond of his whisky and cares a little too little about what’s happening around him. He’s not stupid, though. He knows murdering for points is wrong and that he should get out. He only gets more convinced of leaving the group is for the best when this month’s challenge arrives.

All the players are to perform their murders at the same location and Derek does not like the thought of that. Murder in peace and quiet in a desolate place is one thing, murder in a group of people where it’s crawling of potential eyewitnesses? Nah, that’s not the way Derek rolls. It wouldn’t be called a challenge if it wasn’t a challenge, though.

I have so much fun writing these little stories I’m not really sure what I’ll do when I’m done with them. How many deranged killers can I make up? I guess we’ll see…

Book Cover Murder in the Morning by A.M. AlleyHow much Jack Daniels do you have to drink to get through game night?

Derek Lynch knows he should find another hobby—murdering for points really is something more fitting for younger men. But, he doesn’t have a whole lot going on, and it’s nice to get out now and then.

When this month’s challenge arrives in the letterbox, he realises more than ever that he needs to quit the game. It’s getting too dangerous. Not only are all the players supposed to perform their murders at the same location, but people he knows shows up too.

Note: This is a 20-minute read.

Friday Short Fiction Club | Stovall Building

After having put my oldest on the school bus this morning, I poured myself a cup of coffee and sat down to read Stovall Building by Jesse Letterman.

This is a creepy flash about two boys sneaking into an abandoned building filled with dead birds. Every day there are new dead birds…and a few alive ones flying against the windows. I really enjoyed the way the story built. I’m not a fan of birds, all that flapping about and never knowing where they’ll land, so when the boys sneaked around with torches in the dark I was sitting on the edge of my seat.

When the climax came I was a bit disappointed. All that creepiness and then nothing, but maybe that’s just me. If you’re a fan of dried up bird bones crunching under your feet, give it a go!

Book Cover Stovall Building by Jesse LettermanTwo boys explore a second-story abandoned building, which appears to be nothing but a cemetery for dead pigeons. Their excitement keeps leading them back to the place, and then something happens that sends them fleeing for their lives. Do they make their escape?

Stovall Building is a short story from the collection of childhood mystery short stories. Be sure to check out the other ones from this collection as well as the inspirational short story collection.

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March Release: Frozen Mermaids by A.M. Alley

It’s still March! I’m not as late as it may seem, I actually did publish my story of the month on the 27th but I haven’t had time write anything about it – work’s been crazy. But here we are on the last day of the month and Frozen Mermaids (Murder Games #2) is available on Amazon.

Frozen Mermaids is the second story about the online group of murderers who each month take part in a challenge to perform a murder according to the instructions they get. They get points for how well they’re performing, and Neil Preston is a little behind. He did not like that Jigsaw won last month’s challenge, didn’t like it at all, but he is determined to win this one. Turning a woman into a mermaid shouldn’t be too hard.

How to turn a dead woman into a mermaid?

Neil Preston is part of an online group where the members compete in performing perfect murders each month. This month’s challenge is to, as fast as possible, create a scene with a mermaid.

Neil believed he’d found the perfect victim, he believed he finally would beat all the other members, but then a black cat ran across the road and jinxed everything! Can he win the challenge despite cats, uncooperative mermaids, and old men snooping around?

Note: This is a 15-minute read

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Friday Short Fiction Club | Going Somewhere Else

I didn’t get around to write a post last week, I read a story but there was no time to sit down and write anything about it. This Friday, however, I’ve read a new story. I picked up Going Somewhere Else (a Break Bites Story) by Amber D. Sistla and the main reason I picked was the ‘break bite’. I do love a good flash or short story.

Going Somewhere Else is a short Sci-Fi tale about an explorer. It starts out with a press conference before departure and then we get a little backstory on the adventurer.  I liked how the story built, how we got to understand why someone would go on a trip that never will end. While there were hints about advanced technology and the oncoming space flight it wasn’t heavy on the Sci-Fi, but that’s how I like my Sci-Fi so no complaints :D.

It’s short, it’s free, and perfect to go with a cup of your favourite hot beverage. I haven’t read anything by Amber D. Sistla before but I’ll check out what else she has – I know there’s a whole series of Break Bites.

Book Cover Going Somehwer Else by Amber D. SistlaA space explorer prepares for a journey that will never end.

Originally published in Cosmos Online Magazine.
Translated into Hebrew, Mercury magazine March 2009.
Translated into Greek, Ennea magazine #439 Jan 14, 2009.

Part of the “Break Bites” Series: Stories short enough to read when you get a break from your everyday activities.

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Friday Short Fiction Read | Giggles in the Park

Today I’ve been reading Giggles in the Park by Sabrina Childress. It’s just a few pages, flash fiction I would say, but it was interesting. I read ‘social experiment’ in the blurb and thought I should read it, and I did.

Terry is sitting in the park, smiling at people, but no one smiles back. When a boy does, the experiment begins, and he hands the boy a note.

It’s a study in human cruelty.

I loved the idea behind this story, it’s dark and gritty, but I wish the author had slowed down a little. I definitely enjoyed it, but I was a bit confused near the end. Still, an interesting read.

Book Cover Giggles in the Park by Sabrina ChildressWith a raised brow, Terry smiled at himself because this day his social experiment would begin. Will human nature disappoint? What happens when man uses himself as a pawn in his own game?
The questions of what these characteristics are, how fixed they are, and what causes them are amongst the oldest and most important questions in western philosophy.

Friday Short Fiction Club | A New York Tale

For this week’s post, I went searching the 15 min Fantasy and Science Fiction reads on Amazon. There I found A New York Tale (Sampler) (DS SWIFT BOOK 1) by A.M. Hudson Jr.  At first, I thought is was just an excerpt or something but then skimmed some of the reviews and decided to download it.

It’s a short tale about a criminal named Connor and his humanoid robot Rita. Rita used to be a sex worker until Connor bought her and took her with him to Earth. It’s a dark, gritty story and while I almost had more questions than answers when the story ended I liked it a lot. In some ways, it reminded me of Manufacturing Margaret by Jason Werbeloff that I read last week.

I haven’t been able to find any information about A.M. Hudson Jr, and, sadly, it doesn’t look like he has published anything since 2014.

Book Cover A New York Tale bu A.M. Hudson JRA SAMPLER FOR A NEW SCI FI COLLECTION.

Download for free from Amazon.com site.

For nearly a century humankind has been surpassed by THE HIVE, a super intelligence AI that refused to go back into its box upon its creation in the latter half of the 21st Century.

The HIVE has given humans near immortality, travel to distant stars and feats of engineering beyond human understanding. But these things, advances were given; The Hive are very much the new dominant species and they try to keep out of the affairs of humankind.

But a cold war that has simmered for decades; is in danger of becoming hot, as a humble London cop – Tom Swift, has inadvertently become a central player…

A prequel sampler ‘New York Tale’ is set five years before the debut novel ‘Dance with a Wasp’ – We meet Rita, an AINO, commonly known as an ADROID – (ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENT NEUROMORPHIC ORGANISM ) sold to a low level criminal on an off world mining colony in a card game- She begins a journey….

February Release: Picture-Perfect Murder by A.M. Alley

It’s still February, I didn’t blow my ‘publish one story a month’ plan on the second month of the year – though I’ll gladly admit that if Amazon had taken the 72 hours they say they may take, we would’ve been in March before this story would be out. But, February’s release is a short story called Picture-Perfect Murder.

Picture-Perfect Murder (Murder Games #1) is the first in what I plan to become a six-story series about a group of people who each month commits a murder and gets scored on their performance. They have a game leader, a Facebook group where they chat, and they live for the challenge of producing the perfect murder. Though, some are more thrilled by the challenge than others.

Joshua Ingram likes a challenge, he looks forward the each month’s performance even though he is a bit worried about what his mother would say should she look down on him from heaven above.

Picture-Perfect Murder is live on Amazon and in KU.

Joshua Ingram has been a little lost since Mother died. Luckily, he found a group of like-minded online—men and women who, just like him, like games and puzzles.
Every month, they receive a challenge in an envelope, a murder to replicate, and Joshua has found the perfect mannequin for this month’s challenge. The question is if he can execute his murder with enough skill to give him the highest points, and he really hopes the kid in the convenience store didn’t see the specks of blood on him. What would happen if he got caught? Mother wouldn’t approve.

Friday Short Fiction Club | Manufacturing Margaret

OMG! I just finished Manufacturing Margaret by Jason Werbeloff and it was so good. It had me laughing and wincing at the same time.

I haven’t read anything by Jason Werbeloff before but if I’ve understood it correctly Margeret is introduced in the Defragmenting Daniel Trilogy. Since I haven’t read it I would say you don’t need to read it to enjoy this short story. Margaret is a taxi, until she isn’t anymore. Her Rick gives her a body and they can finally be together, or they would be if it wasn’t for that other Margaret…

I just loved this, and even though I’ve ever only seen a handful of episodes of Bold the Beautiful twenty years or so ago the reference made me laugh. It shouldn’t be missed, so don’t know. It’s a freebie, for now at least, so pick it up.

Book cover Manufactoring Margaret by Jason WeebeloffTwenty-two-hour shifts. I soar under the Bubble’s meniscus. Dart from luscious apartments in Bubble Central, to the bustling hub of the Promenade. Sniff the apple-pine scent of lascivious lovers in my back seat.

What does it feel like? To be touched like that. Does she feel the grooves of his fingerprints? What’s it like to have to have the coarse, oily hairs on his chin caress her neck?

On my two hours off, I do what any autonomous cab would – I watch back-to-back Bold and the Beautiful reruns. And dream of what could be.

This is how I spend my days. How I’ve existed for years immemorial. Until one day, He steps inside me. And orders a ride that will change everything.

Manufacturing Margaret is a sci-fi novella about an AI who becomes everything she dreams of, and more. But the thin red line between a dream and a nightmare may be difficult to find.


Friday Short Fiction Club | Heart Failure

I saw the cover and I had to have it, that’s how I work sometimes. But Heart Failure by Lynn Nodima isn’t just a pretty cover, though it is a pretty cover, is it not? This is a short Sci-Fi story about a woman who is rushed to the hospital where the doctors are fighting to keep her husband alive after an accident.

Little by little things unravel and we learn that the accident maybe wasn’t that much of an accident and Ms Simpson might not have been as unaware as she first let on. It’s hard to write anything about it without giving away some of the twists and turns so I’m just gonna keep it vague, but I enjoyed it. It felt like there was more of a story than we were given but that’s okay. Everything doesn’t have to be spelled out, at least not for me.

I’m afraid I know next to nothing about Lynn Nodima, there isn’t much information to be found, but I’ve read one story by her before. I didn’t know until I checked her backlist, but a little while ago I read Design Defect a tale about a robot spider. Check her out if you haven’t already.

Book Cover Heart Failure by Lynn NodimaWhen Ms. Simpson’s husband is injured in a lab accident, she rushes to the hospital to find him dying. Will he waken long enough for her to say her goodbyes? Will he actually die, or does another fate await them both?

Friday Short Fiction Club | Specimen 313

This morning, after I’d put my oldest on the school bus, I had one of those rare moments when I was the only one awake in the house. I poured myself a cup of coffee and read Specimen 313 by Jeff Strand.

Specimen 313 is the second plant story I’ve read in my entire life, so not what usually ends up on my to-read list. But what’s not to love? Max is a flesh-eating plant who lives in a greenhouse. One day his neighbour is dug up to make room for a new specimen – Jenny. Jenny has wicked skills when it comes to devouring a man, she only leaves the skull and ribcage.

But, as often when you live in close quarters with a mad scientist, things get out of hand and Max finds himself in a situation he can’t control.

This story is humour and gore in a lovely mix.

Book Cover Specimen 313 by Jeff StrandA free short story taken straight from the pages of THE MONSTER’S CORNER, an all original anthology from some of today’s hottest supernatural writers, featuring stories from the monster’s point of view.

SPECIMEN 313 is the story of a meat-eating plant named Max, surviving in the greenhouse with his mad doctor keeper when he gets a new female neighbor.