This week’s Street’s Ahead promotions is Life and Other Dreams by Richard Dee.
“The Holocaust began in the hearts of people. As soon as you go and say “that Jew” it has begun.” Page 385 This Is How It Begins. by Joan Dempsey
The picture which headlines this review is of a Roma Sinti girl at Auschwitz. Millions of Jewish people, Roma people and gay people were victims of the Holocaust.
It will never happen again. I’ve heard that line from many who have spoken on television documentaries or from people I know.
It must never happen again.
This Is How It Begins is a novel, a work of fiction but…it is set in our times, present day, with our plethora of social media, search engines, mobile phones. Everything just a fingertip touch away if we wish to find it.
Joan Dempsey takes us on a journey into the past and the present which starts to reflect the past.
Ludka Zeilonka born in Poland before World War II, lived through the horrific violence of that war. Now 85, married and living in America she is thrust back into the memories of Nazi occupation of her town and of the Jewish people who suffered alongside them.
Her grandson, Tommy is a teacher and secure with his life. Until, in schools across their state, teachers are fired for conduct unbecoming. Their crime? They are gay.
The masterminds behind these firings are a fundamentalist Christian group who believe their children are being persecuted for their Christian beliefs and subjected to teachings which go against that faith.
However, throw a stone in a pond and the murk will rise to the surface. There is far more going on behind the public statements and Ludka must face her past as this modern-day pogram threatens her family and her way of life.
Joan Dempsey writes with confidence and her characters stay with you long after you have put down the novel. It stirs your thoughts and makes you question what you know to be true, or is it? In short; this novel has its finger on the pulse of today and how hate crimes and violence against those who are painted as being different is not so different from how it might have been in Nazi Germany.
A wonderful novel, so well written with a voice that whispers before it roars its conclusion. I will remember this novel long after it takes pride of place in my bookcase.
It stirred so many emotions in me, so many. I cried, I became angry and fearful too. In my family, Irish and Roma, the past is a two-headed snake. I am married to my wonderful wife and we are in love with a beautiful future to look forward to. No one has the right to take that away from us.
“Let him without sin cast the first stone.”
The song accompanying this review is Djelem Dejelem – I’m Travelling
On promotion, this week on our Streets Ahead Group on Me We are M J Mallon’s wonderful book, The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone.
I can thoroughly recommend slipping into this tale. You won’t stop turning the pages until the end.
Karen’s own words: I wrote this series after reading ‘Twilight” and wishing that I knew more about Edward Cullen than Bella. He seemed two dimensional to me, and that was such a shame. After all, we all know what being human feels like, but a vampire? Now, there’s the story.
Think ‘Twilight’ meets ‘Game of Thrones” and you are in the right mind-set to enter the world of ‘Fire & Ice’.
If you want to enter the dark and, at times, harrowing world of Doctor Connor and experience his human obsession, then you can find it here. ‘Fire and Ice: Awakening” begins a journey which spans 5 novels and is much more than a vampire tale, it is an emotional roller coaster ride.
If you hate vampires, or hunger for something different – something that grips you and will not let go – then read the first chapter…
London, 1910. Bram Stoker’s Dracula had made barely a ripple in the pool of human consciousness, and it would be another 12 years before Nosferatu breathes life into a vampire on the big screen… but even then, in human society, vampires existed. Like a seam of gold running through the coal, they are there, but you have to look for them.
For centuries, vampires were content to exist as creatures of myth and legend, barely making a footprint in the shifting sands of human consciousness, until Mother Nature unleashed the global pandemic which wiped out most of humanity.
A predator emerges and humans become a valuable food source. Vampire survival instincts have an edge of desperation, and they are forced out of the shadows. The London of 2010 becomes a vampire hive as they cluster around their decimated food supply, and ‘survival of the fittest’ is a stark reality.
Humans wish their world had ended, when, as a protected species, they are imprisoned, farmed as cattle, and siphoned for blood.
The cloud on the vampire horizon is that humans age and die. Suddenly, vampire immortality has an expiration date.
Connor is that rarity, a vampire and a doctor, who can treat a bleeding human – and not kill them. Tending to stricken vampires remains part of his duty; immortality has always been a tightrope walk over an abyss of insanity, and there are always those who fail to get it right.
After a century of living on his wits and feeding on humans he considered deserving of death, Connor views the human farm with distaste. His passion is to find a synthetic blood substitute.
Against this dark, forbidding backdrop, Doctor Connor does the unthinkable; he falls in love with a human girl.
When he treats Rebekah, alarm bells ring. He realizes she is a free-range human, and hiding her carries the death penalty. ‘Turning’ her in is a no-brainer, and yet…
Their worlds collide when Rebekah awakens in a vampire hospital and faces her worst fears — discovery and capture. Her euphoric relief, when it seems the beta-blockers have protected her from detection, turns to terror.
Connor grips Rebekah’s arm and her thundering heartbeat resonates through him. The tingling joy of being alive rushes through him again, and his journey into madness begins. His admiration for the human spirit punches a hole in his shell of indifference.
Rebekah cannot escape without the doctor’s help. Her fear of vampires tilts on its axis as Connor becomes her safe haven.
Connor’s stagnant existence is shattered as he embraces the feeling of being alive once more. Outwitting the vicious intent of a vindictive councilor, surviving attacks by the vampire councils’ guardsmen, and being sentenced to locked-in syndrome were never in Connor’s wildest imaginings and falling in love with a human girl was something he never expected.
Flying in the face of everything he should do, Connor risks everything and embraces the exhilaration of saving Rebekah and her group.
Awakening is the first in a series five vampire books set in post-apocalyptic England.
HorrorAddicts.net continues our Horror Bites series with
a bundle of new fiction by our Next Great Horror Writer Contestants.
Featuring work by:
Naching T. Kassa
Adele Marie Park
Timothy G. Huguenin
With introduction by Emerian Rich.
HorrorAddicts.net is proud to present our top 14 contestants in the Next Great Horror Writer Contest. The included stories, scripts, and poems are the result of the hard work and dedication these fine writers put forth to win a book contract. Some learned they loved writing and want to pursue it as a career for the rest of their lives. Some discovered they should change careers either to a different genre of writing or to a new career entirely. Whatever lessons came along the way, they each learned something about themselves and grew as writers. We hope you enjoy the writing as much as we did.
Just 99 cents at Amazon.com
A sneak peek inside…
CHERRY BLOSSOMS AND YOKAI
by Adele Marie Park
Submitted for the 5000-word Musical Short Story Challenge, Episode #142
Everything has a place you told me, so where is my place now you are gone, grandmother?
I light the incense and stare at your picture on the ancestor shrine.
Tears start to fall. Hot and salty, the taste of mourning. Your body is ashes, some in the urn in front of your picture.
Why did the rituals and purifications give me no comfort?
There’s a bird of panic fluttering inside my chest making me gulp air.
You’ve been gone forty-nine days. We must give away your belongings now. I don’t want to. Everything should stay the same. If you want to come back you won’t recognize anything. I can’t talk anymore. The panic bird sings louder. My arms have pins and needles shooting through them. I must get up. No air. I’m dying.
“Emiko? It’s time to go.” Mum’s voice echoes in my ears.
I can’t let her see me like this.
Making it to the kitchen, I wash my hands in cold water. Allowing it to flow over my wrists calms the panic bird. It recedes as slow as a tortoise but finally, it sleeps and I can function.
We talk little in the car. Mum asks me if I want to drive but I can’t. Who knows when the bird might wake up? It’s not safe.
Outside your house, I notice the curtains are still drawn and you’re not standing at the window waving to us like usual.
I don’t want to do this. Scrabbling through your possessions like a forensic team tagging and bagging evidence.
My heart lurches and the bird stirs.
“Are you okay?” Mum asks.
I want to say no. A year into university and the one person I love more than mom dies. Leaves this world and me behind.
I bow my head and whisper, “Yes.”
It’s what she wants to hear. She has her own grief to cope with. I’m old enough to deal with my own. Except I’m not.
Inside, only the scents of incense, cinnamon, and green tea remain. It’s an empty shell, an abandoned home.
“I think we’ll start in the attic.” Mum touches my hand and gets my attention.
“Yeah.” I glance upstairs…To read more, click here.
Author: Adele Marie Park Growing up on an Orcadian island, surrounded by folktales and the sea helped me become a writer. Horror is paranormal and it is as solid as your heartbeat when you’re home alone and the floorboards creak upstairs. Enter my world at http://firstname.lastname@example.org
for Horror Addicts, by Horror Addicts
Listen to the HorrorAddicts.net podcast for the latest in horror news, reviews, music, and fiction.
I am so honoured to be in this spooky anthology. With contributions from authors who nail the spook genre, this anthology will have you jumping at every shadow. Breath a sigh of relief they are only shadows; or are they?
The following is an excerpt from my tale “Devil’s Hollow.” A cautionary tale, warning those who let curiosity lead them into dark places.
Benji had gone quiet with fright, but I held his hand and walked back the way we’d come but stopped. It was black as tar without a flashflight.
There was a sudden loud noise that made me jump and Benji wet himself.
“You stupid idiot,” Doug shouted at his brother.
Lord, when they gave out brains Bart must’ve been absent that day.
He’d touched one skeleton and the damn head rolled onto the floor making an almighty racket.
It echoed around us and slid down those other tunnels carrying, Lord knows how far.
I held my breath until I couldn’t any longer for fear of passing out. Even so taking in breaths so fast made me dizzy. Terror froze us. I know it’s a saying but until you feel it creep into your bones, you don’t know how real that saying is.
Benji laid his head on my shoulder, his breathing making a song, a wheeze as if the damp and mould were lying in his lungs.
I remember thinking that mama was gonna beat me for getting him so dirty and ill.
Bart opened his mouth but shut it again, waving at the rest of us to keep quiet too.
He pointed to one of the tunnels and cupped his ear.
I figured out from his bizarre behaviour that he was hearing something, so I listened.
At first, all I heard was blood rushing around my body and the fast beat of my heart. It thumped like a resurrection preachers drum.
From the creators of the #1 bestseller, The Box Under The Bed horror anthology comes Dark Visions, 34 horror stories from 27 authors. Tag along on a con man’s New Orleans vacation where he gets more than he bargained for from a mysterious voodoo shop. A collection of family photos reveals an eerie secret about a beloved grandmother’s true nature. A child’s horrifying memories haunt her into adulthood. A new camp counsellor learns that the camp has secrets she might not live to reveal. Edited and compiled by Amazon bestselling author Dan Alatorre, this anthology of horror brings together the minds and pens of more than two dozen amazing authors. Dark Visions will take you into the realm of the eerie and macabre, with thrills and chills from: bestselling author Dan Alatorre (The Navigators) bestselling author Jenifer Ruff (Everett), bestselling author Allison Maruska (The Fourth Descendant), bestselling author J. A. Allen, award-winning author MD Walker, award-winning author Juliet Nubel, award-winning author Dabney Farmer, award-winning author Sharon E. Cathcart, award-winning author Heather Kindt, award-winning author Bonnie Lyons, award-winning author Sharon Connell, award-winning author Geoff LePard, award-winning author Anne Marie Andrus, award-winning author Christine Valentor, award-winning author BA Helberg, Ernesto San Giacomo, Alana Turner, Nick Vossen, award-winning author Robbie Cheadle, Betty Valentine, award-winning author Frank Parker, award-winning author Bonnie Lyons, award-winning author Lori Micken, Award-winning author Adele Marie Park,Chuck Jackson, Ellen Best, Victoria Clapton, Perfect for Halloween or any time, these stories will make you think twice before spending the night alone, planting a tree in your garden, or even visiting your mother. Consider yourselves warned. NOTE: American and British spelling inside. Of the 34 stories contained in this anthology, almost all are not part of any larger work. Many of these stories are from new authors being published for the first time, and this is their sole published work.