I love a good ghost story or paranormal tale, and that’s just what I’m looking for for the first Wordcrafter short fiction contest. If you write paranormal short fiction, submit your best story for a chance for it to be included in a paranormal anthology. Flash fiction is accepted as long as it is a complete story, with beginning, middle and end. In addition to publication, the winner will recieve a $25 Amazon gift card.
- Submit paranormal, speculative fiction, or horror. I want to read your story!
- Stories should be less than 10,000 words and have a paranormal element. They don’t have to be scary, but it helps.
- Submit stories in a word doc, double spaced with legible 12 pt font, in standard manuscript format.
- Submit stories to email@example.com with Submission: [Your Title] in the subject line. You will recieve instructions to submit your $5 entry fee with confirmation of reciept.
- If you recieve an invitation for the anthology, you will also be asked to submit a short author bio and photo.
- No simultaneous submissions. You should recieve a reply within 45 – 60 days.
- Multiple submissions are accepted with appropriate entry fee for each individual story.
I’m excited about this contest and the resulting anthology, and I hope you are, too. I can’t wait to read your stories. I’m hoping to release the anthology around Halloween through WordCrafter Press, so get your submissions in by April 1st. I’m searching for a title for this anthology, so if you have a paranormal title that’s killer, leave a comment below and give me your suggestions.
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Lost Girl, by Anne Francis Scott keeps the suspense ratched up to high, with more twists and turns that a serpentine spiral. This paranormal suspense mystery is crafted with skill that keeps readers guessing, but in a good way. Her search for her past draws Alison to Dawson Mills, where some very strange things occur. She is haunted by a past that she can’t quite remember, one just as disturbing as the ghost children she sees in the woods around the large Victorian she intends to make her home. But, does the danger lie in the ghost children, or is there a greater menace lurking in the shadows?
Ghosts, suspense and questions galore, Lost Girl has all the elements of a good scary story. I give it five quills.
Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs. Have a book you’d like reviewed? Contact Kaye at kayebooth(at)yahoo(dot)com.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m obsessed with ghosts. Recently at work, someone drew a house on a whiteboard and everyone added something to the picture. I added a ghost screaming from an upstairs window.
Writing a short ghost story has always been a fun activity for a rainy afternoon. After compiling two steampunk anthologies, I decided to take a turn compiling one on ghost stories. I imagined it sitting on the shelves of local gift shops; the cover would show a ghost girl floating down a hallway of peeling wallpaper and cobwebs. With this in mind, I reached out to my critique partners, author friends, writing workshop attendees, and writing club members. They had a year to get me a short story or two. I wrote a few, and as stories trickled in, I put them together in a word document. We brainstormed ideas for a title and settled on “Ghosts Cast No Shadows.”
Once I had a selection of almost thirty stories, I submitted the manuscript to the publisher. The majority of the stories were accepted, but a few were rejected, and I had to break several hearts by telling writers their story didn’t make it in.
After the list of accepted stories was finalized, it was time for editing. Each story went across the desk of an editor twice, followed by a once-over with a proofreader. The proofreader was a different editor who could come into the anthology with new eyes. With the editing process over, we got to work on a cover. We’d originally submitted a worksheet of cover ideas, but the publisher felt a different style would be in order. The talented Eugene Teplitsky put together the current cover depicting a man haunted by his past and plagued by death. Ghost books, they felt, were too involved with Halloween. They wanted our anthology to be marketable year-round. This strategy meant we would need to change the title. “Ghosts Cast No Shadows was shortened to “Cast No Shadows.”
The book was in place and the release date was set for October 6, 2016.
We organized a cover reveal and blog tour for the release. Reviewers offered their services to help spread the word. I tentatively set up signings for the end of October through December. I had to hurry because my son was due October 18 of the same year. I didn’t want any of the release buzz to fall through the cracks. (I also naively assumed I would feel up to doing a signing despite just having a baby.)
The book came out to meet with rave reviews. (You can read Kaye’s review of the book here.) The blog tour sparkled. While the ebook sold, the paperback remained unavailable. My son arrived earlier than expected, and in no way did I feel like doing a book signing. They were postponed to the spring. Because of technical difficulties, the paperback still wasn’t available in the spring, and the signings were cancelled until further notice. When the paperback did release a year later, we were all set to push it.
The group of us who live locally (listed in order as they appear in the picture above: Elizabeth Zumchuk, Joan O. Scharf, Tracina Cozza, Jordan Elizabeth, Jeremy Mortis, W. K. Pomeroy, and James McNally) did our rounds wearing matching CAST NO SHADOWS T-shirts. The libraries welcomed us and in front of audiences, we talked about what inspired our individual stories and read the first pages. We sold copies to eager readers. Every October we do our rounds again. We stand together in our shirts with the books open in front of us.
It feels so mysterious to stand in front of an audience telling the story of a ghost who wanders dilapidated hallways seeking a future she will never find.
Jordan Elizabeth is a young adult fantasy author. CAST NO SHADOWS is her third anthology published by Curiosity Quills Press. Jordan can be found wandering the empty houses and shadowed woods of Upstate New York searching for ghosts.
Ghost stories have always fascinated me. I’m obsessed with history, so I see ghosts as a link to the past. They’re our chance to communicate with those who came before. Plus, the mystery surrounding ghosts is fascinating.
Ghost stories are prevalent in young adult fiction, as well as non-fiction. Whenever I visit a new locale, I always check out books on local ghosts. You can see I love ghosts, right? They tend to drift into my writing more often than not. My young adult novel, VICTORIAN, centers around ghosts in an abandoned village where visitors come to relive the past. ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW features a ghost child trapped by a witch’s curse. TREASURE DARKLY tells the story of Clark Treasure, a young man who receives the gift of communicating – and raising – the dead.
Oftentimes, I’m asked if I believe in ghosts. That’s a big yes. I’ve even experienced a few ghostly happenings.
Ever since I was a small child, I’ve had people say my name, voices no one else hears. It doesn’t happen all the time and the voices never answer if I reply. I always turn to find no one behind me. The earliest time I can remember was when I was driving by Lake Delta. A voice came from beside me on the back seat. “Jordan!” No one was there and my parents hadn’t heard it. More recently (a few years ago), I was working in a renovated woolen mill. This building of weathered brick was infamous in the neighborhood for its hauntings. I never saw or felt a presence, but twice a female called my name from directly behind me when I was alone in an office with a closed door – and the only other person in the building was a male custodian.
I was a recent high school graduate when one of my grandmother’s close friends passed away. She and I were in her bedroom when the phone rang, My dog – the only one else in the house – was also in the bedroom. While my grandmother was learning about the passing from her friend’s daughter, a box of candy flew off the kitchen table and slid across the floor. It had been on the center of the table and we hadn’t experienced an earthquake. Nothing else in the house moved. I like to think it was the friend’s way of saying goodbye.
The other ghostly goodbye came while I was at my then-boyfriend’s house. I suddenly had an eerie feeling. The world wasn’t quite right. After a few minutes, I went to get a drink. As soon as I walked into the other room, a female voice said my name directly behind me. Almost instantly, the eerie feeling passed. I learned the next day that my father’s aunt had died. I’d only met her a few times, but perhaps she had done her rounds through the family to say farewell.
I’ve been on plenty of ghost tours, but only once did I catch an orb on film. A local church is connected to a mansion with giant pillars, beautiful windows, and embellished rooms. The mansion is breathtaking. A friend hooked my parents and I up with an exclusive tour. Many people have claimed to have experienced ghostly happenings, but we didn’t see or feel anything. I did, however, catch a clear orb in a picture of the upstairs sitting room. Ghost or dust? I like to think it’s a ghost saying hello.
Have you had any ghostly experiences? If you have, share them with us below!
Jordan Elizabeth is a young adult fantasy author. She may or may not be staring at a supposedly haunted house trying to see faces in the windows. You can connect with Jordan – and point her in the direction of some paranormal activity – via her website, JordanElizabethBooks.com.
Bitten, Book 1 of Lauren Westlake Mystery series, by Dan O’Brien is not your typical werewolf story. In this mystery thriller the werewolf is actually a pretty good guy when you get to know him, and Lauren can’t take down the true villain without him. To say any more would require huge spoiler alerts. The story unravels the mystery with skill, revealing the answers piece by piece, and I wouldn’t want to do anything to interfere with the care that was taken to present it all in such a smooth fashion, along with the surprise ending that reveals the direction Book 2 will take.
Well crafted, suspenseful, with a unique take on werewolf lore, and it keeps readers guessing. I give Bitten five quills.
Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs at no charge. Have a book you’d like reviewed? Contact Kaye at kayebooth(at)yahoo(dot)com.
HallowErotica 2017 comes from the creative minds of Scerina Elizabeth, Lucille Moncrief, and D. Fischer. With a release date of October 31, this collection of short Paranormal, Horror, and Erotica stories from various authors including R. Tran, Kaye Lynne Booth, and Amy Hamilton promises to give readers a Halloween they’ll never forget.
Yep. That’s my name in there. In addition to being on the FMB book blog tour, HallowErotica 2017 features my story, A Turn of the Tables. The release date is, well, Halloween of course! They’re having a big HallowErotica 2017 Release Party on Facebook starting at 6 p.m. EST, and I or my PA, DL Mullen will be entertaining you throughout the 7 p.m. EST slot, so be sure to drop by.
I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing one of the creators of HallowErotica 2017, paranormal romance author Scerina Elizabeth for one of her other tours, and I also featured an excerpt from her book, Eternally Yours: Bloodlines.
As a special treat today, I’m featuring an excerpt from my first attempt at vampire erotica. (But we’ll keep things on the blog rated ‘R’ or under). So without further ado, here’s an excerpt from A Turn of the Tables, by yours truly:
The sign on the door read Melina Dupree, M.D. – Psychiatrist. Michael straightened his lapel on his pinstriped suit, focusing on creating a mental shield before entering the office. Without it, mortals often felt ill at ease around his kind. The Elder Council wanted him to keep a low profile and had warned Michael to control his temper when he was chosen for the assignment. The council needed this mortal alive for now. Her research on how blood pathogens affect certain brain disorders had yielded information that could be quite unsettling to the entire vampire society.
Dr. Dupree had not found what she was looking for, but unwittingly, one of the pathogens she’d created had the potential to wipe out all vampires. It was unknown whether she herself, realized what her research had uncovered. Under other circumstances the Elder Council would have the research destroyed and she would be eliminated. But this mortal was surrounded by the aura of a coven of powerful witches, sworn enemies of all vampires. Her connection to the Sarenrea wasn’t clear, but Michael’s instructions were to bring her before the council without alerting the coven.
He pushed open the glass door to the office. Two large salt water fish tanks almost covered an entire wall on either side of the waiting room. Six tacky leather chairs sat in line in front of a gray metal desk. A girl, perhaps in her early twenties, with straight blond hair and too much make-up, sat behind the desk filing her nails. She looked up as he entered.
“Please tell Dr. Dupree that Michael Wymond is here to see her,” he said, meeting her gaze with an intense stare.
The girl sat up straighter, scanning her appointment book. She pushed the button on the intercom on her desk. “Dr. Dupree, your seven o’clock appointment is here.”
Michael’s gaze did not waver from the girl behind the desk. It wouldn’t do for her to be here when he took Dupree out.
“Send him in.”
The girl looked up, meeting his gaze before glancing away to stare at the intercom with a blank expression. Without saying a word, she reached under the desk, grabbing her purse and sweater, and left the office. Michael smiled at the thought of her hitting the street, realizing she had no idea where she was headed.
In the inner office, the antique furnishings appeared authentic. They included a wooden filing cabinet next to a free-standing mirror to his left, a beveled glass bookshelf lining the right wall, a Victorian-style Chaise lounge that no doubt served as the “analysis couch” next to the wall, and the oak desk, which Dr. Dupree sat behind.
The Sarenrae aura hit Michael strong, as the doctor peered over her black-framed librarian’s glasses at him, smiling. He wondered if she chose that style to make her look more intellectual. It was a look that worked, combined with her sandy blond hair pulled back in a ponytail, and her blue tailored skirt and blazer. She was the perfect picture of what a psychiatrist should be, albeit a sexy one.
Her female scent was sensual. This one had pheromones dripping off her. It stirred the maleness left within him, hardening his member as if he were still mortal. He detected the odor of fresh sex emanating from between her thighs. She’d been fucked not long ago, and still the scent of her need clung to her.
He closed his eyes, blocking his mind to those sexual thoughts, which he knew could lead nowhere. At the same time, he opened himself to her mind to see what he might learn. It was strange that he sensed no malice from her. A Sarenrae should be able to detect his true nature even with his mind shielded, but she seemed to be unaware.
When he opened his eyes, she was checking him out. Her eyes roved up and down him as she accessed the muscular man standing before her in a dark blue hoodie and black jeans. “How may I help you, Mr. Wymond?” she asked, tipping her head just a fraction to the side, her deep violet-blue eyes penetrating the depths of his stare.
Such strange eyes, meeting his gaze and holding it, drawing his eyes to hers. He’d play it cool while he probed her mind more for the answers he sought.
“I’m not here as a patient,” he said.
Her aura was strong and unmistakable, but he sensed no conscious connection with the coven. Then, a shield snapped up around her mind, like a light bulb burning out, and her thoughts were closed to him. It caught him off guard. Most mortals didn’t have strong enough minds to keep him out, but this one didn’t even seem to be aware that she’d done it.
She gazed at him with raised brow. “Then why are you here?”
With her mind shielded, subtle was out. He chose a more direct approach. “I’m a vampire,” he said with a smile, taking a seat on the leather armchair across the desk from her.
“A vampire?” She peered over her glasses at him once more, the corners of her mouth turning up ever so slightly, her brows raised over those deep blue eyes. “Of course. Is that why you request an evening appointment?” she asked.
Michael ran his hand up over the top of his head, pushing unruly black curls back from his face. Her disbelief seemed genuine. He took a deep breath, reminding himself to have patience with this mortal. He needed her, for now. “You think I’m crazy,” he said, placing his hands on the desk across from her. “You should be quaking with fear, but you’re not.”
She looked up, again meeting his gaze. “Those in my profession prefer not to label people in such manner,” she said, scribbling something on the yellow legal pad in front of her.
Each time she tipped her head as she wrote he could see her jugular pulsing in her beautifully curved neck. That, combined with the smell of her blood created a strong urge in him to jump over the desk and drink her dry, but he knew he couldn’t risk it. Perhaps when the Elder Council had finished with her…
For more information on HallowErotica 2017 you can visit our official site @ https://scerinaelizabeth.wixsite.com/hallowerotica2017 or contact me via email Admin@ScerinaElizabeth.NET
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