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Sneak Peek: Dimensional Abcesses

Dimensional Abcesses

Hello ladies and gentlemen!  Welcome to the Casa!

Where has the time gone?  It seems like almost yesterday that we were ringing in the new year, and here we are already at Tax Day in the U.S.  So far, it has been a pretty busy year, and hopefully it will get even busier.  I’m pleased to announce that one of the reasons things have been so busy is a second short story coming out in a new anthology within the next two weeks, “Dimensional Abcesses”.  To mark the occasion, I thought I’d share a bit of where I got the ideas for the three bigger short stories I have in print at the moment.

First, let’s start with one of my steamier and bloodier pieces.  It’s my first story printed in a physical book, “Blood Bank”.  The idea came about in 2009, shortly after the entire financial industry went belly up and stories came out about people being served eviction notices by uncaring banks.  I know not all the bankers were uncaring, but it did get my mental cogs working.  What if a bank foreclosed on someone dangerous?  Then I watched the movie Bordello of Blood, and I had the idea.  A banker who tries to foreclose on a home that turns out to be both a brothel and a vampire nest.  The story built itself pretty quickly after that, but it languished in edits until I found out about an anthology being put out by The Vampire Writers Support Group.  A submission later, and the story was selected and included in “Fresh Blood:  Vampire Writers Support Group Anthology Volume 1″ released in 2013.

The second story to come out was one specifically written for an anthology, “Forgotten Places”, that came out this past March.  I actually wrote two stories for it, one about a toy store with some unpleasant merchandise, and the other is about a woman who accompanies a friend to an abandoned church for a sorority test, and comes face to face with her past in a rather haunting way.  I let the editor of the anthology select which story he wanted to include and he selected “Church”.

And this brings me to the latest story coming out within the next two weeks, “Time Jack”.  This was one of a group of story ideas that I had about why Jack the Ripper may have stopped his murder spree and how he discovers the family tradition of murder he began.  I wanted to send Jack into the future, and what better way to get him there than via time travel.  I also didn’t want it to be like in the movie “Time After Time”, where Jack steals H.G. Wells’ time machine.  Then the idea of someone plucking him from the past at random to prove that their machine works.  The rest, if you pardon the pun, is history.

You can order any of these books by going to my Amazon Authors page (http://www.amazon.com/author/d.j._pitsiladis), and I will let you all know when Dimensional Abcesses becomes available for orders.

Connect with me on Facebook, Google +, and Twitter.  You can also check out my contributions on the HorrorAddicts.net blog and podcast.

Donald “D.J.” Pitsiladis

“Zombie, Inc.” by Christine Dougherty

zombie inc

Hello ladies and gentlemen!  Welcome to the Casa!

Please excuse the short post today.  Today was my long day at work, and coupled with the pain of a possible kidney stone, I don’t have as much energy as I normally do.  So, without further ado, let’s dive right into this week’s book review… “Zombie, Inc.” by Christine Dougherty.

Picture yourself in a future where, not only has humanity survived a zombie uprising, but it has found a way for the reanimated dead to become helpful.  An entire enterprise has risen to meet people’s needs to protect their property, Zombie Inc.  It is a government contracted company that repurposes the corpses to keep living humans safe.  People no longer view the zombies as threats, at least those not tasked with servicing the security systems or providing the proverbial “guard dogs”.  Add to the mix a group similar to PETA and many other animal rights groups who believe that the undead are still human and deserve to be treated with dignity and a deep conspiracy within the company, and you have the makings of a decent story.

As much as I like the idea of the story and the way they portrayed some of the main characters, there were a few whose back story and how they acted in crisis situations always seemed to contradict themselves, and not in a well defining way.  That being said, I thought that the author brought out quite a bit of believability in the main two characters especially.  I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in zombie fiction.  My rating is a 3 out of 5.

You can find Zombie Inc in paperback and e-book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Until we meet again in two weeks…

Donald “D.J.” Pitsiladis

P.S. — Check me out on the HorrorAddicts.net podcast and blog as well as in the short story collections “Forgotten Places” and “Fresh Blood” (both available on Amazon.com)

“Dead Witch Walking” by Kim Harrison

dead witch walking

Hello ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to the Casa!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, although nothing really to share at this time.  I’ve been busy working on recording an audiobook, housework, reading, and some writing, although not as much writing as I’d like to be doing.  I am starting a new schedule when it comes to blogging, writing, and recording and hopefully that will get me back into doing each without taking too much from the others.  For the time being, you can expect to see Casa blog posts every two weeks.  Along with the Casa, I am also writing pieces for HorrorAddicts.net, and recording a small piece in their podcast called Nightmare fuel.  Check out the season premier this weekend.

This week I offer you the first in a unique thirteen book series, “Dead Witch Walking” by Kim Harrison.  The story follows a young witch named Rachel Morgan in a world where half the population is changed.into enchanted beings by a virus spread by tomatoes.  Vampires, werewolves, witches and all other forms of supernatural and magical beings are a regular part of everyday life, although not necessarily an accepted one.  Rachel is a runner, an enchanted version of our police force, and she hates her job.  Her boss doesn’t like her and gives her the poor assignments in the hope to force her to quit.  When she she finally decides to strike out on her own, she is surprised to find her current pixie partner and her former partner, a vampiress, join her in her endeavor.  Soon, Rachel finds herself with a price on her head and she realizes just who she can trust with her life and just how far her friends are willing to go to help keep her alive.  To complicate matters more, the young witch decides to go after the one man people suspect of illegal dealings, but who can never be tied to anything.

I found this to be a quirky story, but a very fun and satisfying read.  There is quite a bit of romantic tension weaved throughout the book, along with action and humor.  If the book has any faults, it is that it didn’t seem like a three act story, but only the first half of the performance, although that might just be me.  Overall, I rate the book a 3.5 our of 5.

You can find “Dead Witch Walking” at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local bookstore.  Until next we meet…

Donald “DJ” Pitsiladis

P.S. — Check out the HorrorAddicts.net season premier this weekend for a little Nightmare Fuel.

Publishing news — The Horror Society Presents: Abandoned Places

Forgotten places

Hello ladies and gentlemen!  Welcome to the Casa!

After a busy, but rather unproductive February, March is here and I feel a renewed sense of creativity.  I am still working on the novel re-writes, writing a new short story, and recording an audiobook for another author.  Add the excitement of another story coming out in print, and you have the makings of a great beginning to March.

My short story, “Church” was included in the story collection, “The Horror Society Presents:  Abandoned Places” which debuted this past Tuesday on Amazon.  It is my second story to appear in a physical book and the first of hopefully many more this year, so I’m pretty excited about it.  If you are looking for horror stories to take you down memory lane on a dark night, then check it out.  You won’t be sorry you did.

You can find “The Horror Society Presents: Abandoned Places” on Amazon in both print and Kindle editions.  Help us spread the word!

The Casa will return next week with a review of the book, “Dead Witch Walking” by Kim Harrison.

Until next week…

Donald “D.J.” Pitsiladis

Connect with me on Facebook, Google +, and Twitter.

Master of Macabre and Wicked Women Writers 2015

Hello ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to the Casa!

I’ve been keeping busy in the past week between working on some re-writes for a novel I originally wrote three years ago titled “Coffeehouse”.  It was sitting around while I thought of a way to streamline the story and figure out the ending I really wanted compared to the one I ended up with.  The muse finally graced me with the inspiration I needed.  I hope to have the improved story ready to be sent out within the next couple of months, and I’ll share more details as things progresses.

This week I thought I’d share what, to me, has become an annual tradition — The Wicked Women Writer and Master of Macabre writing contests.  If you are a fan of the Food Network television show “Chopped”, you will have a good feel for how these contests run.  For those who aren’t, the idea is to write a short story using specifically selected elements that fit into a theme.  Past “ingredients” have included locations, items, disasters, and phobias.  This year, both contests share a common theme — Tarot Cards.   Every contestant, male and female, will be assigned a card from the Major Arcana along with an evil being/supernatural entity. The rest of the story is up to you.  Pretty simple, right?

In addition to the shared theme, this year also has the added twist when it comes to recording the audio portion.  The story will need to be recorded as an audio drama with at least two reader voices.  While this may sound daunting or intimidating to newer writers, there are people willing to help.  Based on my own experiences, it isn’t as hard as you may think.

Check out https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/www/ and  https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/master-of-macabre-contest/ for more details, contest rules, and deadlines for each contest.

Well, I hear the work bell ringing, so it’s time to head back to work.  I hope to find your names among those striving to become the 2015 Master of Macabre or Most Wicked Woman Writer.

Until next week…

Donald “D.J.” Pitsiladis

Connect with me on Facebook, Google +, and Twitter.

“The Monarch” by Jack Soren

the monarch

Hello ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to the Casa!

Last month was a busy one for me. Between edits for a short story I have coming out in “There’s a Magic Portal Under My Sink”, recording the beginning of my first audiobook project through ACX, and having my sons over almost every weekend, it was a busy, happy, and tiring month, but well worth it, of course.  Now, without further ado, let’s jump right in to this week’s book review. I offer for your literary consideration… “The Monarch” by Jack Soren.

A serial killer who carves butterflies into the flesh of his victims is making his rounds in New York City.  When one of the bodies is found in a museum fountain with a painting long thought recovered jammed down his throat, it becomes clear to the FBI agent that the murderer is playing to a particular audience.  The painting is one of a group of paintings liberated by an art thief known only as The Monarch.  The hunt for The Monarch begins with an author considered by many to be the authority on his escapades,

As the hunt for a killer begins,  Jonathan Hall is struggling to provide a life for his daughter.  He has the means to do so, but accessing it means breaking a deathbed promise made to his wife to keep his previous life a secret from their daughter.  When his former partner arrives at his doorstep, both men know the time has come for The Monarch to return and stop the serial killer from besmirching their shared identity.

What starts out as a cop and killer story quickly becomes a thrill ride with the introduction of a dying billionaire and the lengths he is willing to go in a search for a cure to his disease.  Nathan Kring proves there is nothing he isn’t willing to do for control over the lives of everyone possible, including his daughters.  It all climaxes into an explosive ending you have to see to believe.  My ranking for “The Monarch” is a 4.5 out of 5.

You can find this book via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and your favorite local bookstore.

Well, I’m afraid I must bid you adieu for the week.  I feel another part of a balance life calling me… a nice soft bed and a good night’s sleep cuddled up with my fiancee.  Until next week…

Donald “D.J.” Pitsiladis

Connect with me on Facebook, Google +, and Twitter.

Happy New Year and “Lumps” by Ian Woodhead

lumps

Hello ladies and gentlemen!  Welcome to the Casa!

Happy New Year! It’s been a busy holiday season spent with my fiancée and children, as well as some much-needed relaxation.  2014 wasn’t exactly the best of years, but now we are in a new year that offers new possibilities across the board.  Two of my short stories will be coming out in the near future, and I am halfway through one novel and a quarter of the way through another.  There will also be weekly blog posts here at the Casa as well as on the HorrorAddicts.net blog.  2015 will be a busy and successful year, I can just feel it.

This week, I offer you a review of a short story by Ian Woodhead named, “Lumps”.  David Kerrigan is a boy with a bit of a dilemma, he sees lumps on the walls of his home.  They aren’t always there, and they don’t stay in the same place all the time.  In fact, the more he sees them, the more they move and the bigger they get.  His parents tell him to stop making up stories for attention, but there is something in their eyes that makes him wonder otherwise.

This is a fun little horror story that offers a nice break away from the daily grind with a just a pinch of Lovecraft for spice.  It conveys a good feel for the emotions and fear young David feels as he watches the lumps multiply and grow.  You feel for the boy as things spiral deeper and deeper.  I rate this little story a four out of five.

You can find “Lumps” at Smashwords, and the Barnes and Noble stores in e-book format.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I must bid you adieu.  There is a story just begging to be written.  Until next week…

Donald “D.J.” Pitsiladis

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