DYING TO LIVE, a new vampire anthology from Diabolic Publications


Had enough hunky doe-eyed teen vampires? Overdosed on languid vampire debauchery? Miss the good old days when vampires were vicious self-serving heliophobic carnivores, either on the hunt (seductively or otherwise) or chilling in their dark coffins after a hefty meal? Well, you just might be in luck.

In their cryptic writer’s guidelines, Diabolic Publications advertised for vampire short fiction with the following caveat: “We are looking for dark vampire stories; please do not send any stories about vampires that sparkle! ...We are looking for dark Vampires, of the old fashioned kind! Erotica is acceptable as long as the vampires drink human blood, bite, kill and so forth. We are not looking for love story type vampires…”

So, as you might imagine, this anthology is strictly for those who like their vampires predatory, sans all that recently fashionable glitter and hormonal teen angst.


Dumaine by Brian D. Mazur

The Tunnel by Jane Domagala

Uncle Frank's Emporium of Oddities by Paul L. Bates

So Vein by Bruce Lockhart 2nd & Suzie Lockhart

Have You Seen Her by Shenoa Carroll-Bradd

From Scratch by Kara Race-Moore

Turning Worms by Jean Graham

Halloween by Scarlet Norton-Duperre & S.D. Lords

The Bloofer Lady by Donald Jacob Uitvlugt

Birds of a Feather by Jennifer L. Barnes

Twilight Time by Steven Gepp

Party by Paul Merton

Coffin by Sean Eads

Nightfeeds by Tim Jeffreys

Feeding Disorder by Phil Voyd
Hunger by Lin Christie

The Dhampir by Joseph Rubas

The Preacher by James S. Dorr

Vlad by Jacqueline Seewald

Thanks for the Drink by Thomas Alan Sandage

The book contains 360 pages of heart stopping horror—20 tales without the tropes that have recently marginalized the subgenre. The cover—the fanged earth-bespattered face of a young woman by moonlight seemingly beckoning you closer—does the contents proud.

My offering, “Uncle Frank’s Emporium of Oddities,” concerns the 21st century undead travelling a backwater sideshow circuit while unobtrusively seducing their overconfident and misinformed prey. Other tales explore widely varying scenarios, from a disturbed Viet Nam vet who comes home with a ghost to a troubled vampire helplessly addicted to love.

Available from:

© Paul L. Bates 2013


FOR WHEN THE VEIL DROPS an Anthology of dark fiction from West Pigeon Press is out!





Following the success of their first publishing endeavor last year—the collection You Shall Never Know Security by J. R. Hamantaschen—West Pigeon Press is back with its second ambitious volume, an anthology of fifteen dark and personal tales titled For When the Veil Drops.




From their website:

“West Pigeon Press is honored to present its newest anthology, a collection of resonant, unbridled dark fiction.  Unburdened by genre and disparate in subject, these stories find common cause in their emphasis on mood, style, intelligence, and emotional depth….

Featuring all new stories by A. A. Garrison, Paul L. Bates, Bryan Brown, Robin Wyatt Dunn, J. R. Hamantaschen, Christian Larsen, B.V. Lawson, Samuel Minier, Nick Medina, Doug Murano, Joshua Clark Orkin, Yarrow Paisley, Lydia Peever, Michael Trudeau, and Michael Wehunt.…”


This collection includes an oddity of mine, surely inspired by the wasting death of my wife, Nancy, at age 53 from cancer and the attending medical freak show which accompanied it. “St. Mollusks” may well be the purging of the pent up frustration and rage the entire two and a half year experience engendered.  Whatever it is, I literally wrote half of it in a dream, awoke to transcribe and complete the first draft in the wee hours, making every effort to remain faithful to both the tone and the logic of the dream version.  I rewrote the tale several times over the course of five years, expanding and polishing it from 1900 to 2500 words, a simmering seething prose poem.




As a story, “St. Mollusks” is unquestionably a departure from the norm as there is neither protagonist—unless an institution can constitute a protagonist—nor plot—unless a series of hypothetical situations and random histories strung together like bones on a shaman’s necklace may be considered a plot.  Nevertheless it remains a coherent whole, celebrating the inevitable triumph of medical science in the (thankfully) unlikely event that such an utterly warped horror should ever come to pass.




  • “724″ by Christian A. Larsen
  •  “The Chopping Block” by Doug Murano
  • “The Persistence of Frondu” by Yarrow Paisley
  • “Bless You” by C. Bryan Brown
  • “A Coat that Fell” by Michael Wehunt
  • “The City Underneath” by Robin Wyatt Dunn
  • “Beside Still Waters” by B.V. Lawson
  • “The Condition She’s In” by Nick Medina
  • “St. Mollusks” by Paul L. Bates
  • “Thicker Than” by Lydia Peever
  • “The Third List” by Samuel Minier
  • “Nothing Bad Has Ever Happened Here” by A.A. Garrison
  • “Oh Abel, Oh Absalom” by J.R. Hamantaschen
  • “Misery Don’t Wait on Me” by Joshua Clark Orkin
  • “Still Life” by Michael Trudeau



Available from:


©   Paul L. Bates  2012


OCEAN STORIES Anthology from Elektrik Milk Bath Press

Selkies and mermaids . . . sirens and sea monsters . . .  myth and magic . . . Ocean Stories explores both the beauty and the dangers found beneath the sea.”


Edited by Angela Charmaine Craig, featuring short fiction by:

Camille Alexa

Mike Allen and Charles M. Saplak 

Paul L. Bates

Laura Blackwell

Rebecca L. Brown 

Thomas Canfield

Stoney Compton 

Vonnie Winslow Crist

Jennifer Crow 

Eric Del Carlo

Mary Peace Finley 

Jennifer Greylyn

Katie Hartlove 

Nick Kimbro

Adam Meyer

Gregory L. Norris

Christine Rains

Carla Richards

Holly Schwartz-Coignat

Tricia Scott

J. Michael Shell

David Andrew Sklar

James Targett

Joshua Wolf

“Two researchers set off to explore the mysteries of the deep, but what they find is beyond their imagining . . . a lobsterman, concerned with the changes in his recent haul, calls upon an old friend to help him unlock the mystery . . . A woman, wagered in a game of chance, seeks her fortune on a very special ship.

Ocean Stories offers 24 tales of the deep ranging from fantasy to horror to humor. Filled with selkies and mermaids, sirens and sea monsters, myth and magic, these tales explore both the immeasurable beauty and the danger found lurking below the surface of the sea.”

Contains my first attempt at writing dark humor, “Conquest,” a revisionist tale concerning nineteenth century sea exploration and the not altogether satisfying results for the King’s envoy upon discovering a long sought island paradise.



Available from Electric Milk Bath Press:


ARCANE anthology (#1)


Planned as the first of a series of annual ARCANE anthologies,

the first is simply titled:  ARCANE

from Cold Fusion Media

Edited by Nathan Shumate

Available at:

  Product Details

*                               Paperback: 338 pages

*                               Publisher: CreateSpace (December 20, 2011)

*                               Language: English

*                               ISBN-10: 1468067524

*                               ISBN-13: 978-1468067521

*                               Price:  $14.99 US

The question asked on the old Arcane website was:  “Imagine if all of the “cool kids” from the original Weird Tales — H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, etc. — had been writing continuously from that day until this; what would they be producing?”

The answer, on the new Cold Fusion Media website, is:  “thirty stories, totaling 120,000 –plus words of satisfyingly macabre fiction.  Have I whetted your appetite?”

Just in time for Christmas, ARCANE is pulp fiction at its finest, and on good paper, too; also available in various e-book formats for the hardcopy challenged.  It is definitely for those whose holiday traditions include serious over indulgence in all manner of tasty things.  To wit:



“We Belong to Her” by Joe Mirabello
“A Capella” by Jonathan S. Pembroke
“The Truth About Mother” by Van Aaron Hughes
“The Web of Legends” by Damien Walters Grintalis
“Reyes Rides the Deville” by Dan Cavallari
“The Heart of the Matter” by Paul L. Bates
“El Diablo de Paseo Grande” by Milo James Fowler
“The Delivery” by A.A. Garrison
“Corporautolysis” by Christopher Slatsky
“Mallecho” by Stephen Willcott
“God of the Kiln” by Eric Francis
“Tied” by D.T. Kastn
“Lady of the Crossroads” by Christine Lucas
“Beneath the Arch of Knives” by James Lecky
“A Pinky Between Friends” by Bartholomew Klick
“Possessed of Talent” by Ayden Parish
“Sweet Heaven in My View” by Frank Stascik
“It’s Not the Boys in This Family That Have to Worry” by Brady Golden
“Kiss of Death” by Jeremy Zimmerman
“Legacy” by SM Williams
“An Unquiet Slumber” by Rhiannon Rasmussen-Silverstein
“A Friend, the Spider” by Caitlin Hoffman
“Destination Unknown” by Anthony J. Rapino
“In One There is Many” by Max Vile
“Incident at the Geometric Church” by David McGillveray
“Black Bush” by Gemma Files
“The Best and Bitt’rest Kiss” by S.K. Gilman
“Visiting Hours” by Josh Strnad
“Sweet Dreams” by Fran Walker
“The Business of Herman Laczko” by Mark Beech

Contains my short fiction, “The Heart of the Matter,” a homage to Joseph Conrad, who was, beyond any doubt, the “coolest kid” of them all, (no disrespect intended toward Robert E. Howard.)

Cover Art by Dan Verkys:


Jack-o'-Spec: Tales of Halloween and Fantasy

Jack-o'-Spec: Tales of Halloween and Fantasy

Edited by Karen A. Romanko



·        Paperback:  180 Pages

·        Publisher:  Raven Electrick Ink (September 13, 2011)

·        ISBN-10:  0981964338

·        ISBN-13:  978-0981964331

·        List Price:  $14.95


From the introduction:  Jack-o’-Spec features the many faces of science fiction, fantasy, and horror Halloweens: steampunk Halloweens, post-apocalyptic Halloweens, alternate history Halloweens, outer space Halloweens, and noir Halloweens, not to mention new speculative takes on Halloween perennials, such as haunted houses, witches, ghosts, vampires, and, of course, jack-o’-lanterns. Twenty-six authors have contributed short stories, flash fiction, and poetry to the anthology, transporting us to Mars for the solution of a ghostly Halloween mystery, introducing the trick-or-treating Norse gods, or describing a lover’s visit on a brief reprieve from Purgatory. The intent of the anthology is to speculate, placing Halloween in incongruous locales with unimagined celebrants, although there are plenty of good, old fashioned chills along the way, including battles with invading demons, revenge from deceased magicians, a visit from Death (in Halloween costume, of course), and the return of ol’ Jack himself.”



  • Jude-Marie Green, "Defying Gravity," fiction.
  • Jill M. Riga, "Bad Reputation," poem.
  • Leslie Brown, "Incursion," fiction.
  • Kendall Evans, "Deceiving the Dead," poem.
  • Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy, "Forty-Eight Hours a Year," fiction.
  • Gregory L. Norris, "The Two Houses," fiction.
  • Michael M. Jones, "Who Killed the Pumpkin King?" fiction.
  • Bruce Boston, "Halloween Hunchback," poem.
  • Elissa Malcohn, "Visitations," fiction.
  • Shannon Connor Winward, "All Souls' Day," poem.
  • Paul L. Bates, "Unwanted Children," fiction.
  • Geoffrey A. Landis, "Monsters," poem.
  • Cliff Winnig, "The Experiment," fiction.
  • Robert Borski, "Halloween (The Planet)," poem.
  • Samantha Henderson, "Sugar Skulls," fiction.
  • Nancy Ellis Taylor, "Dia de los Muertos/LA," poem.
  • John F.D. Taff, "The Lacquered Box," fiction.
  • Alexandra Seidel, "Tricks and Treats," poem.
  • James S. Dorr, "The Leaves," fiction.
  • Lyn C. A. Gardner, "The Chant of the Black Cats," poem.
  • Joe Nazare, "The Day after Halloween," fiction.
  • Alexandra Seidel, "Lanterns," poem.
  • Marge Simon, "Traditions," fiction.
  • Daniel R. Robichaud II, "Autumn Jitters," fiction.
  • Karen A. Romanko, "Death in a Harlequin Suit," fiction.
  • Jason S. Ridler, "The Night Ol' Jack Came Back," fiction.


Contains my flash fiction, “Unwanted Children,” in which four of the giants responsible for igniting Ragnarok go trick-or-treating as oddly enthusiastic youngsters.


Available at:


Darker than Noir


Edited by Faith Kauwe


  • Paperback:  300 pages
  • Publisher:  Grand Mal Press (July 5, 2011)
  • ISBN-10:  0982945957
  • ISBN-13:   978-0982945957
  • List Price:  $13.99

Cover art by Stephen Bryant


From the Grand Mal Website:  ”When a mundane mystery needs solving, you call a private detective. But when the mystery involves ghosts, demons, zombies, monsters,mystical serial killers, and other supernatural elements, you call the detectives in this collection. They'll venture into the darkness and hopefully come back out alive. Just remember, they get paid expenses up front, and what they uncover, you might not like. Featuring tales from seasoned vets and up-and-coming talent, the game is afoot in a world that is Darker Than Noir.”




Patrick Flanagan:  “The Knack for Living”

R. Thomas Riley and Roy C. Booth:  “Shardes of the Broken”

Randy Chandler:  “Devil in 206”

Craig Alan  Lowen:  “The Furry Con Mystery”

Manny Frishberg:  “Frank’n’Jon”

Frank C. Gunderloy Jr.:  “Ghost in a Bottle”

Justin Zyduck:  “My Subject”

J. T. Seate:  “Masks”

Paul L. Bates:  “Myburgh”

Gustavo Bondoni:  “Stress Control”

Justin Gustainis:  “Back-up Man”

Vincent L. Scarsella:  “The Thief of Souls”

Kent Alyn:  “The Box of the Seven Sons”

Zoot Campbell:  “The C---- Next Door”

A. K. Amesworth:  “The Kitsune”

Erik T. Johnson:  “Wed Man Walking”

Gregory L. Norris:  “Wine and Spirits”

Dagny Macallan:  “Blood Right”


Contains my short fiction, “Myburgh,” in which an enthusiastic but gullible young man attempts to explain to a small town detective exactly how things got so murderously out of hand at an art exhibition he was promoting.  (The Anthology title is mine, as well, after the publisher solicited names from the contributors.) 


Also available in any number of electronic formats.

In the Garden of the Crow

In the Garden of the Crow Edited by Angela Charmaine Craig


Paperback: 108 pages

Publisher: Elektrik Milk Bath Press (July 8, 2011)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0982855427

ISBN-13: 978-0982855423

List Price:  $10.00   


A themed anthology of speculative poetry revisiting nursery rhymes, fairy tales and fables.  Or in the words of the editor:  “What happens when the dragon gets tired of being the dragon? How does Prince Charming respond to his fan-mail? What are a witch's favorite things? How does an angry troll pass all that time spent under the bridge? … In the Garden of the Crow presents the dark re-imaginings of over 30 poets.” 

  • Tara Barnett
  • Paul L. Bates
  • F. J. Bergmann
  • Mariah Blackhorse
  • Melodie Bolt
  • Gustavo Bondoni
  • Carol Brockfield
  • Donna Burgess
  • Valentina Cano
  • Peter Chiykowski
  • Vonnie Winslow Crist
  • Jessica Cuello
  • J.D. EveryHope
  • Michael R. Fosburg
  • Joshua Gage
  • Carlos Hernandez
  • Jack Horne
  • Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingde
  • Jennifer Lynn Krohn
  • B. J. Lee
  • Gerri Leen
  • Barbara Lucas
  • Frances McQuillan
  • Kurt Newton
  • Terrie Leigh Relf
  • Brian Rosenberger
  • Jason Rubis
  • Charles M. Saplak
  • Alexandra Seidel
  • Emily Severance
  • Herb Shallcross
  • J. Michael Shell
  • Noel Sloboda
  • M Sullivan
  • Jim Tolan
  • David Turnbull
  • Salinda Tyson


It contains my poem, Country Mouse/City Mouse, which takes the basic tenet of Aesop's fable to a reality in which cousins from fantasy and SF realms pay one another equally bewildering visits.   


Available at: 


And at: 


And at


paABnormal Digest, issue #1

paABnormal Digest, issue #1 is available from Sam's Dot Publishing:


Their blurb

The purpose of this digest is to bring a fresh new approach to the entertainment factors inherent in Paranormal Activities [PA] and the various studies thereof. We seek to publish paranormal stories, poetry, art, and articles that interest the general readership as well as those who are involved in paranormal studies, personally and/or professionally. Put another way, we want to entertain the "paranormal folks" and introduce others to this subgenre of literature and to the scope of theory and practice of PA. The world of the paranormal provides us with ample material for speculation, in stories, poems, and art. Thus parABnormal Digest. Enjoy.

TOC Issue #1:


parABnormal Digest

March 2011



parABnormal Digest

editor: H. David Blalock

assistant and poetry editor: Terrie Leigh Relf



Published by Sam's Dot Publishing at Smashwords


March 2011, Vol. I, No. 1


parABnormal Digest is published on the first day of March and September by Sam's Dot Publishing, P.O. Box 782, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 52406-0782. Subscription rates are $16 for one year, $30 for two years. Canada, $22 and $38. International, $30 and $50. Please send your story or poem submissions by e-mail to Queries and other e-mail should also be directed to this address.





Opening Editorial

Paranormal Listings



Jackie Gamber: Permanent Residence

Chris Stevens: The Jumper

Neil James Hudson: The Colour of Nothing

Derek Muk: The Haunted Goldmine

Robert J. Krog: Babies' Breath

Thomas Canfield: Wraith

Uncle River: The Spirit Wing

Paul L. Bates: A Rose By Any Other Name

Bill Camp: Paranormal Experiment

Richard J. O'Brien: The Creek Rope

Joshua Sidley: Finished



K. S. Hardy: High Moon

Wade German: The Stains

Marge Simon: Cat Woman

Marge Simon: Creatures

s.c. virtes: making a believer

Richard H. Fay: Something In The Yew

Terrie Leigh Relf: I smell rain outside my window

Thom Olausson: A Ghostly Memory

David Kopaska-Merkel: A dream in flood

Scott E. Green: Waiting in the Hollows



Marge Simon: Cat Woman

Teresa Tunaley: Fate

Denny Marshall: Spotlight Gaze

Cover illustration "Taking Home The Bride" by Kristina Gehrmann


Surprise: An Erotic Fiction Anthology from Racy Pages

Surprise: An Erotic Fiction Anthology from Racy Pages

Surprise: An Erotic Fiction Anthology from Racy Pages

Edited by Tinder James

Available at 

·         Perfect Paperback: 192 pages

 ·         Publisher: Rubicund Publishing LLC (June 1, 2010)

 ·         Language: English

 ·         ISBN-10: 0984371400

 ·         ISBN-13: 978-0984371402   

And now, as John Cleese was once wont to repeat, for something completely different—from me, anyway—a bit of cheesecake.  Although I must admit I did not write “Goddard’s Curse” as a bawdy story.  But apparently it did fit someone else’s definition of same.    

The cover is a modern version of what was once referred to as a “plain brown wrapper” used for mailing stuff one did not want the neighbors to see.  Serves one right for living in a neighborhood where the neighbors snoop in one’s mailbox.  Or perhaps the mailman was assumed to be a gossip, or a thief. 

Apparently it is also proper to use a pseudonym when publishing said racy tales.  Something I never considered.  I assume the editor is using one, I know Jean Rabe is.  Jax?  Lilycat?  Lux Zakari?  I may be out of my element here...  Perhaps one should be embarrassed to write erotic fiction.  Or perhaps one should be worried that it may lead to dangerous perverts stalking the authors.  Or maybe it will simply offend the delicate sensibility of family members, or readers who have come to expect something else by way of literary expression.  One could get a headache pondering the fruitless possibilities.   

Moreover, the whole business appears to be an ambiguous indictment of some aspect of our social being.  I just wrote “Goddard's Curse” as a tale about an adrenalin junkie who fears to sleep, tends to abuse relationships—an unwanted child until it found a home in this anthology. 

In any event, the anthology is available June 1.  And for those whose sensibilities are not all that delicate, and for the inner voyeur in us all, the TOC:

Midnight Rodeo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lux Zakari
Filthy New Romantics . . . . . . . . . . . .Harper Hull
Adam Gets Perspective . . . . . . . . . . . .Kyoko Church
In Real Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Janine Ashbless
As Good as it Gets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E. C. Jarvis
Burden in Hand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jake Barnes 
Leslie Goosemoon Rides Again . . . . . . Giselle Renarde
Rush Hour Squirm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lilycat
Temptation Like a M---------- . . . . . . Alicia C. McGhee
Penpals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jax
The Best Defense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lee Minxton
Shopping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Miel Rose
Cherry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Janine Ashbless
Goddard’s Curse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Paul L. Bates
Why Zombies Make the Best Lovers . .Lilycat
Detachable P----- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stephen Smith
Addiction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Felix Baron
Enhancement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Theodore Carter
In the Night . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Penelope Friday
The Senator’s Perfect Wife . . . . . . . . .S. T. Clemmons
Surprise Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Giselle Renarde
Tea and Kink . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Sam Jayne
Old Flames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Keesha Marie
Unions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Alex Wayne
Explorations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Stephanie Campisi
Temporary Tattoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Annabel Eastland
Restraining My Love . . . . . . . . . . . . .Drake Benton



Review: Asphalt Flowerhead by Forrest Armstrong

Asphalt Flowerhead

Title:  Asphalt Flowerhead


  • Author:  Forrest Armstrong
  • Publisher:  Crossing Chaos Enigmatic Ink
  • Publisher’s address:
  • ISBN:  978-0-9810117-7-6
  • List Price:  $15.50 CDN
  • Date:  2009
  • Page Count:  148

Allen Ginsberg once howled “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness…looking for an angry fix,” went on in a drug fueled frenzy to berate the fact this was no place for the creative, the free thinking, the stoned, the defiant.  Over fifty years later, Forrest Armstrong picks up the chant in Asphalt Flowerhead, chronicling the misadventures of five young men, most of them junkies, hurtling like comets through a surreal counterpart of the USA, in which the reader is never quite certain what is hallucination and what is reality, or if in fact they are inexorably inseparable. 


The drug of choice is flash, derived from the organs of a rodent called a grillo, a super LSD of sorts, but walls melt and skies bleed even for the straight.


The cast of characters include Nail, a junkie poet who doesn’t write poetry; Johnny, a junkie seeker, who graduates from drugs to an “eastern” esoteric discipline every bit as addictive; Brad, who is mostly straight, but digs the scene, winds up in the frontlines of the War on Drugs with a rifle after a drug bust; Chevy, who is straight, and can animate anything; Bill, the congenial club owner and painter, as comfortable among the aesthetes as the druggies.


The US has invaded the Netherlands in a politically motivated attempt to stem the tide of foreign drugs into the US.  Men and robots designed in part by Chevy annihilate Amsterdam after the war is won to “send a message.”  The fact that this is a European country removes the cultural distance from images of Viet Nam or Iraq, animates the surreal.


It is a coming of age tale, filled with hopes, hallucinations, betrayals, in which maturation hemorrhages lost innocence, paintings come to life, the world constantly teeters between the images of Dali, the sentiments of Burroughs, and the anger of Ginsberg as the fates and fortunes of these young men intertwine.  Asphalt Flowerhead feels as if it was inspired by real events and characters, moves with a destructive fury through a world made mad by rationalization. 


Not for the faint of heart, definitely worth the read.