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DUSK AND SUMMER BLOG TOUR: Guest Post by Joseph Pinto!

DuskAndSummer_JosephAPinto_PostCard

Joseph Pinto has been touring the internet, supporting his novella Dusk and Summer. Dusk and Summer was written as a tribute to his father, who he lost to cancer in 2007. Given that the subject matter is so intensely personal to Joseph, we wanted to know why people should pick up Dusk and Summer and delve into its story. This is what he told us…

Dusk and Summer; An Investment From The Heart

Joseph A. Pinto

If there is anything I’ve learned as an author, it’s this: if you write with the sole intent of selling books, chances are you won’t achieve your desired level of success.  Rather, a book should be written from the heart so that the reader will invest their time in its story.

I believe that readers will find my novella Dusk and Summer a unique experience.  I lost my father to pancreatic cancer on June 28, 2007, and in the months that followed, I honored his life the only way I knew how – I wrote for him.  My father loved the ocean and had once been an avid scuba diver, exploring many shipwrecks along the bottom of the New Jersey shoreline.  I took this element of his life and crafted it into a fantasy tale.  In the process, I realized I had done much more.  The pages before me spoke of the incredible pain over losing a loved one, the anguish of one’s inability to alter fate.  But they also spoke of something far greater; hope, and the realization that sometimes a goodbye is not as final as it may seem.

Dusk and Summer shares the tale of a dying father who whispers a cryptic message to his son: “Must find me…she…come back from Tolten.”  A race against time immediately commences.  How does the Tolten, a freighter sunk off the New Jersey coast by German torpedoes in 1942, factor into the realization of the father’s wish?  Who, exactly, claims the identity of the mysterious she?

I’m extremely proud that my story has allowed me to keep an eternal connection with my father even as I’ve managed to help others deal with the grief of losing a loved one.  It’s a role I never would’ve expected, but one I now relish.

Continuing to honor of my father, I’ll be donating a portion of all proceeds from my book to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.  I hope that through the Dusk and Summer, as well my own awareness campaign, I can play a small part in finding a cure for this horrible disease.

For me, there’s no greater investment than that.

Thank you Joseph. Now let’s take a closer look at Dusk and Summer…  There will be an excerpt to follow as well!

DuskAndSummer_JosephAPinto_FrontCoverOnlyDoes Heaven await beneath the waves? One man needs to know.

When his dying father whispers a cryptic message to him, he has no choice but to summon his courage and begin the quest of a lifetime. It’s a race against time to realize his father’s wish and fulfill his own destiny; it’s a discovery of the unbreakable bond between father and son. It’s a journey of the heart that unfolds where only the Chosen exist – in the moments between Dusk and Summer.

“A poignant, metaphoric conversation between son and father. A story that will warm your heart.”

–Yvonne S. Thornton, M.D., bestselling author of The Ditchdigger’s Daughters

The author will be donating a portion of the proceeds from this book to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon:

US |UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | India | Brazil

CreateSpace

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iTunes (Apple)

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JosephAPinto_HeadShot_3x4_9702_SeaLightAqua_5contrast_borderABOUT THE AUTHOR – Joseph A. Pinto is the horror author of two published books and numerous short stories; he is a member of the Horror Writers Association as well the founder of Pen of the Damned, a collective of angst and horror driven writers. Indulge in his unique voice on his personal blog josephpinto.com and PenofTheDamned.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JosephAPinto. Joseph hails from New Jersey where he lives with his wife and young daughter.

Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Goodreads

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There’s a Giveaway too!!

Sirens Call Publications will be giving away digital copies of Dusk and Summer by Joseph A. Pinto to 5 (five) lucky winners! Follow the link to enter for your chance to win!

Win 1 of 5(five) copies of Dusk and Summer by Joseph A. Pinto!

***

An now an excerpt from Joseph Pinto’s Dusk and Summer…

Open Road 

Numb to the core, I curiously watched the foreign appendages attached to the steering wheel. To the left, to the right they twisted, occasionally jabbing at the directional to signal a lane change. My mind had dulled since leaving the hospital for home to collect some things before hitting the road, rendering me a puppet, aware of my actions but oblivious to whom pulled at my strings.

Lifting a shaking hand to my feverish brow, I wiped at sweat trickling down my temples, pooling under my eyes. Before me, the parkway yawned endlessly toward a shimmering horizon. Each weary glance into the rearview mirror revealed splintered, black asphalt crumbling off into the bowels of the earth. The sky above seemed to buckle, and I tensed, expecting at any moment for it to fracture like a thin pane of glass. I strained to hold myself together. Oblivious of the road, I threw my face into my hand as the first sob pinched the soft flesh of my throat. I suddenly lost the strength, the will, to keep at my journey, to remain upon the intended path. What did it matter anyway? My father lay dying and now his limbs, his very hands that served him so loyally his entire life cruelly betrayed him. I could not bear his agonizing erosion any longer and yet, day after day, I stood witness to it all. Helpless. Useless. It was not supposed to be this way. My father was only sixty years old. Too many Sundays remained watching and discussing football, Friday nights out sharing drinks like college buddies. Too many opportunities to call and ask him over my house to help fix stuff. Any kind of stuff. It did not matter, as long as he was there. And grandchildren? Did he not deserve to someday hold my child? Someone… please tell me this was a heartless prank. My father… only sixty years old.

Horns blared. My body became my own once again. My head snapped up, and I swerved recklessly back into my lane, clammy hands wringing the wheel. Took a deep breath.

Too much time remained.

I expelled the wind from my lungs, and for a sickening moment I thought I had struck an animal of some kind as it crossed the parkway, its tortured wail rising higher and higher within my truck until my ears popped and my eyes bulged. But it was me. Only me.

Time slipped away.

“Come on, Dad! Come on, Dad!” My fist beat upon the steering wheel. Eventually my howls subsided. My fever disappeared. The drone of the truck’s tires pacified me. I cracked the window for some air. “I’m not giving up,” I whispered to the open road. “Don’t you.”

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OPEN SUBMISSION: The Sirens Call – Issue #16 – Apocalyptic Fiction

Sirens Call Publications is now accepting submissions for the 16th issue of The Sirens Call. This issue’s theme is Apocalyptic Fiction:

For the 16th issue of The Sirens Call, we’re asking for poetry, flash fiction and short stories that take place during the Apocalypse.

We’re looking for Apocalyptic Fiction-whether it’s caused by natural disaster, a disease or virus, an economic crash, or any other scenario that you choose to end the world with. We’ll leave those particulars up to you. Keep in mind that while we’re not adverse to tales of Zombies, we’d like the focus kept on the Apocalypse itself.

How would the world end if you held its fate in your hands?

Deadline: July 31, 2014

Full guidelines can be read on our website - www.SirensCallPublications.com

*All submissions MUST be submitted to: Submissions@SirensCallPublications.com

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Climate Change Blog Tour: Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway to win 1 of 5 digital copies of Climate Change by Daniel Durrant on his recent virtual book tour!

The winners are:

Ashley Clover

Kriss Morton

Zoe Blair

Blair Smyth

Carson Mitchell

We hope you enjoy Climate Change and would love to hear your thoughts on it!

***

Also a huge thank you to:

Megan Stewart

Laurie Jenkins

Shah Wharton

Christy Wilson

Stuart Conover

Kriss Morton

Brent Abell

Dan O’Brien

Nina D’Arcangela

Julianne Snow

***

ClimateChange_DanielDurrant_Final_cover_front (1)In a world driven by steam and power-hungry Industrialists, can one man change the course of history?

Edward Rankine, inventor and engineer aboard the battle-cruiser Dominator, has devised an ingenious plan to open the frozen Northwest Passage.

Believing he is performing a service for the benefit of mankind, Edward is appalled to discover there is a saboteur in his midst.

Working with a crew of ‘Jacks and Jills’, mechanically enhanced humans sentenced to a life of servitude, Edward is forced to battle on the icebound waters of the northern seas.

Not only does Edward have a mutiny on his hands, but he must also find a way to save the passengers aboard the Dominator, possibly abandoning his own noble ambition in the process.

Will Edward’s plan succeed in the face of adversity, or in failing to clear the Northwest Passage will he stumble upon something greater?

Purchase Links:

Amazon:

US | Canada | UK |Australia | Germany |France | Italy | Spain | Brazil | India | Mexico | Japan

CreateSpace

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

iTunes (Apple)

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OPEN SUBMISSIONS: Mental Ward: Experiments

Sirens Call Publications is pleased to announce it has re-opened submissions for:

Mental Ward: Experiments

The elevator doors open, the lights are flickering, the gurney is wheeled into a dank, dimly-lit hallway well below ground. Does the Doctor have the patient’s best interests at heart, or is something more nefarious going on? How does the staff figure out what treatments are most effective and which are not?

In our other two Mental Ward collections, we asked you to tell us what happened above ground in the institute itself; what memories of the past were trapped in the abandoned hallways; now we’re asking you to tell us what goes on behind closed doors. The secret experiments that are feared and whispered about among the patients. Tell us what greed, the corruption of power, and the desire to be remembered will drive a Doctor to do the unthinkable to the unfortunate patients left in their care.

Tell your tale from whoever’s perspective you’d like, just make sure the story you tell is a depraved one.

Note: This is a reopened anthology. Your story must contain the following three elements to be considered:

    • Your story must take place in a Mental Asylum or Institution.
    • Your story must involve individuals from the Asylum: doctors, nurses, patients, etc.
    • Your story must contain what would be considered an unsanctioned experiment that is physically performed.

Submission Deadline: November 30, 2014

Word Count minimum – 4,000 words, nothing less will be reviewed; maximum – 8,000 words; nothing more will be reviewed.

No reprints considered.

Full guidelines are available on our website: www.SirensCallPublications.com

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RELEASE: The Sirens Call Issue #15 – Crypto!

The Sirens Call Issue #15 – all to do with Cryptozoology – has been unleashed on the world!

As always The Sirens Call is free to download so share and share alike!!

With 85 pages of flash fiction, short stories and poetry, it’s chock full of great fiction! And there’s an interview and artwork from our featured artist Michael Locascio, owner of Dellamorte Co.;  as well as an interview and an excerpt from An Aberrant Mind author Ken MacGregor!

2014_June_ezine_cover_FINAL

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CLIMATE CHANGE BLOG TOUR: Guest Post by Daniel Durrant!

ClimateChange_DanielDurrant_PostCard

Daniel Durrant is touring the internet this week on a virtual book tour, supporting his debut novella. A Steampunk tale with elements of espionage and suspense, Climate Change is book those who love the genre are not going to want to miss. We asked Daniel to tell us what makes Climate Change different from the other Steampunk offerings currently on the market. This is what he told us…

Confession Time

Daniel Durrant

So Climate Change has been out for a while now, and the feedback is coming in. I’ve had some lovely reviews (very happy about those). I think I’ve annoyed a few conservative/religious types (which, since honesty is the theme here, doesn’t make me massively unhappy).

However, one pattern has emerged from the chaos; most people tell me Climate Change is a bit different from other Steampunk they’ve read.

There are two reasons for this. First, that’s my aim with everything I write; even if a concept is well-used, I genuinely try hard to offer a fresh angle on it. Second – this where the confession comes in – I think it’s different because I never planned to write Steampunk.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the genre. I’ve read the books, watched the movies and played the video games (The Chaos Engine, for anyone old enough to remember). Yet somehow, it never occurred to me to write it, and so Climate Change began life as something else entirely.

A pet subject of mine is Britain’s nineteenth-century obsession with polar exploration. Since victory in the Napoleonic wars left the Royal Navy with no enemy to conquer, they tried to conquer nature instead. Numerous attempts to traverse the Northwest Passage were made, culminating in the infamous Franklin expedition of 1845.

I set out to write a story around the subject, but none of my ideas seemed right. Then I happened to read a call for Steampunk submissions whilst watching a documentary about the tragedy.

Out of nowhere – perhaps the luminiferous aether, some might say – the idea just arrived, fully formed. It felt like a perfect match – namely, what would a Steampunk attempt to navigate the Northwest Passage look like?

I’ve always been a big fan of those historical “what-if” exercises – I love pondering what the world might be like if dice had rolled differently – and so I approached Climate Change from that perspective.

I gave history (okay, and physics) a slight nudge, allowing the British Empire access to a twisted analogue of nuclear power in the late nineteenth century. Then I began to wonder what my new world might look like. With an even greater technological advantage, what would the Victorians have done?

The ideas came almost too fast to get down. Some were quite political, lending themselves to a thriller structure. Some were a consequence of the technology. Others clearly led to horror (there’s an element of that in everything I write). Others still were linked to real history, which felt important; I was determined the story should respect the people that lost their lives on those ill-fated polar expeditions.

In the end there was simply too much material, and although some was set aside to provide a clear direction (that’s what sequels are for) it’s fair to say Climate Change feels a bit different. I guess the novel is something of a chimera; like Frankenstein’s monster, many disparate parts had to be stitched together before the novel could live.

I think the skeleton came from a thriller. The hands were harvested from an action adventure. The eyes and ears, perhaps, might have been stolen from the corpse of period fiction. Some part – the entrails, most likely – were certainly torn out of a horror story.

But the monster’s brain was definitely cut from the body of alternative history, and as we all know, re-imagining the Victorian era always leads us to the same fate. Yes, my monster is alive, and his name is Steampunk.

Thank you Daniel! Now that we’ve read a little bit from his mind, let’s take a moment to get to know him a little better…

DD PhotoABOUT THE AUTHOR – Daniel Durrant is a new author writing mainly in the horror and science fiction genres. His short stories have been published in anthologies in the UK and USA, and he is currently working on his first full-length novel. He lives on the Norfolk Coast in England.

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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And now let’s take a look at Climate Change and read an excerpt from it!

ClimateChange_DanielDurrant_FrontCoverPromoIn a world driven by steam and power-hungry Industrialists, can one man change the course of history?

Edward Rankine, inventor and engineer aboard the battle-cruiser Dominator, has devised an ingenious plan to open the frozen Northwest Passage.

Believing he is performing a service for the benefit of mankind, Edward is appalled to discover there is a saboteur in his midst.

Working with a crew of ‘Jacks and Jills’, mechanically enhanced humans sentenced to a life of servitude, Edward is forced to battle on the icebound waters of the northern seas.

Not only does Edward have a mutiny on his hands, but he must also find a way to save the passengers aboard the Dominator, possibly abandoning his own noble ambition in the process.

Will Edward’s plan succeed in the face of adversity, or in failing to clear the Northwest Passage will he stumble upon something greater?

Purchase Links:

Amazon:

US | Canada | UK |Australia | Germany |France | Italy | Spain | Brazil | India | Mexico | Japan

CreateSpace

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

iTunes (Apple)

An Excerpt from Climate Change by Daniel Durrant… At the end of the excerpt is the giveaway information!

On the ride out, Edward tried to glimpse the modifications that were his design. All space forward was taken by three quadruple turrets. They began to pass the castle, but before the stern became visible, the ship was lost in a fog bank of her own making.

“She has decay engines?” Charlotte asked, watching steam engulf the superstructure.

“Yes, four.” He pointed at the cooling towers. “I can arrange a tour if you’d like,” he offered, hoping to impress.

“Yes.” She smiled. “I would.”

After hopping off at the loading pavilion, they pushed through the crowd and showed their papers to the Royal Marine manning the embarkation point. He directed them toward the nearest elevator, but as they approached, an enormous man began to close the gate.

“Hold, if you please!” Edward called, hurrying forward.

The giant hesitated, but dropped the latch at the signal of an expensively dressed woman standing beside him. The platform began to climb, but those aboard were unprepared. Near the guardrail, two men struggling with a huge portmanteau overbalanced.

Muscles battled gravity as the platform continued skyward. Gravity won. The luggage teetered on the edge before plummeting down, dragging one of the men behind it. They landed together. Clothes, trinkets, and blood dispersed across the unforgiving stone.

“Medic!” Charlotte yelled, running forward. “We need a doctor!”

Edward knelt down and grabbed the man’s wrist, but found no pulse.

“We shan’t need one, I’m afraid.” He shook his head.

“He’s dead?”

“Don’t trouble yourself, Miss,” a marine said. “He’s only a Jack.”

“A Jack?” Edward removed the man’s woolen hat. The scalp beneath was fashioned not from flesh, but metal. A bundle of wires trailed down under his collar. He stood, and looked around. Free from distraction, it was obvious; the stevedores moved with the stilted gait of the converted.

“You bloody fools!” The woman from the elevator barged past them, directing her staff to clean up. “Don’t touch that!” she shouted, as a maid picked up an ornate music box. She snatched the item away, and passed it to the tall man.

“Can I be of assistance?” Edward offered.

“I very much doubt it!” His offer seemed to feed her anger, but then she calmed. “It was a gift from my father,” she said, perhaps trying to justify her outburst. “Excuse us.”

“Lady Holden,” Charlotte murmured, as they climbed aboard another elevator. “I see she’s every bit as charming as her reputation suggests.”

The name seemed familiar, but Edward had no chance to enquire about it.

As they stepped aboard, a young man burst through a service door, charging toward them.

“Stop!” someone hollered, but the man paid no heed. He dashed for a loading ramp, but a gunshot ended his journey. He collapsed beside them, blood erupting from his chest.

Marines ran forward with guns drawn, but had no more targets.

“Sir? Madam? Are you alright?” An officer lowered his weapon, and stepped forward.

Edward looked at the would-be escapee. Blood spread unchecked until it hit the edge of the plank under him. Acting like a miniature dyke, the caulking carried it to the gunwale drain.

“Yes, we’re fine. Thank you, Lieutenant,” Charlotte replied.

A rhythmic hammering sound finally drew Edward’s attention from the body. Looking up, he saw Captain Fitzjames approaching. Standing nearly seven feet tall on his pneumatic legs, he strode forward to join them.

“I must apologize,” the Captain said. “Hardly an appropriate welcome, Miss Redpath.” He smiled. “It’s a pleasure to see you again.”

“Captain.” She nodded. “I was most grieved to hear of your injury at the battle of Buenos Aires.”

Redpath? Charlotte Redpath? Edward tried hard to keep his face blank, but knew he’d failed. Charlie? Stunned, he shook his head.

“Chance hit from a shore battery, but the objective was achieved. The Argentine Navy was completely destroyed.” Shrugging, he tapped the brass thigh tank. “The admiralty insists my uniform should be tailored to hide them, but I believe it does the men good to see that officers share the danger with them.” He turned to Edward. “Doctor Rankine, I presume?”

“Yes, Captain.” As a civilian, Edward had no protocol to observe, but pulled himself upright nonetheless. “It’s an honor, sir.”

“Hmn. Frankly, I don’t care for what you’ve done to my ship, Doctor. The loss of the aft turret concerns me.” He frowned, but then a narrow smile crossed his lips. “However, I must admit I’m curious to see the system in action.”

“Sir, look at this.” Kneeling beside the body, a Marine pulled the man’s shirt open. A small tree was tattooed on his sternum.

“Creationist!” Fitzjames growled. Air hissed from a bleed valve as he stamped a foot. “Lieutenant, organize a search-”

“Sir, we have another one!” Two Marines exited from the nearest elevator, dragging a man between them. “Caught him in the engine room, sir. Chief Engineer said he was tampering with the vortex transducers.”

“You are aboard a vessel of the Royal Navy,” Fitzjames said, clipping off each word. “Sabotaging a ship-of-the-line carries a mandatory life sentence. Take him for marionisation.”

“No!” The man sagged down between his captors. Only their grip prevented his collapse. “Captain, I beg you!”

“I’m sorry, son. It’s too late for that.” He hesitated. “Be grateful we have a good surgeon. It won’t hurt.”

Listening to him scream as the Marines hauled him away, Edward wondered if the dead man hadn’t been the luckier one. At least he couldn’t suffer any more.

“Captain, chance seems an unlikely explanation for this,” he said, trying to focus. “We have to consider that someone has leaked details of our mission.”

“You’re suggesting there’s a traitor aboard the Dominator?” Fitzjames snarled.

Thinking himself the target of the Captain’s anger, Edward took a step back.

“Damn it, you’re right. Too much coincidence.” He called the officers close. Through clenched teeth, he ordered an immediate departure. “We don’t want a panic. Keep this quiet, but place double guards on all restricted areas.” Surrounded by his entourage, he walked away, still issuing orders.

“You’re Charlotte Redpath?” Edward asked.

“The last time I checked, yes.” She looked down at herself.

“You might have told me.” The daughter of one of the wealthiest industrialists in the world, and he’d taken her for some grubby scout. Edward shook his head, feeling dizzy. He couldn’t take much more of this. As if the expedition alone wasn’t terror enough, trouble had struck before the ship could even sail.

“I’m sorry, Edward.” She touched his arm. “Don’t sulk. It wouldn’t have been nearly so much fun.”

“Oh, Miss Redpath?” Fitzjames turned back. “As I said, this is a vessel of the Royal Navy.” He gestured at her filthy clothes. “Sponsor or not, Her Majesty’s rules dictate a dress code.”

***

It’s a Giveaway!!

Sirens Call Publications will be giving away digital copies of Climate Change by Daniel Durrant to 5 (five) lucky winners! Follow the link to enter for your chance to win!

Win 1 of 5(five) copies of Climate Change by Daniel Durrant

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The Coven Blog Tour: Winners!!

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway to win 1 of 5 digital copies of The Coven by Angie Gallow on her recent virtual book tour!

The winners are:

Sarah MacGuire

Jai Gagne

Lori Franklin Hopkins

Shah Wharton

Ross Carrothers

We hope you enjoy The Coven and would love to hear your thoughts on it!

***

Also a huge thank you to:

Megan Stewart

Laurie Jenkins

Shah Wharton

Christy Wilson

Stuart Conover

Horror Tree

Brent Abell

Jennifer Brinkmeyer

Dan O’Brien

Mary Rajotte

Nina D’Arcangela

Julianne Snow

***

TheCoven_Final_cover_frontAfter a gruesome betrayal, vampire Sebastien Vilmont is flung into a whirlwind cat and mouse game when his traveling party is ambushed by an opposing group of bloodthirsty vampires. Maurice, the leader of Sebastien’s coven, makes the decision to not only wage war against the opposing vampire clan, but a clerical organization known as The Diocese Club who wishes to exterminate all vampire-kind.

Trying desperately to protect the secrecy of their coven’s location below the streets of Whitechapel, London, Sebastien finds himself at odds with Maurice in his desire to not engage in all-out war with the renegade Catholic faction. At the same time, he must also battle the other vampire coven to guard their anonymity from humans. In doing so, Sebastien is forced into choices and alliances he might not otherwise have made.

Set in the tone of Victorian England, The Coven is a thrilling and horrific journey through the seedier workings of the vampire underworld, and pious ideology of The Diocese Club.

Purchase Links:

Amazon:

US | Canada | UK | Australia | Germany | France | Italy | Spain | Brazil | India | Mexico | Japan

CreateSpace

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

iBooks (Apple)

 

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