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Steam Heat and Other Stories

When Ari and I first started writing professionally, we wrote for quite a few calls for submission because we thought it would be a good way to get our name out there. These calls were for short stories with a cap of 18,000 words, which was — and still is — a challenge for us because we’re used to writing longer works. The rights for most of the stories have reverted back to us for one reason or another, and we’ve decided to compile them into a collection and release it through Amazon.

Steam Heat and Other Stories will be released on September 1 on Amazon. It’s a collection of six short stories (20,000 words or less each), four by Ari and me together and two by me alone. These are all second editions that have been edited again, and I’ll talk about my process for organizing and editing this collection in our September newsletter.

The collection contains the following stories:

The Whole Kit and Kaboodle — Grey is smitten with seemingly shy librarian Henry, but Henry has a secret that could stand in the way of their happiness.A Hundred Lonely Halloweens

A Hundred Lonely Halloweens — Micah forms an unexpected connection to the ghost haunting the historical home he’s refurbishing.Steam Heat

Steam Heat — Coworkers Joss and Trey realize they have far more in common than they thought when they encounter each other at a Steampunk convention. Caribbean Blues

Caribbean Blues — Jon isn’t the type to indulge in vacation flings, but he can’t resist Derrick, a marine biologist who studies dolphins in the Bahamas. Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around

Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around — Landon thinks he needs to wear drag to catch the interest of his crush, but when he starts getting lessons from drag queen Raul, he finds himself growing hot for teacher instead.As Fair Art Thou, My Bonny Lad

As Fair Art Thou, My Bonny Lad — Shopkeeper Adie has tried to keep his desire for men a secret, but Niall, a newcomer to the colony of North Carolina, tempts him to risk his reputation in the little port town for a chance at love.

We’re happy to have our older works available again, and we hope you enjoy this collection!

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Haunted Hotties

When he learns that he has until Halloween to connect with his true love, Whimsy Hickes calls on the ghost of his playboy ancestor, Restraint, for help. Whimsy’s sexy werewolf neighbor, Harlan Edgewood, would be the perfect choice if he didn’t already have a girlfriend, but Restraint encourages Whimsy to fan the sparks and ignite a flame in Harlan. On Halloween, Harlan must choose between taking a chance on Whimsy or proposing to his girlfriend, and Whimsy can only wait and wonder if he’ll find true love or lose it forever.

Everything a Big Bad Wolf Could Want is now available from Torquere Press!

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Haunted Hotties!

This week, my third solo story, “Everything a Big Bad Wolf Could Want”, is coming out in Torquere’s Haunted Hotties vol. 2! Whimsy Hickes comes from a long line of magic users, and when his grandfather warns him of a vision that says he must connect with his true love before Halloween or risk losing his true love forever, he calls on one of his lascivious ancestors for help. Although his sexy werewolf neighbor, Harlan Edgewood, seems to be the perfect candidate, there’s one major problem: Harlan has a girlfriend. Can Whimsy convince Harlan to give love a chance or is Whimsy destined to spend all his Halloweens alone?

Torquere Press is offering a 25% discount on their books through the end of October. Just use the code “spooky15” at checkout!

If you’re looking for other spooky stories to enjoy this Halloween, Ari and I have some older works you might enjoy.

A Hundred Lonely Halloweens — a free read!
The Demon’s Door
Call of the Night Singers
Ghost of a Chance
Blood Bathory: Like the Night
Blood Bathory: Absence of the Sun

Speaking of the Blood Bathory series, we’re still working on editing the monster manuscript for book 3. It’s slow going because I’m the one who does the thorough proofreading before submission, and the last few months have been unusually busy, but my goal is to get it finished before the end of the year. Wish me luck!

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New free read!

We’re pleased to announce that our short story, “A Hundred Lonely Halloweens”, is now available as a free read from Torquere Press!

“A Hundred Lonely Halloweens” was originally published in October, 2012, as a Halloween Sip. It’s been added to our Free Reads page on this site along with “Steam Heat”.

When Micah Harrison bought Delany House, he didn’t suspect that it was haunted – or that the lonely ghost of Richard Delany would be the most appealing man he’d met in a long time. As Micah learns more about Richard, he realizes he’s in danger of falling in love, but he gives in to temptation anyway when Richard offers him the gift of an erotic Halloween encounter. However, Richard’s real gift is not only a night of sensual pleasure, but also a chance for Micah to find the love he’d been looking for and never found. 

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The Wendigo by Ogden Nash

In honor of tonight’s episode of Sleepy Hollow

“The Wendigo”, by Ogden Nash

The Wendigo,
The Wendigo!
Its eyes are ice and indigo!
Its blood is rank and yellowish!
Its voice is hoarse and bellowish!
Its tentacles are slithery,
And scummy,
Slimy,
Leathery!
Its lips are hungry blubbery,
And smacky,
Sucky,
Rubbery!

The Wendigo,
The Wendigo!
I saw it just a friend ago!
Last night it lurked in Canada;
Tonight, on your veranada!
As you are lolling hammockwise
It contemplates you stomachwise.
You loll,
It contemplates,
It lollops.
The rest is merely gulps and gollops.

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The Demon’s Door now available!

Our 2014 Halloween story, The Demon’s Door, is now available from Torquere Press! It’s 137 pages for $4.49.

When Thomas Carter discovers his grandfather’s hidden journals, detailing the old man’s fight against the supernatural, he knows he’s found his true calling at last. Yet when he sets out to stake a local vampire, he quickly learns that the difference between Good and Evil is very different than what he had believed.

Julian Schaden is at first amused when Thomas tries to destroy him, but he quickly recognizes Thomas for what he is: a Demon Hunter, a supernatural being who exists to hunt and destroy the soulless. The two are drawn together as Julian teaches Thomas the skills he will need to survive, and attraction intensifies to something deeper. But when a major demonic manifestation looms at Halloween, will they have the strength to face it, when failure might condemn them both to an eternity in Hell?

thedemonsdoor

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New Halloween story next week!

thedemonsdoorOur Halloween story for 2014 will be released next week! “The Demon’s Door” will be available on Oct. 22 from Torquere Press. It’s a little different from our Halloween stories from 2012 and 2013, which were ghost stories; this one has a wider range of supernatural beings and a more action-oriented plot.

But we’ve got several other spooky tales that are appropriate for Halloween for our readers to enjoy in the meantime!

A Hundred Lonely Halloweens
Call of the Night Singers
Ghost of a Chance
Blood Bathory: Like the Night
Blood Bathory: Absence of the Sun

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“The Demon’s Door” cover art!

We have a new Halloween novella coming out on October 22 from Torquere Press! We’ve written ghost stories for the past couple of years, so this year, we’re doing something a little different with “The Devil’s Door”, which focuses on a fledgling demon hunter and the vampire who (reluctantly) mentors him.

thedemonsdoor

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Shore Leave and publication dates

Ari and I will be attended the Shore Leave convention in Maryland this weekend, so if any of our followers happen to be going, please drop by our table at Meet the Pros on Friday night and say hi! We’ll have copies of Heart of Stone and Blood Bathory: Like the Night available. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get copies of Blood Bathory: Absence of the Sun from Amazon in time for the convention.

We’ll be attending Meet the Pros on Friday, and we’ll be participating in a couple of panels as well. We won’t be entering the Masquerade competition this year, however. We couldn’t settle on anything we both liked enough to commit that level of time and energy to making, so we decided to give it a miss.

In other news, we have new publication dates! Our Halloween novella, “The Demon’s Door”, will be released on October 22 from Torquere Press. Also coming from TQ, the third novella in the Herc’s Mercs series will be released in early 2015. The second novella is “Herc’s Mercs: Line in the Sand”, and that’s coming out on Sept. 3, 2014. The third one, “Herc’s Mercs: Bloody but Unbowed” is coming out on January 7, 2015. We hope our readers enjoy these as much as the first one!

Diary

Halloween themed recipes

Note: These aren’t my original recipes; I found them in various cookbooks I’ve collected over the years.

Jell-O-Ween Poke brownies
1 package (19.8 oz) brownie mix
1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 package (4 serving size) vanilla instant pudding
a few drops each red and yellow food coloring

Prepare and bake brownie mix as directed on the package for 8 or 9 inch pan. Remove from oven and immediately use round handle of a wooden spoon (or something of equivalent size) to poke holes at 1 inch intervals down through brownies to pan.

Pour milk into a large bowl and add pudding mix. Beat with a wire whisk for 2 minutes. Stir in a few drops of food colorings to tint the mixture orange. Quickly, pour about 1/2 of the thing pudding evenly over warm brownies and into holes.

Tap pan lightly to fill the holes. Let remaining pudding mixture stand to thicken slightly. Spread remaining pudding over top of brownies as “frosting”.

Refrigerate one hour or until ready to serve.

 

Ghosts in the Graveyard: 
1 package of chocolate sandwich cookies (aka oreos)
3 1/2 cups cold milk
2 packages (4 serving size) instant chocolate pudding
12 oz tub of Cool Whip

Remove the filling from the cookies (eat or discard) and crush the cookies well in a plastic ziploc bag with a rolling pin or in a food processor. They should be little grains, not chunks.

Pour milk into a large bowl and add pudding mixes. Beat with a wire whisk for 2 minutes. Gently stir in 3 cups of Cool Whip and half of the crushed cookies.

You can either spoon the pudding mixture into a 13×9 dish and sprinkle with the remaining cookies, or you can do what I did: get some small clear cups and layer the pudding mixture, the crushed cookies, and Hallowe’en M&Ms.

If you’re really creative, you can create wee ghosts out of the remaining Cool Whip to go on top and maybe some Milano cookies for “tombstones”. This would look especially cool with the dish variety, especially if you got some of those little candy pumpkins that come in the bag of candy corn. They taste like crap, but they make good decorations.

Refrigerate one hour or until ready to serve.

 

Witch’s Cauldron Cake:
20 Halloween Oreo cookies, divided
1 pkg (2 layer size) yellow cake mix, batter prepared as on package
1 container (16 oz size) ready to spread chocolate frosting, divided
Black shoestring licorice and assorted Halloween candies
2 cups thawed whipped topping, tinted orange with food coloring
1 pretzel rod
Gummy worms

Chop 16 cookies. Fold chopped cookies into prepared cake batter. Pour into greased 10 inch fluted tube pan. Bake and cool according to package directions for tube pan.

Halve two cookies and decorate as bats, attaching two halves side by side with frosting to form bat wings and decorating with frosting and assorted candies for eyes. Decorate two remaining cookies as spiders, using frosting to attach 1 1/2 inch pieces of licorice as legs and assorted candies for eyes. Set aside to dry.

Place cake, flat side up, on serving plate. Frost side of cake with remaining frosting. Frost top of cake with tinted whipped topping. Place pretzel rod into center opening of cake for “wooden spoon”. Decorate cake with cookie bats, spiders and gummy worms.