Monthly Archives: June 2015

Blood and Thunder Tales

A Long and Fatal Love Chase by A.M. Barnard (published in 1995)

The Mysterious Key  by L.M. Alcott (1866)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    June 23, 2015

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If you are not familiar with the term “blood and thunder tales,” it famously refers to Louisa May Alcott’s thriller short stories, which she wrote under the pseudonym A.M. Barnard. Most Concord literary fans are acquainted with Alcott’s darker side of fiction, sensational adventures that were published in magazines to support her family’s income. The historical value, of course, is one of the attractions, but these stories are quite entertaining (with vintage melodrama) and crisply written.

Louisa May Alcott bedroom and study, Concord, MA Orchard House

Louisa May Alcott bedroom and study, Concord, MA Orchard House

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It’s well known that Alcott wrote with both left and right hands—perhaps an insight to the two sides of her creativity. Not only was this American literary icon skilled in writing about domestic  adventures in Little Women, but she wasn’t shy about psychological suspense and Gothic mystery.

The Mysterious Key is family intrigue. A locked room that is thought to be haunted, a sudden death, romance, a blind girl, and secrets.

Read The Mysterious Key here at Gutenberg.org.

 

You can read more of Alcott’s blood and thunder tales and other short stories at Gutenberg.org.  Pauline’s Passion and Punishment; The Abbot’s Ghost; Behind A Mask or A Woman’s Power.

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A Long and Fatal Love Chase begins with this line “I often feel as if I’d gladly sell my soul to Satan for a year of freedom.”  Murder, a deal with the devil, an obsessive lover, and a Catholic priest.  Published in 1996.  Available on Amazon.

 

 

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A Whisper in the Dark. Published in 2015. Available on Amazon.

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Here is what Boston publisher James T. Fields said to Louisa May Alcott in 1853. “Stick to your teaching, Miss Alcott. You can’t write.”

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In 1855 her first published book was Flower Fables. Little Women was published in 1868 and became an instant best seller followed by Little Men in 1871. She wrote over fifty works of short stories, novels, and plays.

Alcott died at the age of 55, just two days after her father died in 1888.

 

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Filed under fiction, mysteries, short stories, supernatural, quiet horror, horror, tales of terror, psychological horror, literature, horror blogs, Women In Horror

Here’s What’s Newsy in Paula Cappa’s Fiction

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I’ve got a bit of buzz going on with my  supernatural mystery writing these days, so here’s a quick update.

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After Winning an Eric Hoffer Book Award, Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural just got a review from U.S. Review of Books.

“Stunning and absorbing plot on par with—if not better than—a Dan Brown novel. Truly an outstanding read, Night Sea Journey is one book that is hard to put down!” You can read more at U.S. Review of Books here.

 

 

 

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 The Dazzling Darkness is holding its Amazon Kindle Best Seller status, in  ghost  genre, for 14 weeks now. This story has really connected to a healthy number  of ghost  story  lovers.

Midwest Book Review ★★★★★ “Paula Cappa is a master of the metaphysical  mystery genre…an extraordinary and original storyteller of the first rank. Very  highly recommended.”

 

 

 

I have three short stories available on Amazon Kindle (99 cents), Hildie at the Ghost Shore; The Haunting of Jezebeth; Between the Darkness and the Dawn.  See links and book covers to the right.

What’s coming up?

The Magic of the Loons, a short story of magical realism, a little bit sexy and a little bit fantasy. Will release on Amazon in September for 99 cents. This story was previously published at Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine.

And my third novel, Greylock, is in it final stages of editorial revisions (5 years’ work). Music, the supernatural, and the power of desire.  Murder, lies, betrayal, romance—and the phantasm.

Mt. Greylock, Massachusetts

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Photo by Elisabeth Zguta

 

“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin,

another’s voice, another’s soul.” — Joyce Carol Oates

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Filed under fiction, ghost stories, Ghosts, horror, horror blogs, Reading Fiction, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror, The Dazzling Darkness, Women In Horror

Enoch says, “Get the Hatchet!”

Enoch by Robert Bloch  (1946)

Tuesday Tale of Terror  June 16, 2015

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 Illustration by Dan Foley at Spizwackle blogspot.

 

This is a nightmare tale, little bit of black humor, and a lot of creepy business. Seth is a young man with a serious problem. A creature lives on top of his head. No one can see this creature. No one can hear him. No one can catch him. His name is Enoch. And while Enoch spends a lot of time sleeping on Seth’s head, during Enoch’s wake time he orders Seth to kill people. “Get the hatchet!”  Hmmmm, yes, this story is not only weird, but demonstrates a macabre justice with a hefty slice of gluttony.

 

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Read the short story  Enoch with illustrations in Weird Magazine at UNZ.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Roberts Bloch was part of the Lovecraft circle and was heavily influence by him. Today most of us know Robert Bloch from  his novel Psycho, which inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous horror film of the same name.

 

Read Psycho online at English-e-books.net  (Download on the yellow box “Read Online Now.”)

 

 

Listen to another of Robert Bloch’s short stories, audio (30 minutes) of The Hell-bound Train, published in 1958 and won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in Fantasy:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GybC7BBrg2s

Other novels by Robert Bloch:

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Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com        Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian   Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books     The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.

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Filed under fiction, short stories, horror, weird tales, classic horror stories, horror blogs

Double-Damned Thirteenth Floor

A Tale of the Thirteenth Floor  by Ogden Nash  (1955)

Reading Fiction, Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    June 9, 2013

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I’ve been looking for a good horror story about the supernatural and legendary thirteenth floor. In my search, I didn’t come up with much. The best one I found (and it’s an amazing verse) was by Ogden Nash, a writer best known for his droll and humorous poems.  A Tale of the Thirteenth Floor reads like a short story but with rhythmic beat and rhyme.

Triskaidekaphobia means fear of the number 13. From Babylonian times to Norse Mythology to Judas being Christ’s thirteenth disciple, the number thirteen holds lots of superstitions of evil powers, bad luck, death, and madness. If you remember Superman Action comics, you might recall that the story was about alien tourists from another planet who resided on the thirteenth floor. Batman stories had a thirteenth floor in Gotham that held a secret society of assassins. But architects and elevator manufacturers are famous for triskaidekaphobia: over 80 percent of buildings do not have a 13th floor or the number 13 on elevator floor stops.

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So, let the poet Ogden Nash export you to Times Square, to the gilded snare of a grimy hotel. A lowly bum, carrying a knife, enters the hotel. He is in search of “the rat” Pinball Pete. Old Maxie is the elevator guy and takes him to the thirteenth floor. But is there a thirteenth floor? Or is it hidden from human sight? We quickly learn that the 13th floor appears once a year on Walpurgis Night (Satanic Night). Old Maxie, he knows more than the old bum does about who resides on the thirteenth floor.

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If anyone here has a favorite supernatural tale about the thirteenth floor, please post in the comment boxes. I’m still on the hunt!

 

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Read the tale here at OgdenNash.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can listen to the audio version, read by Tom O’Bedlam on YouTube

At Evening Thoughts, William Adams has an interesting analysis of this poem.  Read it at HickoryTreeblogspot 

I did find a film “Nightmare on the Thirteenth Floor,” 1990. Quite dated, but still fun. James Brolin, Michele Greene, Louise Fletcher, John Karlen.

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com        Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian   Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books     The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.

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Filed under demons, fiction, ghost stories, short stories, supernatural

A Fit Laughing Stock for Devils (Chinese Supernatural Tales)

Strange Stories   by Pu Songling (1740)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   June 2, 2015

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When thinking of the supernatural, ghost, or horror stories, Chinese literature  is not the first thought that comes to mind.  Their fictional history is a long one with supernatural tales being recorded as early as The T’ang Dynasty, then Chuanqi tales became popular,  then Sung, Confucian, and Ming Dynasties brought supernatural mysteries into printed story collections.

During the Quig Dynasty, Pu Songling (1640-1750) wrote with a narrative strength and completed nearly 500 tales published in 1740 by his grandson. The Liaozhai Zhiyi or Strange Stories is considered to be the bible of Chinese supernatural folktales.  Most of Songling’s  stories hinge on that mysterious place between life and death, waking and dreaming, and have themes of foxes, tigers, and snakes. I’ve chosen four of his tales that are flash fictions and  are ‘charming with a chill’ in their supernatural moralities.

 

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Songling says of his writings: “I am but the dust in the sunbeam, a fit laughing stock for devils. For my talents are not those of Kan Pao, elegant explorer of the records of the Gods; I am rather animated by the spirit of Su Tung-p’o, who loved to hear men speak of the supernatural. I get people to commit what they tell me in writing and subsequently I dress it up in the form of a story; and thus in the lapse of time my friends from all quarters have supplied me with quantities of material, which, from my habit of collecting, has grown into a vast pile.”

 

 

 

Read these flash fictions at Gutenberg.org. (Click the titles below or scroll the Table of Contents  at Gutenberg.org and click on other titles)

 

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Metempsychosis   Mr. Lin dies at age 62. Will he meet a devil or a god in the Kingdom?

 

 

 

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Killing a Serpent  A young  man, Chang, is fond of hunting, but not hunting snakes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Great Rat  A rat that eats cats? Until the rat meets up with …

 

 

 

 

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The Tiger Guest  In Chinese culture, tigers kill evil men and protect good ones.  In this story of poets  and scholars, we have a twisty little tale.

 

 

 

 

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Available on Amazon.com

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com        Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian   Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books     The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.

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Filed under fiction, short stories, supernatural, quiet horror, dark fantasy, literature, horror blogs