Category Archives: horror blogs

Come Meet Varlok. Flash Fiction

Varlok

 

Flash Fiction! Ready for a quick

100-word supernatural story?

The story below was part of a flash fiction contest at Horror Novel Reviews back in 2014. Some of you may know this website by Matt Molgaards. For the new year, I’ve been looking back at some of my work and decided to reprint this  tale that was published on Matt’s site.

 

Varlok by Paula Cappa   © 2014

 

The ninth hour. Julietta carries her violin up the darkened stone bridge. “I seek Varlok the music falcon, a blind creature of the ninth chorus.”

Julietta plays her sulky étude to the vale of sky, squeaking such discord she fears the black falcon will flee. “Dearest Varlok, I give you my perfect green eyes. Please grant me your immortal sonatas.”

The music falcon flies the Dusha River. He pecks her eyes, releasing glittering harmonies. Julietta breathes in the triumphant notes, grows dizzy, splashing into the river like a coin. Varlok soars the stars, consuming her lustful soul like a tasty fish.

 

 

Psst. Varlok is a character in my novel Greylock.

 

Check it out on Amazon.com or Smashwords.com

Gold Medal Winner, 2022 Global Book Awards.
Chanticleer Book Award Winner, 2015, First Place.
Best Book Award Finalist, 2017, by American Book Fest.

“Greylock is a smart, entertaining supernatural thriller. Think Stephen King meets Raymond Chandler with a score by Tchaikovsky. The author’s passion for both the arts and the natural world shines through on every page. Briskly paced and yet lovingly detailed, this novel was a genuine pleasure to read.” —David Corbett, award-winning author of The Mercy of the Night.

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One of the Girls Was Dead

Harvey’s Dream  by Stephen King (The New Yorker Magazine, 2003)

Thursday’s Suspense  Story, December 8, 2022

 

 

How deep can the imagination go? How deep can a dream go?

Dreams are often horrors and great subjects for suspense stories and mysteries. This short story by Stephen King (The New Yorker Magazine) is a tale of a middle-aged married couple with daughters. We are in the kitchen and Harvey tells his wife Janet of a dream, describing details that his wife begins to recognize. Specifics like deviled eggs and a dent in the neighbor’s car. We follow Janet’s every thought that reaches psychological heights of fear and an ending that only Stephen King could write.

 

Read the short story here at The New Yorker Magazine:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2003/06/30/harveys-dream

 

Readers, please drop a line in the comments if you liked the story, or didn’t like it. How many stars would you rate Harvey’s Dream?

 

Film: 14 minutes. Don’t miss this!!

 

Stephen  King is a best-selling American author of suspense, horror, sci-fi and fantasy books. When he writes, he prefers to use pen and paper, using a Waterman fountain pen, instead of a computer. In his book On Writing, King says he tries to write at least 2,000 words a day. During the writing of his novel Carrie, King threw the first draft in the trash. His wife Tabitha retrieved it and eventually Doubleday bought the rights.

In the Atlantic, King revealed that he considers the introductory sentence of a book crucial for the book’s atmosphere and to successfully connect to the reader. He often labors over his first line for months or years until it’s exactly right.

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX OF AUTHORS’ TALES above for more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 250 short stories by more than 150 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, crime, sci-fi, romance, ‘quiet horror,’ and mainstream fiction.

 Follow or sign up to join me in reading

one short story every month. 

Comments are welcome!

Feel free to click “LIKE.”

 

 Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

      Monster Librarian     

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory   

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites

Discover Author of the Week posted on Mondays!

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Author of the Week, Karen Marie Moning, November 21

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK    November 21

Karen Marie Moning

(Novelist: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Historical Fiction)

 

 

“The most confused we ever get is when we’re trying to convince our heads of something our heart knows is a lie.”

“Words can be twisted into any shape. Promises can be made to lull the heart and seduce the soul … The wisest man is the silent one. Examine his actions. Judge him by them.”

On Writing: “The room must be completely dark. Seriously, totally. Blackout curtains and tinted windows. I tried writing in a closet for a while, but it was too small. I wake at 4:30. Get coffee. Refuse to let brain turn on. Sit at desk and start writing while I’m still asleep enough that I can’t think about what I’m doing. I have to stay deep in my subconscious in order to write.”

“I never have an expected word count, and I don’t write to outline.  I have a theory: If the writer is bored, the reader will be, too. If the writer is having a blast, and is 100 percent invested in and committed to his or her fictional world, the reader will be, too.”

 

Moning is a New York Times best selling American author with Shadowfever reaching the number one position on multiple national best sellers lists.  She is  a winner of the prestigious Romance Writers of America Award for Best Paranormal Romance and is a multiple RITA nominee. Fever Moon has been adapted into a graphic novel by David Lawrence and illustrated by Al Rio. Moning also achieved a Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Paranormal Fantasy.  Her books have been published in twenty-four languages. Often her stories incorporate an element of time-travel fantasy, with the men located anywhere from the tenth to the fifteenth centuries and the women they love stuck in the twentieth or twenty-first. She lives in South Florida.

 

 

Moning’s Highlander Series begins with Beyond the Highland Mist, Book 1. He was known throughout the kingdom as Hawk, legendary predator of the battlefield and the boudoir. No woman could refuse his touch, but no woman ever stirred his heart—until a vengeful fairy tumbled Adrienne de Simone out of modern-day Seattle and into medieval Scotland.

 

 

 

Her Fever Series begins with Darkfever, Book 1. When MacKayla’s sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death—a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone—Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask.

 

 

Read an interview at Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/interviews/show/819.Karen_Marie_Moning

Visit her blog: http://karenmariemoning.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q & A with Moning at Paranormal Romance:

https://paranormalromance.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/qa-with-shadowfevers-karen-marie-moning/ 

On a Personal Note: I read The Dark Highlander and loved it. Very exciting story with magical and supernatural mysteries. Lore and legends that keep you turning the pages. Dark and twisty, very sexy and still dignified. This is a writer you’ll want to keep reading. Moning’s zodiac sign is Scorpio. I like that because I am too.

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author on Mondays at Reading Fiction Blog!

Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 250 free short stories by over 150 famous authors. Once a month I feature a FREE short story by contemporary or classic authors. Audios too.

 

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Dead Still Here on All Hallows Eve

All Hallows      Walter de la Mare (1926)

Sunday’s Gothic Short Story, October 30, 2022

READING FICTION BLOG

Here is a perfect story to read aloud for Halloween.  Walter de la Mare is a dazzling author famous for his ghost stories and psychological drama. This is a fast short story and absolutely classic. We have a traveler visiting a deserted cathedral. The cathedral is not just haunted.

Devils are creatures made by God, and that for vengeance.

Why would devils haunt a deserted cathedral?

We then turned inward once more, ascending yet another spiral staircase. And now the intense darkness had thinned  a little, the groined roof above us becoming faintly discernible. A fresher air softly fanned my cheek; and then trembling fingers groped over my breast, and, cold and bony, clutched my own.”

 

You got to read this one. Author de la Mare is one of the finest writers of the supernatural.

 

 

Walter de la Mare  (1873 – 1956) was an English poet, short story writer, and novelist. He is probably best remembered for his works for children, for his poem “The Listeners”, and for a highly acclaimed selection of subtle psychological horror stories, amongst them Seaton’s Aunt and The Return. He was considered one of modern literature’s chief exemplars of the romantic imagination.

 

Read All Hallows  at Gutenberg.ca (page 288 in Table of Contents):

https://gutenberg.ca/ebooks/delamarew-beststories/delamarew-beststories-00-h.html#Page_288

 

Listen to the audio at BBC Radio:

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX OF AUTHORS’ TALES above for more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 250 short stories by more than 150 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, crime, sci-fi, romance, ‘quiet horror,’ and mainstream fiction.

 

 Follow or sign up to join me in reading

one short story every month. 

 

Comments are welcome!

Feel free to click “LIKE.”

 

 Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

      Monster Librarian     

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory   

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites

Discover Author of the Week posted on Mondays!

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Author of the Week, Stephen King, October 20

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK  October 20

Stephen King

(Horror, Suspense, Science Fiction and Fantasy)

 

 

“I’m one of those people who doesn’t really know what he thinks until he writes it down.”

“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.”

“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.”

“The writer must have a good imagination to begin with, but the imagination has to be muscular, which means it must be exercised in a disciplined way, day in and day out, by writing, failing, succeeding, and revising.”

“The worst advice? ‘Don’t listen to the critics.’ I think that you really ought to listen to the critics, because sometimes they’re telling you something is broken that you can fix.”

 

Stephen King (born 1947) is a best-selling American author of horror, suspense, science fiction and fantasy. His books have sold more than 350 million copies.  The Stand, The Shining, Carrie, and It.  His memoir, On Writing, has become an inspirational read for writers. King has published 50 novels, some under pen-name Richard Bachman. With over 200 short stories published, King has received Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to the American Letters and the 2014 National Medal of Arts.

WHAT’S UPCOMING FROM STEPHEN KING?

Salem’s Lot    The movie: release Date: April 21st, 2023

Author Ben Mears returns to ‘Salem’s Lot to write a book about a house that has haunted him since childhood only to find his isolated hometown infested with vampires. While the vampires claim more victims, Mears convinces a small group of believers to combat the undead.

Read an interview at The Paris Review, 2006.

https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/5653/the-art-of-fiction-no-189-stephen-king

 

Stephen King on “Lisey’s Story,” writing process on YouTube.com. “Lisey’s Story” is an Apple TV miniseries.

 

 

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author on Mondays once a month at Reading Fiction Blog!

Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 250 free short stories by over 150 famous authors. Once a month I feature a FREE short story by contemporary or classic authors. Audios too.

 

[Apologies that I’ve not been posting these past few months. I’ve been working on my newest novel Draakensky, which is in it final stages of writing. This story is supernatural, magical realism, and murder. Very exciting and all absorbing. More updates to come on this.]

 

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Bleeker Street Caper

Guy Walks Into a Bar  by Lee Child  (2009)

Tuesday’s Mystery Story (flash fiction)   July 26, 2022

 

 

Take this quickie read for a spin about a sexy girl in a scruffy dive on Bleecker Street at 1:30 am. Moscow-style intrigue with a sassy twist. Author Lee Child at his finest!

SHE was about 19. No older. Maybe younger … She was blond and blue-eyed, but not American … She was probably Russian. She was rich. 

 

 

Read it here at the New York Times:

 

Also available at Readsnovelonline.com

http://readsnovelonline.com/Page/Content/353368/page-1-of-Guy-Walks-into-a-Bar-(Jack-Reacher-125)

 

If you like Tom Cruise and bar fights, this one is cool, featuring military cop Jack Reacher.  Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher  is being challenged to a fight outside a bar. He tries to warn the group that they can and should still walk away but despite his warnings, they still want to fight.  Three minutes of tough and gruff. So fun!

 

Lee Child, an multi-award winning author, is an English thriller novelist and an Anthony Award winner for the best first novel Killing Floor (1997). His novels are based on the adventures of Jack Reacher, a former American military policeman wandering the United States. He currently lives in New York.

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX OF AUTHORS’ TALES above for more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 250 short stories by more than 150 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, crime, sci-fi, romance, ‘quiet horror,’ and mainstream fiction.

 Follow or sign up to join me in reading

one short story every month. 

Comments are welcome!

Feel free to click “LIKE.”

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

      Monster Librarian     

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory   

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites

Discover Author of the Week posted on Mondays!

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Author of the Week, Thomas Ligotti, July 11

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK   July 11

Thomas Ligotti

(Novelist of Horror, “Philosophical Horror,” Suspense)

 

 

“I’m completely indifferent to what genre I read provided that I feel sympathy with how a writer perceives being alive in the world.”

“Best-selling horror fiction is indeed necessarily conservative because it must entertain a large number of readers.”

“When I first read Lovecraft around 1971, and even more so when I began to read about his life, I immediately knew that I wanted to write horror stories.

 

 

Thomas Ligotti  (born  July 1953) is a contemporary American horror author and reclusive literary cult figure, most prominently known for Lovecraftian horror. His books include Teatro Grottesco,  Noctuary, The Nightmare Factory, and The Spectral Link.  The Washington Post called him “the best kept secret in contemporary horror fiction.”

 

Lovecraft eZine Interviews Thomas Ligotti:

https://lovecraftzine.com/2015/10/14/the-lovecraft-ezine-interviews-thomas-ligotti/

 

Visit Ligotti’s Amazon Page:

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author on Mondays once a month at Reading Fiction Blog!

Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 250 free short stories by over 150 famous authors. Once a month I feature a FREE short story by contemporary or classic authors. Audios too.

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Author of the Week, Shirley Jackson, June 13

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK   June  13

Shirley Jackson

(Mysteries, Supernatural, Gothic Horror, “Quiet Horror”)

“In the country of the story the writer is king.”

“I have always loved to use fear, to take it and comprehend it, and make it work, and consolidate a situation where I was afraid and take it whole and work from there.”

“I began writing stories about my children because, more than any other single being in the world, children possess and kind of magic that makes much of what they do so oddly logical and yet so incredible to grown-ups.”

Shirley Jackson is American novelist and short story writer.  The Lottery is her most famous short story but most of us admire her novel The Haunting of Hill House. She wrote six novels, two memoirs, and more than 200 short stories. The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle established her as a master of gothic horror and psychological suspense.

Listen to Shirley Jackson read her short stories,

The Lottery and The Daemon Lover:

 

The writing of Hangsaman, Shirley Jackson’s second novel, has inspired one of the most anticipated films of  2020. Shirley, won awards at Sundance Festival in January, is a psychological thriller that reflects on writing, womanhood and what it means to be a wife in 1950s America. Elisabeth Moss plays Jackson.

The film opens with a shot of the infamous short story The Lottery in The New Yorker. In actuality, Jackson started writing Hangsaman in 1950. The film focused on when Jackson was living in Bennington, Vermont, before she moved to Westport, Connecticut.

 

Hangsaman’s narrative structure descends into a shapeshifting ambiguity that left some critics at the time rather confused. But this is where Shirley really comes into its own in illustrating Jackson’s potential thought process behind the novel. “So what will become of your heroine?” asks Hyman, to which Jackson replies: “What happens to all lost girls: they go mad.”

Watch the trailer:

(Classic “Quiet Horror”)

 

Library of American interviews Joyce Carole Oates about Shirley Jackson (6 pages:

Click to access LOA_Oates_on_Jackson.pdf

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author on Mondays once a month at Reading Fiction Blog! 

Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 250 free short stories by over 150 famous authors. Once a month I feature a FREE short story by contemporary or classic authors. Audios too.

Follow or Join me here every month.

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Author of the Week, Mark Z. Danielewski, May 9

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK   May 9

 

Mark Z. Danielewski

(Supernatural, Ghosts, Horror, Thriller, Contemporary Fiction)

 

“My interest is in how meaning is communicated via language, and I believe the shape, positioning, even the colour of the language has an effect on meaning.”

“Write what you love. Love will hold you through the hard times and hold the world during the good times.”

“We all create stories to protect ourselves.”

 

Mark Z. Danielewski  (born  1966) is an American fiction author.  He studied English Literature at Yale. He is known for his debut novel House of Leaves, which won the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award. His second novel, Only Revolutions, was nominated for the National Book Award. He wrote the novella The Fifty Year Sword.  Danielewski’s work is characterized by experimental choices in form, such as intricate and multi-layered narratives and typographical variation.

Read The Guardian’s interview with Mark “House of Leaves changed My Life.”

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/apr/02/house-of-leaves-changed-my-life-the-cult-novel-at-20

 

Watch a chat with Mark, Los Angeles Times:

 

 

 

Visit Mark’s website: https://www.markzdanielewski.com/

Browse the “Index of Authors’ Tales” tab above to find over 250 free short stories by over 150 famous authors.

Once a month I feature a FREE short story by contemporary or classic authors. Audios too. Please follow me or stop in.

Comment or click LIKE!

 

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Greylock Wins the Gold Medal

Hello to All My Readers of My Published Fiction and my Followers Here at Reading Fiction Blog!

I am happy to share this news with you that my supernatural mystery Greylock has won the Gold Medal at Global Book Awards, 2022.

The category, of course, is Supernatural and Occult (“quiet horror”). Global Book Awards  is named one of the “Top 29 Book Awards” in 2022, along with the Hugo Awards, Nautilus, USA Best Books, Feathered Quill, Eric Hoffer Awards, IBA, Readers’ Favorite International, Chanticleer Book Awards, Book Excellence Awards, Page Turner Awards, and others by Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications.

U.S. Review of Books: “Cappa’s latest is nothing less than a mind-boggling mystery … always keeping an elusive edge to her characters’ personas—a plot replete with all the wonderful trappings of a romance-laced mystery with unexpected twists and turns. Greylock has the potential of being earmarked as another award winner.” RECOMMENDED by the U.S Review of Books.

I’ve been writing mysterious novels for over 10 years and Greylock has exceeded my expectations. Besides the Gold Medal, Greylock achieved  the prestigious Best Book Award Finalist in 2017 by American Book Fest, and, garnered the Chanticleer Book Award in 2015.

 

 

 

Book awards play an important role in an author’s life and in readers’ lives. The recognition of a book’s quality and its merits encourages reading, which grows the imagination and the thinking process. And, of course, reading feeds the success of the literary industry. Ralph Waldo Emerson said “If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”

I thank all my readers and The Global Book Awards for honoring Greylock. As my writing career progresses (I am working on a fourth novel and more short stories) in fiction, I feel so blessed with the loyalty of my readers.

My other two novels have enjoyed book awards as well. The Bronze Medal from Readers’ Favorite International Awards for The Dazzling Darkness. The coveted Eric Hoffer Book Award, and, the Silver Medal from Global Book Awards for Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural.

Bronze, Silver, Gold. My muse has been hard at work. She is my clever friend and my passion. And sometimes she is my ghost. I think I see her dancing right at this moment.

 

 

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