Short Story Sunday: The Changeling

The Changeling

I’ll always remember what my preschool teacher said at lunch and snack times. “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.” My parents lived by that. I’m surprised they didn’t both tattoo it on their foreheads.

Sometimes parents will notice their lovely happy babies will suddenly seem to change. Well they have changed. Your baby has been replaced by a crying, unhappy, grouchy, nasty, Goblin Changeling. Congratulations.

Sometimes the horrible Changelings are left to die on the doorsteps of churches, or locked in attics. Usually the real babies are brought back to their loving parents. Fairies and others help out. More often than not ransoms are paid. A mother might pay with her beauty. A father might pay with his strength. It could be anything depending on the mood of the Goblins.

In my case the Goblins dropped me into the home of someone who seemed oblivious to my nastiness. They actually kept me.

I spend my entire childhood treating my parents like crap and tormenting my little brother Trevor. My brother hated me, but he should have loved me. Without me Trevor would have been one of those sensitive pantywaist boys who allows people walk all over him. I made him tough. I made him stand up for himself. He should have thanked me for it.

I have no idea why my parents put up with me. The only reason I wasn’t expelled from every school I attended is because I always made straight A’s. Sure I caused a lot of tears but I kept the schoolyard in line. My minions kept close while I doled out punishments fitting crimes of weakness. As for lies… I was the number one princess of lies, and adults never knew what was going on. They believed me.

Sure there were more times I could count that I had my mom in tears, but hey, that is what you get for accepting a Goblin Changeling. She could have dumped me in foster care or sent me off to some farm of a distant relative. People suggested boarding schools, drugs and shock treatments. She just told them that they could never understand how I was different and unique in ways that nobody could ever understand.

At one time my parents sent me to counseling. I told Dr. Cray everything she wanted to hear. The good doctor said I was a well-adjusted and brilliant child. She said I was mature for my age hence others not understanding me. Boy did I have it pulled over her eyes.

Anyway, Trevor and I grew up and went out on our own. I met a few other Changelings and even married one.

We’re one of those successful power couples. He’s the CEO of a billion dollar tech company. I’m an attorney, the biggest asshole out there, and proud of it. Beauty and brains plus no morals what so ever. Justice for all.

As soon as I found out my future husband Blake was an over the top arrogant, self-centered SOB I fell in love with him. He loved me back as only a Goblin Changeling can love another Goblin Changeling.

I remember a day when a woman approached me. This should have been one of those turning points where I changed my heart and became a good person. I recognized her because I’d gone to school with her.

She said, “You were a bully. A mean horrible bully. You ruined lives.” 

I just smiled and told her, “You should have learned from your bad experience. Instead you made the choice to be a loser.”

I’m like that. I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks. I don’t care if they said I mean to my parents and twice as horrible to my brother. Tell me something I don’t know.

So on Mother’s Day I showed up at my parents with my husband. The hubby joined my dad in the back at the grill. Trevor and his wife Emily were in the kitchen with my mom. I put the vase of yellow roses I’d brought for my mom down on breakfast nook table and gave my mother a rare kiss.

Trevor glared at me. Emily looked uncomfortable.

“I have good news Katie,” said my mom. “Trevor and Emily are going to have a baby.”

“How about that Trevor, you aren’t dickless after all. Well congratulations.”

“Why did you have to say that Katie? Why are you so horrible all the time?” Asked the lovely Emily.

“I’m just like that Em. Well dear family, I also have news. I’m pregnant too,” I said.

Trevor got right into my face. “You always have to try to upstage me Katie. I don’t care if you are having a baby. Your child will NEVER be allowed to be with mine. NEVER.” 

I laughed out loud, a cold bitter laugh. “You know baby brother, if it wasn’t for me you’d never be with Emily. Why do you think all of those other bitch girlfriends of yours dumped you before you ended up with Em? I was looking out for you asshole. I was also the reason you have your dream job. So screw you Trevor. I hope your kid is ugly and stupid.”

My mom should have looked shocked, then again she was used to me saying horrible things to my brother Trevor. I was pissed and went into the living room. Mom followed.

She put her hand on my arm, then took it off as I tensed up. “Are you happy about your baby Katie?”

“Sure. It will be fun.” Then I looked into her blue eyes and suddenly I wanted to cry. I mean, like, my eyes started to sting and water up. “You’re amazing mom. Why in the world did you keep me?”

“My own baby had passed on. My little angel had never been right. She didn’t last more than a week. The Goblins had scheduled a drop off not knowing there was no baby for them to take home. They just left you. Even Goblins don’t want their Changelings. What was your dad and I supposed to do?”

“Oh Mom, you knew?” 

“Always.”

“So why’d you put up with me all these years?”

“Remember that horrible cat Billy we used to have?”

I remembered Billy. He was worse than I was. He’d hiss at everyone. He’d growl when you’d feed him. No act of kindness was rewarded. Billy was nuts. Damn, he was the Devil’s own cat.

My mom continued. “We kept Billy because if we’d given him up he would have died. Nobody else would have understood. He would have been put down. It was the same with you.”

“I loved that cat,” I told my mom. 

“I know you did Katie,” said my mom.

She put her arm around my shoulder. “Let’s go back to the others Katie. Do me a favor sweetie. Try to be nice to Trevor. Just for today.”

“Sure. I love you mom.”

“Love you too Katie. More than you’ll ever know.” 

I kissed her cheek. “When I’m a mom I want to be just like you.”

A hint of tears glistened in my mother’s eyes. That made me happy in a weird sort of uncomfortable way. 

We joined the rest of the family around the grill, all smiles and making nice. All the while I was thinking of ways to torture my brother and get even on the rest of the universe.

Life is good. Well, at least it is for me.

~ end

Happy Mother’s Day from ~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vlad’s Vampire Diary: You Shook Me All Night Long

Randolpho and his ridiculous tall hat which he rarely takes off.

Dear Diary,

It has been a while since I picked up my quill pen keyboard and wrote anything at all.

I believe it was November when I last wrote. Since then I have been in the shadows like a common Vampire. I was once King of the Vampires. 

I wondered if the very fabric of society would collapse and send up into chaos allowing me to rise and save the people as I had before so many centuries ago.

Even now I think about when I was locked in a crypt for three hundred years and missed the 18th – 20thCenturies. I lost everything. 

Yet despite all of this I still have my looks. Heads turn in amazement when I walk into a room, even when I wear a mask. Even now I think about when I was locked in a crypt for three hundred years and missed the 18th– 20th Centuries. I lost everything. My friends keep telling me to stop feeling sorry for myself.

But I must now feed my cats. They rule me now. 

~ Vlad

_________________________

Dear Diary,

Sometimes I believe my friends are intentionally leading me down a path of foolishness.

“Vlad,” they say, “you don’t understand any cultural cues when we talk. You will catch up.” There is three hundred years of clues to catch up on. I will never understand all of these cultural references. I find myself in an age with so much information that I feel as if my head will explode. 

“It is only the first week of May 2021, but it is Hellishly HOT outside,” I said to my friends today. “This is no weather for Vampires like us.”

My best Vampire friend Randolpho was at my house, as was my Vampire lover Gillian.

“Why don’t you wear shorts? Seriously Vlad. Every summer since you’ve been here you complain for months how hot it is while you wear long pants.” said Randolpho.

“You usually wear black pants or jeans all summer long. I don’t know how you can stand it,” said Gillian.

“I wear cotton draw string pants. Do not look at me like that. They are not pajama pants,” I said. 

“You look quite sexy in those draw string pants too, but you need some nice shorts,” said Gillian.

“I have a pair of the kind called board shorts for swimming but I will not wear those out into the public eye,” I said.

“Just get some regular shorts then. You know like a kaki color. You can even get black if you want,” said Randolpho.

“My legs are too pale. I will blind everyone who sees me,” I said.

“Of course, your legs are pale. You’ve had them covered up for 760 years,” said Randolpho.

“We’re not suggesting you dress like Angus Young,” said Gillian.

“Who? Angus the Young? Who is that?” I asked.

“Angus Young is a guitarist and one of the founders of AC/DC,” said Gillian.

“Angus Young invented the way electrical current is carried?” I asked.

“AC/DC is a band Vlad,” said Gillian.

“Their first album was called High Voltage,” said Randolpho. “Awww man it was a shame about Bon Scott. But Brian Johnson surprised everyone.”

“Did he ever. I saw them in 1981 or 82. Wow it was electric just like their name,” said Gillian.

“Lucky you. Then Malcolm Young got dementia,” said Randolpho.

“So sad,” said Gillian.

“It broke my heart,” said Randolpho.

“What does this have to do with wearing short pants?” I said to my friends who seemed to have forgotten my discomfort in the heat.

“Angus always wears shorts, like a schoolboy uniform,” said Gillian.

“Why?” I asked.

“I don’t know. I guess to stand out,” said Gillian.

“It was his sister’s idea. She gave him her son’s uniform. He still wears shorts on stage,” said Randolpho.

“With a jacket,” said Gillian. “But you don’t need a jacket. Just shorts.”

“My sister would have never suggested such an idea if I had a band,” I said.

“Don’t kid yourself Vlad. I bet your sister would have loved to see you on stage in a schoolboy uniform,” said Randolpho.

I ignored Randolpho’s comment. “What shoes should I wear with short pants. Boots would look ridiculous.”

“If anyone could pull it off….” Randolpho started but Gillian cut him off.

“Just your regular sneakers. Maybe get some deck shoes or flip flops,” she said.

“Deck shoes? Like rubber boots that fishermen wear?” I asked.

“No. Topsiders,” said Gillian.

“Topsiders are always good. You don’t have to wear socks,” said Randolpho.

“What are…”

Randolpho spoke. “Slip on shoes. I’m wearing Topsiders.” 

I looked at Randolpho’s shoes and saw no difference between the top or the bottom. I do not know why these shoes are called topsiders or boat shoes. I must admit those shoes looked comfortable.

“Or huaraches,” said Gillian. Those would be cute.”

“Cute? Why do you say cute? Do they have bows? I will not wear bows with short pants. What in the world are huaraches?” I asked, ready to tell my friends to leave.

“Woven shoes,” said Gillian.

“Fine, I will wear baskets on my feet. Do not tell me crazy things like that,” I said.

“You have great legs Vlad. You need to show them off,” said Gillian.

“You could be a foot model too,” said Randolpho.

I do not know what a foot model is but I did not feel up to asking. I know I have great legs.

“Just make sure your shorts aren’t too short,” said Randolpho.

“Remember in the 80’s when guys would sit down in short shorts and let their balls fall out? I saw everybody’s balls,” Gillian said.

“Balls? Falling out? What do you mean?” I asked. What sort of madness was this?

“When guys would sit down the sorts would hike up just enough for their balls to peek out,” said Randolpho.

“Or fall out,” said Gillian. “I think half of them did it on purpose. It didn’t matter if they were warm blooded guys or Vampires.”

“Vampire balls would stick to surfaces because they were so cold,” said Randolpho. Then he laughed with a snort. 

“That I know is not true,” I said, tired of Randolpho’s silly talk. “I will make sure my short pants are long enough so that my balls will be contained,” I said. That is something I never in all my years I never thought I would hear myself say.

“Big Balls! That was a fun song,” Randolpho said.

“A song about big balls?” I asked. 

“AC/DC. You have to listen to some of their albums Vlad,” said Randolpho.

I said nothing. I do not wish to listen to songs about balls –  big or otherwise. 

This fashion and music talk wears me out. I know how to dress. I always look good, despite the heat. 

~ Vlad

_______________________

Dear Diary,

Tonight was cooler.

My friend Cassie has opened her bar up after being closed for almost a year. 

I helped her, as did all of the Vampires, with building an outside seating area. Cassie is not a Vampire but she is ours. 

A band was playing when I arrived. They were not singing about big balls.

A good size group was in the courtyard we had set up. 

I went into the bar to find Cassie. At the end of the dark bar I saw her in a somewhat passionate embrace with my good friend Randolpho. He had taken off his ridiculous hat and put it on the bar. Cassie’s hands were in his hair.

Randolpho was born in the year 1343, the same year as I was born. In all of the centuries I have known him, which is many since our mothers introduced us as small cold blood hungry infants, I have never seen Randolpho so smitten with a woman. 

He has had queens and princesses and countesses begging for his attention. He has been wooed by the rich, and beautiful, and powerful. He could have his pick of any woman be it a Vampire or a warm blooded mortal woman. Randolpho had fun. My friend has his feelings hurt. He made choices both good and bad. The one thing Randolpho never did was give away his cold un-beating heart. I heard his heart beating tonight as he held Cassie in his arms and kissed her under the bottles of vodka and gin.

A cool arm came around my waist and I could feel cold lips on the back of my neck. I turned around and kissed my love Gillian.

“When did you get here?” I asked.

“A while ago. I’ve been listening to the band. Randolpho asked me to request a song,” she said.

Gillian then waved to Randolpho. He took Cassie’s hand and pulled her outside. We followed and joined our friends. 

Randolpho jumped on the small stage, wearing his hat, and started to sing.

The music was loud. Randolpho belted out the words to Cassie, “YOU SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT LONG.”

“AC/DC,” said Gillian.

“I know,” I told her. Then I kissed her again.

Just at that time a white and black cat without a tail came up to me and rubbed around my legs. I scratched his head, that had scabs on it from fighting.

“His name is Angus,” said Gillian. “His owner died about six months ago. He hangs out in the neighborhood now. Everyone feeds him, but he needs a home, poor old guy.”

I picked up the cat called Angus. He put one paw over my shoulder and put the other paw on my chest. Then he started to purr, a low raspy grumbling purr. Angus the cat looked at me with bright green eyes and touched my cold dark Vampire soul. 

“I will take you home Mr. Angus. My other two cats are female, but they will love you,” I softly told the cat. “I will protect you and they will love you.”

“They’ll love him the more because he has no balls,” said Gillian.

I laughed. “I am sure you are happy that I still have mine.”

Later that night I stroked Gillian’s hair as she lay close to me in my big bed. The three cats were downstairs sleeping on the couch as if they’d always been a family. 

I had, what do they call it? When a song will not leave. An earworm. I had an earworm. You Shook Me All Night Long. It was a promise and a lovely reality.

Until the sun comes up …

~ Vlad

Kissed by a Vampire

This has been the 66th installment of Vlad’s Vampire Diary. To read about more of Vlad’s adventures and his evolution as a Vampire in the modern world CLICK here.

Not Another Ghost Story

cosistories

I’m not going to write another ghost story.
No matter what they say.
Not going to write about chains rattling
On a dark and stormy night.

I’m not going to write about
Ghosts who weep and wail
And bang on the walls
While everyone else tries to sleep.

I might write about vampires seeking blood
Or about werewolves seeking friends.
I might write about a bigfoot and a Chupacabra
Looking for a long lost fishing pole.

But I’m not going to write about ghosts.
Nor about any women in white.
Nor about any spiteful spirits out to write wrongs.

Because I don’t want to write another ghost story.
No, thank you.
Not tonight.

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Short Story Sunday: Night Call

Max pulled off his shirt and looked in the mirror.

“Damn,” he said to himself.

It wasn’t that he was incredibly good looking, which he was. It wasn’t the defined six pack and the perfect pecs, or even the amazing biceps, or the sexy forearms, or even the perfect broad shoulders.

It was the deep scratches, ugly bites, and large scrapes. There were also a couple of shallow stab wounds. All were either circled in red, or a putrid green.

He’d gone to what he thought was a typical call to help out some pretty clueless and helpless overly Gothic Vampires, and ended up in a nightmare.

The two Gothic Vampires were sitting in his living room watching “Long Shot” on Netflix, and drinking wine laced with Poet’s Blood.

Max looked in the mirror at his teeth. Thank goodness nobody had hit him in the mouth. He couldn’t risk losing a fang. Fangs took forever to grow back, not to mention the excruciating pain of it all.

What Max thought would be a routine call ended up being a three hour ordeal with not only Vampire Hunters but with a couple of random Demons who were lurking around for left overs.

After taking a shower and putting salve on his wounds, Max put on a soft sweatshirt and went to see his guests.

A small woman dressed in black lace, and a slim young looking man with long dark hair and a velvet jacket, sat close to each other on his couch.

They thanked Max for saving him. They were good kids, only about fifty years old. He was glad to have saved them from evil.

“I’ll send a security crew out to your home to make sure you have a good video system in and the right kind of locks and alarms. I also know a Witch who can do some spells to help. I know, you might not like Witches but the one I know does low level spells to give Vampire Hunters painful hives and blindness if they try to enter your home. It works like a charm.”

Max sat down and poured himself some wine, minus the blood.

Then they all watched Shitt$ Creek and laughed, knowing that tomorrow would be a new night, and that they were safe… at least for now.

~ end

Stay safe. Get your shots. Wear a mask. Be kind. Don’t be a dick. Check in on those who are alone or might need extra help. Talk to your kids. Hug a dog. And kiss a Vampire (you’ll thank me for it later.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Juliette’s Book Club: New: In The Palace of Ordeal & Death, and Summer Reading Stock Up!

Summer is almost here and that means SUMMER READING!!!! First I have to get some business out of the way – this post has HORRIBLE formatting. I’m trying to use WordPress Blocks, which is nothing but a big BLOCK of crap. I can’t format anything in it, so please forgive the crappy look. I’ve been plagued by computer problems. I think it is my magnetic field or something. I swear sometimes I think maybe a tinfoil hat is in order.

Summer is almost here. I know we read all year long, but those warm summer evenings, or hot days in the shade or a quiet cool spot is perfect for a good story. Below is a quick list of old favorites and a NEW book from my friend J. Harrison Kemp.

In the Palace of Ordeal & Death 
by J. Harrison Kemp

New From J. Harrison Kemp

Terror and ruin await those who trespass upon the palatial repository of Alizarin Soranus, self-appointed Emperor of Ordeal and Death, and the Novelties of Sorrow. For two very different groups of explorers the verbosity will become horrifically succinct.


In the wake of Soranus’ mysterious disappearance, the estate sales team of Lander and Rhoe are retained to list his extravagant collection of macabre and historical artefacts. Consequently their research rouses a dormant malevolence, hidden in the depths of the eccentric structure, one hungry for fear and pain.


When a team of paranormal investigators arrives unexpectedly, the malignance intensifies and culminates in the murderous manifestations of the interlopers’ darkest fears.

I’ve been looking forward to this book for a while. The amazing cover is by the author (aka Jason Kemp.) Keep scrolling down and you’ll see more of his work.

Exceptional Liars 
by Marla Todd

Excerpt from “To Elizabeth With Love.”

This book was written as a love letter to my wife Elizabeth Hobbs Atkinson. She was brutally tortured and killed by a man who had once been my friend. Her body was never found, but her legacy of love will still be here.

From the day Liz vanished I prayed for her return and for hope. The day she was pronounced legally dead I lost all hope and thought I too would die. Only my faith in God and the love Liz and I shared kept me from going off into a black abyss of hopelessness and grief.

My comfort comes from my faith and my knowledge  that Liz is in a better place.

~ Gregory Atkinson

“Son of a bitch.”  I put down my glass of wine and threw the book across the room.

I’m surprised the bastard hasn’t been struck by lightning. What a crock of crap and lies. Any poetic justice of my situation had gone down the drain at that moment. Greg is walking and talking and writing bestselling books about me and about our marriage… and I’m still dead… saved by a serial killer, no less. God save me and have mercy on my soul and on that abusive lying son of a bitch Gregory Atkinson. May he rot in Hell. But he did get his wish. I am in a better place. A much better place.

_________

Alex Goldstein has a thriving law practice with his wife Tasha Alexander. Life is is good. Well, except for the fact that he drinks too much, and his wife regularly cheats on him. To keep his mind off of his problems Alex writes about by serial killers. His most recent obsession is The Killer of Virtue.

Liz Hobbs is born into a large family of sneaky manipulative children with an unhealthy fear of God only ranks second to the fear of their narcissistic parents. Unfortunately she falls in love with Greg Atkinson who is far more sneaky and manipulative than she could ever imagine.

After misreading the phone number of a women’s shelter Liz ends up in office of Alexander and Goldstein. Alex helps her build a new life as his own life falls apart.

Exceptional Liars is a roller coaster ride of a book – full of unexpected twists and turns, witty dialogue and interesting characters.

Exceptional Liars is now available in both electronic and paperback versions on Amazon. 

Exceptional Liars was written by my writing collaborator Marla Todd. 

As my friend author Mandy White said: I’ve read this book, and it’s a phenomenal story. It’s part drama, part thriller, part romance, and maybe a bit fantasy, for anyone who ever wanted to escape their life and start fresh. I highly recommend it. Read it!

Weirder Tales
From WPaD (Writers, Poets, and Deviants)

I love this book so much. It isn’t because some of my stories are featured in it. I love this book because of the other well written, unexpected, and weird stories in it. As short story anthologies go this one is PERFECT for summer reading.

I’ve given away so many copies of this book, and I’ve had so many people tell me that they’ve read it and loved it. I’ll be reading it again, and again, and again.

The official description:

The warped minds of WPaD are proud to present this tribute to the bizarre:

– People who eat Tide Pods turn into detergent-craving zombies
– A gift of a fishing bobber turns deadly
– A woman lost in the desert befriends an ancient creature
– A hole inside a closet holds unknown mysteries
– A grieving father consults a psychic to solve his daughter’s murder
– Two friends embark on a fantastic adventure during a game of Dungeons and Dragons
– A call for help from an abandoned house leads a man to his doom
– Strange explosions cause terror and speculation about the end of the world
– A meteor falls from the sky, leading a woman on a surreal journey

Enjoy these stories and many more in Weirder Tales: An Omnibus of Odd Ditties.

Featuring weird tales from: Benedict, Cooley, Daniels, Fletcher, Garcia, Guettler, Haberfelner, Hunter, Kemp, Kings, Lamb, Merline, Nocera, Roland, Todd, Turley, and White.

WPaD is the acronym for Writers, Poets and Deviants. We are a diverse group of writers who came together on the Internet to support and encourage each other.

Our collaborative works are charity fundraisers, with a percentage of royalties being donated to Multiple Sclerosis in support of members of our group who live with MS. WPaD books are available worldwide in paperback and ebook. For more information, please visit our website: http//wpad.weebly.com

The cover of “Weirder Tales” is by Jason Kemp. Love this one too.

Unfortunate Souls (Book 1) (Unfortunate Souls Series)
By Jade M. Phillips

Unfortunate Souls (Book 1) is the start of a new series for Jade M. Phillips, one of the princesses of paranormal romance with suspense. The author warns us that the book contains mild kissing and cursing — and some mild violence — and is meant for readers fourteen years of age or older.

That said, this is a fun book, carried by first person viewpoints, first Ruby’s, then Guy’s. The tale is told in a modern English; the viewpoint characters are up to carrying the plot. I’m not going to thumbnail this book for you, since it is the start in a series where love may not be mortal, nor hate.

If you enjoy Young Adult or New Adult fiction, and want a quick moving story with all paranormal and suspenseful elements imaginable come in to play, you’ll enjoy this first book the series — and by inference, its sequels.

Goin’ Extinct Too
Apocalypse A GO-GO!
From WPaD (Writers, Poets, and Deviants)

It was so much fun the first time, we decided to take another stab at ending the world in as many creative ways as possible.

When we began work on our second apocalyptic anthology in early 2019, long before the world had ever heard of COVID-19, we never would have dreamed that toilet paper and hand sanitizer would become symbols of the apocalypse.

The pandemic pushed our release to a later date than anticipated. We assumed readers had more important things on their minds and might not be in the mood for apocalyptic fiction at that time. The lockdown allowed our writers more time to write, resulting in a larger collection of stories than originally anticipated. The backdrop of the pandemic colored the mood of some of the pieces, as you will see.

We think of this book as the Extra-Big Bonus Pandemic Edition, written in a reality stranger than fiction.

Stay safe, wash your hands, and may your quarantine dreams be sweet ones.

~ The authors of WPaD

Available in paperback and electronic ebook versions on Amazon, Good Reads, Barnes and Noble and other fine online booksellers.

Be sure to pick up a copy of the first Goin’ Extinct. (If you haven’t already done so)

One of my favorite books of 2019. It is still one of my favorite new books. I can’t wait for the next one. It is a wild, crazy, and unexpected ride, AND there is a CAT.

Red Darkling
by L.A. Guttler

“Red Darkling”, is a runaway Science Fiction, Fantasy, Smart Thriller, Comedy, HIT. If you haven’t read it already you need to NOW.

I loved this book and can’t wait for the next one to come out.

I’m a BIG FAN of Red and her cat and of course her Granny. For several years now I’ve been following Red’s adventures through L.A. Guettler’s short stories about Red. OMG you’ll fall in love with her.

Here is the official description:

Red Darkling’s ship is a weevil-infested piece of junk. Her smuggling business barely brings in enough credits to buy cheap beer. Alien creeps think a blaster can get them favors when their charm fails. Her only company is a glitchy cat and the occasional hook-up. Her life is dirty, dangerous, and lonely: just how she likes it.It all takes a turn for the worse when things start going well. A little too well. Partying with movie stars, weekends in paradise, troublesome people turning up dead-it’s maddening. Who is this anonymous benefactor, and why does he think she needs protecting?

Also check out the great cover by artist Jason Kemp. Nice.

Spence and Nameless
By Dave Henderson

I recently had the pleasure of meeting author Dave Henderson (online but hey, we’re still social distancing).

His stories about Spence are such a delight and so original. If you want to smile and like something a little different, a little odd, and exceptionally entertaining and well written check out his work.

The official description: Nameless is just a fella who values his solitude. His only companion is a big ol’ orange and white tabby cat named Spence. They are just livin’ the life, out in their shack outside town, ‘Close enough so it ain’t so bad to get supplies, and far enough out soz no one bothers much, and the sky is open at night.’ Until one day, when Spence disappears … and things get really fecked up.

Whatever you do, never get between a man and his cat.

Book 1 Kindle:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082YJ8NV9

Dysfictional 3: Down the Psycho Path (Dysfunctional Fiction) 
by Mandy White

A fugitive finds himself in a deadly predicament- Reality show producers push the envelope to please their superiors- A group of test subjects take an unexpected journey- A rogue scientist takes genetic modification to the next level- People who eat Tide Pods turn into detergent-craving zombies- Something terrifying lurks in the Canadian wilderness- Evacuees from a doomed Earth colonize a distant planet.- A malfunctioning android threatens humanity.

Take a journey down the psycho path in Volume 3 of Mandy White’s Dysfunctional Fiction series.

Vampires Reflect On The Pandemic

Jake: When everything closed down it was a challenge. It isn’t like I could just run to the store. Sure I could get by on the bottled stuff, but it isn’t the same as fresh. I need that, you know, human interaction.

Elizabeth: 2020 and 2021 proves that even if you’re the prettiest girl in the room, if nobody else is there it really doesn’t matter.

Jayne: My workload tripled during the pandemic. I didn’t have time to be creative looking for donors so I signed up for Tinder. There were plenty of guys who weren’t too concerned with social distancing. For the most part it was fun. Everyone got what they wanted. I even have a few regulars now. They say they’ve never slept better. Yeah, blood loss will do that to you.

Max: Over the past month I’ve fed almost exclusively on Vampire Hunters. You can’t believe how satisfying that is.

Gunter: I know a few bottom feeders who are going around to the homeless camps. I try to avoid it. It just seems opportunistic.

Roger: I got my shots. Moderna. You won’t be able to go anywhere without that card. Sure I could have made a fake card, but I wanted to be seen getting the shot. I wanted the experience. I have to be as close to warm blooded normal as possible.

Ginger: I went right for the easy targets. Before the election in November there was a protest at the Capitol every weekend. I went for the extreme nut jobs. Most of them didn’t believe in social distancing so there was always someone I could isolate for a quick bite.

Randolpho: Creating a bubble of close warm friends was the key to success. I’d always bring food, or books, or wine. I’d make them laugh. That was the key. I don’t want to take without leaving anything.

Stay safe. Continue to wear your mask. Be kind. Check in on those who might be alone or need extra help. Plant flowers. Don’t be a dick. Kiss a Vampire (you’ll thank me for it later.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman