The End of All ThingsPaperback / Kindle > Rithik is a hunter of artifacts among the ancient cities of a long-gone, advanced civilization. Infected with ghost flesh, a fatal disease caught in the ruins, he is banished from his village and must find his way in the wastelands. With the help of a mutant dog, he ventures into the post-apocalyptic underworld in search of the answers to life and death. In the dark forgotten depths, they discover extraordinary secrets and terrible dangers hidden by the catastrophic downfall of ages past. And in the farthest reaches of the labyrinth, Rithik must face the greatest enigma of all—himself.
SHADOW SPINNERS a Collection of Dark TalesPaperback / Kindle > *Contains my science fiction horror story “A Darkquick Sky” along with stories by a number of award winning authors from ShadowSpinners. This collection of twelve short stories is brought to you by the writers of ShadowSpinners, a collective blog dedicated to exploring the darker side of fiction. Join us for a journey through the shadows. Wherever you end up, it is sure to be fascinating. Within these pages you’ll discover a wide range of genres, from literary to fantasy to horror and beyond. Humorous, terrifying, thought provoking and strange, but never predictable, these twelve stories explore the hidden corners of human experience.
Labyrinth of Souls NovelsInspired the Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls tarot card game, the Labyrinth of Souls stand-alone novels are written by a lineup of incredibly talented, veteran, and award-winning authors. The books are published by ShadowSpinners Press and feature cover art by Josephe Vandel. The Labyrinth of Souls is a manifestation of the mythic underworld, existing at a crossroads between people and cultures, between time and space, between the physical world and the deepest reaches of the psyche. It is a dark mirror held up to human experience, in which you may find your dreams… or your doom. Each Labyrinth of Souls novel features an stand-alone adventure into a unique vision of an underground world. Get ready to delve into the Labyrinth in a totally new way!
BENEDICTION DENIED by Elizabeth EngstromPaperback / Kindle > While hydrologist Adam Swan is engaged in humanitarian efforts to bring water to a small, isolated village in the Congo, he is kidnapped by rebel thugs and thrown into a makeshift prison. He is left to die—or worse—if his ransom is not paid. In a surprising series of events, Adam escapes his brutal captors into an underground labyrinth where reality and sanity no longer rule. Armed with a limited amount of magic which he does not understand, he survives by employing it boldly, recklessly, desperate to return to the village above, homesick for Minnesota and normal life with his wife and daughters. Tested to the extreme limits of his endurance, Adam navigates the labyrinth with only the company of his past behavior, the baffling magic, and the seductive temptation to succumb to the mysterious and merciless gods of the underworld. The consequences of his actions, past present, and future, take him to the brink of death—and beyond. A fun, fast, thrilling ride by veteran author Elizabeth Engstrom, inspired by Matthew Lowes’ Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls card game.
SYMPHONY OF RUIN by Christina LayPaperback / Kindle > Death is stalking The City. From out of the catacombs, a deadly monster has arisen. Unfortunately for alchemist’s apprentice Remy the Rat Boy, his master is away and it’s up to Remy to discover the nature of the monster and put an end to its killing rampage. His search for answers takes him high into the elegant chambers of the city’s elite, and down into long forgotten ruins, into depths untraveled and unimagined for centuries. Lost in the ancient ruins with only ghosts and creatures of the darkness for companionship, Remy must use every ounce of wit and conjure every scrap of magic at his disposal in order to survive the labyrinth and save The City from its shadow self.
THE END OF ALL THINGS by Matthew LowesPaperback / Kindle > Rithik is a hunter of artifacts among the ancient cities of a long-gone, advanced civilization. Infected with ghost flesh, a fatal disease caught in the ruins, he is banished from his village and must find his way in the wastelands. With the help of a mutant dog, he ventures into the post-apocalyptic underworld in search of the answers to life and death. In the dark forgotten depths, they discover extraordinary secrets and terrible dangers hidden by the catastrophic downfall of ages past. And in the farthest reaches of the labyrinth, Rithik must face the greatest enigma of all—himself. An incredible journey from the creator of the Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls tarot card game.
LITTLEST DEATH by Eric WitcheyPaperback / Kindle > One human soul and a little respect isn’t too much to ask for, but both are hard to get if you’ve only been a death for a thousand years. Shunned by other grim reapers, Littlest Death yearns for the respect given to deaths who bring human souls from Overworld into Underworld. She has only been a grim reaper for a thousand years, but she works hard at the jobs she’s given. Really hard! No other death gathers in MILLIONS of souls at a time like she does. Okay, they are just the souls of fungi, bacteria, and single-celled critters like amoebas, but—MILLIONS! If she could bring in just one human soul, the other deaths would stop looking down on her. She sets out to spy on the most accomplished death in the history of dying, Oldest Death. She figures she can learn a few things from him. And, of course, she does. She just doesn’t learn what she thought she would learn, and the learning comes hard. Desperate to become a real death, frustrated by humans and their attachments to one another, hounded by a Hell Puppy, ridiculed by other deaths, and undermined by her own ambition, she journeys the Earth and the Underworld in search of a trick that will let her gain the respect she believes she deserves. Unfortunately, her actions hurt the living, undermine the natural order, and threaten the eternal flow of souls between life and death. By the time she understands the damage she’s done, it may be too late to save herself and the souls she has hurt. An Afterlife Fantasy by award winning author Eric Witchey.
THE DOOR OF TIRELESS PURSUIT by Stephen T. VesselsPaperback / Kindle > Sandy’s comfortable, workaday life is rocked when he meets Lark, a mysterious woman who can manipulate time and teleport across great distances at will. What begins as a romance turns deadly when she is abducted by a sorcerer who seeks to control the metaphysical portals she defends. Determined to rescue her, Sandy is drawn farther and farther from the life he knows, into the wondrous and perilous Labyrinth of Souls. There he meets fantastic allies and adversaries, and learns that the very fabric of reality is threatened by his quest.
THE SNAKE’S SONG by Mary E. LowdPaperback / Kindle > When a creature of the treetops listens to the song of a snake, she finds herself drawn into an adventure deep under the earth. Witch-Hazel was never good at being a squirrel. She could never find her lost stashes of acorns, but maybe she can prove herself by finding a treasure that matters much more — the lost Celestial Fragments of the All-Being. Witch-Hazel’s quest takes her through labyrinths, lost mole cities, and underground kingdoms. She faces riddles from a leontaur, an army of ghost moles, and sorcerer crabs, but she also makes unexpected friends. Can Witch-Hazel find the Celestial Fragments and make it back to the sunlight world above? If she survives, will she be the same squirrel who began her journey, or has she been forever changed by the snake’s song?
IMMORTAL’S PENANCE by L.A. AlberPaperback / Kindle > On the remote Isle of Man, archaeologist Malone Wolfe has made a discovery that will ensure his reputation for years to come: a bog man of gigantic proportions. Buried in peat for millennia, the ancient man—or creature?—also comes with warnings from the locals not to disturb the faery tree that guards the site. Malone scoffs at the local lore until he is dragged into the other world of Celtic legend and condemned to a treacherous journey through a realm where faeries sting, trolls talk in riddles, bloodsuckers seduce, and nothing is what it seems. Battered, tortured, and hunted by the bog man, Malone must face his dark past and make a harrowing choice if he hopes to survive. Little does he know that even if he passes the four trials of the Immortals, his reward may be worse than the punishment.
MOUNTAIN OF ASHES by John ReedPaperback / Kindle > Matt Thanos is devastated when his wife, Emily, dies in a fiery car wreck. But when an irresistible force hurls him down a wild river into a bizarre labyrinth, his dead wife calls to him from the blackness. She—or at least her spirit—is alive. To save her, he must fight his way out of this endless underground chamber, a world ruled by Vaatu, god of the darkness, and cross a time-shifting desert to a crystal city ruled by Raava, god of light. Between these two worlds lies a mysterious mountain made from the ashes of dead souls. Here, the two gods fight for control, a war that has raged for millennium. Since Matt’s escape from the labyrinth has disrupted the balance of power, both gods seek to destroy him. The only way to save himself and Emily is to tear the mountain down and destroy their perverted kingdoms.
BAYOU’S LAMENT by Cheryl Owen-WilsonPaperback / Kindle > Veya Marie St. James has vowed to never again set foot on the Island of her birth—a strip of land buried deep in the swamps of southern Louisiana. Her childhood memories are rampant with ancient superstitions and the bizarre rituals of her estranged mother. Veya long ago rejected that life and those beliefs, but when a mysterious illness threatens her daughter’s life, it all leads to the Island. Veya swore she would never go back, but the Island calls to her, and now it’s calling with her daughter’s voice.
THE MOLE TRAIN by John ReedPaperback / Kindle > Vince Richards, a New York private eye, stumbles into a strange, hidden world when a prospective client is hanged in Tompkins Square Park. Someone is targeting a local coven of Wiccans and the details of their deaths mirror the Salem witch trials of 1692. When the Wiccans hire Vince to investigate, the weirdness intensifies: a voodoo priestess plots to take of the drug trade in lower Manhattan; a phantom train races by, announcing itself with a haunting whistle only Vince can hear; Wiccans and mobsters battle in the streets; and a ghostly encounter convinces Vince that his prospective client may not be dead after all. When he finally climbs aboard the phantom train and races past the boundaries of time and space, he discovers the trick is not getting on—but getting off.
THE RUPTURED FIRMAMENT by Stephen T. VesselsPaperback / Kindle > New York City police detective William Braden faces one of the worst cases of his career, the grisly murder of a family. Pursuing the killer, he finds himself cast into the bewildering and wondrous Labyrinth of Souls, where he becomes embroiled in terrifying intrigues far beyond the scope of his imagination. Sister Beatrice Cloutier, an aged Carmelite nun experiencing a crisis of faith, is transported into the Labyrinth during a private, all night prayer vigil. Together, she and William confront a horror that threatens the very existence of the universe.
THE BEE’S WALTZ by Mary e. LowdPaperback / Kindle > After generations of living in a purple dogwood, Zwi’s hive needs to find a new tree to call home. The honeybee has been searching everywhere for a tree blessed by the All-Being, while her squirrel friend, Witch-Hazel, tags along. But then Witch-Hazel begins seeing visions of her long-lost, beloved otter friend, Fish-Breath, guiding her on a journey toward the All-Being’s castle in the sky. To complete their quests, the honeybee and squirrel must seek favors from a mysterious Luna moth, brave the temptations of a unicorn’s garden, and avoid being drawn into the ongoing rivalry between a flock of ravens and a golden eagle living on the stem of giant beanstalk stretching into the sky. If the honeybee and squirrel can hold the course, they just might learn the secret behind why the endless rivers between the earth and sky dried up long ago and heal a timeless wound to their world. But most importantly, maybe Witch-Hazel will get to see Fish-Breath again.
AFTERMATH by Cynthia RayPaperback / Kindle > Homes have gone missing. Carly and Michael track three of the runaway houses to a place in the backwoods, where unexpected events threaten their lives and their sanity. Trapped in the dark, they are surrounded by a malefic intelligence that compels them to navigate the ever-shifting walls of a subterranean chamber. In order to survive, they must draw on every skill they possess, but unlocking the secret of the labyrinth will require more than they ever imagined possible.
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“BUYER BEWARE” Every Day Fiction, March 2014
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“VORTEX MIRAGE” Planet Magazine, 2006 Universe Pathways, July 2006