With Great Power…

My story ‘Primum Nil Nocere’ has won the Reedsy contest for ‘Superpowers’. I had a lot of fun writing this one. My character Dr. Albright works as a guidance counselor for children with superpowers, and he uses his wisdom and abilities to change the course of their entire lives.

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Dr. Albright accomplishes his job by diving deep into the real world complexities, ramifications and drawbacks of different superpowers. This is one of my favorite nerdy obsessions, which I trace all the way back to the Official Handbooks of the Marvel Universe. These were among the first comic books I ever owned, and their detailed lists of character aliases, powers, strengths and weaknesses definitely shaped my love for the genre.

I believe that engaging deeply with the concept of superpowers can open up new angles for story telling. If you only had one crummy power, how could you make the most of it? If you had no powers at all, how might you use your superhuman foe’s strength against them?

If you like your superhero stories with a side of nitty-gritty (and a heaping helping of dark and gritty) you will dig my novel CRITERION. You can buy it or try it here.

CRITERION cover Edited

 

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Gods of Wrath

Hey superhero fans,

It’s going to be a while until the next movie hits the big screen, One Punch Man is on hiatus, even My Hero Academia is on break until the Rugby World Cup is over.

That’s good, because you’ll have time to catch up on The Pantheon Saga from C.C. Ekeke! Right now you can jump in with book 1 (on sale for 99 cents!) and work up to book 4, Gods of Wrath, which is now a #1 new release!

 

Not all heroes wear capes and uniforms…
…or see themselves becoming the villain.

As his sophomore year wraps up, Hugo Malalou—aka Aegis—is living his best life. He’s working with Lady Liberty to protect San Miguel, acing all his classes, and casually dating three insanely hot girls.

Until one routine night patrol nearly gets him killed.

Before long, he’s pulled into a dangerous pursuit that isolates him from his friends, while his list of enemies keeps growing. And when he becomes the city’s last defense against an all-powerful adversary, he’ll find himself in the fight of his life.

Quinn partners with Hugo to expose Paxton-Brandt’s unethical research on superhumans. But the multinational’s scorched-earth response leaves everyone she loves caught in the blast radius. Can she prevail and topple Paxton-Brandt or is this another example of Too Big To Fail?

Meanwhile, Greyson begins his crusade to purge the world of superheroes. But his first target proves to be more than his match in power and purpose. And when a specter from his past makes their presence felt, Greyson’s mission might end before it even starts.

Grab your copy of Gods of Wrath, Book Four of The Pantheon Saga!

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Halloween Roundup 2019

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Here is my Halloween Roundup of original content for 2019

The Music Mix:   Hip Hop Halloween

The guest blog post:  From Thailand to Hell

The Six Demon Bag Podcast Spooktaculars:

 The 6 Demon Bag podcast (part 1)

The 6 Demon Bag podcast (part 2)

6DB House

And finally, my book Between the Teeth

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That’s all the treats for this year. Have a Happy Hallowe’en!

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The Night is Long and Full of eBooks

Hallowe’en is almost here, and I have so many spooky ebook deals to share with you.

Here is a list of free, 99 cent and newly released reads to help you keep it creepy until November 3rd (we all celebrate Dia de los Muertos, right?)

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The Covenant of Wickersham Hollow
by Thomas A. Bradley
In A House That Hungers For More Than Blood…No One’s Soul Is Safe!
“This is not just another haunted house story!!”- Sam Harper – Voracious Readers Only
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Get these books fast! This promotion ends !

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Some Like It Dark Group Promotion

Here is a squirming pile of spooky books free on Kindle Unlimited. Get them now before this deal expires in November!

Give me these Books!

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Here’s a bonanza of Sci-Fi and Fantasy releases for October

GRIMTOBERFEST

A late addition to the roundup, it’s Grimtoberfest with a horde of Grimdark fantasy books on sale for 99 cents!

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Now available for pre-order!

Book 3 of the acclaimed Weird Western series, Merkabah Rider!

The Rider and Kabede must rally a US Cavalry troop against an army of the undead led by three of Adon’s renegade riders if they are to survive THE LONG SABBATH.

The Rider infiltrates an Apache stronghold to convince the combined forces of Vittorio and Geronimo not to lend their might to the forces of THE WAR PROPHET.

The Rider sets out to rescue the succubus Nehema from the wrath of THE MULES OF THE MAZZIKIM.

In a frontier prison, he comes face to face with his greatest enemy, THE MAN CALLED OTHER.

Finally, seeking to learn the remaining secrets of Adon’s plot to bring about The Hour of Incursion, the Rider and his companions arrive in Tombstone only to be confronted with the horror of THE FIRE KING TRIUMPHANT.

Phew! That’s a lot of books, I bet the shelves inside your eReader are starting to creak. If I could toss one more slim volume upon the pile, it would be my new collection:

Between The Teeth

16 tales of horror and science fiction that will sink their fangs into you and won’t let go.

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Get it here, enjoy your books and have a Happy Hallowe’en!

 

 

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Some Like It Dark

some like it dark banner small

Do you like free books?

I thought so.

Here is a squirming pile of spooky books free on Kindle Unlimited. Get them now before this deal expires in November!

Get Them Books

My new book, Between the Teeth, is in there too. Happy Haunting!

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There Will Be Hell

Before you fill up your sacks with candy and razor blades, be sure to collect these terrifying reads!

All is Dust in the Land of the Eternal Sun

Jethro

All is sand and dust Civilization teeters on the brink of collapse as the last vestiges of humanity toil beneath an unforgiving sun. Jethro finds himself the unwilling hero of a tale that brings godless men, lawless bandits, and the savage people that inhabit the fringe into conflict. With his own past haunting his every step, can he find redemption? It hasn’t rained in years. It may never rain again. For fans of Ray Bradbury, There Will be Blood, and Oil!

Click here to download the Jethro Parables


Write Like Hell: Dark Fantasy & Horror

Anthology Vol. 1

write like hell

Write Like Hell is the first horror and dark fantasy anthology released by Sentinel Creatives. Adapted from the zine released under the same name, Write Like Hell features stories from Scott Miller, Justin Probyn and Mitchell Luthi.

Between these pages, you’ll find a feast of fiction for you to sink your teeth into. This release see the debuts of not one but two writers.
Scott Miller’s Panopticon is as unsettling as it is well-crafted. Pessimistic horror at its finest, this is a must read for fans of Connolly and Ligotti.
Justin Probyn’s debut, Void Born, blends gritty sci-fi, gore and cosmic-horror into one seamless festival of the obscene.

Write Like Hell includes:

Dregmere – Mitchell Luthi

Panopticon – Scott Miller

Void Born – Justin Probyn

Get it for only 99 cents on Kindle!


My own collection, Between the Teeth, collects 16 tales of horror and science fiction that will sink their fangs into you and won’t let go.

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– A serial killer ends up in an emergency room, but a heart attack may be the least of his problems.

– A researcher hunts a rare spider in the jungles of Myanmar.

– A greedy dentist gets the most interesting client of his life.

Witness soldiers trapped in a crocodile infested swamp, a preacher hunting demon outlaws, and karma catching up to a Bangkok body snatcher. Whatever flavor of the macabre you crave, you will find it Between the Teeth.

For a free sample, sign up for my mailing list here. Kindle Unlimited users can get the whole thing for free and it will be available free for everyone October 14 – 18th.

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Between the Teeth

My first collection, Between the Teeth, is available now!

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Between the Teeth collects 16 tales of horror and science fiction from author Jeff C. Carter that will sink their fangs into you and won’t let go.

– A serial killer ends up in an emergency room, but a heart attack may be the least of his problems.

– A researcher hunts a rare spider in the jungles of Myanmar.

– A greedy dentist gets the most interesting client of his life.

Witness soldiers trapped in a crocodile infested swamp, a preacher hunting demon outlaws, and karma catching up to a Bangkok body snatcher. Whatever flavor of the macabre you crave, you will find it Between the Teeth. Buy it now!


I want you to try this book, so I’ve set the price as low as Amazon allows.

  • Print – $5.44
  • ebook – 99¢
  • Kindle Unlimited- $0.00

I’m also running a special promotion.

Between October 14th and 18th, my book is free on Kindle.

If you’d like a free preview, check out the mailing list.

Enjoy the book, and have a Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

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Hip Hop Halloween

crypt jam

My annual Halloween playlists have featured a lot of Hip Hop, so this year I dug six feet deeper to find 13 new tracks. The Horrorcore genre is filled with amazing songs from artists like Insane Poetry and Immortal Technique, but those are too scary to dance to. This mix will set the Halloween mood and keep people moving.

Amityville (The House on the Hill) by Lovebug Starski

This old school Monster Mash is the perfect way to start a party

The Crypt Jam by John Kassir

I’m not sure it gets more Halloween, or 90’s, than this one

Maniac Cop Rap by Barnes and Brian “B.Dub” Woods

Movie credit raps are THE BEST

Addams Groove by MC Hammer

Take foolish pride, put it aside, and groove to MC Hammer

Monster Squad Rap by Michael Sembello

5 minutes of Halloween flavor

Murder Ink by Dr. Dre

If you are going to rap about a murder spree, do it to John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’

Chuckie by Geto Boyz

Don’t like it? Blame it on Chucky

Nine Dead Bodies by Esham

I’m going with a live version because it suits this wild, raucous song

Halloween on Military Street by Insane Clown Posse

This forgotten freshness takes you on a Trick or Treating journey

Alive (Nightmare) by Kid Cudi

I believe there is sufficient evidence to officially declare this a werewolf song

Sasquatch by Ice Cube

Time to get the party ramped back up with some Squatchin’

Bollywood Undead by Kung Fu Vampire

If you love bhangra, kung fu and vampires this is the track for you

1-800-Suicide by Gravediggaz

Any Gravediggaz song would work, but this one ends with Vincent Price’s laughter

 

Click here for more Halloween Playlists

Sign up to the mailing list here for more spooky treats

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The Wordinator

“The robots are coming for your jobs”, they tell us.

“But I’m a writer!” I cry. “How could a machine create inspired works of fiction?”

Here’s The Science:

OpenAI is a billion dollar artificial intelligence research group dedicated to sharing information to stop the development of dangerous technologies. In 2019 they abruptly changed their strategy after developing GPT-2, which they deemed too dangerous to unleash upon the world.

GPT-2 is a text generator so powerful that they fear it may flood social media with synthetic noise or devastate our ability to parse news from propaganda. Imagine if 9 out of 10 articles were like ‘Pizzagate’, forever.

To give the public a sense of its potential, they released a nerfed version of GPT-2 that was trained on much smaller sets of information. Will futuristic technology make the human fiction writer a thing of the past? I thought I’d take it for a spin with the service StoryAI.

I provided the opening lines, what they call the ‘story seed’. Everything after that was generated from the hobbled version of GPT-2.

Here was one of my first experiments:


(The A.I. generated this headline)

I’ll have you know that I am a troll with a body

(The A.I. chose this image)

 

Photo by Audi Nissen on Unsplash

(The human wrote)

The Shrehkt dragged its talon across the parchment, crossing another name off its list with fresh blood. It had slain Ulbrim The Invincible, the paranoid blacksmith who had worn three overlapping suits of armor. It had eliminated Laramis, the faery cutthroat who could dance on the wind and press her invisible blade to your throat as fast as you could blink. So too had the Beast of Slab Iron been culled, though it could squeeze its tendrils through fathoms of rock, snatch a fish from a falcon in flight, and pulp a war elephant in its coils.

The Shrehkt unfurled its parchment, smiling as it bounced and rolled across the floor. Yesss, ssso many more targetsss. Ssso many thingsss to crosss off itsss lissst. The next creatures on its list were…

(The A.I. continued)

Trolls”, a species of troll that had been long thought extinct, until the Shrehkt, a troll with no body, was caught. estampit

Said troll was half-orc, though it could easily have just been a troll with a body. estampit

Said troll, as it dragged its half-orc body down a hallway. estampit

Said troll, with its body in the air. estampit

Said troll, in its half-orc body… estampit

Said troll! It had done it! estampit

Said troll! Yessss! estampit

Said troll! Yessss… estampit

Said troll! Yessss! estampit


Well, not quite what I was hoping for. I’m not in love with the picture, but the title has a flair that I would not have come up with on my own.

Perhaps I should do as Elon Musk suggests, and partner with the AI to combine our powers. Here are some stories I seeded, generated, and then reapplied my human sensibilities to.


(The A.I. generated this headline)

The old days were the days before the rise of the sun

and they were like a perfect world

(The A.I. chose this image)

“More jokes!” roared the Ogre. He swayed in the doorway of the dimly lit tavern, bellowing, drinking, yet never quite falling down drunk. The huddled villagers did their best to ply him with grog and humor. These were the jokes they told.

“It was like the old times,” said one.

“If you had been here,” the Ogre grunted, and the bar stool he was sitting on fell slowly to the floor. The Ogre took two gulps of his beer before he looked at the old bearded woman with the yellow fur. She was holding a pint of wine in one hand and a handful of bread in the other. The Ogre took a glass of beer before taking another sip of wine.

“I remember the old times,” said the old lady. “You must have been young then, and you had those times with us.”

“Yes,” said the Ogre. “There was great fun in those days. It was like living in a fairy tale… a perfect world, in some ways.”

“It was like having a full day, every day, to run around the world,” she continued. “We heard of the old gods who loved us all.”

The Ogre laughed. “I know that sounds ridiculous, but it had a certain magic about it. We lived up in the mountains. At the height of summer, when the sun started to rise, we would gather at the mountain’s peak, drink and chase away the night,” he continued.

The woman smiled. “I remember how it felt.”


Not too bad. I was hoping to generate a bunch of weird jokes, but instead it generated a melancholy vignette. 

This was an attempt at a Fantasy/Thriller. Somehow it got converted into a computer age story about the video game The Last of Us. It is dialogue heavy and sentimental, unlike what I typically write, so I wasn’t able to do much with it. I cleaned it up enough to make it readable.


(The A.I. generated this headline)

A lot of people think that the Last of Us

is a story about the end of the world

(The A.I. chose this image)

Photo by Timon Studler on Unsplash

Maris pressed her sweaty forehead against the cold marble wall and gasped. If she could just stop running, if she could get a moment of sleep, perhaps she could wrap her mind around the artifact in her satchel. She had risked everything to steal it. Would it be worth it?

She touched the crystal catalyst and drifted into dreams of power and possibility.

-The Last of Us Chapter 3-

“It isn’t an artifact,” Ellie said, not wanting to mention the word again. She swallowed hard as she spoke, not wanting anything too intimate to come out. “No,” she repeated again without looking up from the computer screen to stare at the woman. “It is the culmination of my years of experience and… my research.”

The woman gave a low whistle. “I see,” she frowned. “Yes,” and gave Ellie another too-low whistle. When the whistle faded, Ellie was sure that the woman had been thinking about her. “You are going to be a big deal and I know it. We are going to become heroes.”

She grinned in a way that told Ellie she was having a bad day. Ellie couldn’t tell what that was supposed to mean, but it felt good.

“But you want to give up your life as a hunter?” She was being so damn honest.

“For now. Maybe, once I do the rest of the research on the artifact,” Her face turned serious. “But I could… maybe… leave something behind for my daughter.”

Ellie tapped on the laptop with all her might.

“And what do you know about those ancient ruins on the island?” the woman asked.

“I… that kind of ruins are… too… dark for us,” Ellie said, closing the laptop. “Especially the dark places.”


The dark ruins are intriguing. I wonder what that story would have been about?

My attempt at a sci-fi story got sideswiped by a random mention of an unknown type of fetish pornography. You’ll know it when you see it (as the old saying goes), but the AI doesn’t linger on it, so you won’t have to either.


(The A.I. generated this headline)

Hey, you know what’s pretty cute?

 (The A.I. chose this image)

‘Bugborgs aren’t just for kids anymore’, the advertisement shouted. ‘Why not put a Bugborg under the tree for the students and professionals in your family this Christmas? Grandma needs company too!”

Ugh, I have enough of the little monsters crawling around the class room. Now I’m supposed to let them infest my home?

The words were spoken more than 50 years ago, but many of us still remember them. It may have been one of only a handful of ads of its kind. It wasn’t until more recent times that more awareness was drawn to the fact that these advertisements for a new type of creature—the Bugborg, often erroneously referred to as an eggbug—were all too common. Now, thanks to Google and the rise of “cub porn”—online porn featuring humanoid creatures—we are no longer so shocked when these kinds of ads hit the web.

They look like bug-shaped eggs, complete with tiny, translucent, insect like legs and antennae.

They have the distinct advantage that their bodies can expand from one size to another. And if you look closely, all of them look identical.

It’s all a bit unsettling, when you think about it. It looks like something out of an 80s science fiction movie, or maybe a child’s sketchbook. The Bugborg can walk, climb, crawl by themselves, and even crawl on the wall with their own body parts.

When they hatch, a female begins to grow around her own egg. She has only about 5 legs. If a female is not lucky enough to hatch before her mate does, she dies. When she’s fully grown, her large body begins to turn into her giant form. In the breeding season, this giant form will be completely different from the insect-like forms. She may be able to fly.

They aren’t just for kids anymore.


That one got a little freaky.

My final experiment hoped to leverage the godlike power of Artificial Intelligence to create a third sequel to the Teen Wolf movies.


(The A.I. generated this headline)

“Wolfman” is a wolf who has been raised by wolves

(The A.I. chose this image)

Photo by Tom Pottiger on Unsplash

Teen Wolf 3 was not based on the MTV show, nor was it the rumored Alyssa Milano hockey vehicle. Teen Wolf 3 was the long awaited conclusion to the trilogy that would launch the Wolfiverse franchise. The original Teen Wolf featured Michael J. Fox as a down on his luck high school basketball player who had to learn how to control the power of becoming a werewolf. The sequel, Teen Wolf Too, starred Jason Bateman as a collegiate boxer.

“Teen Wolf Three is about the end of the series, and The Wolf Within is not the finale – it’s the start of the story!” say Director Tim Kring and writers Scott Gimple and Michael J. Fox.

Bernard Munch is wearing a wolf on his sleeve.

In the first season, the Wolves have new sidekicks, the Wolfbrothers. The Wolfbrothers are wolves who have been “born” into werewolf society and raised by wolves.

Bernard appears in the opening credits of Teen Wolf as a werewolf, and later appears in the end credits, also as a werewolf.

Bernard’s werewolf sidekick was shot to death to keep the wolf in line.

Bernard Munch’s character was then killed off. Bernard’s character’s story didn’t go anywhere.

Tim Kring’s character was resurrected as a werewolf after saving Wolf’s life. Tim Kring’s character’s story didn’t go anywhere. Tim Kring’s character turned into a werewolf, and he had the final words in the entire Wolfverse, “This isn’t over.”


Hot damn! That sounds amazing. 

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto

 

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Me and The Boys

I wrote a superhero book.

Then I watched The Boys.

My first reaction: not happy.

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There was a lot in common between the two, and The Boys was definitely the 800 pound gorilla of the pair.

My second reaction: joy!

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I’ve had a hard time describing my book, settling on the phrase ‘Grimdark Superhero’. Now I know that there is an audience for this. Do you like The Boys? Then you will like my novel CRITERION.

The Boys feels bold and innovative, not just for its brutality and shock value, but because it takes its premise seriously. The heroes and villains are more complicated than they seem. The relationships are messy, and the consequences are real. Those are the stories I am interested in, and that’s what you will find in my book.


Criterion is the world’s mightiest hero.

His sidekicks just found his body.

When the Criterion Cadets are shattered by the death of their idol, they drop their brave and plucky façade and become consumed by strife and jealousy.

The only thing keeping them together is terror. Once protected from on high, they are now vulnerable and alone. Can they cover up Criterion’s death and avoid a global meltdown? What hope do they have against an enemy that can kill anyone?

Who killed Criterion? Who will die next?

CRITERION cover Edited

Try the first 10 chapters free

Hear an audio excerpt and notes on the book here

and buy it here

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Google Play

Smashwords

iTunes

 

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