eSPEC EXCERPT – LITTLE SISTERS OF THE HOURGLASS (AWAKENED MODERN)


cover-proofAn excerpt from The Awakened Modern

Little Sisters of the Hourglass
James Chambers

They’re coming.

Weaver closed his book and rested it on his lap. He finished the last of the scotch in the crystal tumbler on the side table, ice clinking against glass, then stood and replaced the book on a bookshelf.

“We knew they would. Where are they now?”

Next door. My sisters and daughters are watching them.

The prospect of confrontation excited Weaver. He relished the chance to further test his Awakened abilities. He had always planned to move against Cortez one day. The chaos of the two moons had simply brought that day sooner by tipping the balance of power and rendering the conditions ideal. Distraction. Uncertainty. Streets up for grabs. The sex trade, the numbers rackets, drug trafficking, smuggling—all of it in play after years of suffocating under the thumb of that arrogant fucker Cortez, forcing Weaver to pay for the privilege of doing business. The two moons had brought Weaver the devil, and now the devil demanded his due.

He switched off the light in his study and descended to the first floor.

Two armed men stood watch in the foyer by the base of the stairwell.

“Be ready,” he told them.

They nodded, hands on their weapons.

Two more guarded the back door, and another pair joined Weaver in the den. They sat with weapons ready, straight-backed, leaning forward, afraid to make themselves comfortable. None of them liked being in his house, but he paid them enough not to care. If his newfound power served him as he hoped, they wouldn’t need to fire a shot or raise a fist.

They wander in the dark. I don’t understand.

“Wander where?”

In the home beside this one.

“They hope to catch us by surprise.”

We have observed them stalking us for weeks and taken six of their brothers. We have watched them tonight since they came in their rolling shell.

“They don’t know that. They have no idea what they’re walking into. Our goal tonight is to make sure none of them leave to warn anyone else.”

None of them shall.


James Chambers_2017

James Chambers is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of the original graphic novel Kolchak the Night Stalker: The Forgotten Lore of Edgar Allan Poe as well as the Lovecraftian novella collection, The Engines of Sacrifice, described in a Publisher’s Weekly starred-review as “…chillingly evocative….” He has also written the story collection Resurrection House and the dark, urban fantasy novella, Three Chords of Chaos. His tales of crime, fantasy, horror, pulp, science fiction, steampunk, and more have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines, including Allen K’s Inhuman, The Avenger: Roaring Heart of the Crucible, Bare Bone, Chiral Mad 2, Dark Furies, The Dead Walk,  Deep Cuts, Gaslight and Grimm, The Green Hornet Chronicles, Hardboiled Cthulhu, Kolchak the Night Stalker: Passages of the Macabre, Shadows Over Main Street, The Side of Good/The Side of Evil, Qualia Nous, Truth or Dare, Walrus Tales, and the award-winning Bad-Ass Faeries and Defending the Future series. He has edited and written numerous comic books including Leonard Nimoy’s Primortals, Gene Roddenberry’s Lost Universe, Isaac Asimov’s I*Bots, the graphic novel adaptation of From Dusk Till Dawn, and the critically acclaimed “The Revenant” in Shadow House. He is a recipient of the 2012 Richard Laymon Award and the 2016 Silver Hammer Award from the Horror Writers Association.

His website is www.jameschambersonline.com.

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EARLY WARNING SYSTEM


Our next campaign is about to launch:  

eSpec Books is working in conjunction with The Awakened editor and game designer Hal Greenberg to bring you the first-ever incursion of The Awakened phenomenon in the modern world.  

The sudden appearance of a second moon in Earth’s sky awakens latent abilities in humanity…a link to a familiar, control of the elements, and so much more becomes possible as the second moon takes effect. What impact will this sudden change have on society? Only time will tell.  

Contents  

  • Wolves Run by Night by Ed Greenwood  
  • Little Sisters of the Hourglass by James Chambers  
  • Cold Snap by Ty Johnston  
  • Return of the Devis by Torah Cotrill  
  • Silverback by Hal Greenberg and Ken Shannon  
  • Whiteout by Erik Scott de Bie  
  • Details in Death by Jennifer Brozek  
  • Song of Tyrta by Drew Bittner  
  • Fire and Brimstone by Walt Ciechanowski  

If you would like to check it out, the URL is http://tiny.cc/AwakenedModern  

Best,  

Danielle

PROJECT UPDATE – IF WE HAD KNOWN


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edited by Mike McPhail

Beyond the Cradle of mankind, the universe is vast, unknown,
dangerous to the unwary…or those caught in the path of intrepid explorers proceeding without forethought.

Thirteen authors explore what it is to pioneer the future with tales fraught with danger and remorse, tempered with hope, luck, and serendipity. We face the monsters. We face the truth. We face ourselves.

Whether the frontier is that of science or space, there is no doubt that at some point one must ask …If we had known, would we have followed this course?


Contents

The Necessary Enemy by Ian Randal Strock

The Steady Drone of Silence by Danielle Ackley-McPhail

The Last Man on Earth by Jody Lynn Nye

Chasing the Ball by Peter Prellwitz

The Janus Choice by Jeff Young

Between Scylla and Charybdis by Patrick Thomas

The Star Gazers by James Chambers

Giraffe Children by Robert E. Waters

Good Advice by John L. French

Egg by Christopher M. Hiles

Youth by Judi Fleming

Meeting the Other by Nancy Jane Moore

The Third Heaven by Robert Greenberger

BAD-ASS FAERIES EXCERPT – THE WAY OF THE BONE


proof-tbobafThis is a part of our series of excerpts connected with our campaign for The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries. All of the authors have been selected based on fan and reviewer recognition as some of the best examples of Bad-Ass Faeries, representing over a decade of this award-winning series. If you are interested in learning more about The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries, please check out our Kickstarter.


Way of the Bone

James Chambers

Among New York’s grimy buildings and their patchwork of rooftops spread the telltale flickers and momentary distortions of light that signaled the presence of Gorge’s enemies. They gathered in the shadows and quiet places of the city’s high perches, forsaking the beauty of the Faerie Kingdoms for this world of coarse landscapes and ugliness. No doubt their spies had spread word that Gorge was gathering magic in the mortal world, and though they couldn’t know what he planned when he took the stage tonight, they couldn’t let whatever it might be go unanswered. In less than eight hours, Red Gorge would perform the biggest show of their long career.

The most important of Gorge’s life since his exile.

And there’s still much to do, thought Gorge.

He turned from the window to where half a dozen unconscious people lay scattered like wilted flowers. Dev, his drummer, was dead to the world, still dressed in his immutable costume of denim and motorcycle boots, entangled with three sleeping women on one of the couches. Empty bottles and mounds of pills peppered the room. Someone had smashed a torchiere lamp through the widescreen television. Gorge opened the first adjoining room. Inside, Roald, his guitarist, sat meditating on the balcony, his bed empty, his room clean.

Gorge retreated. Next door, his bass player, who looked like he hadn’t yet slept, entertained a handful of women in bed. Three of them stared at Gorge’s naked body with open lust.

“Sound check at four o’clock. If you’re late, I’ll have your balls,” Gorge said. “I fucking mean it, Tank. Don’t screw this gig up.”

The bass player nodded over the soft arc of a perfect buttock, and Gorge shut the doors.

He cherished the chaos and abandon these people brought to their celebrations, sweetened so much by their mortality and the very real possibility of dying for a good time. Gorge had known excess before his exile, but it had been bland in comparison, without consequence and therefore cheapened. Here, life was lived on the hard edge of a genuine abyss, and he found it addictive. He’d participated fully for many years, but drugs and alcohol didn’t affect him the same way they did the others, and anyway it was the atmosphere of risk and the sense of blind defiance that got him off. This was the way to live: with one’s ego and libido unchecked, forever ready to flip the bird at convention.

Back in his room, Gorge opened the curtains and let his skin drink in the midday heat. An old melody from the Faerie Kingdoms flashed through his thoughts, and he sat on the edge of the bed, picked up his guitar, and strummed while he sang the tune in a whisper. He felt a sense of falling into his past, when every day had been a thousand times more glorious than this one, and he had been worshipped, and lived among kings. But the melody Gorge heard perfectly in his mind could not be played as intended here. He put down his guitar and chose that moment to tell himself, as he had every day for more than half a century: Now I am free.

Behind him, Delilah uncoiled from the sheets and cupped herself against Gorge’s back, wrapping her legs around his waist. Her skin, still damp with sweat from a morning spent in passion, plastered to Gorge. The gnarled knobs of flesh over his scapulae tingled as she cleansed their weeping scar tissue with a moist washcloth from a bowl on the nightstand, and then caressed them with her fingertips and her lips. Electrified with anticipation of tonight’s concert, she and Gorge felt more playful and intimate than they had in years.

Delilah hugged him tight, so that her words reached Gorge on the palanquin of her honeyed breath, as she said, “Tell me again about how it was in the Faerie Kingdoms.”

Gorge settled against her, caressing the silky tops of her thighs. “Which version do you want today? The paradise I sacrificed for my life here with you, or the gilded cage from which I broke free to save my soul?”

“How do you see it today?”

“Today, I see through new eyes. Today it’s a delicate fruit rotten at its core, and I will destroy it before it spreads its taint.”

“How will you do it?”

“I will find the way, the Way of the Bone.”


James Chambers writes tales of horror, crime, fantasy, and science fiction. He is the author of The Engines of Sacrifice, a collection of four Lovecraftian-inspired novellas published by Dark Regions Press which Publisher’s Weekly described in a starred-review as “…chillingly evocative….” He is also the author of the short fiction collections Resurrection House (Dark Regions Press) as well as the dark, urban fantasy novella, Three Chords of Chaos and The Dead Bear Witness and Tears of Blood, volume one and two in the Corpse Fauna novella series.  

His short stories have been published in the anthologies The Avenger: Roaring Heart of the Crucible, Chiral Mad 2, Clockwork Chaos, Dark Furies, The Dead Walk, Deep Cuts, The Domino Lady: Sex as a Weapon, Dragon’s Lure, Fantastic Futures 13, Gaslight and Grimm, The Green Hornet Chronicles, Hardboiled Cthulhu, In An Iron Cage, Kolchak the Night Stalker: Passages of the Macabre, Shadows Over Main Street, The Spider: Extreme Prejudice, Qualia Nous, Reel Dark, Truth or Dare, TV Gods, Walrus Tales, Warfear, and the award-winning Bad-Ass Faeries and Defending the Future series as well as the magazines Bare Bone, Cthulhu Sex, and Allen K’s Inhuman.  

He has also edited and written numerous comic books including Leonard Nimoy’s Primortals, the critically acclaimed “The Revenant” in Shadow House, and the original graphic novel Kolchak, the Night Stalker: The Forgotten Lore of Edgar Allan Poe. 

His website is www.jameschambersonline.com.

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT – JAMES CHAMBERS


eSpec Books interviews James Chambers, contributor to The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries, edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail. Funding now on Kickstarter as a part of their #Make100 campaign, http://tiny.cc/BBAF.

eSB: What is your idea of a bad-ass faerie?

Going back to faerie roots, these creatures tended to be pretty live and let live as long as you didn’t cross them. Stay on good terms with them, show them respect, and they might even help you out now and then. But get on their bad side—and it was awfully easy to do that—and they would make your life miserable. Or steal your children and leave changelings in their place. Or other mean stuff. I boiled that down to a faerie, Gorge, who lives by very clear principles and standards and does not hesitate to mess you up if you don’t live up to them.

eSB: Can you tell us a little about your story, “The Way of the Bone,” that was selected for The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries?

baf2-web2x3“The Way of the Bone” started with a simple suggestion from editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail. She wanted “heavy metal faeries” for the second BAF anthology. The result was the character Gorge, the greatest musician in the Enchanted Lands, cast out, wings ripped off, magic taken away, and made mortal for the crime of playing forbidden music. Trapped on earth, though, he realized he could regain his magic by playing music for live audiences. Now he’s determined to deliver some payback to the faerie world.

eSB: What would your fae character’s signature drink be and why?

bone Single malt whiskey, neat. Everything else is for losers who like umbrellas in their drinks. (Which is what Gorge would say.)

eSB: What do you like most about The Bad-Ass Faeries series, and why?

The variety of interpretations of classical faerie lore. When working with myths or other pre-existing notions, my writerly instinct is always to go back to the beginning, the core of what made something fascinating and look for inspiration. I think a lot of the BAF contributors did that and then went in so many amazing, original, and different directions. I love that kind of creativity.

eSB: What is your first recollection of faeries growing up?

The Blue Fairy in Pinocchio. That was one of the first stories I remember reading as a wee lad. Other than that, fairy tales in general. The Elves and the Shoemaker. The idea of leaving little gifts for faeries like bowls of milk and honey to keep them from tossing your house. I don’t remember details of where I encountered those ideas, though. Just vague recollections of more kids’ books. Then of course, Tinker Bell in Peter Pan, but even as a kid I thought she was pretty sanitized for a fairy.

eSB: Tell us something about yourself that is bad-ass.

 I once saved a frog’s life by pulling it from the mouth of snake. Ha! (On the other hand, though, I suppose that snake was pretty hungry. And the frog wasn’t especially grateful. He just hopped away.)

eSB: Do you have any plans to expand your story…or write in the same universe? If so, what more can your readers expect?

three-chords-chaos_lgI already have. Reader reaction to “The Way of the Bone” was so positive that I wrote a follow-up story “Faerie Ring Blues,” which appeared in the third BAF anthology. And Danielle Ackley-McPhail asked me to write novella featuring Gorge, which was published a while back, Three Chords of Chaos. That’s out of print now but it might not be for long (nudge-nudge, wink-wink), and I might just be writing some new Gorge stories as well.

eSB: What are some of your own works readers can look for?

 I write in a lot of different genres. Look for my stories in many of the anthologies from eSpec books or those edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Mike McPhail. There are steampunk stories (Gaslight and Grimm), sci-fi stories (Man and Machine), super-hero stories (The Side of Good/The Side of Evil), and fantasy stories (Dragon’s Lure). I also write a lot of horror fiction, which can be found in anthologies such as Chiraljameschambers_engines Mad 2, Shadows Over Main Street, Dark Hallows II: Tales from the Witching Hour, and Kolchak the Night Stalker: Passages of the Macabre. And I recently wrote the original graphic novel, Kolchak the Night Stalker: The Forgotten Lore of Edgar Allan Poe. More of my work can be found in two collections, The Engines of Sacrifice (which nabbed a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly) and Resurrection House.

eSB: What projects of your own do you have coming up?

I’ll have a story in the forthcoming anthology of small-town Lovecraftian fiction, Shadows Over Main Street 2 and some other short stories coming up in soon-to-be-announced publications. Most other projects are in early stages, all fun stuff but too soon to let the cat out of the bag.

eSB: How can readers find out more about you? 

 Drop by my website, www.jameschambersonline.com, or catch up with me online on Facebook or Twitter.


james-chambers

James Chambers writes tales of horror, crime, fantasy, and science fiction. He is the author of The Engines of Sacrifice, a collection of four Lovecraftian-inspired novellas published by Dark Regions Press which Publisher’s Weekly described in a starred-review as “…chillingly evocative….” He is also the author of the short fiction collections Resurrection House (Dark Regions Press) as well as the dark, urban fantasy novella, Three Chords of Chaos and The Dead Bear Witness and Tears of Blood, volume one and two in the Corpse Fauna novella series.  

His short stories have been published in the anthologies The Avenger: Roaring Heart of the Crucible, Chiral Mad 2, Clockwork Chaos, Dark Furies, The Dead Walk, Deep Cuts, The Domino Lady: Sex as a Weapon, Dragon’s Lure, Fantastic Futures 13, Gaslight and Grimm, The Green Hornet Chronicles, Hardboiled Cthulhu, In An Iron Cage, Kolchak the Night Stalker: Passages of the Macabre, Shadows Over Main Street, The Spider: Extreme Prejudice, Qualia Nous, Reel Dark, Truth or Dare, TV Gods, Walrus Tales, Warfear, and the award-winning Bad-Ass Faeries and Defending the Future series as well as the magazines Bare Bone, Cthulhu Sex, and Allen K’s Inhuman.  

He has also edited and written numerous comic books including Leonard Nimoy’s Primortals, the critically acclaimed “The Revenant” in Shadow House, and the original graphic novel Kolchak, the Night Stalker: The Forgotten Lore of Edgar Allan Poe. 

His website is www.jameschambersonline.com.

SOCIAL MEDIA USER IDs

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/james.chambers

Twitter – https://twitter.com/mothman1313

Amazon Author Page –
https://www.amazon.com/James-Chambers/e/B007J63PLO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1485641339&sr=8-1

Blog Address – www.jameschambersoline.com/blog/   

NEW KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN – THE BEST OF BAD-ASS FAERIES


Currently, Kickstarter is running a promotional campaign Make/100. As a part of that campaign, creators launch a project that includes a limited edition, 100-Backer reward.

eSpec is taking this opportunity to launch a project that is near and dear to my heart, a Best of Bad-Ass Faeries anthology commemorating a decade of this award-winning anthology series that has shocked and delighted readers through four epic volumes. The series is out of print, but we will bring you the highlights of its glory. <grin>

proof-tbobaf

The stories selected for inclusion, based on fan and reviewer response, are as follows:

Bad-Ass Faeries  

  • Brian Koscienski & Chris Pisano – The Ballad of the Seven-Up Sprite  
  • Keith R.A. DeCandido – House Arrest
  • Adam P. Knave – Futuristic Cybernetic Faerie Assassin Hassballah  
  • Jesse Harris – Hidden in the Folds  

Just Plain Bad  

  • James Chambers – Way of the Bone  
  • CJ Henderson – Do You Believe?  
  • Danielle Ackley-McPhail – Within the Guardian Bell  
  • John Passarella – Twilight Crossing  
  • Jeffrey Lyman- Grimm Necessity  
  • Bernie Mojzes – Moonshine

In All Their Glory  

  • L. Jagi Lamplighter – A Not-So-Silent Night  
  • John L. French – So Many Deaths  
  • James Daniel Ross – The Natural-Born Spy  
  • Robert E. Waters – At The Grasshopper’s Hill  
  • Kelly A. Harmon – Selkskin Deep  

It’s Elemental  

  • DL Thurston – The Face of the Serpent  
  • Patrick Thomas – Looking a Gift Horse  
  • Jody Lynn Nye – Fifteen Percent  
  • Lee C. Hillman – Bad Blood  
  • NR Brown – Melia’s Best Wave

We hope you will help us celebrate these great authors!