A Tale of Six Interwoven Tales

Greetings, my darlings! In this, our most holiest of months for horror authors, I present to you eight interwoven tales meant to both delight and chill you to your very soul. There are nightmares to be explored, adventures to be had. Come into my darkness and dance with Devil for me.

TALON2 Custom

The novel that began the madness which has unfolded is The Spider’s Web (Talon book 1). This book is brought to you by Burning Willow Press who are a wonderful company to work for.

Talon, perhaps more than anything, is the exploration of redemption. When you’ve known nothing but the violence and killing of being a Vampire and buried your mortal memories, what happens when something reminds you of who you used to be? Can Nicky save Katie, the girl who looks the spitting image of his mortal sister? What does it mean to suddenly have a purpose after having known nothing but chaos? Can he save the girl? Can he save himself?

Talon: The Spider’s web can be purchased HERE.

Talon is only the beginning. From here, all the other stories branch off and intertwine.

Demons Devils Denizens of Hell

Demons, Devils & Denizens of Hell is a special anthology to me as it let a certain Demon named Mephistopheles truly shine. You will know Mephistopheles from Talon: The Spider’s Web. What truly made this piece special to me is that Pricilla and Persephone (From “The Ballad of Priscilla and Persephone” in Crossroads in the Dark 3: Monsters Under Your Bed) and Patches (From the story “Patches” in the Haunted Souls: A Halloween Anthology) make cameo appearances. Also, a character from one of my horror shorts (“The Girl on Fire”) located in the Alabama Nightmares & Urban Legends makes and appearance. This is my way of letting it be known, the world of Talon is also the setting for my horror collection.

My story in this collection is entitled, “Walker County is Small and Smith Lake is Deep.” It’s like a local warning to the residents. You can be found and you will be dealt with if necessary. A young man, having found his girlfriend and best friend having a jolly-good time in the bedroom, goes over the edge. He has committed a crime so vile, that all of Hell is watching him. When they come, do the bring offerings, or do they demand sacrifice?

I was invited by P. Mattern (Mama Fang) herself to participate in this anthology and I’d like to thank her for her support and faith in my abilities. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but I don’t really have any nightmare author stories. I have been blessed to have some wickedly talented and deliciously evil writers come part of my circle. I tip my hat to all of you.

You can get this book HERE.

Chasing Fireflies

download

 

Here is perhaps the most surprising of our entrants. Chasing Fireflies: A Summer Romance anthology is a bit something different. It was my first attempt at writing a true romance story. Now there’s still plenty of magick, curses, Demons, and warrior-priests around, so you’ll get all the action of a Talon piece, just with an awkward romance thrown in. “The Doctor and the Demon” is a story that I believe you can enjoy action fan or not, romance fan or not. There’s a bit of something for everyone here.

The main character is a cursed doctor named Marcus. He comes to have a Demon as a patient and he’s faced with the dilemma of handing her over to Estabon, an Eastern Orthodox Vampire Slayer, or risk his life to protect the woman he can’t even confess to that he loves.

Marcus, Cecilia (the Demon), and Estabon, are all characters from the Talon universe. Marcus will appear in Talon: Russian Roulette (book 2 of the series) and Estabon will appear later as well. It’s a closer look to what will become a Talon major player. Find out about him before he unleashes death upon the world.

The other authors in this are simply wonderful and if romance is your thing, you should most definitely give it a look.

Buy this book HERE.

CRITD3 2

“A tisket, a tasket, the twins are out their caskets. Drowning souls in swimming holes of everyone who passes…” –local nursery rhyme about Priscilla and Persephone

Crossroads in the Dark 3: Monsters Under Your Bed

This anthology contains my story “The Ballad of Priscilla and Persephone.” These girls were buried before Smith Lake (yes, the same Smith Lake from the Demons story) was created and, when it was, their graves were left beneath the murky waters. They’re lonely. They only want to play. Won’t you go for a swim?

As I stated before, the twins appear in the Demons anthology story. Their wickedness is not just bound to the world of horror. They are bound to our very reality.

This book has an amazing line-up of authors. If you haven’t bought this, what’s wrong with you?

Buy this book HERE.

Haunted Souls

Haunted Souls: A Halloween Anthology is special to me because it includes one of my new favorite characters, Patches (from the same-titled story), and it was the first time I got to appear with my cousin, the author TJ Penn.

This story is about vengeance from the grave. How far would you go to get your daughter justice?

Get this story HERE.

Damsels of Distress

My story in Damsels of Distress is called “Harmony’s Rhapsody.” You will a Catholic Vampire Slayer and her friend attempt to apprehend a certain doctor named Marcus. Yes, the Marcus from the Chasing Fireflies book. What you see here is Marcus just after he leaves book 2 and Harmony just before she enters book 3. If you like Vampires and lots of slaying, you’ll love this story! This anthology has a release date of October 28th, 2017.

There’s even more stories coming to add to this list, and I’m also releasing my own horror novelette for Halloween. A little gift to my beloved darlings. Fair thee all well, and may the darkness on the page be the only darkness in your life. Cheers!

Jay Michael Wright II (jmw2author)

My Author Page on Facebook.

My Twitter account.

 

 

Advertisements

First Draft Preview for the Intro to “Red,” part of the Twisted Fairy Tales Collection

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but the entire world you know is a lie. While you’re complaining about his politician or that, planning your protests and counter-protests, and trolling anyone’s comment who doesn’t believe in the exact same things as you, there’s a world hidden right in front of your face. Just beneath the surface of reality, you will find that Hell is, indeed, real. I found this out the hard way at the tender age of 12. That’s when the veil was pulled back and I was finally able to see the world as it truly is.

It was a Sunday, like every other Sunday that had ever been. My parents and I went to church that morning and when the service ended, we headed to my grandmother’s house for lunch. Grandma lived in a small community called Parrish. Her house was small, and rather dark even in the daytime, but you could feel the love radiating from every corner.

After lunch, I went for my normal walk alongside the creek. I spent hours of my life there, listening to the water bubble as it flowed over the fallen log and the rock formations that made up the creek-bed. It was perfectly tranquil. I stayed there until the sunset and made my way slowly back to grandma’s house. Halfway up the hill is when I heard the first screams.

At first, I froze. I was only 12 and I hadn’t learned the things I know now. I was too afraid to move. The second scream changed that. I remember running as fast as I could. I made it to grandma’s front door in record time, but froze at what I saw.

The screen door was smeared with blood, more blood than I had ever seen. I may have stayed there, frozen in fright, but I heard a loud crash inside the house and grandma shriek out in pain.

Without thinking of the dangers, I flung the screen door open and ran inside the house. The entranceway was all but flooded with blood. Every step I took produced another splash, sending ripples out in all directions. What could have done this? What is going on?

I heard another crash in the back bedroom. I don’t know what I was thinking. I didn’t have so much as a pocketknife to defend myself, but I charged headfirst into danger anyway. I made it to back bedroom and had to stop to process what I was seeing.

There was a wolf, and not just any wolf, this thing was standing on its hind legs and had to be well over six feet tall. It turned to face me with my grandma’s fresh blood dripping from its fangs. It snarled and my legs decided on their own that it was time to get out of there.

I ran for the next bedroom and slammed the door shut. I knew I wouldn’t hold him, so I slid an old vanity mirror and dresser over in front of the door. I spun around looking for a weapon to grab and that’s when I noticed my parent’s bodies on top of the bed.

Their throats had been ripped out and their lifeless eyes were still open, faces locked in a horrible death-gasp. I covered my mouth and started crying. I walked over to their bodies and began shaking their legs. “Mama! Daddy! Get up! Why won’t you get up?”

I knew damn well why they weren’t getting up. I just didn’t want to face the facts. I couldn’t believe they were gone and I was now all alone in the world.

The door broke into pieces as the wolf charged into it. The dresser scooted out nearly six inches from the first impact. I knew it wouldn’t be long before he got inside the room. I stood there, hopeless, and simply prepared to join my family on the other side.

The barricade completely broke and the wolf came walking into the room with drool dripping from its mouth. It howled and the intensity of it felt like it might shatter my eardrums. It was absolutely terrifying. I felt a chill run down my spine so cold I thought I’d freeze to death before the wolf could eat me.

Suddenly, a man dressed in white whom I’d never seen before burst into the room carrying an ax. With one mighty swing he took the creature’s front-right paw completely off. The wolf howled in agony and ran away. I stood there, completely in shock of what I’d seen. I think for a moment; my mind was shutting down. I blacked out on the spot.

I woke up in the backseat of a car being driven down the highway. I sat up and my head felt woozy. I heard a man’s voice in the front-seat say, “Just lay down. You’ve had a very traumatizing experience.”

I wanted to stay upright almost out of spite, but the way the world spun convinced me to lay back down. I may have been on my back, but I was still full of questions. “What happened back there? What about my family?”

The man sighed. “I’m sorry to tell you, but your family is dead.”

I already knew that was true, but hearing it made the tears start rolling down my cheeks. I wiped them away and asked, “Where are we going?”

“Somewhere safe,” the man responded. “Somewhere that Werewolf will never find you.”

“Werewolf?” I asked. Surely, he was kidding. I mean, Werewolves are the things of fairy tales and horror movies. They weren’t real.

“Yes, my dear, a Werewolf. There’s a lot you don’t know about this world, but I’m willing teach you if you wish to learn. Do you want to avenge your family?”

I sniffled and nodded my head. “Yes.”

“Then I will teach you everything you need, but not today. We’ll start that tomorrow. As for now, who’d like some pancakes?”

And that’s how my apprenticeship started. For six years the man in white trained me. He heightened my senses, my reflexes. He made me stronger than I ever dreamt of being. In all those years, he never told me his name. He simply told me to refer to him as “M.”

On my eighteenth birthday I awoke to find my master gone. There was a present on the table, complete with a giant red bow. I opened it and discovered a red cape complete with a cloak. I figured it part of my master’s twisted sense of humor. He loved comparing my life to that of Little Red Riding Hood. He even called my “Red” because of my copper colored hair.

Along with the hood came a note: “My darling Red, enclosed you will find a cape that will keep you hidden and move you as silently as the stealthiest of Vampires. The pockets are enchanted. Each will provide you a limitless supply of a different weapon you’ll need to avenge your family. Go out there and make me proud! One day, I will call on you for a small favor for what I have done this day, but that day is far off. I’ll be watching you always and my fondness for you knows no bounds. Love, M.”

My name is Willow Ferrell, but you can call me Red. This is how my story begins. This is how I became a Werewolf-slayer.

Let’s Talk Talon.

Well, the day is upon us. Actually, I’m writing this just after it was upon us. Talon: The Spider’s Web is now available. You can get the paperback HERE. You can get the kindle version HERE.

 

TALON2 Custom

 

So, another Vampire series? I know, there are million of them. Well, there are things that I think will set Talon apart from the rest. Let’s take a little look.

1–The story is a mash-up. It’s a little bit action/adventure, dark urban fantasy, and a touch of paranormal romance (no, not the make you gag Sparkling Vampire kind) with elements of thriller and horror in it. Life isn’t one genre. Why should a novel be? I love blending different elements together to make a story. There’s something in here for just about everybody.

2–The female characters are some of the strongest in the series. In The Spider’s Web, that role is carried out by Sadie. She’s a mortal with a power she can’t explain and barely knows how to control. She’s wild, independent, and has a mouth like a sailor. Being a former preacher’s daughter, she is the very spirit of a rebellious daughter. Not only this, but SHE saves the Vampire instead of the other way around. Wait, did I really just say that the mortal girl lead in the series saves the 400 year trained to be a killing machine Vampire lead in this story? I did. Sadie is living chaos, but she does it oh so well. Also, you’ll get a glimpse at Nicky’s Sire Tessa in the first book. You want a badass female character…you got it.

3–Sadie, the female lead, is also not your typical body type for Vampire novels. Sookie Stackhouse and Bella were both quite petite female leads. I wanted to kind of move away from that, so Sadie I made a curvy girl. I thought it’d be my way to send some love to the ladies out there with a real figure. The song is even in the book, “Fat Bottomed Girls” make the rockin’ world go ’round!

4–Vampire are alpha-predators again. A great deal of the Talon series and prequels deals with the monstrosity which Vampires truly are. There are no punches pulled at times. It is unapologetic brutality. Why? Because that’s what, to me, true Vampires would be. None of this going to high school for a century crap. No overly romanticized version of what was once the most terrifying of all creatures. Nicky softens in the series and falls in love with Sadie but his dark tendencies to kill and slaughter brutally sticks with him through it all.

5–Talon is set in a much larger universe. There are witches, Slayers, Angels, Demons, Lycans, the full spectrum of supernatural creatures. I have not so subtly “hidden” pieces of the Talon universe in different places. “Any Port in a Storm” from the Creepy Collection anthology (found HERE.) was the first appearance of Nicky, his sire Tessa, and Molly in print. The story is told in the third person from a mortal’s perspective as he made to play one of Tessa’s favorite games.

“Walker County is Small and Smith Lake is Deep” from the Demons, Devils, and Denizens of Hell anthology (found HERE. –prerelease live, launches August 4th) features an appearance by someone that you’ll become extremely familiar with through the series: Mephistopheles. It also has a cameo by the sadistic sisters of Smith Lake, Priscilla and Persephone, from “The Ballad of Priscilla and Persephone” found in Crossroads in the Dark 2: Urban Legends (found HERE.) I have already submitted to the Demons anthology sequel, and this story also connects to the Talonverse in two ways. Once I hear it’s accepted or not, I will make the reveal to HOW this story ties in.

I have two more submissions that tie into the Talonverse appending approval. I wrote a piece for the Like a Woman anthology sponsored by Mirren Hogan and am working on a piece for the Damsels in Distress anthology sponsored by Lily Luchesi. Both of these stories will tie into the universe and give you glimpses into some very important characters’ side stories.

The last “hidden” piece of the Talonverse out there is “The Demon and the Doctor” from the Chasing Fireflies romance anthology (Found HERE..) Romance? Yea, but there’s way more than just that going on. You’ll get to meet Marcus Von Zarovich, former partner of Victor Frankenstein and cursed doctor. He meets a beautiful Demon and nurses her back to health, all while trying to avoid the priest out to kill her. See, mash-up style.

 

So in conclusion, Talon has a little bit of everything. It’s a series that is going to take you all the way through to Armageddon. There’s a much larger game afoot than it first appears. Just wait, this series will take you from the depths of Hell to the heights of Heaven. Lucifer, God, they all make appearances. So come check out Talon today. You won’t regret it.

A little peak at something…

Bare feet slapped against the floor as Marty scurried away as quickly as possible. The Demon was a sickly pale, a shade of white he had never seen on a person before. Long black hair covered her face but couldn’t cover the red glow of her eyes. Her fingers were long and slender, with solid black talons for fingernails. With every step, the deep growl escaping her throat grew until it felt like the sound was echoing inside his own mind.

#Horror #Anthology #JMW2author

My first Video Podcast!

Thank you to Spilling Ink for having me! Tons of fun and lots of laughs. GO WATCH IT HERE.

So hey, what’s this “Talon” thing about?

Long ago, before Underworld, before the blasphemy of Twilight, I started a Vampire novel. It wasn’t really meant to be a novel, but let’s not split hairs. I started writing Talon, which had (and still does) have a much deeper meaning to me than first appearances. I took the Vampire trope and rewrote it to be the way *I* wanted it to be.

Crosses? Ha. Only if properly blessed, so that little trinket you bought at Wal-mart won’t help you. Bibles. Again, only if properly blessed. Garlic? Best served on bread and served with spaghetti. Need an invitation to your house? Hardly. Vamps will walk right on in. Daylight? Yea, it weakens them a bit so they try to limit their time out in it, but explode? Naw. That’s Hollywood bullshit. Stakes through the heart? Hurts but won’t kill. Going to high school and sparkling? Get the fuck out of here.

Vampires aren’t soulless Demons. They also don’t tend to be broody melancholic creatures who would fit in at an emo gathering. They can run the full gambit of emotions, but the blood that gave them immortality has corrupted them. It brings out the worst in each of them. So yes, they tend to be brutal, even sadistic monsters–all the worst of mankind’s emotions walking around with an insatiable thirst. But, under the right circumstances, they can be much more than that. And that’s where I found Nicky.

Nicky is definitely an Alpha-predator. He’s not only been trained to be sadistic and cruel, part of him takes great pleasure in it. He never wanted to be a hero. He never asked to be saved. He knows what he’s done is wrong. He knows a lot of the thing he *continues* to do is wrong. He sees himself as unworthy, already damned, case closed, shut the book, game over, man–game over. I think this is where Nicky and my souls overlap just a little bit.

As a person who has done some bad things in his life (nothing like Nicky mind you), I have felt that “I’m already damned.” feeling. I never asked for redemption. I never felt I was worthy of it, but through chance, or destiny, I ended up on a better road than I was one. Like Nicky, I was given the chance to atone for my sins. Nicky’s story, while brutal, vulgar, full of violence and foul language–in the end this saga is truly about being redeemed and God using the worst of us for good if we’ll just take that chance.

The Talon series, despite being so many things that would turn most Christians off, actually has a strong Christian undertone that comes out over the course of many books. You see Angels, Devils, Demons, Lucifer, and even God himself hiding in plain sight in this series. It’s an action/adventure full of blood, gore, and violence. But there’s also a love story and the question of “How far would you go to protect someone you loved?” I can’t classify this series as any one thing. Is it dark fantasy? Yes. Is it action/adventure? Yes. Is there a touch of paranormal romance in there? Yes. It is blood and gore and violence and beauty and ecstasy and chaos. It’s a beautiful chaos. There’s something for everyone in this series. It’s my great symphony, my Bohemian Rhapsody, my attempt to leave a mark on the world.

So, what is Talon about? It’s about everything and everyone. It’s the Alpha and the Omega. It’s the hope that even washed up, battered, broken and twisted people can find some peace in the world. Now bring on the Demons. Nicky has some ass to kick.