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Monday, March 1, 2021

The Headless Boy, by Kelli Owen

Losing a child to miscarriage is perhaps one of the most traumatic events a young married couple could possibly face. The very embodiment of their future hopes and dreams, the testament of their future lives together, gone. One can only imagine the black hole that would leave in someone's life; the division it could easily carve between partners. Especially because, inevitably, even in a loving relationship, the mother who carried the child is going to suffer much worse than her partner, if only because the life she carried within her is now gone, and that's something a partner can never understand fully, no matter how hard they try.

This is where we find Jake and Maggie at the beginning of this novel, reeling from the loss of their first and only child. Maggie is broken and mired in depression; Jake is doing his best to support her, care for her, and understand...even if he can't, fully. They eventually realize they have to leave their old lives behind, and they move to a new house out in the country, hoping to start anew.

Maggie's adopted several coping strategies, and though Jake may find them amusing or even odd, he's willing to go along with just about anything, if only to see Maggie through her pain. When she starts talking to someone she calls "Bobby" (a potential name for their unborn child, named after Jake's father), Jake assumes it's just another way of her attempting to cope.

It isn't, however. Something lives in this house with them. Has lived there for a very long time, and it's desperate for a mother. Before Jake quite understands what's happening, this force worms its way into Maggie's life, trying to make itself indispensable, and playing on the unspoken tensions which would inevitably exist between partners after a miscarriage. Even worse - it doesn't like Jake. Doesn't want a father figure, at all, and before long, Jake realizes it's trying to play Maggie against him, trying to convince her all she needs is "Bobby," and no one else. Certainly not Jake.

Without a doubt, this is perhaps Kelli Owen's best work to date. It's restrained, populated by deftly written characters, and it creeps along quietly, insidiously, until its fast, furious, bloody end. Having read much of Owen's earliest work, it's clear that this novel shows her at the height of her game. This is an emotionally charged story which will leave you alternating between chilled, moved, and even frustrated at Maggie - how the hell could she be so blind? - and yet you get it, too. You can't blame her, at all. You know that, if perhaps you were in her shoes...you'd probably act the same.

Get this now. You won't regret it. Highly recommended.

Friday, December 18, 2020

New Story "The Crayfish God" in CAMPFIRE MACABRE

Super-stoked to announce pre-orders are open for Campfire Macabre, a flash-fiction anthology which includes my latest Clifton Heights story "The Crayfish God." Flash stories are a rarity for me. I  only write them when they drop into my head "whole," as this one did.Very pleased to share a TOC with some wonderful writers! Pre-order this today!

50+ original flash horror tales organized by five themes: Spook Houses, Slashers, Witchcraft, Within the Woods, and Cemetery Chillers. A book perfect for time spent around the campfire or a long car trip! Brand new pieces from award-winning storytellers and established authors, such as: V. Castro, Michael Harris Cohen, Corey Farrenkopf, Kevin Lucia, Beverley Lee, Cynthia Pelayo, Doyae Coles, Jason Parent, Sonora Taylor, and so many more! Published by Cemetery Gates Media.

 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

New Exclusives Offered in Newsletter


Hello, all. Just a quick message to say the newsletter is back up and running. If you wouldn't mind a monthly message from me with updates, exclusives, and free fiction - with three free ebooks to boot - just enter your email address in the subscribe box on the top of my web page, and click "Subscribe."

I'm also offering a new, exclusive feature in my newsletter.  Recently, I finished the outline for my first nonfiction book, How A Christian Fell in Love With the Horror Genre. I want to sprinkle personal anecdotes throughout the book highlighting my lifelong draw toward the weird, and how it's converged with my faith. I will be sharing these anecdotes exclusively with newsletter subscribers. So if  you'd like a peek into that work in progress (and did I mention the three free ebooks?) sign up today.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Mystery Road Ebook Sale!

Last Spring, at the height of the pandemic's first wave, I saw the publication of my first hardcover limited edition novella from Cemetery Dance Publications, Mystery Road. Copies are still available, and the ebook version is also available. It's one of my favorite stories, and it's also probably my most personal story, to date. Here's what some folks have said about it:

"Mystery Road is a beautifully written, poignant story about a man caring for his dying father and the memories that suddenly return to him after decades of forgetfulness." - Char's Horror Corner

"Mystery Road takes us back to Clifton Heights. This one is a ghost story of sorts, the best kind. I absolutely adored it. I'm impressed with Lucia and his storytelling ability. His voice is like none that I've read before. As always, I can't wait for my next trek through Clifton Heights." - Glen Rolfe, author of Blood & Rain

 

 

 "Mystery Road is a talented author’s personal variation on genre traditions. It’s so clearly and elegantly written that I couldn’t help but read the whole thing in one sitting."  -  Mike Thorn, author of The Dark Hours.

Limited Edition Hardcover
Ebook - .99 Sale!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Free Fiction

EDIT UPDATE: 

The following books are still free for folks who are at home, looking to ride out this social distancing thing. Hit the links below for your free books:

Things Slip Through - mobi
Things Slip Through - epub
Long Night in the Summer - Smashwords 
Hiram Grange and the Chosen One 

And, I also have several free shorts here on the website:

 Free Shorts

Everyone stay home, stay safe, and stay healthy! 

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Saturday Night Horror Movie Club

CW Briar, Kevin Lucia, and Thomas McDonough watch and review ROBERT AND THE TOYMAKER, a movie which promises murderous, Nazi-killing puppets. Does it deliver?