Guest Blog: Crescendo of Darkness

I was asked to post a guest blog on May 19 for HorrorAddicts.net. Here it is now (a little late, darn it)! As a writer getting into making audio stories, this is educational! (I will be voicing a nervous teenager for an upcoming anthology by Emerian Rich, one of the editors and story contributors for Crescendo of Darkness.)

Music has the power to soothe the soul, drive people to obsession, and soundtrack evil plots. Is music the instigator of madness, or the key that unhinges the psychosis within? From guitar lessons in a graveyard and a baby allergic to music, to an infectious homicidal demo and melancholy tunes in a haunted lighthouse, Crescendo of Darkness will quench your thirst for horrifying audio fiction.

HorrorAddicts.net is proud to present fourteen tales of murderous music, demonic performers, and cursed audiophiles.

Please enjoy an excerpt below from Crescendo of Darkness.

“Loved to Death” by Sam Morgan Phillips

Death explores his dream of being a rock star, but can’t avoid his purpose when a young woman forces him to live up to his destiny.

Death sat in his dressing room, getting ready for the show. He went through his vocal exercises and psyched himself up. He looked at the beer fridge and wished he could have a drink, but he knew it wouldn’t have any effect.

The door was locked for a good reason. He had yet to put on his mask and gloves and pull the black cowl up over his head. He looked at himself in the mirror.

His face of rotting flesh stretched over his skull made him look severe and terrifying. A black robe was both his costume and habitual dress. He pulled it closed over an exposed ribcage. He flexed his skeletal hands and wondered if he was doing the right thing.

He wasn’t ashamed of who he was. He was Death. He didn’t hide behind his costume or his on stage persona. In fact, they represented him perfectly. It was just that he couldn’t be exactly who he was. Not for real. He had to hide it behind art. There was no other way to get his message across. No other way to be understood.

And he so desperately wanted to be understood.

He heaved an otherworldly sigh born of supernatural vigour rather than from lungs. It rasped through his teeth, harsh and metallic.

I can do this. I’m not my father. I have my own my way. I’m Death now.

There was a knock at the door and the muffled sound of words spoken—show time. He put on his mask. It was made of hard black plastic. Painted on the front was a stylised version of his face. It captured the form, but not the essence. He knew how terrifying his true face was.

He pulled on his gloves of black leather. He raised the cowl over his head of thin flesh and exposed bone and went out through the door of his dressing room, clicking the heels of his black army boots on the floor.

As he made his way through the dimly lit backstage area, guided by a roadie, he heard the crowd chanting, calling for him.

“Death, Death, Death!” It lifted his spirits.

His band, The Minions of Death, had already taken the stage and their intro track played. It was the sound of many people screaming. He had recorded and mixed it over the years, overlapping the terrified sounds people made when he came for them. To him it was an elegy, dedicated to the dead, and celebrating the purpose of his life. He felt at home as he walked up the steps at the side of the stage.

The lights flashed red and a smoke machine filled the stage with volumes of bilious gas. The smell of sweat and stale beer filled the long hall, a metal club in the city, jam-packed with people. He stepped up to the microphone and the crowd erupted.

“Put your horns in the air!”

They obeyed, hands raised in the universal metal salute. He raised both of his arms in benediction, cutting a Christ-like pose.

“Tremble before me, mere mortals—for I am Death!”

*********************************

To read the rest of this story and thirteen other horror music shorts, check out: 

Crescendo of Darkness

Direct link: https://www.amazon.com/Crescendo-Darkness-Jeremiah-Donaldson/dp/1987708156

Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

Cover by Carmen Masloski

HorrorAddicts.net Press 

Let music unlock your fear within.

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Guest Blog: Emerian Rich’s book Dusk’s Warriors

My writer friend Emerian Rich asked me to post for her book today. I did a reading at a kid’s birthday party this evening, or I would have posted earlier. But it ain’t midnight yet! Take it away, Emerian! (P.S. I feel for her. I also get the ‘It’s a book not a comic’ thing.)

With all the excitement over comics and their spinoffs like The Walking Dead and Preacher, I’ve recently been asked what comic my vampire series is most like. Well, for now let’s leave the issue with how wrong this is to ask a fiction writer (It’s a book not a comic damnit!) and go on to the pressing question.

Of all the comics I’ve read over the years, I would say it’s most like a hybrid of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, Garth Ennis’s Preacher: Gone to Texas, and Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire comic-zations.

My vampires start in the real world: San Francisco, England, Rio, Texas, and Alaska. They drink blood, but they aren’t overly gorey. At the end of the first book, they find out about their origin and end up in a world much like ours which they refer to as Heaven.

In this new sequel, they start out in the Heaven as gods who can conjure, create, and affect the lives of people here on Earth. Dusk—the goddess of the time between Day and Night—sends her warriors to Earth to battle the devil, whom they thought was dead for good. They were wrong.

So if you like dark urban fantasy with a splash of heaven, hell, and conjurers, you will like Dusk’s Warriors. Are their vampires? Yes! And four different kinds, but there is also a trip into Hell, a look into Heaven, and a race around Earth in this action-packed fiction book. And hey, if you know a good comic artist, send them my way.

Dusk’s Warriors by Emerian Rich

Heaven has opened up and welcomed the vampires of Night’s Knights into a new reality. As they struggle to find their place in their new world, trouble brews on Earth.

Demon servant, Ridge, is causing havoc by gathering up all the souls on Earth that have been touched by immortality. When he injures one of the Night’s Knights crew, he launches a war between the vampires of Heaven, the Big Bad in Hell, and a mortal street gang of vigilante misfits.

Will Julien, Markham, and Reidar be able to defeat the evil that’s returned, or will they once again need Jespa’s help?

Praise for Dusk’s Warriors:

“All hail, the queen of Night’s Knights has returned! Emerian Rich’s unique take on vampires delights my black little heart.” ~Dan Shuarette, Lilith’s Love

“A world of horror with realistic characters in a fast paced thriller you won’t be able to put down.” ~David Watson, The All Night Library

Praise for Night’s Knights:

“Fresh, original, and thoroughly entertaining.” ~Mark Eller, Traitor

“Emerian brought the Vampire Novel back from the dead.” ~C. E. Dorsett, Shine Like Thunder

Available now at Amazon.com in print and eBook

https://www.amazon.com/Dusks-Warriors-Nights-Knights-Vampire/dp/1544628803

Emerian Rich is an artist, horror host, and author of the vampire series, Night’s Knights. She is the hostess of the internationally acclaimed podcast, HorrorAddicts.net. Under the name Emmy Z. Madrigal, she writes the musical romance series, Sweet Dreams and she’s the Editorial Director for the Bay Area magazine, SEARCH. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

Story Music for My Open Mics

EmerianRichEmerian Rich, writer of horror and romance and otherwise nice lady, just posted an article I wrote for her. She is doing a series of blog posts about how music has influenced writers. With me, it was how I use music when I read at open mics. It all started with Underdog…

https://emzbox.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/music-inspiring-writing-david-strom/

At little open mics, I never worried about rights, I was too tiny for big companies to notice. But now that I am going to do audio recordings of my stories and post and/or sell them, I need to find music that I can use without having to get the rights from the EVIL GIANT MUSIC CONGLOMERATES. Yeah, right, they’d let me use music from The Matrix. Thus begins my royalty free (or royalty cheap) search. I found the William Tell Overture for my Puppy Boys story.

Emerian Rich and favorite things!

EmerianRichHorror and romance writer Emerian Rich is asking fellow authors to write about their favorite things, and posting that on her blog. And she was nice enough to ask that of an aspiring author, like me. I like comic books. Read her post about Dave M. Strom’s My Favorite Things here.

Thank you, Emerian. I will see you at Convolution.

Her hair changes color on a regular basis. But her personality stays consistently bright. Is that common with horror writers?

P.S. She writes so much, she even uses pen names: Emerian Mordrige, E. Mordrige, Emmy Z. Madrigal and Emz. Check out her books!