short stories

Midnight in the Graveyard

An anthology for the season! From Silver Shamrock Publishing comes MIDNIGHT IN THE GRAVEYARD

Midnight. Some call it the witching hour. Others call it the devil’s hour. Here in the graveyard, midnight is a very special time. It is a time when ghostly spirits are at their strongest, when the veil between our world and theirs is at its thinnest.

Legend has it, that while most of the world is asleep, the lack of prayers allow the spirits to communicate under the cover of darkness, among the headstones, their whispers rustling in the leaves of the old oak trees. But if you’re here in the graveyard, you can tell yourself it’s just the wind, that the moonlight is playing tricks on your eyes, that it’s only the swirling mist you see. But when you hear the graveyard gate clang shut, the dead have something to say. Here are their stories…

Includes stories by (me and) Robert McCammon, Tom Monteleone, Elizabeth Massie, Kealan Patrick Burke, John Everson, Chad Lutzke, Catherine Cavendish, Ronald Kelly, William Meikle, Jason Parent, Brian Moreland, Kenneth W. Cain, Jeremy Hepler, Somer Canon, Todd Keisling, Tim Meyer, Hunter Shea, Kathryn Meyer Griffith, Ken McKinley, Lee Mountford, Alan M. Clark, Shannon Felton, Glenn Rolfe, Allan Leverone, with a foreword by Jonathan Janz.

Preorders available now… click here!

Black Friday, er Bubbles


No crowds. No pushing. No shoving.
And you can sleep in…

The perfect indulgence for yourself to pass the time while you drive over the river and through the woods to eat turkey at a relatives. Short stories for short drives, or read the whole thing while you traipse the countryside!

Or the perfect primer for Black Friday… gift it to one of the kindle owners on your shopping list. Heck, at this price, gift it to all of them and grab one for yourself!

Or snag this before you go shopping on Black Friday… short stories to keep you occupied while you stand in line!

For a limited time (96 hours), Black Bubbles will be on Kindle Countdown for $5.99


That’s an 84% discount*

Sale starts 11/26/14 and ends at midnight 11/29/14 — that means you can grab it Wednesday before you get in the car, or snag it Saturday after you’ve recovered from your venture into the public on Black Friday.


Horror is pessimism at its bleakest. Worst-case scenario. The darker side of reality. The glass half-empty. The situation unfathomable. In Black Bubbles, Kelli Owen presents classic genre tropes—ghosts, murderers, zombies, what you’d expect (sans sharks)—but it’s the characters, rather than the tropes, that experience the story, speak of the horrors, and sometimes survive the inevitable.


A decades-old crime shocks a family as evidence points to one of their own… An ancient evil hitchhikes its way to freedom… A child has an unusual fascination with decay… A woman excuses premeditation… Death takes a holiday… Science and good intentions make horrific bedfellows… A man hides from nightmares that invade his waking world…

This collection gathers over 60,000 words, including a handful of out-of-print, difficult-to-find previously published work, a plethora of new pieces, story notes, drawings inspired by the title story, and an introduction by the legendary Thomas Monteleone.

Available for sale at Amazon USA or Amazon UK

(apologies to those in other countries — kindle countdown is only for US/UK stores, please go there to grab part of this deal!)

*84% in US, 74% discount in the UK

Rejections, Growth and Suckage

There are rejections and then there are rejections… There are form rejections, there are constructive rejections, and there are those rejections that say something wonderful like, “As is often the case it was not an issue of quality, but more an issue of limited space. Please do not consider this a ‘rejection’.” Of course, that last one will make you smile while you declare “damn” under your breath, but it is still exactly that—a rejection.

But rejection isn’t a bad word. We get “rejected” all the time and don’t slit our wrists over it. Didn’t get that job interview? Oh well, try again. Didn’t get that loan? Oh well, maybe in another six months. Got dumped by that person? Oh well, lots of fish in the sea. Rejection happens, repeatedly, throughout our lives, and we deal with it just fine in every other avenue, so why not with our writing? That’s my philosophy.  That’s part of the make-up in my stubbornness.  Take from it what you can, but suck it up and keep going.

And while it’s all well and good to be able to deal with rejection, sometimes there’s a little something-something that comes with it. Some key thing the editor didn’t say, but maybe your gut did, or that tiny voice that screams out occasionally from the back of your mind. And that’s what I got early last week.

I have a rule: nothing sits over night.  If it was a ‘positive’ rejection, it goes back out immediately.  Constructive may require some tweaking, and that gets done immediately.  But every once in a while, as I look over what’s coming back and needs to go out again, I realize that what I sent out sucked. But it didn’t suck when I sent it… I can only believe that it did indeed suck, but that as we grow as writers we learn the difference between thinking everything we write sucks, and knowing that we’ve changed enough that something really does suck. This wasn’t the lack of confidence suck. This was the slap in the forehead oh-my-god-I-let-someone-read-this-what-the-hell-was-I-thinking type of suck. And for that, I’d rather have a rejection than have something that truly does suck get published.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to de-suckify this short story, apologize to anyone I made read it, and see if I can’t find it an appropriate home…

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— · Rosie's Bookapalooza · —
October 5, 2019
Johnstown, PA

— · Merrimack Valley · —
Halloween Book Festival
October 12, 2019
Haverhill, MA

— · 2nd and Charles · —
Horror Writers' Panel
October 26, 2019
Harrisburg, PA

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Chester County Library
November 2, 2019
Exton, PA