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About Cameron Trost
Cameron Trost is a writer of strange and mysterious fiction. He has published two collections, "Hoffman's Creeper and Other Disturbing Tales" and "The Animal Inside", and two novels, "The Tunnel Runner" and "Letterbox". He also creates puzzling cases for Oscar Tremont, Investigator of the Strange and Inexplicable, and is the founding editor of Black Beacon Books. Originally from Australia, Cameron now lives on the rugged coast of Brittany. Website: camerontrost.com
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Featuring: Graham Masterton, Taylor Grant, Maynard Sims, Ralph Robert Moore, Claude Lalumiere, Aaron J. French, Adam Howe, John McIlveen, C.W. LaSart, Lucy Taylor, Jeff Gardiner, Christian A. Larsen, Shaun Meeks, Mandy DeGeit, Cameron Trost, J. Daniel Stone, Kenzie Mathews, Eric LaRocca, Stacey Turner, Jenn Loring, Kenneth W. Cain, Ken MacGregor, Bear Weiter.
Shadows at the Door Publishing brings you thirteen chilling tales inspired by the ghastly, the ghoulish and the macabre.
Landmarks stained in death, spectres lurking outside, old legends rising from the dark, these stories bring unique and chilling horrors from around the world.
Immerse yourself in the eerie locales of Durham, Norfolk, Derbyshire, Rugby, the Scottish Highlands, Montreal, Pennsylvania, New York, Lake Superior, Rural Yorkshire, East Sussex and the darker corners of southern England.
So dim the lights, pull up a chair by the fire but keep one eye on the shadows at the door.
Horror from Aaron C. Engler: EVENT ZERO
Event Zero is a short document from the government archives detailing the first zombie event. It is thought to be the earliest accounts of the events in June of 2016.
Fantasy Fiction from Jason Varrone: KNIGHT'S OATH
Danthane has spent decades in service to his kingdom as commander of the army. When the newly crowned king orders the invasion of a peaceful kingdom, Danthane's loyalty clashes with his long-held oath. Soon, he will have to decide which is more important: loyalty or honor and his life.
Historical Paranormal from Anne Fraiser: WOMAN IN A BLACK VEIL
It's 1789 London and a handsome undertaker meets the woman of his dreams. One problem: she's dead.
Science Fiction Horror from Alain Gomez: CELEBRITY SPACE
Set in the not too distant future, Dan Cooper hopes that his new job at the spaceport will allow him to get his life back on track. While taking passengers to the space hotel Moonwalk, a collision with an unknown object threatens to bring his dreams...and possibly his life...to a screeching halt.
Adventure from Randy Mixter: THE ROCKING CHAIR LADY
Based on a young boy's fascination with an elderly lady's stories of her adventurous, and sometimes magical, life.
Science Fiction Mystery from Robert Collins: MISS MARK
Jake Bonner is approached by a young actress who's being harassed by a rival young star. Can Jake use his savvy and his cool ship to stop the rival, and maybe hand out a little comeuppance to boot?
A Haunting Tale from Cameron Trost: THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED LIVES
When the auction at Riverbend House is interrupted by a strange old lady who warns that evil forces roam unchained within its walls, all but a handful of interested parties return to their cars and drive away. Vincent and Liz Westfield find themselves presented with an opportunity to buy the property at a much lower price than they had expected. They are not swayed by the rumors. Their rational minds have no room for superstitious tales of ghosts and curses...but the house of shattered lives will soon change that.
Horror from C.C. Kelly: SYNDICATION
Doctor Maxwell is about to deliver the first human clone on live national television. The hospital is happy, the network and producers are happy, the human cloning research laboratories that have sprung up are happy, the stock market is happy and the consortium that funded the Project is ecstatic. Amidst the theatrics of reality television and marketing, Dr. Maxwell reexamines the project, the corruption and the greed that allowed it. The only thing that Dr. Maxwell is certain of is that he is terrified.
Lock the doors and switch the power off at the mains!
Tales of deadly machinery have long fascinated us, from Edgar Allan Poe’s classic pendulum to the Terminator films.
Murder and Machinery pays homage to this tradition, offering you gripping tales following this theme but set in different times and places, from colonial America and London during the First World War to dystopian futures on this planet and beyond. Never before has an anthology brought tales of science fiction and suspense together in such a terrifying way, showcasing the nightmarish imagination of authors who know how to play on the reader’s fears and who share those fears of uncontrollable machines, or perhaps even more frightening, of fellow humans mastering technology for their own evil purposes. A word of advice before you start. By all means, settle down in your living room and let this anthology of technological terror and mechanical madness enthral you, but first, you might want to lock your doors and switch the power off at the mains. Best keep it low-tech tonight. Trust me. I hope you have candles?
★ Sci-fi / Steampunk
The Secret Zeppelin - Duncan Richardson
#Selfie - Linda Brucesmith
Fargan’s Termination - Paul Williams
A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way - Chisto Healy
The Box - Sarah Jane Justice
The Wheel - Michael Picco
The Wedge - Kurt Newton
Tenterhooks - Cameron Trost
Leonora - Danielle Birch
Vanitas - James Dorr
Don - Steve Dubois
Foul Beasts - Karen Bayly
A Whole New World - KG McAbee
Suicide Blonde - Paulene Turner
Driverless - Robert Bagnall
The Screen in the Sky - Kerilee S. Nickles
What does it mean to be human?
Thirteen strange tales of suspense and psychological horror in the tradition of Roald Dahl's stories for adults
✓ Twist endings
✓ Quirky characters
✓ Uncanny settings
✓ Kinky humour
✓ Reality turned upside down
The Animal Inside is a collection of thirteen strange and twisted stories that will take you for a walk along the fine line between insanity and reason, the peculiar and the prosaic, and the animal kingdom and human society, then leave you wondering where one ends and the other begins. These tales will confuse, amuse, shock, and intrigue, but they will also cause you to contemplate your very own animal inside.
The Strange Tales
Cleopatra’s Mystery Box
The Church of Asag
Old Mabel’s Stray Cat
The Crows of Eildon Hill
Horror at Hollow Head
It Starts with Insects
Excerpt from Cleopatra's Mystery Box
‘Put your hand inside my box and tell me what you feel.’
It was the first time Cleopatra had invited Andrew back to her house. Her father was out west on a field trip, tracking desert lizards, and her mother and younger sister were down the coast for the weekend. They were sitting on her bed, he cross-legged at the foot, and she nestled at the head in a cloud of velvet and patchwork cushions. Her Egyptian eyes watched him intently and her porcelain face was so stern it simply had to be fighting back a smile.
‘Is this foreplay?’ he asked, hoping to make her crack.
She pursed her purple lips.
‘It’s a game,’ she said eventually.
‘What kind of game?’
‘So, you’ve played it before?’
‘Well, it wouldn’t be my game if I hadn’t, would it?’ She frowned. ‘You can ask pointless questions or you can play. It’s up to you.’
‘I want to play.’
‘Just put your hand inside and tell me what you feel. If you guess correctly, you can ask me to do something for you.’
He stared into her dark brown eyes, full of childish mischief and timeless mystery, then dropped his gaze to the box in her hands.
"The thirteen stories included in the book will be ones you remember, and that, friends, is a sign of a good short story collection...If this is your first taste of Cameron Trost, you've come to the right place. I will remember the name." - Bruce Blanchard, Goodreads
Nobody's letterbox is safe!
Ian Carew is a mild-mannered teacher at the primary school in Mirebury, a quiet town lost in the moors. Six years after leaving London, he's still considered a newcomer, but his elderly neighbour, Mary Hopkins, treats him like a son, and the local butcher, Jack Fuller, is his best friend. All that's missing from Ian’s life is a touch of romance and a dash of adventure. Little does he know, he's about to get a taste of both. When Mary Hopkins opens her letterbox and makes a gruesome discovery, Mirebury is thrown into a state of shock and outrage. At first, the townsfolk assume it was a random act, but the horrible deliveries continue and they're forced to acknowledge they have become the target of a campaign of terror - and nobody’s letterbox is safe.
Is the Postman one of them, or an outsider? Tensions grow as suspicion and accusations tear the town apart. Neighbour is pitted against neighbour and tempers flare. The Postman only strikes at night and moves through the fog like a ghost. Catching him seems impossible, but Mirebury fights back, and in the end, the fate of the town will come down to one man.
Cameron Trost employs a kind of failsafe twist other writers aspire to but which he seems to have diligently mastered - Matthew Tait, author of Deception Pass
A businessman staying in a Scottish manor makes the mistake of deciding to spend the evening in the library. Unpopular teenage girls use witchcraft to pursue their aims. A rich banking tycoon has forgotten his university days when he and his friends dared to imagine a world ruled by social justice and working class ideals. The estranged family of a deceased aristocrat bicker over their inheritance. A botanist’s love for his plants is unnaturally deep-rooted.
Hoffman’s Creeper and Other Disturbing Tales is the first short story collection from Cameron Trost. It plunges the reader into a world of mystery, suspense, obsession and greed. From the Scottish highlands and the jagged peaks of the Pyrénées to the streets of Brisbane and the Australian countryside, Cameron Trost provokes the reader by ensnaring recognisable characters in disturbingly plausible situations. His writing seeks to entertain while exploring the absurdities and peculiarities of society and the human mind.
The Disturbing Tales
Not to be Read
The Butcher’s Window
Beneath the Flowers
Hardwicke’s Fair Share
A Blizzard in the Pyrénées
The Legend of Redback Jack
The Lakeside Disappearance
A Well-Informed Corpse
Ambulance in Eden
The Mortenson Estate
Let Darkness Take Hold
Cathedral Man and the Rare Twelve Inch
"Cameron Trost employs a kind of failsafe twist designed to rock readers perceptions of what came before. It’s a token technique, one that other writers aspire to but which he seems to have diligently mastered." - Matthew Tait, author of Deception Pass
"Cameron Trost understands the most important thing about writing, something that is often forgotten by rising authors as they struggle to perfect technique and style. The bottom line is: A story should make the reader want to keep reading. It should entice them. The ending should be a tasty morsel of meat dangled before a hungry predator who wants nothing more than to devour it... Rarely do I read a collection of shorts and come away saying that I enjoyed every single story. Hoffman's Creeper is most definitely worth your while!" - Lindsey Beth Goddard, dark fiction writer and reviewer
"Cameron Trost is an upcoming Australian author cutting his teeth in the horror genre. I picked this one up on recommendation from my fellow reviewer, Sharon Clarke. This collection is not your typical horror. These are accounts of the scariest monster of all, man and what he's fully capable of. You will find everything from revenge to pure murder and tragedy." - Goodreads review by Ripley
"The author captures real characters and lets them play out their black dramas on the page, giving a disturbing glimpse into the darkest side of human nature.
A great debut collection." - Goodreads review by Gene Flynn
"A chilling read with a diverse assortment of stories. All offer a unique glimpse into Trost's imagination, which at times, can make you shudder." - David Schembri, author of Beneath the Ferny Tree
Table of Contents:
Tradition ~ Martin Livings
The Christmas Before Night ~ Neil Cladingboel
When All Goes Cold ~ David Schembri
Oh Christmas Tree ~ Jason Nahrung
Christmas Spirit ~ Chris Mason
Ever Near To Us ~ Bernie Rutkay
I’ll Be Home For Christmas ~ Greg Chapman
The Gift ~ Mark Smith-Briggs
Three Doors Down ~ Cameron Trost
Hairy Plopper and the Half-Blood Pudding ~ Keith Williams When This You See, Think Of Me ~ Deborah Sheldon
A Christmas Carillon ~ Joy Loggie
Christmas Past ~ Anthony Ferguson
Do Not Open This Gift ~ Chris Ferdinands
Propeller ~ C S Hughes
Feeding The Fire ~ Barb Ettridge
All I Want ~ Angela J Maher
Grandmother Rina ~ Geneve Flynn
Strange How Potent Cheap Music Can Be ~ Rob Barden Santa’s Slay ~ Louise Zedda-Sampson
Home For Christmas ~ Trevor Cleland
The Carol Singer At The Back ~ Rebecca Fraser Christmas Morning ~ Steve Paulsen
Alone ~ Steve Herczeg
The Thought That Counts ~ Christopher Pulo
Roland’s Merry Christmas ~ Gerry Huntman
Bitterness Of Brugmansia ~ Helen Stubbs
Old Man Christmas ~ Andy Cull
Christmas Presence ~ Matthew R Davis
Yellagonga ~ Shane Jiraiya Cummings
Rescue By Santa ~ Noel Osualdini
A Hellish Christmas ~ Onyx D’Castro-Noack
A Christmas Retribution ~ Silvia Brown
Ghosts Of Christmases Past ~ Darren Gore
The Daughter Of Clay ~ Shaun Taylor
Three Little Words ~ Steve Dillon
The Covenant Guarantee ~ Adam Bertram
Living With Loss ~ Alan Baxter
In A Perfect World ~ Michael Claudius
Deck The Walls ~ Claire Fitzpatrick
⚠ The storm is coming, seek shelter ⚠
✓ Hitchcockian influence
✓ Desperate characters
✓ A variety of stormy settings
✓ Twists unleashed like flashes of lightning
An anthology for readers who love stormy weather, whether it be the thunderstorms of the tropics, the tempests of the Atlantic, or the blizzards of the frozen north. Seek shelter, batten down the hatches, and lose yourself in this short anthology of suspense, mystery, and terror, designed to be read in one stormy sitting while the wind howls or thunder bellows.
The seven stories in this anthology all begin with the protagonists desperately seeking shelter from a storm, but they then go in very different directions!
The Stormy Stories
Absinthe for the Soul - Danielle Birch
Deep-Sea Fishing - Claire Fitzpatrick
The Murder at Karreg Du - Cameron Trost
The Bells of St. Clement’s - Stuart Olver
Creep’s Motel - Jeremy Hayes
And Then There Were Two - Pym Schaare
The Inimitable Livers - Mark McAuliffe