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About Mike Duke
Mike was a cop for almost 12 years, but for the last 14 years, he’s been teaching Military, Law Enforcement, and Bodyguards high speed, tactical, and off-road driving as well as hand-to-hand Combatives and Blade tactics. He enjoys martial arts and has been a practitioner since 1989 of various styles. Filipino blade arts are his favorite. Since he was a teenager, he’s loved reading, writing, and watching movies, particularly in the horror and sci-fi genre. He’s also been a prolific reader of theology and has dabbled in philosophy as well. He has a beautiful, smart wife who is amazingly supportive and a son and daughter who are both graduated. His babies now are a German Shepherd named Ziva, a Daddy's girl who loves to play... even when he’s writing, and a Border Collie mix named Joey “The Bandit” who will steal anything and everything he can, even the toys right out of Ziva’s mouth. Mike is a lover of music, as well, and it is an integral part of his writing ritual.
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Be afraid. Be very afraid.
That noise in the dead of night. The shadow that slips by almost unnoticed. The fear that pulverizes your sense of reasoning and pushes you deep down under seven layers of covers. There is no escaping it, and when the dark forces of the universe come after you, the world will know exactly what you are made of. Will you run? Will you fight? Maybe you’ll join forces with the darkness that rips through your quiet little life. Everyone’s dying to find out.
The Better Off Dead series delves into the farthest corners of your mind, where your deepest, darkest fears lurk. These masters of horror will haunt your dreams and stalk your nightmares, taking you to the edge of sanity before pushing you to the brink of madness!
With stories by R.E. Sargent, Steven Pajak, Jane Alvey Harris, Red Lagoe, Kayla Krantz, RJ Roles, Peter Rocha, Mike Duke, Cassandra Angler, Matthew A Clarke, Gerald Dean Rice, Alan Derosby and L.K. Pinaire.
Kevin J. Kennedy has once again served up the best of the horror world to bring you an anthology that is packed with creepy tales.
Between these pages you will find over one hundred drabbles, written by a wealth of talented authors. From the best indie horror authors to Bram Stoker award winners and Amazon top sellers. We have monsters, mayhem and madness. Come join us.
Contains stories by:
Billy San Juan
David J. Fielding
David Owain Hughes
Donelle Pardee Whiting
Ellen A. Easton
Eric J. Guignard
James H. Longmore
James Matthew Byers
Joe X. Young
Julian J. Guignard
Justin M. Woodward
Kevin J. Kennedy
Michael A. Arnzen
Robert W. Easton
Terry M. West
Edited by Brandy Yassa
But Ashley will also have to face the horrors of her past in this twisted game. Can she prevail against the demons that made her weak, as well as the tortures the sadist set before her? If so, what could she become in the process?
We have made a grave error in vigilance, brothers. The dark comet has drawn near. The cultists have selected a vessel. He dreams of the hidden place, where the Gods Sleep, banished there by our Lord.
After centuries of inactivity, Korrobbathith and his followers are attempting, once more, to open the gate.
We must move with haste if we hope to stop them.
You know the consequences of failure. Korrobbothith and the other gods will walk this earth again, and I fear, this time, they will not remain in the shadows. None of us - man, woman, or child - will find refuge from their barbaric reign unless we submit and serve them.
God help us all if we are too late.
From day one they see lots of roaches in the hallways but nothing in their own apartment. Hoping their luck will hold, they have no idea just what kind of hell is coming their way or what hideous secrets their apartment, in particular, holds.
Buckle up. Carl and Jessica are in for a nasty ride and so are you.
* NOT Extreme Horror but NOT for the Squeamish.
Reactions to 'Warm, Dark Places Are Best' from some of my beta readers:
"No. No. Dear God, NO! AAAGGHHH!!!" - William Holloway, master of cosmic dread and author of Lucky's Girl, The Immortal Body and the soon to be released Song of the Death God (all from Horrific Tales Publishing)
"Oh god, I am clenching inside!! Uuuuuggghhh!!!....Mike, every time I messaged you while reading, I tossed my kindle down and grabbed my phone. I was squirming....Heebie Jeebie Creep Factor of infinity and beyond!...12:06 am Facebook message – ‘GAAWWDDAMMIT!!!!' *slaps leg*" - Lisa Swearengin, beta reader extraordinaire and veteran horror and extreme horror connoisseur
"I loved the whole story. The flow, plot and characters were perfect. [But] Mike, you had me almost puking." - Robin Lee's Darkside Horror Reviews
“Heebie Jeebies is an understatement. I'm still being startled half to death by my own hair. (A week after reading it.)” Lisa Lee – avid reader and watcher of all things horror
"Oh holy f@#$ing shit! I will never sleep again but hells bells that was really amazing! I couldn't stop reading it, even tho I was horrified." Becky Narron, Reviewer at Roadie Notes
"Dude. I was like eww and had to put down my kindle. Like nasty. I had to take a hot shower afterwards…(later that day) It's been 12 hours since I read your story and I gotta say, I can't stop thinking about it." Jason Morton, Published Poet and horror and extreme horror lover
“Sent shivers up my spine [and] it certainly did get under my skin.” - Dale Robertson, author of the horror short stories Dobson Lane and Skee-Bo
“Not sure if husband is even aware that his sex life is on hiatus...not sure for how long just yet but I know I'm not willing to go to bed with anything less than undies and thick yoga pants for at least a few days! (8 days later) I am still sleeping in double-decker yoga pants!” - Ruthann Jagge – lover of horror and an outstanding beta reader
“A couple of times I had to stop reading and walk around my house as I'm yelling, Holy f@#$! Squirming as I try to get a few visual thoughts out of my head.” - Ta Bratcher, author of two contemporary women’s fiction novels and an avid fan of the horror genre
Driven by guilt for not being there to support Adam in his suffering, Morgan vows to track down her brother and save him from himself. But what she discovers is something ancient and powerful beyond imagining.
Who are these people? And what has become of Adam?
“Mike Duke reimagines Cosmic Horror. No pretenses, no bullshit. He makes it dangerous.” - William Holloway, author of Immortal Body, Song of the Death God, and Blackwood Estates
Detective Allen and FBI Agent Hawks have a possible lead. The first in years. Together, they’re on the killer’s trail and scrambling to stop the Butcher from striking again.
Meanwhile, Jack Randal, a pillar of the community, secretly dreads Christmas time. He hates his in-laws and can’t stand his wife and kids. This year it’s finally too much. He’s about to have a public meltdown.
Somewhere in their city, the Yuletide Butcher is checking his list twice, with plans to be naughty, not nice, and no one knows who his next victim might be.
Sunny, bright, warm. Perfect weather.
Kendall, a former Navy SEAL, his wife, Krystal, and their toddler son, Matthew, arrive early at the beach to beat the holiday crowd and enjoy some quality family time.
It’s a perfect day… until it’s not.
Until fateful events unfold.
Hate finds this happy, biracial couple and pursues them with unrelenting tenacity.
Kendall and Krystal find themselves in a fight for their lives, desperate to protect their child.
A husband trained to fight who will do whatever it takes.
A momma bear who won’t go quietly into the night no matter how hard Hate rages to take their lives.
Today, on this day we honor sacrifices made,
Hate has come out to play and the stakes are life and death.