Monday, March 21, 2016

NEW RELEASE: Heliodor by Shannon Wendtland

Happy springtime! We have a brand new steampunk adventure coming on March 22nd from Shannon Wendtland. So to celebrate, we thought we'd give you a little taste with an excerpt! 

AVAILABLE 3/22/16!!

The captain placed a kid-gloved hand over Malfric’s.  “Walk a bit with me while I fill you in.”

          Malfric got to his feet, leaving the barrel-stool behind and looped his left hand through the crook of the captain’s arm. As the captain led him towards the bow of the ship, Malfric tasted currant jam and warm biscuits on the salty sea air.  His favorite.  

          He stopped the captain before he could take another step.  “There’s no point in buttering me up, Finch.  Just give me the details.  If I agree, we can proceed straight to the repast you have set up in your quarters.  Otherwise, just hand me your purse and we’ll call it even.”

          Finch muttered beneath his breath.  “Your infernal nose ruins everything.  Fine then, have it your way.  A job has come up ― not our usual fare, but the bounty was too good to resist.  So I booked it.  But I need a voyeur to get it done.  Naturally, I thought of you.”

          Naturally.  “What’s the catch?”

          “No catch.”  Shifting floorboards belied the captain’s response.

          Malfric frowned.  “You wouldn’t have laid out my favorite tea if it were an easy job with no strings.  In fact, you wouldn’t have sent for me at all...any novice voyeur would have done.” 

          A snicker came from his right.  Ah, Quantex had followed them.

          The captain’s arm tensed beneath Malfric’s hand.  Though he said nothing, Malfric detected the shift and rustle of his silk coat as he turned to glare at his first mate.

          “There’s an artifact.  We were not the only ones hired to find it,” Finch said with a disgruntled sigh.  “The other crew has a day’s head start.” His voice softened to a conspiratorial whisper, “but we have an advantage they do not.”

          Oh?  “And what, pray tell, is that?”

          A sharp intake of breath, a faint whistle through his nose, and the captain answered.  “A body.”
I don't know about you guys, but I can't wait to curl up in the garden with this action-packed novella!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

COVER REVEAL: Heliodor by Shannon Wendtland

Happy Springtime! We here at MMP are so excited to announce that this month we've got a new release blooming! It's a novella by a brand new author that I know you're going to be itching to read more of. Her new novella, Heliodor is releasing on March 22, 2016. Check out this blurb!

Malfric sees through the eyes of the dead – literally reliving their last moments as if they were his own. This ability is highly sought and highly priced, which is why the unscrupulous Captain Finch hires him to find the murderer of a nobleman and the whereabouts of a valuable artifact.

Quantex, the able-bodied first mate of Captain Finch, quickly becomes Malfric’s foil as he demonstrates uncommon intelligence during the investigation. Together the two uncover several clues that lead them to the killer, the artifact, and the frayed end of a mysterious plot that begins to unravel the moment Malfric takes it in hand and gives it a good yank.

Sounds pretty amazing huh? I love a good adventure story! So without further ado......


Check back here for more about Shannon, excerpts from the book, and MORE!

Monday, March 7, 2016

We Haven't Finished Yet...

...there is still time for you to be a part of Ghosts, Gears, and Grimoires! Submissions have been a bit slow, which is odd, because Steampunk and Horror are made for each other. The Victorians had a fine sense of the macabre. After all, remember, the practice of Post-Mortem Photography began with the Victorians.

They believed quite strongly in the supernatural. Spiritualism as we know it, with mediums contacting the dead, also had its roots in the Victorian Era, providing a lucrative living for many.

Remember, there were no radios, no televisions, and no movies to distract people. Books and shared tales were the most common forms of entertainment. Fairy tales and ghost stories were passed from generation to generation.

These are just a few suggestions for inspirational material. I've got a couple of ideas just writing this post!

If you need a refresher on the guidelines, look here. And for a little more detail on the information above, as well as further links, check out these posts:

Now, go write me stories -- deadline is the 31st!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Horror's perspectives

As we bid farewell to Women in Horror month, it warrants mentioning the essence of horror.  What is it about a good horror story that strikes deep, like an icy cold skewer to the marrow?

Like anything else in fiction, it's largely point of view.  One kind of horror - the most visceral kind - strikes at the primal POV of the hunted fleeing the relentless pursuit of the predator.  The reader in the victim's shoes feels every pulse-pounding moment, every stifled breath in the pitch dark, every bead of sweat.  Whether it's group of people being picked off one by one in a dark, haunted forest, as in the "Blair Witch Project" or a woman fighting for her life in the dark, claustrophobic passageways of a futuristic spaceship as in "Alien."

The female perspective may sometimes seem more primal, more intense and therefore more powerful in such horror, and it sometimes makes it that much more effective if and when she turns the tables on her adversary in the end.  Other times, though, things aren't so primitive or clearly defined.  Sometimes a more subtle kind of horror can lie in the mystery of not knowing what's going on.  You don't always need a body count to project an effective sense of dread or menace.  Sometimes that unseen presence that may or may not be real as you hear a floorboard creaking in the next room is all it takes to get the reader's blood racing.

And sometimes, the final moment can be the most effective when there's a twist in the plot.  Usually a twist based on POV.  Sometimes, the protagonist we assumed was the victim turns out to be the predator, or the one different from ourselves whom we instinctively fear.  It's been said a nightmare's power lies in its ability to rip the world we think we know out from under us.  The shattering of preconceptions can be the biggest jolt of all.

Our own point of view is the place we call home, where we feel safe.  Shake that foundation, and horror rises from the pit of the unknown.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


The 2016 Women in Horror Flash Fiction Contest is complete and now it's time for the fun part--- THE WINNER! Our judges took the bundle of amazing stories and painstakingly wheedled them down to a top ten. Then, our loyal readers did their part and voted on their favorite! It was a neck-in-neck race that was really fun to watch on my end. Every story we received was great, but in the words of Connor MacLeod--- "There can be only one." So without further ado.....


The winner of the 2016 Women in Horror Flash Fiction Contest is...


Congratulations, Myriah! Our readers chose your twisty story of possession as their favorite of the lot! Myriah has won not only lots of bowing and proclamations of "we're not worthy," but also a $20 Amazon Gift Card!
Thanks again to everyone who entered, read, judged, and voted! We at Mocha Memoirs LOVE interacting with our readers and hope that you'll think about checking out all of our titles! You can also keep abreast on our new releases by subscribing to the newsletter using the form to the right! Stay tuned for more springtime fun coming up in March...