Books Launching in October

New Releases from our member Knights




Author of the Week

September 29 – October 5

Bill McCormick

Bill McCormick began writing professionally in 1986 when he worked for Chicago Rocker Magazine in conjunction with his radio show on Z-95 (ABC-FM). He went on to write for several other magazines and later transitioned to blogs. He currently writes a sports blog at Jay The Joke, as well as a twisted news blog at World News Center. The latter provides source material for his weekly radio show on WBIG 1280 AM, FOX! Sports. Yes, you read that correctly, he does a show about anything other than sports on a sports radio station.

In 2011, Bill started submitting some fictional short stories to various publishers. Much to his surprise, and the consternation of linguists everywhere, they began publishing his efforts. Bill has expanded his repertoire to include comic books, graphic novels, and full length novels. He has currently penned everything from dystopian nightmares to cuddly children’s stories.

Bill is a big fan of nicotine, vodka, music, and this rambunctious redhead (formerly a bottle blonde) who keeps waking up in his bed.

Connect with Bill at the following links:

October 6 – October 12

Brian Rella

Jessie and her army massacre the military, turning battalions of troops into soulless savages. A madman and his demon horde devour thousands of people in New York City. The war between the Watchers and the Fallen is here, and the world is on brink of destruction…

The time for training the Chosen One is over. The fight for the land of the living is on, and the world will descend into darkness under the Fallen’s rule unless Frank Bishop and the Chosen One can stop them.

In the West, Jessie and her army cross the desert, destroying everything in their path to find the Stone of Serr’rah and free Nalsuu from the Second Death. Together, they will rule the Earth as King and Queen, and reshape the world in their dark vision.

But a madman has his own plans for world domination. His demon horde takes a huge bite out of the Big Apple, and there’s no way he’s bending his knee for some wannabe king and his queen bitch.

Rise of the Fallen is Book Three in Brian Rella’s action-packed horror and dark fantasy series, The Second Death.

Brian lives in New York with his wife, who is far too good for him, and his two vivacious young boys who challenge his light-saber skills daily. Most of his writing is done on the train to the cube farm where he works so he can buy stuff and support his family while he pursues writing fiction as a career. He published his first book in 2015 and hopes to write from his beachfront property overlooking the Mare Tranquillitatis one day.

Connect with Brian at the following links:


October 13 – October 19

Ian Bristow

Driven by the death of his sergeant, Detective Inspector Hunter Davis sets out to solve a case they had closed the previous year. Soon he will discover that not all realities are explained on our terms, and sometimes the path we are so desperate to travel can lead to realms beyond our comprehension. Full of secrets from an ancient past, mystery and magic will collide in this captivating Urban Fantasy.

Ian C. Bristow is the award-winning author of the Conner’s Odyssey trilogy. He is currently preparing to release his first standalone novel, Hunting Darkness, and has started working on another title. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys creating works of art and playing music (good food and a few beers with friends doesn’t hurt his feelings either).

Connect with Ian at the following links:

 October 20 – October 26

Inklings Press

They call it an elevator pitch – but this elevator is going straight down. Down to the depths, down to the dark, where all manner of wonders, and horrors might dwell. Tales From The Underground captures 12 stories from writers exploring the world beneath our feet. There is fantasy, there is horror, there is science fiction, there is wonder. Come join the authors, down here, in the dark.

Connect with Inklings Press at the following links:

October 27 – November 2

Jon Cronshaw

Finding hope in a hopeless world…

In a world ravaged by dust storms and poisonous rains, Abel has survived feral dogs, raiders, and drug addiction…but he’s done with just surviving — now, he wants to start living.

When Abel stumbles across a boy suffering from the same addiction that almost killed him, he takes the kid under his wing and offers him a new life…a life free from drugs.

But when a brutal drug gang comes after the kid, Abel must risk everything to keep him safe and end The Family’s reign of terror, or die trying.

Set a generation after the fall of civilization, Knight of the Wasteland is the follow-up to Jon Cronshaw’s gripping debut, Wizard of the Wasteland.

For fans of The Road, Alas, Babylon, The Stand, and One Second After, if you like emotional post-apocalyptic stories with thrilling action, vivid dystopian landscapes, and unforgettable characters, you’ll love Knight of the Wasteland.

Jon Cronshaw is a British science fiction and fantasy author based in Morecambe, England.
He is the author of two novels and three short story collections. His debut novel Wizard of the Wasteland was released in June 2017.
As a freelance features writer, he has had work published in local and national newspapers across the UK, including the Metro, Yorkshire Post and the Guardian.
He earned his PhD in the history of art from the University of Leeds in 2011, focusing on the life and work of Anglo-American sculptor, Jacob Epstein (1880-1959).
He’s a voracious reader, guide dog owner, ex-gamer, and certified geek.

Connect with Jon at the following links:



Featured Artist ~ Ian Bristow

With several focuses of style and medium, Ian Bristow values the marriage of artistic exploration and trusted compositional foundations most in his work. His work has been sold in local galleries and shows as well as online. In recent years custom freelance work has become his focus, most specifically creating works for others who wish to boost their professional presence. When he isn’t painting, he writes books and music and finds that his artistic endeavors can be quite valuable as inspiration for both. Guitar is his instrument of choice, and he celebrated his twenty year anniversary playing it last June. When writing, he focuses mostly on work that includes some kind of fantastical element but enjoys reading many genres.

We interviewed Ian to learn more about his world and his art. He is multi-talented and works with three forms of art that he often blends into one harmonious whole. So we decided to ask him some questions about his passions.

You have an interesting bio there, Ian. So can you give us some examples of how you “boost their professional presence?”

When someone sets out to make a splash online, there are only a few things that can separate them from the millions of others doing the same thing, and creating a quality “image” of one’s self with professional art or design work is arguably the most important. So when they have an idea of how they want to present themselves but have no idea how to realize that image, I come into the picture, creating their logo, banners, and other images they might require.

How long have you been an artist? When did you start?

I’ve been creating art since I can remember, so around five years old, which was twenty-eight years ago. I didn’t start taking art seriously until I was about ten, and it was during my high school years that I truly found a style (which has changed over the years) that I felt passionate about.

Of your 3 passions – art, music, and writing, which feeds you soul most?

Oh, this is tough because they all mean so much to me and have different impacts on my life. However, I think if I was put in the very difficult position of choosing one I would pick music. I’ve been playing guitar since I was thirteen, and the connectivity of playing music with others is unparalleled in the way it makes me feel. I don’t even know if it’s possible to describe the feeling of it.

Great answer!

What would be your “dream come true” concerning your art?

My dream come true would be a place among those who have been recognized as having any sort of contribution to the art world. To be honest, where I am at right now, creating works for other creative people, already feels like a dream come true.

Where do you go from here? After that last question, what are your realistic goals for realizing that dream?

I think the best way to realize any dream is to stop dreaming and start doing. And that’s what I have been doing. Keep working, keep producing; never stop making the next piece of art that could be the foot in the door to another great experience. My realistic goal is to reach a place where I can pay all my bills with art and book sales. I think I can end up there if I keep working hard, and if I don’t, I will still appreciate all the experiences I have along the way, each are brilliant and teach me something new.

Following are two pieces of Ian’s work for you to enjoy. The first one is a time lapse video he made of the process of creating cover art for one of our own Knights.

And the second one is the banner he helped create for our Sci Fi Roundtable Co-Op. This banner is 4’x6′ and will be on our booth at all the conventions we attend. Isn’t it great?

Connect with Ian at the following links:


by Brian Rella

It was never a straight line to get them home when they came to him. Sometimes they liked to play a while.

“You’re cheating!” Paula said. Her voice accusatory, but her smile playful.

“No, I’m not,” Walker said. But you are, he thought with a small grin.

“I’m five, and I’m just better than you,” she said boastfully.

“You sure are, Paula.” His grin widened, but there was a touch of sadness in it.

She stuck her tongue out at him. She was cute.

He’d been playing checkers with Paula for a few hours and letting her win. He’d made a show of his turn, looking at the board carefully, holding his finger on the checker, making sure she couldn’t jump him, and then he’d raise his finger, and nod. Your turn. He watched her eyes seeing the glee in them at the tack-tack-tack of her pieces moving over his.

“You lose,” she said delightedly.

He chuckled. “You win, again,” he said, folding his arms.

“Wanna play something else?” she asked. “Let’s play family. You’re the daddy and I’m the–.”

She stopped short and a melancholy shadow passed over her pallid face. Paula’s gaze fell to her hands and her long dark curls drooped forward covering her big brown eyes. Walker saw the depression on the top of her head. His throat felt full and his heart hurt looking at her. He didn’t know the details of what happened. He didn’t want to. He’d learned not to ask. Instead, he pushed his emotions away and asked her if she wanted to sing a song. She peeked from behind her curls and he watched her sadness melt away.

“Do you know Let It Snow?” she exclaimed, and proceeded to belt out the chorus.

Before Walker could ask her to turn down the volume, an anxious voice echoed up the stairwell.

“Walker? Are you okay?” It was his mother.

Paula abruptly stopped singing and her gloom returned. “Your mom doesn’t like me,” she whispered.

“Fine Mom,” he replied.

Their gaze held each other for a minute. “Time for me to eat now,” he said. Her eyes glistened back at him.

He stood and she followed him like a puppy down the stairs and to the front door. He turned to her.

“Hug,” she said and opened her arms.

“Walker…” his mom croaked from the hall. He turned toward his mother. Her face was grave.

“Coming,” he said.

He turned back to Paula but she was already gone.

Walker frowned. He went past his mother to the kitchen. Her chest heaved a sigh of relief as he sat down at the table and held his chin in his hands.

“You shouldn’t get close to them,” she said.

Walker didn’t look at her. He couldn’t help feeling sorry for the children. They were lost like the others but…they were just children.

“What were you playing?” his mother said placing a dish in front of him. Cheeseburger with all the fixings. His favorite.

“Checkers. Then she was singing,” he mumbled.

“Will you take her soon?” she asked, stroking his hair.

Walker shrugged. He would take her when she was ready. He had no say in the matter. He glanced up and her face was dark, her eyes wet.

She was scared. He was too. They only had each other, now.

He touched her hand, “It’ll be okay, Mom.” She squeezed his hand and went to the stove to clean up.




“…8…9…10! Ready or not, here I come!” Paula shouted.

Walker grinned from under the deck. He hadn’t played hide and seek for years and peeking through the lattice as she passed, her steps eerily silent on the fallen leaves, a wave of nostalgia passed over him.

A moment ticked by. The air was quiet and still.

“Gotcha!” she called from behind him, startling him, and a small yelp escaped his mouth.

“Walker!” His mother immediately called from above, worry knotting her voice. “Walker!” she called louder.

Paula’s frown showed in the squares of sunlight that passed through the latticework. Walker glanced up and his mother’s worried footsteps rained dust and dirt down on him through the cracks in the deck. He sneezed and she stopped above him.

“Walker,” she said, relief replacing worry in her voice.

“She hates me,” Paula said. Walker glanced back to where Paula had been, but she was gone.

“Coming,” he said.

He crawled out from under the deck and met his mother’s frightened gaze at the steps. “Hide and seek,” he said. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”

His mother’s lips were tight. “When will you show her how to get home?”

He kicked the bottom step with his sneaker uneasily. They’d had this conversation before.

“Has she asked you yet?”

“No,” he said and his eyes dropped to the bottom step, kicking it harder. “Soon, I think.”

“Can’t you just take her, Walker?” she asked. “Why do you–”

“It doesn’t work like that, Mom,” he said softly. “I told you before.”

“I’m frightened,” she said, her voice thick. “There’s something not right with her…”

Walker nodded and a moment passed in silence between them. He glanced up. “It’ll be okay.”

“That’s what your father said. It’ll be okay. And now, he’s…he’s… Don’t you let her…like they did to him…I…” she couldn’t finish.

Walker took the steps, putting his arm around her as they went inside. “They’re not all bad, Mom. Most are just lost…”


Walker opened his eyes. Paula sat criss-cross-applesauce beside his bed, her brown curly hair hiding her face. Pale light stuttered across the floor behind her. It’s time, Walker thought and adrenaline pumped into his veins.

“Do you like playing with me?” Paula whispered.

“Of course I do,” Walker said.

“Will you come with me?” she asked, her voice pleading.

“I can’t,” he said. “But I’ll show you how.”

Tears fell from her eyes.

Walker got up slowly and walked to his closet door. He pulled it open and was blinded by a burst of flickering white light from inside. He glanced back at Paula.

“This way,” he said softly.

Paula shook with a sob.

“It’s okay,” he said, “It’s where you belong now.”

Paula rose and glided, head down, to Walker’s side. She hovered there, the white light dancing on her pale form.

“I’m scared,” she said, choking on the words.

“I know,” Walker said. “Don’t worry. I’ve shown a lot of people how to get home.”

She reached for his hand and Walker felt an electric tingle on his skin. Whispers echoed into his room from the closet. Hundreds of them.

“Please come,” she said.

“I can’t,” Walker replied, but he felt her pulling him. Her grip became like iron, and fright leaped into Walker’s chest as he stumbled forward.

“No!” he shouted. “Stop, Paula!” His heart hammered in his throat.

Paula sniffed and looked sideways at Walker. Her face was grim and filled him with dread. “I need you,” she said. “We need you…”

The shadows closed around him and the whispers rose to a clamor. Cloying air and the smell of dead things and rotting meat filled the room. Walker’s bedroom door burst open and his mother ran to him, and wrapped her arms around him.

“No!” she shouted. “Leave him alone!” Tears ran from her eyes. Her arms bulged.

Paula’s face darkened and so did the light from the closet. “He is ours!” she said, but her voice had become all of the voices reverberating in the room.

“Not my son too!” Walker’s mom cried, veins popping out on her neck as she pulled.

Paula’s skin fell away exposing a luminous skull and eyes as dark as the deepest ocean. The light behind her changed to crimson and fire. Paula’s hand became a claw, and tore into Walker’s arm. The voices howled, rattling Walker’s teeth.

Walker felt a surge of power flow through him. White light exploded from his chest. The voices in the room shrieked in unison, and Paula was thrust backward and into the fiery light. Walker slammed the closet shut. A thunderclap and a gust of hot wind pushed Walker and his mother to the floor.

The room was suddenly still, and they lay on the floor, holding each other. Walker’s mom wept on his shoulder.

“I’m sorry, Mom,” he said. But there was nothing he could have done. This was his curse.

She sobbed and he rocked her. Another lost soul would be along soon. They weren’t all like Paula, but some were.


Robert Holt

Robert Holt is an author of Horror. His works range from the action horror novel Death’s Disciples to the Children’s book The Vegetarian Werewolf. His newest book, There Are No Zombies in America, has been compared to Clerks, Chuck Palahnuik, and the Walking Dead, all comparisons he rejects with smug candor.

Follow him on:

Horror Saved Your Life!

by Robert Holt


The title may have been click bait, but while I have you, horror really has saved your life whether you realize it or not, of course not in the Caped Crusader sense or even the chemotherapy sense, but in the very way the repulsive taste of rotting meat saves your life by warning you away from ingesting it. Horror is a tool to sharpen our awareness and keep us from fearing things that can’t hurt us, teach us to avoid the things that can hurt us, and helps us strategize a plan for facing the real threats that we face every day.

Ever seen the film from the 70’s Night of the Lepus? If you have not, don’t. It was a failed effort. There are reasons for the film’s failure other than psychology (like the poor script, worse special effects, and just laughable dialog), but the Night of the Lepus’s biggest blunder was having it be about Lepus. Evolution has taught us plenty about how to survive. One key little thing that has been engraved into our genetics is to not fear rabbits. So when they made Night of the Lepus, everybody’s first reaction is always, “Really?       Killer rabbits?” The second reaction is to call for the Holy Hand Grenade. This film illustrates the first way horror really helps us grow as people. It helps us to sort out what should be feared and what shouldn’t. This is also where many sequels fail. Halloween 37 for example, or whichever one came right before H20, in that one they tell us that Michael Meyers is actually driven mad by the moon and star alignment on Halloween night. It was such a ridiculous explanation that the movie instantly fell to being on par with the average Scooby Doo episode, with slightly more bloodshed. The suspension of disbelief is more crucial for horror than for any other genre…except maybe erotica. The instant you are able to stop believing you stop fearing.

While discussing the Halloween franchise, the reason the series worked so much better as truly scary films is because being scared of large men in Captain Kirk masks is probably a pretty good idea. Horror exploits those real fears we have and makes us keep them in the forefront of our minds. Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh yes, but don’t forget the bats and spiders and rats. Building terror from the real dangers that we face daily keeps us on our toes. The black plague is often blamed on the rats and mice and with good cause, but they hadn’t acted alone. They were just victims of a bigger culprit: the fleas. Swarms of the black bugs came from the rats and crawled through the body hair, inching their diseased bodies up pants legs and into the tussle of pubic hair before biting down into the skin to drink the blood and spread the walking death. Go ahead and scratch at it, you are already infected. Ah, but the flea itself, like the scurrying rodents, was also just an accomplice. The virus itself was the true culprit, and the thing that most crucially needed to be avoided. Is it any wonder that our makeup has a natural inclination away from all three of these threats? We have grown to avoid them, even though the rat in itself is no more dangerous than a cat or dog or any flea carrying vermin.

The years following the release of the film Jaws had fewer reported shark attacks than any of the years in recent history. The reason was because of the movie. Jaws hit the natural chords in our brains that made us fear sharks, something that the vacationing tourist usually didn’t think about. Jaws brought it to the public’s mind, and the public reacted to it. Shark attacks also became big news, and every lost toe was reported from Portland Oregon to Portland Maine, just to keep the public afraid. The movie was able to capture one of humanity’s genuine fears. The fear has been diminished now, in large part by Sharknado and its bastard offspring. These films lose the suspension of disbelief before they even begin, making the very concept a joke, resulting in a declining respect towards the danger presented by both sharks and tornadoes. Films like Sharknado, while fun, are bad for the psyche and should either be avoided of followed up with Open Water and a Weather Channel specials on sharks and tornado destruction just to balance out the mind.

When a horror novel or film is done well, it should be something that makes you question the choices of the characters and has you thinking of how you would have handled the situation. Would you have taken the chainsaw instead of the machine gun, knowing the demonic rhino had to be decapitated? Would you have burnt the house down with the killer inside and not worried about the damn cat? Would you have taken the ear rings off the old dead lady and melted them into bullets to kill the werewolf? These are good questions to ask yourself, as long as you don’t let it get too far. Most families in America have a zombie apocalypse strategy but not a house fire strategy. That’s a problem. But having a home intruder plan, an attempted abductor plan, or even a S.H.T.F plan is a good idea. Watching and reading quality horror fiction will better prepare you for all possible scenarios.

So yeah, horror has saved your life, or at least it has mine. When I was a child, I used to catch snakes and play with spiders. The horrific scene in the Well of Souls in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the scene with the snake in the mummy’s mouth stopped me from catching snakes. The silly John Goodman movie Arachnophobia actually got me to leave spiders alone. The multitude of ghost stories had me staying away from abandoned buildings. Reading Cujo made me stay away from strange dogs. I’m sure one of those saved my life, but if not there are hundreds of other scenarios I could think of. So embrace the fear this fall, and allow it to steer you to a rational and healthy fear of all that could threaten you.



Brian Rella

Brian lives in New York with his wife, who is far too good for him, and his two vivacious young boys who challenge his light-saber skills daily. Most of his writing is done on the train to the cube farm where he works so he can buy stuff and support his family while he pursues writing fiction as a career. He published his first book in 2015 and hopes to write from his beachfront property overlooking the Mare Tranquillitatis one day.

Find Brian at the following links:



Assaph Mehr

Assaph grew up in Israel, where wherever you dig you’ll find historical relics from the dawn of civilisation. His favourite spot was the port of Jaffa, where layers of cultures could be dug down to the ancient Egyptians, and the many citadels remaining from the crusades and Ottomans. He now lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife Julia, four kids and two cats. By day he is a software product manager, bridging the gap between developers and users, and by night he’s writing – he seems to do his best writing after midnight.

Connect with Assaph at the following links:

A. M. Rycroft

A.M. Rycroft is an award-winning fantasy and horror writer. She wrote her first horror story when she was just eight years old, to the horror of her parents and teachers. No matter how hard they tried, she never bought her college professors’ assertions that “serious” authors didn’t write genre fiction. Rycroft has written six dark fantasy novels, three of which are published, and several short stories, including “Hair”, which most readers agree is one of the creepiest stories they’ve ever read.

Connect with A.M. Rycroft at the following links:

A Dark Blend: When Fantasy and Horror Meet

by A.M. Rycroft

Anyone who knows me well can tell you my love of all things fantasy and horror started at a young age. So when I started writing my first epic fantasy novel some 17 years ago, it shouldn’t have surprised anyone — let alone me — that elements one might find in a chillingly good horror novel started popping up in my sword and sorcery tale.

Since then, I’ve written several more books that one could easily call not just dark fantasy, but sword and sorcery/horror mash-ups.

So how does one make that blend of fantasy and horror work well? How do you introduce horror into sword and sorcery without jarring the fantasy reader or turning them off to your story?

Well, you can’t just mash fantasy elements and any old horror elements together and hope they go together. Otherwise, it will come out looking more like Frankenstein’s monster than a well-structured, pulse-pounding novel that any fan of fantasy or horror could enjoy.

Everything has to blend seamlessly for the reader.

When a barista makes a latte, what they hand you at the end of the process isn’t just a bunch of splotches of milk suspended in the espresso. Everything is one well-blended drink. That’s what you want at the end of creating a good fantasy/horror mash-up. Only instead of putting the steamed milk in the espresso, you start with milk and add the espresso. And you want to start slow for the reader as you’re building your blend.

You don’t want your mix to slop out all over the page. Ease the reader into the horror so that by the time you really flip the switch and put your characters into a scene worthy of a full-blown horror tale, your readers are prepped for that extra dose of spine-tingling horror.

How do I mean start slow?

Let me use Into the Darkness, book 1 of my Cathell series, as my example. The book starts out with a deadly curse and sell-sword Aeryn Ravane’s quest to not only break that curse, but find the legendary sword trapped in the caverns sealed off by that curse. It has a lot of the elements of a standard epic fantasy setup. But it slowly turns into something darker as Aeryn explores the cursed caverns where the sword had been locked away for the last century.

She soon gets the sense she’s walking into something very dark and very wrong. She finds murals that depict strange ancient rituals and a room with an altar and a black rock she feels inexplicably drawn to. When she touches that rock, bad things happen, and throughout the caverns, she cannot shake the feeling she’s being watched.

So now the reader has been introduced to elements more common to a horror tale, but in the context of a fantasy tale. So for the fantasy reader, it works. Now the stage is set for me to throw in a little more horror. But I always take care not to move past the confines of a sword and sorcery tale.

What are “the confines”?

There are some expected tropes in sword and sorcery fantasy — swords and magic, obviously, but also dragons and other fantastical beasts, goblins. You get the picture.

If I throw in elements that fall well outside the normal realm of fantasy — like adding a Pinhead or Pennywise type character — I risk confusing and even disappointing the fantasy reader who picked my book up expecting dark fantasy, not The Hellbound Heart with swords. So I can’t do that.

Adding horror into a sword and sorcery novel requires thinking a little outside the trope box. But not too far. Every piece of horror I put into my novels is relatable to a fantasy reader in a sword and sorcery fantasy context. Honestly, there are still plenty of things to choose from, like a vampiric sword and The Harbinger’s armies of the dead.

Are you talking about zombies?

Yes, zombies play a featured role in modern horror flicks, survival horror games, graphic novels, and plenty of dystopian novels. But fantasy?

Consider this: they work equally well in a novel that features an evil god or a necromancer or two. I have it on good authority from my fans that zombie-type creatures are no less frightening when chasing the heroes through the streets of a medieval-style city as they are when chasing people through a modern American city. So I’m not afraid to let the zombies out, in limited quantities.

Keep in mind that zombies have also been a little overdone in contemporary supernatural and urban fantasy books. I tend to choose wisely where zombies come up when it comes to my dark fantasy novels.

So how do you know when you’ve gotten the blend just right?

Let your book reviews spell that out for you. If you get a lot of comments about too many horror elements happening for a fantasy book or that your book was too scary to finish, you know you went too far. Instead, you want a review that says something like this one for Into the Darkness:

“An excellent read, one which I wholeheartedly recommend to any fan of fantasy, horror, or any combination thereof.”

If you get that kind of a review, you know you got it just right.