Phantom Effect – My Latest Release!

Phantom Effect

PhantomEffectWithBloodSerial killer Jonathan Martin Delaware Deseronto is stuck with two flat tires on an abandoned construction site with the body of his latest victim, the lovely co-ed Marissa Madison, in the trunk.

What he doesn’t realize is that the girl was psychic, and her ghost will force Deseronto to live the last fatal week of her life inside her body as a passive passenger, making him experience the mind numbing terror of being stalked by himself.

Available for purchase on Amazon

 


Review by Publisher’s Weekly

Psychological obsession and surrealist complexity lend interest to fetishistic violence in a perverted parable that challenges traditional moral norms and reader expectations.

When serial killer Jonathan Deseranto gets a flat tire, an unexpected encounter leads to an automobile accident that, in turn, reveals the animated corpse of Marissa Madison, his most recent victim.

Cast into a purgatorial time loop and forced to inhabit Marissa’s life as well as his own, Jonathan realizes his victim had “gifts he didn’t know about.” Reliving Marissa’s domestic strife and enduring grim reunions with his abusive mother, Jonathan becomes both hunter and prey.

Razor-sharp description, breakneck action, and sympathetic characters undermine the reader’s preconceived notions of past and present, and of reality and delusion, in a thriller designed to question as much as entertain.

The genre staple of a killer’s psychosexual metamorphosis is invigorated by the theme of a fragmented identity haunting itself. Perspective shifts lend depth to a philosophically rich fearfest that’s recommended for readers who prefer their titillation to include some complexity.

Link to review.


Michael Aronovitz is the author of the acclaimed short story collections Seven Deadly Pleasures (Hippocampus Press, 2009) and The Voices in Our Heads (2013), Alice Walks (2013), as well as the novel, The Witch of the Wood (Hippocampus Press, 2014).

Posted in Books, Ghosts, haunting, horror, Thriller | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Done Stuff

I completed my fourth novel, The Glorious Secrets of Ghosts last Thursday. It is in the hands of my mentor at the moment so we can determine the best places for submission. Of course, I always feel my work is incredibly commercial, but this one came out “literary,” more than usual, though there is a delicious amount of suspense and poetic violence, staples, you would think, for good, juicy, commercial weird fiction.

I got word of a nifty anthology being put together, and remain hard at work on a short story for that. I’ll be done that story next week.

 

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Upon You Love by Marie Lavender

I have added some pics her of Marie Lavender’s cool new book titled Upon Your Love. 

Sales links here; pick one up!

Amazon Universal link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B06XBPVS7D

myBook.to/UYL

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/upon-your-love/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/upon-your-love-marie-lavender/1125931721

Books-A-Million:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Upon-Your-Love/Marie-Lavender/9781625265401?id=6842447479054

CreateSpace link:  https://www.createspace.com/6969887

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Upon Your Love by Marie Lavender

Marie Lavender’s new book, Upon Your Love, is available now. Here is the blurb and some cool pics.

The Hill family saga concludes as loyalties are questioned, faiths will be tested and undying love may come at a terrible cost…

Fara Hill, mother and faithful wife, is torn between her family at home and her urge to be at sea. Soon, she learns some disturbing truths. Was the past a fairy tale instead of reality?

Chloe Hill, loving wife and young mother, questions her faith when her husband sets an ultimatum she cannot meet. Will she be able to keep her marriage from falling apart?

Adrienne Bellamont Hill, born of a valiant captain and a fiery redhead, is untamed to her core and will bow to no man. Then Christian du Plessis enters her life with an offer she can’t refuse. Discovering the man behind the polished gentleman, she is drawn to him in many ways. Holding out for love is a family tradition, but can she resist the temptation of passion?

Christian finds this young woman to be a fascinating challenge, and is torn between keeping his distance from her and succumbing to her charms. A fierce battle of wills ensues as he sees she is much more than he ever imagined.

But danger lurks, threatening to destroy everything…

Can these two strong-willed individuals unite in the cause before time runs out?

Displaying Upon your love-final cover.jpg

Goodreads Link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29083654-upon-your-love

Marie’s social media links:

http://marielavender.com/
Blogs: http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/
Graphic design company: http://www.ambrosiainnovations.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a
Amazon author page: Author.to/MarieLavender
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender
http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender
http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender
http://manicreaders.com/marielavender/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

Sales Links:

Amazon Universal link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B06XBPVS7D

myBook.to/UYL

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/upon-your-love/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/upon-your-love-marie-lavender/1125931721

Books-A-Million:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Upon-Your-Love/Marie-Lavender/9781625265401?id=6842447479054

CreateSpace link:  https://www.createspace.com/6969887

Marie is a friend of mine and a fabulous writer.

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Marie Lavender Released a New Book!!

My good friend Marie Lavender recently released a new book, late February, and I wanted to share some of her information. She is a romance writer and a damned good one!

This story is called Upon Your Love. Here is an excerpt from the piece:

 

The neigh of a horse brought her out of her reverie and she looked over, but her mare stood quietly beside the stream. Adrienne’s instincts nagged at her and she stood up, her ears on alert. The clomp of hoof beats came to her on the swift afternoon breeze. Was the rider coming from the estate or perhaps it was simply a stranger? In any case, a sense of unease grew in the pit of her stomach and she reached down to unearth a small dagger Gabriel had gifted to her two summers ago. She kept it in a sheath around her thigh. Gabe had always said that if she didn’t have a sword on hand, it was best to have something. And she couldn’t agree more.

She clucked her tongue to alert Persephone and led her quickly by the reins under the cover of the trees. The rider was closer now and her mare shifted uneasily, blowing a breath out of her nose. She must have heard the approaching horse as well. “Shh. It’s all right,” Adrienne whispered, stroking her neck. She tied the reins to a tree and waited.

When the rider appeared from the forest, she couldn’t see him clearly. It was a man—that much she was certain—but the lapels of his dark coat and the thicket of limbs brushing her face kept her from placing his identity. He had dark hair and was tall, his body lean and muscled. She watched as he got down from a fine, black stallion and led it to the stream for a rest. The man took a drink from his cupped hands. He wiped the remnants of the water from his chin, and then seemed to search the area nearby. She shivered. Was it possible the man had been tracking her? If that was the case, her dagger would certainly come in handy. Adrienne crouched on alert, spying through her vantage point in the trees. From behind, she observed as the tension eased from his shoulders and he sighed.

A frisson of unease ran through her again. Taking it as a sign, she confirmed he was still faced away before she quietly eased out of her haven. Stepping up behind him, she lifted her dagger to his throat. A smile of grim determination danced over her lips as he stiffened.

“Who are you? Why are you here? Are you following me?”

“What if I was?”

Fine shivers moved along the surface of her skin, caused by the deep timbre of his voice.

“I would have to ask for your reasons, Monsieur.”

“I haven’t come to kidnap you, if that’s what you’re worried about,” he sighed. “I didn’t expect you’d be prepared. I commend the effort, of course.”

She frowned. The compliment threw her for a moment, but she then brushed it off. Surely, he ridiculed her, and thought he could overtake her somehow. She shook her head. He would be gravely disappointed.

“You will state your reasons for your presence and your identity, sir.”

“And if I don’t?”

“You will regret it, of course.”

“Indeed? Do you intend to harm an unarmed man?”

She scoffed. “Unarmed? No, I doubt that. With the way you appeared to be tracking me, I am sure you’re quite armed.”

“Right again. What will you do about it?”

She shrugged. “This is Bellamont land. You’ve clearly trespassed. If I must, I will drag you straight back to the house. You know, I believe the foreman has a Winchester sporting rifle. He can be quite formidable when he puts his mind to the task.”

“I’m sure,” he murmured.

“What say you then?”

“I say, Mademoiselle, that you have no idea who you’re dealing with.”

Before she could open her mouth to take him to task, she felt a blow to her arm and the numbing pain caused her to drop the knife. Everything else happened in a blur. As he turned, he caught her leg, which caused her to collapse. But, before she landed, he grasped her up in his arms. He was too close, she thought. Panic threatened inside of her, but she fought it by degrees. She was a fighter, not some idiot who would succumb to a man’s power. Gabriel had taught her many tricks, as had her father. She forced herself to go limp so that he’d pull her closer. She let her eyes drift closed and pretended to have swooned.

Mon Dieu,” he whispered.

Then she unmanned him with a swift rise of her knee. He coughed out a grunted response, releasing her.

She retreated from him, intent on finding her dagger, but did not see it. The leaves in the grass crunched beneath her hands and knees as she struggled to her feet. She would have to rely on the resources of the forest to save her if he pursued further. Somehow, she doubted he’d be able to. She turned and her mouth dropped open as she looked at her attacker.

His dark hair had fallen over one eye and he was hardly doubled over in pain. No, he scowled at her now and he seemed quite well. She’d missed her target, she realized. His identity shocked her further. She felt quite stupid for not recognizing him, even from behind. But, why had Christian tried to attack her?

 “How…,” she whispered.

“You are not as fast as I, Mademoiselle.” Then he laughed, but there was no mirth in his expression. His eyes seemed darker suddenly. “You little brat,” he bit out. “You almost had me.”

She sucked in a breath and, when she saw him advance, she backed away. But, it effectively put her back right up against a nearby tree. She cursed. Christian closed in, blocking her in with his arms as he braced his hands on the tree trunk. Her breaths came out in harsh pants and her stomach had fallen somewhere at her feet. Dear God, what would he do? She jerked her arms out to break his hold, but his muscles were like the ratlines between the shrouds of a mast in a ship’s rigging. Solid. Struggling with his obvious intimidation of her, she managed, “Why are you trying to kidnap me?”

Some of the arrogance left his face. “I’m not. I thought we already established that.”

“Then why… this?” she asked, weakly. And why couldn’t she breathe? His clean, male scent caused her to feel lightheaded. No, she thought. That just had to be terror.

“I wanted to get you alone so that we could continue our plans. I didn’t mean for you to see me as a threat. I certainly didn’t expect a dagger at my throat.” He reached out and cupped her face, stroking the line of her jaw gently with his thumb.

Adrienne gazed into his nearly black eyes. She thought she saw a hint of admiration and something more, perhaps desire, in his gaze.

“P… plans?” she stammered, annoyed with the hypnotic effect he had on her. And what was that strange, but wonderful scent coming off him? She detected cologne which contained a hint of fresh pine. But then, she’d smelled it before, both in her room and at the Broussard’s engagement party. Even though the fragrance was pleasant, she tried to ignore it.

“Our matchmaking endeavor, chére.”

“Oh. That.”

“Yes, that. Did you forget?”

She cleared her throat. “No, of course not.” Her resolve returned in full force then. She slapped his hand aside and sidestepped him. Stalking away to locate Persephone, she unearthed her mare from the brush in no time. When she returned, he still stood there, watching her. She shivered again.

Mon Dieu, she thought. Why was this happening to her? Why did the man tie her in knots?

###################################

Good stuff! Here is the purchase information:

Amazon Universal link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B06XBPVS7D

myBook.to/UYL

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/upon-your-love/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/upon-your-love-marie-lavender/1125931721

Books-A-Million:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Upon-Your-Love/Marie-Lavender/9781625265401?id=6842447479054

CreateSpace link:  https://www.createspace.com/6969887

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S.T. Joshi’s Latest Blog

I received a mention in S.T. Joshi’s latest blog. This is the highest of honors for me, as without S.T., I never would have published a darned thing!!!!!

Excerpt:

I am so taken with some of these writers that I continue to read them in my spare time. However, that spare time may become much more limited soon, because I am contemplating writing a book called 21st-Century Horror, which will discuss some of the leading weird writers of our day—Caitlín R. Kiernan, Laird Barron, Jonathan Thomas, Michael Aronovitz, Jason V Brock, Kelly Link, Elizabeth Hand, Glen Hirshberg, John Langan, and others. In essence, this might constitute the third volume of my Unutterable Horror: A History of Supernatural Fiction, since I was only able to cover a few of these authors (and in a somewhat cursory manner) in that treatise.

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Nemesis and Other Things

S.T. Joshi put together a new anthology with Hippocampus called Nemesis. I have a story in there, and all of us just sent bios. That means publication is coming soon. Exciting!

I am enjoying writing the memoir The Electric 70’s. As I said in an earlier post, I am working on two pieces at once now. 70’s is my afternoon project, and it is coming along well. It is a kind of writing that seems to be created in a different way than fictive stuff. There is far more narrative summary than scene work…in fact I wonder how much scene work is appropriate, as when you have people talking line for line, you had better have perfect memory of it. Sort of comes off like fiction, even the recent stuff.

My other issue is with time lines. I am in a certain recollection (currently when I was in elementary school for instance) yet there are constant places where more current references sort of jump in. I am fighting with relevance and temporal chaos. Actually, it is not that serious. I just want to let this flow, while not having any potential readers feel I am jumping around too much.

The Glorious Secrets of Ghosts is in a nifty place. I am about to break 50,000 words, and on the brink of the first real horrific scene unit in the beginning of the climactic part of the book. LOVING IT!

 

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Yeah…Process…

Hmm.  Did I say I wasn’t going to talk process anymore? Really? I think I am going to have to roll that back. I don’t have a standard Facebook account nor Twitter anymore, because I don’t want to talk politics or look at comic pictures of cats or advertise my books in those public spaces like a hooker. But enough of that.

Process.

I got to a point over the last few years, being so critical of my own work, that all of it almost came to a grinding halt. It is not so much that with 2 collections and 3 novels, that I tapped a lot of life-long ideas that were brewing before and during the ten year journey I have enjoyed under the counsel and advice of Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi. (I have also benefited from his Forewords, Afterwords, and recommendations in reference to publishers and editors he introduced me to). It is also that I moved from the small market to mid-range, and no one quite understands that pressure until going through it.

I know. Sounds like a choke job. So I did something about it. I am 55 years old, and decided to try Prevagen. Not that I am promoting this as a miracle supplement or drug or herb or whatever you’d call a pill with ingredients from jellyfish, but I noticed my writing volume increased. I went from an odd 2 pages of finished copy a day to something like 4 or 5 in the ongoing novel The Glorious Secrets of Ghosts. I started a memoir as well. I might begin a third piece that explores more commercial avenues, maybe a more standard thriller as opposed to the literary nature of Ghosts.

And it isn’t just volume and endurance. Being that I am a part time college professor of English and have been blessed with a couple of days off a week, writing has become part of the day job, one I love, one I want to continue at the highest level.

I’m writing some of the best shit structurally and creatively that I have done yet. And speaking of volume…my best hours are 6 am to around 11 am. Or at least they have been. Recently, I have been doing Ghosts until 11 am, taking a short break to eat, doing my walk, and coming back to write the memoir, The Electric 70’s, from around 3 pm to dinner time. If I can condense the walking, shopping, watching CNN, goof off time in the middle of the day, maybe I’ll start writing that third piece. I have never done simultaneous works, but I am starting now!

In terms of The Glorious Secrets of Ghosts, S.T. Joshi already accepted the first chapter to be run as a short story in an upcoming edition of “Nemesis,” a new anthology coming out of Hippocampus. That “story” (chap) is called Breath. He did not accept the third chap from Ghosts for a new antho he is putting together called Apostles of the Weird, (the chapter / story I sent him is called The Session) but that doesn’t worry me. I recall his passing on the first pre-chapter of what would inevitably become Phantom Effect for lack of a good fit in his antho Searchers After Horror, and everyone came out all right there, the novel eventually going through Night Shade (with his recommendation) and my publishing The Girl Between the Slats for Searchers.

Looks like I have to write something else during my now-busy off days. A ghost story for Apostles.

God. I like being busy.

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One Year Anniversary

It was a year ago February 2nd that my best work came out. I do admit that there are some who feel my first novel Alice Walks was my smoothest read, but Phantom Effect, released by Night Shade Books / Skyhorse is most certainly my most complex and intricate work. When I wrote it I told my family it was over…that I would never be able to attain this level of structural acrobatics, character depth, and intensity of psychological potency again. It was over.

I actually wrote Phantom Effect between 2012 and 2014. Since then, I went through the painful process of working on a long, long piece called Dead Red, finally trashing it last summer. It was a work that in the end, simply had character and plot threads I didn’t believe in. I started over with a totally new idea this past July, and as I have posted recently, it is going well. I will be finished The Glorious Secrets of Ghosts this coming summer.

Anyway…Phantom Effect is available on Amazon for something like 4 bucks. Do a brutha a favor. Pick one up! From what I hear from Night Shade, I got pretty good outreach and visibility with this one, and I moved enough copies to make it worth the printing. Whoop, whoop!

PhantomEffectWithBloodhttps://www.amazon.com/Phantom-Effect-Michael-Aronovitz/dp/1597808466/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1486672550&sr=1-1&keywords=Phantom+Effect

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Has Writing Become an Antiquated Art Form?

Without getting into questions about the different forms and functions of writing (expository, narrative, social, creative) I would ask whether writing itself as an aesthetic form is dying.

In terms of business, we see it happening right before our eyes. The biggest publishers are merging, trying to keep their stables working, the only chain bookstore with shelf texts that is still standing is Barnes and Noble, and attendance in creative writing classes has dramatically dropped since, say, the early 90’s.

There used to be a hierarchy, not as organized as baseball, with single, double, and triple-A, yet a clearer ladder nonetheless. It sort of went small market, mid-range, and big-boy. I don’t say anything particularly new in mentioning that self-publishing has decimated the small market and mid-range markets, making it so you can’t really tell the author mills from the legitimate traditional guys trying to make a statement and a living. Still, I am more talking about the writing itself, and not so much the mechanisms used to move it (though let’s be clear, many of those “mechanisms” front as traditional publishers yet they are actually self-pubbers in disguise, offering absolutely no outreach…hoping you get together all your girlfriends, go to the Starbucks, open up your laptops, and get everyone in your extended circle to buy. What’s the novel about? Who gives a flying fuck. If we sign thousands of “writers” knowing each will alert her sewing circle in order to get 300 quick sales, we make as much in the end as a small traditional press. Our outreach? Here. I will send you a weekly newsletter talking about the best ways to open up more social media accounts).

Blogging has become so powerful, that it is more popular and accessible to mid range publicists than traditional and / or legitimate journals. Pay 2,000 for a publicist and he gets you blog posts, not interviews, (nor sales). He asks you to join the white noise, as the white noise has become the new literature, not your old fashioned dusty book.

The first thing agents and editors look into with new writers concerns their Facebook and Twitter accounts. How many followers? How many likes when you post about your product versus pictures of your cat, or your opinions about pipelines or foreign policy? Posting is more alluring than story writing. News and fake news and all the interpretations thereof have all become the new art.

Plainly, learning and communication has changed. In school, it is becoming more important to access information quickly and through more channels than synthesizing the information itself and inventing ideas. In terms of writing and selling, it is more important that the given author has developed personal outreach that evolves in tandem with people clicking in as opposed to offering an artistic product. Good novels are subtle, difficult pleasures one has to dig into. It seems the fluff on the outside however, has become the new statement.

I am lucky that I chose the horror genre. Or more accurately, I am fortunate that it chose me. I am ultimately blessed that I got to know S.T. Joshi a decade ago (has it been that long?) and thankful that Hippocampus, Centipede, and Night Shade took a chance on me. While all the noise is going on…all this fluff…the horror guys have stayed right where they were, standing their ground. The small market has become THE market for many horror writers, especially those like me who are staying away from the cliches and creating novels with a literary focus. You could say that we are like cockroaches. With everything going on and the landscape going through this strange reconstruction, we never die. We’re very much like heavy metal. You can’t kill it, even if you blog about it!

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Strange Views

I’m getting a shitload of strange views from China, Australia, UK, and Canada. Who the hell are you weird-ass people? Send me a comment or something.

 

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