Thursday, November 1, 2018

Some reading material for those cold winter nights...


My mind-fuck of a thriller Oblique penned as Neal Vandar has been out for six weeks now. For about the price of a coffee, $4 US/$5 CAD, this digital novel can be yours! It’s perfect reading material for those upcoming cold winter nights where you can snuggle under the covers with a hot beverage and a good book on your favourite ereader! Check out the synopsis below as well as links to purchase on Amazon and Kobo in the US and Canada. As usual, you can always purchase the beautiful PDF directly from me (which looks the way the book would look like if it were a paperback). Thank you for your support!

“A man has dinner at a restaurant with a woman he hasn’t seen in twenty-five years. Before they order their food, he goes to the basement washroom. When he returns ten minutes later, the patrons and staff are seemingly all dead. No signs of struggle or traces of blood anywhere. He panics and flees the scene.

Following an encounter with a group of bullies, his paranoia reaches soaring levels. Exhausted and afraid to go back home, he seeks refuge at a motel on the edge of the city for the night. When he awakens the next day, he finds himself in a completely different town, clueless as to how he arrived there. After meeting a man whose past might be linked to his, he uncovers some information that sends him on a wild quest in an attempt to get to the bottom of an incident that occurred a quarter-century ago.

He’ll be chased, shot at, lied to, and drawn into a web of mystery and confusion as he seeks the truth—and does his best not to get killed in the process.”






Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!!


Happy Halloween everyone! The best Holiday of the year is finally here! As promised, I have a FREE short story for you. Initially it was going to be a brand new story penned as Neal Vandar that I was working on titled “Grey Area” about some Grey aliens waiting for their spaceship to pick them up and getting caught in an outdoor opera rehearsal with wild shenanigans ensuing. But after a few pages, the story wasn’t coming together the way I was hoping it would, and I had no idea how I was going to end it so I abandoned it. Maybe I’ll go back to it someday but for now, it’s dead in the water.

So the story you’re getting has only been published online back in the spring of 2006 (the second story I ever got published) and I felt an inkling to revisit it, not having read it since then. I’m surprised that I still found it quite effective after all this time. It’s a nasty little tale about the monster under the bed. Very short… and creepy! So I give you “Silently It Creeps”; you can download the FREE PDF right here. Happy reading and stay scared this Halloween!


Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Paradigm

Here it is, the fourth and final "novella for a dollar" re-release: The Paradigm. Of all the novellas I've written, this is my personal favourite. It's a noir mystery with a hint of supernatural and it stars my favourite character, Jim Coffin. I've revamped/re-edited this novella--no major changes; just a bit of polish here and there--as a refresher to get ready to write my next novella, Once Upon a Time in Bitternest, which also stars Jim Coffin. I'll get started on that one in December and it'll be digitally published sometime in May of 2019. Here's the nitty-gritty on The Paradigm:

First published as part of Alan Draven's 2012 collection "Spooky Showcase", now a stand-alone novella: "The Paradigm."

In the tradition of Mickey Spillane and Donald E. Westlake comes a noir mystery set in 1984 with a hint of supernatural. Upon investigating Detective Harry Graves’ disappearance, private eye Jim Coffin finds himself on the trail of an odd bunch of characters, including a drop-dead gorgeous dame, a mad scientist, and a man who claims to be immortal. Along the way, Coffin begins having bizarre dreams about his own demise—could they be a foreboding of something sinister?

You can purchase it on Amazon (Kindle) and Kobo (Epub) at the links below or contact me directly to buy the PDF version. This completes the digital novella re-issues. I'll have one more treat for you on Halloween next Wednesday; a short story from the vault that I've revisited after 12 years. Till then, happy reading!






Friday, October 19, 2018

Halloween: Crimson Nightmares

As promised, to celebrate the release today of the new "Halloween" film, I’m re-releasing my very own take on the series; my novella Halloween: Crimson Nightmares. Written/initially digitally published back in 2011, this 106 page novella picks up 33 years after the events of the second "Halloween" film, the night when Michael Myers terrorized Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) and the residents of Haddonfield, Illinois. It follows little Lindsey Wallace, the little girl Laurie Strode babysat, who is all grown-up now and the scars of that terrible night haunt her to this day. She’s moved to Bitternest, Louisiana to get away from her past and has been leading a quiet life. Until something inside Michael snaps and he comes looking for her on Halloween. Add to that a killer clown with an agenda of his own and it’s a Halloween you won’t soon forget. It’ll be a showdown for the ages when Michael Myers comes to the eerie city of Bitternest.

You can read online/download the FREE PDF right here. Since I don’t own the rights to the "Halloween" franchise, this one falls under “fan fiction” and it’s actually the only fan fiction I’ve ever written. "Halloween" is my favourite film of all-time so it’s fitting. I’m very proud of this tale; I think it represents some of my very best writing. Enjoy and happy Halloween!


Thursday, October 18, 2018

Vengeance Is Mine!

It's Thursday! Time for the third re-release in the $1 novella series. This one is what is widely considered to be my best novella: Vengeance Is Mine. I spent a couple months researching everything about Jack the Ripper prior to writing it and my attention to details, times, locations, and names of the victims contribute to making this one historical fiction. Here's the lowdown on it:

First published as part of the multi-author novella collection “Creeping Shadows” in 2009 and reprinted in Alan Draven's 2012 collection "Spooky Showcase", now a stand-alone novella: "Vengeance Is Mine."

Alan Draven’s classic re-telling of the Jack the Ripper murders—with a twist! London 1888. Jack the Ripper leaves a trail of mutilated bodies as he terrorizes the district of Whitechapel and baffles the authorities. From beyond death, one of his victims returns to haunt him and shows him the meaning of living in fear.

You can purchase it on Amazon (Kindle) and Kobo (Epub) at the links below or contact me directly to buy the PDF version. Tomorrow I'll have a special treat for you so be sure to drop by. And next Thursday will be the final $1 novella re-release and my personal favourite: The Paradigm. Happy reading!






Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Dark Emissaries

Second week of the one dollar novella reprints. My novella The Dark Emissaries is now available for the modest sum of $0.99 US/$1.25 CAD. This one stars one of the supporting characters of my first novel, Bitternest, as well as the Dark Emissaries, those dark shadow beings, who first made their appearance in my short story "The Chilling Hour." Here's the official synopsis:

First published as part of Alan Draven's 2010 collection "The Bitternest Chronicles", now a stand-alone novella: "The Dark Emissaries."

Harmony Evans returns to her hometown of Bitternest for a friend’s funeral. She begins to suspect that he was murdered by something unnatural. A strange and charismatic man who only goes out at night confirms her fears and tells her there are dark beings sucking the life out of Bitternest’s inhabitants and turning them into stone. They are called the Dark Emissaries and a sign that they are but a taste of much worse things to come. Harmony will learn that she has a bigger role to play in the fight against the Dark Emissaries. Will she and her mysterious new friend find a way to defeat them before the irreparable happens?

You can purchase it on Amazon (Kindle) and Kobo (Epub) at the links below or contact me directly to buy the PDF version. I'll see you next week for the re-release of Vengeance Is Mine, my classic Jack the Ripper novella.






Sunday, October 7, 2018

Links are back on track

So, I guess it was just a week-long maintenance issue for the NoFile.IO shutdown as the file host site is back on track today. I'm glad because on top of saving me from the hassle of re-uploading all the free stories to another site, this site looks professional, has a preview of the file before you download it, allows you to read the PDF online if you don't feel like downloading it and doesn't have annoying popups of any kind. So you can head over any of the links from the previous weeks' posts to download/read online the eight free Bitternest stories that I uploaded there a well as my brand new story penned as Neal Vandar titled "Scapegoat." The story runs 26 pages long and is about baseball, curses, and time traveling. Really proud of this one and I've received wonderful feedback on it so far. You can find that one right here. Have a good Sunday!


Friday, October 5, 2018

Broken Links

It's been brought to my attention that the links for the free short stories no longer work. The file hosting site "NoFile.IO" that I was using seems to be either temporarily down or gone for good. I'll give it a few more days and if it persists, I'll re-upload the stories on a different site, most likely TinyUpload as it is free to use and files can be stored there permanently. In the meantime, you can pick up my novel Oblique and/or the weekly one dollar novella reissues throughout the month of October at the links provided in the previous/future posts. Thank you for your support!

 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Happy October!

We've finally begun the best month of the year: October! To celebrate this magical month of autumn and all its wonders, leading up to Halloween, every week on Thursdays I'll be re-releasing an old novella as a stand-alone release digitally on Kindle and Epub via Amazon and Kobo. You can also always purchase these releases in PDF format by contacting me. They will be priced at a dollar US ($1.25 Canadian). I'll also have a few surprises throughout the month for you here and there. Let's start with the first one: Cellar Door. Here's its official synopsis:

First published as part of Alan Draven's 2010 collection The Bitternest Chronicles, now a stand-alone novella: Cellar Door.

Justis Samson, a court proofreader, picks up white noise on the recording of a transcript that he is proofreading. He hears a girl say “Help” and “Find Cellar Door” on it. He begins to dig deeper and discovers troubling details about a little girl that went missing in Bitternest. He embarks on an investigation to uncover the truth and answer the ultimate question: “What is Cellar Door?”

You can find the links below on where to buy it. Enjoy and I'll see you next week for the second re-release, The Dark Emissaries.





Thursday, September 27, 2018

A Madman's Atonement

Here we are; the eighth and final free short story as part of my re-releasing of my past Alan Draven Bitternest stories. I saved for last a key story that plays a very important part in the mythology of Bitternest. This story, “A Madman’s Atonement”, is the story in which I coined the name of my fictitious city in Louisiana, Bitternest, a foggy city of sunken dreams and drunken ambitions where supernatural events are a daily occurrence. The bulk of my writings would take place there, expanding its world and using its characters in recurring roles throughout my stories and novels. Initially when I started writing it in the spring of the year 2000, it was going to be a novel. But life happened and I got sidetracked and moved on to other things.

When I next picked it up in 2006, I didn’t think it had enough meat to be a novel so I turned it into a novelette/long short story that was way too long for magazines and anthos at the time. So it never got published. Fast forward to 2012 when I’m putting together my second short story/novella collection, Spooky Showcase, and I needed an extra story for that book. I went back to “Madman”, trimmed it, tweaked it and it finally saw the light of day. It quickly became a fan favorite. It’s a story about a serial killer in Bitternest. That’s all I’ll say about it. This iteration of it (2012) stands at 28 pages long, trimmed a good 7 or 8 pages from its initial length and it greatly improves the pacing. Here it is as a free PDF/readable online for your pleasure. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed these past eight weeks of free stories. If you did, you can show your support by picking up a digital copy of my latest novel, Oblique, for about the same price as a cup of coffee. Contact me for details or skim through my previous posts for links on Amazon and Kobo. Over the next four weeks, every Thursday, I’ll be re-publishing the four novellas that were originally part of The Bitternest Chronicles (2010) and Spooky Showcase (2012). They’ll get a full release with brand new cover art and will be yours to own at the measly cost of a dollar each in PDF, Kindle, and Epub right here, on Amazon, and Kobo stores. Happy reading and I'll see you next week!

 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Some goodies for you!

The book launch is in the books! I hope you had as much fun watching it as I did hosting it. Not sure if you folks were able to find it; blame it on my inexperience doing live feeds on YouTube. If you missed it, here it is. It will be preserved for posterity on my YouTube channel to watch at your leisure. I did pretty good time-wise; it lasted an hour and three minutes. If you like what you see, please like the video; if you enjoy the reading I did, please purchase a copy of Oblique and subscribe to my channel.


As promised, I have a brand new short story for you today. It's my first one penned as Neal Vandar. It's titled "Scapegoat" and it's about the Curse of the Cubs, the love of baseball, some time travel, and a whole lot of nostalgia. Even if you're not into baseball, I think you'll really dig this one; I'm damn proud of it. It stands at 26 pages long and is yours to download for free in PDF format or read online right here


Last night on the book launch's event page on Facebook, I also premiered the cover art for my next project: A Jim Coffin novella titled Once Upon a Time in Bitternest. Here it is below for your viewing pleasure. It will be released late spring/early summer 2019 in PDF, Kindle, and Epub formats and will mark the return of my old pseudonym Alan Draven. For those unfamiliar with the Jim Coffin character, he's a private eye who appeared in the second half of my third novel, Nocturnal Offerings, and also got his own novella in my second collection, Spooky Showcase, titled The Paradigm. This new novella will explore one of his very first cases and it will be set sometime in 1974. Think of it as a mystery with a touch of the supernatural.


This should keep you busy for today; I'll be back here tomorrow for the eighth and final free weekly short story. See you then and happy reading!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

OBLIQUE is now available everywhere!

It's release day! My new thriller, Oblique, is now available on Kindle and Epub everywhere. Follow the links below to find stores your country. You can also purchase a PDF of it directly from me by contacting me via my Facebook page here. Tonight I'll be hosting a virtual book launch; my very first live feed from 8 PM to 9ish PM on YouTube. Tune in to my YouTube channel to join in the fun. I'll do a reading of two chapters of the book as well as talk about the origins of this novel and what you can expect from me in the coming weeks. You'll also be able to purchase the book at a discounted price directly from me for the hour following the live feed. I recommend reading the first three FREE chapters beforehand so you'll enjoy the reading I'll do even more. You can find them here to read online or download to read at your convenience. I'll also be releasing a brand new short story tonight just ahead of the broadcast on the Facebook Event page for the launch and it'll be available everywhere tomorrow morning. Here's the link to my YouTube channel; I hope to see you there tonight!



Here's all the info regarding Oblique:

From Alan Draven, author of BITTERNEST and NOCTURNAL OFFERINGS, writing as Neal Vandar, comes the exciting thriller OBLIQUE...

A man has dinner at a restaurant with a woman he hasn’t seen in twenty-five years. Before they order their food, he goes to the basement washroom. When he returns ten minutes later, the patrons and staff are seemingly all dead. No signs of struggle or traces of blood anywhere. He panics and flees the scene.

Following an encounter with a group of bullies, his paranoia reaches soaring levels. Exhausted and afraid to go back home, he seeks refuge at a motel on the edge of the city for the night. When he awakens the next day, he finds himself in a completely different town, clueless as to how he arrived there. After meeting a man whose past might be linked to his, he uncovers some information that sends him on a wild quest in an attempt to get to the bottom of an incident that occurred a quarter-century ago.

He’ll be chased, shot at, lied to, and drawn into a web of mystery and confusion as he seeks the truth—and does his best not to get killed in the process.

******************************

Follow Alan Draven / Neal Vandar on

Facebook: facebook.com/bitternest/
Twitter: @alandraven

Buy OBLIQUE on Amazon Kindle



UK


Buy OBLIQUE in Epub on Kobo



UK


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Do you believe in the bogeyman?

Week 7 of free short stories. Do you believe in the bogeyman? Do you believe in the Rattling Man? This week I've got a creepy coming-of-age tale for you set on Halloween. So come celebrate the best holiday of the year 40 days early! Initially published in 2010 in The Nightmare Begins anthology, and reprinted in 2012 in my second collection, Spooky Showcase, I give you "The Rattling Man."

Monday, September 17, 2018

OBLIQUE now available on Kindle!!

Surprise, surprise for all you Kindle readers out there! Oblique is now available on all Amazon sites for purchase a full week early! It'll be available for Kobo readers and as an epub ebook on Indigo/Chapters and other epub retailers, as well as in PDF format directly through me as of September 25th. For the time being, you can purchase it on Amazon US for the modest sum of $3.99, Amazon Canada for $5.20 as well as many other countries like the UK, France, Italy, etc. Get your copy now and thanks for your support!!

Amazon US

Amazon Canada

Amazon UK


 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Beyond the Doomed Cave

It's Thursday! Free short story time! For this sixth week, I chose "Beyond the Doomed Cave", a Bradburyesque Gothic coming-of-age tale about a witch in a churchyard. Originally published in the Sinister Landscapes anthology in 2008 and reprinted in my second collection, Spooky Showcase, in 2012. You can read/download the free PDF here.

 

Friday, September 7, 2018

OBLIQUE Virtual Book Launch

Join me from the comfort of your own home to celebrate the launch of my new novel, a thriller titled OBLIQUE penned under the name Neal Vandar. All you have to do is come to the Facebook event page below on Sept. 25 at 8 PM Eastern Time and you'll have a front row seat. I'll talk to you via a live video and will have a couple of surprises for you. You'll be able to purchase the book in PDF, Epub and Kindle formats directly from me via PayPal at a special price.

If you intend to join me, please click "Going" on the event so that I have an idea of the amount of people this event will be reaching. Feel free to spread the word about this virtual book launch and share it with your friends and family or anyone you think might be interested. See you soon!

Virtual Book Launch

 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Time for "The Chilling Hour"...

It's Thursday! Free short story time! Today I give you one of my personal favorites, starring one of my favorite characters I've created, Nick Kubrick. Nick is a horror DJ who investigates and debunks supernatural myths in his spare time in the foggy city of Bitternest, Louisiana. He would go on to star in his own novel, Nocturnal Offerings, a few years later. Originally published in 2008 in the "9 of Swords" e-zine and reprinted in my first collection, The Bitternest Chronicles, in 2010, here is "The Chilling Hour." Enjoy and I'll see you back here next Thursday.


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Time to run an "Errand"...

Well, look at that; it's Thursday! It must mean it's time for another free short story. This week I've picked "The Errand"; a story about a man who goes through the woods of Bitternest to run an errand and will see the course of his life changed forever. It was first published in 2008 in the Darkened Horizons Vol. 4 anthology and later reprinted in my first collection, The Bitternest Chronicles in 2010.

Are you enjoying these weekly free stories? Is anyone reading/downloading them at all? The Internet sometimes feels like a vacuum where we put stuff and no one sees or cares for it. If you do enjoy them, feel free to drop me a line; it's always appreciated.

Here's the link to read online/download the PDF. See you next week for a fifth free short story!


 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

It's FREE story time!

For our third week of free short stories, I've selected a strange little story about a strange little motel. It's titled "Hershell's Motel" and that's all I'll say about it to keep the mystery. It was originally published in the Bonded By Blood anthology in 2008. The tale was later reprinted in my first short story collection in 2010, The Bitternest Chronicles. You will find it here in PDF to download or read online. Enjoy and I'll see you back here next Thursday!


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Time for another FREE short story...

It's Thursday so it must be time for another FREE short story! This is of one of my most beloved (and one of my very first) short stories that was published as part of the now defunct Amazon Shorts series back in 2007 titled "The Bypassed Mind." This romantic suspense/fantasy story with some hypnosis thrown in for good measure was directly inspired by the late, great Richard Matheson's novel Bid Time Return also known as the film "Somewhere in Time" starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. You can download the FREE PDF or read it online right here. Enjoy!