Tuesday, March 9, 2021

The Half That You See by Rebecca Rowland - Book Tour + Giveaway

The Half That You See
Genre: Horror Anthology
Edited by Rebecca Rowland

Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.”
-The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether by Edgar Allan Poe (1845)

Poe’s classic tale told of a state of the art hospital boasting a curiously experimental treatment, but things were not as they seemed. In The Half That You See, twenty-six writers from around the globe share their literary optical illusions in never before seen stories of portentous visions and haunting memories, altered consciousness and virulent nightmares, disordered thinking and descents into madness. Take a walk down the paths of perception that these dark fiction raconteurs have tunneled for you, but keep a tight grip on your flashlight: the course twists and turns, and once you’re on route to your destination, there is no turning back. That which creeps about in the poorly lit corners of the human mind has teeth, and it’s waiting for you.

"Chalk" by Elin Olausson
A young man rents a room at a bed & breakfast and meets a girl who sleepwalks during the day and is only herself at night. 

"Winnebago Indian Motorhome by Tonka" by Eddie Generous
Chasing down nostalgia, Josh Dolan buys a vintage Tonka Winnebago, but it isn't quite like the toy he'd had as a kid; this Winnebago knows the future, and it knows Claire Dolan's secrets.

"Sepia Grass" by Sam Hicks
A young man begins to question the recurrent visions he has always believed to be flashbacks to a childhood drug overdose.

"Prisoner "by T.M. Starnes
Kidnapped prisoners sometimes survive, but that's when their terror truly begins.

"Turn a Blind Eye" by Kelly Griffiths
An explosion leaves an ornery pharmacist with shards of mortar in his eyes and disturbing changes to his vision, especially when he looks in the mirror.

"Falling Asleep in the Rain" by Robert P. Ottone
A man recounts his youth through a dream, revealing as a young boy his experiments with love for another boy, only to face the ire of his murderous father.

"Black Dog Blues" by Luciano Marano
In a story inspired by an actual urban legend popular among American truckers about a spectral black dog that appears to drivers just before a lethal crash, a haunted man recounts his own devastating encounter with the creature and sets out for revenge with a hapless hitchhiker reluctantly in tow. 

"Imaginary Friends" by Nicole Wolverton
Julie Strawbridge is called in to see the principal of her nephew Augie's school after he is expelled for selling imaginary friends to his classmates for a dollar.

"Boogeyman" by Susie Schwartz
One boogeyman; two perspectives, and the horror of mental illness that torments them both.

"Safe as Houses" by Alex Giannini
Carrie and Will moved into a new home, into a new phase of their lives. But every love story is a ghost story, and theirs is no different. 

"The New Daddy" by Scotty Milder
A crumbling marriage and a new home is filtered through the eyes of its smallest witness.

"Cauterization" by Mack Moyer
A woman on a methamphetamine binge harbors a dark secret from her past that begins to manifest in vivid waking nightmares that may, or may not, be real.

"The Tapping at Cranburgh Grange" by Felice Picano
When an American couple leases and then buys a manse in England, they become aware of a strange noise only some people can hear. 

"Elsewhere" by Bill Davidson
Colin lives a stressful life in an overcrowded flat with a sick daughter and a mother with dementia, in the middle of crammed and noisy London. More and more, however, he is elsewhere.

"Daughters of the Sun" by Matt Masucci
A retired homicide detective living in Florida finds that a past case investigating a dark nature cult twists into his reality.

"The Coffin" by Victoria Dalpe
A young woman still grieving a recent loss discovers an exhumed coffin on the street. 

"Old Times" by Mark Towse
A man suspects his wife is cheating on him, and when she leaves for the evening, he considers the possibility over a bottle with an old friend.

"Lonely is the Starfish" by Lena Ng
Many people have pets, but one lonely young man becomes too close to his pet starfish.

"Hagride" by Justine Gardner
A cormorant speaks, and Josie tries not to listen as it begins to resemble ghosts from her past.

"Raven O’Clock" by Holley Cornetto
A man seeking shelter from the tragedies of his life finds more than he bargained for in a mysterious cabin.

"Officer Baby Boy Blue" by Douglas Ford
An eye injury and a grotesque gift from a police officer in a hospital emergency room ultimately leads a young man to special properties of sight.

"The Intruder" by Lamont A. Turner

Suspecting someone has invaded her home and the homes of those close to her, a woman struggles with delusions that may not have originated with her.

"Alone in the Woods in the Deep Dark Night" by Edward R. Rosick
Trapped in his cabin by a howling snowstorm in the desolate wildness of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Gary Chandler finds that freezing isolation is only the beginning of a descent into bloody madness.

"Mesh" by Michael W. Clark
A regular guy wants too much control in the modern global community: over both his home and his wives.

"Der Hölle Racht" by Laura Saint Martin
A victim of domestic violence embarks on a drug-fueled journey and rampage.

"The Red Portrait" by Mahlon Smoke
A frustrated artist spies a forgotten portrait in a shop and finds himself consumed by its beauty.

**Get the anthology for $5 off or get $10 off the book/candle set HERE!**

Goodreads * Amazon

But You Seem So Normal by Mark Towse

"But you seem so normal, so clean-cut," said one of my clients when I told them I write horror. There are have been many variations of the above response, but this tends to be a common reaction when I suddenly jump out of the pigeon-hole.

"Appearances can be deceptive," is my usual reply, accompanied by a cheeky smirk and raised eyebrow.

By day, I'm an advertising manager for a media company. Smartly dressed and enough superficial chatter to sink the most stubborn of ships. It's all a cover, though. I'm an introvert disguised as an extravert, studying clients' intricacies—their mannerisms, dialogue, facial tics. The psychology of sales is still interesting to me, and I learn so much about a person in the process. Little do my clients know, but they've given me enough fuel for over ninety short stories over the last couple of years. Research helps get out of bed in the morning.

It wasn’t always like that. Until just over two years ago, I hadn’t written a story since secondary school. In fact, outside of sixty-hour working weeks for a global IT company and commitment to family, creativity didn’t get a look in. Evenings were reserved for home measures of wine so that I could wind down from the monotonously hectic day. Fiction was for dreams only, but even they were far and few between, my reserves of childhood wonder running on empty.

And then it hit me like a wet fish across the face. What the hell was I doing with my life? I wasn’t happy. I knew it; my wife knew it. Hell, even my kids knew it.

“You could do so well if you focussed.” That was something my English teacher said at the end of the school year once. I never thought much of it at the time, but her words have stuck with me. Back then, math was my subject. I liked the certainty about it and the fact every problem had a solution. Something about growing up in a house forever tormented by heated arguments and long, arduous silences might have had something to do with that.

It felt safe.

In complete contrast, though, when the long summer holidays came around, I would spend my time escaping into the chaos of King and Herbert, losing myself in their strange new worlds. I couldn’t get enough.

But imagination quickly gets consumed by the monotony of life.

I studied math in college, got a job in a bank, and somehow drifted into sales.

There’s always been a yearning, and over the years, I often thought about my English teacher’s words, but not once did I consider the prospect that one day, I, too, would be a storyteller.

It was my wife, Stephanie, that finally encouraged me to bite the bullet. And I did. She convinced me that I deserved to be happy, too. The very next day, I started looking for a part-time role, and within a few weeks, I was handing in my notice, giddy with excitement at the prospect of starting my writing adventure. People around me called it a mid-life crisis. Perhaps it was, but I sure didn’t want a convertible.

What a journey it’s been!

Of course, there are times I wish I had started earlier, but hindsight is something that one day takes a bite out of your ass and doesn’t stop until it’s consumed you whole. I’m doing it now, and that’s what matters. Besides, life has taught me how to be an unreliable narrator. It’s why I prefer to write in first-person, as it allows for my humor and twisted outlook on life to shine through. Something about first-person also lends more immediacy and immersion to the story as though the reader is experiencing everything the protagonist is going through. Not every story works in this way, and it’s often risky, giving too much of yourself away at times.

The first story I ever sold was ‘Hugh’s Friend.’ From memory, I received seventy-five dollars for it, but it might as well have been a million as far as I was concerned. It set me on fire; gave me an insatiable hunger. I was hooked. The story was old-school with a sucker punch of a twist and a rare example of a story I’ve written with an ending in mind. In contrast, most stories I write, including ‘Old Times’—to be featured in ‘The Half That You See’ anthology—start with just a thread of an idea. The unreliable narrator in me takes the reins and leads the reader on an unpredictable ride, ultimately throwing them from the carriage when I think they are getting too comfortable.

‘Old Times’ is a perfect example of everything described above—the battle to maintain sanity in a world built around conformity and expectations. We all know life isn’t really like that. We all have our demons, skeletons in the closet, and sometimes the door creaks open when we are least expecting it.

Mark Towse's story in The Half That You See, "Old Times," follows a man who, after suspecting his wife is cheating on him, considers the possibility over a bottle with an… old friend. You can find more of Mark's fiction at marktowsedarkfiction.wordpress.com.

The Half That You See is written by twenty-six authors from five different countries, including Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award finalist Felice Picano, Feature Writer of the Year recipient Luciano Marano, and honorees from Ellen Datlow’s most recent Best Horror of the Year, Bill Davidson and Sam Hicks. Editor Rebecca Rowland is a dark fiction writer whose previous Dark Ink anthology curation work includes Ghosts, Goblins, Murder, and Madness and Shadowy Natures: Stories of Psychological Horror. Dark Ink Books is the proud home of UnMasked, the best-selling memoir of horror legend Kane Hodder, and Savini, the special effects icon’s coffee table biography.

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$10 Amazon giftcard, 
Mystery Box of Books
 – 1 winner each! 

1 comment:

  1. I love horror stories and these sound like great ones.


Please try not to spam posts with the same comments over and over again. Authors like seeing thoughtful comments about their books, not the same old, "I like the cover" or "sounds good" comments. While that is nice, putting some real thought and effort in is appreciated. Thank you.