Monday, June 30, 2014

The Cauldron Presents: A Season Without Rain

SYNOPSIS: Jacob Miller is angry with himself, the world, and God. Life seems so unfair, so cruel, that he can’t imagine why anyone even tries. After having a nervous breakdown, selling his business, filing for bankruptcy, having a baby, and finding out he owes over twenty grand in taxes, he is hardly happy to be alive.

In the span of a year, Jacob will discover three very important things about life. Things can always be worse. There really is a God. And if you wait long enough anything can change.

A Season Without Rain explores that gray area between poverty and middle class life, the struggling underclass for whom there are no advocates. A powerful story told in a modern, everyday voice that will entrench readers in Jacob Miller’s black world of anger, hate, resentment, lies, and violence.

A Season Without Rain is Joe Schwartz’s first novel. His previous short story collections Joe’s Black T-Shirt, The Games Men Play, and The Veiled Prophet of St. Louis have been acclaimed vulgar as Bukowski and visceral as Carver. Joe lives and works in St. Louis happily writing stories exclusively about the Gateway City.

A St. Louis native, I write exclusively about the Gateway City. I prefer the style of fiction deemed transgressive fiction. That is my stories protagonists generally find a solution to their problems through either illicit or illegal means. I personally prefer stories told through a criminal's point-of-view. It is never the crime that fascinates me so much as the motivation to do it and the terrible, almost predictable outcomes to such actions. Just as I have an expectation of writing to be read I believe that it is as important, if not more so, that you as a reader should have the expectation of being entertained as you read. Anything less is such a disappointment.
Life is short. Stories are forever. -Joe

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Cauldron Presents: Hetty and the Yeti

SYNOPSIS: When schoolgirl Hetty is magically transported to Tibet, high in the Himalayan Mountains, she comes face to face with the Giant Yeti!

But is the Yeti really the terrifying beast of legend? Can Hetty prevent the colossal creature from causing chaos in the city centre? And what is the connection with Hetty and the ghostly lady that haunts the Himalayan Hills?

Hetty embarks on a journey that will take her across the world, back in time and one that will change her life forever.

Jules loves old B movie monster films, the culture and art of Asia and childish humour, and decided to put them altogether when writing his new book, Hetty and the Yeti. This is the first book he has written for this age group. He has illustrated books in the UK and the USA. Jules has also worked as a teacher and for a wildlife organisation and would strongly advise anyone against working with either children or animals.

He lives in the north east of England with his long-term girlfriend and their two children, whom he cruelly puts to work as his book reviewers, proof readers and general dog’s bodies.

Title: Hetty and the Yeti

Author: Jules Burnett

Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy Adventure

Length: 136 pages

Release Date: May 2014

ISBN-13: 978-0692215975

Imprint: Polliwog Press


Monday, June 23, 2014

The Cauldron Presents Smorgasbord

SYNOPSIS: When Anna Lopez’s zombie attack video goes viral, no one could believe that the high school cheerleader had taken a bite out of the undead monster – and liked it! Now nothing will ever be the same for supernatural beings…because humans have discovered they taste freakin’ DELICIOUS!

And when a zombie boy gets in the crosshairs of a gang of hungry-human hunters, Julie, a young vampire loner, jumps in for the rescue. But now Julie’s got more than she bargained because taking care of a rambunctious undead creature who only knows one word (“brains”) is NOT easy. And when Julie and her zombie pal stumble upon on a crazed soccer mom, they find themselves on the run from a trigger-happy family who want nothing more than to grill them up for a neighborhood barbecue bash!

Born and raised near Toronto, Canada, Jagjiwan Sohal works in the Canadian film and TV industry as an up-and-coming screenwriter and producer. His short stories have been published by The Horror Zine, Scribal Tales and Hello Horror. Smorgasbord is his first novel.




Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Hot Cauldron Presents: The Merlin Chronicles

SYNOPSIS BOOK ONE: Merlin the Magician only exists in myth and legend – at least that’s what archaeology student Jason Carpenter thought until he discovered the mysterious orb that had housed history’s greatest wizard for 1,600 years.

Forced into an uneasy alliance, Jason and Merlin are sucked into a web of deceit, intrigue and murder that sends them on a chaotic race to outwit, and out run, Merlin’s ancient nemesis, the evil sorceress Morgana le Fay, her gang of drug smugglers and a 500 year-old Chinese necromancer. Tis a race against time to complete their quest before an army of dragons are unleashed on a vulnerable and unsuspecting 21st century world.

SYNOPSIS BOOK TWO: After being accidentally thrown into the modern world of the 21st century, the wizard, Merlin teamed up with archaeology student, Jason Carpenter to aid him in his battle against the evil sorcerous, Morgana le Fay. 

In this second book of The Merlin Chronicles, Merlin braves the mysterious depths of Morgana's underground lair in search of the alien device with which she communicates with the Dragon Lords. 

Meanwhile, Jason is forced to battle his way across war-torn Central Africa in search of a legendary gem that holds the key to closing the dragon gate forever. When Merlin is captured by Morgana's thugs, Jason and Beverley, must risk their lives and the future of mankind in a desperate effort to save their friend

About the Author:

Daniel Diehl has been an author, writer and investigative historian for thirty-five years. For nearly twenty years Diehl has been involved in writing for publication and documentary television production. Mr. Diehl’s work has won awards from the Houston (Texas) Film Festival, the National Trust for Historic Preservation (US) and the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Arts Foundation. Working alone and as a part of the multi-award winning team of Daniel Diehl and Mark Donnelly, Diehl has produced work in two main categories; trade publication and television documentary scripts. His canon of work includes twenty non-fiction books (which have been translated into ten foreign languages), one previous work of fiction and scripts for more than one hundred and seventy hours of documentary television primarily for A&E Network, The History Channel, History International, Biography Channel and Discovery Network.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Cauldron Presents: The Cry of the Machi

'CRY OF THE MACHI A Suffolk murder Mystery'

I have always found it impossible to believe that, over the centuries, countless millions of people throughout the world (of all ages, races, creeds and convictions) who have seen or experienced inexplicable phenomena can be totally wrong.  Equally, their claims have invariably been forcibly disputed by armies of sceptics who flatly refuse to give any credence to their assertions, often cruelly labelling those who have witnessed anything connected to the paranormal as 'cranks', 'madman' or some other such crudely derogatory term. 

The disbelievers will go to great, often quite hostile, lengths to challenge all forms of the paranormal, supernatural, psychic, mystical or occult and will call upon much scientific evidence to disprove the existence of anything that might be ghostly, phantom, spectral or 'other-worldly'.   However, despite a mass of science, people still continue to have all forms of unearthly experiences. Some of the religious pagan rituals of so called 'uncivilised' societies that try to accommodate this.

The Mapuche Indians of Chile come to terms with the unknown by viewing life as a constant struggle between the powers of good and evil. They have a dualist perception of the universe, viewing the cosmos as two opposite and complementary worlds in one. One world is the natural world, represented by the earth with its people. The other is a supernatural world which is magical and spiritual represented by the sky. The spiritual world is Wenumapu, and is an organized and balanced region  between the clouds and the cosmos. Here the gods, spirits and ancestors live. Next to  it is the opposite, the 'Anka-wenu', a disorganized, chaotic space next to the clouds where evil spirits the Wekufes live. These cause illnesses and suffering to mankind. The Machi spiritual leaders keep in contact with the gods and are responsible for combating the power of Wekufu (evil).

It is from research, in Chile, upon the religion and culture of the 'Mapuches' that I drew inspiration to incorporate and modify 'the concept' of the power of a Machi, working through the supernatural forces across the cosmos, into my novel 'CRY OF THE MACHI A Suffolk Murder Mystery'.  It is, essentially, a conflict between good and evil in which the supernatural plays a very significant part and questions the wisdom of ignoring it !


Alan S. Blood worked in Advertising and the Civil Service, London, before qualifying as a Teacher from Reading University, England and enjoying a long distinguished career. He now writes novels, plays, screenplays and poetry and has widely travelled the world, especially undertaking research in Chile where some of his supernatural crime thriller ‘CRY OF THE MACHI A Suffolk Murder Mystery’ is partly set. Alan’s novel ‘ONCE UPON A CASTLE' is a teenage ghost story taking place in World War 11. The paranormal genre, therefore, features in much of his prose work. Alan won top award at the ‘Hastings International Poetry Festival’ (2003) with his controversial ‘litter’ poem ‘CONTRITE CAN CANNOT’. He enjoys wildlife photography, painting, scraperboard engraving and lives in a rambling Victorian house in Wales, UK.

Interview By Georgina Wroe on Thursday 9th August, 2012 at 2.10 pm. (This Interview can be heard on the 'Potpourri' section of my website – by clicking the 'Play' button)