All the Morbid that’s Fit to Print

I wrote a ton of stuff earlier in the year and it’s all being published now. By now, I mean yesterday and today.

First up, I am really proud of the story that appeared Friday on The Fabulist. This is another tale about my succubus Lorelei and her days working in the music industry in Los Angeles. You can read it for free here: https://fabulistmagazine.com/devil-in-her-heart/

My essay about real-life vampires I have known went up at the Horror Writers Associations’ Halloween Haunts blog: https://horror.org/halloween-haunts-blood-drinking-freaks-by-loren-rhoads/

 

“Cemetery Postcards,” an essay about my collection of 900 or so vintage cemetery postcards, appears in issue #6 of The Deadlands. I’m really proud of it, too. Check it out here: http://thedeadlands.com/.

An essay I wrote about the techniques behind the stories in This Morbid Life went up on the Words Matter blog: https://wordsmattersurfsidescwablog.wordpress.com/2021/10/18/creating-the-character-i/

For the Shepherd List, I pulled together a list of some death-positive memoirs that make good companions to This Morbid Life. You can check it out here: https://shepherd.com/best-books/death-positive-memoirs

Finally: my flash story “Zoonosis” will appear in the 99 Tiny Terrors anthology, edited by Jennifer Brozek. The kickstarter to fund fancy editions of the book goes live today, October 19, and runs until Halloween. Here’s the link, if you’d like to snag a copy: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1133704229/99-tiny-terrors-an-anthology.

 

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October Storytime

How is your October coming along? This year is pretty quiet for me, since I backed out of all my in-person events and most cemetery tours are still on hold. This may be the year for carving a whole series of jack-o-lanterns and basking in the glow of my Halloween Village graveyard.

This FRIDAY, October 15, I’m joining R.L. Merrill and Emerian Rich on Clubhouse to chat about What Are You Reading, the Horror edition! It’s my first time on Clubhouse, so I’m curious what will happen.

A postcard from my collection

I read “The Drowning City” — about the creature that stalks Venice after dark — from Best New Horror #27 for The Story Hour last week. You can check out the replay here. I’m in the second half-hour, but settle in and enjoy the whole thing:  https://fb.watch/8A7EKuvdZr/

Ken Volante invited me back to his Something (rather than nothing) podcast, where we had a great death-positive conversation.

I read “Ghost-Inspired Fiction” from This Morbid Life for Fright Girl Autumn. You can check out all the readings at the link or watch just my bit here:

Hungry? I presented one of my favorite autumn recipes from This Morbid Life at Readers Entertainment magazine.

My friend Emerian published my essay, “Telling the Truth as a Radical Act,” about how zines led me to This Morbid Life.

Fanbase Press interviewed me about the art that inspired This Morbid Life.

One of my favorite reviews of This Morbid Life appeared on Black Flowers: a wonderful collection of essays that lead with a curious mind and an openness that we are often asked to avoid. Loren’s writing is touching, amusing and strange. It isn’t just an attempt to be morbid for morbid sake – each essay is an intelligent romp through the human experience – it is weird as it is beautiful.”

Finally, I got a fun review of Reedsy, too. My favorite part: “A collection of essays told in perfectly proportioned chapters that show the — if not always morbid — raw, startlingly real, and uncomfortable side of life.”

Click to learn more.

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Top 5 weird facts about me

This was a post I wrote for the This Morbid Life blog tour that didn’t end up getting used. I thought you might find it amusing. All of these stories are told in full in This Morbid Life.

Top 5 weird facts about Loren Rhoads and her morbid life:

5) I used to publish a magazine called Morbid Curiosity, which collected confessional essays from around the world. Editing those tales taught me that sometimes humor is the only way to survive the darkness. Needless to say, I have a very weird sense of humor.

4) I was shopping in a grocery store during the 1989 Earthquake. The wine bottles were rocking together and exploding, shooting glass into the aisle in front of me. I hadn’t lived in San Francisco very long and didn’t have the sense to be afraid. If you have to survive a killer earthquake, that’s the best way.

3) Once I celebrated my birthday in a pitch-black restaurant where all the servers were visually impaired. It was one of the best meals of my life.

2) I dressed up as my best friend for Halloween. I stole a shirt from his closet and had my husband drawn Jeff’s tattoos on me. Then I answered the door at his Halloween party. The weird thing is, I wasn’t the only person dressed as Jeff at that party. I was the only female Jeff, though.

1) I’ve held a human heart in my hand — and the story (like all the others here) is in my book! The short version: I spent two days alone with a gross anatomy lecturer examining three teaching cadavers. It was an amazing experience.

If you’re a book reviewer:

Please get in touch. This Morbid Life is up on Netgalley until the end of September. It’s also on Bookfunnel. I would like to hook you up with a copy. You can comment below or reach me through the comment form above.

This week’s book tour links:

Tui Snider had me back on her Offbeat & Overlooked podcast. We had such a great conversation!

Emerian Rich hosted my origin story on her Emz Box blog: https://emzbox.wordpress.com/2021/09/15/telling-the-truth-as-a-radical-act-by-loren-rhoads/

Supernatural Central featured two excerpts from This Morbid Life:
https://supernaturalcentral.blogspot.com/2021/09/blog-post.html

The Book Junkie Reads hosted a guest post about the cemetery I grew up with and my openness to ghosts:
https://thebookjunkiereadspromos.blogspot.com/2021/09/spotlight-wguest-post-nonfiction-this.html

The last stop of my official blog tour goes up today at Gail’s Gory Details. It’s your lat chance to enter the Rafflecopter to win a paperback copy of This Morbid Life:
https://gailsgorydetails.blogspot.com/

I’m waiting on a few more blog posts to go up after that, along with a handful of interviews. I’ve also recorded a couple more podcasts, but I don’t have the airdates of those yet. It’s been a whirlwind of events.

Last week I had a brainstorm about what my next project will be, so it’s time to clear the decks and start to plan for Nanowrimo. It’s almost time to hammer out another book that I’ve wanted to finish for a really long time.

Get your own copy of This Morbid Life:

Order a signed paperback from Borderlands Books in person or online.

In ebook or paperback from Amazon.

As a signed paperback from my bookstore.

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This Morbid Life on Parade

The book tour for This Morbid Life continues!

This week, I am really excited to return to Tui Snider’s Offbeat & Overlooked podcast on Thursday at 2 PM Pacific. You can tune in to watch us live or catch the replay on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wd9nnnS-0M

Last week, I was a guest on A. S. Stewart’s Between the Pages Book Chat, which was really fun! You can watch the replay here: https://www.facebook.com/afstewartauthor/posts/279841287283540

I’ve recorded two more podcasts, but I don’t have the airdates for them yet. Stay tuned.

My guest posts are continuing to go up:

Horror Addicts published one of the essays that went into This Morbid Life, so I wrote a piece to revisit it: https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2021/08/30/claustrophobia-revisited-by-loren-rhoads/

Readers Entertainment featured one of my favorite autumn recipes, inspired by one of the adventures in This Morbid Life: https://readersentertainment.com/2021/09/12/my-favorite-dess…-by-loren-rhoads/

Westveil Publishing featured an excerpt from my first cadaver lab experience and a Rafflecopter giveaway: https://www.westveilpublishing.com/?p=11135

Serena Synn interviewed me and ran a taste of one of the ghost stories in This Morbid Life: https://serenasynn.blogspot.com/2021/08/interview-with-loren-rhoads-author-of.html

Reviews on Amazon are stellar: https://amzn.to/3zjSi8N

The book tour wraps up next Monday.

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Deathly Fog

When Jacob and his brothers discover the ability to capture fog from the marsh behind their house, they bring it back with them. The fun game turns to danger as they realize perhaps something else accompanied them home. Is it too late to escape the Deathly Fog?

Available now on Amazon Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Horror-Bites-Deathly-Adam-Breckenridge-ebook/dp/B09BP5L3Z8

 *****EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT BELOW*****

Deathly Fog

by Adam Breckenridge

Because the marsh at the edge of our property was forbidden to us, my brothers and I would take any chance we could get to slip away from under our mother’s nose and go stand at its edge. She had told us it was dangerous because so many things died there and we knew it was true, despite how many plants and bugs we found there. Even with all that life, the marsh was still where things went to die. My older brother, Jacob, used to tell us that there were bodies buried everywhere in the muck, going back hundreds of years.

“From back when it was Indians killing other Indians,” he said. “Centuries of murder down there. If you pulled the bodies up they’d look just like they’d been killed yesterday.”

We poked around a lot trying to find a human body. We never did, but we found just about every kind of animal that we knew lived on our property. Squirrels, rabbits, frogs, snakes, and birds, all mummified in a terrible imitation of life.

And then there was the fog, always so thick you could never see more than a few feet in front of you. It didn’t matter when you went. No matter how sunny the day was, as soon as you passed into the marsh, the world became murky and dark. That’s why we only ever stood on its edge. We were pretty sure if you went in, the fog would eat you whole. It could certainly move in ways that seemed unnatural for fog. Sometimes I was convinced it had teeth, but we were always safe as long as the air to our backs was clear.

When we weren’t there looking for dead bodies, we’d try to catch the fog in our hands instead. That’s how thick it was. You could actually cup it in your hands and hold it there. It was like holding a ghost. You could feel all that death from the marsh in it chilling your skin. It became a game for us to see who could hold their fistful of fog the longest, and then the game became running toward the house while trying to enclose it, which further evolved into a determination to try to get into the house while still cupping the fog in your hands. We never made it anywhere near the house. The fog was too slippery for the task, dribbling out between our fingers as we ran.

But then Jacob figured out a way to blow on the fog that would make it spin into a globe. He’d stay down there at the marsh’s edge for hours, practicing rolling the fog in his hands with his breath, trying to keep it going for as long as he could. It always bored the hell out of me and our younger brother, Mattie. Neither one of us could do it. We just didn’t have the breath for it, but we never wanted to leave him alone while he practiced because that’s how bodies go missing in the marsh. You never knew what was hiding in the fog just out of view. So, we’d stay and watch, keeping an eye on the fog for him in case one of those dead Indians rose from his grave and came after us with his tomahawk.

“Okay, I’m ready,” Jacob said one day after practicing for awhile. He scooped a fresh batch of fog in his hands and then started running for the house, keeping it spinning with each exhalation like it was the world in his grasp.

We ran after him, not getting too close in case we tripped him up. I could see bits of the fog slipping away, but he was keeping a lot of it in his hands, blowing and running at the same time.

Mattie rushed ahead to open the front door for him and then he was through, still a few wisps clutched in his hands. In the atrium, he stopped blowing and we watched the fog dissipate above us.

It should have been a cause for celebration—we had finally pulled off the impossible task—but a somber mood struck us. The marsh was a place of death, not fit for any house, let alone our house, and we had brought some of its morbid air into it. The decay had diffused and we could never get it back. My brothers and I breathed gingerly for a long while afterwards, feeling the stink of death in our lungs everywhere we went in the house.

The fog sat long in our minds so that even as we aged and shed our childish beliefs, the specter of death never stopped hanging over the house. Our house was a place of life, not just with our family coming in and out of it and all the pets and plants we had, but also the spiders, rats, and mold in the basement. Even the furniture, which was old and made of wood, had a certain life to them. There wasn’t a corner of the house that didn’t have something breathing in it, but since we unleashed the fog, the house was just as much a place of death as the marsh was.

Jacob was more adamant than any of us in trying to dismiss the weight of our superstition, but I could tell it bothered him as much as it did the rest of us. Read more of Deathly Fog.

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Adam Brekenridge is a traveling professor for the US military who goes around the world teaching US soldiers stationed overseas. He has eighteen short story publications and most recently his work has appeared in Visions Magazine, Mystery Weekly, and Clockwork, Curses and Coal from Worldweaver Press.
He’s currently based in Seoul.

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Horror Bites Series

Volume 1: Alice’s Scars by Adam L. Bealby

When he met Alice, he wasn’t prepared to go down the rabbit hole. His love for her pushes him into the uncomfortable realization she might be mad. He wants to keep her safe, but what if that’s not what Alice wants?

Volume 2: Campfire Tales

Dear Reader,

You’ve been invited to a very special night of Campfire Tales, hosted by HorrorAddicts.net. Meet us at Old Bear Creek, just past Dead Man’s Curve. Dress warm. We’ll be waiting.

Four scary tales told by Next Great Horror Writer finalists and woven together by a trek through the woods you’ll never forget.

Volume 3: #NGHW Editor’s Pick

HorrorAddicts.net is proud to present our top 14 contestants in the Next Great Horror Writer Contest. The stories, scripts, and poems are the result of the hard work and dedication these fine writers put forth to win a book contract. We hope you enjoy the writing as much as we did.

Volume 4: #NGHW Winner

Requiem in Frost by Jonathan Fortin

BLACK METAL LIVES! When Ingrid and her mother move into a home in the deep frostbitten woods of Norway, they are haunted by extreme metal musician, Skansi Oppegård. Hoping to exorcise Skansi’s ghost, she talks her mom into being part of a metal band. Oppegård’s last musical creation awakens forces beyond Ingrid’s understanding and causes Skansi’s murderer to resurface. In the battle between a madman and zombies, metal may be the only weapon she has.

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