20 books on my bookshelf you should read

20 books on my bookshelf you should read.

**DISCLAIMER** Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and I do earn a small commission from them.

So, like a lot of people right now I have a lot of time on my hands. What does a book lover do when they have too much time on their hands? Rearrange the books shelves of course!

As I was sitting there with stacks of worlds gathered around me, I thought of another thing that people who read and write do when they have time on their hands. I’m going to write a blog post of books I have that I love and thing are important.

So here are twenty titles. I have read every one. They are ones I loved or felt changed by after reading.

Brave New World

The Holographic Universe

Fahrenheit 451

Oryx and Crake

The Gunslinger

Paradox Bound

The Denial of Death

Wool

Real Magic

Fingerprint of the Gods

Marabou Stork Nightmares

Fight Club

Duma Key

The Stand

Somewhere in Time

Dark Matter

The Night Circus

The Ignored

At the Mountains of Madness

1984

Happy Reading! I hope you enjoy these titles.

Sample from my latest, Ding Dong Ditch

A sample from my new Night Portals story, Ding Dong Ditch

He walked back to the door. This time his hands were no longer shaking, and the pain in his chest was almost nonexistent. The confidence he’d felt drained out of him as he got closer. He heard scratching like the crazy lady was running her fingernails down the door. Everything about     this is wrong, Edgar thought. But anger and the notion of revenge won out, as it always did sooner or later with him. He once again put his trembling hand on the doorknob and slowly unlocked the deadbolt with his other. 

His hand was slick with sweat, and his palm slid around the surface of the doorknob.

“Oh, what the hell?” Edgar wiped his hand on the front of his shirt. Once again, he steadied his hand on the knob. Edgar watched as his hand turned the doorknob and pulled the door open. Light seeped into the dark entryway, as Edgar opened the door only a crack.

Something banged hard against the door and started to push. The door smacked Edgar in the nose, instantly bringing tears to his eyes. He struggled, trying hard to close it on whatever was outside. Edgar could barely see through the tears and sweat that had clouded his vision. He blinked a couple of times, and his stinging eyes cleared a little.

Edgar didn’t want to look through the crack of the door. His eyes focused there against his will. The hand was green from the grave. It was hard to believe that it ever was covered in healthy skin at one time, but there were patches of discolored flesh that looked like they had once held the pigment of something that had once been alive.

“Come out, Edgar, we need to talk to you about the good word. We need to tell you that there is no God, only darkness.”

Sample from, Leap, A Night Portals Short Story

LEAP


A Night Portals Short Story

“You are a divine being. You matter, you count. You come from realms of unimaginable power and light, and you will return to those realms.”
—Terence McKenna

It was colder than usual. The top of the ragged tent flapped and waved as Charlotte opened her sleep crusted eyes. Sara Ann’s arm laid across her throat and she gently picked up her little sister’s appendage and laid it back over the little girl’s small torso.
She laid there for a moment trying to lull herself back to sleep, but she was already too much awake. She needed to get up anyway, she thought. Today was her Leap Day. She’d been chosen yesterday for this important calling, and Charlotte wanted to be ready.


Just one more good day with her parents and little sister before she took her leap and went somewhere else. She was excited as were most of the people who had gone before her, with just a touch of fear. But the tribe Wiseman assured her that where she was going, the land was plentiful with food and warmth. A place where you didn’t have to worry about radioactive meat and water. A place where you slept on soft blankets and pillows, that never had to be shared.

“Everyone had one.” The tribe Wiseman said. Charlotte believed him. He bore the mark of the “Sigh.”


Charlotte recalled the little creature that was drawn on the Wiseman’s arm. Round head, round ears, and a round jolly belly, that wiggled as the Wiseman moved his saggy fleshy arm.

Read the rest of, Leap, HERE

Grams, A Flash Fiction Story

My father used to mow my grandparent’s lawn. He would plop my Little sister Rachel and I in the living room, with a fudgsicle and an orange crush soda, and go out to mow grass that was always way overdue for a cut. Dad would always leave the front door open, and the screen door closed so we would know where he was at all times.

I can still hear his voice as he was going out the door, “Abby, watch your sister, and no going down in the basement or up in the attic.” These were easy to follow rules because both those places contained monsters. Every kid knew that.

Grandma would pat the couch and tell me to come sit by her. She knew that between my sister and me, my imagination was more developed. I’d get off the chair that Rachel and I would fight over every visit, and my sister would quickly steal it. Getting to talk and sit with Grandma was a treat that only seemed to be bestowed on me.

Grandma always smelled of baby powder and just a tint of something that was unpleasant. I didn’t mind it, though. I loved talking with my Grandmother. She told me about olden times. Times when there were more horses than cars on the road. Times where men wore suits and women wore long dresses and hats so big, they shaded not just their faces but their whole bodies. Hearing about the hats always made me smile.

She would tell me about the day she met my Grandpa. How they’d fallen in love on a summer day. They’d had a picnic next to a pond, and Grandpa had sung to her. She would laugh and always tell me how Grandpa was the worse singer, but she loved him more because of it. Mainly because he dared to do it.

Grandma always knew when dad was just about done with the lawn. She would end our talk the same every time. With a saying, I tell my kids to this day.

She would say, “Death is an illusion for the living, Abby. Love is the only real thing.”

My dad would come in and ask me who I was talking to. A couple of times I had said Grandma, but I quit saying that because it would make my father upset. So, I would say no one. We would close the house up and go home. I really wish I could have met my Grandma when she was alive.

Sample of, The Light Through the Water

The sensation is peculiar. Everything is nothing but consciousness. Existing through my memories that pass by on a continuous timeline. I don’t know where my mind begins, and my body ends, or if I even have a body. Once nothing, and now something. Just floating. But I remember my name is Ryan. I existed out there, whatever out there means.


It’s been months since I have opened my eyes, but I see. Each event of my life ticks by in vivid color and meaning. Falling off my bike when I was five. I can feel the skin that goes missing from my knee. I run home with blood running down my legs as my friends look on in shock. I run into my house into my healthy mother’s arms. I can feel the love I feel now as I float when she puts her arms around me. Unconditional, an all-enveloping ether of love. The memory clicks by and is replaced with a hospital bed. I am ten years old and I don’t want to go into the room my father is gesturing towards. Death is in that room. I can sense it in my little body. I can smell it as if it were unpleasant food cooking in a witch’s cauldron. Like in that story the woman in the room used to read to me.

Read The Light through the Water HERE

Sample of The Pool

“There never really was just, nothing. Ya, sure there was a Big Bang, but that was only necessary to push matter into slow revolving balls of rock. It really is a marvelous sight to see. I’d seen the process many times before and never got sick of watching it. Witnessing a new reality set in motion is something I could never forget like much of my ilk did forget.


They went to their chosen balls of rock to live out the illusion of life and death. This human life, as they named it. No longer did they want to know just how old they really were. Kind of like a conscious vacation I guess. I was never one of those that needed a holiday.


In one of these existences or planets, as they would become known, I saw wasted space turn into a walking talking being. Well, I guess they weren’t talking at first. Think of an intelligent hairless monkey. They lacked the spark. The spark had always been there; they just hadn’t decided to use it yet. When they finally did, they only remembered a tiny portion of it, making them human. It was painful to watch, my friend. Watching your kind fail to realize what they truly were was agonizing. I wanted to shout at them to wake up.”


The man takes a long drag from his cigarette, flicking the ash into the air where it floats away on a weak jet stream of wind.


“It’s a pain in the ass being immortal and remembering it all. In a way, I envy those ignorant bastards.” A low horse chuckle escapes lips covered in dust.

Read the rest of The Pool HERE

Book one of my Pool Series is free!

Book one of my Pool Series is free. 01/23/2020

So, the way I originally released this book was in three installments. I later turned it into an omnibus.

The Pool is about a family that is traveling across the United States on a sight seeing trip. That happen upon a sleepy little town with an old motel that has a pool in the center of the parking lot. Weird things start to happen to the family. The story rolls out before you with a shocking end.

I put the first book up for free. The other two can be purchased on Amazon. Or you can buy all three with the omnibus. Links are below.

Flash Fiction Story, Peephole

Peephole


James didn’t believe he deserved any of the things in his apartment. The big screen TV sitting on the solid oak entertainment center was a constant reminder of how he didn’t deserve to be alive. His chest moving up and down was a constant reminder. He didn’t deserve to be alive after what he had done. Not after the screeching tires broken glass, blood, and the screams. Oh god the screams. The screams woke him up at night.
Everyone told him it wasn’t his fault, even his parents. But every time he looked into their eyes he saw how they felt. It was there. The place behind their eyes, as obvious as a blinking light. “You killed her.” It said. “You killed our baby girl, you killed your sister.” None of the late night crying sessions with his mother, or the reassuring pats on the back from his father made the blinking light go away.


Sara never wanted to wear her seatbelt. James never made her. She was 20 years old and an adult, at least on paper. Gone were the days of being big brother. He wished he had endured the eye roll and made her wear the damn thing. He relived that moment backing out of the drive way every day for the last 2 years, going over every detail, the sun setting, his sisters hair blowing across her face, the flash of the truck bumper, the screams, and then silence. He couldn’t relive that moment anymore, and he wasn’t going to. The gun he purchased a day ago would remedy that. One bullet and things would be set right. One pull of the trigger and the agonizing guilt would be laid low like the bad guy in a spaghetti western.


The gun sat like a brick in the palm of his hand as he raised it to his temple. He felt a lightness come over him. In two years he hadn’t felt this good. This is right, he thought.


He almost pulled the trigger when he heard the knock at the door. The suddenness of the rap left him confused for a second and made him think the gun had gone off and ended his miserable life. He looked around the room, and everything was as it was. James got up from the couch and walked like a zombie to the door. He leaned his head against the hard wood, exhausted by just a few feet. He contemplated going back to the couch and getting on with it.


The door vibrated against his head as he leaned. His desperate feeling turning to anger. He looked through the peephole. The image on the other side of the door wavered as James’ eye adjusted finally focusing on a face he had not seen in 2 years. His sisters face looked perfect. Beautiful like he always remembered. He sighed and opened the door, not glancing back at the physical deed done. Not looking at the wreckage that laid on the couch clutching cool hard steel.

Check out my other titles on Amazon, HERE