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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Win an Amazon Gift Card!

I'm looking for someone to create the cover art (preferably digital or photographed) for my upcoming high seas thriller, On Deadly Seas. It's an 18th century pirate ghost story. Summary of the book is as follows:

Strange things happen aboard the 18th century brigantine, The Fiery Wench. Accidents occur quite frequently; crew men are killed off in horrific ways; and visitors have reported seeing the ghosts of those tortured souls warning them of worse things to come. Pirate Captain Aiden McGuire never believed in curses and he would have anyone whipped who even suggested the idea. It’s only when young Jaclyn steals away aboard his ship that one misfortune after another befalls him and his crew. The decks of The Fiery Wench, for the first time since he became captain, start to flow red from the blood of his men. Is his stowaway a Siren who has come aboard to tear apart his vessel, or is she an innocent caught in a game of tragedy? Only time will tell as this ship sets sail ON DEADLY SEAS.



Winner will be selected on April 2, 2019 and announced via my email list, . The prize will be emailed within 5 business days. Winner must check our blog and contact us within 2 business days to confirm their email address for delivery. Valid only where permitted by law.


1. Answer this question in a comment on this blog post: Why should I choose your cover art?
2. Like Screams for Sale on Facebook and share it with a friend.
3. Follow me on Twitter @shelbypatrick
4. Subscribe to my email list at
5. Email up to three of your best cover artwork to

Winning entry will be used as the cover art for my book. Artist will be credited on the inside of the book. 

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Love Gone Awry

2019 is just around the corner. It's not too early to start planning for Valentine's Day and I have the perfect gift.

Have you always wanted to be the star of your own story? Do any of the following apply to you?

  • Been scarred by love
  • Had a scorned woman try to exact revenge on you
  • Lost the love of your life
  • Dumped or been dumped but then reunited with that person and realized they weren't the same
  • Been blinded by love
  • Went a little too far for love
  • Had regrets with a past lover
  • Will never forget your first love
  • Found true love that only a tragedy could stop
Well here's a unique opportunity to be the hero (or villain) of your own making.

I will write a piece of dark fiction, up to 1,000 words, based on your "Love Gone Awry" idea.

Send me an email at with the subject "Custom V-Day Story" briefly summarizing your idea in 100 words or less. Since this is meant to be a horror story for the Valentine's season, please let me know if you want to be the hero or the villain and provide me with a location (preferably your own or some place you always wanted to go but isn't too exotic). Also, please provide two names to be used in the story: yours (or an alias) and that of a loved one.

For example, your email may look like this:

I would like a custom story featuring me as the hero, where I was foolish and lost the love of my life and now realize my life is incomplete without him/her.
I would like a custom story featuring me as the villain, in post-apocalyptic California, where Necromancers roam the place, seeking out depressed souls to reunite with loved ones.

Stories cost $30, paid via PayPal, and will be sent to you via email. Please allow up to three weeks for turn-around time. 

Buyers must agree to allow their story, or a portion of it, to be posted at my website, blog, or in a future anthology.

Horror Excerpts

I have three excerpts online from short stories in my anthology The Fear Within. To read the complete stories and more, you can purchase my book HERE

Please send an email to each of the following addresses to read the excerpts:

After Hours -- Working late becomes a night for survival. CLICK HERE

Behind Closed Doors -- What was grandmother hiding behind the locked door in her basement? CLICK HERE

Under a Watchful Eye -- No guards, no fences, and no escape for prisoners once they enter Innsmouth. CLICK HERE 

The Nun - Movie Review by Shelby Patrick

"Pray for forgiveness"

Set in the Carta Monastery in Romania in 1952, this horror story is quick to tear apart our faith. It is based on the Conjuring series and centers around a few true-life facts. Three main stars light up the screen -- Jonas Bloquet (Frenchie), Demian Bichir (Father Anthony Burke), and Taissa Farmiga (Sister Irene).

Plot Synopsis (from A priest with a haunted past and a novice on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate the death of a young nun in Romania and confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun.

The movie opens with two nuns walking down a creepy hallway to a door that reads "God Ends Here". Once they unlock the door, they unleash the evil demon Valak, who needs a host to be able to walk in this world. One nun is possessed while the other one hangs herself, setting off events in the Vatican that result in sending a priest and a nun on the verge of taking her vows to investigate.

The movie is riddled with cliches from the start and there isn't much left to the imagination. You can pretty much guess what is about to come before it happens. The most horrifying part was the demonic face of the nun; the rest was child's play for a seasoned horror fan.

Most surprising of all was that the ending didn't suck. They didn't throw in some stupid finale that made you sit up and say, "what just happened?" It actually made sense.

It might scare some people. The movie was rated R for obvious reasons. It was released on September 7, 2018.

It was mildly entertaining but not worth the money I paid to see it. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Behind the Masque (Prologue)

Abernathy Estate, Detroit suburbs, Spring 2008
         Kyle Abernathy sat alone in the darkened drawing room, watching the flashers of police cruisers and ambulances outside the window. Dozens of people poured in and out of the mansion, tracking muddy feet all over pristine carpets. The noise was deafening; cops wandering around, feet stomping through the halls, raised voices, and the sounds of people vomiting outside the half-closed door. It was horrible and it wouldn’t be over with anytime soon; a violent crime had been committed, here in the Abernathy’s safe haven. The police had a job to do and it didn’t matter that he, perhaps more than most, paid their salaries; they would do it with or without his consent.
         The door opened and a tall, lanky red-head walked in. Her navy business suit was glued to an athletic shape and she walked with a purpose, the lights from the hall glinting off her badge.
         When the officer reached for the light switch in the room, Kyle frowned.
         “Leave them off,” he said, so soft and quiet that she might not hear.
         “Mr. Abernathy, I’m sorry, but I have to ask you some questions now.”
         He didn’t like this cop. She smelled of sweat and hard work and had eyes that were narrow and dark, as if hiding something. It was easy to tell when a person had secrets since he had a ton of them hidden away. Her voice was gruff, not very feminine. It was irritating. Women should act and sound like women, not construction workers.
         “Where’s Jackson?” he asked.
         “Detective Jackson has other cases to handle. I’ll be lead investigator for you…”
         “He’s too busy to help my family? Doesn’t matter, I suppose. You already have the person responsible in custody.” He looked back toward the window. “How bad is it?”
         “No one has told you?”
         “Of course not. I was out of town and received a call that I had to come back. They said it had something to do with my mother. It was a shock to return and find cops swarming my estate. All I know is that my mother is dead. How did she die?”
         “Your mother was tortured before he killed her.”
         He didn’t respond for several long minutes, then said, “I heard talk, Detective. My mother was barely recognizable and when I see trained police officers losing the contents of their stomach all over my carpeted floors, I can only assume it was very bad. What did he do to her?”
         “I don’t think you need all the gory details, Mr…”
         “Look, Officer…” He leaned over to get a look at her badge. “…Higgins, I want to know everything. I can handle it. Now tell me what he did to her – all the details, if you will.”
         She swallowed, tapped her pen on her notepad, and then said, “Her back was whipped, right down to the bone. Her fingernails were ripped out and as if that wasn’t enough, he…he…”
         Kyle watched Officer Higgins catch her breath at the memory.  “He what?”
         “He skinned her. I’m sorry, Mr. Abernathy, truly sorry.”
         “And the guy who did this?”
         “He worked for your gardening company. After finishing with the matriarch of the manor, he sat down and called 9-1-1. We found him sitting next to the body, covered in blood.”
         “Thank you, Detective, that will be all.”
         “Mr. Abernathy, I have some questions…”
         “Which I’m sure will be answered shortly. Right now, I want to be alone.”
         The police officer nodded and left the room, shutting the door. Kyle turned back to the window and smiled, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a ring coated with blood. It bore the crest of the Abernathys and was passed down from one head of the household to the next. Mrs. Abernathy had worn it for years. Kyle had ripped it from her cold hand hours earlier as she lay dying in the basement. She hadn’t said a word; just tried to cough out a retort, but nothing could get past the bruised lips. It was atrocious, but partly sensual, the way her too skinny, ribs showing, wrinkly body swayed back and forth from the hooks embedded into her back. She reached for him, but fell short of the mark. He wanted her to die; the old bag held on for way too long. Eventually, it happened and the light left those sagging eyes. Now the legacy was his.
         He spun around in his chair, unlocked the desk drawer, and dropped the ring inside. Once the murderer was convicted and sentenced to a life in prison, he could safely wear it. When he returned his attention back to the window, they were carting his mother’s corpse away.
         “Goodbye, mother,” he said.
         After they loaded the body, he stood, straightened his tie, smoothed out his black pants, and then walked to the door, ready to go have a talk with the irritating detective.

Buy Behind the Masque at