Cover Art Reveal – Shadow of Forever

There once was a boy who took to the stars…

He sailed into the darkness…alone.

…and waged war against the horrors he found.

And now, he’s back.

***

Coming soon – the sequel to Darkness Between the Stars.

Shadow of Forever

Cover art by Amanda Makepeace

Shadow of Forever

Earth is no more.

Every human settlement in the galaxy has been destroyed.

…except one.

On a planet far from home, Joff Armstrong watches the stars and counts the years until the Eaters of the Light return. He knows it’s only a matter of time. He ended one of their worlds, but thousands more remain.

No one believes him.

No one understands the coming darkness.

And so, as humanity’s twilight nears, he will steal his way into the stars.

Alone.

One man against legions of star-killing undead.

Searching for a way to stop the darkness between the stars.

* * *

A one-chapter preview is here.

Book 1 – Darkness Between the Stars – is here.

Find more of Amanda Makepeace’s art right here.

J Edward Neill

The Ultimate ‘Build Your Own Bad’ Guy Quiz

MonsterForest

So.

Ever seen a movie and thought, ‘That monster was cool. But I can imagine cooler?’ Ever read a good book but wished the villain were more of a badass? Ever daydreamed up a monster more terrifying than any hero can handle?

Good. I think you’ll like this quiz.

Answer the following ten questions and tally up your points. A’s are worth 1 point each, B’s worth 3 points, and C’s worth 5 points. Once you’ve answered all the questions, scroll down to the bottom and see what kind of abomination you’ve created.

Here we go…

Which of the following is most terrifying to you?

A. Skeleton, ghouls, and zombies. Relentless, slow-walking horrors.

B. Psychotic criminal types. Leatherface, the Joker, Freddy from Friday the 13th.

C. Monstrous, skyscraper-toppling horrors. Godzilla, dragons, the alien ships from Independence Day.

Where does your monster live?

A. In a crypt, a dungeon, a basement, or a vast underworld labyrinth stuffed to its top with bones.

B. Right behind you. It’s watching you…right…now.

C. Far from mankind. Out in the wilderness where no one dares to go. Or perhaps even on another planet.

How does it prefer to kill?

A. Claws, teeth, swords made of bone, axes forged in Hades.

B. A projectile to the back of your head. You never saw it coming. Hey, at least it didn’t hurt.

C. By making you its dinner. In one bite.

How grotesque is this beast of yours?

A. Horrid, rotting, festering. I mean, this critter leaves pieces of itself on the ground as it crawls to get you.

B. Not grotesque at all. Maybe even beautiful or elegant. All the better to get closer to its prey.

C. Alien in nature. Chilling to behold. You’d be so petrified to see it, you might not even run.

Motivation, Motivation, Motivation

A. It destroys because it has to. It knows nothing but violence.

B. It’s cold and calculating, but hardly senseless. This monster gets a thrill out of ending people.

C. Because it’s hungry. And people are crunchy-good.

Look deep into its eyes. What do you see?

A. Death. Bottomless, frozen death.

B. Yourself staring back at you.

C. Hunger. Nom, nom, nom

When does it come to claim its victims?

A. Only in the dark of night. It haunts houses after the sun sets, stalks moonlit graveyards, and frolics in forests black and empty.

B. At any time. You’re never safe. Ever.

C. Once every 1,000 years. During which it destroys everything, and then sleeps in the core of a burned-out star.

How can it be stopped?

A. It can’t be. You can drive it off, banish it, or flee so far away it’ll take years for it to catch you. But kill it? Nah. You might as well let it kill you now, otherwise you’ll just die tired.

B. Guns, explosives, nuclear weapons. The bigger the boom, the better the chance it’s dead.

C. Go back in time. Destroy its home planet before it hatches. Or hope the luckiest shot ever hits this monstrosity’s one and only weak spot.

 If it could say one thing before claiming each victim…?

A. “Give me your soul…forever.”

B. “I could’ve ended you a thousand times before. But this time it’s for real.”

C. “You’re so small…so weak…so easily destroyed.”

Name your monster’s nemesis.

A. A monster hunter. Cold-blooded. As relentless as the terror he/she pursues. With arcane weapons, a low cowl, and no shortage of courage.

B. A lawman, a knight, or the poor sod whose wife your abomination slaughtered. It’s a little about justice, and more than a little about revenge.

C. A scientist, maybe even a wizard. Someone who knows when bullets and swords aren’t enough. Someone whose mind can engineer the perfect plan to topple the beast with brains, not brawn.

 ***

So…what abomination have you created?

0-15 points – A undead horror, but not a lowly zombie or skeletal swordsman. You’ve conjured up the lord of the undead, a lich, a monster with the might to summon whole armies of the dead. This baddie desires nothing more than to drag every living thing down into the underworld. Congrats, your nightmares must be epic. Collect bones much?

16-25 points – A demonic spirit. You probably enjoy movies like Evil Dead, Paranormal, and that awful Billy Zane flick with the Tales from the Crypt dude. Your monster has two forms: One is a fiery, twenty-horned demon lurking within a smoking hellpit. The other…a malevolent spirit content to haunt the minds of mankind. Forget taking over the world. Your monster likes causing mass pain. Just because it can.

26-34 points – Your monster is…a human. That’s right, apparently you think John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer are awesome guys. But seriously, you’ve made a demented, lighthouse-dwelling, prostitute-slaughtering freak. Living on society’s fringe, your messed up human might be a nutcase who dresses up as a clown and kills for thrills…or a sexy bombshell who lures men back to her apartment…and then icepicks them and strings them up for the crows to eat.  Good job. Seek help.

35-42 points – The aliens on TV and in the movies don’t hold a candle to what you’ve created. You’ve dreamt up a skin-peeling, flesh-wearing, human-liquefying extraterrestrial. Oh sure, they’ve got lava for blood, seven rows of teeth, and telepathic powers, but what really makes your alien beasts terrifying is their agenda. They won’t be content with subjugating a suburban city or a village in the boondocks. They want to enslave all of humanity, force us to build a doomsday machine, and then turn us into human oatmeal for a nutritious, delicious snack.

43-50 – Yep. You win. Your abomination laughs at all the others. Hope you’re happy. You probably high-five Cthulu whenever you get home or have a luxury condo in one of Smaug’s teeth. Your monster is big. Really f’ing big. Why mess around with killing a few dozen people when you can eat them all? In five minutes. If your tentacle-armed, ocean-drinking, city stomping monstrosity ever looked one of us in the eyes, we’d be helpless but to stand still and wait to be crushed, enslaved, or hurled twenty miles into the sky.

More absurd quizzes to come.

J Edward Neill

Author of this.

And this.

How Undead are You?

 

Zombaby

A Happy Quiz for Everyone…

How Undead are YOU!

 

To determine just exactly how foul, creeping, and unholy you are, answer the following questions and keep track of your score. A’s are worth 1 point, B’s worth 3 points, and C’s worth a rotten, festering 5 points. Check your undead-ness at the bottom of the quiz!

* * *

What part of every day appeals the most to you?

A. Dawn. You just love waking up to the sun beating down on the world, melting all the shadows away.

B. Evening. Perhaps you’re at home watching a movie, sipping wine, or barbequing up some delicious man-flesh. Either way, you’re content to watch the day die slowly.

C. Late, late, late at night. Everyone else is asleep. You’re awake at Waffle House, flirting with some wonderful creature…or maybe you’re out on the town, closing down establishments that never close.

Which movie is closest to your heart?

A. Pearl Harbor. Because watching Cate Beckinsale corrupt and ruin a perfectly good Josh Hartnett sounds like fun.

B. The Lost Boys. Bloodsucking, soul-gobbling vampires are awesome, but only if they’re cute and wear leather.

C. 28 Days Later. Death. Misery. The end of the world.

 If you had to choose a song…?

A. Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off. Who needs country music when you can just market sexy, bouncy pop?

B. Anything by Creed. Seriously, if you pick this answer, stop taking this quiz and get help.

C. Slayer’s Seasons in the Abyss. Music for when the earth cracks open and everything dies.

 When’s the last time you did anything meaningful outdoors? (Other than walk to and from your car)

A. Five minutes ago. Hell, you just did fifty pushups on the summit of Mount Doom.

B. Yesterday. You think you remember taking out the garbage. Or opening the door long enough to yell at the cat to come in.

C. More than two days ago. Sunshine hurts. I mean, oh gawd…you’ll burn away if you’re forced to put down the Xbox controller.

 How often do you eat dinner at a restaurant? In the presence of the living? And no, Golden Corral and Waffle House do NOT count.

A. Two or more times every week. Because people-watching is just as fun as gorging on those orange biscuits Red Lobster makes.

B. Once per week. You’d go more often, but that’d require moving more.

C. Hardly ever. Pizza and a movie are way cooler.

How many times have you had sex this year? (With someone else)

A. One hundred or more times. Congratulations, you’re lying!

B. Between ten and ninety-nine times. Sorry, married dudes.

C. Zero to nine times. Because in order to have sex, you’d have to stop eating brains for at least three minutes.

Ever watched a movie at a movie theater alone?

A. No way. People who do that are either stalkers, serial killers, or both.

B. Considered it, but haven’t pulled the trigger. Because kids. Or spouses. Or friends. Or the latest collection of garbage Hollywood has heaped upon your world.

C. Yes. Because sometimes being awesome requires being awesome alone.

When confronted with hostility (in the form of frienemies, strangers, significant others, or Wal Mart employees) you…?

A. Take the high road. Your chin is held high, your ego intact, and your knuckles only slightly white.

B. Boil inside. But ultimately refrain from dismembering the hostile party…and all his/her friends.

C. Fists. And profanity. But if no violence, then at the very least you plot the annihilation of the offender’s entire bloodline.

How relentless are you?

A. Not very. You’re laid back. You brush failure off and move along to the next thing.

B. You’re a skeleton. If hacked into a hundred pieces, you slowly reassembly your parts and clickity-clack back to work.

C. You’re a vampire. Oceans of time can’t stop you. If told, ‘no‘ at every possible access point to your goal, you sit in a coffin outside and wait for everyone holding you back to die.

 How intense are your dreams?

A. Moderate. You don’t dream much, and when you do it’s usually about falling, or sex, or money, or work. Or beer…

B. Creepy. You had night terrors once or twice. You swear you saw a ghost upon waking. You remember at least a handful of dreams that give you the chills.

C. Gravetastic. You dream and daydream terrible things. You’ve swam through rivers of blood, sat atop mountains of bones, fled from crimson-eyed spirits, and died thousands of times…only to rise again.

* * *

So about your score…

0-15 points – You’re safely mortal. Go back to your cubicle and keep a shotgun handy. Remember your cardio.

16-30 points – Your grandfather is probably a ghost. Your parents let you stay up to watch Evil Dead when you were five. But no…you’re still alive. Although graveyards are pretty cool. And your household pottery is haunted.

31-42 points – You’re clearly undead. Before going to work, you should probably make sure some of your skin isn’t falling off. Sleep isn’t sleep to you. It’s torpor, during which you regenerate your dark powers. How are you even able to read this, considering your eyeballs rotted out long ago?

43-50 points – In the caverns beneath your apartment, you collect skulls, mummies, and dolls that you’ve poked the eyes out of and sold to horror film directors. The sun hurts you…badly. Whenever you’re not alone, you’re spending time with others like you. And by others, I mean the team of thousand year-old ghouls you’ve assembled with the aim of global annihilation.

Look for more ridiculous quizzes in the future.

J Edward Neill

Author of this.

And this.