Bleeding Ink – A Collection of Dark Tales Available on Smashwords

 60  dark tales by 40 authors – from short stories to poetry – this collection offers something  for everyone!

Get your copy at SMASHWORDS

Ever Yours,

The Ink Babes

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Bleeding Ink Author Spotlight – Rick McQuiston

Welcome Dark Fiction Enthusiasts to the Author Spotlight

Rick McQuiston is a forty-four year-old who has been writing for twenty years. He’s had almost 300 publications so far, and has written three novels, six anthology books, and one book of novellas. He also reads at libraries and schools, as well as book shows and author forums.

Bleeding Ink Tale: Something Into Nothing

Ink Babes: Rick, welcome to the author Spotlight. Please tell us about yourself.

RM: I live in Warren, Michigan with my wife of 23 years and my two children. I work for a management/development company during the day and strive to write the perfect horror story during the night.  Aside from my passion for anything horror-related I also enjoy playing drums, watching movies (horror of course), and spending time with my family (my kitten and puppy included).

Ink Babes: Sounds like a well-rounded life. That’s great!  Tell us, what sparked the idea for your Bleeding Ink tale?

RM: I got the idea for “Something into Nothing” from an unusual experience I had as a kid (I tend to tap into past times in my life for inspiration). I was exploring an old abandoned house when, to this day, I could have sworn I saw a “spot” in one of the rooms that didn’t look quite right. It was on a wall, and when I moved it took on an unnatural look. Creeped me out.

Ink Babes: Wow! Goose flesh just rose on our arms! An experience like that can really have an effect on a young person. Is there anything else that frightens you?

RM:  Spiders and heights.

Ink Babes: Ah-ha! Spiders are up there in the Bleeding Ink fear-factor ratings!  Tell us Rick, how did your interest in writing originate?

RM: My interest in writing probably originated from my love of movies. I used to watch old horror films and study how they were structured and paced. “Jaws” and “Alien” were pivotal in steering me toward horror, and from there I just went crazy with it.

Ink Babes:  With all the writing you do, do you ever experience writer’s block?  How do you work through it?

RM: I get writer’s block on occasion like everyone else. What I do when it hits is turn on the engine and gun it, working through any potential blockades with a sledgehammer, not stopping until I’m satisfied with my work. Sometimes it might turn out different than what I originally had in mind, but as long as it’s quality I don’t mind.

Ink Babes:  And what are you working on now?

RM: Currently, I’m quite busy. I tend to be prolific. While waiting for my editor to finish my third novel, I’m getting my fourth onto the computer (I write everything long-hand), and even started the rough draft of my fifth. I’m also preparing for some upcoming craft shows and horror conventions, working on a “Playground” anthology, and continue to churn out numerous short stories, with an odd novella here and there.

Ink Babes: Well, thank you so much Rick, for taking time out of your hectic schedule to step into the spotlight! We love to get to know our contributing authors.

Thank you to all our Bleeding Inkers who followed our summer spotlight series!

Would you like to own a copy of Bleeding Ink – A Collection of Dark Tales? Comment for your last chance to win this summer!

Ever yours,

The Ink Babes

PS: The anthology is available for purchase by clicking the book cover on the side pane.

Bleeding Ink Author Spotlight – Gary Hewitt

Welcome Readers of Dark Fiction to our Bleeding Ink Author Spotlight

Gary Hewitt is a writer who lives in a small village in Kent in the UK. He has had several stories published and is delighted to appear in this anthology of Bleeding Ink. His style is dark and rather unique. He is a member of the Hazlitt Arts Writers’ Group.

Bleeding Ink Tale: First Meal

Ink Babes: Welcome to the Author Spotlight, Gary. Let’s start with you telling us a little bit about yourself.

GH: I live in a small village in Kent in the United Kingdom. I enjoy reading and writing prose/poetry. My tales do tend to be on the dark side although not always.

Ink Babes: And what sparked the idea for your Bleeding Ink tale?

GH: I wanted a vampire tale with a bit of a different outlook. I believe the story achieves this aim.

Ink Babes: It does and deliciously, so.

Gary, is there anything in particular you’re afraid of?

GH: Wasps, can’t stand them!

Ink Babes: Oh!  One of those nasties got a chunk out of an Ink Babe last week!  So, we totally understand your fear of them! They pack a mighty fiery sting!

Speaking of sting, when did you get bitten by the writing bug?

GH: Back at school when the teacher read my work out to the class, much to my embarrassment. 

Ink Babes: She obviously saw your potential…  And now that you’re a writer, who would you say supported you most?

GH: My dear online friend Sharon Edwards. She often told me to get busy and get writing. She’s certainly helped me pen a few tales over the years.

Ink Babes: We all need a friend like Sharon! Do you have a favorite author?

GH: Very difficult to pin down to one. Would be Tolkien due to his incredible imagination. Must mention Herbert, King, Masterton, Lovecraft, Dickens, Conan Doyle, Bulgakov (could go on and on!) I love the classics and their writing style. I’m reading Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens, at the moment.

Ink Babes: What are you working on now?

GH: I have two novels to edit…eventually. I’ve also a poem and a short story to prepare for my next meet up at the local writers’ group, I’ve also plenty of stories to edit.

Ink Babes: Thank you for stepping into the spotlight, Gary. Before you scurry off to get your edits done, is there anything that you would like to say to our Bleeding Ink readers?

GH: Just to say enjoy this excellent publication and there’s plenty more to come!

Comment for a chance to win a copy of Bleeding Ink – A Collection of Dark Tales.

Ever Yours,

The Ink Babes

Bleeding Ink Author Spotlight – Jason Heitkamper

 Welcome Dark Fiction Enthusiasts to the Bleeding Ink Author Spotlight

Jason Heitkamper lives in St Petersburg, Florida where he writes around his day job as a surgical technologist. He was raised on healthy portions of Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft and has always nurtured a fondness for ghosts, monsters, robots and aliens of all types.

Bleeding Ink Tale: Retention

Ink Babes: Hi Jason! Welcome to the Author Spotlight. Please, tell us a little bit about yourself.

JH: I was born in Florida and I’ve spent most of my 34 years here.  I’ve been a fan of reading since I was young, an interest that my parents supported with a variety of books and time to read them.  I wanted to be a writer when I was a kid but real life issues directed me to the medical field.  Only recently have I decided to revisit my love of writing.

Ink Babes: What sparked the idea for your Bleeding Ink tale?

JH: I was brainstorming for a project in a creative writing class and I found myself thinking of the lake behind the house I grew up in.  It was connected to canals that ran through the nearby neighborhoods and when it rained the whole network would fill up.  I often wondered what could get caught in the pipes that connected them and it all just clicked into place.

Ink Babes: What are you afraid of?

JH: I am no fan of the dark.  Not the darkness itself, but noises I hear when I’m in it.  Not being able to see the source of an unexpected sound always puts me on edge.  I suppose it really boils down to fear of the unknown.  We all have a little of that, don’t we?

Ink Babes: We certainly do. Do you have a day job as well?

JH: I am a surgical technologist and a surgical technology instructor.  Working the operating room is an amazing experience and being able to help others achieve the same opportunity is incredibly rewarding.  I enjoy it so much that I’ve recently changed my degree focus to education.

Ink Babes: What about your writing, on which genre and themes do you focus most?

JH: I can’t get away from horror in terms of genre.  I grew up reading my father’s collection of Stephen King novels and there is something about being afraid that always appealed to me.  Even my fantasy and sci-fi stories tend to carry a dark seed in them.  Thematically, I’ve always been a fan of normal, everyday people overcoming great odds in pursuit of the greater good.

Ink Babes: Who is the person you feel supported you most, as a writer.

JH: My wife, no question.  She has always urged me to pursue writing, even offering to keep us afloat financially if I choose to write full time.  When we first started dating, this was just a couple of weeks into the relationship, she bought me a writing journal and told me to use it.  I know that she will always believe in me and that’s crucial for a writer, as we often stop believing in ourselves.

Ink Babes: You’ve got a gem there, Jason, a real gem. Thanks for stepping into the spotlight.

Comment for a chance to win a copy of Bleeding Ink – A Collection of Dark Tales.

Ever Yours,

The Ink Babes

The Ink Babes on Following the Nerd Radio Today!!

Attention, Attention!

We interupt our regularly scheduled Author Spotlight Series to tell you The Ink Babes will be interviewed on Following the Nerd live internet radio today!

Join us at Following the Nerd where Jay Faulkner, Internet Radio Host, Blogger, Writer, and contributing Bleeding Ink Author talks with us about

Bleeding Ink – A Collection of Dark Tales.

Tonight’s live show starts at 9pm GMT (4pm EST) with the Ink Babes scheduled at 10pm GMT ( 5pm EST)

Join us here tomorrow when the Ink Babes feature Jay Faulkner in our Author Spotlight Series!

Ever Yours,

The Ink Babes

Bleeding Ink Author Spotlight – Christian Larsen

 
Welcome Seekers of Stories Strangely True to the Bleeding Ink Author Spotlight
 

Christian A. Larsen’s fiction appears in What Fears Become (Imajin Books), Sparks: Exciting New Fantasy from Today’s Brightest Stars (Earthbound Fiction), and A Feast of Frights (The Horror Zine Books). He lives with his wife and two sons in the fictional town of Northport, Illinois.

Bleeding Ink Tale – Club 27
 

Ink Babes: Welcome to the Author Spotlight, Christian.  Would you tell us about yourself.

 
CL: I’ve been writing, more or less, since I was 10, but didn’t get into writing regularly until about four or five years ago. I started out writing Twilight Zone-style science fiction, and have branched out into straight horror as well. I have also worked as a high school English teacher, a rock radio host, a newspaper reporter, and a printer’s devil.
 
Ink Babes: My! What an interesting life you’ve led.  Printer’s devil? Sounds almost as dangerous as being a teacher!  What sparked the idea for your Bleeding Ink tale?
 
CL: I wrote “Club 27” shortly after Amy Winehouse died. I’d heard a lot about the coincidences of so many famous entertainers, musicians in particular, dying at age 27, but never saw a story written about it. I don’t think I explain its significance much, but the story does explore its significance, and what it means to be in the club from some of its own members’ perspectives.

Ink Babes: Your story is unique. We felt like participants wending our way through the club, brushing shoulders with the dead and famous. A sad and eerie feeling, really. How about you?  Is there anything that seriously creeps you out?

CL:  It seems like horror writers are either scared of everything or nothing. I fall somewhere in the middle. I saw RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD when I was eleven, and zombies still scare the hell out of me. And JAWS ruined the ocean for me forever. In fact, I’m even afraid of larger fresh water fish.
 
Ink Babes: No sh–!
 
CL: What if a sturgeon or a muskie wanted to take a chunk out of me? What could I do to stop it? Not a whole helluva lot.
 
Ink Babes:   We can imagine how those fears would inspire some interesting tales.  How did your interest in writing originate?
CL:  My interest in writing originated when I read The Hobbit in 4th grade. I imagine its like the kid who picked up the guitar for the first time after seeing Eddie Van Halen shred out a solo. You see someone else do it, and you just KNOW you have to do the same thing, at least categorically. The truly gifted people are the ones who don’t copy, but originate.
 
Ink Babes: Do you work with an outline when you’re creating, or just write?
CL:  When I write, it is almost always organically. That is to say, I don’t plan much out ahead of time. I have a vague sense of where the story is going to go, but I let my characters dictate the pace and direction. If I really don’t like what they’ve done, I can always go back and change it, but the funny thing about my characters is, they’re usually smarter than I am.
 
Ink Babes: LOL! So, what are you working on now?
CL: Right now, I am doing revisions on my first serious novel, LOSING TOUCH, about a man who starts to lose his tangibility. Beta notes are an extremely valuable tool, and I am so thankful for the people who read and commented on the first draft.
 
Ink Babes: Long live Beta readers!!  Thanks so much for joining us. It was a pleasure hanging out with you today.
 
Follow Christian on Twitter @exlibrislarsen and visit exlibrislarsen.com
 
Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Bleeding Ink – A Collection of Dark Tales!
 
Ever Yours,
The Ink Babes
 

Bleeding Ink Author Spotlight – Michael C. Keith

Welcome to our Bleeding Ink Author Spotlight Summer Blog Series, where authors from Bleeding Ink – A Collection of Dark Tales, will be featured throughout the summer.

Our first featured author:

Michael C. Keith is the author of three story collections, an acclaimed memoir, and two-dozen non-fiction books. He is a professor of communication at Boston College and a noted scholar in media studies.

Bleeding Ink Tale:   A Perfect Match

Ink Babes:  Michael, welcome to the  Bleeding Ink Author Spotlight. Why don’t you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself…

MCK:  I’m a driven person, and fortunately in the last handful of years, I’ve been driven to write stories. My website will tell you more about me (although it is about to be updated). www.michaelckeith.com

Ink Babes:  We’ll be sure to check out all the delicious details, Michael.  What drove you to write your Bleeding Ink tale? What sparked the idea?

MCK:  Never quite sure what sparks a tale. Almost anything can. My spark is always inspired by a desire to create something.

Ink Babes: Well, you’ve certainly created a thought-provoking tale in “A Perfect Match”.  We love it.  How did your interest in writing originate?

MCK: I was told by my mother that I wrote a story about a cowboy when I was in second grade. It’s been downhill since then.

Ink Babes: LOL! We’re happy the slippery slope slid you our way!  You know, working on this collection of dark tales, we’ve often wondered what scares the living daylights out of our readers and authors. Do you have a fear of anything… unusual?

MCK: Dark places on a stormy night after reading or watching something scary.

Ink Babes:  Ooh, dark places, stormy nights.  Inspiration!   What are you working on now?

MCK: I try to write a story every ten days or so. Just finished a piece of flash fiction that came to me while in Paris a month ago.

Ink Babes: Ah, Paris…the city of lights, and love, and fine cuisine! It’s a scrumptious segue for our next question:  If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

MCK: Shakespeare for obvious reasons.

Ink Babes: Of course!  Now, as a writer, who do you feel supported you most?

MCK: Family has been right there all along.

Ink Babes: You gotta love family!

Thank you so much for being the first author to step into our Bleeding Ink Spotlight, Michael. Before we dim the bright lights for today, is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?

MCK: Support the publication. It isn’t easy to do what the Ink Babes have done.

And now, as promised… a CONTEST!!

In light of the scorching hot weather, we Ink Babes have put away our diabolical plans and opted to go easy on you…this time.

Post a comment for a chance to win a copy of Bleeding Ink – A Collection of Dark Tales.

Contest ends Midnight (EST) Wednesday July 18th.

Ever Yours,

The Ink Babes

Letter from TUBS to The Ink Babes

 
 
TUBS
666 Wolf Wind Way
Vampireville, Otherworld
 
 
 
 
 
Dear Ink Babes,               
 
Please be advised that I represent The Union of Beings Supernatural, otherwise known in our realm as TUBS. We wish to advise you that although we don’t mind you writing about us, we would like to make the following demands since you are including many of us in your stories and works of writing. Specific requests are detailed below from our prestigious members, and union heads.
 

1.       The Devil would like a soul mate in exchange for all the stories written about him, he never receives any compensation,  and it’s  long overdue.  

He saw Tammy’s picture, and said he would ensure she enjoys hot temperatures and a comfortable leadership position as his wife. He’s already drafted a contract for her soul and said to tell her to bring coins for the ferryman.

 

2.       Dracula speaks for all vampires and he is asking for access to a blood bank. Seems he’s asked all vampires to stay low-key these days, especially the sparkly ones. A blood bank would alleviate those mysterious ‘drained of blood’ deaths the cops have to keep finding new excuses for. If a blood bank is not something you can provide, he is willing to accept Pat into his seethe. He promises to grant her immortality and many years filled with an exciting nightlife.

 

3.       Lycaon, head of the werewolf line, would like a mate since he lost his in a rather gruesome battle. After seeing Lisa’s picture on Bleeding Ink, he wants her to become his wolf-mate for life.

Of course she would have to become a werewolf. He promises plenty of red meat, lots of exercise, and nights of baying under a romantic full moon with him.

 

4.       Our witch coven has cast a love spell on you babes. They love the dark images and posts you’ve created, and are thrilled you’ve given them the credit they deserve for so many wicked little stories. They’ve decided that romantic unions with heads of the union would be perfect and they’re even willing to become your wedding planners.

Gruesomely yours,
Frankenstein, CEO/TUBS
 
 

We at Bleeding Ink love a little humour in our lives. We love the dark, the twisted, the occult, supernatural, haunting, and any story that gives the reader something to think about long after he or she has read it. If you have a dark tale to tell, send it to us. We’d love to read them, and possibly include them in our anthology.

Our deadline is March 31, 2012, so submit your polished work to us.

 

Ever Yours,

The Ink Babes  

Enter 2012

Ten…nine…eight… 

Michael watched intently as the crystal orb ascended from the depths.   With each faint moonbeam that reached it, it began to glow. It was so beautiful. Finally, humans would learn what Area 51 was really all about.

Seven…six…five… 

Nearly at the surface now. Soon, so very soon. Hundreds of researchers, government officials and security members stood gazing at it in wonder. And why wouldn’t they be drinking in the last vision they’d ever see. It was only right that it should be something of such ethereal brilliance.

Four…three…two…

Now miles high, it floated in place until the power of the full moon set it on fire. Every single sparkling facet now beheld its own individual flame. Billions, upon billions. So massive, yet so intricate. No man could have made this. No mere mortal could have ever even dreamed it. Michael had spent centuries wondering how humans could be so willing to believe in the ridiculous, yet remain so blind to the obvious.

ONE. 

The ball exploded. A flame shot to every beating heart. The earth was daylight everywhere now.

Here at Bleeding Ink Anthology, we love a darkling. Even a New Years Eve tale twisted into something unexpected. If you have stories, poetry, or flash fiction with a dark edge, a supernatural theme, or something just downright scary, we welcome you to submit it to our anthology.

We know you have something important to say, so send in a darkling of your very own.

Happy New Year, and Ever Yours

The Ink Babes

Deliciously Dark Christmas

Morning light shines across the floor with the promise of a new day. Christmas morning. You jump out of bed and rush down the stairs, eager to open the gifts from that brilliant woman you’ve been dating the past eight months. Well, her, and several others on the side. Still hooked on those late night booty calls, but what the hell. You’re a man with needs. And, what she doesn’t know, won’t kill her.

You glance out the window on your way down the stairs, half expecting to see a new Mercedes in the driveway. After all, she can afford it.

It doesn’t matter that her job as a scientific technologist gives you the creeps sometimes, aside from that she’s a trophy girlfriend who makes all your friends envious of you. The added fact that her parents could buy a small country and feed it doesn’t hurt either. Yes, she’s a keeper, you think. But, as smart as she seems, she’s not too bright about catching on to your shenanigans.

Sasha pours coffee, then brings you one, and sips on her own. A crooked little smile escapes her lips. You’re bouncing on the couch like you did when you were a kid, waiting for mom and dad to hand you the gifts. You know she went all out. She’s been generous since the first date, paying for every date, showering you with gifts frequently. It’s a lifestyle you could get used to, and have done many times in the past.

You pass Sasha her first gift. An oversized sweater. She frowns, yet thanks you for it. You give her a beautifully wrapped gift which she opens. A dress. Three sizes too big. She furrows her eyebrows. She doesn’t get your sense of humour at all. She’s far too serious.

Wait…you pass her another gift. “I have something that will fit you,” you say. She opens it. It’s a ring. Her eyes light up.

“Yes!” She says, without you asking the big question. But, as you look into her eyes, you see something different in her expression.

She hands you a gift. It’s a flat box.You rip the beautiful paper and ribbon off without hesitation, wondering what she bought you. Tissue paper covers what’s inside, and you pull it out haphazardly. Pictures fall out onto the floor. You and many of your late night encounters captured in full colour and enlarged. Your mouth drops open. Sasha’s grin widens.

You stutter, attempting to explain your behaviour, but at this point you’ve been caught and there’s no way out. Too late for lies now. She’s smarter than you gave her credit for. You’re stomach turns and you think you may have to actually work for a living rather than living off the wealthy women you’ve gone through during the past seven years. Pre-nups suck when the marriage ends.

“It’s okay,” she says. “This is a fresh start for both of us.”

And the smile returns to her face. She passes another gift. He accepts the small box with sounds inside that rattle when he shakes it in his hand. Keys perhaps? He notices a lock on the box, and unlocks it. He glances at her sheepishly, then returns to opening it. Wounds still fresh from the discovery of his escapades.

He lifts the lid on the red box, his eyes light up expecting something expensive, then fear crosses his face. Crawling out of the box, several small mechanical spiders spring forth on him, crawling quickly up his arms, stabbing him randomly with venomous needles. He’s frozen in his seat. His eyes roll back in their sockets, and he’s paralyzed where he sits. His once beautiful face and body is now covered in red blotches and sores.

The spiders return to the box and Sasha locks them up and stuffs the box in her Louis Vitton bag. She stares at him for a moment, watching his once young body wither and wrinkle.

“You won’t remember a thing,” she says. “But, you’ll never be the man you once were.” She slides her hands into long black leather gloves. “A gift from me to women everywhere.”

He remains frozen in his spot, the process continuing to work its poison through his system. His face starts to droop on the right side, and Sasha grins.

“Merry Christmas to all…” Sasha slides the Rolex off his wrist and tucks it into her bag before she heads out the door.

Here at Bleeding Ink Anthology, we love the deliciously dark. Even at Christmas a lovely tale twisted into something dark and sinister can happen and can make a wonderful story. If you have stories, poetry, or flash fiction with a dark edge, a supernatural theme, or something just downright scary, we’d love to read it, and possibly include it in our anthology.

We are accepting submissions. You know you have something important to say, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. Send us your chilling, dark, bloodthirsty, or supernatural tales today.

Ever yours,

The Ink Babes

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