Saturday, November 6, 2010

As I Die Lying--By Scott Nicholson

The twisted serial-killer thriller As I Die Lying infects devices today Learn more about it in multiple formats at Haunted Computer

Richard Coldiron is working on his autobiography, but unbeknownst to him, it's actually the Worst Novel Ever Written. And it's all the fault of that ancient, soul-hopping spirit that took over his head. Or the other four people in there.

The book's been rejected 117 times. The people he loves keep turning up dead. And here comes the woman of his dreams...


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Disintegration by Scott Nicholson now out

The dark crime thriller Disintegration is now out for ebook. Identical twins vie for a family empire built on deceit, dark secrets, and blood, while one woman stands between them and another waits in the shadows. Learn more about it at Haunted Computer. It's on sale for 99 cents for a limited time only.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

John O'Dowd--Pale Blue Jesus now out

“Jesus H. Christ, Walker, the answer is Levon Helm and it's the start of another perfect day...”

With that, Geoff Walker started a day he would never forget. There was never much trouble in Paloma, New Mexico. Geoff Walker, retired and bored, had to choose between being the small town’s marshal and chairman of the local school board and its three-room school. With a background in law and a dusty law degree packed in his attic, he chose marshal. Until the day that he found the body of Juan Valdez it had seemed like a good choice.

The old man had been crucified; complete with a crown of barbed-wire thorns and a message in blood above his head. Juan had not struggled before or during his crucifixion. All evidence seemed to point to the possibility that he had cooperated with his killer. Juan Valdez was involved with the Penitentes, a small, secret sect of a Catholic church that had moved into a modern age and left them behind. The Penitentes practiced a fundamentalist form of Christianity.

The Penitente recognized the value of pain. Only through suffering as Christ did would they be absolved of sin. No one but Geoff wants to know how and why Juan Valdez died. Through museums, art galleries in chic Santa Fe and state police stations in the cold desert, Geoff continues his search and discovers that the killer may not be a murderer and the crucifixion may not be a crime.

A mystery novel from the author of Mahko's Knife. Buy it at Amazon. Learn more about John O'Dowd at

Saturday, October 9, 2010

October Girls, new YA series--First Chapter

We've officially launched October Girls today! Hope you'll buy a copy at Amazon

If you want to check it out, here's the first chapter. Thanks!


Crystal loved her best friend Bone, but sometimes she wished Bone was just a little bit deader.

Like right now, when Bone was trying to ride shotgun on a pesky cash register. And that hunky guy with the stack of DVD’s was staring at her. And that gooey black hole in the wall was full of Lurken, Spooge, and Underlings.

“Mash three,” Bone whispered.

“Do what?” Crystal Aldridge had been working at the Tan Banana & Movie Emporium for six weeks, but she was still struggling to master the register. The problem was the sticky keys on the computer terminal.

But she didn’t want to think about why the keys were sticky. Fatback Bob, who owned the combo video rental and tanning salon, liked to eat fried chicken during his shifts, and the smudges on the numeric keypad were most likely due to fryer oil.

Most likely.

“Mash three,” Bone said, soft and girlish and a little impatient for someone who had forever.

“Three it is,” Crystal said, poking the stubborn key.

“Who are you talking to?” said the hunk on the other side of the counter.

“Nobody,” she answered. Which was almost true.

The register sprang open, releasing the inky, sweaty smell of loose bills. She took the membership card from the customer and swiped it, noting his name.

Dempsey Van Heusen. Ain’t from around here, are you?
Three-name people were few and far between in the North Carolina mountain town of Parson’s Ford, unless they were Billy Bob, Bobby Wayne, or Fatback Bob. There was probably even a Bacon Bob around somewhere. But “Dempsey Van Heusen” sounded exotic, like an Internet clothes company or a yacht.
“You got a late fee.” Crystal gave Dempsey a glance and a quick smile. She’d checked him out plenty in the rounded security mirrors that adorned each corner of the store, but the mirrors had distorted him into an Oompah Loompah.
Up close, though, he was meat candy, lean and dark, his hair as thick as if it had been dipped in cooling asphalt. His black leather jacket was scuffed at the elbows, and he had a few chains dangling from the pockets. Robert Pattinson eyebrows with Brad Pitt lips. A little older than her, maybe 18.
The only flaw in his man-crushness was the tufts of hair that sprang from each nostril.
Don’t they have tweezers where you’re from?
“How much?” he asked.
“Seven-fifty,” she said. “That was for ‘The Church That Bled’ and ‘The Screaming.’”
“Well, they were worth it.” Dempsey pushed a bill across the counter.
“Chain Boy likes his cheese,” Bone whispered, even though Dempsey—or any other living person—couldn’t hear her.
“Stuff it,” Crystal said, making change.
“You keep talking to yourself.” Dempsey scratched at his ear. He wore a large silver ring on his middle finger that bore a grinning skull’s face. It might as well have been singing “Bad Boy.”
“Sorry. It’s just the voices in my head.”
“I have those, too,” Dempsey said, crushing the change into his jeans pocket without counting it. “With me, though, people think I’m psycho. Because of my movies.”
“What’s so psycho about your movies?” she asked. She hadn’t paid attention when she’d scanned them, and she couldn’t read the upside-down titles. However, the lettering was in a garish red font and the art dark and brooding, with imagery that suggested graveyards and dead trees and probably vampire sex.
“I’m a horror freak. Mom’s preacher said I’m dancing with the devil.”
A chuckle arose from somewhere, or it could have been the October draft skirling under the front door. Crystal threw a scowl beside her and picked up one of the DVD’s.
“‘The Kiss of the Undead,’” she said, noting the subliminal image of a vampire’s glistening incisors protruding over a collagen-swollen lower lip. The actors’ names were set in smaller print over the title. Didn’t ring any bells.
“A black comedy that pumps a welcome transfusion into the bloodsucker oeuvre,” Dempsey said, as if reading the marketing material.
People in Parson’s Ford didn’t use words like oeuvre. Even though the town boasted a community college, the use of foreign words was limited to Tres Amigos Beans & Bowling, the local Mexican restaurant and bowling alley. Maybe there was more to Dempsey than a black leather jacket and what Fatback Bob called a “frequent flyer card,” the punch-out discount coupon that offered a free rental with every ten.
“You like scary movies?” she said, sounding lame even to herself. Some hottie hits you with a word like oeuvre, you wanted to come back with milieu or something. But the only French she could think of at the moment was “fries.”
“Yeah,” Dempsey said. “Monsters, ghosts, serial killers, splat pack, torture porn, you name it. The Asians are cranking out some great stuff, too.”
Fatback Bob had built a tower of horror movies near the front of the store, since Halloween was less than a week away. Dempsey pointed at it and said, “Seen most of these.”
A mousy-haired old woman who might have been a school teacher playing hooky was the only other customer. Crystal had nicknamed her “Madame Fingers” because of her shoplifting habit. Madame Fingers looked up from her browsing of the comedy films and flared her nostrils as if smelling dog crap or the latest Adam Sandler vehicle.
“I don’t watch much horror,” Crystal said. An invisible elbow dug into her ribs.
Talk about your horror. Dead friends sure can be annoying.
Dempsey took his rentals from her. “That’s cool,” he said, with so much cool he oozed disdain. “What do you watch?”
“Romantic comedies.”
Snort. “Chick flicks.”
“I watch the classics, too.”
“Shirley Temple doesn’t count.”
“I’ve heard of what’s-his-name. You know, the ‘Citizen Kane’ guy.”
“Touché.” He tapped the vampire art on the DVD cover. “I make these.”
“Movies. I’m an auteur.”
“Wow.” She felt stupid.
“A director. And I write my own scripts. Package deal.”
The chuckle came again, and Crystal just knew what Bone was thinking: Heh, heh, he said “package.”
“Cool beans and ice rice.” Crystal was annoyed by her need to impress Dempsey. After all, she and Pettigrew had been dating for a couple of years, and he had been there for her through the funeral, the school drop-out, and the long bout of depression.
But maybe this wasn’t about Dempsey. After all, she had her own personal audience, an invisible friend with a ringside seat to her foibles, flirts, farts, and flat-on-her-buns falls from grace.
“I do horror,” he said. “I’ll bring you one in and let you check it out.”
“I can’t wait.” Her lips felt like cotton candy.
He smirked. “If you can handle it.”
“What a jerk,” said the dead girl beside them, but Dempsey couldn’t hear. Only Crystal.
Lucky me. I wish she’d go solid, so Dempsey can see I’m the better-looking one.
He scraped the movies off the counter and headed for the exit, the silver chains on his jacket jingling with a mixture of menace and mirth.
He was halfway to the front door when the Orifice opened wider. It appeared first as a black dot of jelly on the wall beneath a Warner Brothers poster. Spreading outward, it soon covered an area the size of a basketball. Gurgling, belching noises issued from inside. It grew deeper and wider, glistening with oily dew.
Dempsey crinkled his nose and walked past the yawning cavern. Inside it, green slime dripped from stalactites that hung like demon teeth. The cavern seemed to breathe, exhaling a putrid wind that rivaled Fatback Bob’s chili farts. A shadowy form stirred in the depths, swaying like a sea anemone.
“Want popcorn with that?” she called after Dempsey, pimping Fatback Bob’s five-gallon bags of stale, buttery popcorn that were stacked like sandbags by the counter, blocking out the rows of Goobers, Good-n-Plenty, and licorice twists.
Dempsey gave one last backward glance at Crystal, grinning as if he’d won over another fan. “I like my horror raw.”
Then he shoved open the front door and escaped into the sunlight.
“Loser,” Bone said, flickering beside Crystal. It wasn’t a full materialization, more like a game of existential peek-a-boo probably designed to annoy Crystal and remind her that Tweeners could do things that Breathers could only dream about.
Crystal was appropriately annoyed. “Don’t do that.”
“That’s my job. You were giving him the eye and I’m supposed to keep an eye on you.”
“No, I meant don’t just go solid while other people are around.” Crystal checked the store’s lone customer. Madame Fingers was muttering and fidgeting with her oversize handbag, too obsessed with her shoplifting to notice a little thing like a ghost.
“Hey, we’re cool. She can’t see me.”
“Good, because your hair’s a wreck.”
“Wreck” was a bad choice of words, since it had been a UPS truck that had killed Bone, but it fit because her hair hung in oily red tangles. She was a permanent sixteen, pale freckled skin with rosy cheeks, figure filling out but still carrying a little baby fat. As usual, she wore the dress she’d once said she’d never be caught dead in, a chambray ruffle knit with a shoulder-hugging lace top.
“And so’s your outfit,” Crystal couldn’t resist adding.
“Family,” Bone said. “They’ll just bury you any old way.”
Crystal pointed to the wall. “Umm. Did that follow you here?”
“Haven’t you noticed?”
“Noticed what?”
“It’s how I get here.”
“I know, but it’s always on the wall in my room, where I can keep an eye on it. Now it’s showing up here.”
“Yeah, but who cares? It’s just some hole thingy, a little tunnel to Darkmeet and back.”
“If Fatback Bob finds out, I’m toast. And I need this job.”
“You’re just here to meet hunks. I saw you checking out Chain Boy.”
“I’m happy with Pettigrew.”
“Pettigrew’s okay if you like that sort of thing.”
“Hey. He’s loyal, and tall, and kind of cute.”
“He drives a tow truck. You’re going to grow old in Parson’s Ford trying to beat a lump of coal into a diamond.”
“At least I get to grow old.” The cheap shot gave Crystal a rush, but it quickly faded to guilt when Bone gave a sad, wistful smile.
“You get old, but I get to be young forever,” Bone said, fading just for spite.
“Come back here.”
Crystal cast a glance at Madame Fingers, who appeared to slide a DVD into her purse. If Fatback Bob weren’t such a smelly old pervert, Crystal might care a little more about inventory control.
Bone knocked over a few DVD’s in the Foreign Films, causing the old lady to jerk erect and sniff the air like a rodent checking for danger. Bone drifted back to the counter and went solid again.
“How do I close that hole?” Crystal asked her.
“Like, how would I know? Ask your Momma.”
“And get the lecture? About how all the other Aldridges could cast closing spells by the time they were twelve?”
“Either that, or just ignore it. Works for me.”
“Something’s moving in there.”
The thing that looked like a swollen tonsil throbbed in the recessed shadows of the Orifice. Crystal had never seen anything move in the Orifice on her bedroom wall, except Bone plopping through like an overgrown fetus with an attitude, so maybe this one was different. And if there were two gateways to Darkmeet, that meant twice as much trouble on the way.
“That’s a Lurken, the afterlife’s version of a peeping tom,” Bone said. “They just like to watch.”
“Lurken? Should I recommend a movie?”
“Maybe you can give it one of Dempsey’s.”
“Drop the Dempsey stuff already.”
“He speaks French.”
“I don’t do subtitles.”
Crystal cast a sideways glance at the Lurken, which now appeared to be about six feet away from the mouth of the Orifice, though distances were difficult to judge, what with all the undulating stalactites and pulsating walls. Splotchy, wet noises spilled forth and a few trickles of dark goo made trails down the wall.
“Get a load of this,” Bone said, going solid by the door.
“Get over here,” Crystal said. “You’re supposed to stay close, remember?”
“What, are we joined at the hip now?”
“As soon as I get my magic down, you’re dead meat.”
“I’m not holding my breath.”
The Lurken let loose with a rattling belch, though that may have been the Orifice. Crystal wasn’t sure about the rules of Darkmeet, and Bone was either just as ignorant or else reluctant to share. Every time Crystal asked her dead best friend about the other side, Bone developed a convenient case of laryngitis and amnesia.
Madame Fingers, who was now over at the Disney section ripping off Mickey, said, “Excuse you,” in that accusatory tone reserved for old bags who lived alone with a dozen cats.
“Excuse me what?” Crystal said.
The Lurken expelled another oily burp. Crystal, who smiled through the whole thing, said, “Can I help you find anything?”
“I changed my mind,” the old woman said, shouldering her handbag, which appeared to be bulging with hot merchandise. She walked past the counter, nose tilted indignantly in the air. “I think I’ll try someplace where the clerks mind their manners.”
“Want me to trip her?” Bone asked.
The woman stopped and squinted at a spot beside the door, where the glass was grimed with handprints. Maybe she’d heard a faint whisper or echo. Bone sometimes had that effect on people.
“Special this week,” Crystal called out. “Steal three and get one free.”
“Hmmph,” the old woman said.
“Come back and see us,” Crystal said, waiting for the electronic alarm to buzz as the woman left. Two panels by the door should have detected the microchips in the DVD’s. Paying customers had their chips demagnetized. Thieves got the old “woop woop woop.”
But she passed right between the panels with barely a stir.
“She’s getting away,” Bone said. “You can’t just let her walk out.”
“I don’t stick my neck out for nobody,” Crystal said.
The woman turned, one hand on the door. Technically, if she stepped outside the store, she was a lawbreaker. “It’s not polite to mutter,” she said.
Crystal wasn’t sure of the next sequence of the events. Perhaps they occurred simultaneously, or in two worlds at once.
Parson’s Ford was weird that way.

At Amazon:

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Red Church 99 cent sale!

In an attempt to apply shock treatment to the Kindle Giveaway Blog Tour, I've lowered the price of The Red Church to 99 cents at Amazon. Buy it here!

If you love the smell of paper, you can get autographed copies at my personal site.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Creative Spirit & Troubled for UK Kindle

In the spirit of creativity and the belief that no book should be left for dead, Creative Spirit (published in the US as The Manor in 2005) and Troubled (published in the US as The Home in 2006) are now alive in the UK and for English in multiple other territories (though currently NOT the US and Canada).

Coming soon; John O'Dowd's mystery Pale Blue Jesus.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Looking for Beta Readers!

Haunted Computer Books is preparing a handful of titles for fall release, and while we love reading, it's always good to get a fresh set of eyeballs on the work before it goes into production.

If you're a passionate reader with an eye for detail to check spelling, grammar, and logic, or just someone who wants an "advance look" at something and willing to review for Amazon, Goodreads, Shelfari, and the like, we'd love to have you on the Beta Team. You get an acknowledgment in the credits and, if it helps, a line on your resume, plus you're the first kid on the block to find out what the twisted brains at Haunted Computer Books are cooking up next!

If you're ready for the challenge, email Scott at hauntedcomputerbooks AT Thanks for your support.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Be a zombie!

Yes, you can be a brain-munching, flesh-eating, vacant-eyed moron until the end of time (or until Al Gore shuts down the Internet). Donate $25 to the art production of our comic "Murdermouth" and you will be immortalized as a zombie drawn into the comic.

For more information, visit our Murdermouth comics page! The Zombie Bits collection is coming soon as an e-book, with proceeds also supporting the comic. Please spread the word--get your friends drawn into a zombie crowd scene.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Speed Dating with the Dead

A paranormal conference at the Appalachian Mountain's most haunted hotel. . .
A man’s promise to summon his late wife's spirit . . .
A daughter with a dark imagination. . .
And demonic evil lurking in the basement, just waiting to be awoken.
From the author of The Red Church, Drummer Boy, and The Skull Ring.

Available in ebook at Amazon and Smashwords. You can pre-order the signed print version at Haunted Computer.

Inspired by an actual paranormal conference!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Free sketch cards with Grave Conditions pre-order

Preorder your trade paperback of Grave Conditions and get a free, limited-edition sketch card for Shane Kirshenblatt and a free Digger sketch card by Scott Nicholson. Kirshenblatt's cards are scenes fro the graphic novel. Only 24 cards are available and the offer is good on the first 24 orders. Only 16 remain. (You can get the entire six-card set if you order six copies at the same time!)

Digital copies of the comic are also available now. The trade paperbacks will ship in August. Get stories fro Keene, Maberry, Kilborn, Susco and more!

Friday, July 9, 2010

news updates and ad opportunities

Author John O'Dowd is working on the next book in the Mahko series--support him with a purchase and review from Amazon:

We're also working on print editions of Stephen James Price's Pages of Promises and putting together a debut novel from an exciting new author! Details soon.

Also, if you want to advertise in either the Dirt or Speed Dating with the Dead trade paperbacks, email Very affordable rates--promote your books, products, services, and Web sites with items that stay in print forever. Thanks for your support!

Friday, June 25, 2010

What will a good agent look like tomorrow?

Interesting blog at Digital Book World about the next agent model. My comment:

Writers care more about this than about "the future of the publishing industry" because most of us aren't counting on the industry being there when we need it. Most of us really aren't that invested in propping up old models because we either didn't sell well enough, never got accepted in the first place, or got dumped or neglected the minute a shinier writer came along and the bigger commission loomed.

Now, I am poised to make more on my own this year than I did in any year in which I had a NY deal. This will be the case for many writers in the next few years. What would I want in an agent at this point? (I do have an agent looking at some stuff that I think will work in the current NY environment because I think NY does have distinct advantages still).

I would consider an agent to help with editing, branding, marketing, management, vision, and the rights that will still be difficult for a writer to achieve alone. Foreign rights? I don't need you to sell my book to overseas publishers. I need you to help me find translators so I can reach the worldwide digital market. I've found five on my own. Bring me 20 or 50 or 100. We'll all make a little bit on royalties.

Help me identify my audiences. If you know books and readers (you would have to convince me this is the case, or every agent would sell bestsellers and every editor would be hailed as a genius and publishing would be highly profitable), then you understand how I can reach my readers. That's "my readers," not one editor, or a generic stranger browsing a bookstore.

Be a conduit, not a roadblock. Look for avenues instead of fighting the upstream current. Encourage my diversity and sell my screenplays, children's books, comic books, and audio books. Better yet, find us more partners--filmmakers, actors, illustrators, web designers, other writers).

Be my partner. Believe in my vision instead of changing it to fit trend or perceived market. Stick with me. Have goals and follow them relentlessly. Have dreams and follow them blindly.

Then I will be yours.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday round-up

We've got all the files together for the Grave Conditions trade paperback edition. Stephen James Price is working on the layout right now, and we hope to get it out by June 24. Preorders still available at Visit Stephen's web page to learn more about Pages of Promises.

Skull Ring review up at Melissa's Book Shelf. Drummer Boy review at Kindle Obsessed. Reviews of comics Dirt #1 and 2 at Bookgasm.

Next book Speed Dating with the Dead currently going through beta reading and editing, should be out in July. Also, our ebook novels will be going to $2.99 on June 30, so grab them while you can. The novellas and short story collections will remain at 99 cents.

Shout out to {indie}pendent Books, an online bookstore focusing on indie titles.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday updates

Blog post: Publishers aren't as dumb as people think

Cajun Lady review of Drummer Boy

Grave Conditions PDFs at 99 cents, edited by Scott Nicholson and Stephen James Price

New blog Indie Books Blog to feature independent publishers, looking for followers, leaders, and indie authors!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Pages of Promises by Stephen James Price

Now available as an ebook, a collection of tales from a sharp new voice in suspense and horror, Stephen James Price. From a man who rubs grave markers to the child of a serial killer, Price's brand of dark fiction is sure to please. We're keeping it at 99 cents while we work on the print edition. Up for Kindle at Amazon and in multiple formats at Smashwords.

Monday, May 31, 2010

HC Books round-up

Debra Hamel has reviewed The Skull Ring for Midwest Book Review/Book Blog. We're in the final stages of prepping Stephen James Price's collection PAGES OF PROMISES and John O'Dowd is finishing up revisions on a new Mahko thriller. June 24th is the official release date of the Grave Conditions trade paperback (preorders available). Printed Page has a Drummer Boy review.

The Red Church is two Amazon reviews away from that magical 20, which will help it show up in more recommendations slots. If you're inspired to chip in your two bits, please drop a sentence or two.

We're also working on the DIRT trade paperback, which should be out in early July. Scott and Stephen have contributed stories to Ghostwriter Publications' promo collection THE OUTSIDERS, available free at Smashwords soon or for a pittance as ebook on Amazon. A busy season, thanks to all who fight for liberty, justice, and truth!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Get in between Keene, Konrath, Maberry, and Susco

Want to be seen with the best horror/thriller writers in the business? Grave Conditions is a three-issue digital comics set that will be collected into a trade paperback. Brian Keene, J.A. Konrath, Jonathan Maberry, "Grudge" writer Stephen Susco, "Impaler" creator William Harms, the Digger, and more are represented in the 96-page collection, featuring black-and-white art and adapted stories in the tradition of "Tales From the Crypt," "Creepy," and "Eerie."

We're selling quarter-page ads for $25 or half-page ads for $40. Get your work or service out to the true fans of the genre and reach the audiences of some of the biggest names in horror through this groundbreaking cooperative project. Ad deadline is June 1, with books shipping in June. With digital and print-on-demand, these books will never go out of print, so your ad stays alive long after the thrill of living is gone! We'll also consider ad swaps with similar projects. Contact Scott at or learn more about the project at Haunted Computer.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Linville Caverns, the "Drummer Boy" setting

Linville Caverns wends through the Blue Ridge Mountains of McDowell County, miles and miles of narrow, colorful crevices. There's an underground stream with blind fish, bottomless drops, and the glistening, humid stones of the world's oldest mountain chain.

It's also the inspiration for my new novel Drummer Boy. During the Civil War, deserters from both sides fled to the remote mountains, where a self-reliant populace was reluctant to choose sides, distrusting both governments. According to legend, you can still hear the tools and mess kits clinking in the murky depths, referred to locally as "The Jangling Hole." Above, I'm sitting by the spot of a natural campfire area in the caves. Below, you can see the Jangling Hole in all its vulvic, alien splendor. Please join the Drummer Boy flash mob by clicking on its Amazon Web page at 3 pm EST on May 11.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Drummer Boy flash mob

So I was thinking of kooky ideas to draw attention to my new novel Drummer Boy without spending money I don't have...

Since Amazon's rankings can change hourly, I'm hosting a "Flash Mob," based on the popular phenomenon of a bunch of strangers randomly agreeing to meet at a specific time and place. So I am flash mobbing Drummer Boy on Amazon at 3 p.m. EST on May 11. Right now, the fun is in the experiment, but I am giving away the bonus zombie story "Dead Ink" or the autobiographical "Dead Cats and Rain" to people who buy the kindle ebook during that hour. Even if you don't buy a copy (or use the free "kindle for PC" download), simply clicking on the book should send it on a viral path to more recommendation slots. If inspired, please blog, Tweet, and Facebook it--the link is

Based on observation and guesswork, I think a small handful of sales in a single hour can really push a book up the charts and compete with bestselling novels. Sure, it won't last long, but Drummer Boy will reach more readers through the extra exposure.

At any rate, it's crazy, it's mod, and it's basically a free experiment in mass psychology (unless you choose to shell out the $1.99 for the ebook version). I'll be live-blogging the event from, which mirrors on my Amazon author page at Author Central. If you want a banner, drop me an email at hauntedcomputer AT I'll also be filing follow-up reports so other authors can learn about the social-media experiment. Hope you will join and see how it works out.



Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Beat It campaign

We're cooking up some very groovy prizes for the official release of Drummer Boy on May 11. It's so groovy, we are not quite sure what it's going to be yet, but we'll have some goodies or bonuses for people who post our banners on their sites or web blogs. We're also targeting an "Action Hour," at which time we'll be asking everyone to do an online version of a Flash Mob, hyping the book and seeing if we can get a run up the Amazon charts. And, of course, we'll have a little Drummer Boy video, because it's not often you get a ghostly Civil War kid.

Also, we're trying a discount special at Amazon for The Skull Ring, lowering the price to 99 cents for the month of May. E-book prices are all over the map, and it's an age of experimentation. Signed paper copies of The Skull Ring, The Red Church, and Drummer Boy are available through the Haunted Computer. PDF versions of the comic book Dirt #2 are also now available for 99 cents.

We're also in talks with two other writers to release more books soon, and John O'Dowd is finishing up the second Mahko action thriller.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Coyote Con

New review of Mahko's Knife at Kindle Obsessed.

We've also selected May 11 as official release date for Drummer Boy. Look for ways to get free stuff and be part of the "Beat it" campaign.

Review of The Red Church at Swamp Dweller! Four-and-a-half stars.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Coyote Con in May

A month-long digital con covering a wide variety of speculative-fiction topics. Registration is free but space is limited. Register today at Coyote Con.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Latest book reviews

Review of Burial to Follow at Swamp Dwellers. They're also looking for book reviewers, so if you want to combine love of literature with an audience who will go streaming to the bookstores to follow your advice (but hopefully not your burial), then drop Ash and the gang a line.

Debra at Book Blog gave The Skull Ring a whirl, with some of the best insight I've seen. I learned things about the book I didn't even know I'd put in there! I love reviewers.

Marcia at the Printed Page didn't like the spiritual and religious aspects of The Red Church--perfectly understandable. It's the kind of book not everyone is going to like. But I guess most books are that way. I fully support critical, independent reviews because they help writers improve and they help readers seek out new books, instead of feeling obligated to buy the latest best-sellers. I'm glad people still love books, no matter what form they are in.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Live from the Haunted Computer

Like comics and high-tech special effects? Dig it.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

iPad and the world beyond

Haunted Computer Books will now be on iPad through our affiliation with Smashwords! We are also working with White Wolf Press to put our titles on Mobipocket and iPhone/iTunes for a worldwide audience. Titles that went up today include The Red Church, The Skull Ring, Burial To Follow, and an advance release of the coming supernatural thriller Drummer Boy by Scott Nicholson. More titles to follow soon!


Monday, March 15, 2010

Little Shivers now up for digital order

Spooky tales for ages 8 to 12! Get your digital download as PDF for only 99 cents. Fun for the younger readers and older crowd alike. Stories by Jack Kilborn, Scott Nicholson, Sofia Guisson, Levi Walton and Bradd Parton, with art by Sergio Castro and Frankie B. Washington. Download at

Saturday, March 13, 2010

signed Skull Ring for paper lovers

The paper version of The Skull Ring just went live at Amazon at $14.95. You can get a signed copy directly from Scott at $9.95 (plus $2 shipping) by ordering through Paypal and he will ship it out as soon as the books arrive (which should be around March 19). The quality is surprisingly good.

The Red Church is also available at Amazon but we probably won't stock it since there are lots of cheap used copies available. If you are interested in a signed copy in trade paperback size (the previous editions were hardcover and mass-market paperback)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Read an ebook Week

To commemorate "Read An EBook Week," recognized as March 7 through 13 (probably by a bunch of people who want you to buy ebooks and ebook readers), we're making the novella Burial To Follow available as a free ebook download in various ereader formats at Smashwords--including mobi, PDF, Palm, Sony Reader and ePub. More information is available at the book's Web page. Hope you give it a try. You can also get a free Kindle for your desktop computer from Amazon.

The free download also has excerpts from three novels and a special bonus essay. The drawing for Microchip prizes will be held later tonight--if you haven't signed up to be a Microchip, there will be more opportunities to help and win. Thanks for supporting Haunted Computer Books.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Yes, we do pictures, too

We at Haunted Computer Books decided we had too much spare time on our hands so we are putting together some comics projects, starting with re-releasing Scott Nicholson's DIRT series, in which he portrays the Digger as he narrates graphic adaptations of his short stories, with art by Kewber. We are also putting out the GRAVE CONDITIONS anthology as both a print-on-demand trade paperback and shorter electronic editions.

These will be made available at DriveThru Comics, Amazon, and other outlets and through The project will be a separate wing of Haunted Computer Productions (yeah, we're almost as confused as you are, but if you like the comics, follow the Haunted Computer Comics blog, where we'll unveil art, sketches, plans, and more.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tips for chipping in

The Skull Ring broke the 1,000 barrier so Uncle Scottie will be giving away faaahbulous prizes! Thanks much. If it does really well, say, cracks the Top 300, I've got more junk--er, esoteric rarities--to put on the pile. We're playing all week so I appreciate anything you can do to nudge it along. It tickles me to death that wonderful people like you can do what a major NY publisher's advertising budget can't guarantee. It's hard for me to show it without my grinning face (above), but I am incredibly humbled and grateful that you choose to put some of your positive energy behind me--it feels like wind beneath my wings.

Here's some more tips that help make a book more visible--if you hang out on Amazon, any of the communities are great places for conversation--if you like stories, books, movies, etc., you will find kindred spirits. If my book seems appropriate, you can click "insert product link" and type "skull ring kindle" and it will show the book, click, and it pastes the link right in the comment. Or simply copy and paste [[ASIN:B003980ELA The Skull Ring]]

You can also create "Mania Lists" and "So You'd Like To..." at Amazon. I always have fun with these, like "Ten scary thrillers" as recommended by "an aspiring writer" or "a lazy hack" or a "sleep-deprived maniac." Put in some of your favorite books. If mine is one, so be it!

One simple thing is to tag the book--on the Amazon product page,, add or click on tags such as "thriller," "suspense," "mystery," "romantic suspense," "indie author," "psychological thriller," etc. The important thing is to be genuine. Only do what you feel good about and are comfortable with.

Write a review if you feel like it. The number of reviews is actually more significant than the "star ranking." Better to have a three-star average with 200 reviews than a five-star average with five reviews. That means people are taking the book seriously. Reviews take a few days to post so they don't add that "instant impact," but they can help people make a decision to try the book. Again, be genuine. If you think it's a three-star book, put three stars. If you think it's a one-star book...go pick on James Patterson!

It's also up at Smashwords in other ebook formats,

Old-fashioned word of mouth is still the best promotion. If you have a friend you think would like the book, please let her know (I know, not everybody has a Kindle or Nook yet, but the paper version should be available in a couple of weeks.)

Again, thanks so much. The best is yet to come.

Official launch of The Skull Ring

Thanks for supporting working-class fiction! Here's the latest:

Julia Stone will remember, even if it kills her...

With the help of a therapist, Julia is piecing together childhood memories of the night her father vanished. When Julia finds a silver ring that bears the name "Judas Stone," the past comes creeping back. Someone is leaving strange messages inside her house, even though the door is locked. The Christian handyman offers help, but he has his own shadowy past. And the cop who investigated her father's disappearance has followed her to the small mountain town of Elkwood.

Now she has a head full of memories, but she doesn't know which are real. Julia's therapist is playing games. The handyman is trying to save her, in more ways than one. And a sinister cult is closing in, claiming ownership of Julia's body and soul...

It's an ebook right now at Amazon ( and Smashwords ( and will be in print in a few weeks.

If you'd like to help promote it and be eligible for cool prizes like valuable limited edition hardcovers, sign up to be a Microchip by emailing hauntedcomputerbooks AT with "Microchip" in the subject line. Thanks for all your support--this book has been part of me for a long time, with a number of revisions, and explores a lot of mysteries of faith, love, and messed-up motives. And don't forget the caffeine...

UPDATE: We broke the 1,000-barrier at about 7:30pm EST today, so all you Microchippers are in line for some great prizes like a signed limited edition of Scattered Ashes and of Brimstone Turnpike. Thank you very, very much for your support!

Scott Nicholson

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mahko's Knife & the gang

As previously threatened, er, mentioned, Mahko's Knife has moved its way into electronic existence. Currently available at Amazon, the action thriller from John O'Dowd is getting a warm reception befitting its tough protagonist and desert setting. As soon as a bugaboo involving apostrophes is cleared up , it will be at Smashwords as well.

Tonight, all the Haunted Computer Books are ranked under 10,000 at Amazon. Not spectacular, but noteworthy, since there are 420,000 ebooks listed. So we're in the top two or three percent.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Skull Ring now available at Amazon and Smashwords

Suspense novel The Skull Ring is now live for Kindle at Amazon and for Sony, ePub, Stanza, Palm, and other formats at Smashwords. Hope you will give it a look.

Julia Stone is piecing together childhood memories of the night her father vanished. When she discovers a strange silver ring, the past comes creeping back. She finds messages inside her house, the cop who investigated her father's disappearance has followed her to the mountain town of Elkwood, and the religious local handyman is trying to save her in more ways than one. And now a sinister cult is claiming ownership of her body and soul...

The official launch is still March 1, at which time giveaways will ensue based on the book's success that week at Amazon. Hope you'll chip in as a Microchip and support working-class fiction!

Friday, February 19, 2010


Thanks to some wonderful support from people in the Amazon forums community, The Red Church shot back up to #1 in Christian science fiction and fantasy, and is currently #2 in ghosts for kindle and #3 in "ghosts" overall, plus cracked the 1,000-ranking mark for the first time. (In Amazon rankings, lower is gooder, meaning #1 is the best seller.) I am enjoying writing more than ever and it means so much to be able to freely create and connect with readers.

And great partners like Neil Jackson at Ghostwriter, S.D. Sullivan, and L.C. Glazebrook, as well as loving support at home, make all this so much more meaningful. Here's Neil's new cover for "Burial to Follow." The man is talented. Thanks, you all, and please sign up to be a Microchip. It looks like The Skull Ring should also be able to crack the 1,000 barrier, at which point we're dumping in a lot more prizes.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mahko's Knife

Here's the cover of our upcoming March release, MAHKO'S KNIFE, the debut of a cool new voice in the action/thriller genre. We're in final formatting now. Author John O'Dowd has a dry wit and plenty of "field experience,' so look for this novel at Kindle, Smashwords, and wherever better ebooks are sold. We will probably get to a print version of this eventually. He fancies himself a modern-day Zane Grey but I'm pitching him as the "Tom Clancy of the desert," or something like that. You know, someone that sells! Say hello to John at the Mahko's Knife blog.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

More Microchip Prizes

We've decided to go a little crazy and give away more stuff. Books, DVDs, and graphic novels. We'll post the list soon, but there's a two-tiered plan in place (don't worry, you don't have to do anything but be a Microchip). If The Skull Ring gets in the Top 1,000 Kindle bestsellers in its first week of release, we'll be doubling the number of prizes. Just send an email to with "Microchip" in the subject line. That's all. Free stuff.

There will be opportunities to help us out if you want, starting now with writing reviews and tagging our books at Amazon, and if you want to do more, you can get extra free stuff, but who cares about us? This is about you. Free stuff. You deserve it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Become a Haunted Computer Microchip and get free books

Haunted Computer is grateful for readers who take time to try new works in a world already crowded with far too much information. We also understand that word of mouth is our secret weapon in the war for attention. Well, we don't think of it as armed conflict. We prefer to believe we are sharing an intimate journey of dreams to make sense of this wild, wonderful world. Or we're insane.

If you like to blog about books, or agree to a minimum promotional commitment for the release day of our book (posting on Facebook, Amazon post, etc.), we'll be happy to give you a free PDF, Mobi, Sony Reader, ePub or other digital file of the work. In return, you get an advance read, you're an official Microchip, and from time to time we will have some tangible stuff to give away. On March 2, we will randomly give away a hardcover copy of Peter Straub's new thriller "A Dark Matter," and the 100th Microchip enrolled will get a signed, limited edition hardcover of the Brimstone Turnpike anthology.

How cool is that? You can say you knew Haunted Computer Productions back when it was just an electronic gleam in the world's laziest hack's eye. Plus you'll be supporting working-class books and writers. Heck, you're helping build the Haunted Computer!

If all that sounds weird enough to drag you in, please email with the subject line "Microchip."

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Red Church: The first chapter

The Red Church is available at Amazon for Kindle and at Smashwords in other digital formats.


The world never ends the way you believe it will, Ronnie Day thought.
There were the tried-and-true favorites, like nuclear holocaust and doomsday asteroid collisions and killer viruses and Preacher Staymore's all-time classic, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. But the end really wasn't such a huge, organized affair after all. The end was right up close and personal, different for each person, a kick in the rear and a joy-buzzer handshake from the Reaper himself.
But that was the Big End. First you had to twist your way though a thousand turning points and die a little each time. One of life's lessons, learned as the by-product of thirteen years as the son of Linda and David Day and one semester sitting in class with Melanie Ward. Tough noogies, wasn't it?
Ronnie walked quickly, staring straight ahead. Another day in the idiot factory at good old Barkersville Elementary was over. Had all evening to look forward to, and a good long walk between him and home. Nothing but his feet and the smell of damp leaves, fresh grass, and the wet mud of the riverbanks. A nice plate of spring sunshine high overhead.
And he could start slowing down in a minute, delaying his arrival into the hell that home had been lately, because soon he would be around the curve and past the thing on the hill to his right, the thing he didn't want to think about, the thing he couldn't help thinking about, because he had to walk past it twice a day.
Why couldn't he be like the other kids? Their parents picked them up in shiny new Mazdas and Nissans and took them to the mall in Barkersville and dropped them off at soccer practice and then drove them right to the front door of their houses. So all they had to do was step in and stuff their faces with microwave dinners and go to their rooms and waste their brains on TV or Nintendo all night. They didn’t have to be scared.
Well, it could be worse. He had a brain, but it wasn't something worth bragging about. His "overactive imagination" got him in trouble at school, but it was also kind of nice when other kids, especially Melanie, asked him for help in English.
So he'd take having a brain any day, even if he did suffer what the school counselor called "negative thoughts." At least he had thoughts. Unlike his little dorkwad of a brother back there, who didn't have sense enough to know that this stretch of road was no place to be messing around.
"Hey, Ronnie." His brother was calling him, it sounded like from the top of the hill. The dorkwad hadn't stopped, had he?
"Come on." Ronnie didn't turn around.
"Looky here."
"Come on, or I'll bust you upside the head."
"No, really, Ronnie. I see something."
Ronnie sighed and stopped walking, then slung his bookbag farther up on his shoulder. He was at least eighty feet ahead of his little brother. Tim had been doing his typical nine-year-old's dawdling, stopping occasionally to tie his sneaker strings or look in the ditch water for tadpoles or throw rocks at the river that ran below the road.
Ronnie turned- to your left, he told himself, so you don't see it- and looked back along the sweep of gravel at the hill that was almost lost among the green bulk of mountains. He could think of a hundred reasons not to walk all the way back to see what Tim wanted him to see. For one thing, Tim was at the top of the hill, which meant Ronnie would have to hike up the steep grade again. The walk home from the bus stop was nearly a mile and a half already. Why make it longer?
Plus there were at least ninety-nine other reasons-
like the red church
- not to give a flying fig what Tim was sticking his nose into now. Dad was supposed to stop by today to pick up some more stuff, and Ronnie didn't want to miss him. Maybe they'd get to talk for a minute, man-to-man. If Tim didn't hurry, Dad and Mom might have another argument first and Dad would leave like he had last week, stomping the gas pedal of his rusty Ford so the wheels threw chunks of gravel and broke a window. So that was another reason not to go back to see whatever had gotten Tim so worked up.
Tim jumped up and down, the rolled cuffs of his blue jeans sagging around his sneakers. He motioned with his thin arm, his glasses flashing in the midafternoon sun. "C'mon, Ronnie," he shouted.
"Dingle-dork," Ronnie muttered to himself, then started backtracking up the grade. He kept his eyes on the gravel the way he always did when he was near the church. The sun made little sparkles in the rocks, and with a little imagination, the roadbed could turn into a big galaxy with lots of stars and planets, and if he didn't look to his left he wouldn't have to see the red church.
Why should he be afraid of some dumb old church? A church was a church. It was like your heart. Once Jesus came in, He was supposed to stay there. But sometimes you did bad things that drove Him away.
Ronnie peeked at the church just to prove that he didn't care about it one way or another. There. Nothing but wood and nails.
But he'd hardly glanced at it. He'd really seen only a little piece of the church's mossy gray roof, because of all the trees that lined the road- big old oaks and a gnarled apple tree and a crooked dogwood that would have been great for climbing except if you got to the top, you'd be right at eye level with the steeple and the belfry.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

#1, and the spirit is willing

Well, that was easy. Haunted Computer Productions just had its first #1 bestseller. The Red Church hit #1 on the Kindle list in the category of "Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy." Ahead of people like C.S. Lewis, Jenkins and LaHaye.

It's been hanging around #2-4 in the "Ghosts" category but there's this dude named Poe who refuses to be knocked off. I take this opportunity to say, "Thank you, God," and thank you readers who support this wonderful dream.

Dreams always change and nobody stays #1 long in a rapidly-changing world, and it's probably over as I type this, but there are still 6.5 billion readers waiting out there...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I've signed an agreement with Horror Mall to release our titles. Horror Mall is a great emporium with a variety of authors, formats, products, and good, old-fashioned coolness! It will take a few weeks to get the titles up there, but if you want to support them instead of Amazon or Smashwords, that's a good thing. Our prices will be the same everywhere, to the best of our abilities.

I've also set up a separate address for the enterprise at

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Next up, Scattered Ashes

The beautiful cover by Neil Jackson of Ghostwriter Publications will support the electronic edition of Scattered Ashes, a story collection coming soon to Kindle and Smashwords. Print editions are still available from Dark Regions.

Neil is rounding up some files and we're working on more releases, so expect a steady stream. We'll announce names as we get things finalized, but initially we'll be focusing on genre fiction--crime, mystery, contemporary fantasy, horror, dark fantasy, suspense, and thrillers.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Haunted Computer Books

This blog is dedicated to the digital books published by Haunted Computer Productions. Right now, my own titles The Red Church and the novelette Burial to Follow are available. Through arrangement with Ghostwriter Publications in the UK, I will be releasing digital versions of several Ghostwriter authors and will search for more backlist of established authors.

I am running a very writer-friendly outfit, allowing writers to reach new audiences. Neil Jackson of Ghostwriter will be supplying covers. We're primarily publishing for Kindle but we'll also be available in multiple platforms through Smashwords. I hope you give us a try. This blog will include guest posts, interviews, digital-book news, healthy publishing-industry debate, and a mutual celebration of stories and words. Hope you will join us!