Books and Stories
The Diana Strain
When a storm washes out California's Highway One, the forested coastal town of Big Sur is cut off from civilization. On the full moon, two mutilated bodies are discovered and then another, and another. Detective Frank Crow, his wife and local librarian Lela Crow, and a mysterious occult bookshop owner named Nob must learn the identity of the murderer, but what they discover will reveal a terrifying and ancient curse, a secret society of hunters, and a monster waiting for them in the dark.
"Wizards in Winter" by Elle Otero and Joshua Converse
Enoch the Red Wizard sets off into an enchanted wood on Christmas Eve, just as the worst blizzard in memory descends. He goes on a series of quests for the denizens of the wood, in hopes he can create a truly magical gift for one special boy in the nearby village of Derrydol.
"This is a sweet story, written with vivid descriptions and beautiful images. I really enjoyed the Red Wizard's personality! He's really easy to picture, and I like him!! I enjoyed this story very much."
"This story was fun and whimsical. It's great for people of all ages. It was heart warming and a great Christmas read!"
"Manhunt" by Joshua Converse.
There are no fences at Shaleville Prison because the dark swamp that surrounds it is deadlier than any guard's bullet. For former Green Beret John Cassady, life in prison is easier than was the war in Vietnam. That all changes when a young inmate runs, and the Warden recruits Cassady to help track him down. Now Cassady must remember his old skills, and along with a team of guards he must find his man before the swamp kills them all.
"The Summer People" by Joshua Converse.
People disappear in Good Hope, year by year, but in Summer they return to walk the streets again. Dempsey Shaw had lost his wife the summer before, and their children the summer before that. His parents had departed years ago, and yet they all returned, hale and hearty with soft voices and seductive stories that Dempsey did his best to drown out. They came out of the woods on summer nights. This summer, perhaps, the last holdouts would join them…
"Open Sky" by Joshua Converse
What becomes of a man who denies what he is? What becomes of a pilot who cannot fly? What becomes of love denied under the open sky? This work of short fiction explores these questions and more, and discovers transformation, loss, and rebirth.
"Keep the Lights On" by Joshua Converse
Ray couldn’t figure it out. The neighborhood was empty. There was no reason for there to be a power spike. The grid was due to be turned off today so that the crew could come with dozers in the morning and start demolition. The whole housing complex had been bought out and every house stood empty. The dark windows stared out at him from in row after row of suburban wasteland. This place was due to be plowed under years ago, Ray thought. Every home was supposed to have turned off its own power before the tenants left. Someone, obviously, had left a light on in a bathroom somewhere or something. Ray sighed. He would have to find it. At least most of these houses had similar layouts and it wouldn’t be long to search. He figured he would be finished by dark.
"The House on Beech" by Joshua Converse
"I was afraid of that house every time I rode by it. It had been abandoned for years, and there were stories. It sagged with malevolent squalor in a lonely corner of the neighborhood, and crossing in front of its black windows was the shortest way home for me. Joey turned off on Oak, and Mikey was over on Lincoln, so I had to take Beech by myself, or go the long way around on Northern Ave. I always tried to speed past number 134 before it got dark.
After that night, I never set my wheels on Beech Street again, and I never will. Friends who never moved out of town tell me 134 was demolished years ago, but I don’t care. I still take Northern Avenue if I visit my Dad, or Ma’s grave. I try to make sure I’m always in before nightfall."
"Dad and Jack" by Joshua Converse
"Nobody was going to push Jack around, Jack informed us. At a family restaurant in Dallas, Jack was drunk. We didn’t know Jack, but Jack had come over to our table, smelling of Pabst and motor oil and stale sweat. I remember my mother’s look of concern, but Dad was calm. He calmly explained to Jack that no one was trying to push Jack around, and that we were just enjoying a quiet dinner on the road. Jack asked my father if he wanted to step outside. It was clear Jack was not listening. Apparently, he didn’t appreciate the way my father had looked at him from across the room. This seemed implausible to me, because my father wasn’t the kind of man who started fights in bars, much less family eateries during summer vacation."