Friday, March 27, 2015

Bullet of Prose #7 from MONSTER


An animal instinct woke me. The sun had barely appeared in the horizon and a gray haziness filled the air. Moving stealthily toward me was a member of the clergy, and he carried a pitchfork as if his plans were to run me through. He was less than five feet from me, and as I was startled awake by his approach, he jumped backward, his large craggy face waxen in the faint early morning light, his mouth opened to form a rigid circle.  

"You are lying on hallowed grounds, daemon!” he swore at me, his eyes wide as they reflected a mix of fear and self-righteousness. “Do not blasphemy this area any further with your presence. Begone!”

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Free short stories on the WEB

Here's an assortment of free stories from me.

Pink Wiggly Things

Danny Smith (250-word flash fiction)

Hope You're Having Yourself an Especially Grand Time

Closing Time

More Than a Scam

The Dover Affair

A Rage Issue

The Canary



Bullet of Prose #6 from A KILLER'S ESSENCE


Thursday’s one of the nights when I get to call my kids. After our divorce, Cheryl remarried and moved a hundred and ninety miles away to Cumberland, Rhode Island. My lawyer told me I had little chance of joint custody with the hours I worked and the nature of my job, so I didn’t fight her on moving our kids out of state, and as such, she pretty much agreed to what I asked in return. Still, it wasn’t as amiable as it might sound. There were a lot of hard feelings between of us—she had her long laundry list of issues, and me, I felt blindsided by the divorce. I guess I shouldn’t have. I knew there were problems. The last year or so together I could feel the frost building up, but I was just too damn tired from the job to figure out what it was that was eating at her, and according to Cheryl that was the final straw, the one thing she couldn’t forgive me for. I think she was full of shit about that part of it. If she were completely honest about it she’d admit that her biggest issue with me was that she ended up a stay-at-home mom instead of a big-time Hollywood actress like one of her cousins. She always felt as if there were bigger things in store for her and that it was my fault that none of those bigger things ever happened.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bullet of Prose #5 from THE CARETAKER OF LORNE FIELD


Whether or not the rest of the town still understood it, his position was one of the greatest responsibility. He had never yet forsaken it, and he wasn’t about to. No matter how miserable the weather was, no matter how poorly he felt, he had been out there every day since his twenty-first birthday doing his job as stipulated by the contract. Even when he was nearly dead with pneumonia he was out tending Lorne Field. Lydia had been near hysterical trying to get him to the hospital, but he wouldn’t be deterred. Stayed there seven in the morning to seven at night as he always did. Even though he was almost blind from fever and had chipped a tooth ’cause he was shaking so bad, he weeded out the Aukowies and kept the world safe. Took him two years to lose the cough that pneumonia had given him. But he did his job.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Canary

The Canary is a short crime story that I originally wrote back in 2008 as part of a blog experiment that I participated in along with several dozen other crime writers. The Canary is now up on my website.

Bullet of Prose #4 from OUTSOURCED


Petrenko sat in the back room of a small Italian restaurant on Prince Street. Yuri stood to his right. Across from him sat “Uncle Pete” Stellini. Stellini, close to three hundred pounds and almost as wide as he was tall, was in his sixties with gray hair that had been dyed black and a face as round as the moon. Petrenko had dug around enough to find out that Stellini’s nickname “Uncle” didn’t come from his friendly fatherly appearance, but from when he was younger and doing collections. The story was that when he got his hands on a deadbeat, he’d twist the guy’s arm behind his back and make the guy say “uncle” before he broke it.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bullet of Prose #3 from SMALL CRIMES


It’s funny, it wouldn’t be this way now if Phil had died that night. The memory of what I did would’ve faded and the hard feelings would’ve worn away. The problem is Phil is there to face them every day. Every day they have to be repulsed once again by my crime. Because of me they have to feel awkward and self-conscious around him and try to pretend he’s not some sideshow freak. There’s just no forgiveness for that.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bullet of Prose #2 from KILLER


His new-found boldness was annoying and I decided I liked it better when he was too afraid to say much of anything. I leaned in closer to him and told him how he looked like a guy I once knew, and it was the truth.

“Duane Halvin,” I said. “Big roly-poly kid. Thirty years old and still had baby fat. Christ, the two of you could’ve been separated at birth.” I leaned in closer, added, “I had to put an ice pick through his eye, and the thing was, I used to see Duane all the time at the track and I liked the guy. He was fun to hang around. You, not so much.”

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Buller of Prose #1 from PARIAH


He had a toughness about him, and his five grand Savile Row suit did little to hide the fact that he worked out regularly. He looked like someone who could've gone either way, the mob or something legitimate, and somehow ended up in the middle as a lawyer.

Friday, March 20, 2015

What people have been saying about THE BOY WHO KILLED DEMONS


"The sympathy that Zeltserman invokes on behalf of Henry is heartbreaking, and readers will fully believe in both the madness and the greatness of his tragic young hero.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Humor outweighs the horror in this amusing look at a 15-year-old saving the world . . . Zeltserman manages the voice of a teenager deftly, and the adolescent angst rings true. The demons are almost background to a tale about growing up.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Henry’s fortitude and single-mindedness will stir the hearts of adult and YA action fantasy fans" Library Journal


"His step-by-step progress toward demon slaughter could be read as standard ­supernatural-adventure fare if it weren't for the nagging impression to Zeltserman's credit, he never overplays it that Henry is schizophrenic, and he's unwittingly preparing to murder innocents. That possibility gives the book a highly upsetting edge." Booklist
 
 'Like Stephen King, Dave Zeltserman makes the incredible come alive." Bookreporter.com

"Zeltserman has long doubled as a mystery and horror writer, and he’s equally riveting at both." WBUR

"A fun and clever read, great for fans of dark humor." Rue Morgue Magazine

 'There's plenty of suspense and lots of chapter cliffhangers that make the book hard to put down. Zeltserman comes up aces again, with just the book for your Halloween reading.' Bill Crider

"Dave writes these modern pulps with attitude and jet propulsion, and has this new-school-old-school nasty streak that–forget getting under your skin–gets under your fingernails. BOY is no different." Paul Tremblay

" If you are not reading Dave Zeltserman you are not reading the right books. This year brought us Zeltserman’s The Boy Who Killed Demons and it was quite a great read." Regular Guy Reading Noir

"If you know a teen who's already read a lot of Stephen King, and laps up horror and funky sex as if these were breakfast cereal, you might want to share this book with that teen. Otherwise, keep it for yourself (provided you, too, are a horror fan!) and enjoy the journey back to your own teens, as you keep Henry company." Kingdom Books

"Dave Zeltserman is not new to horror but this book (Overlook, hardcover, October 15, 2014), is a slight departure for him. Henry Dudlow sees demons who are masquerading as humans and it is up to him to stop them. But he is only a teenager. This tale is less horror and more humor and mystery. Definitely it is representative of the lighter side of horror." Riffle Editor Picks: 2014 Best Horror Books

"Zeltserman has pulled off a neat trick here: this coming-of-age novel is genuinely scary and genuinely funny, two things that do not often work together. You could, I suppose, read the whole story as an allegory about the shock and horror so many teens experience when they figure out just how nasty adolescence and adulthood can be, or you can just take it for what it is: boy meets demons, boy fights demons, boy triumphs. Either way, it’s a fascinating tale. And the devils are in the details." Under the Covers

"I really enjoyed this book, and found it to be a nice mix of a believable main character, an interesting take on the whole seeing-demons idea, and a bit of wry humor." Fluidity of Time

"Much like his very good The Caretaker of Lorne Field that was much more mystery than horror, that is the case here with a novel that is much more science fiction or fantasy than horror. No matter how you personally would classify it, The Boy Who Killed Demons is a good read." Kevin Tipple

'For a YA novel, there’s plenty of action, a splash of horror and lots of suspense. It’s also loaded with drama which stems from being a teenager and from the curse that has befallen Henry.' DeadBuriedAndBack