These thirteen offbeat tales encompass an array of genres from Horror and Fantasy to Science Fiction, Historic, and Mythic under one roof.  Their common theme, out-of-mind experiences, covers the macabre as easily as it applies to the spiritual or the mentally unbalanced, anger or madness.  However, there is nothing common about these tales.

 

This short story collection is currently being enhanced for a Second Edition!

Sample

Excerpt

“We see her wandering, napping on the Miller porch, peeking from windows,” Mistress Sara divulged.  “But whatever did this damage couldn’t have been a cat.  I’ve never experienced anything so intense!  I was afraid the door would burst!”

~ from the short story Unleashed:  Tail One

Eventually sound filtered past terror.  The sink across the hall dripped, a muffled metronome, marking the anxious beat of my heart.

Wood creaked.  Was it the stairs?  The corridor outside my room?

~ from the short story Beyond The Stump

Five sinister seething goons were visible invading, toting weapons of destruction.  They fanned like wolves along the fairway, skulked amid attractions in degrees of disrepair, sniffed between dilapidated ticket and refreshment stands, vacant test-your-skill arcades.

~ from the short story Nuance

Unleashed:  Tail One

 

SOMETHING DREADFUL KNOCKED late at night.  It howled and thumped and quaked the door.  My family in trepidation phoned nine-one-one.  Squad cars arrived blaring, casting wavery lights across windows.

Our bell chimed.  Two uniforms slouched grimly on the porch, working graveyard.  One of them clutched a cat.  “Belong to you?” the officer queried.

“That’s the neighbor’s pet,” my mistress responded.

Pest, you mean! I disdained.

“Oh.  Sorry.  It was sitting on your mat when we pulled up,” apologized the towering policeman.  His skimpy partner nodded like a bobblehead monkey that squatted on a shelf in my youngest owner’s room.

Spotting me hunkered next to my adult master, hackles rising, a menacing snarl deep in my gullet, the miserable wildcat split with a squeal.  Just doing my job.

I was backup, the family hound.  Their bodyguard.  Don’t ask what breed.  I’m mixed, a mongrel.  Floppy antennas, colorful coat, broad snout.

They dubbed me Rags, hardly befitting a canine of my aptitude, my obedience-schooled intellect.  On this block I was regarded by peers as The Scope — no detail eluded my attention.

1. Unleashed: Tail One

2. Beyond The Stump

3. Bedeviled

4. Haunted By Hitler

5. The Myth Of The Mayan

6. Penned

7. Terror

8. Nuance

9. The End Chromosome

10. Playing The Game

11. Cause And Effect

12. Bad Mood

13. The Thirteenth Tale

 

Artwork

(From the Illustrated Print Edition. Printed in black and white.)

Praise

“The Fantastic Imagination of Lori Lopez:  Lori Lopez is a well-known horror writer and her imagination is boundless.  The thirteen tales in Out-of-Mind Experiences bounce from horror and the supernatural to humor.  The stories are always interesting and provocative.  I mean, what could be more provocative than a story in which Adolf Hitler is prominently featured, even though he’s dead.  In Haunted by Hitler the ghost of Hitler visits Rudolf Hess in Spandau Prison.  Hess had been third in command of Nazi Germany, after Hitler and Hermann Goering.  In 1941 he flew the coup, so to speak, flying his own plane to Scotland in the hopes of making peace with England.  In this story, he’s the only prisoner left in Spandau and even in death Hitler wants to use him to reinvigorate Hitler’s spirit.  But by this point even Hess is wary of the Fuehrer.

 

And that’s just one tale in this lucky thirteen tales of horror, fantasy and fantastic imagination.  Also, check out the blurb on the back cover of the paperback.  It’s priceless.  (If you bought the Kindle version you can see the back cover on the paperback version’s page.)

 

Here’s a fun, funny, weird, scary collection of short stories that will creep you out…in the best way.  A great read for the long, hot summer.”

L.A. Noir
Amazon Review

“Outstanding!  A great read!  An odious scary tale begins your journey; attacks by ear-demons!  Then a walk in the desert followed by a walk inside the author’s head and you wind up arguing with yourself!  Quirky, supernatural, mad, funny, scary…each tale has its own characters and all of them are Ms Lopez!”

Geri Graham
Barnes & Noble, Goodreads Reviews

“This book takes you through the imagination of Lori R. Lopez in the best of ways.  Every story in this book leaves you wanting more and when you finish it you feel a satisfaction in you mind like no other.  So many of the stories hold the emotions of this brilliant writer and you can actually feel what the characters feel and see through their eyes.  The pictures that these stories paint in your mind are like no other.  If you like short story books then this one is for you!!!”

Jennifer Thomas
Smashwords and Goodreads Reviews

“IT MADE ME CRY WITH JOY:  Fun.  Entertaining.  Visual.  These are just some of the words that come to my mind, after reading Unleashed:  Tail One.  Lori Lopez concocted such an amazing (and incredible) tale it should be a blockbuster.  Not reading this is like going to Paris and neglecting Eiffel Tower; you’re missing something on your life trip.  Really.

 

I had to read several books these days.  Some were of my liking, others were awful.  It’s my personal policy to just review those I enjoyed and deserving at least 4 stars.  This went beyond.  I’d give it 8 stars if I could, because Lori Lopez’s style is truly innovative and her multitasking creativity clearly shows in her writing.  In this tale you get three points of view:  a dog, a detective, and a cat.  Each one acts perfectly in character, with a lot of humor (dark and otherwise), and pleasant details.

 

The main persona — Midnight the cat — had me laugh and shiver at the same time, and some of her lines (her thoughts) brought me back at Showtime’s Dexter … with a touch of Ray Bradbury. 

I think that Lori Lopez is one of the most gifted writers in the genre and should get more attention by the general public.  She gets the instinct of a natural storyteller, yet she doesn’t disdain prose, playing with words in a funny way, Lopez never bogs you down into the intricacies of English language.  I’m very glad having read this.”

(Review of UNLEASHED)
Jeffrey Kosh
Smashwords and Amazon Reviews

“(From a review of Chocolate-Covered Eyes):  Cats, love them or hate them, they all have personalities.  Some have more than any of us realized.

 

*****

 

Did you know that domestic cats are the only animal, besides man that is, who kill for pleasure?  Only in the imagination of Lori Lopez could a cat learn the true pleasure of revenge from its psychopathic owner.  Told from the perspective of a disturbed cat, a desperate-to-please puppy next door, and a prototypical cop, this story will make you look at cats in a whole new light!

 

*****

 

Humor and Horror in equal measure:  I’ve long suspected cats know more than we think.  This story confirms my worst suspicions.  It’s funny, scary, ironic, and a great read.  Follow this kitty’s antics as it goes about avenging itself for [its owner’s] misdeeds.  I highly recommend it as an intriguing and funny look into the mind of a very vengeful cat.”

(Review of UNLEASHED)
Geri Graham
Smashwords, Barnes & Noble Reviews

“I must start off by saying that I do not normally read short stories.  I like to really get “into” the books I read, and shorts usually don’t give me enough time to do that.  This was an exception for me.  I read the blurb and was intrigued, and I was hooked by the second page.

 

Unleashed:  Tail One is a short story told from three points of view:  a detective investigating a death, the neighbor’s dog, and a kitty that has slipped over the edge into post-traumatic stress-induced psychosis.  The detective is a bit of a bumbler, the dog does his job as protector, but the cat is the star.  She tells her story with dark humor, and lets us know in no uncertain terms that she believes in payback!

 

I greatly enjoyed this author’s writing style.  It’s different from anything I’ve read lately, and a very refreshing change.  I look forward to reading more books by Ms. Lopez!”

(Review of UNLEASHED)
Sara Smolarek
Smashwords, Barnes & Noble Reviews

“This is the story of a cat, a dog, a family and a detective hell bent on getting to the bottom of a ‘suspicious’ death.  The old man next door has been found dead and the Smiths reported a commotion at their door on the same night.  Detective MacKowski is determined to find out what happened whatever the cost….this was a humorously dark little tale.  Told in different points of view from the cat, dog and the detective.  [i]t was an interesting read, and certainly made me look at my cats in a whole new light, wondering what they get up to when we are all asleep!  I giggled to myself as the cat plotted and ingratiated herself into the Smith family, leaving the devoted dog out in the cold.  The detective was brilliant as a bumbling fool, dedicated to his cause no matter the cost.  I recommend this for animal lovers and dark tale lovers alike.”

(Review of UNLEASHED)
Kim Tomsett-Fowler
WISTFULSKIMMIES BOOK REVIEWS; Amazon and Goodreads Reviews

“Unleashed:  Tail One is downright funny.  From the beginning to the end it elicits giggles and grins.

 

A serial murderer is stalking the neighborhood and the police detective is sure he knows who it is.  Now only if he could prove it.  Of course, if he does prove it, how is he going to catch the perpetrator?  This criminal is slick, [wily] and doesn’t stand still long enough to be interrogated.

 

A cat with PTSD, [a] dog with a nose for mystery, a bumbling detective and a neighbour family under suspicion simply because they aren’t suspicious come together in this rollicking story of death and mayhem.  Short at only 18 pages this is a fun little adventure you will enjoy and recommend to your friends.”

(Review of UNLEASHED)
Karen Bryant Doering
PARENTS’ LITTLE BLACK BOOK; Smashwords and Amazon Reviews

“Okay, I’ll admit, I was fully prepared to hate this one.  After all, mystery stories involving a cat… well, that’s not really my bag, baby.  Luckily, this is a great story!  Sure, there’s a cat involved, but not in the way you’d expect.  There are POV sections for both the cat and its neighbouring dog, both of which are great characters.  The narrative has a noir-ish, hardboiled detective feel, peppered here and there with some deranged rantings from the psychotic killer.  While a little off-putting at first, the way Lopez jumps from head to head in the narrative, it soon begins to flow naturally.  It’s not a tale to be taken seriously, and that’s just fine.  This is a fun, fast read and one I can definitely recommend.”

(Review of UNLEASHED)
Douglas Prince
Goodreads Review

“Loved this tail…I mean tale.  A brilliant story told by the dog, the cat and a cop about the serial killer next door.  Humor and vivid prose make this an enjoyable story to read.  And yes that is how cats think.”

(Review of UNLEASHED)
Malina Roos
Smashwords and Goodreads Reviews

“[A] meooowingly good tail!  [Lori’s] writing style is exceptionally flavour filled, reminiscent of poetry!  She is expansive in her using of describing words… often had to stop and look up the words!! how exciting!

 

3 differing perspectives on the same crime… was [at] first a little confusing as no heading to differentiate…. but soon [got] the hang of it!

 

I was not sure if I felt sorry or horrified by the poor pusscat!!  [A]s a cat owner I will never leave my stinky socks in their bed (my laundry basket!) again, just in case!

 

[A] brilliant book to introduce me to a clever, funny and articulate author!

 

*****

 

(From a review of Chocolate-Covered Eyes):  Tail One — I love cats and have now amended my behavior towards them…. they are the masters I am the slave!! . . . such a unique perspective!!”

(Review of UNLEASHED)
Vix Kirkpatrick
THE FLUFFY RED FOX REVIEWS; Barnes & Noble, Goodreads Reviews

“This is the story of an ear demon. Two insect researchers go to Africa to try and find an undiscovered bug. Unbeknownst to themselves, one of them brings back a demon lodged in his ear. Chaos and confusion then ensue.

This was quite a funny little story but it made you think as well. It has a sort of ‘what if?’ feel about it. I don’t necessarily mean what if about ear demons but bugs lodged in ears etc. George underwent seven shades of hell trying to dislodge the demon and the chaos that was caused in the meantime was hilarious. I like stories like this. You can see what the outcome will be in your mind’s eye but are powerless to do anything about it. Fantastic, and darn funny to boot.”

(Review of BEDEVILED)
Kim Tomsett-Fowler
WISTFULSKIMMIES BOOK REVIEWS; Amazon and Goodreads Reviews

“(From a review of Chocolate-Covered Eyes):  BEDEVILED is just plain scary.  We all fear catching a ‘bug’.  Careful, what you fear may be real-er than you think!

 

*****

 

DISTURBINGLY SCARY – RIOTOUSLY FUNNY:  Two ne’er do well buddies set off on the ultimate trip of exploration little realizing the adventure what awaits them on their return home.  Ear demons indeed!  You’ll cringe when you realize what has happened to one of them and laugh til tears roll down your cheeks as you follow these bumbling buddies to the calamatous conclusion of their story.”

(Review of BEDEVILED)
Geri Graham
Smashwords; Barnes & Noble Reviews

“This is a short story involving a delightfully devious diminutive demon dwelling deep inside your ear canal.  Yes, you read that right!  He lives.  In your.  HEAD!

 

Few things are more unsettling than the thought of any creature living in our heads.  Just take a look at short story horror through the ages.  We’ve all heard the variations of the story describing the horror of a spider laying eggs in a girl’s ear while she slept.  There are similar tales involving roaches and various other creepy crawlies.  Ms. Lopez has found a new way to prey upon an old fear — now the thing putting down roots deep in our ear is not a mindless insect but a fully sentient evil little man!  What lengths would you go to in order to dislodge such a creature?  What extreme havoc do you think he could wreak?  I guarantee whatever you can imagine doesn’t hold a candle to the events in this story!”

(Review of BEDEVILED)
Tiffiny Sarradet
Amazon Review

“[Beyond The Stump] combines various perspectives in a magic realism approach.  The narrator describes it as, “Most people I’ve observed while walking on two limbs exist in a fantasy realm composed of past and future.  They view little of the world around them, always focused somewhere else, ignoring what is there though scarcely noticed.  The ordinary details.  I cling to those details, endeavoring to not look back or ahead, for the present is all I have.  All I can endure.”  We think back to the ghosts of Marquez in the city of Macondo where past and present and future are trapped in the family curse.  The narrator of Stump hangs in a similar time trap, between madness and reality, striding social strata.  We forget how we saw the world from the height of our childhood.  Lopez reminds us of this point of view with horrific results.”

(From a review of CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES)
Anthony Servante
THE BLACK GLOVE; SERVANTE OF DARKNESS

“There is a dark, gothic undertone that feeds the reader with images of grainy black-and-white horror classics.  This is an ideal candidate for a screenplay, provided it is done sans color.  The Tree as the central figure is powerfully symbolic and used with storytelling expertise that would make Mary Shelly proud.  It is a piece of horror-lit you can hand to your snobby friends who tell you comedies should not be nominated for Academy Awards as they sip from a ten dollar bottle of water and nibble on a cheese with a name you can’t begin to pronounce.”

(From a review for CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES)
TW Brown
MAY-DECEMBER PUBLICATIONS; Smashwords and Amazon Reviews

“BEYOND THE STUMP resonated with me. Haven’t we all, at one time or another, felt we had a greater purpose in life?”

(From a review of CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES)
Geri Graham
Smashwords Review

“This was a complex story which I had trouble reading and enjoying the first time, but when read over again I romped through it!! Lori has such complex ways of describing characters that you have trouble keeping track of who is who (my only complaint!) leaving me a little bamboozled!
However, how can you not love carnival freaks & ghosties as a topic! My favourite line was “nature, nurture, adopted, abducted what’s the difference!” . . . made me giggle!”

(From a review for CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES)
Vix Kirkpatrick
THE FLUFFY RED FOX REVIEW; Amazon U.K. Review

“In a language usually reserved for poetry, our second candy of horror, NUANCE, places the “Normal” within the freaks and fiends of a carnival, the ever reliable symbol for the life of a gypsy, or transitory existence.  The governing of a sideshow life is established by the carnies, and thus we have a microcosm of a city.  Even the dreams of one boy reflect the hopes of such a morose existence:  “The only chance of salvation was to believe in a boy who could fly, traverse walls, render magical feats.”  Within the existence of the noncorformist life, dreams are your only salvation and the carrot on the stick that death proudly holds up for you.  The fantastic in normalcy is that we all share the same fate.”

(From a review for CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES)
Anthony Servante
THE BLACK GLOVE; SERVANTE OF DARKNESS

“NUANCE, I think, is the story of the human ability to rise above it all.  With spectral assistance or on our own, we triumph just as Clarence — errr — Clark did.”

(From a review for CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES)
Geri Graham
Smashwords Review

“Nuance — for some reason, I just couldn’t get into this tale.  Here is where Ms. Lopez’s use of words hurt her in my opinion.  This had the makings of a gritty story.  However, she let her prose style that works so well in her poetry get in the way.  Too many (as my college writing teacher used to call them…and probably still does) five-dollar words.  You don’t need masticate when chew works just as well.  The word choice took the edge off the story and I simply could not immerse myself in it.”

(From a review for CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES)
TW Brown
MAY-DECEMBER PUBLICATIONS; Smashwords and Amazon Reviews

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