Blood Red Sand
Mars will run red with Nazi blood…
After World War Two, Sergeant McCabe knew the British army could send him anywhere. He never imagined facing down another Nazi threat on Mars.

In New Berlin colony, rivalry between Generalfeldmarschall Seidel’s Wehrmacht and Reichsführer Wagner’s SS threatens bloodshed. The Reichsführer will sacrifice everything to initiate the secretive Hollow Programme and realise his nightmarish future for humanity.

McCabe, Private Jenkins, and the Mars Expeditionary Force must overcome bullet, bomb, and bayonet to destroy the Third Reich. While Jenkins fights to stay alive, McCabe forms an uneasy alliance with MAJESTIC-12 operatives known as the Black Visors. Will this be the final battle of World War Two or the first confrontation in an interstellar war?

Mars Occupation Force – Press Office

18 May 2021

A short story from Owen Quinn: Cross Dresser Zombie

I'm joined again today by Owen Quinn author of The Time Warriors and Zombie Blues series. He's sharing a short story from his first book Zombie Blues entitled Cross Dresser Zombie. Check it out!

The day the zombies rose will be remembered for just that; the rise of the
But for me, it was the day I could shed my skin and be the person I had
always wanted to be for the entire world to see. Just like everything else
in my life, the timing sucked.
Now my undead ass is walking the city without even the dignity of the
heels I had chosen. My left shoe is missing while the right one seems
stuck on with its broken heel. I think my ankle is twisted though or I have
a cracked toe. Now when I walk, all 6 foot of my bulky frame is up and
down like an Amsterdam tart. Add to that my wig is twisted on my head
so the right side of my face has a permanent auburn covering, I look like
Frankenstein’s frigging granny. Instead of becoming a butterfly, I became
something that was slapped up the face with a frying pan.

But I digress. Let me start at the beginning which also became my end.
First up, my name is Frank Malone, resident of Belfast all my life. I have
never married but shagged my way round the town. I came close a couple
of times but never bothered. I play darts, love a pint and the craic with the
lads. I’m a cage fighter and charity worker. I’ve a hard man rep, afraid of
no one and would knock the bollocks clean out of anyone that looked at
me the wrong way. When people look at me they see the black leather
jacket, baldy head and the gold chains. They see a hardman.

But when I look in the mirror I see someone else entirely. No one knows,
no one has ever even suspected, not even my ma, and she’s sharp as a pin.
At forty six, it’s not a big deal these days but it reduces me to jelly to
think if anyone found out.
I like wearing women’s clothes. Simple as that.

Maybe I’ve always been this way. I’m not gay nor have any intentions of
getting the three piece out and a gas oven put in. I like shagging but the
feel of those clothes on my body just makes me so content. When I look
at myself in the mirror in full get up, it’s my world. Problem is, that world
has never left my bedroom or mouth. My ma stays out of my room
because I bung her the money for bingo 4 times a week so I can become
Majella. Those times when she isn’t there are heaven and I can try
different outfits without fear of her walking in. Other people’s privacy is
not a priority for my ma as most of you will probably identify with when
it comes to mothers.

I’m not sure when it became part of me but it was always there. I never
looked at my ma’s catalogue in the same way as she did. I flicked through
the women’s section and wondered what it would feel like to be dressed
as they were. It looked so elegant and comfortable that I yearned for it.
But my body didn’t exactly shout model material. I was bald, hairy chest
and back and caught between muscle and sagginess in the waist area.
The first time I remember putting on a pair of knickers was when I was
shagging Fiona Fisher when I was seventeen. I was staying at her place
and been dating for a few months. As I said, I’m not gay. I love sex with
women and Fiona was a goer. She would lick my bald head when she got
excited and all I could picture was her slipping a wig on my bonnet.

Anyway, I got up for a piss and was standing there trying to hit the side
of the bowl so she couldn’t hear the crash of urine on water. (It sounds
louder somehow at three in the morning.)
As I washed my hands, I saw knickers and a bra drying on the

My heart raced. My breathing quickened. The compulsion was too much.
I had to do it. Trembling, I slipped her knickers on first and stared at
myself in the mirror barely containing my excitement. They were far too
small but it felt right. It felt normal to me. I slipped on her bra next even
though it didn’t fit and couldn’t believe the rush I felt. This was what I
had been missing all my life.

Quickly and reluctantly I put them back on the radiator as I found them
and was so turned on I went back into the bed and woke her up for
another round.

It was easier after that. I could go into shops and pretend I was buying for
the girlfriend but all six foot of bulky me couldn’t wait to get home and
try them on. I even started going to the gym to slim down. My secret
stash grew quickly but lived in the back of the wardrobe. But I couldn’t
bring myself to go public for fear of shame and ridicule. The image of
people laughing and sniggering behind your back was far more terrifying
than any cage fighter. It would be worse for my ma. Those witches in the
bingo hall loved nothing more than to gossip and ridicule people.

I almost told Fiona but finished with her instead. I couldn’t afford anyone
finding out. Like a teenager discovering masturbation, Majella stayed a
bedroom secret behind a locked door.
But it was like a pressure cooker inside me, bursting to get out. I wanted
nothing more than to walk down the street and show the world who I
really was. So I decided to do exactly that. It only took me twenty plus
odd years.
The day was planned to the last detail like something out of Mission
Impossible. Nothing was left to chance, all avenues were thought of.
Outfit was chosen, makeup packed and it was all systems go.
The big day began in the changing rooms of a well known clothing store.
I went into the men’s changing rooms. My heart was racing as I opened
my bag. This was it.

All I could think about was the throngs of people I walked through to get
here. Would they notice or would I melt into the crowds? But in the end it
didn’t matter.
All that mattered was that Majella was about to go public.

I ran a hand over the outfit I’d chosen feeling elated. It was a red jacket
with open neck white blouse with knee length skirt to match. Black
stockings with a shiny black pair of heels completed it. A necklace with a
thin gold chain rounded it off nicely as I applied my make up.

I remember staring in the mirror, heart pumping as I began to strip. Piece
by piece, Majella formed right in front of me and when I bowed my head
to put my wig on, I paused. I shut my eyes before raising my head. I
nervously opened them, slower than I should have and looked in the
mirror. I couldn’t have been happier as I looked myself up and down. I
never looked better even if I did say so myself. I let out a deep breath, not
and realizing I was holding my breath fearfully. What if I didn’t like what
I saw? What if I really was the freak I thought people would see me as? I
was delighted to see I wasn’t.

Suddenly there was a searing pain in my calf. Half in shock and half in
horror, I let out a scream of pain and swore like a trooper in a most
unladylike fashion. As I stumbled, I saw some bitch on her front had
crawled under the curtain and took a chunk out of my leg. She was little
more than a teenager dressed like a chav. I fell back trying to shake her
off but the cramped cubicle left me bouncing of the mirrored wall instead
cracking it with the impact.

Inhuman eyes looked at me as she drooled and snapped trying to chew on
me some more. Blood was smeared around her thin lips. I don’t know
whether it was fear or adrenalin or what but I somehow managed to kick
her in the face which for my size and cramped space was a bloody
miracle. I kicked for all my worth, my stiletto sinking into the cow’s
skull. Blood spurted everywhere from her head and my leg. I saw her
gasp and slump forward before I passed out too.

I don’t know how long had passed but when I came too, it was like
waking from the hangover from hell. My tongue felt like a shrivelled
sausage roll and I could only make guttural noises. I thought to myself
that’s weird as I struggled to my half shoeless feet. I felt shaky at best and
lurched from the changing cubicle almost tripping over the corpse with
the stiletto hat. Bitch, I thought to myself. My mind was fuzzy, strange
urges filling it, propelling me towards the exit. Part of me was saying to
get my heels on to complete my outfit but I was moving out of hunger. I
barely noticed the shop was wrecked and blood stained the floors and
walls. All I knew was I could smell human flesh and how like chicken it
seemed. I needed it, I craved it and there was nothing I wouldn’t do to
have it.

A myriad of questions flashed through my mind. Where were the
shoppers? Why wasn’t I being noticed? A six foot man in women’s
clothes should have drawn curt sniggers and hidden laughs even in this
day and age and yet…nothing. There was fire and screaming. There was
whimpering and munching. The street was a canvas of fear and chaos and
here I was, now in full Majella mode, lurching amid it like a virgin in a
whore house.

I felt like crying. This was supposed to be my big day, my coming out.
This was the day when the world would meet Majella and my secret life
would shred away like cobwebs in the wind. It was supposed to be red
carpet and fireworks, a statement that I had a rightful place in the world
where I didn’t have to hide in shadows or run from phobic narrow
minded attacks.

I was Majella, ready or not, here I come bitches!
But instead I went unnoticed, just another shoddy figure amid the other
bloody shuffling shoddy figures, all driven by the need for chicken.
Instead of shouting from the rooftops, all I could do was gurgle like those
off the telly. My outfit is ruined by the way which I ain’t happy about and
my tights are laddered like nobody’s business. The event that was to be
Majella has been reduced to nothing special. All I can think about apart
from chicken, is I should have had the balls to come out as Majella years
before. All my fears of being ridiculed and shamed because I wanted to
wear women’s clothes were dust now. They seemed pointless, a curse
that kept me from being who I truly was. How ironic that now as a
zombie, I can finally walk the streets as I always wanted to.

And not one person can ever take notice. I’m just ordinary Joe/Majella
Bloggs. I’m just a rotting hulk of regret now, trapped in this body until all
the chicken in the world has been eaten.

If by some miracle, humans survive, I really hope the new generation
learn to grab life by the horns and just go with it. Do what you want today
kids: don’t let anyone stop you. Fear of other people’s opinions kept me
back and now here I am – cross dressing zombie. Don’t be like me: live
life. Stand up and shout to the world that this is who you are. Savour
every moment before all the chicken runs out.
So if you ever see a zombie, don’t look at us just as the undead. We’re
not, well we are but we’re people too inside afflicted by this condition,
helpless at what we do because of a trick of nature.
And I suppose that if you read all our stories, you’ll see there’s a very real
truth to life: never judge by appearances and live for today.
Maybe some good will come out of this. Maybe the apocalypse will wake
people up and live as they should. Perhaps some day the new generation
of mankind will be open to people like me who don’t have to live in the
shadows. If that day truly comes, then living like this will be a small price to pay.

Owen Quinn is a resident of Northern Ireland and has been a lifelong science fiction and horror fan. He is a keen photographer from an early age. `His desire to write for his favourite show Doctor Who at the age of fifteen led to the birth of the Time Warriors series. He is the creator of both the Time Warriors and Zombie Blues books.

Story from Zombie Blues Volume 1 available here at
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03 May 2021


Today, I'm joined by Owen Quinn author of The Time Warriors and Zombie Blues series. He's sharing a short story set in the Star Trek universe right after Jean-Luc Picard is assimilated by the Borg to become Locutus of Borg. Check it out!

Jean Luc Picard was gone and Locutus of Borg now stood in his place!
Guinan stood in shock at the turn of events. The Borg, that terror that scratched her
nightmares, had returned and taken Jean Luc Picard. To many Picard was a legend, an
indestructible oasis in the midst of any tempest. He was the one they turned to; the
one that held this ship together. What would happen now that thread had been pulled?
How soon before the tight tapestry that consisted of the Enterprise crew's unfaltering
faith in him withered? If it crumbled too much then the fight with the Borg would be
over before it began. First Earth then the entire Federation would be assimilated; an
ocean of hopeful flames being extinguished with one cold deathly breath.

Closing her dark almond shaped eyes, Guinan breathed deeply letting her mind reach
out to her shipmates. She could feel the subdued fear and disbelief. It took a lot for
her to push down her own horror at this turn of events. While she knew the bridge
crew were maintaining a brave face for the sake of the crew, that crown lay heavier on
Will Riker most of all. He was now Captain with a first officer in the shape of Shelby
nipping at his heels for the captaincy he had shied away from for so long. Add to that
he had just given (thankfully an unsuccessful one) the chance to blow the abomination
out of the stars that now wore Picard's face. Regardless of the mechanical implants the
crew still saw their captain no matter what he called himself. If the Borg could
convert the best of them so easily then no one really stood a chance. Any battle and
the massacre of thousands at Wolf 359 were mere spit against the wind than a
historically remembered battle of the brave. It would be easier to surrender and allow
everything they were become part of the Borg Collective. It washed through Guinan
as she returned her expressionless gaze to the star filled vista out the window of Ten

The entire future rested on a spin of this coin and yet she knew that it wasn't over. She
kept a secret that could not be revealed until the time was right. Part of her roared at
the Fates that this was wrong but she had to find a way to salvage the situation. The
stench of hopelessness wafted the corridors of the flagship like decaying wraiths
seeking a place for their souls to rest. Riker was not thinking like a captain. The
bridge crew could see nothing beyond the fact they had just tried to kill their captain.
They were leaderless and swimming in treacle. Even the promotion thirsty Shelby
was thinking of how she could get skip to the top of the ladder if she found a solution
to all this. Troi was overwhelmed by the waves of despair. Worf was cursing his own
failure as were Geordi and Wesley. Parents held their children close, terrified these
young ones'; futures would be taken away. With a gasp, Guinan heard a mother sob to
her husband, 'Never again a lullaby.'
No! she vowed.
Although she could not yet see it there was a way to save the day. The Borg would be
defeated and Picard would be restored. She knew it. She had seen it. For a moment
Guinan stared at her own reflection in the window. She held her own gaze as it
suddenly came to her. All the crew needed was a nudge in the right direction. The
answer lay within them; all it would take is someone that had seen the hidden future
her shipmates could not know. Phasers and photon torpedoes would not solve this; it
would take the crew to look at things differently. Allowing herself a sly smile at the
memory of the moment Picard and she first met (oh Jean Luc if only you knew but
soon old friend), Guinan's course was set. She had the key to salvation with the
knowledge she had kept hidden for all these years. She somehow knew the future she
had seen was closer than she knew.
"Ok Locutus, here they come," she whispered. She knew where the wounded Riker
would be and what he was thinking. Ignited by this new spark of hope, Guinan glided
out of Ten Forward formulating a plan as she went. There will be lullabies again she
promised. Despair had been replaced by thoughts of Data's severed head and Mark

Owen Quinn is a resident of Northern Ireland and has been a lifelong science fiction and horror fan. He is a keen photographer from an early age. `His desire to write for his favourite show Doctor Who at the age of fifteen led to the birth of the Time Warriors series. He is the creator of both the Time Warriors and Zombie Blues books.

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28 September 2020


Today, I'm joined by Canadian author C.D. Gallant-King. I've had the pleasure of ARC-reading his latest book "Psycho Hose Beast From Outer Space" (out today) and I loved it. Read the full interview below for writing tips, more about C.D's writing style and giving out free hugs and cupcakes on a street corner...

Welcome C.D! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I just turned 40 (holy crap!). I’m Canadian, from the island province of Newfoundland, which you
and your readers should be familiar with. At eighteen I moved to Toronto to study theatre, and I
completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. I haven’t set foot inside a theatre since.
In my life I’ve been a stock boy, an actor, a marketing coordinator, a stage manager, a lighting
designer, a print shop manager, a retail supervisor, a trainer, an executive assistant, a
bookkeeper, and currently I push papers around for the government. I also once spent an
afternoon handing out free hugs and cupcakes on a street corner. Through all of it I’ve written
stories, but to be honest the writing doesn’t pay much better than the cupcakes.
In addition to reading books and telling stories I like playing games, especially if they involve
funny-shaped dice and talking in silly voices, and I’m also very partial to the noble and ancient
art of professional wrestling. I also buy lots of Star Wars toys and pretend they’re for my kids.
When did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve always been a writer. It’s not a decision, it just kinda happens, like getting run over by a
I decided to become a “published” writer in about 2004, except no one wanted my book. I don’t
blame them, it wasn’t very good.
Finally, in 2015 as I approached my 35 th birthday, I finally made the plunge to self-publish.
Everyone was doing it, why shouldn’t I get a chance? I never expected to make much money or
win accolades, but I thought I could at least entertain a few people with my stories, and I did. So
I’ve kept it up, because that’s who I am now.
So, what have you written?
I’ve written about a dozen novels and tons of short stories, but most of them are still sitting in
the basement in the little room under the stairs I affectionately call The Closet. I’ve self-
published three of those novels - Ten Thousand Days, Hell Comes to Hogtown, and the newest,
Psycho Hose Beast from Outer Space. I supposed all of them are some blend of “urban
fantasy,” but Days leans more toward fantasy and romance while Hogtown and Hose Beast lean
(really hard) into comedy and horror.
My short fiction has appeared in several Strangely Funny anthologies from Mystery and Horror,
a couple of collections from Dancing Lemur Press, and an upcoming issue of The Weird and
Whatnot. I also have a series of dark comic fantasy short-stories available called Werebear vs.
Landopus. They’re kind of weird and grotesque, but if you’re into really foul-mouthed dwarves,
brutally maimed heroes and jokes about bodily fluids, then have I got a treat for you!

Do you have any odd writing habits?
I write on the bus, does that count? Before COVID, I had a very long commute to and from work
every day, so to make use of that time I spent a lot of it writing. Hell Comes to Hogtown was
written and edited almost exclusively with my laptop balanced on my knees on an Ottawa city
bus. Some people might find it distracting, but with my iPod blaring in my ears and my focus on
my screen I don’t even notice it anymore. I get so “in the zone” that sometimes I nearly missed
my stop.
Even before the pandemic I had been riding the bus less, so I took to different tactics. Psycho
Hose Beast From Outer Space was written almost entirely on my phone, with me tapping out
paragraphs whenever I had a few free moments - waiting for appointments, on break at work,
sitting with my kids while they fell asleep. I don’t have a ton of free time, so you have to make
every minute count.

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

Absolutely. I even tend to leave it between rounds of editing/revision. The longer you stare at
something the harder it is to be objective and worse, j
Any tips on what to do and what not to do when writing?
ust reading it becomes a chore. I have
fallen asleep both reading and listening to my own work, and it’s embarrassing. You don’t ever
want to end up at that point.
So after you’ve spent several months writing a draft, take some time off to write something else
or read a few books or do whatever you need to do to recharge your brain. You want to come
back at it with fresh eyes and renewed interest. You will care more about it when you feel like
the words are at least a little less stale, and it’s not the tenth time you’ve read them in a week.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing as far as content?
Do you mean things I find difficult to write? Not many. I’m not bothered by sex, violence,
profanity and such, which you can probably tell if you read any of my work. I don’t get upset by
killing characters or anything like that. Character death is a necessary part of a story, and one of
a writer’s tools. It would be like getting upset by having to type the letter “q.”
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing as far as content?

Do you mean things I find difficult to write? Not many. I’m not bothered by sex, violence,
profanity and such, which you can probably tell if you read any of my work. I don’t get upset by
killing characters or anything like that. Character death is a necessary part of a story, and one of
a writer’s tools. It would be like getting upset by having to type the letter “q.”
I will admit that lately I’ve been a little apprehensive about stuff involving children. Not about
writing for children, I love writing children’s stories, but about combining my aforementioned sex,
violence and profanity with kids. Being a relatively new parent with small kids leaves that as a
slightly sensitive subject to me. I know, however, that it’s also a sensitive subject with many
other people, so it may at some point be a topic worth exploring. I probably will write about it
someday, it’s just a little too fresh and raw on my mind right now.

Any tips on what to do and what not to do when writing?

What to do: Just write. I know that sounds dumb, and clichéd, but I hear about so many people
who are “writing” a novel but never seem to finish it. Put words down on paper and see what
happens. This leads directly to…
What not to do: Everything else. Stop second-guessing yourself, wondering whether it’s “good
enough”; it doesn’t matter, just put something down, you can fix it later. Stop worrying about
covers and marketing and maps when you don’t have a story to go with it. Stop spending so
much time on message boards, talking about writing; all those words are wasted, they could be
going into your manuscript. Stop world-building and calculating the air speed and wing-beats
per minute of dragons in your universe. None of it will matter if no one ever reads the book
because you’ve never finished it. And stop reading advice about writing from people who don’t
know what they’re talking about.
Wait a minute…

C.D. Gallant-King writes comic horror and fantasy stories in a variety of settings and genres. He
is a proud Newfoundlander and Canadian currently living in Ottawa, Ontario. He holds a
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre. He lived in Toronto for 10 years and tried to be an actor and a
rock star, but we don't talk about that. He is now a happy husband and father of two.
C.D. has previously published two novels, and a third book, PSYCHO HOSE BEAST FROM
OUTER SPACE, is set to be released September 28. His book HELL COMES TO HOGTOWN
was a semi-finalist in Mark Lawrence’s 2018 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off. His work has also
appeared four times in Mystery & Horror's STRANGELY FUNNY anthologies of comic horror
stories, an upcoming issue of The Weird and Whatnot magazine, and in two anthologies from
Dancing Lemur Press.

Newfoundland, Canada, 1992.
Gale Harbour hasn’t seen any excitement since the military abandoned the base there thirty
years ago, unless you count the Tuesday night 2-for-1 video rentals at Jerry's Video Shack. So
when a dead body turns up floating in the town water supply, all evidence seems to point to a
boring accident.
Niall, Pius and Harper are dealing with pre-teen awkwardness in the last days of summer before
the start of high school. The same night the body is found, the three of them witness unusual
lights in the sky over the bay.
Is it a coincidence? Are the lights connected to the rapidly-increasing string of mysterious
deaths? And what does the creepy old lady at the nursing home have to do with it?
There is an evil older than time hidden deep beneath the waters of the North Atlantic. It is
hungry, and vengeful, and it has its sights set on Gale Harbour to begin its path of destruction.
All that stands in its way are a group of kids who would rather be playing Street Fighter II...

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