“The Man Who Loved Pie” in Mystery Weekly Magazine

My mystery short story “The Man Who Loved Pie” will appear in Issue 2 of Mystery Weekly Magazine on September 14. Subscribe for free and get this and other mystery shorts delivered to your inbox every week!

“The Man Who Loved Pie” (sample)

…Bellock was already crossing the street (against the light, and ignoring the honks of disgruntled drivers), his destination seemingly a 50s-style diner. For such a big man with such short legs, I thought, he sure could move quickly.

I waited for the light to change and followed him. Through the diner’s large windows, I saw him squeeze into a booth and place an order with the waitress.

Inside I stood by his table but it took him a while to notice me. “Oh, Penning,” he said, finally. “You’ll have to excuse me, I’ve been very impolite. Would you like some pie as well? You’ll just have to promise to sit here quietly while we eat.”

“You ordered pie?”

“Apple, but they have all sorts.”

“Why?” I said, before I could stop myself. Then, realizing the answer to that question was obvious, I said, “Can’t it wait? We have a murder to investigate.”

Amazingly, an annoyed expression overtook the many folds of Bellock’s face. He sighed, stared out the diner window, and said without looking at me, “I’m not ready yet. You may proceed alone if you wish.”

Subscribe before September 14 to get this story delivered to your inbox.

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“A School Report on My Great-Grandad, a Retired Superhero” in Triangulation: Lost Voices

I’m very happy to announce that my story “A School Report on My Great-Grandad, a Retired Superhero” appears in the latest Triangulation anthology, Lost Voices.

Edited by Jamie Lackey, the anthology also features stories by B.C. Matthews, Alexandra Grunberg, H.L. Fullerton, Rebecca Harwell, Melissa Mead, Jennifer Crow, Joann Oh, Erin Cole, Anita Dolman, Sue Burke, Sean Jones, Michael Nayak, J.J. Roth, Vincent Baverso, Kathryn Yelinek, Jon Michael Kelley, Leigh Harlan, John Walters, Paul Abbamondi and Frank Oreto.

Triangulation: Lost Voices


Experience twenty-one separate visions of what a lost voice sounds like, from a silenced voice inside your head to the screaming of a long-dead alien species careening through space. Within these pages, you’ll find superheroes and ghosts, living statues and vengeful rabbits, polar bears and sailing ships.

Will you listen to our lost voices?


“Loss of a Second” by B.C. Mathews
“Passing Through” by Alexandra Grunberg
“A School Report on My Great-Grandad, a Retired Superhero” by Karl El-Koura
“The First and Second Offerings” by H.L. Fullerton
“The Bear-Woman of the North” by Rebecca Harwell
“Sea Queen, Sailor Queen” by Melissa Mead
“Wandering Swallows” by Jennifer Crow
“Moving Metal” by Joann Oh
“Not All Their Own” by Erin Cole
“The Dragoon of the Order of Montesa, or the Proper Assessment of History” by Nilo María Fabra and translated by Sue Burke
“The Frykstadbanan” by Michael Nayak
“By Way of Answer” by Sean Jones
“Matryoshka” by J.J. Roth
“Pacific Standard” by Anita Dolman
“Empty Reception” by Vincent Baverso
“Offering” by Kathryn Yelinek
“The Ghost of Arriscado Basin” by Jon Michael Kelley
“Nature Could Not With His Art Compare” by Leigh Harlen
“Aurora Borealis” by John Walters
“Opportune” by Paul Abbamondi
“Love at the End of the World” by Frank Oreto

“A School Report on My Great-Grandad, a Retired Superhero” (sample)

This is my report on my great-grandad, submitted to Ms. Gellick, a sixth grade English teacher at All Saints Elementary in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Earth.

My great-grandad’s name is Sam Twyson and he is one hundred and seventy years old. I don’t have a great-grandma because my great-grandad never married and wasn’t able to have his own children. My great-grandad adopted my grandad in 2115, to celebrate his one-hundredth birthday.

I chose to write my report on him because my great-grandad is interesting and because my dad says I do not spend enough time with him.

My thesis statement is that I don’t spend enough time with my great-grandad because although he is a very interesting person, everything interesting has already happened to him and he tells a lot of stories and repeats them. As a young person, I like to have interesting experiences and not just hear about them. Part of my thesis statement is also that I don’t spend a lot of time with my great-grandad because he does not like leaving his home (like many old people in my experience).

Purchase your copy of Lost Voices to read this and other interesting stories.

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“Battle at the Pit” in Frost Fire Worlds

I forgot to announce that my story “Battle at the Pit” sold to Frost Fire Worlds and appears in their May 2015 issue. You can read a sample of the story below and order this and previous issues of the magazine from the Alban Lake store. The contents of the May 2015 issue are:

Cog by JD DeHart
The Harper of Stone by Sandra Unerman
The Next Step in the Dance by Maureen Bowden
Battle at the Pit by Karl El-Koura
Making Up by Caroline Cutting

The Adventures of Colo Collins & Tama Toledo in Space and Time by Tyree Campbell – Episode 1: Let’s Find Out

Flash Fiction
A Pet Picnic by Nick Thomas
Merlin’s Sword by Matthew Wilson

What’s Hot and What’s Not by John Grey
Dragontalk by Richard H. Durisen
Dragon by Richard H. Durisen
The Exiled Tyrant by Matthew Wilson
That’s My Boy by John Grey
Battle of Marlowe’s Field by Matthew Wilson
The Farmer’s Task by Matthew Wilson

The Lauren McBride Page
The Sandy DeLuca Page

Battle at the Pit (sample)

Sebastien didn’t hear Sophie yelling at first. But out of the corner of his eye he saw her waving her arms and, reluctantly, he landed the lawnmower.

“—that thing off already!”

“Okay, it’s off—what’s up, Soph?”

“Steven!” she said in her eight-year-old whine, almost stamping the ground in her agitation. “He’s in trouble. He’s—”

Sebastien sighed, then turned the mower back on. He still had another acre to mow before he could call it a day for chores and get back to his own projects.

Loud as it was, though, the mower’s engines couldn’t drown out Sophie’s screams now that he was attuned to her voice. He retracted the blades and flew towards his little sister, which wasn’t nice because the mower scared her. But this time she stood her ground.

He landed again.

“You don’t understand!” she said, and now he could see that she was on the verge of crying.

“Okay.” Sebastien hopped off the vehicle. “I’m sorry. What’s going on?”

Her blue eyes filmed over with tears. “Steven took your bot! He’s—”

“Soph, where is he?” He grabbed her shoulders. “Tell me!”

“The Pit. He’s at the Pit.”

“Go back inside, Soph. Don’t tell Mom and Dad. Deal?”

Buy the May 2015 issue of Frost Fire Worlds

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Released! Bishop John VS the Antichrist

March 25 is here already, and my new novel Bishop John VS the Antichrist is available just about everywhere ebooks are sold.

Bishop John Cover Art

You can order your copy now:

Newsletter subscribers (you can enter your email below to join) have received a coupon code on the release date (valid for one month) to purchase their copy of the ebook at 50% off from Smashwords.com. Join the newsletter now so you don’t miss out on the next release.

The paperback is in the works and should be available soon.


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Upcoming Release: Bishop John VS the Antichrist

I’m pleased to announce the upcoming release of my new novel, Bishop John VS the Antichrist. Bishop John is the sequel to my debut novel, Father John VS the Zombies, and picks up where that book ended.

Bishop John Cover ArtThe ebook release date is set for March 25, 2015, though you can pre-order your copy at the links below and it will be delivered to you on that date.

I’m expecting the paperback to be released later this spring/summer.

Newsletter subscribers (you can enter your email below to join) receive a coupon code on the release date (valid for one month) to purchase their copy of the ebook at 50% off from Smashwords.com.


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Sneak Peek: Sequel to Father John VS the Zombies

I’m very excited to reveal the cover and title of the sequel to my debut novel Father John VS the Zombies:

Reveal of Bishop John VS the Antichrist

Here’s the ebook cover:

Cover for Bishop John VS the Antichrist

Bishop John VS the Antichrist is in editing right now, and I’m expecting it to be available for purchase in late December this year.

I’ll reveal more information about the sequel in the coming weeks.

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Cover Art Refresh

This summer, I decided to take stock* of the cover art for my published books and see if I wanted to make any changes. Turns out I did feel I could improve on some of my books’ covers.

The first change I made, for my short story “The Redeyes,” was quite drastic:

The Redeyes (eBook)

Cover for "The Redeyes"


Cover for "The Redeyes"


Next I turned my attention to my novella The Last Adventure of Garrius Arilius. I scrapped almost the entire design and started over:

The Last Adventure of Garrius Arilius (eBook)

The Last Adventure of Garrius Arilius (ebook cover)


The Last Adventure of Garrius Arilius (ebook cover)


The Last Adventure of Garrius Arilius (Paperback)

The Last Adventure of Garrius Arilius Paperback Cover


The Last Adventure of Garrius Arilius (paperback cover)


For my collection of short stories The Lost Stories: A Series of Cosmic Adventures, I made a few tiny tweaks. Actually, the very first version used a beautiful Hubble telescope image as the background, but I didn’t think it accurately reflected the book (especially its comic element). So I redid the cover almost immediately, and apparently I liked it enough that during this summer refresh, I kept it pretty much the same.

The Lost Stories: A Series of Cosmic Adventures (eBook)

The Lost Stories (Old Cover Art)

Really Old

The Lost Stories: A Series of Cosmic Adventures Cover Art


The Lost Stories (eBook Cover)


The Lost Stories: A Series of Cosmic Adventures (Paperback)



The Lost Stories (Paperback Cover)


That left two books—my short story collection Ooter’s Place and Other Stories of Fear, Faith, and Love and my novel Father John VS the Zombiesand my short story The Man Who Mistook Himself for a Superhero. I like all three covers enough to leave them alone for now, and especially Father John since I’ll update the cover anyway when I release the sequel.

So that’s it for this edition of the summer cover refresh. Let me know if you think the new covers are an improvement over the old, if you like them, hate them, or have any suggestions to make them better.

* Pun intended if you thought that was funny. Otherwise, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

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C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters

My latest recommendation is one of my favourite novels: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, a book that has managed to retain a great deal of its freshness and power in the almost seventy-five years since it was first published.

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Message from Spalmfred (aka, “Message from Alfred Petrick”)

I get spam messages all the time, but the one below is the first I’ve received through Goodreads (I flagged it, so presumably this account will be taken down). Interesting that unlike most spam I receive, this message seems like it was written by someone familiar with the English language—I guess Goodreads attracts more literate spammers.

I don’t imagine many writers would fall for this, but I’m adding it to this site just in case someone has doubts and does a search.

The text:

Hello, Karl El-Koura. I just want to say hi and introduce myself – I’m a huge fan of your books! Your dialogue is snappy and it’s like I could physically hear every word. Thank you so much for sharing your talent.

As an aspiring author myself, I thought I’d send you a quick message to share a recently discovered website specifically designed for authors to increase the sales of our books. I’ve personally tried what’s offered on that website for the last month and honestly, I was blown away with the results I got!

I’ve managed to increase my fiction book sales from an average of 150 per week to more than 550 per week as a result of using only these techniques. I love your work and admire you as an author, I want more people to experience your books! Everyone deserves to hear your stories so I’m excited to share this website as friendly act of kindness.

You can find it here: [link removed]. This website features only the absolute best products for independent authors and publishers.

I want quality work to receive the audience it deserves – nowadays it’s so hard to increase sales. P.S. I assure you – I’m not affiliated with this website in any way. Good luck, Karl El-Koura!

And a screenshot:

Message from Spalmfred

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“Luna City, At Night” at Daily Science Fiction

My story “Luna City, At Night” is now available at Daily Science Fiction. Here’s a preview:

Every night before I hit the bars, I push the mattress off my bed and pick out one of the expensive watches. In my house, under the mattress is the safest hiding spot. I select a watch, like I do every Friday night, and put it on. Real leather wallets keep the watches company; I choose one of those and shove money inside. Without the mattress, my bed looks like a snake-lover’s garden: silvery serpentine watches crawl over brown rock-like wallets. I replace the mattress.

Every time I head out, I think: Luna City is beautiful at night. It’s the same every night, but it’s beautiful.

Daytime is a recurring nightmare filled with unceasing sameness. I get up at the same time each day and take my shower at the exact same time because the water supply is tightly controlled. I wait for a crowded floater to stop in front of my dome and for the driver to throw open the dome’s latch. I get on the floater and stand between the same sweaty people and I never get a seat and I get off at the dome stop linked up to my work complex. The floater keeps going, bumping along on a jet of pushed air, a giant farting machine. As precise as clockwork, the floater comes around at the same time each day, and farts along at the same speed, traveling every day along the same dome-dotted path.

At work, every day is the exact same. I work with the same people, and take my breaks in the same cafeteria. I come in to work every day at the same time and I eat lunch at the same time and the boss yells, every day at the same time.

But nighttime is a different story.

Read “Luna City, At Night” >>

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Featured Book

Ooter's Pace and Other Stories of Fear, Faith, and Love Cover Art

Why doesn’t God do something to stop the evil and suffering in the world? Some people who call themselves the “Atheists Against God” think they know the answer. And they know what they’re going to do about it, too.

A hired gun—who doesn’t use a gun and won’t be hired by just anyone—realizes that his profession is killing him, but finds it hard to quit. Until he discovers that his talent has more uses than he ever dreamed possible.

A young boy learns that his best friend is an alien. But does that mean they have to stop being friends?