The Dapper Press Library

A fine selection of handcrafted tales, presented alphabetically for your literary pleasure


Anomaly Flats

Clayton Smith

Somewhere just off the interstate, in the heart of the American Midwest, there’s a quaint, quirky town where the stars in the sky circle a hypnotic void….where magnetic fields play havoc with time and perception…where metallic rain and plasma rivers and tentacles in the plumbing are simply part of the unsettling charm.

Mallory Jenkins is about to experience the unique properties of this place for herself – she’ll have no choice, considering the collapsed bridge that rerouted her urgent and mysterious trip to Saskatchewan, forcing her straight into the heart of town, where her Impala has an inexplicable breakdown. She intends to stay overnight - just until the auto repair shop can make the fix in the morning and send her on her way. But Mallory will soon encounter Dr. Lewis Burnish, a scientist who’s studied the town for a dozen years and knows more about its strangeness than even the locals do. And when she accidentally-on-purpose creates his evil clone, she’ll set off a series of events that could unleash the ultimate evil upon the town and wreak havoc on the world at large. 
Life in a small town is like that sometimes. 

Welcome to Anomaly Flats. Have some waffles, meet the folks, and enjoy the scenery…and if you happen to be in Walmart, whatever you do, don’t go down aisle 8. 

Don’t EVER go down aisle 8. 



Apocalypticon

Clayton Smith

Three years have passed since the Jamaicans caused the apocalypse, and things in post-Armageddon Chicago have settled into a new kind of normal. Unfortunately, that "normal" includes collapsing skyscrapers, bands of bloodthirsty maniacs, and a dwindling cache of survival supplies. After watching his family, friends, and most of the non-sadistic elements of society crumble around him, Patrick decides it's time to cross one last item off his bucket list.

He's going to Disney World. 

This hilarious, heartfelt, gut-wrenching odyssey through post-apocalyptic America is a pilgrimage peppered with peril, as fellow survivors Patrick and Ben encounter a slew of odd characters, from zombie politicians and deranged survivalists to a milky-eyed oracle who doesn't have a lot of good news. Plus, it looks like Patrick may be hiding the real reason for their mission to the Magic Kingdom...


Breakdown: Volume 1

Jordon Quattlebaum

When Thom Monroe’s car breaks down on the side of the road he’s sure the day can’t get any worse. However, he soon receives a mysterious call warning of impending doom. Moments later the U.S. is hit by what appears to be an Electromagnetic Pulse, knocking the power grid almost completely offline. Millions will die in the coming weeks, and Thom is unprepared. Worst of all, his daughter, the only family he has left, is half way across the state at college. 

Join Thom as he makes friends, outwits thugs, battles bandits, and travels across the state to reunite with his daughter. Can a broken man survive and thrive the apocalypse? 


IT CAME FROM ANOMALY FLATS

CLAYTON SMITH

The oddest little town in the Midwest has a thousand demented stories to tell...some of them are horrifying enough to send shivers down the strongest of spines. There’s the tale of a man whose utter fear of germs sends him plummeting to the depths of depravity, and the victims he takes with him; the story of a couple escaping Missouri to fulfill their California dreams who take an innocent detour and find themselves trapped in the most unexpected of nightmares instead; the legend of a demonic creature who thrives on human flesh, which may be more reality than fiction. 

In this first collected volume of chill-inducing stories from everyone’s favorite transdimensional town, you’ll find reason enough to question your own sanity, even as you try to reassure yourself that things like this only happen in stories. 

Don’t they? 

Welcome to Anomaly Flats. 

How loud can you scream?

 


Joe Vampire

Steven Luna

Hey, folks. I’m Joe, and I’m a vampire – not by choice, mind you, but by accident…a fate-twisting, fang-creating, blood lust-inducing misunderstanding. It started with a group date, a case of mistaken identity and far too many sake bombers, and ended with a ridiculous set of circumstances that I just can’t seem to wrap my head around. Maybe you can tell: I’m not real happy about it. But I’m certainly not going to let it get in the way of my life. So I’ve thrown my ranting into a blog. I’m hanging out my dirty laundry in an effort to explain the real deal about being a card-carrying member of the Undead Elite. Maybe it will help others understand the truth about vampires. Maybe it will help me come to terms with it, too. Believe me, it’s not all satin capes and naked ladies…none of it is, actually. One naked lady would be nice. Instead, it’s just one nasty little surprise after another. The truth bears exposing, and I’m pulling back the curtain on all of it. If I can figure out how to keep it from mowing me over in the process, then that’s groovy, too. And that thing about vampires sparkling in the sun? 

That is a bunch of bull.


Joe Vampire: The Afterlife

The Joe Vampire Series Book 2

Steven Luna

So...yeah. It's me again. America's most sarcastic vampire. I'm back on the blog. It's been a while - about a year, if we need to get into specifics. Which I usually do. It's just a thing with me. A lot has happened since we last chatted - some good, some bad. All worthwhile, in the grand scheme. I've dealt with the whole Living Dead thing long enough now to know how to keep it from taking over my life. What I'm still figuring out is how to keep it from wreaking havoc on everyone else's lives. It's a roller coaster, for sure, but I'm convinced that waiting for me somewhere on the other side of the Other Side is a real-life life, not just some artificially-sweetened half-life substitute. I want a family. I want my music. I want the dream come true, not the dream fell through. And I'm determined to have it, regardless of how eternal this afterlife thing might be. But it's a hell of a lot to keep track of. Barring any unforeseen developments that might undo all my vampirosity, I may have to grow up a little in order to get it all to work out. I'm ready for that, though. 

As fun as it might seem to hang with the Lost Boys, I can't be Peter Pan-pire forever.


Joe Vampire: The New Paranormal

The Joe Vampire Series Book 3

Steven Luna

What has two fangs, a houseful of domestic madness and a brand-new blog full of vampire blah-blah-blah? 

This guy right here. 

Twice around the web and five years of contemporary ghoul-dude antics just weren’t enough for me. So I’m doing it all over again. This time, I’m in the throes of family expansion, in the form of another sticky-handed little Asherling running around this place—complete with vampire complications of his own. And the music project is picking up steam, too, including an amazing opportunity to tour with Revenant, those legendary gods of 80s Gothtronica. I’ll have to realign my work responsibilities and figure out how to be away from Chloe and the kids for a while in order to make it all happen. And, of course, the vampire elements will need to be kept under control. 

That’s always tricky. 

I can handle anything it throws at me, as long as my family stays safe. 

There’s a lot to keep track of when the big What Happens Next has become the big What’s Happening Now. At this point, I’m balancing everything as best I can—the wife and kids, the day job and the dream job, the friends old and new. Joe Asher and Joe Vampire. It’s tenuous but possible, if I put my not-so-beating heart into it. 

It’s about time I accept that my life is always going to be a little more complex than I’d expected. All things considered, it’s a definite double-fistful of awesome, with a smattering of not-so-wonderful thrown in for good measure. 

Yep. Welcome to the new paranormal. 

Population: us.


KEEPERS

STEVEN LUNA

As sixth-generation Keepers, sisters Agatha and Sarah Spindlecrook can Awaken the dead simply by speaking their names. But the dead who sleep in Broodhaven Cemetery suddenly seem to be rising all on their own. The sisters can also put the dead back Asleep by speaking their names again while dropping a stone...though that doesn’t seem to be working for them at the moment, either. Now, all of Broodhaven is in danger of being overrun by the rising dead as they Awaken and head back to the village for the comforts of home, which threatens to destroy the tenuous balance between life and death. Enter serial widow Prudence Callowill, who’s received a divine message regarding how to rid Broodhaven of their infestation of Awakened souls—but her plan involves ridding Broodhaven of the Spindlecrooks, too. A mysterious figure holds the secret of the Unbidden Awakenings, and another might be able to make all well again...if only those who could truly help put things right weren’t already dead themselves.

 


 

MABEL GRAY AND THE WIZARD WHO SWALLOWED THE SUN

Clayton Smith

All is not well in Brightsbane, the village of eternal night. An evil wizard—the very wizard who swallowed the sun, in fact—has stolen The Boneyard Compendium, a book of powerful spells that could bring about the destruction of the entire town. When an Elder enlists the orphans of St. Crippleback’s Home for Waifs and Strays to help track down the wizard, the ever-intrepid Mabel Gray sets out to find the three keys of bone that unlock the Compendium before the wizard gets his diabolical hands on them.

Armed with only her wit and a frightfully small bit of magic in her pocket, Mabel embarks on an adventure that brings her face-to-face with talking scarecrows, high-ranking monsters, babbling witches, ill-tempered daemons, a riddlesome owl who fancies himself a raven, and more. But the wizard isn’t a wizard for nothing, and his evil magic may prove to be more powerful than Mabel ever imagined...


NA AKUA

CLAYTON SMITH

Maui was supposed to be a romantic trip for two. But when Grayson Park’s bride leaves him at the altar, a solo trip to paradise seems like just the thing to take him far from his troubles. Then he meets the beautiful and enigmatic Hi’iaka, and his troubles just begin—because when she’s abducted by the sinister Kamapua’a, a savage creature bent on draining her life by the light of the full moon, she calls on Grayson to rescue her. With his loyal, new-found Hawaiian friend Polunu as his steadfast guide, Grayson sets out on an incredible adventure that pits him against the very gods of Hawaiian mythology and leads him to the heart of Pele’s volcano, into the ocean to find the mythical Hook of Maui, and through the strange and brutal upcountry fleeing from demonic mo’o sent to destroy him. But there are only two nights left before the moon becomes full, and Grayson is running out of time to save Hi’iaka...and himself.


Pants on Fire: A Collection of Lies

Clayton Smith

A misplaced tramp, a castle of nitwits, some deadly mirrors, a crusade against hugs, a conversation with a very somber wheat farmer, and this pesky little thing called “the Rapture”; all these and more pepper the pages of Pants on Fire: A Collection of Lies. 

Welcome to a twisted, quirky, macabre world full of hilarious and chilling tales. Equal parts humor and horror, these seventeen surprising stories will leave you thrilled, thrown, and enthralled. 

Being lied to has never been so much fun!


Running on Empty: Preacher and Ghost - Tape #1

Jordon Quattlebaum

It's been 80 years since a meteor strike plunged the world into darkness. 

Preacher and Ghost, two post-apocalyptic couriers that eek out a meager existence hauling packages from Citadel to Citadel have found themselves a bit down on their luck. With only a quarter tank of gas and a few shotgun shells between them and indentured servitude at the light-farms, they resort to doing something they swore they'd never do; taking a job from a stranger. 

Tape #1 is the first of four stand-alone short stories centering on these characters. I hope you enjoy.


SIMEON CROOM AND THE TREASURE STAR (THE CHRONICLES OF CROOM, BOOK 1)

STEVEN LUNA

In 1926, when technology was far simpler, the world much vaster, and the notion of global discovery still a thrilling and mysterious prospect, dashing adventurer extraordinaire Simeon Croom traveled far and wide on an intrepid search for evidence of forgotten prehistoric cultures—their ruins, their remnants, and their relics.

Then he took a job at Hydewhite Museum, and his life changed considerably.

Ten years after he abandoned his worldwide explorations in search of ancient artifacts and vanished civilizations and settled for lecturing about them instead, Croom receives an invitation for one last exploit from his oldest comrade and ex-artifact-hunting partner Horatio Bombfell. The mission? Travel into the heart of the steamy Sarabezi jungle and retrieve the Treasure Star, a mythological jeweled orb said to be a gift given by the gods to a shaman from the long-extinct Zingaloo tribe. It’s an offer Croom can hardly afford to pass up, especially with Hydewhite footing the bill. With his steadfast and sensible assistant Nebula Everhope along to keep the excursion from flying off the rails and nothing but a mysterious stone tablet that may (or may not) be a map to lead them onward, Croom and Bombfell head off on the adventure of a lifetime! But Bombfell’s increasingly sinister ways are undeniable, and all might not be as it seems regarding his intentions for the Treasure Star, if the relic even exists at all...


Songs from the Phenomenal Nothing

Steven Luna

The man doesn’t even look like he could be my father. Not the face. Not the build. No likeness whatsoever. But her? There is no question whatsoever that she is my mother...or she was, anyway. Until she died last summer. Now, it’s just me and him. Him and me. A man I can’t comprehend, designated by the universe as my father but someone I prefer to call Tom, and a kid he can’t relate to but calls son anyway because he’s determined to try. I really wish he’d just call me Tyler. He probably wishes I’d call him Dad. But I’m not comfortable with that at this point. Our differences and our lack of mutual understanding are the only things we seem to agree on. And even those get heated sometimes. 

Seriously, it’s a miracle that we haven’t hurt each other yet. I’m not sure how much longer we can hold out. 



Starfire and the Miracle Tree

Steven Luna

Emmaline Starfire Donahue has a secret: an angel has given her a feather from its wing – an honest-to-goodness angel feather that sparkles and shines and smells like rain! Everybody knows that nothing ever grows in Wahzaloo County except weeds and despair. But when Emmaline plants the feather in her front yard, it grows into a tree that bears miracles – enough for everyone in Wahzaloo! Rain falls for the first time in years, the bald grow hair, and the tone-deaf sing! Who would have believed it? If only her momma were there to share it with her…but she vanished nearly a year ago, and Emmaline’s world has been upside-down ever since. What made Momma disappear, and how will the tree help Emmaline overcome her sadness? With help from Daddy and some fantastic friends – and even a little from her mean-as-the-devil older sister, Juleene – Emmaline might finally understand the truth as she works her way toward a most astounding revelation... Starfire and the Miracle Tree is a magical realism tale that explores the issues of grieving and loss in a tender, whimsical way that will resonate with children and adults alike. For readers seven years and up.


THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS

STEVEN LUNA

A man who receives life-changing financial advice from the talking fruit in his breakfast bowl...a girl whose thoughts incinerate her family over and over again...a house that wants nothing more than to please its occupants, and will do anything at all to make sure they’re happy. From enchanting to troubling to downright disturbing, this is why can’t have nice things explores the notion that sometimes even the most promising of magic can go askew, through an array of characters whose outcomes can be horrifying, hilarious, or heartbreaking - all delivered with inventive charm and wickedly gleeful wit. 

Wonder no more of magic, for this is why we can’t have nice things.