Nothing is ever as it seems. Ill-begotten wealth, fame, and glory come at a high price.
Featuring award winning authors and Horror Writers Association members, The Devil’s Due offers enthralling horror stories of underhanded deals gone awry.
The Resurrection and the Life – Jude Reid
“First do no harm.”
They were supposed to be the words Alec Duffy would live his life by — instead, there’s a dead man at his feet and blood on his hands. It’s going to take a miracle for Duffy to graduate with his life, his reputation and his future intact — but in the depths of a hard Glasgow winter, miracles are thin on the ground.
Dante’s Tenth – Bobby Nash
Dante, Arizona is not your average mining town. Those who came to this barren speck of desert struck it rich. Gold, silver, and other valuable minerals are there for the taking. This brings new blood to town as well as old blood. When a young reporter’s assistant becomes enamored of the daughter of a new arrival, he learns the terrifying truth behind the town. The townsfolk made a deal and payday is coming.
Identity Theft – Rachel Brune
A deal with a Fallen One is signed, sealed, and delivered in blood. Brent Whitehall, however, claims he never signed on the Devil’s line, and hires Hell’s private investigator to clear his name.
Here Comes Mr Herribone! – Tim Jeffreys
Jim Game and his partner, Tommy, work the comedy circuit without success until Tommy invents the character of Mr Herribone. With his sackcloth head, pratfalls, and song and dance routines, Mr Herribone is a hit. Soon Jim and Tommy are doing sold out gigs and TV shows. But did Tommy really invent Mr Herribone? Or did he strike a deal with someone, something, somewhere? And the price of that deal? Jim is about to find out.
Genevieve and the Owl – Mark Allan Gunnells
Once upon a time…a lovely young woman who dreamed of escaping the poverty and abuse of life with her step-father and step-brothers. Then she met a creature in the form of an owl that offered her three wishes. Could a strategic use of these wishes lead her to a happily ever after…or to destruction?
The Plan – Josh Vasquez
A detective surveys a grisly crime scene straight out of a horror movie and wonders: was this a random slaying or a long thought out revenge plan gone wrong?
Face It – Carol Gyzander
Connor’s lost money, prestige and society connections due to his wife Amy’s disfiguring disease. Shunned by the same friends that made them the “it couple,” he ponders her request for help in ending it all. She says it’s what she wants, right? Right?
Mary’s Plan – Winfield Strock III
Who knows what the future brings? What would you do to ensure a favorable outcome? In the midst of the American Civil War, Mary found herself tempted to save her husband and her country through a deal with dark powers. She thought she knew the hidden price and was prepared to pay it, but the depths of evil plumb deeper than mortals can fathom.
Saddie’s Choices – Ravyn Crescent
Time was up. That was the heart gripping feeling Saddie had grappled with many times in her life— a life that was going to be cut short. Ten years ago, she’d burned her bridges and signed Lucifer’s contract, giving her ten years of freedom and love. Now she has to fight his demonic collection agents or risk losing everything, including the love of her life.
And the clock is ticking.
The Devil You Know – Shane Nelson
When Paul Block’s best friends die in a tragic accident, he finds out that he is the guardian to their newborn daughter. Losing his friends and becoming a single father prove too much for Paul, so when a stranger offers him a chance to get his old life back, he takes it. But he soon discovers that we’re all responsible for our actions and when it comes to signing contracts, the devil is in the details.
Good Samuel Rittan – Samuel R. Grosse
Samuel Rittan could always be described as kind, thoughtful and most of all, “Good” throughout the entirety of his life. Following an unfortunate event that leads to the death of his wife, Samuel decides to make a nefarious pact with the fallen one himself for the safety of his daughters. Some deals seem too good to be true and as Samuel shall find out while on an evening stroll through the woods, this deal is anything but “Good.”
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What readers are saying about The Devil’s Due Nothing Is Ever As It Seems!
The Devil’s Due: Nothing Is Ever As It Seems (full reviews here)
“When I first picked up this anthology, I had the idea that the theme was obvious: bad people getting their just deserts. I’m a fan of the karma come home to play genre, and so many of these stories really hit that mark for me, and adding in real demonology and lore just makes it all the sweeter… but the anthology actually has a different message and that message is shouted with every single tale: if you mess with dark forces you will always suffer for it.
Good intentions? Too bad. Innocent mistake? So sad. If you play a game with demons, devils, or other dark forces, you’re not going to come out of it on top. This isn’t an anthology of redemption or lessons being learned, except perhaps for the reader. A few stories left me feeling satisfied, others crushed, but not a one of them really leaves you feeling happy—and that’s great, that’s not the theme here!
If you enjoy stories about demonic contracts, this anthology is for you. If you want daring, last minute escapes, happy endings, blissful peace… you won’t like this anthology. And not every story is going to leave you feeling the same. Sometimes it’s like being torn from emotion to emotion, sometimes you feel sick to your stomach, sometimes you feel scared. It’s not always sneering at the misfortunes of others who have done wrong, it’s quite often forcing you to realize that these things can happen to anyone, even those who didn’t think they were involved, those who learned their lesson, or those who were simply in the wrong place…” – Rob W. (4/5 stars)
The Devil’s Due is an “unlucky 13” stories about people who make Faustian bargains (sometimes unwittingly) with the devil or one of his infernal agents. It’s a familiar literary trope, but the authors in this anthology breathe new life into it, sometimes by recasting a story in an unexpected setting. Bobby Nash’s story “Dante’s Teeth” is set in the Old West, and it’s an excellent Western as well as a horror story. “Genevieve and the Owl” by Mark Allan Gunnells takes the form of a dark fairy tale, and as a lover of folk horror I found the story fascinating. “Mary’s Secret” by Winfield Strock III (an author who is new to me) gives us a story of Victorian-era spiritualism and a historical setting in the form of a secret letter written by Mary Todd Lincoln in 1882. And one of my favorite horror themes, the cursed book, ends the anthology with Adam Messer’s “The Known and True History of the Djin.” Highly recommended for all lovers of horror literature. – Darrell Grizzell (5/5 stars)
The Devil’s Due: Nothing Is Ever As It Seems: Horror dark spec fiction anthology (The Devil’s Due: Horror dark spec fiction anthology Book 1) is a great anthology written by a lot of different author. I really liked reading this and I recommend this to all. I read a complimentary Advanced Reader Copy of this book & am voluntarily leaving an honest and unbiased review. – Scarolet Ellis (5/5 stars)
Ireally enjoyed the stories I read in this anthology. They really did a great job capturing my interest and holding my attention and I especially enjoyed reading “Genevieve and the Owl” by Mark Allan Gunnells. It has a very sympathetic protagonist and in my humble opinion, sets up a perfectly creepy atmosphere in the woods although more horrifying is the protagonist’s home life. The story on the whole was very satisfying and I highly recommend it. I also really enjoyed the first story “The Resurrection and the Life” which finds it’s protagonist in a very desperate situation and one he won’t be easily able to get out of. All in all, if you enjoy stories about making deals with the devil, than this is the anthology for you. – Stephanie Schwartz (5/5 stars)
The Devil’s Due is an excellent collection of 13 short stories, each one written by talented authors. Published by Valhalla Books and edited by Adam Messer, this collection carries one continuous theme throughout, deals with the devil. While there is a theme, none of these stories are anything like the others. Each carry a weight all their own, with a tragic tale to tell.
In the Black Rock” by Alledria Hurt, an overall bad day beginning with a fender bender sets off a chain of events that cannot be undone. “Face It” by Carol Gyzander was a tragic tale involving a husband grieving his wife’s fatal illness as doctors continue to tell him there is nothing more to be done. I found this story to be the most gut-wrenching out of the collection. This story will not play out like you think it might. In fact, it is nothing like many of you are already thinking, as you nod along thinking, ah yes, that sort of deal makes sense.
Another ominous tale with tragic undertones caught my attention, “The Plan” by Josh Vasquez. A plan for revenge plays out with the most curious of twists. I did not see this ending coming, not by a long shot. This story carries a powerful punch as it ends, making you wish that there were more pages to turn. I loved every word of this exceptional story.
One more great tale, out of 13 great tales, is “Here Comes Mr. Herribone” by Tim Jeffreys. This story truly creeped me out with its disturbing tale. One half of a comedy duo, Jim Game, is still standing after a tragic accident that claimed the life of a long-time friend, Tommy. Clearly haunted by grief and sadness without his long-time partner that played a character named Mr. Herribone in their act, Jim’s tale begins a slow descent into madness and despair. The tone of this story stayed unsettling and disturbing throughout the entire tale.
The final tale is written by Adam Messer, the editor and founder of Valhalla books and it is an intriguing tale about a Djin. “The Known and True History of the Djin” is an epic short story that tells the tragic backstory of a Djin, or genie, if you will. the legend of the Djin has always fascinated me and I loved this unique take on the creature. Everything about this story was perfectly executed, from the set-up all the way through to the bitter end. The character is relatable, as are his circumstances and the legend that it details is superbly written.
The Devil’s Due: Nothing Is As It Seems is a perfect collection of horror, despair, sadness, and the overall human condition as told by its authors. It is a perfect name, as none of these stories are what they seem. All 13 stories are well deserving of their place in this collection. Each one is remarkable and will leave you wanting more. I strongly recommend this collection to any horror fan, buy it today. Add it to your shelf, buy one for a friend. They will thank you for it. 5 out of 5 stars. Candace Nola