Only the Dead Go Free, A Haunting of Words


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The shower’s hiss behind me competes with the roaring inferno raging down the hallway. Breathless and without thought, I gaze with lifeless eyes into the bathroom mirror. This gore-drenched nightmare of a witch is no longer recognizable. What have I done? What was the lesson here? I never wanted this.

‘Only the Dead Go Free’ by J.M. Ames, part of the anthology A Haunting of Words, is now available worldwide in paperback and a variety of eBook options. There are several ways to order, each with a different set of perks:

  • Paperback
    • Direct order from me ($19.99 + $5 S&H). Includes:
      • Signed copy
      • Free A Haunting of Words / Only the Dead Go Free bookmark
        • AHOWBM1
        • Paypal or Credit Cards – Please use the Paypal link below.
          Buy Now Button
    • Direct order from publisher Scout Media. Includes:
      • Free soundtrack on CD. Each song handpicked by the author to represent their story.
      • Order here
    • Order from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Booksamillion – all online book retailers.
      • Free shipping with Amazon if you have a Prime account
      • Available here
  • Ebook 
    • Immediate direct download from publisher here
      • MOBI for Kindle
      • EPUB for eReaders
      • PDF for computers and tablets
    • Amazon
      • MOBI for Kindle here
    • Barnes & Noble

You should also check out the song this story is based on, by the band Transpose.


Good, descriptive writing. Heart pounding suspense. Horrifying gore and ending…

Only The Dead Go Free by J.M. Ames is…gosh, where do I start with this one? Even the title is messing with my mind! This story is darker than Vantablack and so gory it makes The Silence of the Lambs look like Anne of Green Gables. It is a mindbending horror story about a house steeped in an ever-returning circle of bloodshed. While it overdoses a little on blood and gore for my personal taste, its quality is undeniable: the build-up, suspense, sharp bends and twists are exhilarating. And, at its heart, you have the emotional catharsis of a troubled mother’s struggle to protect her child.

Fun Facts:

  • This is a Rock Fiction adaptation of the Transpose song by the same name. You can hear it on YouTube here.
  • I melded the imagery from the lyrics of the song with another story I had in my head, about a haunted cabin in the woods in the 1970’s.
  • Wendy is loosely modeled after the character of the same name in “The Shining,” by Stephen King.
  • Each of the characters in the final act are named after other authors who helped me with the beta-reading and editing phase for this and other stories I’ve worked on.
  • Fiona is the only purely good fictional character in any of my stories.
  • The original outline of this story called for this to be a horror-comedy, but during the writing of it I lost a very large number of family members, friends, and even pets. My dark mood had a pretty strong impact on the tone of this story.
  • This is the only publication of mine which includes a scene that made me physically ill when writing it.



3 thoughts on “Only the Dead Go Free, A Haunting of Words

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