Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Krampusnacht: Twelve Nights of Krampus




“KRAMPUSNACHT: TWELVE NIGHTS OF KRAMPUS”
EDITED BY KATE WOLFORD

Alpena, MI (October 22, 2014) – World Weaver Press (Eileen Wiedbrauk, Editor-in-Chief) has announced the Christmas horror anthology Krampusnacht: Twelve Nights of Krampus, edited by Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine editor and publisher Kate Wolford, will be available in trade paperback and ebook Tuesday, November 11, 2014.
The joy and terror of the season. For bad children, a lump of coal from Santa is positively light punishment when Krampus is ready and waiting to beat them with a stick, wrap them in chains, and drag them down to hell--all with St. Nick's encouragement and approval. Krampusnacht holds within its pages twelve tales of Krampus triumphant, usurped, befriended, and much more. From evil children (and adults) who get their due, to those who pull one over on the ancient "Christmas Devil." From historic Europe, to the North Pole, to present day American suburbia, these all new stories embark on a revitalization of the Krampus tradition. Whether you choose to readKrampusnacht over twelve dark and scary nights or devour it in one nacht of joy and terror, these stories are sure to add chills and magic to any winter's reading.
With new stories from Cheresse Burke, Guy Burtenshaw, Jill Corddry, Elise Forier Edie, Patrick Evans, Scott Farrell, Caren Gussoff, Mark Mills, Jeff Provine, Colleen H. Robbins, Lissa Sloan, andElizabeth Twist.
Krampusnacht will be available in trade paperback and ebook via Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Kobo.com, WorldWeaverPress.com, and other online retailers, and for wholesale through Ingram. You can also findKrampusnacht on Goodreads.
Kate Wolford is editor and publisher of Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine at fairytalemagazine.com and editor of the book Beyond the Glass Slipper: Ten Neglected Fairy Tales To Fall In Love With. She teaches first-year college writing, incorporating fairy tales in her assignments whenever possible.
World Weaver Press is an independently owned publisher of fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction. We believe in great storytelling.


Publication Date: November 11 • Folklore/Fantasy/Horror Anthology

$11.95 trade paperback, 205 pages  • $6.99 ebook

ISBN: 978-0692314746




And now a visit with Scott Farrell who wrote "Krampus Carol."



1. How did you come up with your story idea?
I’ve been intrigued by the folklore surrounding the Krampus for years. I really enjoy learning about regional folklore of any kind, and the Krampus is a marvelous combination of the spookiness of Halloween/harvest and the sentimentality of Christmas. So, in “A Krampus Carol,” I wanted to craft a story that included elements of both seasons in the plot. It had to be more than just a story of a hairy monster wreaking havoc in the middle of the holiday season - I wanted to include a redemptive, emotional element to it that would bring out the archetypes that lie behind the Krampus myth - like all good folklore.


2. What is your favorite/scariest memory of the holidays?
I’m afraid my “scariest” holiday memory doesn’t involve anything supernatural. Several years ago I was on a snowmobile trip along the Continental Divide with my wife, and my snowmobile caught a tree that was hidden under the deep snow. I flipped and was thrown about 30 yards, and broke my arm pretty badly in the landing. The temperature was about 10 below zero, and we were a hundred miles from the nearest doctor - and I realized, as my wife was trying to construct a hasty splint before her fingers went numb in the cold air, that this was a pretty serious situation. Fortunately, we made it to a hospital okay (some major surgery was required to put my arm back together), but the bleak landscape and biting cold gave me a sense - just a little bit - of what it might be like to be trapped out in the elements before the time of modern transportation and communication.


3. What are some of your favorite movies during the holiday season?
I have to say I really love A Christmas Carol - just about any version of it. (Though I really like the ’84 version with George C. Scott.) Though most people think of it as a “holiday classic,” it’s easy to forget that it’s also a wonderful ghost story! Dickens does a great job of infusing the story with a dark sense of dread, which makes Scrooge’s transformation at the end all the more powerful.



4. If I were your favorite holiday treat what would I be?
A steaming peppermint mocha with an extra shot of espresso! And if you brought along your friend, “slice of pumpkin pie,” I would be even happier.

5. What was the worst/best Christmas gift you ever received? Why?
I hate to sound sappy and sentimental (horror authors are supposed to be dark and twisted, right?) but I can’t say I’ve ever gotten a “bad” Christmas gift. Any present from a friend or loved one means they are thinking of you - and that’s what the holidays are all about. Though I must admit that any gift that can be immediately put to use in making a big holiday breakfast - whether it’s a new griddle to make pancakes on, or a pound of gourmet smoked bacon - will be well-received in my house! I love Christmas breakfast.


6. Regifting-love it or hate it.
I’m fine with recycling gifts. (It’s the thought that counts!) I’d rather have someone actually enjoy a gift, even if it arrives “second hand,” than have it mouldering in a closet somewhere. (Although it sounds like there could be some sort of creepy story in that concept.)


7. Plotter or Pantster?
I’m definitely a plotter. I’m more creative if I know the basic framework of the story is as I’m writing - although I’m not adverse to changing that framework once the writing starts. For example, “A Krampus Carol” started out as a story about the Krampus terrorizing a group of teenage kids. Only after getting through a first draft did I feel that the story would be better if the target of the Krampus’ wrath was someone other than the young vandals. So, my plot-points definitely went through some revision.


8. Name three things on your writing desk.
1) A coffee cup - definitely can’t get much writing done without that. 2) A studio recording microphone - I record a periodic podcast through my Chivalry Today educational program, which includes interviews with authors working in historical fiction, Arthurian literature/fantasy, and non-fiction medieval history. (Anyone out there interested in being a guest on the show?) 3) The latest issue of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 comic, which is my current “project completion reward.” When I finish a writing project, I let myself take a break and do something fun, and reading the latest exploits of Buffy and the Scooby Gang is what I’m planning to do when my interview questions are complete!


9. What advice would you give to new authors?
Write a lot, rather than thinking and talking about writing a lot. I give seminars at several writers conferences every year, and I see the same writers at these events, time and time again. Yes, it’s very helpful to sit in on presentations, get advice from established authors and agents, and share ideas and critiques with other writers. But I think a lot of young writers get paralyzed in thinking that just one more seminar, or one more agent meeting, or one more reading with a critique group will make it easier to start that story or book they’ve been thinking about. No, it won’t. Nothing will make it “easy,” and at some point you’ve got to make your own habits and your own process for writing.


10. What's next for you?
I’ve been invited to write a chapter for a book (to be released in 2015) titled “Superman Vs. Batman And Philosophy,” which will be volume number 100 in the “Pop Culture and Philosophy” series from Open Court Books. My chapter will be “The Dark Knight, The Man Of Steel, And The Philosophy Of Chivalry.”
After that … I’m working on a short story about a zombie plague outbreak in the 1930’s in Fordlandia, a rubber plantation (which never produced any rubber) established by Henry Ford in the Brazilian rain forest. The history of Fordlandia is full of hubris and tragedy, and I thought it would make a remarkable setting for a horror story of some sort. (Interestingly, I was inspired to write the “zombies in Fordlandia” story when I saw a request for submissions for the anthology “Dead Harvest,” which I see you, Dana, have a story included in. Obviously I wasn’t able to get my story done in time to make the deadline for that anthology, but I’m looking forward to reading a copy of it. Congratulations on getting your work included!)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dead Harvest Release Day



It’s always darkest before the harvest. Each year, as summer fades to memory, and the sky begins to grow dark, and the leaves change color and fall, the faint, fetid scent of death--of slowly rotting things--begins to drift in, hanging on the chill air like a ghostly pall. Making us wonder, what this year’s harvest will produce. Well... the harvest is here. And it is dead. With these 50 dark tales and nearly 700 pages of terror, you will experience fear, depravity, love, and loss. And a kind of chill, that won’t soon leave your bones. DEAD HARVEST is a crop like no other! Enter the field and get lost... Edited by Mark Parker Includes stories from Tim Lebbon, Richard Chizmar, Ronald Malfi, Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Jeff Strand, James A. Moore, Tim Waggoner, Greg F. Gifune and many more...

I am thrilled to be included in this anthology with so many great authors. Fifty tales of terror. Fifty facets of glimmering fright to keep you reading late into the early hours of the morning. I hope you will enjoy the book and if you want to catch a short read from my story, check out my episode on the Liz McMullen show.





Check it out in paperback on Amazon. Release date coming soon for e-book.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Nevermore Rapport



Greetings Nevermore partiers! Poe is one of my favorite writers and I found it only fitting to look around online and find some artists who represent the best in memorializing this great author...here we go...



Forgotten Pages

I love this one. It speaks of the music of the soul and the heartfelt prose Poe drafted on his pages...




Or this one...weak and weary...ravens...nothing more need be said...

But this one...it gives me wings...


Drawing Illustration

It  makes me dream of ravens and shapeshifters....and inspires me to write...Watch for my new novella called Only This and Nothing More.

Check out my newest novella Asylum.





ISBN: 978-1-77101-393-2
By Dana Wright
Heat Rating: 1
Word Count: 16435
Release Date: October 10, 2014



Blurb:
The voices of the past are alive behind the iron gates of Bremore Asylum. Can Rachel and Matt deduce its secrets before it's too late?
When Rachel agrees to take the job investigating the disappearance of a fellow ghost hunter at Bremore Asylum, she is totally unprepared for the sexy and stubborn psychic debunker Matt Rutledge to be a part of the package. Can these two opposing forces find the answers behind the asylum's crumbling walls before they become the newest victims to the asylum's grim history?

Excerpt:
Rachel narrowed her eyes. What little hold she held on her frayed temper snapped. Self-doubt flared, but she stamped it out as quickly as it came.
"What's that supposed to mean?" She stepped forward, hands clenched into fists, her foot brushing against the luggage. Her hoodie slid off the suitcase and flopped unceremoniously into the dirt.
"We haven't even started on the project and you're trying to displace me already?"
Rutledge stepped back, surprise clear on his lightly parted lips. Lips she apparently still wanted to kiss, damn his eyes. God, what was wrong with her?
"My friend almost died because of a mistake I made. But you're already aware of that, aren't you, Mr. High and Mighty? Listen to me and listen good. I'm here because my grandmother needs me. I'm a damn fine ghost hunter, which you would already know if you bothered to see beyond what happened to Jeannie." She poked her finger into his chest and had the satisfaction of seeing him wince.
Matt stepped back and held up his hands, a ruddy flush creeping up his cheeks. "Okay. I was out of line. Truce?" He bent down and carefully picked up her hoodie, handing it to her gingerly.
"Thank you, Mr. Rutledge." Rachel snatched the hoodie from his hands and tied it around her waist with a firm yank. She didn't want to chance it falling in the dirt again and it was going to be a long weekend. At the rate they were going, it was going to be a full-on ice storm between them.
A flash of humor crossed his face. "Do you think maybe you could call me Matt?"
"That depends."
"On what?" Matt cocked his eyebrow with surprise.
"On whether you can stop dissecting me like one of your frauds."


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About the author:
Dana Wright has always had a fascination with things that go bump in the night. She is often found playing at local bookstores, trying not to maim herself with crochet hooks or knitting needles, watching monster movies with her husband and furry kids or blogging about books. More commonly, she is chained to her computers, writing like a woman possessed. She is currently working on several children's stories, young adult fiction, romantic suspense, short stories and is trying her hand at poetry. She is a contributing author to Ghost Sniffer’s CYOA, Siren’s Call E-zine in their “Women in Horror” issue in February 2013 and "Revenge" in October 2013, a contributing author to Potatoes!, Fossil Lake, Of Dragons and Magic: Tales of the Lost Worlds, Undead in Pictures, Potnia, Shadows and Light, Dark Corners, Wonderstruck, Shifters: A Charity Anthology, Dead Harvest, Monster Diaries (upcoming), Holiday Horrors and the Roms, Bombs and Zoms Anthology from Evil Girlfriend Media. She is the author of Asylum due out in October 2014.   Dana has also reviewed music for Muzikreviews.com specializing in New Age and alternative music and has been a contributing writer to Eternal Haunted Summer, Nightmare Illustrated, Massacre Magazine, Metaphor Magazine, The Were Traveler October 2013 edition: The Little Magazine of Magnificent Monsters, the December 2013 issue The Day the Zombies Ruled the Earth. She currently reviews music at New Age Music Reviews and Write a Music Review.

Follow Dana’s reviews:
Twitter: @danawrite



And one more inspiration for my new novella in progress. Poe had it right. Those ravens rock it.




sassanfilsoof

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Montague Portrait: Matt Drabble

"The Montague Portrait"
By Matt Drabble
Genre: Horror
Release Date: October 31, 2014 (preorder now!)


"Matt Drabble is a name that will one day be as widely recognized as Stephen King & Dean Koontz" - READERS FAVORITE
From the award winning and best selling author of "Gated" & "Asylum" comes "The Montague Portrait"
Hugo Montague was a man of boundless cruelty that lived on beyond his mortal days. The portrait that he commissioned has hung on many walls, but has always overseen tragedy and murder.
The painting was long thought destroyed in a fire, but now there are those desperate to find the portrait if it still exists
Travis Parker was an insurance investigator, but now he is a widower trapped within his own pain and broken promises. When he is approached by the mysterious Telfer Vargas to track down the portrait he reluctantly agrees to one last case.
Charlotte Goode has a long personal history with the painting and will let nothing stand in her way to avenge her family.
The race across Europe to find the painting soon becomes littered with death as dark supernatural forces converge and threaten to consume those foolish enough to look.

AUTHOR BIO:
Born in Bath, England in 1974, a self-professed "funny onion", equal parts sport loving jock and comic book geek. I am a lover of horror and character driven stories. I am also an A.S sufferer who took to writing full time two years ago after being forced to give up the day job.
I have a career high position of 5th on Amazon's Horror Author Rank of which I am immensely proud.
"GATED" is a UK & US Horror Chart Top Ten Best Seller
"ASYLUM - 13 TALES OF TERROR" is a US Horror Chart #5 It was also voted #5 on The Horror Novel Review's Top 10 Books of 2013 & is a Readers Favorite 2014 Gold Medal Winner.
"ABRA-CADAVER" won an Indie Book of the Day award.
2014 has also been a milestone year for me so far as I recently passed 100,000 downloads of my work.

Visit me at www.mattdrabble.com
Twitter: MattDrabble01
Facebook: matt.drabble.3

or to sign up for a newsletter: http://mad.ly/signups/95503/join

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Deadlines: A Visit with Judy McDonough #free


Today we welcome the lovely and talented Judy McDonough to the blog. Judy writes paranormal romance with a spooky edge-just in time for Halloween.

Take it away Judy!


I was inspired to write after I read The Twilight Saga in its entirety in 4 days. I wanted to write something people would not be able to put down the way I couldn’t put those books down. I had some creepy paranormal experiences in my past that I took and embellished into the fantastic idea of a girl being haunted by someone from her past to help solve the mystery of her death. 

I’m a panster, so I tend to write the story as I go, but everything seems to fall into place. I am learning how to plot, though. I desperately need organization in my life. :)

I don’t have a specific place where I write. I wish I had a desk, but I have three little boys, so my office was transformed in to a play room. My desk now holds construction paper, glue sticks, Transformers, legos, and play-doh. Maybe someday I’ll get it back, but fortunately I can write from anywhere.

Most of my story ideas come from dreams, but I’m a people watcher. I love to observe how different people react to things. I often take an experience that happened to a friend or family member and distort it into a fascinating plot, or will use unique character traits of people I know to form a character for my book. I have a very vivid imagination, so I try to use it at maximum capacity.

I am a Gemini, so I’m huge kid at heart, love goofing off, being quirky and fun, and I get bored incredibly easily. I can shift my train of thought mid-sentence, and be on a completely different topic before you even realize I’ve changed the subject. I love anything involving the supernatural, and I hope to have a supernatural twist to all my stories.


Blurb:
Caroline's life is on track. She's about to get her nursing degree and she's engaged to rich, handsome Trevor. But, before they get married, Trevor wants Caroline to spend the summer in Louisiana, getting to know her father, who's never been in her life. She reluctantly agrees and heads south, deep into bayou country where she meets Cade. Charming and handsome, he's pulling out all the stops to convince her that he's the man for her, not Trevor. As she becomes frightened by a series of strange accidents that began after her arrival, she learns that the woman haunting her dreams is actually a long-dead family member come to warn her about the men in her life. Caroline soon realizes that if she doesn't solve the mysteries from the past, they could permanently alter her future.

Excerpt:

Chapter One
The oyster shell gravel crunched beneath the worn tires of Caroline’s Jeep Cherokee as she pulled into the long driveway of the huge plantation home. She squinted through the torrential downpour to compare the address on her map to the golden numbers strategically placed between the majestic columns. Caroline had never seen rain like this. She’d grown up in Arkansas, only one state away, but the raindrops here were different. They were gargantuan and the intensity had strengthened since she’d stopped. Great.
Her heart still pounded from the almost-accident she narrowly avoided just after crossing into the tiny town of Golden Meadow, Louisiana. That would’ve been a fun one to explain. “Honest officer, I swerved so I wouldn’t hit the person standing in the
road. . .in the pouring rain and darkness. . .in the middle of nowhere.” Unbelievable.
She still had no clue who it was or why he or she was there, but when she’d stopped screaming and looked out her back window, whoever she’d nearly creamed had vanished. Yet another creepy incident to add to her list of unexplainable episodes. Caroline couldn’t ignore the hairs standing at attention on her arms. This spooky bayou was already getting to her and she hadn’t even stepped out of the car yet. She had to pull herself together. No time for crazy right now. As much as she dreaded it, she had a mission to accomplish. She was about to rock Eddie Fontenot’s world.
It was nearly impossible to see the house number for the giant raindrops slapping her window like water balloons, but she finally confirmed she was at the right place and groaned. She instantly wished she’d stayed at her mother’s house in Arkansas. Damn Trevor for making me do this! Damn him!
After two years together, you would think she’d be used to the spontaneous, sometimes moody architect’s crazy ideas, but since she’d accepted the two-something carat rock weighing her finger down, she had to admit Trevor had been a different person. Caroline stared at her ring finger and wiggled it so the diamond caught the light from the nearby gas lamp. It was fabulous. Not quite square, more rectangular and it sparkled like the stars on a moonless night.
Caroline remembered something her best friend said in an argument over three months ago. Kristy’s words still stung as if she’d just said them.
“Perhaps you should look up a more accurate definition of gentleman. He most certainly does manipulate you. You’re just too blinded by the rock to see it.”
Was she blinded by the rock? No, she didn’t care about material things. Maybe Kristy was right, maybe Trevor did manipulate her sometimes, but Caroline loved him. She’d been with him long enough to know she was in love with him. She and Trevor had a great relationship.
He had talked her off the ledge every time she thought she’d had enough of college. His patience while pulling all the late nighters tutoring her in advanced math, the romantic dates and high-end concerts of her favorite bands, and his ability to keep her focus on the goal. He’d pulled some strings through his friends who now worked at the University to help her get the professors she really wanted. Also, the never ending physical attention and awareness she absorbed every second they were together. They trusted each other, rarely fought, and she loved him. Every defined inch of the naturally bronze skin he’d inherited from his Native American ancestors.
Her body tingled remembering their last date before she left when he described the deliciously erotic ways he would rock her world on their wedding night. He could hardly keep his hands off her when they were together. Her heart thrummed with anticipation, and nerves, of their wedding night, but she had no doubt Trevor could handle her with care. “This ain’t my first rodeo” were his exact words. She forced herself not to think about the number of rodeos that helped him perfect his ride.
Just to be cautious, and to prevent her discussion with Eddie from focusing on her new bling, Caroline slipped the ring off her finger and tucked it safely in the inside zipper pocket of her purse. She wanted the focus of this meeting to be why Eddie left, not Trevor’s money or the assumption she was shallow and blinded by lavish gifts. Trevor loved Caroline and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her; it just so happened he came from money and had a great career. Sparkly rings and wealth weren’t important to Caroline, and clearly not why she agreed to marry him.
However, Trevor’s temper had reared its ugly head more since she accepted the lovely token than it had the whole two years they’d been together. Curt texts and voicemails when he couldn’t get hold of her, she’d overheard an unsettling phone conversation between him and his dad, and worst of all, he’d booked a church and reception hall without even talking with her—the bride, about it!
Caroline sighed, fogging her windows a little. Perhaps he’s been this way the whole time and she only noticed now since she’d promised to be with him forever. She wondered about the real motivation behind him sending her down here. Trevor explained it as wanting her to make amends with her estranged father before they got married so there would be no surprises in the future. No skeletons in the closet or unfinished business. Whatever. Caroline shook her head and rubbed the twitching muscle in her eyebrow. She could respect that, but had a feeling his reasoning stemmed from the contents in his boxers.
She stared at the beautiful home she never had a chance to enjoy—or even visit! Her heart raced with anxiety as she clenched her jaw. She loved her fiancé, but this was ridiculous. Love doesn’t have conditions, right? Why did Trevor care if her father was included in their lives anyway? He hadn’t been in her life in twenty-three years, why should it matter now? Why was she sitting in Eddie’s driveway having this crazy internal battle?
She knew why. Her uncontrollable curiosity. She wanted to meet him. She needed an explanation. Answers. She needed to know why he never felt the desire to know about her or how she was doing. She needed closure.
Time to finally hear his side of the story. Her mother said he offered her money, but she wouldn’t take it. Emily hadn’t wanted a pity-driven severance package, and her mother, Caroline’s grandmother, was ill, so she moved back to Arkansas to be closer to her parents. That was Emily’s side of the story. Caroline wondered if her mom’s version of the story was, in fact, influenced by her role as the woman scorned. She assured Caroline her father wasn’t the coward she’d made him out to be. That he was a good man easily influenced by his pushy family.
Apparently Eddie was fine with Caroline not being in his life, and now she expected him to what? Open his arms and accept her into his home for an extended period of time? She at least wanted to know why he hadn’t pressed for joint custody rather than moving on with his posh lifestyle pretending she never existed.
She had the whole summer to work things out with him, but hoped all would be resolved in less than a week. Maybe that’s all it would take and Caroline could get on with her life. Maybe even as quick as the weekend.
Her mom’s encouragement to form her own opinion of her dad and his family was understandable, but Trevor’s suggestion to stay the whole three months and come back just before the fall semester was insane! She already missed him and his comforting embrace. Besides, what could she possibly have to talk about with the man who abandoned her, obviously still doesn’t care about her existence, and lives in a gigantic house full of people she doesn’t know? At least, she assumed it was full. It’s awfully big for him to live there alone.
She swallowed the stinging ball of nerves at the realization of not knowing if she had a step family. That part had her almost as nervous as confronting the man she never cared to meet at all. Almost. She would just play it by ear and gauge his reaction to her presence.

Caroline admired her father’s home and wondered how long it had been there. Had to be at least a century. It reminded her of the recurring dreams she’d had, like a scene from Gone with the Wind. She sighed. Maybe Trevor was on to something. Caroline could understand where he came from in one sense. It’s best to clear the air and start with a fresh, clean slate. No sullen, bitter past haunting them. Trevor had a good relationship with both of his parents, from what she could tell by the two or three occasions she had seen them. In the long run, when she and Trevor had kids, it would be nice for them to have both sets of grandparents. Okay, enough stalling.
As she opened her car door, the stinging rain battered her exposed skin. She tried to open the faulty umbrella, but it wouldn’t latch to stay open. She grumbled under her breath and opted to run to the porch. So much for making a good first impression. She’d look like a drowned rat by the time she reached the front door. On her third step off the crushed shell surface of the driveway, her boot sank in about three inches of mud.
“Gah! Great. Fan-freakin-tastic!” She held the broken umbrella over her head to protect as much of her hair as possible, but it was no use. Nothing was going her way. She glanced up at movement from the corner of her eye and squinted through the rain. Someone observed her, completely motionless, from a dark third-story window. Terrific. So much for no one witnessing my embarrassing moment. Oh well, might as well go all in and finish the humiliation. Caroline slung the mud from her boot the best she could as she limped her way toward the house.

She approached the broad, extravagant front porch, and studied the old mansion. It reminded Caroline of her latest dream of the auburn-haired girl dressed in a flowing white nightdress who wept uncontrollably while frantically scribbling in a journal. The details of the one she’d had a few nights ago stuck with Caroline despite the blinding headache that always accompanied these particular dreams. She had admired the mahogany canopy bed and the sheer white material cascading from the beams. A perfect complement to the exquisite matching dressing table and mirror. The immaculate fixtures and decor were stunning and very elegant.
Before the girl busted into the room, Caroline had peeked out the bedroom window to the male voices she’d heard below outside. Men stood in the yard smoking cigars and wore skinny bow ties, and a couple had on bowler-style hats. Like in her previous dreams, the characters were dressed in fashion reminiscent of the mid 1800s.
Caroline peered through the darkness to see if the yard looked the same, but the much-too-brief slack in the rain prohibited her from seeing much past the porch. Unable to shake the niggling déjà vu feeling, she faced the house again and soaked in the ambience of the historical home. The flickering gas lamps flanking the front door lit the area enough for her to see that the black paint covering the wooden shutters couldn’t hide the scars from years of abuse provided by Mother Nature. Though somewhat battered, they reflected the care and hard work it took to preserve the brilliance and luster of the historical structure. Caroline brushed her fingertips across the clean, white paint that covered the regal columns and admired the matching white rocking chairs.

Amazed by the grace and beauty of the home, Caroline peeled the tail of her soaked shirt from her skin to ring out the saturated fabric, and knocked the remaining mud from her boot. She flipped her head over and fluffed her wet hair, tossing it back again to smooth it while she silently stoked her courage. Procrastinating, her eyes scanned the structure one last time. The house had obviously been built to last. Man, Trevor would die over this incredible architecture. If the gorgeous outside provided any indication of how prestigious the inside would be, Caroline was way out of her league. And she was about to find out.
With a deep breath and a silent prayer, Caroline blindly wiped beneath her eyes to remove any possibly smudged mascara and murmured, “Here goes nothing.”
Another deep breath, she finally knocked. After a few moments, the beautiful solid wood door slowly opened. A small-framed woman in her mid-forties stood at the threshold. Her deep blue dress matched her vibrant eyes and contrasting pale skin. Her hair was swept up in a French twist, but the shiny, dark spiral curls that framed her petite features didn’t hide her unmitigated surprise. She stared at Caroline for a long moment as if she recognized her. The tiny woman’s eyes never left Caroline’s face, and she shook her head like a child shaking an etch-a-sketch toy.
“Um, hi there. I’m looking for Eddie Fontenot.” Caroline tried to force herself to smile, but the nerves made it difficult.
The woman stared blankly. “Certainly, wh-who may I tell him is calling?”
“Um, you may tell him his daughter is here.”
The lady, with her mouth still hanging open, hesitated. “Uh, sure, one moment please.”
As the woman turned to go get him, Caroline heard a man’s voice. “Who is it Delia?” The door still open, she could see him coming down the stairs. Suddenly, she couldn’t breathe. When the woman didn’t answer him, he asked her again, “Delia, who’s at the door?”
Delia said nothing and turned to look at her through the open door. Caroline’s heart threatened to burst from her chest. His eyes followed Delia’s and he stopped cold when he saw her.
Delia choked out a whisper, “She says she’s your daughter, sir.”


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I am a U. S. Navy veteran, a wife, and mother. I'm a member of the Romance Writers of America and I love to read. I love to escape to another world and experience someone else's life from a different perspective. I love to be entertained. I strive to entertain others with my crazy imagination and stories that will suck you in to their world and hold you to the very (happy) ending. Follow me and be entertained. Be inspired.

Social Media:

Twitter: @JudyMcDonough
Google+: JudyMcDonoughAuthor

Friday, October 17, 2014

Chelsea Avenue



"I don't come across books like Rosamilia's CHELSEA AVENUE often. Infused with the dreamlike quality of memory, Rosamilia here fulfills the full measure of the promise I first saw in his DYING DAYS series. Beautifully dark, this book held me entranced. I couldn't get enough!" -Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of DOG DAYS and PLAGUE OF THE UNDEAD 

Some things never stop until the deed is done. 

On July 8th 1987, in Long Branch, New Jersey, The Haunted House Pier and Murphy's Law club fires destroyed not only local landmarks, but everything Manny Santiago found dear. 

And it isn't over. 

The entity responsible for killing Manny's family and wreaking devastation in the small seaside community has reappeared. Again. And is growing in power. 

Now every July 8th it returns, and this time survivors of the fires, including Manny, are being led back to the now-vacant lot on Chelsea Avenue, where the entity intends to finish what it started in 1987 once and for all.

Review:

A good horror story is one that transfixes the reader even as he or she is horrified beyond measure. Such is the case with Chelsea Avenue. Manny lost his entire family to something explainable and now that force has come back to claim the lives of those who belong to the lot at Chelsea Avenue. Horrific and mesmerizing, you watch them fall, one by one. The phrase Wait for what will come is more than apt here. This book takes place over years, like a slowly creeping evil swamped in seawater...very deliberate and very chilling.

This book does contain some trigger elements for those who have had experience with date rape, domestic violence and/or sexual trauma that can be disturbing to some. 

3/5

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Nameless: The Darkness Comes


Luna Masterson sees demons. She has been dealing with the demonic all her life, so when her brother gets tangled up with a demon named Sparkles, ‘Luna the Lunatic’ rolls in on her motorcycle to save the day. 

Armed with the ability to harm demons, her scathing sarcasm, and a hefty chip on her shoulder, Luna gathers the most unusual of allies, teaming up with a green-eyed heroin addict and a snarky demon ‘of some import.’ 

After all, outcasts of a feather should stick together...even until the end.


Amazon

Review:

Some books you read and fall into like floating in a vat of hot chocolate. This one was like that. Only it was hot chocolate with a dose of freaky little demons and one hunky otherworldly sort of guy named Mouth. Oh-and a worldly guy named Seth. They were both high up on my awesome book boyfriend list. 

This book made me laugh out loud and cry in turn but one thing stayed the same. I couldn't stop turning the pages. 

Luna is a girl who sees demons. Like everywhere. They hang out and ooze from sidewalks and annoy her when she's eating her Cheerios. It's an everyday thing. Unfortunately. Her brother Seth denies it. Her niece is the delight of her world, but when her brother's ex (aka Sparkles) runs off with her, things go to Hell in a hand basket pretty quickly.Nothing is what it seems and its starting to piss Luna off. 

If you love books with biting wit, snarky characters (Mouth!!!) and a heroine you can really root for, then you have to read this book. I love Mercedes Yardley's writing style. She makes the characters breathe and that is a beautiful and terrifying thing indeed.

5/5

I happily received this book (and jumped up and down) from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Gothic Horror: Linden Manor


"Have you ever been so scared your soul left your body? "

All her life, Lesley Carpenter has been haunted by a gruesome nursery rhyme The Scottish Bride sung to her by her great grandmother. To find out more about its origins, Lesley visits the mysterious Isobel Warrender, the current hereditary owner of Linden Manor, a grand house with centuries of murky history surrounding it.

But her visit transforms into a nightmare when Lesley sees the ghost of the Scottish bride herself, a sight that, according to the rhyme, means certain death. The secrets of the house slowly reveal themselves to Lesley, terrible secrets of murder, evil and a curse that soaks the very earth on which Linden Manor now stands. But Linden Manor has saved its most chilling secret for last. "


Goodreads

Amazon

Review:

Lesley Carpenter pursues her thesis of the horrifying nursery rhyme The Scottish Bride and soon finds out her mother's stilted warning to stay away from Linden Manor may actually have some merit. Not a believer in the supernatural, Lesley finds herself beset by strange occurrences and even stranger characters in the old estate. What began as a scholarly endeavor will soon change to the terror of walking right into a well laid trap.

This tale was a page turner of the highest order. Gothic and dark, I felt like I was journeying with Lesley as she wound her way further into the inescapable bonds of her fate. 

I  have one word-more! I can't wait to read more of Catherine Cavendish's work. She weaves a haunting spell of intrigue and mystery blended with myth and magic that horror lovers-particularly women-will love. 

5/5 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Haunting the Pages: A Visit with Anthony Crowley




Today on the blog I would like to extend a warm welcome to Anthony Crowley! 



When I initially thought of the idea of “Tombstones” I wanted to gather a series of my poetic visions and showcase them within a sacred anthology. But, feature the written verses in a journey to express various forms of Horror, such as, Dreams, blood drenched erotica, vampires, monstrous creatures and the macabre. “Tombstones” opens with “Awakening” this poetic verse is in the subject of apocalyptic weather. There were many writings I could have used to introduce this collection, but thought to myself it shall work very well and hypnotise the reader to be inquisitive and want to know more about what is within the pages and the title is well suited because I like to think of myself as a dark minded connoisseur of the imagination. Since its release back in early 2014 I was surprised of how positive the reception was towards “Tombstones”. It is still a growing favourite amongst Authors, Poets and readers alike. During the first week of its release it immediately entered the top of the ‘horror anthology’ book charts at Amazon in four consecutive countries, including America, UK, Canada, India, followed by Japan, Australia, Germany. The reviews and comments since the birth of “Tombstones” have been overwhelming with responses; such as “This is amazing work” a response made by popular dark fiction Author   John F.D.Taff whom recently had a short story anthology published titled “End of All Beginnings”.  




 When I began writing “Tombstones” the entirety of the writing from beginning to end was a very dark and secluded time in my life. There is much realism and emotional expression which coincides with some of the dark verses I did chose to include in the book. I wanted to finally open the door of torment and let loose the darkness into the wild so to speak. I have always been visual and extremely expressive in how I approach everything I do. Recently I received another review for “Tombstones” and it came from yet another Author Emily Hill. She very much enjoyed the collection and spoke of one of the verses titled “The Bleeding Man” this what she had to say:

 Poe, Highsmith, and Hitchcock could do no better that what Anthony Crowley has achieved in his collection of horror-themed poetry entitled, "Tombstones".
The acrid breath of predators generating their powers from The Beyond gather on the pages of "Tombstones" waiting for victims, calibrating frailties, and swooping down in screeching tempests -- to the delight of Crowley's fans.




I expect great things from this author! What?? What's that you ask? Oh! My Favorites among this collection? Oh, such a Child's Play -- Firstly, The Fallen Angel with its reference to victorious queens of darkness, followed by "The Devil and The Maiden" (Rosemary's Baby, be damned!) and please, dear reader don't overlook, "The Bleeding Man" which I'm sure that Leonard Cohen would warble quite fittingly.

“A dance with death
Witness of confinement
Mortuary existence
Operational experiment”
Throughout our historical timeline on earth, each and every day has a recollection of horror, whether it is illness (fear) or death.  I wanted to be strong and visual with these poetic subjects. “The Bleeding Man” was my way of imagining I was the character of a dying man upon the mortuary slab. I had to get inside the imagination and express with short descriptive words to tell a poetic story.

“Explosive veins
Skin like thunder
Transfusion shadowed
Blood I am under”

I am extremely proud with the continued success of “Tombstones” it will always be an important part of my literary career.



The month of October will always be another important part of my life because it was during October 21st 2013 that I published “The Fallen Angel” within the pages of popular horror publication “Sanitarium” Magazine. To mark the anniversary of this popular verse I decided to write a conclusion which is titled “Wings of Babylon” which is featured in the forthcoming “Haunted after Dark” magazine issue eight in my regular feature “Crowley’s Crypt”.



That was another proud moment in my writing career when I was asked to be part of “Haunted after Dark” along with the occasional feature in “Haunted Digital” magazines. It is another stepping stone in my life. “Haunted after Dark” is the UK’s leading horror publication featuring some of the most in depth and dark infused articles, interviews and literature. My first instalment of “Crowley’s Crypt” was born in Issue six which was a huge success amongst readers and horror fans. It is another extension of my mind and my disturbed universe. When Issue seven was released it featured an introduction to a new serial killer the dark fiction tale titled “Symphony of Blood”. The story is featured within a few parts which will gradually unfold and reveal nightmares and excite readers throughout the journey in forthcoming issues.


The present time I have been multi-tasking with projects as I regularly do. I had to revise a book I also released near the same time as “Tombstones” due to a few faulty issues which at the time was out of my control. “The Black Diaries” is a series of volumes I shall publish which is an anthology of both fiction and dark verse. “The Black Diaries-Volume One (new edition)” is edited by the talented Simon Marshall-Jones of Spectral Press. The first iinstallmentof “The Black Diaries” is not a big collection, but a strong and visual introduction of the darkness and macabre within. “The Black Diaries-Volume One” is due for release around the season of Halloween this year which is already proving popular before the release date. I have been working on two more short horror fiction tales, the psychological dark tale “Catch Me When I Fall” and  disturbing zombie themed story of “Infestation”. The latter is to be published with ‘Rated Z’.  My long-awaited novella “The Mirrored Room” is also set for release sometime this year hopefully, currently waiting for a confirmed publisher date. “Doomsday after Midnight” is another project I have been compiling featuring ten fiction tales, and it is also nominated in the ‘AuthorsdB’ book awards 2014. The cover artwork is featured with a dark photographic image captured by the fabulous Lauren Carroll (Production Assistant and wardrobe girl of hard rock band Whitesnake, Photographer) . More of Lauren’s Indispensable imagery can be found at whitesnake.com and her Official website at www.dcsocalphotography.com


During 2015 I am launching a new dark literary publication “Dark Realms” it as another one of my many visions I have had for a while now and thought to myself I could make this vision work. It shall include some of the big names in dark fiction and horror, along with interviews, reviews and visual art/imagery. It is already being accepted by many readers and Authors alike prior the launch. I am excited and 100% focused where my creations and ideas in literary horror are going. The only way is forward upon the tracks of the “sinister train”.





                                                         
          Thanks for being on the blog today. It's nice to have a fellow Massacre Magazine author visiting and I can't wait to read more of your work!

Happy hauntings!