Monthly Archives: February 2014

Youtube, Anyone? #amreading #iartg #books

Hey, I’m thinking about starting up a Youtube channel and doing reads of original, all-new content. Would anyone be interested in that? Perhaps I’ll start if off with something I’ve already written, but as time permits, I’ll open up a new series. I have a zombie thing in mind. Have to come up with a title.

Ideally, I’d read exclusive excerpts of new works, including my YA novel I’ve been teasing so much about over at http://www.RazorlinePress.com. Maybe I could also do some giveaways and other fun-stuff. I’m still puzzling all this out.

But really, I’d like to know your opinions.

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My Work in Progress #iartg

I’ve been very shrouded about this even if you’ve seen my tweets lately you’ve seen me talk some about it, but I haven’t revealed yet what it is I’m writing or what it’s called. I’ll tell you this much (and I’m not sure if I’ve blogged this before): it’s a YA novel.

Back in my day, YA consisted of Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and stuff like that. I was never interested in reading those kinds of books. They could have been excellent, but they always looked boring. And considering my mother started me off reading by giving me a copy of Stephen King’s The Eyes of the Dragon, I felt like that would have been taking a backward step. And also, nobody was doing YA horror of any kind, it was all mystery so far as I saw. I do enjoy the mystery/thriller genre, particularly Tony Harrington’s Frayed and all the Conrad Voort books by Ethan Black, but at the time those guys weren’t around.

I will be revealing all that vital information soon. I just need to put finishing touches on a final draft and send it off to the editor first.

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Interesting Review

I don’t know who this particular reviewer is or what the endgame is behind posting reviews of books on Amazon I’m guessing he hasn’t really read, but I thought this was interesting. Anyone know what’s behind this?

Pick up a free copy of 30 Minute Plan or The Butterman Cometh (The Zombie Archives) and review for yourself!

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Marmon #free #amreading #kindle #iartg

This story appears in my book of shorts, Goners, available on Amazon. Download a copy, it’s only $0.99!

I was stopped behind a van at a red light when an old woman who could barely see over the steering wheel pulled in behind me. I noticed her almost immediately through the rearview mirror. She was alternately fussing with her hair and gripping the wheel, looking around and talking to what seemed no one in particular.

She was driving one of those classic cars I didn’t know the name of. From what could be seen in the rearview it was in excellent condition, although it could use a wash. It was black with wood-paneling trim.

There was someone in the back seat running a hand in what looked like a pink mitten up the rear passenger side window. I couldn’t see anymore than the long, stripe-sleeve covered atm, but it looked like clothing a child would wear. The hand kept going up the window then the arm stretched out impossibly long as it went across the ceiling and back down the other window.

Tuning out the old woman and her passenger, my mind turned back to a half hour ago. Life had been slowly returning to me over the past six months and if things kept going well like they had today, it would be no time before I could get visitation with the kids.

I couldn’t blame Cynthia for leaving. She had tried too long with me and it had gotten to a point where she was drowning in my troubles. Leaving the house was next to impossible. Driving was out ofthe question. I had to be hip deep in the bag when she shuttled me to physical therapy. But in another half hour maybe I could show her that was all behind me now. We’d made a lunch date for later today.

The night of the accident was a distant memory. Doctors had patched me up with three pins in my leg and a plate in my skull, but being whole again was still a ways off. I gripped the steering wheel with the relief of being able to drive without thinking every other car would plow into me. Dr. Rivers had reduced my antidepressant prescription by half after today’s session.

The light turned green. Edging my foot off the brake as the van in front of me pulled away my car was slammed from behind. I rolled a few feet and put on the brake, my brain pinwheeling from whiplash. I closed my spinning eyes and sat a moment, running a mental diagnostic over myself. Nothing seemed hurt.

“Excuse me,” said an elderly voice just outside the car a moment later. I opened my eyes and saw her, breath pluming in the cold air. She appeared worried. It was the old woman from the antique car, but it took a moment to recognize her. I hadn’t expected her to be dressed so strange in a buttonless ratty fur coat hanging off her like a clothesline and some flower-patterned sleepwear thing underneath.

“I’m okay,” I said, not thinking to wind down the window. She shook her head, the half blank, worried expression still on her face. Not wanting to bump her, I began opening the door slowly. I waved her off so she would back up, but she just stood there.

“Move!” I shouted. Immediately, regret followed at the harshness of my tone against the semi-harmless elderly woman. She backed up and I swung the door open, almost forgetting to put the car in park.

I stepped out of my nest of warmth and into the stranglehold of the bitter cold. My bad leg nagged me as the crisp air worked its way underneath my coat. I ducked back into the car, turned on the hazard lights and took my keys. This fragile old woman had to be at least a foot shorter than me and I’m only five-foot nine. She had one white bunny slipper and one green alligator one. Her sunken blue eyes were on the verge of falling into the back of her skull when she looked up at me (I had seen that shade of blue before. When Cynthia and I were shopping for colors to paint the baby’s room when she first got pregnant. Cerulean.) She had a fine line of red lipstick that was more than ample for paper-thin lips and her iron black, neck length hair was a tangled mess.

“Ma’am, are you okay?” I asked.

“Could you get my baby?” she asked in a gruff, smoker’s voice, clasping one hand in another and kneading it against her chest.

“Baby?” I asked, still shaking the mud from my brains.

“Yes, when you hit my car she got frightened and hid.”

“When I–” I began, but cut myself off. “Look, ma’am, we need to exchange some information here. I think we need to write down each other’s licenses and insurance and phone numbers. “

“I don’t have any insurance or a telephone. Please–could you get my baby?”

I wanted so desperately to lose it all over the old bat, but it was a setback I could do without. Maybe I could prove something to myself by going the other route. I took a deep breath and exhaled.

“Where is your baby?” I asked, forcing my face into a smile.

“Oh bless you, sir!” She smiled with long, nicotine-stained teeth. “In the trunk.

She’s in the trunk. Bless you, bless you!”

Poking my head into her car, I looked for the trunk release.

“Oh, that won’t work, sir. She’s holding it shut.”

Holding it shut? What kind of animal could do that?

“What’s in there?” I asked, jerking my thumb in the direction of the trunk.

“My baby,” she replied as if that were all the explanation I needed.

I eyed her suspiciously, chalking it up to the last remnants of my paranoia while approaching the rear of the car. Visions of a grandmotherly rapist/murderer briefly danced in my head.

I saw the tiny pink mitten sticking out of the trunk, holding the lid down. It looked like a human could be in there, but there was some feature not consciously noticeable that kept me from believing there was a little girl in there.

“I don’t need this right now,” I muttered to myself. I realized my fingers were scratching my neck at the base of my skull or my ‘comfort itch’ as my psychologist had called it on first examination of the worn, scabbed-over skin haIfa year ago. “Stop it,” I said, making fists at my sides.

“Lady, I think we need to call the police,” I said walking back to the old woman. “I mean, just so they can document this whole thing and everything. I just want to do the right thing here.” Part of me felt like a coward. It told me I was failing on a fundamentally mentally-healthy plane. I wasn’t supposed to be the guy who saw the demon-eyed driver behind every wheel anymore. How could I just take this giant step backward?

“Please no!” she begged. She began a bout of coughing from being exposed to the cold so long. “They’ll take my baby away and stick her in some kind of zoo. I just need to comfort her and tell her everything’s all right, but I just need her to come out. Surely a gentleman like you can talk her out of there?”

The old woman’s plea combined with my own self-loathing redoubled my resolve to go back there and get that trunk open. But what was in there?

“What kind of animal do you have in there?” I asked again, wondering why she couldn’t do it. I had to know, my curiosity and paranoia were racing neck and neck.

“Animal?” She repeated like I’d spoken the word in Farsi. “That’s my baby.”

It felt like someone snapped their fingers in my head and it came to me. I held an index finger up as the idea fermented in my head.

“Is that an orangutan in there? Some kind of monkey?” Probably something she couldn’t legally have. I smiled as I turned to go back.

“My baby,” the old woman said, nodding and smiling.

“I swear you had me going there for a second. I thought you had some kind of freak show running around in there.” I knelt in front of the trunk, grimacing as my knee cracked, and lightly touched the pink mitten.

“Hey, she doesn’t bite or anything does she?”

“She hasn’t so far,” she called back.

Something about our exchange suddenly nagged me, but I ignored it, choosing to bask in this all around good feeling I had in me. I was helping an elderly person, my car probably wasn’t even scratched (but I should check before I let her go) and in less than twenty minutes I’d be sitting with my wife at our favorite restaurant with an interesting story to tell.

“Hey you, whatcha doin’ in there?” I asked, doing my best to appear harmless as I took a peek. I heard some sound from inside–kind of like a coo, but more whistle-ish.

Do monkeys coo?

Drop it already.

A big blue eye winked at me as the trunk opened a little. It was to one side of the trunk and I put on my best closed-mouth smile. I put one hand on the hunk and stroked the pink mitten with the other. The cooing got louder and I could suddenly smell something like lilacs in the air. The mitten let go and withdrew into the trunk and then the other eye opened.

“What’s her name?” I yelled. I didn’t want to just yank the trunk open and frighten her. I would either be balls or face level with the trunk and didn’t want to imagine what an orangutan in a panic could do to either area.

“What?”

She touched my bare wrist with both mittens, running them up and down the length of exposed skin. It felt weird kind of. Like flesh with no bone underneath. I peeked again, but turned my face back toward the old woman.

“I said, what’s her name?”

“What?”

I had both of the following thoughts at the same time, but only voiced one. Why isn’t she over here? and “She has the most beautiful cerulean–

–I finished the sentence, but right as the second eye slowly gravitated to the other side of the trunk, both still fixed on me–

–aiEEEEEEEEEEEES!” I screamed, falling on my butt and frantically crab walking away. The adrenalin rush erased the pain of my bad leg and I threw the trunk open as I fell. It was the most horrifying thing I have ever seen. A hairless mass of flesh-colored coils beneath a bulbous human head. ‘She’ looked to be about five or six years old with huge lidless eyes attached to the freckled face by long, cord-like structures jutting from the indentures where her eye sockets were. Some coils were different sizes and lengths and at the end of each was a pink mitten. There was a knitted sweater covering the small torso with armholes for each of the upper coils. I didn’t look too long (thank goodness), but it looked like a giant squid had successfully mated with a human.

The mouth was nothing but angry rows of little silver scythes gnashing together. Everything else was too overwhelming to remember.

An acrid odor choked the air out of my lungs and everything was suddenly colored with polka dots. Right before I blacked out as it sprung from the trunk at least ten feet in the air, all the while the old woman screaming unintelligibly.

I awoke after what hopefully was only a moment later to find it and the old woman gone. I stood on shaky legs, the aftereffects of that stench still wearing off, retching twice before throwing up right there on the street.

It was amazing that during this entire exchange only a few cars had passed right after the initial accident. But maybe not, when I thought about it. I had driven this way because I knew that.

Wiping my mouth on the back of my hand, I walked in a semicircle around both cars, watching closely for any sign that that thing was still around. I could see plain as day it wasn’t in the antique car. The trunk was still open and there was nothing on either the front or rear seats.

I’d left my car door open, though, and there was an abundance of room beneath the overflowing mess of papers and trash I had in there.

There was no way I was getting back in my car. After those coils and how fast that thing had been I couldn’t sit in there with the possibility of having that as a passenger.

Cynthia!

Oh no! I’d almost forgotten. I’d never get a cab here in time and make our lunch date. She wouldn’t wait more than ten minutes. I was hanging by a thread with her as it was, I couldn’t just not show up. And there was no explaining this. No, this went in the vault. Forever. I’d come too far to have a setback. Things would work this time. Even if the boogeyman had turned out to be real.

The old woman’s car. I needed it more than she did right now. I was ninety percent certain that thing wasn’t in there and getting down and looking underneath the car I was ninety-nine percent sure.

I kicked my door shut and got into the old woman’s car. It took a moment to orient myself, but with the throaty roar of the engine coming to life, soon I was on my way.

My fingers found my comfort itch and as I pulled away, constantly peering over my shoulder, I tried to think of a way to tell Cynthia that I was giving up my driver’s license.


If you enjoyed this story, please pick up
Goners and then download Goners, Volume 2: Left to Die (yes, I made that awesome cover).

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Witchboard Blu-ray Review

Originally posted on Rare Horror:

“Speak of the devil.”

“Don’t.  I’ve had enough religious discussions for one night.”

witchboard_sickassposter

Witchboard – one half of Scream Factory’s February 4th Kevin S. Tenney assault (the other half being Night of the Demons) –  is one hell of a good time.  A story of a Ouija board triggered haunting, possession, murder, and tragic love-lost between two bros, the film arrives with a nice transfer on a stacked Blu-ray.  Two audio commentaries (Tenney, producer Gerald Geoffray, and executive producer Walten Josten on one, the cast on the other), and a great 45 minute making-of being the highlights.

witchboard1

Highly recommended for 80s horror fans.  Grab Night of the Demons while you’re at it.

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Mark Your Calendars! #Free #Kindle #Amreading #iartg

I dug up another oldie and you can read it for free tomorrow right here. I’m posting my short, “Marmon” on my site tomorrow that appears in my book of shorts, Goners. If you’d like to read it, stop by this time tomorrow and it’ll be available. And if you love it, please go by the whole thing!

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What do YOU Want?

What do YOU Want?.

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What do YOU Want?

I just wanted to reach out to you to see what you would like to see in a horror story. As I’m coming to the final leg on my work-in-progress (more on that in a few months). But as soon as I’m wrapped up on this I’m looking to jump back into a few short stories. I’m hoping to edit an anthology this year (more on that in a few months!), but I don’t plan on waiting to get back to my first love in fiction writing: short stories.

Some of you may have read My Horror Snippets. I have some ideas on what I’d like to do and once I have a sizable amount, I’ll likely publish them, but what other stories would you like to see? Nothing is too far off-the-wall or too taboo. If I like it, I’ll write it and put it on my blog (and give you credit for the idea). I’m not sure, perhaps I’ll take the best ideas and put them up for a vote. Maybe I’ll love and write them all.
But here is your official invitation to actually have an impact on something I will write. Just post a comment and I’ll get right back with you!

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Write Better #Book Descriptions

I just found what I think will be a good aid in writing book descriptions. I’m going to use this to go over all mine. I tend to write a story I love, but struggle to find something interesting to say about it. Oh, and I found this on http://selfpublishingadvice.org/blog/reaching-readers-indie-authors-amazon/. Apparently, using this in combination with Words That Sell helps to capture the prospective reader in that crucial initial 30 seconds that decides buying or not buying.

And be sure to pick up a copy of How to Publish on Amazon Kindle, Smashwords, & Nook the Easy Way!.

TELL PROSPECTIVE READERS THE FOLLOWING (ALWAYS)

Fiction or Creative Nonfiction:

  • the central conflict.
  • who the main characters are
  • what are their goals
  • why they’re not having a good time of it. (Good time = bad novel),
  • what’s at stake.
  • where it’s set
  • why they probably can’t solve the problem (raise a doubt)

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Best #SNL Skit of All Time According to Rolling Stone

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