Saturday, February 17, 2018

New #Horror Lovecraft-Inspired Figure! #Zombie

Had to share this!

Saw this on The Daily Dead - Herbert West Re-animator Clothed Action Figure (8" tall)  and accessories. Pretty wild! 

I admit that I haven't read much from HP Lovecraft. Here are scans and copies of the Lovecraft short story the figure is based on, Herbert West-Reanimator, originally published in 1922. I'm going to have to read this.  

It's also included in this collection:  Zombie Stories of HP Lovecraft - Watch the Reanimator movie clip from 1985. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Bloody Valentine #Horror Event Today!

Happy Valentine's Day! - Or Not!!

A bunch of us are talking books, sharing some fiction, whatever else, and talking ah, love - make that bad love - for the annual Bloody Valentine Horror Event starting at 8 a.m. (Eastern) on Facebook today! I'll be up at 1 pm Central - 2 pm Eastern. Anyone is welcome to stop by, ask questions, suggest a topic, etc.

Here's the author schedule so far:

8 AM: Intros/A. F. Stewart
9 AM: Mary Woldering
10 AM: Merrie Destefano
11 AM: Tiffany Apan
12 PM: Open Posting
1 PM: Loren Rhoads
2 PM: Christine Verstraete
3 PM: Carmilla Voiez
4 PM: A.B. Funkhauser
5 PM: Open Posting

Monday, February 12, 2018

Writing and Planning


While sometimes words flow magically, most times it takes planning to get  a project done.

There's the plotter vs. pantser theory,  meaning do you do a full plot or "wing it," though most of us use some kind of outline. And often publishers require a synopsis, which requires you to fully outline the book, beginning to end. 

You can waste a lot of time and energy just "free writing" if you don't have the story outlined or at least the main points outlined. Most times, your subconscious, your muse, or your brain, wherever those ideas come from, fills in the extras as you go along.

Of course, outlines aren't written in stone. Things change or you get a better idea as your'e writing. I've had some ideas for parts I'm stumped on or not happy with come in dreams. I really like when that happens!

Alternate Planning Ideas

Sometimes, though, you get stuck and the story won't do what you want or leads you in another direction. For a fun, crafty idea, I really like this photo-picture-theme Story Board Idea shared by Christina Freeburn on the Killer Hobbies blog. It has photos and a few lines synopsis. That's a fun way to cement your idea and indulge your creative-crafty side, too! The bonus is you can use it for an interesting  promo, too! I might work on something like that for Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter (and #2... which is getting close to the end!) Here's one idea I had. Next time I'll make one with more photos:

I know others, like fellow writer and USA Today Bestselling author Jean Rabe, do super-detailed pages-long outlines of the whole book, based on her experience working with the big publishers who require every detail and chapter outlined. Hers are almost like writing the book itself. I've seen one, it's so detailed, it's almost scary! But when she starts writing, it's her "bible." It's all there - except, of course, for those little things you change along the way that just work better... 

Oh, and psst - She has a fantastic mystery-thriller coming out soon set in Italy! Love the title - The Bone Shroud....  Check out the amazing cover and more about it at her website! Wait'll you see that! 

* What's your favorite writing or planning ideas? 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Olympics and... #Zombies?

With the Olympics underway in South Korea, it seemed the perfect time to mention the S. Korean movie, Train to Busan. I haven't seen it yet, but I've seen comments that it's not bad.  (There are other trailers and comments on the YouTube page, but there are spoilers too, so be warned.)

The trailer looks pretty good and one thing that is scary - their zombies are fast - they look even faster than World War Z!  

Anyone see this? What'd you think?

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Nominees for Bram Stoker #Horror Award

The final ballot of nominees for the 2017 Bram Stoker Award is out from the Horror Writers Association. See all the nominees here.

I'm going to include a few of the categories and link them here. It's always great to find new books to read. And the more I read the blurbs, the more interesting they sound!

Superior Achievement in a Novel

Golden, Christopher – Ararat (St. Martin's Press) - An earthquake reveals a secret hidden in a cave in Mount Ararat, Turkey. What a daring young couple find  changes everything.

King, Stephen and King, Owen – Sleeping Beauties (Scribner) - What happens when women disappear?

Malerman, Josh – Black Mad Wheel (Ecco) - A group of musicians are conscripted by the US government to track down a mysterious sound.

Miskowski, S.P. – I Wish I Was Like You (JournalStone) - Greta comes home to find a dead body - her own.  Now  she's a bitter, angry ghost setting out to solve her own murder.

Tem, Steve Rasnic – Ubo (Solaris) - Daniel has no idea how long he's been imprisoned - by roaches.  And every day, he's forced to portray another person from humanity's violent history - Jack the Ripper, Stalin...

Superior Achievement in a First Novel


Cabeen, Robert Payne – Cold Cuts (Omnium Gatherum Media) - Two scientists struggle to survive in a destroyed space station at the frozen bottom of the world - and then everything is irradiated turning the Antarctic fauna into ravenous monsters...

Davidson, Andy – In the Valley of the Sun (Skyhorse Publishing) - Western horror. By day,  he keeps an old hotel. By night, he fights an unspeakable hunger. 

Hayward, Matt – What Do Monsters Fear? (Post Mortem Press) - A rock musician tries to clean himself up. Again. This time it'll be different. Something is wrong in this rehab center as one counselor hides an ancient, and deadly, secret.

Hepler, Jeremy – The Boulevard Monster (Bloodshot Books) - You need to know how this all began. I am not a killer. You need to hear about the birds. I am not the Boulevard Monster.

Thomas, Scott – Kill Creek (Ink Shares) - A publicity stunt becomes a fight for survival among four horror writers staying at one of the most haunted houses in Kill Creek.

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection


 Hill, Joe – Strange Weather (William Morrow) - Four short novels about a camera that erases memories, clouds that rain crystal nails that shred skin, a once-hero's story unraveling like his sanity, and a first parachute jumper who finds himself aloft on an impossibly solid cloud. 

Kiste, Gwendolyn – And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe (JournalStone) - Stories where beauty embraces the darkness.

Malerman, Josh – Goblin (Earthling Publications) - A novel in six novellas with body parts in the mail, hunting, ghost traps and a goblin zoo...

Matsuura, Thersa – The Carp-Faced Boy and Other Tales (Independent Legions Publishing) - Dark tales reminescent of Japanese folk tales.

McGrath, Patrick – Writing Madness (Centipede Press) - (First, limited edition of 300 copies releases April 3 - for $105.....

Superior Achievement in an Anthology


Brooks, Kinitra, PhD., Addison, Linda D., and Morris, Susana, PhD. – Sycorax's Daughters (Cedar Grove Publishing) - 28 dark tales and 14 poems by female African American writers.

Datlow, Ellen – Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales: An Anthology (Pegasus Books) - Selection of 16 avian-themed dark fiction tales

Maberry, Jonathan and Romero, George A. – Nights of the Living Dead: An Anthology (St. Martin's Griffin) - Selection of stories based on Romero's landmark zombie movie.

Manzetti, Alessandro and Lester, Jodi Renee – The Beauty of Death Vol. 2: Death by Water (Independent Legions Publishing) - Water tales featuring drownings, siren calls, leviathans and more... 

Murano, Doug – Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders (Crystal Lake Publishing) - Weird fiction abou the dangers of the hive mind, strange creatures, weaponizing beauty and more. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Jan-Feb Reading List #zombie #horror #Sci Fi #thriller

I'm very late on compiling the latest Blog Reading List - or I'm early for February!

Anyway, lots of new books. I'm finding a lot of great horror this time! I'm finding some neat themes, too, so I may explore specific topics in coming issues.  Enjoy!


Short Stories

All That Withers, John Palisano - First collection of 23 Lovecraftian to horror stories, includes 2016 Stoker Award Winner, "Joe's Rest Stop."

Best New Horror, Volume 25 (Mammoth Book of Best Horror) - Former UK anthology of best horror featuring stories from Ramsey Campbell, Joe R. Lansdale and more. 600+ pages.

The Black Room Manuscripts, Volume 3 - (releases Feb. 24) - 25 tales of terror. David Moody and others. Do you dare enter? 



Dead Twin Sister, Jack Wallen - A band, a dead spirit... "With each recorded song, the spirit gains more power until Grog's dead twin sister is unleashed."

Haunting the Deep,- Adriana Mather - A teen finds herself on the "dream" ship. the Titanic. An interesting side note is the author's relatives survived the voyage. 

Sick House, Jeff Strand - Home invasion from beyond the grave. Creepy haunted house stuff, then the ghosts begin to arrive... (and a cool cover!) 

 The Silent Companions, Laura Purcell (pre-order, releases March 6) - Okay this sounds cool. Newly widowed Elsie goes to see out her pregnancy at her late husband's crumbling estate. Behind a locked door is a wooden figure that looks much like her...  A Victorian ghost story.
Sci Fi - Aliens 

The Other, Marilyn Peake - The world is melting down.. then people begin seeing UFO's and strange alien creatures. Then a virus begins spreading that causes hallucinations and scrambles thought. Is it from them?


Glimpse, Jonathan Maberry - (Pre-order, releases March 27) - What happens when Rain sees a boy running and screaming with laughter - or just screaming - through the crack in a pair of reading glasses? The voices are telling her to do horrible things and a spectral boogie man is haunting her in the real world. How far do you go to save someone you love?

Saving Grace (Fleetwood and Sheils Book 2), Simon Wood - Former reporter Scott Fleetwood is still recovering after tangling with a notorious kidnapper  - and now his only chance to save another girl is to trust a headline-hunting kidnapper. 



 Generation Z, Peter Meredith - Twelve years since the undead hordes swept the earth. We survive.. but for how much longer?

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter , C.A. Verstraete - Was Lizzie Borden actually guilty? What if she did commit the gruesome axe murders of her father and stepmother in 1892 for a reason no one suspected? 

Monday, January 29, 2018

What I'm Reading #SciFi #Dystopian

Like everything else I do, my reading comes in multiples. 

 If you saw my newsletter last month - (you can sign up on my website), I've been reading Heather Graham's The Presence (Harrison Investigations Bk. 2), about a haunted castle in Scotland. I'm also been reading Cherie Priest's Brimstone, about a dark entity, a clairvoyant town in Florida, and the link between a veteran and one of the clairvoyants.  I'm nearing the end on these two.

Now the NEA has its new book out for the Big Read next month, so I started reading Station Eleven by Emily St. John about a virus, civilization's collapse and a dystopian world. So far, so good. How did I miss this one? 

A related topic is the Death exhibit, Momento Mori: The Art of Death,  of death-related artifacts and art at the Kenosha, Wisc. Public Museum. I hope to catch that this coming week and will try to post some photos.

What are you reading or looking forward to?