Saturday, December 20, 2014

What is Otherplace?

What is Otherplace?

It is not a physical journey, but a spiritual one. This is the story of two girls, trapped in a nightmare world.

It is not a dream, but a manifestation. Everything they face is real, and there are real consequences.

It is not for children, but about them. Their fears are the same as our own, and their failures we know too well.

It is not for shock, but for illumination. Light shines in the deepest darkness, but we must keep the fire burning.

Can you face your demons? Or will they consume you? Shall you face your fear? Or be forever its slave?

Otherplace is waiting... for the few who dare to open their eyes and see what is staring back.

Otherplace is available here:

Sunday, May 18, 2014

An excerpt from Otherplace

An excerpt from my novel Otherplace:

What looked like a face came into view, leaning over her. The features were plastic, but they were moving. And the eyes glowed yellow. The thing had straight, black hair and was dressed in a soiled nurse’s uniform that might have been white at one time. And the clothes were not the only things showing wear. The plastic skin was decayed in spots, and what was underneath seemed to be alive.

Emily let out a muffled scream.

Otherplace is available here:

Saturday, April 26, 2014

My 4-Star review of Chocolate-Covered Eyes by Lori R Lopez

Through the eyes, one views the soul. Not everything we witness is pleasant but, once seen, it cannot be unseen. This is a group of short stories introduced by a poem, which is where the collection gets its name. The deliciously odd tale in verse sets the tone for what comes after.

"Heartbeat" is a story of that which is closest to a child's heart, and what they will do to defend it. In "Nuance," the ties that bind can either choke or enable one to finally breathe freely.

"Unleashed: Tail One" gives a changing perspective, the focus being those that are not human. "Beyond the Stump," sheds a chilling light onto an abusive relationship taken to an even darker place.

In "Bedeviled," young men seek out an unknown species, but bring back only mischief and mayhem. And finally, "Macabre" tells the story of a young woman discovering the key to her haunted existence.

It can be quite a task to digest what is seen. Perhaps, it would be easier to ingest that which sees. Gruesome as it seems, sometimes, with the addition of a little chocolate, the most disgusting things can become palatable. After all, everything is better with chocolate...

Chocolate-Covered Eyes is available here:

Saturday, April 19, 2014

My review of Last Days of Pompeii by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Books provide us with the most enduring images of the human condition. I just finished reading “Last Days of Pompeii” by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. This book came to me as my grandmother’s unexpected gift from beyond the grave. That alone makes it special to me. Having read it, I know now I was meant to have it.

Pompeii was a great city that had sunk into hedonism and indifference. Inspired by a painting, the author wrote the story of the demise of this legendary place. The work is a tapestry of human emotion, full of drama and intrigue; both comedic and tragic.

Before the destruction we meet the young Athenian Glaucus, who is in love with the Neopolitan Ione.  She is the ward of a severe Egyptian named Arbaces. The story centers around the conflict between these two men: for Arbaces is cunning and cruel and wishes to have Ione for himself.

A young blind girl named Nydia also plays a key role in this drama. She loves Glaucus for his kindness and becomes jealous of Ione. Events conspire to bring about a tragedy, before the devastation of Pompeii.

Reading this work, you will experience deeply-moving moments along with times of great excitement. The story is visual and compelling, and even the villain is sympathetic to a point. Also, it is truly frightening to behold people, whose existence is full of casual merry-making, reduced to a lust for the shedding of blood.

Speaking to us from centuries past, the warnings here remain relevant. We are not so different, in our indifference and complacence.  And while nature’s fury can lay us low, it is our own wickedness that will draw it down upon our heads. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

An excerpt from The Bard and the Witch

An excerpt from The Bard and the Witch:

Rinaldo bowed deeply. “I now know the stories are true.”
Lady Nessa asked, “To what do you refer?”
The bard did not raise his head. “It is said that elves are the most beautiful of all creatures. And nymphs are the loveliest, by far. I am Rinaldo. And I feel fortunate to bask in your presence.”
Lady Nessa shyly covered her mouth.
Reverend Sister Serena smiled sweetly.
Lady Delshess gave a look of annoyance.
Rinaldo stood up straight, grinning down at her.
The little elf scowled back.
“Delshess…” Serena began. Then, she turned her attention to the man. “I am the Reverend Sister Serena. I wish you peace.”
“I am Lady Nessa and this is my friend…” She gestured towards the other witch.
Rinaldo surmised, “Lady Delshess. I am honored to make your acquaintance, milady.” He bent to kiss her hand, but she just turned away from him.
The bard smiled down at the other two. “Did you all enjoy my performance?”
Lady Nessa spoke, “I found it to be delightful.”
The priestess added, “It filled our hearts with joy.”
Lady Delshess unexpectedly replied, “The tone of your voice is like the bleating of a goat.”
Serena frowned at her. “Lady Delshess!”
The witch gave a slight smile.

The Bard and the Witch is available here:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

My 5-Star review for the poetry collection Temperate Darkness by Jerry Langdon

There is passion in turmoil. The deepest feelings rise to the surface when one is suffering. This is the verse of Jerry Langdon. It draws you in, and breaks your heart. The cry of the poet is a piercing one. It is nigh impossible to ignore.

There is a rhythm to these lines, like the pulsing of blood through a body. A slight repetition serves to heighten tension and drive home the point as in this selection from the poem entitled "Frozen":

I'm just frozen in place
It looks like I'm here to stay
Frozen where I stand
Frozen heart and soul
Like some arctic land

Dark things are examined thoroughly and sometimes the lines pound through your sensibilities, like this selection from "Darkness":

Children of night
Dwellers of shadow
Awaiting feast
Avoiding sight
Melancholy Darkness
Beloved Darkness
My Dear Darkness
What secret hold

There is pain in these words, raw and real. They speak of life and death; love and loss. In the midst of this is a voice crying to be heard. It calls from the shadows, in the depths where madness steals the breath away. There in the stillness, you can hear it. In the darkness, you can feel it.

You can find Temperate Darkness here:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

My 5-Star review for Cinderella: The Ultimate Collection

Ah, the allure of the fairy tale! And one in particular has appealed to both young and old the world over. The story of Cinderella has been told many times and in different ways. Basically, it is the tale of a girl who experiences tragedy. She is taken from a comfortable standard of living to a miserable one, usually by the coldness of new family members and their jealousy over her beauty. Through the help of others, both mundane and magical, she is able to gain the attention of royalty or those of privilege. Thus, she ends even better than she started. This is a fine collection of such tales.

Often, the girl has lost her mother and the father remarried. The stepmother favors her own child, and mistreats that of her new husband. And the stepdaughter is forced into servitude and wallowing in filth.

In the midst of this, supernatural forces intervene on the girl's behalf. Sometimes, this is the work of actual fairies. Often animals come to her rescue, or even the mother assists her from beyond the grave.

Usually, she contrives to attend some gathering and is provided overwhelmingly beautiful garments through supernatural means. The particulars of the clothing vary by culture, and tend to be dresses of various hues and styles. Also, the shoes can be golden, silver or even glass.

While in several tales women of the land are invited to a royal ball, in many the girl contrives to go to church. While there, she is not recognized and makes quite a scene. Everyone is talking about her, and a person of high standing takes a deep interest in the girl.

These meetings tend to happen three times, and she escapes the first two without her identity being revealed. The third time various forces intervene and in her haste she leaves behind usually her shoe which is found by or delivered to the person of high standing.

Overcome with desire, he sends word that whoever the shoe fits will become his bride. He is often a prince, but may also be any man of great power and influence.

Women from all over try on the shoe, but it fits none. At this point, through some means, the girl is revealed and tries on the shoe. It fits perfectly and he marries her.

The tales differ in all these particulars, and some go in an entirely different direction. But the similarities between these stories cannot be denied. The timelessness of this tale is what speaks to us. One girl's tragedy turns into triumph, and she is elevated beyond even her first state. She retains her goodness, and is found worthy of her great fortune. We are enchanted by this tale of rags to riches, and this collection reminds us that dreams really do come true.

Cinderella: The Ultimate Collection can be found here:

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Keep calm and Promote Horror

If you write, read, film, watch, or even just love horror... check out Promote Horror. Go there to learn about horror books and movies. Watch clips and find out how to promote your own horror right on their website. For all the scares you can stand (and possibly a few more), check out the link below. And remember to Keep Calm and Promote Horror...