Friday, February 28, 2014

The Book Thief, Poignant and Profound

I don't generally review films. I am making an exception today. I just saw The Book Thief. It was profound beyond words. What really got me was the depiction of Death as a character. Why you may ask. Well I depicted Death in a couple of my novels and today realised that this film blew my depictions out of the water. Really. I am honest enough to know when I meet my betters.

Death, looking down upon the horror that was Nazi Germany is in a unique position to impart great knowledge to us. We see his compassion as he goes about his business, always with the feeling that he is perhaps just doing what must be done. He feels for the people he takes. And really, who better to narrate a story about World War Two than Death?

The Book Thief of the title is a young girl who is taught to read by her adoptive father. Her adoptive parents are kindly people who not only take her in but hide a young Jewish man in their cellar. During an air raid when the village is being bombed, the young man breaks free from his protective prison to admire a starlit sky. I found that so moving as Death describes the moment in beautifully evocative words.

The acting, direction and story are well done. This is a film to savor--an unforgettable film about one of the worst times in history. We see the sorrow Death feels for all the innocents. This compassion made him heroic. It is something I cannot stop thinking about.

The author is Markus Zusak. I just bought the book I am happy to say.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Natasha Ewendt, Author on Her Paranormal Horror Book This Freshest Hell

Hi to Carole’s fans! I’m a fellow vamper, as Carole so brilliantly puts it; that means I write about vampires. I write in the realms of dark fiction rather than paranormal romance. I like vampires with bite, so I wrote a book about vampires with bite. No sparkly vamps here.

This Freshest Hell was published in 2013 by Sydney publisher Lacuna and I’m now working on the sequel, and a third book. I’m not sure yet if the series will stretch beyond there – we’ll have to wait and see whether my vampires get up to any new antics.

When I started writing the book, I wasn’t aiming to write a vampire book or a horror novel. I was just writing about two psychic misfits Lily and Maggie, their high school antics and their disenchanted adulthoods, and the paranormal and horror aspects developed along with the story. It’s a story about the girls, their friendship and their battles with personal demons to begin with and then becomes about their fight for survival, real battles, and real demons.

As a result some horror fans get impatient through the first half of the book because there are no gross bits, just supernatural bits. But if you’re happy to go on a paranormal journey with two misfits and see how the horror develops into quite the crescendo in the second half, and you don’t need limbs flying and blood spattering from the first page, you’ll like This Freshest Hell.

TFH is loosely based on a book I started writing seventeen years ago, about a girl who becomes a vampire on her wedding night and takes to vampire life a little too well, dishing all kinds of colourful revenge and retribution and becoming embroiled in the crime world as an assassin. I was a teenager at the time so that book was quite violent and ‘out there’, but I never got to finish it or even develop it properly, so I took aspects from that and put them into TFH. I had Lily turned on her wedding day, but I split the characterisation so that Maggie revels in vampire life while Lily struggles with her conscience, though for a time both enjoy dishing out some bloody justice. Then I threw in some hot vampires along with some demons, werewolves (not the cute fluffy kind) and all-new freaky monsters to make a heady horror concoction.

So, with TFH I didn’t set out to write a horror novel, but I’m not surprised it turned out that way as I’ve been a horror fan for as long as I can remember. I was reading Virginia Andrews and Stephen King when my peers were still reading Babysitters Club and Thomas the Tank Engine, so you could say my perspective was always a little twisted! And if there’s anything I like more than a horror novel, it’s a horror movie or TV show. Against my better judgement, on the advice of friends who were rabid fans of the show I started watching The Walking Dead. I was addicted from the first episode, even though zombies give me nightmares! Give me demons and vampires any day …

I’ve found the horror community to be very supportive and through Women in Horror Month I’ve met some fabulous female horror writers who share my slightly, awesomely twisted perspective. It’s been great to see female writers getting the recognition they deserve this month. I find dark fiction by women tends to have great characterisation, depth and emotional substance, so if you want to read something powerful, read a horror book written by a woman.

Happy reading,

Natasha Ewendt

More info:

This Freshest Hell is available at all online stores and apps, some bookstores or by order from your local bookstore.
Get it on Amazon:

Or for a list of stockists with links see Goodreads:

Or the publisher’s website:

Dark secrets shared …
Dark spells invoked …
Death desired and death defied …
Goth Maggie and misfit Lily unite against school, family, society, normality and life itself. But can they fight the darkness within?

When Maggie saves Lily from schoolyard bullies on her first day at a new school in Tasmania, the girls discover they share psychic abilities — and the same dark secret. Their high school rebellion culminates in a dalliance with the dark arts that could have eternal consequences. Those consequences come to bear a decade later when they are plunged into the demon world. Suddenly the darkness within and blood lust become literal matters of life and death. A new world of darkness and an epic battle force them to question what they really value — including each other, and life itself.


Thank you, Natasha Ewendt!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Necromantic Aristocrats from Unholy Testament Full Circle!

18 and over please!

More confessions from Eco's journal:

One of the things I found most shocking was Lord Avery's love of necromancy. He said he excelled at it. I didn’t believe him but he insisted on proving it to me.

“I learned it from a sorcerer in France. Now,” he said, gesturing wildly as we stood in his library, “that is a country that knows how to appreciate Satanism! They are remarkable.”

I nodded for I recalled Gilles de Rais. I expected he might ask me about him but he didn’t.

“I can show you the rites. Would you like to see them?”

I said I would as I was a bit curious. I hadn’t seen much necromancy in my time, just the odd rite here and there. 

Suddenly, he whirled around, his face excited and his eyes blazing. He looked like a madman.

“I have the most wonderful idea,” he exclaimed. “Should you like to see the fruits of my efforts? I have someone I have raised up! A most beautiful creature that is so perfectly embalmed, she is—well, how shall I put it—still able to be enjoyed?

He didn’t give me a chance to answer. Instead, he hurried out of the library. “Come, you must see this, Eco! Truly you must!”

He led me up the main staircase but then instead of walking along the lushly appointed corridor, he turned and began walking toward an opulent mural. It looked to be early Renaissance, no doubt of Italian origin.

Just when I began to admire it, he did something, and the painting receded into the wall! Yes, this was no ordinary wall for it led to a stairway.

“They’re a bit old and rickety, so do try to hang on.”

I did and managed to step down upon the landing.

“Just along here,” he said. He led me into a damp, dusty smelling corridor that seemed to go on endlessly.

Just as I was beginning to think he was leading me on a merry chase, he stopped before a door. Rooms sat on both sides of the corridor but this was the one he had chosen.

“Voila!” he said and opened it. There was little light for the windows had been boarded up. He raised his torch then. “I want you to see something.”

At last I was able to make out the room and the contents. A woman lay upon a canopied bed.
“Her name was Elena. Her father was a Spanish merchant…quite successful. He couldn’t bear the death of his eighteen-year-old daughter, especially the thought of her slowly rotting away, becoming food for worms and nothing else, so he had her embalmed. I understand Egyptians did it. Quite a good job, wouldn’t you say?”

He insisted I come closer. When I was just next to him, he shone the torch over the girl.
It was remarkable for the girl looked to be asleep. I was incredulous. “How long has she been dead?”

“She died five years ago! She should be well-rotted by now, don’t you think?”

I nodded for I knew the stench of rot and decomposition should be prevalent. Yet I did not detect anything of the kind.

“Look!” He held the torch directly over her now.
I gasped because she was beautiful, perfect in every way. It seemed as though a noise could wake her at any moment.

“I have feelings for her,” he said. “Far more than I ever had for my wife.”
He nodded. “Yes, I have been with her many times—the first time being when I raised her up. I took her right there beside her grave! ‘Forgive me, beautiful angel,’ I cried as all of my passion burst forth from me.”

He then proceeded to tell me all the horrific details of that occurrence.
“Of course she felt different than she would have were she truly alive. She felt sort of leathery …” He paused for he sensed my horror."



Purchase Unholy Testament - Full Circle  $2.99


2014 - Amazon Bestseller in Dark Fantasy - THE BLACKSTONE VAMPIRES OMNIBUS
2015 - Amazon Bestseller in Vampire Horror - THE BLACKSTONE VAMPIRES OMNIBUS

Monday, February 24, 2014

Julie Ramsey, Author and Book Reviewer on Her New Book!

Hello my fellow readers, reviewers and authors. My name is Julie Ramsey. My 1st Novella was just released on Feb 13th 2014. 

The Wild Bone: The White Alpha of Monroe is something I had always wanted to do. I have been a reviewer for years and run a successful review site called Julies Book Review (  

As a reviewer I love books of almost every genre. My soft spot has always been paranormal romance. Some of the authors that have influenced me over the years, Christine Feehan, JR Ward, Suzanne Wright, Carrie Ann Ryan, and Katie MacAlister just to name a few.

I am currently back in school working toward my BA. It was in a creative writing class that Sally and the Monroe pack came to me. I couldn't use the piece for class but I set it aside and came back to it. The paper then became The Wild Bone: The White Alpha of Monroe. 

I have had lots of good reviews so far and I am excited about the possibilities this book brings. For the future I am working on book 2. I am hoping to have it out with in the next couple of months. Also I have 2 kids books that should be out this year as well under the name J.J. Ramsey. So please let people know about The Wild Bone: The White Alpha of Monroe. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Julie Ramsey

More info:
It is on sale at Amazon for .99 cents.     

When Sally's mother dies, she is left with no family. Her two best friends Hector and Cathy decide to take her out to the new bar in town, The Wild Bone, to get her out of the house. The night doesn't turn out how they imagine. Sally's mother kept a secret that is about to come to light. The secret holds the trio's future. 2 men both werewolves are about to change Sally's life forever. One will be her future and bring out what has been hidden from her. One wants to steal her future to gain the power of the Monroe pack. Will Sally and her friends survive the turmoil to come? 
buy Link:

Saturday, February 22, 2014

How Do You Write a Short Story?

Monsters in My Head

Well, this 52 story/year is a challenge but it's taught me some amazing things. It's taught me how to work at my most efficient--in other words, goof off at your own peril. Rule of thumb: BE ON THE INTERNET AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE :)  Meaning, social networks like Facebook can really waste valuable time.

As for the writing, generally I know what story will work and what won't. I have to feel something about the idea I have. Sometimes an idea just comes. Actually on second thought it has to always come to you. You can't search for it, at least I can't.

I want to write a profoundly fantastic story about ... that won't work for me. What does work is an idea. Like vampire dolls, or a family that isn't a real family. Think lunatics r us!

If you write horror, you have resident maniacs living in your brain. They are waiting for you to tap into them. They are your natural resource. Does this conflict with what I said about not being able to search for an idea? Not really. You have your own monsters. I have my little lunatic world of horror that I respect because it is kind to me even though it makes me work. No fiction delivered to me on silver platters. No way. Still, I have ideas.

An idea equals a story, right? Nooo! An idea can equal a story. Think of a situation: two lunatics with meat cleavers in a confined space! Seriously, most situations I find that are fraught with the possibility of violence is a good start.

I'm just up to story number 9 (week 9) and I had an idea today, not yesterday--today. I had another idea which I worked on last week in between dying from a chest infection and barely surviving. Actually, I think the glimpse into my own tenuous mortality gave me the meatier idea!

Btw, you know you can work on a few things at one time. I do. Just keep organized. Keep stories in folders. I'm no genius but it does help me. I have finished a great many projects that way.

Remember that advice to write what you know? Well, I find the best part of writing what you know is to write what you feel. To use the emotion of some heartfelt experience of thought to fashion into a story with characters you can believe in. If you can't, no one else will.

I thought I'd write this now--no time to write anything else, I have to go back to my novel. Later, when I take a break I will work on story number 9. I'm happy with it so far, but I have a week to go! So who knows?!

Anyway, happy writing!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Katrina Van Tassel's Shocking Confession!

     In light of True Review's recommendation of Firbolg's ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK: DARK MUSES, SPOKEN SILENCES ANTHOLOGY, I am reblogging this about how I came to write my story.


I can't think of a story I enjoyed writing more than this one!

I was delighted to be a part ofFirbolg's Enter at Your Own Risk, Dark Muses, Spoken Silences.

I was to reimagine the character, Katrina Van Tassel (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow). Wow! I thought. I'll get into her skin and become Katrina.

I enjoy writing first person because (and I've said this before in posts) I studied acting many years ago. I was taught Method Acting--wherein you become the part you are playing. I do that with my writing.

I have some short stories that are third person, but my longer fiction is always first. It works best for me.
It also works for Anne Rice. Here's what she had to say about first person:

'First-person narrators is the way I know how to write a book with the greatest power and chance of artistic success.'— Anne Rice

First person gives me the story. I get it through my character's eyes. Katrina's Confessionis what I came up with. She explains exactly what happened to Icabod Crane and reveals a few more things besides. I wrote it in the style of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

This is a unique anthology. I'm in exceptional company. Each writer has put a spin on a classic gothic story! The writers are:
B.E. Scully, Timothy Hurley, Blaze McRob, T. Fox Dunham, Gregory Norris, Mike Chinn, Jon Michael Kelley.

Alex Scully (Editor), Gary Braunbeck (Introduction)

From their blurb:

"In Firbolg Publishing’s third volume in the Enter at Your Own Risk series, ten modern storytellers reimagine the mysterious characters lurking within four classics of Gothic literature.

As you read the original stories, a sinister whisper drifts in on a cold chill. But there are other voices beneath the whisper. You can hear them crawling out of the growing darkness. Then the whispers become a scream...!"
Some of the most enduring masterpieces of Gothic fiction are as intriguing for the stories they don’t tell as for those they do.

The voices hidden in the wall of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat;” the secrets buried beneath the earth of Sleepy Hollow in Washington Irving’s legendary Headless Horseman tale; the dreams of a monster and an ancient book with a life of its own in H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulhu;” and stories that reveal Polidori’s hypnotic, archetypal Vampyre as far more than what he first appears to be.

In Firbolg Publishing’s third volume in the Enter at Your Own Risk series, ten modern storytellers reimagine the mysterious characters lurking within four classics of Gothic literature.

As you read the original stories, a sinister whisper drifts in on a cold chill. But there are other voices beneath the whisper. You can hear them crawling out of the growing darkness. Then the whispers become a scream...
With an introduction from acclaimed author Gary Braunbeck, Dark Muses, Spoken Silences invites you into the hidden shadows of four of the most famous dark fiction tales ever told.

Are you brave enough to enter?" 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Dracula and the Child He Cursed

Excerpt: Unholy Testament - Full Circle, Book 3
Dracula is introduced in this book. The mother of a young child he has cursed is dying, attacked by vampires. She pleads for Rose to take her child:

“Do you understand, Rose?” 

I supposed I did, and I told her so. Suddenly, a knock sounded on the door. I feared it might be Eco but it wasn’t. 

It was Death, holding a woman in his arms. A very young child stood nearby, no older than two. Clearly, she had just learned to walk and she tottered on her feet. 

The woman stared at both Lilith and myself. 

Death spoke for her. “This is her child. She is two years old. She needs a woman to care for her for she must come with me. There is no choice.” 

There is no choice, meaning the woman was dying. I could see the pale skin and tell-tale bite marks on her throat—the vampires had been at her. 

I picked the child up and the woman began to sob. Death nodded. “She is a gypsy and she knows what you are.” Death motioned me to come toward her. “She wants to look into your eyes.” 

I approached her so that she could. She only uttered one word: “Vampire…” 

I nodded. “I am, but I do no one harm. I never have nor will I!” 

She seemed to understand; her eyes glistened with tears and her lips trembled. I felt certain she approved of me. “Take care of her please, I beg you…” 

I grasped her hand and promised that I would. 

“He has bewitched my child. He has whispered death and abomination into her ears…my own babe!” 

I asked her what she meant, but she was slipping in and out of consciousness. 
“Please, Death,” I asked. “Who is it she speaks of?” 

“It is he who is called Dracula. He did this. If you take this child, you must remember her words. Do not ever forget.” 

Death said that so ardently, I realized he was not a demon and never had been. He was what he has always been—an accursed angel ministering to those who never wish to see him. That was a kind of damnation, surely. 

“I will remember your warning,” I said. I then held the little girl up so that her mother might gaze once more upon her before Death took her away. 

Before the woman died, she told me the child’s name. “She is called Dia,” she said."   


99 cents on offer!

Dia is featured in The Fourth Bride (of Dracula) Book 4

Each book in The Blackstone Vampires Series is sold singly for $2.99

Buy all four novels in the award-winning series for $3.99


eFestival of Words 2014: Best Villain, Eco/ Best Horror, The House on Blackstone Moor

"92 Horror authors you need to read right now"
Carole Gill -- the Blackstone Vampires series
~Charlotte Books - EXAMINER
"In the attempt to find the just measure of horror and terror, I came upon the writing of Carole Gill whose work revealed a whole new dimension to me. The figure of the gothic child was there. Stoker's horror was there. Along with the romance! At the heart of her writing one stumbles upon a genuine search for that darkness we lost with the loss of Stoker." DR. MARGARITA GEORGIEVA ~ Gothic Readings in The Dark

Unholy Testament - Full Circle
"Is full of dark, gory, evil and heinous twist and turns which keeps your adrenaline going. Unholy Testament - Full Circle with all of the horrific things that goes on in it is just right up my alley. And believe me you definitely get plenty of evil in Unholy Testament - Full Circle. The ending left me with my mouth hanging open it was so surprising. I never expected it but I loved it."
NANCY ALLAN - Avid Reader

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Billie Sue Mosiman for Women in Horror Month!

Billie is the author of more than 60 books on Amazon! Her genres include: thriller, suspense and horror. Here's sampling of just SOME of her books!

In her own words:

"In a diary when I was thirteen years old I wrote, "I want to grow up to be a writer." It seems that was always my course. My books have been published since 1984 and two of them received an Edgar Award Nomination for best novel and a Bram Stoker Award Nomination for most superior novel. I have been a regular contributor to a myriad of anthologies and magazines, with more than 160 short stories published. My work has been in such diverse publications as Horror Show Magazine and Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.

I taught writing for Writer's Digest and for AOL online, and gave writing workshops locally in Texas. I was an assistant editor at a Houston literary magazine and co-edited several trade paperback anthologies with Martin Greenberg. My latest work in paperback and Kindle digital is SINISTER-Tales of Dread, a compilation of fourteen new short stories all written in 2013.

Recently I've sold short stories to the anthologies BETTER WEIRD edited by Paul F. Olson from Cemetery Dance, ALLEGORIES OF THE TAROT edited by Annetta Ribken, FRESH FEAR edited by William Cook, WRAPPED IN RED edited by Jennifer Greene, and SOMEONE WICKED edited by Weldon Burge. My latest suspense novel, THE GREY MATTER, will be published by Post Mortem Press by May 2014.

I was born in Alabama and live now in Texas on a small ranch. My work has been predominately suspense thrillers, with my short fiction being more speculative. My latest novel is BANISHED, a dark fantasy horror novel involving fallen angels.

I love to read (especially on my Kindle), watch old movies, take photographs, and travel.
Because of my love of storytelling, I've been fortunate enough to make a lifelong investment in writing stories and novels.

News of my e-book publications can be found at:

Find me on Twitter @billiemosiman

Some Insight into Billie Sue

1.       How did you feel the first time you sent something off to be published?

Like a warrior, like a wunderkind about to step into my real world.

2.       Was horror always your favorite genre to read and to write in?

No, not really. I spent some years reading widely and still do. I like literary novels, historical novels (that aren't really romance), biographies, the greats from the past of literature. I began writing without genre in mind. I wrote what I was most interested in and that was the aberrant mind. Psychology interested me in characters more than action unless the action was reflective of character.

Years afterward I discovered the suspense genre and read in that, soaking in all the best books by the best writers. I read little in horror. My horror short fiction work probably comes more from the old supernatural tales of ghosts and ghouls and beasts in the woods that I heard while very young, listening to my extended Southern family talk about these tall tales. My short work began to reflect what I'd heard. My novels began to reflect my love for suspense. I progressed naturally to where I should be, as we all do.

3.       If you could meet one author (from any era, alive or dead) who would it be and why?

Oddly enough it might be Tennessee Williams. Or Truman Capote. Or Flannery O'Connor. Their very Southerness feels companionable and their deep interests in the vagaries of the human heart. Yes, I would sit with any one of these three and listen and learn forever.

4.       What inspired your very first story or novel?

Just the urge to write. Then when my idea for WIREMAN came along it was inspired by TV news and the newspaper about murders in Houston, where the bodies were decapitated. I kept gathering the clippings and wondered at how the different Houston districts weren't noticing this was probably the work of a serial killer. I interviewed a detective, the coroner, and various other people and then I had my novel. I sat down and wrote it and luckily, it was published.

5.       What writer influenced your writing more than any other? Just one name please.

Crap. No, that's not a name. It's my frustration I must name just one. I suppose it would be Flannery O'Connor. You might have expected a name from horror or suspense, but it was Flannery who inspired me to write darkly, to delve way down deep into the psyche, to write about it without flinching, to be human in my storytelling and to be real.

Real doesn't mean graphic, though at times my work can be that. Real is honest human feelings and my trying to give them from me to my characters without fudging, without relying on familiar tropes, and without gussying it up too pretty.

Yes, I guess I will have to say Flannery. When I read she had died young and left so little behind her, I was bereft. She was a spirit who knew the darkness and she wrote of it in a way horror writers do not write (usually). She's known as a literary figure and she's that, but she's also someone who taught me how to write about "horror" or "suspense" in my own way, in my own voice, with no restraints from any quarter.


Thank you so much, Billie for answering my questions and thank you for gracing my blog!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Meet Horror Author Rena Mason for Women in Horror Month!

When I was a young teenager, I preferred reading female writers because the emotions I longed to experience came through more in their works for me. I write mostly about women. Friends, acquaintances, passersby. Women I’ve heard about, read about, or seen on TV. Women I don’t know. Me. I also prefer to read about these women.

My ideas for writing stemmed from me wanting to take the domestic aspects of people’s lives and turn them upside down but not with your ordinary family problems of the kids getting bad grades, affairs, divorces, etc. We’ve all experienced these things.

I wondered what would happen if I added a bit of horror, the unbelievable, the dark fantastical, and see how these “normal” people would respond. That’s what happened with The Evolutionist, my debut novel about Stacy Troy, a woman living in the suburbs of Las Vegas with a perfect family and her book club friends. Her life breaks down after she sees a psychiatrist for recurring nightmares that turn out to be much more than she’d ever expected. In the end, she has to make a choice—see and believe the unbelievable, or remain blind but knowing in the reality of suburbia.

There are many more female horror authors nowadays compared to when I was growing up, but back then we didn’t have the means of finding what we wanted by typing it into an electronic device, and bam, there are a hundred plus choices. I think because of the Internet, we’re more accessible than before, but we’re still outnumbered compared to male authors. With more exposure from web events such as Women in Horror Month, I hope word will get out, and more women writers will be less intimidated to step up and dip their toes into something a little darker.

Rena Mason lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, a member of the Horror Writers Association, and an active member of the International Thriller Writers. She’s written several short stories published in various anthologies. Her debut novel The Evolutionist was released April 2013 from Nightscape Press. The novella, East End Girls, a part of JournalStone Publishing’s DoubleDown series Book 1 was released June 2013. To learn more about Rena and her upcoming projects, visit these sites:


Thank you, Rena for posting here for WIHM!
c gill

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Horror Author and Illustrator, Lori R. Lopez for WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH!


Lori R. Lopez

            Hey, you!  Yes, you!  The one looking for something scary to read!  Do you look for an author’s name when you choose a book?  Do you care whether the name is a man’s or a woman’s?  Can you believe that women in this day still feel compelled to mask their gender as authors of certain (or most) types of Fiction?

            If you think a woman couldn’t hammer your fright bone, peel the skin off your eyeballs and wrench your guts out with her bare hands (so to speak), then you’ve got another think coming!

            In case you didn’t notice, I’m a woman.  In case you didn’t know, I write Horror.  And, in case you didn’t hear, there has been much discussion of late on equality issues regarding male and female writers, particularly in Horror and Science Fiction.  Unfortunately, what should be an archaic concept is still a very real hurdle for women who write in these genres, despite Mary Shelley’s rise to the top, serving as a resplendent example.  She is largely considered the mother of Science Fiction, and one of the premiere horror authors of all time.  So why the fuss?  Why these preconceived notions about who writes it better?  Shouldn’t we just write our best?

            You might be surprised to learn that many readers (females included) still have the ridiculous idea men should write Horror and women should stick to Romance.  It’s like boys playing with the cool toys and girls playing with dolls.  I didn’t like dolls as a child.  I traded them away for things that interested me more.  My mom didn’t appreciate that, but I have never been exactly ordinary or “normal”.  Have you?

            In honor of Women In Horror Month, I would like to point out that I am thrilled to see big changes occurring.  One is that there are far more women writing Horror now than you might realize.  Another is that some of their stuff is at least as hard-edged and even gory as any guy could imagine.  I write my own way.  There might be shocks and edgier material, but primarily it is thoughtful and often suspenseful.  That is the type of Horror I prefer.  I like to give depth to my characters, to make them breathe a lot like Mary Shelley brought Frankenstein’s Monster to life, just without all of the doojiggies and lightning.  Okay, there is some lightning.

            I’ve been a horror fan since I can recall.  But I write Horror with a poet’s touch, and with a more traditional yet quirky flair.  You could call it Elegant Horror, because I care about the wording as much as the plot.  I also mix in other genres, from Dark Fantasy to Science Fiction.  Maybe I won’t please everyone with everything or anything I write, but it’s my vision, my style.  A lot of the ideas on how Horror should be written are merely opinions, and everybody’s got some of those.  They aren’t all the same, and I’m here to tell you that the perception about there being only one way to write, one way to tell a story, one way to express a horror tale . . . that is archaic.  That needs to change.  It was never ever true!

            Can women write solid Horror?  Whatever your definition of the genre, the truth is that women can write it with the best of them.  We are proving this daily, and have been proving it for centuries.  And even if you don’t like the way I write it, my style can vary from tale to tale.  There is no single definition for the way I write, as there is no single definition of Horror and who writes it.
            Bear this in mind the next time you open a book.  Be sure to open your mind as well.


Lori R. Lopez wears many hats, including as an author and artist, musician and actress.  She is also an activist against abuse and cares deeply about conservation and animal rights.  She has always loved books since being read to when small.  



Fifteen of Lori's poems were published for an anthology titled IN DARKNESS WE PLAY.  She unapologetically takes pride in creatively bending and reshaping the rules of writing when it suits her style.

Lori writes a peculiar column called "Poetic Reflections" at Fairy Fly Entertainment, a creative website she is establishing with her talented sons:

You can find her poetry collection and other titles at:

Some of her latest releases:




Thank you so much for posting Lori! It is a pleasure to have you here.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Nina D'Arcangela, Writer and Publisher for Women in Horror Month!

I’d like to thank the incomparable Carole Gill for sharing her blog and allowing me to promote Women in Horror Recognition Month with a short ramble about myself, and a bit of my quirky prose.

My Name is Nina D’Arcangela – and yes it is a nom de plume. When I was a little girl, I spoke Italian before I learned English and had a difficult time making the transition from one language to the other. For some reason, when it was nap time, I would tell my mother I wanted to go ‘ninanas with my PQ’. In my odd dual-language, that meant ‘I want to sleep with my pillow’. Since those early days, my mother has often called me Nina, so picking a first name was a no-brainer.

The D’Arcangela part is where I’ve been politely accused of being overly clever. But again, it’s a coincidence as far as my world goes – it’s my mother-in-laws maiden name, as simple as that. Being Hungarian by descent (my grandfather was a travelling gypsy – caravan and all), D’Arcangela made perfect sense since it means Dark Angel in Hungarian if you eliminate the ‘D’. Considering I refer to the main character I’d evolved a good number of years before as the Dark Angel, there you have it – serendipity!

Now that you know my name (in more detail than you ever wanted to): who am I? I’m a Co-Owner of Sirens Call Publications as well as the Social Media Coordinator for our small press. I’m also a member of Pen of the Damned, a group of horror writers that publish free horror and angst filled fiction online every Tuesday. I’m a self-proclaimed quirky horror chick who writes primarily short, painful prose.

I love all things horror related. I gobble up splatter matter as quickly as dark matter, and have been both a word junkie and geek my entire evolved life. I’m also an UrbEx explorer and photographer – I live by the simple creed ‘See All, Respect All, Cause No Harm’. I find amazing beauty in decay. My plan is to leave as small a footprint on this world as I can while at the same time being remembered in a magnanimous way (I’m still working that part out – I’ll get there, give me time).

I own Dark Angel Photography, and love to shoot abandoned places, decrepit buildings, and the type of things most would see as a blight upon their world. I have an affinity for decommissioned trains, purportedly haunted places, and old graveyards. My interests run the gamut of playing tag in the rain, to studying quantum mechanics. If it’s gadgety, it’s got my attention.

I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t pick up a pen, pencil, crayon, chalk; anything that would leave a mark on paper and begin to scribble words. Nor do I remember a time when I was afraid to step into an adult conversation and dispute what I believed to be the truth. I’m a cold fusion person, a dreamer, a lover of life, and the most optimistic pessimist you’ll ever meet.

I can be found wandering the internet in many places:

Twitter: @Sotet_Angyal

Writing blog: Sotet Angyal – The Dark Angel (

Writing blog: Pen of the Damned (

Promotional Blog: Spreading the Writer’s Word (

Personal Blog: The Road to Nowhere (

Publishing Site: Sirens Call Publications (

Facebook: Nina D’Arcangela (

email: and

So that’s me in a nutshell. Thank you again, Carole, for allowing me this opportunity on your blog. I hope that you enjoy your introduction to The Dark Angel – don’t let the title fool you, I don’t really ‘do’ happy endings. In honor of Women in Horror Recognition Month, I give you ‘An Offer’.

An Offer
by Nina D’Arcangela 

Bending down in front of this fawn who has wandered far astray into a place she knows nothing of, I tip her head back, cupping her chin in my delicate hand as I gaze into the enormous glistening pools that serve as her eyes.

“An odd turn of phrase, wouldn’t you agree? I give you my heart.  How does one go about giving their heart away? If you were to give me your heart, you would become useless to me. A mass of tissue, cartilage, sinew, and bone pulsing with – nothing. And nothing is exactly what you would be worth. Do you wish to be worth no more than slop for the beasts to have their fill upon? Offering me your heart is a ridiculous thought. Besides, what makes you think I would allow you to give what I could so easily take if I chose it?”

A tinge of fear seeps into her eyes, her creamy throat swallows a hard lump, I release her but do not rise.

“Perhaps what you mean to say is that you offer me your unconditional devotion. Yes? Ah, now this I understand. This has a place in my world, this I can make fair use of. You proffer yourself before me and offer fidelity by choice. There is great value to be extracted from such a deed, unlike the sickeningly tender gesture of giving away your heart. A fool’s notion that. But you are a foolish creature, are you not?”

Her eyes shimmer, and I pace several steps away to allow the searing warmth of the sunlight to penetrate the chill I constantly feel radiating from within. This one, she affects me… After a moment of silent contemplation, I turn back. Our gazes locked once more, she still on her knees, me standing above her – as it would always rightfully be.

“Should I choose to make you my pet? Allow you to exist on a whim? To please me when I see fit, perform for my enjoyment? Or perhaps even allow you the coveted honor of prostrating yourself at my feet for all to see; recognition of what an obedient thing you have become. Or should I simply accept your heart here and now, ending what will surely be an eternity of anguish for you?”

Circling her kneeling form, I allow my hand to trail through her mane of flaxen hair. It glistens so enticingly in the brightness of the day. The feel, that of swirling one’s hand through warm buttermilk; the scent, Anise. Delicious. Far too delicious. Fisting a clump of glorious silk in my hand, I yank her head backwards, redirecting her gaze to mine. A small squeal uttered, her hands fly up in a futile attempt to alleviate the pain I am causing her. My stare unwavering, she slowly lowers her arms to her lap once more.

“Do not expect to receive the slack afforded my servants. They have not groveled their way into my good graces. They have earned their allowance, their right to breathe for as long as I deem it useful. Unlike you my soft lovely dove, they have withstood a trial of pain and torment that you could not begin to fathom; and they have lived – if life is what you wish to call it. But you, you have earned nothing more than my attention with your soft curves and deep somber eyes. When I no longer find amusement in your charms, then perhaps you will give me your heart as initially intended.”

Fear radiates from those bottomless orbs as they now watch me with trepidation, fear, and, of all things – judgment. Snarling, I release her head more roughly than intended and move to stand before her once more, bellowing at her audacity in a harsh ugly tone.

“This frightens you? My apologies! I don’t see why it should. You served the opening volley; you began this bid for my affection with your profferance of dedication to ‘my wants, my needs, and dare I say it – my most sacred desires’. Yes, I am mocking you and your attempt at securing my attention! Ah, I see you understand the spark of anger flashing behind my eyes, the couched venom spiting through my words, yet still you do not understand your own part in inciting me. You are an ignorant animal, you know nothing of what I want, need or desire – yet you bear enough conceit to believe you stand any hope of satisfying me with your pathetic attempt at comprehension. Do you not see it? Do you still not understand who or what I am? No, I believe you do not!”

In a near frenzied pitch, I force myself to stop. She cowers before me, trembling, terrified by what now stands before her. Glancing down, I realize that my hands have begun to morph into clawed appendages; I can feel the second row of razor teeth beginning to protrude from my rending gums. The realization that this gentle creature before me is a far greater danger to my world than I initially thought decides her fate. Eyes brimming with tears, mine not hers, I crouch before this lovely timid thing, allowing my deformed talon to graze the soft flesh of her flushed cheek, and speak in a hushed tone.

“Mores the pity. I would have enjoyed the game, no matter how briefly it lasted.”

One more sweep through her luxurious hair, but my changing flesh is no longer capable of feeling its soothing texture.  I gently cradle the back of her head and pull her soft form against mine. Blinding rage engulfs me, the cold from within takes over. With a slow, deliberate indifference, I stroke her. I open her from pelvis to throat with the barbed tail I have kept hidden all this while; being sure to take enough time to truly feel the pain this is causing her. A single tear tips from my shuttered eye and with it, the last pretense of my humanity is shed. Leathery clawed wings tear free of their flesh covered prison and enshroud us.

After what lives in me is sated, and I have consumed my fill, I rise, releasing her corpse to the beautiful grassy field where I have defiled her. The warmth of the sun no longer as tantalizing as it was earlier. Glancing back at her remains one last time, I allow those that serve me to clean the foul mess.

One dares to catch my eye as if to pass its own judgment upon me. Weakness amongst my kind is unheard of, and not tolerated.

With a feeling akin to what I understand to be shame, I spit at the thing before me, “Provided I do not choose to slit your throat for the disloyal thought I see passing through your eyes, I’ll allow you to keep your life and you will keep your tongue as to what you have seen here this day!”

He has the nerve to grin at me. She was but a frail morsel; the darkness beating in the soul of this servile beast shall sate me fully. I believe I shall begin by allowing him to give me his heart.

© Copyright 2012 Nina D’Arcangela.

Thank you, Nina for posting here!