Waltzing Matilda…

May 26, 2021 at 11:47 pm (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , )

I’m making my first appearance in an Australian anthology. My horror short story “I Have no Beef with You” appears in Colp Underground, now available on Amazon. This is Colp’s ninth collection and is described as an exploration beneath the surface presented by ts authors. So grab a torch and venture in…

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To Binge or not to Binge

May 23, 2020 at 11:08 pm (horror, writing) (, , , , , )

It’s tempting while stuck at home, when I’m not working, to sit and binge hours of TV and movies. It feels almost like a way of waiting it out, until things get back to normal. While I do cook, garden and go on walks, I miss swimming, jugger, shopping and my usual routines, so I need things to distract me.  Binging shows does that for me

I was chatting with someone the other day about how I like to access the shows I watch and what I enjoy watching most.  Like many out there, my household binges Netflix, and Youtube is always a source of entertainment.  I’m waiting with great anticipation for the second season of Umbrella Academy and was happy to have a chance to finally see Deadpool 2.  But I’ve turned to some newer options this year that have been my go to for something different when I feel like I’ve run through all I’ve wanted to see on my usual sources for shows.

So what am I trying out this year?  Well, as a horror fan, I decided to use some of my Christmas money to get myself a subscription to Shudder.  When I first scrolled through the available selections, it seemed a little overwhelming.  I thought the movies listed would keep me busy for a long time, but I soon realized while there were several I wanted to see, or re-watch, there were many older movies from Italian directors that really did not appeal to me (hate me for it if you like, but I’m not a fan of the original Suspiria).  I still can’t believe how many champion “The Beyond” as some sort of great classic.  I watched it when I was much younger, under the title of “Seven Doors of Death”, during one of our Bad Movie Nights, and it won as the worst movie that night.  It included such notable events as a blind woman running through her house (without running into anything) calling out for her dog, Dick and a man fighting zombies who reloaded his pistol by shoving a bullet up the barrel.  We also counted only 3 doors in the movie, not 7. 

A large portion of the movies on Shudder are foreign movies with subtitles.  I like to do other things while I watch (drawing, folding laundry, chopping veggies, needlework, etc.) so I have to be in the right mood and static mode for subtitles, since you can’t really do anything else while you watch.  Granted, most of their foreign films are high quality, but it just doesn’t suit my viewing preferences.

That’s not to say I’m regretting my Shudder subscription, because what they do offer are great series, documentaries and podcasts.  I’ve enjoyed Creepshow, NOS4A2, Channel Zero, Wolf Creek and some non-horrors like Lucky Man and A Discovery of Witches.  I’d subscribe to Shudder just to watch the Dead Lands, my favourite thing on the streaming service.  They aren’t all winners, but it does have a lot of good things to offer.

If I’m looking for movies though, I’ve taken to sludging through the many, many options on Tubi.  My car pool drive introduced me to this free streaming service.  They have more English language horror movies than you can shake a stick at and the majority of them are terrible.  But there are a few hidden gems and classics in the mix.  I got a kick out of an indy horror comedy called “Gravy” and a thriller called “Landmine Goes Click”.  I also found a great sci-fi/fantasy mini-series called “The Lost Room”.  And I was happy to re-watch a horror favourite of mine, “Splinter”.   

If you aren’t into horror, they may still have something you’ll enjoy.  They have so much variety – if you do decide to check it out be prepared to invest some time digging before you find something worth watching.

Do you have a preferred streaming service I haven’t mentioned?  If you have suggestions, let me know in the comments.

 

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Guest Post – H. E. Roulo

September 12, 2019 at 3:45 pm (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

Plague Master: Rebel Infection- A Terrible Discovery

By H.E. Roulo

With the release of book two of the PLAGUE MASTER Series, readers get to rediscover teenager Trevor Seth. Trevor is hailed as a hero for returning with a vaccine for the zombie infection. His celebrity also makes him a dangerous threat to the powerful Founders of his homeworld. When revolution breaks out, he must discover the terrible truth about his cure…

 

Excerpt From Chapter 7 of Plague Master: Rebel Infection

A woman stumbled into the fire-lit driveway and tumbled to her knees. Her short white hair clumped with red and black blood. She wore a simple white pantsuit. Blood coated her forearms and slicked the front of her pant legs.

Elena gasped. “That’s Ambassador Grekov. We spoke at dinner.”

“Even if she’s been bitten, she’ll recover.” Cameron aimed the way she’d come, in case she was being pursued. “Sigrid, give her first aid.”

The ambassador rocked on her knees, head down.

“She has two bites on her forearm.” Sigrid remained in place and peered at the woman’s inner wrist, spying the blue bite-shaped scar. “Good, she’s inoculated. I’ll patch her up.”

“Wait! I would not.” Elena obstructed Sigrid’s path. “Ambassador Grekov?”

The ambassador rocked on her knees, head hanging, and gave no sign she heard them.

“I’ll handle it,” said Sigrid. She pushed past Elena, rifle raised, and stopped a pace from Ambassador Grekov.

The injured woman still didn’t look up. A soft green illumination suffused her skin, though the light of the flames might account for the glow.

Sigrid squared herself and shouted, “Ambassador Grekov!”

Vera Grekov raised her chin. Black drool dribbled between her teeth. She snarled with fury as the disease burned away her mind.

Vera lunged at Sigrid.

Sigrid fired. The bullet struck the base of Vera’s throat, too low to sever her spine. She embraced the space where Sigrid had been, but the mercenary had already stepped to the side. Cool, Sigrid shot again. Her bullet tore into the side of the new zombie’s head and out the back at an angle, casting white shards and blackened blood across the driveway and spattered a bush shaped like a giraffe.

The ambassador’s body toppled to the side, fingers twitching.

Cameron had turned by the second shot, flushed and bright-eyed.

“Not possible.” He wheezed, a long exhalation, and dropped his gun to claw at the bite on his back. Already, black blood oozed from the inflamed wound and dribbled through the last shreds of silk. “This can’t be!”

Sigrid stared at him and turned to Trevor, gun gripped between both hands. She didn’t seem able to put the question into words.

“He’s changing,” Trevor confirmed out loud. “The inoculation didn’t work.”

 

Read more excerpts and see behind the scenes of the PLAGUE MASTER trilogy.

Twitter: @hroulo

Facebook: www.facebook.com/heroulo

Blog: www.heatherroulo.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/hroulo

Author Central: www.amazon.com/author/heatherroulo

Plague Master: Sanctuary Dome (Book 1): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CKAPXWW

Plague Master: Rebel Infection (Book 2): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WTQV6M7

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Hamthology Is Here!

April 26, 2019 at 11:18 pm (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , )

The Hamthology paperback is live on Amazon! It’s been a long wait, but it’s ready for consumption.
More than fifty works of poetry, prose, and visual art on the theme of ham sandwiches come together in this anthology, spanning genres from fantasy and science fiction to mystery, horror, romance, erotica, and more. The Hamthology is the greatest collection of ham sandwich literature in the history of humankind.
And, it contains my short story, “Let Me Finish.”
Paperback copies:
 If you want to pick up a paperback copy for yourself or others, now is the time to do it!  It can be here.
Kindle copies:
 If you want to pick up a kindle copy for yourself or others, now is the time to do it!  It can be here.
If you do pick it up and enjoy it, please leave a review.

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Review – The Green and the Black by William Meikle

October 19, 2018 at 10:26 pm (dark fantasy, horror, Links, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , , , )

When I was growing up, I owned an encyclopedia of fairies that I loved to revisit on a regular basis. My favourites were some of the darker tales from the mines, such as those of the knockers and redcaps. I also had a fascination for rocks – I even joined the Dawson Geology Club in university and ended up a member of the Science Society despite the fact that I was an arts student at the time. For these reasons, and others, this book really spoke to me.

I could relate to the characters in the story, their excitement about the historic site (providing the setting for the story) and being from Atlantic Canada, I could appreciate how well the author described their surroundings. It was almost like venturing out on another geological field trip, abandoning civilization for the deep woods. Along with well-executed scene-setting and atmosphere, I also enjoyed the author’s method of tension-building. In my opinion, there aren’t enough horror stories anymore that do that as well as this one does. There’s too much focus on an intro “hook”, on gore, and on spectacle and not enough on the development of the psychological elements of horror. I prefer the slow build that establishes and then grows a sense of the eerie, so that the reader is given a chance to become invested in both the characters and the story-line before things go terribly wrong.

The only two very minor complaints I have about the book is that I would have preferred more character development for Bill and Doug, who felt a little two-dimensional, and I would have preferred to see at least one female character with a role other than just supporting ones … girlfriend and mother. I can understand the reasoning behind not including women in the field group because there are fewer women studying in those fields, but I can attest to the fact that they do exist and are becoming more common. I have female friends who are geologists, engineers, archeologists and botanists and they have done fieldwork. I think the added diversity would have been nice (but this is strictly a personal preference.)

This book was a quick, chilling, and entertaining read with an intriguing combination of the historic and the supernatural. Definitely worth my time and highly enjoyable. I would recommend it to horror and dark fantasy fans alike.

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Summer Update – A Reading and More

August 24, 2018 at 3:21 am (horror, writing) (, , , , , )

I know I’ve been quiet this summer, but as usual, increased hours at work, outdoor activities and my garden has forced me into a bit of a blog hiatus. I do have a few things to mention.

Coming up this weekend, Sunday the 26th to be exact, I’m participating in Hal-Con’s reading series at the Halifax Central Library. The readings start at two in room 301 and I’ll be sharing an excerpt from “The Hack-Jack Prospect,” a cyberpunk fairy-tale mashup that was originally published in the Young Adventurers: Heroes, Explorers & Swashbucklers from Intrigue Publishing. Room. This will be the second session and this one is with guest, Elaine McCluskey. If you can make it, I hope to see you there.

My noir superhero story, “Amnesty” is now available in print in Crimson Streets #3. My horror story, “Scuttle” is akso available in the Abandon anthology, both released earlier this year.

And perhaps for future reference. I may be participating in as many as three presentations/panels ar Hal-Con proper this year. I’ll only be atteding on the Sunday, so we’ll see how things work out.

More news in the fall…

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The Blurb on Other People’s Words – Steve Vernon

June 3, 2018 at 6:12 pm (horror, Links, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , , , )

I have a few reviews a long time owing for Nova Scotian writer, Steve Vernon. I’ve reviewed his YA Sci-fi (Flash Virus) in the past, but I especially like Steve’s folksy storyteller approach to tales of murder and horror, and I’ve read several of his short story collections, and a novel, I have yet to review. I thought it was about time.

If you’ve ever witnessed Steve give a “reading”, you’d understand where his particular flavour comes from. He’s the guy you want adding his two cents to stories around the campfire or when you’re huddled by a candle during a power outage on a storm day. His stories, like him, are very animated, hooking your attention and drawing you further in.

His stories are often based on material close to home. Three of his collections I’ve had a chance to read and very much enjoy include Halifax Haunts, local ghost tales retold with Steve’s particular type of flare, Maritime Murder, true crime stories from the past revisited, and
The Lunenburg Werewolf: And Other Stories of the Supernatural, exploring some local legends that were in many cases new to me.

The research required to bring these tales to light is quite obvious, with dates and details that give them substance above and beyond Steve’s enjoyable characteristic style. Most of the stories are dark, some are more playful and some are downright chilling, but they are all entertaining and seem real enough to suggest plausability.

Steve’s books stand on my bookshelves among my favourites. If you’ve never had the opportunity to read his books, I’d recommend doing so.

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March News – Chillers and More

March 19, 2018 at 3:42 pm (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

February was a busy month, and I’ve been tackling some short story and editing deadlines.  Normally I try to offer up something for Women in Horror month, but it got away from me.  I’m hoping to make up for that a little in March – not that things look like they’ll be any less busy.

I’m happy to announce the upcoming release of my horror tale “Territory” in the Engen anthology Chillers from the Rock. The contributing authors hail from Atlantic Canada and the cover showcases some eerie artwork.  It is currently available for pre-order (links posted below) and actually made it to bestselling status in a few categories before release!

I’ll be back at prepping a couple of items for submission (and then I have to work on my taxes) and I have a couple of reviews to write up, but I hope to get at least one more post in before month’s end.

Here are those links:

Canada

Kindle

US

Kindle

Paperback

 

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Getting a Good Start

January 2, 2018 at 3:00 am (Fervor, horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , , )

I gave my writing a bit of a rest last year – limited editing efforts, only a few short stories completed and a half-hearted commitment to submitting at least 100 times during the year.  I had some success, but my work life intruded upon my home life and I used that as an excuse to let things slide a little.

Thankfully, a Facebook writers group I belong to  has introduced a monthly writing goal thread that will help us all keep on track and I find it motivating.  I’m off to a good start, with some heavy duty editing and three short story submissions today to begin my January submission blitz.  Tomorrow I’ll get some more writing and editing in as well as more submissions.  I’ve also  come across a publisher looking to reprint or republish novels that offers some real potential for my now out-of-print series.  I’d love to see Fervor and Masters & Renegades in print again, and maybe I’ll get to publish the unpublished books in both series.

In the meantime, I’m going to celebrate my newest release.  “Fish Story” makes an appearance in Issue #6 of the Gathering Storm Magazine available online here, or in print here.  Once again, they have fabulous cover art, formatting and interior illustrations.  The are a top-notch publication specializing in dark, quirky fiction and poetry.  I’m working on another short for their next call for submissions.

I’ll try to follow-up on my progress over the next few weeks.  Wish me luck.

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The Blurb on Other People’s Word: Mentralysis

December 15, 2017 at 1:44 am (dark fantasy, horror, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , , , )

Review – House of Bloodstein: Mentralysis – by Ren Garcia

I’m a true fan of Ren Garcia and I’ve read all of his books to date (well, I’m working on Kat now.) Mentralysis started in a very puzzling way. I was very intrigued to see where it was going. Ar first it seemed similar in some aspects to his other books, but off in a way, straying from some anticipated norms.
Then it took a turn to a place darker than any of the others and I found that more than a little disturbing. I thought: “This book is nasty! Nasty, nasty, nasty! I love it….”
Understand, this is coming from an avid reader of all speculative fiction, who especially loves both horror and fantasy. I found the storyline of this book the most creative and original of all Ren’s books, and considering he’s a master world-builder, that’s saying a lot.

In addition to an edgy and moving storyline, the new characters were delightful and entertaining. I particularly enjoyed Laika, a Haitathe – quite a force to be reckoned with and one of the pivotal components of the story. Ren also turns some of the pre-existing characters on their heads (with a well-thought out explanation, of course.)

He presents his heroes with conniving villains who provide some exceptional challenges. They offer up equally exceptional resolutions in return.

If you are looking for some genre-bending, speculative fiction with a fresh approach to a great story, this book’s for you.

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