Let’s Blitz Again – It Takes All Kinds

October 26, 2016 at 2:01 am (dark fantasy, horror, writing) (, , , , , )

1015584_10152927473845032_887250515_o-editedAlong with making my submissions and working on my latest short story, I’ve also had to review the galley of my first soon-to-be-published children’s story.  I occasionally experiment with different genres and reader age groups, but I always tend to come back to darker adult speculative fiction.  This one is for charity though, so I’m happy to contribute to the anthology.

I did get another blitz rejection back (“entertaining and well-written – but no”) so I sent it out again that same day and I sent out a multi-rejection story today.  Just a few more to go now, with no new material required.

Just a quick post tonight because this is a busy week – more on Thursday 🙂


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Genre for the Holidays – Christmas Is for Sharing

December 3, 2012 at 1:20 am (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , , , )

While I have written a couple of Christmas-themed genre short stories, I have yet to have any of them published. It’s interesting, considering one of the first things I ever had published was a non-genre Christmas short story (written in French). I was in high school at the time, and submitted my story to the student category for a local newspaper’s Christmas contest. Somehow, it got mixed in with the stories submitted for the adult category, but I was awarded second prize anyway. Not bad for a very inexperienced writer, not writing in her mother tongue.

I have, however, had several Christmas-themed illustrations published to date, including one I did for a zombie Christmas charity anthology (the illustration posted above.) You can find this one, and many others, in the anthology along with a selection of great stories combining Christmas and the undead. The anthology is called The Undead That Saved Christmas (Volume 2):


Proceeds from sales of the book, a creation from Rainstorm Press, benefit the Hugs Foster Family Agency (hugsffa.org) and will help them give their foster children gifts this holiday season. All artwork and stories were donated to make sure as much money as possible will go to this good cause. They have other volumes available as well, including a vampire version or this year’s monster bash if you’re not into zombies (also with all proceeds going to the same great cause.) Just something to keep in mind for the horror fans on your list.

Tomorrow I’ll be taking a break in my holiday theme for my usual Monday posting – the Blurb on Other People’s Words.

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The Blurb on Other People’s Words – Fear

October 29, 2012 at 9:56 pm (dark fantasy, horror, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , )

Fear: A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror –Volume I (Crooked Cat Publications)

I’m accustomed to the average anthology running from 14 to 20 short stories, unless they are flash fiction tales, so I was pleased that this anthology offered a double dose of scary goodness. While not all the stories matched my typical horror tastes, I still found each and every one of them entertaining in some way. With such a broad assortment of horror, thrillers and dark fantasy gathered in one book, It would take me several separate reviews to touch on every one. Instead, I’m going to focus on a few that struck me in particular and mention why they stood out for me.

“Dead Ding Donger” (Wayne Via) and “Old Mabel’s Stray Cat” (Cameron Trost)both had a hefty dose of dark humour to them, something I look for and especially enjoy in horror anthologies. While Dead Ding Donger was a little predictable, it was still very funny, and “Old Mabel’s Stray Cat” caught me by surprise with its twist ending and Mabel’s somewhat demented way of seeing things.

I liked “Breaker One Nine” (Connor Rice) for the originality of its setting and its peculiar (but frightening) monster. You could say this one was a chiller *grin*.

While not inspiring much in the way of fear in me, I absolutely loved Lyn McConchie’s “The Book”. It had more of a dark fantasy mixed with science fiction feel to it, with an epic spin, and it was a very moving story. I was so caught up in it, I almost missed my bus stop.

E.E. King’s “Synthesia” was cleverly woven, scary mixed in an odd way with whimsical and vivid imagery.

“A Cloud Over the Sun” by A.A. Garrison was priceless thanks to its fabulously jarring format – it made the story into something extraordinary.

“Seamless” (Shirley Golden) was solid science-fiction horror with an extremely disturbing ending.

There were many other very good stories, but these were the ones that appealed to my tastes the most. Be it zombies and gore you seek or suspenseful tales with a lovecraftian flavour, this book has it all. If you are looking for excellent Halloween fare, or just a good scare, I’d suggest this anthology as a worthwhile read – and the proceeds go to two great causes.

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The Blurb on Other People’s Words – Wake the Witch

June 26, 2012 at 1:02 am (horror, Reviews, writing) (, , , , )

The fact that this anthology was created for all proceeds to go to charity, a good cause, already grants it high esteem in my opinion, before I had read any of the stories. What I find with charity anthologies is that they often attract some of the highest quality stories – as writers are often very generous people. There were a couple of typos in this that should have been picked up by a spellchecker, so I was surprised to see them, but aside from the odd one here and there, this book was brilliant. I really enjoyed the theme, a refreshing break from undead, serial killers and lycanthropes. I also like the female perspective the theme tends to cast upon the stories, even the ones from male contributors. Here’s my overview of the stories (other than my own):

Timmy and Ginny – TW Brown – Despite the modern setting, it had a fairytale motif to it, and I was expecting a version of Hansel and Gretel from the outset, with zombies and witches. It was exactly that, with the flavour of a children’s cautionary tale, the trappings of today’s society, such as a CD player, and the added bonus of the undead. Of course, since the story is about a witch who wants to eat people, the zombies are hardly out of place.

Mercy Hathaway is a Witch – Ken Goldman – This had a Nathaniel Hawthorne feel to it with a strong dose of the sensual followed by a frightening and chilling ending. I got a real kick out of this one, being a Hawthorne fan myself.

Your Next Appointment – Walter Campbell – The tale of an urban witch and Eric Russo, who seeks out her services. This story was very moving and I honestly felt sorry for poor Eric by the end.

Whether Girl –Kristi Peterson Schoonover – This story was a little surreal, but in a good way, with both fanciful and jarring imagery. Equivalent to a “don’t mess with Mother Nature” cautionary tale with a modern setting.

Homicidal Rage – DA Chaney – Another modern witch tale, set on the water. This fun but eerie story had some mystery to it, as an added bonus.

360 Degrees – Geoffrey Crescent – This current day spin on a witch story involves the internet antics of drunken students. It’s a comical plot where they discover catching a witch can be much easier than getting rid of her.

A Wise Woman’s Revenge – CW LaSart – A rather brutal tale of the more traditional sort, from the days of witch persecutions. This had all of the elements I look for in a good horror story: harsh, edgy and moving, providing flawed and believable characters with whom you can really connect. This was my favourite in the anthology – it actually made me cry.

Trevor Talks – Michael Frissore – OMG, this one was hilarious from the get-go. Rude, crude and amusing with a bizarre ending.

Born Again – Marcus Dicomites – Interesting premise, witch as revenant – only it turns out, there’s much more to it than that. Definitely one of the darker tales in the anthology, lots of frightening imagery.

Generational Curse – Bennie Newsome – At first I wondered if my eyes deceived me – not one, but two Hansel and Gretel-themed stories in this anthology. But they are two very different stories. This one had not been modernized, and despite being horror, it still had an element of whimsy.

Of Cucumber and Curses – Elizabeth Butler – The story begins with some cutesy repartee between witch and familiar. Rife with dark humour, as the title would suggest. Save this one for when you’re in a goofy mood.

The Witching-Well Hag – Adam Millard – I’m a definite Adam Millard fan, so this one was a treat. This is an enchanting story, one with colour, mystique and romance. Victoria and the witch were great and the twist at the end was fabulous.

The Conduit – David Landrum –This was a very original tale, with heavy doses of both mob and popular culture. It is not a story for light reading, intricately detailed with a complex backdrop to the plot.

The Strange Case of Melinda P. Zinnecker – Mark Jones – This was quirky, but entertaining , a story presented as a case files (with references to CSI).

While I did enjoy some of the stories more than others, I can honestly say I didn’t feel that any of these were duds. This was a five star read for me and one I’d recommend.

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