Friday, May 15, 2015

Restless in Peaceville Cover Reveal

Restless In Peaceville, returning to retailers soon. Same cute zombie story, brand new cover!
Welcome to Peaceville, population 2067 and rising...from the grave...

Luke Chester has had enough. He’s the school geek, the girls laugh at him, he’s lost his dead-end job at the pizza place, and in the midst of the world’s messiest divorce his parents don’t even know he exists. An overdose of his mom’s tranquilizers and a stomach full of whiskey should solve all his problems...

But they don’t. Instead, Luke finds himself booted out of the afterlife for not dying a natural death, with nowhere to go but back to his recently vacated corpse and reality. How the hell is he going to pass for one of the living without someone trying to blow his brains out for being one of the undead?

And it just gets worse. He’s got to fight his own desperate craving to consume the living, evade the weird supernatural hunter who’s having a field day with the new undeads rising, and there’s this creepy black shadow following him around. Add to that the distraction of female fellow undead Annabelle burning to avenge her own murder, and clearly there’s no rest for the wicked. Jeez, all he wanted to do was R.I.P.

Buy links:
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After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade and Broad Universe, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of subgenres from scifi to the paranormal, often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), the EPIC eBook awards, and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

You can stalk her at her website, or at her blog, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.

Blogs –
Adventures in Scifi -
Spacefreighters Lounge -

Monday, April 20, 2015

Zombie Girl: Dead Awakened

Imagine waking up to find the world has ended, but unfortunately you're not alone...

For Connor Innis, awakening from a year-long coma with no memories, no ability to move, and unable to speak was bad enough. Then he learns that a bioweapon set off a zombie apocalypse—for real—while he was sleeping, and the world he can't even remember no longer exists.
Rehabilitation might be torture, but far worse awaits him outside. All too soon, the hospital Mentor declares him fit to leave but with nothing to go home to except a city full of mindless, flesh-eating monsters. That is, until he forms a strange relationship with the one he nicknames Zombie Girl.


There was a zombie outside the window, staring in. Every last fragment of hope that he'd had curled up and died. Not a person. Just a zombie at the door, setting off the buzzer probably by pure chance. He might as well have thrown himself off the balcony.
Heart pounding hard enough to make his chest ache, Connor stood very still. He stared into the misted grey orbs of her eyes. She stared right back. Not at him, but through him, as though something infinitely more desirable lay far beyond anything she could see. He read a kind of dull desperation in her blank face. A longing. Even if that longing was just to tear him apart and devour him. Or maybe that was his imagination.
"Hello?" His voice came out as a dry croak and he wet his lips. He had to try something. He couldn't spend the rest of his life in silence and alone. Even this poor shell of a human was better than that. And maybe—just maybe—he could reach her. Maybe even help her find a fragment of her lost humanity. "Can you hear me?"
No sound or movement. No response at all.
Despair squeezed his throat. The hospital Monitor said the victims didn't suffer brain damage. The virus just stopped all the normal responses, isolating higher functions from their basic animal instincts. Even animals could react to a voice.
"Hey!" He banged on the glass, but even that didn't break her hungry stare. Perhaps she couldn't hear him, let alone understand or respond. Losing those higher functions must have included any communication ability.
Connor sighed, then placed his palm flat on the glass. "I wish you understood me. I wish you hadn't all got sick when I didn't." He rested his forehead on the glass and closed his eyes. "I really wish I could help you."
A moment later a dull thud and a vibration in the glass drew his attention. He raised his head.
She hadn't moved from staring. But her hand pressed against his, separated only by the glass.

After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.
Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of subgenres from scifi to the paranormal and often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), the EPIC eBook awards, and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).
You can stalk her at her website, or at her blog, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.
Website –
Blogs –
Adventures in Scifi -
Spacefreighters Lounge -
Romancing the Genres -
SFR Brigade -
Twitter -
Goodreads -
Facebook -!/pages/Pippa-Jay-Adventures-in-Scifi/114058821953752
Pinterest -
Google+ -
Wattpad -
Amazon page -

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Boom Town Release Day!

Boom Town
File Size: 722 KB
Print Length: 81 pages
Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (April 7, 2015)
Terror from below!
In the summer of 1979, Eckert, Wisconsin, was the sight of the most unique UFO encounter in history. A young couple observed a saucer-like aircraft hovering over Hollers Hill. A blue beam blasted down from the center of the craft into the hill and caused the ground to rumble for miles.
Now, thirty years later, Eckert is experiencing nightly rumbles that stir up wild rumors and garner outside attention. The earthly tremors are being blamed on everything from earthquakes to underground earth dwellers. Two pre-teens discover a pipe out behind Packard’s Flea Market uprooted by the “booms” and come into contact with the powerful ooze bubbling from within. What begins as curiosity will end in an afternoon of unbridled terror for the entire town.
"...Stephen King-lite. (Boom Town) is quick, punchy and goes places you may not see coming before the final page is swiped or turned." - Horror After Dark
"Boom Town is quick and entertaining read that harkens back to the 1980's brand of small town (or intimate invasion) alien pieces. Like a reader’s digest version of Late Night Horror Television presentations (every region had one, for me it was "Fright Night Theatre") of "Invaders From Mars", "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", "Night of the Creeps" or "Xtro"” – Zachary, Mouths of Madness Podcast
“Rolfe weaves a wonderful tale of big, bad things happening to a small, good town. A sure winner!” – Hunter Shea, author of Island of the Forbidden and The Montauk Monster

Samhain Horror
Barnes and Noble

The Real Story, and Town, Behind the Formation of Boom Town
by Glenn Rolfe, author of Boom Town
Where is Boom Town? And what are these “booms” all about?
MILWAUKEE — A series of mysterious underground booms have been rattling a small eastern Wisconsin city for at least two nights, baffling residents and local officials who were left stumped Tuesday after ruling out numerous theories, from earthquakes to water pressure problems.
This is part of an article written by Carrie Antlfinger that appeared in The Huffington Post back in March of 2012. I saw the report on “Good Morning America” and snapped my fingers. I knew this was horror fiction worthy.
What are these “booms”? What is causing them?
The story even made it onto one of my favorite radio shows, “Coast to Coast AM.” Well, after four days of rumbling, booming, and shaking, scientists finally solved the mystery. It appears batches of mini-quakes were “amplified by the unique bedrock beneath the state of Wisconsin.” (CNN Report) The fun part for me was that the reports said these “booms” and other “strange sounds” caused by the mini-earthquakes were only happening at night and non-existent during daylight hours.
Since Sunday, the shaking has happened nearly every night, quieting down during the day. Absent of any explanations, residents were left to their own devices to come up with explanations.
For the mind of a horror author, that opens up a lot of cans of imaginative worms! I considered underground worms, but thought that would tread too close to “Tremors” (which I love by the way), but I think once George Norry mentioned it on “Coast to Coast AM,” my brain pulled me toward me something extra-terrestrial. I wrote the piece without fully deciding what was going to be behind the “booms” and originally had the mysterious ooze as something akin to the pink ecto goo from “Ghostbusters 2.” The story just didn’t work like that. I knew deep down that I wanted to do an alien story, but I didn’t have the balls (at first) to cross that Horror/Sci-Fi bridge.  However, I’m glad I did. “Boom Town” is one of my favorite pieces that I’ve written so far (probably my second favorite behind my forthcoming werewolf novel, “Blood and Rain”).
I’m happy that this story found a home at Samhain, and I hope you’ll all take a chance on it, as well.

Glenn Rolfe, Bio

Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, songwriter and all around fun loving guy from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King and Richard Laymon. He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.

He is the author the ghost/mystery/thriller novella, ABRAM'S BRIDGE (Samhain Publishing, Jan. 2015) and his latest novella, a Horror/Sci-Fi mash-up, BOOM TOWN (Samhain Publishing). A full-length novel, BLOOD AND RAIN, will come out this Fall from Samhain Publishing and THINGS WE FEAR, a novella, is set to publish from Samhain in 2016.

His debut novel, THE HAUNTED HALLS (James Ward Kirk Publishing, 2014), is available now, as well as his short story collection, SLUSH (Alien Agenda Publishing, 2014).

Look for his punk rock band, The Never Nudes, on Amazon and Facebook.
Check out his website:

Monday, April 6, 2015

Beautiful Monster by Jeanne Bannon

Book Description: 

Lev Baronovsky, a soulless creature of the night, has a problem. Carly, the love of his life has just died in an accident and in three days will pass to the other side. Without a soul, he cannot cross over with her and the thought of spending eternity without his beloved is unbearable. Is seventy-two hours enough time to find a way?

With the help of his brother, Alexei, they must face the vilest creature of all, Boris, an ancient one with selfish motivations of his own.


Lev moved swiftly through the hallways, darting in and out and around what, to him, were slowly moving nurses and orderlies—those unfortunates working the midnight shift. Faster than any human eye was capable of detecting, he made it to Carly’s room in a flash. In fact, he made it there just in time, nostrils plucking the acrid scents from the air better than any dog’s.

He sat on the bed beside her in the dimly lit room and noticed, thankfully, she had no roommate. The bed beside Carly was recently vacated. The scent of death still lingered heavily and sadly.

Taking her delicate hand in his, Lev noticed a monitor clipped on an index finger. It seemed it measured her pulse and heartbeat. He noticed too that her heart was beating slowly, though he didn’t need a monitor for that. He heard its throb, and it made him think of a dying battery.

However, relief settled on him as he realized he was the first to arrive after the accident that had left her comatose. Carly’s family was nowhere near yet. It would take hours for them to get here from the other coast. He had time, plenty of it. Stealthily, Lev glanced into the hallway from his perch in the darkened hospital room. The occasional nurse strode past, but it was late, or perhaps the better term was early. In the wee hours of the morning, there would be fewer staff than during the day.

With a sigh, he took Carly in. Her blonde hair was matted and dirty, even though it looked as if someone had tried to clean her up, perhaps finger combing her thick mane and tucking it behind her head. Her face was still perfect. Not a single scratch had sullied her beauty.

A knot twisted in his belly. Why hadn’t he known? He could have saved her if only he’d known. But even Lev couldn’t know everything. It was his brother, Alexei, who’d given him the news moments ago.

“Brother,” he’d said, “there’s been an accident. Go now to the hospital or you’ll never see your precious Carly again.”

He hadn’t asked the how, the why, the when. Alexei had dropped his mental barriers. Lev felt them fall like a drawbridge. His brother had let him in. It was easier than speaking—Lev was able to glean whatever information he needed in an instant. But with the simple facts of Carly’s accident came the realization his brother was happy for the turmoil. A hint of a smile had curled Alexei’s full lips, and his eyes were bright. Lev was not surprised.

He pulled his thoughts from Alexei and looked down at his beloved’s hand in his. The pallor of it matched his own. He listened to the slow rush of blood through her veins, willing it to grow stronger.


I've been a part of the publishing industry for over twenty years, working first as a freelance journalist, then as an in-house editor for LexisNexis Canada. I currently work as a freelance editor and writer. I’m represented by the Serendipity Literary Agency.

My debut novel, Invisible, a young adult paranormal romance, has been optioned for film. Invisible is an Amazon bestseller both domestically and internationally.

Another of my novels, Nowhere to Run, tells the story of Lily Valier, a woman of substance and beauty, and her dilemma when she falls in love with a man whose mission it is to bring her down.

Currently, I'm finishing up work on Dark Angel, a paranormal thriller.

Author Links

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

Shortly after her sixteenth birthday, Sunshine Griffith and her mother Kat move from sunny Austin, Texas, to the rain-drenched town of Ridgemont, Washington. Though Sunshine is adopted, she and her mother have always been close, sharing a special bond filled with laughter and inside jokes. But from the moment they arrive, Sunshine feels her world darken with an eeriness she cannot place. And even if Kat doesn’t recognize it, Sunshine knows that something about their new house is just ... creepy.

In the days that follow, things only get stranger. Sunshine is followed around the house by an icy breeze, phantom wind slams her bedroom door shut, and eventually, the laughter Sunshine hears on her first night evolves into sobs. She can hardly believe it, but as the spirits haunting her house become more frightening—and it becomes clear that Kat is in danger—Sunshine must accept what she is, pass the test before her, and save her mother from a fate worse than death.

Buy link:



The Haunting of Sunshine Girl was a book I couldn't put down. I received the book as an arc from work (bookstore) and was thrilled. I watched the Youtube video and loved the creativity behind it and was not disappointed in the book.

Sunshine has just moved from sunny Texas to the Pacific Northwest and isn't really happy about it. Her mom has a new job and she struggles to fit in. The house they move into is creepy (her words) to the extreme and the uber pink bedroom resembles an exploding pepto bismal bottle. When things start to go bump in the night, Sunshine realizes there is a lot going on with her new house. She is changing too. But that is only the start of her problems. Her mother may be possessed, her new friend is creating some romantic tension and the odd teacher at school may know more than she is letting on about the goings on at her house.

If you love haunted house tales, this is one for you!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Grimm Mistresses: The Review

The review:

This collection of fairy tales is far from the sanitized versions we are used to seeing in today's media. From big bad wolves to nectar seeping goddesses, spirits of leopards, witches with fierce lusts and things that haunt the night wind, these tales are not for the faint hearted.

1.) Little Dead Red – Mercedes M. Yardley
2.) Nectar – Allison M. Dickson
3.) The Leopard’s Pelt – S.R. Cambridge
4.) Hazing Cinderella – C.W. LaSart
5.) The Night Air – Stacey Turner

I enjoyed every single one of these dark jewels but my absolute favorite was Little Dead Red by Mercedes M. Yardley. An original re-write of the Red Riding Hood tale, you won't expect the ending of this twisted little story. 

Nectar was a fantastical trip into the witches lair-futuristic style. Loved it!

The Leopard's Pelt was an exercise in the strength and weaknesses in all of us. Great story!

Hazing Cinderella was bold, sexy and  diabolically thrilling. The raw imagery was page turning. Excellent read!

The Night Air is every parents' nightmare. When children go missing how do you live your life? I too was waiting for a lottery to appear. It reminded me of Victoria Holt novels and I was enveloped in no time.

I also have to mention the gorgeous cover art. Wow! I would wear that on a shirt any day. Absolutely inspiring and beautiful!




Sunday, February 22, 2015

Grimm Mistresses: Stacey Turner

Today is our last visit with the ladies who haunt the Grimm...We have with us Stacey Turner.

1.      What inspired your story?
My son, who has autism, had pneumonia once and he was sleeping in our bed so I could keep a close eye on him. He was running a pretty good fever and was putting off so much heat that I was actually sweating, and the air was super close in the bedroom. So I got up and cracked the window (it was spring) and as I lay there half dosing, the breeze blew against my leg and I could hear the wind chimes on the porch. For some reason I thought of the story of “The Pied Piper” and “The Night Air” was born. There’s a scene in the story very similar to what actually happened.

2. As a woman in horror, do you find any added pressure?
As an author, no. I did somewhat as a publisher, but that’s a story for another day. I feel the same pressure I would feel in any genre, writing is a competitive sport. There are so many people writing, submitting, and publishing that you really have to bring it. I think there is some discrepancy in the horror industry, but it seems to me that women are definitely gaining ground. It all just spurs me to do my best.
3. Name three things on your desk right now.
I have a zombie doorstop my good friend Shellee gave me that sits on my desk. His name is Bob. Lots of post it notes, I can’t live without them. Lip gloss. Because, well, who wants their lips lacking in sheen?

4. Who are some writers that have influenced your work?
I don’t know that I can credit anyone with having influenced my work. I read a ton, always have. I was that girl walking around with the big book in her arms. And I read far more than just horror. I love historical fiction, horror, medical thrillers, and some contemporary fiction. For horror I love King and early Koontz. But also John Saul, Bentley Little, Michaelbrent Collings, Shirley Jackson. But I also love Wendy Webb, Susanna Kearsley, Barbara Erskine, Jeanne Kalogridis, Jane Austen, and Elizabeth Berg.

5. Tell us what your future plans are? Any novels in the works?
Future plans are mainly to keep writing. Sell some more stories. I am working on a novel, and another novella or two, but they are nowhere near the stage where they’d even be submitted yet. My goal for 2015 is to finish the novel.

6. If I were your favorite dessert what would I be?
White chocolate raspberry cheesecake. Definitely. Or coconut gelato.

7. What would you tell writers new to the horror genre?
I don’t think I’d tell them anything different than I’d tell any new writer. Read a lot. Learn to show and not tell (editor pet peeve), don’t let rejection make you stop writing. Don’t ever stop trying to learn more about your craft.

8. Plotter or pantster?
Planster? I’m kind of a mix. I don’t do outlines, but I usually know the end, or where I want the story to end up, when I write the beginning. I tend to write in “scenes” and then have to link them together. So I often only write one scene a day and spend the time in between focusing on the next scene, so that by the time I sit down to write it, I have the whole thing pictured in my head. But things often change as I’m writing; the characters may take over and send the story in a different direction, or on a detour. My non writer friends think that’s odd. But seriously, sometimes I’m even surprised. I once wrote a scene where a character tells another about the mother of a girl she once dated. I had no idea she was a lesbian until I wrote that. But it totally fit so there you go.


The Night Air
“I found something weird in the woods today.” Marla climbed into bed beside Nick, still rubbing lotion on her hands. He glanced up from his laptop.
“I took the kids for a walk and we found a bunch of old tombstones.”
“Well, that’s hardly strange. Lots of families had burial plots on their land in the old days.” He gazed back at the screen.
“Stop.” She reached over and flipped the computer closed. “I’m a little freaked out here. Would you just listen for a minute? You got home late and now you’re still working and I need you to focus on me for like five minutes. Can I get a few moments here?”
“I’m sorry.” Nick reached out and tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear. “I realize it’s tough on you being out here all alone and I’m working some really long hours. The current situation shouldn’t last forever, maybe a few more weeks while I get the office set up. Promise.”
Marla sighed. “It’s fine. Lisa comes everyday so I can work; I’ll survive. I just, I don’t even understand why I’m still thinking about this. But these old gravestones were ‘hidden’ as Tommy said. And they were all children, and all from the same years. The oldest ones were written in German.”
“That’s kind of cool.”
“Might have been if I hadn’t been standing amidst the graves of children. I found it … I don’t know … eerie.”
“I can see that. But they probably had an outbreak of disease or something. Bouts of cholera or influenza used to wipe out whole towns.”
“Only the children?”
“Polio or Measles would have taken the children back then.”
Marla shrugged. “I guess so. Still creeps me out. Maybe I’ll go into Hubble, check the town records tomorrow.”
“Can I go back to working now?’
“Ugh!” Marla slapped him playfully. “Yes, please do.” She snuggled down into the covers with her back to Nick. His words made sense but unease still knotted her stomach.

Stacey Turner lives in West Central Illinois.  Three wonderful, adult children call her “Mom,” and two beautiful little boys call her “Mimi” (Grandma). She is owned by cats. She spends her days writing and editing, but still finds time to review books & interview authors, as well as blog about her absolutely ridiculous family and other adventures.  You can find her Author blog at or follow her on twitter: @Spot_Speaks or Facebook: Her Amazon Author page is found at:
To contact her about editing, you can email her at
She enjoys editing because she’s bossy. And also because she revels in helping an author polish their work. She has edited several anthologies, including the upcoming No Place like Home: Tales from a Fractured Future and the more recent Fairly Wicked Tales, as well as many novels & novellas for a variety of authors.
She has been published in several anthologies and online magazines. When not working, she enjoys photographing cemeteries, playing “what if,” and discussing the imminent zombie apocalypse. She does not enjoy scarecrows, creepy dolls, birds (of any sort), snakes, clowns, or garden gnomes.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Grimm Mistresses: Allison M. Dickson

Today we have Allison M. Dickson and she joins us to talk about her story in the incredible Grimm Mistresses anthology. This story was amazing and I was hooked at the very beginning!

1. What inspired your story?
When I was invited to join this anthology, I wanted to do a story inspired by Hansel & Gretel, because it’s already a bit of a horror story, and it always scared me when I heard it as a kid. Except I wanted to take the concept to a really weird and abstract level.
2. As a woman in horror, do you find any added pressure?
Sometimes. Occasionally, I’ll receive reviews from people who are either disturbed by what I write because I’m a woman (apparently think I should be writing “softer” things), or they’re pleasantly surprised a woman would write such dark stuff (because I guess women only write “softer” things). And that’s provided they even give my stuff a chance due to whatever preconceived notions they might have about a writer’s gender. That being said, I’m seeing this old bias starting to evaporate, and I don’t let it get me down. I proudly stamp my name on everything I write, and I think the more women put themselves out there, the better things will become for women in speculative genres.
3. Name three things on your desk right now.
My cat. My Sigmund Freud action figure. A pile of books.
4. What are some writers that have influenced your work?
Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, Robert Heinlein, Margaret Atwood, Cormac McCarthy, Joe Hill, Kelly Braffet
5. Tell us what your future plans are? Any novels in the works?
I just finished revisions on a dark suspense novel currently with my agent, and it’s about to go on submission. Fingers crossed! I also have the next volume in my sci-fi pulp Colt Coltrane series coming out on March 17th. COLT COLTRANE AND THE STOLEN SKY. I have so much fun working on this series, and I urge anyone who likes robots mixed in with their noir detective stories to give it a shot.
6. If I were your favorite dessert what would I be?
I was trying to decide between cheesecake and key lime pie, but then I thought why not a key lime cheesecake?!
7. What would you tell writers new to the horror genre?
It’s more than just shocking blood and guts. It’s character. It’s atmosphere. It’s digging deep and finding there is always more than one conflict at work. People who try to write horror and fill it with cheap thrills are really not getting at the heart of what truly scares people.
8. Plotter or pantster?
A little bit of both. I will often write the first act with little more than a general concept in mind, but once I start getting deeper, that’s when I start plotting out the rest of the story so I can make sure I get to the end in one piece. It’s hard to pants something all the way through.

Allison M. Dickson is the author of two published novels: horror-thriller STRINGS, and the dystopian epic, THE LAST SUPPER, which received a starred review in Publishers weekly. She also has published nearly two dozen short stories covering speculative and realistic realms, both independently and in various anthologies and magazines like Apex. Her independently-produced Colt Coltrane series, featuring a detective and his robot sidekick in 1940s Los Angeles, has become a regular fixture at local comic conventions. When she isn't writing, she's usually hanging with her family, gaming, or wandering the urban sprawl of Dayton, OH, in search of great coffee and microbrew.


Excerpt from “Nectar”

I follow her sweet scent into her apartment on the west side, feeling like a dog being enticed by fresh meat. My tongue is swimming in a river of saliva. I wonder if her skin feels as soft as it looks, and how energetic and flexible she must be with few miles on her sturdy chassis. Crude images pile up in my head like a train wreck, and I wonder what else might have been in all the scotch I drank.
The inside of her place is dark, and like most apartments on this side of town, roughly the size of a walk-in closet. In addition to the cotton candy, I smell baking cookies, caramelized vanilla, earthy ginger, rich chocolate. It reminds me of the Christmases spent at my grandmother’s house growing up, and all the delicious sweets she produced, seemingly out of thin air like a confectionary sorceress. When she died, she passed down an ancient tome of recipes she and other family members had devised and collected over the years, and eventually the book made it to me. Then Heather got her mitts on it, and I never saw it again. I realized such a thing was not so much a family heirloom as it was a possession of the woman of the house. As far as I know, it’s somewhere out in California, and the idea that I’ll never get to enjoy another recipe from my grandmother’s collection fills me with an immeasurable sadness not even the promise of wild sex with a gorgeous woman half my age can completely ease.
She turns on a lamp and my eyes immediately land on a mural taking up almost the entirety of a living room wall. It’s a wooded scene, striking in its dimension and fecundity. The detail is almost photorealistic. I can see the ribs and veins on all the leaves, infinite shades of green with splashes of reds and pinks and yellows from flower blossoms unlike any I’ve ever seen. But I can even see a fine mist of dew on their petals, highlighted in painstaking detail.
The plants even look like they’re swaying gently in a breeze. A breeze I can feel on my forehead. It’s probably coming from the ceiling fan over my head, but when I look up, I see no fan.
A window must be open somewhere. It has to be, because I’m hearing crickets, an uncommon feature in a Manhattan apartment. Maybe she has one of those ambient sound machines. Forest sounds, bladder-stimulating burbling brooks.
“What an interesting painting,” I say, because I have to say something. Spoken words cut through the unreality a little.
She looks at it for a moment and she smiles, but she comes off looking a little sad. “It’s home to me.”
“You lived in a jungle? Were you raised by tigers?” I’m feeling a little goofy. Definitely the scotch kicking in, but my other senses are going completely haywire. Beneath the sugary cotton candy and cookie smells is something undeniably green and earthy. Damp peat. It reminds me of when Heather and I vacationed in Panama many years ago.
“Oh, you’ll get to hear all about my family soon enough. But right now, I think we have more important matters at hand.” She pushes me gently down onto the couch and straddles me, her skirt riding high enough so I can see the black lace edges of her panties. An hour ago, I was looking for any excuse to bail on this date. A voice, now muffled by my mounting arousal, still insists on it, but I like the comfortable weight of her, and it’s been years since I’ve let myself feel any kind of simple, uninhibited human attraction, even in its basest form. So many dates cut short at the door of a taxi over some perceived flaw I insisted I couldn’t ignore. Her politics were wrong, her religion too heavy, her kids too young, her voice reminiscent of an un-oiled hinge. My fault for not being ready to risk breaking what little of myself I have left.

But none of those concerns are hovering nearby now as I pull her closer, desperate to taste the invisible sweetness on her skin, certain she’ll melt beneath me like spun sugar.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Grimm Mistresses: Mercedes M. Yardley

Today we have with us one of my absolute favorite horror writers of all time. Her lyrical prose wraps you in gossamer then slams your head against the side of a brick. It's beautiful. It's poetic...sigh.

Her story "Little Dead Red" was a masterful look into the fairy tale of Red Riding Hood and also very unique.

1.      What inspired your story?

MMY: We were asked to update a story from Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I’ve always been interested in Little Red Riding Hood, but it’s been done so many times. Sexy Red Riding Hood. The dangerous, seductive wolf. A sweet little girl protected by the wolf. All of these different takes are fascinating but have been done before. So how do I write something unique that still keeps my interest as a writer?

I thought deeply about the story, and realized that it isn’t a story about a young girl traipsing through the woods. It’s a tale about a mother who sends her child directly into the claws of a wolf. If Mother had taken the basket herself, Little Red would be just fine. So that’s the route I took, a mother’s anguish, when I wrote Little Dead Red.

2.      As a woman in horror, do you find any added pressure?

MMY: Sometimes. Sometimes it feels like people are watching to see if you fail. On the other hand, there are so many people cheering you on. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what others think, really. You just write the best story you can and be true to who you are as an author.

3.      Name three things on your desk right now.

MMY: I have an adorable Maleficent doll, a glass of Coke Zero, and a voodoo doll. I’ll throw in an extra and say that I have a gothic Little Red Riding Hood doll on there, too. Wow. I have a thing for dark little dolls, I guess.

4.      What are some writers that have influenced your work.
MMY: I’m influenced a bit by Roald Dahl, Joyce Carol Oates, and Erma Bombeck.  Shake them all up, add glitter, and my work pours out.

5.      Tell us what your future plans are? Any novels in the works?
MMY: Absolutely! I’m currently finishing up another novella. As soon as I’m finished with that, I’m diving into the second Bone Angel Trilogy book. It’s titled Heartless: Carnival of Isolation. Then I have a standalone novel I’m dreaming of working on, temporarily titled The Kitchen Witch. After that, it’s the third Bone Angel Trilogy book. All of this is interspersed with short stories and the like. I’m happily busy.

6.      If I were your favorite dessert what would I be?

MMY: You, Madam, would most likely be Burnt Almond Fudge ice cream spooned onto a Chips Ahoy cookie. Aren’t you delicious!

7.      What would you tell writers new to the horror genre?

MMY: Horror is so much fun! It should be taken seriously, but not too seriously. It’s a big, beautiful playground.  Explore it and enjoy doing so.

8.      Plotter or pantster?

MMY: I’m an extreme pantser.  Doing a trilogy was different for me because I had to do some plotting, and that broke my brain a little bit. But I love to dive deep into my WIP and swim around without having an ultimate destination. There’s so much freedom that way.

Little Dead Red Excerpt

The second she saw the policeman, the look in his dark eyes, her hand flew to her mouth.

“Ma’am, we believe we found your daughter.”

Two months had passed. Two months of looking out the window and doors and standing on the

front porch in the wind and rain and sunshine, just in case Aimee forgot what home looked like. If her

little girl happened to wander by, confused, looking at houses and porches and trying to remember

which apartment had been hers, why, there would be her mother! To love and hold and greet her. To

smooth her hair back from her eyes and promise she’d love her always, no matter what had happened,

no matter what she had been forced to do.

But the eyes of this man, of the way he held her gaze far too carefully while his partner couldn’t

manage to hold her gaze at all, told her she had no need to stand in that doorway ever again.

Her fingers fluttered on the ground, useless.

Broken butterflies.

Shredded sparrows.

“Ma’am,” the first officer said again, and his voice was so kindly that it hurt her. Be cruel to her.

Yell and scream at her for losing her child. Tell her all of the things she told herself every day,

but please don’t be kind. Nobody can stand up to that kind of thing.

Mercedes M. Yardley is a dark fantastic who wears red lipstick and poisonous flowers in her hair. She writes short stories, novellas, and novels. Her latest release is Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy, from Ragnarok Publications. Mercedes lives and works in Sin City, and you can reach her at

Twitter: @mercedesmy
Facebook: Mercedes M. Yardley (author page)
Mercedes Murdock Yardley (personal)
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