"Published author, aspiring novelist . . . welcome to my world of madness!"

Dec 22, 2011

My Holiday Wish

Two more days. I keep telling myself I will survive, but at the moment, it seems impossible. I didn’t mail out cards this year. I figured if I start now, people might keel over from the sheer shock of it all. There’s last minute shopping to be done, and the wrapping . . .  sweet Beezus, the wrapping. While I adore spoiling the pygmy humans in my family, there is much to be said about having an entire room stuffed FULL of presents.

Every year, I promise myself I am going to scale back . . . and every year I end up here.

I often wonder how Christmas became so insane. So stressful. It certainly didn’t feel this way as a kid. There has to be more to it than the fact that it wasn’t my wallet taking the heavy hits. Where did the magic go? That warm sense of wonder that used to fill everything, until the entire world felt like it was bursting at the seams with love and excitement?

I miss that.

I take sincere joy out of giving. The entire process makes me smile, from picking out special presents, to the wrapping and unwrapping and the grins that follow. There’s something to be said for making someone’s day, or even a minute just a little brighter. I would rather feel that bliss than receive anything in return. But (and there’s always a but, isn’t there?) it never feels like it’s enough. Despite that room brimming with gifts, I want to give more. There are still things I would like to buy. It honestly feels as if all the presents in the world could not cover, or even begin to express the love I have for those I hold dear. The precious pygmy humans who brighten my day with their smiles, the parents who have given me so much, sacrificed so much, and ultimately shaped me into who I am. (For better or for worse, they tried and did the best they had with what they had to work with here people!)
My friends, the countless people who read my work or support me in any number of ways . . .

It’s. Just. Not. Enough.

How do you package love? Gratitude? Any emotion that cuts clear down through your heart and soul and nestles into bone?

You can’t. You can only bleed yourself dry trying. I do . . .  and I only wish I could do more.

I have come to realize that the most precious gift we can give anyone is ourselves. Our love, our understanding, our compassion—our willingness to take time out of our day and spend it with another. These are things that can never be bought or sold, but they are the only gifts that keep on giving. The ones that will never wither, break, or expire with the passing of time. These are the things on which we are forged, and the only things that will remain, even after we are gone. Love and the memories we share.

I wish you all a very wonderful holiday season. I hope your memories are good ones that will fill your hearts with joy for many years to come, and may you and your loved ones brim with hope, joy, and love.

~Best wishes always~

Oct 17, 2011

Book Lovers & Thrifters: Check This Out!

The other day I was talking to one of the people brave enough to associate with me and call me friend.  (Trust me--I am proud of these rare and special folks. It’s kind of like finding a unicorn. ) She was kind enough to point out that Amazon offered a free version of Kindle, directly through their website. Granted, you download it onto your PC, but you can still use it to buy all the nifty little goodies out there that Kindle has to offer. Needless to say, I was delighted. I LOVE books. I devour them like a starving man at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
The library in my hometown is so small that you could spit from one side of it to the other—and probably without hitting any books. Chances are, if I want to read something from there, I’m going to have to put in a request through Cleve-Net and wait…and wait…and wait some more. The last book I requested, I’d all but given up on and forgotten when it finally arrived four months and several grey hairs later.
I am not the world’s most patient person. That, my friends, was my own version of personal hell. Well, maybe that or being forced to listen to polka whilst being immersed in a coffin full of spiders.  The point is, my library is SLOW, and I often don’t feel like waiting the week or whatever it can be to get books in the mail when I order them. I’m an instant gratification kind of girl and this free Kindle edition with its whisper-net technology, where I could browse, buy a book with one click, and have it in the time it took me to blink was AMAZING!
Even better yet, was the Kindle Top 100. Every hour, they update these lists and you can see the top 100 paid best-sellers and the…get this… *cues lead in music* Top 100 FREE! O.O  That’s right, not one penny. Not one stinking penny!
In today’s economy how can you beat that?
Not only do they offer many classics from Treasure Island, Pride and Prejudice, Alice in Wonderland, Uncle Tom’s Cabin and many more—but they also have books by established award-winning authors, and brand new ones still hoping to make a name for themselves.
I browse these lists daily. (As hard as it is, I DO manage to avoid the hourly updates…at least for the most part.) Even though my friend pointed out their Kindle application, she had no idea they offered so many free selections, and I just wondered if any of you bargain hunters or book lovers out there knew about these deals as well.
If not, now you do. You may repay me in chocolate or words. Either will do.
Check it out. What have you got to lose?  Click here for free Kindle
~Best wishes and happy reading!~

Sep 22, 2011

Book Review: The Devil's Weekend

The Devil’s Weekend is a fast paced horror novel with a unique premise that will leave readers on the edge of their seat. I was hooked the moment I read the introductory blurb.

Oliver Ignis is everything we’ve come to know and fear about serial killers. He’s merciless, brutal, and very much in love with his mother. If Dahmer and Norman Bates ever had a love child, Oliver would be the end result of that unholy union.

His life is revealed through flashes of the past and present, from his experimentation with animals, his tragic upbringing, and his murderous bender. He’s a complex being that I came to both pity and fear. As monstrous as his actions may be, the author has an uncanny way of reminding us that there is still something very human and vulnerable beneath.

He encounters the Devil, who presents himself in a wide array of manners. Personally, my favorite was the attractive and debonair man who manipulates his victims with ease. As one would expect, the Devil know what he wants and exactly how to get it, but he offers Oliver the deal of a lifetime. In exchange for his soul, he will allow Oliver an entire weekend to kill without any chance of getting caught or harmed. He will also reunite Oliver with his beloved mother, whom he has not spoken to or seen in years.

What ensues is a terrifying killing spree, shown from both Oliver’s POV and the townspeople he hunts. The story is fast-paced and action packed, giving the reader little time to catch their breath before they’re thrust back into the thick of the horror, and the end results will leave you stunned.

This isn’t just a tale of death and killing. It’s a haunting story of humanity, love, and the loss thereof. Some people find their way, while others lose it, and the Devil witnesses it all. While scary, it is also a thought provoking read that appeals to the psychology behind humans and why we behave the way we do.

Jim Bronyaur has a very crisp and clean writing style. His prose isn’t fancy, but more of a minimalist approach which lends to the frenzied time frame. After all, Oliver only has one weekend in which to accomplish his deeds and thrust the small county of Butler into a nightmare of which the world has never seen. Only a small handful of typos mark this otherwise flawless work, and given the gripping plot, and fascinating characters, it doesn't detract from the overall product. I still give this book a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars.

I highly recommend this story to anyone looking for a suspenseful and thrilling read. It will chill you to the bone while also making you think. If you’re looking for a fast-paced and exhilarating read, pick up a copy. You won’t be disappointed!

To purchase a copy of The Devil’s Weekend, click here Also, don’t forget to stop by Jim’s website, Facebook, and, Twitter. I’m sure he’d love to hear from you!

 Best wishes and happy writing!~

Sep 13, 2011

Book Review: Dance on Fire

This truly was a spectacular read from an author that I fully expect to see emerge as one of horror's rising stars. The first thing that struck me about this book was the author’s prose. It’s beautiful, almost poetic, but not overly done. It has a wonderful flow and rich descriptions that will draw the reader in, immersing them in mood and setting. (In fact, I decided to read this book after listening to a reading of the first chapter. After hearing the first few lines, I was hooked.)
Things start off quickly, leaving no time for boredom. We watch a creature prowl the night, silently stalking his victims. Or is he? Right off the bat, two cops are brutally murdered and the entire town of Kingsburgh is sent into a tailspin. Who committed this vicious attack, and why?

The book centers around Nathaniel, a vampire who was turned centuries ago when his family was murdered, a young cop, Michael, and his wife, Barbra. They are an interesting cast—an eclectic mix of people that James Garcia Jr. took time to develop and breathe life into. You won’t find one-dimensional characters here. Not only did I enjoy reading about each one, but I cared what happened to them. The supporting cast is pretty interesting as well. I think many readers will get a kick out of the overly ambitious Mayor. *laughs*
Dance on Fire is a mysterious page-turner that moves along at a fast pace. It takes many twists and turns, giving the reader plenty of opportunities to guess who or what is really stalking the small town of Kingsburg, California, and even the town itself is laid out and built upon a solid foundation. This story is a well-balanced blend of horror and suspense, and though it’s referred to as a Christian crossover, the religious undertones were subtle enough that they won’t encroach or offend those with agnostic or different views.

My favorite thing about this book was how Nathaniel’s history was revealed bit by bit in a series of flashbacks and memories. My excitement grew every time a date in the 17th century cropped up because I knew I was in for a special treat. His was an enthralling tale, both heartbreaking and horrific. One can’t help but feel for him after learning of the trials he endured at his maker’s hands.  James did a fantastic job casting the reader back in time, enveloping the senses, and painting vivid pictures.
Vincent is the opposing force in this book and a wicked force to be reckoned with. He sends cold shivers down the spine whenever he makes an appearance and his determined hunting of Nathaniel is as ruthless as it is riveting.

I don’t want to give too much away, but believe me when I say this is a great mystery packed with suspense and chills at every bend. Once I started reading, it was hard to put down. I’m definitely looking forward to purchasing the second book in this series. Dance on Fire is well worth the read and James Garcia Jr. is certainly an author I'll be keeping my eye on in the future.
View his blog here. along with his official Twitter and FaceBook pages. He'd love to hear from you. Click here to listen to a reading of Dance on Fire and purchase a copy.

Aug 16, 2011

Ouija Boards: How Games Can Inspire Horror

Ouija boards. You can find them in the game aisle of any toy store or major retailer out there, but are they really a game? Much debate surrounds these little wooden boards with their letters and planchettes, also known as oracles.

Some say they are a hoax, driven only by overactive imaginations, or friends playing tricks on each other. Others claim they work all too well, and serve as a portal to the other side: a portal to the demonic underworld that cannot be closed once open. They say playing with an Ouija board is like sending a written invitation to any sinister spirit looking for a home.

I say they are a great tool in horror!

The Exorcist” was one of the only movies to ever truly scare me in my lifetime. It centers on young Regan, and the chilling aftermath she endures after playing with an Ouija board. It started with the pointer moving by itself, scratches behind the wall, strange noises at night, and the unforgettable violent shaking of her bed. Then came the demonic possession. *shudders* The images of this girl and the horror she went through haunted me for weeks. I slept with the lights on, if I managed to sleep at all. That inhuman voice echoed in my head, eliciting shivers. The mere thought of laying in bed terrified me, lest it, too, started to shake.

 Sure, laugh, if you will--but I was scared!

The book and movie are said to be based on the ‘true’ story of a little boy in Georgetown, USA. His is one of the only official exorcisms performed in the States. The movie, itself, was reportedly cursed. Some claim this was a hoax to garner more public interest. However, some facts do remain. A fire broke out on the set, delaying production for six weeks. The lead actress, Linda Blair, the actress who played Regan, suffered several mental breakdowns. Family members and actors tied to the film experienced a number of tragedies during and after production, including multiple injuries on set. Jack McGowen died of a heart-attack after completing his role in the film. Other deaths “linked to the Exorcist curse” are a night watchman, a cameraman’s offspring, and a special effects expert. Coincidence or not . . . you decide.

Other films that have used the Ouija board as a catalyst for horror include, “Witchboard,” “Thirteen Ghosts (also uses a séance),” “The Uninvited,” What Lies Beneath,” and many more. A more recent film, “A Haunting in Connecticut,” utilizes séances and boards with drastic results.

Whether they are a harmless game, a useful tool, or something much more sinister, the Ouija board has played a major role in inspiring terror. The Ouija will entertain, warn, instruct, or offer information from the spirit world, often with mixed results. This is a key scene that can set the stage for the rest of the story. It’s a plot device that sets the scene for many “what if” scenarios. Perhaps your character is truly haunted after playing with one. Is it a spirit, or something much more ominous? Or maybe, they have gone mad, driven by hallucinations and the result of their own fear. What sort of terror and acts do these hallucinations inspire? One thing is for sure . . . in the case of fiction, the Ouija does, indeed, open many doorways!

*Bullet* Historical note: Up until close to mid-last century, many cases of epilepsy, schizophrenia, and other mental and neurological diseases were attributed to demonic or spirit possession. In the medieval era, people were tortured in the name of medical science as people sought a way to “purge them of their demons.” In later centuries, they were locked away in insane asylums and forgotten, where they also suffered cruel experiments far from society’s eye.

Even advice on how to properly dispose of the board ranges widely. Some say throw it out or give it away, it is, after all, a cardboard game, saying it is comparable to Monopoly or CandyLand. Others claim it is no game and must be cleansed and burned. There are some who say burning it leaves the portal open and insist it must be cut up and buried. Yet more people claim it has to be weighted and dropped beneath running water. It seems the ways to dispose of it vary as widely as the opinions and stories surrounding the board itself.

Such debate and mystery leaves a writer’s options wide open, and would make anyone looking for a sincere option very confused. See the conflict this could provide for a character? What if option ‘A’ turned out to be the wrong one and after pitching said board, they discover it has somehow found its way home?

This is just one look at the many catalysts and options the horror genre provides. Like all things in life, the point of view taken on it is subjective to one’s own whims. I’m not here to argue or debate the board and its purpose, or the rumors surrounding it. I only know those rumors scare me silly! It’s not even the board itself that scares me. It’s the “what if” factor! This is just another example of where imagination can take us. Of what belief, or even a moment of suspended belief can do. For me, the results lasted a lifetime. I hope you found this information entertaining and, perhaps, a bit chilling. Most of all, I hope it provides a small glimmer of inspiration somewhere along the way.

~Best wishes and happy haunting!~

Aug 11, 2011

Book Review: The House on Blackstone Moor

The first thing that struck me about this novel was the unique character voice. Rose literally transported me to another place and time. She comes across as a living, breathing essence that leaps off the page and beckons you forward, inviting you to come sit and stay a spell between the pages with her. This is not easy to accomplish, nor is it something that can be taught. Carole mastered this art with a finesse that makes writing look easy. I guarantee Rose will draw a reader in if given a mere page or two.

The plot starts off with a bang. Carole wastes no time thrusting her audience into a tense, terrifying situation. Rose finds her family slaughtered around her and has no recollection of what happened or why. She’s immediately whisked off to a mental asylum, which in itself would be unnerving enough, but the author has her own brand of horror in store.

We’re cast back into early London times, when these places harbored true acts of evil. Back before regulations and rights, asylums truly were a playground for the evil and depraved. My heart pounded faster as I wondered what would happen to Rose between these walls. Throughout the entire novel, there is a pervading sense of doom that mounts with every page—one the reader cannot escape any more than our ill-fated protagonist. It feels like every character we meet is one that cannot be trusted, yet Rose, in her innocence is steeped in kindness and despite the tragedy surrounding her, still maintains a trusting heart.

Perhaps that is part of the lure, for the reader can always feel the constant push and pull, the underlying battle between good and evil that occurs just below the surface of every page.

The House on Blackstone Moor is a novel rich with mystery, horror, and suspense. The evil shrouding Rose’s past, and her dark family secrets are revealed bit by bit, like tantalizing bread crumbs for the reader to follow. Unlike a lot of novels, Gill does not make it easy to guess what lurks around the corners. Instead, she lulls the readers into feeling comfortable with their assumptions, only to rip those illusions away. Nothing in this book is quite as it seems, from the doctors Rose encounters, to her employers at Blackstone Manor and the children she governs.

The novel really picks up the pace, as does the intrigue once Rose begins her journey at Blackstone. The descriptions of the Manor and its grounds were rich and lavish. It is a place the reader can easily imagine, and one they won’t soon forget. Nor are the characters she meets.

Inside these walls, the plot thickens, the mystery grows, and eventually it blossoms into forces so evil, even Rose struggles to comprehend. She’s confronted with the ghosts of her past, hunted by powerful forces of darkness, and tempted with the bittersweet pangs of forbidden love…a love that may very well be the death of her.

Carole Gill did an excellent job blurring the lines between good and evil, reminding us that as with human nature, not everything can be defined in terms of black and white. Sometimes the lines are blurred and become hazy shades of grey—especially when it comes to matters of the heart. I won’t ruin the outcome by telling you who, but I will say this book had terrifying characters and ones that will make you smile. I guarantee it will make you take a moment to question yourself and all that you may have believed.

I was on the edge of my seat when I finally learned what was happening to Rose and why…and again when the story came out about who and what Eve, the children, and Louis were. Way to go author! This was heartbreaking and riveting all at once. Louis, with his dark good looks and seductive manner…the children who are such an endearing part of this tale, and serve to pull the reader in as much as they do Rose…Eve with her tragic mistakes, and  Echo who is a truly delicious nemesis worthy of the chills he elicits. I hope we see more of him in the future. The scenes where he arrives to battle and inflict misery are truly harrowing!

Fallen angels, vampires, demons, mystery, love, torment, and unspeakable evil—both of this world and beyond: this book has it all. It’s a fine example of gothic horror that kept me on the edge of my seat. Carole does a great job balancing setting, plot, and character development and I’m eagerly looking forward to purchasing the sequel. I invite you to take a look and see for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
You can purchase her work HERE
For more of Carole and her work, follow her here on Twitter and visit her official author's blog. 

~Best wishes always~

Aug 8, 2011

Where's the Panic Button?

Hello, Darlings!

It’s been a while since I gave a personal update. I am sure you are all grateful, but the time for gratitude has come to an end. Believe me—after this post those of you who can do so without combusting will probably pray that I revert back to a state of sullen silence.
I’ve been quiet with good reason, you see. No, one of the minions did not escape and ply my mouth with duct tape, though that would have been fun, would it not? I’ve hit the final stretch of my novel. We are talking mere teens when it comes to word count. While most would see this as a cause for mass celebration, I’ve done little but panic. And write…and panic some more. Not to mention the cleaning and shopping sprees that I use by means of procrastination. 
Why can I not have one of these?

I wonder what pressing it does. Would the world end? Would the ceiling open up and vast amounts of confetti and glitter rain down in a sparkly shower? Hmm…perhaps blood. Yes, that’s it. Blood and feathers. Surely panic looks like the inside of a chicken coop once the fox slips in and all the birds realize they are about to fall victim to a slaughter. *small smirk*  Poor little dears.
As for me, I am wondering how to wrap things up. I’m struggling with how to tie up loose ends without cinching them off completely. It is not something I’ve had to do before, but a second book is already begging to be written, and perhaps a third before these characters have had their full say. I don’t think anyone would complain. Seir is quite amusing between his contradictions and sarcasm. Not to mention his unique take on the world and its occupants in general.
I must find a way to be a clever, clever girl and present this in a way that it could stand on its own, yet beckons to readers to return for a second helping. PANIC. I don’t even want to think about marketing right now, or where to turn when it is all said and done. All of this is truly beyond my ability to comprehend at the moment.
Hell, the mere thought of ME actually finishing a novel, let alone in under a year is unthinkable. Brace yourselves, darlings. This may very well be a sign of an impending apocalypse. I’m sure those who know me will agree.
In the meantime, feel free to share any input, as well as your stories about that shiny red button and what it might do! I truly AM curious.

~Best wishes always~

Jul 28, 2011

Monster: A Short Story

I wrote this story two years ago for a contest on Writing.com. Jason has always been one of my all-time favorite horror icons. Maybe it's because I have a thing for big, strong, strapping men who wear masks and never speak. Or maybe it's the psychological aspect of his story that fascinates me. I'll let you make your own assumptions. This short tale ties in with the remake and is written soley from his POV. It is cannon and was meant as a complimentary character study. Please feel free to let me know what you think.

Without further ado...here is Monster/


The word screams through my brain, plays on my tongue, but leaves my throat in a strangled gurgle. Troubled eyes scan the darkened corners of my room, probing the comforting shadows that have become home. A cold trickle of sweat creeps down the back of my neck and the memory of my nightmare remains as vivid and haunting as that cursed day. My hands, still trembling, drop back to the mattress, no longer reaching for the ghostly specter of my mother. She is gone, taking with her the small shred of humanity that lingered in this hell.

The stench of death and decay permeates the air, though I am not sure if it is the labyrinth beneath the shack giving off such a putrid smell. My clothes are as filthy and tattered as my surroundings, a reflection of the stagnant recesses of my soul. Wounds, both internal and external, fester with raging infection that seeps through my veins. I am the embodiment of all that is dying. Like withered ivy clinging to the side of an abandoned building, I cling to the last remnants of life.

“Make them pay.”

Mama’s voice echoes in my mind. It lingers with the searing effects of a brand and spurs me out of bed. Leaden limbs protest as I make my way across the room. The grime covered mirror taunts me from the wall. I refuse to give in and let my gaze roam to where it never should be. Mama used to promise me I was not a monster. Her loving hands would glide across my skin, leaving tingling warmth in their wake as she told me how beautiful I was. However, the fear and disgust stamped onto the faces of others always told a different story.

Twisted and deformed, my face never resembled the porcelain beauty of my peers. They hated me. I was an outcast, an abhorrent beast, always taunted, teased, and tormented. I can still feel the bite of their words, the thud of their fists, or the hard crack of shoes against my flesh. I can still taste the blood and tears I shed as they spit on me. Most of all, I remember the fear I felt as they left me in the icy lake to drown, and the blistering inferno of rage that has consumed me since the day I watched my mother die.

The dull glint of moonlight reflecting off that machete doesn’t just haunt my dreams. It chases me well into the blinding sun where daylight burns. The memory of that moment stays with me always. It’s the demon residing in my soul, for in that moment, I lost everything. Mama was the only one to show kindness, my only source of love, a lone beacon of hope in a cruel world where nothing made sense.

They took her from me.

My fists clench into wrecking balls at my sides, nails biting deep into the fleshy mounds of my palms. Pivoting on heel, my boot collides with a rusty car battery, sending it flying. It smashes into the clouded mirror and glass shards tinkle to the floor in a shower of razors. Determination swells to clash in a full-blown battle with the pain. They may have stripped my world away once, but I won’t let it happen again. Fueled by vengeance and misery, my soul screams from the pit of its blackened depths that it will never happen again.

Slamming through the twisting corridors of dirt and wood, I make my way through the desolate tunnels beneath my home. I strike out, pummeling and kicking anything in my way, body straining. At last, salvation reaches my ears in the form of a whimper so faint, it might as well have been a reckless sigh from the wind. Relief floods my veins, bringing with it a blessed reprieve from all else.

Whitney sits coiled on the filthy mattress, her slender body arching as she attempts to press deeper into the wall behind her. Despite the fear and loathing reflected in her hazel eyes, I see a glimmer of my past. It doesn’t matter that her once vibrant copper tresses are now matted against her scalp in lank clumps. She’s covered in dirt, grime, and dried blood, but I’ve never seen a more beautiful sight in my life.

Head cocking to the side, I regard her from a distance. Breath coming in heavy pants, I struggle with an overwhelming surge of emotions. She looks so much like Mama. The mere sight of her floods me with longing and the same confusing mixture of fury and agony I have lived with for years. I cherish and loathe her all in the same heartbeat. Part of me wants to keep this woman and protect her. The other realizes this is not a second chance to do all the things I failed to do with Mama, and I ache to destroy her, to shatter all hints of the painful illusion she casts.

Her fingers curl around the locket clutched in her fist as if the tarnished heart is capable of banishing me to the depths of hell. It isn’t the golden locket that halts my steps, but fear she might destroy the picture it holds. This woman, this faint glimmer of hope and a reminder of all things past, holds in her hands the only tangible image left of Mama. My heart slows to a faint flutter in my chest and I take a step forward, only to be halted mid-stride.


Her voice is soft, like the caress of a butterfly’s wings. It propels me back to another time and place. Uncertainty settles in my core, making me numb. A prickle of unease creeps up my spine. A name, once so familiar, now sounds foreign as it lingers in the air between us. No one has spoken to me or uttered that word for decades. It brings back faint memories of love, and much stronger ones of torment. Enraged, I grab my machete.

Shoulders bunched and coiled, I wait for the mocking words to come as tension hums through my frame. Whitney’s heels scrabble against the filthy mattress in a desperate bid for traction. She chokes back a sob and lifts an imploring hand, unsuccessful in her attempt to escape. Unmoved, I step forward, determined to smite her before she draws first blood.

“Jason! Jason, no!” Cornered against the wall, her fingers fumble across the latch and she flips the locket open.

My gaze settles on the picture and a floodgate of memories is torn open. Flashes of birthdays, kisses, the protective shadow Mama always cast, laughter, smiles, tears. I remember my father leaving and the long nights I spent waiting for him to return. He never did; he never loved me. I wasn’t his son, but a hideous and shameful blemish on his existence. The hell endured at camp that summer burns brighter. The embarrassment of always being pushed away, excluded, and tortured all returns, prompting the ongoing chant that echoes in my head.

“Jason, make them pay. Make them all pay, Jason!”

Mama’s last words hit with the force of a thunderbolt. Violent tremors run rampant through my core. Life and death, love and hate . . . all wage a war for precedence, for control. Destruction whispers in my ear, reminding me what a loyal and constant companion it has proven to be over the years.

Lifting the machete, I feel the familiar press of plastic within my grip. Fingers curled around the handle, it feels as if death will win. Red haze clouds my vision. The urge to annihilate anyone who dares to tread this sacred ground reigns supreme. My footsteps fall with a heavy thud, each one accentuated by fresh tears from Whitney.

I approach on swift feet, slicing the long blade through the air in a sinister arc. It makes an ominous whistling sound before Whitney’s scream drowns out all else. The steel collides with the metal grate behind her, sending a crippling wave of vibration up my arm into my hand. I struggle to maintain my grip as my shoulders heave with silent rage. Like the night I found her running through the woods, the desire to hunt this woman is there; yet I cannot bring myself to destroy her.

Whirling, I abandon myself to the rage. Boxes, chunks of rusted metal, and other debris goes flying as my wrath unfurls. Soft sobs convey Whitney’s relief. I hate her for finding comfort when I can find none. I know there are others out there, lurking and waiting, trespassing in the woods that have become my desolate cage of loneliness. They seek to destroy me, to rip away what remains of Mama, to take away the only thing capable of easing that void. The raw wound left when I watched her head tumble across the grass is eased by my pet. Sometimes, I can forget she is not Mama and slip into a comfortable world of make-believe where I am loved. No one will rip that away from me again.

“Don’t leave me here! Please! Jason!”

Whitney’s voice cracks with the raw force of her anguish. Her wailing fear of being left alone echoes the underlying terror I felt as a child. It follows me as I make my way outside, into the wilderness I know so well. Unlike Mama, I will return. But not until I’ve erased every last threat lurking in the world outside. Then . . . then we can be alone. She will remind my shadowed heart what it is like to be loved. I will pull the strings, and she will dance like a puppet to a symphony of our own making.


Blood glistens against the dull sheen of steel. I revel in the crimson bath I have created, but my celebration is cut short. Gooseflesh erupts across my skin and the fine hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Body frozen, my eyes scan the rustling abyss around me, searching for the cause of such imminent unease. I haven’t felt so unsettled since the day that counselor murdered Mama as I hid nearby.

A familiar scent carries on the wind, the barest hint of sweetness, like the lilac bushes that used to bloom outside Mama’s kitchen window in the spring. I spot Whitney, my Whitney, slinking along the house where the others partake in a fit of debauchery and drugs. Panic sets in, threatening to cripple me in its vise-like grip. The fear of losing her is much stronger, spurring my leaden body to charge across the grass with the determination of a rampaging bull.

Before she can move, before she can make a sound, my arm snakes around her slender frame and my hand clamps over her mouth in a menacing press. Anger unlike anything I have ever known before boils within me. I drag Whitney backward with ease, away from the house, closer to where she belongs. Her kicking and bucking is no match for my size or strength. Before she brings the others with her protests, I lift her, flinging her in an effortless toss over my shoulder. We return home; me in silence, her kicking and screaming, begging for a salvation that will not come.

The woods don’t care. Dark and silent, they watch and listen, but never answer the calls of the desperate and forsaken.


The Earth quenches her thirst with the crimson offerings I leave. I feed her as no one fed me when I was a child, alone and afraid in these woods. I am at home here, and only wish to be left in peace. It is all I have ever wanted. Here is where I hid, when the world thought me dead. Within the folds of trees and thickets, I remained invisible as my mother went on her rampage, avenging a son the world hated. They will meet their death, just as she met hers. Two got away, but they cannot hide. Not here.

I make my way back to the crumbling remains of my shack, knowing they will be there. They hunt for Whitney, just as I hunt for them. Anger and hurt swell within until the pressure inside my chest grows so intense, I fear I will burst. Why can they not just leave me in peace? Why do they have to trespass in my life . . . in my home?


They found her, my Whitney, and tore her free of the shackles and chains I used to bind her. If only the ones placed on me at birth were as easy to break. Three is now two, and I fight tears, yearning to release the howl of rage burgeoning in my chest as she runs off with another. A perfect man whose face is not hideous and deformed like mine; a man who does not belong here in our world. She leaves me no choice but to follow in pursuit.

I chase them through the tunnels and into the old storage shed. Whitney lashes out at me, screaming my name, as I break through the doors, and, in full attack mode, start to tear the male intruder apart. With fists of iron, I pummel the thief, throwing him with ease across the shed where I cornered them. My ire will not die until he draws his last shaky breath, until he pays for all that he has done . . . for everything that they all have done. I am the avenger, and the day of reckoning has come.

The fight presents little challenge. The man was weak, pathetic in his attempts to live, to rise above the fate waiting for him. He no longer struggles, but hangs limp and bloody in my grip. Churning spikes of metal grind, the noise echoes in my ears as I push his head closer to the gaping maw of gnashing teeth. The burning in my chest increases as Whitney continues to cry and scream for me. The raw pain in her voice gives me pause at the last second, and I turn to confront her.

Through the holes in my newfound mask, I stare back at this discordant angel. With my eyes, I beseech her to tell me why. Why did she leave me? What did I do wrong? For weeks, I fed her and treated her with kindness and love, just as Mama had always shown me. I don’t understand this outburst of anger and pain when I am only trying to keep her safe.

My gaze drops to the locket she holds out. Mama’s face stares back at me, so soft and beautiful. If my eyes were capable of shedding tears, they would, for I feel my heart breaking all over again. My head tilts and I shift my attention back to Whitney, more confused than ever. I beg her with all that I have to ease my pain, to end this vicious cycle of anguish.

She seems to hear. Her face becomes gentle again, and when she speaks my name, it is as if she sings to me the most beautiful song ever heard. Nothing else matters. The rest of the world fades away, like we are the only two people that exist. She smiles through her tears, exuding a magnetic pull. I step forward, eager to feel her embrace, to once again feel the arms of love, and return home.

Then, the world spins. It collides with darkness yet again and spirals completely off axis. She turns on me in an instant, before I can register the pain, the betrayal, and the scorching rise of fury. The metal blade of an axe pierces my skull and blood seeps beneath my mask, blinding me once again to the world I sought in vain. I struggle against the chains around my neck, caught in the whirl of grinding metal of the wood chipper behind me. Desperate, I reach for her, screaming inside, begging her to help me, not to leave me . . . and then the world turns black.


Weightless and floating, I stare through a rippling haze at the dim shaft of light filtering down from above. Bitter, icy cold engulfs me and water fills my lungs as it did so many years ago. The world dances above as I listen to the muffled sound of Whitney’s sobs, but my heart no longer cares.

Rejected and spurned by the world once again, I feed on the hatred seething in my soul. Twisting and turning, I fight my way to the surface, determined to grab that lying, deceitful bitch and drag her back down to the depths of hell with me. Oh, I once had a dream of being loved. But that was then, and this is now. Dreams fade, and over time, become replaced by the bitter pangs of reality.

I will crush and destroy the world, making it as ugly as my soul. I will kill all who set foot in my woods, showing them the true depths of darkness and despair in which I linger. I will show them a rampage of vengeance and violence unlike that of which the world has ever seen. I’m no longer a weak little boy fighting for air, crying, and begging for someone to save him.

I am what the world has made me; I am a monster.

© Copyright 2009 Adriana Noir. All rights reserved.

Jul 26, 2011

Verbal Warfare: When Muses Attack

I’m sweating and covered in an odd shade of green paint. If you think the life of a fledgling writer leaves something to be desired in the glamour department, try being a property manager! This shade lurks somewhere between sea foam and teal. Not a flattering hue when set against my vampishly pale skin. I do believe it is hindering my undead glow. *pouts*

Yesterday, while scraping and sanding the porches, my muses started a rather vicious exchange with each other. I share this because I’m fairly confident I’m not the only writer whose characters pick the most inopportune times to start stretching their vocal chords. Odd considering how they have no problem shrouding themselves in silence when I attempt to write, but they have no qualms about tossing their two cents in when a situation has nothing to do with them.

The exchange started with Seir. No surprise there. He often tags along like my shadow, and I enjoy the fallen one’s sarcasm and biting wit—just not when I’m dripping sweat in 90 degree heat with sweltering humidity.

Seir: It is far too hot for this.

Me: *dry snort*

Zeruch: That IS funny. Why complain, Seir? I would think you’d be used to this sort of climate given where you come from.

(Seir gives a lazy, condescending smile. I roll my eyes. The last thing I’m in the mood for at this point is a verbal exchange between these two.)

Seir: I don’t believe I asked you for your input. *he turns his attention back to me* Hire one of those pygmy humans to do the grunt work. I want to go inside.

Zeruch: You are beyond lazy.

Seir: And you are an annoyance I could do without. It just goes to prove some things never change.

Zeruch: Or improve.

Seir: I am flattered you think there is still room for growth, but it is hard to improve upon perfection.

Zeruch: You are far from perfect.

Seir: Hmm. As I recall, you used to be quite … fond of me. *he dons an innocent look* Was it something I said?

Zeruch: Said? When you fell, I tried to retain some measure of love for you, no matter how distant or small. Given what you are and all that you have done, I had no choice but to change my mind.

Seir: Did you now? *perks up* That is excellent news. I hope your new one comes with an improved performance rating.

And so they went, back and forth, while I did my best not to snicker or run inside to jot some of their lines down. Thankfully, the neighbors didn’t seem to notice the two muses reclined against the steps as I slaved and toiled in the midday sun. It did make me wonder how many other writers suffer through moments like these. Do your characters pop up in the most unlikely of places? Do they engage in verbal warfare among themselves or with you when they’re left unattended for too long? Do they offer running commentary on mundane things that have nothing to do with them or their story?

*looks around with shifty eyes*

Please tell me I’m not alone in this. Please?

Jul 7, 2011

Review of Fear in Words Volume One - The Stories

Jason Darrick’s collection of short stories is a horror debut chalk full of visceral gore and violence. But there’s more. Not only is the author willing to test your claims that your stomach lining is made of steel and put those bragging rights to shame, but he will push the envelope and terrorize your mind as well. These tales are short, but full of action and bloody suspense.

I admit self-published fiction makes me wary. It’s too often filled with sloppy, amateur mistakes that make seasoned readers cringe—not to mention my sadistic internal editor. Darrick’s book was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t expect the level of writing that I found, or the extreme levels to which he was willing to take the reader. I cringed, and as much as it pains me to admit, I turned green around those proverbial gills.

The first offering, Drip, is a staggering piece of flash fiction that clouts the reader upside the head and demands they take notice. This is your wake-up call folks, and only a small hint of what lurks ahead. Darrick comes out swinging.

The Figure slows things down, giving the reader time to submerge into setting and character. After reading this chilling tale, you’ll probably never look at the harmless flecks of ash drifting from a fire the same way again. It invites the audience into a twisted realm where nothing is quite as it seems. We’re forced to remember why shadows terrified us as kids and why, perhaps, we should still fear them as adults. Bad things happen to good people. They really do.

The devious twist at the end garnered a measure of respect from this reader. I love the unexpected, and anytime something makes me sit up and take notice, let alone giggle with manic glee, I must defer.

The Forest is a darkly savage tale, truly not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. Here, I discovered Jason Darrick is not afraid to push the envelope. He’ll ball that thing up and shove it down your throat. This story follows a group of stranded people as they disappear one by one, hunted down by crazies. It’s like Survivor meets Wrong Turn, but with the author’s own brand of in your face horror.

I found this to be the most versatile story when it came to showcasing ability. It reaches beyond the usual elements one would expect to find. When the protagonist, a loving husband, discovers what happened to his wife, Darrick pulls all punches. He tugs those heartstrings tight, lets them snap like a rubber band, and laughs while he does it. The choices this man must make are brutal. I didn’t know whether to cringe or cry, so I did both.

The only complaint I had about The Forest was the end. After all the suspense and heartrending drama, I guess I expected something a little more climatic. Though, in all fairness, some may like the gentle approach after such a mind-numbing ride.

Hanna was a sordid, gripping tale of power struggles and revenge. Here, I thought Darrick shined the brightest. It explores the dark underworld of BDSM and what happens when one woman decides she’s had enough. He was fearless in this endeavor, taking the violence to an entirely new level. Hannah should not be judged by topic alone. It’s an intense ride. Think War of the Roses for the depraved, full of psychological and physical warfare that will leave your mind spinning. The twist at the end = brilliant. Once again, I smothered a demented peal of laughter.

The final offering in this collection, Mr. Vore, places the reader within a comfortable frame of mind, lending a false sense of security before ripping them out in a savage chokehold. You will never look at weight loss or infomercials the same way again. I guarantee it. Mr. Vore saturates the last pages in this book with blood and bodily harm.

Overall, the editing wasn’t bad. Only a few repetitive words snuck in there. The style was crisp—easy to read. It’s a refreshing twist for a newcomer. Thank you, Mr. Darrick, for not dousing us with adverbs and tired clichés before striking the proverbial match! My biggest complaint was not with the wording or telling, but with punctuation. It’s nothing an extra pair of eyes or two before publishing wouldn’t fix.

Fear in Words Volume One – The Stories left me with several impressions. I see a lot of potential within this author. It was an impressive debut and the collection, intense and original. If this was any indication of what might be in store, Jason Darrick is one writer I’ll be keeping my eye on. He entertains.

Visit the author’s website, Twitter, and Facebook if you dare!

His work can be purchased here Amazon.

~Best wishes and happy writing!~

Jun 28, 2011

A Tale of Caution...in Rhyme

It's not often I dabble outside of the storytelling realm, but this is one of the few err... poems I've penned over the years. It's dark, depraved, and riddled with horror. Come on. Why so surprised? You weren't expecting fluffy bunnies and sunshine here, were you?

The Hunter
Slinking through the shadows, the wakened beast starts to rage.
Cursed and bound to endless dark, he hates his moonlit cage.
Longing for a taste of light, the hunger swells within.
Lips pulled taut across his fangs, he dons a feral grin.

Corded muscle starts to quiver with the song of night.
Snout turned up to sniff the air, he tracks his victim’s flight.
Yellow parchment wings expand with a muted rustle.
Deadened twigs crack in the woods ‘neath his victim’s hustle.

Her pounding heart provides the song pulsing in his ears.
Flee and chase, a pointless game, performed throughout the years.
Razor talons glint beneath the silver glow of moon.
Eyes slit with enraptured bliss, he knows it will be soon.

Caught up in the thrill of hunt, the demon gives a howl.
Withered leaves fall below; he emits a smell most foul.
Pungent sulfur fills the air; his victim starts to cry.
Blinded by a veil of tears, she knows that she will die.

Sprawled in savage tumble, they go crashing to the ground.
His amber eyes dance with glee; she begs without a sound.
With an ominous rumble, he claims his frightened bride.
Wings pressed flat against his back, he thrusts his fist inside.

Prize in hand and bathed in blood, he holds her stilling heart.
Depraved, he licks it clean and beholds the Devil’s art.
Coiled over crimson form, he eats his fallen foe.
Take heed when in shadow, or this hunter you will know.

© Copyright 2009 Adriana Noir. All rights reserved.

Jun 27, 2011

It's Been a While

Truly. Months, I believe. I've never been a huge fan of blogging. The list of reasons extends far past my short little legs and stretches for miles. The top two?

1. It's distracting and takes time away from writing.
Call me selfish, but I like love my writing time. I'd much rather delve into a fictional world than ponder over the day's issues. My muses are a jealous lot and don't take kindly to outside distractions. Believe me, Twitter alone has been an issue. What it all boils down to is that spare, quiet hour, and if I would I rather spend it blogging or writing. Sorry folks, writing typically wins!

2. I'm beyond private.
Call it a quirk, but I don't like talking about myself. At all. Trust me, there's really nothing fascintating about my life. (Though...those people chained in my basement may be a different story.) I spend most of my time tethered to my laptop cranking out pained sentences or replying to endless streams of e-mail. When not doing that, I'm usually cooking or cleaning. No one wants to read about these things (people in the basement aside) So really, I'm doing you all a favor.

That said, I realize blogging is an evil necessity. Who knows? Maybe someday I'll find my niche here in blogersville and come to find it tolerable enjoyable. I really wouldn't hold my breath on that one though, people. That is, unless you're into that whole self-inflicted torture scenario. Which, you know...if you are...that's just fine too. Maybe you could send me an e-mail or two about an experience you've had. ;) I'm always looking for new inspiration.

I promise, I will try to be slightly more dedicated here. Just don't hold me to it.

I've been uber busy working on a serial with another author, and listening to Seir's demented ramblings. Hopefully, by August, I'll have finished up the first book with him. I'm still exploring a few publishing options open to me in that area, but things are going well. Busy, but well!

I can't complain.

Well, I could...but no one wants to read about that either. ;)

Hope you are all doing well.

~Best wishes and happy writing!~

Feb 16, 2011

Bernard Pivot Blogfest!

Thank you to the ever lovely and talented, Nicole Ducleroir for hosting this fun event! And congratulations on reaching over 500 followers! I know many, many more will join you along the way.

I had a lot of fun answering these questions. I think if blogging were more an ask and aswer type thing, I'd be apt to participate more often! Okay, here we go:

1.What is your favorite word?   I recently came across juddering and loved the way it rolled off my tongue. It means To shake rapidly or spasmodically; vibrate conspicuously. I would have to say ETHEREAL is my all time favorite though. Even it's definition fills me with joy and peace. How much better can it get than heavenly, light, and airy?

2.What is your least favorite word?    cunt...I hate that word with a passion.

3.What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?   Music. It is perfect for setting any mood or tone, and sometimes powerful lyrics can inspire the basis for an entire novel. I also enjoy a relative amount of solitude without any interuptions, so music, candlelight, and the dead of night when most of the wold is fast asleep.

4.What turns you off?   Sadly, that is a long list. Intolerance, selfishness, bad attitudes...and I really despise when people play mind games...you know guilting others into thinking or acting a certain way, just so you get yours. I guess what it all boils down to is inconsideration. I think people should always be mindful of others and thier predicaments...think before you speak or act.

5.What is your favorite curse word?  I say Beezus a lot in lieu of cussing, but sometimes that just doesn't cut it! For those times I resort to a two-punch combo. Fuck (pause) ass. An old man with Torret's said this quite often in The Boondock Saints and it always made me laugh. So saying that is my way of relieving stress or pain and giving myself a little giggle at the same time.

6.What sound or noise do you love?   Thunder or the sharp crack of lightning.

7.What sound or noise do you hate?   Eating noises: people chewing loudly, smacking their lips, or God forbid, scraping the fork against the plate so hard it makes that nails on chalkboard sound.

8.What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?     Psychology, because it is fascinating...or a professional chef because I love to cook and I'm darn good at it!

9.What profession would you not like to do?    Social work for children's protective services. I would end up going to jail over some of the parents you hear about today. I would not have the patience or restraint to deal with people like them.

10.If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?  I forgive you. Welcome home.

Jan 27, 2011


I need to get some more serious writing in today, and I have a horror newsletter due Monday. That means I don't have much time for blogging this week. (I know--what else is new, huh?) I will be by to read your entries though. What can I say? You guys fascinate me.

Speaking of fascinating, if you haven't yet, please check out Nicole's upcoming blogfest. It sounds like it will be a lot of fun, and it's a quick, easy challenge. You can find the link here http://nicoleducleroir.blogspot.com/2011/01/my-new-blogfest-come-sign-up.html

Or by clicking on that awesome purpley banner located in my sidebar. (She has such awesome taste.) I hope to see you there!

~Best wishes and happy writing!~

Jan 16, 2011

All is Lost

The following excerpt is written from my main character's POV. I have to admit, I enjoy writing him. He's proven to be a fascinating and complex individual. This poem ties in with what I've written so far, and I suspect it is something he's been working on in his spare time. Perhaps it will make an appearance in the book. Perhaps not. Either way, I hope you enjoy.

Ladies and gentleman, without any further ado, I give you a preview of Seir's poem:

All is Lost

So the moment comes, when redemption fades away.

It slowly curls like ashes beneath the light of day.

Darkness shreds my soul as I sink into the deep,

And somewhere high above me, the angels gently weep.

I rise, but I am Fallen; blackness taints my wings.

Cursed love, take my light and the agony it brings.

Don’t speak to me of lonely; I live upon its shore.

Bereft of all but anger, I ache for something more.

A loner among many, I crave the absent sun,

Chained beneath the burden of all that I have done.

Love is but a memory, a secret that I keep.

And somewhere high above me, the angels gently weep.

Jan 10, 2011

Stylish? Awards? What's this?

You can imagine my surprise when my dear friend, Nomar Knight nominated me for "The Stylish Blog Awards." Or maybe you can't. I went something like this: Adriana opens blog. Adriana reads. Eyes grow wide. Wider . . . Adriana spits coffee on monitor and falls victim to a hysterical bout of laughter.

I'm not what one would consider a blogger by any means. My topics are ecclectic. My posts sporadic as I try to juggle full-time family life with writing and my over compulsive urge to CLEAN. There are so many others out there who have beautiful pages filled with golden insights, wit, humor, emotion. They have the dedication to tend to their blogs on a regular basis, and they do such an amazing job.

Me? I dabble. I'm like the thrift-store blogger trying to make an appearance at the Emmy's in worn jeans and a faded tee. Or a cloak like trench coat as seen above. I'm about as far from stylish as I am from grace, and anyone who's ever seen me trip and stumble over "invisible" obstacles will agree!

With that said, I would like to thank Nomar for this opportunity. even with the strings attached, it's been fun. They go a little something like this: Once nominated, you must write seven things about yourself and thank the person who gave it to you. You also must nominate ten bloggers to receive the award.

Okay . . .  Here it goes!

1.  I'm fascinated by the concept of the fallen angels, and watchers who are said to walk among us. Being born on a Monday, the Arc Gabriel is my patron angel. Which probably explains my love of the moon.

2.  I'm addicted to Diet Dr. Pepper and coffee. If I don't have them I get headaches, and then I get mean.

3.  Spiders terrify me to the point of giving me panic attacks.

4.  I'm an empath and absorb any emotions around me like a sponge. I cry often and easily for people I don't even know.

5.  Light hurts my eyes. My mother claims it is from my "vampire blood." She may be right. My parents actually had my incisors FILED at the dentist's when I was a kid. Top and bottom. I had fangs. And yes, I do still bite!

6. I'm convinced muses are more than just the whisperings of our imagination. Too many strange things have happened.

7. When I get really excited, or think something is too cute . . . I start to shake from head to toe. My fingers hook and I will seize the nearest person or thing to me and squeeze with all I have. It can't be helped and it tends to be a bit painful for all involved. It's something I've done since I was a child and probably will never outgrow!

Now for the ten bloggers:










So there you have it! Be sure to check these awesome bloggers out. And again, thanks Nomar for the opportunity.

~Best wishes and happy writing!~

Jan 6, 2011

Spotlight Time! Author and poet: Nomar Knight

Nomar is someone very dear to my heart and an inspiration to many who have had the pleasure of crossing paths with him. Seldom a day goes by when I'm not awed by the sheer breadth of his talents. Most may know him as an incredible master of horror, but this man is the definition of versatile, and his skills as a poet are not to go without mention.  (I won't bring up his ability to play where the daylight burns and all that jazz. *wink*)

So, without further ado, here is a breathtaking poem penned by the one and only Mr. Knight:

On the Wings of Miracles
By Nomar Knight

It's not until I hear your voice

My breath returns

You are the very substance I crave

The melodic sound of whispers

Carried across miles of ocean

On the wings of miracles

No longer lying dormant

My will to survive

Jolts with electrical impulses

As if awakened by an impetuous Phantom

Hell-bent on destroying

Clouds saturated with ambivalence

Shock overtakes me

For the thought of escaping

An abominable crater

Built on self-depreciation

Evaporates when I hear

Your glorious call to life

Shame fills me with doubt

Surely I do not deserve your love

Angels weep and Hell grows silent

If a weakling such as I can be reborn

Then history will fold to mercy

Restoring the balance of ancient man

Speak and sprinkle words

So I can regain my place

In the presence of heavenly beauty

Your tongue nurtures

Your smile fans the flames of devotion

Forever sealing our love with the kiss of life

See? Isn't he wonderful? Be sure to check out his blog at Knight Chills and keep an eye on this up and coming author. I know there will be many great things from him in the future.

Thank you, Nomar, for allowing me the privilidge of sharing your work, and for being the fabulous man and mentor that you are!

~Best wishes and happy writing!~