Saturday, September 15, 2012

Short Story Contest

More recently I submitted my Witchery Afoot short story to a contest which can be found here.

The contest covers any and all genres so I'm sure you'll find something you would like to read. Mine just happens to be in paranormal/horror and it was a lot of fun to write. All of the authors also would appreciate comments on their short stories.

Witchery Afoot will also be published I think next month in an anthology, "Faellin Angels Realm Haunts and Horrors".

Well, I'm off to do some more writing. I hope everyone is having a great day today.

Friday, September 14, 2012


(For right now I'm calling this project Wraith but I am busily working on it)


I was sitting out on my porch just relaxing as it was reaching dusk. The shadows were lengthening with the sun so low on the horizon. Shapes were becoming indistinct all around and it finally was the time I wanted to relax for a while. Earlier in the day the kids had come back for a visit and had brought my Grandchildren with them.

Now I love them dearly but I like shorter visits then how long they spent at our house for the day. They have so much more energy than I do, the little varmints. I really do wish sometimes I was four, five and six years old once again. Being the age I am I’m sure doesn’t have any advantages for me in some ways.

While I was sitting there just about nodding off some of the shadows started coming to life. I guess that would be the best way to describe it. It was as if they were dancing and writhing on the expanse of rather dead desiccated brown grass that consisted of my lawn. At first, they weren’t making any sound which was a little disturbing but I let that pass rather quickly. I was by this time becoming very awake and sentient as they got closer.

"Come join us!" I felt it more than I heard it.

Not quite believing what was happening I asked the moving forms a question as I shook my head. I now really wanted to eliminate the unwelcome intrusion. "What are you talking about?"

Once again I felt their voice within me, "come join us".

I was really starting to believe that my mind was playing tricks on me. There was no way that something like this could be! "But I don't want to join you", I declared. "I want to stay right here where I am!"

"Oh no, we insist that you come with us now", I felt the now adamant voice inside of my head. Writhing together the phantasms came over to where I was at and began to surround me. Though I really wanted to run away I found that I just couldn't. My body was ignoring what my brain was attempting to tell it to do.

I began to feel myself rise from my chair into the air as it seemed I was floating. My heart fluttered as my fear began to overwhelm me while the phantoms began to cradle me. In moments I found myself in the middle of the yard. My every struggle against their taking hold of me proved totally ineffectual.

Everything around me began to fade into what seemed the distance. Shadows coalesced into nothing as everything disappeared that had been a part of my life. While for a few moments I could see all that had been around me clearly now it began to look much like the heat rising off of blacktop. Then it all began to fade into what seemed to be the distance as everything became lighter.

When it all started becoming clear again I could see a bright sunny field that extended below me. In the distance it looked like I could see the ocean? On the hillside began to appear to me with little buildings that made me think of little grey beehives. They were quite a distance from where I was standing. "Where the hell am I?" I looked around trying to figure it out and nothing was coming to me. There was absolutely nothing that I could recognize around me. Even the phantasms that brought me here were now nowhere to be seen. They had apparently served their purpose whatever that might be.

Having the oddest feeling I had to ask a question. "What the hell was I doing here?"

This is something I knew I would have to find out pretty soon. Under my feet the wonderful carpet of sedge and heather felt so comfortable. I began to stroll slowly towards the beehive shaped stone buildings near the bottom of the hill. For a moment I wondered what was behind me so I stopped and turned around. At the top of the hill appeared to be a high peak that was shrouded in clouds and I couldn’t see anything else.

With nothing for me to really see I began heading towards the bee hive shaped buildings again. In my ears the crunching of the heather sounded really loud with every step. The only other sound was the wind that blew around me. It was an almost constant wind that was blowing in fact. There just wasn’t anything to stop it either I figured out after a few moments except for things like the stone wall I was getting close to.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My review for Shade's Loss by Christine Worrell

Very interesting.

I love the way the author has mixed together the usual suspects in a new and different way. They aren't quite what I expected and that's a good thing. Really a thought provoking and frankly it was a very entertaining book for me to read. Normally I don't read very many books with Vampires and Werewolves but this one is quite good. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more from this author.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New project

(Don't know the final name yet but I've started writing a paranormal/fantasy piece)


“A witch and a bitch always dress up for each other, because otherwise the witch would upstage the bitch, or the bitch would upstage the witch, and the result would be havoc”

Tennessee Williams

The butcher had been a problem ever since he came to town. For the entire time he tried to drive her out and get others to help him do it.

To solve the problem Margaret decided to try a spell she had been thinking of that should scare him good. Turning a few pages she found the spell she was interested in. She grinned as she began to get the ingredients together. Feldspar, Queen Anne’s Lace and a number of other items were mixed together in the cauldron. The ingredients began to mingle and a blue glow began to emanate from within its confines. Wispy tendrils were creeping down the sides until forming into a kind of a luminous puddle.

Coalescing together the pooling essence began to get much larger. Soon the glowing mass began to take the shape of a person standing in the middle of the room. Holding out a few strands of hair to the wisp it sent out a kind of string to the cuttings. It wrapped around them and gathered them into itself.

What had almost become a solid form began to disintegrate again into a kind of mist. Unable to find any spaces between the thatching twigs it made its way to the doorway. From there it hesitated a moment before going into the open air outside. Margaret smiled thinking about how the butcher would be getting quite the surprise with his new visitor.

Mr. Frost, the butcher, was readying himself to prepare some meat for the day in his shop. He was hefting the quarter onto the stump that delivered by the farmer early in the morning. With saw in hand he was going to cut it up into amounts for the day. In the back of his mind how he hoped that all of it would sell today. All too often he had to throw at least some of it out which seemed such a waste to him.

Over a year ago he came to the little town and had set up his butcher shop. It always took time to get a business going and this one seemed to be taking longer than usual to get started. When he first came he had totally black hair and more recently his hair was becoming more and more gray. The flecks of graying became more pronounced as he worried every night about how he would keep the shop going.

He decided that witchcraft might be something that could be at fault. Since he didn’t understand what Margaret was doing he thought she could be casting spells. Who ever heard of easing childbirth? Far too proud to ask questions about what was really going on and not being really interested in the answers he just assumed the worst.

Out of the corner of his eye he could see something moving into the room from the doorway. He attempted to keep his attention on the saw he was attempting to operate, “we’re not open yet”. Receiving no response he quit attempting to cut the meat and turned observe the intruder. Seeing the glowing blue mist creeping in began to frighten him immensely.

Pooling up in the middle of the room it started to take shape. His eyes got wide and he dropped his arms to his sides. Frozen in place he couldn’t move, his mind became a complete blank. The ethereal form came closer to him and he ran outside.

When he seen that it came doorway to stand there. It now displayed glowing red eyes and fangs as the butchers face began to show his abject terror. His legs took over as he began to run down the street heedlessly. Many came to their doors and watched him fly on by shrieking. Many of the townsfolk was wondering what happened to him.

Together some of the neighbors began to talk about what they had just seen. A few stated it could be witchery afoot and many were quickly beginning to think that Margaret might be the one responsible.

"She's always been trouble!"

"We shouldn't have ever let her stay!"

"We should burn her on stake!"

She could feel what was being said in the little town as she was approaching the main road. While the little trail offered pretty good cover that wouldn't hold true in the open space she was coming to. Out of habit she put her cloak on and pulled the hood over her head. Then she observed the butcher running by as fast as his legs could carry him away from the town.

Memories of the mob that came bearing torches that night more recently once again filled her with dread. Shouts and cries filled the night and then someone had thrown their torch into one of her windows. Into the night the blaze consumed the little house. Upon reaching the thatched it became an inferno. Embers sailed up into the air and some of them lighted neighboring thatched roofs.

When this was finally noticed the mob turned into a fire brigade to save the neighboring houses. It was the single thing which saved Margaret’s life as she was able to escape. Since that evening she had numerous nightmares that it would happen again.

The next day she left the town to find a new place to live. She didn’t know ahead of time where that would be but she would know it when she had seen it. Wandering for several months she finally happened upon the quiet little hamlet of Sethmoor. Nearby the town was a wooded area and meadow where she knew she could live in peace.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My review for The Diary of a Single Parent Abroad by Jill Pennington.

Delightful, charming book.

A good touch of humor runs throughout this wonderful memoir of a woman making a new life in Italy. It really was a new life also; she all of a sudden has to raise the kids all by herself. For me it's a real example in courage and persistence. The place she describes living at in Italy, I do wish I lived at.

Needless to say, this is a story that I’m finding very difficult to put down. While there a number of sad things that happens she manages to keep her sense of humor all the way through. I really consider a very uplifting story. Anyone can overcome just about any obstacle in their life.

Ebook -
Paperback -
Facebook blog -

September 11th

Where I was when the planes into the towers was driving to my new job as a truck driver with a United Van Lines agent. In my pocket was my brand new commercial drivers license, had just graduated truck driving school the day before. At the time I had some heavy metal station playing on the radio and I was driving this Ford Bronco I had. As I recall I was annoyed at the interruption of what I wanted to listen to. It just didn't register what was really going on.

Little did I know the chain of events that morning would start. In a little over six months my first wife passed away and because nothing was really moving in the country at the time I ended up broke and lost the house. I will tell you one thing, I never want to drive a semi cross country again. It's mostly that it's actually not a very large space and I don't really like driving. I don't even have a driver's license right now and will never have one again. Of course, I may have a little resentment also regarding losing everything that I had at the time.

I found out later that taking my wife of the time on the truck with me is probably what helped to create the embolism that set off the heart attack that ended up killing her. Of course, I didn't know this until later on. If you lay around too much you can get an embolism.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Books, books, and more books...

I've been working on getting my books in a few more places recently since most of my titles no longer are Amazon exclusive.

Twelve are presently available on Amazon.

Eight of my titles are now available on Smashwords.

Five are now available on iTunes.

Four are now available on Barnes and Noble.

Two are now available on Sony. 

One is now available on Kobo.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Text to Speech

One powerful tool for any author is to hear their manuscript being read to them. This is what helped me to get straight A's on term papers while in college. For me, it doesn't help so much to hear myself read it out loud. What makes a difference for me is to hear the computer read it out loud. It’s amazing, I can actually hear where a comma needs to be in a sentence. I wonder if Arthur C Clarke would let me use HAL for a while… LOL!

Presently, I have a free text to speech add-in for Word 2010 called WordTalk. It seems to work pretty well and I'll be going over a couple of my books that are already out this winter. One text to speech add-in that is really good that I've used in the past is Dragon Naturally Speaking. While the one I have now is pretty good, Dragon I'll admit is better.

I wish I could find one for my Blackberry but I haven't been successful finding one that works well. The ones I’ve gotten so far do a word or two, mostly helping with pronunciation. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll find one for the netbook. It's just so underpowered but it has been useful creating rough drafts at least.