Sunday, July 18, 2021

Midwinter by Chad Schimke

Midwinter by Chad Schimke - When the first edge of the setting Father Sun touches the horizon, the High Priest lights fire to the wicker man. A Teryn stands on the shoulders of his ancestors during Winter Solstice on Salisbury Plain. Follow the tale of the lone pine, from the bluestone cliffs of South Wales, to the hamlet of Feldmid. Read ‘Midwinter’ today!

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Behind the Walls by Chad Schimke


Behind the Walls by Chad Schimke – Distant communities try to come together after the Die Back. But every time, the story ends up the same way. Food ran out, brigands attacked, or people couldn’t stand living together again, after the apocalypse. Why not here? At Litogot Township. An ex-military man makes it his mission to find out. Read ‘Behind the Walls’ today!

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The Merchandiser by Chad Schimke


The Merchandiser by Chad Schimke  – When a merchandiser becomes preoccupied with decorations, he gives in to his chilling obsession. Second best will have to do, but he makes the most of it. Fear meets perfection in this unnerving tale, set against a backdrop of stark film noir. Read ‘The Merchandiser’ today!

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Hallowmas by Chad Schimke


Hallowmas by Chad Schimke – Kids decorate a haunted house for a holiday get-together on the spookiest night of the year. They’re unaware that a creeping stranger is watching them through the window. On All Hallow’s Eve… a night when supernatural entities roam free. Read ‘Hallowmas’ today!

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The Costumer by Chad Schimke


The Costumer by Chad Schimke – Life’s rough in NYC in 1989, especially when all you really need is someone to talk to. Don’t go it alone, pick up the phone - because time, time, time will tell… when it’s safe to go back home. Step inside the costumer’s closet backstage on opening night, for the worst New Year's Eve of your life. Snap to it because time is running out. Read ‘The Costumer’ today!

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Vivified by Chad Schimke


Vivified by Chad Schimke - When a young father doesn’t have access to his car, he decides to take a train ride. No biggie, he’s a successful business man used to making hard decisions. But a deadly incident will force him to reexamine what’s truly important. Living his best life, and then … dead. Find out what happens next in this weird paranormal short story. Read ‘Vivified’ today!

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Saturday, July 17, 2021

Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript by Chuck Sambuchino

Formatting & Submitting Your ManuscriptFormatting & Submitting Your Manuscript by Writer's Digest Books
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

FORMATTING AND SUBMITTING YOUR MANUSCRIPT - Nobody ever said writing was easy. The fact is this: good fiction is partly due to following structured rules, allowing creative brainstorms and utilizing sound business practices. If you write for publication, then you need to understand submissions, that’s the topic of this post. Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript by Chuck Sambuchino is a good addition to your writing reference library. Why is that? Because, this book covers all of the basics in an abbreviated sort of way, with callouts to identify/ explain important elements. That includes query letters, novel synopses, book proposals, manuscript pages, etc. There are rules to follow so that you come across as professional, polished and publishable. The book provides examples so you will have a good grasp of what works and what doesn’t. If you have read any of my review posts on writing reference, you will know that I don’t recommend a lot of writing reference books. That’s because beginning writers need relevant information and don’t have any time to waste. You’re probably going to spend a hundred hours on a novel length manuscript.

My suggestion is to focus on the three most important writing reference books, see below for my short list. If you’ve always wanted to try writing I encourage you to give it a try. Good luck!
1. Book in a Month (BIAM) by Victoria Lynn Schmidt
2. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King
3. Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript by Chuck Sambuchino

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Sunday, July 11, 2021

Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand 1957


Atlas ShruggedAtlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand 1957
While investigating a ruined factory, a railroad magnate finds a strange electric motor.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

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Sunday, July 4, 2021



TEN-YEAR ANNIVERSARY BLOG POST  - In 2011, I wrote my very first blog post, which felt like shouting into the wind. I started without even being sure my posts would be read. I had a blog, but what do I write about? One thing I knew – I’d write about what interested me, that would also (maybe) resonate with readers. I had no sponsorship, collected no monetization, and still don’t. Not being beholden to anyone gave me the latitude to only write about what held my interest. Ten years later, my blog receives over one million hits every month. Wow that’s a lot! But a decade ago, as I sat down to write, I yearned to understand how postings were being perceived. I read every comment, learned how to check post metrics, and viewed the responses. I learned how different platforms vary, and the value of building a dedicated site with a mailing list. Audience feedback helped shape my tastes, which narrowed over time; toward horror, scifi and dark fantasy books and movies. I never envisioned so many eyes would be on my stuff, when I started this little blog. But what has blogging done for me, you might ask? I can’t go into every skill I learned along the way. Much of them were technical, and learning in this electronic era is never truly done. Lettering and layout in digital design led to taking up drawing and painting again. I'm also getting back into creating tiny DIY miniatures. Writing posts sharpened my voice in essays, while writing fiction developed my storytelling. That’s all good, but what will the next decade of posts be about? You’ll have to stick around to find out. The recent signed paperback contest was a huge success which I’ll be repeating. The only way to get the next invite is by signing up on my mailing list.

Sunday, June 27, 2021



THE PORTRAIT OF MR. W.H. - The Portrait of Mr. W.H. by Oscar Wilde is a great compact little book. I have the pocket edition. It’s not a full book, but more like a novelette: longer than a short story, shorter than a novella. There are two pieces contained within. Part 1.) The Portrait of Mr. WH. It advances the idea that Shakespeare’s Sonnets are dedicated to Willie Hughes (Mr. WH). The intrigue centers on a purported portrait of an effeminate male actor depicted in female roles. Not unusual in Shakespeare’s days, since only males were allowed to perform on stage of the Globe Theatre in Elizabethan England. Part 2.) The Ballad of Reading Gaol. It’s very dark, apparently the last work completed prior to his death. The poem is organized in six sections with images of trials, prisons, wardens, guards and the hangman’s gallows. There is conflicting information as to whether the poem’s genesis was his imprisonment for A. moral reasons or B. loss of a libel case. Nonetheless, the mood is severe, reinforced by the poem’s melodic structure. Wilde’s quotations are brilliant short witticisms, his plays are societal intrigues constructed of effervescent dialogue and his involvement in the aesthetic movement promoted gilding the lily, in other words, art for art’s sake.

Sunday, June 20, 2021



BLACK SUMMER SEASON 2 - Where we last left off, our single mother attempts and fails to kill a fast-running zombie. Not only that, she also has to worry about her daughter’s safety too, as they have been hiking the snowy mountain trail together. Both fight their way to the door of a house, and finding it locked, are permitted to enter after a brief delay. Welcome to your temporary new home.  Unfortunately, risking fate at the hands of their new housemates might be worse than death by zombie. What does all this mean? It means the formidable talent that is Karl Schaefer is back at it again. Black Summer season 2 is the best zombie movie of 2021 and probably the best zombie series of all time. I watched the whole thing in one sitting, start to finish. The action and fight scenes worked as well as the 1st season. But the “lulls” in-between worked even better. Both lead actors were great before, and even better now. That’s it, I could keep going. I’m not going to spoil the story. Created by Karl Schaefer, Netflix released 8 episodes in June 2021, as a follow up to the 1st season in 2019. My hunch says the show will certainly be renewed for a 3rd season and beyond. Here’s to more original post-apocalyptic series and movies! Yeah all that, and the series title is misleading. It’s ironic, I suppose.

Black Summer season 2

Black Summer season 1

Monday, June 14, 2021

The Body Snatchers Jack Finney 1955


Invasion of the Body SnatchersInvasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Body Snatchers Jack Finney 1955
When seeds invade Santa Mira, unsuspecting sleeping residents disappear and are quietly replaced with nonhuman duplicates.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021


Get Reading Horror on BookFunnel  - Claim your free e-book.

Get Reading Horror – A Facebook group, but also a fantastic fiction collection, see above. It’s by a community of horror enthusiasts - around for a good time but not a long time. Get yours now.

Get Writing Horror – A horrifying group, in the fun, smart way. Eh, you get my point.