Thursday, June 29, 2023

Google Search... I'd Rather Not

So for this post, I was supposed to do a Google Search topic but I don't really want to do that because to me that feels like work, and work, is the whole reason I haven't been able to keep up with these posts most of this year. Also, I'm a little tired of Google search and I'm going to make a one-minute case of why you should be too. 

As someone who's done SEO work and brought in over a million users on places like, I know about the magic of Google. I can tell you all about content strategy and how places used Google search to drive keyword traffic. Try to rank at the top of a search result for questions like 'Which place in Miami has the best Tapas' or 'Why do I feel so dead inside in 2023' because if you could rank in the top 10 answers within the search results, you could 'theoretically' bring in foot traffic with the hopes of capitalism click-to-orders of your books, products, or brand.

I can also tell you why Google has effectively become the backbone of the internet itself. How it is that every top (insert blah here) listicle is constructed, was since the days of Buzzfeed, a means of bringing in even more search traffic results. 

Having worked for companies whose entire business model was click-farms, all of this has little to do with presenting anything of actual value so much as it is really old marketing techniques from 10 years ago that's slowly going the way of Dinosaur status. Dead, gone, and repurposed for fuel. This is where we're sort of entering the world as of late and I firmly believe that people don't actually want the truth. Especially from a search. In fact, I'd go out of my way that I really do believe most just want things that confirm their own beliefs. And ergo proxy, their own biases.

It's strange when you think about it. How much has to do with the utilization of smartphone technology. That despite all bullshit promises, expertise, and authority, this really isn't what ranks for top results in a world where we generally don't care about specialization of knowledge. Nor labor. Double-so with the ongoing AI boom where most of the technology, media, and finance spaces, the premiums largest companies anyway such as your Microsofts and Googles, are heading in terms of direction.

I kind of miss us NOT knowing the answer from Google search results. Or better so, NOT knowing the answer WE WANT to confirm our own biases. These search results catered to the user's experience and click-rate probability matrix. Which is heavily connected to data-tracking software trends and queries. 

I stress this all because we're seeing more and more that AI? Often gets things wrong. The facts are not the facts it's just what you want to see. All according to a little probability.

I can't speak for the rest of you but I am hopelessly longing for a pre-search engine day a little. Before the internet answered all of your questions for you. Better yet, when the use of a library still felt like something real. 

There was a sense of wonder in a world where we didn't have all the answers at our fingertips. Biases and all. So. Yeah. I'm done with Google-Search questions. Because if you're in any way shape or form a minority in a subcategory? 

This robot doesn't give a shit about your authority on a subject. 

Nor will it. 

Again, AI is driven by traffic results. Not the truth (And having worked at multiple outlets whose only real 'authority' on a subject was in being an old website or getting traffic through the door, it's let's be clear, the same way someone like, say Joe Rogan gets traffic through a door, sure). 

The cherry on top? Studies have shown time and time again, AI is kinda sorta almost always, racist

So yeah. I'm not super into Google search anymore. 

Monday, June 26, 2023

Back Jacket Hack-Job..... MWAHAHAHA

Hey diddily ho, everyone. I'm back, and this month it's my turn to twist the plot of a book in order to mangle the back-cover synopsis. I hope you enjoy....

Why are children such horrible bullies?

All it wants is to sleep, but even the deepest of dreamers has to awaken now and then for sustenance. A carnivore, yes, and that's all the world sees. No one appreciates its restraint - IT only eats every 27 years. Yet, it's demonised simply for where it sits in the food chain. No one calls a lion "evil" or "a monster" for taking down a gazelle.

Pennywise, the only creature of its kind in a lonely universe, rises from its slumber and goes out in search of company. But no one wants to be friends with something so different. They call it names, dramatically scream at it just to hurt its feelings, and take any and every opportunity to exclude it from their fun.

Is it any wonder, then, that eventually Pennywise stops making the effort? Is it any wonder that these horrid, spiteful kids end up on the menu?

Pennywise must feed before it can return to its slumber, and the clock is ticking. It starves while its prey mocks and avoids it. It's the same as anyone else - we all need to eat - but every attempt IT makes to feed ends in disappointment and hunger pangs.

Will IT get what it needs to survive, or will this rogue bunch of preteens be its undoing?

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Zombacon (Preview)

The Romp was particularly slow for a Friday night. There were a few of the regulars, yeah, but overall, the club was serving crickets. Sapphire Black finished out her new routine with only a handful of twenties in her gray lace g-string, and fuck, a few singles too. She grabbed the wad of sweaty crumpled bills and stuffed them into her rhinestone bra as she grumpily climbed off stage, her six inch stiletto heels clacking like the hooves of a pissed off horse. With the blinding silvery lights obstructing her view, she wasn’t able to make out the features of the heavyset man in the corner booth, but Saphire already pegged him as a red flag from the moment he’d sat down. He wasn’t drinking anything, he was alone, and he hadn’t fished for his wallet once since she’d first gotten on stage to the club mix of AWOL Nation’s Sail four minutes ago.

Saphire Black, a.k.a. Genevieve LaRoe was a veteran dancer at The Romp. She’d worked here back when it was called Down Bad, before the renovations and the new owner classed up the place, upgrading it from a seedy strip club at the edge of town to a seedy strip club at the edge of town with new DJ equipment and a slightly less cockroach infested kitchen. 

Her long wavy hair, falling to her waist in rivulets of raven black silk, high glass-cutter cheekbones, and large bedrooms eyes of cerelean blue had helped her come up with her stage name. A sheen of sweat glistened on her deeply tanned skin, and Saphire sashayed backstage to the dressing room. A quick peek at her phone told her that was all folks. It was nearly 3 AM, and her shift was over.

“Hey, Gen?” 

It was the manager, Maxine, a fifty-ish woman with dark blonde hair and a thick figure. She was poking her head into the dressing room. “You got time for a Red Room request?”

“Fuck, yeah,” Genevieve replied, almost too enthusiastically. “I’m fucking dying tonight.”

“It’s been slow for all of us,” Another stripper called Frita offered from her post in front of the makeup mirror. “Go get ‘em, Sport.”

“Make that money!” Velvet’s high titter followed as Genevieve toweled off and headed right back out again, those stiletto heels punctuating every purposeful step.

She followed Maxine out into the bar again and sheilded her eyes against the blinding lights, following the gaze of her manager to the corner booth. Great. The weirdo newbie. Boundaries were going to be crossed for sure. 

“Take good care of him,” Maxine whispered, “He paid double for you.”

“For me?” Genevieve, now rolling as Saphire queiried. “I’v never even seen him in here before.”

Maxine shrugged with one shoulder. “It’s not our job to know his reasons, just to get his money. Go to it.”

The older woman turned on her heel and left the nearly empty showroom. Saphire locked eyes with the man in the booth as he stood, his gut catching on the table end as he did so. Saphire forced a flirtatious smile and shimmied up to him, taking his arm.

“Follow me, handsome,” she purred, and led him towards the Red Room. “What’s your name?”

The man cleared a wad of phlegm grossly from his throat before he answered in a timid wheeze, “Mike.”

Sapphire tensed up at the sound of his voice. He sounded sick. She hoped he wouldn’t pass it along to her. After an already slim week, she couldn’t afford to miss work, and no one wanted to watch a stripper pause between dances to blow her nose.

“Take a seat, big boy.” 

The man sank heavily onto the red leather couch, his bulk causing the air to slowly whoosh from the cushions as he sank down into it. The Weeknd started crackling through the speakers. Sapphire began to shimmy side to side, running her manicured fingers down the curves of her breasts, over her exposed and pierced belly button, across her hips and thighs, all the while keeping her blue eyes on Mike. She smiled seductively at him even when he uncomfortably rummaged around in his pocket, clearly jerking off. It wasn’t the first time, it certainly wouldn’t be the last. She just hoped he wouldn’t jizz in his pants before she’d even had a chance to get through one song. The longer she could tease them, the bigger the tips would be. 

“Tell me, Mike,” Sapphire said huskily as she inched closer to him, rubbing her tits as she slung a dangerously pointy heel onto the section of booth beside him, giving him a good look at her long legs. “Where are you from?”

“Uh, Dallas,” the fat man said nervously. Sapphire caught a whiff of his body odor as she climbed over him like a dismissive cat, shoving her breasts into his face. She wrinkled her nose, but only for a second, not wanting to put him off. 

As she’d expected, the newcomer started to get a little more brazen as Sapphire upped the ante with her strip tease and flung her bra to the floor. The bulge in his pants became more noticeable. His hand left his pocket just long enough to reach forward to caress one of her breasts. Sapphire Black gave his hand a gentle slap.

“Touching is extra,” she warned.

“I paid double,” Mike balked, frowning.

“That’s your problem, not mine.”

Mike frowned again, and slipped a hand into his other pocket, pulling out a stiff handful of twenties. Sapphire batted her eyes at him as she daintily plucked the bills from his hand and shoved them into her waistband.

“That’s a good boy,” she crooned, and then without warning, seized Mike by his hair, and shoved his face between her breasts. He tensed at first, then gave a muffled moan of ecstasy.

“You here on business?” Sapphire asked casually while she let him motorboat her.

Mike came up for air long enough to hiss, “At the lab.”

“The lab? You’re a scientist?”

Sapphire slid up against him, laughing haughtily as she felt the sporadic jerking motion from the bulge at his crotch, and then the following wetness that could only mean he’d come in his pants. 

“Dallas, huh?” She continued, not wanting to encourage an early end to her private show. Depending on his stamina, she could probably encourage that wet spot to grow bigger, as well as the wad of cash in her g-string.

Mike gave a raspy groan from the depths of her cleavage, and suddenly Gevenive LaRoe came back full force as she felt a stab of pinching pain in her right breast. She jumped back, screeching as fresh blood began to roll down her bare belly.

“Did you just fucking bite me?” Gen demanded, her hand to her chest. She scowled angrily at the customer, and then her face fell as she noticed all of the color...ALL of it, had completely drained from Mike’s flesh. 

The ruddy, feverish tone he had come in with was stark white, though sweat poured from him like he’d just spent a day in the sauna. Then, the smell hit her, unmistakably shit. Mike stood quickly, and fresh diarrhea ran down his pant legs onto the seat behind him. Genevieve gagged and covered her mouth. Jesus, this guy was sicker than she’d suspected. She’d seen some fucked up things in her last four years as a stripper, but this was the first time someone had actually crapped themselves in the middle of a lap dance.

Suddenly, Mike doubled over and gurgled as he exploded from the other end, spraying bloody vomit all over the carpet. Genevieve cried out and ran for the closed door, banging on it to get someone’s attention over the beat of the music. 

“Get me outta here!” She called. “Maxine?”

A horrendous choking sound caused Genevieve to spin back around. Mike had gone to his knees into his own mess. He hands clutched at his face as blood erupted from his orafices. Then, he howled in agony as something black and fleshy dangled out of his mouth like a dead eel. It was his tongue. Gen screamed again and threw herself at the door, realizing with dismay that it was blocked from the outside. Someone had shut her in with this diseased freak.

Mike groaned, and this time the sound was less human than it was animal-like. With a wet rip, he reached up and yanked the blackened tongue straight out of his mouth, flinging it aside. More black blood oozed from his mouth, and then Genevieve noticed that his fingers were fusing together and darkening, hardening, almost like...hooves?

He roared and rose to his feet, tearing the clothing from his body. His skin rippled and twisted as he did so, ripping open at the shoulders as a lump of bone matter protruded from his back. He vomited again, projecting it across the room and splashing Genevieve before she could leap out of the way. She could see that several of his teeth had come with it, and gagged, scrambling away on her backside. She reached down and pulled off one of her stiletto heels, preparing to fight him off if she had to. He was coming for her, his voice a phlegmy squeal, his skin sallow, his face a melting nightmare. Long jagged tusks burst from the sides of his cheeks, tearing his mouth into a ragged joker grin. He lumbered over top of her with hands that were now black, misshapen hooves. Drool dripped copiously from his ruined mouth. The stench was overpowering.

“You fucking PIG!” Genevieve screamed as she swung her heel straight into the side of the Not-Mike thing gurgling over her. She felt the end plunge into weakened skull and burst through into gooey mush. It stuck there as the creature quailed in pain and clutched with it’s hoof-like paws at the heel imbedded in its skull. 

Gen jumped to her feet, covered in splatters of blood, drool, and vomit as she rammed her shoulder into the door with al her might, cheering when she felt it give a little. There was a body propped up against the door. It was what was left of Maxine. Her face was just gone, mangled to the point that it resembled hamburger meat. Gallons of blood must have covered the woman. 

“Maxine!” She cried, but she had no time to bend down and check on the obviously dead strip club manager. The Not-Mike thing behind her had wrenched the shoe from it’s head, and was now barreling toward her, snarling.

With a mighty heave, Gen shoved the door all the way open, toppling Maxine’s body over. And that’s when she got a good look at the pandemonium overwhelming The Romp.

The floor, walls, tables, stage were all splattered in blood. Customers and staff alike were screaming as they tried to fend off more malformed monstrosities resembling Mike in one way or another. Frita was crawling across the blood slicked stage, clutching at the remains of her right leg. One of the things was gnashing and scrambling toward her, unable to hike it’s bloated form up onto stage to finish her off. Genevieve watched in horror as the exposed muscle and tendon in her co-worker’s leg started to blacken before her eyes. The woman’s wails were cut off only by the gush of bloody vomit spurting from her mouth, and then, her skin began to ripple.

“Jesus Christ!” Genevieve shrieked, “She’s turning into one of them!”

The floor dropped out of her stomach as Genevieve touched the bite wound on her bare breast. Was this about to happen to her? How fast did this disease take over? No time to worry about that now. One of the things, one that looked like it used to be Velvet based on the tattered remain of the sequin romper clinging to the boil-infested twisted flesh, was half-running, half-stumbling towards her. It’s left leg was a mound of blue-black tumors spiraling down from shreds of what was once a toned thigh. It reached for her with spindly arms that were too long, and fingers that were fused together, but sprouted long dangerous looking curved black claws. Her face, if you could even call it a face anymore, had eyes sunken so far back into the malformed skull they almost weren’t there. One ear hung on shreds of gristle from the side of her head. It threw it’s head back and squealed like a demented pig as it came for her.

Genevieve had to think fast. She lifted her foot and kicked at it with her remaining stiletto, and the heel drove into the protruding roll of sickly white flesh that was the Velvet pig beast’s belly. She pulled back, and found that her foot was now stuck in it’s flesh. The Velvet pig snorted in a manner that sounded almost like laughter. It seized her leg in one of its horrendous claws, sinking the razor ends into her calf. Genevieve screamed as she wrenched leg leg back as hard as she could. Her foot came free of the shoe, and the claws raked down her skin as she pulled out of it’s grasp. The stiletto remained imbedded in it’s stomach, looking like an oversized belly ring.

The nearly naked Genevieve spun on her heel and began to run for the door to the club, the screams and garbled wet splattering sounds thundering in her ears. Two of the piggish monstrosities were fighting over a corpse, blocking the front door. One of them had the remains of the poor sap’s feet in its hideous protruding maw, and was shaking its head like a dog with a squeak toy. The other had the man’s throat between it’s jaws, and its massive blocky head lowered. Three deformed tusks jutted from one side of it’s torn mouth. It’s wrinkled, runny snout oozed green mucus as it snorted its displeasure back at the other. The two growled and snarled through their visceral tug of war match until finally, the corpse’s head separated from its neck in a flood of gore and blood. The first beast roared in triumph as it dragged the bulk of it’s kill backwards, leaving a small opening by the door. Gen decided to risk it.

She bolted for the door and seized the bloody handle, twisting it hurriedly as the loser of the tug of war match screeched and flung the head at her. She felt it bounce sickeningly off her back as she flung the door open and burst into the cold night air in nothing but a pair of lace panties.

The streets were alight with frantic headlights as cars screeched out of control amongst the lumbering pig monsters clamoring toward them. An SUV headed right toward one of the monsters, and the beast lowered its head like a bull and charged at it, connecting with the front end. Metal and glass exploded around it, and the right headlight went out as the creature’s tusk went right through it. The horn blared angrily, but the pig monster had not been harmed, and was now clamoring over the hood and smashing through the windshield with one gnarled rock of a hand. Genevieve heard the driver’s screams cut off suddenly when the deformed maw closed over his head, and then there was another crunch, and she looked away, eyes squeezed shut.

“Hey! Over here!”

The voice snapped her to attention. Genevieve opened her eyes and spun around, seein what looked like a beat up version of the Mystery Machine rolling up over the curb. The window was rolled down, and a middle aged man with a scraggly goatee and a blood streaked Hawaiian shirt was waving to her. Without thinking, Genevieve bolted down the street toward it, not caring who this guy was or what his intentions were. He was human, he was alive, and he was her only chance.

As she got closer, the street lights illuminated the faded gray paint job and sliding side door that was already opening for her. A woman waved to her from the back.


Genevieve didn’t have to be told twice. She reached for the woman’s outstretched hand and leaped inside, and before her bare feet even connected with the van’s metal floor, the driver stepped on it, and they careened off the curb, slamming into another piggish monstrosity as it did. The thing shrieked and went down head first, it’s ass end pointed to the moon, a remnent of backbone curling out of its hindquarters in a bloody ringlet of a tail. 

The woman and Genevieve worked together to slide the door shut again as the driver maneuvered them through the nightmare. The neon sign of The Romp became smaller and smaller as they sped down the blood streaked road.

“I’m Reby,” the woman finally said, sticking out a slender hand for Gen to shake. She nodded towards the driver. “That’s Alberto.”

“What the fuck is going on?” Genevieve demanded, ignoring the hand.

“The end of the world, sweetheart,” Alberto called from the front. “Welcome to the resistance.”

“First,” Reby added, “We’re getting the fuck out of here.”

Monday, June 19, 2023

A Little Experiment

Hey everyone! Mary here, just back from Awesome Con and already packing for Origins (oof, back-to-back cons are always rough for me...). My brain isn't in the right place to write anything thoughtful, so I'm just gonna tell y'all about a little con experiment I've been trying.

At this point in my writing life, I've been in quite a few anthologies. As I wrote about previously, I like to use these anthos as a low-commitment way to experiment with new genres. I've also gotten to a point where it's no longer feasible to tote all these anthologies around to conventions, mostly because, sadly, not every Mary has a bottomless carpetbag

So back in January, after exhibiting at MAGFest, I got the idea to reprint some of my older stories, whose rights had reverted, as standalone baby books. I'd previously printed a short story of mine, "The Adventure of the Silicon Beeches," as a baby book because the anthology it was meant to be a part of never came together, and I'd noticed it tended to randomly sell itself at cons. As in, I'd have it on the table, but I wouldn't really pitch it, and some people would scoop it up anyway because it seemed fun and low commitment (I was originally selling it for $5 a pop; I've since had to bump that up thanks to inflation).

I originally wanted to print these stories literally as pamphlets, hoping to keep 'em cheap, but all the printing companies I looked at required minimum orders of a few hundred for the per-unit cost to make sense. I only wanted to print, like, 20 of each at a time, so back to Amazon KDP it was.

I did the covers and formatting myself, thanks to Canva and Microsoft Word (it helped that I already had a template from "Silicon Beeches), so the total cost of producing these baby books was maybe $2 each for the stock art on the covers. Chucked 'em onto Amazon and voila! "The False Nightingale," "The Last Gunslinger," "The Messenger," and "Haven," all originally published in themed anthologies (Magic at Midnight, Thrilling Adventure Yarns, Keep Faith, and Pangaea III) now stand by themselves.

Okay, so there was a middle step before voila. I disclosed on the copyright pages that these stories had originally been parts of anthologies, and either because of that or because of some algorithm, the Mighty 'Zon requested paperwork proving that the rights had been reverted. I suppose that's kinda encouraging? Make sure y'all have contracts, folks!

I took said baby books, each between 50-100 pages long, to Awesome Con and stuck 'em on the end of the table. Again, I didn't really pitch them, just said "here are short reads for if you're looking for something quick." And they did surprisingly well! The con overall was pretty much a dud for sales (might've been the placement of my table, since there wasn't even much foot traffic), but the "littles," as I've taken to calling them (thanks to Paige Daniels, who's reprinting some of her short stories as well), over performed considering I didn't even know how to talk about them other than "here, they're short." People tended to just pick them up, read the back, and buy them if it appealed to them, no hemming and hawing with the usual "do I have enough space for this" or "but I've spent so much money already."

So I guess the conclusion I can draw is that little, cheap, low commitment short stories lend themselves well to impulse buys. And it's a nice way to add more options to the table in a year where I've fallen way behind on my novels...

Thursday, June 15, 2023

The Argument against Arguing (or, The Value of not Tolerating Assholes)

If you've been on the internet, you know people like to argue. About literally everything. 

Monty Python had Twitter figured out 34 years before it was created. 

Movies, politics, sports, best regional cuisine... everything. 

Why do we argue? Well, it's fun! Usually! That is, it's fun when it's not about something serious. 

My co-workers are largely Jets fans, which made it lots of fun for me to wear my Philadelphia Eagles gear throughout their recent playoff run. They're also Yankees fans, which makes it a joy to tease them whenever the Yankees have one of their occasional stumbles. This doesn't rise above the level of good-natured ribbing. I'm not going to refuse to work with them because their evil Yankees beat my beloved Blue Jays or Mets. 

I'm not going to end my friendship with someone if they don't agree with me that DiFara's in Brooklyn has the best pizza in New York City. I'll just tell them they have no taste. My friends and fellow ATB writers Christian, Mary and Karissa are constantly arguing with me about which Star Wars movies are better. Mary and Karissa adore the romance of Ani and Padme in Attack of the Clones, and I think that is by far the worst one. They in turn cannot understand why I do not share their loathing of The Last Jedi. 

What swoony dialogue!

I am going to end my friendship with someone if they start telling me that my trans friends and colleagues don't have a right to exist. 

In the grand scheme of the universe, it does not matter if you don't like superhero films or if you think Crumbl cookies are overrated and that they're underbaked. It doesn't matter if I think you're wrong. It's a matter of taste.

What I object to is the conflation of basic human rights with matters of opinion and taste. There's this idea, mainly put forth by well-meaning liberals, that if we can only have a structured Robert's Rules of Order debate about the issues of the day then we can come to a reasonable solution to our problems.

Sorry, but that's horseshit. It's impossible to have a good faith argument with people who refuse to argue in good faith. And if you get roped into a "debate" with a bad faith actor, then you've already lost. 

It can't have escaped your notice that Pride Month feels a lot more fraught than usual. Right Wing culture freaks have grabbed onto anti-gay and anti-trans rhetoric as a cudgel to score political points. Ron DeSantis is using his "Don't Say Gay" bill and his attempts to brand parents of trans kids as child abusers as a way to launch his presidential campaign. This is wrapped in the language of protecting the children from sexual deviants, which is identical to the language used in the '80s and '90s. 

Do you want to debate these hatemongers? You are already letting them set the terms. Their starting point is "trans people should not be allowed to exist," and that is not actually a point that needs to be debated. Then they'll try and change the goalposts. Oh no, they say, we are just extremely concerned about women's sports. (I'm normally very opposed to gatekeeping, but I have no problem if you ask anyone playing the Women's Sports card to name three WNBA teams.)

Are you familiar with the Paradox of Tolerance? If not, here is a helpful web comic to illustrate it:

Basically, the more you tolerate hate, the more you allow hate to take over and the more you endanger the tolerance you sought to protect. 

So please, this Pride Month, please do not get baited into pointless arguments on social media. Block them and move on. There's no need to entertain people playing Devil's Advocate (and why exactly are you advocating for the Prince of Darkness anyway?) It is never a good faith conversation. It is entirely an attempt to mainline hatred while trying to but their college debate skills to some use. 

I am willing to tolerate your extremely wrong opinions about The Last Jedi. That movie is really good. 

See you on Twitter. Happy Pride!

Monday, June 12, 2023

Book Review: Of Mice And Wolfmen

"Of Mice and Wolfmen" by Joe Pasquale. I was sent my copy in exchange for a honest review. 

This fantastic collection by Pasquale is for every person whose read and loved Stoker, Lovecraft, Shelley, and Poe. Think classic horror fiction that delves into and explores the human condition. There wasn't a single story inside this book that didn't blow me away. 

Out of the twelve stories inside of this collection, I chose a top four. My favorites were "The Umpire Strikes Back", "The After Effects of Love", "Abradaver" and "The Spinster". 

"The Umpire Strikes Back" is the opening story and it really sets the tone for the collection. I can't go into too much detail here without ruining the story but I absolutely loved it and found myself incredibly grossed out. 

"The After Effects of Love" takes a lot of the concerns and worries we had about the Covid vaccination and plays off those fears inside this story. The thought behind this was really creepy and incredibly uncomfortable, posing questions we've all asked a time or two. 

"Abradaver" is a story about the magnificently magical Harry Houdini. For fans of Harry, this story is definitely for you. 

"The Spinster" is a tale of speed dating gone wrong. Not everyone you go home with has the same intentions that you do.

This collection proves without a doubt that not all things are as they seem. As an avid lover of Poe, I deeply appreciated the atmospheric horror these stories all possessed and highly encourage you to get this added to your TBR.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Release Announcement: THE THING UNDER YOUR BED

Another quality post brought to you by Steve! 

Hey, everybody!

I'm pretty excited about this one.  Nearly ten years ago I wrote and recorded a short story called "The Thing Under the Bed" for 2014 Horror Addicts Masters of the Macabre competition.  It was based on three prompts, which I think were "bed," "fire," and "Big Ben."  So, uh, yeah, that one ended up taking place in London for some reason.

But the idea of a horror story that takes place entirely in a child's bedroom as they face down with the boogeyman has fascinated me ever since.  A few years ago I finally expanded it into the novella which you can now hold in your hands.  I've already had interest from not one, but two movie studios (let the bidding war begin!) which is equally as thrilling.  I wrote it specifically with the thought of being an inexpensive concept for an indie film, having, as it does, a single location and very few characters, a la Max Booth's "We Need to Do Something."  So, here's hoping.

In the meantime, I do intend to record the audiobook of the novella myself, which is something I've also been very interested in doing.  And in the meantime meantime, you can just grab a copy as of today.  So do you dare face down THE THING UNDER YOUR BED?  If so, you can pick it up at:
Barnes & Noble

Or, let us know how you felt about it here:

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