Friday, November 27, 2015


This is my Friday Frights this week. The theme this month is Thanksgiving Gone Wrong. Wrong is in the eye of the beholder . . .

                                                     Deuces Wild

       Deuces wild. High stakes. In fact, the highest.

      Joe is desperate to do whatever it takes to save his son. Johnny has a rare blood disorder requiring copious amounts of blood transfusions to keep him alive, transfusions costing many thousands of dollars a month. His insurance was paying for it, until Joe was laid off and his insurance was dropped. Now  there is barely enough money for the basic necessities, let alone this.

     This card game, on Thanksgiving Day no less, is his only chance. He has to win. There is no other alternative. He needs the money for an operation to be performed tomorrow.

     His wife, such as she is, abandoned the two of them when Johnny’s disease was diagnosed. She never had been much of a wife, but now she adds horrible mother to her resume as well. They managed just fine until his lay-off. It is a whole different ball game now.

     Joe is a master at poker. He has never before played the truly high stakes games at the highest levels, but in his neck of the woods, he is a legend; unbeatable; the best. Tonight he will play the titans of the world.

     His mom is home watching Johnny, knowing what Joe is doing but not really knowing. Joe borrowed some money from his uncle and now he is here, sitting at Table Number One, a huge assemblage of chips in front of him. At the moment, the game belongs to him. Yes, two and a half million dollars in chips are his, thanks to him winning the last pot.

     A new man enters the room, dressed all in black, complete with dark sun-glasses and a Satanic hoody covering his head. Joe is not taken back by this. Many of the players wear hoods and shades to hide their emotions. Joe is the true master of the poker face and does not need the fancy crap. Bring them on. He’ll stare down any of them.

     And yet . . .

     The stranger does not say a word, merely taking a seat directly across from Joe. The dealer announces Deuces Wild, and the new man grins, seemingly licking his chops, his stare forcing its way into Joe’s head in spite of the subterfuge of the dark eye covering.

     Evil. Something about the man drips of evil. There is a heavy odor of some malicious intent in the room that was not there before his presence darkened the playing table. Joe has a hunch-much more than a poker hunch- that the stakes will now be upped.

    The play is heady, Joe and the stranger taking all the pots, seemingly making this a two man show, the others there merely to fatten the kitty. An audience builds, spellbound by the play, wondering how long the two main combatants will hold court. Back and forth, the expertise of the two men enthralling the onlookers.

     Joe is in to it, confidence building, knowing the main cards will be played later. The stranger has a complete poker face now, no emotion showing at all. The time for sneering grins is over.

     The last pot of the tourney. Three and a half million bucks sitting on the table, talking to both of them. Here it is: the coup-de-gras. If  Joe wins this, he’s sitting good. He must win!

     Ah, but the tension in the room becomes thick as the stranger’s two exposed cards show aces. Aces! And the deuces! My God! With two deuces, he would be holding four aces.

     Now the smile, the weird, evil grin returns, filled with some overwhelming horror, a display of victory ahead of the fact. There are still more cards to be dealt, but he’s acting as if  it’s finished: the hand is his.

    Four deuces in the deck. How many does he have?

     Joe’s hand right now shows Ace, King, Queen. Possible Royal Flush. Two more cards to come. No deuces in Joe’s hand. But the possibility exists. There is still a chance.

    The stranger tosses all his chips into the center of the table. The pot is matched and he has raised another million. Joe matches, but doesn’t raise.

     A hush comes over the crowd as  the hooded man receives his last two cards, looks  them over,  and tosses the rest of his chips in, matching and raising again.

     “You don’t have enough to cover my bet,” he says, speaking his first words of the evening. “What is your plan?”

     Joe smiles, not even looking at his last cards. “I know what you want,” he says, as he pushes his chips into the pot."The balance is agreed upon.”

     The stranger nods. “Agreed.”

     No one in the audience knows what the stakes are. Only the two players know, and they’re not tipping their hands. Who would believe anyway? All they know is that the pot is huge; millions waiting to go to the winner, the loser to go out the side door, head hung down because the fame would belong to only the victor. But fame does not matter: to either of them. The game is as old as time itself. Different faces; same results. One winner takes all. Usually, the man in black walks away the winner.

     With a nod to Joe, the hooded one turns his cards over. Four aces: an apparent win. Excitement fills the room. Everyone knows what is needed for Joe to take the pot and win the game.

     Joe stands and reaches his hand out to his antagonist. They shake and Joe flips his cards over. Two deuces belong to him. He has a Royal Flush, all spades. How fitting.

     The crowd goes wild as they watch Joe rake in his winnings, finally allowing himself to show emotion. Tears form at the edges of his eyes, succinct but true. Tonight, he and his son both get to live.

     Bowing from the waist, the stranger leaves. There is no animosity from him. He lost: fair and square.

     Death is a gentleman.

Blaze McRob


Horror 201: The Silver Scream Vol. 2, from Crystal Lake Publishing, is out and is .99 for today only. Hustle over and purchase this great book before the price goes up. Joe Mynhardt and Emma Audsley did a great editing job with this tome!

Blaze McRob

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Book description:

 The definitive guide to filmmaking and filmmakers by the best in the field.

Horror 201: The Silver Scream, the follow-up to the Bram Stoker Award nominated Horror 101: The Way Forward, delves into the minds of filmmakers to see what it takes to produce great horror films, from the writing and funding process, to directing, producing, and writing tie-ins.
It’s a tome of interviews and essays by some of our favorite artists.

Film legends and authors such as John Carpenter, Wes Craven, George A. Romero, Ray Bradbury, Ed Naha, Patrick Lussier, Stephen Volk, Nancy Holder, Tom Holland, John Shirley, William Stout, and John Russo want to share their expertise with you through informative, practical, career-building advice.

These are the folks behind movies and novelizations such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, Dark Shadows, Sleepy Hollow, Supernatural, Buffy, Resident Evil, The Stand, Sleepwalkers, Masters of Horror, The Fly, Critters, Tales from the Crypt, Child’s Play, Fright Night, Thinner, The Langoliers, Ted Bundy, Final Destination, Re-animator Unbound, Halloween, Apollo 18, The Eye, Night of the Living Dead, The Crow, The Mist, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Horror 201 also entertains. You’ll see a side of your favorite authors, producers, and directors never seen before – combining fun and entertainment with informative career-building advice.
Horror 201 is aimed at arming generations of authors, screenwriters, producers, directors, and anyone else interested in the film industry, from big budget movies to the independent film circuit, as well as the stage.

Whether you’re an accomplished author or screenwriter, writing as a hobby, or have dreams of writing screenplays or making movies, Horror 201 will take you on a behind the scenes tour of the Horror movie industry from Hollywood to the UK and Australia.

Horror 201 covers:
• Horror as culture
• Scare tactics
• The evolution of the horror film
• Viewer desensitization
• Watching your story come to life
• Screenwriting advice
• Dissecting screenplays
• A production company case study
• Tricks of the trade
• Writing tips
• Advice on Producing
• Advice on Directing
• Information about funding and distributing a film
• Entertaining tidbits and anecdotes

And so much more!

Horror 201: The Silver Scream is perfect for people who:
• are looking to delve into screenplay writing
• want to write their first screenplay
• are fans of the horror movie industry
• like to follow the careers of their favorite directors
• are planning on infiltrating a different field in horror writing
• are looking to pay more bills with their art
• are trying to establish a name brand
• are looking for motivation and/or inspiration
• are seeking contacts in the film industry

Edited by Joe Mynhardt and Emma Audsley.

The full line-up includes:
John Carpenter, Wes Craven, George A. Romero, Ray Bradbury, Ramsey Campbell, Ed Naha, Edward Lee, Patrick Lussier, Tim Lebbon, Jonathan Maberry, Stephen Volk, William Stout, Michael McCarty, Dan Curtis, William Stout, Graham Masterton, Harry Shannon, Jason V. Brock, L.L. Soares, Mick Garris, William F. Nolan, Lee Karr, Jeffrey Reddick, Taylor Grant, Stephen Johnston, Aaron Sterns, Michael Laimo, Jonathan Winn, David. C. Hayes, Brian Pinkerton, David Henson Greathouse, Aaron Dries, Armand Rosamilia, Billy Hanson, Jack Thomas Smith, John Russo, Keith Arem, Denise Gossett, Mark Steensland, John Shirley, Tom Holland, Adrian Roe, Dave Jeffery, James Hart, James Cullen Bressack, Jeff Strand, Nancy Holder, E.C. McMullen Jr, Richard Gray, Richard Chizmar, William C. Cope (interior artist), Tim Waggoner, Tom Monteleone, Nick Cato, Kevin Wetmore, Eric Miller, and Lynne Hansen.

Don’t let this opportunity slip.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


I usually post the Amazon Kindle links when I talk about books, but The Dark at the End of the Tunnel, by Taylor Grant, and published by Crystal Lake Publishing, is an exception. This collection is rocking the paperback charts on Amazon. Quite an accomplishment in a rather tough category. If you're a horror enthusiast, I would suggest this book highly.

Remember too that paperbacks make great holiday presents.

Blaze McRob

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Book description:

Offered for the first time in a collected format, this selection features ten gripping and darkly imaginative stories by Taylor Grant, a Bram Stoker Award ® nominated author and rising star in the suspense and horror genres.

Discover what happens when:

- A wealthy industrialist awakens after ten years in suspended animation, and finds out that the horrors of the past can never be left behind.

- A lonely man realizes that he’s gradually vanishing from existence, into a nightmarish limbo of his own making.

- An author stumbles upon an incomplete manuscript by his deceased father, and makes the grave mistake of trying to complete the story.

- A woman learns that the imaginary voices that haunt the delusional and criminally insane are, in fact, real.

This remarkable collection of short fiction exposes the terrors that hide beneath the surface of our ordinary world, behind people’s masks of normalcy, and lurking in the shadows at the farthest reaches of the universe.

“A master class in storytelling…one of the best collections of the last ten years." – Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award Winner, Dead City, The Dead Won't Die

“… so full of talent and commitment, that it is an inspiration.” – Dennis Etchison, Two-time World Fantasy Award Winner, The Dark Country

“A bold and unsettling new voice in suspense and horror.” – Scott Nicholson, Bestselling thriller author, The Red Church

"… a cornucopia of horror from a master of the genre!" – Tim Waggoner, Eat The Night, The Way of All Flesh

“…written with the precise-concise language of a poet. Each story has an almost perfect closure….” – Gene O’Neill, Bram Stoker Award Winner, The Cal Wild Chronicles, The Hitchhiking Effect

"Grant is a writer who never fails to engage. Frankly, his stories frighten me…” – Christopher Ransom, International Bestselling Author, The Birthing House, The Fading

“…beautifully crafted tales… a depth and humanity of which we all can relate.” – John Claude Smith, Riding the Centipede, Autumn in the Abyss

“As classic, elegant, deadly effective and efficient as a switchblade.” – John Palisano, Bram Stoker Award Finalist, Dust of the Dead, Nerves

“A master at balancing pure dread, raw untethered emotion, and brilliant characters.” – Robert S. Wilson, Bram Stoker Award nominated editor, author of Empire of Blood series.

“Grant picks away at your worst fears…the bogeyman finally has a name...” – David Owain Hughes, Walled In, White Walls and Straightjackets

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Super rankings!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Noel Lopez is an artist with many talents. Music is his specialty and passion, but he does so much more. In addition to composing music, writing songs, singing, and playing Piano/Keyboard, he is an author, poet, and dancer. Add drawing to those talents, and you'll see what I mean.

Go to the link above and find out more about his many accomplishments, achieved at such a young age. He is a very impressive young man.

Blaze McRob


Have you ever wondered about those ads on TV for totally quirky items you might never seek out otherwise, but there they are, staring you in the face courtesy of the boob tube? My friend Cory Cline has written about just one such ad. Things do not work out as expected. Ooh, la, la. Read Cory's book As Seen On TV.

Remember. Let the buyer beware.

Blaze McRob

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Book description:

 Gus Grissom is newly divorced and ready to get into "killer" shape. The high-tech exercise machine he bought from one of those late night commercials promises to help, but Gus will learn what they mean when they say, "buyer beware".

By Mr. Gibbons on November 13, 2015
For fans of Wrath James White, Richard Laymon, ect. Mr. Cline's short story had me laughing, cringing, laughing, and laughing. The main character Gus, is a recently divorced man , who like every divorced man, wants to get back in shape and score with the ladies. Gus has a very special way of scoring, and a very special machine to help him get his figure back. You will like this story. I am looking forward to reading more from this budding author. Funny and sick.
By Brisco County, Jr. on November 15, 2015
Dig up a bar of soap and a bottle of Jack. And not in that order.

Monday, November 23, 2015


Crystal Lake Publishing, a fantastic Publisher from South Africa, has some books and a Publisher award in the running in the prestigious This Is Horror Awards 2015. Joe Mynhardt, owner of Crystal Lake Publishing, does a great job. His books are great and his authors are well skilled at the craft.

If you like these books or Publisher, head over and give a vote or more.

Thank you.

Blaze McRob

                                                                  *    *    *    *

From Joe Mynhardt: 

Hi, folks.
If you’re a fan of Crystal Lake Publishing, please take a moment (just an email to to vote for us. Here is a list of our 2015 books and which categories they’re eligible for.
Publisher of the Year: Crystal Lake Publishing
Short Story Collection of the Year: THROUGH A MIRROR, DARKLY by Kevin Lucia
Anthology of the Year: THE OUTSIDERS and CHILDREN OF THE GRAVE, HORROR 201: THE FINAL SCREAM, EDEN UNDERGROUND by Alessandro Manzetti, and MODERN MYTHMAKERS by Michael McCarty.

Readers can e-mail in their nominations for each category. Taking into consideration the nominations for each category This Is Horror will then draw up a shortlist. This year when you nominate we invite you to include one sentence as to why the nomination is award-worthy. The public nominations stage runs from 4 November 2015 through until 25 November 2015. You may only nominate two items per category. You may nominate in as many categories as you like. All nominations must be emailed to with the subject line ‘This Is Horror Award Nominations 2015′.
More details over here:

Sunday, November 22, 2015


K. Rowe and I have been friends for a while now. She writes in many genres and does all of them well. I really like her sci-fi tales with super hero Dar Meltom. Go Dar go! Also, The Hall, great over-the-top horror, is a fantastic read.

Here is her Amazon Author Page bio:

 "After serving over 20 years in the Air Force, I made the ultimate job switch: to farmer and author. It was a drastic change, not to mention a drastic pay cut! I've been writing 25+ years and have been published in a variety of media: book, newspaper, photography, and magazine. I love to write, it seems to be a passion I can't ever seem to satisfy.

It started out with the first book of the Dragonslayers Saga. "Project: Dragonslayers" is an MWSA award winning novel about an unlikely Special Forces team who are thrown headlong into the world of counterterrorism. The second book, "Dragonslayers: Mind Games" continues the saga where the team enters the twisted world of al-Qaeda. They must find the source of a mystery explosive, or risk losing more innocent civilians to attacks. This book was selected for the MWSA summer 2011 reading list. The third book in the series is "Dragonslayers: Battle Rhythm." This time it's Yemen, and the team finds out they're not invincible. Two more books in this series are slated for release: "Kill Box" Released Dec 2013 and "Critical Mass" (2014 or 2015).

Also I've expanded my work in other genres. Out now is the best-selling contemporary romance, "Cowboys and Olympians." You'll fall in love with Leo Richards, a champion reining horse trainer, as he tries to convince himself that he can love again after his wife and unborn child were killed in a fiery car crash.

If supernatural thriller/ horror appeals to you, give "The Hall" a try. You'll meet Marcus Bishop, wealthy Memphis book publisher; his new and terrifically eccentric best friend, Prince Mongo; along with a ghost and demons that haunt the old castle Marcus buys.

After taking a dare from a horror author friend, I started work on the "Space" series. "Space Crazy" introduces you to Dar Meltom, a half breed alien who's had a rough time. He longs for a life in the stars, and as difficult as it is, his mother manages to help him achieve his goal. "Space Junk," the second book is also completed. The third book in the series, "Space Available," was released Aug 2013. The final book is "Space Invaded."

Most recently, I was given a rare distinction of placing 1st in Ron Knight's top 100 Facebook authors of 2012. He starts with 8,000 and narrows it down to 100. An honor indeed.

As always, I appreciate feedback and book reviews. I'm a small fish in a huge ocean just trying to stay afloat. I love my writing and pour heart and soul into each work I do.

MWSA: Military Writer's Society of America

Twitter: sturgeon3736"

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 Space Crazy is only one of K. Rowe's great books. It starts off her Dar Meltom series. She has this book for free so it's a great opportunity for you to get into her writing.

 The Ontarrin Galaxy is a rough and tumble place. Young Dar Meltom knows this for fact. As the half breed offspring of an incredibly unlikely joining between an Earthling male and a Satiren female, he knows what fighting is all about. Having spent his childhood on Erotis 3 getting into fights because he was different, Dar’s only solace comes from watching the stars. He’s crazy about them. He dreams about them, and secretly wishes he could be among them.

His mother, Denrika, knows her son is at a disadvantage. Living in a purebred society, his chances for getting a job after he graduates school are slim. Until one day, a large alien strolls into the general store where she works. His name is Gwog, and he’s captain of the space freighter Cunik. Little does he know, Denrika will convince him that he needs another crew member—a seventeen year old half breed with his head in the stars.

Dar joins the crew of the Cunik and quickly learns that space life isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. After being on board only a few days, he’s stricken with Skrinnian fever and nearly dies. Gwog and Karnis nurse him back to health, and then he learns more important lessons about death, pirates, love, and the value of the friends he’s made. Until such time as he’s on his own, Dar absorbs everything Gwog teaches him. Then, one night, a game of Sirrixian poker changes his life forever…

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dar being a half breed has had a rough childhood. He longs for space travel and to escape his tiny word. When the captain of the largest space freighter
Comes to his mothers store, she pleads with him to take Dar on his ship in a few months when Dar finishes school. Dar matures under the Captains tutelage and grows confident and prolific as a crew member. A fortuitous card game finds Dar the owner of his own space freighter.
This space coming of age story was beautifully written and a joy to read. 
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K. Rowe is a wonderful author. I have a number of her ebooks and paperbacks as well. You will be certain to enjoy her books. With the holidays coming, she is a great author to put on your go to list for gift giving.
Blaze McRob


Saturday, November 21, 2015


New Breed, by Magenta Nero, is this week's Scary Saturday Tale. Magenta gives us a story of fiction, yet presents things that might also be contained within the framework of what exists as we non-perfect humans perceive them. A lovely thinking person's story.

Read her fantastic tale at the link above. While you're at the Pen Of The Damned website, read more of Magenta's great stories. All for the price of free; all of the superbly written.

I hope you visit with Magenta and the rest of the Pen Of The Damned gang.

Blaze McRob

Friday, November 20, 2015


Rebecca Besser talks about the struggle to survive on Winter Of Zombie 2015. She asks some great questions. I found a lot of her questions would apply to many other situations which could arise on this spinning rock we live on. Hit the link above and see if you don't agree with me. Rebecca tells it like it is.

Blaze McRob