Thursday, March 6, 2014


Jo-Anne Russell is my Woman In horror today! She lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, but the cold of the north does not stop her from writing sizzling horror tales! Her taste for the macabre has provided her imagination with a feast that fuels her writing and creativity. If you like horror, the bizarre, or you just don't like to sleep at night, give her books and short stories a try. She is also a freelance writer, publisher, and has nine children. Wow! What a woman! I have eight children, but I was on the easier end of the equation.

Jo-Anne has many great stories to her credit with many more to come. Her bizarre sense of humor, a most admirable trait if I don't say so myself, allows her to envision things others would not, tossing a few more logs onto the fire of creativity.

Of all her great stories, the one I like the most is her novel, The Nightmare Project. This is Dark fiction at its best! Some novels are blood and gore. This tale takes place within the recesses of the mind. Actually, within many minds. Everyone in this story has problems attempting to separate fact from fiction, sanity from insanity, and hope from hopelessness. A Psychological Thriller of the highest order, my friends. Nightmares, subliminal messages, and aggressive psycho therapy run rampant through out this story. There is a give and take between the life forces of the living and those of the dead. What, you ask? The dead have life forces? They do indeed. Belly up to the bar of psychoanalysis and drink from the cup of healing. But watch out! Does anyone truly know the path to psychological health? I think not. Jo-Anne is able to present the fine line separating the inexact science of psychotherapy with the understanding of ones hopes and desires of merely being able to enjoy a few of the pleasures in life. What am I saying with all these words? Buy this superb book! You are in for a thrilling ride.

As much as I love Jo-Anne's novel, her short stories are well worth reading. Turning Of The Tides is a story I really enjoyed. My review, is below. I'm that Robert Nelson chap. Scarlet Whispers is an anthology benefiting horses. Accidental Death is a particularly intriguing story of a rather nasty electric typewriter. I always did have trouble with those. Now I know why. In Curious, one can only guess what horrors await. Fester shows that change is not always good. And Loose Change makes you think twice about inheritance and the joys of receiving treasures from the deceased.  

Jo-Anne has a story in Anxiety Disorders: True Stories Of Survival. What is my take on this book and on the whole concept of anxiety as it relates to authors? Well, it's pretty simple, actually. Most great authors who write horror know about anxiety. Am I including myself in here? Yes, I am. I never forget anything, and that being the case, all the dark things in my life are never expelled. There is never peace, but by writing of the Dark, hopefully I allow some of the light to remain in my soul. Great authors use what they know to make their stories resonate with sincerity. Every author in this book has come to terms with who they are and what they need to do to be the best possible person they can be. They are successes in every sense of the word.

Time for me to climb off my soap box and simply say, for great psychological horror, Jo-Anne Russell cannot be beaten.

Jo-Anne Russell is a woman In Horror!

Blaze McRob 

Here is a tale of real life horror that many authors, as well as non authors, find themselves in. This great tome is edited by my good friend Suzanne Robb, who is also one of my great Women In Horror. Real life horror can be worse than anything else we writers can conjure up.

Book Description

April 29, 2012
Anxiety and hope rarely go together, in words or emotions. People suffering from an anxiety disorder think constantly about the next attack, or future situations which might cause them discomfort. They wonder how they can escape certain situations if the need arose. Exits are monitored, certain activities are avoided, and friends slowly fall to the side. An overwhelming sense of “Why?” takes hold. For them worry about the future is their present. The light at the end of the tunnel diminishes, and thoughts of hopelessness seep in. Anxiety is defined as a state of unease or apprehension. Sufferers, even short term, know how uncomfortable those feelings can be. This simple definition doesn’t come close to encompassing the spectrum of symptoms. Hope is defined as an expectation that will be fulfilled, or to have confidence in, or trust something will work out or be okay. This collection of essays not only pairs anxiety and hope together, but proves they are concepts that can work well with one another. Each contributor shares their experience with anxiety, how they made their way through the darkness and stigma of mental illness, and found hope lighting the end of the tunnel.

Jo-Anne Russell is a horror writer, and publisher, living in Edmonton, AB, Canada. Her stories have appeared in anthologies by Brazen Snake Books, Static Movement, Wicked East Press, and Hidden Thoughts Press, just to name a few.
Her taste for the macabre has provided her imagination with a feast that fuels her writing and creativity. If you like horror, the bizarre, or you just don't like to sleep at night, give her books and short stories a try.
Her debut novel The Nightmare Project is the first in the shocking trilogy called Dangerous Minds, and is now available.


In a Dark Place (Rattles Flash Fiction) by Ward, Carol R, Horton, Heather, Sutherlin, Heidi and Russell, Jo-Anne (Oct 12, 2011)

Book Description

October 12, 2011
There’s a woman in a dark place - a black, box with secrets to tell. How did she get there? What will happen to her? Peer into the recesses these women experience with six flash fiction stories that range in theme from hungry gods to zombies and bindings to freeing revelations.

Collection includes six stories (approx. 24 pages)

The Box by Carol R. Ward
Within Six Walls by Heather Horton
In a Dark Place by Heidi Sutherlin
The Promised Land by Jo-Anne Russell
We Play by Sarah Bella
Dark Therapy by Jamie DeBree


Behind Locked Doors by Authors, Various and Weiss, Jessica A. (Dec 2, 2012)

Book Description

December 2, 2012
Beware of the neighbors.
Beware of the neighbors plants.
Beware of new friends offering to take you to a party.
Above all, beware of family and friends.
Take a trip Behind Locked Doors with the talents of these 25 authors of horror and terror: Marc Sorondo, Stephanie L. Morrell, Lawrence Vernon, Krista Krueger, Philip Roberts, C.D. Reimer, Doug Rinaldi, Suzanne Robb, Shells Walter, Chris Marrs, Georgina Kamsika, Roger Bailey, Jeff Jones, Larry C. Kerr, B. Adrian White, Carl Alves, Craig Saunders, Jo-Anne Russell, Opal Edgar, Diane Arrelle, Dorian Dawes, William C. Rasmussen, Brian Mazur, Kristi Peterson Schoonover, and Shane Ward.



At the Water's Edge by Partridge, Ann, Bella, Sarah, Lamb, Lisamarie and Ward, Carol R (Nov 9, 2011)

Book Description

November 9, 2011
A woman looks out over the water – what does she see? In this collection of nine flash fiction stories you’ll find tales of love, loss, betrayal and redemption as each author meets the woman at the water’s edge.

Water's Edge by Ann Partridge
London by Sarah Bella
Her House by Lisamarie Lamb
Siren's Call by Carol R. Ward
The Loch by Amanda Buxton
Turning of the Tides by Jo-Anne Russell
One More Year by Jamie DeBree
Never Forget by Heidi Sutherlin
The Boatman by Jaimie Krycho


Scarlet Whispers by Press, Scarlett, Russell, Jo-Anne and Jacoby, Allen (Nov 13, 2012)

Book Description

November 13, 2012
For as long as there has been civilization, the horse has been by man's side. They have worked the fields, carried men through wars, traveled through the harshest conditions to get us to our destinations, amused us in circuses, and given us pleasure when we just wanted to go for a ride.
Some horses are lucky enough to have caring owners that give them a nice peaceful retirement when they become old or lame, but for many others, fate is not so kind. These horses suffer abuse, torment, starvation, cruelty and eventually death at the hands of their owners or are sold to "meat men," for a small profit.
By purchasing this anthology, you are giving a horse a chance at a better life, providing much needed supplies, vet and farrier care, and helping to rehabilitate a wounded soul. On behalf of all these majestic creatures, we thank you.


Trespass by Russell, Jo-Anne (Feb 10, 2011)

Book Description

February 10, 2011
(Special Collector’s Edition 2012)
Trespass is a horror collection of ten short stories. Each character has drawn a line that someone or something has crossed, and the results will leave you with permanent black scars on your brain.

Trespassers beware. You are not wanted!


Turning of the Tides by Jo-Anne Russell and Libby Russell (Apr 19, 2012)(2

Book Description

April 19, 2012
When a young pregnant teen goes to the beach side to think, she gets more than she bargains for when a stranger offers to help.
5.0 out of 5 stars turning of the tides July 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I enjoyed this short story. It holds an unexpected scare factor. It's well written and an easy one sitting read. I can recommend this as a great read. Beware the water, and watch the twist in the tale.
Review by: Robert Nelson on May 21, 2012 : star star star star star (Remove)
Turning Of The Tides by Jo-Anne Russell is a charming story that completely changed from beginning to end: very pleasantly so. As with all short stories, there is a decided punch at the end that hits you in your gut! I love that feeling! I am certainly a fan of Jo-Anne Russell now!


The Old Sofa by Carol R Ward, Lisamarie Lamb, Heather Horton and Mike Jackson (Jan 28, 2012)

Book Description

January 28, 2012
Eight authors expose the secrets hidden in an old sofa, including ghosts of days gone by, help for those in need, and sometimes even special gifts, though the price may be too much to ask. Go ahead, sit down and get comfy. What will the old sofa say to you?

Whispers by Carol R. Ward
Locking Up by Lisamarie Lamb
French Creek Cabin by Heather Horton
A New Sofa by Michael Jackson
Loose Change by Jo-Anne Russell
The Old Sofa by Karin Eider
The Love Seat by Ann Partridge
Shelter by Jamie DeBree


Accidental Death by Jo-Anne Russell (Apr 6, 2012)

Book Description

April 6, 2012
In a vast world of computers and technology I stuck to my old reliable electric typewriter. I would be the smart one, no worries of virus' here, but I wasn't the smart one. I never thought a virus would be a welcomed guest, until the end when something from the shadows, something evil, made me its play thing.


Covenant of Flesh by Jo-Anne Russell (Apr 6, 2012)

Book Description

April 6, 2012
A mother would do anything for her child,especially one as important as Tyler; but when the evil within her son pushed her too far, would she make the ultimate sacrifice and break the Covenant of Flesh?


Curious by Jo-Anne Russell and Libby Russell (Apr 6, 2012)

Book Description

April 6, 2012
Are you curious? How far would you let your curiosity take you? Would you risk everything to save a strange child in distress, or would you simply walk away? Follow my character as she discovers just how far she is willing to follow hers, and what horrors lay ahead.


Fester by Jo-Anne Russell (Apr 6, 2012)

Book Description

April 6, 2012
"Fester" Tells the story of five teens who's camping trip turns into a nightmare. Kelly Green is with a real jerk, and even though he is like that she thinks she can change him. It's only after his encounter with nature, she realizes sometimes "change" is not for the better.


Loose Change by Jo-Anne Russell and Libby Russell (Apr 13, 2012)

Book Description

April 13, 2012
When Darrien's grandmother dies leaving everything to him, he decides the first thing he is going to do is rummage all the forbidden items. Her most prized possession seemed to be her untouchable sofa. As he explores the strange nature of the sofa he discovers a secret that might just make him rich, but will he survive?


5.0 out of 5 stars Very Chilling! November 27, 2012
By Scaler
Format:Kindle Edition
Loved this chilling and suspenseful story. Very well written, and so mysterious that you cannot wait to see how it ends!


The Nightmare Project by Jo-Anne Russell (Oct 28, 2012)

Book Description

October 28, 2012
Dark Fiction Psychological Thriller

When Julia Montgomery’s mind, body and soul become the rope in a tug-of-war between the living and the dead, there is nothing she won’t do for the right side to prevail; if she only knew which side was right.

Editorial Reviews


 I love horror, but you give me a book with a psychological twist, an asylum, and some really weird stuff going on that gave me the goose-bumps, hell, I'm buying that book. Two bony thumbs up and a special ringing of the jester bells for this great book.-Charles Day, Author of  THE LEGEND OF THE PUMPKIN THIEF & novelette mystery THE PLAN
Storm Goddess Review

About the Author

Jo-Anne Russell is a horror writer, who loves all things macabre. Her bizarre sense of humor has gotten her into a few awkward situations. Luckily, she has a very loving and supportive husband, and children, who come to her rescue. Find out more about her, and her work here:

  4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing December 27, 2012

By David
There is nothing more horrifying then not being in control of your own mind and body. Julia Montgomery has to live with that fact everyday. She suffers from nightmares and two years ago she killed her husband and has been a patient in an insane asylum ever since. Julia wants to get back home to her two children but she might be a danger to herself and her children.

There may be one way out of the asylum for Julia and that is The Nightmare Project. This experimental procedure uses subliminal messages and aggressive psycho-therapy to control a person's unconscious behavior. There is one person who the project didn't work for and her name is Kaitlyn Summers. Kaitlyn was the youngest participant in the Nightmare Project, she didn't survive but a part of her is still in the hospital and she is looking for a new body.

Jo-Anne Russell's The Nightmare Project is a psychological horror novel that has some violent moments that will make you cringe but the scariest part of the book is the characters. Everyone has a dark side, for instance you have Kaitlyn who comes across like an innocent victim but you also see that she has a vicious temper and has murdered before. You also have Julia who just wants to be a mother again, but she has killed before and she wonders if she can be trusted around her children because she doesn't have control of her mental state. There are also several doctors and patients in the story who all seem to have their own agendas and Julia doesn't know who she can trust. Each person in this book is intriguing because they keep you off-balance wondering what their motivation is and if they are good or bad.

Another thing I liked about the book is the way the nightmares are described and how at times you are not sure if what is going on is a dream or reality. Like when you hear about why Julia killed her husband, you realize what Julia remembers is a dream and the reality of the situation is much scarier. While there are a lot of suspenseful moments in this book the two scariest moments for me were parts that weren't meant to be scary. There is one part where an orderly named Ben tells Julia that she should not do the Nightmare Project. Julia says she has to so she can see her kids again and Ben asks if she really thinks that will happen. At this point in the story you see the hopelessness of Julia's situation. You also see Ben as someone who can help her, but you soon find out he has secrets of his own. The scariest part for me though was when Julia is thinking about the feel of her husbands arms around her and how safe she felt with him. She may have killed her husband but she never stopped loving him.

If you find the concept of mental hospitals, experimental therapies and not being in control of your thoughts fascinating and chilling at the same time you will love The Nightmare Project. This book is no light read, it will leave you with an uneasy feeling and you may not look at hospitals the same again. This is the first book in a series and I am really curious where Jo-Anne Russell will take this concept in the sequel.


Whispers in the Cellar by Jo-Anne Russell (Apr 6, 2012)

Book Description

April 6, 2012
Angel looked out the old house's window. Memories flashed through her mind of the terrible winter her family perished, and she was brutally tortured and tormented.
Now with her husband and children by her side she has returned to her childhood home to face the past; and maybe share the secret.
Her dead sister whispers in her ear and Angel giggles.

The secrets of the past are as close as whispers in the cellar.


5.0 out of 5 stars A Haunting Tale! November 27, 2012
By Scaler
Format:Kindle Edition
Well written short story that keeps you guessing! I loved the Angel character, and kept hoping she'd be alright throughout this suspenseful piece of writing!


Poems from the Dark Side, Vol. 2 by George Wilhite (Nov 3, 2011)Welcome back to the Dark Side-of life around us, the unknown, and our own psyches. 33 poets offer variations on this theme. As in the first volume, these works are quite diverse in both form and content while providing great insight into the human condition when confronted with the dark side.



Monster Gallery: A Collection of Flash Fiction by Chris Bartholomew, Neil Leckman, George Wilhite and Jeffrey Thomas (Nov 19, 2011)Monsters are everywhere; and in this collection of short, sharp, shocks... you can find them knocking at your graveyard door! -John Everson, author of THE PUMPKIN MAN



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