Wednesday, December 31, 2014


My choice for Book Of The Year goes to Horror 101: The Way Forward. Yes, I have a couple of articles in this great tome, but you could toss them out and I would still pick this fantastic book. This is the ultimate book on how to write horror. The best that has ever been written on the subject. The list of great authors is unbelievable. I won't even start naming them up here. The complete list is below. I am honored to be included here, and it humbles me even more to think that the great Rocky Wood and I have articles bordering each other.

When I sent my article on ghostwriting to Joe Mynhardt, the owner of Crystal Lake Publishing, he was worried about people I mentioned getting upset. That never happened. I know: I can be very opinionated and loud spoken at times. But I wanted my article on this and the one on poetry to help people make good decisions. I believe I achieved that. All my fellow authors certainly did. 

I have the links above for the Kindle version as well as the paperback. Joe had no idea when the Kindle version came out that it would take off the way it did. Truth be told, he never anticipated that a paper version would come out. But when this book remained at the top of the Amazon charts for as long as it did, he realized the need for it.

And no, I am not placing garlands on a book that I stand to make money on. The authors did this as a labor of love. Our gift to you: our fellow authors and aspiring authors. Do yourself a favor and buy a copy. The Kindle version is still only .99, and the paperback is on sale through the end of the day. You won't be disappointed.

Blaze McRob

Book Description

April 27, 2014
Horror 101: The Way Forward – a comprehensive overview of the Horror fiction genre and career opportunities available to established and aspiring authors.

Have you ever wanted to be a horror writer? Perhaps you have already realized that dream and you’re looking to expand your repertoire. Writing comic books sounds nice, right? Or how about screenplays?
That’s what Horror 101: The Way Forward is all about. It’s not your average On Writing guide that covers active vs. passive and other writing tips, Horror 101 focuses on the career of a horror writer. It covers not only insights into the horror genre, but the people who successfully make a living from it.

Covering aspects such as movies, comics, short stories, ghost-writing, audiobooks, editing, publishing, self-publishing, blogging, writer’s block, YA horror, reviewing, dark poetry, networking, collaborations, eBooks, podcasts, conventions, series, formatting, web serials, artwork, social media, agents, and career advice from seasoned professionals and up-and-coming talents, Horror 101 is just what you need to kick your career into high gear.

Horror 101: The Way Forward is not your average On Writing guide, as it is more focused on the career options available to authors. But don’t fret, this book is loaded with career tips and behind-the-scene stories on how your favourite authors broke into their respective fields.

Horror 101: The Way Forward is perfect for people who:
• are suffering from writer’s block
• are starting their writing careers
• are looking to expand their writing repertoire
• are planning on infiltrating a different field in horror writing
• are looking to pay more bills with their art
• are trying to further their careers
• are trying to establish a name brand
• are looking to get published
• are planning on self-publishing
• want to learn more about the pros in the horror genre
• are looking for motivation and/or inspiration
• love the horror genre
• are not sure where to take their writing careers

Includes articles by Jack Ketchum, Graham Masterton, Edward Lee, Lucy A. Snyder, Emma Audsley, RJ Cavender, Scott Nicholson, Weston Ochse, Taylor Grant, Paul Kane, Lisa Morton, Shane McKenzie, Dean M. Drinkel, Simon Marshall-Jones, Robert W. Walker, Don D’Auria and Glenn Rolfe, Harry Shannon, Chet Williamson, Lawrence Santoro, Thomas Smith, Blaze McRob, Rocky Wood, Ellen Datlow, Iain Rob Wright, Kenneth W. Cain, Daniel I. Russell, Michael McCarty, Richard Thomas, Joan De La Haye, Michael Wilson, Francois Bloemhof, C.E.L. Welsh, Jasper Bark, Niall Parkinson, Armand Rosamilia, Tonia Brown, Ramsey Campbell, Tim Waggoner, Gary McMahon, V.H. Leslie, Eric S Brown, William Meikle, John Kenny, Gary Fry, Diane Parkin, Jim Mcleod, Siobhan McKinney, Rick Carufel, Ben Eads, Theresa Derwin, Rena Mason, Steve Rasnic Tem, Michael A. Arnzen, Joe Mynhardt, John Palisano, Mark West, Steven Savile, and a writer so famous he’s required to stay anonymous.

Editorial Reviews


"Horror 101: The Way Forward - is sharp, savvy and packed with crucial information for anyone who wants to take a real bite out of the horror genre. Two taloned thumbs up!" - Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of CODE ZERO and V-WARS.

5.0 out of 5 stars Horror 101- Class is in session... June 25, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As another wannabe horror writer who always appreciates advice from the pros, Crystal Lake Publishing's Horror 101:The Way Forward was hard to resist. Joe Mynhardt has collected a slew of invaluable advice from some of the biggest names in horror as well as some of the new blood that is surely on their way to becoming well respected horror authors.

I am old enough to be of the classic On Writing Horror school, so much of the advice in here is simply hammered home again, but with updated views and fresh voices. Jack Ketchum, Graham Masterson, and Edward Lee begin the parade of great advice with their own beliefs on the horror genre. Ramsey Campbell gives some great advice on avoiding whats been done before, Steve Rasnic Tem gives a dozen solid tips on making a career, and Rocky Wood invites us to the Horror Writers Association. These well respected, and well known authors give solid advice that is fresh to hear again in their respective voices.

Writing has changed so much since the above mentioned classic that there needed to be something new to answer questions by writers, like me, who are realizing how vital the digital age is to a successful writing career. I am one of those writers who has no problem getting through a draft or two, but I get to the editing part and... oh look a butterfly is dancing around the garden outside my window... I can address my problems as a writer, but I am still fairly new to Facebook and the digital age. After years of telling myself how ridiculous Facebook and Twitter is, I have come to realize how vital it can be if used correctly. Many of the newer authors in this book have been active in the digital age for some time and I have picked up vital advice from authors I was somewhat familiar with, like Shane McKenzie, Michael Arnzen, Lucy Snyder,Tim Waggoner, and Scott Nicholson.

I was also more than pleasantly surprised by the advice from authors like Jasper Bark, Weston Ochse, Blaze McRob, and a few others whose writing was so good for this anthology of advice, that I will surely be looking forward to reading more from them and have already added many of them to my mental list of authors to check out.

As a struggling wannabe writer, I have to applaud and thank Joe Mynhardt, not only for his great advice within the pages of his anthology, but for taking the time to put this book together. The time he must have spent talking to these authors, putting it all together, and editing it must have been exhausting and I'm sure he cussed himself out for beginning such a detailed and extensive project. At the end, he has created a classic that any writer, not just us horror junkies, can call upon for advice and inspiration.

Thanks Joe!


Fairy Tale Fusion, by A. F. Stewart, will make you rethink everything you've ever believed about Fairy Tales. But then again, her Fairy Tales are for adults and not children. Children have their own Fairy Tales. The older generation needs some too.

If you look at A. F. 's Amazon bio below, you will see she has a most interesting assortment of tales in different genres. All her stories look to be quite fascinating. Methinks I need to check out more of her great work. Ruined City is talking to me saying, "Read me."

Her Amazon Author Page is Give it a peek!

A. F. Stewart could very well be your new favorite author.

Blaze McRob

Book Description

October 19, 2013
Welcome to Fairy Tale Fusion.
Where things get messy in the Riding Hood.

What if the characters in Fairy Tales were real? What if they lived in Fairyland, a place not too dissimilar to ours, next to Wonderland and down the street from Camelot?

Meet Detective Piper, member of the Fairyland Metro Police. His job, to ferret out the suspects and investigate crime on the streets and in the lanes of Fairyland. Along with Officer Simon, he’s hard at work, searching for a missing pumpkin, hunting for an arsonist, wondering what the future holds in a series of crystal ball robberies, and dealing with spells, curses and other strange happenings.

His cases, and others like them, are the headlines of the day, brought to you by FTN news anchors Spider Bramble and Aurora Gossamer, with entertainment correspondent Lucinda Lovedust and reporter Chip Charming. Keep up-to-date on the latest information out of Fairyland and its adjacent suburbs, and the recent hubbub with trolls, princesses, fairies and their ilk.

And when you are done dancing with Cinderella and her cronies, open the lid of a very scary toy box to find where children’s nightmares begin... and end, badly.

And remember, always be nice to your Fairy Godmother.

5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and Creative April 19, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Have you ever wondered about what happened to all of our nursery rhyme characters? All of the stories ended with "They lived happily ever after" but is that true. Well, according to A. F. Stewart and the story land reporters, along with the story land police, that wasn't really the case.

Do you remember Alice who went to Wonderland? Well, there was a grand wedding of the Mad Hatter and Alice last Sunday. It was a stunning affair, utilizing a red and white wedding theme with a playing card motif. The bride looked dazzling in a crystal encrusted white dress with cap sleeves, offset with a red embroidered sash. Bridesmaids included the bride's sister, the Duchess, and the Cheshire Cat. The best man was the White Rabbit.

Have you ever wondered what ever happened to The Three Little Pigs? Well, according to reporters Spider Bramble and Aurora Gossamer with the Fairyland news, there appears to be a manhunt for the First Little Pig, in connection with a tragic domestic incident that left the other two Pig brothers butchered. A late night dispute, over what seemed to have been long simmering family grievances, went terribly wrong, resulting in the stabbing death of two of the brother Pig.

And what ever happened to the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe? She went missing fourteen days ago, after apparently suffering a nervous breakdown. This is the latest in a string of mishaps, including her arrest on drug charges and the removal of her children into foster care by Child Services. The Fairyland Police tracked her down and evidently found her trying to make a size 12 Oxford loafer her new home. She is now undergoing psychiatric observation and rehab.

To my surprise, and I'm sure yours too, there apparently wasn't a Happily Ever After for these beloved childhood characters. Fairy Tale Fusion will take you back in memories as you find out what really happened to Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, Tom Piper, Sleeping Beauty and even Beauty and the Beast.

I've read other books written by A. F. Stewart and enjoyed them and this book was just as enjoyable. Her version of these bedtime stories are not exactly great for children but they sure did give me a chuckle and I think it will you too.

A. F. Stewart

A. F. Stewart
A. F. Stewart was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, and still calls it home. She has always had an overly creative mind, and an active imagination. She is fond of good books (especially science fiction/fantasy), action movies, and oil painting as a hobby.
Ms. Stewart has been writing for several years, her main focus being in the fantasy genre. She also has a great interest in history and mythology, often working those themes into her books and stories. She has authored and published several books, including Fairy Tale Fusion, Gothic Cavalcade, Ruined City, Killers and Demons, Chronicles of the Undead, and Reflections of Poetry.
Her stories have been published in the charity anthologies, Coffin Hop: Death by Drive-In, Christmas Lites III, and the upcoming Christmas Lites IV, as well as in Mechanized Masterpieces: A Steampunk Anthology published by Xchyler Publishing. Another story, Grail Days, appears in the Xchyler Publishing anthology, Legends and Lore.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Cobwebs, by C. L. Hernandez, is the perfect collection of short stories to put on your Kindle. These are fantastic horror tales. My review below will attest to that. I am happy to say that it sits at the top of most helpful customer reviews.

You can't go wrong for .99!

Blaze McRob

Book Description

February 20, 2014
A mummified hand seeks revenge... A harmless witch gets pushed a little too far... The Grim Reaper falls victim to a prank...This is the kind of ghoulish fun you'll find in Cobwebs, the little book of unsettling tales. Small but mighty, Cobwebs invites you to explore six weird little stories. Try one a day, or be a glutton for punishment, and devour them all at once!
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Cobwebs, by C.L. Hernandez, is a brilliant collection! I am new to this author, having stumbled across her when she asked to be my friend on Facebook. This collection would be outstanding for an established author, let alone a new talent on the scene. She is a classic example of why I love to read horror written by women authors. There is that special something and she "has" it!

All of these stories are awesome. And they are all so different. There is not only humor sprinkled into this collection, there is sarcastic wit bandied about - my favorite kind! Give The Man A Hand proves that.

The Leaf Lady is a wonderful revenge story. I am screaming to say more, but I would ruin it for you.

Stage Dive is the shortest one and it floored me because of the ending. Superb!

Death In A Bottle shows me the intelligence dwelling within this story. This is my favorite in the collection! The Grim Reaper versus . . . versus a most cunning adversary.

Brie Noir has horror, revenge, love, and witchcraft all wrapped up into a superb tale. Oh. It also has cheese.

Tub toys is the most chilling one in the collection. You know something is going to happen, but when and how?

There you have it! Six fantastic stories from an author I want to read more tales from. You will love every story! My personal guaranty!

C.L. Hernandez

C.L. Hernandez
I am a writer of horror, dark fiction, and poetry. I've been fascinated by the horror genre since I was a kid, and I started writing stories at a very young age. I wrote for years with no thought of becoming published: I wrote just for the sheer enjoyment of it. I finally "got serious" about my writing in 2012.
I reside in California's Cental Valley, and I live with my adult daughter and a variety of animal companions.In addition to writing, I enjoy crocheting, jewelry making, drawing, and a variety of arts and crafts.

Monday, December 29, 2014


Not only does Dusk And Summer, by Joseph A. Pinto, weave a tale of a special bond between a father and his son, but it reminds one of the old days, those when parents were not discarded when they became old and sick. It is all too easy to take the easy way out. Not for Joseph. We are all flawed, but all of us should do what we can, even when we feel it is too late. It is never too late.

A portion of the proceeds from this great book will go to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. I have copies of this book in my book store and have given away some to cancer patients at my local VA.

This is a poignant book which should be read by everyone.

Blaze McRob

Book Description

March 29, 2014
Does Heaven await beneath the waves? One man needs to know.

When his dying father whispers a cryptic message to him, he has no choice but to summon his courage and begin the quest of a lifetime. It’s a race against time to realize his father’s wish and fulfill his own destiny; it’s a discovery of the unbreakable bond between father and son. It’s a journey of the heart that unfolds where only the Chosen exist – in the moments between Dusk and Summer.

"A poignant, metaphoric conversation between son and father. A story that will warm your heart."
--Yvonne S. Thornton, M.D., bestselling author of The Ditchdigger's Daughters

The author will be donating a portion of the proceeds from this book to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching and memorable November 15, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
“I lost my father between dusk and summer. Perhaps he left me long before I care to admit, long before he refused his last meals, long before his spent eyes flickered like candles behind cracked panes of some forlorn, abandoned house. Before his neglected muscles jellied into the folds of his stark white hospital sheet, and the rise of his chest grew shallower and weak. Maybe it was plain selfishness on my behalf; sitting at his bedside all those times, soothing his ears with encouragement as I squeezed his hand, desperate to impart the very courage and determination he had infused into me over my years. Even as he relied on me to raise a flimsy plastic cup of ice water to his parched lips. Had I become too scared to realize or just too blinded to ask: whose fight did this now become?”

Great writing always comes from somewhere genuine inside the author. Influences are numerous, of course; a novel could be born out of something beautiful, something sorrowful or even something ugly, but the best writing is always a reflection of one’s truest self. For novelists, the keyboard is the translator of the soul’s voice. As George Orwell once famously said, “good prose is like a windowpane.”

From the very first page of Joseph Pinto’s Dusk and Summer, quoted above, the reader knows that he or she is in for something heartfelt—and breathtakingly real.

Even if I hadn’t read that Pinto’s novella was inspired by his real life, it would have been obvious from the outset. I understand it completely, having gone through similarly heartwrenching experiences; I understand the place where this story is coming from, and why it needed to be told. The emotions stirred up are passionately real, and Dusk and Summer is sure to create a stirringly empathic response in anyone who has ever lost a parent. The mix of emotions is not saccharine, but amazingly genuine. The sadness, the anger, the guilt, the unrelenting feeling that now, out of nowhere, the person who gave so much to you needs your help—and there’s no way you can ever fully repay them.

In the novella, the protagonist goes off on a strange journey at his father’s request. He ventures out to the beach, where he rediscovers his father’s past—uncovering a fascinating and mythological being that his father kept secret for all of his years. This magical presence integrates perfectly into the story, fleshing out its meaning and representing all of the magic that good parents give to their children, the magic that many hope to someday transfer to their own children.

And as the protagonist must go off and discover his past, so must all children. When the time comes, when parents cease to be icons and are revealed for the real, flawed people they truly are—this is when true understanding can finally occur. Dusk and Summer is a deeply authentic novel, with a beautiful message that won’t be soon forgotten.

Joseph A. Pinto

Joseph A. Pinto
Author of the horror novel Flowers for Evelene and the poignant novella Dusk and Summer, as well as numerous short stories. Cofounder of the Pen of the Damned ( Member of the Horror Writers Association(HWA). Rumored lycanthrope and New Orleans Saints fan. New Jersey dweller. Share his unique spin at

Twitter: @JosephAPinto

Sunday, December 28, 2014


Humanity hinges on the abyss. A chaotic planet on the verge of annihilation due to Earth Mother refusing to be raped any longer by big business does what the naysayers insisted would not happen. The seas rise, wiping out untold numbers of coastal cities. Volcanoes erupt. Earthquakes swallow up half the land on Earth.

The fat cats who caused this ravage can't hide in their big homes on the top of the hills forever. The bottom-feeders they starved out because of greed over-run them and take what they have. But it doesn't last long. There is not enough to feed everyone; no power to heat what homes are still standing; polluted water.

One man is lying in a hospital bed at the VA, one step away from death. There is nothing they can do for him, especially with no power.

But he can do for himself. He must.

And so begins the journey of a man merely wishing to spend his last moments in peace. He learns much: about himself, and about the peaceful world he is seeking.

He will not be alone. The wolf whispers.

                                                       *    *    *    *

Wolf Whispers, written by Blaze McRob, and with fantastic cover art by Violet Huntley-Franck, will be coming out in the first half of 2015. I hope you will enjoy my little tale.

Blaze McRob


Blog post at FundsforWriters : Do you have high hopes for your writing career? You won't be able to quit work and write, but you might find a grant to make your writin[..]

                                                          *    *    *    *

C. Hope Clark is well known for her Funds For Writers blogs and books. She is also a mystery novelist. I receive her newsletter and suggest that you do as well. She has many products either free or at a very reasonable price. Read her articles on her blog to get a good idea. You'll want to sign up for her newsletter immediately. 

C. Hope knows of many paying markets for your stories, grants, contests, markets, and more. She gives valuable tips with every newsletter and website post.

If you are an author and want to make some money, or obtain some grant money to help out, rush over and visit. She won't steer you wrong.

Blaze McRob

Saturday, December 27, 2014


CreepyWalkers: Ink, by Rebecca Treadway: We are among you.|By SmallRivers
Stay on top of what's happening in the Horror world, as well as other interesting tid-bits from around the world. Rebecca Treadway is a fantastic artist and author, but is so much more. I love her paper. You will too!
Blaze McRob


We now have a date for the viewing of the interview I did for Investigation Discovery Channel on the show Most Evil. The first showing will be Jan. 4,2015 at 10:00pm on Direct TV the channel is 285 check your listings for other channels. After this has been shown it will be played at later […]
                                                          *    *    *    *
Yvonne Mason did exhaustive research for her book Silent Scream. And now she will be on TV! This is a must watch. This is true life horror of the worst kind. You will not believe the twisted mind of this mass murderer, or the pain suffered by innocent girls. Their story will now be told. Check the link above for all the details.

Real life horror is the worst kind.

Blaze McRob

Friday, December 26, 2014


THE OTHER SIDE OF BETHLEHEM by Pen of the Damned's Leslie Moon

Soft caressing satin sheets the finest weave laid out awaiting our grey mistress today the surroundings a lowly cave but tomorrow she says " it will be a palace" for she is deserved of the world's ...

                                                            *    *    *    * 

The Other Side Of Bethlehem, by Leslie Moon, is this week's Scintillating Scary Saturday Tale! I have included a small snippet below. The rest of this great poetic prose can be found at the Pen Of The Damned link above. Visit our website to read this and more of Leslie's tales, as well as offerings from the other zany Damned members. We're not normal. That's a good thing! The price of admission is free!

Blaze Mcrob

The Other Side of Bethlehem

Soft caressing satin sheets the finest weave
laid out awaiting our grey mistress
today the surroundings a lowly cave
but tomorrow she says ” it will be a palace”
for she is deserved of the world’s best
We shudder as she draws near
her greatness is in contrast to our lowliness
I behold her and see earth’s riches clear
etched in her skin, reflected off her eyes, in her touch
my mate is poised to rearrange all and such
Fearing that the perfumes and oils
do not emulate her beauteous perfection
we like dogs in our groveling toil
have no ability to bark
we whimper at her approach in the dark
She kicks my mate across the rocky ground
“FOOLS don’t you know what is occurring
can’t you hear the angels’ grating sound?”
we had been too busy to listen to music
so heavenly, it would make a person sick
My eye twinkled if just a speck
it was but for an instant
she laid her iron clad foot on my neck
“if you smile (even inside)
you’ll hear the crack of your demise”


Tricks, Mischief And Mayhem, by Daniel I. Russell, is one super collection of short stories! Daniel knows how to put them together. And, through the end of the month, this 485 page collection is only $1.99. That is a super deal. So mosey over to Amazon and get a copy to put on your Kindle. You won't be disappointed.

Blaze McRob 

This is my review below:

Tricks, Mischief and Mayhem, by Daniel I. Russell, blew my socks off from story number one, Living Haunts, in this one author collection of superb tales. And they stayed off. This is one amazingly diverse collection of short stories, written by an incredibly talented young author. He has a huge career ahead of him. My favorites in this collection were Living Haunts, The Blood Pit, By The Banks Of The Nabarra, and God May Pity All Weak Hearts, the last story in this collection. What gets me about the last story is how the author managed to catch the time period so well, adding a surreal touch to a truly imaginative tale. Having just started writing a few Gothic tales myself, I understand all too well the work it takes to pull off a tale such as this. Bravo, Mr. Russell! This is writing at its best.

Daniel I. Russell has written a grand collection of tales for every horror reader to enjoy. There is absolutely no way anyone will not love this anthology.

Book Description

December 3, 2013
Crystal Lake Publishing presents...

A little girl brings home more than she bargained for after winning a stuffed bear at a carnival side show. After saving her family from one kind of predator, a protective mother releases an Australian legend hungry for blood and flesh. In his diary, a killer of historical notoriety tells the story of what really happened that the dark...Tricks, Mischief and Mayhem is the debut collection of short stories from Australian Shadows Award finalist Daniel I. Russell. Spanning nearly ten years, this macabre showcase contains the best of Russell's published short fiction and five brand new tales. Introduction by award winning author Brett McBean.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Australian Shadows Award finalist Daniel I. Russell has been featured publications such as The Zombie Feed from Apex, Pseudopod and Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #43. Author of Samhane, Come Into Darkness, Critique and The Collector, Daniel is also the current vice-president of the Australian Horror Writers' Association and was a special guest editor of Midnight Echo. 
5.0 out of 5 stars Tricks, Mischief and Mayhem July 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Tricks, Mischief and Mayhem by Daniel I Russell

Another excellent collection from one of the rising stars of Oz horror. Russell's first collection is an eclectic mix of dark humour and visceral carnage. Ranging from the Australian bush to gritty northern England, there is something here for most fans of the genre. Mythology, noir, history, sexual perversion, zombies, clowns, dolls and killer plants are all woven masturfully into the ouvre of Mr Russell.

Though the stories are not listed in chronological order, anyone familiar with Russell's work can see the progress he has made over the past decade in his mastery of the horror craft. A tribute to the effort he has put in and his love of the genre.

Thursday, December 25, 2014


With the tragic loss to the world of horror authors,...

Lisa Morton is the new President of the Horror Writers Association! Nancy Holder is the new Vice President! Check the links above for all the news. Congratulations ladies.

Blaze McRob 


Do you like Steampunk? Have you wanted to read Steampunk but never quite got to it? Well, fans of Steampunk and prospective fans alike can rejoice. Chasing Christmas Past: An Airship Racing Chronicles Short Story, by Melanie Karsak is free through tomorrow!

This super story will introduce you to the great author that Melanie is. She happens to be one of my Women In Horror, so you know she is fantastic. Fall in love with her Steampunk symphony as it rolls out.

A Christmas gift from Melanie Karsak!

Blaze McRob

Book Description

December 20, 2014
***6,000 word short story prequel to The Airship Racing Chronicles***

Christmas Eve 1820.

At Rose’s Hopper, a popular London tavern frequented by airship jockeys, all is merry and bright—except Lily Stargazer. Lily and her crew are set to run the Christmas Day Yuletide Airship Race from London to Calais, but not before spending the night swimming in mulled wine and longing for absent lovers.

Even the prospect of a Yuletide win can't convince Lily that this Christmas will be better than any that came before. But Lily’s about to find out there really is a Father Christmas.

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Melanie Karsak's The Airship Racing Chronicles
I love fantasy, steampunk, history, and adventure, and this book delivered!
- Staci Hart, Author of The Hearts & Arrows Series
Mere words don't seem adequate to explain how truly brilliant this story is
My Book Addiction

The author paints a vivid portrait of Venice, with its palazzi, jewel-coloured waters, masks, and gondolas. Venice truly comes to life as well as the other destinations visited in the course of following the mystery around the kaleidoscope.
Torre de Babel 

One of my favorite things about this book is the world building. It is amazing. I could easily envision the airships, the airship towers, sky pirates, and the elaborate dress and contraptions. . .I absolutely loved it!
- Gin's Book Notes 

Chasing the Star Garden was a captivating tale from the complex characters to the breathtaking world-building. Karsak's writing has a flow and ease to it that allows the reader to slip into the worlds she creates
Kimba the Caffeinated Coffee Reviewer

Characters with such depth and personality that you easily fall in love with them.
- Elyse, Contagious Reads

About the Author

Melanie Karsak is the author of the Amazon best-selling steampunk series The Airship Racing Chronicles (Chasing the Star Garden and Chasing the Green Fairy), the award-winning horror/dark fantasy Harvesting Series, and The Saga of Lady Macbeth. She grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania and earned a Master's degree in English from Gannon University. A steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and zombie whisperer, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

Connect with me online:

For free short stories, VIP sneak peeks, giveaways, release information, and more, join my newsletter:
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Steampunk Christmas Treat December 22, 2014
By Margo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story does exactly what a steampunk Christmas tale should do: engage the imagination and warm the heart! I love the Lily Stargazer series, and this is a perfect addition. In 1820, Lily's melancholy ruminations on her lonely past threaten to impinge not only on Christmas, but also on her chance at winning the Yuletide Airship Race . . . from the first drink at Rose's Hopper to the last moment with Father Christmas, this is a perfect steampunk Christmas treat! 
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a tease! ;) December 22, 2014
By ltg584
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm not usually one to read Christmas stories, but I made an exception for Melanie Karsak. This brief story made me both happy and sad at the same time. It was so great to go back and revisit my favorite characters, and to see them all from the beginning, but it also reminded me just how much I miss them. While I was hoping that it would serve to hold me over until Chasing the Fog, it only served to whet my appetite all the more!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


The Dread Owba Coo-Coo, by M.C. Norris, came to my attention in a rather unusual manner. I had just posted the second in a series of posts I'm doing on my website about why authors should make at least minimum wage. M.C. popped up and added to the discussion on Facebook after Andrea Smith made some comments there. To make a long story short, Andrea went on to mention how great an author M.C. is. So, I do what I always do and read the sample of the book she considers to be the scariest. The Dread Owba Coo-Coo. I requested to be M.C.'s friend and got into his head a bit. And the result is this post.

This is Andrea's book review:

5.0 out of 5 stars A definite must-read for those who like historical horror, November 16, 2014
This review is from: The Dread Owba Coo-Coo (Kindle Edition)
Tonight's nightmares will be courtesy of M.C. Norris and this book. If you want graphic historical horror on the high seas, you don't want to miss reading this book. The author has brought forth images that cannot be ignored. He has taken the descriptions of a slave ship to new levels. It is a book that I would need to read more than once to uncover the layers of reference and symbolism contained within is pages.
                                                           *    *    *    *
Andrea is 100% correct with what she says. And so are the other reviewers below. If you enjoy going to another place in time for your horror, and I mean spine-tingling horror, M.C. Norris is your go to guy! How he is able to grab not only the period of time and add in realistic sensual truisms, but the man can flat out hit the language of that day! I'm a pretty good author, I believe, but I would never tackle what M.C does. He is brilliant. 

Among M.C.'s books posted below, you will notice that you can pre-order God Of The Dead, which will be out next month. M.C. is a busy guy!

Yes, there is also a Holiday book for your enjoyment. Krengel & The Krampusz. I was just going through this and was flabbergasted at the historical influences once again and the fascinating tale coming forth.
And, as if that's not enough, Deep Devotion is on sale for .99 for a couple more days. Don't miss out on this super bargain.
Well, my friends, I must thank Andrea Smith for introducing me to a fantastic author. Thank you.
I know there will be many people wanting to hit that buy button for M.C.'s great novels.

Blaze McRob

Book Description

November 15, 2014
It’s a snapshot from the darkest chapter in human history. A crippled slave ship, dismasted in the heart of the Middle Passage, comes to resemble a hellish island where there is no escape from the suffocating heat, from the circling sharks, from each other. But there is something else in their midst. Something ancient. Something evil.

Based on real events from the slave trade era, this intelligent approach to the zombie origin pursues a fly-borne plague to its African roots through a series of letters, log entries and balanced narratives from European and African perspectives, to an ancient pact forged between a dying Vodu witch and Sakpata, the god of disease. The product of the dark bargain is a creature both beautiful and terrifying to behold, relying on bloodsucking insects and a booming slave trade to spread its bloodline overseas to the shores of its new homeland, an island known as Hayiti.
5.0 out of 5 stars Climb Aboard! November 15, 2014
By Carole
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book scared the living daylights out of me! What an original story! Atmospheric, shiver-inducing, and packed with one unexpected twist after another, it manages to make The Walking Dead look like The Brady Bunch. The language is dark, sinister, and beautiful and the story is something altogether special. I don't want to give anything away so I'll just say, I received an advanced reading copy of The Dread Owba Coo-Coo and I haven't been able to get it out of my head since finishing it weeks ago. It's that kind of novel. Lovers of scary books climb aboard! 

5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable! December 9, 2014
By annie
Perhaps the darkest book I've ever read.

You will feel like you know firsthand what it was to be captured, marched to the African coast, and chained below the deck of a slave ship for a voyage so horrifyingly authentic that the zombies (did I mention that this book is about the zombie origin?) is reduced to background noise next to the real horrors of the slave trade.

I felt that the author did an outstanding job in paying respects to those who suffered and died in slavery through research and a balance of perspectives that gradually shifts from European to African over the course of the book.

There are countless scenes that you will never, ever forget, and you wouldn't want to. Reliving this chapter of history is a big part of what prevents something this horrible from ever being allowed to happen again. 

5.0 out of 5 stars Will Claw Its Way into the Darkest Corner of Your Brain November 17, 2014
By Joe
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Horror and history meet onboard the most terrifying slave ship that ever set sail. The historic references feel eerily authentic. The descriptions transported me back to that terrible time. All five senses were right there, onboard that sinister ship. So when ghastly and grotesque story elements began to rub shoulders with historic details, I found myself buying into those as well.
I won't give anything away. But if "The Walking Dead" sometimes keeps you up at night, prepare yourself for night sweats and chronic insomnia. This horrific tale will claw its way deep into the darkest corner of your brain, where it will take up residence for days after you've nervously turned the last page.

Deep Devotion by M.C. Norris (Sep 1, 2014)


Formats Price New Used
Kindle Edition Auto-delivered wirelessly
to buy
FREE Shipping on orders over $35
$11.95 $10.43 $10.43 $12.64

Krengel & The Krampusz by M.C. Norris (Nov 1, 2014)


The Dread Owba Coo-Coo by M.C. Norris (Nov 15, 2014)


Formats Price New Used
Kindle Edition Auto-delivered wirelessly
to buy

FREE Shipping on orders over $35
$11.95 $10.76

M.C. Norris

M.C. Norris
M.C. Norris is an author of speculative fiction whose first four books, DEEP DEVOTION (2014), KRENGEL & the KRAMPUSZ (2014), THE DREAD OWBA COO-COO (2014), and GOD OF THE DEAD (2015) are all published by Severed Press. Prior to his emergence as a published author in 2014, M.C. Norris sold numerous short stories to a variety of magazines, e-zines, podcasts and paperback anthologies.

Visit the website:

"Like" M.C. Norris on Facebook to stream upcoming events and book news