Sunday, May 29, 2016


I wrote this a number of years ago. It was one of my editorials back in the day when I still did some editorial work for newspapers. I dedicate it to all those who have died in battle, or from battle wounds which ultimately led to their deaths. That's what Memorial Day is about.

Ravages Of War

     The year was 1967 and the jungle was filled with the stench of napalm and burning vegetation. Chaos reigned: both sides were confused and scrambling to save themselves from the onslaught of the raging battle.

     It was to no avail for far too many. Dead and dying soldiers littered the landscape. Hell on earth, made even more real by the dancing wickedness of the flames taunting them, showed that Heaven was perhaps nothing more than a myth, an abstract of reality.

     We huddled together for a brief moment, discussing what needed to be done, and then raced to save those we could; those with some kind of flickering glimmer of hope. Sadly, there were not many within reach of a helping hand.

     There were perhaps a dozen of us still able to walk, and we carried the wounded out on makeshift stretchers made from old blankets and whatever other materials we could scrounge up for the purpose. It was a long trek back to rejoin our main command post, but we persevered, ever aware of the hazards ahead. We hadn't even reached the end of the evening before we lost some of our wounded.

     Time. Time was a major factor. It was not working in our favor.

     On the second night, I noticed a young grunt who was in excruciating pain, sounds of its intensity filling the jungle air. His leg . . . his leg was the cause of it all. He was trying to reach it with his hands, almost looking as if he wanted to tear the offending limb from his body.

     I took my knife and cut his pants leg to his ankle. Staring at his tortured face for a couple seconds, I called for my comrades.

     Silence, the horrid silence accompanying impending doom stared us in the face. His leg was obviously full of gangrene. It had to be removed or this young man would die. No need to tell him: we simply had to do it. There were no options.

     Yes, we had no anesthesia; nothing other than a bottle of Jack Daniels. We used it, making sure he was well looped before we cleaned and disinfected the knife in the flames of the fire we had made.

     The time came to do what had to be done, but everyone froze: who could possibly perform the operation? We were soldiers, not medics. I was the youngest, only eighteen at the time, but all eyes focused on me. Shit! The life of this man was in my hands. I had only read of this type of thing, enough to know about tourniquets and such, but I took the knife in my hand and did what was necessary, the pain experienced by the soldier ripping through the jungle.

     He collapsed in to unconsciousness. His torment for the moment was over. We had no way of knowing if we had been in time to save him, but we could hope. There was always hope.

                                                   *    *    *    *

     Forty years later, I was standing on line in a local McDonalds, waiting on my food, when I noticed a man standing in front of me. He was on crutches, one leg missing beneath the knee. His face . . . his face had a familiarity I couldn't place: not at first, anyway.

     He must have felt the glare of my stare on his back because he turned and returned my glance with one of his own.

     "Khe Sahn, 1967," I said.

     "Yes," he said."How did you know?"

     I shuffled around nervously. "Your leg. I'm the one who cut your leg off."

     He stared back at me, intensity building in his stare. "For years, I hated you. I didn't know who you were, but I hated you. You cut off my leg! I wasn't whole. The torture of rehabilitation was unbearable. The thought of revenge if I should ever meet you was what kept me going. Then one day a doctor told me you saved my life and that that was better than dying in that infernal Hell-hole."

     No more words were said by either of us for about a minute. Then he said, "Thank you, brother! You saved my life. I owe you big time!"

     We stood there and hugged, tears falling unashamedly from both our eyes. We talked for awhile about life and loves won and lost, and we parted ways.

     It doesn't take Thanksgiving to make someone thankful.

     Life. Having life and knowing others made it through the harshest of times is plenty of thanks for me.

Blaze McRob

Friday, May 27, 2016


Here is the link for the book trailer produced by Beverly Cialone for Quarter Moon Haunts, my latest novel.
She did a fantastic job once again. Beverly does all my book trailers. I'm sure you will love this trailer.

The book should capture your attention too, I hope. This is a ghost book with a lot more goodies added in    Remember: not all outhouses are created equal.

Enjoy the book trailer, my friends.

Blaze McRob

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


There is a pre-order sale going on at Amazon for Gone Gorilla (Chicaghosts Book 1 ) by Robert W. Walker. This spooky little tale will be out on June 21, 2016. Get it while you can at only 99 cents. Robert spins some horrific yarns.

Blaze McRob

Book description:

 An Imajin Qwickies® Horror Novella

Mix the horror of The Relic with the humor of Midnight at the Museum and “Imajin” twists and turns that keep you guessing and questioning the meaning of true honor, duty, courage, and the rules of reality.

When the famous Bushman exhibit of a lowland gorilla goes missing from Chicago’s Museum of Natural History, no self-respecting Chicago police detective wants the case. So the assignment is pawned off on an ‘old fart squad’ of retirees called back into service and led by the classy Aubrey Hamilton. But how does one profile a thief who has stolen a 500 lb. stuffed ape?

At first, Aubrey and her team suspect a hoax or fraternity joke—until bodies turn up inside the museum. Now the elderly sleuths must treat the case as a multiple-homicide investigation. However, the brutal nature of the attacks suggests Aubrey and her team have stumbled upon something…supernatural.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


You only have two more days to get Carole Gill's horror collection House Of Horrors for only 99 cents. Then it goes back to $2.99. That is still a great bargain for a collection such as this from an author so skilled in the craft as Carole. Hustle thy digits to the purchase link at Amazon now. I have provided it for you above. Am I a nice guy or what?

Blaze McRob

Book description:

 Step into Carole Gill's House of Horrors... if you dare.

In this horror collection you'll find stories of vampires, zombies, murderous midgets, demon clowns, evil dolls, haunted cemeteries, a real shop of horrors, taxidermy gone haywire, serial killers and more!

Your worst fears and nightmares dished up for you with extra helpings of blood-curdling terror.

Editorial Reviews


"There is no doubt that she soars above the endless parade of independent horror authors to shine as a true star in the darkness. With the brilliant anthology House of Horrors she proves why she is a perennial favorite. To put it simply, this is a great assembly of tales anyone would be proud to have in their collection"
~Joshua Skye

From the Author

 I love writing and I particularly enjoy writing horror fiction. I see the world as a dark and dangerous place sometimes. Not all monsters look like monsters. My first marriage is why I write horror. Monster Inside is in this collection. I wrote it on Valentine's Day 2009. It made my day and gave me a definite direction to go in.
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just finished House of Horrors and LOVED it. Being a horror movie fan since I was a kid, I thought all of these short stories were spooky as heck. Carole Gill knows how to weave a story and some included a bit of creepy history! I truly whined out loud in fright a couple of times!! I'm not one to go into great detail, but if you are a fan of horror, you won't want to miss this one!! High marks to Ms. Gill.

Format: Paperback
“I fear we too are dying, for we live with madness.” The nightmarishly beautiful prose is but one reason to venture into the unnerving catacombs of House of Horrors, an anthology of short genre excursions by the indomitable Carole Gill. From a storm-shrouded lighthouse to the foggy realms of haunted forests and even a jaunt through Whitechapel, Carole Gill lulls you into her gothic web, masterfully weaving for you a series of nightmarish tales to unease your dreary nights. She is the contemporary incarnation of the storyteller at the fire, and we gather in the light of the flickering flame wide-eyed and eager to listen.

Included here is Dreams of a Vampire, a prequel to Gill’s The House on Blackstone Moor. It aims to fulfill a few curiosities, and it does not disappoint. Longtime fans will be excited and rewarded, not just by the inclusion of this expansion of her seminal saga, but by each and every other story collected here. Zombies rejoice with their own brand of holiday cheer in one of my favorite tales, Seasonal Undead. It is no surprise that Gill’s specialty is vampires, and she continues to satiate the enthusiast by ending her anthology with a curious celebration of the classic tale Carmilla, with none other than Bram Stoker himself making an appearance.

Carole Gill’s talent is a wonder to experience. She has the uncanny ability to craft horrors imbued in fairy tale finesse. The dreamy landscape of her imagination flows across the page with thoughtful, thought-provoking sophistication. There is no doubt that she soars above the endless parade of independent horror authors to shine as a true star in the darkness. With the brilliant anthology House of Horrors she proves why she is a perennial favorite. To put it simply, this is a great assembly of tales anyone would be proud to have in their collection.

(I received a comp copy in exchange for an honest review.) 
Format: Kindle Edition
"That was why vampires always went for the blood-engorged organs first, drinking and savoring the precious nectar."

Gill, Carole (2014-06-07). House Of Horrors (Kindle Location 4181). Creativia. Kindle Edition.

For those who like their horror in short, sharp (no pun intended) doses, I can do no more than recommend Carole Gill's 'House of Horrors' to you. Here is a collection of sixteen short stories that take readers not so much on a walk on the wild side, as a journey through the dark side. Ms. Gill's imagination and inspiration takes on various guises in this collection of stories that ranges from the prequel to her Blackstone Moor vampires series, to my personal favourite, 'Better to Die', a rabid take on the heroic Grace Darling story. This was not one for the faint-hearted and opens the collection in spectacular fashion. The book takes readers on a wonderful roller coaster ride with many different variations on the vampire theme being featured, and I am not going to spoil reader's enjoyment by going into details here, other than to simply say, try it, you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


 Tides Of Chaos, by Lori R. Lopez and Blaze McRob can best be described as mad-cap horror/science-fiction/ fantasy/teen/and young adult. We didn't leave much out, did we? The Kindle version is only 99 cents, and the paperback, with interior illustrations done by Lori, is only $5.00. If you're looking for a breath of fresh air, this book is for you.

Happy reading!

Blaze McRob

Book description:

 A man and woman meet online while the world around them is falling apart. Where are the creatures from that have invaded their planet? What do they want? These questions and more must be answered if the human race is to survive this doomsday scenario. Authors Blaze McRob and Lori R. Lopez join forces to present an unusual tale of an apocalypse that has devastated society. Elvie and Ed managed to connect in a world gone mad. They give each other hope and support from a thousand miles apart. Will it be enough to save them? Read their frantic messages as they attempt to make sense of the situation in this illustrated short fiction from two accomplished horror authors. The story was actually written by exchanging E-mails like the characters, without knowing what might come next. Look for an illustrated print edition featuring artwork by Lori R. Lopez. 

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Blaze McRob writes from deep within his soul. While many people ask him if he could write lighter tomes, he chooses not to, wishing instead to release his inner demons. He has written many novels over the years, penned under other writers’ names. He chooses to come out now and play as Blaze. While novels are his true love, he is enjoying writing short stories and even some poetry. Yes, his poems also reflect sadness. Some things don’t change . . . A few of his newer pieces are MISTS OF PAPOOSE POND (a horror-adventure novel); SILVER HELLS (a short-story holiday horror collection written with Terri DelCampo); BLOOD SPATTER (a collection of Halloween short horror stories written with Terri DelCampo). Four additional horror novels are being released in 2016: GHOST NO MORE, QUARTER MOON HAUNTS, ’68 BUICK, and WOLF WHISPERS. Lori R. Lopez prefers to be mysterious and not divulge too much information about herself. That can be difficult when she is writing an entire book series about her life, along with her various fictional pursuits: long and short tales of Horror, Fantasy, Adventure, Science Fiction, Fable, Verse and more . . . including titles such as THE DARK MISTER SNARK, THE FAIRY FLY, AN ILL WIND BLOWS, ODDS AND ENDS, CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES, POETIC REFLECTIONS: THE QUEEN OF HATS, and DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS. Her life, in fact, is not just an open book — it is a number of open books! Alas, her wish to remain anonymous (but not to be confused with the other Anonymouses out there) cannot be realized so long as she persists at chronicling in great detail the events that befall her. Nonetheless, should you ever by chance meet this clandestine author, it would be terribly considerate to pretend you know nothing about her; not even this much, which is really very little at all.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


From Joe Mynhardt:

Crystal Lake Publishing's authors walked away with two Bram Stoker awards last night.

Congrats to Mercedes Murdock Yardley - Superior Achievement in Long Fiction with LITTLE DEAD RED.

And Alessandro Manzetti - Superior Achievement in Poetry with EDEN UNDERGROUND.

Congrats to all those who won and were nominated. Wasn't my year to win one, but we'll get there eventually.

Go Crystal Lake!

                                                       *    *    *    *

Joe Mynhardt is proud of his authors for their Bram Stoker wins. My congratulations, as well, to Mercedes Murdock Yardley and Alessandro Manzetti for their fantastic wins. Team Crystal Lake Publishing is a force to be reckoned with.

Blaze McRob

Saturday, May 14, 2016


The Coming of the King (Watchers Book 1), by William Meikle, is a fantastic horror/fantasy/historical treasure you don't want to miss. William writes superb horror which takes place not only in fascinating locales, but in different times. Read about horror from the past in this great novel, the first in a trilogy. As added enticement for you to pick up a copy, this tale is free for a short time only. Hustle thyself to Amazon and click the purchase link.

Happy reading.

Blaze McRob

Book description:

 It is 1745, and the long awaited night has come.The BloodKing calls his army to battle and will bring them South to claim his birthright; the throne of Britain.Only the young Watchers on the old wall stand in his way.It is time for them to face their destinies - to whatever end that might lead them.

"...horrifying Highland vampires from the bloodline of the diabolical Stuarts. This first novel...offers excitement that never slackens." -- Margaret L. Carter, author of the Eppie Award-winning vampire novel DARK CHANGELING

"...superb story. Thoroughly enjoyable from the first word to the last. William Meikle has a wonderfully unique style..." -- The Eternal Night Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror

"Breathtaking, Scary and Original. A must read. An impressive blend of horror, history and imagination." -- Dave Dreher, Horror News Network

"I was captivated from the very first scene...Very well written." -- Patricia Altner, author of Vampire Readings: An Annotated Bibliography

By A Customer on August 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
Review by David Wilbanks
In the eighteenth century, the wall that divides Scotland and England is guarded by the Watchers, men trained to fight the Others (vampires) and their human slaves. The Watchers are sworn to protect England should the Bloodking gather his vampire army and invade from the north, and that's just what happens in this novel by William Meikle.
What are the Bloodking and his undead army after? The British throne.
These are the adventures of Martin and Sean, two officers of the Watch.
Martin's father is the Thane, Keeper of Milecastle, leader of the Watch, who reluctantly sends his son on a journey into the Scottish wilderness, along with a barbarian named Campbell from same, to spy on the Bloodking's activities.
Meanwhile, Martin's dear friend Sean is sent south into England, along with Campbell's daughter, on his own dangerous mission where on many occasions, he must kill or be killed.
Adventure. Dark Fantasy. Horror. Call it what you'd like, but if you have a taste for swashbuckling tales, then you should enjoy WATCHERS: The Coming of the King; there is plenty of horror, gore and heroism here to be savored as the two young men are challenged by danger upon danger. The author, in the endnotes, compares the work to a Hammer horror movie. Personally, I can't speak to that, but maybe you who read this will know what he means. Horrific sword and sorcery anyone?
This is the first book in a trilogy, so there's plenty more to come for you bloodthirsty sorts. 
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Watchers is set in 1745 on the borderlands of England and Scotland. The Watchers are a group of people sworn to protect England from the Bloodking and his vampiric horde, known as the Others. The Bloodking seeks the throne, as well as the continuation of the bloodline, and will not stop until he achieves his goals. Will the Watchers of the wall be able to hold back the vampiric horde when the time comes and keep England from it's seemingly dark fate?
The book is centered mostly on two specific characters, and follows each of their journeys in turn. Sean and Martin are both men of the Watch who end up with large quests to accomplish after hearing news of the return of the Bloodking. Martin is to accompany the Scottish newsbearer to the North to gather more information regarding the growing horde, while Sean is to go south to protect a secret few people, including the Bloodking, know about. They must complete their assigned tasks and return to help fend off the blood thirsty Boy-King before it is too late.
Once I began reading this book, I couldn't put it down. Anyone who is a fan of epic dark fantasy novels with a historic twist will love this series. Those of you who are fans of Robert Jordan, George RR Martin, and Tolkien will most likely enjoy this series as well. Meikle intertwines mythology, vampire lore, and history together so masterfully that fans of the horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and historic fiction genres would all find this short series appealing. The book makes for a quick, simple, fun read that will have you turning page after page to find out what happens next, and then ends with a great cliff-hanger that will leave you desiring the second installment. I highly recommend this trilogy! 
Format: Paperback
If the concept of a hoard of Royalist vampires attacking from Scotland and trying to reclaim the English crown sounds a bit corny, don't worry - it really works.
William Meikle has managed to forge a dark and compelling story by taking some exciting British history and his own brand of vampire story telling and then giving them a good mix.
The story introduces us to Martin and Sean, two soldiers of the Hadrian's Wall watch who are tasked with looking after a traveller and his daughter who arrive from the north.
Between them, their stories introduce the reader to the history of the Others and how they plan to retake the throne.
As the first part of a trilogy, it sets the scene perfectly for the remainder of the series - and I, for one, can't wait for the next book.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


Do you like your Fairy Tales dark, but with a blend of twisted humor added in? Fairy Tale Fusion, by A. F. Stewart, is just such a book. A. F. has a number of tales to her credit, and she is able to present a rather eclectic assortment for your reading enjoyment. This is one of her better collections. Fairyland of olde was never like this!

Blaze McRob

Book description:

 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.

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you believed everything you read in fairy tales as a child that some of your favorite nursery rhyme characters have a wonderful life in the end, you need to read this book. It will be an eye opener! A. F. Stewart tell you what really happened to them with her man of action in Fairyland, Detective Piper who puts some of our favorite characters where they belong once they stray for their storylines from the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe and the death of two little pigs, plus what happens to Mary and her lamb and Sleeping Beauty and more. Fairy Tale Fusion is entertaining with it's dark humor and fun in every line. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and A.F. Stewart's humor! 
Format: Paperback
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed this book immensely. A.F. Stewart gave the familiar fairy tale characters a dark side, and it was quite the treat. It was written well, except for a couple of typos, but that does not stop the enjoyment that I felt reading these tales. I highly recommend this book. 
Format: Kindle Edition
I haven't read a book this entertaining in years.

It starts out with fairy tale news reporters telling the news like it is in fairyland. Sadly, two of the three Pig brothers were murdered by the remaining Pig guy. Then, more news.

Her story moves over to the Metro Police detectives relating how they solved some of the latest local murders and mayhem. Then, breaks to a commercial.

The second part of this book is freaky stories--extremely freaky with a dash of nightmare stuff.

Dark humor--yes, but it's hard to make me chuckle and I chuckled all the way through it.

Like I said, this is the most entertaining book I've read in years. Something completely different, unexpected, and if I could, I'd give it a 5++++ rating.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


A Blurt In Time: The Tale Of A Time Traveling Toilet, by Steve Vernon, is present and accounted for at the delicious price of only 99cents! Ahah. Get it now before the toilet spins to noxious fumes and goes back up in price. Actually, the regular price is still a bargain. Imagine the ramifications if Steve's book were actually non-fiction. Could things like this actually occur? Better read up and be prepared.

Blaze McRob

Book description:

 Burt was certain that if he hadn't hit King Kong with Darth Vader's head he would not have fallen into that Citadel Hill time traveling toilet. He wouldn't have met and been shot by the one-armed ghost and he would NOT have found himself in the wrong place at the wrong freaking time. A BLURT IN TIME is a YA time-travel horror story that grown-ups will want to read when the kids aren’t looking.

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I went into this thinking it was a happy-go-lucky tale about a time traveling toilet; that was not the case. As far as the story goes, it's told by Blurt, who seems like a genuinely good-hearted kid. His adventures in the beginning are well-paced, bordering amusing. But, as I got deeper into the story, some disturbing events kicked in. (I had to reread a part to ensure I had read it correctly the first time.)

Overall, a great read that left me with a lot to think about. My only word of caution is that this book is not devoid of violence by any means. 
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was funny but also confusing. I had to re-read portions of it as I found it hard to follow. I'm sorry to say, but I didn't love it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

YOUR Favorite Horror Books - BY ARMAND ROSAMILIA

From Armand Rosamilia:

This summer I'll be doing something I've been meaning to do for a long time... I want to recognize some great books in the horror fiction field. I also want to find some new books I might've missed myself, so... Two men argue in the low light of one of nineteenth-century New York’s vilest bars. One is an aristocrat, clearly slumming, while the other, in appearance no better than the gutter-trash around him, is the finest author of his age. [ 1176 more words. ]

                                                        *    *    *    *

Hit the link above and read the other 1176 words. Also, you will be transported to Armand's website where magickal book covers and descriptions cavort before your very eyes.

This is a great idea. Armand picks super books suggested by readers and introduces you to some new and older treasures. Stop reading my words and get over there now and find some great stories. I have only read two of these works, so I have some catching up to do.

Join me at Armand's website.

Blaze McRob

Monday, May 9, 2016


The Alliance of Independent Authors is part of the grand uPublishU group at BookExpo America this week in Chicago. The link above shows all the stage events and more at BEA for the self-publishers and others. Hitting the Show Information link will take you on a trip through the whole event. 

I have always followed the happenings at BEA. Just because I write primarily in the horror genre doesn't mean I don't read and follow other genres. Also, events such as this keep you in touch with what is happening in our business, whether it be Big 5, Small Press, or Self-Publishing. Business is business. The more you know, the more books you will sell. And, my horror author friends, don't allow yourself to fall into the I write horror, so I shouldn't expect to sell a lot of books syndrome. That's horse-crap! I great book is a great book regardless of genre. You need to know how to sell your books. BEA is a great place to do it.

You can also participate online at I am. There are some great authors and others here. Also, hit this link for even more information.

Keep up with what's happening!

Blaze McRob

Friday, May 6, 2016


Tales From The Lake Vol. 1, from Joe Mynhardt and Crystal Publishing, is rocking the charts! This morning on Amazon it was #2 in Books>Literature& Fiction>Genre Fiction >Horror>Anthologies. It was also #3 for Anthologies &Literature Collections>Horror, and #4 for Horror>Short Stories. For the next eighteen hours you can buy it for only 99 cents, so this is your opportunity to get it at a great price.

I am particularly pleased because I have two horrific poems that garnered a lot of interest and great reviews. Thank you to the reviewers. I am honored to share the pages of this great tome with some truly fantastic authors.

Hurry! This sale won't last long.

Blaze McRob

Book description:

 Remember those dark and scary nights spent telling ghost stories and other campfire tales? With the TALES FROM THE LAKE horror anthology, you can relive the most memorable of those moments by reading the best Dark Fiction stories around.

From urban legends and ghosts, African witchdoctors / curses and living dolls, serial killers and seamonsters, to vengeful animals, demons wandering the earth, and the every day fight between good and evil, TALES FROM THE LAKE VOL.1 has it all.

So dive into fourteen tales of horror, with short stories and dark poems by some of the best horror writers in the world, including a story by the master himself, Graham Masterton.

Allow the very first installment of TALES FROM THE LAKE to transport you to lakeside terror in “Lover, Come Back to Me”, “Lady of Lost Lake”, and “Game On”; journey to the basement of your local pet store in “Dead Pull” and your neighborhood pub in “O’Halloran’s”; visit the apocalypse in “Devil’s Night”; travel to Africa in “Witch-Compass” and “The Reunion”; spend time with talking dolls in “Don’t Look at Me”; experience the horrors of drug addiction from close up in “Junksick”; and climb a ladder to the heavens in “Perrollo’s Ladder”.

TALES FROM THE LAKE VOL.1 includes the winning stories from the 2013 Tales From the Lake Horror Writing Competition: a nautical tale in Jennifer Loring’s “The Art of Wrecking”; a bizarre story of strange addictions in J. Daniel Stone’s “Alternative Muses”; and a cult horror story in the jungles of South America in William Ritchey’s “Las Maquinas”.

Welcome to Crystal Lake.

Editorial Reviews


"Strong pacing and a few twists that I never saw coming kept me glued to the page until the end... an intriguing collection of horror and science fiction tales... something I'd recommend to anyone who likes their science fiction dark and full of chilling twists." - Long and Short Reviews
"... a fine collection of short stories and poems presented to us by Crystal Lake Publishing. These stories are reminiscent of the old Tales from the Crypt. Remember as a kid, sitting in the backyard in the evening with a flashlight trying to outdo one another with the scariest tale? That's what these stories are like, only they're for our grownup selves." - Horror Novel Reviews
"... a perfect example of horror, blending gruesome imagery with a creeping dread that we can't easily shake off. This is a solid hit if I've ever seen one." - Zero Signal Magazine
"Whatever raises the hairs on the back of your neck, or has you jumping at the slightest sound, chances are that something here will hit close to home. Tales from the Lake Vol. 1 is a collection of tales well worth diving into." - Hellnotes
"The pieces in Tales from the Lake Vol. 1 range from the spellbindingly eerie to the Bizarro." - Up All Night Horror Fiction Review

About the Author

Graham Masterton, a master of modern horror (Library Journal), is one of the world s best-selling horror writers. A journalist by trade, Masterton s debut novel, The Manitou, was an instant hit and was filmed with Tony Curtis and Susan Strasberg.

Bev Vincent is the author of The Road To The Dark Tower and the "Stephen King News from the Dead Zone" column in Cemetery Dance magazine.

Elizabeth Massie is author of numerous novels for young adult, middle grade, and primary readers. These include the Young Founders series, the Daughters of Liberty trilogy, "The Great ""Chicago"" Fire: 1871", "The Fight for Right", "Read All About It, "and more. A former middle school teacher, Elizabeth enjoys exploring both important and little-known moments in American history and presenting those moments to readers through the struggles and triumphs of her characters.
Elizabeth lives in the historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, very close to where her family moved in 1747. She says, Every place is historic. Well-known or not, every town, city, and county has its own compelling tale of people and events, a story that plays a part in the continuing story that is our history. 

Format: Kindle Edition
This first volume of Tales from the Lake is a horror and dark fantasy reading feast that will thrill and satisfy all followers of these genres. An outing on Greywater Lake gone horribly wrong, some thoroughly scary dolls and statues, a group of violent ghosts, and a vengeful Xbox are just a few of the horrors you will encounter in this book.

With water as the central theme of several of these stories; lakes, rivers and the sea play a major, if thoroughly frightening, role. For ultimate variety add to this a pet shop manager who kills what he can't control, a sexual deviant who hates her own pregnancy, a horrific drug production secret, and a charm with an extremely high price for its services.

The stories take a look at concepts of hatred, fear, greed, absolute control, and the desire to remain forever young. On the positive side, in the story O'Halloran's, it is clear that redemption is always possible. The poem, Saint Patty's Night at the Crown, brings an old-world atmosphere to this book.

The imagination and inventiveness in this anthology display a creativity and diversity of talent seldom found in such collections. Contributions by well-known, award winning authors such as Elizabeth Massie, Taylor Grant, Graham Masterton, and several others, make Tales from the Lake Vol.1 a book with a very high standard of storytelling.

The three finalist stories from the 2013 Tales from the Lake Horror Writing Competition, Las Maquinas, Alternative Muses, and The Fine Art of Wrecking more than deserve their places in this anthology. My personal favorites, however, were Dead Pull and Witch Compass, and my favorite character was the concrete garden gnome in Don't Look at Me.

This extremely neat, thoroughly edited anthology of carefully selected tales is another proud feather in the cap of Crystal Lake Publishing. For a collection of tales that will thrill, horrify, and generally captivate all readers of horror and dark fantasy, I highly recommend Tales from the Lake Vol.1 as a must-read! (Ellen Fritz)
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
These stories are reminiscent of the old Tales from the Crypt. Remember as a kid, sitting in the backyard in the evening with a flashlight trying to outdo one another with the scariest tale? That’s what these stories are like, only they’re for our grownup selves.

Three of the included stories are from winners of the 2013 Crystal Lake Publishing horror competition. First place went to Jennifer Loring. Her story The Fine Art of Wrecking is about how one small community survives through the ages by “wrecking” ships. It’s an occupation passed on from father to son, but it does come with a price.

J. Daniel Stone offered up Alternative Muses for a second place slot. Here we are given a look at the dark side of a hedonic lifestyle. The third place story Las Maquinas by William Ritchey was on of my favorites. People are disappearing, can it be the work of a serial killer or is it something worse? Not for the faint of heart!

Blaze McRob has two poems included, Devil Dolls and Saint Patty’s Night at the Crown, both are devilishly delightful. Tim Waggoner’s Lover, Come Back to Me shows us that death will not be cheated and Graham Masterton gives us a nasty little tale called Witch-Compass that will test your moral fiber.

Junksick by G.N. Braun and Game On by Charles Day show the consequences of drug use. Joan De La Haye tells a clever ghost story in The Reunion. Perrollo’s Ladder by John Palisano is a bit like the tower of Babel on acid.

It’s all about paybacks being a bitch in Taylor Grant’s Dead Pull, O’Halloran’s by John Paul Allen, and in Don’t Look at Me by Elizabeth Massie.

“I’m more afraid to live than to die.” Find out who, what, why in Devil’s Night by Tim Curran, and lastly, The Lady of Lost Lake by Bev Vincent gives us a glimpse of Paradise before hell breaks through.

All in all an entertaining read, can’t wait for volume 2! 
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I read short stories, I like to pick at them. Much like I pick at the bones of the delicious fried chicken that my wife makes. I like anthologies that have a diverse selection of stories in different lengths that I can read when I find I have a bit of reading time, but not enough to get into a new novel.

Tales From The Lake Vol. 1 is the first in what I hope to be a long running annual anthology. Editor Joe Mynhardt has filled this book with fresh voices, seasoned veterans, and a couple legends of horror to give us a solid gem of a collection for horror fans.

Tim Waggoner kicks off the fun with Lover Come Back To Me, a haunting tale of a dark love pushing it's boundaries to the test.

Blaze McRob's shows his his "softer" side as he entertains with two poems that you probably won't want to find in a Hallmark card anytime soon.

Taylor Grant's Dead Pull is a perfect example of why pet shop owners should be wary of who they hire. Well told and fast paced, you will read this story in the time it takes you to check your Facebook updates.

Jennifer Loring's The Fine Art of Wrecking is another high point in this collection. A great sea story with plenty of blood in it's frothy waters. Remember, the sea never forgets...

Bev Vincent's Lady of Lost Lake and Elizabeth Massie's Don't Look At Me also deliver in a big way. Well told, nicely paced stories that are meant for one sitting. Of course Graham Masterson does what he does best, and Witch-Compass is another classic by the legend, though I remember it well from Dark Terrors. John Paul Allen, John Palisano, Joan De La Haye, J. Daniel Stone and William Ritchey all contribute strong stories that entertain and terrify to one extent or another.

All of these voices combine to bring a solid anthology that fans of horror short stories will love for generations to come. Nice job Joe Mynhardt, once again you have proven that Crystal Lake is not just a place for masked killers, but it is a home to terror of all sorts.

5 stars all the way.

Thursday, May 5, 2016


My book review for Cure: A Strandville Zombie Novel, by Belinda Frisch, is below. This is a fantastic Zombie novel that has a most refreshing approach,  one that doesn't employ the same old stereotyping you might be used to. I guarantee that you will enjoy it. I don't know how long this will last, but this great novel is free on Kindle at the moment. Pick up a copy now.

Blaze McRob

Book description:

**Runner-up in the General Fiction category of the 2012 Halloween Book Festival and optioned for film**

Welcome to the Nixon Healing and Research Center, playground for the maniacal Dr. Howard Nixon whose medical research has him dabbling in the undead and has the women of Strandville disappearing.

Desperate to find a cure for the lethal virus which turns its victims into zombies, Nixon kidnaps Miranda Penton, a security recruit with a past that won't let her go. He doesn't count on anyone coming looking for her, least of all her ex-husband, Scott.

A warning call brings Scott to Strandville where he bands together with a team of locals determined to bring their own loved ones home. Together, they infiltrate Nixon's staff, hatching a plan that releases not only the surviving women, but the virus on those left in the hospital.

Nixon locks down the center to contain the spread, turning patients, visitors, and staff into a dangerous horde that is almost impossible to escape. Miranda and the others fight for their lives. The town of Strandville is ground zero for the zombie apocalypse and Miranda must get free because the fate of humanity lies with her unborn child.

Contains editorial revisions April 2015

Cure , by Belinda Frisch, Is Zombie Action At its Best-Five Stars Is Not Enough!,
June 19, 2012
This review is from: Cure: A Strandville Zombie Novel #1 (Kindle Edition)
Cure, by Belinda Frisch, is soooo good that Five Stars is not enough! This tale is in a category all its own. I read a great number of books, zombie books among them, and have never read one with this kind of twist, this kind of originality. The town of Strandville comes alive before your very eyes in the guise of the Nixon Healing And Research Center. The staff here has a whole different approach to curing cancer, and it backfires on them when Miranda's estranged husband comes tearing in to save her after Doctor Nixon impregnates her with a zombie fetus. Poor Miranda; poor world, as the zombies at the facility are let loose.

You must read this thriller! Seat of the pants horror all the way! Hang on and be prepared for a fright!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Winter of Zombie 2015
How to Quit Your Job and Write about Zombies for a Living
by Jay Wilburn

Hit the link above to read a great post by Jay Wilburn. Yes, it came from Winter of Zombie 2015, and yes, it specifies writing about Zombies in the title, but this post is not dated, and it is not limited only to writing about Zombies. Any writer can absorb the wealth of facts that Jay shares with you. If you are considering taking the plunge and writing for a living, this post is for you. Jay is a pro. He took the plunge. Should you? Maybe, maybe not. You'll have a much better grip on the facts after reading his article, believe me.

Blaze McRob