Sunday, May 28, 2017


The post below appeared on Rebecca Treadway's blog a number of years ago. The first part is hers; the second part is mine. This year I'm putting it here. It is just as timely today. Thank you Rebecca for sharing this with me!

It's not a "Holiday"

          There are three days on the U.S. Calendar that I pretty much consider offensive. I keep it to myself, as it gets tiring when someone tells me "Happy Thanksgiving" and I sometimes reply "Happy Thankstaking" back. Same with Independence Day. If you know American history and the way this country really was "founded" you'd be thankful for every day. At any rate. This past weekend, people have been throwing around "Happy Memorial Day" to me like it's something to be happy about.  It's not a "Holiday" - it's a day of remembrance.
Don't get me wrong. I'm glad I live in America and enjoy the relative freedom this country provides and the liberties I don't take for granted. I simply don't wait for a Holiday in the real world in which to give thanks. This is related to writing, believe it or not. My work in progress features people I know in my own area, "character models" who are Veterans of the Vietnam War. 
     Some are homeless, some are still shell-shocked (now called PTSD) and though the novel is a supernatural tale, the horrors of War are not fiction nor a "Holiday" I use as a reason to say Happy Day to some one and go to barbecue.
      I recently became acquainted with someone who I asked to act as an extra pair of eyes to beta read my WIP. He is also a Vietnam Vet.  My post today is a guest post to honor the fallen, and as a remembrance to those who served and still serve. 
That guest is fellow Indie Horror writer Blaze McRob

Memorial day is here, along with everything that it entails. No, I’m not talking about the picnics, trips to the mountains to do some fishing or whatever. I’m talking about the reasons the holiday was established.
     Okay, I should straighten this out now: I don’t believe Memorial day is a holiday. It’s a day of remembrance for those who suffered during war; for those who didn’t return. How the hell do you make a holiday out of death? You don’t.
     Every year I go to the cemetery and see tears flowing, vets who can hardly walk, and some with missing limbs. Others have no apparent physical ailments, but one look at their faces tells you a story of inner personal strife: demons trapped inside with no release in sight. They’re remembering; they’re not celebrating.
     So what do we do? Do we allow the festering inside to cause us to rot away?

         I’m a vet. I served in Vietnam in 1966 and 1967. There was much I saw, much I experienced, much that is beyond comprehension. It was fucking war! You know what? Wars aren’t nice. Wars suck!  As if that wasn’t bad enough, I came back to the states to a country gone mad: long- haired hippies with their signs saying we were baby killers and other shit. Peace signs were everywhere, but these so-called flower children saw fit to attack us with their signs. Some of those who were attacked hobbled along on crutches with only one leg. Others were in wheelchairs. Nice people, these hippies. Okay, I wasn’t in great shape myself, but I was damned if I was going to put up with that shit. I put a number of them down with their own signs before the MPs and cops stopped it all.

     Present day, the country has changed their opinions about the war over there. Maybe it wasn’t so bad after all; maybe we should have been shown some respect. Yeah, make it easier for us to get treated for things at the VA. PTSD is bandied about like these snot-nosed kid doctors in mental health hold all the answers. Put us all on drugs to mellow us out, help us forget about the war. Shut us up.

     Number one: it’s too late for people my age who didn’t serve to say they are sorry for what happened. Forty years ago was the right time. Not now. It’s like they’re offering us a gift that we should thank them profusely for. What?! They need the medication I threw away. While we endured what we did, they went to college and prepared themselves for a life of wealth and greed. Now the small peace offering arrives to assuage their guilt. Let them be guilty. I want nothing to do with cowards or false “friends.”

     Number two: I don’t want to forget. I want to remember every moment of it. Why do I want to remember the pain and horror? It’s a part of who I am and why I am. We learn from the past. Everything, bad and good, parades before us, warning us that moments are so easy to be recaptured in the worst of ways. A lot of the new crop of politicos on the scene have no knowledge of war. They never experienced any of the traumas associated with it, nor were they given a chance to rise up from the worst of the worst and become a real man or a real woman. In fact, so many schools nowadays are downplaying the teaching of history in schools so that our children will not learn the truth except from those who were there.

     I now bring horror into the horror. Blaze writes horror tales. Guess what? My horror is not all fiction. My soul screams for me to tell the world of true terrors lurking in the real world. And so I do. However, I don’t want to write a story about what happened to Blaze when he served. 
     Yes, there will be some juicy little tidbits scattered around: rats running over bodies half submerged in rice-paddies; bamboo shoots stuck up body orifices never designed for such attacks; dirt floors of single dwelling shacks in prison camps, covered with crawling vermin attracted to the hole in the corner which passes for hygienic toilet facilities. I think you get the picture. These goodies are to be shared with one’s readers in such a way that maybe they think these things actually happened or maybe they didn’t. Personal perception. Carole Gill says the worst horror is non-fiction, and she is so right.

     By instilling these truths into the façade of horror, we say what is without actually saying it is. A paradox of words, dealing with the mind in such a way as to instill truths and fears within the guise of story telling. We awaken minds, making them receptive to our message. In my way of thinking, we are presenting an honest subliminal message to our dear readers.
     We allow the reader to wonder what if? Yes, maybe it’s horror, but that doesn’t mean it’s all about gore and violence. The novel “1984” is a great example of this. I know I always pondered the possibilities.     
     The novel I just finished and am editing contains scenes of war, as well as other real-life health issues and betrayal I experienced in the past. Is this cheating, digging up moments from my life? I don’t really care. These are my moments; they belong to me; if they are altered to fit the story, so what! I’m writing fiction. Life is grand.     
We all fight our battles in different ways. I cleanse my soul with the release of my inner demons within the tales I write. Why should I write about fun-filled ditties? Isn’t it better to get rid of the bad and keep the good within.
      Memorial Day. Don’t pity us vets. Respect us for what we did. If you can’t do that then leave us alone: we don’t need you; we don’t want you.

On Memorial Day take some time out today and give our Warriors, past, present and future a moment of silence.
That includes your Twitter!

Friday, May 26, 2017


Witches Among Us, by Kathryn Meyer Griffith, is out now. This is The Fourth Spookie Town Murder Mystery ( Spookie Town Murder Mysteries Book 4 ). Kathryn is one fantastic author, and you will not want to miss this great book! Go to the free sample on Amazon and see if you don't agree with me. I know you'll want to purchase her book.

You can also find Kathryn's books on Smashwords.

Blaze McRob

Book description:

Spookie is a quaint village often cloaked in fog and filled with mysteries. The usual eccentric characters are here for their fourth murder mystery and the case is one which really hits close to home this time for Myrtle, the town’s Perry Como singing and wagon-pulling bag lady. Her sister Evelyn, the local animal hoarder, is missing. Strange miniature figures fashioned of twigs are found hanging from one of Evelyn’s trees as warnings. Because of them Myrtle fears a coven of wanted-to-be witches she once knew, and escaped from, almost sixty year ago could be behind the kidnapping because she stole their ancient black grimoire–and they want it back. But Myrtle doesn’t want to let them have it because she believes the grimoire is dangerously real. The book mustn’t fall into the wrong hands and the old coven’s hands are covered in blood. So Myrtle again seeks Frank and Abigail’s help in getting her sister back, alive, and protecting the grimoire. What they don’t know is a fourth addition to their team of sleuths, a mysterious psychic and new addition to the town, will emerge and join the battle…but whose side will she be on? Is she merely a psychic or is she something more? And will they get Evelyn back alive or will the old witches find and possess the grimoire first? The fourth Spookie Town Murder Mystery.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


Mary G. Fortier-Schütz II's Nighty Nightmare has a new home! And that's not all. It is now in audio. You can actually hear Mary as she spins her tales to you via her horror-sculpted ( yet sweet ) voice. And, as if that's not enough, she has been selected in the HEAR Now: The Audio Fiction and Arts Festival!

Congratulations, Mary!

Don't miss these great podcasts, my friends. My favorite is her telling of graveyards. But they are all great! Catch you over there.

Blaze McRob

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Nurse Blood, by Rebecca Besser, is waiting for you. This is a fantastic mystery, suspense, medical, crime thriller. Ahah! I bet I have your interest now. Rebecca is a great author and comes up with super on the edge of your seat tales. I recommend this novel highly!

Blaze McRob

Book description:

 Sonya Garret roams the bar scene hoping to steal the heart of an unsuspecting victim—literally…

Sonya, better known as Nurse Blood, is part of a team of lethal organ harvesters who seek out the weak to seduce, kill, and part out for profit on the black market. When Sonya meets Daniel McCoy, a young man recovering from a broken engagement, he’s just another kill to line her pockets with quick cash.

Agent David McCoy vows to find out how and why his twin brother Daniel disappeared…

Daniel’s body hasn’t been found, and the leads are slim to none, but it won’t stop David from dedicating his life to solving his brother’s case. When the evidence finally uncovers the shocking truth that Daniel’s disappearance is linked to organ harvesters, David knows his brother is most likely dead. But he’s determined to stop the villains’ killing spree before they strike again.

One last harvest is all Sonya and her team need to put their murderous past behind them…

A family with the rarest blood type in the world is the only thing standing between Sonya and retirement. David McCoy and the FBI are hot on their trail, though, and multiple targets make this the most complicated harvest yet. Will David unravel Sonya’s wicked plans in time to avenge his brother and save an innocent family? Or will Sonya cash in her final kill and escape for good?

Murder for profit stops for no man when you’re Nurse Blood.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Suffer The Children is John Saul's first novel. I read it many years ago and became an instant John Saul fan. There's not a novel of his I don't like. I can't say that about a number of other horror authors. Check this one out and you'll feel the same as me.

Happy reading!

Blaze McRob

Book description:

One hundred years ago in Port Arbello a pretty little girl began to scream. And struggle. And die. No one heard. No one saw. Just one man whose guilty heart burst in pain as he dashed himself to death in the sea. Now something peculiar is happening in Port Arbello. The children are disappearing, one by one. An evil history is repeating itself. And one strange, terrified child has ended her silence with a scream that began a hundred years ago.