Monday, February 27, 2017


Mary Genevieve Fortier is my Woman In Horror today! Mary has some great stories and poems in quite a few outstanding books, and she shares a great website with Thomas Scopel.  She is Nighty Nightmare, and believe me, she finds some great tales to spin for you. As I have mentioned in past Woman In Horror posts about Mary, her discourse on Horror is definitely going to provide some valuable insight. She discusses clowns, spirits, screams , hissing, laughter, shock, icy touches, and much more. Then she adds in the sense of smell and all the goodies lurking about ready to latch onto you. And in addition to talking about all the senses, she talks about the absence, the loss of these senses. Does the word Dark mean anything to you? Yes, I thought it would.

One of her posts on Nighty Nightmare has to do with the fact that Women In Horror Month is just not long enough . She is absolutely right, so who better to start off my second month of Women In Horror then Mary?

Haunted houses play an important part of the joy Mary shares. When I was a young child we did not have TV and I would sneak down the hallway and listen to Inner Sanctum on the radio. Remember that show with that creaking door? Sakes alive! It was grand. Mary re-enacts creaking doors, flickering lights, voices, laughter and more to make you feel uneasy in your surroundings. Yes, Mary, scare the crap out of your fans!

Mary discusses superstitions and ghost busting, but she really comes into her own when she talks about cemeteries. Such a lovely place to be, don't you think? Tombstones, grave markers, mausoleums, are all discussed, as well as that ever present chill in the air, fog, and gloom. She speaks of physical planes and soul-less entities. She mentions the fact that maybe not everything thought to be without a soul actually is. Bacon once said that knowledge is power. People walking around in cemeteries at night could use a little power. You are one of them, are you not?

These are only a few of the delights awaiting you if you merely venture to that succulent page of Horrific Glory. Nighty Nightmare has this and so much more to stimulate your morbid desires. To be quite honest, I was, and still am, quite flabbergasted at the wonderful tales waiting for me. You will be too. Visit, read, and Stay Scared!

Mary's Amazon bio:

Author; Columnist, Editor, Reviewer and published Writer of Poetry/Prose of various genres.
Co Producer of the Terror Train Anthology Podcast found on YouTube where she also created, performs and writes the dialogue for Terror the Disembodied Voice. Mary also wrote the introductory and closing poems for the podcast.
She is working on both "Terror Train Two" and "Toys in the Attic: A Collection of Evil Playthings" podcasts.

Imagine and Dream... two words that best describe the mind of this poet. An avid lover of the written word, Mary has penned many poems of various genres since the age of seven, having first been published by nine.
Mary grew up reading, watching, loving anything horror; her darkside so to speak.
Classic authors, whose pens have etched greatness in works that not only create shivers down the spine but inspire movement of the soul -- Such remarkable writers as Poe, Shakespeare, Browning, Gibran, just to name a few, gave Mary that special element that drives every poet to place their essence upon parchment. This became the ethereal foundation of her poetic form.
Writing as such gave way to countless poems/prose and other works, many of which found publication in anthologies. Today she has not merely found a new voice but added an intrinsic octave to her repertoire; the genre of Horror, both poetic and fiction.
Mary's poetry has been described as mystical, melodic, flowing with a unique grace that at times has been likened to the old world poets.
Her horror poetry has been deemed as "Poe-esque" by many.
She has most recently been published in eight horror anthologies, "Bones", "Satan's Holiday," "Welcome to Your Nightmare," "Blessings From the Darkness," Spectral Hauntings2" and One of her poems is used as the Intro in the recently released, "Temporary Skeletons" Anthology by Chupa Cabra House Publications. Mary's poetry will be included in two soon to be released Anthologies: "Terror Train" (JWK Publications)and "The Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror 2014."
She has two poems in the January 2014 issue of "Shadows & Light Magazine," (one of which is a photo caption award winner)- two poems are also published in the April 2014 issue of "Shadows & Light Magazine" (one of which is a photo caption award winner).Her work will also be included in the July 2014 issue of "Shadows & Light Magazine."
In addition to being in print, Mary's poetry is featured in "The Wicked Library," (a podcast available on iTunes, and
Season 3, Episodes 307
307.1 Bonus and The Christmas Episode "Christmassacre 2."
Hellnotes has published two of her pieces in a segment of the website known as, "Horror in a Hundred." "Darkness on a Lonely Stretch of Road"

Mary was a featured, guest author on Viktor Aurelius' "Whispers in the Dark," on Blogtalk Radio:
Currently, Mary has a position as a columnist, "Nighty Nightmare" for the horror website, Staying Scared, for which she was named, "Woman in Horror" by Blaze McRob's Tales of Horror: As well as 2015
In addition, she is a partner/editor/author for Black Bed Sheet Books and a reviewer for Hellnotes and Dark Regions Press.
You may also find an interview on Mary at
"A Knife and a Quill"

Mary is working on a personal website,
Presently, you will find her at:
Mary's column; Nighty Nightmare
For her complete bibliography, please visit her Facebook Writer Page.
Facebook Writer Page:


"American Poetry Annual" - The Amherst Society
"Visions" - Iliad Press
"Poetic Voices of America" - Sparrowgrass Poetry Forum
"A View From The Edge" - The National Library of Poetry
"The Best Poems of the 90's" - National Library of Poetry
"Expectations" - Iliad Press
"Impressions" - Iliad Press
"Allusions" - Iliad Press
"Celebrations" - Iliad Press
"Visions and Beyond" - Creative Arts & Sciences Enterprises
"Bones: An Anthology" - James Ward Kirk Publishing
"Satan's Holiday" - Compiled by Yvonne Mason
"Welcome To Your Nightmare" - Compiled by Yvonne Mason
"The Wicked Library" season 3 - Episodes 307 & 307 BONUS a podcast
"The Wicked Library" Holiday Episode "Chrismassacre 2
"Temporary Skeletons"- Chupa Cabra House Publication
"Spectral Hauntings 2" Dark Moon Press
"Terror Train"- James Ward Kirk, Publisher
"Terror Train Two"- James Ward Kirk Publisher
"Blessings From the Darkness" - an Anthology published by Black Bed Sheet Books
"Shadows & Light Magazine" Issue #1/January 2014- Published by Shawna Platt
"Shadows & Light Magazine" Issue #2/April 2014-Published by Shawna Platt
"Shadows & Light Magazine" Issue #3/July 2014- Published by Shawna Platt
"Floppy Shoes Apocalypse"- J. Ellington Ashton Press A 2014
"Ghosts:Revenge"- James Ward Kirk Publisher 2014
"Bones III" James Ward Kirk Publisher 2014
"Cellar Door III"- James Ward Kirk Publisher 2014
"Ladies of Horror 2014"
"Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror 2014"
"Widowmakers" James Newman Benefit Anthology 2014
"Axes of Evil II" J. Ellington Ashton Press 2014
"Chunks" J. Ellington Ashton Press soon to be released
"Toys in the Attic: A Collection of Evil Playthings" -James Ward Kirk Publisher

Mary's masterpiece is Verses From A Deeply Darkened Mind.

Book description:

 VERSES FROM A DEEPLY DARKENED MIND Yes, “Deeply Darkened.” These are the words which reside within the depths of a mind haunted. A haunting, of neither the ethereal persuasion, nor the ghosts of a hidden and unrelenting past. Here before you, etched upon parchment, are verse written from a mind haunted by “words.” This tome is unlike your typical, modern day collection of “Horror Poetry.” It is rather an assemblage of “Horror Stories” written in poetic form. Written to tease that final nerve, before the fatal break. Ah, yes. Here, this “DEEPLY DARKENED MIND,” who with pen in hand (black ink a must), has taken meter and rhyme to send a heartbeat racing in terror from one page to the next. “DEEPLY DARKENED,” is my mind, my world; and I offer you entrance. That’s right… Turn my page… Crack my spine… I want you to cringe, squirm, look over your shoulder into the shadows and dare you to shut out the lights once this cover has been closed. This “DEEPLY DARKENED MIND,” bids you “welcome.” Yes, join me… in my darkness… Mary Genevieve Fortier

I had the pleasure of writing the foreword for this fantastic collection collection of indescribable verse.

My words:

VERSES FROM A DEEPLY DARKENED MIND, by Mary Genevieve Fortier, is a collection of horror poetry that grabs the soul of a reader and refuses to let go. Every poem is special in its own way, enhancing the depth of darkness Mary is able to share with us.

Can it be that truth is found within death? Maybe a close brush with evil and escape from its clutches shows one what is inherent within what lurks around us. But is there any true escape? Mary paints a visual of dark and evil brooding, yet there is also joy to be found when the answers to puzzles trapped within the mind are finally unleashed.

But Mary tells us of another facet of decayed, deformed, and dark creatures, those with special attributes. Yes, my friends, they will find passage into your gray matter, attacking your sleep, creating restless nights. Ah, this is not a bad thing. Truth is to be found within the lovely verse Mary shares with us. For those who search for literary poems of unforgettable dimension, you have come to the right place.

Death and life are closely entwined within this tome, seemingly at odds with each other, making the reader wonder where one begins and the other ends. Perhaps death is the beginning of life and not the other way around. I read one of these great poems of Mary's and felt this to be the case. Her haunting poems will heighten your senses. Every one of them will become razor sharp, uniting with each other. A true synesthesia occurs. You will hear what you see, smell what you touch, and so much more. Mary's artistry is capable of doing just that.

I write some dark poetry myself, but I am a mere fledgling compared to the master at the craft that Mary is. It is easy enough to develop a sing-song banter that entertains, but to create what she has given us goes far beyond that. This grand collection is simply the best poetry of pure horror you will ever find.

It is no wonder that Mary Genevieve Fortier has been called the Modern Day Poe. She is that good. I am proud to have been asked to write this foreward. All you have to do now is to sit down and read what my talented friend has agreed to share with all of you.

Happy reading.

Blaze McRob 

I will go out on a limb here - well, not so much of one actually, since it is true. VERSES FROM A DEEPLY DARKENED MIND should have been nominated for, and won, every award for poetry that exists. That it wasn't saddens me deeply.
Mary Genevieve Fortier is the best poet around today, bar none, and is a magnificent Woman In Horror!

Blaze McRob

Sunday, February 26, 2017


Mary Ann Peden-Coviello is my Woman In Horror today! Mary Ann is really coming into her own with some great stories. She wished to do an interview with me, poor lass. I made sure to ask her questions that would let the whole world know about the charming lady she is and to get to the heart of why she writes what she does and where readers can find her tales. She did tell me that I asked her some tough questions. Wow! Me? Okay. So I did. Damn me anyway. Read this interview and see what I'm talking about. You will be impressed with Mary Ann. She is a great person as well as a fantastic author and editor.

Blaze McRob

Mary Ann Peden-Coviello Woman In Horror

It's such a pleasure to have you here, Mary Ann. Before we get started with our interview, could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I'm a wife (one man/nearly 41 years), mother (2 sons, one almost-son, one amazing daughter-in-law), pet-Mama (adorable pit bull-mix) and pet-Gramma (one dog, two cats). I hate housework, like to cook, can lose myself in a book or a film till I forget who and where I am, and love grammar and playing with sentence structure more than might be healthy.

Thank you. Now it's time for some Q&A fun!

Q. Humor is a big part of who you are, I believe. Do you have any tricks in staying in this fun zone?

A. I wish I could tell you. Humour (yeah, I use too many British spellings for an American broad) has always been my fallback, my default setting. I once cracked up an entire operating room when I was about to go under anesthesia in a life-threatening situation. Later, the surgeon told me he'd never had a patient crack wise under those conditions. It's just something I do. One of my sons told me he'd know I'd died when I stopped being a wiseass.

Q. In addition to humor, you also manage to blend horror, the paranormal, and thrillers into your tales. Quite an accomplishment. This must certainly take some work.

A. I don't so much blend them as write all those genres. I do blend paranormal and thriller genres because they seem to go together nicely. I suppose you could say I write thrillers that involve not-so-human characters. And horror and humour go together well, I think. First you crank up the emotions and the fear. Then you throw in a little wordplay or a funny moment and you pop the tension – only to ramp it back up again.

Q. You have a great little tale in Write Her Story, the brainchild of Nina D'Arcangela. Could you tell us about the story you wrote?

A. Thanks. I like that little story. It's a succubus tale, told from her point-of-view. I did a little misdirection there, too, leading the reader to think it was going to be a vampire story and then switching to the lesser-known succubus. In this story, "How Do I Love Thee," the succubus is watching her victim sleep just before she takes his soul. She doesn't really want to, but she must because it's what she is. Even so, she can't bring herself to look at her handiwork. So you can have some pity for her, even as you shudder at what she's done.

Q. You share a lot about other authors. You haven't missed a beat this Women In Horror Month. My congratulations to you for being such a supportive soul.

A. Thanks. I like to support other writers. We're in this together. I don't understand the idea some seem to have that attention is finite, that if I share another writer's book, I'll lose a customer for my own. I see a reluctance, sometimes, to share or promote other writers' work. I'm not sure people are even aware of it. I just see who shares and who doesn't. That said, sometimes we think our work isn't shared because we look only on one platform (say, Facebook), and then we miss the shares on another (say, Twitter).

Q. Sirens Call Publications has your story Daddy's Little Girl in the special Women In Horror issue. This is another feather in your cap. Could you tell the folks where you got the idea for this great tale?

A. I love "Daddy's Little Girl." I really do. Usually, I'm using horror to talk about something else. For example, my story in Fright Mare – Women Write Horror, "One Hour Before the Dawn," is about the love of a mother for her children, even in unimaginably horrible circumstances. "Daddy's Little Girl" is just straight "Can I creep you out?" It was inspired by a commercial for a home security system. You might have seen it. A little girl goes to her daddy, scared. He shows her their security, and then he says, "Not on my watch." The story, with all its monster-under-the-bed twists, sprang into my head the first time I saw that commercial. There's a new version of this commercial on the air now, I think, but my inspiration was a commercial from a couple of years ago.

Q. I ran across an article of yours about writing in 1st person. I love 1st person tale-telling. You made some excellent points. This POV style is not for everyone.

A. I love writing in 1st person. I love the challenge. No, it's not for everyone, mainly because it's so difficult to keep in mind that the 1st person narrator cannot know – and tell the reader – things he/she cannot see, hear, or infer. It's a limiting style, but it's fun because you can surprise the reader in ways you might not be able to do with 3rd person narration – because the narrator him/herself can be surprised in that same way and in that same moment. I've seen comments – and even gotten them from writing teachers – about how "I will never read 1st person. It's lazy." I say if you skip 1st person just because it's 1st person, you're missing a lot of great stories. Done right, it's the last thing from lazy. Done wrong, well, that writer is going to be doing a lot of things wrong, not just the POV. You do have to create a character readers will find interesting enough to want to spend time in his/her head, too, because there's no real break.

Q. You have a story in the anthology Fright Mare, which just so happens to have made the final five for the Stokers. Could you tell us about your tale? Also, are you stoked about the Stokers or do you see awards as a sort of added extra to writing? Yes, that's certainly not the easiest question to answer.

A. I am so totally stoked about the Stokers. And in this case, I can truly say without the tiniest hint of irony, deflection, or dissemblance that it is an honour to be nominated. Billie Sue Mosiman did a splendid job choosing some lovely, dark, and frightening stories for this anthology. You never want to write with an eye toward getting an award, I think. But being nominated is brilliant. About my story: Set in my hometown, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, "One Hour Before the Dark" tells of the beginning of a zombie outbreak through the eyes of a young widow who's becoming a zombie. She's desperately, alongside her dog who's also rapidly zombifying, trying to get her unbitten children to a pickup point where they might be taken to safety. She succeeds, just as she and her dog succumb. The story is told in 1st person, but the narrator isn't at all based on me. The dog, however, is based more than a bit on my now-deceased Chow-Akita Moses, who'd have died to save me if he'd been called on.

Q. I love your Author/Editor page on Facebook. You have a lot of great advice there. One saying you have there is Don't overthink it. Just write it. This is certainly great first draft advice, along with Write now. Edit later.

A. I am absolutely talking to myself when I post things like that. I overthink everything and edit and re-edit almost every sentence. It's a curse. I am constantly working to overcome my perfectionist tendencies when working on first drafts.

Q. What is your opinion of self-publishing in general? Compared to Small Press and Big Five Publishers specifically?

A. I am in favour of publishing. Period. I like any and all methods of publishing. I intend to self-publish two collections of short stories soon. I have self-published one short story as part of an anthology. I plan to self-publish a novella soon. I've been published by small presses, with both excellent and awful results. I learned a lot from the awful results about what not to do, by the way. Big Five? For almost all writers, the Big Five are a pipe dream. However, if a writer wants to take a shot at that dream, go for it. I'd say don't go for it exclusively, though. If you want a Big Five career, you probably need some small press credits first. Still, if you have a truly stellar story (think "The Martian" or "Wool"), you can probably skip the small press, start with self-pubbing, and then go straight to New York. Those stories are few and far between. How many of us are really Andy Weir or Hugh Howey?

Q. Do you have any more short stories coming out soon? How about novels? In other words, what's on your platter, young lady?

A. I am working on a novella (and have been for ages), "Zombies Ate My Homework," a victim of my inability to stop editing a first draft, I fear. I have a vampire novel that's on the back burner. I'm working on a rotation of about a dozen short stories. And I have several editing clients, which is always nice.

Q. Who are your favorite authors. Your favorite books?

A. Oh my lord. I have so many favourite authors and books. I'm afraid to start. I know I'll miss some. Off the top of my head, with apologies to anyone I forget, even if they'll not see or ever know I forgot them. Billie Sue Mosiman. Jaime Johnessee. Lori Lopez. Lori Safranek. Jerry McKinney. Allison Dickson. Valerie Douglas. Kai Wilson. Suzi M (Suzanne Madron). Stephen King. Christine Sutton. Paula Ashe. Lisa Lane. Mary Ann Back. Dane Hatchell. Kathy Reichs. P.G. Wodehouse. Jack Douglas. I'm a big fan of Chuck Wendig, both his writing craft and his fiction books. I also read all the James Scott Bell craft books I can find. Alexander McCall Smith.

Now we come to the part where you get to say whatever is on your mind. Anything at all.

This is dangerous territory, Blaze. Okay, let me climb up onto one of my soapboxes. I remember, back in the Dark Ages when I was a mere youngster, not long after we'd invented the printing press, reading cheap paperback novels. Mysteries and horror mostly. Badly printed. Badly edited. Badly written. Lots of spelling and grammatical errors, errors clearly visible even to schoolkids like me. Eventually, the paperback business gained respectability. Right now, the self-publishing industry needs to have a good look at itself. We could step up and become a real force in the publishing world. To do that, we need to get over the idea that self-publishing means doing everything yourself. You cannot edit your own work well. I'm an editor, and I can't edit my own work. There are lots of reasons for this, the largest of which is that you, the writer, know what you meant, so you don't know when you're being unclear. You don't know those rules of grammar that you don't know, so you don't know when you've broken them. Unless you've had training in design, you probably can't design an effective book cover. A skillful formatter can make your book look better than you can. Hire people to do those things. You want your book to look as good as possible. You don't want it to look like something you threw together with ClipArt and the limited editing tools available on Word. We will never be taken seriously or convince people to stop thinking of us as third-rate writers telling third-rate stories as long as we present ourselves that way.

Slather this interview with any and all links, my friend.

It's been a joy having you here today, Mary Ann Peden-Coviello. Happy writing!

Thanks so much for having me. And thanks even more for all you do for Women in Horror – not only in February but throughout the year. 

Blaze McRob

Saturday, February 25, 2017


 The Sirens Call - Fifth Annual Women In Horror Month Edition is my Women In Horror Post today! It just came out yesterday and you can grab a free copy at This has been an annual custom of mine to showcase all the women who contribute to this wonderful ezine, not only the fantastic authors, but the folks at the helm of the magazine.

From Nina D'Arcangela:l
Women in Horror Month Issue

"We released our latest issue of The Sirens Call eZine today - the Fifth Annual Women in Horror Month edition!
Download a FREE copy at:
Thank you to everyone who contributed their amazing writing and artwork to the project! Emerian Rich, Su Hadrell, Abs Beard, Elizabeth Black, Sarah J. Browne, Candy Burke, Sarah Craft, Jessica Curtis, Donna Cuttress, KL Dantes, Emma Dehaney, Dahlia DeWinters, Ruchelle Dillon, Josie Dorans, L.S. Engler, Ambler Amber Fallon, Stacy Fileccia, Alessia Giacomi, Amy Grech, Louise Hart, Author Ashlei Hawley, Alledria Hurt, Rivka Jacobs, Dee Langone Bonney, Suzie Wargo Lockhart, Lori R. Lopez, Jennifer Mccullah, Helen Mihajlovic, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Veronica Magenta Nero, Annie Neugebauer, Elaine Pascale, Mary Ann Peden-Coviello, Betty Rocksteady, Lori Wolfe Safranek, B.E.Seidl, Preeti Singh Writes, D.m. Slate, DM Smith, Farah Rose Smith, Veronica Smith, Julianne Snow, A. F. Stewart, Tabitha Thompson, Stacey Turner, C.A. Viruet, Cat Voleur, Sherri White, Jeannie Wycherley. Staff: Julianne Snow, Nina D'Arcangela and Lee A. Forman.
#horror #fiction #story #poetry #FREE #magazine Women in Horror Month #WiHM8 #WiHM"

There are many Women In Horror here!

Blaze McRob

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Today's topic is Favorite Women In Horror. My guest is Travis Heerman.



Travis Heerman

Title: The Dark Romance of Anne Rice
Freelance writer, novelist, award-winning screenwriter, editor, poker player, poet, biker, roustabout, Travis Heermann is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and the author of The Ronin Trilogy, The Wild Boys, Rogues of the Black Fury, and co-author of Death Wind, plus short fiction pieces in anthologies and magazines such as Apex Magazine, Alembical, the Fiction River anthology series, Historical Lovecraft, and Cemetery Dance’s Shivers VII. He enjoys cycling, martial arts, torturing young minds with otherworldly ideas, and zombies. He has three long-cherished dreams: a produced screenplay, a NYT best-seller, and a seat in the World Series of Poker.

It is difficult to overstate the impact that Anne Rice has made on American speculative fiction. With fifteen novels in her Vampire Chronicles, three on the Mayfair Witches, plus werewolves, the Mummy, and others, she has created a large body of work in the realms of dark fantasy and horror. It is safe to say that her Vampire Chronicles single-handedly spawned an entire sub-genre: urban fantasy. Without Louis and Lestat and the complex mythology they inhabit, we would not have the profusion of sexy vampire protagonists that have come since they first appeared in 1976.

I was in sixth grade when I discovered Interview with the Vampire in my school library. To this day, I can't quite explain how that book ended up there, except to say that the librarian had a soft spot for dark, speculative fiction. The book fascinated me. I had already read Dracula, and was fascinated by monsters, especially the old Universal Monster movies starring Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, plus the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Wolf Man, etc. I ate that stuff up.

When I started reading Interview, though, I was electrified by the idea that vampires were still people. They could be relatable. They had weird food, but they could be heroes. In fact, Louis and Lestat were dark super-heroes with their supernatural powers. In later books, they become the dark heroes who drove back even greater darkness. And this revelation is, I think, part of why we have so many derivative works now, just as Dracula was about breaking out of Victorian sexual repression. That embrace of the "monster within," that push-pull of taboo and desire, that yearning to step outside of human society and become something else, but enough like ourselves that the step is not too far. Anne Rice's vampires are the perfect vehicle for this.

Nowadays, sexy vampire protagonists are an absolute staple of urban fantasy, and their number cannot easily be counted, especially if we include film and television.

And it all goes back to Louis and Lestat in 1976 (Forty-one years?? Really?!). We owe it all to Anne Rice.

Amazon Author Page:

Monday, February 20, 2017


Today's topic at WiHM Blog Talks is Choice of Weapons. Read what Naching T. Kassa and James P. McDonald have to say.
Tags: 🔪#WiHM8


Name: Naching T. Kassa

Naching T. Kassa is a wife, mother, and Horror Author. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association and a contributor to the Demonic Visions series.
As a horror writer, I've always possessed a special affinity for knives and swords. Both are sharp, draw a lot of blood, and add to the drama of a scene. Blades are personal, you have to get close to the victim in order to use them. They also add a certain amount of finality. No one, not even most monsters, can survive a beheading by sword. A knife can stab, cut, or slash a throat. Jack the Ripper's weapon of choice was a blade. And, in the old west, the knife was considered more reliable than a revolver. Most men carried a knife in case their gun misfired or exploded. My weapon of choice is the blade. It's the best.

Name: James P. McDonald

James P. McDonald is a business and technology consultant, fiction and non-fiction author, technology and futurist speaker.
I use a lot of weapons in my writing, from basic handguns and rifles, bows, swords, and even enchanted objects and magic. With this in mind, and as handy as these can be, all of them can fail. They break, they run out of ammunition, the magic missile that only works on a Tuesday under a full moon while wearing a corset and hot pants.

The favorite weapon I have ever seen is, and I believe always will be the mind. I’ve studied psychology, and find “abnormal” psych to be invaluable. I do some work and writing in Artificial Intelligence, and I’m fascinated, and sometimes terrified of these technologies.

If you look at Sarah Connor in the original terminator movies, all the guns and explosions in the world can’t stop the automaton, but quick thought and leading him through some equipment allows her to narrowly escape and trap him. In the following films, you see her develop skills, but the thing she hardens and prepares most is her mind and her instincts.

In the movie, “You’re Next” the main character is a young woman on the bad end of a home invasion. Unlike so many tropes, she doesn’t fall over screaming and running naked into the woods. She’s strong and empowered, and takes her strength of mind to turn the tables. I won’t spoil it, but it’s worth watching.

And if you’re talking about mind games, consider Clarice in “Silence of the Lambs.” She is truly in a battle of the mind and wits against Hannibal Lecter in an effort to catch Buffalo Bill.

And in literature, the character of Coraline in a book (and a movie of the same name) is a young girl who is trapped in an alternate universe, and all she is trying to do is to get home. Even though it’s a “children’s” book, and looking into the girl’s mind and reasoning, because it’s the only weapon she has.

So if you ask me about my favorite weapon, it has to be the mind. I love watching the development of a character’s reasoning, handling issues and challenges, and ultimately how they grow and change. The other reason for this is, does your character make the correct choice about the physical weapons they select, if they do? Do they take a handgun with too much power? Do they not think about the cost to themselves and others if they select a magical power or object?

And most importantly, do they make the right decisions as to If, how, and when to use those abilities?
GIVEAWAY: Soon to be released are new covers for Books 1-3 in the Home Summoning Series, and an omnibus version. Anyone who signs up on my mailing list or sends me an e-mail with "Women in Horror" will get a free eBook version of Book 1!

Saturday, February 18, 2017


I'll be bouncing around at W.J. Howard's  WiHM  BLOG TALKS. This promises to be a great event! I'll be posting more as great guests come in with their unique horror slants. Gotta love Women In Horror Month!

Blaze McRob

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Melanie McCurdie is my Woman In Horror today! Melanie is involved in many projects, including Independent Films, The Burbs - Radio Theater Horror, writing, authoring, photography, and spreading the word about others in the world of horror and beyond. She has always been an avid supporter of all my posts and backs Women In Horror wherever they are.

Melanie wanted to give you some samples of her poetry for her Woman In Horror post. I believe you will find her poetry to be rather distinct. I love her poetry because she tells it like it is and holds nothing back. Run, Reaper is my favorite one in the poems she graciously sent to me. It's obvious her writing is on the dark side: her prose as well as her poetry.

To find out even more about Melanie, allow your link-clicking digits to sing a song of dark meandering and enjoyment as you peruse the honesty that is this most talented author.

Enjoy her poems now and you will see what I mean.

Blaze McRob


once I compared you to a summer’s day 
Then you were winsome and light
Now the darkness has stolen that 
And replaced it with a different lust
For life
For death
You are my raison d’être


Lain Beneath
Once Believed
Veracity suspect, bewildered
Every word leaves me bemused
Should love bedazzle your eyes
It behooved one to be wary
Lest you find yourself besotted
Beguiled by your own yearning
And left benighted, alone

Run, Reaper

I despise Reaper, currently
That motherfucker is off
Polishing his bone or playing
Peeping Grim through some portal
The perv.
Hey!! Bonedaddy!
Think you could stop rubbing one out
And do your damned job?
For once? Instead of dicking about


Don’t be too kind to me
I’m only human and like it or not
There’s still a heart ticking away in here.
Worse yet, it feels things and I’m tired.
Stupid thing, 
it still wants to believe that maybe,
words aren’t all doggerel and dirges
secrets and lies and wooful design.
so, please, don’t be too kind
I may believe you.


Hickory duckory
Fuck, why must you be such a dick?
If buzzkill had a finger, 
it’d be pointed in your general vicinity
Is it so difficult to be 
a little less self-aware, maybe?
Screw your thinly veiled, venomous barbs
I’m hanging out in drown town tonight
Let my sorrows sink or whatever
I’ll smother the mothersuckers.
Or if I must, I’ll hotbox the cabin
Leave ’em breathless and 
watch them fly away 

Reboot Juice

Death-goes-on-into perpetuity/
Mournings-suck-even for-the-departed/



Has the clock stopped?

Seriously? Not even a minute yet?

Time is just a myth …

Time, in our limited perception, only exists in our minds….so the so-called experts say. Whoever THEY are…

However, when a body is positioned, poised and waiting, it becomes torture to the impatient, the desperate…This non-existent perception of time seems pretty damned real…I wonder if the ticking of the clock is the sound of Reaper’s heart

Soul Synapsis

Yeah I hear you moaning
In your Emojish tongues
It’s all in the vernacular

Don’t you know?

There is no cure for acerbic wit

It’s hardly a sickness
Twitch the bitch switch, I’m down if it is

Today, the social diction is
hardly spectacular
Sadly lacking the eloquent factor
I miss the pretty words

I find, too, that my vascular capacity
is next to null
I think I have a slow leak
Maybe I’m a Synapsid out of its prime
A soul Synapsis

I still love you though
In my eyes, everything is irie
We stay gold, just like Pony Boy
Like the last whit of light in the sky


There she sits, this Goddess
in a Marley t-shirt and plain black panties
The way the shirt is plastered
to her small frame,
it accentuates those perfect breasts
the chill in the room as plain as the
nipples poking through the thin fabric

Supple, slim, my hands itch to touch
The smooth porcelain of her flesh
and feel her long legs quiver under the
Flats of my palms while they travel down,
then between
All that is nonexistent in the regard
To the eyes that stare holes in my soul
This Goddess creature dressed
in commoner’s skin
I forget that she shuns the comparison
Beauty believes she is the beast

Erect Thorn, Bare Windows
You are fearsome, lady,
from those eyes that hide some kind of
beautiful brain that coincides perfectly
with the savage monster you hide inside
oh I pretend that I don't notice
or care but I do and I want to not be
like all the others but baby,
you're killing me here
It isn't just my blood pressure that rises
whenever you walk by, ai,
I can't help but stare,
Gods...that derrière,
Yeah stop looking at me like I'm
some kind of prédateur, mon amour,
You have no worry from me, you see,
All this is secret, trapped in my mind,
Because I can barely breathe
when you're near
Let alone speak, or meet your eyes
other than the occasional glance in
The mirrored reflection, it's distracting
God, I wish I could say hello.

Amazon bio:

I am a Canadian based writer who resides in Calgary, Alberta and am a Warrior Mom blessed with two challenging boys, Sam 14 and Davey 10. I am a rabid supporter of Independent Film and Publications, and a horror junkie with a taste for words, and bloodsauce. Most recently, I was voice talent to The Carmen Theatre Group as Maria Sanchez and I can be seen in The Orphan Killer 2: Bound x Blood, written and created by Matt Farnsworth.

Check out Melanie's links here!

Monday, February 6, 2017


K. Rowe is my Woman in  Horror today! She was still in the Air Force when I met her on the internet world. At that time, her enticing military series Dragonslayers was rocking the publishing world. These are some pretty hefty books, and anyone who loves to read about the workings of Special Forces Teams will be thrilled with this series. We're talking award winning books, my friends. Kathy does extensive research with everything she writes. I consider Military fiction to be Horror in the truest sense of the word. Real life Horror brought front and center. Check out her Facebook page for this great series

I would suggest her great novel The Hall for died in the wool Horror fans. This is a brutal tale of good intentions gone bad. The ghost in this novel is the most wicked one I have ever read about. I was a Beta reader for this great story and told her it was superb and she better get it published. Thank goodness she did. This tale runs the gamut of emotions, but demons and ghosts are not exactly easy entities to live with. I write horror, and I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. There is no way you can go wrong with this super story!

I am also partly responsible for her jumping into Sci-fi with her fantastic Dar Meltom hero. She was reluctant to write these stories, but I nudged her in the right manner and now she has four fantastic Dar tales. Hey, I was even asked about some technical things because I have a couple of PhD's in Physics. How cool is that?

K. Rowe loves horses: caring for them and riding them, so it is only natural that she should write about them. Silks And Sand is doing extremely well. Once more, she does her research and you don't get a story bordering on disbelief. If you love horse racing books, you will enjoy this one.

K. Rowe's Amazon bio:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MWSA: Military Writer's Society of America

Twitter: sturgeon3736"

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In the past Ive shown virtually every book a Woman In Horror has published. That's really not necessary I  believe as in most instances Amazon and Smashwords do a pretty good job of displaying them. However, I recently purchased a little comic teaser that Kathy published that caught my eye. I love comics and I had to see what Kathy had done. I love hers, even more so because it involves my buddy Dar. Here's the cover art and the link.

Kathy has a nice free sample you can read. Enjoy!

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 Here is a Q&A interview Kathy and I did back in 2013. It still rocks today.

1. Kathy Rowe, you are one of my Women In Horror, but you came to the genre in a rather circuitous way. Your first books were military fiction tales for which you won some awards. Could you explain how you came to write these tales first?

I blame my best friend for getting me into writing. In high school, she brought in an old script from the TV show Airwolf. I looked at it and thought: “Hey, I can do this,” and started writing scripts (all wrong of course!). I loved Top Gun, and actually lived fairly close to Miramar NAS where it was filmed. I grew up in a military family, so writing about it felt natural. I started writing Dragonslayers in high school, but it got shelved when I got married and eventually ended up in the Air Force. It was a good move on my part, I learned just how much about the military I didn’t know! So I dusted it off in 2009 while recovering from ankle surgery, and went back to work on it. I got published through a vanity press (yeah, mistake) and I met someone on an Amazon forum that suggested I check out the MWSA (Military Writers Society of America). I did, submitted my book, and that same year, won an award for fiction/thriller.

2. Now that you have explained that, I would like to interject that I believe military stories, fiction or non-fiction, can be some of the most horrific stories of all. Do you agree?

Absolutely! War and the military in general can be a brutal place to be. Thankfully, I had a “safe” job in medical, but that didn’t shield me from seeing what the horrors of war could do to people. And it wasn’t only physical scars; I know many of the troops I cared for suffered from PTSD. My own husband has severe PTSD, so I see it firsthand. And I’m not afraid to let my characters show it, I have one, Captain Cabbott Westmoreland, who is so demonized by his past that it’s sometimes hard for him to even function as a human being.

3. I wish to thank you for your service, young lady. Staying in the medical profession for twenty years could not have been easy.

LOL, it had its days! I don’t miss the B.S. of the military, but I do miss all the friends I’ve made. Thank heavens for Facebook.

4. I come next to what I consider to be some of your most profound work: the absolutely fantastic sci-fi adventures of that rascal of interplanetary space. Yes, my hero Dar! Where did you come up with this great idea for not one, but a series of novels?

Ha! My turn to blame YOU! It was you who dared me to write sci-fi after you read my supernatural thriller/horror The Hall. You said I had it in me, and I said you were nuts! But you were right, after some thinking, I came up with Dar and a few fragments of a storyline. Within a few weeks, it was taking shape. And when I presented you with the completed manuscript, you read it, liked it, and dared me to make it into a trilogy. You said sci-fi goes well in trilogies. Umm, well, I’m working on the 4th book. Just wasn’t ready to put Dar to bed.

5. Since I was a beta reader for Space Crazy and the other Dar novels, let me say right now that I consider these stories to be the absolute best in science fiction adventure that is available at the present time. And even with all the swash-buckling action heroics of Dar and friends, there are many moments where horror slips into the picture. I love how you make your characters so believable and are not afraid to display the Dark side when it needs to be. I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, but I cringed when Dar was undergoing torture, both mental and physical.

I don’t like characters that don’t have to suffer through a story. Pain and suffering makes for a much more interesting character, and it gives the reader something to root for as the protagonist has to survive yet one more physical or mental trial in order to achieve his goal. Pain is part of our everyday life. Most just don’t realize it. I often joke that I love messing up my characters because it makes them better in the end.

6. Another part of your unbelievable eclectic talent is your mainstream romance stories, and yes, some spicy erotica tales. Once more, I was called upon to be a beta reader for you and was astounded at how you excelled at this genre as rapidly as you did. Every tale got better and better. What lead you to branch out onto this spicy path?

Money! I was chatting with other authors who write erotica and they were making hundreds to thousands of dollars a month writing smut. So I decided to give it a try. I must admit, it’s not as easy as it looks, and I tend to handle much of my stories from a more romantic side. No, I don’t make even hundreds of dollars a month, but it does help cover the cost of my editor for my novels.

7. I commend you for having the courage to write in this genre when so many people feel it is still taboo. I know I don’t. Erotica when written right is as pure an art as any other form of writing.

I look at it as a possible relationship aid. When I read a really hot sex scene, it gets me in the mood. Of course my hubby loves it when I write erotica because he’s usually the benefactor of my steamy mood! So I write with the premise of folks reading erotica to enrich their own sex lives. For the most part, I like writing couples erotica, but I have branched out into some more risqué stuff.

8. Now I get to your superb horror novel, The Hall. I was a bit reluctant about your ability to craft a great horror tale. Not because you are not an excellent author, but because deep horror usually comes from tormented souls. Even though your life has had its up and downs, as with most of the human race, almost all of the great horror authors I know feel great angst on an almost constant basis. Truth be known? I do. That’s why I write what I write. But I never got that feeling from you. The Hall is so great that it made me feel you were suffering deep pain as you were writing this. Are you simply a fantastic writer, able to pull the words out from seemingly nowhere, or have you experienced pain such as this in your life? Or, is it a combination of both?

I would say a little of both, and a really over-imaginative mind. My parents divorced when I was 16, and it was a pretty messy divorce. I was caught in the middle and wasn’t happy being forced to take sides. When I was 18 I got married—way too early, and to the wrong guy. I spent 12 years pretty unhappy. Then when I was in the Air Force, I had some really rotten bosses. None of that is particularly dark in my life, but I was able to channel it and concentrate it into a much darker persona for my writing. Honestly, I wasn’t even sure I could make a horror novel that would even be scary. I’m glad you enjoyed it and thought it contained the right elements of horror and human nature. And with Prince Mongo’s character, there was definite room for comedy as well. I must admit, I love bending genres.

9. I told you I was going to ask you some loaded questions, Kathy. Sorry to put you on the spot, but this gem of a story of yours is that good. I want everyone to read it and see if I’m blowing smoke up their butts or if maybe, just maybe, I know a great novel when I read one.

So far, reviews for The Hall have been very good. Sales on Barnes and Noble are better than I expected. Amazon and Smashwords are lagging, but hopefully they will soon pick up.

10. Getting away from horror for a bit, I get to Kathy Rowe and real life. You moved from New Jersey when you retired from the service and set up camp on a farm in Kentucky. Wow! What’s with that?

Well, with having 3 horses, we always wanted to have enough room to have them on our property. So back in 2005, we took a vacation to KY and fell in love with it. Property was inexpensive, and we could buy 10X more here for what we would pay in NJ. Besides, NJ is crowded and we wanted some peace and quiet. So after vacation, I went on the internet and found some properties. We made another trip out and fell in love with our current farm. Our next-door neighbor decided to sell his farm, and now we own about 100 acres. We live far enough out in the middle of nowhere it’s peaceful. With my retirement check I don’t have to work outside the home, so I concentrate on writing and farming. I even have my own tractor!

11. Personally, I feel you made the right move. Even though a farmer’s life is tough, you are a tough lady, and I know that this is the life for you. Your husband is a lucky man to have a woman as good as you by his side.

It’s not easy being farmers. In fact, we have yet to make a single dime off our crops. The horses keep eating it all! But I love the fresh air, trees, birds, and the ability to just go for a long walk on my land if I need to clear my head. We even have a waterfall on the property. I feel that being surrounded by beauty just helps my writing because I don’t have to worry about the hustle and bustle of city life. I can concentrate on my work and enjoy what I do.

12. You are one of the regular contributors to Indies Unlimited, which I visit often. Some of the information on the site is so fantastic. How did you feel when they asked you to jump on board?

Totally freakin’ ecstatic! To be asked to be a staff writer for IU gave me conformation that I wasn’t just some hack out there trying to peddle books (yes, someone on Facebook did say that to me at one time). I’m glad IU picked me up because not only am I learning valuable things from them, but I can share my experiences and help other writers in their careers. No, I don’t get paid for being a writer there, but what I have learned has paid me back in education and experience. IU is about support and collaboration, not competition.

13. I will tell all my readers now that Indies Unlimited has a huge base and anyone posting there gets a huge response. This is a great place to be.

Yes it is! At least once a week I post relevant articles on my FB page from them. They are a fun, somewhat demented group of Indies led by the Evil Mastermind, Stephen Hise.

14. You, my friend are a one woman machine with your writing. Not only are you a great author, but you do your own cover art and formatting. The one area in which you seek professional advice is in editing. You hire a professional editor. Tell us a little about her.

I met my editor because of my first book: Project: Dragonslayers. It was vanity published, and when I submitted to MWSA for review, the lead reviewer was kind enough to tell me he loved the book, but it was in drastic need of editing. He gave me his editor’s name- Joyce, and got me in contact with her. She’s now a retired school teacher who can still wield a red pen with the best of them. She’s done 6 of my 7 novels and each time, I learn more and more from her. She’s got a great sense of humor, and loves each of “her authors” as she calls us.

15. Every author, no matter how well versed they are in the craft, needs a professional editor. We get too close to our work. You are wise enough to realize this.

After giving her the second Dragonslayer’s book- Mind Games, and seeing how much blood was spilled on the pages (and not all of it was character’s blood!). I knew I needed her. I wanted to be able to produce a quality novel that would be barely distinguishable from something the Big 6 were putting out. And I’ve seen my share of blatant errors in Big 6 books, so I knew I wanted to be better. Her extra set of eyes are worth the cost of her services. I recommend anyone who is serious about writing to find a good editor.

16. Here it comes, the question to end all questions; the one that will have everyone all agog. Heh, heh. How on earth are you able to train your pet pig Sherman to do all the tricks he does?

Easy, he works for food! Pigs are very intelligent and easily bored. But they will do anything for a few bits of food. So I watched some YouTube videos, read a couple books, and decided I needed to train my pig to keep his mind busy. Otherwise I was faced with him carrying out his frustrations on my bathroom vanity. I taught him first how to do a simple circle and took it from there. Now he can do about a dozen tricks- he’s FAR smarter than the dogs.

17. Obviously, your fans would love to see a video of his amazing skills. Please indulge us.

Here’s my YouTube channel with Sherman videos and one for The Hall trailer. I post new ones as I teach him more tricks. My hopes are to entertain folks, and help those who have pigs train theirs too.

18. Could you divulge to our readers what is happening with your script writing endeavors?

I have 2 completed scripts: one for Space Junk, and the other for The Hall. SJ has a director currently attached to it (she fell in love with Dar), and TH has a verbal option from a small production company in Memphis who love the story. Both are in the development/pre-production stage where we are trying to get producers, talent, and crew. So if anyone has some production funds they’d like to invest, I’m all ears!

19. Please; please; please! Tell us about your new stories of real life horror. I especially want to hear more about the Civil War atrocities. Real life horror at its worst!

Well, the story (script) doesn’t exactly have a name, but the working title is Champ’s War. It’s about a farmer from southern Kentucky, who during the Civil War, used his position as a guerrilla captain for the Confederacy to carry out approximately 100 murders. He is one of only two Confederates to be tried on war crimes. I’m awaiting some books from the local library to continue my research and writing of the script. Just from talking to the local folk, they are all quite interested.

20. No more questions. You have been most gracious. Someday, I will have to wind up on your doorstep, and you, your husband, and I can all partake of that lovely Jersey Devil wine you love, some great cheddar cheese, and we can all spin our tales of life in the military and what a great life it is to live on a farm. Even if I have to shovel the horse shit to earn my keep, it will be worth it. Good friends are hard to find and must be cherished. Thank you for being my friend, Kathy, and thank you for this interview.

You’re most welcome, my friend. And if you show up on my doorstep, I promise I won’t make you shovel shit. But spinning tales by the woodstove sounds wonderful, and I still got plenty of bottles of Jersey Devil to go around. Friends like you don’t fall into one’s lap easily, and I’m glad I met you on Facebook. And who says social media isn’t good for anything?!

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Make you check out the links above to find out more about K. Rowe. She is a super author, a great friend, and a wonderful human being.

I want to point out that not only does Kathy have a pet pig that can do tricks, but she has seven big dogs, most of which she adopted when they wound up on her steps. She has a heart of gold.

Blaze McRob