Monthly Archives: March 2014

Spotlight On: Rich Orth #ASOT2014





How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?
From the source….Mr. Armand Rosamilla


What is your latest release and what genre is it?
Bloody T’is My Valentine….Dark Poetry


Quick description of it.
Follow up to my 1st release of Poesque verse ..  Rich Orth POEtry Girls!!!
Written with love in mind of those who have been in our lives, yet no longer physically exist on or within the same plane.



Something unique about it.

It features the Artwork & Photography of 14 different professionals.


Links for people to buy it.  &


Your promo links.  &


Your short Bio.
Poet, whose work has been featured in 11 books and multiple zines.  Poem, My Night as Poe, walled up in time capsule inside the Poe Cottage in NY.  Lyricist for the Horror Rock band, DemonBoy.  Next up a children’s book about the struggles of a Siberian Husky after a debilitating stroke!


Spotlight On: Robert Chazz Chute #ASOT2014


Me B&W

SPOTLIGHT ON: Robert Chazz Chute.


How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?

Armand told me to do so. Armand is the All-father in the Asgard of Horror. I am Thor. Or his robot slave. I forget.


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

This Plague of Days, Season 3 comes out this spring. It’s the finale, so I’ll also release This Plague of Days, The Complete Three Seasons.  

 TPOD season 1 ecover

Quick description of it.

It’s the apocalypse and an autistic boy is our champion against dark forces. The zombies aren’t supernatural. The humans get that way. It’s epic and operatic and goes great with sandwiches.


Something unique about it.

The autistic boy that’s supposed to save us from extinction hardly ever talks, and when he does, it’s in Latin. So it’s horror and suspense and a Latin primer. It’s funny in spots, too, between the slayings. Oh, and Season 3 gets into our place in the universe, so there’s that.


Links for people to buy it.

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Amazon Canada:


Your promo links.

Author site: and


Your short Bio.

A former journalist, but newspapers and magazines are dead. Everything else is better left unsaid. Find out more at

This Plague of Days Season 2 0918

Spotlight On: KateMarie Collns #ASOT2014



SPOTLIGHT ON: KateMarie Collins


How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?

A friend shared it on their page, and I thought it was a great thing to do!


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

I write fantasy. My last release was a collection of short stories (A Stab at the Dark, Looking at the Light). I’ve got a fantasy/romance novella coming out in spring 2014 titled “Fin’s Magic”.


Quick description of it.

Another thrilling story by the international best-selling author of “Mark of the Successor”!

Fin depends on her companions to keep her safe…and out of chains. As one of the Amari, the only race that can harness magic, she longs for a normal life. One where she didn’t have to constantly look over her shoulder, and she could fall in love.

Alaric fell hard for Fin from the moment he laid his eyes on her three years ago. He swore an oath to keep her safe, even if it meant his life. But he knew that any relationship he could hope to have with her would be on her terms.

When a king offers them the chance at a normal life, Fin’s cautious. And rightly so, as there are others who think she’s the one to lead the Amari from a life of slavery.


Something unique about it.

It’s not straight fantasy or romance. I also believe that the romantic pair should stay in love once they realize it. None of this does he love me why isn’t she nicer to me fluff. Once they know it, they stay true to each other.


Links for people to buy it.

It’s not out yet, but there will be a pre-sale on Smashwords soon! Just waiting on the cover art!


Your promo links.

Book links:

Amazon – Kindle/Daughter of Hauk:

Amazon – Kindle/Son of Corse:

Amazon – Kindle/Mark of the Successor:

Amazon – Kindle/Kick the Can:

Amazon – Kindle/The Strength Within:

Amazon – Kindle/Looking At The Light:

Amazon – Kindle/A Stab at the Dark:

Amazon – Paperback/Daughter of Hauk:

Amazon – Paperback/Mark of the Successor:

Amazon – Paperback/Son of Corse:

Audio Book:

Twitter:  @DaughterHauk




Your short Bio.

Born in the late 60’s, KateMarie has lived most of her life in the Pacific NW. While she’s always been creative, she didn’t turn towards writing until 2008. She found a love for the craft. With the encouragement of her husband and two daughters, she started submitting her work to publishers. When she’s not taking care of her family, KateMarie enjoys attending events for the Society for Creative Anachronism. The SCA has allowed her to combine both a creative nature and love of history. She currently resides with her family and two cats in what she likes to refer to as “Seattle Suburbia”.

Spotlight On: Robin G. Coles #ASOT2014





How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?

Via Facebook?


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

Boating Secrets: 127 Top Tips to Help You Buy and Enjoy Your Boat

Genres: sports, reference, lifestyle


Quick description of it.

A multi-purpose reference guide to help new boaters and old salts get the most out of their investment. Inside you’ll find many tips, stories, definitions, and references to a boaters everyday needs while spending time out on the waters with family and/or friends or making that decision to purchase either their first or next boat. These facts are being represented through a series of interviews with eleven marine industry experts in their field.


Something unique about it.

This was an interview series originally with 11 marine industry experts that came about as I started out on my journey as a better boater (sailor). These experts are from all over the U.S.


Links for people to buy it.


Your promo links.


Your short Bio.

Robin G. Coles is a passionate marine enthusiast and sailor who has interviewed countless industry experts as well as visited, interviewed personnel at, written about, and photographed hundreds of marine ports in the US and abroad.

The ocean both scares and exhilarates her, as it should any boater—one minute it is as calm and smooth as glass; the next a stark raving maniac, as crazy as life itself.

Though Robin has had many challenges in her life, she has always managed to bounce back. Her time on the ocean has been her most rewarding.

Robin has authored a newspaper column and a variety of articles, newsletters, case studies, reports, and technical documents about boating and non-boating topics.

Robin has been a shutterbug from as far back as she can remember. Her photographs have been featured on the cover of the 2008 Winthrop Phonebook, at the 2009 IPEVO show in Las Vegas, and on a local real estate website. To see/read her boating related media, go to Her non-boating related media can be found at

In Robin’s spare time she loves to walk the beach, photograph a variety of subjects, read good detective stories, travel, cook, crochet hats for preemie babies and shawls for four-to-six-year olds in cancer wards, write, and sail Boston Harbor.

Robin spends her time these days between Boston, MA and Florida, where she sails and works with business owners around the world via satellite phone and internet.

Spotlight On: Richard Schiver #ASOT2014



SPOTLIGHT ON: Richard Schiver


How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?

I saw Armand’s post about it on Facebook and as a Veteran myself I knew I had to be a part of this. Having spent some time overseas I know how important it is to receive packages like this from home.



What is your latest release and what genre is it?

Reprisal: Vengeance knows no boundary. Psychological horror with a paranormal twist. 



Quick description of it.

On the surface her plan was brilliant in its simplicity. Return home, take the place of her twin sister, and live out the rest of her life in relative peace. Unfortunately even the best laid plans had their flaws and this one involved Margaret’s alter ego Candice, who was hell bent on leaving a bloody trail in her wake. But Candice failed to anticipate one simple fact.

The dead always got their revenge.


Something unique about it.

I took a paranormal approach to the issue of a split personality. Is it an aberration of the mind? Or a spiritual possession of the soul?


Links for people to buy it.




Your promo links.




Your short Bio.

Richard acquired a taste for reading at an early age that became a voracious appetite as he grew older. He reads every day, his tastes having become more eclectic, with his interests ranging from horror to historical narratives. The only thing he really looks for is a good story. His goal as a writer is to give the reader a story that will stay with them long after they’ve closed the cover of the book.

Spotlight On: Minnie Lahongrais #ASOT2014


Minnie Lahongrais

SPOTLIGHT ON: Minnie Lahongrais


How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?

I’m not really sure how I stumbled upon this event. I think either the event was shared or I was invited to participate by another author, but I don’t remember which one. Sad, isn’t it? But I’m thrilled to be able to help thank our servicemen and women for their sacrifice in some small way.


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

My latest release is titled “Divergent Lives.” It is a psychological thriller.

 Divergent Lives JPEG One Page Cover

Quick description of it.

This is the story of two people – fraternal twins R.J. and Adina who were separated at birth. Both are outwardly successful; each from seemingly divergent backgrounds.

Both are sociopaths; one is a serial killer. 


Something unique about it.

There are two main characters and each of their stories is told in parallel. It is an exploration of the nature vs. nurture theory.

In addition, it also shows how anyone could be a sociopath.


Links for people to buy it.


Barnes & Noble:

Worldwide purchase links (including a link to Smashwords) can be found here:


Your promo links.




Twitter:           @Lahongrais



Your short Bio.

Native New Yorker, Minnie Lahongrais unwittingly kick-started her second career in May of 2010 when she began writing an urban fantasy tale intended to help her cope with the death of her father. November of that year, she set the story aside to immerse herself in the annual madness of NaNoWriMo, meeting the challenge head on. Her first novel, “Sinner’s Ride” was published in Spring, 2011. That summer, she found herself obsessed with the story idea for “Divergent Lives.”

Currently, she switches between a “happily for now” story whose working title is “Skin Deep” and the urban fantasy she began at the outset of her journey. Currently there are four books planned for that series.

Ms. Lahongrais lives in New York City. She finds time to write every day and spends her free time with her family.

Spotlight On: William R.D. Wood #ASOT2014



SPOTLIGHT ON: William R.D. Wood


How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?

I stumbled over one of Armand’s early posts about the event. I served in the Navy for eight years and my oldest son is currently an Army EOD tech, recently returned from a 9-month deployment to Afghanistan. The isolation can really weigh on a person. It’s a privilege and an honor to provide a few pages of entertainment and distraction to those men and women for those quiet moments that come between the noisy ones.


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

My current project is an online horror-scifi serial called Zulu Time hosted at JukePop Serials. Oh, and be warned, love them or hate them, this tale contains zombies.

 Zulu Time Cover

Quick description of it.

Nash joined the Navy to play it safe. The way he saw it, he could wait for the New Draft to pull his number and probably wind up hip deep in the muck, face to face with zealots and maniacs, or he could sit out the rough stuff, all nice and cozy on a steel boat, shooting missiles from a hundred miles away.

Only the Navy didn’t prove to be the lesser evil Nash had hoped.

Something unique about it.

Since Zulu Time is a novel being presented in serial form, readers can interact with the process, with the author, and potentially the story itself. So far, it’s been a lot of fun.


Links for people to buy it.

The current chapters are available at:

The story is free, but if you enjoy the read please click the green SUPPORT AUTHOR button and follow the prompts.


Your promo links.


Your short Bio.

William R.D. Wood lives in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley in an old farmhouse turned backwards to the road. His profound love of horror and science fiction routinely leads him to destroy the world, whether by alien artifact, zombie apocalypse or teddy bear.

Guest Post: Demelza Carlton



Why write first person and multiple perspectives?

I’ve seen some books that head-hop, where you know the thoughts of every major character in a scene, so there’s very little suspense involved. When you’re writing suspense, limiting the perspectives is paramount.

I always tell a story from the most appropriate perspective at the time – which means that in some of my books in my Ocean’s Gift series, different chapters are written from distinctly different viewpoints. But there is only one perspective per chapter. I can’t head-hop.

With Nightmares of Caitlin Lockyer, it’s written entirely in Nathan Miller’s perspective. You see what he does, know what he knows…or at least, what he’s willing to admit he knows. He’s not the most reliable source, Nathan, but his perspective is a necessary evil in the first book of the trilogy, as Caitlin is unconscious at the beginning of the book and Nathan can best introduce you to her disturbing story.  He describes the events as they occur, as well as what Caitlin’s willing to tell him about her nightmares and the abuse that spawned them.

The second book, Necessary Evil of Nathan Miller, tells the story from Caitlin’s perspective. Yes, even the titles aren’t what they seem. I’m very careful not to repeat sequences much – what catches Caitlin’s attention is very different to what can hold Nathan’s interest. The scenes I do include in their entirety in both books are so different as to be almost unrecognisable in places. There is an action sequence where Caitlin’s attackers return to finish the job in both books – but how Nathan and Caitlin experience it is very different.

Nathan doesn’t always hear what Caitlin says clearly – so when he relates what she said, it’s not always correct. He’s sleep-deprived and suffers from insomnia, plus he has a tendency to drive unpleasant memories from his mind before he can think about the details – giving tantalising hints, but nowhere near enough. He’s also absolutely in awe of Caitlin, who he sees as a delicate, little angel who survived a horrible ordeal.

Caitlin, conversely, has a photographic memory and actively recalls everything she can, so she won’t forget important details that could help catch the people who hurt her. That makes her a very reliable source of information – but what’s clear in her thoughts isn’t necessarily what she’s willing to impart to anyone else. She also has a tendency to speak her thoughts aloud, which she isn’t always aware of. She swears a lot more than Nathan gives her credit for – at one point, when she states that she told one of her attackers to f*** off, he transcribes it as, “buzz off.” In Necessary Evil, she describes the complete scene in horrific detail – swearing, sadistic tendencies and all.

The original draft manuscript consisted of both of their perspectives, alternating as appropriate, but there is greater suspense in the way it is now – two complementary books. I split them so that, once you’ve read Necessary Evil of Nathan Miller, you can go back and read them both in the alternating sequence, if desired, for there is a lot of information in the second book that sheds light on the first.

Had I written the story in third person or even multiple perspectives, it wouldn’t be a thriller any more – I think it would just be classed as horror, because you’d lose so much of the suspense. Nathan Miller’s perspective is, indeed, a necessary evil.  

My challenge will be in writing the third book in the trilogy – Afterlife of Alanna Miller, due out in 2014. Whose perspective will I write it in? I’ll leave you in suspense on that one, too!


Demelza Carlton


Demelza Carlton has always loved the ocean, but on her first snorkelling trip she found she was afraid of fish.

She has since swum with sea lions, sharks and sea cucumbers and stood on spray-drenched cliffs over a seething sea as a seven-metre cyclonic swell surged in, shattering a shipwreck below.

Sensationalist spin? No – Demelza tends to take a camera with her so she can capture and share the moment later; shipwrecks, sharks and all.

Demelza now lives in Perth, Western Australia, the shark attack capital of the world.

The Ocean’s Gift series was her first foray into fiction, followed by the Nightmares trilogy.

Demelza’s website:

http://www.demelzacarlton. com

Contact links:








Guest Post: Jasper Bark





For too long now award winning author Jasper Bark has been allowed to skulk in the shadows committing his unspeakable acts. If he isn’t tearing out the throat of acclaimed author Joseph D’Lacey or eating the brains of best selling novelist David Moody he’s detailing some of the worst acts ever committed to fiction.

This has to STOP. We have to expose his checkered history to the horror blogosphere at large. Recently we at Crystal Lake Publishing tied Jasper to a chair and beat a confession out of him. The results of this cross examination can be found below along with a series of links to youtube that show his many crimes caught on camera.




How do your two innocent daughters cope with having someone like you for a father?


Thankfully they’re not entirely traumatised by having me as their father – just yet. They tend to use humour as a way of coping with me. I was hoovering a little while ago when my youngest Ishara looked at me askance and asked: “Dad are you gay?” To which I said: “I’m married to your mother and I have two children, what does that tell you?”

“That we’re adopted?” replied Freya my eldest.


On another occasion Ishara was dragging her feet on the way to school. I told her to pick her feet up and stop being such a pain in the backside. She started to sing: “Pain in the backside/Pain in the front/Mummy is a slack bride/ Daddy is … Daddy is … Daddy, what rhymes with front?”


Do you think they’ll put you in an old folks’ home soon or have you convinced them that a man of your age isn’t actually old?


I’m hoping that by the time I reach an ancient and decrepit age they’ll be so warped, through long term exposure to their father, that rather than inflict me on the residents of an institution, they’ll think nothing of slaughtering a few virgins so I can bathe in their blood and rejuvenate my aging flesh.


You began your career as a performance poet, isn’t that just an excuse to recite dirty limericks in public?


It was an excuse for a lot of things, most notably not cutting my hair cut or getting a proper job.


Your career has never been far from controversy has it? Before you were an author you managed to cause quite a scene at the Edinburgh International Festival.


I presume you’re talking about the scandal surrounding my play ‘F*** The State – In 5 Easy Lessons’ which debuted at the Edinburgh Festival. It did stir up a bit of controversy in the tabloids and a few councillors called for it to be banned. It was up for a Fringe First (which are the Oscars of the festival) but it was denied it due to the controversy.


The most unsettling thing was watching a bunch of the actors getting arrested for handing out leaflets for the show on the Royal Mile. This is something you expect to see happening to dissidents handing out seditious literature in the former Soviet union. Not actors handing out flyers for a comedy at one of the world’s foremost international arts festivals.


Some people really don’t have a sense of humour I guess. Thank goodness the British bobby is still susceptible to bribery I say.


You also spent some time as a music and film journalist, who was the biggest douche you had to interview?


That’s a difficult question as there were rather a lot. Fame and money do not bring out the best in a person’s character.


I did interview Marshal Mathers when he first came to Britain to promote his first album. A female colleague and I went to meet him in a suite at the Dorchester hotel. His six foot eight, African American minder showed us in and for some reason I still can’t explain, we did the interview in the bathroom.


My colleague was perched on the side of the bath, while I squatted over the bidet under the disapproving scowl of the minder. Mr Eminem sat on the toilet and stared at the floor, answering our questions with monosyllabic grunts.


About ten minutes in to the interview my colleague asked him about the number of his lyrics that dealt with violence against women. “Alright, I see where this is going,” said his minder. “Don’t you answer that Marshal.” Then he picked me up by the scruff of my neck so that my feet were dangling above the floor and marched me and my colleague out of the bathroom and threw us into the corridor.


My write up, as you can imagine, was quite cutting and filled with invective, but my editors had a failure of nerve and printed a bowdlerised, sycophantic version of the interview instead. That same week the NME, who’d conducted a perfectly cordial interview, led with the heading ‘Meet Slim Shady – He’s an Asshole’ and completely trumped us.


About a year later I was given his second album ‘The Marshal Mathers LP’ to review. I sat down, sharpened my knives and put it on the stereo. You can imagine my disappointment when I found out it was brilliant. Oh well.


You also write books for children and are well known in the world of graphic novels. When did all this start and how do you fit it in around writing horror novels?


Well the comics and graphic novels probably came first. While I was working as a music and film journalist I got in touch with The Losers creator Andy Diggle, who was then editor of 2000AD and offered to get him in to see any band or up coming film he liked for free. After a screening of the film Snatch I mentioned I was interviewing the cast and director the next day. Andy told me if I could get a quote from director Guy Ritchie he’d buy a script off me no matter how ropey it was. So in the middle of the interview I asked this drawn out question about 2000AD and got Guy Ritchie to endorse it. I let Andy out of the deal though and eventually sold a script to his successor, current editor Matt Smith.


After writing grown up comics for a while I began to notice there weren’t any really good comics for kids anymore and as I was a parent myself I felt impelled to try and write some so I moved into the kids comics market. From this I moved into writing kids books. Some of my kid’s books have been translated into nine different languages while others are used in schools all over the country to help improve literacy in senior school children.


Why is your name spelt Jasper on some books and Jaspre on others?


I had to undergo a bit of a rebranding exercise. Jaspre is an unconventional spelling of ‘Jasper’ but as I started to sell to an increasingly international market it was apparently causing confusion among certain readers about how you pronounce the name and this was putting them off.


So, just like Jif (which became Cif) and Marathon (which became Snickers) I’ve been re-marketed for a wider public. Unlike Cif and Snickers however, I don’t hang around the toilet for ages and you can’t nibble my nuts for under a buck.


Is it true that your most embarrassing moments was reviewing pop videos with two puppets called Zig and Zag on the UK TV show The Big Breakfast? 


It’s the most embarrassing moment that I can publicly admit to.


A friend of mine, who is quite a famous stripper, recorded a copy for me when it went out. As she was doing this her bed partner of the night before burst a blood vessel in his penis causing the condom he had just put on to fill up with blood like a water balloon. My friend, bless her heart, refused to take him to the hospital until she’d finished taping my segment.


This is a true story!


I did the spot with the Australian comic Mark Little who used to play Joe Mangel on the soap ‘Neighbours’, which is famous for launching the careers of Kylie Minogue and Guy Pearce. Mark started the interview by saying: “You know I’ve got a little Jasper” To which I replied: “Never mind, they have plastic surgery for that nowadays”.


“No,” Mark said. “I mean I’ve got a son called Jasper.”


“Oh,” I said, and an embarrassed silence followed, in which my customary wit completely deserted me.





What first got you interested in writing?


I was five years old and I saw a piece on the long forgotten BBC TV children’s show ‘Why Don’t You’ about kids, a little older than me, who were making their own comics. All you needed was paper, felt tip pens, a stapler and a little imagination. I had all those! I could make my own comics, MAKE MY OWN COMICS!!!


No idea has ever filled me with such excitement. From drawing my own comics I began filling stolen school text books with stories. The compulsion got so bad that the following Christmas my parents had to confiscate my pens and paper so I would come open my presents.


Do you plot your stories or does it just unfold before your eyes?


If I’m honest, it’s a little of both. I usually spend a lot of time plotting in advance but sometimes a story gets impatient with me and tells me to just sit down and write the damn thing. Even when I’ve plotted something quite tightly the story will often surprise me by taking unexpected turns. There is always a journey of discovery as you uncover the first draft, even if you think you know where you’re going. One of my favourite jokes goes: ‘Q: How do you make God laugh? A: Tell Him your plans.’ Bearing that in mind, I suspect you would probably have your novel in uncontrollable fits of giggles if you were to show it your chapter breakdowns.


Do your characters take on a life of their own and do things you didn’t plan?


Constantly! As I was coming towards the end of my second novel I was worried about a few loose plot threads and was trying to think of a sub plot I could quickly add to address them. Then out of the blue one of my characters suddenly revealed a whole sub plot that had been going on right under the main characters’ noses that completely reframed the whole story. I had no idea about this until she started to outline it. I sat there taking dictation from her thinking the whole while “why the hell didn’t I think of this?” She even made reference to all kinds of tiny events in the novel that I had forgotten about and suddenly made complete sense of them. Many reviewers commented on this surprise sub plot and singled it out for praise, but to this day I really don’t think I can take any credit for it. It all came from my female lead.


Sci fi visionary Philip K. Dick used to speak with his characters and consult them independently of his fiction. He was especially fond of a few characters and he would interact with them in a fictional realm, a little like divination. When he needed their support or advice he would sit at his typewriter and type “Phil walks into Leo’s office. He sits at Leo’s desk, wearing a hang dog expression. ‘Something on your mind Phil?’ Leo says. ‘Well I’m glad you asked,’ says Phil. ‘As it happens … &etc’.” He had on going relationships like this, with some of his characters, for decades after the books they appeared in were published. This is because the characters were independent entities to him. Grant Morrison also talks about putting on a fiction suit and stepping into stories and I’ve met Chaos magicians who claim to have summoned up and interacted with fictional characters in very real magical ceremonies. So I guess they’re all exploring a similar vein, which begs the question: do we come up with our characters, or have they always been there, simply waiting for us to write a story to house them?


What is a day in your life like? Can you walk us through the minefield?


I tend to wake fairly early when the blunt object my wife has thrown connects with my head. Usually this is either because the kids are driving her psychotic, or she’s found the writer with his throat torn out that I left in the middle of the lawn the previous night (when the cats do this with their prey it’s considered cute, but apparently when I do it, it’s psychopathic – double standard anyone???).


When the kids are safely delivered to school or, if it’s the weekend, safely locked in the basement with the power tools and the matches where they can’t distract me, I’ll settle down in my office to work. I tend to begin my day by writing a list. Lists are great ways of pretending to work without actually doing anything and they bring a completely unearned sense of achievement. I’ll start with a ‘to do’ list to which I’ll subsequently pay no further attention, then, if I’m about to embark on a new endeavor, like a short story or a script, I’ll write an ideas list like this one:




1) Erm ….

2) Err ….

3) How about …. no that’s a bit obvious …

4) Well I could always … no I couldn’t – God what was I thinking!

5) There’s always the old one about …. no, everyone’s used that …

6) Does an inappropriate thought about the Creature from the Black Lagoon actually count as an idea???


Once that’s successfully accomplished I may even write another list as a direct consequence of the last list. Such as this one:




1) I’m on the run from the CIA – again! (this has possibilities).

2) Look, it’s women’s problems alright! You wouldn’t understand. (not sure if I can pull this one off  – fnarr, pull this off, snerk).

3) I’ve just suffered a rectal prolapse due to a civil war between the microscopic alien races inhabiting my lower colon. (might need to work on this one, fnarr – work on this … oh wait that’s not an innuendo).


Once the serious business of list making is out of the way, along with other important admin tasks such as ‘liking’ every lame picture of a cat that I can find on Facebook, it’s time to settle down to some serious writing. First I open a new document. Next I spend two or three hours staring alternately out of the window and at the blank screen of my laptop. At some point during this vital stage in the process, my wife will walk in and say something devastatingly witty like: “working hard are we?” I’ll then spend half an hour contemplating whether I should draw up a list of snappy comebacks for the next time she cracks this particular howler, but failing to come up with anything in the least bit ‘snappy’ or ‘comebackable’ (yes that is a word) I’ll abandon the idea.


After eating a light lunch I’ll return to my desk for a concerted hour of weeping tears of bitter frustration, interspersed with kicking my desk and weeping tears of pain from the injury I’ve done to my foot. Then I’ll lie on the floor, stare at the ceiling and bemoan the fact that I was stupid enough to enter a profession for which I obviously have no talent and my children will undoubtedly starve as a consequence.


Remembering that my children will soon have to be picked up from school (or released from the basement) finally spurs me into action and, fueled by sheer panic, I manage to rattle off a thousand words or more before I have to down tools and resume my role as a parent. In the 30s and 40s at the Disney Studios, the sixty minutes before the animators would clock off for the day at 5pm was known as the ‘golden hour’. This was the time when all the guys in the studio would stop giving each other hot foots, or drawing penises on each other’s cells when they weren’t looking, and knuckle down and do some serious work. It was estimated that the majority of work that you see on the screen from that period was drawn in this single hour.


That’s how it is for me too. I’d like to say that all the preamble leading up to this hour or so is an integral part of the process, but even I’m not that self deluding. In fact one of the main reasons for having a routine is not so much to encourage myself to write, but rather to avoid all those things that stop me writing (namely just about everything). Don DeLillo said: “A writer takes earnest measures to ensure his solitude and then finds endless ways to squander it.” Which effectively says in seventeen words what’s taken me nearly a thousand.


Have you ever written something so truly, deeply frightening that you scared yourself?


If you’re going to successfully scare your readers you need to be able to scare yourself. You need to probe those parts of your psyche that you’re normally too afraid to explore. You have to confront those irrational impulses and deep seated phobias, that fester away under the skin of your mind like an abscess, and use your fiction like a scalpel to lance them and bleed off the poison. If it works for you, it will work for a fair number of your readers.


One story that did deeply disturb me was How The Dark Bleeds. The idea for the story originally manifested in a graphic novel I was pitching to an American publisher. One of the subplots contained a concept that increasingly unnerved and disturbed me. It grabbed hold of the darker side of my imagination and tortured it incessantly, until I was both in love with and terrified of the concept all at once. I had never seen this idea anywhere before and I knew I had to write about it. The only problem was, as amazing as this concept was, the graphic novel I was pitching was better off without it. So it was with great reluctance that I took it out.


At around the same time I was stuck for an idea for the short story I was contracted to write for the anthology For the Night is Dark. Well not so much stuck, I had plenty of ideas, it’s just that none of them were as good as I thought they ought to be. The pay for writing short stories is frankly lousy, so I always figure that, if I’m going to go to the trouble of writing one, it better be something I really want to write.


Then I remembered the concept that enthralled and unsettled me, the one I’d put in the bottom drawer. If anything, it had grown stronger since I’d dropped it into fictional suspended animation. I found it had been waiting for me and it wanted to take me to places far darker than my fiction had ever been before. It forced me to confront and record the taboos I’d previously shied away from and  to enter those territories I’d always thought of as ‘off limits’ – even as a horror writer.


The experience of writing this story was both exhilarating and excruciating. There were several moments during its composition when I wondered not only if I wanted to finish it, but whether or not I wanted to write another piece of horror fiction as long as I lived. Ultimately, I did live to tell this tale and I will certainly tell others.


With hindsight, I’m glad that I did. The story turned out really well. It scared my publisher and made my editor queasy. It’s going to be collected in Stuck On You and Other Prime Cuts the short story collection I have coming out in June from Crystal Lake Publishing.


How important is authenticity to an author? Should they do hands on research if something is outside their experience?


Authenticity is everything when it comes to writing. Especially when you’re writing about things that are very unlikely to happen. Like decapitating a member of the walking dead with a malfunctioning sex toy. Or staking a vampire with the sharpened end of a frozen blood sausage. If this is outside of the author’s experience then it’s important they at least make some attempt to find out what this would actually feel like, if only as an aid to their imagination.


We recently had a new router installed to improve our broadband connection. This involved rewiring the offices at the bottom of our garden. So I was forced to work on the dining room table in my bathrobe. Well I wasn’t actually forced to work in my bathrobe, that’s just one of the perks of my job. Unperturbed I soldiered on with the day’s work and, as an aid to my imagination, I decided to boost the authenticity of the story I was writing by acting out one of the scenes.


Lacking a gothic balcony I decided to improvise and clamber up the bookcase instead. As there were no members of the undead to hand I had to use one of our long suffering cats. Being vegetarian I’d sharpened the end of a veggie sausage to give me an idea of the weight ratio involved in wielding a frozen blood sausage. At this point two things happened. A  – my wife and the engineers entered the room to check the phone connection, to find me halfway up the book case pretending to impale a ruffled feline with a sharpened veggie sausage and B – my bathrobe fell open to reveal my not so sharpened love sausage.


While this is just another day at the office for me and my all too understanding wife, the engineers were, to put it politely, more than a little perturbed. I blame my wife for this of course. She knows there’s no phone connection in the dining room.


Can you write under any conditions or do you need peace and quiet?


Peace and quiet is essential to the act of creation. Staring into space for long periods of time is an unavoidable part of writing for a living. Even if we can never get our loved ones to understand this. If we don’t get the time and space to do this properly then countless hours of work can be lost.


At an integral point in my story I might suddenly hit a brick wall, triggered by an unseen plot hole such as: “how does my protagonist obtain a frozen blood sausage in the middle of the Sahara?” This is the point in the proceedings when I look up from my screen and use the time honoured technique of staring into space. My train of thought might go something like this…


“So how does my protagonist get a frozen blood sausage in the Sahara desert? I mean it’s not like the nomadic Tuareg raiders have a traveling blood sausage tent or anything. How would they freeze the sausage if they did? Can you get a camel powered freezer in the desert? Could you fit a freezer in a camel’s hump?


“My editor is seriously going to get the hump if I don’t get this story in, I’m two weeks late already. If my protagonist was a writer who’d missed his deadline maybe he could sharpen his blood sausage on the heated edge of his editor’s rage. Is that even possible? Perhaps I’m coming at this from the wrong angle. Maybe I need to think about this thematically.

“What does the blood sausage represent?

“The phallocentricity of Victorian society?

“His father?

“His father’s phallocentricity?


“If the blood sausage represents his father’s phallus, and he wants to penetrate the vampire’s chest with it, does that mean the vampire’s cold heart is his mother? If the blood sausage melts as it pierces the undead organ will the liquid blood impregnate the vampire’s heart causing an unholy hybrid sausagepire to grow inside the slaughtered vamp’s chest cavity?


“Wait a minute… I’ve got it… that’s it… oh my god, that’s the most amazing idea I’ve ever had… the vampire sausage hybrid is a…”

“Working hard?” my wife might say popping her head round the door at just this moment.


“I said are you working hard? I popped in to see if you wanted a cup of tea and you were staring out into space.”

“I’m not staring into space I’m doing important mental work and I’ve just made a breakthrough. Do you realise that the vampire sausage hybrid is really a… a…”

“The vampire sausage what?”

“No, you don’t understand the blood from the sausage is… it’s going to… I mean… oh no, I’ve completely forgotten. I had genius dancing at the ends of my fingers and now it’s gone. Dead and gone as surely as if you’d hammered a sharpened blood sausage through its unbeating heart.”

“So… does this mean you want a cup of tea or not?”



At this point I will most likely throw an unholy tantrum and lock my self in my study for the rest of the day. On reflection it’s most probably this behaviour that causes my wife to invite workmen into the living room while I’m swinging naked from the bookcase.




What first attracted you to horror writing?


The fact that it’s the genre you go to when you want to think the unthinkable. The genre where all our worst fears and neuroses bubble up to the surface. What if my child doesn’t come home one night? What if my home, my body or my mind is invaded and I’m powerless to stop it? What if consensus reality is just a cosy fiction that masks a deeper more irrational universe than we can ever understand?


This last fear is probably what attracts me the most. Horror stories are where I first learned about people who held heretical beliefs and practiced unthinkable acts in the name of both science and religion. Who had the balls to lift what Shelley called “the painted veil that those who live call life” and peer at what lies behind it. Granted they usually came to a bad end because of it, but in the brief moments before their fall I always thrilled to their Faustian excitement, drunk on the power of forbidden knowledge.


The Gnostics used to believe that fearsome angels, known as Archons, patrolled the outer limits of reality to terrify and attack all but the bravest and most dedicated seeker after the truth from venturing into the unknown. Sometimes the deepest and most profound truths lie beyond a howling chasm of fear. To experience those truths we have to leap blindly into that chasm with no guarantee that we will get to the other side.


That moment of electrifying, near hysterical terror, when we leave behind everything we know to be true, and hurtle towards a new reality, that’s the note of cosmic terror that I love the best.


Do you prefer all out gore or psychological chills?


I think that depends on the story you’re telling, the themes you’re exploring and the scene you’re concentrating on. Both have their place in any horror story.


What connects them for me is that they’re both about revealing the mysteries of the interior. Very few of us get a sustained and intimate look at what goes on inside our bodies. Few of us get to hold a beating human heart, to use sharpened steel to remove a vital organ or watch as the blood drains from a still warm body until it stops kicking and turns cold.


Few of us ever explore the truly damaging nature of an aberrant human mind. Few get deep inside a psychosis so destructive it will bend a human will to murder over and over again. Or find ourselves caught up in the maelstrom of a meme, like mob justice, that culminates in genocide.


Horror is important because it’s the one genre where we can take those parts of us that remain mentally and physically hidden and bare them to the light. So that in plumbing the depths of our bodies and minds we might chance upon our souls.


What attracts you to writing Zombie/Apocalyptic fiction?


Although both those genres have become conflated thanks to Romero’s excellent Dead movies, none of the Zombie fiction I’ve worked on has been post apocalyptic. The appeal of each genre is quite different for me.


What I like about zombies is how malleable they are as a representative icon. As society trades old nightmares for new, with each advancing decade, the zombie keeps adapting and changing the things it stands for in our collective unconscious. In the 30s when the zombie was first introduced to western culture it stood for the western colonial fear of the nations it was exploiting. Over the years the zombie has come to represent mainstreams fears of everything from communism and terrorism to sixties radicalism and growing economic unrest. This makes it very appealing to writers like myself who have an interest in writing social commentary and satire.


The thing that appeals to me about post apocalyptic fiction, on the other hand, is that it allows you to study society as a whole in microcosm. As we view the shattered bands of survivors trying to rebuild their life in the aftermath of the collapse of civilisation there’s a huge opportunity to examine the everyday tensions and conflicts of our current society. The backdrop of a lost and ruined world allows us to view these opposing forces in a more naked and honest light, outside of the contexts and allegiances of our contemporary culture. This throws them into sharper relief and allows us a fresh perspective of the problems they’re causing us and the long term consequences of certain courses of action.


Plus err … zombies are totally awesome. They eat brains, they never wash and they always, always win. Vampires and Werewolves might be in an eternal conflict but Zombies can kick both their butts. A vampire or a werewolf can bite a Zombie as many times as they like and it’ll still be a zombie. A zombie’s only has to bite them once and you’ve got a zompire or a werebie. (Is it just me or does a ‘werebie’ sound like a creepy undead furby fetishist?)


When a novel has a strong theme, it can be a tightrope act walking between what the story’s about and what it’s really about. Way of the Barefoot Zombie uses the walking dead sub-genre as satire. At times I found the message blazing as brightly as the story itself. Was that intentional? Once you knew where you were going, did you find it hard to keep a lid on all that social comment?


You’re right it can be a tightrope act but I’m glad you said ‘blazing as brightly as the story itself’ and not ‘strangling the fecking story to death’. I think the writer’s ultimate responsibility is to the story itself but I think the story is strengthened no end if it is about more than just the characters themselves and what happens to them. As a writer you get incredibly close to your story and subject matter when you’re spending eight, nine and even ten hours a day working on it. You can’t help but ruminate a lot on your themes, so when the greater significance of certain parts of your story occurs to you, you want to point them out.


I was a lot more subtle about this in my third novel Dawn Over Doomsday and as a consequence a lot less people noticed. So I think when I wrote Way of the Barefoot Zombie I was over compensating a little and trying to point out the subtext to the reader, possibly a little too much at times. I’m still learning how to get the balance right.


I do aspire to write genre fiction that is fast paced, completely gripping but just as intelligent and significant as more weighty writing. This is a tall order though and sometimes you can fall between two stools. The sort of people who just want quick entertainment can get really annoyed when you start asking them to think a bit and the sort of people who might appreciate the more complex ideas you’re considering can be put off by the schlocky nature of some of the content.


Still, it’s not worth doing if it’s too easy is it.


Do you think horror has a purpose, above giving people a comfortable, entertaining scare?


I really do believe it has. In my opinion the best horror stories use the weird and other-worldly as a metaphor for a deeper or more personal truth. I also think that the world is quite a scary place at the moment and because of this the tropes and motifs of horror are some of the best ways of addressing the contemporary world. A lot of the horror writers coming up at the moment seem to be interested in social commentary in the same way that the New Wave and the early Cyberpunk writers previously used science fiction as a vehicle for social comment.


Regardless of whether you could sell it or not, what is the book you were born to write?


The Scratch and Sniff Karma Sutra – don’t know why it hasn’t been done before.


Why should people read your work?


Because I need the money!


Also because they’ll discover imaginative, edgy and unexpected fiction that explores social and spiritual issues while pushing at the boundaries of what genre fiction can and ought to do.


Because I’ll take them to places they’ve never been before and will never get to visit again. That’s a money back guarantee.




What were you thinking when you took an urban legend and turned it into a delightfully twisted story called Stuck on You?


Mostly – “Gee, I bet this will make ’em toss their cookies” I wasn’t actually sure it was an urban legend when I stumbled across it on an obscure forum while researching something else. The person posting it seemed to think it was a true story. In fact the tale first appeared on the Darwin Awards site, which is devoted to deaths that are so dumb the victim is given an award for not muddying the human gene pool with their decided lack of smarts. So there’s some debate as to whether it actually happened or not (my guess is definitely NOT).


It was one of those little snippets of information that stuck to the seamy underbelly of my imagination and wouldn’t let go until I wrote a story to get rid of it. Taking the Piss, another story that’s collected in the forthcoming collection: Stuck on You and Other Prime Cuts, was just the same. It was inspired by something hideous I read about that just wouldn’t leave me alone. I sometimes create stories as little traps for the vile and hideous notions that infest my psyche, so I can be done with them and pass them onto my unwary readers. Think of it as a public service.


Stuck on You goes to some pretty extreme places, did you ever worry that you were going too far?


All the time. The fear for a writer working on something like Stuck On You is that you’re going to lose half your readership. That what your describing is going to gross them out so much they’ll throw the story down in disgust. So I would try and slowly ease the reader into each new incident that befalls the main character Ricardo. I would build to a gross climax then scale it back a bit. The thing about the story is that just when you think it’s gotten as low as it can go I’ll find a new depth to plumb, but you have to let up a bit in between. The intense levels of eroticism helps with this as did the black humour. Many readers have said they squirmed while reading it, or felt sick, but most have also said they laughed too, which is good because there is a strong element of slapstick in the story.


There are some really erotic and sexual scenes in Stuck On You. Were they fun to write?


Yes, but they were also very hard (if you’ll pardon the pun). That’s because, in my experience, Sex and Violence are the two hardest things to write well. Not many people have first hand experience of extreme violence so their depictions of it can sometimes seem inauthentic or clumsy. While most people have first hand experience of sex, we make ourselves very vulnerable when we talk or write about it in great detail. Mainly because we’re revealing something of ourselves that’s very intimate when we do. What’s more, its very difficult to find the right language to approach sex without sounding like either a clinical sex ed. description or a euphemism laden dirty joke.


Champions of ‘Quiet Horror’ often claim that ‘anyone can throw in a bunch of sex and violence and get a response’ but I think they’re wrong about this. You’ll get a response, but it won’t always be a good one, because not anyone can write sex or violence well. That’s often why many authors stop at the bedroom door and only hint at the violence. I think they’re making a virtue out of a necessity. However, I do think you can write something of great quality that’s also extremely violent and highly erotic. That’s one of the issues I was hoping to address with Stuck On You. You’ll have to read it to see if I’ve succeeded but I can promise you that if you like either sex or violence you won’t be disappointed.


Why should people read Stuck On You?


Because it’s the sickest, filthiest and most inexcusable thing you’ll read all year. If you think you’ve read everything in horror think again this will take you to an all time low. It’s the ultimate guilty pleasure, the sort of book you have to read with one hand free, partly to hide behind and partly to do other things with.




Jasper’s 1st promo for his novel Way of the Barefoot Zombie wherein he shows us a novel way to treat an estate agent and make a real killing on the housing market:


Jasper’s second promo wherein Jasper shows us how to have our pick of the best brains on Wall St and cooks up more than just the books:


Jasper’s third promo wherein he he demonstrates a novel way for dealing with singy bank managers:


UBVE #2 wherein Jasper avoids a zombie apocalypse, talks at length on zombie fiction with best selling authors David Moody and Wayne Simmons and ends up eating David Moody’s brains.


The Blood Fudge Incident! Wherein Jasper tears out the throat of Joseph D’Lacey in the middle of a central London bookstore while launching Joseph D’Lacey’s Blood Fugue:


Episode of Resonance FM’s Atomic Bark show wherein Jasper talks at length with presenter James DC about the history of Horror Comics:


Another episode of Resonance FM’s Atomic Bark show wherein Jasper talks at length with presenter James DC about old time Radio Horror Shows (very fascinating, very frightening):

Guest Post: Robert Sells



The Power Of The Thriller


“I’ll be back.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s line from the iconic thriller, The Terminator.  The movie was directed by another icon, James Cameron.  The Terminator had all the essential ingredients: good acting, action packed, clever concept, but… it didn’t make sense.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the movie.  It remains one of my favorites.  However, when I left the theater after seeing it for the first time, I wondered about one minor inconsistency. 

You have this future civilization dominated by machines and run by a supercomputer.  Impressive war machines were slowly killing humans.  Cyborgs, indistinguishable from humans, but vastly more powerful, infiltrated into the human ranks to kill a few humans in one subterranean hovel or another.  With all this evil capability and seemingly endless funds, why didn’t the computer simply develop a pathogen to kill off the remainder of the humans?  Germ warfare, an obvious solution!  Carbon-based pathogens wouldn’t infect the silicon monsters. Furthermore, it’s doubtful the machine civilization would worry too much about the Geneva Conventions. 

Simply infect a few prisoners and send them back home.  In those ‘caves’ the disease would have spread faster than wild fires in a drought-ridden forest.  There wouldn’t be any disease control in the enclaves to either stop the spread or handle the patients.  Such an attack would have been more thorough, cheaper, quicker, safer.

That this super intelligent machine didn’t realize such a simple solution has always bothered me.  Most thrillers are fun, like a roller-coaster ride.  If you allow your mind to simply ignore the impossible and forgive the implausible, they can be fun and exciting, but only like a roller coaster ride. Leave the amusement park, leave the movie theater and you are really not worried or scared.  

The best thrillers are closest to reality.  That’s made another James Cameron movie, Halloween, such a mega-hit was its believability.  Michael Meyers, the unstoppable serial killer, didn’t have to suspend the natural laws to frighten you and the movie was exciting but all the more frightening. Even after the movie. 

My own ‘thriller’ novel, Reap the Whirlwind, falls into the latter category.  In this novel, a young writer’s bank account is deep in the red due to a check he never wrote.  Friends who can help him mysteriously die or disappear.   Someone using a computer is destroying his life.  But, why?  Just like the Terminator, a super computer, not a person, is the culprit. As the story progresses, a threat to all mankind emerges.

But this super computer is patiently nudging man toward extinction after quietly taking over control of the internet. Now, the computer controls opinion polls, election results, hospital operations, scientific data, and finances of countries, companies, and people.

So, which scenario is truly more frightening? A stupid, ignorant computer or a detail-oriented, clever computer? For me, it’s the latter since it is more real, more plausible. Just like the movie, Halloween, we remained scared because it may be happening right now.

Happening right now? A super computer taking over the internet? Well, consider the following questions.  Do you think all those myriad opinion polls are valid? Couldn’t one or more have been tampered with by a self-serving silicon monster?

Or, consider this. Could we really have voted in the present members of Congress? I mean, if you really want to mess up America, wouldn’t the election of the worse candidates serve that purpose? Just what the computer ordered.

Do we really know the truth about global warming, genetics, or evolution? Could highway deaths and murders actually be higher than presently reported? How do we know what we know? Only through computers. Computers which we may no longer control.

So, it is possible that a super computer has taken over the internet. That is frightening. The greatest serial killer of all time, watching you from your computer screen. 

Hmm… Maybe I’ll contact Cameron and find out if he wants to produce another thriller. This time a real thriller about computers.


Robert Sells

I attended college at Ohio Wesleyan where I struggled with physics. Having made so many mistakes in college with physics, there weren’t too many left to make and I did quite well at graduate school at Purdue.   

I worked for twenty years at Choate Rosemary Hall, an exclusive boarding school in the heart of Connecticut. More often than not, students arrived in limousines. There was a wooded area by the upper athletic fields where I would take my children for a walk. There, under a large oak tree, stories about the elves would be weaved into the surrounding forest.

Returning to my home town to help with a father struggling with Alzheimer’s, the only job open was at a prison. There I taught an entirely different clientele whose only interaction with limousines was stealing them. A year later Alfred State College hired me to teach physics. I happily taught there for over ten years.  A rural, low income high school needed a physics teacher and the superintendent, a friend, begged me to help out.  So, I am finishing my teaching career in a most fulfilling way… helping kids who would otherwise not have access to a qualified physics (and math) teacher.

My wife pestered me about putting to “pen” some of the stories which I had created for my children and kids. I started thinking about a young boy and a white deer, connected, yet apart. Ideas were shuffled together, characters created and the result was the Return of the White Deer. This book was published by the Martin Sisters.

Years ago I gave a lecture on evolution. What, I wondered, would be the next step? Right away I realized that silicon ‘life’ had considerable advantages over mortal man. Later this idea emerged as the exciting and disturbing story called Reap the Whirlwind, my most recent novel.

I have many other stories inside my mind, fermenting, patiently waiting for the pen to give them breath. Perhaps someday I will even write about those elves which still inhabit the woods in the heart of Connecticut.


Robert Sells has taught physics for over forty years, but he has been a storyteller for over half a century, entertaining children, grandchildren, and students.  He has written the award-winning novel, Return of the White Deer, historical fiction, and he has written Reap the Whirlwind, a thriller.  His third book, The Runner and the Robbery, a young adult book, will be published by December, 2013.

He lives with his wife, Dale, in the idyllic village of Geneseo, New York with two attentive dogs who are uncritical sounding boards for his new stories.  He is intrigued by poker and history, in love with Disney and writing, and amused by religion and politics.



Amazon UK

Amazon US

Amazon US Author Page


Spotlight On: Brandon R. Luffman #ASOT2014



SPOTLIGHT ON: Brandon R. Luffman


How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?

I first heard about the event from posts on your blog, actually. I’d been wanting to do something like this for a long time, but wasn’t sure what to do. This was something that gave me that chance. I’ve had lots of family members who were in the military, so it’s great to be able to give something back!


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

My latest release is Frostwalker, a survival horror novel.


Quick description of it.

Frostwalker is the story of Jake Marsden, a shy and geeky sort of guy, who finds himself caught in the center of a clash between an eldritch evil and the forces of good. Like most of us, Jake has wondered if he’d have what it takes to survive in the zombie apocalypse. While the creatures he faces are something a little more than zombies, he’ll get his chance to find out. Maybe he’ll get the girl in the process!


Something unique about it.

Survival horror is always more about the survivors and less about the monsters, whether they’re zombies or something else. As Jake discovers that this isn’t your “typical zombie apocalypse”, he has to step up to the task of trying to save his own life as well as the lives of many others. But, more than just the story of an “unlikely hero”, Frostwalker is about the bonds of friendship, finding our inner strength, and how we handle ourselves when the chips are really down.

Or, the short version: Frostwalker is survival horror for the geek set!


Links for people to buy it.

Paperback copies are available for $9.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Tower Books, and CreateSpace. Ebooks are available for $2.99 at Smashwords, Amazon, Kobo, Sony, Diesel, Versent, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble


Your promo links.

More information on the book, including excerpts, can be found on the Frostwalker page at my website. Please drop by and say hi!


Your short Bio.

Born in Statesboro, Georgia in 1976, Brandon Luffman was raised in rural North Carolina. In the sixth grade he found that he loved writing fiction for the entertainment of others. Now Brandon writes supernatural horror as well as other genres. He still lives on the family farm in northwestern North Carolina with his wife and family. Taking inspiration from his homeland, he brings southern sensibilities and a modern flair to these classic genre themes. His first novel, Frostwalker, was released in May of 2013.

Spotlight On: Jean Erhardt #ASOT2014


Erhardt Photo  back cover

SPOTLIGHT ON: Jean Erhardt


How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?

I learned about this worthy effort from my writer pal, Shawn Chesser, who is the author of an amazing zombie apocalypse series.  I jumped at the chance to join in.


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

I write the Kim Claypoole mystery series.  The first book, Small Town Trouble, was released in 2013.  Book two (cover and title reveal soon!) is due out in May.

 Small Town Trouble

Quick description of it.

In Small Town Trouble, we get acquainted with Kim Claypoole’s irreverent and witty ways of dealing with the peculiar characters and events that she finds in her life.

Claypoole’s adventure begins as she leaves her home in the Smoky Mountains to help save her kooky mother Evelyn from financial disaster. Setting off to assist Evelyn (i.e., “the other Scarlett O’Hara”) with her newest personal crisis, Claypoole leaves in her wake her Gatlinburg doublewide, her restaurant, The Little Pigeon and her restaurant partner and sometimes best friend Mad Ted Weber as well as a budding secret love affair that’s hotter than an Eskimo in July.

Claypoole’s savior complex leads to more trouble when she bumps into an old flame in her hometown who asks for her help clearing her hapless brother of murder charges. In true Claypoole fashion, she gets more than she bargained for when she gets dragged into a complicated quest to find the true killer complete with topless tavern dancers, small town cops, a stream of backwater characters-even a meeting with the Grim Reaper.


Something unique about it.

How many funny lesbian amateur sleuths have you run into lately?


Links for people to buy it.


Your promo links.


Your short Bio.

Jean Erhardt, a former private investigator, lives and works in Portland, Oregon with her partner and two Cairn Terriers, Hollis and Higgins.

Authors Supporting Our Troops 4


Thanks for the support of #ASOT2014!

The Bloody Book Blogger

Hurry! Time is runningout!

FIVE different styles to choose from!

I just learned about this campaign! I jumped on Twitter a little bit ago, (that’s an account that needs more of my attention!), and saw the tweet from Armand Rosamilia (@ArmandRosamilia) about the cause – AUTHORS SUPPORTING OUR TROOPS.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT? Here is what the campaign page says…

“Help a great cause! I’m collecting new books actually signed by the authors themselves to ship overseas to our troops who cannot get easy access to books. But this will cost a lot of money, and I am hoping to sell a few of these shirts to offset the cost and at the same time get something into your hands to proudly display your support for the troops and this event!”

WAIT! It gets better!!

I just went back to grab links for this post, and found out that even…

View original post 64 more words

Spotlight On: Teresa Meola Vincent #ASOT2014


Teresa Meola Vincent photo.jpg

SPOTLIGHT ON: Teresa Meola Vincent


How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?

I received an invitation through Facebook, and I thought it was a great idea. Our soldiers carry a burden for all of us, and this event gives us an opportunity to show our gratitude.


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

My novel RUNNING BLIND is a story about drug addiction and the addiction subculture.

 Teresa Meola Vincent book cover.jpg

Quick description of it.

RUNNING BLIND is a fictional account of long-term addiction, and the rounds of rehabs, hospitals, arrests, and 12-step programs familiar to addicts. The main character is a troubled-kid-turned-street-hustler, unable to be saved by friends and family.


Something unique about it.

RUNNING BLIND is a fully researched historical epic, as seen through the eyes of a young drug addict living in New Jersey during the sexual revolution, the disco era, the advent of punk rock, and the early AIDS crisis, with the story mostly focused in the 1970s and 1980s.


Links for people to buy it.


Your promo links.


Your short Bio.

Teresa Meola Vincent is an artist, writer, and musician from New Jersey. She also worked as a dancer, art model, and book editor. Because of her own hard-knocks life experiences, and her time as an editor, she is able to write eloquently on raw, gritty, painful subjects. 

Spotlight On: Susan M. Toy #ASOT2014


author pic



How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?

I heard about this pretty much from the beginning when Armand Rosamilia first posted about the idea on Facebook. Even though I am Canadian, I wanted to be part of Authors Supporting Our Troops, because I think it is an absolutely brilliant idea. I ordered a T-shirt from the first batch, too. Since I’m not currently in Canada, I’ve been trying to find a Canadian author who will help me organize a similar event and collect signed books directly from authors to be sent to Canadian soldiers serving overseas. Anyone out there interested in helping me, please send me a message.


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

That Last Summer – a novella, literary fiction.

(Island in the Clouds, the print book donated to ASOT, was previously featured on Spotlight On …)


Quick description of it.

In the summer of 1965, Rachel Wainstaff is uprooted from her life in Toronto and her boyfriend to spend a reluctant summer with her family at a secluded cottage at LonePineLake. In this story of self-discovery and young love, Rachel’s joys and disappointments are inextricably tied to making new friends and meeting a special boy, all while dealing with the irritation of her younger sister. Still, the true heart of this piece lies in the complicated relationship the teenaged Rachel has with her mother and father.


Something unique about it.

This is the third of four eBooks of short fiction published by IslandShorts, an imprint of IslandCatEditions, an artisanal publisher specializing in ePublishing short works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.


Links for people to buy it.



Your promo links.





Susan’s author promotion blog – Reading Recommendations


Your short Bio.

Susan M. Toy spent all the summers of her youth at the family cottage near Minden, ON. During that time, she was a voracious reader and always dreamed of becoming a writer of her own stories. That Last Summer was originally written as an entry for the 3-Day Novel Contest. Susan currently shares her time between Canada and the Caribbean.

Spotlight On: Nicholas Ozment #ASOT2014



SPOTLIGHT ON: Nicholas Ozment


How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?

I saw it on Facebook, happened to have some extra copies of my book lying around, and thought, “What a great idea. I can get behind that!”


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

Knight Terrors: The (Mis)Adventures of Smoke the Dragon. Humorous fantasy.

 knight terrors

Quick description of it.

Like Terry Pratchett, but not as good. Still good, I think, so buy it if you’re in between Pratchett books. I’ve had at least one reader tell me she thought it was stupid the first couple chapters and she wasn’t going to keep reading it, but she did and decided it got a lot better and funnier as it went along. So if you do buy it, stick with it — or just skip the first three chapters. If I release a second edition, I’ll probably start with chapter four.


Something unique about it.

It may have jinxed two magazines and a small-press publisher? The first Smoke the Dragon story (which became chapters 1-3 of the book) originally appeared in Blood, Blade and Thruster issue 3 in 2007, which turned out to be the last issue of that magazine. The story that became chapter 4 first appeared in Abandoned Towers online; that website appears to have been abandoned over a year ago (although the towers are still standing, i.e., you can still read “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” and other stuff there). And Ancient Tomes Press does not appear to have published anything after the year it put out Knight Terrors. So hopefully someday these copies are collector’s items.


Links for people to buy it.

I don’t think the link exists anymore — I couldn’t locate it with a quick Google search. I do note that there is still one copy available from Amazon (and if anyone wants to PM me, I have a few copies left). My real hope is to get it out in e-book form one of these days.


Your promo links.


Your short Bio.

I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, so what the hell I’m doing here in Minnesota where it’s -10 outside and buried under three feet of snow, I’m not quite sure. I do have a wonderful family here, though, to help me keep warm: a wife who is an awesome artist and has a black belt in tae kwon do — plus as a bonus she’s a redhead — and two funny, brilliant children.

I love books so much that I went and got a Masters degree in English Literature and Language and became an adjunct professor. I even got to teach a Topics in Lit course on Neil Gaiman. And Gaiman responded to my request for a suggestion on the course syllabus! (That was very helpful, let me tell you — not just his input, but how much it elevated me in the eyes of my students that their instructor actually corresponded with Neil Gaiman.) A couple years back, I got to sit on a convention panel with Gene Wolfe, Pat Rothfuss, and Allen Steele — talk about feeling unworthy, and, at the same time, privately gleeful. You can’t make much with an MA in English, but it is a handy ticket to meet your favorite authors.

Spotlight On: Jackie Taylor Zortman #ASOT2014


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SPOTLIGHT ON: Jackie Taylor Zortman


How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?

My Murphy cousin, Lauren Howard, whose husband is a musician, sent me the link because she thought I’d be interested. 


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

“We Are Different Now” is a grief/self-help/inspirational book.

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Quick description of it.

Pete died alone beside the river in the pitch black of night after falling 100 feet to the rock-strewn canyon floor from a Colorado mountain ledge.  He was only 21 years old and the apple of his maternal grandmother’s eye. He died instantly from a skull fracture.  Come with me on my journey with death on the mountain.  Discover what has been revealed to us since we lost this young man with the angelic face and who was born possessing an old soul.


Something unique about it.

My book has, unexpectedly, sold to people in all walks of life and to all ages from late teens to the elderly and everyone in between, as well as being sold as a text book.


Links for people to buy it.; &  It can also be bought or ordered in any Barnes & Noble bookstore.  It is also available as a Kindle.


Your promo links.



Author Central:


Your short Bio.

A former tourist town bookstore owner, Jackie is an award winning writer and published author who lives in the Colorado mountains with her retired 42-veteran law enforcement officer husband.  She is the author of “We Are Different Now” as well as a contributing author to the anthology “Felons, Flames & Ambulance Rides”.  She has been a member of the Public Safety Writes Association (formerly The Police Writers Club) since 1994 and won two awards in their 2013 Writing Contest in Las Vegas for her stories “Amache” and “The Siege At Cortez.”  She has had many stories published over the years and has appeared in several other anthologies.

Spotlight On: Sumiko Saulson #ASOT2014


Sumiko Saulson

SPOTLIGHT ON: Sumiko Saulson


How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?

Emerian Rich introduced me to Authors Supporting Our Troops. I originally met her through her involvement with She invited me to come to their horror tea party and share my books at BayCon. She’s an awesome lady and very supportive towards other authors in the genre.


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

My latest release is “Things That Go Bump in My Head,” a short story anthology. Most of the stories and poetry are in the horror genre, but there is some crossover into other speculative fiction genres.


Quick description of it.

“Things That Go Bump In My Head” is a collection of short stories and other writing by horror and science fiction novelist Sumiko Saulson. A bit of old fashioned horror… a ghost story… a couple of works on the dark humor side of horror (and they are unabashedly funny), a science-fiction dystopic tale, a few works of psychological horror… even a bit of poetry. Reading “Things That Go Bump In My Head” is like entering a haunted house ride… you never know what you will find around the corner.


Something unique about it.  

I often my personal experience and background in the stories, and since I am from a multiethnic background, the stories in the book tend to have multicultural characters, and many take place in places I have lived in California and Hawaii. One of the stories, “Dead Horse Summer,” is about Kalapana, a place I lived during junior high school that destroyed by a volcanic eruption in the late eighties.


Links for people to buy it.


Your promo links.

Video (Promo Spot) for “Things That Go Bump in My Head”:


Your short Bio.

Sumiko Saulson is an author in the science fiction, horror and dark fantasy genres, A published poet and writer of short stories and editorials, she was once profiled in a San Francisco Chronicle article about up-and-coming poets in the beatnik tradition. The child of African American and Russian-Jewish American parents, she is a native Californian, and was born and spent her early childhood in Los Angeles, before moving to Hawaii, where she spent her teen years. She has spent most of her adult life living in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Spotlight On: Kelly Cozzone #ASOT2014


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SPOTLIGHT ON: Kelly Cozzone


How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?

I saw that one of my author friends had shared the event on their Facebook page. With a husband and nephew who are marines and a cousin who is an Air Force Raven, I knew immediately that I had to get involved.


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

Tropical Dreams is a romantic murder mystery


Quick description of it.

Tropical Dreams is a tale of love, murder and conspiracy. Can Tiana Alexander overcome her past to learn to love again? Can David Murphy let go of the demons who haunt him. Can they face the future together or will life finally take its toll and their lives?


Something unique about it.  

It is told from the perspective of both of the main characters.  I felt that writing a murder mystery with a romantic twist needed the emotional fight of both Tiana and David.


Links for people to buy it.


Barnes & Noble:



Your promo links.


Twitter: @KCozzone




Your short Bio.

Kelly Cozzone was born in New Martinsville, WV. She spent 20 years in West Virginia before moving to Austin, Texas. After spending 15 years in Myrtle Beach, SC, she finally made it back to her adopted hometown of Austin, TX.

When Kelly isn’t writing the mystery stories she loves, she is following her beloved Texas Longhorns. An avid football fan, she spends her fall months rooting on her favorite teams.

In addition to being an author, Kelly writes for and shares her thoughts and stories that strike a chord in her on her blog.

Kelly has been happily married to her husband for 20 years and has three children who are her life.

Spotlight On: Laci Paige #ASOT2014





How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?

I honestly can’t remember. But if I had to guess, a mutual Facebook friend of ours has been a big supporter so she must have posted something about the event that sparked enough interest for me to check it out.


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

Silken Kisses, book #3 of the Silken Edge series is in edits now. Should be out early April. It’s an erotic romance.

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Quick description of it.

The Silken Edge books are a fictitious series about a group of people who are into the BDSM scene. Each book will follow a different couple as they grow and learn to discover more about themselves in the lifestyle and their relationships.


Something unique about it.

I write erotic romance so sure there are sexual relationships involved, but the sex doesn’t define my stories. I have more story than sex in my books, but it’s a part of life, so why not write about it? 


Links for people to buy it.

Here is my Amazon author page with all of my books listed:


Your promo links.


Your short Bio.

More than anything, Laci enjoys spending time with her family. She and her husband support their children on the soccer pitch and off. Laci enjoys the outdoors, and of course reading and writing (and chocolate). Their family resides in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. 

Spotlight On: Bernard Cenney #ASOT2014


Timeless Terror Author Photo (Back Flap Inside) (484342) (1)Headshot

SPOTLIGHT ON: Bernard Cenney
How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?
I came across Armand Rosamilia’s link on Facebook and wanted to get involved to support our troops.  I’ve already sent several copies of my books to Afghanistan in the form of gifts to soldiers deployed there.  
What is your latest release and what genre is it?
My latest release is Timeless Terror, which came out in the Fall of 2013.   All my novels are in the fiction-thriller-suspense genre. 
Front of Business Card
Quick description of it.
Timeless Terror is the heart-pounding sequel to Close Your Eyes and See, and part three of the Sparrow’s Tears Saga.
The Sparrow’s Tears novels (Sparrow’s TearsClose Your Eyes and SeeTimeless Terror) deal with Special Forces Captain James Ross and his clairvoyant girlfriend Lin Sparrow.  But to many people…..Lin Sparrow is a witch.  
In her dreams, Lin has a seer’s ability to foretell the future from the ashes of the past. Lin does it with her mind….the Nazis did it with a machine. In Timeless Terror….Lin’s prophetic visions bind her once again with Special Forces Captain James Ross. Al-Qaeda terrorist cells have been receiving funding from the mysterious “Professor” who pays them with gold….Nazi gold. Ross has been dispatched to Switzerland to find the source of the blood money, and bring whoever is responsible to justice. In country, Ross teams up with Lin, and forms an unlikely alliance once again with the enigmatic taxicab driver known as Emanuel. Together, they follow a trail of lies, deceit, and murder that rises from the ruins of the Third Reich and reaches to the highest echelons of governmental power. But the Professor is pulling the strings, and nothing is what it seems in this treacherous world of international terrorism and betrayal.
Something unique about it.
I used writing the Sparrow’s Tears Saga as therapy for myself when my son, James, passed away.   The main character of my novels, Special Forces Captain James Ross, is patterned after my son, James Cenney.  Writing became a sort of mental therapy to allow me to honor my son, and to give him a life that was cut short.  
Links for people to buy it.
Your promo links.
Your short Bio.
Bernard Cenney retired from the United States Army as a Lt Colonel after more than twenty-eight years in uniform. He considers it a privilege to have served his country throughout numerous command and staff assignments the world over. He currently lives in Texas with his wife and children.
After the phenomenal success of his second novel, Close Your Eyes and See, Bernard became continually pressed around the globe to answer the critical question: “Whatever happened to James Ross after Manila?” In the sequel,Timeless Terror, that question is answered.
Lt Colonel Cenney’s novels are a passionate tribute to the brave men and women at the tip of America’s fight for freedom in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Philippines, and around the world.

Spotlight On: Bernard Zeitler #ASOT2014


Picture of Bernie

SPOTLIGHT ON: Bernard Zeitler


How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?

In the process of dealing with a publisher, I became part of an Author Group and one of the members shared what you were doing. It was exciting to find out about it and I felt compelled to be involved.


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

How To Win As A High Roller While Losing Your Shirt.

It is a workbook/ self-help that is in part an autobiography.

 High Roller

Quick description of it.

After I went into recovery from Compulsive Gambling in 2007 I found myself trying to explain my addiction to others. After years of staying clean I wrote this book to help people understand what it is to be a Compulsive Gambler.


Something unique about it.

It combines both personal and group insights to explore Compulsive Gambling. It also explains things in a way that relates to many forms of addiction while still focusing on Gambling.


Links for people to buy it.


Your promo links.


Your short Bio.

Bernard Zeitler was a compulsive gambler who has been in recovery since November 21, 2007.  His chosen form of gambling was lottery tickets, which are sold at many retailers. Until March 15, 2011, he sold lottery tickets as a part of his job at a convenience store. At the end of October 2007, he was on the verge of losing his job and spent time in an adult Psych. unit for suicidal depression as a result of his addiction. He has a Bachelors Degree in Social Work with a minor in Psychology which was received in 1991 and has worked in various areas of the mental health field. He spends time studying fundamentals of recovery and working in the mental health field. It is his hope and dream to create a program for compulsive gamblers that works with the whole family and has some form of housing for the compulsive gambler while starting their recovery.

Spotlight On: EM Kaplan #ASOT2014





How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event?

I saw it reposted on Facebook from another blog. I totally can’t remember which one now. I’m glad I saw it though.


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

The Bride Wore Dead, a Josie Tucker Mystery, which is a tough-girl mystery, although Amazon calls it a “cozy culinary mystery.”


Quick description of it.

THE BRIDE WORE DEAD is about a bride who dies under suspicious circumstances on her honeymoon—supposedly anaphylaxis from a bee sting. Josie Tucker, who was a last-minute, fill-in bridesmaid at the massive Boston Brahmin wedding, goes to Arizona to find out what exactly happened.


Something unique about it.

Josie is a person of many contrasts. She is a loner at heart, but she’s a people-magnet. She’s a food critic who can’t eat. She’s a tiny little thing who gets into physical scrapes. Ethnically, she’s mixed (half Thai), but her family is not, so she is able to cross social and economic boundaries easily.


Links for people to buy it.

(coming in other ebook formats soon)


Your promo links.


Your short Bio.

I’m EM Kaplan, I grew up in Tucson, Arizona where there were no sidewalks but plenty of tumbleweeds. I have been a Girl Scout, a trombonist, a toilet-cleaner, a beginner ninja, and a subversive marketeer. By day, I’m a technical writer for Motorola/Google. This is my first published novel.