Kidnapped! The Rise of Count Slackula by Sumiko Saulson

•November 2, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Source: Kidnapped! The Rise of Count Slackula by Sumiko Saulson


Horror at the San Mateo Public Library … Spooky Call for Submissions

•October 23, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Such a wonderful event! And the Call for Submissions is still open for Crescendo of Darkness, but not for long! Halloween deadline.

Source: Horror at the San Mateo Public Library … Spooky Call for Submissions

#NGHW Winner! Who is the NEXT GREAT HORROR WRITER? Jonathan Fortin!

•October 16, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Wow congrats Jonathan Fortin! So jealous right now…

Winner Jonthan Fortin!

Age: 29
From: El Cerrito, CA, USA


As a child, Jonathan Fortin was perpetually terrified, so of course he grew up to be a horror writer. Haunted by tales that grow in his head like demonic children, Jonathan believes that a good horror story is first and foremost a good story—just one where particularly awful things happen.
Facebook / Website

Jonathan wins:

Crystal Lake Publishing

Grand Prize: Book Contract

 Dario Ciriello, Editor

Grand Prize: Full edit of winner’s novel up to 50,000 words.

Short story contract with “Horror Bites” series.

Horror Writer gift box. Supplies and inspiration for the Next Great Horror Writer.

Winner line up / Final placement…

1st place: Jonathan Fortin

2nd place:

Age: 41
From: Valley, WA, USA


3rd place:

Age: 27
From: Houston, Texas, USA

4th place:

Age: 30
From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

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Dusk’s Warriors by Emerian Rich

•October 12, 2017 • 1 Comment

Child abuse is unfortunately a prevalent plague infecting our world. In Dusk’s Warriors, dwbook3d2.pnga group of vigilante street kids all have abuse in common, but instead of dwelling on the cruelty they endured, they use it as a powerful tool against evil.

Every kid in the Drog has been there. They’ve hid in closets away from angry fists. They’ve prayed for justice as their parents starved them, or beat them, or drugged them. Rescued by their brethren, they fight against others who would harm innocents. They adopt the name of their torture device and use it as a badge of honor.

Excerpt from Dusk’s Warriors:

“They call me Nails.”
Reidar didn’t have to ask why, he could see Nail’s thoughts. As Nails said his name, he remembered the torture he’d endured as a child. Someone, a foggy, obscured figure in his memory, had driven nails into his skin. The boy stiffened at the thought of his torture.
“Why do you take the name of your torture device?” Reidar asked.
Angered by Reidar reading his mind, Nails grit his teeth before speaking.
“We reclaim the tools of those who’ve harmed us. My name reminds me of why I fight.”
“All those in your group have suffered such torture?”
“We’re all survivors,” the boy said and at once a flood of images entered the boy’s mind, so fast, Reidar barely grasped them. Cig, Iron, Blade, Wick, we wear our names with pride because we survived the torment. “We fight for the innocents who have not yet been taken and the ones who died by their hands.”
“Whose hands?”
“Those that work for HIM. The ones who come to earth to maim and kill.”
Reidar could see the allegiance to the cause in Nail’s head. He could hear it in his voice. Should he tell the boy Heaven and Hell were not like he suspected? They weren’t as Reidar had believed either. Heaven contained four new gods who barely knew what they were doing, but what good would discounting the boy’s faith do?

Dusk’s Warriors by Emerian Rich


Heaven has opened up and welcomed the vampires of Night’s Knights into a new reality. As they struggle to find their place in their new world, trouble brews on Earth.

Demon servant, Ridge, is causing havoc by gathering up all the souls on Earth that have been touched by immortality. When he injures one of the Night’s Knights crew, he launches a war between the vampires of Heaven, the Big Bad in Hell, and a mortal street gang of vigilante misfits.

Will Julien, Markham, and Reidar be able to defeat the evil that’s returned, or will they once again need Jespa’s help?

Praise for Dusk’s Warriors:

“All hail, the queen of Night’s Knights has returned! Emerian Rich’s unique take on vampires delights my black little heart.” ~Dan Shaurette, Lilith’s Love

“A world of horror with realistic characters in a fast paced thriller you won’t be able to put down.”
~David Watson, The All Night Library

Praise for Night’s Knights:
“Fresh, original, and thoroughly entertaining.” ~Mark Eller, Traitor

“Emerian brought the Vampire Novel back from the dead.” ~C. E. Dorsett, Shine Like Thunder

Available now at in print and eBook

emz1smallEmerian Rich is an artist, horror host, and author of the vampire series, Night’s Knights. She is the hostess of the internationally acclaimed podcast, Under the name Emmy Z. Madrigal, she writes the musical romance series, Sweet Dreams and she’s the Editorial Director for the Bay Area magazine, SEARCH. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.


Larvae (flash fiction)

•October 4, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Image source: USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab from Beltsville, Maryland, USA

A sliver of sunlight pierced the stagnant air of the subbasement, illuminating claw marks in the mossy walls. Under the stream of light I observed bloodstains at the base of my torn nailbed. I winced. The iron-rich smell would attract the creature.

Its piteous mewling arose from the depths. I nervously kicked soil into the tunnel at my feet. I had to escape before it returned. Clutching the soil, my fingers dug deep within. Quickly, I ascended. I was six feet up when I felt a tug at my feet. Looking down in horror, I witnessed the creature’s bloated, white body creeping up my pants leg.

“Get off me, foul thing!” I screamed, kicking the hideous larvae. It was three feet long. Its maw oozed putrescent yellow fluids reeking of fetid lard. That evil oral emanation hit toe of my sneaker, melting canvas and eating away at flesh. I screamed in pain, kicking loose the shoe, sending the maggot dropping below with it.

The small crevice at the top of the well was just feet away. Heart racing, I redoubled my efforts to scale the wall. A nail broke with a gut-wrenching crack. I felt blood rush out from under the cloth, hot and sticky. I began to calculate how much pressure it would take to knock the wooden cap off the well.

A new sound emerged. Loud buzzing that grew rapidly closer. I felt wiry hairs touch the back of my neck. Against my will, I turned to look. A monstrous fly stared at me with its compound eye. Its voice, high-pitched and querulous, vibrated against my maddened eardrum.

“I bet you didn’t know we evolved,” it arrogantly hissed before its mandibles slid into the unyielding flesh of my eyelid, tearing asunder the fragile orb underneath.

(originally part of the #NGHW Next Great Horror Writer contest at HorrorAddicts)

My Life as a Young Adult Urban Horror Heroine

•October 3, 2017 • 5 Comments

Hawaii Miki 15After work, Mom usually took us to Norm’s, a diner on the corner of Sunset and Vermont for supper. Sometimes she was forced to bring us along for dates. Now, that’s a nightmare… single motherhood, being forced to drag your prepubescent brats along for a date. There are many ways unappreciative spawn can interfere with the dating process if motivated. For instance, my brother took a strong dislike to one long-winded disciplinarian in long-haired hipster sheep’s clothing. The date, a freckled red-head with a halo of nuclear dust cloud red curls,   thought my little brother was charming, at first. Scott was going to show him a new trick he’d learned!

The waitress bought him the child’s spaghetti dinner plate. The sweet and pungent Hawaii Miki 13 Scott 12 Bob Daniellearoma of fresh basil, tomatoes and garlic swirled through the air. My brother picked up a fork and loosely wrapped a single strand of pasta through its tines. Then, he lifted it to his nose and showed mom’s suitor his best magic trick. He sucked the linguini noodle into his nostril and inhaled it, quickly, laughing. Aghast, the red-haired gentleman leaped back several feet in his seat. I could almost hear the plastic-coated dinner seat peel off the backs of his over-tanned, Bermuda-shorts clad legs. Seemingly convinced the man wasn’t sufficiently disgusted, Scott opened his mouth to show him the unbroken end of the spaghetti strand peeking out from between his incisors. As the worm-like strand wiggled back and forth, my brother inhaled deeply, forcing the rest of the pasta into his nasal cavity.

“Scott! Stop it!” my horrified mother screamed. But it was too late. The deed was done. The poor man had experienced his first and last date with my mother and her bratty children.

That happened two days before the horrifying thing… maybe that’s why it stands so close in my memory, even though I was only nine years old when all of this happened.

Growing up in Los Angeles means being exposed to a lot of terrifying things children ordinarily don’t experience. I try to recall the innocence of roller skating, Book Mobiles, and fireworks on the Fourth of July, and forget all of the terrible things I’ve seen. But some memories reel you in and hold you there against your will.

miki and scott kids


Two days after the date from hell, I was sitting at Norm’s with my mother eating the kiddie steak sandwich that they had on the menu back then. It was on a French roll cooked with butter and garlic, and I used to separate them and pretend I was in a fancy restaurant. Scott was sitting directly across from our mother, receiving a lecture about his abysmal behavior. That’s probably why her back blocked his view of the drama going on at the restaurant door.

“Help!” the man with the matted hair screamed. “They put out my eye! They put out my eye!” A white man in his mid-thirties, obviously homeless, was screaming and holding his face. His beige shirt was stained with sweat, the long sleeve across his face stained with mucous. Just a child, I was tuned into his crying. I sat there, aghast, as my mom lectured my brother.

When he removed his hand from his face, his screams were joined by my own. His eye was a mass of red, welted flesh. Blood and ruined ocular tissue were visible from my uncomfortable seat. I kept trying to understand why they wouldn’t help him.  Was it because he was homeless? I remembered sitting next to a homeless man on the bus. His khaki pants were stained and smelled of urine. They didn’t serve people like that at Denny’s, but surely they would help him? They had to!

“They took my eye!” he screamed again, blurting out a disjointed narrative about the young men who caught him sleeping in a car. A couple of younger men, in their late teens or early twenties, found him sleeping in car, and attacked him with the car’s cigarette lighter. They beat senseless.

That was how I learned about man’s inhumanity to man.

It’s also when I first started exhibiting clear symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Days after some Norm’s employee took pity on the homeless man and called an ambulance, I was still unable to sleep. It didn’t help that we were homeless ourselves. My mom had a job, but we didn’t have an apartment. She worked at a bookstore, and we used to sneak in at night and sleep on the floor. She would pull out our blankets, hidden under a cupboard in a cardboard box.

Hawaii Miki bw

I couldn’t sleep at all, because I was seeing things… the wispy figures of ghostly creatures, upraised and predatory aliens. Mom had trouble getting me to settle down. I was up all night, agitated. Suddenly, the whole world seemed dangerous to me. My skin crawled with uncontrolled adrenaline. Fear encased me in a blanket of unease. I’d had symptoms before, but I had been so young that they blended in with the imaginary friends and ordinary daydream worlds occupied by five or six year-olds. At nine, I was a bit too old for this. It was becoming increasingly clear that something was wrong with me.

Something was wrong with me, but something

mom miki grandma

was also wrong with the world. If they would assault that man for living in a car, what would they do to me and my family if they found out we were homeless? I was a pretender, sitting in Norm’s separating my steak sandwich into two parts so I could pretend to be a wealthier girl who lived in a middle class home somewhere far away from the crime and danger here in Hollywood.

When you are very poor, what is there to do but pretend? This was merely the early acclimation to my ultimate fate as a horror writer. If I wasn’t destined to write horror, why would so many terrifying things be put in my way?

(originally part of the #nghw contest on HorrorAddicts)


#Horror Anthology: Clockwork Wonderland #Review by @TBraun_Author #Books #AliceinWonderland

•September 20, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Great review! Happy to be mentioned.

Reads & Reels

Book Review


Wonderland??? I’m all over this one! Let’s see what Theresa has to say about it.

Clockwork Wonderland contains stories from authors that see Wonderland as a place of horror where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book you’ll find tales of murderous clockworks, insane creations, serial killers, zombies, and a blood thirsty jabberclocky. Prepare to see Wonderland as a place where all your worst nightmares come true. You may never look at classic children’s literature the same way again.

Add to Goodreads

Clockwork Wonderland (Release Date: April 2017)

alice in wonderland

There’s a comforting familiarity in these stories, since most of us have at least a vague understanding of Alice and what it means to be stuck in Wonderland. Although it’s usually passed off as an imaginative realm for children, the circumstances and imagery here are the stuff of adult nightmares. Themes of losing our innocence, questioning our…

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