So you can read my books

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

HALLOWEEN: Why Are We Drawn to the Dark?

Why are we drawn to horror? Why are good girls drawn to bad boys?


1.) The allure of the forbidden.

That is one of the reasons horror beckons to us from out of the shadows.

Why is that boy, that deserted mansion, forbidden?

It is as old as the blood which pulsed cold and tingling through Eve's veins as she reached for that forbidden fruit on that hauntingly lovely tree.


2.) Curiosity.

It is human nature to want to know what lies over the horizon. It's what drove the pioneers across wild, hostile lands.

What does that locked door conceal? That chained chest. Why those heavy links, that rusted lock?

Is this all there is? Or is there more beyond mere line of sight? We know there is more.

Science tells of us of dark matter piercing the cosmos with light-years long strands of matter invisible to the human eye. 

We are likewise blind to the world of germs. What other worlds are we blind to?

Give a nugget of uranium, a tiny stone really, to an aborigine. Tell him it is a good luck charm. Tell him to drop it in the village well.

What harm could one tiny stone do? 

Visit his village two months later. View the many corpses laying strewn like dead dreams all across the ground.

3.) Identification.

We watch and imagine what we would do in like situations. 

The world dissolves into chaos as random individuals descend slowly into madness.

You are picked up by the local sheriff as you are doing your morning walk with your dog. 

He orders you and your dog into the back of the car. 

He presses his gun to your dog's head and rambles on about brains looking like wet oysters. Do you want to see?

What would you do? What could you do?

Life is frightening: 

Global warming. Diseases that eat the very flesh of your body. 

We watch horor on the screen to encapsulate the horror of real life. It is not us up there.

We would be smarter, faster, more in control of our emotions.

We like the adrenaline rush sudden scares give us. 

Safer than driving fast, dating inappropriate guys or gals, and with the thrill of saying mentally, "It's not real; I'm still safe."


4.) The Darkness Within.

Terror versus Horror. 

Is one more physical; the other more mental? 

Does revulsion and squriming terror pierce through our mental barriers to stab deep into our unconscious fears ... and desires?

(Take the public fascination with the trilogy of the girl with the dragon tattoo:

she is repeatedly brutalized, raped, shot, and beaten. 

The books and movies are bestsellers. 

Is there a darkness in us that wants to roll around in sadism like a cat does catnip?)

You are horrified by the news of the floods in Pakistan. 

You are terrorized when you wake up one New Orleans morning to the news that the dams have burst, 

and you look out your front door to see rushing waters swallow your neighbor's home ... then your very own.    
Horror is realizing the monsters are real and are out there to get you. 

Terror is looking into the mirror, seeing yourself becoming one -- but still enough you to scream silently at the sight.

Stephen King said horror literature is a means for us to take out the monster, play with it for a while, and put it back.

But who is the monster?

Is he some squirming presence waiting on the other side of the dimensional wall waiting for a crack to appear? 

Is he the beloved president whose wife is slowly going insane at the awful reality of who he truly is?

Or does his/her eyes stare back at you from the mirror?

Carl Jung:
"Everyone carries a shadow, 

and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. 

At all counts, it forms an unconscious snag, thwarting our most well-meant intentions."

Why do you think we read horror? 

Why are we so drawn to dressing up as monsters or as our secret identities? 

Why do you write the genres you do? 

And what role does "control" or "lack of control" play in horror/scary movies and literature?***

Saturday, October 28, 2017

STRANGER THINGS 2_What Do You Think of It So Far?

Despite being on call this weekend, 

I've managed to watch a few episodes of this new season.

I was afraid that it would fall victim to the Curse of the Sequel ...

But worry not ... 

Like EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, this season might be even better than the first season!


I mean Eleven might take it personally!

IT was good, 

but Stranger Things 2 has the cinematography which surpasses that movie 

with pacing and character juxtapositioning which rivets and surprises.

Our heroes are off on another mind-bending suspenseful adventure, 

retaining all the charm and fun of the first season. 

It is perfect Halloween viewing with even more tension and danger.

Don't be afraid to journey back to Hawkins.

If you have seen a few episodes, what has been your biggest surprise?

Which character have you grown to like more?  

(Steve may turn out to be the new Barbara in popularity)

Which two characters surprised you most?

Let Millie Bobbie Brown 
tease you with non-spoiling hints:

Thursday, October 26, 2017


A book published last Halloween
 is now being recorded into audio
this Halloween

What if you, yourself,
were born on Halloween?

1.) Being born on Halloween is actually considered very lucky.

Anyone born on this day is said to have lifelong protection against evil spirits

and will also be gifted with the second sight.

2.) Being born on the 31st of October means that you are ruled by both Pluto and Mars if you are into Astrology.

The way Pluto and Mars affect you can be through adding energy to your already passionate personality.

Perhaps, you find yourself with moments of intense determination

that are not necessarily characteristic.

That power definitely helps you through hardships and haunted houses!

3.) It is said that those born on Halloween can see and talk to spirits. 

 So stay out of those haunted houses!! 

Unless you enjoy really creepy conversations.

4.) Those born on Halloween share birthdays with Peter Jackson and John Candy.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

HALLOWEEN Guilty Pleasures

Do you have favorite scary movies 
you watch
 every Halloween 
that no one else has heard of? 

I do:

(A horror film with heart and humor)

A young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a famous scream queen from the 1980s, 

finds herself pulled into the world of her mom's most famous movie. 

Reunited, the two women must fight off the film's maniacal killer. 

(One last battle for an old soldier)

A blind war veteran is warehoused by uncaring children in a secluded retirement village.  

He soon learns that illness and old age are not the only things thinning out the community.  

There is a savage beast whose existence the authorities are loathe to admit even exists.


(Friendship endures even 
when all becomes dark)

A routine military exercise turns into a nightmare in the Scotland wilderness 

as a British National Guard unit finds it has been used as bait for a Black Ops mission gone horribly wrong.



Tuesday, October 24, 2017

STRANGER THINGS 2_ Do You Plan to Watch It?

{Courtesy Netflix}

Do you intend to watch 
this Friday on Netflix?

{Courtesy Netflix}

Do you binge watch programs on Netflix?

Not me.

Deep-vein thrombosis is not something to chance!

But I will make a two day event of
it on my days off 

Did you know that each episode of season two cost $8 million to film? 

Each episode of season one cost $6 million.  

Can you say WOW! with me?

Did any of you watch the first season?  I enjoyed it immensely.  

I even wrote about it a few times on this blog:


Saturday, October 21, 2017


When morality runs up against profit, 
it is seldom that profits loses.

I wanted to give one of my audio books as a gift to a lab tech at a local hospital.

I have given not only my own audio books but those of authors I think friends would like 

from Craig Johnson to Patricia Briggs

 to John Steinbeck {Travels With Charley}.

 (Narrated wonderfully by the actor Gary Sinse)

Imagine my surprise when I discovered Audible would no longer let me 

give a single audiobook as a gift!

The company line is that it's to focus on the more popular gift memberships!

More popular to whom?

Audible obviously.

No customer believes the gift subscriptions are more popular. 

I don't want to spend $45 to send someone a 3 month subscription. 

I want to use a credit I have or spend $20 sending them a single book. 

I now have to spend $45 and send a “gift” 

which requires the recipient to sign up for a membership that they didn’t ask for 

when they only may want to listen to the one book I want to send them? 

Nothing says "You are my friend" like sticking her or him with a bill for a 9 month book subscription! 

This hurts the Indie Author who promotes by buying his audio book and gifting it to friends.

But it also hurts the Indie narrators, like the excellent Robert Rossmann

who promote their work by doing the same thing.

The only one who benefits from this is Audible (owned by Amazon) --

Another example of why monopolies are bad for the consumer.



Monday, October 16, 2017

WEP_Dark Places_THE KEEP

 Once Again, the WEP gives us a chance 
to answer a prompt.

Why not give it a try?

Here is my attempt.

{1000 Words}

I was alive only because I was a doctor and knew German.   

The Nazis surprised us in the forest.  We gave as good as we got.


I was the lone American.  Five Nazis limped behind me.   

Ahead slowly walked their Carpathian guide.  

 In the mists ahead, I could barely make out an ancient structure, a Keep of some kind.   

The guide stopped.

The captain called out, “Why do you stop?”

His voice lingering haltingly over unfamiliar German vowels, the guide said, 

“We must turn back. This place is … evil.”

Swearing under his breath, the bloodied captain limped up to the guide and aimed his Luger at him.    

“That chapel will provide shelter from this damnable rain and a place to make a fire to warm our bones.”

The guide said,  “This is no place of worship.  It is a prison.  To enter is to die.”

The captain shrugged.  “No, peasant.  To deny the Reich is to die.”

 He shot the guide.  I shivered.   

There for a moment in the moonlight, it seemed as if the guide’s face looked relieved.

The captain shoved me towards the Keep.   

Amerikaner, you will make a fire for us and tend our wounds.“

His smile flashed like the strike of a snake.  "Perhaps you may live out this night.“

His promise was as phony as his smile. 

“We need to bury that guide.  Wolves will be drawn to the body.“

He laughed, "Predators need to eat, too.“

All the branches outside were soaked.   

The two privates still able to use both arms broke the rune-etched structure that acted as a barrier to the rest of the huge Keep.

As soon as the strange wall was down, a wind moaned from the darkness.   

Fear was bright in the wide eyes of each Nazi. 

The captain snapped, "Fools!  Are you children to be afraid of the night?“

The night. 

It calls to the frightened child in all of us.   

It seems to welcome the horrors with which we once peopled the darkness.

There's power in the night. There's terror in the darkness.  

The caveman knew.   

There were deadly things in the dark he did not understand.  That caveman awakens when the sun sets.

As a physician, I knew all too well how much science didn’t know about the body, 

why things went wrong with it, and how much Man still had to learn.

I did what I could to staunch the flow of the soldiers’ wounds.  

 My oath did not let me differentiate between ally and enemy.

The captain pointed his Luger at me as he put his back to the Keep’s cave wall and slid to the spot closet to the flickering flames.

“You will continue to feed the fire.  Should it die, I will awaken.”

His smile didn’t reach his eyes.  “Then, you die.”

I nodded and started to pick up the remaining pieces of the shattered barrier.

The captain growled, “What are you doing?”

“Collecting all the pieces now so I won’t awaken you doing it later.”

He grunted, “You grovel well, Herr Doctor.”  He pronounced it däktər.

“I plan to live,” I said truthfully.

I reminded myself that a sneer was the weapon of the weak, but his Luger put the lie to that.   

He fell asleep with the sneer still twisting those thin lips.   

He slept the sleep of the exhausted.

The rain pelted the forest outside.   

With prickling scalp, I saw the rain stopped inches from the Keep’s entrance.   

It could just be a trick of the weather.

The wolves who hungrily eyed the guide’s body but refused to approach it 

(and the Keep entrance) 

made me think otherwise.

I started to piece together the remains of the barrier on the rock floor.   

The two Nazis had been so weak they left huge chunks of it intact.  

 I made a passable mosaic of the barrier between me and the sleeping Nazis.

Maybe they were superstitious, but the two Nazis had not fed any of the wood carved with runes into the fire.

I survived medical school by having a memory for detail.   

I managed to fit all the wood runes in the order I remembered.

I no sooner finished than the wolves started whimpering behind me.  

 I turned on my knees to see the wolves slinking away, their ears down and their tails between their legs.

I turned back around and believed in Evil.

In the gloom, I spotted … something. 

My voice strangled in my throat.  Something was tottering from the darkness beyond.

A strange whistling sank and rose.  There was a low fire behind it.   

I could not see from what source the dim glow came. It seemed to emanate from no central focus.

But I saw a vague figure shambling toward us.

It was made of such blackness as I had not dreamed existed this side of the grave.   

The oily blackness had the musty feel of antiquity to it. 

It looked like a woman, but no human woman ever walked with that skulking gait, 

and no human woman ever had that face of horror, that leering grimace of lunacy.

A part of me wanted to scream at the sight of that face, at the glint of nails in the uplifted claw-like hand. 

Flabby lips turned up in hunger and ecstasy, it bent over the four enlisted men.   

Their wet screams were cut short as their writhing bodies blurred into mist …

 and were absorbed into the black Something.

The captain started awake, his eyes wild with terror.   
 He emptied the Luger into the thing that shambled for him.

It snared his wrist and kissed him as he gagged.

It shambled towards me but paused as it glared at my makeshift barrier.

I scrambled out of the Keep and into the freezing rain, taking my chances with the wolves.

The captain screamed after me as the Something dragged him back into the darkness.

“Don’t leave me!”

I called back, “Remember? Predators need to eat, too."