On Losing A Friend


That heart-rending news…that a friend has passed…that a life so full of promise and inspiration is gone…

Not the kind of news anyone ever wants to hear, but alas, it’s true.

My good friend, David J Rodger, passed away yesterday.


I’ve known DJR since at least 2000 when I was running an online dark fiction zine called Nocturne. When his short story hit my inbox, I knew from the first few lines that it, and he, were special. A different breed. The kind of writer I aspired to be, who once told me “I consider you a true friend – a genuine soul amongst the masses”.  <3

For 15 years, he’s been a friend, a confidante, a mentor of sorts…ALWAYS there with kind words or advice, ALWAYS sharing his craft and offering to read my writing, encouraging me to keep working, to keep creating, to find my voice, tirelessly working to produce awe-inspiring stories of his own – and in that he succeeded. Many of his books adorn my shelves. To be included in the acknowledgments was an unexpected thrill & means so much to me.

Acknowledgements from Dog Eat Dog
Acknowledgements from The Social Club

It was easy to like DJR. Casual, charming, full of stories, sharing his view of the world, of his many adventures, his life. His view (dialing in from the Sky Bunker), words written at the oak refectory table that once sat in his parent’s house. His emails, sometimes hurried & buzzing with adrenaline, or long and filled with epic travelogues. I always brightened when one of his messages hit my inbox (sliding in on a light beam), or the occasional random text from some far-off place.

His infamous Da Vinci method of creating is something we talked about often, a habit I adopted…polyphasic sleep to achieve maximum creative output. Sharing the vibe of the creative bubble and those 4 am creative bursts…

I’m heartbroken that he’s left us, that his light & life have gone dark, but those of us whose lives he touched will make sure that spark never goes out. I can only hope his pain has ended, that he’s somewhere with peace & light.

October Frights Blog Hop Winners


Well, the October Frights Blog Hop has come and gone. I know…it’s a little sad but don’t be disheartened, friends. That only means…it’s time to announce my winners!

First, I’ll start with the 10 ebook winners:

  • Heather Powers
  • Shelly Hammond
  • Naomi Sindle
  • Clarissa Johal
  • Michelle Willms
  • Amber Terry
  • Amber Marr
  • Tina Mason
  • Krysta Banco
  • Susan Voss

Congrats ladies! I’ll be emailing you in the next few days with your special discount code to pick any ebook you want from my catalog for free!

Next, the announcement of the GRAND PRIZE!

Not gonna lie…I’m kinda excited about this one….

Congratulations go out to ERIN STOUTT! DUDE! You’ve won this awesome prize pack filled with creepy goodies that are sure to start off your Halloween just right!


I’ll also be emailing you to get your contact info so I can send out this snazzy prize pack :)

Thanks again to everyone who visited me during the hop, especially my fellow authors! I sadly didn’t get to do as much hopping as I would have liked since I’m in the middle of prepping my outline to start writing my next book during NaNoWriMo in November. But I’m still going to keep hopping, even though the hop is over.

And many thanks go out to our hostess Clarissa Johal for organizing and running this year’s hop. I can’t wait until next year!

Altered Words – Thy Slumb’ring Soul


One of my favourite series of posts on my blogs is Altered Words, where I “find” a poem hiding within another text (i.e. Blackout Poetry). The source material could be a short story, a book, or another poem.

I’ve previously found hidden prose in:

I’ve even found poems in works by some of my fellow authors:

And guess what…I’ve found another!

Nothing gets me into the Halloween spirit better than reading a little Poe. His writing is well-celebrated for its dark & macabre subject matter, so it didn’t surprise me when I found this little gem in his poem The Sleeper.


alteredwords_thesleeperTHY SLUMB’RING SOUL
Found in The Sleeper by Edgar Allan Poe

The mystic moon exhales
and nods upon the grave.
The fog moulders into rest.
The wanton airs flit so fitfully,
so fearfully above thy slumb’ring soul,
like ghosts.

Oh strange is thy pallor,
strange this solemn silentness,
enduring in melancholy,
triumphant o’er the dead who groaned within.


If you enjoyed this poem and want to read more, just have a look at my other Altered Word posts.

Thanks for visiting!

Don’t forget, there is still time to enter my awesome October Frights Blog Hop Giveaway, with daily ebook prizes and one massive Grand Prize! Head over to the Hop post to enter!


2015 October Frights Blog Hop


Welcome to my website, blog hoppers! I hope you’ve been enjoying your trek around the web visiting my fellow horror & paranormal authors.

In case this is your first blog hop, here’s the lowdown…over 45 authors are taking part in the inaugural showing of the October Frights Blog Hop founded by fellow author Clarissa Johal.

The only goal is to follow the links in the hop, visit their websites and gather as many free reads, goodies and prizes as you can!



I’m an ink-slinging night owl for a reason… ;)

In case this is your first time here, I’m a dark fiction author with a number of published & self-published works.

My short stories tend to be solely focused in the horror genre, but my various novels-in-progress range from paranormal thriller to suspense with some mystery thrown in for good measure.

I also run a horror review site called Bloody Bookish, I’m a freelance writer & copy writer & I may have a soft & fuzzy (yet still kick-ass) alter ego.



Now, I know you’re here for the books but there’s also a little Halloween-related loot up for grabs!

Available to each and every visitor is a copy of my short story eBook, Creepy Crawleys, which was originally featured in Northern Haunts: 100 Terrifying New England Tales from Shroud Publishing.

creepycrawleys_coversmallAbout Creepy Crawleys
John & Jane have just moved into a sprawling old Colonial house in New England.

When they are welcomed by their neighbors in a strange way, the newlyweds must confront the reclusive old couple and their disturbing gesture.




Every day, I’ll be randomly drawing a name from any entries for an eBook copy of any of my short stories available on my website including:

That means 10 winners! Winners may select any title from my catalog, including:


flowerscoverFlowers for the Dead
In a multicolored display of pomp and pageantry, the Flores Family gathers for their annual Day of the Dead ceremony.

But when jealousy arises, and the tradition hundreds of years old threatens to divide the family for good, Trina discovers that she is engaged to a man with secrets she isn’t sure she can live with.



thelockwoodcollectionThe Lockwood Collection
After struggling artist Regan Lockwood receives a mysterious gift from her father, her work begins to take on a horrifying tone.

Terrified of this darker side and her unraveling sanity, Regan is forced to confront her father and unearths a decades-old secret from her family’s past.



LikeFliesLike Flies to Honey
On the day of the annual Honey Ball, newcomer Robert Blythe spends his day rubbing elbows with the cream of the crop. But that does not necessarily safeguard him from being judged by the company he keeps.





skindeep_coverSkin Deep
For Sammy Molina, leaving his gang means escaping across the border, but to get away, he has to camouflage his past crimes.When the ties that bind Sammy to his crew seem unbreakable, he puts his trust in the one person he knows has his back, but he soon finds out that blood isn’t always thicker than water.






Now, here’s the info you’ve all been waiting for. The Grand Prize is pretty cool and loaded with spooky delights including:

  • 1 copy of Shroud Magazine with my story, Like Flies To Honey
  • 1 Sugar Skull coloring book (with stickers & 2 sugar skull pins)
  • 1 AMAZING Edward Scissorhands calavera sticker by the ever-talented artist Jose Pulido
  • Skull stickers
  • Skull pencil
  • Mini bookmarks

I may even throw in a few cool extras!

Every person who enters any of the daily giveaways will automatically be entered to win the GRAND PRIZE.

Daily Giveaway & Grand Prize winners will be announced at the end of the October Frights Blog Hop, which runs from October 1 to October 10.

To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below to leave a comment on this post. Then don’t forget to visit the rest of my fellow authors to see what spooky delights they are giving away.

Thanks for visiting! Hope to hear from you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I Went To California And All I Saw Was This Lousy Medical Mystery


When we went to California in September last year, I snuck in a field trip to the Rosecrucian Egyptian Museum. Partly as research for one of the books I’m writing; partly because of my obsession with all things Ancient Egyptian.

We’ve been putting together our photos into a coffee table book – a great way to revisit our trip – and this one of the mummy Usermontu is one of my favorites – and as it turns out, a bit of a marvel, and I didn’t even know it at the time!

First off, researchers discovered that the mummy contained in the sarcophagus they’d acquired isn’t actually Usermontu. The identity of the mummy is still unknown to this day, but is still referred to by the original owner of the sarcophagus.

Secondly, and most surprisingly, it was discovered via x-rays in the mid ’90’s that Usermontu had a 9-inch metal pin in its left knee.

Initial thoughts were that the pin was placed there in modern times to keep the mummy’s leg in place, but further research found ancient organic resins as well as traces of ancient fats and textiles, which proved that the procedure was done 2,600 years ago, not in modern times.

So, I was pretty impressed by the mummy to begin with. Now that I know how much more remarkable it was under its ancient wrappings, it makes my trip to the Egyptian Museum that much more fascinating.