Pick up a freebie for All Hallows Read

creepycrawleys_coversmallHalloween is one of my favourite times of the year and when I celebrate, you get to reap the rewards – that’s just how I roll!

In honour of Halloween, and as part of All Hallows Read, I’m giving away free copies of my very first published tale – CREEPY CRAWLEYS!

WAIT…WHAT’S ALL HALLOWS READ?!
Awesome Author Extraordinaire Neil Gaiman started the All Hallows Read movement in 2010 as a way to promote reading and encourage people to give someone a scary book for Halloween.

It’s that simple!

AHR13

ABOUT CREEPY CRAWLEYS
This was my first accepted story, published in 2010 by Shroud Publishing in Northern Haunts: 100 Terrifying New England Tales.

The story is based on a strange old superstition I read about putting bugs in pats of butter to ward off infection. I know, right? Strange, creepy and a little gross, but I used that as my inspiration and wrote a little tale about the couple who move next door to people who have adopted this superstition into their lives.

EXTRA GOODIES
When the story first came out, I made a mini book trailer for it, and just last year, I did a Booktrack for it, which adds music & sound effects to the story and allows you to read along.

GRAB YOUR COPY
So, want a free copy of Creepy Crawleys? Head over to the story page and download your own copy today!

And don’t forget to give someone you love a scary book for Halloween!

The Time Has Come To Coffin Hop

coffin-hop-advert-scarecrowAnother lovely day begins, for ghosts and ghouls with greenish skin. So close your eyes and you will find that…THE COFFIN HOP HAS ARRIVED!

That’s right, kids! Another Halloween season is upon us and that means one thing ’round these parts – spooky stories for everyone!

WHAT IS THE COFFIN HOP?

Every year, a bevy of horror authors offer up books, prizes, goodies and giveaways. All you have to do is hop from site to site, entering contests, discovering new authors and just getting into the Halloween spirit.

WHAT’S UP FOR GRABS?

This year, I’m giving away an ebook prize pack to 5 lucky winners!

Each winner will receive a digital copy (in either PDF, EPUB or MOBI) of Like Flies To Honey, Flowers For The Dead and The Lockwood Collection!

ebookprize

HOW DO I WIN?

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. You can tweet, comment, follow me on Facebook or sign up for my newsletter (where you will also receive cool freebies and the chance to win contests throughout the year).

So, what are you waiting for?! Enter the contest below then GET TO HOPPIN’!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

creepycrawleys_coversmallMORE FROM THE COFFIN HOP

Want to win even more books, ebooks, tricks or treats? Visit CoffinHop.com for the other participating authors!

MORE FROM ME!

While you’re here, why not grab a free copy of my latest ebook, Creepy Crawleys. It’s free this month for All Hallows Read!

GET YOUR FREE EBOOK

 

Frightful Treats For Everyone

me_vamp_avatarIt’s probably no surprise that I love this time of year. And that means – you get to reap the rewards!

First off, I hope you’re getting into the Halloween spirit. I know I am! Check out this makeover I had!

Want your own? head over to funnypho.to to choose from zombies, aliens and other freaky faces you can put on for Halloween (or any time of year, actually!).

That isn’t all the fun to be had though. I’m also planning some cool giveaways in the next few weeks – ebooks for everyone! Here are a few ways you can get some spooky goodies during the most frightful time of year:

  • I’ll be taking part in Creepy Freebies! Put together by Milo James Fowler, myself and other authors will be offering up free reads, downloads & raffles
  • I’m also hard at work on a new story that will be available FREE exclusively for All Hallows Read!
  • Don’t forget about the Coffin Hop! With hundreds of authors taking part from Oct. 24-31, you can hop from site to site collecting freebies, entering contests and generally celebrating the Halloween season

More details will be posted to the blog on event days, so be sure to come back (or watch my Twitter or Facebook pages for the deets).

So go on! Have some fun, slip into a freaky costume and eat some candy! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Backstage Pass Contest Winner(s)

vip_stickerHere it is the news you’ve been waiting for…the winner for my Who Wants To Win A Backstage Pass contest!

Since there were only 2 entries…YOU ARE BOTH WINNERS!

That’s right…Zack? YOU win a Backstage Pass! Tom? You ALSO win a Backstage Pass! That means both of you will be getting Spirited Tales, Altered Words, Breeding Ground posts, and not to mention…the monthly eBook, plus some extra spooky goodies for taking part in the giveaway. Sound good? I think it does!

Check your inboxes for the details…and beware…you should start receiving creepy tales any day now!

Thanks again for entering, guys. I know you’re going to love what I’ve got cooked up for you! Mwa-ha-ha!

October – Patreon Update

I know, you’re sick of hearing it already. All your favorite horror authors are already going on about how October is their favorite month, how Pumpkin Spice Lattes are the bomb and how much they love to listen to Everyday is Halloween on repeat.

Guilty as charged! But…you’re also talking to the girl who was channeling Wednesday Addams from the sandbox. Which means…my obsession with all things spooky is your gain.me_wednesday_comparison

For October, I’ve got some frightful little treats cooked up. Now, I know I missed out on sending out last month’s ebook – my California adventure sort of derailed my productivity – but I’m going to make up for it this month, in spades.

Here’s a rundown of the tricks & treats in store:

  • The long-awaited, much-touted (by me…) ebook! I guarantee it will make your skin crawl
  • Altered Words – I’ve found a poem in the book by a world-renowned author that eerily echoes one of the themes in the above-mentioned ebook!
  • Spirited Tales: Yup, that’s right! A new audio tale is coming to tantalize your eardrums (and terrify you in the process!)
  • All Hallows Read: an extra story this month written specifically for All Hallows Read!
  • Extra goodies: cover reveals; Inklings about both new stories; Breeding Ground articles with more insight into how I come up with story ideas

But wait…there’s more! Well…I’m not sure what yet but I have plans for little extras, all in the name of bringing you, my beloved readers, as many creepy goodness as you can handle – and then some!

I just love this time of year! It’s a great excuse to indulge in scary stories and things that go bump in the night.

Boys and girls of every age. Wouldn’t you like to see something strange?

Keep your eyes on this page – new horrific treats will be coming your way soon!

~M~

WIP Wednesday: Wanderlust

I live in my head a lot of the time. Thinking, plotting, brainstorming…it’s a solitary thing and as much as I love writing, sometimes a change of perspective is exactly what I need to shake things up and inspire new stories.

So, yeah…if you follow me on Facebook, you know I just spent 2 weeks roadtripping through California. From San Francisco, up to the Avenue of the Giants, over to Yosemite, then down to San Diego, those 2 weeks were full of countless adventures.

We saw the mist roll in over San Francisco every night like clockwork. We drove on white-knuckle mountain roads up and down the coast. We saw towering redwoods (and even drove through one), saw Ancient Egyptian artifacts, slept on a historic ocean liner and had the time of our live in the sand, sun and surf.

Point Arena Lighthouse

Point Arena Lighthouse

So, yeah…it was time to decompress and experience life, and in the process, I was gifted with not only countless cherished memories (and a bunch of snow globes to add to my collection!) but also a bunch of new story seeds that I’m going to gleefully explore.

I’m not underselling it when I say I literally saw places that seemed otherworldly to me. Places that were so curious that even standing there in that space, they still didn’t seem quite real. The astonishing peaks in Yosemite; the rockpile terrain leading up to Palm Springs; the endless coves, pristine ocean and everything from pines to palms.

Even now, going through our 2000+ photos we took along the way, I see new things to inspire, things I didn’t notice then and will use as inspiration for future stories.  Normally, I use an overheard piece of conversation or some strange news story as story inspiration so I’m going to try something completely different – and it will be available as a freebie for All Hallows Read!!! I’ll keep you updated.

Now, it’s back to reality and workworkwork. Lots of freelance work to tackle, a new novel to outline for NaNoWriMo (!!!) and one to edit. For now, the only traveling I’ll be doing is in my mind…but that doesn’t mean it will be any less exhilarating.

Psst! Don’t forget – I’m holding a contest until October 5 to win a month-long Backstage Pass to my Patreon Campaign. FREE STORIES! FREE SWAG! Don’t miss out!

New Contest: Who Wants To Win A Backstage Pass

Although I’m a firm believer that scary stories should be enjoyed all year-round, there’s no better time for creepy tales that fright & delight than Halloween!

Which is why I’ve decide to hold a new contest called…Who Wants To Win a Backstage Pass!

whowantstowinTHE DEETS
The winning entrant will win 1 month of PATREON goodies! That’s right! The monthly ebook (in your choice of digital format), all the extra stories, the behind-the-scenes scoopage that my patrons currently receive…all of it is yours for the entire month of October!

You’ll get the ROCK STAR treatment that my highest level of Patreon supporters receive (which is currently the ROADIE level) for the entire month – I may even throw a few extra special treats your way.

How sweet does that sound?!

HOW TO GET THE GOODS
All it takes is a comment! No jumping through hoops, nothing to sign up for or no skill-testing questions to sweat over. All you have to do is say you wanna win, and you’ll be entered into the contest.

WHAT MY PATRONS ARE SAYING
Not sure it’s quite your thing? Check out what my current patrons have to say about the goods they’ve received:

“Mary Rajotte’s Patreon offers all sorts of goodies, from twisted stories (which are awesome) to her ‘Altered Words’ segments. She also isn’t shy about pulling back the curtain and revealing the inspiration behind these dark creations. If you’re a horror fan, I recommend putting down a couple of bucks and supporting Mary’s work.”
- Todd K

WHO WANTS TO WIN?
So, you wanna win a month of skin-crawlingly good fiction and a sneak peek into the methods of my madness? Just enter your comment below (as well a your email address so I can contact you if you win), and you’re entered!

The contest runs until midnight on October 5, with goodies being sent to you throughout October.

Winners will be chosen at random & content delivered directly to your inbox, so again, don’t forget to include a working email address so I can sully your inbox with my nightmarish tales.

So…WHO WANTS TO WIN A BACKSTAGE PASS?!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Life (and death) imitating art

So, who remembers my ebook, The Lockwood Collection? More specifically, who remembers the cover?

I know, it’s not that difficult to forget. I’ve even been told it’s on the verge of being nightmare-inducing. GOOD! Hahaha!

Um..yeah, so…as I was saying…on our trip to California, I managed to work a trip to the Egyptian Museum into our schedule and it did not disappoint. As an Ancient Egyptian enthusiast (i.e. obsessive), all the artifacts, artwork, jewelry, statues, and pottery were fascinating to me (not to mention the replica tomb you could climb down into!).

When we went to see the Mummies of the World exhibit, I saw a few themes that I’ve already explored in my fiction, and at the Egyptian Museum, there was something a little familiar in one of the cases…

CHECK THIS OUT

Mummy1
Look familiar? No? Here…try this…

lockwoodmummycompare

I know, right?! How cool is that?! I definitely had a specific idea for my book cover when I set out to create it, but seeing something so similar in real life thrilled me to no end.

Oh, and this shot I got of King Tut wasn’t bad either…

Tut

So, to say I was inspired is an understatement. I discovered a few “story seeds”, one of which I think should fit nicely into my next NaNoWriMo project!!! And the Egyptian Museum itself will play an integral part, too.

More on that later…

Breeding Ground – Mummies of the World

breedingground_logoWelcome to Breeding Ground, a new series of posts where I share sources of inspiration for my fiction.

I wanted to offer friends, readers and fellow authors a little peek into where my ideas come from, how I take little tidbits (or story seeds, as I like to call them), and add to, alter and cultivate them into short stories, novellas and novels.

Enjoy!


 

So, for my birthday, Chris gave me tickets to the Mummies of the World exhibit at the Buffalo Museum of Science. I’d seen some mummies at the ROM before, but I knew this exhibit was going to be cool because it had mummies from, well…all over the world, not to mention mummified animals as well.

mummies_logo

I’m not sure when I first became interested in Ancient Egypt, mummies, hieroglyphs and all that jazz, but if there’s a documentary on NatGeo or The History Channel, you can bet I’ll watch it!

My snazzy scarab paperweight

My snazzy scarab paperweight

So, when I saw the billboards for the exhibit during one of our cross-border shopping trips, I knew I had to go! I’d already seen the Book of the Dead exhibit a few years ago, and this little visit would add nicely to my obsession of all things Ancient Egyptian.

When we first walked into the exhibit, there was a sarcophagus showing off an elaborate painted motif – the perfect welcome to the exhibit. Throughout, there were artifacts, tools and resins used in the mummification process, ushabti, jewelry, canopic jars – everything you would expect (and hope) to see.

My trusty Thoth statue who stands guard while i write

My trusty Thoth statue who stands guard while i write

It was cool to be able to get up close (or as close as the glass cases would allow). Being able to see different types of sarcophagi was fantastic. Some had hieroglyphs carved directly into the wood while others had a layer of linen between the case and the designs, which were painted on the linen.

All in all, I’d say there were maybe a dozen or so human mummies – some from the same family, others individuals, each one breathtaking to look at. You could see faded lace on some of the female mummies, or the socks on another. Some still had hair, while others had intricate jewelry or awe-inspiring burial masks.

There was also MUMAB (the Maryland Mummy), a modern-day ancient mummy created by scientists in 1994 using the same methods as ancient Egyptians. And I can’t forget to mention the family of mummies from Vac, Hungary unintentionally discovered in a church crypt.

Another section of the exhibit displayed specimens from The Burns Collection – human cadavers from the early 1800s that were anatomically dissected and preserved to teach anatomy and surgery to medical students. Some showed off anatomy, or the intricate weaving of ligaments, tendons and veins in medical specimens.

There were also a few different stations, with touchscreens where you could “investigate” the cause of death of a corresponding mummy, viewing scans, medical records, and other info that allowed you to step into the shoes of a medical examiner/pathologist. Egyptologist. Very cool!

I think one of the most curious cases displayed shrunken heads! It was amazing to see a human face in that state – the tiny spray of eyelashes on one; the pursed together, stitched  lips of another. All in miniature form – and don’t even get me started on the process of shrinking a head.

Photo by MummiesoftheWorld.com

Photo by MummiesoftheWorld.com

Another cool thing was seeing reference material on the walls, some of which I’ve used (or that I’m currently using) for inspiration in my stories.

There were 2 different panels that discussed mummy brown paint, a theme in my story The Lockwood Collection. Another specimen allowed me to get up close and personal with a concept in one of my works-in-progress – and although I don’t want to spoil the secret just yet, I’ll just tell you that seeing it up close and personal was really cool and spurred me on to finish the story and get it out to readers! So, stay tuned…I’ll be sure to keep you updated as the story progresses.

Photo by MummiesoftheWorld.com

Photo by MummiesoftheWorld.com

I really can’t say much more about how interesting, thrilling and extraordinary the exhibit was. The cool thing is many of the mummies were on loan from the Museum of Man, which just so happens to be in San Diego, where I’ll be going next month! I’ll be sure to keep you updated if I happen to see any cool things – and of course, any new stories inspired by my adventures.

WIP Wednesday: World In My Eyes

worldeyesSerials and series are a big deal in publishing these days. But damn it if it can’t take what seems like an eternity to fulfill. I have 3 different series on the go right now – all in various stages of completion (not to mention the state of each book). I just can’t say no when a good idea takes hold.

So, I’ve started writing stories that, although set in the same world of some of these series, may not have the same characters, for one. It’s a way to explore the world I’ve created, while giving something to readers to keep (or get) them interested in the world while I work on longer stories.

My buddy Colin F. Barnes (to name but one author doing this and doing it well) has made this one of his trademarks with his Techxorcist series.

He is not only working on what…Book 4? But he has also started a new series under pen name C. F. Barnes in collaboration with another author, T.F. Grant, which will also see separate yet connected novels in the same universe by each author. He’s also working on yet another collaboration project with Darren Wearmouth. I’m not even sure I got all the various series and universes Colin is writing in, both with collaborators and on his own, but one day, I hope to be as efficient and motivated as him to keep up with all my own various series.

It all sounds a little dizzying but I can see exactly why this approach is appealing. As a reader, who wouldn’t want new adventures and new universes to explore (and as often as possible)? As a writer…well I’ve spoken more than once about my million-and-one ideas and the only way any of them are going to see the light of day is if I start to mix things up, ramp up my output and get the stories out to readers.

Right now, I have a suspense/thriller, a near-future sci-fi trilogy, and a paranormal suspense novel set in Victorian England all on the go and I want them to be read! If only that pesky task of editing wasn’t getting in the way…

So when it comes to short stories, I still want to write them. In fact, so many of my longer works have come from the little story seed I’ve explored in shorter pieces. So, I’m not going to quit writing shorts anytime soon…they’re an important tool for me as a writer to uncover bigger stories.

Because I do have big stories to tell.