Halloween Reads

Mornin’, Creeps!

Today is my favorite day of the year. I love the costumes and the candy and everything else that goes with it. But I also love the history of Halloween and what it symbolizes. And it helps that Rocky Horror Picture Show will be on later this evening. It appeals to the creepy and the corny in me. More than anything though, I enjoy the  atmosphere: thrill of terror, the anticipation that comes with a well-told story. It’s hard to please me because I’ve spent so much time reading and researching, but I have to say there are still things out there capable of making me hide under the covers. I’ll be taking my little girl trick or treating tonight, but until then I have some time to kill.

Which means I have a treat for you… the creepiest list of books you’ve probably not heard of. Click on the titles to check them out.



by Alexandra Christian


It’s available once again, but this time as a free read on her blog.
It’s an odd little tale of love and obsession in a funeral home.
Poor Caroline is a talented reconstructive artist, but her unrequited love for Scott may have dangerous ramifications.


by Selah Janel


Historical. Lumberjack. Vampires.

This is an amazing book. I know the premise sounds a bit quirky,
but trust me…it’s worth a read. It’s sort of fascinating to learn how a vampire survives in a different age.

Death’s Dance

by Crymsyn Hart

Death's Dance

Grim Reapers, ghost hunters, and plot twists… oh, my!

This is a fun, quirky horror read with a good smattering of humor.  Anything
goes in a ghost town when nobody’s looking.

The cover is pretty awesome too.

State of Horror: Illinois

edited by Jerry E. Benns

State of Horror Illinois

A solid, creepy collection of stories. I bought this one at a convention a month and a half ago and
have been working my way through it and it’s sister anthology about New Jersey.
So far I’ve not found a single story I didn’t like. There’s guaranteed to be something for everyone in these books.

Hellscapes Vol. 1

by Stephen Zimmer


I reviewed this collection of horror novellas awhile back so you may
recognize that creepy cover. Each of the stories is set in the character’s own
personal form of hell. Some are sad, some are frightening, and some are oddly poignant.
FYI, Drowning in Tears will break your black, little heart.

The Sticks

by Andy Deane

The Sticks

Most people now Andy Deane as the front man of goth band Bella Morte,
but he’s actually a pretty damn good writer too. This is currently one of
my favorite werewolf books, and the voice is so vastly different from anything
else I’ve read lately that I constantly come back and find myself rereading passages.
My only complaint? I wish it was longer.

Cinema of Shadows

Cinema of Shadows

by Michael West

I love this series. I’ve read the first two so far and the third is on the TBR pile.
It’s creepy and entertaining, and there’s nothing better than psychics and haunted movie theaters.

The Spirit Box

by J.H. Glaze

The Spirit Box

Definitely an interesting one. There are so many occult detective
stories out there these days, but this one is definitely among my favorites. I’m definitely
curious to see what else John Hazard gets into in later installments.

Southern Haunts: Spirits that Walk Among Us

edited by Alexander S. Brown & J.L. Mulvihill

Southern Haunts

A very good, very eerie collection of ghost stories. Every story in the book
is set in the south or southwest, and some of them provide interesting insight into local folklore.
One of the authors gave me a copy and I’m now on a quest to collect autographs. Yes, I’m a nerd. Shut up.


by S.H. Roddey

Haunted by S.H. Roddey

And last, but not least…

So I’m plugging my own book? So what? It’s good, I promise.
We have ghosts, possession, creepy pseudo-incestual feelings,
and beer for breakfast. What’s not to love?

So there you have it… go forth and be frightened. Happy Halloween, y’all!

jack o'lantern


TCM Presents: Death’s Dance By Crymsyn Hart

Death's Dance Tour Badge

Well hello again!

It’s time for another victim…and this one, well, she’s near and dear to my black little heart. She’s a writing buddy, a friend, a partner in crime… and she’s one of the lovely Seventh Starlight Angels. I love this chick. She’s awesome. I should probably tell you who it is, huh?

The lovely Crymsyn Hart is with me today to talk about her new horror novel with Seventh Star Press, Death’s Dance. So take a seat, have a drink, and listen to what she has to say. On, and you might want to leave a light on. Just sayin’.


Death’s Voice


The Handwriting on the wall. Six Feet Under. Keeling over. All in…

Basically Death.

Let’s face it, we are all going to die. I’m not trying to be morbid and I’m not fixated on death or dying. I just have a thing for grim reapers. Why? Well…I’ve asked myself that question many times. First, off I’m a Scorpio so according to my astrological sign I’m drawn to death. Chalk up my pull toward death with my ghostly encounters or my psychic abilities, who knows. But I can say I did have a profound experience that pushed me in the first of liking reapers.

A friend of mine let me borrow her copy of Our Name of Melancholy by Leliah Wendell and I read it when I was nineteen. It took me a while because it’s a dense book, but the subject matter stuck a chord within me. Was it real? I don’t know, but the author wrote with conviction and it just felt right. It hit home so much I went to New Orleans and met Leliah, briefly collected her artwork, and the Tarot deck she did. However, the most interesting experience I had was well, my own encounter with death. I won’t go into details, sorry folks, but it was a spiritualty moving moment and cemented my view and attachment to death.

I took Azrael and made him more than an archetype and constructed a story around him to make that part of him mind and wove him into the Soul Reaper Series, but the more I wrote other books in the paranormal genre, the more Azrael popped up to remind me was one of my muses and that death is everywhere. Over eighty books later Azrael is in at least half of them, building a little bit more on his previous appearances and giving me more insight. It was a clear progression from there that I would write about grim reapers.

And that is how Death’s Dance was born. My “obsession” with death doesn’t drive me to sleep in a coffin, although I have one in my dining room, or invite reapers over for dinner. I’m not killing people, in real life, I just wanted to give Death a voice.

We all have one, why can’t he?


About Death’s Dance

Death's Dance CoverBeing a psychic, you would think talking to the dead was a walk in the park. However, it’s not always that simple. The hooded specter haunting me is one I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid. One day, he appeared in my bedroom mirror. Good. Evil. I don’t know what his true intentions are.

Enter Jackson, ghost hunting show host extraordinaire, and my ex, to save me from the big bad ghost.

From there…well…it’s been a world wind of complications. My house burnt down. I’m being stalked by an ancient evil and gotten myself back into the world of being a ghost hunting psychic. Jackson dragged me, along with a few other psychics, to a ghost town wiped off the map called Death’s Dance.

From there things went from bad to worse.


Death’s Dance Buy Links:

Amazon           Barnes & Noble          Kobo



About Crymsyn Hart
Crymsyn Hart

Crymsyn is a National Bestselling author of over seventy paranormal romance and horror novels. Her experiences as a psychic have given her a lot of material to use in her books. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her hubby and her three dogs. If she’s not writing, she’s curled up with the dogs watching a good horror movie or off with friends.

Website: http://www.ravynhart.com
Twitter: @crymsynhart
Blog: http://www.crymsynhart.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/crymsynhart
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Crymsyn-Hart/e/B002BMJ1Z0/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1405515745&sr=8-1
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Don’t miss the rest of Crymsyn’s Tour!
Check it out at Tomorrow Comes Media!

Juniper Grove Presents: Faulkner’s Apprentice by Val Muller

Faulkner's Apprentice Tour Banner

Good afternoon, Creeps.

After a few technical difficulties (read: I’m a halfwit who obviously can’t count OR read a calendar), I have a new victim today! Please welcome Val Muller, author of the lovely little horror gem, Faulkner’s Apprentice, to play twenty questions with me!

Val Muller Author Photo

About Val:
English teacher by day, writer by night, Val grew up in cold and haunted New England, which seems to have colored her works with a tinge of the macabre. She currently lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two corgis, a rambunctious and curious dog named Leia, and a kind and obedient (yet terrified) dog named Yoda. Val writes for children and adults and, when not performing her day job as an English teacher, attends book events and elementary schools to conduct writing workshops.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Blog | Website



20 Questions with Val Muller

SHR: Tell us a bit about yourself: 

VM: I’m an English teacher by day. I wake up very early to write, and I spend my weekends at book signings and fairs—and hanging out with my corgis, of course! I love the outdoors, and I hate the claustrophobia of cities. I would rather live in an isolated cabin near a lake than a loft in New York City.

SHR: How long have you been writing?

VM: I have wanted to be a writer since I could hold a pencil. My first “novel” was The Mystery of Who Killed John Polly, something I wrote in first grade. I never took writing seriously, though, until after college. I thought becoming a writer was something that just happened, not something one actually worked towards. I got a wake-up call, started taking writing seriously about six years ago, and have been successful since then.

SHR: What made you want to write?

VM: It’s a drive that’s in me. There’s an Isaac Asimov quote that applies: “I write for the same reason I breathe… because without it, I would die.”

SHR:What is a typical day in your life like?

VM: I wake up at 4:40, make lunch for me and the husband (to take to work), let the dogs out, and answer emails. Then I spend a good hour or two writing, marketing, or editing. I try to remember to eat breakfast before getting ready for work and heading out the door. I spend 8-10 hours at work (I’m an English teacher and sponsor some activities at school). When I get home, it’s walk the dogs, off to meetings, or doing cover design (which I do on the side). After dinner, if I’m not exhausted, I try to get in some more writing or reading before bed. If I’m exhausted, I just fall asleep in front of the TV.

SHR: Favorite author?

VM: Ray Bradbury.

SHR: Favorite book?


SHR:Tell us about your most recent work and where we can get it:

VM: Faulkner’s Apprentice is available at Amazon and other online sites. It’s a supernatural chiller about twenty-something Lorelei Franklin, an aspiring writer who doesn’t try very hard. But she finds herself winning a writing contest and earning a three-week stay with the master of horror, L. Cameron Faulkner. But her stay at his mansion is not what she expected, especially when a creepy character she refers to as “the bad man” shows up and seems to have his claws dug deep into the will of anyone close to Faulkner.

SHR: How many genres do you write in?  Which is your favorite? 

VM: My other published works are part of the Corgi Capers mystery series (for kids ages 7-12). Though they have a few creepy elements (like a tricky burglar or a Halloween prank), they are all realistic with no actual supernatural. My works for kids tend to be more realistic, with the imaginations of kids in the stories bringing all the creativity. My works for young adults and adults are more imaginative, involving ghosts, time travel, alternate realities, and dystopian futures.

SHR: Your inspiration – is it from your imagination or from personal experience?

VM: Many of my stories are inspired by dreams—I keep a notebook near my bed. Others are inspired by daydreams that happen in the middle of menial tasks (like mowing the lawn or gardening). But each of my stories is no doubt influenced by personal experiences. It’s entertaining when friends and family read one of my works and ask, “Am I supposed to be such-and-such character?” Each character and plot is a mix of my experiences, and no one character or event is completely based on my life.
SHR: If given the opportunity to meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be and why?

VM:I would want to meet the bad man because I would want to stare true evil in the face. But I would hope our meeting would be quick and uneventful!
SHR: How do you go about researching your stories?

VM:It depends on the story. I prefer writing about things I actually experience. For instance, my newest Corgi Capers book involved a fire hall. There’s one I go to up in Pennsylvania for fundraisers, and when I’m there eating a crab dinner, I’m actually taking mental notes for my book.

SHR: Who is in control when you write, you or your characters?

VM:I start out in control, but the characters always take over. That’s the way it should be.

SHR:What inspires you to write?

VM:It’s simply a drive. I could literally entertain myself all day by staring at a wall. My imagination never stops, and writing is a way to tap into that creative flow and release it a bit into the world.

SHR: When you write, is it with or without visual/audio stimulation (tv, music, etc.)?

VM: I don’t like television. If it weren’t for my husband, I don’t think I’d have Cable—I’d only watch movies on weekends. I can write in silence or with instrumental music. Vocals mess up my thought process. If there are other noises in the room, I prefer music.

SHR: World building: fun game or awful chore?

VM:My favorite part of writing is the first draft. It’s so free and creative. In a less pleasant metaphor, I think of it as vomiting up an idea—get it all out now, and clean it up later. It’s the going back and editing for consistency that I enjoy much less.

SHR: If you were told you could never write again, what would you do to fill your time?

VM:You are describing my worst nightmare. But I would definitely go into art. A part of me always wanted to be a graphic designer.
SHR: Literary Hot Button: What are your thoughts on Writer’s Block? Does it exist? How do you overcome it?

VM:The only time I have writer’s block is in the middle of winter when my mind is lost in the doldrums of despair. All I have to do to get the creative juices flowing is go outside and enjoy nature.

SHR: As an author, what’s next for you?

VM:I’m currently polishing several young adult manuscripts and drafting Corgi Capers 3.

SHR: If you could live in any period throughout history, which would it be and why?

VM:Without a doubt, I would want to experience the American Revolution. Despite giving up modern conveniences, there is something about the human spirit during that time that is simply lost today. We are so coddled today that we take everything for granted and aren’t really, truly passionate about anything. I would want to experience the ardor of the time.

SHR: If the apocalypse happened tomorrow, how would you react?

VM:A little part of me is fascinated with the idea of an apocalypse. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of freedom, and I think our government—and all governments today—have taken too much of our individual freedoms away. There’s a small part of me that thinks an apocalypse-like situation is necessary to “restart” our civilization without all the red tape and pointless bureaucracy of a nanny state. But then I think—could I live without regular showers and running water?


ABOUT FAULKNER’S APPRENTICE:Faulkners Apprentice Cover

Published: April 30th, 2013
Word Count: 84,000
Genre: Horror (Supernatural Thriller)
Content Warning: Suggestive themes, non-graphic sexuality, and mild violence
Age Recommendation: 18+

Misfit and struggling writer Lorei Franklin has always struggled in life. Juggling an ailing mother, busy-body friends, and dead-end jobs, Lorei finally catches a break: she has won the L. Cameron Faulkner fiction contest, earning a three-week stay with the reclusive and famous horror writer. But her time at Faulkner’s mansion is not what she expected. She is plagued by a man in a fedora, two frightened assistants, and a series of strange visions–not to mention all the scratches on the walls. She also struggles with her feelings for Faulker–she’s had a crush on him since his cameo appearance in his movie, but he’s much more intimidating, and attractive, in person. The isolated mansion makes it difficult for Lorei to contact her dying mother, the only person who knows the identity of Lorei’s real father. As the novel progresses, Lorei learns that the creepy visions she’s experiencing are flash-forwards of her own future life in the mansion. As she discovers, the man in the fedora has a sinister purpose–as the devil, he has claimed Faulkner’s soul but will relinquish it in exchange for Lorei’s–as it turns out, she is his daughter, and he’s been out to possess her for years. Now desperate, the devil is pulling out all his cards. To beat him, Lorei will have to fight her growing lust for Faulkner, ignore her love for her mother, stifle her fear of the mansion and that which is hidden in the walls, and abandon her dreams of becoming an author. If she can only accomplish those things, perhaps she can escape the devil’s grasp and avoid becoming the tormented old woman in her visions…

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