Posts Tagged ‘guest post’

I have time to squeeze in one more batch of horror before the new year!

Do you like to watch horror movies? I sure do! Watch them all the time. Have tons of DVDs, and am always browsing Netflix and On Demand for new ones.

For today, I have a special treat.

Check out When Animals Attack, edited by Vanessa Morgan. There’s 70 horror movies to be shared in the pages. You might recognize many of them, and find some you’ve missed.

I also have a fantastic guest post from Vanessa.

And there’s a giveaway, so don’t forget to enter!


Enjoy the guest post from Vanessa Morgan!



“Animals on the rampage” has always been a popular theme in both books and movies. To celebrate the release of the new movie reference guide, When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals, I want to tell you about six of the most popular “animals on the rampage” novels that have become movies.

Jaws by Peter Benchley

Jaws by Peter Benchley is without a doubt THE most popular “animals on the rampage” novel ever. Steven Spielberg turned this book about a great white shark into a movie, and the rest is history. In When Animals Attack, Warren Fahy (author of Fragment) discusses how he became obsessed with Jaws. It’s a fun, true story about DIY censorship, chocolate sharks, and beastly bestsellers.

Cujo by Stephen King

Stephen King considers Cujo to be one of his weakest novels. He was battling an alcohol addiction at the time and doesn’t remember writing it. However, the beloved family dog that gets bitten by a rabies-infected bat has always been a reader’s favorite.

The Birds by Daphne du Maurier

Technically, The Birds is only a short story and not a novel, but it’s impossible not to mention it in this list as Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film adaptation made such an impact on the history of cinema. In 1994, this story about a small town where flocks of birds suddenly start to attack people got an unfortunate sequel called Land’s End.

Deadly Eyes by James Herbert

British author James Herbert is one of the most renowned names in the horror literature. I’m sure you’ve all heard of his novels Haunted, The Fog, The Rats, and The Magic Cottage. The Rats got a film adaptation in the 1980s called Deadly Eyes in which the ravenous rats on steroids were portrayed by dogs in costumes.

The Hephaestus Plague by Thomas Page

Based on the 1973 novel, The Hephaestus Plague by Thomas Page, Bug begins with cockroaches emerging from the fissures in the earth and setting humans on fire. You can’t consider The Hephaestus Plague (or Bug) one of the best horror stories about animals on the rampage because of its many unbelievable elements (such as bugs leaving written messages), but you can’t deny that it’s one of the most interesting and uncanny ones.

The White Buffalo by Richard Sale

This story about an albino buffalo on the rampage is more an adventure novel instead of a horror book, but one that is packed with a large amount of punch. The 1977 movie based on the novel has become a classic starring Charles Bronson, Jack Warden, and Kim Novak.

You can read in-depth essays on these books and movies (and many others) in When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals.

What are your favorite books and movies about animals on the rampage?


When Animals Attack

The 70 Best Horror Movies With Killer Animals

Edited by Vanessa Morgan

Published by Moonlight Creek Publishing



My Review

I’m a huge fan of horror. You throw in some creatures that run, creep, crawl, slither, fly, and swim, and I’m in heaven.

This collection lists the 70 best movies that feature killer animals that actually exist in nature. No ghosts, vamps, weres, or demons are in it. How about lions, tigers, and bears. Bats, sharks, and piranhas. The list goes on.

I read this from front to back, realizing when I finished that I’d seen all but a few of these movies and many of them have a home on my DVD shelves. They go back quite a ways too. Feel free to skip around when reading. You might spot some favorites you want to check out first.

As it says in the description, some of these are quite horrific, some are eerie, and some are just plain fun.

I love B- movies. I don’t expect the best in CG, and often enjoy it when I can clearly see that the creature isn’t real. My sister and I love to pick the movies apart and try to never miss a one.

Some of my favorites are Day of the Animals, Frogs, Empire of the Ants……well, the list could go on and on. And I was thrilled to see that The White Buffalo was included in this list. It’s definitely a favorite of mine. Has almost a mystical tone to it. And Charles Bronson pulls off a fabulous performance, as does the “buff.”

Writers and authors come together to share about their featured movies and it gets quite interesting.

A must have for horror movie buffs. There’s something for everyone in these pages. You may find yourself surfing for some of these movies afterwards.

5 Stars



The definitive horror movie guide for fans of killer animals and “revenge of nature” films.

When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals provides a fascinating and entertaining insight into the cinematographic world of animals on the rampage. From well-known predators such as sharks and lions to unusual killing machines like turkeys, elephants, frogs, cats, and rabbits, there is no shortage of the species on display in this book.

Leading horror writers and filmmakers present their favorite “animals attack” films through in-depth essays. Some of the films are touching, some are repulsive, and some are just plain silly. Not all of these horror movies line up with the critical consensus, yet they have one thing in common: they have made the heart of the writer beat faster with excitement.

Purchase links for When Animals Atttack

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon FR / Goodreads


Author Vanessa Morgan

Vanessa Morgan is an author, screenwriter, and blogger. Three of her stories (The Strangers Outside, Next to Her and A Good Man), have become movies. When she’s not working on her latest book, you can find her reading, watching horror movies, digging through flea markets, or photographing felines for her blog Traveling Cats (

Social media links

Facebook / Twitter / Google + / Amazon / Newsletter


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No matter which holiday you observe at year’s end, they all share something in common: traditions. 

I grew up in the four seasons of northeast Pennsylvania, where Decembers were snowy and cheer-filled. We wore skiddoos and went sleigh-riding and came in the door pink-nose and snow-crusted. 

On Thanksgiving night, the borough would light the holiday street decorations for the first time. We’d sit at the front windows, cheeks against the glass, straining to see down the block to the main street, waiting for the moment the bells and candy canes would light up. 

Those lights meant one thing:  Christmas was almost here!

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Some of my fondest memories are from our family Christmases, which were brimming full of special traditions. 

Many of them came from my Polish grandparents, involving the crèche and the special Christmas Eve dinner. I think that I will forever see Christmas through the lens of my dad’s old 8mm camera, sounds of laughter and singing replaced by the whir of the projection reels and the occasional comment about our early-seventies fashion sense. 

Holidays have always held sentimental value, a sense of community and family and simple togetherness—not just for my Pennsylvania family in the plaid-stricken seventies, but for so many people and places, across the span of centuries.

In my voracious research of the Victorian era (while writing my historical fantasy THE HEARTBEAT THIEF), I encountered an entirely new world of Yuletide traditions. 

Some are still widely celebrated (thanks to Doctor Who Christmas specials, my kids adopted a love for crackers) while some have largely fallen out of practice (such as a parlour game called Snapdragon, which seems like a good way to get a burned finger! Talk about dangerous drinking games…) 

One Victorian tradition that has always appealed to me is Wassail. A verb, to wassail means to go singing door to door, after which one is invited to drink punch from the family’s Wassail bowl. 

A noun, wassail is the punch itself—and every family had their own recipe (kind of like Boilo recipes here in northeast PA). The punch was served in a wassailing bowl. A greeting, “wassail” was a wish for good health to those we cherish. 

Everyone would drink the hot spiced cider together, fostering a lovely sense of community and togetherness, which is the truest spirit of the holidays.

Since immersing myself in the culture and traditions of THE HEARTBEAT THIEF, I wanted to find a recipe for my own family and promptly found about six million different versions (thanks, Google).

They all seem to have a few elements in common, though: apples, spices, and warmth. Some contain ale or wine while others are more kid-friendly; some involve baking whole apples and placing them in the punch bowl; some even contain a whipped egg mixture (like this one from Alton Brown. Considering he is the Einstein of food, I would NEVER refute his wisdom.) 

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I like this one the best, though—the tanginess of orange juice and the lemony zing of fresh ginger make my mouth water just thinking of it. 

Plus, the convenience of a slow cooker is a must with my crazy schedule…not to mention that it’s like potpourri you can drink while warming your hands! All wonderful things, especially when the weather turns chilly and grown-ups are stuck in the house, too old to go sleigh-riding or playing outside in the snow. 

Recipe from A Spicy Perspective


• 1 gallon Musselman’s Apple Cider

• 4 cups orange juice 

• 4 hibiscus tea bags 

• 10 cinnamon sticks 

• 1 tsp. whole cloves 

• 1 Tb. juniper berries 

• 1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, cut into slices 

• 1 apple, sliced into rounds 

• 1 orange, sliced into rounds 


1. Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker and cover. 

2. Turn the slow cooker on high heat and cook for 3-4 hours, until the color has darkened and the fruit is soft. 

Remove the tea bags and serve hot. 

Maybe when my kids are older, I’ll adjust the recipe to a more adult version. For now, I’d like to make something the whole family can enjoy. It’s tradition, after all, and where’s the fun in a tradition that excludes some of us?

Happy holidays, everyone. Be sure to raise a glass to your loved ones!

Wassail…Drink Hale!

My Victorian fantasy THE HEARTBEAT THIEF follows the journey of the Forever Girl, Senza Fyne. Terrified of death, of growing old, of being forced into an arranged marriage, she makes a deal with the mysterious Mr. Knell and learns the secret of eternal youth and beauty…
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I can picture Senza at a Christmas ball, in high London society, her hair upswept in a pile of curls the color of winter fire, her forever 18-year old figure trimmed out in a luscious gown of emerald silk and taffeta.

She’d be the girl with whom every gentleman must dance, the one with whom everyone sought introduction. If you were lucky enough to speak with her, she might treat you a glimpse of her wit and wisdom, far beyond her years…to the sound of her charming laugh…and perhaps she’d touch your hand in a personal gesture.
 One touch, and your heart might skip a beat. An entire dance and you just may be left reeling, your senses spinning. Senza Fyne tends to have that effect on a person… 
Soon it would be time to gather around the wassail bowl, the spicy sweet scents of apple warming the air, reminding us all of the bounty of harvest and fortune, the cheer of friends gathered for Yuletide. 
You might be tempted to raise a glass to her in particular…but your wish for good health would be better spent on someone else. Senza Fyne had no need for wishes, not when her immortal youth, beauty, and perfection were secured by the strongest of magicks. 
 But you wouldn’t know that because it’s a secret she’d never tell. If she did, the heartbeat thief would be caught.

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Haunted by a crushing fear of death, a young Victorian woman discovers the secret of eternal youth—she must surrender her life to attain it, and steal heartbeats to keep it.

In 1860 Surrey, a young woman has only one occupation: to marry. Senza Fyne is beautiful, intelligent, and lacks neither wealth nor connections. Finding a husband shouldn’t be difficult, not when she has her entire life before her. But it’s not life that preoccupies her thoughts. It’s death—and that shadowy spectre haunts her every step.
So does Mr. Knell. Heart-thumpingly attractive, obviously eligible—he’d be her perfect match if only he wasn’t so macabre. All his talk about death, all that teasing about knowing how to avoid it…
When her mother arranges a courtship with another man, Senza is desperate for escape from a dull prescripted destiny. Impulsively, she takes Knell up on his offer. He casts a spell that frees her from the cruelty of time and the threat of death—but at a steep price. In order to maintain eternal youth, she must feed on the heartbeats of others.
It’s a little bit Jane Austen, a little bit Edgar Allan Poe, and a whole lot of stealing heartbeats in order to stay young and beautiful forever. From the posh London season to the back alleys of Whitechapel, across the Channel, across the Pond, across the seas of Time…
How far will Senza Fyne go to avoid Death?


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the Author:
AJ (Ash) Krafton writes because
if she doesn’t, her kids will…and NOBODY wants that. A speculative fiction girl
through and through, Ash writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels as
well as poetry and short fiction. Her work has won a bunch of awards and was
even nominated for a Pushcart Prize. When she’s not writing, she’s practicing
Tai Chi, listening to loud rock and metal, or crushing on supervillains.
Most recently, she’s re-released
her urban fantasy trilogy THE BOOKS OF THE DEMIMONDE because she never really
left the world of Sophie and her Demivamps.
Find out more when you visit
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Welcome to my stop on the tour for Special Levels Of Earthly Hell.

Special thanks to Author Merry Freer for answering my question.

Enjoy her guest post and my review.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Now. let see what Merry has to say!

 “Why did you choose this event to write about and have you ever experienced a paranormal experience?”

The events in “Special Levels of Earthly Hell” are inspired by actual events that occurred to members of both my nuclear family and my extended family. There is something cathartic about writing about experiences that are either frightening, unexplainable, or horrific. The protagonist in the story is my son. I feel that through reliving these unbelievable events it helped him to bring up buried feelings and deal with them.
We were never a family who gave much thought to paranormal activity until my son was married and began to experience the demonic possession of his wife in a very personal manner. It was all the more disturbing to him because he is not a religious person and he had a great deal of difficulty reconciling his experience with his belief.
I have never had a personal paranormal experience, but I was certainly  affected by the unworldly events seemed to precede the horror documented in this book. People were killed. Children were murdered. Like I said…..cathartic.


Special Levels Of Earthly Hell

by Merry Freer

SpecialLevelsOfEarthlyHell cover

Genre: Supernatural Horror


My Review

What a sad, creepy story. It reads like a family saga, going from sister to sister, country to country, following them as their lives intersect and slowly crumble.

What made this especially chilling to read was realizing that, while fictionalized, this story was inspire by actual events.

Something is tearing these families apart, right down to their foundations. Possession is often scoffed at, but not by me. Nothing chills me more than to think of something taking over my body, controlling me, trying to kill me.

I could understand the hesitation and disbelief. But I wondered why they didn’t get the hell out. It turns out the outcome wouldn’t have changed. What happened was far removed from their focus.

Knowing something terrible will happen doesn’t make it any less scary when it finally does. The author does a good job of putting you in the character’s shoes. And when the entity shows itself, you’ll be glad you’re just reading about it, not there facing it.

The ending was rather abrupt for my taste and left me with a few unanswered questions. But it did have one of those ‘finally’ moments where the characters finally did what they should have done a long time ago

Disturbing and realistic. Not one for the faint of heart. And one I recommend for mature readers.

4 Stars


Drew Collins experiences the world in black and white. As an educated man of science, he rejects belief in the paranormal and the existence of demons. Until an evil energy he calls “The Beast” repeatedly enters his bedroom at night and takes possession of his wife’s body.

What he witnesses at night in his own bedroom cannot be reconciled with science. And yet he sees it with his own eyes, feels its presence, ominous and evil, with his entire being.

Against every instinct, Drew reaches out for help. It is not just his marriage that’s at stake. The evil force has invaded his wife’s family, tearing them apart and culminating in bloodshed and murder. Drew must face a stark choice: sacrifice his belief that the world is a rational place and fight an entity he doesn’t understand and is reluctant to label, or abandon his wife and her family.

Author’s Note to the Reader: Sadly, the most frightening and brutal events in this book are factual. The story is loosely based on one family’s experience with multiple tragedies, some of them “ripped from the headlines.” It is also an excruciatingly factual account of one man’s experience with a loved one who is possessed by a demonic presence. However, it transcends genre and is as much a tale of romance, of cultural barriers, of abuse, and of family drama, as it is of demonic possession.The link between the introduction of an evil spirit and the heartbreaking misfortunes that are visited on the family is left for the reader to decide.

Enjoy the excerpt

It was 3:00am, though Drew didn’t notice the time. He was startled into a state of complete consciousness by a feeling of intense dread and fear. Had he been sleeping? Had the feeling returned because he let go – drifted off and let down his guard? Terror ripped through him when he sensed a malevolent force above him. Slowly, he opened his eyes. Even in the pitch darkness of the room, he could see that a dark silhouette straddled him, standing upright, and as he recognized the form, he knew, with a lightning fast certainty he didn’t yet understand, that it only appeared to be his Adriana, her body inhabited by the evil force, her spirit squeezed from her helpless body and now possessed by whatever energy had terrorized them. He brought his eyes to meet those of the adversary that stood above him, silently begging to find recognition, but its black, dead eyes rolled back in their sockets and he realized instantly, as though by telepathy, that it intended to attack him…to fall on him! The form became completely rigid, falling straight forward like a stone slab toward his prone body, with no regard to how it might land. He let out a scream of primal fear that came from the depths of his being. Some kind of demonic beast was hurtling toward him and, throwing up his arms and hands to protect himself from its fall, he instinctively pushed at the foreign creature and threw it from his body, his hands burning with the contact. The creature’s head took the force of the fall, cracking into the heavy nightstand beside the bed.

Sitting up in the bed, shaking, perspiration dripping from his pores, he reached for the lamp on the nightstand and reluctantly turned the switch, terrified of what he might find, knowing he had no choice.

On the floor beside the table lay Adriana, his wife, in a fetal position, holding the back of her head, crying and confused. Drew climbed from the bed, taking her in his arms.

“What happened to me?” she whimpered, still rubbing the growing bump on her head.

“You don’t remember anything?” Drew whispered, carrying her limp body back to the bed.

“I think I hurt my head,” she said.

“You climbed over me to turn on the light and you fell,” Drew lied.


Author Merry Freer

SpecialLevelsOfEarthlyHell author

Merry Freer is an author of memoir and fact-based fiction. “Special Levels of Earthly Hell: The Story of One Family’s Chilling Struggle with Demonic Possession”  was inspired by actual events that were experienced by her nuclear and extended families, tearing relationships apart and making national news headlines. This book comes on the heels of her first book, a memoir named “Doctor, Doctor.”  While “Doctor, Doctor” is her debut novel, she has been a writer and editor for many years, including work with the San Diego Chargers and the San Diego Hall of Champions. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from San Diego State University and has been a featured speaker for classes dealing with medical ethics.

Her controversial memoir, “Doctor, Doctor,” topped the Best Seller List in True Crime/White Collar Crime for 10 months and received a “Best Books of 2014” award from “Suspense Magazine.”

Visit her Facebook Page

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Wouldn’t it be great if you could help an author write her next story? Well, Anna Simpson needs your help. I’m going to turn my blog over to Anna today and let her tell you her fantabulous news!

Then you can have fun helping her with her next story!



When a writer gets something published, there are certain expectations. Everyone knows this. But I’m not sure what to do this time and need your help. Roane Publishing has asked me to write a short story as a free read, and your guidance would give me a place to start.

Since my only work to-date with Roane is Mexmur, The Huntress; this will be the story I’m going to promote.

If you’ve not read it yet, take a look at this:

Mexmur, the Huntress by Anna Simpson


Long ago a dragonkeeper betrayed his charges. To bring back magic, to set things right, Mexmur is sent through the portal.

Can she succeed armed with only a poem, talon and blade.

Need more? Okay. How about this.

Betrayed, the dragons fled into a portal. Years later, a young huntress and a failure of a prince join together to go after them. Not only are the dragons the only way to fulfill the duos goal, the beasties want revenge. With only an old legend and poem as a guide, and very different ideas on how to succeed, Mexmur and Recser try to return magic to their kingdom.


Here are some story ideas:

The Hunter – Mexmur was only a huntress in training when her father died. What happened to him? How? Was she there and how did it affect her?

The Legend of The Dragonkeeper – A simple man brought magic to the land by betraying he charges. Want to know more about the old legend and why it happened at all?

The Dragons – Near extinction and depending on the kindness of the kingdom, the last of the dragons trickled magic back into the land. Why so little magic? Why did they need a dragonkeeper? What happened to all the rest?

Or is there something else you’d prefer?

Please put your requests/suggestions into the comments. What would you prefer to read about?

Remember this will be a short short story so please keep this in mind when making your suggestions. I’ll try to go with the majority. Who knows maybe I’ll receive enough suggestions that it will spark a brand new tale.

Which one do you like? What questions would you like answered? What do you want more of? I’m a writer and can make your dreams come true—on paper if nowhere else.


Portals: A Fantasy Anthology


Genre: Fantasy Anthology (mixed sub genres)

Keywords: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Urban Fantasy, Steampunk, Short Stories, Picture Prompt

Description: No matter what world you call home, or what your station in life, there are just some paths that weren’t meant to be tread.


Christy Thomas | Anna Simpson | Echo Shea | Havva Hurat

Laurie Treacy | Michael Siciliano





Laura’s thoughts on Anna Simpson’s Mexmur, The Huntress

If you love dragons, this ones for you.

Mexmur is forced to enter the portal to recharge a talisman of magic. The King is willing to sacrifice her and his son in his quest to steal power from the dragons.

Can a spoiled prince and a lowly huntress survive the dragon’s breath? Or will they become a meal?

Mexmur is a huntress so she has skills to hunt the dragon. The spoiled prince has some surprises of his own and I grew to like him. These two both learn a lot once through the portal and the dragons are great teachers.

I really enjoyed the dragon characters. They had their own agenda and played a big part in the story.


Okay! Are you ready to help Anna? Please leave your suggestions in the comments. You can choose from what Anna has provided or tell her some of your own ideas for the story! We can’t wait for your ideas!



Image of Anna Simpson

About Anna:
Remember that there may be many an Anna Simpson, but only one emaginette.
Contact me:



.Purchase Links


Roane Publishing | Createspace | Amazon


Roane Publishing | Amazon | Amazon (UK)

Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Smashwords / Bookstrand


Happy Halloween!

Guest post from my son!