Saturday, October 29, 2016

Halloween Reading: Free and Discounted Horror Books and a Review

Three jack-o-lanterns and a raven.

I said I would have some treats for you on this Halloween weekend and I’ve kept my word! Starting now and ending midnight October 31st (early November 1st ) you can purchase my collection of dark fiction, The Fool’s Illusion, at 50% off the list price. To do that just go to and use this code: 5HVKZ4DU. And if that’s not good enough, then starting Sunday and also ending at the stroke of the witching hour on Halloween, you can get a copy of my newest horror book, “Circa Sixty Years Dead”, for free! Just go to Amazon to claim it; no code needed. A print book of short horror and science fiction at half price and an ebook of a short but terrifying supernatural tale at no cost! Take advantage of this offer now because, as I said, they turn back into rotting Jack-o-Lanterns at midnight, Halloween (early morning November 1st).

And if my books of horror and dark storytelling aren’t good enough for your Halloween reading, check out my review of one that is, a book by author Mercedes Lackey--Jinx High. Lackey’s novel has everything you can ask for in a Halloween read: demons, spirits and witches. Michelle Miller gave me the pleasure to guest-blog this review at her Castle Macabre. Thank you again, Michelle! And may you and all you readers out there have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Take scare, everybody and until next time . . .

Woman wearing a painted Day of the Dead skull face.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Halloween Flashback Flash Fiction and More!

Halloween Flashback

Halloween is just shy over one week from tonight! Can’t wait? Well then I have a ghost’s chain link to a story just for you! Also, below you will find other haunting chain links to posts of past Halloweens. First the story. It’s called “The Boos Brothers”. I wrote it back in Halloween of 2013, but didn’t publish it here to the Fantastic Site until the following year. I talk more about it at my "Halloween Ghost Post" which is the post from the night before I published the story to the Fantastic Site, that night being the one before Halloween or, if you prefer, All Hallows Eve Eve. It also includes a Halloween reading list. I was hoping to include one for this year but didn’t get a ghost of a chance. Anyway, “The Boos Brothers” is a ghost story about Halloween decorating and, of course, Halloween haunting. In this tale, the two are tied together more closely than one would think.

Speaking about decorating, I’m just finishing up with my own for the season of Samhain (the Celtic god Halloween was originally celebrated for). I’ve hung most of my door decorations, most of them that I made throughout the years. My Disney Haunted Mansion scene is already up, complete with The Nightmare Before Christmas characters (just minus the Christmas; I’ll do that in December). You can see some of these decorations from past years at my "Hallow-Day Decorating" post of 2012. I’ve put out my metal vintage style Jack-o-Lantern, my abstract style Jack-o-lantern, my skull-o-lantern and Day of the Dead candy skull cup an aunt of mine made a couple Halloween/Day of the Dead seasons ago. Finally, I put on my kitchen window sill some solar-powered animated decorations: a Jack-o-lantern man, a graveyard scene and some skeletons.

A tin vintage Jack-o-lantern, a skull lantern and a Day of the Dead candy skull cup.
A Jack-o-lantern, a skull-o-lantern and a Day of the Dead candy skull cup. This last one was made by an aunt of mine.
Photo Credit: Steven Arellano Rose, Jr.

Your Ghoul-Ru Fortune Teller Predicts . . .

Next week there will be Halloween treats for you--discounts on my books and a freeby! The details . . . The magic crystal 8 ball is very murky at this time so tune in next week for the details!

Until then . . .
Take scare!

Monday, October 17, 2016

4 Documentaries About 4 Famous, Fearsome Authors

A while back, I talked about how interviews of some of my favourite authors motivateme to write better, especially during those times that I don’t feel like writing for whatever reason. Well I thought I would put together a short list of documentaries about four of the world’s most famous horror authors since we’re nearing Halloween. Below are documentaries and bio films of Mary Shelley, Edgar Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King. All four of these can be viewed for free on YouTube, and one is also at

Frankenstein: Birth of a Monster: This is a dramatisation of Mary Shelley’s life as a writer. Originally aired on the BBC network in 2003.

They Mystery ofEdgar Allen Poe: This was a Biography channel presentation. You can watch either on YouTube or at, but I strongly suggest you watch it at the latter; the YouTube version cuts off the introduction and opening credits (probably to prevent potential infringement issues).

Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown: Out of the four, I liked this one best. It’s filmed with both archival footage as well as modern day depictions of author’s work by some really great artists, including comic book artists. The accompanying phonographic recording style of H.P.’s narration footage gives a sense of the “ancient” of his work like his work itself gives the sense of the ancient of the Elders. Let alone, it gives that haunting effect. And if this isn’t enough, there are interviews with contemporary horror writers--including Ramsey Campbell, Guillermo Del Toro, and Neil Gaiman--about the author. Produced by independent film studio Wyrd.

Steven King: Fear, Fame and Fortune: This was an A&E channel presentation originally aired on Halloween of 2002. It covers King’s life from birth through his critical accident that he fortunately recovered from to continue writing his macabre stories up to this day.

If you know of more documentaries about famous horror authors, please let me know by posting in the box below.

Until next time . . .

Saturday, October 8, 2016

6 Far Out Phantastic Finds for Your Halloween Blog Reading

A Jack-o-Lantern

This is one of my favourite times of the year. A time when the darker weather comes (though it hasn’t come enough here in Sacramento yet), the days grow shorter, and a post-harvest haze permeates the air filtering out the sunlight by a few layers and giving off a burnt aroma. Darker days (literally darker, that is) call for darker stories and events that grow out of the horror genre. We like to take on the forms of our favourite creatures of darkness through costuming. Well, as much as I love the season of the witch, more commonly known as Halloween, I couldn’t come up with anything relevant to write about for this post. Yet it’s still early in the season but it will fly by faster than a witch on her broom or a vampire bat fleeing the oncoming dawn. So I dug up this list of six phantastic blog finds for your horror-reading zombie appetite. But there will be a special Halloween treat for you (and maybe even a trick) by the weekend of Halloween as there has been in past years here at the Fantastic Site. But for now, check out these groovy ghoulish links!

The HorrorWriters Association’s Halloween Haunts: This is a seasonal series of blog posts by some of the Association’s authors who give their personal takes on Halloween. 

Season of theWitch at Castle Macabre: This is author Michelle Miller’s seasonal blog read-along series. Her first read is Edgar Allen Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death”. 

“Poe Read-Along- The Mask of the Red Death”: She talks more about her Read-Along, Poe’s story of a demonic plague and even Poe himself here. She even has a small but interesting paragraph on the 1960s Vincent Price film adaptation and how you can watch it for free! 

“Witchy Peril-‘Masque’ and other Short Stories”, The Writerly Reader: This post by another author who visit’s Michelle’s above post also discusses here impression of “Masque of the Red Death”. She also goes over other short horror stories, including one by H.P. Lovecraft. 

“Salem’sLot Read-Along”, Gather Together Read: This blog is now reading one of Stephen King’s earliest novels. You may be able to catch up with them if you head on over now to find out where they’re at in this creepy read. 

Blaze McRob’s“Haunted Halloween Party”: Horror author Blaze McRob is producing a series of blog posts for the season where you can participate in contests to win prizes as well as discover horror fiction writers you may never heard of before. Even so, they have some really great stories up their sleeves.

Like I said, I’ll have my annual Halloween treat here for you by Halloween weekend, and maybe even a horror book review before that!

Until next time . . .   

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The New Book-to-TV Trend: 5 New TV series Based on Sci fi/Fantasy Novels

Vintage Television with Vintage PC Screen and Text

Sorry about the late post. My desktop was having problems.

Traditionally books have been adapted for the big screen but now the trend is in ones adapted for the small, including online television. This isn’t a new thing even for the science fiction and fantasy genres. It started as early as the Six Billion Dollar Man in the ‘70s, which was based on Martin Caidin’s novel, Cyborg. Several of Steven King’s novels were made into television series such as It (1990), and then George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones has been an HBO hit since its debut in 2011. But now that there are five novels by four different popular sci fi/fantasy authors that have either recently been adapted to television or are in the plans to be, a book-to-TV trend is definitely forming. Therefore you can expect to see more famous novels (and maybe even not so famous) turn into television shows in the near future. Here are the most recent upcoming five:

1) Neil Gaiman’s American Gods: Cable network Starz will be premiering this series based on Gaiman’s number-one-selling dark fantasy novel next year. Read the latest news on it here. Also, read about the new edition with the far out book cover art by Robert McGinnis!

2) Micheal Crichton’s Westworld: Although the movie came first, the book was written by its screen writer shortly after and who would later write his best-selling Jurassic Park and so that’s why I included it here. More than 40 years later, it just made its television series debut on HBO this past Sunday!

3) Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale: This totalitarian futuristic novel is currently in development for its Hulu adaptation. But one of Atwood’s other novels is also in the plans for a TV series and that one is . . .

4) The Heart Goes Last: It’s television rights was just recently acquired by MGM TV, distributor of The Handmaid’s Tale TV series. It is set in, what first seems to be, a utopian future that quickly goes dystopian.

5) Stephen King’s, The Dark Tower: Yes, the best-selling horror author is coming out with another TV series based on one of his novels (in this case, a series of them). It takes place in an apocalyptic future where magic seems to return to the earth in a second dark age. The series’ production plans have just been revealed and, according to Entertainment Weekly, filming will start in 2017 and is due to premiere in 2018. However, those who are impatient to see it need not feel so bad. The big screen adaptation is set to premiere this February! Read more about both and their latest news here.

In the past, movie adaptations have motivated viewers to read the books they originated from. (I myself just started reading Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend.) Hopefully, the book-to-TV series trend will do the same and help to continue resolving the literacy problem in our nation.

Do you think the new book-to-TV trend in sci fi/fantasy will encourage more viewers to read? Do you know of any other sci fi, fantasy or horror novels that have been or are in the plans for weekly television adaptation? Feel free to leave your answers in the box below.

Until next time . . .