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Monthly Archives: September 2013

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Why is Horror Important?–Part One (Reblog from Kristen Lamb, Guest Kevin Lucia)

If you’ve never read Kristen Lamb’s blog, check it out here.

I truly cannot add anything but dribble to this excellent post, so I’ll shut up and crawl back into my corner.


Image via Flikr Creative Commons, courtesy of Sebastian Dooris

Horror is probably one of my favorite genres and always has been. When I was a teen, we didn’t have YA. We had Dean Koontz, Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft and Clive Barker. My parents were thrilled I was reading. I wonder how they would’ve felt had they known what I was reading. Yet, growing up, I couldn’t get enough scary books or horror movies and not much has changed.

Even now, when life is stressful, out of control, or I’ve had a day that’s simply served me my own tail-end on a platter, what’s my favorite outlet? A good scary movie. Not slasher flicks, but horror; terrifying, well-thought stories. In a way, I find this strange, since I dedicate most of my waking hours to making others laugh, empowering them, teaching them and encouraging them.

So why, of all things, would I be drawn to something that could scare the wits out of me?

That’s a great question, and while I have my own opinions, I’ve decided to defer to an expert. Kevin is one of those rare blessings we can uncover with the Internet and social media. Though Kevin and I initially got off on the wrong foot, something akin to, “Kristen, please stop pirating my cable” which was a REAL trick since I live in Texas and he’s all the way in New York, we’ve become fast friends.

I quickly became fascinated by Kevin’s work, his writing, and the way he could explain a genre that’s intrigued me so much for most of my life. There are great writers and there are great teachers. It’s a great treasure to find someone who is BOTH (which is why Kevin will be teaching both days at WANACon).

That, and Stephen King has not fallen for the “free-candy-panel-van trick.” He’s slick that way.

But, I know you will greatly enjoy Kevin, so I am shutting up now and handing the show over to him…


Two summers ago on my family’s annual week-long vacation in the Adirondacks we spent a day in Lake George. After walking the sidewalks, I spied an attraction that of course piqued my curiosity:

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 9.34.02 AM

Obviously, this lover of all things spooky was intrigued. I tried to get my seven year-old daughter to brave the museum with me but she wouldn’t bite. So my wife told me to go ahead and they’d meet me after at a park nearby. I felt a little silly going alone, but several turns into the tour I felt a lot less silly.

And just a bit…disconcerted.


Dare I say…afraid?

I’ll say this, those House of Frankenstein folks did a nice job, especially with a bunch of inanimate wax statues. The lights inside were very dim, but they let me see just enough to feel uneasy, even though I knew I was looking at wax statues. I’d round a blind corner, then a display would light up, startling me. I’d descend a flight of brightly lit, normal-looking stairs, expecting it to be over…turn the corner and once more find “things” shrouded in darkness.

When I finished that tour, the sun shined just a little bit brighter, the air felt warmer and I felt REALLY happy to catch up with my family; simply happy to be alive and healthy and not alone. Even for a guy who’d been writing horror for ten years or so, the experience proved to be a threshold moment: the darkness and disorientation and unpredictability (even though simulated) of that wax museum made me appreciate the light and the warmth and my family just a little bit more.

Anne Radcliffe, one of the first Gothic writers (The Mysteries of Udolpho) might’ve summed my experience up with her thoughts on terror, that it “expands the soul and awakens the faculties to a high degree of life.”

Anne Radcliffe

This is partly why I believe Horror is one of the most important literary genres around. We read these stories or watch these movies and as we close the book or as the credits roll, we think: Thank God. Thank that hasn’t happened to ME. And that, of course, this what early Greek tragedians called catharsis: the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.

I believe the last part of that definition is the most important, differentiating between horror and what I call exploitation. “Strong or repressed emotions.”

According to award-winning horror critic, editor and writer Douglas Winter: “horror is an emotion.” New York Times Best-Selling Author Ted Dekker once said in an aside at a conference, “Horror is one of the hardest genres to practice. To do it right, you have to be willing to make readers cry.”

But isn’t the world horrible enough? With our news sources glutted with stories of domestic and racial violence, school shootings and terrorism? Do we need the horror genre in a world filled with so much horror?

Yes. Yes, absolutely. In fact, we may need it more than ever.

In his masterwork analyzing the horror genre, Danse Macabre, Stephen King writes:

“Why do you (we) want to make up horrible things when there is so much real horror in the

The answer seems to be that we make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones. With the
endless inventiveness of humankind, we grasp the very real elements which are so divisive and
destructive and try to turn them into tools – to dismantle themselves….the dream of horror is
in itself an out-letting and a lancing…and it may well be that the mass media dream of horror
can sometimes become a nationwide’s analyst’s couch.”Danse Macabre, pg. 13

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 10.07.01 AM

When we trace some of the horror tropes, even ones that seem silly, now (like giant bugs or a lumbering Frankenstein) reflect our nation’s anxieties. Through the thirties – during the Great Depression, when thousands of people felt alienated from society because of something they couldn’t control – horror movies focused on monsters cut off from society not because they CHOSE to be that way, but because they were.

Frankenstein is emblematic of this, when the monster – who was made to be what he was – falls victim to angry villagers brandishing torches and pitchforks, simply for being what his creator made him to be.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 10.20.57 AM

Following this thought, is it any wonder the fifties saw scores of movies about irradiated monster spiders and bugs (during the Cold War and nuclear proliferation and testing) as well as armies of emotionless aliens (nice stand-ins for those un-American Commies) INVADING Earth?

And even movies like the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre (not its endless remakes) has its place, coming so soon after the Vietnam War, which shattered the “rules” of combat and exposed authorities as unreliable and untrustworthy.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

In Massacre, people are killed in the light of day, which had always been a trusted element of horror up until then: survive until daylight, and you’re safe. Not so in Massacre, which can very easily represent our twisted emotions and radically altered perceptions as a nation after staggering, battered and bloodied, out of Vietnam.

I read somewhere once about someone saying to Stephen King that he must have lots of nightmares, given what he writes. His answer? No, he doesn’t have nightmares – because he writes. So that catharsis goes both ways: providing not only a necessary release for the reader, but also – and perhaps more importantly – for the writer, too.


Thanks so much, Kevin! And we eagerly await the rest of this series. Not only is Kevin going to explore more about the purpose of Horror, but he’ll even offer insight on how to write this tough genre well.

No easy task in our spoiled-CGI-jaded world.

What are your thoughts? Do you gravitate to horror when you’re down like I do? What are some of your favorite horror movies? Why did they resonate? How did they speak to you? What is your favorite type of horror? Supernatural? Religious? Slasher? Reality (I.e. serial killers)? Why do you think you gravitate to that particular type of horror?

Are you like me and STILL remember episodes of the Twilight Zone? And this is why you HATE ventriloquist dolls? Or Jaws and still won’t swim in anything that isn’t chlorinated?

I LOVE hearing from you, and I know Kevin will, too. Ask him your questions. Tell him your fears. Comments for guests get double weight in the contest.

Which is…

To prove it and show my love, for the month of September, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

Horror Author Kevin Lucia

Horror Author Kevin Lucia

Kevin Lucia has worked as an Editor for Shroud Magazine and a Submissions Reader for Cemetery Dance Magazine, and is now an Associate Fiction Editor for The Horror Channel. His podcast “Horror 101” is featured monthly on Tales to Terrify and his short fiction has appeared in several venues. He’s currently finishing his Creative Writing Masters Degree at Binghamton University, he teaches high school English at Seton Catholic Central High School and lives in Castle Creek, New York with his wife and children. He is the author of Hiram Grange & The Chosen One, Book Four of The Hiram Grange Chronicles and his first short story collection, Things Slip Through is forthcoming November 2013 from Crystal Lake Publishing.

Ray Bradbury Challenge #10- Hat Trick

Running a little behind this week as I have been preparing for tonight’s Ebook presentation. Info here. I’m pretty stoked about making it to ten weeks. Given my schedule and my efforts to learn the Dvorak keyboard, it’s been rather challenging. This story went in a much darker direction than I originally planned. That’s one of the ‘perks’ of writing horror; it’s a bottomless pit of ideas that slither around in the inky blackness just waiting for some twisted mind like mine to haul them up into the daylight.

For an explanation of the Ray Bradbury Challenge, check out Arial Burnz’s Blog here.


Hat Trick

Top Hat


“Guess it’s going to be dead in here tonight,” Frank says. He laughs at his own joke like it’s the first time he’s ever heard it. He’s made that comment exactly four hundred and sixteen times if my calculations are correct. And they always are. It’s one of my ‘gifts’. Being able to remember everything is almost as annoying as Frank but they both come with the territory.

“Really milking that line aren’t you, Frank. I guess new material is too much for your feeble little brain. Sometimes I wonder how you manage to get dressed all by yourself. Oh, that’s right, you still live with your mother. Bet Mommy picks out your clothes, too.” I know which buttons to push.

“Screw you, Maloney!” That vein pulsing in Frank’s temple has aneurism written all over it. I’m sure his breath reeks of cheap beer, too. My condition spares me such indignities.

“That’s no way to be.” I keep my tone friendly, like I’m talking to a mean dog or a slow child. In Frank’s case, it’s a little of both. “What would Mommy say if she could see your behavior?” I pause just long enough to let him think I’m done. “Does she know about you and – what’s her name? – Melissa? She’s what, seventeen? Shame on you, Frank, taking advantage of a such a sweet young girl. Bet Mommy would kick you to the curb if she ever found out.”

His mouth drops open and snaps shut several times while his brain plays catch up.

“Go to hell! At least I ain’t no fucking ghost. You and yours taking jobs away from us living folks is a big load of bullshit. Somebody needs to burn fucking Necromancer Industries to the ground.”

Frank slams the door on his way out and it rattles in the frame. My clipboard and pencil float up and I put a check mark next to his name. Yep, that little brain hemorrhage will drop Frank Dugan dead as a doornail at exactly nine forty seven tonight. Unfortunately for her, Melissa Fredricks will be trapped under him and suffocate. When Agnes Dugan discovers them tomorrow morning, it will be the last straw for her feeble old heart. She won’t even make it up the stairs. I have jobs to fill and quotas to meet. Three more souls should just about do it for this month. I miss being able to whistle at times like this.

Interview with Author Ronald Edward Griffin

There is a knock at the door just as I pull a tray of chocolate chip cookies from the oven. It’s my Blog Hop guest, Ronald Edward Griffin. Coincidence? I think not. If there’s anything authors like as much as free promotion it’s warm, chocolate chip cookies. Good thing I made extra.

Armed with a plate of gooey goodness and two tall glasses of cold milk, we plop down at the kitchen table and begin.


blood stained lives cover

Blood Stained Lives Cover

Me: Is Ronald Edward Griffin your real name or a pen name?

REG: It’s my real name.

Me: (Good, he’s got nothing to hide. No black SUVs in my driveway today.)

Your latest book is titled Blood Stained Lives. What genre does it belong to?

REG: Paranormal fantasy. It’s the genre I write in most often.

Me: breathing a sigh of relief – if he would have said romance, I would have been screwed.

Tell me a little about it.

REG: Well it is a paranormal fantasy about this one man’s journey to become the hero he was born to be. He has many trials along the way that he must make it through.

Me: What sparked your passion for books and the art of a good story?

REG: My Mom always had a passion for reading and we would always watch movies together as well. We would watch mostly fantasy movies like Legend, Labyrinth, Dark Crystal, Krull, and many other movies and I believe growing up with such movies sparked my imagination. I started writing short stories when I was in kindergarten but they were usually based on cartoons. In middle school I started writing my own superhero story. It wasn’t until highschool until I started writing supernatural stories. It was then that I started writing some of the elements of this particular novel. Over the years I wrote many short stories and always wanted to write a novel but certain life events caused me to post pone. I have kids now and decided that I want to leave behind something that they could be proud of.

Me: (What a cool mom. Wonder if she makes cookies?)

Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

REG: The importance of friends and family. When you have them on your side anything can be done.

Me: What challenges have you faced in your writing career?

REG: Getting it started. I didn’t realize there was so much work in self promoting. I am just glad I have made some wonderful friends along the way.

Me: What does your workspace look like?

REG: My work place varies, sometimes I write from my bedroom, the dining room where I can look out the sliding glass doors, or the locations that are mentioned in my novel. Sometimes it is good to write from the actual locations.

Me: (Note to self – Great idea, except for that ‘Zombies From Hell’ novel I wanted to write.)

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?

(Sane, sans the in-; and writer, used in the same sentence. That’s a first.)

REG: Take time for yourself every now and then. Do not let the writing consume you all the times because it can cause you lots of unnecessary stress and your story could suffer from it.

Me: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

REG: Don’t be afraid to ask friends for help if going at this alone.

Me: After this book, what is next?

REG: Writing a series of origin novellas building up to the release of the second novel for this series.

The cookie plate is empty and the milk glasses are dry.

(There’s more but he doesn’t know that)

Ron's pic 1

Ronald Edward Griffin

Ronald’s contact info is listed below in the event you would like to steal some cookies buy some books or just say hi. Until next week Dear Readers, scary dreams of self-publishing.

Your website? www.BloodStainedSaga.com

Your blog? http://ronaldgriffin.blogspot.com/

Other websites? www.facebook.com/BloodStainedSaga

 Where can your book be found? www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.smashwords.com

Ray Bradbury Challenge #9- Food of the Gods

Very short story this week as I am preparing a presentation on formatting and publishing ebooks for next Wednesday. If you’re interested, here’s the link. 

If you want more info on the Ray Bradbury Challenge, check out Arial Burnz blog here.


Food of the Gods

“You have angered them and now there is no food,” I say to Cassavettes. “The light is fading and it is past time to feed.”

“It has been late before,” he says. “Your worry is only the voice of your empty stomach. Besides, have we not been diligent in our dance? I even offered those two new flutter moves. If anyone is to blame, it is you, Jackman. Same moves every dance. You have no doubt bored them into forgetting the offering.”

I turn away from him. He is a dolt and hunger does not extend my patience. In the new light I will offer a dance the likes of which they have never witnessed.


We have now gone many light cycles without eating. Our dance is a ghost of its former beauty. Cassavettes is very unsteady; I fear he will not survive another cycle. A horrific thought fills my mind. I am determined to push it away but my hunger gives it new life. If I am to survive …


Cassavettes is dead. His body is limp and lifeless, but it calls to me. His soft belly … My hunger drives me to do the unthinkable as I tear chunks of his flesh with my teeth, ill designed for such a task as they may be. As the light returns I am sickened by the sight of his remains and yet, if no other food comes I will not hesitate to eat every last morsel if it means living to see the light again.


“Dude! One of your fish is totally chowing down on the other one. Must be half piranha or something.”

Jerry endured Mike’s outbursts as one humors a slow child.

“Nope, just plain old goldfish. I just stopped feeding them. Happens every time. Jackman there is the new reigning champ. In a couple of days I’ll go get another one, give them a few weeks to get used to each other and see which one wins.”

“Cool. Hey, we better jam if we want to get in on the drop. They said there might not be any meat for the next couple months.”

“Don’t sweat it,” said Jerry, eyeing Mike’s belly, “I have a backup plan.”

Building Bridges


Writing is an odd occupation for far too many reasons to attempt to list them all here, but there are a number I would like to bring to your attention. Like most artistic pursuits, it is a labor of love. Very few writers make a living from their craft (we belong to the same club as painters, poets and actors). Most don’t even cover the cost of the ink and paper they use sending out query letters and manuscript submissions (there is a special place in Heaven for the person who invented electronic submissions) not to mention craft books, conferences and classes to help us improve our skills. On top of the time spent reading and attending classes, there are critique groups, social networking sites, book signings and festivals – oh, yeah – and the time we actually use to put the words on the page (I am currently camped out in the lunch room at work). If wealth is your goal, I would advise you to choose bank robbery over writing. Even with the jail time, it would be much more profitable.

One of the aspects of writing I find most interesting is the camaraderie found in the writing community. Most writers will go out of their way to help their fellows. Blog hop tours abound on the internet. If you’ve not witnessed this phenomenon, it works as follows; a number of authors give up their precious blog space to promote another author’s book. This is normally part of a book launch promotion. On the surface, it might seem like McDonald’s is promoting the Jumbo Jack or Chevy giving ad time to the Mustang, but nothing could be further from the truth.

It’s all about synergy and karma. First of all, books and the stories they contain are consumable at an astounding pace. Some readers can tear through several novels a week (my retired mother in law for example). That’s a lot of writing. Second, readers’ tastes are all over the map. One of my horror fans may see a blog hop for a historical romance novel (something she would never read herself) and recommend it to her sister. Most of us do not see other writers as competition, but as allies. Critique groups (on line and face to face) are invaluable to most of our writing processes. Beta readers are often writers themselves. We teach and learn from each other. Synergy in its purest form.

Here’s something I personally like about blog hops; they give me a day off without short changing my readers (all three of them). Someone else fills the empty space on my web site and I don’t even have to pay them to do it. Often, they do a better job than I do and I get an education to boot. And when my book is released, I’ll have friends helping me promote it.

Social networking is the fuel for our creative-community fire. Let’s face it, if we only communicated with writers we met in person, most of our circles wouldn’t surround a coffee cup. If not for the internet, critique groups would be few and far between and beta readers would reside with unicorns and bigfeet (bigfoots?). So get out there and build some bridges.

Yes, social networking is necessary. Unless you’ve hit the NYTBS list two or three times and even then it’s still a good idea. There are a lot a folks out there who know more about this than I do. WANA mentor and social networking goddess Kristen Lamb has a new book on that very subject. I have not made it that far down my reading list yet, but based on her blogs and reviews I feel it’s safe to give it two thumbs up. You can buy it here.

In the words of Harvey Mackay, dig your well before you’re thirsty. Build your platform. Make friends with other authors, editors (yes, they have friends, too) and beta readers. Help others out before you ask for their help. Here’s your hammer, the wood’s over there. Now get busy. Until next week, Dear Reader, scary construction dreams.

Ray Bradbury Challenge #8 – Jail Bait

It’s been nearly two months since I started this and I have to say that I’m really enjoying the weekly deadline. It’s forcing me to get things finished. For a full explanation of the challenge, check out my friend Arial Burnz’s blog here. Once again, huge kudos to Goldilocks for some great input on this story. More notes after the story.


Jail Bait

“Touch me again and all your daddy’s money won’t be able to fix what I’ll do to your face.”

Jennifer’s dark eyes, intensified by black liner and shadow, narrowed to slits as they focused on Amanda’s baby blues. The other girl’s face reflected the abject fear instilled by Jennifer’s hand clamped around her throat forcing her head against the locker.

“Let her go, Psycho,” one of the other cheerleaders said, her pleading tone belying her tough words.

Jennifer released her grip and stepped back, smirking at the streaks of mascara and the red marks marring Amanda’s otherwise pretty face. She and the rest of the cheer squad bolted from the locker room like spooked deer.

“That was freaking awesome!”

Jennifer spun around with a start. Standing behind her was the most pathetic excuse for a human being she had ever seen; well, under the age of thirty anyway. The girl’s scraggly brown hair hung in lifeless tangles over a pair of thick, horn-rimmed glasses. Her blouse was untucked on one side and both stockings were crumpled around her ankles.

“Either swear or don’t,” Jennifer said. “The word you’re looking for is ‘fucking’, as in ‘that was fucking awesome’.”

The mousey girl’s face blossomed into several shades of crimson as her attention was drawn to the tops of her shoes.

“I – Momma says swearin’s a sin and sinners go to hell.”

“Are you kidding me?” said Jennifer. “You must get your ass kicked every day. What’s your name?”

“Tiffany Maxwell,” said the girl. “Did you really kill your daddy, like everybody says?”

Jennifer sighed and rolled her eyes. “Sure I did. Hacked him to pieces and stuffed him in the trash can. That’s how I got in here. Hollingsworth Academy For Girls has educated some of the most notorious murderers in history, didn’t you know?”

Tiffany scraped her shoe across the floor. “You wanna get a latte or something after school?”

“Hell no.” Jennifer watched Tiffany’s shoulders slump forward. “Screw class, let’s go now.”

Jennifer grabbed Tiffany’s hand and dragged her out of the locker room.



“I think this is a really bad idea,” Jennifer said as she watched Tiffany apply soft, pink lipstick.

“You’re just jealous. Besides, the faculty honors dinner is a Hollingsworth tradition.”

“Riding alone with a male teacher isn’t. Mr. Laramie could get fired.”

Tiffany fixed her gaze on Jennifer’s reflection. “Aren’t you the one who keeps telling me to get out and live a little? Well, this is me, taking your advice. What do you think?”

Tiffany spun around to show off the results.

Jennifer had to admit the transformation had been amazing. It was hard to believe that the confident beauty preening herself was the shy little geek in the locker room just three months ago.

I do good work. Maybe a little too good.

“Oh, I think I’ve created a monster,” Jennifer said. “You’re a hottie and a half. Just remember, he’s a teacher and a lot older than you.”

“You forgot incredibly sexy. And there are some things you can’t teach me,” Tiffany said with a wicked grin. “I’m outta here. Thanks for your help.”

“Behave and have a good time,” said Jennifer as Tiffany waltzed out the door.

After insuring that she was gone, Jennifer trotted into the basement, opened an old trunk and filled her backpack with a collection of items from its contents.


“Wait … I don’t think …” Tiffany pulled away and removed her teacher’s hand from under her blouse. “It’s late, I should be getting home.”


Mike Laramie fixed his dark eyes on Tiffany as he ran his fingers down her neck and traced small designs between her young breasts.

“So soon? And just when we were having such a good time.”

Laramie slid his hands on either side of the girl’s head. His eyes turned black as his skin darkened. Tiffany squirmed, attempting to free herself from his grasp. She screamed and clawed at the hands that had become gnarled and stunk of sulfur. Small tendrils of smoke rose from the corners of Laramie’s mouth, his nose and his ears. Flames danced over his clothing until it dissolved into ash. Long, black nails sprouted from the ends of his fingers allowing him to make short work of Tiffany’s clothes. He stood, admiring the curves of her nubile form and running his fingers over her soft skin.



The front door exploded in a shower of splinters, several of which caught the demon/Laramie in the back. His roar was the voice of both pain and rage.

“Unauthorized soul stealing, Miklesh?” said Jennifer as she strode through the door. “And an innocent on top of it all? You should know better.”

“You will regret crossing me, witch!” he bellowed as flames erupted from his hands and shot towards Jennifer. She raised her hands and a white mist appeared absorbing the fire.

“Not happening, asshole. Your time is up and you’re going back. You know the rules.”

Jennifer pulled a pair of translucent rods from her belt and held them over her head.

“Majindum nos daemon. Shanno dereaus.”

Blue lighting erupted from the rods and engulfed Miklesh. He howled for a moment before vanishing in a cloud of smoke.

“Holy … fucking … shit!” Tiffany sat up on the couch oblivious to the fact she was buck naked.

“You wanna get dressed?” Jennifer pulled a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt from her backpack and tossed them to Tiffany.

“What the hell just happened? Who – or what – are you?” she said slipping on the clothes.

“Long story short; I just dispatched a demon back to hell. It’s what I do, sorta like a bounty hunter.”

“So you saved my life.”

“Don’t get all sentimental; you were the bait.”


I have some great ideas for this character and story line. I may very well have to expand this into a novel, with a nod to Buffy, the girls from Charmed and the guys from Supernatural. We’ll see. Thanks for hanging out and scary demon dreams, Dear Reader.

Blog Hop with Guest Author Jenn Nixon

As the Fall book release season gets under way, Blog Hopping is in full swing. Now here in California, the temperature is in triple digits but the calendar says Autumn is two weeks away. Mother Nature is quite the comedienne.

This week it is my pleasure to welcome my friend Jenn Nixon to my blog. Jenn is an internet buddy I met via Twitter. She’s from New Jersey, but apparently has never met Snooki nor did she ever date ‘The Situation’. I know, I was dumbfounded. Apparently Jenn doesn’t get out much choosing writing and self promotion over the East Coast social scene. This explains the glaring lack of paparazzi photos of Jenn humiliating herself in public. Maybe she’ll show up to a book signing tipsy and land in a stranger’s lap. Hope springs eternal, cell cams wait at the ready.

Jenn was kind enough to send all kinds of stuff over for me to post in exchange for letting me out of her basement for the Blog Hop. Looks exciting and I’m wishing her the best of luck. *rubs ligature marks on wrists* Girl ties some mean knots; must be a Jersey thing. Contact info and buy links down at the bottom: Yes, so you’ll read everything and no, you are not allowed to skip ahead. You’ll miss the secret brain washing message all the good stuff.


MIND: The Beginning




After Dina Ranger loses telepathic contact with her brother, she breaks into his apartment and stumbles onto a special government unit responsible for monitoring the psychic population. She’s offered a job where she can use her psionic gifts to help people.

Stranded on earth over a hundred years ago, Liam of Shria is searching for a metal needed to repair his ship when he finds Dina, a telepathic investigator, and narrowly saves her from an exploding alien pod. Together, they uncover a plot to rebuild an ancient weapon and discover the truth behind Dina’s abilities while unlocking dangerous secrets about the alien presence on earth.

Can they stop a powerful weapon meant to enslave the human race? Can their relationship survive the secrets of the past or will it tear them apart?



Author Jenn Nixon

 Author Bio:

Jenn’s love of writing started the year she received her first diary and Nancy Drew novel. Throughout her teenage years, she kept a diary of her personal thoughts and feelings but graduated from Nancy Drew to other mystery suspense novels.

Jenn often adds a thriller and suspense element to anything she writes be it Romance, Science Fiction, or Fantasy. When not writing, she spends her time reading, observing pop culture, playing with her two dogs, and working on various charitable projects in her home state of New Jersey.


Excerpt from “MIND: The Beginning”

The woman’s phone rang for the second time in ten minutes. Someone really wanted to talk to her. Considering it was five in the morning, he assumed it was one of the two men she’d been with at the visitor’s center. Liam had an inkling she needed to answer the next call.

Going to have to wake her…” He crossed the motel room and shook Dina’s shoulder. She mumbled, rolled away, and stretched her legs down the bed. Come on, wake up.           

I’m awake, get out of my head. “And stop staring at my ass.”

Did that earlier when I put you to bed.”

Oh, ha, you’re a funny alien.” She blinked, the expression on her face changing slowly as she moved to the edge of the bed and sat up. “This is all real; it’s not some psi ability.”

Yes, ma’am.”

You…look human.”

Frankly, so does the vast majority of intelligent evolved life out there. We’re all made up of the same bits and pieces of the universe. Those shows you humans entertain yourselves with are so far off base.” Liam smirked, thinking of all the fantastically bizarre creatures science-fiction had turned out over the years.

We all look the same?”

Not the same, similar. Various differences, skin tone, hair and eyes, appendage length, shape—”

Powers? You were invisible, teleported, what else can you do?”

A lot. Most humanoids have psionic traits in their genetics, only some develop depending on their planetary conditions and evolution. I come from one of the older, more advanced planets in the universe.”

Okay, information overload, let’s take it down a notch.”

We’re going to be interrupted shortly anyway.”

Dina’s phone rang. Her eyes expanded wide. “You’re a precog too?”

No,” he replied with a chuckle. “Third phone call. That’s why I woke you. I figure it’s important.”

Contact Info

MIND: The Beginning Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/Mind-The-Beginning-Jenn-Nixon/dp/1939173434

Website: www.jennnixon.com

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Blog: www.jennafern.blogspot.com

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Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Jenn-Nixon/e/B002BLNBBQ/

Past Release: Romantic Suspense, Lucky’s Charm

Ray Bradbury Challenge #7 – A Date With Destiny

For an explanation of The Ray Bradbury Challenge, read my friend Arial’s blog. A special thank you to Goldilocks for her help with this story; she added the heart.


The bridge loomed ahead as Matthew wiped his sweaty palms on his jeans, his pulse pounding in his ears. Five years was a long time to harbor such an irrational fear but that was over as of today. He closed his eyes and ran through the visualization exercise Dr. Anderson taught him.

“See yourself driving across the bridge; in control and rock steady. You’ll be on the other side in no time.”

It took him six months to stop reliving the accident. The first time Matthew tried visualization, his mind was filled with images of fire, smoke and shattered glass, along with Monica’s broken body, hurled through the windshield, lying bleeding on the asphalt. ‘The Accident’ had taken on a personality of its own; it was the single defining moment of his twenty-one year life. It was also the period, final chapter and end of Monica’s. It had only been their first date, but the memory of her face filled his mind as tears filled his eyes.

“You’re too chicken-shit. You won’t do it.”

Matthew’s knees slammed into the bottom of the dashboard at the sound of Monica’s voice.

“It’s just nerves. Shake it off,” Matthew said, his knuckles white against the black steering wheel.

“Just cuz you say it don’t make it true, butt head. At least have the decency to look at me.”

Matthew turned his head to the right and swallowed a hard lump in his throat. Sitting in the passenger seat was Monica wearing the same white skirt and green tank top she’d had on five years ago, her perfume wafting into his nose. A familiar pressure in his crotch seemed to both amplify and mock his fear. Monica ran her fingers over his bulge, squeezing it near the end.

“Nice to know I can still make you hot. Of course, you know you’re getting turned on by a CORPSE!”

The skin on Monica’s face cracked and sloughed off in ribbons exposing a weathered skull crawling with maggots. Her hand transformed into a bony claw clamping down on his member like a vice. The sickly sweet odor of rotted meat filled the car as Matthew screamed and stomped on the gas pedal. His car shot across the bridge like a rocket, careened off the guard rail and slammed into the concrete stanchion before bursting into flames. His skull was crushed against a steel beam, sparing him the agony of burning to death.



“You screamed like a little bitch,” said Monica.

“Screw you. Let me squeeze your tit in a vice. I bet you’d squeal like a pig. Especially if all my skin came off. You are such a bitch.” Matthew turned away from Monica and crossed his arms over his chest.

“Don’t be such a baby,” said Monica, sliding her hands around his stomach and down into his lap. “This could be the best second date ever.”