Monthly Archives: January 2015

Capsule Review of State of Horror: New Jersey

Blog review – State of Horror:New Jersey – One of the stories in this book is mine…but this blooger enjoyed the entire book.


new jersey

The State of Horror series of Charon Coin Press seeks to provide an anthology of horror stories for every state in the USA and has set itself a high bar with the standard of the early instalments. As a contributor to the Illinois and forthcoming Tennessee volumes, I must declare an interest in the series, but not having a piece in this collection, I think I can be objective about New Jersey.

The production quality of State of Horror: New Jersey is good and the contents match that.

The Jersey Devil is, as one might expect, a common theme in the anthology, but the stories in this anthology also include cannibal killers, a natural disaster with a twist, a ghost, bigfoot, a strange fog and horror at the zoo. The stories range from the great punning finale of Pork Roll, Egg and Sleaze, through frighteners to the poignancy…

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Guest Post: Six science-backed reasons why you should be reading books

Don’t take my word for it…here are six science-based reasons for reading books. So – Ike and science…what more incentive do you need to grab a copy of Eyewitness Blues today?!!


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A Picture of Your Bookshelf (a shelfie) Might Win This Contest

Check out this picture of my books, posted on facebook by friend, fan and fellow author Susan Toy

books on bequia

Susan lives on the tiny Caribbean island of Bequia (pronounced Beck-way) and she has been a great supporter of mine, as well as many other independent authors, for as long as I’ve known her.

map of Bequia

Recently, despite the fact that she already owns the kindle versions of all of my books, she bought paperback copies of the entire collection and paid for them to be shipped to Bequia – a process that was not only costly, but slooooow.

After posting the above picture, showing my books enjoying a picturesque view of Admiralty Bay, she posted this picture of the collection in their new home on her bookshelf…

book shelf

…which gave me an idea…time for another contest!

contest time




A while back I held a contest to name my mascot.

blindogg sketch

After the deluge of entries I whittled it down to my favorite ten and let you, the readers, select the winner. (that winning name was Floyd – proposed by Christine Lunney)

So, what’s the new contest – and – how does a picture of my books on a shelf (a shelfie – according to Susan!) figure into it?

I’ll tell you…

The idea is to get the best, most fun and creative picture of my books I can find – and to give you the chance to win amazing prizes!

The contest will be open to anybody who submits a shelfie of my books.

Naturally this means you must first own at least one of my books in paperback version – unless you can snap a picture of somebody else’s copy/copies on a shelf and submit it (with their permission, of course).

The procedure will be as follows:

  • The contest begins as soon as you read this (officially January 22, 2015)
  • Deadline for entries – February 25, 2015
  • Take a picture of at least one of my books on a shelf, or on the hood of your car, or in the refrigerator…the setting is completely up to you. The book(s) can be alone or with other books, or with your cat…whatever you like
  • Post the picture on my facebook fan page -OR- if you don’t do facebook, email it to me at
  • After the deadline I will select my five favorites as finalists – so be creative!
  • Followers of my facebook page will then vote for their favorite finalist
  • Voting will last for two weeks, ending on March 11, 2015
  • The picture with the most votes will be the grand prize winner
  • The top runner up will win the second place prize


So – what are the prizes?


The grand prize will be a three part prize…

Part 1 – the winner will get free signed copies of whatever books I have written which they do not already have.

Part 2 – they will receive a free signed copy of every book I ever write.

Part 3 – they will have a character in my next book Full Circle named after them (or named after another person of their choosing).


The runner up will receive a free signed copy of my next novel Full Circle and have a character in the book named after them (or named after another person of their choosing).


And maybe – just maybe – I’ll use the winning picture as the cover photo on my facebook page.

Okay – you have your assignment.

Be creative…have some fun, and get those shelfies in!


As always – thank you for reading


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wordless wednesday

Someone to lay down beside me…

Matilda Magtree

DSC00144 - Copy

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Je suis Charlie

je suis charlieI have loved satire since I was old enough to laugh.

I loved satire even before I knew that using humor to draw attention to serious issues was called satire.

In my lifetime I have learned more about the world through humor than all other news sources combined.

Johnny Carson, David Letterman, PJ O’Rourke, Dave Barry, Stephen Colbert, George Carlin, The Onion…these are my most trusted sources of information. The first time I saw The Daily Show (going way back to the days before Jon Stewart was the host) I thought it had been created specifically for me.–2015—ava-duvernay

For many years I hid this fact from almost everybody I knew for fear of being seen as uneducated, uninformed or just a clown who pretended to know what was happening in the world.

Second to the comics, my favorite part of the newspaper has always been the political cartoons.

That’s why the Charlie Hebdo massacre disturbs me so much.

I just can’t fathom a hatred deep enough to justify murder – and in my opinion this was nothing more than murder. Nor can I imagine killing somebody because they dared poke fun at my religious or political views.

little weapon

I don’t have anything profound to add to the trillions of bytes already shared regarding this tragedy.

I remember, as a child, listening to my grandfather talk about the state of the world (Vietnam, Nixon, hippies, Russia, etc). According to him, we were on the fast track to self-destruction.

I can’t imagine what he would say today – and I wonder if my own granddaughter will be saying the same thing about me 50 years from now.

To tell the truth – I hope she is – because at least that will mean that we didn’t destroy ourselves in the post 9-11 lunacy that had her grandfather so concerned.

As always – thank you for readingbleeding pencil


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Oh, Readers . . . where art thou?

Many people underestimate their own power when it comes to helping independent authors with a simple review or a recommendation.

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

My editor, Rachel Small, is co-conspirator on this post.

Hello, READERS! Yes, you – those people who are not attempting to write their own books but simply enjoy reading the fruits of others’ labours. How are you doing? Have you read any good books lately?

We’re addressing you specifically today because we (my editor and I and many other professionals in the book business) want to get to know you. We’re all so busy talking to other writers and authors about how to write, how to get published, and how to promote books that we sometimes forget the most important person in this entire equation – the READER! (Although Rachel never forgets – she’s always reminding the authors she edits to remember their readers!) If it weren’t for you Readers, this business wouldn’t exist. It’s kind of a “If a tree falls in the forest . . .” conundrum.

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