Tuesday, June 24, 2008

that's so weird!

Wild Child Publishing

Congratulations to blogging buddies Jeff Neale, Bernita Harris, Jaye Wells, and John Goodman on the release of Weirdly II.

Weirdly: A Collection of Strange Tales, vol. 2

From paranormal to weird, from chilling to odd to scary, Weirdly Volume 2: Eldritch will sate your lust for strangeness in bite-sized pieces. Each tale weaves its own spell. Vampires, beasts, ghosts, evil creatures and, of course, every day people inhabit Weirdly's pages.

Soldiers must reach their destination before the undead get to them first... What does the picture on the wall mean to Jen? Fate holds something in store for Lewis--but is it what he wants? Lillie embarks on another quest... Is the young man who sees and hears fluffy beings insane? An old letter urges a young woman to the train station--but is the train that puffs into view real? All these tales and more. Dare you read them?

Authors: C.T. Adams, Marva Dasef, James Goodman, Milena Gomez & David Kilpatrick, Bernita Harris, Michael Kay, Gary Madden, Kelly Madden, Jeff Neale, Daniel I. Russell, Jaye Wells, Cora Zane

Genre: Horror/Paranormal
Book Length: Novel
Price: $5.95

Monday, June 23, 2008

pray or prey?

13 used to be my lucky number.

And Friday the 13th never scared me. But next time Friday the 13th rolls around, I’m not leaving the house.

If you look back at my blog, you will notice that I had car trouble and had to call a tow truck to haul me and my car 25 miles. I was without wheels for over a week. The piston stem came out of the transmission. I’m lucky nobody was hurt, because it shoots out like a bullet when the car is moving down the highway. I decide I should get a new car. Friday the 13th I’m driving to St Paul to pick up my new vehicle when in the middle of nowhere the piston stem goes flying off. Again. Once this happens, the car quits moving. I make it to the side of the highway, pulling to a stop in front of an old cemetery. No houses, no buildings, just the cemetery.

Wait for tow truck. Hot sun beating down.

Now here’s where it gets weird. Well, not quite yet, but soon.

First person to stop is a young farmer in a pickup. Curious kid in the passenger seat. We go through the need help stuff, got a cell phone stuff, and once he knows everything is okay, he leaves. Next comes a giant white Lincoln. By this time I’m outside my car, near the cemetery because it’s too hot to wait in the car, and too dangerous. Passenger window goes down. Blonde bombshell. Platinum hair, red, red lips. Car packed with so much crap it looks like she lives in it. I spot the case of beer.

“You okay, darlin’? Got a cell phone? Need some water? Want me to wait with you?” Once she’s reassured that everything is fine, she blasts off like someone from a Tarantino movie. Tow truck won’t be there for at least another hour, so I mosey down the dirt lane next to the cemetery where there is one tree and shade.

Big rusty white Econoline van pulls up. Wormy weird man inside. “Need help?”

I tell him everything is under control. Go through the waiting for the tow truck thing. He mumbles something, and takes off. I can see the van turn down a lane, vanish, then reappear at a farmhouse on a distant hill. Ten minutes later he’s back. Gets out, opens both back doors of the van, puts a folding chair in the shade next to the cemetery fence, and places a milk crate in front of it.

“Have a seat.” The van doors are just feet from the chair, and even though I know he’s going to hit me over the head and drag me inside the van, I sit down. I’m polite that way. But I feel for my cell phone, and wonder if I should discretely auto-dial a fave.

He adjusts the milk crate, and sits down. He touches my knee.
“I just want to ask you one question.” His face is inches from mine. “Where are you going to go when you die?”

I don’t own a handgun, but I keep thinking I must have one in the car. Surely I have a gun in the car. Or in my backpack. I keep visualizing it there. All nice and cozy.

“Are you going to heaven, or hell?”

“I don’t believe in heaven or hell.”

Oh, why did I say that? He’ll kill me for sure now.

“Just before you die, I want you to do one thing. I want you to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior. That’s all you have to do to go to heaven.”

I get to my feet, which is kind of hard with the wormy man right there. I don’t want to turn my back to him. He can see that I’ve had enough. He reaches into his pocket. For a gun? A knife? He pulls out a little religious pamphlet with his prayer line on it, hands it to me, gets in his van, and drives off, back to the farmhouse. I have a book with me – A WOLF AT THE TABLE -- so I sit down in the shade, open it, and read until the tow truck guy arrives. Damn Friday the 13th.

Friday, June 06, 2008

"mother virgin, a nun!"




BENEATH the dark cornices of a thicket of wind-stunted pines stood a small company of women looking out into the hastening night. The half light of evening lay over the scene, rolling wood and valley into a misty mass, while the horizon stood curbed by a belt of imminent clouds. In the western vault, a vast rent in the wall of grey gave out a blaze of transient gold that slanted like a spear-shaft to a sullen sea.

And so begins Warwick Deeping's Uther and Igraine.

Warwick Deeping

The Camelot Project

I fell in love with this book when I was about twelve. Over the next ten years I probably read it a dozen times. Since then I've put it on the bookshelf whenever I move, but never opened it again. Yes, the prose is like eating a whole cake in one sitting, but as I looked at it today I was struck by the sound of the words and the way they flow.

Uther and Igraine
was Deeping's first book. He wrote a massive amount over his career. I also loved Sorrell and Son. Oh, my. What a heartache.

From Wiki: Sorrell and Son, based upon Deeping's experiences during the First World War, was filmed three times: It first appeared in 1927 as a silent movie, was remade in 1934 as a sound film, and turned into a TV mini-series in 1984.

Patti Abbott

Thanks, Patti, for the invitation to participate in Forgotten Friday. I cheated a bit and turned it into a walk down memory lane. Not sure either of these books would satisfy the impatient readers of today, but both are lovely treasures.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

when a bad weekend becomes a good weekend

saturday my car broke down along the highway. called my insurance company for a tow truck, then walked to the most desolate and sad place on earth -- a petting zoo. i was dehydrated after being car baked. found a pop machine with water. it took my money, but didn't give me any water. didn't refund my money either. push button push button push button. at this point i figure i must be in a bad movie. i went inside the zoo and got in the restroom line with a pack of kids who smelled like monkeys. inside the gift shop, i asked if anybody wanted my groceries. nobody seemed interested. :D the tow truck arrived about an hour later. i rode shotgun for thirty miles and got to hear about all the fatalities the driver had scooped up so far this year. (this was really very interesting) the repair shop was closed, so we dumped the car in the parking lot.

But Sunday? Sunday was a great day.

Got a phone call from the RWA Kiss of Death chapter informing me that Garden of Darkness has been selected as a finalist in the 2008 Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, paranormal division.

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony at the RWA National Conference in San Francisco. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, July 31, 2008, beginning at 9 p.m.

I will be in Minneapolis at the Diversicon conference, and will be doing a reading and discussion at Dreamhaven Books about the time the ceremony begins.

Dreamhaven Books
But you can bet I'll be thinking about what's going on in San Francisco, and I'll be checking my computer when I get back to my room at Diversicon!