Thursday, November 9, 2017

Apologies, Hermitude, and Thanks.

Dearest friends and readers,

I wrote this blogpost in order to apologize to you guys. I recently realized my relative silence the latter half of this year has hurt some people. I feel awful for that. It was never my intention to make anyone feel bad or uncared for.

I am so very sorry if I have.

Those who know me, know that I tend to hermit when things are rough for me. When the lupus is kicking my ass, or life is kicking me in the teeth, I have an inherent need to hide away from the world to recharge. Also, I don't want to unload any negativity and pain on you guys (there's enough of that in the world already, I don't want to add to it) instead I isolate and analyze things.

The hardest part for me is how much I miss when I hide away. In three months I missed so many birthdays, anniversaries, deadlines, weddings, births/pregnancy announcements, accomplishments, and deaths. There were so many deaths this year. In that regard, 2017 has kicked my ass on a scale rival only to 2014 where I lost a third of my family.

I don't know what else I can do in these times of grief and pain other than to retreat within. It's always been my thing to cloister myself and examine my life. It allows me to see where I am in life and what I can improve on. I don't ever mean to hurt anyone by doing so.

When I am really sick or stressed, I tend to stay off social media because then my world becomes a more manageable bubble of kids, pets, house, and work. That is how I am able to get through on bad days. Small steps, one foot in front of the other. A ton of good memes helps too. I try to pop online if only to share those in the hopes that maybe they'll help someone else smile.

I didn't mean to be an asshole or miss out on so much. I honestly tried my best to get back ASAP to the people who got in touch with me. Ashamedly, I didn't realize how much of my life goes on within my social media platforms and so I wrote this to apologize to anyone I may have hurt with my extended absences.

I hope you guys know that I didn't stay away because I didn't want to talk to or interact with you guys. I stayed away because I love you and didn't want to infect you with my negativity. I instead tried to take the time to focus on having more gratitude for the people, beings, and things I have around me. This allows me to be more optimistic and I know that's something some people have come to rely on me for. I'm ashamed to admit that (for the first time in my life) it's been difficult for me to find much optimism this year, so I'm very sorry if I let any of you down.

Thank you guys for bearing with me. I'm very sorry, again, if I hurt anyone by hermiting away. I never meant to. I am more grateful than I can say for you guys. You're the reason I keep coming back to social media, the bright spots in my life that I try not to dim when everything is dark. I hope you guys have some good luck today and I hope to see you around a bit more in the coming months.

 Also, please don't ever be afraid to message me if I'm offline. I do try my best to get back ASAP to those who do. Which reminds me, I want to say a big huge honking thank you to all the folks who checked in with me to make sure I was okay. I love you guys and I'm very grateful to have you in my life. Thanks again, everyone, for all the love and support. You guys are the best.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Emerian Rich teases us with Dusk's Warriors

Ladies and Gents, 
Today I turn my blog over to the talented and amazing Emerian Rich. Enjoy! 

There’s nothing as horrifying as being betrayed by your family, but in Julien’s case, he’s been down-right tortured.

You see, his father is the Devil. Not only was “Pa” a jerk during Julien’s childhood, but he also killed Julien’s mother, brother, and caused his sister to commit suicide. He tried to kill Julien’s girlfriend, but she put him down.

How did Julien survive it all? He was protected by those above and is destined for something greater…they say. But how can he concentrate his destiny when he is consumed with grief over the loss of his one true love?

In Dusk’s Warriors, Julien must try to pull himself out of a deep despair for the good of all mankind. And if can’t, his father just might kill us all.

Excerpt from Dusk’s Warriors.
Jespa. The name was both heaven and hell to Julien’s ears. She’d brought him to the pinnacle of bliss and then pushed him off the cliff of despair. He’d shattered into a million pieces he knew would never recollect. His soul felt every crack and burn. Although he despised her for leaving him, he couldn’t help but ache for her affection.
Jespa. The name echoed in every dream he had, in every thought while waking, and in his daydreams he heard only her name.
Since his appointment to Lord Dawn, his heart had started beating again. The human organ, which had not worked in centuries, beat. Even that small thing he could not take pleasure in, for every heartbeat seemed to repeat her name. Jes-pa, Jes-pa, Jes-pa. If seen under a microscope, his veins were inscribed with her name. As a New York Stock Exchange ticker tape, her name ran through every corpuscle JESPA JESPA JESPA.
Agonizing thoughts of her leaving woke him in the end. He couldn’t sleep with her image in his head. He was exhausted mentally and emotionally. Exhausted, but unable to rest. The only time he’d not thought of her was in the alley, his fangs extended, ready to feed on the young Drog. Perhaps blood was what he needed? Perhaps blood would bring him peace?

Can Julien recover and fight his father to save all mortal kind? Find out in Dusk’s Warriors.

Dusk’s Warriors by Emerian Rich

Heaven has opened up and welcomed the vampires of Night’s Knights into a new reality. As they struggle to find their place in their new world, trouble brews on Earth.

Demon servant, Ridge, is causing havoc by gathering up all the souls on Earth that have been touched by immortality. When he injures one of the Night’s Knights crew, he launches a war between the vampires of Heaven, the Big Bad in Hell, and a mortal street gang of vigilante misfits.

Will Julien, Markham, and Reidar be able to defeat the evil that’s returned, or will they once again need Jespa’s help?

Praise for Dusk’s Warriors:
“All hail, the queen of Night's Knights has returned! Emerian Rich's unique take on vampires delights my black little heart.” ~Dan Shaurette, Lilith's Love

“A world of horror with realistic characters in a fast paced thriller you won't be able to put down.”
~David Watson, The All Night Library

Praise for Night’s Knights: 
“Fresh, original, and thoroughly entertaining.” ~Mark Eller, Traitor

“Emerian brought the Vampire Novel back from the dead.” ~C. E. Dorsett, Shine Like Thunder

Emerian Rich is an artist, horror host, and author of the vampire series, Night’s Knights. She is the hostess of the internationally acclaimed podcast, Under the name Emmy Z. Madrigal, she writes the musical romance series, Sweet Dreams and she’s the Editorial Director for the Bay Area magazine, SEARCH. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Scares That Care, She's a Hugger, Dickshark, and a Memorial for an Amazing Lady.

Scares That Care was this past weekend and I finally got the chance to thaw out in the beautiful Virginia heat. (It was 107°F and it was glorious.) I was lucky enough to help run the Devil Dog table so we started the weekend by driving up and kidnapping my beautiful blue haired sister, Suzi Madron, from Pennsylvania and headed out for fun, and a weekend away from the kids. FREEDOM!!! (I jest, kind of.)

The first person we met was Tim Majka (a new awesome author Devil Dog Press has picked up) and it was like meeting family. He fit right in with our brand of crazy. I think that's the thing I love most about DDP, we are very much a family.

The folks I was most excited to meet for the first time IRL were (besides Tim) my brother Jack Wallen, Brent Abell (BC4L), Jeffrey Clare and Shannon Walters (congrats, you guys!), Meghan Hyden, Eric and Linda Shelman, Sheila Shedd, Pheebz Jackson, Joan Macleod, Anne Ellet, Ashley Wright, James Wallace, Christina Hargis Smith, James Dean, John Quick, Ricky Fleet, and Clay, aka the best hugger in the universe.

It was also awesome to reconnect with old friends like Miko Reece, Greg Ferrell (who let me dye his beard blue. Big I love you and thank you to his wife, Sam), Karen Dziegal, Lucille Grabow-Bransfield, D. Alexander Ward, Kals, and Tim Feely.

I apologize for forgetting folks, I've been awake over thirty hours as I write this so I promise it was not intentional and I loved meeting/seeing you again. I hope to see and hug you again in the future.

Speaking of, I am a hugger. I tend to ask first because I know some folks are not fond of being touched. But, me, I love hugs. I am beaming today because I got the best hugs ever this weekend.

What can I say; I'm much happier spreading positivity and love than I would be if I solely focused on myself or was negative. I prefer to build people up rather than belittle and mock them. It's just who I am. *Shrugs*

I had so much fun hanging out with all the folks I love so dearly and, Lord, did I need it. On Saturday night at Jack Wallen's Zombie Radio Live podcast ( you really have got to hear this podcast. *End of shameless plug*) we came across a promo card for the movie, Dickshark.

Yes, that's right, Dickshark. This is one movie I really have to see this year simply because of the hilarity that ensued post-podcast. I don't think I've laughed so hard or had that much fun in decades.

There didn't seem to be as many people there this year but I definitely can't complain about sales or meeting new readers. I can't thank everyone enough for making our trip so successful.

It's because of you guys we do this. So, thank you all for being awesome and for making my life so much brighter. I love you guys.  

Sadly, this weekend wasn't all laughter and fun. We also held a memorial for the most wonderful woman and it was hard. Christy Thornbrugh was taken far too soon from us and I can only hope I did her amazing memory proud as I am the one who was picked to lead the toast to her that night. 

I got all kinds of choked up and I don't remember what I said but I do remember the folks who gave me the support and strength to speak about this beautiful soul who was the heart of our community.

Her absence was painful and there were many times I'd spy someone in the crowd who resembled her and my heart would break all over again. My heart continues to break for her wonderful daughters, husband, and family.

I'm so proud to be a part of the Indie author community and was so very damn proud to call Christy my friend. If you wish to support the family check out the Embroidery by Christy store on Etsy.

I love you all so much. Remember to tell people you love them. You never know when it'll be too late.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Stew on Kaldar 3 is Fantastic (Flash fiction fun)

Hi, folks, today I used the picture above as inspiration for the story below. It was a free wallpaper and it lit up my imagination like crazy, I hope it sparks some of your own creativity and that you have a wonderful day!

The Stew on Kaldar 3 is Fantastic
Jaime Johnesee

The galactic toads were singing on their stalagmite perches and the bumblebirds were resting deep inside their mushroom gill nests. Everyone had their bioluminescence in full display, it was a typical gorgeous Kaldarian night, and even the hootblats shrieked sweetly in the air.
As Jeff made steelroot stew, his wife, Al'donk'a'lel, was out gathering horsetails and other ingredients to spice up the dish. He looked outside as he chopped ingredients and saw that the large umburt tree was full of heavy ripe fruit.
He decided to pick some and make a blart for dessert. As he stepped into the humid night to pick the delectable umburts, a dozen sucklers swarmed him and began to feast on the sweat dripping from his tentacles. He was grateful for the sucklers as his sweat was full of pheromones lately and Al told him she felt ill when he sweat too much. She said he smelled of landula blossoms and turgomot root and she was deathly allergic to turgomot. 
To appease her he typically wore a fragrance that smelled thickly of huntsberry and banesbridge. The sucklers meant he wouldn't have to douse himself in the cologne tonight and he was grateful for the reprieve.
He took his bounty into the house, washed them (and himself) up, and sliced a thick orange globdropper. Sap dripped everywhere and Jeff took a moment to lick the sweet sap off his claws as his tentacles set to work cutting the next slice. He plopped them into the stew along with some chaffsgrass and smokeberry then started on the blart.
It wasn't too much longer before Al'donk'a'lel came back. The woman of Earth that came back with her seemed excited. Jeff put the blart in the hobbanger to harden. He smiled at their guest. 
"Can I get you something to drink?" Jeff prided himself on being a beneficent host, Kaldarians were known universe-wide for their hosting skills.
"I have told her we are having her for dinner and she was so very happy about it." Al smiled at her mate.
"Oh, thank you for offering a drink but I'm okay right now. I have always heard the stew is fantastic here! Hi, you must be Jeff, it's so nice to meet you." The blonde walked forward with her hand extended, unaware the gesture was rude to Kaldarians. 
"She's perfect!" Jeff walked over to her and, in what appeared to be one fluid movement, grabbed the human with his tentacles, used his claw to slit her throat, and held her streaming lifeblood over his stewpot. 
As the human bled out, Al looked at her, smiled sweetly, and whispered, "Nothing makes steelroot stew taste as good as some fresh human blood. Thank you for agreeing to be our dinner " 
Al’s smile was the last thing the Earthling saw as her life drained away. Luckily for her, she died before they began harvesting her meat for dinner the next night.

Emerian Rich Talks Clockwork Wonderland

Today I turn my blog over to the lovely and talented Emerian Rich who is here to talk about her latest release! Without further ado, Press presents…Clockwork Wonderland.

Clockwork Wonderland contains stories from authors that see Wonderland as a place of horror where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book you’ll find tales of murderous clockworks, insane creations, serial killers, zombies, and a blood thirsty jabberclocky. Prepare to see Wonderland as a place where all your worst nightmares come true. You may never look at classic children’s literature the same way again.
Edited by Emerian Rich
Cover by Carmen Masloski
Featuring authors:
Trinity Adler
Ezra Barany
Jaap Boekestein
Dustin Coffman
Stephanie Ellis
Jonathan Fortin
Laurel Anne Hill
N. McGuire
Jeremy Megargee
James Pyne
Michele Roger
H.E. Roulo
Sumiko Saulson
K.L. Wallis
With Foreword by David Watson

Excerpt from
Midnight Dance
by Emerian Rich
Mr. March held his fireplace poker at the ready as he peeked into his kitchen. His good mate, Mr. White, had entered his house and seemed to be rummaging for food, but it wasn’t the White he knew from the club. White was generally a very congenial guy. A bit high-strung, but always courteous of others and definitely mindful of the inappropriateness of breaking into another’s home at quarter after midnight.
“Mustn’t give no quarter. Alms grrr…and a slab ‘a meat, yesssss…”
Pushing the kitchen door open another inch, March inspected his friend as he rambled an incoherent string of garbled words together. Perhaps his diabetes had taken a turn for the worst and he had low blood sugar? Still, the White he knew, would have at least rung the bell and requested entry instead of smashing the window and leaving the front door wide open.
White sniffed the air like a curious rabbit. His portly frame jittered in his food-stained plaid pajamas. His houndstooth wool slippers swam in orange juice pooled at his feet. White’s head snapped to the side and he stared directly at March, but didn’t seem to see him in the darkness. March held his breath despite his urge to gasp. White’s normally brown eyes gleamed red in the fridge light.
The grandfather clock in the drawing room bonged at the half-hour and White shuffled out of the kitchen, March following stealthily behind. White stared up at the clock, drool saturating his mouth. The second hand clicked just past the seven.
For a moment, White seemed himself again. His expression jovial as he clasped his hands behind him, rocking serenely back on his heels.
“White? You all right, old man?” March inched closer, hiding the poker by his side.
White turned to March, for a moment his old friend, but White’s lip pulled back in a snarl, displaying jagged teeth. He launched at March, causing them both to land in a heap on the floor.
“Meat and flesh, flesh and bone. Grrrr…” White growled like the Queen’s pup who’d contracted rabies.
“Stop! Get off me!” March struggled against White’s force, holding the fire poker between them as the only barrier.
White snapped his pointy teeth just inches from March’s face, slobber dripping onto his cheek.
“No, stop!”
White moved closer, his weight smothering March so he could barely breathe. From the open door to his right, March heard a scream. Out in the street, a royal guard attacked his neighbor, the Duchess, but March could do nothing to help. Turning back to face the maniac on top of him, March stared into the fiend’s red eyes. They seemed to glow and in the pupils there was some sort of design. A clock face? White salivated, the loud clamp of his jaw snapping as he tried to get ever closer.
White lunged, his massive belly pushing the air right out of March’s lungs. March gasped as his vision grew dark.
Footsteps, a clunk, and then White’s head falling lax to his neck allowed March the chance to use the last of his energy to push the maniac off him.
“March, chap, you all right?”
Gasping for air, March managed to sit up. He blinked and squinted in the dim light, seeing the unmistakable top-hatted silhouette of his good friend, Mr. Hatter. The lanky bloke offered a hand and March grasped it gladly.
“Hatter. My, you are a sight for sore eyes.” March wiped White’s saliva off his cheek with his paisley handkerchief. White’s still body lay in a dark stain growing darker on the rug.
“Pity about your rug, old friend.”
A scream in the street called their attention away from the soiled rug.
“What the bloody hell is going on?” March asked, retrieving his fireplace poker and cleaning it off as well.
“I’ll explain on the way,” Hatter said.
“On the way where?”
“The clock tower. Come on.”
March followed Hatter out of his house and shut the door behind him, although he didn’t think it much mattered. The neighborhood was in chaos and he wasn’t quite sure he’d survive to return. Pity about the strawberry trifle in the fridge. He’d worked hard on those perfect white and red layers for the picnic the next day in the park, but it seemed festivities would be cancelled. After all, the Duchess was hosting and her head rolled by in the gutter as he hopped over it.
Screams and snarls came from every direction as they sprinted to the clock tower situated in the center of town. He glimpsed friends he’d known for years, but they were alien to him in the zombie horde.
“Seems the clock infected some and the bitten become like them,” Hatter explained in hushed tones. His eyes swept the landscape as they made their way through town. “I don’t understand how it works exactly, but the clock must be stopped. Problem is, nothing—absolutely nothing—has worked. Every night it happens again and I can’t seem to stop it.”
“What do you mean every night? How long has this been happening and how come you are just now telling me?” They stood back to back as Hatter picked the clock tower lock and March stood guard. Snarls came from the darkness and March’s hands ached from gripping the blasted poker so tightly.
“You won’t believe me, chap, but this night has played out more than three dozen times.”
The ground shook and the wind picked up, tossing leaves into the air like confetti.
“What was that?”
“Earthquake. I think the clock caused that too, but I can’t be sure.” The lock clicked and Hatter escorted him inside. “Some nights I save you, some nights I’m too late. But I need your help. We have to jam the clock some way so that it can’t do this again.”
March stared into Hatter’s blood-shot, weary eyes and knew he told the truth.
“Show me how.”
Hatter led him down the corridor to the stairs and up four flights.
“How do you know the clock is responsible?” March asked between gasps. He was not used to so much physical exertion. Those cigars at the club were really taking a toll on his health. He’d have to cut back to once a week.
“I’ve traced it to the clock maker. He’s the only one infected after the clock strikes twelve. The earthquakes emanate from this location directly after.”
“And you’re the only one reliving this nightmare?”
“Yes, and then you ask me why I’m the only one. I don’t know why I’m immune. I just know the burden falls to me to stop it.”
The ground shook again and the clock tower creaked under the force. Hatter checked his pocket watch.
“Hurry, we’ve not much time. It’s 12:49 and at one o’clock it resets. Use your poker to jam that gear over there and I’ll try to damage this one.”
March stuck his fire poker in between two large metal gears and watched with amazement as they ate the thin metal up. Black cast iron trickled into the workings and fell to the floor like pieces of silverware from a dropped drawer.
“No!” Hatter yelled as his sword found the same fate. “Hell and damnation!” He grabbed a pipe on the wall and tugged until it gave way. The pipe spewed a fog of steam but it was short lived. Hatter banged on the gears, trying to harm them and March grabbed another pipe, doing the same. They fed the thin copper through the gears, hoping to stop them or break the mechanism, but they too were chewed up by the large mechanical monster.
“Damn!” Hatter kicked the gears causing no harm but to himself. He fell to the floor defeated, clutching his ankle. “How can we jam the gears if nothing can destroy this blasted thing?”
“Jam…” March crouched next to Hatter, his mind turning like the clock gears above them as he thought of how to stop the machine. “You might have something there. What if you’re going about this the wrong way? What if we made something sticky to muck up the works rather than trying to stop the gears themselves? Perhaps my mother’s jam…with a few minor adjust—” March’s face froze.
“What kind of adjustments? March! Please! No!” Hatter shook him, but he could not respond.
The clock bonged one o-clock.

To read the full story and more Clock-inspired, Alice Horror, check out Clockwork Wonderland.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fun with Flash Fiction

The amazingly talented and super kind Nina D'Arcangela has been doing a flash fiction project that has helped feed my fun in writing. She sends an image and we write a piece of flash inspired by the picture.

I've really been enjoying it. I've been inspired to use this sort of flash on rough days to get my creativity flowing again. If I'm feeling blocked I'll find an image that sparks something in me and write a short 300-500 words just to get the mojo flowing. (Bless you, Nina!)

Below is the image I used today and the story I created from it. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

This is Michigan Central Station in Detroit

Ghostly Passengers
Jaime Johnesee

The dilapidated halls echo in disconcerting ways and as I move through the ruins of the once grand Michigan Central Station I can almost hear the whispers of boarding calls from days long past. 

A rat or cat, I can't tell which, runs by, startled by my presence. 

Unfazed, I marvel at the Beaux-Arts beauty around me and dream of what she was like in her heyday. She had once been the place to go for travel and meeting people in Detroit. Now, she sits and rots whilst they fight over whether to tear her down or renovate her. 

She's sat in this stagnate state since 1988, dying slowly day by day. 

Inside, the sound of creatures rustling replaces the cacophony of noise that once accompanied the bustle of train travel in this city. Sadly, we've given up the slow and romantic notions of traveling the country by train in favor of the faster, more efficient plane. 

There may not be people rushing through its corridors but the stately old building still retains her elegance and grandeur. You can feel the energy still pulsing through her, saved up over the years from all the travelers, those both weary and excited to be on the move. 

She sits and continues to love a city that turned their back on her. She continues to hope for resurrection at their hands even as they slowly kill her with neglect. Those of us who love her hope someone will come along to rescue her, but—after forty years—it doesn't seem likely. She shall continue to rot broken and not-quite-alone, filled with rodents, ghostly passengers, and memories of days long dead.

Crescendo of Darkness

Today I turn my blog over to the amazingly talented and seriously awesome folks at H...