Friday, November 15, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Maybe this is not much - but every bit helps.

I'm glad my last novel, DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES - The Full Tale, is part of May December Publications' GRIM WINTER box set. I'm even more glad now.

Today May December Publications  will send a check for $100.00 to the American Red Cross for disaster relief from typhoon Haiyan’s impact in the Philippines.
Also, their anthology, 'Wake The Witch', is available and 
ALL proceeds of this book will go to the Red Cross. 

AND from now through the end of the year - not only MDP will still pay the authors for their part in the GRIM WINTER Box Set - but will match EVERY dollar paid for this box set and send it to the Red Cross Philippines as well.
Wanna help? Go buy this excellent collection of 13 scary novels. Heath Stallcup, TW Brown, Tracy Ford, RD Teun, Robert Dean, Bennie Newsome, DA Chaney, Duncan Lloyd, Patrick MacAdoo, Christopher Harris, PS Turner, Erik Rise, and me are proud to offer you the best from MDP.

Monday, November 4, 2013

There’s not such a good way to promote your work and be professional at the same time.

There’s not such a good way to promote your work and be professional at the same time.

Being a writer, I feel gratification when I get a positive review (heck, I’ll be excited even with a bad, but constructive one), or when someone else, rather than me, talks about my stories (very, very rarely).
And I’m not the only one feeling this way, I think.
We writers are like theater actors: we live for the clapping at the end of the performance. Or even for the splash of rotten tomatoes. We just don’t like being ignored.

However, it has come to my attention that posting on the Internet about your small and insignificant successes is a sign of neediness and self-doubt. Or posting how many words you wrote today. Or extracts of your work in progress. Or about your last interview.
In short, to be professional and serious, writers must be silent.

So, let’s just talk about giraffes, grumpy animals, politics, sports, memes, our kids, our sad stories, and what we had for dinner. Better, why don’t we just stop being present on social media and fade away.
I used to be very active on social networks when I started publishing, but lately, with all this criticism going on, well frankly I’m afraid even to write good night.

I know there’s a constant misuse of self-promotion. I know that sometimes writers (or actors, photographers, directors, etc.) act like they are the only stars in the firmament.
But what are we supposed to do?
I see people working in other fields (clerks, administrators, you name what) posting about their small, but exciting good news, such as getting two extra bucks in their monthly. They just want to say to the world how much they are faring good.
They are entitled. We aren’t.

“How am I driving?”
Remember that bumper sticker on trucks all across America? Truckers were getting so much a bad repute that some companies started calling for feedback from motorists just to know who was doing a good job. When you see an artist pumping its wares it's no different. Yes, it's a call for attention. Most of these people don’t have an agent, or a publicist behind their backs.
When they post about their successes I’m happy for them. I don’t feel jealousy, and I don’t consider them needy. Unless … unless they do it every hour, to the point of nausea. Moderation is the key word in everything in life.

I understand criticism, but there’s too much bitterness around here. I’m sincerely thinking of just stop talking about my writing and post only graphics. Mind you, I didn’t receive any kind of personal attack. I just read some general posts.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


I’m being constantly bugged by robot programs and young women looking for a good man to marry, or so they say. Phishing websites have an ‘evolve or die’ attitude, y’know?

At first, they tried to fish info out of me with robot programs. But they are too impersonal: they just contact you when you are not logged in, drop a funny line (Hi Jeffrey, how r u? I’m here in Ao Nang and I’m sooo bored. I’m not always on FB, so it’s better if u give me ur cell number, so I can contact u directly. Stay hot!), then disconnect before you can reply.
It’s not going to work in the long distance.

So, they are now hiring actual people: they create a fake account in a social network (you can spot them by the profile pic showing a gorgeous gal or guy in a sexy pose and by the lack of personal info), send you a friendship request, then immediately contact you by private messages. And you can have some interesting (?) conversation with them.

Most of my author friends often complain about receiving this kind of messages. Heck, they contact you even on Goodreads.

‘Eeewww,  had a guy, half the age of my grandson, hitting on me in my inbox…”

That’s not a guy trying to get into your knickers. He just wants your phone number.

Well, this kind of thing can be clearly useless, but I’ve learned from a humorist blogger (Don Mills) that you can get some cheap fun, just for the sake of it.

Here’s an actual conversation between me and a ‘Maria.




how are you doing to day

How can I help you?

just making friends here

How did you find me?
Spotted me in some groups?

i am a new people on facebook

Interested in writers?
I see you are friend with Joe.
Oh, btw, where are you typing from?


i am here

Hi again.

how are you doing today

Fine thanks. What about you?

i am also fine

Good to hear that.

where do you come from

Born in the US, but I live in the UK

i was born in US to but now im living in tamale


that is in wast Africa



Are you a reader?

do you know ghana

No, never been there.

so what do you know about ghana

I just know it's a country
And ...

ok i am living in ghana with my mum

Ghana, officially the Republic of Ghana, is a sovereign nation-state and unitary presidential constitutional republic located on the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in Africa. Ghana consists of ten territorial administrative regions with several islands and it is bordered by the Ivory Coast to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean to the south. The word Ghana means “Warrior King”.
That's all I know.

oh i see
how old are you

Too old. I'm vergin’ 45.

So married or single

Been married for 19 years, now I'm living with my new Lady.

Ok what is the name of your lady

Why do you want to know my Lady's name?

Oh i just asking

I mean, it's an odd conversation, don't you agree?
Do you want to know my Lady? I can introduce you to her. She is a writer, like me.

I see

What do you for a living, Maria?
Are you a writer? A publisher? An editor?

Right now im looking for a good man to get married

Oh, I see
And you are looking for it on ... the web?
I can point you to some dating sites.


Hello There,
am here for you are you there with me as well?

Sorry, just fell asleep, ma'am. You ask questions, then answer back after a long while. I’m no longer a young lad.

So can you give me your phone number so i can taxi you

Sure, here's a photo of my phone
Hope it can help
I can even send you a pic of my home.


That's my flat:

So can i have the number

Do you want a pic of my driving license, too?


Oh, sorry I lost it, but I can send you a pic of my Babylon 5 Fan Club card
Can you send me a pic of you wearing a Vorlon suit?


Thanks, I really appreciate.

can i have the number

That's a pic of my passport


Sorry, been busy looking for my phone number

so did you get it

Excellent news. I was able to locate my driver’s license. It was in the socks drawer, right next to an old business card and some suspicious old and dirty undies.
Attached is a photo.
oh good
Hello Dear , Can you Give me your Cell Phone Number when ever i get Online i can text you to come on as well.

Dear Miss Cass, unfortunately I do have some urgent business to deal with. I sincerely hope you'll be here when I'll be back from the shi ... I mean, the bathroom.
My Best

Are you there?
Here’s a photographic scan of my passport. I think that will help.

My Best,

P.S.: Still eagerly waiting for that Vorlon suit pic …

So, next time you are approached by those lovingly helpful virtual paramours, don't be rude. 
Just bring then on a wild goose chase.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES - The Full Tale. A talk show with Arthur J. Jones

Today, I’m going to host a talk show.

Yes, you read it well, a talk show. I’m going to host some of the characters of my last novel, DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES – The Full Tale – published by May-December Publications.

I personally invited Captain Daniel Drake, Admiral O’Neill, Captain Lorraine Dumont, and the Crimson Roger here at the Banshee’s Cry pub, in Prosperity Glades. It was very difficult bringing them here from an alternate universe, but thanks to the marvels of Vorlon technology, I was able to breach the barrier between dimensions and whisk them away for a short time.
However, I’m not going to interview them. I leave that dangerous duty to Arthur J. Jones, a well known resident who had some major change of luck lately (from vagrant to billionaire) and is doing much for this little hamlet.
Arthur J. Jones: G’evening, ladies, gentlemen, and … whatever you are (points to the Crimson Roger). Now, keep in mind this the first time I do this, so please be patient and try to open your mouth one-at-a-time. This guy, Kosh, the one who published my story (FIVE), asked me to interview you creeps about a book titled DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

Daniel 'Drake' Davies: The Full Tale. It’s the longer version of the short story I narrated last year …

Jones: Yeah. Whatever. Anyway, for what I see it’s a pirate story, right?

Everybody, excepts the Crimson Roger, nods.

Jones: Do you disagree on that, Mister?

The Crimson Roger: We don’t think it’s a ‘pirate tale’. We see it as the personal vision of a deluded man who thinks he saved the world from a terrible scourge. Yet, it remains to be seen.

Morgan 'Red Leg' O’Neill: This reminds me of the battle of Pinhilla. We were outnumbered, but we buccaneers had something that …

Jones: Okay, okay, man, leave that for another time. Lets just stay focused on the book. Who’s the main character in it?”

Drake: Me. I’m the hero, Hermano. I’m the one who rushed in where angels feared to tread.

Roger: You’re not! You just happened to be in the right place in the right moment. You, pompous and arrogant swab, are just dead meat. Weren’t for our curse you would just be one of the Risen by now.

Drake: Belay it, you skullface. I led my crew into battle, across the Devil’s Sea, straight into the center of the maelstrom. You and your cold crew were just ballast.

O’Neill: Blimey! Now I remember! We used ballast to escape from the wake of the Nuestra Senora Incoronada. That Spaniard ship was right behind us, shooting lead into our very bumhole. So, I …

Jones: Please! Please! The book! Oh, I wish I had … Nevermind. I swore to never wish anymore. I will ask one of you. All the others stay silent, please. You, Ma’am. Who’s the main character in the novel?

Lorraine 'Le Corbeau Noir' Dumont: D’accord. I don’t know. I think Kaya was the most important figure in the ritual at Mabouyacay. Without her magie, there was no way we could accomplish anything.

Jones: Kaya? Where’s this woman?

Lorraine: Well … she …

Drake: Don’t say anything, Hermosa! You don’t want to spoil the whole story, right?

O’Neill: Oh, c’mon! This story has been told and retold so many times. Everybody knows that Kaya

Jones: No! Absolutely no spoilers, please. Kosh has been very clear on that point. I don’t want to know what happened to this Kaya. I will read the book. Now, use one word. Just one (looks at O’Neill) to describe this tale.

Drake: Adventurous.

Lorraine: Romance.

O’Neill: Tall tale. That’s two words, but I can’t find a better way. Actually, this reminds me …

Jones: Mr. Roger?

Roger: Nonsense.

Jones: I understand you didn’t like it. Why?

Drake: Guy’s just jealous. He's got less pages than me.

Roger: Nay! It’s the story. It’s as phony as this swab in front of our deadlights. It never went that way!

Drake: You are delusional, Amigo.

Roger: So tell us, swab, tell us why we are still here? We should be dead, forever forgotten, lost in the sea of mists surrounding the Scarlet Witch. Yet, we still ply the high seas, bringing death and misery to your pathetic colonies.

Jones: Why do you refer to yourself in plural?

Roger: Cause we are many. This body is just a vessel for all the lost souls of the Scarlet Witch. We are the Accursed.

Jones: Accursed? What does that mean?

O’Neill: There’s a curse on the Scarlet Witch’s crew. A curse worse than that of the Risen. Its captain had it befell on all the men 'board that bloody vessel. It all started before the Plague

Drake: Don’t spoil my story, old man!

O’Neill: Admiral! Call me Admiral. I should have had you jerk in the Devil’s arms a long time ago, scoundrel.

Lorraine: Merde! Can we just talk about the book, can we?

Drake: Aye. DEAD MEN is just a tale. There’s romance, horror, adventure, and drama. You can believe as much as you want of it, but anyway it happened. In the place we come from, a great plague destroyed the nations of Europe in 1666. Carried by the Risen, dead that won’t stay dead, it forced the survivors to escape to the New World, where, apparently, there was no trace of it. However, as we found out later …

Jones: Go on.

Drake: Nay. Buy the book.

Roger: The curse was older than that. Magic has always been part of our world. Do you believe in ghost stories, Sir? Fine, cause you are just into one.

Jones: Oh, no please, I had my own share of creeps. Well, time to say g’bye, we are boring enough our readers.

O’Neill: Wait, I haven’t finished with the battle of Pinhilla!

The Characters

Arthur J. Jones: The protagonist of FIVE, he was a drunken tramp who had the luck (or misfortune) to meet a weird being which promised him to answer to five of his questions about everything. This turned him into a billionaire, but soon he regretted knowing too much.

Captain Daniel ‘Drake’ Daniels: Dashing captain of the Banshee’s Cry, he was forced to sign the League of the Antilles chart, turning him into a legit privateer (or lapdog, as he often says). Dislikes authorities and dreams about being his own master.

Captain Lorraine Justine Dumont: The daughter of a French explorer, she ended up becoming one of the most successful and feared pirate of the Caribbean: Le Corbeau Noir (the Black Raven). Commanding the Raven’s Nest, she stays away from politics, preferring to set sail to her own destiny.

Admiral Morgan ‘Red Leg’ O’Neill: One of the leaders of the League of the Antilles, this old seadog rose to power by betraying Captain Morgan and rebelling against English rule of Jamaica. Known blabbermouth, has a story for anything. If you care to listen.

The Crimson Roger: He looks like an undead creature, more bones than flesh. The captain of the Scarlet Witch, he and his crew of Accursed suffer under a terrible malediction cast by the Voodoo Queen of Mabouyacay. Their quest for the Crystal Skull will bring them in conflict with the crew of the Banshee’s Cry.

The Book

The Caribbean Sea, 1708 AD.

In Port Royal many have heard the legend of the Black Brig, a ship of the damned bringing a fate worse than death to the isolated colonies of the Caribbean Sea.
But few know the true story behind the tavern tales.
As the war between the Northern Alliance and the League of the Antilles looms on the horizon, an old captain is ready to embark on a venture to cease the blight of the Black Brig once for all and have his revenge.
Set in an alternate historical setting, where a supernatural plague caused the fall of the European powers and where what was left of humanity struggles to survive in the New World, DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES – THE FULL TALE narrates the ghastly voyage pirate captain Daniel Drake Davies underwent in 1676, and the events that will force him to confront those same horrors thirty years later. For the dead do not rest peacefully in the Devil’s Sea.
Pirates, voodoo, and seagoing undead await you in this fantastic journey in a land that never was. 

DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES – THE FULL TALE expands and completes the best selling short story, with new characters, unexpected twists, and more horrors.

You’ve heard the tale … now listen to the whole story.

“Errol Flynn would be pleased, George Romero would be pleased, Howard Philip Lovecraft and Robert Louis would be pleased, and I think you'll be pleased, too.” – Trent Zelazny, award-winning author of Tool Late to Call Texas.

“I applaud Jeffrey Kosh for an original take on both pirate fiction and zombie fiction!” – Suzi M, author of the Immortal War Series.

“Written in the vein of the classic ghost ship tale, "Dead Men Tell No Tales" has the feel of Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner told in prose.” – Leigh M. Lane, 2013 Epic Awards finalist and author of Finding Poe.

I love reading zombie stories, especially fresh takes on the subgenre. The author does it here, with pirates (another reading love of mine!) and blends them both into a unique short story that is well-written and a great read. – Armand Rosamilia, author of the Miami Spy Games zombie spy thriller series.

Monday, July 15, 2013


LORRAINE VERSINI's first story goes FREE today.

As her mentor, I'm feeling excited for her. As an horror writer, I'm not too keen on fairy tales, unless they are grim and brooding. Yet, her writing style charmed me from the beginning.
Purple Wish was born as an exercise: Lorraine was writing a bloody story (that I hope she will bring to an end soon) and there was a running Valentine event on Facebook asking readers to 'date' their favorite author, have a chat, and review one of the author's books. The author had to feature the reader as a marginal character in his/her work-in-progress.

Lorraine Versini was already my 'pupil' and she selected me as her date. She became 'Le Corbeau Noir' in my 'Dead Men Tell No Tales - The Full Tale' (not out yet), a dashing badass pirate chick. But my editor friend, Natalie G. Owens, suggested Lorraine had to write a story too.
So was born 'Purple Wish', in which yours truly is featured as the main character, and Natalie Owens has a special role in the whole plot. I'm not going to spoil this short tale for you, so just keep in mind that is a fairy tale with a modern language (very different from my 'angst-goth' storytelling) and with a lot of humor.

Oh, you know I'm not too keen on freebies, too, so grab one copy before I crack my whip on my pupil and stop all this sickenin' sweetness.

Enjoy 'Purple Wish - A Valentine Fairy Tale' ... till it lasts.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

It's not horror, but hey my Kobun can write!

This is a special post.
More than nine months ago I took an apprentice. Yeah, I know it may sound odd for an upcoming writer just out of his shell, but it happened by pure chance. When I was in Thailand I worked almost 22 hours per day on the Internet, promoting, looking for publishing houses accepting unsolicited manuscripts, and chatting with a lot of people in the writing world. Some of those people were colleagues. Some were publishers and editors. Some were readers.
One of these readers, Lorraine Versini, had just read and reviewed 'Thrill of the Hunt', my first non-horror story. We chatted a lot, and quickly became friends, having a lot in common. And one night I asked her if she had ever penned down something. She said no, but she always dreamed about that. I explained to her that dreaming isn't the way: you either write or you don't. There's no dreaming. This brought about the Japanese concept of Oyabun-Kobun relationship.
The Oyabun-Kobun institution is one in which persons, usually unrelated by close kin ties, enter into a compact to assume obligations of a diffuse nature similar to those ascribed to members of one’s immediate family. The relationship is formally established by means of a ceremony involving many of the expressive symbolisms of birth and marriage. Both the terms of address and the assignment of roles within the group are patterned on the Japanese family system: the leader becomes a ritual parent and his followers, symbolic children. This ritual family can, like the true family, be extended so that several “generations” of ritual kinsmen may be observed.
Actually, this relationship isn't based on blood, but on kinship, or attitude. A master craftsman used to take in an apprentice and swore to teach him all his skills and protect him, but also be resolute and severe. Just like a biological father would do.
My Oyabun is Franklin E. Wales and he can be as sweet as the best key lime pie or as tough as nails. And I'm grateful for that.
So, I did the same for Lorraine Versini, but not before she had me read what she had in her mind. She sent me the first chapter of a story she is still writing. And my my! I was shocked. She has a dark, but poetic ways with words and a style very similar to my own.
Here's a sample from her work in progress, Till Death Do Us Part.


“Do you love me?”
“Do you need me?”
“I do.”


He stared at her slim lips as she took a sip of the dark liquid. From where he was standing, the glow from the moonlight was bathing her face in the most surreal halo, her translucent skin like a pearl in an ocean of obscurity. His heart fluttered at the thought that she was his angel for all eternity.

Those lips were his. Only his.


And they had to be his now, for he could feel the need growing in him, the passion about to erupt like a volcano that has been lying dormant for too many a century. Finally, the lips parted from the crystal wineglass; it was time for him to make a move. However, as he leaned his face forward, her finger pressing on his lips stopped him.

A wet finger.

Slowly, and sensually, his tongue darted out to taste the unusual juice now being smeared with certain urgency over his lower labia. It felt smooth and viscous to his buds, and tasted tangy and metallic.

His thin, claw-like fingers dug into the back of her neck. “Oh, Babe,” he groaned, “Abso … fuckin … lutely.”

The wineglass shattered on the floor a second later, its contents rapidly mingling with the oppressive blackness that had already filled the small motel room. A shriek among the clattering sounds. The man felt her frail hands tugging at his shirt, then she was hungrily eating at his lips. He had the power, because she needed him. Better, she was desperate for him. Equally, he wanted her. Here. Right now.

Aroused, he grabbed her burgeoning left breast with his right hand and, breaking their embrace, forcibly pushed her a couple of steps back towards the wall. Buttons from his shirt went pinging to the floor, and as her back thudded against the stiffness of the wall, he felt the rush of her hot breath hit his chest, and the ruffling of his black hairs send tingles down his spine. Rapidly, his hands moved, and his fingers felt the nipple, there, begging for his attention. He pinched it hard through the flimsy fabric of her cotton blouse, and her meowy moan went straight to his yearning groin. She had to be his.


The man’s downturned lips covered the girl’s again while she worked on ridding his hips of the black jeans he wore. Seizing a handful of her blonde, wispy hair, he sharply lowered her to the floor, and in a flash, his body was all over hers; the only thing left to do was to run his hands up her skirt and push her panties aside, before savagely taking her right there, among the shards of glass and the spilled nectar.

Later, sniffing sounds brought him out of his heavenly afterglow. Lifting his still fuzzy head, he glanced towards the human shape curled up in a hidden corner of the room. From this far, he could not see any of the facial features, just the pale shimmery silhouette of a white satin dress, dark coloured marks speckling the otherwise uniform surface.

“Shut the fuck up, woman!” The man snapped.

The sobs wouldn’t stop and that got him really pissed. Anger came out of him in a loud grunt, as he slowly pushed himself up; he then fitted his pants back on, and walked over to the distressed person. Fuming, the man slapped his hand hard to her face, feeling the tears, the mashed pulp of her cheek and the hardness of her zygomatic bone all at once. Her muffled scream echoed in the room, and tipped him over the edge to the point of no return.

This time, he punched the woman, all his strength gathered in his fist; so hard that she fell to her side and her shoulder met the cold tiled floor in a painful way. Thankfully, something cushioned her head’s landing. Something round and squishy.

Suddenly, lights brightened the room, and the woman blinked for a few moments, while her sore, tear-filled eyes tried to adjust, and the cloud of dizziness caused by the blow dispersed. Eventually, she managed to focus on the girl’s skinny form, which was still standing there with her bony hand on the switch, staring back with a smug look on her face. Then, the shape of a large foot appeared in the woman’s outer field of vision.

She recognised that shoe: the two-toned leather, pointed toe shoe, and the expensive black Merino wool trouser leg. This foot belonged to her husband. Suddenly, she felt hope warming her heart. Was he still alive?

Quickly and clumsily, she tried to scramble upright, but her hands were bound behind her back, and the only way she could find to push herself from the floor was by using her right elbow. To no avail because, with a slurp that sounded so loud to her ringing ears, it slipped in what she instantly discovered being clotted blood.

Lots of it. Too much of it.

Horrified, she understood. It was not her blood.

Eyes wide shot in terror, she looked at the girl again, now much closer, standing beside her partner, her elbow resting on his shoulder, the arm folded back so the phalange of her index finger was in her mouth. The stick legs that were dangling from her denim skirt were crossed at the onyx coloured Doc Martens that were covering her feet.

Two frightening monsters contemplating her vulnerable, defenceless body. One with the face of a black hawk closing in on his prey, the other with the look of a cherubic being and the attitude of an evil cat that got the cream.

In one last desperate attempt at protecting herself, the woman drew her knees to her chest and cocooned. Her breathing was fast, and she could feel beads of sweat running along the forehead. A cry escaped from her lips when she felt the man’s boot crushing her ribs, as the pain of the snapping bones and of her lungs compressing immobilised her.

Then she felt the chill of metal. The blade easily sliced through the skin of her neck, and a sudden gush of liquid warmth spilling from her jugular vein wetted what was left of her already sweat and blood drenched clothes. Instead of panicking, she just closed her eyes, and abandoned herself to the darkness that was going to engulf her during the last twelve seconds of her too short life.

It was over.

“Babe, you outdid yourself on this one,” appraised the girl. “Must have been your cleanest job ever!”

Turning his face, he stood up straight, puffing his rather lanky chest with pride. Once he had covered the couple of steps that were separating him from the love of his life, he wrapped his gangly arms around her and held her tight, clinging to the tiny frame as if to freeze this moment in his memory, as if to engrave this feeling of power and invincibility in his soul.

Struggling for air, she slowly released herself from his grasp, “It's time,” she whispered, as if she knew that a few extra decibels would ruin the magic.

He nodded, then silently moved towards the bodies, and she made a point of checking his backside as he bent over the couple now reunited in the afterlife. The man’s hands fumbled with the corpses, but it was only seconds before he was facing his beloved again. His right hand found her left, which was hanging lazily at her side, and he lifted it up so he could see it. While the pad of his thumb softly caressed her prominent knuckles, his gaze met hers and he looked at her lovingly. Never mind her hair matted with blood. Never mind her face wearing gore as some kind of war paint. To him, she was still the most ravishing creature on Earth.

Ceremonially, he placed the bloodstained, shiny gold band on her finger.

“Mary, with this ring, I thee wed.”


Do you see what I saw?
Talent. Pure, raw talent.
So, she became my Kobun. She wrote other stuff, from a weird supernatural short to a wild romance set in the Jura mountains, but they are all waiting to be published. Finally, I pushed for her to put out a short fairy tale she wrote for a Valentine contest on Facebook. And here it is.

It's a simple story, but very well written and showing all the passion this vibrant new author feels in her literary veins. So, do yourself a favor, buy a copy (hell, it's just 99 cents!) and go back to the time of childhood, when sad princes met their true love in the wilds.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What would you do if you knew you were going to die?

This is the first line in my newest release, FIVE.

I started writing it on September 2012 while under the effects of a severe depression bout. After penning down 'HAUNT' (published in the From Beyond the Grave anthology), I was in a dreary and pessimistic mood: my life was going on a bad spell and the only thing which kept me going was my writing. My long-lasting relationship was falling apart, and my social life in Thailand was rather ... nonexistent.
'Haunt' sent me to the other side; feeling already dead, it was natural for me to sympathize for a ghost.

Yet, 'FIVE' brought me back.
It started as a negative view of existence itself, but the more I wrote about this guy (Arthur J. Jones) and his weird encounter with a strange creature offering him the answers to five of his questions, the more I cheered up. Because reality is a personal viewpoint, there are no strict rules at this.
By the time I was writing the third chapter, I met an extraordinary person who spent a lot of time talking to me and discovering we had a lot in common. This chance meeting turned into a major spin to my life, and soon, my almost doomed character found a different approach at how to face existential troubles.

So, what is 'FIVE' about?
It’s a funny horror tale that I can’t describe or categorize. A cross between Stephen King’s ‘Needful Things’ and a dark version of Aladdin’s tale. It’s full of literary and pop references, some based on actual folklore and other of my own creation. The problem with FIVE is that I can’t reveal much about it without spoiling the story. You have to just read chapter one, if Mister Arthur J. Jones doesn’t drag you in the story, well this probably means FIVE isn’t right for you.



What would you do if you knew you were going to die?
Oh, I’m not meaning in the traditional way; we are all bound to die now or then. I’m talking about knowing the exact hour and day of your departure, and how you’re going to buy the farm.
Would you spend your shortening time with your family? Taking care of things—and affections—you took for granted? Making love to your partner every darn day, instead of the usual Saturday night quickie; listening to the rants of your love-struck daughter, and making peace with your ungrateful sister that kicked you out of the family house so many years ago?
Would you spend it by dating as many as possible, one or more a night, or wrecking away your liver with so much alcohol you could fuel all cars in Detroit for a whole year?
Or would you retire to a monastic life, praying every day to repent your sins and for peace in the world? Amen.
I’m doing nothing special. I’m just wearing my best suit, after shaving myself clean, combing my hair in front of my three thousand dollar mirror, and looking at my tanned reflection.
For I KNOW I’m going to die today.
I have a date with Ms. Reaper at eight PM, down at the crossway between Okeechobee Drive and Lakeview Parkway, right in front of Meeks’ Fish & Tackle, when my black Porsche will be so attracted to a lonely willow that it will rush at it in a passionate hug, and this romantic moment will be underscored by a soundtrack of grinding metal, shattering glass, and my own scream.
I know, I know, a zillion questions are crowding your mind right now.
Why don’t I simply skip my appointment with the Grim Lady and go somewhere else, or just avoid driving the whole day? How do I know about my death? Why I do believe in such daft stuff? And most of all: how can I afford a Porsche?
Yep, I see that.
First let me introduce myself, then I’ll tell you everything—about my death, my forecast, and my fortunes.
The name’s Arthur, Arthur J. Jones. The J stands for Jonah.
And up to one year ago I was a hobo. Yes, you heard it well. I was a bum, a vagrant, a homeless bastard shunned by everyone here in Prosperity Glades, one of those people you look at like a discarded and crumpled can, or worse. Well, you’ve got the idea.
But now I’m a respected son of a bitch, with more green in my bank account than the whole Glades. I own an excessively large mansion at Johnston Hall Estates, have a personal jet in Fort Lauderdale, a very big yacht anchored at Biscayne Bay, and thirteen percent shares in a name company. Luckily, I have no family. No wife or kids.
No one.
So, no one will miss me when they’ll extract my mangled body—this time really looking like a bent soda can—from the car’s metal, coming out of it like a stillborn fetus in a parody of life and death.
Well, except Sandy.
Sandy the Dandy, to be more precise. Dandizette would be more fitting for she is a chick; and a pretty one, too. She is a bum, like I was, eking out a living in the dirty streets of West Bend. She makes her carton home in the parking lot, just to the Banshee’s Cry’s left. I still do not understand how she can sleep with all the mess coming out of that coyote ugly nightclub. But she likes the place and there’s no way of moving her out of it.
She was born Sandy A. Carver, the illicit daughter of a Texan motherfucker that placed a loaf inside her mom’s oven down in Miami, then ran back to his legitimate wife and kids in Amarillo. However, years later, he took plight of his hidden secret and came back when she was sixteen, when Darleen, Sandy’s mom, had died of cancer, and offered her his surname and a large sum to clean up his conscience. But it was too late. Sandy spat on his face right in front of the few mourners at the funeral home and kicked him straight in the jewels, sending him howling out in the green fields. People who saw the scene still recall it as the funniest thing they had ever seen at a burial.
I missed it. I was twenty-one and working like a mule for a packing company up in Vero Beach. That was before the first Bad Thing happened. Even long before the second Bad Thing happened. Or the Real Bad Thing.
The first Bad Thing happened on a bright day of June 1995 when my whole family disappeared in a big crash on the Turnpike. I had no relatives, and all of a sudden I found myself alone in the world. It was a tough thing to swallow, like gulping down a damn gator for sure. And I wasn’t so good at swallowing.
In less than a year I was out in the streets, depressed, boozy, and busted, by God. I had not an ounce of clean blood in my veins, or better, my system was so full of alcohol I could explode just by lighting a cig. What a wreck.
Well, to make a long and boring story short, I lived as a wino for more than sixteen years, drifting around from hamlet to town in a never-ending search for something I didn’t want or care for. I simply existed; more a vegetable, or a fungus, than a man. I had no balls to kill myself, and mostly had lost all the primary functions in my intoxicated brain, so that I lived in my own mental reservation, talking to imaginary people and shaking my fist at trees stealing my shadow.
Yet, everything changed on a rainy October night (yeah, I know this is a cliché, but it really happened on a rainy night, whatchagonnado, kiddo?) in Cortez street when I took refuge inside that damned abandoned house. I was feverish and on the verge of dying for sure had not that strange guy come out of nowhere to rescue me.
And you know what? It would have been better for me had I died that night.
For that was the second Bad Thing. Or the Real Bad Thing.
Do you believe in scary stories? No? Well, take a seat and help yourself with the rum bottle over there, for I’m going to tell you one of the weirdest you’ll ever hear, something to chill the blood in your veins.
Something to die for.

Edited by Natalie G. Owens, proofread by Lorraine Versini, and published by May-December Publications LLC:

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Book Covers and Fruit's Skins

Today I’m not going to talk about books.
Well, not about the meat of them, but just skin. You see, books are like fruits: they have a skin, a pulpy meat, and some bone, too. That’s the ways a see them.
We are attracted by the bright color of a mature fruit, its enticing hue suggesting a juicy promise of sweetness to our craving mouths. The same goes for book covers.
A cover artist must strive to catch the reader’s attention amidst a jungle of similar products, and most of all, must be able to give out a sampler of what to expect just beyond the cover conveyed in a single image.
And that ain’t easy.

As an example, look what I did for ‘Enoch’s Devil’, a short, but intense tale from Suzi M.

This is a short story set in the same universe of ‘The Immortal War Trilogy’, a series mixing up mythologies from the Biblical to Classic Horror fiction. In this specific add on, Lovecraft’s Great Cthulhu gets mixed in the bag. Suzi M’s style is out of those angst ridden vampire’s rpgs of the late nineties, so I envisioned the cover like one of those game supplements.

First, I designed a burned papyrus-like background.

Next, I layered the image of a rack of skulls and bones on it. Yet, I didn’t want them to completely catch the observer’s eye, so I faded them a little and gave the whole cover a leathery outlook.

Then, came the central piece, the one I wanted to be the real lure for the reader: Cthulhu. I wanted to cover to look like something out of Lovecraft’s fictional library of forbidden tomes, so I placed a big seal at the center. This seal had to appear like something embosomed on the cover, so I used a tattoo stencil. All I had to do was to use different layering and textured effects to have it look like it was actually coming out of the cover.

At last, I added the title and the author’s name in the same style of the seal, but with a silvery-white hue to have it flash out.
Here’s the final result.

When I do covers I try to keep in contact with the author as much as possible for feedback and suggestions. What I may envision could be completely different from what the writer has in her mind, and since I want my customers to feel satisfied by the final product, I always send samples and different versions of the same cover until a final agreement is reached.

A book cover needs to say it all at a glance. Reader needs to feel motivated and moved to buy a book because of these qualities.
Just like a ripe, juicy fruit does. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Multi-Tasking And Writing - A Guest post by Armand Rosamilia

I currently have thirteen projects in varying levels of completion open on my laptop. My obvious goal is to get them all written, edited and submitted to publishers or self-published. Will I get to all of them? I hope. I figured out if I finished all of them within the approximate word count I thought they'd end up, I'd need to write another 152,000 words.

And that's if I don't add anything else to the pile… I currently have a list of nineteen more solid story ideas I haven't written a word on… yet. I'm sure if I looked deeper I could find another two dozen unfinished stories and notes on napkins with other great ideas. When will it end? When I'm done writing all of them, of course.

I took the liberty of asking a few writing friends how many projects they work on at one time. Here is my scientific study results, all on a bell curve, and all completely random and unscientific.

"I actually have four or five going on right now. One may end up being another novel… Hell, the other one may end up being a novel, too, along with a few short stories for anthology submission. I like to write more than one thing at a time just for sanity’s sake. If I get motivated to work on one story over another one, I can work on that one rather than forget what I was going to add to the other story by saying ‘No, you have to finish this one before you can work on that one.’ It would be akin to parents telling their kids they can’t have their veggies because they haven’t finished their meat. As for me, I’ve always been a fan of eating dessert first." - Suzi M., author of the Immortal War Series and many more tales of terror. Amazon Author Page:

"Normally one. Although, I do have an electronic index card program to jot ideas down with for future possibilities." - Kat Yares

"I work on whatever comes to me. The most I've ever had going at one time has been four." - Jaime Johnesee

"Writing, I will sometimes work on two projects at a time and break up the sessions with editing work that acts as the palate-cleansing sorbet in between. As for why, it sometimes is as simple as I get an idea and do not want to let it die. If I do not work on it... it tends to fade and I lose it forever... sort of like dreams. You wake up and, if you do not take a moment to think about it... it vanishes." - Todd Brown

"Usually only one. I find if I write on more than one at a time I get too into one and lose track of the other." - Vincent Hobbes

"Usually more than one. Most of my career I'd work on a novel and write short stories when I was invited or when an idea hit me. I still do that, but this year I'm working on two books at once, a new novel and my memoir. Plus short stories when ideas come to mind." - Billie Sue Mosiman

"I tend to stick to one project at a time. Yet, I admit that’s difficult; sometimes a new idea invades my mind and I find myself struggling to keep it out, so I end up with a ‘Sleeping Tales’ folder with three or more half-written stories. Some will see daylight, others … never. " – Jeffrey Kosh

So, what have we learned? Who knows. I just wanted to do another blog post with quotes from cool people I like who are great writers. You need to figure out what works for you. For me, it's a baker's dozen stories to hit at once. You might only be able to do one at a time, or maybe the magic number is fifty open. However you decide… good luck!

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Armand Rosamilia is quite possibly the sexiest man alive (although Tim Magazine sucks and won't recognize his write-in votes). You can find his brilliance and humbleness at and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, New Myspace, etc. because he is a media ho. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Since May 2012, I am a member of the Alexandria Publishing Group.
The purpose of the group is to give quality writers a place to be recognized for the work and effort they put in to creating a good book, yet also to maintain high standards of professional behavior of Indie members on media communication.

For those who would like to join the Alexandria Publishing Group, please understand they have an invitation only submissions policy. To be considered for invitation to submit they ask first that:

a.) You have a completed manuscript

b.) Said completed manuscript will pass the scrutiny of their editors and formatters. (Typos and occasional errors might be overlooked, if the overall manuscript is generally well done. Consistent spelling errors will be not.)

c.) That said completed manuscript actually has a good plot, decent characters, and relatively good reviews

d.) That you behave in a professional manner the majority of time. If considered for inclusion you will be approached through direct message and asked if you would like to join. If you choose to accept, understand that there are no fees, although there may be joint expenditures for which you may be asked to contribute. Each member contributes what they can afford – some better for one expenditure, while money is tight at the next.

Responsibilities within the group – maintain good standards of writing, cross-promote by adding the logo to your new releases (and old if you wish), join promotional efforts within the group (blog tours, group free releases, within reason) and twitter/Facebook post your good reviews, new releases, etc.

It is NOT required that you use any of the service providers in the group, only that you get good help with covers, editing and formatting so your books look professional. Nor are any of the service providers required to provide discounts to members of the group. 

All members will treat each other with respect.



Valerie Douglas is a prolific writer and a genre-crosser, much to the delight of her fans. A fan of authors of almost every genre from Isaac Asimov to Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, she writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and as V.J. Devereaux, erotic romance. Who knows what will pop up down the road!
Happily married, she’s companion to two dogs, four cats and an African clawed frog named Hopper who delights in tormenting the cats from his tank.
You can find more information at


AKA – Sabrann Curach, Jaden Trinsic, Lady Fayth C. Reeves, Kai Viola, Donna Wilson, Brittany Harkness (Britta Harkness).

D Kai Wilson-Viola, or Kai is a veteran writer with a career that spans print, blogging and ebooks. Moderating on various sites for writers, she spends her time playing with code, editing, writing and offering social media advice.
You can always tell someone’s been writing a long time when she shakes her head and says ‘and that’s not all of them’. Kai’s been writing so long, she swears her pen names have pen names, and she’s only listed a few of them.
At 33, she’s been writing for close to 30 years, and published for nearly 20.
Whether you consider her loony, or someone that you’d really like to get to know more, her books are available in various places and she’s always got her fingers in *something* to do with Indie writers.


Born in Huntsville, Alabama, the “Rocket City,” Donna K. Fitch grew up hearing the sound of rocket testing at Redstone Arsenal and graduated from a high school named for Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, the astronaut who died in Apollo 1. She also heard tales of the ghost of Sally Carter and the “old Grizzard Mansion” near her home, said to be haunted. This background, when mixed with an early diet of Dr. Seuss, the reference section of the Oak Park Public Library, 1930s mystery stories and the Gothic novels of Victoria Holt, set her to writing her own stories at age 13. Later literary influences spilled into Donna’s writing–Ambrose Bierce, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft and Tim Powers–to give it more than a tinge of paranormal and the macabre. Her love of research led her to a Master’s in Library Service, and her fascination with HTML led her to switch careers from academic librarian to web designer. For fun, she visits cemeteries–the older the better–and plays roleplaying games.
Her books include Second Death, The Source of Lightning and The Color of Darkness and Other Stories.
Learn more at


Paul Kater was born in the Netherlands in 1960. He quickly developed a feel for languages but did not pursue a career in those as his native language, Dutch, did not offer many options in that time.
After learning far too much about computers he started to make a living with them. During all that time he always wrote short stories, little things to entertain family and friends and also himself with.
Since 2003 he’s been writing more seriously, first posting his scribblings on an amateur writer’s mailing list, and then publishing shorter and longer stories on the internet. Due to the international character of the Internet, all Paul’s stories so far are written in English.
Paul currently lives in Cuijk, in the Netherlands, with his books and the many characters he’s developed in the past years, who claim he is a figment of their imagination.
You can learn more about him at his website.


Mary Ann was born in Northern Virginia, outside Washington, D.C., in 1948. She has lived in five states, all below the Mason-Dixon Line.
She has been married to the same man since 1976 and, somewhat to everyone’s surprise, there are no bodies in the back yard (no human ones anyway) and no permanent hearing loss from the shouting.
Mary Ann and her husband have two sons, one daughter-in-law, and one who might as well be a son, all of whom are the very apples of Mary Ann’s eye. She is owned by any number of animals–dogs, cats, the occasional rodent, you name it.
Mary Ann has been creating stories since she was a little girl. Back then, her mother called them–depending on her mood–tall tales or lies. Now she writes horror and paranormal short stories and novels, all with a little bite of humour. (Yes, she likes British spellings. Too many imported Agatha Christie novels in her impressionable youth.)
She also does freelance editing. Her strength is in copy editing. Grammar, spelling, punctuation–all those sneaky, tricky snares the English language sets for the unwary.
She reviews books, too, sometimes on Amazon, sometimes on her own website.


Talking to the characters I imagine has become an intriguing experience especially when they disagree with me. – Terry Simpson.
Terry grew up on the tiny Caribbean island of Barbados. He always had a love of writing for as long as he can remember. His genres of choice are fantasy, either epic, dark, or urban.
Somehow, he grew to love fantasy more than any other although his early days were spent reading his father’s books from Louis L’amour’s westerns to Don Pendleton’s Executioner series.
When Terry moved to New York in 1986 to live with his mother, his love for books developed into him reading and loving fantasy authors such as Robert Jordan, Jim Butcher, Terry Goodkind , Brandon Sanderson, George RR Martin, Brian Lumley, Laura K Hamilton and quite a few others.
Terry began building the world for what is now called the Aegis of the Gods series in 2001. At first, it was just a hobby because of his love for fantasy and the written word. Slowly, it became a part of his life. Finally, in 2010, Terry decided to sit down and pen the first book based in his world.
When he isn’t writing, Terry enjoys reading, movies, gaming (especially MMORPGS), working out, watching sports, and playing with his beautiful daughter Kai.


Jonathan Gould has lived in Melbourne, Australia all his life, except when he hasn’t. He has written comedy sketches for both the theatre and radio, as well as several published children’s books for the educational market.
He likes to refer to his stories as dag-lit because they don’t easily fit into recognisable genres (dag is Australian slang for a person who is unfashionable and doesn’t follow the crowd – but in an amusing and fun way). You might think of them as comic fantasies, or modern fairytales for the young and the young-at-heart.
Over the years, his writing has been compared to Douglas Adams, Monty Python, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, the Goons, Dr Seuss and even Enid Blyton (in a good way).


A Mississippi native, Stephen H. King was moved in high school entirely against his will from the small town of Corinth to a large city he ended up loving in southern California. After, a series of mostly unexplainable decisions led him through a strange sequence of events beginning at the United States Military Academy, where he double-majored in physics and electrical engineering, through a fairly short career as an Infantry officer and then an electronics technician, a product engineer, a carpenter’s helper, and an elementary school janitor, to ultimately finding himself on the faculty of a small college in Anchorage, Alaska.
During those years, he learned that reading science fiction and fantasy allowed him to escape the strangeness into the more understandable worlds crafted by Isaac Asimov, Piers Anthony, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and many other great writers. As time went on he began to mold his own worlds.

Important Links:
Web site:


Well … you know me.

Have a look at the official website: