W.J. Howard's Blog

February 21, 2017

Welcome to our second day of Women in Horror Month Blog Talks featuring a discussion on our favorite women in horror. Below is a list of blogs and guests in today’s talks.

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Morbidly Beautiful hosts

Women I Hope to Write Like

by Roh Morgon

Roh Morgon writes fantasy and horror for middle grade, young adult, and adult readers. She’s best known for her vampire series.

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Roadie Notes hosts

First Lady, Mary Shelley

by James P. McDonald

James is a business and technology consultant, fiction and non-fic author, technology and futurist speaker.

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Blaze McRob hosts

The Dark Romance of Anne Rice

by Travis Heermann

Freelance writer, novelist, award-winning screenwriter, editor, poker player, poet, biker, roustabout, Travis Heermann is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop.

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Juli D. Revezzo hosts

Alexandra Sokoloff

by Zrinka Jelic

Zrinka Jelic is a member Romance Writers of America and its Fantasy Futuristic & Paranormal chapter, as well as Savvy Authors. She writes contemporary fiction, which leans toward the paranormal and adds a pinch of history.

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W. J. Howard hosts

Ghost Dance

by Naching T. Kassa

Naching is a wife, mother, and Horror Author. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association and a contributor to the Demonic Visions series.

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Susanne Leist hosts

Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook

by W. J. Howard

Wendy Howard writes dark stories mixed with comedy. She lives in Colorado with her husband and two boisterous beagles, and wine is an important part of her diet.

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Debbie Christiana hosts

A Few Amazing Ladies

by Dina Rae

Dina has penned 6 books with a 7th on the way. Her themes revolve around conspiracy NWO paranormal, and aliens. The Best Seller is her latest release.

Dana Reed

by Audrey Brice

Audrey writes paranormal thrillers, mysteries, and horror stories where spirits, demons, and occult practitioners are both heroes and villains.

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Published on February 21, 2017 02:00

Today we’re talking about everyone’s favorite women in horror for the Women in Horror Month Blog Talks.

I’m excited to have Naching T. Kassa with me in my blog. Naching is a wife, mother, and Horror Author. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association and a contributor to the Demonic Visions series.

At the age of 15, a friend introduced me to a novel called, Ghost Dance. The book was terrific and had a great mixture of genre elements. Mystery, romance, suspense, horror, the book had it all. It also had a Native American protagonist and a page-turning style. I never forgot it.

Fast forward 24 years.

I joined the Horror Writers Association in February of 2014 and volunteered as a proof-reader for the HWA newsletter. It was a fun job and I started exchanging e-mails with the newsletter’s editor, Kathryn Ptacek. Her name seemed familiar but I didn’t think anything of it.

One day, a few months later, I looked Ghost Dance up on Amazon. Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered the author and the editor were the same person. Talk about a “DUH” moment! I’d been e-mailing my favorite female horror writer and didn’t even know it!

Kathryn is not only a writer, she’s an editor. She’s edited some great anthologies like “Women of Darkness” and “Women of Darkness 2.” Her books include Shadoweyes and The Hunted among others. Please, treat yourself to her work. You can find some of it here: https://www.amazon.com/Kathryn-Ptacek/e/B001KHFCXM. Search her name on Amazon and you’ll find more.

Website: http://frightenme.weebly.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nachingkassa

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Naching-T-Kassa/e/B005ZGHTI0

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Published on February 21, 2017 02:00

February 20, 2017

Welcome to our first day of Women in Horror Month Blog Talks featuring a discussion on weapons. Below is a list of blogs and bloggers in today’s talks.

To Connect with Participants and Join More Discussions

Go to the Facebook Event Page

Audrey Brice hosts

The Art of Weapons

by A. F. Stewart

A. F. Stewart is an author of speculative fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, horror). Her published books include Horror Haiku and Other Poems, the Killers and Demons series, and Ruined City.

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James P. McDonald hosts

Select Your Weapons Carefully

by Lori R. Lopez

Lori’s novels are dark or fantastic. Her poems are horrific or witty. Her stories could be anything, except some things. Her artwork is peculiar, brooding, and quirky like her!

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W. J. Howard hosts

The Deadliest Weapon

By C.A. Verstraete

C.A. Verstraete loves writing with a bit of a scare! She is author of Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter and a young adult novel, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie.

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A. F. Stewart hosts

An Out of the Ordinary Weapon

by Roh Morgon

Roh Morgon writes fantasy and horror for middle grade, young adult, and adult readers. She’s best known for her vampire series that begins with Watcher: Book I of The Chosen.

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Blaze McRob hosts

A Special Affinity for Sharp Things

by Naching T. Kassa

Naching is a wife, mother, and Horror Author. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association and a contributor to the Demonic Visions series.


A Take on All Sorts of Weapons

by James T. McDonald

James is a business and technology consultant, fiction and non-fic author, technology and futurist speaker.

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Roadie Notes hosts

Something to Sink Your Teeth Into

by W. J. Howard

Wendy Howard writes dark stories mixed with comedy. Her main focus is creating fast-paced, action-packed stories that keep the interest of young and new adults, although readers of all ages enjoy her work. She lives in Colorado with her husband and two boisterous beagles, and wine is an important part of her diet.

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Claire Fitzpatrick hosts

A Good Sharp Blade

by Jo-Anne Russell

Jo-Anne is a dark fiction writer and a publisher at Lycan Valley Press. Her work can be found in a multitude of anthologies, and as standalone stories.

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Published on February 20, 2017 01:15

Today I’m welcoming Christine (C.A.) Verstraete for the Women in Horror Month Blog Talks. Christine loves writing with a bit of a scare! She is the author of Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter and a young adult novel, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie. If you visit my blog, you know what a huge fan of zombies I am, so this is exciting to have her here for the Choice of Weapons day.


Comment below and you’re entered to win a

Kindle copy of Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter.

Having just written about one of history’s most infamous alleged killers, Lizzie Borden, I’d have to choose the hatchet or axe as not a favorite, but the most deadly, if not the scariest of weapons.

There’s something eerie, and truly frightening, about the idea of a woman—and an upstanding Sunday School teacher at that—swinging, hacking, and attacking not one, but two people. But that is what 32-year-old Borden was accused of doing when she was put on trial in 1893 for the murders of her father, Andrew Borden, and stepmother, Abby Durfee Borden, on Aug. 4, 1892.

No direct proof connecting Lizzie with the crime was ever found, though only she and the maid, Bridget Sullivan, were at home at the time of the murders. Did she do it or didn’t she? The jury thought not, or at least weren’t convinced by the lack of evidence, and voted not guilty.

A Victorian tragedy, Borden continues to fascinate today. Dozens of reasons have been given as to why she might have committed the crime—madness, jealousy, rage, female hormones, an illicit affair, incest…

When I decided to write about Lizzie Borden, I followed the timetable of the actual crime, used transcripts and newspaper accounts as part of the story, but came up with an even more unique solution as to why she might have committed the crime. What if Lizzie did kill her father and stepmother… because she had no other choice?

Here’s a short excerpt:

Every muscle quivering, Lizzie fought with everything she had to keep his mouth away from her body and limbs. Her strength waning, she hoped to fight for as long as possible when Emma yelled from the doorway.

“Father!” Emma screamed. “Lizzie, what are you doing? You’re hurting him!”

A quick glance told Lizzie her sister was still not herself. Lizzie struggled to talk while she fought to keep her father at arm’s length. “Emma, help.” She panted with the effort. “Please, help. He’s sick, he’s gone insane. Help me.”

Emma finally blinked and stared like she was seeing everything for the first time. “Lizzie! What should I do?”

“The hatchet!” Lizzie pleaded. “Get the hatchet. Hurry, please hurry! I can’t hold out much longer.”

* What’s your view on Lizzie Borden? Guilty or not guilty?

About Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter: Every family has its secrets… One hot August morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden picked up an axe and murdered her father and stepmother. Newspapers claim she did it for the oldest of reasons: family conflicts, jealousy and greed. But what if her parents were already dead? What if Lizzie slaughtered them because they’d become… zombies?

Visit her website: http://cverstraete.com

blog: http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com

Amazon: http://getbook.at/LizzieBordenZombieHunter

Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/hp9rvyd

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Published on February 20, 2017 01:00

February 14, 2017

September 1995, Trinidad, Colorado

My body lashes forward as a black pickup truck rams into my van. I floor the gas pedal and tighten my grip on the steering wheel.

In my line of work, as a courier for Hell the last fifty years, things like this happen all the time. Except I’m not carrying any cargo. God’s army only chases vans full of evil energy. There’s one other difference. The angels and white warriors always appear in white and this guy’s in a black pickup.

The truck’s engine is loud and powerful. The side-view mirror reflects the truck moving in closer. He rams me again, and by the sound of the hit, I lost my bumper. My heart starts to race. Our vans are enchanted by Margery, the powerful demon I work for, and damage repairs itself. Losing a part is another first.

After he bumps me again, I speed up and call out. “Margery, you there?” There’s no reply on her magical intercom, but I try not to worry and instead wait for my favorite of the Hell’s helpers to descend: a dark murder of crows that protect us drivers.

When they don’t show up, I call out, “I’ve got white warriors attacking in a black truck. How about a little help here?”

“Pete?” says a gruff voice. Margery pauses to release a smoker’s cough. “You’ve got a lot of nerve taking off with one of my vans after what you did.”

“Nerve? What are you talking about?”

“Those aren’t white warriors in that truck. They’re mercenaries. I sent them to take off your head.”

My stomach drops. “Why?”

“Don’t act stupid. Vern told me what you did.”

“Whatever Vern told you, it’s a lie.” Sweat builds on my nose. I’ve worked with Vern for fifty years and he’s always up to something. I’m not going down for whatever he did this time.

“Stop playing stupid. I know you caused the earthquakes this afternoon. I know you caused the hellhole to plug up. Vern told me you’ve been throwing kids down in the hellhole for months, blocking the hole with their innocence,” she says. “We were only a few months from releasing the refugee camp onto Earth. Do you have any idea what’s going to happen to me when Satan finds out we have to start over?”

“I’ve been working for you for fifty years. Why would I turn on you? C’mon, you’ve got to call them off before they flip the van. Let’s talk about this.”

“I’ve seen the evidence, and it all points to you.”

“What evidence? There can’t be any evidence against me unless he planted it.” At the same time, the van take another hit and my gut smashes into the steering wheel.

“You’re on your own, and in case you haven’t noticed yet, there’s no protection on that van you’re driving.” She cackles. “Good luck.”

“Margery, listen to me.” I lean forward in my seat, but there’s no reply. She’s gone and I’m screwed. If I pull over, they’ll take my head for sure. I’ve got to get to some place safe.

The Walsenberg exit is up ahead. Just off the highway, there’s a gas station and rest area with a Purgalator connected to it. It’s a neutral coffee shop for angels and demons and immortals. It’s my only hope to escape.

I approach the exit and swerve onto the off ramp. The truck follows. Descending the hill, I slow to make a left turn through a red light. The van tilts and screeches through the intersection, narrowly cutting in front of a semi. From behind a horn blares followed by a crash. I slap the steering wheel. It’s my lucky day, but I still check the mirror to make sure they’re gone.

When the gas station comes into view under the overpass, I floor the gas pedal, and the van jerks into gear. My heart pounds against my ribcage as I swerve right into the parking lot. My van skid to a stop beside the trash dumpster. As I jump out of the van and head for the Purgalator entrance, the sound of an approaching engine catches my attention. It’s the mercenaries, but they’re too late. I take a deep breath and race through the door.

Once inside, I catch my breath and turn full circle, looking for any escape route if needed. The sign on the wall says, ‘Neutral Zone. Offenders will be ousted to their respective realms.’ It doesn’t ease my nerves any.

A guy wearing a Metallica t-shirt and a dirty apron stops wiping a table and turns and stares.

I stand stiff with my hands out and ready to take out anyone who gets in my way. “Is there a back door?”

A high-pitched voice in the far-left corner says, “I suggest you stay.” She emits a glow that catches my eye, and there’s something oddly familiar about her.

I feel myself glide toward her as if drawn in by a siren, and stop when I run into her table. Up close, I realize I do know her. I’ve seen her flying in the air, traveling between Denver and Trinidad during white warrior attacks on my van.

White warriors are ex-couriers. They used to do the job I do, but turned against my boss Margery to get out of their work contract with Satan. In return, they fight a thousand years as white warriors with the angels’ apprentices before they’re transfered to the accounting department in Purgatory.

I freeze in place, wondering if this is a chance meeting or she’s looking for me like the mercenaries.

“Have a seat,” she says.

Instead, I turn to watch the door. Should I take a chance and run? My cowboy boots won’t get me anywhere fast. And if I exit the door, there’s a chance I’ll deliver myself right into the hands of the mercenaries.

The guy in the apron asks, “Can I get you something,”

“Last rights,” I say and pull out a chair that screeches across the floor, grating on my already edgy nerves.

She sits back with her arms crossed and taps a red fingernail near her elbow. “Well, Pete, we finally have a chance to talk.”

I cup my hands and hold them between my legs, fiddling with my thumbs. I wait for her to say something more, but she continues to stare. “Anyone ever tell you you look like Jennifer Lopez?”

She rolls her eyes. “Only every time I recruit one of you idiot couriers to join my army of white warriors.”

I nod my head nervously and clear my throat. “Considering you know who’s chasing me, I assume you know what’s going on with the hellhole.”

“I do.” She leans forward, her long brown hair falls forward and frame her face. “Why’d you do it? Not to complain. A plugged up hellhole makes my job easier. I’m just wondering why you, of all of Margery’s minions, would go against her.”

I glare at her and lean over the table. “I didn’t do it.”

“You expect me to believe you.”

“Believe what you want. I brought my load down this morning, dropped it off, ate lunch, and headed back north like I do every day. The only thing out of the ordinary was the earthquake, which I had nothing to do with.”

She crosses her arms again and glares at me. The glow around her turns yellow.

“Go ask God,” I say. “I’m sure he’s got some record of my actions.”

She laughs. “Doesn’t work that way. But what I do know from a recent filing in Purgatory, is that Margery hired mercenaries to hunt you down and take off your head.”

I rub my forehead as a sharp pain hits my temple, then stand up and start to pace.

“Harvey,” she says to the guy behind the counter, “you better bring Pete a cup of coffee. This may take some time.”

Harvey asks, “How you drink it.”

“Dark and black is fine.” Might as well go bitter since that’s the way my day has turned today.

“You really didn’t do it, did you?” She crosses her legs and rests her hands on her bare knee.

“I felt the earthquake while eating lunch, but just learned the results from Margery while driving here.”

“For some odd reason, I believe you, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.” She pauses to take a deep breath. “Something else happened besides the hellhole getting plugged up. You see those earthquakes opened a very old mystical cell in the mountains that holds a very dangerous fallen angel named Azael.”

My heart races as I throw up my hands. “I suppose you’re going to blame that on my next.” The hellhole closing is bad enough, but releasing a fallen angel, especially if God thinks I did it will wipe my existence. I’m quick to find someone else to pin it on, “Vern is capable of this. Even you know that. He’s been talking for months about how he doesn’t want the Gate of Hell opened up. He probably made a deal this this Azael.”

“I told you I believe you,” she says. “Now it’s a matter of what you’re willing to do to save your ass from the mercenaries.”

I shuffle back away from the table. “If it has anything to do with becoming one of your flying rats and chasing down the vans that bring the evil energy to open the gates of Hell, I’m out. I’d rather stay here.”

“I can respect that, although I’m not sure you want to spend an eternity here like that guy.” She points at Harvey. “I also respect how many years you’ve been eluding me. Verns’ the only other one who’s been as successful working as a courier as many years as you have. So in my mind, one of you created this mess, but only you can help me put Azael back in his tomb?”

“Me?” I touch my chest, thinking there’s nothing I can possibly do to help her. Working for Satan has given me immortal life, but I’m as weak as any other human. Chasing down a fallen angel is another thing.

“Yeah,” she smiles. “Why not?”

“Because I’m nobody with no skills other than driving vans and dodging your white warriors.”

“Sounds like a pretty good first level of training,” she says. “And being an immortal, you’ll heal fast if you’re injured.”

“Not if Azael takes off my head.”

Harvey steps in and places a cup of coffee in a white mug on the table. “Sucks to be you,” he says, then walks away.

I think how right he is. “Why can’t God’s angels or your army of white warriors take him out.”

“It’s a little tricky fighting any angel,” she says. “During the great flood, God had locked him up with all the other fallen except Satan who decided to take over Hell. But the Templars accidentally released him back in the twelfth century when they were exploring North America. The Templars figured a way to get him back in his tomb though. They melted down the holy grail, the nails from Jesus’s cross and the silver paid to Judas and created a sword. While the sword can be wielded by humans or immortals like you, it sucks our energy and makes us weak. Call the sword a sort of Angel kryptonite whether we’re good or fallen angels.”

“If you want me to risk my head, what do I get out of it.?”

“It’s always the same with you couriers.” She rolls her eyes and she mocks me with a snide tone. “What do I get out of it?

“Hey,” I say. “You’re asking me to risk my head and an eternity as a guard in Hell’s refugee camp to go after a fallen angel I had nothing to do with releasing. Given a chance, I’d go back to Margery and prove I’m not to blame for this mess.”

“You can’t be serious.”

I glare back at her. “Why don’t you get your warriors to help you?”

“ I lost all my warrior after the earthquakes. Azael stormed into my cave in Poison Canyon and I barely escaped. In fact, he took my left wing and I can’t fly until a new one grows in. Do you have any idea how long it take to earn a new wing?”

“Of course I don’t. Nor do I care.”

She slams her fists down on the table. “You help me capture Azael or I drag your ass across this coffee shop and kick you out the door into the hands of the mercenaries.”

“You still haven’t answered my question. What do I get out of this?”

She sighs and throws her long hair behind her shoulders. “Maybe this will go faster if ask you what you want?”

“Freedom from Satan for starters,” I say, “and a safe house where no one can get at me, not you, not Margery, not Satan, not God, or any other assholes from your realms.”

“Is that it?” she asks. “because you seem to think that I’m some sort of genie who can grant you three wishes.”

“Do you want my help or what?”

“Fine. You get freedom and a safe house, but you should know that I can only call off the mercenaries. If Satan send his bounty hunters after you, I can’t do anything about that.”

“Will you at least help me.”

“You help me, I help you.”

We both reach in to shake, and a pleasant tingle spreads throughout my whole body. I might like working for her. A nice change from being scorched by Margery, whose touch is like a session in an electric chair.

She pulls her hand away, then darts her finger at me. “You better not disappoint me. You get nothing if you don’t’ succeed.”

“For freedom, I’ll succeed.”

“Good,” she says. “Now drink your coffee.”

“What about the guys outside?”

“Don’t worry. They took off as soon as we shook. At least I hope they did,” she says. “A car will pick us up in about ten minutes. There’s someone you need to meet at Sisters of the Divine Heart Convent.”

“You’re taking me to a convent?” I ask. “Won’t I burn up or something.”

She laughs. “Not likely.”

* * *

The Lincoln Town Car that picked us up at the Purgalator turns off the dirt road onto a long drive way that approaches a southwestern-style mansion. Foothills rise above the adobe exterior that’s painted a traditional terracotta with logs stained a dark brown, dot across the full length of the two floors. The dry grounds are dotted with a few ponderosa pine trees and sagebrush,

We approach a large hand-carved door with black metal hinges. Trisha makes herself at home and enters without ringing the bell. I suppose this is a place of God and all His workers can come and go as they please. I’m, on the other hand, hesitant to walk through the archway, expecting I’ll burn up like a vampire if I enter.

“Really, it’s okay.” Trisha waves me inside. “There is nothing to fear here. The nuns here are sweethearts and very forgiving.”

I cautiously stride through the doorway unharmed. My cowboy boots clunks on the tile floor, and this place is so quiet, the echo might wake the dead.

We pause under a black iron chandelier and between grand staircases with ornate railings. “Where is everyone.” Trisha’s voice echoes throughout high ceilings painted a sunshine yellow. “Let’s go check the chapel.”

We walk to the right, down a long hallway to the end of the building. I draw in the long forgotten aroma of a church, although the memories are far from happy. Once through double doors, my eyes first notice the ornately carved figure of Jesus on the cross. I next count twenty nuns, kneeling in the pews and filling half the chapel They’re praying and weeping. At the head of the chapel stands a priest with his hands clasped and his head bowed.

The priest looks up as we make our way down the far-left isle. “Thank God you’re here.” He rushes to meet us, his eyes suspiciously set on me. He’s wearing a clerical collar and black shirt mixed with jeans and sandals.

All the nuns in the room turn their attention to us for a brief moment, then some return to their prayers, while others stand and become our audience.

Trisha hurries to him, leaving me behind. “Father Timothy. What happened?”

“Azael,” Father Timothy says. The two lock hands. “He attacked the convent.”

“He what?” Trisha’s voice elevates, the high-pitch almost painful. “What did he do?”

“He flew into the garden with five of your white warriors and took five nuns including Sister Ruth.” He sounds remarkably calm for what they just went through.

“Why would he take the other four?” Trisha asks.

I keep myself at a distance and wonder who Sister Ruth might be that he mentioned her by name. And why would a fallen angel take nuns captive?

“We don’t know,” he says, “but it’s worse. When he tried to kill me, I was able to get the sword out of the box in time to weaken him, but it also angered him greatly. He beheaded Mother Superior. While the white warriors flew away with the nuns, he left with her head.”

The nuns gasp and their weeping loudens.

“Sisters,” he says, “go back to your rooms now.”

The nuns all stand with their heads bowed and their hands clasped. Her short veil is another shade of gray. They file out of the pews and continue to sniffle while they leave the room. A nun wearing a short veil and a dark gray turtleneck, topped with an oversized light gray sweater opens the door.

When they’re all gone, Father Timothy approaches me. “Who is this?” He puts on a half-smile as reaches to shake my hand.

“Name’s Pete.”

“He’s a courier,” Trisha says.

Father Timothy stiffens and pulls back his hand. “Why did you bring one of Margery’s men here?”

“It’s okay,” Trisha says. “He’s not working for her anymore. He’s the man wanted for closing the hellhole”

“I didn’t do it,” I’m quick to say.

“Trisha, you know there is no one I trust more than you but—”

“He’s immortal,” she interrupts. “He’s worked for Margery since the end of the second World War, and he’s one of the best couriers for Hell. We can use someone like Pete to put Azael back in his tomb.

He sighs. “Well, if that’s the case, he’ll need to be released from Margery and Satan’s charge as soon as possible. Follow me to the kitchen and we’ll see about getting him the antidote or we’ll have Margery and a fallen angel to contend with.”

* * *

We enter an industrial-sized kitchen, and I’m taken aback by an overweight woman with two-heads chopping carrots. Both turn to size me up. The head with a tight salt and pepper bun appears to be the original owner of the body, while the one with blond hair and rosy cheeks off the right shoulder later attached. They look similar in age at around sixty.

“He needs the demon-control antidote,” Father Timothy says.

“Name’s Pete.” I smile at them.

The blond lady makes an effort to smile, but the other grunts and turns away to take them into the refrigerator, closing the door behind them.

“Let’s have a seat.” Father Timothy points to a table in a dark corner. There are only two chairs, and he motions for Trisha and I sit. “I want to warn you about what you’re getting yourself into so you can change your mind before you fully agree to help us.”

“Sounds fair.”

“What you need to know is that Azael is a very dangerous fallen angel. He has escaped a tomb of God’s design four times since the twelfth century, The Knights Templar releasing him for the first time back then.”

I nod my head, although I’m not liking where the conversation is headed. I think about how working for Satan and a demon has been bad enough.

“Every time Azael escapes, he puts a love spell on human women, and he’s able to impregnate them. The pregnancy only lasts a few hours. With each of his offspring born, he becomes stronger, in that humans flock to his family and are willing to do anything for him. So you can see the urgency in sending him back to his cell.

“Are you saying he’s creating Nephilim?” I ask.

“Yes.” Father Timothy takes a deep breath and starts to pace. “His intention is to create a world he can rule with his children. He believes by doing so, he’s saving Earth from man. There will be order and slavery for humans. Mankind will live a scripted life of his design.”

“Pete,” Trisha says, “this is why God had to flood the earth during the time of Noah. Enslaving man does not control all of your species. It turns many of you manic. The world will turn chaotic.”

“What makes you think I can fight a fallen angel?” I say, “especially one like him.”

Father Timothy looks into my eyes. “Before now, holy men have been chasing down Azael and returning him to his tomb. They have also killed as many of his children they could find, but there are some who have escaped. We are guessing they will make their way here to Colorado once they feel the call from their father.

“What do you mean, ‘Guessing.’”

“Unfortunately, it’s been three hundred years since he last escaped. While the Catholic Church has successfully sent him back to his cell in the past, we have moved into a new age of technology and disbelief in the religious ways of the past. The Church is a business today. Priests are talented in raising funds and not wielding swords. The days of fighting demons are left to only a few of us who report directly to the Pope. To tell the world that a fallen angel has escaped and will try to take over the world is to risk losing parishioners.

“Excuse my language, Father, but that’s fucked up,” I say. “If this has been done in the past, where are the records of how it has been done in the past.”

“Lost in a fire here in the seventeenth century. This convent was built to replace the church that once stood here. All we know about Azael is what I have told you.” Then he goes on to say with a half smile. “There is no one but us here at the convent to follow through with our mission to put Azael back in his cell.

“Well,” Trisha say, “that and the sword I told you about.”

“I have no ability to use a sword.” I throw up my hands. “It would be easier for someone with training to fight him.”

“We don’t have time.” Trisha says. “He has five nuns he can impregnate and hidden Nephilim making their way to Colorado. We have to get the cave as soon as possible.”

The two headed lady opens the refrigerator door forcefully and the noise makes me jump. She’s holding a metal cup that’s frosted over.

Father Timothy takes if from her and puts it in front of me. “Drink this and then we’ll head to the cave. This will give you your freedom from Margery and Satan. Once you finish drinking that antidote, we will head to the cave.”

I look in the cup and see a muddy looking substance with the tail end of a bug sticking out. I open my mouth and stick out my tongue and gag. “I can’t drink this.

“You accepted this mission. It’s time for you to drink up.

“I will retrieve the sword and prepare a vehicle to drive to Poison Canyon.”

I nod my head, then chug down the remainder of the discussing drink.

* * *

I’m alone in the back seat of a black Bronco, Father Timothy driving and Trisha directing him down a dirt road. On my lap sits a wooden box the length of the sword inside. I think about where I was a few hours ago, driving home on an average day when the mercenaries showed up. Now here I am, talked into taking on a fallen angel with a sword no one knows how to use.

All I can concentrate on is the ornate flower pattern on the box that holds the sword. I touch the ornate sunflowers on the box, and trace my finger along a stem that curves between the flowers. Butterflies, or the bugs I drank flutter in my stomach. I’m not the sort of man who fights to save the world. I’m the sort of man who sits in a van for nine hours a day, then goes home to a microwave dinner, a bottle of scotch, and the latest political best-seller. There is little chance I’ll come out of this with my head.

I unlatch the box and open the lid. Inside, the sword is a dull grey and nicked across its full length. It looks as if it might shatter into a million pieces if it hit a hard object.

The blade feels cold, as if frozen. I wonder if it’s part of the magic that weakens the angels.

“Pete, close the case,” Trisha snaps.

I slam the case closed. “Sorry.”

“I told you not to open the box.” She rubs her temples. “It sucks my energy and it’s bad enough I’ve lost a wing. I need to be as strong as possible to help you.”

I refasten the latches.

“Like I told you,” she says, “The box holds in the sword’s weakening powers. You and Father Timothy will be able to sneak up on Azael with it in the box. As soon as you open that box near him, he’ll weaken.”

“I understand.” I sit numb and turn my head to look outside. We’re traveling in the most desolate place I’ve ever seen in Colorado.

The car turns off, and Father Timothy struggles to steer the car to the side of the road. He brakes and throws it into park.

“What’s happening,” I say.

He tries to turn the engine over, but the only response is a click.

“It’s Azael,” Trisha says.

“He knows we’re here?” I say with a shaky voice. “I only opened the box for a few seconds.”

“Calm down. Could be me. We angels have a way of knowing when our kind is near,” she says. “Or it could be Satan’s bounty hunters.”

My gut cramps. This day is getting worse by the second.

“We walk from here.” Father Timothy pulls the keys from the ignition. “How do we get to your cave from here?”

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” I worry we’ve lost the element of surprise.”

“We’re a mile away.” Trisha opens the car door. “Follow me.”

Fifteen minute later, we turn left off the road and onto a path. Trisha points downward at an oblong hole in the ground that’s large enough for three or four people to enter at once, which I’m guessing is her cave.

“Should I open the box?” I ask.

“No,” Trisha says. “This is a second entrance to my cave. It’s like swiss cheese with small passages to the main part of the cave. We can sneak up on Azael.”

“What if they hear us coming?” I ask.

I hold tightly onto the box and follow Trisha. We follow Trisha to the left through a low tunnel.

Father Timothy’s footsteps scrape against the cave floor behind me.

With my nerves on edge two make me twitch as we flickering light at the end of the long passage. I stop and point.

My gut cramps. I stop and bend over waiting for the pain to subside. I remember what the two headed lady told me about the potion she gave me kicking in. That the pain will increase before it gets better. This was a stupid thing to do. Go off to fight a fallen angel at the same time Margery’s power over me is being broken.

“Let’s go,” Father Timothy whispers and nudges me.

“Okay, okay,” I step forward and notice a light up ahead, but the cave narrows. As I turn sideways to fit through a creves, my heart races, terrified that we’ll be discovered and that Azael could cave the passage in on us.

Finally, we come to a large opening and hear voices or music. The song is familiar. Barry White? Can’t Get Enough of Your Love Baby? Light from another passage above our heads barely illuminates the cave. The hole is large enough for one body to fit through.

“That hole leads to my meeting room,” Trisha says. “If Azael brought the nuns here, they’d most likely be here.

“I’ll take a look,” I say. I climb six feet up to the opening and rocks loosen and fall.

“Careful,” Father Timothy says.

A nun in her habit stands over a table holding a meat cleaver. Off to her right, three nuns are huddled together and chained to the rock wall. The fifth nun is nowhere to be seen.

The nun with the cleaver raises her arm and I twitch as the cleaver drops. The three nuns struggle and let out muffled screams. It happens again and again with each chop.

A shadow fall over the scene and a whooshing drowns out the music. It’s Azael, flying into the cave. He lands near the nun with the cleaver. He pulls in his immense wing span and towers over her by three feet at least. He’s slender though and a mix of bronze and black like a statue.

The three nuns are huddled together in the corner praying their voices muffled.

He leans over and lifts her around her waist. She wraps her arms around his neck and they kiss. That’s when I see what’s on the table and it’s what I expected, the fifth nun in pieces.

He continues to hold her while he picks up an arm and bites into it like he’s eating a chicken leg. The kiss is still going on but it breaks up and the two continue their feast. His sharp teeth rip at the nuns flesh and he growls as he eats. The nun enjoys the feast, chopping off pieces of flesh and feeding it to him. They appear to share the feast through a kiss.

She takes a piece from a thigh and draws on his chest then licks it off. Then he pulls her habit over her head and she stands naked with a swollen belly. They both look down at her pregnant belly and wrap their hands around her belly and stroke it together like proud parents. He kisses her belly then pulls her to him. When I see his emense horse like erection, I slide back down to the cave floor holding my churning stomach.

“The nuns are there and so is Azael.” I swallow hard. “What have you not told me about this situation? There are only four nuns alive because one of the nuns is cannibalizing one of the nuns with Azael.”

“What?” Even in the darkened cave, I can see Father Timothy’s eyes pop. “I did know he eats humans, but I thought he would try to impregnate them, that’s all.”

“I promise you, I had no idea something like that would happen,” Trisha says. “We have to get the nuns out of here.”

I look down at the box, and I’m ready to open it and take on the bastard. “She’s pregnant. The nun with the cleaver is pregnant.”

“It’s happened as fast as we expected,” Father Timothy says.”

“Again, I’m going to ask you what you haven’t told me about these nuns. They’re getting down and dirty down there.”

“He’s raping her?”

“He is not raping her. She’s into him. My guess is she dropped her vows in ten seconds for him.”

“You’re right,” Trisha says. “She’s different.”

“Different?” I ask.

“She’s what’s called a daughter of light,” Trisha says. “But there’s no time to explain. It’s time to pull out the sword out and stop him.”

“What about her.”

“Don’t kill her under any circumstances. She must live and so must the baby.”

“I’ll get to the warriors’ quarters on the other side of the cave. There are at least ten of them who will agree to help us. They’re all sleeping, hanging from the cave wall. Pete, you need to get into the cave. I’ll lead the way. We’ll sneak to where Azael is with the nuns. Then take out the sword and run at him. If he’s getting busy with Sister Ruth, you can catch him off guard and drive it through him. The warriors will then dive in and take him back to the mountains with Father Timothy. Once the sword is inside him, he will be helpless.”

“You make it sound easy.”

“I’m headed back to the warriors. I won’t be able to help you once you take out the sword, so be accurate.”

I nod my head and laugh, not so sure of myself. But what over choice do I have. “Let’s go. Let’s get it done.”

Trisha is gone in the blink of the eye, reminding me she’s an angel’s apprentice.

Father Timothy and I look at each other for a second. “Are you ready?” he asks.

“As I’ll ever be,” I reply. I open the box and remove the sword. I climb back up to the hole and out onto the ledge above the discussing scene below.

The sword at my side, adrenaline releases into my system. Father Timothy joins me and we follow the path down to the place where Azael is holding the nuns.

I make the mistake of watching the chained nuns instead of the fallen angel. Azael’s approaches and picks me up and thrown against the cave wall. The sword drops from my hand and clangs on the rock. My back snaps and I’m paralyzed.

Azael stumbles and falls.

“What’s wrong?” Sister Ruth says in a panic. Her belly appears larger.

“The sword.” He sways as if he might fall to one side. “Get the sword and get it out of the cave.”

She races Father Timothy to the sword and beats him there.

I’m able to move my arms, so I’m rapidly healing, but not fast enough. It may take another minute until I can get to my feet. I call out in pain as my vertebrae realign and each bone snaps back in place.

“Sister Ruth,” Father Timothy stands by with his hand up. “Put the sword down.”

She holds the sword out in front of her with her elbows resting on her big belly. She shifts on her feet ready to attack.

“Kill him,” Azael says. “Drive it through the priest.”

She runs at Father Timothy screaming as if she’s in a battle for her life. The three nuns scream in the background for her to not hurt their beloved priest, but Sister Ruth is out to protect her new family and charges him.

He is able to move to the side to avoid her charge, but she whips around and hacks across his shoulder blade. He drops to his knees and grunts.

I jump back to my feet. Azael is weak. He’s trying to hold himself up but his wings are limp at his side.

Trisha enters the cave. She can barely walk herself. “No,” she calls out. “Sister Ruth, put down the sword.”

Sister Ruth turns to Trisha, a crazy mad look on her face.

“You must get the sword out of the cave,” Azael says with a gasp.

She takes off running at a handicap pace due to her pregnant belly. I catch up to her as she drops the sword and doubles over in pain. She screams. Her water breaks and she stands over a puddle of her water. “The baby,” she says. “The baby is coming.”

I take the sword from the ground, rush to Azael and thrust the sword into his chest.

Sister Ruth is on her hands and knees, holding her belly.

Trisha enters with a crowd of white warriors. “Gorsky and Milar carry me. The rest of you will carry Azael and follow us to the mountains,” she says. “Hurry. Archangel Michael is waiting near the cell. It’s been repaired and is ready for his return.” She turns to me. “I think they need your help.” She points at the nuns chained to the wall. She hands me a set of keys. “It’s where I chain up uncooperative couriers before I change them to white warriors.”

I run to them and untie them. They grope at me to show their thanks, then run to where Sister Rush has already given birth at record speed. Father Timothy holds the baby.

“Kill it,” Sister Ruth cries out. “Kill it.”

While the nuns take care of Sister Ruth and redress her, I step in to look at the baby and notice it’s a boy. He hands the baby to one of the nuns and she wraps him up in the other habit.

“When will you kill him?” I ask

“This baby will live,” he says. “He’s special.”

“How so?”

“Sister Ruth is a daughter of light. Mix with fallen angel means that this boy can destroy his father.”

“If his mother doesn’t kill him first.”

Sister Ruth fights the nuns holding her back.

“She’ll be fine in a few days and once the boy has been baptized. We must return to the convent.”

* * *

The next morning I awaken at the convent to a room full of bright sunlight. According to the clock I slept fourteen hours straight.

I make my way to the kitchen, where Ulla and Inez are wiping the counter, and Father Timothy sits in the corner reading the newspaper. They turn and Ulla smiles. “Well, there’s our hero. I bet your famished. What can we get you to eat?”

“I’m craving pancakes.”

“You’ve got it,” Ulla says.

Inez grunts.

“Have a seat,” the priest says.

“We can’t thank you enough for what you did yesterday.”

“What’s going to happen to me.”

“You’re free.”

“Yes, that was the plan, but for some reason I thought she’d renig.”

“Trisha said she would get me a safe house.” This is where I suspect she’s going back on her word.

“Oh that. Yes, there is a small farmhouse we own east of here. It’s yours.”

“She actually followed through,” I say.

“Well, there is one thing. We need you to stay at that house until the baby grown to be a young man. I’m afraid that we will need you again in about twenty to twenty five years.

“He will grow up different and not so dangerous against mankind, as his older siblings would have. At least we home he won’t. But anyway, his father will feel his presence as he grows up and will do anything he can to escape his cell again.”

I sigh. There had to be a catch, and here it is. Wait around this God for saken place for over twenty years. Then again, what else do I have to do.

“Of course, you don’t have to stay here, but we would like you to. We would of course look over you and make sure you remain comfortable in the house east of here.”

“As long as I have a safe place to live and newspaper delivery, I’m good to go. I’ll do it.”

June, 2016

My phone rings and I see that the call is coming from the convent. “Hello.”

“Pete, it’s Father Timothy,” he says. “It’s happening, but not as we’d hoped. Barry just signed his life over to Satan and he’s going to work for the demon, Margery.”


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Published on February 14, 2017 03:21

February 10, 2017

Part 11 of Warrant for Damnation is available to read on WattPad. This week Barry’s run is interrupted by someone familiar. Enjoy!

Go to part 11 or start reading from the beginning below.

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Published on February 10, 2017 03:00

February 7, 2017

This week I’m reviewing The Horde (2009) for my monthly zombie movie choice. And in February I’m featuring a woman in my choices for Women in Horror Month. Here’s what the movie is about about:

“A posse of crooked cops, malevolent gangsters and a horde of walking dead are the centre point of this gruesome, tight, action packed, claustrophobic tale of retribution and escape. Penned like animals, on the top floor of a deserted high-rise block, these two opposing gangs find that they are not alone in the lair of bloodthirsty corridors of death. Joining forces to survive, they must reach ground level together or perish. Loaded with a bad ass attitude, guns, axes and extremely creative hand-to-hand combat sequences that project the fears and paranoia that are the fighting forces behind the need to survive, when caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Holy FUCK! The Horde is kick ass! Watch it! Can I leave it at that?

I was at the point where I thought I’d seen most of the really good ones, or bad ones considering I like ’em that way. Somehow, this one had escaped me.

Who you really need to keep an eye on is Claude Perron. This lady is the most kick ass of all the characters. Particularly watch for a fight scene between her and a woman zombie. I was screaming my approval at the screen. I loved her so much that I added her to my daily highlighted Women in Horror Month Tweets.

The Horde has a darkness to it that I loved. It also had quite a few hunky and hot French men. Let’s just say nothing could distract me from watching. But seriously, the violence in this movie is believable to a disturbing level.

Make sure you watch the 2009 version, just in case you hadn’t noticed me highlighting the year. You’ll love it as much as me! This one is being added to my best of the best list.

My Rating: 5 out of 5

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Published on February 07, 2017 03:00

January 31, 2017

This week I’m reviewing The Gift, not so much a horror movie as a psychological thriller, but equally disturbing a movie. Here’s what it’s about:

“Simon and Robyn are a young married couple whose life is going just as planned until a chance encounter with an acquaintance from Simon’s high school sends their world into a harrowing tailspin. Simon doesn’t recognize Gordo at first, but after a series of uninvited encounters and mysterious gifts prove troubling, a horrifying secret from the past is uncovered after more than 20 years. As Robyn learns the unsettling truth about what happened between Simon and Gordo, she starts to question: how well do we really know the people closest to us, and are past bygones ever really bygones?”

Good movie. Really good movie. When I said disturbing earlier it was thanks to Joel Edgerton’s performance as the creepy Gordo. By the way, he also wrote and directed this film. My guess is he’s inspired by Alfred Hitchcock because this film has an eerie twist and turn feeling about it as does Hitchcock’s films. Edgerton is someone to seriously watch.

I don’t want to tell you too much about the movie or you won’t appreciate those many twists and turn. But anyway, bottom line is The Gift focuses on man’s drive to ruin others to somehow feed egotistical needs. We stand by and watch people do this to each other daily, and in films we like to watch it play out to the extreme as it does in this movie. Why we haven’t killed off our own species by now is mind boggling.

WATCH The Gift! I predict you’ll love it too.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Published on January 31, 2017 03:00 • 1 view

January 28, 2017

Howdy all! Every Saturday I share what I’m up to along with things I recommend you check out. Here’s what happened this week.

Upcoming Events

February 6th WiHM Getting to Know You: I’ll be participating in a Women in Horror Month blog post on the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Blog on the 6th of the month. This blog post includes female members who are horror writers talking about our chosen genre.

February 20-24 WiHM Blog Talks: I’d like to remind everyone about the Women in Horror Month event I’m hosting the last full week of February. The talks feature creative women in the horror genre talking about horrific topics and their favorite peers. It’s a shared blog event where you can respond the 5 topics and be featured in blogs up to 5 times during the event. CLICK HERE for all the details on how to join, or CLICK HERE to volunteer your blog or be featured in a blog.

Other Events You Should Know About

28 Days of Black Women in Horror History: Eden Royce and Ashlee Blackwell of Graveyard Shift Sisters are collaborating on this project. From Eden’s blog, “Each day in February, both Ashlee and I will post a brief bio, photo, and links to these horror sisters. Ashlee will focus on television and film on the Graveyard Shift Sisters site, while I focus on novels, short stories, and poetry here on my blog The Dark Geisha.” I’m looking forward to reading their posts and learning about a bunch of new ladies in horror. MORE INFO

The Movies

This week’s review was remembering the movie Kiss of the Tarantula.

This is a weird one more than a horrific one. While the spiders are supposed to be the thing that scares us, the lead actress is way creepier. Predictable character, constantly getting herself in situations, mostly sexual, that warrant the spider attacks she delivers. READ MORE


In an effort to read more fiction in 2017, I features a novel, anthology, or short story I’ve enjoyed over the past week. Below is this week’s read:

Flash Prequel to Snow White by Carole Gill

Check out this fun flash fiction story that’s just what the title says, a prequel to Snow White from the evil step mother’s perspective. I’ve always thought it would be fun to write some fairy tales that turn the good princesses into the bad ones, and this story delivers such a twist. It’s dark comedy you’ll enjoy. READ IT

This Week’s Release of The Courier

Chapter 10 of Warrant for Damnation was released on WattPad yesterday. Some crazy things happen this week you don’t want to miss, including Barry gets his first look at his fallen angel father’s temper.CLICK HERE to read it from the beginning or GOT TO chapter 10.

How to Help Me This Week

Every week, I end the post nicely begging you to help promote my work. Here’s this week’s request:

Follow my Amazon author page. CLICK HERE to follow me.

Thank you and have a GREAT week!

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Published on January 28, 2017 03:00

January 27, 2017

Part 10 of Warrant for Damnation is available to read on WattPad. This week you’ll find out what Gita did that sent Barry and Pete racing back to the boarding house. Enjoy!

Go to part 10 or start reading below.

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Published on January 27, 2017 12:48