halloween treat


It’s the season of tenebrous nights, ghost stories, fiery-eyed pumpkins and shadows, perfect for a little creepy reading while the ululating song of the children of the night raises shivers along your spine. My horror short story anthology ebook, Grave Shadows, is FREE until midnight November 4 (PST).

Happy Halloween!

Smashwords Sale


The Alabama spring is heating up into summer, and the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale has landed! Stock up on beach reading and give yourself the chills with a copy of my horror anthology, Grave Shadows, on sale at 50% off, enter coupon code SSW50.

Four tales of fears, desires, regrets–the grave shadows of the human psyche. A young man’s regret leads to disaster; a teen wishes he could change the past; a wife babies her husband in the worst way; and a fearful husband’s desperation takes a grave twist.

Here’s the link: https://tinyurl.com/yadth3pu

The Smashwords annual sale is site-wide with hundreds of great reads at 25%, 50%, and 75% off and some are free as well, from July 1-July 31 only.



almost time

The Death of the Gravedigger_Schwabe

Peeked out the back door this morning. The hand-shaped leaves of the fig tree are yellowing, the tree itself turning skeletal as autumn slides toward winter. A leaf fell from the pecan tree. A lone butterfly rode the cool air in the bright autumn sunlight. One more day to Nanowrimo! My goal is to write 50,000 new words on A Fall of Diamonds, which should bring the manuscript to 80,000 words and finish it. I’m not much of a planner, but I’ve run into the wall so many times pantsing that I’m afraid to start something that’s going to go nowhere. So this year I spent considerable time outlining the story and doing story notes. My usual trepidation has faded, the outline is done,  and I feel ready to go! I know A Fall of Diamonds from beginning to end. I’ve got my major plot points in hand and my characters are primed for story. I know I’ll hit some bumps, but I should be able to write through them.

It’s nice to have a breather before the start of Nano, but I’m not sitting back waiting. I’m doing the second draft of a science fiction story I finished several weeks ago, and today I’ll be working my way through another page of it, maybe two. I’m taking my time with it.

In November, after I do my Nano pages, I may fool around with Shadow Walk–my zombie novel. It’s not about zombies; it just won’t stay dead. Once again, for the umpteenth time in as many years, it’s shuffling through my mind, urging me to do something with it.

On pre-order now at Amazon is Michelle Knowlden’s latest, cleverly titled, Egrets, I’ve Had A Few, the second book in her Deluded Detective series. Reserve your copy and get the first book free!

And, since it’s the spooky time of the year, I recommend my anthology, Grave Shadowsfive chilly tales of the dark side, on sale at Amazon.

Happy reading!


a slow rush


Of all my favorite literary characters, I think Jay Gatsby is the most tragic. A man who believed he could relive the past, and ended dead in the swimming pool of his magnificent, over-wrought mansion, shot fatally over a death he didn’t commit. The Great Gatsby has always been a favorite novel of mine. The movies have disappointed me, except I enjoyed the most recent–finding Cary Mulligan’s performance as Daisy the first non-vapid characterization I’ve seen. She brought Daisy to life like none before her. At least this version, with its near-manic kaleidoscope of music, dance, and wild partying, held my interest. I’ve read the novel four times over the years. It’s final sentence, one of my favorites: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back seamlessly into the past.”

Last night, the predawn hours really, the wind blew fiercely, a loud hiss rushing through the trees, bending them as if they were made of rubber. It scrubbed the sky clean, revealing rarely seen tiny points of light glimmering in the dark reaches high above. This morning the wind caresses–trees sway gently back and forth like lovers wrapped in a slow dance.

Today is Writing Saturday with Michelle. I’m preparing a lunch of broiled lobster with clarified butter and lemon; Mediterranean lentil salad; and roasted squash. She’s bringing bread and dessert. I may work on Sleight of Hand or do NANO prep for this year’s November novel.  By the way, Michelle interviewed me for the October post of First Friday Breakfast with an Author, michelleknowldenwrites. It was nice of her to ask and fun for me to do. My publications, Grave Shadows, an anthology of disturbing dark fantasy stories, and my latest, The Ghost Jewel, a sword and sorcery tale, are featured. It’s a good day for spooky and fantastical reading. Thanks, Michelle!