Author Archive

Two from Crystal Connor

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2015 by David Watson


Crystal Conner the Author of  The Darkness and In The Foothills of Mt. Empyreal The End is Now is offering our readers a free copy of each book. If you would like a copy of one of these two books, be one of the first two people to email me at Now on to our reviews:

10099991Artemisia has devoted her life to science, alchemy and jewelry. Family wasn’t as important to her as trying to obtain forbidden knowledge. She is a founding member of The Skyward Group which is a team of scientists working on top-secret projects. Artemisia’s main goal is to learn how god thinks and play god herself. There is another woman like her named Inanna. Inanna is a powerful witch who also has everything she wants and desires to be more god like. The one thing that neither has is a child.

This brings us to Adam, a three-month old boy who is being kept in a cage in a science lab. The doctors won’t get close to him because he’s dangerous. Alex has power but he doesn’t understand it and what he wants more than anything is to be loved.  Inanna and Artemisia have their eyes set on the boy and want to raise him in their own image. Only one can be his mother while the other will suffer at the hands of both mother and child.

The Darkness by Crystal Connor is the first book in The Spectrum Series and it was hard to put down. This isn’t a story of good versus evil, it’s the story of  forbidden magic versus forbidden science. It’s also a study on what happens when you become to powerful and have too much forbidden knowledge. I admire Crystal’s ability to make you love a character and hate them at the same time. The story here takes place over several years and we get to watch Adam go from a child to an adult. We see what destruction he causes when he can’t get what he wants, but we also see a boy who tries desperately to save the people he loves when they are in danger and how bad he feels when he hurts someone he loves.

You also see the good and bad in Inanna. You feel bad for her when her mother is taken away and she cries but then when she takes her vengeance on a group of people, you see that maybe this isn’t a person you should show pity for. One of my favorite scenes in the book has Inanna summoning warlocks and demons in order to do a protection spell for Adam. As she does this, one of the demons says that when she dies there will be no end to her suffering. Inanna’s reaction to this is indifference. I loved this scene because she was using evil and sacrificing herself to protect someone she loved. Inanna knows what she wants and nothing will stop her from having it.

What makes The Darkness interesting is that there are no heroes and villains, everyone is a shade of grey. The characters are complex, at times both Artemisia and Inanna show that they have a dark side but they also both show that they have a compassionate nature. The boy Alex also shows a lot of depth such as at one point he takes his anger out on one of the doctors in the lab but then another time we see him cry as another doctor hugs him for the first time. The characters are so fascinating you don’t see any of them as good or evil, they’re just people. Rather then choose sides I found myself compelled to just sit back and enjoy the ride. The way their personalities are, you’re never sure who to root for, which made for an unpredictable story.

22077604In The Foothills of Mt. Empyreal The End is Now  is a collaboration between Crystal Connor and Lori Titus and is quite simply about people in a small town called Fates Keep dealing with the apocalypse. This book starts with a bang and doesn’t let up. We have angels, demons, wolves, a witch and lots of people hoping to survive. While the story is deceptively simple, there are a lot of characters and viewpoints to keep track of.

One way I would describe The End is Now is as ambitious. The way the book is written is different than anything I’ve read, there are no main character but it has several characters that are important and there is no resting point in the action. This book is about action and chaos in a war between angels and demons.  You have to stick with this book in order to get into it because it moves fast. What starts as a simple action driven apocalypse tale becomes a complex story about good versus evil and the choices we make.

While reading this one I found myself wondering what the writing process must have been like, because unless you have a program its hard to keep it all straight. My favorite part of the book was the humans, who despite the hopelessness of their situation still do what they can to survive.  This book is an original take on the apocalypse fiction genre that is so popular right now. There is a lot going on in this book and the story moves along at the speed of a freight train and doesn’t stop until the end.

An Interview with Jaq Hawkins

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2015 by David Watson

Our featured author for episode 119 of the podcast is Jaq Hawkins. Jaq has written several non fiction and fiction books, recently Jaq told us a little about her writing:

When did you start writing?

Well, it depends on where you want to start counting. I started my first autobiography at age 6, in pencil on notepaper. I wrote short stories through high school and decided then that I wanted to be a writer. I started getting non-fiction (occult) books published in 1996, but finished my first novel in 2005, which was Dance of the Goblins.

What do you like to write about?

newgoblinI’ve always been a Fantasy reader (Traditinal, not Romance) and love making up imaginary worlds or adaptations of the real world. Like in The Wake of the Dragon, my Steampunk novel. Most of it is based in a properly researched Victorian world, but with airships.

Who are some of your influences?

Marion Zimmer Bradley, Roger Zelazny, Anne McCaffrey and Mary Stewart stand out, although I have great admiration for Stephen King as well.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?13601727

Horror was a natural progression from Fantasy that kept getting darker. As someone who has studied and written about the occult, the scope for extrapolating the Fantasy worlds into scary landscapes has a natural appeal. I lean towards entities like ghosts and before they got sparkly, vampires and werewolves in my tastes for Horror. I’ve enjoyed films made from Lovecraftian stories, especially those with unseen creatures that become visible under special conditions. As a child I loved films and stories with odd creatures, like in From Hell It Came, which has a tree-like monster. My brother and I watched that film every time it came on television.

Could you tell us what inspired the Goblin series you have written?

What inspired the story was a polical situation, which has a certain irony because I hate politics. W. Bush was about to get elected for the second time in the U.S. and I had been 13635472in contact with various Anarchist groups and tried to stir a protest movement, only to find that most of these groups were very limited in their smaller agendas. The whole power thing between politicians and mini-oligarchys of protest groups kind of culminated in a line that went through my head, “We are not like you. We do not glory in having power over our own kind, or imaging that we do.”

What are some of the other books you have out?

Dance of the Goblins turned into a series and was followed by Demoniac Dance and Power of the Dance. I’ve also released a combined edition with the full Trilogy. The Wake of the Dragon is my Steampunk book, which will be followed by more in the genre, but I have other projects to finish first.

What will you be reading for episode 119 of the podcast?

An excerpt from Chapter Four of Dance of the Goblins. Writing this chapter is where I learned that I rather like creating dark imagery. I expect that future books will explore this sort of thing further.

Where can you we find you online?

My fiction website is The occult books are on
Social networks are:



Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on August 15, 2015 by David Watson

26031463When people have something horrible happen in their past they often turn to therapy to help cope with the trauma. Dreamweavers Inc. is on the cutting edge of therapeutic research and is using lucid dreaming techniques with neuro-stimulation to teach patients how to control their dreams and conquer their personal demons. Some of Dreamweaver’s patients include Toni who is being stalked by an abusive ex husband and Travis who can’t get over the death of his wife and son. The two meet and fall in love and dream therapy seems to be helping with their problems.

Another patient at Dreamweavers is Nick, a man who use to be loved by women but whose face is now scarred after an auto accident. Nick feels that the world has wronged him and is using his dreams to kill anyone who has a better life then he does. Seeing how happy Toni and Travis are, Nick decides to make them his next victims.  The two new lovers have to enter the dreamscape and stop Nick in a dream world where anything can happen. Dreamweavers by Kerry Alan Denney is a novel that looks at the world in a unique way.

I loved how Kerry describes his characters and how they feel. For example in the beginning of the book we get to know the character of Travis and Kerry gives us some subtle hints of how Travis feels about the world around him. The first thing we see is Travis performing a selfless act in saving some children who are drowning. We then see him on the beach alone with his only companion being his faithful dog. We then have a reporter come up to him and ask him about saving the kids in the water. When the reporter asks for an interview she calls him sir and Travis thinks to himself when did I go from being buddy and dude to being sir. In this subtle moment you realize who Travis is, he is a lonely man who is sad that he is getting older and is not sure of his place in the world.

Kerry also does a great job in making the villan in the story, Nick  a complex character. Nick may be evil but it’s how he sees the world that makes him interesting. His face was scarred from performing a selfless act, he was trying to save his aunt from a burning car and it left him damaged in more than one way. What’s interesting about him is that Nick sees himself as a freak due to his scars and this causes him to act evil. The thing is while he sees himself as a freak, the rest of the world doesn’t see him as looking that bad. Nick doesn’t realize this, he perceives himself as a twisted freak and acts that way.

Dreamweavers is all about analysing how you see the world and asking yourself is the way I look at the world reality or is how I see it a false perception. A doctor at Dreamweavers Inc. tells her patients while they dream to constantly question if what they are seeing is reality. I loved this concept and found it as something you can apply to your every day life. Dreamweavers is a psychological horror story and philosophy book wrapped up in one and one fun thrill ride.

Dance Of The Goblins

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on August 15, 2015 by David Watson

newgoblinEvery 200,000 years the earth shifts on its axis destroying most life on the planet, but there are always survivors and those survivors go on to start a new society with new religions and some life forms evolve into something else. In the caverns away from the unpredictable and dangerous humans are the goblins who live a simple spiritual life keeping in harmony with the earth.

We also have small communities of humans who have started a different way of life. One group lives life following a strict religion while another group isn’t as strict but still holds on to some superstitious beliefs. One thing they both have in common is a fear of what they don’t understand and when a human wanders into one of the caverns where the goblins dwell, a series of events begins that could lead to war between goblins and humans.

Dance Of The Goblins by Jaq D Hawkins is a fascinating novel which builds a fantasy world where a lot of the beliefs mirror our own. What I like most about this book was how even after society collapses new societies will begin with the same prejudice and fear of what they don’t understand as we have. Three different societies are presented in this book, and they all look at the other groups as being beneath them. The interesting part is hearing what each group thinks of the other and then seeing how that group really is. Even the goblins who are presented as being in tune with the earth have prejudices against the humans that are incorrect and we see in the book how each society has their flaws. Dance Of The Goblins is like a sociology text-book disguised as a fantasy novel.

My favorite character in this book was a female goblin named Talla. Talla uses magic to disguise herself as a beautiful human woman in distress to distract some humans who are getting to close to the goblin’s layer. Thinking she is in danger the humans take Talla to their community and we hear Talla’s thoughts on human society as well as what the humans think of her. In one moment that I found hilarious, one of the humans takes Talla into a bedroom wanting to force himself on her. At this point Talla is curious what sex with a human would be like and is unafraid. Her reaction scares the human who runs out of the room thinking she is a succubus. I loved how when the human doesn’t get the fearful reaction that he wants from the woman, he labels her as evil rather than seeing the act that he was about to perform as evil.

My only problem with Dance Of The Goblins was that it spent so much time describing the world in which the story takes place that the story itself seems unimportant. I found myself being bored with the story but I loved how the goblin and human societies were described. This book may be light on action but it makes up for it in its attention to detail on how each society works. Jaq D. Hawkins has created a realistic fantasy world and an excellent dark fantasy novel. This is the first book in a trilogy and it will be interesting to see how the goblin’s world changes in future installments.

An Interview with Mercedes Yardley

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on August 6, 2015 by David Watson

Mercedes M. Yardley is our featured author for episode 118 of the Horror Addicts podcast. Mercedes has written several essays, short stories, poems and novels. She said her writing specializes in the dark and beautiful. Recently Mercedes answered a few questions about her writing for us:

When did you start writing?

Beautiful_Sorrows_-_Mercedes_M._YardleyMMY: I’ve always been writing. I was writing and reading stories aloud to my classmates when I was about eight years old. That’s when I decided I wanted to be a writer. I loved telling stories. I especially loved telling ghost stories and seeing the other children’s eyes widen. There’s something so elegant about darkness.

What do you like to write about?

MMY: I’m a bit schizophrenic in my subject matter and style. I use writing as a way to process, and sometimes I really don’t know how I feel about something until I’ve written about it. Some of my themes include monsters who love and broken people who have shine. Flowers, stars, and water turn up quite a bit. I write about pretty, deadly things.

Who are some of your influences?

MMY: I was heavily influenced by Erma Bombeck and Elizabeth Berg. Erma Bombeck because she was funny and wrote about everyday things. I loved that she made these common experiences fascinating and meaningful. Elizabeth Berg wrote a book called “Pull of the Moon” that had such a feminine style. It was full of mystery and unabashedly womanly. Up until that point, most women I read sounded stereotypically male, so Berg’s work impacted me.

 What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

MMY: I adore the emotion of it. I love that the horror genre can pull fears and thoughts and sorrowspldg out of readers. It’s a safe place to let those anxieties run free and hopefully get them out of the reader’s mind and soul. I think it’s healthy. I also think there’s something that bonds horror lovers together. We just shared this amazing experience that made you feel things. There’s something so personal about that. Being afraid? Catching your breath? That’s what being alive feels like.

What are some of the books you have out?

MMY: My first book was a collection of short stories called Beautiful Sorrows. It’s 27 different tales ranging from sweet to quite dark. I’m also in an anthology called Grimm Mistresses with my darkest work in there, called “Little Dead Red.”  I have a novella called Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, a novel called Nameless (Book 1 of the Bone Angel Trilogy), and Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy. It’s my favorite thing I ever wrote. Unfortunately, Apocalyptic Montessa, Nameless, and Pretty Little Dead Girls are temporarily out of print since the grimmbeginning of July. I split with the publishers, which was a very tough decision. But another publishing house seems interested in acquiring and releasing all three, so they’ll be out again very soon. Meanwhile, all three books are available as audiobooks on Audible, if somebody would like to experience them aurally. The narrators did a wonderful job.

 Publishing is a tricky business and things like this happen. I think the important part is to be happy and keep writing. Writing is one of my biggest sources of joy, and if it isn’t working with one place, it’s time to come at it from a different angle. If I lose the passion to write, then something is drastically wrong and it’s time for change.

What will you be reading for episode 118 of the Horror Addicts podcast?

MMY: I’m so excited for this reading! This is an excerpt from Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy. The setup is that Bryony, the girl, is destined to be murdered, and since Peter, the runner, is a serial killer, he’s delighted to help her out. But then somebody else trespasses on his territory. The scene starts with Peter hiding in the blackberry bushes while Bryony jogs down a popular running trail. Then she begins to scream.

 Where can you we find you online?

MMY: I’m all over the place online! You can find me on my blog at I’m also on Twitter as @mercedesmy, and Facebook under Mercedes M. Yardley. Please stop by and say hi! I’d love that. Thank you so much for the interview! It was great fun.


Posted in News with tags , , , , , on August 1, 2015 by David Watson

cover_ink_454Brian is the creator of a series of popular graphic novels starring a character named the highwayman. The Highwayman is a supernatural being who comes to earth when a person is unjustly killed and his motive is to help the victim get the revenge they desire. Success for Brian came with a price, after being continuously stalked by an obsessive fan, he became a prisoner in his own home.

This all changes though when he is talked into going to a convention and meets a female illustrator named A.J. Hart. A.J. has demons of her own but the two hit it off and decide to collaborate on a project. One day a mysterious bottle of ink arrives on Brian’s doorstep, they use the ink and it starts to bring their creations to life. They now have to stop the creatures they created from destroying everything in their path and bringing on the apocalypse.

First thing I thought when I read the description for Ink by Glenn Benest and Dale Pitman was that it was a great idea for a book.  There is a lot going on in this story, we have a love story between the two artists, we have the highwayman’s story from the graphic novel and an apocalypse story in the real world. There is almost too much going on here, Ink is a mixed bag, the characters are all interesting. This includes Brian’s dog who has a big part in the story, I can’t say I’ve read to many books that focused on the dog’s viewpoint, but this one does.

While I loved the characters the story was slow-moving and the sub plot of the Highwayman didn’t really interest me even though I did like the character. I got the impression while reading the Highwayman’s story that the author just threw it in because it was important to show what kind of book that Brian and A.J was writing. Every time we cut away to the Highwayman I found myself being bored and just wanting to get back to Brian and A.J.’s story. That being said I did enjoy hearing the reasons why Brian created the Highwayman.

The best part of this book is the love story between A.J. and Brian and this is coming from a person who doesn’t like love stories. When you hear what they’ve gone through in their lives you can’t help but root for them and you get to see how the two of them working together makes them better people. There are some great horrifying moments in this book such as when Brian’s obsessed fan sneaks up on him in a dark theater and again in a parking garage. Then what really tops it off so well was when the fan says why she is doing what she is doing.

This book has its share of scary moment but best of all it works as psychological horror by getting into how A.J. and Brian are effected by their stalkers.  One good scene that was in this book that really showed how Brian was affected by his obsessed fan was when we see him making an elaborate meal for two and then find out that no one is joining him and he is eating alone. Another part of this book I loved was when Brian was reading letters from his fans and you see how caring for his fans affects his life. While I have to say I had my issues with Ink, it was pretty good and I look forward to more from these two writers.

An interview with Mike Robinson

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2015 by David Watson

Our featured author for episode 117 of the Horror Addicts podcast is Mike Robinson. Mike has five books available and a blog where he talks about cryptozoology. Recently Mike answered some questions for us about his writing:

When did you start writing?

17839307My hand has been fused to The Quill (my generic name for any writing instrument, be it a pencil, pen or keyboard) since I was about 7 years old. I don’t remember any particular moment when I decided to write — I simply wanted to spin the kind of stories I was reading, or that were being read to me. It was my brain’s way of going to the bathroom. As my first Big Ambition was to be a baseball player, I naturally started writing about sports. Gradually, with the help of authors like Bruce Coville, Mark Twain, R.L. Stine, Gary Paulsen, Stephen King, Michael Crichton, etc., I started transitioning into the realm of the horrific and the fantastic. To this day, I remain lost in that delicious labyrinth.

What do you like to write about?

The horrific and fantastic. (*wink*) Like a lot of my shadow-dwelling peers, I’ve always been fascinated with humankind’s ongoing relationship to, and reconciliation with, the Unknown. The human reaction to a monster, or a strange phenomenon, interests me more than the monster or phenomenon itself (though of course I have Fortean love for those, too). So I often infuse my classifiably “speculative fiction” tales with more “literary fiction” hallmarks such psychological analysis, metaphysical exploration and introspection. Spaceships, vampires and elves are not really my thing. Contemporary people confronting something whose very21795163 existence their minds, and our world, has barely even begun to conceptualize — now, that’s my thing.

What interests you about cryptozoology?

More or less the same thing that interests me about speculative fiction (the umbrella term for all things science fiction, fantasy and horror): the search for and celebration of the Unknown. Whatever its spotty reputation, at its heart cryptozoology recognizes that we still live in a wide, weird cosmos. Globalization may be shrinking the human world, but I’m confident the greater world’s many nooks and crannies still await with untold wonders. I also appreciate cryptozoology’s inherent rejection that the natural sciences have virtually checked off everything “big”, an assertion that has always given off an unpleasant whiff of Ahab-ian arrogance.

What are some of the books you have out?

My first was Skunk Ape Semester, which I call “On the Road” meets “The X-Files”, and which touches on real-life phenomena such as Bigfoot (or, the titular Skunk Ape), Sedona vortices and UFOs, the Dover Demon, the lake monster Champ, etc.
17364665Next came The Green-Eyed Monster, a supernatural murder mystery with a strong philosophical bent, and which shares space with my surreal thriller Negative Space in a non-linear trilogy called The Enigma of Twilight Falls, the final of which,Waking Gods, will be released in January 2016 (I call it a ‘non-linear trilogy’ because the books can theoretically be read in any order).
There’s also The Prince of Earth, a metaphysical horror novel set alternately 20 years ago in the Scottish Highlands and in modern-day Los Angeles, and which I call a cross between H.P. Lovecraft and the films of David Lynch. Last but not least is the sampler platter Too Much Dark Matter, Too Little Gray: A Collection of Weird Fiction, which is a pool of horror, metaphysics, sci-fi, and “other.”
What will you be reading for episode 117 of the podcast?
My short story “High Stakes” from the aforementioned collection, Too Much Dark Matter, Too Little Gray. It’s a Twilight Zone-y meditation on fate and theology, tinged with dark humor and horror.
Where can you we find you online?
You can find me at my website:, as well as my Facebook page: and my Amazon page at My Goodreads page is here:

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