Wednesday, January 6, 2021

New Year, New Books! (#IWSG January 2021)

Happy 2021! It won't solve all your problems, but at least we can start with a more optimistic outlook, right?

You've probably already read the news by now: My story has been chosen for the IWSG 2020 Anthology! Pretty crazy, right? This will be my third time appearing in the anthology. I want to thank Alex, the folks at Dancing Lemur Press and all the judges for putting up with my ridiculous stories time and time again. And congratulations to all of my fellow contributors!

Dark Matter: Artificial

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Discover dark matter’s secrets…

What is an AI’s true role? Will bumbling siblings find their way home from deep space? Dark matter is judging us—are we worthy of existence? Would you step through a portal into another reality? Can the discoverer of dark matter uncover its secrets?

Ten authors explore dark matter, unravelling its secrets and revealing its mysterious nature. Featuring the talents of Stephanie Espinoza Villamor, C.D. Gallant-King, Tara Tyler, Mark Alpert, Olga Goldim, Steph Wolmarans, Charles Kowalski, Kim Mannix, Elizabeth Mueller, and Deniz Bevan.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents, authors, and editors, these ten tales will take readers on a journey across time and space. Prepare for ignition!

Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database; articles; monthly blog posting; Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram groups; #IWSGPit, and a newsletter.

Release date: May 4, 2021
Print ISBN 9781939844828 $14.95
EBook ISBN 9781939844835 $4.99
Science Fiction: Collections & Anthologies (FIC028040) / Space Exploration (FIC028130) / Genetic Engineering (FIC028110)
186 pages

Table of Contents
Artificial - Stephanie Espinoza Villamor
Space Folds and Broomsticks - C.D. Gallant-King
Rift – Kim Mannix
The Utten Mission – Steph Wolmarans
Sentient – Tara Tyler
One to Another – Deniz Bevan
Resident Alien - Charles Kowalski
Nano Pursuit – Olga Goldim
Resurgence – Elizabeth Mueller
Vera’s Last Voyage – Mark Alpert

For more info on the anthology, check out the IWSG website.


In other news, I also have a story in another anthology released this week:

Mardi Gras Mysteries is an anthology of Mardi Gras-themed crime and mystery tales, edited by Sarah E. Glenn and published by Mystery & Horror, Inc. It's available in paperback and for Kindle from Amazon.

My story features inept gumshoe Gussy Saint, who coincidentally first appeared in another IWSG anthology, Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime, a few years ago. Unlike the first story, Gussy's latest outing is a little, shall we say, racier, as you can see from the opening lines:

I woke up in a brothel and stumbled out of the back room in nothing but my socks and boxer shorts. I expected some hard looks from the ladies and the madam, who did not take kindly to me passing out and taking up one of their beds for the night, and I was ready with a witty retort to put them at ease and call off their goon, a huge Polynesian man named Leakee.

I was not expecting to be surrounded by cops, and thus found myself for perhaps the first time in my life at a loss for words. My quip about polishing the morning wood would probably fall flat on these uncultured, humorless swine...

Not all of the stories are as odd or racy as mine (they actually asked me to tone it down a bit), so there should be plenty in there for mystery of lovers of all kinds. Even if you're not into bumbling, foul-mouthed detectives chasing women with polymastia.

So, 2021 is starting off pretty well for me, writing-wise. Then again, we're less than a week in, so there's still plenty of time to go downhill.

How's your New Year going?

Hugs & Kisses,

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Mardi Gras Mysteries! New Story and Cover Reveal

Just wanted to drop a quick line today to let you all in on some news: I will have a story appearing early in 2021 in the MARDI GRAS MYSTERIES anthology, from Mystery & Horror, LLC!

These are the same fine folks who publish Strangely Funny, where my stories have appeared multiple times. I decided to try my hand at some mystery this time, instead of comic horror, which is always fun. For those interested, this new story will follow Augustine "Gussy" Saint, the protagonist of my story that appeared in Dancing Lemur Press' Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime anthology a few years ago. Gussy is a hard-boiled detective (well hard, anyway, and his detective license is under review by the state) from the mean streets of Mount Vernon, Washington. In this go-around, Gussy finds himself in New Orleans during Mardi Gras and is once again thrust into the middle of a mystery he didn't ask for and has no idea how to solve. Hilarity, sex and mayhem ensues. 

I will of course have more details closer to the release date, which is scheduled to be just in time for Mardi Gras. It looks to be a fun one!

Hope everyone is staying safe and getting ready for the holiday season. Be nice to each other, okay?

Hugs & Kisses,

A previous anthology, available right here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Writing Time (#IWSG December 2020)

Mother of god, is this year still going on?

I wrote a lot for the optional December question, so I'm just going to go with that.

December IWSG Question:
Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?

Heck, yeah. November and December are usually my busiest writing months. Why? Because I nearly always write a book/story to give as a present to some of my friends/family.

This is one of my favourites. It's Book 3 in a 5-book series, though, so it doesn't make a lot of sense by itself.

I started this tradition back in 2004 when I wrote a book for my wife as a Christmas gift. I wrote something like 60,000 words in 17 days. I was not used to being crouched over my computer so long (I'm a champ at it now) and I ended up needing to get physio on my shoulder in the New Year. I kept it up, with either novels or stories nearly every Christmas since. In 16 years I've written I believe 8 novels, 12 short stories and 3 children's books (the children's books are the biggest pain because they're illustrated). This does not include any other homemade projects I make as gifts (I'm also known for board games and repaints of Christmas village houses as whorehouses), or any other writing I'm doing at the time. So on top of regular life, work and holiday responsibilities, Christmas is usually a crazy stressful time for me.

Sometimes I need a reminder to wear pants, too.

The best part, and the reason I don't know if I can call this writing "productive," is that NONE of those books or stories have been released publicly. A couple of them I've re-worked with the intention of hopefully sharing/selling, but so far only my closest family members and a handful of friends have actually read them. It is very much a labour of love for a very small audience. Most of my relatives have no idea how much work goes into them. My kids don't get it all, which is hilarious. I think they assume everyone's fathers write books. In Grade 1, my son brought one of my kids books to class for show & tell. His teacher loved it and asked if she could get a copy, but my son said he only had one so I would have to write her another one. 

It was the bath water book, by the way.

Yesterday I sent off this year's books to the printers (unsolicited plug - is great for this) and it felt like a large weight was lifted of my shoulders. One thing of my list. Now I just have to wait to see if the other presents I ordered actually come in on time. 

This was last year's book, for my kids and nieces. It was the second-most-time-consuming book I've ever written. Only surpassed by this year's book.  

So anyway, that's my rant(?) about what I do at Christmas time. How about you? When do you write a lot? Or what fun(?) stuff do you do for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/(Insert Holiday of Choice)?
Happy Holidays to all! 
Hugs & Kisses,

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

New Release: Happy Ghoulidays by Shannon Lawrence

Happy Ghoulidays!

Friend of the Blog, Shannon Lawrence, has a new book coming out in just a few short days, and it looks like a doozy. It's a collection of spooky tales for the holidays, which is the best kind of holiday stories.

She also asked me to share some of my family's weird holiday traditions, which I originally jumped at, then realized my family's traditions aren't that weird. Odd, maybe, but not that weird.

🎄My paternal grandmother always served salt fish and raisin bread for dinner on Christmas Eve. I don't really know why; fish and raisin bread doesn't exactly scream "Christmas." I suspect it started because they had a big family and it was inexpensive, but she kept doing it, and inviting all the family over, every Christmas Eve until she passed away. My parents have since taken over the tradition, so if you're on the West Coast of Newfoundland and have a hankering for salt fish and raisin toast on December 24th, I've got a hook-up for you.

🎄We try to do a Secret Santa Gift exchange every year with my in-laws (my wife's parents, sister & husband). I say "try" because we usually do some sort of theme, and my wife's parents seem to have trouble grasping this. One year we were doing funny "gag" gifts and my mother-in-law brought a generic Santa Claus decoration, which was neither funny nor any kind of joke. Then there was the time we were supposed to buy our own favourite book to share with someone else, and they bought new books they knew each other wanted to read.

So, yeah. Kind of a disappointment. But you know what isn't a disappointment? Shannon Lawrence's new book! 

HAPPY GHOULIDAYS by Shannon Lawrence

The holidays can be a stressful time, as we all know, but I'm hoping to lighten up this winter season with a little holiday horror.

Maybe "lighten up" isn't the right term.

The first story begins the winter holidays with Thanksgiving, with stories representing Christmas, Hanukah, Hogmanay (the New Year), Yule, Groundhog Day, and, finally, Valentine's Day. From serious horror to tongue-in-cheek. Read them all at once or save them for their holidays. Or both! 

Release day is November 20, which also happens to be my birthday! Just in time for Thanksgiving week. You can pre-order the Kindle version, with other versions, including paperback, available on release day.

Family time can lead to murder and mayhem, especially during the holidays. A turkey with a tale to tell, elves under attack, sorority sisters putting on a killer party, a woman's desperation to save her family, and a stranger ringing in the New Year. These and other tales of woe await you beneath the mistletoe.

Be careful who you offer a kiss. It may be your last.

Amazon pre-order link:

A fan of all things fantastical and frightening, Shannon Lawrence writes in her dungeon when her minions allow, often accompanied by her familiars. She writes primarily horror and fantasy. Her stories can be found in several anthologies and magazines, and her collections, Blue Sludge Blues & Other Abominations and Bruised Souls & Other Torments, are available in stores. You can also find her as a co-host of the podcast “Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem.” When she's not writing, she's hiking through the wilds of Colorado and photographing her magnificent surroundings. Though she often misses the Oregon coast, the majestic and rugged Rockies are a sight she could never part with. Besides, in Colorado there's always a place to hide a body or birth a monster. What more could she ask for? 

Find her:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads | Instagram

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The Hose Beast Continues to Rumble On (#IWSG November 2020)

Psycho Hose Beast From Outer Space has been live for just over a month. I am pleased to say that it has been pretty successful so far.

Last month I probably seemed a little disappointed with the sales, but that was a premature. While Hose Beast didn't take off to be a massive success like we all secretly hope our books will be, it did stay very consistent all through the month. So much so that it has already surpassed what my last book, Hell Comes to Hogtown, sold in its entire first year. It's also rapidly approaching what my debut, Ten Thousand Days, did was well.

There's been other successes as well. The book peaked at #4 on the Amazon Canada Horror Comedy/Parody Bestseller list, climbing ahead of books by Chuck Palahniuk, Christopher Moore, David Wong and Joe Hill. It has officially gotten more reviews on Amazon than any of my previous books (which is only 10, but still). It is also now available for purchase at 2 different book stores in my home town. 

This may not seem like a big deal for some of you big time book slingers, but I thought it was pretty neat.

Speaking of my home town, I have to give a shout-out to my mom. She has been a HUGE cheerleader and sales rep for the new book. She never seemed super-enthusiastic about the previous books (probably because off all the sex, cuss words and violence), but she has jumped into this one gung-ho. She's the one who brought them down to the local bookstores without me even asking, and she's been going through everyone she knows bugging them to buy a copy. I don't have an exact count from here yet, but I suspect if I add her numbers to my total I will have already surpassed Ten Thousand Days. She's already gone through the first box of books I sent her and has already sold half the next one even before it arrived.

So what do I have to be insecure about? Well, beside the looming threat of societal collapse and civil war in the country next door? I have to write another goddamn book. I actually got a message from my uncle yesterday, someone who I haven't spoken to in years, telling me he loved the book and asked when the sequel was coming out. The last book only came out a month ago! It took me four years! (well, not exactly, but it has been four years since my last release) Now I already need to be thinking about the next one???

Go ahead. BUY THE BOOK and then bug me to write another one. You know you want to.

These are good problems to have, I know. And I am working on it. Progress has been slow with back-to-school and other projects getting in the way, but I will get there. I figure I have a year, right? I haven't committed to anything (I have timelines in my head, but there's no way in hell I'm admitting to them). 

And yes, I know the world is insane right now. I'm keeping busy with writing and book promotion to keep me from losing my mind. How was your October?

Hugs & Kisses,

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

There's A Hose Beast On the Loose (#IWSG October 2020)

PSYCHO HOSE BEAST FROM OUTER SPACE has been live for just over a week. It's my third full-length, self-published novel, and the first one I've put out in over four years. I had the release built up a lot in my head, and I put a lot of work into the pre-launch, a lot more than I've put into previous books. So how is it going?

There certainly is a lot of "buzz." I've gotten lots of positive comments and feedback on social media, including thousands of views for my cheesy little video promo (big thanks to 80s Summer Camp for the help spreading that!):

Probably the best sign of success is that I've already received a bunch of reviews on Goodreads and Amazon (check it out!), all of which are glowing and positive. That's the result of many emails sent to many, many people in the pre-release period. There's still a few more I hope to see in the coming weeks, too.

Thank you SO MUCH to anyone reading this who has already taken the time to write a review. Your help and support is amazing.

Sales have been... okay. Better than HELL COMES TO HOGTOWN, but no where near as good as my first book, TEN THOUSAND DAYS, and certainly not commensurate to the amount of work and money I put into marketing (did I mention Amazon and Facebook ads? Because I did those too). I am still convinced that when I released my first book, I had a ton of friends and family jump on the bandwagon to support, only to discover that first book wasn't very good. Now I've burned all those readers and I'm having a heck of a time winning them back, even though I've improved tremendously since then (not to mention I've completely re-written and revised that first book, too!)

So it's been a roller coaster ride, for sure. I'm still constantly contacting people, looking for reviews. I'm planning and tweaking advertising, looking at some local bookstores back home to see if they'll carry the book, etc. I've been so busy I've had to put writing book two on hold for now, but that will come soon enough. Not to mention all the "real life" stuff going on, like getting the kids used to online school, and the day job, and the ever-present threat of the world falling apart at any moment. But hey, we still gotta sell books, right?

So how was your month?

Hugs & kisses,

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

GUEST POST: Frozen Crimes by Chrys Fey

Hi y'all!

Today I'm helping friend of the blog CHRYS FEY share her brand new book, FROZEN CRIMES, the latest volume in the Disaster Crimes series. Chrys always has a fun prompt to go with her blog hops, so read my answer below and then check out her latest awesome offering!

Frozen Crimes Blog Hop Prompt: Whom would you want to be stuck with during a blizzard, and what would you do?

My Answer: Definitely my parents. Not because I want to spend time with them or anything (which I supposed I also do), but because they have the most well-stocked freezer and pantry of anyone I know. When the pandemic hit earlier this year and getting food and supplies was difficult, they literally just said "What odds?" and put their feet up and relaxed. They always have enough canned goods, preserves, frozen meat and toilet paper to last them for MONTHS. Not to mention my dad makes his own wine and usually has I think it's just a by-product of growing up in Newfoundland - a blizzard or storm is a possibility at any time, so you always need to be prepared.

Hop around to the other participants to read their answers: Frozen Crimes Blog Hop


When disasters strike around every corner, is it possible to have a happily-ever-after?

BLURB: Beth and Donovan are expecting their first child. Life couldn’t get any better…until a stalker makes his presence known. This person sends disturbing messages and unsettling items, but it isn’t long before his menacing goes too far.

Hoping for a peaceful Christmas, Donovan takes Beth to Michigan. Days into their trip, a winter storm named Nemesis moves in with the goal of burying the state. Snowdrifts surround their house, and the temperature drops below freezing.

Except, the storm isn’t the only nemesis they must face. Everyone’s lives are at stake—especially that of their unborn child. Will they survive, or will they become a frozen crime?

BUY LINKS: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes



The crunch of the shovel pounding into the snow and ice filled his ears. It was all he could hear. The rest of the street was silent beneath its wintry blanket. Breathing was difficult with the icy air clogging his lungs. His nose burned. His throat was dry and on fire. But he ignored it, focusing on his task.

Crack, crack, crack.

He jabbed the shovel into a hunk of snow. On the third hit, it shattered into several pieces. He scooped them up and flung them to the side. He surveyed what remained. There was one big ball in the middle of the path that needed to be dealt with next. He moved over to it and struck it. That one impact had it severing in two. He was about to hit it again when something crashed into the back of his head.

Explosions of white light danced over his vision. Pain enveloped his skull. 

The shovel slipped from his fingers. Blackness cloaked his mind, coaxing him into its depths.

Beth. Her name was a whisper in his head, as if his thoughts were being sucked into a wormhole.

His legs collapsed under his weight.

Cold. It seeped into him, consuming him. And then his consciousness fled down that same void that ate his thoughts.




Prizes: 4 eBooks (Disaster Crimes 1-4: Hurricane Crimes, Seismic Crimes, Tsunami Crimes, Flaming Crimes) + Girl Boss Magnets (4), Inflatable Cup Holder (1), Adventure Fuel To-Go Cups (2), Anchor Fashion Scarf (1), Mermaid Nail Clippers (2), Citrus and Sea Salt Scented Candle (1), Snowflake Handmade Bookmark (1), Insulated Cooler Bag (1)

Eligibility: International

Number of Winners: One

Giveaway Ends: October 30, 2020 12:00am EST


a Rafflecopter giveaway


To get the exclusive prequel to the Disaster Crimes series, sign up for Chrys’ newsletter. By signing up, you agree to receive Chrys Fey’s newsletter. After you confirm subscription, you will receive an email (so check your inbox and spam folder) with directions on where to snag your eBook copy of THE CRIME BEFORE THE STORM.

Click here to sign up and get The Crime Before the Storm FREE!



Chrys Fey is author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept that blends disasters, crimes, and romance. She runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Book Club on Goodreads and edits for Dancing Lemur Press.

Author Links:

Website / Blog / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon

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