Oct 14

Blogtoberfest – American Gothic Roots Music – Rachel Brooke

RachelBrookeWelcome to today’s Blogtoberfest post!  It’s another dark country/roots song by artist Rachel Brooke.


“Take everything you think you know about country music and throw it out the window. That pop rock crap y’all call country is nothing compared to what Rachel Brooke is laying down. She’s an old soul in the way Hank Williams and Memphis Minnie were, culling together both country and country blues into an album that is easily digestible for anyone who gets scared off by real country music. Etta James once said that the blues and country music were kissing cousins. Rachel Brooke is their love child.” -Chip McCabe




“Producing and playing most of the instruments herself, Rachel demonstrates her immense talent and diversity on this album. (Down in the Barnyard 2011) The song writing is top notch, her voice is eerily old-time-authentic, and the whole album has the ability to whisk you away on the country technicolor lullaby head trip that she has painted during it’s near-hour long set. Rachel is just hitting her stride, but with this release is proving that we should all be keeping our eyes on her.” –Shooter Jennings, ”- Moonrunners”





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Oct 11

Blogtoberfest- Five Halloween Movies that Creeped Me Out




Magic (not the Mike kind)

This is a movie that scared the mess out of me when I was a teenager.  First of all, I am no fan of ventriloquist dummies.  I can’t stand them, they scare the heck out of me.  Give me a movie with a dummy and you’ve got me scared.

A looooooong time ago, back in 1978, there was this movie trailer that ran on television.  Mind you, this was back in the fun 70s where the cars waiting in line for gas would queue in front of my parents’ house.   This trailer wasn’t anything NEAR Silent Hill 3d (which by the way also frightens me with its grotesqueness) but was creepy just in the fact that it featured a dummy.

The movie was directed by Richard Attenborough, the kindly old John Hammond in Jurassic Park. You’ll also find Burgess Meredith, Ann-Margaret, and

Here’s the creepy trailer.



According to Wikipedia (that bastion of totally true facts) : “The trailer for this film was pulled from TV due to calls from parents who claimed that it gave their children nightmares.”  Oh, most certainly.

Seriously, it may not scare you now, but imagine a 10 year old watching this on the late night movie or Chiller Theatre (remember channel 9 Chiller with the six-fingered hand?)

This was Anthony Hopkins before he was Hannibal Lector, a failed magician who is basically going off the deep end.  Yikes!

The movie is on YouTube if you want to watch it.  Warning, it’s 70s cheesy, but the story itself is disturbing.

The Shining

I’ll be honest, I saw the movie “The Shining” before I read the book.  Saw it on channel seven, ABC’s channel here in the New York area.  I’m not sure how old I was, but I must have been in high school because the movie was in the theatre in 1980.

That movie frightens me to this day, even when they show it on the Arts and Entertainment channel.  I’m not sure if

The Overlook Hotel (Timberline Lodge).

The Overlook Hotel (Timberline Lodge).

I’ve never seen the theatrical version and I’m not sure I want to.

The whole idea of being snowbound and trapped while the “strongest” of your party goes slowly mad and there’s nothing you can do about it is frightening enough.  The fact that the HOTEL itself is making it impossible for you to escape from him is even scarier.

The scene that scared me the most was not the famous and too-often-quoted “Here’s Johnny!” scene, but it’s the scene where Jack is menacing Wendy on the stairs and says:

Wendy Torrance: Please! Don’t hurt me!
Jack Torrance: I’m not gonna hurt you.
Wendy Torrance: Stay away from me!
Jack Torrance: Wendy? Darling? Light, of my life. I’m not gonna hurt ya. You didn’t let me finish my sentence. I said, I’m not gonna hurt ya. I’m just going to bash your brains in.
[Wendy gasps]
Jack Torrance: Gonna bash ’em right the fuck in! ha ha ha

The miniseries remake with Steven Weber (from the show WINGS of all places) didn’t half faze me.  I mean, this is the dude from Wings against Jack Nicholson for heaven’s sake.  It’s a no brainer.

The movie was made in 1980, but I’ll say SPOILER ALERT anyway.

The Shining is an example of chillingly great horror movie.  The final shot of Jack Nicholson frozen in the hedge maze…that haunted me for quite a few nights after that!



Laugh if you want at the 70s clothes and kinda bad acting, but this was one of my first scary movies.  Again, I ask, how were they showing this stuff on network TV in the 1970s?  Viewing it now, it’s not as scary as it was (of course).  However, I loved the relationship between the police officer and his wife, especially the conversations they had about “moving out of the city”.  I’ve posted the trailer, and I realize that it ruins one of the scariest moments in the movie, but since the movie is over thirty years old…oh well.






28 Days Later


I had to watch this one at noon.  I simply cannot watch scary movies at night (when you’re supposed to, I know).  It’s just TOO scary for me! Gah, even the trailer scares me now, LOL.



Jeepers Creepers

Before the sequel ruined the Creeper, this….just wow.  I actually watched this at night, like a fool, and was up half the night staring at the closet door that I forgot to close.  I just KNEW the Creeper was in there waiting for me and I was too creeped out to get up and open the door.  Mind you, my husband slept peacefully next to me, oblivious to the fact there was dangers right under his suit jackets.



So what’s YOUR favorite scary movie????



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Oct 09

Blogtoberfest – Recipes – Cinnamon Sugar Spider Webs

witch-brownTotal Time: 40 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 30 min
Yield: about 30 webs


  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus 1/4 cup for brushing
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Jelly spiders, orange or black nonpareils, for garnish, optional


Pour enough oil in a large skillet so it’s about 1 inch deep. Heat oil over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers between 280 to 300 degree F.

Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center; add the milk, egg, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Whisk the dry and wet ingredients together until smooth.

Transfer batter into a large size pastry bag with a # 3 or 4 open tip. Carefully squeeze batter in a circular pattern and then back and forth into the oil, to make a free form spider web-like design, about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Cook until bottoms are golden, about 2 minutes. Using tongs or slotted spoon, turn fritters over and cook until golden on other side, about 1 minute more. Transfer the fritters to paper towels to drain briefly. Brush lightly with maple syrup and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm or at room temperature alone or with the garnishes.

Copyright 2008 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved

*You may use a zip bag instead of a pastry bag. Snip a corner to the appropriate size and you’re good.

Courtesy of the Food Network

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Oct 08

Blogtoberfest – Dark Country Songs – The Legend of Wooley Swamp

Blogtoberfest 2015More Dark Country for your October.  Who doesn’t like a good ghost story? The South carries a rich history of legends and tales of the supernatural and revenge.  Charlie Daniels tells one such tale in this song,  “The Legend of Wooley Swamp.”


“Well, if you ever go back into Wooley Swamp
Well, you better not go at night
There’s things out there in the middle of them woods
That make a strong man die from fright…”

The song is set to a great southern rock groove that sets the scene for a scary story from the swamp.  As always, Charlie’s voice gives you the chills as he narrates the story of a greedy hermit who loves nothing but money and the robbers who try to take his stash.



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Oct 06

Blogtoberfest – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Good Lord.

Good Lord.

In another life, I was an elementary school teacher, which meant nearly every holiday was a par-tay.  Valentine’s Day parties were the most stressful, because, as a teacher, you really had to sit on the “who likes whom” bit and keep it all nice and friendly.  Christmas was nice, but the overabundance of cookies was a little much.  The party that hit the perfect spot (besides the end of school party) was Halloween.

Between the Halloween-themed worksheets, coloring sheets, Halloween parade and Charlie Brown, the whole day was a whirlwind of costumes and candy.  The best part for me, and I hope the class, was when I read from Scary Stories to Read in the Dark.  First of all, take a look at this cover.  It’s the stuff of nightmares, sorry.  I’d keep the book face down on the desk if I had a softcover, and remove the dustjacket if I were using a hardcover that year.



Note.  Yes, I do write about zombies, but only before 2 pm. I’ll tell you a little story – when I was editing Loving Among the Dead, my first zombie book, I stayed up late at night, making sure everything was super scary and ended up giving myself nightmares!  So now, yeah, early afternoon is as far as I”ll go with working, watching or reading scary stuff!

Back to the the main story.  There is a story in the book called “The Big Toe” and it ends with a jump scare.  The story goes like this:  A boy digs in the garden and finds a big toe. He takes it to his father and the father cuts the toe up into three pieces so the family can have something to eat.  Later in the evening, a voice comes ’round saying “Who’s got my toooooooe?  Who’s got my tooooooooe?”



I would walk around the classroom repeating Who’s got my toooooooe? in a spooky voice until I jumped at one child and yell:  “YOU’VE GOT IT!”  The resounding screams, well, now I know a little of how satisfied Alfred Hitchcock felt when audience screamed during the shower scene in Psycho.

So, pick up the book.  There are three of them, but the first one has the best stories and weirdest drawings.  Like this one:



She cut off her nose to….SPIDERFACE!!!


Pleasant dreams!



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Oct 05

Blogtoberfest – Cocktails – Dracula’s Kiss

Nothing says Blogtoberfest, at least on this blog, without the inclusion of something alcoholic. This drink recipe looked good and sounded better, so I decided to share. You’re welcome.

Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham
Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham


  • 1 ounce black cherry vodka

  • 1/2 ounce grenadine

  • Cola

  • Maraschino cherries for garnish

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Oct 03

Blogtoberfest – Dark Country Songs – Lincoln Durham

LincolnCombining music and Halloween isn’t that hard – there’s plenty of scary music to go around.  However, in my Internet search, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon Lincoln Durham a country (?) artist.

I say “country artist” because that’s the easiest category to drop him in.  In reality, he’s a combination of Gothic, dark country, blues, gospel….but in all, he makes some damn good music.  Even the title of one of his albums “Exodus of the Deemed Unrighteous” is enough to give you the down-home chills. Check him out.


Exodus of the Deemed Unrighteous – Ballad of a Prodigal Son


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Oct 01

Blogtoberfest – It’s Back!!

Hang with me for …..



Blogtoberfest 2015


Terrible, isn’t it? But fun, right?

The month of October is special to me. It’s not because of Halloween, although that’s part of it. October marks the month in which I had my first e-book, “Kitty Wishes” published with Evernight Publishing.

In honor of this occasion as well as a personal challenge, I will be posting something Halloween related every single day of the month.  If I get frisky, I might post some snippets of the sequel to “Loving Among the Dead”…..”Among the Dead: One More for the Road”.

I certainly hope that you will join me for Blogtoberfest – keep me honest with these posts! Leave a comment!  Share!  Above all, read and have fun!


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Sep 04

Horror Movie Review: Unfriended

unfriendedTitle: Unfriended
Genre:  Horror, Thriller, Drama
Director: Levan Gabriadze (as Leo Gabriadze)
IMDB link:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3713166/

Synopsis according to IMDB:
A group of online chat room friends find themselves haunted by a mysterious, supernatural force using the account of their dead friend.

I might be getting too old for this, I admit this up front.  I did not enjoy this movie on any level. Though I thought the story and the premise was excellent, the thirty year olds playing high schoolers did nothing to elicit my sympathy.  I couldn’t even enjoy it on the “so bad it’s good” level because there was little to no physical action. You couldn’t say “don’t go in there” or “stay out of the basement”.  Nope.  The entire movie took place on a laptop screen.

As I said, this was an interesting concept and on some level, it was well executed.  Since I watched the movie on a laptop, it was easy watching and some intriguing things happened.

The actors themselves were annoying.  The screaming, crying, cursing and yelling did nothing for the movie.  I won’t spoil it here, but in the end the viewer is left unsatisfied.

I’d say see it once, just to experience it.

As always….YMMV.

Grade: D

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Jul 27

Her Dakota Summer – Pre Order

Her Dakota Summer Cover

When you have a male nanny as sexy as Celeste’s, it’s hard to remember you’re supposed to be the boss.

While the actual book isn’t releasing until August 18, feel free to preorder so it’s ready and waiting on your Kindle for a hot summer read!

Click on the cover to preorder!

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