Sick and Tired

What a week! Can’t believe I accomplished anything with both gluten contamination and the flu. ICK! It’s why my weekly wrap up is late. So, what happened this week? Not much, but here it is.

Upcoming Events

I’ll be in a Women in Horror Month (WiHM) post on the RMFW blog February 6th. We’re talking about women in horror, surprise surprise. I’ll be talking about childhood influences that led me to be a horror fanatic.

Other than that, I’m looking for more to do for WiHM, so if you know of anything, let me know.

New Blog Segment Coming

I’ll be adding a Thursday post on evil in pop culture later this month. It’s something I’ve done a lot of research on, so why not, right? The first post is about evil corporations, and I’m looking for guest opinions for these posts. If you’re interested in adding your 2 cents, CLICK HERE to submit content for the blog posts.

The Movies

This week I reviewed Cooties, a fun zombie movie you can watch with the kids as long as they’re not too young.

The Stories

I finished reading Heart of the Goblin King this week. This book is paranormal romance, a genre I don’t usually read, but I loved this book and found myself a bit attached to the characters.

Heart Of The Goblin King (The Realm Trilogy Book 1) by Lisa Manifold
Brennan,the King of the Goblin Realm finds himself facing his greatest challenge he’s faced since he came to the throne. A rogue sorcerer is raising an army of Brennan’s own subjects against him threatening the peace Brennan has worked so hard to create for his people. Thankfully, he’s engaged to an eminently suitable lady, because who has time for love? Not with his kingdom on the brink of chaos. Iris is on a date with her crush, Heath. He’s on the verge of asking her out again when she crash lands into a weird guy who looks like he’s wearing a dress in the ladies bathroom. All she wants to do is get away from him, but ends up kidnapped and taken off to who knows where.

This Week’s Release of The Courier

Chapter 7 of Warrant for Damnation was released on WattPad yesterday. Barry found Nina last week, but this week .CLICK HERE to read it from the beginning or GOT TO chapter 7.

BTW, I added a form to my website to request free copies of book in The Courier series. The link is at the top of the columns. You can request a book for yourself and a friend.

How to Help Me This Week

Every week I nicely beg you to support me in some way. Here’s this week’s request:

If you’re a Twitter addict like me, please follow @by_wjhoward and @TheCourierNovel. Quick and simple.

That’s all this week. Have a great weekend!

Horror Haiku, Finding Nina, Upcoming Events, and More

First, I can’t believe it’s New Year’s Eve. 2016 flew by. I guarantee that while you read this I’m already holding a mimosa or glass of wine.

Now I’d like to welcome you to my new weekly wrap up. This is basically a diary of everything I accomplished over the past week, including things like Twitter post highlights, movie & book reviews, short story and novel part releases, upcoming events, and more. I’ll also mention other creative people you should know because they help to inspire me day after day. Don’t worry if you miss a post. The best highlights from weekly posts will go in my quarterly newsletter. BTW, you can join my email list in the right column.

This Week’s #HorrorHaikuesday

This is a Twitter event I joined a few weeks back. I’m enjoying these so much I might do more than one a week. This week’s theme was the new year.

Baby New Year cries
My year is a big surprise
from the depths they rise

Shout out to A. F. Stewart for introducing me to this event. She’s been doing them long enough to publish hers in Horror Haiku and Other Poems.

Upcoming Events

I signed up to be an author for the Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo (B2BCyCon) in April. I hope to see everyone there. There are a lot of great activities for both authors and readers. Readers CLICK HERE for more info about the convention and to join their mailing list.

To all my author friends, the deadline to register is March 17th. In 2016, B2BCyCon united 800 readers and authors from 18 countries. With that much success, the event should grow substantially in 2017. Authors CLICK HERE to get started and register.

The Movies

This week I wrote a post that remembers King of the Zombies, a classic horror comedy you can watch over and over again!

Mantan Moreland should have gotten top billing. I loved him growing up in the Charlie Chan movies. He really is the star of King of the Zombies. In fact, if he were alive today, I think he’d be drawing viewers to the theater more than most other comedy star. He could just stand in place and pop out those eyes and I’d laugh my ass off. READ MORE

If you’re still in the mood for Christmas horror, here’s one you might enjoy, recommended by Blaze McRob during Friday Horror Chat, a group I help run on Facebook every Friday. Everyone who loves horror is welcome to join.

The Stories

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

Chill by Terri DelCampo
Santa F-bombs heard only by some. From where in the forest should Christmas trees come? Will Christians to Morningstar be lost? Who’ll win the bet, Vulcan or Frost? Christmas Eve miracle for a small child. South Pole festivities horribly wild. Good kids onto naughty list drift. Naughty boy tempts hungry gifts. Classic holiday ditties these stories are not. MORE INFO

This Week’s Release of The Courier

Chapter 6 of Warrant for Damnation was released on WattPad yesterday. Barry is finding Nina in this part along with getting himself into other trouble. You’ll also find out more about Ulla and Inez’s pancake remedy.CLICK HERE to read it from the beginning or GOT TO chapter 6.

How to Help Me This Week

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

Call for Obstruction needs some love on Goodreads. If you’re interested in reading the series, CLICK HERE to go to the book page and add it to your ‘Want to Read’ list, give it an honest starred rating if you’ve read it, and if you have time, add a short review. As always, THANK YOU for your support.

YOUR TURN: Leave a comment about your greatest accomplishment this past week or recommend something that you enjoyed. Let me know where you need help. I’ll check it out and let you know my thoughts.


Why Do You Do Horror?

whyhorrorWelcome to day 2 of the October Frights Blog Hop. Today is a combination review of the documentary Why Horror?, and a discussion on why some of us are so addicted to the horror genre.

If you haven’t seen it, here’s what Why Horror? is about:

“WHY Horror? is a feature length documentary following horror fan Tal Zimerman as he looks at the psychology of horror around the world in order to understand why we love to be scared. Horror is a global phenomenon. Millions of people love it, yet horror fans are often misunderstood. Tal Zimerman should know. He’s one of them. Tal goes on a journey around the world to understand why people thrive on on blood and guts found in movies, books and video games. He meets with the genre’s leading filmmakers, writers, actors and psychologists to discover how horror looks in different cultures, why it’s so popular and how it affects our minds. Tal wants to know – WHY Horror?”

I’ve watched this documentary twice, the second time while preparing to lead a discussion about horror at the RMFW Writers Conference. This documentary slants more toward film, but also provides valuable insight into the history of horror and horror writing.

I enjoyed this documentary because of Tal Zimerman’s personal connection to the subject matter. I could relate to all of his stories about growing up obsessed with horror. His perspective effectively leads into the question of why we feel a connection to the horrific.

There’s a plethora of commentary from some of the great contributors to the horror genre mixed with brain science and personal experiences with horror. This is not another dry documentary splattered with bloody film clips. It’s sort of reality TV meets informative content.

I really enjoyed this Why Horror? and highly suggest you give it a try. I give it a solid 4.5 out of 5. Use it as a source to put your annual Halloween movie viewing list together.

Why do I love horror? I’ve been a fan since the age of 4, when I watched my first horror movie, The Hand from Outer Space. I remember vividly watching this movie with wide eyes and realizing that a love of horror was built into my DNA. From that point on, I sought out greater and greater scares in both film and books.

Tal Zimmerman says, “Horror is more than a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.” and I can so relate to this statement. I believe that horror in fantasy is as Stephen King says, “…prep work for our own death or horrific demise.”

Fear is a part of who we are and a thing we can’t escape. But our fears bring us together, and the horror genre provides a place to confront our fears both personally and as a community.

Your turn…
Why do you love horror?
If you don’t love the genre, share why.

Leave comments and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win gift cards from the stores listed below:

  • 1 $25 gift certificate you can use at Spencer’s or Spirits Halloween stores.
  • 2 $10 Amazon gift cards you can use on anything.

margery_avatarGET YOUR FREE COPY OF Call for Obstruction on Amazon Tuesday thru Friday this week. Margery the Demon is watching! Don’t make her use her magical cigarettes on you. CLICK HERE TO GET IT

Now move on to the next author’s blog for more fun and giveaways.

Please leave zombie movie suggestions in the comments.
I prefer movies rated below a 4 on IMDB.

The Bad News, I’m an addict; The Good News, I’m in Recovery

ScreamFor the last few years I forgot my main career goal, become a successful fiction writer. I was slapped in the face with this realization back in April. Years of goals not met sent me over the edge. That and the stress in my life was threatening to kill me, literally. Yes, literally. My immune system was on fire when I was knocked on my ass. I was an addict hitting rock bottom, my drug of choice distractions.

I’m certainly NOT looking for pity. It was one of the best things to ever happen to me. Sometimes we need to fall to get back up stronger and wiser. Now, I’m here to say, NO MORE!

The last few months have been very productive. That means I can fulfill one of my annual goals: telling fans what’s new and exciting in the worlds I create. something I’ll start doing quarterly for all my stories and monthly for The Courier series. This is my quarterly check in with fans.

margeryI sat down and brainstormed on specific content and announcements. What might the readers of The Courier series want? The answer came to me right away. Margery the demon. She makes sense because everyone who has read the first book mentions her. So I had a conversation with Margery. Those of you who have read Call for Obstruction know that Margery is the antagonist. You also know she’s a bit of a chain smoker, and that her cigarettes are packed with magic you want to avoid. Well, Margery has decided she wants to tell her backstory. Let’s just say that when she rolled one of her cigarettes between thumb and index finger, I got out of her way and let her have what she wants. So I’ll hand my blog over to Margery once a month, and I guarantee you’ll love her posts or you’ll risk her wrath. I’ll also email her stories to email subscribers, something I’ll set up in the next few weeks.

Call for Obstruction CoverI’d like to remind everyone that Call for Obstruction is available for free and will remain free through the end of the year at least. It’s been on Wattpad and is now available on Smashwords. And it’s absolutely positively edited and finished. In case you missed it, the story also has a new book cover that I revealed a few months back. It’s by the amazing RL Treadway of Artlink.

What’s that you ask? When’s the next book coming out. Well, I’m in the middle of a rewrite that’s taking longer than expected. Warrant for Damnation will release in parts starting the fourth quarter of this year. The book cover for book 2 was released a few months ago. Want to see it, CLICK HERE.

I’m also editing old flash fiction stories and re-releasing them on Wattpad. Road to Nowhere was released this week. I’m going to try to re-release a story a week and will put a link in the right column, but we’ll see how that goes. Read them while you can. They’ll only be there temporarily before they’re officially published in a collection.

That’s all for this quarter. Until October. Whoo hoo! Halloween!

Blue Christmas & Christmas Bliss

I want to quickly mention a book series by Mary Kay Andrews I’ve fallen in love with this holiday season. I happened upon this series while searching for positive and uplifting holiday reads. I read Blue Christmas first and enjoyed it so much I had to get Christmas Bliss, which I’m still reading and am enjoying just as much.

The main character, Weezie Foley, is a strong female character, and her best friend Bebe has attitude you’ll also love. Weezie’s an antique/junk dealer and many of the scenes include her wheeling and dealing to acquire the used treasures. The setting in Savannah also works well with the stories.

While these are the only books in the series I’ve read so far, I found them light and charming reads and am looking forward to reading more in the series.

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