Tricky Treats and Sneaky Peeks

Spooky people! (And normal people during spooky season!) I’ve had much going on since last week – so much so that instead of giving you more to read here, I’m going to tantalize you with bits and send you to read the things I’ve already written elsewhere. Here are three of my posts with a little sneak peek of each so you can pick your poison treat, though there’s no need to limit yourself to one. Like Halloween candy, the fun is in tasting them all. 😀

Last week I announced my #BooksBrewBoo October blog celebration and giveaway. Basically, I want to give you coffee and a scary book! The complete rules are here. This post is eligible, as are two of the three below. (The other has a giveaway of its own–’tis the season!)

13 Tourist Destinations for Horror Lovers at LitReactor

This has to be the most fun I’ve had putting together a post for LitReactor so far! The world is full of creepy, macabre, eerie, and horrifying things, and I want to go see them all. So far I’ve only seen two of the thirteen on this list; how about you?

Photo by Cordelia Persen

Taste: What’s creepier than an abandoned doll? How about hundreds and hundreds of them, mutilated and decaying, hanging from trees on a floating island? That’s what you’ll get if you dare to visit Isla de las Muñecas in Xochimilco. Legend says the owner of the island, Don Julián Santana Barrera, discovered a drowned little girl and hung her doll from a tree as a sign of respect. (Don’t ask me.) But after he became haunted by whispers and crying, he began hanging dolls all over the island in an attempt to free the little girl’s spirit. Although locals claim the place is ‘charmed,’ visitors consistently describe it as the creepiest thing they’ve ever seen.

[Click to read the rest; leave a comment with #BooksBrewBoo to be entered to win!]

How to Make Witch Books at the Horror Writers Association

Y’all know I’m crafty, so of course Halloween DIY is my favorite DIY. This year I decided to take some old hardbacks I’ll never read and turn them into wicked decorations for my mantel. The result is an amazing set of custom “witch books,” and I’ve talked you through making your own step by step at HWA’s Halloween Haunts blog series!

Taste: Click to enlarge!

Compendium Celestia, Serpents and Other Friends, Spells, Eros Enchantments, and Noctum.

[Click to read the steps; leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of Dark Hallows II! Bonus: includes an excerpt from my story “The Devil Take the Hindmost” in DH2, which you can win just by leaving a comment!]

Enter the Shadow Booth: An Interview with Annie Neugebauer at The Gingernuts of Horror

I do so love an interview, even more when it’s about horror and writing and my fantastically zombie-prepared hubby. As part of spreading the word about the Tales from the Shadow Booth Kickstarter, the Gingernuts of Horror are interviewing myself and the other contributors this month. It’s a lot of fun!

Taste: Q: The term horror, especially when applied to fiction always carries such heavy connotations. What’s your feeling on the term “horror” and what do you think we can do to break past these assumptions?

A: I feel so passionately about this that I’ve written entire essays. Here’s the short version: horror explores fear and associated emotions. That’s it. That’s the only defining requirement. Monsters and gore and genre conventions are secondary. So the best way to break past the stigma and assumptions associated with horror is to use the label liberally and consistently – to claim all of the types and styles of horror, not just a select few. People have to get past this equating of slasher gore with horror; there’s so much more out there that’s deep and intellectual and emotionally valuable. And fun, too. Don’t forget fun. They’re all valid uses of the genre.

[Click to read the rest; leave a comment including #BooksBrewBoo to be entered to win! Bonus: includes an excerpt from my story “That Which Never Comes” in Shadow Booth!]

Those are my three for the week! (I told you it’s busy season!) I hope you’ll go check out one or all of them and find something you like to snack on. 🙂 And don’t forget to leave a comment below and/or share any of my goodies this month to get your shot(s) at winning #BooksBrewBoo!

Happy reading!

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Books Brew Boo!

Happy October!!

First things first, TODAY is release day for Apex Magazine Issue 101! This issue includes my horror story “So Sings the Siren,” and I am unbearably excited for you to read it. Unsurprisingly by now, it does come with a trigger warning. My story will go live on their website later this month, but if you, like me, can’t wait that long, you can purchase the whole issue now at for Kindle, Nook, PDF, you name it. Happy October to me!

As pretty much everyone in the universe knows by now, it’s my very favorite time of year. For several years now in October I’ve given away scary books to celebrate All Hallows Read, and this year is no exception – but there is a twist or two. (Plot or lemon—who doesn’t love a twist?)

Since coffee runs the world, and nothing goes better with a spooky book on a cool evening than a warm mug of boo brew, I’m giving away a book and a Starbucks gift card to one lucky winner! The gift card will be for the price of whatever Starbucks’ Halloween coffee concoction is this year (finding out is half the fun), but of course it can be used on tea, snacks, or any of their merchandise. And the book will likely be one of my two forthcoming October poetry anthology releases: HWA Poetry Showcase Volume IV by the Horror Writers Association or Undead: A Poetry Anthology of Ghouls, Ghosts, and More by Apex Publications. Choice of paperback or ebook as available!

Coffee and a spooky book, you want this, yes? Good. You can enter up to 13 times! (Lucky!) The winner will be randomly chosen from all entries, so the more you enter the better your chances. Eligible entry methods include:

  • commenting on any/each of my 4 October blog posts right here at (including this one!), 1 per post. All commenters will be automatically entered unless requested otherwise
  • commenting on any/each of my 3 October blog posts at, 1 per post. To have your comment there counted, please include the hashtag #BooksBrewBoo
  • commenting on my interview at the To have your comment there counted, please include the hashtag #BooksBrewBoo
  • tweeting to share any of my promotional links this month—up to 2 tweets. To have your tweet counted, please include the hashtag #BooksBrewBoo
  • posting on Facebook to share any of my promotional links this month—1 post. To have your share counted, please include the hashtag #BooksBrewBoo
  • purchasing my Writing Expense and Income Tracking Spreadsheet at its special discount price of $6.66 this month (use coupon code October). All purchasers will be automatically entered unless requested otherwise
  • donating to the Kickstarter for Tales of the Shadow Booth any time this month. A donation of $14 serves as a preorder for Volume 1, so this is a win-win. Tweet/Facebook share your “I donated” link with the hashtag #BooksBrewBoo to be entered, or privately message me a screenshot/confirmation to show you backed the project

All entries must be made by 11:59 CST on October 30, so I can announce the winner on Halloween!

Really the only things I have going on that won’t count are my stories/poems themselves (though sharing them does) and commenting on my post for HWA’s Halloween Haunts, since that comes with its own giveaway (details will be in that post).

Bottom line? Share any of the copious goodies I have going on this month using #BooksBrewBoo and you’ll probably be entered to win a free book + Starbucks gift card! If you have any questions or run into snags, feel free to message me. But the ghost spirit of the giveaway this year is to share my goodies to win your own goodies. Only treats, no tricks. 🙂

A few other things of note. The Kickstarter mentioned above is for a new journal called Tales from the Shadow Booth. Volume One will have my story “That Which Never Comes” in it! Pledging $14 or more not only helps make this project a reality, but it also serves as your preorder; you’ll get a print copy in the mail this December! This is a very cool project for eerie, literary horror stories (hello!) that otherwise have a hard time finding a home. Editor Dan Coxon describes it as “authors writing interesting stories in this hinterland – stories too philosophical and introspective to fit the horror genre, but too weird and unsettling to sit within the literary field.” My accepted story is an experimental look at what it means to run from our fears, and you’re not going to want to miss it.

Good news for writers: I’m offering a discount on my Writing Expense and Income Tracking Spreadsheet this month – because what could possibly be scarier than taxes? Use the discount code October to get this budget-keeping must-have for $6.66 all month long. This is geared towards all types and all levels of writers. If you spend or make any money at all, indie, trad pub, or freelance, you should be keeping careful track, and this spreadsheet makes it clean and easy. And does the math for you!

Finally, we have fun stuff to come here on this blog. I’ve gotten requests so far for my review of the new movie IT and a video reading of my poem “Light and Liquor,” so look for both of those. And if you have a request of your own to make, go for it in the comments. I can’t make promises, but it never hurts to ask.

Thank you all so much for your enthusiasm and support during my busiest, happiest time of year. I hope this one brings you all as many treats as it’s bringing me!

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The Giant Chart O’ Poems and What’s to Come

Poets, I have a surprise for you! (Well, not a surprise if you follow me on Twitter, but probably otherwise.) Remember when I told you all about charting 500+ poems to make my submissions easier? That spreadsheet, the Giant Chart O’ Poems, is now available FREE for download at The Organized Writer.

If you’re a poet drowning in the complicated mass of poems, market requirements, contests guidelines, and submissions, do yourself a favor and use my spreadsheet template to sort everything. It will be MUCH easier from then on. 🙂

That’s really it for today – plus a quick note about what’s to come here on the blog. My favorite month of the year is only a couple of weeks away. I always do something to celebrate Halloween, and this year will be no different. I have several stories and poems releasing (October is high traffic time for us horror writers), several posts elsewhere lined up, a game, a discount for my loyal readers, and, of course, a giveaway! So keep your potatoes peeled and your eyes open, and check back often come October – or better yet, subscribe to get my posts by email if you’re not already! You won’t want to miss the fun I have planned.

See you ghouls come Spooktober. ♥

In Case You Missed It:

Fearful Fathoms: Collected Tales of Aquatic Terror has released in ebook and paperback! It includes my literary surrealism story “The Lighthouse,” along with many other wonderful tales of ocean horror.

And don’t forget to check out my latest posts on LitReactor: “When Books and Music Meet: 18 Literary Creations That Rock” and “A Gothic Literature Primer: Suggested Reading.”

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Poetry Reading of “The Fox”

Hey guys,

I’m trying something new this week with a video reading of my poem “The Fox.” Watch below!

Click here if you’d like to order your own copy of Encore 2017!

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