Posted in Horror, Reviews

Review for Malice House by Megan Shepherd

*Note: This book was an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley. It will be published on October 4, 2022, and is available for order on Amazon at

****4 stars

Malice House by Megan Shepherd

If you’re looking for a new Halloween read, look no further. The premise of this book is a curse on a family that allows them to bring alive monsters from their writing and artwork.

Haven Marbury, a children’s book illustrator, is the daughter of bestselling author Amory Marbury. When he dies, she goes to his secluded home in the small town of Lundie Bay to clear it out.

While going through her father’s papers, Haven finds an unpublished manuscript that was written while her father suffered from dementia. Unlike his award-winning style, the manuscript appears to be a horror novel featuring an assortment of monsters. Haven adds her own drawings of the monsters to the manuscript, hoping to sell it. She shares the unpublished book and her artwork with the members of the Ink Drinkers, a literary club of which her father was a member and who work in a nearby bookstore. The club members reject her drawings, but one of them, a young woman named Kylie, befriends her..

As strange murders occur in town, including that of her father’s housekeeper, an officer suspects Haven may be involved, as the killings are like those in one of her father’s books. Haven grows close to her father’s neighbor, Rafe, an heir to a peanut butter fortune until she discovers some grisly items that he’s hiding.

This book is a perfect October/Halloween read. The monsters are well depicted, and there are quite a few twists to satisfy a reader. I would recommend, however, not to read it at night with the light off.

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers, Horror, Short Story

FREE HORROR STORY – October 29 to November 1

Just in time for Halloween, my horror story, Knowledge is Power, is Free from October 29 to November 1.

On the one-month anniversary of the death of her beloved cat, Librarian Margaret Goodley, uses her excellent research skills to cast a spell to bring Bluebell back to life. Unfortunately, there are unexpected consequences when two other women who have lost their own loved ones on the same day interrupt the ceremony.


The air was scented with the approaching rain as Margaret walked through the cemetery crossing the twig-strewn path that cut across her backyard. This was the familiar path she strode twice a day in her flat brown loafers on her way to and from work at the Donker Public Library in the small town of Donker, Massachusetts due south of Salem.

Tonight, she was arriving home much later than usual with a worn book tucked under her arm, the results of her after-hours research. Charlie, the custodian, had let her stay until he closed the building at ten. She could see the light she’d left on in anticipation of her late arrival shining through the windows of the small, gray clapboard house. Just a few weeks ago, Bluebell would be running to the door as soon as the key was turning in the lock. The silver tabby had been a member of her favorite welcoming committee, the only member of any committee that ever welcomed Margaret Goodley.

As she approached the house, Margaret intentionally avoided the small patch of dug-up earth under the bush near the front window. When she opened the door, the loss of Bluebell hit her anew as it did every time she came home to the empty house. She hadn’t missed Paul after he left her for that young waitress half as much as she missed her dead cat.

 Although she was tired from a full day’s work plus the additional five hours she’d spent reading and researching, she couldn’t yet sleep. There was more work to be done. She lay the library book down on the kitchen table and plugged a small fan into the outlet next to the microwave. The closed-up house had retained the heat of the early September night.

As the fan whirled hot air around her, she sat at the table and opened the book. She had already read it at the library along with countless articles both on the Internet and through the online databases. Who would have thought she’d find the perfect source for her purpose right in her own library’s collection? A phrase her father had told her as a child repeated in her mind, “knowledge is power.”

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers, Horror, Paranormal, short stories

Don’t Miss the “Deadline” for Deadline, my Free Paranormal eBook


When college student Susan Shaffer wakes up on the wrong side of the bed in her dorm room, strange things begin to happen. Time seems to shift and draw her into an imaginary deadline that would rival those of the stories she writes for the student paper. Unable to face horrible news that she can’t remember happening, she traces the events of the last few days. Discovering the awful truth of why these hours are a blank, she must meet a deadline that is truly deadly.

Posted in Author Spotlight, Horror

Author Spotlight of Justin Robinson, Author of Wolfman Confidential, 3rd book of the City of Devils Series

I’m pleased to have author Justin Robinson from Los Angeles here to speak about his writing and new release, Wolfman Confidential, the 3rd book of the City of Devil series.

Welcome, Justin. Please tell us how long you’ve been published and what titles and/or series you write.

My first book came out in 2011. My two most popular series, City of Devils and Fill in the Ahriman Cycle, are both published by Candlemark & Gleam. Th3rdworld Studios puts out the Daughters of Arkham series that I write with David Rodriguez. Solstice publishes Quadrophobia, my collection of horror novellas, and Copper City, an alternate steampunk history novella. I self-publish the League of Magi series as well as Undead on Arrival, though the latter went through two other publishers in the meantime. MuseItUp publishes the ebook version of The Dollmaker, while I self-publish the print edition. Ursa Major Press puts out my Ahriman Trilogy, Phase 5 publishes Nerve Zero, and Everyman is presently out of print.

Wow! you certainly have a lot of publishing experience.

Tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.

I was delighted to find out that what I write falls under the broad heading of “weird fiction.” Practically, I bounce around. My published work includes humor, horror, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, urban fantasy, and young adult paranormal. A lot of these also get an overlay of noir. The City of Devils series is a noir with monsters that gently lampoons some of the tropes in both noir and monster movies. It takes place in a world in which monsters are real and they have taken over, reducing humans to a downtrodden minority. The series follows the cases of Nick Moss, the last human detective in 1955 Los Angeles. WOLFMAN CONFIDENTIAL, the third book in the series, comes out today, on Halloween.

Congratulations on your new release. I, too, am a multi-genre author, although I write mostly cozy mysteries and general mysteries.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

I just want to write good stories.

A perfect goal.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

I personally don’t care what kind of reader comes to me. If they like what they find, they’re welcome in my little corner of imagination. I think readers who want something different will gravitate to me. People who have seen what the established genres can do, and then want to see them explored and defied in fun and interesting ways.

It’s good to be unique in what you offer a reader.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

 Step one, finish your book. Step two, rewrite it. Step three, rewrite it again. Step four, show it to a bunch of people and listen to what they have to say. Step five rewrite it again.

It’s so true that the first draft of any book needs to be reworked several times.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

 It’s always been about balancing a day job or being a father with time to write. Hardly unique in terms of challenges, though. I’m pretty sure every parent or member of my generation can relate.

Yes. I certainly can, although my daughter is a teenager now, so it’s easier.

Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.

 Nope. School of hard knocks for me.

Sometimes that’s the best education for a writer.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

 I’m an avid gamer, whether it’s video games, boardgames, tabletop wargames, or role-playing games. I also go to the zoo a lot, but some of that is my daughter likes the flamingos.

Nice. Perhaps you are involved in Second Life. I don’t use it much anymore, but I still have a virtual pet memorial center there, and my first book, Cloudy Rainbow, that was recently republished by Solstice features a virtual world similar to that one.

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

I like sharing my imagination with people. Making my own schedule is nice too, since my daughter is only a year old, and I get to be with her all day. The toughest challenge is getting the word out there. I have an avid fanbase, but I’m still a cult author. I think if more people heard about me, and took the plunge into the City of Devils, they’d love what they found.

Promotion is a tough challenge for most authors.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc.

My website is (someone was cybersquatting on my name), and you can find links to all my books and a ton of free short stories there. Just click on the City of Devils cover, and it’ll take you to about six of them. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @weirdnoirmaster.

Thanks so much for the interview, Justin, and best wishes on your new release and future books. I always like to try new authors and titles, so I’ll try to check you out one day, and I hope some of my blog readers consider doing that, too.

Posted in Horror, New Releases, Science Fiction, Short Story, Solstice Publishing

New Sci-Fi, Horror, and Paranormal Romance Stories

I’m proud to announce the release of two new stories  — a Science fiction tale about a future world where there are no libraries and a horror story about a scary honeymoon in Venice.

THE LAST LIBRARIAN – Can society exist without libraries?

In the year 2050, Dorina Reinhardt, employed as an Information Tutor after her job as a librarian became obsolete secretly shares print books after the Technology War declared them illegal. When a lost kitten turns up on her doorstep and a boy comes to claim him, Dorina is caught up in a dangerous mission in which the stakes may be too high and those who seem to be on her side may be the ones she should distrust.

HAUNTED HONEYMOON – Ghost cat. Don’t honeymoon without one.

Francesco and Gina are not your typical engaged couple. They met in a cemetery and spent their dates watching horror movies. But when Francesco suggests they honeymoon in a haunted house in Venice, Gina is shocked when she learns the place may actually be Francesco’s childhood home where his parents were murdered.

Don’t forget about my paranormal holiday romance that was released on January, 7th about a woman who travels back to San Francisco at the time of the great earthquake.

THE LAST MISTLETOE -Time travel via Victorian mistletoe.

After her divorce, Anna moves to San Francisco where her sister Emily and her brother-in-law Tom live. Emily, a real estate agent, locates a beautiful Victorian home for Anna. The house’s history dates back to before the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Emily has decorated Anna’s new house with festive decorations she’s purchased and others she found in a box in the attic. The only item she couldn’t find was a mistletoe. When Anna nearly trips on one of the steps to the second floor, she finds a mistletoe hidden in a recess underneath the stair. Hanging it up as her sister holds the ladder, she becomes dizzy and falls. When she awakes, Anna finds herself in 1906 San Francisco the day before the earthquake is scheduled to hit. The occupants of the house cannily resemble her relatives and her ex-husband and his girlfriend. Can she find a way to return to her own time before the earthquake strikes, or should she warn these strangely familiar people of the imminent danger?