Robert Ottone ~ Author Interview

Robert P. Ottone delights in the creepy. He is an author, teacher, and cigar enthusiast from East Islip, NY.

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Check out HIS book below!

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Her Infernal Name & Other NightmaresA Goodreads “Best of Horror 2020” Selection

From waking fears to heart-breaking nightmares, this collection of short fiction is a glimpse into the terrors we face every day from the mind of Robert P. Ottone.

In “The Arborist,” a woman hears the mysterious call of the forest.

Five friends exploring an archipelago find themselves set upon by the island’s hungry inhabitants in “The Monitors.”

A young woman confronts the mystery of her infertility in “Kelly Watch the Stars.”

These works are joined by the title novella, Her Infernal Name, about the cruel intersection of desire and desperation, and many other stories crafted in the hopes of keeping you up at night.


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D.M. Barr ~ Author Interview

By day, a mild-mannered salesperson, wife, mother, rescuer of senior shelter dogs, competitive trivia player and author groupie, happily living just north of New York City. By night, an author of sex, suspense and satire!

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Check out HER LATEST book below!

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SAVING GRACE“A psychological thriller with more than enough twists, turns, and misdirection to keep even the most jaded reader turning pages all night long.” –Lori Robbins, author of the Silver Falchion Award-winning novel, Lesson Plan for Murder

Grace Pierrepoint Rendell, the only child of an ailing billionaire, has been treated for paranoia since childhood. When she secretly quits her meds, she begins to suspect that once her father passes, her husband will murder her for her inheritance. Realizing that no one will believe the ravings of a supposed psychotic, she devises a creative way to save herself—she will write herself out of danger, authoring a novel with the heroine in exactly the same circumstances, thus subtly exposing her husband’s scheme to the world. She hires acclaimed author Lynn Andrews to help edit her literary insurance policy, but when Lynn is murdered, Grace is discovered standing over the bloody remains. The clock is ticking: can she write and publish her manuscript before she is strapped into a straitjacket, accused of homicide, or lowered six feet under?

With a cast of secondary characters whose challenges mirror Grace’s own, Saving Grace is, at its core, an allegory for the struggle of the marginalized to be heard and live life on their own terms.


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K.M. Smith ~ Author Interview

For Kristy Smith, writing is her passion and writing about vampires gets her blood flowin’. Growing up in Michigan and spending time in several parts of the world has provided her with unique perspectives and innumerable opportunities for storytelling.

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Check out K.M.’s book below!

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Turning Point – Adam is the resident vampire in a small college town in Michigan. It’s the same scenario every night: wander campus, snag a co-ed for dinner, get home before dawn. Rinse. Repeat–until an irresistible new professor appears. From the shadows, he follows her every footstep, lurking, until he witnesses a tragic accident. As life drains from the object of his desire, he is faced with an impossible choice: Should he intervene or not?

22 years later, Alice Peterson is well on her way to graduating from college. Her life and goals are set, and her future is bright. But Alice meets Adam and a tempestuous wind portends a different fate. Thrust into a world she thought to be fictitious, Alice must rely on wit, cunning and newfound powers if she hopes to survive. Adam will do what he must to keep Alice from learning too much about her past, including the unthinkable.

No good deed goes unpunished as familial bonds are pushed to their limit and new relationships are tested. Filled with action and bloodlust-fueled drama, read on to unlock the mystery when Alice reaches her Turning Point.


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Kassandra Flamouri ~ Author Interview

Kassandra Flamouri holds a degree in Music from the Sunderman Conservatory of Gettysburg College, which she uses to moonlight as a folk musician while juggling writing, teaching, and earning a second degree.

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Check out HER book below!

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The Chalice and the Crown – Driven, talented, and determined to live up to her family’s fame, Sasha Nikolayeva is ballet’s crown princess. But just when Sasha lands her most prestigious role yet, she falls prey to a host of disturbing neurological symptoms that threaten to end her career and her very life. As her mind and body deteriorate, Sasha spirals into a nightmare world where beauty and cruelty exist in the same breath and villains rule from the shadows.

In the glittering, sharp-edged City of Roses, Sasha is no princess. She’s a thrall, a slave. Thousands like her suffer in cursed silence while citizens enjoy the splendor of the City, blissfully unaware that their servants are anything more than living dolls enchanted to do their bidding. But the City’s slavers know the truth, and they are always watching. One misstep could cost Sasha her life—or her soul.

Even as she endures the violence and indignity of captivity, Sasha can’t help being drawn to the beauty of her nightmare world and the underground rebels who offer her friendship, shelter, even love. Before Sasha can break her chains for good, she’ll need to choose between the life waiting for her at home and the countless lives she could save if she stays. To choose a nightmare over her real life, her future, would be madness…but maybe a little madness is just what it takes to change the fate of a city built on lies.


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Douglas Ford ~ Author Interview

Douglas Ford is the author of the recent collection of weird fiction, Ape in the Ring. His short stories have appeared in such venues as Dark Moon Digest, Tales to Terrify, Weird City, as well as The Best Hardcore Horror, Volumes 3 and 4.

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Check out HIs book below!

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APE IN THE RING – From the author of The Reattachment comes a frightening and twisted collection of stories that demonstrates Douglas Ford’s imagination at its best.

In these stories, a woman uncovers the buried memory of how she once disappeared inside the house of a murderer; a father waits and waits for his son to come out of a playground structure, unprepared for what finally does emerge; a group of foster children play an unconventional form of divination while protecting a secret together; the closet of a hotel room hides an unspeakable voyeur; and in the title story, a carnival offers ritualized combat with something that may or not be an ape.

Douglas Ford wields language like a sinister surgeon with a night-black scalpel. These stories cut down to the bone, exposing the darkness that lies just beneath the surface of our everyday world. This collection is a midnight carnival of dark wonders, terrifying and fascinating in equal measure.
–Bram Stoker Award-Winning Author, Tim Waggoner

Ape in the Ring and Other Tales of the Macabre and Uncanny is a must have collection for every horror library. Douglas Ford crafts stories that are disturbing, dripping with atmosphere, and claustrophobically frightening. You will be thinking about this book long after you have set it down.
-Bram Stoker Award-Winning Author, Owl Goingback


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Kelly S. Marsden ~ Author Interview

Kelly Marsden is a Yorkshire author who writes fantasy stories. Her first book, The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1), was published in January 2013 and she now has several successful series under her belt.

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Check out KELLY’s book below!

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With Midwinter just around the corner, Mark’s Nanna decides that it is time he learnt more about his family heritage. Learning witchcraft shouldn’t be too difficult, right? Balancing school, magic, and the distractions of the gorgeous new guy, should make this a very interesting winter.


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Liane Carmen ~ Author Interview

Meet Liane Carmen, author of the Investigation Duo Series. Like most authors, Liane hopes that her readers will vouch for her if her Google search history ever comes into question!

LIKE – SUBSCRIBE – AND COMMENT BELOW TO BE ENTERED FOR A CHANCE TO WIN AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ‘WHERE THE TRUTH HIDES’ BY LIANE CARMEN!!!

Check out our interview on YouTube:

Check out LIANE’S bookS below!

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Buried secrets can be deadly.

Becky Morgan has a life most women would envy until a car accident lands her in the hospital. She insists she’s fine, but it quickly becomes clear she’s changed. She’s forgetful, paranoid, short-tempered. Her husband wants to write off her change in personality to the IVF hormones she’s taking in an attempt to get pregnant.

Becky’s best friend, Jules Dalton, is a gorgeous, single woman, with a habit of sabotaging relationships. When Jules loses the man who could have been “the one,” she confronts the realization that being adopted at birth is contributing to her trust issues. She’s obsessed with finding out why she was given up and turns to DNA testing in hopes her matches will lead to her birth parents.

As Jules dives into her DNA results, Becky’s life soon becomes one she doesn’t recognize. Those closest to her are accusing her of things she simply can’t explain or remember. She’s terrified of losing everything: her career, her marriage, and her dream of becoming a mother.

Desperate to put the pieces of her shattered life back together, Becky needs her best friend more than ever. What she doesn’t realize is that Jules knows something that could explain everything away.

Becky has a dark past she’s unaware of. A darkness that’s coming for her.

It could also get her killed.

As a young girl, Donna Thomas tragically lost her mother and sibling. Her wealthy father has been emotionally absent ever since. As an adult, he refused to help, insisting she had to find her own way in life. When he dies, Donna’s convinced this is her chance to get what she deserves. After all, there is no other family.

But then his will deals her an unexpected blow. The estate is to be shared, not only with a mysterious stranger, but also a half-sister Donna didn’t know existed. It’s bad enough she has to share her father’s money, but his last words stipulate she doesn’t get a penny of her inheritance until she locates her half-sister.

Angry and bitter, Donna turns to Becky and Jules who’ve just opened the doors of their new detective agency. Having solved family mysteries of their own, they’re now ready to help others. As they follow the trail Donna’s father left behind, it becomes clear someone else is on the hunt as well. One accidental death in their path could be coincidental, but when it looks like the mystery beneficiary has been murdered, they don’t know who to trust.

As Becky and Jules scramble to find the connection behind Donna’s father and the murdered stranger, they worry time is running out. If they want to find Donna’s half-sister alive, they had better find her fast, because someone else seems to be one sinister step ahead of them—they want what’s theirs, and they’re prepared to kill anyone who gets in their way.


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The Odd and The Strange by Harvey Havel #giveaway

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The Odd and the Strange: A Collection of Very Short Fiction by Harvey Havel ~ Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Surrealist, Fabulist

A Collection of Very Short Fiction from a variety of genres, including but not limited to horror, science fiction, politics, and the surreal. These celebrated very short stories have been collected over a number of years and have been published in a variety of online e-zines and posted on various websites.

THE ODD AND THE STRANGE by Harvey Havel is a collection of urban tales that toe the line of reality.

The subtitle of Harvey Havel’s THE ODD AND THE STRANGE is A Collection of Very Short Fiction. A better one would be A Very Long Book of Normal-Sized Short Fiction. There are 89 stories in all, most 5-10 pages long (though a few stretch to nearly twenty), with unassuming titles like “Visitation,” “Girlfriend,” and “Daughter.” Though set in the real world, the stories tease reality with nameless characters–the candidate, the doctor, the Big Man–and fantastical occurrences, similar to the parables of Jorge Luis Borges (Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator, and a key figure in Spanish language literature).

Being a librarian, I was eager to read the story “The Librarian.” A young male librarian–unnamed, naturally–looks into a mirror in his office and sees not his reflection but a woman with “walnut hair luxuriously long and her skin as supple as a young girl’s.” He has seen her many times, and though the two cannot touch, they can talk. What do they talk about? The books he steals from the library and passes into the mirror for her to read. Eventually, his boss confronts the librarian over the missing books only to be told that the latter he gave them to his mirror-world girlfriend. To prove this claim, the librarian tries to summon the woman, and when she doesn’t appear, the librarian smashes the mirror. You can imagine the rest.

Some stories are less Borges and more Stephen Crane (author of The Red Badge of Courage): bleak, violent. Like “Lightning Love,” narrated by a wife whose husband changes into . . . something (the twist at the end is brilliant). Others are political fables, like “Santa Claus and Madam Secretary,” which makes Havel’s proclivities as clear as the image on a 98-inch TV. His style can be clunky–one woman’s breasts are described as “shaped like a queen’s”–and some endings are telegraphed. A few stories, like “Sex Toy,” are more like story fragments. Yet THE ODD AND THE STRANGE is quite an accomplishment: unusual, provocative, and honest.

Mixing the fabulism of Jorge Luis Borges with the bleakness of Stephen Crane, the tales contained in Harvey Havel’s THE ODD AND THE STRANGE draw the reader into a world they won’t soon forget.

~Anthony Aycock for IndieReader

**Get this book at 50% off at Smashwords and check out Harvey’s other books – a lot of them are FREE or on sale at Smashwords too!**

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Would you like a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card or an ebook of your choice from the author (1 winner each)? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Harvey Havel is a short-story writer and novelist.

His first novel, Noble McCloud, A Novel, was published in November of 1999. His second novel, The Imam, A Novel, was published in 2000.

Over the years of being a professional writer, Havel published his third novel, Freedom of Association. He worked on several other books and published his eighth novel, Charlie Zero’s Last-Ditch Attempt, and his ninth, The Orphan of Mecca, Book One, which was released several years ago. A full trilogy of this work had been completed a few years after Mr. Big is about a Black-American football player who deals with injury and institutionalized racism. This book was published in 2017. It’s his fifteenth book.

The Wild Gypsy of Arbor Hill is his sixteenth book, and his seventeenth is a non-fiction political essay about America’s current political crisis, written in 2019. He has just now published his eighteenth book, The Odd and The Strange: A Collection of Very Short Fiction.
Havel is formerly a writing instructor at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey. He also taught writing and literature at the College of St. Rose in Albany as well as SUNY Albany.

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An interview with Author Harvey Havel:

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

I went to a tiny college in Hartford, Connecticut.  In my sophomore year, I joined a fraternity.  In my senior year, there was a fraternity brother of mine named Jason Morfoot who told me this story about a group of guys who wrote poetry and literature all the time, smoked a lot of pot, dropped a lot of acid, and drove around in a psychedelic-painted bus with the Grateful Dead.

Once I heard this story, I asked Jason to tell it to me over and over again, probably to his chagrin.  I was so charmed by what the Beats did way back when that I said to myself, ‘Gee, maybe this writing thing is for me.’  Of course, it never turned out the way it turned out for them, but I never would have gone into writing had Jason not told me about the Beat Generation.  At the time, it sounded like they lived a fairy-tale life.  Perhaps they did.

Where were you born/grew up at?

I was born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1971.  I immigrated to the United States when I was just a newborn.  My family first moved to Buffalo, New York, and over the years, we found ourselves in New York City by the mid-1970s.  Back then, New York City was in dire straits – high crime, intense poverty, drugs, etc.  I still can’t believe how my mother got through it all, living in the toughest neighborhood in the city at the time, which was then known as Alphabet City, or what is currently known as the Lower East Side.  God must have been with her the entire time.  I am really amazed at how she persevered. She was incredible woman, even though our relationship was not.

What inspired you to write this book?

Interestingly enough, these stories were somehow stored on my computer for several years before I accidently found them in a hidden file on my hard drive.  I discovered nearly ninety short stories that I forgotten I had ever written.  It turns out that nearly seven or eight years ago, the poet, John Allen of Albany, New York, had asked me to submit stories for his website, The New Surrealist Institute, which is now defunct.  This site had really been thriving, and a core group of authors had submitted avidly to it.  It was also quite popular with many readers.  When the website went offline, I had simply forgotten about the stories.  When I found them, I just knew I had to compile them into a book.

I wouldn’t say that anything in particular inspired me to write these stories, though.  The ideas came to me out of nowhere, which is why it took a lot of effort to construct them.  Some of the political stories were inspired by the 2016 elections, for instance.  There’s a science fiction story that is more a personal response to my past relationships with friends who have now grown up to do amazing things with their lives.  A couple stories are tributes to old friends of mine who had passed on: a painter friend of mine who had committed suicide in the 1990s and also a Black-American bluegrass musician who had recently passed away a couple of years ago.  But I can’t say exactly how I got the ideas for them, which is strange.  They are very diverse and, I hope, fun to read.

What can we expect from you in the future?

Right now, I am working on a book about September 11, 2001, when the Word Trade Center in New York was hit by a terrorist attack.  I haven’t been working on the project consistently as of late, though, but I hope to have it done in a couple of years.  Sometimes, life gets in the way of writing every day, which is something I made sure to do.  But I really do want the September 11th book to be my finest publication, so it is always on my mind, and when I am working on it, I am working really hard.

Who designed your book covers?

I have to do everything on the cheap, as I have self-published for a long time.  I usually find ready-made covers on the web, purchase them, and use them for my book covers.  I use a site called www.selfpubbookcovers.com.  There’s a guy named Rob there who runs the show, and he has always been very responsive and helpful.  He has hundreds of covers to choose from.  Hiring designers for the job is just way too expensive for me.  Ready-made covers from great designers are a great way to package my books.

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Never give up!  Never give up!  Never give up!

How long have you been writing?

I have been a professional writer for nearly 30 years without much success.  While I have published 18 books, it seems that it is hard to attract the public to read them.  I am definitely not able to make a living off of any of these books.  Instead, I have a fixed income every month from a variety of sources, including Social Security Disability, that has sustained me for all of these years.  While I am very happy to see all of my peers succeed and do very well in life, it has been equally as difficult to remain within the same income bracket for so long.  But then again, if you are concerned about the money, writing is definitely not the right career path to choose, or so is my experience.

Lately, I have been taking it easier.  I hope to continue writing for the rest of my years, but I do admit that I am a bit tired of always being broke and pinching pennies all the time.  That is the hard part.  But somehow, I have made it through, and my books are all out there, should anyone find them.

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

I invest a lot in the research process.  After a general story idea comes to mind, I refine that idea into a plot outline.  Once that is done, I target those parts of the plot that I know nothing of. 

For instance, I wrote a book about football.  While I had known about football from playing it in my youth, I needed to investigate how professional players practice, not generally, but specifically.  So, with that example in mind, I had to go to the library, or surf the internet, to find books that detailed the drills that professional coaches used in their practices.  I took this information and then put them on notecards.  Then, I added this information to the plot outline and created a chapter-by-chapter outline with the research included in every respective chapter.  That’s how it has worked for me thus far.

Also, I find it extremely important to include a bibliography at the back of the book, should I use research.  That way, the writing is based not only on my imagination, but also cold, hard facts.  One should always cite one’s sources anyway.  Plus, I have found it really fun doing the research.  It’s incredible how much I have learned about a variety of subjects over the years.  When writing historical fiction especially, research is always key.

What do you think about the current publishing market?

Not much.  But then again, I haven’t read much of what is out there.

Pen or type writer or computer?

I usually hand-write a manuscript, revise it on paper, and then I type it into the computer, constantly revising it. I then print out the manuscript and revise it again.  But I usually do this chapter-by-chapter, not the entire manuscript at once.  I find it easier to break it down into manageable parts.

I used to hand-write it and then use a typewriter, but luckily for everyone, the personal computer came along.

Advice they would give new authors?

Definitely do not put all of your eggs in the one basket of writing.  If you are going to write or edit for a job, or work as a journalist for a decent salary, that’s fine.  But please do not make the same mistake I had made by banking it all on writing fiction novels at an early age.  Even though I have developed as a writer through hardship, I don’t think it was really all that worth it. 

If I had to do it all over again, I would have chosen a career with a good salary, so that I could have afforded a good car, attracted a nice girlfriend, afforded a simple house, and did what most of my peers have done, or at least developed how most people are portrayed in the media of today.  I wouldn’t have had such a cavalier ‘all or none’ attitude about a becoming a writer. 

Betting it all on the one hand and winning at it is the stuff of dreams and fantasy and not reality.  I am definitely not saying that it won’t happen, though, because a new author definitely could hit the big time with a book or a number of books.  But if you find yourself broke and on the street in the freezing cold, as I have witnessed in every city I have lived in, you should really stop and reassess where you are heading.  In my opinion, it is not possible to write under conditions of abject poverty for too long.  Better to get a roof over your head before writing that next line.

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about The Odd and The Strange by Harvey Havel.

Valerie Evans ~ Author Interview

Meet author Valerie Evans; Valerie is a modern fantasy addict living in Georgia. She finally took the plunge, after 7 years, to self-publish her debut novel! In her free time, she likes to read all genres with a focus on fantasy, entertain her very clingy dog, and collect Funko POPS bobbleheads and journals!

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Check out VALERIE’s book below!

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OF SPELLS AND FUR – As the only known survivor of a horrific massacre years earlier, Molly Hastings has rebuilt her life as a dedicated member of the Anberlin sentries. It’s her job to protect and police the supernatural citizens who call the town home, but the discovery of several bodies has put everyone on edge with no suspect in sight.

Further complicating matters are a call from the home she left behind and the sudden arrival of a werewolf motorcycle club with ties to her past. An unexpected ally is found in Parker Hayes, a hunter facing down his own demons and searching for a future not based in bloodshed, who inspires feelings she hasn’t felt in years.

Amidst the clash between her past and present, Molly finds herself questioning everything she knows about not only those she’s meant to protect but the Sentries themselves. Could everything she’s been taught be a lie, and if it is, can she protect those she cares about?

Although this story takes place in the Anberlin world of my first trilogy, it can be read as a stand-alone novel.

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Starr Z. Davies ~ Author Interview

Meet author Starr Z. Davies; while pursuing her Creative Writing degree, Starr gained a reputation as the “Character Assassin” because she had a habit of utterly destroying her characters emotionally and physically.

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