Thursday, July 2, 2020

Special July Reads! #horror #zombie


Get some great eerie reads for July, including Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter and The Haunting of Dr. Bowen! See link here.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

New Review! Lizzie Borden, #Zombie Hunter

It's nice to get a new review on a book that's been out for a bit.



Sherry Fundin @ Fundinmental.com called Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter: "the author has treated me to some twists and turns, suspense and savage do or die fighting that makes this an action packed story that kept me flipping the pages...." 4 stars. Read the rest here. 

* Btw, the books are now hooked together. See series page on Amazon.



Thursday, June 18, 2020

Do You Prefer #Monsters, #Zombies or #Werewolves?

Or all three???




Depending on your preference, you're gonna love the upcoming monsters book, Dr. Cushing's Chamber of Horrors, a monster tale by self-proclaimed "Monster Kid" Stephen D. Sullivan. See more about Dr. Cushing's here. 

This is a fun, Vincent Price-styled, old-time horror tale filled with a wax museum and all kinds of monsters!

And... if you like monsters, you'll love this as Sullivan gives a peek at the upcoming cover for Dr. Cushing... which is being done by noted illustrator Mark Maddox from Screem Magazine and Little Shop of Horrors Magazine! 

Keep checking at Sullivan's website to keep updated on the book and cover reveal!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

New #Mystery Coming: Dead of Jerusalem Ridge

USA Today Bestselling Author Jean Rabe has a new mystery coming in her interesting Piper Maxwell mystery series.

 

 In the Dead of Jerusalem Ridge, (Pre-Order, Releases July 15), Sheriff Piper Maxwell faces a tragedy during a weekend with old Army buddies and a tragedy at home as a hate crime hits Spencer County. Eight months on the job, Piper has her hands full easing tensions at home and facing her own personal challenge as she uncovers secrets that could scar her soul.

A great series! See book 1, The Dead of Winter

Monday, June 15, 2020

#Mystery #Review: Buried in a Bog

It's been fun getting back to reading cozies again. 

I don't know how I missed this County Cork Mystery series by Sheila Connolly. Unfortunately, the author died recently, but I know I'll be reading more of her work.


 Buried in a Bog, Sheila Connolly - Bostonite Maura Donovan finds a different way of life in Ireland after her Gran's funeral. There, Maura uncovers family secrets and learns just why her late grandmother wanted her to go to her ancestral hometown. The village and small town life of Ireland comes alive in the book. This was a great, quick read. Love the inhabitants and can't wait to see what happens next in Maura's life as she adjusts to living in Ireland. Will definitely look for the next book in the series.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Today in #History: Emma Borden, sister of Lizzie Borden dies

Today in History:


Emma Borden, sister of accused axe murderer Lizzie Borden, dies in 1927.

After the trial's end in 1893, the sisters bought a mansion together on the "better" side of town, but Emma eventually had a falling out with her sister and moved away. The two never spoke again, with Emma taking anything she knew about the infamous murders in August 1892 to the grave with her. (As an aside, the house, which Lizzie called Maplecroft and was to be turned into a B&B, is again for sale.)

Lizzie Borden was arrested, went on trial in 1893, and was eventually acquitted for the brutal axe murders of her father, Andrew Borden, and stepmother, Abby Durfee Borden. The murder continues to fascinate people today, with numerous re-tellings in books and films.


For another view of the real life murders... 

Get print copies and read more at my website. 



What if Lizzie Borden did kill her father and stepmother for a reason never suspected, like they 'd turned into... zombies?! 

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter follows the real life 1893 murder trial as Lizzie stands accused of killing her father and stepmother the year before. She battles for her life while facing the gallows, and while trying to save her family from a deadly scourge unleashed on her city. 

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2: The Axe Will Fall continues the story with a more fictional account of Lizzie's life after the trial. There are some spoilers if you didn't read the first book. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

New Dark #Fantasy: Of the Blood, Cameo Renae


Today we welcome Cameo Renae, author of the new YA Dark Fantasy, Of the Blood... 

One malicious prince. Two rival kingdoms. And an innocent girl caught in the crossfire.


About the Book:

Raised in a war-ravaged continent, temptation comes to Calla Caldwell in the form of a charming and mysterious stranger. Giving in to his intimate seduction, her world is forever changed by a single bite.

Calla quickly learns the handsome stranger is vampire prince, Trystan Vladu. His bite was an attempt to claim and save her from a plot of vengeance generations in the making. However, the claws of that ancient vendetta are scraping ever closer.

Thrust into a new nightmare by the Prince of the corrupt kingdom of Morbeth, Calla is captured, tortured, and starved in the dank confines of his dungeon. While in captivity, she takes part in a séance with a witch of light where she contacts a departed relative—a Princess of Incendia—who bequeaths a gift to Calla that will tip the scales of good and evil . . . if she can learn to harness it.

With a dark tapestry of secrets, lies, and murder unraveling around her, Calla must learn to embrace the power roiling through her veins, or be snuffed out by the strangling fist of a malevolent darkness.

Monday, May 18, 2020

More #Zombie Reads: Kit's Rebellion, CJ Grant

  Today I welcome C.J. Grant, author of the zombie book, Kit's Rebellion.

About the Book: The year is 2043. Flesh-eating monsters are real, militia duty begins at 16, and the contenders in the fight ring are the new rock stars of the world. Twenty-year-old Kit O'Brien grew up as an orphan in a survivor camp, fighting alongside the militia to keep the last of humanity alive. But as the final vestiges of the infected die out, bloodthirsty raiders soon become a bigger threat - and while the militia's attention is diverted outside, Kit discovered something much worse lurking within the walls of their camp. Kit must stay alive long enough to unmask the one behind this new threat. If she fails, she won't just lose her home, but her life. 

** Enter Giveaway for an ebook or print book (US shipping only). Send comment about what you like about zombies with header - Kit's - via contact page here.  Open to 5/22/20.

Excerpt: 

Shots. Shouting. Surrounded on three sides. Eric orders stay in formation, but I can't. Cut off from my team, I retreat into a side room. 

"More here," I yell.

Sean hollers four near him. Two follow me into a sitting room, and I shoot one then aim at the other. The one that was already in this room comes at me, growling and working its jaw. A long flap of skin dangles under its chin like a turkey waddle. I get my second target while holding off the third with my bow pressed against its mouth. It shoves on my bow, its momentum pushing forward, and we crash to the floor. My compound bow is all that's between me and its teeth. My funny bone hits hard on the floor and my gun flies out of my hand. 



Talking with C. J. Grant:

What inspired you to write a zombie book? 

I love the zombie genre and post-apocalyptic survival stuff. And while I devour the action scenes, it’s the people and their mental/emotional realities that really draw me in. It’s the process of how we view the zombies as the ultimate monsters, until we watch the humans de-evolve and become more menacing than any mindless, shuffling creature. I can forgive the zombie for being a zombie, even as I fear them, but I can’t forgive the survivor who turns on other people.

How did ou choose your time frame?

So, why did I set my story twenty years after the apocalypse event? Firstly, I didn’t want to rehash the classic zombie apocalypse tale. (Not that there’s anything wrong with those—like I said, I’m a fan of the genre.) Rather, I wanted to explore: How do people survive to get to that point? How do they live their day to day lives? How do they deal with the zombie virus, still affecting the world?

I formed the idea for this book while watching an episode of The Walking Dead—date night for my husband and me. There was a flash-forward scene several years into the future that set my imagination flowing. What would survival look like in twenty years with no or little electricity, no commercial or political infrastructure, and no legal systems to govern behavior on a large scale? What new rules or functions would arise?

What research did you do for your story?

I not only studied post-apocalyptic survival, I looked to history to examine the way groups of people, those with a knowledge of a functioning society, adapted to isolation. This included explorers, sailors on long sea voyages, and people from ‘back east’ moving west into the American territories, evolving into settlers and cowboys clustered together in small towns. How did they get by without being able to count on regular deliveries of supplies, huddling in small groups, always wary of the stranger come to town? How did people trade and barter with limited access to a monetary system? What if they had no goods to barter? What then?

In Kit’s Rebellion, the people of this post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested world survive by grouping into camps of smallish numbers, set at least twenty miles or more apart. Without a food supply chain, an infrastructure, or technology, they must work the land and hunt game. Larger populations squashed into one area would quickly deplete resources. The virus is still active in Kit’s world, and as a member of her camp’s militia, she knows how to kill zombies, but raiders and/or other humans intent on pillaging, are also a threat. Those raiders are more feared than the zombies.

When the threat to survival moves from outside the camp to inside the very walls meant to protect her society, the stakes become life or death. Kit would take on any enemy to protect her home, but when her camp’s governor gives in to his base nature and leads the camp on a violent path, she must choose. Loyalty and obedience to the people who gave her shelter as an orphaned baby, raised her, and gave her a chance at life, or rebellion to follow her own conscience about what is right and decent. What will Kit do? Read to find out.

Friday, May 15, 2020

#Horror Tree Interview

Totally forgot about this interview...I like how they did the video and put the questions with it...
@ The Horror Tree




Wednesday, May 13, 2020

New #Zombie Novel Damage in an #Undead Age Coming

It's what you don't see coming that kills you...

 New Zombie book coming! 

Damage in an Undead Age by A.M. Geever releases on June 16th!

ADD to your TBR -- https://bit.ly/3aqGrsP
READ a sneak peek now -- http://bit.ly/DIUA-SP

It's what you don't see coming that kills you.

Safely hidden from San Jose’s City Council, Miranda Tucci has begun to believe that life can be good again. Reunited with Mario, and accompanied by her best friend Father Doug Michel, she has undertaken a hazardous journey to the Pacific Northwest. There, the trio of friends hope to recreate the vaccine for the zombie virus.

But danger still lurks in what used to be civilization, and hearts can still be broken. If Miranda lowers her guard enough to nurture a small, soft dream, can she risk losing it without losing herself? And with the ravenous undead always in pursuit, can she stay alive long enough to see it come true?

Start the STANDALONE series today!


  Love in an Undead Age
Amazon -- https://amzn.to/2XTaaYJ
Universal -- getbook.at/UndeadLOVEAM
FREE with Kindle Unlimited

"A virus, a conspiracy, romance, and zombies. A.M. Geever combines the old standbys to give us a compelling new story you won't want to put down!"

- SARAH LYONS FLEMING, AUTHOR OF UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD and THE CITY SERIES

Monday, May 11, 2020

New #Horror Interview @TheBoldMom

Making the rounds! It's been going around Twitter now for a while!


#horror #zombies and all that!

Got a new interview up at The Bold Mom, read it here.



Fun as she even included my spooky dollhouse photos! Hey, we all find our inspiration in different places! I love Halloween miniatures!


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

#A to Z Blogging; X-Y-Z Reading #Zombies

* Go to Day 1 

A combination post to share some books You may like to for the letters X to Z. How hard is that? haa!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

#A to Z Blogging; V - W for Virtual Writing


(Image: pixabay.com)

* Go to Day 1 

Given the month of staying home, it's a good time to explore some virtual writing courses, right? And if you want to try out some new writing ideas, I also included some places for writing prompts.

Here are a few things I found. I didn't check them so feel free to explore. Have fun!

* 90 free online writing courses list

* Free online university courses, non-credit

* Free writing software online

Writing prompts are also a fun way to inspire new story ideas. Here are some I found:

* 365 Creative Writing Prompts

*  Writing prompts for various genres

* 101 Terrifying Horror Writing Prompts

* 50 Spooky Writing Prompts

* 25 Horror Writing Prompts




Thursday, April 23, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: T - U - Thinking About the SUbplots


* Go to Day 1 

The hardest thing as a writer is figuring out a story, doing an outline and then as you write finding you don't have enough story. That's where the subplots come in.

The subplots are those things that make your character more realistic, their life's struggles, their background, the other things they encounter in life - and the problems that have an impact on the plot. The rule is if it doesn't move the plot forward, then chuck it.

Everything should somehow play into the character's main goal and how they approach that. It could be a potential or faltering romance; a job or career; a hobby, even a pet. Like real life, all those things have an effect on what we do and how we do things.

The same goes for your character if they're to be believable and real. They have goals, aspirations, fears, friends, etc.  All of that makes them more rounded and comes out often in the subplot and the story.


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: R-S Reading Dark Family Stories


* Go to Day 1 

Chilling new reads!

Dark Fantasy: 


Black Bells, Dawn Napier -   Megan's imagination has always been too lively for her own good.

As children, Megan and her sister spent most of their time making up stories and playing games in their own fantasy world. Their favorite character was a lively chap named Jack Benimble, a harlequin covered in jingling bells, who they summoned with a simple rhyme. But fantasy can't protect them from human monsters, and a single event shatters their world.
* On the to-be-read list.



Mystery:


 Blood Family, Jacqueline Seewald -  In the fifth Kim Reynolds Mystery, Kim, an academic librarian, wants to locate her biological father, James Shaw. Unfortunately after finding him, he dies unexpectedly. It is now up to Kim to connect with the family she has never known. She discovers a half-sister, Claire, who is in need of her help; that Claire's stepmother died under mysterious circumstances, and her stepbrother disappeared. With Kim's fiancé, Lieutenant Mike Gardner, Wilson Township homicide detective, investigating along with Sergeant Bert St. Croix, the race is on to catch a killer intent on adding Kim to the list of deceased.

** Review: Enjoyable mystery, especially the relationships between Kim, her fiancé and her "new" family. Soon Kim finds herself the target of threats as she gets pulled into what is soon revealed as a family with more than its share of problems. Sometimes her new half-sister is tedious and seems almost babyish in her neediness while her personality at times seems to conflict with her supposed intellectual shortcomings, but Kim's value as a character is shown as she tries to help her new sibling. The real dynamics of the family become more interesting due to Kim's interactions with Claire and the house's other inhabitants.


 Short chapters make it a quick read. You don't need to read earlier books in the series, but it can help to establish some of the relationships in Kim's life. If you're looking for a light mystery, this was a good read overall, except for a couple incidents that I felt came out of nowhere. Look forward to reading more about Kim's new life after her marriage and hoping that cranky co-worker of hers is finally retired! 4 stars.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

# A to Z Blogging: P-Q for Reading Pop Quiz


* Go to Day 1


I'm combining posts today and for fun, I'm going to make you wrack your brains a bit.
BONUS! I'll even throw in a prize of a couple paperback cozy mysteries off my shelf that I've read (50% Off Murder and Stuck on Murder) for the most correct answers! (If you have the books or read them, I'll sub another mystery. I have books. ha!) (Sorry, US shipping only.)
  **** Send answers with subject head Quiz to my website contact page. One entry per person. Contest ends 12 p.m., noon, Central Time, 4/30.

The questions all center around books that have been featured recently on my blog. A hint: check the top pages link for my monthly reading lists. I'll post the answers after a winner is chosen. 

1. A "sweet" mystery.

2. Famous swordfighter:

3. Victorian rich girl murder.

4. The dead never die even if the originator did.

5.  The horses go 'round and 'round.

6. Christmas and... zombies?

7. Ribbit!

8. The party never ends....

9. Dead and little.


10. Woof!

Ok, I tried to make them not too obvious, but a little challenging, I hope. Have fun!


Friday, April 17, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: O for Only My Favorite Horror Mystery Reads

* Go to Day 1

Okay, indulge me. I read a lot of different books in all kinds of genres. But some really hit me and stuck with me. Here's a few I really liked for various reasons:


Best Zombie Novel


 Zombie in Chief: Eater of the Free World , A Novel Take on a Brain-Dead Election, Scott Kenemore - Yeah, there's so much political stuff going on, but this is still a really imaginative take on real-life politics with a twist. 


Best Vampire Novel/Series


Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, Seth Grahame-Smith - An alternate view of the Civil War and Lincoln's life since he was a child as a vampire scourge touches his life and later the country. This is a read-it-again book. The bonus is the movie was really well done as well and worth re-watching. .

The Last American Vampire, Seth Grahame-Smith - Sequel to Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. While most sequels don't always do a first book justice, this does and doubles the excitement as vampire Henry Sturges searches for new purpose after his friend Lincoln's death and is a witness to history through the Reconstruction to JFK's assassination. 

Best Cover and Historic Mystery Thriller


The Bone Shroud, Jean Rabe - What happens when a museum archivist goes in search of real-life history in Italy and ends up one step ahead of a killer? ** Winner of the 2019 Soon to be Famous Author Project sponsored by the Illinois Library Association


Best Horror

 

Infected series (Infected: A Novel; Contagious, Book 2Pandemic Book 3),  Scott Sigler - This was a can't-put-it-down series. Gory and eww!-inducing at times, but it's gripping and keeps you reading as the fight is on to save earth from... something sinister. 
   Book 1: Meanwhile Perry Dawsey—a hulking former football star now resigned to life as a cubicle-bound desk jockey—awakens one morning to find several mysterious welts growing on his body. Soon Perry finds himself acting and thinking strangely, hearing voices . . . he is infected. 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: N for New #Mystery Coming Soon!




* Go to Day 1

If you haven't read Jean Rabe's Piper Maxwell series, then you better catch up quick as she is working on book 4, The Dead of Jerusalem Ridge, which she hopes to release by early summer. (Oh, and another cool cover! Wait until you see it!)

The series, what she calls "uncozy cozy" mysteries feature a cozy team in a small sheriff's department in a small town. Led by a youngish, former military officer and daughter of the last chief, Piper Maxwell is growing into the job while tackling some pretty big crimes for small town Indiana.

** Want to get caught up? Enter at Day 1 post for a chance to win the first 3 books!

About the Books: 

The Dead of  Winter, A Piper Maxwell Mystery, Book 1  - Fifty-eight minutes into her first day on the job, twenty-three-year-old Sheriff Piper Blackwell is faced with a grisly murder—the victim artfully posed amid decorations on his lawn. Drawing on former military training, Piper must prove herself worthy of the sheriff’s badge, and that won’t be easy.

The Dead of Night, Piper Maxwell Mystery, Book 2 - Putting a name to the skeleton on the bluff, and searching for the thief who robbed the old veteran of his life’s earnings, sends Piper delving into the sleepy towns that dot her rural county. Now she’s digging into pasts perhaps best left alone.

The Dead of Summer, Piper Maxwell Mystery, Book 3 - Shouts of delight turn to screams of terror when a carnival ride goes berserk at the Spencer County Fair. Sheriff Piper Blackwell must contain the chaos and investigate the possible sabotage, even as she tries to solve a local businessman’s horrific murder.







Wednesday, April 15, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: M for Magical Read, Magic's Balance!

  
* Go to Day 1

Today I'm featuring a "magical" read - a new book by fellow Wisconsin author Steve Rouse.

Steve is still an honorary member of my writing group since he moved further north and enjoys writing short stories in the science fiction genre - yes, with some occasional "monsters," too.

His first book, Magic's Balance, is a collection of fanciful tales, including: (The first, Hodag is a favorite, based on a legendary Wisconsin creature. I can't wait to read the rest!!)


  • Hodag - Playing Fetch
  • Huntress - Grove of Ancients
  • Magic’s Balance -The Note
  • Inspiration -Salt Lick - The Nothing
  • When You Buy an Old House - The Gilric


About the Book:

What would you do when Magic picks you?
Magic’s Balance takes you on many journeys of imagination. Some will fill you with trepidation, while others can make you smile. Visit other lands and find new characters who experience their own fantastic lives through magic and the unexpected.
Jonah has known of his family’s secret his whole life. One day, a golden apple appears in their orchard and Jonah is whisked into the heart of that mystery… one that he must now fight to solve. What must he do in order to save himself and restore balance to the world of Magic?
Magic's BalanceAny story is but a snapshot of the lives of the characters within it. As one of the characters in my stories, the wizard Min’darr has led a full life. You have met him at its end. Did you wonder how he became a wizard? How has he come to be here, at this point in time? What part of his past has led him to want to share his magic? Would you like to know of his adventures? …his successes? …his mistakes? …his love?
 *** Get Magic's Balance here. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: L for Lizzie Borden and #Zombies




What if Lizzie Borden did kill her father and stepmother for a reason never suspected, like they 'd turned into... zombies?! 

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter f ollows the real life 1893 murder trial as Lizzie stands accused of killing her father and stepmother the year before. She battles for her life while facing the gallows, and while trying to save her family from a deadly scourge unleashed on her city. 

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2: The Axe Will Fall continues the story with a more fictional account of Lizzie's life after the trial. There are some spoilers if you didn't read the first book. 


** Check out the new interview at The Bold Mom:



 ** See more information on the real life crime on my website.

I also have other places to get the books on the website pages. See book 1 and book 2

Or get it ordered to your favorite bookstore at bookshop.org: 

book 1  https://bookshop.org/books/lizzie-borden-zombie-hunter-2-the-axe-will-fall/9781717351654

 book 2  https://bookshop.org/books/lizzie-borden-zombie-hunter-2-the-axe-will-fall/9781717100597


Friday, April 10, 2020

#A to Z Blogging I Just Like Other Kinds of Mysteries

Combination Today - I Just Like Other Kinds of Mysteries

* Go to Day 1 - Come back Tuesday, 4/14 for the next post for L

When it comes to mysteries, sometimes you get tired of reading the same old topic or theme. It's like knowing someone will turn up dead every time Jessica Fletcher appears. So, I went looking around and found some mysteries that are a bit different... And no, they don't have to be spooky or horrific all the time. 


Time Travel



 

In Times Like These: A Time Travel Adventure, (Book 1 of 4) Nathan Van Coops - Benjamin Travers has been electrocuted. What’s worse, he and his friends have woken up in the past. As the friends search for a way home, they realize they’re not alone. There are other time travelers, and some of them are turning up dead.

Leonardo and Gabriel, Tim Tigner - Leonardo was a genius of his time who dabbled in various fields. But his lasting works like The Last Supper, make the viewer ponder one of the greatest mysteries, where and how he got his inspiration. This offers a different, philosophical view and approach to the great painter's works... 



Fairy Tales


If you like your mysteries with a touch of fantasy... and romance...  


Snow White and the Seven Murders, A Romantic Cozy Novella,  Amorette Anderson - Snow White is a business reporter who learns a killer is on the loose. Her snooping pays off when she follows some hot leads - and finds an even hotter prince. (Of course.) 


Senior Sleuths 


From knitters to nursing home residents, this seems to be a growing cozy mystery category.




  



Seniors Sleuth, (Winston Wong Cozy Book 1), JJ Chow - It's not often you find an ethnic mystery, so this is refreshing. Winston Wong leaves a spiraling career to follow his childhood love of sleuthing and takes on his first case, to confirm the natural death of a man in his nineties and untangle the lies in a nursing environment with a cast of characters.

The Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives, (Books 1-3), D.E. Haggerty - Ha, fun description. The knitters are too busy solving crimes to actually get any knitting done. 

The Old Farts in Miami, Richard Hill - The title got my attention as did the idea of seniors as sleuths, this time a group of "old Vietnam Veterans" who take on a cartel and kidnapping.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: H for Historical Vintage Crimes

* Go to Day 1


  That's why I love hunting and doing searches as I never would've found this gem. This is a fascinating find! If you enjoy reading about historical crimes, then here's an interesting compilation based on actual vintage police and detective records. Sounds like something every crime writer and reader will want to have in their library.

Vintage True Crime Stories Vol. 1: Illustrated Anthology of Forgotten Cases of Murder & Mayhem, Dalton O' Sullivan -  The first 15 stories are taken from a rare true crime book,  Enemies of the Underworld: Embracing Sixty-Eight Stories by America's foremost Detectives, by Frank Dalton O’Sullivan. The 700-page book is a combination manual for new detectives, and true crime book featuring true stories co-authored by senior detectives and police chiefs from across the United States. Self-published in 1917, the book sold for five-dollars, the 2018 equivalent of $108--which might explain why it's nearly impossible to find a copy of it today.

Volume I contains fifteen stories from O’Sullivan’s book, while the remaining five chapters were selected from Fifty Years a Detective by Thomas Furlong, published in 1912.
Mixed in with these twenty stories are sixty-five images, fifty-two footnotes, a dozen epilogues, and ten annotations. BONUS: Volume I  has a companion webpage where readers can find more information including 116 images, and 139 pages of newspaper coverage about the crimes covered in the book.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: G for The Goodbye Family

If you like the old weird west, this is a fun idea. (Check out this cool animation!)




* Go to Day 1

 The Goodbye Family by Lorin Morgan-Richards is a unique, illustrated novel featuring a family of... undertakers....  (Hey, there are zombies, too!) Read on for a short interview with the author.

About the Book:

The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain follows the lives of Weird West undertakers Otis, Pyridine, and their daughter Orphie. Pyridine is a witch and matriarch mortician, Otis is a brainless but bold hearse driver, and Orphie is appointed grave digger for her strength of twenty men. Through bumbling, Otis discovers his neighbors are turning into zombies, a mystery that is directly affecting their burial business. 

In their backyard cemetery, they travel to the underworld for answers and uncover a plot to surface the evil entities that would otherwise burn in the Lake of Fire, have risen again through oil pumps that are bottled up as a tonic medicine for the ground above. The tonic goes fast, and the host takes over the body when the body perishes. Can the Goodbyes hilarious gaffes and revelations plug up the works? Find out in this fast-paced carriage ride through the underworld. The story includes an exclusive foreword by entertainer and medium Richard-Lael Lillard.

Got a copy of this fun book from the author so I'll be reviewing it later. I love that it has original drawings in it.

* This is fun. See the fictional town and the inhabitants' drawings at the website. Click around the map to visit the various locations.

* He also has a Wikipedia page about the book.

Interview with Lorin Morgan-Richards:

How long have you been drawing? 

Professionally since 2009. However, I started as a child when I would use drawing as my main filter for expression. I struggled with dyslexia and just about every note for class had a doodle beside it.

Where else has your art been published? 

Before I started A Raven Above Press, I was published in a few zines and indie publications. I learned how to do guerrilla marketing and promotion through various projects I founded and co-founded, the most profound being Celtic Family Magazine that was distributed internationally and was in major chains across the US and Canada. The magazine took a lot of work, but I learned from it. One of my mentors of DIY publishing was publisher and author V. Vale of RE/Search Magazine who I first met at the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco. 

How did you get the idea for the book?

The Goodbye Family and the Great Mountain is a sequel to Me’ma and the Great Mountain. While Me’ma, is about an Indigenous child who overcomes her fears to battle an evil tyrant by using traditional knowledge, the Goodbye family exist in the same world as the town undertakers. I thought up the Goodbyes in 2009 on the streets of Paris. I took a journal on the trip which also included Oxford, London, Cardiff, and York. The trip itself had many inspiring themes that played into the book. 

A few years ago, I became close friends with a talented medium Richard-Lael Lillard who provided the foreword.
Was the art first or the story?

The original notes included Orphie, a daughter who was adventurous and had super-strength. The illustration followed with her sitting atop the Notre Dame Cathedral beside a gargoyle. Otis, a quirky undertaker, who was illustrated going through customs to board a train with shrunken heads and a casket. Pyridine, a matriarch of the family and funeral director, was sewing a cadaver arm in Cardiff. 

For the book, the story came first also but has evolved over the nine years it took to write. Then, nine collections and nine hundred comics helped develop the story further.

What inspired the whole concept?

I have vivid dreams that bring forward ideas  and when my daughter Berlin was born two years after Orphie was created, she helped fill out Orphie’s personality quite a bit. My wife Valerie and I have always been into what some might consider goth or darker motifs. We met at goth club after all in 1996 (it is called the Phantasy Nite Club). Additionally, her grandparents had a funeral business.

 Likewise, with a passion for the victorian era and Old West it was easy to build on Otis and Pyridine’s characters. Just like the Goodbyes, we laugh a lot and I believe humor bridges the weight of serious reflection. That said, the serious themes in the story include our dependence on oil and societal controls. As Me’ma in my first book uses traditional knowledge to overcome barriers, the Goodbyes use a touch of disorder and ability to laugh in the face of danger. Not to mention their love of the macabre. 

I live in California, specifically in Los Angeles near CBS Studios where they filmed the TV series, The Wild Wild West, with the late great Robert Conrad (not the Will Smith film), a major influence on me and the Weird West genre. 

What work did you do before this or still do? 

My career used to be in music, producing my own musicals and working for Caroline Distribution in New York. I had to abandon this dream to follow another when 9-11 led to a job loss and my finances couldn't  keep up with the expense. I turned to writing and illustrating, and traveled across country with my wife to start a new chapter in my life. I began working at an art gallery in Westwood, California and got to know the business while studying their many catalogs of art, honing in on the Surrealists. I started to craft my first novel here and would visit the nearby UCLA library to do research for my ideas.  


I then received an Anthropology degree from California State University, Los Angeles where I studied both folklore (my focus was ghostlore) under Dr. Elliott Oring, a key scholar in the field, and Native American studies. I followed a path in museums and currently work at the J. Paul Getty Trust.