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October is the month of being scary, right? But I’m a romance author, so I found a way to combine the two. Loving Among the Dead is the answer that I found. A mix of erotic romance and scary zombie adventure, it’s sure to get your blood racing in one way or the other. Here’s a blurb.
Nothing in her graduate history courses prepared Judith Graham for the monotony of her existence in the weeks following a zombie apocalypse. Hiding from the rotted world in her makeshift fortress, she subsists on dehydrated food and lonely thought.
When she gives up and decides to satisfy her need for a break in routine, she crosses paths with Sky Beckett, a high school physics teacher making his way to his Southern childhood home. Several passionate encounters coupled with Sky’s assertion that things are only going to get worse not better, spark Judith’s doubts about the isolated life she’s chosen.
But can an ever-cautious Judith find the strength to leave the false security of her past behind to create a new future with Sky in an uncertain world?
Click the book cover below to purchase:
Please note, this is an erotic romance with a heat level of 4.
Here’s an excerpt:
Judith Graham buried her parents on a Sunday. After a brief prayer, she placed her mother’s favorite plant at the head of her grave, and her father’s pipe—still full of tobacco ashes—at the head of his.
She brushed the dirt from her jeans, tucked the work gloves in her back pocket, and sat on the back deck sipping from a can of warm soda, watching the sun set. There were no tears. Her mother’s pistol was at her side, the gunmetal gleaming in the fading orange light.
Would it have made a difference if she had gotten home sooner?
The letter, written on her mother’s heavy monogrammed stationery, had been propped on the mantel, addressed to “Judith” in even, no-nonsense script. A marked contrast to the pale lavender paper, the black words indicated her father brought home the infection. She shot him in the back of his head when he started making gurgling, groaning sounds at the static on the television. Then she dug their graves, dragged him into his, and shot herself.
Stay hidden. Don’t trust anyone. Her mother’s final words to her. Jude was alone.
Her brother was south, somewhere, Alabama, the last she’d heard. Marcus did what he wanted, when he wanted. She was the good daughter who minded what her parents told her.
It wasn’t so bad at first. Between the initial shock of her parents’ deaths, and making defensive alterations to the house, there was no time or energy to think or feel much of anything.
Once the house was safe, the dehydrated food, water bottles, and toiletries arranged in the first floor den, the camp shower with its battery pump working and the lanterns loaded, there was lots of time to be lonely. Rereading favorite novels, patrolling the inside of the house, and searching for elusive ham broadcasts on the shortwave radio only filled up so much time.
She stopped looking at family photos because they made her cry, leaving her exhausted and listless, lying on the bed or the sofa or the floor for hours until the urge to pee roused her enough to move.
Her neighborhood was deserted. No walking dead bodies roamed the streets. Either her neighbors had gotten out or had been zombified in the confines of their homes, unable to juice up the physical memory necessary to open a door and escape. For that she was grateful. She’d had to smash too many zombie heads on her way back home from Philadelphia for her to revisit it with people she once knew.
Title: Butterfly Kisses
Synopsis: (from imdb) A filmmaker discovers a box of video tapes depicting two students’ disturbing film project featuring a local horror legend, The Peeping Tom. As he sets out to prove this story is real and release it as a work of his own, he loses himself and the film crew following him into his project.
Streaming on Amazon Video.
With the introduction of so many streaming services and places to watch movies and other media online, it is difficult to find quality entertainment to watch. This is especially true in the world of the horror move lover: anyone with a good enough camera (including the iPhone 5 camera) and some willing friends/associates can create a film and upload it for viewing. This explains the huge number of simply terrible horror movies one runs into on any given service. Even the so-called “big finance” movies can be failures, no matter how good they look or how pervasive their marketing is. (I’m looking at you The Open House).
On the other hand, if you watch enough movies, as I do, you can sometime find some gems hidden in the coal-dusted rubble. I’m not saying these are diamond, but they’re a lot better than the usual fare found in the horror genre.
For this blog post, I’m going to be writing about Butterfly Kisses, an Amazon Prime offering. Amazon Prime has a LOT of horror movies, and it takes a patient soul (like me) to wade through the chaff to get to the pure grain of the good movies.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I have preference for found-footage horror. Some like potted meat, I like found footage horror. While I love the genre, found footage can be a serious hit or miss. Basically, some of the worse I’ve seen are like some of the ghost hunting shows on cable, complete with boring parts.
However, every once in a while, I get lucky and find a mediocre to good found footage horror film that doesn’t have a lot of heavy breathing and people asking “what’s that”?
Butterfly Kisses is a found footage horror film resting on an interesting premise: a film within a film. A filmmaker discovers a box of tapes in his home. These tapes depict the project of two film students who were investigating a local urban legend call the Peeping Tom. The bulk of the film is this filmmaker trying to prove that this legend is true while he sifts through the footage the students left behind. There’s two stories running: the filmmaker in the “present time” and the students “in the past”.
All in all, it was a pretty interesting movie. I liked the multiple layers of the film and the subplots which weaved in and out of the narrative. There was very little shaky-cam and a few good jump scares. I actually watched the movie twice to catch all the little details that came into play later.
Certainly, it’s a theme/plot device that’s been addressed before in numerous movies and shows, but the execution in this movie is pretty good. The acting is decent and there are some parts which are actually kind of touching/sad.
Not to wax overly philosophical, but the film also brings up themes of what is real/what is not, and how far one is willing to go for a vision and/or belief.
Give Butterfly Kisses a try. While it’s not a great film, I’ve seen a lot worse.
It’s almost that time of year. We’re creeping up on Halloween, which seems to be fast becoming the most popular holiday out of the year! Being a lover of horror movies (in the bright light of morning and afternoon, that is), Halloween is a fun time of the year for me too. Although my children have now outgrown the need to dress up for the holiday–well, except for my youngest, who requested a gas mask to complete his costume–I still enjoy the spirit of the holiday.
I like to keep up with my horror movie watching with this cool journal I created… keeps all your horror movie reviews in a safe place:
As I mentioned, I do love horror movies during the day, so I found a YouTube Tag online that feeds my habit but good. I present to you the Horror Movie Tag.
1. What is the First horror movie you remember watching?
2. What is your favorite horror movie?
3. What is your favorite horror movie genre?
4. What genre scares you the most?
5. What is the last horror movie you watched that actually scared you?
6. Who is your ultimate scream queen?
7. What’s a concept that you’d like to see in horror?
8. What is your favorite on screen kill?
9. What’s your favorite horror franchise?
10. Who’s your favorite horror director?
(Bonus Question) 11. What famous horror movie have you never seen?
Yes. It’s barely fall. It’s 75 degrees outside. I realize all that. But also realize, even as we still sip iced lemonade and eat salad for a dinner, the cool season of Halloween is right around the corner. Don’t get caught out. Even with one or two day shipping, some places might just run out of inventory by the time you’re wearing that awesome orange scarf and sipping mulled apple cider.
What I’m trying to say is the time to prepare is now!
What I like about inflatables is that they not only make a great impact on a lawn, but they are also easy to store for the next years. Deflate, pop it into a bin, and you’re done. I also like the ease of setup. Two or three inflatable can make your house look Halloween with a minimum of effort. They also range in scare factor; you can have a cute Halloween setup, or you can go full out scary.
Let’s take a look of some of my favorite Halloween decorations: inflatable edition.
I am partial to owls, and this is cute little decoration. Scary on a cartoon level, but nothing that may deter a little one from approaching your house. If you like kid friendly decorations, this is definitely one to start with.
Stack of Pumpkins with Cute Ghost
How cute is this? I have a picture of my daughter when she was only about six or seven at a Halloween party with this particular inflatable, so I suppose I’m partial to it. Click the picture to purchase!
Inflatable Spooky Cat
How cute is this? This will certainly be a great centerpiece for your front lawn Halloween decorations. Again, not too scary, so it’s family friendly. Click below to purchase.
There is a lot of horror out there, to be sure. Movies, short films, novels, two-sentence horror stories, flash fiction, etc. I’ve realized that my favorite medium of horror on the printed pages is the short story. I absolutely loved Stephen King’s Nightshift anthology, and I am always on the lookout for those older, “classic” stories that were innovative for their time.
Thus, I have three scary stories for you that you can read online at your leisure. Shall we begin?
If you’re a fan of science fiction horror in the vein of The Thing from Another World, the Alien series and the Blog, etc, you will like where this story is coming from .
Briefly put, it’s the story of a group of explorers in the Antarctic, who discover the remains of a civilization that came from space, plus alien bodies. Now that you know what direction the story is going, go read it now. You won’t be sorry.
So you like weird westerns? Odd events in the wide expanse of the desert, where there is nothing but cacti and the sounds of your screams for miles? Then “They Bite” is for you. I first read this story in an Alfred Hitchcock magazine as a teenager. I will say, this story has stuck with me through the years, and even as I read it again, it’s still scary.
Such a simple premise: how greed and killing can lead to a very odd end.
I absolutely love stories like these. The premise is a little boy who is in the hospital. He’s also in isolation and those that deal with him have to wear what he calls “hot suits”. To say anymore would give the story away, so check it out here.
So there you are, three stories you can read online right now that are perfect for the spooky month of Halloween or anytime.