Thursday, October 31, 2013


For the first half of third grade my family lived on the Colorado grasslands an hour East of Colorado Springs. Four essential buildings squatted at the crossing of two desolate roads. Two miles later, the school constituted the remainder of the town.

I lived at the school.

My father was Superintendent. With the title came a trailer home on school property to squat in.

Alone in infinite space, I roamed across the prairie, catching frogs in cow ponds, inspecting skeletons in washouts, worrying about snakes. I learned to ride my bike on the empty, undulating roads, riding from nowhere to nowhere. The sky was so big I could see stars twinkling on one horizon while the sun rested on the other.

I once found a nest in a cottonwood tree. I dissected it to see how nests are made. Buried in the prairie grass and feathers and white droppings I found the desiccated bodies of three chicks. When they died one spring, the mother just built the nest over them.

That's what bird nests are made of. Birds.

I befriended a stray cat on our front porch. I fed it, watered it, gave it milk. I squatted on the porch, reached out a hand to pet it. It suffered me, unsure, perhaps feeling exploited. It wavered between fear and physical satisfaction. Then it bit me. I don't remember going to the hospital but I do remember staring at the pinkish strand of muscle hanging out of a puncture wound on my arm. 

Despite the permanent danger of this wild space, there were only two places I was afraid of, one before and one after.

An incinerator hulked behind the school, black as a black hole, the embodiment of death. The school janitor threw in garbage, magically transformed from rotting foodstuffs and dog eaten homework to a thick, black smoke. That had a profound effect on me, that matter could be obliterated.

I was made of matter.

I sometimes sifted through the clinker that fell out of the furnace, trying to determine what it was before it became charcoal glass. Bits of plastic dolls, bottles, wood, light bulbs, reams of paper, but mostly pure carbon blackened beyond recognition. I feared the janitor, not for himself, but for this awesome power he wielded.

Across from our trailer home, the school repaired busses and equipment in a dark garage. We were not allowed in, but one weekend afternoon my sister and I took our chances. The greasy engines and splintered wood held my attention until I was distracted by a blink from the round glass eye of a discarded washing machine. It sat in the back of the shop, hidden in shadows.

I liked how the light played off the curved glass. I was intrigued by the perforated drum just visible beyond. I looked at the wispy smoke rotating inside, forming a face. A face that looked at me.

My parents are to blame for keeping this memory alive. Whenever the topic of spirits or a netherworld encroaches on a conversation, they say, "You saw a ghost once, remember? In the washing machine." It sounds worse in person.

But they’re serious. They believed me when I came home, excited and terrified. They believed me because, though I didn’t remember, I’d seen one before.

Prior to moving to Colorado, we lived in the small village of Chevak, Alaska. My parents taught at the tiny school the government built for the native Inuit. 

When I was three, I accompanied my father on a walk through the village with one of his Inuit friends. The journey carried us outside of town, onto the wet tundra. We happened upon a native graveyard. "Daddy," I asked, interrupting their conversation. "Who are the blue people?"

As my father tells it, I saw blue people standing beside or sitting on the gravestones. I went on to describe one man in particular, a blue man. By my description, our Inuit friend identified him as the village elder who died the prior year.

I worry about that now that I have a son of my own, I know that little kids have a strong imagination, but they are also brutally honest. If my son said he saw "blue people", I would be inclined to believe him.

So when my three year old son stood at the base of our apartment stairwell and said "Do you hear that? Thump, thump, thump,” and described the boy trapped behind the masonry wall in the void beneath the stairs, crying and kicking to be let out…

Ronan Cray
New York 2013

Recently rated Top 10 New Horror Authors by Horror Novel Reviews, Ronan Cray is hard at work on his next novel, Dust Eaters. He lives and drinks in New York City when he isn't holed up in his writer's shack in rural Pennsylvania. He deals with life the same way everyone does - with procrastination, complaints, and the occasional tipper. After travelling the real world, sampling the heat in Dubai, the cold in Russia, and the smog in China, he decided fiction is better. Stay home. Read. Enjoy.

Mr. Cray always has time for a chat.
Check out his blog:
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or Tweet: @ronancray




On this most auspicious occasion, we are pleased to giveaway TEN COPIES of Ronan Cray's bestselling horror thriller RED SAND! There will be FIVE PRINT COPIES and FIVE ECOPIES up for the taking!

To win, change into a bat and hurry on over to our HALLOWEENPALOOZA OFFICIAL FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE! When there, look for today's post announcing this blog and giveaway. Comment IN THAT POST that "I WANT TO WIN PRINT" or "I WANT TO WIN AN ECOPY"!  If you are one of the first ten to do so, YOU WILL WIN!!! 

This is our last giveaway of HALLOWEENPALOOZA 2013 and we wanted to make it special for all you supporters of horror! After all, a par-tay ain't nothing without great guests and you guys have done HALLOWEEN proud!  

And the par-tay ain't quite over! Brian Moreland, Michael Allan Scott, Douglas Wickard, Ronan Cray and Your Mistress of Mayhem will be interviewed on Twitter tonight by the fantabulous SEZONI WHITFIELD! Just use hashtag #WritersKaboodle and follow the action! There's no telling what any of us will say!

So til next time ... a big thanks for participating in our little shindig! May your costumes stay on, may you remain safe from the undead, and may your trick or treat bags always remain overflowing with your favorite candy! 

And lest I forget, BOO!


On this island, there are no survivors.

Lost meets Treasure Island in this riveting account of castaways on a desert island hunted on all sides. A rare blend of breathtaking action, deep character development, corporeal horror, and a believable story line brings this modern adventure to life.

When the cruise ship Princess Anne sinks at night in the middle of the Atlantic, strange, white-haired natives pluck seven survivors from the water. Delivered to a barren volcanic island and forced to work, the survivors disappear one by one as the natives, and the island itself, turn hostile. An old betrayal tears apart the native political structure as a hurricane threatens to bring to life the deadly secret of the island. With time running out, the natives and survivors alike form and break alliances to escape by any means possible.

Fear the natives. Fear the Island. Fear each other. Fear yourself.

If you miss Lost, don't miss Red Sand. All the action, suspense, betrayal, and mystery you could ask for with scenes so swiftly terrifying you'll gasp for air. Deeply human characters draw you in until horribly detailed descriptions end them. You’ll shut your eyes when it happens, but you'll tell everyone about it the next day.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


When I was younger, I enjoyed listening to a good ghost story, but I never believed that ghosts were real.   Of course all of that changed several years ago, when my husband, my two daughters and I moved into a house where a young woman had died in her bedroom from natural causes.  Her mother and father built this house when their daughter was still just a little girl, and later after her parent’s divorce, she and her mother continued living there.  Some years later, the young lady died and her mother moved, but instead of selling the house, she leased it for several years.  We just happen to be one of the lucky ones who got to meet her daughter after her death.

The hauntings all began rather innocently.  One day, I thought I saw someone walk by an opened doorway, but after searching the entire house, I discovered I was the only one there. I didn’t think much of it, and came to believe I had only imagined seeing someone walk by, until it started happening all of the time.  One particular day, I was searching through the refrigerator when I thought I heard one of one my daughters say, “Mom,” but when I turned around, there was no one behind me.  In fact, the rest of my family was still fast asleep.  With so many weird things happening, I thought I must be going a little crazy and chalked it all up to my wild imagination, until my daughters and husband all said that the same types of things happened to them. I guess our ghost got comfortable living with us, because after that first experience, she often said our names to get our attention.

My oldest daughter’s bedroom must have formerly been the departed young lady’s because most of the physical activity took place there. Several nights, my daughter would be woken from a sound sleep by someone shaking her bed or by loud footsteps in the room.  One night, the activity was especially annoying because the ghost wouldn’t stop shaking the bed. My daughter finally became so irritated she demanded that the ghost stop.  Strangely enough, the ghost listened and settled down for the entire evening.

For some reason I was never afraid of living in that house even though it was haunted.  Our ghost never made us feel like we were trespassing in her home.  In fact, I think she liked having us there.  Six years later when we moved again, I thought we would leave those types of experiences behind, but on my very first day in our new home, strange things started happening there, too.  Every day around five o’clock, we would hear what sounded like the front door being opened. It would be quickly followed by loud footsteps going down the hallway.  I don’t think this was ever an intelligent haunting, though. We were well aware that whoever lived there before had anger issues since most of the walls and wooden doors had holes from someone slamming their fists through them.  Our beautiful home had absorbed so much bad energy that it daily kept reliving the negative events.

You’ll be happy to know that our new house is free of spirits-both good and evil.  These days no one is trying to get my attention by calling my name or stomping down my hallway.  Do I believe in ghosts?  You bet your granny’s panties I do, but so far I’ve never had to face one that scared me so much I went screaming  out into the night. Besides, I’m not crazy enough to go out in the dark by myself.


Regina Puckett is an award nominated author for her short story, Balloon Wishes.

Borrowed Wings, has received the Children's Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

Memories won first place in the WSBR International Poetry Contest. It is included in her book of poetry, Tilting at Windmills and Words.

She has been writing for over forty-five years. She lives in Tennessee with her husband of over forty years. She has two grown daughters and four grandchildren.

She writes sweet romances, horror, inspirational, picture books and poetry. There are several projects in various stages of completion and there are always characters and stories waiting for their chance to finally get out of her head and onto paper.

Please come and visit me at 


With one day to go before the big event, we've celebrating by giving away TWO ECOPIES of REGINA PUCKETT'S  SHORT TALES OF HORROR! It's a brilliant collection of short stories that is sure to give a tingle up your spine and send you running to make sure the door is latched and barricaded! 

To win, please visit HALLOWEENPALOOZA'S OFFICIAL FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE. Find today's post announcing this blog and giveaway and comment "I WANT TO WIN" in the October 29th post! If you're one of the first two to do so, you will win the fright of your life! 

So please hurry! These books go fast! 

Good luck and may the candle in your pumpkin burn eternally! 


Mine- A night of ghost hunting with a sexy coworker turns into a deadly game of cat and mouse with an evil spirit. Can anything save them when the spirit decides they belong to him? Crying through Plastic Eyes-A messy divorce, a room filled with creepy dolls, and a missing six-year-old all create the perfect storm for a young mother’s worse nightmare. Will Work for Food- You see them everywhere begging for money or food. When an older couple decides to lend a helping hand to a young man and his son, someone gets more than they bargain for. Pieces-A battered woman confesses to the mutilation and death of her husband, but did she really commit this heinous crime? Paying the Hitchhiker-You see a beautiful young woman on the side of the road with her thumb out, asking for a ride. Who should be the most afraid: the hitchhiker or the person picking her up? Inheritance-A confession from Accalia’s grandmother about a curse and an inheritance are just the prologue to seven days of suffering through a living hell.