Monday, October 21, 2013

Shhh...Whispers in the Dark is here...

I will refrain from being too smug in this post but I am quite pleased with myself. I've put together a collection of shorts that I believe do a fine job of weaving through the world of the macabre. When I think of horror, I don't just picture a man with a butcher knife ready to cut me to neat little pieces. I also don't focus on just ghouls and goblins, haunting the shadows of a darkened room. For me, the thrill of the scare is housed in a reality of fear. Could this happen to me? No matter how implausible it may appear, if my life was shaped as the character in the narrative, could I too experience something like this. This definitely speaks to the suspension of disbelief theory but for me when it comes to horror, I should want to deny the facts that are presented to me because to acknowledge them would acknowledge just how vulnerable I can be.

When I wrote these stories I thought of the implausible and the importance of suspension of disbelief, but I tried to stay grounded in the human desire to deny at all costs what can harm them. The reptilian part of the brain should be activated and when my readers close their eyes at night, a little voice should whisper ever so softly to them, "It's always safer to be afraid of what's in the dark."

Happy Reading!

Whispers in the Dark

The floorboards squeak but you aren’t moving, there’s a fleeting caress across your shoulder but you’re alone, a light rapping on your window and yet, there is no rain. These are whispers in the dark. Delve inside a world where intuition is key and negligent dismissal can cost one their life.
Thirteen tales of encounters that will make you question if everything is as it seems. Thirteen tales that will make you just a little more conscious of that stranger on the street, that scratching at your backdoor, that telltale silence in your home…

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Scary Urban Legends

Photo Credit:  Wikipedia

We all know 'em, don't we?  The friend of a friend of my cousin who....they all start out that way and always end badly for that sort-of person we kinda know. They even made a movie (or three) about it, then there was that television series that acted them out (badly) for you.
Let's talk about a few of these, shall we?  And remember to leave the light on....
The Clown Statue Murderer: An Urban Legend
The story of the clown statue murderer is an urban legend. It is not a true story but can spark fear in anyone who reads it. It has been passed around as a chain letter online since 2004.
Here is the story:
"A girl in her teens is babysitting for a family in Newport Beach, Ca. The family is wealthy and has a very large house - you know the sort, with a ridiculous amount of rooms. Anyways, the parents are going out for a late dinner/movie. The father tells the babysitter that once the children are in bed she should go into this specific room (he doesn't really want her wandering around the house) and watch TV there.

The parents take off and soon she gets the kids into bed and goes to the room to watch TV. She tries watching TV, but she is disturbed by a clown statue in the corner of the room. She tries to ignore it for as long as possible, but it starts freaking her out so much that she can't handle it.

She resorts to calling the father and asks, "Hey, the kids are in bed, but is it okay if I switch rooms? This clown statue is really creeping me out."

The father says seriously, "Get the kids, go next door and call 911."
She asks, "What's going on?"
He responds, "Just go next door and once you call the police, call me back."
She gets the kids, goes next door, and calls the police. When the police are on the way, she calls the father back and asks, "So, really, what's going on?"
He responds, "We don't HAVE a clown statue." He then further explains that the children have been complaining about a clown watching them as they sleep. He and his wife had just blown it off, assuming that they were having nightmares.
The police arrive and apprehend the "clown," who turns out to be a midget. A midget clown! I guess he was some homeless person dressed as a clown, who somehow got into the house and had been living there for several weeks. He would come into the kids' rooms at nights and watch them while they slept. As the house was so large, he was able to avoid detection, surviving off their food, etc. He had been in the TV room right before the babysitter right came in there. When she entered he didn't have enough time to hide, so he just froze in place and pretended to be a statue.
Yeah.  As I said earlier on a discussion group, between IT and John Wayne Gacy, I don't have any time for clowns.
And another to make your hair stand on end.  This is an oldie but a still a goodie:
The Killer in the Backseat....
One night a woman went out for drinks with her girlfriends. She left the bar fairly late at night, got in her car and onto the deserted highway. After a few minutes she noticed a lone pair of headlights in her rear-view mirror, approaching at a pace just slightly quicker than hers. As the car pulled up behind her she glanced and saw the turn signal on — the car was going to pass — when suddenly it swerved back behind her, pulled up dangerously close to her tailgate and the brights flashed.
Now she was getting nervous. The lights dimmed for a moment and then the brights came back on and the car behind her surged forward. The frightened woman struggled to keep her eyes on the road and fought the urge to look at the car behind her. Finally, her exit approached but the car continued to follow, flashing the brights periodically.
Through every stoplight and turn, it followed her until she pulled into her driveway. She figured her only hope was to make a mad dash into the house and call the police. As she flew from the car, so did the driver of the car behind her — and he screamed, "Lock the door and call the police! Call 911!"
When the police arrived the horrible truth was finally revealed to the woman. The man in the car had been trying to save her. As he pulled up behind her and his headlights illuminated her car, he saw the silhouette of a man with a butcher knife rising up from the back seat to stab her, so he flashed his brights and the figure crouched back down.
The moral of the story: Always check the back seat!
Yes, they're (mostly) not true, but don't they give you a shiver?
Pleasant Dreams!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Blurbs of Horror: In the Bloodstream

Not so fast, creepy critters...we have one more new title to showcase and give you shivers...

The love of horror is like a virus. 

It gets into your bloodstream, causing an insatiable hunger for more. There is no cure, only 

the ability to soothe the craving until the need—once again—grows too great. And you 


Urban legends that are sickeningly real. 

Attempts to cheat death that don’t quite succeed. 

Creatures with power over this world and the next. 

Twisted desires of the flesh that must be met no matter what the cost. 

Just in time for Halloween and all its thrills, “In the Bloodstream” brings together some of 

horror’s most imaginative new writers. These thirty-one short stories will infiltrate your 

system and leave you wondering about that creaking outside the door, while satisfying 

your need for the darkly disturbing. 

At least for now…


So now you have some options to tear into this Halloween, some titles to curl up with in the dark to delight to. Just remember to make sure that the doors and windows are locked tight, there's nothing under your bed, and that any strange phone calls you might receive can't come from inside the house. After all, you want to enjoy these reads, and it's better to be safe and scared than sorry..

Blurbs of Horrors: Whispers in the Dark by Janet Eckford

Ha! I bet you thought that was it, didn't you? Not so fast, fear fans...there's some new titles to sink your fangs into....

Amazon   MMP Store   
The floorboards squeak but you aren’t moving, there’s a fleeting caress across your shoulder but you’re alone, a light rapping on your window and yet, there is no rain. These are whispers in the dark. Delve inside a world where intuition is key and negligent dismissal can cost one their life.
Thirteen tales of encounters that will make you question if everything is as it seems. Thirteen tales that will make you just a little more conscious of that stranger on the street, that scratching at your backdoor, that telltale silence in your home…

Blurbs of Horrors: Hellshift by Tom Olbert

Have you gathered yourself from the last blurb? Good, because there's more where that came from!

Imagine a world where everyone must work in the worst conditions imaginable, where long shifts blend together with sci-fi technology and landscapes and the odd mutilated body or two. This probably isn't a job that you'd like to punch in for, but unfortunately for Preston Chandler, there's no escaping his Hellshift...

Amazon        MMP Store       Nook
Preston Chandler is a lonely, overworked corporate office drone on the worst assignment of his life. In the dark future world of Preston’s time, low-level clerks like himself must serve a 1-year shift on a corporate mining colony on a hellish alien planet whose indigenous population has been wiped out by nuclear genocide.
He isn’t safe even in his corporate offices, as dismembered human bodies begin turning up. Preston fears he is losing his mind. He desperately wants to return to Earth, but is trapped in an escalating nightmare. Computerized psych-evaluation technology probes his mind with dehumanizing invasiveness.
Preston finally completes his assignment and is looking forward to returning home to Earth at last. But will his Hellshift ever end ?


Excerpt 1
Something was moving in the shadows, in the sputtering light of the dark tunnel.  Something inhuman.
Preston Chandler’s flabby chest was tight, his breathing shallow.  He was afraid to move. It stirred just outside the darkened subway car, the guttural breathing and scraping claws of the thing outside inching their way up his spine.  Preston had dozed off on the subway on his way home from another exhausting double shift at the office.  At first, he’d thought it another bad dream.  The hair prickling on the back of his neck, he’d dug his fingernails deep into his forearm, the pain infuriatingly real.  His eyes swept the darkened car.  Only intermittent power remained in the tube station outside.  “Hello?” he called out in a strangled throat, hoping desperately he wasn’t alone.  His eyes froze, his jaw dropping in a silent scream. In the brief illumination of an electrical flash, he saw disemboweled human cadavers.  Their flesh was shredded like cheesecloth, their, disembodied organs strewn across the inside of the car like butcher’s scraps.  The walls and seats were splattered with gore.
The thing outside shrieked and howled, throwing its lengthy bulk against the side of the train.

Wait! Don't scroll away so fast...after all, there's more to lure you into this title in another excerpt...

Excerpt 2

Straightening his tie, he winced at the sight of his drawn face and sunken, dark-circled eyes in the mirror.  He froze, his knees turning to putty at the sight of the tall, misshapen dark figure standing behind him.
He spun, a scream catching in his throat.  Nothing.  Nothing but shadows.  He was alone.  The tension drained out of his body as he sighed and buried his head in his hands.  He’d been working too hard.  His brain was tired, that was all.  Get ahold of yourself, he thought, beginning to feel a bit queasy.  Wiping perspiration from his brow, he went to a stall, fearing he might be sick.  He felt his shoe stick to something on the floor.  He glanced down in the poor light, seeing some dark spill. Wincing in disgust and irritation, he opened the stall door, intent on complaining to the facilities manager later.
His stomach clenched at the sight of Bob Campbell, one of the other clerks, sitting there on the toilet, butchered…gutted like an animal, his internal organs hanging out in a mass of blood and gore.  His eyes were still open, his face frozen in a waxy grimace of mortal terror.

Tom Olbert lives in Cambridge, MA, home of Harvard and MIT, of wacky street performers and strange sights.  Tom comes from a fine and most interesting family.  His science fiction and horror fiction has appeared in Mocha Memoirs Press and other publications.  His work can be found at and elsewhere on line. 

Blurbs of Horror: Alicia by E.A. Black

Welcome, fear fiends, to a very special day here at the Mocha Memoirs Press, I'm going to be bringing you blood-curdling blurbs from MMP's horror titles...there may even be an eerie excerpt or two.

To start our foray in to the frightening, we'll start with a title that starts out nice enough: a man goes to help the woman he loves. Nothing wrong with that, is there my little fiends? Ah, but as things go along, we learn that things are not always what they seem...


When the love of his life, Alicia, calls him in the middle of the night to report she had been raped, Eric drops everything to come to her rescue. She takes him on an eerie ride through turbulent hours he can't quite comprehend. Alicia may need his help, but her situation is not what it seems.

Excerpt #1:

Eric ran into the emergency room waiting room. He paced in circles around a chair, worried about Alicia. Alicia still hadn’t appeared several minutes later. Worriedly, he walked to the nurse's station.

"I'm looking for a patient named ‘Alicia’. She just arrived," Eric said. "She'd been raped."

"Who are you, sir?" A middle-aged nurse looked over the top of her horn rims with a hard expression. Eric understood why. There was no telling who he was. He could have been Alicia's abusive husband for all she knew. Would Pete have the gall to follow her to the hospital? 

"I'm a friend. Alicia called me and asked me to meet her here." He gripped the desk so hard with worry his knuckles turned white.

"She's being looked at now."

"How is she?"

"She's shaken up. It's good you're here. She needs a friend now."

"Does she need to stay?"

"No. She will be out shortly. Just have a seat over there, and she'll find you."

After what seemed like hours, Alicia walked into the waiting room as she’d said she would. Her face brightened at the sight of him, and she ran into his arms.

"Eric! I'm so glad you're here."

He caressed her pretty face. No bruises. No cuts. She smiled, revealing a perfect set of teeth. He held her close, not wanting to let her go. He never wanted to let her go. She was his Morning Star, the woman of his dreams. He rubbed his fingers against her scalp and hair as she cried quietly on his shoulder.

She lifted her head and searched his face. The tears in her eyes refracted light, but her eyes were reflecting calm beneath the churning surface. An ugly, red welt snaked around her neck. Her bastard husband had choked her.

"Are you alright?" Her voice sounded rough, like sandpiper on wood. Rage bubbled from his core, threatening to erupt in the waiting room. He stared at her, amazed at her compassion in light of her own injuries.

Here she was asking him if he was all right, and she was the one who had been raped. "Alicia, are you alright? You always think of everyone else but not yourself."

"I don’t want you to worry about me."

"I can guess what happened." Eric balled his hands into fists so tightly his fingernails cut into his skin. Rage overwhelmed the worry. He wanted to draw blood from the man who drew blood from Alicia. "Let me take him to the back of a shed and beat the shit out of him. He deserves much worse."

Not enough for you? Well, it just so happens that  I have another excerpt to  entertain you with...

Excerpt #2

Eric stepped out of the shower and a foul stench—mingled with the crisp peppermint of his shampoo—smacked him in the face and left a coppery taste in the back of his throat. His stomach heaved. Confused, he looked around the room to figure out where the smell came from, but he couldn't pinpoint it. Dread clung to him, dark and sticky, ruining his relaxed mood. The light bulbs over the sink hummed, casting harsh yellow light about the room. He shaded his eyes against the glare, trying to see.

Why were those lights so bright? Something was terribly wrong in his peaceful world, and not knowing what it was frightened him.

His wife Alicia brushed her teeth as if nothing was unusual, while the stink of rot lurked beneath the cool mint of his shampoo. Why didn't she notice the smell?

He leaned towards her to place his hand on her shoulder, and she turned her face towards his for a kiss on the cheek. Ugly, purple bruises darkened her eyes. He pulled away, repulsed and alarmed, not quite sure what he was seeing. One side of her face had swelled to a dark mask, not unlike a pumpkin that had been left outside in the damp earth to rot. An angry red welt encircled her throat like a bloody ribbon wrapped around her neck. Frightened, he reached out one hand but he couldn't bring himself to touch her swollen face. Touching her would make the vision real and it couldn't be real.

Alicia spat in the sink. Two of her teeth bounced against the porcelain. Blood tainted the paste.

"The girls are running late again." Alicia's bloodied mouth leaked crimson and white toothpaste. Why did she act as if nothing strange was going on? He gaped at her, not understanding what was happening. The safety of his home evaporated as she spoke with her raw, torn mouth. "Make them wolf down their cereal, and toss them out of the house before they miss the bus."

Have to have this title in your trembling little hands? You can pick it up for yourself, here...

Elizabeth Black writes erotica, erotic romance, speculative fiction, fantasy, and horror. She also enjoys writing retellings of classic fairy tales. Born and bred in Baltimore, she grew up under the influence of Edgar Allan Poe. Her erotic fiction has been published by Xcite Books (U. K.), House Of Erotica (U. K.), Circlet Press, Ravenous Romance, Scarlet Magazine (U. K.), and other publishers. Her horror fiction has appeared in "Kizuna: Fiction For Japan", "Stupefying Stories", "Zippered Flesh 2: More Tales Of Body Enhancements Gone Bad", "Midnight Movie Creature Feature 2", and "Mirages: Tales From Authors Of The Macabre". An accomplished essayist, she was the sex columnist for the pop culture e-zine nuts4chic (also U. K.) until it folded in 2008. Her articles about sex, erotica, and relationships have appeared in Good Vibrations Magazine, Alternet, CarnalNation, the Ms. Magazine Blog, Sexis Magazine, On The Issues, Sexy Mama Magazine, and Circlet blog. She also writes sex toys reviews for several sex toys companies.
In addition to writing, she has also worked as a gaffer (lighting), scenic artist, and make-up artist (including prosthetics) for movies, television, stage, and concerts. She worked as a gaffer for "Die Hard With A Vengeance" and "12 Monkeys". She did make-up, including prosthetics, for "Homicide: Life On The Street". She is especially proud of the gunshot wound to the head she had created with makeup for that particular episode. She also worked as a prosthetic makeup artist specializing in cyanotic blue, bruises, and buckets of blood for a test of Maryland's fire departments at the Baltimore/Washington International Airport plane crash simulation test. Yes, her jobs are fun.  ;)
She lives in Lovecraft country on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and four cats. The ocean calls her every day, and she always listens. She has yet to run into Cthulhu.

Visit her web site at
Follow her at Twitter:

Want more shivers and screams? Hold on to your jack-o-lanterns, my little creepies, because there's more where this came from...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Special Halloween Sale And Free Erotica!

In honor of Halloween, my favorite holiday, I, Elizabeth Black, am holding a special sale including FREE EROTICA! "Alicia" is a story close to my heart, since I enjoy horror but I also enjoy writing romances. So I combined the two in "Alicia".

Blurb for "Alicia":

When the love of his life, Alicia, calls him in the middle of the night to report she had been raped, Eric drops everything to come to her rescue. She takes him on an eerie ride through turbulent hours he can't quite comprehend. Alicia may need his help, but her situation is not what it seems.

Rape is a tough topic to tackle, so to add a horrific eerieness to the entire ordeal makes it even more confusing and frightening. Eric learns as much about himself as he does about Alicia as he helps her through her trauma. This book is available at the Mocha Memoirs Press web site as well as the regular ebook distributors.


From October 28 through November 3, when you buy my story "Alicia", show me proof of purchase and you get one of my erotic fairy tales FOR FREE! You have your choice between the following stories:

CLIMBING HER TOWER - erotic Rapunzel

This isn't your mother's Rapunzel.
This erotic version of Rapunzel, "Climbing Her Tower" depicts Rapunzel as a voracious woman who discovers the joys of kinky sex with a sexy prince with a few unusual kinks of his own. This story includes BDSM, M/F, M/F/F, virgin fantasy, and erotic shaving. You'll get so hot you'll want to let your hair down as well! Let Rapunzel and her prince take you on the sexual ride of a lifetime. Absolutely only for 18 years and over.
""Climbing Her Tower" is an erotic twist to the fairy tale Rapunzel. I sure love a good fairy tale and this hot and steamy tale doesn't disappoint." -- Beverly at Sizzling Hot Book Reviews
"Climbing Her Tower has all that and more. It is the story of Rapunzel told with a bit of a BDSM twist." -- Hitherandthee from Night Owl Reviews
WARNING: Rapunzel isn't sweet and innocent. In this fairy tale erotica, she tires of being a virgin and craves the touch of Prince Richard's hands all over her body. Although she begins naive, she blossoms with sexual excitement under the watchful eye of her prince, who introduces her to BDSM, erotic shaving, and deep penetration. He leaves her wanting more, and you will want more too!


This isn't your mother's Puss In Boots.
This erotic version of Puss In Boots, "Trouble In Thigh High Boots" is a story packed with hot, sexy, body humping adult fairy tale erotica.
"Trouble in Thigh High Boots is a delightfully creative retelling of the Puss in Boots tale. It is a tale that has been told myriad times, but never in such a wonderfully imaginative way. The characters are enchanting, and the story flows beautifully. The love scenes are sizzling." -- Hitherandthee of Night Owl Reviews
WARNING: Tita isn't your run of the mill Puss In Boots. She's a cat shapeshifter who turns into a mouth-wateringly sexy human woman with a sex drive to match. This story includes M/F, F/F, M/F/M/F, light bondage, and lactation. This erotic fairy tale will get you hot in all the right places. Definitely for only 18 years and over.

Don't let this sale go by without taking advantage of it! Enjoy some hot erotica and a spooky tale just in time for Halloween.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

10x10: Kick Starting Creativity

This month, I wanted to look at some ways to kick start creativity. While I use them to get my writing kick started, these tricks work in a lot of areas of life although a few are peculiar to writers. In no particular order, here they go:

 Try the same thing another way. If you normally write on a computer, hand write a story. That’s how Dragon’s Champion was written--- one page at a time. If you draw with pencils, try chalk.

Try something completely different. Paint, sing, dance… anything to get the creativity flowing.

Take a walk, clear your head.

Have a place full of inspiration. For me, I have what I call a story board. A piece of cardboard with pictures that remind me of my current work in progress. Also, buts of jewelry, a piece of a key chain, a letter opener (that looks like a sword). It doesn’t matter what it is, if it speaks to me and the current WIP.

Music. Music, music, music. Sometimes, some stories, call for Bach or Behtoven. Others call for Motely Crue. And sometimes, you just need to dance around the house.

Take a break. If you’ve been burning the candles at both ends, you might need a nap.

Journal. Not only does it get you used to writing again, you never know when you’ll hit on a thought as your scribbling away.

Got to a museum and see some beautiful things.

Write a scene where your characters go to sing Karaoke. What song do they choose? How do they sing it? Timid? Brash?

Sometimes you just have to write BLAH BLAH BLAH COME BACK LATER and move on.

Hey! I did it! I made it to 10! Woohoo! In the meantime, I hope you all have a Happy Halloween with lots of treats. Until next time, my lovelies.