Tag Archives: Mocha Memoirs Press

Been Awhile…

…with no real excuse, but I have been busy.

Since SoonerCon, I have attended three shows,  released two books, and signed several contracts.

Book Two of The Conn-Mann Chronicles is now available. The Nearly Notorious Nun is on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon.

I also have a new poetry chapbook, Overheard in Hell, which is also available on Amazon.

October will be a busy month too. I have two major releases the week of the 23rd. Killing It Softly, available now for pre-order, and my second Steampunk anthology for Mocha Memoirs, Ghosts, Gears, and Grimoires will also debut that week. This was fun to put together. It is horror with a Steampunk twist.

Coming up, more Conn-Mann is with the beta-readers, and I will be writing Book Four for NaNoWriMo, as the first three have been. What it will be, is still in question…I thought I knew…but I have been rethinking what I was planning.

I am also working on several other projects, but who knows when they will be finished. 😉

Stunning Steampunk Cover Reveal!

Heliodor cover

Heliodor, by Shannon Wendtland

Malfric sees through the eyes of the dead – literally reliving their last moments as if they were his own. This ability is highly sought and highly priced, which is why the unscrupulous Captain Finch hires him to find the murderer of a nobleman and the whereabouts of a valuable artifact.

Quantex, the able-bodied first mate of Captain Finch, quickly becomes Malfric’s foil as he demonstrates uncommon intelligence during the investigation. Together the two uncover several clues that lead them to the killer, the artifact, and the frayed end of a mysterious plot that begins to unravel the moment Malfric takes it in hand and gives it a good yank.

Available from Mocha Memoirs March 22, 2016.

I had the privilege to accept and edit this piece, and I am so excited that it will be out soon. It’s a fascinating story, and I highly recommend it!

Ending and Beginning: The State of the Resolution Address

Those of you who read this blog regularly (Thank you!) have been following my saga of submittals for the past year. Some days, we weren’t any of us sure that I could meet my goal–but I did. Over 400 submissions for 2015. At least one a day. Those submissions ranged from haikus to a novel. Some were submitted multiple times before they found a home–I never said it would be a new submission every day–but most of them did eventually find their niche.

Total Stats:

Month Rejected Accepted Subs
Jan 11 7 33
Feb 9 3 29
Mar 20 23 39
Apr 13 11 32
May 17 15 38
Jun 20 13 31
Jul 16 18 38
Aug 20 19 37
Sep 17 9 30
Oct 13 19 34
Nov 11 16 30
Dec 14 3 32
Total 181 156 403

 

It took some searching to find numbers I had missed posting to the proper columns, but this now works out correctly, with 66 subs still out and not finalized carried over to the 2016 page for follow-ups in the coming week.

I don’t know if you are impressed, but I am…lol.

 

It was exhausting. And, though i saw an uptick in the income page, not particularly profitable. My greatest income by far came from CD royalties and editing.

This year, my husband has provided me with a new goal–$5,000 income. Steep, but I am now of the opinion that if I try hard enough, i can do anything. 🙂

I will be cutting my submission goal to one a week, so I can concentrate on writing more polished pieces of greater length for markets that stretch me as a writer. (I won’t neglect my favorites, but that is the official goal.)

I will consider taking on more freelance work, and doing more paid editing.

Plus, I am in the process of re-releasing my Conn-Mann Chronicles books, and finalizing guidelines for a new Steampunk anthology with Mocha Memoirs.

The year ahead should be exciting, and busy, but not as terrifying as trying to come up with that sub for the day. 😉

Writer Interview: Katie Magnusson

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Today, I have the pleasure of sharing an interview with Katie Magnusson, one of the authors in Mocha Memoirs Press’s new Paranormal Sherlock Holmes anthology, An Improbable Truth.  Here is what she has to say for herself and her story. 🙂

 

How long have you been writing?
I wrote stories for myself all through high school and college, sometimes quick flash fiction, other times whole books, but only in the past two or three years did I start to think that maybe I could actually use all these ideas in my head, that someone else would find them interesting.

 

What was your reaction when you made your first sale?
I think I may have sat in front of the computer for a moment and said, “Holy f***.”

 

Where you do get your inspiration?
Much of it comes from other stories. I see things I like in other characters and wonder what would happen if _________________, fill in the blank… and then sort of go from there. For example, in my short story “Sherlock Holmes and the Hungry Ghost,” I had the premise of a paranormal/horror mystery to work within as part of an anthology. Paranormal mysteries have been done, so often, and often with the same character types, Holmes vs Dracula and such, I wanted to do something a little different. So, the first thing that came to mind was a ghost story. I didn’t want to do vampires or monsters, I wanted something simple and haunting. Haunting, hey, what if Holmes isn’t investigating a haunting, what if he’s the one being haunted? Why would a ghost haunt him? Is a ghost really haunting him? If not, is it in his mind? The story progressed very quickly from “Holmes vs Ghost” to “Holmes vs Inner Demons” with a horror story flare. And honestly, there are few things as terrifying as the things we hide from inside ourselves, as cliché as that sounds.

 

Have you found it difficult to market your work? Any tips for things that worked?
To be perfectly honest, this is the first story I’ve successfully published. It worked though, so I guess the advice I can give would be to keep up on what people are looking for. Don’t discount smaller, independent markets, and ultimately don’t be afraid to just get your stuff out there.

 

Do you enjoy interacting with fans, or are you an introvert? Do you get much fan mail?
If I had fans, I think I would love to interact with them. [So be sure any let Katie know if you read and like her story! — Rie]

 

What has been your most challenging project to date?
I’ve had a series of short stories in the works for years that I’m now trying to polish and publish as a book series. Cyberpunkish Sherlockiana, I suppose would be the way to describe them. Can you tell I like Sherlock Holmes? It’s a challenging project just because it’s the biggest thing I’ve ever done, I’ve been doing it for so long, and it’s going to be hard to finally say, “I’m finished,” instead of “Wait, let me fix that…”

 

Have you always been a fan of Sherlock Holmes?
I got into Sherlock Holmes about six years ago. I tried reading The Hound of the Baskervilles when I was a kid, but I didn’t really like the story. I don’t know if I was just too young to appreciate the descriptions of the gloomy landscape of the moors, or if it was diving into a Sherlock Holmes book that actually features very little Holmes, but whatever the reason, I never really gave the character much thought after that. Much, much later I saw The Complete Sherlock Holmes at a used bookstore, and bought it completely on a whim. Took it home, opened it up, and was instantly hooked. I’m certain that had I started with the short stories as a child instead, I would have liked it a lot more. As it was, I became somewhat obsessed, quickly devouring pastiche and media, everything I could find. Still do, clearly.

 

What was your favorite original story?
“The Adventure of Silver Blaze” immediately comes to mind, for the line about the curious incident with the dog in the nighttime if nothing else (“The dog did nothing in the night-time.” “That’s what was the curious incident.”). Also “The Adventure of the Speckled Band”, “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches”, and “The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist” feature suspenseful plots with women who have a sensible head on their shoulders, and delightfully colorful confrontations between the villains and Holmes. “The Adventure of the Three Garridebs” is amazing for the single moment when Sherlock Holmes finally lets the walls down and we get that glimpse of the great heart along with the great mind… but I could go on like this for ages. You asked for one story, I just listed five. Such is fandom.

 

Did you stick to the canon characters or invent a new companion?
For this story, there isn’t any companion present. As a general rule, I don’t think a new companion should be introduced unless there’s a good reason for it, and I didn’t have a reason. Initially, Watson was going to be a presence, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that not only did he not belong in this story, but it was essential that he be absent.

 

What are your other hobbies and interests?
I dabble in cosplay, perfumery, puppetry, online and tabletop gaming, painting… working with my hands and escapism, essentially.

 

What does the future hold for you?
Hopefully more writing, and hopefully some of it will be published.

 

What advice do you have for new writers…or just those of us not as accomplished as you are? 😉
One bit of advice for when you’re stuck – write fanfiction. Seriously, it’s a great, entertaining exercise. Write about your favorite show, write about your own characters, it doesn’t matter. It’s good to keep the gears moving, and maybe you’ll uncover an idea you didn’t know you had.

 

Where can readers find you?
Send a tweet to @mrskatem, or look up kaelma on tumblr.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Six years ago, Katie Magnusson picked up a copy of The Complete Sherlock Holmes on a whim, and promptly devoured it. After picking the pages from her teeth, she sought out other sources of Sherlockiana, and discovered the often delightful world of pastiche. She has a particular taste for cross-genre tales, and is thrilled to be included in a paranormal Holmes anthology.
Katie lives in Wisconsin with an eccentric philosopher husband, and their cherubic Viking-ninja son.

 

Excerpt from “Sherlock Holmes and the Hungry Ghost” by Katie Magnusson:

 
The next few days were mundane. Holmes occupied himself with a chemical synthesis, finished updating his scrapbook, played concertos by Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn and Paganini, and read every news publication in London. Twice.

 
His mind raced, an overworked engine threatening to break itself apart at any moment. He hadn’t eaten all day. He couldn’t. He was exhausted, but he couldn’t sleep. He had to do something. Anything. Everything. By God, what he wouldn’t give for a puzzle to walk through the door, for some crime to be committed! A horrible murder, a theft, blackmail, an encoded message, just give him work!

 
In a fit of exasperation, he pulled open his desk drawer. The case and bottle lay there, where he’d shut them away, out of sight. His hand trembled as he reached for the bottle, stopping just as his fingers brushed the surface. He took a breath and closed the drawer. The only way to know the damage done to his mind was to resist. He had to provide a consistent, controlled environment to assess his faculties, and so he would suffer through the boredom of existence.

 
Holmes tossed some pillows onto the floor, sitting down with his legs tucked up underneath him. He relit his pipe and closed his eyes, hoping he could manage to calm his mind at least for a moment. Just one moment’s reprieve was all he wanted…

 
He opened his eyes, lying on the floor. He’d fallen asleep. His body had finally rebelled and forced upon him the rest he sorely needed, much to his amused chagrin. He stood slowly, stretching his long limbs, and beheld his correspondence scattered across the room.

 

The jackknife that usually held it in place on the mantel was gone.
He turned, scanning the room. The knife was easy to spot, embedded in the opposite wall from the fireplace. He didn’t remember throwing it there.

 
“You’re going mad.”

 
“Who’s there?” He looked around and saw no one. He was alone.

 
“They’ll leave you–”

 
“Where are you?”

 
“–just like everyone else.”

 
It was a woman’s voice, and it seemed to come from everywhere at once. She laughed as he searched, and a tingling feeling crept across his skin as if an insect were crawling down his spine.

 
His head felt as if his skull was being hollowed out with a red hot poker. His chest was tight. He couldn’t breathe. “Voices that aren’t there…” he wondered aloud. Could the damage to his mind be so great?

 
“No. I refuse to believe it,” he pressed his hands to his ears as the woman laughed again, taunting, though it did nothing to dull the sound. “I am sane! If I were not, then I would not recognize my decline! These experiences have nothing to do with the cocaine,” he stalked over to the knife in the wall, yanking it out and firmly sticking it back in its proper place in the mantel, “I refuse to believe it,” he said again, softer, slowly absorbing the significance of his statement. “If I am not mad, then what is going on?”

 
You can also find An Improbable Truth in these locations:

Mocha Memoirs Store
Paperback on Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Smashwords

#FallIntoHorror — Writing Horror

As I said yesterday, the blog hop is officially over, but I thought it only fair that I get to share why I like writing horror and how you can too. So, here’s a bonus post for you. 🙂 I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it:

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Welcome to Fall Into Horror with Mocha Memoirs Press!

Mocha Memoirs Press is celebrating the new Fall season by showcasing their love of horror and the authors who write it. Please welcome RIE SHERIDAN ROSE as she shares her thoughts on fall and horror.

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Writing horror is about exploring the visceral as opposed to the ephemeral. I really enjoy writing fantasy and Steampunk, but writing horror gives you the chance to explore a completely different set of parameters. What lies beneath the conventions of society and humanity–the underbelly of the world. There is something satisfying about looking beneath the expected societal norms–and it is more politically correct to do it on paper. In horror, you can be a serial killer, you can plan a murder, you can be a vampire or a zombie–or kill them if you prefer.

It is a chance to embrace all your darker impulses. The freedom to be as vicious and cruel as you want without actually hurting anyone. And it is a great way to take out your frustrations with life and people without doing something you will regret later.

Since you are speculating in the deepest sense of the word (I hope!) you can explore situations like I do in my story, “Bloody Rain” where one possible solution to the Jack the Ripper mystery is considered that I had personally never seen before–and hope you find interesting if you choose to look into it.

Let me walk you through an example. My story in The Grotesquerie, “House Call”, began from an idea that I had when I overheard a young man in scrubs on his cell phone. I don’t remember what he actually said, but it got my imagination working. Who was on the other end of the line? Why was it important that this young man talk to him/her? What difference would it make to his life if he were rejected by whomever he was talking to?

I decided he was talking to a doctor he wished to work with in a clinic. Okay, what was the next logical thing to know? What did the doctor say?

The doctor rejected him.

What was the next logical step? Because he was on the phone so long, he was late getting back to work and was fired.

His life was going downhill fast.

What would be the result? He sees a news report that the doctor will be opening a free clinic for hurricane victims. He decides to go volunteer to help.

The doctor rejects him again.

And then…

So, the key to writing horror is to take an incident and look at what can happen as a result of that incident–the most twisted, dark, possibly unnatural, but logical conclusion you can think of.

Zombies appear in your neighborhood. What happens next? That is the basis of horror.

THE GROTESQUERIE

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ABOUT MOCHA MEMOIRS PRESS:

MMP_Logo.jpg

Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC is a genre-oriented publishing company. Their vision is to provide an outlet for outstanding speculative and romance stories that often fall beneath the radar of traditional publishing houses. They seek to provide quality stories that invigorate the reader’s literary palette like a good, strong coffee. Like great coffee houses, they offer a variety of flavors. They publish stories in the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, including the sub-genres of steampunk, cyberpunk, diesel punk, alternate history, weird westerns, and mash-ups.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

#FallIntoHorror — Guest Post # 6 — John F. Allen

Today is the official end of the Fall Into Horror Blog Hop. Have you enjoyed it as much as I have? Tomorrow I may post my own contribution, but it won’t be part of the official tour. I hope you have followed along as we went. It’s been a great ride!

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Welcome to Fall Into Horror with Mocha Memoirs Press!

Mocha Memoirs Press is celebrating the new Fall season by showcasing their love of horror and the authors who write it. Please welcome JOHN F. ALLEN as he shares his thoughts on fall and horror.

Hello, my name is John F. Allen. I’m a speculative fiction author and I’m here with Ms. Xenith LaCroix, witch-in-training and part-time adventurer. This is an impromptu interview with her before she embarks on her intense training at the hands of a master sorceress.

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John – Hello Xenith, thanks for granting me this interview.

Xenith – Hello Mr. Allen. You’re welcome, I’m happy to be here.

John – I just love your name! What can you tell me about it?

Xenith – Well, I’m glad you picked it out for me. As for what I can say about it, the name is unique and not just for the spelling, ‘Z’ replaced by an ‘X’. Xenith means, “The highest point reached in the heavens by celestial body, and/or a culminating point.” I think the ‘X’ represents the unknown, as in the mathematical sense.

John – That’s fascinating indeed. I think it speaks to what your life has in store for you and your tales yet to come. So, as a change of subject, fall is here and that is a time of year which happens to coincide with Halloween. Witches and Halloween go together like peanut butter and jelly, your favorite snack, so what do you personally like most about fall?

Xenith – The brisk air and the falling leaves in their kaleidoscope of colors. As for Halloween, it’s quite the busy time for us witches. You know, all those cauldrons to boil, brooms to fly and children to bake. (smiles)

John – Uh, you’re kidding right? (gulp)

Xenith – Wouldn’t you like to know? (smiles)

John – (sigh) Yeah, moving right along. What is your favorite fall color?

Xenith – Hmm…I think I’d have to say red.

John – What would you say is the biggest difference between fall weather in Chicago, versus fall weather in your native New Orleans?

Xenith – I would say that fall is much colder in Chicago, than it is in New Orleans. And, given the size of the city and the number of people, I mean that in more ways than one.

John – Are you feeling homesick?

Xenith – Not really…New Orleans only serves to bring back bad memories I’d just as soon forget forever.

John – That’s right, you moved to Chicago to escape an abusive ex-boyfriend and a checkered past. You were taken in by Zaji Laveau, a powerful witch and a descendant of the voodoo priestess, Marie Laveau.

Xenith – Again, I’d rather not talk about New Orleans.

John – My bad, please don’t hurt me.

Xenith – Relax Mr. Allen, you’re safe…for now.

John – Uh, okay. Anyway, let’s talk about your mentor instead. What’s it like to be under the tutelage of such a powerful sorceress who hails from such an infamous legacy?

Xenith – Zaji is a taskmaster. She’s strict and all about business.

John – So, your training isn’t going so well?

Xenith – Actually, on the contrary. I am challenged and held accountable for my actions and inactions. This is something which I’ve never had in my life before. The structure she provides can be a real drag and sometimes I feel like pulling out my hair, but at the same time I wouldn’t have it any other way.

John – That’s good. Has your ability to control your powers improved significantly?

Xenith – I’d say so. Although I have a long, long way to go, I can now recognize the road I’m on for what it is. It won’t be an easy road, for certain, but anything worth doing or having is worth the effort and struggle.

John – That’s a very mature attitude, good for you. Well, thanks for sharing with us today. Is there anything else you’d like to add before we conclude this interview?

Xenith – Just that folks who are interested in learning more about me and my adventures, should check out the novelette, Witch Way Is Up, written by you and published by Mocha Memoirs Press. Oh, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

John – Thanks Xenith, Happy Halloween to you as well!

Witch Way is Up

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Comment below and click on the rafflecopter options below for a chance to win the tour prize, a $25 Amazon Gift Card! a Rafflecopter giveaway Continue on with this FALL INTO HORROR. You can join Mocha Memoirs Press authors and share in their love of horror on Facebook. You can also click on the links below to meet other horror authors:


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What is a blog hop?
Get the code here…

 


ABOUT MOCHA MEMOIRS PRESS:

MMP_Logo.jpg

Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC is a genre-oriented publishing company. Their vision is to provide an outlet for outstanding speculative and romance stories that often fall beneath the radar of traditional publishing houses. They seek to provide quality stories that invigorate the reader’s literary palette like a good, strong coffee. Like great coffee houses, they offer a variety of flavors. They publish stories in the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, including the sub-genres of steampunk, cyberpunk, diesel punk, alternate history, weird westerns, and mash-ups.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

 

#FallIntoHorror — Guest Post # 5 — Selah Janel

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Welcome to Fall Into Horror with Mocha Memoirs Press!

Mocha Memoirs Press is celebrating the new Fall season by showcasing their love of horror and the authors who write it. Please welcome SELAH JANEL as she shares her thoughts on fall and horror.

Mooner.jpg Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a strange, deep love of the unusual and the frightening. I loved decorating for Halloween because it meant digging out the witches and mummies for the windows, unboxing all the ceramic haunted houses and hanging bats and other nick nacks that take over a house that time of year. I invented a long-running series of adventures for all of these weird characters, and every October before I was ten or eleven was a constant soap opera every time I looked at our sideboards or mantle. I was also an outrageous scaredy-cat and was unable to look at even the commercials for horror films on television without having a panic attack and having to hide my eyes and plug my ears. Plus, it was the 1980s, so every sitcom had a freaky deaky Halloween episode and you were told at school every day of all the four thousand ways you could be abducted, kidnapped, poisoned, drugged, beat up, or razor-bladed by candy. Then there was that time I was nearly locked in an ancient burial site during a family vacation, but that’s another post, entirely. That part of me was a strange dichotomy my parents could never quite figure out. Things terrified me, but I kept sneaking off to be near them. They’d find me reading the box backs of movies I’d never be allowed to watch, I may have run an underground library for R L Stine and urban legend titles out of my locker in middle school even though the stories freaked me out something fierce for a while. One parent readily sheltered me because they knew they’d just have to deal with the nightmares later, and the other told me family stories passed down from German relatives, and believe me, no one does a scary story like older Germans. In my adult years it was working in haunted houses and then designing for them that fully plummeted me into a love of horror films, because I realized I had options and tons of sub-genres to explore. I’d slowly wandered into literary horror in college through Anne Rice and Ray Bradbury, slowly wading towards the likes of Stephen King, Clive Barker, Shirley Jackson, and Nancy Collins. I’m the type of person that’s always going to be contemplating the what if’s — both the wonderful and the terrifying. There’s a possibility in the horror genre that entices me — that bit about waiting for the other shoe to drop and finding out what kind of shoe it is, even if I probably don’t want to really know. That tension is electric, and there’s some outrageously high drama in ghost stories and urban legends that we don’t get anywhere else. It reveals things about us as people, and the fact that these archetypes are constantly being reinvented and recycled says something about the genre, proves that it isn’t just schlock, but something that hits us at a primal level. I love Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree and try to read it every fall. It feels like autumn in a book to me. It’s a near-flawless history of Halloween (some of the history is admittedly a little off), but emotionally it’s perfect. There’s an underlying current of why people love Halloween, but it could also be used to express why people are attracted to the horror genre. Way back when, we had to fear predators coming to get us, we weren’t guaranteed that we’d see another day, we felt at the mercy of the cosmos because we weren’t sure that the sun would rise again. It’s that thin line between today and tomorrow, safety and danger, life and death, that makes the horror genre what it is, and is probably why I could be freaked out and drawn in by it as a kid. As a writer, I love playing with that line, whether it’s real-world anchored horror or otherworldly creatures, or a mixture of the two. Part of the reason I’m so drawn to Lovecraft-type themes and vampires is I like the thought of shaking up how we perceive the universe and the people in it. The fact that my characters are going about their lives and then some little thing happens that changes everything in a sentence or two is an incredibly powerful concept to me. I personally love characters that you wouldn’t expect to show up in stories like that: maybe they’re in historical settings, maybe they’re frustrated teens, who knows? At the end of the day, everyone is affected by those same what if’s, so it’s interesting to see how various people would react. In some ways maybe that helps me fight for the control I didn’t feel as a kid when I watched trailers for Nightmare on Elm Street or The Blob on TV. Maybe it’s a way of immersing myself into the October magic that doesn’t quite feel the same now that I’m not a kid. Either way, I love the genre, and I’m proud to be part of the tradition. Plus, it just gives the relatives one more thing to be confused about.

MOONER

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ABOUT AUTHOR

Selah Janel is the author of three e-book titles for Mocha Memoir Press, as well as other stuff. You can read about her pioneer vampires in Mooner and her world-ending invisible friends in The Grotesquerie. Follow her ramblings on her blog or answer the question of the day on her page on Facebook!


Comment below and click on the rafflecopter options below for a chance to win the tour prize, a $25 Amazon Gift Card! a Rafflecopter giveaway Continue on with this FALL INTO HORROR. You can join Mocha Memoirs Press authors and share in their love of horror on Facebook. You can also click on the links below to meet other horror authors:



ABOUT MOCHA MEMOIRS PRESS:

MMP_Logo.jpg

Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC is a genre-oriented publishing company. Their vision is to provide an outlet for outstanding speculative and romance stories that often fall beneath the radar of traditional publishing houses. They seek to provide quality stories that invigorate the reader’s literary palette like a good, strong coffee. Like great coffee houses, they offer a variety of flavors. They publish stories in the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, including the sub-genres of steampunk, cyberpunk, diesel punk, alternate history, weird westerns, and mash-ups.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

#FallIntoHorror Guest Blog #4 — Alexandra Christian

Since I got busy yesterday with Toastmasters and such, you may get blog posts after the hop is officially over, because I don’t want to leave anyone out!

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Welcome to Fall Into Horror with Mocha Memoirs Press!

Mocha Memoirs Press is celebrating the new Fall season by showcasing their love of horror and the authors who write it. Please welcome ALEXANDRA CHRISTIAN as they share their thoughts on fall and horror.

Why Characters are So Important

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So I’m known for writing romance and I’m okay with that. Romance has given me a lot in the last several years. Even if it’s tragic, I love a good love story. Which surprises a lot of people who know me personally. I’ve been described by my family and friends as weird, morbid, and dark. My bookshelf looks like some kind of monument to Stephen King. So to the outside world, the fact that I write and read romance novels probably seems slightly off-kilter. Shouldn’t I be a horror novelist? I’ve often asked myself that same question. But truthfully–the procedures are quite similar if you think about it. Both horror and romance are fueled by the love between the characters. At least, they should be. Take Stephen King’s The Shining. On the surface that story is about a man who is half-crazed with desperation losing his mind in a haunted hotel. That is NOT what The Shining is about. It’s about a little boy who loves his father and knowing that something terrible is happening to him. It’s about a man who loves his family so much that he’s willing to go to any length to support them. It’s about a mother who is at the end of her rope but still praying for a miracle because she loves her husband. In fact, Wendy is almost as perceptive as Danny. She knows something terrible is happening to her husband but because of her love for both him and her child, she’s trying to make the best of things. The love between those characters is what holds that story together. Without it, the whole thing would just be bland. So many people think that horror is about scaring or hate or monsters and to an extent it is. Horror is often dealing with our deepest fears and the monsters are usually outward personifications of those dark things within ourselves that we’d like to forget. But at the center of any good horror story, there has to be a complex character(s) that the reader can care about. At least to some degree. Otherwise, what’s the point? Who cares if the monster eats Johnny’s face if Johnny is a flat character with no relationships and no personality? That’s why the climax of Dracula is Lucy’s very gruesome death. Once Dracula kills Lucy–devoted friend of Mina–the intensity of the story grows to a fever pitch, making it imperative that they slay the vampire. And then at the end of the story when Dracula is ultimately destroyed–we actually feel bad for him. Stoker spends all that time building the characters through those journal entries so that we care when bad things start to happen. And that’s what makes a good horror story. This month I get to make my debut as an editor with the release of An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It’s a collection of Sherlock Holmes mysteries that are also horror stories. There’s a wide variety of stories there. Everything from zombies to werewolves and even a vampire story, but the one thing they all have in common are great characters. Beyond the mystery, Holmes and Watson have an interesting relationship that really plays into putting them in horrific situations. Not only that, but my authors have introduced some original characters that add depth to the stories that rival Conan Doyle’s–in my humble opinion. A pair of scheming old lady novelists, a brother and sister desperate to retain their immortality, a fallen nobleman who is so frantic to regain his former glory that he’ll resort to extreme measures–these are just some of the characters that you’ll encounter. So when the autumn chill is upon us, curl up with a cup of tea and a great horror story. Mocha Memoirs Press is spotlighting their horror titles this month and I’m sure there’s something there to tickle your fancy. Vampires, aliens, werewolves, or real-world monsters–there’s a book for every taste! Happy reading!

An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes


Comment below and click on the rafflecopter options below for a chance to win the tour prize, a $25 Amazon Gift Card! a Rafflecopter giveaway Continue on with this FALL INTO HORROR. You can join Mocha Memoirs Press authors and share in their love of horror on Facebook. You can also click on the links below to meet other horror authors:



ABOUT MOCHA MEMOIRS PRESS:

MMP_Logo.jpg

Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC is a genre-oriented publishing company. Their vision is to provide an outlet for outstanding speculative and romance stories that often fall beneath the radar of traditional publishing houses. They seek to provide quality stories that invigorate the reader’s literary palette like a good, strong coffee. Like great coffee houses, they offer a variety of flavors. They publish stories in the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, including the sub-genres of steampunk, cyberpunk, diesel punk, alternate history, weird westerns, and mash-ups.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

#FallIntoHorror — Guest Blog #3 — Carole Ann Moleti

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Today’s guest post is a little late…drove home from Dallas this afternoon…but, here is Carole Ann Moleti’s addition to the tour!

Welcome to Fall Into Horror with Mocha Memoirs Press!

Mocha Memoirs Press is celebrating the new Fall season by showcasing their love of horror and the authors who write it. Please welcome CAROLE ANN MOLETI as she shares her thoughts on fall and horror.

The Ultimate Test was the first horror story I’ve ever written. My long term critique partner, supernatural horror writer Andrew Richardson, gave me a tremendous amount of support and encouragement. I scared myself by embracing all those dark thoughts. Since then, I’ve dabbled on the dark side with “The Dhampir’s Kiss” in Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires. And my novel in progress Boulevard of Bad Spells and Broken Dreams is a very dark urban fantasy heavily based on Santeria. “Mishmash Magick” in Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft and “Dance With the Devil” in Seers: Ten Tales of Clairvoyance are short excerpts of Boulevard adapted to a short story format. I have a great deal of difficulty reading horror, probably because I have to escape from what I see so much of in real life. I’ve ridden ambulances and worked in the ERs of many of hospitals in The Bronx, Harlem, and Washington Heights–some of the most violent places in New York City. I’ve been out on the streets and in the botánicas both working and doing ethnographic research, immersing myself in normal, everyday activities and places to absorb the essence of the experience. I’ll leave you to figure out what’s real in my stories and what’s not. So, now it’s time for you to share your reasons for reading, or not reading, horror.

The Ultimate Test

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The sweet, floral essence of magic swirled through the botánica. Candles flickered in front of a riot of statuary.

Muy buenas, mi amor.” A shriveled woman hoisted herself from a chair in the corner and hobbled over.

Hola, Señora.” Aramis handed over a list of the herbs she needed.

“¿Tu eres santera?” The woman’s gnarled finger traced down the list. Her eyes narrowed to read the tight English script.

“No. I study herbology. Las plantas.”

“One who use these do more than study, mi amor.” The lines in the crone’s face deepened with a broad smile. “Una bruja, tu estas.”

“Not only witches use herbs.” If she associated with anyone who practiced The Craft, they would all be subject to discipline. Memories of wise women being brutalized and dragged from their homes tickled her brain.

“No ten miedo, mi amor. I no tell. Las santeras help las brujas. Somos hermanas. Sisters.” She gestured Aramis into a chair and lowered herself into a seat.

Her attention focused on a bowl of cloudy water beneath the icons. She picked up Aramis’ hands rubbed the palms. “Vengeance. You seek vengeance.”

“Yes.” Aramis followed as the woman wandered around the shop collecting several packets and tiny brown bottles.

A pencil scratched as the santera totaled the order on a scrap of paper. “To aid you, burn this candle until it’s done, then return to me so I can finish it and give you further instructions. $75.00.”

Aramis took the black jar. The wax pillar inside swam in murky liquid that bubbled at her touch. She left a $100.00 bill on the counter.

The Ultimate Test

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ABOUT CAROLE ANN MOLETI

Carole Ann Moleti lives and works as a nurse-midwife in New York City, thus explaining her fascination with all things paranormal, urban fantasy, and space opera. Her nonfiction focuses on health care, politics, and women’s issues. But her first love is writing science fiction and fantasy because walking through walls is less painful than running into them.

Carole’s work has appeared in a variety of literary and speculative fiction venues. Short stories set in the world of her novels are featured in several of the Ten Tales anthologies and the Toil, Trouble and Temptation Anthology at Mocha Memoirs Press. The Widow’s Walk, a Cape Cod paranormal romance, was published by Soulmate in 2014. The prequel, Breakwater Beach, is due out in early 2016.

Where you can find Carole: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaroleAnnMoletiAuthor Twitter: https://twitter.com/CMoleti Blog:http://caroleannmoleti.blogspot.com Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Carole-Ann-Moleti/e/B007ASNBVK


Comment below and click on the rafflecopter options below for a chance to win the tour prize,a $25 Amazon Gift Card! a Rafflecopter giveaway Continue on with this FALL INTO HORROR. You can join Mocha Memoirs Press authors and share in their love of horror on Facebook. You can also click on the links below to meet other horror authors:


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Get the code here…


ABOUT MOCHA MEMOIRS PRESS:

MMP_Logo.jpg

Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC is a genre-oriented publishing company. Their vision is to provide an outlet for outstanding speculative and romance stories that often fall beneath the radar of traditional publishing houses. They seek to provide quality stories that invigorate the reader’s literary palette like a good, strong coffee. Like great coffee houses, they offer a variety of flavors. They publish stories in the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, including the sub-genres of steampunk, cyberpunk, diesel punk, alternate history, weird westerns, and mash-ups.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

#FallIntoHorror Guest Blog #2 — Tom Olbert

The Blog Hop is well under way! Today’s guest is Tom Olbert.

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Welcome to Fall Into Horror with Mocha Memoirs Press!

Mocha Memoirs Press is celebrating the new Fall season by showcasing their love of horror and the authors who write it. Please welcome TOM OLBERT as he shares his thoughts on fall and horror.

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WHAT LIVES IN THE DARKNESS?

And fall is here. Only just, but its chill fingers can already be felt creeping up our spines. Before we know it, the leaves will turn, the days will shorten, and the shadow of the equinox will creep in silently in summer’s wake. The time of transition, when, it is said, the veil between this world and the next runs thin, and spirits walk the earth. Time for tales of horror to slip under the wire of our reason and stoke the fires of our nightmares.

Horror takes many forms, both subtle and gross. Ghosts, vampires, werewolves and ghouls. The shadows of arcane superstition that never stop haunting us, even into this digital age. The unknown touching our primal fears from the inky blackness of the dark.

But, there’s another kind of horror, too. The horror of the dark places within the human mind and the dark places buried deep in the human soul, where we fear to look, perhaps even more than we fear the darkness outside. The demons we carry within are the ones we can never escape. Such evil can take many forms. Like the shadowy figure of Jack the Ripper skulking in the shadows of dark, misty, gas lit midnight streets, transcending time and space, a seemingly eternal horror that will always be with us. Because such evil is waiting to be born in the depths of each human soul, and will never die.

In my novella “Black Goddess,” I tried to explore those dark depths we call evil. The evil of the torturer. Of the murderer. The evil of hate and revenge and unimaginable cruelty that defies all reason and devours the soul of both victim and victimizer. Such darkness has been with us from the beginning, in particularly dark chapters of history, taking on forms of evil so pure, so horrific that our darkest dreams pale in comparison.

The eternal question presents itself to a troubled young man who has seen evil up close and intimately: Is evil merely a random perversion of human emotion spawned by violence and chaos, or–is evil a primal force, like a dark infection stealing its way into the human soul, feeding on it from within like a parasite, until nothing beside remains?

The protagonist of “Black Goddess” becomes obsessed with the nature and essence of the evil that has destroyed his life and his faith. His search for answers evolves into a dark quest that is destroying him, little by little. The closer he draws to the dark, forbidden cosmic truth at the heart of the darkness, the more he hungers for it to the exclusion of all else, like a drug addict endlessly seeking his next fix. He has given his life, and possibly his soul to a dark experiment through which he reaches closer and closer to the center of time and space. What will he find at the center of creation? God, or Satan? When he looks into the mirror of the first moment of time, will he find light or darkness at the core of his own soul?

What can any of us expect to find, when we peel back the layers of sanity we show to the world, and face the darkness we carry inside?

BLACK GODDESS

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Comment below and click on the rafflecopter options below for a chance to win the tour prize, a $25 Amazon Gift Card! a Rafflecopter giveaway Continue on with this FALL INTO HORROR. You can join Mocha Memoirs Press authors and share in their love of horror on Facebook. You can also click on the links below to meet other horror authors:


This linky list is now closed.

What is a blog hop?
Get the code here…


ABOUT MOCHA MEMOIRS PRESS:

MMP_Logo.jpg

Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC is a genre-oriented publishing company. Their vision is to provide an outlet for outstanding speculative and romance stories that often fall beneath the radar of traditional publishing houses. They seek to provide quality stories that invigorate the reader’s literary palette like a good, strong coffee. Like great coffee houses, they offer a variety of flavors. They publish stories in the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, including the sub-genres of steampunk, cyberpunk, diesel punk, alternate history, weird westerns, and mash-ups.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM