Halloween Tarot Giveaway

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Win a set of Halloween Tarot cards and help support the debut novel Tarot: The Magician.

Book Blurb

When Kassandra Troy discovers an ancient tarot deck, her life takes a thrilling and frightening turn. She triggers The Magician card, and releases the mysterious and captivating Luke Rykell. He lifts Kassandra out of despair, dispelling the devastation she feels after her father’s death. But Luke has a dark secret. He wants the magical deck for himself. The only way Kassandra can save herself is to journey into the Tarot cards. But once inside, can she ever escape?

Irresistibly compelling and heart-wrenching, Tarot: The Magician is a superb fantasy tale that will haunt you long after you’ve read the last page.

Download the ebook from Midnight Frost Books as well as AmazonBarnes and Noble and Smashwords. Not sure? Read a free sample here. Or click on the fancy schmancy button below.

Snail Sample Button

Tarot Book Trailer

I worked for over two months drawing and coloring the panels you see in this trailer. I wanted it to be as special as the book. However, I was daunted by the music. I’m no musician. However, if it were silent, or had canned music, that would undermine all the hard work I put into the animation. Bradley Coy came to my rescue. For the full story on how the theme for the book trailer was created, read A Theme Song for an ebook.

Book Reviews

Don’t trust me. Here are readers who have read and commented on the book.

“I especially enjoyed Kassandra’s journey through the cards as she tries to solve the problems she’s faced with and find her way out. And the ending gives me hope for a sequel (or a series?)” by Tara at Dividing by Zero

Giveaway Details

By helping me promote Tarot: The Magician, you get your own set of fabulously spooky tarot cards. I’ll mail them to the winner after Halloween. Click this LINK or anywhere on the image below to take you to enter the giveaway. Hurry, this event ends Friday, October 31st!

Halloween Tarot Promo

 

Weird Roundup for September

Often I find little nuggets of weirdness that are too brief to warrant their own blog post. I’ve created this forum of the monthly uncanny to give you all the morsels of weird that make a well balanced strange meal. All of these are guaranteed to make you see the world differently.

Firefly Magic

Photographer Vincent Brady shot this footage of fireflies over the sumer of 2013 in  Lake of the Ozarks (as well as Grand Ledge). Brady comments on the sublime experience: “Being out on the boat and watching as they light the treeline with their all night disco party is just amazing.” Brandon McCoy provided the music.

Trippy Vintage Science

Do you love vintage science illustrations? Yes. Well so does Fanfarlo. The following video uses Fanfarlo’s “Cell Song” to score a series of vintage images lifted from science journals, encyclopedias, and magazines. They were all animated and remixed into a trippy journey through space, cells and time.

Ghost Girl Stalks Boyfriend on Facebook

Yes, we’ve finally reached the point where ghosts are using social media. This story comes from the Reddit community No Sleep, a forum for horror stories that supposedly have really happened. Prepare your requisite grain of salt, people. Even if this ghost girl is a hoax, it’s a darned good one and very creepy (I don’t creep out easily).

Check out the postings to the boyfriend’s wall from Emily, the ghostly girlfriend.

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The part about the freezing and the plea to stop have me on edge. See more of the creepy posts at Jezebel.

United States that Never Was

What if the Constitution was never written? What would North America look like? Well, graphic designer Jordan Penny has spent his spare time devising faux maps and currency for the countries that would occupy this alternate North America.

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Notice that the Republic of Mexico still has most of its land, minus Texas and California. The Kingdom of Canada gobbled up the northwest states. Then you have the strange states that make up the original thirteen colonies. Under the Articles of Confederation, they would be loosely tied together, yet never as strong as the United States would become. Penny says, “the AoC are never replaced, and the Union slowly devolves into what you see here.” Therefore, each state expanded west to take over the Ohio valley. Look at Virginia, clearly the strongest of the colonies, took over nearly all the territory up to Louisiana.

That’s your dose of weirdness for this month. Remember, strange is the new normal.

Tim Kane

Scare Yourself Silly in Just Two Sentences

I’ve read plenty of horror stories in my day. Most have to warm up to the scare. The following is a collection of micro-fiction each only two sentences long. That’s right, two sentences. This whole micro-horror movement started with a post on Reddit. Now it’s exploded into a new art form.

Barbara Steele from La Maschera del Demonio

Barbara Steele from La Maschera del Demonio

These stories were found at the Thought Catalog

I begin tucking him into bed and he tells me, “Daddy check for monsters under my bed.” I look underneath for his amusement and see him, another him, under the bed, staring back at me quivering and whispering, “Daddy there’s somebody on my bed.”

posted by justanothermuffledvo

I always thought my cat had a staring problem, she always seemed fixated on my face. Until one day, when I realized that she was always looking just behind me.
posted by hangukbrian
She wondered why she was casting two shadows. Afterall, there was only a single lightbulb.
posted by pgan91
They delivered the mannequins in bubble wrap. From the main room I begin to hear popping.
posted by Mikeysrventyfive
My daughter won’t stop crying and screaming in the middle of the night. I visit her grave and ask her to stop, but it doesn’t help.
posted by Skuppy
After working a hard day I came home to see my girlfriend cradling our child. I didn’t know which was more frightening, seeing my dead girlfriend and stillborn child, or knowing that someone broke into my apartment to place them there.
posted by cobaltcollapse
The longer I wore it the more it grew on me. She had such pretty skin.
posted by blaqkmagick
These micro-horror stories came from a site called Two Sentence Stories
The tiny creatures came through the rift from another universe. They look funny, with only four limbs and single head, but they taste great.
posted by Alex Sivier
The water of the lake was smooth,blue,glassy and warm as it reflected the green mountains surrounding it.Billy hung from his Grandfather’s vice like grip over the edge of the boat,the familiar but stern voice echoing in his head “Sink or Swim little buddy.”
posted by Saberblue
Donna was quite pleased with how dinner turned out. Her guests had eaten the evidence.
posted by Les W
Gloved hands tightened around his windpipe and red darkness flooded his vision. Then came the whisper, warm against his ear, “there was no need to give my stories only one star.”
posted by Graham Land

Tim Kane

The Vampire that Ate the Moon

Almost every culture has superstitions about eclipses. Then there’s Albanian and Romanian folklore, where a vampire infects and eats the moon, sucking the life out.

A shot of the Hessian corpse from the Sleepy Hollow movie.

A shot of the Hessian corpse from the Sleepy Hollow movie.

Albanians believe that when a wicked or miserly person dies, he will become a lugat (a sort of ghost vampire). Apparently, holding too tightly to money seems to be sin. One legend has that the ghost of a miser (called Kukudh) haunts his old house. Anyone who sleeps in that house risks being killed by this evil spirit. However, if you can survive the night, you will inherit the miser’s fortune. What a way to earn a living.

A lugat is a form of poltergeist that leaves the corpse every night (except Saturday’s) to smash windows in homes and be a general disturbance. Some versions state that it flies around in the skin of a dead person. Now that puts the white sheet ghost archetype to shame. Imagine seeing a skinned person floating in your hallway. Other versions have that a lugat is a long fingered ghost that possesses a corpse. Wolves seem to be the only force that can drive this creature back into the grave.

As a ghost, a lugat is indestructible. However, if you can catch it in the grave, you can destroy it. First you need to figure out which corpse is the culprit. It’s usually a relative. (They never leave you alone, even after death.) To narrow down your options, get yourself a white stallion and go trotting through the graveyard. Whichever grave the horse balks at is the winner. Dig up the corpse, stuff the grave with brush, and light it ablaze.

Be careful, if you don’t get corpse burning soon, then a lugat will mature into a kukudh. These demons are almost human-like and can travel out in daylight. They are heavyset, short with a goat’s tail. The only way to destroy this form is with a noose of grapevines.

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A lugat can also eat the moon to create an eclipse. Villagers would shoot at the moon to scare the lugat away. Pregnant woman needed to stay indoors, least their unborn child be infected with the disease. The word kukudh comes from the Greek word for plague or pestilence.

Romanian Sleeping Spirits

This evil spirit possess people, possibly still alive. The victim has a pale face and dry skin. When the varcolac spirit gets hungry, the person will fall into a deep sleep. The spirit slips out of the mouth and devours the moon. Sometimes when a red hue covers the moon, people thought that the varcolac was at work. If the host body is moved or roused, the sleep becomes eternal because the spirit cannot find the body again. I’m guessing that this was a warning not to disturb grandpa when he dozes off after too much wine.

Next time you witness an eclipse, start looking for sleeping people or grab yourself a white stallion and head to a graveyard. Cause if you don’t, you may never see the sun again.

Tim Kane

A Stumble of Zombies: Collective Nouns for Monsters

One of my favorite books that I read to my daughter (I’m stealing it the first chance I get) is A Dignity of Dragons by by Jacqueline Ogburn and Nicoletta Ceccoli.

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What this book does is address the much needed names for collective nouns of mythical creatures. What the heck is a collective noun? Well, back in the nineteenth century, Victorians got awful bored with out any television or internet. They played a game where they thought up clever names for groups of animals. The idea was to get a name that encompassed the spirit of the animal. Some of my favorites are a crash of rhinos or a flamboyance of flamingos. Get the idea?

Jacqueline Ogburn came up with all sorts of collective nouns for mythical creatures, like: a bolt of hippogriffs, a splash of mermaids, and a dazzlement of Quetzalcoatls. I wanted to continue this trend, only with creatures from horror. Specifically classic monsters. Here’s what I came up with.

  • a stumble of zombies
  • a coffin of vampires
  • a howling of werewolves
  • a bolt of Frankensteins*
  • a tanna of mummies**
  • a caldron of wiches
  • a clang hunchbacks
  • an ectoplasm of phantoms
  • a haunting of ghosts
  • a glow of will-o-whisps
  • a bottle of djinn***
  • a trample of kaiju****
  • a decapitation of headless horsemen
  • a tinker of gremlins
  • a hunger of ghouls
  • a husk of scarecrows
  • a marrow of skeletons
  • a translucence of invisible men
  • a beaker of mad scientists
  • a lever of henchmen
  • a scream of victims
  • a probe of aliens
  • a circuit of robots

If you can think of any to add to the list (no serial killers or the suck, just classic monsters) then add to the comments below.

Tim Kane

*Yes I know that the doctor is actually Frankenstein, but in the sequel it called the Bride of Frankenstein, and she’s intended for the monster, so… Let’s just settle on Frank as the monster’s name.

** Tanna leaves were a device introduced in the later mummy movies as a way of controlling the creature.

*** I know lamps are more common, but a lamp of djinn sounds weird.

**** This is the name for the giant Japanese monsters like Godzilla and Mothra. Go ahead, check out the wiki site.