Have a Happy Halloween and a Blessed Samhain!

Standard

halloween-1756614_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

I want to wish everyone both a Happy Halloween and a Blessed Samhain!

blessed_samhain

(http://lubuntu.me/blessed-samhain/)

On the pre-Christian Celtic calendar, October 31 was Samhain, pronounced Soo-when or Sow-when, and it marked the day when the world of the living and dead where at the closest. It is also the end of year, with November 1 as the start of the next year. This day is one of the most important Gaelic/Celtic/Pagan/Wiccan/Druidic holidays of the year!  And please do not worry about the devil–he is not a part of Samhain. There is nothing evil here.

Samhain/Halloween is a day to remember those who have passed and to think of the future.

So, enjoy the day, dress up, have candy, party, and raise a toast and wish all a Happy New Year!

happy-new-year-630689_640

(https://pixabay.com)

Favorite Horror Films: Part 15 — Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein

Standard

A&cfrank

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

This film might seem like an unusual choice for my series on horror films, especially since it is primarily a comedy, but I do have a fond place for this movie in my heart for several reasons.

As a youngster, I loved the hosted horror films shows that often appeared on Saturday afternoon, and I saw most of the Universal Studios horror films on those shows.  Also, I heard several times from my parents that they saw this movie when they were on their honeymoon in Washington, D.C.  Additionally, it is an extremely funny movie.

Frankenstein's_monster_(Boris_Karloff)

(https://commons.wikimedia.org)

This film, made in 1948, was the completion of the Universal classic horror movie cycle, and it included the big three monsters of the Universal pantheon: The Frankenstein Monster, Dracula, and the Wolfman.  One of the signals of the end of a film genre cycle is when it reaches parody, and this film qualifies.  Horror very often is a reflection of the concerns of the larger world, and with World War Two completed, the fears of the world had changed and would be seen more in new science fiction films. (I examine some of these movies in my series on Science-Fiction films.)

Bela_Lugosi_as_Dracula,_anonymous_photograph_from_1931,_Universal_Studios

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

The premise is silly and features Dracula attempting to revive the Frankenstein Creature, and Larry Talbot, the wolfman, trying to find a cure for his lycanthropic infection. I should add that this is one of the finest performances by Lon Chaney Jr. despite the comedic tone of the movie.  Of course, Abbott and Costello are brilliant in their comedic routines. This movie never fails to make me laugh, no matter how many times I have seen it. Bela Lugosi plays Dracula for the last time, and Glenn Strange takes his turn as the Creature.

If you have not seen this movie and you enjoy the classic Universal Studios horror films and you love slapstick 1940s comedy, then you should watch it! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

hand-157251_960_720

(https://pixabay.com/)

Favorite Horror Films: Part 14 — The Brides of Dracula

Standard

The_brides_of_dracula_logo

(https://commons.wikimedia.org)

A tsunami of horror films cascaded into movie theaters in the 1960s, some by the larger studios and an abundance of grade B-Z films from smaller companies. Following the success of Horror of Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein, and The Mummy, Hammer created a plethora of sequels as well as new horror films. Frankenstein and Dracula would serve as the basis for the most sequels, thereby creating a seemingly non-ending money source for the studio, even as the films often became bad imitations of the original productions.

Oddly, the first sequel to The Horror of Dracula, The Brides of Dracula, (1960) does not feature Dracula as a character. Instead, the movie features a Baron Meinster, as the opening voice-over narration says is a disciple of the ongoing cult of vampirism led by the now destroyed Dracula. While Dracula does not appear, the renowned vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing does as played once more by Peter Cushing. Along with Baron Frankenstein, this role would establish Cushing as a major horror film star of the 1950s-1970s.

petercushing

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

The characters are indirectly based on Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, the foundation for most vampire films, until Anne Rice’s revolutionary treatment of the undead in Interview With The Vampire.

The plot involves a young teacher who is “wooed” by a Baron Meinster. He proposes to her, while intending to make her his vampire bride. The tone of the film is clearly Gothic, with an architectural focus on a castle, the threatened young maiden, and a Bryonic Hero–the Baron.  These are standard, but not all inclusive, elements of a Gothic tale, and the Byronic Hero is typically a sexually attractive and threatening person, but more importantly, someone who lives according to his or her own rules, ignoring  the dictates of society.

Byron_1813_by_Phillips

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

While much of the film does not break new earth in exploring the vampire story, it does feature one very unusual twist. In one sequence, Dr. Van Helsing is attacked by a vampire and bitten. He passes out, and when he awakens, he is able to remove the curse of the vampire bite. He heats an iron in glowing coals, then uses it to cauterize the bite and finally pours holy water onto the wound. It works and suggest that the vampire attacks are not merely demonic but also infections. This motif is one that will be greatly developed in many later vampire novels, TV shows, and films.

Van Helsing is successful in destroying the vampire and saving the young woman. The motif of the holy symbols are repeated: Van Helsing throws holy water onto the face of the Vampire, repelling and burning him, and then he is able to catch the Baron in the shadow of a giant cross, which destroys him.

Terence Fisher directed, and the film did well enough at the box office to justify a chain of sequels. Even though Christopher Lee did not appear in this movie, he would soon return to reprise the role of Count Dracula in the near future.

GallowsHillFinalCoverEbook

Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

32570160

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

FOE_Cover_French

 

Available on Amazon

coverIPScookbook

 

Available on Amazon

Murals of San Juan del Sur~

Standard

Here are more beautiful photographs from Cindy Knoke!

The sleepy beach town of San Juan del Sur Nicaragua has some awesome outdoor murals.

The murals are thirty meters in length,

And depict sea creatures native to Nicaragua.

The artist who painted them is Jose Mariano Quintero.

He also contributed murals to Nicaragua’s National Assembly.

The artist’s purpose in painting these murals was to depict the beauty of the ocean’s creatures,

And the need to protect their fragile home.

We are home at The Holler now, but it is cheers to you from peaceful San Juan del Sur~

View original post

Reading Aloud – To You! Part 6

Standard

Here is another post of reading aloud by that wonderful teacher, Jennie!

A Teacher's Reflections

My reading aloud The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan continues with chapters ten and eleven.  Chapter ten is 5:25 and chapter eleven is 3:49.

Everything is coming to a head.  The storm is over, and… well, you’ll see (and hear.)  Much happens with Teddy, Flora, Nickel, Sylvan, and Ellie.  Hang on, grab a tissue, and enjoy the story.

After these chapters, the next two will be the final ones, and the end of the book.  They are not-to-be-missed, and amongst the finest storytelling in literature.  What you hear today will set you up for the end of the book.

Jennie

View original post

A Halloween Book Event!

Standard

saxby's reading

On Wednesday, October 30th, on the eve of Halloween, two authors from the Lehigh Valley, PA will read from their paranormal books!

Charles F. French will read from Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book 1, and D. Wolfgang Miller will read from his book True Ghost Stories: Tales Of The Natural, Supernatural, And Just Plain Weird.

The event will be held at Saxby’s Coffee, just across from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. If you are in the area, come, listen, have a coffee or tea, and be frightened!

Blog Tour for Silent Payback by Jaye Marie: A Review

Standard

A city on edge – a detective on shaky ground…

A serial killer roams the streets of Brighton, hunting for his next victim.

When the case lands on detective David Mallory’s desk, will his personal demon prevent him from bringing this vicious monster to justice?

As the body count rises, Mallory finds himself sinking under the weight of his heavy secret – one that could jeopardise his job and his reputation.

With the pressure building, can the troubled detective reconcile his issues and solve the case, before more women die?

http://mybook.to/SilentPBack

 

 

Extract:

Maggie had known what was wrong with David the minute she opened the door and seen his pale, puffy face. He looked exhausted and fragile. When they had first discovered what was wrong with him all those years ago, it had been a difficult time for them both. It was such a terrible position for anyone to find themselves in and not an easy decision to make. Although Maggie had done her best to advise him, and the doctors had been kind, David had refused almost all treatment, only agreeing to non-invasive therapy to control his hormones and have a near-normal life. Judging from the state of him it was time to seek treatment.She knew the thought of it terrified him, and the timing was terrible, what with the new job and all. It was also the wrong time for him to leave her. He would need all the help he could get in the coming months, and she was all he had. She didn’t want to nag him, so she said it once and left it at that.Although she cared for him deeply, it would be far too painful to pretend that nothing was wrong between them.

Maggie had always looked forward to going to work every day, but today she wished she was going somewhere else. Despite what most people imagine, the Hospice was a peaceful, caring place, the inhabitants optimistic and cheerful. This was what had drawn her to the job in the first place, that and how the people approaching the end of their lives could be so calm and accepting.

People died in the Hospice almost every day, but it was never a sad occasion. More like seeing someone off on holiday. Maggie always wanted to ask a patient what it felt like and to explain how they came to accept what was happening to them, but it was against the rules. You never used the word ‘dying’ either, keeping the conversation casual. Even when asked outright, Maggie always remained quietly optimistic and never voiced an opinion of her own. Her job was to help them find their quiet spot and keep them there.

Some of the patients had already lost hope by the time they arrived at the hospice, refusing to wait, insisting the doctors help them to shuffle off this world. They dreaded spending whatever time they had left stuck in what they wrongly imagined was a painful holding pen with nothing else to do but sit in a corner and wait.

The Review:

In Silent Payback, Jaye Marie writes a taut and engaging thriller in which she balances and interweaves the internal personal struggle of detective David Mallory with his intense search for a serial killer who is targeting victims in Brighton.

The reader is taken on a roller-coaster ride, as Jaye Marie creates both suspense about the detective’s investigation of the terrible killer and involvement and fear for the detective who is facing a difficult personal struggle.

The novel is atmospheric, suspenseful, and a wonderful ride!  I read the book in one sitting, and I am proud to be part of this blog tour! I will not reveal anything that could be a spoiler and would dampen your enjoyment of this fine novel.

If you like books that incorporate both internal and external struggles and which engage the reader in the difficulties of the characters, if you enjoy books that hold your attention from the beginning to the end, and if you search for novels that are compelling and deeply readable, then Silent Payback should be on your to-be-read list!

I recommend this novel highly, and I give it 5 stars out of 5!

Again, you should read Silent Payback!

About Jaye Marie:

Jaye Marie is affectionately known as the giant redwood, probably because she is very tall, but also because of her love for trees. Most afternoons she can be found repotting or taking care of her bonsai collection, but her love of detective mysteries soon brings her back indoors. She has written three fiction novels in this genre, Nine Lives, Out of Time and Crossfire and is looking forward to publishing Silent Payback, her fourth book.

She spends any free time learning everything she can about self-publishing, and despite all the obstacles, she never gives up on anything and is as stubborn as a mule. You can email her at  jayemarie01@btinternet.com She also shares a website http://jenanita01.com with Anita Dawes…

Jaye’s Links ~ Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page | Pinterest | Instagram | Medium

Follow the rest of the tour!