Monthly Archives: February 2012

SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME – a perfect combination of hockey, vampires and canlit!

HAPPY LEAP YEAR! – My novellette of hockey and vampires and canlit, SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME, is available today on Amazon for free. You will not need to sell your blood to pick this one up. You will not need to sell your soul, either. Heck, you won’t even need to sell your feet.

 It’s free, I tell you. Free, free, free.

And you can order it here in Kindle format.

Don’t have a Kindle e-reader device? No problem. You can read it directly on your very own home computer simply by downloading the KINDLE FOR PC APP.

But only if you take advantage of this time limited offer.

Do not sit upon your hands and wonder to yourself, “Just how does this lunatic of a Nova Scotian manage to combine the simple hockey madness of Paul Newman’s SLAPSHOT with the nonstop bloodbath wonder of Steve Niles 30 DAYS OF NIGHT?”

Do not even stop and wonder how I could manage to blend the didn’t-I-eat-that-an-hour-ago resonnance of Bill Murray’s GROUNDHOG DAY with the thud-blundering-fist-antics of Michael Dowse’s GOON in my bonus time-travel-hockey tale, “Time Out”.

Don’t believe what I am telling you?

Then go and see what the folks at FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND are saying about SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME.

Go and see what THE GINGER NUTS OF HORROR said.

(and, as my sainted Aunt Winifred Mctavish used to say “Well, if you can’t trust ginger nuts, than nothing in this life is safe, is it?”

The digital incarnations of this novellette e-book are waiting upon the virtual bench for you to hit that BUY NOW WITH 1-CLICK button and free their unholy presence upon the cybernetic word.

Free them. Free them now.

Do it now, I beg you, before it is too late.

Let’s play some mother-pucking hockey!!!

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

My E-Book Experiment – Part 3…

Well, it has taken a while to get back to this topic and I apologize for the wait. I have been preoccupied with the bus strike and a copy edit of my next collection from Nimbus.

The release of BAD VALENTINES as a freebie during Feb 14-16 was fairly interesting. Number wise it was not exactly the wildest of freebie launches. We moved 509 free copies in three days – which isn’t much. We had been counting on a few more announcements and listings on several FREE KINDLE sites that did not work out for us.

I believe that partly the reason for the lack of publicity was the abundance of far larger and more prestigious e-books on that very same date. An awful lot of people had the same idea as I did – that is, too release an e-book with a Valentines Day theme.

A collection can be a very hard sell. I’ve got about a half a dozen e-book short story collections that sell two or three copies a month. I’ve got one e-book novel (DEVIL TREE) – that has sold over twenty copies a month in the last two months running.

Now, neither two or three or even twenty are really much in the way of numbers to write home about – but the difference between the two numbers is very noticable. I’ve decided that it is easier to peddle a novel-length e-book than a short story collection. So I am hoping that my next freebie – a novelette – will do a little better than BAD VALENTINES. And I’m hoping that my next e-book release – a great big honking full-lengthed novel of scarecrow terror is going to hit the ground with the same sort of momentum as DEVIL TREE.

Or at least that’s the plan.

So, did BAD VALENTINES free period help its sales? I’d say no – so far – although we did just sell an e-copy yesterday. Who knows? Perhaps this is the signal of a landslide of BAD VALENTINES e-book sales???

That’s the thing about business. When a business man looks at a graph with a line going upwards he will tell you that the line represents “an upward trend” that calls for “continued economical optimism” and a “genuine potential for positive momentum” – while the realist will tell you that the line is nothing more than a streak of ink stretched across a piece of glossy graph paper.

Whereas a writer will tell you that the blue line is actually a border between dimensions!

Speaking of blue lines…

AS OF SOMETIME PAST MIDNIGHT TONIGHT my e-book novellette SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME is available as a free Kindle e-book – for the next TWO days!!

SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME is the perfect combination of vampires, hockey and canlit. It is the story of a team of over-the-hill old-timer Labrador shore hockey players who find themselves in a sudden death match-up with a tour bus full of vampires.

And none of those fellas glitter…

Here we go – part two of my great e-book experiment. If you like what you see, download a copy when it’s free.

Yours in Storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Old Shuck – forerunner of death…


This is an illustration from my children’s picture book MARITIME MONSTERS: A FIELD GUIDE.

This old dog is called Shuck or Old Shug and according to the old people you can expect a death in the family if you see the black hound anywhere close to your door.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


I’ve written about Old Shug, the black dog, a couple of times – notably in Haunted Harbours and my children’s picture book Maritime Monsters – so I thought I’d reblog this entry from Anil Balan’s blog GHOST CITIES.

Ghost Cities

Tales of ghostly black dogs and demonic hounds are prevalent throughout the folklore, myths and legends of the British Isles, from tales of Black Shuck in East Anglia to stories of Barghest in North Yorkshire. These terrifying beasts have even made their way into English Literature in the form of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic Sherlock Holmes story, The Hound of the Baskervilles. The black dog is essentially a nocturnal apparition, often said to be associated with the Devil, and its appearance is usually regarded as a portent of death. It is often associated with electrical storms and also with crossroads, places of execution and ancient pathways. The origins of the black dog are difficult to discern, as it has numerous precedents in a wide range of European myths. For example, there is the shape-shifting pooka of Celtic folklore, which was said to have a predilection for taking on the guise of a spectral hound when it appeared…

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Lunenburg Werewolf Giveaway…

And don’t forget about the Lunenburg Werewolf Giveaway over at Lavender Lines!


yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

New Reviews…Times Twos!

I’m very pleased to see a brand new DEVIL TREE review over at the Dark River Press webpage. DEVIL TREE is my first full length novel – a horror/historical that will haunt and horrify you. Besides that, I am likewise pleased to announce that DEVIL TREE is five orders away from breaking a new monthly sales record for my e-books – and that’s on the shortest month of the year!!!

Here’s a link to the review.


You can order Devil Tree at

Or at


And there is also a brand new review at the Amazon listing for BAD VALENTINES.

This definitely made my evening!

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

The Walking Man Talks – part 3

Well, this morning’s walk to work was very pleasant. The weather was lovely and mild and I found I expended a whole less energy. Besides that, I could hear the birds sing – which I couldn’t when my toque was jammed in tight about my ears.

I stopped to pet a pug named Jacob. Now, usually the name Jacob is a little weird for a dog – but it suited this pug nicely. His face was so squooged and wrinkled that I could almost picture him as a town elder.

“Go and ask Jacob,” mother told me. “He knows things.”

Well, perhaps he does, but all he said to me was “Got any dog biscuits?”

As I crossed the Commons I was surprised to find an entire story unfolding in my mind. I made note of it and wrote it down just as soon as I got to work.

Crossing the Commons I was treated to the sight of a dozen or skaters.

Now, I despise the Oval. To me, it represents a bookmark that is holding the page for another damn rock concert on the Commons. But looking at it these winter mornings I have to admit that it is an awfully good thing. I don’t skate, but it makes me grin just watching those skaters whizz past.

As for the bus strike, I am of mixed opinion on the news that the council refused arbitration. Yes, my feet would dearly appreciate a restoral of the bus system. BUT, if the bus drivers were so keen on arbitration that they went ahead and staged that big march then it kind of makes me think that they were figuring they would come out ahead in any arbitration. I’m not sure how keen I’d be in agreeing to something that has my opponent holding parades.

That’s just my vague opinion, you understand. I’m a writer, not a politician – and I know diddly-squat about the details. That’s the whole problem, I think. Most of us know diddly-squat. We know what the union is saying. We know what the management is saying. We know what the government is saying.

But as usual we know zilchamundo about the truth of the matter.

I was fortunate enough to score a lift home the last three days – so my energy level is a little perkier.


Lastly, let me add a few last minute thoughts.

There’s a great blog entry for e-book writers on Canadian writer Patrick Slade’s blog site. Check it out.

And BAD VALENTINES is still going strong as a freebie book. It will be free tomorrow as well, but after that it goes back to the princely sum of $2.99.

So far, I don’t have a drive either way tomorrow, so I may be in for a bit more foot-slogging – but the good news is that a new season of SURVIVOR begins tomorrow night.

Yes, I am a plebian.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


My e-book experiment – part two…

Well, as of today my first Kindle book went free.

I’ll have to e-mail my publisher to find out just exactly how many copies were given out today – but I can tell you that at this moment BAD VALENTINES has risen to #915 in the Top 1000 Free Kindle E-book list.

What does that mean in actual sales?

Well, that is something I am going to have to wait and see on – but the way that this strategy is supposed to work is that the higher you rise on the list the more likely other readers are supposed to notice your free book and buy it.

(just heard from my publisher that we’ve moved 219 copies as of 8:30pm tonight)

Then, after I’ve given away so many copies the resulting visibility is (theoretically) supposed to give a boost to my other books – which are listed – complete with links – in BAD VALENTINES. Other writers I have spoken too have noticed an improvement in sales of their free books as well.

So far, only theoretical.

I have been very pleased to see how many of my virtual friends and acquaintances have reposted and shared and retweeted all of my many announcements.

I am a little worried that I might be glutting my followers with too many announcements and I intend to tone that a bit down over the next few days. But, with this book out there and SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME also fresh on the market, I need to do a certain bit of marketing.

I sent notices to several different free e-book sites. Here’s a link to a list of some good ones to try.

I had very little luck getting more than a bit of mention on these sites. Partly, because I chose such a popular day. There was a shit-whack (that’s a technical Amazon term) of e-books released today. Partly, I believe, because I’m still just an up and comer in this genre.

I’ll post again tomorrow night and let you folks know how things are shaking down. This is the kind of game that is played in the long run. Results slowly develop.

Those folks who want to read the first part of this experiment can catch it here.

For the meanwhile I’m going to get back to working on my next novel and trying to figure out how I can get that bus strike negotiation crew on strike pay and walking barefoot in the snow – maybe that would build their incentive a little to find a solution for this rotten Halifax bus strike!

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon



First thing tomorrow – on Valentines Day – my e-book of horrorific love stories will be abso-freaking-free at the Amazon. For those folks who collect Kindle – grab and download a copy tomorrow. If you don’t have a Kindle you can always download a free Kindle app on Amazon and read it on your computer.
For those folks who know me for my ghost stories – beware and be aware that this is deep-fried n…asty cholesterol-ridden horror – and not necessarily recommended for those of you who are easily offended. I apologize in advance to my ghost story fans – but I am a bit of Jekyll and Hyde kind of writer. I won’t ever write just one sort of story. I always favored the buffet over the single course meal.
Yours in storytelling,
Steve Vernon