Monthly Archives: December 2017

Free Book: Dead Man’s Salute by Steve Vernon | What to Read

There’s a brand new book review site for Genre Writers of the Atlantic and my freebie DEAD MAN’S SALUTE is one of the first books to be listed!

The Book Closet

There is a truly amazing book by Steve Vernon, author of Flash Virus and The Tatterdemon trilogy, for FREE today on Amazon. Here are the details:

“After Sally Mae Webster phoned me up to tell me that my Korean War buddy Luther Webster had been shot and killed by the Bates brothers I knew that I wasn’t going to stop until I had righted that wrong. I wonder just how many graves I was going to have to dig today.”

Interesting! I love a good description written in-character, that’s how we started out (re: book descriptions are hard!)

To get your copy of Dead Man’s Salute, click this link and comment below what you think when you do get it! 🙂

View original post

Why Will Smith’s BRIGHT sucked out loud!

So, what DID I watch over the holidays?
Well, I mostly watched Netflix. We got hooked up with Netflix last year – and even though it is the bastardized Canadian edition of Netflix, we have taken to it joyfully. In fact, we haven’t watched cable television at all this year, with the exception of Margaret Atwood’s HANDMAID’S TALE, which my wife watched.

This is a sword day, a red day…

Not me. I have sworn a sacred oath against all things Margaret Atwood related.
All right, I did try and watch the first episode of THE HANDMAID’S TALE, but the 1990 movie did it a whole lot better, in my opinion.
We really enjoyed THE CROWN, almost as much as we enjoyed DOWNTON ABBEY, with the exception of the last season of Downton Abbey, which to me, came off a little bit more like DOWNTOWN EXPRESS. I mean, they were lining up and dealing with storylines that were three or four years old, dispensing with them with the ease of a gambler slipping that last ace out of his sleeve. I mean it was like – get him married, kill those two off, ship that one off to the colonies, the clock is ticking – I mean, type faster Fellowes, type faster!
So, what else have I watched over the holidays so far?
Well, I watched KING KONG: SKULL ISLAND, and it really rocked. I was so nervous about buying a DVD of it – especially after watching that debacle that they called GODZILLA – but they definitely got it right!
I also tried to watch Will Smith in BRIGHT. I know that a lot of people dug this movie, but I’m afraid that it sucked for me. It sucked big time. I can’t believe that they spent NINETY FREAKING MILLION DOLLARS and the best orc make-up they could come up with looked like somebody’s bad idea of a Braveheart costume for Halloween.

This is an orc


This is some dude with his face smeared with blue chalk.


And THIS is Braveheart…also, blue chalk (wode) but way cooler!

I’m sorry. I know a lot of folks have enjoyed the movie, but I found it tiresome. Will Smith, who usually brings pizzazz, was phoning his acting in. The dialogue felt like it was all adlib, and the movie was nothing more than every tired creaking cop-movie inspired scene the director could think of. It was Alien Nation, without any back story and/or trace of class. All they could do was to keep on harping on about how the orcs were supposed to represent racial-profiling and that was supposed to be all wicked cool. I get it, dude.

Don’t hit me over the head with it.

Tell me a story why don’t you?

I kept hoping that the Dark Lord was going show up with a copy of the script under his arm.

I lasted forty whole minutes before I gave up.

I hate passing verdict before I have seen the whole movie, but it stunk big time. You see a turd on the ground, you don’t have to sniff and taste it to know that it is a big stinking turd.

Ninety freaking million – and all they could come up with was blue chalk, and this.


This isn’t an elf, either. This is Topo Gigo in a suit and tie.

Lastly, I watched the whole entire first season of Bruce Campbell’s ASH VERSUS THE EVIL DEAD!

Which rocked.


Yup, Ash freaking rocks!

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Some Microsoft Word Tips

M.L. Humphrey

This morning I hit publish on my last titles for 2017, Word for Beginners and Intermediate Word. That makes 441,312 words written (give or take) and 409,252 words published for the year. Phew. A little more than half of that was non-fiction since that seems to have become my focus for the second half of the year, but I did have two novels in there, too.


While I was writing the Word guides I kept finding myself saying “never do this” based on things I had actually encountered in my professional career. Finally, I started writing them down so I could share them.

So here they are. Things you should never do in Word (because there’s a better way to do it). With suggestions of how to better handle it using Word 2013 as my source.

1. Never manually number a list of items. (Especially in the midst…

View original post 488 more words


Photographing Outdoor (and Indoor) Christmas Lights

This gallery contains 16 photos.

Originally posted on R. Doug Wicker — Author:
It’s the Christmas season.  That means it’s camera time, because you won’t see this much nighttime splashing of color again until July 4, and that’s only if we’re all still around come Mayan…

Audiobook Advice from Hall of Fame Narrators—Part One

Audiobook Creation Exchange Blog (ACX)

On Sunday, as part of their 20th anniversary celebration, Audible announced the inaugural inductees of the Narrator Hall of Fame. The 20 members of this founding group were chosen by a panel of passionate listeners at Audible who spent many, many hours deliberating the merits of hundreds of talented performers based on the caliber of their work, the breadth of catalog, and listener feedback.

Among the honorees? Four ACX Producers! This week, they are sharing their reflections on the honor, and their advice to future inductees. Today, we kick things off with ACX University alumna Andi Arndt.

Hall of Famer Andi Arndt

When I got the call informing me that I had been voted into the inaugural “class” of the Audible Narrator Hall of Fame, I was in shock. I have only worked in audiobooks for the latter half of Audible’s 20 years. My fellow inductees have been…

View original post 421 more words

A Halifax Christmas Carol by Steven Laffoley

Consumed by Ink

Before you start to think I’m completely obsessed with the Halifax Explosion, let me explain… When I first saw this book I thought it was going to be a twist on Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, set in Halifax. Which it is… but it’s not as close to A Christmas Carol as I was expecting it to be. It’s a story of faith and hope set in 1918 Halifax, and it’s saturated in stories about WWI and the Halifax Explosion. In other words, it’s even better than I was hoping it would be. And it’s inspired by a true story.

Steven Laffoley was inspired to write this book when he read the story about the “little chap” with the big heart who, in December 1918, one month after the war ended and a year after the disaster of the Halifax Explosion, brought in a 25 cent piece to the office…

View original post 895 more words

El Camino Christmas – a review

Just last night, my wife Belinda and I watched the new Netflix movie, EL CAMINO CHRISTMAS.
What an oddly enjoyable piece of film work. It felt as if a Hallmark movie had given birth to a lovechild with NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. The movie is dark and sweet and unpredictably good in spots.
High points were Tim Allen’s performance as the burnt-out alcoholic veteran who chokes you up by the end of things. I feel the character could have been better written, but Tim Allen has always had some acting skills when he isn’t just falling back on his Home Improvement shtick.
I also enjoyed Kurtwood Smith’s performance as the sheriff. You folks might remember Kurtwood as being my favorite part of THE 70’s SHOW as Red Foreman (or Forman, depending on which season you watch). Again, I felt like the character could been better developed and written and I would REALLY like to see the character in a better made movie. Kurtwood has been getting by over the years with an awful lot of cartoon voice-over work, but I always enjoy his acting as well.
So all in all I would recommend this movie to anyone looking for an oddball Christmas movie – but it isn’t for younger kids.
Yours in storytelling,
Steve Vernon

Zakk reviews Bone White by Ronald Malfi

Ronald Malfi – a kickass horror writer, a great editor, and a good guy!

The Eyes of Madness

“Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness, simple reviews from a simple reader…”

Zakk reviews Bone White by Ronald Malfi. 384 pages published by Kensington July 25, 2017.


A landscape of frozen darkness punctuated by grim, gray days.
The feeling like a buzz in your teeth.
The scrape of bone on bone. . .

Paul Gallo saw the report on the news: a mass murderer leading police to his victims’ graves, in remote Dread’s Hand, Alaska.

It’s not even a town; more like the bad memory of a town. The same bit of wilderness where his twin brother went missing a year ago. As the bodies are exhumed, Paul travels to Alaska to get closure and put his grief to rest.

But the mystery is only beginning. What Paul finds are superstitious locals who talk of the devil stealing souls, and a line of wooden crosses to keep what’s in…

View original post 835 more words