Coffin Hop HALLOWEEN The Haunted Library and All Hallows Read

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Part of me wishes I could say that my library is haunted by a malevolent spirit bent on the annihilation of the patronage and people of Craig, but another part of me is glad I can’t say that. What I can say is that, yeah, there is what I shall describe as a “critter” in the library. I can call him a “critter” because he’s never taken offense about me calling him that. Yes, I believe it’s a “he” rather than a “she.” He is mischievous, wiley, funny, and, sometimes, moody. Sometimes the library feels “sad” or “melancholy.” I always ask (aloud) “Are you okay?” I figure it’s not just polite to do that, I also really care that the mood of the library shifts that way. I’ve seen him by the circulation desk.  He stands there. He watches. Sometimes books slide off the shelves with no one around. It’s unnerved people who have seen it, but I’ve just smiled and said, “Oh! That’s odd…” I’ll pick up the book and shelve it. Sometimes it’s an interesting book and I’ll read a bit of it. My critter definitely has good taste in literature…

I don’t talk about the critter much. I mean, people would look at me all askance if I made a big deal out of it. Besides, it’s like we’re friends and you don’t talk about your friends like that. He’s here, I’m here, we’re just comfortable together.  But, I can’t help but wonder…. who IS he? No doubt he’s been here longer than I have because I’ve heard stories. Never bad stories, just…stories. It’s not a bad feeling you get in the library. Ever. He’s curious to be sure, and, like I said, sometimes sad, but I’ve never been scared or anything. I’m happy about that.

But then, those of you who know me shouldn’t be surprised that I ended up in a library like this. Most assuredly there were critters of a different sort at Fort Bliss (when you have human remains on shelves, how can there NOT be? And, before you go calling the Feds, they were properly excavated remains that were being curated in accordance with 36 CFR 79 and NAGPRA). Other sorts at The Harbor Defense Museum, and still others at…Kennecott. Yeah. Kennecott. Overall, the place didn’t weird me out, but the West Bunkhouse at 3am was unnerving as HELL. It was only there and around the house that Hastings occupied (the notorious mass murderer of The McCarthy Massacre) that I ever got creepy feelings. Then again, my husband and I raised eyebrows when we showed up there. We were Tim and Amy.  People who had survived the massacre and were still in the town remembered ANOTHER Tim and Amy who were murdered on the airstrip.

There are no coincidences.

I guess that’s why the idea of something being around me doesn’t weird me out so much. It must have started with the original birth story—when the daughter of the couple who found me, cold and abandoned in the bathroom of that launderette mentioned another connection:

I always wanted to tell you this, and I wanted to TELL YOU. I didn’t want you to read it anywhere. You were born in the early morning hours of November 16, 1964 in the Grover Bungalo Laundrymat. What you need to know is that, in the early morning hours of November 16, 1963, my mother’s dad, Wallace E. Grover who owned the place, went into work, hung up his coat, and dropped dead of a massive coronary not more than three feet from where you were found a year later.

Yeah.

No coincidences.

 

Check out the Top 10 Haunted Libraries in the Country!

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And now, a quick word about Neil Gaiman’s All Hallows Read.: FANTASTIC!

If you’re not participating this year, please make plans to participate NEXT year. Literacy, especially EARLY Literacy, is SO IMPORTANT. Mr. Gaiman’s idea to hand out scary books on Halloween either with or in lieu of candy is nothing short of brilliant. If you’re looking for a book to hand out to your friends for Halloween, may I suggest Coffin Hop: Death By Drive-In? Not only will you be reading some of the weirdest and most wonderful things from your Coffin Hop buddies, you’ll be supporting LitWorld—an International Literacy Charity with the 2014 goal of teaching ONE MILLION CHILDREN (And Adults) how to read! What could be better? Horror for you and a leg up for those in need! 100% of the proceeds of the sale of the anthology benefit this charity; and it’s not just some “hey-we’re-doing-this-during-Coffin-Hop-only” stunt. No. This is FOREVER. This is why I love this group. Stuff like this (and other things, but stuff like this)

Contest:

Happy Halloween and the end of Coffin Hop! Hard to believe it’s been 8 days of darkness (it’s kind of like Hannukah in reverse, right? I just thought of that…). Tell me a Ghost Story – long, short, real, not, just a bit of a Ghost Story. Why? Because this is the GREATEST of all the Coffin Hop Prizes and YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT!

Tsimshian Designed MugsYour choice of Red or Black

Death By Drive InPaperback Copy of Death By Drive In!

The_Fishing_Widow_EbookPaperback Copy of The Fishing Widow (because I had to plug the book at SOME point!)

1397624_653571864676187_605442417_oOne of Ray Troll’s New SPAWN OF THE DEAD T-Shirts (tell me what size!)

DMR Prize PackA Deadman’s Reach Prize Pack!

Yeah, you WAAAANNNT This! Tell me a story!! Contest Closes at Noon on November 2nd!

 

 

Happy Coffin Hoppin’!

 

Coffin Hop Day 7: Brewing up Mayhem!

Three Witches Enhanced

dark Cave.  In the middle, a Caldron boiling.  Thunder.

Enter the three Witches.

1 WITCH.   Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.

2 WITCH.   Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin’d.

3 WITCH.   Harpier cries:—’tis time! ’tis time!

1 WITCH.    Round about the caldron go;

In the poison’d entrails throw.—

Toad, that under cold stone,

Days and nights has thirty-one;

Swelter’d venom sleeping got,

Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot!

ALL.   Double, double toil and trouble;     Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

2 WITCH.   Fillet of a fenny snake,

In the caldron boil and bake;

Eye of newt, and toe of frog,

Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,

Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,

Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,—

For a charm of powerful trouble,

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

3 WITCH.   Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;

Witches’ mummy; maw and gulf

Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark;

Root of hemlock digg’d i the dark;

Liver of blaspheming Jew;

Gall of goat, and slips of yew

Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse;

Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips;

Finger of birth-strangled babe

Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,—

Make the gruel thick and slab:

Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,

For the ingrediants of our caldron.

ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

2 WITCH.  Cool it with a baboon’s blood,

Then the charm is firm and good.

Let’s face it. Few people can cook it up like The Bard. The three witches at the opening of *whispers* MacBeth *normal voice* set the tone for a right proper horror play. I mean, c’m on, it’s *whispers* MacBeth *normal voice*.

Now, you may wonder why I whisper when I say *whispers* MacBeth. *normal voice*. *Whispers* MacBeth *normal voice* is to theater what illness is to Jewish people. Now, now, hear me out. There’s that wonderful scene from Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs when Eugene Morris Jerome (the main character) talks about how his family, when they speak of someone who is ill, will whisper the name of the illness lest, I dunno, God or the Devil hears them or something. Theater people don’t talk openly about *whispers* MacBeth *normal voice* just like they don’t call out, brightly, “Hey! Good luck!” I’m remembering this at the moment because we’re about to stage a Bob Hope USO Show that will benefit the USO and the Wounded Warrior Project. We’re doing a Duck Dynasty parody. I’m Miss Kay. If THAT doesn’t scare you, NOTHING else will. And, for the love of GOD, don’t wish me luck! Wish that I should “break a leg” or something … especially because my sons in the skit are 10 to 15 years older than me. There’s a trick.

I’m sure there’s a horror story in there somewhere….

So, back to horror and brews and spells and mayhem. Halloween is nearly upon us! I have figured out the Rafflecopter, so let’s see how it works! Congratulations to our previous winners, but this is one you’ll be DYING to win. Bwa ha ha! Get it? It’s Coffin Hop and you’ll be dy — . Sigh.

Prizes to help you brew up some mayhem (and snuggle back and enjoy the chaos)

Call of CthulhuLittlest Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu in hardbound form (upon release)

Death By Drive InCoffin Hop: Death By Drive-In in PAPERBACK

Green TeaA tin of Octavia’s Serene Green Tea

Tsimshian Designed Mugs

Winner’s choice of a Red or Black Tsimshian Designed Tea Infuser (that you can also make coffee in …)

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A bag of Raven’s Brew Wicked Wolf Coffee (because we’re equal opportunity here)

Thanks for hoppin’ by! Coffin Hop continues!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Salt

Ah, and one last plug. SALT is now FREE on Amazon through Halloween!

Coffin Hop Day 5: The Ghosts of Kuskulana

The Ghosts of KuskulanaII

I grew up reading William Hope Hodgson and H.P. Lovecraft. Anyone who has read The Fishing Widow knows the influence of Hodgson goes beyond Mike Passarella’s quote from The Ghost Pirates. Indeed, The Fishing Widow is a marriage of that book and Moby Dick (among other stories). I wrote the original version of The Ghosts of Kuskulana back in May. It was a short story for submission to a New Adventures of Carnacki Anthology. I am thrilled to report that the story will appear in Carnacki: The New Adventures due out from Ulthar Press in early 2014! I am also thrilled to tell you that I found this out last night whilst I was mixing the last of this collaboration between myself and the venerable Axel AR Howerton.

My husband is also a Carnacki fan. After reading the original draft of Ghosts, he set down the manuscript, smiled at me, and said, “Please marry me and bear my children.” I laughed. “It’s a little late for that, don’t you think?” He winked. “I love you so much right now.”

So, this was also an exercise in writing something that both of us wanted to read: an adventure for Hodgson’s Carnacki, The Ghost Finder set in the Alaskan wilderness.

The background: In 1912, Carnacki is summoned by a wealthy syndicate to investigate the paranormal goings-on that are affecting the transportation and commerce of a copper-rich mine in Interior Alaska. While Carnacki bristles under the imperial tone of the summons, he receives a desperate telegram from the manager of the Alaskan concern. Intrigued, he travels to The Great Land. What he finds is a chilling tragedy of loss, murder, and a Supernatural Echo that draws him into its Darkness.

The audio short story is presented as part reading/part atmospheric drama. The telling is well within the vein of the original Carnacki stories. My undying affection goes out to Axel Howerton for his time and talented reading of the story.

I truly hope you all enjoy it.

And, of course, since it is Coffin Hop, there is a contest! Please comment as to what is your favorite Paranormal Investigation story–be it Hodgsonian, Lovecraftian, or a modern day telling.

**As an aside, I ship anywhere in the world, so if you are beyond the US and Canada, no worries, I can get the prize to you!**

The prize today is three fold:

A container of Death Mints Death-Mints_3186-l

One of the Steampunk-inspired (but not this one) Coffins!

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…and … one of the DesignClinic UK Bronze Skulls! (These are small, just so you know, but they are oh, so EPIC-LY COOL!)

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Happy Coffin Hop! Keep hoppin’!