Coffin Hop HALLOWEEN The Haunted Library and All Hallows Read


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.


No coincidences.


Check out the Top 10 Haunted Libraries in the Country!


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)


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’!


A-LARPing We Should Go…. Welcome to Day 1 of Coffin Hop!

Devil Fish Bay Pic

Happy Coffin Hop Day 1!

So, as I was looking around for some semblance of inspiration for Day 1 of Coffin Hop, I was reminded of a video sent around by the good folks at Lovecraft eZine:

This LARP (Live Action Role Play) was unique in that it had a Lovecraftian theme, whereas most LARPs involve Epic Quests and running around the forested areas of the Finger Lakes Region of New York State smacking trees with swords. Please don’t ask me how I know this, because it would be embarrassing for both of us…. That said, a million years ago in my younger, wilder days, I used to LARP with a group from SUNY New Paltz and then-boyfriend Ken [last name withheld to protect the not-so-innocent].  If you’ve never LARPed, you should try it. At least try it once. It’s like acting on the largest stage possible. You lose yourself and become someone entirely different. It’s the BEST kind of mass-hysteria.

So, my Coffin Hop Day 1 post, inspired by Swedes LARPing about, is about a place on Prince of Wales that could beat Sweden hands down for an eerie place to hold a LARP. I’m talking about Devil Fish Bay. On the still-available-but-not-for-long NOAA Chart (that’s another post for another day), it’s here:

Devil Fish Bay Chart

Latitude: 56.09417 : Longitude: -133.34417

Innocuous, right? It’s a little place on a map that looks pleasant enough. Sure. Pleasure boats go through there. Never a problem, right?

Let me tell you a little bit about Devil Fish Bay (at least what I know about it). Legend has it that there was once a Native village on the shore of Devil Fish Bay. One night, a Devil Fish rose from the water, created a tidal wave, and wiped out the village. Such was the terror, that those who survived fled and never returned. No village was ever established there again. Ever. But, the strangeness doesn’t end there. The Devil Fish persists. Apparently deep beneath the water is the wreck of a boat pulled under by the Devil Fish. Through the clear water, you can still see suction cup marks all around the hull. Are we seeing a Lovecraftian LARP opportunity yet?

It gets better.

I’ve heard stories of kayakers who have attempted to spend the night on the shores of Devil Fish Bay only to be frightened by some unknown “feeling” or “presence” that they’ve fled–leaving tents and gear behind them. One kayaker reported hearing “voices” when no one was there. Another reported smelling “coffee” when there was no one around and no one else making coffee.  Are we there yet?

It gets better.

I know this guy who, for the purposes of this blog post, will remain nameless. He is one of  the most down-to-Earth guys I know. He isn’t given to flights of imagination. He isn’t dramatic or high strung. He’s even-keeled, he’s matter-of-fact, and he’s got a wry sense of humor. I thought he was kidding when he told me that Devil Fish Bay scares the hell out of him. I mean, really? He doesn’t like it there. He openly tries to avoid it. He doesn’t want to “talk about it,” but talking to him belies the fact that he’s witnessed something there.

It can’t get much better than that.

I know it would take years to set up, but a LARP in Devil Fish Bay might be just the cure for October blues that settle in with the weather.  Just throwing that out there; everyone’s gotta have a hobby.



The Coffin Hop Day One Contest is simple: Considering the Lovecraft Mythos, what creature or character would you chose to be in a LARP, and do you think you would survive?

Today’s Prize:  a Coffin FULL of Candy (35 pieces to be exact!) and a package of Raven’s Brew Deadman’s Reach Coffee!


Comments close at Midnight, so don’t delay! A new contest and prize every day!





Coffin CandyCOFFIN HOP CONTINUES! Click the link and Hop On!



The Fishing Widow eBook Release on 6 January 2013!


Three years in the making, and it’s nearly here! I’d like to take this opportunity to invite EVERYONE to the eBook Release of The Fishing Widow on Sunday, January 6, 2013. How will this work? Well, there’s a Fishing Widow eBook Release Facebook Event and then there’s also going to be a Google+ Hangout at 1:00pm Alaska Time (that’s 5pm on the East Coast of the US, and 10pm in Ireland and the U.K.). The address to join me, A.K. Marshall, is that there embedded in my user name. I will admit, the whole Google+ Hangout thing is new for me, and we’ll see how the bandwidth at the coffee shop in Craig, Alaska supports it!

If you happen to find yourself in Craig, Alaska on that date, head over to The Waterstreet Café (801 Water Street) for a cup of the good stuff and cake! You’ll also be able to use the WiFi to download the ebook for free. Actually, the codes will all be posted on the Facebook event page and here that day. Download it from Amazon, Smashwords, iTunes, or Barnes & Noble.

And, whether you’re here, on Facebook, or in Craig, let me know you’re out there somewhere and interested. Join the Facebook event, hashtag a post on Twitter #thefishingwidow, or leave a comment here. Folks who join the Facebook event and/or post a comment here on January 6th (or are at Waterstreet Café) have a chance to win PRIZES! Alaskan-themed prizes; kinda like The Gift of the Magi, but with a twist. I have Raven’s Brew coffee, Moka (chocolate) Bars, Deadman’s Reach gear (including hoodies), and quintessentially Alaskan things that you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Yes, if you’re overseas, you can still win (as long as it’s legal to ship coffee and chocolate and hoodies).

What’s it all about? Check out The Fishing Widow eBook Release Trailer


Want more? Check out the NEW The Fishing Widow Book Trailer

Many thanks to Stuart Spencer for his more-than-awesome-and-I’m-not-worthy cover art for both the eBook and the pending hard cover release (Coming March 2013).

Days left …. Let’s get this party started!