Tag Archives: Christmas

X-mas Wrap-up and Huge Giveaway

Happy Holidays!

The best part of 2020 is almost here – the end!

Speaking of gifts, here are two custom ornaments that Samantha Nielsen (aka Samsospooky) made patterned after my holiday books. They will haunt my tree for years to come.

My collection WE BLEED RED & GREEN is still free until Christmas Eve, don’t forget to grab a copy!

Reviews continue to roll in as the Christmas Spirit draws nigh. I especially enjoyed this article at HorrorFuel.com.

PODCASTS

Every year we put out our Christmas Specials, and even though they were virtual this year it was a great boost to my holiday spirits.

Part One of The Six Demon Bag 2020 Christmas Special is up (Part Two drops next week), and we’ve also posted a winter themed episode of Put Up Your Spooks. Click on the pictures to listen!

CHRISTMAS MAGIC

My family checked out the Holiday Road immersive drive-thru light show in Calabasas.

Fun Fact #1: Calabasas, site of the ‘Biggest Loser Ranch’ near Malibu, Ca, was the original location of the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride. I was lucky enough to be there both years before they moved to Griffith Park.

Fun Fact #2: ‘Calabasas’ is from the Spanish calabaza for ‘pumpkin’. Legend has it that in 1824, a Basque rancher spilled a wagonload of pumpkins on the road en route to Los Angeles. The following spring, hundreds of pumpkins sprouted alongside the road. The area was named Las Calabasas—the place where the pumpkins fell.

The event was delightful, but I couldn’t help but compare it to the Halloween events from this year and long ago. What winter wonderland wouldn’t be improved with a horde of zombie elves?

We bailed halfway through Netflix’s Jingle Jangle but enjoyed Hulu’s Happiest Season, and have plowed through the holiday episodes of The Great British Bake Off. There is homemade cookie dough in the freezer that we are saving for Christmas Eve.

Speaking of homemade, I ran a special homebrew one-shot RPG for my friends full of zombies, chest-bursting elves, Christmas themed puzzles and a Big Bad from a very obscure holiday horror movie (1983’s Blood Beat).

GIVEAWAYS, RAFFLES, & DEALS

The Holiday Horror Group Promotion is still going on until 12/24 and KJ’s Book Chat still has deals for fans of Urban Fantasy.

If you really want to fill the rest of your year with excitement check out the massive giveaway for The Superhero Mega Anthology.

You can join the email list for 500+ pages of superhero comics and prose, $600+ of art, posters, clothes and tons of free books.

My first superhero short story, From the Barrel of A Gun, is included. I’m also raffling off a signed copy of my follow-up superhero novel CRITERION.

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

Now that you have enough free stuff to tide you over well into 2021 I’m going to sign off. I wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday and a happy New Year!

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Deck the Halls with Boughs of Horror

My creepy Christmas story ‘With Their Eyes All Aglow’ was recently singled out in a review on Shocktotem, so I thought I’d share a little research that went into the tale.

O Little Town of Deathlehem, edited by Michael J. Evans and Harrison Graves

O Little Town of Deathlehem, edited by Michael J. Evans and Harrison Graves

Last Christmas time I heard a disturbing factoid reported on the radio: Each Christmas tree brings up to 25,000 bugs into your house.

Okay, tiny mites are icky, but it’s hard to beat spiders for pure terror. I looked at the lights shining on my tree and imagined a cluster of luminescent arachnids. Do glow-in-the-dark spiders even exist?

The glowing spider has only been spotted once, in the deepest jungle of Myanmar in 1923 by Barnum Brown, the curator for the American Museum of Natural History.

“Darkness came on swiftly and my pony began to stumble. Somewhere we had missed the trail…Presently, a few feet away, I saw a ball of light as large as a man’s thumb.

Tying the horse, I advanced as carefully as possible toward the object, which was surrounded by thorny bushes…I struck a match. There in full view was a spider, his large oval abdomen grayish with darker markings. Still he did not move, and as the match flame died out, his abdomen again glowed to full power, a completely oval light, similar in quality to that of the fireflies.

Remembering native tales of poisonous insects and spiders, I wrapped a handkerchief around one hand, parted the brush with the other, and when close enough, made a quick grab. Alas! The handkerchief caught on a stick before I could encircle him and my treasure scurried away. I followed as quickly as possible, but the light soon disappeared under stones, brush, or in some burrow, for I never saw it again.”

I had my spider and my setting. To make things more interesting, I made my glowing spiders more sociable.

Giant spider web forming in Texasbig web 2

Social spiders cooperate like ants or bees. Colonies can spin much larger webs and then swarm to take down prey as large as birds and bats.

(I was going to insert some photos of bats in webs, but I couldn’t find any that were not being feasted upon by giant spiders.  You’re welcome.)

My wife suggested the title for this story be, ‘Spiders get all up in yo’ bidness and then ruin Christmas.’ Yes, these spiders may ruin Christmas for a few unlucky people, but don’t let that stop you from checking out the anthology O Little Town of Deathlehem. You can buy the book at Amazon, and all profits from the anthology will benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

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