The Heat is Tyranosauric so Cool Down with Some Hot Horror!


It’s hot out there. Stinking hot.  What little shade there is isn’t enough. You need relief!  Whether you choose to relax at the beach, stretch out by the pool,  or  just plant yourself under a fan,  it’s time to relax and read something chilling. Or think about sex.  Or even better — both!

Candle Bay is a little town full of vampires on the sweet central coast of California.  If you’re craving perfect weather with the tang of salt and blood in the air, the crash of waves, digging your toes in the sand as you walk along the beach exploring caves and tide pools in hopes of finding floaters, Candle Bay is just the book for you. It’s the place where you can enjoy the ocean breeze against your face and the fangs in your neck!

Eternity is a little town far up in the redwood forests of northern California.  A sweltering summer day is pleasantly cool here as you amble the pine-needled forest paths, enjoying  the sounds of nature and the screams of Jack the Ripper‘s victims. In fall and winter, the seasons in which this twisty tale is told,  the skiing is to die for. So are the tours of Little Stonehenge, where you can learn all about Icehouse Mountain’s weird history and, if you’re lucky, see lots of fresh body parts!  But to really cool off,  join Saucy Jack, Jim Morrison, Ambrose Bierce, not just one, but two Elvises, and Amelia Earhart as they work to befuddle Eternity’s new sheriff, Zach Tully.  By the way, Tully predates Eureka’s sheriff by a few years, but Sheriffs Lawson and Carter sure would like each other. (And Colin Ferguson, if you’re reading this and don’t mind being typecast, call my agent.)

If you prefer your weather cool but not icy, why not travel to Moonfall, in inland southern California.  It’s a mile-high apple growing community on top of a mountain overlooking Santo Verde, and it’s probably no more than 80 degrees there even as the towns below hit the 100 mark.  In Moonfall, you can get cold cider, apple pie, and an education at St. Gertrude’s School for Girls – St. Gruesome’s, as the locals call it – that will curl your short hairs.  The nasty nuns of St. Gertrude’s really enjoy punishing the girls in ways that would get them in deep trouble if they weren’t nuns. There are old murders, new murders, the nuns’ odd-tasting mincemeat pie, and lots and lots of ghosts in tiny Moonfall and it’s witches versus nuns at St. Gruesome’s, so move over Satan’s School for Girls — you’re old news!  It’s almost Halloween as the tale unfolds. The dog days of summer are blessedly gone and the crisp air carries the autumn scents of chimney smoke, pumpkin, and blood.

For a very brief time, all these reads can be had for $2.99 — as Alfred E. Newman and Trader Joe’s say — Cheap!


Candle Bay:




Eternity for Kindle:

Eternity for Sony Readers:

James Gandolfini and Candle Bay


When The Sopranos debuted on HBO,  I’d never seen any of The Godfather movies, Miller’s Crossing, or any other gangster flick.  I had absolutely no interest in the genre.

But I did have HBO and my husband wanted to check out The Sopranos, so I watched it. I watched it again.  And again. I still didn’t love the mafia genre, but I couldn’t resist The Sopranos. We’d watch it the night it aired and then again before the next episode.  I didn’t want to like it — this was a culture I still had no interest in, nothing in common with — but James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano,  he just kept drawing me back in.

I don’t think anyone else could have done that.  Gandolfini’s lovable psychopath, Tony Soprano, was pitch perfect, fascinating, charismatic, and vile, all at the same time.  Because of Tony, I watched The Godfather and the other classics and developed a new appreciation for them.

A couple seasons in, I decided to write my vampire novel, Candle Bay, and something fun popped into my head: what if the pater familias of the clan, Orion Darling, had a thing for The Godfather? Maybe he had a long history of faddish fascinations and his current one was with one don or another.  I already knew he had more than a passing similarity in looks to Robert DeNiro — what more could I ask for?

And so, in Candle Bay, Ori’s office mirrors  Don Corleone’s, he watches Sopranos reruns and played the Godfather theme in the background.  He even acts like Corleone, delighting in playing at gangster games.

I am currently well into Candle Bay’s sequel and when I began, I considered giving Ori Darling a new all-consuming interest, but decided against it. With James Gandolfini’s untimely passing, I’m doubly glad Ori remained smitten with Tony Soprano.  Here’s to you, Mr. Gandolfini.  RIP.

godfather smlr