Tuesday, April 16, 2019

This Month in Murder (April 2019: Part 2)


What's this? A second episode within a month? That's right! I go through so many books it only felt right to do a second episode. Depending on the month, I'll always do between one and two.

This Month in Murder is a video podcast (posted 1 to 2 times a month) where I discuss the books I'm reading, books I've purchased, and upcoming books. In this episode, I discuss libraries, book groups, and getting too many books from the library.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Pet Semetary: A Mini Macabre Review



Horror/Mystery reviews in less than a minute. This time I review Stephen King's Pet Semetary remake.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Murder for a Dollar (April 14)

Hello, readers of mystery and thriller! Welcome to the second entry in the "Murder for a Dollar" blog series, where I share a list of a few books you can get RIGHT NOW for a dollar. (or a couple of dollars, but I will try to stick close to the $1 mark as close as possible).

Here are the ones I found for April 14th, 2019:

Slay in Character by Lynn Cahoon ($1.99)

I'm a huge fan of old westerns and ghost towns. I've visited my fair share, and I love a good mystery that takes us there. Slay in Character sees a writer's group heading for just such a place, where murder awaits them in a "historic" setting.

Wedding Day Murder by Leslie Meier ($0.99)

Once again, my favorite series always seems to have a few books on sale--and why not? It's a staple of murder mystery fiction that has a long history dating back to the nineties. 

Death by Tea by Alex Erickson ($0.99)

Proof that the cozy mystery genre isn't only limited to female writers. Alex Erickson's bookstore cafe series is phenomenal. I've loved every entry I've tried by him and can't wait to try this one. 

Killer Crust by Christ Cavender ($0.99)

Another male author. Who doesn't love pizza? I know I do. If you're in the mood for some delicious descriptions of one of America's favorite dishes--with a side of murder--look no farther than this series. And isn't that cover so cute?

X Marks the Scot by Kaitlyn Dennett ($0.99)

An old mansion? A treasure map? A hunt that leads to a dead body? That all sounds like a formula for a great murder mystery to me! 

Plain Dead by Emma Miller ($1.99)

The Amish subgenre of cozy mystery and romance novels has never been my cup of tea. However, this cover looks so appealing, maybe it is time to give it a try?

The Silver Gun by L.A. Chandlar ($1.99)

I love mysteries set during the first half of the 20th century. It was an interesting era both thanks to the two great wars and all the cultural happenings. I've not read any in this series, but it looks promising. Who doesn't love the thirties? 

Nipped in the Bud by Sheila Connolly ($0.99)

Finally, let's get down home with a really cozy feeling mystery. Something about farms, the country, orchards, all of it gives a sense of warmth. Somehow, a dead body only makes that better. This looks like a fun series!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Final Exam: A Mini Macabre Review



Horror reviews in less than a minute. This time I review the slasher film Final Exam from 1981.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Vampironica: A Terror Video Review



Check out my latest Terror Video Review. This week I'm reviewing Vampironica, part of the dark Archive universe. Just in time for the new season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Us: A Mini Macabre Review



From now on, my mini-macabre reviews will be in short (60 seconds or less) videos!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Murder for a Dollar (April 3)

Hello, fans and readers! In addition to my new monthly video podcast, I also decided it would be fun to start a new series of articles called "Murder for a Dollar" where I share a list of a few books you can get RIGHT NOW for a dollar. (or a couple of dollars, but I will try to stick close to the $1 mark as close as possible). I'll do this every couple of weeks when I see there are new or interesting books on sale on Kindle.

So without further ado, here we go! Murder for a Dollar (for April 3rd 2019)

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear ($1.99)

First on today's list is Maisie Dobbs. If you watched or listened to the recent podcast, you'll know I love this historical series set during WWI (and no WWII) and am excited to finally go back and give this first book in the series a read.

Potions and Pastries by Bailey Cates ($1.99)

Give me a mystery with witches, magic, or cats involved and I am there. I've not read any of the books in this series, but it looks like now is my chance!

Survival of the Fritters by Ginger Bolton ($1.99)

When they announced this book, I was head over heels. My favorite guilty indulgence (besides coffee) is donuts! And just look at how adorable that cat is! Who wouldn't want to read this?

The Tell-Tale Tarte by Maya Corrigan ($0.99)

I'm a huge fan of Edgar Allan Poe and enjoy whenever he is referenced in a mystery. In this one, it's a Poe impersonator who bites the dust. Also, this cover with the delicious food in the foreground and the ocean behind is to die for. Not to mention, as a work from home married man, I love me some easy and quick five-ingredient recipes. 

Mother's Day, Muffins, and Murder by Sara Rosett ($0.99)

Who used to love and read the Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine? (Who am I kidding? I still read them!) This cover reminds me so much of the Say Cheese and Die books! Also, a mystery surrounding a holiday? Yes, please! Not to mention the school setting is always fun!

Easter Bunny Murder by Leslie Meier ($0.99)

Okay, so those who are my friends know it is no big secret that I love Leslie Meier and that her series about Lucy Stone is the whole reason I have even attempted writing a mystery! Well, just in time for Easter, this little dandy treat is on sale! Also, there are a handful of others in this series on sale as well for 99 cents!

Murder, She Barked by Krista Davis ($1.99)

Do you adore animals? Don't pass up on this series about a pet-themed hotel and resort! Cute dogs and cats galore! I've only read the Halloween entry in this series (surprise, surprise) but I'm sure this one is the cat's meow.

Fry Me a Liver by Delia Rosen ($0.99)

Okay, so I'll be the first to admit I've never heard of this series before. However, the cover was so delightful and intriguing that I had to include it. It reminds me of some of my favorite hidden object adventure mystery games! I love food on the cover of any book and I'm very interested in this one.

Stay at Home Dead by Jeffery Allen ($0.99)

I've had this series suggested to me on multiple occasions but never taken the chance to read it. Maybe I can now! In fact, all three books in the series are on sale for 99 cents right now! If you are interested in reading a cozy mystery with a male MC, give it a try. 

Samhain Secrets by Jennifer David Hesse ($0.99)

When I first encountered this series, I was head over heels. A line of cozy mysteries geared toward a pagan and Wiccan audience? How interesting and original (and perfect for me)! Now, you all know I love Halloween, so I can't recommend this entry enough! 

Monday, April 1, 2019

This Month in Murder (April 2019)

This Month in Murder is a new video podcast I decided to do about horror, thriller, and mystery fiction. It has three parts. The first is where I discuss the books I'm reading, the second is where I show the books I've purchased, and the final is where I talk about upcoming books being released that same month.


In this episode I talk about: 

Terror Video (Double Feature)

Two for the price of one! Here are the last two Terror Videos I posted. In the first, I take a look at the Criterion Collection edition of Night of the Living Dead, one of the finest horror films ever made. In second Terror Video, we take a quick peek at At Death's Door, a collection of 13 movies.


Friday, March 22, 2019

Saturday Night Drive-In Movie #6

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Welcome to the sixth installment of Saturday Night Drive-In. Your weekend b-horror flick: This week, I bring you Night of the Living Dead from 1968, the original and most iconic zombie flick. "A group of strangers gets stranded in a dilapidated farmhouse and must survive the night, and each other, after the dead begin to rise from their graves to eat the flesh of the living."

Make sure to watch my introduction and then enjoy the movie!


Friday, March 15, 2019

New (Easy) Miniature Wargaming Rules!

Micro-Mini Gaming System

Hello friends, fans, and readers. Many of you who follow me online likely already know I'm big into board and war games. Some of you may know I also enjoy designing my own tabletop RPGs and war games. Some of you may have tried out one of my own game designs. 

Today, I'm excited to announce the release of my Micro-Mini Gaming System. 

Micro-Mini is a rules-light system that is easy to learn and fast to play. You can also use whatever miniatures you have on hand. Originally, I designed this game with my nephews in mind. People who have already played the system comment on how it works well for kids.

To accommodate multiple age groups, I have actually released two versions of the game: BASIC and ADVANCED. The Basic version provides the bare bones "move and fire" type of rules. The Advanced rules add weapon, armor, and item options along with unit Confidence and potential retreats.

Download both for FREE for a limited time!





Saturday Night Drive-In Movie #5

House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Welcome to the fifth installment of Saturday Night Drive-In. Your weekend b-horror flick: This
week, I bring you The House on Haunted from 1959, starring Vincent Price. "An eccentric millionaire holds a "haunted house party" for five strangers, offering them each 10,000 dollars to stay the night. The catch? They have to survive until morning."

Make sure to watch my introduction and then enjoy the movie!


Monday, March 11, 2019

Terror Video (Happy Birthday to Me)

Happy Birthday to Me


In this week's Terror Video, we take a look at the new Mill Creek Entertainment release of Happy Birthday to Me (1981), part of their retro VHS line of 80s movie releases. 

Friday, March 8, 2019

Saturday-Night Drive-In Movie #4

The Bat (1959)

Welcome to the fourth installment of Saturday Night Drive-In. Your weekend b-horror flick: This week, I bring you The Bat from 1959, starring Agnes Moorhead and Vincent Price. "A famous writer and her maid rent an old house where a series of murders by a killer called The Bat happened. When the murderer returns, it is up to the two ladies and their friends to solve the mystery and stop the killer once and for all."

Make sure to watch my introduction and then enjoy the movie!


Thursday, March 7, 2019

Mini Macabre Review #15

Black Sunday (1960)

The Italian master of horror, Mario Bava, brings his best film forward with the gothic storytelling of Black Sunday. 

When a witch is burned at the stake, she promises to come back to take revenge on the family who killed her. Two centuries later, when two traveling doctors stumble on the witch's crypt, they unwittingly release her from her bonds. However, her strength isn't enough to come back yet. So, what better way to get strength than by sending out vampire servants she has created? Add in a cobweb-filled castle complete with secret passages and trap doors, and you have one fantastic horror flick.

Black Sunday is a phenomenal movie mixing witches, vampires, and satanism all into one gothic supernatural mix. Black Sunday is like a mixture of the gothic settings of Universal's Monster series and the gore and dark themes of Hammer's horror movies. 

Monday, March 4, 2019

Terror Video (The Mole People)

The Mole People

I'm happy to announce that I'm resurrecting my Terror Video series. These are short little videos where I'm either showing and reviewing a horror related product or simply discussing some element of the horror genre as a whole. 

This week I'm reviewing The Mole People Blu-ray from Scream Factory.

Buy your own copy at Scream Factory.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Saturday-Night Drive-In Movie #3

The Screaming Skull (1958)

In a return to form, I'm starting up the short-lived Saturday Night Drive-In Movie series again! Each weekend I'll be sharing a public domain horror movie with you. I'll upload the movie to my youtube channel while also uploading my own personal introduction to the film. Get ready for some goofy horror and sci-fi! This week we watch one of my favorite b-movies--The Screaming Skull!


Mini Macabre Review #14

Todd and the Book of Pure Evil (Episode 3)

Rock N' Roll Zombies Know Best

In episode 3 of Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, we get our first taste of the undead with a metal band of zombies. Todd is eager to make Jenny, his obsession, jealous. To do this, he goes over to Jenny's best friend's house only to find that she is keeping a pair of zombies in the basement. The zombies in this episode are very reminiscent of Billy from Hocus Pocus. These zombies can talk and think for themselves and their witty humor is along the same lines. This fact alone makes the episode more entertaining, as the British metal band undead are interesting characters on their own. 

This is also one of the less vulgar episodes which is a plus in some ways. Of course, it isn't without its gore--which in my opinion makes this show. The zombies eat some people leaving a bloody mess behind, but there are also some fun decapitations in store. As always, be prepared for swearing and sex jokes galore. 

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Horror News: Critters A New Binge

Critters A New Binge Coming to Shudder!

My favorite horror streaming service on the web, Shudder, has just announced a brand new series coming to their platform in March! Critters: A New Binge! That's right, a brand new entry in the Critters franchise! It looks goofy, it looks gory, it looks like everything I'd want! Check out the trailer below. And just in case you need to catch up on all the little furry critter action, make sure to pick up Scream Factory's special Blu-Ray collection of the movies!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Mini Macabre Review #13

Todd and the Book of Pure Evil (Episode 2)

How to Make a Homunculus

Episode 2 of Todd and the Book of Pure Evil brings in my favorite character as a regular member of the "book hunting" team of teens. Hannah is the nerdy, smart, yet cute girl who wants nothing more than to be a great scientist like her parents. However, as this school is full of strange and horrible adult figures, the science teacher is a scuzzball who tells her she has no future in science. As luck would have it, the Book of Pure Evil passes to her and she uses it to make a Homunculus--a little demon who reminds me of a Ghoulie or Gremlin. 

The creature effects in this episode are fun and reminiscent of Full Moon Features, featuring a creepy looking puppet that looks a little like Todd himself. Of course, watching the Science Teacher get killed was a fun and bloody treat. I enjoy it when gross men in horror shows and movies her what's coming to them. The second episode isn't quite a fun, or as metal, as the first one--but it keeps with the same irreverent spirit that will be the staple of the entire show. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Cthulhu Nights (FREE Role Playing Game)

A ChapBook RolePlaying Manual


I can hear it now, "What's this? Another Cthulhu and Lovecraft inspired role-playing game? Don't we already have, like, a thousand of those on the market?"

The answer is "Yes. Yes, we do."

So why another game in that same theme? Simply put, I love the genre. I recently was playing the new Arkham Horror 3rd edition but felt disappointed by it. It dragged on too long, was a little complicated for my game group (since there is no clear goal at the beginning of the game) and it got too muddled near the end.

My response? Make up my own ultra-simple rules that I can use to play with my friends and family--something I might even be able to teach to my younger nieces and nephews. The result is Cthulhu Nights, a ChapBook RolePlaying Manual. However, seeing as we have the internet and don't all live in isolation tanks, I also didn't see any trouble in sharing my game design with others outside my game group and family circle.

So, without further ado: Welcome to Cthulhu Nights, a ChapBook RolePlaying Game (CBRPG). What is a ChapBook game? It is a light pen and paper game where the rules take up no more than thirty pages total. It is intended to be fast to learn and easy to play.

What is Cthulhu Nights? It is a game of horror adventure and investigation set in the 1920s, loosely inspired by the works of Howard Phillips Lovecraft.

What do you need to play? You’ll need this ChapBook, a single six-sided die (known as a D6 in these rules), pencils, paper, one friend to act as Game Master (GM), and one to five friends to act as Investigators.

You can pick up the rules for free for a limited time at DriveThru RPG.

Thanks a million to anyone who decides to pick up a copy. If people seem to like it at all, I'll consider making a paperback version as well based on feedback.

Mini Macabre Review #12

Todd and the Book of Pure Evil (Episode 1)

Todd the Metal God

Todd and the Book of Pure EvilRockus, raunchy, violent, gory, and overly vulgar are all terms I might use to describe Todd and the Book of Pure Evil. However, it may also be described as humorous, silly, over the top entertainment as well. If Buffy were a pot-smoking sex-focused idiot teen boy, she would be Todd. Todd is a loser who wants nothing more than to be a Metal God. However, when he finds The Books of Pure Evil, it seems his dream might just come true. What he doesn't realize is that his music will now cause people to hemorrhage from the inside, at least not until the school's Battle of the Bands. The opening episode to this Shudder exclusive series sets the stage for exactly what you can expect from the rest of the show. While it steers away from blatant nudity, it does not shy away from plenty of blood, practical effects, and sex jokes. The best way I can think to describe it is if Family Guy made a trip in the live-action high school of an 80s b-satanic horror flick. If goofy over the top gore and comedy is your cup of tea, you'll enjoy this show. Make sure to stay tuned to my website for mini-reviews of all the episodes in this series.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Mini Macabre Review #11

Crypt TV's Shelley: Season 1

When you're looking for short, bite-sized horror movies (to get your fix when you don't have time for a full-length film), there may be no better place to look than Crypt TV.

Shelley is one of their ongoing shows that is part of the larger Crypt Monster Universe. They recently started posting season 2 episodes, so I decided it was time to look back at season 1.

Shelley isn't anything new as far as story ideas go. It fits comfortably into the teen slasher genre. Some person was wronged, hurt, or killed in high school and returns during the class reunion for revenge. It is one of my favorite tropes of the genre, but Shelley manages to actually make the leap into the supernatural where many of the traditional slashers of the 80s and 90s didn't bother.

While a few of the blood splatters in the show do take on a CGI appearance once in a while, the overall production and special effects seem to be spot on for the genre. In each episode, we get one new revenge kill from the undead Shelley herself. The use of a bladed hockey stick is creative and fun.

Basically, if you enjoy traditional slashers, supernatural killers, or teen screams, you'll likely enjoy this offering. It may be one of Crypt TVs best productions yet, and the new season appears to offer plenty more lore and supernatural elements to keep people watching. 

Check out episode 1 below.


Saturday, January 12, 2019

Mini Macabre Review #10

The Faculty

What if John Carpenter's THE THING paid a visit to a midwestern high school? If it did, you would get The Faculty.

Despite some relatively dated and goofy looking CGI work, The Faculty is one cult classic film that is definitely worth the watch. It is a bit in the vein of Scream but with 1950s style aliens instead of a killer. You have all the stereotypical high school tropes including the goth, jock, cheerleader, geek, etc. All are acted well be some big name actors from the time. In addition to the CGI, there are also some excellent practical creature feature effects for the alien queen. Overall, a fun and goofy sci-fi horror romp.

I'm a huge fan of "Teen Scream" horror and this movie is no exception.