#31DaysofHalloween Haiku Contest – WINNERS!!!

Loved these!!!! Everyone should take a moment to read through these. They are way too fun!

But alas, I must choose three winners. And here they are!

1.) The Cutest Haiku

Congratulations to DONNA WELCH EARNHARDT!

Creatures of the night
Boogie ‘til the break of dawn
Midnight Mousequerade 

2.) The Scariest Haiku

Congratulations to CARA REINARD!

Blood drips from her knife
Even good girls can break bad
On Halloween night

3.) Most Creative Haiku

Congratulations to LYRA APPLEBAUM!

Skip the dentist’s house
Beware not the toothbrushes
But the razor blades


Thank you to all who participated! You ghouls are positively nightmarish! 


#31DaysofHalloween Haiku Contest!

Write a Hallowe’en Haiku!

Costumes everywhere!
shrieks of laughter fill the air
Happy Halloween!


There will be three winners:

1.) The Cutest Haiku

2.) The Scariest Haiku

3.) Most Creative Haiku

Post your Haikus in the comments section of this post. Due date is Friday Oct. 18, Midnight PST

*One entry per person please.

Cutest Haiku will win Silly Skeleton: A Not So Spooky Pop Up Book!


Scariest Haiku will win Zombelina!


Most Creative Haiku will win Little Ghost Party!

little ghost party

Have fun!


#31 Days of Halloween – Week Two WINNER!

Congratulations to Bevin Thomas!

Read the delicious entry below and you’ll know why this one stood out as the winner. There are so many unique and crazy ideas here, I absolutely fell in love with Bevin’s creation!

The true bringer of life seeks not to simply create a single being but a whole ecology. As even a single creature is so expensive and time-consuming to produce, many pioneering scientists have sought to develop a creature that propagates quickly and easily, perhaps even asexually. Hence the creation of something colorfully titled “Mater Monstrum” (“Mother Monster”). This hermaphroditic being is a woman and man fused back-to-back and whose legs and pelvises have been so melded and entwined together that they resemble a single huge serpent’s tail. Not surprisingly, this being was the inspiration for Echidne of Grecian mythology, a fecund serpentine being who birthed a whole pantheon of monsters.

Reduced to utter savagery, the mater monstrum is only concerned with the most basic of drives: eat, give birth, protect and feed its young. It is ravenous for meat, especially human flesh, and is constantly pregnant, automatically giving birth every six months. Each spawn is a new monstrosity, different from its kin. Various mater monstrum have produced three-headed humans, six-legged wolves, piranhas with wings and baboon feet, crocodiles with the heads of fanged goats and the tails of scorpions, and anything else that could be imagined in nightmares.

Creating a Mater Monstrum

1. Unearth the corpses of a man and a woman.

2. Drain the corpses of all blood.

3. Carefully open up their backs to connect their brains and spinal cords, then sew the two beings together. For details, refer to my treatise “The Joining of Two Selves.”

4. Apply the diluted alchemical solvent described in my treatise “Flesh to Clay” to the pelvises and legs of both corpses to make those body parts temporarily malleable.

5. Gently meld the lower parts of both beings together to produce a single serpentine mass with a single hermaphroditic reproductive system. Remember, make sure to leave enough room for the birth canal. As before, please refer to my “Joining of Two Selves” for details.

6. Now that the mater monstrum’s physical body has been constructed, pump in its new blood: a mixture of mercury, salt, and sulfur along with the blood and venom extracted from five vipers.

7. The whole body must be galvanized by intense electrical force.

8. If you’re lucky, the creature will shriek and come alive; you’ll have your own personal monster factory! If not, all you have is a charred corpse. Well, perseverance is the soul of science!

*Bevin please email me your address at bree@d4eo.com so that I can mail you your book!

You should all be very proud of your entries! What a delight for me to read.


#31DaysofHalloween Writing Contest WEEK TWO!

You are the scientist Victor Frankenstein. Your fiend has turned out horribly and despite your deep disappointment and frustrations, you must try again. And again and again until you make the perfect creature.

Your writing challenge this week must follow the following rules:

  1. Use Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as inspiration for your entry.
  2. Your entry must include no more than 200 words of prose.
  3. Your entry must also include no more than 200 words of a “blueprint” or “recipe” so to speak, for your new creation. It must be in list form, a “how to” if you will.
  4. You must come up with a unique and original name for your creation.
  5. Your creation can be anything from a hybrid faery-zombie to a succubus Bette Midler with snakes for hair. It doesn’t matter, as long as it is creative and creepy.
  6. Deadline is Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. Midnight PST.

The winner will receive one of my all time favorite books; one that is very appropriate for the contest:

The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black


Philadelphia, the late 1870s. A city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages—and home to the controversial surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a grave robber, young Dr. Black studies at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis: What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts—mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs—were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind? 
The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one. The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from a childhood spent exhuming corpses through his medical training, his travels with carnivals, and the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life. The second book is Black’s magnum opus:The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy for mythological beasts—dragons, centaurs, Pegasus, Cerberus—all rendered in meticulously detailed anatomical illustrations. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionist tells his story.

Have fun, you fiends! 



#31DaysofHalloween – Week One WINNER!

Thank you to all the participants! It was so much fun reading all of the spooky entries. You all are truly talented! I hope you share these entries with your friends and children as the month continues.

This was so hard! I swear I am not just saying that. There were many, MANY entries that I read more than 3-4 times trying to determine a winner. But in the end, I had to go with the disappearing halloween house… such a wonderful concept!


Congratulations Debbie Dorris!

Please send your address to bree@d4eo.com and I will mail your prize!

For everyone who’s curious… here is the winning entry:

By Debbie Dorris

Zola Skye, a beautiful one-hundred-thirty-year-old witch, had twenty-four hours for the boiling brew to simmer before adding the final ingredients to the potion that would summon the ancestors.

New Orleans is famous for strange things that go on, especially on Halloween. Zola felt certain she wouldn’t get caught. What she was about to do was banned by her coven a century ago. But she had to save her sweetheart from the clutches of that disappearing prison of a house.

No one, except Zola, believed the legend about the old haunted house that appeared on Halloween at sunrise then disappeared at the midnight moon, taking with it all those who dared enter.

Years ago Johnny, Zola’s novelist boyfriend, wanted to spend the night in a haunted house for inspiration. Driving past a creepy mansion, Zola challenged Johnny to stay the night there. Always a gambler, he accepted. The next day she went to pick him up but the house had vanished.

The day arrived. Zola dressed in the traditional witch costume and covered her face with green make-up; sure she would blend in with any trick-or-treaters. After carefully placing the cauldron in the trunk, she drove to the vacant lot where the house should reappear.

Under the watchful eyes of gatekeeper Ents, she added a vial of her blood and Dragon’s Blood, Dracaena resin she’d taken from her vast hoard, to the brew. Then she chanted for the ancestors. Within seconds eerie wraiths materialized and performed their ghostly ritual dance around the lot.

The house appeared as predicted. The door opened allowing the ghosts entry. Johnny stood by the entrance begging Zola to go away. As she reached for him her hand crossed the thrush hold. The house sucked her in.

#31DaysofHalloween Writing Contest – Week One!

Happy October, Ghouls!

We’ll start off with an easy writing prompt this week. Here are the rules:

1.) Use the photo below as inspiration for your story.


2.) Story must have a beginning, middle, and end but must not exceed 300 words. 

3.) You must use the following word in your story: “hoard” (and please bold it in your entry).

4.) You must listen to this song on repeat as you write your story (I’ll have to take your word on this one, but I’ll be able to tell because it will automatically make your story so much better.)

5.) Post your entry in the comments section of this post by Midnight PST, Oct. 4th (this Friday).

And the winner shall receive…

Holly Black’s newly released novel, THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN


Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave. 

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

So go forth and stretch your creative muscles. And be wicked!!!

Writers! Agents! Publishers! Sell Yourself with Rob W. Hart (Also–Brand, Market, and Social Media-tize Yourself)

NOTE* This class starts today (Thurs. Sept 26th) but you can still sign up until Friday (Sept. 27th) morning.


As a literary agent, columnist, instructor, and former journalist, I have a deep appreciation for the power behind being able to market yourself via social media, THE media, and other grass roots forms.

LitReactor is offering a class called “Sell Yourself with Rob W. Hart” …true, Rob is my client, but one of the reasons I signed him, other than his magnificent writing, is because he knows what’s what when it comes to selling and branding yourself as well as marketing the hell out of your work. This is an incredibly vital weapon in your arsenal to becoming the author you want to become.

About the class:

In this two-week course, you’ll learn the basics of selling yourself and your work like a pro, from social media to bio-writing and media outreach.

Your Instructor: Rob W. Hart, associate publisher of MysteriousPress.com

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: September 26, 2013 – October 10, 2013

Enrollment: 30 students

Price: $99

Class Description

In the olden days of publishing, you’d sign a book deal and your publisher would attach a publicist to your hip. That’s not always the case anymore. A lot of that work now lands on the shoulders of the author. 

Even the bigger publishers expect you to maintain a public face. For authors at mid-range and smaller publishers, an online presence is necessary to reach an audience. And for self-published authors, a successful online profile will make or break sales.

This being publishing, you’re competing with a lot of people for attention. Do it wrong, and people will brush you off. Even something as simple as a Facebook profile offers a lot of ways to reach people–and a lot of ways to alienate your potential audience.

Rob W. Hart is the associate publisher at MysteriousPress.com, where he handles editorial and marketing for backlist titles by authors like James Ellroy and James M. Cain. He also worked for four years as a reporter, and for four years as the communications director for a politician. So he has experience not just selling books, but selling people.

Also, as the author of several short stories (in Needle, Crime FactoryShotgun Honey, Dogmatika, the upcoming Kwik Krimes anthology) and a self-published novella (The Last Safe Place), he’s spent a lot of time marketing his own work.

And he’s here to show you how to sell yourself like a pro.

What This Class Covers

Unit 1: The art of social media

It sounds easy: Set up a Facebook and Twitter account, promote your stuff, profit. Right? Nope! There’s plenty of things worth knowing about the Big Two social media networks–as well as all the others available to you. From the difference between Facebook pages and profiles, to best practices for using Twitter, Rob will break down everything you need to know to get the most out of social media accounts.

Unit 2: Your online resume

If you’re serious about a writing career, you need a website–think of it like an online resume. And if you have a website, you need a bio that makes you sound like a professional. We’ll cover both of those things.

Unit 3: Dealing with the press

Do you know how to assemble a blast list? Write and send a press release? Make relationships with bloggers and writers? Target the right audiences for your work? We’ll cover all that, and more.

Unit 4: Miscellaneous

To close out the class, we’ll cover things like online advertising, author promotional services, and general tips and tricks that might come up through the course of the class.

* Each unit will include homework assignments to help demonstrate your understanding of the work, and Rob will be available throughout the duration of the course to answer any and all questions. 

Goals Of This Class

  • Gain a fuller understanding of how to make social media work for you
  • Develop a professional author bio
  • Take the steps toward launching (or improving) your personal website
  • Learn how to handle outreach to press
  • Learn how to sell yourself like a pro

Praise for Rob W. Hart:

“No writer serious about building a readership can afford to be coy about self-promotion. Rob W Hart’s class cut through the fluff and helped me focus on promotional strategies and how to develop that all-important online presence. No matter how much you think you know about marketing your work, there’s nothing like some honest feedback from a professional like Hart.” —Naomi M.

“Prior to taking Rob’s class, I thought I had a good social media and blog presence on the web. Rob showed how to refine my bios and present a more professional presence online. My sites are less funny, but the increase in followers just proved they guy knows what he teaches.” —K.A. Harris

“The critiques from Rob and the other classmates on improving and streamlining your Twitter and Facebook bios are worth the price of the class alone. As a writer slugging it out in the publishing world like the rest of us, Rob’s a wonderful guide through the insane maze and pitfalls of self-promotion–an endless well of information and encouragement. I highly recommend this class, especially if you were like me and knew next to nothing about this subject going into it.” —Dino P.

Go forth and sign up before it’s too late!!!!