From the Butterscotch Martini Girls to you this holiday season!
From the Butterscotch Martini Girls to you this holiday season!
I just saw the preview for Krampus. I’m not sure what to think of it. When I was watching the preview though, I thought of Gremlins. I loved the first and second in the Gremlin series. I actually think of it as a bit of a classic. Both humor and scares mixed into the film. I don’t think there had been anything done as successfully as Gremlins since. There’s of course Scream, but that’s a full-blown horror movie.
From what I can see, Krampus looks like a nail bitter. Toni Collette is one of the main actors, and I love anything by her. She was great in Sixth Sense, and I think she really added a wonderful dimension to that movie.
Krampus is quoted as being an American black comedy horror. Below is the movie’s summary.
When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family’s home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive.
I actually didn’t realize Krampus was from Alpine folklore. Who would have thought? 🙂 The figure has horns and is shaped like a human but at the same time, doesn’t look human. According to folklore, Krampus punishes children during the Christmas season who have misbehaved.
Like Krampus, Gremlins is also a dark comedy. If you missed Gremlins, I think it’s well worth the time to watch. It’s about a young man who received a very strange creature known as a mogwai. He’s told not to do certain things, particularly feed the animal after a certain time. Of course everything he’s not supposed to do, he does.
Gremlins was made in 1984 and directed by Steven Spielberg. I had no idea Howie Mandel was the voice of Gizmo. I actually might have to watch the movie again. Not sure if it will get through the test of time intact. Not sure it will get me in the Christmas spirit either, but it’s worth a shot!
If you haven’t figured out that I’m fascinated with the paranormal or anything that goes bump in the night, well… I am! 🙂 So much so, that I thought I’d do a bit of a search in my neighborhood and see if there were any local hauntings in my area. Imagine my surprise when I found a couple!
The first I looked into was Mary Coyle’s Ice Cream Parlor. I’d never heard of the ice cream parlor, and was really excited about dragging my daughter (without her knowing the real reason until later haha), and buying her some ice cream at Mary Coyle’s, and if we heard or saw strange, bizarre things, it would be a bonus. But sigh…. They closed last year. Just my luck. Talk about disappointed!
Well, it didn’t stop me from looking for another place. Bullsye! Would you believe a Pizza Hut in Peoria is thought to be haunted. You can do a quick search and come up with some hits. I guess there have been reports of children talking and babies crying. Okay, that probably could be easily explained away since it is a restaurant. BUT it seems the faucets in the bathroom of the establishment turn on and off on their own. Interesting…
Not only patrons but also a former managers of the restaurant has reported the faucets going haywire. I might have to see if my daughter feels like some pizza…! 🙂
Another site that has been reported as being haunted is Sahuaro Ranch Park. I’ve been there a number of times and actually participated in a fine arts show and never even knew there were sightings.
I guess visitors have reported seeing a woman in a white old-fashioned dress. The period of her clothing isn’t sure. She’s been seen in the area of the park’s main house and the orchards. There have also been sightings of a man in a black suit.
There’s actually more ghost encounters in my neighborhood, which I will probably have to talk about later on in a new post. 🙂
In my book, Anxiety, there is a thread woven into the story about ghosts. I couldn’t resist since they do fascinate me. You can read the first episode of Anxiety for FREE and find out what Margot encounters in her house. She’s not fascinated with them at all. She does wonder, though, if the strange happens around her are her imagination or something more…
Anxiety has a really special place in my heart compared to the other books I’ve written. I might have enjoyed writing the others but with this one, I escaped through the words, paragraphs and scenes. Writing it helped me to get through to the other side of a very dark period in my life, and I’m sure it came through. I have Jake who is dying and Margot who wants to die.
Margot lives alone in this large, isolated house on the outskirts of town. I wanted to give the house its own character and I hope I managed to do that throughout the episodes.
Who’s there?” she whispered. “Jake?”
Only the tick of the kitchen clock answered her. Then Margot noticed the cat. Tall switching in clear agitation, Marmaduke, sat hunched low on all fours.
“You heard it too, didn’t you?”
Uneasiness pricking the back of her neck, Margot moved across the kitchen and bent down to place the water dish on the ground by Marmaduke. Suddenly, the cat sprang, bounding from the kitchen and disappearing into the hall.
Margot jerked, sloshing water over the bowl as she placed it on the floor. Cautiously, she walked to the doorway and peered around the corner. She found the hall empty. The door to Jake’s room stood closed.
She laughed self-consciously as she stepped into the hall. Her nerves were obviously shot. And Marmaduke sure as hell wasn’t helping matters.
Suddenly, the air stirred about her, teasing her hair and seeping into the fabric of her housecoat.
Someone was in the hall with her.
Pivoting, Margot searched the shadows around her. Her bare toe hit something on the hall mat. She looked down. A set of her keys to the lab. She swallowed, her throat suddenly dry. She picked them up. They were warm to the touch.
Her whisper washed over the hall and died into silence.
You can get a copy of Knock Knock free at your favorite online bookstore.
I posted about the movie Poltergeist and its remake along with the urban legend/curse of the original Poltergeist on my blog on Friday. While I was writing about loving the original, I started thinking about books and how you just don’t see remakes of of original books. I really can’t see someone doing a remake of the book Gone with The Wind. At least Hollywood has been smart enough not to try to make a remake of it. I think it would land on its face.
Why aren’t there remakes of original books? I don’t think copyright has anything to do with it. Is it because when a book is that good, it’s impossible to make it better? Words are words and I’m not sure you can make something better when it’s already great.
With movies, Poltergeist for example, you can always make the special effects better, but what about characterization? Can you make that better when it’s already great? In the case of Poltergeist I don’t think you can. I loved the original and the dynamics of the whole family. Is it because Hollywood doesn’t see outside of the box and likes to do remake after remake? Peter Pan has been done to death. Also, it seems all movies are made from books. You don’t see books made from movies. Why is that? I would think if you have a great movie, you could even have a greater book, because you can get deeper into the characters and the scenes, and add more layers to everything involved.
I don’t know of one book that was remade. Can anyone else come up with one?
Pondering this Sunday…
And of course thinking how a movie would come across on the big screen from one of my books. 🙂
Exorcism… You hear about it in the movies. It’s a huge theme actually. You have the movies Possession, Oculus, Exorcismus, Stigmata and of course the most well known movie out there, The Exorcism. I’m actually not a huge fan. They just creep me out something fierce. But I went on a horror movie binge when visiting my daughter a while back. One movie, though, I watched with her, I have to admit had me at the end of me seat and that was Deliver Us From Evil with Eric Bana. Watching it just because of Eric Bana is reason enough. He looks DARN good in this movie. His acting is darn good too.
The movie was actually from a non-fiction book called Beware the Night and was marketed as being inspired by actual accounts.
There seems to be a lot of horror movies that are based on or inspired by actual events. The most famous one is The Exorcist, which was based on a case in Iowa. It’s reported that it was the last sanctioned exorcism done by the Catholic Church, yet the book, American Exorcism, states their are approximately 10 exorcists in the Catholic church every given year.
The exorcism case was on Anna Ecklund, who resided a fair distance from Earling, Iowa, and was reported as being possessed. The exorcism was conducted in 1928.00Much of what is known about the possession and exorcism of Anna Ecklund is from the published pamphlet by Father Carl Vogl. Vogl was granted total access to everyone involved in the case. The title is called ‘Satan Begone’. The actually pamphlet is available on the Internet and was translated to English.
“It gradually became evident that strange preternatural powers were at play. The woman understood languages which she had never heard nor read. When the priest spoke the language of the Church and blessed her in the Latin tongue, she sensed and understood it at once, and at the same time foamed at the mouth and became enraged about it. When he continued in classical Latin, she regained her former ease. She was conscious at once when some one gave her articles sprinkled with holy water or presented her with things secretly blessed, whereas ordinary secular objects would leave her perfectly indifferent.” This is just a bit of the case. It does seem fascinating, but multiple personality disorder was unheard of at the time and mental disorders were not something freely talked about. But at the same time, it’s hard to explain away the paragraph below with mental illness…
“This ugly bellowing and howling took place every day and at times it lasted for hours. At other times it sounded as though a horde of lions and hyenas were let loose, then again as the mewing of cats, the bellowing of cattle and the barking of dogs. A complete uproar of different animal noises would also resound. This was at first so taxing on the nerves of those present that the twelve nuns were forced to take turns at assisting in order to save themselves and to have the necessary strength to continue facing the siege.”
“It was on the twenty-third day of December, 1928, in the evening about nine
o’clock that, with a sudden jerk of lightning speed the possessed woman broke from the grip of her protectors and stood erect before them. Only her heels were touching the bed. At first sight it appeared as if she were to be hurled up to the ceiling.”
It’s a fascinating case. Rosemary Ellen Guiley wrote about the case in the book, ‘The Encyclopedia of Demons & Demonology’. Sounds like a great research book…
I talk a little more on exorcism and entity possession on my blog. Feel free to drop by.
I’ve visited the Grand Hotel for a number of years. It’s known to be haunted and I can attest to that. I’ve smelled cigarette smoke in the hall when there is no one on the floor or above and below it. I started visiting with my local writer’s group. For a couple of years a group of writers would go up for a Haunted Retreat and focus on writing. I continued to go every year after even if it was to have lunch or dinner at the Asylum Restaurant.
The restaurant alone is a good reason to visit. The best time to go is during October when they decorate the place. They fill the room with every manner of Halloween decoration and the waiters and waitresses all dress up for the entire month of October. If you do go, try their butternut squash. It’s the best I’ve ever tasted! What’s also great about visiting in October is that the weather is perfect and you can sit out on the patio. And if you’re a writer, you can open your laptop and write for a bit. I’ve done it a couple of times when the place wasn’t so crowded. The view is also amazing on the patio. You can see the valley below and Sedona’s red rock in the distance.
If you want to hear more about the hauntings at the hotel you can visit my own website for more details.
This Sunday I thought I’d share a snippet of the first book in my Shades series. Each story is very much a stand alone. Deadly Shades is a quick read for when you don’t have time to get your teeth into a longer book.
“I thought we went through this already.” Vaguely aware of the movement of people walking around her, Kennedy sat on a bench in the mall with potted plants on either side of her. She shouldn’t have answered her cell, but then when it came to Luke, she always seemed to cave. Plus, she could only ignore his calls for so long.
“You could have at least given me the respect to break up in person.” Anger laced Luke’s voice. “Shit, Kennedy. We just passed the one year mark.”
She closed her eyes and struggled to bank the emotion wrapped around her throat. What could she say? He was right.
“We both know why you ran.” His husky voice washed over her senses. “I scare you. I make you feel. And you just can’t stand that.”
A baby started bawling ten feet away. “Luke, right now isn’t the time. There are crowds everywhere.”
“We’ll talk later.”
Luke didn’t give her a chance to argue. He’d hung up. She disconnected the phone and sat on the bench. She didn’t like hurting like this. That’s why she’d broken up. If she’d stayed any longer, the hurt would have just gotten worse, and she couldn’t handle that. She blinked back tears but they spilled over her lashes.
Where was her self-control? For God’s sake she was in a public place with people everywhere. She stuffed her phone into her purse, pulled the straps over her shoulder and wiped impatiently at her cheeks with the back of her hands.
She rose on unsteady legs and started for the exit. The idea of seeing Luke again in person made her stomach flop and her chest tighten. And her body… Her body was reacting in a very needy way. The idea of being in his arms again, to feel the weight of his body against her, to—
Enough! Luke was just a man. A man that was screwing with her head. Mentally shaking herself, Kennedy moved toward the main doors that lead to the south parking lot. She didn’t want to buy presents right now, she didn’t want to deal with all the people milling around, shopping, eating, talking.
A woman stepped in front of her. Kennedy stumbled to a stop and almost collided with her.
“Take these.” The woman with a halo of blond, chin-length hair and dressed in a black and white pant suit shoved something at her. In reflex, Kennedy caught the item in both hands.
“What’s this?” Kennedy stared down at her hands. A pair of sunglasses of all things. She glanced up.
“Just take them,” the blond insisted. A strange light—fear, maybe anger, Kennedy didn’t quite know—flared in the woman’s brown eyes.
“I don’t need sunglasses.”
“Hah, they’re not sunglasses. At least not any I’ve ever worn!” The woman backed away. “Just take them. Maybe they’ll work better for you than they did for me.”
Before Kennedy had a chance to protest further, the blond pivoted and lurched into the crowd toward the food court.
Hope you enjoyed it! I’m currently working on the third book in the series, Killer Shades. Nothing beats getting inside a killer’s head and having them do something diabolical! 🙂
I don’t know about you, but I have obsessions on occasions. Sometimes it’s about counting my calories, sometimes it’s about needing to get home to watch the Amazing Race because it’s the finale. Or I’ve discovered a new author and I have to get their next book ASAP. For the longest time, the second a Dean Koontz book was out, I’d make sure I’d get it in my greedy little hand.
Well, for decades now I’ve been obsessed with writing. Sometimes I ask myself why? I’m sure other writer’s ask themselves the same question. I’ve known I’ve been obsessed for years now, but this week I got myself an ‘ah ha’ moment to tell me just how freaking obsessed I am. We’re taking OBSESSED or delusional. Probably delusional comes into play too.
Just a couple of days ago I was at the doctor’s office getting some blood work done when I see a magazine. The title calls to me. Obsessions. Yeah, I get it. I know what that is all about. So, since I know I have time (I’m at a doctors office. Of course I’ve got time!), I grab the magazine and take a quick look at the title. First thing I see is Joseph Conrad. Now please realize that some wacky part of my brain was malfunctioning because I’m OBSESSED. Then on the top of the magazine, I see the words and think wow, this is perfect: Live My Bestseller Life. It took me a full minute to realized I’d pretty much gotten every phrase and name on the magazine WRONG. No they weren’t talk about the writer, Joseph Conrad, but Conrad Anker, a mountain climber. Hmmm… Bestseller wasn’t even close to the wording on the top of the magazine. “Live Your Best Life” How the heck did I turn the letters around to read “Live Your Bestseller Life”?
Because I’m OBSESSED. Actually it’s not just the writing but books itself. I used to have a used bookstores for almost a decade. I LOVED it. Nothing beats walking into a room where it smells like books.
I guess we’re all a little obsessed about something. I know Jake in the book Anxiety has his own obsessions. I know I would too if I was him. He has to find an antidote to a formula which is slowly killing him. If he doesn’t find it in Margot’s house, he’ll end up dead. But then again, he still might end up dead with a murderer after him.
Oh, on a side not, the first episode in Anxiety: Knock Knock is free on Amazon. If you like it, you can also by the full version or the other episodes in the series.
I posted over on my site about Old Town Pizza restaurant in Portland and Nina the ghost. I’ve always enjoyed going to haunted places. I took a tour with my daughter. I wanted to learn about some of Portland’s history but I wanted to drag my daughter with me. She doesn’t like historical tours so I found the next best thing. A ghost tour! I learned so much about Portland’s history and how unsuspecting men were kidnapped and forced to become sailors and sail to Shanghai.
The parking lot here was taken above the Shanghai tunnels. I had no idea about the notorious history of Portland until my first trip. During our ghost tour they gave us EMF detectors. They went off a number of times, but strangely it was this parking lot that had the most activity. Then at the end of the tour we went down into some of the tunnels. Talk about creepy! The tour guide showed us a couple of pictures from some of people who had taken the tour. A number of orbs and a faint, ghostly image of a woman showed up in the pictures. I think my daughter is hooked! lol
Along with the tour during my visit, I dropped by Powell’s Bookstore, the largest bookstore in the US. It was amazing! Four floors of books and more than a full block. The store became so large they had to expand to another block. If you love to read and if you’re in Portland, drop by the store if you can. But I warn you, an hour isn’t going to be near long enough to look around. I would have been there the entire day if my daughter hadn’t dragged me away. For more information about Powell’s you can visit there site. Also if you’re in Portland and want to try something different, try a ghost tour or one of Portland’s Walking Tours.
Also, if you want to read about my visit at Old Town Pizza and Nina the ghost you can visit my web site.