Friday, December 18, 2015

JILO Cover Reveal!


JILO cover reveal. Patrick Arrasmith outdid himself once again!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Okay. So we're getting close to the end of the year. Normally, I don't go in for a lot of Auld Lang Syneing, but this has been an incredible year. I wrote two more books this year. Well, maybe it's more like 1.75 books, since SHIVAREE was about 30K words along when I realized it wanted to be a full novel and not just the novella I'd intended. A little known fact about my twisted little Southern Gothic vampire tale is that it is the product of writer's block. I'd committed to writing JILO, and then proceeded to choke. Jilo, the character, had been so easy to write when she was part of Mercy's world, but when it came time to place her in her own, I couldn't get the pieces to come together. I kept working on my novella, hoping that I'd be able to keep from freezing up entirely.   SHIVAREE  enjoyed the attention, and after going back to Savannah and the Coastal Islands to research the Lowcountry of yesteryear, Jilo's story finally came together. Looking forward to April 2016 for JILO's release.

I ended up taking a bit of time off after shipping JILO to my publisher. Rich and I got to spend almost a month in Israel, seeing it from top to bottom. Not sure how my experiences might work their way into any future tales--don't expect a Witching Tel Aviv series--but the trip was a long-time dream come true.

On the family front, BOTH of my stepdaughters started law school this year. And of course, the most wonderful part of the year for me came just a few days ago when we adopted our new Chihuahua, Quincy Liam. Rich saw a posting on Facebook for a rescue dog named Quinn that resembled our beloved Quentin who passed two years ago this week. He casually asked me if I saw the posting, and said we should adopt the little guy. I nearly broke the internet searching for the posting, and, long story short, I'm typing this with one hand while playing with Quinn, now Quincy, with the other.

Hope you all also had much happiness in 2015, and may even more good things be on your way in 2016.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015



To celebrate the relaunch of PRETTY ENOUGH TO CATCH HER, I'm giving away 5 FREE copies. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

NYC Comic Con Schedule

If you're attending Comic Con, please come say hello!

October 8th-11th at Javits Center
Making the Impossible Possible – Authors of Science Fiction & Fantasy
Fri. October 9| 1:45 PM - 2:45 PM | Room 1A05

Sat. October 10|2:00 PM |47North Booth


Thursday, September 10, 2015

SHIVAREE Available Now on NetGalley

If you're a reviewer or book blogger, please click on the link above to request your free advance reader review copy of SHIVAREE. Free NetGalley membership required.

After you've finished reading, please leave your review on and Goodreads. Please include the following disclaimer at the end of your review. "“I received a free, advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased review.” 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Author Insights on "Pitch"

My short story "Pitch" will be coming out in the PHANTASMA STORIES anthology on September 22nd. "Pitch" is, on the surface, a simple story about a boy, "Billy Goat" Gibbons, who sets out one morning with his grandfather's rifle to kill the devil. A lot of mental percolating went into the creation of this story, though, and I thought some of you might enjoy an early look at my insights that will accompany the story in the anthology. 

Thoughts on "Pitch"

An editor once pointed out to me that my leading characters are all loners, even a certain redheaded witch whom I saw as being deeply connected to her family and her community. I’ve come to realize that the creation of any character provides an invitation to make a Freudian slip, one that will perhaps reveal more about my own psychology than I might like to make publicly known, or sometimes even privately acknowledge. When creating “Billy Goat” Gibbons, though, I made a conscious decision to dig into those habitually shunned areas of my psyche that hold the memories of what it felt like to grow up the odd boy out in the rural south. I’ve set Billy’s hometown within an easy driving distance of my own, but rather than limit what makes him an outsider to an internal difference, it’s his physical appearance that marks him as an outcast.

So why a goat? Well of course there is the obvious occult connection as a symbol for the devil, but it goes a bit deeper.

The book of Leviticus contains a curious injunction regarding taking a pair of goats, sacrificing the one and driving the other off into the wilderness “for Azazel”. The Hebrew “for Azazel” is translated in some English versions, including the King James Version, as  “as a scapegoat”, a wording that neatly sidesteps any theological issues that an acknowledgement of an earlier form of worship might lead to. This command has needled at me over the years not only as it seems to contain a fragment of a pre-Biblical practice, but as the act of creating an outcast/scapegoat is clearly echoed in the stories of Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, and to a lesser degree, Jacob and Esau.

Still, Billy Goat’s tale is a simple story, of the kind intended to be read around a campfire, or better yet, midwinter, when the days are short, and the nights as black as “Pitch”.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

"Pretty Enough to Catch Her" Coming August 1st

A beautiful widow. Rich. Unhinged. A scheming ex-con convinced he’s found his ticket to the good life. The sexy and dangerous young woman who stands between them. A Southern Gothic cat-and-mouse game where the line between predator and prey is redrawn with each turn of the cards. “Pretty Enough to Catch Her”—a short story from the author of the best-selling Witching Savannah series.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Cover Reveal SHIVAREE

As the Korean War ends, practical and well-mannered army nurse Corinne Ford returns stateside to live in the Mississippi town of Conroy with her new fiancé, Private First Class Elijah Dunne. She wonders if their love is strong enough to overshadow their differences, but upon her arrival to Elijah's backwoods stomping grounds, she understands that culture shock is the least of her worries.
After four good ol’ boys are attacked in the night while seeking to terrorize a local black family, decades of buried secrets begin to rise. From Conroy’s most powerful citizen—known as “the Judge”—to the man Corinne intends to marry, no one is innocent. Yet the deepest secret of all involves the beautiful, cruel, and dead Miss Ruby. The former belle of Conroy, and Elijah’s lost love, is neither forgotten nor truly gone. But her death is only the beginning of a slow vengeance that won’t stop until its hunger is satisfied.

Sunday, July 5, 2015


Find my Southern Gothic Paranormal short story "Pitch" in the Phantasma anthology coming fall 2015. This compact anthology will also feature short fiction by

Monday, June 8, 2015

Shivaree, coming November 3rd

At the close of the Korean War, sturdy army nurse Corinne Ford turns her back on a troubled past to travel to rural Mississippi and marry her battlefield sweetheart. Corinne soon learns she was not the first woman in her fiancé's life. The once exquisite Ruby, failed actress and dabbler in dark magic, had been brought back from Hollywood to her father's house, sick, broken, changed. Her death cleared the way for many who had wished that she had never returned. Soon, Corinne is confronted with evidence that her fiancé's first love is neither forgotten nor truly gone. Backlit by the Klan's burning crosses and scored by the cacophony of shivaree, the traditional wedding night abduction of the groom, SHIVAREE looks into a world where the monsters of folklore confront the monsters of history.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Guest Post: Melissa Olson, Release Day Giveaway

Thank you so much to J.D. for being part of this multi-webpage blog blast. If you’ve already heard of me and my books, you can scroll down to go straight to the contest entry. Otherwise, please let me introduce myself. 

My name is Melissa F.Olson, and I mostly write urban fantasy novels, which are stories about the intersection of two worlds: the real one that we live in and a world that involves something supernatural: fairies, vampires, werewolves, mutant killer hedgehogs, or all of the above. My new novel Boundary Crossed is about a young woman, Lex, trying to protect her baby niece from bad guys who have discovered that the baby has serious value on the supernatural black market. Lex is determined to keep her safe, but unfortunately she dies at the end of the first chapter.

No, seriously. She dies. But then she gets better, because it turns out that there’s more to Lex than she ever knew. She needs to figure out why she’s still alive and what the bad guys want with her niece, and she’s going to need a lot of help to do it.

The book has been available all month as a Kindle First deal on Amazon, but it comes out in paperback and audiobook for the first time today. To celebrate this release, I’m giving away signed books, a $20 Amazon gift card, and some killer swag. (That’s a metaphor; the swag will not hurt you.)

For giveaway details visit my blog here

Thanks for reading!

Melissa Olson was born and raised in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and studied film and literature at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. After graduation, and a brief stint bouncing around the Hollywood studio system, Melissa landed in Madison, WI, where she eventually acquired a master's degree from UW-Milwaukee, a husband, a mortgage, a teaching gig, two kids, and two comically oversized dogs, not at all in that order. She loves Madison, but still dreams of the food in LA. Literally. There are dreams. Learn more about Melissa, her work, and her dog at

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Rejection Dejection Resurrection

So, it's happened. THE ESSENCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR, a book I truly believe in, has been rejected by the last publisher in the English-speaking world. Am I feeling sorry for myself? Not really, at least not as much as the first 6,972 times the book was turned down.

I know what you're thinking. Maybe if it's been rejected that many times, it just isn't any good. And you know what? You may very well be right. 

But I still believe in it. 

So what am I going to do about it? I'm going to join the ranks of "hybrid" authors by self-publishing this oft declined little book. I've got a few projects going on at once, including a major move and two other books that have a publisher, so it will be later in the year before I can get it pulled together. But dangnabbit, I am going to get this book out there. 

So what does the picture of my dog Duke have to do with any of this? Absolutely nothing. Just a bit of gratuitous canine pulchritude. Dog lovers, you're welcome. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Southern Tour

(Cover of the Polish edition of THE LINE, coming soon from Feeria Young publishers.)

So as any of you who follow me on FB or Twitter know, I have been kicking around the South for a month now doing research for JILO, the prequel to the Witching Savannah series scheduled to come out early next year. I visited Beaufort, SC, where I had been considering setting part of the book, but--even though Beaufort and its islands are beautiful--I've decided most of the action still needs to center on Savannah. The hard part for me has been stopping seeing Savannah as the city is now, and trying to see her as she was back when Lady Waldorf Astor called her "a beautiful woman with a dirty face."

Jilo alludes to the way things where socially in THE SOURCE when she insists on entering the Taylor's home through the front door.  I've managed to find a few resources shedding light on what it must have been like to be an intelligent and ambitious woman of color in Savannah at that time. JILO is going to show us a different side of Savannah, and a different side of the Taylor family, too.  The Wills and the Taylors do indeed have "real history."

On a couple of different notes, I'm writing this post from the stately Hotel Monteleone, where I'm staying for the "Saints and Sinners" conference. (I'd like to pretend I'm one of the sinners, but as we all know, by 8PM I like being home with a book in my hands and my dog Duke by my feet.) I got some writing done yesterday, not wanting to miss the chance to write in the same building where Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and Anne Rice have all written.

Finally--that second note--at the top of this post is the cover for the Polish edition of THE LINE. I am blown away to see Mercy's story being shared in yet another language, along with German, Italian, Turkish, and Russian. A big "Thank You" to everyone who has helped make this possible, most importantly, those of you who have read and enjoyed THE LINE in its original version.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Frightening Fiction Contest--Most Frightening Part? I'm a Judge!

I am honored to have been asked by Inkitt to serve as one of the judges for their inaugural Horror short fiction contest,
"Running Scared: The Most Terrifying Tale Ever Told." 

So, if you've written a great and fearsome short story, here's a chance to get it out before a wider audience.

Contest details from Inkitt follow:


Write a horror story that has people running for cover!

What is Inkitt?

Inkitt is a free platform for writers to cultivate ideas and watch their stories grow. On our site, users collaborate with fellow writers and readers to give each other feedback and improve their work. Inkitt wants to help writers get the exposure they deserve and the publishing deals they covet without suffering the frustrations and bias of traditional printing and self publishing.

What is the theme of the horror contest?

"Running Scared: The Most Terrifying Tale Ever Told." In the tradition of classic horror flicks and monster movies, we want the freakiest, flashiest fiction you can come up with. Make us scream!

What are the guidelines?

Frightening fiction up to 15,000 words. Entries must be posted on the Inkitt contest page to be considered eligible. The contest opens on March 3rd and closes on March 31st . It is free to enter , and authors will retain all rights to all work submitted. Authors will collect community votes, and the first, second, and third place winners will be chosen by Inkitt’s guest judges (horror authors J.D. Horn , Armand Rosamilia , and J. Thorn ) from the top 10% of entries.

What are the prizes?

All entrants will have the chance to show their work to a growing community of authors and readers hungry for high-quality fiction and win the following prizes:


$25 Amazon gift card, customized movie poster (and high-resolution .pdf file) spotlighting the winner’s story, Inkitt custom mug, custom cover design for the Inkitt story of their choice (created by Inkitt’s designer).


$20 Amazon gift card, Inkitt custom mug.


$10 Amazon gift card, Inkitt custom mug.
One review, randomly chosen, will also receive a $15 Amazon gift card.

Contest URL

Twitter Handle  @Inkitt
Hashtag  #RunningScared

Thursday, February 19, 2015


So excited to see the German translation of 
THE LINE is now for sale! Hoping that if
THE SOURCE also appears in German, the editors go with the title LEBENSBORN, since that's one of the meanings behind the title, 

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Around five years ago, I had an idea for a story about a small southern town where a cruel young woman uses blackmail to control everyone around her. The limits of her control would be tested when her former boyfriend returns home from the war with a new bride. I took a couple of runs at it, but the story refused to gel. 

Then one morning I woke up, the fading images of a dream still haunting me. A simple scene, a moonlit field of corn. A woman running through the razor sharp leaves calling the name Ruby over and over. I awoke not remembering a thing about the dream, other than that this Ruby wasn't normal. Ruby was a vampire.

I started noodling the dream over, and realized that the Ruby of my dream was the same character I had been trying to write about in the short story. Still I couldn't quite figure out how the two strands came together. I jotted my thoughts down in the "Story Ideas" file I keep on my computer, then got distracted by a couple of other projects, one of which grew into the Witching Savannah series.

Last spring I started chatting with my friend and fellow 47North author Roberta Trahan about bringing out a collection of short stories together, and I decided to brush off some of the ideas I keep in my file. Ruby's story began to speak to me, so I started writing a new version of the story I'd put aside back in 2010. Then the story kept speaking to me, and soon it outgrew the short story format. I decided to bring it out as a self-published novella, even purchased a cover (see above) that captured the feel of the story. Then the story kept speaking to me. Odd characters with dark obsessions seemed to be lining up to join the cast of the story. Soon the story grew well beyond the scope of a novella; it was a full blown novel.

I'm happy to relate that 47North has decided to publish SHIVAREE, and it is scheduled to come out in November of this year. Following is a summary:


At the close of the Korean War, sturdy army nurse Corinne Ford turns her back on a troubled past to travel to rural Mississippi and marry her battlefield sweetheart. Corinne soon learns she was not the first woman in her fiancé's life. The once exquisite Ruby, failed actress and dabbler in dark magic, had been brought back from Hollywood to her father's house, sick, broken, changed. Her death cleared the way for many who had wished that she had never returned. Soon, Corinne is confronted with evidence that her fiancé's first love is neither forgotten nor truly gone. Backlit by the Klan's burning crosses and scored by the cacophony of shivaree, the traditional wedding night abduction of the groom, SHIVAREE looks into a world where the monsters of folklore confront the monsters of history. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Lost in Translations (and Updates in General)

It's been a while since I've posted here. I spent a good part of December doped up and riding around on a knee scooter, after having to undergo surgery on my my ankle to stabilize it. Evidently, that's what happens when you flip the same ankle too many times. (And yes, I am that big of  a klutz.) I'm now back up and limping around (in my boot), and am claiming my regained mobility as a total victory.

In the meantime, I've gotten some great news about translations. THE LINE comes out next month in Germany from Amazon Crossing as Der Bann-Die Hexen von Savannah. Additionally major publishing houses in Russia and Turkey have optioned the entire Witching Savannah series. Fingers crossed for news of other translations soon!

I'll be heading back to Savannah in March, not only for my beautiful niece's wedding, but also to do more research on the Lowcountry area. If you see a geeky guy walking Savannah and Beaufort with a notepad in hand, say hello.