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posted by | on blog hops, contests, dark fantasy, ebook giveaway, fairies, fantasy, folklore, free reads, guest authors, guest blogs, horror, interviews, latest releases, serial novel, upcoming releases, witches |

Congratulations to Theresa Brundage, the winner of The Black Act: Witch Twins Saga Raffle! I just emailed you, Theresa, to find out what format you’d like your books in. If you don’t receive the email, please give me a shout at with your chosen ebook format and I’ll get those right over to you. A big thank you again to everyone who tweeted and shared the raffle. I’ll be doing another one when the full serial novel is released, so be sure to watch for that and enter.

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The Funky Werepig

And if you missed me on The Funky Werepig the first time around, you can catch me chatting with my dear pal Mr. Gregory L Hall over at iTunes:

Win a Copy of The Reading Lessons

Also don’t forget to comment on Carole Lanham’s guest blog to win a copy of her novel The Reading Lessons! You’ll love this book, folks. Carole has two copies left to give away:



posted by | on blog hops, erotic fiction, guest authors, guest blogs, horror, reviews |

In honor of Women in Horror Recognition Month and to spread the word about a wonderful book, I’d like to welcome Carole Lanham to the forest today as she stops by on her The Reading Lessons Blog Tour. Carole sent me a copy of her first novel and it was a pleasure to read. Here’s some more info on the title and Carole, buy links, and my review below.

thereadinglessons About the Book: Mississippi 1920: Nine year old servant, Hadley Crump, finds himself drawn into a secret world when he is invited to join wealthy Lucinda Browning’s dirty book club. No one suspects that the bi-racial son of the cook is anything more to Lucinda than a charitable obligation, but behind closed doors, O! she doth teach the torches to burn bright. What begins as a breathless investigation into the more juicy parts of literature quickly becomes a consuming and life-long habit for two people who would not otherwise be left alone together. As lynchings erupt across the South and the serving staff is slowly cut to make way for new mechanical household conveniences, Hadley begins to understand how dangerous and precarious his situation is.

The Reading Lessons follows the lives of two people born into a world that is unforgiving as a Hangman’s knot. Divided by skin color and joined by books, Hadley and Lucinda are forced to come together in the only place that will allow it, a land of printed words and dark secrets.

My review: Carole Lanham’s The Reading Lessons is a seamless blend of historical literary fiction and romance. She pulls you in with the opening sentence and the narrative never lets go. It’s impossible not to feel for Hadley Crump, a biracial boy living in Mississippi in the 1920s, who falls in love with the daughter of the white man his mother works for. Lucinda has a hot temper and manipulates Hadley to keep him in her life, but, though she denies it, it’s obvious from her more tender moments she loves Crump. The story is a bittersweet, honest portrayal of forbidden love in a time when interracial marriage could literally mean death. I fell in love with the characters and raged at Lucinda right along with Hadley when she pulled his strings, but was touched by her gentleness and devotion to him, too. You won’t forget this book. It will stay with you long after you’ve read the final page. I’m not too proud to admit the conclusion made me tear up.

From Mama’s superstitions, to Hadley’s struggle to desperately break Lucinda’s hold on him, to Dickie Worther’s dissatisfaction with a life he was born into, these characters are vibrant, realistically written, and they come alive on the page. The Reading Lessons is a deftly crafted tale of how society’s social mores often hold us back, how social classes divide us, and how when that’s briefly stripped away in secret meetings, two people can have a taste of what they truly want. I highly recommend this book!

You can pick up a copy of The Reading Lessons at:

carolebiopic1About Carole: Carole Lanham is the author of twenty-four short stories and three books, The Whisper Jar (Morrigan Books, Oct 2011), Cleopatra’s Needle (Black Daisy Press, coming in 2014), and The Reading Lessons (Immortal Ink Publishing, Jan 2014). Her work has twice appeared on the preliminary ballot for a Bram Stoker award, she was short listed for The Million Writers Prize, and she has won two national writing contests.

Pulitzer Prize nominated author Thomas Sullivan has said of her work: “You will find enchantment, disturbing undertones, wry humor, romantic eroticism, intrigue, suspense, and sheer escapism in all of Lanham’s work. Aberrations abound, but they are told with such convincing nonchalance that you simply have to believe them. You fall in love with the characters, and your hopes rise for their quests to succeed even as they descend into consensual madness or impossible dreams or a struggle to survive. Whether they survive and how they survive if they do…well, that’s as unpredictable as a coin flip.

Pay Carole a visit at:

Carole Lanham
Horror Homemaker

UPDATE: Hey, folks, would you like to win a Kindle copy of The Reading Lessons? First three people to comment on this blog post will receive an ebook from Carole!


posted by | on dark fantasy, guest blogs, horror |

I promised a special guest in the forest today and she’s here! The satyrs and nymphs are on their best behavior, anxiously awaiting the baby toe cookies Carole Lanham promised to bring them. I think I just heard one satyr squeal with glee. He’s our boisterous member of the forest. I swear he has more energy in one horn than I have in my whole body.

Anyway, on with the goodies Carole brings us!

Click on the shoes once to pay a visit to Carole’s web home.

31 Days of Secrets…

To gear up for the latest print release from Morrigan Books, author Carole Lanham is sharing 31 secrets in 31 days from her collection of award-winning stories, The Whisper Jar. On May 31, 2012, The Whisper Jar will be available for purchase in paperback, and this is one secret that both Carole and Morrigan Books hope you’ll whisper far and wide. In the meantime, if you’d like to read the book before the end of the month, please pick up your copy of the ebook today at Amazon.

Secret # 4

Two minutes after Dr. Mangrove made the announcement that Hadley Crump was going to die, Lucinda walked in the bedroom, stirring a cup of chamomile with her finger and smiling like it was Christmas. Hadley’s momma lay across his legs, soaking the blanket with her tears, but Lucinda wasn’t one to pay Hadley’s momma much mind. She poked that tea-stirring finger in his mouth as though she meant to feed him the whole cup one lick at a time.

“I brought you something,” she said, and she wasn’t talking about tea. Hadley followed her gaze to the strip of violet paper on the rim of the saucer. He waited until she left to refill the cup before he let himself look at it.

I could hear the churning sound of her tongue as it licked her teeth and lips, and I could feel the hot breath on my neck…

About the time he got to the hot breath part, Hadley’s fingers let loose and the words loopty-looped away with all the devilish momentum of a broken promise.

~ The Reading Lessons

Carole Lanham is made entirely out of awesome. The Whisper Jar is packed to the lid with dark magic and whimsy, while bearing an ominously old-fashioned touch that might make Edward Gorey feel right at home. It deserves to be ranked as a modern classic.
— Brian Hodge, author of Mad Dogs and Picking The Bones


posted by | on guest blogs, horror |

Carole Lanham now drops by the forest to tell us how V.C. Andrews Flowers in the Attic had a large impact on her writing. Check it out below.

Born in St.Louis, Mo., Carole Lanham has published twenty-four short stories and one novella since she began writing full time in 2004. Seven of her stories have received honorable mentions in Year’s Best volumes, one story was short-listed for the Million Writer’s Prize, and one was chosen as a Notable Story of the Year in 2008 for the Million Writer’s Prize.She has won two writing contests and two of her stories made the Preliminary Ballot for the Bram Stoker award for Outstanding Achievement in a Short Story. She is also a monthly contributor at Storyteller’s Unplugged.

Be sure to pay Carole a visit at:

Poisoned Powdered Sugar

Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, what makest thou?

If you recognize this quote at all, it may be because you read it in the Bible. Or, like me, you may recognize it because it’s the opening words in Flowers in the Attic, the endlessly alluring everyone-at-your school-is-reading-it, gothic horror tale that (back in the day) featured the giant head of a girl looking out of a little window on a glossy black cover. It was a guilty pleasure that few of my teenage friends opted to miss, and the series it spawned was like The Hunger Games or Twilight of the 1970s and 80s. When I first discovered it, I was still living in a bright-eyed cable-less world where flip-flops were the only kind of thongs girls wore and MASH was the raciest thing on TV. Flowers in the Attic was easily the most spellbinding bit of entertainment to ever come my way.

And why not? The book had everything a girl could want. The characters were beautiful as Dresden dolls (whatever those were, but gosh they sounded pretty!) and there was a mysterious mansion with a nasty grandmother, and an awful, terrible, horrible attic. Almost all of the love in the story was forbidden and the book ended with a doozy of a cliffhanger. Add to this the deliciously moody and poetic titles of the other installments in the series, Petals in the Wind, If There be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and it’s no wonder my friends and I had to have them all.

Due to the delectable nature of things, I was forced to keep that giant head in the little window turned facedown and concealed under layers of Tigerbeat on my nightstand, that’s just how good that book was! To this day, it’s still banned in some places. Still selling on Amazon too – 85 million books in print. Whatever your own feelings about Flowers in the Attic may be, there’s no denying the fact that it’s impact with young readers has proven enduring.

December 19, 2011 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of author VC Andrew’s death and this got me thinking. Given my affinity for Flowers as a kid, it seems strange to me that I’ve never given any thought to how that story shaped my own writing. Until now. Sure, I’d like to claim meatier, more groundbreaking influences like Slaughterhouse-Five or 1984, but the truth is, there’s just something supremely frightening to me about a mother who would lock her own children in an attic. It’s so simple. So devastating. That Corrine Dollanganger could be persuaded to place the family she loves under lock and key and eventually forget about them altogether was horrifying enough. The deadly doughnuts that followed were so troubling to me as a teenager, they permanently shaped my concept of horror forever. I mean, I love a good alien abduction, and the miserable repression of a dystopian society can be loads of good fun, but Big Brother has nothing on a loving mother who would mix arsenic with powdered sugar and feed it to her Dresden doll children. It’s both heartbreaking and terrifying at the same time.

But okay, while we’re on the subject, I feel compelled to admit the truth: In the years since I first read Flowers in the Attic, I’ve given into the temptation to lock up a child or two myself. I strapped a helpless kid in a guillotine once too, and I’ve knowingly fed mints that may or may not be magical and/or hallucinogenic to a few trusting young souls. What’s more, I enjoyed every minute of it. It’s the secretive plotting that goes hand in hand with these things, you see. Secrets are particularly tantalizing to me. I’m a nut for regret. Like the attic turned unholy dormitory in VC Andrew’s book, there’s more than a few disquieting secrets hiding out in the dark, dusty corners of my brain. In the interest of keeping things tidy, I’ve collected up some of the ones that refuse to lay flat and put them together in The Whisper Jar for safekeeping.

Luckily, no secret is too large to fit in my jar of black secrets. The farm girl with a quenchless thirst for her brother’s blood went in with a highly satisfying POP, I must say. Similarly, the kid strapped to the guillotine followed without any real fuss (rusty blade and all), so I decided to toss in a fistful of those special pink and green mints as well. Given the fact that more is always more when it comes to savory secrets, I scurried around scooping up naughty books to be dropped in one by one, then grabbed hold of a pair of daring children known for their dangerous and questionable reading habits, carried them by their curls over to my trusty jar of whispery secrets, and… bombs away!

After I screwed on the lid, things got amazingly quiet around here, at least for a little while.

Most people don’t like to reveal the contents of their Whisper Jar but then, we’ve already established the fact that I sustained permanent damage from consuming poisoned powdered sugar at an early age. For this reason, I’ll gladly share every wiggling thing that’s tucked away in mine. If your idea of terror involves intimate secrets about dubious yearnings, desperate deeds, good intentions gone wildly wrong, or true love betrayed, please visit me at one of the links below and take a peek inside The Whisper Jar. In the meantime, for the sake of your own sanity, beware of grandmother’s bearing silver trays of tempting Hostess Donettes.

The people of Highcross have found a handy way to lighten their hearts; they whisper their secrets into an empty jar and screw the cap on tight. Locked away on the dusty shelves of the Jar House, a town’s worth of black thoughts have been lined up in rows that become longer with the years. When the jars are accidentally shattered, the streets are flooded with everyone’s darkest deeds. No one is safe.

In this collection of award-winning short stories by Carole Lanham, a dangerous friendship forms around a love of books, a student learns more than she was ever meant to learn in school, a boy struggles to deal with his sister’s murderous affections, and the door to a mysterious room unbolts to reveal a terrible truth.

Open The Whisper Jar with great care. You just might find your own secrets hidden in there.