Clockwork Wonderland Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the Clockwork Wonderland Blog tour. I’m very proud to be a part of another publication. Press presents…Clockwork Wonderland.

Clockwork Wonderland contains stories from authors that see Wonderland as a place of horror where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book you’ll find tales of murderous clockworks, insane creations, serial killers, zombies, and a blood thirsty jabberclocky. Prepare to see Wonderland as a place where all your worst nightmares come true. You may never look at classic children’s literature the same way again.

Edited by Emerian Rich
Cover by Carmen Masloski
Featuring authors:

Trinity Adler
Ezra Barany
Jaap Boekestein
Dustin Coffman
Stephanie Ellis
Jonathan Fortin
Laurel Anne Hill
N. McGuire
Jeremy Megargee
James Pyne
Michele Roger
H.E. Roulo
Sumiko Saulson
K.L. Wallis

With Foreword by David Watson


Excerpt from

Horror’s Name is Alice

What is the most influential piece of horror literature ever written? Could it be Bram Stoker’s Dracula? Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein? Perhaps something by Edgar Allan Poe, M.R. James, or H.P. Lovecraft? I think an argument could be made that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is the most influential piece of horror literature ever written. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking Glass may be fantasy aimed at children, but they have inspired nightmares for children and adults alike.

A girl following a rabbit down a hole into a land of strange creatures where chaos reins supreme could be the premise of a great horror story. There are several different themes that run throughout the book and one of them is questioning your sanity. Nothing makes sense in Wonderland and at one point Alice says, “But I don’t want to be among mad people.” To which the Cheshire Cat responds, “Oh you can’t help that, we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re Mad.”

But is Alice really mad? Probably not, but she is entering a crazy world where the possibility of death lurks around every corner. To me Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is showing us how ridiculous society and the world around us can be. In order to understand reality, we create our own little Wonderland.

You could also say that Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland is a metaphor for adulthood and how we try to make sense of it. To a child like Alice, the world of adults is confusing and sometimes horrifying. After Alice makes her trip down the rabbit hole, she faces a loss of innocence. She is leaving the safety of childhood and all that is familiar to her. In the terrifying world of Wonderland, Alice is alone and death is her constant companion in the disguise of an angry queen and other bizarre creatures.

Alice has a vivid imagination and creates Wonderland because she is bored. Imagine if Alice was a horror writer, what kind of terrors would she create in Wonderland?

This leads us to the book you are about to read. Clockwork Wonderland contains fifteen stories from authors that see Wonderland as a place of horror where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book you’ll find tales of serial killers, insane creations, a bloodthirsty jabberclocky, and zombies. Get ready to see Wonderland as a place where all your worst nightmares come true. You may never look at classic children’s literature the same way again.

David Watson

To read the full story and more Clock-inspired, Alice Horror, check out Clockwork Wonderland.

Check out some of the other tour stops by going here:


Guest book review: Privateer’s Apprentice

Privateer’s Apprentice by Susan Verrico is a great pirate story for young readers. Reading level is 6-8 graders, but this would also be a great “read-aloud” book for younger ages.

Jameson is the son of a printer who is swindled out of his inheritance because of his parents’ death and is forced to live on the street. When he is wrongly accused of stealing bread, he is forced into slavery for a baker. But that’s not where his trials end. One late night he is kidnapped by a crewman on the dreaded Attack Jack’s ship. Although the ship is under Queen Anne’s control, battle against Spanish ships through treacherous waters cause the crew to be more ruthless than most British Military. When Attack Jack learns Jameson can write and draw maps, he enlists him to help chart lands for Queen Anne.

After one particularly brutal battle, the hungry and injured crew take refuge at Crossed Island, a dangerous place where wild boar and other animals threaten to end their lives. The island has another secret…a cave that holds secrets only the Captain and his right hand man, Solitaire Peep know about.

When they return to Jameson’s home port, Charles Towne, the Captain is wrongfully accused of treason and will hang…unless Jameson and his crew can figure out how to free him without getting caught.

This is a fun adventure story that kids of all ages can enjoy. If they like ocean voyage and pirate themes, they will love it. Ninety percent of the book takes place aboard ship and there are great side characters to enjoy such as Gunther, who is a threat to Jameson throughout; the cook, who helps him out; and Jabbart, his unlikely comrade.

The violence is light, pirate-like ship combat and a little slavery content. There is also talk of beheading slaves because of their crimes, but I would still rate this less violent than most video games and TV for youngsters. This is definitely on the lighter side of PG.

As an adult, I found the end of the book unfinished and would like to see the story continue, but I can find no information about a new book coming. There is certainly a need to continue this tale and allow Jameson the chance to reclaim his destiny.

Overall, I think this is a great gate-way book to get your little pirates-in-training started.

Review by Emerian Rich

Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe


Lord Alexander Harrington is use to getting his own way. He appreciates order in his home and his staff sees that he gets it. Everything changes though when a young girl shows up on his plantation  doorstep with no memory of who she is. Lord Harrington can’t turn her away and starts to develop feelings for her referring to her as a scared doe.

The mystery is where did she come from? Considering her mental state, she could have come from the mental asylum down the road and while researching this, Lord Harrington finds out about his own family’s history at the asylum which causes him to question everything. On top of that, a fire on his estate and another man showing up claiming to know who the lost doe is, may cause Lord Harrington to lose her forever.

Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe by Emmy Z. Madrigal is a historical romance with a perfect setting. While I do admit that I’m not big on romances, I liked how deep the characters were in this book and the time period that it was set in. Also it was the perfect length, there is a lot of story in this book and it moves along at a quick pace, never giving you a chance to get bored with it.

What stuck out most about this story for me was the historical setting. Set in the 19th century, I got the impression that Emmy Z. Madrigal did her homework. There were some words that I needed to look up the meaning to because they were from a bygone era and the language was different from what I’m use to reading. I also liked how the roles of men and women were different in this period along with what was considered appropriate. For instance there is one scene where Lord Harrington sleeps in a bed with Lily and he worries that he has  tainted her purity.

Another thing that stuck out to me was the references to the asylum. During this period going crazy meant something different from today, an asylum during this period was a horrific place and some people could get thrown in for the simple reason of showing too much grief over someone’s passing. I loved hearing Lord Harrington’s take on the asylum and how it changed him.

I think the main reason people by a romance is because people want a good love story but this book has that and so much more. The supporting characters were just as interesting as the main characters. I like how the maids and butlers show that they know more than the main characters. The fact that the supporting characters were given so much to do made it better and I enjoyed how one of the minor characters was able to solve the mystery in the story.

In Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe, Emmy Z. Madrigal has created a picture perfect romance set in a Bygone era. Reading this book is like staring at a beautiful Victorian painting. You feel like you’ve been transported back in time while witnessing a romance for the ages. In addition to a love story Emmy has given us a great mystery and deep characters you can relate to in a Regency setting that comes to life.

Once Upon A Scream

OnceUponAScreamFrontOnce Upon a Scream edited by Dan Shaurette is the newest anthology from publishing.It looks at the fairy tales that we grew up reading and gives them a horror spin. Usually when I review an anthology I just talk about my favorite ones, but for this one I thought I would say a little about each story:

“The Black Undeath” combines the ravages of the plague and leprosy with the tale of Rumpelstiltskin. I love the description of Rumpelstiltskin in this one, good story and I loved the dark tone to it.

“Melody of Bones” is a mashup of the German tales of the “Singing Bone” and “The Pied Piper of Hamlin.” Death can make beautiful music. I love the imagery in the story. The description of the setting really brought it to life.

“The Godmother’s Bargain” is based on Cinderella but instead of relying on a fairy godmother, Cinderella makes a deal with the devil.I love a good retelling of Cinderella and I liked how there was a twist ending to it.

“Leila” is a story about vampires and an old witch that lives in a haunted forest. I can’t say enough good things about this one. Great setting, great idea, I think this would be a good one to get expanded to a novel.

“Nothing to Worry About”  Nothing killed Old Smelty, don’t let it kill you too. This story has a good sense of humor to it.

“The Cursed Child” Witches do what they must to save a child. I love the story in this one and the action in it.

“The Healer’s Gift”  An odd pale boy begs to get into a wounded healer’s cottage just before sunrise, conjuring her darkest fears of who – or what – he may be. I liked the poetry in this one and the concept behind it.

“Briar” is the story of a man who is lost deep in a mythical Black Forest, where he stumbles upon an abandoned fairy-tale palace with a forgotten sleeping beauty. This is another story in this anthology that has great imagery. The writing paints a picture and you feel like you are there.

“Curse of the Elves”  This story gives a horrifying spin on the old tale “The Shoemaker and the Elves.” What if the elves were grotesque murderers and you wanted them to go away. This one had me laughing out loud in a couple of places. Well told story and I loved how it ended.

“Lake Tiveden” The modern retelling of the legend of Tiveden and the epic encounter between a fisherman, his daughter and the fearsome Nokken. I love that this is a new take on an old mythology.

“Wax Shadow”is a  Horror fairytale modern retelling of “The Shadow” by Hans Christian Andersen. I loved the characters in this one, this would be another good one that could get expanded into a novel.

“Without Family Ties” is a modern horror tale based on the story of Pinocchio. One of the best ones in the anthology.

“Commanding the Stones”has  a murder, a troubled marriage, a mysterious benefactor and a Russian fairy tale add up to terror and redemption in the sewers of Paris. I love the married couple in this one, I could relate to how they were feeling and was hoping they would get a happy ending.

“Gollewon Ellee” Two young girls follow the Gollewon Ellee, Fairy Lights, and discover that Fairy Folk are real and more sinister than they imagined. Great horror tale, this is how I wish all fairy tales were told.

“Mr. Shingles”  Bay Area boys meeting with a certain rhyming troll who may or may not still be living under the Carquinez Bridge. Once again I love this concept and its a fun story.

“The Boy and His Teeth”  A cautionary tale against deceiving the Tooth Fairy. Good spooky tale that will really scare kids.

“The Other Daughter” It’s nice to see Hannah looking her old self, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The problem is Hannah – the real Hannah is already upstairs. This one had some good moments and I loved the ending.

“Old and in the Way” Atmospheric tale about an old man who can no longer do his duty. I love the concept in this one. This one is short but powerful, I love finding out who the old man was and really felt for him..

Just looking at the cover of this book made me want to buy it. I love books that create their own mythology or put a new spin on an old legend. Once Upon a Scream is a book that has a little bit of everything, its funny in parts, scary in others, and it gives you a fresh horrific look at some old fables . If  you love a good fantasy/ horror mix, you don’t want to pass on Once Upon A Scream.

Now available from Press, Horror Addicts Guide to Life

Now available from Press, Horror Addicts Guide to Life
FinalFrontCoverDo you love the horror genre?
Do you look at horror as a lifestyle?
Do the “norms” not understand your love of the macabre?
Despair no longer, my friend, for within your grasp is a book written by those who look at horror as a way of life, just like you. This is your guide to living a horrifying existence. Featuring interviews with Midnight Syndicate, Valentine Wolfe, and The Gothic Tea Society.
Edited by David Watson Cover artist Carmen Masloski
Authors: Kristin Battestella, Mimielle, Emerian Rich, Dan Shaurette, Steven Rose Jr., Garth von Buchholz, H.E. Roulo, Sparky Lee Anderson, Mary Abshire, Chantal Boudreau, Jeff Carlson, Catt Dahman, Dean Farnell, Sandra Harris, Willo Hausman, Laurel Anne Hill, Sapphire Neal, James Newman, Loren Rhoads, Chris Ringler, Jessica Robinson, Eden Royce, Sumiko Saulson, Patricia Santos Marcantonio, J. Malcolm Stewart, Stoneslide Corrective, Mimi A. Williams, and Ron Vitale. With art by Carmen Masloski and Lnoir.
Now available at: Contact: David Watson at mail

True Love?

tlsmallThings are going great for Victoria. She has an awesome new boyfriend named Rob, The newspaper just ran a story about her singing career and thanks to Rob she is about to have her first recording session. In a short period of time her life has turned into a beautiful dream, but the past has a way of coming back to haunt us. Victoria is having nightmares of Rob sleeping with another woman. Rob hasn’t given her any reason for her to believe he’s cheating but Victoria had been raped in the past by her old boyfriend Steve and now finds it hard to trust another man. She is doing her best to deal with it, but she can never forget.

Victoria’s best friend Cynthia also has a new love interest named Derek and he happens to be a singer in one of the biggest boy bands in the country. Cynthia is not sure if she believes Derek is over his old girlfriend but Derek is falling for Cynthia and plans on winning her over during a romantic weekend in Los Angeles. Victoria and Rob also have a fun weekend planned, one that they will never forget. While Derek and Cynthia get to know each other better, Victoria is meeting  a couple of Rob’s friends. Victoria gets the shock of her life when she realizes that one of Rob’s friends is Steve and all the pain from her past is back to ruin her new relationship. Steve starts making veiled threats towards Victoria not to tell Rob and Victoria wonders if Rob will believe her story of rape at the hands of Steve. What will Steve do to Rob ? Can their relationship survive? True Love? by Emmy Z. Madrigal is the third book in her Sweet Dreams Musical Romance series and is the best of the series so far.

True Love? reads like a teenage girl’s fantasy but with much more depth. I love how each character has something painful in their past but they don’t let it stop them from finding love and following their dreams. Cynthia doesn’t get along with her mother, Derek has had a bad relationship and trouble dealing with success and Victoria was raped and is left to deal with the scars. All of them have issues but Victoria is still working on her singing, Derek still tries to find happiness  and Cynthia is an athlete and good at school. None of them give up on life or love because they had a rough past. Even the supporting characters have good storylines and interesting problems to deal with, such as Raul not being able to express his feelings and having a bad temper and Greg trying to get his band more attention despite the odds being against him. The theme of this book seems to be to never give up hope and love will find a way.

What makes this book a little better than the previous two Sweet Dreams books is that there is more conflict in this one. Steve made a great villain and the scariest thing about him was that most people probably know someone just like him. I also liked watching Victoria deal with her past demons and seeing Rob in a situation where he was powerless to help Victoria. True Love? is a beautifully written  romance with unforgettable characters and steamy love scenes.

Anime Girl 2

ag2finalAbby Tanaka is a talented artist with a best-selling manga series and legions of fans waiting for her next project. Abby is confident in some areas but she still feels insecure about her new boyfriend and her talent manager, Chase. Abby is heading into San Francisco for an anime con and to have a romantic weekend with Chase. Things don’t go according to plan for Abby as competition comes her way.

Tosh James is Chase’s newest client. She is an actress in a Scifi movie and the fantasy of every man at the anime con. Worst of all, Tosh has her eyes set on Chase and Abby is not sure she can compete with the drop dead gorgeous Tosh. Can true love win out or will Tosh end up with Chase? Find out in Anime Girl 2 by Emmy Z. Madrigal.

One thing I have to say that I liked about this novella was how Abby’s manga drawings show her mood. When she is worried about Tosh being with Chase too much her drawings get sadder but when Abby is getting attention in a drawing class, her art seems to express her happiness. You get the impression that Abby’s drawings are an extension of her personality and you know how she feels and thinks through her art.

Another thing I liked in this book was how Abby and Tosh are presented. At the convention it looks like Tosh is getting all of the attention but in reality she only gets a certain type of attention. All of her fans are only interested in her because of her body and she has nothing else to offer. Even though she doesn’t think it, Abby is more of the full package. She is cute, nice, funny and has a talent that people appreciate.

There is one good scene where Abby sees a large group of people around Tosh and she feels jealous. Shortly afterwords a young artist approaches Abby and asks her to come to his art class because they are all such big fans of her work. Tosh gets more attention but Abby gets better attention. People like her for her talent and not her looks even though she has that also. I also enjoyed the love scenes in this story because they managed to be hot without being overly explicit.

Anime Girl 2 is a sweet and simple romance with quirky characters.I enjoyed how it was set in an anime convention since I don’t think there are a lot of love stories out there set in a fan convention. I also liked how the author sprinkles anime and manga references throughout the story making this more than just a story about two girls competing for a guy.  There were even some  references to EmmyZ. Madrigal’s other Sweet Dreams romance novels which I thought was a nice touch. If you love a quick romance and believe that love can conquer all then this novella is for you.