Creature of the Night

You’ve watched Big Brother and Survivor but now there’s a new Reality TV show called Creature Of The Night. This show is a little different from the others as we have 12 contestants competing for the chance to be immortal. One lucky winner will become a vampire but surviving the challenges will test them to the limits physically, morally and mentally.

Each participant is coming from a different walk of life and they all have different reasons for competing. Mainly they have to impress a panel of vampire judges but they also have to entertain a live audience whose rooting for them to get seriously injured or hopefully die.  It’s a rough road to be one of the undead and on that road some of the players may find out that being a vampire isn’t what they thought it would be.

While I’m not a big fan of reality shows I was drawn to Creature Of The Night by Anne Stinnett because I thought the idea of a vampire reality show sounded fun. This is a satire that pokes fun at reality tv. There are a lot of laughs to be had here but it also makes a statement about how self-absorbed people can be who are on television. For instance one of the contestants says he is on the show to make his kids proud but later we hear from the kids and they’re complaining how dad doesn’t spend enough time with them and this is only one example of how the shows contestants  are superficial in thinking a TV show will change their lives. Though as the story moves along you see all the characters feelings change.

This book has a great mix of comedy and drama and towards the end it becomes an all out gory horror novel. My favorite part was finding out how all the characters are more than they appear and that includes the vampire judges. One of the challenges for the contestants is to kill a terminally ill child named Landon. Landon’s last wish is to become a vampire but the law forbids it so he has to settle for pretending to be one and get killed on stage. As this goes on there are people protesting outside, some are in favor of Landon being a vampire while others believe he should die naturally and not be killed even though it’s what Landon wants. At this point the mood of the book changes and becomes more serious but still manages to have a little humor.

If I have any complaints about Creature Of The Night it would be that in the beginning there are so many characters introduced that it was hard keeping track of them. Though even that felt like it was a good parody of reality tv, because on the season premiere of a show like Survivor they are introducing so many people who you don’t remember the details on everyone by episode 2. This is a well planned out book with a lot of attention to detail. You get opinions from the show’s producers and the  vampire judges, you hear the thoughts of the viewers at home and you get to read the confessionals from each contestant. This is a great read whether you enjoy reality tv or not as it has a good story and it gives a good look at how ridiculous society can be.



Dracula: The Modern Prometheus

Dracula: The Modern Prometheus is a retelling of both Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Bram Stroker’s Dracula with a few new twists by Rafael Chandler. I’m not going to spend time describing the story here because if you’ve read Frankenstein and Dracula you already know it. The reason you would want to get this book is to find out how the author put an original spin on these two literary classics.

I got this book off of Netgalley, what drew me to it was seeing that it was a combination of two horror classics that I love. I also thought it was interesting that the author put the names of the original writers on his book followed by his own. When you first start reading this book it’s obvious that Rafael Chandler wrote it as a labor of love and  he has great affection for the source material along with the time period both books were written in. The language used, the way the characters are presented and the way the book is written makes it feel like the book was written in the 1800’s.

The best part about this book was that it reminded me how much I love the source material and I loved seeing the changes to both that Rafael made. The worst part of the book is that some parts are too close to the source material. There were points that I felt bored reading it because I felt like I’ve heard it before and knew what was coming. A lot of the dialogue between the characters could have been cut and more time should have been spent on Dracula and the monster.

All in all though if you love these two classics then Rafael Chandler’s book is something you are going to want to read. I enjoyed the fact that Harker, The Monster and Dracula were all female. I also liked the changes Rafeal made to the material and how he blended both stories.  The book may have benefited a little by having the author put more of an original spin on it but there was enough of his own voice here to keep me reading. When I finished this book I felt the need to go reread Dracula and Frankenstein and look for an original work by Rafael Chandler.



Blood Of Dracula’s Castle

I’ve been wanting to write a running commentary as I watched a cheesy movie but I haven’t taken the time to do it. Sometimes bad movies can be a lot of fun to watch if you’re in the write mood, especially bad horror movies. One time horror author Douglas Clegg said that horror is the one genre of film where watching a bad movie can be just as much fun as watching a good movie. He’s right, I love trying to find bad horror movies to watch and luckily there are plenty to choose from. This week I decided to watch Blood Of Dracula’s Castle off of Comet TV. If you’re not familiar with Comet TV I urge you to check it out, they really have some great stuff on but keep in mind that this is coming from someone who admittedly has bad taste in movies. Which reminds me I have to set my dvr up to record King Kong Lives when its on.

Blood Of Dracula’s Castle is a 1969 movie that was directed by the late great Al Adamson. We have Alex D’Arcy in the roll of Dracula, Paula Raymond as Countess Townsend and Horror movie legend John Carradine as George The Butler. The movie opens with a woman driving down the highway as a catchy little tune that seems to be called The Next Train Out. It sounds like a song that would have been popular in this time. So far the movie isn’t looking like much of a horror movie. The lighting looks bad and I’m already wondering what was the budget for this movie? $10? Though I have to say the convertible the woman is driving looks pretty cool. At this point in the movie I’m envisioning people in 1969 sitting in a drive in movie theater and rocking out to this song or rolling their eyes, one or the other.

The woman finally gets out of her car and goes to take a walk in the woods she then promptly screams and faints. She is then taken away by Dracula’s evil assistant named Mango. Mango doesn’t look very threatening to me which makes me wonder if maybe the woman fainted because she had a bad mango for lunch. I mean looking at this woman and looking at Mango I just think this woman probably could have taken him in a fight.

After the fainting scene we get the opening credits and the movie switches over to a bunch of dolphins at a place that looks like Sea World. At this point I’m wondering what the hell does this have to do with Dracula? Are they vampire dolphins? There is a walrus too, maybe he’s a vampire. After a few minutes of this we finally see Dracula sitting by the fireplace in his castle with Countess Townsend. They’re talking about the lease on Dracula’s Castle. I can’t see Dracula worrying about a lease but I guess even he has to pay the bills. We finally get to see George The Butler as he is taking a blood sample from the woman who ate a bad mango.  she faints again and I can’t help to roll my eyes, gosh what a wimp.

The next scene is Dracula and the countess sampling the mango woman’s blood in wine glasses. They say its delicious I guess it’s always fun to have new blood. There blood is served up by John Carradine as George The Butler. Throughout this movie George always looks like he’s trying not to crack up. Which makes me wonder did he beak out in laughter every time Al Adamson called cut?  Did he give the guy playing Dracula any advice since he played the role at least 3 times that I can think of.

We then get to Dracula and the Countess checking out the women they have chained up in their dungeon and they start talking about them like they’re bottles of wine. Dracula and the Mrs. seem to really be loving life. The dialogue in this movie is actually pretty good, this may not be a good movie but I get the impression that the people making it were having a good time. As I’m writing this I keep thinking of that Next Train Out song from the opening of the movie, guess that’s going to stick with me awhile.

We’re still in the middle of a long scene in the dungeon. Dracula is so nice to reward Mango he gives him one of the women chained up in the dungeon. The woman needs to work on her screaming and Mango needs to work on acting scarier. We then hear Dracula telling the newbie in the dungeon that he and the countess are vampires but really prefer to be called the living dead. Nice to know Dracula has standards. In the background there is some really weird music playing. It reminds me of when you go to a children’s museum and you use the rubber sandals to tap out a song on a big set of plastic pipes. We then get a shot of Dracula and the countess going to bed in their caskets, they both say good night, love lives at Dracula’s castle.

Now we have a scene of a guy being chased through the woods by some people with dogs. Early on Dracula kept talking about a guy named Johnny so I’m thinking this must be Johnny. Just as I’m starting to get bored and wonder what the people watching this movie in the 60’s were thinking, the guy on the run comes across a woman in a bikini by a stream. He grabs her and drowns the screaming woman in the river, what the hell was that all about? I’m also wondering at this point why don’t any of these women try to fight their attackers? I’m I supposed to think women at that time didn’t believe in fighting. I guess that’s why they call them scream queens. We eventually find out that this man is indeed Johnny but not before we see him kill a guy and push a car over a cliff. He then gives an evil laugh, I guess killing gives you a good sense of humor.

We then have Johnny talking to George at the castle and he says that the full moon makes him do things he doesn’t want to do. He’s killing people in the daylight so what’s he doing when the moon is full? Does he collect donations for the Salvation Army? I can see for a murderer that may be something you don’t want to do. We then get to Dracula’s landlord visiting with Dracula and the Mrs. The countess is talking about how dangerous the world is and they don’t go out much. I can see how the social turmoil of the 60’s may be something vampires want to avoid.

Dracula was given some bad news the landlords want them  out and its up to Johnny to kill them. We also have Dracula saying the secret to staying young is drinking the blood from young people. Then the countess says that they are hoping that someone someday will invent a synthetic blood so they can obey the law again and not kill, hopefully they are still around when Charlaine Harris gives us True Blood.

We then have a bunch of scenes with the landlord and his girl friend walking around Dracula’s castle at night. Eventually the landlord and the girl friend get chained up in the basement. You knew things weren’t going to go well when they decided to kick Dracula out. There sure is a lot of talking in this movie, the writer must have had a really long script. I wonder what movie goers from the 60’s were thinking as they watched this movie.

We have a couple of really long scenes here in the dungeon one with Johnny threatening a woman with a knife and one with rats running around the dungeon with the female captives in the dungeon screaming in terror. Maybe they’re just screaming because they don’t think they’re getting paid enough to shoot this movie. Things are getting really weird in the movie now as one of the captives are taken outside to be sacrificed by being burned at the stake for the great god Luna. This movie may only be an hour and a half but at this point it feels like about three hours. We then finally get to the end of the movie and a dinner party given by Dracula.

It’s kind of funny but as we get to the action packed fight scene at the end the music doesn’t match what’s going on and it looks more like a dance competition then a fight. Dracula and his wife get tied up and it’s up to Mango to save them. This is supposed to be the exciting climax but its more of an anti-climax as Mango doesn’t do a very good job being a hero. What can you expect from a guy named Mango.

This movie really ended with a wimper but there was some really funny scenes in it. If you actually read this whole thing then I’m in shock since this is pretty much just me randomly typing as I watch a bad movie. If you want to see a sample of this movie then check out the youtube link  for the trailer and let me know in the comments what bad movies you love:.


Dusk’s Warriors

The vampires of Night’s Knights are living in a new plane of existence that they’re not use to and once again everything is about to change for them. Ridge is a man working for the devil and he’s gathering souls from immortals living on earth. When he attacks Markham’s significant other Jimmy, it causes a chain reaction. An epic battle between Heaven and Hell begins and a street gang of vigilantes may be the deciding factor on who wins.

Dusk’s Warriors by Emerian Rich is a sequel to Night’s Knights but it can be read as a stand alone novel. The foundation was given in the first book but this one takes the story to the next level. It describes the mythical realms that the characters now live in but also focuses on what’s happening on earth and introduces a new cast of characters. Among them are Ridge who is hunted by the Drog and working for the devil and Zack who doesn’t really know his place in the world and unknowingly follows Ridge into .Hell. The story starts off with a bang beginning in Hell as Ridge gets his orders from The devil. I loved how the settings in the story are described and the opening of the book had me hooked.

There are several good characters here but my favorite in this book is Reidar, a vampire who has taken it upon himself to chronicle what happens among all the vampires and the different realms of Heaven. I loved how he describes his feelings for Severina the Goddess of dusk and what he does to deal with his unrequited love. He has the best scenes in the story such as when he enters a man’s dream in order to remove the man’s mental anguish. He quickly learns that some things can’t be helped.

I also loved The Drog in this story. They’re a street gang of vigilantes that believes they work for the chosen one. In one good scene members of The Drog confronts people working for the National Organization of Supernatural Specialists. They state that by studying evil that the Noss themselves are evil which leads into a great battle scene. I loved how the characters are so complex and even the ones that you look at as good have a dark side.

Dusk’s Warriors is A world of horror with realistic characters in a fast paced thriller you won’t be able to put down. That’s not all though because this book can also be considered a dark fantasy, it also has a couple of good love stories, some erotica(Ever want to read a book where a woman grows a penis? you got to check this one out) and a vividly described battle between heaven and hell. Don’t go into this book thinking it’s just a vampire book because it’s more complex than that. Emerian Rich has created a universe where horror and fantasy mix together and everyone in it is a shade of grey. This book is a must read.



Dusk’s Warriors by Emerian Rich

Because David is such a fan of Markham in the Night’s Knights series, I’ve decided to share an excerpt from the new book, Dusk’s Warriors, where Markham is battling Hellhounds. It also involves Minidoo, a Canadian Ojibawe Indian who is a new character in this sequel.

Excerpt from Dusk’s Warriors:

A gust blew off Markham’s hat and he tripped over a tree root, pitching forward and landing face-first. Snow pushed up his nose and into his mouth. It was clean, but stung like the blazes.

Markham stood and brushed himself off. He covered his mouth and nose, breathing heavily to clear the coldness from his skin. Hearing a rustle in the woods, he pressed against a nearby tree, trying to blend in to the forest. The trees were dense and as he watched in the direction of the noise, a doe galloped past him about two yards away. After the doe, a woman dressed in furs, long black twin braids flying out behind her, sprinted past. Her head snapped in his direction, but she kept moving. Markham followed cautiously behind, watching the woman grab the doe and sink her canines into its neck. The doe made a yelp when caught, but then was still. The woman drank of her prey, concentrating on the animal. Markham kept his distance, knowing not to approach a vampire while feeding. The woman’s eyes flew open, her mouth still connected to the doe.

As Markham was about to step out and introduce himself, he heard Ridge approach. He could read his thoughts before he saw him.

Kill the girl, get free. Kill the girl, get the money. Never have to go to Hell again, Ridge thought.

Whe nesh na baa?” the girl asked, and Markham thought she spoke to him, but she looked past him, to the right. Her eyes narrowed, a cold dark stare as if she would kill with a mere look. “Annish mampee enna kian sha ganosh?” She stood, blood trailing onto her white furs as she whipped her two long braids from her face.

“Listen,” Ridge said as he stepped into view, a gun trained on the girl. “I don’t understand your gobble-de-gook. If you’re gonna threaten me, do it in English.”

“Who are you to come on this land, in a forest of peace to dishonor the ancestors of the people?” she asked, clear and confident with only a slight accent.

“Glad you asked. My name’s Ridge. You are?”

“Minidoo. I belong here. You do not.”

“Look Mini, I really have nothing against you, but I made a deal and you are my way to freedom. So stand real still like…” He fired his gun. The shots missed and Minidoo had Ridge in a head lock before he could blink.

“Who sent you?” She lifted him off the ground, his neck still in the crook of her forearm as she floated upwards.

“Put…me…down…God damnit!” Ridge struggled against her, grunting and kicking back at her. “All right, no more Mr. Nice Guy.” Ridge took something from his pocket and put it too his mouth.

Minidoo dropped him, screeching and covering her ears. Markham didn’t hear anything, but it seemed to work on the poor girl.

“What is it?” she yelled.

“Hell whistle.”

Markham could stand by no longer, he stepped between them, his back to Minidoo.

“Ridge, your torture stops here.”

“Markham O’Leary! Two for the price of one. Imagine my luck!” Despite his cocky humor, Markham could see doubt in his mind. Can the Hell whistle defeat two strong immortals? Will I live to collect my money?

From the woods came a howl so horrific, it couldn’t be a normal wolf. A mangy set of dogs came out of the woods.

“Hmmm…in all my days, I ain’t never seen a hellhound so ugly. Glad he’s on my side. Go get ‘em killer.” Ridge smiled self-righteously.

The animals didn’t seem to be “hounds” exactly, but the Hell part Markham believed. They were giant wooly dogs, almost bear like. At first it looked like they were chained together by twos, but the closer they got, he realized they were attached in the middle like mutant Siamese twins, each having four legs and a separate head, but combined in a wide body. Brown in color, their fur seemed to undulate as if it was liquid. Their eyes were deep crevices where eyeballs should’ve been. When they snarled, deadly sharp teeth and skeletal jaws dripped with blood.

Have you encountered this sort of beast before? Minidoo asked Markham silently.

No, you? Markham asked.


Dusk’s Warriors by Emerian Rich

Heaven has opened up and welcomed the vampires of Night’s Knights into a new reality. As they struggle to find their place in their new world, trouble brews on Earth.

Demon servant, Ridge, is causing havoc by gathering up all the souls on Earth that have been touched by immortality. When he injures one of the Night’s Knights crew, he launches a war between the vampires of Heaven, the Big Bad in Hell, and a mortal street gang of vigilante misfits.

Will Julien, Markham, and Reidar be able to defeat the evil that’s returned, or will they once again need Jespa’s help?

Praise for Dusk’s Warriors:

“All hail, the queen of Night’s Knights has returned! Emerian Rich’s unique take on vampires delights my black little heart.” ~Dan Shaurette, Lilith’s Love


“A world of horror with realistic characters in a fast paced thriller you won’t be able to put down.”

~David Watson, The All Night Library


Praise for Night’s Knights:

“Fresh, original, and thoroughly entertaining.” ~Mark Eller, Traitor


“Emerian brought the Vampire Novel back from the dead.” ~C. E. Dorsett, Shine Like Thunder

Emerian Rich was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1973, the only child of pastors. She lived in thirty-two different places by the time she graduated high school. With no siblings and no consistent peer relationships, the pen became an integral part of her life, granting her an inexpensive pastime that she could take with her anywhere. The characters in her stories became her friends and her journal, her only continuous confidant.

Emerian graduated The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco, California with an A.A. in Visual Presentation and Space Design. She has been a consultant on window design, store merchandising, web design projects, company logos, event planning and decoration, newsletter production, and has been voice acting since 2008.

Emerian began her non-profit zine, Dark Lives, in 1997. Her goal was to give unpublished talent in the horror genre a place to have their work published and enjoyed. Originally began as a paper publication, Dark Lives became exclusively a webzine in 2002. officially closed it’s doors at the end of 2007.

Emerian now serves as Horror Hostess for the internationally acclaimed podcast, has become not only a podcast but a widely read publisher of horror news, reviews, and fiction.

Emerian has been a part of many social and business groups including: The Katz (Supernatural Investigators), Wicked Women Writers, Mad Hatter Tea Society, Quillz Literary Group, and others. She is also an active volunteer for the following causes: Clean The Beach Days, Earth Day, Oil Clean Up Education, Service to Elders, Children’s Day Camp, Community Support for Abused Children, and Activities for the Developmentally Disabled.

She has also written under the names: Emerian Mordrige, E. Mordrige, Emmy Z. Madrigal and Emz.

Emerian lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. To meet Emerian, check out her events.

Dracula Transformed & Other Bloodthirsty Tales

I enjoy reading all kinds of books but the ones I enjoy the most are the ones that have a good mix of horror and comedy. This is not a combination you can always find but Dracula Transformed & Other Bloodthirsty Tales by  Mark McLaughlin and Michael McCarty is one of those books that can scare you and make you laugh. Here we have ten short stories and one novella which puts Dracula in the present day with new powers that we’ve never seen before.

The reason I wanted to read this was because I love Dracula and any movie or book that has the character catches my interest. Also I’m familiar with the work of both authors and knew it would be a fun ride. Right off the bat in the first story they address one of the issues with the original Dracula novel. In Bram Stoker’s novel we get points of view from several characters but we don’t hear much from Dracula. In Lucy Transformed we hear part of the story in Dracula’s own words via letters to his daughter. Needless to say Dracula looks at the events of the book a little differently than the other characters do. Maybe Dracula wasn’t a villain after all and just doing what vampires are supposed to do.

Two other the stories that stick out in the book are Dracula Has Risen From The Couch and Incident In The Back Of A Black Limousine. In the first story set in the present we see a very different Dracula then we are used to. He is kind of lazy and he finds out his wives are cheating on him, but he doesn’t really care enough to get off the couch until they decide to kill him. In the second story also in the present we see Dracula has fallen on hard times and now works as a pimp calling himself Big Daddy. For both of these we see a Dracula that we haven’t seen before and get to laugh at the idea that Dracula may not fare to well in the modern world.

In what is the main event in this little anthology, we have the novella Dracula Transformed which shows us Dracula resurrected in the present by a cult and given the powers of the monsters from Greek Mythology. All of the characters from Dracula are here through reincarnation and Van Helsing never died. I love that Dracula gets his power from hearing the sins of others and I loved hearing that Renfield is now a goth rock superstar. We also have another character from history that is still making a good living in Las Vegas. The best part though is hearing how Dracula acts when he hears someone talk who has no sin.

Dracula Transformed is a must read if you loved the Bram Stoker book or any of the various movies that have had Dracula in them over the years. Not only is it a fresh spin on a character that has been around for over 100 years, it’s a lot of fun for anyone who has a love for monsters and mythology. My only complaint was that some of the short stories contained an idea but no real story and I would have liked the main story to be longer and have a little more suspense. All in all though the book is a lot of fun and I look forward to reading more from both authors.

Hunter Of The Dead

31306024There are more vampires in the world then anyone knows about. The most powerful vampire in the world is Cicatrice and he secretly rules the city of Las Vegas. The vampires are being killed off though and not just by the vampire hunters who have pledged their lives to destroy the undead. There is a supernatural serial killer on the loose and Cicatrice believes it could be the legendary and ancient Hunter Of The Dead.

A vampire civil war has begun and when there are too many vampires in the same area the hunter of the dead rises to destroy all supernatural creatures. Cicatrice decides the best way to handle it is to team up with vampire hunter Carter Price. Together they form a plan that will kill several vampires and put an end to the Hunter Of The Dead. With a bloody vampire war in full swing and Cicatrice and Carter’s apprentices falling in love, stopping the hunter may be an impossible task.

Hunter Of The Dead by Stephen Kozeniewski is a blood drenched treat for vampire fans. This horror novel creates a great spin on vampire mythology and has some great action scenes. The mythology behind the hunter is fascinating and the way he is described in this book makes him sound like he could make the four horseman run away in fear. The prologue to this book is like a self-contained story that really hooks you into reading the full book. The imagery is creepy with scenes like a ghoul eating someone and a battle  between vampires and the hunter which is beautifully done. The beginning of this book would make a great horror film.

The problem I had with this book was that there was too much going on. There was enough material in this book for three books and I didn’t like how the story kept switching to different locations, characters and time periods. What I liked most was the relationship between Cicatrice and his apprentice Idi-Han and Carter Price and his assistant Nico. Whenever the focus changed to someone else I was just wanting to get back to those four. There was also a romantic relationship between Nico and Idi that could have been good but seemed too rushed. I enjoyed this book but I felt it would have been better if it just focused on Idi, Cicatrice, Nico and Carter dealing with the hunter and left out the civil war and  vampire politics.

Hunter Of The Dead has the feel of a comic book. What I mean is you can easily visualize the action in your head and the story moves along at the speed of a freight train. Stephen Kozeniewski does an excellent job describing violent battle scenes. I loved how the vampires do severe damage to each other such as breaking bones and crushing organs only to heal instantly. It also has some good humor to it such as when a human tied to a table is offered as a birthday cake to a vampire who takes a bite and then offers all the other vampires a bite. It also has some moments of great horror such as when a recently turned vampire realizes that she is eating her father without knowing it. Hunter Of The Dead is a book that vampire fans should not pass up.