Sunday, October 23, 2011

Short Fiction, Big Thrills

Novels are wonderful.  They absorb us completely and take us to places we have never been, and sometimes never want to leave.  When we watch full feature movies we are allowed to watch someone else's life for two hours and be free from our own worries and cares.

Sometimes we don't have time for this love affair, but we still want it. 

The short story is the quickie of the literary world.  It gives us that same backseat thrill without the time investment or need for full-out love commitment.  Short and sweet, and we are left smiling.

Sometimes short is more.

#ShortIsMore: Short Fiction Week

Psychologically dark and thrilling short story, Absorbed. --------------------> 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Just in Time for Halloween

Ghosts, witches and a few nasty goblins are just what we expect during this chilly and creepy time of year.  The kid's can have some fun too when they read The Moon is No Place for a Ghost, released on Amazon today!

The ghosts need a place to live after their home gets infested with PEOPLE!  And Officer Splot and Goblin Grime want to put them Otherworld Jail for unofficial scaring.  Can their friend Penelope the Witch save the day, or will they end up in Otherworld Jail forever!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Recipe for Love

I don't believe there is a tried-and-true path to true love, I do not believe all loves last, but I do believe we can have more than one true love in our lives.  Although I am not a magician or witch, I wish there were some type of magic we could do to make that special someone love us forever.  And there have been times when I wished a love would just end. 
Here is a Recipe for Love taken from 100 Unfortunate Days, and don't careful what you wish for...

Recipe for Love.
3 ounce of rum (can be spiced, coconut—anything—) that has been left in the moonlight for 3 nights.  If you leave it in the waxing moon, the person will notice you, if you leave it in the waning moon, the person will leave, if you leave it in a full moon the connection will last forever—whether you like it or not.
3 leaves of fresh mint
3 grains of salt
3 grains of sugar
3 ounces of club soda or seltzer
3 ice cubes
3 tiny pieces of a fresh basil leaf
Put all ingredients in a metal or glass shaker (no plastic because it will steal the energy) and shake very quickly to a slow count of 3 with your eyes closed.  Serve immediately.  Do not serve this drink to more than one person—you would pay for that mistake for the rest of your life.

I think we all believe in some form of magic...

A well-composed book is a magic carpet on which we are wafted to a world that we cannot enter in any other way. Caroline Gordon

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Something to Crow About

I am lucky to be hosting illustrator Dan Nokes next week!  Take a look at a sample of his work.  :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Just in Time for Halloween

I made a new indie friend this weekend, Sandy Wolters.  After she helped me with several tech-related snafus, we talked about her new book, Justice for Emily, a steamy romance/suspense/thriller with a paranormal twist.

Here's a blurb about the book:

Rachael Merchant, a Phoenix Homicide Detective, is running from the images of her last case that are embedded
deep in her soul.  Before her journey is over, she will find herself embroiled in a twisted murder
investigation that involves the Chief of Police of Brownwood, Texas, as the main suspect.  Officer Patrick Sheehan will do whatever it takes to keep Rachael near him to get Justice For Emily.

Find Justice for Emily here:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I Want It Yesterday

I have pondered being a published author since I was 7 years old, when I wrote my first book, The Littlest Grape.  It was written on the paper from a 3 x 5 pad, and the cover was the cardboard from the back of the pad.  The illustration were done in colored pencil, and after I stapled the cover to the pages, I brought it everywhere and showed it to everyone I knew.  I thought it was the best book in existence, and could not even begin to fathom the leap from cardboard and staples to the seemingly magical and unattainable place on the bookstore shelves. 

The Littlest Grape was followed by endless writing. I loved the hit-and-run quality of poems, and one very popular (in my mind) poem I wrote was Waterbed, warning of a baby/waterbed combination.  I also wrote songs. Young Dr. Kildare, a soon-to-be chart topper, was as good as any Partridge Family tune.  I thought the flip side of that particular 45 would be another big hit, Veins in My Thumbs.  And I continued writing books. The Haunted House came with a warning on every page cautioning the reader of the terror he would soon experience.

I kept a diary/account of everything that happened in school and what I thought of everyone in my class in my desk in a maroon pad with a smiley face on the cover. It was discovered and passed around one day when I was absent, and some of the kids were not too pleased about what I had written. Though some of the attention was negative, I loved that people noticed and talked about the diary.

Life takes us many places.  We experience many things.  Some fall away, and some things stick with us.  Writing stuck.

I finally decided I would write as a vocation, and the process suddenly could not happen fast enough.  It was thrilling to publish my first book--but I compared myself to others I knew.  They had several books, and many reviews, and more titles in the works. They had 75 million Twitter followers and just as many reading their blog. I felt I was behind!  I had to catch up!  I had to write more and friend more people and Tweet everyone about everything and...

...then I realized something.  I can't catch up to everyone who has been doing this for a while.  It will take a long time to get followers and friends in this business and I will have to earn them. But the urgency came from a good place...I am finally doing the thing I should have been doing all along.  So--I took a deep breath, calmed down a bit, and let myself feel happy about everything that was going on.  I'll listen to the words of a great writer, Stephen King: 

"You have to read a lot, and you have to write a lot.  There are no shortcuts."

I'm still thrilled about my books and writing, but I'm not going to rush or compare myself to anyone.  I will take my competitive nature and use it to improve my writing.  I still can't wait to finish my next book...

Also want to mention two books I am reading and enjoying.  Cloud Nice is by Melissa Smith.  It is about a self-sufficient teen-aged girl who gets a very special guardian angel, and Underneath, by Heather Adkins, which is about an empathic woman whose new job takes her to deep, dark, terrible places.  I will be reviewing these books as soon as I am done reading them.  So far so great.         

Friday, October 7, 2011


Five-star customer review on Amazon for Absorbed.

"Absorbed" is a Poe-esque tale that will get under your skin... Short in length, but not in content, this tale will make your skin crawl, as well as have you rooting for a character you're not so sure you should support. Crowe has crafted another fantastic piece of psychological thrill.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Today is the release of my short story, Absorbed.  Although it is not a Halloween story, it is creepy, dark and shivery.  You can find it on Amazon and Nook.  Have fun!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Welcome David Cleinman!

It is my pleasure to introduce David Cleinman, author of Toys in the Attic.

Q.  When did you start writing?
I began writing as a young teenager, but didn’t really get serious until a few years ago.  It was one of those things… get a job, work a job, put dreams on hold.  I decided enough is enough and got into a groove. 
Q.  I read the description of Toys in the Attic, and was struck by the fact that the lead character is a woman.  How did you find a voice for her?
As with all my characters, kind of like any artist, they speak to me.  Their voice follows who they are.  I’m not sure I can do the process justice by trying to explain it.  A character must be who they are.  In TITA our character is a severely abused teenager who wants to live a normal life, and makes every possible effort to do so, in spite of the horrible odds against her.  I will also add here that some of her trials and triumphs are largely based on girls I have known and worked with as a counselor and teacher. 
Q.  What inspired you to write this book?
A need to get lingering and horrible emotions out and make some peace with myself and my world.  Knowing teenagers who were raped, and watching them struggle, is tragic and deeply troubling.  I wanted to bring hope and inspiration into a dark and painful topic, while also showing that personal redemption is possible, no matter what the odds to the contrary might be.
Q.  Did the book evolve from your original story idea, and if so, how?
Yes and no.  The idea of the setting and the community were mine.  The events, however, were ALL based on true events, pieced together from different girls and young women I have known.  Some I observed personally.  Some came from reference, some via police reports and personal witnesses.
Q.  Can you tell us a bit about the book?
The book chronicles the life a teenage girl whose mother dies when she is just fourteen, leaving her alone with an alcoholic and severely emotionally (and sometimes physically) abusive father.  Shortly after her seventeenth birthday her beats and rapes her, and she is forced to kill him in self-defense.  She ends up giving birth to his child, an immediate and ever present reminder of intense evil.  Her life, from that point on, is a daily exercise in duality.  The desire to be a top-notch business woman, and the inability to be a parent to a completely innocent child.  As the novel progresses, her personal growth requires her to confront her demons, of which there are so many. 
Q.  How long did the book take to write?
About a year to write, and quite a bit longer to frame in my mind.  Wrapping my head around the emotions and getting out of my own way slowed some of the process, and the end product is better for it.
Q.  Were you inspired by any authors?  Who?
For this novel, no.  Although there are some Stephen King-like concepts, that is fairly situational.  In some ways the must-bes of a given situation.
Q.  Are any of the characters based on real people?
Indeed.  But not so much the characters themselves, moreso the things they have endured and overcome.  The son, Conner, is largely based on a schoolmate of mine in grade school, who also demonstrated uncanny athletic prowess at a young age.
Q.  Was this book easy to write, or a struggle?
Difficult.  Both from an emotional standpoint, and also because I needed to get very delicate and disturbing situations just right.  Because the novel is filled with horrors and triumphs, melding the two together became an ongoing exercise in balance and control.
Q.  Tell me how you picked the title.
The title is a dual reference.  In one way it deals with actual lives built in real attics.  It also refers to the mental struggles we all face, big and small.
Q.  What is your favorite genre of book to read?
I’m pretty open in that regard.  At one time I loved fantasy above all else, followed by science fiction.  As I have matured, while I still enjoy fantasy and sci fi, I am enjoying historical fiction more, and religious irony (I would call it satire if satire did not imply funny). 
Q.  Are you working on any projects right now?
Always.  I am rebuilding my published novel, Principle Destiny.  Pulling it from print and going Indie with it with a new cover and title.  I am rewriting my original fantasy series, begun when I was thirteen, and rewriting another that I began in the early 1990s.  I have recently published an article marketing guide called. Wait for it, The Article Marketer’s Guide, and I am doing a vampire short series that changes the concept from blood to something more scary and less directly edible.
Q.  Do you have any writing goals for the future?
My main goal is to explore myself and create something unique and cutting edge.  I know myself well enough to state that it will be based on emotions and interpersonal struggle, regardless of the final form.
Q.  There are many steps in publishing an ebook, do you like any parts more than others?  What are they?
Really all I would say is that an ebook is just a print book formatted for an eReader.  The writing process is identical.  As always I prefer the story development and the characterization the most.  The formatting part is easier, but a lot less fun.
Q.  From your website it looks like you are very busy, you run a company and a foundation, what made you decide to write and how do you have the time?
I find that I am most productive when I am busy.  If I have too little to do I get bored and lackadaisical.  I need a full plate to keep me going.  In addition, having multiple projects going is more fun than being underworked!


Sunday, October 2, 2011


September is a funny month.  We are mourning summer and fearing winter.  Then October comes.  Something clicks and we embrace a new season.  We are now allowed to be evil and tricky. We can reveal a side of ourselves out that we hide all year.

The moon seems different, bigger somehow, and more willing to highlight the things that go bump in the night. 

There is something haunting in the light of the moon; it has all the dispassionateness of a disembodied soul, and something of its inconceivable mystery.  ~Joseph Conrad

We come to love the shivery nip in the air and relish in any haunted tales we happen to hear.  We decorate our houses with glowing pumpkins, bats and skeletons, and look for ways to frighten each other.  Transforming into tricky hobgoblins, we jump out from behind doors in the dark with flashlights under our chins.  As the last harvest withers, we quicken before the final leaf drops.

October is delightful and scary, our final spooky hurrah before winter crashes in.

The above link is the official Haunted Happenings site for Salem Massachusetts.