Free Book, Final Day

Today ends the free book offer of “A Night of Hellhounds” at Amazon (unless you’re a member of its Kindle Unlimited service). The book will return to its 99-cent price after midnight (Pacific time) until it becomes eligible again for a free offer in a month or two.

Go to to get yours.

I would like “A Night of Hellhounds” to be permanently free (or perma-free as I’ve seen it called), but I lack the wisdom and ability to get the folks at Amazon to cooperate. Therefore, I offer perma-free books at Smashwords, in case you’re interested in sampling more of my writing. Of course, there are plenty of free books here at my blog in the aptly titled and often ignored Books section at

My Smashwords page is

Happy reading.

Free Book, Day 3 of 5

Welcome to my post today about trying to interest people in reading my books.

I’m always excited to write a book that stayed with me and kept me excited from start to finish, through the many drafts, text formatting, cover art, and sleepless nights to finally share a good story with the world.

“A Night of Hellhounds” is such a book. I hope you’ll give it a read.

It’s a 3,000-word story featuring my favorite character, teenager Verawenda “Vree” Erickson, in which she is a descendant of witches known as Luminaries. Follow this safe link to go to Amazon and get a copy.

Did I mention it’s free?

Happy reading, my friends, have a great Christmas Eve, and stay safe.


It’s Halloween and it’s still one of my favorite times of year. When I wake up on that day, a myriad of words and images fill my mind and take me to recalling my childhood and the childhoods of my children and grandchildren. This evening, my grandchildren and their friends will take to the streets in costumes and go home with candy and other treats, just as their parents and grandparents did when they were young.

Halloween has been an event for families and communities all my life. When I was a country boy, hayrides, corn mazes, carving pumpkins, and bobbing for apples happened days before Halloween, leading up to the event that took us to town with excitement in our hearts. I don’t remember a time when kids in costumes didn’t fill the streets of my hometown for tricks and treats.

For me, Halloween is the closing of autumn. The season came with the usual sights, sounds, smells, and feelings of summer’s end, when the days shortened and whispered to me the approach of winter. Yet, I bathed in sunlight and the gold, brown, and red when the first leaf of autumn turned color (here in the north) and grew to a crescendo when Halloween finally arrived.

So, I arose this morning and peeked out my window, because Halloween comes with surprises. Will it be sunny, rainy, or snowing when the carved pumpkins are alit with candles one last time and the little trick-or-treaters ring our doorbells tonight?

We shall see. Meanwhile, have a safe and happy Halloween everyone.

Image courtesy

Halloween III [movie revue]

It rarely happens that I have two days in a row off from work, so I took advantage of it and dusted off some old DVDs to get in the upcoming Halloween spirit. One of the movies I watched was John Carpenter and Debra Hill’s 1978 classic, Halloween, the one with a young Jamie Lee Curtis playing babysitter Laurie Strode, and Donald Pleasence playing Dr. Sam Loomis, Michael Myers’ psychiatrist.

I saw the movie in the theater and loved it. Until then, Psycho was my favorite scary movie, followed by The Birds and Carrie, respectively.

After I watched Halloween, I watched its sequel, 1981’s Halloween II, which, after great consideration, led to watching Halloween III: Season of the Witch, the one without Michael Myers, the one so many of my friends and I disliked when Universal Pictures released it in 1982. They disliked it because it omitted the Michael Myers storyline. I disliked it because of a faulty script. But after all these years, I gave it a second chance and watched it again. And again I felt bad that the movie could not have had better script supervision.

Image courtesy Universal Pictures

This was Carpenter and Hill’s last Halloween movie and it came with a twisted and morbid plot: The owner/CEO of a novelty toy company, Conal Cochran (played by Dan O’Herlihy), wants to kill children all over the United States on Halloween by using witchcraft and computer chips in the Halloween masks the company makes.

Why does Cochran want to kill children? Because it is the ultimate trick he can play on kids.

Why does he hate kids so much? The movie never reveals the answer. If it’s our first viewing, we wonder if the protagonist, Dr. Dan Challis (played by Tom Atkins), will stop this madman and save the kids. Spoiler: We never find out. The movie ends with a cliffhanger.

My biggest problem with the movie is the ticking clock thrown in to add suspense. During the days leading up to Halloween, TV commercials play across the country and tell children to wear their masks during a special commercial, which will air at 9pm on Halloween. That is when Cochran plans to activate the killer masks and his sinister plot. It’s up to Dr. Dan to stop it from happening.

Problem: Dr. Dan is in California and he is racing against a clock—a clock that reads 8pm and later during the movie’s final chapters.

Did no one among the movie’s production crew realize that if it is 8pm in California, then 9pm has already hit the three other time zones in the U.S.?

And that is the main reason why Halloween III is a disappointment for me to watch.

But don’t feel too bad for me. There are plenty of better movies to watch. And you can bet I will view the first Halloween movie again before October ends. And I will enjoy it all over again, even though some of my friends are still disappointed that there are no buckets of blood in it.