Monday, 26 December 2011

The Day the Sun Stopped Shining! Win $10 Amazon Gift Voucher and More!!!

Today is the start of the second blog hop I'm participating in over the holidays! I love post-apocalyptic books and movies. I have a novella length story published in '2012: The Aftermath' from Pill Hill Press. I've got my rights back to that story now and have considered releasing it as a single, but I really love the premise and characters behind the story and think it would make a great full length novel, so for the moment I am sitting on it!

I was asked by one of the other authors in the tour to describe what the world looked like on the day the sun stopped shining. Here was my answer:


For my giveaway on the tour, I'm going to give away a whole heap of eBooks and a $10 Amazon gift voucher! I'm going to choose three winners--the first will win a $10 gift voucher and one of my books (your choice!). The second winner will win two of my books (your choice!) and the third will win one of my books (again - in case you didn't get the idea, which book will be of your choice).

So how do you enter?

One entry will be to leave me a comment, you can buy yourself a further entry by liking my facebook page, and another entry by tweeting about the contest. Please include @MarissaFarrar so I know that you've tweeted!

So, you can earn yourself three entries in total. Please let me know below how many and which ones you have done (and yes that does count as a comment!). I'll be randomly drawing the winners the day after the final day of the blog hop, which will be New Years Day!

Happy hopping everyone and good luck!

Winners will be drawn and posted after December 31, 2011


***Authors have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s) within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification of win, whichever comes first. Anyone who participates in this tour is subject to these rules***

To stop by the other author blogs taking part, please stop by the homepage for a list of links!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

T'was the Fright Before Christmas... A round up of Creepfest.

It's the last day and I hope everyone has enjoyed the hop! I've met some great people, given away a whole heap of books and picked up some readers, so I'm really happy. I've not quite reached my blog hop target of giving away 100 eBooks so I plan to continue the give away until I hit 100! If you've not yet entered to get a free copy of Alone, please stop by my facebook page and follow the instructions.

I wrote this poem for a guest blog but I thought I'd share it here as it's appropriate to the season!

Merry Christmas everyone!


Christmas Eve, I’m woken by the sound of moans,
And in the distance comes the rattle of bones.
Outside I come to stand and stare,
For what monstrosity should I find there?
Not bells but strung skulls are what I hear,
The elves who didn’t work so hard this year.
The reindeer snort, huffing hot air in plumes,
 Eyes glow red as they paw with cloven hooves.
Santa’s not fat or jolly – those were lies,
He’s a skeleton with black holes as eyes.
Nightmares in his sack contain little cheer,
He’s here to deliver Creepfest this year.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Day Eleven of Creepfest! Beautiful Freaks with Katie John

We're up to day eleven of Creepfest, so there is only one more day to go! I hope everyone has enjoyed the hop! Today I'd like to welcome Katie. M John, UK bestselling YA author. 

Katie's Contemporary Arthurian legend series, 'The Knight Trilogy' was launched in December 2010 with the release of 'The Forest of Adventures' and the subsequent release of 'Immortal Beloved' in 2011. Both books have been in the UK top 10 Amazon charts for Contemporary Fantasy and Fairytales. The final book 'Starfire' is due for release in April 2012.

She is currently working on a stand alone YA novel called 'Beautiful Freaks', a steampunk, Victorian - detective fairytale,  which is due for release in January 2012. She's kindly sharing the first chapter with us today!

Chapter One: London 1899

BOTH the century and its Queen were dying. The winds of change rattled through the streets of the metropolis, leaving its citizens fearful of the coming times. Uncertainty bred suspicion, causing the people to turn to the old ways. Mystics and fortune tellers swarmed out of the city mists, filling the billboard at the now sober dancehalls: Nobody felt like dancing anymore. Gypsies hawked silver charms and lucky heather, and iron-faced preacher-men stood at every corner shouting warnings of damnation. It was a grey world, full of shadows.

The city was a landscape of monsters, both of flesh and brick. Chimneys from a thousand slave factories belched out black smoke; stealing the breath from the lungs and the light from the sky. Workhouses swallowed the poor, asylums the insane. It was amongst this labyrinth of sorrow that Kaspian Blackthorne walked.

He was approaching his eighteenth birthday, although he felt he had been an adult for most of his life. His patron, Doctor Heartlock, was making arrangements for a small private engagement in celebration of the boy’s coming of age. It would be an interesting evening, although not a very exciting one.

 Heartlock was a paranormal investigator – had been a paranormal investigator –he was now mostly housebound. For the past three years, the doctor had been confined to a wheelchair, following a serious accident whilst in pursuit of a notorious serial-killer. That was the official story: In truth the doctor had broken his back falling from the roof of a church in pursuit of a werewolf.

 Doctor Heartlock had once been a fascinating man to a younger Kaspian, but now his fantastical tales had faded into the sad ramblings of the regretful. The lines between reality and fantasy increasingly blurred to the point Kaspian worried the old man was losing his genius mind.

Heartlock had been a good patron, although perhaps a little lacking in an understanding of childhood. As such Kaspian’s nursery had been a study, his playthings, strange scientific apparatus, and his childhood stories great leather-bound texts on religion and the supernatural. It sometimes seemed Heartlock was set on raising a protégé to carry on his life’s work rather than a young man. As a result, although Kaspian’s upbringing hadn’t been cruel, it had been serious; and although showered in fondness and attention, it had lacked love.

Kaspian pondered his eighteen years as he walked through the evening gloom of the London streets. The rain had forced most people inside, creating the impression that the great metropolis had turned into a ghost town. Kaspian liked walking at times like this. It made him feel as if he were walking through his own silent empire.

Then he saw her.

She was standing under the streetlight, a newspaper held out in front of her as if she were reading it. Kaspian thought it obvious that she wasn’t; she was watching the church on the other side of the cobbled street. He stopped midstride and pulled himself behind a tree; spied on her as she took a pocket-watch from her pocket and flip open the lid. He thought it strange she should read it by placing flat in front of her eyes rather than looking down on it – it was as if she were taking a reading from a compass. Kaspian looked over to where she was watching. The church was empty and he couldn’t fathom what could possibly be of interest. The lights were out, the door locked, and the whole place had the impression of sleeping.

The woman was tall and slender; striking in a slightly over-powerful way. Despite wearing a full, black silk skirt, the fitted waistcoat and black necktie were more manish in dress than ladylike. Kaspian had never seen a woman like her, although he had heard of ‘her sort’ as Heartlock’s companions would say.

When he looked closer, he could see she wore a monocle in her left eye and was at least ten years younger than he’d guessed from the first impression: twenty one was the age he now settled on in his mind.

She must have sensed him looking at her because she turned towards him and, seeing him poking out from behind a tree, smiled. It was a strange reaction to the discovery that someone was spying on you. The boldness of her action unsettled Kaspian in a way he couldn’t quite understand. He bent down, pretending that he had been about to tie his shoelaces. When he was sure she had returned to her own secret observations, he scuttled past her and almost ran all the way to the safety of home.

 By the time he pushed open the imposing, black front door, Kaspian carried the strangest sense that something deep within him had changed, and things would never be quite as before.

“Good evening, Kaspian,” Heartlock said, greeting the boy in the hallway. “Is everything alright?”

“Yes, Sir,” he answered, dropping the small pile of string-tied books onto the hall table.

“Did you manage to get all I requested?”

“Yes, all of them apart from the Valentine book. Mr. Foxglove said he was sure he would have it by the end of the month.”

Mr. Foxglove was one of Heartlock’s oldest acquaintances. He ran a bookshop situated in one of Soho’s shadier alleyways. The sign above the door read,‘Rare and Precious Books’ which made it sound almost respectable. In truth, the great leather bound books of poetry and Shakespeare folios were a front for the back room; the place that held real interest for its rather darker clientele.

Although a small narrow front, the shop had a seemingly endless body, giving you the unnerving impression that you were being swallowed by a giant snake. Right at its tail was the occult section. Not only did Mr. Foxglove vendor occult books, but there were also shelves of other strange and curious objects that might appeal to the amateur alchemist or necromancer; glass jars of preserved reptiles, grinning skulls and black candles were amongst some of the more identifiable items.

Kaspian had visited Foxglove’s shop since being a small boy, and he was no longer quite so impressed by its spooky appearance or its owner. Before Doctor Heartlock had had his accident, they had always visited together. When he was little, Kaspian would search out his guardian’s hand and grip it tightly; afraid that the strange Mr. Foxglove might kidnap him and cook him for supper.

Mr. Foxglove had always been ancient; and so paradoxically didn’t seem to age anymore. He wore a glass-eye in his left socket, but as he’d shrunk with age, it had become too big for the socket and now bulged, giving the impression that the eye belonged more to an insect than a man. Even now Kaspian constantly had to remind himself not to be rude and stare at it because he found it totally captivating. Mr. Foxglove had long lost the ability to stride and now shuffled along the stone floor in a pair of velvet slippers. In all of his years visiting, Kaspian had never seen the man wear outdoor shoes.

The occult section of the shop had no windows: As if special precautions had been undertaken to prevent the books disintegrating in sunlight. Before the client entered, Foxglove would shuffle in to the darkness and light the dusty oil-lamps which filled the room with paraffin smoke and cast dancing shadows over the books. As a child, Doctor Heartlock had taken delight in teasing Kaspian about his fears surrounding the shop, telling him that the shadows belonged to the book goblins. Both men would laugh, and although he knew he was being mocked, Kaspian’s imagination refused to give up the idea – and even now, Kaspian found himself looking for the goblins out of the corner of his eye.  

Today, Foxglove had already bundled and tied the books and they were sitting on the counter ready for collection. Kaspian was grateful for this; not only did it save him time but it meant not having to visit backroom. The books had been a heavy load to carry and twice he had used them as an excuse to stop and rest; once in a coffee shop and once to spy on the strange woman who now haunted the edges of his thoughts.

 “Ah, well – patience is a virtue,” said Heartlock, snapping Kaspian out of his drifting daydream. Doctor Heartlock’s face flickered with disappointment.

 Heartlock started to cough, a reaction to the cool early winter air which Kaspian had brought in with him. Heartlock’s aging lungs squeezed and wheezed out breath. It was a sound as familiar now as the sound of his voice.

Heartlock recovered the pile of books from the side table and placed them into his lap before turning his wheelchair deftly one hundred and eighty degrees and wheeling himself back towards the study.

Kaspian let out a deep sigh. The sight of his patron becoming so immobile and decrepit added to the sense of heaviness Kaspian increasingly believed to be attached to the adult world. Even the house, his home since childhood, seemed to fade and peel on a daily basis, as if the whole place was a projection of its master’s state. The dust layer deepened, the gloom spread and Kaspian felt increasingly like he was suffocating.

When Heartlock had been a fit man, the house had been full of fascinating visitors; the sound of hearty laughter and tinkling whisky glasses filled the study, which was a hub of academic and scientific progress. It was amazing how quickly a life could decay. 

With each passing month, fewer visitors came. With their absence, there came an absence of cases for investigation and Heartlock faded into anonymity. No longer being an ‘expert in his field’ saddened the old man terribly, but his pride was too strong to admit it. Along with all of this, Kaspian couldn’t help but think he added to the old man’s disappointment.


So you thought King Arthur's Knights
 were just a legend?
A myth from the misty veils of time. 
But what if time doesn't work the way 
you think it does?
What if the magic never died?

  For seventeen year old Mina Singer, life is 
pretty average; college, friends, a slightly
 eccentric mother, and a long term relationship 
with the boy next door. 
But with the arrival of the mysterious Blake Beldevier, Mina learns that not not everything is as it seems and fairytale endings can be fatal. 

Book one, The Forest of Adventures can be bought from Amazon.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Fearsom Fun Fiction from Patti Larsen

by Patti Larsen

Little Red Riding Hood cocked the hammer on her .38 special and took aim at the pretty splotch of crimson painted on Wolf’s chest.

Granny left her the perfect target.

“I didn’t do it.” Like Red believed him. Still, her ingrained sense of fair play insisted she at least listen.

“My,” she rolled her eyes at him over the polished silver sight, “what huge lies you tell.”

Wolf let out a breath in a huff of steaming air. “All the better to… damn it. Stop that!”

“What do you expect me to think?” She gestured with the snubbed nose of her revolver. His paws traced through the handprint of blood on his chest, smearing it, adding to it. The thick stuff dripped from the tips of his claws as his heavy pink tongue swiped over his quivering snout.

“I found her like this.” Gutted. Leather jeans torn open at the waist, her favorite death metal t-shirt a gory mess. Red felt a tear well at the sight of Granny’s favorite pink bra.

“So you thought you’d just have a snack, is that it?” The trigger quivered under her eager finger. Better to kill him now then let him see her cry.

“No, I…” He looked back and forth between her and Granny. “I was trying to save her.”

No blood on his muzzle. Just his paws and chest. “Say I believe you. Who did?”

His furred shoulders slumped forward and for a moment she thought he would drop to all fours. Wolf held his posture, yellow eyes locked on Granny.

“You know who.”

It couldn’t be. Not after all these years. But the closer she looked, the more obvious it was. Not claw marks. Not fangs, either. The cuts were too clean, the slices made by human hands. Red felt her grip on the revolver slip as her heart skipped.

“You saw him?” She pinned Wolf with her stare as he finally looked up and met her eyes.

“Heard him.” He shuddered, like a dog shedding water. “Whack. Whack.” Tongue met snout again. “He was laughing.”

Red lowered the gun. She wanted to run away, terror making her knees weak, her stomach clench. She wasn’t ready to face him. Granny raised her on nightmare stories of her oldest foe.

Whack. That sound. Back in the alley. Red’s hand tightened on her gun. Wolf whimpered and huddled lower, fur vibrating as he shivered.

Whack. Something flashed in the dark and the lone street light went out.

Whack. Closer. And then it came, low and deep, humming to the core of her bones.

The laughter of The Huntsman.

Red drew a breath, caught a whiff of wood smoke and pine needles. Something heavy came down on her wrist. The bones powdered, gun falling to her feet. She ducked, the pain making her stagger. The air above her whooshed, her long blonde ponytail falling victim to the flash of his axe.

He laughed again. Red dropped and rolled, finally crying out as the bones in her wrist ground together. She felt the hot, wet pool beneath her soak through her jeans. Red dove over her grandmother’s body as the air rippled again, jumping away from the flutter of fabric as the keen blade removed the hood of her cloak.

Wolf whined like a puppy when his body stopped her from going further. His paws pushed against her, shoving her aside, as though her very touch would call up the wrath of The Huntsman.

Red fell on something hard as Wolf howled in agony, the hum of air cut short with a deep whack. Her unbroken left hand found what gouged her stomach. She pulled it free and rolled over onto her back, lifting Granny’s pink handled .357 Magnum as she did, putting three bullets into the darkness above her.

The silence was the worst sound she ever heard. Then, a groan. A clatter. Red shoved herself to the right, almost on top of Granny as he fell beside her, crashing to the pavement. Red choked on the dust and dirty air, hunting through Granny’s pockets in the dark, finding at last the smooth square she was looking for.

Red thumbed the top from the lighter and spun the ignitor. A thick flame leapt to life, casting wide shadows that danced against the darkness. Red squinted in the bright, her shaking hand moving away from her face, eyes blinking spots from her vision.

She flinched from the motionless pile of fur to her right and looked down. The Huntsman was dead. Had to be. On his face in the filth, Granny’s blood pool oozing between his parted lips. One eye stared at the ground with glassy intensity. Red found herself panting, hunched over her shattered wrist. She lashed out with one foot, a solid kick to the body. The Huntsman rocked from the blow, but didn’t respond.

Red fished a cigar from her dented silver case and lit one on the open flame. She leaned back, using Granny as her support, no change there, and took a deep drag.

“Burn in Hell, Grandpa.”


About the Author: Patti Larsen is a middle grade, young adult and adult author with a passion for the paranormal. Her YA thriller series, The Hunted, is available now. Books one and two of The Hayle Coven series, Family Magic and Witch Hunt are also out now, with the sequels, Demon Child and The Wild, due in December of this year. She is a full time writer and a part time teacher of her Get Your Book Done program. Patti lives on the East Coast of Canada with her very patient husband and four massive cats.

You can find her:

On her website
Her book blog 
On Twitter!/PattiLarsen
On and Goodreads

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

On the Eighth Day of Creepfest... I met Author, Kim Koning

Today I'd like to welcome dark paranormal fiction author Kim Koning! Welcome Kim! I see on your blog you mention that you ‘wrestle your muse’. What are your biggest challenges when it comes to writing?

K.K. One of my biggest challenges is to quieten the Muse...My Muse is constantly coming up with inspiration for new stories and usually just as I am working on one story. That is why I wrestle my muse...sometimes he wins and I start with a new story and then write 2 stories consecutively but other times I make a small note of the idea and then shelve in until I have more time to focus. My Muse never quietens down or leaves me searching for story lines...but sometimes a girl can only work on one story at a time. 

M.F. I hear you on that! I'm forever feeling like there are so many stories I want to write! I can't ever imagine being in a situation where I was stuck for a story! What are your views on the indie revolution? Why did you choose to go that way yourself?

K.K. Well I have always been super independent and like taking control of my own life and whatever path I choose to take. When I looked at the publishing industry and asked more experienced people some pointed questions I realised that the Indie route was definitely more my cuppa tea. I am not against the Big 6 in New York but I do resent that they seem so closed off to writers or stories that don't quite fit what they believe is marketable. I also think that readers don't care who published your book and guarantee you that if you had to ask them who published their favourite books, they would have to look it up. INdie - whether it be self-publishing or SmallPress puts the writer and the story at the foreground. The Indie route celebrates the creative side of the writer and helps them wade through the business side of getting their stories out there. For me, after looking at both options, there was no choice except Indie. One of my favourite sayings is: When writing the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen...So I choose the Indie route; holding my own pen and writing my own story, not allowing some antiquated gatekeeper to control my career or my creativity.

M.F. Great answer! I think the readers are appreciating being able to read different books as well. Just because a story isn't commercial, dosen't mean it's not good! What draws you to the genre of paranormal fiction?

K.K. I Love paranormal because you get to delve in the world beyond our world or one that is veiled within our world. I also see ghosts and have had quite a few encounters with them. My friends believe ghosts follow me around. But I think what we don't see in life with our physical eyes is so much more real than what we can see. Paranormal celebrates this. I also love Mythology and Paranormal fiction is the modern take on Mythology often creating or recycling ancient myths and legends and tales. How can you not be drawn to paranormal fiction would be my question.

M.F.  Wow, that's an interesting story in itself! My Nan used to see ghosts all the time as well! Are you working on any projects at the moment?

K.K. Yes - I am working on two trilogies.The Chaos Chasms: This is set in Victorian London and Modern deals with the veils between this world and the next, past revenges and regrets that haunt the present and Romany (Gypsy) spiritualism. The first book is complete and is out on submission. The other trilogy is a modern paranormal thriller about the hunt for a serial killer and how a young tattooist may hold all the secrets to both unveiling him and capturing him or succumbing to the darkness and empowering him. The choice lies with the tattooist. It is very dark trilogy but explores how even the most harmless has both light and dark within them, it is a choice that we choose - either darkness or light.

M.F.  Has anything scary every happened to you at Christmas?

K.K I can disappointingly say no...I would love a visit from Ghosts of Christmas Past and maybe even Ghosts of Christmas Future...I have read A Christmas Carol way too many times and I always thought it would be an interesting Christmas if something like that happened in reality one year. So joining up to Creepfest I get to fulfill a little of that wish...

M.F. Well if you see ghosts, that may well happen to you one day! How do you plan to spend Christmas day?

K.K. My mother is German so we open Christmas gifts on Christmas eve (the German way), so on Christmas Day I will be spending the day with family and friends at a friends' home for a delicious roast. Hoping the day is hot (I am in the Southern Hemisphere) and then we can take a stroll down to the beach and perhaps have a bonfire on the beach for that night. Either way it will be a good day. For the first time in 10 years I am also not working any of the festive season as this year I went full time for the first time I get to truly celebrate Christmas. I have been humming Christmas jingles all month long already.

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog for #Creepfest Marissa.
I enjoyed your interview.
Happy Creepfest and Merry Christmas!

You too, Kim! Thanks for stopping by! Kim is also giving away an ebook copy of this anthology on her blog "Wrestling the Muse" for Creepfest in a Creepmas Contest - so make sure you stop by! 
Open the gateway of darkness at:
I can be found Wrestling the Muse :
I can also be found on twitter @AuthorKimKoning
Like my facebook page here:
My first short story is available in this anthology along with 33 other great authors including The Neil Gaiman:

Monday, 19 December 2011

Sneaking into Day Seven of Creepfest with 'Monsters Unmasked' - a Zombie Novella with Heart.

For a while now I've described my genre as 'romantic horror'. When I read 'Monsters Unmasked' by Lori Whitwam, I thought, 'Yay! Another romantic horror author!'

'Monsters Unmasked' in set in the time of a zombie apocalypse, but the zombies aren't the only monsters in the book. The real monsters are the ones who are left behind--the men who take advantage of anything and anyone who might help them survive and prosper in this new world.

Right from the start of the novella, the author plunges the reader into a world of real life horror. Ellen Hale (the main character) first witnesses the brutal murder of her brother and is then kidnapped. She lives as a slave; sexually abused day after day. But finally she is rescued and taken to The Compound. Here she tries to rebuild her shattered self, though she fears she might become a monster herself. While during a battle to keep zombies out of The Compound, she meets the fearsome Quinn. He is a big, heavily tattooed brute, but he saves her life, and from here starts a touching relationship.

Unlike most zombie stories, 'Monsters Unmasked' is less about the zombies and more about the survivors. The zombies are described almost as an after thought. There are some parts during the attacks which are scary, but for the most part it's the other survivors who dish out the horror. The theme of no one being what they seem is continued throughout the book as social stereotypes are broken down in this new, terrifying world.

I really loved Quinn's character--I mean really loved his character! Who doesn't love a bad boy turned good? There were some parts where I didn't totally buy into Ellen. She made some snarly remarks at a time when I thought most people would be on the verge of killing themselves. Maybe this just showed her strength of character, but I think she might have been a bit too resilient considering what she goes through.

I read 'Monster Unmasked' in one sitting. I wish it was longer but this isn't a criticism of the book, but a compliment! I'd just gotten into Ellen's world and her relationship with Quinn when it all ended! The story is emotional, redemptive and sad. Anyone who has enjoyed 'The Walking Dead' will also enjoy 'Monsters Unmasked'.

Monsters Unmasked can be bought from Amazon for $2.99!

Lori spent her early years reading books in a tree in northern West Virginia. She currently lives in a northwestern suburb of the Twin Cities for reasons that escape her, but were probably good ones at the time.
Since arriving in Minnesota in 1996, she has worked in public libraries, written advertising copy for wastewater treatment equipment, and managed a holistic veterinary clinic.

Parents of a grown son, Lori and her husband were high school sweethearts, and he manages to love her in spite of herself. Some of his duties include making sure she always has fresh coffee and safe tires, trying to teach her to use coupons, and convincing the state police to spring her from house arrest in her hotel room in time for a very important concert. That last one only happened once – so far – but she still really, really appreciates it. 

Her full length romance novel, 'Make or Break' is also available to buy. You can find out more about Lori and   where to buy her books at her website.  

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Day Six of Creepfest! It's 6-6-6 for the Creeptacular Red Tash!

Today I'd like to welcome Red Tash! She's the author of the highly rated fantasy/mystery novel, 'This Brilliant Darkness' (and no, the title isn't just her bigging contents of the book!). She's answered a couple of Christmassy questions for me!

M.F. What's the worst present you've ever received?

R.T. The worst present I ever received was a Thighmaster-sorta gadget, from my first husband.  Yep, he didn't stay my husband for long after that.

M.F. Lol. I can understand why! What is your least favourite Christmas food?

R.T.  Eggnog is the worst!  Who invented that?

M.F. I can honestly say I've never tasted Eggnog. I guess I'm not missing out on much. Final question; what would you do if you woke up and actually found a fat man dressed in red at the end of your bed?

R.T.  If I woke up to find a fat man dressed in red at the bottom of my bed, I would ask my husband to please stop sleeping at the bottom of the bed!  ;)  Seriously, though, I am pretty sure Santa Claus does exist, so I think once I got over the initial shock, I'd probably grill him with questions and then beg him to let me fly away with him and his reindeer.

M.F. Of course Santa exists! Who else would I have been talking about? What are you trying to tell me... ;-)

If that's got you interested in the very lovely Red, you can find her at her blog, facebook page, or twitter.

This Brilliant Darkness is available to buy from Amazon .

When an ancient, troubled entity identifies quirky Christine Grace as his latest threat, all hell breaks loose in the urban forest of Indiana University's Dunn Woods. Will Christine piece together his destructive plan in time to save herself? And what exactly is going on with this peculiar star, Stella Mirabilis?

This fast-paced story moves quickly from character to character, through the headspace of not just Christine and the monster Greachin, but also to Tom, her devoted boyfriend, and Richard, an aging physicist interested in the time-traveling star overhead, and others. Along the way, singing street people, cosplaying environmental activists, and heaven-sent beings come to populate the unique cityscape of Bloomington, IN, where encountering the bizarre is an everyday experience.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Day Five of Creepfest! I'm giving away 100 copies of Alone!

Yes, you did read right! I'm giving away 100 copies of Alone over on my facebook page!

Here are the rules:

‎>>100 eBook Christmas Giveaway<<

To receive a FREE ecopy of my debut novel, ALONE, all you need to do is:

1) “Like” the Marissa Farrar Author's FB page
2) Enter your email addy *and* type of ereader in a comment on this status update
3) Click the “Share” option on this update and post it on your profile or FB business page ("share" is located next to the "like" and "comment" links under every FB update)
4) If you are worried about spam, please enter your address like this: marissafarrar at hotmail dot com.

To read a product description of the novel, please go to Amazon and search for the title, Alone by Marissa Farrar. 

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, 16 December 2011

For the Fourth Day of Creepfest... Welcome Annetta Ribken!

Hi Everyone! I hope you're all enjoying Creepfest and meeting lots of new authors. For today I have author Annetta Ribken.

M.F. don’t describe yourself as a horror writer though your novel, Athena’s Promise, contains monsters and your short story collection is described as being escorted ‘deep into twisted, cobwebby parts of the characters minds’. So how would you describe your writing?

A.R.  Not Nice and Other Understatements does contain stories which could be considered horror, but there are also literary stories, fantasy stories, even a romance of sorts. Athena's Promise is urban fantasy (or paranormal fantasy), but my opinion is a good writer transcends genre. I think labels are more for marketing purposes than anything else. For some reason I have an aversion to being pigeonholed into a certain genre, because I don't want to be limited. I guess if I had to choose a specific label, it would be "speculative fiction" just to keep my options open.

M.F. I see you offer editing services as well as your books. What do you think makes a good editor?

A.R. I'm a content editor, which means I evaluate a piece for story arc, characterization, plot, and narrative flow. A good editor understands the structure of a story; is able to put ego aside completely; exhibits an extraordinary attention to detail and is able to suggest changes or improvements which enhance and strengthen the story the writer wants to tell without changing the "voice". You have to be able to see the big picture as well as the component parts which makes it work.  A good editor also has to understand her client and how they work, which means you have to be empathetic and flexible. I absolutely love my job.

M.F.  What do you make of the whole ‘indie’ revolution?

A.R.  I think it's an exciting time for both readers and writers. As a writer, we now have more options than ever, but that doesn't mean the road to success is any easier. It still takes persistence, marketing savvy, a whole lot of work, and did I say persistence? In my opinion, it's not an either/or proposition as far as legacy publishing vs. indie and every writer has their own path – you have to choose the one which works best for you, and only the writer can determine that. You need to be open-minded and you also need to educate yourself on the changes which seem to happen at a light-speed pace.

M.F.  And now for some more Christmassy questions... What’s the worst present you’ve ever received?

A.R.  Is there such a thing as a "bad" present? Heh. Wrap it up and put a bow on it and it's all good – it's the thought behind the gift that matters, not so much what's in it.

M.F.  Are there any Christmas movies that freak you out?

A.R.  Not really. I try to stay away from tear-jerkers. My favourite Christmas movies are the Blade Trilogy, A Nightmare Before Christmas and Rocky Horror Picture Show. Not traditional Christmas movies, but I'm not a big fan of the holiday anyway.

M.F.  How do you normally spend Christmas day? Does your family have any weird traditions?

A.R.  Since my kids are grown and gone and my mom has passed, Christmas is very quiet. I usually treat it like just another day, but my BFF doesn't let me get away with that. She drags me out in my Grinch t-shirt for dinner, and I have a good time in spite of myself. I'm on the phone with my kids, but the day is typically very low-key.
The only weird tradition I can think of that we still practice today is everybody has to have new pajamas for Christmas Eve and a new toothbrush for Christmas Day. Because, you know, dental health is always important. Heh.
To find out more, you can find "Athena's Promise" at Amazon and Smashwords. You can also visit Annetta's blog through the 12 Days of Creepfest to win an e-copy, or visit her giveaway on GoodReads for an autographed print copy.
"No matter what it takes."
As the front desk manager of a hotel on the edge of Zombietown, Pallas is used to dealing with angry centaurs, surly trolls, and zombie housekeepers. The trouble really starts when one of her guests ends up dead. But that's not her only problem.
A cop with an attitude – can he be trusted to be more than just a pain in her ass or does he have a more sinister agenda?
A new Guest Services Manager, out for her job and ready to sacrifice anyone in his way – what does he really want?
The attractive maintenance guy, endangering the promise she made out of necessity to the Goddess Athena – does he know more than he's telling?
A mermaid diva, whose show at the Sparkling Butterfly must go on – or else.
Pallas needs to find the killer, and fast, or she'll lose her job, her home, and the ragtag family she's adopted out of her crew of "critters".

In the course of the investigation Pallas uncovers connections to a nasty Oddities dealer deep in the heart of Zombietown, forcing her to expose a trauma from her past which could threaten her future. With everyone and everything she loves in danger, the promise made to the Goddess Athena may well damn her if she breaks it, but she is bound and determined to save her friends, her home, and everything she's built.
No matter what it takes.
Author bio: Annetta has been writing since words were carved on stone tablets with chisels. Not only does she write her own words, Annetta is also an accomplished editor. She lives just outside of St. Louis with her evil feline overlord, a rescued shelter cat named Athena.
Stalk Annetta here:

Thursday, 15 December 2011

And for the 3rd day of Creepfest meet Zombie-fanatic, Stant Litore!

Zombies are hot stuff at the moment. Where for the last couple of years, vampires have been all the rage,  zombies are definitely taking over! One person who has loved zombies for years before they became fashionable (if such a thing is possible!) is the author Stant Litore! He's here today for the 3rd day of Creepfest to share some of the love!!!

M.F.  Hi Stant! Clearly, you have a love for Zombies. Where did this love start?

S.L. It started when I first saw Night of the Living Dead as a teenager. The dead closing in on the house, pulling one woman out through the window and feeding on her in an unholy communion … it was, well not love, but something at first sight, that’s certain! I actually have a terrible fear of zombies. My wife and I watched the Dawn of the Dead remake while we were dating, and I fetched a stout wood-ax and placed it by my armchair. Much to my good fortune, my future wife was more amused than alarmed by that.

M.F.  What are your favourite zombie books or movies? 

S.L.  Night of the Living Dead, definitely. Books: World War Z by Max Brooks and Valley of the Dead by Kim Paffenroth are the best of the best. Paffenroth actually has the gall … and the panache … to rewrite Dante’s Inferno, in a novel in which Dante as an exile is inspired for his future poem by his travels through an infested land in Eastern Europe. The story is poignant, poetic, brutal, and stays with you – demandingly – after you close the book or power down your Kindle.

M.F.  If a zombie apocalypse were to happen this Xmas, how would you survive?

S.L.  Probably not. I have a wife and two daughters, and it is very likely that I would perish defending them. In any case, I think my survival likelihood is a bit low. That said, I don’t give up. I don’t think I’ve ever given up on anything that mattered to me. And I know a few things about taking out zombies. I’ve done my research. Just think the likelihood is low.

If the apocalypse happened fast, I suppose I’d relocate my family to whatever nearby facility I could fight or persuade my way into, and hunker down a bit. If slow, well, it’s a long road to Canada, but I always did appreciate a pretty drive.

M.F.  Tell me a bit about your novels and where we can buy them!

S.L.  Oh, you will love The Zombie Bible. Think zombies. In the Old Testament. Or in second-century Rome. Think of ancient cultures struggling not only to survive but redefine what life means, what justice means, what it means to have hope in a world defined by its hunger. That’s a kind of story that can speak really powerfully to the world we find ourselves striving in and surviving in.

You can get the first two for your Kindle or your Nook. As I write this, the first volume, Death Has Come Up into Our Windows, is the #11 bestselling horror story on the Kindle, and it is worth a read. It will mark you.



I hope you take a moment to check them out, and if you like them, I hope you’ll drop me a line over at

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Day 2 of Creepfest! Meet author, Ruth Barrett!

Today I would like to welcome the very lovely Ruth Barrett! Ruth is the author of the novel 'Base Spirits', a traditional ghost story set in an old Yorkshire house. I was most impressed to learn that Ruth studied acting at the London Academy of Music and Drama (LAMDA). She's now turned her hand to writing, though her book contains influences from her love of the theatre.

M.F. Hi Ruth, can you tell us all what inspired 'Base Spirits'? 

R.B. I was in a Jacobean play-- 'A Yorkshire Tragedy'-- based on the true story of a nobleman murdering his family. I had a chance to visit Yorkshire during the rehearsal period, discovered Calverley Old Hall where the tragedy took place, and was given a tour and a book by a local historian. I found it creepy/cool that you can actually rent the Hall for vacations... and there are a few ghost stories about the place. I just thought it would make a great novel.

M.F.  I love novels that are based on fact! Have you been writing for long and do you have any current WIPs?

R.B. I've always written stories ever since I was a child. I've published a number of short stories over the years, and am working on and off on a few projects including a novel about a Victorian revenant and a character-driven mystery series with a dark comic twist.

M.F. What are your thoughts about the recent trend for authors to 'go indie'.

R.B. It's the Wild West at this stage. A lot of people are jumping in and tossing undercooked work up onto the websites before honing their manuscripts or having them properly edited. Your name is on that book-- surely you owe it to yourself and your readers to present it in its best form! A lot of others are seeing this as a way to get their writing out and find an audience instead of waiting for a publisher's gatekeeper to decide what is read. In the end, the serious folks with good books will find a good readership base with a slow steady effort, and the ones who are hoping to cash in and become overnight millionaires will give up. Overall, it's very positive for serious writers who are frustrated with the traditional process. I also find that indie authors are a friendly, supportive bunch and that is always encouraging!

M.F. I totally agree. Too many people are commiting career suicide by putting out work that hasn't been through an editor. Unfortuntely, it's authors doing that that gives the rest of us a bad name! Your novel is a traditional ghost story - have you ever experienced a Christmas Spirit (or ghost of any kind!) 

R.B  Not a Christmas ghost, but yes... there have been a few incidents over the years ranging from an 'icky' feeling that something is in the room with me to actual sightings of full figures. 

M.F. Ooh.. that sounds like a story I'd like to hear more of!  What are you plans for this Christmas?

R.B. A few local parties with friends, and a quiet Christmas Eve in with my dashing and delightful male companion...!

M.F. Merry Christmas Ruth, and thanks for stopping by!

Head over to her blog Spirited Words to find out a bit more about Ruth and her work. Her novel, 'Base Spirits' is also available to buy from Amazon for $2.99.

In 1605, Sir Walter Calverley’s murderous rampage leaves a family shattered. The killer suffers a torturous execution… but is it truly the end? A noble Yorkshire house stands forever tarnished by blood and possessed by anguished spirits.

Some crimes are so horrific, they reverberate through the centuries. 

As an unhappy modern couple vacation in the guesthouse at Calverley Old Hall, playwright Clara, and her scholar husband, Scott, unwittingly awaken a dark history. Clara is trapped and forced back in time to bear witness to a family’s bloody saga. Overtaken by the malevolent echoes, Scott is pushed over the edge from possessive husband to wholly possessed…

Inspired by a true-life drama in Shakespeare’s day, this is itself a play within a play: a supernatural thriller with a historical core. 

Only one player can survive.