Posted in cover art, Revenants Abroad, self-publishing, Vampires, writing

Revenants Abroad – Cover Art

Revenants Abroad - Final for Web Display 501x800

The fabulous, amazing cover, created by the incredibly talented and apparently psychic Jason Juta. He nailed it, this is just perfect, exactly what I wanted. I can’t thank Jason enough. It exceeds my wildest expectations and even for me helps give life to the characters. If all goes according to plan (haha) the book should release on or about October 31. So fitting.

I’m going to publish through Smashwords, so it will be available in a variety of formats for pretty much any device you have.

Posted in books, fantasy, Publishing, science fiction, Vampires, writing

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

The lovely and darkly delicious Anne Michaud has tagged me for a fun blog hop, to talk a little about current WIP. She in her turn was tagged by Linda Bloodworth.

So here are The Roolz:

Use this format for your post
. Include an introduction to your interview post and a link to the person who tagged you for participation.
 Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress). Include some pictures if possible.
Tag five other writers/bloggers by sending them an email and then add their links to the end of your interview post.Their answers should go up the week after.

Your blog post would need to be up between the 22 Oct – 26 Oct . If you are on She Writes you put the post up there, too. Your Blog post will be labelled:
 The Next Big Thing Blog Tag.

1. What is the working title of your book?

2. Where did the idea come from for the book? A song by HIM :::batting eyes coquettishly in the general direction of Helsinki:::

3. What genre does your book fall under? — Hard to say. It’s paranormal/urban fantasy, but in a sense it’s also sci-fi, it’s set in the future.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? I don’t know yet. Some characters are inspired by actors, others by musicians, others by no one. Not saying who’s who in the few photos I’ve added. They simply inspired characters in the story. There’s a key character that I haven’t even got a human role model in mind for. Yet. Honestly I think I’d prefer a bunch of unknowns to be cast in it.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Ultimately it’s about wanting something you can’t have and making the best of the results of imperfect choices.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I hope to find an agent…

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Hahaha! What year is this? I’m like the Energizer Bunny, still going on it!

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Honestly I have no idea.

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book? The song I mentioned in Q2.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Vampires. Humor. Murder. Demons. Prague. Organized crime. Seduction.

And here is where I break the rules! I’m such an anarchist. I’m not going to tag anyone in this, because in the past I rarely get anyone playing along. HOWEVER COMMA if you want to join in let me know and I will add your name and a link to your blog to this post.

Posted in dollhouses, miniatures, Vampires, writing

I have to see if Andrej would approve…

But this is the direction I’m thinking of going with the dollhouse:

This is the Bennett house, from brinca dada.  Go check them out and look at all the different views. It’s what I imagine Frank Lloyd Wright would have done if he’d done dollhouses. Unfortunately, it’s not the 1:12 scale that the sofa and chair are that I already have. The houses from brinca dada are 3/4 scale (1:16), so a smidge small for the furniture, which is 1:12, or 1″. The 3/4 scale is an uncommon size, and as I’ve discovered also difficult to furnish. You can see more about dollhouse scale here if you’re interested. Most furniture in that size apparently has to be custom made. But this is definitely more the style I’m going for, rather than the Victorian farmhouse which is so prevalent. Somehow I doubt I’ll be able to find a replica of a Czech building with a pretty red-tiled roof unless I make one, and it may yet come to that… not that I have the vaguest idea how to go about that.

Here are stunning Thorne Miniature Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago. I nearly hyperventilated when I saw the ‘California Hallway’ (click on “Featured Works” and it’s second one down on the right). I’m still trying not to fall out of my chair. Go. See. When you can pick yourself up off the floor, Report Back. I think I’m having an out-of-body experience. Four pages of “American Rooms” and don’t miss the Asian rooms.

Gratuitous picture of Prague:

Posted in fantasy, Holidays, horror, movies, photography, Tarot, Vampires, writing

Prague in Winter

Ok, I’m still screwing around, not writing, but I had to share this. My Prague obsession is fully in place and getting a boost from this. Karen Mahoney of Baba Studio and Magic Realist Press in Prague, creators of the Bohemian Gothic Tarot, Victorian Romantic Tarot, Bohemian Cats Tarot, etc.,  posted this on their Facebook page, and I just had to share it with you guys. Karen thinks the videographer paid more attention to the Christmas market in Old Town than a native would have, but what do I care? I’m not a native, I’ll look at anything Prague-related.  Is it too early for Christmas-y stuff? Tough noogies. The final view out the window at the river is kind of what I envision Andrej, the MC in my vampire novel, seeing when he looks out his apartment window.

Posted in horror, Vampires, writing

Around the World in Ossuaries

:::Dons smoking jacket, sits in overstuffed chair looking pompous and important with unlighted pipe because I don’t actually smoke:::

Today, I’d like to talk about ossuaries.

What’s an ossuary? you ask. And well you might. An ossuary is a some kind of container or building used to store the bones of the deceased. Sometimes it’s one person, sometimes it’s thousands, tens of thousands, or more. Why? you ask. Well, for one thing, it takes up a lot less room than separate graves for each person. Something tells me this may yet become a fad in the future.

Probably one of the best known is in the basement the Church of the Bones (actually it’s the Church of All Saints) in Sedlec, outside of Prague in Czech Republic. I’m featuring this one first because I’m obsessed with Prague.  Anyway, this is undoubtedly one of the most dramatic, boasting a chandelier made up of every single bone in the human body, and clearly using more than one body. Garlands of skulls are draped from the ceiling (I really need one of those for my Halloween decoration collection…) and four massive piles occupy each of the four corners of the chapel (much larger than the little towers pictured below). This one gets a mention in my vampire novel (SURPRISE!)

It may seem grisly to us, but back in the day people weren’t so squeamish about death, probably because they saw a lot more of it. Young people, healthy people, could be taken quite suddenly. The chapel is estimated to contain between 40,000 – 70,000 skeletons, many of whom were victims of the Black Death. Considering what it’s made out of, I think it’s pretty artistic.

Another well-known ossuary resides in Rome, at Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, or Our Lady of the Conception of the Capuchins. It holds the remains of 4,000 friars who died during 1500 – 1870. The Marquis de Sade even visited this one.

These folks had a flair for the theatrical, I’d say. This one is said to have been the inspiration for the Sedlec ossuary. There’s a plaque inside that says “What you are now, we once were; what we are now, you shall be.” Indeed, memento mori (Remember you are mortal).

Moving on to Poland, we find the Skull Chapel in Czermna. This is a more recent building, dating to 1776, and is located  in  Kudowa-Zdrój, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland. It contains 3000 skulls, and the remains of another 21,000 or so. These people were casualties of wars (the Thirty Years War) and three Silesian wars, as well as cholera epidemic victims, and victims of hunger.

Another enormous one, although it doesn’t display the mortal remains of those interred there, is located at the site of the battle of Verdun (21 February 1916 – December 1916), the Douaumont Ossuaire. It contains the remains of 130,000 unidentified French and German soldiers who fell during this battle that wore on for 300 days and nights. Staggering. The official Web site is here. I can’t find any public domain photos so please visit the links.

One that seems to be unique in that the skulls are elaborately painted, the Karner Bone House (Beinhaus) is located in Hallstatt, Austria. The later additions were decorated even more gaily than the earliest residents.

Yet another type of bone display was used by ancient Mesoamericans, although it was used to hang the skulls of captives and sacrificial victims, known as a tzompantli (from the ancient Aztec language). I think it was the Incans who actually kept the corpses of dead family members, but I haven’t been able to confirm that. I saw a tv program about it many years ago, but can’t find anything online with a quick search.

There are also ossuaries in Spain, the Osario de Santa Maria de Wamba, another in Italy at San Bernadino alle Ossa in Milan, the Capela dos Ossos in Évora, Portugal, a smaller one in Zdislavice, Czech Republic, and the Monastery of San Francisco in Lima, Peru.

Posted in books, photography

Prague’s Off-Limits Baroque Library

Talk about your book porn! Gaze on this:

The man in the photo is Jeffrey Martin and the camera you see behind him was used to take nearly 3000 shots in this room over the course of five days, which were then assembled into a 360º panoramic view of the inside of this library, the Strahov monastery library. The whole shebang weighs in (if pixels can be said to weigh anything) at 283 GB! When he left at night he left the camera there, all set up, saying for once his camera was the least valuable thing in the room. That can only begin to hint at what’s housed here. To say ‘rare books’ is a gross oversimplification. If I get busted for putting the photo up, it’ll go away, but go read the article on and check out a few more photos, along with a link to the final, clickable, zoomable product.

Posted in writing

600 Years of the Clocktower in Prague

Anything Prague is on my radar these days, as most of you know, but you ALL need to see this mind-blowing artform. Click the text or the photo to go to’s site with the video. It’s about nine minutes long and there is sound.


It’s called video mapping. Macula’s site is unfortunately all in Czech, but here’s the Google translation of their “About” page:

The macula is a project dealing with the relationship between image, sound
and audience. Trying to find new approaches to longer Business as usual
and exploring further possibilities. The goal is to find the maximum symbiosis
and satisfy the audiovisual nihilism. Video mapping is a completely new
style based on the visual arts sector VJing. This is a overlap beyond the 2D projection screen has been insufficient
and the subsequent efforts of the new concept led to the discovery of the projections
free space on any of the objects.

Video mapping using current technology available in the entertainment
industry, a whole new way. The main contents are the projections
to cooperate with the selected object and try to break the perception
perspective of the viewer. With the projector can fold and stress
any shape, line or space. Evocative play of light on the physical
object creates a new dimension and changing the view of the seemingly “normal thing”.
Everything becomes an illusion.

Now, go, watch, and when you can pick your jaw up off the floor, report back! 🙂