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Metallica of Horror

Writers know that music is one hell of a muse. Music, good music, fuels performance just as much as bad music can completely drain the gas tank. Of course, good and bad are subjective. The key is finding that melodic combination that moves you, pumps you up, and pushes you towards your goal.

Music also helps create a sort of frame or backdrop to any creative project. Though I write on occasion, I spend most of my creative energy putting the magazine and anthologies together. There’s a lot that goes on during the process, but each time I have music playing, and the interesting thing is that the band or sound that I listen to during a project definitely helps shape it all.

Deadman’s Tome March to the Grave



March to the Grave is the Horrors of War issue of Deadman’s Tome, and a tribute to veterans everywhere. This issue does not glorify war, but doesn’t protest it either. Like Metallica’s Master of Puppets, this issue paints war as a ruthless machine that destroys lives, shatters families, and demoralizes those that survive. It just so happens that Metallica was heavy on my playlist during the development of this anthology. Metallica with a dash of Slayer.

Monsters Exist


Monster’s Exist came together alongside March to the Grave and heavily benefited from a group effort that expanded over two months. Every author wrote his or her story from the ground-up based around a particular urban legend. Metallica and Slayer played heavily in May, fueling March to the Grave, but in June I was all about the raw, hi gain sound of bands like Kyuss, Dozer, and The Truck Fighters.

Real American Horror


The strong contrast of black, white, and red of a neglected barn out in the middle of nowhere screams Slipknot. Which would make sense, because during development of this anthology it just so happens that my baby girl would NOT go to sleep to anything other than Slipknot’s Psychosocial. I’m not even joking. My daughter would only seem to fall asleep to Slayer and Slipknot. Nothing else would do, and Psychosocial was the song that would sooth her to sleep.

I wonder how this transposes to the reader, though. Because as you read through the stories, I’d imagine you would have your own playlist playing. Maybe you read Real American Horror while listening to classic rock, maybe you read Monsters Exist while listening to some serious gangster rap. I don’t know, but I would like to.

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Why Get Political?

Some publishers say they want nothing to do with Trump supporters and republicans because they’re racist, sexists, and other labels when they don’t even know the individuals. They’re generalizing and operating on a prejudice based on stereotypes. That’s bigotry, right?  Sure, the publishers are free to discriminate on political leanings, but is that even a smart idea? Is that a good idea? Why politicize what does not need to be politicize?

I have worked with a lot of authors. I’ve also spoken with a lot of the authors I worked with through the podcast. I’ve spoken with conservative leaning guests, liberal minded guests, progressive types, and feminists. We do not agree on everything, and nor would I ever expect that. But I tell you what I’m not going to do. I’m not going to just dismiss them because of a difference in opinion. The best proof of this is the chemistry between Marchese and myself.

For those that listened to the Deadman’s Tome podcast regularly, you might have noticed episodes where Marchese and I really dig into a topic, seem almost divisive. Now, sometimes it’s played up and I think listeners can tell, but other times it’s real. For example, the Walking Dead discussion was played up, whereas the idea that traditional publishers are THE gatekeepers of quality was not. Has Marchese been to a book store lately? There’s drivel everywhere and guess who published it?

Even though Marchese and I go at it and have different opinions, I’m not going to just kick him off the show. I embrace the dynamic. I enjoy the back and forth. It builds perspective.

There have been times where political topics come up and we’ve made jokes about Trump, Hillary, and whatever, but that’s to have fun with the material. Why? Because politics without a humorous filter is way too depressing. Besides, Deadman’s Tome isn’t about politics, it’s about entertainment. That’s why Deadman’s Tome doesn’t discriminate against republicans, liberals, progressives, or whatever. We don’t care what you’re leaning is.

Is that wrong?


Listen to the Deadman’s Tome podcast

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Best of 2017!

We’re approaching the end of 2017, and that means it’s time for a popularity contest. Now, remember that his is all in good fun. I personally will sit out on this vote as I enjoy every story in this collection, but please don’t follow my example. Spread the link out to as many people as possible. What does the winner get? C’mon, shouldn’t the reception be the prize? How about some beer money? $20 bucks (PayPal) and a certificate

We’re running the polls on patreon. Now, I know patreon recently tried to screw us by proposing an increase in fees. They were seriously going to charge patrons a fee! What were they thinking? Well, Patron cucked to the pressure and ate crow. None of that matters though, because while you do need have a patreon account you DO NOT NEED to be a patron to vote!

Vote for Best story in Monsters Exist

Vote for Best story in The Ancient Ones

Vote for Best story in Cthulhu Christmas Special



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Lonely Zika – RD Cervo

Available Now


5:00 AM



Favela is the word for slum in Portuguese. Rocinha is one of worst shithole favelas in Brazil. Tom is a young yuppie white guy from richie-rich Connecticut, stuck in a hovel located way back in the maze of trash-filled alley ways. His twenty-five thousand dollar Patek Phillippe gold watch has been stripped off his wrist. They even took his shoes and socks. Tom’s white dress shirt is soaked with sweat and plastered to his body. Blots of red stain his collar and right sleeve.

I-I- didn’t hit her!” Tom stutters with fright. “I don’t know what happened!”

In the corner of the plaster-cracked room, a young Brazilian girl, dressed in a hot pink thong and a Bikini top, is sobbing uncontrollably. She cups her trembling hands in an attempt to catch the stream of blood pouring from her fractured nose.

An old, dark skinned pimp, flashes his crooked gold capped teeth and says, “Senhor Americano, you have been quite drunk! Very wild and angry. Such bad manners. You passed out for some time. Now you’re awake again.”

Last month, Tom finished a fancy thirty-day rehab program in Malibu for alcohol and cocaine addiction. He thought he was “cured.” His relapse started yesterday with a single mojito at a hotel bar in Rio. From there, one drink led to another. And another. Next on the agenda was club hopping and finding a jovial cab driver with connections to score primo blow. More rum. More tequila. After smoking a whole Bazooka of powder, Tom rocketed to a manic high. All caution was blown to the wind, when he found himself being dropped off in the middle of the night on a street corner in Rocinha. The little girl with the long black hair, dressed in the thong and Bikini top had waved at the cab.

In the present moment, Tom runs his hands through his sticky, messed-up hair. He says, “Whatever happened, I didn’t mean it!” How much more money do you want?” Automatically, Tom reaches in the back pocket of his wrinkled beige trousers but of course his wallet is gone.

The pimp sighs with mock pity, “Sorry Senhor, there is nothing left.”

Tom then notices his wedding ring is missing. He curses under his breathe, “I’m so fucked.”

Yes, you are” the pimp says. His dark eyes are piercing and full of hate. Tom notices that the pimp has multiple gnarled scars on his hands and forearms. They are old wounds from past knife fights and brawls. The top of his left ear is missing from being grazed by a bullet. Unknown to Tom, the pimp has an Astra .380 hidden under his guayabera along with a pearl handled switch blade with a chipped point.

Tom feels his heart pounding in his chest, not fueled by coke but by dread. “I really didn’t mean to hurt the girl! Please believe me! I’ve sobered up. I’m straight right now!”

The pimp balks, “Please meu amigo, I care nothing of the menina. Whores are like mosquitos in this country. They’re everywhere.”

Using an almost kid’s voice, Tom pleads, “Okay then, may I leave.” Tom just turned 30. He is tall with pretty-boy features. His striking blue eyes have conned many females and gullible family members. He has an extensive resume of being spoiled and enabled.

There is a tense pause.

The pimp then says, “I’m sorry, but, no.”

No?!” Tom panics. “What do mean by no?”

Well, there is a bit of a problem.”


Yes, I am sorry to say.”

What problem!?” Tom suddenly flashes with anger. “Do you know how much money that ring and watch is worth?” He points at the crying young girl, “If you pawn that jewelry, that slut can get a nose job, implants and be set with Brazilian waxes for life!”

The pimp waves a scolding finger at the American and responds, “It is not about the money. It is about respect.”

Yea, right!” Tom shouts. “How respectful is it for you people to live in such a dump!”

If you mock the poor you will be cursed.” The pimp says.

Whatever!” Tom barks. “What do you really want?”

Nothing.” replies the pimp. “It’s not me. But the girl’s cousin. He needs to defend her honor.”

Tom experiences a swirling mix of frustration and fright. “Okay, well tell him if he gets me safely back to the hotel, I’ll go to the ATM and make it all worth his while! I promise! Comprendo?”

At that moment, the door to the small dank room opens and a young Brazilian teenager wearing a soccer jersey, shorts and flip-flops quietly steps in.

The pimp asks Tom in a toying manner, “Did you every hear of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?”

Tom is perplexed and responds, “No? What the fuck are you talking about?”

In the next second, the teenager shoots in on Tom with a low tackle. Tom tries to defend himself with a sloppy haymaker but is instantly taken off his feet. He finds himself on his back with the boy sitting on his chest. A flurry of open-palmed strikes rains down on Tom’s head. Instantly, Tom screeches and turns over onto his stomach trying to avoid being bitch-slapped in the face.

The pimp laughs maliciously and calls out, “Hey, Gringo did you ever hear of Mata Leao. It means “lion killer” in Portuguese!”

The teenage boy slips in the rear-naked choke from behind while in low tight straddle on his victim’s back. A vice-like pressure instantly starts to bilaterally constrict Tom’s carotid arteries. Tom experiences the helpless and horrifying sensation of being choked-out in a sleeper-hold. Mercy is not allowed. There is no tap-out. Force is placed on Tom’s cervical vertebrae while being strangled. All he manages to do is to gurgle. Tom wants to screams. In his mind he cries, FUCK!!! HELLLLP!!!! Tom then starts to have anoxia to the brain. Things are getting fuzzy quickly. Then blackness. As Tom goes unconscious, his bladder empties. Next, his bowels. There is a sputtering sound as the seat of his beige trousers darken with a torrent of diarrhea.

The full story of Lonely Zika available in Real American Horror

Real American Horror is like Slayer’s Skeletons of Society mixed with Slipknots Psychosocial, but with bit of soulful B.B. King in the middle. The stories in this collection touch on real horror, real life grit of American life.

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Woman Hit Four Times in a Row!

As dumb kid that thought he knew everything, I didn’t listen to my parents on many things, but I remember vividly to look both ways before crossing the road. Hell, my folks were so effective in teaching this little piece of advice that it’s practically ingrained in me. To this day, I still look both ways even at a one-way, which isn’t as dumb as looking both ways at a intersections with a dead-end.

This lady, however, missed that important lesson and crossed the road to get hit not once, not twice, but four fucking times! The first driver must’ve floored her so hard that the consecutive second, third, and forth thought she was a road bump. The universe wanted her dead. Horrible to say, right? Don’t blame the victim, right? But we’re talking about four fucking cars. There’s no coincidence with those odds. One car is an accident. Two cars is a brutal accident. Three cars is shit luck, but four cars is the universe giving you the finger. Maybe this was a hit job, I don’t know. Maybe the mob wanted her deader than dead because of she ratted someone out. Maybe this was all planned out because she’s the village homewrecker, or maybe she’s just too dumb to remember a lesson as simple as look both fucking ways!

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Frauds Among Us

Reprints. Many magazine and anthologies avoid these like a five dollar hooker with a nasty cough. But what exactly is a reprint, and do publishers even check?

First off, a reprint is any story that has been previously printed elsewhere. In lay man’s terms that means it’s secondhand. In perverts terms that means it ain’t a virgin. Publishers want that virgin piece, that never before read, never before printed work because that’s how they make their money. They want something that others haven’t used before, something fresh.

Now, Deadman’s Tome has been rather cool about reprints. In the digital age, while the same story might be published there, it could also be published here and meet a new audience, or even bring in a bit of crossover. But, some publishers don’t share that approach.

Yet, some times a reprint is submitted as fresh, original content, like a donut shop selling day old glaze as made same day fresh. Criminal, right?

There are authors out there, some I know, some I don’t know very well, and some you know better than me that reuse the same old story over and over again without a care. It’s the con, fraud mentality. It’s the psychology that breaks down what exactly is a reprint and what if a new title is placed on it, what if names are changed, or what if the characters have a gender swap? Is that still a reprint? Is that a brand new story? Does that count? While I’ll entertain the semantic game for a while, it boils down to no. A hard fucking no.

How could it possibly yes? Imagine if Stephen King just changed the names in IT and sold it to a publisher as original? What If Anne Rice gave every one in Interview with the Vampire gender reassignment surgery and submitted it to a rival publisher? What if she did so under a different name? No. It would be bullshit and any publisher that looks for it would throw her out like a damn fraud.

Well, guess what? There are frauds among us. I normally don’t screen for reprints in a  rigorous way, or in anyway at all for that matter, but for publishers that do, listen up. There are authors circulating around that are passing around sloppy seconds, thirds, and fourths as brand new never before used pieces. Be careful.

Some authors might read this and feel like I’m just pissing in their Lucky Charms. Well, I’m not. Unless you meet this criteria. Which, if you do, then you deserve it. It’s lying. It’s dishonest, and adds unnecessary clutter in an already very competitive market.



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Secret to Advertising

You found this because you’re looking for a secret. Not just any secret, but that one particular secret that will launch your blog, vlog, book, or what have you into the stratosphere of popularity. I understand. Who wouldn’t want their creation to be the next fidget spinner, the next must have item. Maybe you’ve already tried advise from pay-to-play blogs, sought help from Fiverr gigs, followed the tips of costly strategists, or maybe you haven’t tried anything at all. No matter. Those that have experience in marketing and advertising will attest to what I’m about to reveal.

One of the best pieces of advertising advice I can give you is don’t pay for banner ads. Just do not do it. They’re an absolute waste. Anyone that tells you different is telling you what you want to hear so that they will make a dine. Ask yourself this, have you EVER, EVER in your life clicked on a banner ad? Seriously? Maybe you fell for it a nifty ad once of twice, but internet savvy people aren’t duped by banner ads, and that’s assuming they don’t have ad-blocker.

Why do I say this? First off, from experience. I have made the mistake of forking over a lot, and I mean a lot of money to banner ads on various popular websites and it did not result in even a little blip. On Monsters Exist, I got cocky and ignored my better instincts and went full throttle on stupid and bought ad spaces on big name websites. You know what that got me in return? A hole that I’m digging my way out of! Other projects have done just fine without that expensive ad tab, and to market them I use social media and word of mouth. Monsters Exist might’ve earned more than He’s Risen, but at least He’s Risen actually returned a profit. Hell, even Horrgams returned a profit and that anthology was shadow banned on Amazon for the longest.

Secondly, sit and really think about this for a minute. Who is actively searching for a banner ad? Who is actually looking at banner ads? Most people that see a banner ad avoid it like sloppy second on a five dollar hooker. No one is clicking, and those that do bounce faster than Mexcans at a Home Depot when police show up.  Even worse, most people are using their phones to do most, if not all of their browsing. iPhones, Androids, whatever you have are like mini-computers in your hand. The only time someone gets on a computer is for actual work, serious writing, applying for college, or gaming, though even that is changing.

Third, some places require that you buy a banner ad so that you’ll get other “things”. Some sites, some big name horror sites, require you to purchase a month of ad space before they’ll even consider reviewing your work or offering an interview. Why? to show that you’re serious or to so that you’ll help them stay afloat on a system that doesn’t work? If banner ads were effective, there would be a natural incentive to buy ads, especially repeat customers, but they do not work. Instead, they have to require that you give them some money so they can keep their shit afloat. That screams scam city to me.

In summation, banner ads are just a huge waste of money. Avoid them. Just plain out avoid them. I don’t care the name of the site or if you know the people. Avoid paying for them because they’re most likely not going to work, not at all. This has been my TuesdayThought.

Take it easy.




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Worst Day of Your Life?

You might be stuck in an office meeting with a boss that just won’t shut the fuck up, dumping gallons upon gallons of verbal diarrhea about how everyone in the room, with a few exceptions, are pieces of shit! But you know what you’re not doing? Literally cleaning shit off the bathroom floor. You know what else you’re not doing? You’re not on your knees in a dirty alley giving some dude a hummer for twenty dollars. You know what else you’re not doing? You’re not in a nursing home cleaning up geriatric ass explosions.

If you think sitting in an office is the worst day of you life, even if it’s the day your boss tells you to clean out your fucking desk, even if it’s the day a co-worker outs you as gay, there is someone else with a shittier day than you, and they’re getting through.

Not saying you’re problem isn’t any less legit, but that there are literal shit jobs that people are doing right now, while you complain about your job being the equivalent of a shit job.

How’s that for a bit of Monday motivation?