Posts Tagged ‘favorites’

Want to know my favorite horror movies?

I love horror movies. Dennis and I watch them constantly. Here are my top ten favorites… you will notice that they have slow building suspense rather than just gore. (And yes, there is three John Carpenter movies on this list!)


10) The Exorcist 1973 The devil possesses a girl, her only hope is an exorcism.

This is a great slow build film. Also it shows the horror of the medical establishment when they cannot discover what is wrong with a patient.

9) Rosemary’s Baby 1968 A girl is impregnated by the devil.

This film is terrifying because no one believes Rosemary because she is a 60’s housewife with a controlling husband in a patriarchal society.

8) Drag Me to Hell 2009 A loan officer who evicts an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a curse where a demon wants to drag her to hell.

Good tension through out, with just enough creepy imagery to make it interesting. Plus some almost funny over-the-top fight scenes.  Besides the love interest’s mom played by Molly Cheek is freaking fantastic.

7) Pyschomania 1963 An evil motor cycle gang figures out a way to live forever. What’s not to love?


6) Bram Stoker’s Dracula 1992 Dracula goes to London to find his lost love who has been resurrected Mia.

A Francis Ford Coppola film so as with so much of his work, it is simply beautiful, sensual, and everything else a vampire movie should be.

5) The Fog 1980 A fishing town becomes shrouded by a killer fog containing  ghosts seeking revenge for their deaths. 

I love the story of this town. There is all ages, all income levels. It feels like a real place with a real history.


4) In the Mouth of Madness:  An insurance investigator discovers that a horror writer’s books is coming true.

Sam Neill plays a hardbitten investigator.

3) Session 9 2001: An asbestos cleaning crew work in an abandoned mental hospital with a horrific past that seems to be coming back.

I love the tension which builds between the main characters played by David Caruso and Peter Mullan

2) Absentia 2011 Two sisters link a tunnel with a local disappearances.

This is one of the best independent low budget films ever made. Creepy and atmospheric with a small cast. Also it gives alternate theories of what might of happened.

MV5BMTc3Njk1NDczMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODM3MTgyMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_My number one favorite horror movie… 

Prince of Darkness 1987 A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church and have dreams brought to them by the future.


This movie is simply freaking awesome. Jesus is an alien. Plot is fundamentally powered by calculus and quantum mechanics.

What I like best about being an author…

Lady Mira with pistol

Lady Mira with pistolI have always been an avid reader of any genre of speculative fiction, but I became a lover of  non-fiction after I became became an author. Both short essays and longer books.

I have always been an avid reader of any genre of speculative fiction, but I became a lover of  non-fiction after I became became an author. Both short essays and longer books.

An author has to often be a dilettante. They must learn about something enough to write about it convincingly. I get a lot of joy from encountering the BIG Idea for a manuscript then figuring out what I need to research. As I previously wrote about in this blog post back in ’12: I do not believe in general research, I believe in specific targeted research.

I love the fact that this research builds upon itself with each story. In Other Systems, I learned about astronomy, nautical terms and what flight lessons are like and difficulties that astronauts go through in low gravity. Later, I used some of this knowledge for Unintentional Colonists and even a bit when I described the Expanse in The Martlet. And I am currently working on a short ghost story about orbital clutter that is also using some of the same research.

This is even true with the graphic novels. In Lure, I learned about a stampeder’s journey and hardships during the Yukon Goldrush and in Faminelands, I learned about archery and swordsmanship. All of that knowledge was used  again in the The Martlet‘s manuscript.

Even so my research got really focused when I was working on The Martlet. So much so that my husband said it was creepy to come in our apartment and find Cause of Death : A Writer’s Guide to Death, Murder and Forensic Medicine on the the bathroom counter and On Killing and Poisons (Howdunit Series) on the kitchen table. Now there is a shelf full of books about killing, poisons, and early medical research.

 So that’s my favorite part of being an author: freaking my husband out with strange facts that I have learned.

Guest Post by Rayne Hall: Rayne’s Five Favourites: Short Story Collections

Today we are welcoming back Rayne Hall! 
She has published more than thirty books under different pen names with different publishers in different genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction. Recent books include Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel), Six Historical Tales Vol 1, Six Scary Tales Vol 1, 2 and 3 (mild horror stories), Six Historical Tales (short stories), Six Quirky Tales (humorous fantasy stories), Writing Fight Scenes and Writing Scary Scenes (instructions for authors).

Rayne’s Five Favourites: Short Story Collections

Here are five short story collections I enjoyed, each by a different contemporary author, each published recently in ebook format.  The selection is highly subjective, based on my personal taste. I like stories which are creepy, quirky, twisted or dark, or which allow me to peek into different cultures and faraway places.

1. Dark and Twisted: The Fairy Cake Bake Shoppe And 13 Other Weird Tales by April Grey

These are easy-to-read, entertaining stories, but they have a bite to them.  Paranormal elements – vampires, zombies, fairies, ghosts, sexbots, magical cupcakes – are woven into everyday reality. Some of the stories have dark or erotic content  – nothing overly graphic, but unsuitable for young readers.

I enjoyed Exile where a vampire gigolo tempts an older woman with eternal youth.

2. Short and Vivid: Short Stories To Read On The Bus by Frederick Langridge

I wouldn’t read stories on the bus – I’d get travel-sick if I tried – but there are many other occasions when there’s just time for a quickie read. Since I take my Kindle almost everywhere these days, it’s handy to have short story collections like this. The stories are short, but not too short. I felt I was getting a good complete story with every one.

Some of the stories resonated more with me than others, some I didn’t care for, others I loved. But that’s ok. The collection contains a lot of stories, and it’s fun to choose favourites. My favourite was the ghost story Beware of Tuesdays because the suspense is high, and after reading it I kept thinking about the nature of this haunting.

What I liked particularly: The beginnings are vivid, immediately introducing the characters, the location and the premise, so I was hooked from the start. The pacing is perfect and the stories keep up the interest (at least, this reader’s interest) throughout, and there’s no dull middle. The narrative voice changes from story to story, always appropriate to the main character’s perspective.

3. Exotic and Sensitive: Coloured and Other Stories by Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar

These stories deal with cultural contrasts and different societal traditions in an intelligent, sensitive way. Many of the characters experience some kind of culture clash, for example, they grew up in one culture and now learn to adapt to another, or they belong to one culture and their family to another. The stories are about the characters’ way of conciliating and integrating these cultures.

I like the vividness and sensitivity, and I felt I learnt quite a bit about the concerns of people who come from those cultures. In places, the stories are sad, but the overall tone is uplifting.

The story which stuck in my mind long after reading is Dasi. It has an interesting structure, told backwards from when the narrator is a 78-year old widow to when she’s a 14-year old bride, and it is at the same time gentle and shocking.

4. Intelligent and Entertaining: Ghosts Can Bleed by Tracie McBride

I love the stories, every one of them. Each develops a ‘what if’ scenario, sometimes taking a very basic idea and spinning it out into a plot. The ideas a surreal, but utterly plausible. Based on human nature, I can believe these bizarre things are really happening.

The stories are intelligent and entertaining. Some are thought-provoking, too. Many have a paranormal, fantasy, science fiction or horror element.

My favourite yarn in this book Last Chance To See which offers an original take on the undead state.

5. Atmospheric and Moving: Gifts – Four Poignant Stories by Jonathan Broughton

These stories are a little sad in places, but filled with hope and beauty. They’re set on the south coast of England where I live, so I can personally relate to the location.

My favourite is Three-Ply Fantasy Special, a sensitive piece about an older person with a domineering daughter. I first read this story more than two years ago and still can’t get out of my mind.


I’m delighted to have discovered many excellent short story collections and anthologies recently – far more than ever before.

A few years ago, most publishers would not touch single-author short story collections. This kind of book didn’t sell in big enough numbers to cover the costs of printing, paper, storage, transport and shelf space.

But things have changed. With the advent of e-books, these costs no longer apply, and single-author story collections have become viable ventures. Many get published, and some are very good indeed.

Another benefit of the internet age is the ease of communication between readers and authors. Many authors include an e-mail address at the back of the book, inviting readers to get in touch. I’ve corresponded with the authors of these books, something which would have been unlikely in the days of snailmail.

I liked some of the stories so much that – wearing my Editor hat – I selected them for inclusion in my themed anthologies. You’ll find, for example,  a story from The Fairy Cake Bake Shoppe in Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, and one from Ghosts Can Bleed in Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts.

Nine Awesome Science Fiction Movies

My husband and I love movies. We  especially love science fiction movies so I decided to make a new list of  science fiction movies that we can watch over and over again.  Though Aliens is on the top because its my favorite, the rest are not in any real order.

1) Aliens 1986 : The planet from Alien has been colonized and unfortunately space marines are not enough, but don’t worry, they got Ripley.

2) Alien 1979 : A mining ship investigates an SOS and discovers a strange organism, but Ian Holm steals the movie when he tries to suffocate Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) with a rolled up magazine.

3) Predators 2010 : A bunch of elite warriors are dropped off on another planet to be hunted. A terrific “sequel” to Predator.

4) The Thing 1982 : Kurt Russell’s best movie. Scientists who happen to have a few flame throwers confront a shape shifting alien in Antarctica.

5) Total Recall 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger dreams of mars, he goes on a virtual vacation and discovers he is a spy, or maybe not.

6) AVP (Aliens versus Predator) 2004 : Okay, I admit this was movie panned, but I watch it all the time. Remote location. Aliens. Predators. Strong Female lead. Sexy Italian guy, goofy Scottish guy and a bunch of other forgettable alien fodder–opps I mean humans. Really, what more can you ask for in this type of film?

7) Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1978 : Donal Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Veronica Cartwright and Jeff Goldbloom discover the human race is being replaced with pod people devoid of emotion. Leonard Nimoy is really good as a cloned psychiatrist.

8) The Day the Earth Caught Fire 1961 : British reporters learn the Earth has been knocked out of orbit due to atomic bomb testing. This film does a good mixing of characters and epic destruction.

9) When Worlds Collide 1951 :  David Randall lives to see the day that he literally has money to burn when a star and its planet head toward Earth.  Humans frantically work to complete the rocket which will take them to their new home Zyra.

What are you favorites?

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