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Best Served Cold

Posted on July 31, 2014 at 7:43 PM Comments comments (0)

I love writing with Anthony Slawson.

He has a poetic verve that invades my core and inspires me beyond all belief. I have tried in the past to encourage him to pursue his writing further, and maybe still one day he will. Today, I am just happy to be the writer he chose to work with now.

Did I mention I love writing with Anthony Slawson?

This short story is a continuation of Malachi Thorne and Dara…not everything has a happy ending. Sometimes…its better.

Best Served Cold (PDF — 154 KB)

Excercise and the Writer

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 11:46 AM Comments comments (1)
While I am still busy getting my manuscript ready for print, my best friend, a/k/a Brooklyn Fit-Chick, has graced my pages with her presence...Here is her guest blog entry for the new year. For all of you fellow writers (and readers), pay close attention...these tips will help to keep you writing and reading for a long, long time!!  I, for one, already practice the Meatless Mondays and it makes a world of difference. (Thanks, BFC!! You are the best!) 
Hello there!
I am so pleased to guest blog for The DanteChronicles.
My name is Margo and the name of my Blog is “Brooklyn Fit Chick” ( )
I write about health, fitness, and the media plus offer my ideas for workout playlists.
Today I want to talk about the importance for finding time to workout in the winter which I realize is not the funnest topic but we all know that the part of the post-holiday blues includes weight gain. Most people between Thanksgiving and New Year’s put on about one pound to their frame and unfortunately they rarely take it off so the weight gradually creeps up over time. Happy New Year!
 One ofthe biggest reasons for weight gain is lack of activity and being seated most of the day. 20 years ago, the thought of sitting in front of a computer for a living would have seemed ludicrous—but today it is the norm. Being seated causes the electrical levels in your muscles to drop leading to muscle loss, fatty deposits in the abdominal area and is said to be a future leading causeof death in this country. (Heart attacks, Type 2 diabetes, etc.)
 So how can you start the New Year with a “get healthier” mission? Let me offer my own personal tips (you’re welcome!)
  •   Try to stand as often as possible at your desk: I know this could look silly but sitting all day is ruining your posture and causing weight gain. Many offices today are starting to offer “standing desks” to their employees (I am a recent convert) but if this is not possible for you try taking your phone calls while standing at your desk. Schedule regular breaks to stretch your legs even if it only means being upright for afew minutes. Just do it!
  • Try Workout DVDs: I know this seems pretty obvious but so many people still do not take advantage of the convenience of working out at home. You can wear your sweatpants and look like a fright but still get a good workout. Check out for the best reviewed DVDs to get the program that works best for you.
  • Park father away from your office, school, shopping,etc.: Exercise is a cumulative thing so every little bit counts. Those extra 10-15 minutes you add every day will pay off in the long run. Just bundle up and do it!
  • Meatless Mondays: I certainly do not advocate becoming a vegan (I like bacon way too much for that!) but one day per week abstaining from meat will help you cut down calories big time plus all ofus could use more fiber in our diets by filling up on veggies. Trust me—this one can change your life for the better immediately.
  • Schedule Your Exercise Each Week: Write it down in your calendar, plug it into your smart phone, post it on your fridge—whatever it takes to help you to remember. By making it part ofyour “to do” list you are more likely to make it happen. Make this your Sunday afternoon task and just do it!
  • Create a Facebook or Twitter personae and join the online weight loss community: There is plenty of new research on current social media outlets and weight loss. Folks who use the Internet to reach out to others and make themselves accountable to an invisible (yet supportive) community have a much easier time losing weight and keeping it off. Check out my Twitter follows to get ideas on whom to connect with online. You have friends out there ready to help you!
That’s all I have today folks. Please let me know your own tips for staying healthy. I want to hear from you!
Have a wonderful 2012. Let’s all meet our goals this year!
Ox Ox,
Brooklyn Fit Chick
Follow me on Twitter:“BrooklynFitChik” (note the spelling!)
Friend me on Facebook: “BrooklynFitChick

One-Line Story...Finally!

Posted on December 31, 2013 at 12:45 PM Comments comments (1)
This is a short story born out of an old favorite writing exercise I post to a reading and writing group I started on Facebook called “The Erudite.”
Big thanks to Danielle Goddard, Sam Reeves, Anita Bernard, Lynn Martin, Maureen Indelicato, Jeanie Smith, and Marilyn Baptiste for their talents and hard work.
As usual, he sat alone at the table in the back with a cup of cold, black coffee and a nearly burned up cigarette dangling precariously from his fingers.
He was lost in thought and unaware of who just strolled through the door.
It was a woman, whispering, chanting, "I don't know him."...
The squat, disheveled man wearing a colorful ensemble reminiscent of a 1940”s clown suit walked divisively up to Jerard’s table.
He looked up and smiled that crooked smile of his and knew he was going to have a good day from this point on.
Although he nearly burned his fingers, he stared intently at an eerie shadow to his left.
Familiar yet unknown at the same time, the shadow vexed him to his core.
Suddenly, a curious green light appeared to the right side of the shadow, quietly and piercing. The clown learned down, his eyes sparkling with anticipation, whispered to Jerard, then stood up, laughed and walked away.
The building shook a moment before the sound wave shuddered through the neighborhood, clouds of debris reined down outside the storefront windows.
People were coming out of their houses to try and determine what had just taken place on this unusually quiet street.
As the clouds of mysterious matter cleared, the sudden pulsating groaning was apparent to those in the neighborhood.
"Get out"' someone shouted, as the groaning sound grew louder as buildings, as if in slow motion, began to lean and melt into the street.
They started to come out of the crumbling building as the sound increased.
Almost deafening to the human ears, this noise could be heard for miles.
Jerard stepped through the crooked door kicking bricks, shards of glass, his eyes searching the destruction, as the wailing sirens of rescue vehicles grew louder and louder.
Jerard knew it was only a matter of time before its full wrath would be upon them.
With his heart pounding and gasping for breaths of clean air he made his way to another building where he thought he would find assistance.
The glass edifice seemed undisturbed as he stepped into the large atrium entrance.
Ashe stepped gingerly, he could hear the crackling of glass all around him and knew his next step could very well be is last. He gasped at the sight of an image made of glass, walking slow and steady toward him.
As the glistening image came closer, he realized it was her.
Still dazed and confused himself, he had a million questions for her.
Ashe realized who it was, he dropped to the ground in disbelief, trembling.
She tossed her long red hair, "What the bloody hell are you doing?"
She walked toward him, slowly and carefully, and kneeled down beside him and whispered, "My purpose for being here will be revealed soon."
Jerard still in a state of amazement and confusion, could only utter, "Why me?"
She smiled and said, "guess you're just lucky." As he was coming to, Jerard noticed something very interesting lying on the floor next to him and he was trying to remember who it was that clobbered him over the head. Two large men in white uniforms picked him up and slammed him onto a gurney and quickly wheeled him to an unmarked van. What those two monsters didn't realize was before they could pick him up he grabbed the key that was on the floor.
He fought as they tried to strap him down, slipping the key into his shoe he relaxed and let them strap him in as the gurney rolled around the back of the van. So many questions needed to be answered, but the two most important things Jerard to know were the identity of these men and why did they want him. Jerard thought, "What on earth would they want with a member of the State Senate out here?" More questions kept plaguing Jerard's mind as he laid there waiting; but waiting on what?
Special Agent Dietricks looked at his notes, nobody seemed to know exactly what happened. S.A. Dietricks may not have known what really happened but there wasno way he was going to let Jerard know that. Special agent Dietricks walked intothe room where Jerard was being held knowing full well he will have aridiculous amount of questions to answer.
As the door opened a smile on Jerards face spread from a twinkle in his eyes to his teeth showing; "royal screw-up Deets."His laughter echoed out the open door reverberating against the walls, his injured side ached, the laughter continued. Jerards eyes opened slowly, gunky and blurred vision as he slowly focused on the painting across from him, smiling he closed his eyes; he was home in his bed dreaming, freaky, mind-blowing dreams.

A Really Special Find...and new friend...

Posted on September 12, 2013 at 1:35 AM Comments comments (3)
     Last week I was browsing Facebook and was moved to tears after I read a poem called, "Even for the Tears," by Poppy Silver.
I don't know if it was just my poor timing or the fact that we are in two completely different time zones, but I had never been privileged to read any of Poppy's poetry before that day.
But once I had, I went back and searched for more. What I found was a need to feature her on my blog and share her talents with more people.
Who is Poppy Silver you ask...?
Poppy Silver is a writer who is also vocalist to the UK alternative band Orbitally Re-Arranged Monatomic Elements and has a love for photography and spirituality. Her book “Soon to Melt” is available through Lulu.Com and her spoken word poetry album "Welcome To Dajjal" is available through Amazon MP3, ITUNES and Reverbnation on CD.
    Poppy has been gracious enough to share three of her favorite pieces. Please, read, enjoy, and  share, share, share.
Links for Poppy Silver
Poppy’s Website -
Orbitally Re-Arranged Monatomic Elements at FB -

My long awaited collaboration with Sam Reeves

Posted on August 30, 2013 at 12:32 AM Comments comments (0)
Yes, finally, I can say I have collaborated with the great Sam Reeves. And not just ONE story...TWO! Very proud of both of these and look forward to more in the future (hint! hint!)
Who is Sam Reeves you ask?
When anyone asks Sam Reeves, “Have you ever been published?” he typically answers, “Of course I have! What kind of question would you ask me if I were a proctologist?”  He then smiles and mumbles something about an e-zine article that probably still exists somewhere in the cyberwild in some archive in some warehouse basement on a server covered in mold that has begun to develop rudimentary language skills.  At that point the listener usually crosses Sam’s name off their Christmas card list.
He was born in Smithville, MO in 1971, the era his son refers to as “before technology.”  In 1974, his family moved from Kansas City to the Ozarks of southern Missouri, where next to the Mark Twain National Forest Sam lived on a 100-acre farm full of maples, strawberries, and snakes.  He also frequently might have been seen carrying his pet chicken under his arm because, “All chickens like tricycle rides.”  When he was15, his family moved to a small mining town in Oklahoma.  He has lived in the general area since.
Sam met his wife at Wal-Mart, where she told him that his watch was ugly, and he proposed to her a week later.  They recently celebrated their 12 anniversary.  Together they have an  8-year od boy, who Sam is convinced is a genius – but it would be nice if he used his powers for the forces of good.  
After college, Sam worked 6 years for a Native American casino as both their IT manager and director of marketing. Currently, he is a computer programmer/systems analyst for a community college.  His hobbies include creating Photoshop paintings that bear a striking resemblance to the scrawls of a howler monkey that has just discovered a set of markers and a large bottle of extra strength Xanax.  He also enjoys reading and complaining.  
Oh, and he writes horror and fantasy occasionally, assuming there are no distractions nearby, such as paper, writing utensils, or publishable ideas.
You can find the great Sam Reeves here:
Writer blog:  “Scene Clearly” -
Twitter:  samrvs
Enjoy these two presentations from me and my buddy, Sam!

Guest Blogger Post: Print isn't going anywhere...

Posted on August 13, 2013 at 1:22 AM Comments comments (0)
During my recent visit to a book store in Sacramento, California for a book signing, I was privileged to meet a young writer with interesting insight in the bookstore world. For a published author, she confirmed what I always sort of knew...but found refreshing to hear it from someone so young and insightful.
Please enjoy today's guest blog by Drea Moore.
I love to read.  It’s how I started writing and it’s how I got a job in a bookstore. I love culture, which got me my degree in Anthropology, and keeps me puzzling over human behavior four years after graduation.  The combination has driven my interest in two key but related areas: the future of bookselling and book-marketing.
Book selling is what I do at work and book marketing is the application of the study of the behavior I have seen both as I went through my 20’s with increased dependence on digital communication and by paying attention to how people actually bought books.
I also write fantasy and am currently revising my camp Nano novel “Rule of Magic,” a Sword and Sorcery novel I plan to self-publish.
Book buying in 2013:
Who buys books?  A search on will show you that the predominant web-viewing and purchasing audience for a bookstore--independent or chain--is 60+ women with college degrees.  
That tracks with the actual in-store sales at my day-job.
What do they buy?
New York Times Bestsellers sell well--constantly. Not because of in-store signage, but because of NPR, Book Group selections and Colbert, Stewart, and other radio show interviews. Word of mouth sells more books than advertising does.
Gifts-- increasingly books are bought as gifts. Gifts for birthdays, retirement parties, baby showers, and more. I've sold books that were to be given to cheer up individuals who’d had a recent personal tragedy and a friend wanted to give them a good hearty laugh. I’ve sold books purchased to reward someone for a promotion, for graduation from any k-12 grade you can pick and for anniversaries.  
More often than not, these gifts are bought with one prerequisite:  “Do you have it in hardback?  Or can I order the hardback?”
While individuals buying for themselves, within a severe budget, want paperback.  Largely, I suspect most of these individuals haven’t made the transition to e-readers, or are consciously "voting with their money,” though they have limited funds to spend.  They are, in all shapes and forms, book lovers.
Which is why I think that print isn’t going anywhere.  
In anthropology, we considered material possessions to be “cultural artifacts.”  That means that they convey something about our individual identity, from how we see ourselves to our place within the broader culture.;  The print book will have a place because booklovers have an intellectual identity which they convey to like minded individuals through the possession, discussion, lending, borrowing, and gifting of books.  
You can see  my interests on my shelf.. As a reader, I tend to like quiet and introspective people with similar interests.  So when I have guests are over things will be quiet until the wine and beer are poured.... or someone finds the bookshelves.
I believe that many booklovers are prone to have similar social encounters. So having books you can talk about--rather than impulsive purchases--lining your shelf space is good for the whole industry. Especially with the increased importance of word of mouth to actual print sales.
But what does this mean for bookstores?
Independent bookstores have been teetering on this edge, but ever since Christmas, sales have risen.  There are a few reasons for this, but the one that I subscribe to is the power of connection. Independent stores are parts of the community to which a person identifies.  This is true of any hole-in-the-wall, any mom-and-pop, any of the little niche restaurants you would hang a “shop local,” sign  on the door.  And the economy is rough for them.  
But they are vital to local economies all the same, and the spots that give a geographical connection and ownership grant identity in an information-washed world.  For some reasons, and in some situations, we seek them out.  We seek them out for their authenticity, for their connection, and for the knowledge of the staff.  
And then there is Amazon
Amazon still represents half of all book-sales, print and electronic.  Why?  People are still shopping deals and print prices have risen while incomes have dropped leaving the gap between wage and book-price far narrower than has been seen for a long time.  But e-books and Amazon provide a way around that: discounted prices that are disproportionate to the cost of the product.  E-books, independently produced, require considerably less overhead and as such can have a lower price point than a traditionally published book.  
This trend is in the process of changing publication, sales, and marketing.  Which I will be exploring on my blog, Writing Worlds:  Meanwhile, take a look at the bookstore blog, which I use to promote our big events 
(The opinions expressed are my own and should not be taken as a representation of the views, attitudes, or business practices at Avid Reader Tower or its staff. - DM)
You can also find Drea on Facebook at:

Are you a witch and other silly questions...

Posted on July 28, 2013 at 8:07 PM Comments comments (1)
And so ends my second year as an invitee to Cal Expo's California Authors Booth.
It was an interesting season this year, filled with more unique patrons, fascinating contacts and some of the most interesting questions yet. Here are the best:
1. While picking up a copy of The Brotherhood:
          a)"Is this about the Nazi's?"
          b)"Is this about the KKK?"
          c)"Is this about a cult?"
          d)"Is this a Secular novel?"
There are things I say in my head and things I say out loud, hopefully in these instances they are not the same. Initially, my head said, "Really? Are you f'in kidding me?" But, luckily, when I opened my mouth, my Mother came out and politely said, "No. It is not."
2. "Are you authorized?" - (I'll let you ponder that one awhile. I myself am still a little puzzled by that one.)
3. "What do you think of the new immigration proposal?" - Okay, I have olive skin and dark hair with a Latin last name, I get it...but, REALLY? Dude, we're at the State Fair, and I am like, ya know...selling my  urban-paranormal fantasy novels. I am not here to discuss the long range effects on early childhood development of Latino children in the low-income and unincorporated areas of the Nation. I am, however, highly concerned with the deep-fried Pineapple Upside Down  cake you are spitting all over my book display during your tirade!
4. "How do you win this?" - Baffled by this completely when the little girl asked. She was referring to the rubber bracelets I had displayed on the first day which were embossed with my website address. Staring blindly at me for an answer, my sister Candy reminded me that the fair sponsors have games you play to win the free items (bags, pens, Frisbees, etc). Candy leaned over my shoulder and said, "It's free." Cautiously, the girl took her prize and walked away.
And last but not least, and always my repeat favorite...
5. "Are you a witch?" - All right, folks, for the last time this year, "No. I am not." I know a few. I've interviewed a few for research, and am honored to call many of them my friends. I've studied their craft for my books, and collected a few of their tools for a visual description. But, as for the practice and application of the beliefs, the craft and the way of life, no, I am not, and neither are my family. But should you ever hurt me and mine, or piss me off...I am only a telepathic thought (and or phone call) away from you being covered with oozing boils, and bald.
As much as I remember the oddities, I remember fondly a few others who came along...Steve the fireman, "Enjoy the book, and don't forget to check out the recipes!" Lizah, "I hope you feel better soon!" Danita, "It was great meeting you!" Naida,"Thank you for giving me a chance. I'll miss you." Shelly and Margaret, "You guys rock. I will definitely be in touch soon!" Sarita,"Remember, listen to your heart and don't give up!" and to Brenda Novak, "I want to grow up and be just like you someday!"

Beautiful; A Collaboration

Posted on January 24, 2013 at 1:41 AM Comments comments (2)
Once again, I've been given the opportunity to work with a favorite writer. Red Lily Pixie (@MiamiTrue on Twitter) is a formidable collaborator and one of the brightest minds I know. She came up with a great idea and challenged me to create a one-of-a-kind world and family with each and every email.
Thank you, Lily! This was a great, fantastical roller coaster ride!! Can't wait for the next one!
Please enjoy...

Friday Feature Artist - Lily, "The Promise"

Posted on January 24, 2013 at 1:36 AM Comments comments (0)
Three months ago, I dropped a bomb on Lily (Twitter name @MiamiTrue)…I suggested writing another short story with me that would run on Halloween…
Well, we didn’t make the proposed deadline, but we did come up with a pretty good little tale here, and the driving force behind it all is Lily. All I did was send her seventy-five words, and she was off to the finish line.
This work, I am proud and honored to say, is all Lily. Playing straight man to such a formidable writer is amazing. To sit back and watch and see the talents reveal themselves can leave you breathless at times, but with a talent like that of Lily, you are driven to be better and give the very finest you have.
I like to think I served as a trampoline of sorts for her; sending a hundred or so words here and there to catapult her writing further.
Thank you, Lily, for taking this challenge and allowing me to be a witness to the endless depths of your creative mind first hand.
Please visit for more of her fascinating work!
The Promise.pdf (PDF — 161 KB)

The end is near! The end is near! The end is…well, no…not so fast…

Posted on December 31, 2012 at 10:52 PM Comments comments (0)
It’s just the end of 2012 that is upon us, and since the world didn’t end like my ancestors supposedly predicted, it’s time for my yearly wrap up of what I learned from the world around me.
  1. The older things get, sometimes, the more sensitive they become. This goes for the earth, and all the people in it. Throughout my life, I’ve made it a point of not speaking my mind on two subjects because of their personal and extremely volatile nature: Religion, and politics.  Nevertheless, this year, I found I couldn’t help myself. It was an election year after all. It was suited to the situation…but I regret opening my mouth all three times. My beliefs are unlike anyone else and tend to annoy the left, right, and the middle. You would think by now, we would have toughened up as a society and become impervious to the words of others. However, the older this world gets, and the more battle scars we develop; we are surprisingly more fragile and easily hurt. This has unfortunately forced me back in to my wordless public cocoon, save for the strong and obvious opinions I express on the pages of my books. Don’t worry, I’ll be back. Eventually.
  2. Learning to say no is a good and necessary tool. Everything in moderation is one of the smartest sayings I’ve ever heard and try to live by. Sometimes, I go overboard. I admit it. Especially if it involves popcorn, coffee and books. Stopping, for some is an absolute impossibility. It involves restrain that they just don’t have and it causes them great pain to even try. Lately, for me, even though I don’t usually have trouble saying it, it’s caused me great pain. For me it’s meant more hours away from accomplishing my goals, eating bad food, not getting the exercise I need, or the rest I need as a consequence and most importantly it’s taken a toll on my health. This year, I will stop. Listen more. Relearn to say no when needed, and remember that I am not good to anyone if I am not good to myself.
  3. Sometimes, you just have to let things go, and walk on. Sometimes we find a great pair of shoes. They look great, they feel great and you walk with confidence in them down the street. Then suddenly, one day something isn’t right. The shoes age slightly in a certain spot, then another and another. Now, those shoes just don’t fit as well, look as good, and that confident walk is long gone. You try and look beyond the blisters and calluses they cause, not to mention the pain in your neck and back from the different way you are being forced to walk. Then one day it hits you…it’s time to find new shoes. That good, old pair has lived its life. They were a great fit once, but now it’s time to find new shoes. Let the old ones go, and walk on.
  4. Family is still the best thing in the world, even though sometimes you want to strangle them. I will be the first one to admit, that I am a selfish, self-centered brat that drives my family crazy. I also know that they love me just the same. With that in mind, it's safe to say, that they are the same way for me sometimes. Not to say that they are selfish, self-centered or bratty,but sometimes they do things, say things, and act in ways that annoy me, butonly because I want the best for them and can clearly see what they are doingis not good. It happens in every family alive. You can’t help it. You want the bestfor each other. When I was writing Book III of The Dante Chronicles, The Traveler,I depicted this very behavior in the team because it was happening in my familyat that time. It was one of those moments where art imitates life and it reallyhelped me to see things clearer, and learn to better accept those moments whereI wanted to string them up by their toes…which is my weird way of saying Ireally want to reach out, hug them tightly, and just tell them how much I lovethem.
  5. Close friends will not be forgotten, even when they are far, far away. I have four really close friends, and our schedules are all crazy, so seeing each other is not easily done on a regular basis, not to mention two live really far away. Even though we don’t travel in the same tight circles we used to, we still make an effort to stay in touch by phone, text, email and the almighty Facebook or Twitter. So, I say to you Mark Helzer, Eren Loza, Eric Raleigh and adoptive little sister/BFF, Margo “The Margaret” Donohue…I love you all, and miss you terribly! Happy New Year, my Kindred!
  6. A four-legged companion is the greatest gift to you. This year, my family learned of a two-year old Chihuahua-mix, whose family had fallen on hard times and barely had enough to feed her, let alone care for her. We had been looking for a dog at local shelters, but hadn’t found one that suited our size needs, or wasn’t already snatched up by the time we went to meet them, plus I was having trouble finding one that fit the hole in my heart left from the loss of my special little fur-baby, Xena. When my sister called, and told me about the dog, my initial response was “A Chihuahua? I don’t like Chihuahuas!” I was thinking only of my Aunt’s chihuahua that bit me when I was a kid during a visit to her house. Then when my sister told me her circumstances, my head and my heart had a brief, single sentence conversation, “She needs us.” My life hasn’t been the same since that night when we picked up the little four-legged bundle of energy with Yoda-ears and a wrinkled brow…and I love the little bug we named Lulu, more and more every day.
Happy New Year to all!