Guest Blogger Damon Alan


Guest Blogger Damon Alan

Let me start out this guest blog by thanking my benefactor, Carol Marshall. Thank you for putting my words on your page, Carol, that’s a strong gesture from author to author.

I wanted to share a few words on what it means to be an indie author, and how it comes to be. I think many of us start out doing the same grind as anyone else, write the book, create the synopsis ten dozen times in different lengths, agonize over query letters.

I did this. I did it more than once. It always felt like I was right on the edge. I got numerous query letters from agents, many of which got responses. Some were very helpful, such as the one that said 130,000 words was too long for a book from a first time author. I cut the book into intro novel sized parts, creating my first two books from one. Win!

I got another response that said “Your main character isn’t likable.” “She doesn’t show enough compassion, she’s cold.” This was probably the response that pushed me over the edge into indie publishing. Why? Because my main character is a military commander with thousands of lives in her hands. Should she get weepy when she asks her crews to die? How many would follow her if she wailed in agony each time she sacrificed people for victory? Few, I believe. I had every intention of writing a realistic commander, male or female.

I then asked myself, “Would this be the response if my main character was male?” Could I find examples of leaders male leaders like mine in science fiction? Sure I could. Admiral Ackbar. Jean Luc Picard. Kirk.

I could be wrong in thinking there was a bias against a female starship captain. Maybe my characters aren’t ‘quite’ good enough. But the reason my main character is female is because I have three daughters. I teach them every day that they don’t have to play by any standard. They can be what they want, and if they have one more barrier to punch through, then tear that barrier apart like a lioness.

So instead of rewriting the Dark Seas series with a male lead, I decided to self publish it. And I wrote later books with more powerful women. Merik, in book 2, would arguably be the most powerful woman in human history were she real. Hey, it’s fiction, go big or go home.

Has there been a price to pay for my decision to publish indie? Maybe. But I’m approaching a thousand book sales, so maybe not.  I can tell you that while my daughters are young and don’t appreciate the stance yet, as they move out into the world, they will. My lionesses.

Tweets like this one helped solidify my stance:


Dec 19, 2016

Your strong female lead. Badass.

When you go indie, go full tilt. I now have six novels on Amazon as well as a novella and a growing list of short stories. I am about to publish my seventh novel, the 5th book in the Dark Seas Series. You will learn things as you go, and it will be your readers that educate you.


Take this 5 star review from my first book, for example:

“The Anvil of Dust and Stars is one of those books that you don’t see coming, not only due to the cover art and summary not doing it any justice, but also because of the way in which the story itself develops.”


What did I learn? I since have a new cover, after joining a stock photo site instead of relying on my own art skills. And, to be honest, I’m still learning how to write the summary for my book’s page on Amazon. As for how the story develops, one of the strengths of Indie writing is that you don’t have to follow the convention. After all, it’s a 5 star review! But learning never ends, does it? I’ll keep working on my covers and summaries.


You’ll need to learn extensively to indie publish. Here is an incomplete list.

·         You need to know how to write a good story.

·         You need to know how to compile and format your final result.

·         You need to determine where you will publish. I am exclusively Amazon, but maybe you’d like to go Kobo, Smashwords, iBooks, etc.

·         You need to learn how to select your keywords.

·         You have to know your genre and select proper categories on your sales site.

·         You need to learn Google Adwords, Amazon Marketing Services, and Facebook Ads. Probably others that I haven’t learned yet.

·         You need to see if you can get book signings. Attend conventions. (I’ll be at the Colorado Springs Comic Con in August, come see me.)

·         And, in the writing section, you need to have a critique group, a few beta readers, and an editor. I’m lucky, my wife reads extensively, is very well educated, and edits mine for me. That saves me hundreds of dollars per book.

·         If you’re going to do your own covers, do them well. I thought Example A was good enough, but after taking the review above to heart, I created Example B which seems to be much more popular. Covers, reportedly, are 70% of the decision to buy a book. I don’t know if that applies to ebooks or not, but I bet the number is high.



Example A:  

exampla a.jpg













Example B:

1 .jpg












As you can see, the knowledge base to be an indie author is extensive, and I’m sure I’ve not covered plenty of it. Am I trying to talk you out of it? No! No! No! I’m simply trying to make sure that if you feel you’re not getting what you need from the traditional route, that you go into the indie route with your eyes open.

Writing is 10% of what you’ll do. The rest is marketing, editing, formatting, etc. Because very few of us are lucky enough to write a book that sells itself. If I ever do, I’ll write a book on how to do it. Then I’ll market that book. Because I don’t think any books sell themselves.

Thank you for reading. If you’re interested in seeing my catalog, please check out the following link.

Damon Alan’s Amazon Author Page

Damon’s Email:

Damon’s blog and website:


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Music and Books

This is almost a cliché of a blog post. I think I’ve seen a half a dozen writer’s blogging about their relationship with music. What music means to them, their writing, and their connection with music. The subject is almost trite and that has kept me from writing a blog post on the subject. Thinking on it though, I have written my origin story of my writing and how I started writing my books. I have written the cost of producing my books and the amount of effort I put into it. There was a bug in my ear telling me I should write about one of the biggest influencers of not only the Women of the Grey, but the characters in my series, in my upcoming novel and new characters coming into play.

I had thought of the Women of the Grey for a while, contemplating the concept of these women. I could piece them together but my main character wasn’t appearing yet. My main character was out there wandering around my universe.. I just couldn’t grasp the essence of her. Then the day came where it all fell into place and for some young ones reading this I come from the generation of MTV when it actually played music videos. If you loved a band you watched their music videos over and over. It was a thing, I promise.

Being that music video watching was a habit and I am a fan of The Pretty Reckless I turned Youtube on and started to watch The Pretty Reckless videos. That is the afternoon that the world fell out from under my feet and placed me somewhere else.  I ran into the Miss Nothing music video. The look to Taylor Momsen the lead singer in Miss Nothing caught my eye and captured my attention.  She walked the way I wanted my main character to walk. She sang the lyrics I wanted my main character to think. The look of “I don’t care” in her eyes is what struck me the most. Lisa is after all an anti-hero she wants for nothing that is ever placed at her feet.

All that I wanted to say about Lisa’s attitude, appearance, her hates; everything was in this one music video. By the end of the video I knew exactly who Lisa was. I could see Lisa standing next to me in my living room, watching the video nodding with fake agreement. After all Lisa agrees with no one.

Without trying to sound overly grandiose when the video ended I sat down and wrote the intro to Lisa. I felt the burst of that “who is she” bubble. I couldn’t help myself.  That is the origin of Lisa. She was born from a music video and a seed of an idea that I had passed around my thoughts for years.

I’m not plugging The Pretty Reckless believe me if the lead singer knew I am writing a whole Sci-Fi horror series based on one of her music videos I’d be ecstatic and happily stand next to Ms. Momsen holding up copies of The Women of the Grey series smiling like a fool full of Jagermeister for the world to see.

I’m sure, not positive but kinda sure that many characters in books are born similar to this. I want to think I invented the way Lisa came to be, but I am sure I didn’t.  I am writing book 3 in my Women of the Grey series. I still go to the Miss Nothing music video to watch the swagger, the expression and then turn to my laptop and give Lisa her very Lisa perspective on life.

It didn’t stop with Lisa though, Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s broken heart” is the key inspiration for my character Gia in my current manuscript The Demon Dealer. I usually watch that music video when I feel that I am starting to lose who my character Gia is at her core.  Also Warner another character in The Demon Dealer is based on the look Nathaniel Rateliff had on his face in his music videoS.O.B. Have you seen the look on his face, in that video? It’s begging for a character.

This “WOW” moment of inspiration happens a lot more than I think readers know.  I had been thinking about a new character for book 3 in the Women of the Grey series when I watched Halestorm Apocalyptic. From that video I got the full taste of what that character needed to be. Disclosure I am a huge Lzzy Hale fan. I want to go grow up and be her. She is seriously one of the most badass women on the planet.

Perhaps books should come with a playlist. How awesome would an audio CD of songs that inspired the book as a companion be?  It proves a fact that art inspires art.

I do fantasize of the reverse situation happening. A singer/songwriter would read my work feel inspired by it and write a killer song out of it. If that would happen I could then walk off into the sunset a happy broad.


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How Sci-Fi am I?

Recently I had been twirling the idea of my opening for Stainless Steel book 3 in the Women of the Grey series in my head. I needed a name for a new character. Being that Women of the Grey is about an alien race of women I thought nothing of approaching a large Facebook Science Fiction group for ideas.

I was met with nothing but spit and ugly from this group. I received smartass answers that were hovering on just trying to call me out for not being hardcore science fiction enough. I had posted a question to the group searching for suggestions and ideas. Instead it felt as if they wanted to dispute my knowledge of Science Fiction. I did not hesitate to delete my question and leave the group.

I don’t have time or patience for venom attacks on my character. I’m way too busy not being an asshole. I don’t feel bad about leaving this group. There are many other groups with much kinder and cooler people who are open to discussion not judgment to stress over it.

The situation however got me thinking of those in the science fiction community that revel in being hardcore Sci-Fi. You know the kind of people I’m talking about; the ones that know the specific name for one screw, on one spaceship that a certain character only flew once in some book/movie/tv show. These same people that huff at you if you don’t the name of that screw. “You call yourself a fan?” Kind of people.

It gets me shaking my head; it’s that type of people who scare off the softer fans. Let’s take myself as an example. I am the type of person that loves Science Fiction books, movies, especially video games. I won’t tell you how many hours (shrug, years) I played Dead Space, only that I can proudly saw I played on zealot. If you’re a Dead Space video game fan then you’ll know what I’m talking about.  I do not know the correct terminology for Isaac’s craft, suit, or gun. I don’t care about that I just knew that I liked it.

There it is, I like science fiction. I would sit down to watch an Alien movie before a romance. If it’s science fiction and horror I’m your lady. Let’s just say I would lose my shit to see someone cosplay Predator at a Con. Could I explain the details of Predator, his home planet, his species, the name of that cool thing on his wrist? No, I could not and I am sure that would drive some people bat shit.

I do not understand why there has to be different levels of fans? Why do some believe that they are superior to the rest and feel the need to shove others aside and yap out facts?  What is there to gain from alienating others from the genre?

My Women of the Grey series is about an alien race of female clones. Yet, this week I had to look up space opera. Does that somehow cancel the validity of my writing? It does to some, because I’m not Sci-fi enough. What exactly is enough and what’s just right?

It also got me wondering if such fluff exists in other genres. Are there hardcore romance fans out there that scoff if someone mentions a romantic scene as not romancy enough? “Rose petals on a bed?” “Hack,” hiss  “amateur” scoff. Do thriller fans try to out thrill other fans with facts about thriller authors?

I’m being silly because it is. How can we value ourselves for berating others?  It makes me wish I could grab a megaphone and hit the stage with an announcement “Sci-fi community…” cough wait for the booing to stop because I interrupted an argument over who did what, when and how better than someone else.  “Chill the hell out. There is room here for all levels of fans, from the mildly interested to the hardcore. The point is to enhance the genre”

I’m positive I’d get egg’d off the stage.  Here is my coming out party to the Sci-Fi community. I really really like Sci-fi. Love is a strong word, but I can say deeply like and prefer it above all else. However I will never be that person who knows every intricate fact on the genre or care to. That does not make me any less of a fan or any less of a Sci-fi author.

Isn’t the whole point of being a fan of something, liking it and wanting to share that love with others? I can’t understand how throwing hate gives value to the Sci-fi genre. I can’t understand how throwing hate gives value to anything.




Meet my narrator!

Meet my narrator!

Before my first book Starburst was completed I knew I wanted an audio book version available for the public. Audio books are beginning to take their rightful stand in the literary world. With lifestyles increasingly busier every day some people are opting to get their stories, “to go.”  As audio books sales rise the demand for narrators also rises.

Please meet Molly King my narrator for the Women of the Grey series. We did a quick interview together, a getting to know you speed date type of interview. Enjoy!


Molly King

1.       Tell us a bit about yourself.   I'm a stay at home mom who loves to read, craft, and learn new things. I also do animal rescue in my home so we always have a slew of critters. In my down time, you can usually find me attempting to learn a new skill such as crochet or knitting recently. I, of course, love to read (I couldn't do the job if I didn't), but I also love movies and British television shows.


2.       How did you get your start as a narrator? A friend of mine is an indie author and was looking for someone to narrate a book of hers. There was little interest on ACX so I told her I would take a crack at it. The rest is history. I love this job


3.       What's the biggest misconception the public this includes authors have about narrating audio books? It's not near as easy as it sounds. There is a lot that goes into a production especially when one person does the work from start to finish. The editing is tedious but necessary. Another thing is that finding a voice for each individual in the story can be challenging. Lastly, one can only talk for so long before the voice gives out. This means that I can't sit in the booth for hours upon hours reading. It's hard on the throat, that's for sure.

4.     What is the average amount of time it takes to produce an audio book. For example, my book Starburst book 1 in the Women of the Grey series is 6 hours long. I know it took a lot more than that to record it. It can take nearly twice or three times as long to complete a book. This is due to not only having to read it, but having to read some parts several times. The editing can take up to 3 hours for one hour of finished audio, depending on how you do it. For a 6 hour book, such as Starburst book 1 in the Women of the Grey series, it took roughly 15 hours over several weeks to complete.


5.       Tell us something we don't know about audio book narration, something out of the ordinary that the general population wouldn't have figured out. It's lonely. It's a very singular job. The booth can sometimes be overly hot depending on how you've got it set up. I converted a walk in closet for my audio booth. It's warm in there and near the air conditioner so it picks up the sound of the conditioning being on. There are so many minute complications that come with the work that it can be incredibly frustrating at times.


6.     What is your dream narration job? Any particular book you'd love to narrate? I haven't got one in particular. I would like to do the Inspector Hobbes series by Wilkie Martin, but that's just because they are fun books to read. Otherwise, I prefer to work on independent books, ones that are written and published by the practically unknown author. Those are my favorites. I feel, in a way, I'm helping them build a readership and that is a job well done in my book.


7.       Lastly, steak or cheesecake? How can one choose between two wholely different foods!?  I'll go with cheesecake. Who doesn't love a good desert!










National Poetry month

April is National Poetry month, and well I’m a bit late to the party, but I’d still like a drink. Below are a few of my favorite poems from my Diabla Poetry collection. This collection is a companion to The Demon Dealer. These are horror poems, no hearts and flowers here. Well only if the hearts are for gnawing and the flowers stomping. Enjoy.


She’s tiny

a twinkle of a thing

the smallest of her breed


walking down the hallway

in her home

wrapped up in pretty pink robe

with bows

and soft purry kittens splattered all over

her pretty pink pajamas


She looks not comical

not even whimsical

or magical

just a teeny little girl

probably walking to her mama


Her mama sleeps

wrapped up like a mummy

against the cold night

she thinks only lollypops and love

for her dinky girl



This little girl

this hearts and flowers

looking girl

doesn’t think lollypops and love

when she thinks of mama

or daddy

or baby brother

she thinks nothing

and she keeps that secret


Puny little thing

More bathrobe than child

stands watching her mama sleep

watching her mama dream big dreams

and the tiny little human thinks

big thoughts

like the scissors in her school pencil box

she could cut off all her mama’s hair

cut it to the scalp with those pencil box scissors.


she could

do more things with that pencil box

maybe put that pencil in her father’s ear

quick and hard

it might wake her daddy up

she didn’t care


Her mama eyes open

she whispers to her half-pint leprechaun

of a daughter

that she loves her

that she adores her

that she was just now dreaming of her

the sleepy mama grabs her girl

and pulls her into her bed

mistaking her intentions

for childhood sleep walking

or bad dreams

bad day

poor thing

mama love cures it all


The pocket sized girl

settles in with her mama

shoving all her big thoughts

deep into the pockets of her bathrobe

and keeps her secrets


Puppy Love

Everybody knew the

teenage years would be hard for her

How do you explain to a force such as her

That there will be rocking and rolling of

concepts she’s not used to

The mother was worried

 hands crossed and frown on her face

Her little girl was different

A different no one should mess with

a different that was best left sleeping.

The father grinned

the girl should go out

be out in the world and learn to be normal


The cage was opened

she was allowed out

like all teenage girls

movies and dances all on her own

things seemed fine

just dandy

no worries

then the boy

the boy in her most hated class

The boy who watched her every move

the boy who spent his nights

wondering what she was doing

That boy, kissed her lips

that kiss was tender

that kiss was sweet

that kiss made her stop

a bit and assimilate

time passed

she became giggles

she became cotton candy

The mother still frowned

The father brushed it off.


Then the boy stopped

that boy stopped kissing her

that boy stopped wondering what she was doing at night

that boy stopped and she woke up.


No more giggles

No more sweet

She was different again

Assimilation voided


The calls came one night

the boy was gone

didn’t come home from school

Had she seen him?

Did she know?

She nodded sadly at her mom and gave her father a shrug

Then went to her room

that was the night that acting became easy

she would pretend sad for days

classmates would pat her shoulders

She’d allow it

then at home she’d eat the dinners with a smile

do the homework without being told

lay in her bed at night when all were asleep

alone she could stop the acting

smile at herself and give the idea of the boy a smirk.




A wonder she is

Such a slight thing

With eyes that spot sin

And a heart that enjoys

Giving pain



My Type of Horror

Originally, this article appeared in the Brain to Books Cyber Convention.

I'm fond of the message in the article, since it gives the reader

  • an understanding of where I am coming from.
  • Please enjoy.


The horror genre is massive. The streets of horror are connected to side roads. Those side roads are connected to dirt roads. Fair warning no good can come from a dirt road on the horror path.  There seems no way of mapping the horror genre it is something that must be explored. Many steer clear of the horror roads, being afraid of where they lead to.  I have been down many of those roads trying my best to discover what branch of horror I liked. The horror inclination was always tugging at me giving me the need to wander in it finding where I fit in.

This is article isn’t for or against any facet of horror.  In writing my Women of the Grey series I am constantly surprised at what my readers find creepy, unsettling while others find the same section mysterious and poetic. The fact that this happens is a tell of human nature. While some people smell the flowers, others stomp them, and some plant them.

In my wanderings down the horror path I discovered my horror love is classic horror mixed with some camp. I’ll be the first to line up for a Hammer film festival or to see Elvira at local venue.  I am not a blood and guts fan. My heart belongs to monsters, Kaiju, and those creepy things that go bump in the night. Most of all my heart pumps for those terrifying things that visit us from outer space.

My fandom for monsters and classic horror started off when I was very young. I might have been the only 8 year old on the block watching Godzilla movies, not sure. Thinking back at such a young age my love for these monsters came from admiration. Who wouldn’t want to be Godzilla? If you’re having an awful day wouldn’t it be great to just knock down a building? As a kid I didn’t think about the logistics of knocking down the building, I just knew I wanted to be Godzilla.


As I grew older my tastes for monsters progressed. I watched Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and had my mind blown by the fact that there was other type of monsters out there. Everyday things could be a monster, just like the birds in the movie. By the way I’m still a bit wary of large groups of birds, being almost certain that they are called a murder of crows for a reason.

In my teen years I discovered Tolkien. Orcs were a new type of monster. After my Lord of the Rings obsession (read the series 5 times) came the Alien movie franchise. As I grew older my palate for monsters was developing. My palate became enhanced more than what was typical. I can clearly remember the first time I watched Pan’s Labyrinth; the eye holding, saggy skin, kid eating monster that our heroine narrowly escapes shook me down and woke me up. That, I could point a finger at, was my type of horror.

There were other things before Pans Labyrinth that put the stepping-stones down for my education into horror. I watched things like Faces of Death and I read Stephen King. I took long walks with Anne Rice books bringing along her vampires and witches.  I did these things to further explore the horror path. I wanted to know how many places it could lead me to. The Faces of Death movies weren’t for me. Stephen King books were a pleasure to read and his movies enjoyable. Anne Rice vampires were seductive, her witches intriguing.

There was so much out there to understand about my relationship with horror, why I liked it and what I liked. Horror is not one solid thing. What is one person’s horror is another person’s main stream; some might believe to have horror you must have torture or captivity. While others might believe to have horror there must be a guy with a mask and machete romping around some lake. 

When it is discovered that I am a writer the first thing people ask is what genre I write. When I say I am a horror author some immediately put their hands up explaining to me that they can’t handle it, don’t like it. “Oh girl, I can’t sleep at night after reading that stuff.” I understand that, but I invite readers to stick a toe in any way. Try my books or other horror authors. Horror isn’t just one thing; horror is many things that can challenge the reader into feeling emotions that perhaps they haven’t explored in a long time.

My cousin and I often had horror, let’s call them discussions she loved the movies I run from. She wanted to watch movies where the human spirit is challenged by little men on tricycles. When I asked her why, she said that she would become engrossed into trying to figure out how she would survive such an ordeal. My cousin is a survivor she’s been through a lot, it added up and made sense.

Another avid fan of gore horror books and movies told me it wasn’t the horror that he loved most of all, but the psychology of it. I often hear this, horror takes us to places within ourselves that we would rather not explore. Horror can have the reader questioning themselves. What would I do? What could I handle? It’s actually not about the zombies, but about how the people handle the zombies.

As a writer I am still on my monster hunt, but now I create them. My current manuscript The Demon Dealer is a nod to the great Stephen King and my love for the show Stranger Things. My books are me still searching, traveling down those horror roads figuring out what makes me jump back and take notice. 

For me the scariest thing of all is the unknown. It’s not that there is something under that bed. It’s the not knowing what that thing is. Because of that I fill my books with mystery. I want the reader to get the creeps over what “it” might be.  Those dark corners of the unknown are where I find myself most often.

If you haven’t tried horror before maybe it’s time you go find your monster; you might learn something about yourself that was hidden on one of those dirt roads.



Brain to Books Blog Hop


Brain to Books Blog Hop


from the Diabla Poetry Collection

by Carol James Marshall



Sitting back

behind the trees

behind the brush and leaves

she lingers

wondering if they

can sense her


Introspective, is she

always contemplating

the gears and pulleys

of humans

how do they work?

what makes them do,

what they do?


She crunches herself

into a ball

eyes sharp as glass

hair beaten bloody pulp red

she is pushing the instinct to

crawl over to them



Instead she inches closer

listening to the chatter

of ghost stories and

Big Boo’s

humans cling to each other

so scary

the dark

the stories


So funny

it all is to her

the dark

the stories

are nothing

compared to her

compared to the horror

she can accomplish with the

 flick of a finger


But not right now

she ignores the

Inner flame

to cause terror

tonight is a study

In human’s

to learn them

to laugh at them


So that one day

she can educate them

bring herself into their site

let them think

let them know

Is she monster?

Is she vampire?

What is that thing?

Could it be real?

What is she going to do to us?

The humans quiver


Then they’d hear a voice

Crystal clean and loud

enough for everyone to hear

What if the devil was a girl?


Hope you enjoyed my horror poem! Please check out my Women of the Grey series on Amazon and everywhere EBooks are sold.

Stalk the Monsters Scavenger Hunt!

As part of the B2BCyCon blog hop of horror, come join the Stalk the Monsters Scavenger hunt!

Somewhere on this site you will find a piece of the puzzle that will allow you to enter to win a grand prize pack of books and other goodies. Once you collect them all, (or as many as you can find), pop over to the contest page and enter!

What you need to find on this website: A quote from a famous horror author.

What you need to put on the entry form; The Authors Name

Hint: Find out more about me!


When you are done with clues hit the link!




The Demon Dealer Ch 1

Enjoy a sneak peek at The Demon Dealer my current work in progress. Keep in mind that this is a sneak peak of an unedited still being written manuscript, not available anywhere else but on my website. Enjoy!


The Demon Dealer



The room in back

                Mr. Martinez entered the room as he always did huffing and lugging a very expensive looking suit case. The type of suitcase woman with jewelry and attendants have at the airport.  The suitcase catches a person’s eye for the reason that everything else about Mr. Martinez was shabby. He seemed the type of man that when at home wore nothing but old boxer shorts and a bathrobe that once belonged to his grandmother. He was however interesting to look at and interesting to observe.

                Moping behind Mr. Martinez was his nephew Jorge. Jorge was everything that Mr. Martinez was not. Jorge walked a slack walk with both legs aiming at their next step. His clothing seemed expensive but hinted that they might be knock off name brands. Jorge had a haircut so tight and well done that it almost looked painted on, it didn’t seem that such precise perfection was possible from a barber. Jorge walked behind Mr. Martinez and once settled he also sat behind him, always observing the situation from the furniture to every person who entered the room nothing was lost to Jorge.  The only thing Jorge had in common with his uncle was that he also seemed interesting but only by the association to his uncle beyond that he was a common street hustler.

                The room where both sat waiting on their customers was like Mr. Martinez shabby, but hidden in the very back of a luxury furniture shop. The kind of furniture that people with the means to not use their furniture bought, chairs that were merely art pieces on display in some big house, by some big window. Neither the chair nor the window ever got used. They were there for their looks and not for their comfort.  None of this bothered Mr. Martinez but the idea that the shop owner could put a better table in the back room passed by his mind occasionally, but he was usually too busy to mention it.

                All these details did not matter. Mr. Martinez organizing and reorganizing his pens and papers, Jorge staring at the door then glancing at the suitcase and the shopkeeper who knew exactly what was about to happen in his back room, but was desperate for the cash.


                Gloria didn’t move a muscle on the drive over to the furniture shop. She sat in the passenger seat stiff and counting every breath she took. Gloria had been to that shop countless times, buying this or that for their home. This time though, this time was different. This trip was for all the wrong reasons. Or all the wrong actions, Gloria couldn’t decide which it was, reason or action.  Counting her breathing 1,2,3, she decided that their wrong reasons where leading them to the wrong actions and for this she would spend the rest of her days paying penance so she could perhaps save her soul.

                Watching his wife tremble Ted felt deeply satisfied despite her doom. After all, his wife a woman of endless beauty and soft words was also full to capacity of doom.  There was no happy day that Gloria did not seek doom and gloom in. Ted loved his wife deeply and vowed he would stay by her side till his last breath but he had learned throughout the years of marriage to ignore her endless warnings, so the trembling Ted would simply brush off and savor this day. A day he had worked hard for since he was a young man who learned in back rooms amongst the well to do, that such things were available to those with the means and the how.


Mr. Martinez greeted Ted and Gloria warmly with hard handshakes and polite nods in the direction of Gloria. Jorge stood up and was neither warm nor polite, he mostly stood up so his uncle wouldn’t say something embarrassing about having a useless nephew he was forced to help out of family obligation. Mr. Martinez pointed to the chairs and everyone sat down, some in loud heaps like Mr. Martinez others hardly sat ready to run out of the room before the transaction ever happened. Ted knowing Gloria might at any moment either weep or run held her hand tightly with a soft warning to behave, this meant the world to him and she would not intervene. Gloria sat on the edge of her seat but she sat.

“The cash yes?” Mr. Martinez tapped the table.

“Oh course” Ted planted a small brown bag with what seemed like a significant amount of money. Ted had spent years skipping lunches, wearing old suits, and depriving himself of anything he wanted for this purchase today. A purchase he felt would give him all that he had ever desired.

“Once I hand you your receipt the sale is final. There is no returning or going back. Once I walk out the door you will not contact me again. Is this understood?” Mr. Martinez looked directly at Ted then Jorge never bothering with Gloria it was obvious she wasn’t voluntarily in this game and Mr. Martinez being a man of money cared not for her feelings.

“Now, we must go over the rules. The rules are very important and not to be broken.” Mr. Martinez sat up and Jorge did the same. Jorge again only sat up straight for the sake of not hearing his Uncle complain about his “lazy ways,” but he didn’t believe it was necessary.

“The rules are spoken just once at time of purchase. They are not to be written down. I will not give you a copy and I will not repeat myself.”  Ted and Gloria sat up straighter, the intensity that Gloria put in listening made Mr. Martinez feel sorry for her and that was a big deal for him, as stated Mr. Martinez was a man of money things such as empathy for others wasn’t on his agenda.

“If you break a rule, there is no way of telling the outcome. Each one has the same rules, but each one has different outcomes. There is no telling what will happen to yourself or your family.”

Gloria felt the urge to vomit or urinate she wasn’t sure which. Since their first kiss she knew Ted was a man of determination. A man that would get what he wanted no matter the work he’d have to put into getting it. She also knew he was a man that fiercely protects his family and he thought this was the way. Gloria closed her eyes and told herself to forgive her husband for what he was about to do, he believes that this is their future this is the way to protect the family and fortune he had meticulously built.  Opening her eyes Gloria wondered she could and would forgive her husband for this, but could she forgive herself?


“Rule 1: Treat your purchase with absolute love and kindness. Never a harsh word may come from your mouth. Always use kind hands. Your purchase will grow and if treated correctly will be extremely loyal to your family. :


“Rule 2: watch your mouth…one moment of frustration or a second of angry words directed to your neighbor and your purchase might see that as a threat to its family.  There is no telling how it will handle threats. “


“Rule 3: Be loyal to your purchase, if it senses even the slightest disloyalty it can turn on its family.  Once its loyalty has turned there is no fixing it.”


Mr. Martinez wiggled his nose and nodded to Ted and Gloria. “Now for a side note, there is no killing your purchase. They do not die and leave when and if they choose. Also, I do not know what you are getting. Once the bag is opened I will give you a simple explanation of what kind you purchased and that is all. Again, I do not know what’s in the bag. We are not allowed to choose what we get and all sales are final.”

Ted nodded a little too aggressively he had enough of chit chat blah blah he wanted to see it now. He wanted to greet it happily and greedily into his arms.  He met one year’s ago when he was a young man working his way through college. His professor and mentor had one. It was always near the professor, in his home, at his work carefully guarding him till the day the professor took his last breath. That day Ted had already graduated and had just started his medical practice. Ted knew from the moment he felt it’s presence from the second the professor lifted a hand and it read his every want, Ted knew he had to have one. It was considered old school now a days when these purchases were discussed in hushed tones in small back rooms like this, but Ted didn’t care if it was old fashioned and against the rules. He had to have one.


Mr. Martinez opened the suitcase took out a bag and placed it on the table, with one quick and very unexpected swipe from Jorge’s blade the bag fell open.  Blinking and titling her head was what looked like a baby girl. Maybe 9 months old. She was exquisite. A tangle of black curls flopped around her head, eyes that were as black as coal with eyelashes that looked painted on. Her lips were pink and lush as if she was spoon fed beautiful by fairies.  Ted stood up and put his arms out to the baby girl hoping that she would respond. He wanted her loyalty so badly, that he would bend anyway she asked. He would crawl if she pleased, he would beg.

Coughing a bit then looking that baby up and down Mr. Martinez tapped the table with his pen “This is a Sheba demon.  A female that can be the most alluring thing anybody has set eyes on. She can seduce anyone into doing anything.  Be careful Ted you can easily slip down a very dangerous slope with her.”  With that Mr. Martinez grabbed his suitcase waved for Jorge to get to the door.

Jorge took one last glance at the baby and memorized her face, then memorized her kind. He hadn’t seen one before. A Sheba demon looked like every man’s dream and she was just a baby. Meeting Gloria’s eyes Jorge squinted at her and held his lips tight he knew that one day he’d see her again and she’d be dead or near it.


Holding the baby Ted looked at Gloria he was full of pride and acted as if he himself did not have two of his very own children at home. Gloria felt a pang of anger, but remembered the Demon Dealers words to mind her tongue and her emotion. She would have to push her everything aside to greet this baby, this demon into her home.

“Let’s name her Valentina, I’ve always loved that name.” Ted cooed at the baby who blinked her eyelashes at him and curled her little fingers over his.  Ted laughed and smiled at Valentina before giving Gloria a peck on her cheek. “Let’s get home to your brother and sister.”  Gloria felt nothing but tenderness for her husband at that point. The kind of tenderness you feel for the handicapped and disfigured. Today she witnessed that he was a fool and Gloria never thought the same of her husband again. From that day on her respect for his intellect was under her shoe. 



Sister Wives

I’m not a reality TV show watcher, but I do for some odd reason love Sister Wives. In fact I just got done binge watching season 9 on Hulu. For this blog post please set aside all the religious beliefs about polygamy and those polygamists wearing the old western dresses with hair that looks like a Little House on the Prairie nightmare, put those people out of your mind. I’m talking about modern polygamy.

I’ve watched every single episode of Big Love and Sister Wives. I have analyzed that about myself and this might be why, but first I have to digress a bit to make sense; walk with me I’ll get to the point.  I am working on an article about the horror genre for the Brains to Books cyber con because of this I am talking to different people about which horror genre appeals to them. My cousin loves watching movies like Saw, The Purge when I asked her what attracted her to those movies. She told me that she would become fascinated with the idea of what would she do in that situation. How would she survive it?

Maybe, that’s why I watched Big Love and still watch polygamy shows. Could I do that? Could I handle 3, 4, whatever sister wives because come’on ladies the question is not whether you can handle the man, it’s whether you can tolerate the other wives.  Ugh, I hate the term “sister wife.” I don’t know why I find that seedy. If I was a one and had to introduce another one to people as in “this is Julie, my sister wife”  ewww, that sounds jeeez I don’t know what it sounds like. It sounds like, not right that’s what it sounds like. Possibly because I am a horror author but if you were to say to me without me having any knowledge of what it meant “you are going to become a sister wife.” I would assume that my life was about to turn into a very sordid sticky place. I don’t find the words “sister wife” appealing and I don’t know what I would replace it with.

Let’s set my dislike for the term aside, could I handle it?  Thinking on it there’s lots of good that I can think of. First thing is the worry if your man is cheating should be out of the question, when he’s with the other women you know who she is, where she lives, and you had coffee with her yesterday.  If you’ve got a kids and you trust your sister wives you can co-op babysit with all of them, that’s appealing.

Maybe you’re a very independent type of woman, perhaps you like to be on your own but still want some male companionship, a couple kids but not fulltime dude in the house stuff. Polygamy gives you a man on loan, like a library book; a guy in bed a couple nights a week, wink wink.

All of this is just theories of mine, different ways of looking at why women choose this lifestyle that doesn’t involve their religious beliefs. Could I handle being a polygamist wife? Not sure, I’ve been married for 18 years and the thought of having the lady next door deal with him when he’s grumpy, is interesting. I know when my hubby isn’t home its Little Caesar’s pizza for dinner; not cooking all the time also gets my attention.  Or the thought that I would have the Xbox to myself several days a week, perks my ears up.

I can hear everyone now, scoffing at me looking at the arrangement so coldly without feeling, without pain or jealousy. Again, I’ve been married for 18 years the hearts and flowers, little baby bunny running through the field of love is done for me. I don’t have the patience for it. At this point the idea of getting laid and having an Xbox to myself several times a week sounds pretty damn good. I’ve mentioned the Xbox several times, sorry about that. I am a gamer.

I wrote all of the above to get to my biggest question of all. Why aren’t there female polygamists that are the family lead?  I think the biggest reason is a woman couldn’t have babies for 3 husbands, her vagina would fall out and crawl away like a beaten animal, so let’s set that aside; forget the babies thing.

Maybe there’s let’s say three guys that want a wife, but are busy doing guy things like I don’t know, bowling. Why couldn’t those three guys share one wife?  I’ve asked this to groups of women when discussing the Sister Wives reality show. A hundred percent of the time the ladies all huff and say “no thanks….” “oh no…no….no..” Then they walk away quickly as if I’m going to pop out husband number 2 from my pocket and make them take him home.  

I ask the same question to myself, could I be a polygamist wife of 3 men?  Instantly, the answer is yes.  I could totally handle it if I had every 4th night off. I could have a secret cave where I could sit in silence, drink wine and not cook.  Then I think on it, would my vagina also crawl away like a beaten animal after handling 3 husbands for years?

I wonder about this crazy stuff while I watch Sister Wives. I watch Mary cry, Christine bitch, Robin stress and the big blonde one analyze herself all while questioning if Cody is secretly taking naps all over the place in order to keep up with everything. He probably has a secret nap spot the camera crew hasn’t found.

There’s no point to this, other than I would love to sit down with the Brown family and not go over their jealousies, sex lives, kids, who cares about that. I want to see their bank statements. I want to see what their monthly electric bill looks like in those Los Vegas summers. I want to know on a average month what’s the grocery bill combined for all of them. That’s seriously interesting, who gives a crap how they are handling their sex lives. Cody seems to be doing just fine there are a slew of his kids all over the place.

Most of all I want to see a polygamy show where the woman is the polygamist head of household and the hubbies discuss their relationships with her, it’s about time for that right?