Sunday, October 31, 2010



BONELLA: Wow! What a month. I don’t think even as a human did I barf for thirty-one days consecutively. So for that excruciating pain you put me through, my pals and I have a nice treat for you…THE BONELLA ROAST featuring the roast of Muse participating authors. HA! Eat that! Well, actually, when we say ‘roast’ we really do mean ‘roast’ with a bit of salt and pepper.

First person in line is your boss lady—

MUMMSY BITTER: Step aside, Bonella. I’ll have a crack at her.

BONELLA: Love the choice of word, Mummsy.

MUMMSY BITTER: Leaders are supposed to be tough, and Lea seems to be tough…around the mid-section. Even Joan Rivers backed out of this roast today…

FANGS BUD: Oh, nice one, Mummsy. Joan Rivers preferred her crypt and wax on, wax off pedicure over being here.

MUMMSY BITTER: In her interview she said you need to learn this business inside out…

BONELLA: She did—but in her case it was with a plunger cleaning the inside and out.

SLIM RIBBER: That’s my gal.

BONELLA: Thanks, Slim. But enough with her. She’s bloated with ego as it is—quick, shut the door…I see her walking this way…


BONELLA: Didn’t tell you to hit her. Now she’s gonna write me off for good.

SLIM RIBBER: Sorry, honeykin.

BONELLA: Optsay with the oneykinhay, k? Up next are the editors. Anyone really look at those fine, red markings from your editors? Go ahead, look at them carefully—

FANGS BUD: Drrrip…drrrip…mmm

BONELLA: Tastes good, eh? Yep, it’s blood, you suckers, blood from the writers they edit. Why do you think writers disappear after book one and never make another appearance? What! You think Nancy, Karen, Penny, Chris, Ashley, Carrie, Fiona don’t know?

MUMMSY BITTER: Word in the underground is that they all share a cave.

BONELLA: They help glue their warts on each others face.

FANGS BUD: I’d love to glue that cover artist—

MUMMSY BITTER: Exsqueeze my ears you didn’t say that!

FANGS BUD: No, Mummsy, but a little bite—

BONELLA: Ro, Ro, Ro your crow, down her ugly throat…jaggedly, jaggedly, jaggedly, a happy Bonnela will be.

MUMMSY BITTER: Dear Miz Rosanne, any last words?...yes, of course we’ll answer for you…you don’t say…Lea is a pain in your butt…you think all cover artists are divas…and you think your fellow Musers don’t compare to you…very interesting.

BONELLA: Wow, what an exclusive interview, and ya’ll heard it here first. Rosanne thinks you all suck as writers. Oh, and those hieroglyphic markings in the women’s bathrooms…yeah, not cave writing but RO WRITING…&(*$@% translation = Roseanne’s the best writer in the whole world!! HAHAHAHAHA Wow, this is fun. My turn…Miz Lighthouse…oh, excuse me…Miz Kat Holmes, we were contacted today by the authorities saying you were badgering the ghosts occupying the southern portion of the lighthouse…no? were only mooning them?...I see…

MUMMSY BITTER: Writers are an odd sort.

FANGS BUD: Mooning?

MUMMSY BITTER: I’ll moon you to the moon if you don’t quit drooling…

SLIM RIBBER: Let me try an interview…howdy horse gal Killarney…why thank you, it’s nice to meet you too…

BONELLA: Slim, you suck at this…Horse gal, Black Beauty complained about that black beauty of a mark over his eye…you don’t say…you know you can always commit yourself anytime you want…oh, I see…they don’t allow you to go back…poor thing…

LEA: I-I-see stars—where--


BONELLA: Will you stop hitting her!

SLIM RIBBER: Did it for you honeyk—



BONELLA: Santa is a Lady...what planet are you from, Miz Lin Holmes? Santa is the Grim Reaper, my bud, my pal...

MUMMSY BITTER: We interrupt this roast for a special interview with Antonia Tiranth...dragons bit you?...Pat Dale bit you?...You’re not sure what happened because James Hartley flew in wearing a partial Superman costume and rescued Ginger Simpson from Heather Haven’s clutches?...

BONELLA: Murder is a Muse Business...

MUMMSY BITTER: Miz Tiranth, so who really bit you?...Dragon is in the hospital?...Pat is being tested...

BONELLA: Hold on, Mummsy...look at the sign above her head...

MUMMSY BITTER: Miz Tiranth...we are stopping this interview...patients of the Muse Asylum are not to be trusted...

BONELLA: bunch awhackos...

FANGS BUD: Delilah here yet?

MUMMSY BITTER: I’ll Delilah your sorry lookin’--

BONELLA: Hey, anyone see where Lea went to? Oh oh...

LOUDSPEAKER: ATTENTION my October spooky hosts...I’d like to introduce you to our December hostess...

BONELLA: NO! Still a few hours left...

FANGS BUD: Who’s the December hostess?

MUMMSY BITTER: Bonella, I thought you said we were the permanent hosts for these festivals...

SLIM RIBBER: Um...honeykin...Mummsy looks upset...

MERRY WREATH: I’m dreaming of a white Christmas...


LEA: Muh ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Thank you everyone, writers and readers, for joining us this month. Stay tuned for more fun coming up from your Muse writers in December. We’ll keep you abreast on Bonella and her devilish friends...and I’m sure they’ll be making spotlight appearances if they escape their crypts...


MERRY WREATH: Hark the herald angels sing…


MERRY WREATH: Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer

BONELLA: You’re gonna find Rudolph somewhere alright!

LEA: And with that last thought…Goodnight, everyone, and a safe and Happy Halloween to all!

Host Profiles


No matter what, this gal is going to be popping in on you humans from time to time and keep you on your toes. Can't get rid of me that easily.


I'm Bonella's main squeeze and wherever my honeykin goes, I go. So I guess I'll be seeing you guys.


Yummy blood...come closer...don't be afraid...I don't bite...always...


I'm keeping a close eye on everyone...waiting...until you're alone...




For the members in the MUSE READERS GROUP

YELL out the title of the song in the readers group and you win Ginger Simpson's short story romance, Hurricane Warning, released tomorrow, November 1st.

Betwixt and Between by Grace DeLuca

Betwixt and Between
by Grace DeLuca
MuseItYoung Publishing
Releasing May 2011

Suspended between two worlds, teenager Michael must set out on a Quest in order to return to Earth. The only way home is through a fantasy land of adventure, suspense, and incredible experiences-- the world of Betwixt and Between.

Bonella bites off with Delilah

DELILAH: Hello Bonella. May I say your bones look lovely. I do appreciate you taking the time to interview me, you must be a very busy... ghoul? or something else? I admit that puzzle is very interesting.

BONELLA: Hello of Art Covers? What, you like wrap yourself in paint and roll on a canvas? Are you a bit nutty? Eccentric? What's up with that title?

DELILAH: Well I don't like to wrap myself up in paint and roll around on canvas - can't stand stuff like that makes me run for the shower.

BONELLA: Thought it smelled in here...

DELILAH: But I am nutty, eccentric, dark, and twisted but a good artist must be all those things. As for the title - it was given to me. I just try to live up to it. Sorry about the "L" word, didn't mean to be insulting.

BONELLA: Don't worry...sticks and stones may all that crap...Okay, so I looked at your covers...not bad...loved The Bone Lord, reminded me of my pops. Checked you out. You write and you draw and you go to school and you have time to workshop about book trailers...what are you? A shape-shifting time traveler? Got some free passes from my demon pals to get this accomplished?

DELILAH: Why thank you, Bonella. The Bone Lord was a fun cover to do. How is your father? As for me I'm just a poor human with a bad case of ADD. But being a time traveling shape shifter sounds fun! Know one you could send over to recruit me?

BONELLA: As if...

DELILAH: Well I can make you some up on photoshop but don't know if they'd work but we could give it a try.

FANG BUD: She don't look like no shape-shifter to me...smells too pukey good...veins nice and big...

DELILAH: Come on over here, Fang Bud, aren't you an interesting fellow. Did I mention I like Vampires too?

BONELLA: Lea's gonna whip our butts if we hurt this one so put those sharpies away. Miz Stephans, I hear you have the hots for a Jimmy. Are you so crazed to fall in love with a cover character? What makes this man so special?

DELILAH: Oh no not the hots for him. I just love that he photographs well and takes a variety of pictures. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find Regency Era images?

BONELLA: Like I care?

DELILAH: Sometimes I pull my hair out trying to find images to do the cover.

BONELLA: Explains the wig...

DELILAH: As for what makes Jimmy special... well he is a hottie and very sweet in the email conversations we have had - but I have this thing for bad boys.

FANG BUD: Just a taste?

DELILAH: I'm A positive. To tell ya the truth the blood bank said I had puny veins - but if you're willing to make me a vampire - and only if I can look like my younger self I'm game.

BONELLA: Later. Today is October 31st, and as you can tell the spirit world is in a bit of a frenzy of emotional unrest so I need to wrap this up quickly before harm comes to you. What pleasure do you get from designing covers for these...Muse (what a typical name) writers?

DELILAH: I appreciate that Bonella. Have you met the hero of my June release from MuseitHot? A very sexy ghost. Oh wait you were asking about covers.

BONELLA: You know, with a gutter mind like yours you'd fit in our crypt perfectly.

DELILAH: What I enjoy is the challenge of creating a cover that teases the readers and slipping in a few subliminal clues as to what is going on. I want them when they look at the cover after reading it to go - I didn't see that! Besides if I'm sitting at the computer for 12 hours a day I might as well be productive.

BONELLA: I don't know why but you're just not nerving up my bones like the rest of your crew this month. Maybe I'm just tired...yeah right... if you could murder just one Muser...

LEA: Ahem!!
BONELLA: Allow me to finish my question PUHLEASE! GEEZ, woman...if you could murder just one Muser do you think the act would find its way onto a cover?

LEA: What kind of a question is that?

FANG BUD: Answer it. Can't wait, answer, answer, answer...Ouch. That hurt!

DELILAH: Oh well I'll admit I've had some that I wanted to strangle - but got past it and managed to create a cover for them. Funny how those seem to end up being my favorites.

BONELLA: Great, she calls me evil and whacks Fang over the head. Okay...if you were dying and had one last chance to give it your all would you pick writing a book or designing a cover? Lame human question. Pukesville.

DELILAH: I love doing them both! As a writer I'm kind of slow - it can take me years to finish a book. Why, I got so mad at one character I put the book aside for 2 years before going back to it. Covers are a few days work and I get to show them off!

BONELLA: You've been a boring blast and want to thank you for curing my wakefulness. Perhaps you can devise a formula and sell this for insomniacs, call it D Sleep More Pills?

DELILAH: I'd recommend Trazadone it's what the doctor gives me for my insomnia.

LEA: Thank you, Delilah, for--

BONELLA: Excuse me...who died and made you hostess? Thank you, dear Queen of Covers for allowing me the privilege of...anyone got Scope?...interviewing the last author of this event we, the ghouls and I, will finally finish this festival in the style most appropriate for us...coming up later tonight.

DELILAH: Don't have Scope but I have some anders chocolate mints.

FANG BUD: Can I ask a question? I want to find out if this pretty lady here has any blood disease...--drool--are you married? Wanna remain married? Ever thought of being one of the undead? What do you write?

DELILAH: Fang Bud - No blood diseases, I am married and I like the hubby I have a lot. He's been my personal hero several times - but if you want a meal, contact me later and I'll give you the name of someone you can eat. Yes I have thought about being one of the undead - I'm a night owl - would rather sleep during the day and be awake all night. I write mostly paranormal romances. Let's see, I've written a time travel story, a dragon shifter story, a vampire story, a story about an incubus cambion, a ghost story and in the works is a story about a witch who inadvertently pulls the hero from the late 1700s into 2011, a story about a police detective, a serial killer and the heroine is Death, with my writing buddy Antonia Tiranth we're in the process of building a world where vampires, ghouls, shapeshifters, ghost, elves and the four horsemen of the Apocalypse all interact.

BONELLA: Like you musta failed math. One question? Just answer him or else he'll go on and on...

DELILAH: LOL! Oh, Bonella, he's not bothering me. At least he asked them all at one time and I managed to answer them all in one paragraph... unlike email where I often have to send multiple emails to answer all the questions.

I had fun! Let's do this again sometime, maybe next October?

BONELLA: Yeah, sure, fun fun fun...door's thaddaway...oh, and don't forget, Fang will be waiting for you in the lane for a little bite...artists...crazy bunch...anyone have a spare barf bag?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Family Halloween Celebrations Aren't What They Used To Be

When I was growing up in the 60’s we kids dressed for Halloween in various costumes like Hobo, Hula Girl, Raggedy Ann, Ballernia, witch or occasional ghost. The costumes were not scary or gross or demonic, unlike today’s typical costume.

In fact, I recently came across my own hobo cigar which actually ‘smoked’ talcum powder and collapsible top hat in addition to the raffia grass hula skirt and plastic flower leis. What a coup and they brought back such wonderful memories.

My parents would never have been caught dead dressing up. Halloween was a kid’s holiday. They might accompany us along the street, when we were really small, but by the time I was 8 I was trick-or-treating with a group of kids all over the neighborhood and gone for hours. No one worried. We were perfectly safe.
When we returned home our very full pillowcases full of candy would be unceremoniously dumped in piles all around the livingroom floor. Then we spent the next several hours sorting, tasting, discussing and enjoying our treasure. That batch of candy would last months in a huge glass jar in the kitchen. Every day as we made our school lunches a handful of that luscious candy would go into the lunchbox.

When I began raising my own family, times had changed. Candy was spiked, homemade goodies concealed razor blades, kids were kidnapped if allowed to go out alone. So it became the responsibility of the parents to protect our little ones while providing the fun Halloween experience. One way of doing this became for parents to dress in costume and trick-or-treat along with the kids. Mine loved it when we did this.

For a month before Halloween I would decorate the house and as the kids grew older they helped. All of the main parts of the house held various Halloween not-scary d├ęcor that helped the kids ‘get into the mood’, as though kids need any help.

As the kids grew up they didn’t need us to dress up anymore, but we continued escorting them and it became a family activity to ‘check the candy’ when we all got home. Today we drive the car slowly down the street while our youngest runs along from house to house. There ends up being a whole parade of cars doing this and the kids have to be really careful crossing the street to get both sides of houses.
Parties have become the most popular way to celebrate Halloween today. Churches, malls, grocery stores and private parties supply the fun and excitement.

Another form of celebrating is the temporary constructions at various theme parks. Many zoos have taken to building booths, haunted houses, play areas and trick-or-treat paths. These are usually available for about a month and kept to a PG rating of scariness.

Other places like Universal in Orlando go all out and have developed quite a reputation for their gore and scary factor. Obvious these places are geared toward the adult who wants to relive their Halloween childhood.

Written by Rebecca Ryals Russell, author of YA/MG Fantasy. You can see more about this author at YellowHatAuthor or Plotting Worlds You can read about her upcoming YA Dark Fantasy series Seraphym Wars. Book 1 Odessa is due to be released April 1, 2011 at Book 1 Zarena, of her MG series, Stardust Warriors, is due to be out July 1, 2011 at Muse as well. She also has a very dark horror story, Don't Make Marty Mad, coming out next Halloween at MuseItUp Publishing. And if you write for teens or are a teenaged writer, visit Teen Word Factory, a grog produced by several YA/MG Muse authors filled with helpful writing advice and suggestions. You can also reach Rebecca directly at myrnawatts (at) gmail (dot) com.

Listings of Over 100 Horror Movies Good, Bad and Ugly

Can't spell SLAUGHTER without LAUGHTER - oxymoron

Do you enjoy watching scary movies for and on Halloween? Here are some you may or may not have seen. I've listed them according to my own Russell Scale of Watchability.

With Halloween approaching I thought it timely to discuss Horror and Slasher Films. I've been shocked in the past twenty years at the plethora of these films that have graced our theatre and television screens. It seems nearly half of the movies made fit this genre.

I’m going to age myself here, as though you couldn’t guess from my pictures anyway, but when I was about twelve-years-old The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock came out. I was babysitting my sister, five years younger, and we watched it. Alone. Just the two of us. BIG MISTAKE. We woke each other during the night for bathroom company (which was about three feet from our bedroom door) for at least two months afterward. That was the scariest movie I had ever seen.

I had my own children watch it about ten years ago. While they enjoyed the classic nature and awesome direction that was Hitchcock, they weren’t exactly scared. Although the younger ones searched the sky whenever traveling from house to car or vice versa.

That is what has happened to the current generation of teens and twenties. They are completely desensitized to horror, gore, violence. Don’t even get me started on video games! (That’ll be another post.)

 As with all movie genres there are good films and bad to awful films. While researching this I gave it some thought and have categorized the following Horror to A-little-Scary movies into GOOD or NOT SO GOOD according to MY subjective movie-goer senses. If a movie has some psychology behind the scare or is based on actual events, it gets my thumb up. But violence and gore for the sake of it – no go.

The following sites have good info on horror/slasher films:

  1. 1408
  2. 28 Days Later
  3. 28 Weeks Later
  4. 30 Days of Night
  5. Alien(s)
  6. Amityville Horror (original)
  7. Blair Witch Project 1
  8. Burnt Offerings
  9. Candyman
  10. Carrie (original)
  11. Coraline
  12. Cube
  13. Dawn of the Dead
  14. Deliverance
  15. Desperation
  16. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (original)
  17. Event Horizon
  18. Exorcism of Emily Rose
  19. Fallen
  20. Four Horsemen
  21. Frankenstein
  22. Haunting in Connecticut
  23. I Am Legend
  24. Interview With a Vampire
  25. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (original)
  26. Jaws
  27. Misery
  28. Mothman Prophecy
  29. Mouth of Madness
  30. Ninth Gate
  31. Nosferatu
  32. Panic Room
  33. Pan's Labyrinth
  34. Planet of the Apes
  35. Poltergeist
  36. Psycho
  37. Quarantine
  38. Resident Evil
  39. Ringu
  40. Rose Red
  41. Rosemary's Baby
  42. Salem's Lot
  43. Seven
  44. Shutter Island
  45. Silence of the Lambs
  46. Sleepy Hollow
  47. Stir of Echoes
  48. Storm of the Century
  49. Sweeney Todd
  50. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original)
  51. The Birds
  52. The Blob
  53. The Descent
  54. The Devil’s Backbone
  55. The Exorcist
  56. The Fly (w/ Jeff Goldblum)
  57. The Howling
  58. The Langoliers
  59. The Legend of Hell House
  60. The Mummy
  61. The Omen
  62. The Orphanage
  63. The Other
  64. The Others
  65. The Ring 1
  66. The Serpent and the Rainbow
  67. The Shining
  68. The Stand
  69. The Thing
  70. The Unborn
  71. Underworld (series)
  72. Untraceable
  73. What Lies Beneath
  74. White Noise
  75. Zodiac Killer
  76. Zombieland

Some things to remember about these lists. They are subjective to the viewer - ME. I have seen most of the movies on the bad list and while I enjoyed them at the time or at least sat through them at least once, I didn't consider them worthy of being called GOOD. The plot was weak, the characterization was weak or non-existent, the ending was lame. You get the point. But there is no reason not to see them just because I put them on my bad list. I love B-rated movies, especially those on the SyFy Channel, but some of these don’t even stand up to my low standards.

  1. 13 Ghosts
  2. 2001 Maniacs
  3. Alien 3 & Resurrection
  4. Arachnophobia
  5. Black Christmas
  6. Cabin Fever
  7. Children of the Corn
  8. Chucky
  9. Cloverfield
  10. Drag Me toHell
  11. Exorcist 2
  12. Final Destination (all)
  13. Friday the 13th (all)
  14. Ghost Ship
  15. Grindhouse (both)
  16. Halloween (all)
  17. Hellraiser
  18. Hostel
  19. House of Wax
  20. I Know What You Did Last Summer
  21. It!
  22. Jaws the Revenge
  23. Joy Ride (all)
  24. My Bloody Valentine
  25. Nightmare on Elm Street
  26. Pet Semetary
  27. Piranha
  28. Prom Night
  29. Pterodactyl
  30. Rest Stop
  31. Return of the Living Dead
  32. Saw (all)
  33. Scream
  34. Silent Hill
  35. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  36. The Grudge (all)
  37. The Hills Have Eyes
  38. Wickerman
  39. Wrong Turn (all)

Here is a listing of Scary stories based on actual events. While I’m not saying these films are GOOD, they are at least interesting from that aspect.
  1. It (1990)
  2. The Ring(1972)
  3. Don't Look Now(1973)
  4. The Exorcist (1973)
  5. Halloween (1978)
  6. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
  7. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
  8. Jaws(1975)
  9. Audrey Rose(1977)
  10. Hills have Eyes(1977)
  11. The Amityville Horror(1977)
  12. The Entity(1981)
  13. Dead Ringers(1988)
  14. Gothic(1986)
  15. Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
  16. An American Haunting (2006)
  17. Primeval (2007)
  18. Them (Ils) (2007)
  19. The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)