Sunday, December 22, 2013

52 Books to Madness: My Yearly Challenge

Every year I challenge myself to read 52 books and I'm happy to report that I met and exceeded my goals once again (and still have a few days left to possibly squeeze one more in).

Here's the list:
  1. Smoke by Ellen Hopkins
  2. How to Write Horror Fiction by William F. Nolan
  3. The Thief of Always by Clive Barker
  4. Women by Charles Bukowski
  5. The Art of Description: World into Word by Mark Doty
  6. Beautiful Sorrows by Mercedes M. Yardley
  7. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
  8. Back Roads & Frontal Lobes by Brady Allen
  9. Booklife by Jeff Vandermeer
  10. The Strangers by Mort Castle
  11. Mama Fish by Rio Youers
  12. Vampires, Zombies and Wanton Souls by Marge Simon
  13. Zombie Haiku by Ryan Mecum
  14. The Body by Stephen King
  15. The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  16. Daughters of Lilith by Donna Lynch
  17. Death Perception by Lee Allen Howard
  18. Westlake Soul by Rio Youers
  19. Floating Staircase by Ronald Malfi
  20. The Colossus by Sylvia Plath
  21. I'm Not Sam by Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee
  22. The Crossing by Joe McKinney
  23. Erotic Poems by e.e. cummings
  24. Totems and Taboos by Jason V. Brock
  25. A Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson
  26. Voodoo Queen: The Spirited Lives of Marie Laveau by Martha Ward
  27. Dark Duet by Linda D. Addison and Stephen M. Wilson
  28. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  29. Tearstone by David L. Day
  30. What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson
  31. Days of Reckoning by Chris Stout
  32. Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward
  33. Revising Fiction by Kirt Hickman
  34. Mastering the Techniques of Teaching by Joseph Lowman
  35. The Writing Class by Jincy Willet
  36. Gone South by Robert R. McCammon
  37. Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon
  38. The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall
  39. Red by Jack Ketchum
  40. The Writing Workshop by Alan Ziegler
  41. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkein
  42. A Haunted Love Story: The Ghosts of the Allen House by Mark Spencer
  43. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  44. Ashes by Donna Burgess
  45. The Pact by Jodi Picoult
  46. The Monstrance by Bryan D. Dietrich
  47. Ladies' Night by Jack Ketchum
  48. Weed Species by Jack Ketchum
  49. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
  50. The Devil's Wine by Tom Piccirilli
  51. Perfect by Ellen Hopkins
  52. Fallout by Ellen Hopkins

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


“Dragons do not cry. They control their emotions. That is what all dragons were taught, but I am now the only one alive to remember this lesson.” 
Cover Art by Allie Raines Now for sale at Amazon
What does it mean to be a human?  Meet Vincent, a most unusual dragon who has been trying to avoid answering that particular question for thousands of years, ever since his kind banished him and forced him to spend the rest of his life as a human. When a new love arrives unexpectedly, Vincent discovers that the only way to find happiness is to revisit his violent past and to confront his uncertain future. Haunting, heart-felt, and sometimes funny, Vincent discovers that even through tragedy, the things we most often try to avoid are those that make us whole.
What others have said ONLY HUMAN takes you on a journey through Vincent's past lives and loves as he navigates his present incarnation and the darkness that follows him throughout the ages.
-Heidi Ruby Miller, author of Greenshift
There's lots to love about ONLY HUMAN: action, mystery, secrets revealed and redemption. Add to that dragons (who doesn't love dragons?), wicked bad guys and an all-too-human narrator who will win your heart...the strongest element of this book is the love story...This is an epic, timeless story and a small intimate one at the same time. Dip your toe in, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
-Jennifer Barnes, editor at Raw Dog Screaming Press
Purchased and enjoying!!...AND I had a dream I was a flying dragon last night! It was awesome!
-Amazon Reader
Watch the trailer below
For fun
Who would play the characters in the movie version?
About Me
Mike Mehalek writes fast-paced lyrical books that can be enjoyed with one reading but have enough substance for re-reading. He brings stories to life that demand to be told, regardless of the hopes/dreams/fears/desires of his characters-the Story first-always the Story. 
He'd love for you to visit him at his blog, Writing is Tricky
or on Twitter @mikemehalek
If you'd like to join his email list, please email
with like to join in the subject line.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Patient: Stephanie M. Wytovich
Illness: Sin
Treatment: Hell

I spent a lot of time thinking today and yeah, as a writer that’s normally what I do every day, but today was different. Today, I didn’t just think. I figured some stuff out, too. You see, when I finished my thesis novel, I thought the best thing that I could do for myself was to step out of Hell for a little while. I needed to spend some time away from the The Seven, take a break from the fire, and stop breathing in the ashes. I didn’t want to constantly think about pain, about empty hearts, and what happens when we don’t go after the people that we love. I wanted to bury my demons for a while, and with them, their stories, their thoughts, their pasts. I wanted to look towards the light, to start a fresh project and meet new people—new characters—characters that would teach me different things about life, about love, about happiness and pain.

But you know what? Life made more sense to me when I was in Hell. So I’m going back, back to the fire, back to the circles, back to death, to pain, and to sin. I’m re-marrying an old idea and taking the Devil’s hand one more time.

And since I came out swinging once, I think I can do it again.

So here’s to Deadly Sin, to embracing your demons.
Here's to regret, to redemption, to not stopping until your heart can feel something again.
But most importantly, here's to sin.
It’s going to be one Hell of a ride.  
Want to follow my sins?
Facebook: Stephanie M. Wytovich
Twitter: @JustAfterSunset
Pinterest: Stephanie M Wytovich, board "Deadly Sin"
Spotify: "Deadly Sin" Playlist