Wednesday, February 22, 2017

LOSTNESS by Billie Sue Mosiman

Reviewed by Anthony Servante

Angelique, the rogue fallen angel from BANISHED, made a mistake by taking over the dead body of a child. Locked on earth in this manner, she needed help and sent for Nisroc, her most trusted being in the void. He turned against her and in the end fled her presence. In LOSTNESS Angelique is back, hunting Nisroc, but there are complications. Three more angels align with him, along with a dwarf friend, a teen, and a woman who travels beyond her body to spy on Angelique's evil life. There will be a reckoning backed by a world war and it all hangs in the balance. She who must be defeated might have met her match [Amazon].

It is tempting for me to discuss "Lostness" as one of my examples of History and Horror, or even my Religion and Horror series, but let's try to tread the middle-ground. The sequel to "Angelique" and "Banished" is a tale of fallen angels, redemption, and the evils of mankind. Some background. There was a great war in Heaven, led by Lucifer and the angels who sided with him to dethrone God. God won. He condemned the rebel angels to Hell. Angelique has found a loophole for escaping eternal damnation: she possesses the body of a dead girl who is revived by a witch doctor. She walks Earth and seeks vengeance or retribution, depending on your view of her situation. She finds another dead body for Nisroc, another fallen angel, who on Earth can act as her father since she inhabits the body of that ten year old little girl, but possesses the brain of a eternal and immortal being. Nisroc, now known as "Nick", finds love, however, with a human and betrays Angelique. An epic battle ensues. Nick wins and believes he has vanquished his former co-conspirator, little realizing that she is not "dead" or as dead as an angel can be. 

Fastforward to the brink of World War Two. Nick and his friend, Jody, the "little person", are escaping the blitzkrieging Germans and picking up companions along the way, including another angel who is older than he, that is, alive longer on Earth than either he or Angelique have been on this soil. Meanwhile, Angelique has moved Southern California because it is too weird for her and picks up her own companion, Henry, in her move to the home of Voodoo and witchcraft. Naturally, Nick and Angelique are on a collision course. But Mosiman doesn't make the journey that simple. Mankind, at its most evil, in the form of the Nazi Spring to conquer the world, is also on a collision course with our heroes and villains. 

Which brings us to the conflicts and contradictions inherent in this series. Fallen angels are demons. They are not good; they are evil. Nick, in the human form of Caesar, experienced human cruelty and betrayal. So Nick is not all good. He is still basically a demon, but in the guise of the human Nick, he chooses to act good. His free will is still intact. He chose to betray God, but so, too, he chose to betray Angelique (as we saw in Banished). With the friendship he develops with the new angel companion, Monty, what will he choose now? That's the question the reader will ask, and it will be answered. Angelique, on the other hand, is still a demon and has no problem choosing evil and choosing companions who also choose evil (though she does have the power to manipulate their decisions). However, she knows what betrayal feels like, just as God experienced betrayal by her hand, and though God passed judgment on these rebels, Angelique's judgment is to choose vengeance on Nick. She is incapable or forgiveness, but her feelings for Nick are not evil. Her revenge stems from a broken heart, not an act of evil. Little does she realize she is becoming all too human, which the reader can parallel with the Nazi rise in power. These conflicts are not what they seem, and these new experiences for our heroes and villains are what drives the story along and keeps the reader guessing which evil will triumph--the evil of man or the evil of angels? Or the good of heroes and redeemers? 

As such, this is a story of second chances, War, with its capacity for destruction and heroism, and the corruption of angels inhabiting the fragile human forms. It is important to point out that the "little person" would be considered an abomination of nature by the Nazis, so Mosiman draws him as pure and sympathetic and brave, whereas the "perfect Aryan" person is the real abomination in this war to eradicate the imperfect humans from the Earth. Angelique's other companion, Henry, is a shapeshifter, a demonic being who is hideous in appearance but loyal to his young master, just as the Nazi youth are loyal to their insane fuehrer. Both Nick's and Angelique's companions are but reflections of the human evil spreading across Europe with intents to continue their domination over the rest of the continents. And let's not forget that in second chances one can find redemption. This is the true test for our two groups. What choices will be made?   

Billie Sue Mosiman crafts 
another great supernatural drama.

Billie Sue Mosiman has crafted a tense balance of history, religion, and horror. LOSTNESS is a perfect follow-up to "Banished". "Lostness", for this reviewer, is the superior read. Where "Banished" was epic in scope, especially that final battle, "Lostness" brings the drama down to the human level. The evil of the supernatural beings contrasts well with the good of the natural human spirit. This sequel is epic in its portrayal of the human heart and the hard choices it must make when evil threatens the good for which man fights. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Women in Horror 
February 2017
Women in Poetry
Profile: Jaye Tomas

I started writing as a child before I could properly write or spell (the spelling is still iffy). The words I didn't know I would illustrate with crayons. No one told me I couldn't but I can't say I ever got much encouragement either. As a child I loved the older fairy tales much better than the saccharine disneyfied ones. I liked Morticia Adams and vampires and werewolves. My interests as I got older were shaped on the reading that I preferred: old Gothic horror books that I found (and could afford with my allowance) at garage sales. And a few years later new writer had emerged that I read as soon as his latest hit the may have heard of him? Stephen King. He has been moderately successful....

Life intruded and I left school, worked, married, had children and occasionally scribbled things on scraps of paper and then shoved them in a drawer, showing no one. This was before the Internet, when computers filled whole rooms and had their own a/c.

Yes....I AM that old.

Fast forward a few years ("few" being a fluid word) and I am furtively typing snippets and poems and ....things...into a computer and pushing send. Don't bother looking, I was A. Nony. Mous. 

The Internet allowed me to dabble, to juuuuuuust baaaaarely touch my shrinking toes in the water. And I liked it. (insert MUWAHAHAHAHAHA here).

So....a successful blog (Chimera Poetry) and 3 published books I stand. The fourth book is on hold as I sideline into a new venture; I have written a children's book. The first of a three book set. It's done and just awaiting the illustrations. is NOT a horror story! It's about a charming hedgepig named Mr Fray. No fangs. No zombies. No disembodied voices. Don't pout.

Books are my passion, my friend, my plane ticket, my warm blanket, my burr under the saddle. One of the best things about being a part of the writers tribe is finding previously unexplored books, artists, authors etc. It can be a little disconcerting to have some one write to me about liking my poems better when they thought I was a man. (Ummm....sorry?) Since my poems aren't easily slotted into a specific genre I have been known as more of a 'dark' poet. I leave it up to the reader to decide, everyone has a slightly different interpretation which I find endlessly interesting. 

I write poetry, not novels, so my mind works a bit differently. I am used to producing more bite sized stories.

Writing is just something I do, need to do, have to do. I get a phrase or a song line or an idea stuck in my head and am not happy until it's (safely) down on paper. It's the language I love the most, love to lose myself in. Twisty words and lines that turn and shift... and may bite if you don't pay attention.

I am amused by the resistance to the idea of women writing Horror. The idea that we are too delicate to write 'icky'. Those people have never spent time in my mind obviously....

Twitter @JayeTomas1

Anthony Crowley is an award-winning author, poet of several genres, including horror, history, science fiction, naturism. Some of his works have been compared to Edgar Allan Poe, Clive Barker. [Amazon]

Libro de Lumine (The Book of the Light) is a poetry collection themed around life, death and various superstitions surrounding the afterlife and beyond .
Are we on Earth for a purpose? What happens to our human existence when we die? Many people have been curious in believing that a certain light would appear when we die. Some people say it's a new beginning. While some people believe it has a whole new meaning. [Amazon]

Women in Horror 
February 2017 
Profile: Jo-Anne Russell


Jo-Anne Russell is a dark fiction writer and a publisher at Lycan Valley Press. She is a member of the Horror Writer's Association, the Writers Guild of Alberta and the Edmonton Arts Counsel. Her work can be found in a multitude of anthologies, and as standalone stories. Her debut novel The Nightmare Project was republished last year with Book 2 to follow. She is a wife, mother of eight children, has numerous pets, and is legally blind.

You can find out more on her website at

She would love for you to check out her novel THE NIGHTMARE PROJECT.


Julia Montgomery, a mother of two finds herself in a tug of war between the living and the dead when the asylum where she resides places her in an experimental therapy pilot program called The Nightmare Project.


My name is Jo-Anne Russell and I am a dark fiction writer, and the publisher at Lycan Valley Press. I started my career off as a non-fiction freelance writer but soon found my imagination wanted to turn each article into something more sinister. I would allow myself to imagine the ‘What if?’ formula based off the articles, and brainstorms would make their way into my idea book for later use. I had a few good gigs, but I didn’t love what I was doing in freelance.

I decided to revamp and turn my attention to fiction. I took online courses and read everything on fiction and horror writing I could get my hands on. I joined writing forums, began to network, and most importantly – started writing. I now have 39 published stories some multiple times in different anthologies, 10 published poems, one novel with others in progress, and five unpublished children’s picture books.

My love for the genre started when I was very young, watching horror movies and reading were my two favorite pastimes. As time went on and I started getting published I developed a hunger to learn beyond the writing itself and moved into publishing.

Over the years I have met many writers and publishers that I have found to be some of the nicest people I have ever known. The love of the genre has brought this community to a tight knit group who despite being competition to an extent spend a lot of time helping each other. They share book releases, writing advice, and calls for submissions. There is no shortage of friendship and support from people in this genre.

I have worked closely with not only writers, and editors, but publishers as well and I have never really had an issue that couldn’t be solved with a little conversation. Although I have never co-written with another author I hope to have the opportunity to do so in the future. I feel it would be a good experience to share a work with someone who sees the story from a different point of view. (Anyone interested can hit me up on Facebook.)

If you are interested in my works you can find them on Amazon here.

Comments and reviews of any kind are always welcome, good or bad. (How else can one learn to do better?)

My publishing house, Lycan Valley Press, is still young, but growing quickly. You can find us here

On Facebook here. (We are always looking for new members.)

On Twitter here:

And of course, on Amazon.

Lycan Valley Press prides itself on bringing our readers the best horror from new and seasoned writers from all backgrounds and cultures.

Our titles include: (Click the title for more info.)

SIMPLE THINGS ~ Collected by Franklin E. Wales

Simple Things is a consignment shop unlike any other. Inside you’ll find home furnishings, house wares, fashion accessories, toys, books and a number of one of a kind items. But be forewarned; all of our things have a dark and sinister side. Some cut, some bite, some steal your chance for a restful night.

FINAL MASQUERADE ~ Collected by Stacey Turner

The evening is ending and the guests are ready to leave but the final event of the night is just beginning ~ the unmasking. Welcome to Final Masquerade where no one is who they seem.

MORBID METAMORPHOSIS ~ Collected by Robert Nelson

This book contains 22 stories from authors around the world. Together they bring you morbidly terrifying tales of metamorphosis, transformation, and deep horror that will follow you for days long after you've read the last page. Beware reading this book at night, and alone - for the mind is a powerful thing, and you may find you have company in the shadows!

GREY MATTER MONSTERS ~ Collected by Rachelle Foss

Grey Matter Monsters is an anthology of horror with proceeds to benefit Kids Help Phone. This anthology shows you the real monsters of mental illness, and hopes to erase some of the stigma that plagues those whom suffer from it.

And many more to come!

Thank you for reading my profile and I look forward to seeing you in the Valley.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Women in Horror 
February 2017
Profile: Billie Sue Mosiman

I’m a novelist of 17 novels. My NIGHT CRUISE was nominated for an Edgar Award. My WIDOW was nominated for a Stoker. My THE GREY MATTER was nominated for a Kindle Book Award. I’ve been published since 1984. In 1983 I sold my first novel, WIREMAN, and also my first short story in the same month—November.

I always wanted to be a writer. My mother was a voracious reader and encouraged both my brother and me to read by buying comics and books for us. I heard stories that sounded like myths as I hid beneath the dining table to listen to the adults in the family. There was a great deal of drama in my young life, due to my unstable mother, and it all soaked in. I wanted to know more about the world and why people acted the way they did. I wanted to understand, to get into the minds of people to figure out what they were thinking. I was a most curious child.

I’ve had a fussy relationship with horror. When my first novels were published they were labeled Horror and I was caught by surprise. They were realistic stories and suspenseful, but without the supernatural and without real gore. I had written suspense. But the publishers thought differently, I suppose because my works were graphic and realistic. I didn’t shy away from showing the real thing when it came to murder. So during that time I grieved I’d been labeled a horror writer. I had to give in, though, there was no fighting it.

Then came my stories and they were always strictly horror. Most of them. I published a few that were published as mystery. Most of the stories were psychological horror and I liked it very much and didn’t mind it was called horror, for it was and I meant it to be. I published more than two hundred of them, maybe more. I can’t keep up for I write fast and faster.

My challenge was to do it my way. If someone didn’t want to take it and publish it my way I didn’t care. I always found someone who did want and take it. Yet when you go against the mainstream thinking and you won’t be swayed to jump on some trend, you do face push back. Didn’t bother me. I’m headstrong and did it my way, knowing if I caved in I wasn’t true to myself. My reward was the extent I moved into publishing. Companies bought my books, recognizing I was true to me and no copycat of anyone else. They liked that, obviously. I was a storyteller with ideas and strong personality. Today people think I’m famous or an icon and I don’t know what to think of that. I don’t feel like either. They list me on Top Ten lists of women horror writers. What? But the readers and writers show respect after all these years and all my work and I’m damn grateful for it.

I started out telling the stories. I keep telling them. People have responded in kind ways. I am getting older now and these events feel good to me, as if I didn’t really spend over thirty years flailing at the wind. I blew a few trees down. I sailed the ship right across a squalling ocean.

I did something I’d always wanted to do—reach people. What a fortunate thing to happen.

Some work I’ve done in the past year includes stories sold to anthologies, the editing and publishing of FRIGHT MARE-WOMEN WRITE  HORROR, which made the Stoker Preliminary ballot for anthology, and the publishing of LOSTNESS, the dark fantasy sequel to my novel, BANISHED.

I think women in horror is moving forward and it’s being said women are writing some of the best horror available. For so long women have had it hard, anthologies and magazines publishing a majority of male authors. Women have been slighted and overlooked. That’s changing and I’m happy to see it.

The future? It should open up and be fairer. I believe it will because the ladies are no slouches. Some work is extraordinary. I never changed my name to reflect a male persona because I’m just too stubborn. [If] I can’t make it for who and what I am then I don’t freaking want it. You want to ignore my work because I’m female the loss is yours. That’s how I see it. I always have. I won’t be changing.