What Day is It? (Or… End of Summer Roundup & 99 Cent Book Sale)

Where my Feet Take Me: A scene in It Had to Be You takes place at night on this rocky beach in Montauk, Long Island.

“’What day is it?’

‘It’s today,’ squeaked Piglet

‘My favorite day,’ said Pooh.”

From Winnie-the-Pooh, 1926, A.A. Milne


What Day is it?

Did you ever wake up in a panic before the alarm clock went off and wonder what day it was? Is it Monday? Saturday? Wednesday? Holy cow! Am I late for work?  (And, no, in that instant, the word on my mind is not “cow.”)

I woke the other day wondering for a split second not only what day it was but what month it was.  It couldn’t be the end of August already… could it? Nah! Wasn’t it July, like… a week ago?

With a non-writing job that expects me to show up regularly, a family that expects me to talk to them regularly, a house that expects me to keep it presentable regularly, and friends who expect me to have fun regularly, it’s an inevitable fact that the one thing that’s only mine—the writing—too easily drops off the radar. That fact is never more true than in the summer when family and social gatherings and vacation get tossed into the schedule.

Yes, time for writing was in short supply this summer, which is why my blogging has been more non-existent than usual, but the summer is indeed coming to a close.

Does that mean I’ll be visiting my own blog more often? Well… 🙂

Are you as productive in the summer as you are at other times of the year? If not, what gets sacrificed?

The WIPs

WIP is an acronym for Work(s) in Progress. I haven’t been a complete washout with the writing. I took a break in August from editing the third book in my 1920s romantic mystery series, Goodnight, Angela, to try my hand at writing a short story.

Authors… do you write both long and short fiction? If so, how do you do it? Are you better at one than the other?

Here’s why I ask.

This has been an interesting experiment since I’ve never completed a piece of fiction shorter than 85,000 words. The suggested word count for an anthology I’d like to participate in is a flexible 7,000 to 10,000 words.  I’m at 14,000 and counting. (That’s… seven tons of words, right?)

Yeah. And I’m not even sure I like how the story is going.

Its working title is “Heart of the Dragon.” It’s about a big city, smart ass private eye and his overly optimistic small town secretary. It’s set in the Bowery and Chinatown in 1926 New York City.

Will this little darling ever see the light of day? Maybe. Maybe not. I’ve got more than a few stories living on the Island of Unfinished WIPs.

Authors… do you have any WIPs keeping mine company on the Island of Unfinished WIPs? Any favorites you secretly hope to rescue?

I’ve got one sentimental favorite I plan to finish one day, an untitled reunion historical romance that’s been percolating for–I kid you not–two decades.

In fact, I worked on that one a bit this summer, too. Anything but work on the project I’m supposed to be finishing, right? There’s a word for that…


I think–if you’re a writer–you should be able to count procrastination as work.

  • Surfing the Net = Research
  • Napping = Plotting
  • Tweeting = Promotion

Ahem… One pastime I can’t fool myself into classifying as work is Pinterest. Any pinners out there? That’s just too fun to call work, isn’t it?

Hey… maybe I’ll start a new board called PROCRASTINATION.

What would you pin on your Procrastination Board?

I did start a new board this summer. It’s called “Where my Feet Take Me,” and it was inspired by one of my new wellness resolutions—to take a solitary 30-minute walk every day when the weather is decent. (I reserve the right to define “decent.”)

Can taking a walk be procrastination? Sure! But I prefer to call it “Refilling the Well.”

This nifty graphic is an example of procrastinating on Canva to illustrate procrastinating on Pinterest.

This nifty graphic is a prime example of double procrastinating. It’s procrastinating on Canva to illustrate procrastinating on Pinterest. (Don’t try this at home unless you’re at least a brown-belt level procrastinator.)

The Pinterest board has expanded to include photos taken not only on my walks but on vacations and research trips. I’ll be adding to it as the spirit moves me.

If you feel like procrastinating now, check out my new board here. 🙂

What do you do to Refill your Creative/Spiritual Well?

And in Other News…

I guest posted on some blogs this summer!

“The Yin and Yang of Fictional Sleuthing” (about the built-in conflict in “he and she” detective teams) at Book Babe.

  • Book Babe is a unique book review site, specializing in books (often historical) that feature strong, smart heroines. Do visit!

“The Duck’s Quack… 20s Speak” (about 1920s slang) at Cats, Roses and Books!

  • Cats, Roses and Books is where best-selling mystery and romance author Karen Rose Smith blogs on cats, gardening, cooking, and writing. Stop by!
1920s Fiction, 1920s romantic mystery, 1920s mystery

A 1920s Romantic Mystery

Beck Valley Books hosted a successful book review tour in July for It Had to Be You. If you’d like to take a peek, find the links here. 

Goodbye, Tootsie is featured  now in the Choosy Bookworms Read & Review program.

MyBookIsFeaturedOnChoosy (1)What’s Read & Review?  A program for  indie authors to get their books into the hands of interested readers willing to write an honest review. (Publishers have their own ways of distributing free copies to readers and reviewers. This gives indies a chance to do the same.)

If you’re a reader of historical mystery and romance and think you may be interested in Read & Review, check out the FAQs here and Goodbye, Tootsie‘s page here. (Limited time only.)

A 1920s Romantic Mystery

A 1920s Romantic Mystery

The Choosy Bookworm also offers a Daily Deal e-newsletter that lists indie books for free and bargain prices. The newsletters are brief and fun. Give them a try.

Goodbye, Tootsie is on sale for just $.99 at Amazon!

Sale price is good through Labor Day  (Perhaps longer if I procrastinate on making the price change. 🙂  That’s the beauty of indie publishing.)  Give as a gift or keep for yourself. Buy it Here!

Have a great week!


Photo Credits:

Where My Feet Take Me – Photography copyright © 2015 by Delynn Royer.

It Had to Be You – Copyright © 2014 cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Goodbye, Tootsie Cover Art by Fiona Jayde Media

In Search of Sean Costigan…

qpq_TootTOOTSIEGoodbye (2)


Goodbye, Tootsie. Putting it Together: Part Two
In Search of Sean Costigan.

In my last post, I talked about my decision to go indie with the sequel to It Had to Be You. One of the most important things an indie author needs to think about is cover art.

I wasn’t in a position to duplicate the first cover—not with the same artist, model or imagery—but I wanted to preserve some elements. Namely, a classic cinema and vintage feel.  That meant black and white.

1920s Fiction, 1920s romantic mystery, 1920s mysteryAlso, beautiful as that first cover is, I wanted to depart in some ways. Mainly, I wanted both my lead characters to appear. For that to happen, I needed to find the right leading man.

Thus began my internet search for Detective Sean Costigan.

Who is Sean Costigan?

Sean is a second generation Irish New York City cop. He’s thirty-three years old, smart, driven, and, yes, a bit jaded from years on the job. His smiles are rare. They have to be earned, and he has a dry sense of humor.

What’s he look like?

Sean is 6’1” with raven-colored hair, dusky blue eyes, and a lean, muscular build. As for “type,” I confess to imagining Alex O’Loughlin in the role even though his hair isn’t quite dark enough.

So, I spent hours on the internet searching stock images. There are some sites that cater to romance authors that offer no shortage of beautiful men. (I had a tough job, right?) But believe it or not, my search actually grew tedious.

I had three problems.

  • Type

While several male models fit Sean’s physical description, few were paired with females who fit my leading lady’s type. (Think Amy Adams .)

  •   Pose

Clinch poses were plentiful, but Goodbye, Tootsie is a romantic mystery, not a full-fledged romance. There’s a difference.

Think about the TV series Castle. How often do you see Beckett and Castle crawling all over each other in their publicity stills? Not often, if ever. That’s because the romantic content of the show—while indispensable to the chemistry—is warm, not hot. It bows to the show’s murder mystery plot in each episode.

  • Time Period/Costume

I adore the 1920s, but it isn’t the wildest selling time period for historical romance. The scant selection of stock available with Roaring 20s costume reflected that.

And so, how close was I to throwing in the towel?

I was ready to surrender and settle for a cover with a feather boa and a hip flask when I decided to give it one more go. I returned to the leading romance sites, starting with RNC—Romance Novel Covers—owned and operated by cover model Jimmy Thomas.

Avid romance readers recognize Mr. Thomas. His image graces the covers of countless novels.  He also happens to fit Sean’s physical description. Too bad there were no 1920s period photos that fit my criteria among the wide selection of stock offered on his site. But Mr. Thomas did offer one thing I hadn’t seen elsewhere— exclusive custom cover shots.

By then, I was ready to consider going the extra mile, but, as an indie author, it’s my dollars and cents being invested to put out a quality product as well as my time.

So, I asked myself two questions. How long had I spent writing this book? And how much more time would I spend not only scouring the internet for cover images but editing, formatting and otherwise promoting it?

This made my decision easy. My time is worth a lot—at least, it is to me. So, I signed up.

 Next time …  working with Jimmy Thomas at RNC to get the perfect shots.

Until then… here’s a behind the scenes peek taken during the custom shoot for the cover for Goodbye, Tootsie. Meet Mr. Thomas and cover model Inessa, who is now my Trixie.

RomanceNovelCovers.com (RNC) Custom Photo Shoot - Behind The Scenes - Jimmy Thomas & Inessa - Delynn Royer

RomanceNovelCovers.com (RNC) Custom Photo Shoot – Behind The Scenes – Jimmy Thomas & Inessa – Delynn Royer

What do you think? Could these two play homicide detective Sean Costigan and perky girl reporter Trixie Frank in the movie? 🙂

 Indie authors… Have you ever had trouble finding just the right image or models to grace your covers?

GoodbyeTootsieTitleGOODBYE, TOOTSIE
January, 1925
Homicide detective Sean Costigan and tabloid reporter Trixie Frank are on the road to romance but at cross-purposes at work when they investigate the New Year’s Eve murder of “Poor Little Rich Girl” Abigail Welles after she comes into control of a family fortune.

COMING SOON in Summer of 2015!

Cover art design by Fiona Jayde. Learn more About Fiona here.

 Photo Credits

Goodbye, Tootsie title design copyright © 2015 fiona jayde media

 Custom Shoot for Goodbye, Tootsie – Copyright © 2014 RomanceNovelCovers.com

It Had to Be You – Copyright © 2014 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Against the Odds. She’s Gone Indie!

DV_Goodbye Tootsie

Goodbye, Tootsie. Putting it Together: Part One
Going Indie…

It’s been quiet around here, and there’s a reason for that. I’ve been working hard, wearing a lot of hats—author, editorial director, copy writer, proofreader, art director—and that’s because…

Yep. I’ve gone indie.

Deciding to go indie with a sequel to It Had to Be You was a no-brainer in some respects and difficult in others.

Backstory alert…

1920s Fiction, 1920s romantic mystery, 1920s mystery

A Trixie Frank – Sean Costigan 1920s Romantic Mystery

When I started  It Had to Be You, I’d been away from fiction writing for over ten years. That’s one serious case of writer’s block, even if it was self-imposed due to Life Stuff.

When you neglect something so fragile and creative for that long, you wonder if you still have “it.” You certainly doubt that you deserve to have it. You wonder–when you skim back over your old books–how in the world you ever did that unquantifiable, Mount Everest-climbing thing in the first place.

So, after over a decade, I stared at that brand new, empty white computer screen with its frighteningly patient, forever-blinking cursor and wondered… What am I doing? And Where do I start? And Am I crazy?

I’d had similar doubts when I was thirty and started to write A Touch of Camelot. The edge I had back then that I didn’t have this time around was a big one. Blissful ignorance. I didn’t know the odds against getting published, and I knew even less about the craft of fiction writing. So, I just wrote.

The result of that blissful ignorance was a marvelous fluke—a contest win, an agent, a publisher, and four historical romances published within three years. It ended pretty fast too—that’s a whole other story—but, wow, it was still very cool. As my dad always says, “They can’t take that away from you.”

Ten years flew by fast. Kids, work, remarriage, graduations…

So, there I was again. More wrinkled but game. Fingers  poised on the keys, staring at that intimidating white screen. I’m not going to lie. It was harder this time. The writing was bad. Every sentence oozed like mud. No emotion. No spark. No voice.

And I knew this…how?

Because I knew about good writing and bad. I’d found my voice once before, and I now recognized it by its absence.

Still… I had an idea for a heroine I loved and a setting that fired up my imagination. But no plot. I wasn’t even sure what genre this would be.

And I knew this was a pathetic way to start a book… why?

Because I knew a book needed to be labeled for the market in order to sell it. And what’s the point of writing a thing if you can’t sell it?

Yeah, I was a cynic. I’d lost my writing virginity, and there was no getting it back. I did the sensible thing. I put the manuscript away. For about a year.

Then I got it back out.

Well… it might be a mystery, I thought. Or a romance. Or, worst of all…a Mysterious Romance.  But, heck, why should that worry me? It was set in a time period everyone knew would never sell. In a way, that double whammy freed me to do the not-so-sensible thing. Write it.

Was it easy? No. Fast? No. Fun? Yes!! But the best thing was, I got my voice back.

Which has exactly what to do with going indie?

Going against the odds.

I could have left Trixie and Sean at the end of It Had to Be You and simply moved on to something more marketable to pitch to a digital publisher. Time-wise and market-wise, that would have been the sensible thing. But…

It was Trixie who’d helped me find my voice again. How could I leave her back in 1924 when I knew her love story with Sean wasn’t done? Her next murder mystery case was drafted. All it needed was to be polished, edited and readied for market.

So, once again, I’m doing the not-so-sensible thing.  I’m going indie.

Want to tag along? 🙂

 Have you ever taken a leap of faith and done the “not so sensible” thing?

How did that go? Regrets? Or are you glad you leapt?

 Cover reveal and launch date coming soon.

In the meantime, here’s the blurb!!

GGoodbye, TootsieOODBYE, TOOTSIE

It’s after midnight on New Year’s Day, 1925, and the richest girl in America has just fallen to her death from the top floor of the posh Cleveland Hotel in Manhattan.

When Detective Sean Costigan arrives at the scene, he learns it’s the day after Abigail Welles’s twenty-first birthday— the day she inherited a family fortune. It’s not the kind of coincidence that warms a detective’s heart. Neither is the fact that she wasn’t alone when she fell. Her new husband, Long Island party boy Nick Welles, lies incoherent in the master bedroom.

Sean’s girl, tabloid reporter Trixie Frank, is the first newshound on the scene. It’s a bigger scoop than she dreamed. The young heiress’s death will make national headlines. More importantly, this story hits close to home. And heart. The victim’s husband is Trixie’s ex-fiancé.

When Sean focuses on Nick as his prime suspect, Trixie is certain he’s dead wrong. But will saving her first love from the hot seat prove fatal to her new romance?


Photo credits:

Goodbye, Tootsie title graphic by Fiona Jayde Media

It Had to Be You – Copyright © 2014 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Ring in the New Year with Laughs

CLASSICMOVIEJUNKIEJohnny Hooker: He’s not as tough as he thinks.
Henry Gondorff: Neither are we.

From The Sting, 1973, Universal Pictures

A Look Back at the Future

Happy 2015.

Wow. Look at that number.  No, really. Look at it.

Is it just me, or does anyone else remember when the year “2015” would have looked like something out of a science fiction novel? I’m not sure it doesn’t still look a little like that to me. Then again, I’m no spring chicken. Maybe this has to do with age and perspective.

For example, once there was a novel titled 1984 by a fella named Orwell. I’m sure that title looked more than a little futuristic when it was published in 1949. (And, no, I wasn’t around back then.)

And ever hear of a movie called 2001: A Space Odyssey? By 1969, the prospect of a looming new millennium would have fired our imaginations and triggered predictions of a just-out-of-reach future that would look like something out of The Jetsons. (Speaking of which, I’m still waiting for those cool Jetson flying cars to make an appearance. George, Jane and Astro were living in 2062, so there’s still time.)

Then came Y2K.

Back then, I swear, “2000” sounded futuristic right up to the very day the millennium turned.

What do you think? Have we become jaded? What year can possibly look awesomely futuristic to us now? 2025? How about 2100? 3000? 🙂

Writing Comedy in Dialogue

Every writer has their strengths and weaknesses—the elements we love to write and the elements with which we perpetually struggle.

Me? I love writing amusing dialogue. I get so jazzed when my characters spout a smile-worthy line, I can coast on it for days.

So, what makes dialogue fun?

Timing, flow, conflict. I used to think it took a witty writer to write witty dialogue, but that’s not necessarily so. Dialogue that not only entertains and delights but propels a scene forward can spring up naturally when we put two strong-willed, colorful characters in a challenging new situation together.

No one teaches this lesson better than one of the most talented comedy playwrights of our time, Neil Simon.

We could do worse than to study Simon’s sublime comedic timing in the dialogue of opposites in The Odd Couple and Barefoot in the Park or the raw emotional vulnerability that underlies the deceptively light banter in The Goodbye Girl.

Lucky for those of us who appreciate fine comedic dialogue, there are some splendid movies to recommend this month on TCM, including three Neil Simon classics and the oh-so-clever Redford-Newman tour de forceThe Sting.

Laugh. Learn. Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 6
Missed it? Catch it for a week or more on demand at Watch TCM)

8:00 pm The Sting (1973) Drama/Comedy TCM. Two confidence men concoct an elaborate con game to avenge the death of their friend at the hands of a ruthless gangster. Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw, Eileen Brennan.

Why? Newman and Redford. That’s enough, right? Oh, but there’s more. This outstanding Depression-era period film won seven Oscars, including Best Picture in 1973, and—if that ain’t enough– it’s in my personal top ten all-around favorite films. Smart, funny, suspenseful, and one of the best movie endings EVER.

Friday, January 9
Missed it? Catch it for a week or more on demand at Watch TCM)

Peter_Falk_-_19739:45 pm The Cheap Detective (1978) Comedy/Spoof TCM. A private eye becomes involved with more sultry femme fatales than he can shake a fedora at while trying to solve his partner’s murder. Peter Falk, Louise Fletcher, Marsha Mason, Madeline Kahn, James Coco, Ann-Margaret, Dom DeLuise, Sid Caesar, Eileen Brennan.

Why? Love Casablanca? The Maltese Falcon? To Have and Have Not? You’ll love this top-drawer send-up. (“You know how to dial, don’t you? You put your finger in the little round hole and …”)

Falk spoofs Bogart to perfection (“That’s just how it is, angel…”) and Marsha Mason is hysterical as his murdered partner’s faithless widow. In fact, you’ll find no weak links in this all-star ensemble cast. Guaranteed to tickle your funny bone.

Check out the trailer here: Peter Falk and Madeline Kahn in The Cheap Detective (1 min. 24 sec.)

Tuesday,  January 13

Rpbert Redford

Robert Redford in Barefoot in the Park

10:00 pm Barefoot in the Park (1967) Romance/ Comedy. TCM. Mismatched newlyweds adjust to married life amid odd-ball neighbors and broken plumbing in a tiny walk-up Greenwich Village apartment. Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Mildred Natwick.

Why? Could there have been a better looking pair of young actors than Fonda and Redford to cast in this 1967 film adaptation of Simon’s hit Broadway play? Nope. And that’s just the icing.

Shining, sweet dialogue, fun 60s New York City setting, and just-this-side of understated sexy romantic chemistry between future mega-stars Redford and Fonda make this film an enjoyable watch even today.

Friday, January 16

8:00 pm The Goodbye Girl (1977) Comedy/ Romance TCM. A Broadway dancer/single mom is chagrined to learn that her ex-fiancé hasn’t only jilted her, he’s sublet their apartment to an out of town actor. Marsha Mason, Richard Dreyfus.

Why? You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll laugh again. Dreyfus (Best Actor), Marsha Mason, and Quinn Cummings soar in this funny, heartwarming, delightful Neil Simon gem. Nominated for Best Picture.

Have a great week!

Times listed are EST. Check here for your U.S. time zone Turner Classic Movie monthly schedule.

Photo credits:

Publicity Photo – Peter Falk – By TV studio (ebay) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 Redford – By Trailer screenshot (Trailer Screenshot) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Happily Ever Afters & Classic Halloween Movie Picks

Alfred_Hitchcock's_The_Birds_trailer_02“Are the birds going to eat us, Mommy?”

From The Birds, 1963, Universal Pictures

What happens in Jersey stays in Jersey… Not.

October brings with it not only colorful autumn leaves and Jack O’Lanterns but my annual trek to New Jersey to attend the New Jersey Romance Writers’ awesome Put Your Heart in a Book Conference.

This is a conference that never fails to deliver a great selection of workshops for beginning writers as well as more seasoned scribblers, the newly published and the multi-published. And it’s always well attended by agents and editors too.

See? I didn’t make it up!

This year, I was excited that my 1920s romantic mystery It Had to Be You was among the finalists named in the annual Golden Leaf Contest for excellence in romantic fiction from RWA’s Region 1.

As it turned out, the winner of my category—Romantic Elements—was the talented K.M. Jackson for her 2014 contemporary novel, Bounce. (A well-deserved win, folks.) Best wishes to K.M. for continued success!

But best of all? Happily Ever Afters, of course.

I do love the craft workshops, but the thing I enjoy most is the opportunity to soak it all in with my Central PA writer pals. This year, several of us attended– Sunni Rose Blendette, Vicky Burkholder,  Natalie J. Damschroder, Misty Simon, and Ava Quinn.  In fact, anyone who follows our Twitter feeds may have noticed that we soon discovered an awesome new signature drink  – the Happily Ever After.

So, while some things that happen in Jersey really must stay in Jersey (i.e. less than graceful dance moves to “Love Shack” at the after-party) I’m more than happy to return with memories of very good times with very good friends.

Till next year, ladies!

Classic Movie Junkie’s “Low Gore Score” Halloween Picks

There was a definite chill in the air this past weekend. Could it be a portent of a spooky holiday on the horizon?

Halloween is more popular than ever and there are plenty of Fear Fests on the tube to prove it. Me? I  love a good horror movie, but as for the gore, not so much.  To wit, here are some Low Gore Score TCM picks guaranteed to put you in a non-queasy Halloween frame of mind.

The Queasy Classic Movie Junkie’s Halloween Gore Score Rating System
1 Boo =  Suspense and implied or off-camera violence.
2 Boos =  Suspense and occasional “ick” moments.
3 Boos =  Close-your-eyes moments and cringes
4 Boos =   Just. Close your eyes.

Wednesday, October 22

The_fog_1980_movie_poster2:15 (Thurs. 10/23) am  The Fog (1980)  Horror. TCM.  Murderous maritime ghosts return under cover of a supernatural fog to take revenge on a New England coast town.  Jamie Lee Curtis, Adrienne Barbeau, Janet Leigh, Hal Holbrook.

Why?  An under-rated spooky gem. John Carpenter released this watery ghost story on the heels of his low budget mega hit Halloween.  From the opening scene—a ghost story told around a flickering beach campfire–The Fog rises above (yes, pun intended) typical low budget spook fests of the ’80s. Gorgeous shots of the coastline and Carpenter’s spine-tingling musical score make this an enjoyable Halloween treat.

Gore score = 2 Boos  (Mostly for squishy sounds. Ew.)

Saturday October 25


Tippi Hedren in The Birds

 5:45 pm  The Birds (1963)  Horror. TCM  A California town is beset by unexplained and increasingly deadly attacks from masses of ticked-off birds.  Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette.

Why? Arguably Hitchcock’s best horror film. It’s got it all. Flashes of Hitchcock humor, Psycho-like red herring plot threads, interesting characters, slow-to-boil suspense, odd camera angles and shock shots. The special effects are hokey by today’s standards,  but they’re still surprisingly effective. Why? Because, I suspect, special effects were never what this was about. Gore Score = 1.5 Boos. 


Julie Harris

8:00 pm  The Haunting (1963)  Horror. TCM  A paranormal researcher and three volunteers move into a deserted mansion that’s reputed to be haunted.  Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson.

Why? Atmospheric and scary. The Haunting is a forerunner to many a haunted house story to follow – including Stephen King’s Rose Red. Julie Harris is at her flighty best as the psychologically fragile misfit Eleanor Lance.  Is she truly going mad or is it the house itself that breathes and morphs and beckons her to join others who have perished within its malevolent embrace?

The Haunting will creep you out with a Gore Score of… wait for it… 1.

 Tuesday October 28


Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins

1:00 pm   House of Dark Shadows (1970) Horror. TCM. A small town doctor tries to cure an 18th century vampire who has returned to his ancestral home to marry a woman he is convinced is the present-day reincarnation of his dead fiancée. Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, Kathryn Leigh Scott.

Why?  All right, Dark Shadows peeps! I know you’re out there. Either you’re one of the scadillion now-grown school kids who scurried home every day to get their daily fix of D.S. or you’re one of many who have discovered this campy, crazily addicting ’60s horror soap opera in reruns or online.  (I ain’t gonna say which I am.)

This 1970 film was produced soon after the daytime series was cancelled to feed the legions of baby boomer fans who were left bereft and thirsty for more… more blood, that is.  Bwa-ha-ha-ha! So bad, it’s good. Pure fun. Gore Score = 1.5 Boos.

So, tell me, spooky movie fans, what’s your favorite scene from The Birds?

Anyone remember Dark Shadows?  Who was your favorite character?

Am I the only one who misses scary movies that leave more to the imagination than not?

What can writers learn about building suspense from watching Hitchcock films?

Have a great week!

Times listed are Eastern time. Check here for your U.S. time zone Turner Classic Movie monthly schedule.

 Photo credits:
The Fog – Original theatrical poster
The Birds – By Trailer screenshot (The Birds trailer) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Julie Harris – By Bill Doll and Company (ebay) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Jonathan Frid – By ABC Television (eBay front back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons