Book Showcase: Pretty Wicked by Kelly Charron

Book Showcase: Pretty Wicked by Kelly Charron

Title: Pretty Wicked
Author: Kelly Charron

Genre: YA Killer Thriller

About the book:

Book Showcase: Pretty Wicked by Kelly Charron

The daughter of a local police detective, 15-year-old Ryann has spent most of her life studying how to pull off the most gruesome murders her small Colorado town has ever seen.

But killing is only part of it. Ryann enjoys being the reason the cops are frenzied. The one who makes the neighbors lock their doors and windows on a hot summer’s day. The one everyone fears but no one suspects. 

Carving out her own murderous legacy proves harder than she predicted. Mistakes start adding up. And with the police getting closer, and her own father becoming suspicious, Ryann has to prove once and for all that she’s smarter than anyone else—or she’ll pay the ultimate price. 

Mature YA. *Some graphic content

This creepy novel places you inside the mind of a twisted teen killer, which is even more unsettling because of how familiar and normal she seems. Be prepared to leave the lights on and look at the people around you in a whole new way.” 
-Eileen Cook | Author of WITH MALICE

"Pretty Wicked is fresh, thrilling, and deeply haunting. I've never read anything like it! The story escalates from page one and will leave your pulse pounding as you wonder just how far Ryann will go. 5/5 stars."
-Tiana Warner | Author of Ice Massacre & Ice Crypt ​

Book Showcase: Pretty Wicked by Kelly Charron

About the Author

Kelly Charron is the author of YA and adult horror, psychological thrillers and urban fantasy novels. All with gritty, murderous inclinations and some moderate amounts of humor. She spends far too much time consuming true crime television (and chocolate) while trying to decide if yes, it was the husband, with the wrench, in the library. She lives with her husband and cat, Moo Moo, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Book Showcase: Pretty Wicked by Kelly Charron
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What Happens When A Reporter Writes a Novel?

What Happens When A Reporter Writes a Novel?

I know how to write fiction, but I don’t know how to make up stories. Well, I don’t know how to make up stories out of whole cloth, I should say. Mystical, real cloth, yes, whole cloth no.

What Happens When A Reporter Writes a Novel?
My novels, like my life as a take-no-prisoners, tell-the-truth columnist for the New York Daily News have both begun with an actual event. And then like the investigative reporter that I am, I followed the trail until I found out the truth behind the event or (in my case) bizarre experience into which I’d been thrust.

Then and only then can I begin to create a story—a tale built around the truth.

But I’m not giving enough credit to the stars here. See, I believe that both of my novels, The Sixth Station published in 2013 and Book of Judas, out September 19, 2017, almost had nothing to do with me. They’re sort of like a news event that I cover—I’m in it, but didn’t start the damned thing.

For each book I was led by the hand like a willing lamb to slaughter. And after going through what I went through to dig out the truth in both cases I do feel like I almost was being, if not slaughtered, well, at least put through hell.

With all the craziness I’m about to tell you about, I had to keep one thing familiar to me. That would be my character, Alessandra Russo. She just happens to be a New York City reporter, who is very much like I am in real life—with a bunch of years and sometimes hair—shaved off.

Russo can’t help getting herself mixed up in bad situations any more than I can. It’s the nature of a journo: Investigating a story can sometimes be dangerous, and is always wrought with complications and risks, but you do it because, well, because that’s just what you do to breathe.

The Sixth Station began when my husband and I took a road trip. But not a road trip like normal people to Disney World or anything. We took a road trip through Turkey. It was all going great until I got to the House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus. While I am very spiritual I am not particularly religious person, so what happened next was a complete shocker.

Being in that house knocked me flat. I started having visions and was told from somewhere or other that I had to track down this story whatever that would be.

 The research took me six years in which I drove through five countries alone, climbed a mountain in France twice, was escorted through parts of France by a motorcycle gang, stayed with monks in a monastery in Manoppello Italy, and spent time with a crazy, cloistered nun who lives up the mountain from that monastery. Oh, and right, I also took another road trip; this one through Italy with an 84-year old exorcist priest from the Vatican.

I did all this until I believe I found what I’d been searching for: a relic in that monastery with the DNA of Jesus on it.

Then the hard work began—the research that doesn’t involve adventure—just intense concentration to detail and an unforgiving quest to find out the truth behind what I believed I’d discovered.

What I discovered too, however, oftentimes discouraging because, well, it’s tough to get half-way through writing a novel, only to find that truth gets in the way of fiction. I’d discover something that would throw my whole story off and I’d have to start again.

Sure it’s easy to just say, well, hell it’s fiction after all, but when you’re a reporter, you just can’t get past that sticky habit of making sure your facts actually are facts and haven’t been debunked somewhere by someone.

My new novel, Book of Judas, began in an equally bizarre way. I’d seen a book on a shelf in a house I’d owned for 12 years and had never seen before even though it was sitting right there. Nobody in my family could have brought it there because it was I, Judas by Taylor Caldwell and Jesse Stern and it was 40 years old!

Intrigued ,I began to read it and was surprised to discover that not everyone thought Judas was an evil villain. Huh?

A few days later, while perusing a bookshop on a girl’s getaway weekend, I saw on the front table, another book about Judas. Weird? Not as weird as it was about to get. The book was about the discovery of the real Gospel of Judas, which had been discovered in the 1970s in a cave in Egypt. The-nearly 2,000 year old codex had been lost and found and lost and found again.

Where was it found? In a safety deposit box in a bank in Hicksville, Long Island. Dear God! I grew up in Hicksville, Long Island.

Weirder still, that Citibank branch turned out to be the very same bank branch where I’d had my first bank account as a teenager!

Judas, scarier even than all the mobsters, and criminals I’ve interviewed in my career, was calling. Who in hell—literally—was I not to answer that call?

My research took me into a 3,000 year old hidden burial cave in Israel and then hundreds of feet underground in the still-unfinished steel and concrete labyrinth of Second Avenue Subway tunnel that looked like something out of the end of the world.

But I did it, because hey, I didn’t expect that Judas was going to take me out on a nice dinner.

What Happens When A Reporter Writes a Novel?
LINDA STASI, the popular and well-read columnist for the New York Daily News, and previously for the New York Post, is also an on-camera TV co-host with Mark Simone on NY 1 -Spectrum “What a Week!”

Brash, funny and opinionated, the acerbic Stasi’s first novel, The Sixth Station, published in January of 2013 by Forge Books was hailed as, “A helluva religious thriller,” by Nelson DeMille, while Steve Berry said, “You’ll be grabbing the pages so tight your knuckles will turn white!” Booklist said of the book, “Dan Brown and Steve Berry fans have another controversial novel in which to lose themselves.” For The Sixth Station, Stasi was selected as a finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award.

Stasi’s anxiously awaited sequel, Book of Judas, has received acclaim from mega bestselling authors such as Sherrilyn Kenyon, who calls it, “An innovative masterpiece!”

Stasi has appeared on TV talk shows and news channels such as The Today Show, Good Morning America, The O’Reilly Factor, Hardball, Good Day New York, and The View, as well as CNN, Fox News, MSNBC news shows, and many others.

She is a regular guest on iHeartRadio’s nationally broadcast Mark Simone Show, Boston’s “Matty In The Morning,” and countless others around the country.

Stasi has also authored the non-fiction books – Looking Good Is the Best Revenge, A Field Guide to Impossible Men, Simply Beautiful, Boomer Babes, and Scotto Sunday Suppers.

Not afraid to say what’s on her mind in her popular Wednesdays and full-page Sunday columns in the New York Daily News, her readership has reached more than 600,000 in a single day.

She was named “One of the Fifty Most Powerful Women in NYC” and has won numerous awards including Best Columnist by the Newswomen’s Club of NY, Best Humor Columnist, and Woman of the Year by the Boys Town of Italy for her charitable work such as driving a tractor-trailer in an 18-truck convoy from NYC to the gulf states with relief supplies for Hurricane Katrina victims.

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Interview with Patricia Hale

Interview with Patricia Hale

Tell us about your latest book.

Interview with Patricia Hale
The Church of the Holy Child is a mystery/suspense novel set in Portland, Maine. Britt Callahan and Griff Cole are the PI team hired to investigate the disappearance of a woman escaping an abusive marriage. With the discovery of her body, missing becomes murder and all eyes fall on her husband. When two more bodies are found under similar circumstances Britt and Griff begin working alongside the Portland Criminal Investigations Unit. One person knows who the killer is. Father Francis at The Church of the Holy Child listens to the murderer’s confession after each kill and wrestles with his conscience over going to the police or upholding the secrecy of the sacramental seal.

Who are your favourite authors?

Stephen King is a favorite, not because of his plots, but because of his writing style. He’s a terrific storyteller. I think it’s his down-to-earth, no pretense style that makes me feel like I’m spending time with a friend when I read his books. Another favorite is Lionel Shriver. She is always challenging and insightful. I just finished her book, big brother. It hit home in many ways. Other favorites are Dennis Lehane and Tana French.

What advice do you have for other writers?

Don’t give up. Writing can be tremendously frustrating. There are constant ups and downs and second-guessing yourself. Do the best you can. Find supportive friends. And put one foot in front of the other.

What’s your favorite quote about writing?

“Writing is something you do alone. It’s a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story, but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.”  John Green

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

My website is:
My Facebook page is: @patricia.hale.102
And I’m on Goodreads.

Who inspires you?

I’m inspired when I read a really great book. Whether it’s a perfectly executed plot or writing at it’s finest, that’s what motivates me to go to my desk and get to work. It’s not a competitive response, but feeling like, I want to do that too. When I lose that drive, I often pick up Stephen King’s book, On Writing and read random pages. It never fails to put me back on track.  

What is your work in progress?

The Church of the Holy Child is the first in a three book series. In the second book, Durable Goods, Britt goes undercover looking for a missing girl and ends up over her head in the sex trade industry. The third book in the series is Scar Tissue. Britt and Griff are hired to investigate a young girl’s suicide. In their search for a reason why, they uncover the lines parents will cross to insure success as well as revenge. Both of these will follow The Church of the Holy Child, but I don’t have release dates yet.

Who or what inspired you to become a writer?

As a child I spent an inordinate amount of time in the children’s room of our local library. When most kids want to go to the park, I wanted to go to the library. At that time I loved reading biographies. I started with A and made my way through to Z. Louisa May Alcott and her character Jo March may have planted the seed.

Interview with Patricia Hale
What are you currently reading?

I’m reading Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen. It’s both a comic and tragic look at marriage, parenting and middle age in contemporary America. It’s not a quick read, but Franzen’s understanding of the threats, anxieties and fantasies of the middle class are worth every minute spent reading this book.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I work full time at a holistic veterinary hospital. Between that and writing, I don’t have much down time. A priority is a daily hike in the woods with my dogs. Enya, is a 7 year old German shepherd and Muddy is a 6 year old Beagle/Dachshund mix. They are my constant companions and never fail to force me away from my desk for playtime. I’d be lost without them.

Thanks so much for this opportunity to talk with you about my work. I’d love to hear from your followers if anyone has questions or comments.

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5 Lessons I’ve Learned as a Writer

5 Lessons I’ve Learned as a Writer, Guest post by John Herrick

You won’t find a perfect writer. You’ll find only writers who, if they’re honest, are on a never-ending mission to improve. None of us has all the answers, but we have lessons we’ve learned along the way. Here are five of the most valuable lessons I’ve had the privilege of learning.

5 Lessons I’ve Learned as a Writer, Guest post by John Herrick
1. It will take longer than you think. Writing a novel. Understanding the rules of the game. Developing your voice. Everything. Anything substantive in life takes time and sacrifice—but it’s worth it. Do your research. Know the marketplace. Readers can sense when something isn’t quite right, even if they can’t identify what it is.

2. Remove adverbs. Ninety-nine percent of the time, adverbs are unnecessary. In fact, most writers and industry people consider heavy use of adverbs the telltale sign of an amateur. Instead of writing that a character spoke angrily, try describing the character’s vocal tone, gestures or facial expression. That creates an experience for the reader, which is why the reader grabbed your book in the first place. On occasion, an adverb is the only route you can use. But when in doubt, just nix it. One reason you have the freedom to do this is lesson #3 …

3. Readers are smart. That offers an advantage to you, because you don’t need to document every miniscule detail. Readers can read between the lines and draw logical conclusions based on what you’ve told them so far. They want to draw some of their own conclusions. When I wrote my first novel, I thought I needed to explain everything. But I discovered if you invest a lot of effort developing your characters, you will end up with many psychological details you never mention in the manuscript. To my surprise, readers deduced some of those details anyway. Nowadays, I enjoy planting nuggets between the lines of the characters’ psyches for readers to find—and sure enough, they find them! You see, a book isn’t just a book. It’s a partnership between you and your reader. It’s a relationship through the written word.

4. Don’t churn out crap. A good reputation is more valuable than silver or gold. I’ve taken that biblical advice to heart. When a reader buys your book, it’s an act of trust on their part. They have chosen to trust you. They trust you will provide a high-quality product in return for their hard-earned money. They could have spent time doing countless things, but they chose to spend time with your book. Don’t violate their trust. It’s disrespectful and, yes, selfish. Spend time developing your story, developing your characters, identifying holes in your logic, proofreading your work.

5. Save your work. All the time. Every time you think of it, after every natural pause, hit Ctrl-S. Develop the habit. Let me tell you, that has been my habit for years. But somehow, as I wrote this guest post, I got so far involved in it that I forgot to do so—then I clicked something too fast and lost everything I’d written. Save often! Be neurotic about it!

What lessons have you learned along the way? I’d love to hear them!

Thanks for letting me stop by the blog. And feel free to visit me at or on my socials. Never give up!

5 Lessons I’ve Learned as a Writer, Guest post by John Herrick
A self-described “broken Christian,” John Herrick battled depression since childhood. In that context, however, he developed intuition for themes of spiritual journey and the human heart.
Herrick graduated from the University of Missouri—Columbia. Rejected for every writing position he sought, he turned to information technology and fund development, where he cultivated analytical and project management skills that helped shape his novel-writing process. He seized unpaid opportunities writing radio commercial copy and ghostwriting for two nationally syndicated radio preachers.
The Akron Beacon Journal hailed Herrick's From the Dead as “a solid debut novel.” Published in 2010, it became an Amazon bestseller. The Landing, a semifinalist in the inaugural Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, followed. Publishers Weekly predicted “Herrick will make waves” with his novel Between These Walls.
Herrick's nonfiction book 8 Reasons Your Life Matters introduced him to new readers worldwide. The free e-book surpassed 150,000 downloads and hit #1 on Amazon's Motivational Self-Help and Christian Inspiration bestseller lists. Reader response prompted a trade paperback.
His latest novel, Beautiful Mess, folds the legend of Marilyn Monroe into an ensemble romantic-comedy.
Herrick admits his journey felt disconnected. “It was a challenge but also a growth process,” he acknowledges. “But in retrospect, I can see God's fingerprints all over it.”

5 Lessons I’ve Learned as a Writer, Guest post by John Herrick


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Book Showcase: A Spoonful of Grace by Annette Hubbell

Book Showcase: A Spoonful of Grace by Annette Hubbell

Title: A Spoonful of Grace: Mealtime Blessings in Bite-sized Pieces
Author: Annette Hubbell

Category: Christian Living; 444 pages
Genre: Family devotional, Children's devotional
Publisher: Credo House Publishers

Book Showcase: A Spoonful of Grace by Annette Hubbell
About the book

Just 2 minutes each day can change your family meal time for a lifetime.

A Spoonful of Grace is a collection of 366 evening meal graces taken from all 66 books of the Bible and designed to provide meaningful exposure to prayer and the Bible at a most opportune time: the family evening meal.

The Scripture/grace devotions are inviting, can be grasped at several levels, and are brief enough (about two minutes) to hold the attention of hungry kids. Here's why:
  • Each day has an application section called Grace Notes: ideas and quotes to further illustrate the message and stimulate conversation.
  • Sundays are for Story Graces. These 52 devotions are a bit longer to afford the suspenseful, engrossing reading of stories such as David and Goliath, Daniel in the lions’ den, and Jonah and the big fish.
  • Special Graces are celebrations such as Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays.
  • Each grace:
    • Supports discussions of God’s attributes and of faith-based values, offering moral examples like forgiveness, friendship, honesty, trust, even table manners. 
    • Creates curiosity about the Bible and ways in which Scripture can be applied to today’s issues. 
    • Demonstrates how the act of praying together lifts one’s own spirit; fosters praise; and increases mutual feelings of appreciation, gratefulness, and accountability. 
    • Teaches without overt instruction, similar to hiding extra veggies in the spaghetti sauce. 
    • Remind us that our food, as well as God’s countless other daily blessings, is a gift.

Endorsements for "A Spoonful of Grace":

The dining room table is a key place to connect with your children. It's time to put down the phones and pick up this book instead.” --Arlene Pellicane, speaker and author of “31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom”

"...beautiful, winsome and creative...will spark meaningful discussion and thoughtful reflection. This book will nourish both heart and mind.”--Dr. Mark L. Strauss, Vice-Chair, The NIV Committee on Bible Translation and University Professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary

"Annette Hubbell has made this powerful family life rhythm and tradition SO MUCH EASIER! Give your family the gift that will last for generations to come—‘A Spoonful of Grace!’” --Pam Farrel, author of 45 books including best-selling “Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti,” “10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make”, and “A Couple’s Journey with God.”

"Wonderfully composed and chock-full of wit and wisdom. I wish I’d had this book when my husband and I were raising our four children.” --Susan Meissner, Award-winning author of “Secrets of a Charmed Life”

Watch the book trailer: 

Buy the Book:

Book Showcase: A Spoonful of Grace by Annette Hubbell
About the Author:

Annette Hubbell earned her undergraduate degree in Marketing from San Diego State University, her M.B.A. from Cal State University in San Marcos, and a Certificate in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. She has been featured in over 160 performances, and starred in the DVD, “Witness to Gettysburg” edited by 33-time Emmy Award winner, Robert Gardner. She was awarded Presenter of the Year twice at the Civil War Round Table of San Diego, and is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

Hubbell lives in San Diego, California with her husband of 33 years, Monte. They have a daughter, Amy. She and her husband Scott live in Los Angeles, California. For more information, visit or

Connect with the Author: Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Youtube


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Excerpt: A Living Grave by Robert Dunn

Excerpt: A Living Grave by Robert Dunn

Title: A Living Grave
Author: Robert Dunn

Excerpt: A Living Grave by Robert Dunn
About the book:

The first in a gritty new series featuring sheriff’s detective Katrina Williams, as she investigates moonshine, murder, and the ghosts of her own past…

 Katrina Williams left the Army ten years ago disillusioned and damaged. Now a sheriff’s detective at home in the Missouri Ozarks, Katrina is living her life one case at a time—between mandated therapy sessions—until she learns that she’s a suspect in a military investigation with ties to her painful past.
The disappearance of a local girl is far from the routine distraction, however. Brutally murdered, the girl’s corpse is found by a bottlegger whose information leads Katrina into a tangled web of teenagers, moonshiners, motorcycle clubs, and a fellow veteran battling illness and his own personal demons. Unraveling each thread will take time  Katrina might not have as the Army investigator turns his searchlight on the devastating incident that ended her military career. Now Katrina will need to dig deep for the truth—before she’s found buried…


I felt like it was the end of summer. Not that there was a hint of green or the creeping red-oranges of leaves turning. In Iraq, everything was brownish. Not even a good, earthy brown. Instead, everything within my view was a uniform, wasted, dun color. It was easy to imagine the creator ending up here on the seventh day, out of energy and out of ideas after spending his palate in the joy of painting the rest of the world. This spit of earth, the dirty asshole of creation we called the Triangle of Death, didn’t even rate a decent brown.
I had been in country for eight months. I had been First Lieutenant Katrina Williams, Military Police, attached to the 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division for a little over a year. Pride and love had brought me here. Proud to be American and just as proud to have come from a military family, I was in love with what the ROTC at Southwest Missouri State University had shown me about my country’s military. I fell in love with the thought of the woman I would become serving my nation. I wanted to echo the men my father and my uncle were and add my own tone to the family history. Iraq bled that all out of me. Just like it was bleeding my color out into the dust. Bright red draining into shit brown.
It was the impending weight of change that made me feel like the end of summer. As a girl, back home in the Ozarks, the summers seemed to last forever. It wasn’t until the final days, carried over even into a new school year, when the air cooled and the oaks rusted, that I could feel them ending. Their endings were like the descent of ice ages, the shifting of epochs. That was exactly how I felt bleeding into the dirt. The difference was that I felt an impending death rather than transition. The terminus of an epoch. In Iraq though, nothing was as clear as that. It was death; but it wasn’t.
Lying on my back, I wished I could see blue sky, but not here. The air was hazed with dust so used up it became a part of the atmosphere. There was no more of the earth in it. Grit, like bad memories and regret, hanging over an entire nation. I coughed hard and it hurt. A bubbly thickness slithered up my throat. Using my tongue and what breath I had, I got the slimy mass up to my lips. I just didn’t have it in me to spit. Instead, I turned my head to the side and let the bloody phlegm slide down my cheek.
Dying is hard.
Wind, hot and cradling the homeland sand so many factions were willing to kill for, ran over the wall I was hidden behind. It eddied there, slowing and swirling and then dumping the dirt on my naked skin. A slow-motion burial. Even the land here hated naked women.
I stayed there without moving, but slipping in and out of consciousness for a long time. It seemed long, anyway. I dreamed. Dreamed or remembered so well they seemed like perfect dreams of—everything.
We played baseball. Just like in old movies with kids turning a lot into a diamond. No one does that anymore, but we did. My grandfather played minor league ball years ago and I had a cousin who was a Cardinals fan. Everyone was a Cardinals fan, so I loved the Royals. When the games were over and it was hotter than the batter’s box when I was pitching—I had a wild arm—my father would take me to the river. Later when we had cars, I was drawn there every summer to swim and swing from the ropes. We floated on old, patched inner tubes and teased boys. That was where I learned to drink beer. My father would take me fishing on the river. My grandfather would take me on the lakes. I used the same cane pole my father had when Granddad taught him about fishing. Both of the men used to say to the girl who complained about not catching anything, “It’s not about the catching, it’s about the fishing.” I don’t think I ever understood until a good portion of my blood was spilled on the dirt of a world that hated me.
My head spun back to the moment and back to Iraq. If I was going to die, I would have done it already, I figured. At least my body. That physical part of me would live on. That other part of me, the girl who loved summer… I think she was already dead. Death and transition.

Excerpt: A Living Grave by Robert Dunn
About the Author:

I wasn't born in a log cabin but the station wagon did have wood on the side. It was broken down on the approach road into Ft. Rucker, Alabama in the kind of rain that would have made a Biblical author jealous. You never saw a tornado in the Old Testament did you? As omens of a coming life go, mine was full of portent if not exactly glad tidings.

From there things got interesting. Life on a series of Army bases encouraged my retreat into a fantasy world. Life in a series of public school environments provided ample nourishment to my developing love of violence. Often heard in my home was the singular phrase, "I blame the schools." We all blamed the schools.

Both my fantasy and my academic worlds left marks and the amalgam proved useful the three times in my life I had guns pointed in my face. Despite those loving encounters the only real scars left on my body were inflicted by a six foot, seven inch tall drag queen. She didn't like the way I was admiring the play of three a.m. Waffle House fluorescent light over the high spandex sheen of her stockings.

After a series of low paying jobs that took me places no one dreams of going. I learned one thing. Nothing vomits quite so brutally as jail food. That's not the one thing I learned; it's an important thing to know, though. The one thing I learned is a secret. My secret. A terrible and dark thing I nurture in my nightmares. You learn your own lessons.

Eventually I began writing stories. Mostly I was just spilling out the, basically, true narratives of the creatures that lounge about my brain, laughing and whispering sweet, sweet things to say to women. Women see through me but enjoy the monsters in my head. They say, sometimes, that the things I say and write are lies or, "damn, filthy lies, slander of the worst kind, and the demented, perverted, wishful stories of a wasted mind." To which I always answer, I tell only the truth. I just tell a livelier truth than most people. 


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