Possessed: Evil dolls and Mojitos

In honor of Halloween, we’re posting a few reader-favorites from our archives. We will post news spooky stories regularly until the holiday arrives! Clark wrote this after our visit to Key West in 2013.  


Discovering the “Dark Side” of a tropical paradise

One of the great things about writing paranormal fiction is that we get to do fun, weird stuff on a regular basis.

Case and point: We were recently in Key West on a well-deserved vacation. The weather was beautiful, the booze was flowing on Duval Street and while most people were dancing and laughing and enjoying another perfect sunset, we were on the “trolley of the doomed” touring the most haunted places on the island. And for a tiny island, there are a LOT of haunted places.

As a general rule, places get haunted because of some horrible event that occurred there in the past like murders or mass graves — there’s not a lot of ghosts skulking about the site of the “happiest tea party ever.” But one of the scariest stories we heard had nothing to do with crimes of passion — it was about a doll. Robert the Doll, to be precise — a creepy little life-sized figure in a sailor suit possessed by evil spirits that has become a local celebrity for his ghostly hijinks. Read the rest of this entry »

“Thrilling, outstandingly entertaining, it will get your heart jumping like a pickup truck on an old county road!”



All good things must, eventually, come to an end — including vampires. Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall have penned the fourth and last book in The Cowboy and the Vampire series. “The Last Sunset” brings a close to the tale of Lizzie, Tucker and the rest of the gang with a finale that will leave you covered in blood and begging for more. It’s sexy, it’s funny, it’s scary, and it will get your heart jumping like a pickup truck on an old county road. Read the full review


373027_119063748131102_529320004_n“Bullet-riddled and blood-soaked, this installment smartly weaves a narrative between the threads left loose at the end of the last book, while sprinting through its action-propelled plot. The writing team of Hays and McFall keeps getting better and better. As the tension builds, the estranged lovers will have to work together to protect the ones they love and find a way to prevent the Guild from sacrificing the world in the name of its ancient god. But Tucker is a proud man, and Lizzie still believes her decision to desert him was for the best. At times graphically violent, provocatively sensual, and even existential, this novel maintains the series’ reputation as a thrilling page-turner that will satiate its readers’ desire for compelling action conveyed through a saga of undying love. The stakes are higher than ever in the latest chapter of this outstandingly entertaining vampire series.” Read the full review from Kirkus


“A terrific, original piece of vampire lore, and unlike a lot of the books I read and love in the genre, it manages to be full of blood and violence, while never losing its essential heart. The characters — even the secondary ones — are all so rich and multi-layered, it’s hard not to get involved with them and care about their fates. Even Rex the dog has a distinct personality that makes him an essential member of the ensemble. I’ve kept up with Tucker, Lizzie, their friends, enemies, and frenemies over the years. The journey has been a twisted tale, rocketing up and crashing down, jolting with adrenaline and lust, sobbing and chuckling, and looking over your shoulder, frightened of what might be hiding in the shadows. This final installment doesn’t disappoint.” Read the full review from Bloodthirsty Muses


A rollicking ride, passionate, powerfully compelling. As blood flows and bullets fly, immortality and love are put to the test. Fans of Westerns, Gothics, romance and thrillers alike will find a gripping story line that’s unpredictable and hard to put down. Hays and McFall do such a fine job of integrating setting, characters, and past events into the bigger finale’s picture that even those with no prior familiarity with the series will find it easy to become thoroughly engrossed in this last episode. – D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Buy The Last Sunset

Ask a Cowboy!

Dear Cowboy, 

I’m in a lot of rodeos with this guy. Another kid, his friend, said he liked me. But I can’t tell. I really like him and I have his phone number. I am way too afraid to use it though. Does he like me? Signed, confused heart. 

Dear Confused Heart, It’s been my experience that, at least when it comes to romance, confusion is often a self-imposed condition. Nature, in its infinite wisdom, has outfitted us with a highly sophisticated tool to dispel confusion in this and almost any interpersonal situation; it’s called communication. If you really want to know if someone likes you, all you have to do is ask. Now, of course, that sounds easy enough but we come up with all sorts of reasons why we don’t use this amazing tool more often. When it comes to affairs of the heart, there are two big culprits — one is fear of being rejected and the other is that, just maybe, our hearts know we don’t like them quite as much as our brains let on. Read the rest of the Cowboy’s answer here!

Book review: The Yosemite


I read this book because I feel I owe John Muir a debt of gratitude. His all-encompassing, almost mystical and always infectious appreciation for wilderness helped start a movement to conserve wild places for the enjoyment of all. One of those places is Yosemite. I had the opportunity to visit recently and picked up a copy of this book. Pictures from another recent visitor (thanks Stephanie) prompted me to pull this out and read it.

It was published in 1912 and the style is certainly dated, but it was an enjoyable read mostly because it launched me right back to the days spent wandering in awe through the remarkable valley (though, it would seem we experienced slightly more visitors in those few days than Mr. Muir might have encountered in his life). Read the rest of this entry »