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The Woman in Black Film Reignites Gothic Genre

Please Note: The House on Black Lake has been adapted to screenplay. Go to Home Page to view trailer and music video for contemporary gothic suspense.

The film adaptation of The Woman in Black by Susan Hill has given a shot of newfound interest to the gothic genre. The classic haunted house that contains dramas of the old inhabitants played against the struggles of contemporary guests will likely always find an audience. The film features Daniel Radcliffe in a role that suits him well, post Harry Potter. If you enjoy the book and film, perhaps you might desire to take a journey to Black Lake.





Great HBO Game of Thrones Trailer - Season Two

Please Note: The House on Black Lake has been adapted to screenplay. Go to Home Page to view provocative trailer and music video based on scene from novel.

Game of Thrones HBO series will return in April to continue the story based on the best selling novel. It is a glorious show with fantastic acting, beautiful scenery, and intense scenes that bring to life the wonderful story created by George R.R. Martin. The long five books beginning with "A Song of Fire and Ice" are filled with romance, passion, and danger.  If you have not yet read the books then you must - Game of Thrones


San Mateo County Fair Seeks Authors for Publication in Anthology




The San Mateo, Ca County invites you to include your work in our first published collection!

I have personally worked with the founders of the "Carry the Light" literary festival and can vouche for their passion and commitment to helping writers find an audience for their work.

Below is a description from the San Mateo county Fair Website:

“CARRY THE LIGHT” – THE SAN MATEO COUNTY FAIR LITERARY ANTHOLOGY 2012 will be published by Sand Hill Review Press.
Be part of the 2012 literary anthology and you will be a published author in a 6x9 soft cover trade paperback that will be available for public purchase at the fair, as well as Amazon.com! Every entrant will have at least one piece published; all winning entries will be included, even if a writer has won multiple awards.
NOTE: If you do not wish to be included in this anthology, you must click the designated box on the entry form.


Carry the Light of 2012 is the published anthology of short story, poetry, essay, and sponsored contest submissions. Themes range from free form poetry to science fiction short stories to personal essays, all of which tell a story. Do you have such a story to share?

Special Note

In exchange for being published by Sand Hill Review Press in a soft cover trade paperback available for public purchase, writers will authorize their work to be printed without compensation, and will retain all ownership rights. Writers are invited to participate in local promotions and book signings.

New this Year

Because we are publishing an anthology, we prefer entries to be submitted in a .doc or .docx file but you will not be excluded if you don’t have access to the Internet. See General Literary Contest Rules for all entry requirements.

: We also offer a cover art contest for this anthology in the fine arts dept. PREORDER NOW! A limited number of books will be available during the fair for the special promo price of $10.00 (deadline May 9, 2012). Preorder now on the guidebook entry form or fair website to ensure your copies at the sale price; regular price will be $12.00 plus tax and shipping, and order will take approx 7-10 days.
There will be an Anthology Book Signing Event (day and time tba on our website, you do not need to purchase a book in order to attend.
Carry the Light of 2012 will be available to purchase online at Amazon.com. See similar books at www.amazon.com and www.sandhillreview.org

: In order to print this book in time, our new entry deadline for all literary entries is April 16, 2012


Brad Pitt Stages Fund Raiser in New Orleans


Join me on March 10, 2012 at Make it Right Foundations benefit. The evening of March 10 Brad Pitt and Ellen DeGeneres are hosting "A Night to Make It Right" at the Hyatt Regency, featuring a celebrity guest list.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Brad Pitt's Make it Right Foundation will benefit from perhaps the biggest single-night fundraiser in New Orleans history.

The $1,000-a-seat fundraiser will feature Randy Jackson, Josh Brolin,Djimon Hounsou, Spike Lee, Blake Lively, Bennett Miller, Chris Paul, Sean Penn, Wendell Pierce and Kevin Spacey.

Performers for the night will include Rihanna, Sheryl Crow, Seal, the Neville Brothers, and Dr. John and friends.

The event, presented by the Hyatt Regency New Orleans with sponsor Google+, is the biggest single-night fundraiser in New Orleans history.

The charity gala will raise more money for Pitt's Make It Right Foundation, which so far has completed 75 ultra-modern homes in the Lower 9th Ward to replace those wiped away by the levee failures following Hurricane Katrina. The foundation since has expanded to Newark, N.J., and Kansas City, Mo., to provide sustainable housing for disabled veterans and disadvantaged communities.

The New Orleans event will feature a four-course dinner coordinated by chef John Besh and prepared by chefs Giada DeLaurentiis and Emeril Lagasse.

An afterparty will be hosted by comedian Aziz Ansari. Tickets for that event only are $150. The $1,000 ticket includes entrance to the afterparty. Individual VIP tickets are $2,500 and include admission to a VIP reception and the afterparty.

To buy tickets or for more information, visit:  http://www.nighttomakeitright.com/

Please Note: Go to Home Page to view trailer for The House on Black Lake Novel/Screenplay, and music video.








Noir Film Festival Party Tonight at Eddie's in SF

NOIR CITY X, the 10th Annual San Francisco Film Noir Foundation, presented by the Film Noir Foundation

NOIR CITY celebrates its 10th anniversary as the world's most popular film noir festival with a 10-day extravaganza featuring San Francisco treats, a Dashiell Hammett marathon, freshly preserved 35mm rarities, by-popular-demand encore screenings, surprises galore, and super special guest star ANGIE DICKINSON! Join us January 20-29, 2012 for what promises to be the darkest and most delirious incarnation yet of San Francisco's most popular classic film festival: NOIR CITY!

Among the rarities being presented this year: a brand new 35mm print of 1949's The Great Gatsby, starring Alan Ladd as F. Scott Fitzgerald's legendary lovelorn hero. The film has been buried for decades, but Muller's perseverance persuaded Universal Pictures to strike a preservation print for NOIR CITY. The studio also is providing a brand new 35mm print of 1954's Naked Alibi, starring noir's favorite bad girl, Gloria Grahame. The Film Noir Foundation has also funded a new 35mm preservation of the "lost" 1946 classic Three Strangers, which had no viewable prints and has never been released on DVD. NOIR CITY is also proud to have been chosen to premiere the Film Foundation's recently completed preservation of the superb 1950 Michael Curtiz film The Breaking Point, starring John Garfield.

Everyone Comes to Eddie's,
The NOIR CITY Nightclub

Swedish American Hall , 2174 Market St.
(within walking distance of the Castro Theatre!)


NOTICE: For those individuals who have already purchased a $75 NOIR CITY Nightclub ticket, the Film Noir Foundation will refund your $35 on Saturday night at the door to "Eddie's"

Swinging lounge tunes, torrid torch songs, classic burlesque, and a helping of neo-noir rock-and-roll is the bill of fare Saturday night, January 28, 2012, as the NOIR CITY film festival breaks out of the majestic Castro Theatre to present Everyone Comes to Eddie's, a swanky, sexy, and slightly sinister soiree in which the Swedish American Hall is transformed into a vintage 1940s-era nightclub. The one-night special event is an added celebration of NOIR CITY's 10th anniversary. Performances include the mid-century musical stylings of Mr. Lucky and the Cocktail Party with Ralph Carney, vintage noir-inspired torch songs from the luscious Laura Ellis, spectacular striptease from world-renowned burlesque beauty Evie Lovelle, and the dark, mysterious, and danceable sounds of Kansas City's The Latenight Callers, described as "the house band at David Lynch's pool party." Expect more surprises as the night unfolds! "People who make a point of attending all the films on the festival schedule need not fear," said impresario Eddie Muller. "We're running the same double bill that day and night at the Castro, so you can see films in the afternoon and party that night." Cocktail attire preferred.

Tickets for the show, a fundraiser for the Film Noir Foundation, are now priced at $40 each (as of January 25). Admission includes hors d'oeuvres and an open bar, plus entertainment. NOIR CITY Passports do not grant party admission. Separate ticket required. Sorry, no passes. Tickets are now available at the Castro Theatre or online through Brown Paper Tickets.


Blackwell BLACKED OUT 1-18-12

Protect freedom of speach. Sign petition against SOPA and PIPA today.



2012 Edwardian Ball and Faire

The 2012 Edwardian Faire and Ball will be held in San Francisco on January 20-21,  I plan to attend to get inspiration for my  nearly complete new novel. "The Chamber of Curiosities" is a love story between a charismatic circus freak and a beautiful young trapeze artist set in carnival on a bastion overlooking the sea in land on the brink of revolution. 

More information about the event, including evocative pictures, maybe be found at:


What, dare say, is The Edwardian Ball?

THE EDWARDIAN BALL is an elegant and whimsical celebration of art, music, theatre, fashion, technology, circus, and the beloved creations of the late, great author Edward Gorey. Set in “Edwardian” times, this multi-media festival has grown over the past decade from a small underground club night into an internationally recognized event, even earning the blessing of The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust.

Costumed and enthusiastic attendees, traveling from as far as Australia, Japan, and the UK, flock to this San Francisco tradition for a delightful blend of ballroom dancing, live music, riveting stage shows, DJs, fine art galleries, a vending marketplace, absinthe cocktails, steam machinery, parlour games, sideshows, and more. All ages are welcome and appropriate in this darkly humorous and elegant setting, where literary aficionados rub elbows with insect-like creatures parading on stilts… where historically-accurate Edwardian recreationists waltz by a steam-powered tea garden… where the only guiding rule is that you join in on the fun!

The Edwardian Ball has been called “the quintessential must-not-miss event of the year,” “a defining annual San Francisco tradition,” and “a literary circus of the highest caliber” for good reason… come see for yourself!

Please note: The House on Black Lake has been adapted to screenplay - go to Home Page to see teaser trailer


25 Sexiest Alpha Heroes in Romance Novels

Please note: Go to Home Page to view cinematic trailer and new music video for The House on Black Lake.

Scene from "The House on Black Lake" trailer

Every romance novel has at least one sexy hero, many books have numerous objects of desire. Each individual has their own notion of what is sexually appealing, so all tastes are different. However, there are a number of alphas who appeal to a broad range of women and are consistently mentioned as the sexiest of the breed.

In the House on Black Lake there are three alphas competing for the sexiest slot, although only one will merge a hero.  Ramey Sandeley is the scion of an old Montreal family as well as a successful entrepreneur with preternatural good looks and devilish charm, Georgie La Pointe a glamorous French Canadian rock star with a flare for dangerous love, and sultry French artist Andre Labat a master of romance and seduction.

The top 25 sexiest heroes are in no particular order.

1. Thomas Walker - Smoke in Mirors by Jane Anne Krentz

2 Luthor Malone- Running Hot by Jane Anne Krentz

3. Rafe McCay - The Touch of Fire by Linda Howard

4. Elvis Donnelly - Exposure by Susan Andersen

5. Jacob Caitlin - Tell Me No Lies by Elizabeth Lowell

6. Jack Sheridan - Virgin River by Robyn Carr

7. Joe Ramsey - Tempt Me Tonight by Toni Blake

8. Derek Taggart - Kept by Jami Alden

9. Iain MacKinnon - Surrender by Pamela Clare

10. Dageus Mackeltar - The Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

11. Alex Markov - Kiss An Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

12. Jared Maxwell - Condition of Marriage by Emilie Rose

13. James Diaz - Cry no More by Linda Howard

14. Burke Halifax - Betting Hearts by Dee Tenorio

15. Colby - Guilty Needs by Shiloh Walker

16. Theo Buchanan - Mercy by Julie Garwood

17 Max - Wild Orchids by Karen Robards

18. Hunter Hawksworth - Stranger in My Arms by Lisa Kleypas

19. Derek Craven - Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

20. Jacob Jarmon - Tender Torment by J. Archer

21. Zsadist - Lover Awakenedby J.R. Ward

22. Jamie - Outlander by Diana Galandon

23. Broderick - Ransom by Julie Garwood

24. Bones - Night Huntress by Jeaniene Frost

25. Ethan MacCarrick - If You Deceive by Kresley Cole





Private Justice Can Be Yours If You're Rich

The following article was written by Michael Hiltzik for the Los Angeles Times, March 16, 2006.

Note from Author: A terrifying experience in a haunted house on an island in Montreal segued with cruel treatment in the chambers of a private judge, and "The House on Black Lake" was born. The use of private judges is only legal in a few states, but what is most disturbing are the states  that allow laymen attorney to don the robe of a judge and precide over trials.


       You don't need me to tell you how grand it is to be rich in California. You don't have to care about the condition of public education because your kids go to private school. You don't have to worry about higher park fees, because you can lock up access to your private beach and hire thugs to run off any riffraff who get near the water. You don't have to do your own gardening, because there are plenty of illegals around to trim your perennials.

        And you don't have to subject yourself to litigating your private disputes in open court, because you can buy yourself a judge to run interference for you - under cover of the state Constitution, no less.

        If your private judge violates state judicial rules and bends the public court system to your personal ends, what's the downside? Your judge is outside the reach of the state's disciplinary system for misbehaving jurists. If your case happens to involve matters of manifest public importance and interest, too bad about the public. After all, the system belongs to you.

        Many states allow retired judges to fulfill limited judicial roles - as referees in evidentiary disputes or as fill-in udges to relieve docket gridlock, for example. But California, apparently uniquely, is much more liberal. Its Constitution allows attorneys and ex-judges to conduct actual trials in the guise of temporary jurists. Once selected by litigants, they're sworn in as Superior Court judges and endowed with almost all the powers and authority of any active judge.

        They then proceed to abuse their power. Documents and hearings in the cases before them are supposed to be public, but often the papers don't end up in public files, trial schedules are kept secret, and even those that leak out are held in private offices behind layers of security. The sealing of a court document is an important decision that involves a core principle of the public judicial system; these judges do it all the time, secretly, simply by sticking sensitive papers in their briefcases and dodging requests for access.

        So justice ends up belonging, like a private preserve, to the rich and powerful - indeed, anyone who can pay a judge $400-$500 an hour. It's unsurprising that the public knows little about this system because the judicial establishment isn't even sure how widespread it is; court clerks don't keep a tally of how many cases are tried by privately temporary judges.

        Instead of reining in this system, the Legislature is preparing to expand it. A bill to give temporary judges the authority to seal many documents in divorce  cases is currently moving through Sacramento, despite  evidence that temporary judges have overstepped their nonexistent authority in the past.

        The corrosive influence of this two-tier system is hardly a secret. In 1992 when a plan to expand the authority of private judges came into consideration by the court administration came up for consideration Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert H. O'Brien complained in a letter that that a double tier system - one for the wealthy, one for the poor (or even not so wealthy)" was a "real evil." He dismissed the complaint that public dockets were jammed - as a "feeble rationalization" for the creation of a money making scheme.

        One corrupting feature of the process is the immunity of privately from from disciplinary action. The state commission on judicial performance, which has the power to remove ordinary judges from the bench, has no jurisdiction overy temporary judges, even when they misbehave. Even a county's  judge is powerless to force temporary judges to comply with local procedural rules.

        Why should we care about this? Not only because the very idea of a two-tier justice should enrage every citizen but also because as conditions get better for the privileged they become worse for everyone else. As long as the wealthy and powerful can buy their own civil justice the system goes to hell, and the road to its collapse will become even steeper.

The complete article may be viewed at:




25 Sexiest Christmas Gifts for Men - 2011

Please Note: Provacative trailer and music video for The House on Black Lake may be viewed on Home Page.

The way to a man's heart may be through his stomach, but the way to his passionate love is through electronics. No one can deny the glazed over eyes and dreamy smile of a many gazing at a piece of electronic equipment. So, if you desire to turn you mate into a passionate, obsessive, possessive lover buy him the sexiest piece of electronics you can find. Then, place a love note inside. Trust me, you will be receive back in spades.

The hottest electronic gifts on the market are:

1. Apple  computer $1,100+

2. Samsung Galazy $560+

3. Nikon D3100 camera $549+

4. XBox 360 + Kinect $279+

5. Apple I Phone 4G $650.00+

7. Apple I Pad 2 $500+

8. Go Pro Camcorder $150+

9. Garmen Nuvi Traffic and Maps $550+

10. Kindle Fire 7" wifi $200+

11. Apple IPad $600+

12. Panasonic Blue Ray Wifi DVD Player $200+

13. Video Games for XBOX 360 $60.00

14. Tag Hauer Men's Chronograph Watch$2,000+

These items are not electronic, but you can also succeed with metal:

15. Ray Ban Aviator Sunglass (toss in a set of handcuffs if you like) $86.00+

And a hot scent:

16. Davidoff Cool Water Deep Mens Cologne $55.00

Maybe the touch of silk:

17. Silk boxers $15.00 for sleep or under anything.

Perhaps your man prefers a little pain:

18. Gift certificate to a favorite tattoo parlor (create your own design if you like)

Leather is always nice:

19. Leather Belt  $45.00+or Leather Driving Gloves $25.00+. Ask him to try the belt on for size, then tell him you love the ripping sound of a belt being pulled off - you play with fire if you tell him to keep the gloves on after checking for size.

Adrenaline gifits:

20. Skis, snowboard, water skis, scooba, camping, rock climbing, fishing gear, etc. - whatever excites his passion. Gear turns most men on for some inexplicable reason.

21. 2 tickets (or better yet season tickets) to his favorite sports team or music group. If you buy tickets for concert be sure to buy a few of his favorite CDs to get him in the mood.

22. Computer/video Games that jump start testosterone - watch him play - or play with him

23. Gift certificate for an adreniline rush - such as sports car racing, sky diving, flying trapeze, hot air ballooning. Buy 2 tickets get crazy together. Remember: fear is the greatest aphrodiasac.

For romantic types:

24. Gift certificate for couple's massage at your favorite spa + other exotic forms of pampering his nails, feet, and skin. The feel of another woman's touch will only cause him to desire you more. Then again, why not do it all yourself!

25. Gift certificate for B + B in the mountains or at the beach, a romantic dinner. OR,  create the same mood in your home with a hearty fire, his favorite food and wine, and use the money saved to buy a sexy outfit and lacy new lingerie.

The list is only the beginning ideas gifts.  The only limitation is your wildly imaginative nature.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!