Horror Conclave: The Lodge

The year was 2023. The month was September. My pal Kate Jonez and I had been planning a thing for several months, and that thing was called Horror Conclave. We wanted to put on a little gathering – a retreat, if you will – for folks who like to write dark stories. After weeks of research and discussion, we chose to host our event in Big Bear, California. Specifically, the Golden Bear Lodge (part of Golden Bear Cottages).

We had attempted a different sort of Horror Conclave a couple years ago, just as Covid was really ramping up. Originally, it was going to be a much bigger affair, taking place in Las Vegas. Thanks to the pandemic, we had to pull back and rethink the mission. Sometime in early 2023, we got talking about a hosting a retreat. Where other conferences can be crowded and hectic, we wanted to do something small and calm. We wanted to host something where writers come together to be inspired and motivated. We wanted our guests to leave with a full tank, not exhausted. Something with arts and crafts, with a scavenger hunt, with a pirate ship.

And so we created Horror Conclave, and was everything we hoped it would be. Today, I want to show you our venue, Golden Bear Lodge. The Lodge had a ton of character, the perfect place to hold our first ever Horror Conclave. There’s the attic door up high on the wall in the living room. There’s the strange little bedroom at the back of the master bathroom. There’s the creepy storage room down in the basement. Fantastic little quirks that inspired a creepy little story I wrote during the retreat. I read it by the campfire on the last night, and I’ll share it on a later blog post. Here’s some photographic evidence:

That’s all for now, but I’ll be doing some more posts about Horror Conclave soon. Hope to see you at the next one!

Mystery Potion Books

Ladies, Gentlemen, and Others, I have news! Signals have been quiet from this end, but I assure you I have been busy behind the scenes. With my beloved publisher Omnium Gatherum shifting their business model, my books needed a new home. Today, I am happy to announce the birth of a brand new book publisher…

Mystery Potion Books is a brand new small press, operating in a very specific publishing niche. The founder (me) and the staff (also me) all got together and voted to limit the company’s publishing scope to reprints of just one author: Me.

While I miss Omnium Gatherum, I’m excited about Mystery Potion. It’s the new home for the first three Chuggie books, as well as Keep Away From Psycho Joe, Cruce Roosters, and my collection Doomsday Furnace. When I get Chuggie #4 written, that’ll go up on Mystery Potion. Psycho Joe 2? Mystery Potion. Cruce Roosters prequel? Mystery Potion! Who knows what fresh nonsense I’ll be able to publish with Mystery Potion? Not me. But the possibilities are endless, and I can’t wait!

There are, however, NEW projects that you don’t know about. I have different plans for those projects. We’re hunting big game, which may take a little time. There’ll be cool stuff in the meantime, promise.

Thanks for supporting my silly little dreams… If you’d like to snag yourself some Mystery Potion, go to my Amazon page, and splurge!


It’s a sad time. My little buddy JP has gone to await me in Valhalla. He was 17-1/2 years old, and he was a part of our family since we brought him home on February 7, 2011. He used to sit under my shirt as I sat at my computer writing or playing video games. JP was as gentle as they come, not a mean bone in his body. He preferred to stay indoors in the company of his humans, but in his younger years he would dash in big circles around the yard and go with on long walks along the lake. JP was weird and sweet and affectionate. He loved his meatball treats and his Nilla Wafers. We had quite a bit in common, he and I. Especially the handsomeness. I’ll miss his bright eyes and his kisses and his calming influence.

I wrote a story a few years back called “JP,” all about the lengths I’d go to for him. People tell me it’s scary. That originally appeared in an obsession-themed anthology called Little Visible Delight. Later, the story was published again in my collection Doomsday Furnace. The berserker houndsmen in Chuggie and the Bleeding Gateways have a dog named Jehpi – and another named Mo, after another canine buddy who’s waiting in Valhalla. JP and Mo were good dogs. They live on in legend, and they’ll both be honored in my stories.

JP is still inspiring me, still shining a light, and still helping me. So join me in raising a toast to JP. A good ol’ buddy who had a long life full of love, who I’ll miss until we’re together again.

Jordan Etheredge – Voice Legend

Today I want to tell you about my pal Jordan Etheredge. In addition to being a kickass audiobook narrator, she is also a fantastic human being. I found her on ACX.com when I was looking for someone to narrate my novella Cruce Roosters. When I heard her audition sample, it was immediately clear she had to be the voice of Molly Most (the book’s main character). From beginning to end, she was prompt, professional, and a pleasure to work with. The end product was better than I had hoped.

Since then, I have worked with her on two other projects. One was a sample chapter for a work in progress. The other was a short story called The Sand Taker, which was part of my Doomsday Furnace collection. Next time I need a lady’s voice to narrate an audiobook, she’s the first person I’ll call. Wanna know a secret? Okay, lean in… ((I’m probably going to ask her to narrate another short story from Doomsday Furnace pretty soon.))

If YOU need the best, CLICK HERE to listen to some more samples and contact my friend Jordan. Make sure you tell her BMK sent ya!

If you’d like to hear her work on The Sand Taker, it’s right here: