Entries by Mary Maddox

Transformation in two horror stories

Two paragraphs into Joe Hill’s novel Horns, I thought the author must have been influenced by Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. Both stories begin with a dramatic transformation. You may already know how Kafka’s novella opens: As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. […]

A Valentine’s Day drawing

Are you a subscriber to my newsletter? Then you’re eligible to enter this drawing for three $15 Amazon Gift Cards. If you’re a winner, I’ll contact you by Friday, February 24. Let me hear from you within 72 hours. Otherwise a new winner will be chosen.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

By the numbers? Reviews of two thrillers

Recently I read two thrillers, Robert Bailey’s The Professor and Michael Connelly’s The Wrong Side of Goodbye. When I related the plot of Connelly’s latest to my husband, he remarked, “Seems like it’s pretty much by the numbers.” “By the numbers” alludes to the old-time hobby kits in which a painting—usually a famous one—is reduced […]


When a comma matters

Grammar Nazi deplores sloppy punctuation. My own attitude is more ambiguous since I think communication matters more than correctness and nobody is perfect—least of all me. But sometimes punctuation matters. While reading Justin Cronin’s The Passage, I came across an example of how much a missing comma can change the meaning of a sentence. In […]

Winter Wonderland Contest

Night Owl Reviews is hosting the Book Lovers Winter Wonderland Contest from November 23 until December 15. Dozens of authors, including me, are coming together to sponsor this exciting event. The timing is perfect for Darkroom, since Kelly’s search for her friend Day takes place during the same time span in November and December. The […]

Easy ways to write a book review #AugustReviews

In this post, reviewer Rosie Amber does a solid for authors by encouraging readers to leave book reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. She gives some helpful tips to make the process easier. All of us authors rely on feedback from readers, not just to help sell books but to let us know where we get […]

Pat Down! My encounter with Agent Jackson

The first two weeks in August, I’ll travel west to Salt Lake City and Los Angeles to visit friends and family. I dislike flying and try to ease the discomfort by using frequent flyer miles to pay for business class tickets. But no upgrade can save me from airport security. I first posted this story […]

My writing process – That Magic Moment

Writers are expected to write about their creative process. It’s on every handy list of blog topics for authors. But this particular topic is a struggle for me. On one level is the mystical Source From Whence All Inspiration Flows, and I haven’t got much to say about it. It’s my well in the desert. […]

Death and Dark Money: A riveting thriller

In his international conspiracy thriller Death and Dark Money—the fourth book of the Sabel Security series— Seeley James shows how loopholes in Citizens United open the door for foreign corporations and nations to influence American policy. Pia Sabel, ex-Olympic soccer player, now runs her adoptive father’s international security company. The company receives a contract from an […]