Second STATE OF EMERGENCY paperback giveaway

I recently did a paperback giveaway for a proof copy of STATE OF EMERGENCY. That contest has ended, and the winner has been chosen. But I have another copy I want to give away, so I'm doing this all over again! The contest runs through September 27 and is open to U.S. residents only. Go to the Goodreads page below to enter. Good luck!   Goodreads Book Giveaway State of Emergency by Mary Hallberg Giveaway ends September 27, 2017. See…

Movie review: ‘Final Destination 5’ is an excellent addition to the series

[caption id="attachment_532" align="aligncenter" width="203"] Photo: Warner Bros.[/caption] Are you afraid to go to the tanning bed? Get on a roller coaster? Drive behind a log truck? If not, you’ve probably never seen a Final Destination movie. Luckily, you don't have to see them in order; if you really want to make yourself afraid to leave your home, why not check out Final Destination 5? Each Final Destination installment opens up with a premonition of a disaster, seen by a major…

Movie review: ‘Evil Dead’ goes back to its morbid roots

[caption id="attachment_528" align="aligncenter" width="203"] Photo: Ghost House Pictures[/caption] Is Evil Dead a remake? A reboot? A sequel? It’s hard to tell, but the movie does bear a strong resemblance to the 1987 horror classic that bears its name. It’s missing the unintentional humor that made the original a success, but manages to stand on its own. After a rather unsettling intro, the meat of the story begins in a remote cabin. Five twentysomethings have gathered at the old family cabin…

Movie review: ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ is nothing you’ve seen before

[caption id="attachment_521" align="aligncenter" width="203"] Photo: Lionsgate[/caption] When you hear the title The Cabin in the Woods, you might start humming that old American campfire song. “In a cabin in the wood/little man by the window stood/saw a rabbit hopping by...” But get that image out of your mind quick. The Cabin in the Woods has no little men or rabbits in it...but it does have plenty of sex-crazed teenagers and creepy men in office attire. As the movie begins, the…

5 great zombie movies

As someone who's about to publish a zombie novel, I'll admit it took me awhile to warm up to the genre. I had to look outside the generic "virus spreads throughout the world" scenario that most zombie movies employ to find the ones I really liked. Here are some of the movies I enjoyed as I was getting into the zombie subgenre. Have you seen these movies? What did you think of them? Dance of the Dead (2008): Another admission: I…

Movie review: ‘Chernobyl Diaries’ is a tense thrill ride

[caption id="attachment_512" align="aligncenter" width="199"] Photo: Alcon Entertainment[/caption] Have you ever wantes to visit Ukraine? It looks beautiful, but your desires might be squashed after you see Chernobyl Diaries, just one installment in a craze of vacation themed horror films that pit unsuspecting tourists against foreign terrors. To some people, the word “tourist” is a dirty word, and there’s nothing more frightening than coming home from a vacation with nothing but a few blurry photos and a tacky refrigerator magnet. That’s…

5 creepy haunted locations around the world

Everyone loves a good haunted location, right? But if you're like me, after awhile they all start to sound the same. A young woman is murdered on her wedding night. Another kills her children and wanders the earth looking for them. A man is killed in a shooting match. If you've heard one creepy ghost story, you've heard most of them already. But not all haunted places are created equal. Here are five I find especially creepy. Stull Cemetery: This…

STATE OF EMERGENCY is now available in paperback!

I was planning on releasing the STATE OF EMERGENCY ebook in September -- and I still am. Along with that, I was going to attempt to time the paperback release around the same day, but I missed the mark just a bit. But that's good news for all of you who want to get your hands on a copy, like, right now. Because you can now order STATE OF EMERGENCY in paperback! But if you don't have an extra 7 bucks…

6 classic horror movies I love

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="304"] Photo: Dwight Frye/Flickr[/caption] A true classic never goes out of style, right? Okay, I kinda grabbed that from Bride of Chucky, but the sentiment still stands. Newer horror movies have more technology at their disposal, and they're often better looking (and, in many instances, just as good, if not better, than their predecessors). But classic horror has a certain charm about it. Here are a few of my favorite classics. Halloween: My favorite slasher movie of…

5 tips for making a great horror movie

So you want to make a horror movie? They’re popular, but also abundant -- and varied. Do you want to scare people? Gross them out? Take them on a roller coaster ride? You can’t please everyone, but if you want to make a well liked horror film, here are a few guidelines that might help you. Have interesting characters: Movies (and stories in general) are about people, not events. Sure, picking stupid teenagers off one by one works, but only for…