Monday, October 31, 2011

Undertaker's Daughter

It's Halloween. Boo! Today I am sharing a musing with you. You tell me if it's a trick or treat. Have a wonderful, fun, spooky day and night of fun. Leave a comment to win my scary novella, Sunshine Boulevard. Then hop over to the other amazing horror writer blogs. Find the list at the coffin hop blog.

Undertaker’s Daughter
J Q Rose

I always thought of horror writers as rather eccentric, peculiar people. But my perception changed when a horror story sprang from my own mind. You can imagine my surprise when my mystery/horror tale Sunshine Boulevard was accepted and published by Muse It Up Publishing this year. That made ME a published author of horror stories.

Right away, I must tell you I am NOT an eccentric, peculiar person. I am just a regular woman who is a wife, mother, grandmother. But, perhaps some would think my childhood was different. You see, my father was an embalmer and funeral director. I was reared in a funeral home.

It was not unusual to have a dead body laid out in a casket in our living room several days in a row. In fact, sometime we’d have more than one in our home. The embalming room was in the back of the house, and yes, I wore lots of perfume and soap to cover the pungent odor of formaldehyde on my clothes and hair.

We had knee caps for ashtrays in the private area of our home…not in the public area because that may upset some folks. But Dad was a heavy smoker, so he appreciated having the convenience of an ashtray nearby at all times.

It wasn’t unusual to have boxes of ashes of the departed sitting in the pantry shelves next to the canned green beans and corn. Some families squabbled over who was going to pay for the funeral expenses for their dearly departed, so they never showed up to claim the ashes for fear of being left with the debt.  In one case the family of Ida Mayberry, their sweet aunt, never claimed her. So Aunt Ida took up residence in the cupboard next to the pork and beans.

Life as an undertaker’s daughter did not seem to be any big deal. My friends, well, most of them, were happy to come over and play hide and seek in the casket room or to swipe flowers out of the funeral arrangements to put in our hair for dress up.

My girlfriends did get upset when one of the spirits who regularly hung out in the funeral home flew by. The whoosh of air was the only indicator of their presence. Yes, I lost a couple of friends that way because they were scared to death…well, not literally. They just were creeped out especially when one of the spirits would knock over the Barbie doll house or send the family of Barbies swirling around the room.

Needless to say, I enjoyed going to my friend’s house. It was a treat to open their pantry door to get a can of pineapple and not see the boxed ashes of poor Aunt Ida. I could never shake the sadness I felt for her because noone cared enough to bury her ashes or at least sprinkle them on their garden.

So, yes, some may believe it was an unusual childhood compared to the experiences of others. But I felt loved, secure, and safe at all times. And that’s what counts for a kid.

The growing up years certainly shape the adult one becomes. I don’t know if this is the reason I can write a horror story or not, but I can assure you I am a normal, well-rounded person, not eccentric or peculiar at all. In fact I got rid of the knee cap ash trays just last week, but I do have Aunt Ida in the cupboard. Her family never claimed her and I have grown attached to her company.

Thanks for stopping in today at Brynna’s blog. Thank you to my hostess, Brynna, for inviting me to be her guest and let folks know about Sunshine Boulevard, a perfect scary story for October.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What Frightens You?

What frightens you? What makes your blood run cold, makes your teeth chatter, scares you to death? Ah, yes, all clichés which writers hate. Hmmm, maybe clichés scare you off from reading a piece?

Does a little mouse darting across the kitchen floor scare you? How about snakes, spiders, bugs? All real things that can set a heart pumping.

Then there are the creatures like Frankenstein, monsters, zombies, werewolves. Are they fantasy or actually walking around in our world?

How about the staircase leading to the unknown, the face of the serial killer reflecting in your mirror, the hand reaching out of the grave, the bloody dagger on the floor of the car, the dark room containing mysterious sounds…

Does one of these scary things cause your heart to pound faster and your mind to whirl more than another? Is a mouse skittering across your toes comparable to spotting a Zombie? Are there various degrees of horror for you?

What scares you the most? Now, don’t say your mother-in-law!

A skilled horror writer can make even the tiniest mouse sighting become frightening to the reader. Using words to paint the picture in the reader’s mind and build the suspense allows even the mundane to take on the aspect of horror.

My best girlfriend laughed when I told her my book, Sunshine Boulevard, contained elements of light horror. She said you can’t have light horror. That’s like being a little pregnant. Scary is scary.  I tried to explain that it is light horror as opposed to dark. No torture, blood and guts.

I must admit the story does include some frightening stuff as well as secrets and suspense. It also has lighthearted comedy mixed in with the everyday lives of the folks in Florida’s senior golf resort community.
What frightens you? Leave a comment here to tell us.

Every commenter’s’ name will be saved in a handsome oak coffin for a drawing to win the PDF of my mystery/horror novella, e-book, Sunshine Boulevard. Be sure to leave your email address so you can be notified. Yes, that’s all you have to do to be a winner here at the J Q Rose blog. The coffin will be opened to draw out the lucky winner’s name on November 1. I promise not to disturb the body lying in repose. Good luck!

Now trudge on over to visit more blogs listed at the coffin hop website. You can win even more prizes!!

While you are hopping about in cyberspace, you're invited to join me at Jane Richardson's website for the One Link Lowdown  Jane asks fun questions and even makes me tell a fib. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Time for Fun..Tour the Internet Blogfest Book Fair and the Coffin Hop Horror Web Tour

Hello Book Fair Visitors and Coffin Hoppers,

All the excitement of the Book Fair and the Coffin Hopping Horror Tour this week. It's a fabulous week for readers and authors.

An old-fashioned Book Fair on this new-fangled technology is the perfect way to spend the day exploring the diverse genres, variety of writing styles, amazing authors.

The Coffin Hop is made for this frightening month of October. Horror lovers are giddy with anticipation for the next scary story leaving them trembling and hiding in a safe place. Enjoy these tours!

I am J.Q.Rose. Today I introduce you to Sunshine Boulevard, a mystery/light horror novella, e-book only. This is the perfect scary story for an October evening.


What a page turner and full of surprises! I couldn't put this book down.
 Roseanne Dowell, author Stranger on the Shore

This story blends humor with mystery and death very cleverly, making it a book I had to keep reading. Even after I found out the answer to the question, I was still hooked and had to read on to find out what happened next.  Sue Perkins,  Sue’s Book Reviews, Feb 25, 2011

MR Review
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewer: Amanda
Following the senior couple Gloria and Jim Hart, two snowbirds who migrate annually to Florida, Sunshine Boulevard is a page turning mystery. Instead of relaxing in their winter home of Citrus Ridge, Florida, playing golf endlessly and attending events at the community club, the couple becomes involved with a string of deaths and the gossip surrounding them. Jim, who is a First Call Responder volunteer, witnesses some of the mysterious deaths right after they occur, giving him the benefit of acquiring pieces to the puzzle before the public. Deaths in a senior community are not uncommon, per se, but Rose's writing foreshadows someone or something lurking just beneath Florida's rays of sunshine. Sunshine Boulevard is a gripping quick read and has encouraged me to be very wary when visiting the Sunshine State in the future!

4 stars Move Over Stephen King, May 13, 2011
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sunshine Boulevard (Kindle Edition)
J.Q. Rose's writing is as "bad" as Steven King's. When I read Salem's Lot, I couldn't put it down and I slept with a Bible, a Lutheran prayer book, and a Catholic prayer book for several weeks. I didn't pick up another of his books for twenty years

I read Sunshine Boulevard in bed and it's a miracle I did not have nightmares. If I were the naked lady in the geranium bush, I'd have been farther-gone--somewhere up North and still screaming. The fact that I read the whole book, however, is a testament to J.Q. Rose's writing. She had me from the first truly weird death to the ominous ending.

This review is from: Sunshine Boulevard (Kindle Edition)
Sunshine Boulevard runs through Citrus Ridge,FL, a place filled with senior citizens who come to enjoy the sunshine in the winter instead of cold and snow in their own home states. Affectionately known as "snowbirds," Jim and Gloria Hart are but one couple in this engaging read. Jim is a "first responder" to all emergencies within the community, and one of the first to witness the body of a deceased resident who bears a strange coloration and collapses into dust with a mere touch. When more deaths occur, the local police step up their investigations and bring in their dogs to help flush out the killers. OMG!

J.Q. Rose creates a suspense-filled story that keeps you reading to find out what is claiming the lives of people in Citrus Ridge. I won't give away any secrets, but I will reiterate my review title: I'm NOT moving to Florida...ever ever ever.
4 stars A Real Page Turner, April 4, 2011


“Jim, Jim!” Gloria threw her keys on the kitchen counter and then stashed her mat and barbells in the hallway closet.

            “Jim!” She called louder. He was not in the Florida room. She gingerly stepped from the kitchen to the carport. She darted into the attached shed housing the laundry room with storage in the front and Jim’s workshop in back. She walked through the workshop and out the door to the neat little back yard and found him watering their garden plot.
            “Did you hear about George McDonnell?” Gloria shook her auburn hair, compliments of her favorite brand of hair color #118. Her clear blue eyes filled with tears.
            “Yes, I heard.” Jim kinked the hose to stop the water flow and dragged it to the faucet on the back of the house. He slowly turned the tap to cut off the stream of water and dropped the hose to the freshly cut grass.
            “How sad that he died alone. Oh, Jim, he wasn’t discovered for so long his body just ro...” She couldn’t say it.
            “Gloria, come in the house. I have to tell you something. I don’t want the neighbors listening in on this conversation.” Gloria knew her husband of thirty-five years well enough to realize something wasn’t right.
            As they stepped into the bright kitchen, Jim turned to her. Looking straight into her eyes, he said, “Royce called this morning. George’s death was peculiar. I guess, that’s what the Medical Examiner is saying.”
            Jim was friends with the county M.E., Royce Williams. They worked together on investigations involving the First Responders Unit. Living in a retirement community, the Medical Examiner and medics were frequent visitors. An ambulance at a home was not a significant event at Citrus Ridge. It was part of life and death.
            “Royce told us George’s body did not rot. It couldn’t have decomposed that quickly because Miss Lottie checked on him every day when she brought him the mail in the afternoon. She delivered it the day before he died. He was alert and talked about the weather.
            “When Lottie called 9-1-1 at one o’clock yesterday, she was so upset she couldn’t even speak. They traced the call to her house. When the police arrived, she only pointed to George’s house.”
            Jim stopped a minute. Gloria saw the anguish in his face. “They discovered George sitting in the living room in his recliner. His body was mustard yellow. His clothes were melted to his body. The odor was not a rotting smell, but rather like burning or scorching. In fact the fabric in the chair was charred. Ron was the first responder. He told me when he and the paramedics touched the body, it turned to powder.”
            Gloria cried out in disbelief. She covered her face with her hands. “Dear God. What happened, Jim? What could have caused such a thing?”
            “Ron arrived at the scene first. You know Ron. Always talking and telling greatstories.” Gloria remembered the usually fun-loving raucous Ron.
            “Royce told me there was such a look of horror in Ron’s eyes. He was traumatized by what he saw. Ron told him he moved George’s wrist, and his hand fell making a pile of yellow ashes on the floor.”
            “Dear God.” Gloria sat down at the dining room table feeling nauseous.     Jim wiped his eyes. “I don’t know how Ron and Lottie will ever forget this nightmare.”

The e-book is available at Muse It Up Publishing Bookstore

as well as at many online booksellers.

 For more information about me, please go to the J Q Rose Website or 

Muse It Up Publishing

Visit me on Facebook at J.q.Rose

Thanks for stopping. Continue touring the book fair at the Internet Blogfest Book Fair Site.

Come back tomorrow for a Halloween musing.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Join in on the Coffin Hop Horror Web Tour Oct. 24-31

It's the chillingly perfect time of year to savor all that is frightening, spooky, scary, and just plain fun! 

October is here and so is the Coffin Hop Horror Web Tour!!

October 24-31, 2011

What better month than October for horror writers to crawl out of their coffins and spread the Halloween spirit!

Are you interested in winning great horror fiction and Halloween goodies the week of October 24-31, 2011? 

Go to the Coffin Hop Site to discover participating authors' websites. Each author has a contest to enter on their site. 

Over 80 chances to win!


Be sure to return to this site for a Halloween story this week and visit the other author sites  all week long. Find a list of participating authors at the Coffin Hop Blog Tour Site.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Welcome to Florida

What a wonderful welcoming sign to the Sunshine State...NOT! This is the first thing I saw when I jumped out of our truck at a rest area south of Gainesville, FL. It kind of makes one want to jump back in the vehicle and turn north. Let me think about a choice between SNAKES or SNOW...Hmmm...would you believe we chose the snakes?? Yes, we are snowbirds flying toward sunshine and away from the snow....

We are now settled in and looking forward to a fun Florida winter with sunshine, games, and friends.  Poisonous snakes are not in our future, I hope!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Michael Jackson' s Thriller

I am trying to escape from all the hype surrounding Michael Jackson's horrible death and trial of his doctor. I have included one of his amazing videos that fits this spooky month of October. It is a tribute to Michael and his amazing talent and creativity. View it and escape to another land.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Easy Recipe: Pumpkin Dump Cake

Yee-Haw for Fall celebration at the Double JJ Ranch and Golf Resort, Rothbury, Michigan
Photo by J Q Rose

October is the month for pumpkins and carving jack-o-lanterns. It's also the time for Halloween parties, treats, and scary stories. Today I am sharing an easy pumpkin recipe for you to serve at your next Halloween get-together. 

Pumpkin Dump Cake

1 29 oz. can pure pumpkin (or use your fresh pumpkin from the garden)
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 box yellow cake mix
1 c. chopped pecans (or walnuts)
3/4 c. melted margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix first 6 ingredients until well blended. Pour batter into 9x13 greased pan.

Sprinkle cake mix on top, then cover with pecans. Pour melted margarine over top.

Bake 50 minutes.

So now you have your treat for Halloween. May I also suggest a scary story? Sunshine Boulevard  is a frightening story for this spooky month of fun.

For more recipes and great reads, come back in November when I feature authors and their favorite recipes, Good Eats, Great Reads. Tasty recipes for the upcoming holidays and fascinating stories for gifts or your pleasure.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Muse Online Writers Conference Begins Today

Muse Online Writers Conference begins today through October 9. If you did not register for the conference this year, please remember to register for next year. Tons of information on writing, marketing, publilshing. So much fun to network with all the folks at the conference.

Hope to meet you there!!

Mother's Day Excerpt from Arranging a Dream, Happy Mother's Day, Working Moms

YouTube VIDEO: Mother's Day Excerpt from Arranging a Dream Hello and welcome! I wanted to pop in to wish you moms, grandmoms and those w...