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Happy NaNoWriMo and “The Purge of Babylon” by Sam Sisavath


Hello ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to the Casa!

It has been a bit since we last talked, and, now that I have my laptop fan fixed, I thought I’d drop in and say hello.  And, what better time to start again than the beginning of NaNoWriMo.  For those who don’t know it, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and occurs every November.  The idea is to write a 50,000 word novel in the span of 30 days, so if you’ve ever thought about writing a novel, this might be a good time to try.  The prize is the satisfaction of knowing you completed writing a novel in a month and, after some polishing and editing, a possible novel to submit to a publisher or self-publish.  If you do go the self-publishing route, I strongly encourage having at least a second pair of eyes review it first.  Even kids can participate and set their own word goal for the month.  This year, I will be participating, but not in the traditional sense as I have one novel I am already in the middle of writing.  My goal for this year is to finish that novel and start on a new one, but still maintaining the goal of at least 50,000 words written in the month (excluding blog posts and book reviews).  Wish me luck as I wish all of you brave individuals also attempting it good luck.

And now, the blog post wouldn’t be complete without a review, so this go round I offer to you the novel “The Purge of Babylon” by Sam Sisavath.  This book is the first in a series and is about a night when people go crazy, mutate, and begin chasing down other humans.  These are not zombies, as head shots don’t even put them down for long.  Also, unlike zombies, these creatures a capable of intelligent thought, planning, and cooperation.  These ghouls also carry a mighty grudge as they chase and hunt one pack of survivors comprised of two SWAT team members, a business woman, a med student, and three teenagers, who only have silver and sunlight to protect them as they make their way to a survival bunker constructed by a paranoid billionaire.  As with all apocalyptic stories, not everyone makes it out alive.

I found this very entertaining and well written for an apocalyptic story.  The interactions between the survivors as they make their way to safety is captivating, although there were times it was a little too tennis-ish in the delivery between two people.  The biggest user of this style of conversation are the SWAT team members who don’t seen to take anything seriously.  All in all, I thought this was a great read and recommend it to anyone who appreciates the Romero-esque ghouls.  I rate this a four out of five.

Until next we meet, I hope you enjoy the lovely fall weather where you are, and remember, “Why so serious?”

Donald “D.J.” Pitsiladis

Beginnings, Ends, and “The Black: A Deep Sea Thriller” by Paul E Cooley

the black

Hello ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to the Casa!

It has been a rather interesting summer, but I, for one, am kind of glad to see it go.  Personal issue with my ex-wife aside, we have lost plenty of big name celebrities in the horror and wrestling worlds, and seen some other wrestlers fall from grace.  The latest of which is one of the horror mavens, Wes Craven.  The creator of many horror mainstays, Craven is best known for creating the cultural icons that are “Nightmare on Elm Street’s” Freddy Krueger and Ghost Face from the “Scream” movie series.  He was a true master and the horror community mourns for his loss.

One major highlight of the summer this year was that I got married again to someone who has been a positive influence for me these past couple of years, even when things have been very rough with said ex-wife.  I can honestly say that I love her deeply and marrying her has been the best decision I’ve ever made.  Look for it to show in my posts and future creative endeavors.

This week, I decided to share with you “The Black: A Deep Sea Thriller” by Paul E Cooley.  Picture an oil rig drilling in the middle of the ocean looking for a major score, only they find something more than just oil.  What they find is something purer than any oil ever found, but what seems like an impossible find becomes a nightmare for the crew of roughnecks and scientists.  The black substance is actually a living organism that eats anything except metal and glass and has taken a liking for people.

This story definitely hearkened back to the drive in theater days and “The Blob” movies and the symbiotes from the Spider-Man comics, Venom and Carnage.  This mass of ooze is sentient, able multiply, and able to restructure itself.  If that wasn’t bad enough, the people on the oil rig have nowhere to go to escape, and there is a storm bearing down on them.  Will they all make it out? That bit of information is something you will need to read and find out.  My rating is a 4 out of 5.

You can get your copy of “The Black: A Deep Sea Thriller” at Amazon or through your local book store.

Until next time…

Donald “D.J.” Pitsiladis

Another piece of my childhood gone & “The Hellbound Heart” by Clive Barker

hellbound heart

Hello ladies and gentlemen!  Welcome to the Casa!

After taking a week off for personal and family reasons, I am back with another review for you.  Sadly, another professional wrestling celebrity is embroiled in a big scandal, and another has, sadly, went on to the big wrestling ring in the sky.  Strangely enough, they are two of the wrestlers who really brought professional wrestling to the foreground in the 1980’s.  Hulk Hogan and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper were friends behind the curtain, but the biggest enemies when playing to the crowd.  Roddy’s maniacal antics, both inside the ring and during promos, were always crazy and took unexpected turns.  Whether it was busting a coconut over Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka’s head, using the famous O.J. Simpson chase footage for a pay per view match against Goldust, and the time he wrestled a match with half of his body painted black.

My parents divorced when I was twelve years old, and my mother had primary custody of my brothers and I.  It was a painful time (which I will not be going into because I don’t want to bore you), but one of the bright spots of that time was watching WWF wrestling with my father.  It was during the high point of Roddy, Hulk, etc., but Roddy was one of the ones that always stands out in my memory.  Even when I saw him in movies or television spots, (which I recommend John Carpenter’s “They Live”), he always stood out against the Hollywood actors he starred with.  Another piece of my childhood gone, but never forgotten.

This week’s book recommendation is one of those stories that I watched the movie version before getting to read the story.  In most cases where that has occurred, it paints a much different picture of the story than the reverse.  In this instance, which was watched or read first actually didn’t make a bit of difference.  The story is Clive Barker’s “The Hellbound Heart”, but most people know it as “Hellraiser”.  If you haven’t read it, and are a horror fan or horror addict, I strongly suggest picking up this classic for a stormy night or a bedtime read.

Until next time…

D.J. Pitsiladis

“This Darkness Light” by Michaelbrent Collings

This Darkness Light

Hello ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to the Casa!

Had some computer browser issues this week that I just got taken care of, and now that they are done, Here is this week’s review of “This Darkness Light” by Michaelbrent Collings.

It is a story about an apocalypse at the outset, one in which normal everyday people are turned into horrific creatures for a short period of time before they die. A man wakes from a coma without any memories of who he is, how he got to the hospital, or even why he is there. A glance at his chart lists his injuries as multiple gunshot wounds, but he doesn’t feel as bad as he should after a trauma like that. He’s vaguely able to recall that he has a mission, and that he needs to go to Kansas immediately.  As an assassin enters the man’s room and stares in shock at the John Doe in the bed before he aims a silenced gun at him. As this is going on, a nurse arrives for her shift and discovers every one of her co-workers on her floor executed. She enters John Doe’s room and provides enough of a distraction for the injured man to subdue and kill his would be assassin. John and the nurse escape the hospital, only to find themselves targets of an assassin named Isaiah, a former priest blackmailed into chasing them by a shadow organization within the government in order to save the world.

I found this a very hard book to put down. It started like it might be a zombie style story, but just as quickly changed to a mixture of Stephen King’s “The Mist” and the 1989 movie “Leviathan”. The priest’s story was well-played out as the man who believes he is so unworthy that he tries to make things right by eliminating people who he knows for sure are abusive to other people. The back story on why is a well told story and very believable. The way John Doe’s character is painted keeps up just enough of a mystery to keep you wondering who he is and what his mission is. The nurse is a tag along who helps John in a couple of instances, but feels more like just a damsel in distress to be rescued. It read through good and very enthralling, but the ending just felt a bit anti-climactic. Up to that point, I thought it was a great read. My ranking is 3.75 out of 5.

You can find “This Darkness Light” at AmazonBarnes and Noble, and ordered from your local bookstore.

Until next we meet…

D.J. Pitsiladis

Goodbye to icons, more steps to the future, and H.E. Roulo “Plague Master: Sanctuary Dome”


Hello ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to the Casa!

This week’s blog post starts on a bit of a somber note.  Two icons, whose performances in their respective fields greatly influenced me in their respective ways, sadly passed away two weeks ago.  Sir Christopher Lee and “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes were individuals who were capable of commanding attention and respect anytime they walked into a room, both from how they carried themselves, and the way they spoke.  One need only watch them in their elements, Sir Lee on the silver screen (I recommend any old school Hammer film or Gremlins 2 for his earlier work), and anytime that Dusty wrestled in the ring or got on the mic, to see how much they enjoyed what they did.  The world is truly a sadder place without them, but the legacy each left is phenomenal.  Let us pause for a moment of silence and ten bells to remember two of the greats.

One good bit of news did come out in the past two weeks.  the audiobook for “Evolution”, written by Cody Toye, was released.  What makes this book special, at least in my eyes, is that yours truly was the narrator of the story.  Set in an apocalyptic world where plants have evolved into carnivorous creatures hungry for human flesh, three teens must traverse what remains of the United States to deliver research that may lead to a way to stop the plants and save humanity.  It’s a slightly different take on a popular theme, but definitely a fun ride.  Pick up a copy of the audiobook at Amazon and through Itunes.  If hearing the story isn’t your thing, you can also get your paperback copy of the book via Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

For this week’s review, I thought I’d share a book from an online friend, recently released via Permuted Press — “Plague Master: Sanctuary Dome” by H.E. Roulo.  The story takes place far in the future.  Humans have ventured out into space and settled other worlds.  This spreading out does little to stop the spread of the Regulon virus, a disease that turns the nicest of people into slobbering zombies with an unquenchable hunger.  A philanthropist named Julius Cerberon builds a dome on an otherwise desolate world to house the infected to keep them safely away from the non-infected and to look for a possible cure.  The hero of the story, Trevor, follows the girl he’s always had a crush on to this world to help care for her since he was the cause for her infection.  Once they arrive, he finds himself embroiled in a cover up to hide a possible cure to the virus.  Before long, zombie chaos breaks out throughout the dome and no one is safe.

I found this book to be a fun read, definitely a good one for young adult readers who enjoy series like the Hunger Games. The violence is kept to a comfortable level and the gore factor is kept to a minimum.  In keeping with the spirit of the genre, there is a level of class warfare included, but the focus remains on keeping hope in the most direst of situations. This is one I’m recommending to my own teenage sons without hesitation. Overall, I give this a 4 out of five.

Well, I must be off for now.  There are other blog posts and stories to write.  I will be working on a page for the blog that will include links to all of my stories, whether I wrote them, narrated them, or both.  Until then, you can check out my Amazon Author page at  You can also check out my latest stories in the anthologies “Forgotten Places” and “Dimensional Abscesses” by clicking on the titles.  If we are able to hit one hundred e-book sales of “Dimensional Abscesses” by the end of July, a print copy will be released.  If you already have a copy, then share this with everyone you know.  I would love to have that version available for those who do not like e-books so much.

Until next we meet, everyone have a happy and safe 4th of July, (if you celebrate it) and keep reading.

Much love,

Donald “D.J.” Pitsiladis


“Zero Point: The Triangle Conspiracy” by Rafael Lima

bermuda tri

Hello ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to the Casa!

After a brief and unexpected hiatus, to finish work on an audiobook project, I am back.  With any luck, I will have details and an update on its release by my next blog post.  I’ve also been submitting short stories with the hopes of getting more stories published.  Rest assured that when I know, you will be the first to know.  Until then, please feel free to enjoy “Fresh Blood”, “Forgotten Places”, and “Dimensional Abcesses”.  A little fact about the latter anthology, if we can reach one hundred ebook sales by July, then there will be a print copy of the book.  We are about half way to that goal, so please help spread the word and help us reach that goal.

Aside from being an author, I’m also a lover of real life mysteries and enigmas.  From ghosts, to UFOs, and to cryptozoology, I’ve loved them all from a young age (okay, since about my pre-teen years).  One of my all time favorites is the Bermuda Triangle.  A stretch of ocean where people, boats, and aircraft are believed to have disappeared without a trace is enough fuel for the imagination without bringing magnetic anomalies, electronic fog, and time warps into it.  Any book by Charles Berlitz about the subject was sure to be on my library short list.  Which brings me to this week’s book review, “Zero Point: The Triangle Conspiracy” by Rafael Lima.

Robert Medina is considered a leading authority on the Bermuda Triangle.  He is a science minded fellow who believes there is an explanation to every disappearance to occur within that patch of ocean, they just haven’t been found yet.  While giving a lecture about his discoveries and book, he is confronted by a beautiful woman named Samantha Weiss.  She challenges some of his findings and beliefs about the Triangle and then shows him a journal she believes belonged to the captain of a schooner that disappeared in 1948.  He accepts an invitation to join her on a search for the missing boat, and finds much more than he bargained for.

I found this book to be a very entertaining read and enjoyed it very much.  It kept many of the mystery elements and pieces of the legends and weaves it into a good story.  The downside is that, at points, the story felt more like something you might find on a conspiracy theory television program, like Brad Melzer: Decoded, where they can’t help but overly explain things.  I found the partial twist at the end to be kind of predictable, and yet decently executed.  My rating is a three out of five stars.

Well, I hear my bed calling me pretty loudly, so until next time…

Why so serious?

Donald (D.J.) Pitsiladis

Sneak Peek: Dimensional Abcesses

Dimensional Abcesses

Hello ladies and gentlemen!  Welcome to the Casa!

Where has the time gone?  It seems like almost yesterday that we were ringing in the new year, and here we are already at Tax Day in the U.S.  So far, it has been a pretty busy year, and hopefully it will get even busier.  I’m pleased to announce that one of the reasons things have been so busy is a second short story coming out in a new anthology within the next two weeks, “Dimensional Abcesses”.  To mark the occasion, I thought I’d share a bit of where I got the ideas for the three bigger short stories I have in print at the moment.

First, let’s start with one of my steamier and bloodier pieces.  It’s my first story printed in a physical book, “Blood Bank”.  The idea came about in 2009, shortly after the entire financial industry went belly up and stories came out about people being served eviction notices by uncaring banks.  I know not all the bankers were uncaring, but it did get my mental cogs working.  What if a bank foreclosed on someone dangerous?  Then I watched the movie Bordello of Blood, and I had the idea.  A banker who tries to foreclose on a home that turns out to be both a brothel and a vampire nest.  The story built itself pretty quickly after that, but it languished in edits until I found out about an anthology being put out by The Vampire Writers Support Group.  A submission later, and the story was selected and included in “Fresh Blood:  Vampire Writers Support Group Anthology Volume 1” released in 2013.

The second story to come out was one specifically written for an anthology, “Forgotten Places”, that came out this past March.  I actually wrote two stories for it, one about a toy store with some unpleasant merchandise, and the other is about a woman who accompanies a friend to an abandoned church for a sorority test, and comes face to face with her past in a rather haunting way.  I let the editor of the anthology select which story he wanted to include and he selected “Church”.

And this brings me to the latest story coming out within the next two weeks, “Time Jack”.  This was one of a group of story ideas that I had about why Jack the Ripper may have stopped his murder spree and how he discovers the family tradition of murder he began.  I wanted to send Jack into the future, and what better way to get him there than via time travel.  I also didn’t want it to be like in the movie “Time After Time”, where Jack steals H.G. Wells’ time machine.  Then the idea of someone plucking him from the past at random to prove that their machine works.  The rest, if you pardon the pun, is history.

You can order any of these books by going to my Amazon Authors page (, and I will let you all know when Dimensional Abcesses becomes available for orders.

Connect with me on Facebook, Google +, and Twitter.  You can also check out my contributions on the blog and podcast.

Donald “D.J.” Pitsiladis

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