E.E. Burke's Halloween Special: Vincent Price Chiller Thrillers

I'm not a big fan of the  80's slasher movies, which my daughter loves. For me, the best horror movies were what some called the B-grade variety that played in my small hometown's theatre, to be aired years later on late-night television. The star I remember most from these movies usually played the villain, and oh, what a great villain he made! Whether he was playing it straight, being cheeky or even outright scary, he could produce delightful chills with his universally recognizable baritone voice.

Vincent Price once said: "I sometimes feel that I'm impersonating the dark unconscious of the whole human race. I know this sounds sick, but I love it!"

Not everything he was in could be a called a great movie, but when he was in fine form, there are few actors who can touch him for pure talent. Here are some of my favorites starring the king of thriller-chillers.


Eccentric millionaire Frederick Loren and his fourth wife have offered ten thousand dollars to five people if any one of them can survive the night locked in a large, haunted house he owns. What the guests don’t realize is, they’re not only trapped in there with each other and Loren, but with the ghosts of all the poor souls who died in that house.

This may not be Mr. Price's best performance, but you can't talk about Vincent Price and horror movies without mentioning it. This one put him in the collective consciousness of film-goers and also other directors embarking on making what we now consider "classic" horror movies. It's a great film to watch with the family for Halloween, with dark, macabre moments and even the silly stuff is highly entertaining. (Director William Castle, the king of gimmicks, had a skeleton fly over the audience in theatres where this movie first showed!) This movie is at the beginning of Mr. Price's career, and he plays it straight, rather than the signature cheeky swagger that defines his later work. But this film by William Castle captured the imagination of directors like Alfred Hickcock, who was inspired to take a shot at the genre, and Psycho was the result. 


This film was a big success for Warner Brothers. In it, Mr. Price plays a talented sculptor of historical wax figures whose business partner wants to bring in more money so sets the museum on fire. Years later, Price’s character has disfigured hands and can’t sculpt, so he uses a large deaf-mute man (Charles Bronson) to do be his hands for him. This movie has one of the best shock reveals ever put on film, and the inherent tragedy of Price’s character permeates the whole thing.

The HOUSE OF WAX set Vincent Price on the path to becoming a horror icon--at one time, he hoped to be a leading romance hero! I'm glad he stayed villainous! 


Is Usher's house cursed? 

This is the first of Price’s collaborations with director-producer Roger Corman based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. In it, he shaved off his trademark mustache for this film and dyed his hair bright blonde to play Roderick Usher, the oldest male of the ill-fated family. He vehemently opposes his sister’s pending nuptials to a nice young man on the grounds that the Usher bloodline is cursed, and so they argue. While not an outright villain, we get that Usher would rather see his sister dead or demented than for her to leave the house. It’s a glorious version of Poe—and Price plays it for the drama and not for campy horror.


The Poe/Price/Corman cycle continued with this tale of a man who goes mad at the sight of his wife’s betrayal, making use of a crypt full of torture devices, including a large, swinging pendulum with a razor-sharp blade attached to it. 
Richard Matheson adapted THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM with the intention of only using the film’s namesakes within a completely different story. A bigger hit than the last, it began the trend at American International Pictures of using Poe story titles for their gothic horror movies, regardless of what the screenplays were actually about!


Another Poe-adapted tale with Mr. Price giving a darker performance, being an outright baddie rather than someone who was circumstantially villainous. This time around, he portrays a Satanic prince, hell-bent on forcibly acquiring a new member of his cult while attempting to destroy their counterpart, only to eventually receive his comeuppance in the end. Considered by many, including the director himself, to be the best in the Poe/Price/Corman cycle, with lush cinematography and terrific performances.

I can't sign off without one of my favorite music videos featuring Michael Jackson with Vincent Price as narrator.

What are some of your favorite horror films?

Enter below for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card. Grab some popcorn and look up any of these movies online. I'll bet you won't be sorry!

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The Refuge: An Inspirational Novel of Scotland... ON SALE!

The Gold Medal Winner for Inspirational Romance in the 2017 Illumination Awards and Shortlisted Finalist for the 2017 Chanticleer International Book Awards is on sale for 99¢!

“Phenomenal storytelling and world building with a romance that is touching and will have you cheering as well as shedding a few tears. If you've ever questioned your faith, this will make your soul smile. Very well done!”  The Reading Café

“… beautifully layered with true historic figures and authentic history of Scotland woven into a creative and intriguing story. A spectacular, riveting adventure… 5 Stars!” – Tartan Book Reviews

                                                                    Scotland 1072

The Norman Conqueror robbed Steinar of Talisand of his noble father and his lands, forcing him to seek refuge in Scotland while still recovering from a devastating wound. At the royal court, Steinar becomes scribe to the unlettered King of Scots while secretly regaining his skill with a sword.

The first time Steinar glimpses the flame-haired maiden, Catrìona of the Vale of Leven, he is drawn to her spirited beauty. She does not fit among the ladies who have come to serve the devout queen. Not pious, not obedient and not given to stitchery, the firebrand flies a falcon!

Catrìona has come to Malcolm’s court wounded in spirit from the vicious attack on her home by Northmen who slayed her parents and her people. But that is not all she will suffer. The king has promised her to one of his favored warriors, but she has given her heart to a lowly scribe.

When all is lost, what hope is there for love? Can a broken heart be mended? Can a damaged soul be healed?
On Amazon US, UK, Canada & Australia

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Watch some fun videos

through Halloween

Lucky Commenters
will win books
Wed November 1st

Starring: Avril Tremayne, EE Burke Nancy Robards Thompson, Katherine Garbera & Angi Morgan

Starring: Lizbeth Selvig, Amanda McIntyre, Lara Lacomb, Regan Walker & Angi Morgan

Starring: Nan Dixon, PJ Fiala, Jillian Stone, EE Burke & Angi Morgan


Catherine Kean Talks About That Knight by the Sea

Please welcome Catherine Kean back to the blog today! She’s here to tell us about her new release, THAT KNIGHT BY THE SEA, and she’s giving away two e-books to two people who answer her question. So, be sure to read to the end so you can find out how to win.


Bestselling, award-winning novelist Catherine Kean is a Kindle Unlimited All-Star author of medieval romances. Catherine’s early books were originally published in paperback and several were released in Czech, German, and Thai foreign editions. She has won numerous awards for her stories, including the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Her novels also finaled in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the National Readers’ Choice Awards. When not working on her next book, Catherine enjoys cooking, baking, browsing antique shops, shopping with her daughter, and gardening. She lives in Florida with two spoiled cats.


Lady Adaline Mortimer never expected to see Garrett Thurlow, the rebellious young lord she loved and lost, ever again. Yet, when she's kidnapped and held captive, the dark secrets of the past return. In the cave of St. Agnes, will she and Garrett win a second chance at true love, or will they perish just like the legendary lovers before them?

Excerpt from That Knight by the Sea © Catherine Kean

“You must have a given name.”
Warning touched his gaze, and a heady tingle coursed through her. Was her captor afraid she’d figure out who he was?
The silence lagged.
“Well?” she insisted.
His eyes narrowed, and then, of all things, he chuckled: a genuine, admiring laugh that sent shivers dancing over her skin.
Her face warmed. “You find this situation amusing?”
“Nay, milady, I find you amusing.”
Mother Mary!
“You are in great peril, but you do not caution your tongue.”
She refused to cower, despite the awful quivering of her stomach. “I only ask what is fair. You know my name. Therefore, I have a right to know yours.”
“Do you?”
Mayhap this fool would respond to threats rather than questions. Forcing a cold smile, she said, “Did you know I am to be wed days from now, to one of the most powerful, renowned men in all of England? Once my betrothed realizes I am missing, he will be searching for me. So will my father.”
Her captor’s expression had shadowed with wariness.
“My betrothed will not rest until he finds the man who dared to jeopardize the wellbeing of his lady.”
Her abductor almost seemed to be holding back a smile, but she hadn’t spoken in jest. He was a damned idiot if he didn’t heed her warning. “You would be wise to release me.”
“You will remain here.”
“If you release me—”
“I will not.” His tone warned there was no point trying to change his mind.
Impatience and anger prompted her to rise to her feet. Head held high, she stood in a stream of sunshine swirling with dust motes. “I have warned you. You might think you have bested my betrothed and my father in whatever plot you have contrived, but they will find me and free me. You will lose all.”
“We shall see.”
“Indeed we will.”
Their gazes clashed. As she stared into his brown eyes, she sensed there was so much more to this man than he would ever let her understand. And yet, God help her, she’d swear she’d seen such expressive eyes before….
He moved toward her, his leather boots creaking in the quiet of the chamber.
She longed to step back, but there was nowhere to go; the bed was right behind her.
Do not show weakness, her conscience screamed. Show him you will not be defeated.
He closed in on her. Her palms dampened with sweat, and she curled her fingers into fists.
An earthy, outdoorsy scent surrounded him: a blend of verdant forests, sun-drenched stone, and windswept fields. To her shame, she liked the scent. It reminded her, oddly, of the seashore long ago.
His hand rose to tuck a loose strand of hair behind her ear. Her eyelids fluttered on an unexpected swell of longing and confusion. A battle warred within her: a sense that she knew his touch. The only man who’d ever touched her, though, was Garrett, and he’d died while fighting for the king.
She tilted her head, trying to dislodge her captor’s fingers, but his hand moved to her nape and held her firm.
“Stop,” she whispered. She hated feeling trapped. Hated that her life, for now, belonged to this man.
His smoldering stare bored into her. “Am I hurting you?”
“Nay, I….”
“What?” he coaxed, a huskiness in his voice. “Tell me.”
Addy swallowed hard. What should she say? She didn’t dare tell him that for some strange reason, he reminded her of her true love.


Her Gallant Knight
Available January 2018



The Interview

Nancy Robards Thompson: Hi, Catherine! I’m so happy you’re here today! How often do you get lost in a story?

Catherine Kean: Thanks for having me today, Nancy.  I get lost in a story almost every day! I’m a slow writer, so I try to work on my books on a daily basis. My creative process is to write a story through three times from beginning to end, with each revised version becoming stronger and more polished. Then I will print out the story and read it through twice, to catch typos, eliminate over-used words, and add in any final details, before I consider it to be done.

NRT: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
CK: Either Sleeping Beauty or Beauty and the Beast.

NRT: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
CK: Impossible to choose. I enjoy both.

NRT: Where do you read and how often?
CK: I love to curl up in my bed in the evening and read a bit before I go to sleep. If I don’t get this reading time, my brain will refuse to switch off.

NRT: What sound or noise do you love?
CK: I love the crashing of waves. The sound is so soothing.

NRT: What is your favorite trait about your hero in That Knight by the Sea?
CK: I love Garrett’s deep-rooted sense of honor. He’s had a tough life, but is a really good, chivalrous guy at heart, even though it takes him a while to admit this to himself.

NRT: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
CK: I love fast-paced, romantic adventures set in the past that grab hold of me from page one and don’t let me go until I read the last word of the story. I especially love medievals because I’ve visited castles, churches, and other historic sites that date from the Middle Ages and found them to be fascinating.

NRT: Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?
CK: I can’t write while listening to music. I get too distracted! I need silence so my Muse can think.

NRT: What will always make you smile, even on a bad day?
CK: My two kitties. They are the sweetest little guys. They like to lie in front of my keyboard and snooze while I work.

NRT: Benedict Cumberbatch or Chris Pine?
CK: Benedict! He’s a marvelous Sherlock Holmes. He’s so complex and intriguing.

NRT: What drinks or snacks are always on your desk when you’re writing?
CK: Green tea or organic coffee, Walkers shortbread cookies, and Petit Ecolier milk chocolate biscuits.

CATHERINE WANTS TO KNOW: Do you read medieval romances? If so, what’s your favorite thing about stories set in the medieval era?

Catherine Kean is giving away 2 Kindle copies of That Knight by the Sea to 2 people who comment below! (North America only)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~



National bestselling author Nancy Robards Thompson lives and writes in Florida, but her imagination transports her all over the world. She has found Nirvana doing what she loves most – writing romance and women's fiction full-time. After hanging up her press pass, this former journalist and two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart struck gold in July 2002 when she won the award. Since then, she’s gone on to sell more than 40 books, which critics have deemed, “…funny, smart and observant.” You can connect with her at NancyRobardsThompson.com; on Facebook at Nancy Robards Thompson Books; follow her on Twitter at @NRTWrites; and connect with her on Instagram @NancyRThompson.


Alaska Meets Kentucky in Cherime MacFarlane's New Chandler County Book

Today is extremely exciting for me because of the introduction I get to make to our guest author. Cherime MacFarlane is one of my   fellow Chandler County authors and her book MISSING ALASKA: A CHANDLER COUNTY NOVEL from Paper Gold Publishing releases today—the first of eight wonderful books set in the fictional county located between Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky, that will release one-a-week until Christmas. Over the next couple of months, you’ll get a chance to meet all the authors and collect all the books in the series. For today, however, help me give a huge GLIAS welcome to Cherime MacFarlane
I came to Alaska kicking and screaming in 1975, and I never want to leave. I cut firewood on shares for money to get through the winter. I swore I would not live above the Alaska Range because it was too cold there, and I wound up in the Copper River Basin where it got just as cold as Fairbanks.
My second husband, a Scot from Glasgow, was the love of my life. When I write Scots dialect, I experienced hearing it from my in-laws. Each time my husband got on the phone to Scotland, after five seconds I could hardly understand a word. I was my second husband's chief mechanic's helper and roadie.
I live in a cabin which is slowly being surrounded by the city and wish I were further out. My two cats and Husky-Collie mix dog are happy in our little slice of heaven called Alaska. In the silence of winter, dreams of people and places provide a rich pool of ideas to explore.

Russell is running from the mess his mouth made of things in Alaska. Leaving college, he drives down through Canada. His plan is to see the Atlantic Ocean and a few other hot spots. By the time he gets home things might have cooled off.
Gentry is ready to flee her home in Chandler County, Kentucky. On Bald Mountain Road their paths cross, and things in Chandler County are about to get hot. Her family’s barn burning is the least of the troubles. Gentry is desperate to get out of town, and Russ finds it’s time to go home. Can they make it out together? The county Sheriff is the only thing between her father and the two young people.

Then everything was illuminated as the vehicle's bright headlights found her. A branch of the tree she attempted to dodge past caught her across the chest, bent back and propelled Gentry into the road behind her.

A squeal of brakes and the scent of rubber filled the air. The young woman looked up at the grill of the vehicle looming a few feet away.
The door of the truck opened, and a man’s angry voice called out, “What the hell are you doing? You might have been killed!”
Gentry struggled up on one skinned elbow and stared at the license plate a short distance from her face. Yellow and blue, a small flag in the center divided a series of three letters and three numbers. The plate proudly proclaimed “Alaska” at the top.
“What the hell are you doing in Kentucky? Are you really from Alaska?”
The man’s dark hand and an equally brown arm reached out to the young woman. “Come on. We need to get out of the middle of the road before someone comes along and rear-ends my truck.”
When he pulled Gentry to her feet, she leaned against the fender. The man stood close enough for her to get a good whiff of his breath. “You’ve been drinking.”
“I only had a couple of beers with dinner. I’m not drunk.”
“You almost ran me over. In Kentucky, it’s impaired driving. You could find yourself sitting in jail.”
Everything about him was dark, but Gentry didn’t think he was black. The man was different that was for sure. The fright she got started to wear off. Her mind went into high gear, and Gentry saw a way to get away from her family.
“I don’t feel real good.” She put a little quaver in her words.
“Hell! I suppose you want to call an ambulance.”
“No. With what? I don’t have a cell phone. But we do need to get off the road. If you could take me somewhere, it would help.”
“What do you want me to do?”
The harsh tone evaporated. Gentry detected a hint of concern in his question. “How about you help me into the truck? I dropped my bag. Could you pick it up, please?”
“Okay. You need help getting inside?”
“If you would, I’d appreciate it.”
The man turned to grab the pillowcase off the road. With the case in one hand he took her left elbow with the other. Gentry kept one hand on the hood and the fender as they worked around the nose of the truck. She did put it on a little.
All she wanted was for him to get her away from Bald Knob Road. A doctor bill from the emergency room wouldn’t help her at all. Gentry hadn’t dared steal more than a couple of thousand from the stash her father and brother kept in the old coffee can in the chicken coop.
When they found out she nicked the money they kept in the can from the sale of illegal ginseng; there would be hell to pay. If they caught her, Gentry might not live through the beating.
It was difficult to keep her leg from jumping as she waited for him to climb back into the vehicle. As expected, he asked if she needed to go to the hospital.
Gentry shook her head. “I’m using an old pillowslip for a suitcase. What gives you the idea I’ve got enough money to cover a hospital visit?”
“Don’t you have any family to help out?”
Arms crossed over her chest; Gentry turned to glare at the man. “No. I don’t. And you never answered the question, are you from Alaska? That’s a long way from Kentucky.”
Maybe far enough to never have to see any of her family again. The thought rattled around in her brain and Gentry decided Alaska might do the trick.
“Yes, I drove down to the Lower 48 because I needed a break before going back to school.”
“You look a little old to be going to school.”
He gave a little snort, turned to give her a once over before turning his attention back on the road. “College, kiddo. Now tell me where I should take you.”



LIZ: What was your favorite book as a child?
CHERIME: One about a weasel and a rabbit. I can picture the cover in my mind vividly, but don’t recall the name of the book.

LIZ: How did you come up with the idea for this book? 
CHERIME: Alaska is an interesting place. Often couples come up here and one person loves it and the other can’t wait to get out. It’s actually a common problem up here.

LIZ: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
CHERIME: Making jewelry

LIZ: If you described your book in three words, which would you choose?
CHERIME: A geographic cure.

LIZ: If you could have dinner with any three book characters, who would you choose and why?
CHERIME: Non fiction would be Robert The Bruce and William Wallace; and fiction would be Gideon MacGrough (yes, he is mine but the interaction here would be amazing).

LIZ: If your house was on fire and you only had time to save three objects, what would you save?
CHERIME: All three furry kids

LIZ: You’ve been granted one superpower for one week. Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?
CHERIME: Heavens! Supernatural healing and there are a bunch of people I would go find.

LIZ: Write us a haiku about your book or one of your characters!
Russel Dick
On the run.
Will he do a trick?
No clue how much of a haiku that is. PS in Alaska native families often have last names which would be given names ie. John or Ed.  😊

LIZ: Time for a mini blitz!
a) Favorite color? Song? Movie?
b) Summer or winter?
c) Morning or night?
d) Rain or shine?
e) Sweet or salty?
a) Emerald green; One of These Nights – Eagles; Lion in Winter
b) Both
c) Early, almost still night, morning
d) Shine—even if it means the temp will fall to minus 20
e) Depends

LIZ: Name three things on your desk right now.
CHERIME: Big tape measure, door plate from new knob that I didn’t attach to the door, and kitchen timer.

LIZ: Do you have any favorite authors?
CHERIME:  Anne McCaffrey

LIZ: Where is your favorite place to write?
CHERIME: Right at my converted kitchen table and remote keyboard stand I made.

LIZ: What’s on your bucket list for this year?
CHERIME: Get the apartment remodeled. I’ve pretty much covered all I ever wanted to do by now.

LIZ HAS GOTTA ASK: What’s the most personal thing you’ve ever put in one of your books?
CHERIME: Ha, ha. Not telling!

Cherime has a $6.00 gift card (good for two $2.99 books!) for one commenter today. Here’s the question she has for you!
Do you like to learn about new places and how the people there live?

E-mail:   cherimem@hotmail.com
Website:   papergoldpublishing.com
Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCherimeMacFarlane/
Twitter:  @CherimeMacFarla
Blogs: https://cherimemacfarlane.wordpress.com/

BONES OF OTHERS:  A sci-fi fantasy, the second installment of Cat and CoDee.




Thanks so much for joining us today, Cherime! Come back to visit anytime!