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Mental Shrillness - 10 twist ending short stories dealing with the mind Flash O' Lantern - 13+ Flash Fiction stories, 13 October facts Mental Shrillness available in paperback and eBook

Welcome to the official blog of horror, thriller and suspense author Todd Russell. He's written under various pen names including the name of this website, taken from AOL in the mid 1990s where he posted numerous twist ending short stories, six of which can be found in the horror short story collection Mental Shrillness. For Halloween 2011, he shared 13+ new stories in a collection called Flash O'Lantern: 13+ Halloween Stories. His debut novel Fresh Flesh - the debut psychological thriller horror novel by Todd Russell is now available in paperback and eBook.

What Scares Author Laurie Stevens
Date Published: 2011-10-14 18:34:44
Summary: What Scares Authors series #17, learn in her own words what scares author Laurie Stevens.

What Scares Author #17: Laurie Stevens

Dolls scare me. I may have been a big fan of Barbie back in the day but most dolls creep me out. My parents insisted on buying dolls as souvenirs for me from their worldwide travels and they had a rack custom made to display their purchases. Ignoring my protests, my parents hung the display rack directly across from my bed. Every night I had to stare at that weird Japanese doll wearing a kimono and holding up a bucket in each hand. I could swear her arms wavered slightly. Then there was that innocuous-looking Dutch doll with her long blonde braids and eyes that could open and close. Did she wink at me? A baby doll from some unknown country scared me so much; I turned her around every night. I knew, just knew, that some morning I would wake up with her freaky smile facing forward again.

The dolls hung prominently in my room until the night I watched "Trilogy of Terror" with Karen Black. My older sister thought the T.V. movie was too funny but I watched it in wide-eyed horror. Something about that little voodoo doll running through Karen Black's apartment with a knife the size of its body and gnashing its overly large, sharp teeth made me shiver against the couch. The doll rack came down that very night and I checked under my bed before I went to sleep for the next three years. No lie. After watching Bride of Chucky, I got over my fear of glass-eyed stares (let's face it, even I had to see the humor in watching two dolls have sex). My fear, however, must have been genetic because my sister gave my daughter a life-size plastic doll one holiday season. We named her Penny. Penny was as big as my daughter. I knew something was dreadfully wrong the day I came into my daughter's room and saw Penny sitting amid a shrine of play food, fake flowers, and lots of comfortable pillows.

"What's the deal?" I asked my daughter.

Dark Before Dawn by Laurie Stevens

She pulled me out of the room (so Penny couldn't hear) and whispered, "I have to keep her happy because I think she's going to kill me when I go to sleep." She began to cry. Oh, Geez... Penny had to go. I had to admit that when we both walked into the room and approached Penny's shrine, my daughter and I looked at each other. We were both afraid to throw her away. We shared visions of her lifting her plastic arm from trashcan and climbing out. We both knew we would open our eyes one night and see a ragged-haired, large-eyed plastic girl leaning over us, poised with a weapon. So, we did the only thing possible. We put my son on the job. Young boys have a knack for destruction and my son made an effective doll assassin. I think a hammer was involved. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking this woman's kids are as weird as she is. Well, what do you expect? Their mother writes about psychological torment, murder, and police investigation. Blame the baby doll.

About The Dark Before Dawn
High in the Santa Monica Mountains grisly murders are taking place. On each of the victim's bodies a note is left for L.A. Sheriff's detective, Gabriel McRay. The killer's identity is locked in the suppressed memory of a horrifying trauma from Gabriel's own childhood. Teamed with his forensic pathologist girlfriend and his psychiatrist, Gabriel runs two parallel investigations. The first: a dark journey into the terrifying recollections of his past and the second: the hunt for a serial killer who seems to know more about Gabriel... than he knows himself.

Where to buy The Dark Before Dawn
Amazon paperback

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Nobel paperback


About the Author
Laurie Stevens is a novelist, screenwriter, and playwright. She has written for television (Chris Isaak's Guide to Jazz Fest), for film (Footprint Films and John Daly's Film and Music Entertainment) and her stage play, "Follow Your Dreams" ran for eight weeks in Los Angeles. Laurie's novel "The Dark Before Dawn" is the first in a psycho-thriller/detective series and was awarded the Kirkus Star and "Best of Indie for 2011". Psychology and forensics abound in her books. In her words: "My favorite research is to pick the brains of therapists - how's that for a twist?"

Facebook: thedarkbeforedawn
Twiter: @LaurieStevens1

Thank you for sharing what scares you, Laurie.
- Todd

Read what scares the last 10 authors in the What Scares Authors series:
  1. Stephen L. Brayton
  2. Velda Brotherton
  3. Tim C. Taylor
  4. LeAnna Shields
  5. Sarah Woodbury
  6. Jeannie Walker
  7. Joshua Mays
  8. Athanasios
  9. Steven R. Drennon
  10. Heather Marie Adkins

Mental Shrillness by Todd Russell - 6 twist ending horror short stories
Buy Mental Shrillness at:
Amazon US | UK | DE Germany
Barnes & Noble | Apple iBookstore
Kobo | Sony | Diesel | OmniLit
Also available through Smashwords

Todd Russell's books on Goodreads
Fresh FleshFresh Flesh (Fresh, #1)
reviews: 3
ratings: 281 (avg rating 4.33)

Mental ShrillnessMental Shrillness
reviews: 4
ratings: 88 (avg rating 4.25)

Flash O'Lantern: 13+ StoriesFlash O'Lantern: 13+ Stories
reviews: 2
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.50)

WIP (Works In Progress)
Novella #1 (1st draft)
11,127/30,000 (37%)

NOVEL: Pain Plane (final)

NOVEL: Fresh Fetus (1st draft)

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Copyright 2011 Todd Russell All Rights Reserved (contact Todd Russell)