Thursday, November 26, 2015

Butter Battle on Aisle Nine

I spent six hours at various grocery stores last Saturday. Prepping for Thanksgiving.

Of course a good part of my time was gobbled up by taking my mother shopping. When you deliberate for fifteen minutes on what type of butter to buy, something's not right.
"What's the cheapest butter?" asked Mom.

"Looks like $2.99."

"Huh. Highway robbery." Mom's stock answer for everything. Which I guess is pertinent to someone somewhere. Just not to the growing line of agitated shoppers behind us. But Mom wasn't going anywhere.

"Mom! It's the cheapest option. On sale. You want it?"

"I dunno..."

"I've read all the prices on all of the butter to you. $2.99 is the cheapest."

"'s all so expensive." 

"How about I buy the butter for you? Can we just move along? We still have to hit the meat aisle." (A dreaded encounter that goes on forever).

"Yes, Stuart, I know, I know! But the butter's so expensive. I swear...everyone's out to make a dollar."

Well, yeah, sorta the nature of capitalism and commerce. Clearly, I was on the losing end of the argument. But by now, I've realized Mom's not gonna change, best just to go along with it. Problem was we weren't going anywhere.

"Mom, here's Blue Bonnet. It's cheaper. $1.99."

"Is it margarine?"

"Um...says vegetable spread."

"Forget it. I've heard it's not good for you."

"Mom! How is it not good for you? I mean, yeah, it's processed. But, come on, vegetables? Gotta be better for you than regular butter!"

"I know what I know. Not good for you."

Back to debating the price of butter. Or as my mom says, "the price of tea in China." Which I still don't understand.

"How 'bout this butter, Mom? It's...$3.50. On sale. You save .50."

"Just in the last year, prices have gone up. It's ridiculous."

A woman burst between us, thrusting an arm into the elusive butter section. "ExCUSE me, I need butter."

Didn't deter my mom.

"Mom, see how fast that lady got her butter?"

"I don't know..."

Truly a weighty decision. I guess. Finally, I just plunked the cheapest item into her cart. "Mom, here's your butter."

"Huh. What a rip-off. Highway robbery."

Happy Thanksgiving to those in the States! Think of me while you're eating butter.

Speaking of giving, my first book, Tex, the Witch Boy is FREE, dangit! Till the end of November. Click the link if you're feeling lucky!

 And since I'm in such a giving mood, why not hit up Ghosts of Gannaway, on sale now for .99? Perfect American historical gobbling good scares.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Go Team Adventure!

My wife and I love having adventures!

Okay, we kinda, sorta like having adventures. 

Fine, I dread having adventures, flat out loathe them. Sorta less dramatic. 

But you need to understand..."adventure" has become a sort of euphemism for us regarding mishaps. 

It all started back in the winter of 2005...(cue flashback music, muddying of the screen)...

We were both snowed in at home, couldn't get to work. The entire city was under siege by a giant two-foot tall marshmallow of wetness. Yet something about the day, the climate, the gloom and good-time feeling screamed out "Chili!" Problem was we didn't have all the fixings. 

"Hey, wouldn't it be fun to walk to the grocery store?" asked my wife.

I said, "Sure!"

You know how your parents used to moan about trudging through five feet of snow to school "back in the day?" That's what it was like. Only worse. 

The snow plows couldn't even make it out of the parking lot. We were knee-deep in snow. The wind whipped the fallen snow around, a blindingly white tornado. Shark teeth of icy death bit into my face. Tears of anguish froze on my frost-bitten cheeks. I hung onto my wife's belt-loop like a prison love-slave. Why? Because I'm a slave to love.

"Are we there yet?" I screamed, because I couldn't see, couldn't hear. Couldn't feel my legs.

"No! We still have six more blocks to go! We're gonna have chili! Just follow in my footsteps!"

What ordinarily takes 15 minutes to walk took an hour. Took me twice as long to thaw out.

Once home, I said, "That sucked!"

My wife laughed, said, "It was an adventure."

Huh. I decided right there my adventuring should be lived vicariously through Indiana Jones.

But it became a thing, the kinda thing only people who are attuned to one another understand.

We've had quite a few adventures since then. Once we were going to my wife's parents' house in Oklahoma, usually a four hour trip. 

But we got so wrapped up in chatting, my wife forgot to take an exit to the right highway. Neither one of us realized it until we were in some Godforsaken town way off the beaten path, hours away. Turned into a seven hour journey. Never go from Kansas to Oklahoma and take a shortcut through California. An "adventure."

As I said, I don't like our "adventures." Again, I'm sorta lying. Any "adventure" with my wife is always worth it. Only after the fact.

Are you looking for adventure? Look no further...Secret Society by Stuart R. West (sure, it's kinda sick & twisted adventure, but you'll stay dry and warm on your sofa reading it).

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Punch in the face guarantee: Secret Society!

Yep, you heard me! I believe in my suspense thriller, Secret Society, so much, I'm issuing a heretofore unparalleled guarantee: If you don't like this book, I'll personally come over to your house and you can punch me in the face!* That's right! If you're disappointed in the book, don't enjoy a ton of thrills, chills and dark laughs, your fist will meet my face!*
*Disclaimer: The reader must live within a one block range of said author's residence. Traveling is expensive. Plus, as much as I love this book, I also kinda like my face. Warning: Don't read Secret Society while driving heavy machinery. Don't mix prescription drugs with Secret Society. If drowsiness ensues, then you're not reading Secret Society. Pregnant women should not read Secret Society unless consulting me first and I say it's okay. If a rash persists while reading Secret Society, call your doctor and tell him to read Secret Society.

Haven't heard of Secret Society? Well, you've come to the right place:

Leon Garber has his reasons for ridding the world of abusive people, call it justifiable homicide. Opportunity comes knocking from Like-Minded Individuals, Inc., a global company fulfilling the needs of clients: new identities, security, and even lists of potential “projects.” But let’s not call it “serial killing” (such a nasty term). For Leon, it’s a dream come true.

However, LMI has put a target on Leon’s back, with no indication of why. LMI, the police, sanctioned hit men, and a vicious psychopath are after Leon. He collides with other Like-Minded Individuals: The Good Samaritan Killer, The Mad Doctor, Donnie and Marie (don’t ask). Heads are chopped, dropped, and swapped as Leon fights for his life. But nothing will keep him from finishing his current project. Not even the chance to fall in love. Sometimes a killer business idea is just that. Killer.

'Secret Society pulls you in for a furious ride, sure to give you chills. Dark, gritty and meaty fun.'
-Meradeth Houston, author of the Sary Society series.

'A brilliant thriller about a society of serial killers with just a dusting of humor. Suspense fans will not be disappointed.'
-Heather Greenis, author of the Natasha Saga.

‘Dexter meets Dilbert. Take a serial killer, cross it with bureaucracy of the damned & the game is on.’
-5 star USA Review 

All of this fun to be had just a click away: Secret Society. Satisfaction guaranteed or you punch me in the face!*

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Trapped in Lucien's Bar!

Okay, doing something a little different this week.  

Huzzah and welcome to the Realms Faire! Strap on your finest Medieval clothing, hoist a sword, bring an extra turkey leg. Several writers are "jousting" for points and stuff. Like a dang videogame. Only it's real! The stakes are high! Today (Thursday, November 12th), I'm battling it out over on author M. Pax's blogLeave a comment to win free books and other prizes. And while you're commenting, drop in the words: "Sir Stuart R. West," "stirrup," and "zombie." Help me beat the competing fantasist!

Tomorrow (Friday, the favorite date), I'll be battling it out on River Fairchild's blog. Here...let's let River explain it:

Stuart needs your help. He’s trapped in Lucien’s Bar, the gateway to the Underworld, and challenging Death to a peanut-eating contest is his only way out. Please come over and cheer him on. Your comments will improve his chances. The Immortals aren’t above cheating so here are three magic words to give Stuart an edge in the contest: sticky, bones, chew. Use these words in your comment to give him an added boost.

Also, check out the fun at Mary Waibel's blog and Cassandra Webb's blog

Okay, get going folks, just a couple clicks away!

And, while I have you all here, I need to give a shout out to my very first book, Tex, the Witch Boy, FREE for the rest of November! If you're late to the party, give it a shot, you have nothing to lose.

Other books (but you gotta buy these!):
Ghosts of Gannaway.

Secret Society.

Zombie Rapture

Friday, November 6, 2015

Mad Scientists and Hunchbacks

Over the Halloween weekend , I conducted a lot of research. I watched a lot of mad scientist movies. I mean, a lot.

One thing I noticed is every mad scientist always has a hunchbacked assistant. How this strange scientific anomaly first occurred bugged me.

Moreover...why? So I delved even further into the subject.
Is there something special in a hunchback's skill-set that qualifies him to be a mad scientist's assistant? Furthermore, where do the mad scientists find them? I can see the Craig's List posting: Wanted: Hunchback to aid in performing world conquering experiments. Must be mute, not too bright. Communicates through moaning only. Contact Dr. Evilhausen at 666-666-6666.

Really, I've yet to see any of these hunchbacked assistants contribute much. I suppose it started with Ygor in the Universal Frankenstein film series. And he botched his first big assignment, retrieving an abnormal criminal's brain. Honestly. Good help is so hard to find these days, particularly in the mad scientist field. But the complete incompetence of movie hunchbacks is probably not why mad scientists seek them out.

It's certainly not for their communication skills, either. Usually, they moan, whine, freak out. Terrible at dinner parties.

Of course there's the entire dominance theme. Everyone knows a good mad scientist likes to lord it over people, suffering from a real God-like complex. And who better to push around than a hunchback? Whips are usually involved, a fetishistic choice, I suppose. Honestly, hunchbacks really oughta think about unionizing.

If I was a mad scientist, I'd probably rather have someone around who's adept at adjusting the radioactive meter on the monster-making machine, or at the very least able to polish the living head hydroplasty case on a regular basis.

I have nothing against hunchbacks. Don't get me wrong. Hunchbacks are people, too. It just baffles me why mad scientists keep hiring them.

There are no hunchbacks or mad scientists in my dark books. Yet. But you can find plenty of other spooky thrills and chilling suspense at my Amazon author's page. Tell 'em Ygor sent you.