Award Winning Best Selling Florida Author Yvonne Mason

My Books, writing tips and reviews

The Mad Hatter Has Departed

mad hatter

After two years of research, frustration,delays, deaths, life and other assorted detours The Mad Hatter has finally left the building so to speak. For those of you who are lovers of The Ripper, The Mad Hatter is right up your alley. Without giving too much of the story away, let me just say, 1888 in the East End of London was a busy year. This book is fiction but has a lot of historical facts in it.
This book is close to my heart as I have studied the Ripper for years.
So, while all of my little twisted minded children gleefully await the release, let me leave you with a teaser. Now you must ask yourself this, Was the Ripper and the Mad Hatter the same person? I leave it for yo to decide after you read the rest of the story!

Chapter One

1888, the year of living dangerously, as least that was what Johnathon Rhoades surmised as he gazed out of window of his newly purchased carriage as it slowly wound its way among the streets of the East End of London. The East End was comprised of several Burroughs, among them were the cities of Algate, Mile End, Poplar and Bethel in the Green, which stopped at the London Docks waterfront.
The heartbeat of the East End were the small parishes of Whitechapel, Spitafields and St. George’s, these were connected by the main highway of Whitechapel and Commercial Roads. It was on this highway that Johnathon Rhoades traveled and observed the over population of the poverty ridden who lived in dirt and degradation. Sadly, their housing was shabby, rotten and vermin infested which only added to their plight. These pitiful excuses for dwellings were located on crumbling dark streets and alleys which were connected by even darker courts and passage rich with crime of every imaginable sort.
As Johnathon’s carriage rumbled across the cobblestone road and passed through Spitafields he heard the hawkers of fresh vegetables, fresh fish and meat peddling their wares. The smell of blood from the animals as they were slaughtered on the spot by butchers for their customers assailed Johnathon’s nostrils as his carriage rolled through the street known as Algate or “Butcher’s Row and Blood Alley. The wheels of the carriage slung blood up on the undercarriage staining it as it quickly dried. Johnathon inhaled deeply of the aromatic, metallic smell. There was nothing like it. He smiled.
Johnathon’s carriage continued toward Whitechapel which was located on outside of the walled city of Algate. As his driver carefully maneuvered his way around the sea of humans making their way to the main coaching inns and workhouses, he paid particular attention to the poor and uneducated, especially the women who had turned to prostitution as a means of survival.
It was an environment in which the very rich strolled side by side with the destitute, while the criminal element lurked in dimly lit streets and in alleys that were darker than the darkest night. The streets were filled with all manner of garbage from the droppings of the horses, to the waste from the bodies of men, women and children and the combined everyday trash from leftover food scraps to whatever else was tossed to the side of the road including bodies of humans whose lives had been snuffed out for any number of reasons, from gambling to prostitution, to drinking to accidents to murder.
It was the perfect place for the perfect storm.
The population consisted of 286 people per acre of land with entire streets of tenement houses that were rented as common lodgings by the most unscrupulous landlords. There were single, two-up and two- down houses on Dorset Street and at any given time between fifty and sixty people took turns by day and night sleeping in the same beds covered in unwashed bed clothes and lice and vermin infested mattresses.
Defective water supplies, lack of washing facilities and almost non-existent sanitation only added to the misery of those who dwelled there. Disease and epidemics periodically swept across the great city, while healers and physicians died what they could to stem the tide of squalor, hopelessness and death.
There were two groups of people who lived and tried to eek a living out of the East End, those who tried to survive by making an honest living and those who did not.

The honest ones, including the children, worked twelve to sixteen hours a day in sweatshops creating slave like conditions while try to earn a living. Female matchbox makers earned two pence farthing and bootmakers earned three to five shillings for making six pairs of boots. By the time men were forty years old, if they lived that long, they were completely burnt out wrecks just waiting to die. The East End was the perfect breeding ground for every form of the criminal element from pickpockets to rape and murder. Crime became one of many accepted ways of life if one wanted to survive.
In spite of the hardships of high unemployment, poor wages and even poorer living conditions, the residents of the East End found ways to entertain themselves. On just about every corner of every main street one could find public houses better known as pubs. They also visited the music halls where dancing and singing could be found.
One of the biggest and most widely accepted forms of crime was prostitution, and the East End widely known for its brothels and it prostitutes.
There were over 12,000 prostitutes in all of London and 1,200 of those lived and worked in Whitechapel. The deprivation of the East End was so bad that many women were forced onto the streets to earn the four pence they needed just to pay for a bed for the night. While their mothers sold their bodies to eek out a living, their children were turned out into the streets to fend for themselves.
The largest contingent of those women lived and worked on Dorset Street, a short narrow street 400 feet long and 24 feet wide. Dorset Street ran parallel to Brushfield Street to the north, with an Alley called Paternoster Row which connected the two streets. White’s Row was to the south and connected to Crispin Street to the west and Commercial Street to the east. Dorset Street had the reputation as one vast Brothel, so filled with miscreants and crime that the police had to walk their beat in pairs and were still subjected to verbal and physical abuse.
A murdered known in most circles as Jack the Ripper was wreaking terror and mayhem in Whitechapel while leading Scotland Yard on a merry chase. The industrial age was making its way into the lives of the people of London. The poor were scratching a living out of the workhouses as the women of the night worked the street corners to feed themselves and their children. The influx of immigrants created a housing nightmare and crime became the norm.
Between the influx of immigrants and the lack of proper work the environment was ripe for murder, mayhem and madness. It was to this environment that the Rhoades Family brought their Hat Factory, filling it with some of the same pitiful human souls that lived, loved and died in Whitechapel.
Johnathon Rhoades thought of all of this as he absently looked down at the unread paper in his lap. The page was turned to the latest escapades of the Ripper. Johnathon smiled to himself as his carriage hurried through the cobblestone laden streets. “Ah,Jack. What tortured souls we are.” Johnathon mused as he watched the city through the window.

September 12, 2015 Posted by | New Releases | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For Those of You Who Believe Halloween Should Be the New Christmas

I know before any one of you get your knickers all twisted Christmas is still Christmas. That being said keep an open mind for just a bit if you will. Humor me. A group of my author friends and I decided it was time to shake things up a bit and instead of doing a Halloween anthology we decided to do one for the “silly season”. So we put our collective creative minds together and wrote several wonderful short stories, flash fiction and poetry. The reason is simple not everyone enjoys this season for whatever reason. So A Merry Scary Christmas was born. Some of the stories you will read were written by my friends Shawna Platt, Chad Lutzke, Sandra Rozanski, Ian Bush, Tara Atkinson, Luis Vera, Yvonne Mason, Gregory Letnz, Marvin Anderson, Gianandrea Maoli and Rick Tenebrae and of course yours truly. If you want to give a gift that no one else has thought of this is the book. As of right now it is only up on kindle but should be in paperback soon on Amazon.
An even better idea is to gift yourself! What a concept. I know you will be sorry if you don’t get this sweet little book loaded with goodies.

merry scary 11- use this one

November 18, 2014 Posted by | New Releases, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Satan’s Holiday and Welcome to Your Nightmare Have Been Released

Welcome to Your Nightmare 3

satans holiday

Well- after holding our collective breaths, many back and forths, biting our nails, pulling our hair out, drinking multiple cups of coffee and many sleepless nights Satan’s Holiday and Welcome to Your Nightmare has finally been released. This project has been of Biblical proportions. I do not think it has ever been done before- that is the two books with 37 authors and multiple stories. Most anthologies only accept about ten authors and one story each.

Satan’s Holiday and Welcome to Your Nightmare started out with the idea of all of my short stories in one book. However, after much thought, I decided that I wanted to share the wealth. The call went out and the response was so overwhelming that I had to move forward into uncharted waters.

I enlisted the help of my editor and publisher Kelly Koch from Dressing Your Book, if it had not been for her I would not have survived. My book cover designer Debi DeSantis never ceases to create eye popping covers and a special thanks to her son Nic who came up with the titles.

My friend the one and only Nicholas Grabowsky who is the master of horror graciously came aboard and offered up a story that appears in both books so that my contributors can add that to their list of accomplishments. Thank you Nick for your kindness.

To the 37 contributors who offered their craft. Those of you who have never been published before this feeling never gets old. It is like Christmas every time you see your book or your name in print. The feeling can not be explained to anyone who has never been there.

As indie authors we have to work 100 times as hard just to get out there. To you readers- please support us- buy our books, read our stories and tell others. Trust me you will not be disappointed.

So with that being said, you can now go to Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble and Download both books you can buy the paperback at Lulu.com and in about six weeks they will be availbe in paperback at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Welcome to Your Nightmare and enjoy Satan’s Holiday!!!!!

October 1, 2013 Posted by | New Releases | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Satan’s Holiday and Welcome to Your Nightmare is Almost Ready for Release

Satan’s Holiday and Welcome to Your Nightmare are anthologies of things that go bump in the night! Written by an exciting diversity of talented writers, some not previously published and some published abroad, Satan’s Holiday and Welcome to Your Nightmare was compiled by award-winning, bestselling author Yvonne Mason, also a contributor with two thrilling tales of her own. The stories and poems in Satan’s Holiday and Welcome to Your Nightmare are as unique as the authors who penned them and no two are alike…..some are extremely dark and foreboding, others are quaint, while yet others are scary and perhaps even shocking, guaranteed to entertain and delight any reader. To top it all off, veteran horror writer Nicholas Grabowsky, (Halloween IV, Red Wet Dirt, The Everborn) and the owner/founder of one of the most talked-about horror presses of the last decade, Black Bed Sheet Books, has graciously added one of his own horror stories to this unique book! http://www.downwarden.com/ is where everyone goes to find some of the best independent horror fiction on the planet and things that go bump in the night. You will need to make sure the lights are on all over the house, check under the bed and double check those deadbolts on the front and back doors. Satan’s Holiday will hold you captive as you grind your teeth while your knuckles turn white turning each page to the last. Join us on a journey where you will thrill to our tales of hauntings, madness, bedlam, revenge and so much more which will ultimately convince you this is not just any holiday, it’s Satan’s Holiday along with Welcome to Your Nightmare!Satan's Holiday and Welcome to Your Nightmare
release Date October1, 2013

September 17, 2013 Posted by | New Releases | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Things Are Not Always as They Seem and Sometimes a Title is Just a Title!

I know the title makes one scratch one’s head and go “What?” In this day of “political correctness also known as stupidity” we have become so busy worrying about “offending” that we have forgotten how to have fun. We are so busy reading things into sentences, phrases and titles that we have forgotten how to look beyond the words –

Now let me explain for those of you who are still scratching your head. When someone calls me a “Bitch” am I offended? Oh no, I laugh at them, there are a couple of reasons for one I am not a female dog and two I can be and many times am opinionated, overbearing, domineering and can be stubborn. So in that case yes I am a Bitch if that is the way they are using the word. See word’s are just letters strung together to form words which form sentences which form titles to books and other things. I have seen many titles to books and movies that when I got into them were not what I thought they were based on the title by taking it literal. We cannot take things so literal we get in trouble every time. It is like assuming! We all know what that means.

Now that I have that out of the way let me get to the reason for this particular blog. I am only going to address this once so pay attention! I am putting out an anthology of horror yes horror it just so happens that it is coming out during the Spooky season. My favorite Holiday. I also know the real reason behind Halloween and it has nothing to do with ghosts – goblins or devil worship etc. That is for another day.

Anyway the title of my lovely little Anthology is Satan’s Holiday. I have been criticized for this title because it was not politically correct. To that I say horse rubbish. It is a string of words formed to make a book title. No two people will take it the same way. Sort of the same thing that happens at an accident no two people see the same thing even though they are at the same accident. So for the sake of those of you who have a closed mind let me just break it down for you.

Nowhere in the book are there any stories that include Halloween as such. Sure there are ghosts, hauntings, graveyards and things that go bump in the night. However, that happens all the time. Nowhere is the Devil mentioned (though I could write a story about him) in fact one could say that Satan took a Holiday and left all the others to have fun in his stead. See how that works out maybe he was tired and needed a rest.

This is what I mean when I say words are just words. They mean absolutely nothing except in our minds and sometimes those minds are a scary place to be.

As most of my readers already know I have no comfort zone, I write what I feel, that is why I never run out of material to write about unlike many authors. Second most of my readers know that I do not care what the perception of a few people is about my work. That becomes their problem. I love words and I love playing with words, I refuse to be placed in a box simply because others refuse to be open minded.

I have to add here that my book designer’s son is the one who came up with the title and he is only 13 years old. He got it!

So with all of that being said, try very hard to have an open mind if you don’t you will miss out on some wonderful fiction and poetry by writers and published authors in this little jewel. Life is too short to take so seriously! Broaden your horizons! Join us as we let Satan take a Holiday!!!
satans holiday

September 10, 2013 Posted by | New Releases | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

And You Thought This Was Just Going to Be Another Boring Spooky Season

I know you thought that the spooky season was going to be filled with the same old thing, you know those little people dressed up in costumes running around the neighborhood trying to scare the adults and getting candy instead. Yeah, that kind of boring. Well, my children of the night think again. This year I have a surprise for you. Oh yes, indeed, a big surprise. Well actually a couple.

The first one is yours truly, yes that would be moi, is releasing an anthology of spooky stories just for those of you who love the things that go bump in the night. Again, the stories are as varied as the contributors who have written them. This little book promises to fill your head not with sugar plums and fairies, but instead dreaded evil, and other lovely horrid things that make one lose sleep at night. Yes, you will want to double check the locks on your door, not drive down dark two lane blacktops and check under your bed before retiring for the night. I know I know it sounds like so much fun.

This lovely little jewel of things that go bump in the night is titled “Satan’s Holiday”- I agree it sounds like so much fun. We will be releasing it by the first of October so that you can enjoy it as you hand out candy to those little hobgoblins who knock on your door as they holler “trick or treat”.
satans holiday

The second bit of news is my friend Nicholas Grabowsky and his publishing house Black Bed Sheets has just released two little books of horror for the upcoming season
Bones

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This is just two of the books that Nick sells from his pblishing house. Check out his online store at http://downwarden.com/blackbedsheetstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=634

Its coming like a run away freight train, so hop aboard. Hug the children, kiss the dog and take the ride of your life. Horror at is finest!!!!

September 4, 2013 Posted by | New Releases, Nicholas Grabowsky | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Exciting News!!!!!!

   I love Mondays!!! I know that is not the typical response one would expect to see – however I am not a typical person as most of you already know. With that being said let me explain why I make such a statement. 

    For those of you who already know me you know that my all time favorite Holiday barring none, including the silly season aka Christmas, is Halloween. Ever since I was a small child I have loved this day. It is filled with all things that go “bump” in the night. The one day a year when people can let out their inner demons and become whoever they want to be without other folks bringing out the nets.

  So with that little background out of the way, let me move on to why I love Monday. Over the weekend I had an idea. As most of you know I just released Pennies from Heaven which is a book on grief – this book has stories from 15 contributing writers who told their own story – 

   Anyway- I decided to do something that is way off the wall, I decided to do an anthology for Halloween of horror stories and spooky stories and I sent out a message for contributors. Most of the people who are contributing or either indie authors who are not well known, writers who have not yet published or just every day people who love to write. It is just one of the many ways I pay it forward. 

   That is only one reason I love Monday. The second reason is this- There is a wonderful friend in my life that most of you might know. His name is Nicholas Grabowsky. For those of you who are scratching your head and saying “WHO” let me throw out another name for you. Does the name Micheal Myers mean anything to you. Hint- Halloween, you remember the movie? Yes – that Micheal Myers. Nicholas is the one who made that boy famous.

   My friend Nick- has graciously offered to contribute a story to our little book. (He is just that kind of guy) Not only will he be contributing but he will list it on his BBS bookstore and take copies with him to conventions and cons- He will graciously be helping these unknown writers –

  Yes I love Monday.

   So for those of you who know this wonderful man’s works- you may not know that he is also in the publishing business for indie authors who write horror. See how this just keeps getting better and better. If you are into horror or have friends and family who love horror then you need to check out his site. http://www.downwarden.com/blackbedsheet/ 

  As you know it is getting to be the silly season and this would be the perfect gift for that person who loves to be scared to death. You can also hook up with him on his fan page on facebook    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Bed-Sheet-Books/49733235679 that way you will always know what evil and darkness he is releasing. 

  So remember the anthology is coming. I don’t have a name yet- but soon. Go check out Nick and show him some love. You will be glad you did. And pass this along to others who are into things that go bump in the night. They will thank you for it.  

August 12, 2013 Posted by | New Releases | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Fates Collide Arm Candy Has Been Released

When Fates Collide Arm Candy

When Fates Collide Arm Candy

The long awaited third in the When Fates Collide Series has been released. Arm Candy is now available on Amazon Kindlehttp://www.amazon.com/When-Fates-Collide-Candy-ebook/dp/B00EAAQ6R2/ref=sr_1_17?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375449586&sr=1-17&keywords=yvonne+mason

It is currently available in paperback on Lulu http://www.lulu.com/shop/yvonne-mason-and-andrea-dean-van-scoyoc/when-fates-collide-arm-candy/paperback/product-21139552.html it will be available on Barnes and Noble nook shortly and in paperback shortly.

You can also by directly from me by contacting me.

August 2, 2013 Posted by | New Releases | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Third in the Series is Coming- When Fates Collide Arm Candy

It is coming get ready- That’s right the third in the series co- written with Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc  in our When Fates Collide Series. This time Hope and Alex are headed to St. Marteen but it doesn’t stop there. The slippery jumpers run off to Key West. The fun only gets funnier as Hope and Alex enlist the help of their drag Queen friends, Penelope- Vicky and Lola in order to catch Momma and St. James. The non stop laughter will keep you crossing your legs so as not to soil your undergarments.

If you haven’t yet met Alex Morgan and Hope Harrington and their merry band of bail recovery agents then you are missing it.

When Fates Collide the first in the series introduces the readers to Hope and Alex:

When Fates Collide

When Fates Collide

 

When Fates Collide Mardi Gras bound takes this insanely hilarious group to The Big Easy where the knee slapping- rib splitting fun gets them in all sorts of trouble. (This book comes with a disclaimer that we are not responsible for soiled clothing):

When Fates Collide Mardi Gras Bound

When Fates Collide Mardi Gras Bound

And soon to be released is the third in this fun filled, series: When Fates Collide Arm Candy. But we add a bit of a kick to this one we bring in some of the characters from my stand alone The Pink Canary (another side splitting – foot stomping – knee slapping comedy):

The Pink Canary

The Pink Canary

 

When Fates Collide Arm Candy is at the editors as we type- I know that you do not want to miss this little jewel. Everyone needs laughter in their life and these books are sure to bring it.

When Fates Collide Arm Candy

When Fates Collide Arm Candy

Here is a little video to tease you – yes that is what we do. Wet your reading appetite so you will beg us to let you know when it is released.

July 30, 2013 Posted by | New Releases | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Coming with Hope and Alex

Okay boys and girls and children of all ages just when you thought you would not see another book by me for a while it happens. Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc (you remember her she was the Mistress of  the Damned) and I are smack in the middle of the third  When Fates Collide Series.  You remember Hope Harrington the mousy secretary who just had to have a change in her dull life and Alex Morgan the cynical no nonsense bounty hunter. They hooked up in When Fates Collide when Alex thought Hope was her jumper and embarrassed her by taking her down in Hope’s local haunt.

After that it was on like Donkey Kong (for those of you to young to understand it was one of the first video games before you were born). Hope insisted that she hook up with Alex to go after the real jumper – why not she wasn’t busy that weekend- just like she was not busy any weekend.

Hope didn’t know that he life would forever change as she knew it. Each case would be as different as night and day. She would go places meet people and do things that she never expected to do in her drab little life.

When Fates Collide was just the beginning:when fates collied front for press releases

After grabbing their jumper in Key West Hope and Alex are off to New Orleans right in the middle of Mardi Gras to pick up a Marie wanna be who has decided to lead them on a merry chase in the bayou along with a few more colorful characters which makes Hope’s head spin and that is just the beginning. Things as usual do not go as planned and Hope finds herself in a place she never thought she would be. Alex of course isn’t happy she has to not only get her jumper she also has to find Hope who is no MIA during the middle of Mardi Gras (Cue the music from Deliverance):

When Fates Collide Mardi Gras Bound

When Fates Collide Mardi Gras Bound

Things go from bad to worse in the newest installment of the Abbott and Costello slapstick ride. After Hope and Alex finish their little adventure in New Orleans with  a little help from their friends they find themselves in St. Marteen looking for an old Nemesis- which turns out to be two of them. This adventure is not complete without a few old friends from Key West one of the being the owner of The Pink Canary:

The Pink Canary

The Pink Canary

The Pink Canary is owned by a Private Eye named Lou who not only owns the club he is the headliner known as Lola. Lola has a sidekick who is known as Penelope and a new found friend also a drag queen Vicky.

 

The newest adventure of Hope and Alex begin in St. Marteen and it seems that these three ladies have shown up in St. Marteen at a very good  time. Alex enlists their aid and catching her new jumpers  St.James and of course Momma. This new adventure while starting in St. Marteen ends up back in Key West where Hope once again finds herself in the middle of a situation.

 

The Abbott and Costello slapstick continues in the newest of the series When Fates Collide Arm Candy. Alex and Hope are running out of time as they try to out think and out smart St. James and Momma in order to get them back to jail. They enlist the aid of St. James’s newest squeeze better known as his arm candy. But as with all of our books things are not always as they seem:When Fates Collide - Arm Candy

If you have not yet read the series or Pink Canary you might just want to pick them up. They are all stand alones however they are funnier when read in sequence. Pink Canary is not part of the series however, the characters were brought into Arm Candy to help out.

Andrea and I are not responsible for wet clothing that you the reader might end up wearing as a result of uncontrollable laughter while reading these books. There are disclaimers in the book to that effect. We just write the stories we are not responsible for  anything that our characters do or cause.

These are great little reads- They are fun and they are entertaining. Arm Candy will be out later this year so you have time to read the others before the release. All of these books are on kindle and nook. They can be purchased on Amazon and Lulu and you can buy direct from me.

So what are you waiting for go have some fun read comedy.

June 30, 2013 Posted by | New Releases | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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