Recommended Age Range: 13 and up
Approx. Length: 66,856 Words
A dark and light collection of horror tales from the morbid murky madness of Lori R. Lopez, along with a poem, an introduction on fear, and a conclusion on why writers write . . . all previously published in anthologies, on websites, or individually as E-books . . . gathered in one spectacularly eerie volume!
A zombie defender must question his principles when a hunter becomes infected by the zombie plague and threatens the boy’s mother in Heartbeat. A teen learns the terrible truth about the house Next Door. A young woman’s dream of independence is challenged when her parents depart and she must face her Night Frights in Macabre. A very troubled man seeks professional help for his hang-ups, compulsions and phobias in Backlash. A Thin Man wanders into a world of trouble after the carnival that was his home goes bust in Unnatural. These are among the tormented souls who inhabit the author’s morbidly manic thoughts!
The Macabre Mind Of Lori R. Lopez was her first full-length compendium devoted to the creepier side of life. The dark places and spaces not under the Sun or Moon. In Lori’s mind, horrors, humor and weirdities abound. From zombies and strange creatures to psychos, werewolves and Bigfoot, this is a book you should not read when alone. Or lost in the woods. Or strolling past a fence. Or walking down a crowded street. Read it in a library or bookstore, someplace safe! (And good luck.)
Look for an Illustrated Print Second Edition containing original artwork by the author.
Do you take delight in a dark stormy night
And your heartstrings sing when bats take wing?
Then take a peek if you’re not too meek . . .
There is nothing to fear but fright!
~ from The Macabre
I have always had to write something, my entire life. Well, maybe since Third Grade. I never stopped. Ideas would well up in my brain. Words spilled forth, whether poetry or prose or a combination of both. If they locked me in a padded cell, tied me in a strait-jacket and took away my pen, I am certain I’d be scrawling on the walls with the ink from my veins. I would be composing stories and verse in my head. Uttering them aloud. And writing them in blood. Because that is what a true author does. Isn’t it? Or am I simply strange?
~ from Afterwords: Have You Ever Wondered About Us?
YOU MIGHT NOT THINK a twelve-year-old ballcapped kid with a buzzcut and a smart mouth could be classified an expert at anything. But it’s a new world, one where comic-book readers and role-playing geeks are in their element. You see, it’s the age of the zombie. And nerds rule.
It’s perfectly reasonable. We understand them. We appreciate them. We know what they want and as long as we give it to them, they leave us alone.
It’s like a symbiotic relationship. They give us something too: satisfaction. They’re monsters, so you gotta love em! If you’re like me, that is.
Okay, they are kind of dumb. Lame even. But seriously, they’re dead and yet they’re still walking. So to speak. Lurching might be more accurate. And they are the most disgusting people on the planet. They never bathe, never comb their hair or brush their teeth, or wash their hands and faces before and after a meal. How cool is that? What kid wouldn’t wanna be like them?
They are indeed a mom’s worst nightmare for a role model. And I’ve got to confess, I have no desire to be one. Yet the things hold an avid fascination for me, and I’ve developed a fondness towards them.
Many are shriveled and gross, yet they keep on ticking. Not actually, because their hearts have stopped. It’s just an expression my mother said was from ads for a wristwatch. Pop Culture Trivia is her hobby. History buffs like her feel it’s vital not to lose our human heritage. “In the past are buried the seeds for the future,” to quote my mom.
A heartbeat is what truly separates us from the dead — whether restless or asleep in the ground; floating as ashes and dust or flickering as ghosts.
Aforethoughts: The Fear Of Fear
The Macabre (poem)
2. The Wraith
3. Next Door
5. Some Thing
11. The Lycaning (Parts One & Two)
Afterwords: Have You Ever Wondered About Us?
(From the Illustrated Print Edition. Printed in black and white.)
Honors & Praise
“Although a prolific author of (award winning) short stories I had never come across Lori R. Lopez before reading this book. She has an arresting and often humorous style and The Macabre Mind is a whistle-stop tour of her off-beat quirky world!
The Macabre Mind is a collection of 13 dark and different short stories – perfect for Halloween – mixing horror and fantasy. This is a great introduction to Lori R. Lopez’s work if you, like me, are new to her. She has a unique writing style that young adults will love; (although maybe not for younger children!) and her interlinking stories pull you into a world created by her powerful and compelling imagination. This collection is full of everything you could want from a fantasy horror story with ghosts, zombies, creatures from other worlds and more. Full of brooding suspense as well as laugh out loud moments your mind gets carried along twisting and turning through each story.
This is a collection for those who enjoy reading for fun . . . unravel your imagination and immerse yourself in Lori’s utterly unique style of horror writing.
Rating: Utterly unique.”
E-Thrillers.com, THRILLERS OF THE MONTH: NOVEMBER 2013
“This is a great read that keeps you turning pages until the very end. It’s full of everything lots of stories that keep things interesting…lots of mystery, adventure, paranormal, & drama to keep you entertained. I really enjoyed it alot. This is my favorite book I’ve read by this author so far & I’m interested in reading more.”
Theresa Needham Fehse
Amazon; Goodreads Review
“The Macabre Mind of Lori R. Lopez is a fun, witty, and satisfyingly dark collection of stories and poetry. Lopez has a gift of inducing a chuckle on one page and a gasp of horror on the next, her whimsical style offering an unpredictable roller coaster ride that is as variable as it is unique.”
For HORRENDUS: “Structurally similar to a mock epic, this story reminded me in many ways of the first part of the classic BEOWULF. I liked how Lopez chose to make her hero female, and also how she created a legend of her own in the often over-exaggerated tales behind Halloween’s shaky history.”
Lisa Lane, “The Cerebral Writer”; author Leigh M. Lane
Smashwords; Amazon Review
“The first story I read from [Lori R. Lopez] was published in the Masters of Horror Damned if You Don’t anthology. Her story, “Backlash” was a sheer joy to read. Lori works her magic not only in the horror genre but also poetry. So imagine my delight when I came across this gem, The Macabre Mind of Lori R. Lopez Thirteen Tormentous Tales. Lori provides some insights into some of her best work and includes some fine poetry as well. Her writing style will appeal to any fan of horror for she’s quite skilled crafting tales that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Or if you’re like me, I tend to read my horror at night while in bed. I caught myself checking to see if a wraith or ghost roamed my apartment while I fought off the impending chills of doom.”
KNIGHT CHILLS Blog
“Any scary story lover will be drawn into this story from the very first sentence. Who is this demon? Where did he come from? Where did he go? Why is this crabby old lady standing outside a creepy old mansion with her dog? The shocking answers await in Fossil.”
. . .
“Although horror is not my favorite genre, I did enjoy this scary story. Ms. Lopez’s humorous touch always lightens the load at just the right moment. I find myself drawn into her stories, often wondering where her characters came from and more importantly, where they’re going.” (FOSSIL)
Geri Small Graham
Barnes & Noble; Goodreads Reviews
“I give this story five stars for language use alone. The author is sure in her words as she tells the story of a lab experiment gone wrong and a world overrun by lycan beasts. This is essentially a love story, but manages to add a touch of horror. . . . Lopez has a gift and a quirky mind that shows clearly in this short tale. THE LYCANING is definitely worth your time.”
Regarding UNNATURAL: “This is a fun read, well-written, and a joy of an entertainment. I liked it very much.”
Billie Sue Mosiman
“Lori has such a blunt way of stating the horrors that you need to read the sentence twice to make sure you read it correctly, then the real horror hits you… not in the gore-fest but the possible truth.” (HEARTBEAT)
. . .
“Not sure what depths Lori’s brain has, but it goes pretty deep . . . another brilliant story, with a really good start, gooey middle and amazing ending! . . . some times she is all twisty turney, other times poetic, occasionally she throws this sort of story out that is gigglesome funny yet shuddering grotesque but every time she is beautifully erudite.” (FOSSIL)
“This was a very interesting ensemble of well written horror tales with all the twists and turns expected in very good short stories.”
Bernard Lee DeLeo, author
“Who freaking doesn’t love a good Bigfoot horror tale? This is awesome. Don’t pass it up.” (BLOODPATH)
Eric S. Brown
“I am reminded of times of some night mares that stay with you . . . Miss Lori is a gifted and talented writer of the [macabre], yet easy to read that [you’re] scared, but in the best of ways! Loved it very much!!!!!”
“A little bit of horror + a little bit of paranormal + a little bit of romance = another excellent short story from the mind of Lori Lopez! I have to be honest, short stories are not usually my “thing”. I like developed characters and well-explained plots, and most shorts just can’t carry that off. Then, I discovered Ms. Lopez’s stories. She has full-length novels that are amazing, but her shorter tales are equally well-done. With her gift for words, she deftly makes you [acquainted] with her characters by telling you what you want and need to know in order to make you care about them. She makes you think of questions as you’re reading, and then succinctly gives you the answers to those questions. The Lycaning holds true to this style. You’ll find yourself rooting for the main characters. You’ll fear the worst, and then comes the twist …”
“This is a fantastic collection of Lori R. Lopez’s work. If you have read anything by Lori you know that she has a wonderful and unique style to her writing that is able to pull you right into the world that her words paint through your imagination. This collection gives you thirteen different worlds!! In my opinion this is a collection of her darkest and most suspenseful work, never too dark but the suspense will have you hanging on the edge of your chair and as your mind gets twisted and twirled throughout each story.
There is something in this collection for everyone, you have zombies, creatures, circus freaks, ghosts, big foot, werewolves and more.
I highly recommend this collection to anyone who enjoys reading for fun and who loves having their mind challenged with a unique outlook of the horror world.”
Goodreads; Amazon Review
“Lori R Lopez has created a masterful collection in the The Macabre Mind. The first story, Heartbeat reminded me of The Lost Boys; funny, engaging, and entertaining. I could see a 13 year old Corey Feldman playing the lead character quite easily and then the last page broke my heart. What an ending!
Macabre, Next Door, and The Unnatural are outstanding stories as they all are, but these are special.
Lori is a unique writer and quite complex. She can be witty and charming, outlandishly funny, and quite obsessive with alliteration at times, but the raw intelligence and extraordinary talent shines through.”
“A combination of poetry and prose, this short story is not only filled with fantastic imagery, but it boggles the mind as well . . . Lori has a beautiful way with words, and this story definitely captivated me.” (THE WRAITH)
DARKNESS ABOUND BLOG
“. . . the style Lori R Lopez uses makes even the most horrifying tales fun to read. With the grace of a lyrical ballerina she doesn’t tell you a story, she pulls you in and keeps you there until the end.” (FOSSIL)
“Kudos to this lady for her intellect and instincts . . . Ms. Lopez displays a very broad vocabulary, necessary to prevent any story from becoming dull and/or monotonous. The pace of this story was perfect.” (HEARTBEAT)
Tiffiny Burge Sarradet
“Lori R. Lopez writes at a level that touches the readers’ fears and hopes, then blurs the line . . .” (THE WRAITH)
. . .
“In Lori’s werewolf tale, we see a world of Lycanthropes through the singular love story of the main characters. Because Lori packs so much information in so few images and character actions, one might mistake her frugal use of language for a lack of prose style, whereas the opposite is true: she is succinct in her prose and lets the mind of her reader burst with the full picture. She does not drag out the horror, making the tale more horrific, for we imagine the particulars that she frames for us. Anyone should enjoy this fine twist on the werewolf mythos, but those with an appreciation of metonymy should capture all The Lycaning’s nuances and subtleties.” (THE LYCANING)