Horror Writers Association releases its ninth Poetry Showcase

The ninth Poetry Showcase, featuring the best original dark poetry, will be released on November 7, 2022. Photo: Amazon

On November 7, 2022, Horror Writers Association (HWA) will be releasing its ninth annual Poetry Showcase, featuring the best original dark poetry from the past year. This year’s showcase includes poets such as Stephanie M. Wytovich, Geneve Glynn, Naomi Simone Borwein, and dozens of poems from the talented members of the Horror Writers Association. (Horror Writers Association, 2022)

Angela Yuriko Smith edited this year’s Poetry Showcase. Along with judges Lee Murray, Maxwell I. Gold, and Frances Lu-Pai Ippolito, Angela chose the 50 poems that make up the table of contents. Kyra Starr created the cover artwork and pays tribute to Peter Adam Salomon, the founder of both the HWA Showcase and National Dark Poetry Day.

“This year’s Poetry Showcase contains dark verse that would make poetry lovers everywhere proud.” – Angela Yuriko Smith

The poets featured in the 2022 Showcase are: Mary A. Turzillo, Christina Sng, Alessandro Manzetti, Victoria Nations, K. H. Vaughan, Cassondra Windwalker, Jacqueline West, Carina Bissett, Hillary Dodge, Lucy A. Snyder, Colleen Anderson, E. F. Schraeder, Sara Tantlinger, Ann K. Schwader, Corinne Hughes, Monica S. Kuebler, Janine Cross, Kathryn Ptacek, Holly Lyn Walrath, Gary Robbe, Marge Simon, Stephanie Ellis, R. Leigh Hennig, Austin Gragg, M. Lopes da Silva, Denise Dumars, Gordon Linzner, Saytchyn Maddux-Creech, Ross E. Lockhart, Teel James Glenn, Bruce Boston, John Claude Smith, Roni Stinger, Dan B. Fierce, Madison McSweeney, Steven Clapp, Rook Riley, Timothy P. Flynn, Dianthe West, Lori R. Lopez, Terrie Leigh Relf, Lisa Becker, Donna K. Fitch, Ai Jiang, J.E. Erickson, and Gerri Leen.

The Horror Writers Association is a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals around the world. The HWA is dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it. This organization was founded in 1980, and currently has over 1,400 members across numerous countries, including Australia, Denmark, Costa Rica, India, and many more. It is the oldest, most professional organization for writers who have a deep appreciation for the horror genre.



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‘Poetry Showcase’ release date


iFLY Indoor Skydiving holiday gift packages

iFLY Indoor Skydiving will have holiday gift packages available as well as Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers. Photo: iFLY Indoor Skydiving, used with permission.

In celebration of the holiday season, iFLY Indoor Skydiving will be offering unique gift experiences, including three special Gift of Experience packages, that will run from November 3, 2022 through January 2, 2023 featuring savings up to 35%. In addition, the leader in wind tunnel systems for indoor skydiving will offer a Black Friday Offer from November 24, 2022 through Cyber Monday featuring savings up to 50%. (iFLY Indoor Skydiving, 2022)

The three “Gift of Experience” packages include The Exclusive Gift featuring four flights, two high flights, and two videos shareable by two people; The Elevated Gift featuring four flights and two videos shareable by two people; and The Essential Gift featuring two flights for one person. Shop online or at participating iFLY locations to save up to 35% on the gift they will remember this holiday season. Guests who purchase online will receive vouchers delivered directly via email and all in-store purchases receive their choice of a free holiday gift box with their purchase. 

The Black Friday Offer features 50%-off savings and includes 10 flights shareable by up to five  people, five high flights, five photos, and five videos (flight bookings valid Monday through Friday). The Black Friday Offer will be available exclusively online.

iFLY is a sports and recreation company with the mission to deliver the dream of flight. The company pioneered the body-flying “indoor skydiving” experience and is the world leader in vertical wind tunnel technology. Guests do not need to be an athlete or in the best shape of their life. iFLY’s world-class instructors are pros at making flying fun for everyone.

As temperatures drop, this is a fun and safe activity to do indoors with your loved ones. In fact, iFLY’s wind tunnels have a fresh air advantage over other experiences. Advanced wind tunnel technology provides guests with clean air while flying by recirculating and refreshing the air from outside the iFLY facilities. Tested and proven, iFLY’s wind tunnels create an environment at least 10x fresher than the average store or gym when guests are flying—even at slow wind speeds.

Prices vary per iFLY location. More information is available online

Gift of Experience Packages: Available to purchase at all participating U.S. iFLY Indoor Skydiving locations and online from November 3, 2022, through January 2, 2023 and can be flown starting January 2, 2023.

  • The Exclusive Gift: promo valid to fly Monday-Sunday
  • The Elevated Gift: promo valid to fly Sunday through Friday
  • The Essential Gift: promo valid to fly Monday through Friday

Black Friday: Available to purchase exclusively online from November 24, 2022, through November 28, 2022 (Cyber Monday) and can be flown starting November 24, 2022, through May 26, 2023

  • Blackout dates include December 19, 2022 through January 1, 2023

Austin-based iFLY Holdings, LLC, is the world leader in the design, manufacturing, sales, and operations of wind tunnel systems for indoor skydiving. The company has flown more than 9,000,000 people in a dozen countries and at sea since launching the modern vertical wind tunnel industry in 1998. iFLY has over 70 facilities operating worldwide with 33 wholly owned in the US. iFLY supports and utilizes the safety and training guidelines set out by the International Bodyflight Association (IBA) to ensure the safety and progression of the sport of indoor skydiving. iFLY makes the dream of flight a reality by giving their customers “wings” in a safe and reliable environment.

Holiday spa specials from Hiatus Spa + Retreat

Hiatus Spa + Retreat has holiday spa specials and deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Photo: Molly Culver, used with permission.

Award-winning Texas spa Hiatus Spa + Retreat is excited to announce their holiday deals and specials. From holiday packages for gift giving this holiday season to Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, there is sure to be something for everyone on your list. (Hiatus Spa + Retreat, 2022)

Available November 1 – December 31

The Merry + Bright
Two is better than one. Pick any two Essential Services– The Tailor-Made Facial, The One & Only Mani-Pedi, The Signature Massage, or The Body Wrap–and make a day of your getaway.
2+ hours, $179 (up to $220 value)

The Peace, Love, + Joy
Our three most in-demand services —The Signature Massage, The Tailor-Made Facial and The One & Only Mani-Pedi — are bundled up and tied with a bow, for your sugar plum.
3.5 hours, $259 ($320 value)

Let it Glow, Let it Glow
The Body Glow (40 minutes), The Sparkler Facial (60 minutes) will combine their magical powers to warm you up and give you a rosy glow to fight off even the chilliest winter days.
2+ hours $189 ($240 value)


Black Friday: Available on November 25 only
Get holiday ready with 30% off all filler & botox/dysport packages
*Offer available in spa and online

Cyber Monday: Available November 27-28
22% off products on eCommerce only + Free Shipping with Online Promo Code: CYBER22

Offers good at all eight Hiatus Spa + Retreat locations in Texas: Austin, Plano, San Antonio, Houston, Fort Worth, Frisco and two in Dallas. For all locations please visit Hiatus Spa + Retreat online. 

With eight locations across Texas, eight years on Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing companies, and an innovative spa subscription model, Hiatus Spa + Retreat is a fresh kind of full-service spa that has changed the wellness industry. Powered by products with real green ingredients and a high-touch experience, Hiatus’ personalized approach to wellness is driven by the view that regular relaxation should be an empowering part of a healthy, happy lifestyle.

Book of the week: ‘Ferret’ by C.C. Wyatt

‘Ferret’ is book one in The Ferret Books series by C.C. Wyatt. Photo: Amazon

C.C. Wyatt, the author of “Ferret” and its sequel, “Perseaus,” lives in Arizona. She has a degree in business and previously worked as a financial advisor. Her inspiration for writing the series came as a notion to entertain young readers with something fresh and rare. Critics have attested to her unique style of writing, so let us say mission accomplished. Being a self-learner and one who fancies crafts—art, music, movies—helped in shaping her style in storytelling. Florida is one of her favorite places to travel. No wonder the backdrop of The Ferret Books series is in Florida. The series is about a young girl whose life arcanely changed after once upon a night disappearing in her sleep. (C.C. Wyatt, 2022)

“Ferret” – Pia Wade’s life is a book with torn-out pages, she sees things no one else can, and she has weird dreams. It all started four years ago when she mysteriously vanished in the night. One problem though, she has no memory of the incident whatsoever, yet claims she was kidnapped. But as Pia embarks on a trip back to where her nightmare began, she wishes all her troubles would just—Poof!—disappear. What Pia does not know is that a new world of Pandora’s box is about to open with clues to finding the answers she so desperately seeks. For Pia, it is either now or never. One week is all she has to tackle the mission. Just one week. Tick tock.

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Carriqui celebrates Día de los Muertos with curated dinner and performance

Executive Chef Jaime Gonzalez will curate a special four-course meal for the holiday and San Antonio musician Azul Barrientos will perform during the ticketed dinner. Photo: Carriqui Botana Platter, by Jody Horton, used with permission.

Potluck Hospitality is excited to announce that Carriqui will be honoring those who have passed with a specially curated ticketed dinner on Wednesday, November 2 from 7p.m. to 9p.m. for Día de los Muertos. The event will include a four-course meal curated by Executive Chef Jaime Gonzalez and a guided musical performance from beloved local talent, Azul Barrientos. (Carriqui, 2022)

The experience includes welcome cocktails and appetizers beginning at 6p.m. and dinner beginning at 7p.m. The four-course meal includes squash blossom and kale salad with watermelon, confit fish tamal wrapped in banana leaf, beef short rib barbacoa with calabaza, and a tequila lime cheesecake with coconut graham cracker crust and marigolds.

Availability for the dinner is limited. Tickets are available for $150 each through Tock. Complimentary valet, 20% gratuity, and the welcome cocktail are included in the price per ticket. Additional alcoholic beverages are available for purchase.

Wednesday, November 2
Welcome cocktails and appetizers: 6p.m.
Four-Course Dinner: 7p.m. – 9p.m.

239 E Grayson St.
San Antonio, TX 78215

Founded in 2022, Potluck Hospitality conceives, operates, manages, and partners on culinary and experiential brands in San Antonio, TX. Potluck Hospitality concepts include Best Quality Daughter, Brasserie Mon Chou Chou, Carriqui, Food Hall at Bottling Dept., Ladino, and Stable Hall (coming 2023). Potluck’s team is made up of chefs, designers, strategists in culture-crafting, brand, and finance that all share a love of food and gathering. Potluck Hospitality’s name pays tribute to memorable experiences with great food, great music, and great company–where everyone has something to contribute. Being together, sharing meals, and communally experiencing music is elemental to what it means to be human.

Book review: ‘Fonchito and The Moon’ by Mario Vargas Llosa

‘Fonchito and The Moon’ by Mario Vargas Llosa. Photo: Amazon

Mario Vargas Llosa was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010 in recognition of his contribution as one of the most important voices in contemporary literature. Born in Arequipa, Peru, he received his doctorate in philosophy and letters in Madrid. His novels include “The Time of the Hero,” “The Feast of the Goat,” and “Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter.” “Fonchito and the Moon” is his first children’s book. It is illustrated by Marta Chicote Juiz.

“Fonchito and the Moon” – This is the story of Fonchito, who falls in love for the very first time and discovers that there is nothing one cannot do for a loved one, even if what they wish for is the moon. Fonchito is a little boy with his heart set on winning the affection of his classmate Nereida. She is beautiful, and all he hopes for is her permission to kiss her on the cheek. But she is shy and agrees under only one condition: that Fonchito bring the moon to her. Bring her the moon? What is Fonchito to do? In that moment his love inspires him to find a way to do the impossible.

One of life’s hardest lesson is finding a way to achieve your heart’s desire even when it seems impossible, especially for young children. This first children’s book by Mario Vargas Llosa, one of the world’s greatest writers, is an enchanting story about the magic in discovering how high you can reach for those you love, even if they ask for the moon. Fonchito has a crush on Nereida, a fellow classmate. All he wants is permission to kiss her on the cheek and he searches high and low for a way to grant her wish. “Fonchito and the Moon” is an inspirational story for children, focusing on finding a way to achieve the impossible and the merits of not giving up. The illustrations by Maria Chicote Juiz are bright and colorful and brilliantly bring the story to life. It is recommended for children ages 6-8 years old in grades in kindergarten through fifth.

*The author received a copy of this book for an honest review. The views and opinions expressed here belong solely to her.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bakery Lorraine celebrates Halloween with spooky treats

Bakery Lorraine’s Lemon Meringue Mummy Tart. Photo: Bakery Lorraine, used with permission.

Bakery Lorraine is excited to announce that their Halloween treats are back this year for some spooky fun everyone can enjoy. From Friday, October 28 until Monday, October 31, fun Halloween treats will be available at all Bakery Lorraine locations. The delectable pastries are sure to satisfy any Halloween sweet tooth craving whether at a Halloween themed party, welcoming trick-or-treaters, or just enjoying a solo spooky treat. (Bakery Lorraine, 2022)

Their Halloween offerings include the below pastries:

Black Cat Tart ($6) – Chocolate mousse tart with vanilla filling
Lemon Meringue Mummy Tart ($6) – Lemon curd topped with meringue and two chocolate chips for the mummy’s eyes
Chocolate Caramel Tart ($6) – Caramel filling topped with chocolate ganache
Voodoo Doll Gingerbread Cookie ($5) – Gingerbread cookie dipped in a rich dark chocolate
Ghost Moon pie ($5) – Homemade graham cookies with a honey marshmallow filling dipped in a white chocolate
The Great Pumpkin Mac – Pumpkin spice macaron shell with a creamy buttercream center. Macarons are priced at $2.65 each or available to be included in their assortment boxes. Assortment boxes can be purchased in two different sizes, holding 6 macarons for $14.00 or 12 macarons for $26.00.

Bakery Lorraine also recently announced that its new Boerne location will officially open to the public on Tuesday, November 1, 2022. Bakery Lorraine in Boerne will feature the bakery’s full menu including macarons, pastries, sandwiches, salads, and more.

Owned by chefs Anne Ng, Jeremy Mandrell, and operator Charlie Biedenharn, Bakery Lorraine has quickly become a sensation in San Antonio. It was named one of the best new bakeries in the U.S. by Food & Wine as well as one of the “13 Destination Bakeries” by Conde Nast Traveler and recently made Southern Living’s list of the South’s Best Bakeries in 2022.

In addition to the famous Parisian macarons and divine pastries, like the pain au chocolat, the Boerne location will also feature breakfast items, including the breakfast parfait, the quiche Lorraine, and breakfast sandwiches. Bakery Lorraine will offer a variety of savory lunch dishes, including an assortment of salads and soups, and artisan sandwiches. Bakery Lorraine also offers wine and beer service.

Grand Opening – Tuesday, November 1, 2022
Regular hours of operation are as follows:
Monday – Thursday: 7a.m. to 6p.m.
Friday – Sunday: 7a.m. to 8p.m.

Bakery Lorraine
134 Oak Park Dr.
Boerne, TX 78006

Bakery Lorraine serves an all-day menu including items like its Croque Madame, the quiche Lorraine, an assortment of salads and soups and artisan sandwiches. Bakery Lorraine has four locations in San Antonio including one in the Historic Pearl district, one in the Medical Center, one in the RIM shopping center, and one inside The DoSeum. Bakery Lorraine also has an Austin location at the Domain NORTHSIDE.

Upcoming album release: 1992 by Justin Hiltner

Banjoist, songwriter, and activist Justin Hiltner announces solo album 1992, available December 9, 2022. Courtesy photo, used with permission.

Justin Hiltner is a queer, disabled banjo player, songwriter, and music writer known from the Peabody Award-winning podcast Dolly Parton’s America and currently playing banjo with the Broadway national tour of the 2019 Tony Award-winning revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! Past releases include Watch it Burn (2018) and Room at the Table (2022) with Jon Weisberger, Silver Dagger (2021), “Hold Each Other Up” (2020) with Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, and “Live and Let Live” (2019) with Bluegrass Pride, Laurie Lewis, Melody Walker, and more. The critically acclaimed instrumentalist and songwriter has announced his debut solo album, 1992 available December 9, 2022. The project’s lead single and title track is a heartbreaking and singular exploration of survivor’s guilt, disability, and embodiment and is available now via streaming platforms, download, and Bandcamp. (Justin Hiltner, 2022)

Premiering on The Bluegrass Situation, Hiltner described the single: “At the time I began writing [‘1992’], I was reading [Randy Shilts’] And the Band Played On and spending a good amount of time studying the movement for queer rights in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. It dawned on me that I was not born after the HIV/AIDS epidemic, I was born into it. And almost certainly there were gay men and queer folks dying of HIV in the very same hospital where I was born.” Accompanied simply by stark, low-tuned banjo, the story within “1992” is entrancing and solemn, a truly original message – especially within the genres and regions Hiltner has called home.

1992 was recorded in September 2020 with Grammy Award winning producers and bluegrass, folk, and children’s music stalwarts Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer engineering and co-producing at their studio in Lansing, North Carolina – the hometown of bluegrass and old-time forebear Ola Belle Reed. The collection’s twelve original songs, each recorded live and the majority tracked in single takes, were captured atop the idyllic and gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains with a panoramic view of Pond Mountain, White Top, and New Pinnacle from Ashe County, NC, a setting that complicates and unspools narratives around where queer folks belong while upending stereotypes of “ownership,” “authenticity,” and placemaking in bluegrass, Appalachia, and the South.

Other songs on the album deal with class issues and social justice, love, loss, and longing, and Hiltner’s journey through cancer – his treatment, recovery, disability, and the traumas of surviving cancer only to land in the COVID-19 pandemic. The banjo playing throughout is technically impressive and challenging, but serves each song tastefully and, often, subtly, reminding of solo pickers and performers like John Hartford and Darrell Scott. “Pieces,” a song about the slow drip of losing oneself in love, was co-written with Rounder recording artist Caroline Spence, a longtime friend of Hiltner’s. “Benson Street,” which was written with flat picker and songwriter Molly Tuttle, is full of pining and the imagery of southern summers.

Hiltner’s highly anticipated solo debut feels strikingly mature and sharp, with a point of view rare even in the fast growing queer country movement, a reminder of why NPR Music called him “A leader in the burgeoning movement to welcome and highlight queer voices in bluegrass.”

1992 will be available wherever you download, stream, or purchase music on December 9, 2022. Pre-order open now.

1992 Track List:
Dark Side
U R the HWY 1 (APT 2)
Benson Street
10 Years (Gotta Get Out)
I Wanted More
I Cry Every Day Now
Another Way



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1992 release date

Sips and Sounds series returns with Norteño Night at the Briscoe

Briscoe Western Art Museum’s Sips & Sounds of the West series celebrates Hispanic influence on the West with a night of Norteño music featuring Los Callejeros de San Anto. Courtesy photo, used with permission.

Let music take you to Northern Mexico as you enjoy a night of music under the stars on the River Walk at the Briscoe’s “Sips and Sounds of the West” Norteño Night on Friday October 28, 2022. With band Los Callejeros De San Anto in the museum’s McNutt Sculpture Garden, the museum will celebrate the Hispanic influence on the America West with a night of tunes perfect for a date night or a night out with friends in the heart of San Antonio. The ticketed event begins at 6:30p.m. (Briscoe Western Art Museum, 2022)

Launched by Pinata Protest front man Alvaro Del Norte with bandmates Jose Morales on bajo sexto, bassist Richie Brown, and Chris Ramirez on drums, Los Callejeros De San Anto blends well known influences of Conjunto and Norteño into the perfect Tex-Mex street band and is “abuela approved.” Sips and Sounds of the West tickets are $10 for museum members and $20 for non-members. The event is for ages 18+ and includes student tickets at $10 each. Food truck fare is available for purchase from Dona Kika’s Tacos & Gorditas and a cash bar will be available.

The Briscoe’s Sips and Sounds of the West series highlights the soundtrack of the West through live music while surrounded by the beauty of the garden’s fantastic bronze sculptures and lush greenery. The museum’s McNutt Sculpture Garden is an oasis featuring a beautiful courtyard surrounded by bronze sculptures depicting iconic figures of the American West. With the lights of downtown in the background and stars overhead, the garden becomes magical at night, making it the perfect spot for a date night or a night out with friends.

From its McNutt Sculpture Garden to the museum’s beautifully restored historic home inside the former San Antonio Public Library building, the Briscoe’s collection spans 14 galleries, with special exhibitions, events and a fantastic Museum Store, providing art, culture, history and entertainment. Museum hours, parking and admission details are available online.

Preserving and presenting the art, history and culture of the American West through engaging exhibitions, educational programs and public events reflective of the region’s rich traditions and shared heritage, the Briscoe Western Art Museum is located on the San Antonio River Walk at 210 W. Market Street in the beautifully restored 1930s former San Antonio Public Library building. Named in honor of the late Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe Jr. and his wife, Janey Slaughter Briscoe, the museum includes the three-story Jack Guenther Pavilion, used for event rentals and programs, and the outdoor McNutt Sculpture Garden.

Courtesy photo, used with permission.

Television adaptation: ‘Shantaram’ by Gregory David Roberts

The television adaptation of ‘Shantaram’ is available on Apple TV +. Photo: Amazon

Gregory David Roberts, the author of “Shantaram” and its sequel, “The Mountain Shadow,” was born in Melbourne, Australia. Sentenced to nineteen years in prison for a series of armed robberies, he escaped and spent ten of his fugitive years in Bombay―where he established a free medical clinic for slum-dwellers, and worked as a counterfeiter, smuggler, gunrunner, and street soldier for a branch of the Bombay mafia. Recaptured, he served out his sentence, and established a successful multimedia company upon his release. Roberts is now a full time writer and lives in Bombay. “Shantaram” is the story of a convicted Australian bank robber and heroin addict who escapes from Pentridge Prison and flees to India. The novel is reportedly influenced by real events in the life of the author, though some claims made by Roberts are contested by others involved in the story. It was adapted into a major television series from Apple TV+ starring Charlie Hunnam. (Amazon, 2022)

“Shantaram” –  An escaped convict with a false passport, Lin flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of Bombay, where he can disappear. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, the two enter the city’s hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere. As a hunted man without a home, family, or identity, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city’s poorest slums, and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The search leads him to war, prison torture, murder, and a series of enigmatic and bloody betrayals. Two people hold the keys to unlock the mysteries and intrigues that bind Lin. The first is Khader Khan: mafia godfather, criminal-philosopher-saint, and mentor to Lin in the underworld of the Golden City. The second is Karla: elusive, dangerous, and beautiful, whose passions are driven by secrets that torment her and yet give her a terrible power. Burning slums and five-star hotels, romantic love and prison agonies, criminal wars and Bollywood films, spiritual gurus and mujaheddin guerrillas―this huge novel has the world of human experience in its reach, and a passionate love for India at its heart.