May all your Halloweens be dark.


A never before seen type of darkness can be found in The Dark Poet Princess’s new book Darkest Sunlight. It is available on amazon in ebook and paperback. The perfect bedtime read as the clock approaches midnight.


“The heart was made to be broken.” – Oscar Wilde

To allow your heart to soar, you must risk the depths. Darkest Sunlight is the third poetic narrative from Xtina Marie. In this journey, readers will begin in the darkest of places yet revealed to us by this critically acclaimed poet, only to then find themselves thrust into the brightness of love before their eyes and minds can fully adjust. It is this shocking contrast which best conveys what it is to love, lose, and love again.

In Dark Musings, Xtina explored sadness. In Light Musings, she explored the intricacies of a loving heart. In Darkest Sunlight, Xtina Marie compares the opposite ends of the spectrum, and in doing so, she found a place darker than black.

“This book is devilishly decadent. The whole thing paints a picture in the mind not unlike Poe.” Alizure – amazon reviewer.

Halloween is a time of darkness and magic.

My new book Darkest Sunlight has both and it’s FREE for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

It is priced just right for your favorite poetry loving trick or treater. The ebook is only $3.99 US and the paperback is $9.99 US.


WOW! An incredible review of Dark Musings

Dark Musings continues to garner rave reviews.

Perhaps readers of Light Musings are testing their limits. While I love every person who takes the time to even rate one of my books; I was wowed by this review. Here are the highlights. Thank you Renier.


A poetic narrative is defined as the following: “A narrative poem includes the necessary elements of storytelling. A short story must include developed characters, and a plot with action, conflict and resolution; so too must a narrative poem.”

However, once I decided to invest in “Dark Musings”, I refused to let go. I read the poem about five times. I needed to fully understand the depth with which Xtina Marie wrote “Dark Musings”.

Not only were there elements of feminine sexuality, Jungian archetypes, and totemic Freudianism, but also nuanced verses juxtaposed against valiant direct social commentary.

One feels arrested by Xtina’s “musings”, as well as trapped by the literary psyche she created.

Existential, nihilistic – at times fatalistic – Xtina manages to circumvent garden variety poetry by using all three of the above philosophical elements. I found myself being drawn to Friedrich Nietzsche’s work at several key points in the poem. Unexpected twists and magnanimous metaphors are inherent in Xtina’s work. This means that her poetry, albeit terrifying and disturbing, creates a narrative which is so subtle that one needs to reread it several times before fully understanding what can only be described as a tour de force.

I also picked up on neo-romanticism during my third reading of the poetic narrative. Xtina abandoned realism several times and forced her work to become fully abstract and devoid of the “noblesse oblige” self-indulgence of modern poets. The perspicuous similes and metaphors give the reader the opportunity to both enjoy and dissect the work on several levels. One could either read Xtina’s poetic narrative without delving into the symbolism, or one could really dig into it and bite off the true nature of this fictional psyche.

It’s potent, powerful and intense. You will feel slightly disturbed at the end. But it’s a good disturbed, a sense of knowing that you just experienced literary art.

“Dark Musings” is interesting and courageous. It could have been a disaster, especially if it were in the hands of someone who is not seasoned enough to carry the magnitude of a narrative poem.

Xtina is seasoned enough. And she knows how to write. Move over, Homer. The Iliad will have to make space for “Dark Musings” on my bookshelf.

RENIER PALLAND – Bloody Good Horror Books <<<< Click this link to see the full review.


A Spooky Concurrence

Truth really is stranger than fiction.


I regularly work as an editor for HellBound Books, an up and coming small press publisher. A few days ago, I received a new editing assignment; a book called The Children of Hydesville by Jeff C. Stevenson. I have never met Jeff. I had not even heard of this author before, which is not so unusual in my line of work.

I immediately recognized the name Hydesville, where his story is set, and the memory of the Fox sisters’ house sprang to mind. It couldn’t be the same Hydesville. I mean, what are the odds? There must be a number of towns across America sharing the same name. Writers frequently write about fictitious towns, right? So, I started reading, which quickly resulted in a cold chill running down my spine. Right in the first paragraph he wrote: “The Fox sisters and their family, however, were very real, as is most—but not all—of what I’ve included in this story about what occurred in Hydesville in 1848.”

This goes way beyond a freakish coincidence. It borders on the paranormal. If anyone knows a word which describes such a weird turn of events, I would love to hear from you. If serendipity has a dark, twisted and disturbing relative, that is probably the word I am after.


Here is a little family history:

Before I was born, my parents lived in a tiny little cottage in the small town of Hydesville, on the outskirts of Newark in upstate New York. Directly across the street from their cottage stood a house with—to say the very least—an interesting past. In the mid-1800’s, a family with three sisters lived in the house, and even back then it had a reputation for being haunted. The family was often frightened by unexplained sounds. The three sisters began claiming to be mediums and were apparently responsible for the creation of Modern Spiritualism. Spiritualism is a religious practice based on supposed communication through a medium with the spirits of the dead. A medium is a person who uses their psychic or intuitive abilities to see the past, present, and future by tuning into the spirit energy surrounding them. In the late 1800s, the Fox sisters confessed to having orchestrated the weird happenings in Hydesville, but the Modern Spiritualism movement continued to grow nonetheless.

In April of 1916 the original Fox house was moved to Lily Dale, New York. On September 12, 1955 that house burned to the ground. In 1948, when the original cellar was dug up, some human hair and bones were found. Examination revealed that some of the bones were from a human skull. Later, an exact replica of the original Fox house would be built on the original stone foundation by a man named John.

All of this is documented.

According to my mother, who was newly married at nineteen years of age, John was a recluse. He was also rumored to be a Satanist. She talked of him traveling to another country to bring the body of his late wife back to the house, and having the grounds declared a cemetery so that he could have her buried in his backyard. She talked of visiting his house a few times, and of all the books on the occult she found there. One day, John showed up on her doorstep bearing a cookbook and a jar of honey. He told her to use the recipes in the book and to cook with the honey, or her child would be born with bad blood. My mother was taken aback. Although she was pregnant, she had told no one, not even my father. Still, she paid little mind to the ramblings of an old, very odd man and ignored his advice. I was born prematurely and with jaundice which required me have a complete blood transfusion shortly after birth.

So that was how I got my start in life.

The house burned beyond repair in 1983, and John was in the process of rebuilding when he passed on. The house stood—sorta—vacant. It was the talk of late night slumber parties where we would try to scare each other. We would each in turn tell stories about seeing flickering lights in the windows and hearing noises we couldn’t explain. When I was about fifteen, a friend and I got up the nerve to go into the house. I remember my heart beating out of my chest, as we giggled like we were insane. Everywhere around us, there were books strewn all over the floor. Books on the occult and Satanism. They were charred. I remember picking one up and how it had smudged my fingers with black soot. I remember how thick and heavy the atmosphere was. And I remember hearing noises from deeper inside the house. Noises that made my friend and I run frantically for the door, and not stop until we were far enough away where we felt safe. I remember looking back at the house and thinking that I saw flickering lights in the window.

Close to thirty years later, I have children of my own. From time to time, the Fox sisters’ house would come to mind, and I would wonder just exactly what it was I felt in that place, and what exactly I had heard and seen.

So what type of “coincidence” is required for Jeff C. Stevenson’s book to arrive on Xtina Marie’s desk?

There are at least 10,000 horror writers trying to land a publishing deal in any given year. The US has more than fifty book publishers that publish books in the horror genre. There are several editors who work for HellBound and yet this story managed to find its way to me.

Weird, right?

Please visit the article The Fake Ghost Who Started a Real Religion in the magazine Petticoats and Pistols by Kathleen Rice Adams, September 16, 2015.

Thank you Nu Romantics.

The Nu Romantics asked me to contribute to this wonderful anthology and I never thanked them properly. We get so busy we sometimes forget how little effort it takes to say thanks; and if we are not careful, it can become a habit.

Pieces of Us: A Collection of Flash Fiction, Short Stories, and Poetry from The Nu Romantics


Light Musings First Review

Xtina Marie’s second poetic narrative book is finally complete and available on amazon.

There was a lengthy process to get this book ready for readers, so we dubbed it The Revised & Expanded Edition to differentiate this finished work from any early preliminary releases still floating around.


“Loved this!!! Xtina has a way of writing poetry that I really love. This is the 2nd book of poetry that I’ve read by the author. It’s a “lighter” side of her. The 1st was a little darker than this, but that don’t mean this is all hearts, flowers and candy. I’m a huge fan of how she writes. Grab this book and the other one Dark Musings, because they are really fantastic!”

Bridgett B. gave Light Musings a 5 star review on amazon.