Dead Reckoning (J Ellington Ashton Press, 2015)

PHARAOH is a terrifying story that is “Blair Witch Project” meets Peter Benchley; it delves into the shadowy-gray realm of both science and psychological horror, illuminating the darkness of the deep and our own souls.  Annie Mitchell, a young marine biologist from Woods Hole, becomes obsessed with what should be a standard oceanographic project, but discovers something even more bizarre and deadly: an ancient evil and some secrets that should be left alone.  This novel is designed to be an excellent beach/summer read.

Order It Here!


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Literary/Historical Novel Excerpt (Seeking Representation)

That very morning, Mario Capello watches as Aleda passes under the melancholy arches of the famed Bell Tower, trying to avoid the minefields that are puddles at her feet, scattering clouds. To him she is beauty as the morning, and as cold, for she scowls like a Boticelli painting under a red hat with no brim.

This is strange, thinks Mario, it’s not her hour.

She brings the morning with her, that gray Venetian morning, defying the drab colors of the crowd. There are only Italians and tourists there, sitting outside under the stainless steel of the sky, drinking and smoking and eating; they don’t seem to notice her. The city is hungry because the sidewalk painters are out sketching, vying against each other for inspiration. They may be literate, but they can only express themselves on canvas like cavemen on stone walls. These aesthetic ones see the young woman in the red hat and they hurry to sketch her before something – divinity perhaps – takes her away from them.

She is love – no? But he doesn’t love her. He admires her, lusts after her, yes. It’s because a man like Mario is no longer looking for love from young beauties such as the Lady Gambrelli. It’s not the fault of the young woman; it’s the machinations of age and, perhaps, wisdom. A woman like the Lady Gambrelli is dangerous for an old man like Mario Cappello. One must beware his own limitations. She comes as an angel upon the cold air, but she is deadly in her way, somehow. He wonders this. No – she is not deadly by her words or her actions. That is a fool’s belief. Aleda is deadly only because of her image, her presence, her … and now he can’t put a finger on it. It’s elusive. He thinks that he is fatuous, and that in creeping age he’s beginning to understand why his daughter feels that he has long gone “past it.”

Mario waves to her and holds out the morning black purple. Her scowl doesn’t vanish as she approaches, and he realizes his mistake. It’s not her label – her grapes – it’s a competitor. He must go back and bring her own bottle in an effort to patch things up.

  • “The Danger in Her Charms” (excerpt, historical/literary/romance)


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Currently Drafting (Revising)

What am I doing now? Full rewrites (for the umpteenth time) on Lady Dragon, my Asian underworld crime novel. the novel is on the market, seeking representation. I haven’t worked on the book for some years. Earlier drafts excited literary agents Garon-Brooks-Thixton, as well as Kimberly Cameron and Jillian Manus. My previous literary agent, Cherry Wiener, was unable to fit it into her list while we were promoting my other works. However, the work was never promoted for the markets, and therefore had lost its way for some while. I’m hoping to remedy that this year.

The finished underworld crime novel is approx 85K-90K words, and has garnered the benefit of years of research and interviews from actual triad/tong members as well as FBI and other law enforcement personnel.

The novel was first drafted in 1994 as, The House of the Blue Dragon.

I had heard an episode on an NPR program (Startalk) that discussed Chinese astronomy and a constellation called the House of the Blue Dragon.  I found that a very interesting name, and soon I began formulating a story based upon it.  What came to being was a meandering nowhere of a book called The House of the Blue Dragon, which was a story about a group of mysterious Chinese Taoists trying to initiate a group of new Chinese-Americans into their secret society.  The protagonist was a young Chinese-American professor named Daniel Chan, and his sister, Marilyn.  They were joined by a third party named Su-Yin, who was a mirror of Marilyn.  The story seemed to hop back and forth about an evil presence in the society named Chen Wu, a dog-faced sorcerer-Taoist who was bent on destroying the society itself and its members.  Another interesting side character to this was the first mention of Annie Mitchell, who would later be resurrected in the Dead Reckoning drafts.  In this version, Annie is Marilyn’s friend who is killed in a car accident and comes back briefly as a ghost to warn Marilyn about some impending danger; Annie would not return in any later drafts of this novel.  Altogether a mess of a book with no plot or resolution.

Subsequent drafts cleaned up the plot and made it into a sleek and suspenseful look into the Chinese criminal underworld – re-entitled as Lady Dragon.


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Eureka Literary Magazine Publishes “Flying Dutchman” by M Cid D’Angelo


Hi everyone! Editor Zeke Jarvis at Eureka Literary Magazine has published my latest short story, “Flying Dutchman,” this year!

The story was inspired by Sidney Poitier’s autobiography, The Measure of a Man, specifically about his leaving the Bahamas in his search to become an actor on the mainland of the United States.

The story can be found in Vol 21 (Spring 2016) of Eureka Literary Magazine.

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The Bibliography of M Cid D’Angelo

As of 2016


“Reading Between the Lines: Researching Little Known or Unknown Treasures” (Lost Treasure Magazine, November 2001)

“With the might of a shôgun, Oda Nobunaga rose from obscurity to becoming one of Japan’s most formidable rulers” (Military History Magazine, accepted not published, 2002)

“The Light” (Aoife’s Kiss, December 2006)(I)

“A Far Away Place” (CC&D, Accepted Withdrawn, 2007)(I)

“Girl Sunday” (Eureka Literary Magazine, Fall 2009)(I)

“Thumbs Up” (Midway Journal, Spring 2010)(I)

“Adagio in the Dark” (Lady Jane’s Miscellany, Summer 2010)

“A Far Away Place” (Urban Mozaik, Accepted not Published, 2010)(II)

“Thumbs Up” (Third Wednesday, Summer 2010)(II)

“Don Quixote de Las Vegas” (Moronic Ox, December 2010)

“Chad and Willie Break a Leg” (The Legendary, Spring 2013)

“In the Garden” (decomP magazinE, Spring 2013)

“Girl Sunday” (Calliope, Fall 2013)(II)

“Band of Gold” (The Legendary, Spring 2014)

“The Road from Tahlequah” (Niche Literary Magazine, Summer 2014)

“Girl in the Window” (Stepping Stones, 2014)

“The Light” (The Sirens Call Magazine, Summer 2014)(II)

“Lonesome Road” (Silk Road Review, 2015)

Dead Reckoning (J Ellington Ashton Press, 2015) (Top 10 Finisher Best Horror Novel 2015, Critter Award, Preditors & Editors).

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Dead Reckoning Top Finalist!

I am happy to announce that my seaside horror novel, Dead Reckoning, has placed as a Top 10 Finalist for Best Horror Novel 2015 in the Preditors & Editors Critter Awards.

The novel was inspired by the innovative and “outside the box” works of Mark Z Danielewski, author of House of Leaves.

Two marine biology students attempt to reopen a cursed oceanographic project off the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Annie Mitchell and her partner, Stewart Eddinger, get more than they bargain for when they find themselves haunted by intense impulses, hallucinations, and an intangible evil that seems to be the biblical Leviathan incarnate.

Critter Awards


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Promotional Online Posters

I’ve always felt these needed to be apt.

A promo poster I’ve made and you’ve seen me throw around. This is a very apt graphic; it directly hints the overall character and theme of the novel, Dead Reckoning. The symbolism is strong here: the water, of course, a lead female character struggling; the frightening aspect of drowning; the psychological horror at its base.


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