by RJ Smith

Publisher: Storyteller Entertainment, LLC

ISBN:  9780989675321

(May 15, 2013) 

Hardcover: $35.00

Paperback: $12.86

eBook $3.99

Review by Kat Yares 

This book is unlike any other serial killer fiction I’ve read.  It in no way takes itself seriously and that is superbly refreshing if you are like me and appreciate a bit of comedic relief as you read.  Mr. Smith introduces one of the most chaotic, psychotic serial killers I’ve ever had the pleasure to read.  This guy is nuts and because of his craziness, I actually had some sympathy for him.

The Santa Claus Killer ( a Santa that kills other Santas) is a new take on an old theme, and yet it works and works well.  As the reader follows along in the killer’s mind, we see inspiration from Son of Sam and from Ed Gein as well as lesser bits of other well known serial killers in real life.  As the story plays out, you have to wonder what motivates this guy  (besides the voices in his head) and it is mind blowing when you reach the end and discover how it all began.

For the policemen and the FBI task force assigned to find this guy, he always manages to stay one step ahead while continuing his rampage of murdering Santas and other people along the way.  As with all police departments and FBI units, there is some fumbling and bumbling along the way and many secrets to be unfolded and discovered.

Written in a truly unique style that lies somewhere between a screenplay, a novel and a picture-less comic book, Mr. Smith throws new twists and turns at you on almost every page.  He also paints a picture of New York City at Christmas time that I hope to never see.

With action of some sort on every page, you also get to enjoy a number of pop culture and current events that play into the plot driving you to turn to the next page.  There is a bit of authorial intervention, but it really doesn’t take anything away from a good read.  I understand that this is going to be the first in a series and I, for one, am looking forward to the next book.  I like Mr. Smith’s style of storytelling – it’s that fresh and different.  And the next time I see a Santa – I do believe I will shutter and find a way out of the room.

 THIS Review is from the infamous Kat Yares and the magazine and website Hell Notes.


I have finally returned to my helm in the studio. I am almost back! I’m NOT writing a chapter of the manuscript or a SPEC page a day like before the biking accident you all know about, but I am writing a few chapters/scenes a week.

Completed in 2012 – The Santa Claus Killer: Available at B&N, Books-A-Million, Amazon and most bookstores worldwide. You can pick up your copy in Hardcover or paperback or download the audio-book or e-book.

Completed in 2013 – Cataclysm: Available at B&N, Amazon, Books-A-Milion and most bookstores around the world, you can pick up your copy in Hardcover & paperback or download the E-book.

Four year accident recovery….

Completed in 2017: My four year struggle to research, storyboard and write my 450-page EPIC, Monsters in the Woods… currently being shopped by my NYC and UK literary agents.

2019 Works in progress: My 4th novel, a 500 page Horror novel.. Beach Bodies, book #2 of The FBI Serial Killer Task Force.

2020 Planned: Adapting for film… my Emmy Swag intellectual property, The Santa Claus Killer.

On the board for 2019: Working Titles: Destiny or Survivor. This is my 5th book and 400-page biography and the much anticipated adaptation from the screenplay of the same name, DESTINY. This book tells the tale of surviving abandonment by the xharacter’s mother


Hey guys, I am sitting here in my study, it’s 29 degrees out my window in Florida. Yes you read that right. Now, as a former Long Islander and Manhattanite, I can tell you I loved growing up in the city… the fall leaves turning colors, pumpkins and Halloween, then the chill of December, and maybe snow on Christmas day. It’s the stuff of dreams and memories… we all have our own imaginary past.

It’s January 18th, 2018 and I am sitting at my desk working on the manuscript for Beach Bodies Book #2 of The FBI Serial Killer Task Force.

Now, the writing has been slow because I have to stand up every hour in order to give my spine a chance to relax. So, instead of doing a chapter a day like before the accident, it’s more like a chapter a month now.

My new fav artist is Harry Styles, and in particular his mega hit Sign of the Times. Take a listen below and you’ll understand.


When the music filters thorugh my ears, I am instantly in another place, most often in the location where the script takes place…. my characters weaving their issues through the manuscript. It’s almost like I am no longer in my body anymore, soaring high above my scene, following my characters.

As to what I listen to, I used to like Justin Bieber, and I was a fan of his Christmas album, the same for Eminem, Bon Jovi, Van Halen and The Rolliing Stones. But after a while, the soul needs to be fed something else.

It all depends on the day, what my mood is like and how much pain I’m in. But when I write, music is always in my ears, it helps to black out my surroundings. The ghouls and skulls in my study becon me, like an old friend calling from out of nowhere. Somtimes I listen and often they give me book ideas. Now, I know that is hard to believe, but I guess it’s a gift you’d have to have. It’s kinda like those kids who are born and know how to play the piano or another instrument without learning.

It’s a gift, freely given by our higher power.

With that in mind, I suppose I should update you all on the status of Monsters in the Woods which was supposed to be published in 2015… but the accident and injuries ceased the timeline. Now recovered from the ten surgeries I needed  to have in order to correct the damage, I am back working at my career and hoping to somehow regain the tempo and excitement generated by The Santa Claus Killer. And, yes, I often wonder what would have been had I not gotten hurt and went out on the scheduled Santa Claus Tour.

But maybe’s and excuses never got anyone anywhere. All I can do is move forward and try my best.

So, Monsters in the Woods has NOT been published and is now a trunk book AND unfortunately a release date is unknown right now. The manuscript is indeed ready, my fourth novel, but the advertising and branding cannot be done because of all the money my company lost because of the injuries and four years of rehab.

Keep checking back, things may change in the future, and I’ll keep you informed.

Posted by the author on January 19th, 2018


The Attic (2012)
88 minutes

Starring a young Elisabeth Moss. About a month after Emma Callan and her family move into their seemingly picture perfect Victorian home, Emma starts to have ghastly visions of a girl who appears to be her twin but is pure evil. Starring Elizabeth Moss, Catherine Mary Stewart, Jason Lewis and John Savage.


Eminem  HAS claimed his 8th Number One album as Revival topped the Billboard 200 in its debut week. Exploding , Em has once agan claimed his throne. Though as a die hard SLIM SHADY fan, blogger, screenwriter and novelist, the “My Name is Stan”  rapper is now 45 and  his lyrics and focus have matured. However, we’re talking about a man whose net worth is 190,000,000.00 ( That’s right –One Hundred and Ninety Million Dollars.)
but his high controversial energy and songs scream on.
In recent years, Eminem has become a reclusive celebrity. Throughout much of the late 90s and early 2000, much of his personal life was continuously displayed in courtrooms. He has battled both his mother and his ex-wife Kim in civil court, over custody and money. Kim and Eminem share daughter Hailie and  Eminem has custody of Kim’s daughter from another relationship.

Eminem is Back!

Em’s latest LP, his first album since 2013’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2, opened with 267,000 total copies in its first week of release, with 197,000 of that total culled from traditional album sales.
Although that total marked the third-best first-week tally for a hip-hop album in 2017 – behind Kendrick Lamar’s Damn. and Drake’s More Life – it was a significant drop from the first week sales for The Marshall Mathers LP 2, which opened with 792,000 copies four years ago, Billboard reports.
Every Eminem album since The Marshall Mathers LP, as well as his Curtain Call greatest hits collection in 2005 has topped the Billboard 200. Em has six Number Ones behind Jay-Z  who has a current Billboard 200 record of 14,…  although that tally does not include Em’s 8 Mile soundtrack, which also reached Number One in 2002.
Despite the naysayers and haters who’ve previously announced that Em was a has been, aging rapper who’d given all he had.  His new platinum album REVIVAL,  once again reminds us that when it come to The Real Slim Shady, anything is possile- RJ Smith 12/27/17


HEY EVERYONE, GLAD you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving, next up… Christmas and that jolly ole fat man I wrote about in my 2013 debut novel, The Santa Claus Killer. Have you been naughty or nice? He’s making that list and checking it twice… well, that’s the story we’re told.

But the real story of Saint Nick is anything but a happy tale.

Don’t tell the kids, but everyone had got Santa Claus all wrong.

Every Christmas songs tell us that Santa is basically the judge of juveniles. He decides who’s naughty & nice, and gives out his presents… or punishments accordingly. But historians say Mr. Kris Kringle was originally created to keep adults, not children, off the naughty list. Being crafty codgers, we ducked Santa’s surveillance, turning the spotlight on kids and dramatically changing Christmas celebrations. How did we achieve this very important historical victory?

Picture this: It’s the early 1800s, and America’s Christian leaders — most of whom were Protestant Reformation-types — had banned religious celebrations of Christmas as unscriptural and paganish. But people still wanted to party. Because, why not? It was midwinter, the crops were harvested and sailors were waiting for better weather to disembark. So, on December 25, working-class stiffs got fall-down drunk and stumbled around cities looking for stuff to loot. Imagine Black Friday, spring break and New Year’s Eve — then smash them together like sumo wrestlers full of saki. That was Christmas in the early 1800s. A bunch of blue-blood New Yorkers decided all this fun must stop.

“They wanted to domesticate Christmas, bring it indoors, and focus it on children,” says Gerry Bowler, author of “Santa Claus: A History,” and professor of history at the University of Manitoba in Canada. These grinches, who formed the Saint Nicholas Society of New York, would change the world with two little poems. Yep… that’s right, Poems.

But let’s back up for a minute.

When the Dutch came to the New World in the 1600s, they brought a fellow from folklore named Sinterklaas with them, Bowler says. Sinterklaas, who wore a red bishop’s miter and a snowy white beard, was based on St. Nicholas, a 3rd century Greek who lived in modern-day Turkey. Despite being a bishop, this Nick was a bit of a bad boy.

An archaeologist who dug up his bones in 2005 found that Nicholas had a broken nose, perhaps a result of the persistent persecution of Christians around that time, said Adam C. English, author of “The Saint Who Would be Santa Claus.” Or could it have been Christian-on-Christian violence? According to one medieval legend, Nicholas punched a heretic in the nose at the Council of Nicea — the meeting in 325 that formed the first consensus on Christian doctrine. Early icons of Nicholas depict him without bishop’s garb, a subtle suggestion that he had been demoted, possibly for fisticuffs.

Alas, the Nick at Nicea rumor is not true, said English. But people seem to love the story, which pops up like poinsettias on the Internet this time of year. Thankfully, St. Nicholas, was known for more than brawling. He also had a reputation for giving gifts and protecting children.

The first quality comes from a story about a poor man with three young daughters. Without a dowry to offer suitors, the man worried that his daughters would fall into prostitution. Legend has it that Nicholas dropped three bags of gold through an open window in the man’s house, saving the women from the streets.

The second story is a bit macabre: While staying at an inn, Nicholas discovered three dismembered children in pickle barrels. He reassembled and resurrected the briny kids and punished the guilty innkeeper. These deeds, along with his everyman persona, (he wasn’t a martyr or hermit like so many other model Christians of the time), made Nicholas the greatest male saint of the Middle Ages, said Bowler. One measure of his popularity is the looong list of people, places, churches and Christian groups that list St. Nick as their patron.

Bowler, Santa’s biographer, says that St. Nick’s feast day, December 6, (the day he supposedly died) was celebrated across Europe for hundreds of years, often by giving gifts to children. But, beginning in the 1500s, the Protestant Reformation swept away the cult of Christian saints, denouncing them as unbiblical and idolatrous. Christmas, too, went pretty much by the wayside for much of Protestant Europe during this time. Some countries, though, such as the Netherlands, kept alive traditions associated with Sinterklaas. And it was these customs that 19th century New Yorkers wanted to revive.

As they sought to make Christmas more family friendly, the Saint Nicholas Society found the perfect front man in their namesake, who, after all, was known for being nice to children. It was a genius move. The real goal was getting drunks off the street, remember? Now they could do that by turning Christmas into a family event when children — who had it pretty rough back then — would receive gifts for good behavior.

But the Knickerbockers needed more than good cheer to change Christmas. They needed stories.
Drawing on the Dutch legends about Sinterklaas, the American author Washington Irving wrote a series of sketches featuring St. Nicholas soaring high above New York houses, smoking a pipe and delivering presents to well-behaved children.About a decade later, in 1821, an anonymous poem called “The Children’s Friend,” featured a magical figure called “Santeclaus,” who drove a reindeer-led sleigh full of “rewards” and filled obedient children’s stockings with little presents.
Building on that, an Episcopalian scholar named Clement Clarke Moore wrote a poem for his big brood called “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” Now better known as “The Night Before Christmas.”

Strangely for a seminary professor, Moore’s poem strips St. Nick of religious rhyme and reasons. Nicholas wears a fur suit, clambers down chimneys and gives presents to good children. But he says nothing about the “reason for the season,” as contemporary Christmas warriors like to say. Still, Moore’s St. Nick story went viral, spreading across the northeastern United States faster than reindeer on Ritalin. In some early depictions, Santa Claus looks like an overgrown elf; in others, he looks kind of scary, as American artists merged St. Nicholas with European traditions such as the German Krampus, who punishes bad children. By the early 1900s, Bowler says, Santa became standardized as the white-bearded, red-suited, twinkle-eyed benevolent grandfather that we all know and love. And we’re not the only ones. “Merchants seized on this guy right away,” Bowler says. “They immediately saw the possibility that this personification could be useful in their selling.” In other words, Santa was pitching products almost as soon as he hitched up his sleigh.

But before you blame Kris Kringle for commercializing Christmas, think back to what it was like before he came to town, when kids — and many adults — really had something to pout about. There were no cellphones, computers, no nothing. Unless Santa gave you a gift!

Now that’s one hell of a story, and nobody could create this one. Well, there are few sickos like me and other horror novelists who could probably write something scarier for the little ones parents. With sleighbells ringing, and blood spilling, have a Happy Christmas everyone! — by Daniel Burke & RJ Smith

The Turkeys Are Running Scared

Do you ever consider, for even a moment, where your Thanksgiving Bird comes from? I think about the poor Tom Turkey running around a farm before he is grabbed and his throat slashed.

Makes me ill just thinking about it. And yet, when the dinner bell rings and there is a nice plump Rib Eye Roast on the table, many never even consider that the meat came from a living animal slaughtered in horrible ways.

Even on Christmas, when the Honey Roasted Ham hit’s the table I pause thinking about the poor pig that never had a real chance at life… it’s sad, isn’t it? Can any of you imagine what pigs go through stuck in a cage where they can’t even turn around…..until they are pulled from their confinement, hung by their rear legs, and slaughtered by the slashing of their throats?

The same is true for so called Veal Cutlets. This meat comes from the flesh of baby cows that are also stuck in a cage; standing for the entirety of their short lives before the knives arrive.

It all seems somewhat insane, how badly we treat animals on this planet.

Saying all that… when you eat your Turkey this year, remember the life it surrendered for your meal.

As a Horror Novelist, these types of things interest me. by RJ November 2017

Monsters in the Woods


FOLKS, FRIENDS AND FANS, I am glad to finally be able to sit here at my 27″ iMac and ponder the last four years with you all. As many of my fans are aware, the last 48 months since my bicycle accident have been filled with surgery after surgery. I have suffered through 8 surgeries with another shoulder surgery coming up. Five of the nine surgeries have been horribly intrusive and serious, all of which  required months and months of physical rehabilitation sessions. I am in awe of the surgeons who put my body back together and I am thankful to Orthopedic Surgeons, Dr. Scott Webb, Dr. Scott Wisotsky and laser surgeon, Dr. StephenWatson; all of whom worked tirelessly putting me back together. So, the repairs continue.

a sketch found in Monsters in the Woods

Recently, I traveled to Tampa to be deposed by the opposing council in my civil lawsuit. I don’t know what I expected as I have never been involved with something like a civil deposition in my past. Although I knew I had the facts and truth on my side, precognitions toyed with my brain and I was sure the three defense attorneys were going to be mean spirited people who didn’t care about what happened to me. AND, I guess that may be true. BUT, the TONE of the opposition was respectful … at least while in  the depo. The three lawyers representing The City of Belleair Bluffs, The Town of Belleair and the Ajax Corporation were professional and dignified people who made the hearing bearable. I had to ask for numerous breaks because of back and shoulder pain, but they were very accommodating. I had expected them to lie and try to downplay and put words in my mouth as to what had happened to me. But at least in the hearing… the opposing counsel made me comfortable. The next steps in this terrible experience are things called “Case Management” and “Mitigation” before a trial happens sometime next year. I am not sure what case management or mitigation is, but I can’t wait for this all to be over.

NOW, onto the reason why you’re all here. MONSTERS IN THE WOODS has been a four year struggle to write because of all my injuries. BUT finally, I can announce that the manuscript is complete and has just returned from my editor, Glenda Findley.  At long last, I managed to send the 350 page YA horror work to my New York City and England Literary Agents, Joyce Keating, and Robert Snow. Unfortunately, due to the financial strain these injuries have caused, I can no longer publish through my company, Storyteller Entertainment, LLC, and I cannot enjoy watching my novel splashed across the pages of the New York Times, LA Times, USA Today or the Times of London. Because the accident and injuries prevented me from attending book signings and appearances, I have not had the opportunity to go out on my last two world tours. No tours, no sales and no income.

SO, that leaves Monsters and me in the hands of Joyce and Robert. They will have to do the heavy lifting of placing my manuscript before senior editors at the traditional publishing houses in order to try and sell the work as apposed to putting it out there myself.  Now, when someone picks up the novel, I will get 19 to 28 percent royalties as opposed to 70 percent when published through my company. But, my publishing machine is now near bankruptcy and will not even be able to publish other authors manuscripts, which was the company’s charter.

Then what does that mean to the consumers and fans awaiting publication of the novel? It’s going to be a while LONGER before the cogs of the publishing industry work a deal, hopefully, in 2018. So, be patient kiddies and know that this novel is a Harry Potter like comet streaking through the night skies. The reviewers have all given the manuscript high marks, and for those of you who know the business, that’s a damn miracle even though The Santa Claus Killer is a 4 3/4 star  novel and Emmy Award Swag selection and Cataclysm is a 4 star piece of literary genius. (hahahhahahaha)

(R) Aaron Falk at the McQuade Campus –       Saint Christopher’s Inc.

That’s all I have as to the progression of Monsters in the Woods. The

work will, of course, be entered into the Edgar Awards, The Book Awards, The Beverly Hills Book Awards, Book Pipeline and the World

The room I lived in while residing at McQuade during the late seventies,

Horror Convention. In the end, the book’s success lies in the hands of the fans and pundits. I have complete confidence in their comments.

On another note: I’d like to thank Saint Chris’ CEO, Bob Maher, who made this 3-day visit possible.  My goal from the start was to study the campus’ layout (bringing back memories) for inclusion into my YA horror novel – which takes place at the 300-year-old institution. 

That thank you is also for Mr. Aaron Falk, the recreational supervisor who helped me tremendously, walking me through the cottages, pool and administration building; all spurring 40-year old memories springing from my own teenage years residing at the McQuade Campus (1977-1981).

BEACH BODIES is the sequel to The Santa Claus Killer…and part two of the much anticipated FBI Serial Killer Task Force.

AS to what comes next after Monsters in the Woods is published? I am researching scenes for BEACH BODIES – Book#2 in the FBI Serial Killer Task Force which follows in the wake of  The Santa Claus Killer… and many of the main characters are back ( Rico, Mike, Mei, Stefan and a few new characters) and they will all be kicking ass in this sequel. 

BUT remember, I am still undergoing surgeries and rehab, so I hope this novel does not take four years like MONSTERS did because of the injuries sustained on 10 June 2013. Ultimately, it is up to the progression of my heath and ability to sit at my iMac to write this 500 page story.

That’s all folks, so as we sweat through summer, I wish you all Godspeed.

Updated by the author on 8/05/2017

At 104 Year Old Man Completes 100 Metre Race