Author Archive

Stolen

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on February 20, 2013 by David Watson

Stolen_800px_KindleFairy tales don’t always have happy endings and sometimes there is a lot more to the story that we don’t know. In the book Cinderella’s Secret Diary (Book 1:Lost), Ron Vitale told what happened to Cinderella after she married the prince. Cinderella’s life didn’t turn out like she planned. In the end of the book Cinderella is living with her daughter Phoebe in America in the late 1700s. In Stolen:Cinderella’s Secret Diaries (Book 2) by Ron Vitale, its 10 years later and Cinderella is still in America and on the run.

The book begins with Cinderella, her daughter and their friend Rene’e on a prairie in America heading west in a wagon. Ten years ago Cinderella discovered she was a witch, Rene’e is also a witch and has been teaching Cinderella to use her powers. The trio of women want to keep their freedom and  live in America but dark forces are calling them back to England.

A witch hunter named Jeremiah has been hunting Cinderella for months. He plans to return her to England so she can use her powers to help England win the war against France. French Emperor Napoleon is under the control of the Faerie Queen Mab who wants to destroy Cinderella’s powers and rule all of Europe. Cinderella wants to stay out of the war but another force is also pulling her back to England. Cinderella never got over her former lover Henri and she goes to him in her dreams. Queen Mab and the witch hunter are using Cinderella’s dreams to track her and soon Cinderella finds herself trapped in a war that only she can stop.

Stolen is a book that works on many different levels and it can fit into several different genres. The story could be considered science fiction with its use of time travel, fantasy with the use of  magic, horror as the spirit of pestilence ravages the countryside and alternate history as the story gets into Native American history and European history. There is also is a lot of great battle scenes in the book.

Along with the theme of loving the wrong person and dealing with loneliness the book has great characters. The two main characters in Stolen are Cinderella and Queen Mab, they  both  love someone who doesn’t love them and are lonely.  The two women make mistakes that effect everyone around them and the book ends up being about them correcting their mistakes and growing from them.

I loved how Queen Mab is presented as being evil but as you get to know her you sympathize with her and you see her as a shade of grey. All of the characters in Stolen are shades of grey, the villains have  their good points and the protagonists have their bad points. They have their own agendas and everyone in the book reminds you of someone you would meet in real life.

My only complaint about the book is that there was almost too much going on. A little over half way through the book, the story gets into time travel and the characters visit so many different locations and times that I found myself getting a little confused.  That being said I still was excited to see what would happen next.

Stolen is a fast paced action packed thrill ride with fascinating characters and beautiful settings. I felt that Stolen was better than the first book in the series and I am very curious as to where Ron Vitale will go with the third book in the series. Stolen has something for fans of all genres and  you owe it to yourself to give it a chance.

African American Horror Writers Part 2

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2013 by David Watson

devilswakeLast Febuary to celebrate Black History Month, I did a post on African-American Horror Writers which you can read by clicking here. Some of the authors in that post included L.A. Banks, Maurice Broaddus, Wrath James White, Brandon Massey, Octavia ButlerJermiah Jefferson and a few others. Since that post went up I’ve had other authors leave comments so I wanted to expand my list. So if you’re looking for a good read I’m sure you will find something by the authors listed below.

First up, I want to mention Tananarive Due. While Tananarive is primarily looked at as a Science Fiction writer some of her novels can also be looked at as horror. In 2012 Tananarive co-wrote a zombie novel with her husband Steven Barnes.  The book is called Devil’s Wake, its set in a post-apocalyptic future where a school bus full of  young people try to escape the walking dead and human raiders as society crumbles around them. Tananarive Due is also the writer of the African Immortals series which has been compared to Anne Rice’s Vampire chronicles. The storyline is about an Ethiopian sect that traded their humanity to be immortal.

15823995Also I briefly mentioned Andre Duza in my previous post on African-American horror writers. Andre writes hard-core horror mixed with with humor and social commentary. He has written several short stories and novels including Dead Bitch Army about a zombie woman out for revenge after the apocalypse. Another of Andre’s novels is  Jesus Freaks which takes place on Easter morning in 2015. Detective Phillip Makane woke up to a world of bleeding rain, a homicidal ghost and thousands of zombies along with two men with powers claiming to be Jesus.  Andre Duza has also written the hardcore pulp novella about dog fighting and black magic called Son of A Bitch with Wrath James White.

Just recently I heard of another author named Sumiko Saulson. She has written three novels and a collection of short stories called Things That Go Bump In My Head. One of her novels is called  Solitude which is about people who wake up and find they are all alone  in San Francisco. The story follows the characters as they try to figure out what happened as they explore the deserted city. One review I read for this book compared it to Stephen King’s The Stand and The Dark Tower. Another one by Sumiko is The Moon Cried Blood which is about a woman named Leticia who is growing up in Los Angeles in 1975 and has just discovered she comes from a long line of witches.

bumpheadcoverGetting back to the zombie theme you might want to check out George L. Cook III’s The Dead War Series. There are three books in this series, they are set in the future and tell the tale of an army battling the undead. Some of the reviews on this one say its a fun time and not to read it on a full stomach.

Another author with some good horror titles to her name is L. Marie Wood. Her debut novel is Crescendo: Welcome Home death Awaits. This one is about a man haunted by a family curse. When he dreams, people die and now he has to try to break the curse and keep from going insane. Some of her other works include Caliginy and The Promise Keeper.

Next up is Qwantu Amaru who’s book One Blood won a 2012 international book award, a National Indie Excellence award and several other honors. One Blood tells the story of Lincoln Baker a man in prison who orchestrates the kidnapping of the daughter of the governor of Louisiana. He also  resurrects a family curse which goes back to slavery. This book has received great reviews and has been recommended by Brandon Massey.

Writing more for the young adult audience is A.J. Harper. A.J. started the Night Biters series which is geared towards fans of Harry Potter and Twilight but with much more ethnic diversity and in an urban setting. The story follows 16 year old Jamilah and 14-year-old Omari who arrive in Oakland to live with their aunt and Uncle. They are given a mysterious CD that gives them information about the danger of vampires and they soon became caught up in a street war between vampire gangs.

Another Author that I need to talk about is Tize W. Clark. Tize has been 6136585referred to as the new king of horror. His first novel is called The Maze which is a horrifying journey from the streets of New York to the Mountains of New Mexico and back. Another book by a new author is The Dark Side Of Grace by M.L. Cooper. This is a paranormal romance novel about two lovers that try to uncover the truth about their family’s haunted slave past.

Keeping with newer authors, If you are into short horror fiction check out Afro-American Stories Of Fright From The Old South by Darnell Wright which also comes with a down home southern recipe. If you like psychological horror check out Abstract Murder by A.L. Peck. The description of this one says that if you like Pulp Fiction and Silence of The Lambs then you will want to check this one out. One more independent author that was brought to my attention by Sumiko Saulson is Ron Huston whose first novel is called The Rogue Prophet. This is a classic tale of good versus evil set in a place of worship. I also don’t want to forget to mention J. Malcom Stewart who wrote The Eyes Of The Stars which I have reviewed on this blog.

This is an incomplete list of African-American writers and comes mostly from comments made after my first blog post on the subject. If you’re looking for more authors check out Nerdy girl’s blog post here. If you have anyone else to add, please leave a comment.

Darkseed: Awakening

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2013 by David Watson

15752175Sometimes when I’m searching for a horror novel to read, I come across some Young Adult novels that look better than the ones meant for adults. Some good YA horror novels include the Cirque Du Freak series by Darren Shan, The Grisly High series by Brian Rowe and the Trifectus series by Logan Bryne. Recently I found another one that is the beginning of a series that looks to be up horror fan’s alley called Darkseed: Awakenings by Victoria Ley.

Fifteen year old Sarah and her mother have just moved into a new building. Their new home has a dark past, just 15 months earlier two boys were killed in an accident in Sarah’s bedroom.   One of the boys has not completely left the house and he’s making his presence  known by moving objects around and putting images in Sarah’s head. Sarah invites her friend Christina over to help communicate with the spirit and they manage to make contact through a Ouija board.

They discover that the spirit’s name is Craig and he is trapped in another dimension. Craig use to belong to an organization called the Brethren that researched the paranormal and communicated with spirits. One of the members of their group started to kill the others and trap their spirits in order to gain omnipotence.

Sarah and Christina do some research to find a spell to free Craig’s spirit but doing the spell won’t be easy. They also find that Craig may not be what he seems and they’re being stalked by another spirit. The more they learn about the supernatural, the more twisted the mystery of the trapped spirits becomes and Sarah and Christina may be in over their heads.

Darkseed: Awakening  may be aimed towards a teenage audience but it has a good story, great characters and some suspenseful parts that adults will like also. My favorite part in the book was when Christina and Sarah were communicating with Craig with a Ouija board. I liked it when Craig describes the other side and how he can make objects in a room move. I also liked the girl’s reaction to Craig saying he is right beside them even though they don’t see him.

The story for Darkseed: Awakening takes place mostly on the British isle of Sheppey in Kent. Some of the dialogue and descriptions in this book are very localized, which may turn some people off but added to the story for me because I was learning about an area that I knew nothing about. Another thing I liked in the story was the friendship between Sarah and Christina. The girls are very different but they get along well and help each other throughout the story. A good example of this is towards the end when the two girls have to fight the villain in the story.  They may be scared but they work together to do what needs to be done.

I also liked how Victoria Ley adds so much depth to Sarah in the story. Sarah’s parents are recently divorced and you witness how both parents act towards her and how their divorce affects her family. Sarah is a thrill seeker while Christina is the level-headed one that thinks things through before doing them. There are some great scary scenes in this book also, such as a chase scene through a graveyard and when the girls have to break the spell that has Craig trapped on the other side. Darkseed: Awakening is a chilling paranormal mystery that will have you looking forward to book 2 in the series.

Artistic License

Posted in News with tags , , , , on January 17, 2013 by David Watson

al-front-coverLeslie Marietta was born into an artistic family but didn’t have the artistic talent that her aunt and mother had. She moved away from her family in California and into an apartment in Pittsburgh. Several years later she received a phone call saying her last surviving relative died and she was now a millionaire and  had inherited the Marietta mansion.

Leslie reluctantly travels to the family estate and finds herself filled with inspiration and starts to paint murals on the walls of the mansion. Much to her surprise the paintings come to life and all her dreams come true. Leslie’s life turns into a fairy tale, she falls in love with a man from the painting named Lord Ashton Northing. He’s not the only one in the painting though, there are several Edwardian era people trapped in the walls, along with shadow servants and evil demon like creatures that want to escape into our world.

This is the storyline behind Horror Addict hostess Emerian Rich’s Artistic License. The book is a little like a work of art itself because of the way the settings are described. Everything about the Marrietta estate on the pacific ocean is  explained in vivid detail and Ashton’s Edwardian world on the other side of the painting is brought to life by explaining how it has painted trees, skies and homes and doesn’t look quite natural. I also loved how Leslie’s painting is described and how her home comes to life as she paints.

At the heart of Artistic License is a love story between Ashton and Leslie but as the story develops it becomes more than that. Leslie changes from a social misfit into a confident woman. There is a mystery as to how the people were trapped in the wall and what they want  and where did the monsters in the forest come from?

The first half of Artistic License is like a beautiful fairy tale but it slowly evolves into a horror story. Not only do you have shadow people who accompany one of the villains in the book, you also have the demon like creatures called buggers that stalk the forests in Ashton’s world. One of my favorite scenes in Artistic License was when some of the buggers surround one of the characters towards the end of the book and chant a certain phrase to her before they attack. I also liked a scene where one of the villains in the story confronts a prisoner that is locked in a basement.

My only problems with Artistic License was that I felt some of the characters were under developed. There are a lot of different people in the story and I would like to have heard more about them. I wanted to hear more about Leslie’s mother and aunt and more about the events that lead up to Leslie leaving Marietta manor. I also wanted to learn more about life on the other side of the painting.

Artistic License is a well told story that will appeal to fans of horror, romance and fantasy. There is a lot going on in this story and the characters are great. I would love to see a prequel to this book that gets more into the world on the other side of the painting and on the events that trapped them there.  I would also like to see a sequel that  tells what happens to the characters after the events of Artistic License. So check out Emerian Rich’s Artistic License, you won’t be disappointed.

The Nightmare Project

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on January 12, 2013 by David Watson

thenightmareproject200x300There is nothing more horrifying then not being in control of your own mind and body.  Julia Montgomery has to live with that fact everyday. She suffers from nightmares and two years ago she killed her husband and has been a patient in an insane asylum ever since. Julia wants to get back home to her two children but she might be a danger to herself and her children.

There may be one way out of the asylum for Julia and that is The Nightmare Project. This experimental procedure uses subliminal messages and aggressive psycho-therapy to control a person’s unconscious behavior. There is one person who the project didn’t work for and her name is Kaitlyn Summers. Kaitlyn was the youngest participant in the Nightmare Project, she didn’t survive but a part of her is still in the hospital and she is looking for a new body.

Jo-Anne Russell’s The Nightmare Project is a psychological horror novel that has some violent moments that will make you cringe but the scariest part of the book is the characters. Everyone has a dark side, for instance you have Kaitlyn who comes across like an innocent victim but you also see that she has a vicious temper and has murdered before. You also have Julia who just wants to be a mother again, but she has killed before and she wonders if she can be trusted around her children because she doesn’t have control of her mental state. There are also several doctors and patients in the story who all seem to have their own agendas and Julia doesn’t know who she can trust. Each person in this book is intriguing because they keep you off-balance wondering what their motivation is and if they are good or bad.

Another thing I liked about the book is the way the nightmares are described and how at times you are not sure if what is going on is a dream or reality. Like when you hear about why Julia killed her husband, you realize what Julia remembers is a dream and the reality of the situation is much scarier. While there are a lot of suspenseful moments in this book the two scariest moments for me were parts that weren’t meant to be scary. There is one part where an orderly named Ben tells Julia that she should not do the Nightmare Project. Julia says she has to so she can see her kids again  and Ben asks if she really thinks that will happen. At this point in the story you see the hopelessness  of Julia’s situation. You also see Ben as someone who can help her, but you soon find out he has secrets of his own. The scariest part for me though was when Julia is thinking about the feel of her husbands arms around her and how safe she felt with him. She may have killed her husband but she never stopped loving him.

If you find the  concept of mental hospitals, experimental therapies and not being in control of your thoughts fascinating and chilling at the same time you will love The Nightmare Project. This book is no light read, it will leave you with an uneasy feeling and you may not look at hospitals the same again. This is the first book in a series and I am really curious where Jo-Anne Russell will take this concept in the sequel.

Midnight Echo Issue 8

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2013 by David Watson

Cover-for-ME81In the last year, Journalstone publishing has grown to be a major publisher of  horror and speculative fiction  in the United States. Over the last year they have published several new novels, taken over the Hell Notes horror blog and bought Dark Discoveries Magazine. In addition to that they also have become the US distributor for Midnight Echo, the official magazine of the Australian Horror Writers Association.

Midnight Echo issue 8 has just been released and has something that all horror fans will like. It contains 130 pages of dark literature, poetry, comics, interviews, art work, editorials, book reviews  and  non fiction pieces on mysterious locations in Australia.  Just looking through Midnight Echo magazine, you can see that it was a labor of love to put this magazine together.  The artwork is beautiful and the writing is excellent. The Australian Horror Writers Association does a great job of promoting horror art and literature in Australia, and they prove it in this magazine.

There are 12 short stories in this magazine with subjects ranging from zombies to an insane over protective mother. One of my favorite stories was A Visit With Friends by Joe R Lansdale. This story takes place in the future when people who didn’t get flu shots start to turn into zombies. There are four main characters, two of them have started to trap zombies and torture them which leads the other two to decide if the zombies deserve compassion or are they mindless creatures. I loved how the end leaves the reader thinking about what is morally right or wrong.

Another good story here is Blissful Ignorance by Matt Wedge which is about a very religious, overprotective mother and is told from a young girl’s prospective. The ending of this one is shocking and may be hard to read if your a guy. A lot of the the stories in Midnight Echo are by Australian writers or take place in Australia.  I think this makes Midnight Echo different then other horror magazines and gave things a local flavor.

Issue 8 of Midnight Echo also contains 3 poems and an article on understanding poetry written by Charles Lovecraft. Since I find most poetry goes over my head, I found the article very helpful. Other non fiction material in Midnight Echo includes an article about diseases in horror films written by Gary Kemble, an art column that explores the world of horror comics and interviews with Jack Ketchum, Lee Battersby and Glen Chadbourne.

The people who put together Midnight Echo aren’t satisfied with bringing you fiction and interviews, they also have some great artwork by Glen Chadbourne , Chris Mars, who did the cover and David Schembri.  The magazine also includes an ongoing comic series about vampires called Allure Of The Ancients, The Key To His Kingdom written by Mark Farrugia and illustrated by Greg Chapman.

Looking through the pages of Midnight Echo magazine, its obvious that everyone involved in the creation of the magazine has a passion for what they do. In the opening of issue 8 the editors say they want to publish “hard-edged-horror that pushed the boundaries and also blurred the distinction between right and wrong. ” I think they have succeeded in making  readers feel scared and entertained at the same time. Midnight Echo is a magazine for horror lovers by horror lovers and I think if your into horror you should give this magazine a shot.

Midnightechomagazine.com

Australianhorror.com

Cheap Reads!

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on December 29, 2012 by David Watson

12742577Looking for some cheap reading material? Here are two books that you will find on Amazon for 99 cents. The first book is The New Death and Others by James Hutchings. This is a book of flash fiction and poetry that deal with mythology, fairy tales and horror. Most of the stories that are here are less than 1,000 words. They make you think and laugh while looking at the dark side of fantasy. This collection has a little of everything, including monsters who are afraid that people are no longer scared of them, A man longing for the perfect woman and a funny tale of two demons in love.

The first story in this collection is called The God of The Poor and deals with the gods deciding on which one of them will have dominion over the poor. In this story, I felt the gods were a metaphor for how most people think of the poor and it really set the stage for the rest of the book. In the next story called How The Isle of Cats Got Its Name, James Hutchings creates his own mythology.  It is set in the fictional city of Telelee and follows a powerful sorceress named Abi-simiti as she collects all the cats in the city to take to an unnamed island. Her plan is to torture cats as part of a musical instrument that is meant to impress a god. Abi-simiti makes a crucial mistake and the cats have the last laugh. Anyone who is a cat lover should enjoy this one along with another story in the collection called My Cat Is Not Like Other Cats.

There are a few stories in The New Death And Others that I really enjoyed. One in particular was The Doom That Was Laid Upon Fame. In this story the goddess Fame is blamed and punished for giving people who are unworthy fame and fortune, but she finds a way to get out of trouble with help from the seldom heard about fifth member of the four horseman of the apocalypse. Another good one is Weary Love, that is a funny short poem that tells what happens when the god Commerce takes over for Love. Some other stories here that were very similar that I enjoyed was Fame’s Beloved, The New Death and The New God. If you like short stories and poems that are  funny, dark and gives a satirical look at life, you will enjoy The New Death and Others.  There are a lot of good ideas in this book, in particular I enjoyed The stories involving the land of Telelee. I enjoy it when authors create their own mythology and I hope to hear more stories set in Telelee from James Hutchings in the future.

13477103The next book I want to talk about is Sudden Death Overtime by Steve Vernon. If you haven’t gotten your fill of hockey this year due to the NHL strike, this book can help. Hope’s End is a tough little town on the Northern Labrador Coast of Canada. When the weather turns cold, old-time hockey player Sprague Deacon and his three elderly friends set up an ice rink and everyone in town plays hockey. So when a black painted tour bus full of vampires comes to town and people start to disappear, there is only one thing to do, challenge them to a hockey game.

Sudden Death Overtime is a horror comedy dripping with blood that has memorable characters and a lot of action. There is a lot of depth to this short story starting with the opening scene where an older woman named Judith contemplates where her life went wrong and how it’s changed over the years. Judith is lonely and fears death which comes for her in the form of a black bus. Sprague and his friends are also over the hill and the vampires represent old age and death. When death comes knocking  these Canadians do what you do best and play hockey and whats more fun then hockey playing vampires? If your going to have to face death you need to make it beat you at your own game.

Steve Vernon manages to create some great characters in a short amount of time. The beginning of the book is character driven but when the vampires show up on Sprague’s lawn,  it turns to non stop action. There is a lot going on in this book, I like how the style changes midway through and the ending is hilarious. Another thing  I enjoyed about this book is the afterword called Time Out which gives you an idea of what inspired the story. Sudden Death Overtime is a lot of fun and will make you want to read more from Steve Vernon.

How I Started The Apocalypse

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on December 23, 2012 by David Watson

16059968Chaz Singelton woke up from the longest sleep he ever had in what looked like a hospital room and he had no idea how he got there. His body felt numb and he had the worst headache ever, but that was the least of his problems. Chaz is the world’s first smart zombie and he is part of a government experiment to create an army of super soldiers who can’t be killed.

This is the story behind Brian Pinkerton’s How I Started The Apocalypse. Chaz is trapped in a secret underground lab, he wants to escape to see his family again but there is no way out, until the government decides to shut down the experiment by killing all the zombies along with the workers in the lab.  With the need to eat human flesh and the power to destroy mankind, Chaz escapes and goes on the run to find his wife and son.

How I Started The Apocalypse is an action packed zombie thriller from the point of view of the zombie. Chaz is a multi dimensional character that you can’t help but like. Chaz never wanted to be a zombie and he tries to fight his zombie nature, he just wants his life back, but he soon realizes that his wife has moved on and he can’t fight what he is.

To make matters worse he is being stalked by Breck Palmer, the man in charge of the super soldier experiment and the one who destroyed the secret lab.  My favorite part of this book was how there was a point where you feel sorry for Chaz and his hopeless situation and you hate Breck for what he has done.  As the story progresses and Chaz has more trouble controlling himself,  he starts to become the villan while  Breck becomes the sympathetic character and the only one that can put a stop to the zombie pandemic.

I did have some issues with How I Started The Zombie Apocalypse, some of the dialoge in places seemed a little cheesey and didn’t fit certain situations. Also there was a scene where Chaz finds his wife that I didn’t care for. Without giving any of the story away I felt that what happened with their relationship was too far fetched. Though the last scene with Chaz’s wife was hilarious and left a smile on my face. Another scene I had issues with was when Chaz tries to end his zombie problem. I felt he should have known it wouldn’t work but his attempts at doing it were very funny.

How I Started The Apocalypse is an original take on the zombie genre. The book is  fast paced with a lot of humor and gore thrown in for good measure.  There are a lot of great action scenes here, and a commentary about how humans act like zombies. I liked Chaz’s escape from the secret lab and there was a scene in Yankee Stadium that was very good. One of my favorite scenes is when Chaz makes a childhood bully suffer giving him his just desserts. There was also a scene towards the end with a goth girl who wants  to turn him into be a celebrity that was very good.  Best of all I liked the way the story ended. The storyline gets wrapped up but it hints at a sequel and I would love to see where Brian Pinkerton goes next with this idea.

The Frozen Sky

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on December 19, 2012 by David Watson

Not often do you come across a novel that blends action, horror, science fiction, philosophy and politics but Jeff Carlson’s  The Frozen Sky does it masterfully.  The Frozen Sky was originally released as a novella but has now been expanded into a full novel which adds  more characters, more action and  more depth to the original story. Set in the distant future the governments of earth have sent several space probes to explore the galaxy and they have found that Europa may have simple life forms and other materials that can be used back home.

A group of archaeologists led by Alexis Vonderach are exploring Jupiter’s moon and the governments of the world are waiting to see what they will uncover.  The crew finds more than they bargained for when they find  hieroglyphs and other proof of life.  Europa is indeed inhabited and the natives don’t like visitors.

The story begins with Alexis running for her life through frozen ravines and canyons of rock while being chased by creatures that resemble  starfish. To make matters worse, her spacesuit has an artificial intelligence program that is malfunctioning and it has its own plans for handling the situation. Alexis is left with the decision to destroy the creatures that are pursuing her or communicate with them and hope they understand her. Help is on the way as other Earth ships arrive on Europa, but what are their plans for Europa’s inhabitants?  Are the starfish type creatures more advanced then they seem and do they want to destroy us for invading their home?

There is a lot going on  in The Frozen Sky and the story works on a lot of different levels. Science Fiction fans get a great description of life on Europa including how the creatures survive, how they communicate and how they changed through the years and you learn how humans advanced through the centuries. It works as an action novel as you hear about the battle between Earth and Europa. It works as a horror novel as the creatures have Alexis on the run with nowhere to go and the story gets philosophical as the humans debate whether they are doing the right thing on Europa. The Frozen Sky  also works as a political thriller as it gets into how the governments make deals with each other for what they want out of Europa and how the humans on Europa try to talk them out of it.

You could tell Jeff Carlson did his homework on the recent findings about Europa and did a lot of research on what Europa is like. I loved how this alien world was described. I also liked how the aliens were presented in the story. At first you see them as monsters but you start to learn about the conditions that they live in and how it shaped what they are, you also discover that they are much more than they seem.

Another thing I like is how the mecha works to explore Europa and how the AI works to its own advantage. My favorite part was learning how Europa’s inhabitants evolved and seeing  how they go from monsters to sympathetic creatures. You also see how the humans can become monsters and even in the future they’re dealing with a lot of the same issues that we deal with now. The Frozen Sky has something for everyone and is a great read no matter what genre of book that you like.

The Haunted

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on December 13, 2012 by David Watson

On top of a hill in a forest surrounded by tall trees that look like green soldiers was a beautiful old house with a dark past. A long gravel driveway leads to the house and occasionally people drove down the highway to admire the home’s beautiful architecture. They didn’t stay long though because the house had a sinister feel to it and the people in town were afraid of it. The house had a for sale sign in front of it for a long time but one day the sign came down and a young couple expecting a child moved in.

This is the opening to Michaelbrent Collings The Haunted. The young couple’s names are Sarah and Cap. As they move in they experience strange occurences that they can’t explain, such as radios turning on and off, a truck turning itsself on and objects moving on their own. On the second night an all out assault begins and the couple is attacked by a legion of homicidal ghosts who want them dead. Among the army of spirits that try to enter the house is one with a noose around its neck, one with a slashed throat, and one in a long hooded robe that seems to be the most evil of all. The couple tries to escape but there is nowhere to run; the only help they receive is from the local preacher who may be in over his head.

There are a lot of horror novels out there that can be considered a roller coaster ride but The Haunted is more like a freight train out of control. The opening reminded me of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and did an excellent job of creating a mood of spookiness and impending doom. Right from the start before anything happened I found myself hoping Sarah and Cap would leave the forest and not look back. Ounce the mood is set, The Haunted kicks into a terror filled thrill ride and never lets up, leaving the reader breathless and fearing for Cap and Sarah.

While the plot unfolds you learn more about Cap and Sarah, the author gets inside their heads and makes you feel what they’re  feeling. I love the way Michaelbrent Collings presents his characters. you know their fears, their weaknesses and what there thinking at all times. You fear for them because you relate to them and you know you would probably be thinking the same if you were in their situation.

The only things I didn’t like about The Haunted was that the story was a little confusing and I was able to predict the ending. Despite this, The Haunted is still an excellent horror novel. This is the second book I’ve read by Michaelbrent Collings and in both cases I found myself thinking that this book would make a great scary movie. Michaelbrent’s writing paints a horrific picture and his characters are always memorable. This book has plenty of frights, the descriptions of the ghosts are terrifying and one ghost in particular is scary enough to keep you from sleeping for a night. So if you like a good ghost story then check out the works of Michaelbrent Collings.

NightWhere

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on December 5, 2012 by David Watson

If your into bondage, S&M and kinky sex clubs then there is a place for you called NightWhere.  Except you can’t go looking for it, NightWhere looks for you. NightWhere by John Everson is the story of a secret swinger’s club where all your dreams and nightmares about pain and degradation come true.

Rae wasn’t satisfied with her marriage to Mark, she wanted more and whips, chains and  bizarre sex is what she was looking for. Mark reluctantly starts to go to underground sex clubs with Rae to keep her happy. Then one day they receive an invitation to a gothic sex club called NightWhere.

After a couple of visits to the club, Rae becomes obsessed with NightWhere and disappears. The location of the club changes nightly and Mark is in a race against time to save his wife. Rae is going through changes and finds she loves the lifestyle that NightWhere offers. She may not want to be saved but Mark loves Rae and will go through hell to get her back.

Nightwhere is by far the most disturbing book that I’ve ever read. I’ve read some hardcore bloody horror novels from the likes of Richard Laymon and Ed Lee but these authors didn’t make me cringe like John Everson did. There were two times while reading NightWhere that I had to stop  because I couldn’t handle the subject matter. There are some torture scenes in this book that were so over the top that they bordered on ridiculous and left me wondering if there are people out there who are similar to the characters in the story.

You have to have a strong stomach to get through Nightwhere, what kept me reading was I wanted to see what was going to happen to Mark.  Mark has to go through unimaginable amounts of humiliation and pain to save Rae. He takes his marriage vows seriously and is willing to do anything for Rae and that is why I love the character so much. I also liked how Mark keeps getting chances to walk away from trying to save her but he won’t stop because he is committed to her.

Another interesting point in NightWhere is how much all the characters are willing to suffer to get what they want. Everyone in this book gets tortured but they come back for more because they are looking for something and their instinct is to survive until they find it. Mark does several things he thought he would never do, to get his wife back. Also a character named Selena risks her life and throws away the life she has to save Mark. In addition to that, you see a lot of the patrons of NightWhere literally go through hell just to advance into the different levels of suffering and excitement that NightWhere has to offer. Everyone has different reasons to carry on and nothing will keep them from their goal.

This book tries hard to shock you but there is also a love story and it makes a point of how far one would and should go for the one  they love. It also makes a point about staying loyal to someone even if that person isn’t loyal to you. Another thing that makes this book good is the description of NightWhere. John Everson  put a lot of thought into this world of torture and really brought it to life. NightWhere is not for the faint of heart but if you love to be shocked you will love this book.

Worth Their Weight In Blood

Posted in News with tags , , , , on November 27, 2012 by David Watson

There are several different king of vampire novels out there. Some are meant to be scary, some lean towards the romantic side and some vampire stories can be considered urban fantasy. Just when I thought that I’ve read every kind of vampire book there is; one comes along that takes a different look at the genre, combining evolution and vampires.  I’m talking about Worth Their Weight In Blood by Carole Jahme.

Life hasn’t worked out as planned for Scarlett Fox, she went away to college and came back to the town of Radfield a single unemployed mother. She lives with her mother Red and daughter Ruby and feels like an outcast among the townspeople.   Her luck starts to change though when in the middle of the night the Zomnifiers Blood Research Institute moves into town looking for new employees. Scarlett applies and gets a job taking care of a chimpanzee with a rare blood disease.

Scarlett has an interest in evolutionary psychology and is ecstatic to have a job studying chimpanzees, but she slowly finds out that something isn’t right at the Zomnifier’s institute. They only work at night, the chimp is afraid of the scientists and there is a skull on display with large canine teeth. Everyone at Zomnifiers is a vampire and Scarlett is faced with the decision to become one of them or her and her family will die.

There is a lot more going on in Worth Their Weight in Blood then the storyline. The book gets deep into evolutionary psychology and also gets into philosophy.  My favorite part of the book was when Scarlett debated with the vampires weather they had souls or not. The vampires believe that they are better then the humans because they live longer and they do not have egos. Scarlett says that because the vampires can’t self reflect they can’t relate to anyone. They can’t feel true compassion and because of it they have no soul. This part of the story is well told and the suspense builds as the vampires grow more agitated at Scarlett’s claim.

Whether you like  Worth Their Weight In Blood or not depends on what your looking for in a story.  I liked all of the characters in the book. I enjoyed the relationship between Scarlett and her mother and hearing how Scarlett feels about the townspeople. She doesn’t fit in and longs for change and to be better then she is, but when change comes she finds that she looses more then she bargained for.

I did think the story moved a little slow but because I liked the characters enough, it didn’t bother me. What the story lacks in action it makes up for in great dialogue between everyone in the story. Also there are some horrifying scenes such as when Roman attacks someone on the highway and when Scarlett and Helios play “trouble with vampires” on a troublesome neighbor. The book also has a very steamy sex scene and a great battle in the end.

I also loved the two rouge vampires, Helios and Roman. Roman is a mystery and Helios is funny and manipulative.  Despite the fact that they were not major characters in the book, I thought they were very interesting and would like to have learned more about them.  Worth Their Weight In Blood is a very original character driven vampire novel and I’m hoping for more installments in the future.

Upcoming Events

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2012 by David Watson

October 27th / Nightmare On Chicago Street / Elgin, Illinois /Chicago Street will be decorated to look like a zombie war zone. Events include a zombie prom, a zombie walk, storytelling, side show performances, haunted houses and live music from Hairbangers Ball and V is for Villans. For more information go to www.Nightmareonchicagostreet.com

November 2nd -3rd / Drunken Zombie Film Festival / Peoria, Illinois /This independent horror film festival includes the movies: Doll Parts, Apocalypse Salad, Get Off My Porch, The Puppet Monster Massacre, House Of Ghosts and Masks. for More information go to: http://drunkenzombiefilmfestival.com/

November 10th / Steampunk November / Venus, Texas / Come and experience the steampunk party of the year. There will be live performances from Cut Thrust and Run, a wine tasting, belly dancing, a burlesque show and side shows. There will also be a vendor’s area  and live music. For more information go to: http://www.cutthrustandrun.net/index.html

November 9th – 11th / Blood On The Beach 2 / Virginia Beach, Virginia /  This convention includes a zombie walk, a zombie prom and appearances by Anthony Michael Hall, Jamie Kennedy, Sid Haig and several cast members from The Walking Dead. There will also be live music and a tattoo show. for more information go to: http://www.botbcon.com/

November 16th – 18th / Days Of The Dead / Chicago, Illinois / Events include a Fright Night Reunion, a They Live reunion a Rock And Roll High School reunion and appearances by Heather Langenkamp, Linnea Quigley, Lita Ford, Peter Criss and Derek Mears. There will also be a comedy show featuring Roddy Piper and Mick Foley. For more information go to:http://www.daysofthedead.net/chicago/

Soundtrack To The End Of The World and Four In The Morning

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2012 by David Watson

Strange things are starting to happen all over the world. One man walks naked into heavy traffic. Another man is defecating all over his apartment building and there is a new underground night club that says it can give you an out of body experience.  Welcome to Marty Raft’s world, he’s a man with a horrific past who plans to find out what’s going on in Anthony Rapino’s Soundtrack To The End Of The World.

Going along for the ride with Marty is his best friend Corey, a wannabe comedian with problems of his own.  Corey and Marty get an invitation to the underground night club from their friend Skinny, who is a Buddhist and claims he can take over other people’s bodies.  In the club they witness the impossible and see spirits leaving their bodies and entering other people.

From there things start to get worse, people start turning into zombies, but these aren’t your normal everyday zombies, they don’t want to eat the living. In fact nobody is quite sure what they want but when the zombies see the living their jaws open wide and they let loose a high pitched scream that turns the living into the undead.

When I started reading Soundtrack To The End Of The World I was expecting an all out action packed gore fest. While it does have action and gore it offers a lot more. At the heart of the book is a story about the importance of family. Marty has lost his family and is just drifting through life.   This is illustrated when he witnesses a man die and he thinks to himself that he wants to care and he tries to look like he cares but in reality he just feels hollow inside  and doesn’t know what to do.

On his journey to find out what is causing the zombie apocalypse he meets other people and they become a family and Marty finds his purpose. The book gives an interesting social commentary on whats important in life and gets into philosophy as well. It also provides some humor and some tense scenes where your not sure if the zombies or the people Marty and company meet on the road are the bigger menace.

There was a couple of scenes in the book that I did find confusing, like when two of the men that Marty are traveling with think they see something and they go running through the woods and get captured by slave traders. There is also a confusing scene where Marty’s truck gets stopped in a traffic jam and hit by a car of people who end up joining Marty’s family, but the story has many great scenes as well.

In particular I liked the scene where Marty and his family are taken to a church where a mad priest thinks the rapture is happening and is giving people to the zombies so they can be saved. I also loved the fight scene at the end of the book and how the book wraps up.  There is also a really good love scene that is funny and touching at the same time. Soundtrack To The End Of The World is a very original zombie tale with a lot of action and gore thrown in for good measure.

Another book I want to talk about is Four in the Morning. This is a collection of four novellas all centering around a different age in life . One story focuses on young kids, one on teenagers, one on a middle age woman and on on an elderly man.  The first story is a steampunk story named  Half Dark by Malon Edwards. This is a coming of age story about a mermaid/robot girl living in a dangerous world who finds that she is much more then she thought she was. This story has a little bit of everything, witches, faeries, pirates and boys with chin chins.

I love the made up language in this one, even if I didn’t fully understand it.  All of  the characters were great and the setting were excellent. This story also has the best character name I’ve ever heard which is: Big Poppa The Draws Dropper. You gotta love the creativity that goes into steampunk. This story is funny yet exciting and very unique at the same time.

The second story is Gully Gods by Edward M. Erdelac. This is an urban fantasy with some real life horror thrown in. The story follows a gang member named J-Hoss who after killing a man in Huston has to move to Chicago with his aunt and young cousin but trouble finds him and he is forced into the middle of a gang war.

The author must have done a lot of research on gangs for this story because there is quite a bit of gang lingo used here. This story was frighteningly realistic and extremely violent. The story moves along quickly and it is very well written. I liked how J-Hoss is given a chance to change but because he is so used to things being a certain way he can’t do it. I also liked finding out about the god that is behind the gang war and the conversation that happens at the end of the story.

Next up is Queen by Lincoln Crisler. This one follows a woman named Rita who just had her 42nd birthday. Rita is not happy with her self image so she decides to take part in an age reversing treatment experiment that has some interesting side effects. What I liked about this story was hearing  Rita’s feelings about getting older and her reaction to what is happening to her. This was a science fiction tale with an ending that could have been explained a litle better but was still entertaining.

The last story is an all out horror tale called Cenotaph by Tim Marquitz. It follows a religious 73 year old man named James who has to live with the horror of out living all of his loved ones. Which to me was the scariest part of the story. He finds out by accident that his family are not in their graves and then sees his grandson who has been dead for 10 years in a liquor store. James is left to discover the mystery of what happened to his family and the answer may ruin everything he believes in. This was a great horror story that was suspenseful right up until the end. All of the stories in Four In The Morning we’re great and well worth your time.

In The Footsteps Of Dracula

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2012 by David Watson

Have you ever wanted to experience the trip of a lifetime. Steve Unger has taken that trip and he talks about it in his travel guide and history book: In The Footsteps Of Dracula. The book starts off with Steve Unger describing why he had to write this book. He was vistiting Whitby, England and was on Cemetery hill  where in the Book Dracula, Lucy and Mina sat in their favorite spot as Dracula slept below them. Steve said in his mind’s eye he could see Dracula rising from from the grave to feed on the living. He then felt the spirit of Bram Stoker and the ghost of Vlad The Impaler urging him to take the journey and tell the stories that they no longer could.

In the Footsteps Of Dracula then gets into visiting the locations of Bram Stoker’s dracula. You get to hear the author’s experiences as he visits where Dracula came ashore on the Demeter, cemetery hill in Whitby, The Dracula Trail and locations in Dublin, Romania and London. The author describes what the locations look like now and how they would have appeared in Bram Stoker’s time. He also gives quotes from Dracula to describe it further.

The book also tells Bram Stoker’s story. You get to hear how he was inspired to write Dracula, the places where Dracula was written and you hear about the reactions to Bram’s work when it was first released. I  really enjoyed reading the first review ever written for Dracula and hearing about the staged readings of Dracula before the book was released.

Not satisfied to give you information on Dracula alone, Steve Unger also gets into the history of Vlad The Impaler who Dracula was based on. Steve  gives examples of how Dracula compares to Vlad by giving quotes from Dracula that reference him. Hearing the story behind Vlad Tepes was like reading a horror novel itself. The author talks about how he impaled over 20,000 men, women and children, he boiled people alive, burned down a building full of people and you hear about his battles to keep his throne.

Its also told how Vlad’s father was a member of The Royal Order Of The Dragon which was a branch of The Brotherhood of the Wolf. One of their beliefs was that they could transform into wolves. While reading In The Footsteps Of Dracula, I felt that Vlad Tepes seemed like a much more horrifying character then Count Dracula and I loved hearing his story. Steve also visits all the places associated with Vlad Tepes,  including his tomb and Castle Dracula.

What really makes the author’s story come to life is the beautiful photos in this book. There are 185  pictures which really show a sharp contrast between some of the ruins of various castles to the tourist areas where people are trying to cash in on Dracula.  Some of my favorite photos was of the reading room in the British Museum, cemetery hill overlooking the ocean, Vlad’s tomb on Snagov Island and the photo of the wolf dragon.

If you ever do make this trip, Steve Unger also tells how much everything costs and the best ways to get to where you want to go. This is what makes this book the ultimate travel guide. You get pictures, a history behind all the locations and you hear about the best places to stay. I also loved how you get to hear about the people that Steve met on the way. He tells about how he met several goths on his journey and they here the friendliest people you would ever want to meet. This is an amazing book that made Count Dracula, Vlad The Impaler and Bram Stoker’s stories more fascinating.

Even if you never get to walk in the footsteps of Dracula you can still own a copy of this excellent book. You can either buy one on Amazon or you could win your very own autographed copy of In The Footsteps Of Dracula by answering two questions. What year was Bram Stoker’s Dracula published and Who was your favorite on screen Dracula and why? Email your answers to horroraddicts@gmail.com. The best answer gets the book. Good luck!

Upcoming Events

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2012 by David Watson

October 13th – 14th / Monster Con / San Antonio, Texas /Monster con includes a zombie shooting contest, lil ghoulie play area, a zombie beauty contest. There will also be appearances by horror authors: Rhiannon Frater, Gabrielle Faust, Joe McKinney and Juan Manuel Perez. For more information go to: www.monster-con.com.

October 19th – 20th / South Texas Horror Con / McAllen, Texas / This convention includes FX Make-up tutorials, ghost hunting panels, a costume contest and appearances by fantasy artist Ken Kelly, author Belladonna Drakul, Carlo Barberi, Ernie Hudson and many more. There will also be a tattoo and piercing expo. For more information go to: www.southtexashorror.com.

October 26th /Dracula: A Ballet To Die For / Redwood City, CA / The Peninsula Ballet Theatre celebrates Halloween with their production of Dracula. Set to a haunting music soundtrack with international guest dancers from Europe, this ballet plays out the struggle of love after death. Ticket prices  start at $35. For more information go to: www.peninsulaballet.org.

October 26th – 27th / The Paranormous Costume Ball / Goldfield, Nevada / This is a paranormal convention hosted by Michael and Lindsay Knight from Knights Paranormal Research Society. This event includes paranormal tours, a costume contest, a treasure hunt and live performances from Grocery Store Rejects and Plane Without a pilot. For more information go to: www.ghosttownoperations.com.

October 26th / Anne Rice’s Wolf Gift Ball /New Orleans, LA / This masquerade ball will include performances by Saints Of Ruin, Lestat the band and Warchild. There will also be a dealers room and author panel discussions  by Sherrilyn Kennon and Lewis Aleman and members of the paranormal romance guild. For more information go to: www.arvlfc.com.

Servant Of The Goddess and The Chosen

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on September 29, 2012 by David Watson

If your looking for a good vampire book that is so much more then a vampire book you should check out Servant Of The Goddess by Denise Verrico. This is the fourth book in the immortal revolution series. The story takes place in New York where Cedric, the star of book three has just escaped India where he was a slave to the elder vampires. Cedric is trying to find Kurt and Mia, the leaders of the newest house of immortals. Kurt and Mia represent the future of vampire society, they have taken in all the vampires referred to as rats that were rejected by the elder vampires and are starting to build a new vampire fellowship in the modern world.

That’s not all that Kurt and Mia are trying to accomplish, they are also trying to find a cure for their vampire blood lust but find a way to keep their immortality and walk in the sun. Cedric finds Kurt and Mia and becomes Mia’s bodyguard but he is obsessed with getting revenge against his former masters and he may ruin everything that Kurt and Mia have worked for.

Servant Of The Goddess is an excellent vampire novel and equally as good as its predecessors. This book has a little bit of everything, its a political thriller with lots of action, violence and sex. While the theme for Book three: My Fearful Symmetry seemed to be how people in power use religion to influence others; Servant Of The Goddess’s theme is how female leaders do not get the same respect as men do no matter how much smarter they are then their male counterparts.

In vampire society women can’t lead so the best that they can achieve is to lead through the males. For instance Kurt sees Mia as his equal but the vampires that they lead do not look at her the same way they look at Kurt. In order to get the men to follow her she has to bust a few heads and we also see this with the villains in the story.

For example Mia is in charge of building and running a vampire club that will give the vampires they lead a job and help to support the vampires that they lead. When Kalidasa, an immortal chief elder comes to the club he laughs and says to Kurt that its nice of him to let his concubine run Kurt’s business. No one sees Mia as an equal with the exception of Cedric who sees her as the living manifestation of an Indian goddess.

Another example of this is when one of the  immortal alphas, Raj along with his female partner Giullietta show up in New York with their band of vampires. Raj gives his crew orders but the vampires don’t move until Giullietta screams “you heard the man, do what your told.” Raj is in charge because that is the rule set down by the grand council but its obvious Giullieta is pulling the strings.

One of my favorite scenes in this book is when Mia notices one of the vampire children playing a video game and she feels sorry because he was turned into a vampire so young. She leaves the room and comes back and sees that  Cedric  has joined the boy and is also playing video games. At this point she realizes that despite Cedric’s sexuality and that he was forced to become a warrior, he is still just a boy. The vampire children in the book are the mirror image of homeless children who get shuffled from foster home to foster home because their parents couldn’t support them. I really enjoy how Denise Verrico’s vampires society is a mirror image for human society and I’m looking forward to more books in the immortal revolution series.

Another  book I want to talk about is The Chosen by Jay Hartlove. Charles Redmond is a former hit-man currently working in the import-export business. One of Charles clients is a strange man named Joseph who is buying religious relics and having them shipped all over the world. Charles tells his psychiatrist Sanantha that he believes Joeseph is a demon, Sanantha doesn’t believe him but soon gets dragged into a battle between good and evil and ancient religions.

Joseph is indeed more then he seems and he is working for Silas Alverado, an ancient Egyptian magician that is trying to bring the god Osiris back from the dead to rule the world again.  Standing in his way is Sammael, the Demon Prince of Liars. This is a battle that has been going on since the book of Exodus and Charles who believes that his voodoo religion is facing extinction may be the only one who can stop it.

Jay Hartlove’s The chosen is an excellent action packed novel which gets deep into Egyptian and voodoo mythology. In particular I really enjoyed how Sanantha tries to talk Charles out of what he thinks is happening. There is also an interrogation scene that was very good and a little disturbing. I also love the character of Charles and how he is trying to redeem himself and what he is willing to go through to save his religion. Sanantha was another great character, I liked how she slowly fell in love with Charles and what she was willing to go through to save him. The ending was also very good and I liked the reaction of Osiris and how things work out for Joseph.

Jay Hartlove did a lot of research for this occult thriller , to get a little more of the back story that went into The Chosen and to see what went into the writing of it, check out his website at jaywrites.com. This book can easily fit intio several genres, there is a lot of suspense, horror and mystery if you love reading about religion and ancient mythology you will love this book.

Free Fiction Friday: Moon

Posted in News with tags , , , , on September 28, 2012 by David Watson

For this week’s Free Fiction Friday selection we have Moon by James Herbert. James Herbert is a horror author from England tha has written 24 books and has sold over 2 million copies. Some of James Herbert’s other titles include The Rats, The Magic Cottage and Dark Places.

Moon was originally published in 1985. The story follows an insane psychic and computer science teacher who has unwillingly linked minds telepathically with a vicious killer whose crimes have a strange connection with the cycles of the moon. From what I’ve read about this book,  people describe it as tense, chilling supernatural horror that is not for the squemish. Some also call Moon one of James Herbert’s best books.

If you would like a free used copy of Moon be the first person to leave a comment on this blog post. Good Luck!

Upcoming Events

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2012 by David Watson

October 13th / Monster Fest / Chesapeake Va. /  This free horror convention includes trick or treating, a costume contest and a movie marathon. Some of the special guests include: Justin Cristelli author of Caprice and Other Stories and Tony Ruggiero author of Coven and panal discussions on monsters from around the world. For more information go to: http://www.monsterfestva.com/

October 20th / Flint Horror Convention / Flint Michigan / This convention  includes appearances by Performance artist Lucifer Fulci,  Make Up artist Tom Sullivan and Paranormal Expert John E.L. Tenney and a showing of Bloody Bloody Bible Camp, Refugio 115 and other films. For more information go to: flinthorrorcon.webnode.com

October 20th / Monster Bash Movie Marathon / Ligonier PA / Included are showings of White Zombie, The Terror and The Last Man On Earth.  There will also be a live performance of the play Wait Until Dark performed by The Valley Players. For more information go to: http://www.monsterbashnews.com/monster%20bash%20movie%20marathon.html.

October 19th -21st / Dark Carnival Film Festival / Bloomington Indiana / The Sundance of horror features appearances by Michael Berryman, Joe Bob Briggs and the cast of Syfy channel’s Ghost hunters. Also there will be showings of the films Dead Friends and An Evening With My Comatose Mother. For more information go to: http://www.darkcarnivalfilmfest.com/

October 19th – 21st / Macabre Faire Grim Gathering / Rockville Centre New York / Long Island’s only Horror, gothic and steampunk event includes a costume contest, a film festival, horror themed charades and performances by Dark Wave Burlesque, The Wandering Cellist and Monster Dolls. For more information go to: http://www.livingdeadmafia.com/lead-stories/50-macabre-faire-tickets.html

Sirens Call Publications- Days with the Undead & Childhood Nightmares

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2012 by David Watson

I recently read two books from Sirens Call Publications. The first book I want to talk about is  Days With The Undead by Julianne Snow. This is a story of what happens when the dead rises and take over the planet, but its more then that. Days With The Undead is a survival manual that hopefully will save your life during the zombie apocalypse. The main character is a pathologist named Julie and her tale is told through a series of blog posts which started three days after Brooks VanReit rose from the dead.

Julie and her four companions are trying to escape ground zero and find a place where the dead have not taken over. They have a lot of challanges ahead of them including dealing with zombie chipmunks.

I really enjoyed how the story was told. The description of the dead coming to life in the hospital was great. I loved the way the people in the hospital reacted and the cover up that went on because the authorities didn’t know what they were dealing with. Another good scene was when the main characters we’re fighting the undead in a park and they have to decide if there survival is more important  then rescuing two kids surrounded by the undead. At this point the survivalists had made it clear that surviving went above everything else. I didn’t know how the situation was going to go and to me that made it the best part of the book.

I also liked all of the different people that the five survivors meet on the journey. Not everyone reacts the same to the plague sweeping across the U.S. and Canada. Some people  have lost all hope, Some people want to steal what ever they can get their hands on and some people just want to pretend its not happening. There is one funny scene in particular where a group of people are protesting the undead’s march across America.

What makes Days With The Undead different from other zombie novels that I’ve read is that its all told in first person. You get to hear Julie and her companion’s back stories as told by Julie. You also get Julie’s perspective on how society is falling apart and their plan on how they are going to survive. As the story moves along, you get to see her attitude change from being positive to loosing hope, to regaining hope as it looks like they may find an answer to their problems.  If you like a  good bloody zombie tale then you will love this one.

The next book I want to talk about is an anthology called Childhood Nightmares: Under The Bed. Its not often that I come across an anthology where I like all the stories in it, but I did with this one and it was impossible to pick a favorite. After reading each story I found myself looking up information on all of the authors because I had to find out what other works they had out there.

The anthology starts off with Forgotten by Jack Wallen which is a  beautifully told, creepy ghost story, about a six year old child who gets visited late at night by a ghost of a girl with a big secret. I loved the conversations between the boy and the ghost in this one. Next up is Baby Teeth by Kim Kordel which is about a young boy named Brian who has been told some scary things about the tooth fairy. What made this story fun was hearing about all the things that Brian does to avoid having the tooth fairy come to his house. I also liked how scared he gets when he realizes that he is going to get a visit whether he likes it or not.

Julianne Snow also has a story in this anthology about a girl having night terrors. Help comes in the form of a doll named Madeleine. The ending of this one was shocking and funny at the same time. There is also a great story by Nina d’ Archangela called Bent Metal that centers on a girl who is having recurring nightmares of her brother dying. The description of the girl’s emotional state in  her dreams is excellent, this story alone makes this a great anthology. Nina did a superb job of making me feel sorry for the main character, it was impossible not to feel her pain.

Another great one here was Seeing Is Believing by Amber Keller. There is a monster living in Timothy’s room and it wants his flesh. No one believes him so he decides to take a picture, but every night he has to fight for his life and the creature is determined not to be seen. The suspense in this one was gut wrenching.

Kate Monroe, the editor of this anthology also has a terrifying tale in the book called Show and Tell. This one is about a boy named Thomas that finds he has a monster under his bed, but  its not really a bad thing, at least not for Thomas. Now he has a pet monster and all the people that picked on him are going to pay. This story was one of the most frightening and bloody stories in the anthology and I still felt sorry for Thomas.

Some of the other things you will read about in Childhood Nightmares: Under The Bed is a ghost who makes a teddy bear come to life, a little girl who has to battle a demon to the death and a kid who has to pay the consequences when he tells tall tales. You also get stories about a cursed suitcase, a tale about a murderer called The Shade and a monster that lives in a sock drawer. If this anthology  is any indication of the quality of stories that Sirens Calls has to offer, then I’m really looking forward to future anthologies from Sirens Call Publications.

Free Fiction Friday: Matters Of The Blood

Posted in News on September 14, 2012 by David Watson

This weeks Free Fiction Friday selection is Matters Of The Blood by Maria Lima. Keira Kelly half-breed descendant of a powerful paranormal family has chosen to live apart from her clan and among humans in the Texas Hill Country. Where she lives there has been several animal deaths and she starts having prophetic visions of her brother being murdered. Keira starts to investigate whats going on, but in the process she uncovers some long kept secrets that raise more questions then answers.

Matters Of The Blood is the first in a series of five books that include everything from shapeshifters to vampires. The series combines horror, mystery and romance and some of the reviews that I’ve read compare Maria to Nora Roberts and Charlaine Harris. If you want to know more about the author check out marialima.com

If you would like a copy of this book leave a comment on this blog post. The first comment gets the book. Good luck.

The Wrong House

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on September 9, 2012 by David Watson

Imagine a gang of three teen misfits out to have a good time and raise some havoc on Halloween night. Nothing could possibly go wrong, everyone makes a little mischief on Halloween. Trouble is what you find though, when you knock on the wrong door and mess with the wrong people.

I can’t tell you to much about the story line behind The Wrong House because that would spoil the fun. This is a short independent Horror comic, its written by Curtis Lawson and illustrated by Kay. The comic was published by Broken Soul Press which was started by Curtis Lawson so he could publish his own comics. Some of Curtis Lawson’s other titles include: Curse Of The Black Terror, Kincaid and Gallows Of Hell. If You like independent underground comics that have great art and are very dark, you should check out Broken Soul Press.

The Wrong House is beautifully done and reminded me of the EC horror comics of the past.  The story is told out of order which was a nice touch,  because if it was told in a linear fashion it would not have worked. The Wrong House has the feel of an old slasher film but there is a moral to the story and there is a lot more to it then just blood and guts. For it only being 25 pages long there is some good storytelling and some excellent dark and moody art here. The Wrong House is what a good horror comic should be: it has a dark mood to it, good characters and a shocking twist.

You can find out more about The Wrong House at Brokensoulpress.com and theblackterror.com and you can find The Wrong House for 99 cents at graphicly.com. Know of any good horror comics out there, leave a comment on the blog and let us know.

Upcoming Events

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2012 by David Watson

October 5th / Fables Studios Interactive Haunted Attractions Grand Opening / River Grove, Illinois / Come join in the fun at the grand opening of the Chicago area’s newest haunted attraction. Make your way through the haunted carnival and watch out for freaks, geeks and living marionettes. This highly detailed sideshow is complete with fortune tellers and other amazing oddities. Don’t miss it. Addmission is only $10. For more information go to:http://www.fablesstudios.com/.

October 5th – 7th / Cinema Wasteland Movie and Memorbilia Expo/ Stongsville, OH / This horror film festival includes showings of Wild Women of Wongo, Death Race 2000, Holywood Chainsaw Hookers and Whisper. Some of the guests include: Linnea Quigley from Night Of The Demons, Dyanne Thorne from Blood Sabbath and Tom Sullivan from Evil Dead. For more information go to: http://www.cinemawasteland.com/show.html.

October 7th / Steamstock: An Antiquarian Exposition / Richmond, Ca / This is a get together that celebrates time traveling musical acts. Some of the performers include: Abney Park, Victoria and the Vaudvillians, Vagabondage and French and The Punk. There will also be several steampunk vendors and an undead wedding. For more information go to: steamstock.org.

October 11th – 14th / Eerie Horror Fest / Erie, Pennsylvania / This fest includes a Dawn Of The Dead reunion, an independent horror film contest along with movie making workshops. Some of the guests include: Vernon Wells from The Road Warrior, John Carl Buechler from Troll and David Early. For more information go to: http://eeriehorrorfilmfestival.com/site2012/

October 11th – 14th /Dead Air Paranormal Radio Presents: No Guts…No Glory!!!! / Pittsburg, Tennessee / This is a ghost hunt in at Old South Pittsburg Hospital with several ghost hunting celebrities including: Jeff Belanger, Brandon Kreitzer, Ben Hansen and Debra Wilson. For more information go to: http://www.deadairparanormal.com/events/old-south-pittsburg-hospital/

Biting Dog Press

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2012 by David Watson

Since Biting Dog Press was nice enough to arrange for me to interview Nancy Collins for episode 81 of Horror Addicts, I thought I would write about who they are and what they have to offer. Biting Dog Press is a small independent book publisher that specializes in producing limited edition collectable books and e-books. All of their collectable books are handmade and limited to no more then 300 copies.

One of the collectable books they have includes  The Resurrection And The Life by Brian Keene which was limited to 250 signed hardcover copies. The book was produced in the style of a medieval manuscript and tells the tale of a shocking twist from the Book of John. They also have limited edition books from Edgar Allen Poe, Neil Gaiman and Jack Ketchum.

Biting Dog also has quite a few e-books available. Among them is Through Darkest America by Neal Barrett  Jr. Which I reviewed earlier in the season and its sequel Dawn’s Uncertain Light. The sequel follows a young man named Howie Ryder as he travels to Silver Island which was meant to be a symbol of how America was recovering after the great war. In reality the island is a concentration camp where genetic engineering is being done and his sister is being held captive.

Some other books from Biting Dog Press includes: The Transformed Mouse by Jack Ketchum which is a fable aimed at adults but not for people that fear mice. Murder Mysteries by Neil Gaiman which is about an angel who was murdered in heaven before the fall. Then there is Suffer The Flesh by Monica J. O Rourke which tells the tale of a woman named Zoey who was kidnapped in Manhattan and is about to learn what ecstasy and pain is really about.

Another good book that I just finished reading from Biting Dog Press is Knuckles And Tales by Nancy Collins. This is a collection of gothic short stories and novelettes all set in the South. Some of the things you’ll find in  this anthology include a half catfish half woman that lives in the Mississippi River, a half alligator half man that attacks fishermen, a traveling sideshow with a snake charmer, a geek that bites the head off of chickens, a voodoo priest who is leading his undead family out for revenge and an old witch who can turn your luck around for a price.

One of my favorite stories in this collection and really there isn’t a bad story in this anthology is Billy Fearless. Billy is not the sharpest knife in the drawer and hes not exactly stupid but he does have a tendency to take everything at face value and is immune to fear. Thinking that he is an idiot his father sends him away with some money and tells him to go out into the world,  make your fortune and never return. Billy leaves and comes to a little hotel in front of a haunted mansion on a lake. Billy gets dared to spend three nights in the mansion. Several people have been brave enough to enter the mansion but none have lived to tell the tale . Billy is not a normal guy though and the evil spirits that haunt the house may have met their match. I loved how Billy is presented in this story, hes a  nice person that wants to help people but because he is a little slow and never scared, people get the wrong idea. The end of the story is hilarious and I loved it when the evil spirit in charge of haunting the mansion confronts Billy. This story teaches that being righteous does have its rewards.

Another great story from Knuckles and Tales is The Two Headed Man. This is kind of a bizarre love story with an equally bizarre sex scene. It all starts when a man shows up at a diner just before it closes, he unzips his coat and the waitress and cook are surprised to see that he has two heads…or does he? I don’t want to tell any more about this story because it would ruin the surprise. What makes this story good is that it teaches that even people who are a little different can find love and never judge a book by its cover. Also the characters were beautifully written, I could relate to all of them and wanted to see them have a happy ending.

Nancy Collins makes the rural south come alive in Knuckles and Tales and I enjoyed the fact that three of the stories uses a traveling carnival and sideshow as its settings. If you like horror with a mix of comedy and old legends then you’ll want to check this one out.

Free fiction Friday: A Vampire Double Feature

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2012 by David Watson

For this weeks Free Fiction Friday, we have two vampire books up for grabs. These books are two parts of a four part series and are written by  punk rock singer/Journalist/Author: Mick Farren.  These are the first two novels in the Victor Renquist series. Victor was born in the 12th century and now lives with a colony of  four other vampires.

The first book is The Time of Feasting and it originally came out in 1996. Tired of living in hiding and feeling contemptuous of humanity, the young vampires in Victor’s coven have challenged him for supremacy.  To make matters worse, a city cop and an ex-priest have uncovered the secrets of the coven, putting all vampires in danger.  Its up to Victor to squash the rebellion and stop the two humans before they inform others.

The second book of the series is Darklost and was published in 2000. Victor has moved his vampire colony  to Los Angeles but not all is well. Victor has an uneasy feeling that someone is messing with dark magic that can destroy all of civilization. He finds out that there is a religious cult is trying to summon Cthulhu and bring an end to mankind. Humanity’s only hope rests with a small group of vampires that have to overcome their differences to save us all.

The reviews that I’ve read for The Time Of Feasting and Darklost all say that they are great vampire novels and some of the author’s best work. Not only is Mick Farren author of several horror, cyberpunk and sci fi novels he is also the lead singer of the punk rock group: The Deviants. If you want to get your hands on these two books all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog saying what your favorite vampire novel is and why. The best answer gets both books. I want these two books for myself so I’m going to make things a little harder then usual. Good Luck!!!

Upcoming Events

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2012 by David Watson

September 15th / Imperative Reaction and Malfaktor / Holywood, CA / A night of alternative and goth music with MC Kent Kalber, Master Paul and Lady Sheeva. For more information go to: barsinister.net.

September 21st -23rd / Infect Scranton / Scranton, PA / This is a zombie themed convention that includes a zombie pub crawl, a zombie costume party, a zombie survivor challenge, a zombie walk and a film festival with director q and a’s. For more information go to: infectscranton.com.

September 28th -30th / Scarefest / Lexington, Kentucky/ A film festival that includes an amateur film festival and appearances by Nick Groff author of Chasing Spirits, Clive Barker, Chris Sarandon and Stephen Geoffreys from Fright Night along with several other celebrities. There will also be a live performance from Them, Ghosts and Paper Hearts and The Loaded Nuns. For more information go to scarefestcon.com.

Setember 28th -30th / Chicago Horror Film Festival / Chicago, Il / This film festival includes showings of On A Dark and Stormy Night, Michael Morlock’s Supernatural World, The Mole Men of Belmount Avenue and Fitness Class Zombie. For more information go to: chicagohorrorfest.com.

September 28th – 29th / Miss Misery’s Days of Terror / Sacramento, CA / Includes make up demonstrations and showings of They Came From The Attic, Frankenstein Day Of The Beast, Bloody Bloody Bible Camp and Welcome To My Darkside Women in Horror Documentary. For more information go to: daysofterror.com

Apparition and The Void

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2012 by David Watson

The featured author for  episode 80 of Horror Addicts is Michaelbrent Collings and at the end of the podcast you can hear the first chapter of his latest book Appartition. Apparition is a hard core supernatural horror novel that is going to scare the hell out of you. I don’t even need to say to much about this book because when you hear the first chapter your going to want to buy it.

This book has everything that you would want in a horror novel, a spooky house, ghosts and an evil entity that possesses parents and makes them kill their children. The story is about a a father named Shane and his two kids trying to build a new life after Shane’s wife Kari tries to kill their two kids. The family moves into a new home that has a dark past. Shane and the kids start to hear footsteps and see hings that shouldn’t be there. Then Shane starts to have feelings about killing his children that he has a hard time controlling.

Apparition is well written and extremely scary. Each chapter starts off with a diary entry about someone that killed their children which adds some realism to the book. This is the thing that made the book hard to read for me the concept of killing your own children is a hard one to deal with and I found myself cringing quite a bit while reading it.

If you look at horror as something that is supposed to make you look at the dark side of life and make you deal with it then you will really enjoy this book.  Also at the end there is an afterword by the author that explains what he was thinking when he wrote it and and why he wrote it which really helped me to understand the main idea of the book.

Some of the things I really enjoyed in this book was the opening chapters when you know whats going through Kari’s mind as she contemplates killing her children. I also liked finding out how the rest of the family deals with it. There is also a great scene with a Ouija board that was absolutely chilling. Just when you think its not going to get scarier there is a scene at an insane asylum that out does it. From there it is a roller coaster ride right up to a shocking ending.

My favorite part of this book wasn’t the scenes with the ghosts in it, it was reading about how the family deals with what they’re going through. I like hearing how Shane feels he doesn’t deserve a good family or a loving wife. Despite his feelings he does the best he can for his family. He also talks about how after the effects of the first two chapters he sees his wife as being a better person then she really was and since he sees her that way he is forgetting how she really was as a person. I was really hoping Shane would get a happy ending. I also liked how his daughter acts like she hates everyone but then thinks to herself: “why do I act this way, I don’t hate my family,” but she cant tell them that. Despite their circumstances you see they love each other and they just want to get back to the normal life they had before the events of the first chapter.

The next book I want to talk about is The Void by Brett J. Talley and it has a very different setting. The year is 2169 and Aiden Conner has just woken up on a space ship he is not familiar with and he doesn’t remember how he got there. Aiden was working on a transport ship that had a mysterious accident while traveling at warp speed.

In the future, man has mastered space travel, but when their ship goes to warp all crew members have to go into a sleep chamber and sleep until the ship comes out of warp. The downside of this is while sleeping the crew dreams and for some people on a ship the dreams are enough to drive them insane. While sleeping through warp, the crew sees the same dream every time. Some dreams tell of the future, some of the past, some are terrifying and a few people actually enjoy their dreams.

After the accident Aiden finds he can’t get a job on any other ship. That is until Captain Caroline Gravely comes along and hires him to work upon her ship, The Chronos. Caroline has waited a long time to command her own ship and she has assembled a six person crew with very diverse backgrounds. She also has her own problems with the dream state during warp drive. The rest of the crew also has their own issues and none of them are looking forward to what will happen when they enter warp. To make matters worse when they drop out of warp they are surrounded by black holes and find a long lost abandoned ship.

I loved the concept for The Void.  This is a good horror story with a science fiction background. Brett J. Talley does a great job giving a scientific explanation to how the space ships travel, how gravity is created for a ship and what is happening when a ship travels at warp speed. I also liked how all the crew member’s dreams were described and how there was a little mystery to what all of their dreams mean and how the dreams effect each person. It was a nice touch how all the dreams we’re very different and despite the fact that everyone fears the dream state not all of the dreams were bad.

I found myself thinking The Void would make a great movie that could satisfy both horror and science fiction fans. Brett J. Talley has done an excellent job bridging two genres. Brett has one another novel from Journalstone press called That Which Should Not Be which will make Lovecraft fans very happy.

Free Fiction Friday: Blood Feud

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on August 17, 2012 by David Watson

Our Free Fiction Friday selection for this week is Blood Feud by Sam Siciliano. This book was originally released in 1993 and tells the tale of two ancient vampires that will not rest until the other is destroyed.

Blood Feud is set in Portland Oregon where two vampire’s final battle will take place. One vampire is a master of manipulation and he now thirsts for the death of the vampire woman he once loved. The  woman in question is dangerously seductive and uses her body to possess her victims and now she wants revenge on the vampire who cursed her with immortality. They have been driven through the centuries by the desire to bathe in the other’s undying blood and now the final battle is drawing near.

Some other books written by Sam Siciliano include: Darkness, Blood Farm and The Angel Of The Opera: Sherlock Holmes Meets The Phantom Of The Opera. To find out more about Sam Siciliano go to: samsiciliano.net.

If you want this book leave a comment on this blog post. The first comment gets the book. This is for US residents only.

Upcoming Events

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2012 by David Watson

September 7th-9th / Horrorhound Weekend / Indianapolis, Indiana / This festival includes a Terminator reunion, an Aliens reunion  and 150 vendors. There will also be a costume contest, an HMA.net mask fest which will showcase hundreds of realistic looking horror masks, a film festival and appearances by Elvira and Jamie Lee Curtis. For more information go to: http://www.horrorhoundweekend.com/

September 7th-8th / Drive-In Super Monster Rama / Vandergrift, Pennsylvania / Two nights of classic horror and sci fi films in an authentic drive in on route 66. Some of the movies being shown include: Countess Dracula, Son of the Blob, Psychomania, Horror House, Theatre Of Blood and Twins of Evil. For more information go to: http://www.dvddrive-in.com/driveinsupermonsterrama12.htm

September 13-16th / Scare-A-Cuse / Syracuse, New York / This is a horror, fantasy and Science Fiction convention that includes a zombie costume party and appearances by P.J. Soles from Halloween, Kane Hodder from Friday The 13th, Judith O’Dey from Night Of The Living Dead and Michael Berryman from The Hills Have Eyes. Also included is a film festival and a vendor room. For more information go to: http://scare-a-cuse.net/

September 14-16th / Con X / Kansas City, Missouri / A Horror and pop culture convention that includes screanings of D4, The Afflicted, InAlienable and The Hazing. There will also be appearances by Tiffany Shelps, Walter Koening and Jay Avovone and a live performance from Kyle Elliot and Voodoo Soul. For more information go to: http://www.conxkc.com/

September 20th-23rd / Killercon / Las Vegas, Nevada / This is a writers convention with writing workshops, author readings and a gross out contest. Some of the guests include: Brian Keene, Jack Ketchum, William F. Nolan, F. Paul Wilson For more information go to: http://www.killercon.com/

My Fearful Symmetry and Women Scorned

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2012 by David Watson

I’ve read four vampire novels in the last six months and I’ve noticed that each vampire book that I read has a different take on what vampires would be like. This is what I think makes vampires so interesting. There are so many different ways to tell a vampire story and in each story the vampires themselves can have very different personalities.

A good example of this is My Fearful Symmetry by Denise Verrico. Denise Verrico was heavily influenced by the show Dark Shadows and Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Denise’s vampires aren’t like the vampires that Anne Rice wrote about. The vampires in My Fearful Symmetry enjoy being vampires, they’re  religious but use it as a way to hold power over others and they keep other vampires as slaves.

The star of My Fearful Symmetry is nineteen year old Cedric MacKinnon. He makes his living as a prostitute in England and has recently discovered he has AIDs. He gives up prostitution and starts to perform as a street musician. One night he meets a mysterious stranger named Raj. Raj is a vampire and promises to give Cedric wealth and eternal youth if he agrees to join him.

Cedric agrees thinking that his life can’t get any worse then it already is but his life is no easier as an immortal being. He has to move to a temple in India and is forced to  go through rigorous training  to become an adept. Adepts are dancers, artists, servants and sex toys for the elder vampires. Being an adept is one step above being a slave but adepts are taught that they are artists that perform in the name of the Indian goddess Kali.

As an adept Cedric has to give up his real name and take on the name Shardul. He lives with the other adepts and servants and gets trained by a female vampire named Sandhya. Though Sandhya is rough on Cedric a relationship starts to blossom between the two. Sandhya has taught adepts for over 100 years and she has a dark past just like the other vampires trained to serve. Adepts are held in high regard but they have very hard lives. If they can survive their initial training they are then subject to torture by some of the elder vampires and get used for sex in order to advance their master’s political interests. If things weren’t bad enough for the serving class there is also a revolution going on.

Some vampires have formed an alliance and are swearing allegiance to a leader named Loki who was named after the Norse god of mischief that was destined to destroy the other gods. Cedric at first wanted nothing more then to live with his master Raj but as an adept he starts to see things in a different way. He starts having visions of a violent destiny and has to decide to join the revolution or continue to serve his master.

My Fearful Symmetry is actually the third book in The Immortyl Revolution series of novels. Books one and two are set in a different location and about different characters in the revolution. Book three introduces a new cast and is set in a different part of the world but by the end of the book you get to see one of the main characters of the first book. You don’t have to read the first two books Cara Mia and Twilight Of The Gods to enjoy My Fearful Symmetry.

My Fearful Symmetry is more of a dark fantasy then a horror novel but it has a good story, lots of action, good sex scenes, a love story and there are some ghoulish scenes to keep horror fans happy. I loved the character of Cedric and I liked watching him change throughout the story. This is kind of like a coming of age book. You see a young teenager turned into a vampire who at first is an immature, self centered, single minded kid but by the end he is an adult who tries to protect those around him.

One of my favorite scenes was where Cedric has to go through a purification ritual and is forced to sit in a dark space for one cycle of the moon. He is able to drink only blood mixed with a herb that brings on hallucinations. I also enjoyed the sword fights in the book and finding out about the adepts training.  Another item in the book that was interesting was seeing how Religion means nothing to the vampire leaders but they use it to get what they want and to keep the adepts in line. In one scene towards the end an adept spills a food tray on an elder vampire. The elder vampire insists that the adept’s master Kalidasa must kill him but Kalidasa says he can’t kill him because the adept is in the service of the goddess Kalli. Earlier in the book Kallidasa allows an adept to be sexually abused but when he fears loosing a servant he uses religion to save him. My Fearful Symmetry is a good urban fantasy that shows us a vampire society that mirrors are own. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

The next book I  want to talk about is from Journalstone books and is called Women Scorned by Angela Alsaleem. The story follows a woman named Camilla who was just murdered,  now an ancient spirit possesses her, using her as a tool of vengeance. Tortured by visions of murdered women, she is thrust into a world of terror as she seeks a way to rid herself of the nightmare she has become.

Camilla is still trapped in her body but has no control. In order to live she feeds off of a substance that is on the breath of criminals. This is the least of Camilla’s problems though, because there is a cult stalking the spirit that inhabits Camilla and they plan on using it to release a horde of demons on earth.

I have to warn you on this book you shouldn’t read it if you have a weak stomach because there is a lot of gore here but there is some great characters and its a well written story. Mainly Women Scorned is a tale about revenge and asks the question can you really move on after you punish your enemies. This is a hard core bloody horror novel that will make you squirm in your chair, if you like a lot of violence then pick this one up.

Free Fiction Friday: The Blood Of The Covenant

Posted in News with tags , , , , on August 3, 2012 by David Watson

For this week’s Free Friday Fiction selection we have The Blood Of The Covenant by Brent Monahan. This book originally came out in 1997 and is a sequel to The Book Of Common Dread. The story follows a couple of Princeton librarians named Simon Penn and Frederika Vanderveen who have just rescued an ancient document from a group of sadistic vampires. The document holds a prophecy but in order to decipher it they have to read a dead vampire’s diary hidden away in Switzerland. To make matters worse Simon is in love with Fredrika who may be under the spell of a vampire.

After this books release Brent Monahan went on to write horror and mystery novels including The Bell Witch: An American Haunting and The Jekyl Island Club. The reviews for this book that I have seen called it an original take on vampires and a classic thriller. One thing all the reviews said was that it was just as good as the predecessor and a great read for anyone who loves vampires.

If you would like your own copy of The Blood Of The Covenant leave a comment on this blog post. The first comment gets the book. This is open to US residents only.

Horror On The Installment Plan

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2012 by David Watson

If you like to read horror magazines so you can get a regular dose of good short  horror fiction,  art and interviews with horror authors, you will find a lot of good horror magazines to choose from. Some of the ones out there include Cemetery Dance, Blood Moon Rising Magazine and Siren’s Call ezine. Now we have a new horror magazine on the scene which plans on providing professional stories from professional authors. The magazine is edited by James Musgrave and called Horror On The Installment Plan.

The first issue of Horror On the Installment Plan came out in June. The theme is zombies and children and includes five stories and an interview with Horror author Nat Robinson.  In the “From the Publisher” section of this magazine James “E.Z. Graves” Musgrave writes that the pages of Horror On The Installment Plan will include an amazing group of horror writers and will be available by subscription via email or through your kindle.

The first story in the June issue of Horror On The Installment Plan is The Flesh Eaters by Andrew F. Rey. Its about a guy named Dwayne who is living alone in a California town looking for food and keeping away from the zombies that seem to be everywhere.  This story reads like any other zombie story but has a twist ending that makes it a good read.

The next story is  by Stacy Bolli called The Undead Addiction. This story includes zombies but is not your normal zombie story. the zombie outbreak has been contained but now there is a different problem. It has been discovered that a highly addictive drug can be made from  a female zombie’s brain called zombion.  One dose of zombion leaves you addicted and if you go into withdrawal you’re as good as dead. Problem is there aren’t a lot of zombies left and people are killing each other to get the drug. I loved this story because it was  an original look at the aftermath of a zombie outbreak.

Basic Nature by Karen Dent is next up and looks at a father trying to save his daughter from himself as he changes into one of the undead. This one is followed by Back Seat Letter by Chris Castle which is told from a letter written by a little girl who is in a back seat of a car trying to escape a zombie infestation. Both of these stories were great character driven pieces and a lot of fun to read.

The last story in this magazine was by the publisher E.Z. Graves and called Born this Way. This was a fun little zombie tale that has a very funny musical part. Each story in this issue of Horror On The Installment Plan was a very different look at the zombie genre and each story was an excellent read. I’ve read a lot of horror magazines in my time and its very rare to find a magazine where all the stories are good but this issue of Horror On The Installment Plan succeeds. The best part is that this magazine can be purchased on Amazon for 99 cents. Horror On The Installment Plan looks like its going to be a great magazine and I look forward to more issues.

Upcoming Events

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2012 by David Watson

August 3rd and 4th / Zombie VoodooFest / San Francisco, CA / This is a film festival commemorating the 80th anniversary of the release of White Zombie. Events include a film festival, vendors, a zombie beauty pageant, zombie street dance, zombie tag and a zombie marathon. For more information go to:  http://emergingmagazine.com/profile/ZombieVoodooFest?xg_source=profiles_memberList.

August 10th / Cruella at Slims / San Francisco, CA. /  Presented by Bay Area Tributes this is an all ages show. Cruella is an AC/DC tribute band, opening the show will be Haunted by Heroes. For more information go to: http://www.slimspresents.com/.

August 30th-September 2nd / San Antonio Horrific Film Fest / San Antonio, Texas / This festival will include a zombie walk, A dealer’s room and appearances by Sergio Guerra from SyFy Channel’s Face Off and Lew Temple from The Devil’s Rejects. Some of the movies being shown include: Daughter of Werebitch Meets Frankenstein and Bloody Bloody Biblecamp. For more information go to: horrificfilmfest.com

August 31st-September 2nd / Horrorfind Weekend / Gettysburg, Pennsylvania/ Events include a costume contest, hearse and car show, vendors, a zombie prom, horror author readings, scaryoke and a film festival. There will also be appearances by Denise Crosby, Malcolm McDowell and Dee Wallace. For more information go to: horrorfindweekend.com.

August 31st – September 6th / Spread The Dead Zombie Film Competition / Arlington, Texas /This is a contest open to all filmmakers. You have 2 days to write, shoot and edit a zombie movies. Your movie will then be shown in front of an audience and a winner will be chosen. 1st prize wins $300. For more information go to: spreadthedead48hr.com

Little Deaths and The Eyes of The Stars

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on July 21, 2012 by David Watson

What do you do when your girlfriend dies and you have a problem letting her go? If you’re a collector and you own a  pair of neck bolts that Boris Karloff wore in the original Frankenstein movie you might be able to bring her back to life. Of course that could become a problem once the body decomposes.

This is one of the story lines from John F.D. Taff’s Little Deaths. This anthology includes 19 short horror stories that take a look at how humans react to bizarre situations. Another story in this collection looks at a woman named Melinda who marries a man named Josh. Josh has a book that tells every detail of his and Melinda’s life from birth to death. Despite her husband’s warnings to not look at the book, she does look and doesn’t like her destiny. She decides to rewrite the book and change everything but now she has to face the consequences.

My favorite stories in this anthology were the ones that mixed Science Fiction and Horror such as But For A Moment…Motionless which tells the tale of a man walking the streets of a deserted city and discovering that he may be the last one alive. I liked how the main character describes what he will miss about humanity and how he reacts when he learns what really happened.

I also enjoyed Snapback which tells what happens in the future as people learn how to master time travel. This one is told through a series of scientific reports and I thought it was interesting hearing how the tone of the reports change as the scientists discover that there is a problem.

Other good stories for the hard core horror fan include include The Mire Of Human Veins that had a Neil Gaiman feel to it and is about a girl who has a strange home life. Another one is Child Of Dirt about a baby who’s father may not be human.  Also if you are into ghost stories, The story Here is a ghostly love story that has a good sense of humor and will appeal to all dog lovers.

I enjoyed John F.D. Taff’s Little Deaths more or less. I thought all the stories were well written and I like how the author describes the action and setting in each story. I also like the way he describes his characters.  That being said I did have a problem with some of the stories. Such as The Scent, BoltsHelping Hands and Calander Girl which were based on good ideas but had endings that left me confused. John F.D. Taff does make up for this though in the end of the book when he tells his idea behind each story and your able to find out what he was thinking as he wrote it. I do think Little Deaths is a good anthology and I look forward to seeing a novel by John F.D. Taff in the future.

The next book I want to look at combines mystery and horror while taking a look at a secret society and ancient religion. Its called The Eyes Of the Stars by Malcolm J Stewart. The story follows Chicago homicide detective Paul Gminski who is haunted by dark dreams of his mother’s death. Unable to rest, Paul and his partner Ivey are called to The Field Museum to investigate the brutal murder of one of the museum’s employees. The employee is a member of  The Council of Six whose members are being viciously slaughtered by something that is not human. The only clue they have is the word Amuz written in blood on a wall at two of the crime scenes.

Each council member possesses a piece of an ancient collection of relics called The Eyes of the Stars. Paul finds himself in a desperate race against time as he battles to unravel the mystery of the Eyes of the Stars. But doing so will pit him and Chicago against an ancient, forbidden evil awaiting rebirth under the city’s streets.

I thought The Eyes Of The Stars got off to a slow start and I was confused at first because the religious aspects of the book and the secret society were not explained until later on, so you have to get past the beginning to get into it. Also there were some typos in the version I read which did take away from the story a little.

On the bright side I like how the mystery unfolds. Little by little you find out about the Council of six’s motivations and you learn about the zealots and Nephilim and what they have to do with the murder spree. My favorite part in the book was when a character named Sulya describes what the bible is really all about. Also the villains in the story are great. I don’t want to give anything away but I loved how The forbidden One is revealed.

I also like how its shown what side of the fence another one of the characters is on. When the other villain finds out that bringing The Forbidden One back to Earth is not in their best interest, its great watching them get there just desserts. I guess the point here is, it doesn’t pay to be evil. The scene where The Forbidden One rises and you see what makes up this creature is an extremely creepy scene.

My favorite character was Paul. I like how his past was presented and seeing how an event from his childhood managed to destroy his relationship with his wife and daughter and effect every aspect of his life. There is one scene where two of the heroes in the story are having a romantic moment and he wonders if he has ever had a love like the one they share and then he remembers he has had that with his ex-wife.

Paul doesn’t want to be the person he is but he can’t get over his past and it effects everything. I think the theme Malcolm J Stewart is trying to get across here is how one person making a bad decision and not being able to get over it effects everyone. There is also a good point made about how religion is created and the true difference of good and evil.

The Eyes Of The Stars works on several different levels. It is a character driven piece, a horror story, a mystery and a story about philosophy. I think its a book that everyone can get something out of.

Free Fiction Friday: Dead Girls

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on July 20, 2012 by David Watson

This weeks Free Fiction Friday selection is a book that mixes Science Fiction with Horror called Dead Girls by Richard Calder. This book was originally published in 1992 and takes place in the year 2072. In the future Europe is having a recession. They have been taking in all of the refugees from the defunct Soviet Empire and the spreading of a plague has effected all of their exports. In order to compete in the global economy with the United States and Japan they have used nanotechnology to create life size realistic female dolls that are programmed to be the perfect companion for men.

Technology never seems to work like you want it to though and the dolls have evolved and are rebeling against society. With their vampiric saliva they are causing males to impregnate women who then give birth to human/robot hybrids that want to overthrow humanity.

This book is the first of a trilogy, the second book is called Dead Boys and the third is Dead Things. The way I heard this book described makes it sound like a war of the sexes and a metaphor for the sex trade and how it effects personal sexual relationships. If you want to find out more about the author go to http://www.sf2h.com/richardcalder/index.php. If you would like a copy of this book leave a comment on this post. The first comment gets the book.

A Jeff Carlson Double Header

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on July 16, 2012 by David Watson

A vampire dog, a human spaceship hybrid and a half fish, half human. These are some of the things that you will read about in Jeff Carlson’s short story collection called Long Eyes. This anthology according to the author is the book no one wanted him to publish except his fans. Long Eyes includes all of Jeff Carlson’s short stories from when he first started writing to the present day.

Included in this collection are three stories that fans of the horror addicts podcast will be very familiar with. One is the story Monsters which was heard in episode 20 and won Jeff Carlson the best in blood listener’s choice award for season 1. Also included is Caninus which was heard in episode  27. Another story in this collection is Pattern Masters which was one of my favorite stories and was featured in horror addicts episode 51.

I have to admit even though I enjoyed all of Jeff Carlson’s stories on Horror Addicts I was a little apprehensive of reading Long Eyes. I do like science fiction but I find a lot of it goes over my head and I thought that might be the case with the stories in this anthology. Not only was every story excellent but none of them left me feeling confused as to what was going on. Long Eyes is very well written and shows how a great science fiction anthology should be.

One theme I found that seems to run through all of the stories here is loneliness. There is usually one character in each story that doesn’t fit in with what is considered normal. A good example of that is in the title story Long Eyes. Which tells the tale of a woman named Clara who is physically connected to a space ship. Clara has been traveling through space for 600 years before landing on a planet and being attacked by humanoid creatures.  Clara sees the potential in these humanoids and has to decide whether to help the creatures become more then they are or put in a distress call in to help her leave the planet.

This story was the first selection and really set the mood for the whole book, I loved the idea in this story about a lonely being  comes across a race of people that are worse off then she is, and deciding if she should help those around her or do what is best for herself. Another story that has a similar theme is Planet of the Sealies. This one follows a woman named Joanna searching a planet in the distant future in search of dna to find out how past civilizations lived. This story was another one of my favorites and once again has a character that doesn’t fit in with anyone else.  I also loved finding out what a sealie is.

Long Eyes has something that will appeal to horror and science fiction fans alike. There is also a little mystery, fantasy and comedy thrown in as well. In addition to the stories I also liked the commentary that Jeff Carlson gives at the end of each story, it was kind of like getting a director’s commentary for each story. My only problem with the anthology was that I thought almost every story in this anthology would make a great novel and I wanted more. I guess that is the point of a good anthology though, to make your fans want more.

If your looking for more from Jeff Carlson then another title to check out is The Frozen Sky. This novella  is about the first manned mission to Europa. A group of archaeologists are exploring Jupiter’s moon and the governments of the world are waiting to see what materials from Europa can be used back on Earth.  The crew finds more then they bargained for when they find some hieroglyphs and other signs of life.  Europa is indeed inhabited and the natives don’t like visitors.

The story is mostly told from one of the crew member’s point of view; a 36 year old woman named Alexis who the rest of the characters see as being childish. Alexis has to run for her life through frozen ravines and canyons of rock while being chased by creatures that resemble  starfish. To make matters worse her spacesuit has a mind of its own and has its own plan for handling the situation.

There is a lot going on in a short period of time in The Frozen Sky. A lot of the story is told through flashback as the crew fights for their lives, the back story unfolds and you learn why the mission is taking place, what is at stake and what the crew hopes to get out of the trip. I liked how Jeff Carlson started the story in the middle of the action and then back tracked to tell how we got to where we are. I think if the story was told from the beginning it wouldn’t have worked as well.

You could tell Jeff Carlson did his homework and did a lot of research on what Europa was like. I loved how this alien world was described. I also enjoyed watching Alexis wrestle with the question of how she will escape the creatures or is it possible to communicate with them without causing them harm. Another good thing was how the aliens were presented in the story, at first you see them as monsters but you start to learn about the conditions that they live in and how that shaped what they are. Europa is a harsh environment to live in and there is another surprise in the story that makes the moon’s inhabitants lives even harder.

This novella will probably best be enjoyed by hard core science fiction readers. It has a  good mix of science and politics set in the 22nd century and quite a bit of action as well.  The Frozen Sky was a really fun read that can be enjoyed on many levels and it really gets you thinking on what may be living on Europa.

Upcoming Events

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2012 by David Watson

July 12th-15th / Vampire Film Festival’s Midsummer Nightmare / New Orleans La /Festival includes an appearance by Steve Unger author of In The Footsteps Of Dracula on Friday July 13th. There will also be several presentations on vampires in movies, a film festival and several vampire authors will be there. For more information go to: http://nolamidsummernightmare.com/home.

July 31st / Darkwater @ Otto’s Shrunken Head / New York, NY / A night of 80′s, New Wave, Goth, Synthpop, and industrial music by DJ Spaz and DJ Cage 23. For more information go to: ottosshrunkenhead.com

August 4th / Malfaktor at the OC Fair / Costa Mesa, Ca. / The OC Fair presents Malfaktor. Malfaktor is an experimental industrial metal band and has been called one of best up and coming electo goth industrial artists by several metal magazines. For more information go to: ocfair.com.

August 17th -19th / Monster Mania / Cherry Hill, New Jersey / This convention includes a Hellraiser 25th anniversary reunion featuring Clive Barker and Doug Bradley. There will also be appearances by Nancy Allen, Carl Weathers and John Russo. For more information go to: monstermania.net

August 23rd – 26th / Rue Morgue Festival of Fear / Toronto, Canada / This event includes appearances by John Carpenter, Tony Todd, Chris Sarandon and Nelsan Ellis. There will also be a Frankenweenie art exhibit, a dealer’s room and a film festival. For more information go to: http://rue-morgue.com/festival-of-fear

August 24th – 26th / Crypticon / Kansas City, Mo. / Included will be a tattoo show, a film festival including showings of Pan’s Labyrinth and Pumpkinhead, a Night of the Creeps reunion, a costume contest and a live performance from Devil Sex. For more information go to crypticonkansascity.com

Gothic Blue Book and The Cemetery Club

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2012 by David Watson

If you like horror stories that are short and sweet you should check out Gothic Blue Book The Haunted Edition from Burial Day books . This is a collection of 12 short horror stories and two poems edited by Cynthia and Gerardo Pelayo. This anthology honors the gothic story and includes old ghost stories and tales of misery, fear, despair, regret and dread. This collection would make Edgar Allan Poe proud. Don’t expect a lot of happy endings in this book.

Gothic Blue Book: The Haunted Edition is a tribute to the Gothic blue Books that came out in the late 18th and 19th century. These books included several short stories and were between 36 and 72 pages long. They were very cheap and not well liked by literary critics; despite that they were very popular.

When I started reading Gothic Blue Book, I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did, but there were quite a few good stories in the book. The first story is a poem which sets the mood for the whole book. Its by Helena Marie Carnes Jeffries and called The Beach House. It describes the emotional state of a woman who has just found out her husband is cheating on her. The depressed woman is walking on a beach and sees a very familiar looking woman in an abandoned beach house. Thinking the woman needs help she decides to go inside but doesn’t like what she finds, but maybe it was what she was looking for. I loved how the woman’s thoughts we’re described in this poem and how well written it was.

Another good story in this anthology was The Tapping by John Everson. This one was about three men who make a bet on who can be the first one to retrieve a skeleton’s hand from a graveyard so they can use it in a prank. This story was the kind of story I love to read as a horror fan. The way the graveyard is described and the main character’s fear as he starts to think he is not alone in the crypt are what horror is all about. Three men in an old graveyard digging up corpses on  a windy cold Halloween night in an attempt to scare a co worker. What can be more fun than that and of course nothing can go wrong when you disturb the dead. right?

Some other good stories in this collection include The Realtor, which tells the tale of a salesman trying to make a quota by creating a few urban legend. This one had me feeling sorry for the Realtor but also hoping his victim didn’t die. I also liked Where The Fault Lies by Greg Mollin and The Squatter by M.N. Hanson. Both are great ghost stories with very different moods and endings.

My favorite story in Gothic Blue Book was The Gravedigger by Cynthia Pelayo. It tells the story of a woman named Madeline who just doesn’t fit into society but tries to make everyone around her happy. When she finds out that someone has been using her, she decides to get her revenge by reenacting a death scene which is a  tribute to a very famous horror author. Madeline is a character that if you’ve ever felt like an outsider you will be able to relate to and I would like to see some longer stories with her in it. I highly recommend Gothic Blue Book The Haunted Edition and you will find it for 99 cents on amazon. So what are you waiting for, go get it.

The next book I want to talk about is from Journalstone publishing called The Cemetery Club by JG Faherty. The story is about four 16 year old kids who hang out in the Cemetery and call themselves The Cemetery Club. One day they accidentally unleash an ancient evil in the form of small monsters that look like aliens on the small town of Rocky Point. These creatures are vicious and spread their evil by climbing inside people’s mouths and turning them into zombies. The four kids defeat the evil but one member of the club spends 20 years in an insane asylum while another becomes an alcoholic. Now 20 years later, the evil has returned and only The Cemetery Club can stop it.

While I really did enjoy this story I do have to say that most of what is written in The Cemetery Club has been done and redone in several other novels. One book it reminded me of was Stephen King’s It. Even though the story will seem familiar to you this book is still well worth your time. All of the action scenes are well done. I also loved how the cemetery is described and how the creatures are described. The atmosphere in this book is spooky and stories about evil in a small town just never gets old.

My favorite part of the story is how JG Faherty presents the relationship between the four members of The Cemetery Club. You get to know them as teenagers and then you get to see them become very different people as 36 year olds. Despite there different paths in life and the fact that they haven’t talked to each other in years when there is trouble you see them come together and show that they never stopped being friends despite the passage of time.

The character with the most interesting story in this book was Todd. The idea of him coming home after 20 years in the mental hospital and trying to lead a normal life appealed to me and I felt a lot of sympathy for him.  I think JG Faherty was using Todd to make a point about how horribly people with mental health issues get treated.  The author describes quite a bit of illegal testing on the mental hospital’s patients and makes a point about how horribly humans treat other humans. This sets The Cemetery Club apart from other novels with similar stories and makes it a great book.

Free Fiction Friday: Sips Of Blood

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on July 6, 2012 by David Watson

This weeks Free Fiction Friday selection is Sips of Blood by Mary Ann Mitchell. This book answers the question of what would happen if  The Marquis de Sade was a vampire and walked the earth during the present day. If your not familiar with Marquis de Sade he was a french philosopher who lived from 1740 to 1814. He was known for writing erotic stories depicting sexual fantasies with an emphasis on criminality and blasphemy against the catholic church.

According to the reviews I read Sips of Blood  is a disturbing book filled with lots of unconventional and graphic sex. There is also BDSM, gore and incestuous romance. I’ve read one book by Mary Ann Mitchell called Ambrosial Flesh. If this one is anything like that one, then the reviews I read are correct.

This book is the first in a series of 5 books by Mary Ann Mitchell staring Marquis De Sade  as a vampire.  If you would like your own copy of Sips Of Blood. Leave a comment on this blog post. The first comment gets the book.

Beware of Marysvale

Posted in News with tags , , , , on July 3, 2012 by David Watson

The town of Marysville is not a Merry place. The town is surrounded by tall hairy blood thirsty monsters called the Brean. They have  six inch long black fingernails and fangs the size of daggers. The only thing keeping Marysvale from these creatures in the woods is a wall that surrounds the city. The people in town are not allowed to leave Marysvale and those that try to go to Marysvale rarley survive the trip through the woods. Things weren’t always like this in Marysvale, originally the Brean we’re not dangerous but something changed a few years back and the Brean started a rampage across the countryside.

One man that might hold the key to Marysvale’s future is John Casey, a 22 year old man who doesn’t know a lot about his past. John has the power to see into people’s souls, he knows people’s secrets and tries to protect his friends from evil. He also has the tendency to get himself into trouble. He’s now on the run to Marysvale where he will find love, battle monsters and find out that what is within the walls of Marysvale is just as terrifying as what surrounds it.

Marysvale by Jared Southwick is a book that people of all ages will enjoy. There is some violence but it is not overly descriptive and people who like to read young adult novels will enjoy this book just as much as older readers. Marysvale is a book that works on many levels and has something for everyone.

People that are into romance will enjoy the love story between John and a woman named Jane. Horror lovers will enjoy watching John try to escape from the brean and action lovers will enjoy all the fighting scenes within the city. There is also some mystery involved as you try to figure out what happened in John’s past and how much the other characters know about him.

What I enjoyed most about Marysvale is how unpredictable it is. In the beginning the author sets up who you believe are going to be the heroes and villains in the story but the main villain is quickly dealt with in the first two chapters and John takes his horse and goes on the run. At this point I wondered where this story was going as  it turns from a fantasy story to a horror story as John meets the brean and has to run for his life.

Another thing I really enjoyed about Marysvale is the social commentary that is given on the people that live in Marysvale. No one can enter or leave the city and in order to have safety from the monsters outside, the people inside have given up all their personal freedoms. In the town the government holds all the wealth as the townspeople live in squalor. The townspeople fear whats outside the walls more then what is inside. I fealt Jared Southwick was giving a metaphor for how we lost some of our personal freedoms after 9/11 and he did a good job of pulling it off.

I highly recommend this book. My only two issues  with it was that there were a couple of unanswered questions and some of the characters that we’re introduced in the beginning we’re never heard from again. Just recently though a sequel to Marysvale was released called Alyth which I’m hoping will answer all of my questions. Marysvale is an unpredictable thrill ride that will leave you anxious for the sequel.

Upcoming events

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2012 by David Watson

July 13th – July 15th / G-fest / Rosemont, Il. /The largest annual gathering of Godzilla and Japanese monster fans in the world. This event includes The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, Gorgo, Gammera The Invincible and several Godzilla movies. There will also be appearances by Akira Takarada and Bin Furuya. For more information go to:  http://www.g-fan.com/html/gfest_xix/gfest_xix.php

July 14th-15th / Con 9 From Outer Space / Melbourne, Australia / Movies being shown at this convention include The Monster of Phantom Lake and Attack of the Moon Zombies along with several Science fiction and Horror movies from the 50′s and 60′s. For more information go to: www.con9fromouterspace.com

 July 26th – 28th / Eastern State 2012 Scared Straight /Philadelphia, PA. / This is a ghost hunting event where participants will be allowed to go on a ghost hunt with professional ghost hunters. There will also be ghost hunting workshops and lectures by several paranormal researchers such as Jeff Belanger, Dave Schrader, George Noory and many others. For more information go to: http://www.darknessradio.com/TRIPS/easternstate2012/index.html

August 8th-12th / Flashback Weekend / Chicago, Il. / Chicago’s longest running horror convention includes appearances by John Carpenter, Jeffrey Combs, Ken Foree, Kane Hodder and Tony Todd. There will also be a zombie pinup beauty pageant, a costume contest, a dealers room and a special 30th anniversary showing of The Thing. For more information go to www.flashbackweekend.com.

August 10th and 11th / Michigan ParaCon / Sault Ste. Marie, Mi. / Upper Michigan’s 3rd annual paranormal convention includes lectures from Ursula Bielski author of Haunted Chicago 1, 2, and 3 , John and Chris Zaffis from the Syfy show The Haunted Collector and Kris Williams and Amy Bruni from Syfy channel’s Ghost Hunters. There will also be several ghost tours and other presentations from people in the paranormal community. For more information go to: miparacon.com

Two takes on Vampires

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on June 23, 2012 by David Watson

I recently read two books that take a very different look at what vampires are like. There are a lot of vampire books and movies out there and each one has a different idea on what vampires should be like. The fact that you can have so many different takes on these mythical creatures is probably why people never get tired of them. We’ve had stories about vampires dating back to 1819 and vampires are just as popular today as they were in the 1800’s.

The first book I want to take a look at is from Nancy Collins who has written quite a few vampire novels including the Vamps series of novels and the Sonja Blue series. The book that I’m talking about here is the fourth book in the Sonja Blue series called  A Dozen Black Roses. This book was originally released in 1996, the version that I read was a revised edition published by Biting Dog Press last year.

A Dozen Black Roses takes place in part of a large U.S. city called Deadtown. The citizens of Deadtown are made up of drug addicts, alcoholics, gang members and vampires. There are two vampires that are fighting for control of Deadtown. One is Lord Esher who was good friends with a certain horror author from the 1800’s. The other is Lord Sinjon who founded Deadtown and is a much older vampire then Esher.

Everyone in Deadtown lives in fear of Esher and Sinjon but things change when Living vampire and monster hunter Sonja Blue comes to town to put an end to both vampires. Sonja soon discovers that destroying the vampires may not be as easy as she thinks when she meets a boy named Ryan whose mother is being brainwashed into marrying Lord Esher. Sonja promises to save Ryan’s mother but Esher practices black magic and has power that may be to much for Sonja to handle.

A Dozen Black Roses is a bloody good time. There are some great characters in this book, including an alcoholic priest with a troubled past and an aging hippie that doesn’t take crap from anyone. I really enjoyed the backstory on Esher and Sinjon. Both vampires even when they were human only cared about having power over others but their personalities are very different.  Also the way they gained their power is  different as well as how they conduct themselves. Esher has plans on expanding outside of Deadtown and through black magic has a more loyal following then Sinjon. Sinjon on the other hand is satisfied being the drug lord over Deadtown and still dresses and acts as he did in the 1700′s. Nancy Collin’s vampires have very unique peronalities but all have the same motivations which to me makes them more interesting.

My favorite part of the book was how Eddie and Sonja became surrogate parents for Ryan.  These two characters don’t have any experience with children but when Eddie finds Ryan eating out of a dumpster he does what he feels he has to do by taking Ryan in. Sonja on the other hand makes the promise to get Ryan’s mother back and shows a different side to herself when Ryan shows his feelings for her.

I also enjoyed the action scenes in this book. One scene I didn’t see coming was when the townspeople have decided they’ve had enough of hiding in fear and go through “changes” as they decide to rid Deadtown of  lowlifes. Another good one was when two gang members are forced to fight to the death naked, while suspended in a cage above an audience of bloodthirsty vampires. This scene will hurt to read if you are a guy. I also liked the suspense that buils towards the end as Sonja prepares to take on Esher.  A Dozen Black Roses is definitly worth your time.

In A Dozen Black Roses the vampires are after power. This is quite a bit different from the vampires in Vikings, Vampires and Mailmen by  Kevin Glennon. In Kevin’s book the vampires just want to eat humans, not just suck their blood, no thats to easy, these vampires want to eat you.

Vampires, Vikings and Mailmen is about the few brave men that make up the United States Vampire Service, a secret government contractor that is dedicated to exterminating vampires. The USVS is busy trying to stop a vampire outbreak in Alabama when they discover a strange hidden chamber that is drawing vampires to the south like a magnet. Can the five man team stop the horde of vampires that are moving into Alabama? It’s going to take a lot of firepower to stop them, but this crew has the weapons and the knowledge to kick some vampire butt.

This book has a lot of action in it but my favorite part was actually a non action scene. There’s a point where the  feds that fund the USVS is giving their theories on how they think vampires came to America. The people in the USVS laugh at them and tell them they’re wrong. Once they get away from the feds they complain that the feds have just figured out what the USVS already knows and now the feds are going to take credit for it. This to me represented the us/them attitude between management and workers which exsists on all jobs. I thought it was funny to see that it exsists with government funded vampire killers as well.

Another item I liked was how the book tells where the vampires came from and the history of the people whose job it is to stop them. I also liked how the USVS work together as a team in classifying vampires and on their battle plan to fight them. A lot of detail is given on vampire fighting procedures and I think people that have a military background will appreciate how the weapons and vehicles they use are described. The only thing I would like more information on, was how the secret chamber that attracts the vampires works.

Vampires, Vikings and Mailmen is more of a military action type novel then a horror novel but I think this book is still something that horror fans will enjoy. I noticed that in a lot of the reviews people say it would make a great action movie, I would definitly have to agree. If you want to read Knightmist’s take on Vampires, Vikings and Mailmen click here. To find out more about the book  go to the official website at usvs.info.

Free Fiction Friday: Welcome Back To The Night

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2012 by David Watson

This weeks Free Fiction Friday selection is Welcome Back To The Night by Elizabeth Massie. Family reunions aren’t always a happy occasion, especially for the Lynch family. Three cousins are about to meet up with a deranged woman who was also part of their family not long ago. This woman is not back to join the clan, she wants to remind the cousins of their horrible past and warn them about their deadly future.

I’ve read reviews for Welcome Back To the Night that called it a psychological thrill ride and one person called it part supernatural and completely sick. Most of the reviews agreed that Elizabeth Massie does a great job of showing how derranged people can be and what kind of evil and bigotry can be hiding in a small town.

I’ve read Elizabeth Massie’s anthology Shadow Dreams and really enjoyed it. Besides horror novels, Elizabeth Massie has written some TV tie in novels for Buffy The Vampire Slayer and The Tudors and a few historical fiction novels.

If you would like to have your very own copy of Welcome Back To The Night, leave a comment on this blog post. First comment gets the book.  To find out more about the author go to elizabethmassie.com

Upcoming Events

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2012 by David Watson

June 30th / Fears For Queers Film Festival / Dallas, Texas / Horror films directed by Gay filmmakers or of Gay Interest. Some of the movies being shown include: The Cruel Messanger, Castle of the Damned and Psycho Killer Bloodbath. For more information go to: doabloodbath.com

June 29th – July 1st / Fright Night Horror Weekend and Film Festival /Louisville, Kentucky / Movies being shown at the con include All In The Game, Caesar and Otto’s Deadly Xmas, Chunk Of Mean and My Little Demon. Some of the guests include Bruce Campbell, Corey Feldman, John Reys-Davies and James Marsters. There will also be a Weird Science Reunion, Horror Art Show and Bubba Ho-Tep  reunion. For more information go to: frightnightfilmfest.com.

 July 6th / Club Sin 100th Anniversary / Montreal, Canada / Spnsored by the Montreal Fetish Weekend, the theme for this costume ball is anime, manga and all things Japanese. Music will be provided by DJ Faith and entertainment provided by Mistress Irony, Perlina Fashion and The Pascal Martel Photo Project. Admission is $10 and show starts at 10pm. For more information go to fetishweekend.com

July 6th-8th / Days Of The Dead / Indianapolis, Indiana / This Convention includes appearances by Danny Trejo from Machete, John Waters, John Kassir the voice of the cryptkeeper and David Powse from Frankenstein and The Monster From Hell. There will also be a performance by Midnight Spookshow, an evil puppet art show and a workshop with the haunted hotties Ghost Hunters. For more information go to: http://www.daysofthedead.net/indianapolis/

July 14th / The Dead Of Winter Festival: Zombie Apocalypse / Brisbane, Australia  / This festival has five stages of live bands, burlesque and fashion. There will be a costume contest along with along with music by Brothers Grimm and the Blue Murderers, Area 7, Horrorwood Mannequins, Graveyard Children and Dreamkillers. Tickets are $35 in advance and $50 at the door. For more information go to: deadofwinterfestival.com

Through Darkest America and The Midnight Creature Feature

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2012 by David Watson

This book  may not fit the classic definition of horror but I think its one that the readers of this blog will enjoy. Its called Through Darkest America by Neal Barret Jr. Its set in a post apocalypse America several years after a nuclear war. The star of  the book is a 12 year old boy named Howie. Howie lives with his family on a farm. In this alternate reality there are no big cities anymore and there is no wildlife with the exception of birds which the holy scriptures call unclean and some strange hairy creatures called horses which are very different from the horses we know.

Howie believes that the government is always right, his dad is the wisest man around, his mother is the most beautiful woman in the world and his sister is a pest. Things change quickly though because a revolution is coming and Howie has to grow up and he quickly realizes that the world is very different place then he believed it was. Through Darkest America is a coming of age story set in a post apocalyptic world where everyone seems to have an agenda and no one can be trusted.

During the course of this book and within a short period of time you watch Howie go from a boy to a man, you see him survive a couple of horrible tragedies, fight in a couple of battles that he didn’t want to be a part of and watch him get tortured for information he doesn’t have. What makes this story great is you really feel for Howie, you feel for him as he asks his father to explain things he doesn’t understand and you are rooting for him as he tries to escape from a city during a war between the loyalists and the rebels. Through Darkest America was originally released in 1988 and  recently was rereleased through Biting Dog Press. I think this book deserves to be considered a classic.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to talk about this book here, because I kept thinking to myself that it wasn’t really a horror novel. but when I started to read it, right away there was a scene that made me realize that this book could be considered horror just as much as it would be considered speculative fiction. At one point Howie is told by his father to go see to the stock that they are taking to be slaughtered for meat. As the author is describing the stock you suddenly realize these aren’t pigs or cows. The stock is humans. So in Neal Barret Jr’s vision of a post apocalypse America, humans are keeping other humans as food, and to me that makes this book horror.

This book is very dark and there really isn’t a happy ending but at the same time it is a very well written fast paced adventure with a lot of suspense thrown in. I loved how Howie is forced, to soon to become a man and how little by little he sees that everything he believed as a child was wrong. you also see his quest to figure out what is right in this world and a new place to call home. I highly recommend this book.

If your a hard core horror fan then you should be familiar with the books of May December publications. May December has put some great horror anthologies together that any fan of the genre can appreciate. A good example of this is an anthology called Midnight Creature Feature. In the introduction the editor, TW Brown dedicates this book  to anyone who  stayed up late to watch scary movies after their parents went to bed. This book manages to take you back to a time when you we’re a kid and you couldn’t wait for the monster to appear on screen in a horror movie.

Every story in this book has some kind of monster in it, including zombies, werewolves, golems, aliens, demons and swamp monsters. Some of the stories are funny, some are scary and some are a little bit of both. A couple of stories here could easily fit into the science fiction and action  genres as well, proving that there is a little bit of everything in this anthology.

One of my favorites in this book is The Lure by Chantal Boudreau. This one is a fishing tale where a man has a vendetta against a fish. The problem is the fish is 10 feet long with teeth the size of daggers and has powers that make it a very hard fish to catch. What makes this story great is the use of imagery and how it makes you feel sorry for the man trying to catch the fish even though he’s a monster himself.

I also loved the story The Pit by Terry Alexander. The monster in this story is a werewolf and its being hunted by a man who is hoping to get his kidnapped daughter back. I liked this one because it was an action story with a lot of gore thrown in. I also liked the two main characters and how their personalities we’re described in the story.

My two favorite stories we’re comedy with a little horror mixed in. The Spine Tingling Tale of the Crystal Golem by Tom Ribas is a funny story about a monster made of crystals reeking havoc on a small town. This story makes the point that its not easy being a soulless killing machine. My other favorite was Frightening Cliche’s by Bernie Newsome. This one follows a horror author and his wife as they try to escape from an army of swamp monsters. What makes this story fun is the interaction between husband and wife.

Another great thing about this book is before each story there is a movie poster and the art for all of them is excellent. I mainly loved this book because it reminded me of why I fell in love with the horror genre as a kid.  When I watched a horror movie I wanted to be shocked, scared and hopefully get a few  laughs. I also wanted to see a monster terrorizing its victims. Midnight Creature Feature delivers the scares and the laughs and is a book that every horror fan should read.

Free Fiction Friday: Dream of Dracula

Posted in News with tags , , , , on June 8, 2012 by David Watson

For this week’s Free Fiction Friday selection we have to take a trip in our time machine back to the year 1972 for A Dream Of Dracula by Leonard Wolf. This is a non-fiction book that tells the history of the character Dracula. The book starts off by talking about the historic figures that inspired Bram Stoker to write Dracula, such as Romanian ruler Vlad the Impaler and Baron Gilles de Rais who was a French serial killer with a taste for blood.

From there the book talks about the books that inspired Dracula including Mathew G. Lewis’s The Monk and John Polidori’s The Vampyre: A Tale. It also gives a detailed biography on Bram Stoker and talks about his writing process for Dracula. There are even chapters in this book that cover all the plays and movies that were based on Dracula.

When Leonard Wolf wrote A Dream of Dracula, he was working as a creative writing professor at San Francisco State University. He was born in Romania (home of Dracula) and always had an interest in classic horror literature. He went on to write non-fiction books on Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Phantom of the Opera. He has also written several books researching mythological beasts.

A Dream of Dracula was a labor of love and gives a very detailed description of a cultural phenomenon. If you would like your own copy of this book and you live in the United States, just leave a comment on this blog post and let us know why you want to adopt this book. The best comment gets a copy of A Dream of Dracula. Good Luck!

The Devil Tree

Posted in News with tags , , , , on May 23, 2012 by David Watson

The Devil Tree by Steve Vernon is an alternate history horror story set in the 1800′s. The story begins with Lucas and his wife Tamsen as they are floating down a stream in a raft looking for a place to settle after having to leave their home in shame. The raft hits a log and the couple is thrown into the flowing current. They are rescued by a man named Duvall and brought to a strange valley which is ruled by a giant Jackpine.

Marcus and Tamsen are nursed back to health by Duvall, his wife Jezebel and their son Cord. The valley seems like it could be a good place to start a new life but the giant tree that stands above the valley has plans for them. Everyone has their secrets and the tree feeds upon their emotions.

That’s all I can say about the story in The Devil Tree because it was a little hard to follow. The characters go through quite a few changes in the story, Duvall is shown as being good, then bad then good again and Lucas also seems to change from good to bad. Tamsen stays the same throughout but we find out that she has done some very bad things in the past. The story is about the characters and because the character’s personalities are constantly changing it makes for a confusing story.

Other things I didn’t like about The Devil Tree was how for awhile it looked like Cord was going to be a big part of the story but then nothing was done with him. I also didn’t like how Tamsen declares her love for Duvall but then acts afraid of Duvall a little later in the story and Lucas doesn’t seem to care. Another thing that doesn’t get explained well was the tree’s power, why it was there in the first place or what it was trying to do. I wondered if maybe the tree wasn’t controlling the people in the valley and they were going crazy because they were the only ones there and it was their guilt about their past that was ruining everything.

Despite my confusion with the story there was a lot I did like about The Devil Tree. I enjoyed how metaphors were used, along with how complex the characters were and I liked how everything was described in the story. The opening where the valley was discovered was beautifully done. I also liked when Lucas and Tamsen’s raft capsized and you see how much they love each other as they fight to survive.

Also if you are into horror there are some gruesome scenes such as the the final battle with the tree and the description of the fight between Lucas and Duvall. The way the characters are all  battling their inner demons was also frightening. This book is very dark, I found myself feeling creeped out near the end when it looks like Lucas has finally lost his mind.

I realize my review here is a contradiction but despite its flaws I found myself not wanting to put this book down. It is very well written and I will want to read more from Steve Vernon. It takes a little while to get going and has some story flaws but The Devil Tree is a psychological horror story that you won’t want to put down.

Upcoming events

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2012 by David Watson

May 19th / Hudson Horror Show / Poughkeepsie, NY / Horror film convention includes showings of The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, Friday The 13th, Day of the Dead and Phantasm and a secret fifth movie. For more information go to: hudsonhorror.com.

June 9th / MYTH Masque / Los Angeles, Ca. / High fashion meets high fantasy in a night of music, artistry and inspiration. this is a masquerade ball and artist’s bazaar with music by Angels Of Venice, Prince Poppycock, Esza Kaye and an appearance by Jeffrey Damnit for more information go to www.mythmasque.com.

June 8th-10th / Midwest Haunter’s Convention / Columbus, Ohio / This convention is for home haunters, haunt enthusiasts, haunt actors and haunted house owners. Included are makeup seminars, acting workshops, haunt tours, a costume contest, scaryoke and a paranormal bus tour. For more information go to: midwesthauntersconvention.com.

June 15th-17th / Contamination / St. Louis, Mo. / This horror, sci-fi and pop culture convention includes a film festival, an artist’s gallery, A Munster’s reunion, a film maker’s seminar, live music and appearances by John Wesley Shipp, Ken Foree, and Michael Berryman. For more information go to: www.con-tamination.com.

June 22nd-24th / Monster Bash / Butler, Pennsylvania/ This is a horror convention for people who love classic horror movies. The theme is prehistoric monsters, movies being shown include Gorgo, The Witch’s Dungeon, The Creature Of The Black Lagoon and many more. There will also be an Eegah reunion and Saturday morning cartoons complete with cereal and a Q and A with UFO expert Stan Gordon. For more information go to: monsterbashnews.com.

Mr. Peepers and The Quarry

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2012 by David Watson

There are three books that I want to talk about in this post. The first one is a short story by a new author named Akela Cooper. Akela has written a few short stories that are available through Biting Dog Press and she has been a staff writer for ABC’s V, She was also a writer’s assistant on Dexter and worked on CBS’s Jericho. She is currently a staff writer for the NBC series, Grimm.

One of Akela’s short stories is called Mr. Peepers and centers around a cat that may be more then just a cat.  A woman named Genny just found out that her brother died mysteriously in a farm house that he recently bought. She goes to the house to investigate and finds out that three other people had also died mysteriously in the house over the last year. When the bodies were found there was a cat named Mr. Peepers by the body and the look in his eyes is not the look of a normal cat. Could Mr. Peepers be the cause of the deaths? If so does Genny have what it takes to put an end to Mr. Peeper’s reign of terror?

When I read Mr. Peepers it kind of reminded me of a Tales From The Crypt episode. It has some humor to it and it has some violent moments that come across as funny and creepy at the same time. The story itself  is well written and even though I thought the ending was predictable, it still worked.  One of the best scenes in the story is where a woman has a run in with Mr. Peepers and things get a little heated. After that, lets just say that she doesn’t see to clearly anymore. 

Another short story by Akela Cooper that I recently read is Tinderbox Blues. A confederate soldier returning from war one day comes to a house of an old slave woman. The woman offers him some treasure if he gets a tinder box out of a pit for her. The solider decides that if the box is more valuable to the woman then the treasure, he must have it for himself and steals the box. Little does he know the box is cursed and he now must suffer the consequences.

Tinder Box Blues has over the top violence with a story that’s a little confusing. It reads a lot like one of Grimm’s Fairy Tales or like a gothic ghost story of the 1800′s. I think the point of the story was to gross out and scare the reader and it does a good job of that. There is some great imagery to this story and it makes the story well worth reading, if you like scary old folk tales you will like this one.

The last book I want to talk about is a novel by Mark Allan Gunnels called The Quarry. The Quarry takes place at a picturesque college campus on the edge of a Quarry named Lake Limestone. The lake is 400 feet deep and the students are warned to stay away from it. It was formed in the 1950′s, when a work truck tapped into an underground spring, filling the quarry and leaving all the work vehicles at the bottom of the lake.  At least thats the story that everyone thinks is the truth.

One student on campus named Dale decides to find out what really lies at the bottom of the lake. He scuba dives to the bottom and comes back forever changed and this is when the horror really starts. People start dying on campus and something evil is stiring. Dale’s friends go on a search for answers to what lies beneath, but what they find has been there since the dawn of time and may be unstoppable.

The Quarry is one part mystery and one part horror. You dont know for sure what is in The Quarry and what is truely responsible for the killings until the very end. The book leaves you subtle hints as to what is going on, but leaves you guessing. The Quarry is not an over the top bloody horror story, its much more reserved then that. While none of the death scenes are gruesome or very long, they are still scary because  Mark Allan Gunnels makes you care about all of his characters and you don’t want to see them meet an untimely demise.

That is what maked The Quarry a great read, because you are invested in the characters. Even for the bad ones you get to know them, you feel for them and you see them change throughout the story. You see Dale change from a popular kid to a raging psychopath. You see his girlfriend go from self assured and confident to questioning everything she once believed and Dale’s freind Emilio goes from a timid coward, to finding out what kind of person he truely is. You also see the supporting cast go through changes, with each one being different from how they started out.

I had a couple of minor complaints about The Quarry. One was  that I wanted a little more action, I think the maint point of the stories was to build strong characters and see how their lives change when faced with extreme circumstances. So I guess to much action would have taken away from the character development, but I thought there were parts where a little more action could have made the story more interesting. My other complaint was that I was a little disappointed with the end. The ending was satisfying but I wanted a happy ending for all of the characters because I liked them so much. I guess its not horror if you don’t kill off a couple of people and make your main characters suffer. The Quarry is a masterpiece and I look forward to reading more from Mark Allan Gunnells.

Free Fiction Friday: Coraline

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on May 4, 2012 by David Watson

This week’s Free Friday selection is Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. This book was originally written in 2002 and illustrated by Dave McKean. Coraline was turned into a stop motion animation movie in 2009. The movie version of Coraline was directed by Henry Selick and included the voices of Terri Hatcher, Dakota Fanning and Ian McShane. The movie took 18 months to shoot after two years of pre-production and is the longest stop motion animation movie ever made.

The book Coraline tells the story of a girl named Coraline who has just moved to an apartment in an old house. She lives with her parents who work from home but don’t have a lot of time to spend with her. One day Coraline goes exploring and discovers a door that is just like hers. She enters and finds a world that is like hers but more colorful and better then the one she is living in. Her other mother pays more attention to her and is everything that Coraline wants her real mother to be. Not everything is what it appears to be in the other apartment though. Soon Coraline finds herself trapped in the other world and has to outsmart her other mother to escape.

If you would like to adopt a slightly used copy of Coraline, all you have to do is leave a comment on the blog  tell us why you would like to have a copy of this used book. If you enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, American Gods, or The Graveyard Book you will probably enjoy Coraline also. This is for US residents only. Good luck and please leave a comment.

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