David’s Haunted Library: Monsters In Our Wake and Beatrice Beecham’s Cryptic Crypt

Some people think of space as the final frontier but we have another unexplored area that is a lot closer to us. The deepest part of the ocean is still a mystery and who knows what kind of creatures live down there. In the deep waters of the South Pacific an oil drilling ship is about to find what lurks bellow and they will be very sorry they disturbed it. The ship lowers its drill into the territory of  a family of Nokkens who hate humans with a passion.

The Nokkens are more intelligent than humans think and in their minds its the humans who are the inferior creatures.  In retaliation for invading their space, one of the Nokkens attacks the ship leaving it disabled and thousands of miles away from anyone who can help. Now the humans are starting to turn on the lone woman on the ship, marine biologist Flora Duchovney Flora begins to wonder if the worst monsters are on the ship or in the depths of the ocean.

The first thing that sticks out about Monsters In Our Wake by J.H Moncrieff is that the book starts from the monster’s point of view. Right off the bat that made this book better than your average horror novel. The point of view shifts from the Nokken to Flora, to the members of the ship’s crew. The big question in this book is who really is the monster? The Nokkens, the humans, or both.

The who is the monster theme lasts throughout this book. We get to hear about how the Nokkens hate the humans because of the damage they have done to the ocean and its creatures. Another reason why the Nokkens think of humans as monsters is because they kill each other, which to them is insane. We see this start to play out on the ship as well when the crew become desperate. The Nokkens show how they can be monsters too though as they teach the humans lessons in respect.

Flora was my favorite character in the book because despite things being bad for her she is the strongest character. When things go wrong she takes the blame whether it was her fault or not and at one point she even gets labeled as a witch because the rest of the crew believes she summoned the monster. What I found most interesting about her though is when we see her having an anxiety attack as she wonders about how she will survive and get back to her son at home. Though when things get worse on the ship she does what she needs to do and has no problem with her anxiety.

There was a lot to like about Monsters In Our Wake, the book is a lot of fun. While it’s mostly a horror novel with a deep meaning to it, it has a little humor to it also. There are some unanswered questions about the creatures that I would like to know, but it didn’t take anything away from the overall story. The characters have a lot of depth to them, they are shades of gray instead of black and white. The Nokkens have done some terrible things to the humans, but also show compassion. On the other hand, some of the humans have shown that they have a heart but do some evil things as well. The only one who can be described as good is Flora and she comes across as the most interesting character in the book. Despite some minor flaws, this was an entertaining read and I’m hoping to read more from J.H. Moncrieff in the future.

Dorsal Finn is a strange place sitting on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. Weird things seem to happen there and it has its fair share of odd characters. For one thing, there is a dark entity living under the bizarre little town and it seems to have created a magnet for people who have evil agendas. Luckily, 15-year-old Beatrice Beecham and her friends are on the scene and ready to solve mysteries and stop evil, dead in its tracks. Beatrice and her friends call themselves the Newshounds and they are a force to be reckoned with.

This adventure has its beginnings way back during World War 2 when two young girls rescue a German scientist who is working on an invention to change the world. The scientist didn’t survive the war but a part of him may have. Flash forward to the present, one of the young girls who saved him is now an elderly woman and is hearing the scientist’s voice in her hearing aid. Underneath the Dorsal Finn Library lies something that can change the world and someone sinister is looking for it. To make matters worse, an organization called the Blue Thunder Foundation is having a strange effect on the town. It’s up to Beatrice and her friends to figure out what’s happening in Dorsal Finn.

Beatrice Beecham’s Cryptic Crypt by Dave Jeffery is a complex supernatural mystery novel aimed at a Y.A. audience. There is so much going on in the plot that its hard to describe it without leaving things out. This is a book that both adults and kids will like and it will really test your ability to pay attention. Because if you blink you will miss something. What I really enjoyed about this book was how the senior citizens and the kids work together to save their town. I also like that there is a historical fiction aspect to the book as it gets into the history of the Nazis and their dealings with the occult.

This book has several themes running throughout it and most appealing is the importance of friendship and how to deal with bullies. There were a couple of scenes where Beatrice and friends stand up to adult bullies and bully their own age. In one case the newshounds help a deaf girl who is being mistreated by the town bully and accept her into their group despite her differences. It doesn’t work out as they planned which was my favorite part of the book that I don’t want to give away, but the main point is that nothing keeps true friends apart.

The only problems I had with this book was I kept wondering if kids are really this nice, some of their conversations are so nice that it seemed unreal to me. Also, there was a point about half way through the book where I felt the author was adding way too many complex ideas to the story and he really needed to add a little suspense. The suspense comes though in the last third of the book as the story goes from historical mystery to action adventure. Beatrice Beecham’s Cryptic Crypt is a good book to give to a teenager who doesn’t like reading. With the great adult and kid characters and the excellent story, it’s almost guaranteed to get a non reader to start a love of reading.

David’s Haunted Library: Alethia and Drawing Dead

Little Ridge is an odd little town, there is an island somewhere off the coast but no one seems to remember where it is. It all started when a couple of the town’s residents started to disappear. One day Thettie Harper and her family discover one of the missing people it causes problems within the whole town. Thettie’s one ally is Lee and it’s up to them to find answers.

What really might be causing the problems in the town is the lake itself. There is something evil in that lake below the island that is haunting Little Ridge This is a book about the horror of losing your memory, what we leave behind and terror itself.

Aletheia by J.S. Breukelaar is about the damage that has been done and the damage that will happen. The story has elements of the supernatural and a love story to it. This is a complex character driven novel that you really have to pay attention to in order to get all the details right. Most of all I loved the mood of the story and the fact that it has to deal with how choices we made in the past change how thing will be in the present. Aletheia is a book that builds slowly to a good ending and if you like a well thought out ghost story you will like it.

http://www.crystallakepub.com/

Faolan O’Connor grew up in New York City and joined the mob at an early age. He worked as a hired killer in order to get power, respect, and money, but little by little it destroyed his family and everything he loved. One fateful night in 1935 he goes out to perform his last hit, hoping to die in the process. What he gets instead is immortality from a vampire and the boss of New York, Darcy Killian. Faolan’s whole world changes but not how you think it would.

Faolan already led a life of violence and destruction, but as a vampire, his feelings start to change. He wants power but he wants to help his city too. The only way he can do that is by taking down the boss of New York, Killian. He may have a lot of enemies but he makes a lot of friends on the way, if he plays his cards right he may get redemption and the power he desires.

Drawing Dead by Brian McKinley is a novel about vampire mobsters set during The Great Depression in New York City. Just the way this novel feels when you start reading, hooked me right away. The Way Brian describes the surroundings and the characters showed that he really did his homework on what life was like in organized crime and in the Depression. When you read this book you feel like you are right there with the characters and you know them personally.

It’s hard to pick out my favorite scenes in this book since there were so many. The one I loved was after Faolan wins a promotion from his boss, he decides to return to his mother’s home because he feels the need to reconcile with all of the evil and destruction he has caused in the past. When he gets there he finds that his mother has passed and there are squatters living in his boyhood home. At this point, he has to decide to let his vampire instincts kick in and kill the family or have mercy on them. What he does is a total surprise and shows how Faolan is evolving as a character. Another part that really stands out is a scene where a vampire named Frank shows that he is not the evil monster that we think he is, but if you find out his secret, it could be the last secret you ever find out.

There is also a great scene where Killian shows Faolan what he has planned for the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Killian’s vision sounds like it’s a step in the direction of what America is like in the present day with small businesses becoming a thing of the past and corporations running everything. As Faolan is hearing this, he is thinking that he doesn’t like this New York of the future and loves his city the way it is. While reading this I found myself wondering how Faolan would change as a character when he reaches the present day. Since he is a vampire he would still be around.

Drawing Dead could be considered a masterpiece, It’s a tale of redemption that works as a horror novel, a crime novel and it fits nicely into the historical fiction category. Though what really makes this novel great is how complex the characters are. Each of them has good and bad points, even the main villain doesn’t come across as pure evil. This was a novel that for me was hard to put down and you don’t have to be a vampire or organized crime fan to love it, my favorite parts were all the references to the 1930’s. Brian McKinley is an author to watch in the future and there will be more books to come in this series.

David’s Haunted Library: The Final Reconciliation and Skin Deep/Ordinary Monsters

Thirty years ago a new progressive rock band exploded onto the music scene called The Yellow Kings. The band was made up of 4 teenagers with big dreams who released an ep and toured America, eventually landing a record contract. Along the way, they meet a young woman named Camilla who has an odd influence on the band. After their first tour, The Yellow Kings went out to Los Angeles to record their first album, a concept album called The Final Reconciliation. Little did they know it would be their last album and very few people would ever hear it.

The album was shelved after The Yellow Kings put on an album release party in an L.A. nightclub where they planned to play the full album for the first time. The concert ended in a disaster which killed almost 200 people and left only one band member alive. For the first time since that fatal night, The Yellow Kings lead guitarist and sole survivor Aiden Cross has agreed to be interviewed about the events leading up to that tragic night.

The Final Reconciliation by Todd Keisling is inspired by Robert W. Chamber’s “The King in Yellow.” Written in 1895 it was also the inspiration behind some of H.P. Lovecraft’s work. In the 1895 story, it was a play that if read brings madness to the people reading it. In this story if you listen to the full album it creates chaos. I wasn’t familiar with the source material but loved how it was presented in this book. The idea of a heavy metal album opening a portal to another world and making people go crazy is a great concept.

This cosmic horror novella is more than just a new twist on old mythology, though, it’s also the story of kids from a working class background achieving their dreams and worst nightmares at the same time. One of my favorite parts of this book was when three members of the band return to their hometown from their first tour and you see the background they come from. They don’t get a warm welcome, their parents don’t understand the bands need to follow their passion instead of working a blue collar job. In a short time, The Yellow Kings achieve a high level of success before it all comes crashing down. You know early on that it’s all going to end in disaster, which leads me to what I didn’t like about the story. You knew what was going to happen from the beginning, it’s just a question of how we’re going to get to the final result.

The Final Reconciliation is a great little horror tale that mixes music, mythology and a coming of age story all into one. The description of The Yellow Kings kingdom comes to life brilliantly and the final scenes in the Nightclub disaster were wonderfully grotesque. Todd Keisling does an excellent job of setting a mood of dread and keeping it going throughout the book. I think most of all I loved the concept of a progressive rock album being the key to a world of terror. If you are familiar with the Cthulhu mythos you shouldn’t pass up this book.

Skin Deep/Ordinary Monsters by Frank Martin is a different kind of horror book. It includes two stand alone pulp fiction style horror novellas and a comic.  The first story is called Skin Deep “A Vampire Story Of Love.” The story centers around a  girl named Laura who is a track and field star in high school, rebelling against her parents. She sneaks into bars and complains that her parents pushed her into track, but her attitude becomes a big problem when she meets a Cajun vampire who teaches her a lesson in love she won’t forget.

Skin Deep is the kind of story that comes to mind for me when I think of pulp fiction. It’s a simple story with simple characters and its a lot of fun when the vampire shows himself. The beginning is boring but as the story moves along it gets better. I loved the vampire and the final gory scenes in the story are excellent. Skin Deep is a story that has its flaws, such as parents that Laura thinks are overbearing but in reality come across as non caring, until the end. Laura also has a sister named Jessica who has a story that is never fully explained. That being said the scenes with the vampire in it make this story worth it and we even get a nice message about not having to live the role that people expect of you.

The second story is called Ordinary Monsters and is about two teenage best friends whose friendship is put to the ultimate test when an old family secret is revealed.  This is an excellent werewolf story which touches on such subjects as the Nazi concentration camps, dealing with anger and how far loyalty will go. I love the scenes from the werewolves point of view and the description of the change from human to werewolf was brilliant. This story represents why werewolves have always been my favorite monster. It’s all about a person dealing with an inner rage that they have no control over, this book is worth your time for this story alone.

Skin Deep/Ordinary Monsters also includes a beautifully illustrated comic that tells the story of a werewolf and vampire doing battle during World War 2. I felt both of these stories got off to a slow start and had the feel that they were coming from a first time writer, but both got better as the monster was introduced into the story. This book is a fun read that fans of a good monster story will love and with cover art like that, who can resist.

 

 

Press Release: Visions Of The Mutant Rain Forest By Robert Frazier & Bruce Boston

PRESS RELEASE
Visions Of The Mutant Rain Forest
By Robert Frazier & Bruce Boston

The Mutant Rain Forest is nature’s revenge upon man’s despoliation. Robert Frazier and Bruce Boston, SFPA’s first two Grandmaster Poets, created and began
exploring the Mutant Rain Forest in the late 1980s with both collaborative and solo works. Since that time, stories and/or poems set in the Mutant Rain Forest have appeared in Omni, Asimov’s SF Magazine, Amazing Stories, Weird Tales, Daily Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror (St. Martin’s), Year’s Best Horror (DAW), The Rhysling Anthology, and many other publications.

In the mutant rain forest it’s adapt or be redacted. Their collaborative poem “Return to the Mutant Rain Forest” received first place in the 2006
Locus Poll for All-Time Favorite Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Horror Poem.

pr
Mutant Rain Forest collects the best stories and poems from this world: two novelettes, four
short stories, two flash fictions (nearly 40,000 words of fiction), and 38 poems, including two
stories and five poems appearing here for the first time.
Maggot to fly. Tadpole to poison frog. Man to abomination.
Includes the following short stories:
• Cruising Through Blueland
• Holos at an Exhibition of the Mutant Rain Forest
• The Tale Within
• A Trader on the Border of the Mutant Rain Forest
• Going Green in the Mutant Rain Forest
• Descent into Eden
• Aerial Reconnaissance of a Conflagration…
• Surrounded by the Mutant Rain Forest
• And a lot of poems!

 
“Adventurers Bruce Boston and Robert Frazier have been exploring a magical land for decades, and here is the astonishing report of their discoveries in poems and stories. They have met those who come to the Mutant Rain Forest to seek escape or transcendence or a body to hold, and they have dwelt with the natives who live beneath the bright canopy of its gargantua trees and beside the murk of its swamps. These pages document the riotous and brutal fecundity of nature, which is everywhere expressed in this remarkable feat of literary imagination. Trust Frazier and Boston to guide you to the most exotic of its flora and fauna and introduce you to the strange characters who struggle to understand its secrets. Here’s my warning and my promise: something in the Mutant Rain Forest will surely stick to you!”

– James Patrick Kelly, winner of the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards.

 
Order now: http://buff.ly/2lpetFw
Website: http://www.crystallakepub.com/vision-of-the-mutant-rain-fo…/

Press Release: The Final Reconciliation by Todd Keisling

prtodd

 The Final Reconciliation

By Todd Keisling



TAKE OFF YOUR MASK.


Thirty years ago, a progressive rock band called The Yellow Kings began recording what would become their first and final album. Titled “The Final Reconciliation,” the album was expected to usher in a new renaissance of heavy metal, but it was shelved following a tragic concert that left all but one dead.

The sole survivor of that horrific incident was the band’s lead guitarist, Aidan Cross, who’s kept silent about the circumstances leading up to that ill-fated performance—until now.

For the first time since the tragedy, Aidan has granted an exclusive interview to finally put rumors to rest and address a question that has haunted the music industry for decades: What happened to The Yellow Kings?

The answer will terrify you.

Inspired by The King in Yellow mythos first established by Robert W. Chambers, and reminiscent of cosmic horror by H. P. Lovecraft, Laird Barron, and John Langan, comes The Final Reconciliation—a chilling tale of regret, the occult, and heavy metal by Todd Keisling.

A thoroughly captivating and entertaining read…”The Eyes of Madness

“The finest take on the Yellow Mythos I have ever read. Keisling takes you through a powerful story with such skill and intensity that you’ll lose your breath.” Mercedes M. Yardley, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Little Dead Red and Pretty Little Dead Girls

Order today: http://getbook.at/TheYellowKing

Links

Official Launch Page: http://www.crystallakepub.com/the-final-reconciliation/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33958141-the-final-reconciliation

Website: http://www.toddkeisling.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/todd.keisling/
Twitter: 
https://twitter.com/todd_keisling

David’s Haunted Library: Writers On Writing Volumes 1-4

David's Haunted Library

writers-on-writing-omnibus-193x3002xHave you ever thought about being a writer? There are lots of places where you can go to get advice on writing. You could take classes, buy books on the subject or find websites dedicated to the craft of writing. With all the different places to go for information, it may be hard to find what works best. That being said, the best place to go for advice is to authors that have already been published. Writers on Writing Volume 1 – 4 Omnibus: An Author’s Guide from Crystal Lake Publishing is a great resource for newbie writers.

Some of the subjects covered in this book include how you can learn from rejection, making time for writing, character building, finding your voice, how to network, what to expect from writing your first novel and much more. In Brian Hodge’s article, The Infrastructure Of The Gods he gives tips on getting started. Such as getting rid of distractions like turning off your wi-fi and remembering that instant gratification is not something you get from writing a novel. Brian also gives good advice on never giving up because new authors are always breaking through into the mainstream.

Another one I liked was What Right Do I Have To Write by Jasper Bark. Jasper talks about how the circumstances are never right for writing. There are always excuses not to do it but the only thing you can do is make the time and let nothing get in your way. I also like how he shoots down the fantasy that writing is a dream job. He says its fun sometimes but you are working under nightmare conditions, you may spend up to a year completing your first work and even the pros laugh at the idea that writing is a dream job.

One beneficial article in this collection is Finding Your Voice by Lynda E. Rucker. I would  have thought that finding your voice would come natural but in reality it takes awhile. Lynda mentions that it took a long time for her to create a voice that wasn’t an imitation of another author’s voice. She then states that finding your voice is the same as finding your identity. The way to find it is by realizing you have something to say and what you think is important. One thing I learned here is that there are several important aspects to writing.

Even if you’re not a writer and read this book you can get a lot out of it, such as a whole new respect for writing as an art form . My favorite part of this book was entitled A First-Time Novelist’s Odyssey by William Gorman. William takes you all through his five-year journey in writing his novel from doing research, living with the characters in your head, and getting their story just right. He talks about the struggle to find his voice and the massive amounts of revisions before the book was finally published. Writing maybe the most complex art form there is and Writers On Writing is a book that can help you on the path to being a better writer and possibly getting published too.

http://www.crystallakepub.com/

 

Press Release: Crystal Lake Publishing Presents: Tales From The Lake Volume 3

Crystal Lake Publishing has just released Tales From The Lake Volume 3 and includes a story from Sumiko Saulson. Sumiko was the featured author on episode 109 of the horroraddicts.net podcast, she has also written various articles for the horror addicts blog and has an article in The Horror Addicts Guide To Life. Sumiko Saulson’s story is called Enclosures and you can find out more about her here:

https://sumikosaulson.com/

The TALES FROM THE LAKE legend continues with volume 3 in this popular series.

Dive into the deep end of the lake with 19 tales of terror, selected by Monique Snyman.

31437640Tales from the Lake Vol. 3 features ghosts, monsters, assassins, alternate dimensions, creatures from the deepest depths and the darkest parts of the universe.

Join “Maybelle” by Mere Joyce in a world where books become real enough to cause both pleasure and pain. Avoid the sounds of “The Cruel” by Harper Hull, lest you want to come to a terrifying end. Travel across the world to see what terrors lurk in an abandoned hospital with “Hush” by Sergio Pereira.

This non-themed horror anthology is filled with suspenseful stories, terrifying thrillers, tragic tales, mystifying mysteries, and memorable adventures that will leave you wanting more. Let these modern urban legends prickle your imagination, share it around a campfire, and revel in the magic of Crystal Lake’s exceptional authors.

The Owl Builder by D. Morgan Ballmer
Tragedy Park by Chris Pearce
Enclosures by Sumiko Saulson                            Woe Violent Water by Lily Childs
The Cruel by Harper Hull
Red Scream with Little Smile by Paul Edmonds
Maybelle by Meredith Cleversey writing as Mere Joyce
Rodent in the Red Room by Matt Hayward
The Deeper I Go The Deeper I Fear by Natalie Carroll
The Pigmalion Pigs by Mark Allan Gunnells
Chemical Oasis by Tommy B. Smith
Hush by Sergio Pereira
The Reaper’s Fire by Kenneth W. Cain
Effigy by Kate Jonez
Scents of Fear by Steve Jenner
The Bet by Amy Grech
A Hand from the Depths by Dave-Brendon de Burgh
The Monster of Biscayne Bay by Roxanne Dent
The Song at the Edge of the Unfinished Road by Patrick Bates

Foreword by the editor, Monique Snyman.

Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing.

“A solid anthology representing the best in horror fiction, with tales that will stay with you for some time.” — Ben Eads, author of, Cracked Sky

download


Links:
Amazon:
http://getbook.at/Lake3
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31437640-tales-from-the-lake-vol-3

http://www.crystallakepub.com/