Friday, June 27, 2014

It Came From Hell and Smashed the Angels is FREE to Download EVERYWHERE

My short horror story "It Came From Hell and Smashed the Angels" is now available just about everywhere as a free eBook download.

If you've not already grabbed a copy, please feel free to do so.

Amazon (US) | Amazon (Canada) | Amazon (UK)
Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple iBook  | PayHip (Mobi & ePub)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Full Moon Over Cedar Hill by Edward Lorn (FREE DOWNLOAD)

Full disclosure: I served as a beta reader on this one, so my opinion could be seen as biased.

This little piece of horror handles some tough, real life subject matter that we'll all likely have to deal with at some time in our lives. To Lorn's credit, he doesn't exploit this element of real life horror in this tale. Instead, he treats all involved with the utmost respect. which, in turn, makes the events that unfold all the more horrific.

It's my understanding that this short story is available for free for a limited time (for the next five days, I think). Rumor also has it that this piece will be yanked from Amazon once the free giveaway ends.

I'd recommend that you side-load this bad boy or suck it down via Whispernet while supplies last.

Friday, June 20, 2014

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Note to readers: Don't read the Introduction by Jonathan Lethem until after you've finished the novel. Like many introductions, it completely spoils the novel.

I felt this book had too much falling action. That's it. Nothing else negative to say about this one. Every other aspect of this book I found to be absolutely delightful. This will easily find itself at the top of my 'Best of 2014' list and in my list of all-time favorite novels (if I had one written out somewhere).

This--not The Haunting of Hill House--is Jackson's masterpiece.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

If you can handle a book where the anti-hero becomes less and less sympathetic the more you learn about him, then give this a try. If you can stomach seemingly endless passages of brooding and self-loathing written by a chain-smoking werewolf imbibing huge amounts of Scotch between kills, you'll love this novel. If you like gore and don't mind lots of intentionally meaningless sex, give this a go.

Yes, this is a novel featuring werewolves and vampires, but its structure is less horror and more espionage thriller. It is very dark, existentially pessimistic even, but it's also quite funny at times--and beautifully written.

It's my understanding that Glen Duncan was known as a writer of literary fiction before he decided to go slumming in the genre ghetto. With that being said, aside from some issues with pacing, he's managed to assimilate, and even elevate, many of the key tropes and plotting conventions of both espionage and horror fiction without once coming off as condescending.

I liked this quite a lot, and I've already downloaded the sequel.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Bay's End by Edward Lorn

This book could be shelved under horror or thriller/suspense. I'd lean more toward the thriller side of things, if it were my job to categorize it. However, if I were the librarian recommending this thing, I'd make sure people knew that this is at its core a coming of age story. I'd also let folks know that the first half is told at a pretty leisurely pace, which perfectly matches the mood of two young boys getting to know each other in an endless summer of nothing to do. It's not until around the 50% mark or so that you begin to realize the author's been sneakily setting up all the dominoes that go tumbling down in the last third of the book. This story transforms smoothly from a funny, almost bittersweet, story of childhood's end into a tense thriller. Nicely done.

I'm not one for framing mechanisms in stories, but Lorn puts the one he's constructed here to good effect. It serves the purpose of creating tension through dramatic irony. It breaks up the action a bit here and there, too. But, as a whole, I could have done without it.

I'm also not a fan of villains explaining their motivations and filling in all the holes in the story just before they are about to (unsuccessfully) kill the heroes. This happens twice in this book! Even though I'm not a fan of this trope, I don't despise it, and I understand why it happens in stories. If I truly hated every story that contained the 'villain explains' gag, I wouldn't like anything ever. I'm just saying I like it better when the author finds a different, better way.

It wasn't my intent to end this review on a sour note. This truly is a touching story and an exciting thriller. Pick it up. If you're so inclined, you can grab a copy for free from Amazon.

I'd recommend you do so.

Monday, June 2, 2014

National Short Story Month Recap

It looks like I read 67 short stories for National Short Story Month. I read a number of individually packaged shorts and four collections: Harmlessly Insane, A Modest Collection of Slightly Shocking Fairy Tales, Seeker, and What the Dark Brings.

Below you'll find the complete list of stories I read in May, presented in roughly the order in which I read them. If the story is currently available as a free download, I've added a link to the source page for your convenience.

"Whatever Possessed You?" by Evans Light
"Gertrude" by Evans Light
"Aboreatum" by Evans Light
"Nose Hears" by Evans Light
"The Mole People Beneath the City" by Evans Light
"Cry Baby" by Evans Light
"Pay Back" by Evans Light
"Curtains for Love" by Evans Light
"Candie Apple" by Evans Light
"The Package" by Evans Light
"Black Door" by Evans Light
"The Sisters Who Gave the Devil His Due" by Richard McGowan
"How to Get Ahead by Kissing Frogs" by Richard McGowan
"The Awful Wages of Unbridled Lesbianism" by Richard McGowan
"Two Little Girls with Runaway Imaginations" by Richard McGowan
"The Little Princess Who Wanted Children" by Richard McGowan
"Taken" by Adam Light
"Way Out of Here" by Adam Light
"No Such Thing" by Edward Lorn
"The Mortician's Temptation" (Not yet published) by Sarah Roberts
"Gone"  by Adam Light
"Serving Spirits" by Adam Light
"Vengence by the Foot" by Adam Light
"The Continuance Agency" by Adam Light
"Peeler" by Gord Rollo (FREE on Amazon!)
"Seeker" by Ade Grant
"Three Ghosts" by Ade Grant
"The Abortionist" by Ade Grant
"Sausages" by Ade Grant
"The Secret Junction" by Ade Grant
"The Couch" by Ade Grant
"The Outlaw Women" (Not yet published) by Amber Foxx
"Chuggie and the Fish Freaks of Farheath" by Brent Michael Kelley
"Literary Sweets" by Edward Lorn
"A Friendly Reminder" by Edward Lorn
"The Monitor" by Edward Lorn
"The Southbound Triple-Six" by Edward Lorn
"Up on the Rooftop" by Edward Lorn
"A Purchase of Titanic Proportions" by Edward Lorn
"The Land of Her" by Edward Lorn
"What the Dark Brings" by Edward Lorn
"That Thing about a Picture and a Thousand Words" by Edward Lorn
"Smitten" by Edward Lorn
"Machinations" by Edward Lorn
"He Who Laughs Last" by Edward Lorn
"The Attraction" by Edward Lorn
"He's Got Issues" by Edward Lorn
"Sissy" by Edward Lorn
"Holes" by Edward Lorn
"The Kissing Booth" by Edward Lorn
"Come to Jesus Meeting" by Edward Lorn
"An Affair to Remember" by Edward Lorn
"Snuggles" by Edward Lorn
"World's Greatest Dad" by Edward Lorn (FREE at Goodreads)
"Offline" by Kealan Patrick Burke
"Tomorrow" (Not yet published) by Sarah Roberts
"Microchip Murder" by Martyn V. Halm (FREE on Amazon!)
"To Read or Not to Read" by Vincent Hobbes (FREE on Amazon!)
"Bobo" by Richard Schiver (FREE on Amazon!)
"Music of the Gods" by Richard Schiver (FREE on Amazon!)
"Wicked Smart Carnie" by Mark Matthews (FREE on Amazon!)
"Zombie Dash" by Mark Matthews (FREE on Amazon!)
"The Damage Done" by Mark Matthews (FREE on Amazon!)
"Concrete Gods" by Harry Shannon and Kealan Patrick Burke
"Faces in Revolving Souls" by Caitlin R. Kiernan (FREE at Lightspeed Magazine)
"When We Were Heroes" by Daniel Abraham (FREE at
"In the House of the Worm" by George R.R. Martin

Story titles appearing in 'bold' above are the standouts.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Animosity by James Newman

This suspense novel is damned near perfect. The only things keeping me from proclaiming this the best thriller I've ever read are some decisions two characters make in the second half of the novel that I didn't quite find believable. Other people might read the whole book and have no idea what I'm talking about, and that would be great. That would mean that they loved this thing even more than I did.

This book does everything a suspense novel should do:

- It kept me up late
- It prevented me from doing far more important things
- It made me feel physically tense most of the time I was reading it
- It caused me to hold my breath at several junctures
- It kept me flipping pages like mad to see what happens next
- It forced me to consume the story in just a few huge gulps

A damn fine read!