Tales of the Undead-Hell Whore is the first in a series of anthologies, with this one specifically having as its theme devilish women. The overall title “Tales of the Undead” is perhaps a bit inaccurate, since many of these stories have nothing to do with the undead, but the subtitle is certainly more of a description of what is included within its pages. In some stories, this association is obvious, while in others that association to evil women is a lot more subtle.
It is often difficult to provide a review of an anthology because almost without fail, they are a mixed bag. A consistent theme often allows for a more comprehensive overview-each author provides a story to the mix that sticks to a sometimes loose, but understood guideline. TotU-HW does have a theme, but it runs the gambit with stories of vampires, ghosts, demons, witches, Satan, human-animal hybrids, werewolves, ancient gods, sexually voracious women, and even more of a mix of swirling horrors. And that isn’t even mentioning the poems, which are as diverse a lot as the short stories.
There were some gems in this book from my perspective, including “Entre of the Damned” and “Girls are Icky”, both appreciated for entirely different reasons, and of course some stories that did not click, which I will admit is more due to personal preference rather than the quality of the work, at least in most cases. The writing styles here are quite diverse, with everything from the delicately subtle to in your face. I enjoyed “Who F&*ked Up Kelly Yesterday?” because I have a taste for bizarro horror, while I know that there will be plenty of folks who would be repulsed by this story’s audacity. There were a few stories that I felt that the writing was a bit rough, with both the story itself and the way the author telling it making it feel forced and hard to get through, but there those were only a select few out of this bunch. There were some sagas that felt incomplete to me-either telling instead of showing and letting the tale reveal itself, or in one case where the writing style seemed a bit forced and awkward- like the author was providing a summary rather than providing the reader with the story itself.
Anthologies are journeys where the road is both smooth and bumpy at different times. Rarely do you find a short story compendium where every story hits the mark. But finding a short story or poem you really enjoy and that will stick with you makes the journey through the good, the great, and the bad worthwhile. Tales of the Undead-Hell Whore is such an anthology.
Tales of the Undead: Hello Whore can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BLR40A2/ref=cm_cr_thx_view
Yep, I did it again. I’ve returned to the bizarro world with my offering to the folks over at Rooster Republic Press…which is their new name. It’s their new name, because they had a different name when I was in Tall Tales with Short Cocks Volume 2, not so very long ago. But I’m happy they accepted my humble little tale about family dysfunction “Hell in the Family” that appears in Tall Tales with Short Cocks Volume 3, regardless of their name. It should be available for mass consumption on February 26th, right around the time Comes The Dark reveals itself in paperback and in audio book format. So it is a great double whammy for me.
I’m looking forward to being apart of another wild and raunchy compendium of screwed up stories about screwed up things. While I can’t speak to what the other authors have contributed and what strange topics they have dived into, my story is my own take on the ever popular nerdy vampire sub genre. Well, just because you haven’t heard of this sub genre doesn’t mean it isn’t popular. Well, it might still be a bit of an underground revolution in the making, but I swear it’s gonna be huge someday!
So I’ll be sure to add links once the book is available for purchase, but for now, feast your eyes on the very shiny, purty cover of this latest edition of Tall Tales with Short Cocks.
The Revenants, book two of the I Kill Monsters series, picks up where Fury left off. Boone has been imprisoned by a vampire lord who is intrigued by the power of his blood and has hand picked him to complete a mission with several of his men.
Much like the first book in this series and the other books I’ve read by Tony Monchinski, the story hovers around New York City, though we depart that area to head over to Europe for a time, and Rainford, the Dark Vampire Lord, takes the reader and Boone on a journey to the distant past, where he relates the story of his history in Russia and the love of his life during his youth as a vampire. While Boone finds the telling of this tale as he is imprisoned annoying at first, he is sucked into it much like the reader is, seeing things through the eyes of Rainford while he recounts his tragic tale. But rest assured, this is no sappy romance with Rainford playing the role of tragic hero. As is the case with Fury, vampires are relentless, vile creatures who have no regard for the living and in many cases no regard for their fellow undead.
The story has numerous plotlines going, all intertwined in different ways, though sometimes it is hard to see the ultimate connections. As the author has a sizeable series planned, it is clear his plan is to reveal things in dribs and drabs here, and not divulge the meaning behind different portions of the overall story too soon. Vampires, Furies, and now Revenants are revealed as supernatural creatures here, though it is clear that the Revenants here are not the typical zombies we are used to seeing in books and movies these days, but a more traditional form of enslaved dead. The world as a whole doesn’t realize they exist, but the author is pulling back the curtain to show us more and more of the dark underbelly of the world.
Tony knows how to spin a complex tale, but therein lays the challenge with reading a book like this. It was exactly two years ago that I completed the first book, and the extensive secondary stories took some time to come back to my mind after such a long absence. Reading a complicated tale with sizable time gaps between each chapter makes it tougher to remember all the critical details from the previous book. But that is not a gripe related to the storytelling or the story itself; it is just a desire for the author to produce these books faster. Because both have been compelling reads, and I am already anxiously awaiting the third book in the saga.
Rotter World starts out in the post apocalyptic environs of Maine, where a group of survivors that have set up a safe haven and are asked to go after a small group trapped and surrounded by zombies out in the wastelands by their leader, which is a far more dangerous undertaking than normal. But they soon discover why they’ve been asked to take such a risk when they conduct the rescue and recover a doctor who claims to have created a vaccination for the undead virus. This virus was created by the government but was never intended to be used as a weapon…at least not until vampires stole it and unleashed it upon the human world with the hopes of preventing the living from wiping them out for good.
Among these survivors is a small band of vampires who have made a truce with the humans. Their race did unleashed the virus, not realizing that the zombies created with the plague would crave vampire flesh as much as human and proceed to find root out the vamps when they were at their most vulnerable-during daylight hours while they sleep. Now the few that remain must work side by side with those they once considered to be cattle to avoid going extinct.
The rescued doctor proposes a mission for the survivors. He needs to get to his government lab in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to retrieve his research and craft the initial doses of the vaccine. They survivors will serve as his escort through rotter infested lands. They agree but insist that most of the vamps go along with them despite the fact that the doctor, along with his military escort, despise the vampire race and would like nothing more than to see them all wiped out for the curse they unleashed on humanity.
Rotter World starts out at a slow pace, with plenty of flashbacks to get the reader up to speed with most of the characters, then picks up speed as the mission to Gettysburg gets underway. The action is intense and the gore graphic enough to satisfy most zompoc fans. The conflicts between the humans and vamps are interesting, but I wished they had been explored in great depth. The vamps in this story are, for lack of a better word, honorable. They avoid causing conflicts with the humans and tend to avoid getting near anyone who don’t trust them or even hates them. It would have been interesting to see more of the dark side of the blood suckers, even though there is plenty of human drama to deal with in this tale. As is the case with most quality zombie tales, the flesh eaters are a nightmarish menace but they are nothing compared to the few devious humans who tend to cause far more trouble than the undead ever could for the rest of the survivors.
I enjoyed this story, especially toward the end when things got quite intense and the danger everyone was facing felt tangible and made my heart race. The author offers up a creative new twist on the traditional zombie tale with the introduction of another undead race. Plenty of the human and vampire characters were well developed and gave me someone to root for (and to root against). The story can certainly stand on its own though I suspect the author will be crafting a sequel, which won’t elicit any complaints from me-I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next with those who made it through to the last page of Rotter World.
Not too long ago, I was approached by an author friend of mine with a request to help promote their new fantasy novel on my blog, which I did, happily. I tend to write reviews of horror novels, but I thought that since I am a big fan of fantasy as well I would also read her book, and not just promote it. So here is my review of her book, which I would say fits nicely in the realm of young adult fiction, with both fantasy elements as well as a bit of horror-with werewolves and vampires playing a prominent role.
Charming Incantations: Enticed tells the story of Lisa, a young woman whose parents were tragically killed in a fire, which thrusts her into a world she never knew existed: one with supernatural creatures that expect her to do her part as the surviving heir to the human representatives on a council that works to keep the world safe from darkness.
While the story provides a prolog explaining the alliance between the six races: human, werewolf, vampire, shape-shifter, witch, and banshee, the first chapter of this tale bypasses Lisa’s initial realization of what she must do or any revelations she has that there is an entire world that has been hidden from her. Instead, her tale begins with her knocking on the door of the meeting place of the six representatives of the six races. There she meets the five other generals, or leaders of the armies that hold back the evil known as goblins from taking over the world. One of them, Romulus, the leader of the werewolves, will take her in and protect her from danger until she can be trained to protect herself and take over her duties as a leader.
Lisa faces a great deal of challenges, not the least of which is the fact that she is falling hard for Romulus while she is trying to grasp this new world that surrounds her. She fears these supernatural races but must come to terms with them all so that she can insure that her status as protector of humanity comes to pass.
This tale is part romance and part fantasy adventure. There is magic here, and I am sure there will be passing comparisons to Twilight, but this is a tale on a far grander scale. Lisa is learning about this new world as we learn about it, and is forced into battle even though humans are deemed the weak link in the alliance. She cannot raise her own army of humans because the secrets of the other races must be kept, so the burden is even greater for her than for her counterparts. In some ways, this is a coming of age tale as well, with Lisa doing her best to find her place in a world that is scary, exciting, and quite dangerous.
This is the first book of what I believe will be a series, but this story can certainly stand on its own as a tale of a young woman coming into her own in a world filled with both dangers, delight, magic, and mayhem.
Charming Incantions: Enticed can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Charming-Incantations-Enticed-Monique-Snyman/dp/0987874721/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336631184&sr=1-1
Railroad! is a hard book to categorize. Certainly, it would be easy to say that it is a steampunk tale of the old west, but that seems like a limiting description. I am the first to admit that I haven’t read a tremendous amount of steampunk literature, but I would venture to say that this book has elements that make it somewhat unique in that genre, combining fantastical elements along with the technological, turning this story into something utterly unique.
Tonia Brown, the author, wrote this tale as a serialized adventure, releasing a chapter at a time online, and then releasing each of the three different volumes separately. This book has all three volumes thus far: Rodger Dodger, The Dogs of War, and The Trouble with Waxford. The story is told from the viewpoint of Rodger Dodger, a man curious about an ad posted that is looking for a hired gun to work aboard a steam locomotive. The setting is the old west of the 1870s, and while Rodger has a mysterious past as a gunman, everything else about him seems rather normal. So when he meets up with Professor Dittmeyer, Ched, and the rest of the crew of the Sleipnir, a steam powered locomotive that requires no tracks to run on, he is as baffled as we are. And things just get stranger from there for the man with a mysterious past but a far more intriguing future as the hired gun for an wild band of adventurers.
Of course, the wondrous technology that the author describes with great delight is quite fascinating, and gave me pleasant reminders of my youth, when I used to watch repeats of ‘The Wild, Wild West.’ I do, of course, mean the classic television show starring Robert Conrad and not the atrocious movie starring Will Smith. You will find gadgets galore here, including guns that fire multiple rounds at the same time, horseless carriages that allow one to travel at speeds near a hundred miles per hour across the desert, and trains that need no tracks to make their way from place to place. But that is only the beginning. The author allows us, alongside Rodger Dodger, to enter a world filled with the fantastic-with ghosts, vampires, and genetic mutants filling its pages. As it is described within this tale, the strange, cursed, and fantastic seems to follow Professor Dittmeyer, owner and inventor of the Sleipnir Steam Locomotive, everywhere he goes. After all, he hasn’t been banned from 90 different countries for nothing.
The characters are colorful, detailed, and fun getting to know. And when it comes down to it, this story may be best described as a weird western steampunk story, but it is the characters that keep things interesting, and kept me glued to each page. A well-crafted, entertaining story that is a lot of fun, Railroad! is a trippy ride.
I got the chance to answer a few questions (in my normally snarky way) that fellow author, and editor, Suzanne Robb came up with for me. You may know Suzanne from her fantastic book, “Z-Boat”, or because of her numerous other short story projects. She is in the process of editing an anthology that I have a privilege of being a part of entitled “Read The End First”, which is about 24 different tales about the end of the world…one specific to each time zone. That should be coming out soon, and more details on that later. But enough about Suzanne! Check out her interview of yours truly over on her blog: http://suzannerobb.blogspot.ca/2012/04/paatrick-dorazio-his-thoughts-on.html, and check out some of Suzanne’s stories as well!
I’m pretty excited about a newly release anthology that one of my short stories appears in. I had the opportunity to write a story that was a bit different for me, though at the same time, still shared a bit of DNA with many of the other stories I’ve written over the years. This particular one was originally intended for another anthology, and fit the it to a T. Unfortunately, before that particular anthology got very far, it was cancelled by the publisher. I was ‘stuck’ with this story at that point, which was unfortunate, because I thought it was one of my better tales. It was my effort at writing a war story set in the future, but having some very traditional horror elements to it-a particular menace that I had never written a story about before, and was a new challenge for me. So when I heard about Static Movement producing an anthology entitled Dark Dispatches, which wanted tales of war, real or imagined, here on Earth or elsewhere, in any time period–past, present or future, I knew my story might have a second life. So I submitted my tale, entitled “One Shot, One Kill”, and George Wilhite, the editor, responded within a couple of days, snatching it up.
And now this tale has been released to Amazon, and I am asking you to check it out. I’m not sure how Static Movement works on ebooks, but the paperback version is now available. Keep an eye on the link for further information on the kindle release, and probably over on smashwords for other ebook releases.
I would ask that you consider getting a copy of this book in paperback-a slew of war stories that contain supernatural, alien, and plain old human warriors-all with compelling story lines. I have had the privilege of reading one of the other tales in this book already, by Richard Marsden, and I can tell you that it is excellent. Well worth the price of admission for these two tales alone…but there are many, many more!
So go ahead: click the picture, and head on over to Amazon to pick up your copy of Dark Dispatches. Thanks!
Most folks don’t know it, but I am just as much a science fiction and fantasy fan as I am a horror aficionado. Up to this point, my attempts at writing most fantasy were well in my past, and while I plan on giving it a genuine shot down the road, I am dedicated to writing mostly horror stuff for the moment.
With that said, a friend of mine who has more of a talent for writing fantasy, and in particular, YA fantasy, is having her first book released through Knightwatch Press. But it is definitely worth noting that this YA Fantasy has horror elements as well, with vampires and werewolves playing a role in this tale. So for you horror fans who are looking for something that might be something you and your kids can read, I would check this out. I know I will be, and will hopefully have the chance to review it here soon.
Who is this friend, you ask? It is none other than Monique Snyman. Monique is a South African writer and reviewer of books, movies, and games, who runs her own website over at http://www.killeraphrodite.com/. The book, the first in a series, is entitled Charming Incantations: Enticed. Here is a description of the story:
When Lisa Richards’ parents die in a horrible accident, she never thought her life would change as drastically as it did. Not only does she have to take over the family business as being the Human Representative in a supernatural council, bound to protect the world from the common threat, but she also has to deal with falling in love with a werewolf that has a vampire best friend and try to keep herself alive long enough to defeat the goblin army.
Not sure about you, but to me that sounds like the start of a pretty wild ride! And I know that plenty of horror fans out there dig all sorts of speculative tales, so keep your eyes open for this one. Monique was kind enough to get me a copy of the cover for your viewing pleasure below. I’m sure it’ll be popping up on Amazon quite soon, among other locales, so check it out!
What can I really say about this book? It is well over a hundred pages of some of the most groan-inducing jokes about monsters and monster related topics I have ever seen. Not just jokes, but rhymes, raps, and song parodies. MonsterMatt does his best to make you want to stick a fork in your eye, and then, after you’ve gotten over the pain from such an agonizing injury, use your remaining good eye to read more of his jokes. I’m not really sure what kept dragging me back in for more, but I suppose part of it has to be the fact that there is no deception used here-no attempt to convince you, the reader, that any of these jokes will do any more or less than make you cringe at how pun-ishingly bad they are. Of course, if you are like me, and don’t try to take the world we live in too seriously all the time, there is a place for a book like this one. One that you can share with your kids and get them to moan and roll their eyes at you for telling them such bad jokes…ones that they might just tell their friends and not let you know that they did so.
You get everything from the classics: jokes about Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, Wolfman…and jokes about some of the newer stuff out there, like True Blood, The Walking Dead, and movies like Dead Snow. Given that this book is entitled Volume 1, I fear that MonsterMatt is not finished, so be warned. The bad jokes apparently shall return to induce even more headaches and heartburn!
MonsterMatt’s Bad Monster Jokes, Volume 1 can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/MonsterMatts-Bad-Monster-Jokes-1/dp/1617060941/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1329709231&sr=1-1
Carole Lanham has compiled a series of intriguing poems and short stories that all revolve around the experiences of children in dark and strange places-sometimes these places are in the mind, and in other instances, geographically and chronologically distance lands that seem like dreamscapes, even if they are in places as commonplace as a farm in rural Iowa. The stories here have a way of tantalizing without revealing too much, too soon. Many of the stories tease about the relationships among boys and girls-their dreams and fears, lusts and passions. And while what the characters are experiencing seem so real and within your grasp as a reader, there is a magic allure to them that makes them fleeting and illusive. They have an otherworldly quality about them. It is not just the tales with obvious magic, like ‘Keepity-Keep’ or ‘Friar Garden…’, or the tales beset with monsters, like ‘The Good Part’ or ‘The Blue Word’, but every tale and every poem within this compilation. Even though ‘Maxwell Treat’s…’, ‘The Reading Lessons’, and ‘The Forgotten Orphan’ all seem as if they could take place in the real world-our world-the author manages to transport us to mysterious and alien realms in them that are fascinating and dark beyond the realities most of us will ever deal with.
I enjoyed this compilation. I had read ‘The Blue Word’ previously, and while I normally skip a tale when I come across it for the second time, I found myself compelled to read it again and was filled with the same level of sadness and regret that I felt the first time, even when I knew what was coming at the end of the story. It is one of my favorites in this book, along with Keepity-Keep. Some of the other tales didn’t resonate with me quite as much, but they still had a flavor to them that is hard to pin down or describe-like a meal in a restaurant you’ve never been to before. They sort of leave a odd taste in your mouth, but not in a bad way…in more of a fantastical way that sticks with taste buds long after the food is gone. There wasn’t a particular story or poem I didn’t like-the author pulled me in with each, and even if there may have been a certain aspect or one or the other that didn’t click for me (the ending of ‘Friar Garden’ seemed rather abrupt for my tastes), they all made sense in a strange, dream-filled way.
Carole Lanham has a tremendous talent for the written word. I don’t just mean this because she can craft a story, which she most certainly can do, but because there is a particular quality to each story that transports you, like some authors are able to do-taking you elsewhere with just a few words in the first few sentences. Some authors make you feel at home with their writing, as if you are reading about people you feel like you know and could find yourself surrounded by even if they are in a environment that is pure fantasy or beyond belief. Carole Lanham does not do that here, in this book. Instead, she has the knack of introducing characters and places that take you out of that comfort zone and puts you on alert that there is something strange going on, both in the world at large and within the characters themselves that make them different from you or I. You may not be able to figure it out right away, and even if you think you do, you realize that there is probably more to it with every passage you read. And in the end, things don’t all fall into place. You are left wondering what just happened.
The Whisper Jar is a compelling read, sweet and savory while often times leaving you squirming with discomfort as you journey through its pages.
You can find The Whisper Jar here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Whisper-Jar-ebook/dp/B0062ID33K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324185038&sr=8-1
Knight Watch Press brought together a community of writers to create stories of their hometowns and the apocalypse. Essentially, the mandate was to craft a story with one of the last living people after things fall apart or extinction event occurs. We could use pretty much any humanity annihilating excuse to see how fun, or how scary it could be under those circumstances. So my little story, “Love Thy Neighbor” takes place in Cincinnati, but the same thing could happen in any town, any city the world over. I can’t wait to get my copy of the book to check out the rest of the stories-the reviews I’ve read thus far are quite complimentary. And what’s even better is that a second volume of stories is due out early next year, with even more world toppling excitement.
So check out Soul Survivors Hometown Tales: Volume 1 over on Amazon, or where ever you can get your hot little hands on a copy! Click the picture to head on over to Amazon.
Yep, another anthology coming out soon that I am thrilled to be a part of…and there were so many good stories, they filled two volumes with all of them! My little story, “Love Thy Neighbor” appears within the pages of Volume 1. While I am showing the cover for Volume 1, what is really cool about Soul Survivors-Hometown Tales is that the two covers fit nicely situated next to each other, each showing one half of a face…but they are each distinct from the other. I am really proud of my very sick and disturbing story that takes place right here in Cincinnati that I wrote for this one, and I guess the publishers did as well! The premise behind the stories we were asked to write was to tell a story of the end of the world based on our own hometowns, giving it sort of a personal touch. It could be with any sort of disaster…natural, man made, supernatural…so I am positive there are some really twisted tales in both of these tomes that take advantage of some really unique potential world shattering events. So check out the artwork for the cover of the book I appear in, and I will of course be promoting this book and its partner in crime once both are released later this year (or early in 2012).
Sheri Gambino has put together an assortment of tales that spring from her dark and vivid imagination for Twisted Tales of Terror. This anthology has several zombie apocalypse tales, but the author mixes things up with an assortment of other stories to stir the pot. Included in this book are a few twisty, surprise entries that were unexpected, including one about a mad scientist, a vampire waging a war against evil, a truly killer clown, and the author’s own slant on “Kiss of the Spider Woman”. She includes a dash of voodoo and a couple of tales of menace from space along with her zombie stories, most of which are traditional survival tales, but with an assortment of demonic invaders thrown in for good measure.
The author creates some solid characters along with a few throw away ones that come with the typical short story. I grew attached to a few of the characters that I felt like could have been delved into deeper, with grander tales crafted around them. They drew me in and kept me intrigued. As for the “throw away” characters, I don’t mean that in a negative way-but when you are dealing with the apocalypse, you tend to need a lot of grist for the mill, and Sheri carves up the bodies here quite nicely.
Overall, this was a brisk, easy read that entertained me and was done far more quickly than expected. The editing is sharp and I could see making a commitment to a full sized novel by this author with one, or several of her more intriguing characters that she has to offer.
Twisted Tales of Terror can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Twisted-Tales-of-Terror-ebook/dp/B004YQVOXS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308014835&sr=8-1
I wanted to post the cover of an anthology that I am proud to have a story in. The challenge with the premise of this antho was to use two different monster archetypes and mash them up and make it into a comedy story about them. It is entitled Groanology: Amusing Monster Mash-Ups Unleashed!
My short story, “Hell in the Family” will appear on its pages. Shocking tidbit about it: there are NO zombies in this one! So you see, I can actually write a horror tale without the undead in it. But of course, there have been others I’ve written. But of course, by now, you all know I love writing about the undead buggers, heh.
Anyway, here is the cover, and I think it will give you a great idea of how amusing this book will end up being. More details to come as the book gets closer to release.
This past weekend, I took part in HorrorHound Indianapolis. Like the event in Cincinnati, it is three days of organized chaos, with tons of horror fans running around in costumes and makeup checking out vendor booths and getting autographs from some of the more famous (and infamous) stars of the horror genre. This was their tenth anniversary show and it was jam packed all weekend long. I got to sit between Tony Schaab of G.O.R.E. Score fame and Dr. Pus’s (aka The Library of the Living Dead) table, which had Doc, Michelle Linhart, and Rich Dalzotto manning the stations. Also in attendance from the Library of the Living Dead crew were Rob and Laura Best. We got to see plenty of folks we know from the facebook and the industry, which was a blast, including the folks from Night of the Living Podcast, who were kind enough to post a review of Into The Dark on one of their recent episodes after reviewing Comes The Dark after HorrorHound Cincinnati back in November.
I sold a few books, got to talk about the third book of my trilogy, Beyond The Dark, hung out with some great folks, and took a few pictures of the event. This was truly a great con and a lot of fun. I definitely hope I have the opportunity to attend next year as well!
Here are a few of the pics I took at the show. Forgive the blur-they were taken with my cellphone camera.
In this picture is the famous “Kitty Zombie”, who has his back to the camera. He is the one with the goggles, armor, and the bald head. He is a pretty remarkable character, and funny as hell without saying a single intelligible word.
Well, that’s about it for now. The rest of the pictures I took were sort of blurry or didn’t show anything specifically of interest. Again, the convention was a lot of fun, and I only wish I could attend more of them after the fun I’ve had at the one in Indy as well as Cinci.
I just wanted to pass along that the latest anthology that I am a part of has made its way over to Amazon. As I have mentioned before, this one has a great table of contents and I am pleased that my story, VRZ, appears among its pages. This one contains short stories, flash fiction, and even some poetry. And of course, it also has one of the most wicked book covers of anything I have been associated with. I think this one is going to do very well. Click on the picture to head on over to Amazon and place your order for this one. I myself can’t wait to get my hands on it!
Black Corners of a Blood-Red Room is a series of brief vignettes, or nightmares, if you will. Each is like a taste of a bitter drink that first warms, then burns, as it travels down your throat, and then is gone, though you can still feel it there, itching in your gut, well after you have finished it. None of these slightly less than fifty tales is more than ten pages long, and most are quite a bit less than that. That the author is able to do much like the creature that adorns the cover and grab you by the throat with the stories that appear here speaks highly of his writing talent. Short fiction can be tricky, and admittedly, not every single story here resonated with me, but again, with a selection as wide as Mr. Rutigliano has offered up here, his hit rate is quite impressive.
The stories on these pages are broken up into five different themes, though the author’s flights of fancy don’t really provide enough restraint that all of these stories can be easily categorized, though they are all horror, and there is a tremendous amount of diversity at work here. Not often do you see a writer willing to plunge into such diverse territory. We travel through history, alternate universes, and surreal environments. This is definitely a dreamscape, and a wide ranging one at that.
I would like to see some longer tales from this author, but my guess is that he often gets the itch to create something short and abrupt, and finds it hard to spend time on larger works. Again, he has done a great job at creating short, strong splashes of imagery that pulls you in and then drop kicks you rather rapidly when the tale is done. So if you have a penchant for short horror fiction that tends to run into the fantastical, you should check out this book. It is well worth the price of admission.
Black Corners of a Blood-Red Room can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Black-Corners-Blood-Red-Patrick-Rutigliano/dp/1453756531/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1294715754&sr=1-1
Hey folks, just to let you know, Daily Bites of Flesh is now available on Amazon. It does look like it is out of stock right now, but my guess is that it just will need a day or two for them to have some inventory. It is a very hefty book, with over 500 pages of horror-rific flash fiction for you to check out. And it is the perfect time of year to get someone that calendar that will give them a spine tingling tale once every day. Nothing can beat that for the horror fan!
Hit the picture to head on over to Amazon to get your copy!
I have read Tony Monchinski’s take on zombies in his Eden books and was intrigued by the opportunity given to me to check out his particular slant on vampires with his new series, ‘I Kill Monsters’, of which Fury is the first book. Tony is apparently confident that he will be writing this series for a while, because he has nine titles listed in total on the list of books he has written at the front of this novel. I have no doubt that Tony will complete these other books and credit him for having the vision to have them all lined up and titled already.
Fury is urban fantasy, with all the monsters of myth coming to life on the page, although the focus on this novel is the vampire. While other monster archetypes are hinted at, including Furies among others, a Genie out of its bottle is the only other creature we get to see in this tale. Most of the world doesn’t know about these strange creatures, as they remain hidden, although they are definitely a part of every day life in the world Tony has created here. This story takes place in New York City, and the author has a knack for working in that environment and breathing life into the characters that inhabit the city. I admire his skill at creating dialog that feels natural and unforced and is unique to the Big Apple. This story starts out with a group of thieves that work the vampires of the city-stealing blood from one clan and selling it to another. Though they are dealing with vampires, these guys are just like any other thieves you might meet-they do their jobs and then fade into the background, until the next job comes along. All except Boone, who is the muscle for the squad, and a guy who everyone wonders about-even other members of his crew. He doesn’t seem to have any restraints-he is a hardcore drug user, including steroids, which have turned him into a rage machine. The crew boss likes having him around, while just about everyone else doesn’t. Boone presents the reader with a great anti-hero. He is sort of like having a wild animal as a pet-they behave because you feed them, but you never know when their disposition may change. Boone is articulately drawn, intriguing, and fierce.
Tony has done what I believe he set out to do, which was to pushing vampires back into the darkness, making them the despised, wretched leaches on humanity that they actually are, versus the sweet, loving, romantic figures they have become in popular culture these days. Whether or not future installments in this series remains focused on vampires or stretches things to include other creatures of darkness remains to be seen, but I am anxious to see what Tony has in store for us next.
My only grumble here is that we are left hanging, with only hints at what Boone is to become. Given his personality and the name of the series, we can guess where things are headed, but I think we are in for some significant twists as he discovers his path in life.
You can find I Kill Monsters: Fury at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/I-Kill-Monsters-Tony-Monchinski/dp/1453677437/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1288218294&sr=8-1