Sunday, June 12, 2016

Back to the VA

So a lot has happened since I last blogged, starting with another cross-country move.  After just two years in Phoenix, AZ, we decided we had enough.  The city is beautiful, the mountains, the sunsets, the night storms.  We really enjoyed most of the life we had there, but we felt too isolated.  No friends or family for thousands of miles is tough when you have two small children.  We needed to get back to Virginia and back to family.  You don't realize how much you need those weekends when grandmother take the kids until you don't have them.  Its really difficult to maintain a relationship and have time for yourself without those free days.

The move back was significantly easier than the move out.  We took our time, stayed at nice hotels, and really relaxed, compared to the drive out where we had a deadline and stayed in cabins.  Going out we did it in three 10+ hour driving days.  On the way back we spread it over nearly five days, driving for only seven hours some days.  It made it easier on everyone.

Since being back I have focused my reading and writing in a more bizarro direction.  I have been reading and writing in that style for over fifteen years but I also write horror and dark fantasy.  I am still in the middle of writing a dark fantasy trilogy that will hopefully be completed in the next year. But I consciously decided to focus on bizarro. It is a genre that I feel very close to and would like to help grow every way I can.

I read some great books from Danger Slater (I Will Rot Without You is amazing!) Carlton Mellick III, Kevin Strange, and CV Hunt. 

I recently released a novelette titled, A Friend In Me.

It is a splatterpunk style bizarro story that came to me one day will eating dinner with the family.  Pretty strange place and time to come up with a story like that but when they come they come.

It is available exclusively as a kindle ebook and I am hoping to have it up for free as often as possible.

Hopefully people will check it out and then give my other stuff a try.

Thanks again to everyone that reads. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Book Review - Light Boxes by Shane Jones

Light Boxes
-Shane Jones

5 stars

As I read this I felt transported from the unrelenting heat of summer in Phoenix to a forever gray and snowy February in a small cut-off town.  I remembered cold and dreary and why the last months of winter are the hardest to bare.  The summer months in Phoenix are similar to this, unforgiving sun and heat cause abandoned streets and playgrounds.  I felt connected in a mirrored way.

The inhabitants of one closely-knit town are experiencing perpetual February. It turns out that a god-like spirit who lives in the sky, named February, is punishing the town for flying, and bans flight of all kind, including hot air balloons and even children's kites. It's February who makes the sun nothing but a faint memory, who blankets the ground with snow, who freezes the rivers and the lakes. As endless February continues, children go missing and more and more adults become nearly catatonic with depression. But others find the strength to fight back, waging war on February.

This fairytale for all ages reads in chopped up narrative and character thoughts.  Tiny moments from every perspective pieced together to create a fantastical story that will run you through the gamut of emotions; sadness, depressions, heartache, frustration, hope, joy, and happiness.  A small book with a big heart.  This is one of the best books I have read, ever.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Book Review - Hearers of the Constant Hum by William Pauley III

Hearers of the Constant Hum
-William Pauley III

4 Stars

Ashok burn right hand of men. To Neptune, rebirth in blue fire.

This is the phrase the ultimately brought my attention to this book.  As a fan of bizarro, surrealism, and the just plain strange, things like this catch my eye and draw me in.  Add that with an amazing cover and you've got my money. 

Bill Krang records insect conversations onto cassette tapes and labels them THE CONSTANT HUM. Others cannot hear insects in the same way, so he has dedicated his life to discovering how to share their message with others.

Years pass and now Krang notices the peculiar phrase graffitied on the sides of buildings and written on mysterious tiles half-buried in asphalt. What does it mean? Are the insects trying to warn him? Is it a threat? Are there other hearers of the constant hum? Where are they?

In his search for answers, he manages to dismantle all he ever thought he knew about everything.

Collapsing disease, drugs created from dead, poisoned insects, half human/half robot scientists, and of course the constant hum.  Add in William Pauley III's carryover characters, The Crunk Brothers, and you've got a peculiar tale that's as weird and out of place as it is completely relevant to today's world.

At times the message gets a little preachy, but the storyline and characters are strong enough to balance it out.  I highly recommend checking this book out.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

New Book!!!

I have a new novella coming out soon!

This book was unexpected.  I was in-between writing drafts for my upcoming dark fantasy trilogy and had an idea pop into my head that wouldn't go away.  Like most authors I get ideas all the time, most of them never get far but this one was writing itself so I had to put it to paper.  In just a couple of weeks last summer I wrote the first draft, a couple of months later I rewrote the ending and then did a final draft. 

I sat on it for several months not sure what to do with it.  I created a few different cover ideas until I finally had a great one. From there I knew I wanted to release it. 

So if you have a few hours to kill and want a quick, fun read. Check out my new book.

There is a new fetish sweeping the country:  a sexual interest in severed limbs.

The market has become so large that "limb-snatching" has become the number one violent crime in the nation.  A man dubbed The Phantom by the media has become the most successful snatcher, but when he returns home with the latest pair of limbs, things start to get strange.

The limbs are still alive, moving on their own, and desperate to get back to their body.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Book Review - The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

The Halloween Tree
-Ray Bradbury

5 Stars

Ray Bradbury has a way with words that few others do.  He's a poet.  A lyricist.  The rhythm and flow of his prose alone make The Halloween Tree worth reading.  But on top of that, it's a great book!

 “The wind outside nested in each tree, prowled the sidewalks in invisible treads like unseen cats.
Tom Skelton shivered. Anyone could see that the wind was a special wind this night, and the darkness took on a special feel because it was All Hallows' Eve. Everything seemed cut from soft black velvet or gold or orange velvet. Smoke panted up out of a thousand chimneys like the plumes of funeral parades. From kitchen windows drifted two pumpkin smells: gourds being cut, pies being baked.”  

The Halloween Tree is a children's book that transcends all ages. It follows eight costumed boys running to meet their friend Pipkin at the haunted house outside town.  But when the reach the house, they encounter the huge and cadaverous Mr. Moundshroud. As Pipkin scrambles to join them, he is swept away by a dark Something, and Moundshroud leads the boys on the tail of a kite through time and space to search the past for their friend and the meaning of Halloween. After witnessing a funeral procession in ancient Egypt, cavemen discovering fire, Druid rites, the persecution of witches in the Dark Ages, and the gargoyles of Notre Dame, they catch up with the elusive Pipkin in the catacombs of Mexico, where each boy gives one year from the end of his life to save Pipkin's.

If you haven't read The Halloween Tree you are missing out on a magical story that will fill you with the joys of Halloween and remind you why All Hallow's Eve will forever be the day of the dead.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Book Review - We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson

We Have Always Lived In The Castle
-Shirley Jackson

3 Stars

“Merricat, said Connie, would you like a cup of tea?
Oh no, said Merricat, you'll poison me.
Merricat, said Connie, would you like to go to sleep?
Down in the boneyard ten feet deep!”

Since the mysterious death their family, the superstitious Mary Katherine "Merricat" Blackwood, her ailing, wheelchair-bound, uncle Julian, and agoraphobic sister Constance have lived in a contented state of isolation, secluding themselves from the taunting villagers. But when cousin Charles arrives in search of the Blackwood fortune, a terrible family secret is revealed.

"My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, and I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phallaides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead."

First off, I loved the writing style of Shirley Jackson. I loved the narrative being told from Merricat's point of view. I loved her take on the world. After that I didn't love much else. This story reads slow, with no build up what so ever. Throughout the entire story I kept wondering if there was a twist since the reveal is known up front.

There are levels of suspense, notions of paranoia and claustrophobia, but I never felt trapped enough, I never felt like there was much too lose. I was really hoping the ending would save this book, but it just stops open-ended leaving you to create your own ghost story.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book Review - The Darkest Part of The Forest by Holly Black

The Darkest Part of The Forest
-Holly Black

4 Stars

Holly Black is back to her faerie roots, bringing us the best thing she's written since the Modern Faerie Tale series.  This stand-alone YA novel is dark and gritty, written like only Black can do. But it is also magical and whimsical and every thing you can ask for in a faerie tale.  I found myself smiling throughout the book, remembering what it was like to be a child, running in the woods and blurring the lines between reality and make-believe.

"There's a monster in our wood.  She'll get you if you're not good.  Drag you under leaves and sticks.  Punish you for all your tricks.  A nest of hair and gnawed bone.  You are never, ever coming... home."

 Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…