Friday, March 28, 2014

X: A Collection of Horror







1. How did you get started in horror?

I think it must stem from a combination of my grandfather’s ghost stories from when he was a coal miner, and my sister’s heavy metal record collection. Some of those album covers had brilliant artwork. When I started writing, it was just the genre I gravitated towards.

2. What are your favorite kinds of stories to write and read?

I write what I call ‘dark fiction.’ Sometimes it edges toward sci-fi, other times out-and-out horror. A lot of people comment that most of it contains a healthy dose of sardonic humour. I did write a love story once under a pseudonym but that was just an experiment. I read widely. I have my favourites, of course. I love a good old-fashioned haunted house story. But I also read crime, thrillers, and autobiographies. I like reading about people who achieve great things or triumph against the odds.

3. What would you tell someone just getting started in the horror genre?

Find your own voice! And read everything, in every genre. For a long time I restricted myself to horror, then when I was much older and started reading other things it was like discovering a whole new world. Or even a multitude of new worlds. Stephen King once said that you learn just as much from reading terrible books as you do good ones.

4. Plotter or panster?

I had no idea what a panster was until I just Googled it. Thanks for expanding my knowledge! I guess the smart way of doing things is to be a plotter and plan things out in advance. But I’m more spontaneous than that, so I have to say I’m a panster. Its all well and good having a plan, and I can see why some people prefer to work that way, but I think it stifles you a little. You might have a great idea for a plot twist or a new character, but you’d be reluctant to go with it because it wasn’t in your plan. Storytelling should be more organic.

5. Name three things on your desk right now.

An empty coffee cup, my phone, and a Sun newspaper. I’m one of the few people that still buy newspapers religiously every morning. I read news websites too, but there is nothing quite like opening a newspaper.

6. Do you write to music?

Yes, quite often. I lean towards punk and rock. I like Bouncing Souls, Blink 182, the Ramones, the Clash, that kind of thing. And some classic rock like Dire Straits if I’m feeling more mellow. I can’t write to rap or hip-hop, there are just too many voices, too many words all tumbling over each other.

7. Sushi or cheeseburgers?

Cheeseburgers, every time. I don’t think anybody really likes sushi, they just eat it because they think it’s cool or healthy. Personally I’d rather have 70 years of eating what I want than 80 years of eating so-called healthy food. Food is something that should be enjoyed.

8. What author has had a profound influence on your work?

I wish I had a more original answer to this question. I can make one up, if you want. But the truth is I grew up reading Stephen King, so it has to be him. During my late teens I read his entire back catalogue. My favourites are ‘Salem’s Lot, It, Christine and The Tommyknockers. His work went a little stale in the nineties, but he is back with a vengeance now.

9. In horror today what topics do you think are overdone and what would you like to see more of?

Like everything else, horror follows trends. The success of Twilight saw loads of romantic gothic vampire stories, and at the moment you can’t move for zombies, probably because of the success of the Walking Dead. I don’t think anything is truly original, its all been done before, but there is a difference between unoriginal and overdone.

10. What is the next project on your to do list?

My book X: A Collection of Horror, recently came out. It was compiled from the hundreds of manuscripts I had gathering dust on my hard drive. Most have been published before in different magazines and anthologies, but there are a few originals in there. X2 will follow early next year, and X3 not long after. I’ve also just finished re-writing my first published non-fiction title, Into the Dragon’s Lair – A Supernatural History of Wales. That will hopefully be reissued later in the year.

Follow me on Twitter @CMSaunders01

Or visit my website to say hello!

http://cmsaunders.wordpress.com/



Blurb:

This is what happens when you ‘wake up’ inside a dream, when the urban myth you heard turns out to be so much more, and when that hottie you pick up in a bar springs a terrible surprise. But what do you do when your wife gives birth to something not entirely human? When your past discretions come back to haunt you? Or when a serial killer moves in next door?

The first collection of horror and dark fiction from the critically acclaimed writer C.M. Saunders, including three previously unpublished stories, plus an introduction and extensive notes. Also features exclusive artwork by Greg Chapman.

WARNING: Adult Material.

Table of Contents: Introduction: That's Entertainment, A Thin Disguise, A Hell of my Own Creation, Monkey Man, The Awful Truth, Mr. C, Fame / Infamy: A Deconstruction, Another False Dawn, The Night Everything Changed, The Devil & Jim Rosenthal, Club Culture, Afterword


Bio:

Christian Saunders, who writes dark fiction as C.M. Saunders, began writing in 1997, his early fiction appearing in several small-press titles and anthologies. Following the publication of his first book, Into the Dragon's Lair – A Supernatural History of Wales (2003), he worked extensively in the freelance market, contributing both fiction and non-fiction to over 40 international publications. His novellas Dead of Night and Apartment 14F: An Oriental Ghost Story are available on Damnation Books, while Devil's Island, is out on Rainstorm Press. Most recently his work has appeared in Morpheus Tales, Gore magazine,Wicked Industries and Siren's Call. He works as a sports writer and blogs for the Huff Post UK. His most recent work is From the Ashes – The REAL Story of Cardiff City Football Club.

Amazon.com link:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Apocalypticon Super Book Blast



Apocalypticon
by Clayton Smith

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Three years have passed since the Jamaicans caused the apocalypse, and things in post-Armageddon Chicago have settled into a new kind of normal. Unfortunately, that "normal" includes collapsing skyscrapers, bands of bloodthirsty maniacs, and a dwindling cache of survival supplies. After watching his family, friends, and most of the non-sadistic elements of society crumble around him, Patrick decides it's time to cross one last item off his bucket list.

He’s going to Disney World.

This hilarious, heartfelt, gut-wrenching odyssey through post-apocalyptic America is a pilgrimage peppered with peril, as fellow survivors Patrick and Ben encounter a slew of odd characters, from zombie politicians and deranged survivalists to a milky-eyed oracle who doesn't have a lot of good news. Plus, it looks like Patrick may be hiding the real reason for their mission to the Magic Kingdom...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Excerpt Three:

They stood on the trestles and waved as the train pulled slowly away. Horace blew the whistle in two short bursts and saluted from the engine. When the train had cleared the highway, Ben turned to Patrick and said, “Please tell me you remembered to pack an elevator.”

“Yeah, I did pack it, originally, but then there wasn’t any room for my Little Orphan Annie decoder ring, so I took it out. But fear not, young traveler, for I have the next best thing. Rope!” He pulled the nylon rope from his bag triumphantly and let it uncoil over the side of the bridge. It dangled just over the edge of the tracks.

"Brilliant. You brought a really useful three-foot rope."

“Well, I’m going to find a use for it somewhere,” Patrick said, hurriedly stuffing it back into the bag. “You just wait.”

“You think we could jump it?”

“Sure. It’s only twenty feet or so.”

“Are you being sarcastic right now, or serious? I can never tell.”

“This time, I’m being serious, mostly. Twenty feet isn’t that many feet. It’ll probably hurt like hell, but we’ll live. Probably.”

“Words every man wants to hear in a world without doctors,” Ben muttered.

“There are doctors somewhere,” Patrick reminded him. “They’re just not you or me.”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Clayton Smith is a sometimes-writer, sometimes-napper based in Chicago, where he uses neither his bachelor’s in journalism nor his master’s in arts management. He is often calamitous, and good at bacon. He lives with his impressively tolerant wife.

Clayton’s previous works include Pants on Fire: A Collection of Lies and the comedic play Death and McCootie, which debuted at the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival.

Links:

www.StateOfClayton.com

www.twitter.com/Claytonsaurus

www.facebook.com/Claytonsaurus

www.amazon.com/author/claytonsmith

Clayton will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Comment and follow the tour for more chances to win!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Bedlam



Blurb – Bedlam (crime/horror)

Joe loves Kit. Everyone thinks she’s dead. Joe knows she’s not.

If you lost the love of your life, how far would you go to get them back?
Detective Joe McNeil would do absolutely anything.
When Joe breathes life into a crime scene victim, he discovers what anything really means.
Nell will use whatever is necessary to ensure she survives, including Joe. Is she really a victim or merely the weapon being wielded by a much more cunning foe?
Against the background of a multiple murder investigation, Joe struggles between his love for missing Kit and his growing obsession with the enigmatic Nell. Plunged headlong into a spiralling nightmare of kidnap, murder and betrayal, his relentless search for the truth jeopardises his career, his sanity and his life.
But for Nell, the risk is even greater..

A haunting tale of obsessive love, ultimate sacrifice and deadly consequences


B A Morton November 2013

Review:

Twists and turns abound in this masterpiece of horror. The first chapter left me wondering and then the playing field opened up to a marvelous tale. The quality of writing was amazing, as was the suspenseful mystery. 

What would you do if your love was dead and you thought she might still be alive? Wouldn't you do everything to reconnect with her? This book is obsession, gut wrenching love that twists and turns like a worm in the gut. How far would you go to prove what you believe is true? What would you be willing to do for love? That is the question at the heart of this dark thriller. I am at loath to give anything away other than if you read nothing else this year, you must read this book.

Fans of Koontz, King, Herbert and other horror masters will delight in every twisted turn. I loved it madly and will be looking for more from this talented author.

5/5







Author bio –

Born in the North East of England, B.A.Morton writes across a number of genres including crime, romance, horror and historical fiction. After a twenty year civil service career, she and her family escaped the rat race and relocated to the remote beauty of the Northumberland National Park. She now works part time in the village GP surgery and lives in a cottage built on the remains of a medieval crypt. Her debut novel “Mrs Jones” a fast paced, romantic, crime thriller set in New York, was runner up in the Yeovil Literary Prize 2011, published by Taylor Street Publishing and closely followed by the sequel “Molly Brown”, and the first in a medieval trilogy “Wildewood Revenge”. Her latest book “Bedlam” is a psychological/horror/thriller.

Giveaway:

This giveaway is international 

For a chance to win one of five mobi copies of Bedlam and one paperback copy of Bedlam


The winner will be announced at the end of the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Visit with Patrick Freivald: Bram Stoker Nominee


Join me as I interview Patrick Freivald, Bram Stoker nominee and fellow HWA member. Welcome to Zombiegirl Shambling! Here's some lemonade...whoops. Sorry about that. Let me wipe the blood off that glass for you.

All better...now where did I put that tray of ladyfingers... Not real ones silly. Patrick, put down the chair. Look, I'm standing over here with a pen and paper. Perfectly harmless...Come on now. We have guests who want to know about your newest books...

The Interview:


1. How did you get started writing horror?

I've been writing for most of my life, but didn't really start writing with an intent to publish until 2008 or so, when my twin brother Phil said, "Dude, we should write a book." So we did. BLOOD LIST isn't horror per se, though it has some horrific elements to it. From there, my natural fondness for things that aren't quite right took over. Even when I don't write horror, things I write tend to have something dark about them.





2. What about YA do you enjoy?

The funny thing is that I never intended TWICE SHY or LOVE BITES to be YA. I mean, some really, truly awful things happen in both books--things a lot of parents wouldn't be all that comfortable with their kids reading. But I guess when your protagonist is in high school, or of high school age, it's YA, dammit.

As a high school teacher, teenagers amuse me--sometimes on purpose, often not. I have an over-developed sense of irony, and I very much enjoy my job. So go figure I'd end up writing about young adults in some of my work.




3. Music or no music?

While writing? Absolutely not, for two reasons: one, I enjoy music too much and would get distracted. Two, I use voice recognition to write, and the sound would mess it up.

Otherwise? I enjoy a lot of genres, but selectively within those genres. Lately I've been listening to a lot of Halestorm, Imogen Heap, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

4. Name three things on your desk right now.

I don't have a desk. Which is to say I have two, but never use them for anything but storage. I write at either the kitchen or the dining room table, most of the time--and by "at the table" I mean while pacing back and forth. I rarely sit while writing, unless I'm in an environment too noisy to use VR, in which case I'll type like a normal person. Not to dodge the question, my current writing surface, the kitchen table, has a cup of tea (black, with my honey), a sleeping and very fat and fluffy white cat, and my laptop on it.

5. What kinds of characters do you most love to write about?

Well that's an odd question. I like to write characters, and they vary quite a bit. From serial killers to self-destructive teens to superhuman commandos to retired old men in witness protection through no fault of their own, each is fun to write in their own way. My favorite character of all time has yet to hit a published story, and that's a man who's convinced that he's dead and in hell, despite the fact that he's actually just a rather ordinary virtuoso violinist--it's fun to write scenes from his perspective, because of how he'll interpret the actions of those around him.




6. Tell us about your new book.

BLOOD LIST is about a serial killer trying to save his father's life. It's the first novel I wrote, but the most recently published (November). In May, JADE SKY hits Amazon--it's on preorder now--and it's a screaming-fast, brutal, modern fantasy thriller about superhuman commandos.

7. Hamburger or sushi?

Yes, please! I don't understand why people consider broccoli to be food, but other than that will eat almost anything and enjoy it. I like food, I like to cook, I like to eat!

8. What is one pet peeve you see in horror today? What would you like to see more?

Horror to me isn't a genre, it's an emotion. Lots of books can contain horror, but no books "are" horror. So in that sense, there are entire swathes of stories I have no interest in--mutilation porn like SAW, rape/revenge fantasy, etc. Generally, the things that try only to shock hold no interest for me. 

I read a lot of Z-fic for a while, to the point where I was writing reviews for BuyZombie.com, and with zombie stories there's a stagnation that really started to turn me off, where they're all about one of two scenarios: the apocalypse is happening and people are trying to survive, or the apocalypse has happened at some point in the past, and people are trying to survive. There are exceptions, or sufficiently good twists: Jonathan Maberry's introspective YA ROT AND RUIN series, Joe McKinney's things-are-mostly-contained THE CROSSING (and related stories), Dana Fredsti's Buffy-the-Zombie-Slayer PLAGUE TOWN, PLAGUE NATION, and I-can't-wait-for-it-to-come-out PLAGUE WORLD, David Moody's understated and almost calm AUTUMN...I'd like to think I nailed something pretty unique with TWICE SHY and SPECIAL DEAD, too! ...but these are the exceptions, not the rule.

What I'd like to see more of is the same thing that I think most everyone wants to see more of: quality stories that either make you think or entertain you so much that you don't care if you're not thinking too hard. Well written, well edited, character-driven stories that engage. Beyond that, what else could you want?

9. What advice would you give someone just starting out in the horror field?

Don't start out "in the horror field". Write what you write, and let other people classify it.

Other than that, my advice is the same as I've given to a lot of other writers: write a lot, make it the best you can, and use as few words as possible.




10. What is next on your writerly platform?

JADE SKY got picked up for a five-book deal, so I've got four more to write. I'm collaborating with Joe McKinney on a comic for Dark Discovery Magazine using JADE SKY's setting, just started collaborating with Brian Knight on an as-yet-amorphous probably YA novel, and would like to write at least six short stories and another novel on top of all that this year. We'll see how close we get!

Editing blog: http://patrickfreivald.blogspot.com/




Bio:

 Patrick Freivald is an author, teacher (physics, robotics, American Sign Language), and beekeeper. He lives in Upstate New York with his beautiful wife, two birds, two dogs, too many cats, and several million stinging insects. A book reviewer for BuyZombie.com, he’s always had a soft spot for slavering monsters of all kinds. He is the author of JADE SKY, BLOOD LIST (with his twin brother Phil), TWICE SHY, and the Bram Stoker Award(R)-nominated SPECIAL DEAD, as well as many short stories.

Links:
http://www.amazon.com/Twice-Shy-Patrick-Freivald-ebook/dp/B009UETM7O/
http://www.amazon.com/Blood-List-Patrick-Freivald-ebook/dp/B00GMICA70/
http://www.amazon.com/Special-Dead-Twice-Shy-Book-ebook/dp/B00DSS4KCK/
http://www.amazon.com/Jade-Sky-Matt-Rowley-Novel/dp/1940161436/


No authors or women's fingers were maimed or dismembered during the course of this post. Thank you Patrick for taking the time to answer my questions with minimal screaming. 


Monday, February 24, 2014

Struck Book Blast


STRUCK
by Clarissa Johal

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

The shadows hadn't been waiting.
The shadows had been invited.

After a painful breakup, Gwynneth Reese moves in with her best friend and takes a job at a retirement home. She grows especially close to one resident, who dies alone the night of a terrific storm. On the way home from paying her last respects, Gwynneth is caught in another storm and is struck by lightning. She wakes in the hospital with a vague memory of being rescued by a mysterious stranger. Following her release from the hospital, the stranger visits her at will and offers Gwynneth a gift--one that will stay the hands of death. Gwynneth is uncertain whether Julian is a savior or something more sinister... for as he shares more and more of this gift, his price becomes more and more deadly.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt Two: Long Version

A bolt of blue-white lightning snaked from the sky and hit the ground in front of her. The thunderclap that shattered the air was deafening. Gwynneth slammed on her brakes and skidded. It was a slow skid, or it seemed to be. Spinning around and around in a circle, she felt like she was watching herself from afar. Time felt like it was slowing. Oddly enough, she found herself wondering if there would be white or red flowers on Hannah’s casket. Or maybe none at all.

Gwynneth’s face smacked against the steering wheel. Reality hit her along with the pain. She had forgotten to wear her seatbelt. She pressed her fingers lightly to her throbbing temple and winced. “Shit!” Thankfully, she was in one piece. Gwynneth opened the car door. Lightning lit the area and bathed her senses in a flash of blue-white. Icy rain hit her skin. Stupid! You left your jacket back at the funeral home. She ran around the car and checked all the tires. The back one was flat, and on top of that, her car was quite obviously stuck in a ditch. “Great.” She had no spare tire, she knew that for sure. She also had no idea which way led back to the retirement home. Her headlights cast a weak glow through the rain. Soaked to the skin and shivering, Gwynneth peered into the darkness. A muddy road meandered across saturated fields and off into nothingness.

She sloshed back to her car and quickly turned the engine off. She certainly didn’t need a dead battery on top of a flat tire. “Okay, Gwen,” she said aloud, “you need to figure out what to do.” Rain ran in rivulets down her face and her tie-dyed T-shirt stuck to her like a second skin. I’m a soggy, shivering rainbow. She started to walk and cursed the fact that her cell phone wasn’t charged. Seth was always bugging her about that. “Suck it up, Gwen. It rains in Oregon too.” The inky blackness was disconcerting. Lightning intermittently illuminated the area like the flash of a camera. A snapshot of a road to nowhere. Gwynneth hoped that she was at least walking in the right direction. Her teeth were chattering so hard she was in danger of biting her own tongue. Thunder rolled up her spine and along her scalp like probing fingers.

Her thoughts wandered back to Hannah. A diary. I wonder what she wrote about? She wouldn’t read it, of course, it was private. I’m sure she just wants me to throw it away so her children don’t either. A pang of loss sliced through the cold and Gwynneth shook it off. They had spent countless hours chatting and Hannah never mentioned a diary. She bit her lip. If she could only turn back time, Gwynneth would have told her how much their time together had meant. Hannah had always encouraged her to start painting again, but also understood why Gwynneth couldn’t.

A loud ‘crack’ sounded and an iridescent white light surrounded her. Two things registered: a searing pain that ripped down her back and the ground which seemed to be pulled away from her at an alarming speed.

* * * *

Blackness.

Pain shot through the back of Gwynneth’s head as she opened her eyes. Somebody was standing over her. She tried to focus on the face, but it hurt too much. A cool hand slid across her forehead. She opened her eyes again.

Pale, almost white eyes. High cheekbones, aquiline nose, and a well-shaped mouth. Long, white hair. Ageless. Beautiful, like a Michelangelo. All of those details registered with clarity before agony ripped through her body. She arched her back and cried out. The man murmured something into her ear which she couldn’t understand. She could feel the vibration of his voice and his breath on her neck as he gathered her in his arms. She opened her eyes and saw lightning fork to the ground silently behind him. She blacked out again.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~



AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Clarissa Johal has worked as a veterinary assistant, zoo-keeper aide and vegetarian chef. Writing has always been her passion. When she’s not listening to the ghosts in her head, she’s dancing or taking photographs of gargoyles. She shares her life with her husband, two daughters and every stray animal that darkens the doorstep. One day, she expects that a wayward troll will wander into her yard, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Website: http://clarissajohal.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clarissa.johal.9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClarissaJohal

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4502113.Clarissa_Johal

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Clarissa-Johal/e/B003KVTMPK/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1389927184&sr=1-2

Buy Links for STRUCK

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Struck-Clarissa-Johal-ebook/dp/B00HWFFNL2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1389913987&sr=8-3&keywords=clarissa+johal

Musa Publishing: http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11&products_id=731

Barnes and Noble: http://www.amazon.com/Struck-Clarissa-Johal-ebook/dp/B00HWFFNL2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1389913987&sr=8-3&keywords=clarissa+johal

Excerpt link for STRUCK: http://clarissajohal.blogspot.com/2013/10/struck-excerpt.html

 Comment below for a chance to win a copy of Struck!

Follow the tour for more chances to win!



Saturday, February 22, 2014

Diaries of the Damned Release Day Party


Title: Diaries of the Damned
Author: Alex Laybourne
Genre: Zombie Horror
The dead have risen and a desperate struggle for power has begun. The military are evacuating all survivors in passenger planes. With their destination unknown, one group of survivors led by a journalist named Paul Larkin, decide to share their experiences with the hope that when combined, their stories will reveal some answers that the government had not been willing to give themselves.

Nine survivors have banded together, determined to tell their tale of survival. None of them realized that as they stood to tell their tales that they stood on the brink of discovering a conspiracy the likes of which the world has never seen.



 Excerpt #5
Neil turned to leave, but walked only a few steps before he ducked into the barn. He turned to his right and hid in the shadows. Neil peered through a crack in the warped wooden side, and waited.
A chill ran through him as he saw Charlie open both crates and crouch down onto his haunches. He reached into the box and pulled out a large canister. Setting it on the ground, he worked hurriedly to unscrew the cap. Neil wanted to call out, but he knew that whatever it was, it could not be stopped anymore. He had a flashback to Dr. George and his team: The blood, the body parts strewn about the place, and then the cover-up… retirement. The memories returned in a flood.
With trembling hands, Charlie reached inside the canister. It looked as though he were unscrewing a secondary cap. Vapor rose from the container while Charlie’s hand was still inside. He jerked backward, screaming as he did.
Neil reacted without thinking and ran over to his friend. The steam continued to escape the canister.
“Charlie, get back,” Neil called, unsure as to how the canister would react.
“Neil...what are you…get away from me. Stop, it’s too dangerous!” Charlie screamed; the force of his words enough to stop Neil dead in his tracks.
“What do you mean?” Neil asked, holding his breath as soon as he had finished talking. Images of three years ago played in his mind like a flashback sequence in a bad movie.
Charlie didn’t answer. He had turned his back and was once again kneeling over the canister. His hand disappeared inside the vapor cloud. It appeared to be translucent, but Neil couldn’t see Charlie’s arm through it. It was as though the light was refracted around any object that it came into contact with. After a few moments, the vapor disappeared and Charlie withdrew his hand. He collapsed to the floor.



About the author:

Born and raised in the coastal English town Lowestoft, it should come as no surprise (to those that have the misfortune of knowing this place) that I became a horror writer.
From an early age I was sent to schools which were at least 30 minutes drive away and so spent the most of my free time alone, as the friends I did have lived too far away for me to be able to hang out with them in the weekends or holidays.
I have been a writer as long as I can remember and have always had a vivid imagination. To this very day I find it all too easy to just drift away into my own mind and explore the world I create, where the conditions always seem to be just perfect for the cultivation of ideas, plots, scenes, characters and lines of dialogue everything basically, and when the time is right, I can simply pluck them from the allotment of my mind serve them up on the pages of whatever work is to be their home.
I am married and have four children and my biggest dream for them is that they grow up and spend their lives doing what makes them happy, whatever that is.

Links

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sweet Violent Femmes: The Review



"Within a month, my romantic, Lost Generation fantasy of the city had sharpened into reality. The only moveable feast I'd found in Paris was of the fleshly variety - a constant supply of lithe, undulating bodies presented under glass, offering every view to the clientele."

In this dark and disturbing collection, Kothe explores themes of the damaged, the devious, and the deranged heroine, and examines the consequences of pushing the female heart one step too far. 

"The Glass Room" 
An American girl maintaining her comfortable Parisian lifestyle as a high-end brothel escort faces off with a mysterious client whose sadistic dependencies threaten her livelihood. 

"Tethered" 
After a passionate quarrel with her conflicted lover, a woman realizes that the best kind of relationships are the eternal kind. Sometimes the man just needs a little push ...

"Seeing Black"
A lonely librarian nursing a broken heart gathers liquid courage in preparation for her sister's visit, and struggles with a peculiar ailment she's had since puberty.

"Feminist Theory"
A troubled but diligent chemistry student reacts to the unsavory intentions of a predatory psychology professor.



Review: 

This book was given in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Finding time to read a book all the way through these days is rare for me, so when I was given a copy of Sweet Violent Femmes, I hoped I would have time to read the entire thing. As it happened, the pages few by in quick secession and before I knew it, I was lamenting the end. This collection of short stories was beyond brilliant and full of righteous feminine fury. In each tale there is an element of helplessness, an aura of female  subjugation in a male world and an overwhelming sense of rage at the injustice. 

"The Glass Room" was the first story and it completely sucked me in. I started it on break at work and I barely remember finishing my food, I was so engrossed in the story. It shines a light on women who work in the sex industry and the risks they take to earn a living. When one of the gentleman callers proves to be a little too much into pain, one girl takes matters into her own hands. I was pretty nearly cheering at the end. 

"Tethered" was spectral and at first confusing as the girl in the story figures out what has happened to her and where she is going. Lovers are not always what they seem and in this story it is true more than most.

"Seeing Black" was a wonderful story. It ripped my heart out and I found myself blinking back tears. Families can be a haven or Hell and in this case, it was more the latter. If you have been subjected to abuse in any form that involved your family, you will really feel it with this story. Trigger time. The conclusion is very satisfactory.

"Feminist Theory" was a devious little package from the get go. Revenge is sweetest when it is served cold and this young lady has more to dish up than most. Again, if you have issues with an abusive man in your life, this one will hit home with a dead on bulls-eye. 

Overall the book was a fast paced read of bloody vengeance and horrific revenge. I loved every second of it. I think too often women in our society are looked upon as disposable objects of desire without concern for the repercussions. I am so glad Holly wrote this collection of darkly divine femmes to give a voice to some who can't speak for themselves. There are many women in the sex trade that die from extreme situations inflicted on them with no accounting at all. Children are victimized by a male relative or family friend and nothing is done to stop it. Boyfriends take it upon themselves to silence an inconvenient truth when it takes two to tango. All of these situations are thrust boldly under the stark white lights of this marvelous book.

5/5 

I want to read more from this fabulous author!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Witch Hunts: A Visit with Lisa Morton


For nearly three centuries, as the Black Death rampaged through Europe and the Reformation tore the Church apart, tens of thousands were arrested as witches and subjected to trial, torture, and execution, including being burned alive. This graphic novel examines the background; the methods of the witch-hunters; who stood to profit; the brave few who protested; and how the trials finally faded as Enlightenment replaced fear and superstition with reason and science. The book examines famed witch-hunters Heinrich Kramer, architect of the infamous Malleus Maleficarum; Matthew Hopkins, England's notorious "Witch-finder General"; King James I, supposedly the target of assassination by a Scottish coven; the Salem Witch Trials; and the last witch trials and executions in Europe.

Witch Hunts has been nominated for a Bram Stoker Award in the Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel category. The Awards will be presented at the World Horror Convention in New Orleans on June 15, 2013

Amazon


Goodreads


www.witchhuntsbook.com


Join me as we welcome horror great Lisa Morton to Zombiegirl Shambling. Lisa has agreed to answer some questions about her work in the horror field. 

 1. How did you get started writing in the horror genre?

I've always loved the genre (even as a very young child), and it was
just an obvious choice for me. I started as a screenwriter, where I
was a "hired gun" and wrote everything from children's fantasies to
disaster movies, but when I turned to prose, horror was my obvious
first choice.


 2. Tell me about your work on Witch Hunts and how the graphic novel
 came to be.

Rocky Wood created the project and had already brought Greg Chapman in
as the artist when he asked me to co-write. I loved Rocky's take on
it, and I'd always wanted to work in the graphic novel field; plus, my
Halloween research had already given me a good introduction to the
history of the witch persecutions, so it was all a good fit.

 3. Burgers or sushi?

Sushi, no question! I'll start with scallop and smelt egg, and go from there.


 4. Name three things on your desk right now.

My endless to-do list, the "Icky-Sticky" toy I've had since I was
about six years old, and - one of my most recent acquisitions - a
"Hello Kitty" Dia de los Muertos figure.


 5. What is one thing that has helped you as a writer that you would
 pass on to aspiring horror novelists?

Persevere. Unless you're very lucky, it's unlikely that you'll be
successful instantly. The real success stories are the ones who hang
in there and build an audience and never give up.


6. What to you is the difference in pacing between a short story and a novel?

A novel can indulge more freely in description and observation. A
short story needs to focus more on telling a succinct story quickly,
so plot and character development take center field.


7. Is there anything in horror today that you think is overdone? Underdone?

Horror is in interesting state of flux right now. I do think we're
finally seeing more women and writers of color entering the genre, and
the old things I used to complain about - like an over-reliance on
rape and misogynistic content - are fading away. I'm excited about the
genre's future.


 8. Tell us about your newest project.

My newest novel is NETHERWORLD, just released by JournalStone. It's
the first book in a trilogy about a globe-trotting British noblewoman
fighting evil in the nineteenth century...and not all of those evils
are supernatural. It was tremendous fun to write, and I'm excited
about its release.


 9. Do you write to music? If so, what do you listen to?

I used to, but the older I get, the more I need quiet to focus. I will
occasionally put on one of Somafm.com's electronica stations, but I
absolutely can't have anything with lyrics playing.


10. Favorite ice cream flavor.

Baskin-Robbins's Pralines and Cream.

Find out more about Lisa on her site: http://lisamorton.com/zine/