Archive for the ‘Mystery’ Category

The writing life, a day of routine that goes with the game.  Two brief items this time (well, the second is rather long, actually), the first from 18th Wall Productions reaching back six months into the past, to a story, “Bottles,” and its acceptance for a 1950s-themed anthology, SOCKHOPS AND SEANCES (cf. May 1).  The story itself is a reprint originally published in CROSSINGS (Double Dragon, 2004) and also available in my collection THE TEARS OF ISIS, having to do with a young Puerto Rican woman and the Cold War as experienced in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and today the contract arrived — with edits promised to follow soon — and has as of this writing been, with a slight annotation, signed and readied for mailing back to Editor Nicole Petit tomorrow.

Then second an email from Bryce Raffle of Grimmer & Grimmer Books, publishers of DEADSTEAM with my story “The Re-Possessed” (see September 15, 4, 3, et al.), originally published in CEMETERY RIOTS (Elysium Press, 2016), which now has garnered a clutch of reviews.  None of these actually mention my name, but what the heck it’s a good anthology, and so just this once (“I would encourage you all to share the reviews, so fans know they’re buying something worth reading”) they are quoted herewith:

The first review here is from BookLife (A Publishers Weekly site); particular congrats goes to Ross Smeltzer, for his particularly high praise in this review.

Raffle brings together a fine selection of 17 “dreadpunk” (gaslamp horror and dark steampunk) stories in this gritty, enjoyable anthology.  The London Underground becomes a playground for the undead in Raffle’s suspenseful “Burke Street Station.”  A greedy lover gets her comeuppance in Jay Seate’s “The Velvet Ribbon.”  Rob Francis’s “B.A.R.B.” plays with the concept of devil worship, and the lengths a grieving man might go to revive his dying wife.  The pinnacle of the collection is Ross Smeltzer’s “The Hunger,” in which a man’s encounter with the undead in a forgotten cemetery lurches him toward Lovecraftian insanity.  Although Raffle includes several stories that hover around a similar idea or theme (there is a glut of vampire fiction in this anthology), the standout tales are those that break from conventional horror.  The nature of human frailty and propensity towards violence is underscored in all of the collected tales, making it more than just full of good scares.  Seasoned horror readers will appreciate this dark anthology.  (BookLife)

What a reading delight!!  This dreadpunk (steampunk horror) anthology is a perfect way to get in the Halloween mood.  These stories are reminiscent of classic penny dreadfuls and gothic horror.

I especially loved the tales where vampires were the focus.  Like Agony in Red by Jen Ponce and The Case of the Murderous Migraine by Karen J. Carlisle.  I haven’t read gothic vampire tales in a while and forgot how much I enjoy those tales.

Additionally, I absolutely was spooked by Harvesters by E. Seneca.  It reminded me strongly of The Monstrumologist series by Rick Yancey.  (Which I absolutely devoured those books).

Many of these stories I would love to have more fleshed out with a full novel or another short story.  This unique blend of horror and steampunk is exactly what I needed to upstart my spooky Halloween season.  Even if you don’t know about steampunk, I recommend this if you are a lover of classic horror stories and gothic literature.  (Clockwork Bookdragon)

DeadSteam:  A Chilling Collection of Dreadpunk Tales of the Dark and Supernatural is a great book for a newbie to dreadpunk like me.  Filled with stories that excite and tantalize the mind, I was on the edge of my seat for many of these short stories.  A great book to light some candles to, turn on the fire place and read in the chilly coldness this winter season. (Kay, Goodreads)

This is a delightful collection of seventeen dreadpunk horror stories, think Penny Dreadfuls.  I have never heard of dreadpunk but I have to say I have fallen in love with these stories.  They include several stories full of vampires, zombies, witches and so much more.  There is a story or two that will delight anyone that enjoys the horrors of the world.

I know I missed Halloween and this book would have been perfect.  But I still got the chance to dance in its pages amount the death, blood, and gore that make all things horror.  I loved the short stories, they gave a perfect taste of the author’s work.  There are more than a couple author’s that I will be looking into their other books.  But then again the down side to short stories is that I would just love to immerse myself in these worlds and find myself over with the trip quickly.

This is a wonderful collection of dreadpunk stories that I recommend checking out.  I will be keeping my eyes out for more in this genre.  (J Bronder Book Reviews) 

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AbeBooks has announced today a post-Halloween sale through the end of November.  To quote the source:  Save up to 50% on books, art & collectibles from select sellers.  Click through to find a great selection of items discounted until November 30th.  Also, on their site:  AbeBooks is an online marketplace that connects you with professional sellers selling new, used, rare and out-of-print books, art and collectibles.  Each month, select sellers offer their items for sale on our site at huge discounts, making it easy to buy cheap books, art and collectibles online.  Whether you’re a crime fiction fanatic, a science fiction fiend or a collector of art, you’ll discover thousands of books and other items in our seller sale – all for a bargain.  We may remember (cf. September 25, 20, et al.) that my mosaic novel TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH has been one of the sale books in the past with some astounding bargains offered on both new and used paperback copies.  These are continued in this new sale and may be seen by pressing here.

Also, if you should obtain a copy of TOMBS — or have one already and enjoyed it — please consider sending a review to Amazon, Goodreads, and similar sites.  Only a sentence or two would do, but reviews can help us authors immensely (and that includes other books by other authors as well 🙂 ).

Today saw the return of the Bloomington Writers Guild “First Sunday Prose Reading & Open Mic” (cf. August 5, et al.) at Bloomington’s downtown Thomas Gallery, having been pre-empted in September by the Fourth Street Arts Festival and Spoken Word Stage (see September 1) and in October by Frankenfest (see September 30).  The featured readers were Amy L. Cornell, an active participant with Woman Writing for a Change and on the board of the Writing for a Change Foundation and a past community columnist for the Bloomington Herald-Times, reading a flash fiction tale about a Presidential request for poetry, followed by a series of “relatively short poems” including a narrative of the re-invention of libraries and three retold fairy tales; Lisa Clay Shanahan, author of MURDER BY THE BOOK and MURDER MASTERPIECE in her Boston Publishing House Mystery Series and MFA candidate in creative writing in the Sewanee School of Letters, with a short talk about inspiration followed by the opening scene of a new novel, THE BROKEN CIRCLE; and me with my recently published dark romance “Crow and Rat,” out last month in the British anthology HUMANAGERIE (cf. October 21, 3, et al.).  This was followed after the snack break by a relatively short session with four walk-on readers, including both poetry and short prose.

That’s with free shipping to from the UK to boot, which probably means the exchange rate is breaking really hard in US buyers’ favor.  And . . . hmmm . . . this morning President Trump made a speech at the United Nations.  Coincidence?

Maybe so, maybe not, but if you’re really interested in a bargain copy of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, the seller is ABEBOOKS.COM (cf. September 20, just below) and can be reached here.  And at this price, heck, the wise might consider ordering two or three extra for Halloween presents!

Today brought a reminder from AbeBooks (cf. below, September 6) that their September sale has just eight days to go.  Or to put it in their words:  Save up to 50% on books and collectibles from select sellers.  Discover a great selection of new, used, and collectible books, art and ephemera, all discounted until September 28th.  Or to put it in my words, if you might have a temptation to get a paperback copy of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, there’s a week left to find astounding bargains as low as $7.08 and $7.33 — and that’s with free shipping to boot — by pressing here.
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For more on TOMBS itself, you can click on its picture in the center column, or read some reviews by pressing here (and yes, these are all 5-star as it happens, but to be scrupulously honest you can find a few 2 or 3-star ones on GoodReads, for all of which my special thanks!).  Or, more to the point, if you have read TOMBS — or are getting it now and are about to start — why not jot down what you think of it, just one or two sentences will do, and send it to both GoodReads AND Amazon as your review?

Two quickies for Monday, the first a YouTube followup on Sunday’s post on LOVING VINCENT.  For an 8 minute, 21 second peek into “The Making Of. . . .” via the BBC, with an starrynightrhonevinterview of one of the artists, Sarah Wimperis, please to press here.

Then the second, just out of curiosity, I’ve noted several times that while paperback copies of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH often seem on sale, I seldom see bargains on THE TEARS OF ISIS.  So (why not?  thought I) this morning I made a comparison, at least on Amazon, and came across what seemed to me a curious counterpoint, that THE TEARS OF ISIS is the bargain if you like electronic copies, but TOMBS is still king for print on paper.  Thus THE TEARS OF ISIS Kindle edition is priced (today, at least) at $2.99 compared with TOMBS at $8.99; for print editions, however, TEARS has one used “good” copy at $12.94 with free shipping but everything else at full price or higher, while TOMBS bargains abound with one new copy at $10.02 (plus shipping) and a number of others for $14.02 and $14.07 with shipping free.  What is to be made of this I know not myself, other than that strange are the ways of book pricing on Amazon (or, if you haven’t already, treat yourself to a Kindle copy of THE TEARS OF ISIS for which I should get at least a small royalty while, for TOMBS, snap up those new copies in print if you will, or even Kindle for which the royalty is a bit better — that is, I do have a dog in this fight myself).

We’ve met AbeBooks before, most recently with a Summer Sale only last month (see August 3, et al.), and they’re doing it again, this time with savings of up to 50 percent from selected vendors through September 28.  The catch here is that the varying discounts don’t seem to include Elder Signs Press or other publishers of my books as such — at least not exactly.  But discounts in some cases do still abound.

So if you haven’t checked out a paperback copy yet of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, but wouldn’t be averse to a bargain, press here quickly.  Two vendors, both British, are offering TOMBS at an astonishing $7.04 and $7.22 respectively, and that seems to include free shipping to the US!  Other low prices can be found there as well, and while I don’t know if the September 28 cutoff applies, books at prices like this might be snapped up fast.

So I also checked out THE TEARS OF ISIS (hint:  if searching for it add the name DORR after the title, otherwise you get buried in titles about the mid-east) but, alas, no bargains here.  But I did find one “very good” used copy of the technically out-of-print DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET at a sale price of $8.99 (also with free shipping within the US), for which one may press here.

Comes June and with it a bright sunny afternoon, breezy and in the lower 80s and, with that, the start of the Summer Reading Season.  What better way to celebrate, then, than with a new interview of . . . me, this one by UK author and blogger Jacky Dahlhaus, tentatively to go live Wednesday morning?  So three days from now be prepared for more dish on TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, a mention or two (it mustn’t feel left out!) of THE TEARS OF ISIS, the importance of (*ahem*) reviews to all authors, plus details on the inspiration and influence of Poe and Bradbury (with mentions here of Ginsberg and Brecht), whether I start writing with a pen or on the computer . . . well, you may have seen interviews by me before, but maybe this one will have new stuff to say too.  You can’t really tell until you read it, coming up Wednesday.

And a quick second note, Ms. Dahlhaus is looking for a few more interviewees for the summer, if any other writers out there might be interested in some free publicity.  But there are a few qualifications in terms of work already published, more on which can be found at her website by pressing here.

You read about Smashwords annual March ebook sale just two posts down (see March 5), as regards Smart Rhino Publications.  Now Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads adds that Untreed Reads books are part of the sale as well, but only books with prices over 99 cents with discount added, and no short stories.  But on the Untreed Reads site itself, [t]hrough March 10th, we’ll also be running the Read an Ebook Sale in our own store. . . .  Readers get 40% off when they enter coupon code EBOOK during checkout.  This includes every title published by Untreed Reads, including short stories.
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I would note this includes three short story chapbooks by me, New England set steampunk/mystery VANITAS, Christmas/horror tale I’M DREAMING OF A. . . , and near future science fiction novelette PEDS, plus a New Year’s Eve anthology YEAR’S END:  14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR with my lead story “Appointment in Time.”  To check these out, one may press here (from which, if one wishes, one may also navigate to the Untreed Reads store main pages).

Publisher/Editor Weldon Burge has noted that Smashwords has several Smart Rhino Publications titles on sale for the month of March.  Or, from the as it were horse’s mouth:  Smashwords is holding its annual sale of ebooks!  Now’s the time to get most of the Smart Rhino books at a 50% discount.  Browse the sale page or search for the specific titles.  Just use the following codes before checking out.  Look for the codes on the list below, but I’d also note that I’ve two specific hounds in this hunt (a third, ZIPPERED FLESH 3 with my “Golden Age,” seems not to be included, however), the “Assassins” books UNCOMMON ASSASSINS including my story “The Wellmaster’s Daughter” and INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS with “The Labyrinth,” for all of which on the Smashwords site one may press here.  And, for the list of all Smart Rhino sale offerings:

Promotional price: $1.50
Coupon Code: CY79N
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: Get GREEN TSUNAMI, the horror/SF novella at a 50% discount!

Promotional price: $1.50
Coupon Code: MK84N
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: Get THE BOX JUMPER by Lisa Mannetti at a 50% discount!

Promotional price: $2.00
Coupon Code: DT99X
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: Get INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS at a 50% discount. Get it while the sale lasts!

Promotional price: $1.98
Coupon Code: JZ46D
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: SOMEONE WICKED: A WRITTEN REMAINS ANTHOLOGY now 50% off!

Promotional price: $2.00
181_UncommonAssassinsChrome_smallCoupon Code: AE27W
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: UNCOMMON ASSASSINS now at a 50% discount. Get it while the sale lasts!

Promotional price: $1.50
Coupon Code: JJ76E
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: The first ZIPPERED FLESH is now at a 50% discount!

Promotional price: $2.00
Coupon Code: PB42R
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: ZIPPERED FLESH 2 now discounted at 50%. Get it while you can!

Promotional price: $1.50
Coupon Code: FX52L
Expires: April 5, 2018
Description: Get Lisa Mannetti’s THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER AND HUCK FINN at a 50% discount.




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