Dreadful Tales Book Club – October 2014 Edition

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November is upon us, and how better to while away the buffer month between Halloween and Christmas insanity than with a good old yarn? You with me? Let’s distract ourselves with words while we silently dread the snow covered, stress raising, rage inducing month of December. Because Christmas is… just… around… oh god… kill me… please…

WHOA! Okay. Let’s do this properly, folks.

I’m especially excited about this month’s book for several reasons, the most important being that I’m a huge fan of Kevin Lucia’s work. Now, I know a fair amount of you might not know his stories, but you should. You really should. Based on his scholarly achievements (he is currently finishing his Creative Writing Masters Degree, and teaches High School English… *shudder*), his work as a submissions reader for Cemetery Dance, and his Podcast, Horror 101, you can rest assured that this is a man who knows his craft.

Lucia’s released all manner of short stories, some novella length work, poetry, and a bunch more. My first introduction to his work was Hiram Grange & The Chosen One which had so much incredible imagery and action in it that I devoured it in one go and became an instant fan.

With Devourer of Souls, a twofer of novellas, folk are saying that Lucia would be the bastard son of Lovecraft and King, if ever they spent a night together under the stars. I don’t disagree at all. Take a look at the synopsis:

Welcome to Clifton Heights, an average Adirondack town. It’s nice enough, really. Except after dark. Or on cold winter days when you’re all alone…

Sophan

An ancient game of chance and Fate. One boy’s smoldering hate, another boy’s need to make things right, and a father’s ghosts of Vietnam past. These are the key players in this latest tale of revenge and reparation performed on the stage of the strange Adirondack town of Clifton Heights, NY.

The Man in Yellow
 
Tahawus is a small, isolated Adirondack town just north of Clifton Heights. A quiet place filled with simple people of an ardent faith, nothing much ever happens there…until the man in yellow comes calling. He knows your worst nightmares, and he can offer your fondest wish. All you need is faith…and a mouth from which to scream.

 

That said, please join us as we blast into the cold month ahead, pick up a copy of Devourer of Souls, and join us at The Mortuary to discuss this cosmic tale of horror.

- C

Dreadful Tales Book Club – October 2014 Edition

October Banner

ROCKtober is upon us, kiddies, and it’s time to get serious about our reading. Personally, when I think about the books I want to read in this, the best month of the year, I tend to cycle back to writers I’m familiar with – people who have scared or affected me in one way or another.

But this month is also a bit weird. The book that was chosen for the club this time around isn’t scheduled to drop until around October 14th (a day before this writer’s birthday… *cough cough* buy me all of the things…)

So the Midwest Monster (Meli) came up with a brilliant plan. Let’s read a novella in the first half of the month, and run out the Halloween season with a novel I know a few of us have been waiting for.

That said, here’s what we have on deck for the October Book of the Month Club at Dreadful Tales:

By Insanity of ReasonBy Insanity of Reason is touted as an unforgettable story by two of the genre’s favorite authors – John R. Little, and Lisa Morton. This little novella clocks in at 107 printed pages, and 74 in its digital format, and was released by Bad Moon Books and Crossroad Press (Digital edition) this past september. It looks to be a great first course to this month’s club reads.

Here’s the synopsis:

By Insanity of Reason is the story of Crystal, a woman whose life has been shattered by a chain of mysterious murders. Her husband, Richard, struggles to help…or is he working against her as she tries to regain her sanity?Told in a unique style, with each scene moving further back in time, secrets and plans are unveiled that have led to Crystal’s unfortunate state, leading to the final shocking origins.

You can pick up a copy at Bad Moon Books, on Amazon.

Frenzy WolvesWhich brings us to the second portion of our monthly meal – The Frenzy Wolves by Gregory Lamberson. This is the long awaited final installment into the Frenzy Cycle Series, and the follow-up to The Frenzy War – a book that Meli called a “…noir upgrade to the classic werewolf tale” and one of a few stories that sees this reader being slaughtered in a harrowing and gruesome way. Ask Desmond Reddick over at Dread Media about his cameo, too. Good times.

Here’s the synopsis:

With the aid of his elite squad of super cops, NYPC captain Tony Mace has defeated the werewolf slayers known as the Brotherhood of Torquemada. But now a new enemy has risen to persecute the peaceful Wolves, and Tony’s loyalty to Gabriel Domini, leader of the pack, places him at odds with his department.

Gabriel’s brother Raphael objects to Gabriel’s efforts to integrate the Wolves into human society, and seeks to start a war against mankind. When Rodrigo Gomez, the Full Moon Killer, escapes from prison, his quest for vengeance draws Tony into a battle for supremacy among the Wolves which could lead to a far greater war for both species.

- from Amazon.com

As I said above, this book drops in October 14th, and will be available from Medallion Press, and on Amazon.

So please join us as we usher in the Halloween season with TWO stories by masters in their field. And don’t forget to join us at The Mortuary to discuss these two stories!

- C

Dreadful Tales Book Club – September 2014 Edition

BotM Sept 2014

I’m not even going to play with you this month – books about Exorcisms and any religious horror happenings scare the all of the fluids out of me. I love them, but they don’t love me. They hate me. They keep me up at night and whisper sickly sweet nothings in my ear… about my eventual evisceration…

Enter Jonathan Janz – one of the new breed of authors who is making waves in the genre today, and the man who brings old-school scares with a splatterpunk flair. (Am I rhyming too much here?)

With Exorcist Road, Janz ushers in a new era of thrills and violence, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the old school paperback days. I would gladly stand this novella alongside lurid horror gems like Ketchum’s Off Season for its shock factor; the unbridled aggression of Laymon’s One Rainy Night; and the sexually charged nastiness of Tessier’s Rapture.

Here’s the synopsis:

Possessed by a demon…or by the urge to kill?

Chicago is gripped by terror. “The Sweet Sixteen Killer” is brutally murdering sixteen-year-old girls, and the authorities are baffled.

A seemingly normal fourteen-year-old boy has attacked his entire family and had to be chained to his bed. His uncle, police officer Danny Hartman, is convinced his nephew is possessed by a demon. Danny has sent his partner, Jack, to fetch the only priest in Chicago who has ever performed an exorcism.

But Jack has other plans tonight. He believes the boy isn’t possessed by a demon, but instead by an insatiable homicidal urge. Jack believes the boy is the Sweet Sixteen Killer. And he aims to end the reign of terror before another girl dies.

You can pick up a copy at Samhain, on Amazon, and discuss it here and at The Mortuary.

- C

Dreadful Tales Book Club – August 2014 Edition

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After checking out some of Rhoads’ work in Feb 2012’s WiHM, we decided to give her another look-see. The book of the month for August is As Above, So Below by Loren Rhoads and Brian Thomas.

When the succubus Lorelei sees the angel Azaziel from across the bar, she knows he’s been cast out of Heaven, but is not yet Fallen. In the service of Hell, she resolves to do whatever it takes to bring the angel down. When she trails him back to his lair in the warehouses outside of downtown Los Angeles, they both are seduced by each other.

Together on the streets of L.A., they encounter Ashleigh Johnson, one of Azaziel’s mortal charges, dying of hepatitis in the street, and the angel rescues her soul from two harpies poised to devour it and causes Lorelei to be possessed by Ashleigh’s soul. Other angels don’t foresee any positive outcomes to any of this. In their eyes, their brother has endangered a mortal soul and compromised his own standing in Heaven.

When they intrude, Lorelei flees — taking Ashleigh Johnson along for the ride. In the process, Lorelei discovers that she has developed a soul of her own, a soul which is most certainly damned. Before long, her sister Floria tracks down a defrocked priest willing to exorcise Ashleigh’s mortal soul from Lorelei’s infernal flesh, and the intimate little ritual swells into a virtual Who’s Who of Hell’s presence in L.A.!

You can pick up a copy at Amazon, and discuss it here and at The Mortuary.

- C

Dreadful Tales Book Club – July 2014 Edition

NOS4A2The book of the month for July is Carnies by Perth based Australian author Martin Livings. First published in 2006 it is now published again in ebook and print from Cohesion Press and available from Amazon.

“The small town of Tillbrook has a secret. One that has been kept for over a hundred years.
Journalist David Hampden needs a good story to resurrect his flagging career.
His damaged brother, Paul, just needs to find some meaning for his life.
When David is alerted to a century-old carnival, the idea of a feature story is too good to pass up, so he drags Paul along to Tillbrook to act as his photographer.
What they find is darker than they could ever imagine.
Paul becomes part of the exotic world of the Dervish Carnival, est. 1899, and David must risk everything to save his brother.
Even though Paul might not want to be saved.
Come on in, and enjoy the show.
No photos allowed.”

Discuss it here and at The Mortuary

- Dark Mark

Dreadful Tales Book Club – June 2014 Edition

Ugly As Sin BannerSometimes we take this Book of the Month thing for granted, man. Flo Realz. I mean, for those of us who partake in it every month, it’s just another book to add to the pile, and another notch on our bedposts… when we’re vanilla enough to read in bed, that is. *wink*

Rawr.

But every once in a while, something insane happens to remind us of just how special this thing really is, and just how far authors will go to gain the coveted “Book of the Month” title.

What kind of stuff happens, you ask? Well, shit… take a look at this: Now, we featured this author back in July 2012 with his nostalgic throwback/homage to the killer 80’s paperback horror novel, The Wicked, and had a blast doing so. And, while I’m not saying James went out of his way to get our attention or anything, but looking at recent news, it was either James, J.R.R.R.R.R.R.R. Tolkien, or Mother Nature…

Because, you know, the universe revolves around this Book Club…

Naturally.

Anyway, if you’ve been living in a cave without internet (first, you need to find a better cave…), you need to know that your literary boyfriend and mine, James Newman, was severely accosted by a vicious Ent. Why? We don’t know. He won’t say. Maybe James  made that “Make like a tree and leave” joke again. Regardless of what transpired, it caught our attention, and convinced us to choose Ugly As Sin the June 2014 selection for the Dreadful Tales Book of the Month Club.

In addition to this high honour, the Horror Community banded together and set up a Telethon*, a Marathon*, and a celebratory Python*.

*None of this actually happened. 

Ronald Kelly, one of my favourite authors evah, went so far as to set up an eBay auction called Helping The Hoss: An Auction for James Newman. He is truly an inspiration to all, and should be clapped on the back, or kissed by a bevy of beautiful swedish swimsuit models. Whichever.

That said, you can join us in discussing the book (and vicious, author hating Ents) here at The Mortuary, the official meeting place for the Dreadful Tales Book Club.

Available in paperback and ebook formats at Amazon, and wherever good books are sold.

- C

*Note: For the detractors, we don’t actually take James’ injuries so lightly, and wish him a speedy recovery. 

Dreadful Tales Book Club – May 2014 Edition

NOS4A2The astute amongst you will have noticed that there was no Book of the Month for April but have fear because we are back with a vengeance with Wolf Creek: Origin for the murderous month of May.

With the release of Wolf Creek 2 on North American screens this month we thought it might be timely to discover what made outback legend Mick Taylor the monster he is today?

“Nature vs nurture turns out to be a bloodbath
The wide open outback offers plenty of space for someone to hide. Or to hide a body.
When wiry youngster Mick Taylor starts as a jackaroo at a remote Western Australian sheep station, he tries to keep his head down among the rough company of the farmhands. But he can’t keep the devils inside him hidden for long.
It turns out he’s not the only one with the killer impulse – and the other psychopaths don’t appreciate competition. Is Cutter, the station’s surly shooter, on to him? And what are the cops really up to as they follow the trail of the dead?
In the first of a blood-soaked series of Wolf Creek prequel novels, the cult film’s writer/director Greg Mclean and horror writer Aaron Sterns take us back to the beginning, when Mick was a scrawny boy, the only witness to the grisly death of his little sister. Origin provides an unforgettably bloody answer to the question of nature vs nurture. What made Mick Taylor Australian horror’s most terrifying psycho killer?”

Discuss the book here at The Mortuary, the official meeting place for the Dreadful Tales Book Club.

Available in paperback and ebook formats wherever good books are sold.

- Dark Mark