Dreadful Tales Book Club – February 2014 Edition

Hello, you delicious and dreadfully dangerous Dreadites! I hope you enjoyed last month’s read and are ready for some more!

Now, I’m not your familiar emcee for these monthly little shindigs, but Meli and I did have a wee little chat,  and we ultimately decided we should do something special, not only for Women in Horror Month, but also to celebrate our 2014 Bram Stoker Award Challenge!

I’ve been brutalizing my eyeballs for a few days now, reading everything on the Prelim Ballot and wondering why the hell I do things like this to myself all the time. Now it’s YOUR TURN to join me! And, lookie lookie, what do we have here? What ditty have I chosen for y’all to dance to? Why it’s A Necessary End by Sarah Pinborough and F. Paul Wilson.Ness_zps3a6b12c2

Yeah… I know – Wilson is the opposite of a Woman in Horror, but Pinborough ain’t. And honestly, it’s worth it to read anything by these two stellar authors, regardless of what month it is.

Make sure you shimmy on by and chat with about the book here at The Mortuary, the official meeting place for the Dreadful Tales Book Club.

We’ve never had a chance to look at a Maelstrom title for the Book Club before, so this is an exciting first for us! If you’ve ever read the above two authors, you should already know what you’re in for. If not, take a look at the synopsis:

LIFE CAME OUT OF AFRICA…

But now it’s death’s turn….

It spreads like a plague but it’s not a disease. Medical science is helpless against the deadly autoimmune reaction caused by the bite of the swarming African flies. Billions are dead, more are dying. Across the world, governments are falling, civilization is crumbling, and everywhere those still alive fear the death carried in the skies.

Some say the flies are a freak mutation, others say they’re man made, but as hope of beating them fades, most turn to the only comfort left and see the plague as God’s will. He sent a deadly deluge the last time He was upset with mankind. This time He has darkened the sky with deadly flies. And perhaps that is true, for so many of the afflicted speak with their dying breaths of seeing God coming for them.

But not everyone dies. A very few seem immune. They call themselves mungus and preach acceptance of the plague, encouraging people to allow themselves to be bitten by “the flies of the Lord” so that they may join Him in the afterlife.

Nigel, an investigative reporter, searches the apocalyptic landscape of plague-ravaged England in search of Bandora, a kidnapped African boy. On a quest for personal redemption as well as the truth, his search takes him away from the troubles he can no longer face at home, and into the world of the head mungu, a man who speaks truth in riddles and has no fear of the African flies.

A Necessary End is about apocalypse, about love, about the fragile bonds that hold marriages and civilizations together. But mostly it’s about truth – how we find it, how we embrace or reject it, and how we must face the truths within ourselves.

Sarah Pinborough is a critically acclaimed award-winning author of horror, crime and YA fiction. She has also written for ‘New Tricks’ on the BBC, and has a horror film and an original TV series in development. She lives in London.

F. Paul Wilson is an award-winning, NY Times bestselling author of over 50 novels in many genres and numerous short stories translated into twenty-four languages. He is best known as creator of the urban mercenary Repairman Jack.

You can pick up a copy of A Necessary End in paperback format or for Kindle then come on over to The Mortuary to chat with us about the book! In the past, we have had a lot of success engaging the authors on the message board in discussions of their stories, so it should be a good time.

Find out more about Maelstrom and keep up with all things Thunderstorm Books at their website here.

-Colum

Dreadful Tales Book Club – December 2013 Edition

Banner by Mark Brown, a.k.a. Dark Mark

Banner by Mark Brown, a.k.a. Dark Mark

Hello, Dreadites! I hope you enjoyed all the nastiness that John Everson’s little eight-legged friends had to offer in our October / November Book of the Month, Violet Eyes. Don’t forget to stop by and chat with us about the book here at The Mortuary, the official meeting place for the Dreadful Tales Book Club.

For December, we are reading the Smart Rhino Publications anthology Someone Wicked: A Written Remains Anthology. We’ve read Smart Rhino titles for the Book Club before. In fact, our inaugural Book of the Month was Zippered Flesh: Tales of Body Enhancements Gone Bad! which we later followed up with the sequel anthology Zippered Flesh 2: More Tales of Body Enhancements Gone Bad!

If you read the above-mentioned anthologies, you will see some familiar names in Someone Wicked like L.L. Soares, who was featured in both Zippered Flesh anthologies; JM Reinbold, contributor to Zippered Flesh 2 and co-editor of Someone Wicked; and Weldon Burge who is editor for all three anthologies as well as a contributor to the first Zippered Flesh collection. There are several new names as well and I suspect this anthology will fill up your to-read list as it has mine with both titles before it.

Here is a little tease from the Smart Rhino Publications website:

Avaricious, cruel, depraved, envious, mean-spirited, vengeful—the wicked have been with us since the beginnings of humankind. You might recognize them and you might not. But make no mistake. When someone wicked crosses your path, your life will never be the same. Do you know someone wicked? You will.

The 21 stories in the Someone Wicked anthology were written by the members of the Written Remains Writers Guild and its friends, and was edited by JM Reinbold and Weldon Burge.

You can pick up a copy of Someone Wicked in paperback format or for Kindle then come on over to The Mortuary to chat with us about the book! In the past, we have had a lot of success engaging the authors on the message board in discussions of their stories, so it should be a good time.

Find out more about Smart Rhino Publications and keep up with all the latest Smart Rhino news at their website here. You can also stalk them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

-Meli

Dreadful Tales Book Club – October 2013 Edition

Thanks to my Darkness, Mark Brown a.k.a. Dark Mark for the lovely banner

Thanks to my Darkness, Mark Brown a.k.a. Dark Mark for the lovely banner

Happy October, my wonderfully spooky lil Dreadites! I’m sure for all of you, as for all of us here at Dreadful Tales, October is simply the best month of the year. Suddenly, we’re no longer the weirdos. Every man, woman, and child is obsessed with monsters and any marketing exec worth his weight in cufflinks is catering to our every desire. Today is the first day of this blessed month and already I’m drunk off the fumes of pumpkin spiced lattes and candy corn…. Perhaps drunk on a bit of witches brew too.

Because this month is the greatest of all the months, we hope to keep our dreadful cyber pages jam packed with book reviews and whatever other spooky treats we can come up with.  To kick off the month, I have our October Book of the Month announcement.

Whether it’s a book that has collected dust on the shelves for far too long, a celebrated classic that never quite made it into the to-read pile, or a favorite author’s latest release, every Book of the Month is worth getting excited about. Still, I have to say that October’s title has me particularly pumped. So pumped in fact, that I must abandon September’s book Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, despite being an oft favorite among King fans and a title that I have neglected since I can remember. I’ll level with ya, I didn’t even break page 100. Nothing against the King, but work, family, and all that good life stuff has wreaked some serious havoc on my reading time. Normally, I would just keep chugging along, at a snails pace if I have to, until I finish every last word of the book I’m reading. But, after a vicious Dreadful Tales board meeting in which hair was pulled, flesh was clawed, and relationships were damaged beyond repair, the October Book of the Month was chosen!

I’ve kept you waiting long enough, so without further adieu (assuming you didn’t catch it in the banner) - the October Book of the Month is John Everson’s Violet Eyes! John Everson holds a special place on my bookshelves because he was my first taste of modern horror fiction. Several years before Dreadful Tales, Colum sent me 3 modern horror fiction titles, one of which was John Everson’s The 13th. While it sounds hyperbolic, that book changed the course of everything for me. It was horror pulp like I had only experienced in late night B movies. Everson gave me boobs, blood, and beasts. He offered just the right mix of eroticism and gore and it is a delicate balance I’ve loved in his work ever since. I’m sure the sex and blood is rampant in his latest novel Violet Eyes as well, but what I’m most excited about is the sci-fi element. Everson is no stranger to the supernatural, but a straight up sci-fi novel about murderous spiders!? Everson was born to write this! Just take a gander at this synopsis:

The small town near the Everglades was supposed to offer Rachel and her son a fresh start. Instead it offered the start of a nightmare, when an unknown breed of flies migrated through the area, leaving painful bites in their wake. The media warned people to stay inside until the swarm passed. But the flies didn’t leave. And then the radios and TVs went silent.

 

That’s when the spiders came. Spiders that could spin a deadly web large enough to engulf an entire house overnight. Spiders that left stripped bones behind as they multiplied. Spiders that, like the flies, sought hungrily for tender flesh… through Violet Eyes.

I am thrilled to read Violet Eyes with you all, some Everson virgins, some long time fans. While King’s classic vampire tale can wait, my heart will not rest at the promise of a sci-fi pulp yarn spun (haha!) by my favorite, ever romantic, erotic horror author John Everson.

Hopefully my rambling did not scare you off. Please join all us crazies here to discuss John Everson’s Violet Eyes throughout the month of October. Pick up a copy of the book here and for more about Everson and his work visit his website here.

-Meli

Dreadful Tales Book Club – May 2013 Edition

Firestarter

This beautiful banner is courtesy of Mark Brown, a.k.a. Dark Mark

Dreadful Tales has a number of enthusiastic members who consistently read the book of the month as well as chime in on The Mortuary message boards to discuss their thoughts, so this month I handed the baton to a gentleman that goes by the moniker Nut of the Living Dead (“When there’s no more room in shell…” Pretty clever, huh?), and as you can see from the lovely banner above, he chose one of Stephen King’s earlier titles, Firestarter.

Like Nut, the only recollection I have of Firestarter is the film adaptation starring Drew Barrymore as Charlie which I watched probably some 20 years ago. The only memory I have of that movie is Miss Barrymore sweating and setting shit on fire which I’m pretty sure I thought was cool as hell when I was younger. I think this time around I will be able to appreciate the psychological trauma, confusion, and moral struggle that comes with that kind of power.

I hope all you diehard King fans, King fans-in-training, and those who have yet to read a King novel will join us to celebrate one of King’s earlier works. As always, we’ll all be hanging out here and chatting about the book.

“See” you there!

-Meli

Dreadful Tales Book Club – March 2013 Edition

This lovely banner is courtesy of Mark Brown (aka Dark Mark)

This lovely banner is courtesy of Mark Brown (aka Dark Mark)

Colum proposed a very ambitious Bram Stoker challenge for all you DT readers (you can check that out here), but I have an unrelated warm-up challenge for our Book Club members; we’re reading two books this month! Well, technically one anthology and one novella.

Book Club readers are of course free to read at their own pace (I’m just now wrapping up January’s book!) and since we have two books this month you are welcome to read them in whatever order you wish. So, without further adieu and in no particular order I present to you the March Books of the Month. Continue reading