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

Dreadfully Approved: Canadian Writers…

Welcome to the little corner of our library where we keep all of our favorite reads. It’s here you will find the folks who carry the Dreadful Tales stamp of approval – a label we bestow upon some of our favorite dark/horror fiction and non-fiction writers.

Now, keep in mind that these are OUR favorites. You may have your own choices and we encourage you to share your favorites with us in the comments. In fact, it’s that kind of action that will get you noticed, and help your fellow genre fiction fiends find the authors that they may come to cherish.

Take a look around. See if you can find anything you like. Our library is open all day long, come rain or shine. Just make sure to close the door on your way out. Wouldn’t want any of these beasties making their way out into the world…

Continue reading

Ursa Major by John R. Little

“What a story!”

That’s exactly what I said when I put this one down. I’d never read Little’s work before, but after the nail biting insanity that is Ursa Major, I just found myself completely at a loss for words. This is an intense and brutal ride. Little is obviously a master of his craft.

A peaceful camping trip turns ugly as a step-father and daughter come face-to-face with a blood thirsty, mindless force. What happens when you have to make decisions that have no pleasant options?

There’s little in the way of an explanation in that synopsis. I know, I keep talking about “synopsis this” and “synopsis that”, but I find that with the right bit of information, you can make a book sound as intriguing as it’s supposed to sound. Ursa Major deserves something on a much more grand scale. Something like – “This book will make you weak in the knees before throwing you to the ground in utter despair, begging for the writer to stop before your heart explodes.” Yeah, something like that. Ursa Major is really exactly that. It’s a whirlwind trip into the mind of an author who is not afraid to make his readers severely uncomfortable with the situations he is likely to put his characters into.

Little’s characters are 100% rock solid, giving the reader more to latch onto, but also making it that much harder to watch as they face excruciatingly terrifying trials and tribulations. We see what’s ahead of them, and know full well that this will not end nicely. Hell, it says so right in the synopsis – “…no pleasant options…” The author doesn’t even stop with that, instead pickingup the pace, making the unthinkable happen, and then bringing the world crashing down all over again. His power to deceive the reader into thinking on a different path is brilliant. For one, I thought that the main character was a believable, likeable man, only doing what he thought was right. It was painful to see what Little put him through. After all, he could be any one of us. And after this novella, I won’t be camping up North any time soon. That’s for sure.

The story is short. It’s 64 pages. Short. But it’s packed with so much action and so much stress, it’s damned near impossible to come away from this without losing one’s breath. There really isn’t a slow point during the telling of the tale, at all. Even the back story  that is interspersed throughout is rapid fire. From my description, one might surmise that the wasy Little writes is like a machine gun on full auto, but it’s not. If you haven’t read Little’s work before, let me tell you something here: You’re aout to find out what it is to see writing that is so damned close to perfect, that’s it’s almost unbelievable. He makes this look easy. Everything fits perfectly where it should, and stands as if it was waiting for its time to shine. The prose here is beautiful. I’m now a John Little fan, through and through.

Ursa Major was released by Bad Moon Books in June of 2011. You can grab a copy at their website, or take a gander at other online retailers. You can check out Little’s website here.

I’ve got a copy that I’m willing to hand over to the right person, as I think this is a book that needs to be read by anyone and everyone. I’ll pick one of y’all from comments here, and on our facebook page at random.

C.