Helping The Hoss: A Benefit Book Auction for James Newman

84c9ed4990970a82390b65.L._V366663705_SX200_It’s no doubt that all of you folk who are steeped in the genre already know about James’ injury, and the subsequent medical expenses that have arisen from this unfortunate incident. And it’s no surprise that the genre stepped up and took matter into their own hands, whether sending good ju-ju Newman’s way, or offering to kick the bark off of the offending tree that assailed such a gifted young man.

Well, for all of us who wish we could help in a bigger way… now you can! And you can manage to grab some major league purchases to go along with your generosity, as well!

Take a look over at Ronald Kelly’s blog for more info on how you can “Help the Hoss”.

We’re behind this auction 100%.


THE WICKED by James Newman

the wickedWhen James Newman announced the release of his 80’s throwback The Wicked from Shock Totem Publications fans were in a frenzy. Newman has an established and loyal fan base among horror lit circles that continues to grow. He’s also exhibited a keen talent for nostalgic homage pieces like his 2010 head-nod to exploitation and Quentin Tarantino with Revenge Flick! (check out Pat Dreadful’s review here). But in addition his increasing following and a penchant for connecting with fanboy (and girls’) hearts, it was also Shock Totem’s magnificent paint and canvas cover art by Jesse David Young that had readers clambering for their copy.

In an age of generic digital-made covers typical of $0.99 eBook releases, Newman’s throwback cover left fans swooning over the novel like a high school crush. Sigh. The font, the old man’s evil eyes, the faux worn edges… there’s even a fake sale sticker on the back! It’s truly magnificent. Any grim reader worth his weight in paperbacks knows that you can’t judge a book by its horrific cover, so what about the insides? Are they as wonderfully gruesome as the outside? Short answer is yes. Six hundred and sixty-six times, yes! Continue reading

Dreadful Tales Book Club – July Edition

Banner courtesy of Mark Brown, a.k.a. Dark MarkWe have the perfect summer read for the Dreadful Tales Book Club this July (twenty-twelve is already halfway over!?), James Newman’s The Wicked. We’ve uttered the name Newman more than a few times around here and knew when we saw the cover for the reprint of The Wicked that this had to be the next Book of the Month. Well, it was actuallyRue Morgue Magazine’s Stuart FEEDBACK Andrews that put the bug in our ear, but it took very little convincing. Still, thank you, FEEDBACK!

Fans went nuts when they saw Jesse David Young’s artwork for Shock Totem’s revised and expanded edition. Reviews started rolling in shortly after the re-release with equal praise for the story promising that Newman’s book was bringing back the beloved horror heyday of the 80s.

I hope you will join us this sweltering July as we pull up a chair next to the window air-conditioner to cool off with a read that promises to deliver 80s horror nostalgia and a good scary story. This will actually be my first Newman experience, so it’s extra special for me.

You can get your copy from Shock Totem or Amazon in Kindle or paperback format. With a cover like that I had to have the real thing, so I opted for the worn looking paperback version which comes with faux grocery store price tag and all.

If you’re still wrapping up the June Book of the Month, Michael Louis Calvillo’s Lambs, don’t forget to stop by and share your thoughts at The Mortuary’s official thread here. For July’s discussion of The Wicked, you can connect with readers here.

Join usssssssssssss!



Thunderstorm Releases Ronald Kelly Essentials

Starting this past October, Thunderstorm Books is releasing the Ronald Kelly Essentials – a collection featuring all 8 of Kelly’s books published by Zebra in the 90s.

While Thunderstorm will not be publishing these in any particular order, the collection will be released with their original (pre-Zebra) titles, will boast the same top-notch production values as Thunderstorm’s Black Voltage titles, and will also feature the incredible art of Alex McVey. When complete, the spines of the collection will create a finished piece by McVey, a feature that I’m always really excited to see.

The attention to detail in this collection looks phenomenal, and includes everything from a “The Writing of…” feature, detailing the thoughts and process behind each novel, and a new novella/novelette using characters and settings from each story, in each volume. Any fan of Kelly can get behind this idea. If you haven’t heard of this author (because you live under a rock), you can (and should) start rectifying that right now.

The Essentials will be released on a quarterly basis, starting with Undertaker’s Moon and Fear, are limited to a print run of 125, and priced at $65 each.

As a bonus, direct customers who buy all 8 volumes, will also receive a free hardcover chapbook featuring new stories by Bryan Smith, Scott Nicholson, Nate Southard and James Newman. A fantastic incentive.

For more information, check out Thunderstorm Books and Ronald Kelly’s website.



All Hallow’s Read (Day 29) A scary book for…

…your favorite student.

Kyle is a ordinary twelve year old who is coming of age under very extraordinary circumstances.  This is a story that every student should read as they try to hold on to the magic of youth while facing the trials of adulthood.  Midnight Rain is horror fiction at its finest.

All Hallow’s Read is a book-giving tradition thought up by author Neil Gaiman. We’ll be making book suggestions all month long in case you need ideas!



Free Fiction Friday

Time for another round of Free Fiction Friday.  For those of you not in the know, Free Fiction Friday is a feature where we search the internet in an attempt to bring you the very best free genre fiction available.  Today we have three of the biggest names in the genre including some free stuff from Stephen freakin’ King so let’s have at it!

First up we have some free fiction from Stephen King.  In anticipation if King’s new release, 11/22/63, Simon and Schuster will be releasing seven audiobook samples every Monday and Friday through October 24th.  The first is up and, I have to be honest,  Craig Wasson (FULL DARK, NO STARS & BLOCKADE BILLY)  sounds awesome!  Check it out!      

Our next piece of free fiction comes from one of the biggest names in the genre, Brian Keene.  Brian has been offering a serial novel called DELUGE on his site for months now.  This is a thank you to fans that have fallen on hard times and can’t afford to pick up new books.  DELUGE is available every Friday on Brian’s site.  On a side note, Brian has announced that once DELUGE is over he will be giving away a second free serial novel called DEAD AIR.  Rock!

James Newman has posted his entry into Shock Totem’s Flash Challenge for free on his site.  This is important for two reasons: 1)James Newman is one of the best authors working in the genre today and 2) Shock Totem is a criminally slept-on publication that should be read by every genre fan out there. Here is the story and here is the Shock Totem site.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!


Animosity by James Newman

James Newman has described Animosity as his, “love letter to the horror genre.”  I certainly think this is an apt description but I would take it a step further and argue that Animosity is James Newman’s big ol’ bear-hug to, not only the genre, but the fans that keep it alive and kicking.

This is the book that every horror fan needs to read because, lets face it,  it’s tough being a part of this community.  People assume we are all crazed maniacs looking to undermine the moral fiber of society.  I remember going into my local indie bookstore, asking where the horror section was and the clerk glared at me as if I had just asked for a step-by-step guide for committing every carnal depravity known to man (and some that may have been brand new.)  It doesn’t stop there, though.  The cautious glances from store clerks when you pick up that amazing new edition of Cannibal Ferox or the frightened look your co-worker gives when they find that beat-up Laymon paperback sitting in your office- yep, we deal with a ton of (completely unjustified) persecution.  Why are we the only real literary and cinematic genre that has dozens of conventions devoted to it? I’ll tell ya’ why- because we are so marginalized from society that most of us don’t even bother talking about the genre in mixed company.  We need these events so we can revel in our mutual love of the macabre. Well James Newman decided to step in and tell us that we are not alone. Nope, there are others just like us and a few that are little worse off.

From Necessary Evil Press:

Andrew Holland is a bestselling horror writer. While none of Andy’s neighbors has any interest in reading his macabre books, they’re pleased to have a celebrity author living among them.

 Then, one morning, Andy finds the body of a child several hundred feet from his front door. A little girl who has been raped and murdered.

 And everything changes on Poinsettia Lane.

 Andy’s neighbors turn on him. Their animosity is subtle at first: a dirty look from across the street, a friendly wave that is not reciprocated. The local media exacerbates the tension in the neighborhood by insinuating connections between the horror writer’s work and his role in the girl’s murder.

 The authorities clear Andy of any wrongdoing, but the stain has set.

 Before long, this once-quiet, peaceful neighborhood becomes a maelstrom of anxiety and chaos. Andy’s neighbors surround his home like a horde of zombies – but instead of a hunger for flesh, these monsters are driven by lies, fear, and hatred.

Andy Holland’s neighborhood is just like our neighborhoods and his neighbors are our neighbors.  They are the people who we interact with on a daily basis and we can easily see them reflected in Newman’s characters.  That is what makes this book so incredibly frightening.  We can easily see what animosity can do to a person.  It can bring out the hatred and ugliness in the people we know.  Newman’s vision of a picturesque community plays out like the classic Twilight Zone episode, ‘The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street’ as the true villains are those who claim to be “fighting the good fight”. Logic gets tossed to the wayside as mob mentality takes over and people begin looking for any reason to point the finger.  The interesting thing is that in a world that claims to embrace diversity, the person with the slightest idiosyncrasy is the most commonly persecuted.  This is the lesson that Newman is trying to get across to the reader.  He is telling us that just because our tastes lean toward the macabre, we are no different than those people who paint their chests for sporting events or the bible thumper who condemns all non-believers.  He is taking us in and telling us that we should celebrate our passion instead of hiding it.

Animosity is a story that begs to be read in one sitting.  This book starts off as a slow simmer and before you know what hit you, this thing is at a rolling boil.  Newman’s ability to create tension is reminiscent of Ketchum as he sucks the reader in with very commonplace events and escalates the whole affair until the reader and characters find themselves in a frenzied free-fall with no hope of escape.  The magic in Newman’s writing lies in his ability to keep the whole story planted firmly in reality as he presents these seemingly impossible scenarios.

Animosity solidifies Newman as a must-read author for me.  His unique voice and blue collar style really speak to me in a way that few authors can.  Animosity, much like his other work, doesn’t rely on supernatural monsters but, instead, explores the inner evil within humanity.  If you have yet to read anything by this extremely talented author I strongly urge you to head over to the Necessary Evil Press site and pick up your copy today.