All Hallow’s Read 2013 (Day 4)

Today’s suggestion is for all of those folks who thought 50 Shades of Grey was the bee’s knees, and oh so sexy. Pssshhh. What a load of garbage.

Before I go off on a tangent and whip out some heavy BDSM references and Knotty Boys suggestions you might want to try, I want to be clear of something:

If you thought any part of the 50 Shades of Grey series were even remotely sexy and are now wading into the wide world of vanilla bondage and sissy spanking, we need to talk. And by talk, I mean really talk. There’s a serious conversation we need to have, and it’s going to be just about as awkward as whatever you think your kids felt like when you tried to tell them about the birds and the bees. Because today’s post is apparently brought to you by bees. So deal with it.

It’s sad when the world’s majority finds this bullshit fluff to be enticing, especially with pornography being so damned available these days. You’d think we’d have learned from our prudish days of yore. You know, really open up. But nooo. We didn’t.

I mean, really?
Is it so hard to tell your significant other to lay a smack down on your rump just that much harder?
To hold you by the throat and squeeze just a little bit tighter? .

No. It’s not, and I find it completely offensive that we, as a culture, can be so damned overt in our sexuality with our reading material, like reading this tripe on the subway, but it’s all blush and “No, I couldn’t possibly…” in the bedroom.

Fuck that noise. That’s a deal-breaker. And rightfully so.

Now, getting back to today’s suggestion, for all of you obviously sexually starved individuals, this shit is about to get reeeeaaaaaal.

NightWhereI’ve gone on the record to name John Everson the KING of erotic horror, and I did so for a reason. He’s the best there is at capturing the emotional and physical aspects of sexuality and the act of sex not only from a literary and visual angle, but also from a deep, philosophical angle as well. Everson knows what his readers yearn, and he delivers on the desires of his readership. There’s so much more I can say about this man and his insights, but we’ll leave that for another day. Suffice it to say, I wouldn’t be surprised if novels like The 13th, Sacrifice, Covenant, Siren, and his most recent his novel, NightWhere, become cult classics in the BDSM and goth scenes like his predecessors Barker and Brite.

This is an author who can, and will, take you for an erotic thrill ride and leave your breast heaving with excitement and satisfaction.

Mark my word, all of you sex-starved grannies, if Everson’s NightWhere doesn’t get your boat a-rockin’, nothing will.

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Dreadful Tales Book Club – August Edition

We’re already 5 days into August and I haven’t told you about this month’s title. But not to worry, the book we have lined up runs at such a break-neck pace I don’t think you’ll need the whole month to finish.

This is a fitting title to welcome home Colum McKnight, one of the creators of Dreadful Tales and a man who was conspicuously absent from the virtual world for the past few months. In case you missed it, he made his resurgence on the site just last week and we couldn’t be happier to have him back.

So, about the book. What makes this particular title so special and why is it befitting of Colum’s homecoming? I’ve mentioned more than a few times that Colum was the one to stoke my interest in modern horror fiction often guiding me to his favorite authors. He was also the person to encourage me to share that enthusiasm with other readers by reviewing books. The path that lead me here (at least in regards to my reading and reviewing) can be traced back to one specific care package from Colum a few years ago which contained three novels. In it were novels by Jeff Povey, Shaun Hutson, and our Book of the Month author of August….

Drum roll please…..

John Everson!

This month we’re reading his latest novel NightWhere (Samhain Publishing 2012) which I reviewed last month and you can see what I had to say about the book here.Banner courtesy of Mark Brown, a.k.a Dark MarkFrom the Samhain website:

She yearned to go beyond… but some curtains should never be opened.

When Rae broached the idea of visiting an underground sex club, Mark didn’t blink. He should have. Because NightWhere is not your usual swingers club. Where it’s held on a given night…only those who receive the red invitations know. Soon Rae is indulging in her lust for pain. And Mark is warned by a beautiful stranger to take his wife away before it’s too late.

But it’s already too late. Because Rae hasn’t come home. Now Mark is in a race against time—to find NightWhere again and save his wife from the mysterious Watchers who run the club. To stop her from taking that last step through the degradations of The Red into the ultimate BDSM promise of The Black. More than just their marriage and her life are at stake: Rae is in danger of losing her soul…

John Everson is one of those authors that hits all the right notes for me. He has a passion for horror, of course, especially the satanic and erotic type, but he also has a love for music that is evident in his writing as well. Every novel has its own unique soundtrack that pulsates along with the action of the story and that’s just one of the many elements I love about his books.

Without further adieu, please give a warm welcome to John Everson and his latest novel of sexual depravity, NightWhere.

You can get a copy from the Samhain Publishing website or Amazon or anywhere else cool books are sold. Join in the discussion as you read at The Mortuary message boards in the August Book of the Month thread.

Be sure to follow John Everson on Twitter, friend him on Facebook, and check out his website.

NightWhere by John Everson

The first John Everson title I ever read was The 13th, more than a few years ago after receiving a copy from Colum McKnight. If not for that horror lit care package I may not have discovered Everson at all and I’m certain I wouldn’t be writing this review today. I’ve devoured every subsequent release from Everson since. His palate of sex, blood, and Satanism had me hooked. He is to erotic horror what Jeff Strand is to comedic horror; a master. Everson paints gruesome imagery in his stories, often involving naked bodies writhing in viscera, but he is also a diehard romantic. Ultimately, it is love driving the plot of every Everson horror story. That’s also the case with his latest Samhain release NightWhere, but with more blood, guts, and torture than I’ve ever read in anything he’s done previously.

Mark and Rae are a happily married couple that enjoy a bit of diversity to their sex life. They frequent elicit sex clubs, swingers parties, and participate in sexual musical chairs, but Rae wants more. Mark just isn’t enough, he never has been. “He was peanut butter… but someone or something else always brought the jelly…” Still, being the understanding, and sexually curious, man that he is, Mark is willing to take their escapades further. When she catches wind of an exclusive, super secret sex club NightWhere, Rae is immediately obsessed. When they get their blood red invitation, Mark finds his wife sinking deeper into this forbidden world. How deep into NightWhere will she sink and how far will Mark be willing to go to save her?

Everson offered up bloody rituals, cult behavior, and pulsating orgies in The 13th, but that novel is like a cute little Disney cartoon compared to NightWhere. You won’t just go to the edge of darkness and desire; you’ll be pushed over into a hell of sexual tortures. This book doesn’t have NBP (you’ll have to google that one because I can’t bring myself to type out the abbreviation), but it’s the closest to being horror lit’s A Serbian Film than anything else I’ve ever read. It’s sick and depraved, the kind of book you feel perverted reading in public. I know they don’t know what I’m reading yet I still blush.

NightWhere is an endless orgy where anything goes. This is more than imaginative erotica though; there are unbelievable sexual kinks, vaguely familiar but horrifically distorted. The reader can share the experience vicariously without concern for safety unlike our unfortunate protagonists Mark and Rae and the never-ending parade of willing victims. Everson eases the reader into it though. He starts out with the obligatory whips and chains, floggers and shackles, careful not to get too kinky too quick.

Everson makes a compelling story for how the couple got into this lifestyle so it doesn’t seem so foreign and unbelievable. If you’re like me, it may be difficult to connect with a swinging S&M couple, but Everson paints relatable characters for the most part. By the time you are beyond your comfort zone it is too late, you truly have been lured deep into the rabbit hole.

He leads us into the initiation with pulsating New Order tracks and synthy beats. This is another aspect I’ve always loved about Everson’s writing; his obsession with music. He always finds an appropriate soundtrack to accompany his novels. This dark, drony post-punk sound is a perfect fit for the gothic underground club scene, but it fades rather quickly into the echoing screams of pain and pleasure in NightWhere.

As I mentioned, Everson is really a romantic at heart. His stories are undeniably horror and deal with subversive subject matter, but it is always centered on love and the vulnerability of those who succumb to its power. Everson doesn’t wrap up his stories with pretty pink bows or anything, and he is exceedingly cruel to his characters, but there is still a sense of hope and innocence despite all that.

Some horror fiction fans might roll their eyes at the romantic elements of NightWhere, or at least Mark’s unflinching dedication to Rae even as she succumbs to the seduction of the underground world. Still, all the in between is so extreme, so perverse that I think even readers with the hardest Teflon hearts will overlook that aspect.

Longtime Everson fans can expect all the ingredients you’ve come to love in an Everson erotic horror novel amped up to 11. He goes further, deeper, darker than anything before. NightWhere is a batshit crazy, hot, wet ride into hell!  

I found the perfect song to accompany this review, Angry Angles “You call it love.” I got the idea from a blog post about spicing up book reviews by Zombies Don’t Cry author Rusty Fischer. The key lyric is “Baby, when you hit me it feels so good.” I imagine this to be Rae’s theme song.

Angry Angles “You Call It Love”

You think you can handle it? Pick up your copy of NightWhere at Samhain Publishing or Amazon currently available in eBook format (paperback will be released in October).

Dreadfully Anticipated 2012

Dear Dreadful readers, we have a great 2012 ahead of us because there a frightful number of horror titles clawing there way to your bookshelves and e-readers this year. While our film-obsessed horror brothers and sisters discuss the state of dismal box office turnout and the exhaustive onslaught of remakes, reimaginings, and reboots, we’ll be celebrating the hard work and dedicated efforts of some of the best in genre literature as well as meeting some fresh faces to the scene. Every year seems to get better as my to-read list climbs to new heights and the outlook for 2012 is no different. Here is a list of the releases we are dreadfully anticipating this year, in no particular order.

The unfolding of Monica S. Kuebler’s online YA vampire series Bleeder

We’ve mentioned Bleeder a few times now, but it is timely to give it another shout because Chapter 2 just went live yesterday! If you haven’t been reading along, go back and check out the first two chapters in the series and buckle in for the exciting saga of Mildred “Mills” Millhatten as her life is turned upside down by a long dormant family secret. Monica S. Kuebler calls Bleeder “pitch-black urban fantasy/horror crossbreed” for teens, but I can assure you this will be enjoyed by adult readers too. A new chapter will go live every Sunday, so mark your calendars! Visit the Bleeder website here.

Jeff Strand’s Faint Of Heart (February 2012)

Jeff Strand just made an announcement this past Thursday about his upcoming novel Faint Of Heart via his website, Gleefully Macabre, with a very simple but enticing teaser followed by a peek at the cover:

Some of you prefer my funny stuff.

Some of you prefer the more serious stuff.

For those of you in the latter category, on February 1st there’s…

We are huge Jeff Strand fans here at Dreadful Tales. Hell, I even got dressed up like the guy and went strutting around town because I admire him so much! I like the funny, I like the serious, I’m just happy when he’s releasing new work! Faint Of Heart is due out February 1st, so keep your eyes peeled on Strand’s Facebook page and website for the deets.

The Hunger Artist by Lisa Mannetti (TBD)

Lisa Mannetti just announced via Facebook a few hours ago, at the time of writing this, that she is starting her next novel, tentatively titled The Hunger Artist, so I can’t say for certain that is will be published in 2012. Regardless, I am as pleased as punch to hear there is a new book on the horizon from this Bram Stoker Award-winning talent. I have no synopsis to tease you with or cover art to entice your eyeballs, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted as information becomes available. In the meantime, you can stalk her Facebook page and visit her website to stay abreast (stop giggling, Colum!) of everything Mannetti.

Everything Greg Lamberson is releasing! (April 2012, June 2012, October 2012)

Greg Lamberson has at least three books coming out in 2012! Yes, you read that right, three! And he may even have some super top secret book that he’ll squeeze in before year end as well, but we’ll have to wait and see.

First up from Lamberson is his zombie road novella, Carnage Road, out from Creeping Hemlock Press’ zombie line, Print Is Dead, in April. I scanned the aged wall postings of my Facebook to find the original blurb Lamberson used to describe this novella, but without success. If memory serves me right, he said it’s “Dawn of the Dead meets Easy Rider.” If that doesn’t sell you, read Colum’s glowing review that just went live yesterday. Lamberson also put together a book trailer where he puts that filmmaking experience to good use! Carnage Road is due out April 3rd, 2012, which is also my birthday, so plug that one in your calendar! Creeping Hemlock Press has an obvious eye for talent and they’re quickly becoming my favorite indie press, so stop by their their website to see the other horror titles they offer.

Second on the agenda is the long-awaited follow-up to Lamberson’s werewolf novel The Frenzy Way, The Frenzy War. Already available for pre-order, The Frenzy War is due out in June 2012 from Medallion Press. It’s been almost two years since we left our hero, Detective Tony Mace, and I am anxious to catch back up with this hunka hunka burnin’ love fearless protector of humanity. Tony, if you’re reading this, call me!

And finally, the third book Lamberson will release this year is the fourth installment in the action / horror mashup, The Jake Helman Files series, Tortured Spirits, due out in October 2012 also from Medallion Press. This is a truly epic series with a badass paranormal detective, Jake Helman, and a whole host of monsters. If you haven’t had a chance to read these books yet, make it your top priority! Otherwise, Detective Helman might come kick you right in the groin! Find out more about the fourth book here.

House of Skin by Jonathan Janz (Summer 2012)

I just recently finished Jonathan Janz’ first title published by Samhain Publishing, The Sorrows, and it really blew me away. I will be posting a proper review soon, so I won’t elaborate too much here now, but I will say all you children of Laymon out there will be pleased. The Sorrows is a turbo-charged, erotic horror that has passages to make the roughest biker dude blush and maybe even warm his heart! Samhain will publish his sophomore effort, House of Skin, this summer and I can’t wait to see what other sick and twisted monsters Janz will unleash upon the reading community. Read more about House of Skin and browse around Janz’ site here.

Corrupts Absolutely? anthology edited by Lincoln Crisler (March 2012)

Corrupts Absolutely? asks its readers what would happen if people had superpowers. People including the mentally unstable, social outcasts, and the regretful and bitter. Featuring work by genre favorites like Jeff Strand, Joe McKinney, Weston Ochse, and a dozen more, this anthology will undoubtedly be on everyone’s wish list this year, if it isn’t already. Corrupts Absolutely? will be available from Damnation Books March 2012.

Zombies vs Robots: This Means War, edited by Jeff Conner (April 2012)

Here is another title being released on my birthday! I don’t know who sent the memo to the publishing world, but THANK YOU! Zombies vs Robots: This Means War takes IDW’s comic book series, created by writer Chris Ryall and artist Ashley Wood, and promises it “expands it in ways that will redefine both zombie and robot fiction.” While I’m not familiar with the original series, I like a good comic and the lineup for this collection is promising which makes it worthy of an instant self-gift for my day of birth! Great concept, talented contributors, and a pretty badass cover too. You can preorder ZVR: This Means War, due out April 3rd, 2012, now at Amazon for a slight discount.

Wild 2 by Lincoln Crisler (September 2012)

Lincoln Crisler is gonna be a busy bee this year, buzzin’ all over the genre scene. Not only is he involved in the two projects mentioned above, but he’ll also be releasing the sequel to his weird western zombie novella Wild with Wild 2. There’s no cover art available to tease you with just yet because the book won’t be out until September 2012 (apparently he didn’t get the memo that all releases are due on my birthday!), but here is a peek at what to expect from the second entry.

While escorting Henry Waters to his new beginning at a Massachusetts prep school, Matthias and Juan uncover the reason for the school’s headmaster’s mysterious disappearance. Less cowboy. More questions.

Release of the film adaptation of Elizabeth Massie’s short story Abed (Spring 2012)

Abed, short story by two-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author Elizabeth Massie, has been called one of the most disturbing horror stories ever written. Now, the director adapting the short story for film, award-winning writer/director Ryan Lieske, has his sights set on making it the most disturbing zombie film of 2012. Until just last night, literally right before I went to bed, I hadn’t read Abed, but being a Massie fan I was still excited to learn that one of her stories would be adapted for film. Now that I have finished Abed, I can say undoubtedly that the short is one of the most disturbing stories I have ever read and I am very curious to see how this evolves from the page to celluloid. You can pick up a digital copy for just $0.99, so you should do that right now! And just wait until you find out what “abed” means. Production for this project is in full swing and due out in my most anticipated season of the year, spring 2012! Like Abed on Facebook and keep up with one of the hardest working writers in this gory game on Massie’s website. Below is a synopsis to get your blood pumpin’.

The dead have risen … and in one small, Midwestern town, the residents have learned to cope as best they can.

Meggie lost her husband, Quint, during the early days of the undead uprising. She now lives a life of quiet horror and desperation, for her mother-in-law will do anything to help the family adjust to this new world. Even the unspeakable …

NightWhere by John Everson (June 2012)

Ever since Colum gave me a copy of John Everson’s The 13th a few years back, I haven’t missed anything by this author. His blend of erotica and horror has been perfected into an intoxicating signature style that hits all the right notes. Everson revealed some details about this project in his interview with Dreadful Tales here where he assures his sixth novel, NightWhere, is a return to form. More blood, more sex, more mayhem! NightWhere centers on a swinging husband and wife who are invited to a floating sex club, the titular NightWhere, where anything goes. There is no cover art available yet, but we’ll keep you posted. NightWhere will be available from Samhain Publishing June 2012. Prepare yourself! Until then, visit Everson’s website and sign-up for his newsletter to stay in the loop on everything the master of sexy is up to.

So, those are the titles we are most anxious for this year. Tell us about your most dreadfully anticipated titles in the comments section below!