Dreadful Tales Book Club – April 2013 Edition

Welcome to April’s Book of the Month! I feel like I say this every month, but I am especially excited about April’s book because this was one of the first titles I bought when I was exploring contemporary / modern horror fiction.

Until 2007, the only horror literature I was really familiar with was H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe,  Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker… you know, the classics. Hell, I hadn’t even read any Stephen King. While the above-mentioned authors are of course essential horror reading, I was still anxious to move onto more modern works. I found Clive Barker on my own having been a fan of Hellraiser and other adaptations of his work. There was a really cool bookstore in the tiny town of Footloose where I was living at the time which had a “Weird Room” and an employee shelf with recommendations. (the store unfortunately closed not long after its opening)

One employee had The Hellbound Heart on his shelf so I figured he’d be a good person to ask about horror titles – this was before I discovered The Mortuary (at that time Rue Morgue’s message board) and its voracious readers – and he suggested…

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

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

I had every intention of reading John Dies At The End right away, but somehow it kept getting pushed to the bottom of my stack. Also, right about late 2008 or early 2009, not too long after buying this title, I was heavy into The Mortuary book forum (previously known as The Grim Reader when it was Rue Morgue’s message board). I became fast friends with Colum and Dark Mark in particular and their suggestions, as well as some book swaps, kept me plenty busy. Before you know it 6 years had passed and John Dies At The End was being made into a movie with Don Coscarelli in the director’s chair!

I hadn’t touched that book since 2007, so I literally had to dust this one off. I was giving it the once over, reading the blurbs, and checking out the cover. Turns out I have the first edition from Permuted Press, a publisher I wouldn’t have known in 2007 but of course am familiar with now. Not only that, there is a blurb from Jeff Strand, now one of my favorite authors and a name that would have been foreign to me at the time.

This is my copy of John Dies:
JDATE_bookcover_That’s a bit of a long-winded introduction to the book of the month, but I find it fascinating how my journey through horror fiction seems to have come full circle.

I got a head start a couple days ago and I can tell I am going to burn through this one. So witty, an offbeat modern crime noir with all manner of monsters.

I look forward to sharing another great title with y’all this month. Pick up your copy anywhere cool books are sold and chat with the gang here.



This is my first round of news reporting ever, so please be gentle while I flesh this thing out. I’m going to start out with sales and new releases, jump into “Flash”, which are quick one-line news bits that don’t fit anywhere else. The prior sections will deal with traditional large and medium scale publishers because I’m going to finish up with “The Indie Shot”, where I’ll post some tidbits about authors that you don’t yet know of. On with the show!


We’ll start with a little tidbit of info regarding a sale from Samhain Publishing. Dangerous Grounds by Shelli Stevens is FREE all December long. It’s in ebook format, so get your Kindle or Nook copy by December 31st.

Rolling on with more sale news, Permuted Press is having their “Black December” sale, where 5 recently released ebooks go for $2.99 each, 5 bestsellers the same, and there are 5 ebooks that are absolutely free. Go here to see the selection and scoop up some horror for just a couple bucks.

Kensington Publishing, or rather their Pinnacle imprint just released the latest offering from C.E. Lawrence, Silent Kills. This released on December 6th, and joins Silent Screams and Silent Victim on the shelves.


Books of the Dead press recently showed us some love, and announced that they’ve changed their web address to www.booksofthedeadpress.com.


Anachron Press, the one-man outfit otherwise known as Colin F. Barnes, have released the first City of Hell Chronicles as of December 1st. Featuring 8 stories total, the buzz surrounding this book has been quite good. We’ve got our copy, and of course we’ll share our thoughts.

Rather truncated first effort, but that’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll be doing this again next week, so please leave some feedback and let me know what worked and what didn’t. Remember to follow Dreadful Tales on Twitter, like us on Facebook and make us your browser’s homepage. If you’d like to get to know me better, the best way is to find me on Twitter.