Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This Darkness Mine by G. R. Yeates

This Darkness Mine
by G. R. Yeates

The City is a house of flies, slowly rotting away. Soho Ghetto is a place of riots, sex, abuse and disease but it is no worse than the corporate meat-markets that staff their offices with the corpses of recently-deceased employees. Have you ever been to The Shop? Would you know a Bottom-Feeder if you saw one? Do you know what it feels like to be eaten alive by a Redundancy Package? Would you like to meet a Fallen Angel? All of these things and more are here. This is the bestiary of the 21st Century. This darkness mine.

There’s a place called The Shop and you can get everything there. Good price. Low price. Cut price. That is, everything you don’t want. Why would you want something you don’t want? That’s what you’re thinking but is that not what we want all our lives long? Things to fall over at home, ever-increasing hoards of rubbish, snapping, splintering, breaking-down clinkered heaps of microchip, beads, plastic, perished rubber and wood.
So in we go, into The Shop.
Marching in, we tick the box on the disposable card-strip and stand patiently in line. Our faces serene, unlined and our guts gurgle, our throats are in turmoil, so eager, expectant. We know what’s coming, what the assistants will bring to us, place in our hands, hurriedly. Look at us askance, plead with their eyes for us to take it away. They wipe their hands on their tunics to erase the wet electric sensation of having touched our purchase.
They try to look away but are drawn back to stare at it. The softly shifting dimensions of it, the out-of-focus outlines, patches of damp. Then, there is the way the vestigial limbs twitch and grow, fingers and toes recede and deform, according to the mood of the purchase. Stinking geriatric fuck-holes open and beg, embarrassingly, in public, to be fingered as we pass by. A slit opens, forming a lizardly eye from yellow putrescent jelly. The eye is soon overcome though, strangled to death by the bloodshot web of its capillaries. It makes such a mess when it pops like an old egg, the dripping remains of it giving birth to a rustling brood of white-haired whining spiders, which scatter to every dark corner.
Some of the purchases are swathed in used hospital linen whilst others are stuffed into stapled-shut supermarket boxes, bandaged with reams of brown packing tape to keep the amniotic fluids in, as much as is possible. We hurry out. We are ashamed.
The Shop is an odd place.
Every city has one.

By AnnBoozeandBooksBlogspot
This is the latest horror book from a favorite of mine, G.R. Yeates. Those familiar with his Vetala cycle books will note this one is quite different; in fact, it is different from most fiction. It is written in the style of William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch, although I think Yeates takes things one step further with This Darkness Mine.
Yeates uses a lot of very violent and sexual imagery to illustrate just how soul sucking modern life, and the corporations who run it, can be. In the first half of this novel the reader is brought through a typical day in an office, one where every unique thing about an individual is taken from them and the brain dead are prized. I think this is something anyone who has worked somewhere they haven't liked can understand all too well. The second half of the book follows the worker as he is laid off from his job and thrust out into the streets. Here we see how consumerism has taken over everything to the point that it has become its own entity; it feeds on our humanity until there is nothing left that is recognizable.
Using short, harsh descriptive sentences, Yeates is able to drive home his points about modern culture and its problems in a very thoughtful and provocative way. This unique read is highly recommended.

About the Author
Greg James, better known at the author G.R. Yeates, was born in Rochford, Essex and studied Literature & Media at the Colchester Insitute. He has lived in China where he taught English as a foreign language.
A life-long interest in the First World War and world mythology inspired the critically-acclaimed The Vetala Cycle, a trilogy of vampiric horror novels set in World War I. He has been published in the Dark Continents anthology, Phobophobia, and the Horror for Good anthology from Cutting Block Press. This Darkness Mine is Greg's latest novella. He is currently working on another novella, The Thing Behind the Door, to be released December 2012. Greg is also working on his first fantasy series, The Age of the Flame. The first book, When Darkness Dawns will be released early 2013, to be followed by The Sword of Sighs and Shadowhorn later in the year.


Dream Team (Dream Seekers Book 2) by Lisa Ard

Dream Team (Dream Seekers Book 2)
by Lisa Ard

The Dream Seekers adventure series is a collection of early middle-grade chapter books, ideal for ages 7-10. In this fantasy series, readers are introduced to Patrick and his dream-seeking family. Patrick is twelve years old and at the age when he's experiencing a lot of change, both physically and emotionally. Most of that change is out of his control, but how he reacts to that change is important. Patrick's family and best friends are important to his adventures too. When life and dreams seem out of control, Patrick knows he is not alone.

For Patrick, being twelve years old can be challenging. Add to that the unusual ability to experience dreams as reality and you begin to understand, why Patrick never knows what will happen when he falls asleep. When Patrick's voice begins to change, he declares disaster! But one magnificent dream will introduce Patrick to some real-life heroes, who faced far greater adversity. Patrick discovers that his troubles are minor league in comparison. Will Patrick find the courage to face his fears?

Lisa Ard has done it again as she delivers another delightful, charming, and thrilling adventure in the Dream Seekers Series. This one is filled with baseball knowledge and life lessons for young people to learn as they grow up. Lisa Ard has obviously done impeccable research about the life of Jackie Robinson, the first American-African to play major league baseball. The illustrations are beautifully rendered, it was well-written, exciting, fun, and a fast read and it kept my attention from the very beginning to the very end.
Most adults can get through this in a couple of hours or so and kids in a couple of days. I think it is a wonderful addition to your library, or if you are new to the series, an excellent introduction. There are very few books that absolutely everyone should read. This is one of them. (By Marius Viktor Aragon)

About the Author

From the author:
"Writing is an adventure for me. It's been a long and winding journey to authoring a book. Here's some of that journey's highlights:
I grew up in Wenatchee, Washington. Better look it up on the map, because it's the Apple Capital of the World!
As a kid I played lots of sports, enjoyed art and photography, read lots of books (still do) and dreamed of traveling the world.
I left home to study at the University of Washington where I earned my B.A. in German. (And yes, my dad asked me "what are you going to do with a degree in German?")
For the next 15 years, I worked in Finance and Quality departments for some really big companies. In other words, I went to lots of meetings, talked on the phone, traveled all over the country and sat in a cubicle for a lot of that time.
Then I fell in love, got married and had two wonderful kids. We now live happily ever after in Portland, Oregon.
"That's the story so far. I'm now starting the journey of author. How long that will last, I don't know. However, I'm ready to enjoy the adventure."
Lisa Ard's Fright Flight (Dream Seekers Book 1) won the FlamingNet Top Choice Award. Her latest book, Saving Halloween, was released on 5 September and has already won a 2012 Kay Snow Writing Award for Young Readers.


Today at Books Direct - 31 October 2012

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Today at Books Direct - 30 October 2012

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Today at Books Direct - 29 October 2012

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Mourning Sky: Book 3 of Under Shattered Skies by P. D. Allen

Mourning Sky:
Book 3 of Under Shattered Skies
by P. D. Allen

Mourning Sky, Book 3 in the Under Shattered Skies trilogy, has just been released. You can read about it below. If you haven't already, make sure you also read Murderer's Sky and Daemon Sky, Books 1 and 2 in the series. You can find out more about them in my previous blog post

This is the final book of the Under Shattered Skies trilogy. The sky erupts, raining devastation upon the town of Heater, Arizona, and upon the entire world. Albert Hayne, Sheriff Pierce, Kevin Howell, Maria Diaz and all the other characters struggle to survive, fighting against racial hatred, zombies, the military and daemonic forces. This climactic novel takes us to new dimensions of suspense, thrills and horror.

Allison fell to the floor as the building creaked and swayed. The long rows of berths teetered, spilling out bodies all over the hall. A heavy man, Joanna Cafrey’s husband Bud had Allison known it, fell on top of her, pinning her to the floor. She grappled with the man, who almost seemed to be wrestling with her. Another body fell on her from the opposite side of the aisle, helping Mr. Cafrey hold her down. Mr. Cafrey was hugging her cheek to cheek. A bead of drool fell from his mouth and ran down her neck. Allison screamed, though the sound of it was lost in the rumbling of the earthquake.
The tremors stopped. The only sound was Allison crying. She became furious, pushing the bodies off of her, struggling to free herself. Mr. Cafrey rolled onto his side with a groan. Allison froze, watching him closely. He moved his head ever so slightly, smacked his lips, and then fell silent again, never opening his eyes the whole time.
Allison looked at the other bodies around her. These people were not dead; they were sleeping. And they were sleeping so soundly even the earthquake had not wakened them.
“What is going on here?” Reverend Chassey’s voice thundered through the hall, startling her. Allison looked around, but could not see him.
“We can’t have this.” The Reverend went on, his voice coming from another aisle. “It simply isn’t proper.”
Allison retrieved her paint scraper and stepped around the fallen sleepers. She followed Reverend Chassey’s voice past the next aisle. “Our Lord cannot find you like this; what would he think?’
And there he was, standing over a pile of sleeping bodies with his hands on his hips. “Get back into your beds.”
All around Allison, the sleepers started to move. At her feet, Mercy Tolver rolled over and looked up at her. Allison had always disliked Mercy, since she caught Allison and her sister sneaking a cigarette in the bathroom during bible study. Allison held her breath, waiting for Mercy to say something, but the woman did not. Though she looked directly at Allison, her eyes were blank and unseeing.

By Elaina Davidson
I couldn't wait to read this, the final book in the trilogy Under Shattered Skies. Murderer's Sky set us on a path to destruction, while Daemon Sky opened our eyes to the unseen forces that lurk around. And now it is time for the showdown in Mourning Sky...and it is quite the showdown!
I really don't want to give it away (go forth and read it!), but will reveal the Reverend Chassey and his army of the "faithful" is sufficient to give one the shivers ... but he isn't alone in his dark intent. As the atmosphere explodes and the stars bleed blood, the townspeople of Heater rise up and surrender to the darkness within. Heater burns and everywhere terrible death and suffering manifests, at the behest of Martin Ross and the archetype possessing him. And a boy paints the future, every curl and line he makes upon paper creating it in reality, spurring on the spread of evil.
But there is also hope. Good people step forward, among them young Kevin, who hopes to rescue his friend, and the sheriff, who hopes to rescue his town. A woman and her newborn hold the key to reviving the earth, while Father Albert Hayne steps into his true destiny, playing his fiddle to haunting results.
The earth mourns as the sky weeps. Is this the end of humankind? And that is as much as I'll say about the story, but I must add this: loved it, brilliant, a fantastic read, a fitting end! Your turn - read it!

About the Author
P. D. Allen has seen the publishing industry from many angles, as an editor, proofreader, typesetter and a sales clerk in a book store. But first and foremost, he is a novelist. With the publishing industry in turmoil due to the rising popularity of eBooks, he has chosen to throw his hat in the ring as an indie author.
P. D. has led a dynamic and adventurous life. He bicycled the Rocky Mountains, traveled the country as a wandering minstrel, and took degrees in geology, earth science and mathematics. Some consider him an authority on energy issues. His work has been referred to in the US Congress, and in the Australian and French Parliaments.
Yet his greatest talent has always been storytelling. He writes fiction in longhand, with a pen and paper, and then types the handwritten manuscripts into document files for proofing and editing.
Twelve years ago, he had the good fortune to find his soul mate, Elizabeth Anne Pfeiffer (nee Lovan). Elizabeth is an angel who has stood by his side through the best and worst, and has always believed in him, even when he did not believe in himself. He must have done something good, to have such a wonderful person as his partner.
The last book in the Under Shattered Skies trilogy, Mourning Sky, was released in October 2012. Over the next couple of years, P. D. Allen will release several novels. He will also produce further volumes of Yoopernatural and Quantum Meditations.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Today at Books Direct - 28 October 2012

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Today at Books Direct - 27 October 2012

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Lost in the Dark by Joe Mynhardt

Lost in the Dark
by Joe Mynhardt

Looking for something scary to read? Look no further than Joe Mynhardt's debut story collection, Lost in the Dark.

In this first collection by Joe Mynhardt you will plunge into the bewildering world of werewolves, ghosts, psychos, zombies, demons, evil elves and things that should not be named. Follow five friends to the threshold of hell in "Portico"; walk alongside a young boy bent on killing his brother’s murderer in "The Nature of the Beast"; beware of your own demons in "The Great Wall of Rubin". These twelve stories will explore the theme of lost hope and the on-going struggle to free ourselves from despair. Are you sure you’re ready for this?
The twelve stories buried within this book's pages are:

The Great Wall of Rubin
Rubin’s story is one of tragedy and addiction. As a recovering alcoholic on the verge of falling back into old habits, he decides to join an Alcoholics Anonymous group. Certain feelings and memories are brought to light, which forces Rubin to face his demons, which are all waiting for him on the drive home. Expect heart-wrenching revelations and visually disturbing scenes that will stay with you long after you’ve read the story.

Beyond the Ornate Tree
This might be the creepiest Christmas story ever. Jim is scared of Christmas. Don’t ask him why, he really doesn’t know. That’s why he had himself committed to an insane asylum, where Doctor Brown will unlock Jim’s childhood memories, and reveal the source of his fear. What they both discover will leave you shocked and repulsed. You might even fear Christmas after reading this disturbing 1st person story.

The longest story in the collection, "Portico" follows five friends to an abandoned observatory-turned-theatre on top of a deserted hill. The history of the building and its surroundings motivates them to break into the building, especially after they noticed something odd staring at them from one of the windows. Inside the building, their fears and friendships are put to the test as the building’s occupants come to life. As the reader you will get to know all five characters personally, only to see the life ripped out of some as they die in horrific circumstances. The final pages will leave you breathless. "Portico" is also being turned into a movie in South Africa, filmed inside the actual setting of this story. To stay updated, visit the Portico Facebook page.

The Way Back
Thomas Sanders is a veteran paranormal investigator, who has quite a disliking for fancy gadgets and unnecessary technological advances. His wife, on the other hand, loves them. One night Thomas accompanies a group of young ghost hunters through the Eastern State Penitentiary, where he stumbles onto an event that could change the world and leave millions dead, starting with his family.

Always Come Back
A very short piece, "Always Come Back" is a quick journey into the disturbed and troubled mind of William, whose dead wife just doesn’t want to leave him alone. This story will leave you asking, "How did he do that?"

Fashionably Undead
"Fashionably Undead" follows poor old Rupert to a fashion show with his wife (guess who the models are). Rupert is tired of watching his wife flirt with her boss, he’s tired of her fashion industry job, and he’s tired of his own stay-at-home-daddy life. One more fashion show is all it takes to send him over the edge.

Come All to the River of Death
Henry Taylor needs one great photo to establish himself as a great ghost hunter, or so he believes. In his search for this paranormal evidence, he ends up neglecting his wife, and decides to break the law by entering the old abandoned house. Inside he finds out exactly what happened as he strolls blindly into his worst nightmare. This haunted house story is based on an actual building in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Forgive Me Now
Andy’s wife is angry and he’s running out of time. He needs to do something before it’s too late. If he can’t get her to forgive him, the results would be catastrophic, for both of their lives.

Lost in the Dark
The title story of this collection, "Lost in the Dark" is a disturbing tale of young girls being kidnapped by a powerful old man name Wolfgang Demourtes. The Wolf keeps the girls locked up in cages in the basement of his little hut in the dark forest. More of a dark fantasy story, it touches on magic and talents, family issues and friendship, as well as working together to destroy the evil that’s scouring the land.

Rise, Dead Man
You shouldn’t steal from the dead. Someone should’ve told Gerrit that. This chilling story follows drug-addicted Gerrit as he first tries to score his next hit, then fights to rid himself of a haunting presence. Is his drug-induced mind playing tricks on him, or is the old man he robbed taking over?

Zombie Mischief
A funny little 1st person tale of life after the zombie invasion, and how people always find a way to entertain themselves. Anyone up for a good prank?

The Nature of the Beast
Ethan’s older brother was brutally murdered, and he’s looking for the killer. Ethan sneaks out of the house of his grieving parents and faces his own inadequacies as he enters the park where the killer is believed to be hiding. But this is no ordinary killer he’s after. Will Ethan be able to stand up for himself, to fill the void his older brother always occupied? Or will he just be another victim?

By R. Ridgway
I love horror stories. I was not disappointed with this collection. There is an undercurrent of malevolent evil that stalks the well rounded characters in each story. I couldn't put the book down once I started reading as the relentless action takes you into a current of dread and you find yourself pulling for the characters and hoping they will find the strength to survive. These stories are not for the reader who is afraid of the dark and you may have trouble sleeping after reading this tour de force of horror from a fresh author. Watch out Stephen King.

About the Author

Joe Mynhardt is a South African horror writer and teacher. While having dozens of published stories, Joe also tends to a tome of story, movie, comic and stage ideas scraping for a chance to be written. Joe Mynhardt took up writing towards the end of 2008 and has enjoyed remarkable success. Joe contributes to horror fiction in more ways than his own work. He maintains a constant presence on several of the major horror writer's forums as a contributor and adviser. He's also a moderator for a foremost writer's group,, as well as an Assistant Submissions Editor at The South African Literary Journal, New Contrast. Not to mention the owner and operator of Crystal Lake Publishing. All in all, he keeps his finger on the active pulse of current horror. His influences stretches from Poe, Doyle and Lovecraft to King, Connolly and Gaiman. In his spare time Joe blogs about haunted buildings. In his non-fictional life, Joe is a primary school teacher who enjoys reading, watching movies, and collecting rare coins. After matriculating in 1998, he moved to Bloemfontein, South Africa, where he received an honors degree in Education Leadership and Management. Joe devotes himself to his wife, his work, and to feeding his two dogs. I'm sure if something happened, and he was incapacitated, he wouldn't mind if his dogs ate him. After all, it would be a shame to let all that talent go to waste.