Blake has returned to his hometown after surviving profound heartache and loss, only to meet the beautiful and carefree Denise. He soon realizes he’s in over his head, following a virtual angel from Hell who will leave him once again forever changed.
FRACTAL DESPONDENCY is hands down the best work I’ve read this year. With brilliant prose that weaves a painful past with an uncertain future, the story is a bittersweet account of a young man trying to find his place in an unforgiving world. It is an absolute must-read for literary fiction fans. I rate it an enthusiastic 5 stars.
Mirages: Tales from Authors of the Macabre is scheduled for release this coming week! Edited by Trent Zelazny and featuring some of the best of contemporary horror authors, this anthology is guaranteed to be super creepy! Just check out the amazing line-up:
Barb Lien-Cooper & Park Cooper
Lee Allen Howard
Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
Billie Sue Mosiman
Scott Bradley & Peter Giglio
Kealan Patrick Burke
Lori R. Lopez
Jason S. Ridler
Leigh M. Lane
Joe R. Lansdale
E. A. Black
Stay tuned for buy-links!
This short collection includes the novella, Sudden Death Overtime, the short story, “Time Out,” and a preview of Nothing to Lose, by author Steve Vernon. For the purposes of the review, I will be including my ratings and responses to the former two, as I do not like to review partial works (but with that said, I did find the preview of Nothing to Lose an enjoyable read).
Sudden Death Overtime is a short work that begins very fluidly—almost literary in prose—and slowly transforms into a horror comedy with absurdist attributes. The story mainly follows a small group of geriatric men, far past their prime, and their response to what they come to realize, after a number of people go missing, is an encroachment of vampires in their sleepy town. Although I do have to admit I was disappointed when the style changed from lyrical to fast paced and abrupt, I still really enjoyed the read. I’m typically not a fan of absurdist stories, and I’m very critical of horror comedy, but the author pulled it off. I think a continuation of literary prose would have offered a neat juxtaposition against the backdrop that unfolded, but for what it was worth, it was a fun story and definitely a refreshing break from the onslaught of vampire tales currently going around. I rate Sudden Death Overtime a solid 4 stars.
“Time Out” is a lovely piece about childhood, nostalgia, and the changes that occur as we go from child to adult to older adult. Short but sweet, “Time Out” took me back to my own childhood and the reflections I have from the perspective of my own age. I rate this short story 4.5 stars.
Overall, this short collection will delight anyone looking for a unique jaunt through two different genres pieced together by their common themes of hockey and youth remembered. It’s a quick read, one I rate at 4.25 stars.
Stu, the apartment handyman, cannot get Beth out of his mind. She’s beautiful, mysterious, seductive.... The scent of patchouli emanates from her apartment, and he finds it irresistible, but it might be too late by the time he finds out what the odor truly masks.
This story is smart, well written, and thoroughly sensual. Each page threw me in a new direction, so that by the time I reached the end, the final twist came as both satisfying and disturbing. It is a quick read, but it will haunt you long after you’ve cleared the pages. I give this story an enthusiastic five stars and recommend it to all fans of erotic horror.
I can still smell the patchouli within the senses of my mind....
Of Mind and Matter is a collection of three related stories that together speculate aliens and space travel from three very different points of view. In “Buying Peace,” society must reconsider its longstanding belief that theirs is the only planet inhabited by intelligent life when radio telescopes receive a light-years-old intergalactic transmission—but unfortunately some beliefs die hard. In “Of Mind and Matter,” experimentation with alien DNA has nightmarish consequences. “The Search for Intelligent Life,” explains just where that alien DNA came from.
Excerpt from the title story:
Diana Conner, a young woman I had met through the project, became my good friend. We had begun meeting at least once a week after the memories started, spending most of our time discussing the project. Diana always spoke objectively on the issues at hand, with more hope than anything in maintaining her faith in our safety and well-being. When we met after our last check-in, however, she had begun to see things in a completely different light.
She nervously searched the coffee house patio with her eyes, watching for spies who may have tagged along. She spoke in a barely audible whisper: “Something’s happening.” She looked around again, suspicious of the two men sitting beside the exit to the parking lot.
I gave a confused look.
She placed one of her hands beside a vase of flowers in the center of the table.“Watch my hand.” She moved her hand toward the vase. It seemed to make contact, but then passed through it as if nothing were there.
My hand went over my mouth. “Oh my God.”
With the same hand, she lifted the vase. She smelled the flowers, then set the vase back onto the table. “I can control it, at least for now. I think I’m turning into . . . him.”
My throat went dry and my chest grew tight. I wanted to respond, but the words wouldn’t come.
“I’m afraid,” she said. “What if the next treatment makes me. . . .” Her words trailed off. “Why didn’t they tell us the truth?” she asked instead.
I shrugged, feeling faint and heavy. I thought about Chris, how he had talked me into this, and I shook my head, willing away a knot that was forming in my throat.
“They can’t find out about this.” She looked around again. “If they do, I have a feeling they’ll want more than just weekly check-ins.”
Diana’s voice began to shake. “I want you to help me break into the lab tonight. I can walk right through the walls, so—”
“Wait a minute. I’m not so sure about that. They’ll be swarmed with security.”
“But if they examine the samples they took today—”
“I’m sure they’ve already begun.” I began to feel a little paranoid, myself, and I glanced around the patio, watching for watchers. The two men at the gate, both clad in black suits, glanced back at us.
Diana stared at me, silent, her eyes wide with panic.
The two men began toward our table.
Of Mind and Matter is available for only .99 through Amazon.
Of Mind and Matter is a collection of three short stories that offer a new twist on space and aliens:
3. Buying Peace: When radio telescopes detect intergalactic communications, everything everyone believes to be true must
2. Of Mind and Matter: A young woman gets more than she bargained for when she signs up for a very unique
1. The Search for Intelligent Life: Astronauts have found intelligent life . . . but do they really want to?
Of Mind and Matter is available in Kindle/ePub/PC for only .99--get your copy today!