Tag Archives: Dark Fantasy

Ideas for Christmas Book Buys

Hey there you sexy pilgrims. I hope everybody is well. I’ve bought a bunch of books recently and figured, hell, why not do a suggestion post of some of my favorites old and new to help you with your merry holiday shopping list! Keep in mind that most of these are dark, heartbreaking tales, not feel-good reads, although there are a couple on the list that have moments of wonderful humor (like Grendel, Beautiful Sorrows, and Savage Season).

Darkfuse Book Club: It’s a hell of a deal! Top-notch writing from established writers on both sides of the pond, as well as up & comers like myself. They used to be Delirium Books and have since branched out into Dark Fiction of all styles, which I think is truly awesome. Got a hankering for Horror, Sci-fi, Mystery, Techno-Thriller, Noir, Coming-of-Age, etc., Darkfuse has you covered!

GRENDEL by John Gardner: Easily in my top-three of all-time favorites. Beautifully written, tragic and funny.

THE LAST KIND WORDS by Tom Piccirilli: Pic is a master of Noir. The sequel to his novel was released recently. Check them out!

WILLY by Robert Dunbar: A truly underrated author who, with this novel, captures some of my favorite things a great story can produce. This novel still sticks with me.

THE BLEEDING SEASON by Greg Gifune: Another underrated author. This novel is extremely atmospheric, as is all of Gifune’s work, and the story is a perfect example of why craft is so important.

THE RAPIST by Les Edgerton: This is one wicked read but don’t be scared by the title. It’s a terrific book!

THE DAMNED by John D. MacDonald: I heard of John D. MacDonald through John Connolly’s BOOKS TO DIE FOR… MacDonald quickly became my favorite of the old pulp crowd. He’s a master of characterization and most of his stories zip along. This one is brilliant in a very subtle way, kind of like WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson. He was one of Stephen King’s and Dean Koontz’s favorite authors too.

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS by Sara Gruen: Still one of my favorites, and the book is a thousand times better than the movie. Read it!

MORDRED, BASTARD SON by Douglas Clegg: Like EDGERTON’S The Rapist, this short novel will not set well with the PC crowd, but it’s brilliant and I think Clegg’s best.

BEAUTIFUL SORROWS by Mercedes M. Yardley: Mercede’s first short story collection. Dip your toes and imagination into an assortment of tales that are at once disturbing and humorous. This gal is a sweetheart and so incredibly talented.

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by Jack Ketchum: Ketchum’s novel pulls off that tough to do ‘I want to punch this protagonist in the face,’ thing. At it’s heart it demonstrates the damage done when we stand by and watch horrible things happen. Sadly, I think this is one of the truest novels there is.

SAVAGE SEASON by Joe Lansdale: The first Hap & Leonard novel and a great introduction to these two raw-boned characters. What a great series!

SHARP OBJECTS by Gillian Flynn: A short novel with a terrific punch!

THE END OF EVERYTHING by Megan Abbott: Still my favorite of her novels. Haunting and fast-paced and has a perfect ending.

THE CYPRESS HOUSE by Michael Koryta: I met Michael at Bouchercon and he signed a book for me. Such a nice guy and terrific writer. In many ways he reminds me of a cross between two other favorites–Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane.

WHITE DOVES AT MORNING by James Lee Burke: Great novel!

CABAL by Clive Barker: This was one of the first Barker books I read and certain moments are still vivid in my memory. He’s such a talent at showing how our hunt for excitement and pleasure can transform us.

THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS by John Connolly: Still my favorite of Connolly’s!

THE HAUNTING OF HOOD CANAL by Jack Cady: Read it!

And for a shameless plug, add WHEN WE JOIN JESUS IN HELL by me. It’s my most popular release so far and a quick, powerful read that heroes like Tom Piccirilli and Jack Ketchum read and blurbed.

If you’re on Twitter, give me a follow. If you’re on Goodreads, friend me. And don’t forget to subscribe to my website newsletter since I have a lot of big news coming in 2014!

Happy holidays to all!

Review of WITHIN THIS GARDEN WEEPING (and an aside)

Within This Garden Weeping cover spread

Within This Garden Weeping reads like a book of the Old Testament by way of Ray Bradbury and Twin Peaks… says fellow scribbler Lucas Magnum in the review he just posted. You can check out the full review here.

As an aside, and something very few people know about me, I like the Old Testament reference a lot. I’ve studied the Bible, and I seriously considered at one time being a pastor. I love teaching, I love the way stories are tools, and also more than tools, their examples that can vividly illustrate whatever makes us cower, and also what makes our heart sing. Even after I realized I’d probably never take the step to actually being a pastor because I would have been a hypocrite since I love to drink, all the time I spent studying the Bible has had a profound influence on me and the stories I create, especially the Division Mythos. So, thanks Lucas! Very interesting to see someone frame the start of their review in that manner!

Buy a book for yourself and for someone else at Christmas.

Get my novel Gossamer for 99 cents until Halloween

Gossamer cover Final

From now until just after Halloween you can get my novel Gossamer: A Story of Love and Tragedy for 99 cents! Grab it for Kindle here, or grab it in another format here

“Gossamer” is a mythical, almost philosophical book that strips the reader naked and forces us to challenge our assumptions about love with passages that will touch you in places inside yourself you forgot exist. – Anita Siraki/HellNotes

Lee takes the unlovely parts of real life and sets it in a setting so deliciously bizarre that you think you’re simply reading a story, when in fact you’re listening to a man sitting across from you and telling you all about pain. – Mercedes Yardley/Shock Totem

“10 out of 10 Stars… GOSSAMER: A STORY OF LOVE AND TRAGEDY will blow you away my friends. It is that good.” — Peter Schwotzer/Famous Monsters of Filmland.

An ancient witch, Dorothy Good, has lost everything to the vampire who has blown in on the hot desert wind and lain waste to her soul and her town. When a young family arrives at the end of a two week battle, she sees a chance to end the bloodshed and possibly regain a portion of what was stolen.

But they’re heavily outnumbered and night is falling…

Mercedes Yardley’s latest interview

Those who know me know that I love Mercedes M. Yardley. I think she’s special, and a beautiful person, and incredibly talented. A lot of authors become blurb whores, but I’ve only given two (one to Les Edgerton for his awesome novella The Rapist, and the other to Mercedes), because I think they’re two of the most gifted writers I know, writers that I wish I could write like. But I can’t, so fuck it.

montessaspread by M

Check out M’s latest podcast interview, which also includes a great sample of her reading from her novella Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu. This woman is going to be a big deal soon. Trust me, I have good taste and a natural intuition. 

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST.

And after you listen to the podcast you can read my interview with M HERE.

New Review on Shock Totem

Gossamer cover Final

Received a sweet review from the wonderful and talented Mercedes Yardley over at Shock Totem. She reviewed my novel Gossamer: A Story of Love and Tragedy. Neat. You can read the review here. I love Shock Totem, and M is terrific and one of the most beautiful and gifted people I know.

Also saw that her latest novella (Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu) has been reviewed by my bud A.E. Siraki over on Hellnotes. Check it out here.

I hope everybody is well and enjoying fall!

What’s going on?

 

What’s going on in everyone’s lives?

I haven’t been online much because I’ve been super busy. Those who know me know that I’m a workaholic, even though it appears to those close to me that I’m never doing anything but watching my favorite shows and drinking and playing guitar and reading. I am way behind on everything, especially emails. I just can’t keep up. As soon as I can find an assistant I’m going to hire one, and will be changing my contact email address. I’ve been tempted to make a Q & A on Goodreads so I can direct all correspondence there, but not everybody is on Goodreads, and I wouldn’t be able to guarantee I’d be on there every day to answer questions and thank people every day anyway. But know this: I appreciate you taking the time to buy my work, read it, talk about it, review it, and everything else you do. Seriously, I wouldn’t have a career if it wasn’t for editors, pre-readers, proof readers, and readers in general.

I’m a writing maniac and can’t reply to everybody in a timely manner, so suck it up if you’re annoyed, but remember that you were heard (Hell, I read everything that’s sent to me, but I don’t want to spend six hours a day replying to messages from ten different places like Yahoo, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Google +, Twitter, text, etc, etc..). That’s the gist of it.

Here’s what I have going on…

I have six novels to sell. Phew. That’s crazy. Six novels!

I have The Lesser People by Thomas Morgan (one of my pen-names) that my agent has on sub with some awesome publishers right now. I’m very excited about that because I want to reach thousands of people and any writer who says they don’t want that is probably a liar. We want to reach as many people as we possibly can; I have another pen-named novel (Earthly Things by Julian Vaughn) that will be under sub by my agent soon as well; then there’s another novel under submission with my Horror/Thriller publisher Darkfuse;  I’m also working on my first ghostwritten project, Muddy Waters, that I’ll be finished writing the first draft of soon, and I’m very excited about! Then there is the second Thomas Morgan novel, A Savage Autumn, that I need to edit and send to my pre-readers still, as soon as I finish this ghostwriting project; and I have one that I plan to self-publish from my Division Mythos, The Collected Songs of Sonnelion, before Christmas but need to pay for the cover work from Dani Serra, and build up some buzz about it.

I have an audiobook in production.

I’m also thinking about eight other novels I want to write. Jesus Christ. I’m probably going to die young, but you know what? I did what I wanted to do and I think that it’s brought me a lot of satisfaction and I don’t have to worry about regretting anything.

Oh, I’m also working on a neat idea with my brother, who is an amazing sculptor and artist,  for a children’s picture book series that I think could be something truly special.

There are other things going on in my family and personal life too. You just get the tip of the iceberg.

Anyway, I hope everybody is chasing their dreams down and embracing that you can succeed if you have the drive and the talent and the determination to reach your goals.

 

  • Mercedes Yardley’s new (and first) novella

    Here’s a cover reveal of my buddy Mercedes Yardley’s novella Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, published by Ragnarok Publications, cover by George Contronis. Really looking forward to reading this! Mercedes is crazy talented. 

    Her mama always said she was special.

    His daddy called him a demon.

    But even monsters can fall in love.

    Montessa Tovar is walking home alone when she is abducted by Lu, a serial killer with unusual talents and a grudge against the world. But in time, the victim becomes the executioner as Apocalyptic Montessa and her doomed lover Nuclear Lulu crisscross the country in a bloody firestorm of revenge.

    montessacover by M

    montessaspread by M

    Gossamer reviewed on Hellnotes

    Gossamer cover Final

    Thanks to Anita Siraki and Hellnotes for the latest review of my Dark Fantasy novel Gossamer: A Story of Love and Tragedy! Here’s a tiny snippet: “Gossamer” is a mythical, almost philosophical book that strips the reader naked and forces us to challenge our assumptions about love with passages that will touch you in places inside yourself you forgot exist.

    Cool. You can read the rest of the review over here.
    And you can buy Gossamer, which you really should, from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and a bunch of other places. Thanks for all the support! I hope everybody is doing well!

    New review of Shock Totem #6 and reveal of issue #7

    There’s a new review of Shock Totem #6 on Hellnotes. Go check it out and grab a copy! They’re an amazing publication.

    shocktotem6 final cover

    Also check out the cover Ken Wood revealed for issue #7 here. If you’re not reading this magazine you’re missing out. 

    Soon I’ll also have an interview on here with the wonderful Mercedes M. Yardley. She’s my soul sister. I just read one of her unpublished novels and gave her a blurb because she is so incredibly talented it makes me want to cry.

    And as soon as writer/publisher K. Allen Wood has some free time I’m going to interview that bugger too. 

    Working hard to complete the second Thomas Morgan novel so I can send it to my pre-readers by the end of this month, and had a short story/novelette idea I started writing out of the blue, which is pretty cool since I haven’t written any shorter work in almost a year. It’s called On Cool, Autumn Evenings Like This One. It’s pretty wild, sad, beautiful, all that crap. 

    I hope everybody is well!

    Finished the first Julian Vaughn novel and other stuff

    Last night I finished the first draft of Earthly Things, the first novel I’ve written as Julian Vaughn. I am so excited about this story. Like The Lesser People (which I wrote as Thomas Morgan)  it’s a meaningful, beautiful, tragic story full of humanness. I’ve got to start editing it today so I can send it to my pre-readers by April 1st. Can’t wait to hear what they think of it and the feedback they offer. Then I’ll work in their feedback so I can see what Chip MacGregor thinks of it. I’m so excited about it.

    That sweetheart Jennifer at Book Den is hosting a 5 copy giveaway for my latest Lee Thompson novel Gossamer: A Story of Love and Tragedy. Go enter! And a big thanks to Jennifer!

    You can also buy Gossamer for your Kindle or snag it on other formats at Smashwords. Buy, read it, think about what it all means. Tell your friends who enjoy dark fiction. 

    Here’s the cover and a quick synopsis:

    Gossamer cover Final

    An ancient witch, Dorothy Good, has lost everything to the vampire who has blown in on the hot desert wind and lain waste to her soul and her town. When a young family arrives at the end of a two week battle, she sees a chance to end the bloodshed and possibly regain a portion of what was stolen.

    But they’re heavily outnumbered and night is falling…

    Currently reading James Lee Burke’s Cadillac Jukebox. He’s amazing. And fellow Dark Fiction writer Brett J. Talley has sent me a copy of Limbus Inc., which I look forward to checking out this next week! Thanks Brett! 

    My buddy Les Edgerton has had a bunch of interviews lately. He’s an intelligent, talented and humorous cracker. 

    I’m also super pumped about Bouchercon. Last year I met John Connolly, Michael Connelly, Michael Koryta, Michael Stanley (Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip), Les Edgerton, and a number of other wonder book lovers there. And this year my best writing buddy Shaun Ryan is going with me! We’re going to tear it up, and learn a lot, and make memories that we can look back on with great fondness later in life. 

    Anyway, time to knock out some editing on Earthly Things. Go make your dreams a reality.