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Pre-order HOUSE OF NETTLE AND THORN

I may be a bit of a fan of author Todd Keisling (and feel quite proud to call him a friend), so I HAD to share the news that his latest Ugly Little Thing, HOUSE OF NETTLE AND THORN, is now available for pre-order.

 

In case you aren’t familiar with Todd’s Ugly Little Things, he has penned an eclectic mix of horrific, terrifying and cringe-inducing tales that continue to garner rave reviews (and invoke nightmares). It offers new readers an introduction to his signature dark, introspective style while quelling the hunger of his rabid fanbase just itching for his longer works.

 

You can grab a pre-order copy for $2.99 at Amazon or for your Nook.

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ABOUT HOUSE OF NETTLE AND THORN

From the twisted mind that brought you THE HARBINGER comes a new tale of the macabre.

Following a devastating breakup, Jim Auster’s roommate Nick suggests an off-campus sorority party to cure Jim’s heartache. “Be my wingman tonight,” Nick tells him, “and I’ll introduce you to some of the ladies in my history class.” Jim is reluctant about being Nick’s wingman, but he figures the party beats sulking in his dorm room all night.

When they arrive, the unnerving atmosphere shakes Jim’s resilience. The neighborhood is abandoned, the sorority’s front gate bears the ominous effigy of a man in submission, and the sorority sisters’ strange talk of harvests and reconciliations only work to further disturb Jim.

Try to relax, he tells himself. It’s just a party. After all, a little socializing never hurt anyone . . .

In his latest ugly little thing, Todd Keisling invites readers on a journey into the depths of madness and desire. Welcome to the HOUSE OF NETTLE AND THORN. We’ve been expecting you.

 

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PS Showcase #10: Dark Dreams, Pale Horses [hc]

PS Showcase #10: Dark Dreams, Pale Horses [hc] - Rio Youers I want to write like Rio when I grow up! This book is beautifully written, with layers of darkness, sadness and rich detail. Truly amazing.

The Harbinger

The Harbinger - Todd Keisling With the release of the 4th story in his Ugly Little Things series, Todd Keisling doesn’t shy away from getting even uglier...and nastier...and decidedly creepier.

The premise sounds innocent enough. Reporter Felix Proust is sent on assignment to Dalton, WV, famous for its line of life-like dolls which have become the town’s bread and butter since the mine closed down in the ‘70’s.

Soon after arriving, Felix begins to see cracks in the sleepy little town’s facade. The adults in town are solemn and joyless, and the children are strangely hostile toward Felix. Even the town drunk warns Felix that he should get out before it’s too late...but what fun would that be?

Horror story or not, it’s obvious Keisling had a fun time writing this one and readers are in for a tale that is reminiscent of all the best parts of a classic horror story - it scares, it thrills and it may even sicken you a little but that’s a good thing, believe it or not.

This latest tale in Keisling’s Ugly Little Things series shows the author has a firm grasp on what it takes to keep readers entranced until, just like Felix Proust, it’s too late to prevent the inevitable.

Luckily for readers, that means finding your new favorite horror author. Considering what happens to Felix Proust, you’re getting off easy!

Radio Free Nowhere

Radio Free Nowhere - Todd Keisling This first story in Todd Keisling’s UGLY LITTLE THINGS collection is an ominous little tale that left me simultaneously shivering and salivating, wanting more.

Ashley and Conrad head out for a little spin through the wilds of West Virginia, but even though it all sounds sultry and romantic, they don’t just hear the dulcet sounds of Chorus Frogs and Hoot Owls. What they encounter is something forgotten, something submerged, something full of false promise.

Have you read “You Know They Got a Hell of a Band” from Stephen King’s Nightmares and Dreamscapes?

In it, King’s couple are driving down a country road, lost and when the husband finally asks for directions, stumbles upon a small town diner with a unique little secret.

In Radio Free Nowhere, the couple is not necessarily lost, but they do encounter something shrouded in those dark and winding roads, and Keisling uses the remoteness to his full advantage.

The thing I like about Radio Free Nowhere? Todd roots the story in reality, making it something any one of us can relate to and wonder..."What if that happened to me? Wait...that could happen to me!"

Subtle horror is at its best when it plants a seed and allows the reader not to be led but to imagine what would happen if put in the main character’s shoes. Keisling does this flawlessly, allowing true terror to slither up the back of your neck and make your skin prickle with the thrill of it.

Radio Free Nowhere is just a teaser of what Todd Keisling has in store for readers, and I can’t wait to read what other Ugly Little Things come next.

The Liminal Man

The Liminal Man - Todd Keisling Sequels can be difficult. As a reader, you want the 2nd book in a series to live up to the expectations you have after reading the 1st. As an author, you want to enhance the narrative of the 1st by adding, growing, or changing the lives of your characters and the world in which they live.

In The Liminal Man, author Todd Keisling manages to do both by going decidedly deeper into the Monochrome, the world in which title character Donovan Candle only managed a glimpse in book 1, A Life Transparent.

At the end of ALT, Donovan made the vow to change his life, not only for the better, but to prevent himself from “flickering” from existence. In TLM, Donovan finds himself working in a new job as a P.I. with older brother Mike and about to become a father with wife Donna.

But all is not peachy keen, especially when the dastardly Aleister Dullington, his henchman Albert Sparrow and their minions the Cretins and the Yawning are up to their old tricks again.

But TLM is not just a rehashing of the plot from book 1. It adds deeper shades of darkness when Donovan’s nephew Quinn goes missing. The return of Dullington and his hordes plunge Donovan into a world just as devoid of color yet teeming with something more sinister and darker than Donovan even realizes.

What he discovers in Dullington’s alternate underworld underlines the message of book 1, while forcing Donovan to realize that by only taking half-measures, he is still at risk of cheating himself out of the very things he desires, not to mention threatening his very existence, the futures of those he loves and the others who have fallen prey to the Monochrome and the creatures residing within.

alt_coverWhere A Life Transparent gave Donovan a glimpse at what his future could hold if he fails to live up to his full potential, The Liminal Man drags him across various thresholds he is too afraid to face and forces him to make a decision one way or another. The question for readers: how will Donovan react when the clock runs out and the time to make a decision is staring him in the face?

The Liminal Man is a thrilling, suspense-fueled ride with good and evil in a showdown, and the fate of one man inadvertently putting the lives of others in jeopardy. Add to that some evil little creatures, a bone-chilling underworld and forces that will stop at nothing until they get what they want, The Liminal Man kept me turning pages well into the night (and a little wary of taking the subway anymore, to be honest).

The Scourge

The Scourge - A.G. Henley If you are looking for a thrilling adventure with budding romance and the struggle to make a life in a dystopian future, The Scourge is a great read.

Read my full review at http://bloodybookish.com/2012/12/04/review-the-scourge-by-a-g-henley/

A Life Transparent

A Life Transparent - Todd Keisling Todd Keisling’s A Life Transparent explores the universal desire to make a mark and leave something tangible behind, but lead Donovan Candle is about to find out what happens when one does not live up to one’s potential.

Read my full review HERE and enter to win a copy (contest closes midnight Fri. Mar. 16)

Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits & Other Curious Things

Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits & Other Curious Things - Cate Gardner I think many people get the wrong impression of horror. It’s almost a dirty word in some cases, as it conjures up images of blood-soaked axes and mask-clad madmen.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m a horror lover through and through, and I am obviously not averse to the use of a little grisly gore to get the blood pumping.

But these days, authors everywhere are experimenting when it comes to horror fiction, and Cate’s book is a shining example of how one can add magic, surrealism, lyricism and beauty to the blood-soaked genre, and come away with something that is beautiful in its darkness.

Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits is like a perfect chocolate-box of dark fiction — delectable and indulgent, with hints of both sweetness and darkness.

With both shorter and longer pieces, as well as some prose mixed in for good measure, this sampling is meant to be enjoyed as you fancy.

Feel like indulging in a little fantastical fiction? Or maybe have a craving for something sinister or macabre?

There are stories for every palette here, and Cate’s intoxicating way with words will leave you wanting more.

There is atmosphere in every tale, like in The Scratch of An Old Record, where the sound echoes “along the upstairs hallway” and the mood creeps yet still manages to entice.

Not only do I envy Cate’s ability to weave these magical tales that entrance the reader so fully, she also masters the craft of creating titles that conjure up stark images that immediately draw one in.

From The Moth Brigade:
“Michael’s metal wings folded back as he tried to fade into the backdrop of the underground train.”

From Opheliac:
“Perched on a rusting shopping trolley, three fathoms below the surface, the man in the top hat and pinstripe suit wound a necklace made from teeth and bone around his knuckles.”

From The Forest Of Discarded Hearts:
“On a Tuesday morning in October, Ruby Ash discovered it is possible to disappear overnight; that all it takes is someone willing to wish you away”

Whether Cate is telling the tale of a curmudgeonly writer and the man in the white jacket who could be the answer to his lost nightmares (Insomniac Ink), the story of Sally Stevens and the magic parasol that allows her to fly as high as the heavens (Parasol Dance With The Chalkstripe Man), or the Grim Reaper Man and his below-world (Other Side of Nowhere), each tale feels like a curious adventure into the daydreams of fairies, ghosts and other night-dwelling creatures.

If you are looking for a book that will treat you to an otherworldly adventure without ever leaving your room, Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits offers readers a sneak peek into wondrous worlds where, underneath the darkness, the unusual and the strange are illuminated.

Black-Eyed Kids

Black-Eyed Kids - Ian Rogers Rogers continues to engage and intrigue with his trademark cross-over of the supernatural mystery, which is both a blessing and a curse. He draws you in with the characterization of title character Felix Renn, if only to get you just as hooked as I am…then uses your complacency to deliver you into the company of supernatural entities known as Black Eyed Kids.

You can read my full review at Bloody Bookish

You can also win a copy of Black Eyed Kids, along with the 2 other Felix Renn chapbooks in my Giveaway

Uprooted

Uprooted - Anthony J. Rapino This little chapbook is a gem, offering 3 different stories that provide a delightfully dark sampling of Tony’s writing.

For my full review, check out Bloody Bookish!

Broken Nightlights

Broken Nightlights - Barry Napier Whether you are in the mood for quiet horror, something more poetic or prefer a bit of gore, this collection shows Barry’s talent is far-reaching and tinged with darkness.

For my full review, check out Bloody Bookish!

Crooked Stick Figures

Crooked Stick Figures - Lee  Thompson Crooked Stick Figures is a skin-prickling journey into a world where evil lurks not just behind the closed doors of a black stone house but within its very walls.

For my full review, check out Bloody Bookish

The Bottom Feeders and Other Stories Bonus Edition

The Bottom Feeders and Other Stories Bonus Edition - Aaron Polson Loved it! Gave me creepy dreams throughout. Will be posting a full review at http://www.misswrite.net soon
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My Review:

The Bottom Feeders is a 14-story collection of dark and foreboding tales from author and teacher Aaron Polson.

You know those writers whose pen bewitches and enchants yet somehow it seems effortless? Aaron is one of those authors.

One of the things I like about Aaron’s writing is that on the surface, everything appears normal. It reminds me of those side-by-side comic strips where you have to compare the two and find the one thing that is out of place.

Aaron’s tales have that one thing that is askew, and he utilizes that one thing to entice readers; to challenge them to come a little closer, to peer a little more intently. And by the time the reader realizes things are not quite right, there is no turning back.

The important thing is – I don’t want to turn back. I can’t help but go deeper into the darkness Aaron has created.

Whether it is the pallid-skinned town folk living in the dying carcass of Broughton’s Hollow in In Hollow Fields; the scraping, slow-building chill a young boy experiences after an unexpected stranger appears in Shovel Man Comes Callin’; or the tainted and ravenous creatures whose obliteration of a group of friends in Grim Adaptations is just the beginning, these tales find their way under your skin and they don’t tickle so much as prickle and unnerve.

The Bottom Feeders is not hit-you-over-the-head horror. It is whispers in the dark; a creeping sensation up the back of your neck; dark things that cannot — or will not — remain buried. Like a bristling sliver, the frightening things found in The Bottom Feeders always make their way to the surface, and unveil the hidden horrors that lie beneath the places one least expects them.

Aaron’s voice will instantly draw you in no matter what story you read. And that’s where the slope gets slippery — because once you are just about to get comfortable and lose yourself in Aaron’s writing, that is when he turns the tables on you with his deftly woven prose that is steeped in subtle (and often skin-chilling) horror that is lyrical and poetic.

The Bottom Feeders is a strong collection. Each of the 14 tales interlocks with the next, allowing the uneasiness of the reader to build to a terror-pitch that will have you wondering about the hidden horrors all around you.

To pick up a copy of The Bottom Feeders (for only $0.99!), head over to Amazon or Smashwords (for the Bonus Edition which Includes 4 tales not found in the free edition–two previously unpublished).

For more information on Aaron Polson, his writing and his latest publications, visit his website.

Thanks for the nightmares, Aaron! I enjoyed this collection immensely

Temporary Monsters

Temporary Monsters - Ian Rogers Right from the 1st line, “The waiter got killed before he could drop off the bill”, which is so stark, it immediately plunges you into the heart of the action, readers are thrown into a world where monsters are the norm and the Paranormal Intelligence Agency (PIA) and the paranormal itself acts as a dangling carrot that entices both readers and Renn alike.

For my full review, check out Bloody Bookish.