January 3, 2014

Chasing Tale [01/03/14]: My New Year's Reading Resolution for 2014

Chasing Tale is a regular look at the books that I recently added to my to-be-read pile. Some are advance review copies, some I bought from one store or another, and others are freebies from promotional offers that caught my eye.

Okay, boys and girls, get ready because this is going to be a long one. From the Cyber Monday sales, which saw me scoring a couple ebooks for 99 cents each, to the freebies, to the ARCs that arrived, to the gifts that came on Christmas Day, December was chockful of books. It's a good thing ebooks don't weigh much, otherwise I'd throw my back out, and quite frankly the snow shovel is plenty capable of that already, thank you very much.

I hope you all had a great holiday season, with lots of books under the tree, but in case you didn't then here are a slew of titles that you might be interested in enough to go get for yourself:

ArtificialEvil by Colin F.Barnes - The first book in Barnes' Techxorcist series. When I first heard the word "techxorcist," in my mind I pictured "Texorcist," like an exorcist from Texas for something. Turns out it's a techno-thriller from a writer who is apparently a bit of a workhorse, having written a million words in 2013. Holy shit.

TheSins of the Fathers byLawrence Block - As thankful as I am for the convenience factor of the Kindle Store and the like, but there's something to be said for hunting down an old paperback in the shadowy corners of your favorite bookshop. And so it was that I happened upon a slightly tattered copy of this novel, the first in the Matthew Scudder series.

KnownDevil by JustinGustainis - This is the third book in the Occult Crimes Unit Investigation series, coming out this month from Angry Robot. I haven't read the first two books yet, but I've heard these urban fantasy novels are easily accessible, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Likea Woman Scorned byRandi Hart - Here's a romance-thriller that showed up in my inbox recently. And if Randi Hart isn't a pen name, then I'm going on a limb to say she was born to write romance-thrillers.

TheFriends of Eddie Coyle byGeorge V. Higgins - I stumbled upon a first edition hardcover of this old crime novel. It's in remarkably good condition for being over forty years old, though now that it's in my hands it may very well fall apart at the seams. If that's the case, I may need to sneak it near the top of my TBR pile.

ShatteredbyC.S. Kane - If you know me, you know I'm a sucker for a haunted house story. This novella published by DarkFuse sounds like it's extra creepy, and I can't recall ever reading Kane's work, but I'm keen on checking out her work.

The Long Fall by Lynn Kostoff - Another crime writer I've been meaning to check out. It caught my eye because of the feuding brothers theme with the straight-laced brother cutting his ex-con brother out of the inheritance left by their father, which provokes the ex-con brother to go on a crime spree, knocking over the goody-goody brother's chain of dry cleaning stores. Throw in a crazy cop, some black-market cacti, and a jumpy ex-stewardess, and you've got yourself a cool-sounding crime novel.

TheIntern's Handbook byShane Kuhn - What if an intern placement agency doubled as a squad of assassins? Well, that's what we have here, with a pseudo-confessional by a hitman named John Lago, as he sets out to kill a bigtime lawyer by posing as one of the firm's lowly interns. Cool premise.

Hot in December by Joe R.Lansdale - A new novella from the master storyteller, published by Dark Regions Press, and just in time to heat up this cold, unforgiving season. A good old-fashioned psychological thriller, too. Can't wait to read it.

The Thief of Broken Toys by Tim Lebbon - I put this book on my wish list way back in WLW#84. It's a story of a grieving father over the loss of his son, along with a preternatural twist akin to Lebbon's work. So when Chizine put it, along with all of their ebook titles, on sale for 99 cents during the Black Friday weekend a month ago, I snagged it toot sweet.

Things Withered bySusie Moloney - From Chizine, comes a new short story collection from yet another award-winning author. They have a nasty habit of doing that. I checked out the introduction by Kaaron Warren, and it sounds like I'm in for a treat.

Netherworld by Lisa Morton - A new offering from Journalstone Publishing that appears to be in the vein of steampunk, but with Lisa Morton penning the tale, I suspect there is a bit darker tone than some of the more whimsical fare you'll find in the genre.

Pentecost by J.F. Penn - Joanna Penn's podcast, The Creative Penn, has been on my playlist for a year or more now. A really good podcast for readers and writers alike. Along with interviewing and public speaking, she's also an author. I haven't been in a hurry to grab this novel though, since I've had a tainted view of her chosen genre thanks to Dan Brown. Well, nuts to that stereotyping. It's on the TBR pile now.

Briarpatch by Tim Pratt - Here's another Chizine title I snagged on the cheap. I mentioned this one back in WLW#103. This fantasy tale blends two things that haunt many men, those being the meaning of the universe ... and ex-girlfriends.

Wild Fell byMichael Rowe - A ghost story about a man stuck with the fixer-upper from Hell. Actually, this Chizine publication sounds like an homage to those old gothic horror novels of old, with a modern sensibility added for good measure. Sounds good to me.

The Fading Place by Mary SanGiovanni - I've never read SanGiovanni's work, but I've heard good things. This is an ARC on a novella set to come out via DarkFuse in a couple months. With it starting with an abduction and just getting even more frightening from there apparently, I'm eager to check this one out. Heck, February is Women in Horror Month, so that might be an opportune time.

TheDeep by MickeySpillane - I found this old paperback in a cardboard box brimming with mystery novels. I was just trying to stay out of the rain that day and hadn't planned on buying a book, but this was a mere buck and I had some loose change, so there ya go. No idea what it's about, but what does that matter?

The Eyes Unseen by Cynthia Tottleben - This is a novel set for release in the new year that Journalstone has marked as a possible breakout from their lineup. A debut novel, at that. Always nice to check out a new writer's first published book. Like getting in on the ground floor, so to speak.

The John Cleaver Trilogy byDan Wells - I've heard really good things about Dan Wells' John Cleaver trilogy (I'm Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster, and I Don't Want to Kill You), about a teen boy struggling with fears of becoming a serial killer, but I've also heard some criticism about this first book in the series and a rather drastic shift in tone. Hey, despite finding out about that pseudo-spoiler, I'm still looking forward to checking this one out after finding all three books at a used-book shop.

JohnDies at the End byDavid Wong - I haven't a clue what this book is about, only that near everyone I know who's read has loved it. Bizarro as a genre is a mixed bag with me though, and I wonder if I'm going to wind up one of the readers who seethes with frustration after reading it. Oh well, time will tell.


  1. Oh yippee!!! I featured John Dies at the End's book trailer on my blog before I switched things over. I haven't read it but saw it on Netflix and couldn't pass it up. 5 stars for the movie. It was a nice blend of horror and comedy with the bizarro things thrown in there. Can't wait to hear what you think of the book.

  2. Oh yippee!!! I featured John Dies at the End's book trailer on my blog before I switched things over. I haven't read it but saw it on Netflix and couldn't pass it up. 5 stars for the movie. It was a nice blend of horror and comedy with the bizarro things thrown in there. Can't wait to hear what you think of the book.

  3. I figure I'll hold off watching the movie until after I've read the book, but good to know the movie is a goodun.