January 22, 2014

Chasing Tale [1/22/13]: I Will Not Complain About Winter

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.

No sir, I will not complain about winter. The hip-deep snow, the whiplashing winds, the treacherously icy sidewalks, the bone-snapping cold ... sigh ... no, I will not complain about winter. Every time I find myself about to piss and moan about some aspect of the winter, I remind myself that I loathe the oppressive heat of summer much more than the most frigid January morning. I'm built like a polar bear anyway, so I can deal with this. I've got a warm coat, sturdy boots, some hot chocolate in the cupboard, and a snow shovel. I'll deal.

But goddamn, I'm over winter, y'all.

Evenings of being snowed in do afford me some time to read, to whisk myself away to some other universe devoid of arctic landscapes. And the last month has been a blizzard of books. Don't believe me? Here are more than twenty books that showed up on my Kindle and in my mailbox.

Kiss Me, Judas by Will Christopher Baer - This novel sounds like it could be really cool, because it takes the ol' urban myth of waking up in a seedy motel bathtub with a missing kidney and just amps it up to eleven. I'm not good with body horror, and I'll probably get a wee bit squeamish if there's an actual scene involving an amateur nephrectomy, but this book sounds promising.

Talking Walls and Cigarettes by Erin Beck and Kelli Beck - Here's a short story collection from two authors conspicuously sharing the same last name. Are they sisters? Maybe. Are they clones? Who's to say. All I'm saying is that they are most definitely not evil robots bent on humanity's end. Then again ...

Roman Dalton: Werewolf P.I. by Paul D. Brazill - This is a collection of stories involving--what else?--a werewolf private eye. The concept is the brainchild of Brazill, however, and several more stories by various authors were also offered individually as freebies over New Year's.

Hiram Grange and the Village of the Damned by Jake Burrows - This is the first of five books in the Hiram Grange series, which looks to be a macabre mix of horror and fantasy and mystery. I had a quick look at the interior of the ebook and it looks like the lads at Shroud Publishing went the extra mile to make this a pretty one.

Stirred by Blake Crouch and J.A. Konrath - A collaboration featuring Konrath's Jacqueline Daniels and Blake Crouch's Luther Kite. I saw it listed for a buck on the Kindle Store, and since I already have most of their collaborations on my Kindle already, I thought why not.

Snake Eyes by Joseph D'Lacey - I have a couple of D'Lacey's books on my wish list, keeping his name on my radar like a lot of writers, and I saw this title as a freebie from Bad Moon Books/Evil Jester Press and downloaded it. So, that's one down.

The Bitch by Les Edgerton - A name that pops up more and more in book recommendations for noir fiction is Les Edgerton. And his new novel coming out through New Pulp Press, The Bitch, is supposedly his best work yet. Alright then, let's check this out and see what has guys like Anthony Neil Smith, Ray Banks, and Vincent Zandri singing its praises.

Killing Mum and Bye Bye Baby by Allan Guthrie - These are a couple novellas I snagged as freebies off the Kindle Store about a month ago. For all the praise I've read about Guthrie's writing in the crime and thriller genres, they were hard to resist.

Racked by Jude Hardin & J.A. Konrath - This is a novella that works as a cross-over with Konrath's Jacqueline Daniels series and Hardin's Nicholas Colt series. It's one of several cross-overs Konrath has worked on with authors, and it should be interesting how the exercise plays out over the next year.

Darling by Brad Hodson - The second novel from Bad Moon/Evil Jester that I managed to get as a freebie over the holidays. An apartment complex with a wicked history and two roommates about to be put through hell. Oh yeah, been there, man.

Eulogies II: Tales from the Cellar edited by Christopher Jones, Nanci Kalanta & Tony Tremblay - An anthology from the fine folks at Horrorworld with a table of contents that is a who's who of horror authors. Gary A. Braunbeck, Maurice Broaddus, Tom Piccirilli, Nicole Cushing, and Gary McMahon to name but a few.

Candy House by Kate Jonez - I don't think I've ever actually read any of Kate's stories before, it's possible but my addled brain can't recall, so when Bad Moon/Evil Jester had this novel for free, I got it without hesitation. It looks like it involves a mad scientist and a haunted house, maybe. Either way, I intend to remedy my not having read Kate's work this year.

Earthworm Gods by Brian Keene - Tremors is one of my favorite movies, so why the heck shouldn't I buy a Kindle edition of Brian Keene's homage to giant worms. Heck, it was only 99 cents at the time I got it, so it was a no-brainer.

The Liminal Man by Todd Keisling - I dug Todd's short story in the Exquisite Deaths anthology from last year. So I know the guy can tell a good yarn. Well, he's got a novel out too, and a review copy has found its way onto my to-be-read pile.

Braineater Jones by Stephen Kozeniewski - You may recall Stephen stopping by the blog last fall with a great guest post relating to this inventive zombie novel. Well, now I have a copy of the book on my to-be-read pile thanks to the folks at Red Adept Publishing.

Live By Night by Dennis Lehane - I have read two of Lehane's novels, Shutter Island and Mystic River, and really enjoyed them. But I was at a loss in choosing a third novel to put on my TBR pile, until I listened to an episode of The Library Police as they absolutely raved this story about the rise of a rum runner. I can go for that.

The Wormwood Code by Douglas Lindsay - I subscribe to the Blasted Heath newsletter thanks in no small part to being a fan of Ray Banks' stories, so over the holidays a notice came in for a new Douglas Lindsay novella. And it was a free download. Top drawer.

Hell Manor by Lisa Morton - A novella set in a haunted house on Halloween. Novella? Hauntings? Halloween? Three of my favorite things packed in one book. Sounds good to me.

Broken Skies Book 1: The Sick Ones by Barry Napier - Here's the first installment of a serial novel from the talented Barry Napier. I still have a couple of his full-length novels on my TBR pile, but the enticement of a free book was too good to resist, and likely a gateway drug into eventually buying the rest of the Broken Skies books.

The Heretic by Joseph Nassise - I signed up for Nassise's newsletter and wound up receiving a free ebook for my troubles. Not too shabby. There were actually a few ebooks to choose from, so thanks Joe for that, but this urban fantasy was the first in a series and looked like a good place to hop on the bandwagon.

Silent City by Alex Segura - A debut mystery novel from a Miami native via Codorus Press, this one looks like a pretty bleak and beguiling portrait of Segura's hometown amid some pretty grim subject matter.

Pale Horses by Nate Southard - After showing his ability to write a darned good horror story, Southard's first crime novel came out through Snubnose Press late last year. I think it might still be on sale for 99 cents, which is what I paid for it a few weeks ago, so there ya go.

Cold Storage, Alaska by John Straley - A new crime novel from Soho Crime that's set in--you guessed it--Alaska. It's set for release next month and looks really promising. And somehow, with it being about an ex-con contending with a resentful brother, an ailing mother, a vengeful ex-partner, a rueful cop, and possible mental illness, Straley has apparently injected a fair bit of humor in this one. Dark humor by the sounds of it.

In the Blood by Lisa Unger - Here's a new thriller out this winter through Simon & Schuster. This one has a psychological battle of wills between an embattled babysitter and her manipulative charge. It has already garnered glowing praise from the likes of Dennis Lehane, so that's a step in the right direction, I imagine.

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