March 12, 2014

Chasing Tale [3/12/14]: Goddamn Books

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.

I read a novel recently (Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis)and while I enjoyed it, I enjoyed this scathing one-star review just as much. The reviewer didn't finish the book, instead literally threw it away in disgust after reading a single piece of dialogue. What was the loathsome line?

"Jesus fucking Christ on a goddamn bicycle."

I guess that counts as blasphemy, and enough so to cause at least one reader to hurl the book across the room in case the pestilent page gets struck by lightning or something. I dunno. It was a fantasy novel that's very premise could be construed as blasphemous with scenes involving or discussing witchcraft, vampirism, demonic rituals, and--gasp--atheism. I mean, what's a good Christian soldier doing picking up a novel like that in the first place? Asking for trouble, that's what.

Stick to Nancy Drew, that's what I say. Might also want to steer clear of some of these books too, which I recently added to my to-be-read pile since I don't blanch at bad words.

The Damnation Game by Clive Barker - CrossroadPress recently released an audiobook of Clive Barker's debut novel. This is one of those books I've been meaning to read for a dog's age, so reviewing the Audible version should remedy that. And I hear Neil Gaiman's American Gods is reminiscent of this one, and I loved that novel, so fingers crossed.

Dead Five's Pass by Colin F.Barnes - This is novella out through DarkFuse, which sounds creepy as heck with a Lovecraftian vibe. Definitely keen on checking this one out. I also have Barnes' debut novel on my TBR pile, but me thinks I'll dive into this first.

R.I.P. Robbie Silva by Tony Black - Here's a novella out through Blasted Heath from a Scottish crime writer who gets a fair bit of praise from writers across the pond. This one has an ex-con getting roped into a wild ride with a gangster's unbridled daughter.

Breaking Point by Gerard Brennan - This is another novella from Blasted Heath, this one a sequel to Brennan's The Point. I haven't read The Point yet, but with this one involving Stony Tony, a kung fu lovin' pot dealer, imposing himself on the lives of a couple of his clients, I better get that fixed.

The First One You Expect by Adam Cesare - I've been hearing a little buzz about Broken River Books and their 2013 lineup of books, and now it seems Adam Cesare is set to join the ranks in 2014 with this bleak novella about a low-budget filmmaker desperate enough for success to hit a new low. Yup. Sounds like another good one from Mr. Cesare.

The War of the Moonstone by Jack Conner - Epic fantasy. Man, that's always a bit of a coin flip with me. Still, I keep trying to step out of my comfort zone reading-wise, so this one goes on the TBR pile, too.

I Am The New God by Nicole Cushing - I quite enjoyed Nicole's first published novella from DarkFuse last year, so when I learned that she has a new one coming out soon, I just had to get my hands on a review copy.

The Best Horror of the Year Volume 4 edited by Ellen Datlow - Night Shade Books placed this anthology on sale in February, so I plunked down a couple Kindle bucks to get it, since I'm fairly certain that anything with Ellen Datlow's name on the cover is going to entertain.

The Girls of Bunker Pines by Garnett Elliott - Beat to a Pulp has a new series of stories from Elliott, featuring a private eye that lives in a horse trailer hitched to the back of his car as he travels the countryside solving crimes. I have a hunch I'm gonna enjoy The Drifter Detective series.

Fiends by John Farris - Chet Williamson and Crossroad Press sent me a review copy of this audiobook after I caught wind of it on Facebook. I've read two of Farris' novels, but that was years ago and I figured third time might be a charm with an audiobook version this time.

The Living Dead Boy by Rhiannon Frater - Here's a zombie novel with a heart of gold. No idea whether the brain is gold too, but Rhiannon Frater was inspired by her nephew who has apparently grown up to be as into zombies as she is. Aw, how sweet. But is it scary? Time will tell.

Cotton Comes to Harlem by Chester Himes - When I bought this, I got it mixed up with A Rage in Harlem by Himes. Cotton Comes to Harlem is actually the seventh book in his Harlem Cycle of crime novels, but that's fine by me. It's also acclaimed and apparently has a great film adaptation too, like A Rage in Harlem.

Left to Wander by Alexander Holmquist - If wolves and cannibals weren't enough to keep a fella on his toes, throw in some mindless flesh-eaters called Darklings and you've got a party--and the stakes for Holmquists's debut novel.

The Twelve-Fingered Boy and The Shibboleth by John Hornor Jacobs - These are the first two books in John's Incarcerado trilogy, with the first book introducing a young juvi-inmate named Shreve who befriends a strange twelve-fingered boy named Jack, only to wind up embroiled in a supernatural conspiracy. Sounds like a really cool kickstart to the trilogy.

Dark Hollow by Brian Keene - Not everyday a horror novel features a satyr. Or is it? Either way, with Keene the one doing the writing, I'm in. I already have a few of his novels waiting to be read, but what's one more.

The Black Dog Eats the City by Chris Kelso - With some praise from the likes of Graham Masterton, Nate Southard, Steve Vernon. and others, it looks like Kelso is well on his way to carving out his own niche in the horror genre, and this novella sounds disturbing to a spectacular degree.

Cold in July by Joe R.Lansdale - A film adaptation of this novel is coming out later in the year, and since I'm a fella that usually wants to read the book before I see the movie, I figured it was about time I read this much-ballyhooed crime novel.

Rot by Michele Lee - Here's a novella with zombies and a retired soldier working as security for a long-term care facility for the undead, since no one wants to care for their reanimated family members themselves. Interesting premise, that's for sure.

Barney Thompson: Zombie Killer / The Face of Death / The End of Days by Douglas Lindsay - Three horrific, satirical, and British novellas featuring barber extraordinaire, Barney Thompson, in one apocalyptic predicament after another. Neat.

Get Katja by Simon Logan - Chizine sent me a new ARC. I'm not too sure what it's about, but the title and the cover are fantastic, so it has that going for it. And Chizine isn't in the habit of published mediocre stuff, either. Gonna have to look into this one, because it might be a sequel.

Crawl by Edward Lorn - Here's a new novelette from Ed. Don't know what it's about, but I'll bet it's gruesome. I may need to read this one while clutching my blue blankie.

Tankbread by Paul Mannering - Here's a zombie novel of sorts from the folks at Permuted Press. It's the end of the world, zombies everywhere, and to appease the undead hordes, humans feed them clones. Yummy.

Anomaly byM.J. Moore - Melissa stopped by the blog a few weeks ago with a guest post and short story from this new collection. It has ten horrific short stories with monsters as the connecting theme. Hey, I like monsters. Throw in some ghosts and robots and M.J. would hit the trifecta.

Our Blood In Its Blind Circuit byJ. David Osborne - Another book from Broken River Books, this one a collection of twelve short stories by the founder. I think Osborne is still the one-man army of Broken River, unless he's managed to chain some lackey to his radiator by now, so the idea he can run a small press and write his own stories too is mind-boggling.

An Agreement with Hell by Dru Pagliassotti - It pays to have connections, or in this case a subscription to the Apex newsletter, which offered me a free ebook. Of the three choices, I saw this darkly themed title and thought it would be a good read. A mix of horror and urban fantasy by the looks of it. Suits me fine and the price was right, too.

Best New Werewolf Tales Vol. 1 by Carolina Smart - I already have the first volumes of Best New Vampire Tales and Best New Zombie Tales from Books of the Dead Press, so I suppose it was only natural that I should add this anthology to my Kindle, too.

I Have a Bad Feeling About This by Jeff Strand - A new YA novel coming out in March by one of the funniest, sickest minds in the game. This one has two nerdy best friends getting shipped off to a pretty shady looking summer camp to get whipped into shape by a hard-ass counselor that just might kill 'em before the summer's over.


Parish Damned by Lee Thomas - I picked up this novella through Smashwords, and it sounds like a chiller of a tale with a small coastal town beseiged by not only a curse, but predators springing from the sea. Ahoy, indeed.


The Whisperer in Dissonance by Ian Welke - The last time I saw Ian's name was in the table of contents we shared for Arcane II. Cool to see he has a new novel out through Omnium Gatherum, and boy oh boy, does it sound grizzly.

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