February 25, 2015

Vamp-Hire by @GeraldRice @PermutedPress


Author: Gerald Dean Rice
Publisher: Permuted Press

Book Description via amazon.com--
Mankind has won the Vampire Conflict. But the cost of victory is that a few humans have been turned into vamps–half human, half vampire. Prejudice against the vamps is high so finding work is near impossible. Plus, the slightest infraction could send any one of them back to the Pens, a place that’s as awful as any place on Earth.

Nick is a loner who walks a narrow line between legal and illegal to make ends meet. He begrudgingly shares his home with a woman and her young child and finds work doing odd jobs suited only to vamps. When a chance encounter seems like it could lead into real work, Nick discovers he’s in more danger than ever. The military is trying to kidnap him, and something old and hungry has begun to roam the streets preying on his kind. To fight this ancient evil, he has to reach out to his own kind for help–and decide how human he is after all.

I usually cringe when I hear the word Young-Adult(YA), and reviewing another YA novel wasn't one of my top priorities. But when the author has a past of producing some great horror fiction like Mr. Rice; I would be stupid to pass of the opportunity.

The story is set in a world where humans have survived a vampire war. Like all wars there are casualties. Since the conflict some have been turned into hybrids known as 'Vamps'(half human half vampire). The world hasn't come to terms with these new 'vamps' so prejudice and emotions run high leading to the hybrids being incarcerated in the 'pens' or worse dead.

Nick is the primary focus of the story. He is a loner and a 'vamp' struggling to survive and to stay out of the 'pens'. As a reader, it was fun to follow the character of Nick as he began to explore and push himself to new boundaries.

Below the fabric of this YA vampire story, sits a concept that mirrors today's society. Ex-cons are often looked down upon and rejected for jobs that they would have been hired for if not for the fact they were in prison. I could go on about the parallels between the society in the story and our own, but that would make for boring reading and plus this is just my personal opinion.

"Vamp-Hire" is another great read from the author and I hope to see Nick's journey continue in future stories.

Rating of Four Skulls

January 20, 2015

The Rose Man(Single Shot Short Story Series Book 12) @TerryMWest

The Rose Man

Author: Terry M. West

Author Terry M West
It’s 1987. Dane Morrison, a middle-aged ad agency sales rep, meets an enigmatic street rose salesman during a hot summer in Houston, Texas. As Dane learns more about the Rose Man, Dane’s dreams and reality become a hellish playground for the unearthly vagabond. And as Dane soon discovers, where love and hope are found, the Rose Man walks… 
"The Rose Man" is the twelfth release within the author's single shot series. In this short, Dane Morrison meets an old man who is selling roses on the side of the road. Upon their meeting, Dane's dreams and the waking world become twisted and soon he finds himself in grip of the supernatural.

The Rose Man is a unique character that snuck through my defense. I knew with this author's previous work that I should expect a nice twist or something completely different that what I expect. In this case Mr. West caught me and boy was it ever worth it.
"I understand ," Carol replied. She crouched back over. "He's green, Dane! My husband is dead and green!"
"The Rose Man" was thought to be lost but recently the author recovered it. It's clear why this story won first place in the1987 Guilded Quill Awards. My only complaint with this short is I feel like The Rose Man is such an enigmatic figure that he deserves more; or well the fans need more of him.

If you are a fan of Mr. West's previous works, then this is a must read. For newcomers, it's a great short to introduce you to the author's twisted mind.
Four Skulls

Terry M. West is a well known author, filmmaker, actor and artist. He has written several books in the young adult field (most notably the graphic novel series, Confessions of a Teenage Vampire) and he has also written several horror short stories as well as the horror/thriller novel, Dreg. His work has appeared (or is scheduled to appear) in FrightNet, Scream Factory, Agony In Black, Lacunae, Jackhammer, House of Pain, Dark Muse, Moonletters, Silent Screams, When Red Snow Melts, One Hellacious Halloween, Deathmongers, Vignettes from the End of the World, Axes of Evil and Zombified 2.
Author Terry M west

He was a finalist for the 1997 International Horror Guild Award for a short story (The Night Out) and he made the 1999 Bram Stoker Award preliminary ballot for a piece of long fiction (Hair and Blood Machine). He was also mentioned on the 1997 TV Guide Sci-Fi Hot List.

West's books and collections include: A PSYCHO'S MEDLEY, WHAT PRICE GORY?, DEAD AWARE: A Horror Tale Told in Screenplay, CECIL & BUBBA MEET THE THANG, HEROIN IN THE MAGIC NOW, THE GIVING OF THINGS COLD & CURSED and special collectors editions of CAR NEX, MIDNIGHT SNACK and CECIL & BUBBA MEET A SUCCUBUS.

His filmography includes his debut film, Blood for the Muse (based on his comic book of the same name which was a finalist for the 1998 International Horror Guild Award for a comic) and Flesh for the Beast.
Terry currently writes and paints in southern California with his wife, Regina, and their son, Terrence. Terry is an active member of the Horror Writer's Association. Terry is also the managing editor of the Halloween/Horror website, halloweenforevermore.com Visit his site: terrymwest.com

January 18, 2015

A Life of Death Book Two: The Golden Bulls @WestonKincade

A Life of Death Book Two: The Golden Bulls

Author: Weston Kincade
Publisher: Book of the Dead Press

Detective Drummond traces his steps in the years since his childhood, but a mysterious serial killer who evaded the police for over fifteen years is still on the loose, annually performing ritual sacrifices and burning the victims. Alex’s skills at reliving the brutal murders are put to the test when so little is left of the victims

In "A Life of Death: Book One" the author introduced us to Alex Drummond a kid trying his best to cope with his father's death and the discovery of his new ability. In 'The Golden Bulls', Detective Alex Drummond must retrace his past in search of a serial killer. This is the case that pushes his ability to the limit.

The author does a great job of showing the readers how far our young Alex has come since childhood. He's now married and has a son and is a successful detective. Not only that but Mr. Drummond has learned to embrace his ability. His ability is unique but it doesn't come without it's dangers, which I'm glad to see the author delve into deeper. In the first book, it's revealed that Alex can feel pain and emotion during these experiences but in Book Two we get to see that these experiences can and do take a toll on the main character.

Drummond has a lot at risk in this novel and that helps boost the suspense and action of this second installment leaving the reader biting there nails as they continue to the next page or chapter. I found myself wanting to read for a couple minutes only to get sucked in and spend hours in the author's world.

If you haven't read "A Life of Death: Book One"(review), then do yourself a favor and  check out both installments. Paranormal and suspense fans will not be disappointed.

Creative writing has always been a passion for Weston Kincade. He's helped invest in future writers for years while teaching writing. In his spare time he writes poetry and short stories in addition to his novels. He also edits and operates WAKE Editing when not spending time with his wife and Maine Coon cat, Hermes, who talks so much he must be a speaker for the Gods. Weston is currently working on a variety of paranormal and fantasy novels. As the wordsmithing process continues, he loves stretching the boundaries of human understanding.

January 13, 2015

Interview with Author D.S. Ullery @dsullery

And we're back! HorrorNerd here and it's been a drought here in form of content but I'm back. I recently had the opportunity to get to know Author D.S. Ullery. Hope you enjoy the interview and be sure to check out the author's work.
From 2002-2003, D.S. repeatedly contributed material to the independent horror magazine Hacker's Source, during which time his short story "I Knew the Witch" was published in the magazine.

Following his tenure at Hacker, D.S. worked as a full time writer at The Lake Worth Herald, the community newspaper of his hometown Lake Worth, Florida. After that, the cinema bug bit him and he enrolled in the Palm Beach Film School, completing the program in early 2008 and going on to write, direct, edit and -in two instances- appear in four independent short films, all of which are available for viewing on Youtube and at least one of which is straight supernatural horror.
In May of 2013, after an almost five year absence from writing fiction, D.S. returned to the craft he loves so much.
The author can be found online at: Facebook Twitter

  • Your story "Gruff123" dealt with school bullying. Growing up did you experience bullying and did those experiences inspire you to write "Gruff123"?
Good question. Yes, I was frequently bullied in school – I had a stalker at one point- and yes that was something which informed the narrative. I'm also a survivor of years of childhood abuse, so the idea of people who terrorize both psychologically and physically those who are vulnerable is a theme in my work.  My short story “Afloat” is another one that touches on the consequences of abuse/bullying.
I actually prefer to be included in a larger anthology/collection, to be honest. Not to say that I'm not thrilled with every magazine, E-zine or website one of my stories has appeared in/on – believe me, I am - but there's something about being included in a book with other authors of horror fiction that makes me feel as if I really am connected to a larger community of writers.  It doesn't hurt that my work has shared space with such talented wordsmiths as  Todd Keisling, Robin Dover, Lori Lopez and Terry M.West.
  • In "A Strange Taste In Ornamentation" part of your 'Double Shot of Horror' you turned a typical lawn decoration seen all around into a source of pure terror. I've always found those little things creepy. What inspired that story?
That was part of a flash fiction contest that was happening on a Facebook page this guy had thrown together. Each of us were issued a photo at random and had to conjure up a tale of a thousand words or less. Mine was a picture of this decayed, evil looming zombie garden gnome and I almost immediately thought to myself  (because this is how my mind works) 'What if someone had a swarm of those things crawling allover them, trying to eat them?' 

I built the rest of the story on that foundation. I'm particularly fond of that piece, by the way. I like the old school Tales from the Crypt vibe I managed with that. For the record, that same contest was how I met fellow author Rich Young. The earliest version of his excellent horror story “The Scraping” was his entry.
  • Who are some of your biggest inspirations in the world of horror fiction?
Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe, Shirley Jackson and William Gaines, who created EC Comics and therefore Tales from the Crypt. Rod Serling is one of my all time heroes. What I love about Serling is that he used science fiction and horror to expose truths about human nature in a way that wasn't heavy handed. The same can be said for Ray Bradbury, who is the master of the short story.
  • For aspiring writers, would you mind telling us how you find time to write with a full time job, family and etc?
You make the time.  If you want to write, then write. Even if you're tired, drag yourself to the keyboard and get something down. I know it can be rough, but the only way to do it is to do it. I half jokingly refer to my writing efforts as my second full time job, because when I'm not actually writing new material, I'm working on marketing/selling the stuff that's ready to go. You gotta put the time in.  I'm working on my first novella right now and a lot of it as been written in snatches during lunch hours at work. That's how it gets done. 
  • If you had to be buried with one piece of horror fiction and one horror movie what would you choose?
For the book, I have to go back to where my love of horror literature truly began: The Shining by Stephen King. I read that when I was ten and I've never looked back. Horror movie? John Carpenter's Halloween, which is still my all time favorite horror film. 
  • Do you prefer cgi or practical effects in horror movies and why?
Practical. They have more tangibility. Plus, I was a teenager in the 1980's. It was all about practical effects back then
  • Tell us about your current or upcoming projects?
Well, you mentioned “Journals of Horror: Found Fiction”, which is still making the rounds on Amazon. My story “Truant” is in that one. As I understand it, a print version is due at some point. My short story Transient” is currently available in Issue #10 of The Literary Hatchet. I have a short story titled The New Meat” - which offers a unique spin on zombies- coming out in an upcoming issue of Disturbed Digest
I'm also going to be a part of two different anthologies due to be released by March 2015. One is called Creature Stew- a collection of stories about creepy crawlies. I have a nasty little shocker called The Basement” in that one. Then my story Afloat” will appear in the Paying the Ferryman collection from Charon Coin Press. In addition, I'm hard at work on my first novella/short novella, a bizarre tale titled Drake”. So 2015 is starting with a bang!