Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Losing Yo Shit vs Perseverance.

Say after me: "I, insert your name here, do solemnly swear to have a social media platform on which to do social media things. I shall, unless told otherwise, share only a small amount of my writery shit on my personal page, and I shall have an authory page to constantly post my writery shit on. I shall ask people to like my authory page, so as to gain a following, but not do it in a dickish manner. And lo, my books may be sold by the grace of a higher power, and my unending ability to keep writing."

***

Authors and writers need to stop losing their shit. It's to the stage now where I can see foul things in the street, and internally monologue about how I found such-and-such's shit.

A typical example is that an author has released a book and no one is buying it, reading it, or reviewing it. Let's then take to social media and start finger pointing. Throw it in the bin. Stop working on it. Why do I bother?

Lose shit.

Lose friends.

In the distant twinkle of my eye, I was called out during an exchange of ideas by someone accusing me of having "made it". 

No, my impatient friend, I have not made "it". I'm so far away from making "it", I can't even see "it" in the distance. Making "it" is a still a dream. 

But through your narrow, accusatory vision, it looks like I have because I haven't stopped trying. I haven't stopped learning. I don't always talk about it. I'm just there in the background. Trying. I persevere. I grow. I write. I put out work, even if no one is reading it. 

Because one day they will. 

If I promised a sequel to a book it's getting a sequel. The two people who bought my book deserve that sequel. If no one bought it, it's still getting a sequel. 

I'm not a professional author. I write to write. To dream. To fulfill my wants and needs. The people losing their shit are not professional authors. They never will be. 

And every rant, every shit storm, every finger pointed, is another reader lost. And if you only sold two copies? You're down 50%.

BAM. Math, Shit-Stormers.


Monday, 19 September 2016

Short/Cuts: Coming Soon

The "Short/Cut" releases are a step into diversification of genre and style.

Coming soon, from Mark Taylor, Author of the Macabre, is a new series of releases stepping away from the traditional. Each release will fall away from his usual brand of horror and fantasy. 

The first is a charged drama, a young woman pushed to the edge of excesses. A woman who needs to fight. 

COMING SOON





Tuesday, 13 September 2016

A good product should be a story, not a book.

For the last two years I have read nothing but indie. I love indie writing. It can be different. It can go new places without fear. It can take that extra step, go that extra mile.

You see, I love the step up. I write it myself. Something different, something that's not mainstream.

But I have issue.

Now, and not for the first time, I have found issue with the indie author's product.

I'm not talking about the story.

I'm talking about the product.

And it keeps happening.

No matter how good the story is, no matter how wonderful the writing is, the product has to be solid. And for the first time in two years I have abandoned my kindle and picked up a big five paperback. Not for the story, but for the product.

I'm a little tired of having to try when I read a novel. I'm tired of having to stop and think. I shouldn't have to wonder if that is a spelling mistake or not. I shouldn't have to forgive the basic grammatical errors. Because for every one I wonder about, or every one I forgive, I'm a little more distracted. I've been taken from the magic, the storytelling, the wonderment of the writers word, and I'm back, sitting cross-legged on the bed with a book, not in a story.

And when the number of times it happens add up, the story becomes more and more a book.

Until it is no more a story, a place, a feeling, but it is only words on a kindle.

And my grammar is not good. I'm not talking about professional editing services. I'm talking about spell check. I'm talking about basic, pre-teen punctuation. Close off your speech correctly. Put in your periods.

And don't make me say this:

If you don't care about your product,
why should I? 

The book that caused me to do this was good, but the memory of the story will fade, as even now I remember less of the journey, and more of the mistakes. Will I pick the book up again and try to read it again?

Perhaps.

I would be nice to see it edited again, by the author, the author's SO, a friend, a colleague. It didn't need much, and I would have continued reading. 

My work isn't perfect by any means, but I try to put out a solid product. When I put work out that raises comments about the product, the quality, the next piece of work goes out better. 

I get better, my work gets better. 

But not everyone is like that, and it has to stop, before the indie market takes another blow (like it doesn't get enough of them).

Monday, 22 August 2016

New Release: NURSE BLOOD, by Rebecca Besser

Sonya Garret roams the bar scene hoping to steal the heart of an unsuspecting victim—literally…



Sonya, better known as Nurse Blood, is part of a team of lethal organ harvesters who seek out the weak to seduce, kill, and part out for profit on the black market. When Sonya meets Daniel McCoy, a young man recovering from a broken engagement, he’s just another kill to line her pockets with quick cash.

Agent David McCoy vows to find out how and why his twin brother Daniel disappeared…

Daniel’s body hasn’t been found, and the leads are slim to none, but it won’t stop David from dedicating his life to solving his brother’s case. When the evidence finally uncovers the shocking truth that Daniel’s disappearance is linked to organ harvesters, David knows his brother is most likely dead. But he’s determined to stop the villains’ killing spree before they strike again.

One last harvest is all Sonya and her team need to put their murderous past behind them…

A family with the rarest blood type in the world is the only thing standing between Sonya and retirement. David McCoy and the FBI are hot on their trail, though, and multiple targets make this the most complicated harvest yet. Will David unravel Sonya’s wicked plans in time to avenge his brother and save an innocent family? Or will Sonya cash in her final kill and escape for good?

Murder for profit stops for no man when you’re Nurse Blood.

Available Now

Amazon US, here: http://a.co/bHDk9Kg

About the Author

Rebecca Besser resides in Ohio with her wonderful husband and amazing son. They've come to accept her quirks as normal while she writes anything and everything that makes her inner demons squeal with delight. She's best known for her work in adult horror, but has been published in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for a variety of age groups and genres. She's entirely too cute to be scary in person, so she turns to the page to instill fear into the hearts of the masses.

To learn more about Rebecca visit her Website, or find her on Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, and/or follow her Blog!




Excerpt

Prologue

The air inside the nightclub was hazy from smoke machines. Flashes of colored light cut through the swirls in beat with the pulsing music that shook the walls and the floor. The atmosphere was alive with movement―a mass of hot, swaying bodies bent on enjoying the moment. A monster waited in the depths of the darkness to bat her pretty eyes at someone and make them her prey.

The door of the establishment swung open to give way to three eager young men looking to have a good time and celebrate. The trio was instantly surrounded by dancing women. They made their way through the press of bodies to reach the bar.

Daniel forced himself not to scan the crowd for his ex-fiancĂ©e, April. But she was the least of his worries, as the real danger was a face he wouldn’t recognize.

Roy got their drinks while Hank and Daniel stood at a balcony that overlooked an even larger dance floor below. The smoke was thicker down there, and there were more lights. The dancers looked like they were paying sensual homage to their deity. The air was tainted with the aroma of perfume and alcohol; it burned the men’s nostrils and fueled their excitement for the revelry to come.

Daniel took a moment to text his twin brother, David, to let him know where they would be celebrating their shared birthday. He received a text back from David saying he was still an hour away.

Roy joined them with three shots and three cold bottles of beer, passing one of each to his friends. They downed the shots in one swallow before turning their attention to their beers.

“Dave will be here in an hour or so,” Daniel announced after downing his shot.

“Awesome—we’re gonna have a great time!” Hank yelled over the music.

As Roy took a drink of his beer, a petite, slim blonde grabbed his waist from behind. He jumped in surprise and turned, recognizing the young woman.
She tucked a finger into the front of his jeans, smiled at him, and tugged him away from his friends toward a table with another girl.

Roy looked back over his shoulder at his friends and shrugged.

“That’s Lynn,” Hank yelled to Daniel. “They’ve been seeing each other for a while. And that’s her cousin Trisha—you don’t want to go there.”

Daniel nodded and looked around. The warming effect of the shot was spreading through his body, relaxing him. He felt less paranoid about running into April.

While he was looking over the crowd, a woman caught his eye. She was a tall, slim brunette, and she was beautiful. She was standing alone at the end of the bar. He watched her for a few moments, and when she looked around, their eyes met.

He smiled and looked away.

Hank noticed Daniel’s mild interest. He knew what his friend had been through recently and why he was gun-shy with women.

“Go for it!” he yelled, nudging Daniel. “Have some fun!”

Daniel looked at his friend, took another swallow of beer, glanced at the woman—noticing she was still alone—and shrugged.

Hank laughed and gave Daniel a shove toward the bar, causing him to slam into two people who happened to be walking past. When he turned to them to apologize, he came face to face
with the very woman he was hoping not to run into: April. The man she was with was leaning on her with all his weight while she struggled to hold him up.

Daniel’s heart clenched in his chest and his lungs seized up for a moment. He felt his hand tighten around the neck of his beer bottle. He wanted to slam it over the other man’s head, but he managed to restrain himself. He didn’t want her to know how much the sight of her with another man hurt him, so he put on a brave front.

“Excuse the fuck out of me,” he said with a sadistic smile, raised the bottle in the air like he was toasting them, and then took a big swig of the brew. He was pleased with the shocked expression that spread across April’s face at his harsh greeting.

They didn’t say anything to Daniel, but focused back on each other and moved around him and deeper into the establishment.

Daniel glanced over to Hank, who was grinning from ear to ear.

He smiled at his friend, nodded, and forced himself to put one foot in front of the other until he made it over to the woman at the bar. While he walked he pretended not to notice that April had glanced back at him several times as she guided her drunken man to a table where he could sit down. He was determined to show April she wasn’t the only woman in the world. He was going to prove to himself and her that he was over the breakup.

“Hi, I’m Daniel!” he yelled when he reached the woman, leaning toward her a little so she could hear him as a new song started to play.

“Grace!” she yelled back.

They smiled at each other.

The couple chatted for a while about nothing important, since it was too loud to carry on a serious conversation, and ordered drink after drink as they stood at the bar. Daniel’s emotional tension eased little by little with every drink. He became more and more relaxed, and friendlier and friendlier with Grace. Before he knew what was happening, they were pressed up against each other while they conversed so they could hear each other better.

“Let’s get out of here,” Grace said. She kissed him and reached down between them to rub his crotch.
Normally Daniel would be shocked and uneasy by such a gesture so soon after meeting a woman, but he’d had enough drinks not to care about how respectable she was or wasn’t being.
He nodded in agreement and looked around for his friends, frowning.

“I have to tell my friends I’m leaving,” he said, taking a step away from Grace.

“Oh, don’t worry about it,” Grace said, rubbing his crotch again. “They’ll figure it out. Besides, you can call them later and they can pick you up from my place.”

That sounded reasonable so he followed her out to the parking lot. The night was clear and felt cool after the heat from the population of patrons inside the nightclub.

They stumbled together through the parking lot and paused to make out, pressed against the side of her car for a couple minutes before they finally separated their bodies to get in.

Daniel had the passenger’s side door open and was about to climb inside when his cell phone beeped, notifying him of a text. He stopped, stood up straight beside the car, and pulled his wallet out of his back pocket by mistake. He reached into his other back pocket and extracted his cell phone. He frowned and squinted to focus on the tiny, bright screen that said David was only a block away.

“What are you doing?” Grace asked.

“I can’t go with you,” he said with a sigh. “Sorry. I—”

He felt a sharp pain in the side of his neck. He reached up to figure out what had hurt him and spun around at the same time, dropping his cell phone and wallet to the asphalt parking lot.

Grace was standing behind him holding an empty syringe.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “but you have to come with me.”

He tried to shove her away, but his limbs wouldn’t do what he wanted them to. His legs gave out from beneath him as the world blurred into a black blob of nothing.

***

Grace shoved Daniel’s tall frame into the passenger seat when he started to fall, smacking his head on the door frame. She quickly picked his feet up from the ground and spun him so she could get him all the way into the car.

She heard laughing as a couple made their way through the parking lot a few rows over, so she didn’t take the time to pick up what Daniel had dropped.

Grace shut the passenger door and ran around to the driver’s side of her car. She scanned the parking lot as she pulled out, not seeing anyone close-by. She’d been careful, watching for people as they’d headed outside, but the distant couple had snuck up on them. Luckily they hadn’t come close enough to see what she was up to. She tensed slightly when she had to pass another vehicle as she pulled from the lot out onto the street, but the man was looking in the opposite direction and didn’t even glance their way.

Once she was out of the parking lot and a couple blocks away, she pulled out her cell phone and called Roger.

“Hey,” she said into the phone. “I have fresh meat…”



Monday, 6 June 2016

Review: Yesterday's Dreams

Pow. Out the park.


Dizzy Hargraves is just trying to get home after a disastrous holiday spent with her overbearing father, but when a seemingly harmless game starts to unravel the secrets of three of her fellow travellers, she finds herself taking a detour that catapults her over eighty years into her own future.

Meanwhile..

Henry Kepple is a loner, living day to day on the allowance provided through the guilt of an illicit affair between his Mother and her rich employer, but when he encounters the strange girl at Liverpool Street Station it leads to a journey that will end in the most surprising of places.

Fantasy, romance, and a charming warmth. Even, perhaps, a little science fiction. 

You know what? I'm going to say it. Dimpra Kaleem has a masterful way with words. Dude writes smooooth. He dances with your mind. And it is a serene, playful dance, rich and engaging.

As a writer I sometimes find it hard to just 'read'. I quiet often find myself analyzing the text, learning from it, or picking it apart.

Not here.

Kaleem is such a smooth artist you forget where you're at. When even. You find yourself in the shoes of Henry, clumsily rooting around the underwear section. The story flows, and before you know it, it's gone, the last page turned, and its finished. And damn it, why didn't I read it slower?

Not to be fooled by the description, this is a charming tale of romance above all else. And it is done superbly.

It's a shorter read, but intense.

I can't even say that if you liked such-and-such, you'd like this, because I can't see anyone not liking it.

Sadly, the only reason it is not getting five stars is that towards the end of the book grammatical mistakes reared their heads, incorrect word usage, and such.

But damn. Don't be put off by it.



Get it here: 


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Review: The Little Book of Horrors

Huh?


A deliciously wicked treat, no holds barred horror served up bloody with a side dish of sex. The Little Book of Horrors is macabre, disturbing, viciously satisfying and definitely not for the squeamish. 

Look. I'm going to be honest here. That description may be a little misleading. 

I double checked. This book is for adults.

*sigh* Where do I start?

Okay, so I don't want to rip the collection to pieces, mostly because I haven't got time, so I'll just go through the first story. Um. Spoilers. 

Karma's a Psychopath.

So, a guy meets a man about a monkey. No that's not the beginning of a joke. The guy buys a marmoset to use as a prop in his business venture in Benidorm (!). He spends his evenings charging 10 euros a pop for people to have their photo taken with a now abused monkey.

I shit you not.

A few weeks later, a woman turns up and picks up the guy. Even takes the monkey with them. Kinky. 

Her name is Karma. Oh.... now I get it. Karma.

Anyway, she kills him. And takes care of the monkey. No. Not like that. That's disgusting.

The end. 

I don't know where to begin. It's not interesting. It's not "no holds barred horror". There's no "macabre". It's not "disturbing", "satisfying", and my mom would read this with the lights out. 

Yes the stories in here should be classed as horror. But so should Addams Family Reunion. The one without Raul Julia.  

Think of something nice to say. Think of something nice to say. 

It's edited pretty well. Laid out okay. Cover's...the right size.

And that's why it isn't getting zero stars. It could have been worse.


   

You can purchase this abomination against viciously satisfying, disturbing, horror here:



Thursday, 19 May 2016

Review: Afterworld

Listed on Amazon as a romantic comedy? Interesting...


Zack remembers his death, waking up in a world much like our own. But there is no disease, no death, no hope. The enigmatic judge tells him he will remain in Afterworld until he takes care of his problems. And so begins a struggle against his worst enemy: himself. Can he stop using women, or will he be cursed to just go on forever? How does one accept their fate, when they know of better? To succeed, he must pass the test, overcome his failings and prove what he does is not who he is...

I'm a big fan of Donald White's Otherplace (my review / buy link). It's a cool bizarro/horror. But for a few minor discrepancies it works. And it's great. It's stylish horror. It fits well with White's back catalog. Mostly horror, and a few oddities.

Afterworld is an oddity.

I was hoping for more "Otherplace" in here, I'll admit. Hell, the book description lends to bizarro. But no. This is pretty much a straight played romance. Just set in the afterlife is all.

Zack is what you and I would call a player. Then he dies, and in Afterworld he can be anything he likes. So naturally he falls on his base instinct. It makes him an unlikable protagonist to begin with.

He does grow on you though.

I'd challenge White about the comedy aspect of it, but that could be that I'm from a different part of the world. Or that I don't really do romantic comedies. It is sweet, touching, even, but it didn't garner great laughs from me.

For a book far outside of my normal remit, I'll admit to not really wanting to put it down. In fact I did blast through it quicker than I normally read. That, I put down to White's writing style.

Again, his writing is good. It's clear. It's not littered with mistakes. The editing is sharp. In fact the only noticeable error I found was the Afterworld was mis-typed as Afterplace at one point, and I was drawn to wanting a mashup of the two. (Go on Donald. For me.)

It's a good, solid, romance, and an easy entrance to the genre.


You can buy it: