Saturday, 18 April 2015

New Drabble - The Perfect Moment

A new drabble of mine was posted in the Book Hippo newsletter a few days ago. If you didn't catch it then then you can read it below. It's inspired by Clive Barker's cenobites and in particular the phrase 'Pleasure and pain, indivisible' from Hellraiser. As you can imagine I'mlooking forward to the release of The Scarlet Gospels!

You can read my other drabbles here:

http://thecultofme.blogspot.co.uk/p/100-word-stories.html

The Perfect Moment

She promised me delights of a nature unimagined and oh my God, she was right.

With delicate torture we travelled avenues of such exquisite pain that the pleasure transcended beyond understanding.

The final cut severed the illusion that death provided any escape and unfettered by the limits of flesh she taught me suffering so divine I prayed that it would never end. Upon an ocean of agony I drifted. Each wave crested me towards that singular perfect moment, a nirvana of pure agony which almost drowned my soul.

And with loving embrace she ignored my screams and answered my prayers.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Book Review - The Seance by Jack Rollins

I should say in advance that I had the pleasure of being a test reader for this story before it's release last year. I left it a few months to read the final version to see if I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time and I'm pleased to say that I did. I'd previously read the author's Dr Blessing stories and he invokes the Victorian era feeling well. This is repeated in The Seance providing a classic horror story feel.

I'm a big fan of the time period for horror stories and the blend of the rational and supernatural works for me. The author nails it in this story with some good references to bed the story into the era. This is a relatively short story with a quick pace but with some twists and turns along the way to keep things interesting.

The basic plot is a familiar one with a cursed item at the heart of it and the central character is a man of his age and provides some similarity to heroes of stories from that era. I enjoy a story that doesn't shy away from the concept of supernatural evil and this does that while also layering on the evil that men do to themselves.

If you're a fan of classic horror then you should give this a try and check out the author's other work while you're at it.
Click on image to buy from Amazon

A gothic Victorian chiller from the author of the Dr Blessing Series Albert Kench is summoned back to London from his travels in Australia, and is shocked to find that his sister has suffered horrific mental and physical damage. A man of science and progress, when Albert is told that Sally attended a seance prior to her collapse and has been touched by otherworldly forces, he believes there must be another, more rational explanation. Albert learns of a man who claims mastery of the dark arts, who may hold the key to Sally's salvation. Albert sets off in search of answers, but can he emerge victorious without faith, or will he be forced to accept the existence of a realm beyond the world around him?"


Thursday, 16 April 2015

Book Review - The Revelations of Preston Black by Jason Jack Miller

I enjoyed the two previous books in this series (even if I did read them in the wrong order!) and this third book proved no exception and provided a fitting conclusion to Preston Black's tribulations. As with the previous books the author's love and knowledge of music is apparent and added a lot of interest to the story. The supernatural element derived from American folklore was also very interesting and provided a solid framework for the story. It all revolves around the deal with the Devil, but has a lot of twists and turns along the way.

The star of the book is the lead character and here we have a well defined character who has suffered a lot (and continues to do so), but handles it well and I rooted for him throughout the story. The supporting cast were also strong and provided a well rounded cast. One of tyhe aspects that struck me was how Preston had to rely on his friends and family and that worked well for me. He isn't a hero who can blaze or think his way through everything on his own, but needed help even if he didn't want it.

The quality of the writing is superb with a relaxed style which made it a joy to read. The story is well paced and I read it all in a single sitting - although the fact I was having a day long tattoo sitting helped on that front as well! Still it's not often I get to read a full novel in one go and this was a good one to do so. My only minor complaint was that the conclusion felt a little sudden, but I get that with most books I've read - especially the ones I enjoy.

Overall this is an excellent read and I'd recommend the series to anyone who fancies something a little different with an appreciation for American music and folklore.

Click on image to buy from Amazon

Sometimes a battle between good and evil doesn't look much like the ones they show in movies. The good guys don't always wear white, and they don't always walk away with the win. And sometimes you're better off with the devil you know. The last time Preston went down to the crossroads, his best friend died and he nearly lost his brother. But Old Scratch doesn't take kindly to fools, especially not those who come knocking at his front door. And before all is said and done, he's going to teach Preston a thing or two about what it really means to sacrifice. "With crackling prose and razor-sharp characterization, Jason Jack Miller's The Revelation of Preston Black is a heady stew of a novel, filled with action, suspense, and good old-fashioned deals with the devil. Loosen your belt, because you'll be back for seconds!" -Tim Waggoner, author of Bone Whispers


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Book Review - Rapturous Pejoration by Mike Freeman

This is the fifth book in the author's 'Contact' series and I've enjoyed them all so far. The previous book did feel like a bit of a dip, but this latest one more than makes up for that and I'm disappointed that there isn't the next book in the series ready for me to buy straight away - never mind I will wait :-)

This latest book continues to play with the series' strengths - namely a blend of intense military action and more considered scientific investigation. I personally prefer the more investigative side of the story and here the Darkwood character shines and the early pages have some interesting thoughts on the concept of consciousness and identity as well as delving into the alien technology. The alien technology in itself is quite fascinating. These parts are thought provoking and add some depth to the story.

The author excels at the action side of the writing as well. The battles are intense and filled with wondrous technology that adds to the experience. While I preferred the other side this is well done and I do like a bit of action. These periods of high action are also offset by some gentle humour in the characters which helps break up the tempo a bit and warmed me to the characters more.

There's quite a few threads for the different characters in the story and for me this is the weak point of the book. There's a lot going on and while it isn't difficult to keep track of them all it does mean that you don't spend as much time with each of the characters as I would have liked. Still it's a cracking read and I'd recommend the series to any sci-fi fan.

Click on image to buy from Amazon

The United Systems' grip unravels…

Competing civilizations scrabble for advantage as the Saber Cut plummets toward Plash with three precious Scepters aboard. The Talmas weighs whether to keep Weaver alive as, in the background, Darkwood advances his mysterious agenda…

RAPTUROUS PEJORATION is a hard hitting space opera/ scifi adventure. It is the FIFTH book in the Contact series.

Rated [R]. Violence, sex, profanity.
US English. 139,000 words.


Monday, 13 April 2015

Guest Author Interview - Richard A. Lester

Richard A Lester joins me in the latest Guest Author Interview to tell us about his latest release 'The Check Out':

Click on image to buy from Amazon

Please introduce yourself - who are you and what do you do?
Hello,

My name is Richard A Lester. I am an independent filmmaker and an author. I have worked on projects for Azbest Films and Piano Man Pictures. My first novel, The Check Out, is available now through Amazon and all the usual places.

What first inspired you to start writing?
I read a lot as a child, so I basically started imitating what I was reading. The stories weren't very original, but they were a starting place. As I got older, I became interested in film. I wrote and directed my first film about 12 years or so ago. After that, I just kept writing. I worked on a lot of scripts that were impossible to film. When I got the idea for the The Check Out, I had started writing short stories again. Instead of raising money and getting a crew, I decided to try my hand at writing it as a novel.

Where did the idea for The Check Out come from?
I had worked at a grocery store for a while, and I generally got very bored there. Stocking shelves and dealing with customers is about as mundane as it can get, so I started creating bizarre scenarios to keep myself entertained. As usually happens, all these images swirled around my head until one little thing sparked them all into a cohesive story. From there, it was just a matter of getting it all onto the page.

Which author do you most admire and why?
I enjoy Carl Hiaasen a lot, as well as Stephen King. They are giants in the industry, and I believe I have learned, and still can learn, a lot from them. One author, however, is really an inspiration. Donald Ray Pollock worked in a factory in a miserable town called Knockemstiff in Ohio. At the age of 50, he left his job, went to college, and decided to become an author. He published a book of short stories while still enrolled and a fantastically dark novel called The Devil All The Time afterwords. He really knows how to delve into a character's psyche and uses the desolate surroundings of Knockemstiff to convey a sense of hopelessness. I admire him for having the courage to jump into a business that can be so brutal, and even more so for being so good at doing it!

What is the goal for you as a writer?
At this point, I just want to tell stories. Sure, it would be great to make a lot of money at it. Coming from indie film, though, I know exactly how unrealistic that can be. I have lots of ideas bouncing around in my head, and I want to be able to express them in ways that are as economically feasible as possible. I have a great group of filmmakers that I work with. We have mastered the art of no budget filmmaking. For projects that are larger scale, I am happy to express them on the page and let the readers have at them!

Which book has had the greatest influence on you?
I would say that The Devil All The Time has had an influence, certainly. Carl Hiaasen has also had an impact. As far as what has had the greatest influence, I'm not sure. I'm terrible at ranking these sorts of things.

Do you predominantly read e-books or paper books?
The only e-books I read are ones on how to market e-books. I don't have a Kindle or anything like that. I think that everyone who writes gets into it for one reason. Maybe they have other goals in mind, as well, but they all want to hold a physical copy of their book. It makes the process seem more legitimate somehow. I told my mom that I wrote a book, and she seemed mildly interested. When I invited her to my book signing, she understood that I had really done it. I hope physical copies never go away. There are few things as inspirational as walking into a bookstore. I'm sorry that few people are able to experience that now.

What are you working on at the moment?
I am putting the finishing touches on a short film that I directed in December. It's called "Stack Deck," as is a noir inspired tale about a man with a gambling debt that he can't pay back.

I have also just started on my second novel. It's been brewing for the past two years or so. I'm very happy to finally start writing it.

Tell us about your latest release and how we can find out more.
The Check Out is, what I call, a satirical thriller. It is about a group of shady employees at a failing grocery store. Each of them digs themselves into a financial hole that they can't crawl out of. They lie to each other, cheat, and eventually decide to steal $10,000 from the store on the same night. As you can imagine, it doesn't go so well for a few of them. It's very pulp, having been influenced by exploitation films of the 1970's. There is also a foundation in film noir, with a few nods to the genre.

You can get more information about The Check Out at: www.thecheckoutbook.com or www.richardalester.com

You can purchase a copy at my Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/author/rlester

It is also available at Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Itunes, and Leafless


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