Friday, December 13, 2013
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
Friday, November 08, 2013
I just scooped this out of the latest review for "Not From Around Here". I reversed it. Details of free book first, then the review is below that! (Re-Published with permission of Styll Reviews) The author, Larry Hochwald, wants to help us celebrate our review, and upcoming author interview. So, we will be giving away 5 Kindle ebooks and 5 choices of ebook or paperback during the next week. To enter, just send an email to my blog at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject put NFAH Free Giveaway. The ebooks will be given as gifts from Amazon so you need an email used for an Amazon account that you should write into the body of the email. Kindle ebooks can be read by most devices with a free Kindle reader app for your appropriate device, downloaded from Amazon. If the ebook option doesn't work for you, or you only want a paperback, you must say that in the body of the email, along with an address to send the paperback if you win. To choose a paperback you must live in the contiguous 48 states. Our blog will be hosting the giveaway. We will print out each entry email, fold them all up exactly the same, put them in a pouch and observe as the author draws out the winning entries. The review, courtesy of Styll Reviews: http://styllreviews.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-best-book-you-probably-havent-read.html I try to find stuff for you that you might not find on your own. Sometimes I bring you the big stuff, like “Doctor Sleep” or “Gravity” but I prefer to make finds like I did with the musical work of Leah Finkelstein. Now, I bring you one of the most exciting, interesting and thought-provoking books I have read in years, and definitely one of the best for this year. I am speaking of “Not From Around Here,” a new book by a relatively new author, Larry Hochwald. You may have seen Larry’s work before, because he was publishing regularly online, until last year, when he started to seriously work on this book. On the surface, Not From Around Here, is a collection of fiction that spans horror, fantasy, humor, literary, contemporary and science fiction genres. However, it is more than just a collection of exciting and surprising stories. There are several threads and themes that run throughout and, without providing a spoiler, I can tell you that it all comes together. It starts, innocently enough, with a story called “Best Friend”. By the end of that story I was hooked. I was surprised by what happened, but also by my reaction. I was crying at the end of the story, and that was to happen 3 more times while I read the book. Now, I read short stories and I love good ones, but I’m not a big fan of collections in general. Why? There are two reasons for this, though I am very pleased to say that Not From Around Here avoids both pitfalls. One reason I skip short stories collections is when they are filled with stories that are only slice of life. You come into a scene, you live it, and then you leave, without anything finishing. Thankfully, all of these are satisfying and complete stories, more like mini-novels, in that they are complex tales with a beginning, middle and end. The other reason I often avoid short fiction collections is, sometimes, I find the quality of the stories becomes inconsistent in the middle of the book. They start with their best, and try to end on a high note, but the middle feels like filler, as does a lot of the content on many a CD. Fortunately, this book hold up very well, with some of the most inventive, surprising and visual stories right in the middle of the book. A handful of the stories have been published previously, and in fact, my first brush with the work of Larry Hochwald was a read of the second story of this collection, “The Placebo Effect”. Now, even those previously published stories have been polished and , in some cases, added to, so even though ire ad this one I was happy to read it again. This story is one of the most gripping I have ever read and I found there are comments all across the internet from people who back this up. One commenter recommended the story saying, in effect, “I don’t even like to read but I loved this one!” This story is an action packed thriller with an ending I couldn’t predict. In fact, that’s a hallmark of most of these---“WOW” endings that you just can’t predict. One of the most surprising stories was the 4th story, “Join the Club”. I’ve excerpted here on this site. I already called it “50 Shades meets The Shining”. I have to tell you, I don’t find much writing truly scary, and almost no short stories ever rise to that occasion but this was the scariest story I have ever read!” Now, I could keep going story by story, but that seems a bit too much. It is hard for me to choose favorites because I really enjoyed every story, and certainly there were no disappointments. “Faker” was a twist I’ve never seen before. “Mirrors” was a very original vision turning the nature of some beliefs upside down. Though, “Revelation” had some twists that I saw some readers said they haven’t seen that caliber since “The Sixth Sense” and I can’t disagree. “Wall” and “Desolation Lovers” were two visual stories that I think would make great movies, though, “Old Ways” could be anything from a great adventure movie to a series of novels. “Mother’s Nature” and “When this War Began” are two very special and effective stories. Some stories just flat out freaked me out, and I would list “OCD”, Carpet Shock” and “The Group” in that category. “A Present For Mikey” was a very short horror movie that I had the bad fortune to have someone tap me on the shoulder just as the family cried out in unison. And “Almost Home” was one of those I cried at the end.” All in all, there are laughs in just about every story, many in some of them, such as “Fur and Loathing” and, ironically, “Join the Club”. This book is like a roller coaster ride and I can’t remember enjoying a book, of any type, this much in quite a while, and in my entire life there are only a handful of short story collections that I enjoyed even close to this much. I think this is a wonderful first book, and springs Larry Hochwald on the world in a very enjoyable, exciting, thought-provoking and convincing way. The price of entry, for 18 stories (totaling274 pages in the paperback) if you read the ebook is an excellent bargain at only $2.99! The paperback is a very reasonable $12.99. You can get the book at Amazon, by clicking here . The paperback should be available by November 18th. You will find it on Amazon, or you can ask for it at your local bookstore. If you like to read, you need to read this book. If you don’t like to read, you should read this book…it will get you hooked on reading. Enjoy!
Sunday, October 27, 2013
A Halloween Tale plus an excerpt from what one reviewer has called "page for page the scariest thing I've ever read"
Best Friend (BFF) Another excerpt from "Join the Club" “Damn it.” He muttered, “Don’t come any closer, I’m armed.” He called into the darkness as he knelt down and started to feel around for the lantern. He found it, but could feel that the battery compartment had opened on impact. He felt one of the ‘D’ batteries was in there, but the other must have popped out. He started to feel around in the darkness for it along the floor, but screamed when his hand felt a cold piece of flesh that moved at his touch. Alan fell over backwards and started crawling and scrambling away from the spot, leaving the lantern behind. It felt like a bare foot, but it was so cold, and if those were toenails, they were awfully long and sharp. It must be one of the club members! Probably wearing some stupid plastic Halloween costume foot. Alan was sure of this, as he quickly crawled back towards his unpacked stuff, trying to find his flashlight so he could see what was going on, and find the lost battery. You can find the entire story, plus 17 others, here: Not From Around Here
Friday, October 25, 2013
“I really like you,” she whispered. “I feel the same about you, Jessica.” “There are a lot of things I want to do with you Alan, but I don’t feel comfortable doing anything else, if you’re not a member of our club.” “Why?” “Well, for two reasons: One, we made a pact among the members. The reason we made the pact is once we join the club, we do everything we can to not be like everyone else. I’m not like other girls, and I promise you we could have a good time like you would never have with any other girl, but you need to join the club. I’m sorry to be so abrupt and demanding, but we only can arrange very few pledge nights, and one of those very few is tomorrow; Halloween.” Jessica looked into Alan’s eyes, almost pleadingly. “Why Halloween?” “We prefer special places under special circumstances. Everything has to be right, including the atmosphere. It’s all about the show, right?!” Jessica leaned into Alan and gave him another deep kiss and he pulled her tighter and wrapped his hands around her and started to rub her, over those very tight jeans. Moments later, he broke away from her to say: “Let’s do this.” “Great! Do you know Overlook Street?” “Yeah.” “The cul-de-sac at the end of Overlook and Fairview?” “Yeah, that’s where the Kensington Mansion sits.” “Yes, though it’s really just a big house. You know, it’s never been sold since the murders. No one’s lived there in so many years,” Jessica mentioned. “Yeah, I remember reading about it. Something about two drug addled vagrants, sneaking in.” As Alan said that he started to remember the things he had read and heard. The two homeless men broke into the house to rob it, but for some reason while the family slept, they killed them all; the parents, the daughter, her younger brother, the wife’s mother and the husband’s, adult autistic brother. They were particularly gruesome murders. The men said they were trying to hide everything, and some body parts were never found, including the adult brother’s head. Then Alan asked; “What happened to the murderers? I don’t remember hearing if they were ever caught?” “Yes,” Jessica answered, “a neighbor suspected something was wrong, and called the cops. The robbers got shot and killed that very night, somewhere on the property.” “So what about it?” Alan asked. “They say the house is haunted.” Jessica spoke softly. “Yeah, so? You don’t believe in that, do you?” “It matters what you think, not what I think.” Jessica said. “Why?” Alan asked. “Because you have to spend the entire night in that house; from 11pm until dawn.” “What?! Why?” “That’s the task, if you want to join the club.” Read the rest in Not From Around Here