Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy

In this modern, post-Stephenie Meyer age anything vampire or werewolf is held with some skepticism. For me, anyway. The last thing the genre and mythos needs is another writer to take a large, Mormon turd upon it. Well, I don't know what religion Brian McGreevy practices, but his mission is clear – he set off to scrape off the Meyer (get it?) and make teenage vampires and werewolves cool again.

I promised myself this post wouldn't just bash the Twilight author, but forgive me one more, okay? Where Stephenie Meyer fails as a writer, Brian McGreevy flexes his literary muscle. Literary references, not just throwing a classic title around, and in depth research of the occult, gypsy traditions, and introducing us to a breed of vampire that can walk in the daytime without sparkling like a goof fill the covers of this not-quite-so-teenage-horror book. And here's a spoiler alert: The main plot isn't about love. It's not even about seeking a girlfriend/boyfriend. It's about bringing a killer down. So fans of Twilight need not to apply as the psychological aspect, unromantic aspect, allusions, and meaning might fry your tiny noodles (okay, I'm done).

Hemlock Grove is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and for Kindle and Nook. And check out the Netflix original series based on the novel. Until next time, happy huntin'.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

On Trial for Prostitution by Sammie Lake

Sammie Lake followed me on Twitter, so I gave the writer a chance. And considering saying that the short story "On Trial for Prostitution" was free on Amazon, I shrugged and downloaded it. It's as if I haven't learned my lesson. Nothing free is rarely worth reading (unless that free item comes from the publisher or writer).

Now, Sammie Lake has a good idea here. If you ignore the cliche tale of a student turned prostitute, you'll have to muddle through the cliche dialogue, the porn-speak, and the spelling errors (amongst other stuff, but I have another blog for detailing how this story could've been better). 

In short, this short story took longer for me to read than necessary. I'll head over to Chapin City Blues to write my input as an editor. You can read that when it's done.

You can purchased "On Trial for Prostitution" for you Kindle, but buy it when it's free.

Femme Fatale: Erotic Tales of Dangerous Women edited by Lana Fox

First off, I want to thank Go Deeper Press for allowing me to read this collection, and for thinking of me in the first place. I'd also like to thank Lana Fox for collecting these sexy tales for us to read. Moving on.

I always find it difficult to review collections and anthologies. I never know what to focus on, or what to say without giving away too much plot of one short story. Normally, I pick a few short stories to talk about. However, this collection only contains seven (that's right, one for every day of the week).

Murderous vixens skip through the pages of this book. Stories such as "La Femme Chocolat" by V.C., Bracken Macleod's "Some Other Time," and Zöe More's "Our Courtship, Our Romance" enrapture you with the stories of the most dangerous women.  V.C. introduces us to a candy maker who uses her sweets for revenge on those who have resisted or broken her heart. The writing brings the feel of a long forgotten pulp magazine, filled with modern references that easily go unnoticed. Bracken Macleod's brings to life an androgynous villain that sneaks into the heroine's sexual fantasies and, thus, our own. And the darkly deviant lovers featured in Zöe More's tale would make the Marquis de Sade and Wanda von Dunjew blush.

But not all the women featured in the stories are murderous by nature. The title character in Maricia Verman's "Elisabetta" is but the personification fantasy (the piece is short, so I might have given away too much there). And the woman featured in Abyssinia Grey's "Ash Wednesday" is but a Catholic cocktease reminiscing about the times she spent with the priest in a life before. And "Peeping" by Stephen Dorneman, a peeping tom gets a little more than he can handle when he's caught by a woman. 

However deliciously decadent these tales are, the one that stood out the most (that buried itself into my memory and woven into my fantasy, because it's been a fantasy of mine for some time) is Lana Fox's "Smart Folks Won't Screw Witless Girls." The tale follows a con-woman who robs the people that pick her up at bars and take her home with them. Then Elle walks into her life and it's a gamer changer for her.

You can purchase Femme Fatale: Erotic Tales of Dangerous Women for your Kindle or Nook. Until next time, happy huntin'.

Design By Humans

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Personal Post

When you're like me, there are three settings: Manic, depressed, and grey. Most of the time, I'm in the grey mode. I get my work done. I read a couple of pages here and there. I write a post. When I'm manic, I'm rampaging through several tasks at once. I attempt to read while shelving, cooking, cleaning, writing, jogging (who am I kidding?), showering (this is actually true), when I should be sleeping. I get nothing done. I don't even read a page. And if I do finish a book, my mind is reeling that I can't sit still but for two seconds. When I'm depressed, I don't even attempt anything. I don't read. I don't have it in me to write. And I just want to stay in bed and do nothing. Now most of you are already stating you have days like this, and your mama said you'll have them. My days-like-this stretch for weeks. And sometimes, months. As of late, I haven't been motivated to read anything. Everything I pick up, I lose interest in. And every time, I try to write, I wind up typing the same sentence over and over. My reviews are never that great. The only real effort I put into a review is when I'm doing it because I got a book out of it, or because it's for Alison Tyler. So, I'm sure you've noticed the lack of effort in most of my posts of late.

Right now, I have The Hobbit sitting beside me. I have the TV blaring. And I'm trudging through this post as best as possible. As much as I love J.R.R. Tolkien's book, I don't have it in me to read it. I just don't care. As of late, I've been both manic and depressed. I have days when I crack up over anything and everything. And then the next, I'll be introverted. There are times, when the world seems like a wonderful place. Others, I just want to snuff myself out (don't worry, I won't). 

A lot of this stems from my relationship (I have none, really) and the fact that I miss my son. I haven't spoken too much about my personal life here because it rarely relates to books (and this is a book blog, after all). As of last year, I've been separated from my girlfriend of several years, who happens to be mother of my child. We attempted to fix things, but in the end, I'm just not what she was hoping for. I stated several times I've accepted the situation, but it's obvious that I haven't. And this has put my emotions (usually in check) into a tailspin.

Once I get over this hump, I'll resume reading and posting. So until then, happy huntin'.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

"[P]eople want to remember what it's like to be young," I can't sum up it any better than Park Sheridan did on page 45. Why did I like–close to love–Rainbow Rowell's sophomore novel? Because, somewhere deep within this calloused jerk facade, there's a person who remembers his youth, and remembers what it's like to be in love.

Reading Eleanor & Park is close to having sex with an Elliot Smith song. No matter the sadness behind the words, nothing read is ever this beautiful. 

Despite it's typical teenager drama/romance story, Rainbow–isn't that just a great name?–mixes in popular culture like a pro. It's the adolescent version of Love is a Mixtape or something written by Chuck Klosterman. And the fact that it's set in 1986–I was only three at the time, mind you–makes it even better. Because I recall the time before iPods and Pandora and Spotify and iTunes, where compilations took heart and patience, not some drag and drop routine. Even though most teenagers will never appreciate mix tapes, they should appreciate the tale. 

Here's a bit of confession time: Very few writers have managed what Rainbow Rowell has, making me well up with tears. Congratulations, Rainbow. Congratulations.

Eleanor & Park is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It's currently on sale for Kindle, and is available for Nook.

Barnes & Noble