Thursday, September 3, 2015

99¢ Sale: J.C. Michael - Discoredia

Discoredia by J.C. Michael is a fantastic story. John F.D. Taff calls it the "Ballroom Blitz from Hell." Bracken MacLeod says it's "a literal trip into the abyss."

The reason that Books of the Dead picked up the title is because it was totally original, and unlike anything I had read before. That being said, somehow the antagonist reminded me of Richard Straker Stephen King's amazing story 'Salem's Lot.

And right now, the ebook is on sale for 99¢ from AmazonAmazon UKSmashwordsKoboiBooks, and Barnes & Noble.

Here's the synopsis:

As the year draws to a close a mysterious stranger makes a proposition to club owner, Warren Charlton. It's a deal involving a brand new drug called Pandemonium. The good news: the drug is free.
The bad news: it comes at a heavy price, promising much but delivering far more. Euphoria and ecstasy. Death and depravity. All come together, at Discoredia.

“In “Discoredia,” J C Michael unleashes upon ordinary, unsuspecting characters a fiendish plot that only maestros such as Bentley Little and Michael Slade could rival.” ~ Dean Lombardo, author of Space Games

“Discoredia will take you on a crazy ride to hell and back, if you’re ballsy enough to take on this awesome book.” ~ Claire Riley, author of Limerence

“Fantastic. Epic. I’ve done a lot of drugs, and wrote my share of stories, but never have they both danced together in the darkness such as in Discoredia.” ~Mark Matthews, author of On the Lips of Children

Buy Discoredia here: Amazon / Amazon UK / Smashwords / Kobo / iBooks / Barnes & Noble


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Thursday, August 27, 2015

John L. French - Paradise Denied

If you haven't picked up John L. French's book Paradise Denied yet, it's time that you did. John's writing is nothing short of amazing, which is why his stories keep showing up inside our anthologies.

If you've been wondering what you'll find inside Paradise Denied, here's a synopsis for each story:

Fast Eddie’s Big Night Out:
Fast Eddie Cromwell is a thief and junkie willing to give up his supplier in exchange for a new start. But when he gets killed before the deal can be made two cops and a voodoo practicing Medical Examiner try to bring him back only to lose his body.

A New House:
Moving into a new house can be a hassle, even to a vampire. Things get worse when an intruder breaks into his new home.

Paradise Denied:
It’s almost the end of the world – the universe is contracting, the dead have risen and the truly good people have been ascended into heaven. In Baltimore it’s business as usual when a zombie walks into a police station and asks a detective to solve a murder – his.

Effect and Cause:
His was a lousy life but when he was accepted into the Pelgimbly Institute he had a chance to change it, by going back in time to kill his father. The worst that could happen was that he would cease to exist – or so he thought.

Pi in the Sky:
A cop with an idea to better identify criminals. A scientist willing to try it. It should have worked but unconsidered circumstances threaten to destroy everything.

The Right Betrayal:
Having the world’s only superhero protecting their city is not enough for the powers that be. They want to know who she is. When the city’s best cop is assigned to uncover her secret, someone will be betrayed. The only question is who.

A Second Away:
Plucked out of time just before he was killed, Jacob Duffy will always be a second away from death. To maintain his continued existence he must decide whether to preserve time’s continuity or to save an innocent life.

Not Wrong at All:
There’s a new drug on the streets of Baltimore, one that literally gets you high by making you float. Detective Beth Steele’s discovery the source of the drug ignites a violent confrontation that could end in a war between worlds.

So Many Lies, So Many Deaths:
A detective in the world of Fairie must find three missing nobles, without incurring the displeasure of his superiors, the suspects or the victims’ family. If he fails he’ll be demoted and disgraced. If he succeeds his fate might be worse.

Surprise Package:
Matthew Grace was a crime scene investigator for the BPD. Now he’s a private eye with a new client – Santa Claus. There’s a dead elf at the North Pole. Can Grace solve the murder in time fro Christmas?

The Last Convention:
To the three Baltimore cops at a police convention it sounded like a good idea – have a drink in every bar on Ocean City’s Boardwalk. Until somebody turned up dead. Now they have to solve the murder knowing one of them is the killer.

Tissue of Lies:
When Susan Blake learns that her husband has been cheating on her she pretends to go along. Then she plots to get rid of him. But has she planned well enough to fool everyone?

Confidential Information:
Ivan Gaider is a Russian agent accused of murder. He’s counting on the American legal system to help him get away with it.

Cain:
Smith is a killer for hire. When he’s betrayed by a client, he does what’s necessary to avoid a death sentence and to mark his betrayer for vengeance.

Hero:
Inspired by fictional heroes, Darnell takes to the street to make his city safe again. But he quickly learns that real life is different than books and that all acts of violence have consequences.

What Goes Around:
It’s official park policy that no one dies in Gypsy’s Caravan theme park. As head of security it’s Jake Webster’s job to make sure that that policy is followed, even when one of the park’s guests is murdered. Can he protect the theme park’s reputation and get justice for the victim?


Buy Paradise Denied from:
Amazon / Smashwords / Kobo / iBooks / Sony / Barnes & Noble



About the author:
John L. French - a crime scene investigator for the Baltimore Police Crime Lab - has seen more than his share of murders, shootings and serious assaults. As a break from the realities of his job, he writes science fiction, pulp, horror, fantasy, and, of course, crime fiction.



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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Darren O. Godfrey: Apathetic Flesh - Paperback

Good news:

The Apathetic Flesh by Darren O. Godfrey is now available as a paperback.

This book of short stories is awesome, and it includes an introduction by Kealan Patrick Burke, which makes it even better. Eight of the twenty-five stories make their first appearance ever inside this collection. Some stories have previously been published in prestigious anthologies, such as Borderlands 2 and Borderlands 5 (edited by one of the nicest guys in horror, Thomas Monteleone), HWA Presents The Museum of Horrors (edited by Dennis Etchison), and Quietly Now: An Anthology in Tribute to Charles L. Grant (edited by Kealan Patrick Burke). Other stories appeared in genre magazines like Black October and Gorezone.  One piece, "Recess", was selected by two time Bram Stoker Award Winner Mort Castle (who appeared in Best New Zombie Tales (Volume Two) for All-American Horror of the 21st Century, the First Decade.

The book is currently available from places such as AmazonAmazon UKSmashwordsBarnes & Noble, and Kobo.
Here's the synopsis:

Apathetic Flesh is brimful of realistic characters immersed in nightmares hauntingly familiar for many of us, but it is to Godfrey’s credit that even the outlandish events you’ll uncover here are made believable by a distinct absence of melodrama and fanfare. These are real people, complete with anxieties and instabilities and in these stories, as in the real world, such things can be fatal.
~ From the Introduction, by Kealan Patrick Burke

How are we expected to react to flesh that is warm and youthful, and yet infused with a corrupt spirit, a soulless black spark, a lack of any real feeling? Such flesh, too many have learned, will not heed the demands of concern. It will, through time, harden and become insolent. And when faced with close human interaction, it will not caress, but molest…
…not comfort, but condemn…
…not rise in excited gooseflesh, but grow ashen in cold depravity.
It will not be awed by the greatness of being, but remain odd to the touch.
There are men, women, and children walking these pages whose flesh rides their bones in various stages of apathy, empathy, sympathy, and gaping insanity. Many find themselves lost and alone, inhabiting a flesh-laden yet dispassionate world.
For some, this is justice. A kind of payback, perhaps.
For a few, it is a tragedy.

“Darren O. Godfrey is one of a rare breed: a writer who seems to have flown under most readers' radar but of whom other writers speak in awed tones. His stories are both quiet and thunderous, terrifying yet obliquely disturbing. This artful contradiction runs deep in his work. Buy this book. It's the real deal.”
~ Gary McMahon, award-winning author of The Concrete Grove

“Apathetic Flesh is one of the most disturbing tales I’ve read this year.”
~ Robert Crawford, Cemetery Dance

“Darren Godfrey is indeed the real thing: a horror writer’s horror writer and a horror reader’s top choice.”
~ Mort Castle, Two Times Bram Stoker Award Winner and Nominee for the Audie, Shirley Jackson, and International Horror Guild Awards

“Darren O. Godfrey’s Dysfunction is a story about family ties gone horribly knotted. It brings to life some of those images that occur when you look at your parents and wonder what your children will do to you, how they will do it, and why. It is a story about repression and release. And it is inhabited by one of the strangest child characters I’ve run across. This story might make parents want to hug their children, and children call their parents, wishing they were closer; or it might just hurt.”
~ Bram Stoker Award Winning Author, David Niall Wilson

Buy Apathetic Flesh here:  Amazon / Amazon UK / Smashwords / Barnes & Noble


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Friday, August 21, 2015

Quintin Peterson - Broken Doll

Our Friends of the Dead program has returned, and the first person to take advantage of our marketing reach is Quintin Peterson.

Quintin, author of Broken Doll, is no stranger to our Friends of the Dead program. He's been here before, promoting Explosions: Stories of Our Landmine World, Guarding Shakespeare, Guarding Shakespeare: Novella, SIN, and his short story Hope to Die.

This time Quintin is sharing his latest release BROKEN DOLL.

Here's a little bit about the title:

P.I. Luther Kane is back on the case in BROKEN DOLL.

Private Eye Luther Kane debuted in Damaged Goods, which is featured in the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) charity noir anthology, Explosions: Stories of Our Landmine World, edited by Scott Bradley. All of the proceeds of the sale of this book are donated to MAG.

For the anthology, Peterson carved Damaged Goods out of a larger work, BROKEN DOLL. It is the complete Luther Kane origin story. Where Damaged Goods ends Broken Doll begins…

Here's the synopsis: 

Private Eye Luther Kane picked up his tool bag, stepped over the corpses, and walked down the front stairs and out of the front yard.

The case wasn’t closed just yet. He had one more thing to do tonight before one-legged streetwalker Nadia “Gypsy” Kurylenko would be safe and secure; he had to get rid of one, maybe two more of Ivan’s henchmen, Nadia’s watchdogs, Boris and Anton. And then the broken doll would be free…

BUY BROKEN DOLL HERE.


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Thursday, August 20, 2015

‘Friends of the Dead’ Returns

On July 1st, 2014 Books of the Dead Press put an end to our Friends of the Dead program. The program, which began in September 2012, lasted approximately 21 months, and was quite successful. During that time our Friends of the Dead program helped promote over 100 authors––including many award winners and best sellers––and we were routinely applauded for doing so.

With only so many hours in the working day, I pulled the plug on the program, so I could focus my attention on other things. Knowing that the Books of the Dead home office would soon be moving to a new town, I felt that it was the right thing to do... and I was correct. The program needed to be put on hold for a while.

But time, as we all know, moves on and things change. The program, silent for a little more than a year now, is getting requested. My home office is now established. The bump in the road, created by my location change, is in my rearview mirror. I’m getting caught up on things, and Books of the Dead Press, once again, has found its footing.

It’s time for the Friends of the Dead program to return.


The New Program:

The new program will be a little bit different than previous program. We’ve removed one service and replaced it with another… a book review program.

Here are the details regarding the new program:


Option One: Blog Post + Facebook + Twitter Tweets 
Price: $40 – one time fee.

Description: Having trouble getting your book noticed?
Send us your product info (up to 350 words). Include a link to your Amazon page. We’ll create a blog post; we'll promote your title on our Books of the Dead Facebook page, our Zombie Book Lover Facebook page, and on our BOOK-ie Facebook page. Once that's done we'll tweet the hell out of it over a large period of time. Many of our early clients have now been tweeted well over 250 times. (And we have multiple accounts, equalling 75,000+ followers!)


Books of the Dead Press on: Twitter / Books of the Dead Marketing on: Twitter 
Zombie Book Lover on: Twitter / James Roy Daley on: Twitter / BOOK-ie on: Twitter

Books of the Dead Press on: Facebook / Zombie Book Lover on: Facebook  
BOOK-ie on: Facebook

Option Two: Book Review + Blog Post + Facebook + Twitter Tweets
Price: $30 per 10,000 words.

Description: Having trouble getting your book reviewed?
Send us your title (epub and mobi files are just fine). We will read and review the book. The reviews will be posted on Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes & Noble, on the Books of the Dead Press blog, on the Books of the Dead Facebook page, our Zombie Book Lover Facebook page, and on the BOOK-ie Facebook page.  Once that's done we'll tweet the hell out of it over a large period of time. Many of our early clients have now been tweeted well over 250 times. (And we have multiple accounts, equalling 75,000+ followers!)

Books of the Dead Press on: Twitter / Books of the Dead Marketing on: Twitter 
Zombie Book Lover on: Twitter / James Roy Daley on: Twitter / BOOK-ie on: Twitter

Books of the Dead Press on: Facebook / Zombie Book Lover on: Facebook  
BOOK-ie on: Facebook

You can PAYPAL here: jamesroydaley@gmail.com
Send your information to: besthorror@gmail.com



Friends of the Dead
 
 


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Thursday, August 13, 2015

REVIEW: Christopher Lee - Lord of Misrule

BOOKS of the DEAD REVIEW

Title: Lord of Misrule
Author: Christopher Lee
Publisher: Orion Publishing
Purchase from: Amazon 

Review by: John Milton

Autobiographies. These things can sell like hotcakes or languish on the shelves of your local Poundland, gathering dust. Surely there are two determining factors when it comes to sales figures for these books: the popularity of the subject and crucially, whether they have anything to say for themselves. Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee CBE CStJ meets both criteria effortlessly; and at 6’4” with dark features and a deep, strong voice, Lee was tailormade for villainous roles; a mantle he has worn with great success over his lengthy film career: Scaramanga, Count Dooku, Frankenstein’s Monster, Saruman, Fu Manchu, Lord Summerisle and of course, Count Dracula.


The book offers the following synopsis:

“From Bond baddie Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun to Count Dracula, and the wizard Saruman in Lord of the Rings, Christopher Lee’s remarkable career spanning 56 years has delighted and terrified fans young and old alike. But his life has proved just as strange as his films.
Lee’s family was descended from papal nobility, and an unusual home life was counterbalanced by his conventionally English education, as public school was followed by the RAF and dramatic wartime experiences. After the war Lee entered the bizarre world of British films, and his success in Hammer’s The Curse of Frankenstein proved to be the start of decades of cinematic triumphs ranging from Sherlock Holmes to The Wicker Man and Sleepy Hollow.

Written with unforgettable, self-deprecating wit, Lord of Misrule reveals the astonishing experiences of the man the Guardian describes simply as ‘the coolest actor on the planet’.”

Although seemingly extensive, the synopsis above cannot quite do justice to the content of Lee’s autobiography. The life story of Lee is “colourful” to say the least. His childhood has him unknowingly meeting two of the assassins of Rasputin (a character he would go on to play in later life), exploring Europe and witnessing the last public execution by guillotine in France before evacuating back to Britain due to the impending German invasion, to choose but a few events from before his eighteenth birthday.

Lee’s stories throughout are peppered with: members of the aristocracy, royalty from around the world; and a veritable who’s who of actors, celebrities and sports stars from the King of Sweden to Burt Lancaster and Hugh Hefner to Muhammad Ali.

Throughout the book, the tone is warm, charming and conversational. It is in no way a chore to read and the impression it left me with was one of sitting down and being told stories by a grandfather of his past. Although Lee has some genuinely harrowing episodes in his life such as his wartime exploits in North Africa, his sense of humour is always evident and there were times when I had to sit the book down due to laughing so much!

Lee’s autobiography also offers the reader a unique insight into the film industry and he offers much honest and frank remarks  about the industry in general, directors, other actors, his career regrets and a candid critique of many of his own performances; including what he considers to be his best role, that of Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man; and the role he considers to be his most important and that of which he is most proud: playing Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Jinnah, a biopic about  the founder of Pakistan.

Lord of Misrule takes the reader inside not just Lee’s work but also his private life, marriage, hobbies and interests; and offers some particularly touching and personal comments on his friendships with legends of the horror genre: Boris Karloff, Vincent Price and Peter Cushing.

On a critical note, those looking for a tome on Lee’s horror roles may be left disappointed. The reader of Lord of Misrule will find themselves more than a quarter of the way through the book before embarking on Lee’s film career, more than a decade of which he laboured in minor roles due to being “too tall... too foreign-looking” before starring in roles for Hammer Horror of which he is now synonymous with. That is not to say that Lee skirts over his contribution to the genre and what horror films have done for his career; it is simply that Lee’s life and career now spans ten decades which by any stretch of the imagination, is an awful lot to fit in one book. In fact, Lord of Misrule was originally published in 1977, then again with additions in 1997; and a further addendum in 2003 with an introduction by director Peter Jackson (Brain Dead, King Kong, The Frighteners), who worked with Lee on the Lord of the Rings films.

Whether you be a fan of Lee’s work in general, hooked on horror, looking for a wonderfully rich autobiography to immerse yourself in, or more curious about this wonderful man’s life after his recent passing, I thoroughly recommend Lord of Misrule.


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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

REVIEW: Death’s Realm

BOOKS of the DEAD REVIEW

Title: Death’s Realm
Author: Various Authors
Publisher: Grey Matter Press
Purchase from: Amazon 

Review by: John Milton

Since their arrival on the scene in 2013, Grey Matter Press have delivered some truly memorable titles in the genre, my latest read from GMP, ‘Death’s Realm’ is another solid entry from the GMP stable.

As alluded to in this collection of sixteen tales, the central premise behind each story is death and indeed, what may await us all beyond that final physical chapter in our lives. ‘Death’s Realm’ comes with the following synopsis:

“There's something that awaits you on the road ahead. It lurks in the shadows at the intersection between the Here and the Hereafter. It's your own death.

It's at this crossroad between of this life and the next, where your life comes face-to-face with the specters, ghosts, haunts and lost souls of the dead. And it's here where they wage war for your very soul.

DEATH'S REALM contains sixteen stories of these battles between the living and the dead by an acclaimed selection of award-winning modern masters from the horror and speculative fiction genres.”

For me, the danger with such anthologies is that the principle subject matter can become somewhat repetitive. Thankfully, this is not the case with ‘Death’s Realm’, where the stories range from premeditated murder to Lovecraftian nightmares via ghosts, the walking dead and Somalian pirates!

In any such collection, there are going to be stories that capture the imagination of the reader more than others. The following were those that really stood out for me:

In ‘Haunter’, award winning author Hank Schwaeble delves into the psyche of a man haunted by his past, quite literally...

Lauded genre veteran and fast becoming known as the ‘King of Pain’, John F.D.Taff earns his crown in the touching and emotional ‘Some Other Day’.

‘Foxhole’ by J.G. Faherty sees soldiers in a future war fought on American soil fighting against the odds to survive but all is not as it seems for these brothers-in-arms.

Set during World War Two, ‘March Hays’ by Matthew Pegg is a deceptive story of horror, showing how far someone will go to protect the one they love.

Karen Runge and Simon Dewar team up in ‘High Art, to deliver a brutal tale of lust, murder and revenge.

Jay O’Shea’s ‘A Pirate’s Ransom’ takes the reader into the mind of a reluctant pirate as he joins a seasoned crew of marauders on an ill-fated seizure of a seemingly abandoned vessel. Despite being set off the Horn of Africa and me reading the story as I sat in near tropical conditions, O’Shea’s prose left me feeling the cold...

The variety and quality of stories contained in ‘Death’s Realm’ is quite exceptional but naturally, some tales will appeal to any given individual reader more than others. Additionally, it may be worthy of note that this collection ought to come with a caveat, as the subject matter may be a little sensitive for some.

At a little more than 300 pages and for only $3.08/ £1.99 on Kindle, ‘Death’s Realm’ represents real value for money, given the dearth of talent who have contributed to this outstanding collection of short stories.

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