Categories
book discussions Book Reviews Extreme Horror Series Short Story

THE FUNERAL: An Extremely Twisted SHORT STORY by Matt Shaw

“Before a funeral, there needs to be a death.”

The Funeral. cover

 

 

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WARNING:

This is A SHORT STORY. It is intended for KU members who have been requesting short, sick, bedtime stories. As part of KU they are able to download this title for free.  If you wish for a longer story to read, do not purchase any of the F*cked-Up Shorts titles.  A good place to start would be The Black Cover Books (for lovers of extreme horror).

 

 

* What doesn’t kill you fucks you up mentally. *

The Funeral deals with grief, loss and redemption.
“You can expect twists & turns – be ready to feel a wide range of emotion.”
Never has a truer sentence been written.
Jason is a character that I can relate to.
He’s going through a bad time in his life right now. He is consumed with destructive thoughts, and wrestling with personal demons. Throughout the entire story I found myself laughing at one sentence, close to tears in the next sentence, and nodding my head in agreement at another.
Jason answers a late night phone call that gives him an ‘unexpected distraction’ from his self destructive thoughts, and it’s time for our second ride on that roller coaster!
It is so easy to see parts of myself in Jason, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who will feel this way.

I often find myself wondering if parts of certain stories are based on real events in the author’s life. I did that a lot in this book, especially when Jason thought about moments of happiness that the he shared with his mom. (Matt – go hug your mom!) Not every memory is a great one, there are regrets – just like real life.

The ending was a very unexpected script twist! Trust me… this is one that you wont see coming.

*BONUS POINTS for the ‘failed gas oven suicide attempt’!!  
(Depression + OCD = hilarity!)
*EVEN MORE BONUS POINTS for Jason’s reasons to pass on each method on the internet’s ‘top ten’ list.

 

The Funeral on Amazon
Matt Shaw‘s Amazon Author Page

The Funeral on Goodreads
Matt Shaw on Goodreads

Matt Shaw on Facebook
@The_Matt_Shaw

Smitherd and Shaw ~ Are You Sure? A New Podcast ~ Coming Soon
Categories
BBB Exclusive Coffin Hop Fiction Horror Original Serial

Serial: The Conclusion

Posted on September 30, 2013 by Jack Chaser

how_about_we_big_image-1

CLICK

Hi, this is Susan. I can’t come to the phone right now so please leave me a message and I will call you right back.

BEEP

Ms. Mallone, it’s Detective Barker calling again. If you could call me back it is of the utmost importance.

CLICK

Hi, this is Susan. I can’t come to the phone right now so please leave me a message and I will call you right back.

BEEP

Ms. Mallone, it’s Detective Barker.

Ma’am, we are investigating the case of Mr. James Willis. We know you were likely the last person he was seen with and I have some unfortunate news. I see no reason not to hide the details as it leaked to the local news within minutes of it happening.

Mr Willis was found dead in the dumpster behind the restaurant you and he had dinner at last week. Ahhhhh, it’s here…. Tino’s, I believe it’s called. A waitress found him at the end of her shift when she took out the trash.

Ma’am, the condition of the body was pretty grim. Most of his upper musculature was missing and …… there were marks on his body in and around the wounds. Our pathologist has indicated that the marks were made by a human mouth. That human teeth had…… made them.

We questioned all the staff including Alissa, your waitress, who have seen you with several men in the establishment in the last few months. They seemed to indicate you were never seen with the same men more than once and never ate while you were there.

I don`t think I need to tell you by now that one of the men, Jason Fairman, was found in a similar fashion last month.

This can all be cleared up if you come in to the station and answer a few questions. We certainly don`t think you could have done this. The coroner believes that someone over powered these men and the wounds were inflicted while they were ….. while they were still alive.

Please come in when you can.

CLICK

Hi, this is Susan. I can’t come to the phone right now so please leave me a message and I will call you right back.

BEEP

Hi Susan. It`s Ryan. Just wanted to thank you for an amazing night the other night. I know you didn`t eat much but the way you were looking at me said it all.

Can`t wait to see you again. call me.

CLICK

Categories
BBB Exclusive Coffin Hop Fiction Horror Original Serial

SERIAL: Part Seven by Jack Chaser

Posted on September 28, 2013 by Jack Chaser

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CLICK

Hi, this is Susan. I can’t come to the phone right now so please leave me a message and I will call you right back.

BEEP

Good afternoon, Ms. Mallone. My name is Detective John Barker with the County Sheriff’s Department.

We are investigating a missing person’s report filed by the family of Mr. James Willis. He has been missing since late last night and was seen in your neighborhood around the time of his disappearance.

We know you have been in contact with him in the last few days so if you could please give me a call I just have a few questions. My number is 613 847-1474.

Thank you.

CLICK

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Categories
BBB Exclusive Coffin Hop Fiction Horror Original Serial

SERIAL: Part 6 by Jack Chaser

Posted on September 28, 2013 by Jack Chaser

binoculars

CLICK

Hi, this is Susan. I can’t come to the phone right now so please leave me a message and I will call you right back.

BEEP

So, I’ve been just wandering around all night.

I have likely walked by your place a half a dozen times and I see your light is on so I know you,re home. I just can’t figure out why you don’t want to talk to me.

I thought things went pretty good. You laughed. You smiled. At one point, you actually shivered when you touched my hand across the table. We really had a good time.

I could just walk up to your door right now if I wanted to. I am that close.

All that time I wasted. Thinking I was anything but a piece of meat to you. Spending money I didn’t fucking have for you to just brush me off right after dinner like I meant nothing.

I am standing on your fucking door step right now and I know you can hear me. You hear me out here, you fucking slut!

I should just kick this fucking door down but no. I am going to wait. I will wait until you think you are completely happy and then I will destroy it. I will fuck you in every possible way I can think of. I will choke you while I fuck you until you pass out and are so near death you can see the fucking gates of heaven. Then I will bring you back because miserable cunts like you deserve to be rotting in hell.

I really thought I could fall in love with you but you are just like all the other whores I have ever went out with. I know I am not the best looking guy and could likely hit the gym more often but……

I can fucking hear you right behind the door, you bitch!

I can practically hear you breathing.

Open the door, Susan! I just want to talk. I promise.

Open the fucking door. You can even record everything I say. I just want to tell you to your face that you will never find anyone better than me.

Fine. You know what . Fuck you. I should have just waited here the other night and let you watch what I did to your cat. That pussy suffered. The fucking same way you will. Be seeing you.

James……..

Oh, now you open the fucking door.

You don’t understand…….

Oh, I get it alright. Its typical. Bitches like you never get what you have coming to you. That changes right now.

I didn’t want to hurt you.

Hurt me? You have to be fucking kidding. You honestly think you can hurt me?

Oh, I think I can.

Wait.

What are you doing?

What the fuck are you doing?

Stop.

STOP!

PLEASE, STOP!

Categories
BBB Exclusive Coffin Hop Fiction Horror Original Serial

SERIAL: Part Five by Jack Chaser

Posted on September 27, 2013 by Jack Chaser

catSERIAL5

CLICK

Hi, this is Susan. I can’t come to the phone right now so please leave me a message and I will call you right back.

BEEP

Bitch.

CLICK

Hi, this is Susan. I can’t come to the phone right now so please leave me a message and I will call you right back.

BEEP

So who the fuck is the new guy now? Another fucking brother? Yeah. I fucking doubt that.

Don’t try to deny it. I saw the two of you at the same fucking restaurant you took me to. Did you order his fucking dinner for him the same way you did mine? Make him pay for your meal you just pushed around your plate? Fucking waste of fucking money. You never even touched it. A fucking hundred dollars for dinner and all you did was sip a glass of wine.

Is that your thing? Leading fucking guys on? Get them to spend money on you and then leave them dangling? That fucking bottle of wine was over half my pay cheque and I don’t even get a god damn kiss good night.

Fuck you.

CLICK

Hi, this is Susan. I can’t come to the phone right now so please leave me a message and I will call you right back.

BEEP

Just call me,please?

CLICK

Hi, this is Susan. I can’t come to the phone right now so please leave me a message and I will call you right back.

BEEP

Okay. I can take the hint. You don’t want to talk to me. I fucking hate being ignored but if that’s the kind of whore you want to be then go be it.

I waited outside your place for over four hours and you never showed up. Likely out slutting it up with some new guy. All I wanted was for you to tell me to my face that you didn’t give a shit about me.

Hell, I even sat on your step for a while and scratched your cat behind the ears. It was certainly a much more appreciative pussy than you will likely ever be.

Good bye, Susan. I hope the next guy you screw around bends you over in that restaurant and fucks you like you have fucked he guys you take there.

CLICK

Hi, this is Susan. I can’t come to the phone right now so please leave me a message and I will call you right back.

BEEP

CLICK

Hi, this is Susan. I can’t come to the phone right now so please leave me a message and I will call you right back.

BEEP

Don’t bother looking for your cat.

Bad things happen to pussies that don’t play nice.

CLICK

Categories
Book Reviews Book Trailer Fiction Horror Horror Movies New Release

DOCTOR SLEEP by Stephen King

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36 years ago, one of Colorado’s great resort hotels, The Overlook, burned to the ground. Jack Torrance could not escape the hotel’s grasp, but his wife and son, Wendy and Danny, survived everything that The Overlook tried to throw at them, and emerged from the wreckage. The only other survivor was the hotel’s chef, Dick Hallorann, who’d come up from Florida when he got a ‘hunch’, and a mental call from Danny.
Wendy and Dick received multiple injuries from what happened to them inside The Overlook, but Danny came out physically unharmed. Wendy received a small settlement from the hotel, enough to help her and Danny get by while she recuperated. They ended up moving to Florida, not too far from where Dick Hallorann lived. The bond that was formed between Dick and Danny was strong, and they all kept in touch throughout the years.
Although Danny was physically OK, the poor kid was a mess mentally. He was too young to control his gift, or his curse. There’s no reason to pretend here, we all know what it is! Danny could not control the shining at this young age, so he couldn’t stop the ghosts from The Overlook from coming to him. In March of 1981, when Danny was eight years old, and in the third grade, he had a visitor from The Overlook. He woke his mom up, told her not to go in the bathroom, and after that he refused to speak. Wendy called Dick and asked him to come. He didn’t hesitate, and was there the next day. This is when Dick sat down with Danny and explained as much as he could about The Shining, as much as an eight year old would understand anyway. Dick also told Danny about his childhood, his shine at that age, and what his grandmother had done to help him.
He taught Danny how to lock these ghosts away, in a sealed box, on a high shelf in the far back his mind. This is a trick you can do IRL (in real life), too. Psychologists would call it repressing, but I say – “Whatever it takes to get by!!”

REDRUM RESURFACES
REDRUM RESURFACES

We flash forward in time, to a present day Danny. The child who had been abused by an alcoholic father, and who swore would never take a drink, is waking up in Hangover Hell and trying to recall the previous nights events. We learn about what kind of man Dan Torrance has grown into, and where he is at this point in his life.
doctorsleep3
Meanwhile, we are getting to know Andrea Steiner. Andrea is a 32 year old ‘wanderer’, doing what she needs to do to get by. She’s been ‘Dating for Dinner’, and while other girls are happy being picked-up with a quick drink and trip to the closest motel, that’s not her gig. Not a huge fan of men anyway, due to a father who spent eight years treating her like anything BUT his daughter, she preferred being taken to a movie instead of straight to the sheets.
Andrea doesn’t have to earn her money the way the others do. She has a unique talent. While watching Raiders of the Lost Ark with her date, his hand starts to creep into her lap and he’s not wanting any of the popcorn she has there. She whispers in his ear, and he falls into a deep sleep. So deep, in fact, that he doesn’t mind when she reaches into his pants, for his wallet instead of his willie, and liberates him from his cash.
This isn’t the first man who has fallen asleep in the theater with Andrea, and there is someone in the back row that has seen them all.
Rose The Hat
Rose The Hat

Rose O’Hare, known simply as Rose The Hat, is the leader of a tribe of people called the True Knot who travel across the country in search of sustenance. They are ‘family’ – what is tied can never be untied. They have been without a member who has a true ‘sleeper’ talent for quite some time, and Andrea is perfect.

The sustenance that the True Knot seeks comes from the ‘steam’ that children with the shining produce when they are slowly tortured to death. The more pain these children endure, the more potent their steam becomes, so…they do not die a quick death.
doctorsleep4STEAM
Elsewhere, there is Abra Stone. Abra Is a very special and unique twelve year old girl who has unknowingly predicted numerous tragedies ever since she was an infant.
Born with a caul, and blessed with second-sight, she knows that her abilities scare her parents – so she hides them, pretending that they no longer exist. Her ‘Momo’, Concetta, has always known she is two-minded, and is supportive. The True Knot is aware of Abra’s existence, and her power. Abra has seen visions of Rose The Hat, and is aware of the danger.
When Abra really needs someone to confide in…there’s always been Tony. Lately though, Tony hasn’t been around.
When Abra recalls a vision, a forgotten memory so strong she cannot handle it alone, she reaches out with everything she has and asks Tony’ s dad for help.
Abra911predction sample03 AbraStone
It looks like I’ve said a lot, but I’ve only scratched the surface. I wasn’t super excited to read this, thinking a sequel to The Shining couldn’t possibly be done. But, knowing that the rest of the world was reading it, I couldn’t possibly put it off. My friends were super excited to read it, so I wanted to be able to discuss it when they were ready.
I went in with mediocre expectations, and have to admit that I was drawn back in to the Overlook from the very beginning. By the time I finished, I knew it wasn’t just the hotel that held such an evil power, but the land itself.
The first part of the story, with a young Danny, was great. I loved being back with Dick Halloran and reading about his childhood with the shining. Wendy tried, but Danny wouldn’t have made it without Dick. I’ve always been grateful that he made it out of the hotel alive.
I barely touched on the adult Dan Torrance. During his travels, and short stays from town to town, when he does end up finding work – he’s always been drawn to working in a hospice (hot-spice), being hired anywhere from janitorial staff to an orderly. His shining helps comfort the dying patients in their final moments.:

Dan sees the early death flies, will they catch it in time?
Dan sees the early death flies, will they catch it in time?
This guy's got one foot in the grave
This guy’s got one foot in the grave
When he settles in New Hampshire, it’s this gift that earns him the moniker Doctor Sleep.

His battle with drinking was a big part of the story, and at first, I wasn’t really keen on all the meetings and slogans. But, after I thought about it, I realize that it’s an important part of the story. He grew up with an abusive, alcoholic father, and the path that Jack Torrance went down is the same path that led them to the Overlook.

Everything came full circle.

doctorsleep5

In the authors notes, when Stephen King talks about Stanly Kubrick’s movie version of The Shining, he says “…the movie, which many seem to remember – for reasons I have never quite understood – as one of the scariest films they’ve ever seen.”
Now, that sure sounds to me like he isn’t pleased with Kubrick’s interpretation. That surprises me!

The Stanly Hotel in Colorado. In the Top 10 Most Haunted.
The Stanly Hotel in Colorado. In the Top 10 Most Haunted.

The 1997 The Shining, also known as Stephen King’s The Shining, is a more accurate adaptation of Stephen King’s vision. This movie was filmed at The Stanly Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. THIS is the hotel King visualized while writing the story, having stayed there prior. I only wish I had my photos of our trip there! It is a gorgeous place, I met many workers who were hired as extras in the movie, and spent an hour playing with chipmunks in the parking lot!
This was taken right before we left for The Stanly Hotel... hey it's a good picture! This is a good enough reason to shape it. hahahahaha
This was taken right before we left for The Stanly Hotel… hey it’s a good picture! This is a good enough reason to share it. hahahahaha

Rocky Wood: King said Rock knows SK’s work better than SK, and is his go-to guy for all things Shining while working on this book. He also said ‘look him up sometime’. So, I did.
Art, THIS is the guy you will probably want to get in touch with about ‘the incident at the boiler’.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Wood

Links from the ebook:

The Simon & Schuster Stephen King page –
authors.simonandschuster.com/Stephen-King
Normally, I wouldn’t even visit the page for more than just being sure that the link works. But, when I did, I ended up checking some things out. The main neat thing… Become a fan of Stephen King on the S & S page to find out about new releases by SK, recommendations, special offers, and more. Plus, get a FREE eBook when you join their mailing list – See more at:
http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Stephen-King/1666839#sthash.F6TXk9FT.dpuf

http://www.doctorsleepbook.com/
~ has a little description of the book with a picture of the cover. A link which reads ” WHERE IS DANNY TORRANCE?
Click to find out”. The click is a maddening circle, ending at the beginning. I think it’s a little piece of SK’s sick humor…

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King reads from Doctor Sleep

Need a refresher?
The Shining

REDRUM1

Categories
Book Reviews Family Fiction Horror News Preview

GIVING UP THE GHOST by Dan Dillard

I received an early copy of GIVING UP THE GHOST from Dan in February. Right when I started it, my dad died. I read it on the plane, going to the funeral. I know this might sound strange to most of you, but, this story helped me get through the next few days! I took much comfort in it. Odd place to find peace, in a horror novel, but I did! The story is excellent! I cried, I laughed out loud, I got angry… I fell in love with these characters.
FINAL E-COVER-small
Gerry Sheffield is a real piece of work. Can’t keep a job, can’t stay any sort of sober, and he has always relied on his parents to bail him out of the trouble he can’t seem to keep himself out of. A grown man who won’t take responsibility.
After a particularly nasty bender, and a run-in with his landlord, Gerry is calling his parents, again – not asking for help as much as demanding their help. After all, they are his parents. It’s their job to look out for their son.
His parents, Margo & Bill, are at the end of their rope.
They’d always tried to help their son. The college tuition that was wasted, the car repairs, the down payment on his now ex-wife’s house, everything. They’re out of patience, and they’re almost out of means. After 27 years, they decide – no more. Clean up your self, clean up your act, put on your big-boy pants & cowboy the fuck up.
The following morning, Gerry gets two checks.
One is for his rent & a thousand bucks for the month.
The second… a great big really check from his dad.
This is it. No more. Sink or swim.
Gerry actually makes a whole-hearted attempt, one last shot to make something of his life, to make his father proud! But, within a day, any chance of walking the straight & narrow is blown. He’s actually made things far worse!
Self righteousness mixed with self pity doesn’t make a good combination. So, once again convincing himself that his problems are all because of someone else, Gerry’s anger helps propel him into calling his parents, to blame Bill & Margo for every single thing that has ever gone wrong in his entire miserable existence. It is bad. He finally says the things that make his parents turn their backs, close their hearts and lock him out. He’s gone too far this time. Realizing what he has done, Gerry’ s hurt eventually gives itself over to hate. And, Gerry lands himself in jail. Again.

Read GIVING UP THE GHOST to find out how far Bill & Margo willing to go to get Gerry to change his ways.
After death, is there anything they won’t do?

GIVING UP THE GHOST by Dan Dillard will be available June 1’st

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Categories
Book Reviews Fiction Horror Short Story

SHORTS by Matt Shaw

A collection of short stories from the twisted mind of Matt Shaw

Please be aware that whilst ‘Insomnia’ and ‘I Lay Still’ are brand new stories – ‘The Review’, ‘The Food Critic’ (Parts one and two) and ‘The Mystery Shopper’ are from the now deleted title “Reviews, Critics and Mystery Shoppers”

A collection of short stories from the twisted mind of Matt Shaw

THE REVIEW is a story about an author, Alan Daleton, who is trying to cope with a ‘one star’ review that someone left on Amazon. This review, along with a few snarky comments made my some guy named “Matt Shaw”, is really starting to bother Alan. He can’t let this go, so he decides to take this reviewer up on his ‘challenge’. By the time he is through, Matt is wishing he’d kept his narrow minded opinion to himself!
This story had me all giggly, then the moment of OMFG! No effing way!! And I wanted to call someone & talk about it… but it was brand new..only released mere hours before I started reading. I couldn’t stand it! So, I emailed Matt. Got my initial reaction out of my system. Now…Dear Reader… I’m just waiting on you. Hurry up, already! I wanna talk!

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THE FOOD CRITIC – Part I
Jamie Mitchell, THE FOOD CRITIC, used to be a chef at one of the city’s greatest restaurants. The stress of his job was getting to him, bad for his nerves and his mind, so a career change was in order. Now, for his health, he’s on the other side of the table – eating and reviewing the meals, instead of preparing them. You can tell by the size of his ever increasing belly that he loves what he does.
He’s been seeing some great reviews for this new place, and he cannot wait to try it out for himself. The restaurant itself is nothing to write home about, so he is betting that the food must be to die for. It has to be, for people to forget about the state of the dining area. Things are not off to a good start, though. He’s had to wait ages to place his order, his waitress is a little bitchy, and his water is room temperature. Let’s hope things get better..
We’ll find out about his dining pleasure in part two…

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THE MYSTERY SHOPPER:
Does your work ever test you by sending in Secret Shoppers? We have a promotion going on right now, from the Coca-Cola people as well as my employers. We had someone come in just two days ago, asking some odd questions. Thankfully, Nikki was helping him. She answered all his annoying questions correctly, and with a smile. The Coke people gave her a $25.00 gift card, they gave the shift manager a$50.00 gift card (for training her properly, I guess), and they also gave everyone working that shift a code to download free music. That’s a lot of stuff for a ten dollar order! I wonder what the Secret Shopper got.
The Secret Shopper in this story, well… The Mystery Shopper, is Tom Peterson. He apparently doesn’t make enough from the companies that send him out, because he found an inventive way to supplement his income. If the people he ‘tests’ don’t score so well in his reports, then Tom might be persuaded to fudge his report. He has found that most employees don’t want their bosses to know what kind of piss poor service they provide. One poor guy took it so hard… well, why don’t you get to reading the story, instead of this review.
Make sure you let Matt know that I’m doing a good job…

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THE FOOD CRITIC Part II:
When we left Jamie, he had just gotten his pitcher of warm drinking water, and ordered his meal. Let’s see if his dining experience has gotten any better, shall we?
He is seated next to Matt and Alan – who are there celebrating the simultaneous release of their books. They’re not to excited to join in any conversation with Jamie, who is seated in the corner, being fat. The stage is set… on to the end of our story…

Jamie is brought his main dish, his stew, and he thinks it looks perfect. Beautiful veggies, perfect hunks of meat, and it smells divine! He devoured it quickly, tasting as perfect as it looked. His dining experience had improved dramatically, and he tells the waitress. She shows concern, finally, that his experience wasn’t favorable from Jump Street, and asks Jamie if he would like to speak to the owner, her father. Which he does. He has a very interesting conversation with the owner, and gets a tour of the entire restaurant. He also gets to find out why the reviews for this place are to die for.

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I LAY STILL:
He wakes up, sore & fuzzy headed. Trying to shake it off, to figure out where he is and why.
Faces coming into view above him. Talking. OK… he realizes he’s in the hospital, his family & friends surrounding him.
They’re acting kind of strange. He had wrecked the car driving drunk, they should me madder than this. Lie here in bed with him, as he tries to figure out why everyone is acting so odd.

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INSOMNIA:
This is the Matt Shaw take on Alfred Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW. In this story, the main character has insomnia (hence the story’s title), which is why he sits up nights watching out the window. Some interesting things to be seen, when people don’t realize that they’re being watched! Even more interesting things to be seen when people suspect they’re being watched… or just don’t care.
A story of voyeurism, exhibitionism, and intrigue.

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Hands down, THE REVIEW was my favorite SS in this collection.
But, it would be hard to rate the rest in order! But… INSOMNIA does stand out, because… I finally made it into one of Matt’s stories!! All that time of hinting, pestering, begging, bribing, stalking & threatening finally paid off! I must say, I made out pretty easy, considering the conversation I had with eee brother and his mum! I thought I would be tortured slowly for that.

I made it! I’m a somebody!

Mandy Hartley got a shout out in the book, too.
If there were others, I missed the references…Sorry.

I LAY STILL, the other new one in this collection, is really good, too. I hate to admit this, but, when I read it the first time… I didn’t get the very end correctly. In my defense, I first read it while on break at work. When I re-read it… I had one of those *face-palm* moments, and when I realized where we just went… it became much cooler!

So, even if you’ve already read the first few stories, you need to pick this up to read the 2 new ones! If you’d like a personal autograph from me right on the INSOMNIA title page, private message me… I’m sure we can come to a monetary agreement! Hahaha!
Since we’re on the subject, don’t forget that you can get Matt to AuthorGraph many of his titles to you personally!

Since I’m plugging… have you read my interview – LOW TEA WITH MATT SHAW?

Categories
Book Reviews Fiction Horror Horror

CAT MAGIC By Whitley Strieber

Cat Magic
by Whitley Strieber

Barry, a practicing witch, [Wiccan] has collaborated with well-known SF and horror writer Strieber in CAT MAGIC. A story about Witchcraft and Wicca, written in 1986 – before the New Age wave hit hard and Wicca as a religion was still a taboo. The book helped keep the focus away from “black magic” nonsense that the movies of the same period were trying to hype. It became a sort of ‘spokespiece’ for Witchcraft, relying on the ancient wisdom of worshipping the earth and the seasons, of living with and respecting nature and the holy in people and animals.
The story focuses on young Amanda Walker, who has come to rural Maywell to work with Constance Collier on her latest book. But Constance is really a witch, the spiritual leader of a large coven, and unbeknownst to Amanda she has picked the girl to be her successor. To complicate matters, Amanda’s eccentric uncle George, who is involved in research in resuscitating the dead, has finally gone over the edge and is looking for a healthy young woman as his next subject. And Brother Simon Pierce, local fundamentalist preacher, himself quite mad, is determined to enforce the Biblical injunction, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”
• I’ve read this four times now, and I love it a little more each time. There are times when the story tries to incorporate ancient Witchcraft myth & legend into a book that is trying to portray Wiccans in a positive light. While that does help the author weave a more fascinating web, it actually casts a shadow over the overall effect. I loved the fey, shown as a race which can be elusive and enduring, as well as dangerous and a little frightening. The Wild Hunt is exciting, proving Amanda to be the person everyone hopes she is, and where she begins to realize it herself.
There is a part, in the lab with George, where he is performing an experiment on a frog. It’s told from the frog’s perspective (as odd as that may sound – it’s really not). That part breaks my heart every time I read it. Feelings going from confusion to pain, back and forth – until, finally… the pain is gone, Summerland is within reach. Everything is finally ‘right’. Then it’s ripped away & it makes me curse life.
I really hope you’ll try to find a copy of this book. It’s a story I’d love to discuss with you. I’m interested to hear the views from Christians AND Pagans, I’m curious to see how different one view is from the other.

P, L, & N ♥
~sg

Categories
Book Reviews Fiction Horror Short Story

CRADLE TO THE COFFIN: THE FABLE OF DRACULA AND LULU By Alan Gandy

CRADLE TO THE COFFIN: THE FABLE OF DRACULA AND LULU
By Alan Gandy
cover-5
Did you ever wonder about Dracula’s childhood? His parents? Do you think you know how he became Vampire, better yet – do you think you know how any Vampire came to be?

The Fable of Dracula & Lulu is a ‘children’s book for adults’, that takes us on the journey of how a sad & lonely little boy became the infamous blood sucker we know today. Alan Gandy has rewritten Dracula’s history, good vs evil, Heaven vs Hell, and even Epic Battles have rules!

It’s greatly written, beautifully illustrated, and includes an afterward from the author that show how much time, effort, and research went into this book.

I really enjoyed this story, and it has me thinking about the childhood lives of other monsters! Was The Creature From The Black Lagoon bullied in school because of the way he looked? Did the Warewolf have to seek therapy because of body issues? What if The Mummy was claustrophobic? Do you think The Invisable Man got lonley?