Tuesday, September 16, 2014

House of Seven Gables Read-a-Long - Discussion Delayed #NH7Gables


Sorry, folks! I'm running behind. Will have the discussion up by Thursday or Friday at the latest. Please feel free to share your thoughts on Twitter in the meantime using #NH7Gables


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Monday, September 1, 2014

Gothic September and The House of Seven Gables Read-a-Long Kick Off!


It's time to kick off Gothic September and start the read-a-long of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House of Seven Gables. I am so excited because Fall is here (unofficially after Labor Day, officially September 23) so the spooky/scary reading is starting and Carl's R.eaders I.bibing P.eril IX. Who else is excited!?

I am going to be doing some Gothic reading this September with The House of Seven Gables and a new book coming out in October, An English Ghost Story by Kim Newman. I'm also going to be listening to some Edgar Allan Poe on audio and, if I have time, I'll squeeze in Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown.

If you want to join me in reading some Gothic books this Fall, I hope you will share what you read with me in the comments. I will be posting several times all month about Gothic topics and will share links to your posts. Also, if you would like to contribute by writing a post, please also leave me a comment. Would love to have your contributions!

If you will be joining me for the read-a-long of The House of Seven Gables, I am keeping the reading schedule fairly simple. We will have only two check-ins here on the blog, mid-book and end. You can also share your progress on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #NH7Gables. If anyone would like to have a Twitter chat at finish, please let me know in your comment below.

The House of the Seven Gables Read-a-Long Schedule

September 1 - 15 
Chapter I/The Old Pyncheon Family through Chapter X/The Pyncheon Garden (end on p. 151)

September 16
Mid-Book Check In

September 16 - 30
Chapter XI/The Arched Window through end (ending page in my edition is 309)

October 1
End of book/Final check in

Twitter/Facebook hashtag:  #NH7Gables

Happy Gothic September and Happy Fall!

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Friday, August 8, 2014

The Unholy by Paul DeBlassie III - Character Guest Post


I’m Claire Sanchez, curandera, medicine woman, protagonist in The Unholy. I witnessed my mother’s brutal murder in the nighttime forest of Aztlan at the hands of a black-robed man. Hiding behind the tress, a five-year-old girl, I was powerless to help. This nightmare haunted my waking life and dreams for twenty-five years. I feared fulfilling my destiny as a medicine woman. My mother died because of who she was. Terrible fright dominated my life. The black-robed man could find me and do what he had done to my mother. Death lurked around every corner of Aztlan. Religion, I came to discover, cloaks many a sordid deed and foul personage. There was no way I could continue to run. What I most feared came my way, discovered my whereabouts, what my life was about and was to become, and who I loved. The time came for me to decide. Decisions of life-long consequence are painful, agonizing. Nevertheless, I do not regret the decision I made. I had to face the ghost of my past or forever be haunted by nightmares of what might come and what I could have done differently. I am not one to be indecisive. It was all a matter of timing. Yes, it was violent. Yes, the world of the supernatural and natural collided and forever changed the lives of so many people; but, I would not have it any other way. I needed to be true to my life, destiny, to myself as a woman who could run no longer. I could no longer cling to old ways and crippling terrors that needed to be confronted. I did what I had to do and for that I am glad and am complete. To all who read, I send you courage as you confront the dark side of religion and a woman’s quest to discover self, destiny, and whether, because of the scarring of her past, she could ever love again.
About the bookA young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, The Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON


About the author
PAUL DeBLASSIE III, PhD, is a psychologist and writer living in his native New Mexico. A member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association, and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, he has for over thirty years treated survivors of the dark side of religion.

His latest book is the psychological/paranormal thriller, The Unholy.

Visit his website at www.pauldeblassieiii.com or his blog at www.pauldeblassieiii.blogspot.com.

Connect & Socialize with Paul!

TWITTER * FACEBOOK

Watch for my review...coming this weekend!


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Monday, August 4, 2014

The Never-Ending Anne Rice Challenge

Any Anne Rice fans out there? I just announced last week my new long-term reading challenge, The Never-Ending Anne Rice Challenge. To find out what it's all about and to sign up, visit the dedicated blog HERE. What better time, what with Prince Lestat coming out in a few months? Can't wait! Hope you will join me!





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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hunter Shea's The Montauk Monster - Spotlight with Excerpt


Publisher’s Weekly named the upcoming thriller, THE MONTAUK MONSTER, one of the best summer books of 2014! Not only that, they gave it an awesome review. Here’s a snippet:

The urban mythologies of the Montauk Monster and the government labs on Plum Island unite to cause staggering levels of mayhem when mutant animals with toxic blood descend on a Long Island town. This wholly enthralling hulk of a summer beach read is redolent of sunscreen and nostalgia, recalling mass market horror tales of yore by John Saul, Dean Koontz, and Peter Benchley. — PW

About the book/Advanced praise"Shea combines ancient evil, old school horror, and modern style." --Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author

It Kills. . .

On a hot summer night in Montauk, the bodies of two local bar patrons are discovered in the dunes, torn to shreds, their identities unrecognizable. . .

It Breeds. . .

In another part of town, a woman's backyard is invaded by four terrifying creatures that defy any kind of description. What's clear is that they're hostile--and they're ravenous. . .

It Spreads. . .

With every sunset the terror rises again, infecting residents with a virus no one can cure. The CDC can't help them;FEMA can't save them. But each savage attack brings Suffolk County Police Officer Gray Dalton one step closer to the shocking source of these unholy creations. Hidden on nearby Plum Island, a U.S. research facility has been running top-secret experiments. What they created was never meant to see the light of day. Now, a vacation paradise is going straight to hell.

"Hunter Shea is the real deal.. . .intense." --Gord Rollo, author of Valley of the Scarecrow and Crimson

"Shea delves deep into the unknown. A thrill-ride of a read!" --Alexandra Holzer, author of Growing Up Haunted

Called “Most Anticipated Summer Read of 2014” by The Horror Bookshelf along with Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes and Brian Moreland’s The Vagrants.

Purchase
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Raves for Hunter Shea

Forest of Shadows

"A frightening, gripping story that left me too frightened to sleep with the lights off. This novel scared the hell out of me and it is definitely a creepy ghost story I won't soon forget." --Night Owl Reviews

Sinister Entity

"This is the real deal. The fear is palpable. Horror novels don't get much better than this." --Literal Remains

". . .Culminates in a climactic showdown between human and spirit that keeps you glued to the pages!" --Horror Novel Reviews

Evil Eternal

"Hunter Shea has crafted another knockout. At turns epic and intimate, both savage and elegant. . .a harrowing, blood-soaked nightmare." --Jonathan Janz, author of The Sorrows

Swamp Monster Massacre

"If you're craving an old-school creature-feature that has excessive gore. . .B-horror movie fans rejoice, Hunter Shea is here to bring you the ultimate tale of terror!" --Horror Novel Reviews


About Hunter Shea
Hunter Shea is the author of paranormal and horror novels Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal, Sinister Entity, which are all published by Samhain Horror. The June 3, 2014 release of his horrifying thriller Montauk Monster is published by Kensington/Pinnacle.

He has also written a short story to be read prior to Sinister Entity, called The Graveyard Speaks (it’s free, go download!), and a book of stories called Asylum Scrawls. His next book from Samhain Horror, titled HellHole, came out July 1, 2014, and is his first western horror. As you read this, he has a few more books in the works from both Kensington and Samhain and release dates should be announced soon.

His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales, and the upcoming anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists, and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on.

He is also half of the two men show, Monster Men, which is a video podcast that takes a fun look at the world of horror. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at www.huntershea.com, on Twitter @HunterShea1, Facebook fan page at Hunter Shea or the Monster Men 13 channel on YouTube.

Montauk Monster Truth or Fiction

Is the Montauk Monster made up for the book or an urban myth? Is there some truth that propels the story? You can find out more about the real Montauk Monster story here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montauk_Monster

Excerpt from The Montauk Monster
The bat suddenly felt like a lead weight in his hands. Brian took a step back. He couldn’t make out any details in the dark, but he could see that they had to be dogs, big ass ones to boot. His plan had worked, in that his little surprise had gotten them to stop rooting through the garbage. The one drawback, and it was a big one, was that they weren’t the least bit afraid. Not of him. Not of the bat in his hands.

They took a step forward. The one on the right flicked a paw, crashing the can into the side of the house.

Brian tried to shout. All that came out was a soft, stammering hiss of nonsense.

The dogs came closer.

What the hell was wrong with them? Brian could feel the heat of their savage intention coming off them in steady waves.

He tripped as his heel came in contact with the raised brick of the patio. Daring a quick glance to his right, he wondered if he could make it in the door and slam it shut before they got to him. It would be close.

They’d gone disconcertingly silent.

Drawing in a deep breath, he pivoted and started to run.

He didn’t go far.

The other garbage can took the brunt of his flight. His shin cracked into it and he somersaulted over the can, landing on his side. The pain in his leg was excruciating.

The ticking of nails on concrete made the hairs at the back of his neck stand on end as the dogs rounded the corner with confident strides.

Brian scrabbled to get back on his feet. The open door was just six feet away. In there was safety. In there was light and a first aid kit to take care of his leg.

In there was a place where pissed off, giant dogs could not go.

His yard was swiftly flooded with light.

“Brian, what the hell are you doing out there?”

The light and Sam’s angry voice put a good scare into the menacing dogs. They dashed back down the alley as fast as greyhounds. One of them brushed against the can on its way out, giving it one last ear-splitting clatter against the house.

Hands clasped over his battered shin, Brian couldn’t find the words to answer his neighbor.



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Friday, May 30, 2014

The Strain Read-a-Long - Twitter chat postponed #thestrainRAL


I am behind on posting the discussion post...and responding to the comments on the last discussion post. I'm so sorry! It's the end of the school year so it has been constant music performances and award ceremonies to attend. I promise I will have it posted tomorrow. Also, something has come up for me tonight and so I'm going to have to postpone the Twitter chat until next Friday, June 6 at 8:00pm CST/9:00pm EST. Again, I do apologize.

Hope you're enjoying the book as much as I am!


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Thursday, May 22, 2014

PUYB: Kevin Bohacz's Ghost of the Gods - Spotlight


Title: Ghost of the Gods
Genre: Techno-Thriller
Author: Kevin Bohacz
Publisher: Mazel & Sechel
Pages: 437
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

Was it the accumulated wounds to the environment that had finally triggered the nanotech plague or was it simply one more step in a shrewdly crafted plan to replace us with humans 2.0? As I write this at least one pair of these transhumans breathe the same air as us, and there are likely many more. They may look like us, they may even be almost human, but they are also cybernetic and will live for an extraordinary length of time. Trust me, their goals are not the same as ours. It was not a natural plague that almost drove humankind to extinction but an attack from within, turning our own biology against us. Scientists discovered all too late an artificial entity, a sentient machine foolishly created in the image of god, had been studying us and genetically altering us for longer than we can imagine. Perhaps it is because of this god-machine that we evolved into creatures who can think and speak and know our own mortality? This silicon god is so different from us that we may never truly understand it, but what we do know is that it is terrifyingly intelligent and it hates us. What we do know is that it tried to eradicate us from the face of our planet and then stopped for no discernible reason. What we do know is that its work is not done.

Excerpt:
It had been a restless night for both of them. The old growth forest was dense with huge oak and hickory trees. The ground was damp, and the air had a mossy tang to it. Mark Freedman heard the snapping and popping of the campfire as he awoke very oddly from a dream. He no longer awoke as humans had since their beginnings. At some point the processing throughput of his nanotech augmented brain surged upward and his eyes simply opened. He was fully aware of the data streaming in from his senses and his wireless neurological interface to the god-machine. The machine was an artificial intelligence whose origin was murky. It was hosted redundantly within the world’s oceans in supercolonies of the same nanotech seeds that infected him. A single seed was a self-replicating nanotech machine about a quarter the size of an average bacterium, yet had the power of a personal computer. The technology was decades beyond anything humans could have created in a lab. Some thought the technology could be almost as old as life on earth while others had far different, more recent ideas.

Mark could still see the spherical colonies in his mind. He had been dreaming of them again. Each was an undulating mass of hundreds of trillion of COBIC bacteria. Each bacterium was infected with a seed that covertly replaced most of the nucleus. It was all so stealthful, like a skilled hunter toying with its prey. Only in this case its prey was the world. Each colony was only a few feet in diameter, a size easily lost in the vast chasms of deep ocean water. Only a handful of these super- colonies were secreted around the world. He could hear echoes of the artificial intelligence thinking to itself. At times it could be maddening.

The god-machine, through its global wireless web, linked together all seeds that permeated everything on the planet. The result was an ancient living network of unimaginable scale and distributed comput- ing power. The seeds undetectably infected virtually every multi-celled creature, including humans.

Mark took a deep breath to clear the cobwebs of his dreams then took another deep breath. He heard a twig snap in the darkness, and his heart jumped. At the edge of the small clearing, beyond the reach of the campfire’s glow, lurked a deep gloom thick enough to conceal almost anything. The night was alive with droning and chirping creatures that should have been hibernating. Climate change had brought so many unforeseen consequences. In seconds his nanotech brain had cataloged the telltale sounds of several species of insects and other small creatures. Some would be extinct before long.

Mark thought how humankind had come so dangerously close to extinction itself. When the nanotech seeds had metastasized inside him two years ago, the technology had not only altered his brain, it had modified his flesh and even to some extent his DNA. While most of the seeds had taken root permanently inside the neurons in his brain, some remained unattached.

Using a mental command, Mark augmented his vision to include medical information about his body. The information was mentally projected as virtual reality. Looking at his arms and legs, he saw what resembled a colored fluoroscopic view. Orange blotches in the overlaid schematic symbolically indicated where the unattached mobile seeds were now massing. He knew these seeds were concealed inside harm- less COBIC bacteria, which they controlled and used both for disguise as well as mobility. These nanotech bacteria navigated his circulatory system like computerized antibodies. The microbes were sheathed in a chemical disguise, dialed-in to match its environment in the same way a chameleon changes its color. The result was complete invisibility to the immune system of its host. If his flesh was injured, this free-swimming nanotech could knit his tissues back together at the molecular level, healing the damage in days instead of weeks. These seeds, however, did far more than heal. Slowly, over time, they perfected through genetic fine tuning. He was the first of his kind. He had no idea how long he would survive, but he did know his lifespan would be extraordinary.

Mark turned off the medical projection. While he could examine his flesh, there was no command that could show him what was happening to his mind. Soon after the nanotech seeds had infected his brain, all his dreams had become conscious experiences and remained that way. In his conscious dreams he was able to solve problems, explore places, and just simply live. It was like an entire second existence had been opened to him. He knew his conscious dream life was mostly the result of photographic recall of everything, including dreams. Surveillance data from the god-machine proved most people had conscious dreams every night; they just failed to remember them and called them by a different name: lucid dreams.

Mark gazed up from the small clearing at a sky overcrowded with stars. He felt like the only being alive in this infinite, lonely place. A gibbous moon was just setting below the branches. Its pale blue light cast long shadows of tree limbs across the clearing. The shadows reminded him of ghostly talons reaching out for their prey. He checked for dream signs to make sure he was not experiencing a false awakening.

The temperature should have been frigid and the ground covered in deep snow, but it was not. More signs of a planet teetering on the brink of environmental collapse. The continent no longer had uniform seasons. Some places were experiencing a frozen winter while here in Missouri it was closer to early spring. It was chilly enough to be uncomfortable for an organic, but not for Mark and his companion. He simply dulled the temperature sensitive nerve endings in his skin. The campfire’s low flames had been reduced to orange coals. He could see the radiated warmth on his arms and legs but felt nothing. The glowing coals seemed almost alive as they writhed in their superheated world. Unable to feel the warmth, Mark was fascinated and reached out with his hand. A computer assist acted automatically in response to his state of mind. This assist, like the medial schematic, was a geo-projected virtual reality. The assist was warning him that the heart of the fire was 1,262 degrees Fahrenheit. It did this by displaying the temperature superimposed over the coals. Mark thought about the utter pointless- ness of that warning and how it showed the machine interface was still adapting to him and had far to go. He never had any intension of inserting his hand into the flames.

A soft breeze stirred dying leaves on the branches around him as a few more floated to earth. He watched one incinerated as it drifted down onto the hungry coals… as it dissolved, a terrible memory crept back into his awareness unbidden and his heart broke anew. Every day when he awoke the world was as it should be for a brief time, then the serpent of reality opened her eyes inside him and the horror of what he knew broke him again as he knew it would every morning of every day of his unimaginably long life. He spoke in an urgent whisper directed at both God and the god-machine.

“I want our lives back. I want our hope back. How could you hate us so much?”

Sarah stirred next to him. She was a nanotech hybrid like him. They were the only two known to exist in a world of one and half billion humans who had survived the nanotech plague. A plague caused by the god-machine and the seeds living inside his flesh. Mark regretted whispering and furtively wiped the dampness from his eyes. Sarah’s Rottweiler, Ralph, was staring at him. The dog’s eyes glowed with orange light from the fire. The huge animal was like a witch’s familiar.

Sarah could partially see and hear through the animal’s senses as they were radiated out as data across the god-machine’s n-web. Since all creatures were infected with some nanotech seeds, all creatures radiated some emanations, be it mental or emotional. Sarah propped herself up. Mark could see her shadowed expression in the wavering light. She looked so attractive and so frighteningly intelligent. He knew she was curious. He could feel her empathic awareness begin to suffuse him as her cybernetic brain fully awoke like a rising sun. Her spiritual caress was a hand returning to a familiar glove. While she shared and expe- rienced all his emotions, she must never discover the terrible truth. He concealed it deep inside himself and kept it from her so that she did not lose all hope. There was always hope.


About the author

I am Kevin Bohacz the bestselling novelist of Immortality and a lucid dreamer… Welcome to my dreams. I am also a writer for national computer magazines, founder and president of two high technology corporations, a scientist and engineer for over 35 years, and the inventor of an advanced electric car system – the ESE Engine System (circa 1978). I was also a short order cook for I-Hop, flipped burgers at McDonalds, and delivered Chicken Delight. All of those careers and more are behind me now that I am a full time storyteller, a catcher of dreams. Thank you for reading my stories and making this all possible.

His latest books are Immortality and Ghost of the Gods.

Visit Kevin’s website at www.kbohacz.com or follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kevinbohacz.


Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Ghost of the Gods Tour Page


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