Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Have a scary, Merry Christmas! Be safe and wishing good thoughts for the new year!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesdays on the Trail(er)--The House of Dead Maids (6)

***You will find the music player in the right sidebar and there you may turn off the auto play music before enjoying the trailer***

A Wednesday feature showcasing a favorite or newly discovered book or movie trailer in the horror and/or speculative fiction genre.  I'm cross hosting this feature with The True Book Addict.  Please feel free to join in every week, if you would like.  I hope you enjoy it!

This is a book I've been wanting to read for a while now.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Book Review: Jane Was Here by Sarah Kernochan

My thoughts:
This is one intriguing book.  From page one, it grabs hold and doesn't let go until the very end, and even then it's not easily forgotten.  It's atmospheric and the characters add to that atmosphere.  I was very impressed with the characters; very fleshed out and interesting.  Centered around Jane, the enigmatic figure we are introduced to in the first few pages as a figure on a road, narrowly avoided by a swerving truck, these characters bend as if directed by an unseen will.  Jane seems to be the force behind that will.  The minute she stepped foot in Graynier, things started to change.  What I like best, I think, is Kernochan's no-holds-barred, in your face prose.  Don't be expecting a light read here.  This book is gritty and honest.  And the subject of reincarnation, endlessly fascinating to me, is very much present.  Jane Was Here is a book that should be on some best of lists.  It certainly is one of the best books I've read in 2011.

About the book:
A thriller that explores reincarnation, Jane Was Here follows a mysterious young woman, who calls herself Jane, who turns up in a small New England town. She claims a fragmentary memory of growing up in the town, yet she has never been there before in her life. Upon her arrival, strange and alarming things begin happening to some of the town's inhabitants. As Jane's memories reawaken piece by piece, they carry her back to a long-buried secret, while the townspeople hurtle forward to a horrific event when past and present fatally collide. A centuries-old mystery will resolve, and karma will claim its due.

This review is part of a book tour with


DISCLAIMER:  I received a copy of this book in conjunction with a tour for Crazy Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.  I received no monetary compensation.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bag of Bones Read-a-Long...Wrap-up and Final thoughts

First of all, I must apologize for not doing this read-a-long by the book, so to speak.  I know others had trouble staying caught up and I was the same.  I guess it's not the best time of year for a read-a-long.  Darn A&E for airing the mini-series in December, one of the busiest times of the year.  But I digress....

As I mentioned, Bag of Bones is a reread for me and it is one of my favorite Stephen King books.  Now I remember why it is a favorite.  It is such an atmospheric ghost story, truly creepy to its depths.  I like my horror subtle and that is exactly what this book is.  It comes at you from the gut.  The part where Mike is on the cellar steps and knows that there is a presence down there and the presence starts thumping the wall, it had me literally crawling in my skin! So, Bag of Bones is not blatantly scary or in your face with horrors, but it's a book that has you looking behind you to see what's there.

The chills aside, Bag of Bones is just a great story.  The incorporation of a bitter custody battle with a back story about the bad doings of ancestral descendants makes for a very interesting read.  Throw in a buried vein of racism and a secret crime (I'm not going into detail because I don't want to spoil it for others who have not read and those who are going to watch the mini-series) and you have the makings of a riveting story.  I have really come to expect no less from King.  Bag of Bones is truly one of his best novels, in my humble opinion.

I must thank A&E for airing an encore presentation of the movie at midnight, as I only just finished the book.  So I leave you to go off and watch in an hour and a half or so and I can't wait! If you read along, or not, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, even if you finish at a later date.  I will do a write up on the mini-series some time after I've watched.

I am recording the movie and will be forwarding the tape to Shalaena at Moirae (the fates).

If anyone else in the U.S. who was not able to watch it wants to watch it, she will forward the tape on to you.  Just let me know.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Stephen King's Top 20 of 2011

The Walking Dead

Here is Stephen King's top 20 in books, movies, television, and music for 2011.

  1. Breaking Bad (television show on AMC)
  2. Margin Call (motion picture)
  3. How Do You Do--Mayer Hawthorne (music)
  4. Sons of Anarchy (television show on FX)
  5. Skippy Dies by Paul Murray (novel)
  6. Sky Full of Holes--Fountains of Wayne (music)
  7. The Debt (motion picture)
  8. Ready for Confetti--Robert Earl Keen (music)
  9. Talk, Talk by T.C. Boyle (novel)
  10. Crossers by Philip Caputo (novel)
  11. Revenge (television show on ABC)
  12. The Accident by Linwood Barclay (novel)
  13. The Tree of Life (motion picture)
  14. The Lincoln Lawyer (motion picture)  *
  15. "Get that Snitch"--Mikis Michaelidis (song from the Attack the Block soundtrack)
  16. The White Devil by Justin Evans (novel)
  17. Final Destination 5 (motion picture)  
  18. The Hour (televison show on BBC America)
  19. The Walking Dead (television show on AMC)  *
  20. "Rumor Has It"--Adele (song from her 21 album)  *
I put stars by the ones I agree with.  The Lincoln Lawyer...AWESOME! The Walking Dead...also AWESOME! I adore Adele.  Most of the others I do not watch, have not seen, heard, or read, or have seen (Final Destination 5), but was not fond of.  I will take very seriously his book recommendations though!

The source for this list is Entertainment Weekly.

Go HERE to see the slide show of the list and read King's explanations for his choices.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesdays on the Trail(er)--Extended Sneak Peek of Bag of Bones (5)

***You will find the music player in the right sidebar and there you may turn off the auto play music before enjoying the trailer***

A Wednesday feature showcasing a favorite or newly discovered book or movie trailer in the horror and/or speculative fiction genre.  I'm cross hosting this feature with The True Book Addict.  Please feel free to join in every week, if you would like.  I hope you enjoy it!

I found out from Lilja's Library--The World of Stephen King, that A&E has posted an extended sneak peek of the Bag of Bones mini-series! You can view it on Amazon HERE.  It is amazing, although a bit different from the book, if you're reading along.  I apologize for not being able to embed the video here.

On a side note, the paperback movie tie-in version of the book was released yesterday.  It's a nice cover, but I still think the original cover is more creepy.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesdays on the Trail(er)--Isis by Douglas Clegg (4)

***You will find the music player in the right sidebar and there you may turn off the auto play music before enjoying the trailer***

New Wednesday feature showcasing a favorite or newly discovered book or movie trailer in the horror and/or speculative fiction genre.  I'm cross hosting this feature with The True Book Addict.  Please feel free to join in every week, if you would like.  I hope you enjoy it!

I've had this one in my home library for a while now.  It sounds so good and the trailer makes it seems even more intriguing!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesdays on the Trail(er)--Bag of Bones Mini-Series (4)

***You will find the music player in the right sidebar and there you may turn off the auto play music before enjoying the trailer***

New Wednesday feature showcasing a favorite or newly discovered book or movie trailer in the horror and/or speculative fiction genre.  I'm cross hosting this feature with The True Book Addict.  Please feel free to join in every week, if you would like.  I hope you enjoy it!

Teaser trailer for the Bag of Bones mini-series on A&E

Behind the scenes of Bag of Bones


Blog Tour and Kindle Fire Giveaway: Derek Clendening talks Indy Publishing

     Word-length requirements drive me nuts. I’ll be surprised if this post hits the typical blog post length. This is because I tend to get to my point rather quickly without having to push myself to do it. That’s generally a good thing, but it can be a curse, because traditional publishing is often about hard-and-fast length requirements. For example, don’t dare submit that novel that isn’t quite 80, 000 words. My novels The Between Years and The Breeding both clock in at about 75k.

     Story ideas strike and I worry about what I’ll do with them, partly because the short story market isn’t so hot and one is hard-pressed to find a market for a 15k story. It’s way too long for the magazine market and there are few publishers willing to take on that 15k story, no matter what it offers. Writing is part of my income and, as much as I want to write what inspires me, I must prioritize and work according to what is saleable.

     This isn’t a blog post about the evils of traditional publishing and I don’t want to say that small press publishing is a pain in the ass. I want to say that indy publishing has afforded a real opportunity to someone like myself, who has plenty of stories to tell, even if my work doesn’t fall neatly into the traditional mold. I’m also afforded freedoms to tackle topics that interest me, which I hope will interest someone else. For example I wanted to write about a pro wrestler, so I did (The Business). The real question for me was whether or not a bad person can become a good person when his life literally depends on it. This clocks in at about 8k, but I said everything I needed to say. I can’t offer this to publishers, but I can offer this to readers. It might mean something to them.
     The same goes for highly controversial topics (The Breeding). Fiction, in my opinion, should be very open, and therefore just about any topic is fair game. I don’t mind giving disclaimers to say that it isn’t for everyone. I won’t lie about or misrepresent my work to make a sale. I do think certain topics deserve to be covered and that we become more enlightened as people by exploring them and considering certain questions. Not many publishers will go for that. Indy publishing is my platform to tame the taboo.

     My dad likes to remind me how much of a niche horror and dark fiction is, but I think my work is even more niche still. I do appreciate those who come along for the ride. It can be different, hopefully interesting, and we’ll do it all our way. Don’t worry, I won’t take up too much of your time :)

To enter to win a Kindle Fire, leave your name and e-mail address in the comment form below. You can enter once per blog stop. Visit each blog stop to increase your odds of winning. If I crack the Kindle Top 100, I will give away another Kindle Fire. E-mail me for the tour newsletter including a full listing of tour stops at derek (dot) r (dot) clendening (at) gmail (dot) com.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Bag of Bones Read-a-Long...Week One (belated post)

Note:  If you're not participating in the read-a-long, be warned, this post contains spoilers.

Okay, read-a-long-ers....I really need to apologize to you about being so late with this post.  Last week just was not conducive to reading.  Way too busy and I think it's only going to get worse.  On that note though, I am making a pact with myself and with you that I WILL finish the reading and post on time this week.  If I don't, I'll give you my address and you can get a mob together and come after me.  ;O)

So....thoughts on the first section of Bag of Bones...being Chapters 1 - 9.  As I might have mentioned, this is actually a reread for me.  I first read it by listening on audio.  I'm really amazed at how different listening to a book is to the good old-fashioned reading of a book.  One thing I noticed was how lengthy and detailed the first part was.  I did listen to the unabridged version so there were no corners cut, but I honestly did not notice the lengthiness when I was listening.  Now, I'm not saying that I disliked it, but I did have a hard time concentrating at times.  Maybe it was me trying to avoid the sadness of the tragic loss of Mike's wife.  I'm a wimp when it comes to sad stuff like that.  I do have to say that SK is very good at portraying grief.  I do believe that Mike Noonan contains a little of himself and Johanna, his lovely wife Tabitha, so I think that SK really wrote how he would feel if he was to lose his beloved Tabby.

We're really just getting to the strange happenings in the book in the first section, but I have to say that the part with Johanna under the bed, after she had already died, was a real frightfest.  Can you imagine?! Since I have read this before, I can tell only gets worse.  I think that's why this book is one of my favorites of SK's.  I just adore creepy over blatant scares.

We are introduced to Mattie Devore and her cutie daughter, Kyra.  With the phone call from Max Devore, I think you can pretty much tell what's going to go on later.  I have to say, I'm never keen about such a young woman with a man 20 years her senior.  It just seems kind of lecherous (okay, prude...make an exit), but Mike seems a good guy, albeit a little oversexed (aren't most men?) so I guess I won't hold it against him.

Of course, we have SK's usual brand of funny little quips that never fail to make me laugh out loud.  I love "V.C. Andrews with a prick" (sorry, Andrews fans).  And he's hilarious with his "I'm taking it to the next level," all the while knowing that he's not writing, but pulling out previously written manuscripts.  What a riot! And then there's the quote that his creative-writing teacher attributes to Thomas Hardy, "Compared to the dullest human being actually walking about on the face of the earth and casting his shadow there, the most brilliantly drawn character in a novel is but a bag of bones."  I think any writer can relate to that.

I have my theories too.  Even though I've read this previously, I really don't remember minute details.  Like Johanna's pregnancy and what was really going on.  I think she was having an affair at Sara Laughs and that is why she did not suggest they go there the year she died.  Maybe not.  What do you think?  What are your thoughts on this week's section?  Share in your own blog post and leave your link or share your thoughts in the comments or do both.  I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am.

This week we're reading Chapters 10 - 15 and updates are Saturday.  Start pre-planning your mob, just in case I'm late again and you have to come after me.  LOL!

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesdays on the Trail(er)--The Hunger Games (3)

***You will find the music player in the right sidebar and there you may turn off the auto play music before enjoying the trailer***

New Wednesday feature showcasing a favorite or newly discovered book or movie trailer in the horror and/or speculative fiction genre.  I'm cross hosting this feature with The True Book Addict.  Please feel free to join in every week, if you would like.  I hope you enjoy it!

I love this trailer! I can't wait to see this and about a trillion other people! LOL!

What do you think, Hunger Games purists?  It's looking pretty spot on to me so far!


Monday, November 14, 2011

The Bag of Bones Read-a-Long has officially started!

Well, the read-a-long officially started yesterday...sorry for the late reminder.  As usual, I'm a day late and a dollar short.  If you're an organized reader, then you have probably already started reading the first section.  However, if you're like me, you'll wait until closer to the end of the week to do the reading.  Either way is perfectly fine! Our first posting date is this Saturday, November 19.  Remember to come over to read my post and leave me your comments.  Also, leave the link to your post in the comments.  If you would rather not do a post, then just share your thoughts in the comments.  If you have read ahead though, please no spoilers for those of us who have not.  Here is this week's reading section:

November 13-19--Chapter 1 - 9

If you haven't yet, you can still sign-up or if you would like a refresher of all the details, check out the original post HERE.

Hope you enjoy your quality time with the king of horror!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesdays on the Trail(er)--The Woman (2)

***You will find the music player in the right sidebar and there you may turn off the auto play music before enjoying the trailer***

New Wednesday feature showcasing a favorite or newly discovered book or movie trailer in the horror and/or speculative fiction genre.  I'm cross hosting this feature with The True Book Addict.  Please feel free to join in every week, if you would like.  I hope you enjoy it!

Can't wait to see this movie!

The Woman (October 2011)


Giveaway Winners!

I have some giveaway winners to announce.  Congrats to you all!

Winner of Vermin (eBook short story anthology)...

 Sue B/katsrus

Two eBook copies of Where the Dead Fear To Tread--winners...




Frightful Fall Reviewers Challenge Winners...

First place--Naida @ The Bookworm (she chose The Box and Bespelling Jane Austen)

Second place--Whitney @ She is to Fond of Books   (Whitney, I need you to contact me...I sent you an email)

Third Place--Moirae (the fates) Book Reviews (you will receive the remaining two books from the six, after Whitney makes her choices)


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wednesdays on the Trail(er)...A New Feature! (1)

***You will find the music player in the right sidebar and there you may turn off the auto play music before enjoying the trailer***

One of the mini-challenges during Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon was to post a favorite book trailer and it was during this challenge that I realized how much I truly love book trailers.  So I decided to create this new weekly feature every Wednesday to showcase a favorite or newly discovered book trailer.  I'm cross hosting this feature with The True Book Addict.  Here I will feature book and/or horror movie trailers.  Please feel free to join in every week, if you would like.  I hope you enjoy it!

Down the Drain by Daniel Pyle

Note:  I owe the author of this book an apology.  He sent it to me for review quite awhile back and I did read it...and I really liked it...but I never posted my review.  I can't really say why.  It just slipped through the cracks.  I'm going to go back and give it a quick reread so look for my official review coming soon.  To Mr. Pyle, I hope you will forgive me.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

R.I.P. VI Wrap Up

As usual, I didn't do as well as expected.  I probably watched more movies than I read...and didn't do one single movie review.  I know, I suck! Also, did not crack any short stories. =O(

Books I read (click titles for reviews):
Danny Marble and the Application for Non-Scary Things by Jessica McHugh
Dust by Joan Frances Turner
Invisible Sun by S.J. Davis
The Darkness by Crystal Connor

Books I'm still working on:
Under the Dome by Stephen King
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
American Horror (anthology edited by Scott Nicholson)
Decayed Etchings by Brandon Ford

Movies (I will include a few words here about what I thought):
In theater:
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark--a pretty good remake of a movie that scared the crap out of me when I was a kid.  Still, not quite as chilling although really enjoyed the back story.
Final Destination 5--I'm not too keen on these movies because they make me constantly watchful in real life for final destination moments.  LOL! I did like the way they wrapped it up with the other movies, but the deaths were a little more far fetched this time.
Dream House--what a disappointment.  This could have been so great, but it really just kind of fell flat.
Contagion--technically not a horror film, but one of the scariest movies I've ever seen! Wash your hands...A LOT...and don't touch your face, for God's sake!
Straw Dogs--a disturbing film with themes of bigotry and sexism and a shocking sequence of events.  I thought it was really good.  A different role for our Eric Northman!

On cable:
I watched a bunch of old scary movies on TCM on Halloween...not sure of all the titles, but Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee were in the majority of them so you get the gist.  These are some of my favorite kinds of horror films...the oldies. =O)

Forget Me Not--creepy movie about...well, I really don't know, but it was definitely creepy.
Dexter (Showtime)--one of the best shows on cable.  The serial killer with the heart of gold.  LOL
American Horror Story (FX)--excellent new show (IMO)...has some genuinely creepy moments
Survivors of the Dead (AMC)--a new George Romero zombie flick...gotta love zombies!
Zombie Apocalypse (SyFy)--another zombie SyFy original...relatively entertaining
The Walking Dead (AMC)--LOVE. THIS. SHOW.  Excellent story lines and zombies.  What else could I ask for?
Flight of the Living Dead--(I think that's what it was called) zombies...on a plane! Truly entertaining. =O)

I would like to thank Carl again for once again hosting one of the funnest challenges ever! Looking forward to next year. =O)


Monday, October 31, 2011

Giveaway! 3 Copies of Dracula in Love by Karen Essex

In honor of Halloween, and thanks to the lovely Karen Essex, I have three copies of Dracula in Love to giveaway today! Haven't heard about this book (you haven't?!)?  Here's what it's about:

In this wonderfully transporting novel, award-winning author Karen Essex turns a timeless classic inside out, spinning a haunting, erotic, and suspenseful story of eternal love and possession.

From the shadowy banks of the river Thames to the wild and windswept Yorkshire coast, Dracula’s eternal muse, Mina Murray, vividly recounts the intimate details of what really transpired between her and the Count—the joys and terrors of a passionate affair that has linked them through the centuries, and her rebellion against her own frightening preternatural powers.

Mina’s version of this gothic vampire tale is a visceral journey into Victorian England’s dimly lit bedrooms, mist-filled cemeteries, and asylum chambers, revealing the dark secrets and mysteries locked within. Time falls away as she is swept into a mythical journey far beyond mortal comprehension, where she must finally make the decision she has been avoiding for almost a millennium.

Bram Stoker’s classic novel offered one side of the story, in which Mina had no past and bore no responsibility for the unfolding events. Now, for the first time, the truth of Mina’s personal voyage, and of vampirism itself, is revealed. What this flesh and blood woman has to say is more sensual, more devious, and more enthralling than the Victorians could have expressed or perhaps even have imagined. (from Goodreads)

I reviewed Dracula in Love and reviewed it on The True Book Addict.  You can read that review HERE.

To enter, fill out the rafflecopter form.


Happy Halloween!



Book Review: The Darkness by Crystal Connor

The Darkness

My thoughts:
I really don't know quite what to say about this book.  I mean, the bare bones of the story are excellent, but there is such convolution mixed in, it was really hard to stay focused.  Maybe that was the aim here.  I don't know.  Something that really bugged me was the sudden introduction and bios of all of Adam's friends in the middle of the story.  Did we really need to know all of that?  I guess she was just trying to show Adam as a normal kid, but I think that part was unnecessary.

I read a review of this book on Goodreads and the person said that neither main character is likable.  I would have to agree, to a certain extent.  Both women are evil, the difference is that one, Inanna, recognizes it in herself and that it comes from a tragedy in her past.  The other, Artemesia, is just pure greed and personal much so she keeps well concealed.  Artemesia is a character you think you hate, then you don't, and, what a slap in the face.  This alone is one reason why--despite my feelings about this book--I will probably read the next book, Artificial Light.  Honestly, the story line was intriguing enough for me to keep reading.  Ordinarily, if I really don't like a book, I will not keep reading.  What I would suggest with this book would be to go into it skeptically and give it about 100 pages or so.  Then you can judge whether you want to keep reading or not.  I did this and I kept reading.

About the book:
Artemisia, a scientist who also practices alchemy, is wealthy beyond imagination. She is one of the founding members of the Skyward Group, a privately funded, secret, research facility conducting experiments that erase what tradition has established as the boundaries separating the realm of man from the realm of God. Artemisia has everything she wants - money, fame, knowledge and power - except for a child. Inanna is a powerful and dangerous witch, also wealthy beyond imagination. Her powers are greater and more deadly than any in the long tradition before her. Inanna has everything she wants - money, knowledge and God-like power - except for a child. The Child has nothing. At three months of age, he knows only what he has experienced through the bars of his locked cage. He has nothing. He doesn't have a mommy. He doesn't have a daddy. He doesn't have a name. The scientists who created him do not handle him, because they know The Child is dangerous. In The Darkness, Two women clash in a vicious battle that has been fought since the days of King Solomon - the fight over a child. One woman unleashes the nightmarish arsenal of modern science while the other dispatches the weaponries of witchcraft. And as The Child grows up, his love for one and resentment for the other will change the fate of both these women, forever.

Visit Crystal Connor's WEBSITE

Reviewed for:


FTC Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from Pump Up Your Book Promotions in exchange for my honest review.  I was not monetarily compensated for sharing my views on the book.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Horrifying Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia and is currently on tour. This month's host is Serena at Savvy Verse and Wit . (Click the book covers to read a book description on Amazon)

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

Children of the Night by Dan Simmons...from Midnyte Reader

Madman by Tracy Groot
The Collector by John Fowles


Monday, October 24, 2011

Announcing...Stephen King's Bag of Bones Read-a-Long

One of my favorite Stephen King books, Bag of Bones, has been made into a television mini-series, set to air on December 11 and 12 on A&E (in the U.S.).  In honor of this momentous event, I have decided to host a read-a-long!

Here's how it will work:

Each week we will read approximately 125 pages (give or take), beginning on Sunday and posting thoughts/discussion on Saturday.  Now, I know weekends are busy so if you're a couple of days late posting, that's absolutely no problem (if you don't have a blog, feel free to post your thoughts in the comments).  Please stop by and leave the link to your post in the comments.  Also, feel free to comment on my post.  I have been known to run behind on read-a-longs so don't worry about being dropped from the list.  I understand that life gets in the way.  Incidentally, since I am hosting, I will make my best effort to NOT fall behind.  Any questions, leave me a comment or email me at truebookaddictATgmailDOTcom.

Here is the schedule:

  • November 13-19--Chapter 1 - 9
  • November 20-26--Chapter 10 - 15
  • November 27-December 3--Chapter 16 - 21
  • December 4-10--Chapter 22 - End
If you would like to sign-up, please leave a comment with your blog link.  Now grab a button and spread the word! Hope you will be joining me. =O)


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sometimes Real Life is More Scary Than Fiction

Check out my guest post over at Midnyte Reader, where I share a real-life horrific experience.

Midnyte Reader: Sometimes Real Life is More Scary Than Fiction (Gu...: I want to thank Michelle from The True Book Addict and Castle Macabre for guest posting. Michelle has a true to life horror story. Warni...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Two Giveaways...Deadlines Extended!

I have extended the deadline for entry on two giveaways....

Where the Dead Fear to Tread--a novel of horror, crime, and revenge.


Vermin--15 Horror short stories


Good luck!

- See more at: