Friday, October 19, 2012

Audiobook Review: Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines

The world is changing fast. Some people have developed special abilities that turn them into superheroes almost overnight. But all in all, that's not too bad, right? These new heroes are helping to fight crime and generally, they're making the world a safer place. Unfortunately, there are other changes also taking place.

In Peter Clines' novel, Ex-Heroes, we're introduced to a super league of heroes of sort, including Stealth, Gorgon, Cerberus, Zzzap, Regenerator, and the Mighty Dragon. For a while, they are doing just great, becoming familiar and more comfortable with their new found powers. But, before long, the dead start rising and they're no longer dealing with everyday gang bangers and thieves; our heroes find themselves in an all-out war against the undead!

Peter Clines (and friend)
Ex-Heroes jumps out of the gate and doesn't let up until the final, earth-shattering reveal. Clines takes the reader, or in this case listener, on a thrilling journey in which the heroes battle the zombie hordes while trying to figure out what the hell caused the collapse of civilization. But, don't think that just because this is a book about superheroes that you're getting cardboard-copies of Marvel or DC's finest. These are damaged, tortured, and altogether human heroes who fight and curse and get a little horny from time to time. This is gritty superheroism and probably a lot more realistic in its approach to caped crusaders than what many may be used to.

In terms of performance, the audiobook is read by Jay Snyder (who narrates and handles the male roles) and Khristine Hvam (who handles the female roles). Each actor portray their characters with incredible skill and depth and Snyder's voice is absolutely perfect for the story's narration.

I thoroughly enjoyed the audiobook adaptation of Peter Clines' Ex-Heroes, which by the way, happens to the first in a newly-landed four-book series for the author. Ex-Patriots and Ex-Communication are the second and third in the series and the author is currently at work on part four. Ex-Heroes gets **** out of *****.

Check out the book trailer for Ex-Heroes below, and pick up a copy of this excellent novel on audiobook or in paperback or e-book today!

Book Review: The Five by Robert McCammon

I've been a huge fan of Robert McCammon's work for a long, long time, so when his novel The Five was released back in May of 2011, I was quick to order it. I also quickly devoured it, savoring every chapter, every word. It's been a while since I finished it, and I'm finally getting around to reviewing it, so Mr. McCammon, I apologize for the delay.

Let me start by saying The Five is unlike any other story written by Mr. McCammon. This novel is largely grounded in reality, with a slight supernatural angle, if it can even be called that. The events that occur are eye-opening, world-shattering, and oddly-enough at times, touching.

Artwork by Vincent Chong
The story follows a small indie rock band called The Five as they struggle with the hardships of being a small band with a small, but stable following, as they are making their way across the country on a tour that is most likely going to be their last. The band is made up of five castaways from other bands, some more successful than others, and the music industry has taken its toll on each one of them. The band goes through the progressions and gets through the shows until one night in the American Southwest, things change.

During a televised interview with a local car salesman, the band is noticed by a veteran of the Iraqi war who has not come home 100%. Guided by his ghostly "Sergeant," the veteran makes it his mission to kill the five members of The Five.

Artwork by Vincent Chong
The Five is a remarkably poignant story of love, friendship, loyalty, terror and violence, all set against the rich backdrop of the American Southwest and the gritty rock-and-roll lifestyle. Beautifully written and a pure pleasure to read from cover to cover, I loved this book and give it my highest recommendations. If you have read any of Robert McCammon's work previously, then you're going to be surprised by The Five, and not in the way you might expect.

I give The Five a full ***** out of *****. Pick up a copy today and prepare to be blown away.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Book Review: Niceville by Carsten Stroud

Niceville by Carsten Stroud is an odd little book. Part crime story and part supernatural mystery, Niceville is not your average friendly read - and like Martha Stewart says, that's a good thing.

Stroud, author of such novels as Black Water Transit, Cobraville: A Novel, and Lizardskin, among others, fills his story with a number of wily characters doing all sorts of nasty business, from grand theft and blackmail to cold-blooded murder and throughout it all is the spectre of something weird.

You see, Niceville has a tinge about it. There's something wrong here. Some say that it has something to do with Crater Sink, the thousand-foot deep circular crater filled with black water that lies on the edge of town. There are all sorts of tales and theories about that crater, and none of them are good. There's also the unsettling fact that in Niceville, 179 people have mysteriously vanished over the past 100 years.

This book, which is the first in a trilogy, begins with the disappearance of Rainey Teague. Security camera footage shows the boy standing in front of a store window looking at an old mirror one minute and the next, he's gone. Detective Nick Kavanaugh, an ex-special forces soldier, takes on the case. Meanwhile, a trio pulls off a deadly high-stakes robbery that quickly goes bad. The stories then branch out and weave through each other in the most unusual of ways. Everything is linked and everything is linked to Niceville's past.

I was immediately drawn into Niceville by its weaving storyline, straight-shooter dialogue, and realistic characters. This is a gritty novel that is different from anything out there right now. Creative, unique, and complex, Niceville is one of those novels that people are either going to love or hate, for those very same reasons. I happened to really enjoy my visit to Niceville, even though the people there aren't the "nicest." I was glad to learn that it is the first book in a series because the mystery of Crater Sink is largely avoided here. It is more of a background piece in Niceville. And while the book does have an ending, there are a few things left unexplained, which I hope the author plans to wrap up in the two planned sequels, The Homecoming (June 2013) and The Departure (June 2014). 

All in all, Niceville is a compelling story unlike anything I've read before. I give it **** out of *****.

Check out the book trailer for Niceville below:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Why Television Sucks and Books Rule

Let me start by saying, I'm not opposed to all television, but the more I watch it, the more I find myself hating it. The constant onslaught of reality programming is enough to make me want to take an ax to my television set. How do these scumbags and hos get their own programs? Or better yet, WHY do people actually give these dregs of humanity their valuable time? I just don't get it! What ever happened to smartly-written programs that leave you on the edge of your seat every week? Those programs that made you care about the characters and that you looked forward to all week to watch? Why are we getting fewer of those and more of the crappy reality garbage?

Oh, wait a minute... I think I DO get it after all.

The thing about reality television is that regardless of how mediocre it is, it at least has a fucking RESOLUTION! And that's what we all want, right? A resolution to the story. All too often, a well-written program (ok, it doesn't even have to be well-written; it could just be exciting!) finds a decent audience only to leave that dedicated audience stranded on the side of the road by ending the season on a cliffhanger and then CANCELING the fucking show! All that time, wasted. Those characters you started rooting for, gone. As much as I absolutely can't stand reality programming, there is a comfort knowing that some idiot is going to outwit, outplay and out-whatever everybody else, that some idiot is going to last all summer long in a house of games, that some idiot is going to become an executive chef of some fancy restaurant, that some degenerate may or may not get married, that somebody is going to lose a ton of weight and ultimately change their life. The list goes on and on. Is it any surprise that reality crap is taking over the airwaves?

I hate all reality shows with a dreaded passion, but it doesn't stop me from watching (some of them, at least) season after season. You know why? Because I like an ending... even when I'm praying for the ending halfway through episode one!

When studios broadcast scripted programs, they don't give a shit about the people who watch them. No other form of entertainment treats its fans the way television studios do. In movies, there's a resolution. In video games, there's a resolution. In books, there's a resolution (or, in the case of a trilogy, at least an eventual resolution). Never is the fan left hanging by a thread other than when it comes to television programming.

Case in point, the BBC hit drama, The Fades. That was such an outstanding show that it even won the BAFTA for best drama television program and guess what? It was canceled prior to taking home the gold, after it left us hanging by an unbelievably kick-ass cliffhanger! What the FUCK?! And The Fades is just one in a long, long line of great shows to be killed off all too soon in both America and Britian. So, I ask you, television head honchos, why should I invest my time in your tempting offerings when you're only going to pull them out from under me once they start getting really good? To you, I say, "Go fuck yourself. I'm happier with my books."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Book Review: Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

I absolutely love reading Jonathan Maberry, but I kind of have a beef with him right now. The guy writes so damn fast that I can't keep up with his releases! It's been a while since I finished his excellent Pine Deep Trilogy and his first Joe Ledger book, Patient Zero, but since then, he's put out two more Joe Ledger books with a third one dropping any time now, Rot & Ruin AND its sequel, Dust & Decay AND a stand alone zombie novel, Dead of Night! The guy's fingers must be smoking! But, how can I complain? Once you've read Maberry, you just can't get enough!

Anyway, on to the review. I finally got a chance to read Rot & Ruin and I've got to tell you - in a genre that has been blasted with every kind of zombie story there is, Maberry has written what I might consider to be the best one yet and the funny thing is, it's a YA title. But, just because Rot & Ruin is a YA title, don't let that dispel you from reading it. This is hands-down one of the most realistic takes on how the world carries on after the zombie apocalypse. Maberry doesn't dumb things down for the teen audience and his world is dreary, gritty and filled with challenges both physical and emotional.

Rot & Ruin follows Benny Imura, who was just an infant when the zombie apocalypse occurred. Now a teen, Benny must find a job or else his food rations will be reduced. After trying and failing at several, he decides he wants to become a zombie killer like his older brother Tom. What Benny doesn't understand is that killing zombies isn't all its cracked up to be and his brother Tom isn't exactly the person Benny thought he was and that sometimes, the living can be more dangerous than the walking dead.

Rot & Ruin has been the recipient of too many awards to list here, but I can tell you this - it deserves every one of them. This is a beautifully told story that just leaps off the page. The characters and the environment feel real and the emotional aspect of life after the zombie apocalypse is equally as intense. I absolutely loved this book and look forward to discovering what happens next in Dust & Decay and thanks to Jonathan's smoking fingers, I can jump right in. Rot & Ruin gets ***** out of *****.

Order Rot & Ruin for your Kindle today. You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Revisiting Old Friends

Ahhh,Spring is in the air! It's that special time of year when the mornings are crisp but comfortable, the trees and plants are slowly sprouting back to life and the afternoons are rife with pollen particles that turn your red car yellow and your nose red with sneezing fits.

Yes, Spring is all about renewal and reawakening, so to that I say, what better time to catch up with some old friends? Now, I am usually not one to re-read books that I have already read. It's just not something I do. With so many new stories waiting to be discovered, why would I want to re-read a book that I already finished? It just never made sense to me. But, lately I have been in a reminiscing type of mood. I find myself wanting to re-read some of my all-time favorites.

Thus far, I have traveled back to Zephyr, Alabama, where a boy named Cory Mackenson had to deal with a wonderful array of problems, including solving a particularly nasty murder. Currently, I'm spending some time in a little town in Maine where a group of kids are about to be confronted by a sinister clown.

I'm also taking a cross-country trip through Armageddon with a huge wrestler named Black Frankenstein and a little girl with the nickname, Swan.

These three books, Boy's Life, IT and Swan Song, easily rank among my top three favorite novels of all time and it's been a while since I've read them. The interesting thing is that while reading them for a second time, it does feel like I am discovering them all over again. There are many scenes that fit comfortably within my memory, while other scenes seem bright and new, as if the authors somehow added new information since the last time I read them. It's funny how re-reading a story you've already read can be just as rewarding as it was your first time through.

Well, like I said, my time in Zephyr is already done and that was indeed quite a wonderful visit, and I'm finding Derry and Armageddon to be just as exciting as ever. These latter two books are hefty, so I'll probably be revisiting them for a while, but that's OK. Once these two tomes are complete, I think I'll pass by Oxrun Station and from there maybe pay a visit to Erl King Hill, who knows? Or, maybe by that time summer will be in full swing and it will be time to find some new friends.

What about you? Have you revisited any old friends lately? Tell me about them, maybe I know them too.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Margaret Atwood Discusses Her Creative Process

Today's Hot Read for Feb. 18: The Elements of Style (2011 Edition) by William Strunk

From Amazon:


The All-Time Bestselling Book on Writing English Newly Edited (Special Kindle Edition) BY WILLIAM STRUNK, JUNIOR

The Elements of Style OVER 10 MILLION COPIES SOLD! (Kindle Edition)

Revised and Updated for 2011 by
Chris Hong, Formerly of Harvard University


This book is intended for use in English courses in which the practice of composition is combined with the study of literature. It aims to give in brief space the principal requirements of plain English style. It aims to lighten the task of instructor and student by concentrating attention (in Chapters II and III) on a few essentials, the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated. The numbers of the sections may be used as references in correcting manuscript.

The book covers only a small portion of the field of English style, but the experience of its writer has been that once past the essentials, students profit most by individual instruction based on the problems of their own work, and that each instructor has his own body of theory, which he prefers to that offered by any textbook.

It is an old observation that the best writers sometimes disregard the rules of rhetoric. When they do so, however, the reader will usually find in the sentence some compensating merit, attained at the cost of the violation. Unless he is certain of doing as well, he will probably do best to follow the rules. After he has learned, by their guidance, to write plain English adequate for everyday uses, let him look, for the secrets of style, to the study of the masters of literature.

This is the grandaddy of them all, The Elements of Style, newly revised for 2011 and now available for the Kindle. Pick up a copy of this indispensable book today!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Meet the Author: R.L. Stine

Today's Hot Read for Feb. 17: Writer's Digest University: Everything You Need to Write and Sell Your Work

From Amazon:

Everything You Need to Write and Sell Your Work - This is the ultimate crash course in writing and publishing! Inside you'll find comprehensive instruction and up-to-date market listings. Writer's Digest University is the perfect resource for you, no matter your experience level.This one-stop resource contains:

  • Quick and comprehensive answers to common questions including: "How do I write a successful novel?" and "How do I know if self-publishing is right for me?"
  • Instruction and examples for formatting and submitting fiction, nonfiction, articles, children's writing, scripts, and verse.
  • Advanced instruction on business-related issues like marketing and publicity, using social media, freelancing for corporations, keeping finances in order, and setting the right price for your work.
  • A detailed look at what agents want and how to get one that best fits your needs.
  • Market listings for publishers and agents open to unsolicited work and new writers, contests and awards, and conferences and workshops.
Get started now with everything you need to build a thriving writing career. Whether you're starting from scratch or have a bit of experience, you'll find the tools you need for success.

Writer's Digest University is currently FREE for Amazon Prime members, otherwise it is priced at $9.99 (which is still a great deal considering the paper version is $30!). Just be sure to always check the price before checking out as prices do change.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rick Riordan and His Three Tips for Young Writers

Suffering from Writer's Block? Try This!

Are you suffering from writer's block? Try this free hypnotic trance every day and see if it works for you.

Today's Hot Read for Feb. 16: Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark

From Publisher's Weekly:

Covering the writing waterfront-from basics on verb tense to the value of forming a "support group"-Poynter Institute vice president Clark offers tips, tricks and techniques for anyone putting fingers to keyboard. The best assets in Clark's book are in the "workshop" sections that conclude each chapter and list strategies for incorporating the material covered in each lesson (minimize adverbs, use active verbs, read your work aloud).

Though some suggestions are classroom campy ("Listen to song lyrics to hear how the language moves on the ladder of abstraction" and "With some friends, take a big piece of chart paper and with colored markers draw a diagram of your writing process"), Clark's blend of instruction and exercise will prove especially useful for teachers. One exercise, for instance, suggests reading the newspaper and marking the location of subjects and verbs. Another provides a close reading of a passage from The Postman Always Rings Twice to look at the ways word placement and sentence structure can add punch to prose. Clark doesn't intend his guide to be a replacement for classic style guides like Elements of Style, but as a companion volume, it does the trick.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. 

Pick up a copy of Writing Tools for your Kindle today!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Toni Morrison Discusses Her Motivation for Writing

Today's Hot Read for Feb. 15: If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland

From Amazon:

For most, the hardest part of writing is overcoming the mountain of self-denial that weighs upon the spirit, always threatening to extinguish those first small embers of ambition. Brenda Ueland, a writer and teacher, devotes most of her book--published back in 1938, before everyone and their goldfish got their MFA's in creative writing--to these matters of the writer's heart. Still, the real gift of the book is Ueland herself: She liked to write, she didn't care what anyone thought, and she had a great sense of humor. You're simply happy to hang out with her.

From Publisher's Weekly:

Ueland argues that anyone can write well once the imagination is freed from self-consciousness, anxiety and fear of failure. This is a fresh and vivid approach to creative endeavors.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. 

Pick up If You Want to Write today for your Kindle. Priced at just $3.99, it's a steal!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

You ARE a Writer.

Every writer needs a little mental boost every now and then. Take a break and try this guided meditation. Relax, re-establish your focus and remember - you ARE a writer.

Special Deal Going on Now! Get Gotham Writer's Workshop Writing Fiction for Just $3.79!

From Amazon:

The faculty of the Gotham Writers' Workshop-which now has 6,000 students not only in New York City but around the world (with online classes)-use an original approach in this how-to: Raymond Carver's classic story "Cathedral" (reprinted in the book) serves as a basis for their discussion of technique.

The contributors are not household names, but all are published authors of fiction. Chapters touch on all the essentials: character development, pacing, dialogue and revision ("Real Writers Revise" the chapter title exhorts). All expand on the idea that "good writing comes down to craft far more than most people realize," while also reminding aspiring authors that "rules are made to be broken." The writing is fresh and full of concrete advice (e.g., "Desire is in the heart of every dimensional character"), and exercises allow students to explore what they have learned. This is an excellent starting place for someone exploring the art and craft of writing fiction.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

This is a limited time offer, so please CHECK THE PRICE BEFORE CHECKOUT! This is the Kindle edition of Writing Fiction, regularly priced at $11.99 - get it NOW for just $3.79!!

Today's Hot Read for Feb. 14: Writer with a Day Job: Inspiration & Exercises to Help You Craft a Writing Life Alongside Your Career by Aine Greaney

From Amazon:

Don't Let the Daily Grind Drain Your Creative Energy! You can work full time and still have a productive writing life. Many writers waste time waiting for the day they can finally quit their day jobs and live the so-called writing dream. Don’t wait. You can do both—and your writing will be the better for it. Balancing a full-time job with your writing goals is no easy feat, but author Áine Greaney provides the exercises, inspiration, and techniques you need to build creative expression into your daily life and establish the productive writing life you’ve always wanted.
  • Make the most of your writing time early in the morning or late at night. 
  • Harness the power of your lunch hour for writing, editing, and revising.
  • Use your commute—driving or riding—to power your writing.
  • Plan the perfect writing getaway.
  • Set goals, revise your work, and share your writing with coworkers.
You’ll also get quick, practical tutorials to help you master scenes, point of view,characters, settings, dialogue, and more. Writer With a Day Job gives you the strategies and motivation you need to work 40 hours a week (or more!) and achieve writing success. Download extended interviews with twenty writers who built their writing careers while working full time at

Learn more about Aine Greaney in this short video.

Pick up your copy of Writer With a Day Job for your Kindle today!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Today's Hot Read for Feb. 13: 500 Ways To Be a Better Writer by Chuck Wendig

From Amazon:

500 WAYS TO BE A BETTER WRITER aims to provide novelists, screenwriters and other flavors of penmonkey with an avalanche of writing tips and storytelling tricks. All of it greased up with whisky and bad language (let that serve as your first and only warning: this is a very NSFW book of writing advice).

500 WAYS contains the following:

Prologue: 25 Things You Should Know About Writing Advice
25 Questions To Ask As You Write
25 Reasons You Won’t Finish That Story
25 Things You Should Know About Endings
25 Things You Should Know About Mood
25 Things You Should Know About NaNoWriMo
25 Things You Should Know About Queries, Synopses And Treatments
25 Things You Should Know About Self-Publishing
25 Things You Should Know About Social Media
25 Things You Should Know About Theme
25 Things You Should Know About Writing Horror
25 Virtues Writers Should Possess
25 Ways To Be A Better Writer
25 Ways To Defeat Writer’s Block
25 Ways To Fuck With Your Characters
25 Ways To Make Exposition Your Bitch
25 Ways To Plot, Plan And Prep Your Story
The Life Cycle Of A Novel (In 25 Steps)
Appendix 1: 25 Sleep-Deprived And Also Drunken Thoughts On Writing
Appendix 2: 25 Brief-But-Hopefully-Potent Writing Exercises

From Words From The Vein:

Chuck Wendig's 500 Ways To Be a Better Writer is filled with practical, hilarious and effective advice for the aspiring writer. And, it's incredibly inexpensive! Pick up your copy without delay and get the kick in your pants you need from the Freelance Penmonkey himself.

Need some inspiration, just check out this maniac in this video. Warning: He does curse a lot, so be careful watching this at work.

Writer's Inspiration Week!

This week at Words From The Vein, we're celebrating Writer's Inspiration Week! All week long, we're going to be showcasing some of our favorite books on the art and craft of writing. We kicked it off yesterday with the fantastic book, The Art of War for Writers, and every day this week we're going to shine a light on another helpful and inspiring book to help get your writing underway.

Whether you made it a New Year's resolution to write more or you have visions of writing the next bestseller, these books will help you get back in gear, back on track and back in the game.

And, every book we select will be available for the Kindle, so you'll be able to enjoy it in mere seconds.

Join us in celebrating Writer's Inspiration Week and let's write!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Today's Hot Read for Feb. 12: The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell

From Amazon:

Strategies and Tactics for the Master Novelist. Successfully starting and finishing a publishable novel is often like fighting a series of battles. You not only have to work hard to shape memorable characters, develop gripping plots, and craft dazzling dialogue, but you also have to fight against self-doubts and fears. And then there's the challenge of learning to navigate the ever-changing publishing industry.That's why best-selling novelist James Scott Bell, author of the Write Great Fiction staples, Plot; Structure and Revision; Self-Editing, came up with the ultimate novel-writing battle plan: The Art of War for Writers. You'll find tactics and strategies for idea generation and development, character building, plotting, drafting, querying and submitting, dealing with rejection, coping with unrealistic expectations, and much more.With timeless, innovative, and concise writing reflections and techniques, The Art of War for Writers is your roadmap to victory.

Pick up The Art of War for Writers today - now available for the Kindle!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Book Review: Dust by Arthur Slade

I think what I love most about my Kindle is that it has given me more pleasant surprises than any other device I've ever owned and Dust by Arthur Slade is one of the best examples of this. I picked up Dust during a time when it was being offered for free (that's right, nada) and the story it gave me was priceless. There's no bigger return on an investment than that, friends.

Dust is about a depression-era town in Canada that has long been suffering from drought. One day, a pale man drives into town in an old truck, promising the townspeople a future of rain and prosperity. He has an ingenious design that will bring rain to the region, but he needs their help to build it. Not long after he comes town, children start disappearing and oddly, the parents of the missing children seem not to care. Only young Robert Steelgate can see what's going on and it's ultimately up to him to save his missing brother and his town.

Dust offers the reader a wonderful journey that's highly reminiscent of Ray Bradbury's fantastic tales. Beautifully written and imaginative, Dust is an excellent book and highly, highly recommended. Before you delve into your next bestseller, give this little book a minute of your time and you'll discover, like I did, that great things come in little (and inexpensive) packages. I give Dust ***** out of *****.

Pick up Dust for your Kindle below (Amazon Prime members can get it for FREE!)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Today's Hot Read for Feb. 10: Alice in Deadland by Mainak Dhar

From Amazon:

The sensational bestseller. #1 Science Fiction and Horror bestseller.

Civilization as we know it ended more than fifteen years ago, leaving as it's legacy barren wastelands called the Deadland and a new terror for the humans who survived- hordes of undead Biters.

Fifteen year-old Alice has spent her entire life in the Deadland, her education consisting of how best to use guns and knives in the ongoing war for survival against the Biters. One day, Alice spots a Biter disappearing into a hole in the ground and follows it, in search of fabled underground Biter bases.

What Alice discovers there propels her into an action-packed adventure that changes her life and that of all humans in the Deadland forever. An adventure where she learns the terrible conspiracy behind the ruin of humanity, the truth behind the origin of the Biters, and the prophecy the mysterious Biter Queen believes Alice is destined to fulfill.

A prophecy based on the charred remains of the last book in the Deadland- a book called Alice in Wonderland.

Pick up Alice in Deadland for your Kindle below. It's only .99 cents, man!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Today's Hot Read for Feb. 9: Dead Artist by Ivan Jenson

From Amazon:

Pop artist Milo Sonas was a New York City art world star in the 80s and 90s. After 9/11, a nervous breakdown and years of obscurity, Milo now finds himself sheltered in a government subsidized motel room in the Midwest. In the afternoons, he wanders the streets, haunts coffee shops and frequents shopping malls. He also experiences frequent supernatural visits from famous dead artists.

When Milo is suddenly rediscovered by a former collector, his fortunes start to shift and his reemergence from obscurity is underway. However, first he must deal with his highly eccentric family members, and plan both his dying mother’s funeral (that she intends to attend) and his own wedding to a University coed, all in the same afternoon. Will Milo escape the drone of suburbia, and stop fearing that art history would rather see him dead, before he is allowed to feel, touch and taste success?

Ivan Jenson’s tour de force written with a unique new voice, will also please those familiar with Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and Philip José Farmer. Readers will be taken on a hilarious, sensual, heartfelt ride. Dead Artist features riotous stream-of-consciousness and time shifting literary riffs. In this high energy novel Pop art icon, poet and author Ivan Jenson creates a vivid portrait of an artist as a post-modern man.

Ivan Jenson’s Absolut Jenson painting was featured in Art News, Art in America, and Interview magazine. His art has sold at Christie’s, New York. His poems have appeared in Word Riot, Zygote in my Coffee, Camroc Press Review, Haggard and Halo, Poetry Super Highway, Mad Swirl, Alternative Reel Poets Corner, Underground Voices Magazine, Blazevox, and many other magazines, online and in print. Jenson is also a Contributing Editor for Commonline magazine.

Pick up Dead Artist for your Kindle below:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Patricia Wrede Discusses Writing Fantasy

Today's Hot Read for Feb. 8: Thinking Write: The Secret to Freeing Your Creative Mind by Kelly L. Stone

From Amazon:

Writer's block. Creative freeze. Artistic burnout. In this book, professional counselor Kelly L. Stone teaches you how to use the power of the subconscious mind to capitalize on your writing sessions. Proven techniques for accessing this hidden tool are revealed with a mix of anecdotes, exercises, and guided meditations. You will hear from well-known and award-winning authors such as Jacquelyn Mitchard and Stephanie Lossee and how they utilize these methods.

Writers--both professional and aspiring--will take away: A working understanding of the subconscious mind and its benefits to writers; Practical techniques for developing a bridge to the subconscious mind; Easy-to-use strategies for using the power of the subconscious mind to assist with writing endeavors and become successful as a writer; Proven psychological methods for building self-confidence as a writer. This book and will have you putting pen to paper in no time! The e-book version of this title does not contain a CD.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Paulo Coelho on Writing - Part 1

Today's Hot Read for Feb. 7: Gil's All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez

From Amazon:

Bloodier than Fried Green Tomatoes!
Funnier than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre!

Welcome to Gil's All Night Diner, where zombie attacks are a regular occurrence and you never know what might be lurking in the freezer. . . .

Duke and Earl are just passing through Rockwood county in their pick-up truck when they stop at the diner for a quick bite to eat. They aren't planning to stick around--until Loretta, the eatery's owner, offers them one hundred dollars to take care of her zombie problem. Given that Duke is a werewolf and Earl's a vampire, this looks right up their alley.

But the shambling dead are just the tip of a particularly spiky iceberg. Seems someone's out to drive Loretta from the diner, and more than willing to raise a little hell on earth if that's what it takes. Before Duke and Earl get to the bottom of the diner's troubles, they'll run into such otherworldly complications as undead cattle, an amorous ghost, a jailbait sorceress, and the terrifying occult power of pig Latin.

And maybe--just maybe--the End of the World, too.

Gory, sexy, and flat-out hilarious, Gil's All Fright Diner will tickle your funny bone--before ripping it out of its socket!

From Words From the Vein:

Gil's All Fright Diner is a fast, fun read that I enjoyed immensely. Pick up a copy for your Kindle below and enter the wild and crazy imagination of A. Lee Martinez!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Today's Hot Read for Feb. 6: The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

From Amazon:

Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. The enigmatic and powerful man known only as the Commodore has ordered it, and his henchmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn't share his brother's appetite for whiskey and killing, he's never known anything else. But their prey isn't an easy mark, and on the road from Oregon City to Warm's gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to question what he does for a living–and whom he does it for.

With The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable comic tour de force. Filled with a remarkable cast of characters–losers, cheaters, and ne'er-do-wells from all stripes of life–and told by a complex and compelling narrator, it is a violent, lustful odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier that beautifully captures the humor, melancholy, and grit of the Old West and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love.

From Words From The Vein:

The Sisters Brothers was one of the best books I had the pleasure of reading in 2011. Pick it up today for your Kindle; you won't be disappointed!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Today's Hot Read for Feb. 5: Bigfoot War by Eric S. Brown

From Amazon:

Jeff Taylor was an ordinary boy growing up in the small town of Babble Creek, North Carolina, until one night his life was changed forever when a sasquatch brutally murdered his family.

Taylor fled the town, hoping to leave the painful memory behind.

Years later, after two tours of duty in the Iraq War, he's back in Babble Creek seeking vengeance.

Taylor's lust for the blood of the monster that slew his family sets in motion a series of events that soon has the entire town fighting for its life as a tribe of sasquatches descend from the forests and hills into Babble Creek to declare war upon its citizens.

Babble Creek is about to find out Bigfoot is very real and there's more than one of the creatures that want to fill the streets with blood.

From Words From The Vein:

Bigfoot War is a super-fun, gory and quick read that will have you slathering at the mouth for more! ***** out of *****. Pick it up for your Kindle today.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Author Profile: Robert McCammon

Today's Hot Read for Feb. 4: The Snow Child: A Novel by Eowyn Ivey

From Amazon:

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.

This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Free Thiller Friday!! Grab 'Em Before It's Too Late!

From Amazon:

A blockbuster box set of five thrilling novels from five best-selling writers, for less than the price of a single Patterson, King, or Grisham novel.


5 irresistible set-ups:

A crime novelist imprisoned in a desert cabin by a villain more sinister than any he has ever written...

A detective's race against the clock to find a missing teenager...

Twin brothers caught up in a deadly game to settle sins of the past...

A lowly security guard struggling to realize his private eye fantasies...

The US government conducting secret testing on the most heinous and intriguing of all subjects—Satan himself...

This box set is called the Ultimate Thriller Box Set is.

Five Top 20 bestselling Kindle writers—J.A. Konrath, Blake Crouch, J. Carson Black, Lee Goldberg, and Scott Nicholson—were asked to choose their favorite novel to include in a groundbreaking box set, which is bursting with chills, thrills, laughs, scares, and hours of page-turning, thrill-a-minute reading pleasure.

If thrillers are your passion, this is a must-have for your Kindle Library.


Origin by J.A. Konrath
Desert Places by Blake Crouch
Darkness on the Edge of Town by J. Carson Black
Watch Me Die by Lee Goldberg
Disintegration by Scott Nicholson

Together, these novels have accrued over 250 5-star reviews and sold hundreds of thousands of copies. We hope you enjoy!

This set is normally TEN BUCKS! Get it for FREE NOW!!

Today's Hot Read for Feb. 3: Boy's Life by Robert McCammon

From Amazon: 

In me are the memories of a boy's life, spent in that realm of enchantments. These are the things I want to tell you.... 

Robert McCammon delivers "a tour de force of storytelling" (BookPage) in his award-winning masterpiece, a novel of Southern boyhood, growing up in the 1960s, that reaches far beyond that evocative landscape to touch readers universally.

Boy's Life is a richly imagined, spellbinding portrait of the magical worldview of the young -- and of innocence lost.

Zephyr, Alabama, is an idyllic hometown for eleven-year-old Cory Mackenson -- a place where monsters swim the river deep and friends are forever. Then, one cold spring morning, Cory and his father witness a car plunge into a lake -- and a desperate rescue attempt brings his father face-to-face with a terrible, haunting vision of death. As Cory struggles to understand his father's pain, his eyes are slowly opened to the forces of good and evil that surround him. From an ancient mystic who can hear the dead and bewitch the living, to a violent clan of moonshiners, Cory must confront the secrets that hide in the shadows of his hometown -- for his father's sanity and his own life hang in the balance....

From Words From The Vein:

This is quite simply one of the best books I've ever read, and one of the very few that I re-read from time to time. Extremely highly recommended! ***** out of *****.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Today's Hot Read for Feb. 2: Storm Front by Jim Butcher

From Amazon:  The novels of the Dresden Files have become synonymous with action-packed urban fantasy and non-stop fun. Storm Front is Jim Butcher's first novel and introduces his most famous and popular character-Harry Dresden, wizard for hire.

For his first case, Harry is called in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with the blackest of magic. At first, the less-than-solvent Harry's eyes light up with dollar signs. But where there's black magic, there's a black mage. Now, that black mage knows Harry's name. And things are about to get very...interesting.

I loved this book! **** out of *****. Pick up a copy for your Kindle below.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Today's Hot Read: The Dead Man Vol 1 (Face of Evil, Ring of Knives, Hell in Heaven): 1-3

From Amazon: 


Now he can see a festering rot that eats people alive from the inside out. And he can see Mr. Dark, the horrific figure who gleefully spreads it like a plague...and who is the only one who can tell Matt whether he is still a man...or the walking dead. For Matt, each day is a journey into a supernatural world he knows nothing about... a quest for the answers to who he is and what he has become...and a bloody fight to save us, and his soul, from the clutches of pure evil. Here are the first three unforgettable novels in Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin’s THE DEAD MAN saga – “Face of Evil,” “Ring of Knives,” and “Hell in Heaven” – a horrifying new series that Post-Modern Pulps hails as “a direct spiritual descendant of the sorts of awesome pulp action adventure tales that the greats like Robert E. Howard loved to write!”

Highly, HIGHLY recommended!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Book Review: The Devil Stood Up by Christine Dougherty

What defines a great story? Is it one that entertains you or is it one that lingers on your mind long after you've read it? The Devil Stood Up by Christine Dougherty happens to be one of the rare ones that successfully accomplishes both of these. While certainly classifiable as a horror story, this book is something much more. It touches on the human condition; those with greed, corruption and self-importance running through their veins, and it brings up a few very interesting questions -- What if the devil is not the epitome of evil as organized religion would have everyone believe but rather a crestfallen angel who is simply doing a job that God has decreed for him to do? What if the devil is simply the non-judgmental punisher of souls who loves God as much as any other angel?

In The Devil Stood Up, the devil wallows away in hell performing his job, all the while feeling the Litany, or wavelength of acts performed by humans. Then, one day he feels within the Litany an act so heinous that he is compelled to render his own form of justice on those responsible. Thus, he enters the body of a young man as his soul was leaving it and begins his journey for justice. Along the way, he has to battle lesser demons, patron saints and something even more powerful than them both - love.

The Devil Stood Up is brutally honest and Christine Dougherty pulls no punches. Perfectly balanced, the violent scenes are very violent and the sensitive scenes are anything but sappy. Her characters are fully alive with dialogue that is spot-on and in Carrie Walsh, Christine has created one of the scariest characters I've read in quite a while. The Devil Stood Up shows us that we don't really need to devil inside of us to do the bad things we do, we're pretty much capable of doing terrible deeds all on our own. This is a refreshing take on good vs. evil.

I highly recommend The Devil Stood Up. This is an extremely well-written book that never fails to keep you wanting to read more. I absolutely loved it. The Devil Stood Up gets ***** out of *****.

Pick up The Devil Stood Up for your Kindle today by clicking the link below!