Category Archives: books won

Chasing Tale for November 1st, 2011: Peter Crowther, N.K. Jemison, Kelli Owen …

I am not goingto complain about the cold this year. At all. That being said, I havegotten two colds so far this fall. Maybe it’s like the recession andit was just the same one that turned into a double-dip. That,however, was my own fault. I will not blame the weather. Afterthose sweltering days of summer, I welcome the impending snow stormswith welcome arms. I’m built like a polar bear, so that helps. Allyou skin-and-bones types are on your own.
If I will complainabout anything it is that I don’t have an open fire by which to readby books. That’s something I have never done in my life. I’ve neverlived anywhere that had a fireplace, at least not a functioning one.Wood stoves, sure, but not a fireplace with a quaint mantlepiecepropping up stiffly-orchestrated family photos and darts trophies.Someday, perhaps. Until then, I’ll settle for that TV channel thatcomes on in December with the crackling fire and incessant Christmascarols.
Heading intowinter, here are some of the books I’ll be reading sans fireplace:

Darkness Falling byPeter Crowther Angry Robot Books is only acouple years old now, but they’ve already got quite an impressivelooking library. One of their most recent releases is this horrortale about a small town becoming possessed one person at a time.Sounds creepy as heck and ought to be a fun, spooky read.

The First Husband byLaura Dave -Fridays on Twitter, Iusually tweet what my #fridayreads are for that week. I had no ideathere was a book giveaway attached, so imagine my surprise when I wasannounced as a winner. The book isn’t exactly my cup of tea, but I’llgive it a chance then hand it off to one of the ladies in the family.Guaranteed someone will enjoy it.

TheHundred Thousand Kingdomsby N.K. Jemisin– Kat over at No PageLeft Behind sent me a paperback of this much-heralded fantasynovel. A fantasy involving kings and gods and a power struggle thatthreatens everything. Neat. It’s the first book in a trilogy, so ifit’s good then that means I have yet another series to get hooked on.
TheNew Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn andTheGentling Box byLisa MannettiLisa sent me signedcopies of these two books, which is wonderful as I covet her work. Inow have two signed copies of TheGentling Box: myoriginal Dark Hart Press edition from 2008 and now the ShadowfallPublications edition from last year. I shall hoard them both.
TheNeighborhood byKelli Owen -I won this signed chapbook from DreadfulTales (formerly Paperback Horror). I’ve yet to read Kelli’s work, but PatDreadful and the gang approve, and I’ve heard her guest spots on GregHall’s The Funky Werepig and she is a hoot. Plus, Brian Keene put herover as a writer to watch, so there’s that too.
Demons byJohn Skipp (editor) -A big thanks to Darkeva’s DarkDelights for sending me a copy of this very cool lookinganthology. This book is brand new, but I literally hadn’t heard of ituntil Darkeva told me about it. I’m a sucker for a good themedanthology, and this one ought to be good. When the contributingauthors is as diverse as Charles Beaumont, Neil Gaiman, BentleyLittle, and Alethea Kontis, it’s gottabe good.

So there’s the new crop added to my reading pile. What did you snag this past month?


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Filed under Angry Robot Books, books won, Chasing Tale, e-books, John Skipp, Kelli Owen, Laura Dave, Lisa Mannetti, N.K. Jemison, Peter Crowther

Chasing Tale for September 29th, 2011: Ray Bradbury, Shock Totem, Sarah Waters …

Where the heck did summer go? Man, that was fast. Oh well, autumn is my time to shine, as opposed to summer which is my time to swelter. This time of year is great for another reason: Halloween!
I don’t go crazy over Halloween, but it is a very cool holiday when you think about it. As a kid, you get to disguise yourself and prowl the neighborhood with friends and extort junk food from strangers. Try that any other day of the year and you’ll be labeled a delinquent. And as a man, you get one day of the year to dress up as your favorite Sailor Moon character without that specter of shame hovering over you at the supermarket. Did I write Sailor Moon? I meant Iron Man–yeah, Iron Man.
Kids have to be careful these days, though. The streets are dangerous with bullies and pedophiles, and apparently apple juice if Dr. Oz has anything to say about it. It was a safer time back in my day, when the worst I had to worry about was a razorblade in my candy apple. Ah, memories.
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury – I’ve wanted this one for a while, mentioning it way back in Wish List Wednesday #52, and actually found a copy at a used-book shop. I’ve seen plenty of copies of Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles, but this was the first copy of Something Wicked I’ve ever seen on a store shelf. About f–king time if you ask me. And I do believe this will be my Halloween read this year.

Lockdown: Escape from Furnace by A. Gordon Smith – I recently hosted a giveaway with this book as the prize courtesy of Macmillian Publishing. I’ve had it on my wish list since last year, since YA horror doesn’t seem to be as prevalent as I’d care to see. I finally received my review copy in the mail, so I’ll have to tear into it soon.

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters – I mentioned this book in WLW #74 and actually had a chance to borrow it earlier in the year, but I still wanted my own copy. Thankfully, I found a hardcover copy of it at the annual library book sale. It was the only one of the few books I bought that I had on my watch list, the rest I just grabbed at random and got out there due to the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd. I hate crowds, so I count myself lucky to have gotten one book I wanted.
Shock Totem #4 edited by K. Allen Wood – I won a signed copy of Shock Totem’s fourth issue from Lee Thompson, one of its contributing authors, and a rising name in horror. I recently read and reviewed the inaugural issue of Shock Totem, which was first published back in 2009. And that issue really got my taste buds craving more of the macabre. I suspect this will satiate my appetite … for a little while. I’ve already read a couple of the stories (Lee’s included), and this issue might be even better than the first.
That’s what’s new on my bookshelf. What did you add to yours?


Filed under Alexander Gordon Smith, book shopping, books won, Chasing Tale, Lee Thompson, Ray Bradbury, review copies, Sarah Waters, Shock Totem

Chasing Tale for August 31st, 2011: Emma Donaghue, Richard Kadrey, Lucy A. Snyder …

There is something wrong with Canada Post. That’s the only conclusion I can come to, because an unusually high number of books addressed to me are not showing up in my mailbox. I ordered a book from Book Depository back in April and it never arrived until this month. Book Depository had to mail the book three times before I got that one copy. As you’ll see, I received a few books in the mail, but there are even more that I should have received by now. And it seems I’m not the only one having trouble with Canada Post, because all you have to do is search #canadapost on Twitter and you’ll see a litany of similar complaints from people and businesses.
Now, I don’t blame the postal workers. I blame the people signing their paychecks, because they’re the ones that locked those workers out in June and basically brought mail delivery to a screeching halt across the country. Then, once the postal workers were brought back on the job, they were left with the task of making up for lost time and weren’t permitted sufficient overtime–I don’t think they received any overtime at all, frankly. There are a ton of packages and letters sitting in some kind of limbo now, and there’s no real guarantee those items will ever get to their destinations.
I remember Canada Post touting how it was a profitable and efficient business. This year, I’m left to wonder how that is possibly true, as I take each successfully mailed book to be its own small miracle.
Bah, enough of my bellyaching. Let’s see what book actually did appear in my mailbox:
King Maker by Maurice Broaddus – I won this from Bryan Schmidt who oversees Twitter #SFFWRTCHT, which is a sci-fi/fantasy chat for writers/readers every week on Twitter. I’ve already read and reviewed the sequel to this book, King’s Justice, and despite enjoying the book I felt like I’d appreciate it better if I read King Maker. Now I’ve got a copy at my disposal.
Room by Emma Donoghue – I’m hard-pressed to think of a book that was talked about more in literary circles last year as Room. While I am an unabashed genre fan, I do enjoy the literary side of things, and there is enough quirkiness to the premise of this book to intrigue me. So I consider myself fortunate to have won this copy from Redneck Girl.

Vampire Empire: The Greyfriar by Clay & Susan Griffith – I entered a trivia contest at the start of July, hosted by the podcasts, I Should Be Writing, SF Signal, and Adventures in SciFi Publishing. And, hey, I won something from Pyr Books. It’s an alternate history tale with some sci-fi, fantasy, and horror elements thrown in, and it looks really promising.

Kill the Dead by Richard Kadrey – I have been looking forward to this one ever since I read Sandman Slim. The first book offers a great blend of urban fantasy with horror, and I suspect an equally rewarding experience with this novel. I talked about it a bit in Wish List Wednesday #88, and I have a strong feeling the third book in the series, Aloha from Hell, will be on my wish list in due time.
Spellbent by Lucy A. Snyder – I took Book Depository three tries to mail this book to me, but it finally arrived. Nobody bats a thousand, I guess. Anyway, I mentioned my interest in this book back in Wish List Wednesday #83, and it’s nice to finally have it added to my to-be-read pile.
Cinema of Shadows by Michael West Seventh Star Press has been branching out with a few new authors and novels over the last year, but this is the first instance I can recall where a novel has been all-out horror. Michael West’s novel about a haunted theater and the paranormal investigators who skulk through it one night ought to be a fun read, as I’m a big fan of ghost stories.
And those are the books that arrived in August. What gems did you find in your mailbox this past month?


Filed under Book Depository, book shopping, books won, Chasing Tale, Emma Donaghue, Lucy A. Snyder, Maurice Broaddus, Michael West, Richard Kadrey

Chasing Tale in January: Camille Alexa, Mark A. Gunnells, Gregory L. Hall …

Well, it finally happened. I made my first purchase on Amazon. I’ve been sitting on a gift code for months, but ordering a paperback was impossible and I couldn’t download a Kindle book to my thumb drive. So, I had to wait until I got a used laptop on which to install Kindle for PC. I did some searching and found a book from Belfire Press, which has been very good to me this past year.

As for Amazon, I doubt I’ll ever buy a physical book from them while Book Depository has free shipping.

It, and many of the acquisitions from this past month for that matter, arguably fall in the “Support The Little Guy” movement on Twitter, initiated by author Brandon Layng. If you don’t know what that is, I invite you to go on Twitter some time and search the hashtag #supportthelittleguy and you’ll get the idea.

Anyway, here are the books from this past month that were added to my shelf:

Push the Sky by Camille Alexa – I won this from the Red Penny Papers at the start of the new year. Always nice to win something, and I’ve enjoyed a fair bit of Camille’s short fiction thus far, so I have a good feeling about this collection. Incidentally, we both have stories published in the Oz anthology, Shadows of the Emerald City. How ’bout that. It even came with a couple of handy-dandy bookmarks and a signed card from Camille. Aw shucks.

The Watcher by John Brinling – I received an electronic review copy of this thriller from the author. I was offered a choice of three titles, and of the three I thought this novel had the most appeal. Self-published authors can be hit or miss. I’ve read bad, yes, but I’ve read some good, good stuff too from the authors selling their own wares rather than through traditional publishing. The times, they are a changin’, boys and girls. I’ll keep my fingers crossed on this one.

Soulless by Gail Carriger – I picked this one up at my local used-book store. On the inside cover was a scribbled note by a previous owner, asking anyone who reads this paperback to contact him-or-her so they can keep track on its travels. Cute. I’ve thought of doing that with books before, but I figure I’d lose interest in where the book winds up. I mean, I’ve given away books before, but never wondered after the fact where those books are now. To each their own.

Asylum by Mark Allan Gunnells (ARC, novella, e-book) – Harry Markov hit me up with a chance to check out this new novella through Apex Books‘ new imprint, The Zombie Feed, as well as interview Mark Allan Gunnells. You can find my review of the book here, and you can also read my interview with Mark by clicking here. Or read my interview with him by clicking here.

At the End of Church Street by Gregory L. Hall (Kindle)– The Funky Werepig is one of my favorite podcasts, and it turns out that its host has written a novel. This one takes a somewhat serious turn compared to his hilarious foray into paranormal romance, Dracula’s Winky. The book is also edited by Louise Bohmer and published through Belfire Press, so it wound up becoming my first ever purchase on Amazon.

Undisputed by Chris Jericho (ARC, nonfiction) – I used to be a fan of pro wrestling, and Chris Jericho was one of my favorite performers–still would be probably if I still watched–so when I noticed a giveaway for his new autobiography on GoodReads, I threw my name in the hat. And wouldn’t you know, I won a copy.

Zombie, Ohio by Scott Kenemore (e-book) – Zombies and satire. Sometimes it’s great like Shaun of the Dead, and sometimes it’s not so great like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. But when I was contacted about reviewing this new novel, I’d found enough good words towards the author to give it a go.

The One-Percenters by John Podgursky (e-book) -It’s been a year or so since I read something from Damnation Books, so I took up John’s offer to review his novel. The premise sounds very dark and hard-nosed, and the kind of book that doesn’t offer a middle ground for reader reaction.

The Bottom Feeders by Aaron Polson (Kindle)For 99 cents, I snagged Aaron’s short story collection from Amazon. That’s a pretty sweet deal considering the fact that Aaron is a very good writer. I’ve been reading stories from it here and there and kicking a real kick out of it. My review for this one was posted yesterday and you can read it here.

And that’s my gigantic haul for January. What books did you add to your shelf this past month?

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Filed under Aaron Polson, book shopping, books won, Camille Alexa, Chasing Tale, Chris Jericho, Gail Carriger, Greg Hall, John Brinling, John Podgursky, Mark Allan Gunnells, Scott Kenemore

Chasing Tale in June: Ray Bradbury, Andrew Sean Greer, Scott Nicholson …

Wow, June went by —snap!–like that, didn’t it? And you know what the worst part is? The days are gonna get shorter and shorter now. Yup, summer just started officially, but there’s going to be less sunshine each day for the rest of the year. Ain’t that a bitch. Now we have to wait for winter for the days start getting longer again. God, I’m depressing myself now.

Alright, let’s talk books. Everyone is diving into their summer reading lists, or at least reading the books on someone else’s reading list. Me, I’m trying to avoid making a list of books to read this summer. I’ll be reading plenty this summer and I don’t want to make it feel like assigned reading.

Honestly, I kind of prefer my reading habits to be a little more random rather than prescribed. Know what I mean? Like, if I have a list of six-to-eight books I’ve assigned myself to read, I’m going to start treating those books like homework … just a little bit. No matter how much I’ve anticipated reading them prior to putting them on the list. Blerg, I’m just a screwball.

Anyway, here are the books I got in June. Ironically in list form.

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury – Back in June, or maybe it was late May, I read an article that mentioned one of Bradbury’s short stories called “The Veldt,” which I’d read and loved in an anthology years back. When I realized it was part of this collection of Bradbury’s short stories, I put it on the list and luckily found an old paperback of it for a buck.

The Devil You Know by Poppy Z. Brite – Here’s another collection I happened upon, though this one wasn’t on my radar. It looks to be an eclectic assortment with the table of contents showing stories that even include ones originally published for Hellboy and The Matrix franchises. Neat. I’ve already read one of the stories, “Lantern Marsh,” which was published in the Halloween anthology, October Dreams, which I reviewed here. I liked that one, and I’ll bet I like the rest.

The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer – The latest book to arrive courtesy of Brande the Book Junkie. I first heard about this book as the story that the movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, wished it could be. It’s the story of a man who ages backwards and uses his strange circumstances and changing appearance in his efforts to win the heart of the woman he loves. I never saw the Brad Pitt movie, and I’m not in a hurry to, but I’ll give this book a shot. I should read Fitzgerald’s novella too sometime.

From the Borderlands by Elizabeth & Thomas Monteleone (editors) – I was scouring the shelves of a local used-book store and happened upon this anthology. I think it was originally published as Borderlands 5, so chances are I’ve missed out on four other editions with equally great authors in the roll call, as the table of contents for this one is stacked.

Drummer Boy and The Skull Ring (e-books) by Scott Nicholson – It was almost fateful that days after mulling over when I should get around to reading Nicholson’s debut novel, The Red Church, he would contact me to see if I’d be interested in reviewing a couple of his more recent novels. Drummer Boy deals is about an adolescent boy dealing with some tumultuous goings-on during a civil war reenactment, and The Skull Ring involves a cult tormenting a single mother and her child.

Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow – Man, it has been so long since I saw the Harrison Ford movie adaptation, I can’t even remember the plot, let alone the big reveal at the end. I only know the book’s a suspenseful mystery that keeps you guessing until the last page. So, since there’s a pseudo-sequel out by Turow this summer, simply titled Innocent, I thought it’d be a good idea to read the original book that garnered so much praise. I just hope I can avoid spoilers between now and then.

That’s my haul from this past month. What titles have you gotten your paws on lately?


Filed under Book Depository, book junkie, book shopping, books won, Chasing Tale, used-books

Chasing Tale in May: Ray Garton, Joe Hill, Brian Keene …

Oh, how the books keep coming. Nuts to you, TV. I have all the entertainment I need. You can keep your reality shows and whatever else is clogging up your airwaves. You may not appreciate good writers anymore, but I do.

Speaking of which, here are the books I added to my shelf this past month …

Sparrow Rock by Nate Kenyon – I received a review copy of Nate Kenyon’s latest release (you can read my review here). Put a bunch of teenyboppers in a bomb shelter in the wake of one helluva Armageddon and see what happens. This one is currently among my three favorite releases of 2010, along with Dan Simmons’ Black Hills and Alina Bronsky’s Broken Glass Park.

I was also fortunate enough to win a few books in mid-April thanks to Adventures with Cecelia Bedelia and her anniversary giveaway, which celebrated her first year as a blogger. Pay her a visit why don’t you. And May started off quite nicely when the books arrived courtesy of Book Depository. The five novels I received are:

Live Girls by Ray Garton – I read and reviewed Garton’s Bestial (you can read that review here) a while ago, which was an intense reworking of the werewolf myth. Live Girls has vampires and is heralded as one of his best works. I can only imagine what his take on the bloodsuckers will be like.

Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey – I mentioned my want for this title back in December (Wish List Wednesday #26). The setup? After a decade in Hell, a magician escapes and heads back to L.A. to exact some revenge. Oh, I have a sneaking suspicion I’m going to like this one.

The Rising and City of the Dead by Brian Keene – More than any other horror author, I hear Brian Keene’s name bandied about as one of the very best horror writers to come along in the last decade. Trouble for me is that no one stocks his books around here. I mentioned wanting his award winning debut novel, The Rising, back in November (Wish List Wednesday #20). So it’s nice to finally have it at last. And I doubt I’ll be letting it slip away any time soon. Ooh, and I got the sequel to it too. Neat.

Whitechapel Gods by S.M. Peters – Here’s one more to scratch off my wish list. I talked about my interest in this steampunk novel way back in October (Wish List Wednesday #16). The cover alone was enticing, but the premise of a walled-in Whitechapel and a disease called “the Clacks” that turns people into machines was irresistible. I’ve already read it and my review for it should be posted in about a week or so.

I didn’t get a chance to do much scavenging in the used-book shops in May, but it wasn’t like I had much need to considering the books I’ve amassed lately. I did manage to snag a couple though …

20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill – I would have been happy with a ratty old paperback edition of this one, as I’ve heard so much positivity towards Joe Hill’s short stories, but I was doubly pleased to find a signed hardcover edition. Oh, the things you come across in those little bookstores.

In the Night Room by Peter Straub – I spied this book sitting on the top of a stack of hardcovers yet to be shelved. All I had to read on the jacket was “a famous children’s author who … realizes that the most basic facts of her existence … have come into question.” I have a feeling the eeriness will be rolling off the pages like mist with this one. It won a Stoker Award, so it’s gotta be at least sufferable, right? Besides, has Mr. Straub written a bad novel yet?

The Little Friend by Donna Tartt – On the recommendation of Peter Straub, I added Donna Tartt’s name to my ever-expanding list of authors whose work I should sample. Surprisingly, I found a copy of one of her books a couple of days later, just a couple of blocks down the street in my very small hometown. I mentioned her name in passing to my local bookstore owner, and he said this book had just come in that week–he hadn’t even had time to shelve it yet. I look forward to reading it this summer.

Well, that’s my haul for this month. What books have you added to your collection lately?


Filed under Book Depository, book recommendations, book shopping, books won, Chasing Tale, review copies, used-books

Chasing Tale in April: Stephen King, Gord Rollo, H.G. Wells …

A happy birthday to me, belated though it may be. I dunno about you, but after I hit the big 30 I just don’t anticipate these birthdays with the same amount of glee anymore. I was never big on celebrating birthdays anyway. Basically just an excuse for drunken debauchery. Oh, it had its charm years back when drinking booze was a novelty act, but I drink considerably less nowadays. I’ll take books over booze as a gift any day now. God, I’m dull.

Anyway, while I didn’t receive any books as gifts this time around, I still managed to snag a few throughout the month. So here’s a list of the plunder:

Broken Glass Park by Alina Bronsky – I was contacted to read and review this newly translated novel. Tim Mohr is the cat who translated it from German to English, and I suspect it’ll hold up well as the praise in Europe has been solid. A debut novel from Bronsky (a pseudonym), it’s a contemporary piece of literature, and it’ll be nice to read some more stories from overseas. My review for this book should appear this coming Saturday.

Lucas Manson by Thomas Hauck – Again, I was contacted to read and review this novel. It’s apparently the first in a prospective series of thrillers by the author. I’m unfamiliar with the author, but that’s never stopped me in the past. Anyone ever heard of the band, the Atlantics? Well, he was a member, turns out. Thriller novels aren’t always my bag, but the premise for this one sounded interesting. My review should be up next Monday.

Just After Sunset by Stephen King – King’s latest collection of short stories. I’ve actually read a couple of these online already (“The Cat from Hell” and “Rest Stop”), but it’ll be nice to pore over this book. I’m particularly interested in reading “The Things They Left Behind” and “N.”

Under the Dome by Stephen King – Wow, you don’t really appreciate how jeezly gigantic this epic hardcover is until a shopkeep lugs it out from under his counter and drops it on the countertop with a resounding thud. “You want it?” he asked. “Heck yes,” I answered. “I may go moose hunting this year and that looks like it’ll stun the hell out of the critter.”

State of Decay by James Knapp – Have I had enough of the zombie fiction yet? Surprisingly no, though that’s possibly in part because I haven’t read an exorbitant amount of it. Lord knows there’s a metric ton or two in print, but I’m fortunate because much of what I’ve read has been enjoyable. I spied this book, which includes zombies as a kind of weapon of war, as a giveaway at Grasping for the Wind and was fortunate enough to win. Yay me. My review for this one should be up tomorrow.

Crimson by Gord Rollo – I spied this novel at a used-bookstore and decided to get it. Horror Web’s blurb struck me–Crimson is It’s superior in every possible way.” Hmmm, I wonder. I had missed out on winning a copy of Rollo’s January release, Strange Magic, from Horror World so this is a nice consolation. I believe Bad Moon Books put out a limited edition of Crimson, but I’ll be content with this Leisure Books release from last year.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells – I’ve been meaning to read this one for ages. And while I didn’t really care for Wells’ The Invisible Man, I am eager to read this one. The film adaptation with–now let me think–Guy Pierce (?) didn’t really win me over, but it’s been years since I saw it. I’m sure the book will give me a better appreciation for the tale.

So, what’s new on your bookshelf this month?


Filed under book shopping, book swapping, books won, Chasing Tale, review copies