Category Archives: Chasing Tale

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?

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

Chasing Tale (Digital Edition) for September 14th, 2011: Cate Gardner, Duane Swierczynski, Richard Wright …

Is there a tablet that can effectively mimic e-ink technology? I ask this, because that seems to be the thing that could turn the iPad and other tablets into the device for reading e-books. If you’ve ever tried to read e-books on an LCD/LED screen, you’ve probably felt some eye strain after an extended period. Plus, there’s the insufferable glare on the screen when you try to read outside. While tablets, with their oodles of apps, are a great new toy for this decade, they just aren’t the ideal reading device. But, if there was some way to turn that tablet into a Kindle-like e-reader, then that would be a real game-changer, I wager.
Surely, in an age that offers up some of the most unnecessary, ridiculous techno-toys we dare imagine–we have breakdancing robots, for crying out loud–there must be one developer out there who can crack this nut.
Bah, until that day comes, here are the e-books I’ve added to my reading pile:


The Spectral Press Chapbook Series 1-3 Spectral Press has a series of chapbooks out and I’ve got these three for review by Gary McMahon, Gary Fry, and Cate Gardner respectively. Each story is about twenty-thirty pages, making them very easy reads, and I’ll likely devour them all in a single evening. I haven’t read anything from the two Gary’s yet, but Cate’s got chops, so I’m really looking forward to Nowhere Hall.

Theatre of Curious Acts by Cate Gardner – Cate’s on a roll this year, as this novella is due for release in December through Hadley Rille Books. I’ve read her short fiction on line, as well with the impressive collection Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits, so I’m eager to read a lengthier story.

Miranda by John R. Little – September 7th was Buy A Book Day, so I bought a book. My wish list is a mile long, but I did remember having this novella on my wish list for quite some time. And now that Cemetery Dance has it in Kindle form, I figured it was time to buy it.

Hell and Gone by Duane Swierczynski – I loved–loved!Swierczynski’s Fun and Games. It’s still the front runner for my favorite read of 2011. One book that has a good shot at knocking it down a spot is its sequel. The first book left just enough room for a sequel, so it’ll be interesting to see how Duane tries to top himself in this series.

Cuckoo by Richard Wright – This novel was originally published in 2002, but Richard is re-releasing it himself as an e-book, with a paperback release slated for sometime this month. He sent me a review copy, and considering he’s finagled some praise from noteworthy authors, I’m optimistic about this sinister sounding story.

And that’s what’s new for e-books on my end? What’s new with you?

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Filed under Cate Gardner, Chasing Tale, Duane Swierczynski, e-books, Gary Fry, Gary McMahon, Richard Wright

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?

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

Chasing Tale (Digital Edition) August 16th, 2011: Robert J. Duperre, Mark Hodder, Lisa Mannetti …

I wonder how much longer we have to wait before we get a universal format for e-books. I mean, how long did it take for Bluray to beat out HD DVD? Not long, I’ll bet, since I’m probably the only one left who even remembers HD DVD. Amazon has things pretty much locked down with the Kindle formats, but those other formats just aren’t going anywhere it seems. So, if these people refuse to pick one format and run with it, then I want an e-reader that’s going to read all the formats. How hard can that be? If Kindle could read an EPUB file, it’s be case closed. Am I wrong?

Jaded Mistress by Gary Charles – I caught a special offer via Shaun Jeffrey on Twitter, where Gary was giving away this novel on Smashwords for a limited time. I like free, so I gave it a peak, and considering it’s a retelling of the Medusa myth from her point of view, I figured I could take a chance on it.

Silas by Robert J. Duperre – Robert will be stopping by the blog on September 9th as part of his blog tour. I was provided a review copy of his novel, though I’m doubtful I’ll be able to read it by then. But, given its speculative fiction involving a dog, I’m definitely interested in reading it eventually.

The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder – Mark won the Phillip K. Dick Award for this novel not too long ago. I’ve read a couple good reviews for it already, so when I saw it on sale for two bucks on the Kindle Store, I got it.

The New Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn by Lisa Mannetti – Lisa has a new novel out, but this one is a departure from haunting historical fiction. Two cats, the resurrected embodiments of Tom and Huck. What? Yeah, this should be interesting.

The First Tale by Icy Sedgwick – After I won a writing competition at the Feckless Goblin, I found out the story judge has a couple books for sale on the Kindle Store, so I bought this 99 cent novella to test the waters.

Shock Totem #1 edited by K. Allen Wood Shock Totem has their first issue online as an e-book finally, just as issue #4 comes out in print this summer. And at only a couple bucks, it was an easy purchase for some quality short fiction.

So what interesting e-books have you found lately?

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Filed under book shopping, Chasing Tale, Gary Charles, Icy Sedgwick, Kindle Store, Lisa Mannetti, Mark Hodder, Robert J. Duperre

Chasing Tale (August 4th, 2011): Alex Bledsoe, Christa Faust, Gary McMahon …

I found out in July that my favorite online bookstore, The Book Depository, was bought out by Amazon. Since then, book prices at Book Depository have been going up. If they get rid of the free worldwide shipping and Paypal payment method … well, I think Amazon will have effectively quashed their competition, not just acquired it.

And Amazon, despite their best efforts, ain’t the only show in town. Not yet, anyway.

While I got a couple of bargains from Book Depository, I also won a couple books over the last couple of months that turned up in my mailbox.

The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe – I won an ARC copy of this book from Alex, a promising fantasy/horror novel coming out in October through Tor, about a Iraq war veteran who returns to her hometown in Tennessee, followed by an ominous spirit, and receives dire omens. I’ve got one of Alex’s novels on my wish list, a vampire tale called Blood Groove, so until I get my hands on that one, I’m pleased to have a chance to read his newest work.

Money Shot by Christa Faust – After reading a couple recommendations for a book called Chokehold, I did some Googling and discovered it was a sequel to this book. After checking out the cover and the pitch for it, I couldn’t resist. A porn star out for revenge? Yup. I’m gonna get a kick out of this one.

Miserere: An Autumn Tale by Teresa Frohock – Teresa wrote a guest blog post in July titled, “Wicked WomenRule,” as part of her blog tour to promote this novel. I’ve since received a signed copy for review and will be diving into it very soon.


The Concrete Grove by Gary McMahon – I won this book via a giveaway hosted by The Lucky Ladybug. Considering the good reviews this author has gotten for previous works, I am very interested to see how good this one is, which is supposed to be the first in a trilogy (or series).

Mistification by Kaaron Warren – Every once in a while a story about a magician will captivate me. Peter Straub’s Shadowland and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter being to prime examples. So, when I heard about this book, which was released earlier in the summer, I put it on my wish list and was fortunate enough to win a copy from Ruth over at My Devotional Thoughts.


Loss of Separation by Conrad Williams – At the start of the year, I highlighted five anticipated horrornovels for 2011, which included this one. As it stands, this will be the first of those five that I’ll get to read. Conrad Williams is an author whose work gets recommended now and again, but is also one of those authors that doesn’t get any real estate on the shelves of bookstores in my neck of the woods.




So, that’s what came in this month.

Where do you go online when you shop for books? Are there any websites you refuse to buy from?

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Filed under Alex Bledsoe, Amazon, Book Depository, book shopping, Chasing Tale, Christa Faust, Conrad Williams, Gary McMahon, Kaaron Warren, Teresa Frohock

Chasing Tale (Digital Edition) July 28, 2011: Ray Banks, Lee Goldberg, Layton Green …

There are a few reasons I enjoy reading novellas. One reason is that they’re just long enough to read off a computer screen without that feeling my eyeballs are going to melt–especially since I spend so much time in a day looking at a computer screen anyway. Another reason is that they are idyllic for a quiet evening, or if you’re going to be someplace doing next to nothing for an hour or two (hospital waiting rooms spring to mind).
And another added bonus is that novellas are a great length for testing out new authors. Like that novella by Tom Piccirilli I reviewed a couple days ago, Every Shallow Cut. If you’ve never read his work before, that is a great place to start, because it’s a superb story and will take you no time at all to read it.
Some folks love those giant moose-stunner novels. You know the ones. The kind of books, especially the hardcovers, that feel like you’re reading stone tablets. They’re not my cup of tea, though they’d probably be more palatable with an e-reader. But, for me, I’m turning into a novella lover more and more. I downloaded a couple of them this past month, and I’ve found they sneak their way up the reading pile quicker than novel length works.
Let’s take a look:
Gun by Ray Banks – Right after the Fourth of July weekend, I started seeing a few authors on Twitter hyping the availability of a free novella called Gun. Free is in my price range, so I got myself a copy from Ray. I get the feeling it’s about a gun, but I could be wrong.
Jinn Nation by Caroline Barnard-Smith Caroline asked if I’d care to take part in her blog tour, which will be swinging by this blog in mid-August, as well as review her new dark fantasy novel. I’m still bogged down in review commitments, but she was generous enough to offer a review copy anyway. It may be 2012 by the time I read it, though.

Zoo City by Lauren Beukes – I was trolling through the Kindle Store last week and stumbled across Lauren’s novel, which was being promoted by Amazon’s The Big Deal promotion. Only 99 cents at the time for an award-winning title. Eff yeah.

Die Lover Die by Lee Goldberg Lee sent me one of his novelettes for review. It’s a ten thousand word powder keg by the looks of it, so it ought to make for a fun evening some time late in the summer. It’s associated with the Top Suspense group I’ve seen Lee and other authors promoting this year. Not a bad way to get the word out.
The Egyptian by Layton Green Green’s previous novel, The Summoner, was one of those novels I didn’t expect to enjoy quite as much as I did. So, Layton has provided me with a review copy of its sequel. The review for this one ought to appear in late August, presumably, but don’t hold me to that.
Peter the Wolf by Zoe E. Whitten Zoe seems like the kind of author who enjoys quirk. She’s written zombie erotica, even a pair of novellas through Belfire Press called The Life and Death of a Sex Doll. Not too sure what this dark fantasy is about, but I’ll bet there’s some quirk to it.
How about you? Do you have a preference on story length? Anything good that you’ve downloaded recently that you would recommend to a guy like me?

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Filed under book shopping, Caroline Barnard-Smith, Chasing Tale, e-books, Layton Green, Lee Goldberg, Ray Banks