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text 2018-10-16 14:18
Doorbells at Dusk: Only $1.99 (for a limited time: 10/16/18)
"A delightfully rich collection, suffused with horror of many flavors and degrees. . ."
-- The Haunted Reading Room
 
"Doorbells at Dusk dims the glow of other Halloween horror anthologies. . .one of the best books of 2018. . ."
-- Haunted by Deadlines
 
"Doorbells at Dusk is a welcome addition to the pantheon of Halloween horrors. Not that this is much of a shock, mind you. Evans Light knows how to deliver a great Halloween anthology; you don't need to look past any of the three Bad Apples: Slices of Halloween Horror books he co-created to find proof of that, and Doorbells at Dusk serves as further evidence to this claim."
-- Michael Patrick Hicks, author of Broken Shells and Mass Hysteria
  
"Doorbells at Dusk captures the essence of Halloween. It is fun, scary, and will leave a rush that only an overdose of candy corn can match." 
-- Jim Mcleod, Ginger Nuts of Horror
  
"Finding a really good Halloween anthology is like getting the full-size candy bar. Doorbells at Dusk is definitely the full-size treat."
-- Frank Michaels Errington's Horrible Book Reviews
 
"If you're looking for a great anthology to fill out your Halloween reading this year, make it Doorbells at Dusk."
-- Char's Horror Corner
  
"A great seasonal collection that you'll want to re-read in the years to come. Highly recommended!"
-- Horror After Dark
 

"Whether you’re a long-time horror lover or just someone looking for a spooky Halloween read, I highly recommend picking up this anthology." -- Howling Libraries

 

Grab DOORBELLS AT DUSK for only $1.99 (for a limited time:10/16)!

 

 

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review 2018-10-12 11:31
Norse Mythology
Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman

Prior to reading this, my experience with Gaiman’s work was limited to Good Omens, Stardust, and The Graveyard Book, so I had no idea what to expect when it came to his take on Norse mythology. It turns out his take is pretty straightforward myth retelling with some of his humor thrown in here and there. Great for bedtime stories, if murder, kidnapping, dismemberment, disembowelment, creative use of discarded body parts/bodily fluid, and occasional scatological humor make you sleepy. I personally wasn’t impressed with the potty jokes, but if Gaiman saw fit to do another volume of Norse myths, I’d still be all over it.

 

I read this for the Halloween Bingo 2018 Relics and Curiosities square.

 

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text 2018-10-12 01:03
Reading progress update: I've read 117 out of 292 pages.
Ordinary Souls - J.S. Bailey

Just finished Agoraphobia - This story hits too close to home. It was written in the second person, so that made it even more personal as if I were the main character. Thankfully, it gives a hopeful message.

 

16 stories, 5 finished.

 

The Mirror - 5/5

The Ghost of Memory - 3.5/5

Vapers - 3/5

Maria - 1/5

Agoraphobia - 4/5

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review 2018-10-10 00:45
Downer
The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Stories - Stephen King

My PC heat-quited on me while writing my review, so take two.

 

This was a bit of a let down.

 

First of all, it's such a depressing collection. I looked forward to the horror bits because they were at least lively (and even those were a lot more scarce than usual).

 

Second, because I had already read some of the longer stories, and none was that worthy of a second pass. Well, maybe Morality, but hell.

 

If I had to list the ones I really liked, I'd go with Drunken Fireworks, because while predictable, it made me laugh and I needed it; Mr Yummy, because it touched an odd bittersweet chord; Green God of Agony was very neat; and Under the Weather because it was so gruesome to see it coming, even if it was another depressing one.

 

No, seriously, this is not a happy collection. Or even an exiting one. Pick another.

 

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review 2018-10-09 22:37
Carniepunk
Carniepunk - Kevin Hearne,Kelly Gay,Jackie Kessler,Nicole Peeler,Kelly Meding,Hillary Jacques,Allison Pang,Jaye Wells,Delilah S. Dawson,Rob Thurman,Rachel Caine,Seanan McGuire,Mark Henry,Jennifer Estep

The traveling carnival is a leftover of a bygone era, a curiosity lurking on the outskirts of town. It is a place of contradictions—the bright lights mask the peeling paint; a carnie in greasy overalls slinks away from the direction of the Barker’s seductive call. It is a place of illusion—is that woman’s beard real? How can she live locked in that watery box?

And while many are tricked by sleight of hand, there are hints of something truly magical going on. One must remain alert and learn quickly the unwritten rules of this dark show. To beat the carnival, one had better have either a whole lot of luck or a whole lot of guns—or maybe some magic of one’s own.

Featuring stories grotesque and comical, outrageous and action-packed, Carniepunk is the first anthology to channel the energy and attitude of urban fantasy into the bizarre world of creaking machinery, twisted myths, and vivid new magic.

 

I read this book to fill the Creepy Carnivals square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

I seem to be developing more of a taste for short fiction, especially in this dark fantasy category. I enjoyed the offerings by the well-known authors (Rachel Caine, Jennifer Estep, Kevin Hearne, Seanan McGuire) but actually found some of the stories by folks that I didn’t know to be more engaging. These people have to try harder, they can’t rely on well-trodden paths with familiar characters and situations. I think I’ll be checking out more fiction by Rob Thurman, for example, who got cover billing (and so must enjoy some notoriety) but whose work I had never encountered before. I’m also eyeing a book by Jaye Wells (Cursed Moon), maybe for Halloween Bingo next year.

It was fun to dip into several people’s versions of the creepy carnival, rather than cope with one author’s vision for 440 pages. It’s not like I need to expand my reading list at this point, but if you are struggling to find new authors that you enjoy, I would recommend an anthology like this one on a subject that intrigues you—you are bound to find someone whose work you enjoy.

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