Monday, 18 April 2016

Celestials - OUT NOW!

From author of the macabre, Mark Taylor comes the penultimate book in the series of The Devil's Hand!


The celestials have threatened to go to war with Hell. Only if they’re given Darin, The Devil’s Hand, will they call off their armies. 

Banished from his home with no powers, friends, or places to hide, Darin still seeks out the journals, trying to assemble some reasoning behind everything that has happened. 

But when the celestials fail to contain him, they send something else. 

Something much worse than an angelic body. 

The penultimate chapter in The Devil’s Hand series, Celestials, sees Darin fight for his life, meet with new friends and reacquaint with old. 

Go back to where it all began... 

...before it’s too late.

EXCERPT

   As a sigh escaped his lips, Darin trudged further into Purgatory. It was depressing.
   
   Although he supposed that was the point.
   
   The ghosts of those that died in Hell and on Earth drifted by, a glimpse of their faces, torn into terrible screams for eternity, haunted each of The Hand’s footfalls. It was a dim reminder of what could happen.
   
   In the distance a lone figure appeared. He stood and waited as Darin got closer. The hat gave it away.
   
   “Tesla,” Darin said, greeting him.
   
   “Hello, Hand.”
   
   Darin raised his hands passively, a sign of peace. “Where is he?”
   
   “He’s here,” the ex-Alp nodded.
   
   “Where?”
   
   “Here, Hand. He wants to know what you want,” Tesla smiled.
   
   Darin looked surprised. “What are you, his bitch?”
   
   Tesla laughed. “After what I have foreseen? I wonder why you are here myself.”
   
   “Don’t you know?” Darin smirked.
   
   Tesla tilted his head to the side. “It’s curious. I know what will happen up there. I always have, but I see nothing here in Purgatory. It is like the reality of what is, and what is to become, does not belong here. Perhaps I do, therefore, belong here. Where it is dull, and safe…”
   
   “Petiot?”
   
   “I am here, Hand.” Petiot’s growl came from behind Darin. He turned. Petiot was burned, scarred, from their last encounter. His skin was raw and his eyes glowed a deep red. “Tell me why I shouldn’t kill you where you stand.”
   
   “Because,” Darin answered, “first I’d like to see you try, and second…well, I’m worth more as The Hand than I am as a fleeting moment of satisfaction…to you, at least.”
   
   Petiot snorted. “What do you want?”
   
   “The Journals, of course.”

***

Available now from Amazon only 99c/99p:



***

Mark Taylor's debut novel crash landed on planet earth in 2013. Its dark brooding style benchmarked his writing and has led to further releases of novel and short story collection alike.

While most of Mark's work is macabre, occasion has it that he will write about kittens and daisies. Just not very often. 
Some say he is a product of his environment, others, a product of his own imagination. 


Whichever it is he works happily, portraying dark existences on this planet and others. He relays his fears and doubts on his characters, so always has a smile. If Mark is real, as some say he is, you might find him in England. 

Perhaps.

You can find him at his website: www.authormarktaylor.com, or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorMarkTaylor

"A fresh burn of imagination!" - Variety Reviews

"Definitely a great book." - Drunken Druids View

"Mark Taylor drags you down into the darkest and most twisted pits of human nature." - Darren Gallagher, author of Strings

"In The Human Condition, Mark Taylor blends American horror with an English elegance." - Eden Royce, author of Containment

"[Shutter Speed] worms its way into your psyche and latches on as you watch the events unfold." - The Bibliophilic Book Blog

Friday, 15 April 2016

Review: Bad Neighborhood


In this chilling horror collection, 29 writers and poets have come together to share tales of the grotesque, the supernatural, and more. Their words will pluck you from your comfort zone and leave you for dead, or worse. Have you ever considered where evil bides its time when it’s not outside your door? What disturbing locale could make it feel safe? We've all heard that home is where the heart is, but alas, that heart is sometimes racing…

We hope you live in a good neighborhood. 

Or not so much. I mean, it's not bad. Just not overly memorable. 

And that cover.

It's just...boring. A little. I mean I finished it, so that says something, right?

It is presented well. Fox Emm does a good job of the editing, there are no noticeable errors worth mentioning, and it's formatted well. I remember liking a couple of the stories. I enjoyed Intruder by Hugh Warren, a standout because of the style.

I just can't recommend the book on the whole, because it doesn't stand out. I read without being grasped. It was something to do, rather than something I wanted to do.

So, not a good review, but not a bad one. I suppose having nothing of merit to say says as much about as I need.

Btw: I won this in a Twitter competition from one of the authors.


You can purchase it here: http://www.amazon.com/Neighborhood-Misfit-Horror-Anthologies-Book-ebook/dp/B018O3SIIA

Friday, 8 April 2016

Back it up, or Lose it no more. CLOUD COMPUTING.

*Expunges grief*

Opening your unfinished novel to find this
AAargh.

Well. It finally happened. I got caught out. Didn't backup for a couple of weeks. "Too busy". Obviously.

*Sticks pen drive in hole*

PC: DEVICE NOT RECOGNISED

*Takes out. Pushes in*

PC: DEVICE RECOGNISED

*Opens latest draft of novel*

PC: HA HA HA. FUCK YOU.

And it's gone. Not just some of it. But all of it. Within my magical USB device of transportation now lies a battleground of broken, decapitated, and sucked dry wastrels of what used to be novels, websites, and marketing materials. Book covers are gone. It was just devastation.

As far as the eye can see...

Okay, fine. 99% of it was backed up. It was just one document. My novel. You know. The secret one. (That I'll be blabbing about soon)

Anyway. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine. I'm more worried about you. Because it happens to most prolific creators eventually.

CRASHES. CORRUPTION.

So I did a little research. (I'm a IT professional by trade, so...trust me, I guess?).

Google Drive is a thing where you can store your digital stuff online. In THE CLOUD. Which is fine, great, MS do OneDrive, etc. etc. But like a lot of people Google has eeked its way into my life (like a disease) so I looked at that.

You can download Drive onto your computer, which creates folders on your hard drive, allowing you to work locally if you prefer. It stops you from having to download documents to work on them and upload them after.

When a file is saved into these folders it automatically synchronizes with THE CLOUD and a backup is created.

So, sort of perfect really.

If you work on the files without an internet connection present (like in the dark ages of oh, I don't know, five years ago?) it synchronizes when there is one present.

Go now.

Google is the future.

I am in no way affiliated with Google btw.




Photo credit: jaci XIII via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Review: How to be Dead (Book 1)


Dave Marwood is trapped in a soul crushing dead end job. He’s in love with his work colleague Melanie and his only friend Gary is a conspiracy theory nut. 

His life is going nowhere until he has a Near Death Experience - though Death thinks of it as a Near Dave Experience. He discovers gifts he never knew he possessed and a world he never dreamed existed. A world where the Grim Reaper is a hard drinking, grumpy Billy Joel fan and the undead are bored, lonely and dangerous. 

How To Be Dead is the first part in a three novella funny urban fantasy series that tells the story of Death and his office staff protecting humanity from ghosts, zombies, vampires and medium-sized apocalypses. 

After a nice cup of tea and a biscuit. 

Look. I'm not mixing it up here. This shit is funny. And readable. And for Death's sake, why isn't Dave Turner the next Terry Pratchett? Yeah. Spoilers. This is getting five stars.

So after a near death experience, Dave is plunged into the world of spooks, death, and biscuits. Hobnobs to be precise.

Taking the turn of the every man, Dave is a wonderfully realized protagonist. He is nerdy, clumsy, nervous, and generally, well, an every man.

As is Death.

And this makes for a wonderful read.

I can't say much without getting into spoiler-y territory, but I read this in record time. I could barely put it down. It's a shorter read, yes, but develops character's wonderfully. Probably because there are so few of them. All are believable for what they are (like, Death), and none stick out as not needing to be there.

It's only downside (probably) is that it is terribly British. I think the jokes will translate, but some may miss in a different culture.

But honestly? Give it a go. It's wonderful.

  

Monday, 28 March 2016

Blog Tour: Dead Batteries Tell No Tales


Public transportation is a new experience for Amber. So is not having access to a cell phone. Luckily, a classmate named Jason is there to help. During their travel, Amber quickly learns that her perspectives on life aren’t quite the same as her peers. As they make their way home, they try to break down the foundation of their social structure in this exciting prequel to Five High School Dialogues.


GIVEAWAY

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About the Author

Ian Thomas Malone is an author and a yogi from Greenwich, CT. He is a graduate of Boston College, where he founded The Rock at Boston College. He is the grandson of noted Sherlockian scholar Colonel John Linsenmeyer. Ian has published thousands of articles on diverse subjects such as popular culture, baseball, and social commentary. 


His favorite things to post on social media are pictures of his golden retriever Georgie and his collection of stuffed animals. Ian believes firmly that “there’s more to life than books you know, but not much more,” a quote from his hero Morrissey. When he’s not reading, writing, or teaching yoga, he can probably be found in a pool playing water polo. He aspires to move to the Hundred Acre Wood someday, though he hopes it has wi-fi by then.

How can readers contact Ian or find out more about his work?


Author Website: ianthomasmalone.com



Instagram: @ianthomasmalone



LinkedIn: 








Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Acquisition of Demoralized Goals (Or: Why I'm a Broken Writer).


There are a thousand people in my head screaming. All the time. And all at once.
It can be demoralizing, being a writer. Sometimes it's the advice you see. Something like Stephen King saying you should finish the first draft of a novel in three months, and then looking at the novel you've been writing for three months that isn't quite finished. Or anyone else for that matter. Writing advice can be the most demoralizing "help" in the world. Basically, your advice is different to the way I'm doing it, and so, in your opinion, I'm not doing it right.

Yeah. Thanks for that.

But I have conquered that. Writing advice is just that, and these days I break "the rules" succinctly and frequently. That is why you won't see much advice on FW anymore.

Make your own way. Make your own rules. Make your own fiction.

But I still get demoralized. Why?

It's the writing itself.

I seem to get lost easily, you see. That is why the transition from writing short fiction to writing novels was a challenge for me. I write myself into a corner with ease. I become demoralized trying to write myself out of it.

And for me, when I become demoralized I hide from it. I pretend the writing isn't there. I suppose that makes me a broken writer.

So I became a plotter, and yes, that seemed to help.

But my plotting is not perfect yet.

And still I write myself into a corner. I can't quite get the knack of it. I watched a Youtube video once that told me I needed to plot to a length of 1/10. 100,000 word novel? 10,000 word plot outline. I'm not quite there yet, and I can't find the video. *Sigh* So I go on, writing myself into a corner. I don't do it on plot points. No. I do it in stupid places. Set pieces, if you will. I just don't plot them because I know what is going to happen.

Until I write it. Or try to, at least.

My point? I don't have one. I'm just...

...expunging feelings.



Photo credit: Jin_sama via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Heliodor Blog Tour


Malfric sees through the eyes of the dead – literally reliving their last moments as if they were his own. This ability is highly sought and highly priced, which is why the unscrupulous Captain Finch hires him to find the murderer of a nobleman and the whereabouts of a valuable artifact.

Quantex, the able-bodied first mate of Captain Finch, quickly becomes Malfric’s foil as he demonstrates uncommon intelligence during the investigation. Together the two uncover several clues that lead them to the killer, the artifact, and the frayed end of a mysterious plot that begins to unravel the moment Malfric takes it in hand and gives it a good yank.

EXCERPT

The captain placed a kid-gloved hand over Malfric’s.  “Walk a bit with me while I fill you in.”
  Malfric got to his feet, leaving the barrel-stool behind and looped his left hand through the crook of the captain’s arm. As the captain led him towards the bow of the ship, Malfric tasted currant jam and warm biscuits on the salty sea air.  His favorite.  
He stopped the captain before he could take another step.  “There’s no point in buttering me up, Finch.  Just give me the details.  If I agree, we can proceed straight to the repast you have set up in your quarters.  Otherwise, just hand me your purse and we’ll call it even.”
  Finch muttered beneath his breath.  “Your infernal nose ruins everything.  Fine then, have it your way.  A job has come up ― not our usual fare, but the bounty was too good to resist.  So I booked it.  But I need a voyeur to get it done.  Naturally, I thought of you.”
Naturally.  “What’s the catch?”
  “No catch.”  Shifting floorboards belied the captain’s response. 
  Malfric frowned.  “You wouldn’t have laid out my favorite tea if it were an easy job with no strings.  In fact, you wouldn’t have sent for me at all...any novice voyeur would have done.”  
A snicker came from his right.  Ah, Quantex had followed them.
  The captain’s arm tensed beneath Malfric’s hand.  Though he said nothing, Malfric detected the shift and rustle of his silk coat as he turned to glare at his first mate.
  “There’s an artifact.  We were not the only ones hired to find it,” Finch said with a disgruntled sigh.  “The other crew has a day’s head start.” His voice softened to a conspiratorial whisper, “but we have an advantage they do not.”
  Oh?  “And what, pray tell, is that?”
  A sharp intake of breath, a faint whistle through his nose, and the captain answered.  “A body.”

Available now from Mocha Memoir Press: http://www.mochamemoirspress.com/