Review of Ben Eads’ Cracked Sky

Home Page // Archive by category "blog hops"

Archive for the ‘blog hops’ Category

posted by | on blog hops, dark fantasy, fantasy, guest authors, guest blogs, horror, reviews, speculative | No comments

Finally found my log in info for the site! So, without further ado, here is my review for Ben Eads’ Cracked Sky.

Cracked Sky is Ben Eads debut novel, and it’s a work he should be proud of writing. It tells the story of Stephen and Shelley Morrison–a couple dealing with the painful loss of their daughter. Ben doesn’t sugar coat their suffering either. He shows it in raw, emotional detail. Cracked Sky is a powerful read because Eads takes you on a rollercoaster of feeling, from terror, to sadness, to anger, and more. There are hints of a Stephen King influence peppered through this book. Ben’s antagonist evokes dread similar to what I experienced when I first met Pennywise, and his otherworld is eerie, chilling, yet beautiful. I highly recommend you check out Cracked Sky. You’ll be doing yourself a favor.

Pick it up at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cracked-Sky-Ben-Eads-ebook/dp/B00QD89JK0

CrackedSkyWS-199x300

Share

posted by | on blog hops, dark fantasy, fantasy, horror, interviews, weird fiction | No comments

I had the pleasure of interviewing Ben Eads recently for his Cracked Sky blog tour, and I’ll be writing a review of Ben’s debut novel later this month. It’s a great read I highly recommend you check out. Interview and buy links below. Be sure to drop by Ben’s site and pay him a visit also: http://beneadsfiction.com/

beneads

Ben Eads Interview

LB: What did you find was your biggest challenge when you started editing?
BE: Finding the best way of expressing to the author their options to fix a character’s motivation, development or whatever may be lacking. Also, being capable of giving them good examples. Some issues could be surgical and some may be larger. I love helping out my comrades-in-arms with critiques, edits, etc… I love the community and everyone pays it forward. We’re all in this together.

LB: What particular books and authors inspired you when writing Cracked Sky?
BE: I avoided reading while writing Cracked Sky. I didn’t want anything spilling out or imitating a “voice” sub-consciously. Whether I like it or not—ha!—I can’t ignore the influence of Lovecraft, Machen, Borgis, Philip K. Dick, Barker, Gaiman, etc… I think Barker’s The Great and Secret Show was the book I kept reminding myself of and the emotions it evoked. I’ll never forget that one.

LB: I’m a sucker for books that involve other dimensions. What drew you to this topic for Cracked Sky?
BE: Once the “movie-trailer” for Cracked Sky played in my head, I knew that death was not the end for this poor, four-year-old girl. Her parents have a heart-rending journey, and there is very little light at the end of that dark tunnel. Also, given the weight of the character’s emotions, it really wrote itself and went into that territory by necessity. I sincerely want to crank the reader’s imagination up as high as I can while connecting all the dots. It’s the kind of fiction I like to read and write. Sure, I’ve written some horror stories bereft the supernatural, but I’ll always try and push reader’s imaginations to new levels. Keyword being try. Ha!

LB: Your antagonist, Darrell, reminded me somewhat of Pennywise. What antagonists provided inspiration for creating Darrell?
BE: Pennywise is one of my all-time favorite creatures! King knocked that one out of the park. For Darrell, I really looked at the human condition itself, in extremis. The old phrase: One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter, kept coming to mind. Hitler, Pot, Stalin or any real-life monster never viewed themselves as evil. Quite the opposite. These are people that found a way to justify their atrocities and believed in them whole-heartedly. Once someone loses their faith in humanity, especially due to a great loss, like that of a child, they may be capable of carrying out all manner of discord. Sadly, we see things similar to this on television all the time. Darrell is the best example of what could happen to anyone, should the proper stimulus exist.

LB: Describe the difference between wearing the editor’s hat and the writer’s hat?
BE: Night and day! When I wear the writer’s hat, it’s my world and my characters I’m creating. When I wear the editor’s hat, it’s all about making the story better. For me, it’s easier to beta-read and edit another’s work because I’m objective to it. It’s more difficult for me to see faults in my work because I’m subjective. We all need editors!

CrackedSkyWS-199x300

Grab Cracked Sky now at Amazon!

Print Edition

Kindle Edition

Share

posted by | on blog hops, contests, dark fantasy, ebook giveaway, fairies, fantasy, folklore, free reads, guest authors, guest blogs, horror, interviews, latest releases, serial novel, upcoming releases, witches | No comments

Congratulations to Theresa Brundage, the winner of The Black Act: Witch Twins Saga Raffle! I just emailed you, Theresa, to find out what format you’d like your books in. If you don’t receive the email, please give me a shout at blackfaery76@yahoo.ca with your chosen ebook format and I’ll get those right over to you. A big thank you again to everyone who tweeted and shared the raffle. I’ll be doing another one when the full serial novel is released, so be sure to watch for that and enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Funky Werepig

And if you missed me on The Funky Werepig the first time around, you can catch me chatting with my dear pal Mr. Gregory L Hall over at iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-funky-werepig/id547094652?mt=2

Win a Copy of The Reading Lessons

Also don’t forget to comment on Carole Lanham’s guest blog to win a copy of her novel The Reading Lessons! You’ll love this book, folks. Carole has two copies left to give away: http://www.louisebohmer.com/site/2014/02/reading-lessons-blog-tour-review-reading-lessons-carole-lanham/

thereadinglessons

Share

posted by | on blog hops, erotic fiction, guest authors, guest blogs, horror, reviews | 9 comments

In honor of Women in Horror Recognition Month and to spread the word about a wonderful book, I’d like to welcome Carole Lanham to the forest today as she stops by on her The Reading Lessons Blog Tour. Carole sent me a copy of her first novel and it was a pleasure to read. Here’s some more info on the title and Carole, buy links, and my review below.


thereadinglessons About the Book: Mississippi 1920: Nine year old servant, Hadley Crump, finds himself drawn into a secret world when he is invited to join wealthy Lucinda Browning’s dirty book club. No one suspects that the bi-racial son of the cook is anything more to Lucinda than a charitable obligation, but behind closed doors, O! she doth teach the torches to burn bright. What begins as a breathless investigation into the more juicy parts of literature quickly becomes a consuming and life-long habit for two people who would not otherwise be left alone together. As lynchings erupt across the South and the serving staff is slowly cut to make way for new mechanical household conveniences, Hadley begins to understand how dangerous and precarious his situation is.

The Reading Lessons follows the lives of two people born into a world that is unforgiving as a Hangman’s knot. Divided by skin color and joined by books, Hadley and Lucinda are forced to come together in the only place that will allow it, a land of printed words and dark secrets.


My review: Carole Lanham’s The Reading Lessons is a seamless blend of historical literary fiction and romance. She pulls you in with the opening sentence and the narrative never lets go. It’s impossible not to feel for Hadley Crump, a biracial boy living in Mississippi in the 1920s, who falls in love with the daughter of the white man his mother works for. Lucinda has a hot temper and manipulates Hadley to keep him in her life, but, though she denies it, it’s obvious from her more tender moments she loves Crump. The story is a bittersweet, honest portrayal of forbidden love in a time when interracial marriage could literally mean death. I fell in love with the characters and raged at Lucinda right along with Hadley when she pulled his strings, but was touched by her gentleness and devotion to him, too. You won’t forget this book. It will stay with you long after you’ve read the final page. I’m not too proud to admit the conclusion made me tear up.

From Mama’s superstitions, to Hadley’s struggle to desperately break Lucinda’s hold on him, to Dickie Worther’s dissatisfaction with a life he was born into, these characters are vibrant, realistically written, and they come alive on the page. The Reading Lessons is a deftly crafted tale of how society’s social mores often hold us back, how social classes divide us, and how when that’s briefly stripped away in secret meetings, two people can have a taste of what they truly want. I highly recommend this book!

You can pick up a copy of The Reading Lessons at:
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca
Nook
Kobo


carolebiopic1About Carole: Carole Lanham is the author of twenty-four short stories and three books, The Whisper Jar (Morrigan Books, Oct 2011), Cleopatra’s Needle (Black Daisy Press, coming in 2014), and The Reading Lessons (Immortal Ink Publishing, Jan 2014). Her work has twice appeared on the preliminary ballot for a Bram Stoker award, she was short listed for The Million Writers Prize, and she has won two national writing contests.

Pulitzer Prize nominated author Thomas Sullivan has said of her work: “You will find enchantment, disturbing undertones, wry humor, romantic eroticism, intrigue, suspense, and sheer escapism in all of Lanham’s work. Aberrations abound, but they are told with such convincing nonchalance that you simply have to believe them. You fall in love with the characters, and your hopes rise for their quests to succeed even as they descend into consensual madness or impossible dreams or a struggle to survive. Whether they survive and how they survive if they do…well, that’s as unpredictable as a coin flip.

Pay Carole a visit at:

Carole Lanham
Horror Homemaker
Facebook
Twitter

UPDATE: Hey, folks, would you like to win a Kindle copy of The Reading Lessons? First three people to comment on this blog post will receive an ebook from Carole!

Share

posted by | on blog hops, dark fantasy, fantasy, horror, monsters, weird fiction | No comments

Hey folks!

We’ve got a return guest in the forest today, who sat down with me and the satyrs and nymphs for three questions about Chuggie, Brent Michael Kelley’s muse and drought personified. So pull up a stump and settle in for a quick Q & A that’s sure to entertain!

BrentKelley

Brent Michael Kelley’s debut novel Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater was released in December of 2011 from Omnium Gatherum. His short story “Ride” was included in Detritus, a collection of stories about collections (also by Omnium Gatherum). His story-poem “Gnoem” was published in A Pocketful of Moondust, a children’s anthology from Rebel Books (UK). He recently finished Chuggie’s next adventure: Chuggie and the Bleeding Gateways of Glughu, which is available now. His regular column “5 Keys” can be read in the pages of CadreZine, where every issue BMK offers five tips or insights for aspiring writers (or, at least he tries to until he gets derailed by his own logic). Visit him at: http://www.catbat.com/bmk/

Three Questions with Brent Michael Kelley

1. So who is this Chuggie anyway? A master of mischief and mayhem? A father of drought? Tell us more.

Chuggie is Drought personified on a world called Mag Mell. He’s the kind of guy who can drain a lake overnight, even rip the moisture from living creatures. He has vast destructive power inside that constantly begs to be unleashed. He has wiped out cities, turned forests into wastelands, and caused lots of misery the world over. Chuggie doesn’t like that aspect of himself. He found that when he got good and drunk, the thirst quieted. Naturally, he got all boozed up and put a curse of permanence on himself. He’s got an elongated skull with five horns growing from it, which combined with his drunkenness, makes it hard for him to fit in anywhere. He drifts about, getting in trouble and having adventures. His world is full of monsters and madmen, so there’s plenty of trouble to be found wherever he goes.

2. Chuggie already raised merry hell in a place called Stagwater. Now he’s back messing with the Bleeding Gateways. Can you tell us a bit about his latest adventures there, and what’s next for Chuggie?

Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater was the first book. Chuggie stumbles upon the remote city of Stagwater, where he finds himself caught in the middle of various forces battling for control of the city. In Chuggie and the Bleeding Gateways, we pick up with Chuggie a few days after the Desecration of Stagwater. There’s work to do, there are people to find, and there are monsters to fight. Chuggie’s new dagger, the Bleeding Jaws of Glughu, has been doing strange things. Like the first book, we follow some other characters, too. A lot of people like Fey Voletta, the young blade cultist who works with the Steel Jacks. Covered from head to toe in the ceremonial scars of her order, she’s exotic, sexy, and as deadly as the day is long. The Steel Jacks themselves are lots of fun. They’re creatures of pure energy who live inside 8’ metal suits. They’re masters of technology in a world of magic and mysticism.

Next up for Chuggie… I can tell you the next book has a working title of Chuggie and the Prisoner Gods. I can say nothing more than that. No, wait. I can say a little more. It’ll be filled with horrors, funny drunken ramblings, and plenty of colorful profanity. There’s a good chance this will Chuggie’s most horrific adventure yet. Should be some grins in there, too.

3. How did Chuggie come to claw his way inside your brain?

Back in college, an instructor of mine told us about her muse. This ghostly woman in a brown dress stood behind her while she painted. I demanded the Cosmos send me a muse of my own. I’d hoped for a pretty lady in a bikini or a tight leather dress. Instead, I was sent a gravel-voiced drunk who always had a story about everything. Imagine a very drunk and surly Tom Waits dropped in the middle of Monsterland. Now give him a chain linked directly to his ribcage and an anchor on the end shaped like a lady. There are no vampires, werewolves, elves, fairies, dwarves, dragons, orcs, or trolls. It’s so much fun to write about Chuggie and his friends, I plan to do so for a long time.

chuggie2

You can pick up Chuggie and the Bleeding Gateways now at:

Omnium Gatherum
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Share