Archive for the ‘Blog Tours’ Category

I’d like to welcome back fellow horror author and friend Thomas S. Flowers for a special guest post about the unusual inspiration he received from the Tod Browning classic Freaks. Then stick around to check for an excerpt of Thomas’s latest release Dwelling, which is now available to purchase on Kindle and paperback at Amazon.

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One of the best parts of Tod Browning’s feast of film, Freaks, is the intro. Here’s a sample of what you’ll see as the opening credits roll.

Before proceeding with the showing of the following HIGHLY UNUSUAL ATTRACTION, a few words should be said about the amazing subject matter. BELIEVE IT OR NOT – – – – STRANGE AS IT SEEMS. In ancient times anything that deviated from the normal was considered an omen of ill luck or representative of evil. Gods of misfortune and adversity were invariable cast in the form of monstrosities, and deeds of injustice and hardship have been attributed to the many crippled and deformed tyrants of Europe and Asia. HISTORY, RELIGION, FOLKLORE AND LITERATURE abound in tales of misshapen misfits who have altered the world’s course. GOLIATH, CALABAN, FRANKENSTEIN, GLOUCESTER, TOM THUMB AND KAISER WILHELM are just a few, whose fame is worldwide. The accident of abnormal birth was considered a disgrace and malformed children were placed out in the elements to die. If, perchance, one of these freaks of nature survived, he was always regarded with suspicion. Society shunned him because of his deformity, and a family so hampered was always ashamed of the curse put upon it. Occasionally, one of these unfortunates was takes to court to be jeered at or ridiculed for the amusement of the nobles. Others were left to eke out a living by begging, stealing or starving. For the love of beauty is a deep seated urge which dates back to the beginning of civilization. The revulsion with which we view the abnormal, the malformed and the mutilated is the result of long conditioning by our forefathers. The majority of freaks, themselves, are endowed with normal thoughts and emotions. Their lot is truly a heart-breaking one. They are forced into the most unnatural of lives. Therefore, they have built up among themselves a code of ethics to protect them from the barbs of normal people. Their rules are rigidly adhered to and the hurt of one is the hurt of all; the joy of one is the joy of all. The story about to be revealed is a story based on the effect of this code upon their lives. Never again will such a story be filmed, as modern science and teratology is rapidly eliminating such blunders of nature from the world. With humility for the many injustices done to such a people, (they have no power to control their lot) we present the most startling horror story of the ABNORMAL and THE UNWANTED.”

What a powerful message, right? We are forewarned with a somewhat strange historical account for the philosophical reasons for the most traditional accounts of ethnocentrism. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s presentation of Tod Browning’s production of Freaks follows one of the most classic idealizations and horror film motifs, the carnival. According to film historian David Skal, Tod Browning first became enthralled with the carnival when he was sixteen years old, “infatuated with a dancer, a so-called sideshow queen in the Manhattan Fair & Carnival Company” (The Monster Show, pg. 28). The unusual attraction to the carnival for those in my generation is probably best seen through the eyes of Ray Bradbury in his epic novel, “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” Dark images of Ferris wheels silhouetted against dark skies. The circus, as far back as I can recall, has always been a place of strange attraction. We do not venture to the circus to see the mundane, after all. In the history of cinema, film began very in much the same way, as a sideshow vaudeville.

313px-FreaksPosterFreaks takes us through a doomed tale of a trapeze artist named Cleopatra (performed by the ever talented and beautiful Olga Baclanova) who discovers that a circus midget by the name of Hans (Harry Earles) has a sizable inheritance. She knows Hans is in love with her and decides to marry the lovesick performer, all the while concocting a dubious plan to murder him and steal his fortune, running off with her lover, a dim-witted strong man by the name of Hercules (Henry Victor). But everything is not as it seems. Cleopatra is openly disdain towards Hans’ fellow freaks. And when Hans’ friends discover what is going on, they band together and carry out a brutal revenge that leaves both Hercules and Cleopatra knowing what it truly means to be a so-called “freak.” One of the greatest and most historic scenes, I thought, was at the end, during a torrential downpour as both Hercules and Cleopatra are attempting to flee from their would-be assassins. Hercules is caught under one of the wagons and as we watch with him, the freaks, knifes drawn, close in on him. Witnessing these mutilated forms drawing near, crawling through the mud, has always given me this sense of dread one hopes to find in movies such as these. Cleopatra’s fate is probably the most heinous albeit deserving (SPOILERS) when they mutilate her so badly she herself transforms from something of admired beauty to just another disdained sideshow attraction. When we first looked upon her, we swooned with love, and now as the film closes, we can’t help but scream!

There is little doubt that it was Tod Browning’s directorial success with Dracula (1931) which allowed him to work on what many have considered his masterpiece. This is my personal opinion, of course, but I think it is more accurate to say that Freaks was more of a passion project, considering his own past experiences working the sideshow as a geek up and down the Mississippi River. What I find most interesting about Freaks is the time period in which the film was released. Horror during the 1930’s, in my opinion, is retrospective of the decades past Great War. The maiming and grinding machines of war which ended in 1918 found its way into the picture shows of this era, in movies such as Freaks (1932) and even Frankenstein (1931) we find a representation of the mutilated shell-shocked forms of returning soldiers. One need only to look at Lon Chaney’s career to see what his custom-made effects were geared to symbolize, the monster. If this was an intentional use of symbolism is debatable, but nonetheless, especially in the 1920’s-1930’s, it was a familiar image in cinema. Even here in our own age we find the same symbolic gestures. Consider the last season of American Horror Story, subtitled: Freak Show. The season took us to the 1950’s at the encampment of one of the last remaining freak shows struggling to survive, not just financially, but also in discovering their place in the world. Said season is juxtaposed with the (supposed) end of the Iraq War (OIF), or at least the era of the war of which so many of my own generation fought and died or worse, survived —mutilated both externally and internally. Has Tod Browning’s classic 1932 Freaks found a new lost generation, witnesses to the horrors of war and the macabre afterbirths? To each their own, I’m sure. For me, Browning’s Freaks is a marvelous trip into the strange and unusual and was the inspired subtitle chapter in my novel, Dwelling, in which protagonist Johnathan visits Washington, D.C. Veterans Affairs Hospital to talk at a conference with fellow wounded veterans. During his visit, he’s confronted with all these images of mutilated soldiers and servicemen. Even he has been subjugated as one of the mutilated, the amputation of one of his legs after the Battle of Al-Hurriyah. He of course is struggling with his own demons, but during the conference he’s struck with this overwhelming sense of belonging, similar some might say to the kinship of sideshow attractees. Again, we’re drawn back to the opening credits of Tod Browning’s Freaks, “They are forced into the most unnatural of lives. Therefore, they have built up among themselves a code of ethics to protect them from the barbs of normal people. Their rules are rigidly adhered to and the hurt of one is the hurt of all; the joy of one is the joy of all.”

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Dwelling FRONTDWELLING by Thomas S. Flowers
Subdue Series, Book 1
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Release Date: Dec. 8, 2015

: : : SYNOPSIS : : :

A group of inseparable childhood friends are now adults, physically and psychologically devastated by war…

A horrifying creature emerges from a sandstorm just before Ricky Smith dies in battle. Forced to leave base housing, his widow Maggie buys a home on Oak Lee Road in the town of Jotham. Maggie is isolated in the historic house…and disconcerted by strange clicking sounds inside the walls.

Jonathan Steele attempts to drink the painful past away…

Jonathan was wounded in that fateful battle and now suffers from PTSD. He wants to put the nightmare behind him, but when Ricky’s ghost appears with cryptic warnings about Maggie’s house, he begins to question his sanity.

Bobby Weeks is a homeless veteran struggling with a lycanthropic curse…

Afraid of bringing harm, Bobby stays far away from those he loves. But after a full moon, a mysterious woman approaches him and reveals a vision about a house with a sinister presence, and he realizes staying away might no longer be an option.

Minister Jake Williams lost his faith on the battlefield…

While Jake will do anything to reconnect with God, he turns to vices to fill the religious void. But a church elder urges him to take a sabbatical, and a ghost tells him to quit the ministry, and his life is more out of control than ever.

When Maggie wakes in a strange subterranean cavern, she can’t deny her home harbors dark secrets. Desperate, she sends letters to her old friends to reunite in Jotham, and events conspire to draw them all to the house…unaware of the danger awaiting them.

The friends have already been through hell, but can any of them survive the evil dwelling beneath the House on Oak Lee?

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: : : PURCHASE LINKS : : :

KINDLE: http://amzn.to/1lVX86K
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: : : EXCERPT : : :

(Warning: Adult Language)

Chapter One

THE BATTLE OF AL-HURRIYAH
Johnathan
Iraq, 2004

Something caught his eye. A glimmer. A shadow in the dark yellow fog.

The fuck? He reached for his binos in the turret. Across the street, Johnathan spied through the dust scratched lens vendors hastily tucking and clutching whatever goods they could get their hands on. Only the most meager of items remained on the street. Even the sound of the Humvees seemed to fade, as if the entire world was holding its breath.

What’s going on? Johnathan shook, his nerves pricked. Hairs stood on-end. His knees locked. He watched, hands resting on the M2 .50-cal. He searched for someone, anyone to put the tightening in his stomach at ease. Where are they going? Shadows snaked in between the empty spaces and seemed to grow larger. The yellow dust whipped the air. Al-Hurriyah was being consumed by it.

Johnathan could feel the lump in his heart become heavy. He pulled his scarf off. He choked on the dust, tasting all the nastiness of the Baghdad ghetto, but paid little heed. The soldier scanned his field of fire. Anticipation boiled in his veins. Then the yellow sand darkened again.

The glimmer returned, taking shape, forming in the dust. His mouth fell agape. “What the fuck is that?” He screamed inside, his mind rattled and confused and terrified.

From the alley across the road the shadows dissolved, giving form to some massive Thing with skin covered in bristle-like hair as black as tar. The bulking torso hissed, and swelled, hissed and swelled. Its thin, but otherwise muscular, fragile-looking legs twitched in the sand, protruding and stretching out, pulling down the tarps of the vender huts near it.

How many legs does this thing have? What is this? I’m dreaming, have to be. This can’t be…

In the dust-whipped wind what looked to be mandibles where its mouth should have been opened and then snapped shut. It was hissing, but the hissing sounded like clicking, the rattle of teeth in a glass jar or a snake poised to strike. On its head was an unmistakable shape, as frightening as it was. Bulging from its head, two swollen red eyes taking up nearly all of the creature’s face glared in the dust, compound, like the eye of a fly, gazing directly at him.

Its antenna drooped low, and then it began talking to him with a wild rush of clicks in its throat. The sound was terrible, reminding him of spring months back home, the swarms of cicadas that blanketed the canopy in his parents’ backyard every few years or so and the eerie sound they made, the clicking, horrible hissing, just like in that one movie Ricky loved to watch when they were kids around the same part of the year, the 1950s atomic-age science fiction flick, the one with the giant ants.

Partially hidden in the dust, the height of the hideous Thing was hard to guess, but whatever is was, it wasn’t possible. None of this was possible. It couldn’t be real, yet there it was all the same, hulking out from across the street, large and hungry looking.

“Are you seeing this?” Johnathan croaked, his voice pained with fear and doubt.

“What?” asked Ricky. He turned in his seat, looking out the driver’s side window. Searching. “I don’t see anything.”

“Are you fucking kidding me!” Johnathan yelled, panic stained in his voice. He kicked the driver’s seat.

“Dude, we’re about to dibby out. Stop being so jumpy,” Ricky scolded. “I don’t see anything, man.”

“Look, you asshole!” Johnathan kicked the driver’s seat again with his boot.

“Dude!” Smith turned fully around and peered in the direction Steele was gesturing. He fell silent for only a moment and then he yelled, “Get down!”

“We need to do more than—” Johnathan had started to say, but was cut short. He looked back to the alley where the Thing had been, but the monster was gone, replaced by a man with a shaved head shouting something terribly familiar and propping an equally terrifying object across his shoulder.
Is that?

“RPG!” Ricky screamed on the radio.

The air sucked back. Johnathan thought he was going to puke as he watched a plume of white smoke rocket toward him. The world was motionless for a second, perhaps less. In that moment he thought of Karen and Tabitha, he thought of his childhood and his friends that filled it. Then the explosion hit, lifting his Humvee upward into the air.

The large metal behemoth came crashing back to earth with a thunderous moan. He fell inside. His head smashed against the gunner’s platform below. He saw nothing, only white, burning light. Outside, he could hear the crackle of gunfire faintly against the ringing in his ears, like fireworks in a neighborhood a block away.
People were shouting. His squad mates, maybe. Language seemed beyond him at the moment. He could smell sulfur and the awful hint of something else…like overcooked meat on the grill, he imagined, dazed and numb. Through the broken window he watched the battle of Al-Hurriyah with disbelieving eyes.

Another explosion struck somewhere nearby. Pebbles or chunks of the police station perhaps rained down on his truck. The radio was abuzz with noise, fire direction, casualties. Someone yelled through the mike, “Death Blossom.” Death Blossom…? Are we under attack…? Yes…Ricky called it out, didn’t he? His head rung with the battle cry.
Johnathan shifted his weight. One of his legs fell from the strap he used as a seat, the other felt strangely dead. He looked. Among the yellow dust and stars that filled his eyes, he could see, though blurred, the gnarled remains of what was once his right leg.

“Shit!” he screamed, clinching at his thigh. I can’t look. I can’t look. Ricky. Ricky? “Smith? Ricky? Are you okay, man?” he winced, straining to get a look at his friend.

No answer.

More rattling pinged off his truck. Someone nearby yelled, “Got you, you fucking bastard!” Another voice screamed in language not entirely unfamiliar.

Must be some of the Iraqi police, he thought vaguely caring. Death Blossom…those assholes are going to ping someone in the back…

Something was pinching his neck. He reached and felt warmth and something hard. He dug whatever it was out and pulled his hand to see. He glared dumbfounded at what looked like a tooth.
Not mine, he thought, testing his teeth with his tongue. He looked at Ricky, but his form was covered in haze.

Gunfire continued to crackle outside, but in the broken and torn Humvee, the world felt like a tomb.

He could see Ricky now, lying awkwardly in his seat, one hand still clutching the radio receiver. Smoke wafted from his body. He didn’t move. And the smell…the smell was terrible.

Johnathan blinked. Not real. Not real. “Ricky, you son of a bitch, answer me! Are you okay?” he yelled. Hot adrenaline coursed through him like a drug, pooling in a venomous sundry of dreadful sorrow and hate, lumping together in his heart, stealing his breath. Maggie’s face flashed in front of him and then Karen’s, but he pushed them away.

Please, God. No.

“Ricky!”

Dwelling Release picture

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: : : MEET THE AUTHOR : : :

Thomas Flowers Profile PicThomas S. Flowers is the published author of several character driven stories of fright. He resides in Houston, Texas, with his wife and daughter. His first novel, Reinheit, was published by Forsaken. He also has a short story, “Lanmò,” in The Sinister Horror Company’s horror anthology The Black Room Manuscripts. In 2008, he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army where he served for seven years, with three tours serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2014, Thomas graduated from University of Houston Clear Lake with a BA in History. He blogs at machinemean.org, where he does author interviews and reviews on a wide range of strange yet oddly related topics.

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Sharky Teeth

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Profile Photo (Cropped)Robert “Sharky” Pruneda is a native Texan, video game “enthusiast” [addict], and fan of all things horror. He left a career in the newspaper industry in 2011 to pursue the life of a nocturnal author, brainstorming new and creative ways to creep out his readers. He doesn’t only write horror though. He also pens the occasional family-oriented tale just to keep from going completely nuts with all those creatures of the night whispering in his ears. When he’s not pulling ideas out of his twisted brain, you’ll likely find him on social media or fighting alongside his fellow gaming buddies where they all get shot up into Swiss cheese (or turned into little bite-sized chunks because of “Sharky’s” obsession with explosives). Medic!

Pursue your dreams . . . and never look back.

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Today it is my pleasure to join the Zed Blog Tour to host a guest interview with Jason McIntyre and his main character in Zed! Enjoy!

Zed, The Next Dovetail Novel

Synopsis: It’s the waning dog days of August, 1975 and Tom Mason’s in Dovetail Cove for the last few weeks of his summer job at the group home. His boss and the home’s owner is Karen Banatyne, one of the wealthiest folks in town. It seems like she’s got it in for Tom; she’s the only one standing in his way as he scrimps for a new camera.

But Karen has her own problems. A regulatory agency might cut off her funding, plus her hubby hasn’t been seen in a few weeks, and she’s not saying why. Most ominous of all, it seems as though something’s hiding in the hot spring north of the main beach and one of Karen’s ‘houseguests’ is about to come face to face with evil. Tom is too.

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Author Interview

 

What has inspired you to become a writer?

Inspiration to tell stories came early. I was the kid in the fourth and fifth grade sneakily reading Stephen King novels at 800 pages apiece behind my propped-up math text book. At eight, I was the editor of a short-lived school paper and we didn’t have enough content to fill the back page. I went home and hauled out my Mom’s old IBM typewriter to begin an epic serial about two young girls who are abducted by aliens in their backyard. I knew I had something when the other kids begged to know what would happen in part two. Alas, the teacher who managed the newspaper project got a transfer and part two of the saga never made it out. I guess, in a way, I’ve been writing towards the end of that tale ever since.

How do you come up with your characters and how do you make them so interesting?

I start in a very visual way. Without even closing my eyes, I can clearly see what’s happening and, as I noodle around on the ‘what’ of a story, I eventually start to form a visceral view of the ‘who’ in the tale. The people inside that vision have to become real to me, even before I start the first sentence. If they don’t then I don’t care about them. I have to care, or else I never haul them out of trouble. And, really, isn’t that what makes fiction great? Dumping someone you care about into a heap of worry and then methodically traipsing them out of said trouble in a believable and satisfying way.

My biggest conundrum is when a dazzling or lovely person gets in a trap and they aren’t pulled out in time. It’s the biggest challenge for me — I can’t save everyone and, sometimes, a character I adore needs to die so that things keep chugging for the whole story. Forgive me, readers. I will kill again.

What makes your stories and books different than other books you have read? Everyone has their own style, what is yours?

I mix and match genres, influences and types of stories. One major thrust of my writing life is to never repeat the same kind of book twice. I want to push myself to unearth new and different pieces of myself as I tell stories. So while a book like ZED has companion books that have a flow between them, there are nearly a dozen different genres represented among them. One might be a coming-of-age paranormal while the next might be a murder mystery and then I may discover that the next works best as a straight-ahead horror. There’s noir and crime books and even a western. Now, do they all look exactly like their home genres suggest? Not at a glance. They use the tropes from each genre but usually in a new mix. They meld into something that, I guess, looks and reads like a Jason McIntyre novel. Hopefully, readers enjoy the journey through all the different places I like to play. Oh, and I hope they get scared and a little upset along the way.

Do you plan on writing any other genres?

Future genres include something that no one who’s read my work will believe. I want to write a romance novel and a deeply historical fiction that is true to an extremely ancient time period. As always, I want to have fun with what I write, and produce something unique that interests readers, but pushes me into new territory.

Anything else you would like to discuss about you as a writer?

ZED is part of a mosaic novel. The only other writer I know who’s written this kind of a work is George RR Martin. His mosaic comprised of books written by a dozen different writers all working within one world and telling stories about the same characters.

DOVETAIL COVE works in a similar way. The characters flow in an out of the background of several books and the island setting is the same place, spanning a decade in the history of one place that has a succulent past and a lurid present. The difference between Martin’s mosaic and this one is that I’m writing all the pieces myself. Each DOVETAIL book stands on its own, with a distinct beginning, middle and end. But if you read more of them, the pieces of a much larger puzzle begin to fall into place. At present, ZED marks the fourth of ten books to be released. Others available now are BLED, SHED and DREAD. Look for new ones in 2015 and 2016.

Getting to Know the Author as a Person

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I travel as much as I can and spend time with my crazy kiddos. Readers and friends from social media will likely remember all the posts about the nutty things my kids say. I won’t even mention my wife here. She has her own cult following among my Facebook and Twitter feeds.

I have built a lovely studio in my home and use it to write music, paint when I’m able and, yes, nap profusely when the spirit is not moving me otherwise.

What relaxes you when you need to unwind?

Creation of every sort is about the most relaxing thing I can imagine doing. I adore many forms of music and art and, when I’m in the middle of drafting a new book, it’s the greatest escape from life’s stresses. I peel back the page and transport to an entirely new place as I write. The process of uncovering a story is food for my soul.

What are your favorite foods?

I have always loved to travel and try new experiences and dishes wherever I go. Lately, I’ve been on a jag for Eggs Benedict and have been trying that in as many countries and cities as I can. Now, of course, lots of places don’t have that so I’ve broadened it to ordering eggs prepared in whatever style is most prevalent in the place I’m visiting. It’s really interesting to discover the different cooking methods — not to mention the different kinds of birds’ and lizards’ eggs that have been brought to my table!

Have you ever had any paranormal experiences?

I’ve had what I call ‘inconclusive’ paranormal experiences. Things have happened that, even after intense scrutiny, a rational person might not be able to form a judgment as to whether it was explicable by science or by para-science. Rest assured, all strangeness in my world (paranormal or just odd and intriguing) eventually finds its way into a story or two. Writing, I’ve discovered, has really become my own form of torture, er, I mean self-therapy. I write to understand the events of the world, of people and of my own life.

Tell us anything you would like your readers to know about Jason McIntyre.

I once shared a bottle of expensive red wine with a homeless man. The throat infection I developed the following week nearly put me in the hospital and my health insurance had lapsed so I couldn’t get a scrip for antibiotics. I went through six tubes of topical Polysporin. Yep, I gargled the stuff five times a day until I could see straight again.

Character Interview

Record: 1974-03452
Subject: Zeke <Last Name Redacted>
Date: August 31, 1974
Type: psychological assessment
Method: audio cassette recording

 

Interviewer’s notes: Zeke seems to be of below average intelligence. My understanding is that he’ll be given comprehensive intelligence and psychological tests upon admittance to a local group home care facility. – CF

 

Zeke, can you tell me how you feel about your family, now that you’re an adult?

I got me no memory of my Mama. My Daddy, he and I didn’t get along so good. Now we have some good times. He lets me work with him. Least he used to. Now that Chief Birkhead come and get me and start doing his talks with me, I don’t know. I might never do the work with my Daddy again. That might be sad.

What do you want from life?

To keep my truck, wash it, and have it nice fer always. I only got a me few scratches and I buffed them out. I’d like to find a purty lady who maybe doesn’t care that my thinker bottle is cracked and don’t work so good no more.

If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?

Like a genie in a bottle? I saw that on a TV show once. I Dream a Genie. Let’s see. A shiny bufferin’ machine. For my truck you know. A new poker stick so’s I can reach way down deep into the sewers. For when I’m on duty and the trash pick up on Main Street.

And maybe, I dunno, maybe I’d like to take a train trip one day. I member going on the little loco-mota when I’s a boy. We got one on the island, you know. Lotsa people don’t know that but we do. It was fun. That big smoke stack going way up and making that big smoke in the air. It was fun and I’d like to get me on a train like that again.

What three things would you take to a Desert Island?

I dunno, I already live on an island. Dovetail Cove and a bit north of town is the only place I ever been. Hard question. Can I skip it?

In your relationship with others, how are you different with family than you are with friends? Why?

I ain’t never different with nobody. Same Zeke alla time. I hate when people give those fake smiles, you know? Or when they lie to you and you know they lyin but you can’t figure out what to say so that the lie is seen. Fakeness is hard. Same Zeke always. Scout’s honour.

How do you fall in love? At first sight? Over a long period?

Inaudible. Muffled response.

Zeke, can you answer? How do you fall in love? Does it take a long time or happen all at once?

I bin in love a couple times you know. I like it when purty girls laugh. They sound so nice and when I make em laugh, that’s the best, you know. My Dad says I’m not supposed to talk about bein in love. Guys like Zeke, he says, guys like us, we don’t get to do that.

What parts of loving come easy for you? Hard?

Hard? Like you mean when dem girls do their laughing and my private parts get—
<inaudible> No. Kay. Nevermind. I like the talking parts but I’m not so good at them. Making purty girls feel safe – I can do that real good. Really, Mister, if you’re gonna keep asking about lovey-dovey stuff, you gots ta talk to my Dad. He says I’m not supposed to talk about this. I got in trouble a couple times now. Chief said.

And when I make em laugh, that’s the best, you know. My Dad says I’m not supposed to talk about bein in love. Guys like Zeke, he says, guys like us, we don’t get to do that.

How do you decide if you can trust someone? Experience with others? With this person? First impressions? Intuition? Do you test the person somehow? Or are you just generally disposed to trust or not to trust?

Trust? I don’t know. What do you mean, trust?

Oh, I don’t know Zeke, I guess I mean, how do you know someone isn’t lying to you?

I never really think about it. Don’t all Mommies and Daddies teach their little ones to tell the truth? Mine did. I always do. Everyone should.

When you walk into a room, what do you notice first? Second?

I was real good at re-doin floors. All kinds of floors. Tile and wood, polish and rug. I like to see how good a floor is and then I think about how I could do it better.

When you walk into a room, what do you expect people to notice about you?

Nobody should look at Zeke. My Daddy told me I ain’t supposed to look at nobody so maybe they shouldna look at me.

Describe yourself to me.

Me? I’m strong for my size. I can lift two of me, and I’m real good at looking after Main Street.

Did you turn out the way you expected? The way your parents predicted?

When I was a kid I got hurt real bad. My thinker took to leaking and I don’t imagine anyone knew I was gonna be like I am. But I can still get by. I do okay.

What really moves you, or touches you to the soul?

Daddy says we ain’t got no souls. But if I had to say, I’d tell you. Purty girls. When they laugh. That’s what touches Zeke’s soul.

What’s the one thing you have always wanted to do but didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t? What would happen if you did do it?

My Dad says I’m not supposed to say.

What do you consider are your strengths?

My arms. My back is pretty strong too.

What do you consider are your weaknesses?

Can’t lift much with my pinky fingers. Or my baby toes. They’re the weakest, I bet.

What is one physical attribute you are proud of?

Physical what? I told you about my nice truck, right?

What do you consider are your weaknesses?

Can’t lift much with my pinky fingers. Or my baby toes. They’re the weakest, I bet.

What one physical attribute would you change?

I put two new tires on the back when I saved up enough. I’d change out the front ones if I could afford to.

What do you consider your special talent?

I always do what I say I’m gonna. No one has to guess. Zeke always comes through.

What do you wish your special talent was?

Maybe if I could patch up my thinker. I can see the words. I know what I’m supposed to do and say, but it pours out before the words come to my mouth. Maybe like sand. Or water. If I could patch up m’ thinker, tha’d be good.

What are you most proud of about your life?

You keep asking me that same questions! I told you about my truck, din’t I?

Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done? What would happen if you did it?

This question again. Where’s my Dad? Did he make you ask this one? Trine ta trick me, maybe.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done? Why?

I have to go now, okay? I should get back to my job with the town.

Describe your ideal mate.

Please Mister. Can’t we just let Zeke go back to work now…?

Maybe.

What are you most afraid of?

(Inaudible. Muffled.)

Okay. I can’t talk to you anymore. Kay?

Zeke, what’s the most important thing in your life? What do you value most?

(Sobbing) Come on, Mister, please, you have to let me go back. I’m gonna get in trouble. I can’t do no more of your questions right now.

How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change?

Pleeaaase! Let me go! (inaudible)

*End of Recording

About Jason:

 

Jason McIntyre Profile PicJASON MCINTYRE is the #1 Kindle Suspense author of THE NIGHT WALK MEN, bestsellers BLED and SHED, plus the multi-layered literary suspense, THALO BLUE. His first novel, ON THE GATHERING STORM, earned a spot in the Top 20 Debut Authors for the Goodreads Choice Awards.McIntyre’s debut novel, ON THE GATHERING STORM was VOTED as one of the TOP 20 DEBUT AUTHORS — Goodreads Choice Awards

Learn more and connect with the author at http://www.theFarthestReaches.com

Amazon Author Page

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Welcome to Chumming with Sharky™, my blog series where I treat viewers from every corner of the deep blue sea with a taste of talented authors from a myriad of genres. This month, it is my pleasure to join the Gristle & Bone Blog Blitz and Giveaway to welcome fellow Forsaken Horror Hooligan Duncan Ralston. Today, our focus is on the horror entertainment industry, including video games, books, and movies. Duncan made us some appetizers, so grab a tasty plate of canápes with fattened liver, choose a comfy reclining seat, tap or click on the banner below, and enjoy the show . . .

Chumming with Sharky

Duncan Ralston

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Welcome to Chumming with Sharky™, my blog series where I treat viewers from every corner of the deep blue sea with a taste of talented authors from a myriad of genres. This month, however, we’re switching things up a bit. I’m in the middle of a blog tour promoting the relaunch of Devil’s Nightmare and the gremlins in cyberspace killed the feed for my interview with the folks at Shut Up and Read. Luckily, my trusty team of assassins, ghost hunters, and zombie slayers were able to capture the head gremlin and recover the transcript.  So grab a pail of popcorn and kick back for my interview with Shut Up and Read. Click or tap on any image and enjoy the show.

Chumming with Sharky™

Robert “Sharky” Pruneda

with special guest host “Shut Up and Read.”

 

Devil's-Nightmare-Banner-AUTHORS-FB

Pack your bags and hop onto the tour bus, folks, because for the next two weeks we’re taking over the Internet for the Devil’s Nightmare Bewitching Blog Tour and Mega Giveaway. I’ve got special spotlight features lined up, book reviews, guest posts, interviews, and some really cool prizes including: two paperback copies of Devil’s Nightmare, two e-book copies of Devil’s Nightmare, and a grand prize pack that includes a signed copy of Devil’s Nightmare, swag items, and a $25 Amazon US gift card. But you have to get on the tour bus for a chance to win! No purchase necessary, but buying Devil’s Nightmare will help me feed my four-legged children: Jadie, Xena, Lola, and Cujo. 🙂

Grand Prize Package

Don’t worry, though, I’m not going to spam your inbox every day. Instead, I’ve listed the tour schedule below. If you want to join me on this tour, just follow me on social media (links below). I’ll share the links to each post on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ each day. All aboard!

Bewitching Blog Tour Bus

Monday, July 20
Evelyn Shepherd’s Blog
Devil’s Nightmare: Designing the Perfect Cover

Indy Book Fairy
Devil’s Nightmare Spotlight Feature

Tuesday, July 21
Books Chatter
Interview with Robert “Sharky” Pruneda

The Mysterious Ink Spot
Tuesday’s Treasured & Tipsy Timeslip: 5 Creepy Destinations

Wednesday, July 22
Shut Up and Read
Chumming with Sharky™ Special Edition – Interview and Spotlight

Ogitchida Kwe’s Book Blog
Devil’s Nightmare Spotlight Feature

Thursday, July 23
Shyla’s Thoughts
Devil’s Nightmare Spotlight Feature

CBY Book Club
Devil’s Nightmare Spotlight Feature

Brayton’s Book Buzz
Devil’s Nightmare Book Review

Friday, July 24
Brayton’s Briefs
Devil’s Nightmare: Behind the Scenes

Literary Musings
Interview with Robert “Sharky” Pruneda

Monday, July 27
aobibliosphere™
Devil’s Nightmare Spotlight Feature and Book Review

Eskimo Princess Book Reviews
Devil’s Nightmare Spotlight Feature

FUOnlyKnew: Laura’s Ramblings and Reviews
Devil’s Nightmare Book Review

Tuesday, July 28
The Bookie Monster
Devil’s Nightmare Spotlight Feature

Wednesday, July 29
I Smell Sheep
Hoarders: Sharky’s Dragon Collection

Books and Tales
Sharky’s Top 10 Indie Reads

Thursday, July 30
The Reader’s Hollow
The Hardest Thing About Writing Is . . .

Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock
Devil’s Nightmare Book Review

Friday, July 31
Zenny’s Awesome Book Reviews
Devil’s Nightmare Spotlight Feature

Sunday, August 2
Deal Sharing Aunt
Interview with Robert “Sharky” Pruneda

Monday, August 3
Fang-tastic Books
Devil’s Nightmare Spotlight Feature

Lisa’s World of Books
Devil’s Nightmare Spotlight Feature

Sharky Teeth
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The updated Forsaken Edition of Robert Pruneda’s best-selling supernatural occult horror is now available worldwide. Sign up for Robert’s VIP newsletter today to receive exclusive content, notification of upcoming books, and opportunities for special giveaways.

3D Devil's Nightmare

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Buy Devil’s Nightmare in eBook:

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Buy Devil’s Nightmare in paperback:

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Profile Photo (Cropped)Robert “Sharky” Pruneda is a native Texan, video game “enthusiast” [addict], and fan of all things horror. He left a career in the newspaper industry in 2011 to pursue the life of a nocturnal author, brainstorming new and creative ways to creep out his readers. He doesn’t only write horror though. He also pens the occasional family-oriented tale just to keep from going completely nuts with all those creatures of the night whispering in his ears. When he’s not pulling ideas out of his twisted brain, you’ll likely find him on social media or fighting alongside his fellow gaming buddies where they all get shot up into Swiss cheese (or turned into little bite-sized chunks because of “Sharky’s” obsession with explosives). Medic!

Pursue your dreams . . . and never look back.

To get an email about upcoming projects and new releases, be sure to SIGN UP for Sharky’s VIP newsletter.

Twitter: 

Stalk Sharky on Facebook  Stalk Sharky on Twitter  Stalk Sharky on Google Plus  Stalk Sharky on Klout  Stalk Sharky on Goodreads  Watch Videos Posted by Sharky  Pinterest_Badge_Red

It is my pleasure to join fellow Booktrope author Taylor Dawn’s Xpresso Book Tour to help reveal her adult urban fantasy novel Saving London, which is coming out this summer. To get a closer look at the cover, click on the images below. Be sure to also stalk Taylor on social media and visit her website to find out more about her writing. Tell her Sharky sent ya!

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Saving London CoverBOOK & AUTHOR INFO:

Saving London by Taylor Dawn
Published by: Booktrope Publishing
Publication date: June 9th 2015
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

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Synopsis:

“You have terminal cancer.”

London Patterson, a seemingly healthy young woman had her entire life ahead of her. That was until four little words brought everything to a screeching halt. As the shock and grief begin to fade, London decides to map out her last year and embark on an epic journey to complete a bucket list. She wants to do the things she’s been afraid to do in her life, step out of her self-contained box, and see the world. What she didn’t expect was for a mysterious stranger named Adam to breeze into her life like a breath of fresh air.

Adam offers to help London complete her list on one condition…that she sees it through to the end. Agreeing on those terms, the two set out on an adventure of a lifetime. But London soon realizes that Adam isn’t quite…human. Along their journey odd occurrences happen that cause London to question who or what Adam is and why he’s helping her.

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Saving London Full Cover

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24894496-saving-london?ac=1

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AUTHOR BIO:

TaylorC.D. Taylor [pen name Taylor Dawn) began writing as an item to check off her bucket list. She resides in the southernmost part of Illinois, right on the mighty Mississippi river. She enjoys the quiet country life with her husband, son and the many farm animals that make up the rest of the family. C.D. decided that farm life was just a little too mundane, so she started writing erotica to spice things up, so far so good. C.D. entered cosmetology school right out of High School and practiced the art of hair styling for 12 years. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found sitting around a table making people laugh. She has always wanted to be a standup comic. She loves pulling practical jokes, dresses up in a costume every Halloween and believes that dancing is the key to a happy life (even if you aren’t a good dancer). She believes that life shouldn’t be taken too seriously, we will never get out alive anyway. More than anything, C.D. is a kid at heart, she doesn’t believe in bedtimes, eating everything on her plate, or having ice cream only for dessert. Her favorite quote is by Dr. Seuss…”Why fit in, when you were born to stand out.”

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Author links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorC.D.Taylor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cdtaylor_author
Official Website: http://authorcdtaylor.com/

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Xpresso Book Tours

Today, award-winning author and criminologist Jennifer Chase and I are doing a little blog exchange. She’s taking over my site and I’m taking over hers to cross-promote our novels. To start things off I’ll dim the lights so Jennifer can show off her kick ass cinematic book trailer.

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Crime has a new nemesis and her name is Emily Stone. She will continue to hunt serial killers and child abductors as long as they are out there.

This is her life. Tag along with vigilante detective Emily Stone in a first time ever “live action” novel short film. Be sure to watch it full screen, turn up the volume, and enjoy.

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Check out the Award-winning EMILY STONE THRILLER SERIES available at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords, and most online and book retailers.

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You can find Jennifer Chase and all of her books at:
AuthorJenniferChase.com
Facebook
Twitter

Kindle Books and TipsI’m excited to announce that Kindle Books and Tips is featuring my horror novel Devil’s Nightmare on their BLOG today during my Halloween Blog Tour. Why is this so exciting? Well, for starters, Kindle Books and Tips has a readership of over 675,000. The focus of this promotion is to attract new readers to the Devil’s Nightmare series. The second book in the series, Devil’s Nightmare: Premonitions, is coming this Tuesday, October 14.

If you would like to help spread the word, I would greatly appreciate you LIKING, SHARING, RETWEETING, and PINNING this feature on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Be sure to follow the Kindle Books and Tips social media platforms below:

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Facebook: www.facebook.com/fkbooks
Twitter: www.twitter.com/fkbt
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/fkbooks

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This feature will also be a part of the Kindle Books and Tips daily digest. You can subscribe to their email list here: www.fkbooksandtips.com/subscribe.

Oh, and of course, if you haven’t read Devil’s Nightmare (I can’t imagine why 🙂 ) and are looking for a chilling horror novel to add to your Halloween reading list, check out one of the Kindle Books and Tips promos, or better yet, just click on the image below. Devil’s Nightmare is only 99 cents on Kindle, but if you prefer to read an actual printed version, I’ve got you covered there too.

Devil's Nightmare Blog Tour

Devil's Nightmare Blog Tour

We’re now ten days into the spooky month of October and I’ve had quite a bit of fun traveling the World Wide Web during my Devil’s Nightmare Halloween Blog Tour. On Monday I visited  A Writer’s Journey for a guest post to talk about the top five things I’ve learned as an author. If you missed it, you can read it HERE. You can also check out the rest of my blog tour schedule below.

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TOUR SCHEDULE

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Today, I’m hopping onto a plane and traveling to Canada for an interview at Fear Not The Darkness for a discussion about my horror novels and a little bit about me as an author. I’ve reserved first class seats for you to join me, so hop on board (ahem . . . click on the plane) and enjoy the champagne.

This image was originally posted to Flickr by bribriTO at http://flickr.com/photos/40563877@N00/470677726. It was reviewed on 19 June 2007 by the FlickreviewR robot and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-sa-2.0.

Image credit: briYYZ on Flickr (Creative Commons License: CC BY-SA 2.0

I’ll see you in Canada!

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Devil's Nightmare Blog Tour

We’re now into Week 2 of my Devil’s Nightmare Halloween Blog Tour. Last week I traveled to Colorado for an interview with author Jack D. Albrecht Jr., and I also announced the Devil’s Nightmare Pumpkin Carving Contest, which should be loads of fun. I’m going to continue traveling around the world throughout the month. You can check the tour schedule below.

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TOUR SCHEDULE

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To kick off the tour this week, I’m back in Texas to take over my buddy Nat Russo’s website A Writer’s Journey. My guest post will cover the Top 5 things I’ve learned as an author. Click on Nat’s Erindor Press logo below to read the post.

A Writers Journey Logo

Cheers!

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