most wonderful time of the year...
When horror and paranormal authors throw a
ghoulish party to celebrate
everything that goes bump in the night
OCTOBER FRIGHTS BLOG HOP
No tricks here, just treats!
I'll add everyone who comments on my blog posts this week
into a drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card.
The winner will announced at the end of the last day of the hop.
But there's more...
Click here for the October Frights Giveaway
(free horror books, stories & previews)
This summer we moved from New England to upstate New York near Saratoga. While walking our Labrador Retriever in the local woods, inspiration hit for a dark flash fiction story I call, Corpse's Curve. I hope you enjoy it...
Highway 56 blasted its way through the far end of our property back in ’71. Lucifer’s Gap, population 1307 (1306 if you count Widow Marshall greeting her maker last night), had visions of shiny new streets and prosperity replacing the furrowed roads and derelict buildings at the tourism sure to follow. And business did boom. Establishments popped up where deals could be made in clouds of smoke mixed with the putrid scent of sex and alcohol. Where customers scattered to enjoy the rewards of money well spent.
Each time a car wrecked speeding around Corpse’s Curve to escape a drug deal gone bad or a pissed off pimp, Mama mumbled they got what they deserved.
Tonight, a Saturday in early December, would be no different. The sky darkened and the wet road turned to a clear-as-glass layer of ice as the night chilled. I waited. It didn’t take long before brakes screeched followed by a deafening bang as metal collided with the thick woodlands in its way.
I rose from the warmth of the house, grabbed a bag packed with an assortment of bandages, rope and tools. I’d made this trip enough to learn you never knew what you would stumble upon. I went prepared for any scenario.
Bundled for the early winter night, flashlight and phone in hand, the old Ford truck started up with a reluctant growl and I headed toward the highway. Mama taught us to take care of people, no matter how suspicious their circumstance.
The high beams shone like spotlights on an expensive foreign car, mangled enough to fit in the bed of the old Ford. A young man lay in a half frozen puddle of mud and fresh blood, one leg twisted outward at a ninety-degree angle from the hip. A slight hiss from its engine was all the vehicle would give away about the accident.
A whisper. “Please, help me.”
I knelt down. “I’ve called 911. Can you move? Is anyone else in the car?”
Parched, cracked lips mouthed, “No.”
“Here, let me get you some water.” I slid the bag closer.
As many times as I’ve done this, my heart never ceases to pound in exhilaration as I hog-tie and toss them in the back of the truck.
They’ve been blindsided. The accident wasn’t random and I’m not the savior they think I am.
Mama would be proud.
I'd love to hear from you.
Comment and be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card!
Have you ever driven alone along a dark, desolate highway
wondering what would happen if you broke down or had an accident?
Please hop over and visit the other awesome horror & paranormal authors
to read some terrifying tales and enter a contest or two...
The widget and I were not getting along, so click here to hop around.
SOMETHING'S AMISS by Dave Benneman - Celtic Moon Press - 5 Stars
Dave Benneman has written an excellent collection of dark and strange short stories, aptly titled Something’s Amiss. Not stuck on a single theme, this assortment has something for every taste. Instead of unnecessary gore, Mr. Benneman uses his smartly written words, imagination and vivid descriptions of setting and character, to draw us in and take us on twelve journeys to the unexpected.
All the stories were strong but a few standouts for me were, Juggling Time, a very cool story that starts out with a street performer and finishes with a surprise. The Deadly Trees of Cape Blanco, a mesmerizing tale of an old man remembering his past, Restoration of Sanity, a supernatural story with a twist and Fearless, which (without giving too much away) is about a reclusive best-selling author who can conquer her dark past when necessary.
A highly recommended and creepy read for the upcoming season of chills and thrills, this anthology will leave you with a disturbing realization, that no matter how ‘normal’ we think our lives are, there are times when Something’s Amiss, and there isn’t anything we can do about it.
I received an ARC in exchange for a honest review.
SOMETHING'S AMISS available
HERE on Amazon
And don't forget to check out Dave's other new release,
DROWNING IN DARKNESS
available on Amazon here.
I haven't read it yet,
but it's on my TBR pile!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dave spent his formative years, front and center, watching horror movies on Saturday afternoons at small theatre in his home town. He was an avid reader from a young age. When he discovered Edgar Allen Poe his life was changed forever. He prefers mysteries about the dark nature of a world beyond what the naked eye can see.
He believes Horror is fiction without restraints.
When Dave is not traveling, he resides in Sunny Arizona with his wife and three furry companions.
CONNECT WITH DAVE HERE:
FACEBOOK: Dave Brenneman, Author
DEAD RECKONING by Dino Parenti - 4 Stars
I’m a fan of anthologies and love to read them. Dead Reckoning by Dino Parenti is a strong collection of twisted and unsettling stories. The author is a talented wordsmith who writes in deep point of view, which transports the reader into the middle of the action led by the cast of ominous characters. His settings are atmospheric and descriptive.
With sixteen stories, it’s not usual to find one or two that a reader may not connect to as easily as the rest. There was a couple that I found a little bogged down in narrative that could have used more dialogue. That is not a reflection on the author, just the preference of this reader.
The author starts off with a bang. Entropy is a somber, twisted tale that keeps us guessing until the very end. I loved that. Some of the other standouts (without giving too much away) for me were, Incarnate and Petrichor.
Mojito weaves a dark, deviant path to a conclusion that I never saw coming. Those are the best endings. Although on a second a reading (it was that good), I recognized a clue or two. But I have to say, the book’s namesake, Dead Reckoning was my favorite. The encounters between a priest and a homicidal cop (no spoilers, it’s mentioned in the blurb) are edgy, gritty and downright creepy. I couldn’t wait to see what happened; yet I didn’t want it to end.
I’ve highlighted five stories, but I thoroughly enjoyed all of them, even the two that I mention above, because Mr. Parenti’s characters are well written and dangerous with nothing to lose. Desperation always ratchets up the tension/suspense and soon we are drawn in, emerged in the stories, quickly turning the pages to see if they are pushed to the point of no return. No matter the outcome, we are never disappointed.
‘Tis the season for disturbing tales that sends chills and thrills up your spine. You’ll find all that and more in between the pages Dead Reckoning.
I was give an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Dead Reckoning is available on AMAZON.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dino Parenti is a writer of dark literary and speculative fiction. He is the winner of the first annual Lascaux Review flash fiction contest and is featured in the Anthony Award winning anthology Blood on the Bayou. His work can be found in Pantheon Magazine, Menacing Hedge, Pithead Chapel, as well as other anthologies. He is a fiction editor at Gamut Magazine and a member of the HWA.
When not purging his soul into a laptop thanks to a far-too-early exposure to Stephen King, Scorsese movies, and Camus, he can be found photographing the odd junk pile, building furniture, or earning a few bucks as a CAD drafter. He lives in Los Angeles.
As you can see, my blog has been silent these last few months, but what better way celebrate my return to blogging than with my annual rant on censorship?
A little history: Banned Book week is celebrated the last full week of September each year. Founded in 1982 by First Amendment Activist, Judith Krug, it's goal is to highlight how important our freedom of speech and freedom of the press is to every American under the First Amendment. It's now sponsored by the American Library Association and the Center for Books in the Library of Congress.
Conservative and religious groups voice their strong opinions, but the number one group(s) who challenge books are parents and School Board members. Each year, PABBIS (Parents Against Bad Books in School) releases a list of books that don't meet with their approval. The reasons books are banned aren’t shocking: The top five are sex, profanity, racism, the occult and homosexuality, including books with trans-gender characters.
The updated list of Banned Books each year is compiled at the end of the year and released in April of the following year. So Banned Books Week 2018 speaks to the books that were challenged for 2017.
However, this year we may have a head's up on a book that will probably make the list for 2018, because earlier this month it made headlines.
On September 14th of this year, Donna Crocker, Director of Morgan County Library in Berkley Spring, WV, decided not to shelf FEAR, by Bob Woodward. A local resident tried to donate a free copy of the new Woodward book, but the library declined his offer saying "they wouldn't be putting books like that on the shelves anymore."
But Ms. Crocker lost in the end, thanks to Connie Perry, the President of the Trustees of the library, who said, “The board didn’t know anything about this,” Perry told the Post. “We have corrected that. The book has been accepted, in fact, two of them.”
This is the central problem and why Banned Book Week started. The fact that one person, or one group, be it political, religious or parental, feel they have the right to regulate what the population can and can't read based on their own personal preferences, goes against the First Amendment and is blatant censorship. Here's the link to to the story if anyone is interested.
The solution is as simple as the Golden Rule. Read whatever you like and while never taking away another person's right read to what they like (just because you don't agree with it).
Here's the list for the most challenged books of 2017. Are any of your favorites on the list? A few of mine are. I loved THE KITE RUNNER, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (makes the list almost every year) and TANGO MAKES THREE (back on the list after a 3 year hiatus).
Every year I try to read a banned book that I haven't read. Last year I read The Picture of Dorian Gray. Loved it. I had seen the movie, but never read the book. I haven't picked one yet for the this year? Any suggestions?