‘Salem’s Lot – Stephen King

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Salem’s Lot, King’s second novel, is a story about what would’ve happened if Count Dracula came to America to the sleepy, little bedroom town of Jerusalem’s Lot. Set in the early 1970’s, when the book was written, King paints a vivid image of Salem’s Lot, it’s geography, citizens, all of their quirks and habits, the community as a whole and this is where he really excels. When you read the story, you feel like you already know these people. You can see them perfectly in your mind. Ben Mears coming back to the Lot to write his new book. The creepy Marsten House up on the hill that seems to only held up by the evil that oozes out of it. Mabel Werts, the nosy town gossip that has a pair of binoculars in one hand and the party line telephone in the other. Susan Norton, the small town girl who falls in love with Ben. Her mother, Ann, who disapproves of this new writer. The mysterious Mr. Straker, who moves into the dilapidated Marsten House with his “business partner”, the unseen Mr. Barlow. The cast goes on and on and we “know” every single one of them. And not only does King successfully construct this little community right before our very eyes, he injects it slowly with evil and takes it all away one delicious page after another. He does a wonderful job with the vampire mythology here. No sparkly emo kids all full of angst. This is the real deal. Classic vampires just the way you like them – evil, eerie, and clever. To say that I liked Salem’s Lot is liking saying that a fish doesn’t mind getting wet once in a while. This is King at his very best. An almost flawless book in my eyes.

5 out of 5 bloody stars
You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

http://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/A2J1JOKW56F2YT

TWITTER – @KenMcKinley5

“One of the best writers in modern horror to come along in the last decade” –Brian Keene

Jonathan Janz

The title of this post says it all, but I’ll go ahead and share the full quote since it made me so happy:

“One of the best writers in modern horror to come along in the last decade. Janz is one of my new favorites.” –Brian Keene

The above words were penned by one of my favorite writers, a major influence on my work, and a man who is one of only twenty-four writers ever to be awarded the title Grand Master of Horror (along with Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Ray Bradbury). There are many things I’d like to say about this blurb, but I’ll pretty much let it speak for itself. Otherwise, I’ll just sound gushy and giddy and saccharine. Or maybe I just did. Either way, I’m honored and humbled.

Brian Keene Brian Keene

Thank you, Brian.

And I hope you all have a fantastic night.

My Most Recent Keene Read My Most Recent Keene Read

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Blackout – Tim Curran

imageWant to know how to do sci-fi/horror right? Something that takes you back to great cinematic offerings from the hey day of 1980s? Look no further than Tim Curran’s Blackout. Claustrophobic, eerie, familiar surroundings and people, and like a master magician, Curran only shows you what he wants you to see when he wants you to see it.

Blackout is told from the point of view of Jon. Jon lives in your average middle-American neighborhood in your average middle-American town with his average middle-American neighbors. They all feel like people you know in a place you’re familair with. After a neighborhood barbecue with a few too many beers, Jon crawls in bed with his wife Kathy only to be woke up later by weird strobe lights. He’s fighting off a hangover and his wife is missing with the front door wide open. And here we discover that all is not right in ordinary, average middle-America. The power goes out all over and it is pitch black as far as the eye can see, which is only a few feet in front of your face. Strange black hose-looking cables descend and hang from the sky with no explanation. With all of the neighbors trying to figure out what is going on, Jon and their world is turned upside down.

Such a great, great story. Curran’s tale evokes memories of Twilight Zone with Invasion of the Body Snatchers in a delicously retro story that is, at the same time, all original and unique. How he isn’t more of a mainstream name commanding his place on the NY Times Best Seller list, while dreck like Nicholas Sparks and Sandra Brown are, is beyond me. Almost a third of the way into 2015 and Blackout is now my current favorite read of this year.

5 out of 5 stars
You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

http://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/A2J1JOKW56F2YT

TWITTER – @KenMcKinley5

The Nightmare Girl – Jonathan Janz

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Another top-notch offering from Jonathan Janz. The opening scene of The Nightmare Girl ranks right up there with Gage getting hit by the semi in Pet Sematary as one of the most gut wrenching moments in horror fiction for any parent to visualize. When Angie is losing it at the gas station and beating the hell out of a defenseless toddler, Janz succeeds in making the reader see red. Immediately, I loathed and despised the white-trash mom. I wanted to reciprocate the beatings she was dishing out and then I realized “It’s just a story”. Thats powerful stuff.

The tale then unfolds to reveal the chain of events that happen to Joe and his family for stepping in at the gas station that day. It is revealed that Angie and her mom are more than bad news. When CPS takes away her child due to her abuse, she brings down a whirlwind of hell on the crowd of people that stepped in that day. She also saves the worst for Joe. You see, Angie wasn’t just some pile of ordinary white-trash. She and her mother are a part of a cult full of lunatic fanatics and they are hell bent on making Joe and everyone he loves pay for what he did.

Janz succeeds in creating tension filled scenes one after another culminating in a blood bath at the end. The villians in The Nightmare Girl are some of the best I’ve read in quite some time. You immediately can’t stand them. There’s no gray area here. You want to see them pay and pay dearly. With that being said, the only downside that I saw was Joe’s wife. I really had a hard time feeling sympathetic for her. She seemed like she was way too much high maintenance and I found Joe to always be kissing her ass when he really should’ve been standing up for himself. But, that’s just a small thing for me and really didn’t detract from the wonderful and POWERFUL story Janz creates here. Be ready to have your emotions super-charged when you read The Nightmare Girl. Good stuff!

4 1/2 out of 5 stars
You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

http://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/A2J1JOKW56F2YT

TWITTER – @KenMcKinley5

Writing Your Book – The Thousand Word March

Good stuff, from Mr. Shea.

Hunter Shea

I’m about to let you in on a secret that will help you write that book that’s been dying to get out. The best part is, you can do it without having an existential crisis.

It’s been too long since I’ve posted anything about writing in the trenches in this genre I love so much. Back when I was locking myself away in my room, tapping out words and getting nothing but rejection or worse, silence, I never dreamed I’d be in the position I’m in today. Sure, I did it with the goal of legitimate publication (whatever your own definition of that may be), but I just never thought I’d have a year like this one with three books coming out and writing four more for three different publishers for next year.

I’m not a full time writer. Writing doesn’t have health benefits, and if you’ve stopped by the…

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