Sean Seebach – A Looking in View Review

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

I’ve been following Sean Seebach for over two years, reading his work, and enjoying the flavor of his writing.  I’ve read his novels, Our Monsters are Real: The Pig Man and Autumn Dark. Having the chance to read his collection of shorter works was a great treat. I enjoyed most of the stories and a few really struck me as fantastic story telling.

The opening story The Favor was interesting. I liked the gist of where the story was going but couldn’t get behind the supernatural aspect. The story Billy and Hank was good minus the ending. I did however like the character development in the back story about Hank and his love of baseball. Brothers Grimm show us a mobster is more of a monster than he seems leaving a man wanting revenge for his brother’s death. This was a really good story and I was all in. It had a great flow, plot, tension, plus a good twist ending. One of the best stories is One Hell of a Party. The story had a great flow and feel. I really enjoyed where the author went here. It was very short and a quick read but excellent at the time. I could tell this one was as fun to write as it was to share with the reader. The next story Followed was another one I really enjoyed. It had a Tales from the Crypt feel and reminded me of those episodes I loved as a kid. The joy of reading this story and knowing something was just around the corner had me engrossed. A lonely boy was a fun tale that took me back to being a kid. Not only the good but the bad parts. Being a kid who only has a few friends and spent a lot of time alone on adventures, some of them in his head.

At this point in the book One Hell of a Party was my favorite story, then A View Through a Barbershop Window came along and blew me away. I was so engrossed with the story and the way it was told that it was over before I knew it. This story exists on a different level from the others. A new level of writing, which is damn fine, is going on with this writer. Willy’s Halloween is a nice twist on a classic Halloween story mixed with the personal hell of ground hogs day. Being a huge fan of Halloween and all things scary, I found this short fun from start to finish. I would have liked to see an iteration or two more but the story was still good as told. Author Unknown isn’t only a great story, it’s a great piece of writing. Sean really has done the reader a solid with this story. It has a character who you can’t help but care about. It transported me to another place and I was all in about the plot. Blue Collar Diesel, the final short in the collection, was a really great ending to the collection. It shows the level of growth and the polished skill Sean Seebach has accomplished since I first read his work. It’s just one hell of a story and this is an author to keep an eye on because his work is well worth your time.

Book Info

Length: 270 Pages

Release date: May 16, 2017

To Purchase A Looking in View Click Here

Take a look inside a world of the fantastic, strange, and macabre:

Lillian witnesses the death of her undead mother…

A hitman has one last favor to pay…

Frustrated with his mother’s boyfriend, ten-year-old Nathan runs away from home in an attempt for a better life…

A nursing home has a strange visitor with more to offer than battered paperbacks for the residents…

Comprised of thirteen eerie, mysterious tales, A Looking in View is the first anthology by author Sean Seebach and features a bonus novella, Blue Collar Diesel, where a man goes searching for manual labor in an attempt to win his fiancé back, but finds something much darker within himself.

Sean Seebach, biography

Sean Seebach is a horror/thriller author whose work appears regularly on Creepy Catalog. His first book, Our Monsters are Real, was published in March of 2016. He currently lives in Ohio with his wife and son.

Andy Graham – An Angel Fallen Review

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review as part of the Confessions Publicity book tour

In An Angel Fallen we meet two teenage boys. They are looking for trouble and find it, unfortunately it’s not the kind either were expecting. Our protagonist, Mike, follows Ralp around and considers him his friend. Ralp on the other hand doesn’t give a crap about Mike by bulling him into questionable activities. Ralp likes to hurt and kill animals while Mike watches and thinks he is an innocent bystander. Mike and Ralp see what they assume is a comet that crashed near a friend’s farm. Of course they have to check it out, what kids wouldn’t?

This is where the story gets strange. Animals start acting erratic and food begins to spoil. The farm fields are being destroyed by hoards of locust.  The power goes out and the world isn’t right anymore. I thought the Apocalypse was on it’s way, which would have been cool, but sadly this wasn’t the case.

I’m not sure what to make of An Angel Fallen. The story had forgettable tertiary characters that didn’t lend much to the plot. The story really needed some help with character interaction and flow. I never connected with Mike or Ralp and lost interest in them, that’s not a place I like to be in any story. By the last 10 pages I could see where the author was going, but for me it took too long to get there. The ending tied the story together but by this point I wasn’t into it anymore. I wish the story had the same beginning and a similar ending without most of what filled the middle.

Book Info

Length: 79 Pages

Release date: June 13, 2017

To Purchase An Angel Fallen Click Here

Blurb: 

You’re eighteen. Bored. Dad’s away a lot. Says its business, but you’ve seen the lipstick stains. Mum’s home. Too much. Keeping the world gin market afloat on her own. There’s Ariel, the family maid. She’s cool. The one piece of this messed up world that makes sense. And then there’s Raph.

Raph’s the leader of your gang of two. He gets off on doing those things to the animals you both catch: the slicing, crushing, and maiming. Buried a few alive, too. His relationship with that hammer of his is sick.

You run with Raph because, well, nothing else to do out here, right? Except if your folks found out what you’ve been up to, there’d be hell.

Then you find it. Whatever it is.

It can’t be what you think it is. Those things don’t exist. But it’s staring at you. Asking for help. Is it dying? Can these things die? You need to do something for it. Raph wants to do something to it.

Time to choose. Do you run with the human devil you know, or take a chance on this thing that fell from the heavens?

An Angel Fallen is a tale of divine retribution from British author Andy Graham. On a day when the world is struggling to stay sane, and is being ravaged by biblical plagues, what price will two teenagers pay for their past?

Andy Graham, Biography-

Andy Graham is a British author currently living in the Czech Republic who will now stop talking about himself in the third person because it’s odd. I have two main collections of books: The Lords of Misrule is a series of dystopian political thrillers set in an alternate world based on life in 21st century EU/ US. I also have an expanding collection of creepy reads that explore the darker side of life, death, and the undead. There are a few unfinished stories rattling around in my hard-drive and some unstarted ones knocking around in my head. They range from disposable airport fiction and YA sci fi to grimdark epics, but they will have to wait their turn. (Unfortunately for my wife, who is waiting for me to write something ‘nice’, preferably with sparkly vampires.) Outside of reading and writing, I’m a musician, qualified osteopath, seasoned insomniac, and father to two young kids who have too much energy to let me grow old gracefully.

You can find me online at http://www.andygrahamauthor.com (where you can claim a free book), twitter – @andygraham2001 and FB – andy graham author.

Karen Runge – Seeing Double Review

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review

As a fan of Karen Runge’s short stories, including “Going Home” and “High Art”, I was really looking forward to reading Seeing Double. What I wasn’t expecting was the amount of sex and violence, which was more than I usually find myself reading. I know, I know, I read horror, but this book is packed with this stuff. I don’t scare or offend easily but sometimes a book just hits your buttons in the right order to cause overload. This is where I found myself with the provocative and edgy dialog, and more than I’m typically comfortable with. Each interaction and paragraph is laced with sexual tension. The story is full of innuendos and images that show us how Ada grew up and there is considerable time spent on character development.

Seeing Double explored the world of pleasure and pain. What each meant to the person giving or receiving it. The book pushed my comfort level and made me look at this alternative way of living. I had to set aside what I considered ‘normal’ and live in Karen’s world while she shared her creativity. As I continued down the rabbit hole I found the story is about more than the sexual tension and encounters. It’s the excitement and thrill of doing something you’re not sure you should. It’s hearing the small voice and telling yourself, ‘why the hell not’. The story has a great ebb and flow that makes for an easy read. Karen is known for pushing the boundaries and for her unsettling style of fiction, and this describes Seeing Double to a tee. If you can get past the overt sexual and explicit content the story is pretty enjoyable.

Book Info

Length: 232 Pages

Publisher: Grey Matter Press

Release date: July 25, 2017

To Purchase Seeing Double Click Here

Even monsters can love…

A trio of expats living in Asia form a tenuous bond based on mutual attraction, sexual obsession and the insatiable desire to experience the deadliest of thrills.

As their relationship matures, the dangerous love triangle in which they’ve become entwined quickly escalates into a series of brutal sexual conquests as they struggle to deal with lives out of control and the debilitating psychological effects of mental and physical abuse.

Known for her distinct brand of unsettling fiction, author Karen Runge is at the top of the modern horror game in this, her premiere novel. SEEING DOUBLE is a beautifully evocative and stunningly dark coming-of-age exploration of human sexuality and the roles of masculinity and feminism, polyamorous relationships, social and psychological isolation, and the humiliation of ultimate betrayal.

Karen Runge, biography

Karen Runge is a horror writer, sometimes an artist, and teaches adults English as a second language. Several of her short stories have been published in her collection Seven Sins. And two of her short stories appear in Grey Matter Press anthologies Savage Beasts and Death’s Realm. Jack Ketchum once told her: “Karen, you scare me.”

My Joy of Story by Robert E. Dunn

I’m not compelled to write. That’s something you hear from many authors, that they need to write or that they write because they feel they must. That’s not me. My compulsions are more toward story than writing. Ask my kids. I can’t just tell them something. I always end up telling them a story about why this or who that. Often they are about having had to walk five miles in the snow with baked potatoes in my pockets to keep my hands warm and those potatoes were my breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You get the idea. Heck, I sometimes paint, write poetry, and lie to people for fun. If I could carry a tune I would be more than happy as a musician and never mess with books. I don’t need to write but I need to express.

For me it’s about story and stories. The thing about that is, it leads me to other stories, different kinds, different people, and different viewpoints. I love stories. There’s the difference between me and some other writers. Difference here is not a value judgement and I won’t disparage other writers for their choices. But so many writers I meet and interact with through social media are fixed to their genre. And I’ve come to feel that is in the nature of our love or our needs—for writing or for storytelling.

There aren’t any absolutes. I think we (writers) all have our own balance but some are more weighted to one side or the other. But it seems to me that the people who love, or need, to write, know what they want to write. More often their variety of ideas is expressed within genre. Some horror writers work to success. Apocalyptic works for you—that is what you write. Some may write creature horror then literary horror then a Lovecraftian tale. If you have a love and a compulsion it is natural they would make an alliance.

Writers like me, those for whom writing is simply a vehicle for telling stories, tend to wider ranging topics and genres. I can’t say if it is good or bad. The market will decide that. I just write my stories and hope.

I had plans. I had dreams. I started out years ago thinking I would write science fiction. I’m not smart enough. Not only that, but science fiction changed. I grew up with Heinlein and Asimov and Bradbury. Through the ‘80s and ‘90s, science fiction became much more about tie-ins and a very active genre. Read that as more structured and harder to break into. And I still wasn’t smart enough.

But I wasn’t locked. I didn’t want to just write. I certainly didn’t need to write science fiction. I wanted to tell stories. I wrote screenplays. I never sold one but it is the nature of that business that you can get passed around and praised and never sold. I wrote a historical fiction script about the legend of John Henry. Story editors called to tell me how much they loved it. But… I wasn’t compelled to screenwriting. It was about stories. I still had many to tell.

Over the years I wrote television commercials, news, documentaries, some stories, plays, poetry… Some of it was just work. Some for love. See, I don’t much care about the means to tell a story as long as I get the story told.

I think my particular balance between writing and storytelling has both helped and hindered me. If I concentrated on one thing, I would probably get better quicker and, perhaps, had more success. On the other hand, I have books out in horror, romantic suspense, mystery/thriller, and one upcoming gritty noir. Even within genre, especially horror, my books vary widely. That gives me more of an opportunity to reach an audience.

Many of us writers spend a lot of time writing about writing. It is a group that likes to help and boost each other. Also we get asked pretty often about how to do it or how to succeed. I always say you have to decide for yourself what success is. But you also have to find your balance between writing and storytelling. The important thing to take away from my ramblings, is to make your choices. I think the only way to fail, is to write for success. You can chase that balloon forever and never write anything you really want to write. And consider the worst case, what if you catch it? What if you write a novel that succeeds and you end up doing a series of books you don’t love writing?

It’s all a balance, but I say find the side with your joy on it, then put your thumb on the scale. For me, it’s telling lots of different stories in different ways. And guess what—I’m working on two science fiction stories. No space, and no far-far future. I still hope I’m smart enough to pull them off.

About the Author:

Robert E. Dunn was born an army brat and grew up in the Missouri Ozarks. He wrote his first book at age eleven, stealing, or novelizing, as he called it at the time, the storyline of a Jack Kirby comic book.

His college course of study, philosophy, religion, theatre, and film/TV communications, left him qualified only to be a televangelist. When that didn’t work out, he turned to them mostly, honest work of video production. Over several years he produced everything from documentaries, to training films and his favorite, travelogues. Still always writing for the joy of it he returned to writing horror and fantasy fiction for publication after the turn of the century. It seemed like a good time for change even if the changes were not always his choice.

He lives in Kansas City with three daughters, a young grandson, and an old dog. He tweets sometimes as @WritingDead but makes no promises how interesting those little posts will be.