Monday, May 23, 2011

My story, Keeners wins First Place for The Lost on the Rock Contest!

I’m very happy to say my story, Keeners has won first place for The Lost on the Rock Contest! It’s a departure from my usual supernatural horror, and deals more with the reality of death. It was hosted on Laurita Miller’s Calling Shotgun and Alan W. Davidson’s Conversations From Land’s Edge. They also feature an interview with me here.

There were several winners and honorable mentions, so please make sure to read them all as they are posted over the next few days.

1st Place
Keeners by Angel Zapata

2nd Place
Lost by Denise Covey

3rd Place
Oubliette by Susan Harding

4th Place
Where is Esther? by Mike Jackson

Honourable Mentions
Simply Lost by John Wiswell
Numbers by Gerard Smith

Upcoming schedule at Calling Shotgun:

Monday - 1st Place story Keeners by Angel Zapata
Tuesday - Interview with writer Denise Covey
Wednesday - Interview with writer Susan Harding
Thursday - 4th Place story Where is Esther? by Mike Jackson
Friday - Honourable Mention story Simply Lost by John Wiswell

Upcoming schedule at Conversations from Land's Edge:

Monday - Interview with contest winner, writer Angel Zapata
Tuesday - 2nd place story "Lost" by Denise Covey
Wednesday - 3rd place story "Oubliette" by Susan Harding
Thursday - Interview with 4th place writer Mike Jackson
Friday - Honourable mention story "Numbers" by Gerard Smith

Thank you Laurita and Alan!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia is up at Flashes in the Dark

It’s been awhile, but I have a new flash piece up at Flashes in the Dark.

Jim’s little phobia has a very long name. Drop by and read Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.

Many thanks to editors, Lori Titus and Robert Eccles.

BTW, Lori has a couple of dynamite books, Green Water Lullaby and Lazarus, both available at Amazon. I’m sure she won’t mind you buying them.

And Bob was just nominated for a Parsec award. He provided voice for a podcast over at Cast Macabre. Swing by his blog, Tiny Terrors and wish him luck.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Book Review: Grave Echoes by Erin Cole

Some of you may not know Erin Cole. She's a dynamite writer from the west coast, a writer I very much admire. She's also the author of the mystery novel, Grave Echoes. Here's my take on why you should buy and read it:

Kate Waters is a woman of science, a geologist who suffers from narcoleptic visions. The sudden death of her sister, Jev catapults her into unfamiliar ground, ground that seems to be steadily crumbling beneath her feet. Now she’s seeing the ghost of a little girl in her home, and even worse, suspects a very real stalker may be after her for the key she acquired from her dead sister’s belongings. And to top it all off, it seems Jev may have been a practicing witch.

I think mystery, horror, thriller, and paranormal junkies will find this book quite delicious. There’s a wonderful balance of ghostly happenings and witchcraft with concrete, by-the-book police procedurals and scientific fact. Erin shows great skill at creating creepy atmosphere and nail-biting suspense. And her characters are people we can relate to, void of clich├ęs or one-dimensional caricature studies.

It’s always the small things that win me over. Early on in the book, the lead investigator attends an autopsy, and, in order to mask the smell of death, he chews on a piece of peppermint. Most readers would skim right by this. But as a person who’s actually attended autopsies, the use of something as mundane as peppermint validates this novel for me. It shows me an author who pays meticulous attention to detail.

You can classify Grave Echoes as a paranormal mystery, but at its core, it’s really about transitions and transformations. Kate Waters is at a crossroads. On the one side, she must remain true to how she's defined by her vocation, standing firm on rock. But on the other side, she must deal with her grief by stepping off the cliff of her emotions and trusting in unseen forces. Erin Cole has done an outstanding job at scripting a very believable parallel between Kate’s emotional turmoil and the seismic rumblings of Mt. Hood’s volcanic activity happening all around her.

Erin Cole’s Grave Echoes does just that; it resonates perfection. I anxiously await the sequel.

Learn more about Erin Cole and her writing at her blog here. You can purchase Grave Echoes on Amazon here.