Archive for August, 2013

A FEAST OF FRIGHTS “is packed with some amazing writers”

Posted in Book Reviews, News on August 17, 2013 by Christian

Barnes & Noble reader “RyanRyan”, who reviewed SHADOW MASTERS at the beginning of August, has posted a review of the anthology’s predecessor, A FEAST OF FRIGHTS, which features my short story, “Clawed Sod”:

A FEAST OF FRIGHTS, available at Amazon.com.

A FEAST OF FRIGHTS, available at Amazon.com.

I guess I’m doing things a little backwards here. I read The Horror Zine’s newest anthology, SHADOW MASTERS and loved it so much I decided to grab this one and read it, too.  So glad I did.

Reading the intro by Ramsey Campbell got me really excited.

I was even more jazzed when I saw one of the stories was “Incident On and Off a Mountain Road” by Joe R. Lansdale which just happens to be one of my favorite MASTERS OF HORROR episodes…

What else was good about it?

The book is packed with some amazing writers.  It starts off with a bang, both Matt Leyshon and Simon Clark deliver some creep factor.  Then comes Shaun Meeks with his story, “The Soldier”, which was creepy and gory and one of the top five best in here.  After that you have another master, Graham Masterton (yes, the guy that wrote THE MANITOU!) with his amazing story. And the anthology just keeps going from there. Eric J. Guignard, Joe McKinney, Christian A. Larsen, Scott Nicholson, Ed Gorman and Susan Moloney deliver huge hits here. Another one that stands out has to be the one by Tom Piccirilli, “Husks and Formless Ruins”. This one is a great introduction to a great writer.

And when you are done with all these amazing writers of prose, there is still art, poems and articles to keep you busy. This is a great book that is so packed with entertainment, it is a steal!

But don’t take “RyanRyan’s” word for it, grab a copy of A FEAST OF FRIGHTS and find out for yourself–maybe pick out a few favorites of your own and post a review:

A FEAST OF FRIGHTS (The Horror Zine Books) is a product of THE HORROR ZINE, a monthly e-zine that publishes new issues the first of every month.

SHADOW MASTERS now just $1.99

Posted in News on August 16, 2013 by Christian
Pick up your copy of SHADOW MASTERS at Amazon.com.

Pick up your copy of SHADOW MASTERS at Amazon.com.

For a limited time, download the Kindle edition of SHADOW MASTERS: AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THE HORROR ZINE for just $1.99 at Amazon.com.

Susie Moloney, who won the 2012 Michael Van Rooy Memorial Award for her novel THE THIRTEEN, says reading the first half of the book “was like eating potato chips, I couldn’t stop! Didn’t bother pacing myself through the second half, either. Some old favorites in here, like Bentley Little, Christian Larsen, and Elizabeth Massie. I was also blown away by some new discoveries for me, like Yvonne Navarro and Melanie Tem.”

Edited by Jeani Rector and assisted by Dean Wild, SHADOW MASTERS features a lineup of all-new, never-before-published stories, with a foreword by Joe R. Lansdale:

SHADOW MASTERS (Imajin Books) is a product of THE HORROR ZINE, a monthly e-zine that publishes new issues the first of every month.

Cincinnati Comic Expo to host LOSING TOUCH signing event

Posted in News on August 15, 2013 by Christian
LOSING TOUCH, now available at Amazon.com.

LOSING TOUCH, now available at Amazon.com.

I’ve visited Chicago, New Orleans, Woodstock, Indianapolis, Kenosha and St. Louis to sign copies of LOSING TOUCH, and the tour continues next month at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I’ll be hustling my novel at the Cincinnati Comic Expo September 13-15 at the Post Mortem Press table. The Cincinnati Comic Expo brings artists, publishers, actors, writers, fans and fun together under one roof.

Attendees this year include: Marina Sirtis (STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION), Ricou Browning (THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON), Richard Keil (THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, MOONRAKER, HAPPY GILMORE), Nicholas Brendon, (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER), Craig Parker (SPARTACUS, THE LORD OF THE RINGS) and John Rhys-Davies (RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, INDIANA JONES & THE LAST CRUSADE, THE LORD OF THE RINGS) in his only U.S. signing appearance this year.

There will also be LEGO building courses, art classes, and face painting for the kids. Just steer them clear of Richard Kiel (the Kanamit ambassador in THE TWILIGHT ZONE’S “To Serve Man”) lest he freak them out:

kiel_banner

LOSING TOUCH is “definitely on base”

Posted in Book Reviews, News on August 14, 2013 by Christian

LOSING TOUCH got its first “critical” review on Amazon. It was a three star review, and said some nice things–I’m not sure why Amazon considers it “critical” (although I guess it does make some critical points), but I’ll take it:

LOSING TOUCH, now available at Amazon.com.

LOSING TOUCH, now available at Amazon.com.

“You got the lines right. You need more conviction.” 

So say the two thugs as they have Morgan Dunsmore tied to a chair and are ready to beat the snot out of him. This is also the case with the book. It’s an auspicious moment when an artist in any field slams one out of the park on his first at bat. (In this case, it’s Chris’s first novel.) But just getting on base is something to be heralded and Chris is definitely on base.

Here’s the scoop. Morgan Dunsmore is not having a good time. He’s lost his job. His wife Corrine can’t work due to a back injury. The credit cards are maxing out and the future looks bleak. Morgan’s coming apart both figuratively and literally. Through a fluke he finds that he can move through solid matter. Is this a blessing or curse? He figures he can use this ability to get through these rough times, but his moral compass is giving him grief about it. What’s a super hero to do?

This is a very thoughtful book but it does start a bit soft. It seem Chris hasn’t quite found his voice yet. For instance: You learn of his plight early on but you don’t really feel it. How is his predicament affecting him? He seems like he’s on a pretty even keel. It’s not until half way through the book he’s even looking for a job. I needed more of the angst. The big surprise to me was that the more I read the better it got. It were as though the exercise of writing it propelled him in honing his skill. The chapter with Morgan during a job interview, and the subsequent chapter of his returning home to talk with his wife, were good by nearly any standard. There was a device he used (his sub-conscious Pelham) I didn’t much care for. Was it the name Pelham or the way he played it that irked me? Probably a bit of both. And the analogy of the “disco floor” got me as well. Being a long time rock musician, any mention of the word disco makes my skin crawl.

I will play devil’s advocate here without spoiling. If I found out I had Morgan’s ability, I think I would make a bundle by letting people study me. Seems to me any number of folks would pay millions for the opportunity. There would be no moral conundrum (and not much story for that matter) were that the case though. Also, Morgan can pass through walls but his clothes cannot. What about the fillings in his teeth? But these are minor quibbles compared to the overall quality of the story and writing. He does need to be careful with the thesaurus. There were a few words used that simply jumped off the page as not belonging. And his publisher needs to (1) get him a better editor. There were a couple of sentences that were wrong. And (2) flip for a slightly larger font and ink that has not been watered down. Tired old eyes such as mine struggled with this.

That being said, hats off to Christian Larsen. I’ve spent more money on books from more notable publishers that were nowhere near as good as this. As I said: the more I read the better I liked it and that’s a good thing for any author. As for those five star reviews, come on. Five stars puts him in the company of Melville, Joyce, and Pynchon. No. He’s not there yet, but hopefully on his way.

-by Eric Sanberg
August 13, 2013

Not a bad “critical” review at all. And if it has to be MOBY DICK, ULYSSES, or GRAVITY’S RAINBOW to be a five-star book, then I’ve certainly got no complaints.

LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by NY Times bestselling author Piers Anthony, is now available in paperback and ebook formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

DARK LIGHT III now available in paperback

Posted in News on August 13, 2013 by Christian
DARK LIGHT III now at Amazon.com.

DARK LIGHT III now at Amazon.com.

DARK LIGHT 3, which was released in Kindle format on June 29th by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing, has just been released in paperback.

The dark fantasy anthology features my short story, “Harby’s Last Stand”, which is available to read for free using Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’ feature.

“Harby’s Last Stand” is a story about a Confederate sergeant major who lived far past his time, and the reason … well, the reason isn’t what you think.

You’ll also be able to enjoy L.D. Ricard’s “From Out of the Night” using the ‘Look Inside’ feature, but don’t stop there. Pick up your copy of DARK LIGHT III and enjoy all the stories:

DARK LIGHT III explores the darker side of our world, the things no one wants to speak about or admit. The stories in this anthology will make you think, make you shiver, intrigue and entertain you. Please step into our world of the darker side where little light shines through. Are you ready?

Reader: ZIPPERED FLESH 2 is “the best anthology” so far this year

Posted in Book Reviews, News on August 12, 2013 by Christian

Barnes & Noble reader “SaraFangoria” has posted a review of ZIPPERED FLESH 2, which features my story, “The Little Things”:

ZIPPERED FLESH 2, now available at Amazon.com.

ZIPPERED FLESH 2, now available at Amazon.com.

This is by far the best anthology I have read this year. While this one may not be as big as a few others, each story seems to have been well picked and very well written by each writer. Each story in here is either a five star story or a four. None are below that, which is so rare these days. Usually anthologies have a bit of killer and a whole lot of filler. Not here. Here’s how I break them down.

5 STARS –Shaun Meeks‘ “Taut”, Lisa Mannetti‘s “The Hunger Artist”, Bryan Hall‘s “The Modern Adonis”, Rick Hudson “The Affair of the Jade Dragon”, J.M. Reinbold‘s “The Future of Flesh”, L.L. Soares‘ “Seeds”, Kealan Patrick Burke‘s “Underneath”, Jonathan Templar‘s “BabyDaddy”, Christian A. Larsen‘s “The Little Things” and Michael Bailey‘s “Primal Tongue”. Each of these stories effected me in different ways, but they all have one thing in common, they made me want to read them again right away. Not that the other stories in here weren’t great, they were, but these were my stand outs.

GET THIS BOOK!

But don’t take SaraFangoria’s word for it. Pick up a copy of ZIPPERED FLESH 2 and decide for yourself which stories deserve the highest praise:

ZIPPERED FLESH 2 was published by Smart Rhino Publications, a new publishing firm based in Delaware, with a current leaning toward (but not limited to) horror and suspense fiction.

A FEAST OF FRIGHTS is “full of some super talented writers”

Posted in Book Reviews, News on August 11, 2013 by Christian

Barnes & Noble reviewer “dog-earred_reader” reflects on A FEAST OF FRIGHTS, which features my short story, “Clawed Sod”:

A FEAST OF FRIGHTS, available at Amazon.com.

A FEAST OF FRIGHTS, available at Amazon.com.

I loved this book. The editor, Jeani Rector, has really managed to pack this book full of some super talented writers that are known and unknown. In fact, I think some of the more little known writers here steal the show a bit.

There are some great stories in here by Joe R. Lansdale, Graham Masterton, Tom Piccirilli, Simon Clark, Joe McKinney and Scott Nicholson. People more new to me like Susie Moloney, Jeff Strand and Matt Leyshon also give some great stories.

The two writers though that stand out from all the others, and that I had never heard of before this are Christian A. Larsen and Shaun Meeks. Christian’s story is one of those ones that moves so naturally, that moves with a well paced speed, you are quickly drawn in and it is so worth it in the end. Shaun’s story to me, was by far the creepiest, goriest story of them all. It brought me back to the old EC Comic days if they were written by Ambrose Bierce.

The only flaw to me was the poetry. Not that it wasn’t good, I just am not a fan of it and skipped all of it (sorry to all the poets and poetry lovers). Still, I am glad I bought it and look forward to what Jeani puts out next.

Which were your favorites in A FEAST OF FRIGHTS? If you’ve already read the book, here’s a reminder of what’s inside, and if you haven’t read it yet, here’s what you’re missing:

A FEAST OF FRIGHTS (The Horror Zine Books) is a product of THE HORROR ZINE, a monthly e-zine that publishes new issues the first of every month.