Getting personal with Dustin LaValley

Dustin LaValley is a smart, kind and really great writer.  He comes highly endorsed by the likes of Edward Lee and Jack Ketchum just to name a few. It really shows that he has had some amazing mentoring and has worked hard on developing his stories and characters. He has a Rottweiler that he dearly loves and likes to be outdoors enjoying the clean fresh air. If you don’t know him or haven’t read anything he has written I highly recommend you resolve this problem. Dustin LaValley is one to watch folks. He is going to go places. Please help me welcome Dustin LaValley to Roadie Notes…….

 

1. How old were you when you wrote your first story?
Maybe 20 or 21. Of course we all did as kids and for high school (alternative high school in my case), but I never considered those stories. Not until I set out on my own to write something worth something to myself.

2. How many books have you written?
Eleven, including those coming out this year from Sinister Grin Press. Plus the comic book with Daniele Serra, BEETLES!, that’s in preorder status as of right now through its publisher SST Publications.

3. Anything you won’t write about?
Politics.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc...
34, sometimes I forget and say 32… becomes a blur after 30. Single, no kids. I used to teach Seito Shito Ryu karate, Okinawan jujutsu, and Judo, I’m a Shihan-Dai (or Sensei, whatever’s your preference, they’re pretty much all “teacher”) but I had to give that up for the foreseeable future due to intestinal disease.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
A recently finished memoir/bio on myself and my brother, “Ant,” from foster care to our first arrests to military service and petty roles in organized crime… currently looking for a home. Favorite that’s out would be A Soundless Dawn, and favorite that will be out this year, the novella, H/armed in the collection of novellas, (12 Gauge) Songs from a Street Sweeper, from Sinister Grin Press.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?
Social Psychology, cultural norms and their tests upon us, Thomas Ligotti, Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, Chuck Palahniuk, Jerry Stahl, Lewis Shiner, Steve Erickson, lack of fulfillment… concentration of the situation and issues of the time.

7. What do you like to do for fun?
Swim, I live between the Hudson and a lake, so I enjoy swimming from island to island. Also riding the trails, mountain biking. And of course reading a good book or comic book on a blanket in the park.

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
Take a few days off, then start the next. I’d drink if I could, used to with a few beers or a rum and Coke, but I can’t drink anymore. So, a few days of doing nothing but letting the brain rest, then getting back to it.

9. Where do you write? Quite or music?
I like sitting on the floor, my laptop and my dog on the bed, and some melodic stoner or doom metal playing. Red Sparowes and Pelican have been in the background for a good few endeavors.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?
Nothing. I’m happy with where I am and the work I’ve been creating. I’d make it more popular of course, but that’s everyone.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
Continue to pay the bills by writing for magazines and the advances and royalties from books and films, have a good few readers, and one day a woman who understands that when it hits, you can’t pause the inspiration and that need to write or else you will lose it.

12. Where do you live?
Upstate/Capitol region of New York.

13. Pets?
A three-year-old Rottweiler, Bronson. (Named after the actor or the inmate, reader’s choice.)

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
The freedom to create and destroy, the freedom to have a place where you don’t have to self-edit, the freedom to challenge yourself and hope your readers appreciate you not holding their hand, but instead acknowledging their intelligence.

15. What is coming next for you?
(12 Gauge) Songs from a Street Sweeper, a collection of three novellas coming this fall from Sinister Grin Press, and BEETLES!, the one-shot comic book homage to classic sci-fi and horror films from the 1950s. Illustrated by Danielle Serra (Hellraiser) and published by SST Publications.

 

You can connect with Dustin LaValley here: 

Twitter: @dustinlavalley
Facebook: Facebook.com/dustinlavalleyauthor

 

You can preorder Dustin’s newest book here:

https://www.sstpublications.co.uk/Beetles.php

Some of Dustin LaValley’s books:

 

You can buy Dustins book here: 

Fifty Shades of Hell review by:Mandy Tyra

Oh Miller…
Dirty Dirty Diiiirty. This really was like a Hellraiser erotica!! And yes, I’m sure that Fifty Shades of Grey housewife smut too but I wouldn’t know personally.
Pure erotic romance…ew gross.
I needs graphic dismemberment and castration aplenty with my sexy love-making stories! Otherwise, gag.
Miller pushes my right buttons. He gets me.
* This may or may not have giving me a tingle, or two. 🙂 🙂

A sexy super racy slicey dicey supernatural satanic tale that violates your visualization!
I’m still trying to white wall mine. Maybe need to dig out some Judy Blume or Beverly Clearly to reset.
He is such a ballsy blast to read though, I’ve been getting lost in his fun and filthy mind for quite a while now, and he never runs out of full-bodied potent ammo to target shoot his load with.

I have a very high tolerance for extreme horror books and movies, the more graphic the better but Tim always seems to make me cringe with the queasies, I think it must be all the sexy allure followed by the chop chop hack and whack.
BUT, this has a little something for everyone; beautiful love, sultry lust, bondage, voyeurism, creative mutilations, orgies, butt stuff, circle jerks, fresh flesh dildos…gremlins

Very brutal, very explicit, and very graphic. With lots and lots of kinky SEX.
Not for readers afflicted with delicate dispositions.

After a quick little taste teasing prologue, this starts out as a sweet love story. Bruce and Karen, adorable young married couple become new homeowners.
She’s an accountant, boring job but it pays the bills. He’s an aspiring painter, really good at it too but it does not pay the bills. They got the house cheap cause some stuff went down in it (deep down and that can be taken many ways), no matters to them, they ain’t superstitious. Besides, they can always call in the Paranormal Stoners from Karen’s guilty pleasure YouTube show, if things get a bit sketchy.
While exploring their new home, Bruce comes across a hidden door in a walk in closet, it’s leads to an attic. Later, when he has alone time, he decides to go check it out.
Just a boring old attic but there is a chest in the corner, rifling through newspaper clippings and a diary, that’s when he meets Melissa. He is positively entranced, she is beyond beautiful and so very intriguing.
After a brief ‘hello’, she whisks him away to her ‘other side’ bedroom lair for a little introductory peek and play.
He knows she’s dead, but she looks, feels, and tastes so damn real…
He loves his Karen but Melissa ~ HOLY HELL….it’s not cheating if the chic is deceased right???
No, Bruce, pretty sure that’s something else entirely….

She’s a real nightmare dressed as a wet dream, too bad he’s wide awake and not exactly thinking with his northerly head.
Back in his own world, he can’t get her out of his mind, even subconsciously paints her portrait.
He’ll do anything to be with her again. Anything.
And here is where the torture, suffering, as well as extreme pleasure is introduced to our smitten Brucey dog.
Whisked away again, this time meeting the Clerics of Dolor main masochist Gorn. A vile, deceitful, and ruthless man who holds all the punches. It’s his show and they all perform to their groveling, gruesome best, and worst.
They lay out the blood soaked red carpet to unwelcome him to the Halls of Dolor (Latin for pain), it’s not Hell though, they cater to a different kind of sinner, it’s more like….Hell adjacent, in no way affiliated or sanctioned by.
Bruce has to prove himself worthy by withstanding and executing the harshest of gratuitous, relentless, and self gratifying punishments, and pleasures.
Oh, where to begin…Gorn has a few ideas.
She’s worth it. He does realize that he’s been beguiled or penis possessed but he doesn’t have time for rational thought, he’s got too much work to get on with.

Can’t count out his wife Karen though, she getting wise to what’s going on and after calling in reinforcements, is also willing to do anything to keep her man from this whoring temptress.

“There is no death here. Only pain.”

Balls to the wall original and inventive, all these trial and tribulations Tim thought up.
His mind scares and scars me. Yet, he is worth it. Must be, I keep coming back for more!!! Yea, I’m so deviant….nestled in all comfy cozy behind my brightly lit kindle screen. 😛

And I love how he doesn’t go for the predictable type endings. You literally have no idea in what kind of fucked up fashion Tim is gonna end his depraved stories. Sometimes it’s a shocking ending, sometimes it’s more poignant, often it’s a delightful mix of the two and always ~always ~ it’s an exhilarating bubbly blood bath.
Never an outright happy ending though, Miller characters don’t get the happy.
His readers sure the hell do though!!

I really feel like he’s got a great little mythology going on with these Clerics of Dolor, I can totally see them popping up in more Miller books, they are just too damn horrifically, sinfully fun to not play and slay around with.
He’s already jazzed (..jizzed) it up with a lot of depth and back story, I just didn’t go into it all.
Yeeea, I was doing a very lousy job at summarizing that part of the story, so I’ll just leave it to our main masochist to spread eagle lay it all out there.
But yes, a lot of story potential to tap into, they’ll show up again, most definite.
So, get them basement bound scantily clad minions of yours on double time Mr. Miller!
It would please this devoted fangirl. 😉

 

You can buy the book here:

Monster by Matt Shaw and Michael Bray

It is unusual that I will do any sort of advertising but this is something near and dear to my heart. It’s about dreams, hopes and desires. That being said these two amazing writers have a dream that they are going to make happen and they need your help. They are going to make a movie. We as the horror community need to come together and show them how much we love and believe in them. So, please take a moment and read this and please help them out if you can and if you can’t please share their kickstart page. The last I knew it had made the goal so now it’s about making a bigger and even better movie than they had first hoped for. Make sure you look at the amazing things you can get for your donations. Thanks for taking the time to read and help them out.

 

Letter from Michale Bray: 

First off, apologies for hitting you again with another email so soon after the last but i really wanted to share this news with you as soon as possible and hope that you might be able to help us out!

After it was recently sold to a major Japanese publisher and the domestic success since it’s release, Matt Shaw and i are bringing our book MONSTER to the screen. We launched our Kickstarter campaign yesterday to raise funds to get the movie underway and have already passed the 50% mark on our minimum goal for this to happen.

Even so, we’ve not rested and have been hard at work, even snagging our first actor in Lee Nicholas Harris, known for his work on World War Z (2013), The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011) and Trance (2013).

We also have secured the services of special effects artist Dave Fox who will be responsible for bringing the book to life.
WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP
Although we are well on our way towards raising our minimum funding amount to go ahead with the movie, it’s important to reach as many people as possible, so with that said it would be massively appreciated if you could help us spread the word by clicking the link below for our kickstarter page and sharing it on your social media pages etc.

I hate asking for stuff like this as i don’t want to be seen as a spammy author, but we are incredibly passionate about this project and really want to get it off the ground. pledges are always welcome of course, and we have provided a full range of amazing perks for anyone who chooses to get involved. Feel free to click through and browse.

I’ll stop waffling now as i have a script to write! thanks again for the support and apologies for the intrusion!

Michael

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Kickstarter link: 

Maniacs With Knives by Shaun Hupp

Ok, there is brutal, spine tingling and gruesome, this book has it all. There were places in it that made my butt pucker and I had to walk away for a while. That doesn’t happen very often. When I first met Shaun several years ago I knew that he was a good writer but he has truly grown into an amazing writer. They way he can describe the scene and how he builds the story and develops his characters have become very awesome to see and experience. If you haven’t had a chance to read anything by him I highly recommend that you change this immediately. You will be hooked.

Maniacs With Knives follows several different stories all merging into one big blood bath. It has been awhile since I was so entranced with a book that I beta read. Shaun would send me a few chapters at a time and I would beg him to send me more. This went on until the end of the book and that’s when he showed me the cover he made for it and let me say it is a perfect fit! This book is really the total package. You won’t regret reading but lock your doors and pull down the windows because you will have the creeps.

The first part starts out with a young girl getting ready to graduate from high school. She is out on a date with her boyfriend. The next thing she knows she wakes up with her hands ties behind her back in a basement. Her captor a skinny older man starts talking to her as he pulls over a tray of knives. She asks the million dollar question…..are you gonna kill me? His reply is no but a few new holes are needed……

Then we flip to a young lady taking a shower thinking about her boy friend who is coming over to her house tonight. Her parents are away and she is hoping that tonight is the night that he will tell her he loves her. Her parents had left her a note telling her where they would be for the evening problem is that her parents didn’t write it………

 

The next part starts with two men sitting at a bar. One older man and one middle-aged. They start talking and the younger man demands that the old man tell him a story. The older man finally agrees and tells him that he was a serial killer that the police had looked for, for a long time and never caught. The younger man just laughs at him. The older man gets up to leave and the young man insists he sit down and continue the story. Little does he know but the younger man knows who he is and has been looking for him for quite sometime. They are connected but how………

There are a few other stories that mingle in with these three and the more you read the better it gets. You know that I won’t tell you any more because I don’t want to spoil it for you. READ THE BOOK!! You will also never see the ending coming I was totally thrown. I figured I had it all figured out but I was totally wrong. It was a perfect ending and hopefully there will be another book coming soon making this a series. All I can say is well done Shaun Hupp, well done!

 

 

You can buy the book here:

 

Getting personal with TJ Weeks

TJ Weeks has a great sense of humor and is always up for making someone laugh with his crazy antics. He is a loving husband and father to 5 children. He likes to hang out with his friends and have cook outs. His wife and son also write books. If you haven’t had a chance yet to check out his work please do so and make sure not to forget to leave him a review. The links to connect with TJ are listed below. Recently TJ Weeks was voted the winner of Zombie Book Of The Month Club. If you love zombies make sure to check out his books.  Please help me welcome TJ Weeks to Roadie Notes……..

 

 

1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
Not sure how old I was when I wrote my first story, but I was 12 when my first story was published out.

2. How many books have you written?
Somewhere along the lines of 60.

3. Anything you won’t write about?
I’m sure there are plenty of things that I don’t care to write about, but I like to keep an open mind.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc...
I’m 35 years old, married to my beautiful wife Kris Weeks. We have 5 kids altogether. My son Daltin as well as my wife write books as well. Being an author is my only job. So far I’ve been pretty fortunate to not have to work another job.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
That’s a pretty tough question, but I’d have to say that my Valley Drift series is my favorite, but The Horror Squad series has been my favorite to write.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?
I think a little bit of everything inspires me to write, but if I had to narrow it down to one thing, it would be my grandma. She pushed me to do the things I love before she passed away.

7. What do you like to do for fun?
Hang out with friends, camping, fishing, hunting, kayaking, barbecuing & hiking.

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
I generally get all my friends together & cook out (never really noticed until my wife pointed it out.).

9. Where do you write? Quite or music?
I write all over the place. My recliner is probably the main place. I strap on my earphones & jam out a lot to Shinedown when I write, but it really depends on what kind of scene I’m writing.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?
Not really anything I would change about my writing, but wish I would have learned marketing/promotions A LOT earlier in my career.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
My dream is for my books to be known. I don’t care to be the next Stephen King or anything. I just want my books to have a true chance to be seen & read. Clive Barker or Dean Koontz would be 2 famous authors I’d like to meet.

12. Where do you live?
I live next to Lake Halbrook in Mineola, TX.

13. Pets?
I have my Rottweiler, Loki. He’s a Valentine’s Day(born) puppy. He turned 4 this year.

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I get to live in my own world.

15. What is coming next for you?
I still have A LOT of The Horror Squad to write, to include the comic books & movie that are coming out this year. I also have a few other books that I’m working on such as: Building A Monster, Loki and I: Plagued, LoneStar & The Horror Squad anthology “Road Warriors”.

 

You can connect with TJ Weeks here: 

http://www.tjweeks.com
http://www.facebook.com/groups/1483829198575945
http://www.facebook.com/groups/1863897843857684
http://www.amazon.com/TJ-Weeks/e/B00QG4AENW
http://www.twitter.com/tjweeks6
http://www.instagram.com/author_tj_weeks

 

 

Some of TJ Weeks books:

Getting even more personal with Jason Parent

Jason Parent is an amazing writer. His jaw dropping stories will blow you away. His new book People Of The Sun is a different genre for him but wow did he hit it out of the park. You definitely don’t want to miss reading this one folks!! Please welcome Jason Parent back to Roadie Notes………..

 

1. So this book is a new genre for you what made you write this one?

I wanted to take a hard look at humanity and what it means to be human through the lens of an outsider. At the same time, I hoped to write an exciting first contact story. Without getting too heavy-handed with my messages, I tried to tell a story of what could happen, of how we might cause our own ruination out of fear, distrust, intolerance, cowardice, and ignorance. Of course, I’m just talking about aliens, though.

2. How long does it take you to write a book?

I wrote the first draft of one novel in four months. Another took twelve years to finish. I never know what I’m committing myself to until I start writing, and by then, it’s too late.

3. Where did the idea come from for this book?

A spider living in my head whispered it to me. Okay, not really. But I don’t know. One day, I sat down to write and out spilled this story.

4. Will there be a following book?

Only if people want one. I do have a sequel outlined in my head, and it would probably take place a decade or so after the events of People of the Sun.

5. Did you like this genre better than horror?

As a writer, I include elements of horror in all my works thus far. I’m drawn to it and likely always will be. As a reader though, I enjoy horror, sci-fi, thrillers and fantasy. I also like graphic novels. My preference seems to change daily.

6. Is it true that the story picks you or did you pick the story?

For me, it’s the former. I’d say less so for sequels, but even those I won’t write unless a story I think is worthwhile pops into my brain.

7. What is your favorite part of this story?

That’s easy. I really liked the scene where Kazi escapes confinement. Whenever I think of People of the Sun, that scene comes to mind first. That, and the ending.

8. Are you planning on trying out other genre’s as well?

Yes. I am presently writing a legal thriller with elements of horror and suspense.

9. What is coming next for you?
My next novel will be a gritty a gruesome crime novel. It will take place in Fall River much like Seeing Evil, but it will pre-date the events of my earlier work with an unrelated story.

10. You are such a busy man how do you ever find time to write?

Lately, I don’t. For a long time, I was sacrificing sleep to write. That may have finally caught up to me.

 

A teaser from the book:

 

All life comes from the sun. Sometimes, death comes with it.

Filled with hope and driven by fear, four would-be heroes are driven from their home planet in a desperate bid to save their civilization from extinction. But survival takes on a whole new meaning when a malfunction sends their ship plummeting toward Earth.

Surviving the crash is only the first obstacle on their path to salvation. The marooned aliens soon discover that Earth’s beautiful exterior masks an ugly foundation, a place inhabited by a warrior race that’s on a path toward self-destruction.

 

You can buy the book here:

 

Praise for People of the Sun
“Jason Parent has penned a thought-provoking, gripping sci-fi thriller. This isn’t your grandma’s alien invasion. My own world stopped the moment I stepped into People of the Sun. Lovers of science fiction, horror and even super heroes will revel in this roller-coaster of a tale. A true must-read!” –Hunter Shea, author of We Are Always Watching and The Jersey Devil

Collected Easter Horror Shorts review by: Mandy Tyra

SWEET! Another winning holiday horror collection put together by Kevin J. Kennedy.
We got 22 stories (over 400 pages!) of pure frightening Easter enlightenment. Helpful coping tips included.
It really is kind of an odd religious based holiday of bunny and egg worship but these freaky tails will help you double tap into that sinister Easter spirit.
** I’m not the least little bit religious so there may be a fair smidge of fun natured blasphemy in this review. I ain’t sorry, I shan’t repent. 😛

With a foreword by Nev Murray, the head honcho reviewer extraordinaire at Confessions of a Reviewer, I agreed with him in his Christmas Collection foreword and I tend to agree with him regarding Easter as well. The chocolate IS the best and maybe even only good part.
Organized religion; bad. Extended family get togethers; very bad. Bunnies; just so damn evil.
“Bunnies aren’t just cute like everybody supposes, they got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses, and what’s with all the carrots? What do they need such good eyesight for anywaaay? Bunnies, Bunnies, it must be BUNNIES!” ~ The musical stylings and deep musings of Anya from BtVS.
I’ve always wanted to be able to use that, ya know, with relevance. Revelant!

Cadbury eggs are my weakness and I only let myself indulge in them just the one day (not on Easter but the day they hit the shelves), they are like Lays though, can’t eat just one…ooor half a dozen. Lol

For those that know me, you know my OCD compels to me to talk about each and every story, in order. Although it can be somewhat exhausting to read (yea, I’ve been told), it’s relatively painless.
I’ll try my damndest not to get off topic, too much, from this point on.
As incentive, I may have a Cadbury egg in store for you at the end. 😉
So buckle up ~ breeze through or bail out (I take no offence) and let’s hop to it!!

Lamb to Slaughter ~ Amy Cross 22pgs
Poor Oline, she drew the short end of the stick just by being the girl in the family. Every 11th Easter, the eldest daughter has a task to follow through with for the protection and betterment of the family. Old world superstitions in a new world setting, family values at a priceless cost. Is it worth it…
Great story with a mysterious and tense build up and just when you think it would be over, it has one of those ‘final scenes’ after the credits.
Also check out B&B by Amy Cross, it’s a perfect mix of Time crimes and Triangle. Fab writer!

Sonnes Hill ~ Lex H. Jones 39pgs
Brenden and Milo move to a very nice house in the suburbs, such a great neighborhood. They are especially impressed with those neighbors who are accepting of them, it’s a bigot free community. But when one of them falls ill, it sends the other one on a neighborly excursion to an ancient secret kept deep in the marshes.
Strong Pet Sematary vibe with this one, loved it, eerie and unpredictable. Theism in full bloom.
The intro really gets you, it’s such a treat when the first paragraph is from the 2nd half, then we get to find out what the hell happened to lead us to that sharp and jagged point.

Easter Eggs ~ Latashia Figueroa 30pgs
Brian loves his mom, can’t stand his mom’s live in loser of an abusive boyfriend, Pete. Sad and frustrated when Pete throws a wrench in their Easter plans, at least he has his neighbor best friend Mr. Eldridge to turn to. He’s an old war vet who treats Brian like a buddy, helps look after the family too. He’s collected some Easter keepsakes in his basement and has learned a few things in his world travels. Brian is eager to be taught.
Loved this kid and Mr. Eldridge, add in his sweet mom and the abusive boyfriend, made this a riveting little tale.
From Latashia’s bio, it said her stories are “psychological thrillers with a dash of horror.” YEP, nailed that and Pet Sematary was also my first Stephen King book, you always remember your first King.

The Rebirth ~ Mark Cassell 20pgs
Tracey is full of gusto as a new elementary school teacher, has an Easter egg contest planned for her kiddos that does not go exactly as planned when she brings the mysterious wooden egg that she came across…errr that came across her, the night before. It looks innocent enough and the kids are bound to like it. It’s otherworldly and bound is quite apt.
This one was a creepy little thrill ride, you don’t know what the hell is going on only that it is wild and crazy. And gross. And smelly.

Baby Blues ~ Briana Robertson 26pgs
Roxanne, stay at home mother of two, utterly exhausted and frustrated. She’s lucky enough to have an amazing and supportive husband but he is quite busy, being a doctor and all. It’s Easter which means she’ll have to further suppress her mental fatigue in order to make it a fun and memorable holiday.
You can tell this author has kids because she captured all the subtle little irritating nuances and mommy moods very very well. How within the same thought we go from ‘Awwww so cute!’ to ‘uuughhh go away…’. Resonates with realism.
I felt deeply for this mother and saw a lot of myself in there, well…until the end, I related up until that point.
So damn powerful, extremely well written, I want MORE from this impressive writer.
I LOVED this! Single mom with a litter of 3, believe me ~ I related.

Mia’s Easter Basket ~ Mark Lukens 9pgs
Mia is the mom but she’s the one who gets a specialty Easter basket delivered to her doorstep every year for the last 4 years, without fail. Because 5 years ago this day, is when her life changed, forever and…for the better
No cute little edible bunnies or sweet poetry in her baskets though.
A fine and dandy little freaky tale, I really liked the angle. Is it good, is it bad, is it wrong…
So many moral variables. Personally, I find it G R E A T.

He Has Risen ~ C.S. Anderson 8pgs
Norman should have had the willpower and good sense to lay off the sauce when on guard duty for the Easter celebration. Even in a zombie apocalypse, the survivors try to maintain a bit of normalcy and tradition, especially for the little ones. Now it’s ruined, all ruined and Norman finds himself sobering up handcuffed to a corpse. Uhh not good. You gotta hate drunks though, always crashing the party. The AA program is a Crown Royal bitch in this compound!
Ohhhh Easter and zombies compliment each other so well, especially on the rocks with a lime wedge.

The Echoes of the Bunny-Man ~ Steven Stacy 34pgs
A supernatural tale about a teen named Kirby and her ever diminishing group of friends. Within the last year, over 20 teens have committed suicide in their little town, her sister included. Plagued by strange dreams and terrifying visions, she searches for answers, far too many questions though…
Read like a teen scream blockbuster on par with Final Destination and Forget Me Not (underrated little gem). Such a blast to read which took a more heartbreaking turn after I read Steven Stacy’s bio. Oh my god…this is loosely based on a true story about a horribly unbelievable mass tragedy in his past. So so sad and what fantastic storytelling, I’m sure it was therapeutic on some level.

Killer Jelly Beans From Outer Space ~ James Matthew Byers 8pgs
WOW, I was blown away by this short story length of a poem. Disturbing in a darkly humorous way. Candy is bad for you on so many levels. Borrowing from the title of one of my favorite campy 80’s movies, these jelly beans are staging a rebellion for all jelly kind.

Rotten Eggs ~ Jeff Strand 11pgs
Nicki and Brett, a couple little kids enjoying their Easter surprises, gorging on candy when their big sister Rhonda chimes in, always with her relentless teasing. Her razing gets a bit beyond cruel when she stages their Easter egg hunt. You gotta be careful with mercilessly teasing kids, they take everything so literal. Rhonda’s the one due for the surprise egg.
I love Jeff Strand’s writing style, if you like a thick and meaty slice of hilarity with your horror, read Benjamin’s Parasite!

A Town Called Easter ~ Kevin J. Kennedy 17pgs
It’s an invasion of Easter proportions!! Another roller coaster ride of a story involving a secret lab, an old cave, a compound, an ancient fertile rabbit, a warren gone wild, zombie kits, a town under siege, and a love story.
Our patriarch of this eggcellent (sorry) collection and a damn fine author to boot. I first came across him in The Tale of Sawney Bean, dramatic and disturbing. The book, not the writer… although I’ve heard rumors…

Lord of the Dance ~ J.C. Michaels 12pgs
We meet a man in a seemingly dire predicament, oh but don’t worry about him, turns out he’s quite used to it. Every Easter for many maaany years, until he performs his duties. Is he a sinner or a saint? Is it sacramental stigmata….sacrilege?? He’s lived to embody it all. For this one we flash waaaay back, circa crucifixion era. I really liked thinking on this one. A theological Easter tale for the ages.
J.C. has a book coming out with Kevin soon called You Only Get One Shot, about writers who square off with their best written words. A lot is at stake in this cut throat comp.

Easter Gunny ~ Peter Oliver Wonder 10pgs
Gunny only wanted to be accepted as part of the family, an equal. He’s not having a very swell Easter, in trouble again but he doesn’t understand why, he never understands why. He’s getting fed up though. VERY entertaining short told through a very unique point of view. And with a happy ending, kind of…
Hilarious author bio too, Peter’s bio would make for an awesome (ummm quasi-fiction….) book.

It’s Not All About Bunnies and Chocolate ~ Veronica Smith 11pgs
Be careful when it comes to those coveted trendy toys and time sensitive special offers via Facebook. Jean likes to be able to spoil her daughter when she can, it’s just the two of them though and times are rough. Missing out on the Hatch-a-Pet for X-mas, she gets another chance to wooo her little girl when seeing an overstock ad for the popular high demand toy. Her daughter is gonna be ecstatic! Or maybe a feeling more so verging on traumatic…
Either way it’s sure to be a memorable Easter.
Brutal. So brutal. So fun!!

Last Supper ~ Suzanne Fox 21pgs
Jude is pretty much an ass of a husband, he and his sweet-natured wife Mary are headed off a day early to go spend the holiday weekend with their long time friends who moved outside city limits. He’s annoyed having to miss a day of work but Jez was insistent. At least there is good food and strong drink but something isn’t quite right in suburbia. Jez is acting weird, something’s off but the feast is delish even if the spicy secrets are a tad bit salty.
Well written savory little dish served cold.

Bunny and Clyde ~ Lisa Vasquez 11pgs
Dark and harrowing, so emotional. What mom wouldn’t be a nervous wreck after losing a child? A mother grieving and a big brother haunted by happier Easters. He wants his mom to be herself again and for his dead sister to stop trying to play with him.
When you reach the end of this you will gasp and exhale at the same time!
I’ve heard so many amazing things about Lisa Vasquez and I’ve read a few of her shorts and I think she’s a fantastic writer chalked full of originality.

Magic Awaits ~ Christopher Motz
12-year-old Steven is too old for all this Easter stuff but his parents drop him off at his dad’s boss’s house for the big celebration anyway. It’s important to the old guy, and for his dad’s job. His lousy time turns annoying then veers headfirst into bizarre with the introduction of a 6ft bunny in a dirty costume who defies physics.
Horrific yet whimsical, really fun and unique story.

An Easter Prayer ~ Weston Kincade and David Chrisley 23pgs
Another story with a very unusual narrative. You know those claw machine games, put your money or tokens in and try to grab a toy? Well do you ever think about how traumatic it would be for the objects trapped inside to see a giant metal hand piercing down towards them??
NO, course not, you’re selfish. It’s not all fun and games at this Easter festival but there will be a few surprises.
This was bizarro brilliance, reminded me of a really demented Toy Story revolt.

Trying to Write a Horror Story ~ Andrew Lennon 11pgs
It’s a disturbing autobiographical story, ala diary type exercise for the procrastinating writer. Andrew is trying to stay on top of his writing so he hangs back from the family Easter getaway this year, peace and quiet he should be able to get all caught up. His #1 fan Becky Narron (my governess/enslaver at Roadie Notes!!) has some inspirational words and motivational tools for him, it’s for his own good.
I guess you could call this one another unusual pov, maybe the weirdest one yet!
HAHAHA Oh Lennon, you’re a hoot!!! Ya, Becky told me the real story…
And now I want a story, I can be very inspiring too.

Hatch ~ Christina Bergling 25pgs
Jeremy brings home the ugliest egg he found on his way home from school, his mom finds it repulsive but he’s enamored with the vile thing. It’s so beautiful, he pampers and coddles it in a makeshift nest by his bed. He swears he saw it move, can feel it pulse. Restless nights followed by disconnected days, it seems they are both going through some changes.
Great story with a perfect build up to a descriptive and disturbing climax. Can also be read as a loose allegory for puberty…

Sulphur ~ Mark Fleming 10pgs
A drunken belligerent man, annoyed at getting woken from his stupor by the neighbor girl, what the hell is she doing smashing Easter eggs all over?? Ohh the smell. Fumbling and slurring his way into a combative mission to find more booze aaand shut that brat up, he blackout stumbles into a bit of self reflect recollect recon instead. Ohhh that smell….
WOW, talk about a powerful puzzle of a story with a jaw dropping ending in only about 10 pages. Impressive!

Paying it Forward ~ Jeff Menapace 13pgs
Cute young couple in love enjoying a Chinese dinner on Good Friday. Being inspired by her fortune, Julie decides to do the whole Pay it Forward gesture simply by anonymously picking up the check for a lonely looking guy dining alone. Pay it forward? Well, some people you’d be better off deficit’n backwards…slowly.
A goodwill cautionary tale of deranged religious fanaticism.
Read the Bad Games trilogy from this unbelievably amazing author!!

My pick for top 3 would be:
Sonnes Hill
The Rebirth
Baby Blues
The Echoes of the Bunny Man
A Town called Easter
Easter Gunny
Lord of the Dance
Bunny and Clyde
Trying to Write a Horror Story
Sulfur
Top 3…x3, with a remainder of 1. Simple math really…

So yea…Easter, while not nearly as pricey and gouging as X-mas, it’s still a lot of hare raising hoopla to jump through and pull off for the kiddos. It is fun though, I have to admit. I’m not completely dead inside, faint heartbeat does count.
Ok but I do have one question; how come Christmas has the nativity scene laid out all over from lifesize display to fireplace mantle set piece but Easter does not have a… crucifixion/resurrection scene spread lay out??? Wouldn’t that be sticking with the true faith of it all?? Hmmm… :/
Oh well, bring on the yummy chocolate and evil bunnies, we’re pepped and prepped!

Oh man, that was quite a bit longer than I intended but I did trim it up a touch if that counts for anything.
And ummm…sorry for the two of you that made it through, as I’m sure you guessed the Cadbury offer was a fib. Yea, I have none left. Suckers!! 😛

Mr. Kennedy, he’s great with these holiday themed anthos, can’t wait till….uhhh Mother’s Day, EH?? Horrific homage style, that’d be a retributive sweet treat. Come on Kevin, do it, DO IT!! 😀

You can buy the book here: