Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Review: "Graveyard Blues" by Brian Bowyer

This review is from: GRAVEYARD BLUES (Kindle Edition)

Out of the gate allow me to say that GRAVEYARD BLUES is a must-read, period. I've always been a fan of crime fiction, but I've never read anything like this. After I finished it, I felt as if some demented dentist had gone crazy on me with Novocain, leaving me speechless. When I was able to babble, I called a friend and said, "You HAVE to read this story."

Okay: about the story. Reading GRAVEYARD BLUES is like driving at night very fast down a narrow street that you fully expect to end in a steel wall standing in the center of the road, only to have that narrow street branch off onto another street you never even saw coming. I laughed, I cringed, I cried, I cheered, and I can't tell you how many times I went back and reread sentences aloud for the simple reason that I loved the way they sounded.

It's a crime story. It's a revenge story. It's a love story--a tale about love lost and love found again. It's a story about karma, and yet how sometimes bad things happen to good people for seemingly no reason whatsoever. It's also a tale of unforgettable characters.

Shockingly dark, heartbreakingly nostalgic, and at times horrifically violent, GRAVEYARD BLUES--in my opinion--defies categorization.

5 stars and easily one of my favorite stories ever.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Author Interview: Joseph Derepentigny

1. Please tell us a little known fact about you.

I have less formal education than most of the people around me. My writing skills come from
reading other people’s work and studying their dialog and prose.

2. What was your favorite genre to read growing up? Is this the genre you currently write in?

I read mostly Science Fiction when I was young. I loved Asimov and Laumer. No, I tried and
found it limiting. People today want a combination Science Fiction horror or fantasy. And then
you get the “PhD’s” who object to your every premise of technology evolution.

3. What inspires you to write?

Strange things, a statement online, a cartoon on TV, something someone says, and sometimes
ideas just come out of the blue.

4. What sort of atmosphere do you need to write?

Solitude, It can be my back porch, my writing room, or even the backyard with the dog.

5. What is your all time favorite book?

Wasp by Eric Frank Russell and The Maltese Falcon by Hammett

6. Who is your all time favorite character that is not your own.

Thomas Covenant – He is in a fantastic land but he does not want to be there.

7. Who is your favorite character of your own creation?

Justin the Mage, he is a grouch and has a temper.

8. When did you decide to become a writer?

1979 and then again in 2003, The first time I discovered that my Great Aunt wrote Peyton Place
and I figured if she could do it so could I. Then I joined the Army and they knocked the idea
right out of my head. Come 2003, I was going through my old stuff and discovered some of my
short stories were better than the stuff I was reading. So I decided why not. 120 subs later I was
getting published.

9. Where are you from?

Lawrence Massachusetts, a slum north of Boston

10. Why do you write?

It is fun, I love writing and it gives me a chance to put ideas before people.

11. What’s the best piece of writing advice you have ever been given?

Write one story, rewrite it, edit it, write it until you are sick of it, and then send it to 100
magazines. 50 will not respond, 40 will send form letter rejections, and 8 will say you have no
talent. Two of them will tell you what you did wrong. Fix the story to their specifications and
resubmit. One of them will say yes.

12. What’s the worst thing someone has ever said about your work?

2010 I was told because I do not have an MFA I was not qualified to write.

13. Has your writing ever been compared to another, famous author? If so, who?

I hope not.

14. And last, but not least, something really random:
~ What is your favorite meal?

Lobster, I eat it like a barbarian so be warned.

My only active page right now:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday's Shorts: Cousins? by Joseph DeRepentigny

Milton was a well-built young man with a slight tan throughout the winter; add in

his love of working out year round and you had a big man most people avoided angering.

Therefore, when he noticed two people staring at him as he walked down the sidewalk,

he glared at them until they turned away. By the forth time, he stepped up to the person

and shouted, “You got a problem?"

The man made a face and ran. Tripping at one point and then running into

somebody. Laughing he said, "That's more like it." He then looked at the slip of paper in

his hand. The address was across the street. Whistling he crossed the street flipping off

any cars that blew their horns at him.

The address was a storefront with soaped windows and door that was ajar. This

was nothing new to him. His business called for anonymity. Pulling the door open, he

slipped inside the dimly lit store. The place was a mess. Boxes and crates lay on the floor

tumbled from stacks that lined the two walls. Stepping over the boxes he made his way

to the back where a man of about 5 feet in height on a box reading a newspaper. Milton

knew this was a Tcho-Tcho, an abhorrent off shoot of the human animal.

He looked up and smiled with pointed teeth, "You lost?"

He shook his head, "You're expecting me."

"Who are you?"

"Milton," he smiled.

The little man jumped off the box and headed into the darkness. A minute later he

came back with the newspaper rolled in his hand, "Master says you give first."

Milton pulled a small leather pouch out of his pocket. Letting it hang from his

fingers by the rawhide laces he looked at the Tcho-Tcho waiting for it to take the item.

Instead, a second one appeared out of the shadows and grabbed the pouch.

Milton smiled. He knew there was no such thing as one Tcho-Tcho. Looking

around he saw a dozen more crawling among the boxes.

"You him," the one on the box said holding the paper up. On the front page was a

man wanted for going on cop killing spree.

"No," Milton laughed. "But we could be cousins."

A minute later a Tcho-Tcho came back with a box. He said something to the one

who sat on the box with the newspaper. The language was that confusing tongue they

spoke. After a short conversation, the sitting one smiled his toothy smile. Milton knew

that people were cannibals and could render a live man down to bones and fillings in a

matter of minutes. Feeling on his hip, he massaged the pistol in his pocket out of a need

for security.

“Master says you take box,” the sitting one said calmly. “Good business!”

Milton took the box and left quickly. Once outside he let out a sigh of relief. What

the items in the pouch were, was unknown to him, but he had a feeling they weren’t what

the master wanted.

Looking to the left, he saw two cops talking to a driver. They looked his way

and one shouted “Freeze!” Instinct took over and he pulled his gun but before he could

fire, several round hit him in the chest and he fell dead to the ground. The box he carried

broke open revealing sawdust as the contents.

In a window above the storefront an old man in a Hawaiian shirt looked out and

then looked at the coins in his hands, “Gold doubloons , worthless gold coins!” He tossed

them on the floor.

A nearby Tcho-Tcho grabbed the coins and asked, “We have?”

“You have.”


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Review: 'Revelation: Creatures Rule the Night' by Nathaniel Connors

*Please note: These are reviews that have been removed from Amazon for whatever reason. Lots of these books may be out of print, but are still available on Kindle. Purchase links are up to date for the purpose of these reviews. Thank you.

Purchase:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble 


“Revelation: Creatures Rule the Night”

by Nathaniel Connor

This book opens in the year 2246, on the moon inside a Space Fleet base, the day before the class graduation of the main character, John Armand, and his close group of fighter pilot friends. John, a young man with a troubled past, is quickly shipped off to Mars and away from the life he’s known. His best friend Julius, a human who was born and raised in the very same Martian colony John and his friends are to be stationed at, is ordered to report to Earth for business that is not right away made clear.
For me there are some problems with the science and time line of events on Mars. For example, there is a building, a jail, John is taken into when he decides to seek out the leader of Martian arm that is described as being at or around one thousand years old. Who would have been building such structures on Mars in 1246? There is also a race of people called the Outlanders who are native to Mars, but are the partial creation of gene splicing. It’s never fully explained how this race, or the swamp lands they live in, came to be, which isn’t too much of a problem because there is plenty of other action taking place to distract the reader from these small holes in the plot...but unfortunately for the hardcore Science Fiction or Horror fan a good deal of this book’s action has to do with Romance.
Okay, maybe that’s not completely fair to say. This is not a Romance novel, but for my taste love and romantic relationships take far too predominate a role in the story. It seems at some points that the main character can’t go five minutes without reflecting upon how much he loves his his wife, how much he loved his dead teenage lover, his love for his friends, his love for his family, and so forth and so on. I personally found these constant reflections upon how much the other characters meant to him rather boring and wished there wasn’t so much of it between the ‘good parts’ of the book, you know where they blow things up, fight demons, battle zombies, and try to keep the world from ending.
Oh, yes, there are demons, walking dead, shape shifters, and all other manner of supernatural and religious creatures in this Science Fiction novel, making it less then traditional for the genre. I’d, myself, like to believe by the year 2246 we as a species will have lost our need for such foolishness as organized religion, but demons almost always make a story cooler and that’s the case here.
All and all, this is a pretty good book, not great, but it is just the start of a longer series with promise for more violence and less of John’s sappy musing in the future.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Book Review: "Infinity Bridge" by Ross Kitson

Title: Infinity Bridge

Author: Ross Kitson

Publisher: Myrrdin Publishing Group

Pages: 246 (Print), File size: 499 kb

ISBN: (10) 1939296803 (13) 978-1939296801

Purchase: Amazon

Description (From Amazon):

Sam: likes loud music, wears black eye-liner... and sees monsters. Nick: wears Che Guevara knit-wear, big specs, loves sci-fi... and designs computer viruses. Annie: dresses like a Sunday evening period drama, lives with her granddad... and fights like a ninja. When Sam helps out the mysterious Annie, he and his cousin, Nick, are drawn into a world of excitement and danger. Terrifying androids roam the streets of York seeking the awesome power of the Infinity Bridge, a device that could signal the end of our world as we know it. All who stand in their way are being eliminated. The three teenagers are propelled into an action-packed race against time, involving alternate realities, airships, clockwork killers.... and Merlin. Sometimes the monsters are real.... Infinity Bridge is a brand new fast-paced sci-fi adventure suitable for teenagers and adults alike.

My thoughts:

I liked this book. Sam is your usual 'punk' boy. He wears eye liner, dyes his hair black, wears black clothing. But he's a nice boy trying to avoid being tossed into the asylum like his big brother. After his brother mentioned seeing monsters, Sam's parents admitted him to an institution. That's when Sam withdrew, not wanting to let on that he saw what his brother saw. But when a man in a pin-striped suit showed up out of the blue and lasers started flying overhead, well, who better to help Sam and Nick? You got it. Big brother to the rescue.
Annie is super sweet and super Ninja. I loved her character. She always had a good comeback. Much like Nick's mom. But I can't give too much away. The book is full of twists and turns that would keep any young adult or adult entertained. It was a fun, fast paced, epic, sci-fi frollick. (Say that five times fast!)

I give this book 5 out of 5 skull and crossbones.

Book Review: 'Outsider' by W. Freedreamer Tinkanesh

*Please note: These are reviews that have been removed from Amazon for whatever reason. Lots of these books may be out of print, but are still available on Kindle. Purchase links are up to date for the purpose of these reviews. Thank you.

Purchase: AmazonBarnes & Noble, Lulu

Book Trailer


by W. Freedreamer Tinkanesh

reviewed by Hydra M. Star

Sid Wasgo, as the title of the book indicates, is a bit of an outsider. Totally obsessed with the lesbian music scene of London, Sid is herself a former musician, artist, lover of tattoos, and completely and totally uncomfortable in her own skin. Sid is a ‘cutter’, a drinker, and longs to live a life free from being tied to a gender. She has physical problems, mental issues, and is literally in love with Death. She fills her time and nights with concerts, writing, and time spent with friends, which she seems to have plenty of...even if she doesn’t allow them to get close.
At the start of the book, Sid’s life if very ‘normal’. A reader who has spent any considerable time in the music scene or lesbian bars will find the situations and characters of the first half of this novel easy to related to and identify as classic music/lesbian types. However, while Sid is busy attending shows and making friends with the members of her favorite band, Second Look, there’s a vampire stalking and killing concert goers. It’s when, Joy, the concert going vampire, sets her sights on the nearsighted Sid that things for the young woman start to get a bit weird...okay a lot weird.
From this point the storyline and plot of the book gets quite complex. It is in fact complex from the beginning with transitions from real life to almost dream like excepts from stories penned by the main character and flash backs to long ago deeds done by the various vampires Joy has known. There are also the characters of Life and Death which add to the already teeming cast of oddities and outsiders. By the end of things time itself will be bent.
If a reader is looking for a well-written, but unusually told story, this book is a must read.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Author Interview: Hydra M. Star

1. Please tell us a little known fact about you: I was suppose to be a twin, but my twin died in utero early on in the pregnancy and I “absorbed” her. I think this clearly makes me the “evil twin”.
2. What was your favorite genre to read growing up? Is this the genre you currently write in?
Horror, Horror Fantasy, and Horror with elements of Erotica have always been my favorite
genres to read. I was reading stuff like Clive Barker’s Imajica and Thomas Harris’ Silence of
the Lambs in middle school, while other girls my age were reading Sweet Vally High. It was
probably highly inappropriate, but back then parents weren’t as uptight about the content their
children were exposed to. I don’t think most of them, mine included, were even aware. Now,
oddly enough, that I’m older I enjoy a good Young Adult novel. This genre has come a long
ways since the Sweet Vally High days.

3. What inspires you to write? Everything and nothing. I never know what’s going to inspire me.
It might be a song lyric, something I read or hear in a podcast or on a radio program–I consume
a lot of literature and other media about the paranormal and demonology and these things are
a constant theme in my work–or it could be some off hand comment or joke I or someone else
makes that gets me going down a certain path. Sometimes the inspiration seems to come from
no where at all, an idea will just pop fully formed into my head with no connection to anything
in the real world. I never know where or when inspiration is going to strike.

4. What sort of atmosphere do you need to write? I have no particular atmosphere that works for
me. I’m writing this early in the evening while my daughter takes a shower in the bathroom
next door to my room. I can hear the water and her singing, as I type this. She is as tone deaf
as I am, I’m afraid. I tend to do a lot of my writing at night or in the early evening, when the
house is relatively still, sometimes in silence, sometimes with a podcast or DVD playing in the
background. Other times I write in the early morning. My only real hang up is I don’t like to
be interrupted. It’s sometimes hard for me to get back into the “writing groove” once I’ve been
distracted and brought out of it by a phone call or someone popping their head into the room
to ask me a question. Other times I can jump right back in. I guess, it just depends...on what, I
don’t know.

5. What is your all time favorite book? Galilee by Clive Barker. It’s a story about highly sexually
charged godlike beings living in the swamplands of North Carolina, who engage in all manner
of biracial loving. What’s not to like?

6. Who is your all time favorite character that is not your own? Pie 'oh’ Pah from Clive Barker’s
Imajica. Pie is the ultimate hermaphrodite character, which is a concept or a “condition” that
has always intrigued me. A completely third gender, Pie has the ability to appear however
people most wish hir to appear, a skill that comes in handed to a killer for hire.

7. Who is your favorite character of your own creation? That’s a tough one. It would have to
be one of the characters from my forthcoming series The Chronicles of the Infernal Empire,
but which of them is my favorite changes depending on mood and what part of the series I’m
currently working on. It is truly quite the cast of characters and so I have no single name to give
you...but if Belial asks, say that I told you it was him.

8. When did you decide to become a writer? At the same time I decided to be bisexual, meaning I
didn’t. Writing is something I’ve always done and so a writer I have always been. Even when
I was really little use jot down these short stories about me and my dog going on these strange
Alice in Wonderland type adventures. That progressed into poetry, in high school, and then
again later to more short fiction. I really can’t imagine myself not writing, even if it were just to
blog about my life and world views.

9. Where are you from? I grew up on a farm in a small town called Falkland, just outside of
Greenville, North Carolina.

10. Why do you write? I don’t know what else to do with my free time and I hate pop culture. No
seriously, I haven’t regularly watched television or gone to a theater to see a movie in years.
These kinds of things just don’t interest me. Leave me alone with a good podcast or book, some
snacks, and a my laptop and I’m perfectly happy.

11. What’s the best piece of writing advice you have ever been given? Shut the fuck up and
write...and, yes, it has to be stated, just that bluntly and with out any *’s or #’s used to take the
“offense” out. People need to be offended. People need to be shaken out of this mental space
where they think life is suppose to be kind and only really rude and cruel people are going to
be anything less than carrying or unconcerned about their feelings. That’s not the real world.
That’s not the nature of the publishing industry. The publishing industry doesn’t give a fuck
about you. It doesn’t give a fuck about me. All the publishing industry, and readers, care about
is the end product, the writing. If you can write, then write. Talking about writing or talking
about the industry is ultimately meaningless. Do some research, pick which direction you want
to go in–self-publishing, small press, seeking out agents and traditional publisher–and go for it.
Devote all the energy you can to pursuing that end and just fucking write.

12. What’s the worst thing someone has ever said about your work? I, honestly, don’t remember.
I’ve had people throws some nasty comments my way over the years, but mostly they’ve had
to do with the method or publication I was published through or me as a person and not the
content of my writing. I think my “luck” in this area might be due to the fact that I don’t spend
a lot of time on forums and I don’t put a lot of my writing out there for free public consumption.
I have a handful of friends, who for the most part are also writers, who I run things by, if I’m in
doubt about its quality in some way. Some of these same friends help me with light editing and
I do the same for them, but it’s all done privately. You’ll never see me posting a short story or
article on a forum asking for opinions or critique. It’s just not something I do. I send things out
for publication and when I publish I, of course, open myself up for review, but for the most part
the response as been constructive and positive.

13. Has your writing ever been compared to another, famous author? If so, who? I’ve been
compared by some people online to Oscar Wilde, which is a huge complement to me
personally. I absolutely love the work and style of Wilde as well as respect him as a historical
figure...but, alas, I don’t feel my writing is “there yet” and this is of overinflated flattery, but
who am I to argue with my public?

14.Real books or eReader? Both, we need to kill the idea of this being an either/or situation. I own
and read both and I’m sick of hearing people, who are often ill-informed about how the technology
works, spout non-sense about e-readers and e-books not being as good as “real books” or how e-books
are devaluing the art of writing and literature. This is the same sort of silliness that surrounded the
advent of the printing press. People believed it too would devalue the art of literature by making it too
common place and “disposable”. They saw little value in a book that could be printed and bound in a
matter of minutes, just as many people today claim there is no value in a book that can be downloaded
in a matter of seconds. Both arguments are hogwash. The value of the book lies in the content, not the
publishing method or how it smells or the weight of it in your hand. If a person enjoys to read, truly
enjoys to read, then it should matter very little to them the format the book comes in...but like with the
printing press, people have to get accustom to the technology. Give it a few generations and no one will
understand what the issue ever was with e-books.





Twitter: @hydramstar






Infernal Ink Magazine (submission guidelines and purchase links):

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Book Review: 'An Eternity of Shadow' by Andrea Dean van Scoyoc

*Please note: These are reviews that have been removed from Amazon for whatever reason. Lots of these books may be out of print, but are still available on Kindle. Purchase links are up to date for the purpose of these reviews. Thank you. 

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

“An Eternity of Shadow”

by Andrea Dean van Scoyoc

reviewed by Hydra M. Star

I should start this review by stating that I’ve never read Dante’s Diary, the book to which this book is a sequel. I DID read the first book written about Ivana Morriander’s life, but at the time I read it, it was being published under the title Left to the Night Alone. This book later become Vampire Alone and then afterward was revises further and became Dante’s Diary. So, when I now state that I found contradiction in Ivana’s store in this book as compared to what was told of her life in the first book I say so with the understanding that these might only be contradictions between the first incarnation of her story and what it later became in Dante’s Diary. However, I still feel such a statement should be made since others readers, who have only read Ivana’s story in it’s original version, might find some of these contradictions annoying, but frankly Ivana’s story to me always contradicted itself in places and in that way seems very much like a true to life, first person, retelling of a long life lived.

This is also one of those books that does not sit you down and tell you a story from start to finish. The narrative jumps around a bit, but is basically a collection of Ivana’s poetry and musings regarding her life. Towards the end there are quite a few short stories penned by other vampires who Ivana knew during a period of her life when she belonged to a coven. A reader who is familiar with Andrea Dean van Scoyoc’s writing will recognize and remember some of these stories and poems from other collections she has published or been a part of. One of these stories, in fact, recently appeared in an end of the world anthology I myself compiled and published, No One Makes It Out Alive, which Andrea has two stories in. However, I doubt very seriously any but the most diehard of Andrea’s fans will have read all or even most of the works collected for this book, I certainly had not, and even though the book at times seems a bit “disjointed” in the way that the material and the story of Ivana’s life if presented it is an enjoyable read.

I would say this book is almost a “best of van Scoyoc”, since as I stated it includes many of her previously published and best works. Quite the note for her to end her fiction writing career on and a must read for any of her fans.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Belialian Woman: The Complete Collection

** Adult Content ~ Be advised, book contains explicit artwork. 
Images used here have been censored for this post. **

Belialian Woman: The Complete Collection

Born in late 2010, the “Belialian Woman” was the first creative partnering of Hydra M. Star and Dave Lipscomb and was a regular feature in Horrotica, an online magazine that which primarily published erotic horror fiction, art, and poetry. The magazine is now gone, but the “Belialian Woman” refuses to die. This is the complete collection of “Belialian Woman” articles, originally published by Horrotica Magazine, running from December 2010 until December 2012.