Well… it’s been a while.

So, just like the title of this post says, it’s been quite some time since I’ve posted on here. 

I haven’t show cased much of my work as my FT job has been quite a whirlwind, I’m getting married in less than 55 days (and counting) and just recently, I’ve had some health issues that have landed me into the emergency room on a few separate occasions.  Still, I feel that if I can’t post about works of mine or what’s going on with me: perhaps people (the two people out there that read my blog) would enjoy hearing about some of the things that I’ve read and enjoyed.

I want/have to give props for this blog to the late, great Michael Louis Calvillo who kind of inspired me to write something like this.  In one of his email correspondances – he revealed to a budding doe eyed author that if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.  Simple as that. 

So I thought, hmmm, maybe people out there would be interested in hearing about what I’ve read or at least get a few new ideas on what to pick up… so here it is (in no order of course).

1. Necro Files: An anthology collection gathering some of the world’s best authors including: Joe R. Lansdale, John Everson, George R. R. Martin, Wrath James White, Edward Lee, Graham Masterson, Elizabeth Massie and more.  Basically, it’s called ‘Necro’ files for a reason – so you can figure out just what each short story would be about, hmmmm?  Buy it HERE!

2. ‘The Boy in the Lot’ by Ronald Malfi.  This is a short story that is very reminscent of (at least for me) Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot.  It’s about a boy who is moving with his family who winds up staying in a ‘no tell motel’ and goes outside to let out the family dog, only to run into his friend from back home, in the woods, who is unearthly pale and who’s smile is sharper than it should be.  This is my first introduction to Malfi – but it prompted me enough to snatch up his latest book ‘The Narrows’ by Samhain publishing.  you can get ‘The boy in the Lot’ FREE HERE!  

3. ‘Bubba Ho-Tep’ by Joe R. Lansdale.  I originally saw the movie based off this story several years ago at a friends house and after reading the story, have to say, as Joe comments in the beginning, that the story is much better than the movie.  Great read!  Never can go wrong with Lansdale!  Bubba Ho-Tep is the story of Elvis, rotting away in a nursing home, living with J.F.K. who now happens to be black as they investigate the soul sucking mummy that rummages through the dark hallways of their nursing home, sucking souls out of people’s assholes.  Yes – I know what you’re thinking – but do yourself a favor, just read the story.  It’s pretty damn funny/awesome!  Get it here!

4. Bleed for you, by Michael Louis Calvillo (RIP).  ‘Bleed’ is a short novella, written by the late/great M.L.Calvillo.  It revolves around a young boy with some pretty internal psychological issues, who has a hotty of a girlfriend and one beef-headed arch nemisis.   She’s currently dating both him and the head of the football team and when she doesn’t break it off like she said she would, then things get a bit messy.  I cannot recommend this one enough!  Get it if you are a fan of horror or even if you are not.  It’s terrific/gruesome/ humorous and downright shocking.   Get it here!

5. Moondeath by Rick Hautala.  I’ve never actually read a werewolf piece, so I’m glad that this work by Rick Hautala was the first to pop my cherry.   I went into it pretty blind, but knowing that EJP doesn’t put out anything but quality – I gave it a go and was pleasantly surprised.  It revolves around a man who moves up to a small town, running from a troubled past who falls for one of the local teachers and starts to notice troubel brewing.  A definite twist on the werewolf legends.  Recommended for fans of horror.  Buy it here!

6. The Woman by Jack Ketchum.  Okay – this was probably one of the best novels that I have ever read.  Period.  It flowed, it was brutal, yet smooth and the character development by J.K. was outstanding.   Synopsis: The Woman is the last of her kind, the lone survivor of a tribe of feral cannibals who have terrorized the Maine coast for years. She is wounded and weak, but she’s found refuge in a cave overlooking the sea. Christopher Cleek is an amoral—and unstable—lawyer who sees her bathing in a stream one day while he’s out hunting. Cleek has dark, cruel secrets and he will now add one more. He will capture the Woman, lock her in his cellar, and attempt to tame her, with the help of his wife and children. But very soon the question will become: Who is more savage, the hunter or the prey? 

This was a terrific follow up to Ketchum’s two previous works of the same base: OFFSEASON and OFFSPRING.  Having read both, this one, I feel, trumps OFFSPRING tremendously but is still on par with OFFSEASON.  I also recommend watching the movie afterwards by Lucky McGee.    Buy it here

7. Servants of Darkness by Mark Edward Hall.  Mark Edward Hall is an author who I came across quite accidentally.  I remembered seeing some of his work years ago and then came across this collection of his and decided to take a risk and pick it up.  It was a move that I am still thankful for.  SOD is a collection of some of Mark Edward Hall’s shorter works.

Synopsis: A chance meeting at a cathedral’s demolition site between a suffering young woman and a stranger morphs from unsettling to terrifying when you discover the stranger’s identity. He is simultaneously more and less than he appears.

An injured man lost in the wilderness is haunted by a demon that he might or might not recognize from his past.

From there you are taken on a meandering journey through a skewed world where nothing, not even a lowly can of bug spray, can ever be considered harmless or innocent. Some truly unique takes on dark fiction are offered up, including “Room Number 9,” which any Beatles fan will appreciate while perhaps never looking at John Lennon in quite the same way again.

A collection of thirteen sinister tales. From psychological horror to supernatural suspense to Lovecraftian nightmares, these stories will make you question your own beliefs about sanity and madness.
Includes Hall’s first ever published short story, 1995s “Bug Shot.”  

Buy it here!

A few other works that I wanted to mention as well were:

* The Damnation Game by Clive Barker

*By Bizarre Hands by Joe R. Lansdale

*The Stake by Richard Laymon (personal favorite)!

*Horns by Joe Hill

And The October Country by Ray Bradbury. 

So hopefully this gives anyone a small list of things to check out, get intersted in and perhaps pursue for later writing endeavors. 

Keep writing, no matter what.

– Neil Kloster


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