Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Boulevard Monster by Jeremy Hepler

Jeremy Hepler has arrived! The Boulevard Monster is his debut book, but it didn't feel like a debut at all! I really enjoyed this one! The Boulevard Monster is published by Bloodshot Books.

The Boulevard Monster is written in the first person, narrated by the main character, Seth Fowler. This book reads like a confessional. This book gets off to a pretty quick start when Seth finds a corpse in the back of a friend's truck. His friend goes missing, and that is when Seth is pulled into a job by the mysterious Luther. Seth doesn't seem to notice the blue jays. The strange man offers Seth a job that will give him the extra money that he has been needing. Seth is a construction foreman by day, and on occasional nights, he gets rid of bodies for Luther. Seth buries the bodies in his construction sites. The mysterious Luther knows all about Seth's family. Seth must never get caught or he will end up dead like his friend. After a while, things start to unravel. Seth's brother-in-law and the cops are on Seth's heels. Seth becomes paranoid, which makes the book that much better. I will stop there because I don't want to give anything away.

This book reads well. The story unfolds perfectly. There weren't many twists and turns, but this story didn't need many. It is the dread, the inevitability that something was going to happen. Jeremy Hepler does a great job of making the reader like the main character. Seth Fowler seems to be a genuinely good dude. This is a "what would you do" type of story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The characters are easily relatable, and the author gives just enough background information about them. That ending was crazy! The reader has to decide whether or not they believe Seth's story! Was the story true or is Seth losing his grip on reality?

I thoroughly enjoyed The Boulevard Monster! I will forever be skeptical of blue jays! I can't wait to read Jeremy Hepler's next book!

I recommend this book to fans of horror!

4.5/5 devilish blue jays!


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar

I have been waiting for this book for a while now! I bought the autographed hardcover from Cemetery Dance Publications!

12-year-old Gwendy Peterson runs up and down the Suicide Stairs in the summer of 1974. She wants to lose weight because she doesn't want to get picked on. One day, a man in black jeans, a black coat, and a black hat sits on a bench in the shade at the top of the Suicide Stairs. The man in black has appeared in Stephen King's work for a while now. The man in black is known as Randall Flagg, R.F., Walter O'Dim, but in this story, he goes by the alias Richard Farris. After they converse, Richard Farris gives Gwendy a button box. The box has buttons and levers. I won't tell you what the buttons are for, but the two levers are for rare coins and chocolates. The coins are for her to use as she sees fit. The chocolates increase Gwendy's intelligence and get rid of her hunger. I will stop there because I don't want to give too much away.

Gwendy's button box is great! I read this novella in one sitting! I couldn't put it down! The story unfolds quickly and the chapters are short. The two authors voices flow well together, but there are a few times that you can tell who wrote certain parts if you are familiar with the authors' work. I have seen mixed reviews about this novella and I honestly don't know why. Gwendy's Button Box showcases Stephen King's and Richard Chizmar's writing skills. This little book packs a powerful punch! I hope Stephen King and Richard Chizmar collaborate again soon!

After reading this novella, I think the button box had something to do with the explosion in Castle Rock, Maine.

I highly recommend this novella to fans of horror!

5/5 buttons!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Dark Screams: Volume Seven by Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar

This is probably the best anthology that I have read in quite a while! There are two short stories that were previously published by Cemetery Dance Publications, which are LIZARDMAN and SNOW SHADOWS. This anthology contains some great authors! I'm talking about Kaaron Warren, Brian Hodge, Mick Garris, Robert McCammon, Bill Schweigart, and James Renner! Each story packs a powerful punch! This is definitely the best Dark Screams so far! There isn't a bad or mediocre story in this anthology.

LIZARDMAN by Robert McCammon: An old swamp rat by the name of Lizardman goes gator hunting in the Florida swamps. Legend has it that a pesky gator called Old Pope lives in the Florida swamp. Lizardman confronts Old Pope, and gets far more than what he was looking for! A great story!
5/5 gator skins!

A MONSTER COMES TO ASHDOWN FOREST (IN WHICH CHRISTOPHER ROBIN SAYS GOODBYE) by James Renner: This is a great story about a geriatric Christopher Robin who wants to visit the Hundred Acre Wood one last time. This is a creepy and unique story! One of my favorite stories in this anthology!
5/5 honey jars!

FURTHEREST by Kaaron Warren: The dunes hold a mysterious secret waiting to be discovered. The story unfolds perfectly. This is a spooky story about corpses, cookouts, and campfires.
4.5/5 corpses!

WEST OF MATAMOROS, NORTH OF HELL by Brian Hodge: A popular band heads to Mexico for a photo shoot, but the trip doesn't go as planned. The band has fans in Mexico that are willing to kill to find out where they get their inspiration from.
4.5/5 stars!

THE EXPEDITION by Bill Schweigart: Hitler orders Lieutenant Dietrich Drexler to lead a team of soldiers and scholars into the ruins in the Carpathian Mountains. The mission is to find artifacts that could result in new insights about the history of the Aryan race. The mission is derailed by a wolf that tracks their journey. A great historical horror story! One of my favorite stories in this anthology!
5/5 fangs!

SNOW SHADOWS by Mick Garris: A school teacher has a one-night stand with a colleague. A tragic story about suicide and a deadly rivalry. An excellent winter horror story that will stay with you long after you read it!
5/5 stars!

I highly recommend this anthology to fans of horror!

5/5 stars!

Guest Post by Tim Meyer

TOP 10 FICTIONAL SHARKS
By Tim Meyer, Author of Sharkwater Beach

This was a difficult list to piece together. On one hand we have the outrageous and obscure; on the other we have some beloved monster movie sharks, some which are truly terrifying sea creatures. I tried to balance the two and compile a list of fictional sharks everyone might enjoy. Also, keeping my new book SHARKWATER BEACH in mind, I picked some sharks that my own gargantuan sea monster can relate to. Enjoy!



10 – Hammerhead (Dino Riders) – This obscure, late 80s cartoon that only ran 14 episodes might not be on everyone's radar, but I grew up watching this show religiously. Hammerhead was one of the main antagonists. Everything was unsettling about him (at least from a five-year-old's perspective) - from his appearance to his voice. He definitely helped make the cult classic show memorable.



9 – Sharktopus – The Roger Corman-produced, Eric Roberts-starring science fiction direct-to-SyFy channel film is... well, it isn't that good, let's be honest. But it's definitely not the worst sharksploitation flick out there, in fact, parts are quite enjoyable. The concept of the sea monster itself is great, and in some shots, it actually looks great. And if these types of movies are up your alley, check out Sharktopus vs Whalewolf! Yes! These are real movies!



8 – MEGA SHARK – Look at that: another ridiculous B-movie shark makes the list. Mega Shark does it all in its lone movie and subsequent sequels. It eats planes, bridges, submarines, battles a giant octopus (also a crocodile), and even goes to war with a state-of-the-art submarine shark. The movies are laughable, yet mindless fun, and the giant shark's escapades are highly entertaining to watch.



7 – Peter Benchley's Creature/White Shark – Certainly not his best book, Peter Benchley's White Shark is still worthy of a beach read. It was turned into a television mini-series starring Craig T. Nelson and Kim Cattrall and titled Creature, and as far as late-90s mini-series go, it wasn't that bad. The Nazi-experiments-gone-terribly-wrong plot was perhaps overdone, but the half-human, half-shark creature looked bad-ass on the small screen, and the movie effects still hold up surprisingly well.



6 – King Shark – DC's supervillian hasn't gotten the mainstream attention he probably deserves. Originally conceived as a Superboy villain in the early 90s, King Shark has made appearances all throughout the DC universe, most notably in the Suicide Squad comics. He was set to appear in the Suicide Squad movie, but it seems his character was nixed because of his likeness to Killer Croc. He also made an appearance on the television show The Flash.



5 – Street Sharks – Part Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rip-off, part mid-90s cartoon cheese, Street Sharks was 100% after school/homework fun. After a mad scientist splices their genes with that of amphibious predators, four hip teenagers transform into human-shark monsters that end up prowling the streets of their beloved dark metropolis, seeking revenge on the mad scientist who turned them and pinned the abominations on their missing father. Whoa. Heavy. Like most 90s cartoons, the 40 episodes don't exactly hold up, but the writing was decent and the content was bizarre enough to bank a spot on this list.



4 – The Sharks from Deep Blue Sea – I loved this movie and watched it almost weekly when it came out on video. The sharks in Deep Blue Sea were highly intelligent creatures, products of an experiment aimed to use their brains in the fight against Alzheimer's disease. The movie plays out much like you'd expect – the sharks rebel and break free and wreak havoc on the entire research facility, compiling an impressive body count. Spoiler Alert – the Samuel Jackson death scene is one of my favorite on-screen shark kills of ALL-TIME. 



3 – A Sharknado – I can't speak for the sequels, but the original Sharknado film was one of the best television experiences I ever had. When it was over, I felt satisfied in a way no other SyFy movie ever came close. Sure, I love ludicrous B-movies as much as the next person, but rarely do I enjoy them as much as I had Sharknado. It was the perfect B-movie that didn't try hard to be anything other than what it was. Whoever came up with the idea of fusing sharks with tornados should win some sort of important award.



2 – Steve Alten's MEG – Anyone who writes a giant shark book nowadays can trace their influences to Steve Alten's novel about an enormous shark from the late Cretaceous, who survived by keeping to the darkest depths of the Mariana Trench. Alten's villain is a vicious monster who kills and destroys everything in its path – basically everything you want from a giant shark novel. They're making a movie starring Jason Statham that's due out sometime in 2018.



1 – Bruce (JAWS) – Universally considered the best shark movie ever made (and with good reason), Spielberg's horror movie about a killer great white terrorizing a small New England town still holds up today. It's one of the first horror movies I ever watched, and it scared the pants off me. Unless you've been locked away in a broom closet since 1975, you've probably heard of it. It's big deal. The savage shark in JAWS will forever make me skeptical of dipping my toes in the ocean.

Honorable mentions: Sand Sharks, Bruce (Finding Nemo), Jabberjaw, Land Shark (okay, not a shark per se, but a tasty alcoholic beverage), the shark from The Shallows, and Ghost Sharks.

What are some of your favorite fictional sharks?


Sharkwater Beach, Synopsis 

Print Length: 180 pages
Publication Date: May 13, 2017
Publisher: Severed Press

Beneath the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the biggest predator on the planet hunts, craving the flesh and blood of every creature it can sink its teeth into. Detective Jill McCourty receives a phone call from her old college professor when a mangled body washes up on the shores of Sharkwater Beach. Together they must discover what stalks the waters around the private island and stop it before it reaches the mainland. But how do you stop something so enormous, something so unique that it may have existed in another time? Jill vows to make sure what happens at Sharkwater Beach, stays at Sharkwater Beach.


Tim Meyer, Biography

Tim Meyer dwells in a dark cave near the Jersey Shore. He’s an author, husband, father, podcast host, blogger, coffee connoisseur, beer enthusiast, and explorer of worlds. He writes horror, mysteries, science fiction, and thrillers, although he prefers to blur genres and let the stories fall where they may. Among other titles, he’s previously published the short story collection, Worlds Between My Teeth.

You can follow Tim at 
https://timmeyerwrites.com where he has great content and features author interviews and you can sign-up for his newsletter! Like his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/authortimmeyer or you can also find him on Twitter as @timmeyer11.