New reviews from the Mouths of Madness!

Mouths_of_Madness

Zachary Walters from the horror podcast The Mouths of Madness posted reviews of the ULT stories on Amazon last week, but I didn’t get a chance to call them out due to other pressing matters. Today, he posted this full-fledged review of all four stories on the podcast’s Facebook page (which you should all go follow right now):

Overall Scores:
-“Radio” 4.5/5
-“Karen” 5/5
-“Granny” 5/5
-“Harbinger” 5/5

Overview:

“I know a lot of names, kiddo. I speak a language of them, but right now, yours is my only tongue.”

In January 2014, Todd Keising (author of the Monochrome trilogy) dropped the first of his “Ugly Little Things.” The beginning of an ongoing series of short and unsettling stories aimed at taking you, the reader, out of your comfort zone and quite possibly tampering with your quality of sleep. There are currently four entries in the ULT lineup with promise (or is it a threat) of more on the way.

Dark, dirty, captivating and each with a varying degree of nasty, I had a great time playing with these ugly little things and had them all devoured within the course of 36 hours.

First up is “Radio Free Nowhere,” a siren’s song broadcasting though the mountains of West Virginia calling to passers through. This quick tale is a primer, getting you, acclimated for the darkness that you are about to get your self into.

Next is “When Karen Met Her Mountain,” a woman dealing with personal demons is ambushed and kidnapped along with her husband while driving home from her fathers funeral. She must choose if and how she wants to survive. This tale is nasty and viscous.

Third up is “Saving Granny from the Devil,” young and bullied Todd makes a pact with Harvey J. Winterbell for the well being of his grandmother. Emotional and heavy, this tale hit me hard on a personal level. I fell into it immediately and spent the next hour and a half, in equal parts, concerned for Todd and charmed by the smooth as a breast Harvey (the Devil).

Lastly comes “The Harbinger,” a reporter travels to a economically decaying town to interview doll maker and town savior Maggie Eloquence. Gnarly, heavy and a little sexy (wink-wink). This ditty kept me awake for a little bit, and that doesn’t happen often.

I kept the synopsis brief because really, the less you know going in the harder these tales will hit.

I haven’t yet read any (two have been published so far) of Mr. Keisling’s Monochrome books (strong emphasis on yet), so I can’t say if these tales are out of character for him or not. What I can say is that these four tales prove that he is perfectly capable of bringing the tension, pulling on your heartstrings and splattering the gore. Whatever is next for Mr. Keisling’s “Ugly Little Things,” I am fully invested and I will gladly pay with my sleep. For what better way is there to spend a few hours in the dark, more than likely with all four appendages tucked safely under a tight blanket, than with some truly enjoyable tales that are assured to linger in your skull, stain your psyche.

Favorite Story of the Collection:

Now that’s a tough call. It’s a toss up between “Saving Granny from the Devil” and “The Harbinger”.

“Granny” hit hard on a personal level. My granny, whom I was living with, had a couple of devils. I wasn’t able to save her from either. One being Parkinson’s Disease, was tough to see set in and chip away at her well being. Her second devil, a physically abusive husband, I wasn’t aware of until it was too late. Like Toddy (main character of “Granny”) I had left home, and left her with her devils. Her loss still weighs heavy.

“The Harbinger” nails one of my deepest primal fears, creepy and eerily realistic collectible dolls. And that’s all I’m going to say on that ’cause the less you know the harder this will hit. Just know that this ugly little thing is the nastiest and it will haunt your dreams.

I Would Recommend This To:
Those readers who are not interested in sleeping.

And there you have it. Be sure to check out The Mouths of Madness podcast. There are new episodes every Friday. Thanks again for the kind words, Zachary!
TK

Anthony Rapino’s LOOSELY ENFORCED RULES is available now!

LOOSELY ENFORCED RULES

As  I mentioned last week, Anthony J. Rapino’s latest story, LOOSELY ENFORCED RULES, is one of the darkest things he’s ever written, and now you can find out for yourself just how dark it is. LOOSELY ENFORCED RULES is now on sale on Amazon for just $1.99. Here’s the synopsis:

Everyone has rules, whether they admit it or not. For Dave, Philly, and Sunshine, the rules meant everything. When Sunshine becomes cavalier with the group’s carefully laid plans, she puts everyone in jeopardy. Especially herself. 

Follow along in this dark story of home invasion with a twist, and discover why loosely enforced rules should never be broken. 

“Anthony J. Rapino goes for the jugular with LOOSELY ENFORCED RULES. Gory, cold, calculating—Rapino doesn’t hold back, and neither does his trio of anti-heroes in this unsettling story about a home invasion gone wrong. If you’re a fan of horror and slasher films, you do not want to miss this one.” –Todd Keisling, author of the Ugly Little Things series

There you have it, folks. Don’t delay. Go read it right now.

TK

 

Loosely Enforced Rules

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Fellow author and good friend Anthony J. Rapino is poised to unleash a new piece of bloody fiction next week titled LOOSELY ENFORCED RULES. I was privileged to read this short story a few weeks ago, and I’m not lying when I say it’s one of the darkest things Rapino’s written (that I’ve read, anyway). Look for it to hit Kindles on June 2nd.

Leading up to the release, however, is a countdown deal for Rapino’s short story collection WELCOME TO MOON HILL. I’m a little late in posting this, but if you catch it in time, the Kindle book should still be 99 cents. The price is going to gradually increase over the next several days, so be sure to buy it early if you can. Moon Hill is the setting for Rapino’s novella REALITY ENGINEERS which I reviewed last fall. If you bought that novella, you should definitely check out this collection of stories which all take place in that weird fictional town.

Oh, and one more thing. Tony’s also doing a giveaway on his site to commemorate reaching 300 subscribers on YouTube. What’s he giving away? A horror mystery box filled with various toys from around his house. If you watch his videos, you know he’s a bit of a collector of all things horror-related, and I’m sure that whatever goes inside that box will be something special to any horror fan. Here’s his announcement video for the contest:

So I think that’s it for now. I’m still waiting for Tony’s check to clear. I think he’s good for it. Right, Tony? *taps screen* Right?

TK

Introducing Jake Istenhegyi . . .

Jake Istenhegyi

My pal Nikki’s story A CHICK, A DICK, AND A WITCH WALK INTO A BAR was released yesterday, kicking off Pro Se Productions’ new Single Shot Digital Line. Here’s the jacket synopsis:

When a Hungarian immigrant out to live the American Dream rents a room to a private detective with his own aspirations, voodoo and demon chickens must follow, right? 

They do in Author Nikki Nelson-Hicks’ A CHICK, A DICK, AND A WITCH WALK INTO A BARN, the first in Hicks’ Pro Se Single Shot Signature Series featuring her original character, Jake Istenhegyi, The Accidental Detective. 

When Jake Istenhegyi inherited a used bookstore in New Orleans, he thought he had finally found a haven. Thousands of miles away from the political unrest in Budapest as well as his mother’s Gypsy clan, that had hounded him since he was a boy. Here, he could hide away and spend his days reading and drinking coffee in peace and quiet. 

Then he rented out a room to Barrington “Bear” Gunn, WWI vet and aspiring gumshoe who dreamed of living the life of his detective pulp heroes. Bear bartered his services to people in very low places and, in the end, pulled Jake down with him, enrolling him in a business that never goes out of business: fighting evil. 

Jake never wanted adventure or mystery. He’s always been allergic to things that go AAAARGH in the night. They make him break out in blood. And not always his blood. 

A CHICK, A DICK, AND A WITCH WALK INTO A BARN by Nikki Nelson-Hicks. The first installment of the JAKE ISTENHEGYI, THE ACCIDENTAL DETECTIVE Pro Se Single Shots Signature Series.

I had the pleasure of reading an earlier draft of this story last year, and I enjoyed the hell out of it. The story is a blend of pulp noir and weird fiction, so if that pushes all the right buttons for you, be sure to check it out. Pro Se’s offering the story for just 99 cents on Kindle at the moment, so you should get on that right now.

Bonus: Here’s a photo of Nikki (left), SmashCake editor Tracy Lucas (right), and some weirdo the met in Kentucky at a book signing.

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More Patreon Announcements

You may remember my post from a couple of months ago about Anthony Rapino’s Patreon project (and if not, go educate yourself, fool). Today he announced that anyone pledging $2 or more will receive his upcoming Kindle release, LOOSELY ENFORCED RULES. I’ve read the story. It’s dark, gritty, and will make you double-check the locks on your doors before you turn out the lights. Seriously, it kind of freaked me out. So if you’re in the mood for really dark, disturbing fiction while supporting a great author, go check out Mr. Rapino’s Patreon page.

Speaking of Patreon, I have another project to mention. Fellow horror writer Mary Rajotte (who is the brains behind Bloody Bookish) kicked off her own Patreon project last week. Here’s the trailer for her project:

Mary’s also releasing Kindle versions of her short fiction, kicking things off this month with FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD. She’s already provided a wealth of content for her project alongside the eBook, including posts discussing her writing process, soundtrack choices, and something fun called “Altered Words,” where she creates her own form of blackout poetry from an existing work of fiction. I enjoy Mary’s fiction, and I think you folks will too, so be sure to check out her project!

TK

“Frighteningly believable.”

A LIFE TRANSPARENT

Sometimes Google’s alerts fail miserably to notify me of posts about people talking about my work. Sometimes they take forever to do their job. In this case, I received an alert yesterday for a blog post that went live two months ago. In said post, a gentleman by the name of Tim Meyer had some incredibly nice things to say about ALT:

This one has been out for a while now, and I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner. Keisling’s novel of a man literally fading into non-existence is the most captivating novel I’ve read in a while. Todd has some serious writing skills and if this is a launching point for his career, I can’t wait to see what he produces in the future. It’s scary and frighteningly believable despite being grounded in fantasy. Don’t be like me and wait to get your hands on this one. The journey of Donovan Candle is not one to be missed. Todd has recently released Saving Granny from the Devil, part three of his ‘Ugly Little Things’ novellas.

I won’t lie–after I read this, I had a big stupid grin on my face. Thanks, Tim. You made my evening!

TK

 

In which I’m interviewed by Downright Creepy:

Downright Creepy

Jacob Breuer at Downright Creepy cornered me this weekend with some interview questions about my writing process, the Monochrome Trilogy, and the upcoming ULT hardcover. Here’s a snippet:

DRC: Can you tell us a little bit about the conclusion to THE MONOCHROME TRILOGY? What can readers expect in NONENTITY?

TK: I’m still in the plotting stages of the final novel, but there are some things I’m willing to reveal: Readers can expect answers to a question they’ve been asking since A LIFE TRANSPARENT: “Who is Aleister Dullington?” The final novel will explore Dullington’s origins. It will also explore the outer regions of the Monochrome. Of course, we’ll also find out what’s happened to Donovan following the end of THE LIMINAL MAN, and how that book’s conclusion has affected the world. So far, NONENTITY is shaping up to be the darkest and most violent novel of the trilogy, and I can’t wait to ask readers a new question: “Who is Pontius Vile?”

You can read the full interview here.

TK