Tuesday, August 04, 2015

The New Dark Screams Only $2.99


The New Dark Screams Only $2.99 

Clive Barker, Heather Graham, Lisa Morton, Ray Garton, and Ed Gorman lead readers down a twisted labyrinth of terror, horror, and suspense in Dark Screams: Volume Four, from Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar of the revered Cemetery Dance Publications.

THE DEPARTED by Clive Barker
On All Hallows’ Eve, a dead and disembodied mother yearns to touch her young son one last time. But will making contact destroy them both?

CREATURE FEATURE by Heather Graham
What could be better publicity for a horror convention than an honest-to-goodness curse? It’s only after lights out that the hype—and the Jack the Ripper mannequin—starts to feel a little too real.

THE NEW WAR by Lisa Morton
Mike Carson is a war hero and a decorated vet. He doesn’t deserve to be trapped in a hospital with some black thing sitting on his chest as patients die all around him. His only hope is to take out the nurse—before it’s his turn.

It’s what every family prays for: a lost pet returning home. But when Sammy, the Hale family sheepdog, appears on their doorstep, he brings back something no parent would ever wish upon his or her child.

Cindy Marie Brasher is the prettiest girl in the Valley, and Spence just has to have her. Unfortunately, Cindy has a “friend” . . . a friend who tells her to do things . . . bad things.

Praise for the Dark Screams series

“A wicked treat [featuring] some of the genre’s best . . . Dark Screams: Volume One is a strong start to what looks to be an outstanding series.”—Hellnotes

“The editors have set themselves a high bar to meet in future volumes. . . . It’s going to be a solid series.”—Adventures Fantastic

Dark Screams: Volume Two [is] a worthwhile read and a great entry to this series. If this upward trend in quality continues, we are sure to see amazing things in the volumes to come.”LitReactor

“Five fun-to-read stories by top-notch horror scribes. How can you lose? The answer: you can’t.”—Atomic Fangirl

Monday, August 03, 2015

The Future of Late Night? The great Mark Evanier

The Future of Late Night?     http://www.newsfromme.com

As this article notes, the viewership for late night talk shows is way, way down…in some cases, on a par with daytime soap operas, which are thought to be a kind of programming on the endangered species list. So will late night talk shows go away?
At most, I can imagine them eventually going away from late night. With more and more people time-shifting their viewing these days, time slots don't matter as much as they once did. We might very well wake up one morning and find that the most-watched talk show on television is broadcast at 3:00 in the afternoon and viewed at all hours according to the viewers' convenience. But to the extent a large part of the audience is still watching shows when they're transmitted, I think talk shows will endure at 11:35 because that does seem to be a kind of programming people enjoy just before bedtime.
And I sure don't think talk shows will ever go away. They're cheap to produce, easy to launch and unlike soap operas, they have promotional value for their networks. They also have a little more rerun value than soaps…not a lot but some. I do think we're going to see more cases where a show that initially airs at 11:35 is rebroadcast several times the next day the way Comedy Central runs each Daily Show umpteen times. No one has ever tried to do that with soap operas.
I also think — and this is not so much a prediction as something I think is likely — that Stephen Colbert is going to be a real game-changer. I think his selection to succeed Letterman is the smartest programming decision CBS could have made. The guy has every single skill you need these days to be a successful late night host: He's funny. He's likeable. He can do characters and sketches. He can improvise. He can sing. He's smart, which matters especially in an interview situation. He also understands the Internet and has shown he can generate buzz on social media.
Want more? He's respected in the business — the kind of star that other stars want to appear with not just because he has an audience to receive their plugs but because they want to be seen alongside someone they think is brilliantly talented. He's also very up on current authors, current shows, current music, current movies, etc. Also, someone once said that one of the secrets of Carson's appeal was that men found him funny but whereas women didn't want to look at a Buddy Hackett or a Don Rickles, they thought Johnny was cute. I think Colbert probably has some of that, too.
This is not to say I'm certain the U.S. viewing public will embrace him. I don't think Conan O'Brien (a performer I used to love) ever found the right note to strike on his Tonight Show and Colbert could have the same problem. But I still think he was the smartest gamble CBS could have made. If anyone can bring new viewership to late night TV, that's the guy.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Gravetapping:Publicity Push: Robert J. Randisi's Joe Keough Novels


Posted: 02 Aug 2015 08:00 AM PDT
[Publicity Push is a new feature highlighting a book, or a series of books. It is intended to introduce something interesting and new—without the necessity of writing a specific review.]  
Robert J. Randisi writes in both the Western and mystery genres. He writes, under the name J. R. Roberts, The Gunsmith adult Western series and The Rat Pack mystery series—featuring the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. in supporting roles. I previously reviewed two Rat Pack novels: Luck Be a Lady, Don’t Die and The Way You Die Tonight.  

In 1995 Mr. Randisi introduced a series character named Joe Keough—an NYPD homicide detective—in Alone with the Dead. The series ran five books, and Joe Keough, much like his creator, moved from New York to St. Louis for books two through five. The series has received critical praise—

“This is top-notch suspense, right from the chilling prologue to the brutal conclusion.” – Publishers Weeklyon Alone with the Dead

“Another exceptionally entertaining and riveting mystery from genre stalwart Randisi.” – Booklist on East of the Arch

“Set in St Louis, this efficient, no-nonsense mystery doesn't waste a phrase or a plot turn.” – Publishers Weekly on Blood on the Arch

“Randisi also writes successful series featuring Miles Jacoby and Nick Delvecchio, but Keough--analytical, intelligent, and emotionally vulnerable--could easily become the author's most enduring, endearing character.” – Booklist on In the Shadow of the Arch

Perfect Crime Books reissued each of the Joe Keough novels in paperback and ebook editions. The ebook editions are a scant $2.99, which is well worth the high quality entertainment. The novels are below—if you click the title you will be transported to each book’s Amazon page—with the publisher’s brief description and the first paragraph from each novel. 

Publisher’s description : New York cop Joe Keough races against time to crack the case of a serial killer who leaves a flower with each victim. Battling publicity-minded bureaucrats in his own department, Keough is convinced that he has to catch not one psycho but two . . . and the copycat killer is crazier than the original.

First paragraph : Kopykat opened the album.

Publisher’s description : Joe Keough, a transplanted New York cop, signs on with a small St. Louis area police department just in time to track a psycho who chooses his victims from among young mothers frequenting local shopping malls. Meanwhile there is the perplexing case of a toddler who has walked into the police station leaving bloody footprints. So much for Keough's new life in the tranquil Midwest.

First paragraph : He picked summer to start, because the young mothers wore shorts and sundresses in the summer. They walked through the malls, thinking nothing of showing acres of firm, young flesh. In fact, he had one spotted right now. She was blond, in her twenties, walking through the mall holding a young child by the hand. The child was a girl, also blond, about six or seven.

Publisher’s description : When an influential politician and businessman is murdered, St. Louis police detective Joe Keough takes on a high-powered case that drags a lot of local dirt into the daylight. Dodging a trumped-up sexual harassment charge, Keough races to track down a professional assassin who has more targets on his to-do list--and to find the evil mastermind behind the bloodletting.

First paragraph : The sky was filled with kites of all sizes, shapes, and colors. It was the Forest Park Festival of Kites, the first one Keough had attended since moving to St. Louis a little over nine months ago.

Publisher’s description : A monstrous killer is piling up the bodies of pregnant women along the Mississippi, and St. Louis cop Joe Keough is saddled with a female clerk and a Mark Twain-quoting young sidekick as his "task force" as he sets out to stop the slaughter. Fighting him every step of the way are two Internal Affairs cops bent on destroying Keough's career regardless of the cost.

First paragraph : The Mississippi River annually deposits four hundred and six million tons of mud into the Gulf of Mexico, causing one famous riverboat captain to dub it “The Great Sewer.” It is then reasonable to assume that, should one dump a body into the river—a body that one did not want found—it would end up mixed in with all that mud, never to be seen again. 

Publisher’s description : In the fifth Joe Keough mystery, Keough and his partner Harriet Connors working on a federal task force confront serial murders of children in Chicago and St. Louis. Is one killer at work or two? Keough and Connors plunge into a world of insanity and evil, and the clock is ticking.