Monthly Archives: April 2017

Short Story Review: A Salvaging of Ghosts by Aliette de Bodard

A Salvaging of Ghosts (The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year: Volume 11) by Aliette de Bodard

Publisher: Solaris

Publication Date: April 18, 2017

Edition: ebook

Genre: Science-Fiction , Short-Story

Rating: 3/5

Xuya story.
Continue reading

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Author Interview: Cherie Priest

Today I am interviewing Cherie Priest, author of the new historical fantasy novel, Brimstone.

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DJ: Hey Cherie! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Cherie Priest: I’m a Leo who was born in Florida, on the day Jimmy Hoffa disappeared. Also, I write books. I’ve had about twenty published, mostly in sci-fi/fantasy/horror genres – though recently I’ve also begun to write for young adults.

DJ: What is Brimstone about?

Cherie: A talented young clairvoyant and a shell-shocked veteran of the Great War who came back from the front with the ghost of a vengeful German poltergeist. In a nutshell. It’s largely set in Cassadaga, Florida, a real-life historic spiritualist camp not terribly far from Orlando.

DJ: What was your favorite part about writing Brimstone?

Cherie: Going down to Cassadaga for a few days, to do research and get a feel for the place. Everyone was just lovely, and I had a most excellent time kicking around with my cousin (who lives nearby – and was kind enough to let me crash with her).

DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?

Cherie: The Chihuahua. Continue reading

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Excerpt & Giveaway: Rites of Azathoth by Frank Cavallo


“Rites of Azathoth is an occult-thriller rooted in the H.P. Lovecraft tradition, or what is sometimes called the Cthulhu Mythos. It is a book that will appeal to general horror audiences, especially any fans of Lovecraft himself, as well as fans of Clive Barker, Peter Straub and Jack Ketchum,” says Cavallo.

F.B.I. criminal profiler Diana Mancuso doesn’t do field work anymore. Not since a tragic mistake that cost innocent lives. But when notorious serial killer Luther Vayne escapes from prison and resumes his campaign of brutal murders, the Bureau convinces her to take one last case.

To catch him, she must understand him. She must delve into the arcana that fuels his madness, risking her life and her sanity to follow his twisted path.

The trail plunges her into a shadowy world of occult rituals and unspeakable horrors, leading to a secret cabal operating at the highest levels—and a plot to summon the darkest of all powers, to bring forth an evil that does not belong in our world—to enact the Rites of Azathoth.

*I have one (1) free copy (ebook or paperback) of Rites of Azathoth to go along with this interview! The link and details for the giveaway are located at the bottom of the post, following the excerpt 🙂

.*** Excerpt ***


Cleveland Police Department

Third District

2001 Payne Avenue

October 30, 1974

2:13 am


Transcript of Voluntary Oral Statement


Interrogation conducted by: Detective Edward D. Sadowski

Badge No.: 366

Suspect Name: Luther Charles Vayne

DOB: 10/16/1944

Ht: 5’11”

Wt.: 185

Eyes: None

Distinguishing Marks: numerous tattoos and brandings, scars on face and hands


OFFICER: You have expressed your desire to waive the presence of counsel and to make a full confession. Is that correct?

VAYNE: It is.

OFFICER: This is regarding the murder of Anna Dressler and Eric Dressler?


OFFICER: What is it you want me to know?

VAYNE: As I mentioned to your desk officer, I killed them both tonight.

OFFICER: What exactly did you do? Can you tell me that?

VAYNE: I have done only what I was sent here to do.

OFFICER: Sent? From where? By whom?

VAYNE: The shadows that speak to me are of no concern. All that matters for you is that I killed the woman and her child. That is enough, is it not? I have no wish to hide anything anymore.

OFFICER: Anymore? You’ve done this before?

VAYNE: Yes, many times over the last year.

OFFICER: You’ve been killing women and children for a year?

VAYNE: Patience, detective. As I told you, I have no wish to hide anything. The facts of this and every one of my deeds are yours to examine now.

OFFICER: You know who this boy and his mother were, don’t you? Mrs. Dressler was an heiress. She had quite a large fortune. That’s no accident is it? You targeted this kid, and his mother, didn’t you?

VAYNE: I know who they were, and more importantly, who they were not. I know many things about them that you do not. Believe me detective, money was not involved, in this or any other of my recent acts. These were no mere children. At least until tonight, and for that I am very sorry.

OFFICER: Sorry? Ok, that’s a start. Why don’t you tell me what you did here?

VAYNE: I would have thought the act spoke for itself. If you’d like a narrative however, I am prepared to oblige. Simply stated, I cut the woman’s head from her neck. I drove an iron rod through her body, then through the body of her child. Just before I cut out his heart. [Pause] Would you like to hear about the others as well, detective? Or shall we take a break? You look like you might need some water.

OFFICER: How many others are there?

VAYNE: The boy and his mother tonight were the thirteenth.

OFFICER: You’re prepared to confess to thirteen murders? Thirteen double murders?

VAYNE: I am. That is why I came here tonight, to confess to everything, to every killing I have committed. At your convenience, of course. This will have to be the end of it. For now.

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*** Rites of Azathoth is published by Bedlam Press and is available TODAY!!! ***

Buy the Book: 

Amazon | Barnes & NobelGoodreads

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Please click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter to win one (1) copy (ebook or paperback) of Rites of Azazthoth! Good luck!:)

Runs through May 3, 2017 (05/03/2017)

*US residents ONLY


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About the author:

Frank Cavallo is a horror and dark fantasy writer. His previous works include Eye of the Storm, The Lucifer Messiah, The Hand of Osiris, and the Gotrek & Felix novella Into the Valley of Death.

He was born and raised in New Jersey. He graduated from Boston University with a degree in Communications in 1994 and he earned a JD from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law in 2001. His life-long fascination with the darker side of human nature has led him to devote most of the past 15 years to a career as a criminal defense attorney, at the Cuyahoga County Public Defender Office, in Cleveland, Ohio. There he has come face-to-face with some of the truest horror in this world. Murder, rape, burglary, drugs. That’s his bread and butter.

Readers can connect with Frank on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

To learn more, go to

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Author Interview: Antonia Honeywell

Today I am interviewing Antonia Honeywell, debut author of the new speculative fiction novel, The Ship.

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DJ: Hey Antonia! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Antonia Honeywell: Hello DJ – it’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you for inviting me. I’m a British writer, thrilled that my first novel is making the trip across the Atlantic and hoping that one day I’ll get to follow in person. As well as writing, I bake, make jam, teach, play piano and sing in an award-winning barbershop chorus. And I drink a lot of tea.

DJ: What is The Ship about?

Antonia: The Ship is about a world in collapse, and a girl trying to find her future. Lalla Paul’s father is wildest-dreams wealthy, and he knows he cannot keep his daughter safe in a world that’s falling apart, so he buys a huge luxury cruise ship and stocks it not only with food, but with art materials and sports equipment and the digital contents of every library, museum and art gallery in the world. He finds 500 worthy people – good, kind, loving people – and offers them sanctuary on the ship in return for providing a nurturing environment in which his daughter can grow up. However, he doesn’t make allowances for the fact that his sixteen-year old daughter might just have ideas of her own, and that she, alone on the ship, may have questions he doesn’t want to answer.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Ship?

Antonia: I read a lot, so it’s hard to tease out exactly what’s influenced me, but I love the work of Margaret Atwood and the way that she uses speculative futures as a meditation on the state of the world. I read and loved John Wyndham, John Christopher and Ursula le Guin growing up, and their alternative universes, in which I found my own thoughts and feelings reflected, have stayed with me. I read a great deal of non-fiction, too, and am fascinated by the way that repressive regimes have risen and taken over democratic systems all over the world, throughout history. It’s too easy to sit back and ask, ‘How could people let that have happen?’ It’s much harder to interrogate ourselves and our own influence upon the times into which we’re born. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Mark Lawrence

Today I am interviewing Mark Lawrence, winner of the 2014 and 2016 David Gemmell Legends Award, and author of the new epic fantasy novel, Red Sister, first book of the Book of the Ancestor trilogy.

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DJ: Hey Mark! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Mark Lawrence: Hey. Thanks for asking.

My first book Prince of Thorns was published in 2011 and I became a full-time writer in 2015, giving up my day job as a research scientist. I divide my time now between writing and caring for my youngest daughter (13) who is severely disabled. My latest book, Red Sister, hit the shops a few days ago.

DJ: What is Red Sister about?

Mark: It’s an entirely new story unconnected to my previous work and focuses on the experiences of a young girl who takes a rather unusual path into a convent where the nuns school the novices in faith but also the arts of war, magic and murder.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the Book of the Ancestor trilogy?

Mark: I always find that one a difficult question. I don’t have any clear (to me) influences, though I must admit that listening repeatedly to Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers series (written in the 1940s about a posh girls’ boarding school) with my daughter may have steered me into the all-female “school” setting. It is very different from Malory Towers though. I guess it must owe something to The Name of the Wind, Blood Song, Ender’s Game, A Wizard of Earth Sea, and even Harry Potter! Continue reading

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Author Interview: Cassandra Rose Clarke

Today I am interviewing Cassandra Rose Clarke, author of the new space opera novel, Star’s End.

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DJ: Hey Cassandra! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Cassandra Rose Clarke: I’m a writer living in Houston, and I love to write across genres and age groups. I have two cats named Robert and Cheeto. I’m also a teacher.

DJ: What is Star’s End about?

Cassandra: Star’s End is a space opera crossed with a family drama. The main character, Esme Coromina, slowly uncovers some dark family secrets related to her father and her youngest sister, and she has to learn how to deal with the ramifications. And all of it takes place in space!

DJ: What were some of your influences for Star’s End?

Cassandra: The biggest influence was actually the Alien movies! One of the recurring themes in those movies is the way Weyland-Yutani, the evil corporation, is always trying to weaponize the xenomorphs. This is such a clearly terrible idea that I always wondered why there pursued it so relentlessly. Then I started imagining what might happen if they were successful. And that was the seed for Star’s End.

DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them? 

Cassandra: Esme is a pretty flawed character. She is pulled between doing what she feels is right and fulfilling her father’s expectations for her. She cares deeply about her sisters but often struggles with showing that in any meaningful way. Continue reading

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Author Interview and Giveaway: Rites of Azathith by Frank Cavallo

I have one (1) free copy (ebook or paperback) of Rites of Azathoth to go along with this interview! The link and details for the giveaway are located at the bottom of the post, following the interview:)

Today I am interviewing Frank Cavallo, author of the new dark fantasy novel, Rites of Azathoth.

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DJ: Hey Frank! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Frank Cavallo: Thanks for having me, I’m happy to be here. By way of introduction, I’m a writer of dark fantasy and horror. I’ve published four novels, a novella and a bunch of short stories over the last ten years or so. When I’m not writing I’m an attorney, focused on criminal defense work.

DJ: What is Rites of Azathoth about?

Frank: This is a bit of a genre-blending novel, as most of my stuff tends to be. It follows parallel stories of a burned-out FBI profiler who takes on a case investigating an escaped serial killer responsible for several occult murders. At the same time, a specialist in ancient languages is approached by an eccentric billionaire, and asked to translate a text that shouldn’t exist, which claims to unlock a path to summoning the Great Old Ones. That text has a connection to the rituals of the killer-at-large, bringing the two together.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Rites of Azathoth?

Frank: As the title suggests, this is heavily steeped in the Cthulhu Mythos of HP Lovecraft, dealing with his gods and his cosmology. There’s also a fair amount of hooks and chains and bloody mutilations, along with some explicit sex & death linkage, so I’m sure it’s not hard to figure out that I’m a big Clive Barker fan as well. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Deborah A. Wolf

Today I am interviewing Deborah A. Wolf, debut author of the new epic fantasy novel, The Dragon’s Legacy, first book in The Dragon’s Legacy series.

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DJ: Hey Deborah! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

Deborah A. Wolf: Hi, thanks for having me!

DJ: For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Deborah: I had kind of a weird life; I grew up on wildlife refuges until my family moved to a small village in the middle of Alaska and settled down. I’ve been an underwater photographer on Maui (did not hate that job), an Arabic linguist (the dating pool was exemplary) and a single mom (best gig yet). I’m fond of animals, less than fond of crowds, and have the attention span of—SQUIRREL!

DJ: What is The Dragon’s Legacy about?

Deborah: THE DRAGON’S LEGACY is almost as strange as its author. It’s about the threat to human survival by ecological forces–huge ecological forces, in this case, with wings and scales and all—and how different societies react to that threat. It’s bout indigenous societies caught between warring empires, and a struggle to maintain cultural identity. Mostly it’s about the small human stories of everyday people trying to go about their lives and loves while these events are taking place.

DJ: What were some of your influences for The Dragon’s Legacy and The Dragon’s Legacy series?

Deborah: George Martin was definitely an influence in that he opened the door for stories that don’t follow a predictable path. Martin, Steven Erikson, and probably even Robert Jordan, whose work isn’t much like mine, showed me how much I like epic sagas that tell myriad stories of human-ness. Anne McCaffrey made me want dragons, and Pat Rothfuss made me want to make it all pretty.

Growing up in an indigenous society, being a soldier, and immersion in the Arabic language and Middle East cultures made me want to tell stories of desert warriors in a tribal society.

And you can blame it all on Tolkien in the first place. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Kieran Shea

Today I am interviewing Kieran Shea, author of the new science-fiction novel, Off Rock.

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DJ: Hey Kieran! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview. For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Kieran Shea: Speculative fiction author, crime fiction and gallows humor fan. Mildly off-center about most things.

DJ: What is Off Rock about?

Kieran: Essentially it’s a black comedy about temptation, bad choices, and the things that, even when you think you have it all figured out, inevitably go wrong. There’s more than a dash or two of satire regarding corporate downsizing.

DJ: What were some of your influences for Off Rock?

Kieran: Well, a lot of places. Caper comedies for one. Two, I’d have to say Gerry Anderson. I watched a lot of Space:1999 and UFO and all that “Supernarionation” stuff. Journey to the Far Side of the Sun freaked me out when I was a kid.

DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?

Kieran: Jimmy Vik is an everyman who’s a bit bewildered by what’s become of him after a couple of decades of blue collar work in the interstellar mining industry. Having little to show for his efforts, he’s aware his days are numbered and he wants out for good. When he discovers an unexpected gold pocket, Jimmy decides to thumb his nose at the status quo and rip off the company. Like anything worth doing in life, he needs to take an enormous risk. As for Jimmy’s quirks, he builds models and raises terrarium plants in his idle time. Picture a breezy, bohemian gent that likes rugby and partying who’s not as smart as he thinks he is. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Lee Irby

Today I am interviewing Lee Irby, my former college professor and gym buddy, and author of the new thriller novel, Unreliable.

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DJ: Hey Professor Irby! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Lee Irby: I’m a history professor at Eckerd College who has published three novels in addition to my usual scholarship, which is on trailer trash as a cultural construct.

DJ: What is Unreliable about?

Lee: The novel is about a writing instructor named Edwin Stith, who drives home to Richmond, VA, for his mother’s wedding. He’s done something, we’re not sure what, and since he’s a failed novelist, he understands the conventions of the mystery/thriller genre, and so he toys with the reader—has he killed his ex-wife? A waitress at a TGI Friday? Is he on a killing spree—or is he just a lonely man with few friends and a boring life he despises?

DJ: What were some of your influences for Unreliable?

Lee: Edgar Allan Poe. He is from Richmond, as I am, and I based the entire story off of his last trip to Richmond before he died, when he re-united with an old flame whose brother hated Poe. That became the outline of my plot. Continue reading

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