You are viewing 10 entries, 10 into the past
April 6th, 2011
March 6th, 2011
Read an eBook Week is Here!:
I want to kick off the week of eBook posts and recommendations with a plug for a great just-released eBook from my favorite author, Adrienne Jones:
Here's my review:
The old adage, “Life ends at forty” is more than an expression for Joe Blood, the protagonist in Adrienne Jones’s captivating tale, Gypsies Stole My Tequila. In her deftly written, multi-layered, wry, and surreal novella, Jones transforms every fear you’ve ever had about traveling over that hill into a terrifying monster of the mind.
Or is it? That is the true enjoyment for the reader as you enter Joe’s world where his calendar becomes an actual monster taunting him, demanding he tick off each day until his fortieth birthday, the day a younger Joe vowed, in blood no less, to off himself. Jones makes the monster so vivid and plausible one is convinced that, whether manifest or imaginary, Joe’s threat is very real.
And the threat is humorous as well, for Joe Blood is a by-gone Punk idol, still donning his outdated studded leather clothes and spiky day-glo hair, who has been reduced to wearing a silly cow suit at work as he sells meat products at a “theme” butcher shop. It’s tough to have an attitude when one is in bovine drag, but Joe insists on trying. He clings desperately to his past, feels ashamed of his present, and is terrified of his future.
Joe’s monster demands the involvement of Joe’s old band mates, both of whom signed in blood along with Joe those many years ago. The monster, who grows stronger and more substantive by the day, requires that the three punks die together, as they agreed. Joe reluctantly tracks the other two down to warn them of this threat, but they have both moved on with their lives. They see Joe as a sad ghost from the past, spinning out of control, burned out from his self-abusive youth, and are reluctant to let him drag them into his current mid-life madness.
One of his band mates, Vincent, still in awe of Joe’s past innate talent, relents, offering Joe a way out. Vincent hires Joe to help his own son’s sorry rock band get their act together. This is the last thing Joe wants to do, but the young boys provoke this has-been punker, bruising is ego. Can he still do it? Does he even want to anymore? Can Joe Blood go back in order to go forward?
Will he go out in a blaze of glory, or like the Phoenix, rise reborn from the ashes of his burnt out life? And what of the monster? How will it be satisfied? All I will tell you is that before the story is done, much blood is spilt, and whether it will be a painful birth or a painful death that causes the bleeding, Jones definitely keeps you guessing.
I highly recommend you read Gypsies Stole My Tequila as well as all the other intriguing tales from Adrienne Jones.
January 17th, 2011
GENeration eXtraTERrestrial invades the eBook Universe!:
My new multi-part novel, GENeration eXtraTERrestrial, is now available via my new author site, www.aurelioobrien.com
Here is the press release my publisher, Bad Attitiude Books, came up with for me:
BAD ATTITUDE BOOKS
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
GENeration eXtraTERrestrial Invades the eBook Universe
The first free ePisode download and further information can be found at:
October 4th, 2010
UP FROM the BLUE:
I started writing novels fairly late in life. I had no "connections" or "network." Much of the "professional" writing community is pretty insular–you have to be a member to know them, you have to know them to be a member. I suppose every industry works this way to varying degrees, and it was certainly the case in my film work, but I always hoped in the creative writing world things would be different and was disappointed when it was not.
Sometimes it is though. Sometimes you meet people like Susan Henderson. She welcomed me to her literary community, LitPark, and her friends became my friends. I was encouraged to share my thoughts with like-minded creative people. She has promoted my work and the work of others without hesitation. She has been an inspiration to me, a mentor of sorts too, and I am honored to say–a friend.
Now I'd like to do a little something for her–and you can help me. Susan has worked long and hard on her debut novel, UP FROM the BLUE, which has just been published through Harper Paperbacks and is out. I got my copy, am about mid-way through it, and loving it. Please give it a look-see, read the blurbs, and grab a copy of your own–at the top of her site link are its various vendors–then let me know what you think.
September 22nd, 2010
September 19th, 2010
Book Recommendation - Altered States:
My good friend and fellow author, Paul J. Newell has a new book coming out, Altered States. You can pre-order it for a reduced price. I read an advance copy and loved it. It's a very intriguing speculative fiction mystery, with lots of twists and turns. If you like unusual mysteries too, this one's for you. Here's the blurb and ordering info:
Altered States by Paul J. Newell
July 2nd, 2010
The Hoax by Adrienne Jones:
I would be remiss if I didn't shout-out that "The Hoax," by Adrienne Jones (published by Mundania Press) is now available. Buy it. It is a GREAT summer read. Here's my 5-star review of one of the strangest and most fun speculative fiction novels I've ever read:
From its eerie prologue to the final startling chapter, reading Adrienne Jones’ The Hoax is every bit as fun as a roller coaster ride through a carnival fun house with one’s very best friends in tow.
Patrick O’Brien, the tale’s protagonist, is as likable as a modern day George Bailey, but this is no wonderful life. His best friend Joey Duvaine’s family members are all dead following a quick series of freakish fatal accidents. Dutifully at Joey’s side for the final funeral, Patrick is concerned. Oddly, his intensely handsome young friend with an unusually charismatic charm doesn’t seem the least bit upset by it all. To make matters worse, Patrick and Joey’s other best buddy, the ever unpredictable and opportunistic Melvin Eugene Shepherd, or Shep, suggests they use Joey’s uniquely tragic life for a bizarre moneymaking scheme.
What starts as a half-baked lark quickly escalates into a full-blown, worldwide, religious hoax. Shep successfully sells Joey as a modern day Messiah and cleverly tricks Patrick into helping believably create Joey’s “miracle” encounter with the Virgin Mary for all the world to see. Furious at being used by Shep and angry at Joey for going along, Patrick wants no further part of these two, but try as he might to extract himself from their escalating madness, strange forces are at work, drawing him back in, as well as several endearingly clumsy spies that all resemble Shep, following his every move.
A tale that evolves humorous frat boy hi-jinks into a conspiracy theorists ultimate nightmare, The Hoax spins a child’s top into a deadly hurricane, soon encompassing everything in its path: from calculated murders, to strange religious blood rituals, FBI covert operations, and bio-terrorism, to, yes, the ultimate fate of all mankind. This richly layered story unfolds with such deftness and wit, that Jones’ twists and turns leave one agog, and like that roller coaster ride, makes it impossible to stop reading until it comes screaming to its end.
Seriously. Super-fun. Buy it for the train, plane, beach, or cabin. For a summer rain storm, or bedtime curl-up. You'll love it as much as I did.
June 22nd, 2010
March 19th, 2010
October 8th, 2009
A Halloween Lament:
I grew up loving Halloween. When I was a kid, schools still had the traditional costume day, and we would party all morning and parade around the schoolyard in the afternoon. Then we’d all go home to carve our pumpkins and roast the seeds.
After demanding a ridiculously early dinner, we’d don our costumes again and go trick-or-treating for hours, swarming the sidewalks in search of “the good stuff,” dragging pillowcases full of more of candy than we could possibly eat before it would grow rock-hard while waiting. We’d eventually stagger home, exhausted, to sort, compare, and count it, trying to determine if we could make it last until next Halloween.
And when my sister was finally too old to trick-or-treat anymore, she hid her disappointment with pasted-on superiority, despite her envy of her younger brother’s sweet hauls.
I can’t help but be nostalgic about the holiday; I admit it. I have a box of traditional Halloween decorations I’ve amassed in adulthood: paper skeletons, tissue paper garlands, and an embarrassing number of pumpkin carving tools. A few years back, I even cut black vinyl faces for all the ball lamps in my house. I’ve held pumpkin carving parties and always made sure to have some candy for the kids.
But the kids have all stopped coming. While I wasn’t looking, Halloween, as if under a curse, morphed into something different, something uglier, seedier. Fear of razor blades in apples, tainted treats, and child-molesters undid most of the public trick-or-treating. Now—so they tell me—kids go to malls and get their treats from corporation, because, well, after all, corporations can be trusted more than people.
And, since Halloween became unsafe for kids, it has evolved into more of an adult holiday now. The fairy princesses, hobos, and vacuu-formed masked tots have been replaced with pimps & ho’s, inept cross-dressers, and gore.
Yes, lots and lots of gore.
I can deal with pimps, ho’s, and inept cross-dressers; some of my best friends—well, let’s just say that’s not a huge problem with me.
But, I hate the gore. Sure, an occasional blood-spattered sheet-ghost, rubber-knife-through-the-head, or a vampire or two are Halloween traditions, but why did things have to evolve into a bloodbath? Why must it become the season of hyper-violent slasher films? Do we really need a holiday that celebrates brutal torture and sadism?
I still haven’t taken down the boxes of Halloween decorations. I haven’t organized a pumpkin-carving party. I haven’t bought candy no one will come to get. It seems my Halloween is buried and unable to rise from the dead this year.