Dracula Transformed & Other Bloodthirsty Tales

I enjoy reading all kinds of books but the ones I enjoy the most are the ones that have a good mix of horror and comedy. This is not a combination you can always find but Dracula Transformed & Other Bloodthirsty Tales by  Mark McLaughlin and Michael McCarty is one of those books that can scare you and make you laugh. Here we have ten short stories and one novella which puts Dracula in the present day with new powers that we’ve never seen before.

The reason I wanted to read this was because I love Dracula and any movie or book that has the character catches my interest. Also I’m familiar with the work of both authors and knew it would be a fun ride. Right off the bat in the first story they address one of the issues with the original Dracula novel. In Bram Stoker’s novel we get points of view from several characters but we don’t hear much from Dracula. In Lucy Transformed we hear part of the story in Dracula’s own words via letters to his daughter. Needless to say Dracula looks at the events of the book a little differently than the other characters do. Maybe Dracula wasn’t a villain after all and just doing what vampires are supposed to do.

Two other the stories that stick out in the book are Dracula Has Risen From The Couch and Incident In The Back Of A Black Limousine. In the first story set in the present we see a very different Dracula then we are used to. He is kind of lazy and he finds out his wives are cheating on him, but he doesn’t really care enough to get off the couch until they decide to kill him. In the second story also in the present we see Dracula has fallen on hard times and now works as a pimp calling himself Big Daddy. For both of these we see a Dracula that we haven’t seen before and get to laugh at the idea that Dracula may not fare to well in the modern world.

In what is the main event in this little anthology, we have the novella Dracula Transformed which shows us Dracula resurrected in the present by a cult and given the powers of the monsters from Greek Mythology. All of the characters from Dracula are here through reincarnation and Van Helsing never died. I love that Dracula gets his power from hearing the sins of others and I loved hearing that Renfield is now a goth rock superstar. We also have another character from history that is still making a good living in Las Vegas. The best part though is hearing how Dracula acts when he hears someone talk who has no sin.

Dracula Transformed is a must read if you loved the Bram Stoker book or any of the various movies that have had Dracula in them over the years. Not only is it a fresh spin on a character that has been around for over 100 years, it’s a lot of fun for anyone who has a love for monsters and mythology. My only complaint was that some of the short stories contained an idea but no real story and I would have liked the main story to be longer and have a little more suspense. All in all though the book is a lot of fun and I look forward to reading more from both authors.

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The Kidney Donor’s Journey: 100 Questions I Asked Before Donating My Kidney

Donating organs is something that most people probably don’t think about much. You may mark on your driver’s license that you want to be a an organ donor, but very few of us think about donating an organ while still alive.  Ari Sytner was one person who did think about donating a kidney and donated his to a single mother of 3 kids. In order to enlighten others to the process of kidney donation he wrote The Kidney Donor’s Journey: 100 Questions I Asked Before Donating My Kidney.

Donating a kidney is not an easy decision to make and there is a lot to consider if you plan to do so.  The Kidney Donor’s Journey has all the answers to your questions if you wanted to donate a kidney. I never thought of the idea of donating an organ while still living and I wondered why the author did. With my limited knowledge on kidney donation I just thought it was a risky procedure to have done when you have a family depending on you. That being said Ari gets into all the reasons he wanted to donate a kidney. For Ari he saw a need and wanted to help. When he was done, he wrote this book as a guide for others who want to give to people who were suffering.

Ari did not make the decision to donate a kidney lightly, from the time he thought about it until he did it was a long process. In this book he breaks down the process and takes you on his journey step by step. The Kidney Donor’s Journey is presented in a question and answer format and gives you all the details of what he went through. He gets into why to donate, what led him to do it, what to expect when you are being considered as a donor and what you have to go through in the aftermath. It was not an easy decision or an easy process but Ari felt that all life had value and he wanted to help someone. In the end he was able to help a stranger get her life and dignity back.

My favorite part of this book was a quote by Ari Sytner where he states that he doesn’t see himself as a hero, he is someone who just wanted to make the world and the life of people around him better. The Kidney Donor’s Journey is the story of someone who probably has more compassion than most people and he sells you on doing the ultimate act of kindness. He even answers questions on if you would have trouble getting insurance when you’re done and talks about any regrets that you might have. This is an inspiring book and it doesn’t sugar coat anything, when you do something like this there are some good points and bad points to consider and this book lays out everything like a road map.

Clockwork Wonderland Blog Tour: Jaap Boekestein

HorrorAddicts.net Press presents…Clockwork Wonderland.

Clockwork Wonderland contains stories from authors that see Wonderland as a place of horror where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book you’ll find tales of murderous clockworks, insane creations, serial killers, zombies, and a blood thirsty jabberclocky. Prepare to see Wonderland as a place where all your worst nightmares come true. You may never look at classic children’s literature the same way again.

Edited by Emerian Rich
Cover by Carmen Masloski
Featuring authors:

Trinity Adler
Ezra Barany
Jaap Boekestein
Dustin Coffman
Stephanie Ellis
Jonathan Fortin
Laurel Anne Hill
N. McGuire
Jeremy Megargee
James Pyne
Michele Roger
H.E. Roulo
Sumiko Saulson
K.L. Wallis

With Foreword by David Watson

 

URL: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1544785518

 

Excerpt from
Tick Tock

by Jaap Boekestein

Alice was coming. I knew our time was up when I heard the click clack of her heels echoing in the dark streets of the city. We heard those heels the first time in the capital XII and she nearly got us back then. We were lucky and escaped, just. The murderous bitch was still getting the feel of the Watch World and I was completely unsurprised she had discovered us living on the timepiece of her little slave lackey.

Never trust a rabbit. He had sold us out. The only surprise was that it took so long.

We fled, all over the dial. We tried to hide between the seconds, minutes, hours, and other denizens of the tick tock world. No luck. We ended up in VIII City, the most labyrinthine of the twelve metropolises. I had hoped to shake her off in the alleyways, but my hope was in vain. She found us.

Click clack. Diamond heels on white enamel stones.

Our time was up! I…

***

Oh, please forgive me. I have been rude. Allow me to introduce myself.

They call me the Joker, or the Fool sometimes. I am the Wild Card, the savior of dynasties. I am nurse, bodyguard, confidant, lover, and the Man with the Plan.

Forget me, I am nothing. Mary, she is important, the legit Queen of Hearts. I saved her the day she was born, the day her mother was beheaded. We drank the Drink Me, lots and lots of it, and ended up on Watch World, right under the nose of Alice.

The Plan was to take the crown back when Mary was old enough. We’d sneak in at night, rouse the army, and show them their true Queen of Hearts. After that, off with the heads for the whole bunch: Alice, the Hatter, March Hare, Dormouse, the Twins, and of course that damned Cheshire Cat. The White Rabbit would be pardoned for services rendered to the Crown and we would all live long and happily ever after.

No plan survives contact with the reality of the battlefield. We weren’t ready, Mary wasn’t old enough. Old enough for love, yes. Old enough to rule? I didn’t think so, and all that was moot now. I doubted Mary would rule anything ever.

***

Click clack. She was close now, that Alice. The alleyway was a dead end and there was no way out.

“Get behind me,” I said to Mary. “No, kiss me first.” We kissed as if it was our last kiss. It probably was.

“Love you,” she whispered. “Sweet fool.”

“Love you, my queen.”

Click…

Alice stood at the entrance of the alleyway, six feet, excluding the nine-inch diamond heels. She held a nasty whip braided with barbed wire and pieces of glass in her right hand, a MAC-10 with extended magazine and a suppressor in her left. Little girls grow up, and cruel little girls who bathe in the blood of their beheaded enemies, grow up to become evil PVC-clad Dominatrix bitches. Maybe it was a Victorian thing, the release of all those repressed feelings. I didn’t want to know what non-consensual things she did with Hatter, or that cat, or the Caterpillar.

I pulled both my Mauser C96’s and fired. I hit Alice, with both barrels, and down she went.

Bang, bang, bang, bang. Thud.

The Mausers jammed, a problem common with these types of guns. It didn’t matter, the bitch was dead. Behind my back Mary squealed in relief. Bloodlust runs in her family, I can’t deny it.

We kissed once more. The hot kiss of danger and death, victory and relief.

Mary froze and I turned to see why.

Alice wasn’t dead because over her shiny bodysuit she wore a bullet-proof jacket.

I should have gone for her head, but I am a fool. There I was, no weapons, no way out, no options.

Mary cried. I had told her tales about Alice and our worst nightmare came closer and closer. Step by step. Click clack.

Alice grinned as her whip sliced the air, full of expectation. The barrel of the MAC-10 was pointed at us.

I threw down my useless guns.

“Kill us quickly,” I begged.

“No. Certainly not.” Alice still sounded a Victorian governess, totally in control and without mercy. Stuck up bitch.

To read the full story and more Clock-inspired, Alice Horror, check out Clockwork Wonderland.

Clockwork Wonderland Author Profile: Laurel Anne Hill and the The Engine Woman’s Light review

HorrorAddicts.net

One of the authors featured in Clockwork Wonderland is Laurel Anne Hill. Laurel Anne’s story is called Gone a’ Hunting and is about a girl who goes on a rabbit hunt and gets caught in a place where she has plenty of time to think about what she has done. Laurel Anne Hill has been featured on the horroraddicts podcast a few times, being voted most wicked in 2011 for her steampunk/horror podcast: “Flight of Destiny. She has also been published in several anthologies and recently released her second novel, The Engine Woman’s Light. To learn more about her visit her website: http://laurelannehill.com/ and keep reading for my review of The Engine Woman’s Light.

Jaunita has had an interesting past, she was abandoned and left on a train going to an asylum for the poor. Luckily she was saved by her great grandma Zetta and the ghost of Zetta’s husband,  Javiar…

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Clockwork Wonderland Author Guest Blog Post: Jaap Boekestein

HorrorAddicts.net

The Tick, Tock Story

By

Jaap Boekestein

Like any text nowadays: spoilers ahead! Those who enter with be corrupted with knowledge.
I need to write. When I don’t write, when I don’t create I get unhappy and I die a little inside. The never-ending urge to evade death by creating. Dear Sigmund no doubt would have had to say some interesting things about that. Or not, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Now am I in the happy circumstances I can purely write for fun. I make my living by doing things to computer systems and that allows me to be a non-commercial writer, photographer, and illustrator in my spare time. So basically I can be totally selective in what I write. For me, the theme for an anthology or magazine must be interesting, challenging or fun. Not too broad, not too restrictive and it must take me places…

View original post 597 more words

Sovereignty

In the 23rd century the world is a very different place. The population has dropped from 9 billion to 3 billion and the whole planet is controlled by one government. There are no cell phones or personal computers and everyone has a chip inserted into their arm so the government knows where they are at all times. People work at jobs assigned to them by the powers that be and if anyone breaks a law in this new world, it is dealt with harshly. There is no more religion or personal choice, there is just the Sovereign Regime or SR.

Many of the world’s young people aren’t happy with this way of life but it seems pointless to resist the SR’s will since they know your every move. Eighteen year old Goro and his friends Alex and Cory have found small ways to annoy the SR, such as a wristband to block their control chip’s powers and setting off explosives in a park. Their actions bring them to the attention of a small grass-roots organization with the goal of over throwing the SR. The odds are against them but with their old lives a distant memory, Goro and his friends do what needs to be done to make life better.

Sovereignty by Anjenique Hughes is a YA novel set in a post-apocalyptic future with themes of loyalty, friendship and the importance of freedom. The story is told in a fast paced manner from Goro’s point of view. Each chapter begins with a historical quote and then gets into a short history of how we got to where we are in the 23rd century. The idea of telling the history behind the story in small segments rather than having a couple of chapters devoted to setting up the story was a great idea. Anjenique Hughes knows her audience and you never get a chance to get bored with this book as it gives a history lesson, throws in some action and gives you characters that you can relate to.

This brings me to my favorite part of the book which are the characters. All of the characters come across as someone you might meet in real life complete with flaws and a good side. Take Goro for instance, he comes across like a normal teenager with a big ego and issues with authority. He is the hero of the story but he is complex because he creates a lot of his own problems. He hates the SR and wants to rebel but some of the actions he takes hurts his family and friends as much as it hurts him, though in his mind he’s always doing what’s right.

There is a point where Goro’s father finds out some horrible secrets of the SR. Goro finds out and his actions  leads his family to greater danger with some drastic consequences. Even when Goro joins the resistance he still has problems with authority and questions their leadership. Even Goro’s friends complain about how he was acting. What I liked about this was it seemed like normal behavior for most teenagers. Goro has a good heart but his ego and attitude still make life harder for the people around him. Goro is a shade of grey and in the real world people have a good and bad side to them so Goro comes across as realistic.

Sovereignty is an excellent read for a YA audience or an adult audience. While reading this book I found myself comparing the SR regime to other governments throughout history, there are parallels to the Nazis and any dictatorship that has ever been. Even in the future history is always repeating itself with a crooked government rising to power and a rebel force attempting to bring them down. This is one entertaining thrill ride and the first book in a series, do yourself a favor and check it out.

http://www.sovereigntyseries.com/

amazon.com

http://www.ireadbooktours.com/

Guest Blog Post: Anjenique Hughes

Reaching YA readers

By

Anjenique Hughes

I particularly love writing for YA, because they are the future. Young Adults can be some of the most hilarious and fun people to hang around. They are insightful. They are intriguing. They keep things real. Therefore, books written for this population need to be relevant and somewhat applicable to their lives. YA are the best; I particularly like writing YA, because they don’t tolerate BS. Anything cheesy, corny, or downright dumb will receive immediate ridicule and relentless backlash. This is why it is so challenging and exciting to write a novel that stretches above the status quo for this age range.

When writing for the young adult population, it’s best to keep the conversations and dialogue interesting and realistic for this age group. With technology and video games constantly competing for their attention, a book really needs to be an exciting ride. If the book doesn’t take off with action from the get-go, they’ll be tossing it out the window in no time. I like to include nuances, witty cliché’s, and balance the humor with the serious. Developing strong characters and character relationships are important, as well as having a smooth, flowing plot. I have found that teens hate it when loose ends are not tied up in the end.

We underestimate the intelligence of YA a lot of times; they are plenty smart and can spot a phony a mile away. If the story is too predictable- that can be the kiss of death. Romance included, done tastefully, is always a plus. Coming up with a unique twist, something that hasn’t been written about or explored before can be a draw for YA as well. I also like to include a character that is somewhat rough around the edges, but who learns a valuable lesson in the end and concluding with their maturing and changing for the better. Of course, hidden positive messages and subliminal moral values never hurt!

With master’s degrees in education, special education, and counseling, Anjenique “Jen” Hughes is a high school English and math teacher who loves teaching and mentoring young people. She loves traveling and has worked with youth on five continents. Saying she is “young at heart” is an understatement; she is fluent in sarcasm, breaks eardrums with her teacher voice (students have complained when they were within earshot), and cracks sarcastic jokes with the best of her students. Her work with ethnically and socioeconomically diverse youth has inspired her to write books that appeal to a broad variety of students seeking stories of bravery, perseverance, loyalty, and success.

http://www.sovereigntyseries.com

http://www.ireadbooktours.com/