Posts Tagged ‘Books



Interesting that Sober is the song playing as I write this. The drunken ramblings that are the Shortbus to Hell must change–as I’ve stated now for more than a year. These anonymous blah-blah-blatherings that we have all enjoyed are doing nothing for my career. C-Jane and I intentionally left Las Vegas so as to purge the mean-spirited attitude. I think our escape worked. Life here is not ‘perfect,’ for whatever that word means in reality, but the intense hate has fallen off.  Since its inception, the Shortbus was intended as a way to release hostility incurred by a purely apathetic society. I have left that society and so I’ve also abandoned my hostility. Now that anger serves no one.

I cannot delete the Shortbus, that would be wrong, but the frequency for which I post here will be greatly diminished.  I will eventually leave a link to my ‘professional’ blog, and then one for a new project that is in the works as we speak. Since I write fantasy fiction and I am a huge gaming dork, I’ve decided that I should do fan-fiction of the game Skyrim. It will be as niche as the Shortbus, but with a greater reach and attracting more readers that might buy my books. To continue investing in humorous, yet spiteful rants serves no one.

Those who have remained loyal to this kooky blog, don’t worry, I will still post here. I still have to give ‘Big-J’s presidential endorsement’ — which I promise you will love. Occasionally, if something fun happens, I’ll post it here, but reviews about entertainment need to go to my other blog, book reviews and author interviews belong there too. I’ve sought to post about once a week here on the Shortbus, and that is going to slow drastically. Here is one promised link for those who are interested.


this is the end, my only friend

Hi everybody!!

While I’m busy working on the edits of my second novel, I thought it would be cool to let you all know about this book that is coming out in the next couple of weeks. My friend Gary W. Olson is in it (I interviewed him on May 1st 2012) and you might remember I’ve done a review or two for Tim Marquitz over the last year. I’m quite excited about this book. Shhhh! I got a copy already and it kicks ass. Its release date is in a few days (Sept. 1st) and this is the line up of authors and their stories.


(Introduction is written by Tim Marquitz.)

I started Fading Light with high hopes, but I wasn’t sure what to expect having never orchestrated an anthology before. There was a lot of uncertainty the night before submissions opened. What kind of stories would I get? Would any of the invited authors take me up on the offer to submit? What was I letting myself in for?

Turns out, the process went better than I could ever have imagined. Not only did I receive amazing stories from the vast majority of my invitation authors, I received a ton of great pieces from a wide range of folks from all over the world. Even better still, the stories were all diverse and original, each author taking the anthology prompt and making it their own. I ended up with way more stories than I could accept. Because of this, Angelic Knight Press and I decided to do a companion book so we could say yes a few more times.

In the end, I’m proud to say Fading Light features a number of debut authors alongside a cast of seasoned veterans, all poised to send a chill down your spine. So, dive into the darkness and experience the monstrous.

Tim Marquitz

El Paso, TX

July 5, 2012

Table of Contents:
“Parasitic Embrace” by Adam Millard

A volcano erupts, sending an ominous ash-cloud across the ocean.  The ash-cloud is the least of our worries. Contained within the hellish plume are millions of micro-parasites that have been dormant, waiting to find their host.

“The Equivalence Principle” by Nick Cato

Steve Burke is a man suffering from a severe case of agoraphobia.  He treats himself with a homemade cocktail of natural herbs and over the counter pain killers.  But what he has spent most of his life avoiding becomes real in the ways he’d always feared.

“A Withering of Sorts” by Stephen McQuiggan

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

“Goldilocks Zone” by Gary W. Olson

Amita has had a trying evening––and it’s just getting started.  People are becoming monsters, buildings are slipping into sludge, gravity is turning optional, and assorted parts of her body are mutating. A voice in her head tries to explain, but somehow, understanding only makes it stranger.

“They Wait Below” by Tom Olbert

The world is near dying. An ecological inspector stationed on a deep sea oil rig suspects something is very wrong with the rig’s crew. His investigation into the mystery leads him to an ancient cosmic evil that has slept for eons, waiting for its chance to return.

“Blessed Be the Shadowchildren” by Malon Edwards

The Sun is dying––mortally wounded by an asshole god and his jealousy. There’s hope (and love) in the slow, dark death promised. Hope hangs on fifteen-year-old Levi and Lali reaching the warm arms of the Bright Lady before a horde of pursuing Biloko devour them––intestines first.

“The Beastly Ninth” by Carl Barker

The Sorcerer Napoleon is free, having escaped from his island prison and returned to France, to begin re-raising Hell. The only man standing in his way is Lord Arthur Wellesley, and this time, the Duke of Wellington has a few tricks of his own.

“Late Night Customer” by David Dalglish

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

“Rurik’s Frozen Bones” by Jake Elliot

It is Scandinavia, 819AD. The Vikings rule the North Atlantic through both warfare and trade. A beast hunts the cold waters between Sweden and Denmark, a monster unchallenged by the bravest of sailors.

“Wrath” by Lee Mather

Steven hasn’t touched a drink in months and now the time is right to take his son back from his brother’s custody. What he hadn’t counted on was the end of the world. Steven stopped believing in God a long time ago, but seeing is believing––will belief be enough to deter God’s wrath?

“Friends of a Forgotten Man” by Gord Rollo

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

“Altus” by Georgina Kamsika

The Altus is a free-diving submersible whose helmswoman aims to break depth records. She finds more than she bargained for at the bottom of the sea. Something monstrous lurks in the darkness with her and her submarine.

“Angela’s Garden” by Dorian Dawes

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

“The Long Death of Day” by Timothy Baker

For John and the love of his life, a terrifying shadow threatens to tear them apart. The world is at its end, and a blanket of darkness has spread between the Sun and Earth, turning day into deep gloom. With it, something monstrous writhes within the unnatural night, intent on devouring our dying planet.

“Out of the Black” by William Meikle

300-years after the great dimming, the energy resources begin to run out. A man is sent from the underground city to the surface to scout for survival-necessary ore. All he finds is a dead world and a great blackness; a blackness that will not be kept out.

“Degenerates” by DL Seymour

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

“Dust” by Wayne Ligon

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

“Der Teufel Sie Wissen” by TSP Sweeney

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

“Born of Darkness” by Stacey Turner

After clouds block out the sun, Jeb struggles to keep his family safe and his faith intact. With his wife’s unexpected pregnancy and two strangers seeking refuge, things go from bad to worse. How do you tell who follows the path of light when you can no longer see who’s immersed themselves in darkness?

“Lottery” by Gene O’Neill

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

“Where Coyotes Fear to Tread” by Gef Fox

The world is shrouded in darkness and people have started acting strangely. Only two people can save the world from an ancient evil rising out of the Tennessee River––a ne’er-do-well redneck named Lester and his ex-girlfriend, Carla. Carla might be up for the challenge, but all Lester wants to do is get the hell out of Knoxville.

“The Theophany of Nyx” by Edward M. Erdelac

A fissure opens in the moon’s crust and swallows Earth’s first lunar colony whole, resulting in a thick cloud of dark dust that drifts into our planet’s atmosphere, blotting out the sun. Night falls across the entire world and vegetation begins to die. After eons of exile, something driven from the Earth in its primordial past is at last returning…

“Double Walker” by Henry P. Gravelle

Psychoanalyst, Dr. Maria DOBBS has a new client who believes his shadow has murdered his parents and others. She attempts to decipher whether he is a clever killer feigning insanity, an unwilling victim of an electrical storm jolting his senses, or the victim of a lifestyle placing his emotions in turmoil. Will she discover the truth before it is too late?

“Light Save Us” by Ryan Lawler

It has been months since Ted last saw the Sun. Hideous beasts lurk in the darkness outside the compound, waiting for the lights to fail. Ted works hard to keep the lights running, but the longer he fights, the more inviting the darkness becomes.

“Dark Tide” by Mark Lawrence

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

The following are bonus stories, available only for NOOK and Kindle:

“Roadkill” by CM Saunders

Jimmy and Tito make up one of the freelance ambulance and recovery crews patrolling the notoriously dangerous roads and highways of Brazil. Their job is not to the common man’s taste, but the money is worthy, and they’ve become very good at it. Everything worked great until the night they stumbled across an accident victim who refused to die.

“Torrential” by Regan Campbell

The author has opted to keep this story a surprise

“Night Terrors” by Jonathan Pine

Dr. Mark Jacobs is a well-meaning physician just trying to do his best for his patients. But after a chance encounter, he ends up taking his work home with him in a way he could never imagine. Now he will have to face his own night terrors.

“Final Rights” by Peter Welmerink

The world has been cast into the cold embrace of Nuclear Winter, the Earth withering towards a dreary demise. The once-glorious daylight hours, now a perpetual dusk as the last bastions of humanity hold beneath the brightly-lit, but slowly dying vestiges of the larger cities. On the perimeters of our cloud-cloaked countryside, light succumbs to deep shadow–where a myriad of mutated beasts hungrily await civilization’s light to wink out.

“Evensong” by Alex Marshall

Demons rule the outside––but devils stalk within. These are the hidden halls of Agartha – perhaps the last of Earth’s buried strongholds where, for countless centuries, Morya’s folk have been enslaved. But now, rebel-soul Morya and her lover Seth have a chance to escape the hated Seers; a chance to breathe clean air and see the sun’s fading splendor for themselves…if only they dare…


Always Evolving

I’ve always liked my anonymity, but now things are changing. As a fiction writer, I have a short story published and a novel, but on September 1st, another fiction story is appearing in an anthology and on the very same day, my second novel is going to be released. I just received a nice review from a respectable critic about my first novel.

I’d still like to be a little quiet about who I am. I do write crazy stuff from time to time on the Shortbus, and I’d like for that to continue, so… I’ll never say who I am, but I just might leave a random Link for those of you who come here often. This way, Google searches for my non-Big-J name will not link to this site, and we can keep on talking smack about whatever we want.

That is a pretty damn cool idea, eh?

This way, I can happily let you meet new authors here on the Shortbus. Some of them might even be super-talented, who knows? All the time, I’ll be able to remain the Shortbus-wookie.

I’m going to post an interview with horror author Greg Chapman soon. I have the interview, I just want this message to get out to everyone first.


The Killer Awoke Before Dawn

Before you read the following review, I want to tell you that Michael Faust, the sequel is expected to be released in June. I spoke with Jeremy Kline a month ago for a brief moment. I’m excited to see what the sequel looks like. Lazarus Cane was a very fun read.


Those of you who frequent the Shortbus know I love disclaimers. So, here we go with a whole list of them.

1) Although author Jeremy Kline and I have the same publisher, neither D.B. nor Mr. Kline had asked me to write this, (and both would rather I not write about them, given the bad reputation of the Shortbus to Hell.)

2) I am not a book reviewer, I am a creative writer. If I read a book and it moved me to write a creative piece about it, I will tell all – the good, bad, and ugly. (I will review books for authors after establishing a relationship, meaning only after I’ve abused them at least once, and they want more – except Chuck. You’re no longer welcome on my bus and have been kicked to the curb.)

3) I buy all my books, and I’m talking paperbacks, not e-books. Meaning — I paid for my opinion.

4) For once I didn’t have to steal; Jeremy Kline released this picture of his book-cover to me without fore-knowledge of my lack of style.

Now, let the beatings begin!

Here is a very brief depiction of the novel, Lazarus Cane.

A doppleganger (AKA mimic, AKA shapeshifter) is hunting down serial killers in the US and killing them. But, a shadow-organization similar to the FBI is hunting Scott Cane, who is the doppleganger. This is a thriller with sci-fi adaptations.

Lazarus Cane begins with a bit of lesbian action. Hot lesbian action, and tastefully done. It got my attention, but my initial feeling was that it was just a gimmick. But wait…

Let me back up a couple paces, I had just thrown away Chuck Palahniuk’s Haunted after reading the first hundred and seven pages of ‘what the hell do you call this?’ I promise I will never read another of Chuck’s books – I am so done with you dude.

So when I started Jeremy Kline’s book I was still holding some residual apathy after Chuck’s junk. It took fifty pages before remembering that I wasn’t reading mass-market garbage, and by page eighty I knew Lazarus Cane was going to be a satisfying read.

The lesbian scene in the beginning turned out to be very important to the creation of all the characters in this book. All of them were very identifiable and easy to accept – all of them – even the bad guys. It turns out that Jeremy Kline is really good with characterization.

Mr. Kline uses very short chapters to move his story along at a quick pace. Sometimes, a little too quick. There were a couple points where I’d wanted to relish in a potentially bloody scene, but was sent to the next chapter. When certain bad guys are getting their just desserts, Jeremy Kline’s keen ability as a writer whipped my blood-lust into a frenzy, but Mr. Kline still pulled his punches. Lazarus Cane is his first novel, he may have been nervous about bloodying my nose, but I can take it. (Off the record, I pulled a couple punches in my first one too.) With that being said, I did not expect ‘a Tim Marquitz’ level of violence and mayhem, but I had anticipated a little more of ‘the ugly’ in this book.

Lazarus Cane is truly a fantastic read, but you must push beyond the very beginning to see how fantastic this story is. In the first thirty pages, the characters appear stereotypical like Dexter/CSI/Dragnet type of caricatures, but by page ninety, they had all fleshed out and satisfied a deeper interest than my original opinion. The three main characters in this volume were strong and memorable. Upon reaching the end of the story, I was pleased to see that Mr. Kline is going to use them in at least one more novel, and hopefully a couple more.

The idea of Lazarus Cane fits the definition of ‘dark fiction,’ but the blood I’d thirsted for was delivered like a fine-looking stripper who refuses to take off her top. She’s standing there, she is super-hot and we know she’s got a good jumblies, but “for Christ’s sake, take off the top already!” As I got closer to the end, the darkness that I’d hoped for did become thicker and complimented the masterfully directed tension with a few unexpected twists. Figuratively, I said, “Oh thank heaven, she’s taking it off…” but she’s still wearing pasties over her nipples. (In other words, a villain or two could have died a bit more violently and I’d have been pacified.)


If I was a reviewer and I intended to score this read, I’d give Lazarus Cane a 7.5 to 8.2 on a 10-point scale. Have no doubt, this is a thrilling read, and the strong characters made for a refreshing page-turner. As Mr. Kline unfolded his story, the drafting and layering kept me intrigued. The greatest asset to this book was the interactions between the many characters felt solid and believable. Jeremy Kline’s ability to convey doubt, as well as to raise cheer is very adept. There were many satisfying revelations along the journey of this story.

I will be looking for his second book to add to my shelves.


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