Monthly Archives: March 2014

Kill/Off: Solid 5-Star Reviews and Now Just 99 Cents!

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My latest novel, Kill/Off, is available now for Kindle for just 99 cents.

Kill/Off has a solid 5-star average review on Amazon, it features some of my best writing, and people seem to like it.  However, it seems to be struggling to find a wider audience.  This is perplexing to me.  The only reason I have for this is that it’s not the horror book my readers are accustomed to.  But I think my horror chops still shine through this non-supernatural thriller.

Hopefully, 99 cents will make it easier for people to take a chance and buy the book.  I think you’ll like it if you do.

Here are what some people say about Kill/Off:

Kill/Off is a tightly written, dark descent into the world of the contract killer. I haven’t been sucked into the mind of a murderer so convincingly since Theodore Sturgeon’s Some of Your Blood. John F.D. Taff hits this one out of the park.”
~ Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Dead City

“A captivating story of murder and conspiracy, Kill/Off will keep you nervous, questioning and, more importantly, entertained until the last page. John F.D. Taff really knows how to deliver!”
~ Ann Hale, Horror Editor, Pop-Break.com

“Fast, sharp, elegant, and darker than a pool of blood in a gloomy alley at midnight, Taff’s Kill/Off packs everything that’s great about crime fiction while simultaneously avoiding its clichés. This is a sleek noir made up of danger and tension and written in an undeniably commanding voice. As a bonus, death and blood come easy to Taff, one of the best short story writers in the horror genre, so crime fiction fans who enjoy an extra dose of brutality are in for a treat.”
~ Gabino Iglesias, Author and Reviewer at OutoftheGutterOnline.com

“John F.D. Taff is an artist telling stories with bullets. His crisp, staccato style targets a reader in its crosshairs obliterating any chance of escape. Kill/Off is an exciting, dark adventure that will make your heart race and palms sweat hoping it is merely fiction.”
~ Joe Schwartz, author of The Games Men Play

“Accomplished horror author John F.D. Taff takes the reader on a journey into the murky world of contract killers, exploring their motivations and the guilt associated with their deeds. Pitting assassin against assassin, ‘Kill/Off’ is a tense story replete with murder, deceit, greed and a twist on a significant event in American history; and is truly the thinking man’s action-thriller.”
~ John Milton, Horror Reviewer at AndyErupts.com

So pop on by and give Kill/Off a chance.  I think you’ll like it.  And, I mean, it’s only 99 cents.

And for some inexplicable reason, my other novel The Bell Witch is also still just 99 cents.


The Chapman Books by French, Johnson and Lewis. Get It.

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A new book that you should get is out.  It’s called The Chapman Books, and it’s a three-novella collection by Aaron J. French (whom I know a little), Erik T. Johnson (whom I know pretty well), and Adam P. Lewis (whom I know not a whit.)

The book is out now by new publisher Uncanny Books.  I was lucky enough to get an advance read, and I really enjoyed it…enough to provide the blurb and the entire back cover’s contents.  It’s an interesting, fun read, very weird in places (I’m looking at you, Erik!), and highly recommended.  You all (all 6 of you) know what an avid fan I am of Erik’s writing, and his tale here is fantastic.  The tales are unique and individual, but each references the creepy, mysterious Chapman family in delightful ways.

This is a book to have and read.  So go here and buy it!

 


And Now a Few Minutes with BC Brown

BC Brown Promo 2013

Blogs are a great tool to introduce you to new authors, something I try my best to do.  There are so many interesting authors out there putting out great reads that it’s easy to get lost in the crowd.

So, let me introduce you to BC Brown, a wonderful writer I met through our mutual friend, J. Travis Grundon.  BC has a bunch of her work out there now, which you might want to pick up and give a read.  So without further intrusion from me, here’s some info on BC!

Bio

BC Brown is the author of A Touch of Darkness and A Touch of Madness, both Abigail St. Michael novels. Her work has been included in three, multi-author anthologies – Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, Quixotic: Not Everyday Love Stories, and A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court. She has published a dark fantasy novel, Sister Light, Book One: Of Shadows previously under the pen name B.B. Walter.

She lives in Arizona on tequila and gummy bear-related products. She spends her free time bicycling, performing in Community Theater, and spends way too much time on karaoke, Star Trek, and Doctor Who. She is legendary for her mismatched sock collection. Her foul mouth and lack of filter has gotten her into hot water in the past. She will no longer discuss the “big booty ho” incident of 2012.

BC has upcoming work with the Abigail St. Michael novels entitled A Touch of Emptiness. More of her work will be released in a general fiction novella entitled Feather in a Hurricane and a dark fantasy novel, Of Shadows.

Writing Credits:

Fiction:

Sister Light, Book One: Of Shadows (published under B.B. Walter – out of print) – 2007

A Touch of Darkness – 2010

Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction – 2011

A Touch of Madness – 2012

Quixotic: Not Everyday Love Stories – 2013

A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court – 2014

Non-Fiction:

Multiple Blog Articles – Foci: Author Improvement and Education – 2007-current

Author Reviews:

“This author defies convention by shocking the reader.” – P.M. Russell, author of The Wormhole Adventures: Travel is Relative

“BC is amazingly imaginative.” – Wendy Strain, freelance author

“[BC Brown] is a refreshing change of pace.” – Stephanie Johnson, author of Eveningshade

Individual Book Reviews:

(About A Touch of Darkness) “A witty page turner and will keep you guessing right up until the end! BC Brown combines a snarky sense of humor, intelligent wit, and an exotic ‘touch’ to this murder mystery. Add the elements of romance, and the reader is left wanting more at the end. A definite recommended read!” – Molly Daniels, author of Balancing Act

(About A Touch of Madness) “This book has definitely been worth the wait! Every time you think you’ve got the plot figured out, the author throws you another curve ball! It’s one unexpected turn after another that keeps you on the edge of your seat.” – reader review

(About Sister Light, Book One: Of Shadows) “Sister Light is aimed at intelligent readers who want something that has all the rumor of a classic but also an unrefined real-world depth. This author defies convention by shocking the reader with disturbing imagery and gothic vengeance.” – P.M. Russell, author of The Wormhole Adventures: Travel is Relative

(About A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court) “It’s not the most even of collections but I did enjoy this anthology of fairy tales, urban fantasy, and magical realism. Particular standouts include: “The Beggar-Knight and the Lady Perilous” by Matthew A. Timmins, “Extra-Ordinary” by BC Brown, “Dead Fairy Doormat” by George S. Walker. All of these stories have the right mix of material and attitude, but Timmins story, in particular, strikes me as a good blending of a Grimm style story with a more modern aesthetic.” – reader review

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A Touch of Darkness Blurb:

Urban Fantasy – Paranormal Mystery – Romantic Suspense

Abigail St. Michael, a former cop, has joined the recently growing ranks of metaphysicals, individuals with abilities outside that of normal human nature. When a murderer stalks her town killing children, Abbey uses her ability of touch clairvoyance to hunt him down. Her only roadblock is that her villain seems to have his own unique talent, the ability to ‘wipe’ his victims and their surroundings of any metaphysical energy. With little physical evidence and no supernatural evidence, Abbey is forced to rely on luck and instinct to solve the case. However both seem to have taken a permanent vacation as the victims keep piling up with the killer’s escalating blood lust.

A Touch of Darkness Excerpt:

**Explicit Language, Some Graphic Imagery**

I’d gotten the call on my work cell. I actually have a second that I carried for just police work. For a while, my advisory jobs had become so hectic that the calls began to outnumber my personal ones. Davis had spoken to the police chief and gotten the force to foot the bill for a company phone.

Everyone referred to it as the “Bat Signal.”

I digress.

Davis called me in and, almost a week after the incident, I walked the crime scene for the first time. I was more than a little pissed. I was even more pissed when I arrived on the crime scene amidst a light drizzle.

Rain is a problem for individuals with my unique talents. Water washes away metaphysical energy as quickly as it washes away physical evidence. A violent event can get trapped for longer but eventually time and the elements fade the energy no matter how violent the event. I mean, I’m not still picking up shit from the Manson murders or anything.

Once I arrived on the crime scene, I was doubtful I’d pick up anything left over. I told Davis my doubts. He encouraged me to try, regardless; he always encouraged me to try. It was his special talent, I guess. So I slipped off my special-made gloves.

Clothing doesn’t always protect me from seeing impressions, but the gloves were a damned sight better than my walking around bare-skinned. That would land me back in the funny farm in no time. Trust me, I know, I’d been there once already. I had once brushed up against a woman who beat her two children on a twice-daily basis. I felt her glee as she did it; her happiness as she felt their little bones crunch under her/my hands…

Oh, God…

I digress.

Davis knew my doubts, but I did my job. I slipped off my sweet Italian, designer gloves and touched everything in sight. The railing, the stairs, the curb where he’d busted his damned head, and… nothing. Nada, zip, nein – no pun intended, Mr. Schleck. There was nothing left to see. I told my ex-boss as much, but I was wrong.

There was a cat.

Touch-Madness-Cover-ArtQuixotic CoverA Chimerical World cover

 

Contact/Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/BCBrown

BnN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/b.c.-brown

Website: http://www.bcbrownbooks.blogspot.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BCBrowns.Books

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BCBrownBooks

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4104237.B_C_Brown

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/BCBrownBooks

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/bcbrownbooks

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/bcbrownbooks

 


Today, Let’s Talk About Reviews. You Need to Post More of Them. Thank You & Goodnight.

Reviews.  Ya know, probably 5 or 10 years ago, reviews were a great, if relatively rare thing.  I mean, where would you go to look at reviews for a new book?  The local paper, that’s probably the only place.  A page tucked away in one of the more obscure sections of the newspaper–“Living” or “Entertainment” or…ahem…”Lifestyles.”  Or maybe a few East Coast magazines.  But book reviews?  Anywhere else?

The Age of the Internet has changed all that.  The Internet has become the de facto arena for people everywhere to come and express their opinions about everything.  Every. Thing.  Now, often this just lends itself to the chaos that is the interwebs.  Sometimes, though these opinions come together in places that lend a more positive air to things.

One of these arenas is book reviews.  There are plenty of places to find book reviews these days, even for the most obscure, self-published volumes out there.  Amazon is, of course, the 500-lb. gorilla here, but other places, like Goodreads, also offer a vast plain for its members to populate with their book opinions.

But, here’s the thing.  With the enormous number of readers, with the explosion of popular e-reading devices, and the gigantic canvas on which to express their opinions, still authors are starving for reviews.  And reviews are increasingly important these days.

Why?  Well, it’s probably because of the selling  model begun by Amazon, one which we’re all accustomed to now.  For every product Amazon sells, whether it’s spatulas or tennis shoes or books, people leave reviews for the stuff they buy…and people like you and me looking for stuff study these reviews carefully before they buy.

So book reviews have become a very important sales engine, especially for authors like me who don’t have a gigantic publishing house behind them.  Reviews drive sales.  It’s as simple as that.

Now, you’d think every author has more than enough friends and family to provide him or her with a nice base of good reviews.  Ummm…well…that hasn’t been my experience.  Here’s my experience.  Getting friends and family to leave reviews for my books has been as successful as asking them to lop off limbs.  I can beg, wheedle or even shame, but reviews from this group of people–people whom I know support me and my work–are hard to come by.  I can go to friends and family members’ Facebook pages, and even there, where they’re listing books that that they’ve read and enjoyed, my books aren’t there.  Now I could become paranoid and think that they just don’t like my work, and perhaps that’s the case in some instances (I mean, just because they’re friends & family doesn’t mean they’re going to like my books.)  But really?  A few seconds to click on the number of stars and write 20 words (Amazon’s bare minimum.)  I’m not asking anyone to be George Plimpton here…just help a brutha out.

To summarize: Reviews important. Reviews drive sales. Authors can’t rely on friends and family to provide them.

What do authors do then?  Well, in my case, we post something on a blog that hopefully tells people (in this case, the six or so of you who actually read this blog) how important a few seconds of their time is spent leaving reviews at some place like Amazon.

I can’t help all authors, but I’ve got some books I’m in and some books that I support that could use some reviews.  I’ve attached cover images and Amazon links for you to go, buy the book in question, and leave reviews.  If you can do this, swell!  It will help immeasurably.  And I will greatly appreciate your time and effort!

KillOff

Kill/Off

 

 

 

 

 

The Bell Witch small (small)The Bell Witch

 

 

 

 

Little Deaths Cover

Little Deaths

 

 

 

 

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Dark Visions Vol. 1

 

 

 

 

OminousOminous Realities

 

 

 

 

HLV5CvrFRONT-10-9-13Horror Library Vol. 5

 

 

 

 

91lGfaV1EVL._SL1500_Child of Words

 

 

 

 

BNWTBest New Werewolf Tales

 

 

 

 

bnvtBest New Vampire Tales


Little Deaths: Nearly 24 Months & Still Going Strong!

Little Deaths Cover

Published back in April of 2012, Little Deaths continues on a hot streak of strong sales and great reviews.  This collection of 19 of my short stories continues to have longer legs than I’d have ever thought.  Strong critical reviews, attaining the No. 1 Bestseller in Horror/Shorts at Amazon, cracking the Top 100 Paid Kindle at Amazon, and being named the No. 1 horror collection of 2012 by Gabino Iglesias at HorrorTalk have all combined to make Little Deaths a phenomenal success.

Now, Karen Heard, who had conducted a kind of Halloween Advent Calendar a couple of years ago in which one f the stories in Little Deaths featured, has done a terrific review of the entire collection.  Here’s a bit of it:

Little Deaths is a short story collection from horror author John Taff. I first read this book last year and the stories were so memorable I found myself recalling them months afterwards, without always remembering where I’d read them.

There is a mix of styles and narrative forms used in Little Deaths: all are dark and generally handled well. The range includes, reflective ghost stories, monster stories, unreliable/psychotic narrators, old fashioned narratives, an erotic horror, a couple that could be classed as sci-fi, two humorous – almost spoofy – tales, two extremely graphic pieces, and some that are surprisingly poignant. There are too many to list separately, but most I loved: all are worth reading.

I found Little Deaths one of the most entertaining recent horror collections, and I suspect most people would like at least some of the tales in here.”

It’s phenomenal to me that the stories in this collection resonate so much with people that they are recalled months after reading them.  That’s great for a writer to hear!

At any rate, go here to read Karen’s entire review at Snakebite Reviews!  Thanks, Karen!

And if you haven’t already, go pick up a copy of Little Deaths!  Or The Bell Witch!  Or Kill/Off!

Or, in just a couple of months, The End in All Beginnings!


The Big Announcement: Grey Matter Press to Publish My Next Book: The End in All Beginnings!

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This is the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT that’s been four or five months in the making.  My new collection of five novellas, The End in All Beginnings, has been picked up by Grey Matter Press and will be published later this year.  Here’s Grey Matter’s release that went out today:

DARK FICTION AUTHOR JOHN F.D. TAFF RELEASING
NEW SCIENCE-FICTION/HORROR CROSS-GENRE COLLECTION
WITH BRAM STOKER AWARD®-NOMINATED TEAM

THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS, the All-New Collection from Taff

To be Edited by R.J. Cavender and Published by Grey Matter Press in Summer 2014

CHICAGO, March 4, 2014 – The Chicago-based independent publisher known for its volumes of exceptional fiction, Grey Matter Press, and dark fiction author John F.D. Taff have inked a deal that will see the publication of a new, cross-genre collection consisting of five dark sci-fi/horror novellas written by Taff. The all-new, single-author collection is expected to be released in the summer of 2014.

Titled THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS, the volume includes five never-before-released novellas written by Taff that explore the concepts of life and death through both time and space. The collection will be edited by the Bram Stoker Award-nominated R.J. Cavender and published by the Bram Stoker Award-nominated editorial team at Grey Matter Press . The collection comes on the heels of recent Taff releases that include the critically-acclaimed novels Kill/Off and The Bell Witch along with his premiere collection of short stories, Little Deaths, which was named “The #1 Horror Collection of 2012” by HorrorTalk.

“Bringing this collection to life and publishing it with Grey Matter Press makes this a dream project,” said Taff. “I am thrilled to be able to grow my relationship with this up-and-coming dark fiction publisher because they’ve already become a company I greatly respect.”

THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS will be Taff’s second single-author collection of short-format dark fiction, and will be yet another example of how the author masterfully weaves elements of science fiction, horror and suspense into his acclaimed fiction. The volume will be the first foray into single-author work for Grey Matter Press who has until now published only multiple-author anthologies.

“It was always our intention to add collections and novels to our catalog, and I can’t express how excited we are to have John F.D. Taff’s THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS become our first single-author collection,” said Anthony Rivera, publisher and editor at Grey Matter Press. “This marks a monumental start to an all-new chapter in our history, and there is no better partner than John F.D. Taff to have in this venture. We very much look forward to bringing this all-new, all-thrilling Taff collection to his numerous fans.”

THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS is a collection of five novellas written by Taff during the last two decades. The pieces take a dark, emotional and oftentimes introspective look at life and death through the ages. Included in the volume are “What Becomes God,” a story about two boys coming to terms with the true horrors of life; “Object Permanence,” an investigation of the ages-old human desire to not be forgotten; “Love in the Time of Zombies,” an engrossing tale of heartbreak in a world gone haywire; “The Long, Long Breakdown,” the story of an overprotective father raising his motherless daughter in a dangerous post-apocalyptic city; and “Visitation,” a dark and emotional look at the enduring pain of love and the afterlife.

“These pieces represent a wide slice of my writing career,” said Taff. “From stories that I wrote more than 20 years ago and recently hauled out to revise, to pieces that literally were finished just as I sent the manuscript to R.J. Cavender to begin the editing process.”

Grey Matter Press looks forward to adding THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS to its already well-received and critically acclaimed catalog. Since 2013, the publisher has released several volumes of dark fiction all of which feature the work of some of the most well-respected authors writing in the horror, science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction genres today. Included in that roster is Taff himself, who contributed two short works of fiction to the company’s expanding line of anthologies.

Taff’s short story “Show Me” appears in the company’s Bram Stoker Award-nominated anthology DARK VISIONS: A COLLECTION OF MODERN HORROR – Volume One, and his story “Angie” was published in OMINOUS REALITIES: THE ANTHOLOGY OF SPECULATIVE HORRORS. Other anthologies from Grey Matter Press include SPLATTERLANDS: REAWAKENING THE SPLATTERPUNK REVOLUTION, DARK VISIONS: A COLLECTION OF MODERN HORROR – Volume Two, and the upcoming EQUILIBRIUM OVERTURNED: STARING INTO THE HEART OF DARKNESS which will be released in April.

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About John F.D. Taff
John F.D. Taff has published more than 70 short stories in markets that include Cemetery Dance, Deathrealm, Big Pulp, Postscripts to Darkness, Hot Blood: Fear the Fever, Hot Blood: Seeds of Fear and Shock Rock II. Over the years, six of his shorts have been named honorable mentions in the Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror. His first collection of short stories, Little Deaths, was published in 2012 and has been well-reviewed by critics and readers alike. The collection made it to the Bram Stoker Reading List, has been the No. 1 Bestseller at Amazon in the Horror/Short Stories category and was named the No. 1 Horror Collection of 2012 by HorrorTalk. Taff’s The Bell Witch is an historical novel inspired by the events of a real-life haunting and was released in August 2013. His thriller Kill/Off was published in December 2013. More information about John F.D. Taff is available at http://www.johnfdtaff.com

About Grey Matter Press
Grey Matter Press is a Chicago-based publisher whose mission it is to curate and cultivate the most talented voices working in dark fiction. The company is committed to producing only the finest quality products containing exceptional tales of horror, fantasy, science fiction and speculative fiction. More information about Grey Matter Press is available at http://www.greymatterpress.com.

So, that’s it!  The big announcement! I am immensely proud of the five stories in this collection.   And I am thrilled to be doing this with Grey Matter, a publisher I’ve come to greatly respect.  I can’t wait for this project to come out.  I can’t wait for readers to read these pieces.

Now, it’s just waiting for the book to be published.  I know Grey Matter has some other surprises for this book up its sleeve, and we’ll announce those as they fall into place.  Keep looking here and at Grey Matter  for more information on The End in All Beginnings and other great Grey Matter books!


My Story, “Planting Robert,” Out Now in Child of Words (A Big Pulp Publication)!

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My story, “Planting Robert,” is now out in Child of Words, which is a scifi imprint of Big Pulp magazine.  I had a story in Big Pulp a few years back, one called “Night Bird.”  Big Pulp is a cool little multi-genre publication that is definitely worth your time.

“Planting Robert” is one of my stranger pieces, not horror at all, just a little slice of what I hope is dark, poignant weirdness.  It’s a story I like a lot, and I’m glad I found a home for it.  You can pick up Child of Words here.

You can get a feel for Big Pulp here.

And here’s another thing.  Big Pulp has an Indegogo project underway to help it fund its various endeavors.  I think it’s a good project to get behind.  Take a look at it here and help Big Pulp spread its wings a little!


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