Monthly Archives: August 2016

You, Too, Can Taste the Blood!



So, it’s been out for one week, and it’s doing pretty good indeed.  Some review are coming in, a great podcast already with the guys from Booked.  And much, much more to come…

Get your copy of I Can Taste the Blood today!

More announcements coming soon!

Win a Free Copy of I Can Taste the Blood!

I’m running an Amazon giveaway to award 2 free Kindle copies of I CAN TASTE THE BLOOD.  Ten days to enter, no purchase, as they say, is necessary.

Enter Here!


Reviewers are loving I Can Taste the Blood!


So, it has begun…

Five authors.  Nearly three years.  Two editors. One Publisher.

I Can Taste the Blood is finally here.

And it’s off to a great start.  Reviews have already begun for this five-novella collection, and they’re…well…incredible.

Here’s some places you can go to learn more about this fantastic book.

This is Horror:  Reviewer Shane D. Keene interviewed me for this site, and the interview was so sprawling it was split into two parts.  You can read it here and here.

Shane also reviewed I Can Taste the Blood and called it, among other wonderful things, “a tour de force for Grey Matter Press and for the five outstanding dark fiction authors gathered here.”

Read his review here.

Then, Adrian Shotbolt interviewed me.  You can read his interview here.  And he reviewed the book for the Ginger Nuts of Horror (Yes, it’s a major player in horror reviews. Yes, that’s its actual name.  Yes, there’s a story about the name).  He said “This collection of five novellas from five different writers sees a smorgasbord of speculative fiction on offer to readers that appreciate the darker things in life”

Read his entire review here.

Finally, four of the five of us–J. Daniel Stone, Erik T. Johnson, Joe Schartz and I–participated in a hugely epic, sprawling podcast with Robb and Livius over at Booked.Podcast.  We had an effin’ great time, even though we missed our co-author Josh Malerman, off on a family golf outing.  But we managed to cover for him, and the podcast is great fun, introduces you to some fantastic writers and really gives some background into how I Can Taste the Blood came together and where the stories originated.  Robb and Livius also really loved the book, and gave it a glowing review at the end of the 90 minutes of manic author madness.

Go here to listen to this epic podcast.

That’s it for now.  More stuff planned as we roll this book out.  Hope you’ll give it a look-see.  I think you’ll like it.

I Can Taste the Blood is up for sale right now, in digital and paperback formats.  Go here to get it:


Barnes & Noble

Other places, too, I’m sure.

Update: Now with 100% Less Dairy, Too!

So, the results of the blood test are back…and yes, the rabbit died.

Anyway, for the six of you who actually read this, I got a blood test to determine whether I actually have the alpha-gal mammalian meat allergy, or if I were simply making this shit up to elicit a bit of sympathy.

Well, lucky for you, I DO have the dreaded allergy and–and of course, this is a bonus!–in a big, big, no-mess-around-with-it way!  Yay me!

So, in addition to all of the tastiest meat groups–beef, pork, veal, venison, buffalo, goat–I now, too, also need to peel off dairy products to see if they might be contributing to the low-level allergies I have on a day-to-day basis.  Ya know, stuff like milk, cream, half and half, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, butter.  So, a couple weeks without these things, to see if the symptoms recede 100%.

I have to say, on a positive note, that it’s been a week with no meat, and I already feel tons better–probably 90% back to normal, which I haven’t been even in the far suburbs of for more than two years.  I hate to type this, but if eliminating dairy gets me the rest of the way, bye-bye!

I’m going tomorrow to pick up a container of almond milk and a container of coconut milk to see which I like better.  Maybe a pint or two of sorbet to drown my sorrows in.  Also some Smart Balance spread, which I’ve had before and can live with, to replace butter.

And if the universe decides it’s going to come for my motherfucking bread next, there will be war.  I can promise that.

The one positive in all this is that my lovely wife, Deb, is going to go off all of this stuff, too.  Not at quite the same level as me, but I think it’s sweet that she’s willing to do this.  Not necessary, but very sweet.

No more meat.

And that title is not a metaphor for anything deeper or more salacious.  It simply means I can no longer eat meat.

Let me back up a bit…

I’ve been suffering through some allergy stuff for about two unrelenting years.  This after pretty much a lifetime of never really having any allergy problems.  Started as what I thought was a cold.  Went to the doctor and got some meds. And waited for it to get better. This is a pattern that would repeat itself four or five times over the next six months.  Things got worse.  I went from antibiotics to steroids.  Nothing helped.

Then I saw am ENT, and found all eight sinuses were impacted and infected.  Sinus surgery! Yay.  Had that in October last year,  and after some complications and seeing a new ENT who introduced me to nasal irrigation, my sinus stuff cleared up.

But then the asthma started.  And some periodic late night anaphylactic episodes that were getting progressively more serious.  So I went to an allergist the other day to see what was causing the asthma and the strange anaphylactic episodes.

The verdict? Well the asthma was easy.  My wife’s cat,  Vivette,  who I’m evidently quite allergic to.  And dust mites.  So,  some simple solutions there to mitigate my symptoms–an inhaler,  air purifiers,  sacrificing the cat,  etc. (Of course,  that last one is a joke.  Heh…)

The other situation is more problematic.  I’ve evidently developed tick-borne mammalian meat allergy.  Yes,  this is a real thing.  You get bit by a tick, which isn’t unusual here at Taff Lodge. A substance in the tick’s saliva (Yes, ticks have saliva), sets of your body’s immune system. Unfortunately this same substance,  called alpha-gal, is found in meat.  Beef,  pork, veal,  lamb,  bison,  etc.

Some incredibly unlucky people, now including me, develop an allergy to this substance after the aforementioned tick bite,  and exhibit strong anaphylactic reactions when these meats are consumed.

So, no more meat for me.  No hamburgers,  no steaks,  no pork steaks,  no sausage,  NO MOTHERFUCKING BACON!!!  No pepperoni on my pizza. No spaghetti and meatballs.  No chili with meat.   Oh, sure,  I can still have chicken and turkey and fish.  I can swap out ground chicken or turkey sausage in recipes. But you’re missing the point.

And the point is NO MORE MEAT!



Five Movie Reviews in Five or Less Minutes

I like to go to movies.  The lovely Deb and I see a lot of them, there not being a helluva lot to do in our little corner of Southern Illinois.  Accordingly, I’ve seen quite a few over the last few months.  Generally, it’s been a pretty craptacular summer for movies.  But here are a few thoughts on the ones we’ve seen.

Captain America:  Civil War–Fantastic.  Easily the best movie so far this year.  Marvel knows what it’s doing, likes and respects its characters and puts them through the paces without turning too emo or too dark.  Unlike…

Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice–Easily the worst superhero movie of the modern superhero movie era.  Too long, too dark and too stupid for words. But here’s the worst thing:  DC is completely tone deaf about its own characters.  Marvel:  We’ve got this franchise with a talking raccoon and a walking tree.  Sounds stupid, but what the hell, here you are.  DC: Our premier hero is a dull boy scout who’s just a little too goody-goody.  Better emo that fucker up!  This is the result. We get a DC cinematic universe where every hero has to be as dark as Batman, which means Batman, to be Batman, has to be so sick and twisted that he’s actually resorted to branding bad guys.  Ugh.  Cavill and Affleck are great, as is Gal Gadot.  The story is insipid, the direction is head-scratchingly inept and Jesse Eisenberg is acting in a completely different movie.  Horrible.  But what’s worse than that?

Ghostbusters–I’m not going to even ask if we really needed a reboot or a remake of this movie, one of the iconic comedies of the ’80s.  Because if this is the answer, there’s no need for the question.  Not. Funny. For. One. Damn. Minute.  I don’t care about the all female cast or whatever.  Just make me a funny movie.  This one wasn’t, and it was the first movie in more than 25 years that I’ve walked out on.  One hour in, no laughs, we left.

Secret Life of Pets and Finding Dory–The lovely Deb likes these kinds of animated movies.  I do not.  But I love my wife, and she is dragged along to many, many movies she could care less about.  So, I saw these two movies and tried valiantly to keep from grinding my teeth.  But even she agrees that the Secret Life of Pets was unfunny and Finding Dory was a boring one-joke film.

Star Trek: Beyond–I love Star Trek, just not the movie version created by JJ Abrams (I think he’s wildly overrated as a director, but that’s another story). The casting in these new Trek films is great.  The writing…well, not so great.  Horrible, in fact.  The first was one giant plot hole.  The second went for the feels by copying another Trek film (The Wrath of Khan) that earned those feels through 25 years of television episodes and movies.  This third one, though easily the most entertaining of the new three, is still badly written and one long poorly filmed action sequence after another.  Entertaining popcorn movie, but still not Star Trek.

We’re going to see Suicide Squad tonight, but I don’t hold out much hope since the initial reviews haven’t been promising.

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