A Posting That is Only Peripherally About Me

Yeah, so I was asked to read two pieces by two different authors, with an eye toward offering a blurb.  What’s a blurb? you might ask.  And well you should, since you see these things all the time if you’re a reader.

Simply put, a blurb is when someone–usually someone of some authority (and I loosely put myself in this category)–is asked to say something nice about a book.  You know, on the order of “This book is the best thing since drive-through liquor stores!” or “It’s the best book I’ve never read!”

It’s a way to market the book by attracting readers by communicating “Hey, if this gal/guy likes this book, then YOU WILL, TOO!”  So, it’s kind of a shorthand marketing tool.

I get a lot of requests for these, and many (ok…most) I don’t do, simply because they encroach on my increasingly rare and valuable personal reading time.  But sometimes I let my guard down or find a spare moment where my heart is filled with the milk of human…oh Jebus, not really.  In those fleeting moments where these things happen, I look for something–a name or a premise or well…something that hooks me.  And then I agree to read and see what I think.

So, two of these books I’ve read and enjoyed and blurbed are coming out soon and you might want to strongly consider reading them.

First, my friend Josh Malerman, author of Bird Box and a contributor to I Can Taste the Blood, has a new freestanding novella out from the good folks over at This is Horror. It’s entitled A House at the Bottom of a Lake, and it’s one of the most unusual, entertaining, wonderful little gems I’ve read in quite a while.


So, fantastic cover, too, for this piece…and my nice little blurb there.  The complete one is:

“In A House at the Bottom of a Lake, Josh Malerman gives us just exactly that. And it is as weird and as deeply disturbing as you might expect. From the teenage characters’ awkwardness, so expertly rendered, to their pushing farther and farther into the submerged house, the story unfolds on a level that is achingly deep yet instantly accessible. Malerman is a helluva writer and as cool as a cucumber throughout, and the story is unsettlingly beautiful.”

This book is available toward the end of this month from This is Horror.  Get it.  Really.  Oh, and while you’re there, take a listen to their two-part podcast interview with me.

And the second book is one coming from Grey Matter Press on Dec. 13–Rhoads Brazos’ The Devil’s Trill.  This book puts a modern spin on the gothic thriller while breathing new life into the tired old trope of imperiled women in horror and adventure fiction. It’s the first chapter in this throwback “The Ladies Bristol Occult Adventures Series”series, of which The Devil’s Trill is but the first chapter.

unnamedunnamed-1I don’t know if you can see my quote there on the back cover, but here it is:

The Devil’s Trill is a fast-moving occult adventure that reads a bit like Jane Eyre meets Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by way of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer.

And look at that cover!  I think it’s one of the nicest ones Grey Matter has done, and that’s saying something.

Go to Grey Matter Press for more information.  Subscribe to its newsletter, Dark Fiction News, to get updates and information on all the stuff Grey Matter is doing.


About John F.D. Taff

John F.D. Taff is a writer, published author, raconteur and wrangler of angry stoats. He has more than 80 short stories and 7 novels published. He lives in the great, unspoiled vastness of the Midwest. He has a tremendous wife named Debbie, three pugs, Sadie, Tovah and Muriel, and three great kids--Harry, Sam and Molly. View all posts by John F.D. Taff

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