November 29, 2013

Bedlam with Bite: a review of Ty Schwamberger's "Grave Intentions"

Grave Intentions

by Ty Schwamberger

narrated by Randy Capes

published in 2012

2 hrs. 44 min.



I've never been the kind of guy who enjoyed hanging out in graveyards. If I'm stepping out for the night, I want to go someplace a little more--wait for it--livelier. Oh, I'm terrible.



In Grave Intentions, Derrick and Craig are the best of friends. And before they head out to college, they grab some booze and a couple gals for a final night of celebrating. The meeting place of choice? The local cemetery, of course. If you think about it, it's a good choice if you're more interested in having privacy and less interested in not being surrounded by corpses. But the horny foursome aren't alone. A couple of drunk derelicts are wandering the graveyard, too. And one of them is about to unleash his inner beast after gaining a taste for human flesh.



Oh man, this novella is sick--but in a good way.



Nothing good happens in graveyards, and Grave Intentions works hard to prove that with a raw, pulpy story of revenge, regret, and really hungry monsters. Randy Capes' narration goes a long way to present distinct characters and ratchet up the tension and terror with each scene. Where I found the story lacking was in some of the dialogue. Specifically between Derrick and Craig, whose relationship felt genuine amidst the insanity, but their motivations felt uneven at times, and the provocation into a showdown with the big, bad wolf nipping at their heels seemed to run against what I would consider a desire to keep breathing in and out.



I will say this about Ty Schwamberger's brand of horror: the man does not hold back. For a guy who counts Richard Laymon among his favorite authors, Ty Schwamberger knows how to tap into his inner Laymon.


You can find a copy for yourself through

November 25, 2013

A One-Legged Stripper in an Ass-Kicking Contest: a review of Eric Beetner's "Stripper Pole at the End of the World"

Stripper Pole at the End of the World
by Eric Beetner
Schlock Zone Drive-In (2013)
101 pages
ISBN 9781491031612

Cannibals are under-appreciated in horror. Zombies just hog the spotlight in the flesh-eating department. Humph ... lousy zombies. Well, Eric Beetner offers a stage for the old-fashioned flesh-eaters in this Schlock Zone Drive-In feature.

"The Collapse", as it's called in this novella, is a little vague on details. It's the end of the world as we know it, with the economy tanking, governments disintegrating, and humanity basically turning on itself in one big free-for-all. You know, like 2008--but with cannibals.

Amidst the chaos is Janet, a widow wandering the ravaged landscape towards Center City, where she hopes to scrape together what's left of her life and make a go of things. She's already seen her husband killed by the roving hordes, and even lost a leg and much of one arm to the madness, but she soldiers on with a determination unmatched by anyone she meets. Eventually, she winds up at a strip joint called Moon Sammy's, which features women with a variety of scars of their own. Janet should fit right in. Before too long though, things head even further south when the bar is attacked by cannibals.

The story feels like it was sprung from one of those fake trailers that played between Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror and Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof from a few years ago. If you watched that Grindhouse double-feature, you know what I'm talking about. A combination of brutal violence and barbed wit. There isn't a lot of time to get to know the characters, but Beetner does take fleeting moments between action sequences to add a little flesh to Janet's fellow survivors. Good thing too, since the cannibals seems fairly proficient at tearing said flesh away. The main villain, a surprisingly coherent cannibal leading the pack, could have used a little more focus though, at least in my opinion. I didn't need some long-winded origin story, but some semblance of where he came from, and a little more explanation as to how he held onto his mental faculties while his underlings were more feral attack dogs, would have been nice.

In the end, the book delivers what it promises, which is a high-octane and low-brow thrill ride that taps into a reader's hunger for B-movie bedlam. Don't expect Cormac McCarthy's The Road here, folks. If you want refined contemplation on violence in society, maybe you shouldn't be picking up a book titled Stripper Pole at the End of the World.

Find it on

November 22, 2013

An Affair to Dismember: a review of Tobin Elliott's "Soft Kiss, Hard Death"

Soft Kiss, Hard Death (Sam Truman Mystery #3)

by Tobin Elliott

Abattoir Press (2012)

73 pages

ASIN B008GMB3LO



A guy walks into a bar and sees a pretty gal. The two hit it off, and before he knows it she's in his car steaming up the windows--and then she's dead and he's got a belly full of demon worm. You know ... that old story.



Sam Truman, the ever-broke private eye, has another case--and a tab at his favorite diner that's been paid in full. Will wonders never cease? Sam's new client is a young man with more than a hangover and the usual regrets that come from a one-night stand. After meeting an unusually beautiful woman in a dive of a bar, he takes her out to his car and they start making out. He thought he was going to get back to his apartment for some late night action, but before he could even start the car, something crawls out from the woman's mouth and into his. Now she's dead and he has what used to be her tongue writhing around in his belly--at least until it finds a way out in gruesomely painful and scarring fashion. Using a condom would most assuredly not helped that young man out. At all.



I don't know if this whole tongue slug thing was Tobin Elliott's invention or someone else's associated with the Sam Truman series, but hats off for a spectacularly gross idea. Where the idea tripped up in my view though, is that Soft Kiss, Hard Death didn't really hold a whole lot of mystery. Maybe I've seen and read too much scifi, but when the doppelganger showed up I knew exactly how that was going to play out. At least the action, snappy dialogue, and key suspense scenes pulled through for an enjoyable episode. Looking back, I'm not sure how the story could have been altered to up the mystery without throwing a wrench in the overall plot, but I like to think it would have helped.



All in all, it's a fun blend of gumshoe and gore. For a series with the words, Sam Truman Mystery, it shows even two out of three ain't bad.




November 20, 2013

Chasing Tale [11/20/13]: Comic Books As Continuance

Firefly is coming back ... as a comic book from Dark Horse. When I read that about a month ago, I will admit to going a little manga-eyed with delight. I don't tend to squee, but I came close.



Like a lot of fans, I only really became a fan after the TV show had been canceled. I caught a couple of episodes when they originally aired on FOX, but it was so poorly promoted that by the time I saw it and thought it worth watching, FOX had pulled the plug. It was only with the movie, Serenity, that my love for the TV show was fully realized, as I would later hunt down the DVD set. I didn't go fanboy or anything, but I certainly shared in the sense that there was such a lost opportunity with its untimely demise. And I never got the sense, given how Serenity plays out that there would ever be another movie or a return of the series. That movie felt like a swan song. Well, I guess a continuation through a comic book will do just fine.



It makes me wonder what other TV series would benefit from a return in the realm of comics. There was a show starring Carla Cugino called Threshold, which got canceled midway through its first season, if I recall correctly, and I think it had a lot of potential--a bit of a precursor to Fringe too, with its sci-fi/alien invasion storyline. I might be the only person who wants to see that show have some kind of resurgence, though.



Speaking of Fringe, I see Christa Faust has penned a couple of tie-in novels that work as prequels to the series, so why not a comic book series to go along with it? That one might have legs.



Anyway, what are some gone-too-soon shows that you would like to see brought back? Leave a comment and let me know.



Oh yeah, and here are a bunch of books that I added to my to-be-read pile. Check 'em out, then let me know what you've added to your bookshelf lately.





The Girl with the Long Green Heart by Lawrence Block - How about a novel about a long con? This one is an oldie, but a goodie from the 60s or 70s, that's been popping up on my reading recommendations on Goodreads. I found the ebook on the Kindle Store on the cheap too, so that was all the excuse I needed.



The Summer Job by Adam Cesare - This is an ARC from Adam for his next horror novel, set for release through Samhain Horror in early 2014. It's got bad girls, killer cults, and a spooky hotel. That might cause you to think it's a campy schlockfest, but Adam has a knack for twisting tropes like these and turning them into terrifying tales, as evidenced by his short novel, Tribesmen, which wound of being one of my favorite reads of 2012.



The Troop by Nick Cutter - This is another ARC of another novel slated for release in early '14, this one from Simon & Schuster Canada. It already has blurbs from the likes of Stephen King and Scott Smith, and the premise of a scout troop in the wilderness and beset upon by a menacing figure that shambles its way into their campsite already has my hackles up.



Gamification/C-Monkeys by Keith Hollihan - Here's something a little different from Chizine: a flipbook of two novellas with corporate corruption as a common thread. Remember those old Ace doubles and the like? Read one novel, turn the book upside down, and you've got another one to read. Neat idea, although that's just the physical copy with that feature. It'd be really neat if there was a way to do with the ebook editions. Read a story upside-down on my Kindle? Yeah, someone get on that.



Dead Trash by Ed Kurtz - This pulpgasm of a book came out from Evil Jester Press last month and I just had to get me a copy. It's a collection of four novellas. I don't know if they're interconnected, but I know they're all written by Ed Kurtz, and that's all I really need to know.




Try Not to Burn by Michael Matula - Michael stopped by the blog earlier in the month with an excerpt of his debut novel, and along with that I received a review copy on my Kindle.

The Delphi Room by Melia McClure - Imagine Hell for someone who committed suicide. Did you picture being trapped in a room viewing the ill-fated life of the person in the adjacent room, while they can see all the things that led to your suicide? Well, Melia McClure imagined that cosmically macabre idea and wrote this novel. Chizine has published it, which seems appropriate given they are the curators of the weird.

Live Specimens by Kelli Owen - This grizzly little horror novel came last year from one of the most devilishly gifted dark fiction authors to come around in the last few years. This story has a wayward ship crashing along the frozen shores of a small town, unleashing a slew of vicious, genetically engineered creatures on the townsfolk. What I've read of Owen's work so far, I've enjoyed a lot, so this should be good.


Trolling Lures by SteveVernon - Okay, first off, I really like Keith Draws' cover art for this one. Secondly, Steve knows how to make a horror story really effing weird, and I doubt this one will be any exception.



Your Place in the Shadows and Graven Image by Charlie Williams - I grabbed this collection and this novella after one popped up as a recommendation. One more British noir author for me to discover, I suppose. The novella involves a bouncer having to pay a debt to a violent boss and save his young daughter in the process. Sounds good to me.


The Proteus Cure by F. Paul Wilson and Tracy L. Carbone - A medical thriller. That's not exactly my favorite genre, but with F. Paul Wilson's name on the cover, I'm more amenable in giving it a shot. A cure for cancer winds up having some strange side-effects that lead one doctor in a race to stay alive and find answers behind the company responsible for the cure's creation.


Wish List Wednesday #149: Robert Jackson Bennett's "American Elsewhere"


WLW is a recurring blog segment in which I highlight a book I have on my wish list. Sometimes it's a new release, sometimes a beloved classic, and sometimes it's a hidden gem.



Ah, America. That tarted-up hot mess of a country is an obsession for us all. It's the nation equivalent of Paris Hilton: beautiful, successful, inexplicably impervious to criticism, and not all that bright. Oh, I kid. After all, I opine from my home in what is America's plain Jane hanger-on, Canada.



Anyway, there are novels that come around every now and again that offer a funhouse mirror to the American dream, and from some of the reviews I've read about American Elsewhere, it looks like Robert Jackson Bennett may have done just that.



Suburbia must be an American invention, with picturesque landscapes eroded by the metastasizing sprawl of its metropolises. And it's in one such patch of humdrummery that Bennett sets his novel. Wink, New Mexico is not on any map, and maybe for good reason, as an ex-police officer inherits her mother's house and soon finds the neighboring houses may look the same, but inside are very, very different. Looking to piece together the life of her estranged mother, secrets seem to be deeply rooted in Wink and everyone around her would rather those secrets stay beneath the surface.



Sound like something you'd be interested in reading, too? Have you read it already? Is so, leave a comment and let you know what you thought of it.

November 18, 2013

Thank You for Shocking: a review of "Shock Totem #6" edited by K. Allen Wood

Shock Totem #6
edited by K. Allen Wood
130 pages
ISSN: 1944-110X

As much as I enjoy the stories published through Shock Totem, this might be the first time the nonfiction steals the show in an issue. Considering K. Allen Wood and John Boden interview Lee Thompson and Gary McMahon respectively, two of the most talented practitioners of the horror genre to come around in recent years, I should not be surprised. Throw in the fourth installment of John Boden's rock retrospective with Simon Marshall-Jones, plus John's editorial on inspiration and writerly influences, and the nonfiction elements to this periodical have never been better--and that's saying something.

The stories are still there, though. Oh yes.

Ryan Bridger's "She Disappeared" did a really haunting take on Alzheimer’s. It's a quick story, but the mood is set immediately, and I was reminded of my own grandmother when she succumbed to the disease a decade ago.

"Lighten Up" by Jack Ketchum was a surprisingly comical story involving a no-smoking bi-law in New York City. I don't tend to think funny when I think of Ketchum stories, so this was a really nice eye-opener to how funny the guy can be when he wants to be, and still sneak in that tinge of hackle-raising horror.

Lee Thompson's story, "The River," didn't wow me at first, but by the time I reached the end of it, with its ethereal terror and disorienting exploration of death, I remembered that this was Lee Thompson I was reading--and the bastard is just really, really good at what he does.

A couple other standouts were P.K. Garnder's "For Jack," a creepy love story of sorts, and John Guzman's "Magnolia's Prayer," which is another very quick, but very effective take on sin.

Honestly, people, if you aren't reading Shock Totem by now, this sixth issue is probably the perfect place to hop on the bandwagon.

November 15, 2013

Down Deep in Silo Country: a review of Hugh Howey's "Proper Gauge (Wool #2)"

Proper Gauge (Wool #2)
by Hugh Howey
Broad Reach Publishing (2011)
106 pages
ASIN B006GTKF2C


I suppose most readers of Hugh Howey's Wool are devouring it in great big sittings. Me, I'm taking my time, reading one novella at a time. It has been a while since I read the first novella that kicked everything off, and I found myself curious to see where the story could possibly go from there. I mean, the protagonist died, for crying out loud. Well, Proper Gauge answers that question and raises a few more.


Told through the eyes of the aging mayor, a new sheriff is needed and the potential candidates are found to be lacking. There is one person who seems to be drawing favor from those with influence, but the mayor has her eyes set on someone else. Someone who might just tip the proverbial applecart if she's not careful.


The silo in which the survivors of whatever cataclysm took place generations ago, the first installment in the Wool saga didn't do a lot to reveal it beyond raising the spectre of a conspiracy hiding the truth about the silo and its origin. Proper Gauge sheds some light on that by way to revealing the political climate of the silo and the proverbial minefield the mayor must walk as she makes her descent into the "Down Deep" of the structure to recruit her would-be sheriff.


Characters come through clearer the more into the shadows they go, which adds a poetic bit of color to the story. The tension certainly comes to bear as well, as the power brokers in the silo seem poised to shake things up with the mayor getting on in years and the new sheriff being an unsavory choice to those living higher in the pecking order.


It looks like the third installment will feature the new sheriff trying to traverse his/her new job and get used to being responsible for the population in a brand new way that doesn't involve maintaining the monstrous machinery that keeps the silo alive. Definitely a gripping series thus far.
 Available via

November 13, 2013

Wish List Wednesday #148: Jan Kozlowski's "Die, You Bastard! Die!"

WLW is a recurring blog segment in which I highlight a book I have on my wish list. Sometimes it's a new release, sometimes a beloved classic, and sometimes it's a hidden gem.

When it comes to revenge-themed horror, like I Spit On Your Grave and Last House on the Left, blood and guts take a backseat to the stomach-turning violence depicted in drawn out scenes. A knife-wielding maniac might be scary to some, but the evil deeds of ordinary men are what really put fear in me. And I have a feeling that it's the latter that Jan Kozlowski was aiming for when she wrote Die, You Bastard! Die!

The title alone is evocative enough, even in the horror genre. It might also be a divisive one with prospective readers. Some, like me, might be drawn to it for its somewhat unconventional style, using two exclamatory sentences basically, while others might dismiss it as exploitative and prurient. Hey, maybe it can be both.

Anyway, the story of an abuse survivor forced to relive the depravity she suffered as a child is bound to be a visceral one, and it's not usually the kind of story I gravitate towards, but some fellow horror fans have really put this novella over as a quality read.

How about you out there who read horror? When the subject matter gets truly grim, do you tend to steer clear or not?

November 11, 2013

An Anonymous Apocalypse: a review of Nate Kenyon's "Day One"

Day One
by Nate Kenyon
Thomas Dunne Books (2013)
304 pages
ISBN13: 9781250013378

I'm pretty good with computers, and by that I mean I can turn one on and off without frying the hard drive. When it comes to hackers and all that techno wizardry, it's just so far over my head, you may as well be talking about alchemy ... or small engine repair ... or knitting. So there was a little bit of trepidation as I started to read this apocalyptic techno-thriller, because the protagonist is a computer programmer and a hacker contending with a technological disaster of epic proportions. Techno-babble is not something I particularly enjoy, no matter what the genre, so I tried to steel myself for a lot of jargon that I wouldn't understand. Thankfully, Nate Kenyon must have realized that readers aren't all computer geeks, because he kept the terminology to a minimum and very accessible, which is remarkable given how insane the plot gets at points in this book.

John Hawke is a journalist with a rep for using his hacker skill to shine a light on the dirty little secrets of those he's writing about. He's already earned the attention of law enforcement for shady practices and vicarious links to Anonymous, but he has still managed to get a gig doing a profile on ousted millionaire tech guru, James Weller. Good news too, because life at home with his wife and autistic son is strained to say the least, with financial issues and a mentally unbalanced neighbor who has an obsession with John's wife. It's while away with his family, crossing the Hudson River into the heart of New York City to cover Weller's latest start-up project, that all hell breaks loose with seemingly random disturbances across the city that grow in frequency and intensity. It doesn't take long for John to realize it's all technology related, with any device with an internet connection malfunctioning, and James Weller appears to know more than what he's letting on. What's worse, whoever is behind the attacks is manipulating information online to trick law enforcement into believing he is one of those responsible.

This isn't The Terminator or Robopocalypse. This is a much more grounded approach to what might happen if our present-day technology suddenly turned against us. Smartphones don't sprout arms and legs to chase us down. Vehicles don't transform into talking robots from beyond the Moon. No, this is basically the nightmarish fantasies of conspiracy theorists brought to life, with America's--and the world's--ceaselessly online existence mutated into a nearly omnipotent force, and a malicious one at that. Anything can happen from a coffee-maker electrocuting someone to a runaway subway train running down pedestrians, and even worse as the book progresses.

It's familiar ground in one sense, the whole technology run amok thing, but Nate does such a great job of offering characters you root for or identity with while the city escalates its attempts to kill them, it is hard to put the book down. My one grip with the novel is that it really takes its time in getting to the action, setting the stage, placing multiple guns on multiple mantlepieces, all before the cataclysm finally hits. Once the high-octane action begins though, it beats just about anything Hollywood has put out in theaters in recent years. And if you're one of those paranoid types who gets his/her knickers in a twist over things like the Edward Snowden affair or Facebook's management of your personal information, then this book will absolutely get your hackles raised.

A remarkably well-crafted thriller from an author who knows how to make the tension between characters as palpable as that from outside forces. And if you read it on your Kindle, you might just start to wonder if your Kindle is plotting against you.

Get yourself a copy from

November 8, 2013

Littlefield's Last Stand?: a review of Scott Nicholson's "McFall: Part One"

McFall (Part One)
by Scott Nicholson
Haunted Computer Books (2013)

Scott Nicholson brings back some familiar characters with his return to Pickett County and a return of the McFall clan ... sort of. Sheriff Littlefield, easing his way towards retirement, and a now eighteen-year-old Ronnie Day--and his friend/tormenter Dex McAllister--once again face death with the grizzly discovery of a corpse at the same time a rich land developer with the name McFall arrives with plans to turn the family plot into something civilized.

While goaded into jumping off a bridge into the cold river water below, Ronnie Day is the one who meets Larkin McFall moments before falling into the river and discovering the mangled corpse of a local. Ronnie is still suffering some of the after-effects from his ordeal in the pages of The Red Church with the fearsome Archer McFall, so seeing another McFall arrive kind of acts like a trigger. Ronnie isn't the only one with problems though, as his friend Bobby Eldreth who had his own traumatic experiences in Drummer Boy feels torn between his passion for music and his parent's pinning their hopes on his prospects as a professional baseball player.

Once again, Scott Nicholson's blend of small town America and big-time horror are poised for another showdown. I guess it should come as no surprise how organic these characters feel considering Scott wrote two novels already. Things are not jumping out of the gate lightning fast though, as this is a simmering horror, which he seems to work best with, and the callbacks to previous stories and established characters help ardent fans of his work. Newcomers shouldn't feel lost, though. There are years separating McFall from The Red Church and Drummer Boy, and enough of the history is doled out through dialogue and brief bits of exposition, serving as a helpful hand for the uninitiated.

Larkin McFall feels a little hand-wringy in his evilness so far, but the story has just started and I am really interested to see where the whole land development scheme winds up in the ensuing installments of this serial novel. Scott Nicholson has me hooked right now, so let's see if he can reel me in.

November 7, 2013

Try Not to Burn: an excerpt of Michael Matula's debut novel

About Try Not to Burn: Shot to death in the line of duty, rookie cop Brandon Morales awakens in a much darker world than the one he left. Trying to make sense of it all, Brand stumbles across Sam and Jane, two women simply struggling to survive. With their souls hanging in the balance, and eternal damnation never more than one wrong turn away, these three strangers will need to put their trust in one another in order to stay one step ahead of the flames of Hell. But when enemies pose as trusted friends, when lost loves crumble the will to continue, and when hidden desires threaten to tear allegiances apart, it will take more than faith and determination to pass God's final test. It will take a miracle.

 
Try Not to Burn
an excerpt
by Michael Matula

“What’s she doing?” Brand asked Jane. The girl, lying on her side now, allowed the metal barrels of Sam’s gun to rest on the dusty floor.

“Getting changed. We do this every single morning. My clothes are too small for her, but I understand why she feels more comfortable in them. Orange is really not her color.”

Soon after, Sam walked back in, shutting the door behind her. The prison uniform was nowhere to be found.

“Your clothes are not too small for me,” Sam informed her friend, having overheard her comment.

“I’m five foot four, you’re five seven. Do the math,” Jane teased.

Brand smiled. They almost reminded him of his sisters.

The smile faded much faster than it had grown.

He was dead. He would never see his sisters again. Or his parents. His dog. His friends. The guys down at the station. He was dead.

He had known it before, but this was the first time it truly began to sink in.

“What’s wrong?” Jane asked, seeing his expression, after relinquishing the gun to Sam.

“I’m dead,” he answered, looking at the floor, as if to find answers in the dust.

The dust was undisturbed except for where Sam had walked toward the door and then back. Obviously the dust went back to normal every day too.

Both of the women stayed silent, knowing he needed some time to think. They must have known exactly what he was going through. They’d once been exactly where he was.

It was one thing to be alive and mourn for someone who had passed away. But it was another thing entirely to still feel alive and know that your family, everyone you loved, everyone you knew, was mourning over you, and there was nothing you could do about it. There was no message you could give your family, no means by which you could keep them from crying, or make them feel better. Let them know you were still somewhere. That you still loved them.
But for Brand, there was something else. Something just as horrible, just as difficult to swallow.
The serial killer, Victor Gregory Rellik, had shot him dead and gotten away with it. Brand had the perfect opportunity to stop him, a routine traffic stop that could have nabbed one of America’s worst mass murderers of all time. And he blew it. Royally. He didn’t even swing and miss. Nope, never even got that far. Brand never f***ing swung.

Even now Rellik was probably counting Brand in his list of victims, a notch on his sadistic bedpost, and plotting his next victim. If he hadn’t struck again already. All Brand could do was hope someone stopped him soon. Hope that bastard was caught.

Brand had blown his chance to end it without further bloodshed, but that f***er would get caught sometime. They always were. Those sick bastards had a need to kill, and sooner or later all of the dead bodies and evidence caught up with them.

Didn’t it? Or was that just what people like Brand told themselves to help them sleep at night?
Brand looked up from the floor and saw both of the women standing near the other wall, looking at him with concerned faces. Even Sam, surprisingly.

“Sorry,” he said.

“No need,” Sam told him softly. “We’ve been there.”

“You wanna’ talk about it?” Jane asked.

“I think I just need some time. This is all a lot to digest. Finding out I’m dead is bad enough. But that I’m in this place...” He sighed and took a moment before speaking again. “But like you said before, I’ll get used to it because I have to.”

Sam nodded, and after a long pause said, “I had a brother I was really close to. Me and my parents never got along very well. They were real conservative, and as you might be able to see...” she pointed to the tattoo adorning her neck, “I went through a period of rebellion and we haven’t talked since then. And...I guess I’ll never have an opportunity to ever again.” She shook her head and looked aside for a moment. “I don’t know why I’m tellin’ you this. I don’t even know you.”

“I had two older sisters, Eleanor and Maria,” Brand said, hoping to make her feel better about confiding in him. It was much easier for him to try to comfort someone else than worry about himself. “And a sweet little dog named Oddjob.”

“Oddjob?” Jane asked, eyebrows raised.

Brand smiled. “I know. I always loved James Bond as a kid. For some reason my dad let me name the dog. The name could’ve been much worse, I guess, if you think about it. Oddjob was a great dog, though. Probably gonna’ miss that little guy the most.”

“I was an only child,” Jane said. “My parents were always workin’ or traveling, so I’m used to not seeing them. I do miss some of my friends, though. But even if I hadn’t died, my parents probably would have moved soon anyway, and I would’ve had to make new friends.”

Samantha walked over to the window and looked out through the dirty glass. She cradled the gun in both hands, holding it as though it was her security blanket. He didn’t blame her. From what he’d heard so far about the city, he’d glue the gun to his hand.

...


Check out Michael via: Twitter / Facebook / Michael's Blog

Check out Try Not to Burn via: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads