Book Review: ‘Ugly As Sin’

 

By Stacey Longo

Ugly as Sin

Ugly As Sin by James Newman is the latest offering by Shock Totem Publications, billed right on the cover as “white-trash noir,” a tongue-in-cheek summary of the contents inside. It’s funny, fast-paced, and engaging.

Nick Bullman once had an impressive career as The Widowmaker, a wrestling heel whose feuds in the Global Wrestling Association were legendary. It’s rotten luck for Nick when two wrasslin’ fans who think it’s all real attack Nick, beating him and mutilating his face in the process.

When GWA CEO Lance K. McDougal III (a clear caricature of Vince McMahon, and that’s okay) wants to market Nick’s ruined face as a gimmick, Nick attacks him. The subsequent criminal and civil lawsuits ruin Nick, and he finds himself in a bad way . . . until his daughter, Melissa, asks him for help.

It seems Nick’s granddaughter, Sophie, has been kidnapped. Nick, who honestly has nothing better to do, agrees to investigate. Along the way, he picks up a sidekick, Leon, a meth head who is happy to team up with his favorite former wrestler. What follows is a heartwarming story of two men bonding over past mistakes, current circumstances, and future dreams. Just kidding. What actually follows is mayhem, murder, and the sinking realization that Nick’s actions in the past has had real consequences on his daughter’s and granddaughter’s lives.

Ugly As Sin comes full circle, when Nick realizes that in some ways, the villain in the story is a better father than he himself has been. No matter, though: the bad guy is still a monster, and Nick’s able to (spoiler alert) save the day and turn over a new leaf where his family is concerned. Chock full of colorful characters, action, and unsettling horror, Ugly As Sin is worth the read.

Pictures from Northeast Comic Con

 

By Jason Harris

 

The Northeast Comic Con is happening this weekend at the Shriners Auditorium in Wilmington, MA. It ends on Sunday, June 21.

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Artist Jim

Artist Jim Steranko

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Actress Gigi Edgley (Farscape).

Actress Gigi Edgley (Farscape).

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If you missed this weekend’s convention, the next one takes place on December 5 and 6.

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Northeast Comic Con Happens this Weekend at the Shriner’s Auditorium in Massachusetts

NORTHEAST COMIC CON ZOOMS BACK TO SHRINER’S AUDITORIUM FATHER’S DAY WEEKEND – FAMILY FUN FOR POP CULTURE FANS OF ALL AGES

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Kapow! Northeast Comic Con & Collectibles Extravaganza is back at the Shriner’s Auditorium for a pop culture expo for fans of comics, movies, TV and nerd culture. Featuring Adam West, the original Batman celebrating the 50th anniversary of his first TV episode, this Father’s Day weekend event takes place Saturday June 20 and Sunday June 21, 2015 at the Shriners Auditorium in Wilmington, Mass. (99 Fordham Road). General show hours are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; VIP experiences are at 7 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday night, June 19th and 20th and early bird admission is available online.

This year’s event features a 40,000 sq. ft. entertainment experience for all nerds and the people who love them. Highlights include cosplay for all ages with “Create-A-Hero/Villain/Character” contests and Cosplay Death Match and Cosplay Dating Game, free-play video game arcade and tournaments, workshops forK!DZ, and celebrity autograph signings and panel sessions. Guests can shop at 150 vendors of vintage and modern toys, comic books, collectibles, art, jewelry, fashion and pop cultural artifacts. In between Father’s Day shopping, guests of all ages will enjoy music, contests and entertainment to marvel at between sessions and booths.

On Saturday, June 20, fans of the legendary Adam West, the original Batman (and now on Family Guy), can celebrate the 50th anniversary of the star’s first episode with a VIP event at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 20th at the Shriner’s Auditorium Fez room. The $100 VIP ticket provides fans with a chance to get their photo with West and then screen the first episode of the 1966 Batman TV program, introduced by West himself. This VIP experience includes free gaming play on the exclusive Starship Horizon bridge simulator as well as live entertainment, free soft drinks and snacks and a cash bar.

Visit the Northeast Comic Con Cosplay Stage, featuring puppetry, mask presentations, a Cosplay Dating Game, Create-A-Hero and Villain contests, a Cosplay Death Match, and “pose-off” contests for kids and those costumed as specifically as characters from Marvel Universe, DC Comics, Anime, Disney, Doctor Who, and even Video Game Characters.

NECC KIDZ can participate in a variety of activities hosted by comic book artist Emily Drouin, featuring imaginative facepainting with Sheri Sharkey of Chamillion Colors, get cartoonized with our caricature artist, participate in coloring contests and mask making, make your own monster, and listen a story, and even learn how to make your own comic book.

On the Fez Room stage, adults and kids will enjoy a host of performances and interactive games. Test your TV knowledge with TV Trivia with Morgan White Jr., with topics ranging from Star Wars and Movies to comics and cartoons, including Disney. Listen to musical performances by Emmarie and The World is Square, and laugh along with 20 stand up comics throughout the day on both Saturday and Sunday.

Other stars expected: Jim Steranko, Gigi Edgley, Julie McCullough, Vivek Tiwary, Jeff Kline, Philo Barnhart, Chalet Lizette Brannan, Noel MacNeal, and dozens of talented artists and illustrators; see website for full details on all convention special guests.

With free parking, regular Northeast Comic Con admission ticket prices are among the lowest in the industry. Advanced tickets are now available for purchase online; tickets are available at the door as well at a slightly higher price. Children are free when accompanied by an adult.

For schedules, VIP packages and advance tickets, visit NortheastComicCon.net. For show inquiries, email garysohmers@gmail.com or call 508-788-5474. The Shriner’s Auditorium is wheelchair accessible.

A Night with William Shatner

By Jason Harris

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Actor William Shatner was a guest at the Middlesex Community College Celebrity Forum 2015 at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, MA. Shatner was interviewed by Patrick Cook, executive director of public affairs. 2015-06-11 19.47.47
Shatner is an award-winning actor, producer, writer, recording artist, and philanthropist. During the almost 75 minute interview, he spoke about Star Trek, Boston Legal, his friendship with Leonard Nimoy who passed away in February, and death. You could tell that he misses Nimoy who he had been friends with for over 50 year ever since filming Star Trek. He talks about Nimoy’s death as memories that have faded away. He also mentioned his charities and his new reality series, Better Late Than Never with Henry Winkler, George Foreman, and Terry Bradshaw.

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Pictures from AnthoCon 2015

 

By Jason Harris

 

Author Stacey Longo.

Author Stacey Longo.

Great Old Ones Publishing.

Great Old Ones Publishing.

Author Kevin Lucia.

Author Kevin Lucia.

Author Rob Smales.

Author Rob Smales.

The State of the Union for Speculative Fiction and Art Panel.

The State of the Union for Speculative Fiction and Art Panel.

Author Kevin Lucia making the introductions for the readings of four authors.

Author Kevin Lucia introducing four authors who were going to read from their work.

Author M.J. Preston.

Author M.J. Preston.

Author Gene O'Neill Autobiography in Fiction panel.

Author Gene O’Neill’s Autobiography in Fiction panel.

Author and AnthoCon organizer Tim Deal giving the convention's closing remarks.

Author and AnthoCon organizer Tim Deal giving the convention’s closing remarks.

Authors Peter N. Dudar and L.L. Soares.

Authors Peter N. Dudar and L.L. Soares.

The Business Savvy: Understanding Contracts/Preventing Exploitation panel.

The Business Savvy: Understanding Contracts/Preventing Exploitation panel.

AnthoCon's Dealer Room.

AnthoCon’s Dealer Room.

The Macabre Maine, a publishing project, table.

The Macabre Maine, a publishing project, table.

From left to right: Artist Morbideus Wolfgang Goodell and authors Stacey Longo, Peter N. Dudar, L.L. Soares, and Kristi Petersen Schoonover at the Books & Boos table.

From left to right: Artist Morbideus Wolfgang Goodell and authors Stacey Longo, Peter N. Dudar, L.L. Soares, and Kristi Petersen Schoonover at the Books & Boos table.

Carl G. and Philip Perron of Great Old Ones Publishing.

Carl G. and Philip Perron of Great Old Ones Publishing.

The Shock Totem table.

The Shock Totem table.

Author T.T. Zuma.

Author T.T. Zuma.

Author Holly Newstein

Author Holly Newstein.

Artist

Artist Morbideus Wolfgang Goodell and author Stacey Longo.

Author James A. Moore.

Author James A. Moore.

New England Horror Writers.

New England Horror Writers.

‘Where Spiders Fear To Spin’ is Now Available from Books & Boos Press

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Books & Boos Press is proud to announce the release of Where Spiders Fear to Spin, the terrifying new novella from Bram Stoker Award® Finalist Peter N. Dudar. Acclaimed artist Morbideus Wolfgang Goodell illustrated the book.

Where Spiders Fear to Spin tells the tale of former soap opera star Sadie Mills, a woman literally haunted by her past whose final days are filled with horror. Her daughter resents taking care of her, her former lovers are dying off one by one, and her dead husband’s vengeful ghost has returned from the dead to drag her to hell.

We’ll be celebrating the release of the book at Anthocon in Portsmouth, New Hampshire (www.anthocon.com), June 5–7, 2015. Both Dudar and Goodell will be available on Saturday, June 6, at the Books & Boos’ tables to sign copies of the novella.

The book is available in paperback or e-book wherever books are sold. Visit one of these links to buy your copy today!

Amazon:

Paperback: http://tinyurl.com/spiderspaperback
Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/spidersebook

Barnes & Noble:

http://tinyurl.com/spidersbandn

Review copies are available upon request. Contact Stacey Harris at stacey@booksandboos.com.

Connecticut Author to Discuss Her ‘Ordinary Boy’

Author Stacey Longo, who has had two books published this year by two different publishers, will be discussing one of them this coming Wednesday, June 3, at the Douglas Library in Hebron, Connecticut. She will be reading and discussing Ordinary Boy, which was published by Dark Alley Press, an imprint of Vagabondage Press, in March. The event runs from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. The library is located at 22 Main St.IMG_1630

My Mom Has MS, is the second book Longo had published this year. It was published by Books and Boos Press. The book was inspired by Longo’s friend, Renee Holder’s child, Patrick, who has been asking friends to donate to the MS Society for his birthday instead of buying him birthday presents. He’s been doing this since 2008, when Renee was diagnosed with the disease.41yzKctUdpL__SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

My Mom Has MS, which is geared towards children, was written and illustrated by Longo.

Convention

2014-01-23 14.48.17Her newest books and her short story collection, Secret Things, will be available at the Books & Boos table at AnthoCon this coming2014-10-03 12.13.50 weekend. There will be a number of anthologies she has had stories published in, including Insanity Tales, available at the table as well. Longo will be available at the table throughout the weekend.

Bookstore Event

On Saturday, June 27, Longo will be reading from Ordinary Boy at the Book Club in Broad Brook, CT. The event runs from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The bookstore is located at 100 Main Street.

 

 

 

 

 

Movie Review: ‘Zombeavers’

By Stacey Longo

Zombeavers

Zombeavers (2014) is the perfect example of how to do B-movie horror right. Funny, action-packed, and full of ridiculous special effects, this might be my new favorite movie. I’m going to try to review it without spoilers, if only because this movie should be unwrapped and enjoyed thoroughly by the viewer, like a Willy Wonka golden-ticket-wrapped chocolate bar, only with zombie beavers.

The flick opens with two guys in a truck carrying hazardous waste. They hit a deer, losing a barrel of toxic goo in the process. The dialogue here sets the standard for the rest of the movie.

        Trucker #1 (after checking on the deer): “He’s not gonna make it.”

        Trucker #2: “Eh. They carry disease. Well, up and over!”

They continue on, driving over the deer corpse, unaware that toxic waste is now leaking at a nearby beaver dam.

Next, we meet three sorority sisters, Zoe (the token tramp), Jenn (the token blonde), and Mary (the token brain). Jenn’s boyfriend Sam has cheated on her, and the girls are spending the weekend at Mary’s cousin’s cabin to help Jenn get over her heartbreak. Zoe and Jenn are dismayed to find that there is only one bathroom at the cabin for three women. Also, there is no cell phone service.

       Mary: “There’s, like, a landline.”

Zoe: “A what?”

The girls go sunbathing, which allows for the obligatory topless shot that is essential to any well-done B-horror show. They decide to swim out to the beaver dam that they spot on the other side of the lake, where a bear surprises them. Uh-oh. The girls might be done for! Nah. In the nick of time, a hunter named Smyth (Rex Linn) shows up and scares the bear away with a gunshot. He then asks the girls what they’re doing.

      Jenn: “We were looking for beavers.”

Smyth” Well, ain’t we all?”

The girls are later surprised when their boyfriends, Buck, Tommy, and the two-timing Sam, show up. While everyone else is shacked up in their respective bedrooms having fun, Jenn confronts Sam with a picture she saw on Facebook of him making out with a brunette. He won’t tell her who it is, and she won’t forgive him. She goes off to take a bath, only to find a zombeaver in the tub. After Tommy smashes it with a baseball bat, they all decide the animal must have been rabid. They would be wrong.

The next day, everyone decides to go swimming, as you do after finding a possibly rabid beaver in your tub. We do find out at this point who the brunette is that Sam cheated on, but this is quickly glossed over when the zombeavers move in. All but Jenn wind up on the raft, but not before Buck, Zoe’s boyfriend, is attacked. One of the highlights of this movie is when a terrified Buck holds up his own dismembered foot, one of many, many things you don’t often see in movies these days. That and zombie beavers … but I digress.

Our heroes are trapped on the raft. Sam grab’s Zoe’s dog (did I forget to mention she brought her dog? She did) and throws it in the lake as a diversion. You know that unwritten rule in horror movies where it’s okay to brutally dismember people, but animals should never, ever be injured? Happily, in Zombeavers, this rule is gleefully ignored.

From this point forward, the movie is a smorgasbord of zombeaver attacks, horrible deaths, and near escapes. There’s a scene in the house reminiscent of a Whack-a-Mole game that will make you forget to root for the heroes, because you’ll be too busy giggling.

I cannot recommend this movie enough. It’s hilarious, entertaining, and full of beaver jokes. There were no slackers in the cast, though Rex Linn, probably best known for his role as Detective Frank Tripp on CSI: Miami, steals the show as the deadpan, no-nonsense Smyth, who quietly munches on a chicken leg while examining Buck’s dismembered foot. And you won’t want to miss the ending credits—there’s a gag reel, and a fabulous Tony Bennett-esque theme song performed by Nick Amado that you won’t want to miss.

Is this movie a thoughtful introspective on aesthetic principles and style? No. But it’s a heck of a lot of fun!

‘My Mom Has MS’ Author to Appear at Rhode Island MS Walk

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Author Stacey Longo will be on hand at the Walk MS event being held at Mt. Hope High School in Bristol, RI this Sunday, May 3. Longo will be selling her children’s book, My Mom Has MS, to help fundraise for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

My Mom Has MS is the story of Patrick Holder, an impressive young man whose mother Renee was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008. While the entire family banded together to help Renee cope with her diagnosis, young Patrick began asking his friends not to buy him gifts on his birthday, but rather to donate to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Longo and Renee Holder have been friends for a decade. “I wrote the book as a surprise for Renee and her family, to both honor all of them—they really are an amazing team—and to help raise money to find a cure for MS,” Longo said. “Patrick’s tale was both endearing and remarkable. I was honored to be able to put it to paper.” Longo also illustrated the book.

Renee and Patrick will be volunteering at the Bristol MS Walk. Book-buyers are welcome to have their book signed by both the author and the stars of the story.

My Mom Has MS is published by Books & Boos Press. The book can be purchased here.

Pictures from ChaseCon

By Jason Harris

ChaseCon took place on April 25  at the Saratoga City Center in Saratoga Springs, New York.

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Author Stacey Longo.

Author Stacey Longo.

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Wrestler Brutus the Barber Beefcake.

Wrestler Brutus the Barber Beefcake.

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Artist Nigel Carrington.

Artist Nigel Carrington.

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Nicki Clyne with the Super Geeked Up podcast crew.

Nicki Clyne with the Super Geeked Up podcast crew.

KITT from Knight Rider.

KITT from Knight Rider.

Inside KITT.

Inside KITT.

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Author Chris Philbrook.

Author Chris Philbrook.

Wolf Blair Creations.

Wolf Blair Creations.

The Vermont Comic Con table at ChaseCon.

The Vermont Comic Con table at ChaseCon.

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The Brotherhood of Evil Geeks.

The Brotherhood of Evil Geeks.

Voice actress Erica Schroeder.

Voice actress Erica Schroeder.

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The Lost at Home podcast table.

The Lost at Home podcast table.

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