‘Insanity Tales II’ Cover Revealed by Books and Boos Press

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Books & Boos Press has debuted the cover for Insanity Tales II: The Sense of Fear. The cover plays off of the eye theme from the original Insanity Tales anthology cover. Both covers were created by artist Melinda Phillips.

Insanity Tales II: The Sense of Fear will debut in early October. According to Stacey Harris, co-owner of Books & Boos Press, she hopes to have copies of the new anthology to join the first one at their table at Rock & Shock. Two of the authors, Stacey Longo and Rob Smales, will be on hand during the convention to sign copies.

The collection features eleven stories from six of New England’s finest storytellers. David Daniel, Stacey Longo, Dale T. Phillips, Rob Smales, and Ursula Wong each have two short stories in the book; Vlad V. contributed a novella. Multiple Bram Stoker winner Joe McKinney (Crooked HousePlague of the Undead) wrote the foreword.

The book is a themed anthology: each author based their stories on different senses, going beyond the traditional (sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste) to elements such as a sense of doom, of powerlessness to control the future, and a sense of false hope.

The anthology is the second installment from Books & Boos Press. Insanity Tales debuted in October 2014.

Book Review: “Blood Cult of the Booby Farmers” by Peter N. Dudar

 

By Stacey Harris

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Blood Cult of the Booby Farmers by Peter N. Dudar wins, hands down, the best title for a novella ever. And what would you suspect from a story with such a title? Inbreeding, perhaps? Parasitic half-formed twins? Boobies? Good news: Dudar delivers all of these delights, and more.

BCOTBF is the tale of Tobias and Mathias, two brothers who, along with their father, are struggling to keep their farm from foreclosure. Add to this the problem of feeding Mathias’s parasitic, always-starving twin, Bubba, and you’ve got yourself a real dilemma. Tobias is in charge of keeping Bubba fed, and he does so by kidnapping lactating women. Problem is, Mathias keeps killing these women, and the planted corpses among the fields soon make their presence known.

This tale is not for the weak of heart. There is rape, torture, cannibalism, and gore galore, and honestly, I wouldn’t let my mother read it. (Hell, I don’t even want her to find out that I’ve read it.) You will not want to recommend that your local church book club read this book. (Or maybe you will, if your aim is to be excommunicated. If that’s the case, recommend away.) However, if you’re a fan of extreme horror, and have a perverse sense of humor, BCOTBF is just the book you’re looking for.

BCOTBF is twisted and sick, an homage to grindhouse and B-quality horror. It’s a bit silly, a little campy, and definitely grotesque, all essential elements for an entertaining read. It will absolutely appeal to the teenage boy in every man, and is a satisfying read for any gender willing to get down and dirty.

And yes, as promised, it is chock-full of boobies.

Book Review: ‘Accidents of Marriage,’ the newest offering from Randy Susan Meyers

 

By Stacey Harris

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Randy Susan Meyers’ latest riveting offering, Accidents of Marriage, takes the reader through the strained workings of an unhappy marriage to the shattered remains after this marriage implodes. Ben and Maddy are struggling to raise three children and keep their relationship balanced, while the dark cloud of Ben’s temper always looms overhead. It’s Ben’s hotheadedness that results in a terrible accident which lands Maddy in the hospital with a traumatic brain injury.

Seamlessly told from the perspectives of Ben, Maddy, and Emma, their 14-year-old daughter, Meyers takes us through the cycle of Maddy’s transformation from victim to survivor, and the impact her accident has on the family dynamic. Blame is thrown like paint across a landscape, and nobody escapes the feelings of guilt, shame, and hopelessness that accompany it. The reader will find Maddy both likeable and oblivious (after all, she works with abused women, yet can’t seem to recognize the signs in her own marriage). Emma comes across as a true teenager, at times entitled and shallow, but as her role within the family changes after her mother’s accident, alarmingly burdened with the responsibility of keeping things running smoothly. She’s an empathetic character with a teenage attitude: the reader feels pity for her, but sometimes, her selfishness is aggravating. Kudos to Meyers for capturing the essence of the average American teenage girl.

Most surprising is Ben, who begins in this novel as a truly unlikeable and selfish man. His struggle throughout the book to do right by his family and better himself improves his character immensely, to the point where the reader almost feels sorry for him. Almost. Let us not forget he is the one who put Maddy in the hospital to begin with, and while the reader can draw a conclusion as to whether Maddy should forgive him, it is ultimately Maddy’s decision, after all.

Accidents of Marriage is an intriguing read that will leave the reader questioning what they themselves might do in such a complex and intense situation. This novel’s captivating narrative of family transformation makes Ben, Maddy, and Emma impossible to forget.

The book will be released on September 2. You can preorder through Amazon by clicking here.

Do You Know about Books & Boos?

2013-05-03 12.44.46Books & Boos is a bookstore that opened last year on Nov. 20. It’s located in Colchester, CT and is owned by Stacey and Jason Harris.

The bookstore offers previously read books, of which they have over 5,000. Not all of them are at the store, so if you don’t see something be sure to ask since they may have it in storage. Along with the previously read books, they have new books. The new books include ones by local authors who live in Connecticut and throughout New England. Some of the titles are Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole and Bad Apple by Kristi Petersen Schoonover, The Authority of Outhouse/Backhouse/Privy Building by Georg Papp, Sr., Die, You Bastard! Die! by Jan Kozlowski, Beware the Hawk by A.J. O’Connell, and From Schoolboy to Soldier by Quincy S. Abbot, to name just a few of the books by local authors.

The bookstore also sells unusual novelties like black cats made from reused flatware and zombie gnomes. No one’s garden is complete without a zombie gnome.

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Portrait of Edgar Allan Poe by Amanda Doughty

There are also paintings for sale including a portrait of Edgar Allan Poe created with ink and coffee by Amanda Doughty, an artist living in Norwich, Connecticut. Another Poe design by her has been placed on a gray t-shirt, which is being sold at the bookstore.

You can find Books & Boos at 514 Westchester Road in Colchester, Connecticut or online here. They also have a Facebook page and Twitter page.

Craft Fairs, Vendors, and Grand Openings, Oh My!

Craft Fairs, Vendors, and Grand Openings, Oh My!

By Jason Harris

I started Saturday morning going to the Sleigh Bells Arts and Crafts Fair at Bacon Academy in Colchester, Connecticut. If Stacey and I weren’t operating a business, Books and Boos, the New England Horror Writers would have had a table or two at this craft fair.

You can read the Reminders article about this craft fair here.

The craft fair was bigger and had more vendors than the Tantasqua’s Holiday Craft Fair last Saturday. The school had vendors in the hallways, cafeteria, and even into the library. There were some interesting vendors who I talked to about bringing their wares into Books and Boos.

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Re-use of Misdirected Flatware owned by John M. Gilchrist (www.esty.com/shop/gilsgarden). Photo by Jason Harris.

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Mice made from forks by John M. Gilchrist. Photo by Jason Harris.

There were also a woman, Tracy Fowler, who worked with leather. She made items like wallets, belts, and knife sheaths. Her business, WarEagle Leather Works, located in Windsor, Connecticut.

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Belt buckles made by Tracy Fowler. Photo by Jason Harris.

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Photo by Jason Harris.

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Hair accessories created by Tracy Fowler. Photo by Jason Harris.

The reason I went to the holiday craft fair was to help out the Bacon Academy’s students by purchasing two boxes of their homemade cookies for the grand opening celebration at Books and Boos. The celebration included a reading and signing of Bad Apple by Kristi Petersen Schoonover and the giving away of a new copy of The Priest of Blood by Douglas Clegg with the purchase of $5 or more.

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Author Kristi Petersen Schoonover reading from Bad Apple. Photo by Jason Harris.

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Photo by Jason Harris.

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Members of the New England Horror Writers: Jason Harris, Kristi Petersen Schoonover, and Stacey (Longo) Harris. Photo by Nathan Schoonover.