Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “Stephen King”

Julie’s Bookie Gifty Recommendations

TODAY’S BREW: Pumpkin Spice. Because I will love it forever.

By Julie


Today I shall give you my book recommendations for when you inevitably screech “OH SHIT I NEED TO GET AUNT TRUDIE A PRESENT AND SHE’S SO RACIST AND SO MEAN AND SHE COOKS LIKE SHIT! WHAT DO I GET A PERSON LIKE THAT?!”

You’ll get that bitch what I get everyone on earth, or wish everyone would get for me. BOOKS. I give books that I like. Period. Don’t be afraid to get someone a book they might not get themselves, but that you love. Fucking discovery and shit. It’s science. I shall give you both paperback and eBooks. Commence reading!

These books, in particular:

  1. Oh yeah, it’s happening. RUNNING HOME. Seriously, it has snow, and Christmas, and romance, but weird romance, and betrayal and blood. And more Christmas, and even Christmas ornaments. And it smells like peppermint brownies. And the cover is so pretty!
  2. SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater. I’ve read this series over and over. Again, beautiful snowy feel to it, but with a dynamic cast of characters and a fantastic, intriguing storyline, written by a true poet. Gorgeous.
  3. THE SHINING, Stephen King. It’s a classic holiday horror, and even if they’ve read it before, fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke. This book is worth reading every year.
  4. SHADOW AND BONE, Leigh Bardugo. This book took me completely by surprise with its stunning imagery, complex relationships, incredibly original plotlines and worldbuilding. One of my favorite books of the year by far.
  5. NEVERWHERE, Neil Gaiman. You can’t go wrong giving someone who’s never read Gaiman this book. If they don’t like it, they don’t get any present next year at all.
  6. BLACKBIRDS, Chuck Wendig. I’m in love with Miriam Black, her story, her mouth, her abilities, and I’m in love with the attention Chuck gives to making sure there is a complexity to this story. Holes Black gets herself into that you pray she can find her way out of. An incredible read with endless possibility.
  7. DISCOREDIA, J.C. Michael. Brand new author who’s been poring over this novel for a long time. I have waited over a year for the paperback of this book to come out to hold in my grubby little mitts, and now I can have it. And it’s set at New Year’s, so winning.
  8. AGENTS OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS, Simon R. Green. I’ve given this book to so many people, I might be on Green’s PR staff now. He’s my favorite author and this is my favorite work of his. I can’t say enough.
  9. HOLIDAYS ON ICE, David Sedaris. I read this book years ago, and it never left me. Perfect for this time of year, and it’s a sure winner with any reader.
  10. DEEP KISS OF WINTER, Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter. I’m reading this right now, and really enjoying it. I wanted something with bite, but light enough to feel like an escape at the end of the day. This is it. It would be a great gift.


  1. BECAUSE THE NIGHT, by our very own Kristen Strassel will be under everyone’s E-tree this year.
  2. ON THE LIPS OF CHILDREN, by my brother at Books of the Dead Press, Mark Matthews is only 99 cents right now, and wow, what a goddamn read. I love this book so hard.
  3. BOUND, by J. Liz Hill. For Chrissakes, the cover is so goddamn pretty.
  4. SINGULARITY, by Joe Hart. I love the way the man writes, and impatiently await my copy of his new book in the mail.
  5. UNTETHERED, by Katie Hayoz. “Sylvie isn’t comfortable in her own skin.  In fact, there are times she can’t even manage to stay inside it.” That’s all I need to hear.

I Want A Cross Genre Vampire! Shonda Brock Guest Post

Today’s Brew: Orange Juice. Everyone at the DEA organization is illin’ this week.

by Kristen

One of the first vampire enthusiasts I found when I joined Twitter was Shonda Brock, so it’s an honor to have her write for Deadly Ever After!  Shonda’s got a great blog full of vampire-rific posts.  And you can follow her on Twitter.

As a writer, what would I like to see done with vampires that hasn’t been done before? Excellent question!!!!!!!!!

Believe it or not that question propelled me into writing.  I have been avid reader of Paranormal Romance, Horror and Suspense novels for years.  And by no means is this a knock or dig against any author I’ve read, because in truth, they are all where I long to be, a Professional Well Skilled Writer. But for the vampire character, I’ve always wanted more.

True Paranormal fans can tell you the basic lure to a good vampire read. It usually begins with The Dark Prince of Blood who survives on human life, living his immortal existence without sunlight, enduring in sin, lust, greed and loneliness in the shadows of modern civilization. His tortured life continues in this same manner until he lays eyes on the one thing he can not have.

I still want that lustful, needful vampire that every woman craves, but I also want that same vampire to be riddled in the hardship of life found in ‘Lovely Bones’ by Alice Sebold. Like how does a family continue on after losing a child to an unsolved murder? Or like in my personal favorite Stephen King’s ‘Pet Cemetery’, to project pure horror into the very thing you love and trust the most and then you have to kill it.

The traditional vampire romance novel contains lust and love weaved between suspense which allows the plot to thicken and become a page-turner. But what I want to see is pure terror weaved into it as well. I want to read about a vampire who is complex by matters of life. Where there is no right or wrong moral thing to for the vampires to do, there’s only matter of how do they survive to get to the next moment without losing their sanity.  I still want him to be sexy and alluring, but I also want to be scared out of my wits so that I dare not cut off my lights or go to sleep without garlic under my bed.

I’m reminded of a line from my daughter’s favorite movie “High School Musical 3”. One of the characters’ song said, “I want it All!”

I want to see a cross genre Vampire.

I want the raw edgy suspense of Tom Clancy and the gut retching pain in “A Time to Kill” by John Grisham and the sexiness of Vampire Lestat by Ann Rice. And by all means, please add an extra dose of bone chilling horror by the great Stephen King. PS: can I get a side order of giggles from the Love at Stake Series by Kerrelyn Sparks?

Now that’s My Vampire Story! If only I could write such a beast.

Fine, You Win “The Mist”! Officially Too Scary For Me

TODAY’S BREW: Hazelnut.  No apple juice in it.  Refer to yesterday’s tweet…actual occurrence.

I love horror movies.  I love B-raters, and big screen, I love them all.  (Cannot WAIT for Silent Hill 2, the first of which is possibly my favorite horror movie.)  But this is not about that movie, which I would see over and over again, but about a movie that made me so uncomfortably afraid that I will never see it again.  It joins the league of only one other movie I will never see again…Eraserhead.  The creep factor there is too much, even for me.  No thank you.

I am talking about The Mist, based on the novella by Stephen King.  Now, everybody loves The Shining, and I am no different, though the book is worlds scarier than the movie.  Big fan.  But The Mist packed a punch that I suppose I was not expecting.  It does what Mr. King does best…show the absolute worst of people at the absolute worst of times.  This movie is flawlessly frightening to me.

Based in a small town in Maine, King’s calling card, a severe thunderstorm hits and rips the town to shreds.  Residents flood to a local supermarket that is running on a generator alone, to stock up on supplies.  Once there, they all become trapped by a supernatural mist, rumored to be the product of a government opening of a dimensional portal.  All sorts of terrifying beasties, including giant nasty flying things that smash windows with their freak beaks, live in this mist, cornering people and tearing them limb from limb for all to see.  All in good fun.  But the real horror is what the survivors are driven to do to each other, rather than band together to survive.  A nightmare group of religious fanatics take over the store, accusing and plotting like crazy.  They become the ones to escape, rather than the creatures in the Mist, and it drives some to suicide, others to violence of all extremes.

But it is the end of this movie, which was actually made darker by director Frank Darabont, that literally left me nauseous and crying.  Good show man!  I mean, to darken up a Stephen King work, that is a tall order, and one Frank was not afraid to fill.  That’s high praise.

So, wanna feel sick and cry yourself to sleep speculating “what the hell would I do?”  Go see The Mist.  You might not thank me.

So…Where Was I Again?

Today’s Brew: Coconut Mocha with Soy, baby. Yeah, Kristen is back.

8 days, 4 states, 1200 miles, 23 hours of driving. Yup, that was my work week.

Believe me, I am not whining about having too much work. I know I’m blessed to be doing something I love. I know so many people right now have the opposite problem, and as a freelance self employed subcontractor, I know at any time, that could be me. I’m more marveling at the fact that I lived to tell the tale.

As we’ve mentioned a few times here before, I work as a makeup artist. I mostly do production work, such as film, TV, and corporate video. Sprinkle in a wedding here and there for variety. I’m also an assistant regional manager for a cosmetic company. New England territory is my bitch.

Like my retail background helped prepare me for the rigors of working as a makeup artist, I believe that working as a makeup artist helps me as a writer. I’m always creating. I also get to meet really interesting people and see places I wouldn’t normally have access to. I also have a decent understanding of how to promote my art and creativity in a professional manner. I can also take criticism for my creations without letting it affect my ego and enthusiasm.

I also come up with some of my best writing material when I’m in the car, listening to music. How could I not be inspired to write when I traveled so deeply into the land of Stephen King? (And let me tell you, those characters are based on real people) I made sure I packed my notebook, and it came home full of ideas that weren’t there when I left. I can’t wait to be able to catch up on my writing again, and incorporate these ideas from the road into Immortal Forever, as well as the other installments in what looks like it’s becoming a series.

Follow Kristen on Twitter for tales from the next road trip.

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