Bark's Book Nonsense

Stay chill, it's only a silly book review.

I read the good, the awful & all of the "meh" in the middle. Mostly horror & romance of all kinds.

Horror Challenge



Yeah, yeah so I know I said I was finished signing up for challenges but I LIE. I saw this over on the Scifi and Scary blog and figured I'd join since it seems doable and also a good way to weed out some of those ancient horror novels in my TBR dungeon.

Eeeeeeek! And that's only one shelf.


Anyway, it should coincide nicely with the Horror Aficionados Challenges I've signed up for over at Goodreads. Anyone want to join me?

 

Here are all the details:

2017 Horror Reading Challenge

First of all are the Challenge Badges, which you will win by completing the highest number of books for that level. I will list them below and they will be e-mailed to you at the conclusion of the challenge.


CHALLENGE LEVELS:

Neophyte of Coolthulhu’s Temple:  Read and review 1-7 horror books

Initiate of Coolthulhu’s Temple:     Read and review 8-15

Oracle of Coolthulhu’s Temple:       Read and review 20-25 horror books

MYSTERY BADGE     Read and review 50+ horror books

There Are Rules to This Game…

  • This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2017-December 31, 2017. (Yes, we’re back-dating it so horror books you’ve already read this year count.)
  • You can join at any time before August 1, 2017.
  • Books must be read and reviewed in 2017.
  • Audiobooks, re-reads, short stories, and cross-overs are fine.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate! You can track your progress on Goodreads, Shelfari, Booklikes, etc.
  • Sign up on the designated link below with your post, shelf, etc. and leave a comment letting us know what your personal goal is.
  • Link up your reviews each month via the provided link. (We will be doing a monthly challenge update for everyone to list up on.)Come join the Coolthulhu Crew and see how brave you really are!
  • Use hashtag #CoolthulhuCrew on Twitter!
  • Remember, you do have to officially sign up before August 1, 2017 so link up below to sign up and enter the challenge.



Click HERE to go to the sign-up link @ Scifi and Scary.

Holy Crap We Can Post!

This is the year I face reality.

With each passing year I get another gray hair or thirty. Wait. Is it gray or grey? My handy thesaurus is not helping me out with this one so I guess I’ll use them both. Anyway, with each grey hair that I find, I fear I’m one day closer to croaking, or at least to losing my remaining marbles, before I read any of the books wilting away in my tbr dungeon.  So here’s what I’m going to do in 2017:

Whatever the hell makes me happy. 

Life is drifting away from me one previously dirty blonde hair at a time and reading makes me happier than most anything else.  I’m scheduling in reading time and to hell with the laundry, the cat boxes and dinner. That's why I had kids, right? I’m also going to stick headphones in my ears to drown out the siren call of the blaring tv which always magically turns on whenever I sit down to read.

I’m going to DNF like there is no tomorrow because there might not be!  

I struggled through so many books that weren’t worth the struggle in 2016. Just look at this wall of meh. Click on any book cover to torture yourself with my meh review.

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis ,VIP by M. RobinsonZoe Letting GoRiding Red19194550Night Film


I could have been reading more fabulous five star books like these. What the heck is wrong with me?

22465349  Dogtripping: 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, and 3 RVs on Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure 30334928All the Ugly and Wonderful Things


Enough of this utter madness.  I am determined to read more wicked awesome books and less sloggy ones. My naive goal of reading ALL the books is simply not going to happen unless I win the lottery and pay someone with the smarts to figure out how to turn back time. Until then, I'll be bringing down the DNF hammer with a vengeance in 2017.

Tackling the TBR

I’m going to tackle my tbr basement once and for all though I have no clue how I'm going to achieve it.  Any ideas?

I have books down there that haven’t seen the light of day since I bought my house in the late 90’s. They’re nearly antiques at this point. Here are a few . . .

 
 
 



Look at these things. Oh-so-sad, right? I know they’re slowly dying of loneliness. They used to be in some sort of order but now they’re completely messed up because Mr. Patrick is a dick and insists on reorganizing my shelves for me by knocking them down so he has more room for his ever expanding bum.

Good Kitty

 

My Kitty


No More Netgalley

I know. Did you just drop dead after reading that statement? This may be the thing that does me in if the ravenous family who must now clean the litter boxes doesn't get to me first. It is going to be a toughie but I have zero willpower and know I will never tackle the TBR if I continue to bury myself in ARC’s. I’ll probably pick up one every month but no more 6 books at a time. Look at me reneging on my promises to myself before I even finish this paragraph . . .  I may be doomed to die in a crush of books. I guess there are worse ways to go.

More Thoughtless Reviews, Less Agonizing Over Them

Last year I only read 65 books and that includes audiobooks. That is seriously pathetic for someone who listens to nearly one audiobook a week. That means I read 12-15 actual books the entire year.


I am so embarrassed. I checked back and I read over 120 books when my kids were toddlers and I wasn’t even listening to audiobooks back then so there’s no excuse now that they’re basically grown and can put on their own undies. I’m no longer going to waste any more time agonizing about spewing out a thoughtful review and my reviews will likely be shorter. This will be the year of the completely thoughtless review.   I know what you’re thinking, “Umm, weren’t you doing that already?” and, okay, you’re half right.  But sometimes I’d find myself putting off reading anything for an entire week because I had to finish up a review of the previous one and the more I agonized over the review and worried about saying the wrong thing or saying something that hadn’t surely already been said a million times, the more I dreaded sitting down to do it. It’s a vicious circle.  I also have this odd internal voice that would tell me I had to finish a review before I had permission to start another book or the sky would fall on me. Yeah, they’ll be no more of that. That line of thought is crazy-making. It’s probably too late for me at this point but there’s still time for you to learn from my mistakes.



So I'm going to do what makes me happy and screw everything else. How about the rest of you?

 

The Secret Life of Souls by Jack Ketchum & Lucky McKee

The Secret Life of Souls: A Novel - Lucky McKee, Jack Ketchum

Having read Ketchum’s work in the past and watching a few of Lucky McKee's films (May is a must-see, btw), I pretty much read this book with my heart in my throat while I waited for the ball to drop on my head and I was not at all disappointed!

 

 

This is a not a feel-good story. Don’t let that lovely cover fool you. It is a story about two terrible, self-absorbed, materialistic people who never should’ve had children. But they did. Twins in fact. Now the twins are eleven and Delia, an actress, is their beautiful little money maker. Robbie is basically ignored while their stage mom drags Delia from job to job to keep up with their luxurious lifestyle and to keep herself supplied in alcohol. Dad stays home and buys himself expensive toys. Ugh, I DESPISE these people. You will too. But you’re supposed to, so don’t feel bad about it. I sure don’t.

 

 

Delia’s only friend is her beloved dog Caity who has her own point of view. Caity is an amazing, fully fleshed out character. Their bond is super tight and extraordinary. It is also beautifully written and completely believable. Terrible things happen, as they do in a Ketchum novel, and I’m not going to spoil any of them. Just know that you will cry even if you think you’re too tough for that and when the story ends you will feel raw, as if you’ve been turned inside out and all of your nerve ending are now exposed. But you will not regret reading through the tough bits to get to the unforgettable end. Trust me on this. I loved this book. Books like this are the reason I keep reading through all of the “meh” one’s. It is absolutely deserving of all five stars. Delia and Caity will forever be in my heart. Now I’ve got to go and hug my dogs before I get all weepy again.

 

 

We are here. We together. We are not alone. This one might require Daryl.

 

 

*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. Thanks Netgalley :)

Have a happy holiday BL friends.

Happy Holidays!

Status Update: 90 minutes in

A Little Life: A Novel - Hanya Yanagihara

This is one of the best character studies I believe I've ever read. People scared me away from it saying it was the most depressing thing they've ever read but I don't think they've read some of the depressing things I've read. Out, Geek Love, The Girl Next Door? This isn't so bad in comparison. Sure it has a shadow of darkness cast over everything and I know things will probably end badly for everybody but that's life sometimes. Of course, I'm only 90 minutes in and this book is 1980 minutes long!  That is not a typo, lol. So there is plenty of time for things to get much worse.

Status Update

A Little Life: A Novel - Hanya Yanagihara

So, I decided to listen to this feel good little book for the holidays.

 

I'm just going into it expecting the worst trauma out of every scene and relationship and so far it hasn't broken me. 

Day 2 and we're a little sloggy but mostly still okay!

Are we back?!!  Patrick's afraid to look :)

Baby Patrick
Baby Patrick

First the cute. Here's a picture of my evil kitty Patrick when he was only a few weeks old. Wasn't he the cutest little demon?

 

Now the not so cute. I'm leaving you Booklikes. At least for today. Perhaps a few days. Maybe until next year. I just wasted my entire break attempting to post a review. Now I can't comment, nor read my feed past the first few entries. People comment on my posts and I cannot respond. I feel like I'm ignoring everyone so I probably will no longer post.  I may be back here and there to check in on the first two entries in my feed and I will occasionally post my reviews if I can but I think I'm going to have to say goodbye to this lovely community for good very soon. I have been patient but man am I tired of this.

 

 

Stay well and keep in touch.  You can find me, PLEASE find me, at my blog, Bark's Book NonsenseI'm also still at Goodreads for those of you who are still there.  If you have been booted from GR and have a blog please visit mine, leave a comment anywhere and I will add you to my bloglovin' feed.  

 

 

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis (audio)

Enchanted - Alethea Kontis, Katherine Kellgren

This story was as charming as it was frustrating. The narrator does a beautiful job with her lovely, lilting fairytale-like accent but the material has issues even a skilled narrator can’t overcome.

A beautiful young lady named Sunday falls truly, madly, deeply in love with a frog. A talking frog, mind you, but a slimy frog nonetheless. Now don’t get me wrong, I like frogs well enough. We didn’t open our pool this past summer and a frog moved in on the little pond that was created on our pool cover. He stayed the entire summer and he would croak hello at me every time I ventured out back with my dogs. He would then stare at me like he had more to say or perhaps he was secretly wishing me dead for invading his space. One day he left our “pond” without a goodbye and I kind of missed seeing him. But that was as far as things went with me and my frog. Now that I think about it, perhaps I’ve missed my chance at ruling a kingdom. Damn. Anyway, this beauty named Sunday falls in love with her frog so deeply and so truly that she breaks a curse with her love.

You know that shit is for real when it breaks a curse, right?

This is a kinda sorta retelling of The Frog Prince with a whole bunch of other things thrown in to confuse my tired brain. And I’m not kidding about the “whole bunch of other things". Back in ye olden times of reviewing we would call this type of thing a “Kitchen Sink” book because the author throws everything in but the kitchen sink. Here are just a few of the things:

1. The frog is a cursed Prince, of course, but the curse is a muddled and complicated thing that I can’t explain and he really can’t either. Something about Sunday’s deceased brother and two fairy godmothers who have it out for each other.
2. The prince awakens with fuzzy, partial memories so not only am I confused but so is he.
3. One day Sunday is madly in love with her froggy and I’m feeling for her because he suddenly goes missing without a goodbye. Tragedy, no? But then, oh but then, a scrawny prince asks her to dance and she is wooed and declares herself in insta-love with him! She has no idea he was her true love the frog at this point because he’s too chicken to tell her because of #1. Or something. Sheesh, I guess true love for her means if I don’t see ya for a few days I’m on to the next one!
4. Sunday is the 7th daughter of a 7th daughter and do you know what that means? That means that she is magical! It also means that there are hordes of siblings all with complicated but not very well fleshed out stories of their own going on here and I could remember none of them. Her sisters were all named for days of the week. I couldn’t remember who was who and often mixed up Sunday with Saturday. My brain was not up for this.
5. There are tons of pieces of fairy tales sprinkled in here. I enjoyed that at first but after a while it felt a little like overkill.
6. The King declares he is in insta-love with one of Sunday’s sisters (please don’t ask me which one) and will take her as his bride whether she wants him or not. But the prince discovers a dark and terrible secret that sets off another subplot.
7. At some point the prince is running around town with a shoe that will only fit his true love. Wait a minute. What? I thought he already knew who his true love was. They’ve been dancing at balls and he’s only had googly eyes for her. I thought that was truly the only thing he was sure about but perhaps I wasn't really paying attention.

I guess it’s here that my brain ran out of power so none of this may be right. Don’t count on this review for any kind of accuracy.

This story would’ve been adorable if it hadn’t become so overly convoluted that it’s nearly impossible to follow. I never felt any sort of emotional attachment to any of the characters. Terrible things happen to some of them and I felt a whole bunch of nothing because of the breezy way things were handled and because of the way things just keep speeding along. Why bother add in backstory if you’re not going to knock your readers out with the emotional impact? I don’t get it. It’s a real shame because the writing is lyrical in many parts and there was so much promise.

It just didn’t work for me and I have to wonder why I finished the audio at all. I guess my only reason is that I was too lazy to start something else and the writing was very lovely at times. I was also hoping that the confusing bits would eventually be fleshed out and explained. Some of them were but many of them weren’t and now I’m left feeling a little brain hurt.

Not really recommended.

Have a relaxing weekend everyone!

Horror Film Review: Krampus

 
Krampus (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD)

 

Holiday Horror 
Legendary Pictures' Krampus, a darkly festive tale of a yuletide ghoul, reveals an irreverently twisted side to the holiday. When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family's home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive.
 
 
Well, I must say this was a bit different than what I was expecting. It’s a little bit National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Evil Dead and Gremlin’s with some of the Krampus mythos thrown in. I was expecting more of a flat out Krampus legend with child snatching and such but the addition of his minions were fun and creepy (oh gawd, their laughter!) and kept things on the lighter side.

It’s Christmas time and a middle class family has fixed their house up beautifully for the holiday and for unappreciated relatives. Mom is hoping for the best and trying to remain cheerful despite the fact that her sister along with her redneck, terribly rude hubby, their three awful creatures children and a horrible, uninvited aunt have shown up on their doorstep to mooch off of them and complain about everything for a few days. They will endure make the best of it even if it kills them. And it just might . . .

Things go from awful to much worse for our nice family. When their youngest son turns his back on the holiday he accidentally unleashes some good old-fashioned holiday mayhem. A blizzard arrives, their teen daughter goes missing after going to check on a neighborhood friend and then, well, then Krampus and his cohorts arrive to tear their little neighborhood to pieces and snatch a few kids. Everyone must come together to save themselves so all can end sickly sweet and happily ever after. I’m not going to tell you if it did but will only say that I loved the ending.

The movie was fast paced and well-acted and Max, the main boy, did a great job as the heart of the family. It’s nightmarish, claustrophobic and just evil fun. This movie nails the annoying holiday ruining relatives and I highly recommend it.  

All In Fear: A Collection of Six Horror Tales

All in Fear: A Collection of Six Horror Tales - Steve Berman, K.J. Charles, J.A. Rock, Kris Ripper, Roan Parrish, Avon Gale

 

 
6 romance authors unleash their dark side and I, for one, couldn’t be happier. These stories all focus on things darker than most romances and all have well fleshed out characters and even a few steamy moments going on between all of the scares. I could read stories like these all day, every day. Too bad I have bills and a job and there aren’t enough of these sorts of tales to feed that kind of need anyway . . .

On to the stories.

Company by Roan Parrish
A lonely teen spends his summer obsessively reading a vampire comic. It seems he’s a fallen a little in love with the fictional vampire character named Michel. One early morning he just so happens to bump into his obsession in the flesh! I think I would’ve passed out dead but Nick is made of stronger stuff and the two strike up an awkward sort of friendship that brings Nick comfort. When Nick returns to school, he begins a real relationship with a genuine boy who seems to like him quite a bit but Michel is always there lurking about in the corners with menace in his eyes . . . That’ll put a damper on any romantic interludes.

Is Michel real? Will Michel and/or Nick sabotage Nick’s chance for happiness and first love?

I’m not telling. This was a great way to start off the collection. It’s a creepy little story and I won’t say anything more because I don’t want to ruin it.  4 Stars

Love Me True by Kris Ripper
“There’s nothing better after a truly shitty day than coming home, locking my boyfriend’s wrists in padded handcuffs, gagging him, and whaling on him with a paddle. Nothing is better than that feeling, that rush.”

Well, then! Now that’s the way to start off a story.

Palmer spends his days in a job he loathes and most of his nights at the black jack table and/or screwing his true love Jon. You can’t have everything but at least Palmer has Jon. The two are deeply in love but Jon has some devastatingly dark passions. Passions he wants to share with Palmer . . .

I watch far too much true crime tv, more probably than any sane person should, and because of this I forecasted this one very early on and it didn’t surprise me. The relationship, the lust, the love, and the devastation were all nice and juicy though, just like my favorite true crime shows. 3 ½ Stars


The Price of Meat by KJ Charles
I think this story is my favorite. It is so horrific and yet so dignified and proper all at the same time, possibly due to the setting, the language and the spunky, fearless protagonist. Whatever it was, it all worked for me. It was nuts and I loved it. The story is complete in and of itself but I would love to see this character and this twisted world made into a full length book.

Much to Johanna’s dismay, Arabella, the love of her life, has been committed to Mr Fogg’s Asylum for the Weak-Minded by her dastardly relatives. Arabella is not certifiable; her relatives are just greedy and want her inheritance. As you can imagine, Mr. Fogg’s Asylum is not a nice place. People die under their care after they’ve been horribly abused. Johanna cannot wait another day and takes action after learning a secret that she can use as leverage to free Arabella before something completely dreadful happens to her.

This secret leads Johanna into a lawless land of horrors where violence, disfigurement, murder and worse terrors await all who step through a hidden door . . .

This story is freaking fantastic and you must read it! It is disturbing, it has moments of dark humor, many twisty turns, and a brave “I’ll do it all my own damn self” type of heroine and my eyeballs were glued to all of its words.  Five stars.


His Mouth Will Taste of Chernobyl by Steve Berman
Steve is one of a few pledges for a frat house. He’s really not into the whole frat-life thing but endures the pain and humiliation because it’s what his father demands – or he’ll cut off funds.

"New Orleans lured me then lied to me. My father spoke as if the city had been a sweetheart of his. He loved his alma mater more than my mother. I find the entire state stifling like the shacks at summer camp, when I discovered, surrounded by other boys, how much I wanted to push one into a dark room, form a knot with our limbs, take kisses. "

Before leaving for university, Steve’s dad gave him a flask and promised it would help him make friends but he must NEVER drink from it himself. It has some magical quality that fills it with whatever the drinker wishes. This is college. You can imagine just how popular this thing could make a guy! But all but one of his new frat “friends” are assholes who use and abuse him. His self-esteem is low and he’s sickened by the things he’s done, especially when a sweet boy starts showing interest in him. So armed with his magical flask, he’s forced to take his life back . . .

This is angsty, awful, lusty and sweet all rolled into one short little story definitely worth your time. 4 ½ Stars

Legion: A Love Story by Avon Gale
This is one weird little tale.

Staff Sergeant Jason Essex of the United States Marine Corps is assigned a strange mission. He is given very strict instructions to monitor an enclosure for eight weeks. The enclosure holds an “entity” that must not ever be spoken to. Jason is told that it looks like a human being but it isn’t and that it lies.

There's a man in there dark and pale and something is wrong with his eyes.

At first, he follows directions but as time goes by loneliness and curiosity set in and he begins to bend the rules. That’s when the freaky dreams begin . . .

The story is told in letters, reports, recordings, journal entries and Reddit and Google searches that get increasingly stranger as he spends more time with the “entity” that starts looking like his former crush. This story is unique, eerie, and a little sexy too. 4 Stars

Beauties by J.A. Rock
“At a presentation celebrating the public opening of Carnificiality, Lester Usole watched Dr. Anne Cullom fuck a pair of twin Beauties.”

In this here world, Beauties are Artificial Beings (AB’s) created for pleasure and abuse. Sick people pay good money for those things but Lester isn’t a sick person. He programs and raises AB infants and is at the ceremony for work and quite sickened by what he’s shown. It’s here he first meets Ira, an AB so dangerous, so violent that he cannot be sold to the public. He is covered in bruises and Lester makes a brash decision to take him home, keep him safe and study him.

Poor misguided Lester. He truly has no idea what he has just brought home.

This story was disturbing on so many levels. It isn’t sexually explicit, despite the opening sentence, but it bothered me deeply as only the best horror tales can. 4 Stars

 

Bud's celebrated his 11th birthday!  He's also doing well on the phenobarb and hasn't had a seizure in nearly four weeks (knocks on wood) but he is soooo hungry all the time. I would've posted an update earlier but I haven't had the energy to fight with BL and lately it's always a fight. Work has also been screaming busy. Family drama. Blah, blah, blah.

 

Anyway, hope all of my BL friends are doing well. I am still around here but before I can like or comment BL craps out on me and I have to leave in frustration :(  

 

I am posting more on my other blog (which I created reluctantly but am starting to enjoy) so if you want to visit please do.  Also, if anyone has another blog please tell me in the comments so I can add you to my daily stops. I miss the interaction here and wish they'd get it together before most everybody leaves.  

 

 

Also, is anyone else finding that they can only see 5 or so posts before the "more posts" button shows up and then slowly loads  2 more?  It'll take me a month to get current at this rate.

 

 

All In Fear (it's really good! review coming later)

 

Spotlight: All in Fear Release Date: 12/1/16
 
 
Want something a bit different for the holidays? Horror has never looked this enticing! New release, All in Fear, is a gorgeous collection of horror tales from some of the hottest names in queer fiction. Be prepared to be titillated...and terrified. 
All in Fear
By KJ Charles, Roan Parrish, J.A. Rock,
Steve Berman, Avon Gale, and Kris Ripper
 
Horror wears many faces, and its masks can be tantalizing. Some of the top names in queer fiction come together to spin their own versions of horror. Worlds rife with dark beauty and mystery, the familiar becoming terrible, creatures ethereal and alluring—and all bearing the gleam of love. Does hope lie along these grim passages or only doom? It will become clear. All in time—and all in fear.
 
Company by Roan Parrish
Nick Levy’s family is falling apart and he has no friends, but at least he can escape into the world of his favorite comic book series, The Face of the Vampire. Naturally, when the vampire in question shows up one day, Nick is enthralled. After all, what could be better than his own personal fantasy made real? Except that Nick isn’t exactly sure whether Michel is real or not. And when the arrival of a new boy in school promises romance, Nick sees a side of Michel he never could have imagined. This Michel is cruel, jealous . . . and he’ll do anything to keep Nick for himself.
 
Love Me True by Kris Ripper
Palmer's life is as good as it gets. Well, okay, so he hates his mind-numbing office job. But he's found a hot, smart, incredibly kinky guy. The sex is explosive. The power play is off the hook. And if he gets his way, Jon will soon be his husband.
 
When Palmer asks, Jon says yes. For the first time ever, Palmer thinks things might be really good. Sure, bad things happen in the worldto other people. But this is all he needs: Jon at the end of the day, in their bed, arms around him.
 
How could he have possibly been so stupid?
 
The Price of Meat by KJ Charles
Johanna Oakley will do anything to save her beloved Arabella from the cruelty of Mr Fogg’s madhouse—but ‘anything’ turns out to be more than she bargained for when she finds herself working for a man suspected of worse than murder. As Johanna is plunged from the horror of Sawney Reynard’s barber shop into the foul, lawless labyrinth at the heart of London, can she or anyone get out alive?
 
His Mouth Will Taste of Chernobyl by Steve Berman
Joining Zeta Psi isn’t Steve’s dream, it’s his dad’s. Nevertheless his dad’s gift of the mysterious Bailey flask gets Steve an in to the frat house, and maybe his best shot at being accepted on campus. But the flask’s silver sheen may only be lighting his way into the darkness at the heart of the frat—and the darkness he’s learning is within himself. Steve wants to choose who he is, but choices are dropping like flies as he learns the true mystery of the Bailey flask. How does he give back a gift that’s also a curse?
 
Legion: A Love Story by Avon Gale
STAFF SERGEANT JASON ESSEX, YOU HAVE RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING ORDERS FROM THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS:
 
REPORT TO: CAIN INSTITUTE [ADDRESS REDACTED]
 
ACTIVE DUTY COMMITMENT: GUARD AN ENTITY CURRENTLY HELD IN AN ENCLOSURE AT THE CAIN INSTITUTE. RECORD DAILY MEASUREMENTS. KEEP ANY AND ALL PERSONS FROM ENTERING OR LEAVING THE FACILITY. ENSURE THE ENTITY REMAINS COMPLETELY INCARCERATED. OBSERVE THE ENTITY WITHOUT ENGAGING.
 
ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS: THIS ASSIGNMENT WILL BE CARRIED OUT IN FULL ISOLATION. PLEASE BE ADVISED.
 
Beauties by J.A. Rock
When Dr. Lester Usole attends an event at AI developer Carnificiality, he’s introduced to Beauties: artificial beings designed to provide tailored sexual experiences for their human owners. Lester isn’t interested in sex—but he is fascinated by Ira, a Beauty too violent to be sold.
 
Lester convinces Carnificiality to give Ira to him. Lester has always wanted the chance to work with an adult AI, and around Lester, Ira isn’t violent. He’s strangely innocent, uncannily perceptive, and his company does much to ease Lester’s loneliness. Except something’s not quite right: Ira roams at night, even when Lester’s sure he’s locked Ira’s door.
 
Soon Lester is certain of only one thing: Ira has a secret. Something that will link their pasts and change the course of their future—if Lester is willing to face what’s on the inside.
 
Learn more on Goodreads.
 
Order it now: Publisher’s Site  |  Amazon  |  B&N  |  ARe  |   Apple  |  Kobo
  
An engaging anthology of queer fiction filled with monsters, mysteries, and menace.”  — Kirkus Reviews
 
About the Authors:
 

Steve Berman

Steve Berman loves to tell stories that are both queer and weird. He was a Zeta Psi back in his college days at and remembers being hazed. He survived and graduated and even earned a Masters Degree in Liberal Studies. He has written and sold over a hundred articles, essays, and short stories. His YA novel, Vintage, was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award.
 
 

KJ Charles

KJ Charles is a writer and freelance editor. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, and a cat with murder management issues. KJ writes mostly historical romance, mostly queer, often with fantasy or horror in there.
 
Find her on Twitter @kj_charles, pick up book info and free reads on her website at kjcharleswriter.com, get the infrequent newsletter at kjcharleswriter.com/newsletter, or join her Facebook group, KJ Charles Chat, for sneak peeks and exclusives.
 

Avon Gale

Avon Gale wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it — even if it was a bit weirder than the other, more normal hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after — though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.
 
Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert and will never say no to candy.
 
At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.
 
Connect with Avon:
Sign up for Avon’s Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bOXXp9
 

Roan Parrish

Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.
 
When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.
 
Sign up for her Newsletter to receive updates about new releases, works-in-progress, and bonus materials like sneak peeks and extra scenes! eepurl.com/bmJUbr
Twitter: @RoanParrish
 
 

Kris Ripper

 
Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a little kid, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.
 
Links:
The site: krisripper.com
The Facebook group: Ripper's Irregulars: https://www.facebook.com/groups/405062456366636/
 

J.A. Rock

J.A. Rock is the author or coauthor of over twenty LGBTQ romance, suspense, and horror novels, as well as an occasional contributor to HuffPo Queer Voices. J.A. has received Lambda Literary and INDIEFAB Award nominations for Minotaur, and The Subs Club received the 2016 National Leather Association-International Pauline Reage Novel Award. J.A. lives in Chicago with an extremely judgmental dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.
 

 

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