ASBO: A Novel of Extreme Terror by Iain Rob Wright

Published April 16, 2014 by Shadow Girl

Oh, Man! This one made me crazy!

Tap the cover to go to AmazonLand

Amazon synopsis:

YOUR FEAR IS THEIR ENTERTAINMENT…
Andrew’s life is one of bored contentedness: a teenage daughter, a faithful wife, and a middle-class job. He even has a Mercedes. His life is without drama, and the comfort of middle-age is setting in.

That all changes when he refuses to buy a pack of cigarettes for the local gang of youths. Led by the emotionally unstable, and sadistic, Frankie, the gang target Andrew and his family in an escalating campaign of terror and violence that threatens their very lives. It isn’t long before Andrew starts to wish that he’d just brought those damn cigarettes.

Sorry I haven’t posted the review, I read this last September – one of those things on my list. A proper review.
Andrew is just a regular Joe. He’s married, has a teenaged daughter, normal job – a pretty good life.
One particular nice evening, he decides to walk over to grab some take-out for dinner. He sees a group of young guys between him & his destination, but decides to just walk on by instead of taking a different route. Mistake.
Big mistake.
Things go from bad to worse, and the author makes everything seem so plausible! (Remember, I’m from Detroit! Haha :D ) Really, this one just made me… angry, scared, pissed off… ugh! Ran through the emotions.
I’ve since read others by the same author, and he’s awesome. (I recently finished SAM, and even though it’s not a favorite, it’s good.) My only issue… I wish I’d have read it before I read HOUSEMATES. I bought that one on the day it was released, on it’s synopsis alone. (Well, that and Matt released a SS in it, haha. Really, I’m kidding on that, because it sounded awesome). HOUSEMATES kicked so much ass, but it’s much more violent & disturbing – so ABSO would have seemed just that much better if I’d read it first. Just my opinion.
Got an ereader? In our Free Horror Books group on Facebook? Check your library, ASBO went on sale a couple times – you might have it already. If not, $2.99 is a great price. It includes a bonus short story, too.
BTW… I think the Order should be Disorder – ( The American in me :)) The book defines it as…
Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO): Issued in response to “conduct which caused or was likely to cause harm, harassment, alarm, or distress, to one or more persons not of the same household as him or herself and where an ASBO is seen as necessary to protect relevant persons from further anti-social acts by the Defendant.

ART by Matt Shaw and Michael Bray

Published April 16, 2014 by Shadow Girl

★★★★★

Yes, it took me long enough, I know.
I read it as soon as I got it, but – you know how life gets in the way sometimes. I’m still trying to get my life in order from my little ‘forced’ vacation. Life. Work. Stuff.
You know.

So. Amazon synopsis is this…

Click the cover to be whisked away to AmazonLand!

WARNING: The following book has some scenes which some readers may find distressing. This novel is intended for a mature audience only.

Martin Andrews is in a rut. Tired of the daily grind of life as a police officer and with a heavily pregnant wife, he is disillusioned, desperate to give his unborn child a chance in a world in which he has lost all faith.

Little does Andrews know that amid the petty crimes and muggings, robbery and prostitution, a new threat is looming, one which will push Andrews to the very edges of his sanity.

His nemesis is a man without limits. A man with a grand idea for a great work; a masterpiece which will give him the recognition he craves, no matter the cost.”

From the minds of Matt Shaw (Sick B*stards, Happy Ever After, The Cabin) & Michael Bray (Whisper, Funhouse, MEAT) comes ART. Told from the viewpoint of both killer (Shaw) and Detective (Bray), ART is a journey into the darkest, most twisted part of the human psyche.

Two authors. One ending.

I’ve been reading a lot of extreme horror. Books like SIXTY FIVE STIRRUP IRON ROAD and SERIAL, ones that have multiple authors for one story… As much as I love those – I don’t think I was prepared for ART to be (pardon the pun…) the masterpiece that it is!

Matt is at the top of his game writing as our friendly, neighborhood serial killer – Arthur, (just Art – for pals like us). Michael is penning the role of Officer Martin Andrews, the cop who catches Art’s interest, and becomes involved in his ‘game’, and his quest for notoriety.

FanGirling - Like A Boss

FanGirling – Like A Boss

✽ ✾ Let’s face it – we all know I’m fangirling on an Annie Wilkes level , but remember… I don’t suger-coat these discussions, or bull-shit you guys in any way ✾ ✽
I couldn’t stop reading this.
I’m not sure how the exact writing process goes for stories like this, (different authors have different quirks ;) and, I know Matt told us on Facebook, but… blonde moment. Sorry.) – Whether they both have ideas and work together daily, or if they email chapters back & forth as they’re written… However it was done this time – these authors worked together perfectly.
It’s suspenseful, it’s gross, it’s emotional. It’s perfect.
It’s SE7EN, if SE7EN were written by Shaw & Bray.

As an added bonus, there is an excerpt from Matt Shaw’s SICK BASTARDS, and from Michael Bray’s SCRATCHERS. Sick Bastards I’ve read, Scratchers in now on my TBR list.
If you’re wondering about any of Matt’s books, check Cover to Cover. For Michael, I’ve only read MEAT, SOMETHING IN THE DARK, DARK CORNERS, and have Scratchers queued up and ready to go, along with Whisper, and I have the Dark Hall Sampler. I’m diggin’ his stuff, I started reading some on advice from those who have never streared me wrong. One note – I was expecting SOMETHING IN THE DARK to be a little worse, as in depravity, but – I’ve been reading some messed up stuff! Give him a whirl! You won’t be disappointed.

Text Message by William Malmborg

Published April 12, 2014 by Shadow Girl

Text Message is my third book by William Malmborg – (I read Jimmy & Dark Harvest first, and finished SCRAPING THE BONE right after.)
I almost hate myself for saying this – but I don’t think I could pick a favorite anymore! Between Text Message and Jimmy – I half to call a ‘Draw’.

Amazon’s synopsis -

“I have your sister. Do exactly as I say or I’ll kill her!”

Mallory thought it would be a quick trip to the mall, one where she could get a last minute Christmas gift for her boyfriend. Little did she know a momentary slip in judgment would result in her little sister’s abduction. Unable to call the police for fear her sister will be killed, Mallory has no choice but to play the awful game the sadistic kidnapper has designed for her, one that begins during the crowded midday hours, but won’t end until long after the mall shuts down for the evening.

HIS MALL . . .

Mr. Campbell has been waiting a long time for the perfect game, one that is obviously stacked in his favor given that failure would result in his imprisonment. Such stacking doesn’t really concern him, however, not when it is the fun of the hunt, and the ever-changing scenario, that gets his blood pumping. And Mallory seems to be the perfect girl for this, her sudden lack of compliance after the first few tasks he instructs her to perform in order to keep her sister alive quite different than what he is used to when dealing with his female victims. In fact, in all his years of playing such games, he has never before encountered a girl who will allow such horror to unfold upon the captured loved one simply so she can preserve her own dignity. It is quite refreshing.

HIS GAME . . .

Dan knew his security shift at the mall would be hectic, what with it being one of the last shopping days before Christmas and a blizzard predicted to hit the area during the afternoon hours. What he wasn’t expecting was to be caught up in a horrific game of cat and mouse between a college girl named Mallory and an unknown serial killer that kidnapped and is torturing her little sister. Not that he actually realizes this is what is unfolding, his self-imposed quest to figure out what is causing the similarly aged college student to act so bizarre his only real concern. Well, that and staying under the radar of his boss Jerry who seems to have it out for him. Will he be able to help Mallory survive her ordeal once the reality of the situation becomes known to him, or will he fall victim to a serial killer that never intended for him to be a part of the game?

HIS RULES!

·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°·°

There isn’t a bunch I can tell you about the story that the synopsis hasn’t said already. It’s so suspenseful! I kept wondering what I would do if I was in Mallory’s shoes, would I play the game? To what extent? What would I have thought about Dan? Friend or foe?
I couldn’t answer myself!
The blizzard happening outside the mall gave the story an additional claustrophobic feel.
I keep wanting to compare Text Message to Jimmy, to comment how Bill has grown as a writer… yadda yadda. But, I loved Jimmy and wouldn’t change a thing about it.

If you’ve read another story I reviewed about two brothers in a mall, rest assured – they are nothing alike!

Dark Corners by Michael Bray

Published April 12, 2014 by Shadow Girl

What lurks within the darkness? What crawls outside of our perception? What happens when the world as we know it stops making sense? When reality isn’t what it seems, and the rules no longer apply…

Dark Corners is a 5 star collection of twelve interlinked short stories plotting the darkest reaches of the human psyche.

✰✰✰✰✰

Observation Room 5:
Not a zombie story, but a zombie type story. A man makes a very wrong decision while on the train to work, and sits next to a homeless looking & smelling man. This man is going to convince him that The End Is Near.

No Rest for the Wicked:
A serial killer, The Demon Dismemberer, gets a strange visitor during his last hours on death row. The visitor has a very strange offer – a job opportunity. This ss also has the first mention of Monde.

The Prank:
An elderly man unburdens his soul to tell the story of what he did with his friends that fateful day so long ago. The day that they killed Snoddy in that house. Just a prank gone wrong – but that doesn’t matter anymore.

Yurple’s Last Day:
Yurple needed to be taken seriously, but that’s a tall order when it comes from a clown. But, Yurple is taking steps to assure that TODAY, his last day, will be the day he gets his wish.

Tina:
The second appearance of Monde, a figure who, I suspect, will be making numerous stops in the upcoming stories. This ss is Tina’s relationship with Monde, as told through the detective interview with her regarding the deaths of two close friends.

That Gnawing Feeling:
Danny is living the plot of The Serpent and the Rainbow, and he’s kinda pissed. Sara and Jim screwed him, and for what? Money? Psshhh! Screw them. But, to be fair, he’ll give them a fighting chance – more than they gave him…

No. 5 Sycamore Street:
Alex had tried to forget his past. He worked at the church, and had asked his God for forgiveness. But, the past came flooding back to him when he paid a seemingly innocent visit to #5 Sycamore Street.

The Box:
Terri Browning wishes she could erase the events in her life that lead her to the path she’s on today. But, when an opportunity to do just that arises, she is wary of the consequences.

Every Little Helps:
Steven Grimes is trying to keep up with the Joneses. This time, his envy is for their compost heap. The envy grows when he thinks he knows what the decaying matter is. Recycling, huh? Well, every little bit helps.

A Strange Affair:
Harry is depressed after moving across the globe for a job – just to be let-go in fewer than three months. Adding to his blue days, his wife Maggie is spending less and less time at home. He worries that she might be having an affair, but in his softer moments – he also worries about her well being, since there’s a serial slasher on the loose.

Victor:
An authentic family restaurant, a meeting of mobsters, and an offer on the table that one of them CAN’T refuse.

The Last Man:
A magician tells the story of how the world came to an end, and how he came to be the last man on earth.

13 Little-Known Punctuation Marks We Should Be Using – Mental Floss

Published April 5, 2014 by Shadow Girl

Original post by Adrienne Crezo / Mental Floss

Because sometimes periods, commas, colons, semi-colons, dashes, hyphens, apostrophes, question marks, exclamation points, quotation marks, brackets, parentheses, braces, and ellipses won’t do.

1. INTERROBANG – ‽

You probably already know the interrobang, thanks to its excellent moniker and increasing popularity. Though the combination exclamation point and question mark can be replaced by using one of each (You did what!? or You don’t read mental_floss?!), it’s fun to see the single glyph getting a little more love lately.

2. PERCONTATION POINT OR RHETORICAL QUESTION MARK – ؟

The backward question mark was proposed by Henry Denham in 1580 as an end to a rhetorical question, and was used until the early 1600s.

3. IRONY MARK

It looks a lot like the percontation point, but the irony mark’s location is a bit different, as it is smaller, elevated, and precedes a statement to indicate its intent before it is read. Alcanter de Brahm introduced the idea in the 19th century, and in 1966 French author Hervé Bazin proposed a similar glyph in his book, Plumons l’Oiseau, along with 5 other innovative marks.

4. LOVE POINT

Among Bazin’s proposed new punctuation was the love point, made of two question marks, one mirrored, that share a point. The intended use, of course, was to denote a statement of affection or love, as in “Happy anniversary [love point]” or “I have warm fuzzies [love point]” If it were easier to type, I think this one might really take off.

5. ACCLAMATION POINT

Bazin described this mark as “the stylistic representation of those two little flags that float above the tour bus when a president comes to town.” Acclamation is a “demonstration of goodwill or welcome,” so you could use it to say “I’m so happy to see you [acclamationpoint]” or “Viva Las Vegas [acclamationpoint]“

6. CERTITUDE POINT

Need to say something with unwavering conviction? End your declaration with the certitude point, another of Bazin’s designs.

7. DOUBT POINT

This is the opposite of the certitude point, and thus is used to end a sentence with a note of skepticism.

8. AUTHORITY POINT

Bazin’s authority point “shades your sentence” with a note of expertise, “like a parasol over a sultan.” (Well, I was there and that’s what happened.) Likewise, it’s also used to indicate an order or advice that should be taken seriously, as it comes from a voice of authority.

9. SARCMARK

The SarcMark (short for “sarcasm mark”) was invented, copyrighted and trademarked by Paul Sak, and while it hasn’t seen widespread use, Sak markets it as “The official, easy-to-use punctuation mark to emphasize a sarcastic phrase, sentence or message.” Because half the fun of sarcasm is pointing it out [SarcMark].

10. SNARK MARK – .~

This, like the copyrighted SarcMark, is used to indicate that a sentence should be understood beyond the literal meaning. Unlike the SarcMark, this one is copyright free and easy to type: it’s just a period followed by a tilde.

11. ASTERISM – ⁂

This cool-looking but little-used piece of punctuation used to be the divider between subchapters in books or to indicate minor breaks in a long text. It’s almost obsolete, since books typically now use three asterisks in a row to break within chapters (***) or simply skip an extra line. It seems a shame to waste such a great little mark, though. Maybe we should bring this one back.

12 & 13. EXCLAMATION COMMA & QUESTION COMMA

Now you can be excited or inquisitive without having to end a sentence! A Canadian patent was filed for these in 1992, but it lapsed in 1995, so use them freely, but not too often.

Originally posted 10/7/12 – Mental Floss

Yeah, these are cool, but…


What’s the point if these are not readily available on your keyboard, or if they’re copyrighted (!?) so we can’t use them anyway?
I did a post a while back, originally posted at College Humor, that gave new punctuation, along with a downloadable file of the punctuation used in it! THOSE are awesome!! I have them downloaded into my photo-editing program on my Kindle, and all but one of them work. (The hand-quotes don’t show up, and that makes me sad. I’d of used those the most!)
Until I can link you to the original post, I have notes saved – screen shots edited onto one page, showing what they are.

College Humor Punctuation Key

College Humor Punctuation Key

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