Friday, August 30, 2013

Review: She's Not So Ordinary by C.A. Milson

Good afternoon constant reader.
If you've read the first two entries in this horror series, The Chosen Rise of the Darkness and The Chosen Bloodline of Darkness, then this book is for you.

This installment in The Chosen series may be shorter than the previous, but it packs a good punch, and moves the series along nicely.
If you've read the prior titles in the series, The Chosen Rise of the Darkness and The Chosen Bloodline of Darkness, then you know who Jamiesonn is, and if you've not read the other two books, you'll know soon enough, Jamiesonn is bad news. He desires nothing more than the total destruction of the world as mankind knows it and then to enslave every last human being on the planet. His world is one of blood and violence.

The story moves from Jamiesonn and his latest plot to take things over to Private First Class Tony Capelli, in a hot zone of fighting. He has just enough time to pull out another clip for his gun when a photograph of his girlfriend Laura Masters flutters in the breeze. Then Tony is shot and killed.

The news reaches home to Laura and her world is turned upside down. Over the next months she sleep walks through life. With the passage of time, she begins to heal and becomes close to a co-worker named Garrett and all seems like it might be set to rights again.

Enter a mysterious Mr James Venitti, who is the new owner of the company Laura and Garrett work for, with a tasty promotion in the air, one that both will end up vying for. Initially Laura has a funny feeling about Venitti, but pushes it aside.

A party comes along and Laura attends, has a few too many with the girls and she leaves for home, walking by a creek to get to a bus stop. She passes out in the grass and is visited in a dream by a golden haired man with black eyes, and this is where Laura's world starts to change...

To say more would give away the story. It's fast-paced and builds up to a bloody and violent climax, setting the stage for Jamiesonn to finally achieve...what exactly? You'll have to read it to find out.

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Monday, August 26, 2013

13 Questions with...Steven Lloyd

1. You’re hosting a dinner party. What is the menu, and do you cook it yourself, or do you call a caterer?

Cook it myself, of course. Menu on the grill: Fried taters, grilled mushrooms marinated in Italian dressing; boneless chicken breasts (marinated in Italian dressing) and whatever else my mind can conceive.

2. What is your beverage of choice?
Mountain Dew. But I enjoy some Jack Daniels Down Home Punch, too. Sweet tea is right up there with Mountain Dew.

3. Physical book Vs an E-Reader. Your preference and why?
In previous interviews I’ve bashed E-Books with a baseball bat. My thoughts have since changed. Not long ago I picked up my wife’s Nook. I ordered Joe Lansdale’s “The Ape Man’s Brother”, and “Hyenas” and James Newman’s “Olden”. Needless to say I fell in love with the Nook. Sorry, guys, I still love print books, but I like that I can download books and read them immediately.

4. What kinds of books make up your personal library?
Everything from Charles Bukowski to Steinbeck to Golding. My range is pretty vast. Then there’s King, Barker, Rice, Harlan Ellison, Lansdale, Matheson, Bradbury etc.

5. How and when did you catch the writing bug?
I was fifteen or sixteen when the writing bug hit me. It hit me hard. I was writing a horror story for an English assignment—thank God it was Halloween, and I had to read it in front of the class. The writing assignments kept coming because I think she saw my capability as a writer. I’ve never stopped. From that day on, students paid me a dollar or two to write their stories for class. It was good money while it lasted.

6. What is your writing routine?
Mornings. I work the graveyard shift. I like to write between 10:30 AM to about noon. Later if my mind is running.

7. If you ever encounter writer’s block, what steps do you take to get past it?
Writer’s block is just another word for excuse. Hell, write any old thing until the words start flowing. You can always go back and throw out the trash. I try to end on an exciting scene in the story. The next morning I’m all geared up to jump back in. This doesn’t happen all the time. This may not work for all writers.

8. Do you have a hidden talent?
Yes, but my wife would kill me if I shared. (Laughs)

9. What was your best subject in school?
History and English. In other classes teachers told me I was un-teachable.

10. As in any entertainment, there are current trends. How much do these “current trends” influence what you write?
Trends come and go. I take it with a grain of salt and do the best I can.

11. Mac or PC?

12. Where do your ideas come from?
Life. I’m slowly moving away from monsters and ghouls. I like to write about things that can actually happen to us in our every day lives. It makes for a better story and people can relate to it more.

13 What advice would you pass on to an aspiring author?
Never give up. If you’re writing for the money, just close the laptop now and walk away. Do it because you love it. Money will come later. I do it because I have to. It’s in my blood. I can’t think of doing anything else. Only when you know that you’ll probably never walk the same plane as Stephen King will you be able to grow as a writer. Put all that I’m—going—to—be—a—famous—writer—one--day—bullshit aside and write the damn thing. And keep writing. Read everything you can get your hands on. Reading is a part of the learning process. You’ll be better for it.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Short Story Review: "The Wooden Box" by Steven Lloyd

"The Wooden Box" by Steven Lloyd
Available through Amazon in a Kindle edition, through Barnes and Noble as a Nook Book, and through Smashwords in several downloadable formats.

Good afternoon constant reader.
If you like a short shot of real life horror for your reading pleasure with a tinge of the bittersweet, then "The Wooden Box" is the story for you.

Our story  opens with Mack Grainy constructing a wooden box, for what purpose we don't yet know. We know that the time is the Depression Era, and the setting a dusty farm, inhabited my Mack and his ailing wife, Nora. Their only livestock at this point, a mule named Minny.

Nora is dying of cancer, literally wasting away in front of Mack's eyes. Lloyd paints a picture of a marriage that has had some ups and some downs, but through it all, the cord of true love has bound Mack and Nora. That makes Mack's task of constructing the box that much more heart-tugging.

The narrative effectively transports the reader to another time and place and provides a snapshot of two people who love one another and are bound to see this latest, and possibly last, trial through to the end together.

To say much more would give away the ending. I gasped out loud and felt a tear start to well up when I got to the end of this tale.

Is this worth the $1.99 price for download? Yes.
Is Steven Lloyd a name to look for in the future? Most assuredly yes.

For more information on Steven Lloyd:
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Steven Lloyd Fiction Writer

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Good afternoon constant reader.

For anyone wishing to contact The Written Universe, please take note, as there is a new e-address:

Please direct any inquires to this mail from now on! Thank you!