Authors We Like- Gregor Xane

There are very few authors that can make me never want to see their work released but Gregor is one of them. Why, you ask, because Gregor is one of the best at promotion. His promos start months ahead and they are sly, subtle, hilarious, freaky, creepy,  entertaining, and appear when you least expect them. I don’t read horror but I look forward to Gregor’s promotions the way I look forward to the next Louise Penny release.

10 NON-HORROR BOOKS YOU MIGHT LIKE TO READ (NOT WRITTEN BY ME OR ANYONE I KNOW)

The gift-giving season is upon us, so I thought I’d put together a post with a bunch of book recommendations. Yes, I am a writer, but for this post, I’m a reader recommending books to other readers. And, yes, the stuff I’ve written and published so far, more or less, falls into the horror fiction category, but I figure most folks who visit this site on a regular basis don’t read much of that nastiness, so I decided not to highlight horror. Instead, these recommendations are from my reading outside of that genre.

I also want to make it clear, just in case the title of this piece wasn’t enough, that this post isn’t some sort of secret promotion for my author buddies. None of the books recommended below are by people I know. I’m plugging all of these books as an avid reader, not as a writer scratching the backs of my author pals.

One more thing before I get to the recommendations. Although these books aren’t horror, they may contain horrific elements and horrible things happening to nice people. But you’ll find that sort of thing in almost all genres.

Oh, and some of this stuff is fucking weird.

I do like it weird.

So, let’s get started.

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  After Dark, by Haruki Murakami – You’ve likely heard of Murakami’s 1Q84 and Kafka on the Shore. But the size of those books can be a bit intimidating, so I always recommend people start with this short work. If you like the flavor of this one, you’re safe to venture into his longer stuff. I find Murakami’s writing charming, compelling, and mysterious. Part of his appeal, to me, is that I have no idea how he achieves the effects he does. There’s a strange sort of magic at work here.

The Shadow Year, by Jeffrey Ford – In my introduction, I said I didn’t know any of the authors of the books represented here, so, in the interest of full disclosure, I feel the need to tell you that I did meet Jeffrey Ford once. I had him sign a book at a convention. We didn’t strike up a friendship or anything. I was nervous, got my book signed, and left him alone. Jeffrey Ford’s my favorite living author, and I went to this convention mainly to have a book signed by him. Anyway, The Shadow Year is a wonderful novel by Mr. Ford. It’s a coming-of-age story with a few supernatural accents. For example, the main character’s little sister seems to be unknowingly predicting crimes before they happen with the placement of clay figures in a replica of their town her older brothers have built in their basement. This book is funny and strange and makes me nostalgic for a place and time I never knew (1960s Long Island).

 

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Palimpsest, by Catherynne Valente – A rich tale, spanning multiple cultures, told in gorgeous poetic prose. This one also features contagious flesh markings which resemble maps and sex acts that unlock portals to a bizarre fantasy world. ‘Nuff said.

The Facts of Life, by Graham Joyce – This is a multi-generational family saga set in London in the aftermath of World War II. Joyce was a master of characterization. All of his characters seem drawn directly from life. This book won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, although the fantastical elements are quite subtle. A mother and a daughter just might have a touch of the old ESP.

 

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Black Hat Jack, by Joe R. Lansdale – A rare western told from the perspective of an African-American cowboy. It’s got plenty of frank humor and shoot-outs and action and a bunch of gritty characters with attitudes true to the time period. Great stuff. Joe Lansdale is a national treasure.

Flicker, by Theodore Roszak – The premise of this book is pretty much the same as Marisha Pessl’s Night Film—a mystery surrounding a mysterious filmmaker who makes mysterious films—though this was written twentysomething years beforehand. I prefer this take on the premise over Pessl’s. This book is darker, richer, and has a much better, although similar, ending. I’m a sucker for stories in which the lone investigator, in search of a mysterious person or artifact, gets drawn into a dark, dangerous underworld.

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The Man in My Basement, by Walter Mosley – A down-on-his-luck black guy is approached by a mysterious creepy white guy who offers to pay him a large sum of money if he agrees to keep said creepy white guy locked in a cage in his basement for a specific span of time. Oh, and he’s not allowed to tell anyone he’s got a creepy white guy locked up in a cage in his basement. Folks who’ve read Mosley’s detective fiction might be interested in giving this one a look to see another side of this fine writer. This would be a great one for some heated book club discussions.

Railsea, by China Miéville – I’d say this is a middle-grade book. Maybe YA? Shit, I don’t know what it is, but it’s good. Like all of Meiville’s adult books, his unique imagination is the main attraction. This one is essentially a retelling of Moby Dick but set in a world covered with train tracks. Here, the quarry is a giant, white burrowing mole, and our protagonists are chasing him down with a steam engine.

 

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Dying Inside, by Robert Silverberg – This is a science fiction novel but there are no spaceships, robots, aliens or ray guns. It doesn’t really read like a science fiction novel at all. I once likened it to Portnoy’s Complaint but with telepathy.

Children’s Hospital, by Chris Adrian – This is a literary novel that takes place during God’s second great flood. This time it’s not a giant boat that carries the only survivors, it’s a floating children’s hospital. This big peculiar thing has elements of science fiction, horror, absurdism, and religious allegory. The medical details are extensive but feel natural (not like research data dumps) and are somehow communicated in an almost poetic manner. An excellent novel that’s not for everyone but will reward those with a dark sense of humor, a bit of patience, and an open mind.

 

So, there you have it. This list gives you a good idea of the kind of thing I like to read, so if you’ve got some recommendations, feel free to send them my way. All I ask is that you don’t recommend anything you’ve written or anything written by anyone you know.

 

GREGOR XANE lives in southwestern Ohio. When he’s not typing, he can be found in his workshop building dangerous remote-controlled toys. He’s the author of the horror novellas SIX DEAD SPOTS, THE HANOVER BLOCK, LOVING THE GOAT, DOCTOR PROCLIVITY & PROFESSOR PROPENSITY, and the forthcoming BRIDES OF HANOVER BLOCK.

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(The poor quality of the book covers is my fault not Gregor’s. Sorry, my laptop is being mean to me.)

 

 

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Authors We Like- Michelle Knight

I will be posting two authors this week because I go diverted by the ongoing furnace problem, I think Old Faithful is on its way out. I found Michelle on Booklikes and she’s just the right amount of crazy and a lot of fun.

Hello there! Welcome to the slightly crazy world of Michelle Knight.
Seriously, life gave me a torch, pointed at the dark pits of humanity
and unceremoniously shoved me down one or two of them. I’ve got loads of
scars and bruises but I’ve at least made it this far!

I can look back on many things in my life now, and laugh. I mean, how
many have walked through the financial district of Munich with a skimpy
body, thigh high boots and a cape? I have. It was going great until I
got my stiletto heel stuck in a steel stair mat; you know the ones, with
loads of little diamond shapes. I don’t speak German and the doorman
didn’t speak English. I had to grip my heel with both hands and tug at
it, before the bloke got the idea that I needed help!

If my writing was a pie it would have a filling of real experience,
spiced with humility and topped with a crusty pastry of hilarity,
because I do like to laugh.

I’ve always been a creative soul. In my early twenties I took up
photography and was published in a few small magazines. I also started
to write and got some short stories in print as well. My first
specialist adult book was actually published as long ago as 1996. You
could have knocked me down with a feather when I saw it on Amazon
recently for sixty pounds! (Near a hundred $US) It is currently
unavailable, but it has one three star review; from me saying, “Don’t
buy it at this price!”

So here I am, twenty years further on with more experience under my
belt; both in terms of writing and also life. I’ve worked in a bakery,
driven light trucks, photographed weddings and much, much more. I’ve
even lived for a few years as a submissive under contract, so I know the
reality of what many have written as fiction. Long story short, I tend
to write honestly and from the heart.

Indeed, my return to writing sees the final book in the Submissive Heart
series nearly ready for publication. The project started as a film
script in 2005, but then became a book in 2014 when I couldn’t find
someone to take it on. Surprisingly, people wanted more so I wrote
another three. It is summed up best by one of the alpha readers…
“Overall I have finished reading the series with impression that these
books are meant to inform and educate rather than serve as fantasy
material for evenings in on one’s own. Which makes a refreshing change.
I do feel more informed and it has made me ask questions about my own
life as well as about legislative hypocrisy.” …I usually find that
other people can tell you more about me than I can!

With the Submissive Heart series done, I intend to focus on Science
Fiction and Fantasy; with a healthy dollop of comedy. The first of those
books is, “Check Mate,” and was released earlier this year. Now that
I’ve managed to survive a year of being published and no one has come
after me with torches and pitch forks, I plan to write longer, deeper
works.

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Find Check Mate at Amazon

here or here (uk)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The list of current books can be found here –
http://msknight.co.uk/books.html – but you’ll find so much more in the
site, like fan fiction that I’ve written, how-to’s and even a, “Behind
the scenes,” of one of my upcoming books, “The White Wizard,” where I
show you my thought process and how I started to craft it, because some
people like to see those sorts of things.

For a sample of my personal photography, look here –
https://www.flickr.com/photos/msknight/with/8683016210/ – and for you
bibliophiles, the door knocker half way down the first page, is on the
door of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford; where William Shakespeare’s
body rests. The train crossing at the top is Glenfinnan viaduct, the one
that features in the Harry Potter films and I’m leaning out of the last
carriage in order to get the shot. There’s usually more to a picture,
and a person, than what you see!

Rather than shock and go for the quick thrill, my aim is to write honest
and deeper works; and I’ve been gifted more than enough laughter and
tears in life to be able to do it.

 

Plagiarism Alert- Addison Scott updated

Author Cat Grant has been plagiarized. She found her book Once A Marine is listed as Addison Scott’s Coming Undone.  Marine on left, Undone on right.

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Grant is not the only one,

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Saving Michael on left, Under the Influence on right.

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Looking through his titles on Barnes & Noble I found  Long Road Home which has essentially the same description as Donya Lynne’s Winter Fire. Fire on left, Home on right.

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Busy little gonif that he is, here is Andrea Dalling’s Seducing Jordan on the left and Scott’s Friendly Persuasion on the right.

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That’s 4 of the 11 books Scott has listed on Barnes & Noble in the last 12 weeks. I’ve sent an email to both Donya and Andrea but if anyone knows them please contact them.

Update: Just found this.

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Update: All books plagiarized listed here.

WTFckery Or Not: Latest Plagiarism Accusation: Self-Published Author Missy Blue (D.C. Ruin) and The Tornado

[reblogged from Katiebabs Library of Books]

Welcome to this week’s WTFckery where unfortunately I have another alleged plagiarism scandal to talk about, yet again in the self-publishing community…

 

Last April I first heard about Missy Blue, a debut self-published author and her (or his) book, The Tornado. This self-published book is about a former ballerina heroine who has a romance with a MMA boxing fighting hero, and for fans of New Adult. The buzz for this book was big, so much so that The Tornado hit the top 100 in Romance, and I think overall fiction at Amazon. If that’s the case, The Tornado probably gave Missy thousands of dollars in sales. I reviewed the book, enjoyed it and even told others to read it. Now I’m kicking myself because it has come out that The Tornado is stolen. This Missy Blue, who has now vanished, stole a fan fiction of Warrior, a 2011 movie, titled, In The Land of Gods and Monsters by Wynter S. Komen. Also it looks like Missy Blue is D.C. Ruins, which this alleged plagiarist first published, with what would be The Tornado in 2014 under the title of Dances with Monsters.

Jane from Dear Author was the first to report this travesty on Twitter:

 

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Comment on a review of The Tornado before Amazon took action and took off The Tornado off sale:

 

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I’m pissed off again because this is yet another black stain on self-publishing. This thief, aka Missy Blue is a perfect example of everything wrong with self-publishing, because these debut self-published authors, who just appear one day with little or no social presence or website continue to prove it’s easy to steal fan fictions or other authors’ work and claim it as their own. Because this Missy Blue can just erase herself or himself and take his/her ill gotten gains (and laughing all the way to the bank), and not give restitution to the author or writer they stole from, it will  continue to happen again and again. That author or writer victim, who decides to take action, by spending their own money to find out who someone like Missy Blue is must appeal to Amazon and any other third party vendor to reveal the identity of the plagiarist. Only Amazon and other third party vendors have the information (plagiarist’s real identity, address and banking information) the victim needs for their case, in the hopes to receive the royalties these plagiarists stole.

 

The sad thing is I have to be very cautious when trying a new self-published author who doesn’t have any presence to speak of. Do I really have to investigate the authors I want to read or ask other authors who know these new debut self-published authors and ask for referrals because I don’t want to end up reading possible plagiarized content? Because of Missy Blue and Laura Harner, I’m very close to the point I won’t mention, review or praise any debut self-published authors and their books until I know they’re 100% authentic.

 

It’s already extremely hard for self-published authors to get reviewed or create word of mouth for their books. Whenever a self-published author plagiarizes another author or writer, they’re stealing from the entire self-publishing community who needs word of mouth and reviews to sell their books. Self publishing has made it so easy for unethical people to steal fan fiction and other works published or posted on-line, and sell it for a big profit. A sad WTFckery that continues to put self-publishing in a bad light.