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A review: Dark Screams (Volume Six)

May 6, 2017 3 comments

Well, it’s been a ridiculously long time since I’ve written anything here. I’ll talk about why in my next post, but for now, I thought I would go ahead and share a review of an ebook I was recently asked to read. It’s the latest entry (volume six) in an anthology series from Cemetery Dance Publications entitled Dark Screams.

Here’s a link to the ebook in Amazon: Dark Screams (Volume Six)

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I’ve posted my review there, but I’ll go ahead and include it here as well. If you’re a fan of horror fiction, check it out, or any of the other entries in the series. Or, for that matter, any of their other publications. The best place to go for dark fiction.

–ddp

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I’ve been a long-time fan of Cemetery Dance Publications. I’ve bought numerous books from them and have subscribed to their magazine for many years. They truly are the cream-of-the-crop when it comes to horror fiction, and I’ve never been disappointed by them. So, when I was recently given the opportunity to review their latest release in the Dark Screams series (Volume Six), I jumped at the chance. I’m glad I did, because it was great. Here are my personal opinions on each story in this most recent installment.
The Old Dude’s Ticker by Stephen King. I enjoyed SK’s intro to this story, and got a kick out of his apologies both to the reader (due to the age of the material, having come from the seventies) and E.A. Poe. I’ll leave it to the reader to understand why he felt he had to apologize to Poe. Regardless of the dated writing associated with this story, I still enjoyed it. A fun read and a nice homage to a story most readers will most likely have already read.

The Rich Are Different by Lisa Morton. I’ve never read any of her works before, but I must say I truly enjoyed this story, and her writing. A well-written tale, I found myself drawn in and taken on a journey which I had not expected (a bit of a twist on a love story). I can now say I’ve become quite a fan of Lisa Morton and look forward to reading more of her fiction.

The Manicure by Nell Quinn-Gibney. A manicure only found somewhere in a bad dream. It makes me rethink whether I ever want another pedicure, which is a bummer, because I like them. I’d like to read more of her stories.

The Comforting Voice by Norman Prentiss. A wonderfully creepy tale about new parents and a newborn baby that tries their patience (to the extreme), a situation everyone who’s ever had kids can relate to. Frightening in a way no parent wants to admit.

The Situations by Joyce Carol Oates. A new author to me. Overall, a quick read, but I didn’t really follow it very well. At the end, I was left with something of a “so what” kind of feeling. Because of that, I’d consider it one of the weaker stories, at least for me.

The Corpse King by Tim Curran. A grim and dark story about two grave robbers that ran quite a bit longer than the others in this collection. While the writing was top-notch, it could have been shortened a bit, as I found myself beginning to skip small sections to progress through the story. Also, the author frequently used words I didn’t know, which is either a commentary on my sad vocabulary, or it’s indicative of using bigger words when simpler will do. Overall, I enjoyed it and the two main characters, and I liked the ending as well.
Dark Screams Volume Six is a worthwhile read for those who enjoy reading short forms of horror fiction. My rating of the collection: 4/5 stars. Another worthy entry in the Dark Screams series.

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Short story submitted: first writing goal of 2013 accomplished

January 9, 2013 24 comments

So, I did it. I just submitted one of my short stories to Cemetery Dance Magazine.

Of course, this was only after my wife read through it several times for me and made some wonderful suggestions. I then spent days going over and over it to make sure it was as good as it could possibly be. Finally, after mustering all the nerve I could, I uploaded it to their submission site and pressed “send”. Off it went, into the submission slush pile.

While I hope for the best, I realize that my chances of getting selected are pretty slim. According to them, they get around 500 submissions per month, so the odds aren’t all that good, even if I wrote something that managed to get their attention. But, even though they will most likely pass on it, I still feel good about what I wrote and figure everyone has to deal with their share of rejections. After all, the world of writing is tough, so if I can’t handle some negative responses then I might as well stop writing.

To keep me busy while waiting to hear back, among other things I plan to polish another short that I think is pretty good. Their guidelines say they want only one submission at a time, but that it’s okay to submit a new story if a previously submitted story is rejected, so I plan to keep on submitting until they stop accepting.

I’ll provide an update when I hear something. If I get rejected, I’ll lick my wounds and submit another. Then, I’ll post the first short story here for those who would like to read it.

Wish me luck!

–dp