Category Archives: Black Bed Sheet Books
Cinema by Jason Gehlert
Cinema is Jason Gehlert’s fifteenth entry into his library of work and his unique writing style brings horror to a new level! This collection, separated into sprawling short stories and poems, brings back several of his iconic characters as well as some thrilling new heroes. Laanes Available paints a disturbing tale about reckless teens stranded in a rundown bowling alley. Echoes is the centerpiece of the collection, featuring a group of teenagers fighting for survival inside a cave and features William, a Down Syndrome character you’ll likely not soon forget. Gehlert’s Immortal hitman Jeremiah Black (from his novel of the same name) returns in a pair of unique tales, and Malcolm Ellis for the macabre tale, My Black Valentine. Cinema also features artwork by artist Mary Ellen Doering, and marks the fifth collaboration with Black Bed Sheet Books. “Gehlert’s Cinema is a unique collection of horror stories that will keep you up at night with the lights on!” – From award-winning G.A. Minton, author of TRISOMY XXI.
I’ve been reading a lot of anthologies lately. Not a bad thing, but I have been hankering to dig into some novels and get lost for a longer term. I decided to belay that for Cinema by Jason Gehlert, and I made the correct decision. I’ve read Gehlert’s books before, and enjoyed them immensely, so I sat back to see what sort of madness he had for me this time.
The title ‘Cinema’ is fitting. Each story plays out very visual and textured, much like a good creepy movie would be; maybe showing some old rundown theater in a dirty back corner of town. The illustrations provided by Mary Ellen Doering were a nice touch, which I think helped set the stage. Starting with a story of a fisherman for hire, you aren’t sure if he’s going with ‘Old Man and the Sea’ or maybe ‘Ryme of the Ancient Mariner’. As per usual, it goes in a different direction entirely, and away we go into the darkness. The book is broken up much like a movie, with acts and intermissions. It’s a device that works because each Act has a different tone to it. Each story in Act One gives us twists and turns, keeping us interested. In Echoes, we find our hero to be not whom most would expect. In the Roade to Ruin, we find our hero to be exactly what we expect, but what he has to go through keeps you on the edge of your seat. (or bed, if you like to read in those sort of places)
The Intermission is a nice little palate cleanser. Full of poetry, dark and moving, it helps ready for Act 2 without forfeiting the tone of the anthology. I’ll admit, while I sometimes enjoy poetry, I’m not one to speak to much on it. I still think the peak of poetic genius lays with Shel Silverstein, so I’m probably not a great authority. I read each one, though. Each and every word.
Act 2 starts with a seriously creepy piece of body horror in Incision. Then we get to a treat. Combining the worlds of his previous work in Jeremiah Black and The Ferryman, we are taken on a hell of a ride in Ferrymen: Judgement Call. This is a world I wanted to read more of and hope there is more of it in the future. The Devil’s Troll and Laanes Available, both delightfully disturbing lead up to My Black Valentine, where , Jeremiah Black shows up one more time in a ‘just one more before we go’ gesture. He tussles with love, devotion, and various open wounds.
Overall, this is a fun collection of stories and poetry. Each story is a ride all in of itself, leaving a lasting impression. I highly recommend this anthology.
So apparently Night Shall Overtake is currently (as of 6/26 @ 13:00) is #4 in books that would make Lovecraft proud on Listopia at Goodreads. That’s a helluva an honor as Lovecraft is a huge influence on my writing. Yay for the Elder Ones!!
Also, for you Nook users, it is available at Barnes & Nobles for your Nook machines as well. It’s everywhere!
My first published work is finally been released to let the world do with it what it will. Night Shall Overtake, published by Black Bed Sheet Books, is now available where ever the hell you get your reading material. And, coincedentally, my second published work is also out. My story ‘Possession’ is included in the current issue of Shadows & Light anthology, so you can read that one as well. And you should because it has a lot of fine authors in it.
It’s a pretty damn good feeling, right now. A life long dream come true. Twice, even.
Getting it published is the first step. Now to try and sell the damn thing. I’ll be the first to admit, it’s a strange little story and not terribly conventional. It’s not quite horror, not quite detective story, and deinfinitely not for the kids. As Nick put it, ‘a thrilling whodunnit creaturefest.’ I think he pinned it. Has a nice ring to it, right?
A big thanks to all the folks who helped hammer it into shape. And even more so to my long-suffering family and roommates who have had to deal with my crazy ass throughout. If I wasn’t holed up writing, I was sitting around grumpy because I should have been writing. Not that it’s any different now.
You have no idea how many times I’ve heard this as I emerged from the computer. My roommates think they are just Hil-ar-ious.
Below are all the fine internet establishments that you can find both stories at. I’ll be pushing to get physical copies in physical stores and will keep you updated on that. Of course, you could help a writer out by having your local book store put one or two on the shelf. (I’m giving you puppy dogs eyes right now)
Anyone with a blog, website, radio show, or major television network; I’m totally willing to whore myself out and trade reviews, interviews, and shameless plugs if you are. Whatever it takes to get the word out that this strange tale of crime, creatures, and creepiness is something the people need to read.
Of course now that NSO is out, I can’t let myself get lazy on my next projects. (Too late!) My very much not-a-horror-story story about two youth’s struggle with ostracization and survival on their own is coming along swimmingly and probably my next book. The ghost story is on hiatus right now, but certainly not forgotten. The pile of notes I keep making for it is getting bigger and quite possibly a fire hazard.
Life is good.
Night Shall Overtake Links:
Shadows & Light Links:
Remeber kids: stay in school, don’t drink and drive, and do a little dance-make a little love-get down tonight.
I’ve just a few updates and then a small treat.
First off, I am happy to announce that my story ‘Possession’ will be published in the upcoming issue of Shadows & Light magazine. You can look for it this July in both digital and print at Amazon. Everything I ever read in this collaborative anthology has been excellent, so it feels pretty good that my story was accepted. This is the first short story that I’ve had published and I’m pretty excited about that as well. It’s taken me a few (okay maybe more than a few) years to get to a point where I think my writing is worth a damn, and then a few more to get off my ass and put it out there. A testament to things happening when you actually try. Sitting around and hoping isn’t nearly as productive as actually putting forth the effort.
Secondly I have posted last Saturday’s radio show on the sidebar of the blog. (Look to your right and scroll down) I love doing live radio but it would be nice to have the show available anytime. Every week will be a new show so stay tuned. Now you have soundtrack while reading this humble little blog, or whatever internet perusing you are doing. And, as always, catch the real thing every Saturday night at The Headphone Bleed. (For those of you who have yet to experience my weekly live show, it’s two hours of celebrating great music while I attempt you tell lame jokes and talk about whatever.)
Next month my novel, Night Shall Overtake, will be coming out. And as such, I thought it might be nice to give you a little taste of what is to come. There is great pride in writing those words ‘my novel…will be coming out’ and even greater pride in being able to share it with everybody. Enjoy.
Insert fanfare and rejoicing here.
excerpt from Night Shall Overtake
**This part of town began the outskirts of hopelessness. Just beyond it lie the warrens of nightmares and fiends that terrified even those things that go bump in the night. In this dirty and dangerous urban outpost sat a bar. To call it a dive would imply that it could still get worse. It was a home for the outcast and despondent, as well as the desperate, especially the desperate. Invisible tensions brewed in the air, the occupants brewed with it, just waiting for the resulting explosion. Outside the dingy little bar the night was warm and humid and faint sounds of a ruckus could be heard. A stumbling drunk emerged from the dark street and clumsily staggered by as he concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other. He passed unaware of the sounds of strife until the dented and paint chipped door flew open and forcefully knocked him down. The dim light from inside spilled out onto the street as a man spilled out with it and landed hard on the worn and crumbling sidewalk.
“What is your problem?” the man yelled while trying to stand up as a short blonde woman tried to kick at him.
“You’re an asshole, that’s the problem,” she yelled right back. She grabbed at his red flannel shirt but he scrambled just out of her reach.
“Oh, I’m the asshole? You’re the one who is messing around behind my back,” he accused her. Inside the bar patrons were calling out encouragements for the woman to kick him in various parts of his anatomy.
“You know full well what you did, you and your little bitch friend.” The woman hissed quietly. “I know what you two are planning, or should I say what she is planning for you.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” he nervously twisted at his unfortunate mustache knowing full well what she meant.
“That’s the problem with you Richard; you are great at coming up with ideas but too gutless to act them out.” She turned to enter the bar again but he found his feet and grabbed her arm.
“Wait.” He realized it was a mistake as soon as he did it; three large shapes filled the doorway.
“Let her go, man. It’s not worth it,” a guttural voice told him.
“Step back inside here,” another one coaxed, “I want to finish kicking your ass.” Richard looked up and down the dark street. He knew then that he had lost control of the entire situation. All his carefully laid plans and all the allies he had worked so hard to make were in jeopardy.
“Janae, listen. Let’s just talk about this, maybe I overreacted. I was just upset when I found out you were seeing someone else, we can talk about this.” He tried again in a quieter tone.
“Overreacted? It’s like a western saloon fight in there because of you. Did you really think I wouldn’t find out how dispensable I am to you?” From inside the sound of crashes and barroom violence wafted out. “Go to hell, I’m done with you.” The finality in which she said it convinced him of her sincerity. It was because of that sincerity he became more conflicted than before.
“But what about all we put together? The plan?” he whined.
“Like I said, you can come up with ideas, you just can’t execute them. Maybe it’s time someone actually did something about it.” They stood there for a moment just staring at each other before Richard stepped back and turned on his heel. He knew he was out gunned and if he didn’t leave soon, he probably wasn’t going to live much longer. Finding Meredith is top priority now, she’d know what to do. As he disappeared down the dark street she watched him go and sighed. With all her talk, she felt a little lost as he walked away. It was a fleeting feeling as she sensed the darkness around the door shudder and a vaguely human shaped shadow emerged into the light of the doorway.
“It’s time,” it whispered to her. “We should go.” Another Shade appeared on her other side. Janae looked at them both and put her chin up.
“You’re right. It’s time to make this ours.” She spread her arms out, “We’ll make this all ours.” Together, the three of them walked in the opposite direction and disappeared into their own darkness. Unseen by all of them was another shape hidden, inexplicably, in the dark. It had been there the whole time watching delightedly. It hadn’t planned for tonight’s actions to happen, but cheered that he could at least be a part of it. Yellow-red eyes blinked into existence and stepped forward. The silhouette emerged around them, a hulking and over-muscled outline of hell.
“Good, they are all inside.” Sharp pointed teeth emerged in an evil smile as it stepped into the street and faced the seedy bar. The creature reveled in perverse glee at all the chaos he was about to create. He looked down at the drunk that lay unknown and forgotten from where he had fallen. Our sprawling inebriate had watched the events impassively until he saw the demon emerge. His pants grew warm and wet but it went unnoticed. The demon could smell the fear and urine and it only made him smile larger. “I suggest you go.” At the words, the man scrambled to his feet and bounded away suddenly much more sober than before. He didn’t see the demon’s dance-like movements or hear the muttered words but he did see the street briefly light up around him with an orange light, and felt a hot wind out-race him. He refused to look back; he refused to do anything but keep running.**
Stay tuned for more updates as the big day gets closer.
Remember kids: Stay in school, don’t drink and drive, and if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.