4/5 Stars for “Brothel” and “Hysteria” by Stephanie M. Wytovich

If you like dark poetry, you’ve heard her name before. As a long-time fan of her work, I recently gave myself the kick in the seat to actually post reviews of her collections. I’ve only just started Sheet Music to my Acoustic Nightmare, but I have a feeling that’ll be a 5 star rating.

In the meanwhile, here are my thoughts on Hysteria: A Collection of Madness.

No surprise this was nominated for a Bram Stoker award. Horror poetry is hard to come by, but when done right, it’s really compelling. Such is the case with this collection, the debut release of one of the rising stars of dark verse. A few poems didn’t thrill me, but I’m an occult snob, so 666 does nothing for me. Beyond that, these are certainly inventive, and great for anyone looking for horror, poetry, both, or just a solidly good read–or one hell of a coffee table book!

And now, a slightly longer, in-depth review of Brothel.

This truly epic collection of poems by Bram Stoker-winner Stephanie Wytovich continues to combine eloquence with gritty topics. A book titled “Brothel” containing poems like “From Behind” and “Naked” isn’t shy about its contents, and each poem, like another position in the Kama Sutra, embraces a new way to talk about the sleaze and sin of the world’s oldest profession.

The book isn’t all the joys of getting paid to get laid. Some pieces recount struggling with addiction and disorder, while others tell of violent clients who get off on beatings and brandings, but this isn’t a narrator who goes down quietly. This is a fierce collection, told by a narrator who refuses to be a victim. She destroys her abusers, whether physically or through her own voracious appetite, calling to mind Plath’s “Lady Lazarus”: “Out of the ash/ I rise with my red hair/ and I eat men like air.”

Brothel is a book that knows sex is about power, in which succumbing to temptation is simply a part of life. While some individual poems fall flat compared to the more impressive ones, this collection is more than worth the money, so don’t worry. If you’re tempted to read this, hit buy. You’re in for a real good time.

Whether you like or agree with my reviews, you really should be reading her work, so check out the links above to find them on Amazon.

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In the mood to stick around with me for a little while? My Patreon has free fiction, and additional stories for paying subscribers, not to mention a bunch of other goodies. High-paying backers also get promotional opportunities, so it’s great for indie writers and small presses. Check it out!

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5 Stars for Jim Goforth’s “Harvester’s Trade”

Self-published work is sometimes a gamble. This is Jim Goforth’s first foray into the self-pub world, and I assure you, he’s doing it right. Harvester’s Trade is exactly the type of succinct, hard-hitting work an author should be producing, regardless of how they publish. Read it here, or read the review below:

This story of visceral horror is an excellent debut into the world of self-publishing. Jim Goforth, a highly regarded writer of this genre, certainly doesn’t hold back, keeping the adrenaline running from start to finish. It’s a quick read–more a sprint than a marathon–but this need to keep things to the point doesn’t impact the ambiance at all.

With ten characters getting relatively equal page time, it can be hard to keep track of them, but they’re distinct enough, and leave enough of a mark on the story, that this problem goes away within the first few pages. The end has enough twists and drive to leave you wanting more about what’s really going on, powered by visuals that could easily be translated to a pretty exciting film.

This’ll keep you glued to your Kindle all evening, so be sure to pick up a copy.

That’s all for now. Stop back soon for more reviews, news, and other fun.

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If you enjoy my reviews, fiction, writing advice, and other posts, or just like me in general, please check out my Patreon. In exchange for helping me afford things like insulin, you get monthly stories, an annual collection, writing advice, and many other rewards. Thanks, friends!

High Praise for At the Hands of Madness

Hi there!

Looks like AT THE HANDS OF MADNESS is doing phenomenally! It’s kept a pretty high rank and, while it’s not being Dean Koontz or Clive Barker yet, it’s sold way more than I anticipated, putting its rank pretty damn high.

But don’t take my word for it! Here’s what others are saying:

“Holton’s careful wit and smooth writing style made this book one I couldn’t put down. The storyline kept me entertained, despite that it is not my go-to genre. I’ll be looking out for more from this author!” –Drew Sofranko, 5 Star Amazon Review

“You can perfectly imagine what Holton is narrating and that makes you grin more than once.” “The tension is constant all through the book, and the author’s imagination tricks you and challenges your mind, even when you don’t expect it.” “You’ll love it.” –Mar G-Amorena, 5 Star Amazon Review

“More Steak and Scotch than any other book I’ve read!” –KJ, Reviewer

“At first, I thought it was a little goofy, but that opening lightheartedness was just to set you up for the fall.” –LMF, Reviewer

Want to check it out for yourself? Click above, or here. I’m not picky.

Talk to you soon!

Cyborg Sunday, Update 2.18.2018: Five Stars for At the Hands of Madness!

It is four A. M.

Why am I awake right now?

Writers never sleep.

–“Hustle” by Yours Truly

 

WHAT. 5 star review for At the Hands of Madness!

It’s only one review so far, but it’s so awesome to see this book get such praise. Some snippets:

“An emotional rollercoaster.”

“You can perfectly imagine what Holton is narrating and that makes you grin more than once.”

“The tension is constant all through the book, and the author’s imagination tricks you and challenges your mind, even when you don’t expect it.”

“His writing is spotless and his effort in perfecting every detail is obvious.”

Now where is the ‘big grin’ emoji on WordPress…

I’m also polishing the script for These Walls Don’t Talk, They Scream, a novel coming soon from HellBound Books. It’s a big lower budget than the At the Hands of Madness film would be, but as my coffee mug says, Good things come to those who go out and fucking hustle.

No, it actually says that.

In cyborg/diabetes news, Methyldopa, a blood pressure medication, could have the potential to block the DQ8 molecule, which appears in 60 percent of people at risk for Type 1 diabetes! Obviously, this doesn’t help me, but it might help the people you love.

Allegedly, scientists can predict the illness with near 100% certainty, and Type 1 is only 5-10% of all diabetes anyway, but considering that Type 2 is preventable (or treatable) through healthy diet and exercise, we’re well on our way to stamping this bastard of a disease out!

Byte me, big pharma.

An article from last August states that we’re “one step closer” to a T1D cure through islet cell implants thanks to ViaCyte. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen researchers exploring this option, though, so I can only hope these clinical trials pan out.

ONE OF THE TRIALS IS RECRUITING.

I’m ending the post here so I can investigate further.

See you on the other side, kids.

“At the Hands of Madness” review copies available!

Hey everyone!

Just wanted to reach out real quick and say that I’m looking for book bloggers and other reviewers to take a look at my latest release, At the Hands of Madness.

You can post a review on your blog(s), website of your choice, and/or (preferably) Amazon/Goodreads.

DM me on any social media, or hit me up at Kevin.JL.Holton@gmail.com with the subject line REVIEW COPY. Thanks!

Book review up @TheBoldMom: Brothel, by Stephanie M. Wytovich

Hey everyone,

Here’s a link to my review of one of the most gritty, sexually charged books of poetry I’ve had the pleasure of reading. It’s over one hundred poems about the world’s oldest professions, so it keeps things pretty interesting.

If you like the review, buy the book here!

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Want to support me writing, reviewing books, and doing all sorts of novelist mayhem? Why not show me a little love on my Patreon? The next three pledges get a free ebook, and you get a shout-out on my website!

Book Review: 5 Stars for Megadrak: Beast of the Apocalypse, by Christofer Nigro

Hi everyone!

As you know, I like reposting the reviews I leave elsewhere to generate more buzz. Good writers deserve all the support they can get, so here’s my 5 star review of Megadrak: Beast of the Apocalypse.

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Kaiju fiction has been getting popular over the last few years, and among the writers dedicated to expanding this untapped genre lies Christofer Nigro, whose latest solo work, Megadrak: Beast of the Apocalypse, embodies all that is great about skyscraper-sized mutant creatures that want to consume all earthly life.

This story is set in Japan, 1954, with the Cold War, as well as the Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and Bikini Atoll nuclear detonations as a backdrop for the end of days. The country, its cities, and its citizens are described with painstaking detail, taking care to render the era with an exacting pen. All the Japanese names may at first be confusing to some American readers, but this is kaiju fiction—few people survive more than five to ten pages past their introduction, so there aren’t many lasting characters to talk about.

Megadrak begins with Goro Takiguchi, a fisherman, whose friend is attacked by a mutated bloodworm, soon to be named Glyceracon. These ravenous, fanged annelids descend on a nearby village, draining scores of bystanders dry while he narrowly escapes. The creatures swarm whoever and whatever they come across, leaving havoc in their wake, seemingly the worst bio-organic threat in written history—until the researchers trying to slow and stop their assault come to the conclusion that they must have been feeding on a far larger food source. One with radioactive blood.

Enter the Big Bad, Medadrak, a draconian daikaiju with a sharp intellect and insatiable appetite for destruction. I won’t spoil what it can do, or what it proceeds to do, but I can say it’s everything a Godzilla fan would want, and more, with a dash of scientific terminology to keep the more detail-oriented readers engaged.

Along with Nigro’s extensive kaiju knowledge comes his expansive vocabulary. It’s not enough to say that reading his work might teach people new words; reading his work will absolutely teach you at least a few. His keen mind for synonyms keeps the wording fresh, yet also provides a journalistic perspective, as if this is being described by an academic or reporter, which works really well for this genre.

This occasionally works against the pacing, as some overly formal wording or lengthy descriptions don’t quite fit in the action of some sequences, especially when it comes to dialog. Fortunately, these moments are few and far between.

Megadrak: Beast of the Apocalypse gives readers exactly what they want. Kaiju fans will get all the giant, city-stomping monster mayhem the genre is known for. Those who are newer to the field will take delight in the smooth introduction, starting with littler creatures and progressing to the bigger ones after you’ve gotten to know the main crew. And yes, there’s a giant monster brawl, because what would a story like this be without one?

Tack on a few scattered moments of mutant humans with extrasensory powers, and Megadrak is clearly the start of a larger universe, if not to say Nigro’s own little kaiju franchise. While no one’s flying around or rewinding time in this particular novel, it’s safe to say this author will deliver on that promise soon. Until then, the Beast of the Apocalypse deserves a place on any monster lover’s shelf.

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If you’d like to help prevent the end of the world, consider pledging to my Patreon! You’ll get monthly fiction, ebooks, and even signed copies. I can’t guarantee this will actually prevent the end of days, but it couldn’t hurt, right?