Spotlight & Excerpt: Love and Other Monsters in the Dark, by K.B. Jensen

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Love and Other Monsters in the Dark
by K.B. Jensen
genre: magical realism,  dark fiction, short stories
releases July 1st

Strange Stories That Linger in the Shadows

Readers will encounter serial killers, alien creatures, and dark angels, as well as more “normal” narratives about the horrors of everyday love. Love and Other Monsters in the Dark features a genre-hopping blend of contemporary fiction, noir humor, speculative fiction, and horror, with an undercurrent of love and the relationships that bind us together in the darkness. Among others, the cast of characters includes a catfish and her victim, creepy dolls in prayer, an arsonist housewife, an elderly bank robber, and a “teacup” pig. Some just can’t take it anymore.

From an award-winning story of a woman who turns into her grandmother overnight, to a narrative about facing relationship complications during a zombie apocalypse, this collection offers laughter and tears, playfully packaged in and out of flash fiction.


Excerpt:

Eating the Storm

Standing at the edge of the field, staring into the horizon, Sara swallowed the approaching storm. She unhinged her jaw and swallowed wide, dislocating it. A shooting pain crept up her face. The gray storm clouds tasted salty in her mouth. The condensation slid down the back of her throat, a downpour that threatened to drown her. Her belly swelled, swirled, distended with a hard rain.

A control freak, always trying to please other people. Now she was trying to control the weather. What would her therapist think?

Sara furrowed her brow, clamped her teeth together despite the shooting pain. She was afraid that it would escape. That it would hurt all the people she loved, so she held it in.

The hair on the back of her neck rose, the hair on her arms too. Tiny, fine, blond hairs. She stared at them with wild wide eyes. Afraid if she spoke, the opening of her mouth would release it. She whimpered slightly, but no one was there to hear her.

Sara pushed back the urge to vomit and felt the storm churn within her. Her shoulder-length hair now stood on end. She reached up and tried to pull it back down, to no avail.

Her arms and legs swelled. Her feet and hands bloated. Blood vessels blossomed red across expanding skin. The dress she was wearing stretched and constricted her growing frame. The threads broke, shredding across her chest.

Watching her arms and legs balloon, she was afraid she would pop.

She remembered what her therapist had said, “Depression is anger turned inwards.”

You’d think these words could have helped her stop it, to let it go, but they didn’t.

The thunder rumbled through her internal organs, shaking her liver like jelly, while the lightning sizzled her brain. When they found Sara later, she was never quite the same. Her jaw made strange clicking noises, for one.


About the Author:

Photo Credit: Kelly Weaver Photography
Photo Credit: Kelly Weaver Photography

Award-winning Author K.B. Jensen’s short story collection, Love and Other Monsters in the Dark, will be published July 2022. She has two novels, Painting With Fire, an artistic murder mystery, and A Storm of Stories, which veers literary. K.B. lives in Littleton, CO., with her family and enjoys skiing. She’s a publishing consultant at My Word Publishing. Visit www.kbjensenauthor.com.

Website

Twitter @KB_Jensen

 

Spotlight: Suburban Death Project, by Aimee Parkison

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Suburban Death Project
by Aimee Parkison
Genre: magical realism, dark fiction

A disturbingly brilliant collection of experimental fiction exploring love, loss, and mourning. The twelve stories comprising SUBURBAN DEATH PROJECT sparkle with disturbing brilliance, revealing in full why Aimee Parkison is so widely celebrated for her innovative narratives and experimental fiction.

SUBURBAN DEATH PROJECT breathes life into what is barely surviving: ill-fated families, frightening relationships, and dangerous loves. With a dark humor serving to make unimaginable traumas both tolerable and knowable, Parkison delves into marriage and mourning, lust and loss, and violence and its aftermath. She exposes the horrors of life in its bodily form and relieves them with a passionate wonder burning so brightly it outshines age, death, and family secrets. In average American households, families haunt each other while still alive as they recompose into dragonflies, peach trees, squirrels, ducks, owls, shadows, tunnels, and zoos of endangered species. Pinned to boards for study, peered at by voyeurs, videoed by neighbors, or vivisected for the greater good, each body in these riveting stories undergoes an unflinching examination.

Goodreads / Amazon (pre-order)


About the Author:

Aimee Parkison is the author of several books of fiction. Her work has won numerous awards and fellowships and has appeared in numerous journals in English and in translation in Italian. Her fiction has won the Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize from Fiction Collective Two, a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship, the Kurt Vonnegut Prize from North American Review, the Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction, the Jack Dyer Prize from Crab Orchard Review, a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship, a Writers at Work Fellowship, a Puffin Foundation Fellowship, and an American Antiquarian Society William Randolph Hearst Creative Artists Fellowship.

Aimee Parkison is a full professor at Oklahoma State University, where she teaches novel writing, contemporary fiction, exploratory narrative techniques, experimental fiction writing, and workshops in the Creative Writing Program’s BA, MFA, and PhD course offerings. Parkison has taught creative writing at a number of universities, including Cornell University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Oklahoma State University. Parkison has served as a visiting faculty member at the British Council’s International Creative Writing Summer School in Athens, Greece, and as a fiction faculty member at Chautauqua Writers’ Festival. Since the summer of 2019, Aimee Parkison has served on the FC2 Board of Directors.

Aimee Parkison author photo 2022

Website
Goodreads
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Spotlight & Excerpt: Bluebird At My Window + Giveaway

BLUEBIRD AT MY WINDOW

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the BLUEBIRD AT MY WINDOW by H. Noah Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

Title: BLUEBIRD AT MY WINDOW

Author: H. Noah

Pub. Date: February 15, 2022

Publisher: H. Noah

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 394

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&N, TBD, Bookshop.org

 

When faced with trauma, how would you react?

Would you survive, succumb, or lose yourself to your own meaning of justice?

Ann was only seventeen when she died. She tried to be a dutiful daughter, to pray, to repent. But it wasn’t enough. Her mother, Diane, didn’t mean to kill her but when she found Ann consorting with devils, she had no choice. She believed the angels—that in the end, the water would save them both.

But every choice holds weight. One death, and Arthur is thrown back into the work he wanted to leave. One death, and Richard must face the reality of his choices. One death, and Maddie and Marie are confronted with the hardest parts of love. If only good intentions were enough to keep them from the carnage of their own decisions . . .

A dark contemporary fiction drenched in blood, this debut novel from H. Noah has an intricate true crime feeling with psychological depth.

Content Warning

The following book centers around processing trauma. Please be aware that it will touch upon such topics as violence, sexual assault (not overly descriptive), racism, microaggressions, misogyny, incest, and homophobia. This book also focuses on mental health and will cover depression, anxiety, PTSD, suicidal ideation, hearing voices, religious fixations, delusions, self-harm, and drug abuse.

This book is dark due to the topics covered. This is not a horror or thriller meant to scare you. Please be kind to yourself and put the book back if you are not in a good place to read any of the things mentioned above.


 Excerpt:

Chapter 1
Portland, Maine
Friday, October 14, 2016
Diane Loucks

The water swelled like a second skin around her fingers. Thick flesh-colored tendrils, clinging to the newly pure.
Light scattered through the small window, burning white hot across the chipped tile, curled wallpaper, and filth. Everything within this small house on a hill still festered with the sin of her—my daughter.
She’d fought me as she always had. Her arm draped over the side of the old claw tub, almost at ease, even bent back at an odd angle. I’d forgotten to turn off the water completely, but I couldn’t get up. I was fixed against the ground, watching as the water gathered and fell from her pale fingertips. No more rush, no more panic. Each drop reached slowly to the floor, hitting the tile with a soft pink splash.
It was done.
My naked flesh numbed to the bitter tile as I lay at the tub’s feet. Each fold of skin stretched, suctioning to the floor, holding me in place. Something had gone wrong in the blessing. I’d stripped myself in preparation but she’d refused, made me pull clothing to ribbons as I blessed the water.
When she didn’t wake up, I’d called the preacher. Tried to understand what had happened, why the angels had lied.
But he was useless.
That’s when I slid to the floor, streaking the wall behind me with her blood. Ichor that still clung to my skin and the floor beneath.
Fraud. Liar.
You did the right thing.
It should have worked.
It did.
Pure!
Why didn’t it work?
She’s clean now. The preacher was unholy.
Why hasn’t she risen?
You were the unclean one.

The scream ripped from within me. I wanted quiet, needed it. I scratched my ears, ripping my body from the tile.
The pain worked, but not well enough.
I slammed knuckles into my skull.
Not enough.
Thump.
Thump.
Thump.
My skull reverberated against the hard ceramic. The sharp ache purified, but didn’t silence. So I kept crashing into it as skin split across my forehead, turning my vision burgundy. It gave me something to focus on, to control.
The demons didn’t like that.
I could hear them in the walls, closing around me. Devils playing tricks as they reached from beneath the wallpaper, touching. I thrashed against them all, gouging holes into the small space. Drywall fingers ripped through flesh as my blood seeped and spilled to the floor, covering hers. The air was suffocating, poisoned, thick, and sandy.
They wanted to silence me.
But still I screamed.
They wanted me quiet, malleable to their will.
Everyone did.
I wanted to fracture the foundation.


About H. Noah:

They’ve been a massage therapist, social worker, poet, teacher, and more. Picking up a B.A. in Criminology and an M.S. in I-O Psychology. They’ve also lived in Alaska, Maine and many places in-between. They are currently still trying to find a forever place as they travel the US.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub


Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card, International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Schedule:

Week One:

2/7/2022

Rockstar Book Tours

Kickoff Post

2/7/2022

@jaimerockstarbooktours

IG Post

2/8/2022

Mythical Books

Guest Post/IG Post

2/8/2022

Writer of Wrongs

Excerpt

2/9/2022

The Momma Spot

Excerpt

2/9/2022

BookHounds YA

Guest Post

2/10/2022

Daily Waffle

Excerpt/IG Post

2/10/2022

Rajiv’s Reviews

Review

2/11/2022

The Girl Who Reads

Review

2/11/2022

Jazzy Book Reviews

Review

Week Two:

2/14/2022

Take A Look At My Bookshelf

Review

2/14/2022

#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog

Review

2/15/2022

Adrienne Woods

Excerpt /IG Post

2/15/2022

Karen Dee’s Book Reviews

IG Spotlight

2/16/2022

Sadie’s Spotlight

Excerpt/IG Post

2/16/2022

@coffeesipsandreads

Review

2/17/2022

Two Points of Interest

Review

2/17/2022

Two Chicks on Books

Excerpt

2/18/2022

Momfluenster

Review

2/18/2022

Dr Roha Tahir

Spotlight

 

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