GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ I Smell Sheep: July 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Comic Review: B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: Exorcism #1

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: Exorcism #1
Written by Mike Mignola and Cameron Stewart
Illustrated by Cameron Stewart
Cover Artist:Viktor Kalvachev

Dark Horse Comics (June 2012) Genre: Action/Adventure, Horror
Publication Date:June 27, 2012Format:FC, 32
UPC:7 61568 18928 5 00111
Preview: here

Field agent Ashley Strode, last seen in B.P.R.D.: War on Frogs, is deployed to a Mexican village after a demon commands her to release one of its brethren, or lose the soul of a small child.

* The return of Eisner Award winner Cameron Stewart toB.P.R.D.!

* Featuring Ota Benga from B.P.R.D.: 1947.

My only real familiarity with Hellboy comes from the two movies, which I loved for the record, so I might not be as thrilled with the finer workings of the universe that Mignola and others have crafted here, unlike ardent fans of the series. But thanks to this two issue mini-series, I at least have my foot in the door.

Rather than feature the established characters--at least the characters I'm familiar with--Exorcism stars a newcomer to the B.P.R.D. named Ashley Strode. On assignment in Indiana, she's on hand for an exorcism of a young boy on a farm, but when the demon emerges it has a message specifically for her. From there, Ashley is tasked with seeking out a former consultant to B.P.R.D. from decades ago, a man with the knowledge of how to help the boy and possibly avert further hellish uprisings.

Like I said, this is my first foray into the B.P.R.D. series, so I'm not sure if Ashley Strode is a new character or not. However, she was an effective protagonist for me, since she's presented as the greenhorn on the team who feels out of her depth with regards to the demonic activity she encounters. Mignola and Stewart did a really good job in offering a gateway for a newcomer like me into the series. There are allusions to the Hell on Earth storyline, but not the point where I felt lost, and the intrigue surrounding how Ashley can essentially answer the ransom demands of a demon without compromising her mission had me hooked.

The story starts off with a flashback though, and one I think was a bit misplaced, but that's just my bias towards prologues. Aside from that, my only real gripe with the book is that it doesn't feature any of the series' main characters beyond a cameo by Dr. Corrigan. I'm enjoying this Ashley Strode character, but I had the preconception that I'd be seeing Liz Sherman or Abe Sapien featured. Oh well.

I'm looking forward to the second issue to see how this storyline plays out.

4 Sheep

Guest reviewer: Gef Fox
rabid reader, rabid writer
Wag The Fox: a den for dark fiction

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sheep Book Review: Darklands by Nancy Holzner (ARC)

They call it Deadtown: the city’s quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its border—but Victory Vaughn, Boston’s only professional demon slayer, isn’t exactly human…

Boston’s demons have been disappearing, and Vicky’s clients are canceling left and right. While fewer demons might seem like a good thing, Vicky suspects foul play. A missing Celtic cauldron from Harvard’s Peabody museum leads her to an unwelcome conclusion: Pryce, her demi-demon cousin and bitter enemy, is trying to regain his full powers.

But Pryce isn’t alone. He’s conjured another, darker villain from Vicky’s past. To stop them from destroying everything she loves, she’ll have to face her own worst fear—in the realm of the dead itself.

“You know how after a nice, long, restful sleep, you wake up to find things don’t seem so bad after all?
Me either.”-Vicky Vaughn

There are many reasons I read Urban Fantasy; I love kick-ass, snarky female women like Holzner’s demon-exterminating heroine Victory Vaughn. The second reason is the alpha male hotties that tend to hang around said kick-ass women <G>. And the third is kick-ass (yes, I use this adjective a lot when talking about Urban fantasy) world building.

Darklands is the fourth book in this series, but you can easily read this as a stand-alone because the first two chapters catch you up on what has happened in the previous books. Of course that means you will run into some spoilers from the previous books if you are a new reader, while longtime followers of the series might have the urge to skim, but don't because Holzner does a great job of weaving in the backstory and new material with big dose of humor. The story opens with Vicky as a speaker at Tina’s (Vicky’s teenage zombie ex-apprentice) High School for Career Night and an uninvited visual aid shows up. I did mention that Vicky’s job is a demon exterminator <G>?

Vicky’s life has been shaped by the tremendous amount of guilt she has been carrying around. Not only does Vicky feel guilty about her father’s death, but also for embracing her Cerddorion (shapeshifting) abilities and the friction that causes with her mother and sister. Then there is Kane, Vicky’s werewolf boyfriend who wants to take their relationship to the next level, which conflicts with her Cerddorion lifestyle. All this guilt sits on her gut like a giant quivering maggot…oh, wait! It really does in the form of an Eidolon demon that Vicky gives the nickname “Butterfly”. I sure hope we get to see more of “Butterfly” in future books.

I was impressed with Holzner’s world of demons and the supernatural after reading book one, Deadtown, which is based on Welsh mythology. In Darklands she created a new and fascinating place that lies between the human realm and the afterlife called the Darklands, once again twisting Welsh myths and the legends of Arthur into something original and clever. I can’t stress enough how much I admire intelligent world building and Holzner delivers with this series.

And if I want to get all smarty-pants about the book I can say the title not only refers to a physical place Vicky must venture in order to save the world, but also an emotional place where she must save herself from guilt. But, that hurts my brain too much so I will stick to thinking about that smexy werewolf (growl) Kane and where I might be able to find one…I wonder if he has a brother…

This is another home run in the Deadtown series with page turning action, humor, clever world building and a twist at the end I didn’t see coming. Love it when that happens.

5 “Creepy ass cloak wearing” Sheep

SharonS (edited by BAK)

Nancy Holzner

Nancy Holzner grew up in western Massachusetts with her nose stuck in a book. This meant that she tended to walk into things, wore glasses before she was out of elementary school, and forced her parents to institute a “no reading at the dinner table” rule. It was probably inevitable that she majored in English in college and then, because there were still a lot of books she wanted to read, continued her studies long enough to earn a masters degree and a PhD.

She began her career as a medievalist, then jumped off the tenure track to try some other things. Besides teaching English and philosophy, she’s worked as a technical writer, freelance editor and instructional designer, college admissions counselor, and corporate trainer. Most of her nonfiction books are published under the name Nancy Conner.

Nancy lives in upstate New York with her husband Steve, where they both work from home without getting on each other’s nerves. She enjoys visiting local wineries and listening obsessively to opera. There are still a lot of books she wants to read.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sheep Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

I'd like to make a personal note of dedication to the folks in Colorado who went out to a midnight showing of this film. Their lives, and those of their family and friends, were forever changed. My deepest sympathies are with you and my prayers continue today. Jessica Ghawi, Alex Sullivan, Matt McQuinn, John Larimer, Veronica Moser (6 years old), Micayla Medek, Alexander Boik, Jesse Childress, Jonathan Blunk, Rebecca Ann Wingo, Gordon Cowden, Alexander Teves.

***Spoiler free review***

The Dark Knight Rises, directed by Christopher Nolan, stars Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard. While the film starts out in a slump it ends up being a fun action adventure ride with some nice plot twists and bad villans!

It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act. But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane.

Hands down Christopher Nolan has got to be one of my favorite directors; he's breathed some much-needed life in the Batman franchise that was sorely missing for quite some time. (And don't even get me started on Inception!) But sticking to Batman, let me say that the director owns his craft and knows how to get both the audiences and actors invested in the story. You team Nolan up with the music master Hans Zimmer, who's brought the world such wonderful movie scores to the likes of Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, The Last Samurai, and Sherlock Holmes, and you have the makings of a fantastic flick. A movie should not only grip you with the acting, plot and cinematic wonder, but with its score as well. Hans makes the audience feel what it should feel during the whole journey; from beginning to end you will be moved and brought to an emotional climax time and time again!

Now the film itself was very enjoyable and while it felt a little bloated in parts, overall Batman gives the audience what it was looking for: an ending that leaves us satisfied. The special effects were pretty outstanding, but a few parts were a tad unrealistic. Look, I know I'm watching a film of a made-up superhero, but let me at least buy into the fantasy that it COULD be real. The first five minutes of this film were definitely just rough and I was so nervous that the whole shabang was going to end up in some kind of awkward weird mess. But after trudging through a muddled beginning the movie gradually climbs up the redemption ladder.

Action and adventure take over in the second act as the plot continues to build and our villains pick up more steam. Overrunning a city and holding millions hostage is no easy feat, but with Tom Hardy playing Bane just about anything is possible. Tom's got the bad dude thing down pat and he brings the nasty to this performance. His facial mask does make it hard to understand him at times, but it definitely worked for dramatic effect. While some of the fight scenes between good and evil felt a little too staged for my tastes, the majority of the action goes off without a hitch. Anne Hathaway also holds her own as the new Catwoman. I had some reservations about this initial casting, but I was completely impressed with the performance she delivered: an equal mix of sassy and badass all mixed into the perfect burglar bow.

Characters from previous Batman movies pop in and out *winks* plus a whole lot of actors faces you may recognize from tv shows out now like GOT actor Aidan Gillen and Dexter's Desmond Harrington. This is definitely one to watch for both comic fans and movie fans of the franchise. You get your money's worth and then some!

Getting 4 'who took my pearls' Sheep

Comic Review (ARC): Beasts of Burden: Neighborhood Watch

Beasts of Burden: Neighborhood Watch
Writer: Evan Dorkin
Artist: Jill Thompson
Cover Artist: Jill Thompson
Genre: Horror, Action/Adventure
Publication Date: August 01, 2012
Format: FC, 32 pages
Price: $3.50
UPC: 7 61568 18921 6 00111

Adventure, mystery, horror, and humor thrive on every page of the Eisner Award–winning Beasts of Burden. The four-legged occult-investigating team—a heroic gang of dogs and one cat—are doing their best to protect their home, Burden Hill, from a chicken-stealing goblin, a frightful basilisk, and a strange lost herd of sheep!

* This special one-shot reprints three stories from Dark Horse Presents!

* Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson return to the characters that won them the 2005 Eisner Award for Best Short Story!

Gosh, I just love Dark Horse. They bring the crazy like no one’s business with a comic about a group of dogs and one cat that protect their neighborhood from supernatural threats. I think any dog lover is going to enjoy this comic. There are three creative stories combining my favorite elements: horror and humor. This is a one shot comic, which I feel works best for this subject. I think the novelty of dog vigilantes would lose its appeal if this was a series.

The comic works well visually. The artwork has a soft watercolor feel and the animal's facial expressions add to the humor. I liked how the artist used a monochromatic color scheme to set the mood for the ghost story portion. The panel layout is appealing with some cool variation and the dialogue is easy to read and well written.

My favorite of the three stories was A View From the Hill. A flock of sheep (oh,yeah!) and their dog guardian wandered near town and the dog gang has gone to investigate. There is something very wrong about the sheep and only Jack, the Beagle, seems to know, but he has fainted. The last page of this story is priceless and had me rolling and snorting, but I can’t share it with you cause that would be spoiling the surprise. I also enjoyed Story Time. An Old English Sheep dog teaches a litter of Golden puppies a lesson through a ghost story. I wouldn’t give this comic to your doggie loving 5 year old, though, since it's classified as horror. I would compare it to a borderline PG-13 movie.

At the end of the comic is a three page preview of Billy the Kid’s Old Time Oddities and the Orm of Lock Ness. A new comic releasing Oct. 17, 2012. Lovely art work, but not quite sure what it is about. Maybe a collection of stories like Uncle Creepy, but with Billy the Kid instead…

I enjoyed reading Beasts of Burden. It is worth the read for a smile.

4 “well done” Sheep

SharonS (edit by BAK)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Raiding the Stacks: Dracula, by Bram Stoker

About a month ago I was at a party and a friend of a friend mentioned Bram Stoker's classic vampire novel, Dracula, and mentioned it was much easier to read than Frankenstein. Having struggled through Frankenstein back when I was in high school, I decided to give Dracula a go and include it in my ongoing "Raiding the Stacks" feature. I will admit that it was overall still fairly difficult for me to read but I do not regret making the effort.

If you don't know the plot of Dracula then you've been missing for the past hundred years and I'd like to welcome you to the internet. Seriously, everyone knows at least the barest outlines of the plot by now: Count Dracula is a vampire, he leaves his home in Transylvania to go to England, sucks the blood of pretty women, and gets hunted down by Professor Van Helsing and his band of compatriots. It's a story that's been told, retold, deconstructed, reconstructed, and parodied countless times since its release in 1897. What Dracula has going for it is that it is the vampire novel and defined many tropes which are still with us today in vampire-related fiction.

The story of Dracula is told in what I have learned is the epistolary format, where the story is told as a collection of letters, diaries, and telegrams generated by the characters within the story as they record the events of the plot. For roughly the first half of the book we get to watch the characters trying to make sense of a series of very strange events, and it's sort of like a mystery watching various pieces of information come together. However, considering how well-known the basic plot is it's not much of a mystery, but I at least was still guessing at some parts because I didn't know everything. The book's a little slow to pick up because the different characters are piecing together their information and figuring out what exactly they're fighting, but once you get into the second half it's pretty non-stop and the action doesn't end until the very last page. I felt like the book could have used a little more closure at the end but at least it didn't suffer ending fatigue.

The one thing that sticks out in my mind about this story is that Dracula's powers and weaknesses don't seem to be very well-defined, or in some cases include facts that haven't been included in later vampire stories. For example, if a vampire's in his casket apparently a branch of wild rose across it will prevent him from leaving. Also, the heart of a vampire does not have to be destroyed by a wooden stake (although Van Helsing seems to prefer them) and in a pinch a good bowie knife will do. In addition Dracula walks around in the sunlight a couple of times during the story, but at other times is confined to his coffin during the day and there's no real explanation as to why this is the case. But the most well-defined powers and weaknesses remain with us: a vampire's ability to turn into a bat or dust as well as their ability to command wolves and other creatures; their weakness to garlic, a crucifix, and other holy items; and the need for vampires to regularly rest in the soil where they were buried. Many of these tropes remain part of vampire lore today, although I don't think the vampires that the I Smell Sheep flock read about are exactly the same.

I will say that the one thing I really liked about this story was that the vampires are monsters that have to be defeated by man. Yes, the vampire has powers beyond our comprehension and can even hypnotize humans into doing his bidding, but the vampire can only think about himself and his own goals.We humans are not only able to work together and work for a good greater than ourselves, but we are capable of working together to accomplish those goals. It is only through the combined efforts and unique skills of the members of Professor Van Helsing's team that they're able to track down and not only defeat Dracula, but raze his lair as well. Vampires may think they are better than us and hold us in contempt, but they are little more than animals that only deserve to be hunted down to extinction.

If you're curious about the origins of vampire fiction Dracula is the book to go to, and if you want to write your own vampire novel it can definitely give you some ideas. You definitely shouldn't be rooting for the vampires, though, you should be rooting for the kickass vampire hunters like Professor Abraham Van Helsing or Texan Quincey Morris. If nothing else, this book reminds us that through hard work and cooperation we humans can band together and defeat the monsters.

- Kalpar

Friday, July 27, 2012

Interview: Jamie Saare + Give away

winner of contest: ronnkelly3

Turn on Jamie's theme music <G>
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I sound like a broken record, but I love dark urban fantasy (emphasis on the dark). I want emotions of love and hate all mixed up and grief and joy bitch-slapping me. I want to cry, scream and squee while reading. Author Jamie Saare writes a series that does all this and more! The Ripple Effect, book #3 in the Rhiannon's Law Series, is one of my favorites. Rhi is a kick ass character that pulls no punches and doesn't make excuses. She is foul mouthed and would cut off her nose to spite her face sometimes, but she wants to do the right thing if everyone would just leave her the $#*% alone!

Sharon: Welcome to the Flock Jamie! *starts fangirling*
Katie: *pulls out duct tape and feather*
Jaime: *stares at duct tape and feather*

*awkward silence*

Sharon: Sorry… you write the Rhiannon's Law Series, one of my favorite urban fantasy series and…”OMG! WHAT HAPPENS WITH DISCO, PAINE AND RHIANNON?!”
Katie: *Yanks out strip of duct tape*
Sharon: I’m okay! *composes self…sort of…*
Jaime: *still staring at duct tape and feather*

*more awkward silence*
Sharon: For our readers who don’t know why Rhiannon, Disco and Paine are so important to me, would you tell them a little about the series?
Jamie: No need to use the duct tape or feather. I’m not going anywhere. Cross my heart and hope to die. *makes motion over chest* If I do I’ll return to being “Mom” which sucks during the summer. Thanks for giving me a break from the madness.

The Rhiannon’s Law series focuses on Rhiannon -- a rough around the edges sort of person. She wants to live her life with as little disruption as possible. That’s why her foul mouth and bad attitude comes in handy. She figures if she can offend people, they won’t get close to her.

Let’s face it, her life isn’t simple.

She’s torn between the man she loves (Disco) and the friend she deeply cares for (Paine). She has to settle a debt with a fallen angel. To complicate matters, obstacles keep getting thrown in her way. Thankfully Rhiannon is resourceful and depends on herself to get things done. That’s one thing I like most about her.

Sharon: You write a DARK urban fantasy (which is how I like them) what is the difference between an urban fantasy and a dark one to you?
Jamie: I’ve noticed a trend in which paranormal romance is labeled urban fantasy. I think romance in urban fantasy is perfectly fine, so long as it doesn’t overshadow everything else.

That being said…

For me dark urban fantasy has to contain elements of horror and copious amounts of violence. It’s rough, gritty, and raw. No one should ever be safe. Characters (even those you love) can and will die. There doesn’t “have” to be a happily ever after.

Sharon: unless your mother-in-law says otherwise? <G>
Jaime: Pretty much. *laughs*

Katie: How much "darker" are vampires in your series compared to straight PNR?
Jaime: I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll say this: You don’t learn a lot about the vampire world (just the demon one) in The Ripple Effect. The fourth book gives readers a deeper insight into the vampire world. You learn about half-demons in The Ripple Effect, who are nasty, vile and utterly repulsive. Vampires can (and sometimes do) follow the same path.
It’s not pretty.

Katie: I do love some dark and twisty vamps! Actually, I love all vamps so don't mind me.

Sharon: You have mentioned that this series has been hard for you to write, why?
Jaime: In part it’s due to Rhiannon. The girl has issues. Going to dark, emotional places is extremely difficult, especially when I get sucked into her head and can’t walk away. My husband knows when I’m writing Rhiannon. I’m tired, grumpy, and unpleasant. Generally it takes a couple of weeks (after a book is complete) to return to my happy-go-lucky self.

Sharon: as much as a mother of, what? 4 kids? Can be…
Jaime: *sighs* Yep. I’ve fulfilled leases for four little people in my womb. I don’t know what I was smoking when I decided flooding the earth with my spawn would be a good idea.

Sharon: You also write under the name Aline Hunter. What kind of stories are these?
Jaime: Pure smut. *laughs*
(shhh, there is smut to the left)
I’ve always enjoyed reading romance (erotic and sweet), and I wanted to give the genre a go. After I wrote steamy stuff under J.A. Saare and received a few complaints (some readers were offended, thinking they’d get spicy and not explicit sex scenes), I thought it would be best to create an alternate pen. Thus Aline Hunter was born.
Katie: Do they hunt down sexy aliens and have their wicked way with them? *chants* Please say yes, please say yes...
Sharon: *bops Katie on the head* her pen name is Aline Hunter, she doesn’t write books about hunting aliens…
Jaime: *holding back giggles* No aliens yet, but you never know. I might write an alien book. Aline is actually my middle name. I didn’t realize it would be confused with extraterrestrials (which it is, rather often) when I chose it.

Katie: Is there something uber nerdy that you've always loved to do? Maybe something people don't know about?
Jaime: Yeah. I can’t believe I’m sharing this…

I love to dance.

You might think, “That’s not nerdy,” but you haven’t seen my moves. Let’s put it this way: The African Anteater Ritual (as seen in one of my favorite 80s flicks, Can’t Buy Me Love) looks amazing in comparison.

Sharon: prove it! *turns on music*
Jaime: Oh no. I’d rather not scar you for life if I can help it.

here is a clip demonstrating how to do the African Anteater Ritual

Sharon: Disco and Paine are the two smexy vampires in this series and they are both attracted to Rhiannon (lucky damn girl). Tell us a little about each one, what makes them smexy and which one you prefer <G>
Jaime: I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again. Disco refuses to speak to me. Each time I try to write something from his point of view, nothing happens. My husband believes it’s due to the fact I killed Disco in the first book (and changed the ending when my mother-in-law demanded I give him a new lease on life). I can tell you I didn’t like him in the beginning. There’s something about the guy I don’t trust.

Paine, on the other hand, is my favorite. I got some flack over what happens between him and Rhiannon in The Renfield Syndrome, but people have to realize how long he’s waited for something as simple as a touch. The poor guy is a cesspool of pain. He’s alone but doesn’t want to be. Every day is exactly the same, and it’s been wearing on him. Despite it all, he’s devoted to those he cares for.
Sharon: Paine…le sigh…do you have plans for him to ever find happiness or peace?
Jaime: There is more to come. That’s all I can say.
* Sharon looks at duct tape and feather* hmmm...

Sharon: I absolutely love Rhiannon’s character. How has her character changed since the first book and do you know where you want to go with her character, do you know how the last book will end?
Jaime: The first book was tough. Rhiannon thinks in short, strange bursts. That means what she says in my head doesn't always make sense. As time has passed, I've eased into her voice. Rhiannon continues evolving and learning. Every story is a new lesson -- most of them experienced the hard way. I do have an idea about the end of the series. I’ve been considering a spin-off. Something happens in The Ripple Effect that changes the game. It’ll come into play later in the series.

Sharon: O_o game changing you say? No clues? *waves secret video of Jaime dancing*

Jaime: Oh no. Not the dancing tape! I’d share if I didn’t think I’d ruin things. Don’t show the world my epic video of fail please. *hides*

Katie: This is a very important question. How many sexy single vamps do you know AND can you hook me up?

Jaime: Alas, the only sexy single vamps I know exist in my head. But I could hook you up with a figment of my imagination! No problemo!
Sharon: *looks at Katie* she is so going to take you up on that…
Katie: Mmhmm. We will chat later when judgey pants isn't around. *winks*
Jaime: Sounds good.

Sharon: During a zombie apocalypse, which fictional character would you like at your back?

Jaime: That’s easy. Peter Petrelli (from the television show Heroes). Of course, it has to be the Peter who has the ability to absorb powers and kick major ass. He’d not only see zombies coming, he could nuke the bitches into oblivion. Oh, and he’s easy on the eyes. So when he’s not kicking ass, I’ll have a fantastic view. Can’t get better than that!

Sharon: If every time you entered a room a theme song/music would play, what would yours be?
Jaime: Oh jeezus. That’s an interesting (and fun) question. Lemme see…

How about Walk The Dinosaur by Was (Not Was)? Folks would be too distracted by the song to notice me. Unless I started dancing. Then they’d notice and laugh. That would be bad.

Maybe I should choose another tune.

Sharon: oh, no…this is perfect…Muawhaha!

Sharon: What are your guilty pleasures?
Jaime: Watching cheap and horrible B movies. Drinking as many Red Bulls as possible each day. Taking pictures of weird people at The Death Star (AKA Wal-Mart).
Sharon: OMG, I have wanted to do that, but I just don’t have the nerve <G>. You also like to visit and review haunted houses around Halloween don’t you?
Jaime: Yes, I do! I also do movie reviews for an awesome place called The House of Horror. The people there are amazing. I’m on the Tuesday slot.

Rapid Fire

Sharon: 9 ball or 8 ball?
Jaime: 8 Ball, for sure!

Katie: You talkin to me? or I love the smell of napalm in the morning?
Jaime: I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

Katie: Cheese Wiz or Spray can cheese?
Jaime: Spray cheese. YUM.

Sharon: 1990’s horror or 2000’s horror?
Jaime: 1990’s Horror
Sharon: examples?
Jaime: To Sleep With a Vampire (with Scott Valentine, who I love) or Waxwork (which, technically is from the 80s). I loved the transition from eighties to nineties. There is still enough cheese to enjoy before horror took itself too seriously. Although I want to state I did love Scream and the movies that revived interest in the genre (The Faculty and I Know What You Did Last Summer are a couple of examples).

Katie: Coke or Pepsi?
Jaime: Coke.
Sharon: *falls to the ground sobbing*
Katie: YES!!!! That's my girl!!! Uh huh, Uh huh!
Jaime: Sorry, I can’t do Pepsi. In the south, every carbonated beverage is called “Coke” but when I say coke, I mean hand me a Coca-Cola!

Sharon: Pochohantas or Beauty and the Beast?
Jaime: Beauty and the Beast

Katie: Tom Hardy as Bane or Collin Farrell in Fright Night?
Jaime: Gotta say Tom Hardy, even if I haven’t seen him as Bane. I won’t watch the Fright Night remake. Chris Sarandon will always be “my” Jerry Dandrige.
Sharon: I “heart” Sarandon too!
Katie: Tom Hardy is YUMMY!!!
Jaime: Yay, Sharon! I’ll check into Tom, Katie.

Sharon: fire or ice?
Jaime: Fire
Sharon: like your hair!
Jaime: Exactly like my hair. Touch it and burn! Mwhahaha.

Katie: Undead or Walking Dead?
Jaime: Walking Dead
Katie: Also, a fantastic show.
Jaime: Agreed. I love it.

Sharon: knife or gun?
Jaime: Gimme the gun.
Sharon: *hands Jaime nerf gun*
Jaime: I should warn you, with two boys I’m handy with a Nerf gun, now!
Sharon: OMG Katie…our guest shot me…

Sharon: Scooby-Doo or Hong Kong Phooey?
Jaime: Scooby-Doo!
Sharon: favorite Scooby quote?
Jaime: LOL. Rut-ro for sure.

Thanks to Jamie for stopping by and talking with us...
no authors were harmed during this interview..just saying...

Be sure to check out my review of The Ripple Effect!

Jamie Saare
J.A. Saare is a multi-published author in varying genres and has written stories featured in horror magazines, zombie romance anthologies, and flash fiction contests. Her work has a notable dark undertone, which she credits to her love of old eighties horror films, tastes in music, and choices in reading, and have been described as “full of sensual promise,” “gritty and sexy,” and “a breath of fresh air.”

Currently she is penning numerous projects within the urban fantasy, erotic and contemporary, and of course, paranormal romance categories.

Those interested in her "naughtier" side can visit her alias, Aline Hunter, at

Jamie is offering a singed print copy of the first book
Dead, Undead or Something in Between
1. leave a way to contact you
2. If you could star in a horror movie which one would you choose?
*followers get double entry
contest ends: Aug 4 at midnight

And the winning doesn't stop there! Head over to Jamie's website and enter her Release Day Gift Basket contest. Ends July 31st

Book Review: The Ripple Effect (ARC) by J.A. Saare

Rhiannon Murphy visited the future, witnessed hell on earth and made choices to change things for the greater good. Unfortunately there are consequences for her actions, the penalties for her interference possibly more than she can bear. Determined to sever her debt with a fallen angel, she pushes everything aside, focusing on locating Marigold Vesta’s resting place.
Until death comes knocking at her door.
When Disco’s maker arrives in New York, he resents Rhiannon on a level she can’t begin to comprehend. Yet Marius isn’t her most dangerous adversary, not by a long shot. Marius’s sire -- a half-demon -- is determined to see the necromancer who stunned the vampire world on her knees. If she won’t bend, he’ll do everything in his power to make her break. No price is too high, meaning no one is safe -- including Disco and Paine.

Dealt a blow from which she can never recover, Rhiannon turns to the only person who can help her: the fallen angel who is relying on Rhiannon to save her soul. Bartering with a creature from Heaven is probably just as dangerous as starting a war with a demon from Hell, but with nothing to lose it’s no longer about life or death.

No Spoilers
If you have read the first two books in this series then you are in for a whole lot of OMG. This story is a page turner and I ate it up like a PMSing woman in a chocolate factory. As fans know, Rhiannon is one hardened soul who doesn’t trust anyone and refuses to be controlled, but she has finally gone too far and those close to her pay the price. Rhiannon’s mouth has finally written a check her a$$ can’t cash. We have all been waiting to see the fallout between Disco, Paine and Rhiannon after the events of book two and all your questions will be answered. I have gained more respect for Disco (Gabriel); I appreciate the fact that the author doesn’t water down who Disco is because of his relationship with Rhiannon. The watering down of male characters is a persistent double standard when it comes to romance dynamics. The man has to change who he is but the woman gets to keep being herself, both the good and bad. Disco accepts all that Rhi is and it is time she accepts him.

This is dark urban fantasy, which means there is a horror element and Rhiannon is thrown into the darkest place we have seen so far. I was angry and frustrated at her behavior and then she made me cry. What more can you ask for from a book? We also get up close and personal with the demon and half-demon world Saare has created. They are truly evil creatures and the dynamics between them and the vampires has been forever changed by the end of this book.

One of my new favorite characters in this series is the fallen angel Marigold. She is trapped in Hell and has made a deal with Rhiannon to get out. She is an unknown factor and bent on vengeance. I can’t wait to see how her relationship with Rhiannon is going to develop. Another character I think I am going to love is Bane. We aren’t given much information about him, but he appears out of nowhere to help Rhiannon and he definitely has an agenda of his own. At this point we don’t know if he is human or not. Rhiannon asks him:

“Are you a shifter?”
I’d met plenty of lycanthropes during my trip to the future. Bane was large and mean enough to qualify as one, and I’d learned vampires and shifters weren’t exactly friendly with each other
when I made a trip into the future. Maybe that’s what he was—a shifter of some kind—and recognized my mark because of it.
He answered without blinking. “I’m something worse.”

Ahhh! I am dying to know what he is! Maybe in the next book… If you haven’t read this series you need to start with book one, Dead, Undead or Somewhere in Between, to appreciate the growth of the characters. If you love dark urban fantasy this is a must read.

5 "I told you so" Sheep

SharonS (edited by BAK)

I Smell Sheep interview with Jamie Saare

There is a release day gift basket give away on Jamie's site, it ends July 31st. Go enter!

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sheep Book Review: Demon Hunting in the Deep South

Demon Hunting in the Deep South, by Lexi George, is the second installment in this snarkfest of cornbread and sweet tea southern fun! *In singsong voice* Save a horse ride a...well an immortal warrior who's in the South and not really a cowboy!!

Shy, self-conscious Evie Douglass tries to stay under the radar, especially when petite socialite Meredith Starr Peterson, aka The Death Starr, is anywhere around. Meredith and her bitch posse of skinny girlfriends have tormented Evie about her size since seventh grade. Unfortunately, it's hard for a plus-sized gal to stay invisible in a small town like Hannah, Alabama. And then Evie finds Meredith brutally murdered. Suddenly, she's the number one suspect in a sensational murder case. Worse, Hannah is infested with demons, and the only thing standing between them and Evie is a hunky blond demon slayer named Ansgar. Evie could swear, though, that Ansgar is interested in more than demons. She could swear that he's interested in her...

Let me start with the negatives right away because overall the book's a joy ride down an old dirt road despite some rough spots here and there. First off the plot does leave a little to be desired; the action tends to jump from one sentence to the next with very little natural flow. A loose example being you’re walking along and lah-de-dah all is great with the world then BAM something, or perhaps someone, out of nowhere throws you into another setting and BOOM the action goes again from there. More description would have done a world of good in these areas. If the flow from one scene to the next can travel smoothly and the transitions are done well then I’ve got no complaint. But when you jerk me around on a scary bumper car ride I tend to get a little motion sick and whiplash is sure to ensue.

Last on the negative column was the lack of a believable plot and other oddball aspects, such as the other worldly demon hunters who happen to speak with an English accent. While it’s all very dashing and charming it felt a little trite. (My big girl word of the day folks) Yes, yes English accents are fun and I do them often but in this case they didn’t seem necessary.

So on we go to the killer selling points! What a hoot this story was, I continually laughed out loud at the various antics going on from beginning to end. This book is like the best southern soap opera you could buy. Over the top characters keep this hush puppy truckin' along! I have to give it up to the ladies of the south for keeping it real country and selling it like no other. One example I still bust up about was when Evie describes that in the South you can say the meanest nastiest thing about someone as long as you add at the end “Bless his/her heart.” Like “She’s not the sharpest tool in the barn, bless her heart”. Great stuff y’all.

Heated romance backed up with some smexy warrior hunters keep the ladies satisfied. My newest guilty pleasure is written right here in the pages of this book! If you’re looking for a fun read that will keep you crackin up then give this bad boy a whirl.

Getting 3 and ½ 'clean underwear' Sheep

Demon Hunting in the Deep South hits shelves July 31st but you can reserve your copy at the link below!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Book Review: John Dies in the End by David Wong

It's a drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. On the street they call it Soy Sauce, and users drift across time and dimensions. But some who come back are no longer human. Suddenly a silent otherworldly invasion is underway, and mankind needs a hero. What it gets instead is John and David, a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs. Can these two stop the oncoming horror in time to save humanity? No. No, they can't.

As a long time devotee of, I’ll have to admit to being slightly surprised when I first read that David Wong had written a freakishly surreal horror novel. He’s a brilliant writer, I just pictured him as straight comedy, and damn good writing. I’m so ridiculously happy I was wrong. After about two pages of John Dies at the End though, I was completely hooked. It’s brilliant, weird, funny, and in hindsight, everything I’d expect from the guys at cracked.

I’ll level with you; it’s pretty hard to put into words why the book is so good. At times it’s genuinely frightening. Maybe it’s how relatable David is as a character. Strange stuff happening every three seconds and all I can think is, “yup, I’d probably have done that too.” Possibly it’s John, who’s just a bona fide mental case. Or maybe the buddy cop relationship between the two. I can’t tell. David Wong himself is clearly quite unhinged, and has had the common decency to put pen to paper and document his insanity for our enjoyment.
This being an offering by one of the guys at cracked, there are a lot of penis jokes. For example, On the site they mention the fact that the word bratwurst is referenced 17 times throughout the story. They’re not all phallus references, but you get the idea.

You should read this book. It’s a perfect storm of humour, gory horror, messed up psychology and brilliant storytelling, a perfect addition to my new favourite genre of new weird

5 Sheep

Guest Reviewer: Michael McCaffrey from Following the Nerd

David Wong
I am the Senior Editor of Hi.
My real name is Jason Pargin, I wrote a horror novel called John Dies at the End. Available now in hardcover!
Before this I spent eight years as the creator and editor and webmaster and head writer for
Read more: David Wong |