Hunting Monsters final front

 

It’s the last weekend to get your holiday shopping done, dear readers. You know the malls are going to be mobbed. Why deal with the hassle, when you can get the perfect gift with a few taps on the computer keyboard? And of course I’m referring to the soft cover paperback and the Kindle editions of the new Mordecai Slate book, “Hunting Monsters Is My Business.”

That’s right. The book is now available in both formats from Amazon.com. “Hunting Monsters Is My Business” contains nine stories relating Slate’s monster hunting adventures in locations ranging from the Yukon, to Mexico. In these tales Slate hunts down undead Tlingit Indians in Alaska, werewolves in a secret hideout in the Sonora desert, and zombies in the Texas Panhandle, to mention just a few. The book contains Sized Coverthe 25,000 word novella, “Hunting Monsters Is My Business,” which tells the story of what happened to Slate after the events recounted in the first Slate book, “Vampire Siege at Rio Muerto.” It’s an unusual story that shows Slate in a way you’ve never seen him before.

I’m rather thrilled to see that most readers are ordering “Hunting” in the paperback edition. Makes sense. It makes a great stocking stuffer. Not only that what reader of adventure/horror fiction wouldn’t want that Laura Givens cover sitting on their book shelf– the iconic Mordecai Slate portrait.

Let the crowds battle each other at the mall. Just click on over to Amazon.com and get your copy or copies of “Hunting Monsters Is My Business.” While you’re at it, why not pick up “Vampire Siege at Rio Muerto” too.

Meantime, best wishes, everyone, for the Holiday Season!

The_Interview_2014_posterSeth Rogen and James Franco’s “The Interview” may go down as the “War of the Worlds” of our time. The irony of irony would be that those two “comedy geniuses” are remembered as the Orson Welles of the 21st Century.

Sony pictures is in deep doo-doo. Due to a cyber hack attack, thousands of private emails containing embarrassing information about some of their A-listers and other employees and their families have been released to the public. The insatiable maw of mass media has gobbled up and regurgitated every scrap. The leaks have caused Sony to shut down production and is even having to rewrite the script for “Spectre” the upcoming James Bond film.  Angelina Jolie was so upset she got chicken pox and missed the premier of her film, “Unbroken.” She appeared on Skype with an open top showing little red pock marks, in case you didn’t believe it. But it gets worse.

It’s suspected, but not proven yet, that the hack was retaliation by North Korea for Seth Rogen and James Franco’s film, “The Interview,” which sends Rogen and Franco to that country to assassinate supreme leader Kim Jong Un. The hackers, whoever they are, have threatened to wreak violence on theaters that show the film, which they consider an act of war. The fearless filmmakers are so shook up they have canceled all public appearances connected with promoting the movie.

Not since Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds” has the nation been so shaken up by a piece of entertainment. At least in Welles’s case, his radio play was based on a science fiction classic written by H.G. Wells. Whether the resultant panic of the broadcast was warranted or not, it made Welles, Orson that is, a household name. It’s what he’s most remembered for. “The Interview” on the other hand seems to be another crazy, thoughtless concoction dreamed up by America’s favorite stoners.

What the final outcome of it all will be is still unknown. But Rogen and Franco’s last film together was “This Is The End.” If Sony goes bankrupt, and any one gets hurt at a showing of “The Interview,” that title may become the epitaph written on the tombstones of their careers. And yet, whether the threats of violence are real or not, the movie may well make the two of them the Orson Welles of our day. That would  really be funny. Wouldn’t it?

 

Hunting Monsters final frontHUNTING MONSTERS IS MY BUSINESS, the second book in the Mordecai Slate Series is currently available in a soft cover edition from Flying W Press. The book is a collection of all of the stories that have been published so far featuring monster hunter Mordecai Slate.

Slate was a mysterious figure who roamed the United States and its Territories from 1870 to 1912. He was more or less a bounty hunter, who just happened to specialize in hunting outlaws of the supernatural variety. For $1,000 in gold, Slate took on anything from Undead Tlingit Indians in Alaska to Zombies in the Texas Panhandle. In Slate’s world, an outlaw might also be a werewolf, and the sudden mysterious deaths in Dodge City might be more than even Sheriff Bill Tilghman can handle. That’s when they call on Mordecai Slate to solve the problem.

Slate carries a special modified 1855 Colt Revolver Rifle that fires 12 rounds of silver ammunition, a Remington double-barreled Derringer, a Colt Peacemaker and a silver coated stiletto in his boot. More than that, his merciless attitude and his cold, hard outlook as a professional hunter, is usually his greatest weapon. Where others lose their heads in fear or rage, Slate keeps his cool. He isn’t out for revenge, or justice. But when he takes on a job, he always sees it through to the end, no matter what. Nothing stands in his way.

HUNTING MONSTERS IS MY BUSINESS is the second book in the series that began with the novel, VAMPIRE SIEGE AT RIO MUERTO.  The new book is out in paperback. You can order it here from Amazon. The Kindle version will be released just before Christmas. Get ready to ride.

 

 

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I have to ask a rather indelicate question. If you watch TV for any length of time you will unavoidably be faced with commercials where the word “vagina” is used. There are commercials for creams, lotions, or attorneys suing for trans VAGINAL mesh botch ups. But everywhere you go from channel to channel it’s Vagina, vagina, vagina. How come you never hear the word penis on TV?

Is this some form of discrimination? Is there a rule in broadcasting that you can’t say penis? Penises have just as many problems as vaginas, I would assume. Why aren’t they given equal time? The only thing you hear about is something called “erectile disfunction.” That sounds more like a case of a bridge builder who didn’t get the two ends of the bridge to meet in the middle. I just think if you can say vagina without any qualms you ought to be able to say penis too.

PENIS, PENIS, PENIS. There now.

 

Jay Gruden, Robert Griffin III

The Redskins season this year has now gone from Greek tragedy to a Keystone Cops comedy. The Rookie Coach Jay Gruden benched RGIII and committed to a third rater like Colt McCoy for the rest of the season. The team was 3-9 for the season going into today’s game against St. Louis. About only half the seats were filled and they lost 24-0 in a mess of a game.

The fickle fans who denounced and ridiculed Griffin began chanting his name in the fourth quarter, and unbelievably he’s called in to finish the last two minutes after McCoy’s injured. The fans who were still there went nuts. But RGII got sacked. The team has no offensive line. McCoy was sacked six times and needs X-rays on his neck. Skins were shut out.

You couldn’t write a story this fantastic if you tried. I will be very surprised if Gruden isn’t flat out told to start Griffin next Sunday or look for another job. At this point it’s impossible to figure out who to blame for this fiasco. The ownership, management and team members seem under some kind of a hoodoo. Hey, maybe that’s it!

Could it be some Native American Shaman has conjured up some bad medicine on the team that will leave them in their befuddled state until they ditch the Redskins name? Redskins no longer seems appropriate anymore anyway. How about something that would be a better fit. Like the Washington Dipsticks. But then the Dipstick Federation would probably file a protest. Stay tuned. It’s the funniest comedy of the TV season.

 

 

 

edgeofeternity

I’ve got a new review up today on Cinema Retro, Don Siegel’s “Edge of Eternity.” It’s what you might call a contemporary western about an Arizona sheriff (Cornell Wilde) trying to solve three murders that occur in the Grand Canyon.

Spectacularly shot on location in Cinemascope and Color. For my money the real star of this flick is the 1958 Canary Yellow Thunderbird convertible driven by leading lady Victoria Shaw.

 

Masterson of Kansas - 1954MASTERSON OF KANSAS was on the Encore Western channel the other day, and despite the liberties the script took with the actual facts concerning Bat Masterson and his relationship with Doc Holliday, it was a pretty entertaining western. It was released in 1954 by Columbia and directed by William Castle, better known for gimmicky horror flicks like “The Tingler.” It was made during the heyday of “B” movie westerns, and starred George Montgomery as Bat and character actor James Griffith as Doc.

Montgomery gave his usual stolid, wooden-faced performance and if that was all there was, it wouldn’t be much of a movie. It’s Griffith’s performance and the unusual twist the Douglas Heyes script gives to the Bat/Doc relationship that makes the film interesting. In this version, Doc hates Bat. In fact, he wants to kill him. But he’s got a gambling superstition. He never gets into a gunfight while he’s on a winning streak. He only kills when he’s losing.

There’s a plot concerning Bat’s efforts to prevent a Kiowa uprising led by Tonto, I mean Jay Silverhills. Some greedy cattlemen have framed a rancher for murder to stop the sale of grazing land to the Indians. Bat tries to find out who really is guilty. In the meantime, the fetching Nancy Gates shows up as the framed rancher’s daughter, and raises the blood pressure of most of the men in town, especially Doc and Bat.

Wyatt Earp (Bruce Cowling) is in town as the marshal and plays a supporting role in the drama, helping Bat establish the framed rancher’s innocence.

In the end though, the big question is, will Doc hit a losing streak and keep his promise to kill Bat? The leader of the greedy cattlemen hopes so and brings in a cardsharp to ensure that he does. The two plots converge when Bat, the cattlemen and their hired guns, and Doc walk down main street.

It isn’t the way any of it was, but so what? It’s a highly entertaining movie.

 

rg3Today I’ll be watching the Washington Redskins (sorry, that’s the name they’re using, so that’s what I’ll call them). In all probability they’ll lose another game, this time to the Indianapolis Colts. That will make their record 3-9. That in itself won’t be very remarkable. The Redskins are one of the worst teams in the NFL, not just in terms of wins and losses, but in terms of its management, and ownership, and the attitude and philosophy of its players.

Last week the Washington Post ran a great article on the rise and fall of Quarterback Robert Griffin III, who in three short years rose to stardom in his rookie year and fell to ignominy, injury, and defeat. Coach Jay Gruden ordered Griffin benched after another embarrassing defeat by San Francisco. The Post compared Griffin’s story to a Shakespearean tragedy. That it is. It is even more like a Greek tragedy. The story of a young hero who came to a city and through his brilliant athletic ability brought hope and a new spirit to a town that is sorely in need of some sort of rehabilitation. Washington, D.C. is a town at the epicenter of the gridlock that has paralyzed not only Congress, Government, and the way things are supposed to function, it has paralyzed the public will.

RG III seemed a bright light rising on the horizon, a new star that portended better things to come. But it was not to be. Whether it was through the callous mismanagement that allowed him to play with a torn ACL until he could no longer stand, whether it was through a team of players that couldn’t keep up with him, give him the protection he needed on the field, or his own hubris, thinking he could do the impossible, he fell in a game with Seattle, and you knew he would never be the same. It’ll be rough to see him sitting on the sidelines today.

He may come back. But it won’t be in Washington. I pray it isn’t, for his sake. To paraphrase a line from one of Shakespeare’s plays, “There’s something rotten in Washington.”

Countdown Sale Ends 11 a.m. Dec. 1 Cyber Monday

On another note, I’d like to remind everyone there is one day left of the Kindle Hunting Monsters final frontCountdown Sale on Amazon.com. For another day, you’ll be able to get VAMPIRE SIEGE AT RIO MUERTO for only .99 cents instead of the usual $3.99. So far there’s been a fair amount of response to the sale (it’s currently #4 in Amazon’s Top 100 Western/Horror Kindles), and I hope you will be one of those taking advantage of the savings. The sequel to VAMPIRE SIEGE, HUNTING MONSTERS IS MY BUSINESS has just been released in a paperback edition. Next week it too will be available on Kindle. HUNTING MONSTERS is a nine-story collection that contains a novella that picks up where the first book left off.  You’re enjoyment of the new book will be enhanced if you’ve read the first one. Know what I mean? Over and out.

Sized CoverIt’s Black Friday and Flying W Press is offering the Kindle e-book of VAMPIRE SIEGE AT RIO MUERTO for only .99 cents, a 70 percent price cut. It’s a Kindle Countdown sale that lasts 72 hours from 11 a.m. Nov. 28 to 11 a.m. Dec. 1. That’s three whole days for you to buy the first novel featuring monster hunter Mordecai Slate.

Slate was a bounty hunter who roamed territorial United Sates in the last quarter of the 19th Century hunting monsters for bounty. VAMPIRE SIEGE was Flying W Press’s first book release and told the story of Slate’s mission to capture a vampire alive and bring him across 90 miles of burning desert to the man who wanted revenge for the ravishing of his young daughter. It’s a tale packed with supernatural suspense and plenty of western action.

Hunting Monsters final frontThe sale is just in time to help readers who haven’t had the pleasure yet, get acquainted with Slate, and his silver bullet-loaded revolver rifle in time to enjoy the second book in the series. HUNTING MONSTERS IS MY BUSINESS, the complete Slate short story collection, has just been released by Flying W Press in a soft-cover edition and will soon be available on Kindle.

Enter Slate’s world where nothing is what it seems. That cactus up ahead. Did it just move? That old prospector coming down the trail toward you, notice something strange about him— only black space in his eye sockets? Don’t worry. Slate’s ready. Are you?

 

snowpiercerSNOWPIERCER is an insane, mad idea for a movie. I’d give credit to director Joon-Ho Bong for coming up with it, but it’s actually based on an old French graphic novel. Still his direction holds the weird story together. He gets good performances from Chris Evans and John Hurt and especially Tilda Swinton.

Its got a heavy-handed political message about class warfare, its overly violent, and at times gets bogged down in pointless dialog. The story has an unbelievable premise from the get-go. The earth has been totally frozen in ice and snow as the result of an attempt to stop global warming. The only survivors live on a train that runs non-stop around the world . The poor are in the rear car living in filth and squalor. The upper class live in luxury, and the middle class is in between.

The lower class gets fed up and tries to bust through to the front. Sounds far fetched, right? Who’d believe a story like that? But that doesn’t stop you from watching to see how it all ends. In fact, by the finish you kind of marvel at how they pulled it off.

There’s something fascinating and ultimately satisfying about Bong’s single-minded determination to see it through to the end.  Good for a Blu-Ray rental.

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