Monday, June 23, 2014

Book Review: THE PENGUIN BOOK OF VAMPIRE STORIES....

Book review time again.  Today I wanted to share with you my review on what I consider one of THE best  collections of vampire stories ever compiled.  It covers some of the earliest vampire tales known and finishes with more modern ones from the 1980's.  With the many takes on vampires we see these days from Anne Rice to Stephanie Meyer, I thought it might be interesting for you all to check out some other takes on the vampire genre done by other authors over the decades.  So without further ado, allow me to introduce you all to...





THE PENGUIN BOOK OF VAMPIRE STORIES is one of the best anthologies I've ever found. Part of the reason is that it covers authors who've touched on this subject as far back as 1816 and goes up to 1984. There are a number of familiar names in this book like Clark Ashton Smith, Sheridan Le Fanu, Tanith Lee, and August Derleth to name just a few. But what fascinates me the most is seeing how the vampire legend is explored. We meet the legendary "Varney The Vampire", the seductive and dangerous "Carmilla", as well as Stoker's missing chapter from Dracula which was released as a short story several years after the novel itself was published. I understand in some later printings, it was put back into the novel where it belonged. Alas my copy of Dracula is one of the ones without it, so finding this missing chapter in this collection was a treat for me.

The first 2 installments in this collection: "Fragment of a Novel" (1816) and "The Vampyre" (1819) were of particular interest to me since their creation were the direct result of a bet made between the poet Percy Shelley, his wife Mary, Lord Byron and John Polidori. The four were spending a summer together and during a particularly boring rainy night they all agreed to a little contest. Each was to create a full length horror story within a certain amount of time. These 2 stories were the entries by Byron and Polidori respectively. Neither is fully finished. In fact Mary Shelley was the only one to complete her story the legendary "Frankenstein". 

Sheridan Le Fanu's "Carmilla" is another brilliant piece in this collection. Published in 1872, it predates Stoker's more famous "Dracula" by a few decades. Considered a 'lesbian' vampire story since both the victims and the antagonist are women. But it's here where we really find one of the first demonstrations of the sensuous behavior that has been built upon by so many modern writers of vampire fiction. Yet, it is not love or real affection. I'll quote a passage from the story so you can see what I mean.

"...the vampire is prone to be fascinated with an engrossing vehemence, resembling passion
of love, by particular persons. In pursuit of these it will exercise inexhaustible patience and
stratagem, for access to a particular object may be obstructed in a hundred ways. It will
never desist until it has satiated its passion, and drained the very life of its coveted victim.
But it will, in these cases, husband and protract its murderous enjoyment with the refinement
of an epicure, and heighten it by the gradual approaches of an artful courtship. In these cases
it seems to yearn for something like sympathy and consent. In ordinary ones it goes direct to
its object, overpowers with violence, and strangles and exhausts often at a single feast..."

So here we see that alluring nature that is so eroticized these days. But clearly in this passage we see that clearly there is no real affection for the victim at all. It's fascinating to see how one idea is singled out and made romantic, while the consequences are ignored these days. However, I cannot criticize modern writers for this. Every author wants to put a different spin on an old legend and this can be seen throughout this collection.

We have "Luella Miller" by Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman in 1902. No blood letting here, but the title character definitely has a kind of vampiric nature, willing or otherwise. She is almost a sympathetic character in some ways. 

Later we find C. L. Moore's "Shambleau" in 1933, where the author takes us on a science fiction journey to another planet where we meet a vampire-like being, who also shares some resemblance to the legendary Medusa of ancient Greece.

There's also the legendary Fritz Lieber's offering "The Girl With The Hungry Eyes" from 1949. Or August Derleth's 1939 "Drifting Snow" where we meet a pair of Snow Vampires. 

For almost a century authors have been putting their own spin on this famous myth and many will continue for years to come, myself included. 

I give this collection a full 5 STAR rating and highly recommend it to any fan of the genre.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A DECISION HAS BEEN MADE!

*UPDATE:  THE NEXT BOOKS IN MY PARA-EARTH SERIES WILL BE...*



After giving it a lot of thought and listening to feedback from readers both here and on my blogs I've come to a final decision on what order the next few books will be coming in...

Late November 2014 "THE VAMPYRE BLOGS" will be released first.  This will be the first of at least 2 books.  The story line I've been creating has grown to such an extent that it cannot be told in just one novel   So I will do what I've been doing with the other books.  A complete story will be told with a few dangling plot lines that will be addressed and wrapped up in the 2nd book which will come in time for Christmas 2015.  

In May 2015 "THE DOOR" will be released and will take up where both "THE BRIDGE" and "THE SHIP" left off.  It will reunite Alex, Veronica, Cassie and Julie.  I won't give any spoilers away except to say that not only with the looming confrontation with the mysterious white-haired man will take place, but also the secret behind the ghostly Brandon will be fully revealed.

NOTE: Even though the story will wrap up a number of plot lines, this will NOT be the last you see of these characters.  They will be back in future stories as well as making appearances in other novels  So if you've grown attached to them, know you'll be seeing more of them down the road.  

So that's where things stand and what you can expect in the next 18 months folks.  I want to thank everyone who gave me feedback.  I plan to try and release 2 novels a year, provided my school schedule for the next 3 years will permit.

In the meantime, please spread the word about my books to everyone you know.  I'm leaving the link to my webpage below, which has both books and how to get them in whichever format they wish: KINDLE, NOOK, PDF, SONY E-READER, APPLE, or TRADE PAPERBACK:

Saturday, June 14, 2014

ON THE HORNS OF A DILEMMA...

My life has grown more complicated and I need you my readers to help me decide a course of action to take.
Yesterday, I attended  an Orientation for the California State University of Monterey Bay, which I will be entering this Fall.  I will be pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in Collaborative Health andHuman Services.  The plan is for me to attend for 3 full years instead of just 2.  This will allow us tocontinue residing on campus in very comfortable housing, provided I take 12 units a semester.
However, a wrinkle occurred yesterday when I signed up for classes.  I wound up with 15 units because there were certain classes I HAVE to take before the Spring semester, so I had to bite the bullet on this semester. Future semesters will be kept to 12 or so units.
This greater workload now presents me with a dilemma.  Originally, I was planning to get the first installment of “THE VAMPYRE BLOGS” out this December.  Unfortunately, I’m hearing form various folks who have recently read “THE SHIP” and are eager for me to continue with the characters from this part of the series (Cassie, Julie, Alex and Veronica).  The next installment of their story “THE DOOR” will wrap up a number of plot lines that have been running throughout the first 2 books.  “THE DOOR” will not mean an end for these characters by any means. I’ll be using them more, but the major underlying sub-plot which involves a white-haired individual and the secret of Brandon would finally be explained.
On the other hand, I know there’s a growing crowd eager for “THE VAMPYRE BLOGS”, however that story line seems to be growing even bigger than I originally planned and may have to be told in 2 or more installments.  Originally, I had planned to unveil “THE VAMPYRE BLOGS” this December, but with it growing larger and larger I’m not sure I can keep this deadline.
This brings me to a dilemma. Knowing I’ll have less time to work from August to December, which book should I concentrate on?
Both “THE DOOR” and “THE VAMYPRE BLOGS” are part way finished. Which one would you all like to see come out this December? Please leave your comments below and help me decide, thank you.
Looking forward to hearing your input.  Until next time, keep writing…

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Proof Copies, Worth The Investment Or A Waste Of Time?

What is a Proof Copy?


On the surface it seems to simply be a regular printed copy of your book.  Nothing more, nothing less.  But when you look at the final page...


Okay?  So it has "PROOF" printed on the very last page, so what?

That one word let's you know that you are holding an uncorrected, unedited version of a book. These are what come before even a 1st Edition of a book is created.  Before electronic books, Proof Copies (also known as Galley Copies) were what publishers would create and send out to the editing staff for corrections and proofreading.  

These copies were also referred to as "Advanced Copies" and would be sent out to critics and advertisers in advance to get them fired up about the upcoming final version of a book.  The critics and company would build hype for the novel before it was released thus getting the readers anxious for the release date.

However, with Indie Publishers like Smashwords, Createspace and others, are Proof Copies even worthwhile anymore?  Do they serve any purpose?  

In my opinion the answer is a resounding "YES!"

Sorry for the shout there, but this is a subject I feel is important.  First off, I will tell you right now that if you work with Kindle, Smashwords, or Createspace you will have a chance to look over your entire book right there on your computer so you can look for issues.  Basically you have an e-proof copy available.  

So shouldn't that be enough?  I cannot speak for everyone else, only myself.  But in my case I would much rather have both the E-Proof AND the printed Proof Copy to look over.  Why?  Simply because, even when reading one word at a time on the computer, errors still slip past me.  I only found them when I was actually reading the printed book.  My eyes tend to fill in or glance over problems when I'm looking at a computer screen.  These errors even got past half a dozen Beta-Readers who had the electronic version of the book.

So, for me, having a printed Proof Copy is simply another extra tool in my arsenal.  It only costs a few dollars to get one done on Createspace and to me it was totally worth it.  

In the end it's up to the individual author what they want to do.  I've simply shared my experience and why I find them useful.  What are some of your experiences?  I'm sure me and the other readers will find various points of view quite useful.  Leave your thoughts in the comments below and thanks for reading.

Until next time, take care everyone and keep writing.




Sunday, June 8, 2014

LIMITED TIME LEFT! HALF OFF BOTH BOOKS IN "THE PARA-EARTH SERIES"!

WELCOME TO THE PARA-EARTH SERIES...

When I started writing, I wanted to create something new and different.  Something that could become an ongoing seriese, with recurring and new characters that would take the reader's imagination to new places and introduce new concepts.  The result was the Para-Earth Series:  a unique blend of horror, paranormal mystery, with a sci-fi twist that would make the Twilight Zone proud.

Through these tales, I introduce both my characters and the audience to a whole new vision of Parallel Earths unlike anything you've seen before.  I hope you'll join me on this journey as together we discover beings and realities found only in dreams.  The door is open and you are always welcome...

****UNTIL MIDNIGHT MONDAY JUNE 9TH YOU CAN GET EITHER OF THESE TITLE FOR JUST $1.49, half off the usual asking price of $2.99.  Or you can get both for $2.98****


BOOK 1 "THE BRIDGE"
Something waits...



Alex Hill buried his psychic talents for eighteen year.  But with with scream of tires and twisting metal, all this changes.

When his girlfriend, Police Sergeant Veronica Ross , is nearly run down by two teens he becomes concerned.  But upon learning that both the driver and passenger of the vehicle in question, had been dead for almost twelve hours before the incident, he knows what he must do...


BOOK 2 "THE SHIP"
Every ship needs a navigator...



Cassandra Elliott is a billionaire heiress, who has just come out of the closet.  She's also a powerful psychic who has seen incredible and terrifying things.  

In fact just two weeks ago she and her girlfriend Julie Cloudfoot survived a terrifying experience.  Fighting alongside their friends Alex Hill and Police Sergeant Veronica Ross, they faced creature from a parallel reality, where evolution had taken a decidedly different turn.

As a result of that encounter Cassie and Julie have come to Santa Cruz, California to bury Julie's uncle who fell to the creature.  They've also come to see if their new romantic relationship will work out.  Unknown to either of them an old adversary has followed them.

A white-haired man in a flowing black cape is lurking inside an old wrecked ship.  He has plans for Cassandra and will need her soon, but until then he must keep her safe.  However, a new threat appears, a legendary ghost ship arises from the sea and marks the girl as its next target. 

Soon the two women find themselves fighting not only for their lives, to be keep from being separated forever...

AVAILABLE IN ALL E-BOOK FORMATS:



NOOK, SONY E-READER, APPLE, PDF OR E-PUB FORMATS: 


*PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW SO THEY TOO CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS LIMITED TIME OFFER!*

THANK YOU AND HAPPY READING.


Friday, June 6, 2014

SPECIAL 1/2 OFF WEEKEND DEAL...

****OKAY, TIME FOR A SPECIAL DEAL THIS WEEKEND****

With looming medical bills ion the horizon it's time for me to raise some funds.  So I decided to run a half-off special over on Smashwords and Amazon for e-versions of my two paranormal/mystery books "THE BRIDGE" and its sequel "THE SHIP".  These are the first two books of Para-Earth Series.

That's right 1/2 off the $2.99 price.  Now you can get one book for $1.49 or both books for $2.98.  The price change has already occurred at Smashwords and should be available at Amazon starting tomorrow.

So  if you're looking for an e-copy for your Nook, Kindle, Sony, Apple or even a PDF file for your laptop or desktop computer, click on the link below and start downloading the version you need.

And please share this with everyone you know.  The more the merrier and thanks for all your support.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/1383



My Review Of Stephen King's "Salem's Lot"...



I first encountered Mr. King's works back in the late 1970's and quickly became a huge fan.  I even got to meet the man himself when I was attending Nassau Community College, when he came to campaign for a politician who had been running for the Democratic Presidential ticket.

I was in awe of him back then and I still am today.  I will admit some of his books are not always my cup of tea these days, but he is still a brilliant writer whom I look up to and respect.  Salem's Lot is one of the reasons for my admiration.  Check out the review I created for Goodreads.com below and perhaps you'll get a better picture as to why I love this particular book so much.

5-STARS

Possibly one of the best modern-day vampire stories I've ever read.

'Salem's Lot is a nice little town up in Maine. A charming community where everyone knows their neighbors, but not all their dirty little secrets. Even the most picturesque towns has it's share of dark tales. Take the Marsten House where Hubie Marsten murdered his wife and then hung himself. No one has lived there for years, but now someone has bought the place.

At the same time Ben Mears, the famous author, has returned to 'Salem's Lot to do a story on the old place. He'd gone inside once on a dare and has been trying to reconcile what he saw that day inside the old abandoned place. But while he tries to wrestle with old ghosts, a greater threat has come to town.

First a beloved dog is found hanging on the cemetery gate, mutilated in a most bizarre and ritualistic fashion. Soon a small boy disappears and his older brother contracts a fatal illness with anemia-like traits. Soon darkness spreads across the town, but no one is willing to talk about it. Some ponder but none are willing to acknowledge or admit to the possibility of something 'supernatural' taking hold of their community...

I have always loved this story because it felt so believable to me. We are taught to be rational and intelligent. To not believe in bogeymen, werewolves, or vampires. So I could easily see an entire town slowly being turned into the living dead through the old "you bite two friends, and they bite two friends, and so on..." method. And who would believe it if you told them this was happening? The police? The clergy? The newspapers? Or would you have to create your own little band of slayers to fight the threat? People who've seen and now believe and are willing to stand with you? Or do you simply turn and run, leaving the town to it's fate?

For me, this is one of Mr. King's greatest works

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

5 More Stars For My First Book "THE BRIDGE"...

Well, well, well...

Another review for my 1st book "THE BRIDGE" has appeared and it's a 5-STAR one. Woo-hoo! Let's hope this is the start of something really good folks...

5.0 out of 5 stars delightful, May 29, 2014
By Stacey Lettich - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Bridge: Something waits (Para-Earth Series) (Paperback)

A great book and relatively easy read. It took me 2 or 3 chapters to get into the story but once I was hooked I never looked back. The characters are dynamic and I found myself fully invested in the story line. Looking forward to reading Allan Krummenacker's next book.

http://www.amazon.com/Bridge-Para-Earth-Allan-Krummenacker-ebook/dp/B00B86DR9G/ref=la_B00B1W8TEU_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401895821&sr=1-1
*Also available for Nook at:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/allan-krummenacker?store=allproducts&keyword=allan+krummenacker


Monday, June 2, 2014

Interest In My First Novel "THE BRIDGE" Is Increasing...

All right fellow writers, here's some food for thought....

I was told in the past that as you got more books out, your earlier titles people might develop an interest in your earlier titles. This seems to be the case as I've been seeing some new activity on "THE BRIDGE". Not a lot of purchases, but more than I've seen in a while. There are also new reviews being posted on Amazon. Here's one of them...


4.0 out of 5 stars First indie book I read, The Bridge., May 30, 2014
By Kees Bijker - See all my reviews

Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Bridge (Para-Earth Series) (Kindle Edition)




This was my first book I read by an indie author. I met Allan a year ago on LinkedIn and, both being budding writers, we shared ideas and situations to do with writing. I was given the opportunity to read his book and took it.


It is my opinion that the story line is strong and very convincing. The book has a great deal of well developed characters, although I find a few of these character traits not fitting the situation the person is in, this could just be me with a biased opinion on how people should behave sometimes. Overall the characters are real enough to be believed and liked by the reader, I did.

The story has several layers which, although coming together at the end, do not always seem clear at the time they develop. Some of the events were hard for me to reconcile but this is life after all. Not everything that happens is clear why or how, so why not in a book. I did however ask myself this question a few times and perhaps the story would have been equally as strong if these loose threads would have been omitted or cleared up more conclusively, or maybe that is just me again.

It has helped me decide that for my own novel I will attempt to spend the money needed for a professional edit. Again it is my opinion that I would have enjoyed it a lot more if these little oversights had been filtered out by a professional eye trained to catch them.

Despite this, I will read the sequel I am sure. I gave this book a 4 out of 5 because I had no choice. If the stars could be allocated I would have given 5 out of 5 for story line, story strength and for character development. Maybe less on the grammar, sentence structure and therefore overall readability.

Still a big thumbs up and looking forward to the next one from Allan.

http://www.amazon.com/Bridge-Para-Earth-Series-Allan-Krummenacker-ebook/dp/B00B86DR9G/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Sunday, June 1, 2014

My Review of HP Lovecraft's "At The Mountains Of Madness"....

Sometimes its good to check out the classics from way back when.  HP Lovecraft was an author who lived in the early 1900's and is considered by many to be one of the greatest horror writers in history.  His creations ranged from magical (such as warlocks,  and demonic beings) to creatures from outer space who are so 'alien' most do not even conform to any life forms we've seen on this world.

But his greatest talent was inspiring terror in the readers by letting them meet these nightmarish things through the eyes of ordinary people like you and me.  We see and feel their terror at meeting things that are so different and (mostly malevolent) that seem to defy the laws of God and man.

Here is my review of one of his collected works.  I may do reviews on some individual stories of his down the road because they are so long that they border on novellas.

So without further ado... Here is my review of "At The Mountains Of Madness"....



5-STAR RATING by Allan Krummenacker on Goodreads.com

An archaeological expedition into the frozen wastelands of the Antarctic leads to an amazing discovery of strange fossils that seem reminiscent of legendary creatures whispered in the dark pages of the Necronomicon. Soon actual specimens are uncovered in pristine condition but a freak snowstorm blows down the sides of the mountains cutting off the members of the expedition that found them from the rest of their team. Silence follows and a rescue mission is sent out to see what happened at the camp and what has become of the treasured find. 

But only horror awaits the rescuers as the camp is found to have been wiped out in the most bizarre and horrid fashion, with one of the camp's men missing along with a couple of the sleds. As the search expands more and more questions arise and a trip to the fabulous mountain range reveals a terrifying secret. One that will drive one man mad and leave another shaken as the tries to reconcile himself to the knowledge of how life evolved on our world and what was behind it.

This and other tales of the macabre await the reader, as Mr. Lovecraft weaves tale after tale of horror and madness. 

"At The Mountains Of Madness" is one of those tales by the great man that border on science fiction as well as horror. The entities that appear in the story come from the stars and are truly alien and frightening to imagine. His creations were truly not of this world in my opinion. These creatures are not humanoids with funky foreheads as depicted in so many movies or on television. 

Perhaps he should be considered among the earliest of science fiction writers as well as horror.


*To read more of my reviews on Goodreads.com click on the link below: