Manuscripts Burn


"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June Drabble Rodeo Entry: PAYBACK

drabble, n, (plural drabbles)
           1.  A fictional story, typically in fanfiction, that is exactly 100 words long.

- Wiktionary

Now for something a little bit different that the good old Red Adept writers concocted and are bringing to you today: the first ever Drabble Roundup!  Each of us who agreed to participate in this have crafted a drabble with the theme "payback" for the month of June.  So below you'll find my painstakingly crafted drabble and below that links to all of the other bloggists doing the same thing. 

(Incidentally, if you're looking for the greatest drabble ever written, you'll find it here in the ANOTHER 100 HORRORS anthology under the title CLOCKWORK OFFAL.)


“Don’t go,” Grace Kelly said.

Gary Cooper clutched her desperately in his arms.

“I have to,” he said, “I have to have my Payback.”

She looked into his eyes, longing, but still steely.

“If you go in there for Payback I won’t be here when you come out.”

He bowed his head and nodded.

“If that’s the way it’s got to be.”

He tossed away his tin star and walked into the building, up to the counter, and looked the clerk dead in the eye.

“I’m here for Payback.”

“Okay, sir. And did you remember your Blockbuster card today?”



Harvey Chute

Erica Lucke Dean

Edward Lorn

Kimberly G. Giarratano

Jaime Leigh

Naomi Rinceoir

Cassie Cox

Morgan C. Talbot

Monday, June 24, 2013

The 2013 Hundie Challenge #47: First

Moving on through the Red Adept entries in the Hundie Challenge we reach:

FIRST by Chanda Stafford

Ahem.  (I'm going to take a shot at this.)


Eh, that's not a great comparison but it'll do.  FIRST is the first (ha!) in a YA series where Texans have no rights and intellectuals are lauded for their contribution to society.  (Truly, a Republican's worst nightmare.)  [rimshot]

Buuuut seriously, folks, take my wife.  Please!  [rimshot]

All right, all right, the book.  So FIRST is a YA book but I didn't consider it especially dumbed down, in fact I would say it dealt with some pretty heady issues.  Medical ethics, haves vs. have-nots, even some of that trickier, Randian stuff about whether society owes the John Galts of the world or vice versa.  But, while I say that to ensure you that an adult will not feel out of place reading it, compared with THE HUNGER GAMES (which it often has been by reviewers) it's certainly tame enough in terms of content and violence for your teenage kids to read.  Definitely worth checking out.

You can check out the back cover synopsis here.

Or an excerpt here.

And when you decide you're ready to buy it, any one of these fine retailers can help you out.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The 2013 Hundie Challenge #46: I, Claudius

Despite my high budget and production values, a few anachronisms may have slipped into my otherwise flawless depiction of Imperial Roman vlogging.  If you notice any, point them out in the comments below!

Monday, June 17, 2013

The 2013 Hundie Challenge #44: To Katie With Love

Next up in our little RAP love-in cul-de-sac:

TO KATIE WITH LOVE by Erica Lucke Dean

Okay, before I get into anything else, I've really been enjoying coming up for taglines for my friends' books, so here goes:

TO KATIE WITH LOVE is like THE ENGLISHMAN WHO WENT UP A HILL BUT CAME DOWN A MOUNTAIN, except instead of the Englishman it's a banker woman and instead of the hill it's a client and instead of the mountain it's an assassin.

Nailed it!

Full disclosure: Erica Lucke Dean has asked me both to write directly for her blog and to contribute important, cutting edge research.  I'm a big fan of her work and she is my best imaginary author friend (although she claims that since we've now met in real life, it should just be "best author friend" but that seems like a big step.)  And even though TKWL is a romance and as a straight male by all rights the most romantic thing I should ever have read was Dr. Zhivago, I nevertheless wholethroatedly recommend this book.  Women will love it and men will enjoy it (though they may prefer to get the Kindle copy for subway purposes.)

Anyway, you can check out an excerpt here.

And the back book copy here.

And for all the places to buy it click here.

Oh, and bonus this week: The TKWL book trailer!

Monday, June 10, 2013

The 2013 Hundie Challenge #42: Hope For the Wicked

The next stop on our RAP sub-division of the 2013 Hundie Challenge is:


Let me take another crack at one of these taglines.  (I'm enjoying testing myself with these, with apologies to my author friends.) 


Hey, that wasn't so hard after all for this one.  Of course, none of that will make sense until you actually read the book.  Which I heartily recommend. 

What I DO NOT RECOMMEND is that you read this book if you are squeamish.  It features graphic murder, dismemberment, and animal abuse.  In fact, it doesn't just FEATURE serial spotlights two serial murderers, Mo and Larry Laughlin.  (Yes, their dog is named Curly.  So far their what I assume will turn out to be a rapping Komodo dragon, Shemp, has not been featured.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed he'll appear in the sequel, PENNIES FOR THE DAMNED.)

Anyway, you can check out an excerpt here.

And the back book copy here.

And for all the places to buy it click here.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The 2013 Hundie Challenge #40: Blood Echo

(If you're wondering why this book is on here, why I'm not giving it a proper review, and why this isn't a vlog entry, check out my post about some tweaks I was obliged to make to the challenge here.)

When I was considering which Red Adept book to spotlight first, I ran over a couple of possible criteria in my head: the first I read, the first RAP published, alphabetical, the one with the most cats (discounting imaginary cats) and so on and so on.

BLOOD ECHO by Melissa Simonson doesn't really fit any of those criteria (although it does have a fully realized cat character, Allie.)  It just happened to be kismet, though, that at the time I was trying to figure out what to do with this post, Kindle ebooks of BLOOD ECHO are 100% free on Amazon.  (No joke.  Get it here before June 4, 2013.)

Like I said, kismet, right?  Anyway, as I've explained already, it's kind of a conflict of interest for me to REVIEW books from my own publisher in any sense.  That being said, I'm still going to kind of spotlight these books over the next few weeks.

BLOOD ECHO is kind of like INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE for the GOSSIP GIRL set.   Does that make sense?  I'm not really sure what to compare it to.  It's about some of those unbearably rich and bored Upper East Side types, some of whom just happen to have mystical, ex-parrot related powers.  It's packed with mystery and what I'm increasingly starting to think of as fashion porn, which is somewhat lost on me since the limit of my understandings of fashion are the difference between a skirt and a dress.  And I often mix those up.  So, yes, it is kind of female-oriented, but I had no problems reading it and I'm not even sure which hand to hold a cosmo in.  (Does that make me a "Carrie?")

Anyway, you can check out an excerpt here.

And the back book copy here.

And for all the places to buy it that AREN'T Amazon (but also Amazon) click here.

Thanks for checking in, thanks for bearing with me on the changes to the Hundie Challenge, and we'll be back on Wednesday with the last E.M. Forster book on the Modern Library List, A PASSAGE TO INDIA.
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