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- 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."

Friday, July 25, 2014

I Love the '90s (Guest Post by Kimberly G. Giarratano, author of GRUNGE GODS AND GRAVEYARDS)

I've said it before and I'll say it again: damn you, Kate Moretti.

I was perfectly content to be sitting here with nearly two dozen books on my TBR (that's "to be read" to you normal folks) list, not to mention, oh, I dunno, seven books that I have to write plus marketing, plus, you know, the day job and family and condo presidency and all that.  And along comes "Pushypants" Moretti and says,

"Did you read KGG's book yet?"

So I started mumbling something about being busy and she says,

"Stop!  Go read it right now!  Drop everything!"

So I did and naturally now I'm blowing all of my deadlines and all the gutters are filthy and everything because I can't put GRUNGE GODS AND GRAVEYARDS down!

I'm very fortunate to have the aforementioned KGG, Kimberly G. Giarratano as a guest on the blog today.  Make sure to stick around after the post, as our mutual publisher Red Adept is generously hosting a giveaway in honor of the release of KGG's debut novel, GGG.  Since GRUNGE GODS (obviously?) takes place in 1997, I posed this question:

What was it like to live in the '90s, and why was it the greatest decade?

Ah, the ‘90s. I miss you, decade, although I could leave behind my teen years. All that angst, everything feeling like it was life or death. College essays. But you, 1990s, you were the best. Seinfeld. MTV’s The State. Melrose Place. Okay, so I watched a lot of TV when I was a teenager. Who didn’t? Anyhoo, let me break it down-down to reveal the top 5 reasons why the ‘90s were the dopest decade.

1. Alternative music: I just want to make this one a laundry list of all my favorite bands. Radiohead. U2. Tori Amos. The Afghan Whigs. STP. Bush. Bjork. Dave Matthews Band. Truth is the Radiohead of 2014 doesn’t compare to the Radiohead of 1997. While I can appreciate the genius of The King of Limbs, it doesn’t hold a candle to The Bends or Ok Computer (although I’m sure Thom Yorke would disagree). There isn’t a song I can sing along to on the newer albums. No stand out single like “Paranoid Android” or “Karma Police.” So while I own the new stuff, I only listen to the old stuff.

2. MTV (with a little VH1 thrown in for good measure): When I was a teenager, MTV was awesome. Because they still played music videos. Sure, now you can jump on YouTube to watch a video, but in 1995, my best friend would have to call me and yell, “Quick. Turn on Ch. 30. Radiohead is on.” And I’d scramble to the living room to turn on the TV so as not to miss the video. Because then I’d have to wait to see it again. Also, MTV aired really good shows. The Real World, Singled Out, 120 Minutes and The State. Actually The State should have its own number. The State -- the best sketch comedy show that ever aired. To this day, I can still recite lines from famous sketches. "Chicken sandwich, Carl!" It had Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter and Ken Marino. VH1: Pop Up Video. ‘Nuff said.

3. Shlubby jeans with frayed hems: Do you know what the cool kids wore my junior year of high school (And let me clarify, I was not a cool kid)? Open flannel shirts over white t-shirts. Straight-leg jeans with the hems torn up so they’d fit over Doc Martens or Timberlands. And that was the girls. No one’s outfit was polished or “put together.” At least, not that I remember. At some point, my entire wardrobe was super flared jeans, with destroyed hems, and long-sleeve Ts. And orange Vans. And I thought I looked good.

4. AOL: Okay, so in hindsight the Internet of today is the greatest thing ever invented, but when I was 15 years old, AOL was the shiznit. My dad paid for five hours a month. Five hours?! I spend 5 hours online a day now at least. But I digress...’You’ve got mail’ were the three most exciting words at the time. I don't remember how long it took me to come up with my email address. I think it was Tori-some-numberorother at aol. (It was an homage to Tori Amos). My best friend and I would jump online and browse for quotes from The State (see no. 2). Somehow, we got a hold of Michael Ian Black's email address and I sent him a note telling him how I got busted in English class for whispering a State quote to my friend sitting in front of me. He wrote back, "Don't talk in class." I nearly died. I might still have that email. I was social networking and I didn’t even know it!

5. All the things: Okay, so this one is a cop-out but I couldn’t decide whether to go with the Monica Lewinsky scandal or our booming economy where practically anyone could get a job or Fruit Stripe Gum or Empire Records or Forrest Gump. Hell, even Tom Hanks could be a category all by himself. The truth is the ‘90s were the greatest decade. Hands down. No contest. Full stop.

What did you love most about the ‘90s? Please sound off in the comments section. And can anyone else quote lines from The State? I’m sure Stephen has a prize or something (maybe some Zombie thing, cuz he’s all about that) for anyone who can do it without looking it up online.

Putting me on the spot, eh, KGG?  All right, whoever comes up with the best State quote in the comments, as determined solely by fiat, will receive a free copy of the BRAINEATER JONES audiobook!  How do you like this girl, she manages to swing two giveaways in one post!

About Kimberly Garnick Giarratano

Kimberly G. Giarratano, a forever Jersey girl, now lives in the woods of northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and small children. A former teacher and YA librarian, Kimberly adores Etsy, Jon Stewart, The Afghan Whigs, ’90s nostalgia, and (of course) everything YA. She also speaks Spanish, but is woefully out of practice. Kimberly always dreamed of being a published author. Her other dream is to live in Key West, Florida where she can write in a small studio, just like Hemingway.

You can find Kimberly on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.


Parted by death. Tethered by love.

Lainey Bloom’s high school senior year is a complete disaster. The popular clique, led by mean girl Wynter Woods, bullies her constantly. The principal threatens not to let her graduate with the class of 1997 unless she completes a major research project. And everyone blames her for the death of Wynter’s boyfriend, Danny Obregon.

Danny, a gorgeous musician, stole Lainey’s heart when he stole a kiss at a concert. But a week later, he was run down on a dangerous stretch of road. When he dies in her arms, she fears she’ll never know if he really would have broken up with Wynter to be with her.

Then his ghost shows up, begging her to solve his murder. Horrified by the dismal fate that awaits him if he never crosses over, Lainey seeks the dark truth amidst small town secrets, family strife, and divided loyalties. But every step she takes toward discovering what really happened the night Danny died pulls her further away from the beautiful boy she can never touch again.


Be sure to purchase GRUNGE GODS AND GRAVEYARDS at:

Barnes & Noble
Google Play

And tell your friends about it on Goodreads!" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. About #2: we've had this conversation before but it's worth having again: I and the other girls I knew in the 90s wore lots of different things, but the boys? Flannel shirts over tshirts with jeans every - single - day. Like it was their required uniform or something. I even asked a guy friend once why they did that and he answered, "I dunno." So there you have it. :)

    1. You forgot to specify black denim jeans. But, yes, that was certainly what I wore every day.

  2. Er, oops, I meant #3 above!

    Also, the 90s economy...sigh. Who doesn't wish for that back again?

    1. These were hap-hap-happier times. And it seemed like they were going to go on forever. But I guess it was just the eye of the storm.

  3. Well, no State quotes here! I don't even know what that show is, lol! I think Kimberly's probably starting to get embarrassed over my lack of 90s knowledge. ;) But Fruit Stripe gum! It was so hard not to eat the whole pack in an hour.

    1. Hmmm, I never had Fruit Stripe. Now Fruit by the Foot, on the other hand...


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