J.A. Rock on All in Fear: A Collection of Six Horror Tales ~ Guest Blog

Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Steve Berman, KJ Charles, Avon Gale, Roan Parrish, Kris Ripper, J.A. Rock for stopping by today. Please give them a warm welcome.

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Title: All in Fear: A Collection of Six Horror Tales
Author: Steve Berman, KJ Charles, Avon Gale, Roan Parrish, Kris Ripper, J.A. Rock
Publisher: *Not Listed
Cover Artist: Angsty G
Genre: Horror
Release Date: 12/01/2016

Blurb:

Horror wears many faces, and its masks can be tantalizing. Some of the top names in queer fiction come together to spin their own versions of horror. Worlds rife with dark beauty and mystery, the familiar becoming terrible, creatures ethereal and alluring—and all bearing the gleam of love. Does hope lie along these grim passages or only doom? It will become clear. All in time—and all in fear.

Company by Roan Parrish
Nick Levy’s family is falling apart and he has no friends, but at least he can escape into the world of his favorite comic book series, The Face of the Vampire. Naturally, when the vampire in question shows up one day, Nick is enthralled. After all, what could be better than his own personal fantasy made real? Except that Nick isn’t exactly sure whether Michel is real or not. And when the arrival of a new boy in school promises romance, Nick sees a side of Michel he never could have imagined. This Michel is cruel, jealous . . . and he’ll do anything to keep Nick for himself.

Love Me True by Kris Ripper
Palmer’s life is as good as it gets. Well, okay, so he hates his mind-numbing office job. But he’s found a hot, smart, incredibly kinky guy. The sex is explosive. The power play is off the hook. And if he gets his way, Jon will soon be his husband.

When Palmer asks, Jon says yes. For the first time ever, Palmer thinks things might be really good. Sure, bad things happen in the world—to other people. But this is all he needs: Jon at the end of the day, in their bed, arms around him.

How could he have possibly been so stupid?

The Price of Meat by KJ Charles
Johanna Oakley will do anything to save her beloved Arabella from the cruelty of Mr Fogg’s madhouse—but ‘anything’ turns out to be more than she bargained for when she finds herself working for a man suspected of worse than murder. As Johanna is plunged from the horror of Sawney Reynard’s barber shop into the foul, lawless labyrinth at the heart of London, can she or anyone get out alive?

His Mouth Will Taste of Chernobyl by Steve Berman
Joining Zeta Psi isn’t Steve’s dream, it’s his dad’s. Nevertheless his dad’s gift of the mysterious Bailey flask gets Steve an in to the frat house, and maybe his best shot at being accepted on campus. But the flask’s silver sheen may only be lighting his way into the darkness at the heart of the frat—and the darkness he’s learning is within himself. Steve wants to choose who he is, but choices are dropping like flies as he learns the true mystery of the Bailey flask. How does he give back a gift that’s also a curse?

Legion: A Love Story by Avon Gale
STAFF SERGEANT JASON ESSEX, YOU HAVE RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING ORDERS FROM THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS:

REPORT TO: CAIN INSTITUTE [ADDRESS REDACTED]

ACTIVE DUTY COMMITMENT: GUARD AN ENTITY CURRENTLY HELD IN AN ENCLOSURE AT THE CAIN INSTITUTE. RECORD DAILY MEASUREMENTS. KEEP ANY AND ALL PERSONS FROM ENTERING OR LEAVING THE FACILITY. ENSURE THE ENTITY REMAINS COMPLETELY INCARCERATED. OBSERVE THE ENTITY WITHOUT ENGAGING.

ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS: THIS ASSIGNMENT WILL BE CARRIED OUT IN FULL ISOLATION. PLEASE BE ADVISED.

Beauties by J.A. Rock
When Dr. Lester Usole attends an event at AI developer Carnificiality, he’s introduced to Beauties: artificial beings designed to provide tailored sexual experiences for their human owners. Lester isn’t interested in sex—but he is fascinated by Ira, a Beauty too violent to be sold.

Lester convinces Carnificiality to give Ira to him. Lester has always wanted the chance to work with an adult AI, and around Lester, Ira isn’t violent. He’s strangely innocent, uncannily perceptive, and his company does much to ease Lester’s loneliness. Except something’s not quite right: Ira roams at night, even when Lester’s sure he’s locked Ira’s door.

Soon Lester is certain of only one thing: Ira has a secret. Something that will link their pasts and change the course of their future—if Lester is willing to face what’s on the inside.

Horror Inspirations for “Beauties” by J.A. Rock

When I write horror, I tend to incorporate elements of sci-fi or magical realism, rather than go the full-blown supernatural route. I love stories involving the supernatural, but they don’t really seem to be my forte as a writer. I’ve pretty much avoided writing gorefests too—though I’m certainly open to the possibility. To me, the most terrifying stories are usually ones where humans and all their humanness are the cause of the horror, rather than zombies, werewolves, ghosts, etc.

I’m drawn to stories like Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” Sarban’s The Sound of His Horn, or John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let Me In—quiet horror that sidelines gore in favor of creating a sense of unsettledness. Let Me In is violent, yes, but I think the violence takes a backseat to a story about otherness and unlikely friendship. And the human actions in that novel are far more disquieting than the presence of a “monster.” TV-wise, I’m obsessed with Black Mirror, which brilliantly weaves stories that are less about technology and more about what people do with that technology to hurt one another—often in very domestic, intimate ways.

I also love the ambiguity of horror protagonists. I remember reading Poe stories as a kid and feeling sorry for, you know, the narrator who kills his wife and hides her in the wall. And then realizing wait, maybe I shouldn’t feel sorry for him… Horror asks people to empathize with all sorts of monsters, human and otherwise, and that’s what interests me more than “knife-wielding maniac killing girls in bikinis at a summer camp.” (I say that, and yet one of my favorite horror works is the delightfully trashy Meg series, by Steve Alten, in which monster sharks escape from the Mariana Trench and eat everything and everyone they can find.)

With “Beauties,” I definitely wanted to be in conversation with that Black Mirror-esque vision of the future. The idea of humans exploiting AI is nothing new; nor is the question of how and why decent people devolve into monsters. But I hoped I could add something to that subgenre beyond just “humans will fuck up (or fuck) anything they touch.” Beauties is about isolation, about what we hunger for. Lester, the MC, speculates that humans created Beauties in the first place to satisfy a deep loneliness—and that one of the flaws Beauties will always carry from their makers is a sense of hunger that can never be satisfied. For knowledge, for attention, for affection and security. And maybe the truly frightening element there is how much we need those things—and how hard they can be to come by.

It’s a story about technology gone wrong, and about what makes a villain, but also a story about what humans are looking for in one another.

Links

All in Fear: A Collection of Six Horror Tales on Goodreads
*Not Listed
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble

About the Author

J.A. Rock is the author or coauthor of over twenty LGBTQ romance, suspense, and horror novels, as well as an occasional contributor to HuffPo Queer Voices. J.A. has received Lambda Literary and INDIEFAB Award nominations for Minotaur, and The Subs Club received the 2016 National Leather Association-International Pauline Reage Novel Award. J.A. lives in Chicago with an extremely judgmental dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

Website: www.jarockauthor.com

Blog: http://jarockauthor.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jarockauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ja.rock.39

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Date Site Author Post by:
11/29 Booknista Kris Ripper
11/29 Just Love Romance Roan Parrish
11/30 Beauty in Ruins Steve Berman
11/30 Gay Book Reviews J.A. Rock
12/1 HEA USA Today All in Fear Authors
12/1 Gender Terror All in Fear Authors
12/1 Author Liv Rancourt’s Blog Spotlight
12/1 From Top to Bottom Reviews Spotlight
12/1 Queer SFF Spotlight
12/2 Sinfully Sexy Reviews Steve Berman
12/3 Novel Approach Avon Gale
12/5 Binge on Books All in Fear Authors
12/6 I Love Romantic Fiction Kris Ripper
12/6 All About Romance KJ Charles
12/6 Heroes and Heartbreakers All in Fear Authors
12/7 Smexy Books All in Fear Authors
12/7 Love Bytes Roan Parrish
12/7 Books Considered Spotlight
12/8 Prism Book Alliance J.A. Rock
12/8 Mama’s Dirty Little Reads Spotlight
12/9 SFF World Avon Gale
12/9 The Blogger Girls KJ Charles
12/10 Bayou Book Junkie Spotlight

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