Our Dark Lord, Whispering in Your Ears: SUMMER JOB Hits Audiobook!

Hey all! Happy (almost) Halloween!

Leaves may be falling, but don’t you wish it was a little warmer? Aren’t you already longing for summer?

Well, one of my most acclaimed novels, The Summer Job: A Satanic Thriller, is now beautifully produced audiobook narrated by Stacey Glemboski!

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I’ve been overjoyed by the response to Matt Godfrey’s readings of Video Night (over 130 ratings and reviews on Audible! Have you left one?) and Exponential. But while those novels were a perfect fit for Godfrey’s sultry baritone, The Summer Job demands a more feminine touch. Godfrey referred me to Stacey Glemboski (much like Con Season, Tribesmen, and Zero Lives Remaining narrator Joe Hempel referred me to Godfrey), who, I have to admit, absolutely leveled me with her performance.

Glemboski’s reading and vocal cast of characters is eerie, thoughtful, soulful and sometimes downright scary. I can’t think of a better narrator for this book. A book that Bloody Disgusting called “The textbook definition of a nail-biter... Cesare’s best novel yet.” and LitReactor hailed as having  “one the best and scariest openings to a horror novel I’ve ever read…The rest of the novel is equally great.”

While Summer Job has done well, it hasn’t achieved the sales success that Video Night has, and for a long time that’s kind of bugged me. While I’d never say one of my books is better than the other, I will say that The Summer Job feels more personal, a full articulation of the folk horror/satanic panic vibe I was going for.

I hope that this audiobook brings the novel to a whole new audience and gives it a second chance at the limelight. And whether it’s your first exposure to the book or you’re revisiting it in audio: I need your help. Buy the book, spread the link far and wide and be sure to leave a quick rating and review once you’ve listened. It’s hard to overstate how much reviews help books like this get discovered.

And, because it’s really flattering, I’ll end this blog with one more blurb, this one from Complex: “Cesare’s latest is a knockout…There’s a potent retro vibe running through Cesare’s work, in general–he’s the closest thing literary horror has to its own Jim Mickle or Ti West.”

Oh, and one more thing: if you were planning on listening to this book shirtless, maybe don’t. Cover yourself with the official Summer Job T-shirt, designed by creepyguy wunderkind Trevor Henderson. You can grab that here.

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Now go listen!

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Summer O’ Slashers

Hey all.

How’s things? Things are good with me. Finishing up a number of projects that are going to keep me hyped up from 2019 and beyond, but can’t quite talk about any of that yet. I will say that the Video Night audiobook is continuing to slay. I think a lot of that is down to Matt Godfrey’s awesome performance. If you’ve listened to it and could leave a quick review on Audible: we’d appreciate it.

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But enough about me, this last week there were two big book releases from the Black T-Shirt crew.

First is Triple Axe by Scott Cole. This is out from Grindhouse Press, one of the absolute best cross-genre publishers in the bizarro scene. It’s hilarious and profane and I cannot recommend it more as a weird, mind-expanding slasher beach read.

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Next is a reissue of Matt Serafini’s Under the Blade. This remastered, updated edition of Serafini’s taut, frightening, and twisty slasher-thriller is now available in paperback and ebook.  But don’t take my word for it, Brian Keene said: “Echoes of horror’s paperback glory days, but spills new blood with a modern protagonist and style. I loved it!”
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And even though it came out a few weeks ago, we can’t forget to mention Pat Lacey’s horror-movie-themed novel Bone Saw, out now from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.

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So those are my big recommendations while you’re waiting for the next Adam Cesare book to drop (and believe me, I’m waiting too, but the wait’s going to be worth it). Like *all* authors, Matt, Scott, and Pat really appreciate (and most times financially benefit) when you leave a quick Amazon and Goodreads review of their books when you’re done.

If you’ve been neglecting to keep up on my YouTube videos or (gasp!) haven’t subscribed to my channel, I’ve been having a lot of fun sharing movie and book reviews over there. Here are a couple of my recent faves:

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Aliens Invade Your Ears! Black T-Shirt Books Goes International!

Big news! My first novel, Video Night, is now an exquisitely-produced audiobook. Narrator Matt Godfrey (who audio fans may know for his production of Micheal McDowell’s Blackwater) gives an incredible performance here and I am overwhelmed to have such a talent bringing life to a book that’s very near and dear to my heart.

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If you’ve been holding off on checking out the book, now’s the perfect time to grab it in this new format. Or, if you’ve read the book when it first came out, now’s the perfect time to revisit. And if you’re a “eh, audiobooks aren’t for me” kind of reader, I think this might be the book that breaks you into the habit. As someone who didn’t consider myself an audiobook guy until recently, I have to say that I now LOVE the format. It’s a great way to supplement my reading while I’m doing the dishes or walking the dog. It’s available on Amazon, Audible and iTunes.

The OTHER piece of big news is that Black T-Shirt Books has expanded again. Please welcome the amazing Aaron Dries to the family by picking up The Fallen Boys: A Novel of Psychological Horror in either ebook or paperback. 

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Author and filmmaker Mick Garris (Masters of Horror, Stephen King’s The Stand, Critters 2: The Main Course) calls it “A terrific book. Beautiful and brutal. Heartbreaking and incredibly emotional. I really, really enjoyed it.” And Hellnotes says: “It will upset and maybe even offend. It will trick you and make you wince. But above all else, The Fallen Boys will move you. This is a tale you will never forget, as told by one of the most important new voices in the genre.”

Aaron is flat out my favorite writer from the Samhain-era and I’m so happy he’s chosen to release this incredible novel with us. He’s a master of what I like to think of as tragi-horror, his stories imbued with such verisimilitude and melancholy that they all really put you through the emotional wringer while at the same time shredding your nerves. Which is very different from what the other writers in the Black T-Shirt stable do, but it’s good to mix it up, right?

As with all Black T-Shirt releases: both The Fallen Boys and the Video Night audiobook will live and die on your support. So please pick up a copy (or help spread the word, even if you can’t commit right now) and then consider leaving each a quick, honest Amazon and Goodreads review when you’re finished. It’s how we make our livings and how we get the word out about the books. Thanks!

That’s it on the announcement front. But while I still have you here, have you been to my YouTube channel recently? I’ve got new videos up discussing the virtues of Syfy’s Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block and another one foaming at the mouth over Arrow Video’s new release of Basket Case. Please subscribe and then come join the conversations going on in our (lively) comments section.

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All-Hallows Cesare

It’s been over a month since I last updated the ol’ blog, but I’ve been far from sedentary.

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Leatherface really wants that Video Night shirt I’m wearing. He could just order his own…

Took a road trip up to Rock and Shock in Worcester, MA earlier in the month and it was just as great as always, even better because Black T-Shirt Books had a huge table with all of our authors in attendance.

The Adventure Time Spoooktacular 2017 hit comic shops and seems to have been well-received with both critics and fans of the show (Paste Magazine called it “wildly entertaining” and Nerdist says it’s a “fantastic anthology that Adventure Time fans can’t miss”). If you still haven’t grabbed your copy you can call your local comic store or order direct from BOOM! Studios.

And on top of all that (and some top-secret stuff it’s too early to talk about), I’ve been a busy, stammering, bee on YouTube with my Project: Black T-Shirt channel. If you’ve missed me giving a tour of my movie shelves, discussing Chucky’s latest massacre, paging through Grady Hendrix new book Paperbacks from Hell, or wanted the festival-circuit heads up on Tragedy Girls, please click over there and binge-watch. Also hit those “like” and “subscribe” buttons if you don’t mind.

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Hot Summer Reads! Horrendous Sunglasses!

Desperate for some creepy reading for when you’re at the beach? I’ve come up with a list of five (it’s actually seven, but don’t tell anyone) novels and audiobooks. You can check that out over on my YouTube channel. If you haven’t hit that subscribe button, I’d love it if you did.

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Are movies more your thing? Well I was lucky enough to get the chance to check out the upcoming 68 Kill at a special screening during Wizard World last month. The movie was directed by Trent Haaga, stars Matthew Gray Gubler and AnnaLynne McCord, and was based on a novel by Bryan Smith. I’ve got a video review of that where I discuss other recent novel-to-film adaptations.

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If you’ve no interest in watching me talk, and would rather read my take on a giant monster story: Exponential is now out in paperback from Black T-Shirt Books. This new edition sports a dope new cover and a brand new afterword. If you already own the old edition: this is the same book, don’t double-dip unless you’re really sure you need to own the new cover. If you’d prefer to save paper: there’s always the ebook, also available for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

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If you’ve already got that, or monsters aren’t your thing: Year’s Best Hardcore Horror Volume Two is now out in ebook, paperback, and audiobook narrated by Joe Hempel.  There are great authors like Tim Waggoner, Michael Arnzen, and Bryan Smith in there. Along with one by me.

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That’s all for today! Happy reading, stay cool!

Video Night Returns! The Con Season is Cheap!

Check this out:


Yeah boy! That’s the stuff. Above is the new cover for one of my most popular titles, recently relaunched under a new imprint. If you’re new to my work, or somehow just missed this one, then I urge you to click over to amazon to check it out.

It’s about the 1988 alien invasion of Long Island, NY. So it’s not only thrilling, but educational.

The book’s not only got that sweet new cover by Fredrick Richardson, but a new afterword, and a couple of editorial nips and tucks.

If Video Night is something you’ve already got, then maybe I can interest you in The Con Season, my newest novel, for the next couple of days priced at 99 cents. Yup, one dollar will get you a full brand-new novel and 5 will get you two novels and the self-satisfied warm and fuzzies that accompany helping out an independent author. (Sorry, this offer has expired, but the book’s still cheap at $2.99).


Speaking of being an indie author, that new version of Video Night has been wiped of its 40+ reviews, so if you’ve read it and liked it: I would really appreciate you taking a few seconds to review on Amazon.

Okay, pimping over. Other than trying to sell you those two things, I also wanted to share that I’ve watched and reviewed a couple of movies since we last spoke. The best of which was The Autopsy of Jane Doe, which I did a video review for right here. Please hit that like and subscribe button if you haven’t already. It helps.

Beyond that: I want to here from you. Consider signing up for the mailing list if you haven’t by clicking the “Free Short Read” button at the top of this page, I’ll send you an exclusive ebook for your troubles.

Piece,love, blood, and guts,

Adam

Surprise! THE CON SEASON is available NOW!

First the good news: you can click here, right now, and secure yerself a copy of The Con Season: A Novel of Survival Horror. That’s the ebook link, but paperback will be out in a month or two if you’re an absolute tree-hating physical media diehard.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Horror movie starlet Clarissa Lee is beautiful, internationally known, and…completely broke.

To cap off years of questionable financial and personal decisions, Clarissa accepts an invitation to participate in a “fully immersive” fan convention. She arrives at an off-season summer camp and finds what was supposed to be a quick buck has become a real-life slasher movie.

Deep in the woods of Kentucky with a supporting cast of B-level celebrities, Clarissa must fight to survive the deadly game that the con’s organizers have rigged against her.

A demented, funny, bloody, and strangely-poignant horror novel from the acclaimed author of Tribesmen, Zero Lives Remaining, and Mercy House.

Go ahead and buy the book before scrolling any further.

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I’ll wait.

Now the not-so-good news: if you nominated the book, probably already you know that Kindle Scout has decided to pass on publishing The Con Season.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s a bit of a bummer. I feel like our numbers game was strong, but I also understand where the editors are coming from.

This book—an inside-baseball horror fandom satire with moments of blackly comedic ultraviolence—probably doesn’t scream “marketable!” It also doesn’t help that their cover guidelines suggest “no weapons or blood” and I was trying to sneak in a book featuring a blood-smeared woman holding a rifle…

Or all of that could be me trying to justify them simply not liking the book. I’m big enough to admit that.

But enough about the past! Let’s talk about the future. More specifically, let’s talk about Black T-Shirt Books!

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Boom! We got a logo and everything. Huge thanks to Chris Enterline for getting that done.

I wasn’t messing around in last month’s post where I claimed to have “contingency plans” in place for The Con Season. As touched as I am at all the messages of condolence that I’ve received for being passed by Scout: really, it’s cool, nobody died!

I entered into this campaign knowing that having the book rejected was a very real possibility. I had to hand KS a completely edited manuscript and final cover art: so I was always viewing the program as an experiment in self-publishing.

And now that experiment is live and YOU get to decide if it keeps going or not.

Will Black T-Shirt books be releasing more titles? Yeah, if you and a few friends buy, review, and share this one.

I know I harp on the need for reviews (seriously, not just my books, if you read ANY book and like it: please review that ish on Amazon, you’ll be helping make quality writing more visible). But this time, since Black T-Shirt books is me doing this all by myself without the backing of a publisher, reviews are doubly important. As is word of mouth, shares on Facebook and Twitter, and updates to your Goodreads.

And if the Black T-Shirt Books experiment doesn’t succeed? Well, then it’s back to the drawing board, because we all know I’ve got schemes and machinations and secret-books for miles. 🙂

Thanks so much for everything, guys and gals, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the support.

With love,

Adam Cesare
CEO and Master of Shirts at Black T-Shirt Books

P.S. New episodes of the YouTube show are up:

An early review of Evil Dead remake director Fede Alvarez’s Don’t Breathe:

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And a less-SEO friendly review of 1984’s The Mutilator, recently reissued by Arrow Video: 

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BONE MEAL BROTH—Not an Introduction


In the introduction to one of Haruki Murakami’s short story collections (it’s either After the Quake or Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman) he states he likes to approach his anthologies the way a musician puts together an album. I’m paraphrasing here because I’m away from my books and can’t look up his exact wording, but I distinctly remember that he pays careful attention to rhythm. He discerns between mellow pieces and “rockers” while also considering whether he wants the overall piece to be a concept album (i.e. the way that After the Quake is four or five very different stories all based around the same real-world event).

I like this method a ton and I tried to emulate it in some small way putting together my new collection Bone Meal Broth.

I’m no Murakami, and I don’t pretend to be, so when you pick up the book you won’t be bothered by any of this posturing and pontification. There’s just a copyright page, a short paragraph of acknowledgements and BAM! the stories begin. But hey, this is a blog so I think that self-indulgence is admissible.

If you don’t want to hear me babble about “my process” (you’ve got to imagine me holding my pinky finger out and sipping at a flute of champagne while I say that), stop reading now and just buy the book. It’s two bucks on amazon or you can rent it for free if you’re one of those one-percenters who’s got amazon Prime. If you’re not sure you want to invest the two bucks, you can also try a free sample that gives you the first complete story in the collection.

Returning to “my process”… pinkies out, everyone:

Originally, I was going to put together a collection where the stories were linked by a common subgenre: Southern Grotesque/Southern Gothic. Though many horror fans will contest that they’re not “pure horror”, I’m a big fan of the writers who’ve worked in this field (Cormac McCarthy, William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, etc.). My earliest short stories, the first ones I managed to sell, had been pastiches of these authors mixed with a more “straight-horror” sensibility.

I thought I had a pretty good thing going there, some semblance of a “voice” maybe. So I looked at the best two I had, the one’s that had sold to magazines and thus had been vetted to some extent, and decided I’d write two or three more to go along with them.

Wrote a new one, it took forever and wound up being longer than those earlier two combined, even after I’d cut it down. The problem was that it sucked. Maybe writing a bunch of “samey” stories wasn’t a great idea after all.

I knew that I was going to go the self-publishing route with this, that I wanted the ebook to be a quick and dirty calling card, something that would be cheap enough that people might buy it on a lark and that it would possibly be a gateway to my other work (Tribesmen, still racking up the praise, buy it now so you don’t feel left out). I also didn’t want it to be hastily put together and have the opposite effect (“hey this guy sucks, I’ll be sure to stay away from his funny typo of a name”). I wasn’t going to put in stories that I didn’t feel 100% confident about.

Enter the voice at the back of my mind: remember when you were writing stories like crazy and some of them were pretty good? The good ones were all different kinds, there were even some dark scifi ones that you never let anyone see. What about all those stories that you’ve sold and the rights have reverted back to you? Ding!

Self-publishing is both exhilarating and terrifying. You’ve got the final cut, the last editorial say-so, and that can be a good or pure self-destruction.

Bone Meal Broth consists of the nine best stories I’ve got. It’s just under 20,000 words, which means that you’ll be able to read it in about an hour and a half. That’s short, some would say too short. I would disagree, but that’s like, your opinion, man.

I like these stories. Some were dusty, that’s to be expected when you look back at something you did any length of time ago. But I dusted them off, tinkered and rewrote large swaths where it was needed, then I set out to make the most professional production I possibly could.

Just because it was meant to be a low-risk investment for consumers, doesn’t mean that it had to look cheap. One of the biggest mistakes self publishers seem to make is shoddy editing and cover art, and I wanted to avoid that.

Arthur Wang (who did my blog’s beautiful banner all those eons ago) created one of the most drop-dead gorgeous covers I’ve ever seen, and I’m truly blessed to have it. Neal Hock provided astounding editing/proofreading, sometimes making insightful corrections and alterations to stories that had already appeared in professional magazines. Finally author Guido Henkel created perfectly formatted documents for me to upload to amazon.

If you consider all the expertise that went into this little slip of a book, it’s not even really “self publishing” anymore. It’s myself and three talented professionals working together to bring you nine stories that I feel I can stand by.

As with Tribesmen, if you take the time to share, tag, “like”, or review Bone Meal Broth: you’ve got my eternal gratitude. Thank you!

The Tribesmen Spring Cleanout Sweepstakes

So my debut novella Tribesmen has been out for a full month now and I couldn’t be happier with the reception it’s garnered so far. Not only have there been several generous write ups around the web (e.g. here and here, with a piece on the launch of Ravenous Shadows at Publishers Weekly), but the book’s also been picked up by kickass writer Duane Swierczynski who called it “Sick and sardonic and just plain brilliant.”

Over the past month I’ve been wracking my brain to come up with an appropriately fun and fierce way to promote this fun and fierce little book, and I think I’ve settled on something you’ll enjoy.

I own a lot of movies. Considering that this is the era of streaming media, some would say that I own too many movies.

One thing’s certain: I’ve got to do some spring cleaning and that’s where you folks come in!

From now until April 3rd I’m going to be running a giveaway, where the prize will be a bunch of genre DVDs from my private collection. Let me be clear that these will be store-bought discs (some slightly used).

Here’s what you’ll win:

  • One Grand Prize winner will get no less than three (3!) DVDs (possibly a Blu-ray too, if they’ve got the equipment) from my personal collection.
  • One Runner-up will receive a single DVD from my stash.

Here’s how it gets even better:

  • For every tenth person (not number of entries, but individual entrants) that enters the giveaway, I will add one additional disc to the grand prize pool and there will be another runner-up winner.

How to enter-

  • The “no purchase necessary” option: For one (1) entry you can either mention this contest on your blog/website (leave a comment below with a link to where I can find it and how I can get in touch with you if you win) or you can send out this tweet, verbatim:

Vampires suck and zombies can bite me. Cannibals are the new hotness in TRIBESMEN by @Adam_Cesare http://amzn.to/xaaGfj


If you want to increase your odds of winning, you can pick up a copy of the book and enter in three more ways:

  • For two (2) entries, you can purchase a copy of Tribesmen for your kindle or nook and then forward me your receipt to adamcesare [at] gmail dot com (replacing that at with an @ symbol).
  • If you wanted to go for four (4) entries, buy the book through amazon, read it, and then leave a short, honest review for other customers to read. Someone who leaves a glowing review will get you just as many entries as someone who thinks that I’m mediocrity incarnate. Be honest and play fair!
  • Not only do I stand by my own work, but I stand by the work of my fellow Ravenous Shadows writers as well. John Skipp has put together an amazing starting lineup, so you can also get two (2) additional entries into the contest if you buy any of the other books from the imprint.These are: Eric Shapiro’s The Devoted, Jan Kozlowski’s Die, You Bastard! Die! and Mikita Brottman’s House of Quiet Madness.

I will keep track of entries and use a random number generator to decide upon a winner on the night of April 3rd. This contest is open to everyone (even Brits and Canadians, the book’s available pretty much worldwide) with the obvious exception of my family and fellow Ravenous Shadows authors who are listed above (reviewing your own books sounds unethical).

Be sure to follow me on twitter @Adam_Cesare, because as more people begin to enter I may drop hints as to what kind of crazy crap the winner will be receiving.

GOOD LUCK!

The TRIBESMEN post: To thine own self-promotion be true


Hello dearest Reader,

You may not know this, but not only do I write (intermittently) about obscure films and books, I also write fiction.

In the past I’ve posted links to various magazines my work has appeared in, but this time things are slightly different. This time I’ve got a whole book all to myself and it’s being released as part of John Skipp’s new Ravenous Shadows imprint.

Tribesmen is a 30,000 word novella (meaning it will take roughly the same amount of time as a feature film) and it’s available right now for your amazon Kindle (or the Kindle iphone/android/PC app, if you’re not into the whole e-reader scene).

Here’s the official synopsis:

In the early 80’s – at the height of the ultra-violent “Italian cannibal” grindhouse film craze – a small international cast and crew descend on an isolated Caribbean island, hoping to crassly exploit the native talent.

But the angry, undead spirits of the island have a different, more original script in mind. And as horror after staggering horror unfolds, the camera keeps rolling. To the blood-spattered end…

If you read this blog regularly, it’s up your alley. But don’t take my word for it. Check out the incredible authors who were generous enough to blurb me:

“The best new writer I’ve read in years. Wonderfully lean prose and edge-of-your-seat thrills. Drop everything else and start reading Tribesmen.”

Nate Kenyon, author of Sparrow Rock and Starcraft Ghost: Spectres

Tribesmen is a gory and clever homage to those Italian cannibal flicks that we all love so dearly, but without the real-life animal cruelty! Highly recommended.”

Jeff Strand, author of Pressure and Wolf Hunt.

“Sometimes everything goes wrong, in the best possible way. Think Snuff and Cannibal Holocaust meeting at a midnight movie. And then give one of them a camera, the other a knife.”

Stephen Graham Jones, author of It Came from Del Rio, Demon Theory and The Ones That Got Away

There you go, that’s my pitch. If you’re curious but not sold, you can send a free sample to your Kindle (the first 1 and 1/2 chapters, I believe).

Check it out here and if you do pick it up, please consider writing a quick review.

Thanks for your time,

Adam

Update: if you are a nook user, the ebook is now also available at Barnes and Noble.