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    • 13 Days of Halloween – Costume Contest November 1, 2014
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, As I mentioned on day one of our ’13 Days of Halloween Celebration’ we will be having a Halloween Costume Contest once again this year! Send us photos of you in your Halloween duds and you could win a grab bag of phantastic prizes (worth over $100)! The staff members at She Never Slept will […]
      Sarah L. Covert
    • 13 Days of Halloween – Day Thirteen October 31, 2014
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, Welcome to day 13 of our 13 Days of Halloween Celebration. Are you ready for your chance to win some ghastly goods? I am sure you all feel like you have flexed your brain and are ready for the final question. Today’s winner will get a small grab bag of items from the dungeon! […]
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    • 13 Days of Halloween – Day Twelve October 30, 2014
      Greetings to ill and sun-dried, Welcome to day twelve of our 13 Days of Halloween Celebration. Are you ready for your chance to win some ghastly goods? Let’s get started. Today’s winner will receive an awesome surprise from our vaults. Best of luck, and enjoy! Signed in human blood, Sean Levin In what year does […]
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    • 13 Days of Halloween – Day Eleven October 29, 2014
      Greetings to ill and sun-dried, Welcome to day eleven of our 13 Days of Halloween Celebration. Are you ready for your chance to win some ghastly goods? Let’s get started. Today’s winner will receive an awesome surprise from our vaults. Best of luck, and enjoy! Signed in human blood, Sean Levin Which of EC Comics’ […]
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    • Alien: Sea of Sorrows October 28, 2014
      Alien: Sea of Sorrows Written by: James A. Moore Published by: Titan Books ISBN-10: 1781162700 ISBN-13: 978-1781162705 Where to buy: Titan Books, Amazon.com (print), Amazon.com (e-book), and other fine book retailers. Publisher’s Comments: As a deputy commissioner for the ICC, Alan Decker’s job is to make sure the settlements on LV178 follow all the rules, […]
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      Greetings to ill and sun-dried, Welcome to day ten of our 13 Days of Halloween Celebration. Are you ready for your chance to win some ghastly goods? Let’s get started. Today’s winner will receive an awesome surprise from our vaults. Best of luck, and enjoy! Signed in human blood, Sean Levin Dick Miller played busboy […]
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    • 13 Days of Halloween – Day Seven October 24, 2014
      Greetings to ill and sun-dried Welcome to day seven of our 13 Days of Halloween Celebration. Whoever answers this trivia question will receive some gruesome goodies. Best of luck, and enjoy! Signed in human blood, Sean Levin All you have to do is identify the following: the actress’ name, the name she was credited under, […]
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Hard Spell

Hard Spell

Written by: Justin Gustainis
Published by: Angry Robot
Page Count: 400 pages
ISBN-10: 0857661159
ISBN-13:  978-0857661159
Where to buy: Amazon, Angry Robot, and other book retailers.

Publisher’s comments:
Stan Markowski is a Detective Sergeant on the Scranton PD’s Supernatural Crimes Investigation Unit.

Like the rest of America, Scranton’s got an uneasy ‘live and let unlive’ relationship with the supernatural. But when a vamp puts the bite on an unwilling victim, or some witch casts the wrong kind of spell, that’s when they call Markowski. He carries a badge. Also, a crucifix, some wooden stakes, a big vial of holy water, and a 9mm Beretta loaded with silver bullets.

Hey folks,

Things are moving a little slowly around SNS here lately and I apologize for that. Sarah is still not up to doing much because of her hand injury and I am afraid that the Real World ™ has been keeping me hopping more than usual lately. Still, though, we have some interesting material in the pipeline and, while it may come out a little more slowly than normal (and certainly more slowly than WE want it to), it will come out as soon as can possibly be managed. And we may even get a chance to hear from Sarah herself soon. She mentioned to me the other day that she might try to arrange a podcast post or perhaps a video update. I will pass along more info about that when/if it is forthcoming.

Today, we have a review by Minion Victoria Price of s book that sounds most interesting, indeed. IT sounds like… well, I will let her tell you all about it.

Enjoy!

Floyd

When I sat down to read HARD SPELL by Justin Gustainis, I went in thinking the idea of an “Occult Crimes Unit” was cute… for maybe a short story,  a  short story that would most likely end up being kind of stupid. Not only is it longer than a short story, but  it is 382 page book. WELL. I figured about halfway through I’d roll my eyes and flatly exclaim, “LAME” and unenthusiastically trudge through the rest. But I kept an open mind and started reading.

It starts out as you’d expect:  a run-down of what this group of supernatural crime-busting cops does and why they have to do it, a couple of scenarios are thrown in involving some non-human lawbreakers, and of course a bit of drama between characters. Expected as it may have been, it was still entertaining, very entertaining, actually, and a lot more creative and well written than I had imagined. Reading about these werewolves, goblins, wizards, and vampires getting mixed up in the law was a fun enough idea for mere amusement, but to my delighted amazement, Gustainis made it not only captivating, but as believable as this sort of thing can get. His writing style as the narrator/Occult Crimes cop protagonist keeps a perfect balance of sarcasm and seriousness. Throughout the story, the use of black magic and supernatural shenanigans are ridiculed and scoffed at by many of the characters enough so that the reader isn’t alone in his or her potential eye-rolling, canceling out any comedic element the book may have otherwise had against itself. Still, these subjects are taken seriously as part of the story’s reality, which the reader gets sucked into quite easily.

Final thoughts:
HARD SPELL is full of fun ideas, and by no means are they wasted in a sea of dullness. There isn’t a page that allows boredom; you are right with this sleep-deprived cop at his wit’s end with all these sacrificial murders, demon possessions, evil spells, etc. The interactions between the human characters are just as fascinating as the ones with the non-humans, and somehow they all fit perfectly together in this story.

As stunned as I was that the content of the book stayed strong for its nearly 400 pages, I was even more surprised that it still didn’t seem long enough! I would have loved to read a page -or fifty- more about a certain scene towards the end, but I shan’t be giving away any spoilers. I’d say my only complaint was that the climax was a little rushed, but it may only have seemed that way because of how glued I was to it. After all, it’s better to wish for more than to be stuck with too much. I give this book a 3.5 out of 5 tentacles!

And with that (and an enthusiastic recommendation for this book), I shall end this review!

Victoria Price, Minion (Reviewer)

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