Friday, August 8, 2014

A Review of Stephen King's Joyland

Stephen King
A Hard Case Crime Novel
Titan Books, 2013
283 pages

Devin Jones, a college student on the verge of serious heartbreak, makes an impulsive choice to spend the summer working at Joyland, a large carnival stationed at Heaven’s Bay, a small, seaside town. Little does he know that heartbreak is just the beginning of his summer passage to manhood. In his future lies a dark mystery, the death of a special friend, and some other things that will change him forever.

Joyland is both a novel of coming of age and of growing old. It’s about new beginnings and terrible ends. Yet, in between these things, there’s tender love, great passion, personal loss, mystery and even horror.

Written in the vein of such beautiful stories as Stand by Me and Hearts in Atlantis, Joyland holds its own as a work of crime—with a touch of horror. Not as innocent as Stand by Me, nor as deep as Hearts in Atlantis, this story reaches for one man’s understanding of himself during a most unusual summer, both the worst and the best of his life.

This is a mature Stephen King we experience. A man looking back over his own life and attempting, once again, to capture those bittersweet moments that tend to shape us all. A master working his craft as no other can.

Copyright © 2014 Clayton Clifford Bye

For more of Clayton Bye's writing, visit his website or become a fan.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Take Back Tomorrow by Richard Levesque

Take Back Tomorrow
Richard Levesque
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 3729 KB
Print Length: 318 pages
Science Fiction/Time Travel

Eddie Royce is a wannabe science fiction writer who, by stealing the storyline of such greats as Shakespeare, is on the brink of making it. Then a bizarre visit from his favourite author, Chester Blackwood, gives him the power to live his stories rather than writing them. It's 1939, Asimov and Heinlein have barely begun their
careers, Hollywood is run by gangsters and Eddie Royce can now travel in time. He can actually steal stories before they've ever been written, rather than copying those of the past. He can become a player.

Except there's this girl and these bad guys and he's limited to just a few visits to the future (or the past). Does he help her or does he help himself?

Take Back Tomorrow is one of those stories that lifts you up and transports you to another place and time. It's science fiction the way it was written in the 1950's when that kind of writing was hitting mainstream. Yet the tale takes us back even further—to a time when the art form could be found in just a handful of pulp fiction magazines.

And let me tell you this guy Levesque can write. There is non-stop action, the plot is a beautiful thing to see, as is sweeps in and about the characters until it comes full circle and leaves us satisfied but melancholy. Satisfied because this is a very good read; melancholy because one knows he will not read another book like this. That age of science fiction is gone. Some say this is a good thing. I, who cut my teeth on space operas and the grand speculations of the 50's, say not.

I give this one 5 stars and a personal recommendation.

Copyright © 2014 Clayton Clifford Bye

For more of Clayton Bye's writing, visit his website or become a fan.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Johnny Cash: The Life by Robert Hilburn

Johnny Cash: The Life
Robert Hilburn
Little, Brown and Company, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-316-19475-4
Hardcover, 680 pages

From touring with Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and June carter to his final days and perhaps the best song he ever recorded, Johnny Cash lived his life and managed his singing career on his own terms. This is the one thing Robert Hilburn makes abundantly clear in his exhaustive commentary regarding the career of Johnny Cash, a career that spanned 5 decades (1954-2003). It didn't matter if the record was bad because Cash was wired on drugs or if it was a gospel record when his fans wanted more country or if he was recording punk rock in an effort to connect with the youth of today, Cash always had an album concept he was working on—the record label be damned. He was the original outlaw for both country and rock and roll, and unknown by most people, he never really gave up those titles. Cash was simply overshadowed  during the latter part of the 70's and most of the 80's. But he never stopped touring and he never stopped making records.

"From his early days as a pioneer of rockabilly and rock and roll in the 1950s, to his decades as an international representative of country music, to his resurgence to fame in the 1990s as a living legend and an alternative country icon, Cash influenced countless artists and left a large body of work. Upon his death, Cash was revered by the greatest popular musicians of his time. His rebellious image and often anti-authoritarian stance [even] influenced punk rock."                 - Wikipedia -

Sources disagree, but to the best of my knowledge Johnny cash recorded: 55 studio albums, 104 compilations, 6 live albums, 2 soundtracks and 153 singles. With the constant touring this man did, the number of songs he wrote and the number of songs he recorded is mind-blowing.

I can't say this with more passion. If you have ever wanted to know about the life of a rock or country music star, why not study the greatest of them all: Johnny Cash: The Life  by Robert Hilburn.

Copyright © 2014 Clayton Clifford Bye

For more of Clayton Bye's writing, visit his website or become a fan.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Dysfictional by Mandy White

After a few misfires, the stories in Mandy White's 2012 offering, Dysfictional, are interesting, unique and well edited. I especially enjoyed The Art of Bathing, Zombie Cuisine and her novella, The Immigrant.

This collection is a solid, 4 star effort by an imaginative author. My one criticism is that the author sometimes gives away the story. She definitely has the ability to carry the reader to places of the imagination, but she must be cautious not to allow the reader to envision the ending before she takes us there: Ruby in the Mist and A Simple Life are examples.

Summary? The first two stories in the collection could easily cost White her reader. This is unfortunate,  as the rest of the stories come in at 4 or even 5 stars. So, if the title catches your attention (as it did mine), then I say go for it--buy the book. Just know that the collection is much better than the initial stories suggest.

Clayton Bye
author, editor, publisher

For more of Clayton Bye's writing, visit his website or become a fan.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Preditors & Editors Reader's Poll for 2013 is now complete. Here are the awesome results (Our member winners are in bold type face).

Standings for Horror Short Stories

1. Waterless, Rose Blackthorn, Buzzy Mag
2. Taut, Shaun Meeks, Smart Rhino Press
3. 9 Vials of Blood, John B. Rosenman, Chase Enterprises Publishing
4. Fish To Die For, Keith Milstead, J. Ellington Ashton Press
5. Game of Straws Origins, SB Knight, Knight Stalker Press
6. The Testament of Charlie Fairweather, Stephen M. DeBock, Gypsy Shadow Publishing, LLC
7. What the Butler didn't See..., Teel James Glenn, Fiction Vortex
8. Skin Deep, Carson Buckingham, Smart Rhino Press
9. Ophie and the Undertaker, Shebat Legion, Perseid Press
10. Loneliness Makes the Loudest Noise, Monica J. O'Rourke, HW Press
11. Death of the Spider, Micki Peluso, Chase Enterprises Publishing 
11. Butcher, Carrie Lynn Barker, The Foliata Oak
12. The Dying House, B.E. Scully, Anthocon
13. Haunt, Jeffrey Kosh, Grinning Skull Press
13. Darkness, Darkness, Fred Andersen, Uncial Press
13. What About Mom?, E. J. Ruek, Chase Enterprises Publishing14. Highway 24, Jeff Chapman, MuseItUp Publishing
14. Devil Inside, William Cook, King Billy Publications
14. Forever, in Pieces, Kurt Fawver, Villipede Publications
15. I Live in the Gut, Gary McMahon, Crystal Lake Publishing
15. Welcome to Hell, CK Houghton, Wordsmith Literary Publishers
15. I Sea Monsters, Paul Copeland, J. Ellington Ashton Press
15. Eat Shit and Die, Frank J Edler, StrangeHouse Books
15. The Unknown Caller, Craig D. B. Patton , Anthocon
15. Dead Jimmy and the Selkie, Iseult Murphy, Drabblecast
15. Drowning in Tears, Stephen Zimmer, Hellscapes Volume 1, from Seventh Star Press
15. Ten to Midnight, Suzie & Bruce Lockhart, Horrified Press
15. The Ghouls, Jarod Anderson, The Were-Traveler
15. The Infestation, Kay Jakabs, SNM Horror Magazine
15. Coffin Dirt, Tom Wescott, Mystery and Horror, LLC
15. Shock Therapy, Sam Bellotto Jr, Double Dragon Publishing
15. The Final One Percent, Desmond Warzel, Blood Bound Books

Standings for All other Short Stories

1. Of Jasmine and Pomegranate, Mike Arsuaga, Boroughs Publishing Group
2. Zvonek 08 Feline Intelligence, Anne H Petzer, Gypsy Shadow Publishing
3. Det. Lupèe: The Impossible Cases, James Secor, Chase Enterprises Publishing
4. Lies and Paine, Cyrus Keith, MuseItUp Publishing
5. What the Indian Saw, Teel James Glenn, Pro Se
6. The Midnight Zone, Elizabeth Delisi, Tirgearr Publishing
7. Love Potion #9.5, Kat Holmes, MuseItUp Publishing
7. Ritual, Salvatore Buttaci, All Things That Matter Press
7. Love and Other Wounds, Jordan Harper, Out of the Gutter Online
8. A Christmas Accident, Melissa Keir, Secret Cravings Publishing
8. The Only Gifts We Give, Ian Florida, Every Day Fiction
8. Rags to Riches, Penny Estelle, MuseItUp
9. Forbidden Destiny, Lia Michaels, Sassy Vixen Publishing LLC
10. The Winggirl, Whitley Weston, Secret Cravings Publishing, 10. Daddy's Girls, Josie Coxx, Pole Publishing

Standings for Anthologies

1. The Soul That Screamed, Horrified Press
2. Nightmare Stalkers & Dream Walkers, Horrified Press
3. The Best of the Horror Society 2013, The Horror Society Press
4. The Speed of Dark, Chase Enterprises Publishing
5. Allegories of the Tarot, Word Webber Press
6. Sharedc Whispers, Champagne Books
6. Dreamers in Hell, Perseid Press
7. Fresh Fear: Contemporary Horror, James Ward Kirk Publishing
8. Dandelions of Mars; Tribute to Ray Bradbury, Whortleberry Press
9. Twisted Tails VII: Irreverance, Double Dragon Publishing
10. Still Dying 2, Rymfire Books
11. The Art of Love, Whiskey Creek Press
11. Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera for a New Age, Every Day Publishing
12. Eulogies II: Tales from the Cellar, HW Press
13. Someone Wicked, Smart Rhino Publications
13. Shall We Dance?, Dancing With Bear Publishing
14. 'Tis the Season for Seduction, Sassy Vixen Publishing LLC
14. Bleed, Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing
14. Enter At Your Own Risk: Dark Muses, Spoken Silences, Firbolg Publishing
14. Tales from the SFR Brigade, SFR Brigade
14. The Crimson Rope, Evernight Publishing
15. Horror Library Vol. 5, Cutting Block Press
15. Persephone's Song Anthology, Keith Publications
15. Shifty, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
15. Gingersnaps & Candy Canes, Dancing With Bear Publishing
15. Shifters: A Charity Anthology, Hazardous Press
15. After Death..., Dark Moon Books
16. Harboring Secrets, Cherokee McGee
16. Until The End, Horrified Press
16. Mechanized Masterpieces: A Steampunk Anthology, Xchyler Publishing
17. Fear the Reaper, Crystal Lake Publishing
17. Shadow Masters an anthology from The Horror Zine, The Horror Zine
17. Murder, Madness, and Mystery, Feed The World With Words
17. Naughty Sleepover, Decadent Publishing
17. O Little Town of Deathlehem, Grinning Skull Press
17. Roses Are Red, Diamonds Are Blue, Muse It Up
17. Southern Haunts: Spirits That Walk Among Us, Seventh Star Press
17. Zippered Flesh 2: More Tales of Body Enhancements Gone Bad!, Smart Rhino Publications
17. DOA 2 : Extreme Horror Collection, Blood Bound Books
18. 31 Devotions for Writers, Family Friendly Fiction
18. The Demonolgia Biblica, Western Legends Press
18. Best Tales of the Apocalypse, Permuted Press
18. What We Carry Home, Ascent Aspirations Publishing
18. Falling Over, Infinity Plus
18. Wee See a Different Frontier, Publishing
18. Doorways to Extra Time, Spencer Hill Press
18. A Dash of Madness: A Thriller Anthology, Xchyler Publishing
18. Unidentified Funny Objects 2, UFO Publishing
18. Tales of the Wold Newton Universe, Titan Books
18. Blood Addict, Excessica
18. For the NIght is Dark, Crystal Lake Publishing
18. The Other Half of the Sky, Candlemark & Gleam
18. All Hallows' Evil, Mystery and Horror LLC

Standings for Book/e-book Cover Artwork

1. Fantastic Futures 13, Roy Mauritsen
2. Walker's Run A Sanctuary Novel, Book One, Marion Sipe
3. Echoes, Charlene A. Wilson
4. Relics, Maer Wilson
5. Enchanted Skean, Vonnie Winslow Crist
6. Dark Liaison, J.D. Brown
7. An Alexandria Winter Anthology, 2013, Renée Barratt
8. Second Time's the Charm, Melissa Keir
8. A Wandering Warrior, Aidana WillowRaven
8. Cardinal Desires, Deron Douglas
9. Four Days, Eli Wilde
9. Faizah's Destiny, C.K. Volnek
10. The Soul That Screamed, Jude Hunt
11. Sirion, Ivano Massari
12. Mortimer, Karri Klawiter
12. Someone Wicked, Cover art by Jamie Mahon, Design by Amy York
12. Blame it on the Sun by Jamie Hill, Cover art by Michelle Lee
12. Harper's Wish, Krista Ames
12. Itsy Bitsy Spider, Kimberly Shursen
12. In This Kingdom by the Sea, Cover Art by Bev Haynes
13. Haunted Hills, Judith B. Glad
13. Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera For a New Age, Paul Pedersen
13. soundbyte, Cat Connor
13. Detour Trail, Becca Barnes
13. Winter's Sweet Kiss, Annabelle Blume, Lily Carlyle, Shaya Roy, Michelle Ziegler, Terri Rochenski
14. Blood and Fire, Ally Shields
14. Code Name:Ghost, Natasza Waters
14. Det. Lupèe: The Impossible Cases, James Secor
14. ORACLE, Delilah K Stephans
15. Fresh Fear: Contemporary Horror, William Cook
15. She Rides, Adelle Laudan
15. Scent of a Killer, Covers By StruZa
15. Magic in Outer Space, James Hartley
15. Memoirs of a jobseeker, Ivano Massari
15. The Rules, Mark Troy
15. The Partisan's Wife, Cover art by Michelle Lee
15. Breaking Glass, Lisa Amowitz
15. Christmas Goes Green, Kate Pagel
15. Mai Tais and Mayhem, M. S. Spencer Cover art by Dawne Dominique
15. Quest of the Hart, C.K. Volnek
16. Shh! It's a Secret, Geoffrey Hewer-Candee
16. Mystical Wonders - Second Chances, Dawne Dominique
16. A MARRIAGE BARGAIN, Blaise Kilgallen
16. The Dsiappearing Rose, Renee Duke
16. Adam and Sheree's Family Vacation, Giselle Renarde
16. The Finder Series, Renee Barratt
16. STORYTELLING - The Indispensable Art of Entrepreneurism, Rudy A. Mazzocchi
16. Payton's Woman by Marilyn Yarbrough, Cover art by Sheri McGathy
16. The Speed of Dark, Zentao
16. The Antique Love, C.K. Volnek
16. The Storm-Wing, Lorinda J. Taylor
16. Karma Visited, Chelle Cordero
16. Severed Ties, Angie Skelhorn
16. Outmaneuvered, J.L. Hammer
16. China Blue, Kat Attalla
16. Allegories of the Tarot, Kris Austen Radcliffe
16. Country Captured, S. Willett
16. Anything You Want, Dawne Dominique
16. Anselm, a Metamorphosis, Ardy Scot
16. The Protector Series (Books 1-3), Carolyn Wren, Design by Dawné Dominique
The Speed of Dark Wins
Readers' Favorite International
Bronze Award for Fiction Anthology

The Speed of Dark Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite
“The Speed of Dark” is a horror anthology of short stories written by an assortment of authors, and published by Chase Enterprises Publishing. Editor Clayton Clifford Bye states in his Introduction that “horror” means many things to different people. It can mean an intense feeling of fear or shock or disgust. It can mean terror, dread and fright. He quotes Lovecraft as defining horror as a profound sense of dread. He quotes Stephen King as identifying three levels of “scary”, terror, horror, and revulsion. In “The Speed of Dark” the editors were going for a different level of horror, they hand-picked 27 authors to craft “disturbing” horror stories. They succeeded admirably. Don’t expect to sleep well after reading this book. Some of these stories will stay with you for a long, long time, continuing to disturb you long after you have read them. Many of the tales in this collection are superbly written. They also happen to be very disturbing. One can be forgiven for wondering about the mental state of some of these authors. But for a fan of horror, there is much to revel in within the pages of this compilation. I believe that every word used above to describe “horror” represents an emotion you will feel during the course of reading this book. Some of the stories have unexpected endings, which create the horror you will feel. Others start out with disturbing circumstances, and maintain that sensation of uncomfortable dread throughout. The editors at Chase Enterprises Publishing have tapped some brilliantly twisted minds to contribute to their anthology. In their effort to produce “disturbing” horror stories they have succeeded far beyond what I expected, even in spite of the introductory warning. Horror fans take note, “The Speed of Dark” is a book you must add to your library. Now.

For more of Clayton Bye's writing, visit his website or become a fan.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Year    Page Views
2002    (150)
2004    (1597)
2005    (7985)
2006    (21738)
2007    (18494)
2008    (48286)
2009    (80709)
2010    (126264)
2011    (103053)
2012    (154259)
2013    (172573)

For more of Clayton Bye's writing, visit his website or become a fan.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Det. Lupèe: The Impossible Choices

Now available through Ingram, Amazon & many other distributors!

7 strangely different detective stories from an author who has devoted his career to the understanding of language and how it works in the theatre and in his other stories. 
This is writing the way it's supposed to be.

ISBN: 978-1-927915-004
5" x 7" mass market paperback
234 pages

For more of Clayton Bye's writing, visit his website or become a fan.