How I Read

Special Guest Post by Victor Catano

First off, thanks to the fabulous Ms. Monroe for having me. I signed with Red Adept Publishing in early 2015, and Katrina Monroe’s Sacrificial Lamb Cake was the next book that they released.

I bought a copy, and was immediately dazzled by the fantastic characters in the story about the Lamb of God coming to earth. Rain Johnson, the indifferent messiah, and Jude, the one time betrayer of Jesus trying to set things right by guiding her, were especially vibrant. And that’s not to mention the wonderful characters of Rain’s mother and sister and lover.

For me, that’s the main thing I look for in books when I’m reading. Vivid, memorable characters. I am drawn to great characters and that is what makes me return to a series again and again.

This is not to say that plot is unimportant. A great plot twist – one that is truly unexpected – is an amazing pleasure to read. But, to quote Harlan Ellison, there are only two plots. The hero goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town. It’s the characters that make me want to read more.

To give you a personal example, I read a lot of mystery and thriller series. I’ve read about 35 Spenser novels from Robert Parker, all the Stephanie Plums from Janet Evanovich, almost every one of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series and Michael Connelly’s Lincoln Lawyer and Harry Bosch books. All of these books bring me great joy to read, but not all of them are finely tuned plot machines.

Take Spenser, my Mom’s favorite detective and one she introduced me to. She tried like heck to get me hooked on Robert Heinlein, but it never quite took. Spenser, though! The cool, Boston PI with the dry wit and a strong jab! A man’s man, he could beat you up and then cook a three course meal to celebrate. Add to this his friend, Hawk –  a self described Nubian who jokes and banters with Spenser but can be a no-nonsense killer when needed – and Susan Silverman, a Jewish psychiatrist, is Spenser’s girlfriend and also his conscience. The interactions between the three of them are what gives the books their charm.

The plots are often interchangeable. Spenser is in his office, either drinking coffee or watching the girls walk by, when a poor naif comes in with a sob story of injustice. Said naif can only pay him a token fee or a box of donuts. Spenser’s inner sense of decency is piqued, investigating ensues, quips are quipped, heads are beaten. (You get the idea.) The reason I’ve read 35 or so of these books (including a couple of the ‘estate sanctioned’ ones cranked out after Parker’s death) is because I love these guys. I love Spenser’s quips. I love Hawk’s banter. I…tolerate the part in every book where Spenser declares that his love for Susan is More Real and Stronger because they aren’t married and don’t live together. I love the way the character goes about investigating. It’s a visit with friends, but with more punching. (I assume. I can’t speak for your gatherings.)

And that’s important because when you’re reading book six out of forty, it kind of lessens the suspense about whether or not Spenser will escape from the villain’s clutches. Unless Spenser is a ghost detective for books 7-40 (Spoiler: He’s not.), you can be confident he’ll escape without too much damage. While I, of course, would like the plot to be interesting I also want to see how the characters react to a new situation.

Interestingly, if you ask Spenser fans what their least favorite books in the series are, I’d wager it’d be the ones about ten books in where Susan leaves Spenser (A Catskill Eagle) because of an infidelity of his. (A Savage Place) These plots are very different. The characters are in incredibly different environments, and it’s uncertain if things can be repaired between them.

And I hated them. Hated. Hated that Spenser would have an affair with a TV reporter (that he tries to justify by saying it’s not really a betrayal). Hated that Susan would run off to ‘find herself.’ Hated that she would then need to be rescued by Spenser because she started dating a new guy who had a criminal background. HATED.

Now, am I an indiscriminate reader? Do I hate being challenged? Do I only want happy endings?

No. I hated these books BECAUSE they were a betrayal of the characters. They were acting in ways that they didn’t normally act by being stupid, insensitive and careless. In fact, one of the better Spenser books is Small Vices, where Spenser gets shot by an assassin and spends a good part of the book with Hawk and Susan while they try to rehabilitate him. This is a very different plot than usual and works wonderfully because of the characters. There are whole chapters where Hawk is trying to get an exhausted Spenser to run up a hill. That’s it, and it’s fantastic. It works because it showcases how much hawk and Susan love Spenser in different ways, and how much Spenser relies on both of them despite his tough guy front.

I’m sure everyone can name an instance where characters they loved started acting cuckoo crazy. I always think of Hannibal, the long awaited sequel to Silence of the Lambs. The book chugs along nicely until the ending, where Clarice and Lecter declare their love for each other and run away to Argentina to go tango dancing. (Really. For once, the movie ending is about a million times better.)

So that’s me. I’ll put up with familiar plot lines so long as I have characters that I’m drawn to. (There’s a reason I’ve seen hundreds of Law & Order episodes with identical plots, and his name is Detective Lenny Briscoe.) I’m a sucker for a great character. That’s why I keep bugging Katrina to write more about Rain Johnson. (Not yet? How about now? Now?)

Victor Catano lives in New York City with his wonderful wife, Kim. When not writing, he works in live theater as a stage manager, light designer, and technical director, working mainly with dance companies. His hobbies include coffee, Broadway musicals, and complaining about the NY Mets and Philadelphia Eagles.

41kyuzrgaol Many thanks to Victor Catano for visiting with the Dolls today. For some serious giggles, check out Victor’s book, Tail and Trouble.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now he’s made us curious. How do you read?

March Madness

By Renee Miller

Happy end of February, Dolls! It’s almost March, and that means one more month of dreary awfulness (for Canadians like me anyway). To brighten these damp, cold, warm, cold, last snow bullshit, and then more damp, cold, warm weeks, we thought why not toss you guys some awesome goodies?

So, we’re lining up some bookish giveaways to keep you happy while you huddle in your snuggy waiting for Spring to just get here already.

First, Katrina Monroe is giving away a paperback copy of ALL DARLING CHILDREN, which is the best thing ever for dark fantasy and fairy tale fans. It’s not your mama’s Peter Pan. (Just in case you thought it was a sweet retelling. It’s not.)

adc

Katrina Monroe

My second story in DarkFuse’s Erotikos series, INVASION, will be live at DarkFuse Magazine near the end of March, so I’m giving away one limited edition hardcover of the collection. Now, this isn’t released until April 25th, so the lucky winner will have to wait until then to claim their prize.

erotikos

I’ve also revamped Mind Fuck with a new title and cover. MAD will be on sale for 99 cents via Kindle for the first week of March. Why the change? It’s hard to find folks willing to promote it with “Fuck” on the cover, so I’m trying something new, because why not? The same story, different packaging. I’ll be giving away a couple of digital copies of that as well.

mad-kindle

And C.M. Saunders will be giving away his latest offering, X: SAMPLE, full of deliciously dark short stories you can read in a single sitting. (Great for those of you who have to hide from the little minions to get a few pages read.)

x-sample

We’ve got other goodies planned as well, so like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter for these additions. We’ll be sharing the giveaways, as well as what we’re going to make you do to enter (don’t worry, it’s mostly sharing, trivia and hash tags, maybe a blood sacrifice or whatever, no big deal) as each giveaway is launched.

 

 

Drunk Book Reviews: Cult of Kill Volume 1

by Renee Miller and Captain Morgan

So, Katrina had an idea, and we always play along. Welcome to the first edition of drunk book reviews. We plan to run a couple of these every month. They won’t be as long as this one, we hope, but you can’t make drunk people follow rules. And each review will be a podcast for now, because we sound bad enough, we don’t need you seeing the total shit show. Cool? Awesome.

In this installment, Renee drank a lot of rum really fast, and then she reviewed Cult of Kill, by Patrick Kill. Because you’ll be wondering, there are some images below that will make sense when you listen to the review. Enjoy.

 

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And, Sullivan…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filling Your Niches

 

by Renee Miller

Many of us here at Deviant Dolls write in what are called “niche” genres. A niche genre is one that appeals to a small, specialized reader base. So, unlike something like romance, which has thousands and thousands of loyal readers, our genres attract a fraction of that number. And traditional publishers don’t go gaga over such books. Yeah, they want you to write something original and new, but not too original or new. They need to have somewhere to put it. If they can’t find the shelf your book belongs on, it’s a marketing problem. Plus, a fraction of thousands is not as good as thousands. It’s risky. Publishers are businesses, so this is understandable. Frustrating, but sensible if you’re looking at things from their point of view.

Just wish they’d stop asking for all this newness if they don’t want it. *grumbles*

I’m joking. Mostly. So, why would we choose to write in genres with such limited sales potential? Well a number of reasons.

First, a niche genre doesn’t mean you won’t sell just as much as someone writing in a popular or “commercial” genre. I mean, consider how many authors are out there writing the popular stuff in the first place. Spread those many readers out across those many authors, and the numbers aren’t so staggering for individual authors.

Second, I’ve found that these niche genres have the most loyal readers ever. This means, if they like what you’ve got, they’ll keep coming back, because it’s hard to find what they like. And they don’t mind paying. There are a lot of readers out there who’ve grown accustomed to the freebie. They expect it. Nothing wrong with that. We writers have created that expectation, so it’s our own fault. However, fans of niche genres like bizarro, erotic horror, absurdist comedy, slipstream and the like, know that it’s tough to find well written books that appeal to them, so they see value in it. When a reader sees what you’re offering as valuable, the freebie thing becomes less important.

Third, it’s fun. The most exciting part of publishing today is that we can bend and break genre lines. There are a bazillion sub-genres out there, and authors are creating new ones every day. Are they going to be bestsellers? Probably not. I mean, selling is the really tough part of publishing. However, it doesn’t mean they won’t sell. You can experiment. Have fun with your settings, themes, characters, etc. This experimenting helps us learn and evolve, and eventually, find the genre (niche or otherwise) where we excel.

I love writing weird stuff. If it’s strange or uncomfortable, I’m your girl. I also love writing sex scenes. Is that weird? Probably. I love writing about themes that are uncomfortable and using bizarre characters or situations. The more “WTF” or “OMG, no!” a story is, the more fun I have writing it. I’m not much for the butterflies and rainbows or the happy ending. What I’ve written previously that includes such things was a chore to write. I struggled to make it be what I was told it should be to “fit.” Sometimes I love writing tried and true stuff, but my “muse” is only truly satisfied when I’m going to an extreme of some kind. I like being a little uncomfortable with what I’m writing. Makes me more productive.

At Deviant Dolls, we chose to embrace genre straddling (and genre breaking) authors, because we believe in fiction that challenges the reader to think in new ways. We believe entertainment is valuable and so is allowing the reader to escape into a world that asks only that they buckle in and enjoy the ride. We love readers who beg to be scandalized, horrified, and/or tickled until they wet themselves. Niche genres make it easy to do this. Maybe, one day, these niche genres will become part of the norm. (Exciting) It’s more likely they won’t. That’s cool too.

Because we’re always looking for new ways to keep our readers happy, we’re curious: What’s your favorite niche and is it being filled? (Pun intended, because puns area great.)

Neither Here, Nor There

It’s a little late for a Happy New Year post, but happy New Year anyway. This week, we’re all fat and lazy, because of the holidays, so we decided instead of a thought provoking post on this or that, we’d just amuse you with a story. Enjoy.

Neither Here, Nor There

By Renee Miller

Dave Collins died in his thirty-second year. He was masturbating at the time. The doctors agreed it was a shame it happened before orgasm. Dave didn’t mind so much. The dead could be philosophical about such things, as they were dead.

He was in his car when it happened. Parked, because he wasn’t a lunatic who’d jerk off while driving. He couldn’t do it at home, as a normal person might, because he lived with his parents. His mother still cried about the one time she caught him knocking one out in the shower. He’d been thirteen and she was supposed to knock before entering the bathroom.

Anyway, Dave pulled to the side of the road just past the gas station with the rusted out truck parked out front, but before the exit by the mini-mall where Buck Dodson drove through the donut shop window, because he’s a moron and an alcoholic. The ditch widened at this spot and sloped just enough to hide a car from passersby. He could open his pants, do his thing, enjoy several seconds of blissful relief from the stress and depression that plagued his existence before the Catholic shame kicked in and reminded him he was going straight to Hell, and get back on the road in minutes, with no one the wiser.

The day he died, Dave was running late. He told himself he didn’t have time, but his self said, “Dave, this is all we have. Life has fucked us—no, it’s sodomized us and then fucked us in our mouth with its dirty cock—and this roadside masturbation is the only joy we’ve got left. We need this.” Dave’s self told him the same thing every day at four as he approached the widened part of ditch perfect for monkey spanking. Only on the day he died, Dave approached at half past four.

If he hadn’t been running late, he’d have been back on the road and almost home when the man driving the blue Chevy pickup fell asleep and rolled it in the widened monkey-spanking section of ditch. But he was running late and the truck crushed his tiny Honda with the broken taillight and wired-shut passenger door.

And Dave died because the truck crushed his skull. Too bad the rest of the scene remained as it was before the accident. The paramedics took pictures, because obviously. He made it into a Top Ten Strangest Ways to Die article, where those pictures showed him slouched in his seat, legs spread, dick in hand, and his head a pulpy mess of brain, blood and bone.

You’d think this would be the interesting part of the story, but The Powers That Be made a clerical error.

***

“Name.”

Dave stared at the burly man standing in front of a large set of doors. He knew he died, but that was all he was sure of. Was this Heaven or Hell? His mother said nothing good came from touching your penis. He never imagined she’d be right.

“Name,” the man said again.

“David Collins.”

“Nope.”

Dave stared.

The burly man stared back.

“What does “nope” mean?”

“Negative. Not. No. Nein. Non.”

“You asked for my name, and then you said nope. What do you mean by that?”

“I said nope because you’re not on the list.”

“The list for where?”

“Here.”

“Where’s here?”

Burly man pointed to the doors.

Dave didn’t know what to do. “Should I go back?”

“Back where?”

He pointed behind him.

“Nothing back there.” Burly man said.

“But if I’m not on the list for here, then I’ll have to go back there.”

“Nothing there.”

Dave chewed his lip for a moment. “So, if my name isn’t on the list for here, what am I supposed to do?”

“Wait.”

“For what?”

“Dunno. You just wait. Now shut up, there’s a line.”

Dave didn’t see anyone behind him, but maybe everyone was invisible to everyone else when they died. He’d never died before, so he didn’t know how it all worked.

“Name.” The burly man said again.

Dave waited.

“Name.”

He smoothed his shirt, which was the same shirt he died in. It made Dave glad he died on Casual Friday. It was good last day of life shirt; comfortable, the material really breathed.

“I. Said. Name.” Burly man looked at Dave.

“I just gave you my name.”

“Name.”

“Fuck,” Dave said. “David Collins.”

“Nope.”

“We just did this.”

“Name.”

Dave stared.

“Name.”

“David Collins.”

“Nope.”

He felt a twitch near his eye. What the hell?

“Name.” The burly man’s face never changed. He didn’t smile, but he wasn’t frowning. He didn’t look at Dave, but he wasn’t exactly looking away. “Name.”

Dave sighed. “Julius Caesar.”

The man looked at the list. “How’d you get out?”

For the love of…

“They’re gonna be pissed. Get back in here. No purpose in being out there. There is nothing there and you’re supposed to be where there’s something.”

The doors opened. Dave, a little shaken, because he just lied to an angel or whatever the man was and would probably get thrown out of Heaven when the real Julius Caesar was all, “But I am me and you are you,” walked slowly toward the door.

“Haven’t got all day,” the man said.

Dave jogged over the threshold and heard the stone slabs slam shut behind him.

“Here” was a quiet street lined with trees, tiny homes and fences. He stared at the houses, which looked like cutouts of each other. They were all gray. Each had one window, a blue door, and a dog lying on the step.

“Where am I?”

“Here,” A voice said from behind him.

Dave turned. A tall woman with short black hair smiled back. “Who are you?”

“Me.”

“Okay…”

“Name?”

“David Collins.”

She stared for a moment. “No.”

“Well, I am.”

“So am I, but David Collins isn’t on the list.”

“What list?”

“The one for here.”

“Where is here?”

“Where you’re standing.”

“Oh my fucking God,” Dave said and then laughed.

“What is funny?”

“You.”

“Thank you.”

“It’s not a compliment.”

“Un-thank you.”

“If I’m not on the list, tell me what I should do.”

She shrugged. “Never met anyone who wasn’t on the list.”

Dave looked at the many houses. They stretched on and on. “What’s in the houses?”

“Afterlife.”

“In a house?”

“In most of them.”

“So if I were on the list, would I get to live in one of the houses?”

“You’re dead.”

“I know.”

“Dead people can’t live.”

“Okay,” Dave pressed his forehead. “If I was on the list, would my afterlife be in one of those houses?”

“Yes, but you’re not on the list.”

“How do I get on the list?”

“You have to die.”

“Which I did.”

“Did you?”

“Pretty sure.”

“This is most unusual.”

“Do you have a supervisor?”

“Yes.”

“Maybe he or she can shine some light on the situation?”

“Is there not enough light?” She looked around. “It is supposed to be the perfect amount of light. Not too bright. Not too dim. Just right. Isn’t it just right?”

“I meant… it’s not important. Can I talk to your supervisor?”

“You can.”

Dave waited. She stared. He waited some more. She stared some more.

“Well?” he asked.

“I am, thank you.”

“No, I mean, will you get your supervisor?”

“Sure.” She snapped a finger and a man appeared.

“This is most unusual,” the man said. He wore a black robe tied at the waist with a white rope. His red hair was disheveled, as though he’d just been roused from sleep. “Why have you brought me here?”

“David Collins wanted to talk to you.”

“David Collins is not on the list.”

“I know.”

“He can’t be here.”

“I know.”

“Why is he here?”

Dave watched the two speak their strange, vague language. He took a deep breath, held it, and then blew it out slowly. “I told the guy on the other side of the doors that I was Julius Caesar.”

“Why would you do that?” the man asked.

“Because I got tired of giving my real name and getting the same answer. Believe me, I didn’t think he’d let me in.”

“If you’re Julius Caesar, then he would most definitely let you in, because you should never have been out. Julius is well into his afterlife. If he was out, well he’d have to start again. Most inconvenient for everyone involved.”

“I’m not Julius Caesar.”

“Then why did you say you are?”

Dave was sure they were trying to make him crazy. Maybe this was Hell. His personal purgatory where he never got anywhere, just as it was in his life. Shit. He was doomed to do this forever.

“Well,” the man put his hands on his hips. “I guess you better come with me.”

“Where.”

He pointed. “Over there.”

“I thought there was nothing there.”

“Nothing back there,” the man pointed to the doors. “But there is something over there.

Dave said nothing. He followed the man ‘over there’ and suddenly he stood on a large set of stairs. “Where are we going?”

The man grumbled, but didn’t answer. He continued to climb the stairs. Dave followed, though his legs ached. How many damn stairs were there? He didn’t dare ask.

Finally, they reached the top. Dave stared at the three doors in front of them.

“Pick one,” said the man.

“Just… pick?”

“What part of ‘pick one’ is difficult to understand?”

Dave scowled. He pointed to the door in the middle. “That one, I guess.”

“No. Pick again.”

“That one.” Dave pointed to the door on the right.

“Good choice. You don’t want that one.” The man nodded toward the door on the left. “Bloody anarchists, that lot.”

“And the middle door?”

“Is in the middle.”

“But why did you say no?”

“It’s in the middle. Come on.” The man led the way through the door on the right.

Dave followed him into what looked like a large white bedroom. Well, a dormitory. There were several beds, all covered in white pillows and blankets, distributed throughout the room. No one was in any of them, though. “What’s this place?”

The man shushed him.

They walked to the far end of the room, where a man sat on a large white sofa. He had a long beard, wore a white robe, and strummed lazily on a ukulele. “Are you God?”

“Am I?” Bearded man asked.

“I asked you.”

“You did.”

Dave realized not a single person in this place would give him a straight answer.

“Eugene,” bearded man said. “Why is this person here?”

Eugene, being the man Dave had just followed, took a deep breath before answering. “So, Charlie let this guy in, because he said he was Julius Caesar, only he isn’t. He’s David Collins.”

“David Collins is not on the list.”

“I know. Anyway, so he got in, but Clare stopped him.”

“She did not,” thought Dave.

“And he demanded to speak to a supervisor.” Eugene continued.

“Ew,” bearded man frowned. “Always unfortunate when they go that route.”

“Yes,” Eugene agreed. “So anyway, after some discussion, I realized there was only one thing to do.”

“You’re right. Only one thing. This is highly unusual, but it goes to show that one must be prepared for every eventuality. I am always prepared and this is most definitely the only thing to do.”

“What is?” Dave asked.

Bearded man put up a hand. “Now, let’s start with who made the list.”

“You did.” Eugene said.

“Oh right. I did.”

“And you did not add David Collins.”

“I did not.”

“But he’s here.”

“Indeed.”

“Can’t go back there.”

“No.”

“But here is unsuitable as well.”

“Where is here?” Dave asked.

“Where you are.” Bearded man said.

“But is this Heaven or Hell?”

“Yes.”

“Which is it?”

“Which is what?”

“This place.”

“You’re most confusing. Please, close your mouth while I figure this out.”

Dave closed his mouth.

Suddenly a long piece of paper appeared in the bearded man’s hand. He stared at it, muttered, made a note with a pen that also magically appeared, and then muttered some more. Eugene chewed his fingernail as they waited, and Dave wished he’d never masturbated on the side of the road.

“Okay,” bearded man said. “I see what’s happened.”

“You do?” Dave asked.

“Oh yes, it’s right there,’ he pointed at the page. “Clear as water.”

“And?”

“Air, I guess.”

“What?”

“Air and water are both clear, mostly. Air would probably be clearer. Water can be dirty. Murky. Air is almost entirely always clear. Should’ve said that first. Avoid confusion.”

“No. I mean, what is it that’s clear?”

“The problem.”

“And what is the problem?”

“Your name, of course.”

“I don’t follow.”

“Well I’m not going anywhere so I don’t imagine you would.”

“I mean I don’t understand how my name is the problem.”

“It’s not on the list.”

“We’ve established that. Several times.”

“Take him back there.”

Eugene stopped chewing his nail. “But there’s nothing there.”

“Exactly.”

“Why would I go where there’s nothing?” Dave asked.

“Because your name is the problem.” Bearded man said. “Highly unusual, but there it is.”

“Can I die again? Because if so, I’d like you to just kill me so I can start over. This is unbearable.”

“Yes, I imagine it is.”

“Okay, back there we go.” Eugene said. “Lucky bastard.”

“Lucky?”

“Yes. There’s nothing there.”

“Why is nothing lucky?”

“Because it’s nothing.”

***

Dave opened his eyes. “Where am I?”

The same woman from here looked down on him. “You’re there.”

“But where is there?”

“It’s not here, that’s for sure.”

His head hurt. “But I was supposed to go back there.”

“And there you are.”

“Why are we still talking in circles?”

“I don’t know.”

“Can we stop?”

“Of course we can.”

“What happens now?”

“Nothing.”

“Why?”

“Because that’s what happens when you’re there and not here.”

Dave sat up. The room wasn’t dark but it wasn’t light. He sat on nothing, but there was something beneath him. Clare was there, but she wasn’t. She was sort of everywhere and nowhere. He stood. It felt weird to stand on nothing.

“What am I supposed to do here?”

“Nothing,” she said.

“I can’t do nothing forever.”

“There’s nothing to do.”

“Is this Heaven?”

“I suppose it might be.”

“I figured I’d go to Hell.”

“Well, your name wasn’t on the list.”

“That was Hell back there?”

“No, Hell is here.”

“Here?”

“Back there is nothing.”

“So that’s Hell?”

“I have no idea what that is.”

“Has to be Hell, because this whole nightmare is awful.”

“Okay.”

“But doing nothing forever isn’t good either.”

“Nothing isn’t bad or good.”

“Because it’s nothing.”

“Right.” She smiled.

“And that’s what you want me to do here?”

“There.”

“Right.”

“Yes.”

“Forever?”

“Oh no. That would be awfully dull.”

“How long do I stay, uh, there and do nothing?”

“Until your name is called.”

Dave frowned. “Fine. I don’t have much choice, I guess.”

“I’m quite jealous,” she said and then disappeared.

Dave waited fifteen minutes. He counted the seconds in his head. Finally, bored out of his mind, he opened his pants. As he touched his penis, a deep voice rumbled through the nothingness. “David Collins.”

“Yeah?”

“Come here.”

“Why?”

“Because you can’t come there.”

THE END

 

Not Quite a Fortnight of Festive Deviant Delights

That’s quite a mouthful, eh? Well, buckle up, bitches. The shit show that is our Christmas promotion begins today. Click on the festive image below to visit our event page, where all the fun begins.

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A little nervous about clicking strange links? Well, I’ll tell you what’s happening. Because Christmas is a big deal, the Dolls wanted to do something a little different from the typical virtual party. This year, we’ve concocted a game for you all to play. Winners will receive some pretty awesome prizes, and the rest of you will just have some good not so clean fun.

The event page will be open on Facebook throughout, so you’re all welcome to comment, ask questions, and play some reindeer games of your own. DDP authors will be checking the page periodically and updating prizes, maybe posting mini-games, etc.

So this time, we’re playing a game that lasts 12 days. I know, WTF, right? But listen, it’s easy. Each day of this shit show, we’re going to feature a Deviant Dolls author or a publisher/group at least one of us are affiliated with. (For example, DarkFuse is giving up a pretty awesome prize, as well as Authors & Dragons). We’ll also ask you guys three questions. The answers to those questions will be relevant to whoever/whatever is featured that way.

Rules of the Game

Follow the day’s featured author on Twitter. (So if it’s Renee’s day, you follow her on Twitter. We’ll give you the Twitter handles as well on her feature day.)

You can like their page on Facebook too, if you feel so inclined. You might also find it helpful to follow Deviant Dolls on Twitter (@DeviantDollsPub), because many clues or hints will be given there as well.

Check in here (the event page) around noon December 11th to December 22nd. On the first day, which is today, we’ll welcome everyone and try to answer any questions you might have. The game will not begin today, but there may be a couple of freebies up for grabs.

On December 12th, we’ll feature the first author, which means we’ll post the first question you must answer. These questions will be posted at the same time each day. (12:00pm EST) The clue to the answer to said question will be found within an hour of posting on the author’s (or DDP’s) Twitter page. When you think you have the answer, message us on the Deviant Dolls Facebook page, and if you’re correct, you’ll receive the second question.

Now, the second question will be a little more difficult, because you may not receive any clues to the answer, but a few of us aren’t hardasses and will leave crumbs for you on social media. Anyway, when you think you have the correct answer for question two, message us again, and if you’re correct, you’ll receive the final question.

When you have the answer to the final question, send a message again. The reader who gets all three correct answers the fastest (our messages are all time-stamped, yay, technology!) wins the prize. In the event of a tie, then we will use a skill testing question or something ridiculous to decide the winner.

When someone has won, we’ll announce it here, on this page.

On the final day, there will be no questions. It’s a day of shits and giggles on the event page, where bonus prizes for runners-up will be given, so if you want play until you’ve answered all questions, that’s fine too. Only way to be a runner up is to officially answer all questions for at least one day.

There you go. Come on over to Facebook and play with us.

 

 

 

Shrink Wrapped: Hanna Elizabeth Edition

hannaHanna may look sweet, but she’s hiding the keys to the dungeon in her bra and a shank she whittled from a baby goat femur in her hair. Don’t get to close. Don’t stick your fingers in the cage. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Probably safer to admire her from afar, like between the pages of her newest release, THE MAN UPSTAIRS.

Who do you think would be better in bed, Jennifer Lawrence or Jennifer Love Hewitt?

Since I have a HUGE crush on Jennifer Lawrence, I have to pick her. Besides, Jennifer Love Hewitt is so small and fragile looking I’m afraid I’d break her.

*See what I meant? Back away slowly. And someone grab that cardboard cutout of JLaw’s head.*

If tomorrow we got rid of Arbor day and replaced it with another pointless holiday, what would that holiday be?

My birthday, of course. That’s December 18th. You should mark that on your calendar.

*Why does it say, ‘Kill them all; Eat their souls’ the day after?*

There’s a woman standing at your door. Do you:

a) Let her in for a cuppa and your mom’s famous whiskey-soaked coffee cake

b) Giggle maniacally while your resident lizard slowly eats the dead skin from her body

c) Stare through the peep hole, slowly dwindling to madness as you realize she’s not a woman at all, but a cyborg sent to recruit you into the Tupperware Action Clan.

Definitely B. I have hundreds of lizards – they might not stop at the dead skin. I’ve trained them better than that.

oh my

*Reminds me of that scene in Goldmember. You know, with the guy who eats dead skin? WHO WANTS LUNCH?*

Tequila or Sake? Explain.

Tequila – I’m a lot more fun with Tequila. Shooters!

*Put the guns away, Forbes. She didn’t mean those shooters. I don’t think.*

Are you a hugger? Why or why not?

Yes. I am a HUGE hugger. Mostly, it’s to feel people up, but I think it’s good for the soul too.

*YOU’RE JUST TRYING TO FATTEN MINE UP SO YOU CAN STEAL IT. Don’t fucking lie to me, dear, I saw it on the calendar!*

Quick, someone grab all the sharp things—Renee, you get the chloroform—while I distract her with this pretty picture. Here, Hanna, look at the picture. NO DON’T LOOK AWAY. What do you see?

hanna-blot

I see the Predator Alien and it’s kinda creeping me the fuck out.

*Good.*

Shrink Wrapped: Frank E. Bittinger Edition

Say hello to Frank. Don’t worry. He usually doesn’t bite hard.

frankFrank is our newest member, and he’s fitting in quite well, except for that thing he does with his—never mind. Check out his most recent publication Rhayven House to get an idea of the sort of shit that rolls around his head.

We were a little nervous about digging around in there, by the way, but here goes…

Have you ever peed in the woods? Pooped? Why would you poop in the woods?

I have peed in the woods on a number of occasions. It harkens back to the pioneering spirit in all of us; however, I have never pooped in the woods. I have no explanation for this. Perhaps because whipping out one’s wiener to unleash a stream of urine is far simpler than shoving one’s pants down and squatting to void one’s bowels. And then there is also the possibility of there not being any toilet paper available in the woods and should one run the risk of using various leaves to wipe, then one runs the risk of getting poison ivy or some such on one’s asshole. And I cannot imagine how that would be pleasant in any form or fashion.

*One time, on a road trip when I was young and stupid, I peed in the woods, fell over, because I may have been drunk, and got poison ivy all over my lady bits. It’s not pleasant at all. NOT. AT. ALL. *

 How would you explain spray cheese to an alien?

Why the hell would you ask me a question about an alien? Dude, it’s like you don’t know about my overwhelming fear of being abducted in the wee hours of the morning by the goddamned Grays! What the hell?! Try to be a little more sensitive to others.

*We knew about this fear, and we told you, it’s never going to be resolved until you face it. PS: You’re scheduled for a probe at noon. Use the enema we gave you. Trust me. *

Have you ever heard people talking to you or about you when no one was present? Are you medicated?

Not only have I heard people talking to me or about me when no one else was present, but I have held entire conversations with these voices and together we can perform “Hallelujah” better than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir!

tom-hiddleston

*Note to self: Start drugging Frank’s food and drinks. Heavily. *

You’re walking down the street and see a single shoe on the sidewalk. What happened to the other shoe?

You might not believe the serendipity of you asking me this question. This just happened to me. It was a size 7 shoe with a red sole, so you know it was one of those fancy brands. I was minding my own business, just out hoping someone would fondle me without my permission, and I happened upon this mysterious shoe.  As I stood there pondering the questions of why the shoe was there, what is my place in the universe, and did the new pants I had on showcase my package as nicely as I thought they did, wouldn’t you know it?! This hot cop came to retrieve the shoe. See, it was part of a suspicious death scene and it had been left behind. Along with the one leg. What happened to the other shoe, you ask? It was picked up and taken with the other evidence at the scene to be processed. At least that’s my understanding of the situation. I really wasn’t paying too much attention to the words coming out of his month. Instead, I was just standing there having a fantasy about him.

*I bet he had a British accent. Sigh. *

And now for the sex stuff:

Have you ever paid for sex? Been paid? Do you think it’s fair to charge someone for sex? Please, explain your answer in as much detail as necessary.

I have never paid for sex. And I have never been paid for sex. I’ve always utilized a barter system, and I find that works the best in these situations. I couldn’t imagine charging someone for sex when you can utilize and exchange of goods for services. Think of the tax consequences of paying for or getting paid for sex. I mean, I can understand the write-offs you could list on your long form, but if you do it the way our ancestors would have and trade, you will totally discover bartering is the way to go. I mean, that’s what this country was built on, and that’s also why we built all those forts–so people could barter. You’d know all about this if you had only paid attention in history class or watched the History Channel once in a while.

*Personally, I’d rather be paid for sex. No trade. Cash. Up front. Thank you very much. *

Not that we need to dig any further, but we’re here now, so tell us what you see in this picture:

franks-blot

The ink blot gave me palpitations. Or, it would have if I wasn’t missing my hollow, muscular pump…and by that, I’m not referring to Christian.

nathan fillian.gif

No, it brought to mind my intense and overwhelming fear of alien abduction. Not by the Reptilians, because I’ve always been fond of reptiles and iguanas in particular, but rather by those goddamned sneaky-ass Grays. See, late at night I watch marathons of all these alien shows where victims of abduction and visitation explain how they get woken up from a sound sleep by some alien, no pun intended, noise. When they look at the clock, it’s almost always 3 AM, and then they look around their bedroom and come ultimately face to face with the Grays. So now just imagine how I feel when I get woken up by a noise I can’t explain. I sit up in the darkness and wonder what it was. Then I look over at the clock on my bedside table–on the left of the bed because only heathens keep their clock on the bedside table on the right–and see it reads 3 AM. And then I get totally terrified and close my eyes real tight and refuse to look around the room because I know all the key factors are in place and the goddamned Grays are lurking in my room to seize this opportunity to abduct me. That’s what the ink blot reminds me of.

Well then. *gets the jacket ready* Why don’t you go with Katrina to that nice, dark room over there. (Katrina, is the generator ready?) She’s going to put those nice stickers with the festive wires on your head. Yes, Christian finds those VERY hot. Go on.

Shrink Wrapped: Renee Miller Edition

(Interview conducted by Katrina Monroe)

When vodka becomes sentient and decides to drink all of US for a change, Renee Miller will be the only one left standing, provided she finds a suitable straw in time. She writes what she lives and that is Fucked Up Shit that ping-pongs between funny as hell and the kind of shit you tell your therapist about. MIND FUCK is of the former; HUNGER is of the latter.

bio-drinkingSTOP FIDGETING, Renee. I was only kidding about the vodka. OKAY. Okay. Fine. You can have some. But you have to share.

When was the last time you saw something that wasn’t there? How could you be sure it wasn’t there in the first place? What’s that pill bottle you keep shaking?

I saw something just the other day. It was a shadow, sort of. When I turned it was gone, so I assumed it wasn’t there. I guess I can’t be sure of that. Maybe my house is haunted.

What pill bottle?

*You can’t fit that entire bottle in your—okay, I guess you can. Still a shitty hiding spot.*

How would you explain ugly Christmas sweaters to an alien?

I have a hard time explaining those to myself. Should an alien ask during my pre-probe interrogation, I’d just bend over and wait.

*Standard operating procedure then, eh?*

You’re walking down the street and you see a human hand blocking a storm drain. Do you assume it’s real or fake? Why?

I assume it’s fake, so I can keep walking. Then, when I’m a safe distance away, I’ll consider that my assumption was wrong and try to figure out where it came from. I didn’t leave it there, that’s for sure and I resent the implication.

*Because you’re SO CAREFUL about your discards, right? Do we need to bring up the couch incident?*

You’re stranded on a desert island with the last five people you talked to. Cannibalism is inevitable, so let’s skip to the good stuff. Who gets eaten first?

So, I’d be stranded with you (Katrina), Christian, my daughter, a lovely woman named Laurie and Mike, who works in frozen foods at our grocery store. I won’t be eaten first, because I’m an aggressive personality and I only get worse when I’m hungry, so good luck trying to eat me, Katrina. Get that out of your head right now.

*I will not and you can’t make me.*

Christian talks fancy, so I’d like to keep him around for a while. He’d probably be second or third, depending on how he plays his cards. My daughter is obviously not on the menu, because I ruined my bikini body to give her life. Not taking it away just yet. Laurie would be chewy, so she’d have to marinate too long, and I was going to say I could never eat you, but then I laughed, because… never mind.

It’d have to be Mike. I’m sure he’ll understand.

*Working in frozen foods does give you a certain viewpoint toward life. *

Now that you’re full, it’s sexin’ time. Same five people (though I guess we’re down one, aren’t we?), which one will end up under the banana-leaf shelter for a night of grunting with you? Why?

Ha! Well, again, the kid is out. Mike’s dead, and I’m not into that shit. Laurie would probably stab me for trying, so it’s between you and Christian. How about both? Is that greedy? Come on. I bet it’d be a learning experience for all of us.

painted whore

*Unless Christian somehow grew a vagina (wouldn’t THAT be a trick), no thanks. Although, if he were to be a distant participant, VERY distant, and he closed his eyes… No. Never mind. I’ll just wait over here roasting bits of Mike thigh.*

Drop the bottle, Miller. You’re not quite done yet. Take a look at this. With both eyes, please, you’re not a fucking pirate. What do you see?

ink-blot-1

I saw this picture once of a dog costume on Amazon, but I can’t find it now. Basically, it’s a baby costume. When you put it on your dog the poor thing looks like some kind of horrific alien doll thing, and it’s pissed at you. Probably going to shit in your boots or something. Maybe eat your face off while you sleep.

*If you so much as look at my cat that way again, you and I will have words. Also, I’m pretty sure Christian is squatting over your shoe. Going to need to take care of that. No, it’s not my fault. Just go.*