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Blood Lite II: Overbite Paperback – September 28, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Original edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439187657
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439187654
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.5 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,617,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jordan Summers has twenty-nine published books to her credit and has sold over 120,000 ebooks. She is a member of the Horror Writer's Association, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers Inc., and Novelist Inc. You can find out more about her work at jordansummers.com. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.



Dark Carbuncle

KEVIN J. ANDERSON AND JANIS IAN

A graveyard. Night. Lurid branches scrabble across the blood-red moon. Silence, whispers, then a hush of anticipation. Fifteen boom boxes encircle a grave. Giant woofers (removed just that morning from an unsuspecting car) sit with bass ends flat against the massive gravestone.

Here at peace at last lies Thor

Troubled by the Dark no more

The four aging fans in attendance for the midnight show—the ritual—had polished their studs, mangled their hair, added dye where needed and bleach where not. They wore their finest black leather, but left the jackets open to expose too-small T-shirts from concerts past, fabric memories that paid homage to their hero’s mind-blowing shows, when he’d been alive. Thor. The writer of the greatest song in the history of mankind.

“Man, we really should have put a line from ‘Dark Carbuncle’ on his tombstone instead,” Conk said. “I mean, so everybody could see his genius for all eternity.” His given name was William, and he went by the handle of “William the Conqueror” from some impressive historical guy, though most of his friends didn’t get it. They thought “Conk” just meant he liked to bash things.

“Anybody can hear his genius just by playing the song, shithead,” said Kutfist, ending with the sharp sneer he’d practiced all week. “Trust me, we didn’t want to deal with the rights issues.”

“Yeah but, dude, ‘Dark Carbuncle’ is an awesome song, right?” said Dredd, and though he’d said it many times before, nobody disagreed. Especially not on this night of nights.

The lone girl in the group, swaying to the music of a silent song, twisted a lock of hair around her finger. “Kinda creepy, ya think?” Despite the spiderweb tattooed on her chin, Longshanks was always the first to back away from anything remotely disturbing. “I mean, we’re raising him from the dead. . . .” Her voice trailed off.

“God, lighten up, ’shanks. You’ve been this way since grade school. What can he do to us? He’ll be in our power.” Sneering, Kutfist turned toward the others with a shrug. Women. Jeez.

“Yeah, and ‘Dark Carbuncle’ is such an awesome song. . . .” Dredd’s usual sentence trailed off as a cloud covered the moon.

“It has to be tonight, on the anniversary,” said Conk with finality as he connected the last of the speakers. The Wikipedia entry had been very specific on that point.

Kutfist scanned the graveyard in disappointment. “I can’t believe we’re the only ones here. Elvis gets tons of fans on his Death Day every year!”

“Elvis fans don’t know that ‘Dark Carbuncle’ is an awesome song,” Dredd assured him. “Or they’d be here.”

Longshanks tugged harder on her hair. “And what’s he gonna look like with a fractured skull, Kut? I mean, part of his head might be gone. Ecchhh.

Kutfist pushed his trifocals farther up his nose. “Shut up, ’shanks. The man was a god. That last show we saw was unbelievably amazing. He’d never have killed himself, never. We can finally find out the truth now, so just stop worrying and shut up.”

Nodding, Conk stood up. Brushing leaves off his hands, he pulled a few folded sheets from the back pocket of his jeans and handed them each a paper with the lyrics printed backward phonetically. That was the worrisome part. They knew the lyrics forward well enough to sing them the required seven times, but the backward part made Conk nervous. “We’ve gotta get it right, or we’ll end up raising Frank Sinatra or something. Seriously, you can’t be too careful with the Dark Side. Don’t screw it up.”

With tears in his eyes and excitement in his heart, he reached down to the nearest boom box and pushed PLAY.

Thor opened what was left of his eyes and knew he wasn’t in the Ritz. It had been a long time since he’d stayed in high-class hotels on tour, and now suddenly he experienced a flashback rush of the last images he remembered.

A motel room, after the show, his ears still ringing from feedback and amps turned up to eleven. Used to be his ears would ring from the screaming fans . . . used to be all-night parties, used to be groupies and sex—but the groupies were not as attractive now, and Viagra could only do so much. Ditto the gigs, no more backstage excitement when Mick visited, no more telling the roadie to bring the chick from row five back to the luxe hotel. Now, a gig was just a gig, something to get through until he figured out what to do with the rest of his life.

He hadn’t slept a full night in months—years—and now somebody was playing that damned song so loud it echoed right through the walls of this fleabag purgatory of a room. Where the hell was this?

Thorton Velbiss—Thorny to his friends (not many of those), Thor to his fans (not many of those either)—was not having a good day. First, that pounding bass drum was unacceptable. The only noise he wanted to hear with this kind of hangover was the sound of vodka over ice. Second, his fucking hit record from two decades ago was playing, with the bass booming so wide he could swear the damned thing was sitting on his face. The only time Thor would tolerate listening to “Dark Carbuncle” was onstage, during a show, when he lip-synched his way through it for an audience of haphazardly fat metal-heads bent on reliving their youth.

I was ferocious back then, ya know? Really fero. And taller, I think. Maybe just skinny. Now I have to wear a corset. Still, I had a hell of a good run. Just one hit, but it kept me in chicks and booze. . . .

Fuck, no, it’s a horrible song. Piece of shit me and Dirk the Drummer whipped up one night while we were wanking off. Farthest wank got to title the song. He won.

I hate that fucking song.

’Sides, I can’t hit that high note, never could. Brought a ringer into the studio, never thought it’d be a hit. We had great shit on the album, great shit . . . and all anybody ever wants to hear is “Dark dark dark. Dark dark dark. Dark dark dark, I’m a da-da-da-da-carbuncle.”

Makes you want to puke.

Gotta lip-synch it now anyway, can’t even hit the low notes. At least I remember the words. Stupid effing words—even I don’t know what they mean. Last time I saw the big El, Scotty Moore had to hand him the lyrics to “Love Me Tender.” Speaking of hand . . . hand me that vodka, wouldya?

He’d forgotten there wasn’t anybody here. What the hell, he’d serve himself.

He’d been an altar boy in his youth, a good little Catholic, though that was part of his secret past. The headbangers would never understand it. He hadn’t prayed in . . . what? Thirty years? Not since he’d picked up a Les Paul, plugged it in, and let wail.

Now, as he felt around for the bottle, trying to shake the cobwebs out of his head, he wondered who’d have the nerve to play that scrotum of a song right on top of his room. Boom boom boom. Trying to shut out the sound, he drifted back to the last gig.

It was like reliving a nightmare over and over again, singing that song every night. His agent said this tour could maybe revive his career (but then, he always said that)—opening for some fifteen-year-old one-hit wonder. At least if there was any justice in the world, it should have been one hit, but the kid was coming off his fourth top ten record. Turned out he was a metal fan, though, and loved “Dark Carbuncle” (and wasn’t that embarrassing), and demanded Thor as his opener (though what his Top 40 demographic would make of it, only God knew).

Thor had checked into the motel under a fake name, just in case anybody noticed. Grabbed a quick nap (not that the fans needed to know about that either!), packed his crotch, hit the lobby. Out by the kid’s tour bus, a few rabid Thor fans began jumping up and down, one paunchy guy with dreadlocks yelling “Dude! Dude! ‘Dark Carbuncle’ is an awesome song!” Thor stopped to see if they wanted autographs and noticed that two of them wore pizza delivery uniforms.

“How should I make this out?” he asked a girl with a weird chin tattoo. Glancing at her name tag, he hazarded a guess. “To Tiffany?”

The girl went beet red. “Uh, no, Longshanks—just make it to Longshanks.”

He smiled inwardly, but outwardly gave her the long, slow I could change your life, babe! look. She brightened and giggled at her friends. At least he’d made somebody’s day.

On to the show, which sucked. Of course. How the hell can anyone play music at two in the afternoon, under a wide open sky, looking out at a bunch of hayseeds whose big weekend excitement was probably going to be the pig race? Real waste of Oreos, that one. He sped through the set, not even bothering with the pyro at the end, sneering when people applauded the opening chords of “Carbuncle.” Idiots.

I used to dream about being a Beatle, you know? Back in the day, I played the Garden. Twice. Well, only once as the lead act, but still. Alice Cooper, Ozzie, Rob Zombie, they had nothing on me. Eating a live bat, hell—I used to shove worms up my nose, just to line the coke! Now look at me . . . playing some friggin’ rodeo for a hundred bucks. Pathetic, that’s what it is.

Why couldn’t I have died young, in a private plane crash? At least that would be a respectable ending.

Afterward, back at the motel—still daylight out!—he drank most of the quart of Stoli that Mr. Four-Hit-Wonder...


Customer Reviews

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I really liked some of the stories in this book.
bookworm36
Dark humor can make even a horrifying subject enjoyable, and some of these stories are so dark that they border on twisted!
Alexia
I also found most if these were more paranormal than out and out blood and gore horror.
Jennifer Moss

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alexia VINE VOICE on January 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
Another great anthology, this time from the Horror Writers Association. The theme for this anthology is dark humor, which is one of my favorites! Dark humor can make even a horrifying subject enjoyable, and some of these stories are so dark that they border on twisted!

Don't think there's a weak story in this collection, but some of them just aren't my taste. I can still appreciate them though, so think this is a great collection! My favorites are Dark Carbuncle by Kevin J Anderson and Janis Ian (a rock & roll singer's worst nightmare); Tails by John R Little (I always wanted a tail!); and A Wing and a Prayer by Sharyn McCrumb (college dean appoints an unusual dept chairman). And we get a great story featuring Hope and Karl from the wonderful Kelley Armstrong! While Clay and Elena are my favorites, Hope and Karl are pretty good too.

So if you want a taste of some darkly humorous tales, then I can highly recommend this collection! There's a little bit of everything in this anthology, so you're sure to find something you like!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TW Brown, Author, Editor, and Reviewer on January 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Blood Lite II: Overbite Edited by Kevin J Anderson

Reviewing anthologies is a tricky thing. Reviewing one that consists solely of writers from the HWA...well, it's not a problem unless you're a fledgling member wondering how unlikely it is that you come away without alienating somebody. Regular readers of my reviews have come to expect an honest appraisal of the tomes I peruse and wax expositorily about. In plain speak: I don't pull punches regardless if you are a friend or contributor to my own label. And I don't hold back praise just because I don't like you.
Front to back, Blood Lite II: Overbite, edited by Kevin J Anderson has something for everybody. There are names you will be familiar with and others that you will be glad you were introduced to in thei cornucopia of darkly humorous tales. Personally, I'd buy this book just because of the cover.

Dark Carbuncle by the editor, Kevin J Anderson and Janis Ian, while not a pure zombie story, is a chuckle-worthy tale that will make you feel sorry for your favorite rockstar/band.

Death and Taxes by Heather Graham (Not Rollergirl from Boogie Nights...stupid me, I checked.) was fun in an icky way.

Table for Two by Jeff Ryan was one of my top five favorites and not recommended reading if you're sipping a bowl of soup while thinking that it would be a good idea to get in some light reading during your lunch break.

Treatment by J.A. Konrath was my introduction to a writer I've read about, but never actually read. The highest compliment I can ever pay is that this makes me want to read more of his stuff. (And there's lots!)

Dead Clown Séance by Christopher Welch. Undead Clowns. What else is there to say?
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laurie A. Brown VINE VOICE on April 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is an anthology of never before published stories in the unusual genre of `humorous horror". Zombies, vampires, werewolves, demons, ghouls, and assorted monsters- some original- populate the book. As in any collection, the stories are uneven. Some are ironic, some made me laugh out loud, some made me go "Huh?" But it was a perfect, easy to read but engaging companion for a day on the sofa with the flu- although you might want to remember that this recommendation is coming from someone who things `Shaun of the Dead' is a classic movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amy Gatten on January 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
Good, short stories in this anthology. Loved the Mythos stories. Not every story is vampires.

Well written & edited. Nice to have new fiction in a collection like this (31 stories), especially being introduced to authors (new to me, at least).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kazza on July 10, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I took this one for a long car ride to the beach. It was just the perfect thing to pick up and be able to put down during stops and pauses to cool off in the sun! Not all of these stories were mind-blowers, but there were a few that really amused me (Her Lucky Day, Daycare of the Damned)and some authors who were new to me that I added to my list to check out later. The big names (Kelley Armstrong, L.A. Banks, Scott Nicholson)do not disappoint in this one. Recommended highly for light entertainment!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Moss on February 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
It took me quite some time to work my way through these short stories. It was most certainly not because they were bad...they were all incredibly good! Unfortunately, I had some reviews to finish before I could give all my attention to this one. (Okay, I've cheated. I still have three reviews to do, but soaking in a bath is more conducive to paperbacks than iPads!) I love horror short stories! There's something amazing about the briefness and knowing you can knock off a few quick stories before turning in for the night. They tend to be less simply written like some of the older horror novels, and usually include less gratuitous sex for the 18 year olds who curl up under the covers with a flashlight and the older horror novels.

This was a great anthology with some super-genius names like: L.A. Banks, Jeff Strand, Heather Graham, Allison Brennan, J.A. Konrath and Kelley Armstrong. I thoroughly enjoyed that almost all of these had a hint of humour, which I adore in my horror. I also found most if these were more paranormal than out and out blood and gore horror. It made a very nice change.
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