Yt’z Trading Co.

As I tore my house apart, I happened to notice the clock. It was just after midnight, but sleep was the furthest thing from my mind. I needed a taste, just a little taste, just one… last… taste. The kitchen looked like a disaster movie before long, and I slowly began to accept there was no more to be had. Shrieking, clawing at my eyes, I screamed over and over, “Gold Rush! Goold Ruuush! Gooooold Ruuuuush!” I heard a voice whisper, “There’s no more Gold Rush.” Was that me? Did I say that? Had I gone insane? Crawling to the basement, I knew I had a lot to think about.

I don’t usually post about foodstuffs on this here site, but today I am compelled. Yt’z Trading Co. (pronounced “Whitey’s) is making some sauces and rubs that you need to know about right now so you can put them in your belly ASAP. These are family recipes, tweaked and refined by Yt himself, the company owner.

First, the Rubs: Between the Classic Rub and the Fire Rub, you will never go back to your old seasoning salt again. Not ever. You will forget its name. You will scoff at its label.

The Hurricane Sauce: This is an Eastern Carolina thin vinegar sauce with a sassy set of spices that are great for pork. I also recommend it for venison, chicken, burgers, brats, meatballs, and anything else you want to taste damn good. Use it as an ingredient in your Bloody Mary.

The Shark Byte Sauce: This is a Western Carolina sauce with a little extra bite. I’ve used it on venison, beef, fish, eggs, and a bunch of other stuff. When I want my sinuses opened up, this is my sauce of choice. Use it as another ingredient in your Bloody Mary.

The Gold Rush Sauce: I’ve saved my favorite for last. The Gold Rush is a South Carolina mustard-based sauce that I’ve been using on meatballs, chicken strips, burgers, brats, and dang near everything else. Now I’m down to the last half-ounce, and I can’t even bring myself to use it. What if I did? I’d be out, that’s what. It seems like a strange thing to live in fear of, you’re right. Maybe I’ll just go ahead and use the rest tomorrow, then order a new bottle like a grown-up… Maybe a whole case, so I can have a couple bottles just to sip on… GOLD RUSH!

Want my advice? Get the Combo Pack, chums. And if Yt ever invites you over for a barbecue, by God, you GO! Be ready to talk about pirates when you get there. I promise Yt will not make fun of you for licking the extra sauce off your plate.

 

All photos courtesy of Yt’z Trading Company. I didn’t make any of those dishes or take any of those photographs. I would certainly have eaten them, though.

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Is Mercedes Murdock Yardley a Secret Cannibal?

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Greetings, chums. I recently had a discussion with Mercedes Murdock Yardley that I found both fascinating and terrifying. By the end, I was left wondering… Is Mercedes Murdock Yardley a secret cannibal? Or, perhaps, an overt one? And, if so, is she planning to eat me? Here is that chilling interview:

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BMK: In most countries, it’s a crime to engage in cannibalism. What do you see as the key benefits of consuming human flesh?

MMY: There’s something to be said for not only overpowering your enemy, but then consuming his still-beating heart. It’s the ultimate in one-upmanship, and who doesn’t like to be a winner? Matt Betts, I’m coming for you! RAWWWWWWRRRR!

BMK: Cannibalism is wrong. WRONG, I SAY! If you were to cook and eat another person, how would you prepare them?

MMY: It’s absolutely wrong. Horrifically wrong.

I like my meat sweet more than savory. Since I imagine we’d be tough and stringy, I think I’d put my delicious human in a crock pot with one of my homemade orange-ginger marmalades. Cook on low for, what, twelve hours or so? Delicious Pulled-Person on a toasted sesame seed bun. And perhaps some green beans, freshly snapped.

BMK: Humans have eaten other humans for survival during crises, which I guess is okay. If your plane were to crash in the Andes, who would you want with you (so you could devour their flesh for sustenance)? Who’d be real tasty?

MMY: Oh, geeze. I’m kind of a social girl, so maybe somebody with tenacity.  That way we could talk and chatter and hike back to civilization while I eat them piece by piece. You know, somebody who would power through and limp on down with only one leg.  Liam Neeson, perhaps? Jason Statham?

BMK: Cannibalism, as abhorrent as it is, has been with mankind since the beginning. Who’s a historical figure who you would have liked to have eaten?

MMY: For some reason Cleopatra seems like she would have been tasty. Well-fed, not overworked, good sense of style. She might be my pick. If, you know, cannibalism wasn’t as wrong as it is. If I was absolutely forced to cannibalize a historic figure, naturally.

BMK: I hate cannibals. Okay, so these three guys go into a bar: a policeman, a politician, and a priest. They all sit down and put their money on the bar. Before they can order, the lights go out. A minute later, the lights come back on, and the money’s all gone. Who took the money?

MMY: I did. I’m writer. Poverty calls, my friend.

BMK: WRONG! It was cannibals! All this talk about cannibals is wearing on me because, as I may have mentioned, I hate them. Do you have any favorite cannibals?

MMY: Jeffrey Dahmer was probably my first introduction to modern cannibalism. I remember when that story broke and it was just…yikes. I couldn’t believe such a thing still happened. But the cannibal that stays with me the most, I think, is Albert Fish. He seemed to live in a daintier time. His letter to his victim’s parents was equal parts sick and elegant. He’s every parent’s nightmare. That said, I hope he burns eternally in the same oven he roasted his victim in. Tit for tat, I always say.

BMK: I would never promote cannibalism. Never. But let’s say I was gonna promote cannibalism a little. Got any ideas for potential pro-cannibalism slogans?

MMY: I think I’d go for something catchy that you could yell while driving past somebody in a car. Like “Incisors for Outsiders!” or maybe, “You Are What You Eat” with a picture of a beautiful person holding their diploma and the cure for cancer. That would appeal to our modern laziness. I can become brilliant simply by ingesting geniuses? Excellent!

BMK: What kinds of people would you NOT want to eat if you were, you know, a cannibal?

MMY: I think I’d tend not to cannibalize people rife with diseases and with drugs pumping through their system. It’s really important to only eat free-range, organic, happy people.

Shiny happy people. I think there’s a song about it.

BMK: You sure seem like you’re in favor of cannibalism. Is there something you’re not telling us?

MMY: I really, really like pineapple. It goes with everything. 

Everything.

BMK: Is there anything apart from your pro-cannibalism agenda that you’d like to mention before we part ways?

MMY: I would like to publicly state that eating others is morally and legally wrong. Unless, of course, they consent. There’s a great IT Crowd episode about it that everybody should watch.

Also, I don’t bite unless asked. Then all bets are off, my darlings.

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Mercedes Murdock Yardley can be found on her website and the Facebooks and the Twitters. Her debut novel, Nameless: the Darkness Comes, is available now. It’s the first installment of The Bone Angel Trilogy, and if you read it maybe the author won’t steal you away in the night to feast upon your flesh. MAYBE.

namelesscover42

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How to Review Books – the BMK Way

I never know how to write a decent book review, but it’s something I think about a bunch. I mean, I want YOU to review MY books, right? But when it’s my turn to review someone else’s, I don’t even know where to start. So, in the strange moments between sleep and waking, I began devising a formula. Different categories, scored separately and then averaged. This is way more involved than my current “Neato/Poopy” reviewing system. It’s also not complete. Still needs some fine tuning.

Originality of plot: Are the vampires fighting werewolves? Is there trouble at wizard school? Did zombies take over a shopping mall? I might not award many stars in this category for books like that. Did the ghost of Jack Kevorkian possess a Christmas tree angel and poison the neighbor’s boa constrictor? You might have yourself 5 stars in this category.

Character depth: Do I know what the main characters feel and why they feel it? Are they fallible? Are they close-minded about some things and in complete denial of others? Lazy? Overweight? Too skinny? Bad teeth? A weird thumb? Mispronounce certain words consistently? If so, you might get a 5/5 in this category!

Genre success: If it’s a horror book, did it scare me? If it’s fantasy, did it fill me with wonder? If it’s sci-fi, did it blow me a way with crazy sci-fi stuff? If it’s a humor book, did I laugh?

Appropriate gore: Were the blood and guts appropriate to the story? Did they fall short or go over the top? For example, Harry Potter was suspiciously deficient of flying entrails. Oh, sure, I know what you’re saying: “Brent, that book was for kids and young adults! No guts needed!” Well, check again, Poindexter. That may have been the intended audience, but are you really gonna stand there and tell me Voldemort didn’t slowly bleed out lesser members of his own crew to A) derive power from their sacrifice, and B) make an example to keep everyone else in line? And then, decorate his inner lair with skulls instead of balloons and guts strung from corner to corner like it was a birthday party at Hannibal Lecter’s house?

Harry-Potter-Voldemort_l

“I’m gonna puke blood into your empty eye sockets now, Harry!”

"I love what you've done with the place, Tom. Guts and whatnot."

“I love what you’ve done with the place, Tom. You know, with the guts and whatnot.”

Secondary realism: The main plot is fantastical, certainly. At least, if I’m reading the book, it probably is. What about the lesser stuff? Did your character lose their keys? FOREVER? Did someone make a mess caulking the bathtub, and in doing so ruined the good towels? Did some kid get lost in the woods and no hero showed up to save them? Did someone good do something ugly? Did someone get off scot free who deserved to be gutted? Sometimes the Joker has diarrhea, and he has to decide if he’s gonna go home and wait it out or walk through those bank doors right there and begin a ten hour standoff with Gotham PD and some jerk in a bat costume. He can’t go to the bathroom once the bank siege has started, he’ll crap his pants for sure! And what if it smells like fish again? Because he hasn’t had fish in months, and if it smells like that again he needs to call his physician, Dr. Feldstein, right away. And don’t you DARE laugh at that! Butt health is nothing to take lightly, guys.

Setting detail: Self explanatory.

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Well, that’s a work in progress. Maybe someday I’ll come up with a fully realized book reviewing formula based in part on the preceding notes. Until then, I think I’ll  eat the rest of the Nutella in this jar and then eat the next jar down far enough that the Wife won’t suspect a thing. I know what you’re saying: “Why not just forget the open jar, eat the new jar, and get rid of it when it’s empty?” What you’re asking makes sense, of course. But you gotta keep ‘em rotated, you know? Keep the fresh one open. Otherwise, the open jar never gets touched, and the Nutella goes bad. You ever see bad Nutella? No, you haven’t. Believe me, cupcake, you don’t WANT to.

 

 

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ZRJZPST

ZRJZPSTThis is The Whisperer in Dissonance, a book by my new pal Ian Welke. I highly recommend it. SYNOPSIS!

Annie sleeps in fitful spurts dreaming of an altered world populated by drone-like slaves and gangly masters. Her dreams leave her panicked and ragged as if she hadn’t slept at all. Is there a barely audible voice buzzing in the background hum? Or is the sleep deprivation driving her to delusions?

I’ve both read and enjoyed this book. I suck at book reviews, though, which is why I haven’t reviewed it yet. It has to be approached juuuuust right…

If you have been getting very many spams, you know what will cheer you? Check this pic out! –> ZRJZPST

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Fish Freaks Giveaway on Goodreads

If you use Goodreads, enter for a chance to win one of 3 signed copies of my new short Chuggie story, Chuggie and the Fish Freaks of Farheath:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Chuggie and the Fish Freaks of Farheath by Brent Michael Kelley

Chuggie and the Fish Freaks of Farheath

by Brent Michael Kelley

Giveaway ends March 26, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve muffins to tend.

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Fish Freaks Art

So we did some illustrations for Chuggie and the Fish Freaks of Farheath. Three, to be exact. Today, I thought I’d share my favorite. It’s called a blatinid.

blatinid paint2

Who knows, maybe I’ll share the other illustrations in the future. And as far as that goes, I’ve been practicing up on my pen and ink drawing. Maybe there’ll be more illustrations in future Chuggie books. Wouldn’t that be glorious? Yes, yes it would.

Lastly, I’ve got some paperbacks of Chuggie and the Fish Freaks of Farheath. I’m going to be giving some away in the very near future, but first I have to decide how I want to go about it. I have a few ideas for contests, and some of the ideas are even good.

Oh, and you look delightful today. Did you change your hair or sleep on your face or something? Whatever you’re doing, it’s working. Wow, your one eye is super bloodshot! It’s a great look. That stain on your shirt pulls it all together. #realtalk

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