Piers Anthony Review

Piers Anthony, world famous fantasy author, has read and reviewed Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater. I can’t post the full review, even though I would like to.  I can post a snippet or two, however. Here are some things Piers Anthony had to say about my book:

“I’m really not a fan of horror, but this one held my morbidly fascinated attention to the end. Originality sparkles throughout…”

He went on to say:

“One horror is piled on another without remission. So though the reading made me want to take a thorough shower to wash off the gook, I call it an excellent novel of its kind, and believe horror fans should like it very well. It reads like a segment of a longer narrative, and I can’t help wondering what other horrors Chuggie will encounter as he wends his way on.”

Those are actual Piers Anthony quotes about my novel, and I am still shocked to hear such kind words spoken of my work. Many thanks, Piers Anthony!

Chuggie Excerpt

Hello, chums. I’m glad to see you today. To show you just how glad I am to see you, here’s an excerpt from Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater:

Chuggie stood beneath the dead tree, glaring up at the chain tangled in its branches. He swayed on the bare hilltop, travel-weary and intoxicated. He hollered with his gravelly voice. He kicked the tree with his road-worn boots. He pulled the chain with all his might and wished he had someone else’s luck.

In The Mag’s remote Mid-North, Stagwater nestled in the elbow of the Staghorn River. A protective wall wrapped around the city like a horseshoe, meeting the rushing river at two points on Stagwater’s east side. A grand bridge stretched over the water, a thick-timbered testament to the city’s ambition. Smoke rose from tall stacks throughout the city. The stink of it spread far and wide.

Just west of Stagwater, Chuggie paced angrily beneath the tree. “Listen here, deadwood. You’re gonna give it on back, or I’ll chop you into kindling, set your ass on fire, and piss on your ashes!” Chuggie’s voice slurred a bit, as usual. He swayed, drunkenly, and kicked the tree.

His kick did no good, however. Above him, just beyond jumping range, his anchor hung at the end of a chain. The branches held the chain like knotty talons. The other end of the chain linked directly into his rib cage, leaving both Chuggie and the anchor bound to the tree.

He’d tried everything he could think of by this point. He’d pulled on the chain, sworn at the tree, poked the anchor with a stick, even pulled on the chain some more. Nothing had worked. The way the chain twisted in the branches made Chuggie think of torture, made him feel claustrophobic. He smoked and glared at the tree, as he paced back and forth on his chain like a dog.

Shaped like a woman, the anchor was the only lady in Chuggie’s life. He would not stand for her captivity. “You let her go, nobody gets hurt, tree.”

The breeze lifted some branches in a shrug of indifference.

As anchors went, she possessed a singular beauty. Years of use had left her pitted and scarred. Any original detail was long lost, but not her smooth curves. In water, her arms would dig into the seabed to better anchor a boat. On land, it seemed, their only function was to make noise at all the wrong moments. And they damn sure weren’t helping her climb out of the tree.

Chuggie’s upturned face was built for scowling, and it did so effortlessly no matter his mood. His elongated skull curved back from his face as if blown by some angry wind. Five horns protruded from it: one from his forehead, two more on each side. He wore a skull cap with horn-holes cut into it. He appeared to have an odd-shaped hat, not an odd-shaped skull with horns growing from it. As a whole, Chuggie’s image was more of a drunken drifter than the primordial embodiment of drought. This he preferred.

A bee was to blame for this heinous tangling of the chain. Oh, how Chuggie hated the vile sting of a bee. The tiny brutes had no qualms about invading one’s flesh. Bees, hornets, and wasps all hated Chuggie as much as he did them. As if sensing what he was, they seemed compelled to sting. If Chuggie had his way, all bees and their kin would be arrested, tried as bees, and executed for their crimes. Depending on his mood, he could be persuaded to show mercy and allow them to live out their lives in prison.

But there could be no leniency for this day’s offender. Chuggie had been violated and victimized by some cowardly monster wearing yellow and black. He’d been stung — nay, raped — directly between his shoulder blades. The tiny villain, attempting to escape justice, then flew up to a branch in the tree. There on the branch, the bee taunted Chuggie, laughed at his misfortune. In a rage, Chuggie had sought vengeance on his attacker. Disinclined to let the bee die on its own terms, he’d thrown the anchor.

Whether the anchor had hit or missed the bee was unclear, but the chain had gotten tangled. The tangle worsened the more Chuggie pulled. The bee, by then most likely dead, was all but forgotten.

With his eyes glued to the anchor, Chuggie paced faster.

“Lemme tell you this, tree. I’m about two seconds away from —.”

THWAP!

Chuggie stopped speaking abruptly as he fell on his face. His own luggage had tripped him, although it could scarcely be called ‘luggage.’ A better description would be ‘used burlap feed sack stuffed with junk.’ Dolls, knife handles, keys to buildings that didn’t exist anymore. Junk. He hoped in his travels he might be able to trade some of it for something useful. Maybe even money. Sooner or later, he’d need some of that.

He had his junk, his anchor with chain, and his pair of worn out boots. Not much else. He was just a stumbling, mumbling drunk in a world full of monsters that looked the way regular people used to.

Chuggie looked heavenward. The gray skies wounded him. Sunshine in any season filled him with hope, and he would dance under a thunderstorm as long as it lasted. But when the sky went that uniform, miserable gray, it got hard to imagine a place in the world where the sun could be shining.

The gloom made him remember who he was: Brother Drought. As old as the world, he had no function but destruction. In that respect, Chuggie wasn’t alone, but he wished he was. His ancient siblings — Disease, Fire, and Flood — were out there somewhere, no doubt compounding the melancholy.

As the walking incarnation of Drought, he could drain entire bodies of water, suck the clouds from the sky, even tear the moisture from the body of a living creature. Chuggie had great power inside. Power that could devastate entire regions. Power that, once unleashed, he could not control.

On this gray autumn day he stood on a hill just west of Stagwater, and he was very, very drunk.

Final Writing Stuffs

Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater is in the final stages. We’re proofing, formatting, pondering, and musing. When those are done, the book will be ready for publication. Yeah, I’m excited. So are you. Why? Because the Mighty Gargulak has risen from the netherworld and commanded it. Gargulak is a lot like the Wu Tang Clan – he ain’t nothin’ ta [mess] with. If you don’t believe me, you can read about him in the pages of my book. He’s in there, alright. With a vengeance!

And I need advance reviewers. If you’ve got a computer, you can get a free advance copy of my book and read it. It’ll be in e-book format, but you can easily download Kindle to your computer. Boom, now your computer is an e-reader. So whatchoo do is you contact me saying, “Oh, hey, BMK! I love your shirt! What is that, mustard? No? Cool! I want to read your book so I can post a review of it on Amazon!” Then I send it to you.

This book will make you laugh, cry, cringe, or yawn. Something in there for everybody, and I think it will entertain you for days. And I could tell you about the sequel, but I won’t. It wouldn’t make any sense. I’ll say I can’t wait for you to meet Kurtz, but that’s ALL I’m gonna say. Also Woodrick, you’ll want to meet Woodrick.

Huzzah!

EDIT:

We’re done! Here’s the description:

In the first installment of Mischief Mayhem Want and Woe, Brent Michael Kelley unleashes the horrors of Desecration on Stagwater.

Norchug Mot Losiat, Chuggie to his friends, is Brother Drought. When, in his rambling, he stumbles upon the remote city of Stagwater, he finds love, temptation, and treachery. He fights against men, demons, and his own nature to battle the sinister forces threatening the city. But Chuggie? All he wants is a boat.

Now I need some advance reviewers. Reviewers just like YOU.

And now… A BABY

I can finally announce that my wife and I are expecting a baby.

I’m fairly certain this creature will inspire a lot of stories, and I hope to write a few of them down. With a baby, there’s hope and joy, sure. But also fear. Will the baby be okay? Will the baby mutate into some kind of parasitic leech? Will someone steal the baby? Will the baby like Nickelback? THE TERROR!

More to come, I’m sure.

Detritus Anthology

Hello, comrades! I am glad to announce that my short story “Ride” has been accepted for Detritus, an anthology edited by S.S. Michaels and Kate Jonez. It will be published by Omnium Gatherum, and I will most certainly post the release date as soon as I know it.

More about the anthology:

The impulse to collect springs from deep within the human psyche Squirrels gather acorns, rats collect shiny things, but only humans assign meaning to the objects they collect. Detritus is a collection of stories about the impulse to collect, preserve, and display gone horribly wrong. The stories in this collection can be about hoarders, cat ladies, people who keep cabinets of curiosities, folks who have secret stashes of strange and disturbing things or any other sort of person who has a frightening collection or a desperate need to gather up and keep things close.

EDIT: Here’s the contributors in alphabetical order by first name:

Brent Kelley   “Ride”
Edmund Colell   “Shrieking Gauze”
Jeremy Shipp   “Chewed Up”
Kealan Patrick Burke   “The Room Beneath the Stairs”
Lee Widener    “Let Them Into Your Heart”
Linda S. Murphy   “The Tick-Tock Heart”
Louise Bohmer   “Armoire”
Mary Borsellino   “Shots and Cuts”
Michael Colangelo   “Arkitektur”
Michael Montoure   “Heroes and Villains”
Neil Davies   “Candy Lady”
Opal Edgar   “Crawling Insect Life”
Pete Clark   “In His Own Graven Image”
Phil Hicks   “Mrs. Grainger’s Animal Emporium”
S.P Miskowski   “The Highest and the Sweetest”