Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Read a free book, win a free book!

I'm still putting the finishing touches on DOUBLE-BLIND... by the end of the week, my manuscript will be done!

Speaking of manuscripts, today I am offering The Leaf Blower readers an online exclusive: a free eBook by Jack Kilborn and Blake Crouch. If you recall, Jack Kilborn (aka J.A. Konrath) visited my blog in March to talk about rejection.

The eBook is a horror novella called SERIAL, a tale of hitchhiking gone terribly wrong. Like a deeply twisted version of an “After School Special,” it is the single most persuasive public service announcement on the hazards of free car rides. The eBook also contains a Q&A with Kilborn and Crouch, author bibliographies, and excerpts from their most recent and forthcoming works.

Here's the link to SERIAL; the eBook is located under "Book Extras" in the bottom right-hand corner. You can download it either as a PDF file or ePub version (the Sony eBook Reader format).

But wait, constant reader (as Stephen King would say), there's more: I'm also offering you the chance to win your very own copy of Kilborn's book, AFRAID. The publisher has given me 5 copies to give away.

Here's the contest: I want to hear about what makes you afraid. You can write one word (e.g. "clowns"), or one hundred words; it's up to you. I'll pick the top five scariest entries and send each winner a copy of AFRAID (US and Canada residents only). I've read the book... if you get a copy, be sure to keep your lights on!

I'll be accepting entries (posted in the comments section) until Sunday, May 17th. Enjoy the free eBook and the contest!


  1. You know what kind of stories scare me the most? They are the stories that supposedly are true. When I read "The Amityville Horror" and "The Exorcist" (the scariest one of all), I would turn the jacket upside down on my bedside table for fear it might somehow draw "the forces" to me. Alien encounter stories also scare me to death. Another one for sure to not think about too much before going to sleep lest it might somehow attract unwanted alien interest.

  2. When my children were small, I used to have nightmares that either I had forgotten to pick them up from a babysitter or that I left them with a sitter and forgot who that person was. I always woke up in a sweat from those dreams. They were scary!

  3. Brian, human trafficking scares the crap out of me. Not for my sake, but when I imagine the hell that those who are trafficked go through and the apathy with which most of the developed world treats their plight. Domestic servants, sweatshop laborers, sex workers - these people are vulnerable and exploited and are the sisters, brother and children of people just like you and me. It's scary and sad. Which bring me to my next point. I saw Taken (action movie about human trafficking) on the plane back from DC and Brian Crawford you look like a younger, more attractive Liam Neeson. I'm serious.

  4. I'm afraid that I'll accidentally squeeze my children to death when I hug them because I love them so much.

  5. Craw that is simple!


    And there it is!

    Send me a book!


  6. Please, someone else send in a comment so Moeller doesn't get a book!

  7. I once wrote a short story about a father who sets a cup of scalding coffee on the roof of his car and it falls through the sunroof and lands on his baby daughter. Then he can’t get into the car. That’s one of the scariest things I can imagine.

    Well, that... and Moeller.

  8. Fear of harming others seems to be a bigger fear than harm to oneself, at least among readers of the The Leaf Blower. I am also most afraid of hurting someone, especially while driving.

    Aside from existentialist fears, like fear of wasted potential and fear of meaninglessness, I am really afraid of being eaten alive by insects. Insects that crawl in your hair and eat through your skull and then start eating your brain and paralyzing you while eating your eyeballs. Its an irrational fear but I have a very low tolerance for anything crawling on me, especially while I am sleeping.

    The deaths in The Dante Club are all pretty much the worst. The serial killer kills his victims as inspired by Dante's layers of hell. The first one dies slowly over days by maggots that eat through his brain, garbling his speech while he tries to cry out. AAAAH!

  9. An open handed pound on your front door in the middle of the night and waking up to find a stranger sitting at the foot of your bed. I'm going to double check my doors tonight.... I'm starting to scared myself already.

  10. Maybe I'm thinking of this since it's a book about hitch-hiking, but for me it's the scene in The Zodiac where the mother and her baby get a ride from a stranger at night, during which he tells her he's going to throw the baby out the window and then kill her.

    That scene sometimes haunts me when I'm driving alone at night, with only one other car behind me. I have to then turn on the rap music, which becomes oddly comforting and makes me feel better.