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THE HALLOWEEN CHILDREN reviewed by Fresh Blood: “a solid, creepy, tale of horror and paranoia, in the vein of Stephen King’s The Shining”

Even more reviews are now appearing for The Halloween Children, my novel co-written with Norman Prentiss, which will be published as an eBook by Hydra/Random House NEXT WEEK!

Fresh Blood posted a terrific review a while back, and here’s just a little taste:

Although Halloween is still some months away, there’s no excuse not to get yourself in the mood with a good Halloween tale. Which is exactly what authors Brian James Freeman and Norman Prentiss have delivered with The Halloween Children – a solid, creepy, tale of horror and paranoia, in the vein of Stephen King’s The Shining.

You can find full review on the website, so please click that link and give it a read!

You can also learn more about the book or reserve your copy via these links:
Amazon.com • Amazon.co.uk • Barnes & Noble • iBookstore • Kobo

The Halloween Children eBook

THE HALLOWEEN CHILDREN reviewed by Char’s Horror Corner: “Highly recommended, especially to fans of atmospheric, psychological horror!”

More reviews are appearing for The Halloween Children, my novel co-written with Norman Prentiss, which will be published as an eBook by Hydra/Random House NEXT WEEK!

Char’s Horror Corner recently posted a terrific review, and here’s just a little taste:

Beautifully conceived and executed, The Halloween Children is a great and spooky read for anytime of year… Highly recommended, especially to fans of atmospheric, psychological horror!

You can find full review on the website, so please click that link and give it a read!

You can also learn more about the book or reserve your copy via these links:
Amazon.com • Amazon.co.uk • Barnes & Noble • iBookstore • Kobo

The Halloween Children eBook

THE HALLOWEEN CHILDREN reviewed by The Behrg: “Beautifully crafted, this is horror that will affect even the most jaded of horror fans.”

Early reviews are now appearing for The Halloween Children, my novel co-written with Norman Prentiss, which will be published as an eBook by Hydra/Random House this June.

For example, The Behrg has posted a review that represents a very fair and balanced assessment of the novel — and of course I would say that considering the praise you’ll find in this short excerpt:

The savvy reader begins to get the real picture of what’s going on by what’s NOT being said. I’ve always enjoyed the unreliable narrator motif, and it’s used here in quite a unique way that’s not fully understood until you reach the end… this has one of the best endings for a book I’ve ever read. The thematic metaphors woven throughout one of the most tragic and shocking finales you’ll find… as I was reading I felt as if my jaw kept dropping lower and lower. Beautifully crafted, this is horror that will affect even the most jaded of horror fans.

You can find The Behrg’s full review on his website, so please click that link and give it a read!

You can also learn more about the book or reserve your copy via these links:
Amazon.com • Amazon.co.uk • Barnes & Noble • iBookstore • Kobo

The Halloween Children eBook

A few comments about my favorite one star review ever for The Painted Darkness

This review for The Painted Darkness might be my favorite one star review I’ve ever received, and I seriously mean that:

The Painted Darkness One Star Review

How great is that? These are all lines I’d love to see in any review for my darker stuff:

* It was weird & VERY creepy…

* …bordered on the Stephen King – type insanity.

* …might very well cause nightmares!

Clearly, this is a case of the book being completely wrong for the reader’s tastes, which happens and isn’t something you worry about, but the reason I love this review is because there will definitely be readers who click on the one star reviews for The Painted Darkness, read this one, and think: “Wow, that sounds just like something I’d love to read!”

In case this book does sound like something you’d love to read, here are some links to consider:

The trade paperback:
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble

The eBook:
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Barnes & Noble
iBookstore
Kobo
CemeteryDance.com

The audiobook:
Amazon.com
Audible.com
iTunes

How Do You Deal With Reviews?

A collector on the Cemetery Dance forum asked: “Do reviews impact/affect you differently between your CD gig and your author gig? Or do you just shrug these off for both?”

Typewriter

I basically have two rules when it comes to reading reviews of my own work:

1) If the review is good, don’t pat yourself on the back; the reviewer was probably just feeling generous.

2) If the review is bad, for the love of God, DO NOT RESPOND unless your response is NOT going to make things worse.

Guess what? When it comes to rule #2, if you’re a writer and you feel the need to “defend” your work, you’re probably just going to make things worse.

But when it comes to reviews and comments about my work or what we do at Cemetery Dance, I try to evaluate what has been said for validity and valuable/useful information because you can always, always get better.

When someone critiques the books we publish at Cemetery Dance, I ask myself:

Is there something we overlooked or could do differently/better on future projects?

Is this note from someone who always complains about everything we do, to the point it seems to be the person’s hobby? (We have a few of those.)

Is this note simply from someone who doesn’t know how the small press works? For example, this was a real email I woke up to the other day: “Why didn’t you have Stephen King sign 10,000 copies!?! then everyone could have one!?!”

For my writing, again, I look at the source and I try to learn anything I can that will make the next story better if there is something to be learned.

If the person says, “There should have been more vampires!” in a story that wasn’t about vampires, you just kind of ignore that.

If the person says, “the middle was a little slow” or “the ending happened too fast” or “I didn’t understand character X’s motivations” — those are notes you can mentally file away for consideration. The reader may not be right, it could just be their personal tastes at play, but if more readers say the same thing, you can keep those points in mind for future projects. (Or even a future revision of the same work, which I’ve heard is all the rage.)

For bad customer reviews on Amazon, I consider whether the review is well-written (“this suxs!” vs a thoughtful dissection of what didn’t work) and I look at what else the person has reviewed. My genre? Different genres? Are they all bad reviews? What does the reader actually like?

Maybe my book just wasn’t a good fit for their reading tastes or maybe I dropped the ball in some fundamental way. You can learn a lot from a well-written one star review. In fact, that’s where I go first when evaluating other books.

You’re never going to please every reader. Books aren’t supposed to please every reader. Everyone has different tastes. Sometimes it’s just a swing and a miss, you know?

So how about you? Do you read your reviews? How do you approach them?

Another positive review for The Painted Darkness

Josef Hernandez, Minneapolis Books Examiner, posted a new review for The Painted Darkness over the weekend.  Here is just a little sample of the glowing review:

Brian James Freeman (who has previously published without his middle name) handles the story with a deftness that shows his talent. The reader is transported from the past to the present seamlessly as Freeman steers the story toward an understanding of the monsters that lurk in our world. Everyone is afraid of monsters and the things that go bump in our nightmares, but Freeman realizes that the reality is that real evil is much more horrific than the constructs of our mind. Henry is frantic to discover what is destroying the world around him as he races against his mind, and the monsters within and without, that threaten to destroy him, his family, and his world entirely. Henry has always used painting to hold the darkness at bay but the time has come for action now. This story is a great mix of psychological and supernatural horror that will hook the reader from the outset and not release him from its teeth until the final word.

You can read the rest of the review here.

The eBook is available through: Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk • Barnes & NobleiBookstoreSony ReaderKoboCemeteryDance.com

The trade paperback is also still available through: Amazon.com • Cemetery Dance • Barnes & Noble

The audiobook can be downloaded immediately on Amazon.com  Audible.com  iTunes

FEARnet Reviews The Painted Darkness Audiobook

The first review for the The Painted Darkness unabridged audiobook has arrived and it’s from one of the biggest horror websites around: FEARnet.com.  Here is just a little sample of the glowing review:

Brian James Freeman’s fascinating novella, The Painted Darkness, is one of those rare gems you sometimes find in fiction that manage to effortlessly capture the strangeness of being young… The Painted Darkness concerns itself with classic themes: letting go of childhood, the power with which we wield creativity, and the tricky nature of monsters.  The novella is structured so that we simultaneously experience young Henry’s childhood snow-day adventure in the woods and his adult self’s horrific experiences in his isolated farmhouse during a snowstorm… The Painted Darkness is a rewarding, fun, scary read; it may be an even better listen.  While Freeman has been publishing books since 2004’s Black Fire, The Painted Darkness is his first work on audio.  If this production is any indication, he and the format have an interesting and thrilling future together.

Read the rest here.

The audiobook can be downloaded immediately on Amazon.com  Audible.com  iTunes

The trade paperback is also still available through: Amazon.comCemetery DanceBarnes & Noble

The eBook is available through: Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukBarnes & NobleiBookstoreSony ReaderKoboCemeteryDance.com

The Painted Darkness Audiobook Cover

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