Pimp a Friend Friday: John Boden

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1983: A boy and his little brother wander through a loosely stitched summer. A summer full of sun and surrealism, Lessons of loss and love. Of growing up and figuring it out. Nestled in the mountains of Pennsylvania is a small town, it’s not like the others. Things are strange there- people die but hang around, pets too. Everyone knows your name and sometimes, a thing as simple as a movie coming to the local theatre, is all it takes to keep you going.

If you aren’t familiar with John’s writing, it’s pretty stellar. He has this gritty-yet-dreamy way of telling a story that flips your world upside down. In fact, I had the pleasure of blurbing this story.

“When John Boden tells you a tale, he takes his thumb and smudges the lines between stark realism and dreamy fantasy. I can’t get enough of his work, and I think Jedi Summer might be his deepest piece yet. ”
-Mercedes M. Yardley, author of The Bone Angel trilogy

Pre-orders are available now! I just ordered mine. Jedi Summer with the Magnetic Kid will be released on July 22. Give yourself a literary treat while supporting a very cool and surreal author. You can pre-order your copy here.

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John Boden lives a stone’s throw from Three Mile Island with his wonderful wife and  sons. A baker by day, he spends his off time writing or working on Shock Totem. He likes Diet Pepsi and horseradish cheese and  sports ferocious sideburns. While his output as a writer is fairly small, it has a bit of a reputation for being unique. His work has appeared in Shock Totem, Splatterpunk, Blight Digest  and Lamplight  as well as the following anthologies Psychos: Serial Killers, Depraved Madmen and the Criminally Insane, Once Upon An Apocalypse,Robbed Of Sleep Vol 1, and Borderlands 6. His not-really-for-children children’s book, Dominoes is a pretty cool thing or so people say.  You can track him down on the Facebook.

 

Welcome to Miss Murder’s Family Farm

My house is where unwanted animals magically appear. And I love it, I truly do.

I stayed up until 2:00 last night trying to get some words done. And I wrote 4,300 of them, which delights me. What did not delight me as much was waking up three hours later because of the chickens.

Yes, we have chickens again. A dear friend had to give hers up, and we chicken-sat a dozen for a week before we ended up keeping four.

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Morning, ladies!

We have Jessica Fletcher (my friend took her when we had the dog, and we’re delighted to have Her Prissiness back!), Pork Bowl, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, and the bantam, which isn’t pictured here. She’s called The Bantam Menace. She’s gone all day and only comes back to eat and roost. Moocher.

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Jessica Fletcher looking unusually regal in the sunrise.

Why were the chickens upset? Because of this beauty.

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He’s a stray that wandered into our yard, and then decided to visit every morning. He’s letting me pet him, feed him, and today I took the brush and brushed the yuck out of his fur.

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He’s sweet, affectionate, and look at how beautiful he is! I’m so happy he comes by. My husband is deathly allergic to cats, so I left the brush outside. Then I threw my clothes in the incinerator (er, washing machine) and took a shower before kissing hubby goodbye.

Then it was time to feed the bunnies, because. Bunnies. Thug Bunny was rescued from a shelter. He was another unwanted animal. Bunniculas Cage, whom the girls call Yum Yums, was intended to be rabbit meat. We bought him from a local feed store and promised never to eat him.

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Thug Bunny and Yum Yums deign to eat from their hooman’s hand just this once.

Now it’s time to be soundly ignored by Rush the turtle, who wants nothing to do with us. Ever. She was given up by her owner several years ago, and has been silently loathing and judging me ever since.

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She’s inside this log, flipping me off with all four feet. Just so I get the picture.

I love my animals. They give me joy, although perhaps more joy if they slept in. But the early morning furry/feathery/leathery snuggles make for a happy day.

What do you have wandering around in your home and yards? I’d love to know!

 

The Millennium Biltmore Hotel

It’s one of the coolest hotels I’ve ever had the chance to stay in. When I did my reading of Little Dead Red in LA for Shades and Shadows, I spent the night at the Biltmore. Astounding.IMG_1437

The first picture I took was of this stunning ceiling. It looks like candy.

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Look at this tea service! It’s so beautiful and far too fancy for me. I took a picture and then scurried away before I broke something.

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I was enchanted by this staircase. Every time that I went down to the lobby, I took these stairs. They’re so elegant and remind me of something from Wonderland. And what’s even better? If you follow the staircase down down down to the very bottom, you come across the underbelly of the hotel.

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It’s no longer Wonderland. It’s more like something from Neverwhere. But continue on and you come to my favorite door in the entire place.

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At the end of this cement stairwell, is another door. It’s old and charming, and you can hear music playing from the other side. I was never able to walk through this door without pausing first. There was something otherworldly about it. When you finally pass through the door closes behind you with a click, and there’s no handle to get back in. You’re in the main hall on your own, under that splendid ceiling. It’s a place of surprises.

Announcing the Heroes of Red Hook Anthology!

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The old begat the new, the thread of his heritage running through his current situation like a vein of silver. His life was beautiful. It was everything he wanted.

                We know from the old tales that this is when things go wrong.

-Excerpt from “Ivan and the Hurting Doll” by Mercedes M. Yardley

My story “Ivan and the Hurting Doll” is one of the many stories included in the Heroes of Red Hook anthology, put out by Golden Goblin Press. Take a gander at the Kickstarter video below, and please back it if you’d like to see this book come to print. Also, if we fund Heroes of Red Hook completely, we’ll work on some stretch goals. One of these stretch goals includes my novella “Skin of Bear, Bone of Witch”, which is a sequel to “Ivan.”

I hope you enjoy!

 

Barnes and Noble B-Fest Follow-up!

 

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We had the best time! It was super cool to talk about writing with four other local authors. I enjoyed them so much! Then we had a signing and a chance to chat with each other and the readers who came to visit. It was such a pleasure.

It was also a dream come true to see my books on the Barnes and Noble wall. That whole row behind me? It’s full of Nameless and Pretty Little Dead GirlsI kept turning around to look at them. When I was a child, I dreamed of having my books in a real book store and maybe even (gasp) signing there. Now I realize one of my favorite dreams has come true. It’s a fantastic feeling.

Thanks to everyone who came and celebrated B-Fest all across the nation. It really was a fantastic time.

A Perfect Pie Crust

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You guys know I like to bake. A lot. And when it’s a gazillion degrees here in Vegas, I need to choose my projects carefully because the oven heats the entire house up and we die a hideous death.

But pie? It’s so worth it! Pies taste like summer and there are few things better. I have a recipe for an easy pie crust that is simple and delicious.

Ingredients 

  • 2½ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • ¼ to ½ cups ice water

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Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

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Mix flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Cut in butter with knives until it’s about pea-sized. Add ice water to the ingredients, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough forms a ball. (1/4 a cup is usually all I need. You don’t want to drown your dough.)

Separate dough into two balls. You’ll either have enough for two pies or a top and bottom crust for one pie.

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Roll out and place in your pie pan. Flute edges if you desire. Poke holes in the pie crust and pop in the oven. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. This will give you a nice pie crust ready for filling.

If you want to bake the pie with the filling in it (an apple, cherry, or rhubarb pie, for example), then simply put your crust together, fill, and bake according to the directions for each individual pie. I used this crust for a rhubarb pie, and I’ll give the recipe later. It was delicious and really tasted like summer.

I hope you enjoy!

 

Come See Me at Barnes and Noble Today!

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Barnes and Noble is celebrating B-Fest this weekend! Stores all over the nation are having guest authors, panels, signings, giveaways, and games. It’s a great time to pop in and support your favorite authors.

Join us today for B-First at 11, where you can get samplers of upcoming YA books, an author panel and signing with Christene Houston, Jessie Humphries, Mat Kaufman, Keith Thomsen, and Mercedes Murdock Yardleyat 1, and then our 2 PM game and spelling B-Part of the Fun events!

So. Come by and say hi. We’d love to have you! (And B&N has air conditioning. That’s super important.Come cool off.) The address is:

Northwest Rainbow Promenade 
2191 N Rainbow Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89108
702-631-1775

Pimp a Friend Friday: John Boden and Mercedes M. Yardley

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You know I adore John Boden. He was one of the original founders of Shock Totem, and was such a wonderful guy to work with on staff. One day he approached me and asked if I’d read this wonderful story he was working on, called “Thief.” As time went on, the title was changed to “Loving the Girl with X’s for Eyes.” He asked me if I wanted to contribute to it, and thus was born the most enjoyable collaboration I’ve ever taken part of. We worked on it every day, or we didn’t work on it for months. He’d write a line, I’d write a line, or we’d write a…well, almost a chapter, but it doesn’t have chapters. It’s gentle and jagged and full of love and horror. This was the piece I’d work on when I couldn’t even stand to look at anything else. And now it will be published later this year.

I’m delighted to announce that Omnium Gatherum picked up our story, which is now called “Detritus in Love.” It’s a dark, lovely, bizarre novelette about a boy who never should have been and things that should not be.

author2John Boden lives a stone’s throw from Three Mile Island with his wonderful wife and  sons. A baker by day, he spends his off time writing or working on Shock Totem. He likes Diet Pepsi and horseradish cheese and  sports ferocious sideburns. While his output as a writer is fairly small, it has a bit of a reputation for being unique. His work has appeared in Shock Totem, Splatterpunk, Blight Digest  and Lamplight  as well as the following anthologies Psychos: Serial Killers, Depraved Madmen and the Criminally Insane, Once Upon An Apocalypse,Robbed Of Sleep Vol 1, and Borderlands 6. His not-really-for-children children’s book, Dominoes is a pretty cool thing or so people say.  You can track him down on the Facebook.

author1Mercedes M. Yardley is a dark fantasist who wears red lipstick and poisonous flowers in her hair.  She was a contributing editor for Shock Totem Magazine and currently works with Gamut, a new neo-noir magazine. Mercedes is the author of many diverse works, including Beautiful Sorrows, Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, Pretty Little Dead Girls, and the Bone Angel trilogy. She recently won the Bram Stoker Award® for her story Little Dead Red.  Mercedes lives and works in Las Vegas, and you can reach her atwww.mercedesyardley.com.