Rawk and Roll!

One of the things I do outside of writing/publishing is I’m the bass player for a long-running punk band in Birmingham, Alabama called SKEPTIC?

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That’s me in the middle.

Last summer we recorded a new full-length album titled “Hornet’s Nest” which is finally at the record press to be produced on beautiful 12″ vinyl. Our previous full-length was released on CD in 2011 titled “Now Look What You’ve Done.”

Back then, we made a music video for our song “What You Were Told” that featured footage of several old horror movies–which is half the reason I’m mentioning it on this blog. You can watch our (very DIY) video on YouTube RIGHT HERE.

The other reason I’m linking it is that if you like what you hear, then you’ll LOVE our upcoming record, which is totally face-melting, hypersonic, blitzkrieg badass. So keep your eye out for it in the months to come.

NOTLD1

 

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HEAVEN’S CROOKED FINGER Review

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Hank Early wrote a winner with Heaven’s Crooked Finger, a tense mystery novel steeped in the Southern Gothic tradition. After receiving a mysterious letter, private investigator Earl Marcus travels back home to the Georgia town that banished him years ago. Word around Coulee County is that Earl’s father, the fundamentalist preacher R.J. Marcus, has returned from the grave just as he’d prophesized. And if there’s anyone who could pull off such a feat, it’s the indomitable elder Marcus, who for decades had wielded an uncanny power over his followers as well as everyone in the surrounding countryside. As Earl investigates, the plot thickens, body parts turn up, and everyone in town—old faces and new—seems to have something to hide. To find the truth, Earl must confront his tortured past, make amends for old transgressions, and face the familial ghosts that have haunted him for years. Heaven’s Crooked Finger is a gritty noir with a richly layered main character weaving his way through a two-fisted tale full of external threats and internal reconciliation. The story is told with a brisk pace and short chapters that invariably end with a teaser, demanding you go ahead and start the next one, making the book hard to put down. I understand this is the first of what will be a series of “Earl Marcus mysteries,” and I look forward to the next one.

Pick up the book in paperback, hardcover or e-book HERE.

— Weber

…..

P.S. — Some extra musings on my recent reading (and writing)…

I didn’t know much about Hank Early, but I knew he was from Alabama (like me), so I wanted to give him a shot. I’m glad I did; he’s the real deal.

Coincidentally, I read this book back-to-back after finishing a novel from another Alabama writer, Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon. Maybe that’s more interesting to me than it is to you, but what struck me as I waded through Heaven’s Crooked Finger was the way the two books complemented each other in terms of theme.

Although both books could be categorized as mysteries, Boy’s Life is a “coming-of-age” tale concerned with the wonders of the youthful imagination. Almost as a counterpoint, I’d describe Hank Early’s book as a “coming-to-terms” tale concerned with the disillusionment that comes with adulthood, particularly in regard to P.I. Earl Marcus’ storied relationship with his family.

Both writers handle those themes with great skill, and that keen insight into the human condition is what makes a work of fiction stick with you long after reading it… It’s what arguably elevates fiction to the level of “literature,” at least in my estimation. (And ultimately my opinion matters a great deal more to me than any stuffy academic’s or literary critic’s — I don’t give a rip.)

Traditionally, in my own writing, I haven’t had lofty goals. Just getting someone to read it makes me giddy, regardless of whether they liked it or not. But my outlook is changing with my age. I turn 42 this year. I had a third child this year. I hate to use the word “maturing,” but maybe that’s what’s ailing me. I still play in a punk rock band, for crying out loud, but that lifestyle is also taking its toll on me, and I’m afraid my days with those guys are numbered since I now have so many babies to juggle.

And maybe punk rock sounds better coming from angry youth rather than middle-aged dudes. I’m still debating that with myself, but it circles back to my point. Punk rock must be fueled by a place of angst, if it’s going to sound any good. A good punk musician has to feel it to be convincing. That’s how I’ve viewed my last three collections of short horror stories — I felt I HAD to write them. They’ve been building up inside this horror fan since my youth spent watching midnight movies and poring over EC Comics. But now I’ve purged them from within me, and I no longer feel I HAVE TO write them. And I fully admit they were no sort of “literature,” nor did I aspire for them to be. I was very concerned about craft, characterization, mood, suspense, etc., but ultimately my primary aim with the horror shorts has been to go: “Booga-booga-booga!” or “Muahahahaha!”

And I’ve loved doing it. It’s been so much fun. And I think that I’ve succeeded in what I aimed to do. I am particularly pleased with my latest Teeth Marks as an achievement in quality pulp horror fiction. Maybe it’s not getting a lot of readers, but it’s gotten some wonderful reviews.

Since I feel like I’ve succeeded (at least at an artistic level) with that sort of fiction, I’ve been thinking of stories that might have grander, more universal themes in mind. Themes that will “stick with you” long after you’ve read them, the way Boy’s Life and Heaven’s Crooked Finger did with me.

Oh, I’ll always have my feet grounded in the swamp waters of dark fiction, because — hey, I gotta be me. But I’m also ready to set my sights on higher targets, because at this age that’s what I’m starting to feel

— Weber

 

 

 

HellNotes Reviews TEETH MARKS!

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Man… if book reviews were like footballs, I’d spike this bad boy and do one of those obnoxious end-zone dances and get penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct. But I always feel like celebrating when PBP gets a good review for one of its books. And this latest one is a review of a book I wrote, so I’m naturally pretty stoked.

Brian James Lewis penned an excellent write-up of Teeth Marks, my latest horror short story collection. “I seriously love Teeth Marks!” writes Lewis. “Each story is better than the first and gives the reader a shock at the endings.” Read the entire review HERE!

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Oh, and you can purchase Teeth Marks in paperback or for Kindle download HERE!

 

The HORROR REVIEW Loves ‘Double Barrel Horror Vol. 2’!

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Double Barrel Horror Vol. 2 delivers the goods and then some!” — Brian James Lewis

We got a wonderful new in-depth review of the DBHV2 anthology over at THE HORROR REVIEW! This one give story synopses and reader opinions, everything a good review ought to offer, and Pint Bottle Press is always appreciate of the exposure we get. If you haven’t read this title yet (and you’re not easily offended), then give it a shot…

Just listen to Lewis: “Double Barrel Horror Vol. 2 is an awesome collection featuring a wide variety of flavors for mature readers … Do yourself a favor and grab a copy today!”

Read the entire review HERE.

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TEETH MARKS Reviewed at Ginger Nuts of Horror!

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One of the biggest and best horror sites on Ye Olde Internet has reviewed my latest story collection, TEETH MARKS, courtesy of author/reviewer extraordinaire John Boden.

From the review: “Matthew Weber writes with a simple and straight-forward style that reminds us of the best story tellers. I’ve always had a weakness for those who tell it like they were sitting across from you on the porch on an Autumn evening, sipping tea and spinning yarns. Weber’s work is a lot like that but man, the yarns he spins…”

Read the entire beautiful review right HERE!

Jack Ketchum Plugged ‘Double Barrel Horror Vol.2’!!!

You read that correctly.

Somehow, one of our newest titles made it into the hands of one of my favorite authors, and HOLY MOLY!… Jack Ketchum plugged a book I edited and published! THE Jack Ketchum … author of Off Season, The Girl Next Door, The Woman and the classic short story, “The Box.”

Oh happy day, I am geeking out!

Ketchum plugged it on Twitter a few days ago. If you don’t want to pore over his Twitter feed to find it, never fear — I’ve got a screen shot!

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I now have this quote tattooed on my chest. Yes, I realize he got my name wrong. That’s okay, I’ve since changed my name from Matthew to Michael, so everything is copacetic….

…because Jack Ketchum plugged a book released by little ol’ ME!

In the words of Navin R. Johnson, “Things are going to start happening to me now!”

 

— Weber

 

 

TEETH MARKS Only 99¢ for Kindle!

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Got a dollar burning a hole in your pocket?

Read eBooks?

Like your reading material full of screaming and bloodshed?

Boy, have I got news for you … From now until November 28, TEETH MARKS is on sale for Kindle — just 99 cents! That’s twelve pulse-pounding tales of horror and black humor for the cost of a cup of coffee. Be the first on your block to read a copy and leave a glowing review! It’s the most fun you’ll ever have reading about terrible things.

Click HERE for the Amazon link.

 

The Horror Fiction Review Loves TEETH MARKS

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Anyone involved in indie press will tell you: Reviews and word of mouth are crucial to achieve even a modicum of success as an author or publisher. So, it always brightens our day to get a notable review. Christine Morgan, author of Murder Girls and Spermjackers from Hell, writes reviews for the long-running web zine THE HORROR FICTION REVIEW. She had this to say about Pint Bottle Press’ latest single-author collection, Teeth Marks by Matthew Weber

“Each of the twelve offerings in this collection is just knock-down drag-out crazydamn good. I was reminded in all the best ways of Bentley Little’s short stories, that relatable modern Americana feel, the kinds of things that could happen in anybody’s town … or neighborhood … or very own home.

This was another where trying to narrow it down to my favorites was a real challenge, because there are no duds in the bunch. But I’ll try…”

Read the entire review HERE.

And here’s the Amazon link to TEETH MARKS.

BOY’S LIFE by Robert McCammon

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You know what I loved about Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon? Pretty much everything. I have only one complaint: That I will never achieve this measure of glory as a writer. In my view—and it may have a little something to do with me growing up in rural Alabama as an imaginative kid who loved monsters and wanted to be a writer, just like our main character Cory Mackenson – McCammon has created a perfect thing. This is a wonderful novel that truly earns that adjective, because it captures the genuine wonder of a young creative mind that’s pitted against the ugly realities of the adult world, resulting in an exciting, enthralling and emotionally bittersweet story that feels truly timeless in its themes. The book is a coming-of-age mystery/adventure with standout characters both hilarious and horrifying, with a richly detailed plot all set in a magical small town that is shrinking away with the changing times.

Throughout the overarching storyline of a mysterious murder witnessed by Cory and his father, McCammon tells his tale through a number of vignettes that read like standalone stories, each brimming with fascinating figures, thorny themes, and fantastical celebrations of what it feels like to be young and imaginative, before the rotten ol’ world beats the imagination out of so many of us. Through Cory’s adventures with various monsters (I won’t give away plot points), evil men, vengeful ghosts, youthful crushes, close friends and bitter enemies, McCammon has achieved the monumental task of time travel, taking me back to my youth for a nostalgic roller-coaster ride of fun, fright, heartache and victory.

If I’m not mistaken, Mr. McCammon still lives somewhere around Central Alabama. So do I. I met him once at a local book signing. Nice guy. We don’t hang out. I wish we did, because I know there’s a lot I could learn from him. So, until he and I become close friends, I’ll happily stick to my role as Big Fan. I’ve read a number of McCammon’s books, but none have connected with me with near the impact of Boy’s Life. In fact, very few books ever have, leading me to proclaim this publicly, here and now, as my favorite novel of all time.

Thanks for your work, Mr. McCammon. One day I’ll read this to my young, imaginative son, who is currently growing up in a small (magical) town in Alabama.

 

— M. Weber

MAYAN BLUE Review

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Some books lack creativity, and then there’s Mayan Blue, which is the wildly imaginative and gore-soaked debut horror novel from the “Sisters of Slaughter” Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason.

After sharing a couple of TOCs with the Sisters, I was lucky enough to rope them into contributing stories to the first Double Barrel Horror anthology before Mayan Blue received an official nomination for last year’s Bram Stoker Award in the First Novel category. The story begins with a few college kids on a research trip that soon becomes a sprawling, epic journey through magical realms and alternate worlds. The plot is fairly complicated, but suffice it to say this book is highly recommended if you’re into things like skin-wearing owl demons, walking corpses, skeleton armies, tribal spider monkeys, giant centipedes, zombie bats, forgotten gods, Mayan mysticism and fiend-filled visions of hell … you know, all the fun stuff!

A few months ago, I reviewed this title on Amazon, but then Amazon removed my review, presumably because I’m listed as one of the authors’ publishers and was viewed as somehow biased (even though Mayan Blue was released by Sinister Grin Press, so I don’t see the issue). Anyway, since I have my own platform here, I figured I’d give the ladies what little exposure I could offer.

Suck it, Amazon.

Buy the book HERE.