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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Book Blitz/Review - Talking Walls and Cigarettes by Erin and Kelli Beck

Title: Talking Walls and Cigarettes (And Other Dark Tales)
Author: Erin Beck and Kelli Beck
Genre: Horror,  Short Story Anthology


Talking Walls and Cigarettes is a collection of seven dark short stories that deals with both real life monsters and those that dwell within us. A bartender still grieving the tragic death of her brother, shunning from her family, and the whispers in the street is visited by a man who appears out of thin air to offer her a way out of her own personal hell in The Salesman. A poor family is cursed by a mysterious old man in the woods and the children are at risk for falling victim to their parent's unspeakable acts in Porcelain. The title story follows a man as he is tormented by demons in his own mind. In Homecoming, can a young woman find what she's looking for years after her father's abduction by other-worldly beings?

Review by Carol

Strange.....VERY strange but captivating!

Book – Talking Walls and Cigarettes and Other Dark Tales
Author – Erin Beck and Kelli Beck
Publication Date – October 5, 2013
Type – Short Stories
Genre – Horror
Rating – 3 1/2 out of 5 Stars

Book provided by Authors in exchange for an honest review.


I loved some of the stories and I liked some of the stories and there were about 2 that I couldn’t get into. I think my favorite was about a man who is going (or is really there) insane – he believes that there are demons and he is there looking out his window at the cowboy who gives him his jobs to do. Another one of my favorites was about a woman who works at a bar and continually talks to a salesman who no one else can see.

I think the story which shocked me the most is about a serial killer who is speaking to his next victim explaining the reasons for his insanity – this delves into the psyche of a sick individual and his past.

If you are looking for a quick read to pass your time which reads close to some of the short stories of Stephan King….then this is a book for you. The authors writing style was superb and even though some of the stories didn’t captivate me – I was still able to read to the end.

Each one of these touched a different negative emotion and by the time I completed the book – my heart and my mind were drained.

Author Bio

Erin Beck was born and raised on the mean streets of Chatsworth Illinois.  Every day was a struggle to survive, to overcome, to persevere.  At the age of twelve, she took up writing.  This passion for the written word saved her from such fates as teen pregnancy and tooth decay, that which have befallen many other great Chastworthians.  Erin is also the author of The Pursuit of Hair and co-author of Grabappleberry Punch: The Adventures of Mister Tennison Volumes One and Two.  Her influences include Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, and Christopher Moore.  Erin spends her leisure time tossing a ball around with her dogs and parasailing, and has on more than one occasion been caught napping in a box full of packing peanuts.  She is a drop-out of Hogwarts where she majored in English and minored in the contortion arts.  She has scaled the dark tower; she has trekked through middle earth; and she thinks cannibalism is a real hoot.  Erin now lives in the woods with her boyfriend and survives off of insects and pine needles.  She wrote portions of this short fiction collection on homemade paper and her own blood.

When she is not gold mining or globetrotting with her husband, Kelli spends her time writing, reading, and playing with her two dogs. Often described as “worldly” and “well-traveled,” Kelli is envied amongst co-workers and friends alike. She has a knack for reading minds and can often predict the future. Many people worldwide come to her for financial advice and money as she is the sole proprietor of the only money tree in existence. Her heroes include her father, Stephen King, and Albus Dumbledore. She has read the Harry Potter series many times over and is proud to share her birthday with The Chosen One. She has been described as a fearless leader, charismatic, even bulletproof.



From "The Cellar" by Erin Beck
In the wake of her sudden semi-consciousness, she felt whole again—briefly—a moment suspended in time—she lingered there, unwilling to succumb to her reality; or maybe—just maybe she was running on the heels of death. Was this her life flashing before her eyes? Fragments of happiness sprinkled into her mind behind her fluttering eyelids. Was she in limbo? How in that moment she longed to be cradled in her mother’s arms, but those days belonged to a life long forgotten. It had been ages since she last ran to her mother crying over a skinned knee or a mean boy. She had grown up, after all, and knew that not all wounds could be fixed by a mother’s kiss.
A summer’s day and a glass of ice cold lemonade, a tire swing, her first kiss from Billy Tulley beside Boulder Lake; these moments sped towards her like headlights through a tunnel, blinding her before disappearing. She savored the moments, finding peace in them, only to have a jolt of reality shoot through her with an image of a late night stroll emerging in her memory.
What a cruel joke to see and feel such pleasantness when a brutal end lay ahead of her. Never again would she feel the warmth of a mother, or a friend, or a lover. The only embrace she would feel would be cold, like metal, chains perhaps crossing around her ankles and her chest, pinning her to a damp cellar wall.
            Her eyelids were heavy and she felt them struggling to open. She squeezed them closed, not wanting to see what lay beyond, but they acted of their own accord. Her only hope was that she was not where she suspected she was and that the worst of it was already over.
            The sound of his slow and steady breathing pierced her ears. She knew for sure now that she wasn’t alone. As her eyelids lifted her heart rate quickened, and the sight of him brought upon a new wave of panic.
            He stood before her a grin that could only be described as pure evil plastered across his face. The grin stretched clear to his ears meeting its end where a pair of horn-rimmed glasses began. He donned a white lab coat dirtied with smears of blood. Around his neck hung a vial with some sort of yellowish liquid…and what?
What was in the vial? All her senses stole over her at once. The thought that she must be dreaming entered her mind and made an abrupt exit as hot searing pain began to surge through her body.
            Her body was beaten and badly bruised. She felt an ache in her jaw and a sting inside, but it was the incessant throbbing coming from her right hand that caused her the most concern. She looked upon it, a bandage soaked dark red wound tightly where her index finger had once been. She couldn’t stop herself from screaming.
            “You passed out.” He said his words barely audible over the sound of her screaming.

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