Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hellfire & Damnation II, Connie Corcoran Wilson (4 stars)

Description of Hellfire & Damnation II

Publisher: Merry Blacksmith Press
(August 1, 2012)
Category: Short Stories, Psychological Thriller
Tour Dates: October, 2012
Available in: Print, Kindle, Epub & PDF, 168 pages
Cover Art by Vincent Chong

Hellfire & Damnation II is the sequel to the well-received award-winning short story collection Hellfire & Damnation (E-Lit award, Silver Feather award). The first collection contained 15 short stories that described the sins punished at each of the 9 Circles of Hell within Dante’s Inferno. With that framing device and an Introduction by William F. Nolan (Logan’s Run), the 2011 visit to Hell was 47,000 words that critics called “blazingly original.”

The sequel, Hellfire & Damnation II, is slightly longer, at 53,000 words, containing 11 short stories that, once again, address the sins punished at each of the 9 Circles of Hell. Plus, this time, there is an illustration for each story and a From the Author section, which describes the inspiration for each story. [There are no recurring characters, however, so no need to have read the first book in order to plunge into the second.]

As 5-time Stoker(R) winner Gary Braunbeck said: “I really don’t know how she managed to do it, but Wilson surpasses her previous Hellfire & Damnation collection with this sequel. Her writing is stronger, streamlined, and often lyrical, despite the nastiness her words describe. This is another impressive collection of tales from a writer I could very well learn to hate if she gets much better. Seriously, Connie, can’t you write just one stinker so the rest of us will feel a little bit better?”
Limited time offer: the five days leading up to Halloween (October 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31), Hellfire & Damnation II is completely FREE as a Kindle download. Tell your friends!


Not for the faint of heart, Hellfire & Damnation II is a harrowing collection of short stories that takes the reader on a tour of Dante's 9 Circles of Hell. Each short story pulls you into a twisted tale and never lets you go, building the tension until the very last sentence.

Instead of trying to share a bit about each of the stories, I am going to share my favorites. Picking my top three was difficult, because all the stories were well-written and played on different emotions and fears. But I'll try.

Tempus Fugit: Resurrection Cemetary ... a classic ghost story. I could just imagine sitting around a campfire with flashlights and being terrified while someone told this Resurrection Mary tale. A writer digging for dirt about Resurrection Mary gets more than she bargained for when her sources turn out to be questionable (do they exist?). Then she comes face to face with her story in an eerie sequence of events.

The Champagne Chandelier... for every person who was bullied in their teen years. Cassie is about to bury her mother, but one guest sends her down an unhappy memory lane. Tormented by her stepsister, she starts receiving demanding phone calls from her during the funeral planning. But all is not as it seems.

The Bureau ... "the worst form of treachery is that of one family member against another, and that is the story of the Tepchin family." Simone has it all figured out, a way to help her son and end up with the man she's always wanted. Organs have become a precious commodity and sell high on the black market, so it's the perfect way to make some money for her son's college tuition and rid herself of extra baggage. Unfortunately, one should always consider just how evil their partner in crime is before they enter into a deal.

With Halloween just around the corner, pick up a copy of Hellfire & Damnation II and keep a light on. It's a quick read, but packs a punch. Actually, several.

Rating: 4 stars

About Connie Corcoran Wilson

Connie (Corcoran) Wilson (MS + 30) graduated from the University of Iowa and Western Illinois University, with additional study at Northern Illinois, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Chicago. She taught writing at six Iowa/Illinois colleges and has written for five newspapers and seven blogs, including Associated Content (now owned by Yahoo) which named her its 2008 Content Producer of the Year . She is an active, voting member of HWA (Horror Writers Association).

Her stories and interviews with writers like David Morrell, Joe Hill, Kurt Vonnegut, Frederik Pohl and Anne Perry have appeared online and in numerous journals. Her work has won prizes from “Whim’s Place Flash Fiction,” “Writer’s Digest” (Screenplay) and she will have 12 books out by the end of the year. Connie reviewed film and books for the Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa) for 12 years and wrote humor columns and conducted interviews for the (Moline, Illinois) Daily Dispatch and now blogs for 7 blogs, including television reviews and political reporting for Yahoo.

Connie lives in East Moline, Illinois with husband Craig and cat Lucy, and in Chicago, Illinois, where her son, Scott and daughter-in-law Jessica and their three-year-old twins Elise and Ava reside. Her daughter, Stacey, recently graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, as a Music Business graduate and is currently living and working in Australia.

For more information on the author, please visit her website and blog


Thanks to Virtual Author Book Tours for including me on this blog tour. Please visit more blog stops on the Hellfire & Damnation II blog tour page.