Thursday, May 1, 2014


Kate Jonez is my Woman In Horror today! Not only is Kate a fantastic author, but she is the chief editor at Omnium Gatherum Media.

Before I get to anything else, I want to mention that Kate's novel Candy House is nominated for The Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement In A First Novel. I will up the ante and say that if she does not win this award we have some idiot judges. I have read all the entries and, while I enjoyed all of them, Candy House is special. The others cannot compare to the brilliance of what Kate has portrayed with her words. Okay, I know there are stalwarts who will say that this great novel is not conventional enough to win a Stoker. Damn that kind of thinking! Horror needs new voices with exciting tales that are different. We need to end the good-old-boy domination of these awards. Some authors up for nomination this year do not, in my opinion, deserve to be there. No names will be mentioned. It's all up to the tastes of the readers as to what they read, but I like variety and change. I love new approaches which lead to an exciting reading experience. Kate provides us with this. 

Book Description

May 28, 2013
In Kate Jonez's debut novel, CANDY HOUSE, a brilliant young scientist moves back home with his parents because his explosive temper has ruined his career. His neighbors, a family of witches, imps and demons, are charged with keeping science under control. They must, by using their debauched and twisted magic, stop Roland before he fulfills his destiny and makes a deadly discovery that will change the nature of humanity forever.

“Think Rob Zombie meets John Waters meets—I’m not quite sure what, but Kate Jonez’s CANDY HOUSE is a whacked-out, twisted, and original tale of family, obsession, and not-so-neighborly witches. A promising debut!”
—Paul Tremblay, author of THE LITTLE SLEEP

“With CANDY HOUSE, Kate Jonez has created a mesmerizing and downright diabolical spectacle. There are enough luscious, disturbing images and wild ideas to send your mind reeling for days after finishing. Highly recommended!”
—Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of BLACK & ORANGE and NIGHTMARE BALLAD
5.0 out of 5 stars Tangled in Deadly Webs, November 6, 2013
This review is from: Candy House (Kindle Edition)
I love wild character transformations, and Candy House didn't disappoint. The characters in this story are rich and original. It's buckets of fun seeing how their ambitions and follies hammer them into new creatures. At the heart of the story is Roland, who has a beast within constantly pushing him to perform vicious acts. While brilliant as a scientist, Roland is an awkward man who lets those closest to him dictate his behavior. Little by little, he pushes off those shackles to become his own man. Soon Roland becomes tangled in new webs - dangerous ones. Who are his friends? Who are his enemies?

My favorite character was Aubrey. He's a smooth, slinky fellow who says "darling" a lot. He's as charming as he is cunning, and I hope Ms. Jonez gives Aubrey a book of his own soon.

This book is full of vivid characters and creepy details that kept the pages flipping by. I highly recommend it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Layered horror, August 21, 2013
J. Worthen (Salt Lake City, UT) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Candy House (Paperback)
If you were lucky, you grew up with fairy tales and had your sleep troubled by The Brothers Grimm's grim tales of witches and wolves. If you were really lucky and your parents had an overly truthful bent to them, you heard the stories in their un-edited versions, where children are cooked and evil step-mothers learn to dance in red-hot iron shoes. But what if the tales had been edited all along and the truth was even more terrible than we'd imagined? What if the witch in Hansel and Gretel was just one of many? What if the witches had a purpose and a society?

That is the premise of Kate Jonez's wonderful debut horror Candy House and it is not for kids.

However, childhood is central to the story, and here is where the story really shines. As a child Roland, the protagonist, meets Hesperia, the witch who is charged with his destruction. But he's just a child at the time. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem for witches who throw kids into ovens and num them right up, but the rules of the game mean that he's given time to mature (fatten up, so to speak) before the fateful feasting. Though he's allowed to grow, Roland does not actually grow up. Even as an accomplished adult scientist, he is very much a child. The spells and machinations of the witches have kept him in a state of adolescence that belies his true age. His domineering mother and passive father further the psychological prison that holds Roland in suspense for the coming day.

Looked at it in this way, the book takes on a dual possibility - one where the action is a product of magic and one where it could be of madness.

Julia, a troubled adolescent recently removed from a sanitarium, then becomes a counter-point to the witches and the story unravels in waves of realities that bespeak a tyranny of bureaucracies among the witches that might only be a projection of Roland's own inner demons and over-eager imaginations. He is haunted by inner voices, which could be signs of witchcraft or proof of insanity.

Jonez's metaphorical use of childhood and magic, madness and love create a rich thematic tapestry. The chills are effective and haunting, the characters believable and not always sympathetic. I particularly liked the idea of witches having a societal purpose, one in opposition to run-away science, and a police force to keep everyone in line.

All in all Candy House is a strong debut novel; simple on the outside but with subtle and rewarding layers of meanings within.

We meet people in myriad ways. Kate Jonez and I met on Facebook and then on Goodreads, where Kate  started suggesting some great books for me to read. I started searching a little deeper into the lady that is Kate Jonez. What did I find? Wow! I found a woman who blows my socks off! Not just for her excuisite writing, but for her work with Omnium Gatherum- which I mentioned above- a small press dedicated to providing unique dark fantasy fiction. Her stories dig around the human psyche to see what horrors are hidden there. Kate also provides book formatting and design for authors of Indie and traditionally published works.

You must investigate her blog and investigate what she keeps in jars. Just saying.:D

One extrememely fascinating section of her blog is her monster section.  These are not your typical monsters. We're talking The Zemu, The Rat King, and my personal favorite, The Busaw. I'm so intrigued with this Ghoulish rascal I want to write a novel about him! I will have to admit that Kate has inspired me to write about monsters from around the world. I am half-way through with my collection of stories now. Thank you, Kate!

Don't be fooled by that sweet smile on Kate's face: there are dark thoughts meandering around in her gray matter. I love those thoughts!

I highly urge EVERYONE to visit her blog and find out about Kate and her intriguing Press. Visit with the Busaw too, and tell him Blaze said hello.

Kate Jonez writes dark fantasy fiction. Her debut novel CANDY HOUSE published by Evil Jester Press is available at Amazon in print and ebook. CEREMONY OF FLIES is forthcoming from Dark Fuse April 2014.
She is also chief editor at Omnium Gatherum a small press dedicated to providing unique dark fantasy, weird fiction or literary horror in print, ebook and audio formats. Three Omnium Gatherum books have been nominated for Shirley Jackson Awards.
Kate is a student of all things scary and when she isn't writing she loves to collect objects for her cabinet of curiosities, research obscure and strange historical figures and photograph weirdness in Southern California where she lives with a very nice man and a little dog who is also very nice but could behave a little bit better.

 When anyone who knows anything about great horror tales gathers with like-minded individuals, Kate's name must come up. Kate Jonez is a Woman In Horror!

Blaze McRob

Candy House by Jonez, Kate (May 28, 2013)


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Detritus by Burke, Kealan Patrick, Shipp, Jeremy C., Borsellino, Mary and Murphy, L.S, (Jan 11, 2012)


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Phobophobia by Chamberlin, Adrian, Jeffery, Dave, Schmitz, S.L. and McBride, Tracie (Nov 30, 2011)


Attic Toys by Strand, Jeff, McKinney, Joe, McMahon, Gary and Morton, Lisa (Mar 7, 2012)


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Fortune: Lost and Found by Fawver, Kurt, Jonez, Kate and Murphy, L.S. (Aug 14, 2012)


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M is for Monster by Ian Woodhead, Serenity Banks, David Youngquist and Simon Unsworth (Oct 27, 2010)


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Murdock the Nobody by Kate Jonez (Jun 16, 2011)

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Learning the Tarot: A Reader's Guide by Kate Jonez (Mar 5, 2011)

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Flicker by Kate Jonez (Nov 1, 2010)


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