A shout out to all Black Bed Sheet Books authors! : If you have a book coming out and are procuring blurbs, then send a review copy to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll hit you up.
Here's a blurb and review I was asked to do recently by a non-BBS publisher for Writer/director Eric Red (The Hicther, Near Dark, 100 Feet).
“Eric Red’s debut novel, Don’t Stand So Close, is an intoxicating tale of seduction, anxiety and courage,
nudging the reader to explore their own emotional vulnerability and consider the complexities of the
human psyche, no doubt leaving many thinking to themselves Thank God it wasn’t me!” —HORNS,
Author of Chophouse and Stationhouse No. 1.
Review of Don’t Stand So Close
I believe George A. Romero once said,
"I've always felt that the real horror is next door to us, that the scariest monsters are our neighbors."
Keeping that in mind, Eric Red’s novel, Don’t Stand So Close, tests this idea and shows us what can
happen when the delicate pane of glass we view the world around us through gets cracked — one
typically made up of comfort and familiarity in a presumed norm, and most significantly, trust. More
often than not, a break in the surface tends to spread at a fast rate. And in this story’s case, with chilling
consequence. Especially when you’re young and inexperienced and the corruptive effect is planned by
someone in a position of authority.
In Don’t Stand So Close, Red takes us to the heartland of America, amid cornfields and country homes,
set in the rural community of Wayland, Iowa, with its hardworking people and countrified scenic views,
he gives us an outsider's unacquainted, quizzical perspective, that of teenager Matt Poe. We’re presented
with a conventional fish-out-of-water storyline and its usual setup, but soon learn it’s the perfect device
for seduction, lies, betrayal, and even murder. In a simplified example, think Footloose (1984) meets To
Die For (1995). Still, Don’t Stand So Close is a riveting, original story, and one in which the author has
crafted a deliciously devious villainess with a wickedness that’s very human, very nearly tangible — a
profound evil capable of getting too close for comfort.
While I compliment Red for treating the reader to skilled prose, true-to-life characters, and a never-dull,
emotion-packed story, I especially applaud him for keeping his younger characters believable, resisting
the mistake many writers make by slipping in their own mental maturity and infusing an improbable
wisdom in the characters incongruent with their age. Numerous times he reminds us, either through
dialogue, actions or reactions, the teenagers in his story are just that . . . teenagers. Not to imply they’re
dumb or childish individuals but, instead, young people both benefited and flawed by the fashioning
moments of their youth.
Let me assure you, erotic horror/thriller fans are in for an exciting tale of temptation and terror, crime and
passion, and so much more when they open the pages of Don’t Stand So Close by celebrated
screenwriter/director Eric Red. Rarely does a book truly unsettle and amaze the reader long after the last
page is turned. For me, Don’t Stand So Close is one of those books.
On a more personal note, I’ll never forget one sunny day back in my own youth when I was walking
home from high school. Long hair swinging behind my back, textbooks held in the crook of my arm, my
sneakers clapping the blacktop in a leisurely pace across the parking lot of my local grocery store, still
within sight of the school grounds. And then lifting my hand to block the glaring sun so I could see the
car slowly approaching me in a curious way. Next, seeing the driver, a fine-looking female with teased
blonde hair, wearing not much other than a tight-fitting dress and a sexy smile. “Hi,” she said, staring
coquettishly and quickly nodding down at her lap, while suggestively pulling the hem of the dress up high
to reveal to me an inviting naked length of thigh. “Do you know anyplace around here where we could go
to see some metal bands play?” Of course, me being the virginal, Christian-raised young man I was at the
time, nervously rattled off the name of some venue and skittered away as fast as I could, only hindered by
the stiffness that had grown inside my pants. As memorable as the event was, the real rush happened later
on, months after, when one day I was watching the news and happened to spot a female who looked
strikingly familiar to the attractive gal who’d tempted from her car. To this day, though impossible to
prove, I still remember, with salacious imagination, her name . . . Pamela Smart … and I tremble with a
passing chill, thinking, What if?…What if?