on June 24, 2012 :
This is a collection of six of Lori's best stories preceded by a poem called 'Chocolate Covered Eyes'. All the stories have a horror theme and are slightly macabre.
This is the first taste I have had of Lori's work and I think I shall be coming back for more. She has an irreverent, humorous style that certainly appeals. The stories were deliciously dark, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. If I have one criticism, it would be the constant use of long and 'fancy' words - I found myself reaching my dictionary quite a lot! On the plus side I have expanded my vocabulary by some way. This is just a minor niggle though and I still recommend this as a great and enjoyable anthology.
(reviewed 6 months after purchase)
on April 4, 2012 :
Ambrosia for the imagination...Chocolate Covered Eyes is a collections of poetry (just one) & short stories by the amazingly talented Lori Lopez. Each individual story has a life all it's own, while being able to illustrate Lori's writing style. The stories ar enot for the feint of heart, and definitely require you to be able to think out...side the box. I don't want to reveal too much, for fear of giving the stories away, but I will go on the record stating that this book has something for everyone, and that all of the stories are amazingly written. After reading this, I'm a Lori Lopez fan for life!!! Well done my dear lady, well done.....
(reviewed 13 days after purchase)
on Feb. 19, 2012 :
Lori's style is initially a bit of a shock to me... its a bit like going out for fish 'n' chips and ending with the a silver service, fine dining novelle cuisine meal!
If you are looking for some light reading, run away now... Lori is intense, emotion evoking, gigglesome in parts, never dull and exhausting in her descriptions.
To start with I tried to just read Lori's wondering outpourings, but oh no, you need to digest them, allow them to flow over you and get lost in her worlds....
I love her ideas and the way she teaches me new words on nearly every page!
OK...so to this actual book!
Not sure I will ever accept chocolate treats off of a monster every again!
The off the blocks starter poem was funny yet gruesome! loved it!
Heartbeat - Zombies rule! but so do cool kids and chocolate! the vision of brains being soup du jour will take awhile to disolve! I so wanted to hug this young chap at the end of the story...
Nuance - this was a complex story which I had trouble reading and enjoying the first time, but when read over again I romped through it!! Lori has such complex ways of describing characters that you have trouble keeping track of who is who (my only complaint!) leaving me a little bamboozled! however, how can you not love carnival freaks & ghosties as a topic! My favourite line was "nature, nurture, adopted, abducted whats the difference!" made me giggle!
Tail One - I love cats and have now amended my behavior towards them.... they are the masters I am the slave!! looking forward to kittys travels... such a unique perspective!!
Beyond the Stump - Social Services have alot to answer for. Lori manages to single out your emotion nerve and then wring it for all its worth in this murdersome tale... is it ok to empathise with the "bad" guy?
Bedeviled - read this as a stand alone novel... MUCH better the 2nd time, which seems to be how to read Lori's work... you get sooooo much more the next time, you wonder how you missed it! (I did find the constant descriptions of characters instead of their names a bit confusing!) Not your usual horror stuff but I dare you not to sleep with ear plugs in after this little tale!
Macabre - the old Haunted House/Ghost story slammed into your face and rubbed around in the maggottygoo!! gently, gently, SLAM is how I felt... and unusually left wanting to know more...
A fantastic collection.... Lori Lopez is not a quick read,she mostly definitely needs cogitating but is so worth the effort as her characters and stories revolve in your head long after the book is shut.
(reviewed 25 days after purchase)
on Jan. 31, 2012 :
First, and foremost, thank you Ms. Lopez for sending me a copy of your book to read. :) and thank you Books 4 Tomorrow for the recomendation!
Ok, so I can't say too much since these are all short stories (7 of them to be exact) but I can give you a few low-downs :) Ms. Lori has a very unique style of writing, and she can captivate you with some of these. Some stories have a poem like concept, while others are just stories written. However, I will say this, if you like a little horror (maybe a lot) in your stories, you should pick up this book!
Also, the 3 stars has nothing to do with the writing, I like that part, but some stories I really liked and some I didn't, so I give it an in between mark, but I still say if you are a horror fan, you should read it!
There are stories of zombies, shifters, ghosts, zombie rights, carnivals, an ear-monster ( I dunno what to technically list him as), curses, hauntings, and choices :) If that doesn't intrigue you, I dunno if you can be helped hahaha these stories all have interesting concepts and plots that drive them, so they are fun, easy, short, but great stories :) Yes, I know, such a short review, but really, I can't say too much, or I will give away all the goodies, so get it yourself :)
(reviewed 36 days after purchase)
on Jan. 31, 2012 :
I love horror, always have and I just want you to know that if you are thinking about getting this book you will not be disappointed. There is something in Chocolate-Covered Eyes: A Sampler Of Horror for everyone. Each story is amazingly diffrent and as fun to read as the one before.
Very well written where the stories just flow from the page.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
on Jan. 19, 2012 :
I am not typically drawn to horror anthologies, but I find Lori Lopez's tales an easy read. Although sometimes gory and scary, they always have a touch of playful humor and punny words which lighten them just enough to be enjoyable. The poem CHOCOLATE COVERED EYES is just such a tale. You'll cringe, shudder, laugh, and then cringe again. HEARTBEAT on the other hand is chock full of zombies. I see it as a metaphor for our world today. I did not see the end coming! And when it comes to story telling; isn't that what we all hope for? A surprise at the end! NUANCE, I think, is the story of the human ability to rise above it all. With spectral assistance or on our own, we triumph just as Clarence -- errr -- Clark did. UNLEASHED: TAIL ONE -- Cats, love them or hate them, they all have personalities. Some have more than any of us realized. BEYOND THE STUMP resonated with me. Haven't we all, at one time or another, felt we had a greater purpose in life? BEDEVILED is just plain scary. We all fear catching a 'bug'. Careful, what you fear may be real-er than you think! And finally, MACABRE -- My best advise after reading this story is don't go tilting at windmills; you never know when they might tilt back.
(reviewed 9 days after purchase)
on Jan. 16, 2012 :
this is an excellent literary collection of stories that i relished and loved. i was amazed by the author's writing style. using a wide range of vocabulary, she still managed to make everything readable and accessible. out of the six eerie tales and one poem, my choice picks from this sampler are Heartbeat, Unleashed: Tail One, Bedeviled and Macabre.
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)
May December Publications
on Jan. 9, 2012 :
Chocolate-Covered Eyes: A Sampler of Horror by Lori R. Lopez has a little something for everyone. I am always eager to read something by somebody I have never read before. It is how you find that special gem. This book is one of those gems.
Having said that, I enjoyed MOST of the stories found in this tome. Yet, to be fair, I have never read a collection or anthology and loved EVERY story. First and foremost, as an indie title, I will applaud how clean this book reads. Many indies tend to be sloppy with spelling, grammar, and punctuation issues. That is not the case here. We always miss a few, but this is a well edited book.
So, from the beginning:
Chocolate-Covered Eyes—this was my first encounter with horror poetry outside of Poe. It was clever and fun. There were some very creative rhymes. My favorite was “mouthful of clippers” and “heavy-duty nail clippers”. I actually chuckled a few times and when I finished, I had to find my wife and read it out loud to her.
Heartbeat—was a fun take on a zombie story from a kid’s perspective. It was not standard apocalypse material. There was a strange co-existence. It could easily be seen as every youth of a single mother viewing his world and seeing a mother’s potential suitors as monsters. Overall, this story left me feeling like I would like to revisit the central character and his band of cohorts.
Nuance—for some reason, I just couldn’t get into this tale. Here is where Ms. Lopez’s use of words hurt her in my opinion. This had the makings of a gritty story. However, she let her prose style that works so well in her poetry get in the way. Too many (as my college writing teacher used to call them…and probably still does) five-dollar words. You don’t need masticate when chew works just as well. The word choice took the edge off the story and I simply could not immerse myself in it.
Unleashed: Tail One—hands down my favorite of the bunch. There is a lot more going on here than first glance leads you to believe. Having the POV switch from a dog to a cat to a detective was done with spectacular results. I actually bookmarked this for my daughter because she loves quirky stories. By story’s end, I was fairly certain the detective was up to no good, but Lopez makes no attempt to answer all the reader’s questions, which lets the mind stew on this piece long after you read it.
Beyond The Stump—This story takes advantage of the style that worked against Lopez in Nuance. There is a dark, gothic undertone that feeds the reader with images of grainy black-and-white horror classics. This is an ideal candidate for a screenplay, provided it is done sans color. The Tree as the central figure is powerfully symbolic and used with storytelling expertise that would make Mary Shelly proud. It is a piece of horror-lit you can hand to your snobby friends who tell you comedies should not be nominated for Academy Awards as they sip from a ten dollar bottle of water and nibble on a cheese with a name you can’t begin to pronounce.
Bedeviled—I immediately thought of Scott Sigler’s book, Infected. The story is not flashy, but it is engrossing. It is a fast read and my second favorite in the collection. Be warned, if you get the heeby-jeebies watching insect documentaries…stuff cotton in your ears before engaging yourself with this tale.
Macabre—When I pick closers for my anthologies, I try to put the strongest story at the end to leave an imprint. This story was okay, just not my favorite. I don’t think I ever got swept up by the main character. I found the narrative to be too long-winded at times. It was good, but not great.
All in all, this is a fine collection. It has intrigued me enough to want to read more works by Lori R. Lopez.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Dec. 10, 2011 :
I enjoyed this excellent book, a complete mix of tales, from shudders to smiles. A read that you will remember!
(reviewed 34 days after purchase)
on Dec. 4, 2011 :
A frightful, yet sometime humorous romp into the world of Ms. Lopez. Her stories will keep you on the edge of your seat as you turn the pages with glee. I recommend this collection for a great evenings reading.
(reviewed 36 days after purchase)