Dick Grimm is a seminary-trained, overeducated, underemployed devout agnostic who is fascinated by religion and religious beliefs. The four pillars of his intellectual formation are Star Wars, the DC Comics of the Seventies, the truly horrible radio-friendly pop and metal of the Eighties, and the King James Version of the Bible.
If Anne Rice, Tom Clancy, and Christopher Moore all got high and wrote stories together, you might find something like Dick's fiction in the trash the next morning.
Dick is currently developing Nightfall, an eighteen-volume series of urban fantasy and paranormal suspense chronicling the end of human civilization. The first novel in the Nightfall series is ICEBITCH, and it's available NOW! The second novel is DEMONBIRTH, which will be available in summer 2016.
Where to find Dick Grimm online
by Dick Grimm
A missing girl with a reputation.
A shallow grave beside a creek.
And two preteen kids in over their heads.
Autumn Faust sees ghosts.
Paul Reagan loves adventure.
But when they uncover clues about a murder, will anyone pay attention to them? Or will they attract no one's attention but the killer's?
SLUTSHAME is the harrowing tale of two kids confronted with adult crimes.
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Smashwords book reviews by Dick Grimm
- Redemption Song
on Aug. 17, 2015
Redemption Song is a supernatural thriller that starts off with a bang and never lets up on the suspense.
But it's more than that. It's the story of a woman torn between her disillusioned skepticism and her undeniable experience with the unexplainable. It's the story of a mother's love and a child's optimism. It's the story of one romance maturing as another begins to blossom.
But most of all it's about the conflict between those who would preserve life versus those who would destroy it. It's about loyalty and being trustworthy and coming through for the people who depend on you. It's a tale of some of the evil things that people do, and it's an ode to the fact that we can sometimes redeem ourselves from the very worst failures.
The story moves briskly without reducing the characters to one- or two-dimensional cut-outs. You never feel like the characters' fates are a foregone conclusion, and at the same time you care about what happens to them.
Possibly the best book Stephan Loy has ever written.
- The Moneylender Of Levantine
on Aug. 24, 2015
With a little editing and a little help with English, this could have been a five-star story. Jacob Mossberg sets a dark mood from the very beginning of the story. I had confidence right away that the ending was going to be good, and it was. A lot of authors can't sell me from the beginning that their story is going to be worth reading. Mossberg did, and he didn't disappoint.
While I was reading the second half of the story, one question started bugging me: Why? Why was one character in particular behaving the way she/he did? I wondered if Mossberg had written a longer story, perhaps he would have gone deeper into that character. But at the very end, Mossberg made good use of that character's motivation.
I knew right away that, from the very first page, that Mossberg was not a native English speaker. That may throw off some readers, but with his dark fairy tale story, his voice seemed appropriate. If you're the kind of person who can't stand someone using "it's" when the author should use "its", you might find this story hard to get through. But I personally was able to ignore that and just enjoy the story.
Mossberg really rewarded me in the final page or two. But throughout he maintained that tone of a dark fairy tale that I found very readable. I'll definitely be reading more of Mossberg's work.
- Ugly Whores
on Aug. 31, 2015
The title got me to look at the first page. And then the writing hooked me.
This is a great short story. It's fantasy without the dragons or wizards or orcs. Just medieval or maybe iron age characters--and those characters are great. They speak with distinctive voices. Ryan does a great job of setting a tense scene and then giving voice to lifelike characters who speak of fear, mortality, and regret. And then Ryan demonstrates that he can write a fine action scene.
I never heard of this guy Edward K. Ryan before. Ugly Whores just showed up when I logged into Smashwords and I looked for the newest free books. Normally I laugh at a lot of the amateurish covers and descriptions on the Newest page. But thanks to Ryan, I'll be trying my luck there more frequently. But honestly, the first thing I'll do when I finish this review is see what else he's selling here. I'm hoping for another story featuring Afton Leer.
- Will You Sing Fredric?
on Sep. 01, 2015
Jacob Mossberg has written quite a different story from his other one which I reviewed. His previous work, The Moneylender of Levantine, felt to me like a fairy tale in an medieval setting. In Will You Sing Fredric? he puts a more postmodern spin on the fairy tale.
Fredric, the protagonist, awakens one night to hear a voice asking, "Will you sing, Fredric?" And from that point on, we go on an odyssey with the character as he confronts the questions, Who is speaking to him? What does this person or entity want from him? And should he do it?
I didn't read this chiefly as a comic piece, but there were several lines that made me laugh. More than that, however, the piece made me think. Mossberg demonstrates here that he can write more than just gothic supernatural tales...although the supernatural seems to be a theme he enjoys.
Ultimately, Mossberg lets his readers decide what to make of the story, and I liked that. I wondered if the story might be a subtle satire of religious enthusiasts who veer off into extremism, but Mossberg never laid out his intent clearly enough for me to say for certain. I found it definitely worth the time I invested in reading this short but intriguing story.
- Of Little Faith
on Sep. 02, 2015
This story is a masterpiece.
For one thing, even though it deals with themes I've seen repeatedly in James Wilber's writing, the tone is different from any other book of his I've read. He masterfully adopts the voice of an old Norseman spinning a tale around a campfire 1,500 years ago.
For another thing, this story is laugh-out-loud funny.
And finally, it's spiritually, religiously, and historically literate. You see all kinds of people trying to write about gods nowadays, but very few of these writers seems to spend much time investigating what the myths were really about. Usually, it's "Athena? Oh, sure. I read this one myth about her. I can spin a novel about her based on that and on my cousin Suzie!" But Wilber takes this material seriously.
But again...it's laugh-out-loud funny, at the same time.
Be aware...the last half of the download is promotional material. So even though the word count is 7,000 words, only about 4,000 of that consists of the actual story.
But I really love this book. I'm adding it to my library. It's free, and that's a crying shame. Wilber should get paid for writing that's this good.
- The Unicorn of Serpent Lake
on Sep. 03, 2015
The Unicorn of Serpent Lake is a sweet but dark fairy tale. Very short, and very easy to read. Candace Morales writes a story that sets a mood of brooding romance that draws you into her world.
The story is definitely worth a read. I look forward to seeing more of her fantasy fiction.
- The Vampire and I
on Sep. 23, 2015
A good, fast, easy read for people who like erotic horror...or perhaps this is more like paranormal romance. Not terribly explicit. Very sensual. Leaves you wanting to know more about the two main characters. I'll be looking at more of Lillian Smith's work in the near future.
- Ghosts of Kiranon
on Oct. 12, 2015
Another entertaining fantasy story from Edward K Ryan, one of the best short story writers I've come across on Smashwords.
Devoc, the old, blind shaman ditches his younger guides who still have their eyes. Why? Perhaps he sees something they don't.
A nice quick read about fate and compassion and purposefulness. Ryan writes quality fantasy fiction, and
Ghosts of Kiranon is a fine example.
- Enforcing Christmas
on Dec. 14, 2015
As is my custom from time to time, I looked through the free recently-published books here at Smashwords. I had the good fortune today of stumbling across Raina Lorring's story, Enforcing Christmas.
The book's description makes it clear the story deals with werewolves, so I'll assume I'm not spoiling anything by mentioning the paranormal content of the book. There are a couple of really nice lines in this story, like, "Her mother disappeared back into the kitchen. Such a normal act, especially for a woman who in
her other form could easily tear out a human throat."
Ms. Lorring crams a lot of backstory into this short story, and sometimes it's done a little too obviously. However, this isn't designed to be a one-off story that you read and then forget about. She's trying to get you engaged with her characters for her forthcoming novel. I thought she did an effective job.
Ms. Lorring's writing style is simple and direct. I noticed a couple of typos... "Pass" where it should have been "past." "Dying" instead of "dyeing." "Scrapped" where it should have been "scraped," but nothing that substantially detracted from the story, unless you're part of the Grammar Gestapo.
The characters were all sharply drawn, in my opinion. Sometimes, new authors' characters can lack personality or distinct voices, but this wasn't the case with Enforcing Christmas. Narrative tension was maintained. Once the story's principal conflict was revealed, I was entertained and engaged as a reader. I wanted to see how the story would turn out. Ms Lorring employed some universal relationship dynamics which made her characters relatable and easy to sympathize with. The resolution of the plot felt natural and not forced at all.
The first chapter (or perhaps the portion of the first chapter) of her soon-to-be-published novel A Broken Howl was also competently written, and established a couple of brewing conflicts which could make for an entertaining story.
If you enjoy paranormal romance or urban fantasy, you very well may find this story to be a satisfying read.
- Internet Killed the Video Star
on March 11, 2016
Lex Williams is a fine writer. I mean, he's *really* good.
This without a doubt tied for the best story I've read on this website. (For me, it's a tie with James Wilber's "Little Faith")
A lot of authors on Smashwords are still trying to figure out what they're doing. Williams isn't one of those. Williams has it figured out--In this story, anyway. As soon as I'm done with this story, I'm gonna check out another one to see if he can pull off something this good multiple times.
The opening scenes introduce us to the characters, telling us just enough about them that we want to know more. Williams doesn't bore us with unnecessary exposition or description. Because ultimately, it doesn't matter what these characters look like or how they dress. That doesn't influence the horror.
As the best horror writers do (in my opinion, anyway) Williams not only spins a disturbing tale--he also comments upon and critiques the society we live in. His observations about the age of social media and about technology were spot-on. And his voice was refreshingly neutral. It felt neither overtly testosterone- nor estrogen-heavy. In fact, I had to visit his website just to find out if the author was a man or a woman (not that that matters. I was just curious whether I ought to say "he" or "she" in this review).
There's no gore in the story's opening pages. But what there *is* is a feeling of growing dread--of impending doom. And that's another thing that I really enjoy in horror.
This story takes place in the world of YouTube Gamers, tech podcasters, and independent game designers. While I personally am not into that scene, my 17 yr old daughter is, and so I know enough about it to say that Williams totally captured the vibe of what goes on there. And he exploits it effectively, giving all his characters plausible motivations for the way they act.
One scene three-quarters of the way through just about broke my heart. I rarely read *anyone's* horror story where my stomach drops and my heart speeds up. Horror just doesn't affect me that way most of the time. But this story did impact me that strongly. And then it got even worse from there.
There are a couple of typos, but those were insignificant to me. They didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story; I only mention them because some people might get all finicky about that kind of thing.
And of course, the title is brilliant. That's what hooked me into reading this story. In fact, the title is even more brilliant after you've read the story than when you see it for the first time.
- Fear Peddlers
on July 31, 2016
This is the third or fourth Lex Williams story i've read, and I've enjoyed them all. It's a pretty short work--less than 2,000 words--so I won't give away the gist of the story. I'll merely say that in Mr. Williams's previous stories, I've appreciated the way he injects his social conscience into his work. He's not a guy who writes a story solely because he's bored and can't think of anything better to do. His past stories have been about ideas, and Fear Peddlers is no different in that respect.
This story is competently written and edited. It is a piece worthy of a few minutes of your time if you like fiction with a message, but at the same time, I didn't find it preachy. I thought the subject was quite timely.