- Author: Ronald Kelly
- Artist: Alex McVey
- Page Count: 424
- Pub. Date: February 2009
- ISBN: 978-1-58767-182-1
- Status: Out of Print
Midnight Grinding & Other Twilight Terrors
by Ronald Kelly
About the Book:
It's dark. Crickets chirp in the black of night, accompanied by the lonesome call of a whippoorwill. On the front porch of a ramshackle house, pale moonlight reveals two forms in rocking chairs, facing one another. Just you and the storyteller.
You are uneasy at first, a little nervous… but for what reason? After all, they are only tall tales and folklore passed down from generation to generation. Just a bunch of ghost stories and strange yarns conjured up for your entertainment. Or are they? Perhaps, in some dreadful way, they are based more in fact, than in fiction.
You sit there in silence for a long moment. You contemplate making an excuse and taking your leave. But it is too late. In hushed tones, the storyteller begins. The crickets grow disturbingly quiet and the whippoorwill is replaced by the far away howling of a dog. Or something vaguely — and sinisterly — similar.
Then the storytelling session begins. And the darkness about you grows even darker…
The children of an itinerant farm family are secretly terrorized by a deranged handyman with a fetish for stone-honed steel and a deadly question upon his whiskered lips…
A Southern gentleman discovers that his demure and delicate wife suffers from a horrible physical ailment that originates not from without, but within…
An infamous and dangerous gator reigns fear and death upon the dark swamps of Black Bayou and, for one unfortunate Cajun, turns its underwater lair into a watery Hell…
Two Atlanta homicide detectives discover that a recent rash of cold-blooded murders — and the grisly trophies collected from the victims — lead to a horror born of cold winds and insanity…
A popular rockabilly star shares the secret of his sudden rise to fame and the awful price he has paid to attain success…
A prodigal son returns to his hometown to find that nothing has changed… or has it, due to some hidden and forgotten evil from centuries past?
An eager fan of horror films travels cross-country in search of his favorite scream queen, only to find that some infatuations should be left unexplored…
And there are other tales, just as dark and disturbing. Tales that roll off the storyteller's tongue like a smooth and subtle poison… dragging you downward, further downward into the shadowy depths of a dark and disturbing imagination.
In his first short story collection, Ronald Kelly spins an array of unsavory tales that could only beat in the dark heart of Dixie.
Come, have a seat on the ol' front porch and experience the blackness
and depravity that lies, hidden but alive, amid the kudzu and magnolias south
of the Mason-Dixon Line.
"The 32 tales in Kelly's debut collection are chock-full of weird cults, vampires, mutant monsters and other stock props of generic horror fiction. “Breakfast Serial” and “Yea, Though I Drive” are biter-bit stories in which vagabond psychopaths with murder on their minds are undone by the victims whom they stalk. In “The Web of La Sanguinaire,” an arachnologist pursuing an overgrown species of spider becomes the ultimate sacrifice to his studies when the creatures show an unanticipated talent for turning the tables. Kelly, a stalwart presence from the horror paperback-original market of the 1990s, writes stories that, for the most part, show a workmanlike zeal: after setting up a simple premise, they proceed methodically to eerie finales prepared for by a few well-timed shocks and plot twists. Short on atmosphere and simple in their telling, they nevertheless deliver their share of thrills and chills."
— Publishers Weekly
"Every seasoned horror fan is familiar with the genre's stylistic extremes, from cerebral suspense to in-your-face mayhem. With several novels featuring demons, werewolves, and plenty of gore to his credit, Kelly has proven himself a stalwart disciple of the latter category. In his first collection of stories, the titles 'Blood Suede Shoes,' and 'Depravity Road' introduce gruesome tales about serial killers, flesh-eating caterpillars, and snakelike newborn children. Since Kelly's specialty is 'southern-fried' horror, many of the tales take place in and around Kentucky and Tennessee, amid swamplands and tobacco farms. An entomologist tours a remote bayou, becoming entangled in the web of a giant, flesh-eating spider. A corn-shucking ceremony in the rural South turns deadly for a young farmer who kisses the wrong dance partner. The dystopian 'Bookmarks' describes a future America run by a Bible belt fundamentalist preacher, in which a horror writer (Kelly's alter ego, no doubt) is imprisoned for his novels. Kelly's flair for imaginatively macabre scenarios yields a juicy compendium of nightmare-inducing gems."
"Ronald Kelly is a storyteller, plain and simple, and with Midnight Grinding, he proves that plain and simple is just plain old good. Here's hoping that he jumps back in to writing horror fiction with both feet. He'll need to, once horror fans get a sample of his work and start clamoring for more."
— Denise Dutton, The Green Man Review
"Ron showcases his talent by not only giving us the requisite horror and scares, but also incorporating other themes as well... the tales in MIDNIGHT GRINDING all have one thing in common: every one of the bunch is well-written, wildly entertaining, and sure to have you on edge throughout... I have absolutely no reservations about giving MIDNIGHT GRINDING a 10 out of 10 and telling you to plunk down your hard-earned dough to get a copy. It's one of the best collections I've ever read, and there's no doubt in my mind you’ll enjoy it too."
— Andy Monge, Horror Drive-In.com
"Mr. Kelly infuses each story with his unique voice and storytelling ability. The frights are plentiful, and the characters are varied and believable... If you have not yet been able to read any of Mr. Kelly’s back catalog, this is a good place to start."
— Peter D. Schwotzer, Famous Monsters Of Filmland
Ronald Kelly was born and raised in the hills and hollows of Middle Tennessee. Specializing in Southern Horror, Kelly sets his dark rural tales in his home state and other southern locations. His novels include Hindsight, Pitfall, Something Out There, Moon of the Werewolf, Father’s Little Helper, The Possession, Fear, and Blood Kin. His audio-collection Dark Dixie: Tales of Southern Horror was nominated for a Grammy award in 1991 and he has had numerous short stories in major anthologies, such as Cold Blood, Shock Rock, Hot Blood, Borderlands, The Earth Strikes Back, and Dark At Heart.
Published in two states:
• Limited Edition of 1,250 signed copies bound in full cloth and Smyth sewn ($40)
• Traycased Lettered Edition of 52 signed and lettered copies bound in leather with a satin ribbon page marker ($175)