Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Tar by Taylor Hohulin - Book Tour + Giveaway

by Taylor Hohulin


GENRE:   Post-apocalypse/Science Fiction/Horror



Brendan Cobb calls it tar, but there might be as many names for it as cities left standing.

To some, it’s known as filth, or blight. Others call it the Black God in reverential whispers. 
Whatever name it takes, the effects are the same. Cities left in ruins. People turned into monsters. 
Living infections with no known cure. The best anyone can do is avoid it, but even that gets harder 
the more it spreads.

Brendan survives this waking nightmare by trading salvage for shelter and for repairs to his cybernetic 
arm, until a newcomer arrives, convinced Brendan is the key to ridding the world of tar once and for 
all. Reluctantly, Brendan and his mechanic join the newcomer on a journey across the desolate 
highways of a ruined world, where he learns the true history of the tar…and of the dark power inside
him, which grows stronger every day.



I know who you are, and I know with whom you travel.

The voice thundered across the expanse, bringing with it a powerful wind. 
Out of the corner of his eye, Brendan saw the tree bend under its force, 
and then break apart and turn to dust. This was the voice from his dream at Krystal’s house, 
the voice from his journey to Tir Anhrefnus with Alicia.

Your companion wishes to destroy this, for he finds it evil.

A form rose amid the tentacles. It had a recognizable head and body, 
but the waving tendrils and branching threads rendered the creature completely alien.

But there is no evil here, only hunger. To sate an appetite is not evil. 
The wizard you follow only sees evil because he has found something he cannot control. 
He does not seek justice. He seeks safety. He is not noble. He is afraid.

The voice buffeted Brendan like a hurricane, gaining strength until its power knocked him onto his back. 
The dusty earth gave way beneath Brendan. He plummeted into the fresh pit, 
and he watched the tar trace a network of paths across the sky until what little light remained was
blotted out by the black infection.

Tell me which is more evil: Destruction out of hunger, or destruction out of fear?


Guest Post 

Taylor Hohulin’s Top 5 Horror Novels
Horror is hard to do well in fiction. At least, it’s harder for me to find horror novels that I really enjoy. I’ll take the trashiest found-footage horror movie on Netflix and have fun with all the jumps and scares, knowing full well that the filmmakers took advantage of all kinds of shortcuts at their disposal to tap into my fear.
But books? You can’t play scary music, have it drop out at the last second, and then suddenly make something really loud happen. You can’t use claustrophobic shots that practically beg you to imagine what’s just outside the frame. Maybe there are literary versions of those shortcuts to make readers’ spines tingle, but I haven’t found them yet.
The good news is that means when I find a horror novel that I like, I really like it, because the story is so phenomenal that I don’t need cheap shortcut scares.
If you’re looking for a new horror read, here are a few of my favorites…in no particular order.
Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
I mentioned how hard it is to write a book that truly causes readers to feel that same chill of fear that viewers do when watching the cheapest of horror movies, but Hex absolutely delivers some spine-tingling moments. It takes one of the oldest setups in the book—small town in the middle of nowhere bears a curse from a witch that began hundreds of years ago—and adds a few simple twists to turn it into something that feels unbelievably fresh. I don’t want to give very much away, because the way this whole book unfolds is amazing. It also does a great job exploring themes of parenting and sacrifice, and threads in just enough dry humor to cut through the admittedly dark content.

The Fisherman by John Langam
I’ve heard this book described as literary horror, a term which I definitely cocked an eyebrow at, but it totally works. Part of what fascinated me about this book was the way it was structured. It’s a plot within a plot within a plot. In the very center of the novel, there’s a story that informs every nesting-egg-layer that blooms out of it, like a sick flower. It’s a story about stories for sure, but it’s also about grief and what it does to people. This is an absolute work of art. The story definitely has a slow burn pace, but it’s got a killer payoff.

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
How could a list like this one not include this book? It’s one of the greatest works by one 
of the greatest science fiction/horror authors of all time. There is one scene in particular that is an absolute master class in using word choice to enhance the atmosphere of a scene. In my experience, it’s the closest thing a book has ever had to cranking up the scary soundtrack.

The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp
I think one of the ways to measure a book’s greatness is how often you keep thinking about it…and if that’s the case, then The Last Days of Jack Sparks  
is one of the greatest books I’ve read in the past five years. I listened to it on audiobook over the course of two days on a long road trip, and within the first five minutes, I was hooked. It’s a bit like a found-footage novel. The story is told mostly through a half-finished book by a fictional author. That storyline is supplemented with email chains between various characters, recordings from interviews this author does for research, and other pieces that make you start to wonder what’s even real. It’s a fascinating, compelling story with a twist that some people will absolutely love, and has probably also made some people chuck their books across the room. I happen to fall in the first camp, and I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
IT by Stephen King
Okay, I said these were in no particular order, but this is the exception. I’ve saved the best for last. IT isn’t just my favorite horror novel of all time…
it’s my favorite novel of all time. With the exception of That One Scene At The End That Really Doesn’t Hold Up So We Won’t Talk About It, there is so much that works about this book. The way that it’s two stories told across two timelines at the same time. The blend of crazy, cosmic scares and poignant scenes of friendship and vulnerability. The thematic resonance and characterization. I grew up thinking this was a story about a demon clown that ate children, but there’s really a lot going on in here. It’s a powerful story about friendship, growing up, and how—if we let them—our unconfronted fears will ultimately shape our identity.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Taylor Hohulin is a radio personality by morning, a science fiction author by afternoon, 
and asleep by 9:30. He is the author of The Marian Trilogy, Tar, and other genre-blending works. 
He lives in West Des Moines, Iowa, with his wife, where they are owned by a dog and a cat.

The book will be on sale for $0.99.


Taylor Hohulin will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn 
winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Please try not to spam posts with the same comments over and over again. Authors like seeing thoughtful comments about their books, not the same old, "I like the cover" or "sounds good" comments. While that is nice, putting some real thought and effort in is appreciated. Thank you.