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Broken Shells
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Group Reads: Guest Author Invite > July 2018 Group Read #2 with Guest Author, Michael Patrick Hicks

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message 1: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth McKinley | 1559 comments Mod
This is the thread for our 2nd Group Read for July 2018. We'll be joined by Michael Patrick Hicks as we read his novella, BROKEN SHELLS. If you'd like to join us, you can pick up BROKEN SHELLS at the link below. Please help me welcome Michael Patrick Hicks!

https://www.amazon.com/Broken-Shells-...


message 2: by Michael (new)

Michael Hicks (michaelpatrickhicks) | 989 comments Thanks, Ken! This is quite the honor, and I'm thrilled to have been invited. I hope y'all enjoy BROKEN SHELLS and have a fun time. I'll poke my head in periodically for questions, so feel free to ask me whatever you'd like. Happy reading!


David Watson (dwatson2) I read and enjoyed Broken Shells, it's the perfect length with great characters.


message 4: by Char (new) - added it

Char  | 16828 comments Mod
Hi, Mike! It's great to see you here in this capacity. :)


message 5: by Michael (new)

Michael Hicks (michaelpatrickhicks) | 989 comments Thanks, David and John!

Char - pretty cool, eh? :D


message 6: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth McKinley | 1559 comments Mod
For those of you that are thinking that Michael looks familiar, you're right. Mike is a very active member of HA and a hell of a nice guy, to boot. I want to say thank you Mike for not just being one of the bazillion authors that only comes to HA to hawk their books and then you never hear from them in any other capacity. It's a breath of fresh air to see that you're truly one of "us" horror fans and not just someone that only cares about selling books.


message 7: by Michael (new)

Michael Hicks (michaelpatrickhicks) | 989 comments Ken wrote: "For those of you that are thinking that Michael looks familiar, you're right. Mike is a very active member of HA and a hell of a nice guy, to boot. I want to say thank you Mike for not just being o..."

Thank you, Ken! I only wish I could be more active here, but given some of my reviewing commitments, sometimes certain things have to give.

We'll see how the polls shake loose, but I'm hoping to jump in on the group reads for Brian and Mary, and am pretty much always looking for any kind of excuse to buy more of their books. The fact that it helps him financially given his recent burn injuries and the medical bills now piling up gives me even more reasons to one-click their titles. I can't wait to see what books get chosen!

So yeah, I'm planning on being around here one way or another. With either my author-hat on, or just as a reader, I'm glad to be an HA member. :D


Kimberly (kimberly_3238) | 6441 comments Mod
I loved BROKEN SHELLS, but this is honestly one I'd like to squeeze in for a re-read. I'm in!


Elke (misspider) | 623 comments Why did I not yet read this book?! Just found this on my "squeeze-in" shelf where I put my discovery bookshelf challenge books (which I shamelessly neglect for no obvious reason). Perfect time to read it now.


message 10: by Michael (new)

Michael Hicks (michaelpatrickhicks) | 989 comments Thanks for joining in, Kim, and for a re-read no less! :D

And thank you, too, Elke! I hope you dig Broken Shells.


message 11: by Michael (new)

Michael Hicks (michaelpatrickhicks) | 989 comments For anybody looking to take part, I should mention Broken Shells is currently on sale for the rest of this week, and the ebook is only 99c on all platforms. It's also available in print and audio if you prefer, so there's plenty of ways to digest this one. Ken was gracious enough to post the Amazon link up top, but if you're if not an Amazon customer, you can find all the other purchase links at https://www.michaelpatrickhicks.com/b....

Cheers, all!


message 12: by Char (new) - added it

Char  | 16828 comments Mod
Nice, thanks for that, Mike! (And I would like to echo Ken's statement, it's nice to see you around HA, participating in discussions and whatnot. It's super cool.) :)


message 13: by Michael (last edited Jun 28, 2018 07:49AM) (new)

Michael Hicks (michaelpatrickhicks) | 989 comments Char wrote: "Nice, thanks for that, Mike! (And I would like to echo Ken's statement, it's nice to see you around HA, participating in discussions and whatnot. It's super cool.) :)"

My pleasure! And thank you, Char! I'm trying to plow through the never-ending ARCs - you know how that is! - so I can dabble a bit more in this month's reads. I just picked up the new Strand book not long ago, so it's awesome to see him on tap here, too. :)


message 14: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth McKinley | 1559 comments Mod
Mike, how long have you been writing? Who would you say were your influences?


message 15: by Michael (new)

Michael Hicks (michaelpatrickhicks) | 989 comments Ken wrote: "Mike, how long have you been writing? Who would you say were your influences?"

I've been writing for a couple decades, initially as a hobbyist where I produced a few trunk novels and short stories that will never see the light of day. About ten years ago I began writing professionally as a freelance photojournalist for some local publications. After a few years of telling other people's stories, I got the itch to tell my own again and got back into writing fiction.

Influences - primarily Stephen King. He's the guy that made me a reader first and foremost, and when I began taking a serious interest in writing way back in high school, he's the guy I looked up to. I found inspiration from a wide range of authors, like Dennis Lehane, Barry Eisler, Michael Crichton. More recently, I can feel some influences of Bentley Little, Jonathan Janz, Brian Keene, Mary SanGiovanni, Aniah Ahlborn, and Tim Curran creeping in.


Kimberly (kimberly_3238) | 6441 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Ken wrote: "Mike, how long have you been writing? Who would you say were your influences?"

I've been writing for a couple decades, initially as a hobbyist where I produced a few trunk novels and s..."


That's some great inspiration right there!!


Latasha (latasha513) | 11283 comments Mod
I'm going to join in but I don't know if I want to read this one or to listen to it...


Melanie | 1656 comments Michael wrote: "For anybody looking to take part, I should mention Broken Shells is currently on sale for the rest of this week, and the ebook is only 99c on all platforms. It's also available in print and audio i..."

Thank you Michael, I've just bought it and will be able to join in on this one now.


message 19: by Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* (last edited Jun 29, 2018 06:25AM) (new)

Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* (erinpaperbackstash) | 876 comments Sounds interesting, just grabbed the e-book.

Welcome, Michael!


message 20: by Dustin (new) - added it

Dustin Mike, HI, what a pleasure it is for you to join us!☺ Congratulations on being chosen this month!


Kimberly (kimberly_3238) | 6441 comments Mod
Re-reading! (view spoiler)


message 22: by Elke (new) - rated it 4 stars

Elke (misspider) | 623 comments Read & enjoyed the book yesterday - review to follow...

I love creature features so I was thrilled when I learned this was another one, and well done! I wasn't aware of the myths it is based on. I was wondering where the creatures came from and what their background was, so I was glad to find that information in the book.

What I did miss though was an explanation why it had to be humans instead of e.g. cattle, something along the lines of only human blood for vampires?

And another non-related question: what's currently on your Netflix list? Are you a movie guy or more of a series binge watcher? I also tend to add too many titles to my list (though not as extensive as with books). I sometimes wonder how they are able to release new stuff every couple of days.

And last one (for now - Aller guten Dinge sind drei):
what are you currently reading and what is your favorite book?


message 23: by Michael (new)

Michael Hicks (michaelpatrickhicks) | 989 comments Elke wrote: "Read & enjoyed the book yesterday - review to follow...

I love creature features so I was thrilled when I learned this was another one, and well done! I wasn't aware of the myths it is based on. I..."


Thanks for giving it a read, Elke! I'm glad you enjoyed it! To tackle your questions --

(view spoiler)

RE: my Netflix list...oh god. So freaking many things. The post-Defenders Marvel shows and Altered Carbon are up there. My wife and I are finally slowly working our way through season two of Stranger Things. We have two very young children, so our TV time is pretty minimal these days. If we had the time, I would definitely binge! Movies are a very rare luxury nowadays.

I'm currently reading an ARC of Renee Miller's upcoming Eat the Rich. I just finished reading Rio Youers's Halcyon, and that was fantastic.

All-time favorite book is Stephen King's It!


message 24: by Michael (new)

Michael Hicks (michaelpatrickhicks) | 989 comments Kimberly wrote: "Re-reading! [spoilers removed]"

Yay! I hope it holds up the second time through. :D


message 25: by Michael (new)

Michael Hicks (michaelpatrickhicks) | 989 comments Latasha, Melanie, Erin, Dustin - thank you for the warm welcome, and thanks for checking out Broken Shells. :)


message 27: by Elke (new) - rated it 4 stars

Elke (misspider) | 623 comments Michael wrote: "Thanks for giving it a read, Elke! I'm glad you enjoyed it! To tackle your questions --"

Thanks for the extensive explanation, which meets up with what I already guessed: 'it has always been that way' and therefore is not questioned by Dangle - tradition and all that, plus he seems like a guy to always choose the most convenient, or least work-intensive, path. No deal breaker, I was just curious, especially if that reason also has some background in the myths the story is loosely based on (I am totally unfamiliar with that stuff).

Re. Netflix: Altered Carbon has also caught my eye, but didn't make it further than my list yet ;) I'm not much into Marvel and comic stuff, but Jessica Jones was not too bad.

I can totally relate to the time limit due to children in the house...a couple weeks ago, I had a 'family-free' weekend and couldn't believe how much reading and binge-watching fit into that time, which was a great way to recharge my batteries.
Mostly I fall asleep over some Netflix show and the next time I have to rewind to continue because I missed half the episode ;)

'Eat the Rich' and 'Halcyon' both sound interesting *addstolist* though I never heard of the books or authors before.

'It' is a favorite of mine, too. Guess that has something to do with the fact that it was one of my earliest contacts with the horror genre and therefore left a lasting impression.

Thanks for writing this great story and for taking your time to join this group read! As always, thanks also to the HA mods for organizing this event.


message 28: by Michael (new)

Michael Hicks (michaelpatrickhicks) | 989 comments Elke wrote: "Michael wrote: "Thanks for giving it a read, Elke! I'm glad you enjoyed it! To tackle your questions --"

Thanks for the extensive explanation, which meets up with what I already guessed: 'it has a..."


My pleasure, Elke! Thanks for giving it a read and a review. And thanks, too, for the great questions! :D


message 29: by Elke (new) - rated it 4 stars

Elke (misspider) | 623 comments Another question: what are your plans for future projects? Anything in the making yet?


Melanie | 1656 comments Just started the book tonight and already scowling at the computer....that Dangle character, I hope he gets his comeuppance!


message 31: by Michael (new)

Michael Hicks (michaelpatrickhicks) | 989 comments Melanie wrote: "Just started the book tonight and already scowling at the computer....that Dangle character, I hope he gets his comeuppance!"

LOL Stay tuned, Melanie! :D


message 32: by Michael (new)

Michael Hicks (michaelpatrickhicks) | 989 comments Elke wrote: "Another question: what are your plans for future projects? Anything in the making yet?"

Oh yes! The gears are grinding on a few projects. For the last year and a half, I've been working on a trilogy of historical horror with a Lovecraftian bent. It initially started off as a 30,000-word novella series, but the third book has grown into a novel-length work that will be almost the size of books one and two combined.

This project has been all-consuming, alternating between feeling highly rewarding and frustrating as hell, and it's been a beast to get right. Once it's finished, I'm going to tackle a smaller stand-alone project, likely another novella to try and cleanse my creative palette, and then turn my attention toward a novel I've had brewing for a while. So, yeah, there's a few things in the making. :)


Melanie | 1656 comments Michael wrote: "Elke wrote: "Another question: what are your plans for future projects? Anything in the making yet?"

Oh yes! The gears are grinding on a few projects. For the last year and a half, I've been worki..."


Ahhh, you had me at Lovecraftian....


message 34: by Michael (new)

Michael Hicks (michaelpatrickhicks) | 989 comments Melanie wrote: "Michael wrote: "Elke wrote: "Another question: what are your plans for future projects? Anything in the making yet?"

Oh yes! The gears are grinding on a few projects. For the last year and a half,..."


If all goes well, all three books will be out next year and in pretty rapid succession.


Melanie | 1656 comments 50% of the way through and I'm more than a wee bit concerned about (view spoiler).


Melanie | 1656 comments Michael wrote: "Latasha, Melanie, Erin, Dustin - thank you for the warm welcome, and thanks for checking out Broken Shells. :)"

So, a couple of months ago hubby and I took the flying monkeys to Samoa for a long-awaited holiday. While we were there we swam with, and hand-fed sea turtles. It was an amazing experience and was wondering why (view spoiler) so I googled (view spoiler). Nope nope nope. Just NOPE.


message 37: by Michael (new)

Michael Hicks (michaelpatrickhicks) | 989 comments Melanie wrote: "Michael wrote: "Latasha, Melanie, Erin, Dustin - thank you for the warm welcome, and thanks for checking out Broken Shells. :)"

So, a couple of months ago hubby and I took the flying monkeys to Sa..."


Their mouths are a bit intimidating, aren’t they? Definitely not something I’d want to encounter in the dark.


Melanie | 1656 comments Michael wrote: "Melanie wrote: "Michael wrote: "Latasha, Melanie, Erin, Dustin - thank you for the warm welcome, and thanks for checking out Broken Shells. :)"

So, a couple of months ago hubby and I took the flyi..."


Finished! I must admit Michael, I was a wee bit apprehensive about doing this read, as I haven't done one before with the author, and thought "Oh crap, what if I don't like it and the story's a big steaming pile of arse excretion?" Turns out I had nothing to worry about, I loved this story. (Thank-you Ken for picking a good one). I've written a review, I have no idea how to link it to here so you'll have to just click on my name and find the review, it's got a spoiler which I don't want to put here in case others haven't finished yet.
Thank-you SO MUCH for doing this, it's been such a treat talking to the author while reading, I'm looking forward to more of your work.


message 39: by Michael (new)

Michael Hicks (michaelpatrickhicks) | 989 comments Melanie wrote: "Michael wrote: "Melanie wrote: "Michael wrote: "Latasha, Melanie, Erin, Dustin - thank you for the warm welcome, and thanks for checking out Broken Shells. :)"

So, a couple of months ago hubby and..."


No, Melanie, thank you! Thank you for taking the chance on this book, on me, and for joining along here! I’m just glad it ended up being worth it for you!

Regarding your review’s spoiler - (view spoiler)

Thank you again for checking out Broken Shells!


Latasha (latasha513) | 11283 comments Mod
Ok I'm starting this one today.


Latasha (latasha513) | 11283 comments Mod
Oh no.
When Antoine steps foot on Dangle’s car lot, it is with the hope of easy money. Instead, he finds himself trapped in a deep, dark hole, buried alive.

How bad is it? I'm going to panic... That freaks me out bad. 💀⚰


message 42: by Michael (new)

Michael Hicks (michaelpatrickhicks) | 989 comments Latasha wrote: "Oh no.
When Antoine steps foot on Dangle’s car lot, it is with the hope of easy money. Instead, he finds himself trapped in a deep, dark hole, buried alive.

How bad is it? I'm going to panic... T..."


Is it bad that I love this reaction? :D


Latasha (latasha513) | 11283 comments Mod
Yes! Yes it is. 😱


message 44: by Elke (new) - rated it 4 stars

Elke (misspider) | 623 comments Melanie wrote: "50% of the way through and I'm more than a wee bit concerned about [spoilers removed]."

I waited for something like this to happen right until the end, too, so I guess I was satisfied with the ending. (view spoiler).

Off now - have to google images of a turtle's mouth (the comparison did make me curious but then I forgot about it)


Latasha (latasha513) | 11283 comments Mod
I'm at 35%. This book is such a nightmare. Claustrophobia & creatures that put you in cacoons? You got me good! I had to skip over some of it.


Maura (mauraps) | 32 comments Hello Michael,

I really enjoyed the book. I liked that you took the time to flesh out Dangle and show us his thoughts too. The fact that he was mostly just thinking about the fact that he'd put on weight and (like Antoine) wanting to get home to his wife was more chilling than if he was less relate-able. Like, Dangle and Antoine both have the same basic wants and motivations, but Dangle instantly writes Antoine off as worthless because of bad credit, skin color, criminal record, etc.


message 47: by Michael (new)

Michael Hicks (michaelpatrickhicks) | 989 comments Maura wrote: "Hello Michael,

I really enjoyed the book. I liked that you took the time to flesh out Dangle and show us his thoughts too. The fact that he was mostly just thinking about the fact that he'd put on..."


Thanks for checking it out, Maura. As a reader, I certainly prefer villains that operate more in shades of gray and have some dimension to them, so when I'm writing I try to put some meat on their bones and flesh them out. I always like bad guys who could be your neighbor, and I didn't want Dangle to be some kind of mustache-twirling cartoon character. I'm glad you found him somewhat relateable. That's exactly what I wanted. :D


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