Monday, 31 October 2011

Giveaway WINNER

Congratulations to

Tim Shirk

You've won a signed copy of M.E. Patterson's book Devil's Hand!

Thanks for participating in Supernatural Book Club's first ever giveaway.

Email us at the address on the right (under "contact the club") with your mailing address to claim your prize!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

A Conversation with M.E. Patterson, and a GIVEAWAY!

M.E. Patterson is a brave man. Not only was he brave enough to write and self-publish a novel, he was also brave enough to meet with a group of eight strangers from The Supernatural Book Club to discuss it with them. He could have been walking into a blood-bath, as many of us are pretty tough critics, but fortunately for Patterson, his novel is actually good.

During the almost three hour conversation we had, Patterson (who goes by Matt in real life) was charismatic and charming as he described the journey that he went through in bring Devil's Hand to the general public. Patterson began writing Devil's Hand in 2004, finished it in 2005, and went the more traditional route of shopping it around to publishing houses to try and get it published. Over the course of the next five years he revised his work many times, and during the process, received some promising yet discouraging feedback from the industry. While some of the publishers liked the book, none of them had a place for it in their shrinking portfolio of professionally published novels.

In August 2011, Patterson took Devil's Hand directly to the people through the Barnes & Noble eBook, Amazon eBook and Amazon (self-published) paperback store. It's a decision he doesn’t regret, as he’d sold more than 700 copies of Devil’s Hand by the time The Club met with him in mid-October 2011. (Patterson explains more about his experiences with self-publishing here and here).

Luckily for us, Patterson shared that Devil's Hand will be at least a trilogy (something you’d already know if you followed @mepatterson on Twitter). The next installment in the "Drawing Thin" series is on its way, and although no release date is scheduled yet, Patterson has already finished the first draft. During our Q&A on plot points from Devil's Hand, "Just wait 'til you read the next book" or "If you liked that, you'll love the next book" were common answers. We can hardly wait.

As we dug down into the details of Devil's Hand with Patterson, we learned that lots of research went into Trent, Celia, and the monstrous and heavenly creatures that populate their world. In creating that world Patterson turned to many sources: the first being Judeo-Christian texts, like the Bible and the apocryphal texts. He also shared with us that he spent time reading Dante's Inferno and Paradise Lost by John Milton. When it came to inspiration, Patterson looked to modern greats like Neil Gaiman and China Mielville, stating " [they] construct fabulous worlds with deep, mythic stories.
I wanted Devil's Hand to have that same sort of feel hiding beneath the realistic, believable modern-day Las Vegas." And for the record, Patterson's Cherubim
had one blue eye and one green eye as an homage to David Bowie (awesome)!

The evening The Supernatural Book Club spent with Matt Patterson was great fun. We learned a lot about Matt, his process, his struggles, his inspirations and his plans for the future. We were excited by the news that "Drawing Thin" will likely be at least a trilogy, and that many of our questions from Devil's Hand will be answered in the follow-up. Reading a book that you really enjoy is rare, and getting to meet the author of that book and have him turn out to be a cool guy is even more rare. M.E. Patterson is an exciting new author in the Supernatural Thriller genera, and the Supernatural Book Club is glad to have met him, and proud to recommend his debut novel Devil's Hand.

Patterson brought with him an signed copy of Devil's Hand for one lucky blog reader to win! Simply leave a comment below to be entered. Deadline to enter is Saturday October 30th at 11:59PM. The winner will be chosen at random from the list of commenters, and the name of the winner will be posted on Halloween (October 31st).

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Devil's Hand by M.E. Patterson

Summary: "A Las Vegas poker ace with supernatural luck is swept into a world-ending conflict between fallen angels and otherworldly shades, in a thrilling debut novel for readers who enjoy Dean Koontz, Jim Butcher, and Tim Powers.

The lone survivor of a tragic plane crash, Trent Hawkins inherited a mysterious lucky streak that made him famous, and hated, in the poker circles of the City of Sin. It wasn't long before the eyes in the sky threw him on the blacklist and chased him out of town. Now, after years away, Trent returns to Las Vegas, and walks right back into trouble.

As a serial kidnapper terrorizes the city, Trent and his wife, Susan, rescue a strange, thirteen year-old girl, only to find themselves caught in a fallen angel's plot to cleanse Las Vegas with an unholy blizzard.

As the neon dims and the city freezes, Trent is forced to make terrible sacrifices in order to protect his new charge, and learns dark truths about himself and the creatures plotting against mankind. Poker-playing demons, fallen angels, and otherworldly shades all vie to enlist his strange luck, and Trent must choose his role in the coming War, or watch our world fall to ruin beneath a blanket of shadow and ice" (from Goodreads)

M.E. Patterson's debut novel, Devil's Hand, is a gritty supernatural thriller set against the dark and treacherous backdrop of a snow-covered Las Vegas; a place where angels and demons roam the streets and the things of nightmares lurk in the shadows. Patterson artfully brings these creatures--and the city they terrorize--to life through a quickly unfolding plot that dives head-long towards its apocalyptic finale.

Devil's Hand grabbed me early on and drew me in with a rousing mixture of action, horror, and mystery. The vividly described action sequences are fast paced and compelling. The supernatural creatures that Trent, Susan and Celia encounter are awesome, particularly the Render. The horrific situations are frightening and realistic without being overly gory or distasteful. Elements of mystery are intricately woven throughout the book and are well thought out and intriguing. It's obvious Patterson did his homework, adding a fresh take on some familiar ideas about angels, demons and the creatures in between. It’s the balanced combination of all three of these elements that kept me turning the pages.

The only struggle I had with Devil’s Hand was that I felt there could have been more character development of the protagonist, Trent. I liked Trent and found him relatable, but wanted to know more about who he was, how he was feeling and what he was thinking. The root of this criticism can likely be traced to the novel’s third person narrative. That said, given the pacing and level of action in the novel, the fact that the reader is able to relate to Trent at all is a testament to Patterson’s storytelling ability. And without the third person narrative we wouldn’t have been treated to the darker chapters focused on Salvatore and Celia, nor the enthralling action sequences with Zamagiel or the Render.

Bottom line: Devil’s Hand, the self-published debut novel by M.E. Patterson, earns a well-deserved A-. Definitely recommended for fans of Butcher and Koontz, or anyone interested in a gritty, fast-paced, action-packed, supernatural thriller. Also worth noting is that digital copies of Devil’s Hand can be purchased on and for the very affordable price of $2.99.