Hellfire & Damnation Vol. 2

Hellfire & Damnation II” by Connie (Corcoran) Wilson is another tour of the 9 Circles of Hell described in Dante’s Inferno. It picks up where the first collection of short stories (2011, www.HellfireandDamnationTheBook.com) left off, using the framing device of the sins punished at each of the 9 Circles of Hell in Dante’s “Inferno.” Winner of the (IWPA) Silver Feather award, sequel to the E-Lit Gold Medal award winner Hellfire & Damnation, Hellfire & Damnation II as a tour of Dante’s Inferno doesn’t require that you have read the first collection of short stories, which also illustrated the sins punished at each of the 9 Circles of Hell. There are no recurring characters, but there are 11 short stories, accompanying illustrations and a “From the Author” section explaining the inspiration or each story.

As 5-time Stoker winner Gary Braunbeck said: “I really don’t know how she managed to do it, but Wilson surpasses her previous Hellfire & Damnation collection with its sequel. Her writing is stronger, streamlined, and often lyrical, despite the nastiness her words describe. This is another impressive collection of tales from a writer I could very well learn to hate if she gets much better. Seriously, Connie, can’t you write just one stinker so the rest of us will feel a little bit better?”

New York Times best-selling author Jon Land, the author of the Caitlin Strong series says: “Connie (Corcoran) Wilson’s Hellfire & Damnation II is a remarkable collection of somber, noirish, flat-out scary and altogether satisfying stories that seek to find hope in a dark world that defies it. Her subtle irony and penchant for finding terror in the least expected places will generate comparisons to Stephen King and Ray Bradbury, with just a hint of Philip K. Dick thrown in. But don’t be fooled: Wilson has a wondrous voice in her own right and her tight, twisty tales establish her as a force to be reckoned with.”

Nate Kenyon, award-winning author of Diablo: The Order and Day One said: “Take a twisted ride through Hell and back with Connie (Corcoran) Wilson’s Hellfire & Damnation II…..Frozen corpses, homicidal authors and sociopathic presidential candidates just scratch the surface of this inspired collection. Don’t miss it!”

Terrie Leigh Relf, author of The Waters of Nyr and co-author, with Henry Lewis Sanders, of Blood Journey and The Ancient One said, “Whether Connie (Corcoran) Wilson has been visited by Dante’s spirit or eavesdropping by Hell’s confessionals, Hellfire & Damnation II definitely delivers on its title. There is a fine line between good and evil within these pages. A very fine line. Be careful that you don’t teeter into the abyss. From a Norwegian army deserter trapped in Limbo within the Colorado ice to parents pondering the sale of their organs to fund their college-bound son, these stories abound with life’s—and death’s—ironies.”

Brian Pinkerton, author of Rough Cut: “Connie Wilson’s new short story collection Hellfire & Damnation II sends the reader spiraling down Dante’s 9 Circles of Hell with devilish twists and turns of time and place, across eleven superb short stories.”

If you enjoy scary short stories that will linger long after you’ve finished reading them, this is the book for you.

1 review for Hellfire & Damnation Vol. 2

  1. Connie Wilson

    In “H&D II” you see and hear the world through the mind of a dead guy buried in a frozen pit for 132 years…another who’s been locked in a bitter marriage for 30. The motives are real, the emotions ring true. Connie’s greatest strength is her dialogue. You won’t go wrong anywhere in this collection.

    This book works well because of the stories’ structure. The book follows the format of Dante’s nine circles of hell (limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud and treachery). Each story is unique and depicts one of these nine circles of hell. You want to read on to see what the next circle might bring.

    “Connie Wilson’s new short story collection ‘Hellfire & Damnation II’ sends the reader spiraling down Dante’s 9 Circles of Hell with devilish twists and turns of time and place, across 11 superb short stories.”

    “This collecion of short stories is fabulous. The writing is wonderful; the word selection, the pacing, the structure, everything just works. Her writing draws you in emotionally and you feel as if you are a part of it all. The characters are first rate in all of the stories. The author mixes humor with the horror in just the right dosage.” (Bev from “The Wormhole” blog, wormyhole.blogspot.com)

  2. “I loved this book! Seriously, I have never ever read anything like it before; I doubt I’ll ever read anything like it again, except for when I read the first collection…I think the writing is what really got me hooked. While the stories were all different, they showcased her unique voice as an author; I could tell how much work she put into each and every one of the 11 short stories…I thoroughly enjoyed each story & can’t wait to read the first Hellfire & Damnation volume by this author.” (Kylie from “Little Black Marks,” 10/12/2012, kyliesreads.blogspot.com/

  3. October 18, “Turning the Pages”
    blog (www.turningthepagesx.blogspot.com): “I loved this book! Seriously, I have never read anything like it before, and I doubt I’ll ever read anything like this again, except for when I read the first collection… When I read some reviews of what readers were saying about the previous volume Connie wrote, I have to admit what people were saying (“blazingly original,” for one) had me hooked, so I signed up for the blog tour (even though it’s not my normal read). There is darkness to the writing that I just love. I think the writing is what really got me hooked on the stories. While they were all different, the way Connie wrote the story really showcased her unique voice as an author, and I could tell how much work she put into each and every one of the 11 short stories in the second volume. Even though the short stories were on the darker side, there was a somewhat poetic nature to the writing that also seemed to lighten the stories, if that makes any sense. This book is definitely more for those who like darker reads that give you chills and make your heart pound a little faster…I enjoyed it a lot..and I really do recommend this one to fans of the horror genre and fans who like the macabre. Each story in the compilation is unique and has its own identity. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and I can’t wait to read the first volume by this author (or “The Color of Evil,” her novel.)”

  4. October 12 ,The Wormhole
    “I have to say that I have never before been so affected by the Introduction to a book. I was struck by the very first phrase, and by the time I had finished reading the Introduction, there was NO WAY that I would not read this book. I actually went online and bought a copy of Book One, as I had not read that yet. The Introduction was so well written that I just knew the book would be even better. I was not disappointed. This collection of short stories is fabulous! The writing is wonderful, as are the word selection, the pacing, and the structure. Everything just works! Wilson’s writing draws you in emotionally and you feel as if you are a part of it all. The characters are first-rate in all of the stories. She mixes humor with the horror in just the right dosage.” (Beverly) at “The Wormhole.”

  5. October 11, Little Black Marks:
    “I love scary books. Among the first scary books I ever read were Stephen King and Dean Koontz. However, these days, I find it hard to find good scary books—ones that don’t make me feel like I’ve read this before—and then I was asked to read “Hellfire & Damnation II.” Connie (Corcoran) Wilson takes us by the hand and leads us through the 9 Circles of Hell, whispering to us the tales of those we find there, and the events that have led them to this nightmarish place. From the first story set in Limbo (“Cold Corpse Carnival”)-which gave me yet another reason to not want to be buried!—to the final circle of the Treacherous (“The Bureau”), the reader will be checking behind doors, under the bed, and sleeping with the light on!” (From Kylie)

  6. Wilson has written a book of short stories that will not only keep you up late nights reading, but might also keep you up long after you have stopped reading.
    By Evelyn Smith, author of “City of the Undead” and “Transylvania, Louisiana.”

    “Hellfire & Damnation 2” by Connie Corcoran Wilson is all the things any good compilation of short stories of a chilling nature should be. It’s scary, holds one’s interest enough not to want to put down, and at times, a little disturbing. Wilson has written a book of short stories that will not only keep you up late nights reading, but might also keep you up long after you have stopped reading.

    In “Cold Corpse Carnival,” Wilson gives voice to a frozen corpse who becomes a tourist attraction. I found this story pleasantly chilling. Most of her stories in fact, should give the reader a slight shudder or two. It is to Wilson’s credit as a writer and her story telling ability that I found “The Shell”, the story of twelve year old Lisa who is abducted, vividly disturbing. In fact, I can’t recall being this disturbed by a writer’s imagination since reading Poppy Z. Brite years ago. So Wilson is in fine company with her ability to evoke certain emotions from the reader.

    “Tempis Fugit: Resurrection Cemetery” is a ghost story and a good one at that. If you are a fan of the old “Twilight Zone” television series, you will enjoy her story, “The Champagne Chandelier”, which indeed reminded me of an episode of that series. Wilson is a writer with a sense of humor and it is entirely evident in “M.R.M”, the story of a long suffering husband who tinkers in his basement workshop, attempting to build a new and improved version of his not-so-nice wife of thirty years.

    Her sense of humor is also evident in a story called “Room Service,” a tale of homicidal rage. This story is an entirely satisfying read. Especially if one begins to imagine anyone in one’s life who is particularly irritating. While reading “Oxymorons,” I saw it as a movie in my head. It is in the mode of a political thriller, perhaps starring Clint Eastwood as the male character, Howard, who relates the story.

    All in all, Wilson’s enjoyably spooky tales will grasp your emotions with a skeletal hand and pull that hitching gasp from your throat. That is the sign of a good writer.

    A clever, modern take on Dante’s Inferno
    (5 of out 5 stars on Amazon)

    By Sharon A. Mitchell

  7. Upfront, I’ll say that I don’t enjoy short story collections. I find that many short stories leave me unsatisfied; the stories in some collections just don’t hang together or have a forced relationship.

    But, with this book, I make an exception. Ms. Corcoran Wilson’s stories DO hang together.

    Perhaps this book works so well because of the stories’ structure. The book follows the format of Dante’s nine circles of hell (limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud and treachery). Each story is unique (from contemporary to historical to western and paranormal), and depicts one of these nine circles of hell. You want to read on to see what the next circle might bring. Each story feels complete within itself and says something about the human condition. Rather than leaving the reader reeling from the horror, Wilson is at the same time able to show hope.

    Most remarkable are the illustrations. The paperback version is enhanced even further with more pictures than her ebook version..

    Since my writing field is autism or romance, I was skeptical that I’d enjoy noirish stories. I began reading this book dubiously and was won over, needing to finish “just one more” each time I tried to stop reading. Nice going Ms. Wilson!

  8. Five-time Bram Stoker (R) winner Gary Braunbeck:
    “I really don’t know how she managed to do it, but Wilson surpasses her previous Hellfire & Damnation (2011) collection with its sequel. Her writing is stronger, streamlined, and often lyrical, despite the nastiness her words describe. This is another impressive collection of tales from a writer I could very well learn to hate if she gets much better. Seriously, Connie: can’t you write just one stinker so the rest of us will feel a little bit better?”

  9. New York Times Best-selling author Jon Land, author of the Caitlin Stong series:
    “Connie (Corcoran) Wilson’s Hellfire & Damnation II is a remarkable collection of somber, noirish, flat-out scary and altogether satisfying stories that seek to find hope in a dark world that defies it. Her subtle irony and penchant for finding terror in the least expected places will generate comparisons to Stephen King and Ray Bradbury, with just a hint of Philip K. Dick thrown in. But don’t be fooled: Wilson has a wondrous voice in her own right, and her tight, twisty tales establish her as a force to be reckoned with.”

  10. Nate Kenyon, award-winning author of Diablo: The Order and Day One:
    “Take a twisted ride through Hell and back with Connie (Corcoran) Wilson’s Hellfire & Damnation II…Frozen corpses, homicidal authors and sociopathic presidential candidates just scratch the surface of this inspired collection. Don’t miss it!”

  11. Terrie Leigh Relf, author of The Waters of Nyr and co-author, with Henry Lewis Sanders, of Blood Journey and The Ancient One:
    “Whether Connie (Corcoran) Wilson has been visited by Dante’s spirit or eavesdropping by Hell’s confessionals, Hellfire & Damnation II definitely delivers on its title. There is a fine line between good and evil within these pages. A very fine line. Be careful that you don’t teeter into the abyss. From a Norwegian army deserter trapped in Limbo within the Colorado ice to parents pondering the sale of their organs to fund their college-bound son, these stories abound with life’s—and death’s—ironies.”

  12. Brian Pinkerton, author of Rough Cut:
    “Connie Wilson’s new short story collection, Hellfire & Damnation II,, sends the reader spiraling down Dante’s 9 Circles of Hell with devilish twists and turns of time and place, across 11 superb short stories.”

  13. Jason V Brock, Author & Introduction to the Book:
    “So, how is this book?…Suffice it to say that Wilson acquits herself nicely..Whether dealing with family secrets and their unintended consequences (“Letters to LeClaire” from Circle 6, Heresy), wordplay with a political menace (“Oxymorons” from Circle 8, Fraudulent Behavior, Political Corruption), the tragi-comic repercussions of a sudden violent impulse (Circle 7, Violence and the story “Room Service”), or the icy deliberations that lead people to misjudge those they thought they knew, and, ultimately, create the circumstances of their own undoing (“The Bureau” from Circle 9: Treachery, has the feeling of something that Old Scratch would perpetrate), Connie (Corcoran) Wilson does an outstanding job of creating believable characters enmeshed in nightmarish scenarios. She also brings a bit of levity and black humor to the proceedings, a la Dante, namely both Circle 5 Wrath & Sullenness stories, “M.R.M.’ and “A Bridge Too Far,” respectively. I enjoyed Hellfire & Damnation II and feel certain that you will, also. I think even ol’ Dante himself would have a chuckle and an appreciation for the imaginative interpretations that Connie (Corcoran) Wilson has brought to his Inferno! Connie, you done good!”

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