Review: Hellfire & Damnation II – Connie Corcoran Wilson

Paperback: 168 pages
Merry Blacksmith Press (August 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 615677819
ISBN-13: 978-0615677811
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A journey in short story format through Dante’s 9 circles of hell.


This book wasn’t quite what I expected. When I read about people in the 9 circles of Hell, I was thinking of their punishment at that level. This seemed to be a collection of short stories of people living in the here and now going through one of the circles of hell. That put a bit of a different and interesting twist on the story.

For the bad: Some of these short stories felt incomplete. Some of the stories felt rushed for the ending. Other stories felt like they were more assignments for a writing workshop than polished stories.

For the good: The stories were well written and kept my attention. Some thought, due to content, might trigger unpleasant memories in readers. Some felt familiar such as Resurrection Mary but still came across as entertaining.

For a quick read over the Halloween season, I’d say grab a copy of this if you’re a fan of quick bizarre stories. For age rating, I’d say definitely older teens or adults. If you purchase a copy, be sure and stop by and let us know what you think.

About the Author

Connie graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in English and Journalism, but she began writing for her hometown (Independence, Iowa) newspaper at the age of 10 and was Editor-in-Chief of her high school newspaper. She continued her education, including a Ferner/Hearst Journalism Scholarship and a Freshman Merit Scholarship at Iowa, and then at Berkeley, WIU, NIU and the University of Chicago. Connie holds a Masters (+30) in English, Journalism and Education. Her career path led to teaching 7th and 8th grade language arts (Silvis, Illinois) and teaching writing at 6 IA/IL colleges or universities, including a class teaching film at Black Hawk Junior College. She then established the second Sylvan Learning Center in the state of Iowa and a Prometric Testing site, in conjunction with ETS of Princeton, NJ. She has taught writing and literature classes at all 6 IA/IL Quad City colleges.

A life-long film buff, Connie began reviewing for the Quad City Times newspaper (Davenport, IA) in the ’70s and continued reviewing into the ’80s. She also reviewed books for the Times and interviewed local celebrities for the (Moline, IL) Daily Dispatch and wrote humor columns for Metro East and the (Rock Island, IL) Reminder.

Connie left the labor of love reviewing film when she founded the first of two businesses in 1987, Sylvan Learning Center #3301, and her second business, a Prometric Testing Center (Bettendorf, IA), in 1995. Both businesses and two children kept her busy during the years 1987 – 2002, but, since selling the two successful businesses she founded and served as CEO, she has produced 10 books in 9 years. An active voting member of HWA (Horror Writers’ Association) Connie’s novel Out of Time was released in December of 2009 by Lachesis, and several other solo projects are in the works (see BOOKS section).

Connie lives in East Moline, Illinois with husband Craig and in Chicago, Illinois, where her son, Scott and daughter-in-law Jessica and their newborn twins Elise and Ava reside. Her daughter, Stacey, a graduate of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, has been living and working in Australia since February of 2012.

In addition to HWA, she is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Professional Society for Women Educators, IEA/ NEA, IWPA (Illinois Women’s Press Association), AWP (American Writing Program), MWC (Midwest Writing Center) and MWA (Midwest Writing Association). She maintains her own blog ( and was named 2008 Content Producer of the Year for the 400,000 member Associated Content blog for her on-the-spot reporting of the 2008 Presidential campaign, fodder for her next nonfiction book. She covers film, television and politics for Yahoo as a featured contributor.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Teddy at Virtual Authors Book Tour for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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One Response to “Review: Hellfire & Damnation II – Connie Corcoran Wilson”

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