Thursday, December 29, 2016

Never Out of Sight by Louise Stone

Description

A daughter’s secret. A mother’s betrayal.

Every mother knows never to let their child out of their sight. But Freya has been distracted recently, and now her teenage daughter, Zoe, is missing.
Freya knows that the only way to bring Zoe back is to tell the truth, but when your whole life is built on secrets and lies, the truth could destroy everything.
Surely there’s no harm in telling just one more little white lie?

Freya and her husband Stephen have drifted apart. He has never understood or forgiven her for suffering with post natal depression 16 years ago when their daughter Zoe was born and has held a grudge against her ever since. When Zoe goes missing, both parents are so wrapped up in themselves that neither of them even notice she is gone until the next day.
This book started off with a bang but as it progressed the arguments and excuses between Stephen and Freya became rather repetitive, as did the conversations between Freya and her student Robert. The more Freya uncovered about her missing daughter the less I liked any of the characters. I felt that it pushed too hard towards casting suspicion in a certain direction, which made it too easy for me to ascertain where the suspicion should lie.

I received an advance copy for review.

Friday, December 23, 2016

War on Christmas by Edward Lorn

a holiday-themed horror freebie



When Santa arrives at a hastily decorated house he gets a naughty surprise in this holiday themed short horror story that has him teaming up with Krampus
I am a big fan of Christmas themed horror and was really excited to pick up this book that Edward Lorn has so kindly gifted us with this season. I rarely bother with downloading free kindle books anymore since I have such a huge backlog of freebies that I never got around to but this is not one to download and forget. Do yourself a favor and snatch it up while it's free at Amazon
5 out of 5 stars from me

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Forgotten Boxes by Becki Willis

WINNER of 2016 Best Suspense Fiction by the Association of Texas Authors.
Named sole heir to her aunt's estate, Charity Gannon arrives in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, hoping to find a link to her past. She's not looking for lost treasures; she is searching for a connection to the aunt she barely knew.
What she finds is a thirty-something-year-old mystery and questions with no answers. A sad, secluded cottage, all but hidden amid the vines. A man's suit of clothes, tainted with dried blood and a bullet hole. Four forgotten boxes, stuffed into a large bag and buried in the far corners of the shed.
These are not just any boxes. These are unopened, undelivered boxes, left behind by the now-defunct Kingdom Parcel. All four boxes are marked March 14, 1984... the very day her uncle, president and driver for the delivery service, was said to have committed suicide. Four forgotten boxes, whose owners might still be out there, waiting for a delivery that never arrived.
The undelivered boxes haunt Charity, tugging at her conscience. Hadn’t someone noticed them missing? Hadn’t anyone wondered about the failed delivery? Thinking it might be fun to surprise the recipients after all these years, Charity sets out to deliver the packages to their rightful owners.
Along the way, one of the love stories she discovers is her own. Fate throws her into the sturdy arms of Tarn Danbury, a burly sugarmaker with eyes as beautiful as the mountain pond from which he was named, and a voice as smooth and rich as the dark syrup he produces.
The story behind one box is delightful. Another is heartbreaking.
And one might very well be the death of her.


Charity Gannon is not exactly an unhappy woman, though she feels her life is in a rut. When she arrives at her Aunt Nell's cottage to clear it out after her death she intends to get it over with and head back home. She thinks maybe she will use it as a rental property but finds it too unsettling to consider staying there herself. After finding a man's suit with bullet holes hanging in the closet and an intriguing talk with her aunt's neighbor Charity finds herself in the middle of a mystery that began before she was even born. Filled with suspense and a bit of romance this fast paced story kept me glued to the pages. 4 out of 5 stars from me.

I received a complimentary copy for review.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Nightly Disease by Max Booth III

Description

Sleep is just a myth created by mattress salesmen.

Isaac, a night auditor of a hotel somewhere in the surreal void of Texas, is sick and tired of his guests. When he clocks in at night, he’s hoping for a nice, quiet eight hours of Netflix-bingeing and occasional masturbation. What he doesn’t want to do is fetch anybody extra towels or dive face-first into somebody’s clogged toilet. And he sure as hell doesn’t want to get involved in some trippy owl conspiracy or dispose of any dead bodies. But hey…that’s life in the hotel business.

Welcome to The Nightly Disease. Please enjoy your stay.  

I don't know where to start. Part of me says what the hell did I just read? Yet I have to admit I flew through this book (like an owl?) and couldn't put it down.
Isaac is a young man who has led a very strange life. We are given a small glimpse into his past when as a young teen he was uprooted from his home.. though we are not given the why of it all. Do we need to know? I can't say the not knowing took away from my enjoyment of this humorous and horrifying story but I am certainly curious. Currently sleeping days and  working nights at the "Goddamn Hotel" Isaac is subjected to a strange cast of inhabitants on a nightly basis, including a homeless bulimic girl that he thinks he's in love with and whom he tries to win over with waffles, and a criminal element selling knock offs of name brand shoes. Then there are the owls, do not pet the owls! If you like dark twisted humor with your horror this is most definitely for you. 5 out of 5 stars from me.

I received an advance copy for review

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Fog Warning by Edward Lorn

“Tick, tock, tickety, tock. Time’s slipping away, doc ... ”

Emergency Room Physician Brent Cummings is harboring secrets he’d rather leave in the shadows of his past. But, when he finds a dead woman in a foggy park, all his skeletons come tumbling out of the closet.

In a deadly race against time, Brent attempts to alter the future so that he might finally let go of the past.

Will he heed the warning in the fog, or will fate prove more dependable than the good doctor?



Doctor Brent Cummings is leaving work as the fog comes rolling in. He is on foot.. he doesn't drive because.. reasons. It's not that he can't, he just doesn't. Not since the "trouble" back in Oakland. He discovers a dead body full of stab wounds in the park but things don't go well for the doctor when he tries to report his discovery to the police. This was a quick but spine tingling, suspenseful read with the perfect mix of supernatural and murder. 5 out of 5 stars from me.



Tuesday, November 29, 2016

All Darling Children by Katrina Monroe

Description

Monday, November 21, 2016

Eat the Night by Tim Waggoner

Description

For Joan Lantz, it starts with a dream of a death-cult’s mass suicide in the jungle of Suriname thirty years ago, followed by the discovery of a hidden basement in her new house, where heavy metal music echoes on humid tropical air.

For Kevin Benecke, long-suffering employee of a mysterious organization known simply as Maintenance, it starts with the violent death of his co-worker at the hands of a madman who tells him, The Big Dark is coming for you.

Long-dead cult leader and former rock star Mark Maegarr has returned from beyond the grave, and Joan and Kevin have front-row seats to his apocalyptic comeback. Maegarr’s waited decades to finish what he started, and this time no one will stop him from putting on a killer show designed to hasten the universe’s end.

Rock on.


Joan has suffered a traumatic past, which has left her always longing for a home of her own. Because of that, she is ecstatic when she has the opportunity to purchase a house with her husband Jon even if the circumstances of that opportunity seem suspiciously convenient.
Kevin is an employee of "Maintenance" a company which does not advertise, does not have customers and doesn't want any. These characters who seem to have nothing to do with each other do in fact share a common thread and they are going to meet, in a big way.
This was a creepy read, reminiscent of the classic 80s horror that I so love.
4 out of 5 stars from me.

I received a complimentary copy for review

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Gangster Women And the Criminals They Loved by Susan McNicoll

Description

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Five Stories High by K. J. Parker; Sarah Lotz; Robert Shearman ; Tade Thompson; Nina Allan

Description


‘They didn’t see the house until they were practically on top of it. A single building emerging from the dark. It didn’t look welcoming. But the front door was open. The door was wide open.’

Irongrove Lodge – a building with history; the very bricks and grounds imbued with the stories of those who have walked these corridors, lived in these rooms. These are the tales of an extraordinary house, a place that straddles our world and whatever lies beyond; a place that some are desperate to discover, and others to flee. At one time an asylum, at another a care home, sometimes simply a home.
The residents of Irongrove Lodge will learn that this house will change them, that the stories told here never go away. Of all who enter, only some will leave.
Multi-award-winning editor Jonathan Oliver has brought together five extraordinary writers to open the doors, revealing ghosts both past and present in a collection as intriguing as it is terrifying. Along with a linking narrative, this collection features five novellas by Nina Allan, Tade Thompson, K.J. Parker, Robert Shearman and Sarah Lotz.

This book contains 5 stories linked together in a narrative by Jonathan Oliver

When is a wood louse not just a wood louse? The answer to that is in the first story "Maggots" by Nina Allan.
A happy, family oriented young man, home visiting from college begins to suspect that his aunt is an imposter after she briefly goes missing and then reappears somehow changed. He is the only one who notices this difference. There was a delicious sense of foreboding that permeated this story from start to finish, made even more intense by the fact that I actually cared about this family and was hoping things would turn out well for them. I would give this story 5 stars

"Priest's Hole" by K.J. Parker is a story about a shape shifter who makes his living by becoming other people. It got off to a slow start, and did eventually pick up a bit but it just didn't grab my interest that well. Not to say it was a bad story, it was just not my type.


"Gnaw" by Tade Thompson
Harry and Tara move into the house with their 2 children Adrienne and Corey. The spooky happenings begin almost immediately, and it's not just the children who see and hear things that should not be there. This was one of my favorite stories in the book, again 5 stars from me.

"The Best Story I Can Manage Under The Circumstances" by Robert Shearman
I don't know what to say about this. It was like some kind of bizarro fiction. It begins with a very strange pregnancy and gets more weird from there.

"Skin Deep" By Sarah Lotz
This was a story of accused murderer Malika "the butcher" told from multiple points of view. When Malika and Robin meet they feel an instant connection. It doesn't matter to them  that she is 20 years his senior or that he doesn't have a cent to his name. When they decide to move in together and he wants to live in Irongrove Lodge, Malika buys the apartment to make him happy even though she feels there is something off about it. If only she had trusted her gut!
 This was in my opinion the shining star of  this book, the absolute best saved for last.

I received an advance copy for review.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Till the Cows Come Home by J.T. Blakemore

Till the Cows Come Home: One Man's Story of Triumph Over Adversity and 48 Years of Life After Traumatic Brain Injury

For those of us who sometimes feel that the light at the end of the tunnel really is an oncoming train, J.T. Blakemore is living proof that we don't have to simply stand on the tracks and be run down. This is the story of a man who faces down a great deal of adversity and lives to tell the tale.
In 1963, J.T. took an ill-advised ride in a '59 Hot Rod Chevy and regained consciousness twenty-eight days later. He was 21 years old. "You might say I threw my life away for a dozen cans of beer. My bell was rung really well, and I've had one I gigantic hangover ever since. The prognosis was simple: brain damage. The effects were not so simple. Not by a long shot."
J.T.'s past provides him with the tools he needs to meet the challenges of learning to walk, talk, and see all over again. The product of a tempestuous couple who met and married on the same day, J.T.'s often humorous journey from orphanage to U.S. Marines and beyond teaches him that adversity is a fact of life. His unflinching description of his ongoing recovery and his unique insights into the thought processes of someone with "drain bamage" will be uncharted territory for most readers, but well worth the trip. In spite of his many obstacles, this consummate storyteller is one of the most positive, enthusiastic men you will ever meet.
"Damage to my big USMC pride would be an ongoing occurrence. On more than one occasion, I have found myself, for no apparent reason, sitting squarely on my posterior. But I have learned two positive things about falling. First: getting back on my feet has become easier with every fall. Second: living with embarrassment won't kill you."
His belief in "patient, prayerful, persistent perseverance" and an unflappable faith in God have served him well during his unusual journey. He has gone on to earn several college degrees, meet and marry his wife, and raise two equally strong and determined children. At first glance, you might think he's just an average guy.
Till the Cows Come Home is an inspiring account of triumph over adversity -- the sort of triumph that J.T. sincerely believes could be achieved by anyone of us if we have faith, a healthy sense of humor, and (although he never comes right out and says it) a certain level of practicality.
"I have had to learn to accept the fact that everything is constantly changing, and, in many cases, remains different and difficult. That sounds almost normal. Doesn't it?"

J.T. Blakemore is a remarkable man and after reading this book I feel like I know him. This factual account does not include only the after affects of learning to live with a traumatic brain injury. J.T. already had an interesting life history before that tragic accident ever happened and he shares it here.
This account is written in a matter of fact way, not over emotional, not seeking sympathy. J.T fully admits he was not always easy to get along with during his recovery and that he has issues to this day. This was an honest look at one man's struggle to recover. 4 out of 5 stars from me.

I received a complimentary copy for review.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

What the Dark Brings: A Collection of Horrors by Edward Lorn

Follow Edward Lorn out of the light and into the darkest recesses of his mind.

What the Dark Brings is a collection of 19 short stories, beginning with "Literary Sweets", a tender jaunt into Christmastime that proves all is not lost for one jaded gentleman. But by the time you reach the final tale, "Come to Jesus Meeting", the darkness is all encompassing.

Tales of hope, heartache, and horror abound.

Come find What the Dark Brings

***As an added bonus to new fans, Edward Lorn has included his mini-anthology, Three After, complete and uncut, at the end of this collection. A total of 22 tales of terror coming it at over 40,000 words.***



I was pleased but not surprised at how much I enjoyed this collection of stories (and the 3 bonus stories at the end!) This was a perfect October read.  I devoured each and every one. There was not a sour note in the bunch but I would have to say my absolute favorites were "The Monitor" where a kindness is repaid, "The Southbound Triple-Six" about a man who awakens on a train with no memory of how he got there or where he is headed. "Nothing is out There to Get you" where a blind date goes about as badly as you would expect "Up On The Rooftop" Which reminded me very much of a similar incident I saw on the news. "A Purchase Of Titanic Proportions" In which a man regrets his winning bid at an auction. "What The Dark Brings" about a rescue that doesn't quite go as planned. "That Thing About A Picture And A Thousand Words" A woman finds a picture has been slid under her door and as the saying goes the devil is in the details. "Smitten" I want to call it a love story... but I won't go there. In "An Affair To Remember" a man extracts revenge on his cheating wife.. sort of, and last but most definitely not least "World's Greatest Dad" in which a child goes missing while trick or treating with her dad.
5 out of 5 stars from me.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Call Me Daddy by Kelly Stone Gamble

Description

Friday, October 21, 2016

Meds by Ray Garton

Description
One hot summer day, a man in a business suit running wildly down a busy street attacks a woman and her toddler, neither of whom have ever seen him before.

... As he waits in his pickup truck for his wife to finish shopping, a man decides to take the shotgun off its rack, go inside the mall and open fire on total strangers.

... While waiting to see her doctor, a woman takes a knife from her purse and begins stabbing others in the waiting room.

Something is making people become violent and murderous...something they all have in common. When Eli Dunbar discovers what it is, he becomes afraid, because it’s something he has in common with them–a drug prescribed to him by his psychiatrist. And now Eli is a ticking time bomb.

Do you know all of the risks your prescription drugs might pose? Does your doctor? Or has the manufacturer hidden them from the public in the interest of profits?

Meds...a thriller with deadly side effects.


A compelling tale, and quite relevant in these days of non stop commercial bombardments with drug ads for everything from cholesterol pills to a prescription to thicken your eyelashes. Yes that is a real thing.
So many drugs, so many side effects and risks, and so many warnings of what can happen if you suddenly stop taking your pills, yet millions of people flock to doctors asking for the latest pill they've seen advertising. Drug companies count on this, hence all the ads that tell you to "ask your doctor about (insert name of latest pill) today!"
In "Meds" Ray Garton presents us with a frightening (and not so far fetched) idea of what could happen if people were suddenly unable to refill their prescription for the latest antidepressant and suffered a psychotic break as a result.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Curiosity Quills Presents: Cast No Shadows by various authors

Description
Welcome to the shadowed woods, where the trees breathe with ghosts and the wind whispers of the past.

Twenty-six authors take you through haunted houses and cemeteries with tales that will chill.

Beware the dark, for the spirits await you.

I have always loved ghost stories from the time I was a little girl, so I jumped on the chance to read this anthology.
These tales and their intensity varies. They include ghosts who came back for unfinished business, gentle spirits who want to protect what they love, demonic forces, and even a touching tale of a little girl who never really had a chance to live, until long after she passed away.
There are spooky graveyards, haunted houses, and things that go bump in the night. Some stories are spine tingling others are sorrowful.
Not all are scary, or even meant to be scary but all were worth a read.

4 out of 5 stars from me

I received a complimentary copy for review.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Who We Were Before by Leah Mercer

Description
Zoe knows that it wasn’t really her fault. Of course it wasn’t. But if she’d just grasped harder, run faster, lunged quicker, she might have saved him. And Edward doesn’t really blame her, though his bitter words at the time still haunt her, and he can no more take them back than she can halt the car that killed their son.

Two years on, every day is a tragedy. Edward knows they should take healing steps together, but he’s tired of being shut out. For Zoe, it just seems easier to let grief lead the way.

A weekend in Paris might be their last hope for reconciliation, but mischance sees them separated before they’ve even left Gare du Nord. Lost and alone, Edward and Zoe must try to find their way back to each other—and find their way back to the people they were before. But is that even possible?


This was a heart wrenching read, told in alternating points of view from both Zoe and Edward. The time period moves back and forth between present day when they are on a trip to Paris meant to bring them back together, and the past when they first met, and fell in love. We also learn in these flashbacks how the loss of their child ripped them apart and left them in the precarious state they are currently in. Zoe and Edward thought they were going to be a happily ever after story, but real life got in the way. Fate seemed to put them together, but the loss of their child tore them apart. Each dealt with their grief in their own way, never quite able to come together and share how they truly felt. Edward was left feeling shut out, while Zoe was left feeling Edward blamed her and that he did not grieve as deeply as she. This was a heart breaking story of loss and the dissolution of a marriage, but where there is love, there is still hope.
4 out of 5 stars from me.

I received a complimentary copy for review

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Goblin Crown: Billy Smith and the Goblins, Book 1 by Robert Hewitt Wolfe

Description
Billy Smith is having a rough first day of high school. The new kid at exclusive Francis Drake Prep, Billy embarrasses himself in front of fiery, beautiful Lexi Aquino. He makes an instant enemy in Kurt Novac, the school's surly star quarterback. Then suddenly Billy, Lexi, and Kurt are mysteriously transported to an underworld teeming with goblins, strange animal hybrids, and powerful magic the fact that they're stuck there is probably Billy s fault, too. With help from an unlikely goblin leader named Hop, the teens soon discover that goblins can be both fierce and friendly, with their own rich language, culture, and history a history that foretells of a human arriving to claim the Goblin Crown and lead them to victory against the deadly, invading Hanorians. Could Billy anxious, awkward Billy be the mythical Goblin King? Could saving the goblin race be his destiny and the key to getting him, Lexi, and Kurt back home?

What a fun and action packed story!
Billy Smith has never felt like he belonged. He has always been uncomfortable everywhere he goes. He just doesn't quite fit in. On his first day of high school, with his nerves already on edge, and spying the beautiful Lexi who is a bit of a chatterbox  he accidentally runs afoul of Kurt. When Lexi tries to speak up for him she unintentionally makes things a bit worse. Lexi suffers an injury as they are fleeing, and it is then we find out that Kurt is more bark than bite. In trying to get help for Lexi, Billy transports them to a magical land where Goblins and Humans have been at war, Rabbits are the size of cows and ships fly through the sky powered by giant bats. Some goblins are friendlier than others and not all will welcome these unlikely human heroes.
The target age group for this book is middle school and up, but if you are a kid at heart you too will be enchanted by this captivating tale.

I received an advance copy for review


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Troubles Keeper by Susan May

Description
Bus driver Rory Fine has a gift. He can take troubles from others with merely a touch. On a rain-swept night, he asks his glum passengers to leave their worrisome emotions in his palm. But when he touches one person’s hand everything he knows about trouble keeping is shattered. Somebody aboard hides a deadly and dangerous secret.

What began simply, descends into a perilous battle with a menacing and evil dark thing. Rory now faces a terrible decision: should he reveal his secret gift to Mariana, the passenger he’s come to love but barely knows? The last time that happened, somebody died. But he must find a way because someone is stalking Mariana. Someone who kills in a macabre and sickening way. Someone with abilities more powerful than his own.

Should the killer's plan succeed, it’s not just Mariana at risk, but the very fabric of the world. Rory will need to discover a strength he may not possess. Even then, that might not be enough. For when the Trepan Killer wants you, there’s nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

Can Rory stop the Trepan Killer before he loses all? To do so, he must face more than the killer. He must face his own harrowing past …

From International best-selling dark thriller author Susan May comes another page-turner to keep readers up way past their bedtime. The Troubles Keeper is a non-stop supernatural thrill ride with memorable characters and a world you won't want to leave.


Rory Fine is a young man with a secret. He discovered when he was just a young boy, that he had the ability to take troubles and lock them away. This ability has been both a gift and a curse. One day he meets Mariana whose "troubles" are unlike anything he has ever experienced. A trouble that is so huge, so evil, it can not possibly be her own, and he can barely contain it. Rory knows that she is in danger but doesn't know from who, or how to help her. When another young woman falls victim to a serial killer Rory begins to suspect that the killer is closer than he thought.
This was a very original, well written thriller with just a hint of romance.
4 out of 5 stars from me.

I received a complimentary copy for review

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Grave Predictions: by Drew Ford (Editor), Harlan Ellison (Introduction

Description
"This is a book of stories intended to describe that hand of mortal destruction in 16 utterly different, yet all apocalyptically stunning ways!"—Harlan Ellison, from the Introduction.
These compelling visions of post-apocalyptic societies and dystopian worlds include short stories by some of the most acclaimed authors of  our time. Among the noteworthy contributors and their works are Stephen King's "The End of the Whole Mess," "The Pedestrian" by Ray Bradbury, and Arthur C. Clarke's "No Morning After."
The first-ever apocalyptic fantasy about global warming, "The End of the World," appears here, in translation from Eugene Mouton's 1872 French-language original. "The Pretence," by Ramsey Campbell, questions the nature and structure of everyday life in the aftermath of a doomsday prediction. In addition, thought-provoking stories by Philip K. Dick, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Greg Bear, Erica L. Satifka, and others offer an end-of-the-world extravaganza for fans of science fiction, horror, and fantasy.


These are stories of the end of the world, and the various ways it can come about. There are lots of big name writers which is what attracted me to this book but also I was hoping for a little more horror and a little less science fiction. You may have come across some of these stories in previous publications. All are worth a read but none are particularly terrifying. I did particularly enjoy "Automatic"
"2BRO2B" where population control is of such importance that if you want to have a baby you must find a volunteer to die. "The End Of The Whole Mess" a Stephen King story that I don't think I have read before.

I received a complimentary copy for review

Monday, September 26, 2016

Blood Related: A Psychological Thriller by William Cook


Description
For over two decades, Detective Ray Truman has been searching for the killer or killers who have terrorized Portvale. Headless corpses, their bodies mutilated and posed, have been turning up all over the industrial district near the docks. The remains of young female prostitutes have been the killer’s victims of choice, but now other districts are reporting the gruesome discovery of decapitated bodies. It seems the killer has expanded his territory as more ‘nice girls’ feel the wrath of his terrible rage. This horrifically disturbing tale of a family tree of evil will embed itself in the mind of the reader, long after the last page has been turned. A crime thriller in the vein of other power-packed thrillers like Thomas Harris's 'Silence of the Lambs' and James Ellroy's 'Killer on the Road.'

Meet the Cunninghams . . .
A family bound by evil and the blood they have spilled. The large lodging-house they live in and operate on Artaud Avenue reeks of death and the sins that remain trapped beneath the floorboards.

Meet Caleb Cunningham . . .
Caleb is a disturbed young man whose violent father is a suspected serial killer and mother, an insane alcoholic. After his Father’s suicide, Cunningham’s disturbing fantasy-life becomes reality as he begins his killing spree in earnest. His identical twin brother Charlie is to be released from an asylum and all hell is about to break loose when the brothers combine their psychopathic talents. Eventually stepping out from the shadows of his murderous forebears, Caleb puts in motion his own diabolical plan to reveal himself and his ‘art’ to the world. He’s a true aesthete. An artist of death. His various ‘installations’ have not received the status he feels they deserve, so Caleb is expanding his ‘canvas.’

Meet Ray Truman . . .
A tragic cop whose personal demons won’t let him rest. Overworked and underpaid, Truman is tenacious as a pit-bull. He won’t rest ‘til he’s brought to justice Portvale’s infamous serial killer. His battle with his own demons gives him the strength to chase the shadows and to cut corners when necessary, as he embarks on the hunt of his life. His search leads him to the Cunningham’s house of horrors. What he finds there will ultimately lead him to regret ever meeting Caleb Cunningham and the deviant family that spawned him. The hunter becomes the hunted as Truman digs deeper into the abyss that is the horrifying mind of the most dangerous psychopath he has ever met.

BLOOD RELATED is a chilling Psychological Thriller that will leave you gasping for more.


Warning: R18+ contains adult content + graphic violence & psychological horror.


I wasn't sure what I would think of this story since the description begins with telling us about the detective on the hunt for a killer. I am usually not a big fan of detective stories, but this book gets right to the heart of the matter. The killers and what makes them tick
Charlie and Caleb Cunningham are bad apples that didn't fall far from their twisted family tree. Like their daddy and his day before him. Fans of horror and thrillers alike should enjoy this well written and gory tale, I was up all night reading this one.
Be warned it is quite graphic! 4 out of 5 stars from me.

I received a complimentary copy for review.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Graveyard Apartment: A Novel by Mariko Koike, Deborah Boliver Boehm (Translator)

Description
A terrifying tale of a young family who move into an apartment building next to a graveyard and the horrors that are unleashed upon them.

One of the most popular writers working in Japan today, Mariko Koike is a recognized master of detective fiction and horror writing. Known in particular for her hybrid works that blend these styles with elements of romance, The Graveyard Apartment is arguably Koike’s masterpiece. Originally published in Japan in 1986, Koike’s novel is the suspenseful tale of a young family that believes it has found the perfect home to grow in to, only to realize that the apartment’s idyllic setting harbors the specter of evil and that longer they stay, the more trapped they become.

This tale of a young married couple who are harboring a dark secret is packed with dread and terror, as they and their daughter move into a brand new apartment building built next to a graveyard. As strange and terrifying occurrences begin to pile up, people in the building begin to move out one by one, until the young family is left alone with someone... or something... lurking in the basement. The psychological horror builds moment after moment, scene after scene, culminating with a conclusion that will make you think twice before ever going into a basement again.

I have mixed feelings on this one. A husband, wife, their young daughter, and dog Cookie (who is the only character's name I can spell or pronounce) move into a beautiful brand new apartment which overlooks a graveyard and crematorium. In fact on some days you can see the smoke of burning bodies drifting towards the windows. From the minute they move in odd things start  happening. Their pet bird dies their very first night in their new home, and as if that is not enough of a bad omen, right away the mom hears of a tragedy that occurred when a child in the neighborhood was killed on his way to kindergarten. They want to leave.. but something seems intent on making them stay.The book definitely held my interest however I expected it to be scarier. Some of the scariest horror movies have come from Japan and have Americanized versions so I guess I expected the same from this book. The terror factor just wasn't there for me.  I would occasionally come upon a word that just seemed an odd choice. I don't know if something was lost in translation from Japanese or if it is due to the time period of the book (late 80s) but some things just seemed a bit off. For example I don't think little girls still said things like "oh goody" Of course I could be wrong but I just don't think I have heard that since maybe the last time I watched an old black and white 50s sit com. When I first started the book I kind of stalled each time I came to a name, and tried to sound it out and figure out how to pronounce it. I don't have a clue how to pronounce Japanese names so I gave up and began to think of the main characters as Maisy, Terry and Tammy. I can't say I actually liked any of the characters, including the brother and his wife. This was not a "bad" book it was just not very scary.
I would rate it 3 and a half of 5 stars.

I received an advance copy for review.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Fresh Fear An Anthology Of Macabre Horror Edited by William Cook

*WARNING: R 18+ - Contains graphic scenes of violence and psychological horror. Not suitable for younger readers.

FRESH FEAR: An Anthology of Macabre Horror* is a collection of horror from some of the genre's best writers of dark fiction. In the introduction, a selection from W.J. Renehan's The Art of Darkness: Meditations on the Effect of Horror Fiction, we are reminded that, "Horror serves to reconnect us with our primal selves, provides temporary respite from the droning conditions of modern life."

With over 450 pages, Fresh Fear is packed with stories written by both masters and up-and-coming maestros of the horror genre. Tales steeped in psychological horror sit alongside visions of strange worlds and fantastical landscapes drenched in blood. 'Quiet horror' sits comfortably next to more visceral portrayals of the monsters that lurk deep within the human heart. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, famously once said, "where there is no imagination there is no horror" - the horror expressed by the authors in Fresh Fear show that imagination is indeed tantamount to excellent story-telling.

Prepare yourself for 28 tales of fear-inducing horror from some of today's best authors of dark fiction.

Authors/Stories

Scathe meic Beorh – God of the Wind
Robert Dunbar – High Rise
Ramsey Campbell – Welcomeland
Lily Childs – Strange Tastes
Lincoln Crisler – Nouri and the Beetles
Jack Dann – Camps
Thomas Erb – Spencer Weaver Gets Rebooted
Brandon Ford – Scare Me
Carole Gill – Raised
Lindsey Beth Goddard – The Tooth Collector
JF Gonzalez – Love Hurts
Dane Hatchell – ‘takers
Charlee Jacob – Inside the Buzzword Box
K Trap Jones – Demon Eyed Blind
Tim Jones – Protein
James Ward Kirk – Block
Roy C Booth & Axel Kohagen – Just Another Ex
Shane McKenzie – So Much Death
Shaun Meeks – Perfection Through Silence
Adam Millard – The Incongruous Mr Marwick
Christine Morgan – Nails of The Dead
Billie Sue Mosiman – Verboten
Chantal Noordeloos – The Door
Don Noble – Psych
WH Pugmire – Darkness Dancing in Your Eyes
William Todd Rose – The Grave Dancer
EA Irwin – Justice through Twelve Step
Anna Taborska – Out of the Light

First off please heed the warning. If you are easily offended this book is not for you. If you are a horror lover than prepare to be delighted and disturbed by 28 horror tales that are indeed horrifying!
This is a large volume at over 400 pages of gruesome acts and evil doers.
There are stories of cannibalism, serial killers, madness, abuse and more. There is the sarcastic wit found in "Scare Me"   "Love Hurts" is a twisted tale of love and sex, and fulfilling a lovers deepest darkest wish. Brothers fall prey to a sex crazed ghost in their new apartment in "High Rise"
 In "Nouri and The Beetles" 2 jealous girls conspire against the village's most beautiful young woman. A hospitalized man has vivid dreams of Nazi prison "camps" Kidnapped children are found alive and a happy reunion takes place in "So Much Pain So much Death"
There is a tooth fairy the likes of which you never imagined in your childhood. "Psyche" just plain scared the bejeezers out of me. A child is terrified of what's behind "The Door"
A girl will do whatever it takes to find her missing sister in "Verboten"
All of this and more await you in Fresh Fear, enter if you dare and remember.. I warned you.
4 out of 5 stars from me.
 
I received a complimentary copy for review.
 
 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Sullen Falls by Frank Julius Palumbo

                                 
Description
Deep below Sullen Falls
stirs an ancient evil.
Seth left Sullen Falls monastery five years ago in search of answers to his life. With the unexpected appearance of a comet, he is lured back to the town he once called home. There he discovers that an evil warps those he cared about and threatens the woman he loved–Sophia.

The Coughlins thought that vacationing in the scenic campgrounds of Sullen Falls would provide the respite from the crazy world and build a closer bond between parents and teen children. Drawn into town by what appears to be a festival, the family of four is plummeted into a nightmare none can awake.

The secret to defeat the evil lies in an ancient book, guarded by the last of an order thought to be extinct. To save Sullen Falls, the Coughlins and Sophia, Seth must find the tome and accept his destiny, even if it would cost him everything that is dear to him.



                                    "There are things in the forest, strange things, little creatures that shouldn't be"

A priest who has lost his faith, a town gossip, astral projection, and "ghoul-gobblers" are all waiting for you in Sullen Falls. Then there is Wilbur, the town's creepy little pervert but don't let that scare you off. There are people who think the miraculous has happened, "the second coming" but all is not as it seems in this fast paced action packed story. Be warned, there is blood and gore and sex. Not for younger readers. 4 out of 5 stars from me.

I received a complimentary copy for review

Monday, September 12, 2016

Mortom by Erik Therme

 

Description
Andy Crowl barely knew his recently deceased cousin, Craig Moore, so he’s especially surprised to be named as the sole beneficiary in Craig’s will. Not that there’s much to inherit: just an empty bank account and a run-down house.

Once Andy arrives in the town of Mortom, however, he’s drawn into his puzzle-obsessed cousin’s true legacy: a twisted and ominous treasure hunt. Beckoned by macabre clues of dead rats and cemetery keys, Andy jumps into the game, hoping to discover untold wealth. But unsavory secrets—and unanswered questions about Craig’s untimely demise—arise at every turn, leading Andy to wonder if he’s playing the game…or if the game is playing him.

Something’s rotten in Mortom. And this dead man’s game might not be all that Andy is doomed to lose.



Andy and his sister arrive in Mortom shortly after their cousin Craig's untimely death. For some unknown reason Crag has left everything to Andy even though they were not particularly close. In fact they have not even seen each other in years. The death itself has been ruled accidental, however Craig did seem to have an enemy in town. Most people just thought he was weird, odd voice, odd mannerisms, riding around on his moped. One person in particular really had it out for him though, and may have had reason to do him harm.  There is not much in the house worth picking through, but there does seem to be some strange goings on. A dead rat holds the first key to this mystery. Andy becomes more and more obsessed with unraveling these clues, while his sister just wants to pay her respects to their aunt and get back home. Things take a sinister turn as more clues are unraveled.
This was a fast paced and highly suspenseful read. 4 out of 5 stars from me

I received a complimentary copy for review

Friday, September 9, 2016

Fractured by Catherine McKenzie

Description
Julie Prentice and her family move across the country to the idyllic Mount Adams district of Cincinnati, hoping to evade the stalker who’s been terrorizing them ever since the publication of her bestselling novel, The Murder Game. Since Julie doesn’t know anyone in her new town, when she meets her neighbor John Dunbar, their instant connection brings measured hope for a new beginning. But she never imagines that a simple, benign conversation with him could set her life spinning so far off course.

After a series of misunderstandings, Julie and her family become the target of increasingly unsettling harassment. Has Julie’s stalker found her, or are her neighbors out to get her, too? As tension in the neighborhood rises, new friends turn into enemies, and the results are deadly.



"In the end we were a hurricane wind in each other's lives, though we shouldn't have been."
Have you ever driven by a picturesque, peaceful little street and thought how lovely it would be to live there? How neighborly everyone must be? How close knit? Well after reading this, I'll take city living any day, where I don't know my neighbors and they don't know me!
Julie, her husband, and their twins move to such a street. It's lovely at first, and welcoming, and there are even block parties where all the neighbors get together. Just make sure you follow Cindy's rules or you'll be sorry. Cindy fancies herself queen of the street. She oh so gently "guides" the neighbors in what is and is not allowed. Constant emails and rule updates are sent out by Cindy and heaven help you if you forget to thank her for sarcastically given welcome basket.

Julie tries to fit in with her new neighbors but eventually that becomes impossible. She has bigger fish to fry anyway what with a stalker that may or may not have found her new residence. 
As things get more heated and hostile between Julie and her neighbors I could just sense something horrific was going to happen. This made me fear turning the page, even though I was unable to put this book down til the very end. 5 out of 5 stars from me.

I received an advance copy for review.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Family Plot by Cherie Priest

Description

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Weaving The Web: A Cold Hollow Mystery (Cold Hollow Mysteries Book 2) by Emilie J. Howard

Description
“The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and people are dying.”

Life is not always perfect in the town of Cold Hollow, but with Mayor Myrna Bradbury at the helm, it might be someday. When a batch of newly paroled convicts arrives to take up residence in the town, disappearances of longtime townsfolk begin, gruesome human remains are found, and a government inspection is looming on the horizon. Time is of the essence as Myrna and the new chief of police are thrust into an investigation the likes of which they had never imagined.

Welcome to Cold Hollow, the place where the fun never ends.



In this creepy sequel to Cold Hollow, much has changed since last we visited these odd and quirky residents, though much has gone on just as usual.  Weaving The Web picks up nearly where Cold Hollow left off. The bakery is still in full swing, Myrna is now the mayor, and an odd assortment of new residents are on their way to being rehabilitated. Well, except for that murderer who is on the loose.
Weaving The Web is a captivating read that further exposes the shocking secrets of Cold Hollow. If you enjoyed the first book you will love this one, and if you have not read the first you really should.

I received a complimentary copy for review


Saturday, August 13, 2016

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

Description

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Chills by Mary SanGiovanni

Description
“True Detective meets H.P. Lovecraft in this chilling novel of murder, mystery, and
slow-mounting dread from acclaimed author Mary SanGiovanni . . .

It begins with a freak snowstorm in May. Hit hardest is the rural town of Colby, Connecticut. Schools and businesses are closed, powerlines are down, and police detective Jack Glazier has found a body in the snow. It appears to be the victim of a bizarre ritual murder. It won't be the last. As the snow piles up, so do the sacrifices. Cut off from the rest of the world, Glazier teams up with an occult crime specialist to uncover a secret society hiding in their midst.

The gods they worship are unthinkable. The powers they summon are unstoppable. And the things they will do to the good people of Colby are utterly, horribly unspeakable…"


A storm is coming, and there is an unimaginable evil in it. This is no ordinary storm, and starting with the discovery of a ritualistic murder victim we are given just a taste of what's ahead. Jack Glazier had worked homicide for 9 years, but he had never seen anything like this. Kathy Ryan is brought in on the investigation, Kathy is an expert on ritual and occult type murders and bears the scar of her first brush with the Hand of the Black Stars cult.....and then the snow starts.. and people are unprepared for what it brings.
This book started off so strong, and I loved Kathy Ryan and her back story. Other than Kathy I just didn't have a lot of interest in the other main characters, though I did like quite a few of the expendable characters brought in for the sake of doing away with them in truly chilling ways. After a very strong start it seemed to just lag a bit in the middle, though the action did pick up again towards the end. All in all well worth a read.
I received an advance copy for review

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Comorbid by Lorelei Logsdon

Description
"The debut psychological thriller that challenges your assumptions. James Davis is born into a life of strife and discord. His father is violent, his mother helpless—until a man calling himself Alistair breaks into his home and kills his abusive father in front of his eyes, protecting him from a final, deadly beating. As soon as the man appears, he vanishes mysteriously into the night, passing from sight and down into the murky depths of memory. Sixteen years later, James is still trying to cope with the events of that night. He has a normal life, a normal job, and normal friends—but he fears his childhood has left him a broken man from a broken home.

And then, just as suddenly as he had all those years ago, Alistair reappears and throws James' life into paranoia and chaos. Does Alistair's reappearance promise deliverance from evil once again…or this time has he come for James himself?"


This was a fascinating psychological thriller told partly from the point of view of James in the present day, and partly in flashbacks from the point of view of his mother Brenda.
Brenda had unfortunately fallen in love with an abusive man whom she married against her parents wishes. She tried to make the best of things with husband Frank, but he had more interest in drinking and gambling than being the family man Brenda had hoped for. When James is born into this unhappy home he becomes the newest target of Frank's rage, until one fateful night Frank is murdered in front of James by a stranger who threatens to do the same to him if he ever tells.
Now a grown man, dealing with PTSD James manages to hold a full time job though he prefers to keep to himself and avoid people as much as possible. Suddenly after all these years the murderer reappears in James's life, stalking him, advising him, and wanting something from him...
The ending was shocking! 4 out of 5 stars from me.

I received a complimentary copy for review


Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Reach of Children by Tim Lebbon

Description

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Rockinghorse by William W. Johnstone

Description

Monday, August 1, 2016

Nightmares A New Decade of Modern Horror Edited by Ellen Datlow


Description




First off I adore this cover and applaud the designer. It caught my eye immediately.

This is a large volume of horror at over 400 pages. While I can't say I fell in love with every story, it surely has something for every horror lover. My favorites of the bunch were "Sob In The Silence" which was a story of murder. "Dead Sea Fruit" a very strange tale about the Ash Mouth Man who can make you waste away with a kiss. "Closet Dreams" which was about an escape of sorts from a most vile predator. "Lonegan's Luck" which of course was not really good luck at all. "Was She Wicked? Was She Good?" Is about the aftermath of a little girl who likes to pull the wings off....well you'll see.

"The Shallows" was a strange and fascinating story of a family that I really can't even begin to describe. Now that is not to say the other stories weren't good, these are just the ones that will haunt me for a while.

I received an advance copy for review

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Jack-In-The-Box by William W. Johnstone

Description

Friday, July 29, 2016

A Time of Torment (A Charlie Parker Thriller) by John Connolly

Description

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mirror Image by Michael Scott and Melanie Ruth Rose

Description

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Many by Nathan Field

Description

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Jersey Devil by Hunter Shea

Description