Saturday, May 28, 2016

Baby Doll by Hollie Overton


Held captive for eight years, Lily has grown from a teenager to an adult in a small basement prison. Her daughter Sky has been a captive her whole life. But one day their captor leaves the deadbolt unlocked.

This is what happens next...

... to Lily, to her twin sister, to her mother, to her daughter...and to her captor.

Lily knows that she must bring the man who nearly ruined her life to justice. But she never imagined that reconnecting with her family would be just as difficult. Reclaiming her relationship with her twin sister, her mother, and her high school sweetheart, who is in love with her sister, may be Lily's greatest challenge. After all they've been through, can Lily and her family find their way back after this life-altering trauma?

Baby Doll is a taut psychological thriller that focuses on family entanglements and the evil that can hide behind a benign façade

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Secret Faces by Kealan Patrick Burke

“If you are hiding from yourself, don’t expect anyone else to see you.”

Everyone has a secret. Everyone is someone else when the world isn't looking. Sometimes that person is good, sometimes that person is not. In Bram Stoker Award-winning author Kealan Patrick Burke's latest terrifying collection of short stories, you'll meet thirteen people who discover the horror of what happens when those secret faces are removed and the true darkness that dwells within us all is unleashed.

It is no secret than Kealan Patrick Burke is on my very short list of "must read" authors. In fact that list gets shorter all the time. I literally purchase every book I see his name on, often before even reading the description. The reason for that is simple. I have enjoyed everything he has ever written. Secret faces included.

All 13 stories were good, some were exceptionally good. The ones that had the most impact for me were the following.
The first story "Home" about a man who rushes home during a storm for his daughter's 16th birthday only to find something obviously amiss with the celebration, had me almost scared to turn the page.
In "Stalled" a man's urgent need to find a bathroom has dire consequences.
"The Red Light Is Blinking" is the story of revenge against internet trolls. For best enjoyment crack open a bag of Doritos while you read.
In the story "I'm Not There" a man loses his reflection...and discovers how to get it back.
In "Memory Lane" a quick trip to the store for milk goes sour.
"Terminal" is every nightmare you've ever had about an airport.
A father regrets not listening when he had the chance, in "Quiet"
"The One Night Of The Year" is of course a tale of Halloween, and "Hoarder" is an excellent story of a salesman who attempts to sell cleaning products to a hoarder.
I would highly recommend this anthology for anyone who enjoys short horror stories.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Baby Talk Book 1 by Mike Wells

"In this creepy horror novel, Neal Becker is convinced that his 5 month old baby daughter can talk. But that's impossible...isn't it? Except that Neal didn't really want to get married in the first place and pushed his wife for an abortion. And now, Baby Natasha knows it. She's out to get Neal, or so he believes. Join the two in a terrifying battle for survival that will make your blood run cold!"

Well...I liked it and I did not like it.
First off at a mere 90ish pages I would not call it a novel.
It also ends very abruptly with a link to purchase book 2 which seems more likely that it is the second half of what should have been the rest of this book.

Annie and Neal "had to" get married. Actually when Annie got pregnant Neal would have rather she had an abortion. He never wanted "Baby Natasha" and is not all that fond of being a husband either at only 21 years old.

Neal works a minimum wage job and resents that he had to leave school to support a baby he never wanted.
I read a lot of horror and I never really expect it to make sense so I have no problem at all with this story line of a 5 month old baby being out to kill. What did bother me was a couple of things that the author seemed to presume, such as one character mentioning that a 5 month old baby can't even sit up yet. Sure they may topple over but babies can indeed sit up usually any time between 4-7 months.  While it may be unusual for a 5 month old to want to kill anyone I don't see why the author would find it unusual for a 5 month old to sit up. He also seems to presume that breast size has anything to do with milk production. Hence Annie's thoughts that she needed to supplement with formula because of not having large breasts. Most of all what really grated on my nerves was that a character (Annie) who is so paranoid of crib death and who is always reading books on baby care would ever in a million years leave her baby in a car alone in a parking lot. No I take that back, what bothered me the most was Annie's baby talk. It made me want to throat punch her.

Other than that, it was not a bad story. I mean who doesn't love a good evil baby story? But somehow even though this is currently free at amazon I feel cheated, because I thought this was a complete "novel" and not just half.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Charnel House by Graham Masterton



Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Story's Writer by Wayne Lemmons

"Amy, a single mother of one, has been alone for too long. One-night stands and unsatisfying relationships are dragging the joy out of her life. One Sunday morning she wakes in a strange bed, one of many just lately, and meets the man of her dreams.
Grant is handsome, charismatic, and charming. He’s also a horror novelist who’s had moderate success in his craft. The only thing more attractive than the man is the fact that he actually wants to meet Amy’s son, Bailey.
Bailey is independent for his age, as competent at caring for his own daily needs as most children twice his age, but overweight and ailed by a lack of personal confidence. His reservations about meeting a new man are evident in his resistance of his mother’s demands, but soon he warms to the charming writer. Bailey sees an opportunity to gain not only a father, but a friend.
Months later, after Amy and Bailey have taken up residence with this new man, odd behaviors begin to emerge as Grant researches the basis for his new novel. It’s a nonfiction manuscript, based on ghost stories originating at a local bar with a reputation for appearances from the other side. It’s a good book with a good story behind it, but it’s taking Grant down a path of hatred, violence, and ultimate destruction.
When Amy begins helping Grant with his editing, she too falls victim to the effects of prose, Bailey begins to receive a more brutal version of parenting. Now he’s hungry, in pain, and afraid with little or no help in sight as the story being written in his home stops mirroring the events at a remote bar, and becomes the new terrorizing story of his life."

The Story's Writer: From the author of The Dark RoadsThe Story's Writer: From the author of The Dark Roads by Wayne Lemmons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

8 year old Bailey is a lonely child, often left home alone for long stretches of time while his mother is out. He is a bit overweight due to his favorite pastime of watching movies, playing video games and comforting himself with food. He is a bright boy, wise beyond his years and loves his mother Amy fiercely, and she returns that love even though it seems she could benefit from a few parenting classes.

Suddenly, Amy just happens to click with her latest one night stand Grant, and the two become a couple. Not long after that Amy and Bailey move in to his apartment and Grant is thrilled to be part of a family. While working on a book concerning the happenings in a haunted bar, Grant begins to act strangely. He has bursts of rage for no apparent reason and vile thoughts that are no longer under his control. It appears something evil has followed Grant home from the bar and is now taking over his personality. Bailey knows something horrible is happening and that it has to do with the book, but he is powerless to stop it and as it begins to effect his mother's behavior as well there is nobody left to protect him.

This was a quick and creepy read with several heart in your throat moments that made me wish I could get in that apartment and rescue Bailey myself.

I received a complimentary copy for review.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Watching Edie by Camilla Way


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Afterlife: A Shadows Series Novel by Cege Smith


Twenty years have passed since the events that transpired inside the walls of the haunted Bradford mansion. On the eve of its demolition, it calls out to those that escaped it to come home…

It’s Thanksgiving vacation, and Morgan Mitchell returns home from college unexpectedly to find her parents, David and Ellie Mitchell, are mysteriously missing. Thinking they have taken a holiday trip and forgotten to tell her, Morgan settles in for a quiet vacation break alone. When some friends suggest exploring an old abandoned mansion due to be torn down the following week, she doesn’t think there’s any harm in going with them.

But this seemingly random invitation is one that proves not to be so random at all. Shadows from the past are coming for Morgan and her family, and soon she discovers that she is the only one who holds the key to saving them all. 

This was a quick read and my first time reading anything from the Shadows Series. As it is a "companion" to the series there may be pertinent details I am not aware of, but the story seems able to stand on it's own without having read the series.
Morgan, is a college student who suffers with a sleep paralysis night terrors type condition. She thinks she has it under control and is able to keep it a secret from most everyone. However a sleep over leads to a break up, and depressed she returns home for the holidays even though she had told her parents not to expect her.
Oddly enough her parents seem to have gone off somewhere without letting her know. They do not return her texts or calls, and their cars are in the garage but nobody is home. When Morgan accompanies some friends to an abandoned house rumored to be haunted She discovers that she didn't know as much about her parents or herself as she thought.
I received a complimentary copy for review

Friday, May 13, 2016

Whitefern by V.C. Andrews


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Victoria Crossing by Michael Wallace


All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Mercer Girls by Libbie Hawker

"It’s 1864 in downtrodden Lowell, Massachusetts. The Civil War has taken its toll on the town—leaving the economy in ruin and its women in dire straits. That is, until Asa Mercer arrives on a peculiar, but providential, errand: he seeks high-minded women who can exert an elevating influence in Seattle, where there are ten men for every woman. Mail-order brides, yes, but of a certain caliber.

Schoolmarmish Josephine, tough-as-nails Dovey, and pious perfectionist Sophronia see their chance to exchange their bleak prospects for new lives. But the very troubles that sent them running from Lowell follow them to the muddy streets of Seattle, and the friendships forged on the cross-country trek are tested at every turn.

Just when the journey seems to lead only to ruin, an encounter with a famous suffragist could be their salvation. But to survive both an untamed new landscape and their pasts, they’ll need all their strength—and one another."

A group of women seeking a better life make the arduous trip from Lowell to Seattle. Among them are Dovey, only 16 years old and running away from her father's intention to force her into marriage. Sophronia, who feels strongly that a woman's only hope in life is to marry and raise children, though she has never been able to find a man who can meet her strict and stringent expectations, and  Josephine, who has no intention of marrying and has a secret reason for wanting to run off to Seattle. The women face a long journey on carts, a train and ships, they deal with  sea sickness and illness, and at last arrive to an unwelcoming committee who considers them to be women of low moral character. As they set out to prove themselves they each take very different paths but manage to stay friends.
I love historical fiction and this was an engaging read, and a fantastic glimpse of what life was like in the earliest days of women's suffrage, when it was unsafe and unheard of for a woman to be out alone after dark and the excitement of going to hear Susan B Anthony speak.

I received an advance copy for review

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Blaming the Wind by Alessandra Harris

Sophia Douglas can’t shake the fear that she’s in over her head. A spontaneous elopement and a layoff from her high-paying job are stressful enough, but a plus sign on her pregnancy test sends her into a panic. Fearing her husband, Terrence, might leave like her father did, Sophia confides her insecurities to Tara, her friend and mom of three.

Though Tara Fisher encourages Sophia to trust Terrence, she’s hiding her own secret: a handsome attorney is pursuing her, and she’s questioning her commitment to Josh, her husband of ten years. After a devastating career-ending accident, Josh has changed and so have Tara’s feelings for him.

When a crisis arises that threatens to destroy Sophia and Terrence’s young marriage, Sophia must either overcome her fear of abandonment or lose everything she never knew she wanted. Meanwhile, as Tara is torn between responsibility and passion, her imperfectly put together life starts to unravel, and ghosts from her past resurface to haunt her.

As these two couples grapple with secrets, temptation, and illness, only time will tell if their vows are strong enough to hold them together.

Two couples, Sophia and Terrence Douglas, and Tara and Josh Fisher, are neighbors and best friends, though on the surface they don't appear to have a lot in common. The Fishers have been married a decade, are raising 3 children, and Tara is the sole bread winner in the family since Josh had a work injury and became a stay at home dad.

Next door at the Douglas household, there are no children, Sophia and Terrence are still in the honeymoon stage and it's Terrence who is the sole provider ever since Sophia lost her job.

What they do all seem to have in common is a lack of communication and a fear of confiding in their spouses.  This book was juicier than a soap opera and had more jaw dropping moments than an episode of Jerry Springer. It is a story of betrayal, mental illness, insecurities, and secrets hidden in dark pasts. It was a quick read but even so I literally had to put it down twice just so I could go hug my husband out of sheer relief that our lives are nothing like this. Blaming The Wind is one of those delicious guilty pleasures that you won't be able to put down...except to go and hug your husband!
I received a complimentary copy for review

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Resthaven By Erik Therme

The last thing Kaylee wants to do is participate in a childish scavenger hunt--especially inside the abandoned retirement home on the edge of town. When she finds a bruised, deaf boy hiding inside one of the rooms, she vows to lead him to safety . . . only to discover the front doors are now padlocked, and her friends are nowhere to be found. Kaylee is about to learn that not everything that goes 'bump in the night' is imaginary, and sometimes there are worse things to fear than ghosts.

Kaylee is the new girl in town, and slightly miffed at being so. She has been uprooted due to her parents splitting up and is not too thrilled to have left her former life behind.
When Kaylee is invited by Anna, a girl in her building, to go to a gathering at a friends house her mom pretty much forces her to attend. When she finds out that this gathering is actually a scavenger hunt in an abandoned rest home she is less than impressed.
Jamie, a "mean girl type" rich girl passes out digital cameras and promises $100 to the winner of the scavenger hunt. Reluctantly joining in, Kaylee and the other girls are trapped inside when Jaimie disappears, seemingly locking them inside. They find however, that they are not the only inhabitants in this spooky old building and have a harrowing time attempting to get out.
This was an enjoyable read, and I think it would do quite well with a younger audience. It is fast paced and suspenseful, and I would highly recommend it for any fans of R.L. Stine's Fear Street series.

I received a complimentary copy for review

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Binding:by Nicholas Wolff

When a rare mental disorder begins to consume his small-town neighbors, a young psychiatrist digs up the past for clues to the epidemic’s bone-chilling source in this brilliant supernatural horror debut, written in the bestselling tradition of Peter Straub.

Convinced that evil spirits have overtaken his daughter, a desperate father introduces her to Nat Thayer, a young psychiatrist in their sleepy blue-blooded Massachusetts college town. Thayer quickly diagnoses the girl with Cotard Delusion, an obscure condition sometimes described as “walking corpse syndrome.” But Thayer soon realizes his patient—and many of the local families—are actually being targeted by a malignant force resurrected from the town's wicked history. Thayer must discover the source of the spreading plague…before there is no one left to save.

Something horrifying is going on in this picturesque town in MA. The dead are not at peace. Bodies in the morgue are rearranging themselves or disappearing altogether, Meanwhile a living breathing girl insists that she is indeed dead. A little boy who can not speak is drawing pictures of his only friend, a demonic looking being he calls The Magician. All is this and more ties this community to something horrible that happened long ago and far away. I love horror stories that are set right here in New England so I was already looking forward to reading this book, and it did not disappoint me.

I received an advance copy for review