Friday, October 19, 2018

Haunted: Horror of Haverfordwest by G.L. Davies

Blissful beginnings for a young couple turn into a nightmare after purchasing their dream home in Wales in 1989. Their love and their resolve are torn apart by an indescribable entity that pushes paranormal activity to the limit. Haunted: Horror of Haverfordwest is the prequel to the bestselling A Most Haunted House.



Presented as non-fiction this factual account is based on the author's own experiences as detailed in the included copy of his best selling book "A Most Haunted House" and the experiences of a couple who lived in the house before him. 
It is a creepy read whether you believe in the supernatural or not, and it also touches on some scientific explanations for the phenomena and explanations and theories on hallucinations.
Presented as an interview, there are some strikingly believable occurrences and some that defy plausibility. It should be a hit with fans of TV shows like Paranormal Witness, My Haunted House, A Haunting or any of the other ghostly reenactment shows.
4 out of 5 stars.
I received an advance copy for review.

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About the author
G.L. Davies is the author of the bestselling A Most Haunted House. He is the founder of the popular webcast The Paranormal Chronicles Network on YouTube, presenting shows with Dave Dominguez on a number of Paranormal subjects. He became sole owner of Pembrokeshire's premier paranormal website, Pembrokeshire Beyond, in January 2015.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Lemons on a Plate (an alter-ego speaks) by Pat Black

The poverty-stricken vagabond Barron Desulfer, addicted to drugs and alcohol and once a professor and renowned writer, decides to turn his life around. By chance, he meets up with an ex military Colonel, Ken, who is looking for someone to write his autobiography; this opportunity becomes the only hope that the desperate Barron needs to bring him up from the poorness in which he lives. Barron, suffering from progressive memory loss, has kept a daily journal for over thirty years.
He begins interviewing the Colonel. As the month's pass and the project moves forward, Barron stumbles onto a diary that belongs to the Colonel. What he finds in it will forever change the path in which he is on; hope will be stripped away. Or will it?

A former ghostwriter for some of the world's acclaimed novelists, author Pat Black has intentionally shied away from modern writing and traditional grammar standards, as he reaches the reader by way of an altered-state voice to create a truly unique first-of-four series.




Barron Desulfer lives in poverty in a dusty shack that contains little other than his couch and writing area. He writes constantly as he is losing his memory and in this way can keep a record. He occasionally sweeps up at the grocery store for a few odd dollars and one day leaves an ad on their cork board offering himself up as a writer. He is hired by a former military man who presents himself as a veteran of several wars, to write his biography. After some time it becomes apparent that this alleged war hero has lied about his adventures.
I'm not sure what I expected from this book but I am sure that what I got isn't what I was looking for. I was intrigued by the description of a drug addicted writer trying to turn his life around while living in poverty. What I got feels more like the ramblings of a fever dream (or drug induced dream?) For such a short book (less than 200 pages) it was quite repetitive with multiple repeats of the same material. Perhaps because Barron is losing his memory he forgot that he relayed this information already. There were some issues with sentence structure as well, so I am in agreement with the description that states "Pat Black has intentionally shied away from modern writing and traditional grammar standards," and I agree that this book is "unique."
I won't be reading the rest of the series. Someone else may enjoy this style, but it's just not for me.

I received a complimentary copy for review.

The Spite Game by Anna Snoekstra

Everyone does bad things when no one is watching

Mercilessly bullied in high school, Ava knows she needs to put the past behind her and move on, but she can’t—not until she’s exacted precise, catastrophic revenge on the people who hurt her the most.

First, she watches Saanvi. Flawlessly chic and working hard at a top architectural firm, Saanvi has it all together on the surface. But everyone does bad things when they think no one is watching and Ava only wants what’s fair—to destroy Saanvi’s life the way her own was destroyed.

Next, she watches Cass. She’s there as Cass tries on wedding dresses, she’s there when Cass picks out a cake, she’s there when Cass betrays her fiancĂ©. She’s the reason Cass’s entire future comes crashing down.

Finally, Ava watches Mel. Mel was always the ringleader and if anyone has to pay, it’s her. But one tiny slipup and Ava realizes the truth: Mel knows she’s being watched, and she’s ready to play Ava’s games to the bitter end.



This book got off to a slow start, but it wasn't too long until I was dying to know what this group of mean girls had done to Ava that pushed her over the edge and filled her with the single minded purpose of revenge. By the time it was revealed, I couldn't wait to find out how Ava's plan to get even would play out. If you have ever had a revenge fantasy you will likely enjoy this guilty pleasure.
4 out of 5 stars.

I received an advance copy for review.

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Friday, October 12, 2018

The Devil's Fingers by Hunter Shea

WHAT HAS LONG PINK FINGERS AND SMELLS LIKE ROTTING FLESH? It is a slime-covered fungus known for its pinkish red tentacles and pungent odor. It is indigenous to Australia but has spread to North America. Its Latin name is Clathrus Archeri, also known as Octopus Stinkhorn. Most people call it The Devil’s Fingers . . .

I DON’T KNOW BUT IT’S GROWING ON YOUR NECK.
Deep in the woods of Washington, botanist Autumn Winters stumbles onto a field of the luridly colored fungi. Two of her fellow campers make the mistake of touching it. Now it’s growing on them. Fleshy gelatinous pods. Sprouting from their skin. Feeding on their blood . . .

AND IT’S STILL GROWING.
Autumn watches in horror as her friends are transformed into monstrosities—grotesque, human-fungal hybrids as contagious and deadly as any virus. Autumn knows she must destroy these mutations before they return to civilization. But if there’s one thing that spreads faster than fear, it’s The Devil’s Fingers . . .


This was another creepy creature feature from Hunter Shea, this time in the form of a parasitic fungus that attaches itself (quite literally) to some friends that are camping in the woods of Washington. What was meant to be a scattering of ashes turns into a horrific discovery of a foul smelling growth that begins to infect the group. This was a quick read and a gross out good time.

I received an advance copy for review.





Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Doorbells at Dusk: Halloween Stories Edited by Evans Light



Halloween has always gone hand-in-hand with horror. The holiday gives many children their first taste of terror, the discovery and overcoming of fears. For those who find they love a good scare, that first taste can grow into a voracious appetite.

That might be why you’re looking at this book right now. If so, you’ve come to the right place. Doorbells at Dusk is a treasury of brand-new Halloween tales from both modern masters and rising stars of dark fiction, horror and suspense.

These are the thrills you crave, packed into a collection of stories that's pure Halloween.

Carve your pumpkins and turn on the porch light, Halloween frights begin with the sound of…DOORBELLS AT DUSK.



 

Sometimes you can judge a book by it's cover. Look at this gorgeous work of art. This anthology contains more treats than tricks, so step away from the Halloween candy, and put this in your goody bag because horror can taste as sweet without packing on the pounds. Among my favorite treats were The Rye Mother by Curtis M. Lawson about a young boy who longs to experience a Halloween that is forbidden by his Jehovah's Witness upbringing.
Rusty Husk by Evans Light is a deliciously disturbing tale about a man who makes the most lifelike scarecrows anyone has ever seen. Adam's Bed by Josh Malerman finds us in the midst of a birthday party for little Adam who was born on Halloween. What could be better than having his drunken lothario of a dad  in charge of the celebration? Keeping Up Appearances by Jason Parent takes us along on a crime spree gone wrong as a small band of criminals use the cover of Halloween to rob the wealthiest looking homes. There is a dark neighborhood secret kept in Vigil by Chad Lutzke.
Trick 'Em All by Adam Light is a splattery gore soaked tale that begins when an angry 16 year old is relegated the lowly  task of staying home to hand out candy.
As much as I love short horror stories it's always a bit difficult for me to review them without giving too much away. That is why I have just touched briefly on my absolute favorites. The whole collection is delightfully gruesome.
5 out of 5 stars.
I received a complimentary copy for review.

Get a copy


Featuring stories by:

• Sean Eads
• Amber Fallon
• Charles Gramlich
• Joanna Koch
• Curtis M. Lawson
• Lisa Lepovetsky
• Adam Light
• Evans Light
• Chad Lutzke
• Josh Malerman
• Jason Parent
• Thomas Vaughn
• Joshua Viola
• Ian Welke
• Gregor Xane

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Goat Parade by Peter N. Dudar

SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN TO COME UNTO ME…
AND BE LIKE GOATS IN MY PARADE

The city of Portland, Maine, is preparing for a parade to end all parades, one that will usher in a thousand years of darkness. The only thing is, they don't know it.

Four strangers will engage each other on the Devil's battlefield and fight not only for the future of the city, but for the entire world.

Warren Pembroke, Satan's Chosen One. He has been charged with making sure everything goes according to the Dark Lord's plan.

Svetlana Barnyk, a gypsy street performer cursed with the Gift of Sight. She lives in fear of the day Zee Doctor will return to reclaim the gift he bestowed on her.

"Tobacco Joe" Walton, an ex-con who served a 43-year term for committing a savage crime in the name of Justice. He is seeking redemption, but Ol' Scratch has other plans for him.

Erik Marsh, a crime beat reporter driven to the edge by the atrocities man has committed against his fellow man. All he wants is to preserve his sanity and spend time with his son.

Will they be able to defeat the Devil and stop the Goat Parade, or will the world be plunged into an age of darkness and endless suffering?


This is a story of sex, drugs, and Satan. A fight against evil, and those who give in and welcome it.
Erik Marsh, ex husband, father of a 10 year old boy, and crime reporter, has had more than his fill of being called "Erik the Black." He is in desperate need of a break from covering news stories on the worst of humanity before it drives him mad. He also hopes that this break will allow him to spend more time with his son. This break is short lived when his son's school is the setting for a ritualistic crime, planned by someone who wants to be written about by Erik. Meanwhile Erik's son is having horrific nightmares, and an old blues man Tobacco Joe is released from prison after serving time for a murder conviction. Tobacco Joe may have earned his release from jail but that doesn't mean he is free. He's still bound by a contract he made with the devil. I don't want to go further into the plot, but this is a violent and gruesome tale that I think all horror lovers will enjoy.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

They Feed by Jason Parent

The night uncovers all we wish not to see.

A troubled man enters a dusky park before sunset. A young woman follows, hidden in shadow. Both have returned to the park to take back something the past has stolen from them, to make right six long years of suffering, and to find justice or perhaps redemption—or maybe they'll settle for some old-fashioned revenge.

But something evil is alive and awake in those woods, creatures that care nothing for human motivations. They’re driven by their own insatiable need: a ravenous, bottomless hunger.

The campgrounds are full tonight, and the creatures are starving. Before the night is over, they will feed.
An unrelenting tale of terror from Jason Parent, acclaimed author of People of the Sun and What Hides Within.




Tyler is freshly released from jail when he decides to head to the park, back where all his troubles first started. He's not alone.There's also a woman with a grudge against him, and some other unsavory characters. There is something else in the woods at Galveston State Park. It's hungry, and it's evil, and it's anxious to welcome Tyler home. I'm really not sure what the hell it is but it looks like slugs and can take on the form of it's victims. It reminded me a little bit of The Ruins by Scott Smith, although that had talking vines that could infect your body and mind, and this has slug like creatures  with unusual abilities.
Stories like this are why my idea of camping involves renting a house on a lake with a door that locks and not being a sitting duck in the forest with nothing but a flimsy tent for protection. They Feed is full of gory fun.
4 out of 5 stars
I received a complimentary copy for review. 

Buy a copy


About the author
In his head, Jason Parent lives in many places, but in the real world, he calls New England his home. The region offers an abundance of settings for his writing and many wonderful places in which to write them. He currently resides in Southeastern Massachusetts with his cuddly corgi named Calypso.

In a prior life, Jason spent most of his time in front of a judge . . . as a civil litigator. When he finally tired of Latin phrases no one knew how to pronounce and explaining to people that real lawsuits are not started, tried and finalized within the 60-minute timeframe they see on TV (it's harassing the witness; no one throws vicious woodland creatures at them), he traded in his cheap suits for flip flops and designer stubble. The flops got repossessed the next day, and he's back in the legal field . . . sorta. But that's another story.

When he's not working, Jason likes to kayak, catch a movie, travel any place that will let him enter, and play just about any sport (except that ball tied to the pole thing where you basically just whack the ball until it twists into a knot or takes somebody's head off - he misses the appeal). And read and write, of course. He does that too sometimes.

Please visit the author on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJasonP..., on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AuthorJasParent, or at his website, http://authorjasonparent.com/, for information regarding upcoming events or releases, or if you have any questions or comments for him.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Hark! the Herald Angels Scream edited by Christopher Golden

Eighteen stories of Christmas horror from bestselling, acclaimed authors including Scott Smith, Seanan McGuire, Josh Malerman, Michael Koryta, Sarah Pinborough, and many more.

That there is darkness at the heart of the Yuletide season should not surprise. Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is filled with scenes that are unsettling. Marley untying the bandage that holds his jaws together. The hideous children--Want and Ignorance--beneath the robe of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. The heavy ledgers Marley drags by his chains. In the finest versions of this story, the best parts are the terrifying parts.
Bestselling author and editor Christopher Golden shares his love for Christmas horror stories with this anthology of all-new short fiction from some of the most talented and original writers of horror today.



Christmas horror in time for Halloween? Yes please! count me in! What a great way to kick off the holiday season. Not only do the herald angels scream, they bring you tidings of discomfort and fear. I love short horror stories in any season, but I savor them even more this time of year when busy schedules, holiday baking, and decorating the house for hordes of trick or treaters infringe on my reading time. Oh Dear, I didn't mean to sound like scrooge. There is just something so satisfying to me about being able to finish a long day of holiday chores and reward myself by sinking my teeth into a good story (instead of the Halloween candies or Christmas cookies) There are 18 tales in this goodie bag and I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite. I enjoyed most of them very much. In fact the first treat I pulled from this bag "Absinthe and Angels" by Kelly Armstrong was deliciously creepy and set the bar rather high for those that followed. There are stories of down and out husbands in search of the perfect gift to get back in their family's good graces. There's a newly single mom trying to cope with her first Christmas without her husband. There are holiday parties you are better off not invited to attend, a couple's first trip to Barcelona with their new baby in time for Christmas is one I will bet they never forget. A haunted hotel room, a tongue in cheek version of my all time least favorite song The Christmas shoes titled "Good Deeds" by Jeff Strand was a perfect fit for my twisted humor.
All in all this anthology was well worth a read.
4 out of 5 stars

I received an advance copy for review.
Get a copy

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Lies We Told by Camilla Way


Description




This twisty psychological thriller is told on 2 separate timelines, the present and the 1980s, and even if you figure out what one has to do with the other, the ending hits you like a freight train.
In the present, Clara and Luke have recently set up housekeeping and are madly in love when suddenly he disappears. At first Clara thinks he may have just had a few drinks and is sleeping it off somewhere but it soon becomes apparent that something more sinister is afoot. When Clare reports him missing, she learns some unsettling secrets that she was happier not knowing, and as she takes it upon herself to search for clues in his disappearance she learns some disturbing details that make her question how well she really knows him.
In the 1980s we meet Beth, a woman who longs to be a mother and who is finally blessed with a daughter that she and her husband Doug love more than life itself, even when it becomes apparent that their beautiful little girl doesn't seem to love them back, is unable to make friends, and terrorizes the other tots in daycare. Eventually we learn what these two timelines have in common but even then, this tangled web of lies holds another shocking secret.
5 out of 5 stars
I received an advance copy for review.

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Perfect Prophet by Diane M. Johnson

When atheistic death-metal guitarist Alec is shot on stage by a Satanic fan, his miraculous recovery inspires a change in his beliefs about God. But when he returns to his hometown to make amends with his family, he discovers that his strictly religious and abusive father has dark secrets that involve Alec and his role in a local Satanic cult.

Perfect Prophet is a dark, supernatural thriller where normal people who question the existence of God must choose what roles they will play in a battle over an unlikely savior's soul.




It's been a long time since I've come across a really satisfying Satanists versus the good guys story and that is just what Perfect Prophet delivers. I'm not going to get into the plot too much except to say I wasn't convinced this death metal band was going to interest me much. I was wrong.
 Race With The Devil is mentioned in the book but I was already reminded of it before then. It also has shades of Salem's Lot and Let's Scare Jessica To Death. No there are no vampires but you just never know who you can trust and who is in league with the devil.
5 out of 5 stars

I received an complimentary copy for review.

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Friday, September 14, 2018

A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl by Jean Thompson

From National Book Award finalist and the New York Times bestselling author of The Year We Left Home comes a moving family saga about three generations of women who struggle to find freedom and happiness in their small Midwestern college town.

A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl is a poignant novel about three generations of the Wise family—Evelyn, Laura, and Grace—as they hunt for contentment amid chaos of their own making.

Evelyn set aside her career to marry, late, and motherhood never became her. Her daughter Laura felt this acutely and wants desperately to marry, but she soon discovers her husband Gabe to be a man who expects too much of everyone in his life, especially his musician son. Grace has moved out from Laura and Gabe’s house, but can’t seem to live up to her potential—whatever that might be.

In A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl we see these women and their trials, small and large: social slights and heartbreaks; marital disappointments and infidelities; familial dysfunction; mortality. Spanning from World War II to the present, Thompson reveals a matrilineal love story that is so perfectly grounded in our time—a story of three women regressing, stalling, and yes, evolving, over decades. One of the burning questions she asks is: by serving her family, is a woman destined to repeat the mistakes of previous generations, or can she transcend the expectations of a place, and a time? Can she truly be free?

Evelyn, Laura, and Grace are the glue that binds their family together. Tethered to their small Midwestern town—by choice or chance—Jean Thompson seamlessly weaves together the stories of the Wise women with humanity and elegance, through their heartbreaks, setbacks, triumphs, and tragedies.


I suppose anyone who is a daughter, or a  mother, or has lost a mother, will be able to find something to relate to in this book. I know I did. It is true that women have always been the glue that holds a family together, sometimes joyfully, other times not so much. This is the story of 3 generations of unhappy, dissatisfied, women who did the best they could with the hand they were dealt, and lived as best they could with the choices they made. It was not exactly a tear jerker although it was depressing at times. I wanted to remind each of these women that life is what you make of it. I wish someone had done that for them.

I received an advance copy for review.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Let There Be Dark by Tim McWhorter

From an oddities shop looking to expand their macabre collection, to a back roads bridge with a horrifying past, Let There Be Dark is a collection of eight, sinister short stories full of ghostly phantoms, savage beasts, and the most frightening creature of all: humans. This first horror collection from the author of the best-selling novel, Bone White, thrusts you beyond the fringe and reminds us why we should all fear the dark.


As I finish up this collection of 8 short stories I am asking myself how I have never heard of Tim McWhorter. Do I live under a rock? This is not his first book but it is my first time reading this author. How am I the first one to review this? Where are all the horror lovers who should be enjoying the hell out of this and singing it's praises. Tim McWhorter said Let There Be Dark... and there was!

It takes a LOT to scare me. At least when it comes to books. Some of these stories had my heart pounding because they played off my real life fears. Especially "The Dark Side"
With the coming Halloween season my husband and I are preparing (as always) to visit multiple haunted house attractions, but we have never been to one of those black out houses. You know the kind where you walk through in absolute darkness? That is the premise of "The Dark Side" as a young couple prepare to make their way through, even though one of them really doesn't want to participate. Personally my real fear is that I would trip and break a hip in the dark or just plain get lost and never find my way out. I have absolutely no sense of direction. This is also the reason that the story "Growing Cold Together" had me nearly quaking with fear, before the scary parts even started. 2 sisters and a boyfriend are on a road trip on a bitter cold snowy Colorado road. They pull over for a bathroom break, the sister wanders into the woods and doesn't come back. I can easily see myself as the one lost in the woods.. and as the one left behind having no clue which way to go or how to find her. I am the kind of person who can come out of the grocery store and not know where the car is so picturing myself in their shoes gave me that dreadful feeling in the pit of my stomach before the real horror even started... and it does get started. Believe me. I'm warning you. "The Bridge" is a chilling ghost story based on urban legend which just about every small town has a version of, though not nearly as compelling as this one. These stories were 5 star reads for me.
I also enjoyed "Rope Burns" about a trip to Salem for research on writing a thesis on how the witch trials influenced the legal system. Historical landmarks may not have been preserved but restless spirits can not be so easily washed away. "Pigs" finds a hapless photographer in need of cheap lodgings getting involved in some disturbing goings on at a pig farm.
In "No Saints Here" a would be lothario has his plans interrupted when he tries to force himself on the wrong woman. "Skull Session" concerns a young man attempting to sell a strange curio he bought online but unfortunately for him the buyer requires something else from him. These were 4 star reads for me. I hate to have to say that I have left out one story.. "The Company You Keep" that just simply was not for me. Others may enjoy it. I only skimmed it. I just can not muster up interest in anything to do with mafia, mobsters or whatever. It's not you, it's just me and I choose not to base my rating on that one story.

4.5 out of 5 stars
I received a complimentary copy for review.
Get a copy

 About the author
Tim McWhorter was born under a waning crescent moon, and while he has no idea what the significance is, he thinks it sounds really cool to say. A graduate of Otterbein College with a BA in Creative Writing, he is the author of the novella SHADOWS REMAIN, the suspense-thrillers, BONE WHITE, and its sequel, BLACKENED, and a collection of short stories titled SWALLOWING THE WORM. Described as "an intelligent thrill ride that presents itself as a love letter to slasher stories," BONE WHITE came in at #11 on HorrorUnderground's Top Books of 2015.

He lives the suburban life just outside of Columbus, OH, with his wife, a handful of children and a few obligatory 'family' pets that have somehow become solely his responsibility. He is currently hard at work on another thriller with just enough horror to keep you up at night. He is available for conversation through Twitter (@Tim_McWhorter), Facebook 
or his website

Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Toy Thief by D.W. Gillespie

Description

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The House by the Cemetery by John Everson

Rumor has it that the abandoned house by the cemetery is haunted by the ghost of a witch. But rumors won’t stop carpenter Mike Kostner from rehabbing the place as a haunted house attraction. Soon he’ll learn that fresh wood and nails can’t keep decades of rumors down. There are noises in the walls, and fresh blood on the floor: secrets that would be better not to discover. And behind the rumors is a real ghost who will do whatever it takes to ensure the house reopens. She needs people to fill her house on Halloween. There’s a dark, horrible ritual to fulfill. Because while the witch may have been dead... she doesn’t intend to stay that way.

When Mike is offered a job shoring up a ramshackle old house to  make it safe enough to walk through so that it can be turned into a Halloween attraction, he is not overly excited by the idea. For the last 50 years or so, rumors have circulated that this house is haunted. Not having worked steady for quite a while and in need of money he reluctantly agrees. There are strange happenings as soon as he starts working but for some reason a befuddled Mike doesn't quit his job. It kind of bothered me when Mike was not the least bit suspicious when a couple of random girls showed up to hang out at the house with him, and that he didn't seem to find it odd that he could be talking to them one minute and turn around and they were gone. It was just a bit too obvious and predictable for me. Towards the last half of the book there is lots of blood and gore for those of you who like the gross out factor but I just didn't find it to be as frightening as I had hoped.

I received an advance copy for review.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox

Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.

Take this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences, but those around you, as well.

New Oldbury, 1821

In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall.

The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.

All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end.


What an intriguing read! When the Montrose family was forced by scandal to uproot their lives and flee the city, I at first thought to myself that surely it could not have been that severe, after all what was not considered scandalous in those days? The scandal itself is a bit of a mystery, and there are hints that it may have been caused by Lydia or by Catherine, but either way I could not wait to find out what it was. Once settled in their new home it seems that gossip has followed them, and sadly a tragedy is not far behind. The relationship between the sisters held me spellbound. For having been raised by the same parents in the same home, they could not have wound up more different from each other. This was a captivating work of historical fiction with a gothic ghost story feel, complete with heroes to cheer for and villains that I took delight in hating.

I received an advance copy for review. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

The Siren and The Specter by Jonathan Janz

When David Caine, a celebrated skeptic of the supernatural, is invited by an old friend to spend a month in “the most haunted house in Virginia,” he believes the case will be like any other. But the Alexander House is different. Built by a 1700s land baron to contain the madness and depravity of his eldest son, the house is plagued by shadows of the past and the lingering taint of bloodshed. David is haunted, as well. For twenty-two years ago, he turned away the woman he loved, and she took her life in sorrow. And David suspects she’s followed him to the Alexander House.


When David Caine accepts an offer to stay in a supposedly haunted house for a month, to prove or disprove whether it has earned it's title of most haunted house in Virginia, he is unaware of many details about the area. He is not expecting sexual deviants for neighbors. He is not expecting the house to hold ties to his own past, and he is not aware that the Alexander house holds horrors of epic proportions.
This is more than a haunted house tale. The horror is not only in the supernatural aspects but in the evil that mere mortals commit. It got under my skin, not just with  delicious spine tingling fear that all horror lovers crave, but with sadness, and disgust, and sometimes rage. The test of any good book (for me) is whether it can make me feel something. The Siren And The Specter is a masterpiece of horror.
5 out of 5 stars.

I received an advance copy for review.

Available on Amazon



Author's website http://jonathanjanz.com/

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Sea Was a Fair Master by Calvin Demmer

The world’s fate lies with a comatose young girl; an android wants to remember a human she once knew under Martian skies; men at sea learn that the ocean is a realm far different from land, where an unforgiving god rules; a school security guard discovers extreme English class; and a man understands what the behemoth beneath the sea commands of him.

The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 stories, riding the currents of fantasy, science fiction, crime, and horror. There are tales of murder, death, loss, revenge, greed, and hate. There are also tales of hope, survival, and love.

For the sea was a fair master.



I am not the world's biggest fan of flash fiction. I do love short stories but have often found the extremely short flash fiction style just leaves me hanging, scratching my head and saying that's it? It's over?
That was not the case here, where most of these stories  have a satisfying conclusion or had me saying Aha! I see what you did there. If you are looking to snack on some crunchy bits of bite sized fiction I can recommend this well written anthology, chock full of sorrow, fear, dark humor and horror.

4 out of 5 stars
I received a complimentary copy for review.

About the author
https://calvindemmer.com/

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Mortician's Wife by Maralee Lowder

The honeymoon of Ada, a shy and innocent young girl and Horace, a dashingly handsome, charismatic, mortician, gets off to a rough start. The marriage goes down hill from there. Although the marriage continues to be unconsummated, Ada holds out hope that one day the love she has for her husband will destroy the emotional wall that continues to separate them. Unfortunately, before this happens, her father, a celebrated physician and owner of the local hospital, faces ruin, both financially and legally. It is then that Ada realizes the only reason Horace married her was because of her family's high standing within the local community. That is when all hope of sharing love with her husband vanishes, as he begins abusing her. Having no one to turn to, Ada quietly accepts her husband's abuse, until, after years of living in fear, Horace does the unthinkable. When he takes away her only reason for living, she shes him for what he as become--a monster of the highest order. When she learns the depth of his depravities, she comes to the realization that it is up to her to keep not only herself safe from him, but also any others who might come within his distorted vision. What she decides she must do will surprise most readers, and abhor others. She feels it is her duty to humanity to protect them from the man she once loved. Unfortunately, what she cannot possibly know is, that although she may have saved others from the living man, she has released an even more dangerous evil, his everlasting angered soul.

The story begins when Emily is a little girl and gets her first glimpse of Ada on a long ago Halloween night. Emily is out trick or treating away from parental supervision for the first time. Everyone knows to stay away from the creepy old mortuary and the crazy old witch lady Ada, but lonely Emily finds a kinship with her and for a brief time they become friends. Years later they reconnect when Emily is a grown woman and Ada is now in her 90s with deteriorating health and needs someone to help her with her daily needs. Gradually, Ada tells Emily her life story and how she came to be living above the mortuary and why she refuses to leave. It is a heartbreaking tale that ends a bit abruptly since it is the first in a series.

4 out of 5 stars.
I received a complimentary copy for review

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Painless by Marty Thornley

Description

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Creature by Hunter Shea

The monsters live inside of Kate Woodson. Chronic pain and a host of autoimmune diseases have robbed her of a normal, happy life. Her husband Andrew’s surprise of their dream Maine lake cottage for the summer is the gift of a lifetime. It’s beautiful, remote, idyllic, a place to heal. But they are not alone. Something is in the woods, screeching in the darkness, banging on the house, leaving animals for dead. Just like her body, Kate’s cottage becomes her prison. She and Andrew must fight to survive the creature that lurks in the dead of night.

I have been a fan of Hunter Shea for a few years now. I believe I have read most if not all of his work. I can usually count on his books to remind me of lazy Saturdays as a kid reading through my horror comics or watching the creature double feature on my old TV that got 3 channels back in the 80s. I've often described his books as "a fun read."
Creature is a whole other level of horror than I was expecting. It's much more dark and serious. It feels real. If you have ever suffered chronic pain you are going to find an instant kinship with Kate. It will take you back to your darkest days. If you have not known this kind of pain you will at least feel sympathy for her and her husband Andrew, who due to her debilitating illnesses has had to become her caretaker yet somehow remained a real husband. Kate and Andrew despite everything have remained madly in love. Not that fake romance novel type love either, I mean the real kind where you sometimes get on each other's nerves to the point that you can't stand to be in the same room together but before you walk out you still make damned sure they have everything they need, and you know you're coming back. Andrew would do anything for Kate, and it is in that spirit that he takes her to a lake house for the summer where he hopes she can find some relief and some happiness before her next horrible round of doctor appointments in the fall.  This was a 5 star read for me.

I received an advance copy for review.

Publication date September 6, 2018 available for preorder now.



FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

RED HARVEST by Patrick C. Greene

RED HARVEST 
Every year at harvest time, something strange and wonderful happens in the sleepy farm community of Ember Hollow. It comes alive. Truckloads of pumpkins are sent off to be carved into lanterns. Children scramble to create the creepiest, scariest costumes. Parents stock up on candy and prepare for the town’s celebrated Pumpkin Parade. And then there is Devil’s Night . . .
 
But this year, something is different. Some of the citizens are experiencing dark, disturbing visions. Others are beginning to wonder if they’re losing their minds, or maybe their souls. One newly sober singer with the voice of a fallen angel is tempted to make a deal that will seal his fate. And one very odd boy is kept locked in a shed by his family—for reasons too horrible to imagine . . .
 
Whatever is happening to this town, they’re going to make it through this Halloween. Even if it kills them . . .


I love any and all things Halloween related, so give me a rock and roll horror story set in a town that is pretty much the Halloween capital of the planet and I'm all over it. I loved Stuart and his relationship with his punk rocker brother Dennis, who is recently sober and has moved back in with Stuart and his mom while they are all still struggling with the loss of Dad. Halloween is always a huge deal in this town but this year holds the promise of a possible recording contract for Dennis and his band, who tour around in a tricked out hearse.
As the town is preparing for their annual celebration  there is someone who aims to  put a permanent stop to all the fun, and someone else who has far different ideas about how to celebrate.
While I did have a couple of minor issues with the plot and would have rather the reasoning behind certain happenings had been just a little different I did enjoy this book and thought it was a lot of gory fun. I will definitely be back for the next installment of these Haunted Hollow Chronicles.

4 out of 5 stars
I received an advance copy for review.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Zombie Who Cried Human by Brian James Freeman

 
The Zombie Who Cried Human is the first book a new series from Brian James Freeman and Glenn Chadbourne, who are blending classic fables with modern storytelling techniques to entertain children and adults of all ages.

Little Boy Zombie lives on a big farm just outside of ZomBeeTown with Mama Zombie, Papa Zombie, and Rex the Zombie Dog.

One day, while Mama Zombie and Papa Zombie are away, Boy Zombie is left in charge of the farm. But when he gets bored, he decides to play a prank on the citizens of ZomBeeTown. He yells toward town, "Humans here, humans here!" And everyone comes shambling to the farm to help.


When they discover they've been tricked, Boy Zombie is warned by his elders: "Don't cry 'humans' when there are no humans!"
But will he learn his lesson in time?
In this fun adaptation of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, zombies are the norm, and humans are raised to be sold at market. While Mama and Papa are away, little boy zombie recalls the time that wild humans descended on the farm and the whole town showed up when Papa yelled for help. Deciding to try it for himself, he learns why it's not a good idea to cry human. The illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne are marvelous.

I received an advance copy for review.

 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Thirteen Days by Sunset Beach by Ramsey Campbell



Description

 
As a long time fan of Ramsey Campbell I was so excited to get a copy of this book just before I left for my own vacation. The subject matter seemed to make it perfect timing. Ray and Sandra are a happily married couple who embark on a family vacation with their adult children, grandchildren and the spouses of their kids. Things get off to a bit of a rocky start and with such a large group of people spending so much time together it's hard for everyone to get along. Ray and Sandra are hoping to make this a vacation to remember while keeping a secret from the rest of the family. The locals also seem to have some secrets, and between their strange customs and unusual folk lore the family is a bit on edge. This was a slow burn, building up to an experience of unbridled weirdness.
 
I received a complimentary copy for review

Saturday, July 28, 2018

On Vacation See You Soon



I didn't want you to think I've abandoned you. We will be away for 2 weeks at the lake house. I will still be reading, especially considering we are expecting on and off thunderstorms, but I won't be posting reviews until we return on August 12.
My current read is "Thirteen Days by Sunset Beach" by one of my favorite authors Ramsey Campbell. That will be my first review when I return.
Be good! I'll miss you!

Friday, July 27, 2018

The Witching Well by S.D. Hintz

It's the end of the world…
as Murray Macabe knows it. The security of his home life has been ripped out from under him when his mother was brutally murdered. Rejected by his aunt, Murray only has one place left to go, and that's to live the rest of his life with a woman he barely knows.

To Grandmother's House He Goes

At first, life with his grandmother doesn't seem like it's going to be that bad, but Murray soon learns his grandmother harbors dark secrets.

Double, Double Toil and Trouble; Fire Burn and Caldron Bubble
As bad as Grandma's secrets might be, they are nothing compared to the secrets held by the neighbors, three elderly women who have set their sights on Murray for their own dastardly purposes. Soon Murray finds himself fighting for his very life, and there's no one to turn to for help because everyone knows there's no such thing as witches.


Murder and witches and scorch-roaches Oh My! Supernatural elements and mystery abound in this engaging YA novel about a young boy uprooted from his home. When Murray's mother is killed he has no choice but to move in with Grandma Anna, a woman he barely knows since his mother and she kept very little contact over the years. Grandma Ana lives in a very strange neighborhood occupied by a vicious dog and odd neighbors who hate children and keep strange secrets. Grandma has lived there for years without suspecting their true nature but when Murray begins to figure out what's going on will she believe him? This was an exciting read with a hair raising climax.

I received a complimentary copy for review.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Dark Entry by John B. Kachuba

Description

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Lies by T.M. Logan

WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS BASED ON LIES?
When Joe Lynch stumbles across his wife driving into a hotel car park while she's supposed to be at work, he's intrigued enough to follow her in.

And when he witnesses her in an angry altercation with family friend Ben, he knows he ought to intervene.

But just as the confrontation between the two men turns violent, and Ben is knocked unconscious, Joe's young son has an asthma attack - and Joe must flee in order to help him.

When he returns, desperate to make sure Ben is OK, Joe is horrified to find that Ben has disappeared.

And that's when Joe receives the first message .




Joe and Mel Lynch appear to be a happily married couple, raising their young son in their modest but comfortable home. Mel is the main breadwinner in a modern twist, and Joe works part time and is the main care giver of their young child. One ordinary day when Joe is driving his son William home, William just by chance spots Mel's car on the road and wants to surprise his mommy. Joe follows in his car, but it is he who ends up being surprised by what he sees.
This was an intriguing and twisty family drama/thriller about a man who slowly unravels the lies he's been believing about his happy marriage. There were a few points in the story that I could not help but think he was a bit more gullible than the average man would probably be, but his trusting nature was pertinent to the story line. I enjoyed it.
4 out of 5 stars.

I received an advance copy for review.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Behind the Door by Mary SanGiovanni

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!

Occult specialist Kathy Ryan returns in this thrilling novel of paranormal horror from Mary SanGiovanni, the author of Chills . . .

Some doors should never be opened . . .

In the rural town of Zarepath, deep in the woods on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, stands the Door. No one knows where it came from, and no one knows where it leads. For generations, folks have come to the Door seeking solace or forgiveness. They deliver a handwritten letter asking for some emotional burden to be lifted, sealed with a mixture of wax and their own blood, and slide it beneath the Door. Three days later, their wish is answered—for better or worse.

Kari is a single mother, grieving over the suicide of her teenage daughter. She made a terrible mistake, asking the powers beyond the Door to erase the memories of her lost child. And when she opened the Door to retrieve her letter, she unleashed every sin, secret, and spirit ever trapped on the other side.

Now, it falls to occultist Kathy Ryan to seal the door before Zarepath becomes hell on earth . . .


Available for Pre-order. This item will be released on August 28, 2018.


This is a series I will most definitely want to stick with. I had previously read "Chills" by the same author which is where I first met the character Kathy Ryan. I loved her then and I love her now. In fact I think she was my favorite part of Chills.
The people in the small town of Zarepath have more than their share of secrets. The deepest and darkest secret of them all is one they have shared amongst the townspeople for generations. Hidden in the woods is a door that can rid you of your misery or it can rain misery upon you if you don't follow the rules. Your request must be in writing and you are in for a world of suffering if it isn't worded exactly the way you intend.
The characters are perfectly imperfect and managed to evoke my sympathy for them even as I raged against the pain that some of them had caused and things they had done. The fright factor is deliciously high and the writing style is imaginative and flows beautifully.

5 out of 5 stars.

I received an advance copy for review

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Vox by Christina Dalcher

Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial--this can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end.

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.


In the same vein as A handmaid's Tale, Vox is the story of a dystopian America where the female population is oppressed after a newly elected president and his cronies take steps to bring back the old days when women had no rights. Women are no longer allowed to work outside the home. They can still drive, and go to the grocery store, they can still care for their children, but they are allotted only 100 words per day and there is severe punishment should they speak more than that. They can not read, even instructions from their own doctors will be sealed in an envelope addressed to their husbands. Mail is also only for husbands. Children still attend school but with drastic differences for boys and girls.  There is punishment for sex before marriage, and outside of marriage, and for being homosexual. As Jean tries to do what she can to raise her children under such circumstances, she becomes aware that there is an even more sinister plan in the works. With the current divisiveness in the states this was certainly a timely read.

4 out of 5 stars

I received an advance copy for review.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The House of Nodens by Sam Gafford

In 1975, young Bill Simmons is the new kid in New Milford. Bullied and struggling for acceptance, he meets four other boys who form the ‘the Cemetery League’, a group devoted to the weird, exotic and bizarre in movies, comics and television. Each boy carries their own secrets which combine to come to a violent and fiery conclusion in a lonely Connecticut forest. Now, nearly forty years later, the events of that night come back to haunt Bill Simmons as, one by one, the members of the Cemetery League are targeted by an unknown force that may have unnatural links to their past. Has something, or someone, come to exact a bloody vengeance? And how is it linked to a serial killer’s twenty year spree throughout the Nutmeg State? To answer these questions, Bill Simmons will have to face his greatest fears and the failure that destroyed his life and left him a hopeless alcoholic. But will it be enough?



There's a reason why Bill spends his days alone and lonely in an alcoholic haze. It's his way of coping with a traumatic past. There was a time, when as a child, Bill thought he had made some genuine friends. Boys of a like mind who loved horror movies and super hero comics. Boys who would stick by each other no matter what. Friends that would help each other through any situation, be it bullies or abusive families or just plain loneliness. Slowly at first, that friendship began to change, as something dark and evil was awakened in the woods where the boys would meet. Bill was able to escape it's clutches once, but now it wants him back.
4 out of 5 stars.

This was my first time reading anything by Sam Gafford. I will be on the look out for more. It was this gorgeous and creepy cover that first caught my eye along with a chance to win a free copy. Imagine my shock when I, who never wins anything was randomly selected as one of the lucky winners. Thank you Dark Regions Press!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

THE CRATE by Deborah Vadas Levison

"Evocative, and inspiring ... So much more than a true crime." - Steve Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of NO STONE UNTURNED

After surviving the horrors of the Holocaust – in ghettos, on death marches, and in concentration camps – a young couple seeks refuge in Canada. They settle into a new life, certain that the terrors of their past are behind them. They build themselves a cozy little cottage on a lake in Muskoka, a cottage that becomes emblematic of their victory over the Nazis. The charming retreat is a safe haven, a refuge from haunted memories.

That is, until a single act of unspeakable violence defiles their sanctuary. Poking around the dark crawl space beneath their cottage, they discover a wooden crate, nailed tightly shut and almost hidden from view. Nothing could have prepared them for the horror of the crate’s contents – or how the peace and tranquility of their lives would be shattered.

Now, their daughter, Deborah Vadas Levison, an award-winning journalist, tells the extraordinary account of her parents' ordeals, both in one of the darkest times in world history and their present-day lives. Written in searing, lyrical prose, THE CRATE: A Story Of War, A Murder, And Justice examines man’s seemingly limitless capacity for evil... but also, his capacity for good.


This was a heart wrenching true crime, but it reads like a novel. There is no boring police procedural, there is just real people, raw emotions, and horrible tragedy. The author describes in great detail her parents survival during the holocaust, their hopes and dreams of a new life and owning a small lake front property of their own, and the shocking murder that touched their lives when a body was discovered on their land. This was an incredible read. 5 stars

I received an advance copy for review.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey

Emma Grace Townsend. Five years old. Gray eyes. Brown hair. Missing since June.

Emma Townsend is lonely. Living with her cruel mother and clueless father, Emma retreats into her own world of quiet and solitude.
Sarah Walker. Successful entrepreneur. Broken-hearted. Abandoned by her mother. Kidnapper.

Sarah has never seen a girl so precious as the gray-eyed child in a crowded airport terminal—and when a second-chance encounter with Emma presents itself, Sarah takes her, far away from home. But if it’s to rescue a little girl from her damaging mother, is kidnapping wrong?
Amy Townsend. Unhappy wife. Unfit mother. Unsure she wants her daughter back.

Amy’s life is a string of disappointments, but her biggest issue is her inability to connect with her daughter. And now she’s gone without a trace.
As Sarah and Emma avoid the nationwide hunt, they form an unshakeable bond. But her real mother is at home, waiting for her to return—and the longer the search for Emma continues, Amy is forced to question if she really wants her back.
Emotionally powerful and wire-taut, Not Her Daughter raises the question of what it means to be a mother—and how far someone will go to keep a child safe.

Have you ever seen kids getting screamed at in public and wondered if it's an isolated moment or whether they have a bad home life? I have, and so the description of this book really called out to me.
 Sarah is a woman who was neglected, abused and abandoned by her mother as a child. When she sees Emma Townsend being screamed at by her mother it affects her so strongly that she can not forget. When she is sure that this was not an isolated incident she steals Emma, wanting only to protect her and give her the love that she never had as a child and that Emma so obviously needs. Once they are on the run together she is not sure whether she's made a mistake. The story starts off really strong and I was sure I was going to fall in love with it but the ending was just too simplistic and unrealistic for me.
3 out of 5 stars.

I received an advance copy for review.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris

From New York Times bestselling author Kristina McMorris comes another unforgettable novel inspired by a stunning piece of history.

2 CHILDREN FOR SALE

The scrawled sign, peddling young siblings on a farmhouse porch, captures the desperation sweeping the country in 1931. It’s an era of breadlines, bank runs, and impossible choices.

For struggling reporter Ellis Reed, the gut-wrenching scene evokes memories of his family’s dark past. He snaps a photograph of the children, not meant for publication. But when the image leads to his big break, the consequences are devastating in ways he never imagined.

Haunted by secrets of her own, secretary Lillian Palmer sees more in the picture than a good story and is soon drawn into the fray. Together, the two set out to right a wrongdoing and mend a fractured family, at the risk of everything they value.

Inspired by an actual newspaper photo that stunned readers across the nation, this touching novel explores the tale within the frame and behind the lens—a journey of ambition, love, and the far-reaching effects of our actions.


This book looked like it would be right up my alley so I expected to fall in love with it. I'm not exactly sure where it went wrong for me or why I am not able to be as exited about it as so many other people are. It just felt a bit bland to me. I do love historical fiction, especially stories set around the time of the great depression. This novel delivers that, but I was hoping it would dive more deeply into the ways struggling families lived and survived in such poverty stricken times and less about the personal lives of the photographer and secretary.
3 out of 5 stars
I received an advance copy for review.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding

The author of the bestselling novel The Party—lauded as “tense and riveting” by New York Times bestselling author Megan Mirandareturns with a chilling new domestic drama about two women whose deep friendship is threatened by dark, long-buried secrets.

Frances Metcalfe is struggling to stay afloat.

A stay-at-home mom whose troubled son is her full-time job, she thought that the day he got accepted into the elite Forrester Academy would be the day she started living her life. Overweight, insecure, and lonely, she is desperate to fit into Forrester’s world. But after a disturbing incident at the school leads the other children and their families to ostracize the Metcalfes, she feels more alone than ever before.

Until she meets Kate Randolph.

Kate is everything Frances is not: beautiful, wealthy, powerful, and confident. And for some reason, she’s not interested in being friends with any of the other Forrester moms—only Frances. As the two bond over their disdain of the Forrester snobs and the fierce love they have for their sons, a startling secret threatens to tear them apart…because one of these women is not who she seems. Her real name is Amber Kunick. And she’s a murderer.

In her masterful follow-up to The Party, Robyn Harding spins a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal, asking the question: Can people ever change? And even if they can, is it possible to forgive the past?



Frances Metcalfe is basically friendless and ostracized by the snooty moms
in her son's school until one day she meets the new arrival to the neighborhood Kate. The two quickly become the best of friends although something always seems just a bit off. While Kate dotes on her son and on Frances she seems to have no interest or time for her daughter Daisy. Both of these women have secrets in their past but is one of them a sociopath? A murderer? Even if you figure out who is who before the end, and you probably will, this story is still juicier than a soap opera and moves a lot faster. I loved it. 5 stars. A perfect guilty pleasure.

I received an advance copy for review.



Thursday, June 14, 2018

Bad Man by Dathan Auerbach

Reddit horror sensation Dathan Auerbach delivers a devilishly dark novel about a young boy who goes missing, and the brother who won't stop looking for him.

Eric disappeared when he was three years old. Ben looked away for only a second at the grocery store, but that was all it took. His brother was gone. Vanished right into the sticky air of the Florida Panhandle.

They say you've got only a couple days to find a missing person. Forty-eight hours to conduct searches, knock on doors, and talk to witnesses. Two days to tear the world apart if there's any chance of putting yours back together. That's your window.

That window closed five years ago, leaving Ben's life in ruins. He still looks for his brother. Still searches, while his stepmother sits and waits and whispers for Eric, refusing to leave the house that Ben's father can no longer afford. Now twenty and desperate for work, Ben takes a night stock job at the only place that will have him: the store that blinked Eric out of existence.

Ben can feel that there's something wrong there. With the people. With his boss. With the graffitied baler that shudders and moans and beckons. There's something wrong with the air itself. He knows he's in the right place now. That the store has much to tell him. So he keeps searching. Keeps looking for his baby brother, while missing the most important message of all.

That he should have stopped looking.


"Somewhere in the distance, lightning lit the sky on fire, and it screamed in pain."

Bad Man will be published on August 7 and is available for pre-order now.
 It is told from the point of view of Ben, a young man who lost his little brother 5 years ago and never forgave himself and never gave up searching. For some reason the police don't seem to care and his step mother is lost in her own world, still buying presents and holding birthday celebrations for her little boy who never came home. Ben's father doesn't want him working in the store where little Eric disappeared but he sure doesn't mind Ben bringing home a paycheck. His boss is a jerk and the other employees are a bit on the suspicious side.
This was an  incredible read. Bad Man has more layers than an onion, each one deeper and darker than the one that came before. A heavy pervasive creeping dread settled in my stomach with the turn of each page.
5 stars
I received an advance copy for review.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Nikolis Cole: The Low-Rise Saint by Richard Black

The death of a Drug Lord's first lieutenant ignites an all-out war between two rival gangs, a war that has raged on for a year. Homicide detective Karen Oswalt realizes she has no chance of bringing peace to the streets unless she can find the murderer, but it appears to have been the perfect crime. No witnesses. At least none have come forward. But all that is about to change. With one phone call from an informant long-thought dead, Karen Oswalt and her partner are about to come face to... uh... well, face with the killer.  









"Where man's justice doesn't reach out, a higher justice will reach down."

Detective Karen Oswalt and her partner Leon Barnes get schooled in justice when they meet with an informant in a drug infested neighborhood to try to solve a murder, in this gritty horror short by Richard Black. Someone else is patrolling the street and there's hell to pay.
This was a well written, fast paced, supernatural horror.
4 out of 5 stars

I received a complimentary copy for review.