Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Stranger in Our Home by Sophie Draper

Have you been bad enough?
After her stepmother’s sudden death, Caro returns to her childhood home, a now-empty farmhouse in Derbyshire. But clearing through her stepmother’s belongings unearths memories Caro would rather stay buried. As snow descends, trapping Caro in the strange village, where the neighbours stare and whisper about her, Caro’s past will catch up to her with deadly consequences. What is it about the summerhouse that makes her shiver? Who is the young boy she seems to remember playing with? And why did her stepmother taunt her with a haunting fairy tale about two sisters, enticed to commit a terrible act?
As Caro digs into the dark corners of her past, she starts to realise that she has been bad. More than bad enough.

"The flashy one or the nutcase?"

If ever there was a wicked stepmother, it was Elizabeth, who made a point of letting Caro know she didn't belong, and tormenting her with horrid stories. That may explain why Caro's older sister Steph flew the coop when she was barely old enough. It doesn't explain why decades went by before she would ever bother with her sister again.
Now a grown woman, Caro will uncover the reason why her childhood memories are so sparse and what secrets her own mind has hidden from her, as she heads back to her childhood home to clear it out after Elizabeth's death. The locals are less than welcoming, and a charming neighbor who rents the cottage on her property may know more about Caro's past than she does.
This was a twisty psychological thriller with lots of suspense and a bit of romance thrown in.

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

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Walking Alone: Short Stories by Bentley Little

From the mind of the man Stephen King calls "a master of the macabre" comes a brilliant new collection of no-punches-pulled horror stories, some never-before-collected and many originals that have never been published anywhere before. Bentley Little can take the innocuous, twist it around, and write a story that will change your way of thinking. Walking Alone: Short Stories is a shining example of his talent to scare you, creep you out, and make you shudder.

Bentley Little has been and continues to be one of my favorite authors. He has a unique gift for taking an ordinary situation like a car trip or the day in the life of a school girl, and turning it into something supernatural and horrifying. Even his craziest and most bizarre tales that begin with something far less innocent, such as murdering your parents because all the cool kids are doing it have me in stitches. I sometimes don't know whether to shudder or chuckle but probably the biggest compliment I can pay is to say that Bentley Little is never boring. Of these 27 stories there were only a few that missed the mark for me, but the rest more than made up for it.
4 out of 5 stars.
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About the author
Little was born one month after his mother attended the world premiere of Psycho. He published his first novel, The Revelation, with St. Martin's Press in 1990. After reading it, Stephen King became a vocal fan of Little's work, and Little won the Bram Stoker Award for "Best First Novel" in 1990. He moved to New American Library for his next two novels, but was dropped from the company after he refused to write a police procedural as his next novel. He eventually returned to New American Library, with whom he continues to publish his novels.

Little has stated on several occasions that he considers himself a horror novelist, and that he writes in the horror genre, not the "suspense" or "dark fantasy" genres. He is an unabashed supporter of horror fiction and has been described as a disciple of Stephen King.

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 . . .

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 . . .

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.

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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


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. 

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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, on Twitter at, or at his website,, for information regarding upcoming events or releases, or if you have any questions or comments for him.