Monday, April 29, 2019

Without a Trace by Carissa Ann Lynch

Lily’s gone.
Someone took her.
Unless she was she never there…
A little girl has gone missing.
Lily was last seen being tucked into bed by her adoring mother, Nova. But the next morning, the bed is empty except for a creepy toy rabbit.
Has Nova’s abusive ex stolen his “little bunny” back for good?
At first, Officer Ellie James assumes this is a clear custody battle. Until she discovers that there are no pictures of the girl and her drawers are full of unused toys and brand new clothes that have never been worn…
Is Ellie searching for a missing child who doesn’t actually exist?

After suffering years of mental and physical abuse at the hands of her husband, Nova takes her young daughter and runs like hell. Having no friends or family to turn to since having been isolated from everyone by her smooth and smarmy husband Martin she flees to an isolated, furnished cabin that she has rented with the help of someone she met through an app on her phone. In the morning, her daughter Lily is gone and this story takes a twisty turn from domestic violence to  psychological terror.
4 out of 5 stars.
I received an advance copy for review.

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About the author
Besides my family, my greatest love in life is books. Reading them, writing them, holding them, smelling them…well, you get the idea. I’ve always loved to read, and some of my earliest childhood memories are me, tucked away in my room, lost in a good book. I received a five dollar allowance each week, and I always — always — spent it on books. My love affair with writing started early, but it mostly involved journaling and writing silly poems. Several years ago, I didn’t have a book to read so I decided on a whim to write my own story, something I’d like to read. It turned out to be harder than I thought, but from that point on I was hooked. My first and second books were released by Sarah Book Publishing: This Is Not About Love and Grayson’s Ridge. I’m a total genre-hopper. Basically, I like to write what I like to read: a little bit of everything! I reside in Floyds Knobs, Indiana with my husband, three children, and massive collection of books. I have a degree in psychology and worked as a counselor.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Twelve Nights at Rotter House by J.W. Ocker

Felix Allsey is a travel writer with a keen eye for the paranormal, and he's carved out a unique, if only slightly lucrative, niche for himself in nonfiction; he writes travelogues of the country's most haunted places, after haunting them himself.

When he convinces the owner of the infamous Rotterdam Mansion to let him stay on the premises for 13 nights, he believes he's finally found the location that will bring him a bestseller. As with his other gigs, he sets rules for himself: no leaving the house for any reason, refrain from outside contact, and sleep during the day.

When Thomas Ruth, Felix's oldest friend and fellow horror film obsessive, joins him on the project, the two dance around a recent and unspeakably painful rough-patch in their friendship, but eventually fall into their old rhythms of dark humor and movie trivia. That's when things start going wrong: screams from upstairs, figures in the thresholds, and more than what should be in any basement. Felix realizes the book he's writing, and his very state of mind, is tilting from nonfiction into all out horror, and the shocking climax answers a question that's been staring these men in the face all along: In Rotter House, who's haunting who?

"The first floor had plenty of furniture, surely bought and left by countless past residents who dared call this behemoth home. When you flee in terror, you rarely stop for the ottomans."

This was not at all what I was expecting from what sounded like a "typical haunted house" novel.
Yes Felix moves into an abandoned house in order to write a book about his experiences, but from the start the alleged haunted history of this home is a bit vague which only serves to emphasize that it may not be the main theme in this story. Enter Thomas, the estranged best friend. We don't really know why these former best buds have stopped speaking to each other, only that Felix has reached out to him for help with his book and although it is the first time they've bothered with each other in a year, Thomas has agreed. The pace is a bit slow here and we are given only the briefest of hints as to what could have caused their falling out. At this point I thought I had it all figured out and that the ghosts were not meant to be literal but  whether or not this ghost of a friendship could be resurrected from it's death. I can't share much more of my thought process or tell you if I was right or wrong in my assumptions without ruining the reveal at the end but I will say that although it was a leisurely arrival the pay off was with the wait.

I received an advance copy for review.

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Lucifer Sam by Leo Darke

The Day the Music DiedWhen a private jet carrying internationally acclaimed rock band Cat O' Nine Tails vanishes over the Indian Ocean, the shockwaves were felt around the world. There was no wreckage, no bodies, no black box recordings to provide clues as to what happened to the musicians. They were simply gone.
Rock 'n' Roll Will Never Die
Just as the world is recovering from the loss of Cat O' Nine Tails comes news that the jet carrying the band has mysteriously re-appeared in the same air space from which it had vanished six months ago. Was it a publicity stunt? The band is unable—or unwilling—to answer that question. They were "lost. But now we're back…" with the promise of a new album with a killer new sound coming soon.

There's something definitely not right with the band, but the nation is too firmly in the grip of Cat O' Nine Fever to notice. And as the formerly affable, much-loved Cat O' Nine Tails gears up for a new stadium show, it falls to Cat's original front man, sacked years before, and the members of a virtually unknown punk band, Lucifer Sam, to uncover the real threat behind the massive publicity drive.

Sex and drugs and rock-n-roll meet murder and mayhem in this heavy metal horror story.
When renowned band Cat O' Nine Tails miraculously reappears in the same spot as their mysterious disappearance 6 months earlier, their fans are elated. So what if they look younger and speak in faltering monotones. Who cares if they can't or won't say where they've been? What counts is the music and that they are back with a brand new sound. It's not that odd that they keep themselves secluded from friends and family is it? They're just too busy preparing for a concert and recording their new CD. Their new music is like nothing anyone has ever heard before. Those who listen to it are changed. For some it only takes the first few malignant notes to turn their thoughts to murder. For others it's a more gradual decline into wickedness. Either way, if a recording holds such power, one wonders what evil could be conjured by listening to them live and in person at their upcoming concert.  A few unlikely heroes band together to try to thwart what one believes is the coming apocalypse.
5 out of 5 stars
I received a complimentary copy for review.

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Echoes of Violence by Glen Krisch

From the best-selling author of WHERE DARKNESS DWELLS and NOTHING LASTING.

In a secret lab in the southern Illinois woodlands, scientists break through the barriers between universes. While trying to decode the mysteries of the multiverse, they unwittingly bring a deadly flu virus into their own world. At first, people die in great numbers. Then, the newly dead rise, preying upon the living like a plague of locusts.

Not only have the scientists unleashed a deadly plague, but they've changed the very fabric of time, causing those who remain to continue to re-live the same day.

The Upton family has lived and died through thousands of todays. A married couple with three kids, they run the Cherryhill Campground next to the lab. In a day of unending chaos and violence, the only thing they know for certain is they must fight to stay together no matter what.

An apocalyptic thriller with nonstop action. It's THE WALKING DEAD meets HAPPY DEATH DAY

A scientific experiment has unleashed not only a zombie apocalypse, but ripped it's way through the fabric of time. As the Upton family prepares to close up their campground the zombie plague has already happened, is about to happen, and is happening now. All at the same time. After repeated and failed attempts to survive the day with their family intact, brothers Charlie and Billy begin to suspect they have made these same mistakes before. Will this strong feeling of Deja vu  be their salvation or are they forever doomed to repeat this day?
Each course of action risks a multitude of ways to die, and not just from hordes of the dead.
4 out of 5 stars.

I received an advance copy for review.

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About the author
A native of the Chicago suburbs, Glen Krisch hopes to add to his list of ghosts he's witnessed (two), as well as develop his rather pedestrian telekinetic and precognitive skills. His novels include Amazon Bestseller WHERE DARKNESS DWELLS, THE NIGHTMARE WITHIN, NOTHING LASTING, ARKADIUM RISING, and LITTLE WHISPERS (forthcoming).

Before becoming a full-time writer, he worked a lot of unfulfilling jobs that only reinforced his ambition to chase his dreams. Besides writing and reading, he enjoys spending time with his wife, his three boys, simple living, and ultra-running.

Sign up for his newsletter at the following link to hear the latest news about upcoming projects (and receive freebies along the way).

Friday, April 19, 2019

House of Skin by Jonathan Janz

Myles Carver is dead. But his estate, Watermere, lives on, waiting for a new Carver to move in. Myles's wife, Annabel, is dead too, but she is also waiting, lying in her grave in the woods. For nearly half a century she was responsible for a nightmarish reign of terror, and she's not prepared to stop now. She is hungry to live again...and her unsuspecting nephew, Paul, will be the key. Julia Merrow has a secret almost as dark as Watermere's. But when she and Paul fall in love they think their problems might be over. How can they know what Fate--and Annabel--have in store for them? Who could imagine that what was once a moldering corpse in a forest grave is growing stronger every day, eager to take her rightful place amongst the horrors of Watermere?

Paul Carver never knew his uncle Myles or anything about him other than the fact that his family disliked him. He was never spoken of and never to be asked about. Still, that seems no reason to refuse a free mansion and a large sum of cash. Paul packs up, leaves his old life and former girlfriend behind and drives all night to claim his inheritance. When Paul arrives he finds that his family are not the only ones who hated  Myles Carver. The local sheriff seems to bear a grudge as well. Strange changes begin to over take Paul as he settles in to Watermere. Has he taken possession of the house or has it taken possession of him?
This was a masterful story of evil that never dies.
5 out of 5 stars

I received an advance copy for review.

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About the author
Jonathan Janz is the author of more than a dozen novels and numerous short stories. His work has been championed by authors like Joe R. Lansdale, Jack Ketchum, and Brian Keene; he has also been lauded by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and School Library Journal. His ghost story The Siren and the Specter was selected as a Goodreads Choice nominee for Best Horror. Additionally, his novel Children of the Dark was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Horror Book of the Year. Jonathan’s main interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children. You can sign up for his newsletter (http://jonathanjanz.us12.list-manage....), and you can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Other Side of Him by Alice Rene

It’s the middle of the twentieth century, World War II is finally over, and Claire Wagner is on the brink of an exciting new life. With a well-deserved scholarship in hand, and much to her immigrant mother’s dismay, Claire flees the Chicago tenements for a prestigious graduate school program in California.

At first Claire keeps her nose tucked firmly into her books, but when her brother asks for a favor, she reluctantly agrees to a blind date. Greg turns out to be handsome, successful, and rich—and he’s definitely smitten with Claire. He introduces her to a sophisticated world she thought only existed in the movies, and before she knows it she’s trading her bobby socks and German home cooking for black silk and caviar.

When Greg starts to show signs that he’s not as perfect as he appeared, Claire’s friends urge her to overlook his occasional short temper and controlling behavior. But the warning signs pile up, building to a crisis that will test even Claire’s power to persevere.

Inspired by true events and steeped in the details of the 1950s, when vulnerable women weren’t protected by the law or society, The Other Side of Him is a provocative look at how darkness can lie under the most polished exteriors.

Claire has grown up without her father (and is better off for that considering he was a Nazi) raised by her mother in the Chicago projects. When she graduates school it is expected by her mother that she will immediately go to work and help with bills until she finds a husband, which her mother considers to be a top priority. Claire has other plans for herself more important than finding a man, and after landing a scholarship she sets off to pursue her dream. When she first meets Greg she is overwhelmed with the world he shows her. He is certainly everything her mother seems to want for her. It isn't long before Claire discovers that Greg has a far darker and more dangerous side than he presents to the public.
4 out of 5 stars
I received a complimentary copy for review.

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About the author
Alice Rene wrote her award-winning memoir, Becoming Alice, after a grandson interviewed her about her early life when Hitler marched into Vienna, foreshadowing WWII. She followed this work with a historical fiction/ romantic thriller inspired by true events, The Other Side of Him. The working title of her next book at this time is The Lieutenant from Podolia.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman and Grimms’ Fairy Tales.

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley―to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking―and rechecking―your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

Lauren has just had a blessed event.. times 2. Beautiful healthy twin boys are born to Lauren Tranter after a very difficult delivery and traumatic after care. When a strange and foul smelling woman appears in her hospital room with a basket of inhuman twins and demands to switch one for one of Lauren's twins it feels like a nightmare from the exhaustion and stress of labor. But when Lauren refuses the woman, she demands both babies instead and forcibly tries to take them. Nobody believed Lauren in the hospital that night, and nobody believed her after her release when she saw the woman again outside her home. Terrified for her babies, Lauren spends her days locked away in the house with them, until her increasingly annoyed and utterly useless husband insists that she take them out for some fresh air. That day as poor sleep deprived Lauren dozed off for a minute, someone snatched her babies. When they are found, they are different.. strange... changed.
"Changeling- a child believed to have been secretly substituted by fairies for the parents' real child in infancy."
Is Lauren suffering some sort of delusion or are these truly not her babies? You will have to read to find out.
I loved this book and the bits of fairy folklore in between chapters.
5 out of 5 stars.
I received an advance copy for review.

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About the author
Melanie Golding is a graduate of the MA in creative writing program at Bath Spa University, with distinction. She has been employed in many occupations including farm hand, factory worker, childminder and music teacher. Throughout all this, because and in spite of it, there was always the writing. In recent years she has won and been shortlisted in several local and national short story competitions. Little Darlings is her first novel, and has been optioned for screen by Free Range Films, the team behind the adaptation of My Cousin Rachel.