Wednesday, November 20, 2019

And a Dark Horse Dreamt of Nightmares by Keith Anthony Baird

A collection of strange tales for those who like horror, the supernatural, and science fiction. These six short stories explore some classic themes in contemporary settings. All have a dark vibe which creates the overall tone of the collection.

The book opens with 'The Sable Lane Catering Company' which puts blood, gore, and terror immediately on the menu with a snapshot of a serial killer serving up something special for his sadistic clientele.

Next up is a pure 80s horror homage, with 'John: Carpenter' giving a direct nod to the movie director's catalogue of work.

'Skullcherry Orchard' sees a paranormal investigation take a turn for the worst in rural North West England. It's a traditional ghost story given a contemporary flavour.

Story number four is rooted in the occult practices of the Nazi regime circa WWII and proves a terrifying and tragic turn of events for those who want to know just 'What's In The Box?'

No book of dark tales could be complete without a reworking of the time-honoured vampire saga, and 'Mother Rain and Father Wolf' does just that. Presented as a warning to those who would meddle in the truth which lies behind a mythology, it chronicles age-old revenge on the Church.

Lastly, 'Floor 9' is a sci-fi piece which is quite simply designed to mess with your head. It has a split narrative and is a tad on the trippy side, and hopefully just good fun.

If you purchase and enjoy this book of shorts, then please consider my full-length novels: The Jesus Man & Nexilexicon, both available in ebook, audio, and paperback via Amazon. Thank you! KAB

Full disclosure, I did not read the last story in this collection, partly because I am so far behind in reviews and partly because Sci-fi is something I need to be in the mood for and my current mood is OMG the holidays are coming and I have a million things to do. That being said, I did enjoy the 5 stories I read. They are dark and deeply disturbing. I will just touch briefly on my favorites. "Skullcherry Orchard" was a spectacular read for me probably because I love all those paranormal investigation shows and this story has a lot more to offer than people whispering WHAT WAS THAT. I would definitely avoid eating the cherries though. I also loved the first story "The Sable Lane Catering Company' though at times I had to peek at it through my fingers for fear of what I might see next. It is extremely gruesome and if you like to snack while you read you may not want to eat while reading this one. Also it's not nice to play with your food!

I received a complimentary copy for review.

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Sunday, November 17, 2019

Off The Grid by John Hunt

Graham Richards was shopping with his family at an outlet mall when an active shooter began indiscriminately murdering people with a rifle. Graham was shot in the face and when he woke up in the hospital, his family was dead. And now, all he wants is to be left alone. Living out in the woods, growing his own food, and using solar power for his energy needs, he hopes to live the rest of his life in obscurity. But when a little girl goes missing in the nearby town, the strange, scarred man in the lonely cabin is the first suspect and Graham finds himself being pulled back into the world he wanted to leave behind.

This story begins like any ordinary day in America, which unfortunately means a mass shooting at a shopping mall. From there the twists are anything but typical after shooting survivor Graham, becomes a suspect in the disappearance of a child. Graham has been living off the grid ever since recovering from his injuries, and his loner status along with living out in the woods as far from prying eyes as possible causes some suspicion. Graham has reasons for wanting solitude. Aside from the emotional trauma of losing his family, and the physical deformity, there is the pain of his injuries, and a deeper darker pain. The shooting didn't just rob him of his family, it also left something behind. Graham is changed in inexplicable ways and Detective Jodie Reyes is determined to get to the truth.
This was a fast paced, action packed, twisty thriller.

I received a complimentary copy for review.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Pineys by Tony DiGerolamo

From the creator of the Jersey Devil comic book comes a story about four cousins cursed by their ancestors, brought together by destiny and trying to keep South Jersey from going to Hell.

In 1732, Mother Leeds gave birth to the infamous Jersey Devil, which has roamed the Pine Barrens ever since.

Or so the story goes…

The truth is, Mother Leeds was a witch and opened the portals to Hell unleashing hundreds of devils into woods. But the villagers next door in Abe’s Hat noticed and formed a secret hunting society to track down the fiends and send them back to the Abyss. Their descendants continue the Hunt in secret to this day.

So grab your pork roll, put on your Piney Power hat and join the hunt, because the Galloway cousins are coming to save you whether you like it or not.

If only Lewis hadn't stopped to look for a gas station.. what an escapade he would have missed! The village is over run with shape shifting devil spawn who can take on the appearance of those they bite.This is a darkly comedic/horror adventure featuring undead stripper ghouls, the corpse of a witch, and a visit to hell. It was a quick read with lots of action. Though not my usual type of read I found it quite entertaining.
I received a complimentary copy for review.
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About the author
Tony DiGerolamo is a New Jersey screenwriter, novelist, comic book writer, game designer and comedian. He is best known for his work on The Simpsons and Bart Simpson comic books. He has also been a joke writer for Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, a scriptwriter for Space Ghost: Coast to Coast and a blogger for Comedy Central’s Indecision website. He has written the screenplays including Mafioso: The Father, The Son starring Leo Rossi.

Friday, November 8, 2019

The Poor and the Haunted by Dustin McKissen

As a child Jimmy Lansford and his sister Kelly suffered crushing poverty, their father’s unexplained and frightening suicide, and their mother’s constant abuse and cruelty. Having grown to be a successful adult, Jimmy must contend with the sudden re-emergence of memories from his childhood in Oklahoma and unexplainable events occurring inside his own home. Is it more than memories that haunt Jimmy? Did his parents suffer from mental illness and addiction, or were they possessed by something even worse—and has that presence arrived to take Jimmy?
The first horror novel from acclaimed author and journalist Dustin McKissen explores the nature of hauntings, the ghosts from our past that haunt our present, and the unbreakable bond between siblings who learn early on they can only rely on each other.
This was not an altogether bad book, but it is misleading to call it a horror novel. It isn't. It is the story of a man who was raised in an abusive and neglectful home by drug addled parents living in a poverty of their own making. It is a story of strength and love, it is a story of how this man escaped these awful circumstances, attended college and built a life for himself. It is a story of stopping the cycle of abuse, raising his own children with his wife and making a real family. It is also the story of how his upbringing still haunts him. But even throwing a ghost in the mix does not make this a horror novel.
3 out of 5 stars
I received a complimentary copy for review.
About the author
Dustin McKissen is an award-winning journalist, author, novelist, and short story writer. "The Poor and The Haunted" is his first horror novel. He lives in Bellingham, Washington with his wife and three children.