Friday, July 14, 2017

Bone White by Ronald Malfi

A landscape of frozen darkness punctuated by grim, gray days.
The feeling like a buzz in your teeth.
The scrape of bone on bone. . .
 


Paul Gallo (a college professor) watches a news report of a mass murderer in Dread's Hand, Alaska. Joe Mallory decapitates eight people and buries their bodies. He confesses to the murders and tells the police where to find the bodies. Dread's Hand is an old mining town that is cut off from the world. Paul's twin brother, Danny, went missing around Dread's Hand a year ago. Paul heads to Dread's Hand to get closure. 

The townsfolk think there is something in the woods, but they don't talk about it. Is it a local legend, or is there something more sinister at play? There is more to Dread's Hand than meets the eye. 


The citizens of Dread's Hand stay to themselves. Paul is an outsider, and they don't take too kindly to outsiders. Paul persists. Paul will stop at nothing to find his twin brother. I will stop there because I don't want to give anything away. 

Bone White starts off with a bang! The story unfolds smoothly and the ending is superb! As I read this book I got that uncanny feeling like I was being watched.  Bone White creeped me out. Make sure you read this one with the lights on!


I highly recommend this book to fans of horror!


5/5 shivers!



Bone White, Synopsis
·       File Size: 1616 KB
·       Print Length: 384 pages
·       Publisher: Kensington (July 25, 2017)
·       Publication Date: July 25, 2017
·       Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services

A landscape of frozen darkness punctuated by grim, gray days.
The feeling like a buzz in your teeth.
The scrape of bone on bone. . .
Paul Gallo saw the report on the news: a mass murderer leading police to his victims’ graves, in remote Dread’s Hand, Alaska.
It’s not even a town; more like the bad memory of a town. The same bit of wilderness where his twin brother went missing a year ago. As the bodies are exhumed, Paul travels to Alaska to get closure and put his grief to rest.
But the mystery is only beginning. What Paul finds are superstitious locals who talk of the devil stealing souls, and a line of wooden crosses to keep what’s in the woods from coming out. He finds no closure because no one can explain exactly what happened to Danny.
And the more he searches for answers, the more he finds himself becoming part of the mystery. 
Praise for Ronald Malfi
“I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The setting, the words, the ending. Color me impressed.” –Melissa Reads on The Night Parade
“The Night Parade has a creepy vibe and some genuinely terrifying moments. I even teared up a time or two. It's everything I look for in a great read.” – Frank Errington on The Night Parade
“One cannot help but think of writers like Peter Straub and Stephen King.”
—FearNet
“Malfi is a skillful storyteller.”—New York Journal of Books
“A complex and chilling tale….terrifying.”—Robert McCammon
“Malfi’s lyrical prose creates an atmosphere of eerie claustrophobia…haunting.”—Publishers Weekly
“A thrilling, edge-of-your-seat ride that should not be missed.”
Suspense Magazine
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If you are a blogger, author, or member of the media and you would like to feature Bone White or Ronald Malfi in a review or interview, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com. Thanks!

Interview With Ronald Malfi



Thanks for doing this interview for Cedar Hollow Horror Reviews! 

CHHR: What does a typical writing day look like for you? Do you have any writing quirks?

RM: At the moment, I’m not sure there is a typical day. Some days I’ll get up early before the rest of the house wakes, get a few pages down, then revisit them later in the afternoon. More often, I’ll stay up late and go for a few hours, particularly if I’m on a roll. I don’t necessarily have any quirks, though I do have a favorite writing shirt that I like to wear. Depending on the time of day, I’ll drink a hot cup of coffee or a glass of scotch while I work.

CHHR: How many drafts and edits do you make on a manuscript before you send in the finished product?

RM: I tend to edit as I write, so I may go over a particular chapter or section a few times after I’ve written it before moving on. After I turn it into my editor, we general go through one round of strong edits followed by a cursory review with a copyeditor.

CHHR: What influenced you to write Bone White? Are there any characters in Bone White that you relate to?

RM: For a story to interest me and get me writing, I’ve got to find that story’s metaphorical “open window” for me to climb through and access it. For Bone White, I liked the dichotomy between the two brothers. They’re identical twins, but their personalities reside on opposite ends of the spectrum. I’ve got two brothers—in fact, the book is dedicated to them—so I can certainly relate to those types of relationships, and the themes that come along with them. There were some other moral questions that I was interested in tackling, too, which prompted me to write the book, although to talk about them here would be to spoil some of the revelations in the novel.

CHHR: Which of your books is your favorite? Which one was the most fun to write?

RM: Each new novel tends to be my favorite, so Bone White is up there right now. I tend to appreciate one of my novels more when the finished product tends to be as close to how I’d originally envisioned the story—so often, when the actual writing process begins, stories tend to change into something other than the thing you first thought them to be, so I find some satisfaction in being able to capture that initial vibe I had when I first thought of it on paper. Those books would be Little Girls, The Night Parade, December Park, and Floating Staircase.

I enjoyed writing them all for different reasons, but possibly December Park was the most enjoyable because it was also my most autobiographical, and I allowed myself some time to revisit places I knew in real life—even though I’ve altered them in the novel—and even friends that I knew back when I was younger. It was a joy to write that book, even though it took some work to get it to its final version.

CHHR: What was your first published book?

RM: It was a fluffy sci-fi novel called The Space Between, which is now, blessedly, out of print.

CHHR: When it comes to writing, what advice would you give your younger self?

RM: I probably wouldn’t go back and say anything, for fear I’d gum up the works. But seriously, I think every writer at some point struggles with their own identity—who they are, or should be, as a writer. I think that only confuses things. I’d say write for yourself, write what you have a passion for, and if you’re not enjoying it, write something else. That’s good advice for the present-day version of myself, too, by the way.

CHHR: Do you prefer outlining your books or do you let the story take you where it’s going?

RM: I don’t outline. I’ve attempted this on a few occasions, only to find that when the story is so fully fleshed out in an outline—or sometimes even just in my head—I lose all interest in actually writing the story. To keep me interested, I need to question characters’ motivations, and where they take the plot, as I’m writing. I approach writing as if I’m the first reader, and the story and characters need to keep my interest throughout. I’ve found that outline sort of kills that magic.

CHHR: Do you have any advice for writers who are just starting out?


RM: Read voraciously.



Ronald Malfi, Biography
Ronald Malfi is an award-winning author of many novels and novellas in the horror, mystery, and thriller categories from various publishers, including Bone White, this summer’s release from Kensington.
In 2009, his crime drama, Shamrock Alley, won a Silver IPPY Award. In 2011, his ghost story/mystery novel, Floating Staircase, was a finalist for the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award for best novel, a Gold IPPY Award for best horror novel, and the Vincent Preis International Horror Award. His novel Cradle Lake garnered him the Benjamin Franklin Independent Book Award (silver) in 2014. December Park, his epic childhood story, won the Beverly Hills International Book Award for suspense in 2015.
Most recognized for his haunting, literary style and memorable characters, Malfi’s dark fiction has gained acceptance among readers of all genres.
He was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1977, and eventually relocated to the Chesapeake Bay area, where he currently resides with his wife and two children.

Visit with Ronald Malfi on Facebook, Twitter (@RonaldMalfi), or at http://www.ronmalfi.com.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Straws by James Baack and Eric S. Brown

I found this book while browsing the Kindle Store. Yes, I tend to browse the Kindle Store from time to time. I like finding new authors and books to read. I have to admit, this cover looks badass!

Billy is being bullied by Brian and his friends. The bullying goes too far and Billy ends up dying. Or does he?

Kathie and Ellen (best friends) get an Ouija board. They go to their spot in the cornfield and try talking to the spirit of Billy. They don't get an answer, but a scarecrow in the cornfield comes to life when they leave. The scarecrow's name is Straws and he has to kill for Billy. I will stop there because I don't want to give too much away.

The story was pretty good. As for as the story goes, Straws is a solid book. The story flows well, but the characters don't have any depth. The ending is good, though.

With that being said, this book needs some heavy editing. Some of the sentences are written awkwardly. Words are used incorrectly in sentences. Quotation marks are missing from the quotes. Commas are missing as well. It feels more like a rough draft than a final draft. If it gets the much-needed editing, then this book would get 4 stars instead of 3 stars.

All in all, this book is good. It just needs proper editing.

3/5 stars!

The Girl on the Glider by Brian Keene

Brian Keene has done it again! He bares his soul in this book. The Girl on the Glider is more than just a ghost story. It talks about real life situations, relationships, and events that change people's lives forever.

In The Girl on the Glider, Brian Keene gives us an inside look at what it means to be a horror author, living to see that paycheck every six months. Trying to meet deadlines. Trying to please your family, friends, and everyone else in between.

The Girl on the Glider is also about a teenage girl who dies on Brian Keene's property. The teen haunts Brian Keene's home. He struggles to make money to provide for his family. Brian Keene must fight to hold on to his family and his sanity.

This is a meta-fictional take on the traditional ghost story, but boy did it feel real. The Girl on the Glider is definitely going into my top 10 list for 2017! It's one of the best books that I have ever read!  I read this book in one sitting. Read it with the light on too!

I highly recommend this book to fans of horror and ghost stories!

5/5 stars!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Interview With Jason Parent

CHHR: Hey, Jason! Thanks for doing this interview for Cedar Hollow Horror Reviews.

JP: I’m honored to have been invited.

CHHR: What was your first published story or book?

JP: My first published story was my novel, What Hides Within. It’s a quirky story about an average joe with a sinister spider living in his ear. It’s horror, mystery and dark humor, all wrapped into one.

CHHR: What does your writing days look like? Do you have any quirks or things that you do during your writing sessions?

JP: Right now, I’m taking a little break. I lost a lot of my writing after a recent hard drive crash, so I’m summoning the will to redraft what was lost. If my heart’s not in it, I won’t be at my best. But I will come around.

When I do write, I like complete silence. The Internet is a huge distraction, so handwriting the first draft is usually preferable (and had I kept that as my practice, my lost hard drive wouldn’t have been such a big loss – lesson learned).

CHHR: Do you like writing novels or short stories better?

JP: I like writing novels better than short stories only because I feel like I’ve accomplished more. Short stories take talent, craft, hard work, etc, but let’s face it – a lot less time. So when I marry myself to a story for as long as it takes to pump out a novel, it’s much more satisfying to see the final product – assuming it’s worth reading, of course.

CHHR: When writing, do you go where the book takes you or do you outline?

JP: I start every novel with an outline of the first 6-10 chapters and an intended ending. Then I start writing and the story takes me wherever it wants to go. After a few chapters, I draft a new outline for the next few chapters, always subject to change, and repeat the process every four chapters or so.

CHHR: How many edits and rough drafts do you write before you turn in the finished manuscript?

JP: I do a minimum of four drafts myself before sending to beta readers. Then I send to editors. I’ve done as many as 16 drafts on one novel, and if you count my updated version of What Hides Within, coming soon, over 20 – and I am sure I, my editors, and my publisher will still miss something.

CHHR: What do you like to do when you are not writing? Do you have any favorite activities or sports?

JP: I’ve been hitting the gym a lot and trying to get back in shape, so that’s taking up a lot of my free time (though I wouldn’t say I’m enjoying it). I love to travel. Anywhere. With anyone who wants to go somewhere. Feel like going anywhere?

CHHR: What is your favorite beer?

JP: I love craft beer, which is one of the main reasons I need to hit the gym lately. But my favorite is definitely Kentucky Bourbon Ale. If KBR ever needs a Z-list celebrity sponsor, the company can feel free to give me a call… if I can raise my status to Z-list.

CHHR: What horror authors have influenced your writing the most?

JP: King and Poe for sure, but other than that, I try to be my own voice. People have likened me to other horror writers, some of whom I wouldn’t call influences but have read and loved and others whom I’ve never read at all. I enjoy the comparisons and often find new reads based on them.

CHHR: Do you have any advice for authors who are just starting out?

JP: Get involved in the writing community. One of my biggest faults is that I can be so introverted and a loner. Like anything, the writing business is as much who you know and getting yourself out there as it is talent. Plus, there are a lot of good people in the community who would be willing to help out new authors, so long as they are considerate in their methods of approach. I’ve been lucky to have met some of these people in my journey, and I try to give the same considerations to those who come after me. But of course, you’ve got to have a solid piece to push, first. So above all, hone your craft.


Detectives Bruce Marklin and Jocelyn Beaudette have put plenty of criminals behind bars. But a new terror is stalking their city. The killer’s violent crimes are ritualistic but seemingly indiscriminate. As the death toll rises, the detectives must track a murderer without motive. The next kill could be anyone… maybe even one of their own.

Officer Aaron Pimental sees no hope for himself or humanity. His girlfriend is pulling away, and his best friend has found religion. When Aaron is thrust into the heart of the investigation, he must choose who he will become, the hero or the villain.

If Aaron doesn’t decide soon, the choice will be made for him.


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 in 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/AuthorJasonParent?ref=hl, 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.