Sunday, December 30, 2018

ISLAND OF BONES by Gaby Triana



Publisher: Alienhead Press
Published: June 8, 2018
Pages: 239



A haunted Key West resort. Ghosts of a secretive family past. A deadly hurricane.


Ellie Whitaker steps away from her dead-end job and heads for sunny skies in Key West, Florida. She's having to spread her grandmother's ashes about the tropical paradise. Soon Ellie realizes that there is more to Key West than sunny skies and and sandy beaches. Something has been lying dormant, waiting for Ellie's arrival. 

There's treasure, greed, ghosts, and witches in Island of Bones. Gaby Triana does a great job with the rich history and backstory. The characterization is spot on. I like how the suspense builds with the storm in the background. It adds a layer to the story, making it more intriguing. I would definitely live in that house. That climax and ending is exhilarating. There's plenty of near death experiences in this story to satiate any reader. The twists and turns are abundant, but I saw some of them coming. 

Island of Bones defies the typical haunted house tropes. Triana does a great job with the strong female lead. I enjoyed watching Ellie grow as a character. Ellie is tough as nails. Island of Bones is written well, but the dialogue could use a little tweaking. All in all, Island of Bones is a solid read. I look forward to reading the rest of the sequels. I'm definitely going to read Gaby Triana's other work. 





A haunted Key West resort. Ghosts of a secretive family past. A deadly hurricane.

When Ellie Whitaker leaves her dead-end job behind to spread her grandmother's ashes in tropical paradise, the last thing she expected was to face more ghosts. But darkness lurks inside her nana's ancestral home. Ellie's presence stirs up its energies. And as a hurricane creeps closer to the island, she must hurry to discover long-buried truths.

About her treasure-hunting grandfather's death in 1951. About the curse her grandmother left behind. About the innkeeper next door with an evil secret. And the spectral visions she keeps having. Some there to help her. Some to make sure Ellie becomes a ghostly resident of haunted Key West forever.
 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

FLOATING STAIRCASE by Ronald Malfi




I don't know if Floating Staircase is in print anymore. I think you can get it on the Kindle Store and secondhand elsewhere. I picked it up from my local library, though. After checking it out, I went home to read a few chapters. It's what you do when you love reading. A few chapters turned into the entire book... in one sitting. Floating Staircase is a big book, but it reads very quick. If you've ever read a Malfi book, then you know what I'm talking about. 

Travis Glasgow and his wife Jodie buy their first house in the seemingly idyllic western Maryland town of Westlake. Travis is a successful novelist. He's hoping to get close with his brother. Things are going pretty good, but there's something up with their new house. Travis feels a little uneasy about the lake behind their new home. When Travis was younger, his little brother drowned while they were swimming. The house starts making weird sounds. Shadows appear where they shouldn't. Rustling in the walls. After hearing rumors about his home at a gathering, Travis goes down a deep rabbit hole, searching for any sort of history on the house. He's not prepared for what he's about to find. 

Whilst reading Floating Staircase, I laughed and cried; it's an emotional rollercoaster thrill-ride. Malfi writes complex stories with tons of layers. The characterization is bloody brilliant. The characters are so dynamic, especially Travis and Jodie. Malfi's superb dialogue felt real and true to the setting. The backstory is everything. No one writes like Ronald Malfi. 

Floating Staircase is an intriguing mystery wrapped in a horror story. I connected with the characters. Travis' relationships are brought to the forefront, adding that extra ingredient to the great concoction that is Floating Staircase. You will want to wear your stretchy pants, grab some junk food, and take the journey with Travis. 

The scenes are vividly intense. So much so I devoured Floating Staircase in one bite. Some scenes can't be unseen. Malfi doesn't spend much time with descriptors, allowing for better plot progression. The story is thoroughly unsettling and it will send shivers up your spine. The ending is great, too. Did I mention the cover? Just look at it. That cover is beautiful. 









Following the success of his latest novel, Travis Glasgow and his wife Jodie buy their first house in the seemingly idyllic western Maryland town of Westlake. At first, everything is picture perfect—from the beautiful lake behind the house to the rebirth of the friendship between Travis and his brother, Adam, who lives nearby. Travis also begins to overcome the darkness of his childhood and the guilt he’s harbored since his younger brother’s death—a tragic drowning veiled in mystery that has plagued Travis since he was 13. Soon, though, the new house begins to lose its allure. Strange noises wake Travis at night, and his dreams are plagued by ghosts. Barely glimpsed shapes flit through the darkened hallways, but strangest of all is the bizarre set of wooden stairs that rises cryptically out of the lake behind the house. Travis becomes drawn to the structure, but the more he investigates, the more he uncovers the house’s violent and tragic past, and the more he learns that some secrets cannot be buried forever. 

Friday, December 28, 2018

Book News: Death's Head Press


Let's give a warm welcome to Death's Head Press. A new press dropping some amazing titles in 2019. Just look at hose covers! I can't wait to get my hands on these books, especially MASTER OF PAIN. If these three titles are any indicator, then you can expect more great titles from DHP in 2019. 



Seventeen authors re-imagine the biblical apocalypse and all the hell that follows sixteen horrifying tales. What if the prophecies of Revelation hit today? What sort of craziness and evil would ensue? With this list of excellent authors contributing, it’s sure to be a Hell of a read!

Wrath James White
Sam West
The Sisters of Slaughter
Jeff Strand
K Trap Jones
C Derick Miller
Christine Morgan
Patrick C. Harrison III
John Wayne Comunale
HyƤne Sawbones
Delphine Quinn
James Watts
Wile E. Young
Chris Miller
Mark Deloy
Richard Raven


Check out the cover for DHP's upcoming release MASTER OF PAIN, a sexy and violent collaboration between Wrath James White and Kristopher Rufty. Artwork by the talented Erik Wilson. 



As the old axiom goes, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

John Savage realized that too late.

Following the biggest job of their lives, John and his small crew think they've got it made. But a lawyer, a junkie, a crooked cop, Savage and his girlfriend have unknowingly opened Pandora's Box. And they won't know it until it's too late. As the brutally tortured bodies of their partners come to light, tensions rise all the way to the screaming, chaotic conclusion of this bloody crime thriller.

High risk brings high reward, but the safe bet is usually the smartest. Stick to the plan, or get ready for the hard goodbye.



Follow Death's Head Press on Twitter hereYou can also check out their website at deathsheadpress.com

BROKEN SHELLS by Michael Patrick Hicks



Reviewed by Valerie Dorsey

{Contains Spoilers}


This is a great horror, creature story! Oh, I enjoyed this one, and I read it on Christmas morning, before family members had awoken!! Loved the Indian legend of the Ba’is with the Dangle’s family as “guardians, watchers, gatekeepers of the Ba’is, keeping them fed which in turn keeps people safe.”    

Through this ordeal Antoine does a lot of rethinking of his relationship with the mother of his child, the choices he made that got him where he is in his life. All he wants to do is make it home!  Sadly he does not, and it’s not because of the horrific creatures! Speaking of creatures, author brings to life these strange, gross, frightening, insect-like things! This was just the way to begin my Christmas Day, and I urge horror fans to grab this one!!







Antoine DeWitt is a man down on his luck. Broke and recently fired, he knows the winning Money Carlo ticket that has landed in his mailbox from a car dealership is nothing more than a scam. The promise of five thousand dollars, though, is too tantalizing to ignore.

Jon Dangle is a keeper of secrets, many of which are buried deep beneath his dealership. He works hard to keep them hidden, but occasionally sacrifices are required, sacrifices who are penniless, desperate, and who will not be missed. Sacrifices exactly like DeWitt.

When Antoine steps foot on Dangle’s car lot, it is with the hope of easy money. Instead, he finds himself trapped in a deep, dark hole, buried alive. If he is going to survive the nightmare ahead of him, if he has any chance of seeing his wife and child again, Antoine will have to do more than merely hope. He will have to fight his way back to the surface, and pray that Jon Dangle’s secrets do not kill him first.


Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of Broken Shells: A Subterranean Horror Novella, Mass Hysteria, an Audiobook Listeners Choice Awards Horror Finalist, and Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Finalist. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers.

In addition to his own works of original fiction, he has written for the online publications Audiobook Reviewer and Graphic Novel Reporter, and has previously worked as a freelance journalist and news photographer in Metro Detroit.


Michael lives in Michigan with his wife and two children. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.



Reviewed by Valerie Dorsey

Received a BS degree in Marketing from Indiana University 1982. Have worked in the retail business for the last 19yrs. Raised 4 children, 3 have graduated college. I love animals and reading. Reading has become as much a part of my life as eating! If it’s not done a couple times a day, I feel starved!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

THE MANSION by Ezekiel Boone




Reviewed by Valerie Dorsey


This is a first read for me of Ezekiel Boone’s work! For me the story kept me interested, which is one good thing about this book! It started off slow, with a lot of background on the characters involved, their prior lives at college, during college and at the shack after college! You learn what happened between Billy and Shawn.

About half way thru the book you learn about Nellie! And it’s near the end of the book that any action takes place! This is where you read about the violent past of the mansion, Nellie as an almost AI taking over the house and the violence that she requires in order for Emily’s family to survive! In the author’s own words we learn that Eagle Mansion is”infected by the blood madness of the Eagle Family”! Good characters, good story about the future technology problems that may arise, alittle short on action and horror! That’s my opinion ...
 









After two years of living on cheap beer and little else in a bitterly cold tiny cabin outside an abandoned, crumbling mansion, young programmers Shawn Eagle and Billy Stafford have created something that could make them rich: a revolutionary computer they name Eagle Logic.

But the hard work and escalating tension have not been kind to their once solid friendship—Shawn’s girlfriend Emily has left him for Billy, and a third partner has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. While Billy walks away with Emily, Shawn takes Eagle Logic, which he uses to build a multi-billion-dollar company that eventually outshines Apple, Google, and Microsoft combined.

Years later, Billy is a failure, beset by poverty and addiction, and Shawn is the most famous man in the world. Unable to let the past be forgotten, Shawn decides to resurrect his and Billy’s biggest failure: a next-generation computer program named Nellie that can control a house’s every function. He decides to set it up in the abandoned mansion they worked near all those years ago. But something about Nellie isn’t right—and the reconstruction of the mansion is plagued by accidental deaths. Shawn is forced to bring Billy back, despite their longstanding mutual hatred, to discover and destroy the evil that lurks in the source code.




Reviewed by Valerie Dorsey

Received a BS degree in Marketing from Indiana University 1982. Have worked in the retail business for the last 19yrs. Raised 4 children, 3 have graduated college. I love animals and reading. Reading has become as much a part of my life as eating! If it’s not done a couple times a day, I feel starved!

Book News


I can't wait to get my hands on this book. Brian Fatah Steele does cosmic horror so well. I'm pretty sure there will be blood, guts, and tentacles. May the bodies hit the floor. Look for this one in the new year from Bloodshot Books. 





Friday, December 21, 2018

KOSMOS by Adrian Laing




Publisher: Flame Tree Press
Published: December 6, 2018
Pages: 288


Adrian Laing has concocted a tale of awe-inspiring wonder. The cover is awesome, but the story is beautiful.  I don't read the synopsis before I start books; I go by the book cover alone. It makes the reading experience more exhilarating. I like to live dangerously. For me, KOSMOS is one of the biggest surprises of 2018.

KOSMOS starts out in 2001 where a homeless man is arrest by two dog patrollers. The oddly-dressed homeless man resists and struggles, resulting in his arrest and a minor assault charge. When the victim of the assault unexpectedly dies the homeless man is charged with manslaughter. The old homeless man is represented by rookie barrister George Winsome. To top it off, the man thinks he is Merlin. Yes, the wizard. Heather (George's partner) finds out she is pregnant during the trial. 

KOSMOS is a compelling courtroom drama, but it's also a touching tale of finding your way. Merlin wins the hearts and minds of his fellow inmates and the prison staff. The trial is a bit farcical, which makes for some good laughs. At times, the story seemed a bit flat, though. But once you get into the latter third of KOSMOS, it really takes off. The third act is worth its weight in gold. The pay off is well worth it. The homeless man's true identity is revealed. George and Heather's life path becomes abundantly clear, too. 

Adrian Laing can write great prose. He grabs you by the tie and pulls you into the story. The story is solid, but it does tend to slow down a bit here and there. I really enjoyed the characters. The characterization is unbelievable. The ending is everything. 

Recommend!




Rookie barrister George Winsome, young and arrogant, defends an old boy who thinks he’s Merlin on a manslaughter charge. The riotous trial turns Merlin into a celebrity; money, greed and ambition take hold of George and his partner Heather until the secret of Merlin’s past is revealed as the spirit of Saint Yves intervenes to ensure George and Heather follow their true paths. ‘Kosmos’ is a modern-day jury trial, a feel-good love story and a spiritual journey involving Saint Yves, Nemesis and Merlin. 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, December 18, 2018

ROAD KILL: TEXAS HORROR BY TEXAS WRITERS VOL. 3 by E.R. Bills




Publisher: HellBound Books Publishing
Published: September 28, 2018
Pages: 214


I knew Texas had some good authors, but I didn't know just how many, until I read this ROAD KILL Vol. 3. This anthology is edited by E.R. Bills and published by Hellhound Books Publishing. I found some new authors to read. If these short stories are any indicator, they have bright futures ahead of them. Some of these stories are based on urban legends and real life accounts. How scary is that? I don't know about you, but it gets my horror heart pumping. Stories based on reported sightings send shivers down my spine. I have goosebumps just typing this review. Since there are quite a few stories in ROAD KILL Vol. 3, I'm only going to touch on the ones I really enjoyed. 

Madison Estes kicks things off with A Real Haunting. It's about a group of "ghost hunters" who set up their equipment in a cemetery, hoping to see a ghost. The hunters try conjuring one with a ouija board, but it wasn't successful. Or was it? The events that follow leaves your blood cold. I felt like I was in the cemetery with the characters. 

Jeremy Hepler's Luke's Lost Manuscript is one of my favorite stories in ROAD KILL Vol. 3. The story leans one way, then shifts gears and flips the script. I didn't see the reveal coming. It shook me, to say the least. It's a thoroughly startling tale of an author and his biggest fan. Hepler manages to create complex characters in no time at all. He uses the less is more approach, letting the reader visualize the brutality and savagery. I hope Hepler revisits Luke's Lost Manuscript because it needs to be told on a larger scale. There are things I want to see happen. Monsters need to have room to breath and feed. There's more bone crunching fun to be had in this world Hepler concocted. 

The Consequence of Thought by Aaron Milstead is truly disturbing. It made my skin crawl and my temper flare. This story contains Nazis, both deplorable and appalling. The irredeemable characters made me sick to my stomach. The experiments they conduct are far worse than anything I could ever imagine. The ending is great, though. 

Samantha Andrasko's The Deal is a new take on the deal at the crossroads scenario. Sell your soul to the devil at the crossroads for something eternal. It reminded me of the television show Supernatural a little. This is a clever story, and one that I won't forget. Great story!

Goat Man by Bret McCormick is one of the coolest stories I've ever read. It's about this boy who goes to nature camp and meets and counselor who want to talk about the Goat Man as much as he does. The kid grows up and has a boy of his own who goes to the same nature camp, meeting the same young counselor his father did. The son grows up and has a boy who also goes to the nature camp. He meets the same young counselor. Anyways, the grandfather gets to finally talk about the Goat Man with the young counselor. All is revealed in the end. What unfolds on the page is truly mind-bending, cosmic horror. 

Private Sale by Bryce Wilson is awesome. In the back of his car Anthony kept items that would link him to no less than five hundred murders and three dozen serial killers. Anthony isn't selling much on the convention circuit, but one day all that changes. He turns it around. Starts selling his items like hot cakes. A special collector wants to buy some of his rare items, but there's a catch. Anthony has to make the sale at the collector's house. Things get real creepy and the ending is crazy. 

All in all, ROAD KILL Vol. 3 is a great anthology. The stories could have been arranged in a different order, though. The stronger stories could have been spaced out a little more, but that's just my opinion. ROAD KILL Vol. 3 is filled with enthralling stories. There's not a bad story in the bunch. I had a wonderful reading experience with this one.  



E. R. Bills is a writer from Fort Worth, Texas. He received a BA in Journalism from Southwest Texas State University and does freelance writing for publications around Texas.

THE CHILDREN AT THE BOTTOM OF THE GARDDEN by Jonathan Butcher



Reviewed by Valerie Dorsey


THE CHILDREN AT THE BOTTOM OF THE GARDDEN really surprised me, in a delightfully, disturbing way!! About 2/3 of the way into the book I felt myself being drawn into the characters world of Seadon!  The people involved are unique and the author draws the reader into their depraved lives! I actually liked, felt sorry for, and cheered a couple on! As the reader gets further into the story, you come to realize how entwined the characters become in relation to each other through horrible circumstances! These include murder, beastiality, drugs, and a presence in the haunted garden that each character has dreamed about. This is the first work I’ve read from the author and I have become a fan! Great read!








At the edge of the coastal city of Seadon, behind a dilapidated farmhouse surrounded by rotten trees, something titters and calls. The Gardden. Its playful voice promises games, magic, wonders, lies - and roaring torrents of blood. The Gardden speaks not just to its eccentric keeper, but also to the deviants of Seadon's criminal underworld: a restless goth, a cheating waster, a sullen concubine, a perverted drug baron, and a murderous sociopath. Haunted by shadowed things with coal-black eyes, they'll soon be lured to a place where nightmares become flesh, secrets rise from the dark, and a voice coaxes them to play and stay, yes yes yes, forever.


Reviewed by Valerie Dorsey

Received a BS degree in Marketing from Indiana University 1982. Have worked in the retail business for the last 19yrs. Raised 4 children, 3 have graduated college. I love animals and reading. Reading has become as much a part of my life as eating! If it’s not done a couple times a day, I feel starved!

Monday, December 17, 2018

PREDATORS by Michaelbrent Collings




Publisher: Written Insomnia Press
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Pages: 351


I've read Michaelbrent Collings before, but this book is different. PREDATORS is better than the novella CRUCE ROOSTERS I read earlier this year. Collings writes vivid descriptions, bringing the terrifying story to life. With PREDATORS, he sends the reader through the emotional wringer. Check your safety harness before you take off on this wild rollercoaster of a novel because it will throw you for a loop. You will definitely want to read PREDATORS in the comfort of your reading nook. 

She is one of the only animals who can chase a lion from his kill...

The reader gets a hefty amount of information in the first half of the book, but don't fret, it's all worth it in the end. The characterization is amazing. You learn so much about the families, friends, couples, individuals, and their Safari guides. They all think they are safe inside their vehicles. A group of "freedom fighters" kidnap them for ransom. They are in the most dangerous environment in the world, with no communications or water. A pack of vicious animals have smelled the blood of the survivors. The ferocious predators are hungry and they must eat.

The character building, the characters' backstories, and the different point-of-views kept me engaged, even when there wasn't much action in the first half. The way Collings instrumentally inserts interludes from the point-of-view of the main predator is brilliant. I thought the different point-of-views would slow down the narrative, but the story kept on trucking rather smoothly. 

She is the only animal alive who laughs as she hunts...

The latter half of PREDATORS is nothing but nail-biting, high-intensity suspense. I'm talking edge of your seat, action packed, ruthless savagery. PREDATORS reminds me a lot of Jurassic Park. All of the characters, including the animals, play a vital role in this book. There are a few throwaway characters, but not many. I didn't want this book to end. 

Michaelbrent Collings has returned to the horror genre with a helluva tale. Collings' writing is strong. PREDATORS is an important book. The storyline starts out pretty slow, but picks up speed in the second half. The characterization in PREDATORS is masterful. This book is real life scary. This story could actually happen. 



Michaelbrent Collings is an internationally-bestselling novelist, multiple Bram Stoker Award nominee, produced screenwriter, and one of the top indie horror writers in the United States.

He hopes someday to develop superpowers, or, if that is out of the question, then at least to get a cool robot arm.

Michaelbrent has a wife and several kids, all of whom are much better looking than he is (though he admits that's a low bar to set), and also cooler than he is.

Michaelbrent also has a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/MichaelbrentC... and can be followed on Twitter through his username @mbcollings. Follow him for cool news, updates, and advance notice of sales. You will also be kept safe when the Glorious Revolution begins!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

VICTORIA by Jason Parent




Review by Valerie Dorsey 

This is my first exposure to Jason Parent and enjoyed this story! It carries the right amount of adventure, horror with a touch of comic comments by the main characters thrown in. With poor Victoria carrying around a “psychotic, eight-legged demon” in her brain and a secret fraction of The Church hunting her to rid the world of these ancient beings, what issues could there be?? Well, add in a second creature that enters a priests brain, the fight begins! My personal pet peeve is I would have liked more info on what these “ancient” beings were! The author gives a hint that they had not always been spiders!?! I am left wanting to read more from this 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.


Reviewed by Valerie Dorsey

Received a BS degree in Marketing from Indiana University 1982. Have worked in the retail business for the last 19yrs. Raised 4 children, 3 have graduated college. I love animals and reading. Reading has become as much a part of my life as eating! If it’s not done a couple times a day, I feel starved!

Friday, December 14, 2018

THE HOMECOMING by Andrew Pyper




Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: February 26, 2019
Pages: 368


Best-selling author Andrew Pyper returns with a riveting psychological thriller about how the people you've known your whole life can suddenly become strangers. 

What if everything you knew about the people you loved was a lie?

THE HOMECOMING centers around the Quinlan family. After the death of their absentee father, Aaron and Bridge travel to a remote property in the Pacific Northwest to hear the reading of their estrange father's will. They are met by their mother and sister at this compound-like wilderness retreat. The will's terms states that in order to claim their inheritance they must remain at the estate for thirty days without any contact with the outside world. This little morsel of information piqued my interest. Despite the family's gut feeling, they all agree to stay to get their inheritance. I would've done the same thing for a good chunk of change. That kind of money can change a person's life over night. 

The setup is bewitching to say the least. You should carve out some time to read THE HOMECOMING because it's unputdownable. The short chapters make for a relatively quick read. With a cup of coffee in hand, I fully immersed myself in this story. As the world faded away, I took in the sights and smells of the secluded rainforest property in the Pacific Northwest. Andrew Pyper uses the less is more approach when it comes to descriptions–this allowed for a more satisfying and personal reading experience. 

The Quinlans soon come to learn their family has more secrets than they ever imagined–revelations that at first inspire curiosity, then fear. 

It turns out, the mysterious patriarch had a secret family on the side. Sounds about right, using work as an excuse for being gone all the time. Absent father is never around, shacking up with another woman. They arrive at the secluded property soon after the Quinlans and the family gets a little bigger, but at the same time, everyone's portion of the will gets a little smaller. While the Quinlans grapple with the revelation, they must learn how to cope with the situation. This is when we learn a good bit about all of the characters. The characterization is incredible because Pyper goes with both direct and indirect approaches, making the characters three-dimensional and complex. As the story progresses, each character's backstory plays a pivotal role. The two families realize they have more in common than they thought. 

The Quinlans start looking around the expansive property, trying to find answers. They still didn't know why their father wanted them all in the same place together. Bridge has faint memories of the estate. The Quinlans begin having the same nightmares. Cool, huh? They start seeing things in the woods. Creatures? Monsters? People? They can't be sure until it's too late. Everything is revealed. The story unravels perfectly. Pyper doesn't rush it. The ending is absolutely heart-stopping. I'm still reeling from that incredible third act. 

Andrew Pyper's prose is beautifully written, making for a quick read. The plot is seamless. The dialogue is great. I enjoyed the authentic exchanges between the characters. The font is easy on the eyes, too. A good font enhances the reading experience, for sure. I dig the cover. I love a good cover, guys. 

THE HOMECOMING is a blood-curdling tale of mind-bending horror wrapped in a harrowing suspenser. I've never read anything like THE HOMECOMING before. It's wholly original. I hope this story gets optioned. I would love to see it on the big screen. Andrew Pyper has done it again, folks. He keeps churning out great work. If you dig great horror and thrillers, then you'll want to grab this novel. 

Strongly Recommend!




Bestselling author Andrew Pyper returns with a riveting psychological thriller about how the people you’ve known your whole life can suddenly become strangers.

What if everything you knew about the people you loved was a lie?

After the death of their absentee father, Aaron and Bridge Quinlan travel to a vast rainforest property in the Pacific Northwest to hear the reading of his will. There, they meet up with their mother and troubled sister, Franny, and are shocked to discover the will’s terms: in order to claim their inheritance they must remain at the estate for thirty days without any contact with the outside world. Despite their concerns, they agree.

The Quinlans soon come to learn their family has more secrets than they ever imagined—revelations that at first inspire curiosity, then fear. Why does Bridge have faint memories of the estate? Why did their father want them to be sequestered there together? And what is out there they feel pulling them into the dark heart of the woods?

The Homecoming is at once a gripping mystery, a chilling exploration of how our memories can both define and betray us, and a riveting page-turner that will have you questioning your very existence.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

THE FOLLOWERS by Greg Chapman





Published: October 1, 2018
Pages: 92


Greg Chapman is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated® and Australian Shadows Award-nominated author of Hollow House and the author of five novellas: Torment (2011 and 2016), The Noctuary (2011), Vaudeville (2012), The Last Night of October (2013 and 2016), The Eschatologist (2016), and The Noctuary: Pandemonium (2017). 

I've read a couple of Greg Chapman's stories and he keeps getting better and better at his craft. He writes intriguing tales that sit with you long after you've read them. THE FOLLOWERS starts off with a bang. Chapman throws you into the middle of a conflict that has been raging for centuries. As the biblical apocalypse brews on, a man by the name of David Brewer is trying to protect his family from harm. A stranger offers them refuge and salvation, but it comes at a price. All David and his family have to do is declare their faith in God's final, and bloody, plan. 

The opening scene sets the tone for the rest of the story. Blood will spill upon the wasteland. Desperation in a desolate land leads to vulnerability, which makes THE FOLLOWERS even more compelling. As the story progresses so does the excellent characterization. The characters have so much depth for such a short read. Secrets are revealed. Heads will roll. 

Chapman does religious post-apocalyptic horror so well. He paints a bleak picture with this one. I dig his writing style. The prose are nice and tight and the dialogue is fresh. The plot is seamless as well. You can easily devour THE FOLLOWERS in one sitting. The cover draws you in, but Chapman's writing keeps you on the edge of your seat. That ending is everything. I'm still reeling. 

I definitely need to check out more of Chapman's work. I've heard great things about HOLLOW HOUSE, so I'm going to give it a go in 2019. 

Strongly Recommend!

OVERNIGHT by Philip Fracassi




Publisher: Unnerving 
Publication Date: July 16, 2018
Pages: 44


Philip Fracassi's OVERNIGHT wasn't what I expected. I'm not saying it's a bad story. It's not. But I will say it's a creepy story. I read SHILOH earlier this year and loved it. OVERNIGHT is startling in that it deals with stalking. A guard needs the money. The man offering him the money needs access to the actresses trailer to procure some souvenirs. 

OVERNIGHT is relatively flat until the latter third of the story. The characters don't have much depth. The only character with any history is the main character. The ending is great. OVERNIGHT is well-written, but it felt rushed. Philip Fracassi is a superb author with powerful prose. Even though I didn't fully connect with this story, I will definitely check out his other work. Overall, OVERNIGHT is an okay story. 


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

KILL FOR SATAN! by Bryan Smith




Publisher: Grindhouse Press
Publication Date: October 13, 2018
Pages: 97


Grindhouse Press published some great books this year, and Bryan Smith's KILL FOR SATAN! is one of them. Without a doubt, it's a delicious read indeed. KILL FOR SATAN! is a pleasure pool of blood, guts, and sex juices. Bryan Smith writes lyrical prose that gets my horror heart pumping. 

Smith paints an eerie picture of an uncanny town with a sinister cult. They hold a satanic mass deep in the woods on the outskirts of town. A bloody sacrifice leads to a midnight mass orgy. Micah is all about some Sindie Midnight, so he joins the cult and attends the mass with her. He winds up banging his old math teacher and the priestess in a fierce orgy. 

Another midnight mass is held the night before Halloween, but this time Satan is present. He commands the congregants to kill all the virgins on Halloween. As Halloween begins, so does the all-day horror movie marathon hosted by Count Victor von Gravemore on Channel 39. That's when all hell breaks loose and the blood-letting begins. KILL FOR SATAN! is reminiscent of the 80s, but it has a vicious vibe all its own. 

The story is short and to the point. There's not much depth to the characters, but the author makes up for it with brutal savagery and devilry. The plot is quick. The writing is excellent. I think Bryan Smith had as much fun writing this story as I did reading it. This is my first time reading Smith, but it won't be my last. KILL FOR SATAN! is another homerun from Grindhouse Press. 

Strongly Recommend!