WHO

WHO'S COMING DOWN YOUR CHIMNEY TONIGHT?




Charles Stross, "Overtime"

2016: CTHULHU FOR CHRISTMAS

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Review: Ghosts for Christmas: Four Stories

Ghosts for Christmas: Four Stories Ghosts for Christmas: Four Stories by Lisa Morton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: GHOSTS FOR CHRISTMAS by Lisa Morton

A collection of four newly-published Christmas stories, beyond routine and well worth perusal in any season, GHOSTS FOR CHRISTMAS will delight while expanding the reader's mind and imagination. Take for example, a "haunted house" tale which entirely upends the trope. Altogether a worthwhile read.

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Review: Scarecrow

Scarecrow Scarecrow by Richie Tankersley Cusick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: SCARECROW by Richie Tankersley Cusick

This is a seriously perturbing horror novel. Fresh from the author's APRIL FOOL, admiring its clean lines, plot twists, and 80's YA horror, I plunged into this (because scarecrows scare me), and the consequence was akin to falling into a deep abandoned well. Throughout the novel I could never be certain whether the horror was due to paranormal elements, or to human psychological disorder. Additionally certain aspects of the story I found quite personally disturbing. The end result is a real frightener that I can't erase from my mind.

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Monday, December 26, 2016

Review: Curtain Call: and Other Dark Entertainments

Curtain Call: and Other Dark Entertainments Curtain Call: and Other Dark Entertainments by Mark Allan Gunnells
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: CURTAIN CALL AND OTHER DARK ENTERTAINMENTS by Mark Allan Gunnells

Every story in this superb collection is polished to a brilliant shine. I wonder, why I haven't been reading this fine author so much sooner. (I recently read WHERE THE DEAD GO TO DIE by Mr. Gunnells and Aaron Dries.) Some of the tales included here are outright terrifying ("The Town That Played Christmas For No One"); some are subtly frightening ("Movie Baby" and "Fates" and "And A Former Child Star Shall Lead Them"). Others are heartwrenching ( "Picnic at Bonaventure") or heartwarming ("Curtain Call"); some are cautionary: be really careful for what you wish "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden"). Every one is the work of a master talent.


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Friday, December 23, 2016

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Review: Circus of Horrors

Circus of Horrors Circus of Horrors by Carole Gill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: CIRCUS OF HORRORS by Carole Gill

Don't be fooled into thinking this is a routine, run-of-the-mill, carnival scary. Nothing routine here: CIRCUS OF HORRORS is a very special story, and I'm glad it introduced me to author Carole Gill, an exceptionally talented writer.

Reading this yanked me on an emotional roller coaster. This past year, I've read so much horror, extreme horror, and weird. I've remarked on great plots, unexpected plot twists, good characterization. CIRCUS OF HORRORS certainly brings all that, and additionally, it inspired me to CARE about its characters: the broken, sad, lost, disfigured inside and out. Early along I adopted the "good guys" [by no means are they perfect] as MY family. Fred, his father, and the performers who comprise his family became my family too, and when the evil ones began to plot to entrap and destroy them, I became like a mother bear with a flamethrower. How DARE these evil ones? Leave my adopted folks alone!!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Review: The Carnival

The Carnival The Carnival by Lisa McCourt Hollar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Surprisingly extreme. Liked the theme and had some satisfying twists.

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Review: Carnival Freak

Carnival Freak Carnival Freak by Billie Sue Mosiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: CARNIVAL FREAK by Billie Sue Mosiman

Life lessons I learned recently from my current perusal of horror: the horror at home is something greater than the horror of war; "freaks" in a sideshow (Diane Arbus notwithstanding) may be milder and less horrifying than the concealed freaks pretending to lead normal human lives. The first I learned from the SUBDUE Series by Thomas S. Flowers, the latter from Billie Sue Mosiman's CARNIVAL FREAKS.

This story illuminates the lives of several characters, some who are members of the carnival, and several gleaned from the audience on a particular evening. I can validly state that some of these "normal" freaks made my skin crawl. And worse, they look like us.



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Review: Bah! Humbug! An anthology of Christmas Horror Stories

Bah! Humbug! An anthology of Christmas Horror Stories Bah! Humbug! An anthology of Christmas Horror Stories by Matt Shaw
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bah!Humbug! Is first of all a charity anthology. Second, it's a wide-ranging collection which is not anti-Christmas but beyond, above, and below Christmas. Some of the stories are subtle horror, some really cross boundaries (and violate taboos). So the queasy of stomach and easily sensitive can just gift it (helping charity), and those who enjoy extreme horror and boundary jumping, come on in.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Review: Whispers: Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's "The Whisperer in Darkness"

Whispers: Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's Whispers: Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's "The Whisperer in Darkness" by Kristin Dearborn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: WHISPERS by Kristin Dearborn

The always perfect author Kristin Dearborn has excelled even herself with this tribute to the Old Man of Providence, H.P. Lovecraft. I truly believe Ms. Dearborn is a reincarnation of Old Grandpa, or she is channeling. WHISPERS extols the anxiety, the fear, the wonder, of Alien Contact. Ms. Dearborn strums every single chord in the panoply of the otherworldly of HPL and of extraterrestrial sentience. She also interweaves some of the most painful and shocking elements of humanity, displaying these against the background of the Otherworldly and Beyond Earth. This is a tale I shall read again and again and again. This is the tale that gave me a series of stunningly vivid and horrifyingly implacable nightmares.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Review: Brazen: A Dark Chapter Press Unlimited Short: B

Brazen: A Dark Chapter Press Unlimited Short: B Brazen: A Dark Chapter Press Unlimited Short: B by Matt Hickman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love the twists in Matt Hickman' s stories!! This one is as fast as a one-two-three knockout!! Punch-punch-punch, WOW!!

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Review: The Rose Man

The Rose Man The Rose Man by Terry M. West
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Twisty, very satisfying. Loved its implacability!

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Review: Jeremy: Evil Has One Name - A Horror Novella

Jeremy: Evil Has One Name - A Horror Novella Jeremy: Evil Has One Name - A Horror Novella by Matt Hickman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well-done! I didn't at all expect the twist!! Author Hickman makes the story very vivid (especially in the visions) as well as very visceral. The twists alone would make a great story, so it's doubly exciting. I very much anticipate Matt Hickman' s next--and future-project.

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Review: Conceiving

Conceiving Conceiving by Thomas S. Flowers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: CONCEIVING by Thomas S. Flowers (Subdue #3)

In many ways, I am very fond of CONCEIVING. I appreciate the reader's opportunity to get to better understand and empathize with the characters of Bobby and Luna, plus some newly-introduced characters. I really enjoy the Voodoo of Luna's paternal grandmother, Memaw. The author superbly paints the aura, the "feel," of the rural South, nowadays, and back in the 1950's and 1960', when often the choices were: vote and die, or maybe don't vote and die anyway, just because no one can abide your color. Reading these passages is as clear as living it. And of course, that includes lynching.

After reading in sequence all three of the novels in this engrossing series, I just have one question: Could this be a 7 book series? I don't want to say goodbye!

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Review: Emerging

Emerging Emerging by Thomas S. Flowers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: EMERGING by Thomas S. Flowers
(Subdue #2)

The horrifying, electrifying, EMERGING is second in author Thomas S. Flowers "Subdue" series. The first, DWELLING, weaves the background during Operation Iraqi Freedom, showing us in vivid color some of the human costs, and weaves in the Suicide Squad's backstory, EMERGING is the contemporary story of Johnathan, Jake, Bobby, and Maggie, plus Maggie's younger sister, Karen, and Karen's daughter Tabitha. Maggie, widow of Ricky, and only girl in the long ago "Suicide Squad" club, invites Jonathan, Karen, and Tabitha, Jake, and Bobby, to her isolated farmhouse on a country back road outside Jotham, Texas. During the visit, illusion rules, alcohol loosens tongues and feelings are deeply hurt. Worse is the hidden agenda operating beneath the surface, an agenda millennia old, an implacable and inescapable horror with an inexorable hunger for humanity.


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Review: Dwelling

Dwelling Dwelling by Thomas S. Flowers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: DWELLING by Thomas S. Flowers
(Subdue #1)

DWELLING is the first war-related novel I have read since Philip Caputo's A RUMOR OF WAR, decades ago. Now DWELLING is not solely a war story; it's also coming-of-age, slice-of-life...and chilling, terrifying, horror. Jonathan, Ricky, Jake, Bobby, and Maggie, have been a tight group since childhood, naming themselves "Suicide Squad" after the 80's comic book. As young adults, Jake, Bobby, then Johnathan and Ricky together, enlist. Ricky and Maggie had married, and Johnathan had married the pregnant Karen, Maggie's younger sister.

As the novel unfolds, deeply examined characterizations frame a story that is heartwrenching, uplifting, and ultimately, seriously frightening. For war is not the only threat to the remaining group, and the threat at home may be far more terrifying.

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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Review: Collected Christmas Horror Shorts

Collected Christmas Horror Shorts Collected Christmas Horror Shorts by Kevin J. Kennedy
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Review: COLLECTED CHRISTMAS HORROR SHORTS

A great gift choice for horror lovers or gift to oneself, COLLECTED CHRISTMAS HORROR SHORTS provides a wide range of eclectic horror, to read straight through, or sample a story or a poem at a time, like poisoned candy. The anthology showcases 24 authors, including publisher Kevin Kennedy, and includes a foreword by Nev Murray (edited by Brandy Yassa).

Curl up with frightening Christmas horror.

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Friday, December 9, 2016

Review: The Seventh Ward

The Seventh Ward The Seventh Ward by Patrick Logan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: SEVENTH WARD by Patrick Logan

A wildly imaginative second installment in a wildly imaginative series, SEVENTH WARD showcases some really scary characters, both alive and not, and monstrous. Following the horrific events of SHALLOW GRAVES, the trio are "summoned" to clear the seventh ward of isolated, abandoned, Pinedale Hospital, of its specters. Not that easy. Very dangerous, very terrifying, a knockout ending.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Review: Chelsea Avenue

Chelsea Avenue Chelsea Avenue by Armand Rosamilia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: CHELSEA AVENUE

CHELSEA AVENUE is a riveting supernatural thriller, full of likable characters and implacable supernatural immortals. The good guys have failings, and the author makes that clear. The bad guys have some positives. In the end, they're human, confronted by immortals, kind of like grasshopper vs. gorilla. In a truly Lovecraftian cosmos, humanity is either prey, or lost to the indifference of immortals, and both are capably demonstrated here. I highly recommend this novel.


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Monday, December 5, 2016

Review: The Lovecraft Squad: All Hallows Horror: A Novel

The Lovecraft Squad: All Hallows Horror: A Novel The Lovecraft Squad: All Hallows Horror: A Novel by John Llewellyn Probert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE LOVECRAFT SQUAD ALL HALLOWS CHURCH by John Llewellyn Probert

This novel is the first in "The Lovecraft Squad" series, created by Stephen Jones and written by John Llewellyn Probert. If you love Lovecraft Mythos, black magick, medieval history, or Dante, this book has it all (plus eternal zombies and shapeshifting and horror-horror-horror. Excellently written, articulate, this is a rereader.

Set in a historic decommissioned parish church in Blackheath, South London, a motley group of parapsychology "investigators" set up for four days and nights at Christmas time, organized by a tabloid newspaper. They should have stayed well clear.



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Review: Refuge

Refuge Refuge by A.I. Nasser
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: REFUGE by A. I. Nasser
(THE SIN #2)

In my review of the first in this trilogy, KURTAIN MOTEL, I raved about how enjoyable and imaginative a story it is. REFUGE keeps the bar high. Those of our characters who escaped the Kurtain Motel find asylum and a settled home in Refuge, Maine, a seemingly pleasant small community where everything is just fine. Or is it?? With Rev. Clancy and his constant "confession" harping (he makes Sinclair Lewis's Reverend Dr. Elmer Gantry look like an angel) and the commencement of unending revelations, protagonist Patrick Lahm and his cohorts remain on the edge of destruction. REFUGE continues the same heart-in-mouth thrill ride of KURTAIN MOTEL.

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Review: Christmas Eve on Haunted Hill

Christmas Eve on Haunted Hill Christmas Eve on Haunted Hill by Bryan Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: CHRISTMAS EVE ON HAUNTED HILL by Bryan Smith

CHRISTMAS EVE ON HAUNTED HILL rocks! Good gory horror, overtones of supernatural, good scares; and best of all, Mr. Smith creates a taut construct, peoples it with realistic characters, understandable drives, and writes it well. I originally started reading Bryan Smith for the gore, but I've stayed for his writing talent. This is a rereader--keeper.

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Review: Witching Hour Theatre

Witching Hour Theatre Witching Hour Theatre by Jonathan Janz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: WITCHING HOUR THEATER by Jonathan Janz

I can't praise WITCHING HOUR THEATER highly enough! This novella was author Janz' first publication, but it is the work of a horror master. In a short duration, we are introduced to protagonist Larry Wilson, and subtly his character and personality are revealed. Better yet, Larry elicits our empathy: he's a genuinely "good guy," the kind seldom seen. (In retrospect, Larry reminds me of Arland D. Williams, the altruist of the Potomac River plane crash in 1982.) Larry isn't perfect, but he is a heroic Everyman.

Mr. Janz is a staunch admirer of author Richard Laymon, and his understanding of Laymon's mastership is evident. WITCHING HOUR THEATER is incredibly paced; I turned pages so fast that I'm surprised my Kindle didn't ignite. I read with heart in throat, the suspense ratcheted to maximum.

Now I must mention the author's clearly demonstrated admiration for horror cinema: all of it, the good, the bad, the poorly-executed, the ugly. He loves it all. So does Larry, and between them, so do we. (Made me want to go watch "The Omen" again!)

This is a story I can and will read over and over, and a blueprint for beginning (and practiced) writers.



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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review: Kurtain Motel

Kurtain Motel Kurtain Motel by A.I. Nasser
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: KURTAIN MOTEL by A. J. Nasser

I enjoyed this story enormously! As I progressed further and further into it, the more I admired it, and couldn't wait to read Books 2 and 3. The author has a talent for interspersing horror and a metaphysical theme. Additionally, he knows how to wreak emotional havoc in his characters (and elicit readers' empathy. Some of these characters really tug our heartstrings, others inspire admiration for their courage and integrity). But everybody's ending isn't happy.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Review: Where the Dead Go to Die

Where the Dead Go to Die Where the Dead Go to Die by Aaron Dries
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Review: WHERE THE DEAD GO TO DIE by Mark Allan Gunnells and Aaron Dries

I'd long ago grown weary of the sane-old same-old common to much zombie fiction, so I'm much gratified to come upon WHERE THE DEAD GO TO DIE, a fine collaboration from two excellent horror authors, a novel which turned my emotions upside down and topsy turvy. Yes, the authors proclaim their intention to expose and explore emotions, and reading this has left me emotionally wrung out [not to mention both awestruck and quite terrified]. Indeed, the human condition can produce both the worst of monsters...and the heights of angels. WHERE THE DEAD GO TO DIE is timely and apropos horror, finely-tuned, uproariously scary [again, fear the living, the self-righteous who see evil everywhere but within], and a masterstroke.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Review: Hauntings: Three Haunted House Novellas

Hauntings: Three Haunted House Novellas Hauntings: Three Haunted House Novellas by Olivia Harlowe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: HAUNTINGS: THREE HAUNTED HOUSE NOVELLAS by Olivia Harlowe, Mason Graves, Violet Archer

Three very different, but frightening stories, each of a haunted residence--empty for a time, until purchased (in two cases) or inherited (in one case). In all three stories, the new residents (and visitors) discover the house they thought empty--really is occupied. These manifestations are without exception implacable, as well as malignant and determined. Enjoy three novellas to frighten, terrify, and invade dreams.


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Monday, November 28, 2016

Review: Raven's Ridge: A Haunted Mystery

Raven's Ridge: A Haunted Mystery Raven's Ridge: A Haunted Mystery by Connie Myres
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Review: RAVEN'S RIDGE

I was very agreeably surprised by the depth and expanse of this novel. Going in, I expected an "ordinary" haunted home novel, and hoped for some serious spookiness. RAVEN'S RIDGE provided so much more: gaslighting, friendship, treasure, history, and effectively, a treatise on good vs. Evil, with some of the nastiest, mist cold-blooded and heartless villains ever! There's so much to this story, which I found thought-provoking and unforgettable.

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Review: Fiero's Pizza

Fiero's Pizza Fiero's Pizza by Ike Hamill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: FIERO'S PIZZA by Ike Hamill

FIERO'S PIZZA is a weird and engrossing paranormal. I say weird because its premise is substantially different from any I've read. The premise and its consequences are tightly constructed and logical, given the foundation.

A couple move from Connecticut to Central Maine where they have bought an antique farmhouse and sizable property. Time passes, and the family goes to include four sons--and an implacable demonic parasite. Shocks and scares abound.

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Review: FEVER DREAMS: A Bracken and Bledsoe Paranormal Mystery

FEVER DREAMS: A Bracken and Bledsoe Paranormal Mystery FEVER DREAMS: A Bracken and Bledsoe Paranormal Mystery by Campbell Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: FEVER DREAMS by Campbell Jones
(BRACKEN AND BLEDSOE PARANORMAL MYSTERY #1)

FEVER DREAMS is the first entry in the paranormal series featuring Katie Bracken and Elliot Bledsoe, paranormal investigators. I read this after reading NIGHT CHILLS, and while the hauntings in NIGHT CHILLS were frightening and nearly implacable, I found FEVER DREAMS much more disturbing. The setting to my mind is oppressive and there were a couple events in the swamp that were significantly frightening, to the point of wondering if the protagonists would survive, let alone succeed. Additionally there is one plot thread which really perturbed me as it unfolded in the denouement. I guessed at some of the past events, but the eventual final denouement really surprised me.

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Review: FEVER DREAMS: A Bracken and Bledsoe Paranormal Mystery

FEVER DREAMS: A Bracken and Bledsoe Paranormal Mystery FEVER DREAMS: A Bracken and Bledsoe Paranormal Mystery by Campbell Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: FEVER DREAMS by Campbell Jones
(BRACKEN AND BLEDSOE PARANORMAL MYSTERY #1)

FEVER DREAMS is the first entry in the paranormal series featuring Katie Bracken and Elliot Bledsoe, paranormal investigators. I read this after reading NIGHT CHILLS, and while the hauntings in NIGHT CHILLS were frightening and nearly implacable, I found FEVER DREAMS much more disturbing. The setting to my mind is oppressive and there were a couple events in the swamp that were significantly frightening, to the point of wondering if the protagonists would survive, let alone succeed. Additionally there is one plot thread which really perturbed me as it unfolded in the denouement. I guessed at some of the past events, but the eventual final denouement really surprised me.

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Review: Night Chills

Night Chills Night Chills by Campbell Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: NIGHT CHILLS by Campbell Jones
(Bracken and Bledsoe Paranormal Mystery #2)

NIGHT CHILLS is the second installment in the Bracken and Bledsoe Paranormal Investigators Mystery series by April Campbell Jones and Bruce Elliott Jones. However, it's the first I'd read, and I immediately fell head over heels with the characters and plot. Dr. Katie Bracken and skeptic screenwriting professor Elliott Bledsoe are the "push-me/pull-you" of paranormal investigators, so much so that frequently they are mistaken for an old married couple. In NIGHT CHILLS they investigate a lovely old Victorian on Coronado Island, California, which is inexplicably linked to the famous and historic Hotel del Coronado. The hauntings are really frightening and the plot is taut and riveting.

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Review: Daughters Unto Devils

Daughters Unto Devils Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS by Amy Lukavics

An exceptionally well-plotted, tacitly woven and imaginative novel, DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS has much to recommend it, even to audiences other than its YA appeal. Ms. Lukavics is a fine author, creating a world all its spooky own, both the terrible mountain winter, and the autumn prairie stretching to the mysterious forest. The characters are well-fleshed, and the author's subtlety in cleverly building the very real horror is worthy of a writer many times published. In addition to the provision of terrors both otherworldly and human, the very real spectre of mental illness is a chord well-strummed. In this historical setting, it goes unrecognized in favor of possible demonic influence.

DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS is an engrossing novel with the power to linger long in the mind.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Review: Spider's Web

Spider's Web Spider's Web by Mike Omer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: SPIDER'S WEB by Mike Omer
(Glenrose Park #1)

First in the series of police procedural set in Glenrose Park, Massachusetts, SPIDER'S WEB is a one-stop riveting read with a clever and cunning killer whose obsessions may nevertheless be his downfall--if the police can find him on time. The characters are easily empathetic, and in a number of situations, author Mike Omer strongly plays to the reader's heart. Action is non-stop and the suspense remains at a high level. I anticipate the next in series.



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Review: The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black The Woman in Black by Kerry Wilkinson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE WOMAN IN BLACK by Kerry Wilkinson

A riveting British police procedural with a complex and shock-laden plot, THE WOMAN IN BLACK will keep pages turning and readers well-engrossed. Well-defined characters allow ready empathy. I especially appreciated the author's subtle application of clues without telegraphing the denouement.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Review: The Devil's Prayer

The Devil's Prayer The Devil's Prayer by Luke Gracias
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE DEVIL'S PRAYER by Luke Gracias

A convoluted and complex mystery-suspense-thriller, THE DEVIL'S PRAYER will keep readers on tenterhooks wondering "what next?" With supernatural, religious, and historical threads interwoven, this thriller will appeal to a widely diverse audience. The author's affinity for delineating both visual scenery as well as heartfelt emotions, and ability to effect reader's suspension of disbelief, combine into an exciting thriller with serious overtones.

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Review: Don't Turn Around

Don't Turn Around Don't Turn Around by Caroline Mitchell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: DON'T TURN AROUND by Caroline Mitchell
(Detective Jennifer Knight Crime Thriller Series Book 1)

An engrossing British police procedural with a strong paranormal foundation, DON'T TURN AROUND showcases Detective Constable Jennifer Knight of the Haven, England police force. Psychic from childhood, Jennifer is exiled to a backwater community because of what is deemed her mental health issues. Daughter of a detective sergeant mother who died young, Jennifer resents her ex-police father and his alcoholism. In a new series of unexplained deaths mimicking a series investigated by her mother, with a killer self-styled the Grim Reaper, supernatural occurrences including apparent possession, confuse and sidetrack Jennifer's determined investigations.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Review: The Paranormal Investigations of Mr Charles Fort

The Paranormal Investigations of Mr Charles Fort The Paranormal Investigations of Mr Charles Fort by T.E. Scott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review THE PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS OF MR. CHARLES FORT by T. E. Scott
(The Charles Fort Mysteries Book 1)

Bumbling British civil servant Moreton, narrator of this series, is frequently stuck between a rock and a hard place as his orders to accompany intrepid investigator of "anomalous phenomena," Charles Fort, send him to odd places and odder people.. Moreton is not only a skeptic, but supremely feckless, and like Holmes' Dr. Watson, he is often wrong-footed. Unlike Holmes, Fort is also not too smooth, but he is indefatigable. Their combination makes for a fascinating "tour" of postwar Britain in 1919, and the milieu of mediums and spiritualists, skeptics and frauds, bureaucracy and crime.

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Review: Windows into Hell

Windows into Hell Windows into Hell by James Wymore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review WINDOWS INTO HELL Anthology

I expected only good things from an anthology edited and collected by James Wymore, and indeed, this very special set exceeds my expectations. A superb rendering of varied viewpoints about what happens after death, WINDOWS INTO HELL is engrossing, enlightening, and a sheer pleasure to peruse. In some anthologies or short story collections, I can select one or multiple entries as my "favorite." Not so here: each entry is outstanding. Kudos indeed to James Wymore and fellow authors for a superb and thought-provoking reading experience!

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Review: The Lost Child of Lychford

The Lost Child of Lychford The Lost Child of Lychford by Paul Cornell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



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Review: Covenant

Covenant Covenant by Allan Leverone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: COVENANT by Allan Leverone

A frightening story of implacable horror and mystery, COVENANT commences with horror and never relents. In a quiet New Hampshire community, a monster-in-human-form, a man of extensive wealth, constructed for himself a home and a playground for sadism. Eventually, after decades of torture and numerous murders, he died--but Edward Collins' evil lives on. When a gloriously happy and well-matched couple buys the century-old reconstruction built atop Collins' blood-drenched foundation, his spirit is infuriated and he terrorizes and kills, even from beyond his grave. COVENANT is an electrifying page-turner not readily forgotten.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Review: Very Important Corpses

Very Important Corpses Very Important Corpses by Simon R. Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: VERY IMPORTANT CORPSES by Simon Green
[ISHMAEL JONES Book 3]

Since the first book, I've been head over heels ecstatic about this series. Ishmael Jones is a covert--very intensely--operative, currently in the employ of the generically titled The Organization. No ordinary spy is he; Ishmael Jones operates in "the hidden world," the shadows where sometimes the monsters are men; and sometimes they're monsters--literally. A lovely combination of supernatural, paranormal, and extraterrestrial/extradimensional, this series ranks high on gore content, violence, and heroism (Rocky and Bond, eat your hearts out). It's totally engrossing.

In VERY IMPORTANT CORPSES, Ishmael and his human partner Penny Belcourt (introduced in Book 1) are tasked to security at Cronach House, a Scottish fortress of high antiquity, poised overlooking notorious Loch Ness. Their charges are a secretive financial group supposed to be more secret and more powerful than even the Bilderburg Group or the Illuminati. Their sense of high entitlement enables a pointed riff on class distinctions and perceptions.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Review: Living Death

Living Death Living Death by Graham Masterton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: LIVING DEATH by Graham Masterton

Author Graham Masterton is noted for his prolific output, his devotion to imaginative horror, and to his immense talent and ability to engross readers. In the Katie Maguire Series, he applies that talent to crime--specifically in Cork, Ireland. In this seventh in the series, Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire copes with an influx of stultifyingly dangerous imported narcotics, a rash of dognapping, kidnapping, and a new beau. She also welcomes into her home an ex-lover, a double amputee, who still carries a torch Katie can't return. Meanwhile behind the scenes, an enemy of Katie 's goes to great lengths to destroy her career, and a madman creates "living deaths."

LIVING DEATH is rife with the entitlement of self, expressed through several different individuals. It is also rampant with extremes of violence and not recommended for the faint of stomach or heart. This was a story throughout which I rooted for the bad guys' comeuppance.



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Monday, November 7, 2016

Review: Five Stories High: One House, Five Hauntings, Five Chilling Stories

Five Stories High: One House, Five Hauntings, Five Chilling Stories Five Stories High: One House, Five Hauntings, Five Chilling Stories by K.J. Parker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: FIVE STORIES HIGH by Various Authors

FIVE STORIES HIGH is a themed collection, stories from five authors, interwoven into a framework entitled "Notes from Irongrove Lodge." There exists on a fairly quiet street in London a large residence...or it doesn't exist. At times, it can be located by some few individuals; at other occasions, it can't be found. Sometimes its title is Irongrove Lodge, at other times Greystone Lodge. Sometimes it's a private residence, at other times an apartment building of five flats; sometimes a horrible asylum. It is also a building whose dimensions frequently change, and it is a passage to the void.

One thing is for certain: the stories contained in FIVE STORIES HIGH will definitely boggle the mind.

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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Review: The Feast of All Souls

The Feast of All Souls The Feast of All Souls by Simon Bestwick
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Review: FEAST OF ALL SOULS by Simon Bestwick


FEAST OF ALL SOULS is an expansive horror novel constructed on a tautly plotted framework, delving into history, quantum physics, and the space-time continuum. Some portions and characters delve into what I would term extreme horror, so this is not a story for the easily upset. Nevertheless, it is a novel with powerful impact, and in many aspects, resonates with the vivid tones of reality. Almost everyone can identity with characters and some of the book's situations, though not all of us will have encountered such monsters as exist throughout.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Review: Cast No Shadows

Cast No Shadows Cast No Shadows by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: CAST NO SHADOWS (Anthology) [Various Authors]

My routine taste in horror is for the dark, even extreme. Occasionally, though, it's good to break from routine and enjoy something lighter. The stories in this collection are hopeful, adorable, and ultimately uplifting. None will proffer nightmares, but will encourage good dreams (and good will to all). I think this anthology is a great choice if you've just finished reading dark horror, or if the world's plethora of real-life angst is bringing you down. Open CAST NO SHADOWS and enjoy.



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Thursday, October 27, 2016

GREETING FROM MOON HILL by Anthony J. Rapino_Tour and Review

Review:  GREETINGS FROM MOON HILL by Anthony J. Rapino

As a reader and writer I am fond of the fictional creation of a community, an enclave, a region--especially when such a delight leads into horror or science fiction. Anthony J. Rapino played the Pied Piper with his collection WELCOME TO MOON HILL--and of course, once you first visit Moon Hill, you won't--or can't--leave. GREETING FROM MOON HILL tantalizes us anew with tales of the seldom mundane, very often horrific, lives in this seemingly peaceful Northeastern Pennyslvania town, the land that time--and tourism--forgot. Dip into this collection, and sip a while; or dive in and read straight through. Once you're in, you won't want to leave [unless the conjured Pumpkin God scares you off] and I predict you will return to visit the town where Eternal Autumn reigns--again and again.





Greetings from Mood Hill, Synopsis

BREATHE DEEP OF THE NIGHT.

Greetings from Moon Hill is a collection of darkly bizarre horror stories culled from the deranged mind of Anthony J. Rapino, author of Soundtrack to the End of the World.

Somewhere in Northeastern Pennsylvania, nestled between the forests and foothills of the Poconos, you’ll find the forgotten town of Moon Hill. It’s a surreal place of arcane magic and natural wonder, where a hint of autumn lingers in the air, the leaves are always turning, and the shadows grow long no matter the time of day. 

You might say Moon Hill is special, an eerie pocket of Americana frozen in time, filled with eccentric characters and deathly secrets that transcend reality. And like most small towns, it also has a dark side. 

This book is a roadmap to the lost town’s terrifying mysteries. Wander through the brush of Moon Hill State Forest and explore its otherworldly flora in “From Your Body They Rise.” Bear witness to the interdimensional war raging above Old Road in the novella, “Reality Engineers.” Conjure autumnal spirits with Handy Weber in “Halloween on the Hill,” sample the peculiar glowing ale brewed by Slow Ewan in “Struck by Golden Lightning,” and pay your respects with blood at the old Whistler place in “Just Once More, Little Sister.”

As you explore Moon Hill’s darkened corners, you will discover a town built upon a foundation of nightmares, proving once again that Anthony J. Rapino is not only a master storyteller, but also a dark architect of the imagination.

Welcome to Moon Hill. Your definition of weird is about to change.

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Anthony J. Rapino, Biography

ANTHONY J. RAPINO is a horror writer and sculptor. He’s also a teacher, and somehow that makes more sense than it should. He spends his days among people and things that demand shaping: Words, clay, or minds, it amounts to the same job. Though the minds are a hard sell, you can find his fiction and sculptures online. Discover more at AnthonyJRapino.com,

Tony’s Facebook Page (Candy Corn Apocalypse), Tony’s Twitter (@anthonyjrapino),

and Tony’s YouTube Channel.

 

Praise for Greetings from Moon Hill/Rapino

 

“Anthony Rapino's collection Greetings from Moon Hill is his best work so far. Don't miss these fascinating and scary stories from a master of the craft.” --Kate Jonez, Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author of Ceremony of Flies and Candy House

“Anthony Rapino’s work is uniquely infused with horror and a type of childlike innocence that makes the darkness that much darker. Greetings from Moon Hill invites you to a place that is both tragic and extraordinary. Once you enter, you’ll never be allowed to leave.”  – Mercedes M. Yardley, Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of Little Dead Red and Pretty Little Dead Girls

Greetings from Moon Hill […] displays Rapino’s range, which is vast and varied, yet unique, and always dark as well as entertaining. With effortless grace and ease, and weaved like a seasoned professional, this collection proves that Rapino’s career is destined to be a long and fruitful one. I cannot think of a higher compliment.” – Ben Eads, author of Cracked Sky

“A master at the art of tale-spinning, Anthony Rapino infuses a sense of creeping dread thatimmediatelyentrances and bewilders. To enter his world is to become unsettlingly accustomed to those tales that exist in the shadows." Mary RajotteBloody Bookish

“Want thrilling, scary, moody stories that put you on edge and play with your emotions? Well if you're looking for that and you're looking for an experience rather than just entertainment, one author comes immediately to my mind and that author is Anthony Rapino.” -- Benjamin KaneEthridge, award winning author of Black & Orange and Divine Scream

“In Greetings from Moon Hill, Anthony Rapino is at times a sorcerer, and other times a madman. His work is both that of a puppeteer and a sadist. He tends to detail much like a chef, as he parses imagery throughout his work morsel by morsel, which we ravenously consume, until we realize that with his fiction, actually it is us that are being consumed.” – Eryk Pruitt, author of Dirtbagsand Hashtag

Want to feature this book/author?

If you are a blogger, author, or member of the media and you would like to feature Greetings from Moon Hill or Anthony J. Rapino in a review or interview, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com. Thanks!


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Review: Flesh Gothic

Flesh Gothic Flesh Gothic by Edward Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: FLESH GOTHIC by Edward Lee.

Extraordinary novel. Edward Lee is a master of the macabre. This 2004 novel is "out of this world" superb (sometimes literally). I read it in one day, 12-13 hours reading, because I COULD NOT STOP. . I read the original 2004 paperback version, which intensified the immediacy for me, as if I was reading at the initial publication date.

FLESH GOTHIC is true horror wrapped in extreme horror (very) wrapped in gore wrapped in sensuality (very) wrapped in satanism wrapped in psychic powers wrapped in "other-worldly" (Hell) delivered in an engrossing,unstoppable, no-happy-endings-here story.

In a well-concealed house in St. Petersburg, FL, a multi-millionaire gathered porn stars, prostitutes, loyal employees, and victims, all in preparation for his plans to open a portal, in service of his "Lord." High body count, slaughter, and rampant deception. All to succor a Lord of the underworld. In the hands of this master, it is all believable--and riveting.



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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Review: House of Small Shadows

House of Small Shadows House of Small Shadows by Adam Nevill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: HOUSE OF SMALL SHADOWS by Adam Nevill

Within the great tradition of British horror is a narrower classification, which when cultivated properly, yields an amazing, abundant, harvest of terror. Of course this particular definition is not confined to the British Isles (I'm thinking of Gord Rollo's "Valley of the Scarecrow," and Thomas Tryon's "Harvest Home" as examples.) But authors native to England, Wales, Cornwall, Scotland, and Ireland excel. I refer to the tradition of "village horror" [ If you find this unfamiliar, watch those classic scary films, "Village of the Damned" and "Children of the Damned." ]

Preferably, settle in with an Adam Nevill novel. This author schooled himself in the classics of the genre, and consequently is in a class all his own. In HOUSE OF SMALL SHADOWS, as in RITUAL and LAST DAYS, Mr. Nevill creates subtlety and horror, insanity and reflections of insanity, and "Village Horror" finely tuned to a maximum level of monstrosity. All our senses and most of our emotions are engaged. Disbelief has been tossed by the wayside, because like poor protagonist Catherine after a lifetime of victimization, we so strongly desire to believe. As the Pied Piper led away the children of Hamlin, so do the various and bizarre characters in this novel lead us away....deep down, we desire to believe.


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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Review: Wrathbone

Wrathbone Wrathbone by Jason Parent
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: WRATHBONE AND OTHER STORIES by Jason Parent

A compelling introduction by Kealan Patrick Burke sets the stage in this collection by Jason Parent. The eponymous story, "Wrathbone," offers a stunning, terrifying perceptive, view of insanity--and it is insanity suffered by Henry Rathbone for forty-five years. Whether the visions are simply miscues of his own fouled and disordered mind, brought about by an onset of PTSD at the assassination of President Lincoln, or the events truly are supernatural in origin, Rathbone is certifiably "around the bend," as his first-person narrative bears witness.

All the stories in this exceptional collection demonstrate a fine range of talent. Jason Parent delivers unforgettable literary horror, painting with a finely-tuned brush. Certainly the reader would not wish to be in the position of these protagonists. Equally certain is that the stories are a delight of creativity.

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