Charles Stross, "Overtime"


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Review: One Perfect Lie

One Perfect Lie One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: ONE PERFECT LIE by Lisa Scottoline

My heart did not drop from my throat throughout this novel. That is how highly the suspense is tuned. Author Lisa Scottoline successfully brings her trademark talent of bringing readers into the plot and setting subtly, enwrapping us unaware, so that we must see the plot through to its conclusion. The theme here is domestic terrorism, horrifying in itself. To see the ways in which formerly innocent individuals trap themselves in crime is also terrifying, and the last-moment suspense blows the reader away.

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Review: Goliath

Goliath Goliath by Shawn Corridan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


We all remember the Exxon Valdez and the Deepwater Horizons environmental disasters. How much more terrifying, if the world's largest super-tanker was deliberately sabotaged--purposely grounded, filled with crude oil, at loss of life and environmental disaster.

This is the premise of GOLIATH, a heart-in-mouth thriller, a novel which pits man against nature, and the underdog against wealth and against his own past failures.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Review: Hell Cat of the Holt (a novella): supernatural horror in the Shadow Fabric mythos

Hell Cat of the Holt (a novella): supernatural horror in the Shadow Fabric mythos Hell Cat of the Holt (a novella): supernatural horror in the Shadow Fabric mythos by Mark Cassell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

'hell cat'

Review: HELL CAT OF THE HOLT by Mark Cassell

Mark Cassell's constructed mythos is creatively imagined and original. He utilizes the concept of a veil between dimensions in a new way. He calls it the Shadow Fabric, a dimension which contains demons, shadows, and other entities. Demons whose physical form may be interred on this side, restrained by "containment stones," while their consciousness remain active on the other side.

HELL CAT OF THE HOLT focuses on a tiny English village of long history, seemingly ordinary on the surface. But a long set of containment stones and an influx of the Shadow Fabric brings increasing trouble and dangers.

Mark Cassell_Guest Post

From Simian to Serpent

It’s no secret the older I’ve got, the more difficult it is for me to face heights. Whether a balcony, a motorway overpass or a mountain, my calf muscles will twitch, my stomach churn, my heart pulse in my throat. And that sensation of the gaping chasm sucking me up and over the edge. Down, down…


As a kid, I loved climbing trees; a typical trait of any young boy. Though I do wonder when it all changed. Maybe the catalyst for my growing phobia was when I was fifteen years old.

Allow me to tell you a true story:

Jon and I clambered up the tree, from branch to branch, agile as monkeys. We must’ve been at least fifteen feet up when we finally rested to peer out towards where his house was. Squinting through the woodland, I saw his conservatory with its white framework glaring in the afternoon sun.

If his mum knew we were there, tempting gravity beyond rusted barbed wire, she would've killed us. Feet balanced on a hefty limb, I stared up at Jon – he'd clearly climbed this tree many times. I had one arm wrapped around the trunk, the bark jagged and rough, while the other hand gripped what I assumed was a safe branch.

It wasn't. When it made a sharp crack, like an echoing rifle shot, my heart wriggled into my throat.

Gravity snatched my skinny arse.

Jon's pale face shrank into a blur of green and quivering daylight. His eyes grew wider. The stink of wet vegetation filled my lungs as I plunged into whipping branches. Twigs and leaves slapped the back of my head, clawed my flailing arms, and raked my kicking legs. Jon's face shrank away, now tiny. Why hadn't I hit the ground yet?

Still falling, and—

I slammed into the ground.

Dirt and sticks and dead leaves exploded around me. Arms and legs vertical, suspended almost... And the agony, the wind rushing from my lungs, the force much more than a punch to the stomach.

Help me! I silently yelled at my friend.

Why was he not helping? Didn't he care? Perhaps Jon laughed, perhaps he shouted something as he lowered himself from limb to limb. I had no idea. I could not see nor hear anything through the waves of pain, the roaring agony between my ears.

I writhed in a flurry of crispy leaves, my spine and shoulders and skull burning, throbbing. Heat spread into my legs and feet, into my toes, raging through my arms to numb my fingers. Colours and dark spots dotted my vision. I squirmed in the dirt like a dying snake.p I don’t remember Jon's first words, and I sure as hell cannot remember the return walk. Back at Jon's house, we somehow avoided his mum. My T-shirt was shredded from where twigs and sticks had stabbed my back. I'll give Jon some credit, he made a good effort in patching me up, pulling twigs and leaves from my skin. He swabbed the ragged gashes with cotton wool pads.

His mum never knew, but I told mine the morning after. I actually thought it was funny; I'd survived without a single broken bone.

Before breakfast with Mum standing behind me, I sat hunched over the table. Sunlight bled through the window, reaching across the tablecloth. With the occasional wince, I watched Mum's hand drop dirt and bits of leaves and wood onto a tissue. I even noticed the spiral curls of cotton wool Jon had left in my flesh.

Soon it was time for the disinfectant: its odour sharp and stinging my nostrils. I knew what was coming, my muscles tense.

Mum dabbed my wounds and I hissed, long and loud. Like a snake.

Whether this was the catalyst for my vertigo, I’ve no idea.

Many years later when I wrote my debut novel The Shadow Fabric, I did not include my fear. I intended to, but never had a suitable scene that would do it justice. So when it came to expanding the concept by writing short stories, my phobia featured in a story titled “Disturbed” and can be found in Sinister Stitches, a collection of stories in the Shadow Fabric mythos.

This particular tale doesn’t include a monkey, nor a snake, but there is a demon…p> So how about you? Do you have a phobia and can perhaps recall its inception?

* HELL CAT OF THE HOLT - a novella in the Shadow Fabric mythos
Available from Amazon
UK : http://amzn.to/2ruB1ux
US : http://amzn.to/2rJvqO5
* Mark Cassell lives in a rural part of the UK where he often dreams of dystopian futures, peculiar creatures, and flitting shadows. Primarily a horror writer, his steampunk, dark fantasy, and SF stories have featured in several anthologies and ezines. His best-selling debut novel THE SHADOW FABRIC is closely followed by the popular short story collection SINISTER STITCHES and are both only a fraction of an expanding mythos of demons, devices, and deceit.

Mark’s 2017 release HELL CAT OF THE HOLT further explores the Shadow Fabric mythos with ghosts and black cat legends.

The dystopian sci-fi short story collection CHAOS HALO 1.0: ALPHA BETA GAMMA KILL is in association with Future Chronicles Photography where he works closely with their models and cosplayers.

For one of Mark’s FREE stories go to: www.markcassell.com

Or visit the website: www.theshadowfabric.co.uk

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Review: A Pig's View of Heaven

A Pig's View of Heaven A Pig's View of Heaven by Stephen McQuiggan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: A PIG'S VIEW OF HEAVEN by Stephen McQuiggan

Something exists beneath the swampy Troughton's Moss, something evil, ancient, and very hungry--hungry for blood and flesh, for murder and mutilation. In the village, it can readily find malleable humans to carry out its desires. For its purposes, humans are virtually interchangeable. For no, that's sufficient; but eventually this Something wants to act on its own. A PIG'S VIEW OF HEAVEN is a dark look at evil, within the human heart and without, at deception and illusion, desire and dismay.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Review: A Is for Asteroids, Z Is for Zombies: A Bedtime Book about the Coming Apocalypse

A Is for Asteroids, Z Is for Zombies: A Bedtime Book about the Coming Apocalypse A Is for Asteroids, Z Is for Zombies: A Bedtime Book about the Coming Apocalypse by Paul Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: A is For Asteroid, Z is for Zombie

This is not a children's book. {Shudder} If it doesn't give you nightmares and worries, you must be more jaded than I. This delightfully illustrated (in a horrifying fashion, reminiscent of the late, much-lamented, Charles Addams) compendium of eschatological woes is presented as a rhyming bedtime book read by a devoted father to his frightened son, who has been told about asteroid impact. By the time the father finishes, he and the reader are spine-chilled. Who knew the end of the world is possible in so many variants?

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Review: The Never-Open Desert Diner: A Novel

The Never-Open Desert Diner: A Novel The Never-Open Desert Diner: A Novel by James Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE NEVER-OPEN DESERT DINER by James Anderson

I am totally head-over-heels in love with this novel! It's perfect in every respect, absorbing and fulfilling. Deeply delineated characters populate the novel, along with the Desert, a character in itself, perhaps an even greater character than the human individuals, certainly a stronger and more enduring character.

Our very likable (even admirable) protagonist is Ben Jones, an almost middle-aged local haul trucker, orphaned from birth, who for decades has delivered on a single lonely and isolated Utah desert highway. Ben is always broke, poor, living on the edge in a society that only rewards wealth and power. If it rewarded integrity and merit, Ben Jones would be a king.

THE NEVER-OPEN DESERT DINER is gloriously literate, mysterious, thrilling, romantic--and all around wonderful.

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Review: The Halloween Children

The Halloween Children The Halloween Children by Brian James Freeman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

by Brian James Freeman Norman Prentiss

THE HALLOWEEN CHILDREN is a terrifying horror story which I couldn't set aside till I finished (and then couldn't get out of my imagination). Set in a quiet Maryland apartment complex, not far from a University campus, the focus of the story is a small family: Harris, Lynn, and their two children Amber and Matthew. Harris is the complex maintenance supervisor, with little to do because most of the work is contracted out to professionals. Lynn is a telecommuter, working in computer customer service from home. The “face” of the complex is a “little Napoleon” named Shawna, who rules rigidly and indiscriminately. Some of the residents are real terrors, in the human sense, and there are multiple layers of “reality” involved as well. Overarching this plot line of marital conflict, overprecocious offspring who might be both too imaginative and lacking in moral code, and Harris' own perceptions (which may or may not be “reality) is the approaching Halloween holiday. In conjunction is the theme of “the Halloween children,” as we come to find out, distinctly something (or someones) to be avoided.

Lots of violence and gore abound, but I'd be hard put to discern which is scarier: the “monsters” (if they exist) or the human evil. Unforgettable novel.

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Review: Lockdown: A Novel of Suspense

Lockdown: A Novel of Suspense Lockdown: A Novel of Suspense by Laurie R. King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of LOCKDOWN by Laurie R. King

Prolific author Laurie R. King has an immense talent for bringing her novels into the lives of readers. While reading LOCKDOWN, I felt I lived through its events and through the present and past lives of its character populace—yes, vicariously, but so vividly!

LOCKDOWN is the story of Guadalupe Middle School in tiny Central California farming community San Felipe, but its reverberations stretch also to the Midwest, Mexico, and New Guinea. Guadalupe could be a school almost anywhere, and because its students, staff, administrators, and parents are so realistic, they could be us, our neighbors, our family and friends. The events at and around Guadalupe are both joyful and horrifying, both hopeful and horrid—such is real life, is it not?

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Review: The Suicide Motor Club

The Suicide Motor Club The Suicide Motor Club by Christopher Buehlman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE SUICIDE MOTOR CLUB by Christopher Buehman

A literate road trip of horror, THE SUICIDE MOTOR CLUB in flavour put me in mind of Gaiman's AMERICAN GODS. But these constantly on-the-move muscle-car-addicted violent profane road-trippers aren't gods of any sort--instead, they are the original undead: vampires. With one possible exception, a gentlemanly sort and older vampire named Clayton, this group weren't likeable while alive, and much less so since becoming undead. Their big mistake is taking the five-year-old son of a woman with strong, unending faith. She can tolerate the death of her cheating husband, but the loss of her son pits her against the vampiric contingent--and oh, will the sparks fly now!!

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Review: Rosebud Hill, Volume 1: Searching for Willoughby

Rosebud Hill, Volume 1: Searching for Willoughby Rosebud Hill, Volume 1: Searching for Willoughby by Martin Reaves
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: ROSEBUD HILL VOL. 1 by Martin Reaves

"Oh wow! Oh wow! Oh wow!" describes my immediate and continued awe as I devoured this novel! Suspension of disbelief was immediate and permanent. I thought Mr. Reaves had delved into the Akashic Records and read my thoughts, dreams, and experience, then set those in a locale I've never been. ROSEBUD HILL VOL. 1 is so perfect, and I find no fault. I'm as excited reading it as I am a John Connolly novel in his Charlie Parker series--which is to say, over the moon and then some.

Mr. Reaves sets his tales on a haunted [really haunted, really preternatural] stretch of quiet, rural, isolated Oregon highway. Only sometimes this particular road is not quite as isolated as it should be. Sometimes there are impossibly tall mist beings, sometimes there's a town that shouldn't [and doesn't] exist. Sometimes there's inexplicable disease, too many missing young women, too easy to disappear. In this 12-mile stretch, the veil is very, very permeable, not just at Halloween.

There are some really nasty villains here--not all of them human. There are people who have committed really bad acts, but want redemption. There are good folks too. And then there's Rosebud Hill, the town that is, or isn't, depending; and a bloody camper hidden way back in the woods...

Mr. Reaves deftly weaves in the original Twilight Zone: if you remember it, you 'll love what he does. If you don't, no worry, he ensures readers' understanding. I am also reminded of the original Outer Limits series as well.

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Review: Converging

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

Review: CONVERGING by Thomas Flowers

I don't come lightly to anything by this author. I bring my mind, my imagination, and my soul, knowing all three will be stretched. Mr. Flowers has a degree in history (which he capably demonstrates), but his understanding of Character, both of individuals and of Place, is positively Faulknerian. Whether he's delving into Houston, or East Texas, the Delta of Mississippi, or a tiny, smug, Appalachian community, Mr. Flowers comprehends the Character of Place; and when he finishes with us, so do we. He also understands the nature of evil, and how easily it conceals itself from less-discerning eyes. Delve into CONVERGING, and prepare to come away Changed.

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Review: Collected Easter Horror Shorts

Collected Easter Horror Shorts Collected Easter Horror Shorts by Brandy Yassa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: COLLECTED EASTER HORROR SHORTS (ed. By Kevin J. Kennedy)

CHILLING: that was my takeaway from Kevin J. Kennedy's earlier horror anthology, COLLECTED CHRISTMAS HORROR SHORTS, and it's my takeaway here as well. These stories are implacable, cold, and very, very, scary. I expect nightmares. I expect flinching at sudden sounds and glancing over my shoulder. I expect trying to forget, and finding these stories lingering on. A feast for the horror lover, indeed.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Review: The Gatekeeper

The Gatekeeper The Gatekeeper by Kevin J. Kennedy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: THE GATEKEEPER by Kevin J. Kennedy

THE GATEKEEPER relates the tale of a rather feckless, morally meandering, alcoholic, who is offered a strange, even frightening, once-annual job. Every Halloween, he hosts a gateway from Hell, and literal monsters pour out, spending Halloween night wreaking havoc. Must be difficult on one's conscience. I'm uncertain whether to feel sympathetic for the protagonist or not, but am leading toward "not." I'm rating this 18+ for language, sexual situations, and events that some readers will consider offensive.

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Review: The Gatekeeper

The Gatekeeper The Gatekeeper by Kevin J. Kennedy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Review: Collected Christmas Horror Shorts

Collected Christmas Horror Shorts Collected Christmas Horror Shorts by Brandy Yassa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


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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Sunday, June 4, 2017

SAVAGE JUNGLE by Hunter Shea_Review &Tour

Savage Jungle by Hunter Shea

Severed Press

Media Kit

Publicist/Marketing: Erin Al-Mehairi


__________________________________________________________________ Follow along the tour with these hashtags:


Savage Jungle, Synopsis

File Size: 2679 KB
Print Length: 189 pages
Publisher: Severed Press (April 7, 2017)
Publication Date: April 7, 2017
They are called the Orang Pendek, masters of the steamy Sumatran rain forest.

Henrik Kooper watched his father die at the brutal hands of the orange-haired ape men. Having barely survived helping twins Natalie and Austin McQueen discover and destroy the beasts lurking in Loch Ness, it’s now his turn for vengeance. Within the treacherous jungles of Sumatra lies the fabled lost city of Gadang Ur. Its secrets are guarded by a savage band of Orang Pendek who lord over the strange and deadly creatures of the hidden land. Utter madness is the lifeblood of Gadang Ur. Henrik’s journey into darkness will take them to the ragged edge of hell on Earth.

Some places were never meant to be discovered.

Available in e-book and print

Hunter Shea, Biography

Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weaned on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself.

Publishers Weekly named The Montauk Monster one of the best reads of the summer in 2014, and his follow up novel, Hell Hole, was named best horror novel of the year on several prestigious horror sites. Cemetery Dance had this to say about his apocalyptic thriller, Tortures of the Damned – “A terrifying read that left me wanting more. I absolutely devoured this book!”

Hunter is an amateur cryptozoologist, having written wild, fictional tales about Bigfoot, The Montauk Monster, The Dover Demon, The Loch Ness Monster, and many new creatures to come. Copies of his books, The Montauk Monster and The Dover Demon, are currently on display in the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME.

He wrote his first novel with the express desire to work only with editor Don D’Auria at Dorchester (Leisure Horror). He submitted his novel to Don and only Don, unagented, placed on the slush pile. He is proof that dedicated writers can be rescued from no man’s land. He now works with Don, along with several other agents and publishers, having published over ten books in just four years.

Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light-hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, crytid and ghost hunters, directors and anyone else living in the horror lane.

Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hot dogs when the craving hits. His daughters have also gotten the horror bug, assisting him with research, story ideas and illustrations that can be seen in magazines such as Dark Dossier.

You can follow his travails at http://www.huntershea.com, sign-up for his newsletter, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Praise for Savage Jungle

“Sharply written action scenes are balanced with great dialogue and a depth to character usually missing from horror novels in this genre.” –Russell James, author of Q Island 

Praise for Hunter Shea

“Loch Ness Revenge is not only monsterific, but it's also comedic.” – Tim Meyer, author of Worlds Between My Teeth

“Shea delivers a tense and intriguing work of escalating tension splattered with a clever, extensive cast of bystanders turned victims…An otherwise excellent, tightly delivered plot…Fans of cryptid creatures are likely to revel in this love letter to a legendary menace.”– Publishers Weekly

“Bloody good read! This guy knows his monsters!”- Eric S Brown, author of Bigfoot War and Boggy Creek: The Legend is True, on Swamp Monster Massacre

“Hunter Shea is a great writer, highly entertaining, and definitely in the upper echelon in the current horror scene. Many other writers mention either loving his work and/or having the man influence their own, and for just cause. His writing suits anyone with a taste for the dark and terrifying!” –Zakk at The Eyes of Madness/The Mouth of Madness Podcast

Purchase Links

Want to feature this book/author? If you are a blogger, author, or member of the media and you would like to feature Savage Jungle or Hunter Shea in a review or interview, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com. Thanks!

Savage Jungle: Lair Of The Orang PendekSavage Jungle: Lair Of The Orang Pendek by Hunter Shea

Review: SAVAGE JUNGLE by Hunter Shea

SAVAGE JUNGLE is a direct sequel to Hunter Shea's earlier LOCH NESS REVENGE, with twins Natalie and Austin McQueen keeping their promise to aid Henrik in tracking the bizarre Orang Pendek of Sumatra, believed to live in the environs of a city lost in antiquity, Gadang Ur. Of course, revenge never comes easy, even when eaten cold, and Henrik's exploring group finds amazing sights and seemingly impossible creatures. Mr. Shea neatly mixes in some metaphysics and an effective suspension of disbelief.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Review: Twice Upon an Apocalypse - Lovecraftian Fairy Tales

Twice Upon an Apocalypse - Lovecraftian Fairy Tales Twice Upon an Apocalypse - Lovecraftian Fairy Tales by Armand Rosamilia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of TWICE UPON AN APOCALYPSE by Various Authors

[Crystal Lake Publishing, May 30 2017]

Fairy tale recountings have become popular of late ; but one spin that hasn't been approached, until now, is the Lovecraftian framework. In TWICE UPON AN APOCALYPSE, Lovecraft meets fairy tale, or perhaps fairy tale meets Lovecraft. Each of these delightful tales is a treasure in itself. The authors are all well-versed in both Lovecraftian Mythos, and fairy tale traditions, and what they do in melding the two is simply gorgeous. I believe lovers of either category will enjoy the results, and applaud authors and editors for utilizing this wonderful approach.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

BRAIN DEAD BLUES by Matt Hayward_Tour and Review

Brain Dead Blues, by Matt Hayward

Sinister Grin Press

Media Kit

Publicist/Marketing: Erin Al-Mehairi

Contact: hookofabook@hotmail.com

Follow along the tour with these hashtags:

Brain Dead Blues by Matt Hayward

Sinister Grin Press

Short Story collection - 187 pages

From the author of What Do Monsters Fear? comes a thrilling debut collection of short fiction. Included is an exclusive novella, God is In The Radio, in which an ageing rock-star pens a song with help from a peculiar old man, one that leaves his fans itching for more...one he calls "Brain Dead Blues."

Eleven additional tales of monsters, murder, and the supernatural lie within these depths that will not only entertain you, but send chills up your spine.

- A young girl discovers that a monster dwells beneath her bed.

- An antique store owner stumbles upon a circus artifact that local down-and-out's are just dying to see.

- A bare-knuckle boxer tries his luck in the ring one last time, only to fight tooth and nail by light of the full moon.

- A starving man sees only one option to survive the zombie apocalypse - by taking a bite of the undead.

These stories are only a sampling of the horror that lies in wait for you, should you choose to enter the mad brain child of Matt Hayward. Prepare to grit your teeth.

Praise for Brain Dead Blues

“I’ve read it and recommend it very, very highly”- Brian Keene, author of Ghoul and Pressure

“This short story collection is amazing! You will not find a bad story in this collection.” –Cedar Hollow Reviews

“Not content to conquer the rock music world via Lace Weeper and his own phenomenal solo work, Matt Hayward has now turned his attention to dark fiction, and how much richer we all are as a result. Brain Dead Blues is everything you’d expect from a rock star turned horror writer, documenting not only facets of the music world but also the darkness that can result from obsessions both creative and violent. I have long been a fan of both the music and the man behind it. Now I’m a fan of his writing too.” - Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of THE TURTLE BOY, KIN, and SOUR CANDY

"In BRAIN DEAD BLUES, Matt Hayward shows that he is one of horror's most distinctive new voices. This collection is full of evocative storytelling, vivid characterizations, and fresh takes on old tropes. Do yourself a favor and read it."  - Bryan Smith, author of DEPRAVED, 68 KILL and SLOWLY WE ROT

Matt Hayward, Biography -

Matt Hayward is an Irish, Wicklow based author and musician. His debut novel, What Do Monsters Fear?, releases July 2017, and a follow-up, co-written with Patrick Lacey, is due in 2018. His work has appeared in Clickers Forever, Dark Moon Digest, Tales From The Lake, The Horror Zine, Tales To Terrify, and many others. 

Purchase Amazon>br> Also online at other retailers!

Want to Feature?

If you’d like to review Brain Dead Blues or feature Matt Hayward, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Sinister Grin publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com.

Brain Dead BluesBrain Dead Blues by Matt Hayward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of BRAIN DEAD BLUES by Matt Hayward

My first reading of this author provided to be quite rewarding. Matt Hayward is an accomplished author, not a new jockey fresh out of the stable. BRAIN DEAD BLUES is an eclectic group of tales, bringing in diverse genres and categories. Many writers can bring horror, but only the outstanding bring horror so subtle that the monster is hugging your shoulders or sitting on your chest before you've realized your spine is chilled or your hair stands on end. Mr. Hayward's horror is terrifying, implacable--and possibly the subtlest I've ever read.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


Cut Corners v3 – Burke, Garton, Smith Sinister Grin Press

Publicist/Marketing: Erin Al-Mehairi

Contact: hookofabook@hotmail.com

Follow along the tour with these hashtags:


Cut Corners v 3, Synopsis –

Late, dark nights are perfect for reading surreal and terrifying tales from some of the best story tellers in the horror business. Grit your teeth, sit by the fire pit, and be prepared to possibly not return from underneath the spell of their writing prowess, but if you do, we’re certain you’ll have a sinister smile to share. All these modern stories have an element of thought-provoking surprise and style.

“Andromeda” –Kealan Patrick Burke

A grim story of a teen girl hooked to her cell phone that will make you think outside of your comfort level. Kealan Patrick Burke is a hauntingly lyrical and original writer of horror that will leave you breathless.

“The Barrell” – Bryan Smith

When a surprise barrel shows up out of nowhere on the back stoop, and the dogs start to bark at it uncontrollably, Martin becomes very suspicious and intrigued. Bryan Smith is a versatile and horrifying author who will leave you squeamish and chuckling.

“Afterparty” - Ray Garton

Jarrett is getting famous on the entertainment scene, but what will he have to do to remain in the industry? Brought to you by Ray Garton, a master of explicit detail and tense horror that entrances readers and doesn’t let them go.

Biographies –

Kealan Patrick Burke

Born and raised in a small harbor town in the south of Ireland, Kealan Patrick Burke knew from an early age that he was going to be a writer. The combination of an ancient locale, a horror-loving mother, and a family of storytellers, made it inevitable that he would end up telling stories for a living. Since those formative years, he has written five novels, over a hundred short stories, six collections, and edited four acclaimed anthologies. In 2004, he was honored with the Bram Stoker Award for his novella The Turtle Boy.

Kealan has worked as a waiter, a drama teacher, a mapmaker, a security guard, an assembly-line worker, a salesman (for a day), a bartender, landscape gardener, vocalist in a grunge band, curriculum content editor, fiction editor at Gothic.net, and, most recently, a fraud investigator.

When not writing, Kealan designs book covers through his company Elderlemon Design.

A number of his books have been optioned for film. You can find him at www.kealanpatrickburke.com.

Ray Garton

Ray Garton is the author of the classic vampire bestseller Live Girls, as well as Scissors, Sex and Violence in Hollywood, Ravenous, and dozens of other novels, novellas, tie-ins, and story collections. His new Moffet & Keoph investigation Vortex, the novella Crawlers, and his collection Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth are available for Kindle. He has been writing in the horror and suspense genres for more than 30 years and was the recipient of the Grand Master of Horror Award in 2006.  He lives in northern California with his wife Dawn where he is at work on a new novel.

Bryan Smith

Bryan Smith is the author of numerous novels and novellas, including Depraved, Slowly We Rot, The Killing Kind, and 68 KILL. The film adaptation of 68 KILL recently won the Midnighters audience award at SXSW. Bryan lives in TN with his wife Jenn and numerous animals. Visit his home on the web at thehorrorofbryansmith.blogspot.com and find him on his author fan page on Facebook.



Also online at other retailers!

Want to Feature?

If you’d like to review Cut Corners v 3 by Burke, Garton, or Smith, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Sinister Grin publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com. Cut Corners Volume 3Cut Corners Volume 3 by Ray Garton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

by Kealan Patrick Burke, Bryan D. Smith, and Ray Garton

This trilogy of excellent scary stories I recommend not to read at night or while alone. The second and third stories, by Bryan D. Smith and Ray Garton, I appreciated and admired, at a distance because those involve situations not likely to ever occur to me (well, the third anyway—I won't ever be a rock star {smile}. The first story, by Kealan Patrick Burke, could happen to anybody—anywhere—anytime. That story, “Andromeda,” scared the living daylights out of me (and still does a day after reading it.) While Bryan Smith's story and Ray Garton's store are purely horror, “Andromeda” is science fiction horror—but who knows what the future holds? I hope not the one Mr. Burke postulates here.

Review: Just Add Water

Just Add Water Just Add Water by Hunter Shea
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

by Hunter Shea

I never miss a title by Hunter Shea. No matter what his chosen topic, I'm going to experience a new and different twist on it. I classify JUST ADD WATER—in his MAILORDER MASSACRES Series—in the category of Morality Tale, subcategory “Be Careful What You Wish For.” Another subcategory for it is “Coming of Age: The Hard Way.” Mr. Shea (another author who does this well is Richard Chizmar) eloquently remembers and elucidates the lives and thinking of growing boys, specifically two thirteen-year-olds in this story.

Patrick and David are normal boys in early adolescent, loving baseball and monster films and of course, comic books. Amazingly, they share...and one day, no new comics they love are available, so they buy “Wonder Woman,” which is okay enough but not exciting, so they idly flip through the silly ads...and decide to order the Amazing Sea Serpents. Oh, dear.

“Be careful what you wish for...” The Amazing Sea Serpents disappoint...but unfortunately, the sludge they produce (which the boys think is excrement) is highly susceptible to mutation..with very unfortunate consequences.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

SHARKWATER BEACH by Tim Meyer_Review


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Sharkwater Beach, Synopsis –

Print Length: 180 pages

Publication Date: May 13, 2017

Publisher: Severed Press

Beneath the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the biggest predator on the planet hunts, craving the flesh and blood of every creature it can sink its teeth into. Detective Jill McCourty receives a phone call from her old college professor when a mangled body washes up on the shores of Sharkwater Beach. Together they must discover what stalks the waters around the private island and stop it before it reaches the mainland. But how do you stop something so enormous, something so unique that it may have existed in another time? Jill vows to make sure what happens at Sharkwater Beach, stays at Sharkwater Beach.

Praise for Worlds Between My Teeth

“I liked a lot of this story. Meyer kills it with his action scenes, his gore, and does a great job with a number of these characters. His strengths remind me of Hunter Shea. There's definitely a ton of talent here.” – Glenn Rolfe, author of Becoming Purchase Amazon Want to Feature? If you’re a book blogger or media site and would like to feature Tim Meyer or review Sharkwater Beach, contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com.

Tim Meyer, Biography Tim Meyer dwells in a dark cave near the Jersey Shore. He’s an author, husband, father, podcast host, blogger, coffee connoisseur, beer enthusiast, and explorer of worlds. He writes horror, mysteries, science fiction, and thrillers, although he prefers to blur genres and let the stories fall where they may. Among other titles, he’s previously published the short story collection, Worlds Between My Teeth.

You can follow Tim at https://timmeyerwrites.com where he has great content and features author interviews and you can sign-up for his newsletter!
Like his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/authortimmeyer or you can also find him on Twitter as @timmeyer11.

Review of SHARKWATER BEACH by Tim Meyer

I loved this book! I really enjoy marine horror (probably because I'm hydrophobic LOL) and this is excellently done. Author Tim Meyer really knows how to delve deep into his characters, several of them in depth, and also fleshes out supporting characters too. We get the down-low on the good guys, the bad guys, the half-and-halves, and super hints of a megalomaniac wealthy corporate founder masterminding in the deep background. PLUS we get super horror, and it's not just scary hauntings, this is pure human-research-gone-too-far coupled with terrifying science fiction probabilities. See if this one doesn't keep you awake many nights!

Monday, May 22, 2017

A LIFE REMOVED by Jason Parent_Review

A Life RemovedA Life Removed by Jason Parent
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

by Jason Parent

I found this mystery/thriller novel riveting. Jason Parent has quite a talent for writing complexity, and truly I did not see the twists this novel would take. Everything fit together quite well, though, and the tapestry is tautly woven and ultimately horrifying. It's easy to dismiss such a story as fiction, but the discerning reader is left pondering, “But what if--?”

This is not a good-guys vs. bad guys simplicity. This plot is complicated, as are the characters (even though some of them persist in denying their complexity) and some aspects were quite revelational to this reader. Granted, the story is quite violent and gory; again, this is not done for prurient satisfaction, but is an integral part of the characterization and plotting. For writers, there is a definite character arc and character evolution; for readers, enthrallment and “can't put the story aside” focus.

Synopsis of A LIFE REMOVED 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.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Review: The Ghost Line

The Ghost Line The Ghost Line by Andrew Neil Gray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

by Andrew Neil Gray and J. S. Herbison

What an exciting novella! I hope this universe will be expanded on, as I totally enjoyed the characters and the convoluted plotting, not to mention the advanced reason behind the events on the abandoned vessel, THE MARTIAN QUEEN. In many ways I found this story particularly special and engaging.

A married couple who explore abandoned asteroid habitats and space vessels are hired by a woman who claims to be acting on behalf of a corporation, to hack The Martian Queen, a ship which three decades ago flew between Mars and Earth, providing an upscale experience The Titanic and The Lusitania might envy. When the company went bankrupt, new ownership shut down the ship and left it in orbit. Now the ship is to be hacked and sent out of orbit—supposedly. In actuality, what Wei intends is far from anything Saga and Michel or their pilot Gregor could possibly expect; and even stranger is the ship's intention.

THE GHOST LINE is a riveting science fiction experience, but I think it will be enjoyed just as much by readers of other genres. It's just that excellent.

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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Review: Death Shall Come: A Country House Murder Mystery

Death Shall Come: A Country House Murder Mystery Death Shall Come: A Country House Murder Mystery by Simon R. Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

by Simon Green
(An Ishmael Jones Mystery)

I am ecstatic over this series, which more than capably combines science fiction, paranormal elements, horror, and mystery into a thrilling stew in each and every novel. Ishmael Jones (“Call me Ishmael. Ishmael Jones”) is a category all his own: at one time, he was an extraterrestrial alien. In 1963 his ship crashed in rural Britain, and he was transformed into a human form, while maintaining his exceptional powers and skills. His tenure is seemingly endless, while the humans he encounters of course age and die. In this series, he has partnered with Penny Belfour, after her family and family home were attacked by a vampire. Penny knows he is “something else,” but not what, and loves him despite it. His role is to protect humanity from “otherness,” which often comes in the form of danger and destruction.

The Organization, which contracts Ishmael, is shadowy and beyond covert. His only contact is The Colonel, who summons Ishmael to his wife's family home, Cardavan House, to protect the family following the acquisition of a very rare, previously unknown, mummy, that of the first Cleopatra, whose record is lost to antiquity. Penny hopes for something out of her beloved mummy horror films, but what she and Ishmael discover, and have to combat, is far worse; and for Ishmael, far closer to home.

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Review: Life in a Haunted House

Life in a Haunted House Life in a Haunted House by Norman Prentiss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

by Norman Prentiss

Multi-layered and riveting, LIVING IN A HAUNTED HOUSE is coming-of-age, plus parental rifts, plus potential mental disorder, plus high-school targeting-the-odd-one-out, plus film mania (or obsession or devotion), friendship (or not), truth-telling (or not). I love stories where the characters gaslight each other, or where the author gaslights the reader, so that I have to discern truth from illusion, facts from lies. All the way through, I held to one perceived “truth,” but was buffeted throughout by characters' claims of “That never happened,” “That doesn't exist,” “I never said that,” “I don't know you,” and so forth. By the end, all had been unraveled and rewoven, and I finished the novel with a feeling of great satisfaction, of a story eloquently delivered, of an author who made this reader live the story vividly.

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Review: Life in a Haunted House

Life in a Haunted House Life in a Haunted House by Norman Prentiss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

by Norman Prentiss

Multi-layered and riveting, LIVING IN A HAUNTED HOUSE is coming-of-age, plus parental rifts, plus potential mental disorder, plus high-school targeting-the-odd-one-out, plus film mania (or obsession or devotion), friendship (or not), truth-telling (or not). I love stories where the characters gaslight each other, or where the author gaslights the reader, so that I have to discern truth from illusion, facts from lies. All the way through, I held to one perceived “truth,” but was buffeted throughout by characters' claims of “That never happened,” “That doesn't exist,” “I never said that,” “I don't know you,” and so forth. By the end, all had been unraveled and rewoven, and I finished the novel with a feeling of great satisfaction, of a story eloquently delivered, of an author who made this reader live the story vividly.

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Review: Dead 'til Dawn

Dead 'til Dawn Dead 'til Dawn by Gerald Dean Rice
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: DEAD TIL DAWN by Gerald Rice

DEAD TIL DAWN is a blast!! Readers who are already fans of author Gerald Rice already know what he can do, and those new to him will find this novel a superb introduction. This is not a zombie story, though there are plenty of mobile dead. Mr. Rice does a riff on a potentially valid premise, akin to original Zombi as created in Haiti by houngans. In the first chapter, I was thinking, "Ooooh, shades of Poe' s "Premature Burial," done up right in modern Detroit. Well, not so much so after all. It's trite to say "nonstop roller cqoaster action," but it's true. The action never stops, and you just can't keep them down, not the bad guys nor the good guys. Just read it!!

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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Review: The Hunted

The Hunted The Hunted by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

TRACKERS 2: THE HUNTED continues the story of the North Korean-caused EMPs and the destruction of Washington D. C., with exciting (and horrifying) every-page action. Author Nicholas Sansbury Smith applies his research and his experience in disaster preparedness to vivify what could be if the current (or future) geopolitical climate debilitated and the protocols preventing nuclear attacks collapsed.

Again set in Estes Park, Colorado, and offshore in the newly reconstructed US government, survivors are trying to piece together a present and future, laying up supplies and protecting their families, while criminals and psychopaths utilize the chaos for their own further endeavours. Synchronicity provided that I read these two books right after reading an upcoming thriller dealing with white supremacy, because a supremacist psychopath is a major portion of this installment.

Reading TRACKERS and TRACKERS 2: THE HUNTED left me invigorated, dismayed, and thinking analytically about the present and the potential near-future possibilites. I'm also left hungry for the next in the series, TRACKERS 3: THE STORM.

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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Review: In The Blood: The Blood Flows

In The Blood: The Blood Flows In The Blood: The Blood Flows by Lee Isserow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

by Lee Isserow

This is an action-packed sci-fi thriller series which definitely keeps the reader suspensefully wound up throughout. Ben, whose mother was killed when he was just a small boy, waits decades for the supposed murderer to be released. Then he discovers that the convicted man wasn't the murderer at all...and that the culprit is something seemingly impossible and beyond belief. Almost worse, the British government has a squad investigating this “condition,” and adult Ben is co-opted into it. Of course, nothing is ever straightforward and honest, and soon he discovers that monsters can be human as well as “other.” On the run with another victim and her five-year-old “nephew,” Ben determines to locate his father, the one person possibly able to shed some light on the “goblins” (hemoglobin creatures). Each novella in this series is so fast-paced the reader is at the end almost without realising, eager for the next installment. The series will conclude with Book 5, BLOOD BATH.

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Review: Trackers

Trackers Trackers by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of TRACKERS
by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

TRACKERS is a tremendously exciting novel, the first by this author I had read. It won't be the last. It was heart-in-mouth reading from about the first page, through to the last. Thrills, chills, terror, sorrow, all wrapped in the love of parents for children and mature love, plus abnormal psychology and Native American legendry brought to life.

The plot of TRACKERS is amazingly apropos (making the story all the more terrifying and realistic.) North Korea attacks the U.S. With electromagnetic pulses caused by high-altitude nuclear explosions, and the loss of the grid inevitably results in a collapsed federal government, nearly total loss of communications, as well as loss of electricity and any electrical devices.

I read TRACKERS in one sitting and I scarcely breathed throughout the reading. What a thriller!

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Review: The Devil's Colony

The Devil's Colony The Devil's Colony by Bill Schweigart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

by Bill Schweigart

This stunning horror/mystery/paranormal thriller is the third in the trilogy that begins with BEAST OF BARCROFT and continues in NORTHWOODS. I loved all three of these books, which elucidate in-depth characters realistically while exploring preternatural creatures and events. THE DEVIL'S CANYON is quite currently apropos, and is set in a white supremacist enclave in, of all places, the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. The site's owner and supposed driving force is Henry Drexler, Princeton anthropology professor emeritus, former professor and colleague of Richard Severance, billionaire cryptozoologist, and Alex Standingcloud, Native American warrior and cryptid hunter.

Drexler's compound is called “Valkommen,” Swedish for “Welcome.” The open invitation is quite exclusive though, although Drexler insists that this is coincidental. The story is non-stop action and excitement, satisfying to thriller fans as well as horror aficionados and even has some Lovecraftian frissons.

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Friday, May 5, 2017

Review: The Note

The Note The Note by Andrew Barrett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of THE NOTE

by Andrew Barrett

I really enjoyed this dark little story. CSI Eddie Collins of Leeds is a loner, a man with a high moral character who does not tolerate fools gladly. In this story he is called out on a night shift to do forensic work on a murder victim outside a trashy pub. He realizes he recognizes the man, a recent victim of violent domestic abuse. Within a short time, Collins finds himself wrapped up within the case, his very existence threatened, as his past comes to claim him.

THE NOTE is a tautly-plotted short story, revelatory of CSI work, and a revealing look at abnormal psychology.

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Review: The Unorthodox Dr. Draper and Other Stories

The Unorthodox Dr. Draper and Other Stories The Unorthodox Dr. Draper and Other Stories by William Browning Spencer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

by William Browning Spencer

Irony is the key here, irony and Lovecraft. Think those two themes don't work well together? Try this collection of stories (and a delightful Lovecraftian poem). These aren't usually laugh-out-loud humour, but they are humorous, and quite often, poetically just. I found the Lovecraft touches awesome. Mr. Spencer definitely has a unique view of the Lovecraftian Mythos and of the world which we (most of us) inhabit.

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Review: The Spirit Box

The Spirit Box The Spirit Box by Lee Isserow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

by Lee Isserow

Immediately I was totally engrossed in this story, and am eagerly anticipating the next in this new series. Author Lee Isserow has quite the imagination, and here he successfully balances magic and mundaneity, weaving them together in such a way that opening a door to another country seems natural, as does demolecularizing oneself to pass through walls and fences. I readily suspended any disbelief and threw myself into the story line. Magickian Rafe Carter, the scion of a line of strong magickians, is himself—not quite. He's feckless, determined, knowledgeable—but life just keeps throwing him wrenches in the works, tripping him up, no matter how determined and dedicated is he.

The twists are sharp and unexpected, the characters are truly delightful. This story is definitely a winner in my estimation.

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Review: State Island

State Island State Island by Nick Younker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of STATE ISLAND by Nick Younker

STATE ISLAND is a cut-to-the-chase horror novella set on a tiny but well-populated island in Lake Michigan. A kleptomaniacal child, acting out since the sudden death of his mother, steals a portion of the Stone Cairn, a legendary construction of the Hopewell Indians, a millennia in the past. Subsequently, those on the island discover just what the Hopewell erected the Cairn.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Review: Cabello

Cabello Cabello by Grea Alexander
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review of CABELLO
by Grea Alexander

Revenge is not always a dish better eaten cold. Sometimes it's better not to eat it at all, as Mineau December and Mateo, the only person to whom she opens up, find out. Mineau lives a life of tribulations I wouldn't wish on anyone. Subject to physical abuse constantly, then sexual abuse is added to it, and she quickly finds out that in the small community of Saintsville, Texas, saints are few and far between, and even plain old “good” characters are too. Mineau literally can trust no one, because almost everyone wants to hurt her.

Until--- revenge begins, not as Mineau had planned or could even have imagined. It's brutal, ugly, injurious—and poetically just, if not ever merciful.

CABELLO is the first in a series.

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Review: The Well

The Well The Well by Marie Sexton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of THE WELL
by Marie Sexton

Oh wow! When I first read the blurb, I knew I was going to enjoy this novel. I more than enjoyed it, I love it. The author, Marie Sexton, does a special job of delineating the fine line of tension between skepticism and belief in the supernatural/paranormal/otherworldly. For some of us, one perception or the other is constant; for others, skepticism can change to belief, and belief to skepticism, and all that is well demonstrated in this book. Ms. Sexton also does a superb job of keeping the “real facts” in abeyance until she is ready to expose them, so we read the story without “knowing” everything, just as the characters have to muddle through, try to do their best, investigate, ponder, and put together the pieces.

Two events, twelve years apart, are interwoven, and combined as well are events from twenty years before the first story event. A murder, a suicide, disappearances; a séance, another disappearance; a breakup, another breakup; a television paranormal investigative series and a chance at reunion. There's not a moment's letdown in this story, which I read in one sitting because I couldn't step away.

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