Blog Archives

Quickie Book Review – Waking the Dead by Heather Graham

Waking the DeadWaking the Dead by Heather Graham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved how this book mixes occult themes, suspense, and history together, and I enjoyed reading it. The larger cast of central characters was well developed and interacted nicely with each other and the plot itself was inventive and spine-tingly. Recommend!

Quickie Book Review – The Neighbors by Ania Ahlborn

The NeighborsThe Neighbors by Ania Ahlborn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having read Ahlborn’s first novel, Seed, I was excited to find another spine-tingling tale of hers and downloaded it the minute I found it. And this book did not disappoint.

The plot kept me guessing, the gore factor was moderately high and the characters perfectly twisted and bent under the authors expertly crafted narrative. Recommended for sure!

#Free Short Story Collection – Still Life Paintings by Karen Fowler (7/26/13 only!)

Just wanted to pop in and let everyone know that Karen’s short story collection Still Life Paintings is free today only over on Amazon!

Click on the book’s cover to go get your copy!

BLANK cover smaller

Quickie Book Review – Bedlam Maternity by Morgan Gallagher

Bedlam MaternityBedlam Maternity by Morgan Gallagher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Very well done. The writing was tight, yet evocative in the “chills up your spine” kind of way. Definitely recommend for fans of classic horror stories. The setting (hospital) and cast of characters amped up the ghastly tension even further too.

I read this as an ARC a while back, and I can still recall the details with enough clarity to re-goosbump myself. So that’s saying something about the power of the story, for sure!

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Book Review – Disintegration by Scott Nicholson

DisintegrationDisintegration by Scott Nicholson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first book that I’ve read in a while that has me at a loss when it comes time to review. I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way. I’m just torn. So I guess I’ll just elaborate and let the readers make up their own minds.

First, Nicholson is a stellar writer. In this novel, he’s given us rare glimpses into the F-ed up minds of the characters. (Sorry to be so blunt, but that’s completely accurate, in my opinion.) Nicholson’s like an evil genius that way– to show me how completely screwed up a person can become while still functioning in society. The plot is twisty and murky at times, and I totally didn’t see the numerous plot twists at the end. The opening chapters were some of the hardest I’ve ever read– in terms of tragic subject matter, but they were also the most visceral and vivid I’ve read in a while too.

Now, I had a few minor issues too. I feel like there wasn’t a single character to root for through the suspenseful plot. I liked the wife (forget her name, sometimes my own too) well enough, but almost from the beginning I was conflicted by her. Something seemed off about her. So I didn’t make a connection with any of them, really. As good as this book was, it would have been stellar if I’d grown to care for someone, only to see the error of my ways at the end.

My other nit-pick is the names of the twin main characters, Joseph and Jacob. I get it. Twins have twinsy names, but dang-it, I had to go back and read once or twice because I kept confusing the two and then what was happening at the time didn’t make as much sense. I hate getting sucked out of the story like that. But, it only happened infrequently and I’ve already confessed my lack of name-remembering, so the fault there might be my own.

Overall, I will certainly read more by Nicholson, as his mind seems to be as warped as my own and I can’t wait to see what else he’s created in that diabolical noggin of his!

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SEED by Ania Ahlborn – Book Review

The second book in my 24-hour reading marathon was SEED by Ania Ahlborn. This was one of those books that made me tweet about it immediately upon reading the last sentence. Yum, it was good!

From the cover alone I expected creeped-out, pulse-pounding hours of reading. I mean, look at it, doesn’t it just give you goosebumps? The blurb is equally spooky. (I’ll post it below for the lazy 🙂 )

From the beggining I was hooked, and Alhborn just kept ratcheting up the tension all the way until the end. She writes with an honest elegance, cutting to the core of human emotions and fear without author-interjection, making the characters live and breathe within the pages of her words. 

I’m not sure why women are mostly absent from the list of stellar horror writers, but one thing is for sure, with Seed as her debut novel, Ahlborn is set on a course to take her rightful place beside notables such as King and Konrath/ Kilbourn very soon.

Product Description from Amazon
Fans of Stephen King, Jack Kilborn, and Blake Crouch… prepare to meet the Devil.

In the vine-twisted swamps of Louisiana, the shadows have teeth.

Jack Winter has spent his entire life running from something no one else can see. His childhood is his darkest secret, but after a near fatal accident along a deserted road, the darkness he was sure he’d escaped rears its ugly head… and smiles.

But this time, he isn’t the only one who sees the soulless eyes of his past. This time, his six-year-old daughter Charlie leans into his ear and whispers: “Daddy, I saw it too.”

And then she begins to change.

Faced with reliving the nightmares of his childhood, Jack watches his daughter spiral into the shadows that had nearly consumed him twenty years before.

But Charlie isn’t the only one who’s changing.

Jack never outran the darkness. It’s been with him all along.

And it’s hungrier than ever.

A new breed of dark fiction: the subtlety of Seed will haunt you, and the end will wickedly satisfy.

{See! How deliciously creepy!}

Oh, and don’t forget to head over to Amazon and snag your FREE copy of Skin. Today’s the last day it will be free for a good while!

Free Book Alerts: SKIN, The Devil’s Deep, Dark Horse and more!

I started to post just to let you guys know that I’ve decided to run a limited-time FREE promo for SKIN over on Amazon. But then I realized that I had several things to share… so I’ll get to the sharing!

For two days only (Sunday the 8th and Monday the 9th) anyone can download the kindle version of SKIN . No coupon or trouble at all. Just please check the pricing before you download to make sure it still says FREE, and not just Free to borrow if you are an Amazon Prime member, m’kay? (clicking on the book cover below or the link above will get you there.)

While searching for venues to announce the freebie ebook promo for SKIN, I ran across a site that had a great link to Amazon. Not sure how it works, but it takes you to All the free (and current!) ebooks on Amazon. How cool is that?

Lastly, I thought I’d post of few Free Books available from Indie’s that I’ve seen around on Kindleboards, Facebook etc. Feel free to add any more in the comments, but please keep it this side of Spam. Thanks!

Feel free share this post with your friends and what-not. I’ll send metaphorical hugs your way for #RT’s too!

SKIN Gets a New Cover

So, I’ll admit I’m always tinkering with Photoshop (at work and after) and sometimes I’ll do something like make a whole new cover for a book on a whim. This time Skin got the makeover.

What do you think? Doesn’t he look so much more handsome now? Rugged too! (I’ll post the old cover right under the new one for comparison purposes!)

 New

 Old

For a change, my playing around on the computer has paid off. SKIN needed the makeover and I was never really satisfied with the original cover. Now, if my new cover will lure in more readers…

Mental Shrillness by Todd Russell – And Why Short Stories Rock!

MENTAL SHRILLNESS by TODD RUSSELL

Website: http://toddrwrite.com/

This collection of short stories, MENTAL SHRILLNESS is a very good example of abbreviated fiction at it’s finest. I’ll get to the book itself in a minute, but first I want to discuss Shorts in general.

Not everyone is a fan of short stories, but I tend to think that has more to do with what readers are used to (printable novel-length fiction) because that’s all Traditional publishers have printed for years. But I can see the tides a’turning, and if more authors of Mr. Russell’s caliber put these collections out there, I think readers will see that shorts are not “lesser” stories, they are just condensed. And much easier to read while your standing in line at the Post-Office.

In fact, writing a top-notch story is arguably harder to accomplish. There is much less real estate involved, and each and every word must pack the proverbial gut-punch. Think of it this way, if you asked to explain something in under 50 words or with a 1,000 word limit, which do you think would be easier?

Now, with that said, not all Shorts are created equal. It’s very hard to tell a compelling, complete story, and sometimes the overall story may suffer. That is not true with this horror collection from Todd Russell. His prose is as cutting and sharp as a scalpel, and he minces no time in drawing readers into his warped world.

Most certainly not for the faint of heart, MENTAL SHRILLNESS explores, in bite-sized portions, universal themes of betrayal, lust, mental illness, undying love and desire, with disturbing finesse.

I was disturbed by these stories, especially Pains in the Glass, Falling In Bobbitt and Death Warmed Over, though not as much as I probably should have been. Instead of personally being grossed out, I was sucked into as a silent observer, very much involved in the stories. I could see them, smell them, hear them- essentially this book played out like short episodes in my mind. I felt more than I read, if that makes any sense.

The last story The Illusion whispered faintly of a specific Nathaniel Hawthorne story to me, but I can’t tell you why without telling you how.  So instead, I invite you to read the story and post in the comments what story you think I’m referring to (explain yourself please as well) and there might be a goodie for whoever gets it right first. I must warn you though, the connection is tenuous at best, and I may be inventing it completely, but I do feel even my imagined binding-thread speaks volumes for the high level of writing in this collection.

The included Author’s notes are damn-near as interesting as the stories themselves, and it’s not everyday that you get to hear the method behind the madness. So, if you feel brave enough, drop a trail of breadcrumbs behind you, grab a flashlight, and enter into MENTAL SHRILLNESS.

Mental Shrillness is Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Serial Uncut – Book Review

Serial UncutSerial Uncut by Blake Crouch, Jack Kilborn, J. A. Konrath
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Twisted, pulse-quickening, stomach-churning, unadulterated horror fiction at it’s finest. I could struggle to come up with a handful more words rich in descriptives, but really, youbshould just read the book. Nothing I say will prepare you for what lies between the covers of Serial Uncut anyway.

I want to note that the writing is clear, concise, and leaves room for your imagination instead of filling in every bloody detail, and the book is better for it. It let’s the reader ponder and makes the experience that much more personal.

*****A word of warning- if you are infirmed, have a heart condition, have a hair-trigger gag reflex, or plan on eating soon, you might want to at least keep a bottle of tums handy. Consider yourself warned!

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