Archive for September, 2017

Blanky book tour- Blanky by Kealan Patrick Burke

September 18, 2017 - 6:31 pm No Comments

We are honoured here at Terror Tree to be involved in the Blanky book Tour. written by Kealan Patrick Burke. Today is the review of the creepy, heartbreaking book. Come back tomorrow to find out more about the author. If you like what you read, you can pick up a copy here. http://amzn.eu/cWldM42

Blanky by Kealan Patrick Burke
Published 12th September 2017
73 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

After losing their baby Steve and Lexi’s marriage fell apart. Not wanting to stay in the house, Lexi moved out leaving Steve alone. Living on alcohol and trash TV, Steve just wanted drink himself to an early grave. Until one night, he heard a noise from his daughter’s room, a room that had been empty for 6 months. After investigating he found Blanky, the blanket that his baby daughter took to bed.
Steven’s grief was raw, and you knew that is whole life had fell apart. However, he had a purpose once he found the blanket. He was getting his life back track, going out with his work mates and rekindling his marriage, but fate has an evil streak. After he started having the nightmares and disaster strikes again, he became a man possessed and he only has the blanket on his mind.
This story is enthralling, how something so innocent like a baby’s blanket can be made so creepy. Steven’s grief was real and as a mom I would not wish this on anyone. As you are reading this book, you are following Steve’s journey as he comes to terms with his loss and whilst you are feeling sorry for Steve, the author adds a twist that has you doubting your loyalties and I finished the book not knowing who I believed.
As this is a short story, it can be easily read in one sitting. Reading this it will have you displaying so many emotions and at the end I felt that I had ran an emotional marathon. Although, this is a horror book, it is also a story about grief and loss. This is the 1st book I have read by this author but it will not be the last. I have just downloaded a couple more to read.

Supernatural: The Usual Sacrifices by Yvonne Navarro

September 17, 2017 - 4:05 pm No Comments

The Usual Sacrifices (Supernatural 15)
Author: Yvonne Navarro
Publisher: Titan Books
Page count: 336pp
Release date: 27th June 2017
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
Online: @TitanBooks, #SPNFamily, @YvonneNavarro
TV Bit: Season 10 (Mark of Cain) between ‘The Hunter Games’ and ‘Halt & Catch Fire’

 

Right, for those who haven’t watched TV series Supernatural here’s a brief 30 Sci day update.
Sam and Dean, twenty-something year old brothers, lose their Mom when Sam, the youngest, is 6 months old. A yellow eyed de,on burns her on the ceiling and John Winchester, dad to Sam and Dean, husband to Mary, spends his life as a hunter training the boys to hunt all kinds of supernatural creatures; vampires, werewolves, zombies, witches, ghosts; you name it they hunt it. Season 9, Dean hook on the Mark of Cain; basically to save his brother but it causes intense rage and anger. He still has this in S10. So, in this book, Dean is a volcano of emotions about to explode and Navarro manages to weave this thread into the narrative. We can sense Dean’s frustration and attempts to not beat the crap out of people, particularly the Sherriff’s department.
Now for this book itself. It starts with the boys, always the boys, heading off to investigate a new case involving multiple disappearances in Mammoth Cave.
As Lucy the Southern woman they meet points out, as they enter the town with missing people, the Bronwsdale folks aren’t exactly friendly and seem to have forgotten the meaning of ‘southern hospitality’. As the boys pull into a grocery store parking lot to ask a local woman for information she literally runs away yelling “I don’t talk to strangers.”
Just slightly jumpy then.
When they go to the local diner for food, it’s a little like the Slaughtered Lamb in American Werewolf in London; hushed voices and stares, though the diner scene allows for Navarro to show us a familiar characteristic of Dean (his humongous appetite) especially for all things bad for him. The scene is particularly funny. It’s a great opener to get to know the brothers.
It’s here that we get a feel for what might be going on, just like the brothers do.
There have been disappearances – mostly travellers, hitch hikers; strangers.
According to one local, the Mammoth Caves take their due. When two visiting teenage girls related to the new librarian disappear the sheriff and the locals don’t seem to be doing anything to find them.
As Sam puts it; “It’s all pretty and small-town America on the surface, but there’s something really nasty underneath.”
Cinnamon, the local psychic, is a great character. I love when the boys get discombobulated by another person during an investigation- especially when it’s a five foot nothing old woman in a polka dot dress.
The story itself follows the detective/mystery route, but it’s the characters, and the darkness hiding beneath a ‘Pleasantville’ veneer in the town, which makes the book so engaging. As for the dark, this is literally visualised in the caves and caverns that various people, including the boys, explore.
They reflect the darkness hidden by the townspeople and the sheriff, with scenes in the Mammoth Caves pretty creepy and atmospheric.
It’s clear from this book that Titan only commission Supernatural tie-ins from writers who know and love the universe. Sam and Dean are pretty much spot-on and the end scenes with the denouement, as referenced by Navarro, is almost like H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine in parts. You’ll figure out why when you read it.
I loved this book.
It’s a great to whet your appetite in the current season break behind S13 returns 12th Oct.
Awesome, as Dean might say.

Ugly Little Things by Todd Keisling

September 15, 2017 - 6:46 pm No Comments

Ugly Little Things by Todd Keisling
Published by Crystal Lake Publishing on 15th September 2017
287 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies


Having not read anything by Todd Keisling, I didn’t know what to expect, but with titles like House of Nettle and Thorn and Saving Granny from the Devil, I wanted to find out. With 11 short stories to read you will encounter creepy dolls, an imaginary friend called Harvey and even a group of up and coming rock stars.
A Man in your Garden: Written from the 1st person POV, about a resident, that thinks there is a man in their garden. This story captured the person emotions after something catches their eye, ranging from doubt, anger, drunken ramblings and more. A gentle start to the book.
Show me where the Waters fill your grave: Jonathon spends his time watching the weather channel, waiting for news of a large rain storm. A widower of 4 years, he really misses his wife, but what happens when the land begins to flood. Throughout this story you can really feel Jonathon’s grief and the love he had for his wife and whilst the story concentrates on the current rainstorm, you learn more about their romance and the incident after Jonathon’s wife death. Throughout this story you know something is going on and that Jonathon is waiting for something to happen but what went on is not what I expected.
Radio Free Nowhere: Conrad and Ashley were on a road trip and like most of families cannot agree on the music for the journey. However; when Ashley hears a song, she cannot get out of her mind, it takes on an unexpected journey. Reading this story, I felt that Conrad was a bit of control freak, and on this journey Ashley found smalls way to defy him. When she heard the song for the 1st time, it reminded me of sailors hearing the sirens sing.
The Otherland Express: Gregory was running away after finally having enough of his abusive father. Meeting John Doe, he learns the secret of being invisible to others. Gregory teenage life was so sad and I could understand why he ran away and why he wanted to board the coach with John Doe. How he became invisible had an alien feel to it and it just shows how brave Gregory is.
Saving Granny from The Devil: Toddy’s best friend was his great grandma, spending most of his time with her, he would do anything for her. When Harvey a mysterious man rescues Toddy from bullies, it takes time for Toddy to realise who he is and when Toddy’s grandma falls ill, the deal he makes shapes his life. This was one of my favourite stories, and I enjoyed how a short story catalogued most of Toddy’s life, how he grew up, what he became and his regrets all because he loved his grandma and made a deal with Harvey.
The Darkness Between Dead Stars: Written by a member of the committee, this story tells us what really happened to Maxwell Foster on his one-man expedition in space. This story had the feel of a dying man’s confession and you could feel how guilty he was sending Maxwell into space. Reading how Maxwell was cracking up, I did keep wondering what was causing him to lose his mind.
Human Resources: Written in the style of an email, this is Alex’s resignation. The 1st paragraph was not what I was expecting for his reason for his resignation and I had to admit I did have a snigger when I read this. As he goes on explaining what else he had done, he does sound like a man possessed. The ending had me believe he was in some sort of cult and that he had gone mad. A different style of short story.
House of Nettle and Thorn: Jim and Nick have been invited to a party at a sorority house by a girl Jim had me online. They were typical hormonal lads, especially when they saw the girls at the house, think the brides of Dracula. Even when Nick sensed he was in danger he ignored it for a good time. Whilst there were hints on the identity of the girls from the start, their true form was not revealed till later into the story, this added suspense to the story and when it was discovered why they really wanted the boys, you just knew that Nick and Jim had no chance. A chilling story.
When Karen Met Her Mountain: Karen and Martin journey home soon turns into a matter of life and death. The story charts Karen’s recovery from depression, and whilst she was with Martin was vulnerable and relied heavily on him for support. However, when her life was in danger, she was a different person, strong, resourceful and focused on her task. I was surprised at how violent she could be and the unexpected twist at the end was graphic an a just ending.
The Harbinger: Felix a reporter for Toys in the Attic had an interview with the Miss Maggie Eloquence, a doll manufacturer. Renowned for their dolls, people travel far and wide to visit the town called Dalton. From the moment Felix arrived in the town, he knew something was wrong, a rancid smell and creepy dolls.
Porcelain dolls are one thing that creeps some people out and this story plays on those fears. The story had a slow build, a slight movement out of the corner of your eye, a head turned to watch, this really played on Felix’s mind and through all this was a terrible smell of pigs. The story intensified when Felix met Maggie. I had an admiration for Felix as with everything that happened to him, he never once turned back to alcohol. One of favourite scenes was when Felix fought against Noah and all I could think of was Chucky. This is one story I would like to know what happened when Felix drove away.
The last story is the novella The Final Reconciliation, previously released in February, this tells the story of an up and coming rock band The Yellow Kings. Johnny, Aidan, Hank and Bobby, all friends with a love of music. Embarking on a small tour, they quickly built up a dedicated fan base. After one gig they met Camilla, and from that first meeting, she took the band to a horrific high.
The story was written from Aidan’s POV as he gave an interview to a reporter 30 year after the tragic event. Reading this story, you could see how loyal Aidan was to his friends. Whilst he did not like the direction that Johnny was taking the band, he still stuck with them. Throughout the story there were hints to what Camilla is, but it was not until Aidan started having his dreams and the band started to record their album, that things start to get macabre. The secret gig was savage and a gory and when Aidan thought he had closure the reporter told him something that would make him lose his mind.
Whilst this story was gory in parts, the descriptive writing, made you live Aidan’s story. Carcosa even though a horrific place also had a beauty to it. The smaller details like the Chapter list, listed as song titles on an Album, and the reference to heavy metal made this a must read for horror and metal lovers. A great novella.
This is another book published by Crystal Lake that did not disappoint. Another great read

Jimmie’s Ice Cream (Diary of a Serial Killer Book 2) and Thing Fifteen (Diary of a Serial Killer Book 3) by Erin Lee

September 12, 2017 - 9:53 pm No Comments

Jimmie’s Ice Cream (Diary of a Serial Killer Book 2) by Erin Lee

Published by Zombie Cupcake Press on 8th July 2017

166 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

The story starts 6 months after book 1, Jimmie has been trying to fight his cravings and FBI agent Florel Ross has placed her ad, but with no success. Still bullied at work Jimmie decides to do something for himself and opens his own Ice cream shop, well his does like ice cream.

The story followed the same format as the first, changing from Jimmie’s exploits to Florel’s investigations. Jimmie writing in his journal, explained more of his story and his thoughts on each of his things. When he opened his own shop you just knew it would succeed as whatever he does he plans it in minute detail. I would have loved to see his bosses faces when he resigned and they had to do all his work. In book one I liked Florel, however in book 2 she was egotistic, she thought she could capture Jimmie by herself, her motives were to get inside his head all for science. Not relying on anyone for help got her into a life and death situation and due to a stupid mistake, I lost all interest in her.

Whilst I did not like where Florel’s story was taking me, there was a reason for this and as the story progressed, you could see Jimmie starting to crack. When Jimmie was reminiscing of his kills, there are reminders of book 1 and if you read book 1 when it 1st came out, it is a nice reminder of what happened. Whilst the ending was not what I expected, it does lead nicely into book 3

 

Thing Fifteen (Diary of a Serial Killer Book 3) by Erin Lee

Published by Zombie Cupcake Press on 5th August 2017

121 Pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

 

 Jimmie has been arrested and now serving his time in a mental institute and he still apart from his favourite thing number 15. I like that this book was slightly different to the others as the author selected Jimmie’s favourite thing to tell the story.

Beverley number 15 had always been Jimmie’s favourite and her side of the story went into more detail on how she ended up in the freezer, her narration showed real hatred of Jimmie ending her life and how she was going to get her revenge. I enjoyed reading the story from her POV as you got to understand more of what Jimmie did to her on their Thursday date nights. When she was alive she was quite a quiet individual but did like to shock people, and she did like the attention from Jimmie.  Jimmie story was mainly him writing his journal going back over his kills and you could sense he was still getting a kick out of what he did. Never did he once show remorse.

I thought this was a better read than book 2 maybe because Florel did not pay a big part in it. I felt I understood more about Jimmie from his journals and Beverly’s introduction to his mom. There were a few funny moment when Beverley was taking the mick out of Jimmie and she did like being in control of the situation. I am glad I read book 2 and 3 after each other as the story seemed to flow smoothly. The epilogue was thought provoking as Beverley even with everything she did had not found peace and there was still not closure. Once you have finished this book carry on reading as it was interesting to see all the research that was done to write these books and there is also an interview with the author done by Amy Bernal.

The Unremembered by A Maslo and Red by Jessi Mcpherson

September 9, 2017 - 8:51 pm No Comments

The Unremembered by A Maslo

Published by Zombie Cupcake Press on 9th September 2017

49 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

When the Queen wanted Aeliana, the princess in an elven kingdom to marry, what she didn’t expect is a curse to last a lifetime. Long into the curse Endymion the prince of the new kingdom, is under pressure to find a bride. Escaping to the abandon forest, he comes across a phoenix and begins and adventure where he must battle for his love.

Aeliana was a sweet character and even after the curse she was never bitter, and though alone, she always made do with her situation. Endymion was her knight in shining armour and whilst he was under pressure to marry he would not rush into anything. Once he met Aeliana he was a man on mission and even when it went wrong, he fought for what he believed in.

This was a lovely story and a quick read, the main characters were likeable from the start. From their meeting, I thought I knew where this story was going but the curveball the author threw into this story had me wondering what could happen next. The last part of the story was fast pacing as it was a matter of life and death. If you like fantasy and mystical creatures you will not be disappointed. Another good read by this author

 

Red by Jessi Mcpherson

Published by Zombie Cupcake Press on 9th September 2017

61 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

From a young age, we learn the story of Red Riding Hood, but what if that was not the truth. Red is an alternative story of this well know tale.

Cara a young girl who after she goes to her way to her Grandma’s house, and whilst she knows about the legend of the village, werewolves and a curse, she soon learns the role she plays in this story.

What I liked about Cara was she did not believe what she was told, However, when it sunk in who she was, she took her role serious and her caring nature came through.

This was a completely different story to the traditional Red Riding Hood, but the way the story was written made it believable. The twist with the huntsman was unexpected and there will be characters that you love and hate. Although there are werewolves in this story, they are not the type of werewolves that you are used to reading. One of my favourite characters was a small pup called Lily.  Running through is a love story and whilst this is relevant to the story, it does not detract from main story.  This is a quick read, whilst this is a standalone story, the ending gives me hope that there will be more stories about Cara and her clan. A good twist on a traditional tale