Archive for July, 2018

Lost Highways: Dark Fictions from the Road

July 21, 2018 - 4:55 pm No Comments

Lost Highways: Dark Fictions from the Road
Published by Crystal Lake Publishing on 20th July 2018

Following on from Gutted, C.H.U.D. Lives and other anthologies from Crystal Lake comes Lost Highways. A bumper collection of 26 short stories with one thing in common the open road.
With so many stories I was spoilt for choice, but some of my favourites were:
Not From Detroit by Joe R Lansdale: An elderly couple are very much in love. This is a beautifully written story and so heart-warming. This story that love will conquer all even in the face of death.
Jim’s Meats by Kelli Owen: A couple are on a road trip and are running out of petrol, but pulling over at a petrol station, just made it dangerous. This story built the tension up to the final chase. This is a story I would love to be a full novel. Whilst a lot is unknown about the Jim’s meat and the residents of the town, your imagination can join the dots.
Your Pound of Flesh by Nick Kolakowski: Hitchhikers are a regular feature in road trip stories but this story had a twist when Jill Cafferty stopped to pick up a young girl in distress. This story takes you on the hunt for a serial killer. Incorporated in this story was the difficult topic of domestic violence which was handled with sensitivity. The author takes you on an emotional journey which near the end will have you picking up speed to find out what happens. The twist to the story was a surprise and the ending made the story whole.
Having read the majority of Crystal Lakes anthologies, I knew that I need to add to my collection when this was released. Whilst I recognised quite a few of the authors, there were still authors I had not read and I admire the dedication that the publisher puts into finding the various authors to keep anthology fresh. As usual the art work on the cover and in the book was exquisite. Each story was unique and with various length will keep you captivated throughout your read and possible you may not want to read this if you are planning your own road trip. Although it may be a good survival guide.

The Grindhouse: Diablo Snuff 2 by Carver Pike

July 18, 2018 - 10:02 pm No Comments

The Grindhouse: Diablo Snuff 2 by Carver Pike
Published by Erotic Mayberry Publishing on 5th December 2017
318 pages

Tobias aka TK Tantrum is a horror author. Having a fascination for Melvin Morose, he had always wanted to write a book at the infamous writers retreat at The Grand Georgina. So when his best friend and PA bought him a ticket for the event he was so excited, all he wanted to do was to write his best seller. However, when the history of the house overlaps with real life, it becomes a matter of life and death.
Tobias is a character that you instantly like. As an author all he wanted to do was write his greatest work ever and he was achieving it. When hell broke loose at the hotel, he was torn between running and saving the others, but knew that he had little chance.
Not having read any of this author’s work I did not what to expect, but wow. This book has everything for horror lovers. From the opening scene it grabs you and for me I got my introduction to Diablo Snuff. The horror is full on and whilst it is graphic throughout, I felt it was more intense with the introduction of Tobias’ visions. The character Charlie Red reminded me of the bogeyman, something to scare you children by and if you read this alone in the dark, you could imagine the THUD THUD THUD of his footsteps walking down the hall. The scenes about the slaves were haunting and you could see how hopeless their situation was. The descriptive details that the author put into this work was extensive and you could close your eyes and still imagine you see the pictures on the walls.
This story took you on a rollercoaster of emotions whether you are screaming at Tobias to run, grimacing at machetes as they fly through the air or reading pure erotica, you are in for one hell of a story. The action believe it or not intensified even further from around 80% and I found that I could not put the story down as I needed to know if they survived. I have purchased book 1 so I can carry on with the journey and I cant wait for The Maddening .

Arithmophobia by Ruschelle Dillon

July 16, 2018 - 8:32 pm No Comments

Arithmophobia by Ruschelle Dillon
Published by Mystery and Horror LLC on 15th December 2017
144 pages

According to Google, Arithmophobia is the exaggerated, constant and often irrational fear of numbers.
Ruschelle plays on your fears with 9 short stories. Each short story featured the number 1-9. With a mixture of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and horror, some blended with humour, there is a short story to suit most readers.
Some of the stories I enjoyed were:
It Takes Two: Ahnna was rich and was never happy with her body. She knew that getting her breasts done would make her happy. So when her plastic surgeon, came up with a new procedure she knew she needed them and what was one little lie. This story builds up to the finale and what a finale. What I enjoyed was that there was no hints on the procedure until then end.
Three is as Magic as can be: When parents are being taken and all that remains is the child. Detective Oswald Quinn is on the case, 6 months on and still no suspect. Not only that but he is having problems at home with his son. With its dark thriller feel, this story grabbed me from the 1st blood stain on the floor. Reading this story, there was a feeling of dread and you could see Quinn slowly cracking under the pressure, as he was torn between his family and the case. A unexpected, heart-breaking ending.
A Perfect Eight: Dawn and Nicole are sisters. Both worked at their parent’s restaurant. Nicole the oldest and prettiest didn’t realise what she was doing to her sister. Things took a turn for the worse when customers who ate The Live Plate began to die. Made up of shrimp, oysters and octopus, the customers had to sign a waiver to eat it. But was it the dish that killed them. The story shows how far sisterly love can go. Throughout this story the author leads you down the wrong path, whilst I had my suspicions I could not work out the how. A story with a difference.
These are only three stories, but also making an appearance is a cheeky crude hysterical leprechaun in Seven Colors and the Four horseman in Four Men on Horses.
As an introduction to this author this a good read and I will be looking out for more from her

Snowflake by Heide Goody and Iain Grant

July 12, 2018 - 5:22 am No Comments

Snowflake by Heide Goody and Iain Grant
Published by Pigeon Park Press on 20th July 2018
433 pages

My Turn on the blog tour. This book is out 20th July 2018

What would you do if you came back off holiday, to find that your parents have sold their house and moved away without telling you. This such predicament happened to Lori Belkin. Still living at home at the age of 25, she had a degree, no job and spent all her time making cartoon strips for her blog. Moving into her brother’s she has to learn to survive, get a job and all she has is a strange pendant.
I loved Lori from the moment I started this book, she was like a breath of fresh air, so different from the majority of characters I read about. She had a heart of gold but everything she turned her hand to she messed up. She lived her life and was not ashamed of what she was. Having a friend like Cookie didn’t help either.
The relaxed style of the authors makes this story easy to get into. There is always something going on when Lori is around which in turn makes it a quick read. If normal life had not got in the way I would have finished it a lot quicker as I did not want to put it down. At lot of Lori’s actions had a domino effect and one small action turned into major events.
The magical theme runs through the book, but whilst it plays a big part in the story, it is downplayed as the story is about Lori and the changes she has and will make in her life. There are quite a lot of laugh out loud moments and one of my favourite scenes was when Lori booked a driving lesson just to take a ruined rug down the tip.
Set in Birmingham, I enjoyed reading about places I was familiar with and on Lori’s travels I could picture exactly where she was travelling.
I rarely mentioned covers when I write reviews, however when I saw this cover, I was wondering what the cover had to the story, but as you read it, it does become clearer and I had to giggle when these creatures were revealed. Although I would like to know what happened to them at the end.
This book should have at least two warnings whilst reading it. 1. Do not read in public as you will get strange looks when you are trying not to laugh. 2. Do not read whilst drinking a coffee as your kindle is likely to get wet. Overall this book is a brilliant example of a comedy book. Having read other books by these authors, I know that they can write a story, however this book is one of the best I have read. I for one would love to read more of Lori’s adventures and maybe other strange artefacts can find their way to her.

To purchase this book

The Lost Souls of Brunswick(VooDoo Lily Series) byEmery LeeAnn

July 10, 2018 - 7:30 pm No Comments

The Lost Souls of Brunswick (VooDoo Lily Series) by Emery LeeAnn
Published 5th August 2017
55 pages

Once a year lead psychologist Alexis Dhavern has to audit the books. No great task unless you are in charge of Brunswick State Mental Hospital. To make sure the staff have dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s. She reads through 6 patients records. How bad can it be.
Patient One: Sabin Theobold: Found not guilty of murder by reason of mental defect or disease.
Patient Two: Paully Finster: All of Paully’s care was paid by the Univeristy.
Patient Three: Myrtle Brown: Found guilty of murdering her entire platoon.
Patient Four: Toby Theon: Institutionalised due to his fascination of his meat grinder.
Patient Five: Mirabella Brack: Charged with cutting out the tongues of young women.
Patient Six: Lyssa Simpson: Admitted twice, both times resulting in a murder.
Whilst each case file had graphic scenes , all the cases show the dark side of humans, whether it was the behaviour of the patients or the actions caused by others. Yes the stories revolve around mental health, however it is written with a level of sensitivity and in most cases you feel sorry for the patient, the physical and mental abuse suffered, have you wandering how they have survived
Because each case file is short this is a quick read. The story carries on after the case files have been read and whilst I have not read Lyssa’s Destruction, this has given me a good introduction to this authors work. If you have a spare hour and want to read a quick graphic read than pick up this read.