Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Quiet Places: A Novella of Cosmic Folk Horror by Jasper Bark

September 29, 2017 - 4:41 pm No Comments

Quiet Places: A Novella of Cosmic Folk Horror by Jasper Bark
Published by Crystal Lake Publishing on 29th September 2017
123 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies


We first come across Sally caring for the folk of Dunballan, who are in a comatosed state. Following the past events, you get to find out what happened in the little town. David is the last of the McCavendish line, suffers from an ancient curse. Stalked by a beast and suffering dark depressive incidents. With only a creepy voice in the hedgerow to help Sally, can she break the curse and get her David back.
Whilst Sally is researching the beast, you get to learn more about David’s heritage and the aftermath of his ancestor’s dabbling with ancient folklore. Told through Matthew’s journals, the scenes with Matthew meeting had a mystical feel to it and you have a sense that something will go wrong.
Usually when I read any of Jasper Bark’s books, I am reading it with a grimace on my face, but this book was so different. This played more with my mind. The repetitive voice sounded sinister and for me Hettie was more horrific than the beast as it certainly knew how to play Sally. Whilst reading the scenes in the forest I had goosebumps and you could sense that it was leading up to a final showdown. The suspense carried throughout the story, but even I could not predict the outcome. You could feel the desperation in Sally and the need to help David and his dark moods.
I read a shortened version in the Green and Pleasant land anthology, and this new revised version had more depth. It felt more intense and as it is a novella a quick read. Another great story from Jasper Bark

 

The Sandrian Chronicles: Written in Blood by Keith Montgomery

September 25, 2017 - 8:32 pm No Comments

The Sandrian Chronicles: Written in Blood by Keith Montgomery
Published by Optimus Maximus Publishing on 12th July 2016
425 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies


Sandrian’s are vampires with a heartbeat and Adalius was one of the finest of their clan. Troy Thomas was a slayer, trained by one of the best slayers, his father. Both were on missions to rid the world of rogue vampires, both after the same prey, Anna the evillest of all, the vampire that killed their loved ones. With Lycans, other slayers and even the odd regular vampire baying for Anna’s blood, it is going to get bloody.
Although different breeds, Adalius and Troy were very much alike. They were both loners, dedicated to their cause, and had few people who they trusted with their lives. Working on their own they were dangerous but as a team they were a deadly force. Throughout this story you find out more about their past and you understand what makes them tick.
Anna on the other hand was a complete and utter bitch. Killing anything thing that got in her way, she went around thinking she ruled the world. She had no conscious and always tried to get what she wanted. Having her followers, she was one dangerous vampire, and she got off knowing that others were after her blood.
There are quite a few characters in this book and I hope that some get developed as the series continues. It will be interested to see what happens to New Carrollton’s finest. One of favourite minor characters was Kyle, a vampire whose nature was very liken to Spike, my favourite type of vamp and I would love to know more about his story.
The illustrative way the author wrote helped you imagine what was going on, and with each new character, I had a perfect imagine of what they looked like. The story immediately was full of action and you knew what you were getting yourself in for. The fight scenes were fierce and I needed to carry on reading as I wanted to know who was going to live or die. To calm down the intensity of this book, there were some great comedy moments. Some of my favourite one liners came from Taine the Lycan doorman from Club Détente, and he came across as a gentle giant. The banter between Troy and Adalius increased when another Sandrian came into the picture.
I was so engrossed in this story that I did not want it to end, and whilst it did finish on a slight cliffhanger, I am left wanting book 2. This is a great story if you like your paranormal creatures to be strong, dangerous and deadly, then this is the book for you. This is the first story I have read by this author and whilst I have heard nothing but praise for this story, I was still surprised just how good it was

Beneath the Floodlights by Martin Tracey

September 21, 2017 - 7:36 pm No Comments

Beneath the Floodlights by Martin Tracey
Published Authorhouse on 22nd July 2011
364 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies


When I was told about a book that incorporated Vampires, Football and Birmingham, I knew that I must read it.
Johnny Knox is the Captain of Kingsbarr United. Being a lifetime fan, he lived his dream every time he put on the blue and gold strip. Happy on and off the pitch, the only thing that marred his perfect life was losing his son in Romania. Going back to Romania year after year looking for clue, Johnny never gave but hope, and when he came upon a young lad fighting for his life, he knew he had to save him whatever the cost.
After getting relegated from the Premier League and struggling with their form, the owner brought in Cezar Prodanescu, a professor in football and owner of the Fosturnea School of Football Excellence. What people did not know that he was a Master Vampire, a genetics specialist and the real reason why he was in Birmingham. What he did not count on was falling in love with a human.
With its mixture of vampire and football, this story got me hooked and whilst reading this I reminisced about my time living in Birmingham. Coming from North Birmingham, I know Sutton Park very well and for it to be a major place in the story was inventive. I enjoyed how the author had his own take on vampire lore, as this enabled the vampires to do so much more The descriptive writing of the football games gave it an atmospherical feel to it. Whilst I liked Johnny as a character, I did have other favourites in the book. Vincent” Bruiser” Bradshaw, a Tourette suffering midfielder, due to his condition, he got away with swearing at the ref, and I wonder how may professional players would love to get away with this. Some of his outburst did give the comedy moments in the book. Jody Ropper the 80s loving defender, who before each game played an 80s playlist to get the team motivated, he was not afraid to throw a bit of 80s fashion into his attire and Gene Macgoree, Kingsbarr’s super fan and secret vampire hunter. Like most footballs teams you always get the one that is not team players and always think that they are worth more and Kingsbarr is no different. Leon Davis was this player and he reminded me of one of the players in my club WBA. The footballing vampires were exceptional at their craft and next time you watch the likes of Naymar, Messi or Ronaldo, you could imagine them as vampires.
The ending had a feel that there may be more come and I hope to read more of Callum’s journey. This is a great read and if you are looking for a different type of vampire book then grab this.

 

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.

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