Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

Dust Devils by Jonathan Janz

July 15, 2019 - 5:06 am No Comments

It is 1885 in the wilds of New Mexico and Cody Wilson and Willet Black are bent on revenge after their loved ones are slaughtered by a group of traveling actors, but neither of them suspects what they’re really up against. For the actors are vampires. Their thirst for human blood is insatiable. The two must battle the vampires—alone—or die trying.

Dust Devils by Jonathan Janz

Published by Flame Tree Press on 27th June 2019

304 pages

This is the third book that I have read by this author, so I knew I would be in for a great tale and I wasn’t disappointed.

Cody Wilson was a man on a mission. After seeing his wife murdered by a group of travelling actors, he knew he must seek revenge. He was a man with a conscious and even though he wanted revenge, he knew what type a woman his wife was and as we follow him on this journey, his inner voice is battling with him.

We first come across Cody as he watches the actors eat their latest kill, nothing wrong with that but it wasn’t an animal. From that moment I knew I was in for an exciting read. Whilst you are not aware that the actors are vampires, you get the feeling straight away that there is something supernatural about them and I did wonder whether Cody was a bit mad to confront them. This story grabs you and I found I could not put it down until I had finished it.

When the actors went full vampire, the scenes were graphic and descriptive and you could instantly tell that there would be few survivors, but at these times my heart was in my mouth as I wondered whether Cody would survive and if so, how he would get out of the mess he was in. It was made even more intense when you find out that a young boy was involved and he was in danger.

As it was set in the wild west, it seemed more exciting as there were no modern weaponry and transport to get them out of a fix. Trying to escape an evil entity just by an old horse seemed more exciting than jumping in a car. For some strange reason whilst I was reading this, I kept thinking of Red Dead Redemption as the descriptive scenes of the land reminded me of this game.

I am so glad that I have read this book and if you love horror,  good vs evil and vampires to be vampires than this is a story for you. I am looking forward to reading more by this author.    

Game of Crones by Jay Raven

June 10, 2019 - 5:13 am No Comments

A good way to be introduced to new authors is to read a collection of their short stories. Game of Crones by Jay Raven, was one of those introductions.

Blurb: Game of Crones: Tales of Witchcraft and Wickedness

Welcome to a world of cruelty, hexes and treachery, where malicious magic rules and you are but a single necromancer’s spell away from eternal terror.

From malevolent medieval magicians  to Wild West witches, this spellbinding volume by a master of the macabre is packed with frightening fables guaranteed to send a supernatural chill down your spine.

Amongst the haunting historical horror stories, you’ll meet:

  • A half-crazed girl locked up in a high security mental hospital by those accusing her of causing a devastating earthquake.
  • An impoverished French noblewoman who’ll stop at nothing to marry  her daughter to a wealthy prince – even if it means dabbling with a dangerous love potion.
  • The hated public executioner Pandora whose fabled box has already killed 55 men – without leaving  a trace of violence on their bodies.
  • Wily witch Merta who uses all her wits and trickery to turn the tables on the corrupt Mayor who wants her burnt alive at the stake.
  • A faery mage without conscience or pity with the perfect plan to make Mankind turn on itself  – and all it takes is one innocent baby.
  • A drought-stricken frontier town that seeks magical help from the local Indian tribe to make it rain, but learns it comes at a terrible cost. 
  • The doubt-ridden King, plagued by nightmares of his death, who consults an enchantress to learn the most of hidden of secrets: just when the Grim Reaper will claim him.
  • A Mid Western widow who is convinced her homesteading husband is still alive, held hostage by a sorceress.

If you’re thrilled by exciting dark fantasy tales, with cunning twists, edge-of -the seat tension and unexpected shivers, you’ll love Game of Crones. Pick it up today. If you dare…

Here are my thoughts:

Game of Crones by Jay Raven

Published by Jay Raven books on 9th April 2019

117 pages.

One of my favourite reads are an author’s short story collections. It gives you the chance to fit in a short story if real life is getting in the way. In this collection there are 8 short stories with one thing in common, Witches. Each story was unique to the collection and they all ended with a twist that I never saw coming.

When I read a collection, there may be one story that I don’t enjoy. However, in Game of Crones I loved them all and it was hard to pick a favourite. Even whilst writing this review I keep changing my mind of the one story that stood out for me. Bonfire of the Vanities and Prince Charming had me laughing how the stories ended, both for different reasons. Although my favourite ending to a story was Changling and I am sure that if I was not reading it on public transport, I would have gasped out loud.

At just over 100 pages this was a quick read and you can read a story in your coffee break. The stories are all set in a different time and place and due to the author’s fine detail gives you the feeling that you are there.  One thing I could not get over was how much was crammed into each story. There was comedy, intrigue, suspense, vengeance and so much more, that kept me hooked. As I said at the beginning of my review, Jay Raven is a new to me author and they have just gained another fan

This is a perfect read for anyone that enjoys fantasy

Purchase Links: Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Game-Crones-Tales-Witchcraft-Wickedness-ebook/dp/B07QKMJV5N

Amazon USAhttps://www.amazon.com/Game-Crones-Tales-Witchcraft-Wickedness-ebook/dp/B07QKMJV5N

Meet the author: Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.

If you would like to be informed of new releases, enjoy free short stories and access exclusive giveways and competitions, please subscribe to Jay’s monthly newsletter on his website at www.jayraven.co.uk

Social Media Links –

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/fantasywriterjayraven/

Twitter: @JayRavenAuthor

Website: www.jayraven.com

The Forgotten Girl by Rio Youers

May 23, 2019 - 12:00 am No Comments

The Forgotten Girl by Rio Youers

Published by Titan Books on 29th May 2019

352 pages

Harvey has a carefree life, spends his time playing his guitar, busking around Green Ridge. Then one morning he wakes up to go about his day and gets abducted. What did they want, they wanted Sally? But without any memory of Sally, is his life in danger.

Harvey was a gentle soul, and as he hunts for clues on the mystery girl, you learn so much about his upbringing. He was determined to get to the truth and even when the odds were against him, he never backed down.

Written from Harvey’s POV, you are taken on a mystery. At the start of the book you know as much about Sally as Harvey and as he finds out more information, so do you, giving you the feeling that you are on the journey with him. Whilst the relationship between him and his dad Gordon started off strained, as they spend more time together you can see that Harvey admired him. Gordon, a Vietnam Vet was injured on a tour of duty and whilst he was a bit eccentric, he loved his son and helped him throughout his search.

From the opening scenes where Harvey was being tortured for information, I knew I was in for a compelling read. This book brought out so many emotions, whether it was Harvey fighting for his life or receiving shocking news, I was committed to the story. The supernatural element of the story involving psychic ability made this story more than a regular mystery. Reading about the Spider” He crawled into my mind” ”He was inside me, scurrying along my memories and dreams” As I was reading these scenes, they felt so sinister, and you could imagine the creepy sensation having someone go through your mind looking for clues.

This was a story that I was rooting for the good guy, and a story that gave me a book hangover, whilst I read into the night. I didn’t want real life to interrupt my reading. This is a new to me author and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I will look out for more from this author.

Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi

May 15, 2019 - 5:31 am 1 Comment

When I read the blurb “Years before either becomes a literary legend, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde must overcome their disdain for one another to battle the Black Bishop, a madman wielding supernatural forces to bend the British Empire to his will” I knew I had to be on the blog tour for Stoker’s Wilde written by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi

Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi

Published by Flame Tree Press and will be out on 30th May 2019

384 pages

Even if you are not a horror lover, you would have heard of Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde. Two successful and popular authors, but where did they get their ideas for their most famous books. This story will hopefully explain all this and more.

As soon as you start reading this book, you notice that the story is told using correspondence, journal and diary entries and even an interview to tell Stoker and Wilde’s adventure. This was a new way for me to read a story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story flowed smoothly and as some scenes were written from a few characters perspective, you get the whole story. Some of my favourite scenes were reading Stoker and Wilde’s journal entries and I did have a snigger to myself reading the entries when they were bitching about each other. In fact, at times you can really tell just how much they despised each other.

From the first page, you are taken on a supernatural adventure where you come across werewolves, visions and nests of vampires. The subject matter was well researched and as I was reading the book I would google every new character I came across, to see if they had any connection to Stoker and Wilde. There are hints to some of their popular stories throughout this book and I loved how these were linked to the hunt for the Black Bishop. The descriptiveness of the scenery had me feeling that I was there, watching the performances at the theatre or following them as they were hunting for vampires.

This was a fast-paced read with some unexpected twists and whilst I read it fairly quickly, I did not want it to end. I hope that the authors will write a sequel as I would love to see where Stoker and Wilde end up. This is a must-read for Horror lovers 

Meet the authors

 Steven Hopstaken was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he spent his formative years watching and reading science fiction and horror. He has a degree in journalism from Northern Michigan University and spends his free time travelling; writing screenplays, short stories and novels; and practising photography. Melissa Prusi Melissa Prusi was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (often mistaken for Canada), and studied video and film production at Northern Michigan University and the University of Michigan. She’s been a video editor, a semi-professional film reviewer, a three-time champion on the quiz show Jeopardy!, and a Guinness world record holder (1990 edition, for directing the longest live television show). They met in a college screenwriting class and married three years later. They spent a brief time in Los Angeles, where they both worked for Warner Bros. television. They eventually ended up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where they love the arts scene but dread the winters. While they both currently make a living as website content managers, they have sold two screenplays, which have been lost to development hell. They’ve indulged their fascination with Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde through trips to Dublin and London to research their lives and visit sites mentioned in Stoker’s Wilde. They live in St. Louis Park, Minnesota with their two cats. If they’re not writing, you can usually find them at a movie, local theater production, improv show or pub quiz.

House of Skin by Jonathan Janz

May 8, 2019 - 5:17 am 1 Comment

My turn on the blog tour for House of Skin

Myles Carver is dead. Myles’s wife, Annabel, is dead too, but she is also waiting, lying in her grave in the woods. For nearly half a century she was responsible for a nightmarish reign of terror, and she’s not prepared to stop now. She is hungry to live again…and her unsuspecting nephew, Paul, will be the key.

House of Skin by Jonathan Janz

Published by Flame Tree Press on 9th May 2019

304 pages

When Paul inherited a large estate from his estranged uncle, the thing was that he had no idea why his family didn’t talk about him. Paul was the black sheep of family forced to go into the family business whilst all he wanted to do was become a writer. Once he moves into Watermere, his uncle’s estate, he knew it was the change he needed. As soon as he is there, he is up against prejudice and as you get further into the story, you get an understanding why the town does not like the Carver family. To add to his problems, men are disappearing from the town.

Sheriff Sam Barlow knew Myles Carver personally and Librarian Julia Merrow had her own secrets, that she did not want anyone finding out. Inserted throughout the story was the back stories of Annabel and Myles which gave you a clear picture who and what was occurring in the house. As Paul was trying to write, his work in progress adds to the mystery of the house   

Written in 3rd person POV enables you to get to know the handful of characters in fine detail as each one had their own story to tell on how Myles Carver ruined their lives. There are graphic scenes throughout this story, which adds to the sense that something evil is occurring in the house. One of my favourite scenes was what happened to Emily in the ballroom. I love reading books that has me on tender hooks, as I am turning the pages waiting for something to figurally jump out at me and give me a fright and this book ticked the box.

This is the 2nd book I have read by this author and I am looking forward to reading more of their work

When Paul inherited a large estate from his estranged uncle, the thing was that he had no idea why his family didn’t talk about him. Paul was the black sheep of family forced to go into the family business whilst all he wanted to do was become a writer. Once he moves into Watermere, his uncle’s estate, he knew it was the change he needed. As soon as he is there, he is up against prejudice and as you get further into the story, you get an understanding of why the town does not like the Carver family. To add to his problems, men are disappearing from the town.
Sheriff Sam Barlow knew Myles Carver personally and Librarian Julia Merrow had her own secrets, that she did not want anyone finding out. Inserted throughout the story was the back stories of Annabel and Myles which gave you a clear picture who and what was occurring in the house. As Paul was trying to write, his work in progress adds to the mystery of the house
Written in 3rd person POV enables you to get to know the handful of characters in fine detail as each one had their own story to tell on how Myles Carver ruined their lives. There are graphic scenes throughout this story, which adds to the sense that something evil is occurring in the house. One of my favourite scenes was what happened to Emily in the ballroom. I love reading books that have me on tenterhooks, as I am turning the pages waiting for something to figurally jump out at me and give me a fright and this book ticked the box.
This is the 2nd book I have read by this author and I am looking forward to reading more of his work

 Meet the author:

Jonathan Janz grew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, which explains everything. Brian Keene named his debut novel The Sorrows “the best horror novel of 2012.” The Library Journal deemed his follow-up, House of Skin, “reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub’s Ghost Story” Since then Jonathan’s work has been lauded by writers like Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, Tim Waggoner, Bryan Smith, and Ronald Kelly. Novels like The Nightmare Girl, Wolf Land, Savage Species, and Dust Devils prompted Thunderstorm Books to sign Jonathan to an eleven-book deal and to give him his own imprint, Jonathan Janz’s Shadow Side. His novel Children of the Dark received a starred review in Booklist and was chosen by their board as one of the Top Ten Horror Books of the Year (August 2015-September 2016). Children of the Dark will soon be translated into German and has been championed by the Library Journal, the School Library Journal, and Cemetery Dance. In early 2017, his novel Exorcist Falls was released to critical acclaim. Jonathan’s primary interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children, and though he realizes that every author’s wife and children are wonderful and amazing, in this case the cliché happens to be true.

You can learn more about Janz at http://www.jonathanjanz.com.