Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

Jackals by Stuart R Brogan………. The Jackals book blog tour

April 18, 2017 - 12:28 pm No Comments

We are honoured to be part of the Jackals book blog tour. I had the pleasure of reading it and below is my review. Theresa interviewed the author and if you want to know more than carry on reading past the review:

Jackals by Stuart R Brogan

Published by Midgard Books on 23rd January 2017

243 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

 

Whilst out with her husband celebrating their anniversary, Jesse Reid come across as group calling themselves Jackals, meeting them changes her life for ever. When a Police station is brutally attacked DI Class is assigned to the case, a police officer who is not afraid to bend the rules and lives life on the edge, but is he the right man for the job.

When Jesse Reid is introduced she was a meek woman happy in her marriage, suffering with a mental health problem. What surprised me was when her life was in danger she turned into a woman possessed, putting the Jackals to shame.  Overseen by 13 influential men and pillars of the community, the Jackals are part of a secret society, a society that wanted to go back to primitive ways, who believed they would make the world a better place by murdering people. Their only rule is that they can’t use firearms. I liked DI Class as even though he knew that he was on a case that could wreck his career, he still put all his efforts into the investigation and to protect Jesse.

From the early scenes, you are subject to the graphic and horrific scenes of the Jackals handy work. Some of the death scenes were genius and one of my favourites was the death by guillotine. Jackals is full of action and fast paced. The thrill of the chase made this book exciting and it gave me a book hangover as I was reading into the early hours as I wanted to know what happened. The twists in the book added intrigue and emphasised the conspiracy of the secret society. Although this book is categorised as Horror it will also appeal to readers that like their thriller dark and bloodthirsty. For all you lovers of conspiracy groups this is Dan Brown on steroids. A brilliant book that has left me wanting to know more about the Order.

 

Interview with Stuart  Brogan

 

1) Tell us a bit about yourself! And about Jackals.

Hi there and thanks for having me. My call sign is Stuart R Brogan, author of fast paced action / horror fiction and Heathen / Pagan nonfiction. I currently reside in and torment Glastonbury, UK where I own a Viking / Heathen shop called Shield Maiden.

JACKALS is a pacey cross genre action / horror novel in which the reader is thrust into a violent and brutal world where killers stalk people to further a hidden bloody agenda. The protagonists are just normal people who have their own personal demons to deal with, but have bigger problems when caught in the cross fire. A cat and mouse game ensues as the Jackals and their superiors hunt down the already downtrodden couple, beginning in rural England and then spreading across the rest of the country as the chase continues. Jackals is my first novel and I am humbled by some of the reviews it is receiving. Fans of horror or boys own action will enjoy the visceral intensity and relentless nature.

2) The book appears to blur the edges between horror and police procedural. How important is genre to you?

It’s strange, when I started writing Jackals, I always thought of it as a horror / thriller but people have been labelling it under different genres. To be honest action / horror is closest to the mark. My style is a hybrid between genres and I enjoy blurring the lines. For me, writing realistic and intense stories is the basis and I let the story take on a life of its own, I let it breath and grow organically, even if it takes me away from the original idea. As far as I am concerned the story writes itself. I have always been a huge fan of the classic 80’s action / horror movie; I try to recreate that sense of adventure as well as impending doom. For me, human nature is far more horrific than any monster living under the bed and as such my books are intense and relentless in nature, some may find them brutal but the violence is there for a reason, never just for the sake of it or to shock.

3) I know writers hate this question, but I’m going to ask it anyway. Where did the idea come from?

I have had the idea for some time now and to be honest, I can’t really say where my ideas come from. It’s like a moment of clarity, I might hear a news story or see something when I am out and about and start to ask myself “What if”. I think all authors will know what I mean by that. Every good story starts with that simple question, swiftly followed by “What would I do?” From there it’s just a case of letting the imagination run with it. Inspiration can come from anywhere and at the moment I have ideas for two other novellas, one stand-alone novel and two more books using the Jackals. So I am not going to run out of ideas any time soon.

4) What else are you working on right now?

I am currently nearly finished a novella entitled SCALLYWAG; it is an intense thrill ride taking place over twenty-four hours. I have created a character that I hope will become somewhat iconic. I don’t want to give too much away as I like to keep an air of mystery but rest assured, it will have my trade mark cross genre brutality and will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page.

5) If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and why?

That my friend is an easy one, John Twelve Hawks. Author of my all-time favourite book The Traveller, he uses a pen name and little is known about him but I just love his social observations regarding the Orwellian world we now find ourselves in. In his books the antagonists are very powerful business men who wish to enslave us all and have us sub-servient. It has an excellent pace and is full of superb action sequences. The characters are also well fleshed out. I would love to sit and chat with Mr Hawks because we would agree on many issues.

Like me, he believes that mankind and his actions is the greatest evil of all!

 

The Infernal clock curated by David Shakes and Stephanie Ellis

April 15, 2017 - 2:16 pm No Comments

The Infernal clock curated by David Shakes and Stephanie Ellis

Published on 31st March 2017

306 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

I borrowed this book on Kindle Unlimited, as the blurb got my interest. 24 stories each a different hour, counting down time till the clock strikes no more.  Not having prior knowledge of any of the participating authors, I did not know what to expect, but as a lover of horror and from page one I knew I had made a good choice. There were so many stories I enjoyed some just for the true horror whilst others made you think on the situation of the story. Here are a few of my favourites:

Highland Game by Karen Gray: Set in the Scottish Highland a visitor to a scout camp tells the story of a Kelpie an old folklore creature, around the camp fire, but by midnight it all end in tragedy for one scout leader.  If you know old folklore you know that Kelpies are Scottish creature living in lochs and as this story was based on the original beliefs. A well-paced quick read.

The Graveyard Shift by Stephanie Ellis: Set in a sleep clinic, we follow Joseph the night security guard on his final hour of his shift between 3am-4am. It was a pleasant change to read a story not sent in a mental asylum, and whilst there were patients there that would be a home in one, this was centred around the guard and not what crimes they did. With the help of a Danish Nurse, Joseph was made to confront what he had done to previous patients. Yet another story using folklore, although I had not heard of this one. I enjoyed reading about this creature and how the author tied it together with night terrors and missing people made it a good read.

Tartarus by Tim Kimber: At 5am Jaclyn and Oscar were leaving a rave, high on drugs they decide to go to an after rave party. With the grief of their brother still raw, they use this time to get closer together, but when the guests at the party are not what they seem, Jaclyn knows that she has to be the big sister and save Oscar.  From the moment, they walked into the party, you have the sense that something was going to happen. For a short story this book is full if suspense and one story that you do not want to put down. Although this a horror story this a story about grief and 2 siblings coming to terms with their brother’s death.

Always Protect the Ones you love: Bart Van Goetham: It’s 7pm and Belinda is home from work and listening to the news. With terrorism, serial killers, Belinda worries for her new daughter, but the length that’s she goes to, to protect her is extreme.  As a parent, you do worry about world the that your children are going up in, but I couldn’t believe what Belinda did to her family. A chilling story about a mother’s love.

Whispers by Stephanie Ellis: A family living in a house with a gruesome reputation. That little voice you hear telling you to do things. The family that live in the house have a lot of secrets, and the malignant spirit knows, a few quiet words whispered in their ears and he gets what he wants. This story was about human nature, the spirit knew exactly how to play people. The spirit came out to play at 8pm.

Watershed by Stella Turner: Harriet was a collector. Like her mom before her, but unlike most people who collected the likes of dolls, teddy bears, thimbles etc. Harriet had quite a macabre taste. At 9pm the watershed, when British TV can show scenes not for children’s eyes, Harriet decided to share her collection with her boyfriend Leon. This story builds up to 9pm and you can feel the apprehension in Harriot why she is waiting to share her collection, and whilst you are wandering what Leon’s reaction will be the author adds a twist that you never seen coming and the graphic ending puts Harriot’s collection to a whole new level.

Although the stories count down from Midnight you can read them in any order. This book had a good collection of stories that kept me entertained. What showcased the authors talents was that they only had an hour for the timeline of their story, and with some I could not get over how much action, suspense and horror they managed to fit in. A good anthology

The Fallen and Bloodlust: 2 books both by RL Weeks and KL Roth

April 10, 2017 - 9:11 pm No Comments

The Fallen by RL Weeks and KL Roth

Published 3rd March 2017

100 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

What if you find your boyfriend murdered and you know who did it but he made you forget with a kiss? This is the dilemma that Chloe had. But when she finds out that two sexy handsome demons are involved, Chloe does not know whether to run, fight or be loved.

Chloe was devastated when she loses Jake, and whilst she tried to tell everyone what happened no one believed and just wanted to dope her up. Even her best friend Zelda was worried, but she was more concerned about the constant visits from Miles who helped her overcame her grief. However, you could tell that she still had a crisis of conscious when she was with Miles. Miles although a demon was caring and considerate, but possible that was down to the heritage of his parents. For him falling in love with a human was frowned upon, but this did not stop him pursuing Chloe. Things became more confusing for Chloe when Grail decided to pay her attention. Grail was very full of himself and I think he toyed with Chloe’s guilt. He was like a cat playing with a mouse. Although whilst reading this story I thought she was one lucky girl

The sex scenes were hot but what do you expect when one of the demons is a succubus. The ending had one unexpected twist which completed this story. As a novella, this was a quick read and it was a good introduction to the authors writing skills as a collaboration. If you like your demons hot and spicy then this is the book for you.

 

Bloodlust: A Darkness Calls: Volume 1 by RL Weeks and KL Roth

Published 3rd March 2017

238 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Emeline was in the wrong place at the wrong time, caught up in a witch hunt and cursed to walk the earth as a vampire. Whilst find a cure for her curse, she loses someone she loved, vowed never to love again, she hurts others before they can hurt her. Born to serve is her only friend and servant Marie who she saved from death many years before. After moving to a quiet town in England, she puts her plan into action to make their friendship eternal, but after meeting Matt a troubled young man whose family is falling apart, she stops to think about who she really is. Does Emeline go with her plan? Is Matt her saviour? and where is Matt’s missing sister?

Emeline is a complex woman, from the moment she got cursed she knew what she was doing was wrong, however she needed to survive. After the loss of first love her whole nature changes and she becomes heartless. However, I think that was just to protect herself from the hurt and underneath her evilness she was still a scared young woman. Only when she was with Marie do we see her carefree nature and this showed more after she met Matt. Matt had so many problems at home, a missing sister, a mom who had spiralled into a deep depression and a dad that had a fascination with a younger woman. Matt brought out the best in Emeline, and what started out as escapism soon turned into something else, but was it love or lust.

The further you get into the story more characters appear, Ti a warlock infatuated with Emeline and Lilith a love-struck witch to name but a few, but with all the additional character it does not make this book confusing as the authors tie up their involvement neatly. Added to this is further magical creatures, all having an important role in this story   About 2/3rds into the story there is a scene that shocked me as I could not believe what the authors had done with Emeline but further on and with a great twist the story gives you an explanation of Matt’s missing sister. There is so many twist in this story that it makes it a page turner as you don’t know what to expect. This book ticks all the right boxes. Paranormal, erotica, horror, mystery and fantasy. This will please so many different readers and with a cliff-hanger that makes you wander where this story will go, I can’t wait for book 2

The Gates: An Apocalyptic Horror Novel (Hell on Earth Book 1) by Iain Rob Wright

March 29, 2017 - 9:21 pm No Comments

The Gates: An Apocalyptic Horror Novel (Hell on Earth Book 1) by Iain Rob Wright

Published by SalGad Publishing Group on 27th August 2015

346 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

The world was in danger, but no one knew it. When large black stones started popping up all round the world, people were drawn to them, not realising how dangerous they were. If anyone touched them they died, but it only got worse when they began to open. Coming to kill all of humankind is the demons from Hell.

The book follows the lives of 5 main Characters, Guy Granger, a father of 2 who spend all his life on the sea as a Coast Guard, Mina Mager and David Davids, photographer and journalist for the Slough Gazette, who were covering the stone in London, Tony Cross, a soldier for the British Army serving in Syria and Rick Bastion, a one hit wonder who spends all his time on his piano with a glass in his hand. One thing they all had in common was when the world was in danger, they all were fighting for survival.

Each chapter told a different character’s story and how their lives were affected. Whilst reading this I felt as if I was watching a number of news channels all talking about the same event, which added to the feeling of dread that something evil was going to happen. As you are reading about each character, you get that instant feeling that nobody is safe. This book is full of action and horrific acts from page 1 and as you get further into the book you wonder how they can go on and fight. When a major event happens not everyone survives so do not be surprised when a character you like meets an early demise. It also goes to show that the unlikely characters are the heroes and I was reminded of the Purge when The Vamps appeared on the scene. There were times when I was reading Rick’s story that I just wanted to bang his and Keith’s heads together as like typical siblings there was constant bickering as Keith was a bossy big brother. One of my favourite characters was Daniel and without giving his story away, I wonder how much of a hero, he is going to be in book 2

An exciting horror story with enough twists to leave you in shock a number of times whilst reading this. I’m all ready for book 2

The Rage of Cthulhu by Gary Fry

March 23, 2017 - 7:13 pm No Comments

The Rage of Cthulhu by Gary Fry

Published by Horrific Tales Publishing on 23rd March 2017

98 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

After being medically retired George and his wife decide to spend some of what time he has left travelling round the world. Starting off in the picturesque town of Whitby, George stumbles across a derelict foghorn station and whilst he investigates the damage to the building gets embroiled into a mystery of an ancient being which will follow him around the world.

Not having read HP Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu, I had no idea what this creature was or the history behind it, but after reading this story, I am curious to find out more. From the start of this story you are drawn into a secret that has not been talked about in 50 years, from listening to the two old men’s tales or reading an ancient Norwegian manuscript, you are taken on a journey around the world only stopping when George gets to his final destination. Whether it was in George’s dreams, visiting different places and seeing new cultures all this added to the mystery of the Cthulhu. The use of George’s illness makes you doubt yourself whilst you are reading it, as I kept wavering between thinking it was all in his head and thinking that he was chasing the monster down. Even finishing this book did not solve my dilemma. I had sympathy for Christine, George’s wife as I felt she was struggling between letting him investigate the mystery and believing him and worrying about his illness.

As it is a novella it is a quick read and it is a book you can finish in one sitting. The suspense builds up slowly and I had to keep reading to find out what happened. Whilst reading it I was expecting something dramatic to happen, but when it did, the descriptive way the author wrote those scenes I was imagining being with George and watching him face his demon.

A well written tale of an ancient monster, this will have you gripped to the end a good horror read.