Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Janz’

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.

The Dark Game (Fiction Without Frontiers) by Jonathan Janz

April 14, 2019 - 6:50 am 2 Comments

Its my turn on the blog tour for The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz. As soon as I read the blurb I knew that I wanted to take part.

The Dark Game (Fiction Without Frontiers) by Jonathan Janz

Published by Flame Tree Press on 11th April 2019

352 pages

10 authors have been selected to attend a retreat and enter a writing competition. Run by renowned Roderick Wells, they will get his expertise and the winner would get 3 million dollars and publishing deal. But is the prize worth more than their lives?

As soon as you start reading, you have the sense that there is something going on that the authors are not aware of.  Being left to walk in on foot, segregating the group to force conflict, they are all on edge before they start the competition.

Whilst each author had their own reasons to enter the competition, they were all in it for the fame and fortune. As you read, you are introduced to each character in detail and you soon realise that they each have a dark secret. Every character was different, although at the start they were all being supportive of each other, as the competition became more cutthroat, it was no surprise that their true characteristics came out and if you are like me, you will be quick to pick your favourite. As this is a writing retreat, snippets of the authors’ work in progress are inserted throughout the main story and I enjoyed reading these snippets. However, they are important to the story. It was also another way to show the difference between each author and how they interpret horror.

Roderick Wells was a narcissistic character who from the start inflicted his power over the authors. He enjoyed publicly humiliating them in front of their peers and was like a cat playing with a mouse, toying with their emotions. The changes to Wells and the mansion became more noticeable as the eliminations continue.

Whilst there are quite a few characters involved in this story, this was an easy book to follow and there was no confusion with the characters the further you go into the book. I had heard of this author, but this was the first book that I have read and I am so glad that I did.  The author’s detailed writing enables you to imagine the creepiness of the forest and the dangers that await, the graphic scenes reinforcing the danger. The story was fast paced as you want to know who survives. As I was reading this I was reminiscing about when I  watched Harper’s Island and spent the whole time trying to guess who was going to be next.  

If you enjoy reading books with eeriness and suspense, then pick up this book.

Welcome to the Show: 17 Horror Stories – One Legendary Venue

August 4, 2018 - 7:29 pm No Comments

Welcome to the Show: 17 Horror Stories – One Legendary Venue by Brian Keene, John Skipp, Mary SanGiovanni, Robert Ford, Max Booth III, Glenn Rolfe, Matt Hayward, Bryan Smith, Matt Serafini, Kelli Owen, Jonathan Janz, Patrick Lacey, Adam Cesare, Alan M Clark, Somer Canon, Rachel Autumn Deering and Jeff Strand.
Published by Crystal Lake Publishing on 3rd August 2018
220 pages

Based in San Francisco, The Shantyman had been around for years, so long that its history was oozing out of the walls. Now the doors of the club have been opened, come in, sit down and Welcome to the Show.
For this review I am going to choose some of my favourites.
Night and Day and in Between by Jonathan Janz: The year is 1926, Raft a PI has been hired to find Clara. His leads take him to The Shantyman, where a singer matching Clara’s description is performing. The early scenes in the club, were just how I imagine a speakeasy. The sultry blonde, singing seductively accompanied by a piano. What starts out as a simple missing person case soon takes a turn to the dark side when Clara’s secret is revealed.
Pilgrimage by Bryan Smith: Jason, George and Karla were sightseeing, stopping outside the Shantyman to learn its history, they decide to get off the bus and get a feel of the place. What they don’t factor in is the odd, stoned passenger that joins them. Things get stranger when the drug they take, takes them to different times. The story continues around Jason and his time in the club. What wasn’t expected was him running into 2 infamous people from history.
Master of Beyond by Glenn Rolfe: Sean now the owner of the club decides with his staff to play with a Ouija board. Jillian the manager wants no part of it and leaves, but the following day not only has she got to deal with a big concert but also what was called. All I will say is that there is a reason why I will not play with Ouija boards and this story enforces this.
Open Mic Night by Kelli Owen: We have all heard of the 27 club, Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison to name a few. This story is how the famous became members of it and Harry is the one man who can stop it, but he needs the help of Gwen who works the bar on open mic. I enjoy the speculation of the 27 club and this story puts a different spin on it.
Just to be Seen by Somer Canon: The story of a fan and her infatuation with the singer Will Fontaine. This story could be real live account as there are some fans that have such a stalker obsession it could result in death.
I have been spoilt by Crystal Lake Publishing, the anthologies published have all had some great stories and this book is no different. Welcome to the Show has 17 stories, each with a different insight of what goes on behind The Shantyman’s four walls