Posts Tagged ‘Short Stories’

Companions in Ruin by Mark Allan Gunnells

May 18, 2018 - 8:41 pm No Comments

Companions in Ruin by Mark Allan Gunnells
Published by Sinister Grin Press on 10th February 2016
215 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Having read some other works from this author, one thing I like is his short stories. So when I picked up this book I knew that I would have a good read. With 25 short stories of various lengths. You will find plenty of stories to love.
For this review I am going to mention my favourites, I found this quite difficult as whilst writing this review I kept changing my mind as they were all good. So here is my choice at this present time.
By the Light of Dawn: A psychic is a person who claims to use extrasensory perception (ESP) to identify information hidden from the normal senses, but what if they make a mistake. This happened to Dawn and trying to make amends she offers to help a couple who’s daughter had gone missing, for a small fee.
The End of Her Rope: A mother is finding it hard to cope after giving birth.
Anniversary: Randall is celebrating his anniversary with a special girl.
Pick Your Path: When I was a young girl, I loved reading books that you had a role in deciding the fate of the characters. Mattie was a bookworm and when she came across a book called Wish Fulfillment she had some decisions to make.
Rebecca Weston Speaks the Truth: A regular afternoon changed Rebecca’s life. As she spoke more of the truth was revealed.
Homebody: A moving story about Brian and his wife.
Before and Aftermath: A heartbreaking story about Ned Terp and his time at school.
Work in Progress: There is a saying that there is a book in every one, and whilst that is the case is does not prove they are a writer. This is a story about the lengths that Jeremy goes to keep his work in progress a secret.
Depravation: If like me you have teenagers you know what a big part technology plays in their lives. This story shows just what happens when a mom bans her daughter from technology.
Whilst reading this book, it will bring out many emotions, whether you are laughing at some of the antics or one liners, or reading with tears in your eyes. Whilst this is horror, there are no evil slobbering monsters out for revenge. Some of these stories show the horror inflicted by humans or of everyday items and if like me you dislike Elf on a Shelf than there is a story to prove your point. These are one of the best short stories collection that I have read.

Sussex Horrors: Stories of Coastal Terror and other Seaside Haunts by Mark Cassell, Jonathan Broughton and Rayne Hall

March 26, 2018 - 1:46 pm 3 Comments

Sussex Horrors: Stories of Coastal Terror and other Seaside Haunts by Mark Cassell, Jonathan Broughton and Rayne Hall
Published by Herbs House on 26th January 2018
156 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

My turn on this blog tour

Three horror authors who live in the Sussex area, get together and publish 12 short stories. With various length and a different topics, each story is had its only scary interpretation of the coast
Some of my favourites were:
Seagulls by Rayne Hall. Living by the coasts, I am used to seagulls and I have a cheeky one who will sit watching us at my kitchen door. Knowing how dangerous they can be especially when they dive at you for your food, this story plays on your fears. It shows the evilness of the birds and I did have a snigger at the end as I could imagine some of my feathered friends doing this.
The Rebirth by Mark Cassell: A wooden egg and a nasty surprise. I like how throughout you are following Kelly as she tries to rescue one of her students. The descriptive style makes you feel as you are walking Kelly steps. Whilst this is not graphic is has that creepy feel to it and will make your imagination work overtime.
You have one message by Jonathan Broughton: With more of us reliant on technology and the majority having a smartphone attached to their hands. This story is like a peephole into the future. With not much explanation to what caused the phenomenon, this may put you off using too much tech.
That is just 3 stories that I liked but I the majority of them. Normal Considering the Weather reminded me of most summers up here where we can get an infestation of flies where even fly spray will not kill them. Furzby Holt has a population of very aged characters and Away in a Mangler had a different take on mass production for those little trinkets that you buy whilst on holiday.
This was a quick read and I finished it in one sitting. Only being familiar with one author it was great to find some other authors for me to follow. A good British horror read

Beautiful Ugly: And Other Weirdness by Thomas S Flowers

March 25, 2018 - 1:47 pm No Comments

Beautiful Ugly: And Other Weirdness by Thomas S Flowers
Published by Shadow Work Publishing on 23rd January 2018
237 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

One thing Thomas S Flowers does well is to write a good short story. So when this book was released I knew that I needed to buy it. 11 stories in total, each one completely different, although each one has an element of the real world whether it is someone not happy in their own body, a terminal ill character or just an overpopulation of cats.
Some of my favourites are mentioned below.
Ultrasound: A couple use In vitro fertilization to get pregnant but what has she been impregnated with. This is a good opening story, starting out as a regular story and you feel as if you are going through Deborah’s pregnancy. Hints are throughout and you know something is going to happen but true to this author, it is not what you expect.
Massacre at Foree Farm: Peter had served his country and had come back home after his last tour of Iraq. This had a Hammer feel to it, you know the scenes where the simple village folk chase after the monster with their pitch forks and torches. Whilst not a lot is known how Peter got this condition, I did feel sorry for him. Some great graphic scenes.
Gone: Danny Jarvis loves the stars and whilst he was watching them, this was his escapism from his family life. When Danny went out that fatal night, his reasoning was a typical 8 years old thoughts. This is a sad story and I would love for the story to carry on.
The Abigail: Set in space the UA Odysseus comes upon the UCT Abigail a drift, the only thing alerting them to trouble is the distress beacon. But what has happened to the crew. There was an element of suspense throughout this story and as I was reading this I had a feeling of dread. Whilst there is a horror element, it is written as something you see in your peripheral vision, you know something is there but you cannot make out what it is. I loved the ending.
I cannot leave this review without mentioning the cover, this is probably one of the most weirdest covers I have ever seen and is perfect for this book. When you read one of the stories it is spot on, but I will not tell you which one.
A great horror read and for lovers of short stories this is one book you need.

A Deadly World: Vampires in Paris: A nine author anthology

December 2, 2017 - 3:55 pm No Comments

A Deadly World: Vampires in Paris by Alana Greig, Erin Lee, LJC Flynn, A Masio, Alice La Roux, KL Roth, Chelsi Davis, AJ Renee, Anke Van Zweel and Rita Delude.
Published by Enchanted Anthologies on 30th November 2017
251 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Many anthologies have a general theme and each story is completely different. This anthology is set in Paris after the vampires went to war. Paige, Maddox and Boswell were vampire royalty and humans had to fight to stay alive. Told by 9 authors, this anthology tells the stories of the vigilantes, the human slaves and the vampires that had suffered in the war.
The prologue sets this book up nicely, you know who the main characters are and the history they have with Paris. Whilst each story was well written and told a great story, I am going to review a couple of my favourites.
Teeka by LJC Flynn: Teeka was one of the strongest, fastest vampire killers. Every night she would do the same thing, wake up, unclamp her legs and take a couple of pills. Going out on her latest mission, she soon learns the truth about herself and who she can trust. In this story you get a proper introduction to Raul, a badass vampire, who is tattooed with silver ink. Teeka was a strong female character. She was self-confident, but did come over a bit cocky. However, when she learnt the truth, she lost all cockiness and her real self was shown. This story was action packed and was a page turner.
Surviving Paris by AJ Renee: The story about Sage and how she infiltrated the resistance and helped them become stronger. Sage loved being under estimated, small in structure, she knew how to fight. Her role in life was to train small groups of fighters to defeat the vampires. Scattered through the story is the attraction Sage has for Jean. This story builds up to the fight scenes with the vampires and I enjoyed all the training they had to do.
Whilst reading this anthology, you forget that each story is written by different authors. With common characters throughout, it helped merge the stories into one good read. I had favourite characters on both sides. This anthology was full of action and adventure. For lovers of vampires and paranormal

Tales of New Mexico by Joseph D’Lacey and Unquiet Waters by Thana Niveau

November 30, 2017 - 8:35 pm No Comments

Tales of New Mexico (Black Shuck Shadows Book 2) by Joseph D’Lacey
Published 10th September 2017
63 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies


Two short stories, completely different but one thing in common, the backdrop of the desert of New Mexico.
The Gathering of the Sheaves. Nicholson is on a quest, he has heard of a cactus that holds unusual properties and he wants to get his hands on it. As a Victorian Englishman in the wilds of the New Mexico desert, he was not prepared for the basic living conditions and the danger of his journey. At the start of this story I did find it a bit confusing, however when I realised the story was jumping between the journey of the cactus discovery and the build-up to the find, the story clicked. The descriptive way the story was written gave you an understanding on how dire Nicholson’s journey was. Closing your eyes, you could picture the sights and smells of New Mexico and similarities to the old western films come to mind. Having Chigger as his guide, draws him into the supernatural world of the Native Americans. This has so much in for a short story and what Nicholson goes through for made me grimace.
The Vespertine. When a stranger goes to a medicine man for healing. This story starts off in Austria and how he became ill by what I think are vampires, to him being used like a lab animal and the horrendous experiments done to him. As he is relaying all this to the medicine man you can sense the desolation in his voice. This was my favourite of the two and I read it quickly. Throughout you are wondering whether he will get cured. A great ending.
This is a great book for a quick read, for 2 short stories it has a lot of horror in, but it also makes you think. Scattered through both stories are the native American’s struggle with their land. I enjoy reading this author’s work and again I was not disappointed.

Unquiet Waters (Black Shuck Shadows Book 3) by Thana Niveau
Published on 29th September 2017
68 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies


Water can be deceiving, one minute it is calm the next your life is in danger. These 4 stories capture the fearfulness of water.
To Drown the World: Evan had not seen his sister Lea, for many years. Not a lover of water, he could never understand her fascination. When he finally saw her, her living arrangements were dire, and she was acting very strange, but when he wants to get her to safety, the water is something to fear. Whilst this story has a horror feel, the real horror is humans polluting the oceans.
The Reflection: Ever had a dream that you were drowning, Allan has but can never find out who is trying to kill him. A regular guy with no enemies. This all changes when he meets a familiar face. Throughout this story, there was a sense of dread, you know something is going to happen to Allan. The suspense is built up as Allan encounters more people. Through Allan’s confusion, you do not see the ending coming.
Rapture of the Deep: To get Natalie out of her depression of breaking up with her boyfriend. Her best friend Jo takes her on an exciting holiday. With Karl, Jo’s boyfriend, they go on a boating holiday, where Natalie is taught to snorkel. From the start, you know that Jo is trying to help, but Natalie is too depressed to realise the help. However, when Natalie goes snorkelling, she is in awe of the sights and she starts to get uplifted. With her life in danger, the sound she hears has a siren feel to it. This is a sad story
Where the Water Comes in: My favourite story of the four. Tara lives in her dream home, happy with her life but has a strange drinking habit. She likes drinking seawater, usually infused seaweed tea. She also had a fascination of water and she put her body through a lot to get her fix. She even dreamt of the sea. As the house began to change so did Tara. This story builds up to the grand reveal and whilst reading this story, I did not have any idea what changes were going to occur.
With all four stories, the author knows how to set the scene. With water facts scattered throughout, you could tell that she did her research. As a new author to me this was a good introduction to her work.