Posts Tagged ‘Short Stories’

Arithmophobia by Ruschelle Dillon

July 16, 2018 - 8:32 pm No Comments

Arithmophobia by Ruschelle Dillon
Published by Mystery and Horror LLC on 15th December 2017
144 pages

According to Google, Arithmophobia is the exaggerated, constant and often irrational fear of numbers.
Ruschelle plays on your fears with 9 short stories. Each short story featured the number 1-9. With a mixture of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and horror, some blended with humour, there is a short story to suit most readers.
Some of the stories I enjoyed were:
It Takes Two: Ahnna was rich and was never happy with her body. She knew that getting her breasts done would make her happy. So when her plastic surgeon, came up with a new procedure she knew she needed them and what was one little lie. This story builds up to the finale and what a finale. What I enjoyed was that there was no hints on the procedure until then end.
Three is as Magic as can be: When parents are being taken and all that remains is the child. Detective Oswald Quinn is on the case, 6 months on and still no suspect. Not only that but he is having problems at home with his son. With its dark thriller feel, this story grabbed me from the 1st blood stain on the floor. Reading this story, there was a feeling of dread and you could see Quinn slowly cracking under the pressure, as he was torn between his family and the case. A unexpected, heart-breaking ending.
A Perfect Eight: Dawn and Nicole are sisters. Both worked at their parent’s restaurant. Nicole the oldest and prettiest didn’t realise what she was doing to her sister. Things took a turn for the worse when customers who ate The Live Plate began to die. Made up of shrimp, oysters and octopus, the customers had to sign a waiver to eat it. But was it the dish that killed them. The story shows how far sisterly love can go. Throughout this story the author leads you down the wrong path, whilst I had my suspicions I could not work out the how. A story with a difference.
These are only three stories, but also making an appearance is a cheeky crude hysterical leprechaun in Seven Colors and the Four horseman in Four Men on Horses.
As an introduction to this author this a good read and I will be looking out for more from her

Broken on the Inside by Phil Sloman

June 5, 2018 - 8:17 pm No Comments

Broken on the Inside by Phil Sloman
Published by Black Shuck Books on 3rd June 2018
166 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Having read the novella Becoming David and some other short stories in various anthologies written by this author. I was pleased that he had now got his own collection in the Black Shuck Books Shadows series. The book features 5 short stories where the mental state of the main protagonists play an important part to the stories
Broken on the Inside: The title of the book is a story about Kira a young woman who over time became histrionic. Living with her mom who had the same condition, Kira wanted a cure. So when she came across Dr Secombe who professed to a miracle cure. Kira knew that she had to give it a go. As you are following Kira’s story, there is a sense of happiness as she gets her old life. However as the story takes a turn for the worse, you can sense the tension between Kira and her mom’s relationship. The story builds to a shocking reveal, which I did not see coming.
Discomfort Food: Rebecca works in a fast food restaurant and has a secret that only the meals know about. This reminded me of a modern version of the Tell Tale Heart. This was very descriptive and I loved the ending.
The Man Who Fed the Foxes: Paul is suffering from depression. Drinking heavily, he finds some peace when a family of foxes take up residents in his garden. After he began to feed them, they had an unusual way of showing their satisfaction. The majority of the story revolved around Paul’s grief. As I learnt more about why he is so upset, the actions of the foxes made it just right. An unexpected ending.
There Was an Old Man: I think most people know the nursery rhyme, There was a Old lady that swallowed a fly. Well this story is about John Hinklow and the aftermath of this event. As the story progress you can sense John’s anguish and do wander if a lot is in his head. The story is a page turner as I wanted to find out what happened at the end.
Virtually Famous: Having read this story in Imposter Syndrome, I was happy to see it in this collection. This is what a wrote the 1st time I read it and I still agree now. From the start this story got me hooked. The opening line “He died a thousand times today and would die a thousand more”. Chet Tyler was fixated on his own game and whilst some gamers wanted to be him others wanted to kill him. The fascination Chet had with the game was unnatural. The author has the knack of making you unsure whether you are reading the gaming or Chet’s experience. The lines of fact and fiction is blurred. You know Chet had a substance abuse but was he imagining it. All this made me want to read more.
Each story was completely different and whilst there were not monster’s and demons in this book, it shows how frightening human nature and conditions can be. Each story built up to unexpected endings. I love this author’s short stories and I hope they are more to come. If you have not read any of this authors work before than this is a great collection to get you started.

Psycho Circus: A Collection of Horror by TS Woolard

May 23, 2018 - 8:53 pm No Comments

Psycho Circus: A Collection of Horror by TS Woolard
Published by Azoth Khem Publishing on 9th October 2017
169 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

One thing I enjoy with reading short stories is the wide variety of tales. Whilst I have not read any of this author’s works before, I was looking forward to reading this book as I had heard good things and I was not disappointed. With 13 dark short stories and 6 poems each one was completely different. With various length stories involving clowns, zombies, serial killers angels, demons and many more, you will sure find a story you love.
Whilst I am not a big poetry fan , I did enjoy reading them. They were dark with a melancholy feel to them. They were systematically placed between the stories giving the book a smooth flow to your read.
As for the short stories it was hard to pick some of my favourites to write this review.
Kizzy’s Danse, follows Bret ex prisoner on his mission for forgiveness and revenge. Through this story, I felt sorry for Bret, whilst what he was planning was wrong, you could understand why he felt the need for revenge and the ending was so sad. This was one emotional read.
The First Cut, follows Ken and his fears of a house invasion. All I can say was I never saw the twists coming and Ken had a very unusual fetish.
The Toll, a story about what to expect when you die. Full of action and whilst graphic had some comedy moments in thanks to St Peter
Giving, follows five people throughout their lives. As you read this story their lives are all interlinked ad goes to show how one action has a domino effect in all their lives.

This is a book that you can pick up and read either straight through or if you have a spare 10 minutes just to read one. The stories are a good length and each story had me gripped. A lot of the stories were intense and some of the scenes where so emotionally charged that I had to pause before I carried onto the next story. I admire any author that can write a short story as you have limited words to tell the story and this author has definitely got the knack. This is a good collection and if you like your horror on the dark side than get this book.

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