Posts Tagged ‘Short Stories’

Whispered Echoes by Paul F Olson

June 23, 2017 - 6:36 pm No Comments

Whispered Echoes by Paul F Olson

Published by Crystal Lake Publishing on 23rd June 2017

275 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Having only read Indie authors for just over a year I had not had the pleasure of reading any of the author’s work. However, when I was offered the chance to read a collection of his dark horror stories in one book and being a lover of short stories, how could I say no.

Before I even got to the stories I found the introduction by Paul F Olson fascinating, how he explained the history behind the creation of some of the stories and the lengths he had go to, to get these stories to the format we all know. It shows my age as I remember floppy discs.

For this review, I am going to pick a couple of my favourites, but with 11 short stories and a novella I was spoilt for a choice.

Homecoming:  Beckett was having a relaxing drink in a rundown bar, when he noticed a teenager having a drink, having a son the same age, he thought he may be in trouble. Having offered to take him home, he did not expect what he found. This story lulls you into a false sense of security however the further you read the creepier is gets. Whilst you know something is not right, you don’t expect the ending, then it hits you.

The More Things Change: Elvin lives in a town that nothing stays the same, it gets more surreal over time. The animals talk, the sky is green at the moment but can change every day structures change shape and texture and my favourite; bears riding Harleys, this is only a few things that are affecting this town and whilst at the start the residents find it quite fun, over time, the cracks start to appear and they are looking for someone to blame. Written from Elvin’s POV, this story is showing an apocalyptic at its funniest and whilst it is humorous, there was a serious side showing the mob culture, when they want changes.

Faith and Henry Gustafson:  Henry Gustafson gets a call in the dead of night about a murder at a disused summer camp, but when he gets there he is in for a surprise. This story reminded me a lot of those slasher movies set in the woods. This story was full of suspense and not knowing what to expect made it a really quick read.

Bloodybones: Amy loves life, an action junkie, who lives in a lighthouse. This story follows her on a regular journey home and the aftermath of that fatal Saturday afternoon. This story is intense from the start, starting with the race against the storm, you can feel Amy’s concerns and fears. The story then changes to her boyfriend’s POV we follow each step of his investigation. Reading from his POV makes the story more harrowing as you can feel his loss and when Amy’s sister comes to visit, you get the feeling that he thinks he is losing his mind. The more they investigate Amy, the more sinister the story gets, as they come across a creature called Bloodybones, who reminds me of Slenderman, created by adults to scare their children. A great story with a dramatic ending

This a great selection of short stories that will have looking over your shoulder whilst you read it. Now I have read Paul F Olson’s work I will look out for more

13 Déjà Vu (Thirteen Series book 2) by Bradon Nave, Elizabeth Roderick, Carissa Ann Lynch, Sara Schoen, Marissa Farrar, Thomas S. Flowers, S. Valentine, Erin Lee, Jackie Sonnenberg, Samie Sands, Luke Swanson, D.A. Roach, Taylor Henderson.

June 20, 2017 - 9:45 pm 1 Comment

13 Déjà Vu (Thirteen Series book 2) by Bradon Nave, Elizabeth Roderick, Carissa Ann Lynch, Sara Schoen, Marissa Farrar, Thomas S. Flowers, S. Valentine, Erin Lee, Jackie Sonnenberg, Samie Sands, Luke Swanson, D.A. Roach, Taylor Henderson.

Published by Limitless Publishing LLC on 20th June 2017

410 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Having read 13 I knew that I had to get this and pre-ordered it so it arrived on my kindle today. Knowing all the authors I knew that I would be in for a great read and I was not disappointed.

Caved in by Jackie Sonnenberg: When Fay wanted to protect her unborn baby, she knew that she needed to talk to the witch that lived in the cave. As I began this story I thought I knew what was going to happen but I was completely wrong. How the author came up with this idea of saving the baby is beyond me and I loved the graphic bloody ending.

Grave Beginnings by Sara Schoen: Three friends, an abandoned prison and a Ouija board, what could go wrong. It was a pleasant change to read a story that was not set in an asylum. Set in a prison added to the suspense and you are aware that the people who had dies there had all been convicted of evil crimes, so when a Ouija board was added you knew that something evil would emerge. This story was full of suspense and kept you guessing to the end.

Myopia by Samie Sands: Mia was blind, due to her disability, she did not make friends easy. Whilst her mom was called into work due to a medical emergency, Mia has to fend for herself and tries to learn what has happened. Only hearing what was going on in the town made it hard for Mia to grasp how serious the situation was. Whilst it would be worrying be left alone, losing one of your senses makes it even more scary and you can understand all of Mia’s emotions. The ending made me want to know more about her survival and I felt really sorry for her as yet again she was classed as a burden. The only good thing was she could not see the devastation happening, although I am sure her imagination made it worse.

Room 249 by Thomas S Flower: The story follows Andy as he goes on a crime and killing spree and ends up in a motel in room 249. Andy is the type of criminal that blames everyone else for his mistakes, and even when he was killing he always justified his actions. When he gets to the motel he does not suspect anything is wrong with the place and the author has a talent of concealing the horror that is soon to happen. When it happened; I was in shock as never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the creature that was lurking in room 249.

Sacrifice by Luke Swanson: Detective Flynn is renowned for investigating the evil of cases. Roger has retired to LA, but when a murdered child is found their meeting is not what was expected. The start of the story is an introduction to Roger, but after the child is found the story changes to Flynn’s investigation and you had the sense that Flynn as at breaking point. The author tied up the investigation neatly and I would enjoy to read more about Detective Flynn.

See you on the Flip Side by Carissa Ann Lynch: If you have read 13 then you will recognise the place where this story is set. Going back to Adventure Town we follow Donna as she goes on a camping trip with her boyfriend and family. The author has a way of playing on your fears and if you have a phobia of bugs then this story will definitely make you skin crawl. I loved the twist at the end when you think Donna has lost her mind and I could see a series about Adventure town.

Sinister by Taylor Henderson:  This story is a build up to a killer’s first murder. The story is about Karen, her neighbours Nate and Natalie and her best friend Marty. There are hints in this story that there is a potential serial killer when animals go missing and whilst Karen has her suspicions it is not till the end that we get to know who the murderer is.

Six Lie Broken by Brandon Nave: A group of men abducting a teenager, Savannah rescuing a young boy and with her best friend Vanessa throwing a party called the Harvest. This story had graphic scenes throughout and when you find the identity of the victims you do not have any sympathy for them. A unique story and I have learnt a new use for a hot spoon.

The Bad Man by Marissa Farrar: Sophie lived in a tunnel with 4 other children after being captured by the bad man. Why are they down there and who is scratching in the dark? Whilst reading this story you don’t know if the bad man is actually bad or if he saved the children. However; these children were living in squalor and would the outside world be better for them. The further you read the scratching noises are explained and the ending left me wanting to know more.

The Inheritance by DA Roach: Niki has just inherited a factory from her dad, believing it to be a curse, he did not want anything to do with it. This story follows Niki and her friends whilst they investigate the building. The story is full of suspense and has the feel that you are following the group as they go around the factory. The twist in the story involving Rya a demon who collects souls adds to this.

Under Mama’s Roof by Elizabeth Roderick: Tara had always had a mother ruling her life, but when she died she thought it was over. When things start happening around her home Tara suspected it was the ghost of her mother, but she did not expect it to get so out of control. A good ghost story with added twist.

Wicked Intentions by Sophia Valentine: April is due to give birth and without a job and a home, she turns to the father of her baby to help. But is he after her baby? Whilst I was reading this story I was on April’s side as the author wants you to believe that she is in danger. The story builds to a dramatic climax and you are left wandering who the real victim was.

Widow’s Prey by Erin Lee: There has always been something wrong with Tendra. She has never cried and has never showed emotion. Whilst you have an idea of what type of child she is, it is not until she is in college and gets her claws into Colby that you find out exactly what she is like. Tendra is one evil girl, only thinks of herself and what she wants she gets. This story reminds of a cat playing with its prey wearing them down until the killer blow, and the ending of the story is one of the most evil scenes that I have read in a while.

Another great anthology from Limitless.

The Painting of Martel by L Bachman and Put on a Happy Face by Terry M West. 2 short stories that will give you a fright

June 9, 2017 - 7:44 pm No Comments

The Painting of Martel: A Short Story by L Bachman

Published on 1st May 2017

14 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

People have always had a fascination of serial killers; some go one step further and try and own memorabilia. Damon was one of these people, after coming across a book about clown serial killer James Martel, his interest soon becomes an obsession when he finds out that Martel’s final painting is up for sale and Damon wants to own it regardless of the consequences.

With a lot of people scared of clowns, this story will play on their fears. From start to finish this book will put you on edge. The style of writing has you feel that something is about to happen but you don’t know when. Although this is a short story there is so much going on and you get to know about Martel and his victims whilst Damon is doing his research. At the start, I did feel sorry for Kenneth as Damon’s fascination was looking to be getting out of control, but the twist at the end soon gets rid of those feelings.

A short scary read which will keep thinking about the painting even after you have finished it. A must read for horror lovers

 

Put on a Happy Face: A Short Horror Story by Terry M West

Published by Pleasant Storm Entertainment on 9th March 2014

82 Pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Living in an old large house Susie Monroe only had her older brother Billy for company. Used to her own company, she only had the abandon toys to play with. One of her favourite items was an old record player which she played her favourite song “Put on a Happy Face”. She only saw her brother whilst he was wearing a mask, he had a different mask for every emotion. Although what secrets was Billy keeping, why didn’t their visitors eat breakfast with them and why were they in hiding.

A sweet and innocent girl Susie never asks questions of her brother. With the help of the masks worn by her brother, Susie always understood his moods and always tried to please him.

From the start of the story, you have the sense something is not right, but as the story progress, you get to know more of their story. There is something creepy about people wearing masks and Terry M West captures this with his writing.  The apprehensiveness I felt whilst reading this made it a quick read as I wanted to know more about this unusual family. If you have a spare ½ hour for a scare than get this book and put on a happy face.

Twice upon an Apocalypse: Lovecraftian Fairy Tales

May 30, 2017 - 5:24 pm No Comments

Twice upon an Apocalypse: Lovecraftian Fairy Tales edited by Rachel Kenley and Scott T Goudsward: Authors: Armand Rosamilia, William Meikle, Bracken MacLeodPeter N. DudarMorgan SylviaDon D’AmmassaMichael KampWinifred BurnistonZach ShephardGary A. Braunbeck (Introduction)

Published by Crystal Lake Publishing on 30th May 2017

284 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Like most people I grew up with fairy tales, and have always loved it when authors put their own twist to them. Each story is a different tale but have one thing in common, they all had a Lovecraftian theme.

With 21 stories to capture your imagination, you be hard pressed to find a story that you don’t like. For this review, I am going to pick my favourites.

Little Maiden of the Sea by David Bernard: Using the story of The Little Mermaid, the author tells the story of a female Deep one, who wants to live with humans. Reading this story, I had the feeling that both main characters used each other to get what they wanted in life. The added twist at the end left me wondering if the plan worked.

The Horror of Hatchet Point by Zach Shephard: Based on Rumpelstiltskin and sticking very close to the original this story tells how Rumpelstiltskin uses the Queen to enable him to call forth Father Dagon. Whilst the character of Rumpelstiltskin is a hated child abductor, the author puts a spin on this character and explains the reasons behind his plan.

Let Me Come In by Simon Yee: If you have read The Three Little Pigs, the wolf is the bad guy, however in this story, the wolf has just survived The Great War against the humans and is looking for food. His meeting with the three little pigs and a mysterious white symbol tells the story in a whole new light. It was different to read it from the point of view of the wolf and I did find it funny to hear the pigs swearing, as I am used to the original fairy tale. I liked how the wolf did not use his breath to destroy the houses.

The Little Match Mi-Go by Michael Kamp: After the Old ones were released and destroyed the earth, it was left to the smallest of the Mi-Go to save the earth. This story follows this creature whilst it tries and find Ghatanothoa. Throughout this story I felt sorry for the little Mi-Go as I sensed the quest was hopeless, and I was willing it to survive.

Writing this review, I found it hard to pick my favourites as every story was good. Not having read any of these authors previous works, I did not know what to expect but I have now added more authors to my list to read. I have not read any of HP Lovecraft, but this did not stop me enjoying this book. Lovecraft’s characters suited these fairy tales and returned them to the dark tales before Disney got hold of them. If you like your fairy tales dark or just a fan of Lovecraft then this is a great book to buy.

Made for the Dark: Tales of the Supernatural and Paranormal by Greg James

May 25, 2017 - 9:26 pm No Comments

Made for the Dark: Tales of the Supernatural and Paranormal by Greg James

Published by GJA Publications on 21st May 2017

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Made for the Dark is a collection of 20 short stories that will take you on journeys that you could not imagine.

There was not a story that I did not enjoy, however for this review I am going to mention the ones I enjoyed the most.

The Curse of Amen-Ra: A story about a recluse who is about end his life and his involvement and fascination with Amen-Ra. In most stories about Egyptian mummies, the curse is usually awoken by opening the tomb, however this story uses an intriguing method of waking up the mummy. With the story concentrating on the aftermaths of the awaken, and using nautical history makes this a fascinating read.

Zombies by Moonlight: Vera is on the way to her parent’s home and soon regrets taking a shortcut. Although a short story this is full of action. Reading it you get the thrill of the chase and whilst Vera soon realises that she is being pursued by zombies, they are not what she should be scared of. The twist at the end made this story more than your regular zombie story.

The Writhing: The majority of historical castles have a chequered past, but Angrisla Castle past was more experimental than invasions. Elly and Barry grew up watching old monster movies so when Elly heard about the castle’s history she knew she had to visit. As the story progressed you knew something was going to happen, but whilst I expected some creature to jump out I did not envisage the method that was used and the relationship between Barry and Elly was explained in detail.

The Bus Shelter: A story about a passenger as he has to deliver a package. From the start of this story you can feel the despair. The pollution and the disrepair of the surroundings makes this an unbearable place. Whilst I was reading this I felt that the man on the bus wanted to escape this world but the journey was making it impossible. An interesting read.

Whilst I have read a number of books written by Greg James, I have never read any of short stories. The details he put into them where as much as he would a novel. His descriptive writing brought out a number of emotions whilst reading them. Each story left me wanting more and I know I will revisit this book again. Whatever horror you love, whether it is zombies, ancient Egyptians or things that only your peripheral vision can see than you will sure to find a story you will love. A great collection of short stories