Posts Tagged ‘Short Stories’

Watcher (The Watcher Series Book1) by Sian B Claven

December 29, 2018 - 10:27 pm No Comments

Watcher (The Watcher Series Book1) by Sian B Claven

Published 15th September 2018

256 pages

A Watcher is a recorder of supernatural events, not able to intervene their diary was a word of caution to others.  A diary featuring 6 incidents has been found, as a reader will I heed the warning and not read it. Of cause not, here is my review of the book.

Family Motel was my favourite story, a downtrodden motel and a family who just wanted a bed for the night. The other stories were Forest Fury, Mother’s Den, Warning Sign, Circus Clown and Mermaid’s Song. Between each story, was the watcher’s own reasons behind the story and at times explained what had happened to the survivors.   

Each story had a different level of horror which will please readers that don’t like it too graphic. With each story, the author had a way of drawing you in, the descriptive details of even the minor scenes had you wanting to know what happened next. This enabled me to read this book pretty quick. As this was a new author to me, it was a good introduction to her work. I hope there is more from the Watcher in the near future.

Sinister Horror Company Annual

December 10, 2018 - 9:57 pm No Comments

Sinister Horror Company Annual

Published by Sinister Horror Company on 31st October 2018

104 pages

As a little girl, I would always look forward to Christmas Day, not just for the presents but for the annual I would get every year. It was a book that had hours of enjoyment and I would re-read it throughout the year. The older I got I soon outgrew the annuals and I can’t remember the last time I read one. However, this year I was like a kid at Christmas when Sinister Horror announced that they were going to publish an annual for horror lovers.

When I bought it, I eagerly opened it to see what fun was insideand I wasn’t disappointed. There was the usual dot to dot, crossword, word search and even a picture to colour, allwith the horror theme and what annual would not have a comic strip running throughout the book. One unique touch was the Lego, each picture depicted different Lego characters acting out the covers of books published by Sinister Horror.  

There were also contributions from Daniel Marc Chant, Tracey Fahey, Kit Power, Tim Clayton,  Andrew Freudenberg, Mark Cassell, Kayleigh Marie Edwards, Duncan P Bradshaw, Chris Kelso and JR Park. All these authors either wrote a short story or an article and each piece was great reading.

For this review, I am going to pick out a few.

Cernunnos by Daniel Marc Chant: A pile of ash in a shoe, an ancient stag skull on the desk and DI Lydia Brooks was on the case. This story is a mystery and as you read this story you find out more about the skull’s history. I would like to read this as a longer story as I did not want it to end.

The Girl who kissed the dead by Tracey Fahey: The main protagonist main job was a mortician beautician, but she was also a tattooist and beautician. As you read this story,you get to find out the reason behind her choice of jobs and I just wanted to give her a big hug. As you finish the story you find out how she tries to help others who suffered by the hand of others. Sucha beautiful story.

The Incredible Case of Marie Dunsten by JR Park: 4 days after her boyfriend was murdered, Marie is found without a memory of the event, Detective Lamb is on the case. As you read this story, you soon realise that the Detective is out of his depth. He suspected that Marie had something to do with it but could not prove it. With more and more bodies brutally killed,the story intensifies in the final quarter as Lamb chases down his suspect.However, it is not till the end of the book do you find out who/what is behind it.

 One thing I noticed with this annual, was the quality of the finished product, with its glossy cover and thick paper, it was a pleasure to hold it and I had not even started to read it.This annual will give you hours of fun and I know I will revisit these stories again. I hope that this will be a yearly event as I want to look forward to anew one every year. A must have for all horror lovers.  

The Horror Collection: Gold Edition by Kevin J Kennedy, Amy Cross, Mike Duke, JC Michael. Lex H Jones and Matthew Brockmeyer

December 9, 2018 - 4:18 pm No Comments

The Horror Collection: Gold Edition by Kevin J Kennedy, Amy Cross, Mike Duke, JC Michael. Lex H Jones and Matthew Brockmeyer

Published by KJK Publishing on 28th September 2018

133 pages

As soon as I know there is a new anthology from KJK Publishing I will pre-order regardless of the theme.

The Paperboy by Amy Cross: As the paper is being delivered, one resident has an unhealthy obsessionwith his paperboy. Will seeing his eyes explain what’s going on?  The descriptivestyle has you wondering what exactly had happened to the resident and was is heobsessed with the paperboy’s eyes. It is not till the end do you find out whatexactly happened.

The Man who Lost Paradise by JC Michael: A drug addict is hunting for the ultimate fix, but what he has to do is worse than Hell. This story does not romanticise drug taking, it shows just how bad it can be. The main character had no qualms of doing what he wanted to, to get his next fix and due to his circumstances found it all too easy. However, halfway through the story, I actually started to feel sorry for him and I could understand what he wanted to achieve.

The September Laments of Annaleigh by Matthew Brockmeyer: A family trying to survive living in the wilderness. From the start this had a dystopian feel, a family living off the land and eating what they catch, but as the story continues you soon realise that there is something not right with them. Think of the families in all your favourite horror films, but it’s not just the family that you need to worry about but what is kept in the sty.

Flesh by Kevin J Kennedy: Two tribes have learnt to adapt by living underground. As I was reading this I was imagining the Morlock. Whilst you think this is a story about cannibalism, the dead have a unique way of fighting back. As the story is set underground it has a claustrophobic feel to it and that all is lost.    

At Peace Now? By Lex H Jones:  Ethan has important news for everyone. As you start this story this feels like a quest in an epic fantasy. Scattered throughout is the story behind him being there. Not much is known about the creature who is following him, but it all comes dangerously clear at the end.

Ghost Train by Mike Duke: A train crashing into a school bus killing many, triggered regular hauntings. Years on people are still talking about the ghostly train. Now four boys want to see if the stories are true. The bond between the four boys was as strong as brothers. When one of them was in danger whether it was from bullies or the train, they all fought together. This is a coming of age story with a great ending.

As this book has 6 stories, I read it pretty quickly and I need to congratulate KJK on another good author selection. Without a theme, there is a good mixture of horror and whilst I still had a favourite, I enjoyed reading them all.  I’m looking forward to what will come next from KJK publishing I

Collected Christmas Horror Shorts (Collected Horror Shorts Book 1)

November 15, 2018 - 4:33 am No Comments

Collected Christmas Horror Shorts (Collected Horror Shorts Book 1)
Published by Kevin J Kennedy on 30th November 2016
260 pages

It’s still only November and TV is awash with Christmas ads so to get me in the mood than reading an anthology of Christmas Horror shorts. With a mixture of 24 stories and poems, this book will certainly bring some Christmas cheer to Horror lovers. With so many stories I will still be writing this review on Christmas Eve so for time purposes, I am going to pick the ones that stood out for me. This was a difficult choice as they were all good reads.
Naughty or Nice by Veronica Smith: The story of Robert whilst he was working one night at Kmart. You notice as soon as Halloween has passed the shops start to sell Christmas merch and the Kmart was no difference. The story has killers that are unexpected and whilst they start out quite comical, it isn’t long until you know they mean business.
All Naughty, No Nice by Michael A Arnzen: What happens if Santa still spread his magic in a zombie world. This story had a sense of sorrow to it as you knew how despondent Santa was
Merry Fuckin’ Christmas by Kevin J Kennedy: What starts out with a regular guy preparing for Christmas soon changes into a tale of revenge. This story was heartbreaking and what one tragic accident can result in. The killings were described in detail and will have you thinking what would you do.
Hung With Care by Ty Schwamberger: A family gets a surprise from Santa. I enjoyed the Bad Santa and the real reason why Santa visits on Christmas Eve. The unique decoration above the fireplace completed the story
Killing Christmas by Andrew Lennon: We all know people like Jeff, in fact, I am like him. I get fed up how Christmas comes earlier every year and as soon as Halloween is over Christmas is rammed down our throats, but what happens to Jeff, does have you worried.
The Last Christmas Dinner by Christine Bergling: For Susan, preparing Christmas dinner is one of the busiest times of the year. This story builds up to a surprise ending and you are drawn into what you think is a happy Christmas celebration.
Whilst I have not mentioned the others, that doesn’t mean that I did not enjoy them. There are plenty of stories that will keep you busy over the festive season, and whether you like Christmas or not this book will please horror readers whatever your taste in horror is as this book cover most of the sub-genres. I have the all the collected short stories and I find it is a good way to read authors work that I have not come across.

Hark the Herald Angels Scream edited by Christopher Golden

October 27, 2018 - 3:52 pm No Comments

Hark the Herald Angels Scream edited by Christopher Golden
Published by Pisces Books on 30th Oct. 2018
384 pages

Before we know it, the Christmas season will be upon us, and what would be nicer than sitting curled up with a book showcasing 18 stories spreading the Christmas cheer or should that be fear
If I reviewed every story, my review would go out on for ever, so here are a some of stories that I really liked.
Christmas in Barcelona by Scott Smith: Travelling is a stressful situation. Having a new born baby in tow is double the stress. This story follows a couple as they take their baby on a Christmas getaway to Barcelona. As you read the story you could feel the cracks beginning to show with their happy family. There is a feel of tension in the story as you expect something to happen at any time. The addition of the presents takes the situation from bad to worse. A good twist at the end.
The Second Floor of the Christmas Hotel by Joe R Lansdale. Strange goings on in a hotel, gives a chance for the MC to find out more about the mystery girl who kissed him at a Christmas party many years before. Even though you know that something bad happened at the hotel, the investigation of the owner and the haunting of the room gave it a whodunnit feel to the story. Swapping timelines was smooth and made this story a quick read.
Yankee Swap by John M McIlveen. First off, I had not got a clue what Yankee Swap was so had to google it. This story had a fatal twist to the game and a Saw feel to it. Non-stop drama with an ending that I never saw coming.
The Hangman’s Bride by Sarah Pinborough. Life was hard being a chimney sweep boy, its harder when the house you are working at is haunted by a ghost. The descriptive writing made you feel that you were watching a movie. This had everything you need in a ghost story. Love, revenge and haunting ending.
Whilst I had heard of some of the authors, this was a good introduction to the others and I will be sure to look out for other work by them. As Horror comes in different shapes and form, do not expect every story to scare you, but buy this book and pick your own favourite story.