Friday, July 22, 2016

Mayan Blue by Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason - Review #MayanBlue

My thoughts
Okay, Eli Roth, James Wan, Rob Zombie, or perhaps Guillermo Del Toro, you need to read this book and make it into a movie. Because it already reads like a movie. A really good scary, gory movie. (I think Eli Roth would be good fit for this one, but that's just my opinion).

I have always been fascinated by the Mayans. I long to visit Chichen Itza and the other Mayan archaeological ruin sites. Mel Gibson's Apocalypto is one of my favorite films. Many people are interested in the fact that the Mayans practiced human sacrifice. Yes, that is interesting...and horrifying. However, I find the fact of their vast knowledge to be far more interesting. The creation of their hieroglyphic script, the only known fully developed writing system of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well their art, architecture, mathematics, calendar, and astronomical system, is what I find truly amazing.

The authors, known as The Sisters of Slaughter, have created a unique premise here with one of their characters, a professor and archaeologist, having a theory that some of the Mayan's scattered and found refuge in the mountain regions of the state of Georgia. I find this an interesting and even plausible theory. The Mayan's were so advanced...why couldn't some of them have broke away and migrated elsewhere?

The professor decides to explore his theory, along with his research assistant and a group of college students, traveling to the Blood Mountain area of Georgia. As you can probably imagine, it all goes down hill from there. I keep telling these archaeologists in movies/books...don't move or remove things, damn it. They don't listen. (and that's as spoilery as I'm going to get).

As I mentioned at the beginning, reading this is like watching a good horror movie. Edge of seat, nail biting terror at what is steadily revealed as the story progresses. Forget zombies. These entities (to use a nice word that doesn't even begin to describe them) are grotesque almost beyond description. Also, I love owls, but after this book,..I may have to think on that more. Oh, and don't forget the gore. This is a journey into Xibalba, the Mayan underworld. What can be expected but blood, gore and endless suffering in the world of Ah Puch, the god of death.

All I can say is that Mayan Blue is the BOMB. I was thrilled through every minute of reading it and I read it very fast...and I'm not a fast reader. I can't wait to read more from The Sisters of Slaughter.

About the book
File Size: 488 KB
Print Length: 149 pages
Publisher: Sinister Grin Press (May 25, 2016)
Publication Date: May 25, 2016


Xibalba, home of torture and sacrifice, is the kingdom of the lord of death. He stalked the night in the guise of a putrefied corpse, with the head of an owl and adorned with a necklace of disembodied eyes that hung from nerve cords. He commanded legions of shapeshifting creatures, spectral shamans, and corpses hungry for the flesh of the living. The Mayans feared him and his realm of horror. He sat atop his pyramid temple surrounded by his demon kings and demanded sacrifices of blood and beating hearts as tribute to him and his ghostly world.

These legends, along with those that lived in fear of them, have been dead and gone for centuries. Yet now, a doorway has been opened in Georgia. A group of college students seek their missing professor, a man who has secretly uncovered the answer to one of history’s greatest mysteries. However, what they find is more than the evidence of a hidden civilization. It’s also a gateway to a world of living nightmares.

About the authors
Melissa Lason and Michelle Garza have been writing together since they were little girls and were dubbed The Sisters of Slaughter by the editors of Fireside Press. They are constantly working together on new stories in the horror and dark fantasy genres. Their work has been included in FRESH MEAT published by Sinister Grin Press, WISHFUL THINKING by Fireside Press, WIDOWMAKERS a benefit anthology of dark fiction.

Find them on Facebook!

Praise for Mayan Blue
“From the outset, Garza and Lason let the blood spill, plunging their small cast of characters into the depths of Mayan hell. There’s plenty of action to go around as the group is confronted with a number of horrors, from the labyrinthine and booby-trapped maze of the newly discovered Mayan temple to the angry gods and their owl-headed, sharp-clawed servants.” –Michael Hicks, Author of Convergence

“Their short works are wonderful to read. However this book proves that they can tackle longer works without missing a beat.” –Tom, GoodReads

”These two show no quarter dragging the characters--and by extension, the reader--into the depths of the Mayan version of Hell. There's vividness to the scenes they craft that made me want to make sure I was reading in full daylight, or at least with most of the lights on.” –John Quick, Author of Consequences

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet by #AdamHowe - Review

My thoughts
Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet is a book of three horror novellas that really takes you on a ride...and what a wild ride it is!

Damn Dirty Apes is a little yarn about a washed up boxer turned bouncer, who reluctantly joins the hunt for a skunk ape, a local legend (sort of like Bigfoot, but much more stinky, apparently). This one was pretty funny and suspenseful at the same time. I could totally see it as a movie on the SyFy Channel. Yeah, I have a thing for those movies. What can I say...

In Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet, we get a bit of The Deliberate Stranger mixed in with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or maybe Wrong Turn. I haven't decided yet. Just when you think Ted Bundy emulator, Terrence Hingle is the worst ever, here come the Ritter brothers. Who is worse? Well, you'll have to read to find out. Let me just say that if you like the afore mentioned movies, then this is the story for you.

Gator Bait is the final novella and what a finale. Hammond has a thing for the ladies, but after his latest encounter with the husband, he is sworn off dames until...would that he had listened to himself. Finding himself working for a backwoods mafioso with a giant gator for muscle, he soon finds himself ignoring his own advice about messing with dames. His boss has a looker of a wife, and she's a damsel in distress. Men. Try thinking with the right head. Might not be a bad idea.

This trio of novellas is damn good pulp fiction/horror. The stories are quite graphic and twisted, but any lover of horror worth their salt will recognize the brilliance in this book. Damn fine writing too.

About the book
Publication Date: Nov. 2, 2015
Publisher: Comet Press
Publication Length: 250 pages

From Adam Howe, winner of Stephen King’s “On Writing” short story contest, comes three original novellas of hardboiled crime, graphic horror and pitch-black gallows humor.


Washed-up prizefighter Reggie Levine is eking a living as a strip club bouncer when he’s offered an unlikely shot at redemption. The Bigelow Skunk Ape – a mythical creature said to haunt the local woods – has kidnapped the high school football mascot, Boogaloo Baboon. Now it’s up to Reggie to lead a misfit posse including a plucky stripper, the town drunk, and legend-in-his-own-mind skunk ape hunter Jameson T. Salisbury. Their mission: Slay the beast and rescue their friend. But not everything is as it seems, and as our heroes venture deeper into the heart of darkness, they will discover worse things waiting in the woods than just the Bigelow Skunk Ape. The story the Society for the Preservation of the North American Skunk Ape tried to ban; Damn Dirty Apes mixes Roadhouse with Jaws with Sons of Anarchy, to create a rollicking romp of 80s-style action/adventure, creature horror and pitch-black comedy.


Escaped mental patient Terrence Hingle, the butcher of five sorority sisters at the Kappa Pi Massacre, kidnaps timid diner waitress Tilly Mulvehill and bolts for the border. Forcing his hostage to drive him out of town, it’s just a question of time before Tilly becomes the next victim in Hingle’s latest killing spree. But when they stop for gas at a rural filling station operated by deranged twin brothers, Dwayne and Dwight Ritter, the tables are turned on Hingle, and for Tilly the night becomes a hellish cat-and-mouse ordeal of terror and depravity. The meat in a maniac sandwich, Tilly is forced against her nature to make a stand and fight for survival. Because sometimes the only choice you have is to do or die…to Die Dog Or Eat The Hatchet.


Prohibition-era 1930s… After an affair with the wrong man’s wife, seedy piano player Smitty Three Fingers flees the city and finds himself tinkling the ivories at a Louisiana honky-tonk owned by vicious bootlegger Horace Croker and his trophy wife, Grace. Folks come to The Grinnin’ Gator for the liquor and burlesque girls, but they keep coming back for Big George, the giant alligator Croker keeps in the pond out back. Croker is rumored to have fed ex-wives and enemies to his pet, so when Smitty and Grace embark on a torrid affair…what could possibly go wrong? Inspired by true events, Gator Bait mixes hardboiled crime (James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice) with creature horror (Tobe Hooper’s Eaten Alive) to create a riveting tale of suspense.

Listen to this sample reading from the book over at YouTube from the folks at Manor House:

About the author
Adam Howe writes the twisted fiction your mother warned you about. A British writer of fiction and screenplays, he lives in Greater London with his partner and their hellhound, Gino. Writing as Garrett Addams, his short story Jumper was chosen by Stephen King as the winner of the On Writing contest, and published in the paperback/Kindle editions of SK’s book; he was also granted an audience with The King, where they mostly discussed slow vs. fast zombies. His fiction has appeared in Nightmare Magazine, Thuglit, The Horror Library, Mythic Delirium, Plan B Magazine, and One Buck Horror. He is the author of two collections, Black Cat Mojo and Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet, plus the eBook single, Gator Bait. Future works include Tijuana Donkey Showdown, One Tough Bastard, and a crime/horror collaboration with Adam Tribesmen Cesare.

Find him on Twitter at @Adam_G_Howe.

Praise for Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet
"It's an explicit, hard-hitting, twisted funhouse ride into pulpish horror wrapped loosely in a tattered skein of irreverent, jet black humor. In short, it's a freakin' blast." --Walt Hicks, author of Dirge of the Forgotten

“With Die Dog Or Eat the Hatchet, Adam Howe hasn’t written one of my favorite books of the year, he’s actually written three of my favorites. Stories that are tight, toned, and genre-confounding. Horror fans and crime fans are going to come to blows over who gets to claim Howe as one of their own, but they’re both going to be wrong because Howe’s his own thing.” – Adam Cesare, author of Tribesmen and Mercy House

“The recipe for Adam Howe’s DIE DOG OR EAT THE HATCHET is: Two parts Joe Lansdale, One part Justified, and a heavy dose of WTF. The result is a swampy cocktail darker than any backwoods hayride, stronger than the meanest Sasquatch, and crazier than anything you’ll find chicken-fried at your local state fair.”—Eryk Pruitt, author of Hashtag and Dirtbags

"Adam Howe proves with the three stories in this book that he can basically write anything. And write it very well indeed. To summarise: A three novella collection that you absolutely must have in your collection. I give this one the highest possible recommendation that I can." -Nev, Confessions of a Reviewer

"Adam Howe’s “Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet,” is equal parts terror and fun, his dark comedic voice dances through each of the works in this collection to create engaging stories filled with bars, dames, rabid dogs, and an ape with one hell of a right hook."(Nathan Crazybear/Splatterpunk Zine)

"Once again this author has sucked me into the darkness of his stories and unleashed the twisted, disgusting and stomach churning madness that I come to expect. In fact, I would have been very disappointed if this book was not even more mind-blowing than Black Cat Mojo. And he did not disappoint. Hats off to Mr Howe for creating this magnificent novella of pure horror. I would definitely recommend this to readers of horror and make sure you buckle up as you will be in for the most twisted ride of your life!" -Crime Book Junkie

"I'm pretty certain that whatever genre you like to read, be it pulp, noir, horror, anything really, you will find something to enjoy here. It's fast paced, action packed and brilliantly written. Comet Press has got a diamond on their hands! 5 stars" -Adrian Shotbolt

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Somer Canon's #VickiBeautiful - Review

My thoughts
I don't think I've ever been quite this astounded by a horror story. Being a long time horror fan, and a fan of shows such as Hannibal, you would think that I have seen it all, and nothing would shock me. Well, it turns out that's not the case. Vicki Beautiful left me gobsmacked.

I can't go into much detail about the story itself without spoiling it for others so I'll just say that this short novella kept me reading from page one. The reason. Well, when a horror story starts out all sunshine and flowers, you know you're in for it. Now don't get me's not a scary read. However, it does question human nature and what we would be willing to do for those we love. And, of course, the big question at the end that everyone will be asking themselves...that's what stayed in the back of my mind the entire time.

Vicki Beautiful is definitely a must-read if you can stomach some, shall I say, grossness. Luckily, I'm brave when it comes to horror. Otherwise, I might have missed this one. I can't wait to read what Canon publishes next!

About the book
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: Samhain

One last taste of perfection…

Sasha and Brynn descend upon the showplace home of their girlhood friend, Vicki, planning to celebrate her surviving cancer to reach her fortieth birthday. As they gather around Vicki’s perfectly set dinner table, though, her husband shares devastating news. The cancer is back, and she doesn’t have long to live.

Her life is cut even shorter than Sasha and Brynn expect—the next morning, their friend is found dead, her flawless skin slit at the wrists. But a tub full of blood is only the beginning. Before the weekend is through, they are forced to question how far they’re willing to go to fulfill Vicki’s last wish.

A very specific, very detailed recipe that only the truest of friends could stomach…

About the author
Somer Canon is a minivan revving suburban mother who avoids her neighbors for fear of
being found out as a weirdo. When she’s not peering out of her windows, she’s consuming books, movies, and video games that sate her need for blood, gore, and things that disturb her mother.

Vicki Beautiful is her debut novella.

Find out more about Somer and her upcoming works at her website You can also connect with Somer on Twitter:

Praise for Vicki Beautiful
“ I read this at one gripping session and I shall read more by this author. Excellent, original and worth every one of my five stars.” –Catherine Cavendish, Author of The Devil’s Serenade

“At times it reminded me of the cult classic "Eating Raoul" and others "The Big Chill". Suffice to say, Canon has created an intriguing tale that will not only have you caring about characters put into an awkward, unsettling situation but also wondering how they'll react to it every step of the way. I highly recommend this unique and entertaining story.”
–Matthew Franks, Author The Monster Underneath

“This is not the normal type of book that I would read, but the cover sold it to me, and I like reading new authors and genres. This book is beautifully written, the writing flows and you feel you really understand what the character’s are feeling…” Rebecca, GoodReads Reviewer

“The ending of this story was truly horrific. I am an old school horror fan, and have been indulging in the genre since I was old enough to hold a book. I also adore and enjoy the sub-genre splatterpunk, I read Jack Ketchum as a bedside book all the time. It takes a lot to phase me, but even I was turning my head in repulsion at the end. What a wonderful debut story for Somer Canon.”
–Badseedgirl, GoodReads Reviewer

“A simple story, but all the more powerful for its simplicity. Four stars. The author has guts and skill.” –Outlaw Poet

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Blood Sacrifices - Review #BrianMoreland

My thoughts
First of all, the book as a whole. One of the best collections I've read to date...seriously!

As I was reading The Girl from the Blood Coven, the short prequel to The Witching House, I was thinking, "This is really something." I was seriously creeped out. That's a good thing. What can I say about The Witching House that can even describe its brilliance? It almost had me as scared as I was when I read my favorite horror novel of all time, Hell House by Richard Matheson. The legends surrounding the Blevins House, the urban explorers, the house itself--the perfect set-up for what is, in my eyes, a classic horror tale. This tale does not rely on horror cliches to get the scares. It is genuine, bare bones horror that reaches out and grabs you by the throat. 

Darkness Rising is more realistically scary, meaning it's scary because the murder/torture and filming of the acts could actually happen, speaking strictly in a non-supernatural instance. I'm sitting there thinking, "Damn it, Marty, when you saw that there was another vehicle at the lake, why didn't you just leave?" But then, there wouldn't be a story. This tale was more about the cruelties in the world...the murders, the bullying...and what might happen to one guilty of these cruelties. And, strangely enough, it's also a love story which also made it a heartbreaking read.

The Vagrants held more of a message for me. Messages about our ever growing homeless problem in this country, and about cultism. At least, that's what I felt as I was reading. What if the hopeless in this world were made to rise up by a charismatic leader and destroy the world as we know it? Pretty scary stuff. It's testament to how easily people can be led to believe something when they feel there is nothing left. 

Moreland is a hell of a horror writer. This is my first read of his work and it will not be my last. You should read this book now!


Blood Sacrifices houses four tales of terror by one of the masters of horror, Brian Moreland. Previously only available in digital format, these stories are compiled into one book and can now be ordered in print!

Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Samhain
Publication Length: 282 pages

Some evils require sacrifices.

From the author of Dead of Winter and The Devil’s Woods come four tales of blood-tingling horror:

The Girl from the Blood Coven
In this short prequel to The Witching House, when Abigail Blackwood claims her hippy commune family has been massacred, Sheriff Travis Keagan and his deputies investigate. They discover there’s more than weed smoking going on at Blevins House. Much more.

The Witching House
Sarah Donovan is scared of just about everything, but she helps her adventurous boyfriend investigate the old, abandoned Blevins House, scene of a forty-year-old unsolved massacre. Little do they know the house is hungry for fresh prey…

Darkness Rising
When Marty Weaver encounters three killers who like to play sadistic games with their victims, his own scarred past is unearthed. And when his pain is triggered, blood will flow…and hell will rise.

The Vagrants
Beneath the city of Boston, evil is gathering. While living under a bridge with the homeless, journalist Daniel Finley witnessed something that nearly cost him his sanity. Now, with a book published about the experience, he’s caught between the Irish mafia and a deranged cult preparing to shed blood on the street.

This is a collection of books previously published in digital format.

Purchase Links

About the author
Brian Moreland is a best-selling and award-winning author of novels and short stories in the horror and supernatural suspense genre. In 2007, his novel Shadows in the Mist, a Nazi occult thriller set during World War II, won a gold medal for Best Horror Novel in an international contest. The novel went on to be published in Austria and Germany under the title Schattenkrieger.
Shadows in the Mist, Dead of Winter, and The Devil's Woods are his currently available novels, as well as his Kindle short-story The Girl from the Blood Coven and the novella it led into called The Witching House. Now, he has released the full-length The Devil’s Woods. His novella, The Vagrants, was released in 2014, and another, Darkness Rising, in 2015.

He loves hiking, kayaking, watching sports, dancing, and making guacamole. Brian lives in Dallas, Texas where he is diligently writing his next horror novel. When not working on his books or books for other writers, Brian edits documentaries and TV commercials around the globe. He produced a World War II documentary in Normandy, France, and worked at two military bases in Iraq with a film crew.

Brian lives in Dallas, Texas. You can communicate with him online at, his Dark Lucidity blog, Twitter, or Facebook.

Praise for Brian Moreland
"For horror fans wanting a healthy dose of the small-town stuff a la Stephen King, be sure to pick up a copy of this (The Girl from the Blood Coven) memorable and frightening short story, a wonderful teaser that will whet your appetite for the main course, The Witching House, where the twisted story continues." -DarkEva/Hellnotes
" Very much in the tradition of HELL HOUSE, THE WITCHING HOUSE is a creepy, modern turn on the haunted house story." -Tim Potter

"Far and away the best new piece of fiction I've read this year. With Darkness Rising, Brian Moreland reminded me why he's one of my two favorite (not King, Laymon, Ketchum...etc.) authors out there (the other being Ronald Malfi). I'm a huge fan of his novel, Shadows in the Mist, but I think this novella rivals it." -Glenn Rolfe, author of Blood and Rain, on Darkness Rising

"Brian Moreland writes a blend of survival horror and occult mystery that I find impossible to resist. I know, when I've got one of his books in my hands, that I'm going to be lost to the world for hours on end. He's just that good." -Joe McKinney, author of Dead City and Flesh Eaters

"A thrilling, wholly-engrossing read that masterfully crosses multiple genres and leaves the reader breathless. Moreland weaves one hell of a history lesson, rich with brilliant characters and incredible plot twists. Highly recommended!" -Brian Keene, bestselling author of The Last Zombie and Ghoul, on Dead of Winter

“Dead of Winter is an exceptionally well crafted horror novel that tells a gripping story of dark religious doings, a horrific serial killer, and a sympathetic Inspector, in a dark and fascinating historical setting of 19th century Canada. The atmospherics are outstanding and the story offers plenty of surprises right up to its shocking and violent conclusion. Highly recommended.”
- Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling co-author of The Monster of Florence and Cold Vengeance

“Brian Moreland’s fiction is taut and spellbinding, often blending varied themes to form a dark genre very much his own. From his WWII occult thriller Shadows in the Mist, to the haunting chiller The Devil’s Woods, Brian’s work is at once versatile, original, and deeply engaging.” - Greg F. Gifune, author of The Bleeding Season

"The Devil's Woods is an awesome horror novel, filled with nerve-wracking suspense and thrilling action!” - Jeff Strand, author of Wolf Hunt

Want to Feature Brian Moreland?
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Friday, May 6, 2016

I Kill in Peace - Review #HunterShea

My thoughts
This short little novella tells quite a story. What would you do if someone anonymously started texting you to kill people? Yeah, sure...the murders seem justifiable, if that's how you think, but would you do it? Well, in this case, Peter doesn't have much of a choice. At the very first, I thought I knew where this was leading. A bit later, I started realizing where this was going. The sudden widespread epidemics and everything else going on...I thought "Apocalypse."

I read in someone's review on Goodreads that it was too heavy on the religious overtones. I didn't really get that on my end. I'm not sure what the author's religious leanings are, but I'm not a religious person. I mean, I believe in some type of higher power, but I don't really hold with the Bible and the religious establishment. And the Book of Revelation really pisses me off. In my case, it was because of an experience I had at a church when I was a teen where they're teaching it to us and it scared the shit out of me. My teens years were smack dab in the middle of the threat of nuclear Armageddon so teaching me about the end of the world was not good. I just don't think that's something churches should be teaching kids, or even teens, but that's my opinion. Anyway, my take was that the higher power didn't care whose life is ruined by the "second coming" or if, in the midst of some righteous killing (so to speak), innocents must die as well. The importance is to get the ball rolling, i.e. break the seals, the four horsemen, and all that jazz.

So, yes, I Kill in Peace is a good read because it makes you think. You might interpret things entirely different than I did, but it still packs a lot of meaning in just over 100 pages, whatever that meaning is for each reader.

About the book
Publication Date: April 12, 2016
Publisher: Samhain
Publication Length: 104 pages

Killing gets easier…with practice.
Peter Blades is, in every sense of the word, an ordinary man. Hard worker, father, husband, a man content with small-town life. Except for one small fact—he’s slowly being turned into a ruthless killer.

Compelled by mysterious texts to murder, he’s provided a fiery red Mustang and an ancient sword to carry out an ever-growing hit list. His jerkoff boss is victim number one. You always remember your first.

By the time his sword sings through the air to dispatch a would-be school shooter, taking lives is as easy as breathing. And if the world is going to hell around him, all the better. No one wants to burn alone.

About the author
Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weaned on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself.

Publishers Weekly named The Montauk Monster one of the best reads of the summer in 2014, and his follow up novel,Hell Hole, was named best horror novel of the year on several prestigious horror sites. Cemetery Dance had this to say about his apocalyptic thriller, Tortures of the Damned – “A terrifying read that left me wanting more. I absolutely devoured this book!”

Hunter is an amateur cryptozoologist, having written wild, fictional tales about Bigfoot, The Montauk Monster, The Dover Demon and many new creatures to come. Copies of his books, The Montauk Monster and The Dover Demon, are currently on display in the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME.

He wrote his first novel with the express desire to work only with editor Don D’Auria at Dorchester (Leisure Horror). He submitted his novel to Don and only Don, unagented, placed on the slush pile. He is proof that dedicated writers can be rescued from no man’s land. He now works with Don, along with several other agents and publishers, having published over ten books in just four years.

Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light-hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, crytid and ghost hunters, directors and anyone else living in the horror lane.

Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hot dogs when the craving hits. His daughters have also gotten the horror bug, assisting him with research, story ideas and illustrations that can be seen in magazines such as Dark Dossier.

You can follow his travails at, sign-up for his newsletter, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Praise for Hunter Shea
“This wholly enthralling hulk of a summer beach read is redolent of sunscreen and nostalgia, recalling mass market horror tales of yore by John Saul, Dean Koontz, and Peter Benchley.” — Publishers Weekly — Voted one of the best reads of summer, on The Montauk Monster

“Bloody good read! This guy knows his monsters!”- Eric S Brown, author of Bigfoot War and Boggy Creek: The Legend is True, on Swamp Monster Massacre

“Hunter Shea is a great writer, highly entertaining, and definitely in the upper echelon in the current horror scene. Many other writers mention either loving his work and/or having the man influence their own, and for just cause. His writing suits anyone with a taste for the dark and terrifying!” –Zakk at The Eyes of Madness/The Mouth of Madness Podcast

Purchase LinksAmazon
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Monday, May 2, 2016

Children of the Dark - Review #JonathanJanz

My thoughts
In a recent blog post, Jonathan Janz spoke of Stephen King being his favorite author. Not only that, he credited King with making him a reader. Well, all that reading paid off because Janz is showing his stuff as an author, and in this book, I was very much reminded of Stephen King's work. Now mind you, I'm not saying that this book is a copycat of anything King has written. Far from it. This is a unique, page turner of a book. What reminds me of King in this book is the small town feel, the camaraderie between Will and his friends, the palpable feeling of being bullied, and the underlying feeling of dread. I'm reminded of King's The Body (off which the film, Stand By Me was based). I could easily see this book being made into a movie. It's that good.

Janz thoroughly impressed me with his werewolf novel, Wolf Land (review). He has gone even further with Children of the Dark. The prose is smart and engaging. The real winner though...the characters. These are characters we really care about. Even the supporting characters are written so we care what happens to them as well. Throw in some pretty scary monsters and quite an interesting plot twist and we have one hell of a horror novel here. Hell, even non-horror fans can get something from this book. Because it's not just about the horrors of what might be lurking in the dark. It's about growing up and learning the hard lesson that the world is not always a very nice place, whether it may be because of cruel, ignorant people, sadistic murderers, or primeval monsters.

If you have not read Jonathan Janz yet, I suggest you get busy reading. I can't wait to see what he has in store for us next.

About the book
  • Print Length: 293 pages
  • Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
  • Publication Date: March 15, 2016
Will Burgess is used to hard knocks. Abandoned by his father, son of a drug-addicted mother, and charged with raising his six-year-old sister, Will has far more to worry about than most high school freshmen. To make matters worse, Mia Samuels, the girl of Will’s dreams, is dating his worst enemy, the most sadistic upperclassman at Shadeland High. Will’s troubles, however, are just beginning.

Because one of the nation’s most notorious criminals—the Moonlight Killer—has escaped from prison and is headed straight toward Will’s hometown. And something else is lurking in Savage Hollow, the forest surrounding Will’s rundown house. Something ancient and infinitely evil. When the worst storm of the decade descends on Shadeland, Will and his friends must confront unfathomable horrors. Everyone Will loves—his mother, his little sister, Mia, and his friends—will be threatened.

And very few of them will escape with their lives.

About the author
Jonathan Janz grew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, and in a
way, that 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.”

2013 saw the publication of his novel of vampirism and demonic possession The Darkest Lullaby, as well as his serialized horror novel Savage Species. Of Savage Species, Publishers Weekly said, “Fans of old-school splatterpunk horror–Janz cites Richard Laymon as an influence, and it shows–will find much to relish.” Jonathan’s Kindle Worlds novel Bloodshot: Kingdom of Shadows marked his first foray into the superhero/action genre.

Jack Ketchum called his vampire western Dust Devils a “Rousing-good weird western,” and his sequel to The Sorrows (Castle of Sorrows) was selected one of 2014’s top three novels by Pod of Horror. 2015 saw the release of The Nightmare Girl, which prompted Pod of Horror to call Jonathan “Horror’s Next Big Thing.” 2015 also saw the release of Wolf Land, which Publishers Weekly called “gruesome yet entertaining gorefest” with “an impressive and bloody climax.” He has also written four novellas (Exorcist Road, The Clearing of Travis Coble, Old Order, and Witching Hour Theatre) and several short stories.

His 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 Jonathan at You can also find him on Facebook, via @jonathanjanz on Twitter, or on his Goodreads and Amazon author pages.

Praise for Children of the Dark
“Jonathan Janz brings us a vicious tale of terror with the innocence of youth in a coming of age tale that should surely make Stephen King smile.” – Dave, Beneath the Underground

“Jonathan Janz has written the next definitive coming-of-age horror novel that is sure to be mentioned alongside those that came before it. Be on the right side of history and read it now, before it becomes a classic.” –Patrick Lacey, author of A Debt to be Paid

Praise for Jonathan Janz
“Janz is the literary love child of Richard Laymon and Jack Ketchum (with a little Joe Lansdale DNA in the mix), with all the terror that implies. Try him out. You won’t be disappointed.”
-Pod of Horror

“One of the best writers in modern horror to come along in the last decade. Janz is one of my new favorites.” –Brian Keene, best-selling author

“It’s the best of its kind I’ve read in years, such that I’d call it 'The Quintessential Haunted House Novel.' You’ve taken the old school traditions of the form which readers want and then have injected modern style, characters, and macabre, hard-edged mayhem into the guts of the story. THAT’S the way to do it, my friend!”
-Author Edward Lee on House of Skin

“Jonathan Janz is one of the rare horror novelists who can touch your heart while chilling your spine. His work offers incisive characters, sharp dialogue, and more scares than a deserted graveyard after midnight. If you haven’t read his fiction, you’re missing out on one the best new voices in the genre.” –Tim Waggoner, multi-published author

"Fans of old-school splatterpunk horror--Janz cites Richard Laymon as an influence, and it shows--will find much to relish." - Publishers Weekly on Savage Species

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Friday, April 22, 2016

David Bernstein's A Mixed Bag of Blood - Review #AMixedBagofBlood

My thoughts
I have to admit that I'm not a big reader of short stories. I prefer stories that require more of a time investment. In other words, novels. However, the exception to that are horror short stories. I love them. I read my first scary short stories as a child. Remember those anthologies of ghost stories you could order from the Scholastic book flyer? I later graduated to Stephen King's short stories and many of his are among my favorites. I think horror works for me in short story format (unlike other genres) because horror can be such a fast paced medium. For instance, horror films are usually no more than 2 hours long, but they still pack a punch. Did I mention that horror films are my favorite? But I digress. What I'm getting at here is that I love horror short stories, especially those that are as good as the stories in A Mixed Bag of Blood.

I love horror that pulls no punches and this author knows his stuff when it comes to that. Some of the stories are a play on our fears of foreign invasion, whether it be in our world, or our bodies. Others bring forth the monsters we're terrified of...zombies, vampires, Bigfoot (we lived in a house surrounded by woods when I was growing up, and yes, I was terrified of Bigfoot. Don't laugh). Some are very gross, yet funny in their message while still being horrific. I'm not going to go into detail because short stories are very easy to spoil for others. Suffice it to say that each story has something to offer.

This slim volume of 125 pages contains 10 stories. I enjoyed every one of them. This "Mixed Bag of Blood" is a must read for any horror fan. I mean it.

About the book
  • Print Length: 125 pages
  • Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
  • Publication Date: March 1, 2016
From a man seeking vengeance for a dead loved one, to a monster lodged in a person’s nose, to starving vampires and samurai battling zombies, a bully meeting his gruesome demise, along with prostitutes being sacrificed, a boy who refuses to stop swearing, and the consequences of one man’s night of unprotected sex comes a dark and disturbing collection of sinister tales filled with dread, bloodshed, humor and the bizarre.

This is a Mixed Bag of Blood.

Praise for A Mixed Bag of Blood 
“Dave Bernstein let his mind wander and his pen write where I know you'll want to read. With an introduction by Kristopher Rufty, this is a reason to stay at home and read on a pleasant Saturday afternoon like I did.” –Cat After Dark

Praise for David Bernstein 
"David Bernstein delivers a fast-moving tale of desire and destruction that gives new meaning to the words, 'Be careful what you wish for.' Relic of Death twists reality and will leave you reflecting on your own personal Achilles heel long after you finished reading…" —Allan Leverone, author of Mr. Midnight

"A fascinating, unpredictable, ever-shifting tale of greed and desperation. Highly recommended!" —Jeff Strand, author of Pressure

“Fast-paced, cinematic, and excellent. Horror fans gather around, it’s time for another chilling tale from David Bernstein.” —Keith Deininger, author of Within and Ghosts of Eden

"A harrowing, brutal thriller, Skinner is Bernstein at his best!" —Peter Giglio, author of Shadowshift

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About the author
David Bernstein is originally from a small town in Upstate New York called Salisbury Mills. He now resides in NYC and misses being surrounded by chainsaw-wielding maniacs and wild backwoods people that like to eat raw human flesh. He’s grown used to the city, though hiding bodies is much harder there. He is the author of Amongst the Dead, Damaged Souls, The Tree Man, Witch Island, Relic of Death, Apartment 7C and the forthcoming Episodes of Violence. David writes all kinds of horror, from hair-raising ghost stories to gore-filled slashers and apocalyptic tales of terror. He loves hearing from his readers. You can reach him on Facebook, at Visit him at his website: email, or on Twitter at @Bernsteinauthor.

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