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review 2020-03-12 22:30
THE ROO by Alan Baxter
The Roo - Alan Baxter

Romping, chomping, creature-feature FUN!


I was on the outskirts of the Twitter community that spawned the idea for this story. It was fun to see most of those Tweeters turned into characters and killed in the book.


Perhaps a bit heavy on the anti-domestic violence message, but that didn't spoil the overall fun.


Recommended for fans of creature-features!


*I purchased this novella with my hard earned cash.*

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review 2019-11-25 18:45
MIDNIGHT IN THE GRAVEYARD edited by Kenneth Cain
Midnight in the Graveyard - Jeremy Hepler,Chad Lutzke,Kenneth W. Cain,Jonathan Janz,Kealan Patrick Burke,John Everson,Elizabeth Massie,William Meikle,Thomas F. Monteleone,Robert R. McCammon

MIDNIGHT IN THE GRAVEYARD is an above average anthology, comprised of ghost stories-all kinds and varieties. I had a blast seeing what each author came up with.


For me, some of the standouts were:


DEVIL'S DIP by Shannon Felton. What a great tale to start off this collection! I've never read anything by this author before, but now I'll be following her career closely. (Love when this happens.)


TUG O WAR by Chad Lutzke. A terribly sad tale that morphed into....something else entirely, (and even sadder!)


DOG DAYS by Kenneth Cain. LOVED LOVED LOVED this! Dogs are involved.


COOL FOR CATS by William Meikle. I loved this one too! (Cats are involved. Surprise!)


THE GLIMMER GIRLS by Ken McKinley. Terribly, terribly, sad. I think the fact that we all knew how it was going to end only added to the poignancy of it.


THE CEMETERY MAN by John Everson. Everson's unique style of mixing the erotic with the horrific is on display here.


HAUNTED WORLD by Robert McCammon. It's McCammon. 'Nuff said.


GHOST BLOOD by Kelli Owen. Imagine if you could see blood anywhere it has ever been spilled. From shaving cuts to mass murders-you see it all. How ghastly!


LAST CALL AT THE SUDDEN DEATH SALOON by Allan Leverone. An abandoned sanitarium in a haunted town-who wouldn't want a drink before going there?


THE PUTPOCKET by Alan M. Clark. This might have been my favorite tale. (I know, it surprised me too!) I felt an almost...Dickensian vibe with this and I really got down with the story and its narrator.


PORTRAIT by Kealan Patrick Burke. Another poignant story from a master.


SWAMP VENGEANCE by Brian Moreland. Unexpected, but fun just the same.


I'm going to leave it off here because I liked just about every story in here, but I can't mention them all. My only nitpicking complaint is that perhaps this anthology was a bit too long.


I consider myself lucky to have had the pleasure of interacting with all of the authors in a group read in the Horror Aficionados group. The book and the experience were both a heck of a good time!


Highly recommended!




*I received an e-ARC of this anthology from the publisher in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it! Further, I am one of the moderators of the HA group mentioned above. The fact that this was a group read did not affect my opinion of the contents of the book.*

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text 2019-10-24 16:15
The ABC Challenge

It took me a while to update, but decided that since my report finally went out (thank all the literary gods out there) I do some housekeeping today!




I have been having a blast reading for the Horror Aficionados 2019 A-Z Challenge. I think though I may have to change a few books out to fit the rules though. Just 7 books that I may have reads for to replace. I just need to go through my read books for the year again. 


Rules: Read a book whose title starts with each letter of the alphabet. IE: 1 Book whose title starts with A, one whose title starts with B, etc...

For the letters Q, X, Y and Z the book title does not need to START with these letters, but must contain them. 


 A- An American Marriage

B-Big Sexy Love

C-Chosen Prey

D-  Dry Hard

E-Evidence of the Affair

F-The Dark Tower: Fall of Gilead

G-Gossip Girl

H-Husband Material

I-If Beale Street Could Talk

J-J Is For Judgement


L-Lisey's Story

M-Mortal Prey


O-Once Upon a River

P-Phantom Prey

Q-A Question of Holmes

R-Rachel's Holiday

S-Sleeping Beauties

T-Three Girls and a Leading Man

U-Until You, by Judith McNaught (I actually have this on my shelf)

V-Void Moon


X-X Marks the Scot (Bad Boys of the Highlands #2) by Victoria Roberts (The cover was awesome LOL).


Z- The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman

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review 2019-02-13 18:45
The Immaculate Void - Brian Hodge


THE IMMACULATE VOID is a stellar entry in the fields of cosmic horror and dark fiction!


Brian Hodge has long been a favorite author of mine and this novel only justifies his position on my favorite authors list.


I'm finding that I don't have adequate words to properly review this book. (Which is the same way I felt about John Langan's THE FISHERMAN.) I was lucky enough to read both of these novels in 2019 and I'm just worried that nothing else I read this year will be as good as these two books.


My HIGHEST recommendation!


Get your copy here: THE IMMACULATE VOID


*This book is on the 2018 Locus Recommended Reading List and for good reason. If you don't want to listen to me, please listen to them!* http://locusmag.com/2019/02/2018-locus-recommended-reading-list/


** Book source: I bought this book with my hard earned cash.**

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review 2019-01-10 17:04
Only Enjoyed One Time Period
The Winter People - Jennifer McMahon

Sigh. Well this was an okay story, I only enjoyed the past time period in the book (the Sarah and Martin sections) and didn't like the present at all except for Ruth. The book fell down at the end too and I honestly didn't find this too scary.


"The Winter People" follows four people (Martin, Sara, Ruthie, and Katherine) in different time periods. Martin and Katherine's narratives are from the 1908 and Ruthie and Katherine are from the present day. The book focuses on all of their connections to a farm house in Vermont that is located near the so-called Devil's Hand. Why people would live near anything with the word devil in it is beyond me. 


As often with different narratives in one book, there were only two that I liked in this one. Martin and Sara's. We get to see how hard their lives are back in the early 1900s and how Martin is scared that he is losing Sara after the death of their daughter. Sara's story takes a while to get going. I was bored through the first 20 percent of the book. Sara's narrative is pretty thin until she starts recounting her childhood and we see what losing her child, Gertie, is doing to her. Sara also weaves in talk of her Auntie (not her real aunt) who ended up raising her and providing food and love to her, her brother and sister, and her father. Sara hints at something terrible happening, but we don't find out until the very end of the book. I have to say that the reveal was a horrible letdown though. I had some thoughts on Auntie, but can't get into it without spoiling.


Ruthie's narrative is boring, but gets stronger as she realizes her mother is missing and she needs to be strong for her little sister Fawn. Katherine's narrative doesn't work and I also thought she was an idiot by the time the book ended. 


McMahon decides to throw in a ridiculous character that really doesn't move things forward. I am just baffled she was included since there was so much already happening in this story. 


The flow was up and down, jumping from person to person didn't really work. I think if we had the straight telling of Martin/Sara or at least Sara's told in chronological order it would have been a stronger book. Instead we had too much going on and not enough explanations until the very end. 


The town of West Hall, Verrmont felt sparse, and most of the action was focused on the farmhouse. It made an interesting location, though I wish that it had been showcased a bit more. Make it more like the Overlook in "The Shining" and explain things a lot better. I am still confused on what made a winter person (it makes very little sense until you get to the end and even then I went, um okay...). 


The ending was interesting. You get to see what path Ruth chooses that I had some issues with. Especially when we get Sara's narrative and we see what happened to her. And Katherine was a fool times infinity. 

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