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review 2020-06-12 18:30
DEVIL'S CREEK by Todd Keisling
Devil's Creek - Todd Keisling

If there were travel guides for places NOT to visit, the town of Stauford, Kentucky would top that list! Devil's Creek is about 15 miles away from Stauford, but that's not far enough to keep the town safe.

 

Devil's Creek was the site of a religious cult back in the early 80's, a site which burned to the ground in 1983. Those that survived suffer nightmares all the time, even though they've blocked a lot of their actual memories. The head of the cult, Jacob Masters, was a charismatic man who persuaded members of his "church" to give up their children to him, for whatever dark acts he wished to perform. One of them rebelled though, (Imogene), and was able to save six of the children. Unfortunately, Imogene has now passed on and her grandson has to return to the town he hates to settle her affairs. But something else has started happening since his return. The nightmares suffered by the survivors get even more vivid and scary, and soon after? They're facing something even worse: something that wants to make up for lost time and all it's asking for? Is their suffering. Will these survivors be able to get to the bottom of things before it's too late? Will the town of Stauford even survive? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I'm struggling to keep this review short, because DEVIL'S CREEK was so epic. Packed with scenes from both the past and the present, there was a lot going on. The author took his time introducing the characters and giving each a thorough history. Which, of course, made it that much more difficult to take when these characters were then put through the wringer and tortured in ways you never thought possible.

 

Evil in a small town is one of my favorite horror tropes. I couldn't help but be thinking of Salem's Lot, or even Needful Things, where the author did the same kind of storytelling: introducing us to a town full of characters and then subjecting them to all kinds of terrors, both human and supernatural.

 

The level of writing here was excellent and the plotting well done. Any seasoned horror reader is familiar with these types of tropes, (evil in a small town, Satanic cults, etc...), so it's up to the author to pull something original and enticing out them. Keisling did that here, in spades!

 

The only issue I had with this book, (and it's a small one), was that it became a little repetitious in some places as events were sometimes told from different points of view. As I said, it was a small thing, but for that, I deducted half a star.

 

DEVIL'S CREEK is going to have a special spot in my memory, along with the corrupted town of Stauford. Give us that old-time religion, baby. Yes, sir!

 

Highly recommended!

 

Available June 16th, but you can pre-order here: DEVIL'S CREEK

 

*Thanks to the author and to Silver Shamrock publishing for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review 2020-05-27 19:00
THE TAINT AND OTHER NOVELLAS by Brian Lumley, narrated by Joshua Saxon
The Taint and Other Novellas - Brian Lumley,Joshua Saxon

Welcoming the chance to get my Lovcraftian horror on via the excellent narration of Joshua Saxon, I tore into THE TAINT AND OTHER NOVELLAS. What fun!

 

A collection of 5 novellas which were written back in the mid to late 1900s, these tales do not have the polish of Lumley's later works, like the Necroscope series. These stories are more the work of a writer starting out, (while serving in the military), a writer bewitched by Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. The fun parts of the mythos are here, but they lack the racism and other issues of Lovecraft's work.

 

My favorites of the 5 were: LORD OF THE WORMS This tale featured Titus Crow, a name I remember from back in the day, though I can't quite remember the tales in which he featured. In this story, he's invited to a home under the pretense of cataloging a large book collection at an old estate. Of course nothing is as it appears. Throw in some mesmerizing hypnotism, (see what I did there?!), some maggots and some spiked wine and you have yourself a great time!

 

THE TAINT was a fun tale involving fish-men. That's right, fish-men. With all the creepiness inherent in that phrase. It's not as much a pulp tale as one would think, with just the right mix of horror and perhaps a bit of social commentary, (but that's just my take.)

 

Finally, the last story THE TEMPLE HOUSE takes the form of a man inheriting an old estate from his uncle. He takes a friend and goes to Scotland to inspect his inheritance, and soon finds a letter from his uncle asking him to destroy the place. Why? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

Regarding the narrator, Joshua Saxon-I've only listened to one other performance of his, which was the excellent THE CIPHER by Kathe Koja. In that book he was voicing only one character while in this collection, he voices all kinds of people and he does it quite well. English, American, Scottish, he does them all and never for a moment did I doubt the origins of any of the characters. Well done, sir!

 

This was a collection full of fun Lovecraftian monsters, fish people, maggots and worms. If these are the things that delight you, then you'll enjoy the hell out of this volume!

 

Recommended!

 

You can get your audio here: THE TAINT AND OTHER NOVELLAS

 

*I received this audio download free from the narrator, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review 2020-05-26 19:30
A BOOK OF BONES by John Connolly
A Book of Bones: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 17. From the No. 1 Bestselling Author of THE WOMAN IN THE WOODS - John Connolly

Still on the trail of the super creepy Mors, as well as the seemingly ageless Quayle, Charlie Parker and John Connolly never seem to give us a break!

 

Quayle is still trying to put together the Fractured Atlas, and Parker is still trying to prevent it. In this volume, Parker, with his pals Angel and Louis, head off to London along with a book expert to try to figure out where Quayle will strike next. We have creepy churches, stained glass windows, (or what appear to be windows), the Green Man, some moors and so much more. We also have appearances from Charlie's daughters, both alive and dead.

 

This was a long book and it could have been 500 pages longer and it still wouldn't bother me. I never, ever get bored with Connolly's prose or Charlie's thoughts. At this point in the series, I'm expecting things to wrap up, while at the same time, dreading it. I'm hoping that perhaps the series will continue with Charlie's offspring? This is all speculation on my part, but any time now, I'm expecting one or more of these fictional characters I love to die. I'm not sure if my heart can take it, because I've been friends with them for so long.

 

I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, because I can't imagine my life without looking forward to the next Charlie Parker book!

 

My highest recommendation!

 

 

Get your copy here: A BOOK OF BONES

 

*I received an e-ARC of this book through Atria/Emily Bestler Books via NetGalley, but I was approved so late, (I didn't think I'd get approved at all at that point), I bought the hardcover! Either way, this is my honest opinion. READ THE BOOK!*

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review 2020-03-19 07:00
One Little Lie Book Review
 

About the Book

 


Book:  One Little Lie

Author: Colleen Coble

Genre:  Romantic Suspense

Release Date: March 3, 2020

It started with one little lie. But Jane Hardy will do everything in her power to uncover the truth in this gripping new romantic suspense.

Jane Hardy is appointed interim sheriff in Pelican Harbor, Alabama, after her father retires, but there’s no time for an adjustment period. When her father is arrested for theft and then implicated in a recent murder, Jane quickly realizes she’s facing someone out to destroy the only family she has.

After escaping with her father from a cult fifteen years ago, Jane has searched relentlessly for her mother—who refused to leave—ever since. Could someone from that horrible past have found them?

Reid Bechtol is well-known for his documentaries, and his latest project involves covering Jane’s career. Jane has little interest in the attention, but the committee who appointed her loves the idea of the publicity.

Jane finds herself depending on Reid’s calm manner as he follows her around filming, and they begin working together to clear her father. But Reid has his own secrets from the past, and the gulf between them may be impossible to cross—especially once her father’s lie catches up with him.



Click HERE to get your copy.

About the Author

 

Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. You can visit her website at http://colleencoble.com.
 

My Review

 

“Something disturbing was going on in her town, and she wasn’t sure how to solve the puzzle.”

Always on the lookout for well-written Christian suspense books, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read “One Little Lie.” This is the first book in the Pelican Harbor series, and I love it when I’m able to hop aboard a new series as it’s releasing. I also realized that this seems to be the first Colleen Coble book that I’ve read, and after this experience, it won’t be the last.

What harm can there be in telling one little lie? The ripple effects are devastating and leave a trail of pain and destruction in their wake. Not only that, but a group of people find their lives inextricably linked by the falsehood, because trials usually cause people to draw apart from the world in general, and especially their faith. During times of difficulty and uncertainty, let us not ever forget that it is on Christ the solid Rock we stand.

In “One Little Lie,” relationships play a prominent role in the plot. Father-daughter, father-son, and even that between a mother and her children, as Jane Hardy reflects on her own boy, whom she lost briefly after giving birth to him, and as her relationship with her father becomes challenged as untruths keep piling up. Circumstances threaten her heart against trusting, but she can’t walk this path alone.

A fast-paced work of romantic suspense, this book will have you questioning everyone’s motives in the quest for the truth. It does contain some graphic details regarding crime scenes, as well as mentions of domestic violence and abuse, but neither is overdone. My favorite character is, admittedly, Parker the golden retriever because I love dogs and have a great respect for working dogs, which are all heroes in my book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

 


Blog Stops

 

Back Porch Reads, March 10

Life of Literature, March 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 10

Texas Book-aholic, March 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 11

The Avid Reader, March 11

Lighthouse Academy, March 11

By The Book, March 12

Older & Smarter?, March 12

Through the Fire Blogs, March 12

Remembrancy, March 12

Betti Mace, March 13

April Hayman, Author, March 13

Emily Yager, March 13

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 14

Bigreadersite, March 14

deb’s Book Review, March 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 15

Inklings and notions, March 15

CarpeDiem, March 15

Christian Bookaholic, March 15

Just the Write Escape, March 16

For Him and My Family, March 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 16

Robin’s Nest, March 17

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 17

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 17

Stories By Gina, March 18

Janicesbookreviews, March 18

Mary Hake, March 18

Empowermoms, March 18

For the Love of Literature, March 19

Blossoms and Blessings, March 19

Because I said so – and other adventures in Parenting, March 19

Hallie Reads, March 19

A Baker’s Perspective, March 20

Quiet Quilter, March 20

Simple Harvest Reads, March 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Splashes of Joy, March 21

Moments, March 21

amandainpa, March 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 21

Pause for Tales, March 22

Britt Reads Fiction, March 22

Spoken from the Heart, March 22

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 22

To Everything There is a Season, March 23

Life love writing, March 23

Daysong Reflections, March 23

Lights in a Dark World, March 23

 

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review 2019-12-01 17:57
A Sick Gray Laugh by Nicole Cushing
A Sick Gray Laugh - Nicole Cushing

WTH did I just read? I don't even know!

 

I can say that I liked it, that it was literary and that it was beautifully written. There were deep, dark, and gray ideas explored. If I had to put labels on it, (which is difficult to do), I'd use these:

 

metafiction

dark humor

weird tales

somewhat nihilistic

dense

 

 

 

After reading a few other reviews once I was finished, it seems that my favorite part was the least favorite part of others, and that was the middle. The first and third portions were more involved with Noelle's, (Nicole's?), life, discoveries, and aspirations whereas the second portion focused on a cult-like veil-wearing group traveling to the U.S. by ship and then onward towards the Midwest. The New Moses and his group made for fascinating reading and I was sorry when the author moved on.

 

Overall, I did enjoy this compelling piece of fiction, but I will admit to the fact that my mind did wander a bit, especially during the first and third parts. Did I like it? YES! Do I recommend it? YES! Was it my favorite work of fiction from Nicole Cushing, no-but that's ok.

 

I never know what to expect when I read her work, but I ALWAYS know that it's going to be original, well written, and that it will make me think.

 

As I said above: Recommended! Get your copy here: A SICK GRAY LAUGH

 

*Thank you to Nicole Cushing for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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