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review 2019-01-16 19:43
The Haunting of Henderson Close by Catherine Cavendish
The Haunting of Henderson Close - Catherine Cavendish

I received this book in for review from Flame Tree Press. I’m going to do my best this year to read as many new ladies of horror fiction as I can and I snapped this up as soon as I noticed it was available without even reading the blurbage. I love all kinds of horror but the creepy, slow atmospheric kind has been working for me lately and this story has all of that and a little bonus gore too!

 

Way back in 1891 a do-gooder is brutally murdered in front of Henderson Close. Many moons later, the building is now a tourist trap where tours are given and it’s reputed to be haunted. When Hannah arrives as a new tour guide, the ghosts all seem to come out of hiding and it’s on her to figure out what the heck is truly going on. Is she losing her mind? Is she in danger? Why is she experiencing time jumps where she’s certain she’s been thrust back in time to 1891? What is going on and why won’t her bitchy employer believe her? Why am I asking so many annoying questions?! Hell if I know, these reviews write themselves.

 

Anyhow, this book has incredibly well written atmosphere. The author has taken care to create and set her scenes and create her characters and I appreciate that so much. You can nearly smell the stench that permeates the streets in 1891 and the dark corners of Henderson Close when the ghosties appear. It’s also very moody and creeptastic and the reader, as well as Hannah and a few friends, are left in the dark to figure out what the heck is going on. When the reveals are made in the last quarter, I have to admit that I was a wee bit confused by it all because there was too much going on and too many characters involved and it made my head hurt a little. Still, what I understood was pretty satisfying . . .

 

But up until that point, I was digging the story. There may (or may not) be ghosts, demons and gargoyles and there was even a surprise moment of serial killing gore. Call me crazy but I wouldn’t have minded a little more of that sort of thing!

 

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review 2019-01-07 20:06
The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste
The Rust Maidens - Gwendolyn Kiste

“Pray for the Rust Maidens

Even after all these years, those words suck the breath right out of my chest.”


After hearing about this book from several book pushing friends, I had a loud niggling feeling that I was going to enjoy this story from the very beginning but I wasn’t prepared for just how much I was going to LOVE it because I am such a grumpy, jaded reader most of the time.


The Rust Maidens is a look at a town falling to ruin and the people hanging on for dear life because they have no other choice. There’s an overall feeling of inertia, decay and depression as folks attempt to go about their lives as if nothing terrifying were happening to their town, to their lives, to their daughters . . .

Phoebe returns to the childhood home she left 28 years earlier to help move her dad into a nursing home. The return triggers memories of the past and the terrifying occurrences that forever after left an enormous blight on the town. When Phoebe was a teen five girls, one of them her best friend, began to suffer from a strange affliction. The affliction starts to change them physically and earns them the moniker “The Rust Maidens” and it appears the affliction has returned to strike again. The body horror is real and it is horrifying and that’s all I’m saying about it. 

Once I started The Rust Maidens, I had a difficult time putting it down to live my life because I needed to know what the heck was happening to these girls. There aren’t a lot of stories that manage to hook me the way this one this did. The writing is intimate and beautifully disturbing. I’m a huge fan of body horror when done for more than gross-out effect (well, ok, I do like those too if they look like Jeff Goldblum in THE FLY) but this story gets it all right. There’s just something about losing control of your entire self and transforming that terrifies and calls to me to read more . . .

I thought Phoebe was a terrific character and a faithful friend who feels all of her attempts to help only succeed in making matters worse and she shoulders far too much guilt. She’s a tough girl, a troublemaker and her return shakes up the lethargy that continues to plague the town. 

There is a dark beauty in the decay that permeates this story and I think anyone looking for a unique horror story as well as a beautifully crafted heroine will love it too.

 

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review 2018-11-07 18:39
Flight or Fright
Flight or Fright - Stephen King, Arthur Conan Doyle,Richard Matheson,Dan Simmons

I listened to the unabridged audiobook. I have to thank my library and Overdrive for saving me some cash, especially since too many of the stories here were a little meh for my liking.

This anthology features stories about the fear of flying and the terrible things the imagination and reality can cook up to speed up your demise. If you’re afraid of flying, this book isn’t going to help you out with that. There are coffins in the back and monsters on the wing!

I’m not going to go into the details of every story because I will lose the will to live and if you want to read this there is no point in me ruining it for you. I didn’t take notes because sometimes you just want to listen to a book without turning it into a homework assignment. Sorry. Sometimes you get a real review from me, other times you get this. There’s a decent mix here of old decrepit stories and newer ones. Many of them I had read already read so, yeah, glad I didn’t spend money on this. All of the writers are males because women aren’t afraid of flying, I guess. We are built of sterner stuff, lol. Anyhow, the results are mixed. 

Stephen King writes a kick butt introduction, as always and his story here is one of the better ones. I only wish it had been a wee bit longer because I’m greedy. Still, that man knows how to write a short story. Now on to (some of) the others. CARGO starts things off and it is a good creeping dread tale but was so based in reality that it was more sad than scary for me, especially having just seen the Jonestown documentary. Then there’s NIGHTMARE AT 20,000 FEET. You know that story made famous by Captain Kirk and that creepy-ass Twilight Zone episode? Yep, this is the source material and, because I was a creepy kid, I watched it a million times growing up so I knew how it all went down. One of the stories here had tentacles but don’t ask me which one because my brain is full. The tentacles were a nice little bonus in an otherwise bland story. Joe Hill’s contribution was a frightening read because, well, it could happen! It could happen any damned, cursed moment. You’ll know what I mean when you read it and especially if you live in the USA. There’s a tale about a dude who finds a time travelling ring and can’t keep his murderous hands to himself. He totally gets what is coming to him and what’s coming to him isn’t pleasant! I think I enjoyed DIABLITOS the most. It’s a sinister little tale about a guy who steals something from the wrong lady. The ending completely caught me off guard and created an image in my head that still lingers. Loved it. I also thought AIR RAID was fantastic and nailed the whole Twilight Zone vibe. MURDER IN THE AIR was a decent little murder mystery but not at all a horror story.

The problem with this collection is that many of the stories weren’t all that interesting to me personally. There are so very many boring war time stories and those don’t do it for me. Most are incredibly depressing or about guys agonizing about imminent death and I didn’t find them very gripping. In fact, my thoughts while listening to many of these stories wasn’t one of sympathy but more along the lines of “stop your whining and embrace your fate”. But I’m a jerk like that

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text 2018-11-01 17:16
October Wrap-Up Post

 

 
October 2018
 
Reviews Posted
(clicking on cover will bring you to my review)
 
 
           
 
                       
New Purchases
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
And these are all of the reasons that I am broke right now. The first pile was purchased at the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Fair. They are all signed! I met two fellow blogging friends, Char of Char's Horror Corner and Andi of Andreya's Asylum and it was so great to meet them in person. Next year I hope I can overcome my shyness a little better. It didn't stop me from spending all of my money in about ten minutes though! 
 
NEWS & REMINDERS: We continue to be busy little bees over at the Ladies of Horror Fiction website. We have new reviews, guest posts, interviews and episode #2 of the podcast was released on Tuesday. You can listen to it hereToni talks about the history of Halloween, urban legends featuring women, new releases, current reads and a whole lot more. 

 

Our Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier Community Wide Readalong starts November 4th. Are you ready?  Click on the pic below for all of the details.

 

 

 

    
So, what are you all up to?
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review 2018-10-23 19:03
The Terror At Turtleshell Mountain by Sean McDonough
The Terror At Turtleshell Mountain - Sean McDonough

Turtleshell Mountain is a theme park where people go to spend too much money and have the time of their lives. But there is a sinister underbelly beneath the happy façade and it is ready to come out and have some bloody fun!

The story focuses on a group of five adult friends who take the trip to Turtleshell. One of them has been going through a tough time with cancer treatments and they all want to forget about the sadness for a short time. There’s also a minister and his flock of youngsters visiting on a field trip and the Queen Beyotch who has worked at the park for decades. They’re all there at the worst possible time, of course, and though there are a LOT of innocents, a few of these people sort of deserve what they get and that’s always fun for me. 

This book actually caught me off guard a time or two which doesn’t happen very much. It doesn’t flee from the child death scenes and no one is safe so be warned if that’s a trigger for you. The carnage seeps in slowly which worked for me because I love a book where the setting is as much a character as all of the people and the setting is done spectacularly here. The writer spends some time focusing on the characters and their messy relationships and conflicted feelings before bringing on the murderous rampage of an entity known as The Single Rider. When the death and destruction begins to happen it’s grueling and joyous depending on the person losing body parts, lol. 

Reading this book was like watching a fantastic B horror movie from the 80’s; fun, messy, nail biting and even little sad and heartwarming in the most surprising way. The final reveal was satisfying and I highly recommend THE TERROR AT TURTLESHELL MOUNTAIN if any of this sounds good to you and your dark little heart (and, really, how could it not?!). 

 

This book is going in the CREEPY CARNIVALS bingo square.

 

 

Bingo Calls:

9/1   Classic Horror

9/3   Cryptozoologist

9/5   Cozy Mystery (not on my card)

9/7   New Release

9/9   Southern Gothic

9/11 Terrifying Women

9/13 A Grimm Tale

9/15 Modern Masters of Horror

9/17 Creepy Carnivals

9/19 Relics and Curiosities

9/21 Diverse Voices

9/23 Murder Most Foul

9/25 Amateur Sleuth

9/27 Genre: Suspense

9/29 Supernatural

10/1 Ghost Stories

10/3 Doomsday

10/5 Shifters

10/7 13 

10/9 Terror in a Small Town (not on my card)

10/11 Darkest London

Gothic

Genre Horror

Fear the Drowning Deep

Spellbound 

Country House Mystery

Dead Lands

 

I've Read These (none called):


Baker Street SADIE by Courtney Summers

Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY by John Everson
  

Read & Called!

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES 

Terrifying Women: THE GRIP OF IT by Jac Jemc

Suspense: PREDATORS by Michael Brent Collings

Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO by Jonathan Maberry

Free: CROSS HER HEART by Sarah Pinborough

New Release: WE SOLD OUR SOULS

Spellbound: BABY TEETH

Creepy Carnivals: THE TERROR AT TURTLESHELL MOUNTAIN by Sean McDonough

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