Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Oh, The Horror by Jaime Johnesse

A brilliant collection of short and flash stories that get more gory, twisted and gruesome as you read. Fantastic!

Really enjoy JJ’s writing style, she is so easy to read, nothing overly complex yet with an underlying "GOTCHA"; talk about lulled into a false sense of security!

Written in the moment with flashbacks, this really jumps you around the story (in a good way!) so that you are immersed straight into the action, great build up and insight into the characters; warts, ice cream munching, and all!

I suspected something was not quite right.... but was so not expecting that ending.

Femme Fatale:
Another body is found and poor Detective Evers is at a loss with no forensic evidence to go on. When the Feds hit the small town and take over the investigation the magnitude of the killers sneakyness starts to dawn.

As the lead Fed and Dec. Evers hone in on a suspect you cant help but wonder at the profiling business.

I do hope Flubberwupperkins was found.

When I first started to read I felt so sorry for the main character, Steve, but JJ soon flipped him around and her became and Ahole!, but a woman is dead and a murderer is on the loose, he may the only hope of finding them.

Can the Police find the murderer, with no solid motive, before they strike again?

Great reveal at the end, JJ is a master/mistress of the twisty end.

A serial killer is on the loose (there are a lot in the USA!).

JJ has such a way with her characters even amongst all the horror, that she describes to well, and in only a brief story I was still in full belief of them and with such strong emotions.

Such a sad and twisted ending.

Is it a bank robbery or more??

I love how eloquent JJ is with her use of words. 

So many turn arounds in this short story I felt quite dizzy but also I was grinning at it all; brilliant ride!

The Restraurant:
A plot is formed amongst the workers at a restraurant against their monster boss, all memebers appear to have legitimate reasons but should they? And can they get away with it?

Not your usual horror.

The Winnings:
Awwww Love really shines out from this lovely couple who have finally had some luck and won the lotto.

This is a wickedly sad story with a real kick; well-done JJ for making me feel that way.

‘Til Death:
Lynn has a perfect life but also a stalker.

I loved all the build-up which made the ending such a shock, but oh so brilliant.

Traine Wreck:
This whole story made me feel a bit queasy, not sure what to say about it other than WOW.

In Vertebrate:
Eeeeek. These stories are getting more gory and squirrelly as it goes along.

A great idea revolving around chronic pain that JJ fully explores and adds her own sordid extras too.

Well JJ saved the most gruesome for last.

A poor captured woman must retreat into her mind to hide herself from the torture that her captor is inflicting.

She dreams of beautiful times with her family, the juxtaposition between all the love and all the hate is amazing.

Horrid and horrific ending.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

A Shrouded World: Whistlers by Mark Tufo & John O'Brien

This is a first time collaboration between Mark Tufo and John O'Brien, two authors that are known for their own zompoc series of books, Zombie Fallout for MT and A New World for JO’B and it's here in Whistlers that their two main characters both crash land into this strange new world where the worst of their two worlds collide.

Michael Talbot, Trip ( aka John the Tripper) and Jack Walker.

As I have only read the ZF books (it’s my hubby that loves Jack Walker) I can say that both writers put their character across easily and leave no guess work. 

If you haven't already done so I would recommend reading both MT and JO’Bs books before hand to get some background on the characters and their individual stories, however this IS intended to be a standalone series so more maybe revealed as the books progress. 

Trip is still my favourite character in almost every book I read barring a few, fantasy novels; and I think he would fit right in there too. He seems to have been given more visionary skills, whereas Mike and Jack have retained their new enhancements from their old worlds. 

Although I think that some sort of explanation as to why the two have super powers might have helped the newbie reader.

Both authors have certainly honed their writing skills now and are able to produce a story line that gels, excels, excites and is basically worth every penny spent. They mash up together very well. 

I was curious (and worried) as to how two such strong characters (and authors) would be able to blend but it’s like peas in a pod/flip sides of a coin (yes, yes I know they aren’t the same!! See, what I did there though!) 

Fabulous way to introduce the three lunatics to the rest of the world.

They have distinctive “voices” and styles that worked really well with the alternating chapters and PoV, I loved the way a “thing” would happen to one character and then you would get a different view of the same “thing” from the other.

Left on a knife edge I cannot wait until the next book is released in what, I hope, will be a long series.

Negatives; there is a lot of dialogue in here BUT that does allow the characters to merge and the new readers to get to know them, however, it could get tedious for current fans.

If you don’t like a certain authors style then their character may get on your nerves a bit, personally I don’t like all the over egged military stuff so tend not to read about every little nuance regarding guns, bullets and kick backs, again got tedious for me.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Holiday Wrappings anthology - Wrapped In.... series

UNTO THE EARTH by Patrick. C. Greene:
This little stunner of a story was in Wrapped in Black – so if you love Witches and the Occult this will be the book for you!

Landon and his beautiful wife, Agnes, who makes a wonderful Voodoo dinner, if only the dog would shut up, the cable wasn’t off and Aggy would stop ordering all the magazines in French!

DADDY’S GLASSES by Allison M. Dickson:

Wrapped in White is full of Ghostly goings on and this is the first to set you off with the shudders.

Loved the southern twang to the story. An early baby death sets the tone for this nightmare riddled story.

So much death in one family but AMD also manages to show what happens in “real” life as families stretch, change and lose contact.

However, when a blast from the past arrives in a little wooden box the narrator of this story gets a full front seat to the true horror of human nature.

MY BOSS IS A VAMPIRE by Michael David Matula:

From the Wrapped in Red (Vampires!) book this tale is my favourite combo – horror and humour.

From the first few lines I was treated to smirk worthy narrative; turkey Voodoo curses abound. Oh what a treat to end on, this left me with such a smile! Fantastic story with a real kick in the fangs!

HÄXENHAUS by Nick Kimbro:

Another scary short from the Wrapped in Black set, this is full on Witches so hold on to your britches (sorry I couldn’t help it!)
eeeek at the torturous instruments described and explained.

Our narrator, Kramer, is close to a house that is prison to witches, a place that has turned confession, torture and suffering into an art.

The witch that killed his child is now dead but what parting gift did she leave him. To say I really enjoyed this story would make me sound perverted, but then I love horror! And this has multiple elements to it.

To wish suffering on others, is that human nature? Whatever, it was brilliantly written and certainly deserves its place in this black anthology.

INSEPARABLE by Solomon Archer, Ph.D.:

The second treat from the Ghostly based book Wrapped in White.

The first paragraph left me feeling nauseated, such was the portrayal of devastation and lost come to physical being.

As you continue to be dragged down the rabbit hole of depression that has a dream like edge to it, I was wondering where the spooky would be in this well penned tale.

I need not have worried as the very last line sent such shivers down my spine I needed to stop reading for a while. Brilliant.

DADDY USED TO DRINK TOO MUCH by Michael G. Williams:

Wrapped in Red brings you another fabulous story but this is a tale so full of woe I was left a little bereft and the end.

Lots of blood and some fangs, but also tons of emotion. Such a sad way to start the book. The way MGW described the whole setting was also very corporeal.


Back to the Witches with this little treat.

Trey with his mantra of clean now. Trey has done something that requires penance. He has lost much too, and he appears to be paying. The world he lives in miserable; dull, grey and dirty.

Ciara gives the illusion of colour, and such gorgeous descriptions of colour given by the author, I was mesmerized.

This is a sad tale, with the lesson of being careful what you wish for.  Wonderful.

THE CURSE OF KIRBY by Patrick C. Greene:

Ghosties strike again in this brilliant addition to the Wrapped in White set.

Poor Dawson he can’t seem to get any peace with Butthole the cat pooping everywhere or scratching him to hell, not to mention his wonderful party hard neighbours.

Mendelbaum, his only other sane neighbour, is also having a hard time sleeping. Then they meet Abigail and Kirby; a mischievous ghost! and a plan is hatched.

However, as is always with hauntings there are dark currents and secrets, and with PCG you can always expect some even darker comments, not forgetting the gore, always lots of gore! But funny gore!

A fantastic climactic and grin worthy ending.

VERMILION by Bryan W. Alaspa:

Vampires come back for another bite (Wrapped in Red) I know, sorry!

The back story is inspired in its telling, BWA does not think us readers are fools, instead he continues to be eloquent in his revealing of the story.

As the climax comes nothing is given away until the last moment, then it is final. Awesome story and fantastic writing style.

SHE MAKES MY SKIN CRAWL by Shenoa Carroll-Bradd:

Time for those Witches to freak you out again!

To take a common saying and place a story around it, awesome!!

“Her” small but powerful punishments result in bloody bags of stuff, stuff from Jaime, skin from Jaime, skin that goes crawling on its own!! Even Jaime’s own bath tub was gagging at the revolting descriptions and imagery.

AIN’T THEY BRIGHT by Cecilia Dockins:

The final Spectral entry in this bonus introduction for the Wrapped in series.

In the world of Nursing and Medicine I found myself nodding and understanding all the pressures that CD was portraying.

Even with a busy shift it seems Hell has followed our narrator into work.

I was left a little perplexed by this story, maybe it was too close to home.

NIGHTBOUND by Patrick C. Greene:

Sad to see the last in the Vampire themed set but PCG starts the story so well you can't help but want harm to come to these "bad" men, he continues to heap nastiness upon them but gives a sense of spook once in the house, you can feel the blood suckers coming. The first kill is amazing, it was so visual.

The criminals really get what they deserved, some smirking great humour.

HAIR SHIRT DRAG by Gordon White:

A brilliant finale to not only the Wrapped in Black but this Holiday Wrappings.

Jesse, or Sissy to his non-friends, is a backwoods, Southern, effeminate, cross-dressing Witch and is even a little strange even for each of those sub groups. He comes from a long line of Overhold women who have the “gift”, each use and supply it in various odd ways but the outcomes are all the same.

The town has come to Jesse’s Momma house to help her with some “medicine”, the initiation of her son, who should have been a girl.

However Jesse is splendid in his hand me down Hair Shirt and as the townsfolk turn upon him, his beauty explodes around them. Fantastic build-up, great finale and brilliant start to this anthology.

I could feel the atmosphere such is the writing skill of GW, he managed to spin, wind and wallow me in a tale so beautiful I almost did not notice the dark undertone.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

The Other Side of Dead by Ian Woodhead

Well let me start with the fact that I got this book as a freebie! But felt it was so brilliant I then PAID for it!!

I will not go over what happens in each story!! I’m sure others will! But I will let you know how I felt about each story....

My only comment is that maybe the stories could have been in a different order but that’s personal preference!

Ian has a way of painting a scene that leaves you wide eyed!

If I have a complaint it’s that Ian does leave you gasping for more.....

Rotating Flesh:
Let’s just say I will never eat fast food again!!
 Yay to the right thing happening!!

Very Dead Dolls:
Great glimpses of the horror that surrounds this family with a spooky child perspective! Quick ending but omg yuck!!

Two Skins:
My favourite quote in a book for a LONG time "month old peach!" and the retort made me giggle!  Henry the mole will live with me for ages!  Fantastic ending... more please!

Crimson Dreams:
Flash horror but show stoppingly brilliant!

Beg the other Man:
Oooh a moral tale! The description in this short story is amazing and so detailed you can "see" it!

Red Furry Flower Pot... 4 words and you know who Ian is talking about... his descriptions are so clever and so bright!  pls pls pls expand on this story i want to know how? why? now what?

Blood Curse:     

Just sppppoooookkky!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Three brilliant short stories by Stacy Turner

Nicky was dead and Natalie knew this he was taken away in a black plastic bag, he had screamed a lot and for that she was glad.

Nicky was mean to her, torturing both her and threatening her beloved Mr Bear.

Beloved until he starts speaking to her that is, and Mama starts to wallow in her grief of her favourite child dying.

Thank goodness for Aunt Ellen and her lavender baths and trips to the zoo.

I just loved the way ST managed to capture the honesty that is child logic; so wonderfully blunt and truthful.

The twist in the ending is just amazing!

Captain Roberts and his squad are in battle and whilst many of them are seriously injured none appear to be in severe pain or bleeding, then there is the fog, oh and the giant marbles that fall out of the sky and not forgetting the amnesia….. Yes, that was a joke!

I really laughed at the MRE joke.  This story was really getting a bit farcical up until the final paragraph when all is made clear and my oh, my it was a brilliant ending!

Jeb, his mother and Cassie are trying to make their way in the new world of Good vs. Evil since the clouds came and blocked out the sun, the whole world appears to have taken sides.

When Jeb finds a stray young girl in the fields he brings her home to love and care for, like he did with Cassie, only she is not happy about it.

The child is strange, in many ways, non-communicative being only one thing. Hugging the newly pregnant Cassie each morning and growling at visiting Pastor others. 

There is a strong Godly element and feel to the story which lends itself to some foreboding of what’s really going on and intensifies the tension when Cassie starts to give birth.

When the battle scene arrives it may have been predictable in coming but what follows is not.

ST does well to cram so much life into such a few pages.  Whilst the overall story is chilling in an apocalyptic Omen type of way the real horror was poor Cassie and the first aid kit for 

See, now you HAVE to read it!!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Ravenous by Lorraine Versini

Firstly look at the detail in the cover, then read the story and look again!

When young Bastian calls the emergency services to say his Mama won’t wake up my little hairs went up. However is it Elisa, the responder that really set my bumps a goosing as her own frustration at not being able to pinpoint Bastian’s house and therefore send help, is terrifyingly detailed by LV.

When paramedics do finally arrive not all is as first seems, something weird and sinister has happened to Mama; rumours soon become rife.

Poor bereft Bastian must take his beloved dog Max and go live with Aunty Nancy.

However when Max soon becomes fatally injured in the same way as Mama Aunty Nancy must not only fight to save his life but protect them all from the threat circling above.

The swirling scene was like being in the middle of a feather hurricane; love LVs way of describing scenes in minute detail, it really suited this short story.

The ending reveal really conjures up all sorts of horrors and the little epilogue was just the perfect cliff hanger.

The ending is a fabulous little explanation of how the story developed and grew in the authors mind, I love that sort of sharing.

Ps. Go back and look at the cover!