Sunday, 26 April 2015

A-Z of Horror (A,B & C) By Iain Rob Wright

Issac is 16 and ready to become a man, with the party of a life time especially with his parents out of the house!

At first the party is a bust but as soon as some prohibited alcohol surfaces it starts to go a bit crazy, only odd things start to occur around Issac.

As the teenagers slowly get more drunk, Issacs every wish, desire and comment appear to be coming true, a bit worrying in some cases, smirk worthy in some but slowly building scray tension overall.

The finale has some very gory mental images but the ending was flat and rushed IMO.
There was no conclusion, after thought or reasoning.

If this is the start of a series of shorts then I hope they get more involved and hopefully they will be inter-linked, as IRW is
I liked the reference to the horror movie, that was clever. so clever at that in his longer novels.

Dean & Wendell seem to be enjoying a burger with a side order of burps!

They soon settle down to some video games, enjoying their sleep over together.

IRW takes time in this short story to fill out the lives of the two boys and allude to some sadness in their pasts.

As the both settle down to sleep Dean starts to get the heebeejeebees!

Between random fingernails, old dead women and glowing red eyes under the bed IRW really starts the readers tummy rolling with tension.

The ending was a sort of surprise and sort of expected, but well written.

This second installment was much more satisfying, with a clear structure and ending, it felt much more complete and unrushed.

Looking forward to seeing how much more IRW can push himself in this shorts.

Stacey is baby sitting little Harry. As she settles down to a film and fantasising about Mr Murray she notices the clown statue standing in the corner of the room.

I found the film choices amusing and enjoyed how IRW intertwined them into the story flow. As poor Harry has trouble sleeping and the clown continues to freak Stacey out I really felt a little spooked myself. Clowns, who doesn't get weirded out by clowns!

Ok, so IRW is definitely turning this into a series as he has now called this the A-Z of horror! 

Horah is all I can say as they are certainly getting better as he goes along, although I though the ending could have been better.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

The Outcome by Christine Sutton

Mark Sampson is obsessed with the trial of Harold Looney, apparent murderer and monster, but Mark is obsessed mostly because he believes it to be a farce.

He is living in a beautiful appartment but seems to have come into it by peculiar means, CS alludes to many things in the first few paragraphs which gripped me into the story very quickly. How she makes a dining room chair and a cup of tea become so spooky is masterful.

However, other goings on, some intensley gory, make this story stand out from your usual ghostly tale. There are some suberb twists and bites as the story unfolds.

The ending is delicious and very satisfying. One of my favourite ghost stories!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

TW Brown Guest Post

Image result for DEAD series by tw brown

Ok so I have special opportunity to have a guest blogger with an even bigger and more exciting opportunity to be in a zombie book!!  

Over to TW Brown!

Welcome to the “Bring-the-zombie-apocalypse-to-my-town” tour…2015 edition.

When did the whole “zombie thing” start for me?

At age 14, I saw the original Dawn of the Dead in its theatrical release. When the girl two rows ahead of me blew chunks into her popcorn during the opening scene at the low-rent apartments…I was hooked. Seriously, what could be cooler when you are a fourteen-year-old boy than to see some Farrah wanna-be let loose with the liquid laughter? But as the movie went on, I was just sucked into that entire world. I had yet to see Night of the Living Dead at that point.

What is the last zombie book that I read?

I just wrapped up Contamination (Books 0-3) by T. W. Piperbrook. I am a firm believer in knowing what is out there in the genre. I hear some people (when asked if they wouldn’t mind giving my books a read) say that they don’t want to read it and then steal an idea. I have so many problems with that answer. For one, we are all standing on the shoulders of Romero for the most part. And if you don’t read, then you WILL become stagnant as a writer. I’ve read plenty of stories and never once “stolen” an idea. Now, I will say that I have been inspired by some as well as seen things that I felt did not work and, thus, should be avoided. However, my stories are my own, and despite any outside inspiration, it is me putting the words down.

What makes my story stand out from the masses?

I believe that it is the depth of characters. The zombies are really just part of the backdrop. I think that I introduce real people who live with the consequences of their actions. There is no reset button, no do-overs. That is also why none of my characters are safe. More than one of my primary characters has fallen over the course of the story. I believe that gives the reader a sense of hanging on to the edge of their seat simply because they understand that nobody is safe.

What will I tackle next? (If you are writing a series, what will you write after the series is over?)

Well, this is actually the spin off from my DEAD series (which only has two books left in the series proper).

Worst reaction I have received about my writing?

Besides the death threats and hate mail that I receive due to the Garrett McCormick character? I have heard it all. I am a hack, unoriginal, Max Brooks, Robert Kirkman, or Mark Tufo do it better. Blah-blah-blah. I would say that for me, it is not the negative reviews or fans of other writers that strikes me as the worst reaction. People like what they like and loyalty is a funny thing. My issue comes from my fellow writers who pound the pavement asking for readers and reviewers (of which I can say that I have been one for many of them) and the lack of reciprocation. That bothers me a bit. It is a toss-up between that and having somebody ask what I do for a living or find out that I am a writer and then have them ask what I write. When I say that I have a couple of zombie series out, they sort of look away and utter, “Oh…m’kay, well see ya.” Or something to that effect.

And on the flip side, what is the best…the one that almost embarrassed you it was so effusive?

I have a reader who is on her death bed, she is in treatment and has a short prognosis, survives day to day on morphine. Let me share a portion of her first email (there have been others since, but this first one dropped me):

“Dear Todd Brown,

Just to say thanks - your Zomblog has got me through the first  two weeks of living with my new best friends - morphine patches.

I've got a life-limiting condition with a side order of physical disability - that's the hand I've been dealt, and fortunately, I've got the disposition to cope with it.

I've got great family & friends & the NHS & voluntary work in my community  (I'm Jewish) - we should all be so lucky.

Your writing - how ordinary people deal with a 24/7 nightmare - has been a great comfort.
Morphine has left a vacuum where my fizz & whizz used to be - I thought I was prepared for 'feeling weird'.
But I didn't expect to feel MIA.

Reading has always been my lifeline - distracting me from pain, when nothing else can.
Some writers sweep me up into their world and onto their timeline -
You're one of those writers.

Thank you for your words.”

What do you say to that? Thank you? That feels so inadequate.

If any of my work was to be made into a film, which piece, and who is THE big star I would love to see in the leading role?

I honestly think that the DEAD series is to epic for a decent screen treatment. Zomblog might go over well, and I would really dig seeing it brought to cable. That Ghoul Ava is actually where I have my screen dreams pinned. And I would love to see Famke Janssen as Ava. That would be sweet. Also, I have no idea where she would fit…maybe as Morgan, but Alyson Hannigan is probably my biggest Hollywood crush…her and Jennifer Aniston, but Jen seems to crash and burn in every single relationship…that is a warning flag. I hate high maintenance women. I am high maintenance enough and don’t need the hassle.

What is the scariest movie I have ever seen?

I saw The Exorcist when I was supposed to be in seeing a certain Disney movie about a baby deer. I was just a wee tyke and that movie scared me silly. To this day, despite desensitization and everything else, that movie still chills my blood. The “Captain Howdy” flash image makes me nearly pee.

What is something about me that would surprise your fans?

Besides that last bit? Maybe that my wife calls me “The Animal Whisperer”. I seem to have a way with our furry and feathered friends. I have a rescue Umbrella Cockatoo as our newest family member and am slowly coaxing him out of his shell so that he can be the loud and loving bird that ‘Toos are known to be. That is in addition to my two Border Collies, the African Grey that adores my wife and sees me as the parent…in other words, no fun. (Although she does love to play this game where she creeps up on me and as soon as I notice her, she scoots away.)

What is in your “to be read” pile right now?

Too many titles to list, but I always look for suggestions from other lovers of the genre.

Behind the curtain of the DEAD: Snapshot {your town here} series


You sort of dream about that headline. Admit it. You watch shows like The Walking Dead and think, That would be SO cool! Would it really? I want you to bring your own arm up to your mouth and bite as hard as you can. Now keep going until you rip the flesh. (In the interest of our “sue happy” culture, I am not really suggesting that you do this, and if you already did then can I ask what in the hell is wrong with you?)

So…how cool is it now? And then there is the idea of finding a loved one who had the misfortune of not heeding the warnings and got bit trying to hurry home to take care of you. They are coming at you with filmed over, dead eyes. So grab a gun or something and shoot or bash them in the head. Oh yeah, that includes your precious little Jimmy or Janie. You know, that apple of your eye…the one thing that you love more than life itself.

Not sounding so great anymore, is it?

The reality of the zombie apocalypse is probably more terrifying than we want to imagine. However, reading about it is a blast. On that, I think many of us can agree. Only, when you read these stories, don’t they always seems so far away and remote? Unless you have a local zombie author who loves to set his novels in his or her (and by extension…YOUR) neck of the woods, you have to imagine places you have never been and hope to sink into the story enough to feel like you are “there.”

Well, wait no more. With my new spin off of my successful and best-selling zombie series DEAD, the apocalypse can be right outside your own front door. How? I will tell you later. You don’t think I am gonna give you ALL the good stuff right off the bat, now do ya?

My new series is titled DEAD: Snapshot—{insert town here}. Okay that last little bit is just the generic filler. To be clear, the first book is titled DEAD: Snapshot—Portland, Oregon. I set it in my town because it is someplace that I know pretty well. However, the next book is titled DEAD: Snapshot—Leeds, England. Never been there, but with the help of Google, I can get down to street level and “walk” about from the comfort of my computer.

Each of these books will be a stand-alone novel set in the mythology that I built in the DEAD series. Some of them may see “guest appearances” by characters that you know and love or hate from DEAD. You don’t have to be a reader of the series to enjoy or understand the book. It is zombie fiction, not Twin Peaks. For those totally unfamiliar, my zombies are like those found in Romero flicks. Still confused? (I weep for you, but I will clarify.) The Walking Dead. You know, basically slow and not all that coordinated. I do have a few twists in my mythology that differs from the norm. While I won’t state it as a fact, I had not read (in my VERY EXTENSIVE reading) any instances where the bite was not a catalyst for somebody to turn. Also, children of the younger age bracket might behave just a bit differently. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I will leave it at that and let you discover for yourself why my series has allowed me to be a writer full-time and quit my day job.

So, how do you get zombies to come wipe out your town (or maybe the town of an ex, or somebody that you just really don’t like), so to speak? Simple. All you have to do is send me an email at with “I WANT TO SEE THE DEAD TAKE MY TOWN!” in the subject line. From there, in the actual email, tell me where you are from. Tell me a little bit about your town and what makes it special. Feel free to offer your own name up for use as a character. You are even free to give me a description or photo that I can use to design this character. I even let you specify if you wish to be hero or villain. Sorry, no promises that you will survive in any case, and your character’s depiction may be NOTHING like you in manner and action. It will simply carry your name into the annals of zombie apocalypse history.

So…are you interested? Curious? Or maybe you really dislike those snobs over in Shelbyville? (Simpson’s  reference…sorry.) Well, you now have the power of life, death, and undeath in your hands. What will you do?

SO!!! what do you think guys, will YOU be sending an email Todds way? :)

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Dirge by Tim Marquitz

In the world of Delham where Necrolords roam the land and bring havoc and destruction to all they touch with their undead armies, Kallie is a ray of hope, albeit with swords and daggers.

After years of abuse, enslavement and torture, in the dungeons of her own home, at the hands of Duke Freye, Kallie was finally rescued by Rellan a priest of immense enigmatic power who leads the Brothers of Sorea and guides the Flock and township of Eton. 

After Rellan’s death Kallie inherited many of his powers and now lives and is loved by Darren and Gaul, the two clerics of the Brotherhood who guide and protect Kallie but also often hire her out as the infamous and secretive assassin Dirge.

Kallie’s new task will take her back into those lands, back to her nightmares,  but having defeated at least one Necrolord will capturing one alive be possible, and for what purpose. And will her identity remain a mystery.

Throw into the mix the evil Emperor Valtore who is the only other force against the Necrolords and holds a strange but compelling box. He is also keeps the company of Sorel the priest of Graff with his familiar, Mistress Rava.  Graff is the God of the underworld; Infernus.

Dirge soon has the pleasure of meeting the Lord High Executioner of the Obsidian Order, Tyril, who is protecting a Necrolord but craves so much more. And is Baron Rand an ally or an enemy?

Such attention to detail and in a few pages I was absorbed by this new world. TM takes on zombies (undead ghouls) in this mash up with sorcery and sword fighting and delivers this amazing story. 

There is no humour or lightness to this tale as with other TM novels, this is a dark and harrowing work but with all the intricacies of a thriller, some gruesome horror scenes thrown, his signature amazing fight sequences and huge element of supernatural. Full of intrigue, skullduggary, double crosses and sinister plots of revenge and power play.

Little and large critters thrown in; some cute some not so much.

Whilst this was neatly finished off there was a glimmer of a second story hinted at with several threads left hanging. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this new dark twist in writing skills that TM has demonstrated and look forward to more of this world. 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

From the Deep by Michael Bray

If you are into deep sea critters, government skulduggery, deep interesting characters; then you will like this book.

There are a many aspects in this story; tension, gore, fantasy, whatifs, horror, I could go on, and just what is that thing lurking in the ocean!?

The story begins with a shift in the Ross ice shelf and something being awoken and set free. 

Switch to a family run crabbing vessel that is dramatically sunk by a "sea monster", killing several on board.  Rainwater and Mackay, the only survivors, get a fleeting glimpse, enough to send the pre-troubled Rainwater on a Moby Dick style hunt for the creature that killed his family.  

MB then throws into the mix scientists and the “government” who are out on the ocean searching for the elusive “blip” and wish to capture this critter for some villainous use. They enlist, well threaten and kidnap really, a marine biologist, queue possible love interest, Clara and her assistant Dexter get involved, but soon wished that they shouldn't have.

The creature that MB describes is one of gargantuan size and is on the hunt for food having laid dormant for a long, unknown, period of time. Size, tentacles, teeth and a serious ability for speed make for a very scary fish.

The government characters Andrews and Russo, are a little cliché in their fit but work well in this monster book. Andrews wants to do right but can’t help being bad! Russo is one step away from gangster, readily willing to sacrifice all who get in his way. In fact if you think of Bond villain you are not far off; most enjoyable in a tongue in cheek way. 

Rainwater and Mackay are your usual sea/life hardened men but I really liked how MB brought them to life with some softer edges.  I just want to be Clara.

Plot holes, yup a few. I did wonder how something so huge could evolve with no previous knowledge, how had it survived all this time and why, if so hungry, did it only half eat things so they could conveniently wash ashore to shock and awe us humans!  And apart from a brief description at the start the behemoth is only vaguely described later in the book – I wanted more tentacles and teeth!

Unsure if totally intended by I viewed this book as an upmarket B-movie style story, yes some cliché, yes big leaps of believability, yes some huge impossible creature from the depth, yes lots of grotesque killing, blood, gore, but wow what a ride! 

I understand that this intended to be a trilogy so really looking forward to where the author takes me on the next thrill ride!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Succubus Series by Richelle Mead

Georgina Kincaid is a reluctant, but outstandingly good at her job, Succubus, she feeds on men claiming pieces of their souls for her “team”, but she longs for the love that she has been denied her for centuries. 

Hugh is an Imp who negotiates for your soul should you have a desire to swap it for something, but he is also one of her best friends, along with Cody and Peter her friendly local, and very gay, vampire buddies. 

During the day Georgina must earn a living and works as a deputy manager and the local books store, with her human friend Doug, and Warren her human boss who is good for a quick energy fix from time to time, apparently he lost his soul years ago.

When Duanne, the obnoxious vampire, gets murdered its Georgina that is main suspect, especially to her Demon boss Jerome; Arch Demon of Seattle, who just happens to hang out all the time with Carter the cryptic Angel. Not your usual pairing, especially as Jerome looks exactly like a certain movie style whilst Carter seems to like the grunge scene a little too much. 

Throughout the story we are told snippets of her former human life, and given peeks into her previous bodies, names and places she lived.

Enter Seth Morgansteen, local author who just happens to be Georgina's favourite, not to mention he is doing a book signing in her store. Seth was not the sort of guy I would have thought the energetic Georgina would fall for but when you start to see her history and the reason she sold her soul in the first place you can see why Seth and his delicate, artistic nature, call to her.

On the flip side, and not so much in the background is Roman, an enigmatic character who suits Georgians love of life, dancing and danger. 

Back to the super naturals killings and the race is on to find who or what is doing it, why and stop them. Can Georgina do it? When the final showdown happens its electric but the deal our lost little succubus has to make is heart breaking.

I totally loved the start of this 6 book series, the plot was fantastic, full of twists, turns and mystery. All the characters were strong, some were down to earth and likeable and some were dark and mysterious, humour, sex and horror the perfect combination. I cannot wait to read what happens next in Georgina's life. 

Poor Georgina starts this book at a demon award ceremony, could her week get any worse! Totally love all the humour in these books.

Bastian her incubus friend, is also an ex-lover, ex-partner in “crime” and is dumped back into her life to bring down a huge Evangelist in the shape of the very austere Dana.

Doug, her book store buddy get wrapped up in a whole “ambrosia and God mystery” which was a brilliant and thrilling story line.

RM reveals another failed relationship from poor Georgina’s fated history. As she and Seth dance around the relationship that they have the torment for both is beautifully written.

All previous Demons, Angels, Imps and Vampires make appearances and spice up the story line even further. 

Georgina and Seth are continuing their relationship with the no sex rule, but Georgina is losing all her energy during protracted dreams that promise her the life she has always day dreamed and wished for.

Tawny is the new succubus and provides some angst and humour, badly dressed and with no clue how to “suck souls” Georgina is set the task of mentor by Arch Demon Boss Jerome.

Dante and Erik are the new human characters, they have a history together but can Georgina save them both from

Love all the outfits and food references, so keen to try a Grey Goose gimlet!

Eventually the mystery is solved with a bit of heart stopping action, love, lust and all sort of other goings on. RM never fails to bring it on.

Therapy works unless you sleep with the therapist and suck out their life force! Jerome has forced Georgina into therapy, she is being horrifically sulky and he has had enough of her.

When that fails he sends her to Canada, to spy for another Arch Demon who is having problems with a demonic cult that are giving Satan a bad name!

Another mystery for Georgina to solve as Jerome is “summonded” in a turf war and goes missing.  

Fearful that a new Arch Demon will be appointed Georgian rushes to locate and save Jerome, with the help of her current destructive relationship, gosh this girl knows how to punish herself.

However whilst Jerome is captured she soon discovers that she can have rampant sex with Seth, which is not good news as he is in a different relationship and trying to make a happy, non-Georgina filled life for himself.

The erotica in these books is always fresh, never repetitive, sensitive but heat inducing.
More heart breaking revelations about previous relationships from the past.

RM is really evolving all her main stay characters in new and wonderful ways.

A new and suspicious Succubus arrives just as Sirens trap Georgina in a dream state from which she cannot escape.

As the bond between Seth and Georgian is becoming stronger, others are starting to notice, this is not liked by many in her circle, lest of all her best friend Maddie who she is supposed to be helping to marry Seth!

Whilst the gang, including human Eric, try to save Georgina she continues to be stuck in a different dimension where she is shown truth, possible futures, tainted truths and outright lies, in horrible torturous semi dreams. This is horrific to read as I have come too really like Georgina

Only an American would suggest that Guinness goes with shepherd’s pie!! Seriously, NO!

RM does well to keep this book from becoming too dark and utilises Georgina’s more light hearted friends to accomplish this; Peter and his soirées really make me want to be an immortal!

Hahaha I loved that all the immortal gang are now using Facebook!

From the start you can feel that this book is going to have an explosive ending as Georgina ends up in Hells court with unlikely allies and lawyer. A loop hole has been found in her Soul Contract.

A beautiful ending that brings all the little comments throughout the series together, I think this is the only book in the series you could not read as a standalone.

The climax was one of those "I saw that coming from a mile away", but it wasn't lame or upsetting

I could easily read this series over again many times, so lovely, so funny and wonderfully circular.