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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Let There Be Dark by Tim McWhorter [5 stars] Plus A Bonus Interview,,,



From the Description
 
From an oddities shop looking to expand their macabre collection, to a back roads bridge with a horrifying past, Let There Be Dark is a collection of eight sinister stories full of ghostly phantoms, savage beasts, and the most frightening creature of all: humans. This first horror collection from the author of the best-selling novel, Bone White, thrusts you beyond the fringe and reminds us why we should all fear the dark…
 
 
Publication Date: August 21, 2018
Publisher: Hydra Publications
Publication Length: 180 pages
 
 

 
I received a copy of this book as part of the publicity tour hosted by the always fabulouse Erin Al-Mehairi at Oh, for the Hook of a Book . This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this collection. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review. If you would like to review Let There Be Dark or feature Tim with an interview or guest article for a media publication, blog, or author blurb, please e-mail Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com.
 
 
Let There Be Dark is a very unusual collection. What's so odd about it you may ask,,, It's one of the few collections I've read this year that I can say ALL of the stories are fantastic. Not one bad or even slightly bruised apple in the bunch! From the horrific sacrifice in Pigs to the chilling ghost haunting The Bridge there is something in this collection that will make anyone's skin crawl. My favorite stories would have to be, (It was hard to narrow this down to just two!), Growing Cold Together which has a creature I hadn't encountered since my days at summer camp and was thrilled to come across within these pages, and The Company You Keep which features my favorite of all the monsters out there, you'll have to read it to find out which one. These are fast paced gems that kept me swiping the pages until the very end. I can't wait to get my hands on more tales from Tim McWhorter! A perfect Halloween read, 5 stars.
 

 
Buy the Book
Amazon        Barnes & Noble

About the Author
 
 
 
Tim McWhorter was born under a waning crescent moon, and while he has no idea what the significance is, he thinks it sounds really cool to say. A graduate of Otterbein College, he is the author of the horror-thrillers, Shadows Remain, Bone White, its sequel, Blackened, and Let There Be Dark. He lives just outside of Columbus, OH, with his wife, a dwindling number of children and a few obligatory "family" pets that have somehow become solely his responsibility. He is currently hard at work on one of several ongoing projects and relies on interaction with readers for those much-needed breaks…
 
 

Praise
 
 

"Crafting creepy thrillers in the vein of Tim Waggoner and Dean Koontz, Tim McWhorter doesn’t disappoint." – Brian Keene, author of The Complex and The Rising
"[A]n intelligent thrill ride ... a love letter to slasher stories." – David J. Sharp, Horror Underground
"Bone White stands tall in the horror field. McWhorter is an author to watch." - C. Bryan Brown, author of They Are Among Us
"McWhorter reaches deep inside us to find our darkest fears then brings them to life on the page. He makes the things that go bump in the night afraid." - Tony Acree, author of The Hand of God
"McWhorter is a very capable writer with an engaging style." - Ed Gosney, author of Prometheus Stumbles
 
 

 
 
And now as a special Halloween treat read on for my interview with Tim McWhorter,,,,
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1. Tell me a little about yourself.
 
 
 
I currently live in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, but hope to one day make my home where six-month winters don’t exist. I started writing later in life, and even then, pretty much only wrote for myself. A few years ago, with the encouragement of fellow authors, I started taking this writing thing more seriously. I now have six books out through various publishers.
 
 
 

2. What do you do when you’re not writing (day job)?
 
Fortunately, I do have a day job, so my family doesn’t have to resort to cannibalism to survive. One would hope there are other reasons keeping them from it, but one can never be too sure. From 8-5, Monday through Friday, I design molds and dies for an industrial ceramic manufacturer.
 
 
3. How long have you been writing?
 
I’ve been creating with words since high school in the mid 80s, cutting my teeth on really bad song lyrics that even the cheesiest of the spandex-wearing hair bands would feel were beneath them. As I got older, I played around with the short story concept to equally incompetent results. It wasn’t until much later when I went back to college as an adult that I learned how to churn out somewhat palatable work. That was about 2003. I self-published my first book, a novella titled Shadows Remain, in 2013.
 
 
4. Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
 
I’m not sure if any one writer or author inspired me to start writing. I’ve always been a lover of books, going back as far as I can remember. I didn’t have video games and smart phones and YouTube back then, and I thank God for it. I immersed myself in television and books. I think I consumed enough storytelling that, ultimately, I wanted to try telling my own stories.
 
 
5. What do you find most challenging and enjoyable as an author?
 
Easily the most challenging part of being a writer is getting my work in front of people. Broadening my readership. A recent reviewer of my latest book asked how she had never heard of me before. And my response would be, "I know, right? I’m trying!" The writing process itself is the easy part, and the part I love most. Simply creating characters and fleshed-out stories from mere fleeting thoughts. That’s magic and exciting as hell. I even enjoy the editing phase. As long as I’m moving forward with a project, I’m in a good place.
 
 
6. Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
 
The words seem to flow more fluidly when I write either outdoors, or in front of a large window where I can see the outdoors. I’m not sure why, but nature has not only a quieting effect on me, but an inspiring one. Even a simple drive in the country gets me in the mood to write.
 
 
7. What kind of hobbies do you enjoy in your free time?
 
I’ve dabbled with many hobbies through the years, but the two constants have been travelling and movies. I really enjoy getting away from home and seeing places I don’t see every day. I get excited even for a day trip somewhere new, hitting wineries with my wife. At least I’m out and about. And when I can’t be out and about, I like to turn off the lights, draw the curtains and start a movie. Home theater systems were invented for people like me.
 
 
8. What is your favorite book? Movie? TV show?
 
Favorite movie would be Legends of the Fall. It’s so heartbreaking. Jaws comes in a very close second. I’ve loved too many books over the years to pick an absolute favorite, but one of them would be Nathaniel by John Saul. It’s the book that hooked me on horror. Television has really upped its game in recent years, making it difficult to choose a favorite. Netflix’s Hell on Wheels, The Killing and Broadchurch are a few. Big Bang Theory is probably my network favorite.
 
 
9. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
 
Just write. Keep writing and then write some more. It’s the only way to get better. A golfer doesn’t improve his or her swing by not hitting more balls. Even flash fiction or blog posts will help hone your skills. And don’t listen to the naysayers. You can do this.
 
 
10. Can you tell us about any of your new work? Future work?
 
I recently saw the release of my first collection of horror short stories, Let There Be Dark. It contains a little bit of everything, from the paranormal to creatures to human beings with more than one screw loose. It’s getting pretty good reviews, so it apparently doesn’t suck. That’s always a fear. My current work in progress takes place in an old, yet refurbished theater that may or may not be haunted. It’s probably 90% complete, so I hope to be shopping it around next year.
 
 
11. If you weren’t a writer, what would you do for a living?
 
Since I’m so far removed from writing for a living, I would probably do what I do now—design things. Right now, it’s tooling for a ceramic manufacturer, but I’ve also designed all of my own book covers. I really enjoy it. If I could make a living creating book covers for others, I would.
 
 
12. What scares you?
 
I had a Christian upbringing. And while I don’t practice it as much as I did then, books or movies with religious (or more so, sacrilegious) undertones still unnerve me like no other. Ghosts don’t bother me. Werewolves, zombies nor vampires. But, tell me a story where a priest is confronting a demon, or a young girl is screwing around with a Ouija board, that affects my heartrate.
 
 
13. What question do you wish someone would ask and what is the answer?
 
"Who is Tim McWhorter and is he any good?" The answer is, "Hell yes, and you should give him a try."

 
14. Where can fans stalk you online?
 
 
Feel free to check out my website, www.timmcwhorter.com or my Amazon or GoodReads pages, especially if they’d like to leave a review. Facebook, Twitter and email (tm5to1@live.com) are the best ways to reach out and personally tell me how much you love my work. LOL Readers can also use those portals to tell me how much I suck, but I don’t respond to those messages nearly as quickly.
 

 

 


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Cribbins by R.H. Dixon [4 stars]

 
 
 
From the Description
 
He belonged in Hell, but lived next door!
A modern day ghost story of creeping dread...
While struggling to cope with the emotional and physical impact of being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, single mother Sophie Harrington is tormented by a man from her past: her old neighbor Ronnie Cribbins.
Cribbins has been dead for the past fifteen years and Sophie is faced with the possibility that his malevolent spirit could be the cause of her autoimmunity, because she can feel him attacking her senses from within.
Enlisting the help of her new neighbor Piotr KamiƄski, a troubled, younger man, with a dark past of his own, Sophie must look to her childhood in order to expose a secret she hadn’t realized she’d kept hidden. Because if she doesn’t recognize the truth, she, along with her eleven-year-old daughter, will be sucked into Cribbins’ cold, black, stinking world forever.
And in Cribbins’ world there’s no medication – just pain and sickness.
 
Publication Date: June 1, 2018
Publisher: Corvus Corone Press
Publication Length: 264 pages
 
I received a copy of this book as part of the Cribbins’ Blog Tour for review consideration. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review.
 
Cribbins is an eerie and very disturbing ghost story. Any parent knows the fears of not being able to keep your child safe. Anyone with health issues can tell you how frightening they can be. R.H. Dixon takes these fears to a whole other level by adding in a mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Sophie is a realistic and sympathetic character to follow as she deals with a devastating illness, worry for her little girl, and navigating her attraction to a man who has as many secrets as she’s repressing. Cribbins, both the character and the book, made my skin crawl. As a person, he’s the kind that makes you feel like you need a shower to wash the slime off just by talking to him. As a ghost he is pure evil. A suspenseful and gripping 4 star read.
 
Buy the Book
 
Amazon       Barnes & Noble
 
About the Author
 

 
 
 

R. H. Dixon is a horror enthusiast who, when not escaping into the fantastical realms of fiction, lives in the northeast of England with her husband and two whippets.
When reading and writing she enjoys exploring the darknesses and weaknesses within the human psyche, and she loves good strong characters that are flawed and put through their paces.
Her favorite authors include: Shirley Jackson, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Joe Hill, Ramsey Campbell and Stephen King.
When not reading and writing, she enjoys travelling (particularly wildlife-spotting jaunts involving bears, wolves and corvids), collecting animal skulls and drinking honey-flavored Jack Daniels.
You can find out more by checking out her Website, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads
 
Praise
 
Human and ghostly monsters terrify in R. H. Dixon's Cribbins, a well-written and effective novel of repressed memory and psychological torment.  - Review by Morbidly Beautiful
 
A novel of subtle, creeping-in-on-cat-feet, psychological and supernatural horror, as only the British can manage. This novel reminded me of Henry James' "Turn of the Screw," of the supernatural novels of Shani Struthers, and of the crime noir of Rachel Abbott.  - Review by The Haunted Reading Room
 
It was full of tension and suspense which enabled me to read it in one sitting. There was times that I was holding my breath wondering what would happen to Sophie when Cribbins visited her.  - Review by Terror-Tree
 
Dixon does a great job getting the reader into Sophie's mind! The characterization here is so complete that I not only felt I knew her, but also believed-immediately-that the feelings and ideas invading her mind were real. This novel really gets to the reader, psychologically, forcing you to think along unfamiliar lines. I found this to be an exciting new take on the way someone could be haunted.  Dixon did an excellent job of maintaining the suspense throughout the entire novel, and of weaving in little snippets of the past to keep the reader constantly thinking about how everything would end up connecting in the big picture.  The book captivated my attention from beginning to end, taking me mentally to places I would have never wished to go. Highly recommended.  - Review by Horror After Dark


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Alien Agenda Publishing 2018 Sampler [ 5 stars]



My review today is going to be a little different from the normal review you find here at Horror Maiden’s. That’s because instead of a novel or anthology today we’ll be talking about a new sampler available from Alien Agenda Publishing. The stories collected in this short book are a small taste of the wonderful tales that will be coming soon from this new publishing house. I have to say I can’t wait to get my hands on these upcoming books! The authors you’ll find in these pages know how to grab you and keep you flying through the pages,,, and leave you wanting more! Authors like Somer Canon, Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason, Mick Ridgewell, Glenn Rolfe, and David Bernstein. I’ve been lucky enough to read and review a few of the books from Alien Agenda. If you haven’t read them yet you are in for a treat. Especially with The Beast of Brenton Woods by Jackson R. Thomas, Land of Bones by Glenn Rolfe, and the upcoming novella The Skinner by David Bernstein. After the stories there is a fascinating round table interview with the authors as well as sample chapters from a few of the books. This is a tasty treat for horror fans and a great introduction to Alien Agenda Publishing. Highly recommended!
 
Don’t forget to check out the Alien Agenda Publishing website for more info!
 
Buy the Sampler
 

Amazon        Barnes& Noble
 
You can find my review HERE
You can find my review HERE
You can find my review HERE
 


Monday, August 6, 2018

Kill Hill Carnage by Tim Meyer [4.5 stars]



 
From the Description
 
These woods are dark and full of monsters…
 
In 1991, hell was unleashed upon Saint Christopher’s Summer Camp for Kids. The killers left behind piles of bodies and rivers of blood. Some say a family of inbred cannibals was responsible. A masked psychopath with a butcher's knife is another popular theory. Some still believe a camp counselor lost his mind and went crazy on everyone with an axe. But there’s also the mysterious, derelict factory that sits nearby, atop Kill Hill. A place where urban legends are manufactured, the grotesque and bizarre.
Twenty-five years later, the factory on Kill Hill is still said to be operational, but no one can get near it. It’s safely guarded along with the secrets within. But there are a few loose strings and hitman Frank Harmon has been sent to tie them up. His kill list is short, but the night is long and full of unspeakable horrors. With the help of a few college students on an impromptu camping adventure, Frank must contain the mess at Kill Hill before it spreads to the neighboring towns. Before it infects the entire country. Before it invades the entire world.
From the fantastical, high-octane mind of Tim Meyer, author of Sharkwater Beach and In the House of Mirrors, comes his most frightening tale yet! Summer camp this year is at your own risk.
 
Publication Date: July 15, 2018
Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
Publication Length: 286 pages
 
I received a copy of this book as part of the Kill Hill Carnage Publicity Tour for review consideration. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review. Follow along this tour with the hashtags: #KillHillCarnage If you would like to review Kill Hill Carnage or feature Tim with an interview or guest article for a media publication, blog, or author blurb, please e-mail Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com
 
 

Kill Hill Carnage is a rip-roaring run through a monster infested forest that will have you laughing maniacally from sheer joy. Take one part Island of Dr. Moreau and add it to one part Lovecraft shake liberally and strain it through a nightmare to find the creatures that haunt the woods around Camp Christopher and the not so abandoned factory. The characters fall into two camps,,, Those you want to see make it out alive, and those you hope meet a gloriously gruesome fate. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out who made it out alive in this splatter filled tale. A throwback to old-school horror this book is a thrilling and fun gorefest that I would recommend to horror fans everywhere. A solid 4.5 star read.
 
 
Buy the Book
 
Amazon      Barnes&Noble
 
About the Author
 
 

Tim Meyer dwells in a dark cave near the Jersey Shore. He’s an author, husband, father, podcast host, blogger, coffee connoisseur, beer enthusiast, and explorer of worlds. He writes horror, mysteries, science fiction, and thrillers, although he prefers to blur genres and let the stories fall where they may. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, or his Blog
 
 
Praise
 
“IN THE HOUSE OF MIRRORS is a great book! The sky is the limit for Tim Meyer.”  – Cedar Hollow Reviews
 
"Meyer kills it with his action scenes, his gore, and does a great job with a number of these characters."  - Glenn Rolfe, author of Blood and Rain and Becoming
 
"Author Tim Meyer really knows how to delve deep into his characters..."  - The Haunted Reading Room
 
"I highly recommend… to anyone wanting an engaging, bloody, fun story."  - Jeremy Hepler, author of The Boulevard Monster

 

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Nightcrawler by Mick Ridgewell [4 stars]



From the Description
 
Wherever you run…he’s waiting for you!
 
Scott Randall is a corporate VP on top of the world. To celebrate a massive new deal, he’s going to drive from Detroit to LA. But before he leaves, he makes a bad mistake. He cruelly dismisses a homeless panhandler on the street. Along the road, he swears he sees the panhandler again.
 
Then again.
 
And again.
 
 
Soon he sees the man—who calls himself the Nightcrawler—even in his dreams. No matter how frantically he tries, Scott can’t escape his relentless pursuer. He thought he was going to LA. But the Nightcrawler has a very different destination in mind.


 
Publication Date: July 6, 2018

Publisher: Alien Agenda Publishing

Publication Length: 264 pages

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review.

 

The Nightcrawler is an odd little book. It starts off slowly and had me wondering where it was going. I have to say that I didn’t like Scott. He was an asshat of the highest order which made it harder to get into this book than it should have been. On the flip side I was really enjoying the story of Roger and his road trip from Vermont to the Grand Canyon, which kept me reading. I’m so glad it did! While this story doesn’t have the blood and gore I usually look for in a horror novel the supernatural elements along with Roger’s dreams of his death and his sister, plus the strange acting birds and worms give this novel an eerie atmosphere that I thoroughly enjoyed. The ending is entirely satisfying, tying everything up in one spooky package. A highly recommended 4 star read.


 
 
 

Proudly brought to you by Alien Agenda Publishing as part our #SummerofHorror series.
Grab your copy here: THENIGHTCRAWLER
Visit the Alien Agenda Publishing website for more on our books and authors: AAP
Or find us on Twitter @Alien_Pub
 
About the Author
 

 
Mick Ridgewell grew up watching Dark Shadows, The Twilight Zone, and The Outer Limits. These interests were not quite understood by his mechanic/athlete father and homemaker mother, but neither were they discouraged.
 
More recently Mick’s downtime has been filled with the likes of Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Richard Matheson. With idle hours spent in this company it should be easy to see how he came to be a horror writer.
 
When not at his day job, or spending time with his family, Mick can be found reading or writing something that is intended to make the readers skin crawl.
 
Mick can be found on Facebook and Twitter, or you can send him an email mickridgewell@yahoo.ca
 
Praise
 
“The Nightcrawler is a hellish cross country trek to the darkness of man's soul.” – Hunter Shea, author of CREATURE and WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING
 
“Eerie, dark, and mysterious, Ridgewell’s focus is on character and story instead of the blood and gore. The Nightcrawler is an atmospheric, spook-fest of eerie scares.” – David Bernstein, author SKINNER and GOBLINS