Translate

Monday, April 27, 2015

Poor Jeffrey by Paul Flewitt [3 stars]



From the Description:

Sometimes magic works...
Grief drives people to extreme behaviour, and when Poor Jeffrey Kinsey is killed, his friends go to some extreme lengths to bring him back…

But Jeffrey’s death isn’t the only thing going on in town...

Several girls have disappeared, only to be found half eaten by an unidentifiable creature later... it’s enough to drive a town insane.
For Tommy, Jade and Chloe the next few weeks will make them or break them… and a story begins…

Poor Jeffrey; he never wanted death to be this way…

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this book.

Poor Jeffrey had all of the elements of a good horror novel. It was fast paced, gory, and even had a cannibalistic serial killer. All the things I usually love in a story, yet,,, I just couldn't get into it. I think part of the problem was all of the foreshadowing. Nearly every chapter had some. To the point I kept hearing,,,,



Or maybe it was the plot twists. There were a lot of them. We have the power hungry man who wants to be Mayor, the aging Sheriff who is having a power struggle with both the power hungry guy and the feds trying to take over the case, a priest that is crazy as a loon, teenage witches, a cannibal serial killer, and then there's Poor Jeffrey. Way too much going on in a town where 'nothing ever happens'. I think this could have been a very good book with a little more work. Paul Flewitt has talent as a writer and I would read more of his writing. This one just didn't do it for me. An ok 3 star read.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Last Of The Albatwitches by Brian Keene [5 stars]



From the description:

Fan favorite ex-Amish occult detective Levi Stolzfus, the star of Ghost Walk and A Gathering of Crows, returns in two novellas of demons and monsters!

The Witching Tree

In the woods of Pennsylvania there is a clearing with only one lone tree in the center. And from that tree, there comes only death.
Levi has been brought in to investigate the mysterious killings. In doing so, he must face a force much older than mankind-an evil that will threaten to take his life and faith.

The Last of the Albatwitches

There's an old legend about the forest surrounding Chickies Rock - how it's the home to a reclusive race of Sasquatch-like creatures known as the Albatwitches. But after a recent murder, Levi suspects there might be some truth to the stories.
Now he must race against both the Cryptid Hunters reality television team and a squad of private security contractors from the mysterious Globe Corporation, to unravel the source of the legend and determine what manner of monster has turned the forest into a killing ground.

As a longtime Brian Keene fan I couldn't wait to read more of Levi Stolzfus's adventures. I wasn't disappointed! The first novella in this book, The Witching Tree, was creepy and disturbing. It showed that even Levi has moments of self-doubt and that some Evils may be far too costly to vanquish. The Last Of The Albatwitches gets to the truth behind a local legend and proves that human evil can be just as difficult to face. Both of the novellas in this book were fast paced and super fun reads that foreshadow an apocalyptical event that Levi will have to face in the future. I can't wait for more!! Last Of The Albatwitches is a must read for any Brian Keene fan. A solid 5 star read.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Kidnap: Guy Erma And The Son Of Empire by Sally Ann Melia [3.5 stars]


From the Description:

Guy Erma and the Son of Empire is a new three-part action adventure, set a long time ago on a planet far far away.
I don't want to go! Do I have to go?

13-year-old Teodor knows his duty to the memory of his father and his kingdom, he must help those less fortunate than himself. He must also impress his uncle the Emperor if he is ever to become the Son of Empire. A frightening nightmare fills him with foreboding, but still he must go - into the Dome.

13-year-old Guy Erma lives in the shadow of the Dome, he has no father and no mother and his future is uncertain, he must start earning a living soon. He knows not where he will live or even how he will eat, and his only dream is to be accepted in the military academy - at the heart of the Dome.

 Two boys as different as any two boys might be. One act of cruelty will throw their lives together, but who dare they trust?

The Empire of Freyne is a newcomer to the United Races. As a developing race, the thirteen-planet empire is of interest to other galactic races, not all of this interest is friendly. The Dome Elite is a force of space marines whose defensive actions and adventures defend Freyne and its neighbours from hostile alien pirates and acquisitive space brigands, so allowing the inhabitants to sleep soundly at night.

For the young men and women of Domeside, to be a part of the Dome Elite, you need to master the maths and technology associated with space warfare and also to be fierce fighter who can fight in confined spaces with short sharp blades. When you are in Dome Elite, you are the best!

Meanwhile politicians and imperial rulers know that whosoever controls the Dome Elite, who decides their mandate and mission also controls the empire. You have to inspire and lead the men, to have and hold the right alien alliances and legal treaties. When you own the Dome Elite. you are in power!

I received this novel in exchange for an honest review as part of an iRead blog tour. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this book. If you would like to learn more about this book, blog tour or the iRead program you can visit the website here.


Kidnap starts out with a bang! The writing is very imaginative and fun for both the young and the young at heart. I really liked both the science fiction and fantasy elements in this book. The tech was well thought out and the descriptions of the landscapes and fascinating creatures are very well done. They capture the imagination and draw you into the story quickly. The characters are interesting and you want to find out what happens next. I loved Karl and Nell, they quickly became my two favorite characters. Prince Teodor seemed to be a normal thirteen year old who would rather have fun blade  training and racing his Goran, the giant racing cats, instead of performing his 'official' duties. The title character, Guy Erma, is a bit confusing. He's the character we spend the most time with, leading me to believe that he's supposed to be the hero of our story. Some of his actions made me question this. I can't really explain that without giving away too much of the story. I do wish that more had been resolved in this book but I do think that the series shows a lot of promise. A solid 3.5 star read.

About the Author:



Sally Ann Melia was born in Wallasey, England, in 1964, and moved to the South of France when she was eleven. She spent her teenage years living in the cosmopolitan city state of Monaco and became immersed in its many languages and cultures. An English girl in a French school, for three hours each week she would sit at the back of the class as her colleagues learnt English. To pass the time, she wrote stories. This led to a lifetime of writing novels, scripts, stories and articles.

In her working life, Sally writes marketing communications and manages large international websites.

In 2010, Sally joined the Hogs Back Writers, a club located on the outskirts of Guildford, and she set about turning an old manuscript into this novel: Guy Erma and the Son of Empire. Sally currently lives in Farnham, and she is married with two children.

You can connect with her at:

http://www.sally-ann-melia.com/

Facebook

Twitter

Pintrest






Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tales From The Beaumont House by D.F. Holland [2 stars]



From the Description:

What do a psychic, a family of four and a computer programmer have in common? Unfortunately for them, they reside in the Beaumont House apartments. What appears to be a serene, picturesque apartment complex is actually an otherworldly reality consisting of the supernatural, the strange and the unimaginable. 

In “MoonGlow” ~ A computer programmer, developing an online vampire game, is haunted by a powerful, centuries-old spirit who desperately wants to take physical form once again.

In “Gathering of souls” ~ An interior decorator buys an antique painting with a heartbreaking, supernatural history that will turn her world upside down.

In “Heir to a new world” ~ A child is missing and it’s the family’s worst nightmare. Or so they thought. When the child is mysteriously returned the nightmare REALLY begins. The terrifying events that unfold affect not only the family, but the entire planet.

These and other stories await. From horror and sci-fi toTwilight Zone-type fiction, TALES FROM THE BEAUMONT HOUSE invites you in to stay for awhile. However, it is not advisable to move in anytime soon. 

I received a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this book.

Tales From The Beaumont House is a series of interconnected stories that all take place in an apartment complex. I had a really hard time with this book. I felt disconnected from the characters and found that for the most part I was uninterested in the stories. There were two bright spots for me in this book however. Fans of movies like The Ghost And Mrs. Muir will find the story The 1940's (Apt. 6c) has a very familiar storyline. The story Heir To A New World (Apt. 11a) is an interesting and horrifying look at an alien takeover. I only wish that the other stories in this collection had been as good. I can only give this one a 2 star rating.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Abram's Bridge by Glenn Rolfe [5 stars]


From the Description:

There is a darkness in this town, and it’s buried beneath Abram’s Bridge.

When Lil Ron meets Sweet Kate under Abram’s Bridge he is mesmerized. And when he realizes this beautiful girl is a ghost, it frightens him, but also draws him to her. Curiosity and a drive to make things right lead Lil Ron into a tangle of small-town secrets involving his own father and other members of this otherwise quiet community. Bit by bit, he will uncover the truth about Sweet Kate, a story of heartbreak, violence…and fear.

When I sat down to start Abram's Bridge I thought that I would just read a few pages before I got started on the other things I needed to do. I didn't put it down again until I had finished this excellent ghost story. Only an author who really knows their stuff can paint such a compelling picture with words, and Glenn Rolfe knows his stuff. Reading a book this well written transports you to another place and makes the characters seem like people you know and care about. Lil' Ron and Sweet Kate's story touched my heart with sorrow in some places and made it race with fear in others. Another great 5 star read from Glenn Rolfe. I can't wait for his next one!!

 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Boom Town by Glenn Rolfe [5 stars]


From the Description:

Terror from below!

In the summer of 1979, Eckert, Wisconsin, was the sight of the most unique UFO encounter in history. A young couple observed a saucer-like aircraft hovering over Hollers Hill. A blue beam blasted down from the center of the craft into the hill and caused the ground to rumble for miles.

Now, thirty years later, Eckert is experiencing nightly rumbles that stir up wild rumors and garner outside attention. The earthly tremors are being blamed on everything from earthquakes to underground earth dwellers. Two pre-teens discover a pipe out behind Packard’s Flea Market uprooted by the “booms” and come into contact with the powerful ooze bubbling from within. What begins as curiosity will end in an afternoon of unbridled terror for the entire town.

I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this book.

Growing up, I used to spend every Friday night curled up with my Grandma watching the late night horror movies on TV. Most folks who grew up in the 80's could tell you that these movies were the great old classics and some of the cheesier newer ones. I still remember the feeling I had as I watched Steve McQueen save the day in The Blob. Glenn Rolfe's writing in Boom Town is so vibrant it took me right back to the horror I felt watching that slimy ooze slither across the screen in a dark room. Brady and Kim are wonderfully drawn characters. I thoroughly enjoyed following their thrilling and terrifying journey as they tried to solve the mystery of what was causing The Booms in their small town. I couldn't wait to find out what happened next and at the same time I didn't want to know because that would mean the end of this marvelous novella. Horror and Sci-fi lovers everywhere will want to grab this 5 star read!

If you want to find out what others are saying about this book you can follow the Hook of a Book blog tour.






"...Stephen King-lite. (Boom Town) is quick, punchy and goes places you may not see coming before the final page is swiped or turned." - Horror After Dark



"Boom Town is quick and entertaining read that harkens back to the 1980's brand of small town (or intimate invasion) alien pieces. Like a reader’s digest version of Late Night Horror Television presentations (every region had one, for me it was "Fright Night Theatre") of "Invaders From Mars", "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", "Night of the Creeps" or "Xtro"” – Zachary, Mouths of Madness Podcast



“Rolfe weaves a wonderful tale of big, bad things happening to a small, good town. A sure winner!” – Hunter Shea, author of Island of the Forbidden and The Montauk Monster

Buy Links:

Amazon

Samhain

Barnes & Nobel




Glenn Rolfe, Bio



Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, songwriter and all around fun loving guy from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King and Richard Laymon. He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.

He is the author the ghost/mystery/thriller novella, ABRAM'S BRIDGE (Samhain Publishing, Jan. 2015) and his latest novella, a Horror/Sci-Fi mash-up, BOOM TOWN (Samhain Publishing). A full-length novel, BLOOD AND RAIN, will come out this Fall from Samhain Publishing and THINGS WE FEAR, a novella, is set to publish from Samhain in 2016.

His debut novel, THE HAUNTED HALLS (James Ward Kirk Publishing, 2014), is available now, as well as his short story collection, SLUSH (Alien Agenda Publishing, 2014).

Look for his punk rock band, The Never Nudes, on Amazon and Facebook.
Check out his website: www.glennrolfe.com



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Skintaker by Frazer Lee [5 stars]


From the Description:

You have what he wants!

Reclusive nineteen-year-old Rosie Shields hopes for a new lease of life that will free her from the stigma of her debilitating skin condition. Making a pilgrimage to the Amazon rainforest, Rosie experiences a new world beyond her wildest dreams among the mysterious Myahueneca tribe. But Rosie’s dreams soon turn to nightmares when she embarks on a ritual vision quest that takes her to the very heart of darkness. Trapped between murderous hunters and raging forest fires, Rosie will be thrust into a fight for survival, a struggle that awakens an ancient evil stirring in the shadows…the demonic deity known as The Skintaker.

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this book.

I loved this book!! Filled with fabulous descriptions and fully formed characters I devoured The Skintaker in one sitting. Set at the turn of the century, Rosie is a timid young woman trying to figure out her place in the world. Afflicted with a skin condition that makes fitting in with society hard until her missionary Uncle takes the family to South America were she is revered by the local tribe, and their God/bogeyman, because of it. This leads to some pulse-pounding action and terror. At times I felt as if I was right there beside Rosie and Nimbo, running for their lives through the burning rainforest. I didn't want the adventure to end! This was my first novel by Frazer Lee but it definitely won't be my last! If you're looking for a great read, grab this 5 star book and hold on for the ride.







Friday, April 3, 2015

Bottled Abyss by Benjamin Kane Ethridge [4.5 stars]


From the Descriptions:

YOU'VE TAKEN PAYMENT FOR A DEATH THAT DOESN'T BELONG TO YOU. WHAT WERE THREE ARE NOW ONE, AND I AM FURY...
Herman and Janet Erikson are going through a crisis of grief and suffering after losing their daughter in a hit and run. They've given up on each other, they've given up on themselves. They are living day by day. One afternoon, to make a horrible situation worse, their dog goes missing in the coyote-infested badlands behind their property. Herman, resolved in preventing another tragedy, goes to find the dog, completely unaware he's on a hike to the River Styx, which according to Greek myth was the border between the Living World and the world of the Dead. Long ago the gods died and the River dried up, but a bottle containing its waters still remains in the badlands. What Herman discovers about the dark power contained in those waters will change his life forever...


I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this book.

Bottled Abyss is a thoroughly engrossing read! I was drawn into this world created by Benjamin Kane Ethridge and before the end of the first chapter I was hooked. I've always been fascinated by tales of the underworld and the Greek myths of Hades and those who crossed the River Styx on Charon's boat. Bottled Abyss takes that myth and pulls it into the present. The characters here are not always likable but they are believable. Janet starts off as drunken harpy who won't let Herman move on after the death of their daughter and ends up being sympathetic and compelling. This was my first book by Benjamin Kane Ethridge but it won't be my last. A solid 4.5 stars.



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Glenn Rolfe Interview



 



Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, songwriter and all around fun loving guy from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King and Richard Laymon. He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.

He is the author the ghost/mystery/thriller novella, ABRAM'S BRIDGE (Samhain Publishing, Jan. 2015) and his latest novella, a Horror/Sci-Fi mash-up, BOOM TOWN (Samhain Publishing). A full-length novel, BLOOD AND RAIN, will come out this Fall from Samhain Publishing and THINGS WE FEAR, a novella, is set to publish from Samhain in 2016.
 


His debut novel, THE HAUNTED HALLS (James Ward Kirk Publishing, 2014), is available now, as well as his short story collection, SLUSH (Alien Agenda Publishing, 2014).
 
I was introduced to Glenn Rolfe by the fabulous Erin from Oh, for the HOOK of a Book! When she asked me to review Glenn's short story collection Slush. I was hooked! You can find my review of this awesome collection HERE.

I was lucky enough to be able to interview Glenn for the upcoming Hook of a Book blog tour for Boom Town, a great little novella that proved to me that Glenn is a writer that knows his stuff.

Now join me for a cup of coffee as we get to know this fascinating writer,,,,,

  1. Tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Glenn. I’m a fun loving goofball. I love Horror books. I love comedy movies. I love Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift, and Guns N’ Roses. I have three kids (Ruby, 8-Ramona, 5- and Axl, 2) and an amazing wife. I love them so much. They make me old and keep me young at the same time.

2. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Hobbies?

I love hanging with my wife and our three children. They keep me pretty busy when I’m not at work or writing. I also play in a punk rock band. Everyone should check out The Never Nudes (we’re outta Portland, Maine)
 
3. You recently got to meet one of my childhood hero's William Katt, star of the show The Greatest American Hero. Can you tell me what that was like?
 
Yeah, at the Horror Hound Weekend (which was a blast!) I got to meet William Katt. I was completely STAR STRUCK! I couldn’t talk. I got up for my turn with him and everything just collided in my mind. All the stories and questions. He stood up and came around the table, grabbed me by the arms and shook me. He said, “just spit it out”. I managed to tell him that he was my hero and that I used to sing the theme song for hours. Oh, and that my mom made me a doll of him. Pretty awesome. We talked briefly about my favorite episode, The Beast in the Black. He talked about how that was one of his favorites and that the network got a lot of complaints from parents that the episode scared their kids. Since it was a show with a large kid fan base, the network told them not to do any more episodes like that. I remember it scared the hell out of me, but I’d watch that episode every time it was on. I got the series on DVD and that was the second episode I watched (I had to watch the pilot again!) My mom got a huge kick out of this picture. She was so happy for me.
 
 

4.How long have you been writing?

I started writing Horror in 2011. I’ve always been the main songwriter in the bands I’ve played in, so there is a little storytelling involved in crafting good lyrics.

5. Who or what inspired you to be a writer?

Leisure Books Horror Club! I loved King and Rice first, but all of those Leisure Book titles were so fun. The stories and styles were different from one another, but they were held together by one commonality–quality. They were so consistently good. Authors like Brian Keene and Richard Laymon were so good each time out. It was very inspiring. When Leisure died in the Dorchester Publishing mess, we (the readers) were left with a void. I decided that writing my own stories might help me put something in that place.

6. What do you find most challenging and enjoyable as an author?

The biggest challenge is finding the time in the day to write. I have so many things I’d love to tackle, but not enough time to get to them all. Marketing is also a steep climb. That’s one I’m really trying to figure out. I have a feeling that these stories would be liked by Horror Lit fans like me, but how do I get MY work in front of them? It takes patience, perseverance, and a strong network of author and reader friends.

I enjoy creating characters. I like putting them into this world that is swirling somewhere in my head and watching (and recording) what happens to them. I’m always in awe when I really get into something that came from my own head. I feel so lucky and privileged to be able to tap into that crazy place that stories come from. It takes work and commitment. You have to keep going after it, but the more you do it, and the ore advice you listen to from the people who have done it before you, the more you learn, and hopefully, the better writer you become.

7. What do you enjoy in your free time?

I increased my reading quite a bit last year. You can learn so much just from doing that. You see the way authors lay things out and some things that inspire you to be better than you are. You also see the things you don’t like and that you don’t want to do.

8. Who is your favorite author/book and why?

Stephen King, ‘Salem’s Lot. The characters and King’s magical ability to tell a story. Every one of his characters seems real. ‘Salem’s Lot feel like a true story to me. I try to re-read it every couple of years. It is still as amazing as the first time. It is the best.

9. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Read, read, read, write, write, and read some more. And if you want to have a wide and accurate array of stories, don’t be afraid to read outside of your genre. Don’t put chains on your creative voice. Some people only want to do Horror, or Romance, or Fantasy…and that’s fine. Me, I base all of my stuff in Horror, but I’m not afraid to let the characters and the story take me elsewhere. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Write fearless.

10. Can you tell us about any of your new work?

Boom Town is my first dip into the Horror/Sci-Fi world. I’ve always loved when Horror and Sci-Fi crash into each other. Usually, for me it’s movies and TV. I haven’t read much outside of a couple of Whitley Streiber novels, but movies like Predator, Alien, Fire in the Sky, and more recently, The 4th Kind, really stir up something inside of me. I mean, we can’t be the only ones in the universe. There’s no telling what aliens are going to be like. Are they cute and friendly like E.T.? Or are they up to no good like the ones we see in Signs? Boom Town is my first adventure into the alien world. It’s a bit of a First love-type story, mixed with Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I can’t wait to hear what people think.

After Boom Town, my next two pieces with Samhain are my werewolf novel, Blood and Rain (fall, 2015) and my next novella, Things We Fear. Things We Fear hasn’t gotten a release date yet. I’m guessing beginning of 2016. I love both of these pieces. My take on werewolves kind of follows the way I look at ‘Salem’s Lot. It’s more about the characters and the story rather than the monster, yet the monster is still scary as hell. I’m super proud of it. Things We Fear is a story about four main characters and their fears. It’s a look at how these characters each deal with these as their worlds collide into one another. It started off about my fear of drowning and grew into its own journey.

11. What question do you wish someone would ask and what is the answer?

What’s your favorite thing about great Horror stories: My answer is heart. You have to feel more than fear for a story to resonate. At least, I do.

12. Where can your fans find you? Website? Facebook? Twitter?

Glennrolfe.com(wordpress/website)


@Grolfehorror (Tweetersville)
 
Thanks for the great interview Glenn!!
 
 
The more of Glenn's books I read the bigger fan I become. You'll be able to read my review for Boom Town on April 9 and Abram's Bridge April 13 here at Horror Maiden's Book Reviews