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Friday, July 29, 2016

Consequences by John Quick [4 stars]


From the Description
 
It was a summer of blood and terror... For seven friends, graduation night was supposed to be a time to celebrate the end of their high school careers and the start of their real lives. But when an accident while partying at the local haunted house results in tragedy, they find themselves being hunted by a maniac for whom the stakes are decidedly personal. Thirty years ago, Crazy Freddy hung his family up with barbed wire and skinned them alive. Now, the survivors can only hope for such a kindness as they are forced to accept that for everything they do, there will be CONSEQUENCES.
 
Publication Date: April 13, 2016

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing

Publication Length: 272 pages


 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel. To find out more about John Quick, Consequences or just to join in the fun follow along with the blog tour hosted by the wonderful Erin Al-Mehairi over at Oh, for the Hook of a Book. If you’d like a review copy or interview with John, please e-mail Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com
 
 
 

Consequences is a perfect summer read, reminiscent of the slasher movies that were so prevalent in the 70's and 80's. While no new ground was broken, it didn't matter because this was such a great story to get lost in. The main characters are typical kids just graduating from high school who have to face off with a sociopathic killer and the cop who wants to help them survive. They do stupid things that have you thinking 'Don't go in there! Run!!' as you root for them to make it out alive. The backstory of how Crazy Freddy murdered his family grabbed me from the start and set the tone for the rest of the book. Consequences is John Quick's debut novel and it makes me excited to see what horrific goodness he comes up with in the future. I recommend this fun and nostalgic 4 star read.


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About the Author
 
 
John Quick has been reading and writing scary and disturbing stuff for as long as he can remember, and has only recently begun releasing some of his creations upon the world.

His debut novel, Consequences is available now as a paperback or digital eBook. He lives in Middle Tennessee with his wife, two kids, and three dogs that think they’re kids.
 
When he’s not hard at work on his next novel, you can find him online at johnquickauthor.blogspot.com , Facebook , Twitter , and GoodReads
 
 
Praise for Consequences
 
 
"The book begins with a bang, "Thirty years ago, Crazy Freddy hung his family up with barbed wire and skinned them alive." That is from the description, and that is enough for me to fall into the fabric that was woven by John Quick in his first published novel. The story is well constructed. The violence, brutal, and the action moves along at a fast pace.As a whole, I think, Consequences heralds the arrival of a new voice in the genre, and it is one we should all listen to, or suffer the consequences." -Douglas Vance Castagna, Reviewer, Author of Lust

"John Quick takes you inside the mind of a psycho path in this thriller. I read it in only two sittings because the pacing kept me turning the pages. Very well written, I enjoyed the dialogue very much, especially the young people being hunted by the killer, it felt believable and well developed, his characters weren't one dimensional, you get a chance to know them and feel for them as they are put through such horror. And horror it had, and suspense...I enjoyed the killing scenes, though some might shy away from them, I found them to be terrifyingly real. It played out in my mind as the pages turned in a great horror/thriller in my imagination. Well done! Can't wait to see more from this writer." -Michelle Garza, Co-Author of Mayan Blue
"This book felt like a good old fashioned slasher flick, and I thoroughly enjoyed the nostalgia factor I was getting off of it. There’s something deliciously creepy about a villain that is convinced that he is in the right - it’s the kind of crazy you just can’t reason with. The kids were smarter than the killer reckoned for, and it made for some really entertaining reading. I hope to see more from this author soon!" -Emily Maynard, Reviewer, Paging Through the Days
 
"What we have here is a serial killer horror story, based on an urban legend in Quick’s real-life neck of the woods in Tennessee. The character work here is pretty impressive, particularly for a first-time novelist. Quick goes to some deliriously dark places and pulls off his scenes of torture and violence rather well." -Michael Hicks, Author, Reviewer
 
"A well-written, well-executed, well-played novel, a horror-thriller, coming-of-age, first-love-blossoming, rural redneck insanity, CONSEQUENCES is a biting, gory, thrill-a-minute roller coaster ride in which the suspense never lets up." -Mallory Heart Reviews / The Haunted Reading Room
 
 
 



Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Grieving Stones by Gary McMahon [5 stars]



From the Description
 
A small therapy group arrives at Grief House hoping that a combination of isolation and hard work will help them begin the healing process each of them so desperately needs.
But their presence has awakened something in the old dwelling. Something linked to the ancient stone megaliths at the rear of the property and a terrible crime, committed centuries before.
Before the weekend is over, the group will learn the secrets of the Grieving Stones, and come to understand the true meaning of transformation.

Publication Date: July 16, 2016

Publisher: Horrific Tales Publishing

Publication Length: 94 pages

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

The Grieving Stones is old school horror at it's finest. The setting is atmospheric and the story is filled with genuinely creepy moments making it a highly effective ghost story. The lush descriptions and folklore of the area around Grief House and The Grieving Stones give the story a fantastic sense of history that is reminiscent of classics like Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House or Matheson's Hell House. The main character, Alice, is fascinating to follow as she unravels the secrets of Grief House and the Staple sisters. The punch dummy was very unsettling but the 'Backwards Girl' is truly frightening, I may have nightmares about her. I was sorry to finish this phenomenal novella. I would have loved to spend more time being terrified by the ghosts surrounding Grief House. A highly recommended 5 star read.


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About the Author
 
 
Gary McMahon is the author of several novels and short story collections. His acclaimed short fiction has been reprinted in Best Of anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic. Latest releases include a novel called "The End" (NewCon Press) and a chapbook titled "There's A Bluebird In My Heart" (White Noise Press).

He lives, works, and writes in Yorkshire, where he shares his life with a wife, a son, two cats, a bicycle, too many books and DVDs, and an obsession with Shotokan karate. You can find out more on his WEBSITE and GoodReads


Praise for Gary McMahon
 
"The Concrete Grove is a tense, ghoulish, creeping horror guaranteed to give you recurring nightmares! Brilliant characterization, economic prose and with genius control of building tension, the climax of The Concrete Grove will leave you reeling! There's a new wave of brilliant horror writers - and McMahon's right there at the top of them." - Andy Remic

"Gary McMahon is one of the finest of a new breed of horror writers. His work combines spare, elegant writing with an acute sense of the growing desperation felt by those having to deal with the crime and crumbling infrastructure of our urban centers. Illuminating these themes with a visionary's sense of the supernatural makes THE CONCRETE GROVE one exciting read."- Steve Rasnic Tem

"Gary McMahon is a spellbinding storyteller. "The Concrete Grove" is as feverish and unnerving as it is gripping: a bleak orchard of humanity where you hardly dare to look at what dark things hang gleaming and winking in the branches of the trees." - Graham Joyce

"This book is an outstanding mix of urban horror and dark fantasy, hints of King’s The Dark Tower series, hints of Holdstock’s pagan fantasy but above all the realization of McMahon’s talents as the outstanding British horror writer of our times."- The Black Abyss

"Here is a book with horror oozing out of its very pores and McMahon lumps it all altogether to give his readers something that is deeply unsettling."- Graeme's Fantasy Book Review
 
"McMahon is another new/old name to be added to those leading the resurgence of British horror fiction. Like Conrad Williams and Tim Lebbon, McMahon has been active in the small and indie presses for years, but now that horror is hip again, these writers are breaking out into larger markets. Pretty Little Dead Things follows Thomas Usher, a man whose life is both ruined and transformed one night when he is involved in a head-on collision. While his wife and daughter die in the crash, Usher emerges with a gift: he can see the recently deceased. He investigates the murder of a businessman's daughter and the abduction of a child two cases that turn out to be linked. The story of a grieving man who hates life looking into various shades of human awfulness is always going to be relentlessly grim, but despite the miserablist tone, this is a compelling novel, the puzzle structure of the whodunnit remixed to great effect with the dread of the best horror. Not so much hard-boiled as hard-nuked, this novel puts McMahon firmly in the front ranks of the new wave of British horror."- Keith Brooke, The Guardian

"I loved it. Subtle, moving and beautifully written" - Michael Marshall Smith

"Gary McMahon’s vision is as bleak as a Yorkshire moor, but it glows with a wintry light that illuminates the dark we live in. His prose and his sense of place are precise and evocative, and his characters are as real as you and me. He’s one of the darkest
which is to say brightest new stars in the firmament of horror fiction."- Ramsey Campbell

" ‘Pretty Little Dead Things’ is a very disturbing read. Gary McMahon seems intent on taking readers through the looking glass and tearing down the walls between the living and the dead. He creates dark, hallucinatory images that burn in your brain forever. One very creepy dude, and this is his creepiest to date."- Christopher Fowler

"Gary McMahon’s horror is heartfelt, his characters flawed and desperate, and this book is a rich feast of loss, guilt, and redemption. His vivid ideas are given life in beautiful prose, and the book leaves you staring into shadows that weren’t there before. His talent shines, and is set to burn brighter still."- Tim Lebbon

"Thomas Usher is a great character treading a twilight world between Manhunter and Most Haunted; conflicted by grief, haunted by blame, a ‘magnet for ghosts’ who sees the skull beneath the skin. In Pretty Little Dead Things, Gary McMahon nails genuine horror as few British writers can
or dare. He gets under your skin, then burrows even deeper. Terrifyingly, dangerously, hauntingly so."- Stephen Volk (creator of TV’s Afterlife)


 

 




Monday, July 11, 2016

Stolen Away by Kristin Dearborn [4 stars]




From the Description
 
Trisha will admit she’s made a few mistakes in her life but that checkered past is behind her. She loves her kids, even if it’s tough being a single mom. But her loyalties are put to the test when her infant son disappears in the middle of the night, and his big sister says a monster took him.

Now Trisha has to face the full truth behind the one-night-stand that produced Brayden in all its scaly torridness
Brayden’s father wasn’t human and isn’t interested in sharing custody. However, even though DEMON has pulled this stunt many times before, he made a mistake when he chose Trisha. The one thing she won’t do is give up her son without a fight. Along with her ex-boyfriend, Joel, Trisha is dragged back into the seedy underworld in a desperate fight to reclaim her son, only this time she’s got a lot more to lose.


Publication Date: June 21, 2016

Publisher: Raw Dog Screaming Press

Publication Length: 281 pages


I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this book. For more information about Stolen Away or Kristen Dearborn follow along with the blog tour hosted by the always fabulous Erin Al-Mehairi over at Oh, for the Hook of a Book. There is always time to jump on a tour so if interested, please e-mail Erin at hookofabook@hotmail.com for a review copy or to schedule an interview.
 
 

Stolen Away takes the already horrific kidnapping of a child into a whole new kind of hell. Books about demons can be kind of hit or miss for me due to the religious overtones associated with possessions and exorcisms but Stolen Away skips this with great characters and terrifying situations. Kristin Dearborn has written characters with such depth and realism that they feel like people you know. Trisha and Joel are flawed yet sympathetic. I didn't always like them but I was rooting for them throughout the entire book. Demon would have been pure evil even without being a supernatural bad guy. There are parts of this story that are heartbreaking and parts that have truly disturbing imagery. The combination makes this story move very quickly and I didn't want to put it down, I just had to know what was going to happen next. I thoroughly enjoyed this fast paced 4 star read.


Buy the Book


About the Author
 
 
If it screams, squelches, or bleeds, Kristin Dearborn has probably written about it. Kristin has written books such as Sacrifice Island (DarkFuse), Trinity (DarkFuse), and had fiction published in several magazines and anthologies. Stolen Away was recently a limited edition offered from Thunderstorm Books, which sold out.

She revels in comments like "But you look so normal…how do you come up with that stuff?" A life-long New Englander, she aspires to the footsteps of the local masters, Messrs. King and Lovecraft. When not writing or rotting her brain with cheesy horror flicks (preferably creature features!) she can be found scaling rock cliffs or zipping around Vermont on a motorcycle, or gallivanting around the globe. Kristin’s latest DarkFuse release is Woman in White.
 
Find more about Kristin online at kristindearborn.com or Facebook




Praise for Kristin Dearborn
 
 
"In Stolen Away, Kristin Dearborn writes with a confidence and ferocity that demands you keep turning pages. Where lesser writers would flinch and look away, Dearborn tells the tale the way it should be, with cruelty and fascination for both her characters and the story. Kristin Dearborn isn’t just a writer to watch, she’s a writer to watch out for. If she’s swinging, you might want to duck, because she hits hard!Bracken MacLeod, author of Mountain and Stranded

"Kristin Dearborn’s fast-paced horror thriller, Stolen Away, will possess readers as they strap in for a demonic thrill ride of sin and redemption."Stephanie M. Wytovich, author of An Exorcism of Angels

"Gripping nonstop suspense and unsettling horror that blazes the pages from start to finish. You’ll swear Stolen Away was written by a seasoned veteran of best-selling novels. Expect to want more after reading the second novel by Kristin Dearborn, an author whose work will shoot her straight to the top of reading lists."Rena Mason, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Evolutionist

"Kristin Dearborn catapults readers into an intricately layered world that is bleak and terrifying but never so damned as to be without hope or redemption. If the devil, so to speak, is in the details, then this book raises hell, exploring not just demons internal as well as external, but also all the beautiful, heart-wrenching, contradictorily complex, powerful little things that define human experience. This book earns a prominent place of the bookshelf of any fan of demonic fiction." Mary SanGiovanni, author of The Hollower trilogy and Chills

"Horror born straight from a nor’easter, Dearborn’s Woman in White is a great read for a winter nightwith a monster I’ll never forget." Christopher Irvin, author of Federales and Burn Cards

"Kristin Dearborn’s Woman in White is a rip-roaring monster tale with sharp-eyed characterization and something to say about the power dynamics between men and woman. Thought-provoking and entertaining as hell!" Tim Waggoner, author of Eat the Night

"Great stuff! Suspenseful, quickly paced, unpredictable and wonderfully evil tale. Kristin Dearborn’s best yet!" Jeff Strand, author of Pressure and Blister

"Dearborn has a wonderful sense of the macabre, along with the ability to balance the spookier aspects of her work with well-rendered, solid characterizations…Sacrifice Island is a blazing fast read, with engaging characters and a compelling narrative." The Maine Edge

"Sacrifice Island is a fresh and interesting take on a tried and true horror setup." Examiner

 





Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone [5 stars]

 
 
From the Description
 
An astonishingly inventive and terrifying debut novel about the emergence of an ancient species, dormant for over a thousand years, and now on the march.

Deep in the jungle of Peru, where so much remains unknown, a black, skittering mass devours an American tourist whole. Thousands of miles away, an FBI agent investigates a fatal plane crash in Minneapolis and makes a gruesome discovery. Unusual seismic patterns register in a Kanpur, India earthquake lab, confounding the scientists there. During the same week, the Chinese government "accidentally" drops a nuclear bomb in an isolated region of its own country. As these incidents begin to sweep the globe, a mysterious package from South America arrives at a Washington, D.C. laboratory. Something wants out.

The world is on the brink of an apocalyptic disaster. An ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake.
 
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Publication Length: 352 pages
 
 
Book Trailer
 
 
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.
 
I have always been a huge fan of creature features with bonus points going to those that have real creatures. Stories such as Grizzly, Jaws, and now The Hatching are pure gold for me. The Hatching is the first book in what promises to be an epic series. This well written novel moves along at a fast pace, spanning the globe with a huge cast of characters and locations. While I'm not afraid of spiders, the ones found within the pages of this book are deliciously terrifying. The characters are realistic and easy to care about, not an easy task with such a large cast. The intense action and sparkling dialogue had me hooked from the start. I can't wait for the next book in this apocalyptic adventure! The Hatching is a fun and suspense filled 5 star read that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Highly recommended!
 
Buy the Book
 
 
About the Author
 
 
 
I live in upstate New York with my wife and kids. Whenever I travel and say I'm from New York, people think I mean NYC, but we live about three hours north of New York City. Our house is five minutes outside of a university town. We're far enough out of town that, at night, it's dark.
No.
Darker than that.
Dark enough that, if you're not careful, you might fall off the small cliff at the edge of my property. If you're lucky, the water will be up enough to break your fall. If you're not lucky, please sign a waiver before you come to visit.
I've got two unruly dogs who are mostly friendly. Well, that's not true. The part about them being unruly is true, but one of them is the most friendly dog you've ever met, and the other dog ... isn't. They are good writing partners, though they spend a lot of their day curled up in front of the wood burning stove and ignoring me. Unless I'm making lunch. They pay attention to me then.
The Ezekiel Boone website is
www.ezekielboone.com, but I've also got a nifty website for THE HATCHING at TheHatchingBook.com It has a cool map and some other bells and whistles.
You can also follow me on Facebook , Twitter , and GoodReads or you can find me on
Instagram if you are so inclined and like the idea of occasionally seeing photos of my dogs.
If you've read this far, I should mention that THE HATCHING is Ezekiel Boone's first book, but it's not actually *my* first book. I also write under the name Alexi Zentner. Alexi Zentner's books are pretty different from Ezekiel Boone's.
 
 
Praise for The Hatching
 
"An apocalyptic extravaganza of doom and heroism…addictive." Publishers Weekly


"It’s been too long since someone reminded us that spiders are not just to be feared, but also may well spell doom for mankind. Fortunately, Ezekiel Boone has upped the ante on arachnophobia. This is a fresh take on classic horror, thoroughly enjoyable and guaranteed to leave your skin crawling."
Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Wish Me Dead
 
"You know those people who claim spiders are more afraid of us than we are of them? When it comes to The Hatching, they lied. Great gory fun - and creepy, in every sense of the word..." John Connolly, #1 Internationally Bestselling Author
 
"This novel should come with a warning label: The Hatching is scary as hell. And addictively fun." Benjamin Percy, critically acclaimed author of THE DEAD LANDS, RED MOON, and THE WILDING
 
"The Hatching is a hair-raising thriller that reads like the lovechild of Independence Day and World War Z, but is creepier than both....Every once in a while something comes along that everyone will be talking about. This will be one of those books!" The Rappologist
 
"I do not like spiders at all, so The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone was a must read for me…This debut novel rocked my socks off and then made me put them back on...quickly ...and my shoes too." bloglovin.com
 
"What Peter Benchley did for sharks, James Herbert did for rats and Michael Crichton did for dinosaurs, Ezekiel Boone does for those eight-legged freaks that lurk in dark corners of our houses. The Hatching is a full-throttle pulse-pounder that will keep you up all night feverishly flipping its pages--and make you check for webs spun under your bed before you reluctantly turn off the lights." Nick Cutter, author of The Troop and The Deep
 
"The Hatching is old school global plague horror of the freakiest sort. A deft and nasty thriller." Andrew Pyper, author of The Damned and The Demonologist
 
"Peter Benchley (with an assist from Spielberg) scared everyone out of the water with Jaws. Hitchcock showed us how terrifying birds can be. Michael Crichton's Congo went overboard on gorillas . . . Add Boone to the list. He has given everyone more reason to fear spiders." Men Reading Books
 
"Guys, this book is TERRIFYING. I felt incredibly itchy while reading it, and snuck constant furtive glances at the corners of my room in case a carnivorous spider decided to show up. This is not for the faint of heart" Lipstick and Libraries