Book reviews, Fantasy, Horror

The Devils Apprentice by Kenneth B. Andersen – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Philip is a good boy, a really good boy, who accidentally gets sent to Hell to become the Devil’s heir. The Devil, Lucifer, is dying and desperately in need of a successor, but there’s been a mistake and Philip is the wrong boy. Philip is terrible at being bad, but Lucifer has no other choice than to begin the difficult task of training him in the ways of evil. Philip gets both friends and enemies in this odd, gloomy underworld—but who can he trust, when he discovers an evil-minded plot against the dark throne?

The Devil’s Apprentice is volume 1 in The Great Devil War-series.

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MY REVIEW 

Philip is 13 years old, he’s a good young man, he’s also the victim of the school bully Sam. Hiding in the school basement, he is rescued from Sam by the janitor, but Sam says he’ll get him another time.

On his way home, he rescues a cat….who he is sure said Thankyou! 

The Sam pushes him into the road and Philip wakes up in Hell. It must be a mistake, a demon agrees, but Satan decides he needs an heir and Philip is it.

Can Philip learn to be bad? 

A clever fantasy tale of good and evil….it also makes you think what is Evil? From a while lie to murder, is it just degrees of evil? Do we need evil so that we can be the opposite? A fun, entertaining read.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Kenneth B. Andersen (1976) is an award-winning Danish writer. He has published more than forty books for children and young adults, including both fantasy, horror, and science fiction. 

His books have been translated into more than 15 languages and his hit-series about the superhero Antboy has been turned into three movies. A musical adaptation of The Devil’s Apprentice, the first book in The Great Devil War series, opened in the fall 2018 and film rights for the series have been optioned.

Kenneth lives in Copenhagen with his wife, two boys, a dog named Milo, and spiders in the basement.

Website http://www.kennethbandersen.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WriterKennethBAndersen/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kenneth_b_andersen/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/K_B_Andersen

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kenneth-b-andersen

Book reviews, Horror

Hearthstone Cottage by Frazer Lee – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Mike Carter and his girlfriend Helen, along with their friends Alex and Kay, travel to a remote loch side cottage for a post-graduation holiday. When Mike becomes haunted by a disturbing presence in the cottage, the bonds of friendship are tested as he must uncover the terrifying truth dwelling within the walls of Hearthstone Cottage.

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MY REVIEW 

Mike, Helen, Alex and Kay have just graduated and so are off on a trip to Hearthstone Cottage in the Scottish Highlands, to relax.

Just as they are about to arrive, they hit a stag in the road, killing the poor animal, writing off the 4 x 4 and really shaking them all up. They arrive at the cottage finally and find Alex’ sister, Maggie is there already with her dog, Oscar.

They get settled but then things start to get weird…..Mike starts to hear a child laughing, he has horrific nightmares and hallucinations…then a crow hits the cottage window, Oscar goes missing and tragedy strikes….

Beware of past sins, they may just catch up with you one day……

This is a fantastically creepy tale, with a sense of gradually building menace. All set in beautiful surroundings which really added to the atmosphere. Gripping, spooky and thoroughly entertaining.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here

 

https://www.flametreepublishing.com/Hearthstone-Cottage-ISBN-9781787583276.html

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Frazer Lee is a novelist, screenwriter and filmmaker. His screenplay credits include the acclaimed horror/thriller feature Panic Button, and multi-award winning short films On Edge, Red Lines, Simone and The Stay. Frazer’s screenwriting and story consultant engagements have included commissions for Movie Mogul, The Asylum, Mediente, eMotion, and Vanquish Alliance Entertainment.

His film and television directing credits include the multi award-winning shorts On Edge and Red Lines, and the promo campaign for the Discovery Channel series True Horror With Anthony Head. His new short film The Stay had its World Premiere at World Horror Con Atlanta USA 2015. Frazer was named one of the Top 12 UK directors in MySpace.com’s Movie Mash-up contest by a panel including representatives from 20th Century Fox, Vertigo Films and Film Four.

Frazer’s novel The Lamplighters was a Bram Stoker Award® Finalist for ‘Superior Achievement in a First Novel’.

Frazer is Head of Creative Writing at Brunel University London and is an active member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers. His guest speaking engagements have included The London Screenwriters Festival and The Guerilla Filmmakers Masterclass. Frazer Lee lives with his family in Buckinghamshire, England just across the cemetery from the actual Hammer House of Horror.

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FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched recently in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

 

Book reviews, Horror

Slash by Hunter Shea – Book Review @huntershea1 @FlameTreePress @annecater

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Five years after final girl Ashley King survived the infamous Resort Massacre, she’s found hanging in her basement by her fiancé, Todd Matthews. She left behind clues as to what really happened that night, clues that may reveal the identity of the killer the press has called The Wraith. 

With the help of his friends, Todd goes back to the crumbling Hayden Resort, a death-tinged ruin in the Catskills Mountains. What they find is a haunted history that’s been lying in wait for a fresh set of victims.

The Wraith is back, and he’s nothing what they expected.
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MY REVIEW 

Ashley was the final girl, a survivor of the resort massacre, but she struggles to sleep and fears the Wraith may come back and get her. When tragedy strikes her fiancé, Todd wants revenge….

He follows the breadcrumbs left by Ash, but can he and his four friends find the clues and stop a killer? Just what is roaming the resort ?

This is a creepy, gruesome, fear-fest…..well written with a clever plot and a grown up ‘Blair Witch’ feel to it….great characters and some emotional moments too. Immensely entertaining…

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here

 

https://www.flametreepublishing.com/Slash-ISBN-9781787581791.html

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Hunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. 

He’s the author of over 25 books, including The Jersey Devil (Pinnacle) and We Are Always Watching (Sinister Grin). Hunter’s novels can even be found on display at the International Cryptozoology Museum.

The Montauk Monster was named one of the best reads of the summer by Publishers Weekly. He was selected to be part of the launch of Samhain Publishing’s new horror line in 2011 alongside legendary author Ramsey Campbell. He’s an avid podcaster and can be heard and seen on Monster Men and Final Guys every week. Living with his crazy and supportive family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to see the skyline without having to pay New York rent. You can follow his travails at www.huntershea.com

 

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched recently in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

 

Book reviews, Horror

Those Who Came Before by J.H. Moncrieff – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

An idyllic weekend camping trip is cut short when Reese Wallace’s friends are brutally murdered. As the group’s only survivor, Reese is the prime suspect, and his story doesn’t make much sense. A disembodied voice warning him to leave the campground the night before? A strange, blackened tree that gave him an electric shock when he cut it down for firewood?

Detective Greyeyes isn’t having any of it—until she hears the voice herself and finds an arrowhead at the crime scene—an arrowhead she can’t get rid of. Troubling visions of a doomed Native American tribe who once called the campground home, and rumors of cursed land and a mythical beast plague the strangest murder case she’s ever been a part of.

People are dying at Strong Lake, and the worst is yet to come.

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MY REVIEW 

Reese, his girlfriend Jessica and her friends Dan and Kira are off for a weekend camping trip. After a row, they all head off to sleep, but when Reese wakes he finds his friends all dead, literally ripped apart….he hadn’t heard a thing….

This all happened on land, part of a nearby American Indian reservation, so the local Detective Maria Greyeyes asks for help from the local Chief. Together they identify something else may be stalking the woods…a Wendigo

This is a camping trip horror story with some really gruesome and creepy moments to keep your heart pounding. (It reminded me of one of the Supernatural TV show’s episodes too). Great characters, atmospheric writing and a gripping, creepy plot make this a thoroughly entertaining read.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://www.flametreepublishing.com/Those-Who-Came-Before-ISBN-9781787582989.html

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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J.H. Moncrieff’s City of Ghosts won the 2018 Kindle Book Review Award for best Horror/Suspense. Reviewers have described her work as early Gillian Flynn with a little Ray Bradbury and Stephen King thrown in for good measure. She won Harlequin’s search for “the next Gillian Flynn” in 2016.

Her first published novella, The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave, was featured in Samhain’s Childhood Fears collection and stayed on its horror bestsellers list for over a year.

When not writing, she loves exploring the world’s most haunted places, advocating for animal rights, and summoning her inner ninja in muay thai class.

To get free ebooks and a new spooky story every week, go to http://bit.ly/MoncrieffLibrary.

 

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched recently in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

 

Book reviews, Horror

Rose by Rami Ungar – Book Review @BlackthornTours @RamiUngarWriter #Rose

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Rose Taggert awakens in a greenhouse with no clear memory of the past two years and, to her horror, finds her body transformed into an unrecognizable form.

Paris Kuyper has convinced Rose that they are lovers and as Paris could not bear for her to die, he has used an ancient and dark magic to save her from certain death.

But the dark magic Paris has used comes at a price. A price which a terrible demon is determined to extract from Rose.

As Rose struggles to understand what is happening to her, she must navigate Paris’s lies and secrets; secrets that Paris will do anything to protect.

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MY REVIEW 

Rose wakes up in a greenhouse, laying on a table surrounded by roses that die as she watches. She notices her skin is green, she has tentacles growing from her neck and rosebuds from her scalp……is this real?

Paris comforts her, tells her he saved her from dying….he’s her boyfriend after all…..isn’t he?

Will Rose save her sister? Will she ever be normal again?

This is a tale of dark, forest magic…..with some really dark moments. It also highlights abusive controlling and obsessive behaviour as well as the psychological damage caused by bullying. Part fantasy, part drama but all horror. 

Thank you to Blackthorn Tours for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour and to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

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Book reviews, Horror, Police procedural, Thriller

Sound by Catherine Fearns – Book Review. @metalmamawrites @rararesources #Sound

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Sound

Can you hear it?

A professor of psychoacoustics is found dead in his office. It appears to be a heart attack, until a second acoustician dies a few days later in similar circumstances.

Meanwhile, there’s an outbreak of mysterious illnesses on a council estate, and outbursts of unexplained violence in a city centre nightclub. Not to mention strange noises coming from the tunnels underneath Liverpool. Can it really be a coincidence that death metal band Total Depravity are back in the city, waging their own form of sonic warfare?

Detective Inspector Darren Swift is convinced there are connections. Still grieving his fiancé’s death and sworn to revenge, he is thrown back into action on the trail of a murderer with a terrifying and undetectable weapon.

But this case cannot be solved using conventional detective work, and D.I. Swift will need to put the rulebook aside and seek the occult expertise of Dr. Helen Hope and her unlikely sidekick, guitarist Mikko Kristensen.

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MY REVIEW

This is #3 in the Reprobation series by Catherine Fearns. It can be read as a stand-alone. But I am a fan and have read the previous books, so may be a little biased.

This begins with a Professor, who has synesthesia, so sees sounds as colours and has found a new frequency being transmitted. He has been warned off and then he dies in an unusual way. He was troubled by something and had arranged to send information to the police.

DI Darren Swift is still grieving the death of his fiancé, Matt during events in the previous book, but is at work and needing something to investigate again. With his colleague, DC Colette Quinn they are looking into this case while awaiting the start of a big trial. Again they are joined by Helen Hope, the ex-nun and now partner to guitarist Mike to uncover the mystery.

They find the USB left for them by the professor and find the word Napier…is this relating to the Napier Estate. What is causing the illnesses on the estate? 

And so the story begins…..there are weapons of sound, death metal bands, the mysterious Adramelech and books with human skin bindings, religion, more murder and even a peacock!.

Just what is Shawn Forrest up to ? And are Justine and her baby in more danger?

Creepy, gripping and totally entertaining from start to the rather menacing end. Brilliant….I’m already waiting for Book #4.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

Purchase Link – mybook.to/sound

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Author Bio –

Catherine Fearns is a writer from Liverpool. Her novels Reprobation (2018) and Consuming Fire (2019) 

are published by Crooked Cat and are both Amazon bestsellers. As a music journalist Catherine has written for Pure Grain Audio, Broken Amp and Noisey. Her short fiction and non-fiction has appeared in Toasted Cheese, Succubus, Here Comes Everyone, Offshoots and Metal Music Studies. She lives in Geneva with her husband and four children, and when she’s not writing or parenting, she plays guitar in a heavy metal band. 

 

Social Media Links –

Twitter: @metalmamawrites

Website: https://www.catherine-fearns.com/

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Book reviews, Horror

Hellrider by JG Faherty – Book Review

 

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When Eddie Ryder is burned alive by fellow members of the Hell Riders motorcycle gang for ratting on them, he vows revenge with his dying breath. He returns as a ghost, with his custom motorcycle Diablo by his side and launches a campaign of vengeance that leaves plenty of bodies in its wake.

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MY REVIEW 

Eddie used to be a member of the biker gang, The Hell Riders, but threatened with a jail sentence, he grassed up other gang members. Now persona non grata, he runs his garage and struggles to care for his emphasema ridden mum, and his 16 year old brother, Carson.

One night, working out in his garage, the Hell Riders firebomb the building, not knowing or caring if Eddie was inside…..he dies!

BUT, so full of anger, he comes back to seek revenge……along with his beloved Diablo…

If you like Grindhouse, as in Death Proof etc you’ll love this….it has violence, blood, revenge, bikes, and even a little teen romance in this small town horror….can Carson and Kellie stop his brother before the town is destroyed? Fun, gory and brilliant…

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  and this is my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy from Flame Tree Press here:

https://www.flametreepublishing.com/Hellrider-ISBN-9781787582644.html

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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A life-long resident of New York’s haunted Hudson Valley, JG Faherty is the author of 6 novels, 9 novellas, and more than 60 short stories, and he’s been a finalist for both the Bram Stoker Award (The Cure, Ghosts of Coronado Bay) and ITW Thriller Award (The Burning Time).

He writes adult and YA horror, science fiction, dark fantasy, and paranormal romance, and his works range from quiet, dark suspense to over-the-top comic gruesomeness. As a child, his favorite playground was a 17th-century cemetery, which many people feel explains a lot.

You can follow him at http://www.twitter.com/jgfaherty, http://www.facebook.com/jgfaherty, http://www.jgfaherty.com, and http://jgfaherty- blog.blogspot.com/

 

AWARDS:

Finalist, Bram Stoker Award – Superior Achievement in a Novel (2015)

Finalist, Thriller Award, International Thriller Writers (2014)

Finalist, Bram Stoker Award; – Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel (2011)

Winner, Tales from the Moonlit Path Halloween Contest (2006) Winner, Hot Summer Something Contest, fromtheasylum.com (2006)

 

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

 

Book reviews, Horror

The Brotherhood Of The Dragon by Phil Hore – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Strange things are happening at Stamford House. 

“It was not that Mr Fortey was particularly loved, but that he died in such a horrible way, and in the presence of almost the entire household. We must have been only a few feet away, yet no one heard or saw anything. If it could happen to a strapping veteran like the footman, it could happen to any of us.”

Phil Hore’s debut novel crackles with thrills and chills as two unlikely allies join forces with two of history’s greatest writers, Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker, to save England from the ancient Brotherhood of the Dragon and the horrible secret they protect.
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MY REVIEW 

Amun is investigating the missing young man, Jerome De Gois, he pretends to have been attacked, suffering amnesia, so the Stamford family offer him their home while he recuperates.

But there are further deaths, all exsanguinated …just who or what is the murderer ?

This is a tale of vampires and other ‘monsters’, with many battles against them and the Knights of the Brotherhood of the Dragon. 

I love the sarcastic humour of Amun, the expressive Vulk and the use of factual names, Abberline, Stoker, Doyle and even Churchill. With the references to Jack The Ripper, Dracula – Vlad Tepes and even a hound it appealed to the geek in me. A clever, entertaining gothic horror thriller…I love it and will be looking out for the further adventures of Amun and Vulk.

My thanks to Henry Roi At Odyssey Books for a free copy of the ebook as I may not have come across this marvellous book otherwise. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Book reviews, Horror

They Kill by Tim Waggoner – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

What are you willing to do, what are you willing to become, to save someone you love?

Sierra Sowell’s dead brother Jeffrey is resurrected by a mysterious man known only as Corliss. Corliss also transforms four people in Sierra’s life into inhuman monsters determined to kill her. Sierra and Jeffrey’s boyfriend Marc work to discover the reason for her brother’s return to life while struggling to survive attacks by this monstrous quartet.

Corliss gives Sierra a chance to make Jeffrey’s resurrection permanent – if she makes a dreadful bargain. Can she do what it will take to save her brother, no matter how much blood is shed along the way?

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MY REVIEW 

Jeffrey Sowell was involved in a car accident, orchestrated by the man in the black suit……his head crushed and spine snapped…..dead instantly.

 But Corliss, the man I the black suit….brings him back to life and sends him a year ahead…..but why?

Sierra, Jeffrey’s Sister, is still grieving the loss of her brother…..but then she sees him…!

This reminded me a little of Stephen King’s Needful Things, with a touch of the dark man from The Stand, but this is something marvellously different…..

Angry people get angrier, alcoholics get meaner and the creepy get so much creepier…..

Randal and his chucks is horrific….a smiley faced horror..

Stuart and his upgrade is a thing of nightmares….and the vagina dentata…..oh dear god!

Can Sierra fix this? Can she save her brother? But at what cost?

This is gory, unsettling and definitely strange and I loved every minute. It’s what a horror story should be and has reignited my love for the genre. Brilliant.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  and this is my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2Gr0jjt

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Tim Waggoner’s first novel came out in 2001, and since then he’s published close to forty novels and three collections of short stories. He writes original dark fantasy and horror, as well as media tie-ins. His novels include Like Death, considered a modern classic in the genre, and thepopular Nekropolis series of urban fantasy novels. He’s written tie-in fiction for Supernatural, Grimm, The X-Files, Doctor Who, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Transformers, among others, and he’s written novelizations for films such as Kingsman: the Golden Circle and Resident Evil: the Final Chapter. 

His articles on writing have appeared in Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Journal, Writer’s Workshop of Horror, and Where Nightmares Come From.

In 2017 he received the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction, and he’s been a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and the Scribe Award. His fiction has received numerous Honorable Mentions in volumes of Best Horror of the Year, and in 2016, the Horror Writers Association honored him with the Mentor of the Year Award. In addition to writing, he’s also a full-time tenured professor who teaches creative writing and composition at Sinclair College.

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

 

Book reviews, Horror, Psychlogical thriller

The Shadow Man by Mark Brownless – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Idyllic memories. A perfect childhood. A secret buried for thirty years.

None of us could remember why we drifted apart – we were always so close at school but then… you know. That was thirty years ago, and I hadn’t thought of my school friends in all that time – it was like I’d been made to forget.

And then the dreams started. Dreams that I knew I’d had before. Horrific dreams of fear and fire and death. Dreams of the Shadow Man, a ghostly urban legend who seemed to hang over my home village like an evil spirit. I’d begun to remember, my memories of back then becoming two-dimensional – a lie to mask what really happened – and I knew we’d have to go back. Back to Janey, because she never left.

What did happen to us back then, and do we really want to know? And what about the supernatural horror lurking in the shadows – could we face the Shadow Man again?

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MY REVIEW 

The Shadow Man by Mark Brownless is a psychological horror thriller.

I found this to be a fast paced, gripping, nail biter of a thriller that will keep you on edge from start to finish.

There are some similarities to Stephen King’s, IT, bit without Pennywise but set in Lincolnshire, UK.

A group of young friends experienced some horrific events one summer, but they have since forgotten them…a form of selective amnesia……but then 30 years later the dreams begin.

So, Philippa, Sally, Clara and Katie return to their home village to meet with Jamey, who had never left.

Their memories then start to return and they remember the Shadow Man and the burnings…..

“The Shadow Man comes out at night

The Shadow Man in plain sight

The Shadow Man is gone by dawn

Taking souls for us to mourn”

Has the Shadow Man returned after 30 years?

Can the women put an end to this ? Will they all survive ? Or will The Shadow Man burn some more?

I loved the believable characters, the relationship between the friends and the interaction between them and the banter and insults they trade felt so familiar and real. 

This is an utterly compelling read, the creepy Shadow Man is a thing of nightmares and I’m going to be very wary of looking out of the window at night for a long time!!  !(even without the ‘shrooms). If you like horror and a creepy thriller then you’ll love this. 

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  and this is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2XSGgW1

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Mark Brownless lives and works in Carmarthen, West Wales.

He has been putting ideas on paper for some years now but only when the idea for THE HAND OF AN ANGEL came to him in the autumn of 2015 did he know he might be able to write a book. Mark likes to write about ordinary people being placed in extraordinary circumstances, is fascinated by unexplained phenomena, and enjoys merging thriller, science fiction and horror. 

Mark’s new novel, The Shadow Man is a terrifying horror thriller imagining what would happen if you found out the memories of your childhood were untrue, and that something sinister was lurking behind the facade of your life. Could you face what had happened back then? Could you face The Shadow Man.

Mark is also fascinated by myths and legends such as those of Robin Hood and King Arthur. This has culminated in the release of his short story series, Locksley, a Robin Hood story.

 

Website : http://www.markbrownless.com/

Twitter : @MarkBrownless

 

The Shadow Man by Mark Brownless

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Independently published (21 April 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1093368896
  • ISBN-13: 978-1093368895

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shadow-Man-psychological-thriller-devastating/dp/1093368896

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Book reviews, Dystopian fiction, Horror, post-apocalyptic, Science fiction, Thriller

Wanderers by Chuck Wendig – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope. In the tradition of The Stand and Station Eleven comes a gripping saga that weaves an epic tapestry of humanity into an astonishing tale of survival.

Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and are sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.

For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them–and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them–the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart–or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.
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MY REVIEW

This is my first read of a novel by Chuck Wendig and it’s definitely not going to be my last…..

The Wanderers is an epic journey of a band of people, the flock and the shepherds…..trying both to survive and keep the sleepwalkers safe….

Safe from what ? 

White Mask…..a fungal infection that slowly invades a person, giving symptoms of a cold, but as it grows it reaches the brain causing dementia and madness…..where did this disease come from?

There is Stover, a white supremacist who is violent and a vile man, he uses torture, rape and fear to keep control. He believes the walkers are the reason for this illness and so plans to kill them all…..I found this all too real, just listen to the news coming out of America these days…..the hatred is there coming right from the top.

Matthew, a man of god, gets drawn in by the charisma of Stover, until he realises the truth, but it’s too late and he is imprisoned by him…..he does have a change of heart, but can he do the right thing??? 

Then there’s the CDC\EIS group, all doctors and scientists trying to find out how this illness works, is there a cure? How are the walkers surviving with no food, rest or seemingly any consciousness other than a desire to keep moving….woe betide you try and stop them !!

There are incredibly well written characters that you will truly become invested in, willing them on, suffering their fears and doubts, the little successes and those awful moments of failure.

Yes, there will be comparisons to Stephen King’s, The Stand, there is a ‘plague’, and two distinct groups of people but that’s where the comparison ends. (There is a mention of The Stand in the Book too)….In my view, this is even better…

It’s unique and ultimately scary, as it’s so believable. The fear of AI taking over, just look at the fake news bots!!…..Black Swan the all seeing, statistic driven computer programme is terrifying ….

Will the walkers awake? Will humanity survive? What will happen to Benji, Shana, Sadie, Arav, Matthew, Pete, Landry and of course Black Swan?

At 780 pages, this is not a light read, but it is totally and utterly compelling. I loved every single minute of this beautifully harrowing tale. A modern classic and a must read.

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book.  This is my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here 

https://amzn.to/2lfDyHD

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Chuck Wendig is a novelist, a screenwriter, and a freelance penmonkey.

He has contributed over two million words to the roleplaying game industry, and was the developer of the popular Hunter: The Vigil game line (White Wolf Game Studios / CCP).

He, along with writing partner Lance Weiler, is a fellow of the Sundance Film Festival Screenwriter’s Lab (2010). Their short film, Pandemic, will show at the Sundance Film Festival 2011, and their feature film HiM is in development with producer Ted Hope.

He’s written too much. He should probably stop. Give him a wide berth, as he might be drunk and untrustworthy. He currently lives in the wilds of Pennsyltucky with a wonderful wife and two very stupid dogs. He is represented by Stacia Decker of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

You can find him at his website, terribleminds.com.(Courtesy of Goodreads)

2DE2866D-9060-4B6C-8039-54DB05F88846

Book reviews, Horror

The Butcher by Nathan Burrows – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

She thought it was pork. She was wrong.

 

The first time hapless food inspector Emily Underwood meets butcher Frank Pinch, he’s not got much at all in his display counters. But what he does have is a rather unusual plan to restock his shelves. The next time they bump into each other, he’s won an award for his sausages but is running out of meat.

Can Frank keep up production of his unusually tasty sausages? Will Emily discover the source of Frank’s award-winning meat? And what will happen the next time she tries to inspect his butcher’s shop?

Book 1 in the Rub-a-Dub-Dub trilogy, this deliciously British dark comedy will change the way you look at sausages forever.

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MY REVIEW 

 

This is dark humour at its darkest…

Frank is a butcher, his brother Tim is a pig farmer. Due to a shortage of pigs – Brexit related – there’s a shortage of pork.

Emily is a newbie Health Inspector and her bumbling mishaps with ‘eccentric’ food producers are cringeworthy and funny…

There is then an accident on Tim’s farm, and all of a sudden the supply of ‘pork’ improves and Frank’s customers are loving the new sausages!!!!

This will make you laugh and then feel quite ill at times……not sure I’ll be able to eat sausages ever again !

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review. 

 

 

About Nathan Burrows:

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Nathan Burrows is a writer based in Norfolk in the United Kingdom. His debut novel, a legal thriller called ‘Blind Justice’, was published in March 2018.

He’s also the author of a dark comedy trilogy set in Norfolk. The first in the series is ‘The Butcher’, a deliciously funny story about – amongst other things – sausages. The second in the series is ‘The Baker’, which features Norfolk’s most useless cult. And finally, ‘The Candlestick Maker’ is about a fitness instructor with a difference.

The next book to be released will be ‘Man Down’, a return to more traditional thrillers. It’s a military story set in Afghanistan which will be released in the Autumn, 2019. Also releasing later in the year is ‘Finding Milly’, which explores just how far a man will go to find his missing daughter.

Nathan’s a keen reader as well as a writer. He occasionally runs marathons, has a Norwich City football club season ticket, and is the proud part-owner of a Daschund puppy called Bertie. 

For more information, visit http://www.nathanburrows.com

 

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathanBurrowsUK

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NathanBurrowsUK/

Website: https://nathanburrows.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nathan-Burrows/e/B079KS96CQ/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07FCVB791/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Butcher-Rub-Dub-Dub-Book-ebook/dp/B07FCVB791/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+butcher+nathan+burrows&qid=1561548847&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Google Books: https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/The_Butcher.html?id=fpnZuQEACAAJ&redir_esc=y

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-butcher-14

 

 

Publishing Information:

Published in ebook, audio and paperback formats in July 2018

 

Extra Information:

The Butcher is available to download in ebook format for only 99p/99c for a limited time.

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Book reviews, Crime thriller, Horror, Police procedural, Psychlogical thriller

Cold As The Grave by James Oswald – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

The ninth book in the Sunday Times-bestselling phenomenon that is the Inspector McLean series, from one of Scotland’s most celebrated crime writers.

Her mummified body is hidden in the dark corner of a basement room, a room which seems to have been left untouched for decades. A room which feels as cold as the grave.

As a rowdy demonstration makes its slow and vocal way along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Detective Chief Inspector Tony McLean’s team are on stand-by for any trouble.

The newly promoted McLean is distracted, inexplicably drawn to a dead-end mews street… and a door, slightly ajar, which leads to this poor girl’s final resting place.

But how long has she been there, in her sleep of death? The answers are far from what McLean or anyone else could expect.

The truth far more chilling than a simple cold case…

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MY REVIEW

 

By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes

 

Tony McLean has been promoted to Detective Chief Inspector, a role he didn’t really want, he’d rather be doing police work not paperwork….

So, he decides to take part in Operation Fundament, to keep an eye on a protest march, fascists and anti-fascists.  In the melee he stumbles and notices a door that had been broken into. When he goes to check he finds the body of a young girl….it looks like it had been there for years, as it was desiccated……but after the post mortem it’s found the poor girl had only been dead a couple of days…so what had caused her to be ‘mummified’…..

Then a second body is found, another young girl in the same state……just who is killing these girls?

Tony is such a committed detective, his home life is suffering after a recent tragedy, and he and Emma barely speak to each other anymore….

But he just has to find out what is happening to these girls….

He is again dealing with the menacing Mrs Saifre…..she gave me the creeps that one, the marvellous Madame Rose and the mysterious Madame Jasmina….all mixed in with people trafficking, modern day slavery, the exploitation of migrant workers and murder. There’s also the ‘demon’, the mythical djinn….superstition or something else? Just be careful what you wish for !

A creepy, tense, emotional and totally compelling thriller….I loved every chilling minute….

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  and this is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here

https://amzn.to/2FFmMcg

 

PRAISE FOR JAMES

 

“If you’re a fan of gripping and intelligent crime books, you won’t want to miss out on this one.”

CultureFly

 

“a superior crime series”

Crime Squad

 

“Cold as the Grave is an excellent addition to a strong series.”

Crime Review

“The new Ian Rankin”

Daily Record

 

“Oswald’s writing is a class above”

Daily Express

 

“Crime fiction’s next big thing”

Sunday Telegraph

 

“Oswald is among the leaders in the new batch of excellent Scottish crime writers”

Daily Mail

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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JAMES OSWALD is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling Inspector McLean series of detective mysteries, as well as the new DC Constance Fairchild series. James’s first two books, NATURAL CAUSES and THE BOOK OF SOULS, were both short-listed for the prestigious CWA Debut Dagger Award. AS COLD AS THE GRAVE is the ninth book in the Inspector Mclean Series.

James farms Highland cows and Romney sheep by day, writes disturbing fiction by night.

 

 

Book reviews, Horror

Moonstomp by Tim Wells – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB

1979: punk, reggae, boots, braces, and button down shirts. The full moon rises, a skinhead’s sideburns grow. Packed full of music, style, and bovver, Moonstomp is the written in blood story of a teenage skinhead who’s also a werewolf. Aggro on the streets of London has never been like this.

 

The full moon rises and bodies fall.

 

This pulp novel is in the style of the 70s skinhead/Hell’s Angels books churned out by the New English Library, books that were passed round school such as Skinhead, Suedehead, Chopper, and Speed Freaks.

Tim Wells was a crop headed yoof that saw the bands, bought the records, and looked sharp. He’s still got an overflowing shelf of 70s pulp classics and sports Brutus button down shirts and knows how to shine his brogues.

Howling back to the days when we used to pass the Skinhead and Hell’s Angels books around school, and watched Hammer Horror films at home on our black-and-white televisions, Tim Wells has written a fiendish tale of a skinhead werewolf rampaging through London in 1979. Being a sharp-dressed lad (still), the clothes and music are spot on. Snap up a copy before it bites your hand off. John King, author of Football Factory, Human Punk, Skinheads, and more.

Skinheads and werewolves and reggae and boozers, lager and kicking in fat city losers, Punk rock and Sta-prest when Lene she sings. Tim Wells has written a novel about a few of my favourite things… You can feel the sticky floors of the gigs and the sweaty menace is tangible as you read Tim Wells’ swaggering prose. This is no rose tinted amble down memory lane. The landscape of his world is a London that was swallowed whole by the eighties. For a book so full of life, there’s a lot of death in it as well. Beautiful. Brutal. Brutus. It’s got the lot!  Phill Jupitus

FFB0A8F2-61A6-4108-8C1C-77B627E1633B

MY REVIEW

Joe Bovshover, works in a print shop during the day and is a skinhead. He’s sharp dressed in regulation DM’s, button down shirts and braces……he’s also a werewolf!

Bitten on the cheek by Lene Lovich at a gig, he keeps waking up covered in blood but with no memory of how he got home…..must be the booze right?

This is a wild ride through the late 70’s with its music, culture and politics.

”Maggie Thatcher, milk snatcher’

Such close attention to detail, books of the time (Pan Horror, of which I still have a few), the blakeys on boots and shoes…..(I can hear that tap shoe click in my mind) and the huge range of music….punk, ska, reggae etc….and the fashion that went with it….

A time when Camden Market was real and ‘unique’..

A brilliant social commentary with the horror of a werewolf in London…brutal and thoroughly entertaining…..I hope there’s a follow up!

“There was a monster sat in Downing Street intent on tearing the country apart and eating it’s beating heart”

Thank you to The Author and The Pigeonhole for a free ecopy of Moonstomp. This is my honest and unbiased review.
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Book reviews, Horror

Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken & Melissa Prusi – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Years before either becomes a literary legend, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde must overcome their disdain for one another to battle the Black Bishop, a madman wielding supernatural forces to bend the British Empire to his will.

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MY REVIEW

I love this book, as a big fan of the original Dracula by Bram Stoker ( I have visited Whitby and Varna), I was intrigued by the premise of Stoker’s Wilde and I’m not disappointed….

And sometimes a monster is something that does monstrous things like suck the life out of innocent people”

It’s written in the style of Dracula, with chapters in the form of journal entries and letters, by Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde and even Theodore Roosevelt…

Stoker and Wilde visit a farm in Ireland after a woman had been killed…this eventually leads them to the Black Bishop and a vampire cult….how will they escape and defeat this foe?

Thieves boarded the merchant ship Demeter around midnight and stole a large crate of unknown cargo

This has the humour of Wilde and the horror of Stoker in a tense gothic horror tale. The geek in me loved picking up the references to both characters real books from Dorian Gray to The Lair of the White Worm….it has vampires, werewolves and even mention of a dragon….what’s not to love. Stunningly creative writing by Hopstaken and Prusi and an absolute delight to read….This will be an absolute favourite of book clubs as so much to enjoy and share…brilliant. 5*

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

you can buy a copy here (click on the image)

About the Authors

F76BA4F3-9B54-4D81-9789-11F935DBD727

Steven Hopstaken was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he spent his formative years watching and reading science fiction and horror. He has a degree in journalism from Northern Michigan University and spends his free time traveling; writing screenplays, short stories and novels; and practicing photography.

Melissa Prusi was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (often mistaken for Canada), and studied video and film production at Northern Michigan University and the University of Michigan. She’s been a video editor, a semi-professional film reviewer, a three-time champion on the quiz show Jeopardy!, and a Guinness world record holder (1990 edition, for directing the longest live television show).

They met in a college screenwriting class and married three years later. They spent a brief time in Los Angeles, where they both worked for Warner Bros. television. They eventually ended up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where they love the arts scene but dread the winters. While they both currently make a living as website content managers, they have sold two screenplays, which have been lost to development hell.

They’ve indulged their fascination with Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde through trips to Dublin and London to research their lives and visit sites mentioned in Stoker’s Wilde.

They live in St. Louis Park, Minnesota with their two cats. If they’re not writing, you can usually find them at a movie, local theater production, improv show or pub quiz.
FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

STOKER’S WILDE

Steven Hopstaken, Melissa Prusi

Publication date: May 2019

Book reviews, Horror, Psychlogical thriller

The Butcher’s Daughter by Jane E James – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Trust no one. Not even yourself.

When Natalie Powers returns home for the first time in thirteen years, she must convince everyone she has fully recovered from the mental illness, which has seen her institutionalised for most of her young life.

But instead of being welcomed back, Natalie enters a baffling world of deception. She must fight her way through the lies in order to discover the truth about her mother’s sudden disappearance sixteen years earlier. To do this, Natalie must also try to make sense of the hazy memories from the past that continue to haunt her.

In the village of Little Downey, everybody appears to harbour a mysterious secret, including her father, Frank, the village butcher, who refuses to discuss the circumstances surrounding Natalie’s mother’s disappearance, but who can Natalie trust if not her own father? Especially when it becomes clear her protector and confidante, Dr Moses, is not all he appears.

Meanwhile, a spate of unexplained clifftop suicides has seen the seaside resort go into decline. Are the villagers somehow involved or is something more sinister at work?

Determined to find out what happened to her mother, Natalie must make sure her own frailty and self-doubt does not catapult her back to the mental institution before she can uncover the truth…

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MY REVIEW

The start of this is brutal, Natalie’s Dad wanted her to toughen up, so as a seven year old he told her they were going to a zoo, but instead he took her to the abattoir, where men were slaughtering animals….the blood and sheer terror of the animals was palpable….horrific…

Natalie, is now returning home, after spending thirteen years in an institution….people treat her with caution and her father, Frank is as mean as he was when she left…..refuses to talk about her mother……she died…..didn’t she?

What is in the whitewashed building??…….

Natalie is still self harming as she is so distressed all the time…….will she find the truth of Suicide Bay….

This is one of the most nerve wracking books I have read…..the animal slaughter brings a horror of its own…..but it gets worse…something awful is being done by the inhabitants of Little Downey……or is it all in Natalie’s damaged mind?

Do not read this at night……those blue Little Downey eyes will haunt you…!

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Jane is an author of dark fiction and psychological thrillers. She comes from an editorial and marketing background and when she isn’t being mysterious, like her books, she enjoys living the ‘good life’ in the Cambridgeshire countryside with her husband and Jack Russell Terrier.

Her chilling suspense thriller ‘The Crying Boy’, which was inspired by actual events, became an overnight best seller when it was published by Bloodhound Books in early 2017. Jane’s most recent novel, The Butcher’s Daughter (out May 2019) is a tense and haunting psychological thriller.

Visit Jane’s website http://www.janeejames.com or catch up with her on Facebook and Twitter, but bring wine and Monster Munch…

Book reviews, Horror

House Of Skin by Jonathan Janz – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB


Myles Carver is dead. Myles’s wife, Annabel, is dead too, but she is also waiting, lying in her grave in the woods. For nearly half a century she was responsible for a nightmarish reign of terror, and she’s not prepared to stop now. She is hungry to live again…and her unsuspecting nephew, Paul, will be the key.
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MY REVIEW

Paul’s Uncle Myles Carver has died and left him a house……so he leaves his old life and Emily and drives to the small town of Shadeland where the house and estate of Watermere is…..

He arrives late, finds the key left for him by the lawyer, Ted Brand and explores a little before falling asleep….The Police visit the next day as Ted is missing…

A neighbour, Julia knows where Ted is.

Paul hears rats in the walls and feels the need to get out of the house….he explores and finds a graveyard ……and also meets Julia.

“When he reached the large black tombstone, all he could do was stare”

Paul and Julia begin a relationship, but something is off……

Told from the perspectives of Julia and Paul with little jumps back to show the history of the house with  Myles, Annabel and David…

No spoilers, so I can’t give too much away, but this is an immensely moody and unsettling tale which gave me the spooks….that feeling of something sat in the shadows….just waiting….

Jonathan Janz writing certainly set my nerves jangling with his Lovecraftian tale of a waiting Evil….I can thoroughly recommend it for lovers of clever, modern horror with a nod to the gothic.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

5CE1D2AC-8439-4D12-A38C-464DBCD0EFBFJonathan Janz grew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, which explains everything. Brian Keene named his debut novel The Sorrows “the best horror novel of 2012.” The Library Journal deemed his follow-up, House of Skin, “reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub’s Ghost Story”
Since then Jonathan’s work has been lauded by writers like Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, Tim Waggoner, Bryan Smith, and Ronald Kelly. Novels like The Nightmare Girl, Wolf Land, Savage Species, and Dust Devils prompted Thunderstorm Books to sign Jonathan to an eleven-book deal and to give him his own imprint, Jonathan Janz’s Shadow Side.


His novel Children of the Dark received a starred review in Booklist and was chosen by their board as one of the Top Ten Horror Books of the Year (August 2015-September 2016). Children of the Dark will soon be translated into German and has been championed by the Library Journal, the School Library Journal, and Cemetery Dance. In early 2017, his novel Exorcist Falls was released to critical acclaim.


Jonathan’s primary interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children, and though he realizes that every author’s wife and children are wonderful and amazing, in this case the cliché happens to be true. You can learn more about Janz at http://www.jonathanjanz.com.

 

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

HOUSE OF SKIN Jonathan Janz
Publication date: May 2019