Here is my interview with Stuart Keane

Check out this interview with British Horror Writer, Stuart Keane. He’s part of the new wave. Great interview with some sound advice for those of you in the biz or thinking of jumping into the fire. 🙂

authorsinterviews

Name Stuart Keane

Age 34

Where are you from

I was born and raised in Kent, but now reside in Essex.

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc  

I’m married to a supportive wife, Leisyen, and I have two sisters, Joanne and Kirsty. I also have a nephew, Ethan, and a Bengal cat called Vincent (named after Vincent Price). I studied Media and Communication for three years out of school, and worked various customer service roles, before setting my sights on a writing career.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

Well, I recently joined the Author’s Guild, accepted an invite for a comic convention in Brussels, signed a publishing contract with Matt Shaw Publications. Matt will be republishing my book, Cine, as a black cover book, with a few tweaks and a special foreword from Matt himself. The book is available for pre-order now.

I…

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(Review) A Mixed Bag of Blood by David Bernstein

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(Review) A Mixed Bag of Blood by David Bernstein

First, let’s begin with a bit about David Bernstein. This guy is one of the busiest, most prolific writers in the horror biz. That could mean that he’s shoveling out every crazy idea he can think of and half-assing his work, or….the guy is just an absolute writing machine. I choose to believe the latter. I’m still acquainting myself with Bernstein’s ever-growing catalog. I’ve read Relic of Death, Apartment 7C, and my favorite thus far, Goblins. All were quality works with Goblins making my top ten of 2015.

He’s got a one of a kind imagination. I mean this guy writes without fear. He tackles anything that his brain conjures up and does so full-on. His characters are instantly real. Their situations, no matter how far-fetched, become our problems.

With his latest release, the short story collection, A Mixed Bag of Blood (Sinister Grin Press, 2016), Bernstein is hitting on all cylinders and ready to take you for the grand tour through his mind of terrors. I’ll give you a rundown on each piece, but whether I give the story a 3 or 5 star rating, know that each and every one had me along for the ride within the first page. That’s a sign of a truly gifted storyteller.

Count me in on the David Bernstein Horror Express!

Next stop: A Mixed Bag of Blood.

If Kristopher Rufty’s forward doesn’t get you psyched up to read these tales, I don’t know what will!

“The Trojan Plushy”

This story has a deep-cutting set-up (not too different from Rufty’s fantastic Desolation), but Bernstein does take it in his own devilish direction. A stuffy that really wolf’s out in an act of revenge.

I liked this one, but it felt a bit rushed and the end came too fast for me. Definitely would’ve had potential as a novella.  3.5 stars

“The Booglin”

Okay, this one is crazy, but… Remember what I said about real characters and far-fetched situations that become our problems? Yeah, this one is that. Bernstein’s descriptions cause me to hold my nose as if the pain was happening to me. I did that several times while reading this one. He also gives us a fun little explanation on how the “Booglin” came into existence.

Loved it. 5 stars.

“Eaten Un-Alive”

“Zombies were the vampires’ cockroach.”

Loved that line. In this tale, we follow Remington, a vampire trying to survive after the zombie apocalypse. Right there! That’s an awesome idea and fantastic set-up. Remington finds his way to a house and he hopes to his first good meal in weeks.  I won’t spoil it for you. It has an ending that reminded me of one of my stories from Slush. This…is a good thing.

Loved this one. 5 stars

“It’s Not Nice to Have to Share”

I figured out what was going on pretty much at the start of this one. How close can two sisters be? You’ll see. Again, Bernstein presents a tale only his mind could fathom.

I thought it was a great character piece. 4 stars.

“Invasion”

This one really centers on a bad seed named, Timmy. He’s not a nice kid. He deserves all that he gets. That’s all I’m saying.

Liked it, but it felt like it should have been bigger. 4 stars.

“Samurai Zombie Killer”

Wow! Can I give it more than 5 stars????  No, but I would. We get Kenji and his evil brother Makito. We get a great Japanese setting. Samurai action and zombies? I’ve never been a zombie fan, but David knows that in order to make this sub-genre work, you have to put in the extra work to keep it fresh and  engaging. This one succeeds in spades.

Loved it. 5 stars.

“Small Town, Big Trouble”

Another fantastic idea executed perfectly. This one involves a town,  its curse, and a heck of an ending! I don’t wanna give anything away.

Loved it. 5 stars.

“Bad Cutlery”

A haunted knife purchased from a yard sale.

This one is short and just okay to me. 3 stars.

“Potty Mouth”

Another one of David’s crazy ideas that he still manages to pull you into. An 18 year-old son’s usage of foul language gets him in the shithouse…..he, he, he. His witch of a mother has a lesson to teach him. Will he learn? Read and find out.

A little too gross for my taste, but great if you don’t mind some nastiness. 3.5 stars

“STD”

A one-night stand leaves a guy with an unexpected gift. You’ve heard and read it a million times, right? Not like this! Loved the beginning, kind of wavered in the middle, but the ending…oh, man. So good!

Really enjoyed it. 4.5 stars

 

Overall, I really enjoyed this collection. It definitely made me want to read more from Bernstein. If he writes another collection, I will be the first in line.

I give A Mixed Bag of Blood 4 very strong stars!

 

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A Mixed Bag of Blood synopsis

  • Print Length: 86 pages
  • Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
  • Publication Date: March 1, 2016

From a man seeking vengeance for a dead loved one, to a monster lodged in a person’s nose, to starving vampires and samurai battling zombies, a bully meeting his gruesome demise, along with prostitutes being sacrificed, a boy who refuses to stop swearing, and the consequences of one man’s night of unprotected sex comes a dark and disturbing collection of sinister tales filled with dread, bloodshed, humor and the bizarre.

This is a Mixed Bag of Blood.

Biography of David Bernstein

David Bernstein is originally from a small town in Upstate New York called Salisbury Mills. He now resides in NYC and misses being surrounded by chainsaw-wielding maniacs and wild backwoods people that like to eat raw human flesh. He’s grown used to the city, though hiding bodies is much harder there. He is the author of Amongst the Dead, Damaged Souls, The Tree Man, Witch Island, Relic of Death, Apartment 7C and the forthcoming Episodes of Violence. David writes all kinds of horror, from hair-raising ghost stories to gore-filled slashers and apocalyptic tales of terror. He loves hearing from his readers. You can reach him on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/david.bernstein.3. Visit him at his website: davidbernsteinauthor.blogspot.com email dbern77@hotmail.com, or on Twitter at @Bernsteinauthor.

 

Praise for A Mixed Bag of Blood

 

“Dave Bernstein let his mind wander and his pen write where I know you’ll want to read. With an introduction by Kristopher Rufty, this is a reason to stay at home and read on a pleasant Saturday afternoon like I did.” –Cat After Dark
Praise for David Bernstein

 

“David Bernstein delivers a fast-moving tale of desire and destruction that gives new meaning to the words, ‘Be careful what you wish for.’ Relic of Death twists reality and will leave you reflecting on your own personal Achilles heel long after you finished reading…” —Allan Leverone, author of Mr. Midnight

 

“A fascinating, unpredictable, ever-shifting tale of greed and desperation. Highly recommended!” —Jeff Strand, author of Pressure

“Fast-paced, cinematic, and excellent. Horror fans gather around, it’s time for another chilling tale from David Bernstein.”  —Keith Deininger, author of Within and Ghosts of Eden

“A harrowing, brutal thriller, Skinner is Bernstein at his best!” —Peter Giglio, author of Shadowshift

Add to GoodReads

Purchase Links

Amazon

Check out Sinister Grin Press

 

Enter to win Where Nightmares Begin. Also, grab a nice 99 cent Mark Allan Gunnells collection!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Where Nightmares Begin by Glenn Rolfe

Where Nightmares Begin

by Glenn Rolfe

Giveaway ends April 12, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Enter above to win!

I’ll also have a Blood and Rain giveaway starting next month. Stay tuned!

Also, if you haven’t yet, I’ve heard nothing but great things about this collection from Mark Allan Gunnells- Flowers in the Dumpster.  Click the cover below to get the eBook for 99 cents!

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Cheers!

-GR

 

Easter is Hell! New releases and a Horror Hound Recap!

It has been an interesting couple of weeks (or months!). We have the whole Samhain Publishing ordeal behind us (or do we? duh-duh-duh!), I attended Horror Hound  Weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio, and I get to be a part of a stellar cast of rowdy writers in a rare holiday anthology that releases Sunday!

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With a title like EASTER EGGS & BUNNY BOILERS, anEaster Sunday release date, and  a complete madman (Matt Shaw) behind the wheel, what could go wrong? Shaw, a mean SOB of a horror writer if ever there was one, hand selected a number of talented writers from around the globe to take part in this unique holiday anthology. I was lucky to be asked to contribute and couldn’t say yes fast enough. Alongside writers such as Chantal Noordeloos, Graeme Reynolds, Duncan Ralston, Kit Power, Stuart Keane, Jim Goforth, Michael Bray, and so many more, I just hope my story garners a second look.

“Little Bunny” is sort of like if you took a dash of Alice in Wonderland, a pinch of Pet Semetary, and added it to a batch of Glenn Rolfe…that might give you an idea what you find. I knew these authors would bring the guts and the blood and the strange (and they do!), but I thought I might take a more subtle approach. I hope everyone enjoys it.

You can read an early, piece-by-piece review HERE

EASTER EGGS & BUNNY BOILERS is an eBook only anthology and is available for pre-orders now, or you can purchase it Easter Sunday (March 27th).

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Moving right along…

This year’s Horror Hound Weekend in Cincinnati was supposed to be a gathering of friends in the Samhain Publishing world…well, with the company shutting down, they of course, pulled out of the event.  It really sucked. I had worked last summer with editor, Don D’Auria, to have my novella collection together and released just in time for the annual convention. WHERE NIGHTMARES BEGIN was put together and ready to go!  And a month before release– BAM!  Damn.

My in-laws live  45 minutes from Cincinnati, so we made the hike anyway! I bought a pass for Horror Hound Weekend and carted my books around in my Samhain backpack. I had no table, but thanks to the many connections made last year and the months that followed, I was able to sell a decent amount of copies by setting up face-to-face meetings with a number of Samhain fans. So a HUGE thank you to everyone that met up with me and conducted sketchy business in the halls of the convention center!

Here are some pics from my 2 days:

It was great to see some familiar faces and make some new friends!

Lastly,

We’re all waiting to see what comes out of these behind closed door meetings from our Samhain boss. She’s trying to find a  way to keep us going or our books available. We’ll see. I’ve been approached by a couple of other publishers about future works, so we won’t be waiting long to land elsewhere. Sinister Grin Press is certainly going to be there for all of you Samhain fans. They’ve been publishing Kristopher Rufty, David Bernstein, Adam Cesare, and most recently, Jonathan Janz. I’ll have a novella with them in January and possibly more… we’ll see, but good things are on the horizon for the company and I’m happy to be a part of the SGP future.

I’ll also be publishing my next collection of short fiction sometime later this year along with attending Scares That Care this July in Virginia.

Be sure to check out my interviews and the latest  reviews for THINGS WE FEAR and WHERE NIGHTMARES BEGIN

I have interviews coming up on the blog with reviewer, Duane Mincel, authors David Bernstein and Lucas Mangum, and I’ll be posting reviews for books from David Mitchell, Brian Keene, Tim Waggoner, and many more.

Oh, and the Guns N’ Roses reunion gigs are just around the corner! PUMPED!

Happy spring!

 

 

 

Simple but So Damn Cool! A Tweet from Jack Ketchum

Friday afternoon my friend Max Booth III (I cal him MB3) messaged me…. I clicked the link

And this popped up:

 

: Glenn Rolfe’s THINGS WE FEAR, summer fun and psychopaths…

It’s no Glenn Rolfe is amazing and makes me want to be a better writer…but it’s pretty damn cool!

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I met Jack Ketchum in 2014 at the World Horror Convention in Portland, Oregon. He was super cool and we actually had a pretty great conversation earlier in the day. He was excited to find that I was working with Don D’Auria and had nothing but nice things to say about Mr. D and wished me well with my then first novella (Abram’s Bridge).

Fast forward a little less than two years and BAM!  I get that Tweet!

Ketchum’s influence is apparent in my latest piece, Things We Fear. We all know about his ability to scare the shit out of us with a group of creepy people living in a cave down by the water…but the stories that really get to me out the ones where Ketchum paints monsters out of the people we run into every day. In Red, he gave us a family of assholes. In Cover, we get a vet who slips too far over the edge, in The Girl Next Door…well, that one takes the cake, doesn’t it? The horrible woman who puts innocence in harm’s way without a glint of remorse.

In TWF, I made a monster out of the gym teacher from high school with the perfect smile and pile of muscles. Mr. Too Good to be True. I take our Perfect Smile and turn him into a cold, sadistic killer. A trick I learned from one of the masters.

At the end of the day, I am uber-plussed by this shout-out from one of my heroes. I hope to continue busting my butt, challenging myself to writer better, and trying to follow in his massive footsteps.

Thank you, sir!

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I also learned how to NOT look at the camera from him….

Pick up an eBook copy of THINGS WE FEAR today at any of the following links:

AMAZON     Barnes and Noble  Google Play    Samhain Horror

If you prefer reading Print, TWF also appears in my new novella collection, WHERE NIGHTMARES BEGIN alongside ABRAM’S BRIDGE and BOOM TOWN, available in print edition at the following links:

AMAZON     SAMHAIN HORROR

 

 

(#Share the Horror Interview) Kristin Dearborn talks Globe Trotting, Vampire Bunnies, and Writing her Wonderful New Novella, Woman in White

I usually get to meet new authors and get to know them through these interviews, this week’s guest is a bit of a different story.  We attended the same high school in Central Maine. We never hung out or anything, but after I started writing a few years back, we commented on the same Facebook post of a mutual writing friend. We talked about our love for the Bunnicula series of kid’s books. Then we realized we went to the same high school and she was friends with my cousins that were a couple years behind me. Small world!

Flash forward to World Horror Con 2013 New Orleans and then 2013 AnthoCon. We had some drinks and talked horror and books and the publishing world. She also beta read and edited a couple of my early short stories. And thus, a mutual respect and friendship was forged.

This month, Kristin Dearborn unleashes her excellent new novella, Woman in White. I demanded an interview with the talented Ms. Dearborn and was eventually granted the opportunity.

Here is said interview:

 

 

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Share the Horror: First off, Hall-Dale Rules!  Most people don’t know we attended the same high school up here in Central Maine. That’s pretty cool.

Do you think they did something to us there?

Kristin Dearborn: I don’t know…rural school, not too many people, plus those woods out back. You could be on to something there!

StH: You started reading horror pretty early on. I know we’ve previously talked about a shared love of the Bunnicula (Vampire Bunny) series by James Howe, but what were the first couple of grown-up horror books you read…how old were you and how did you get them?

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KD: Oh, Bunnicula, I love you so. My parents had horror novels lying around and I got my adult library card at the Hubbard Free Library (I’m gonna go to town name dropping places here, and Glenn and I will get all nostalgic and the rest of you will just be confused) when I was pretty young. I don’t ever remember anyone telling me, “no, you can’t read that book.” Movies I was pretty locked down on. I remember having to go to a friend’s house to watch all the Tarantino movies, and most of the classic horror works of art I didn’t see until I was in college or older. But I digress. My mom got Jurassic Park for my dad for Christmas the year it came out (I was 8), and it’s the only book I can remember the three of us all reading and enjoying. Darkfall by Dean Koontz made an impression on me, as did Children of Night by Dan Simmons. Everyone seems to think Summer of Night is the superior book, but I disagree. I wish I could tell you the first Stephen King book I read, but I honestly don’t remember which one it was.

StH: When did you decide to take writing seriously and which story was it that you wrote that made you go, “Oh, this is pretty fucking good”. I know for me, I’d written a bad version of Blood and Rain, but when I started my novella, Abram’s Bridge…. It had this surreal I wrote  this? vibe. Is there one of those magic moments for you, a short story or larger piece maybe?

KD: When I wrote Stolen Away, I felt like I was a conduit for the words coming from somewhere else. It required a really light touch editing, and it just flowed. I’d written 80,000 words of rambling garbage about ten years earlier on the same topic, and shoved it in a drawer, and then, while watching Breaking Bad I thought about those characters from so long ago. They’d matured in the time I was away, and the ideas more refined. I had a few 10,000 word days writing that one, and the whole book felt like magic.

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StH: I loved your previous novella, Sacrifice Island.  I’ve always wanted to travel across the world (Haven’t made it out of the US yet). You did some research for this one that included taking a trip overseas? Is that accurate or am I mixing something up.  And if it is true, can you really get a good feel for another culture in 1 to 2 weeks?

KD: I did spend two weeks in the Philippines in 2012, and I would argue you can not get a sufficient feel for the place in that short of a time. I spent two months in Egypt in 2011, a place I’ve visited in a short story (“Catacombs,” published in +Horror Library 5+) and an as of yet unpublished untitled novel. I spent eight months in South Korea around that time. With all that travel, I still don’t think I have enough of a feel for any of those places to write from the point of view of a native. Most of the writing I do about exotic locales I write from the point of view of a visitor, a stranger in a strange land.

StH: You have a book with Thunderstorm Books (Stolen Away). How did this deal come about and is there more on the way between you and Thunderstorm?

KD: Thunderstorm is great to work with, I had a really good experience with them. I don’t have anything currently up my sleeve, but I wouldn’t discount something coming in the future. The deal came about the way I’m pretty sure most everything in this genre comes about, a conversation with another writer at a bar.

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StH:  Ah…the horror writers best place to make new friends!

Okay, let’s talk about your current work, Woman in White. First off, holy shit is this good. Love the made up Maine town (Rocky Rhodes). I feel like I’ve been there. Love the isolation, the cold, and the creature we encounter. In my review I said it was like you took a dash of Carpenter’s The Thing and King’s Dreamcatcher and mixed it with a good healthy heaping of Dearborn…. How does that sound to you? And what made you write this story?

KD: Stop it, you’re making me blush. This book came about from a combination of reading Christopher Golden’s Snowblind and a trip to the Maine State Crime Lab where a friend of mine works. She got me a behind the scenes tour, and at the time I didn’t have a current work in progress, so my mind was kind of an open slate.

I’ve always loved “winter” stories, The Thing and Dreamcatcher like you mentioned, Dan Simmons’ The Terror, Malfi’s Snow…I could go on and on. I knew I wanted to write a winter book, and something about the blood analysis in the crime lab sort of clicked together for me. The finished book has very little to do with my trip to the lab aside from Lee working there and looking at blood, but it would have been impossible to write without my visit.

StH: I always love a good frostbitten horror tale, too. Especially, Malfi’s Snow.

As writers, artists, we always pull from experiences, but this one feels very personal to me.  Something about each character seemed to dig in beyond your average hero/sidekick/friend/ villain type. Did you find yourself going a little deeper with this one?

KD: I guess I did offer up a little bit of myself for each of the protagonists, Angela, Mary Beth, and Lee. I think it’s worth examining pretty closely how women are treated in horror fiction, and I wanted to write something where the ladies weren’t victims, weren’t passive bystanders. Some of the characters probably would have been happier in that role, but circumstances thrust them into the role of hero. I wanted to write a feminist horror story which didn’t feel like it was beating the reader over the head with the message.

StH: We’ve talked off the record about your future works. Even then, you keep pretty tight-lipped about any of these upcoming projects. Is there anything coming up that you can discuss?

KD: Lots of stuff coming up in 2016! This is gonna be a heck of a year. The paperback and ebook of Stolen Away will be out in June from Raw Dog Screaming Press. I’ve known those folks socially for a few years and am over the moon to get a chance to work with them. Coming this fall is a novella, Whispers, coming from Lovecraft eZine. This story is a modern re-telling of Whisperer in Darkness, the only H.P. Lovecraft story set in Vermont. I’m really excited for that one, as well, which will be out in paperback and ebook. There are some other treasures coming down the pipeline, but those ones I can’t talk about.

StH: And lastly, have you been, or do you believe you’ve ever been abducted by extra-terrestrials?

KD: Much like some of those upcoming 2016 releases, I can’t talk about that, Glenn. If I told you, I’d have to kill you, and nobody wants that. Thanks for your kind words and for taking the time to interview me. Go Bulldogs!

Standing Bulldog

StH: Thanks for taking the time, Kristin. Best of luck with Woman in White. It’s terrific.

 

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Woman in White by Kristin Dearborn

NOVELLA

Available: Feb 4, 2016

Publisher: DarkFuse

Format: eBook ($2.99)

Synopsis

Rocky Rhodes, Maine.

As a fierce snowstorm descends upon the sleepy little town, a Good Samaritan stops to help a catatonic woman sitting in the middle of the icy road, and is never seen or heard from again. When the police find his car, it is splattered in more blood than the human body can hold.

While the storm rages on, the wave of disappearances continue, the victims sharing only one commonality: they are all male. Now it’s up to three young women to figure out who or what is responsible: a forensic chemist, a waitress struggling with an abusive boyfriend, and a gamer coping with the loss of her lover.

Their search will lead them on a journey filled with unspeakable horrors that are all connected to a mysterious Woman in White.

Praise

“Horror born straight from a nor’easter, Dearborn’s Woman in White is a great read for a winter night—with 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

Biography

If it screams, squelches, or bleeds, Kristin Dearborn has probably written about it. She’s 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. Find more on Kristin athttp://kristindearborn.com/.

 

 

Share the Horror Reviews!

Slade HouseSlade House by David Mitchell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, what an amazing story!
David Mitchell’s Slade House was suggested to me by friend and fellow author, Brian Kirk (We Are Monsters). I am definitely going to read whatever Brian tells me to from now on!

We get the story of two soul-sucking twins, Jonah and Norah Grayer. They’ve used psychic gifts to achieve eternal life. The only trick is to stay alive in their current state, every nine years they must feed on a human with similar gifts or abilities (psychovoltage). That empowered soul is the twins’s fuel.

Mitchell takes us through the years on many of the Twin’s 9th Year showdowns, beginning in 1979 with a mother and son, and ultimately to their biggest challenger in 2015. We eventually get the complete backstory on the Twins and how they came to their current state. That story alone is brilliant. With how deeply intricate the story is, and how seamlessly Mitchell carries us through time, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Peter Starub’s A Dark Matter. And that’s a huge compliment.

Mitchell is a master of crafting characters and giving us fine descriptive settings that make it all so vivid that we cannot help but become ensconced in the fabric of his tale. He is immensely talented and worthy of our envy. I look forward to reading many more of his titles.

I give Slade House 5 Stars!

 

View all my reviews

Woman in WhiteWoman in White by Kristin Dearborn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Flavored with just the right dash of The Thing and Dreamcatcher….Woman in White is one of the can’t-miss reads of 2016.”

I’ve read a few of Kristin Dearborn’s short stories and enjoyed them. I read her novella, Sacrifice Island, and I loved it. And now, I get this novella, Woman in White. Let me say this, this lady can write her ass off. She tells a story in a way that’s not overly writerly. By which I mean that she’s not throwing literary words in the readers face or writing above her head. That’s not to say she couldn’t if she wanted to, I’d bet it’s quite the contrary. The thing I like is that it’s just a great writer telling a fantastic story so that everyone can get it. The person who first comes to mind for me in this style is Stephen King. And to further equate it to people I admire…I liken her style to that of my favorite guitar player, Slash. He can fucking play, but what he does best, and better than anyone, is play within the song. He does exactly what fits the song instead of trying to show off. That’s exactly what Dearborn excels at within the framework of this fun, engaging, and terrifying tale.

From the opening chapter where a woman in white stands in the middle of a snow-covered road, and the unfortunate thing that happens to Dennis, to the cast of characters, each one as real as you and I, Dearborn is off and running and bringing the fictional Maine town of Rocky Rhodes and it’s bizarre troubles to life.

A rash of disappearances where the only thing left behind is loads of the victims’ blood, stirs up the small community. Inside this mystery, we get real people with real problems. A girl who has an abortion in this tiny town without secrets, shunned and shamed by people she’s grown up with her entire life. Her ex-boyfriend is a jealous no good asshole, and her boss at the diner is truly a hero in waiting. Officer Staghorn (what a great name!) and Lee Dudley, a forensic chemist who just so happens to be sleeping with the married officer, are sent up to Rocky Rhodes to see if they can make any sense of the missing bodies and/or the blood left behind. It isn’t long before these two are ensnared in the mayhem and the madness descending upon this small town.

The way Dearborn paints this frozen town in the grips of a Maine winter will have you chilled to the bone as much as the horrible creature haunting its population. I couldn’t help but be reminded of some of my favorite films and novels. The disappearances brought back that unsettling feeling I got the first time I read ‘Salem’s Lot. The snow and isolation, along with the fear and paranoia of what the hell is out here with us gave me flashbacks of John Carpenter’s The Thing. The overall vibe and style also reminded me of Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher (the novel, not the terrible adaptation).

I don’t do spoilers, so I won’t give anything away. Just believe me…. if you love King, if you enjoyed The Thing, you cannot miss this read! One of the best novellas I’ve had the pleasure of reading and certainly an early contender for my 2016 Top Ten list.

I give Woman in White 5-Stars!

View all my reviews

89: A Psychological Thriller89: A Psychological Thriller by Stuart Keane

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stuart Keane is one of the up and coming British horror writers pounding out stories like he knows Donald Trump is about to become Emperor of the world and lead us into End Times. I’ve got some other Keane works on my Kindle and have read one of his other novellas, Charlotte.

He’s used to working in the gore and the frights, but for 89, Keane is taking us on a thrill ride.

It’s the story of an author named Greg Irving. Greg’s agent calls and tells him he has to do a convention in Sheffield (birthplace of Def Leppard, by the way). Greg has words to write , deadlines to meet, and hates being around a ton of people. This trip is unexpected and annoying, but when you’re writing for a big publisher, you go where they tell you.

Greg boards a bus to take the long ride to the Sheffield convention. He’s not alone on this journey. He falls asleep on the bus and wakes up next to a woman named, Jessica. He quickly discovers she’s not right in the head, has serious stalker issues, and is not fooling around.

This all leads to a pretty exciting ending where Keane does manage to sneak in a great gore-lovers scene featuring an eyeball and a windshield.

Overall, the story is a nightmare for writers. For any author that has traveled long distance, appeared at horror conventions, and read Misery once or twice, this one hits close to home.

Keane does a lot of things well. There’s a fantastic descriptive scene early on in the book involving a place called, Roxie’s Diner. There’s a few great gore scenes and sinew-by-sinew play-by-play, and I totally found the thrilling climax very edge-of-your-seat worthy.

I did feel the story lagged and lingered too long in certain scenes and that the piece could have been tightened to raise the high suspense to even loftier heavens. However, it is a quick read, it is only 99 cents! and it is a thrilling and effective story. My small issues with the book are not enough to derail 89. Oh yeah, and did you see that amazing cover art???? One of my favorite covers of the year.

I’m enjoying watching Keane hone his craft. You can tell he’s excited about writing and that he’s one hell of a hard working bloke. There’s a future for this guy and I’m ready to follow.

I give 89    3.5 stars.

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Hell's BountyHell’s Bounty by Joe R. Lansdale

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, so this book has some amazing moments, some ho-hum moments, some really cool ode to Eastwood’s Unforgiven moments, there’s some Lovecraftian bits, and then a solid ending.

The beginning is fantastic. I love Smith. He’s a sort of William Money-type. At the beginning, he’s only caring about himself. He’s a bounty hunter and he winds up someplace he probably should have figured he’d go. When we get Smith back, he’s realizing he’s been a selfish son of a gun, let people get hurt when he shouldn’t have… But the good people of Fallen Rock (and a devilish bartender that goes by the moniker, Snappy) have helped Smith see the light. He is chosen to save the world.

My other favorite character is Payday, a beautiful red-head who gets her eye cut out by the antagonist here, Quill. She’s fiery and feisty enough to crack a whip and blow your head off, but doesn’t come around to her full potent potential until Smith’s return a year after their first meeting.

Quill is a bastard, but I found him more despicable in human for than that of the beast he becomes. In his new form, Quill commands a bunch of ghouls who can be destroyed by silver. This gang of ghoulies takes on the remain humans led by Smith. An ultimate showdown between the survivors and Quill takes place and you’ll have to read it yourself to see how that goes down.

Lansdale is a favorite of many authors I follow. This is only the second of his works that I’ve read. It was good, but I didn’t feel the urgency to see how it all ended. The ending is good, I just found myself not caring as much as we got there. And it’s certainly a style thing, but Lansdale’s constant barrage of similes and metaphors got to be a little much for me. Don’t get me wrong, some of them were freaking terrific and far above anything I could do, I just felt like he didn’t need to hit me wit has many as he did. Again, a small issue for me that I’m sure most won’t bat an eye at.

Overall, I’d give Hell’s Bounty 3.5 stars. I liked it and I bet you will, too.

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(Book Review) Kristin Dearborn’s Woman in White is one of the Best Releases of 2016

 

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I’ve read a few of Kristin Dearborn’s short stories and enjoyed them. I read her novella, Sacrifice Island, and I loved it. And now, I get this novella, Woman in White. Let me say this, this lady can write her ass off. She tells a story in a way that’s not overly writerly. By which I mean that she’s not throwing literary words in the readers face or writing above her head. That’s not to say she couldn’t if she wanted to, I’d bet it’s quite the contrary. The thing I like is that it’s just a great writer telling a fantastic story so that everyone can get it. The person who first comes to mind for me in this style is Stephen King. And to further equate it to people I admire…I liken her style to that of my favorite guitar player, Slash. He can fucking play, but what he does best, and better than anyone, is play within the song. He does exactly what fits the song instead of trying to show off. That’s exactly what Dearborn excels at within the framework of this fun, engaging, and terrifying tale.

From the opening chapter where a woman in white stands in the middle of a snow-covered road, and the unfortunate thing that happens to Dennis, to the cast of characters, each one as real as you and I, Dearborn is off and running and bringing the fictional Maine town of Rocky Rhodes and it’s bizarre troubles to life.

A rash of disappearances where the only thing left behind is loads of the victims’ blood, stirs up the small community. Inside this mystery, we get real people with real problems. A girl who has an abortion in this tiny town without secrets, shunned and shamed by people she’s grown up with her entire life. Her ex-boyfriend is a jealous no good asshole, and her boss at the diner is truly a hero in waiting. Officer Staghorn (what a great name!) and Lee Dudley, a forensic chemist who just so happens to be sleeping with the married officer, are sent up to Rocky Rhodes to see if they can make any sense of the missing bodies and/or the blood left behind. It isn’t long before these two are ensnared in the mayhem and the madness descending upon this small town.

The way Dearborn paints this frozen town in the grips of a Maine winter will have you chilled to the bone as much as the horrible creature haunting its population. I couldn’t help but be reminded of some of my favorite films and novels. The disappearances brought back that unsettling feeling I got the first time I read ‘Salem’s Lot. The snow and isolation, along with the fear and paranoia of what the hell is out here with us gave me flashbacks of John Carpenter’s The Thing. The overall vibe and style also reminded me of Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher (the novel, not the terrible adaptation).

I don’t do spoilers, so I won’t give anything away. Just believe me…. if you love King, if you enjoyed The Thing, you cannot miss this read! One of the best novellas I’ve had the pleasure of reading and certainly an early contender for my 2016 Top Ten list.

I give Woman in White 5-Stars!

Woman In White tour graphic

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Woman in White by Kristin Dearborn

NOVELLA

Available: Feb 4, 2016

Publisher: DarkFuse

Format: eBook ($2.99)

Synopsis

Rocky Rhodes, Maine.

As a fierce snowstorm descends upon the sleepy little town, a Good Samaritan stops to help a catatonic woman sitting in the middle of the icy road, and is never seen or heard from again. When the police find his car, it is splattered in more blood than the human body can hold.

While the storm rages on, the wave of disappearances continue, the victims sharing only one commonality: they are all male. Now it’s up to three young women to figure out who or what is responsible: a forensic chemist, a waitress struggling with an abusive boyfriend, and a gamer coping with the loss of her lover.

Their search will lead them on a journey filled with unspeakable horrors that are all connected to a mysterious Woman in White.

Praise

“Horror born straight from a nor’easter, Dearborn’s Woman in White is a great read for a winter night—with 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

Biography

If it screams, squelches, or bleeds, Kristin Dearborn has probably written about it. She’s 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. Find more on Kristin at http://kristindearborn.com/.

 

 

Enter to Win a Copy of my novella collection, WHERE NIGHTMARES BEGIN!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Where Nightmares Begin by Glenn Rolfe

Where Nightmares Begin

by Glenn Rolfe

Giveaway ends April 12, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Where Nightmares Begin is an excellent collection of harrowing and terrifying tales that clearly show Rolfe knows horror! A MUST read for any horror fan!” —David Bernstein, author of Goblins and Witch Island

“A major new talent rises from the Maine woods….Rolfe is the real deal. Small town horror is back, with a vengeance!” – Nate Kenyon, award-winning author of Day One and Sparrow Rock

“….literary horror at its best, so lyrical I expected it to burst into poetry.” – Mallory Heart Reviews on Abram’s Bridge

“I’m tremendously impressed wit this writer’s talent and diversity.”- Horror News on Boom Town

“Downright gorgeous in its balance of drama and horror.” – Beneath the Underground on Things We Fear

You can now purchase novella collection, WHERE NIGHTMARES BEGIN. This features my eBook only novellas– Abram’s Bridge, Boom Town, and Things We Fear. 

For those of you that already have the first two novellas, THINGS WE FEAR is also avaialble as a single eBook  novella.

Check it out and enter the Good Reads contest above for your opportunity to nab a free autographed copy of WHERE NIGHTMARES BEGIN.

Be sure to follow the Things We Fear/ Where Nightmares Begin Blog Tour. Click the picture below for dates and link featuring interviews, guest articles, and reviews. Courtesy of Oh For the Hook of a Book Media and Publicity

And if you’re just discovering me , check out my previous titles, available in Print, eBook, and Audio (Slush):

 

“With slashing claws and blood-soaked fur, Glenn Rolfe’s novel will have you howling in terror and delight. A welcome addition to the werewolf mythos and proof that we’re in the presence of a rising star in the genre. Highly recommended!”–Ronald Malfi, author of December Park and Little Girl

 

 

 

 

 

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“…this collection is essential reading for any horror fan. Rolfe crafts a mesmerising and realistic set of tales that will haunt, scare, buoy you with joy, and take you back to a simpler time when life was yet to kick you in the balls. Not so much slush as lush, a fictional, twisted trip down memory lane. Essential.” – Stuart Keane, author of 89 and Grin