Favorite Reads of 2016

Happy to find two if 2016 pieces on this set of Best Ofs from THE HORROR BOOKSHELF. Thanks, Rich!

The Horror Bookshelf

I am a bit late with my 2016 list as the first month of 2017 is just about over, but I still wanted to take a minute and share some of my favorite reads from this year. 2016 was a slow year for The Horror Bookshelf and I didn’t hit any of my goals that I made this time last year, but it was for a happy reason! The last few months of 2016 were some of the happiest in my life as my wife and I had our first child. The blog has slowed down considerably, but I do not plan on closing The Horror Bookshelf. I fell a bit behind, but I plan on starting 2017 off catching up on some reviews I owe and then hopefully getting back into a normal routine. I have met so many great people through this blog and it would take forever…

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Get Rolfed for just 99 cents!

Right now, you can get these titles for just 99 cents!

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SLUSH is my first short story collection, while OUT OF RANGE is a set of three alien-horror-themed stories I put out last year.

        •  “Look, any story that begins with a little boy murdering rats and drinking their blood is going to be a screwed up story. Is it weird this one made me kinda hungry? Yeah. It’s definitely weird. But still. Wow. Hey, speaking of screwed up and disgusting, let’s talk about “Henry”. Have you ever wanted to cut your zits off with a razor? Of course you haven’t! You aren’t a crazy maniac. At least you probably aren’t. Okay, shut up. The point is, “Henry” is pretty gross. Rolfe gets all the descriptions right on this one.” – Max Booth III, author of THE NIGHTLY DISEASE on SLUSH
        • “Rolfe crafts a mesmerizing 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 CINE and GRIN
        • “Loss of youth and erosion of innocence are the common threads being spun throughout the spindle of these tales. With cursed items, cursed people, first loves, dark appetites, revenge, the unknown and the beyond being the blood that flows from the pinprick. Mr. Rolfe chaperones you through his dark landscapes by candlelight, but tread lightly…. You will be itching like a fiend to get back into these twisted and delicious yarns, because once you pick up Slush you’ll be holding 126 pages of why you became a fan of Horror in the first place.” – The Eyes of Madness
        • “Glenn proves again he is a force to be reckoned with. These stories left me with chills. Fresh takes on stories about aliens, they capture everything I ever wanted in tales of extraterrestrials, they are brutal and frightening but also awe inspiring in their descriptions.” – Michele Garza, co-author of MAYAN BLUE on OUT OF RANGE
        • Out of Range is a short collection (3 stories) of science-fiction-tinged horror that once again showcases Rolfe’s talent and perhaps even more in interestingly, it shows that Rolfe has ambitions to expand his work to incorporate other genres of fiction.” – The Grim Reader

 

You can also grab this great anthology VS: US horror vs. UK horror for 99 cents! Features my story, “Not Kansas Anymore”.

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Check out these and many more title at my Amazon page:

US AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

UK AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

BEST NOVELS AND NOVELLAS of 2016

I read 71 books in 2016, a great many of them were 2016 releases. Many of those 2016 stories were fantastic. I also squeezed in a few these first couple weeks of January. Making my Top 10 was hard as hell, so I’m putting up my Top 20 2016 novels and my Top 10 2016 novellas.

Let’s get to it.

TOP 10 NOVELLAS of 2016:

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  1. ODD MAN OUT by James Newman
  2. WHERE THE DEAD GO TO DIE by Aaron Dries and Mark Allan Gunnells
  3. JEDI SUMMER  by John Boden
  4. WOMAN IN WHITE by Kristin Dearborn
  5. OF FOSTER HOMES AND FLIES by Chad Lurtzke
  6. VICKI BEAUTIFUL by Somer Canon
  7. MANIA by Lucas Mangum
  8. THE WINTER BOX by Tim Waggoner
  9. THE NIGHT CYCLIST by Stephen Graham Jones
  10. WHERE WOLVES RUN by Jason Parent

TOP 20 NOVELS of 2016:

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  1. MONGRELS by Stephen Graham Jones
  2. THE RIB FROM WHICH I REMAKE THE WORLD by Ed Kurtz
  3. STRANDED by Bracken MacLeod
  4. DESOLATION by Kristopher Rufty
  5. THE NIGHT PARADE by Ronald Malfi
  6. NORTHWOODS by Bill Schweigart
  7. PRINCE OF NIGHTMARES by John McNee
  8. THE EIGHTH by Stephanie Wytovich
  9. THEY RISE by Hunter Shea
  10. THE SUICIDE MOTOR CLUB by Christopher Buehlman
  11. MAYAN BLUE by Michele Garza and Melissa Lason
  12. THE COMPLEX by Brian Keene
  13. CHILDREN OF THE DARK by Jonathan Janz
  14. SALVAGE by Duncan Ralston
  15. DREAM WOODS by Patrick Lacey
  16. EAT THE NIGHT by Tim Waggoner
  17. ZERO LIVES REMAINING by Adam Cesare
  18. THE NIGHTLY DISEASE by Max Booth III
  19. THE JERSEY DEVIL by Hunter Shea
  20. THE MONSTER UNDERNEATH by Matthew Franks

My favorite non-horror releases: EVERY ANXIOUS WAVE by Mo Daviau and THE POISON ARTIST by Jonathan Moore

Favorite collections: SLEEP PARALYSIS by Patrick Lacey and A MIXED BAG OF BLOOD by David Bernstein.

All of my reviews and the entire list of books I read for 2016 can be found HERE

Check out some of my 2016 works:

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OOR COVER

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(Review) THE EIGHTH by Stephanie Wytovich

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“Paimon scanned the roads, looking for any hint of light, but the swathe of black that painted the night remained solid. Even the stars seemed to have dimmed, casting haze through the trees that bled out onto the forest floor like smoke.”

Stephanie Wytovich’s debut novel, THE EIGHTH, is littered with fantastic prose, the majority of which stand up next to any author I’ve read.  Better known for her horror poetry, it doesn’t surprise me that she’s this good.  I thoroughly enjoyed her vision of Hell, the Devil, and many of those who the Devil has in his troop.

The Devil sends one of his collectors, Paimon, to fetch the soul of Rhea. Things don’t go as smooth as they’re supposed to, and we find ourselves thrown into the story of multiple evils each seemingly with their own agendas.  The story does a great job keeping you in as you try to figure out what is going on.

“…their leaves shriveling and falling off forgotten appendages that collected on the ground like dead bodies after war. “

Character-wise, I never really liked Paimon or Rhea (who was pretty interesting in the front part of the story, but lost points with me shortly thereafter).   The Devil, The Seven, and especially, Arazel stole the show.  Toward the end, I finally began rooting on Paimon  (finally!). I’d say the ending isn’t what I hoped or thought it would be, but it was good.

Overall, this is a pretty amazing creation of Hell and its story, dressed up in a lot of beautiful writing and some epic bloody scenes. Definitely, definitely worth a read.

“Paimon watched as a man reached for the lock, and within seconds, the sinner’s limbs were torn off and he was skinned alive, eaten from the feet up.”

 

I give THE EIGHTH 4 stars!

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THE EIGHTH

Rhea Harmon is a living target for the Devil as she possesses the power to detect one’s deadliest sin at first glance. Intended to be used as a weapon of war, the Devil sends Paimon, his right-hand man and top collector, to claim her soul and bring her to him in Hell.

But the Devil isn’t the only one who is interested in Rhea.

When Paimon arrives to collect his payment, he’s immediately taken with her and the resemblance she bears to his late-wife, Marissa. He falls in love with the mortal girl whose soul he is supposed to claim, and instead vows to protect her, thereby severing his allegiance to the Devil and sealing his fate as a traitor.

Consumed by rage and fear, Paimon and Arazel, the Devil’s blood slave and ring leader to the circle of Lust, flee Hell in an attempt to save Rhea, but are instead forced to confront their pasts and their presents as they reevaluate the definition of sin and punishment. So what happens when a demon has to confront his demons, when Paimon has to turn to something darker, something more sinister for help?

After centuries of living in exile, banned from their home and their right to rule, The Seven, the keepers of the deadly sins, are only too happy to answer his call, and if Paimon thought it was dangerous to make a deal with the Devil, then he had no idea what it meant to be blessed by the creators of sin.

Stephanie M. Wytovich, Biography

Stephanie M. Wytovich is an instructor by day and a horror writer by night.headshot-2-2

She is the Poetry Editor for Raw Dog Screaming Press, an adjunct at Western Connecticut State University, and a book reviewer for Nameless Magazine. She is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, an active member of the Horror Writers Association, and a graduate of Seton Hill University’s MFA program for Writing Popular Fiction.

Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated poetry collections, Hysteria: A Collection of Madness,Mourning Jewelry, An Exorcism of Angels, and Brothel earned a home with Raw Dog Screaming Press, and her debut novel, The Eighth, is simmering in sin with Dark Regions Press.

Follow Wytovich on her website and on twitter @JustAfterSunset.

Praise for Stephanie Wytovich

“Stephanie Wytovich’s The Eighth is a savage tale of betrayal, regret, and the dark side of love in its many forms. The poetic imagery she sprinkles throughout balances the brutality with beauty.”  Chris Marrs, author of Wildwoman and Everything Leads Back to Alice

“A fierce and emotionally intense debut.”- Craig DiLouie, author of Suffer the Children

“A brilliant debut from a major new talent, full of darkness, fire, and devilry. Indeed, the sins in this novel are so well realized that I fear just a little for Ms. Wytovich’s soul.”- Rio Youers, author of Westlake Soul and Point Hollow

The Eighth is a stellar horror debut from Stephanie Wytovich. An intimate, painful map of personal and literal hells that would make Clive Barker proud.”-Christopher Golden, New York Times best-selling author

Get your copy HERE

(Interview) One of my favorite interviews. Wednesday Rewind with Mercedes Yardley!

[Interview] Mercedes M. Yardley Talks ‘The Hunger Artist’, High Body Count Fairytales and Being a Busy Mother to Boot

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 sees the release of the first full-length novel from one of the horror writing communities secret darlings, Mercedes M. Yardley, Nameless: The Darkness Comes. Yardley is not so much a secret among our community (with two releases already under her belt–2012’s excellent collection of short fiction, Beautiful Sorrows and last year’s novella, Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love), just a more of a hoarded treasure. Kind of like that up and coming band that you love and don’t want the mainstream media to get their fat, nasty, write-me-a-hit-or-you’re-back-on-the-streets hands on.

I had the pleasure of meeting her at the World Horror Con in New Orleans last summer. She is as cool as she is talented. I spoke with her last week about her career, her voice, her works and, of course, Nameless: The Darkness Comes. I think you’ll come to see the light side of the dark side once you open that cold, cold horror heart of yours. Come join us…

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HORROR NOVEL REVIEWS: Let’s start at the start. How long have you been writing?

MERCEDES M.  YARDLEY: I’ve been writing forever. Always. I don’t remember a time that I wasn’t reading or writing. Those annoying Sam and Ann workbooks we used in school? I blew through all of them until the elementary school didn’t have anymore. Then I wrote about how much I hated Sam and Ann, their dog, Nip, and their cat, Fluff. My first grade teacher congratulated my reading and advised me to work on my attitude.

HNR: Was there a story or novel in particular that made you want to write?

MERCEDES: Kafka’s “The Hunger Artist” really resonated with me. The cruelty, the beauty. I read it and thought, “I can never write like that.”  Then I read Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and I despised it, but it awoke something in me. It shook something loose in my soul and I opened my eyes to magical realism.

HNR: I love it when a writer has that kind of impact. It’s powerful.

You worked for Shock Totem? How did that come about?

MERCEDES: I had a story in their first issue. It was a cool little mag with an amazing staff. I hung out on the forums and got to know everybody. We just rocked together. One day they asked if I wanted to join the magazine as their nonfiction writer. Later on, they promoted me to contributing editor. It was an incredible experience. It definitely accelerated my learning curve. It was a great decision to join staff.

HNR: Will you continue on with them?

MERCEDES: Funny you should ask that. I stepped away from the magazine a few months ago. I found that I wasn’t able to keep my head above water. If I was writing, I’d feel badly that I wasn’t reading ST slush or doing interviews or articles. When I was doing those things, I was torn because I wasn’t writing. Finally I decided that I needed to devote myself to writing full time and focusing on novels. It was scary. It was also sad. But it was the right thing to do, and I still get to see the ST staff around. They were the best part of the gig.

HNR: Your first collection really showcases your unique style and voice. Beautiful Sorrows was next to brilliant. I found it impressive that you had your own style developed right from the get-go. To me, it’s like a terrifying, bizarre fairytale…with sprinkles. How would you describe your style?

MERCEDES: Glenn, thank you! That’s so nice to hear! A terrifying, bizarre fairytale…with sprinkles. Now that’s a blurb!

I have two distinct styles. I call the lyrical style “whimsical horror.” Fairytales with a high body count. The other is more smart aleck swagger. Nameless, the novel that is coming out this month, lands firmly on the swagger side. But the whimsical, starry style…I’d say that shows up more. It’s the way my brain works.

HNR: Where do you think it comes from?

MERCEDES: It comes from getting out of my own way. From reading fairytales and fantasies, and gorging on the exquisite beauty of things. It’s a style that people either love or hate, and I spent a lot of time being afraid of that. I tried to write the way I thought I was “supposed” to. Now I realize there isn’t any such thing. You write happy and hard and see what emerges when the worry stops. It’s lovely.

HNR: And I sense that’s just what you did in your novella, Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love. The work had your signature style, and it felt like you got to open it up a little more and really let it breathe. Was that liberating, to write a larger piece? Or did you find it more intimidating?

MERCEDES: It was intimidating, in a way. It was a darker piece with blood and pain, and I didn’t know how my style would lend itself to that. I ended up immensely happy with it, but there were periods of worry and concern. Their tale was so important. The terrible experiences that I touched upon are real to many people, and I wanted to deal with it in a sensitive yet fiercely truthful manner. And I naturally write shorter stories. I write flash fiction quite a bit. Yes, the longer was different, but immensely satisfying.

HNR: And this was put out through Ragnarok Publications. How are they to write for?

MERCEDES: Fantastic. They’re talented, timely, and enthusiastic. Genuinely good and fun people. They’re one of the best decisions I’ve made of late, and that’s really exciting.

They also put out my first novella Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, so I know their coolness isn’t a fluke. They’re actually this great to write for.

Are your ears burning, Ragnarok? I’m saying good things about you!

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HNR: And that brings us to the upcoming new Novel, Nameless. It’s coming out this week. What are your readers in for?

MERCEDES: Nameless!  It’s not only my debut novel, but it’s the first book in The Bone Angel Trilogy. I’m over the moon about it! It’s a dark and scary book about Luna, a sarcastic girl who can see demons. There’s a lot of humor in it. People who were scared to pick up a demon novel are telling me that they’re really enjoying Luna’s voice and that they think it’s funny. So it softens the whole “We Are Legion; Give Us Your Soul” thing. It’s been compared to Dean Koontz Tick Tock and David Wong’s John Dies at the End, which are both books that I enjoyed.

These are some of my favorite characters. They’re just fun to roll around with.

HNR: How was writing this compared to the other works you’ve released?

MERCEDES: Nameless is a different labor of love. I was zipping along with it at lightning speed, literally writing a chapter a night. It was a break from the other things I was working on, and written purely for fun. Meanwhile, I was put on bed rest because I was having triplets. Then we lost two of the triplets, and it took me a while to get my mojo back. The ending was a struggle, and I put it aside for a while. When I came back with fresh eyes, I fell in love with the characters all over again. So this novel represents the best of times and the worst of times, quite literally.

HNR: Do you feel pressure leading up to the release?

MERCEDES: Yeeeeeees. It’s my debut novel and the first of a trilogy. I hope it will go well and people like it. But as I was reminded, I mostly write for myself and I’m pleased with it. Still, I think an author always hopes their work will be well-received.

HNR: You just unveiled on your blog, A Broken Laptop, that Ragnarok Publications picked up the next two in this trilogy? How did this come about? And how does that make you feel?

MERCEDES: Oh, I’m pumped! I was nervous at first. “Can I pull this off? Will somebody want to read three of my books?”  But the characters. They’re fascinating. I love them. I’ll follow them through Hell, literally, and in fact we kinda do. They have things to say, and I’m going to let them.

Nameless is set up for a sequel. I didn’t expect that, actually. I planned it to be a standalone book. Then I realized there was something much bigger behind it, and more to the story. So I set it up as a duology. But then I kept thinking a little more…

Hey, Ragnarok. How about a trilogy?

Hey, Mercedes. How about yes.

It’s perfect. It fits. It’s awesome.

HNR: Switching gears a little, you went through some agent issues recently. How did that affect your writing, if at all, and how is the new agent relationship going?

MERCEDES: I’ve been with my agent for about three years, and we just couldn’t market my work. It doesn’t fit into any of the traditional publishing genres, per se. They want traditional fantasy, or straight noir, or women’s fiction. I do dark fantastic thrillers (or women’s fiction) with strong horror and magical realism elements. Oh yeah, and nonfiction. So I understand being hard to place.

I’m currently sans agent right now. I have a novel titled Stormlight that I want to polish up and sub to agents who would be prepared to deal with the eclectic delight that is my screwy work. I still aspire to somebody who thinks they can market me. But I’m very happy where I am right now, too. Giddy happy.

HNR: I want to touch on some things outside of the books. Sort of a quick hits line of questioning.

As a mother and a wife, what are some tricks you use to squeeze in some writing time? Or do you just wait until the house is asleep?

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MERCEDES: The house is never asleep. Having three kiddos, and two that are medically fragile, means that somebody is always awake. Someone is always sick and needs the nebulizer. I always leave the computer up so I run to it whenever I have a spare minute. It’s a laptop so I carry it with me from room to room to wherever the kids are. Every spare second is spent darting to the computer. It takes a lot of tenacity and devotion, but the end result is that I get to build a novel. In fact, I’m teaching an online course on that very subject this February for ANWACon. It’s something I think we all struggle with. Using our time wisely and building a novel sentence by sentence, word by word.

HNR: You’re part of a writing group, the Illiterati. Cool name. How do you guys help each other?

MERCEDES: Thanks! We do everything. We travel together to cons, when we go. We critique each other’s work with fangs and claws and then we lick each other’s wounds. The Illiterati is a huge support group. We’re each other’s best cheerleaders. We spread the word about each other’s work and celebrate birthdays together. Mason helped me get an invite to the Tales of Jack the Ripper anthology and helped me record the Beautiful Sorrows audiobook. Ryan Bridger and I are writing a very cool trilogy together. Billie is my go-to for the relationships in Nameless. She has beautiful ideas. Matt was the perfect traveling companion in New Orleans and didn’t let me get lost. We have THE ILLITERATI: THE WRITERS GROUP and soon we’ll be doing ILLITERATI: THE BAND. One day we’d love to have THE ILLITERATI: THE COMMUNE.

HNR: You guys live where it’s warm, so count me in! Would you suggest a writing group to all writers?

MERCEDES: It works for me, but I like running in a pack. I don’t have that “Oh, I need betas!” problem that a lot of writers have. Mine are built in. I know I’ll be seeing them every Tuesday. I know they’re my first readers. I say everybody should try a writer’s group and see if it works for them. In person, online, it doesn’t matter. But it’s something worthwhile and I think everybody should give it a go.

HNR: All right, let’s get a couple quick ones in here. Favorite treat you’ve brought to a book related event?

MERCEDES: Frozen Junior Mints and Cherry Coke. Mmm!

HNR: Favorite character in a book you read in the last 6 months and why?

MERCEDES: This is horrible. Probably Reed Taylor in my book Nameless. I’ve been reading mostly nonfiction for the past six months. Writing books, enrichment books, true crime books. I can’t very well pick a criminal as my favorite person. But I’ve read and reread Nameless so many times while editing. I’ve gotta go with Reed.

HNR: TV show (old or new) that you secretly love?

MERCEDES: I’m open about my love for The X-Files, so my secret love must be Murder, She Wrote. That squirrely Jessica and her pastel collared shirts! She’s so sassy.

HNR: You play the ukulele. Would you write and record a record with Eddie Vedder if he asked you to?

MERCEDES: In a heartbeat, especially now that he’s softened his style. Our music would be a thing of tragic beauty. Set that up for me, would you, Glenn?

HNR: I agree, and I will see what I can do. Any parting promo or tip for the peeps?

MERCEDES: Yes! This writing thing is awesome, but it’s a business. All of those hurt feelings? Those “I was rejected so I’ll never write again” moments? Let them go. Learn how to breathe through it. If you want to write, then don’t let anything stop you. You have it in you, my darlings. Don’t let anybody tell you anything different.

I also want to say that Nameless: The Darkness Comes is slated for a January 21 release. I’ll also be doing a Reddit AMA on February 11, and I invite everybody to come play with me and ask questions! I’m really looking forward to it.

HNR: Thank you for being rad and taking the time.

MERCEDES: It was a pleasure, Glenn! I was totally digging on some Never Nudes jams while answering the questions. Great sound.

HNR: Thank you, Mercedes. And just so everyone knows, I did not add that last part post-script! Go buy Nameless: The Darkness Calls, and pick up the rest of her work while you’re at it!

UPDATE:

Nameless along with other works can now be found with CRYSTAL LAKE PUBLISHING.

Get your copy of Nameless: The Darkness Comes HERE

Book 2 in The Bone Angel Trilogy will be out this summer!!!!  I sense it is time for a fresh Q and A.

Stay tuned!

CROSSROAD PRESS RE-RELEASES ABRAM’S BRIDGE. FIND OUT HOW TO WIN A FREE COPY.

As I told you guys a few months ago, Samhain Publishing let go of their horror line. I got the rights back to two of my novellas, ABRAM’S BRIDGE and THINGS WE FEAR. I also mentioned that they would land with Crossroad Press.

Mere days after vanishing from Amazon, these two novellas are back!  Check out the brand spanking new covers.

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You can snag your copy of ABRAM’S BRIDGE right HERE

You can also enter to win one of three free Kindle copies HERE

THINGS WE FEAR should be up and ready in the next day or two.

Stay tuned for more cool news!

(BOOK REVIEWS) WHERE THE DEAD GO TO DIE by Aaron Dries and Mark Allan Gunnells and THE RIB FROM WHICH I REMAKE THE WORLD by Ed Kurtz

Two for one!

The last two books I finished in December were two of my favorites of the year. Here are my reviews from Goodreads and links to purchase them.

The Rib from Which I Remake the WorldThe Rib from Which I Remake the World by Ed Kurtz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THE RIB FROM WHICH I REMAKE THE WORLD is one of those special novels in the horror world. For me, that magic is in any story that brings me back to the great Leisure Book Horror days. While Ed Kurtz delivers this horror tale in more of a noir style, the story is pure LB Horror Club.

The protagonist, George “Jojo” Walker, is easily my favorite character in a book this year. The title is also my favorite of the year.

The story takes place during WWII, in a a small Arkansas town. Jojo was a deputy with a beautiful wife and nice life, until he slept with the wrong woman. His world is turned upside down as he finds himself jobless and alone. He takes up a job at the Litchfield Valley Hotel as the hotel cop. He’s got a few people left in town who don’t look at him like he’s a worthless POS- his boss, Charles the bellboy, the woman at the diner, and Georgia. His life isn’t perfect, but he’s living it until he’s not. Smokes, drinks, and does his job, that’s pretty much it. Until the circus comes to town…

Barker Davis and his band of actors show up to take over a three-day stint at the local cinema to show a film they call, “Motherhood Too Soon!” With two showings a day, one for females, one for males, the real show is the invite-only midnight showing.

What is the midnight show? There’s magic involved…and nobody leaves the same.

By the time Jojo Walker gets involved, meeting with the elusive Mr. Davis, the townsfolk are changing. Jojo gets a dose of his forgotten past that turns his world on its head and sets him into a war at home to save his town and the people that gave up on him.

This is a wonderful horror book that had me thinking back to the great works of Bentley Little, Gord Rollo and even a little of last year’s Consumption by Heather Herrman.

I give THE RIB FROM WHICH I REMAKE THE WORLD 5 stars! One of my top favorite 2016 releases.

View all my reviews

Where the Dead Go to DieWhere the Dead Go to Die by Aaron Dries

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an amazing, heartbreaking, and cut-throat story! Authors Aaron Dries and Mark Allan Gunnells, bring us a new type of zombie fiction. Note- outside of The Rising by Brain Keene and Habeas Corpse by Nikki Hopeman, zombies are my least favorite horror trope. It takes something special to make me push through and read zombie fiction. WHERE THE DEAD GO TO DIE is just that kind of book.

“I’ll build a bridge from me to you out of corpses”

The story centers around Emily, a woman who lost her husband, and has to try and raise her daughter, Lucette, in a world that has learned to live with the threat of zombies. Emily takes a job at a hospice for zombies. A terrific idea that the authors execute to perfection. When twelve-year-old boy, Robbie, is brought in, Emily connects with him, feeling his pain more than most, being that her daughter is the same age.

Robbie’s story is sad as hell on its own. Watching Emily, then Lucette, connect and empathize with him is touching. Dries and Gunnells nail you time and time again with revelations, stirring every emotional pool within you that they can find.

The zombie hospice isn’t the most accepted business in town. Groups of protesters gather outside the building day after day demanding that the place be shut down. This brings in anther dimension of realism to the story. You could easily see “Trump-ites” casting hate at people trying to do something positive in a world of monsters.

The ending….damn, the ending is great.

I give WHERE THE DEAD GO TO DIE 5 stars!
Buy now!

BUY THE RIB FROM WHICH I REMAKE THE WORLD

BUY WHERE THE DEAD GO TO DIE

View all my reviews