(Share the Horror) Favorites Books of 2019.

I am late to the party…but here are my Top 12 Favorites Reads of 2019  (books on my list had to be released in 2019 to qualify).

Click on the covers to go to the GoodReads page (where you can see my full review and get the links to your favorite stores for purchase).

#12 LIMBS by Tim Meyer

“Meyer goes where few have gone before and delivers a fun little novella about a very strange fetish.”

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#11 THE PLAYING CARD KILLER – Russell James

“Good characterizations, solid plot, and a perfect ending. I find that a hard combination to beat.”

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#10 THE HAUNTING OF HENDERSON CLOSE by Catherine Cavendish

“I couldn’t put it down. Come to Henderson Close and find out what haunts these old streets!”

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#9 LORDS OF THE DEEP by Tim Meyer & Patrick Lacey

LORDS OF THE DEEP is National Treasure meets Indiana Jones meets The Fog.”

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#8 THE LAST ASTRONAUT by David Wellington

 “I thoroughly enjoyed the days and nights I spent with THE LAST ASTRONAUT, and the ending was completely satisfying (always a huge bonus)!”

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#7 ONE BY ONE by D.W. Gillespie

 “ONE BY ONE is one of my favorite reads of 2019.”

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#6 WILL HAUNT YOU by Brian Kirk

WILL HAUNT YOU is original and mind-bending. Not your typical horror novel, this one will turn your brain upside down and spin you right round, baby!”

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#5 WHERE STARS WON’T SHINE by Patrick Lacey 

WHERE STARS WON’T SHINE is Lacey really coming into his own.”

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#4 CRICKET HUNTERS by Jeremy Hepler

“Fantastic! CRICKET HUNTERS will be in the conversation for best book of 2019.”

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#3 A VOICE SO SOFT by Patrick Lacey

“Lacey hits on all cylinders here. A VOICE SO SOFT is just further proof of his gifts.”

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#2 THE DARK GAME by Jonathan Janz

“The story read like something straight out of the Leisure Books Horror Club heyday!
THE DARK GAME is a horror gem.”

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#1 THE INSTITUTE by Stephen King

“Fan-freaking-tastic. Filled with characters you give a shit about in situations you can’t imagine. This is why we love King. His voice is like comfort food to us Constant Readers. The power of friendship and togetherness in the face of evil, and the willingness to do what’s right make this one another smash hit. THE INSTITUTE proves he’s a good as ever.”

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Another year of great reads!  There were so many last year that I did not get a chance to read (including new ones from Hunter Shea, John Everson, Duncan Ralston, J.H. Moncreiff, and so many others). That said, it was certainly one of the better ones for me. I enjoyed so many new books, a few new authors, and even got to reread a few old favorites, too. This year looks just as packed, so off we go…there are so many pretty little books to read!

Stay in, stay safe, and READ!

Alien Agenda Publishing unleashed two new books in 2019–PARADISE, MAINE by Jackson R. Thomas and CELESTIAL SEEPAGE by Brian Fatah Steele. Be sure to check them out if you get a chance.  Cheers!

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And of course, be sure to grab a copy of Alien Agenda Publishing’s latest monster:

RISE by Jackson R. Thomas

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And lastly, if you want to pre-order my upcoming coming of age/80s/vampire novel, UNTIL SUMMER COMES AROUND, you know I won’t try to stop you.

Copy of BRIAN FATAH STEELE

GET THE BEAST FOR 99 CENTS!

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Alien Agenda Publishing unleashed its latest short novel from Jackson R. Thomas, RISE.

Rise is the sequel to 2018’s THE BEAST OF BRENTON WOODS, and first new release since last year’s Splatterpunk Award-nominated, PARADISE, MAINE.

In this second installment of The White Wolf series, Thomas brings his no-holds-barred style of writing, splashing and slashing the pages with enough sex and guts and crimson gore to satisfy the splatteriest horror fan out there.

In the tradition of writers like Edward Lee, Richard Laymon, and Brian Keene, RISE shows Thomas has arrived and he doesn’t give a fuck about genteel sensibilities.

The eBook is available now at Amazon.com and Barnes  Noble.com

The Print Edition arrives on April 3rd.

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PARADISE, MAINE is nominated in the Best Novella category in this year’s SPLATTERPUNK AWARDS

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THE BEAST OF BRENTON WOODS is available in eBook, Paperback, and Audio NOW!

 

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Jackson R. Thomas has lived in Colorado, New York, and now resides in Coopers Mills, Maine with his cat, Gizmo.

He loathes social media and has worked as a janitor, fast-food slave, record store clerk, and night auditor at a hotel on Route 1.

He loves horror books, horror films, and the band, Ministry.

(Share the Horror Book Review) CLOWN IN A CORNFIELD by Adam Cesare

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Quinn Maybrook just wants to make it until graduation. She might not make it to morning.

Quinn and her father moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs to find a fresh start. But ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half. On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun, make prank videos, and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can.

Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.

Here’s what I thought:

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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Share the Horror Review) CLOWN IN A CORNFIELD by Adam Cesare (Harper Teen, 2020)

I am definitely new to the world of Young Adult novels. In my mind, I thought that meant “Goosebumps” type books. After reading the latest novel from horror author, Adam Cesare (The Summer Job, Video Night), consider me enlightened.

Let’s face it, teenagers swear, see (or perpetrate) violence, and do plenty of adult things, so of course they should be properly represented in the books targeted at them. And Cesare does not flinch. The dialog is authentic, and well-done. This comes as no surprise to me as I’ve been a fan of his books for a number of years now, and the action and suspense are delivered at top-notch levels, as well.

CLOWN IN A CORNFIELD centers on a small rural town where the kids of today and their love of all things social media and technology are really irritating the aging community. Quinn Maybrook and her father, Glenn (great name, btw), move to the town after Quinn’s mother od’s back home in Philly. Quinn is the new girl and quickly gets mixed up with the loudest kids in town. Cole, the son of the town’s recluse former syrup factory owner, is the rich kid/troublemaker/rebel, and he takes Quinn under his wing.

After a few chapters of setting up the book’s main characters, Cesare introduces us to Frendo the clown, the mascot of the out of business syrup factory. Just reading the name Frendo had me on edge as it triggered memories of Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem’s character in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN). Knowing Cesare’s love for film, I’d be willing to guess that was intentional.

The story builds to the night of the “big party” and that’s when all the stuff really hits the fan.
Cesare expertly puts Quinn, Cole, and their friends through a night of pure hell. The ending was absolutely satisfying, but you’ll have to read the book to know how it all goes down.

Stepping back, I see a lot of appeal in this book for adults and teens alike. When the Frendo attacks begin, the term “active shooter” is used by one of the characters in the book while a group of party-goers has locked themselves inside a silo for protection. I have kids in junior high and elementary school, and I know in today’s world, this is a serious threat and concern for kids. My kids practice these “lock-down” drills every few months. I know these aspects of the story will certainly speak to both the teens reading the book and their parents (hello!) reading, as well.

CLOWN IN A CORNFIELD also touches on how older people (say, 40 yo and +) are being effected by today’s “me-me-me” youth culture (with all the emphases kids put on social media and YouTube these days), and just how unsettling it is for some. To realize we (the 40+ers) are increasingly growing out of touch with technology and lingo and the way kids interact with each other now compared to say, 20 or 30 years ago, is forcing us to change, as well, and not everybody likes change. We don’t understand it, and when we don’t understand something, we fear it. And in the harshest instances, we try to get rid of it or kill it. Cesare does a fantastic job handling these perspectives within this tale.

This is a Young Adult novel, but it can most certainly be read and eaten up by Cesare’s flock of loyal horror enthusiasts, too. Trust me, folks, you will not be let down.
Seriously, when CLOWN IN A CORNFIELD drops in August, you better go out and grab a copy.

5 stars! All day.

View all my reviews

AC

Adam Cesare is a New Yorker who lives in Philadelphia. His books include Clown in a Cornfield, Video Night, The Summer Job, and Zero Lives Remaining. He’s an avid fan of horror cinema and runs Project: Black T-Shirt, a YouTube review show where he takes horror films and pairs them with reading suggestions.

Check out his website HERE