(Book Review) SHADOWS OVER MAIN STREET Vol. 2

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You know this place. Seems normal enough. But you know better, don’t you? You’ve heard rumors of strange histories. You’ve seen hints of dark deeds. Turns out you can go home again, and the shadows will be waiting for you.

Bram Stoker Award® nominated editors Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward bring you the next installment of their best selling, critically acclaimed small-town Lovecraftian anthology series: Shadows Over Main Street, Volume 2. Within these pages, you’ll discover: * America’s pastime awakening dark secrets buried deep within the earth. * Vietnam War heroes who glimpse something worse than war and return home to discover a new kind of hell waiting for them. * The music of a generation—of many generations—revealed as something older, hungrier and more insidious than a bad acid trip. * A war-widow who rediscovers love and passion… only to cultivate the world’s end.

Featuring stories by: Joyce Carol Oates, Joe R. Lansdale, Gary A. Braunbeck, John F.D. Taff, Lucy A. Snyder, William Meikle, Ronald Malfi, Damien Angelica Walters, and others. With a foreword by Laird Barron and stunning illustrations by Luke Spooner.

Every turn you take leads back to Main Street. We’ve been waiting. Welcome home.

My review:

Shadows Over Main Street Volume 2Shadows Over Main Street Volume 2 by Doug Murano

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sometimes an anthology has that lure, that pull, that innate ability to sink hooks beneath your flesh without you realizing it. While there are plenty of good horror anthologies out there, it takes a lot for one to grab hold of me like SHADOWS OVER MAIN STREET (VOLUME 2). It can seriously take me all year to make my way through an entire anthology, especially ones with a specific theme. I get to the point that I no longer care about the theme and give up, even if I admire the authors. So I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

I’m a sucker for small-town tales. I’m growing an appreciation for the Lovecraftian realm in which these stories breathe and move, slithering tentacles across the brain, and welcoming you home with that gentle song from another world.

These are the ones that stood out for me:

“Shug”by John Taff – This one felt like a mix of Bradbury ‘s The Martian Chronicles and Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. I wasn’t sure I liked it a few pages in, but it ended up being my favorite. Just a really well-told story that made its home beneath my skin.

“Something in the Water” by Douglas Wynn – This is the story that made me grab this anthology. I read a bit of Wynn’s behind-the-story post via Twitter and knew I had to read it. Watch your tongue when you come to Wynn’s little town. Loved it.

“Disintegration is Quite Painless” by Max Booth III – I’ve read a lot of Max’s larger works. For the most part, they haven’t been my cup of tea. They’ve been a bit too weird for my taste, but very well-written, and Booth’s talent has never been in question. I knew it was only a matter of time when he wrote something that would blow me away. This one is a traditional/straight-forward horror tale. If you love Stranger Things, you’re gonna enjoy the hell out of this one. The beginning was amazing, and even though the story went in a bunch of different directions, I loved each and every one. I can’t wait to get this version of MB3 in novel form.

“1570 KhZ” by Damien Walters – No surprise that the Queen of Short Stories delivers another gem. This one features a young girl that wants to help her father. He sits in a garage listening to a strange frequency that is shifting his moods. This one is great.

“Sunset on Mott Island”by Lucy Snyder – the opening story, Snyder’s piece subtly lures you in on the waves, while bringing on the impending doom. Charmingly cryptic to the end.

“Duck Hunt” by Joe Lansdale – A few of these have a rites-of-passage theme to them. I just enjoyed Lansdale’s take the best. Thought I knew where it was going, but I was wrong. Fantastic.

There were really only two or three stories I didn’t care for in here, but even those were well-written.

This is a very impressive collection for fans of Lovecraft and/or small-town horror.
Even with the couple of so-so stories,

I give SHADOWS OVER MAIN STREET (VOLUME 2)

5 stars!

View all my reviews

Get your copy here: SHADOWS OVER MAIN STREET Vol. 2

(REVIEW) WE CAME BACK by Patrick Lacey

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Growing up dead.

Melvin Brown sees things that aren’t there. Monsters with tentacles and razor-sharp teeth. Ever the social outcast, he is bullied to the point of suicide. And his hatred of those who did him wrong does not die with him.

One decade after Melvin’s death, something strange is happening to Lynnwood High School’s smartest and most popular students. They begin to act out and spend time at the former high school, now abandoned and said to be haunted. And their numbers grow at an alarming rate.

Is this just a passing fad or are the rumors true? Does Lynnwood really have a teenage cult on their hands?

(REVIEW)

We Came BackWe Came Back by Patrick Lacey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WE CAME BACK is the second novel from Patrick Lacey. After reading his novella, A DEBT TO BE PAID, his collection, SLEEP PARALYSIS, and his debut, DREAM WOODS, I thought I had this guy figured out. I assumed he was gonna slip into a comfortable little spot a lot of horror writers find themselves in and stay there. And he could, but Lacey doesn’t seem to care for complacency. He’s eager, he’s productive, and guess what? He’s pretty damn good. His previous works showed promise. WE CAME BACK delivers on that promise, and I’d be willing to bet that it’s just a hint of things to come.

WE CAME BACK isn’t just a great horror novel, it’s a horror novel with depth. Multiple characters deal with loss throughout, and find themselves figuring out how to move forward. The problem is that, in Lynwood, there may be no future. A past incident at the old Lynwood High School sets into motion the eventual troubles that spring up in town in the present. The Lynwood Vampires, a new and ever-growing clique of honor roll students gone all Marylin Manson, are upsetting expectations and smearing their darkness across this quiet little town. Are they just a pack of good kids going through a rebellious phase, or is there more behind the black outfits and sudden change in moods?

Lacey does a wonderful job drawing these characters–their hurts, their losses, their frustrations, and their faults—on his way to delivering a fantastic piece of horror fiction. The emotional undercurrent is what pulls this dark story along. Lacey crafts and executes some wonderfully frightening scenes throughout and does not disappoint in the blood and carnage department, a playground he’s proved himself as adept at running as a chambered bullet exploding your brains against the wall.

Incorporating pain and heartache with touches of humor, and pound-after-pound of fear and creepiness, Lacey proves that scars are not the exclusive property of weathered vets. Ladies and gentlemen, if you’re not paying attention to Patrick Lacey yet, now is the time, and WE CAME BACK is the book. This author is something special. Introduce yourself to his work now, you won’t regret it.

I give WE CAME BACK 4.5 stars!

View all my reviews

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Follow along the tour with these hashtags:
#WeCameBack #monstersandcults #AmericanCancerSociety

**Patrick Lacey will be donating all his proceeds from this book to the American Cancer Society in memory of his dad, who lost his battle with cancer.**

We Came Back, Synopsis

  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Sinister Press
  • Publication Date: April 15, 2017

Patrick Lacey, Biography

Patrick Lacey was born and raised in a haunted house. He spends his nights and weekends writing about things that make the general public uncomfortable. He lives in Massachusetts with his Pomeranian, his mustached cat, and his muse, who is likely trying to kill him. Find him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter (@patlacey), or visit his website.

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Praise for Patrick Lacey

“WE CAME BACK is an emotional trip through our darkest fears. One of the best books I’ve read in years.”–Kristopher Rufty, author of SOMETHING VIOLENT, DESOLATION, and JAGGER.

“The man’s imagination is incredible. A must read!!!!” – David Bernstein, author of A Mixed Bag of Blood

“It’s a rare and joyful thing for me to read a book and realize I’m in the hands of an author who can go absolutely anywhere, who works without a formula and without a net. Such is the case with this stellar debut collection.” – Russell Coy, author of The One Who Lies Next to You

Patrick Lacey’s Dream Woods works a razor’s edge into an after school special.”
– Unnerving Magazine

Purchase Links

Amazon

Also find at other online retailers like B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, etc. Also ask your local indie bookstore to order or ask for your local library to order it!

Want to Feature?

If you’d like to feature Patrick Lacey on your blog or site, or review We Came Back, please give Erin Al-Mehairi, marketing and publicity at Sinister Grin Press, a shout out at hookofabook@hotmail.com.

Cool New Banner for my Blood and Rain sale!

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Still just 99 cents!

I have to thank Adrian Shotbolt for crafting this cool banner! Thanks, Adrian!

Help spread the word! Arrrooooo!

Also, thanks to all of my friends who shared the post Monday and Tuesday. You guys are amazing!

Here’s a link to a brand new review for Blood and Rain from HorrorNews.Net

The banner will take you to the Amazon page.

Here are the other links to get the deal:

Barnes & Noble

Samhain Publishing

Kobo

Google Play

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

 

Werewolf Madness for 99 cents! News on Blood and Rain, Slush, and The Haunted Halls

 

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For the next 30 days you and your friends can get acquainted with my bloody werewolf novel, Blood and Rain, for the discounted price of 99 cents!

  • “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 Girls
  • “A major new talent rises from the Maine woods…Rolfe is the real deal, and Blood and Rain is a classic monster novel, full of blood and teeth and the kind of razor sharp writing that makes the pages sing. Small town horror is back, with a vengeance!”–Nate Kenyon, award-winning author of Sparrow Rock, Diablo: Storm of Light and Day One

Blood and Rain is easily my most praised piece of horror. It made numerous top 10 lists for 2015. A fact that I am extremely proud of and humbled by.

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  • “It’s Silver Bullet on speed!…a mix of early Stephen King and Bentley Little…” – Aaron J. French, author of The Dream Beings
  • .Wow! Easily one of the best werewolf books I’ve ever read.”- Hunter Shea, author  of The Montauk Monster
  • We  have a great villain to root against, and heroes to cheer for. Many more experienced, more celebrated  writers could learn from Rolfe.  If you Love werewolves, you’ll love Blood and Rain.” – Brett J. Talley, author of He Who Walks in Shadow

Now, you get the chance to grab a copy for 99 cents! That’s right. The new moon is up in the sky tonight and for the next 30 days, you can get this brutal and character-driven howling novel on the cheap.

  • “Many authors nowadays get lauded for writing ‘throwback’ horror fiction, but none of them quite goes the distance like Rolfe does in Blood and Rain. Werewolves, silver samurai swords, and small New England towns: it all makes you wish this was twenty years ago so you can take the paperback off a supermarket spinner-rack and huff the yellowed pages.” – Adam Cesare, author of Mercy House and Exponential
  • “Rolfe is the real deal, folks, and anything he writes is well worth checking out.” – Gord Rollo, author The Jigsaw Man and The Crucifixion Experiments

I’m also putting my 2014 short story collection, Slush, up for 99 cents! 

        •  “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 Toxicity and The Mind is a Razorbla

 

        • “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

 

SLUSHS

And if all of that wasn’t enough….

I’m psyched to announce that my first novel, The Haunted Halls, will be re-released by Matt Shaw Publications in eBook this September!

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Matt Shaw is one of the best selling British Horror writers out today. His style is unrelenting and full on. It’s an approach that he brings to the table when bringing hand-picked authors onboard. I am beyond floored to be working with him on this release.

The Audio book will also be available thanks to the great talents of Joe Hempel (Adam Cesare’s Tribesmen). Release date TBD.

I’m also in talks to get The Haunted Halls available once again in print. Fingers crossed!

The cover reveal is on its way….until then, here’s a sneak peek:

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So, grab Blood and Rain  and/or Slush and let’s become friends! 

And stay tuned for much more horror ahead from me to you in 2016!

Click on the covers for the direct Amazon links (or go to the links below for Blood and Rain on these other sites)

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Google Play

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

 

 

 

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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

 

“Rolfe is the real deal, folks, and anything he writes is well worth checking out.” – Gord Rollo

 

Super-stoked to receive another vote of confidence from an author I’ve admired for years, Gord Rollo. Gord is the author of Leisure Books classics such as The Jigsaw Man and  Crimson, along with Valley of the Scarecrow, and newer pieces such as The Crucifixion Experiments. 

As much as Stephen King and Anne Rice are responsible for my wanting to read, it was the Leisure Books Horror roster and titles that made me want to write. I wanted to read every book they put out (I’m still trying to catch up). The quality and style of the majority of those books is what I wanted to do, the kind of stories I wanted to tell. One of those great writers that I discovered with the monthly book club deliveries was Gord Rollo. Strange Magic pulled me in, Crimson and The Jigsaw Man creeped me out. And I loved his last Dorchester title the most, Valley of the Scarecrow.
Today, I received a message from Mr. Gord Rollo that makes me feel like my writing is heading in the right direction.

 

Here’s what he had to say about Blood and Rain and yours truly:

 

61Y4imsnjzL._UX250_Blood and Rain by Glenn Rolfe has a real “old school” feel to it, and I mean that in the best possible way. I wasn’t expecting such a shocking display of violence and genuine suspense but this book delivers both in spades. Rolfe’s werewolves are mean and nasty, and kick ass as classic monsters should. Rolfe is the real deal, folks, and anything he writes is well worth checking out.” – Gord Rollo, author of The Jigsaw Man and The Crucifixion Experiments.

Needless to say, I’m blown away and grinning like a fool.

Be sure to check out some of Gord’s work. He’s brutal and unrelenting in his horror, but he’s got a Scottish heart!

Thanks, Mr. Rollo.

Visit Gord Rollo’s Amazon page : HERE

Or click on the covers below to check out each title.

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