Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Night Shift by Robin Triggs

"Antartica. A mining base at the edge of the world. Anders Norvelt, last minute replacement as head of security, has no time to integrate himself into the crew before an act of sabotage threatens the project. He must untangle a complex web of relationships from his position as prime suspect.

Then a body is found int he ice. Systems fail as the long night falls. Now Anders must do more than find a murderer. He must find a way to survive.
Will anyone endure the night shift or will ice and frozen corpses be all that remains."

I was given this book by Flame Tree publishing in exchange for an honest review. I've loved each book they've sent me which are all horror/supernatural which is absolutely my thang!  But when I realised this book was science fiction I was instantly put off.

However I really loved this book, it only took me a day to read it. I would actually classify this as a dystopian thriller with a thin element of science fiction.

Robin Triggs does a great job of writing a book full of mystery and intrigue. I love a great "whodunnit" and had a great time trying to figure out who the saboteur was before Anders did. The plots moves rapidly, I couldn't put it down. I'd love to see this made into a film.

I really liked the writing style and I think fans of Harlan Coben will love this book. I would have liked to have seen a bit more back story but the author has stated that he has planned this to be the first in a trilogy and if that happens this is a great first book in the series.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Fangs By Aphotic Realm

It's with great pleasure to announce that my short story, Mother's Ruin, will be appearing in Fangs by Aphotic Realm.

There's a stellar line up for this edition featuring Marcello Bondi, me!, Michael Carter, Kev Harrison, Joanna Koch, Chris Martin, Toni Miller, Christopher Stanley, Kenneth Tilford and Tom Over. It also features an interview with the absolute horror legend who needs no introduction, Adam Nevill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's such an honour to grace the same publication as him.

Fangs is out 15th March 2019

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Sanitarium Magazine Issue 1

I was beyond excited to see last year that Sanitarium Magazine was being revived. I loved the magazine in its first life. It has a special place in my heart as this was the magazine to give me my first story acceptance at a time where I was beginning to lose all confidence in my writing.

I was first published in Issue 28. I'd bought 5 copies! I was nervous as I had never read it before but immediately loved it and continued to buy every issue afterwards until it stopped at issue 51. I was devastated. Its always so sad to see such a great magazine go but like with most indie horror presses they are run on love for horror not for profits.

And amazingly I got another story acceptance from the new version of Sanitarium I was thrilled beyond words and after reading the first issue I am also very proud to be featured alongside such talented writers.

To call this a magazine is a huge understatement. This is a great and vast tome of horror. Seriously there wasn't one tale I didn't enjoy in this.

This magazine/tome has really reignited my love for horror. For me I much prefer short horror fiction. I feel in this format there are less rules and restrictions in creating tales. You can push it as far as you want. You can be really mean to your characters as readers don't expect a big pay off at the end. In horror novels there tends to be a sense of hope and salvation at the end, but in short fiction that dream is decimated.

With this I was genuinely excited each time I started a new tale as each one before it had been so good!. There's 20 tales in here, some touch upon poetry, science fiction, history, folklore and just plain weird!

This was a very hard choice to make but my two favourite tales, (couldn't pick just one) were The Slaughterman's Tale by Dan Soule. I just loved this, so creepy from the get go and really chilling from beginning to end. I also loved The Mouth that Opens by Logan Noble it really reminded me of American Horror Story at it's best. Two writers I'll be keeping a look out for in the future. I hope to see a lot more of their work.

Also up there is The Alchemical Wedding by Max D.Stanton. I've never read anything like that before! Mad and brilliant!

This is a superb debut and if the second issue is anything like the first this will soon be a huge name in horror once more.

The only downside is the wait for issue 2!

Creature by Hunter Shea

This is the first book I've read by Hunter Shea. I was slightly apprehensive about reading it as I had been aware of all the hype and praise surrounding this book. I was worried it wouldn't live up to my high expectations of a creepy horror tale.

But it did.

I had great fun.

From my point of view I would describe Creature as two books fused into one. The first book is a body-horror tale that felt a little too real for me. It details the lows and lows of a passionate married couple, (with a great sense of humour) fighting against the wife's auto-immune disease which completely dominates their lives.

This section terrified me, like everyone else, I have a terrible fear of falling ill in such a way. I guess it will happen to us all in the end but to see it so up close is truly monstrous. Parts of this book were so hard to read as we've all had someone close to our hearts suffer in such a way. I really felt for Andrew, he'd do anything for Kate but he's powerless against such as disease.

It was only after finishing this book that  I found out that the the author's wife suffers from a illness which made it all the more raw, heart wrenching and real.

Most horror stories are outlandish separated from our everyday lives, usually set in circumstances you know would never happen to you in real life, but this one is very different. This could be you the illness creeps up on. It could so easily be your marriage, your family, that is tested to its limits.

The second half of the book is much different. This is where the much anticipated creature makes an appearance. Where the fun begins.

I have to admit the first half of the book is a slow burner, so much so that I hate to admit it now, but I did abandon the book to read something else. Eventually I came back to this, and am so glad I did as my investment of time was truly rewarded.

So when they arrive at the cottage deep in the woods of Maine, (my favourite horror setting!)  I was really excited for the fun/murder/destruction/bloodshed to start.

I do love these sort of books where you know there's a big terrible monster and its going to come in and kill everyone. What a lot of people don't appreciate is that to slay this much overdone trope, you have to write it really well and bring something new to the table.

Hunter Shea has done just that.

From this point the book accelerates really quickly, it's really hard to put the book down and I was hooked. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it!

Whilst I've still got your attention, if you liked this books then may I also recommend The Ritual by Adam Neville and  The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn, both great books!

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Army of Skin by Morgan K.Tanner

After losing his mother to a brain tumour, Trevor King feels totally alone in the world. Someone needs to pay for her death and Dr Mellick, Trevor's work colleague and family GP, is the man he holds responsible. Trevor's yearning for vengeance leads him to concoct a vicious plot to frame the doctor for multiple murders. Trevor skins the corpses, turning them into elaborate art pieces after being inspired by a mysterious textbook. But as the skins of the flayed victims come to life and continue the killings for him, Trevor wonders whether he is in too deep.When Dr Mellick goes missing Trevor becomes convinced the doctor is planning a similar scheme to bring him down.But as Trevor discovers the truth of his mother's death and his own life, this murderous path becomes more of a calling.

Morgan K.Tanner first came on my radar after reading Tales From the Realm Vol 1 by Aphotic Realm which featured his amazing story, The Almost Cannibal.  That story really stuck out for me despite being in an anthology of really superb stories. His writing blended perfectly dark horror with comedy, I've read a few of his interviews and he's a really funny guy. So when I saw that he had released his debut novella, Army of Skin, I couldn't wait to take a look.

I think its worth mentioning the cover, designed by M.R. Tapia. It's amazing! It's really representative of the care and artistry that's gone into making this outstanding book.

This book is an example of why I love novellas! From the very first page I was hooked and knew I was in for a fun ride. I read this in one day and was completely enthralled throughout. There's no boring back story just action. The plot moves really quickly in ways you can't anticipate.

This is the tale of Trevor King who is seeking revenge against his late mother's doctor. He delves deeper and deeper into hell in his attempts to bring Dr Mellick to justice. The weird thing about Trevor King is that he comes off as a nice guy, but he does these terrible things which at times makes for uncomfortable reading. The characterisation is brilliant as you watch Trevor descend into utter madness.  In this book, no one is as they seem. Its hard to talk too much about the plot without giving away spoilers but it's exhilarating. 

The ending is truly amazing, everything really comes together in one almighty final chapter! Whilst reading this book I had many questions but they were all answered in the very brutal ending. Morgan K.Tanner shows that he can make people laugh with one hand and completely terrify them with the other.

This is an awesome debut and I can't wait to see what he writes next!

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Bad Pennies by John.F.Leonard

I chose Bad Pennies after reading Call Drops also by John F.Leonard, a short horror story which was really creepy, imaginative and highly enjoyable. Bad Pennies is set in the same world and does not disappoint!

Seeing a stranger die is the worst thing that Chris has ever witnessed. Picking up the dead man’s wallet is a mistake, a moment of weakness.
That’s all it takes, one impulsive act, for reality to unravel.
Because pocketing the wallet is only the beginning.

Dark forces swim below the surface of the world...
They change their shape but never go away...
They find a way through... 

Chris Carlisle is just an ordinary guy, always suffering from too much month at the end of his money. He's flat broke, his job is a dead end and his boss hates him. He's one warning away from getting fired. The only thing that is goo din his life is his beautiful Becca and for her he would do anything.

He doesn't think his life can get any worse, but it can.

One morning, late for work he witnesses something extraordinary. He thinks his luck is finally changing when he finds a wallet full of cash. He almost doesn't pick it up but he's so poor he has little choice in taking it.

This book starts off a little slow but its worth it as once it gets going, events move quickly. There's a great foreboding atmosphere and a real treat for those who like their horror extra dark! I loved The Thin White Man, he was genuinely scary and if you don't have a great tolerance for creepy crawlies you may find this book a little extreme!

Beware of the Scaeth!

Monday, 21 January 2019

Just To Keep You Close

I'm so excited to kick off 2019 with my short story, Just to Keep You Close, appearing in the first issue of the resurrected horror fiction magazine Sanitarium. Like many horror fans I was devastated when it was forced to go on hiatus and now, fast forward a few years, it's back!

This is a magazine I quickly fell in love with and it introduced me to a lot of horror authors who have now gone on to make a big name for themselves. The first issue is available now on Amazon in e format and should be available in paperback in a few days.

5.0 out of 5 starsWell worth your time if dark fiction is your thing.
19 January 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

By Year's End: A Year 47 Anthology

Oooh my first book review of 2019! Here goes. By Year's End: A Year 47 Anthology is  a companion to Bo Chappell's Year 47 novel set in a post apocalyptic New West. I have to admit, I've yet to delve into that tale, but you can go straight ahead and read By Year's End without having any prior knowledge of that.

This anthology features nine tales that will take you through the horror of how the New West was created and what's left for the few remaining survivors.

I really enjoyed reading these and not having a clue about the events of Year 47 which added extra intrigue to my read. What really struck me was the quality of these stories and how they blend so well together.  I really wanted them to last longer as you get so caught up in the tales. There's a real eclectic mix of authors here, each with their own unique voice but they all flow so effortlessly to create an anthology that feels more like a novel. Usually with anthologies I mention my favourite tales but with this I actually can't pick favourites as they're all so good.

The stories all contain characters that you really care about which adds to the tension and each one packs a powerful emotional punch. And of course there's a palpable feeling of cold dread building up in each tale. Something really bad has happened here and no one knows what it is or why it's happened.

This is an anthology I would definitely recommend!

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

The Itch by S.J.Budd

My most goriest creepiest tale to date is now available for just 99cents via Infinite Realms Bookstore. It's about a guy who messes with the wrong witch! It even comes with a warning and is called The Itch!

Also on this site you can purchase the incredible Sounds of the Night anthology,  published by Alban Lake. It features my first novelette, What the Eyes Cannot See.