Thursday, 25 April 2019

Dying for an Invitation by Theresa Braun






"Dacie returns to Romania where she's ready to coax her invisible childhood playmate to reveal himself to her. Tension and passion fire up between them. Dacie's mother spouts cautionary advice regarding the supernatural; however, Dacie shirks the warning as nonsense born from local legends. A lost letter lands in Dacie's hands, suggesting the powers of the undead might have a grip on the family lineage. When her mother dies, so do the answers. And, Dacie needs the comfort of her unseen companion more than ever..."

I've read a few tales by Theresa Braun now, the author of Fountain Dead, Dead over Heels and have realised that one of the many things she is really good with her writing is characterisation. These always feel like real people to me. Within a few paragraphs she'll have you really emotionally invested in them caring deeply about what happens to them.

Like with her other works I've read I find once I start reading it is hard to stop. It's less than 50 pages so you can easily digest this in one sitting. Of course there's vampires in this, but this isn't your run of the mill vampire tale. It's not about the blood frenzy but what the vampire needs to sustain their dark soul.

I  loved the setting of Transylvania, superstitions, old castles and an ancient family full of secrets and heartbreak spanning centuries. There was a great atmosphere to this creepy tale and it moves at a quick pace.

Dacie has a big choice to make, to follow the protective superstitions of her culture and escape back to the modern world, or follow her heart and stay in her homeland.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Review: Fangs by Aphotic Realm




Aphotic Realm are back with their sixth issue which also marks their two year anniversary!  I've been reading this magazine right form the beginning and each time they really deliver!

I'm a huge fan of this magazine, no matter what the theme is, I've enjoyed everyone of them. So far there's been; Apparitions, Banished, Classified, Dystopia, Eldritch and now Fangs! (The next issue, which I'm particularly looking forward to, will be Gruesome!)

In this issue there's a really great interview with the undisputed king of horror; Adam Nevill. A really cool feature article by Toni Miller from the amazing Ladies of Horror Fiction Team. Also featured is a fang inspired comic called Black Dog, and some great work by Russell Dongjun Lu.

You won't find tales of Vampires inside here but you will find creepy animals and critters waiting to jump out at you! I have to say as usual all the stories in here are brilliant, there's something in here to scare everyone, I loved them all.


Fangs is out now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Black Fur, Red Fangs by Kenneth Tilford kicks off this excellent anthology with a great American horror flavour. I really enjoyed this tale there was a great atmosphere of dread and foreboding terror in this tale where night time creatures take aim at an isolated community.

I really loved The Waiting Game by Kev Harrison this was a really dark tale that I loved from beginning to end. A really original choice for a fanged creature!  Liam's pissed off his girlfriend and he's going to really regret it. Really well written with a really cool ending, gory and fun!

Then there's my story, Mother's Ruin by S.J.Budd. Trey and Damon think they have found a easy prey in the new boy at school who's just a little bit weird. But don't they know it's the quiet ones you have to watch out for.

Infestation by Chris Martin builds up the fear straight away by setting his story in the middle of nowhere. A farm is devastated by an unusual infestation. Soon its not just the farm David Chapman has to worry about but the survival of him and his family.

It's been a really long time since I read something as original and WTF as Her Special Sauce by Joanna Koch. It pulls you in from the very first sentence and doesn't let you go. Beth's come up with a novel money making idea and nothing is going to stand in her way.

A monastery set high on mountain deep in jungle is a place of great pilgrimage but it hides a dark secret. Taranto by Michael Carter explores how far people will go to protect their secrets in a really creepy way of course!

If A Murmur of Shadows  by Tom Over doesn't strike fear in your heart at the thought of nature taking revenge against us for climate change then nothing will, unless there's a real life apocalypse. A brilliant tale with a very powerful ending.

And lastly, Two Weeks to Wolf by Christopher Stanley. Not even powerful weapons like guns can save us from the wild creatures that stalk us. Some things are best left undisturbed.


Stoker's Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi

"Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde join forces to face a vampire cult determined to open the gates of hell."

Now this book had me intrigued with only the byline on the cover. I'm a huge fan of the gothic classic Stoker's Dracula and Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray and if you are too, you will love this tale.



Years before either becomes a literary legend, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde must overcome their disdain for one another to battle the Black Bishop, a mysterious madman wielding supernatural forces to bend the British Empire to his will. With the help of a European vampire expert, a spirited actress and an American businessman, our heroes fight werewolves, vampires and the chains of Victorian morality. The action will take them to dark forests in Ireland, through the upper-class London theater world and culminates in an exciting showdown at Stonehenge, where Bram and Oscar must stop a vampire cult from opening the gates of Hell.

I absolutely loved this book and upon writing this review I can't think of anything bad to say about it. Stoker's Wilde is a brilliant book, its clear the authors really know their subject matter. The characters of Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde are really believable and their opposing natures compliment each other really well. There's some great comic moments between these two. I really liked both characters but Wilde was by far my favourite.

This book felt so real as I read it and I felt like I had come into a secret knowledge over how the two great books of Stoker and Wilde came to be written. The references to their works and lives are very clever.

In the same spirit of Dracula, this novel is written through letters of correspondence, journal entries and recordings carefully put together in one collection by the mysterious White Worm society. The tale of Stoker's Wilde starts off in Dublin when Stoker and Wilde are forced to unite against a werewolf wreaking havoc in Ireland. It was meant to be the adventure of a lifetime but for them it is only the beginning. Soon they are drawn into the affairs of a secret vampire cult in London and must work through their differences if they and their loved ones, and also the whole world, are to survive the Black Bishop.

This book is great fun and doesn't take itself seriously, it will appeal to anyone who loves adventure stories, secret societies Victorians, vampires such as Dracula, The Picture of Dorian Gray, supernatural creatures, things that go bump in the night and the wit of Oscar Wilde.

I'm itching to re-read Dracula and The Picture of Dorian Gray but the dilemma is which one to read first.