I would love
to see this made into a movie or mini-series (are you listening to this Netflix?).
The imagery and scope of the landscape, the nightmare sequences, down to the
descriptions of the characters (especially Meggie) is work of flawless art. This
book is a real testament to the ability of the author.
The scene is set from the beginning; creepy yet beautiful Scottish Loch, an old stone circle, a house in the middle of no-where (a glorious old building), Meggie the mysterious sister and not to mention the majestic stag. An accident on the way to the house for the groups post-graduation holiday results in a wrecked hire car and a dead stag. No one was seriously hurt… but the accidental killing of the stag sets of a chain reaction of supernatural events centered around Mike Carter (our main protagonist). Mike’s friends Alex and Kay, and girlfriend Helen are dragged through the ringer by his deteriorating state.
The mental collapse of Mike throughout the story is handled vividly yet with delicate ease. First the accident, then finding out his girlfriend is pregnant, as well as his drinking and weed habit, he steadily circles the pits of despair, not knowing what is real or what is a dream.
Hearthstone Cottage is a wonderfully written supernatural horror story that captures the Scottish charm and beauty effortlessly.
Janz is a descriptive master. He conveys a scene in total HD ultra having you almost believe you are living it. This was most defiantly the case at the gas station.
Joe, a family man with a young daughter, witnesses a young mother abusing her toddler in the back of their truck. He intervenes to help the child and sets a disturbing chain of events in motion.
Joe and his family are soon stalked and terrorized by the family of Angie, the young mother who took her own life after she lost custody of her son. They are members of a cult and will go to any lengths to get their revenge on Joe and to bring back their daughter.
The premise of this story is filled with promise. The wonderfully dark and sinister cover conveys this too. A family man, just wanting to do the right thing . What is that they say about the road to hell… ?
A thrilling read from the outset. The characterization is on point as always from Janz and the story telling, deliciously creepy with many layers of nasty.
Flame Tree Press just keep putting out great books (mostly). Janz is as always, a wonderful author.
I Love the writing, both the style and content, from John F. Leonard, I would even go as far as to say he is my favorite author now. I find his work fresh and inspiring; it’s always full of surprises. A Plague of Pages is no different; it’s a wonderfully creepy read.
“Ah, the perils of writing …it can bring
out the worst in you.
Anthony’s world has fallen apart. The good times
have gone, the things he treasures have been torn away. Life in tatters, he
needs to press the reset button and begin again. And that’s exactly what’s
going to happen.
He’s going to pursue his dream of becoming a
Trouble is, some dreams turn into nightmares.”
Anthony Eames, a down on his luck writer with
a bucket load of baggage. His marriage is over, thanks to his best friend
having an affair with his wife for the entirety of their nuptials, and then the
injustice of having to move into Hanfield Court, a ‘rat-trap’ block of
apartments as he refers to it early on. He
ignores all the usual chaos of uprooting your life and moving home, and he
leaves the boxes stacked and unpacked. Instead he decides to sit down at his
much loved (hated by his ex-wife) Art-Deco table, and he begins to write,
exchanging computer for paper, with his dearly departed father’s pen. Unbeknown
to him, this is by far no ordinary pen.
This pen contains Scaethian ink.
The stories that Anthony write’s, in a
somewhat fugue state, come to life, in an unnatural sense of the word. His prose
of tragedy and plague, they occur, just has he has written. He doesn’t know why
or how at first. He doesn’t even believe it to be true. It can’t be real, can
He tests it, his theory of the pen making the
written word come to life, by writing a little short story involving his overly
nosey neighbour and her return from the dead. He get’s the surprise of his life
when he enters her apartment across the hall.
A Plague of Pages forms part of the Scaethian
mythos and the Dead Box archives. It is a fantastic read, a short novella with an
abundance of character and action. The plague of flies was an element to it I
particularly enjoyed reading – I would love to see this as a stand-alone story
(Can I write it John? Please). The premise of these unknown super flies
swarming us, I relish this kind of thing being a sucker for a creature feature
I feel of course that I have given enough
spoilers away now, so I will keep quiet in that respect. I would hate to
totally ruin the story for those yet too read this. I just can’t help myself
though when it comes to talking about books, especially those which I adore. A
Plague of Pages has earnt a well-deserved FIVE STARS from me.
The writing is, as always from John, engaging,
clever and original. The characterisation has both depth and clarity, and the
pacing of the story is very well planned and thought out. It’s a clever story
with an excellent delivery. Anthony Eames is an intense character, a good guy
turned bad by a life throwing him the proverbial lemons, not to mention the
corruptive influence of the pen. His fate is sealed when he ingests the pens
ink in a plot to escape justice. I don’t believe he was
ever malicious enough to enjoy what he was doing, or indeed that he ever really
had sinister intentions with regards to the pen. I feel like the character was
in a bad place mentally and dealing with some tough personal issues, mixed with
that, the allure of demonic energy was too much to for Antony to resist. I feel
the overwhelming power of the pen had completely took over Anthony’s sense of
self by the end.
I have previously read, to my pleasure, Bad
Pennies and Doggem from John. F Leonard. Both part of the Dead Box archives and
Scaethian mythos. I have a few more of these lined up to read too – thank you
Kindle Unlimited for providing me with so much reading material. Since I am
wholly enjoying this series of books, I am confident that I will love what’s to
come. Roll on John’s next entry too, I look forward to reading it.
Frighteners follows the quest of Peter Laws, a Baptist minister
with a penchant for the macabre, to understand why so many people love things
that are spooky, morbid and downright repellent. He meets vampires, hunts werewolves
in Hull, talks to a man who has slept on a mortuary slab to help him deal with
a diagnosis, and is chased by a chainsaw-wielding maniac through a farmhouse
full of hanging bodies.
Staring into the darkness of a Transylvanian
night, he asks: What is it that makes millions of people seek to be disgusted
and freaked out? And, in a world that worships rationality and points an
accusing finger at violent video games and gruesome films, can an interest in
horror culture actually give us safe ways to confront our
mortality? Might it even have power to re-enchant our jaded world?
Grab your crucifixes, pack the silver bullets,
and join the Sinister Minister on his romp into our morbid curiosities.”
This was a
fun and interesting read, delving into the mind of a horror enthusiast, the
Sinister Minister himself, Peter Laws.
always been interested in the scary, the dark and twisted, the gothic, and the
gruesome. I have always been ridiculed for it too. You know, I’m sure a lot of
us have heard the same… “It’s a phase” “she will grow out of it” “why can’t
you like nice things?” “You won’t meet anyone looking like that” “what’s wrong
with you watching those kinds of films?” …the usual. I must admit I have gone
to the ‘dark side’ with my outfits and bit since I started my current day job
(legal cashier) and wear pretty dresses and the likes. I got many a surprised
look that day from people who know me.
moving on from my ramblings, the book, The Frighteners, it’s a fun read. It’s
very much a memoir of Peter Laws’ life with the horror genre, mixed with a lot
of researched facts relating to the macabre and the morbid.
well written, well laid out and a hoot to read. He has a great sense of humour
I found and he knows how to spin a tale.
opens with his recounting of his bucket list birthday trip to Transylvania
(what a treat). The excited recanting of the trip and meeting like minding
people was a pleasure to read. You can tell straight away that Peter Laws is
truly passionate about his love affair with the genre, it radiates so brightly
through his writing.
There is a
great deal of information within The Frighteners. The author has had many an
experience, with death, zombies, werewolves, crypts and the likes. He gives us
a wonderful descriptive read of all his encounters, and a very informed insight
into the genre of the weird, the wonderful and the macabre.
don’t want to delve too much into the content as I feel I would spoil the read
for you folks somewhat. I really recommend checking this book out though, it’s
a wonderful read and a great glimpse into the mindset of the horror fan.
you won’t be sorry. Find it here on Amazon:
“DEVOURING DARK is an urban horror novel about a man plagued
since childhood by a malevolent darkness that threatens to consume him. After a
lifetime spent wrestling for control over this onslaught, Matt McLeod has
learned to wield his mysterious paranormal skill to achieve an odious goal:
retribution as a supernatural vigilante.
When one such hit goes bad, McLeod finds himself ensnared in
a multi-tentacled criminal enterprise caught between a corrupt cop and a brutal
mobster. His only promise of salvation may be a bewitching woman who shares his
dark talent but has murderous designs of her own.”
To start, I
would like to thank Grey Matter Press for a copy of Devouring Dark to read in
exchange for an honest review.
enjoyed this book. It’s a wonderful mix of horror, the supernatural and some
crime drama. Three things I enjoy.
Matt McLeod, he
is a great character. He has this crazy ability to literally devour people with
darkness, as the title says. The book gets into the action straight away with
Matt devouring a paedophile in an alleyway. Unfortunately, in this wondrous age
of digital devices, he is caught on camera by a criminal, who decides his
abilities should be put to good use for a criminal organisation as an assassin.
Of course Matt isn’t exactly sold on this idea.
has similar powers to Matt. They both thought they were alone with their
abilities. When their paths finally cross they end up in the fight of their
lives, finding out just the true extend of their powers.
of both Amy and Matt are solid. They are wonderfully written; they come across so
well throughout the book. This is the second work I have read of Alan Baxter, I
love his work. He writes brilliant multi-layered characters that you can
develop a real relationship with. He has a real talent and I am looking forward
to reading more from him.
is a brilliant noir supernatural horror mash which will have you hooked from
the start and all the way through. I loved it.
“This book is a short selection of 20 years of
writing of the Croatian “Queen of the Horror” as she’s called back
home. It contains short stories of horror and SF/horror theme.
IT’S HARD TO BE A VAMPIRE – A humorous story about a girl who
wants to become a vampire, but cannot because she’s too fat
GALLERY OF HORRORS – An unsuccessful young painter will go a
bit too far in sacrifice for his art when he starts sacrificing his models
THE PAINTING STRIKES BACK – A sequel of the Gallery
of Horrors, telling us the story about what happened with one of the
remaining paintings, many years after painter died
DO THE VAMPIRES DREAM OF SLAUGHTERED SHEEP? – A story about a
vampire hunter who falls in love with the vampire
NARCISSUS – A story about a girl who kills a man because she
is in love with herself and does not accept the competition
QUIETLY THEY RISE FROM THE FOG – A story about a man whose
wife and daughter have disappeared and he decides to follow them into the
BEHIND THE DOOR – SF story of an attack on a fort where you
never know what lies behind a door, aggressor or victim
THE INVISIBLE INK – A story told from the perspective of
a sister of missing writer who still keeps all her handwritten pages
THAT BLOODY USELESS BLOODLESS BODY! – Horror author
will meet his big fan who turns out not to be human”
This is nice quick read, a
short collection of stories centralized around vampires and the supernatural.
It’s a fun read, it’s not very thrilling, and there isn’t much in the way of
horror within the stories.
I wasn’t overly impressed with the first story, ‘It’s Hard to be a Vampire’, I felt it was a touch insensitive with the ‘fat-shaming’ that was apparent. A vampire doesn’t want a fat girl. So she goes on a diet to become sexy. It sends, even in humor, it sends a bad message to the reader, especially teenage readers. I felt that it was in very poor taste.
That being said, some of the other stories are not too bad. The final tale, ‘That Bloody Useless Bloodless Body’ is quite entertaining. A horror writer, who isn’t very big on people, accidentally meets and lets in, one of his biggest fans. It’s bit trite, but still has a certain edge to it.
Not all the stories are vampire
related. I felt that the title and the cover of the book lead us to believe that
they are all about vampires was a bit misleading, but that’s only a small
Overall, it has its good
points. Some of it is really well written, some not so much. Would I recommend it?
Yes, but only if you are not really in the mood to think about what you are
reading, and you have an hour or so to kill.
Wolfhaven – ground zero – none in this town will
survive the wrath of the pack. The first slaughter sparks the beginning of the
end for humanity as the Wolfhaven pack descends upon the unsuspecting townsfolk
to exact revenge for the killing of one of our own – Pharo, the mother of the
pack, once feared and respected by our kind throughout the region, is no
Claude’s plan is bold yet carefully thought out;
to spread from Wolfhaven, town by town, village by village, city by city; to
rid the world of the human plague and put an end to the desecration of this
wondrous planet. It all begins here.
As the ranks swell, the surrounding packs
forming alliances and consolidating, select humans spared annihilation to be
turned and assimilated as the moon casts her influence. Will our beloved
Alpha’s grand plan come to fruition? Or, will pettiness, arrogance, and
territorial pissing end this war before it begins?
I am Shona, first daughter of Pharo, and here my
I really loved this novella, it was
an intense and inspiring read, an exquisitely beautiful and savage tale centred
I was pulled into the story from
the outset. The townsfolk of Wolfhaven have killed the pack mother, Pharo, and
the pack has planned their glorious revenge. The Wolfhaven pack, led by Claude,
has come up with an astoundingly vicious plan. They are going to decimate the town
of Wolfhaven, killing most of the human infestation, and turning the stronger
among them, those with potential, to
increase their numbers. They also plan to form alliances with neighbouring
packs and to continue this killing spree and recruitment drive through other
towns. One town at a time, they plan to take the planet for themselves, ridding
it of the human scourge.
This is a very visceral descriptive
story, from the POV of Shona. She has lost her mother, ripped away from her in
a savage way. This is her story; this is Shona’s journey of revenge and to some
extent, her coming of age.
“Agitation sets into my bones. Soon, we will be
in human skin once again, which I never look forward to. I long for that day…
when Claude’s plan comes to fruition and we never have to hide our true form
The writing, the imagery, the sheer
feeling that is evoked when reading this, this is what led me to rating this
five stars. It is a journey for both Shona and the reader. There is a delicate
intensity about Wolvz: Whispers of War. It is savage, yet beautiful. It is
haunting, the purity of the rage from the pack. The writing is outstanding,
really getting inside the head of the reader.
I would highly recommend this
novella to anyone and everyone. It’s not a long read, this is very good lunch
break or bedtime material. If werewolf stories aren’t normally your thing, you
won’t lose too much of your day reading it. I think if you give it a go though,
you will be more than impressed.
is a matter of death. Death is a matter of fact.”
Micah DeAtta learns this as he awakens with Death seated
across from him, whetting his sickle. Micah has no choice but to converse with
Death in order to figure out his own demise. As their conversations become a
battle of wits, Micah is forced to relive prominent deaths of family and
friends before learning of his own. Each death happens in real time, each
correlating with the nine levels of the Aztec underworld. Before it is said and
done, Micah will have been forced to face his fears, his losses, and the fact
that although life may be too short, death is forever.”
First of all, may I say thank you to M. R. Tapia for sending copy of ‘Sugar Skulls’ in exchange for an honest review.
A conversation with Death himself. It’s not something you would expect to wake up too is it? But that is what happened to Micah. He woke to Death sitting across from him.
“Tonight I have the displeasure of meeting Death”
He doesn’t know what is happening to him. Death is not quite ready to take him yet. They must sit, talk and relive his past experiences, his regrets and his heartache.
This is a wonderfully written piece. The conversation between Micha and Death is riveting to read. It’s a two man show, two main characters who compliment each other very well.
I love M.R. Tapia’s writing style. I find it very easy to read, it has a constantly good steady flow. The pacing and the characterization are just perfect.
I would highly recommend this, M. R. Tapia is a wonderful
author. I have read a few of his works now, and I am happy to say that they are