Rewind or Die: Hairspray and Switchblades by V. Castro

Were-Jaguars, strip clubs and hot detectives. This little novella from the Rewind or Die series has it all.
A fast and furious ride from the get go, Maya experiencing her first change and having to grow up too fast to be a parent to her little sister who she knows has all this to come.
Hairspray and Switchblades moves through various stages including romance, coming of age, death of family, animal transformation and even a serial killer. It squeezes a lot in to a novella, but does this in style without losing any pace or plot.

This is one I can image being a TV series at some point. Fits into the True Blood narrative somewhere with the shifters. Definitely worth a read of you are a fan of the True Blood books and the likes.

Rewind or Die: The Catcreeper by Kevin A. Lewis

Another hit from the Rewind or Die series. The Catcreeper is a very interesting tale really, I felt it was a deep look inside the mind of an unhappy child. No one really understood him and his only friend being Green the cat.

Total Pet Sematary vibes with the story, I loved it. The Catcreeper is a terrifying look inside what obsession, heartbreak and sadness can create if left unchecked.

Part of it felt like a dream. That was something I really liked, the subjective nature of the story. Whose POV are we really getting it from. The whole cat centred mansion was amazing too, I can really imagine myself like this when I’m older (except with rats and not cats).

Taylor Crane was so aloof throughout I think it made him my favourite character. Totally dissociated from reality till the end.

This is a very fun/scary/creepy/sad/lonely story. A novella worthy of a read by horror fans and may I thank the author for sending me an ARC to read. I loved it. I believe many others will too.

Rewind or Die: Dead and Breakfast by Gary Buller

Oh my days the nostalgia reigns supreme in Gary Buller’s Dead and Breakfast.
A rollercoaster of feels all the way through, back to 60s/70s/80s heydays when everything was so simple and perfect.
Eddie and Banksy arrive at a bed and breakfast (or so they think) after some nails in the road and a forgotten spare ruin their plans for the evening. A doddery old lady reads them several or her scary stories – each one being quite frankly amazing – and keeps the couple up way past bedtime.

You know something is coming, you can feel it all the way through. But my god when it hits it really.hits!!

Dead and Breakfast is the perfect novella. It’s sharp, to the point, filled with life, death and some good old fashioned tales.

Part of the Rewind or Die series. Dead and Breakfast is a must-read for horror fans!!

Greyfriars Reformatory by Frazer Lee

This was a great read, one that keeps you interested from page one and never lets go. The characters are all.wonderfully intricate, each getting their time to shine as it were. Principal Quick is a fascinating character, and the lead protagonist Emily, a troubled girl sent to Greyfriars Reformatory, is so well written and filled out you feel like you know her. All the characters as are.
This is the second book I’ve read from Frazer Lee. He really knows how to drag you into a story. The plot is in depth. So many twists and turns, keeping you guessing and never allowing you to get bored.
This is a brilliant ghost/horror story. One that’s made it to my ‘Ineed to read this again soon’ pile.

The Burntbridge Boys

The Burntbridge Boys

By John F. Leonard

Review by Lesley Ann Campbell

What can I say… I know no football references whatsoever, but the author, John F. Leonard knocked this one out of the park (I do know baseball references). 

Another trip to the eerie town of Bledbrooke, to the football stadium and a ‘manager’ who was given a very special watch. 

Sammy Raferty is on the run from everyone. What he doesn’t realise is that he has already been caught. He made a deal with the devil the second he put the watch on.

The Burntbridge Boys is full of Seventies nostalgia and definitely one for the horror reader who likes a bit of football. It is full of charm, scares and an eerie enough atmosphere to keep you up. This is a book I need to read again. What I really want is to re-read all of the Dead Box and Scaeth Mythos works and dig out all the bits I’ve probably missed. This is a wonderful addition to the collection. I did a great deal of ‘wondering’ all through it. I love the way certain aspects are left up in the air as it were. As the reader, you know… but you do wonder if you really know what’s happening. John F. Leonard has built up this magnificent world and mythology, one that I’m sure Netflix will pick up on and make a great several seasons from. I can picture it now, American Horror Story-esque, each season a different time and a different place, but the Scaeth links throughout.

I often struggle to write long reviews for John. F Leonards books as I am terrified of giving away too much.

The substance of my review is thus:

It is creepily magical. A must-read and a top notch addition to what I will proudly call my favorite collection of books. 

Thank you John. Please keep writing. 

The Boy in the Box – Flame Tree Press

I loved the premise of this story. Hunting accident goes wrong and returning to the scene of the crime as it were with plenty of supernatural terror mixed in. The Boy in the Box was a generally creepy read for me. I enjoyed this one from start to finish.

A slow burner in parts, but worth the wait. The character development and plot furthering all make this a riveting read. It’s got such a ‘real’ feeling to it. You really feel for the characters. The ‘event’ and then dealing with the aftermath. The author does a wonderful job of bringing the pages to life in an epic tale of tragedy.

Another fine outing for Flame Tree Press.

The Wise Friend by Ramsey Campbell (Flame Tree Press)

Many thanks to the author, Flame Tree Press and Netgalley for a copy of ‘The Wise Friend’.

“I could never have believed I would wish my son would love books less, let alone dread the consequences.”

This was a very deep and interesting read. I still feel to relatively new to Ramsey Campbell – first being introduced to the author by my husband almost 3 years ago – I find him a brilliant author. A master of words and of horror.

This is a wonderfully descriptive novel, set in Liverpool (very close to myself) and reads mostly in the first person which I really liked. Patrick has brought his son Roy to visit the place where Patrick’s Aunt Thelma tragically lost her life. An artist, Thelma has a great deal of history to her name.

This was a mystery horror novel, slow to get moving in some respects but with that, the pace does fit the story. It’s a descriptive wonderland, fanning the flames of one’s imagination and leading the reader down a dark path.

Highly recommended!!

In Dreams We Rot by Betty Rocksteady – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Book Review

It’s took me a little longer than I would have liked to get to this one. I’ve been so behind lately with reading and reviews. Worth the wait… YES!!

In Dreams We Rot is a distinctive and disturbing look into ones psyche. The stories are way beyond creepy. They are deeply unsettling in some cases.

We all have some strange dreams, I had a really unnerving one a few nights ago.

The author has a real talent for creating the scene. You are dragged in to this twisted dream like state. The imagery and descriptiveness really bring forth the horror of each story. The characters are full.of live and depth, their feelings and fear are clear.

The cat story is perfect for any cat owners out there with questions about what their cat gets up to during the day. I’ll never look at a kitty the same way.

The voyeur story is one that resonates. Not so much with the sex. What I mean is that we spend so much time ‘watching’ other people through various platforms. We forget that those people are also watching us. It’s a tad nauseating.

I loved this collection. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves reading character centric horror.

The Fearing: Air and Dust. Book Three

Book Three in The Fearing series was more of a ‘scene setter’ for book four. That’s what I took from it anyways. I felt it lacked some of the excitement of books one and two, but nevertheless it’s a great read.

You can feel all the strands coming together now. That culmination is working grasp. The author keeps the crumbs coming, teasing the big finale, the showdown.

Book Three seems to settle on the Reverend Mark. We get a glimpse of our other survivors, but this chapter is definitely his. I wonder if he is the key, the one to this.

My favourite part of this book was the very end, one line, “fear, he’s just another fear” really jammed itself into my mind. This played withy brain a bit, wondering just how many people are actual fears… ***SPOILER*** Are Adam and mother just someone’s fear??

The Fearing is one hell of a series. It really digs deep within you. Making you question everything. I love it.