Wolvz Whispers of War
Wolvz Whispers of War
5* Book review
“The war on humanity has begun…
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 more.
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 story begins…”
I really loved this novella, it was an intense and inspiring read, an exquisitely beautiful and savage tale centred around revenge.
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 again.”
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.
Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)
M. R. Tapia
Hindered Souls Press
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 consistently good.
Housewife of Horror
Savage Species by Jonathan Janz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If you like a fast-paced, full on, action filled bloodbath then this is the book for you.
Thank you Flame Tree Press for an ARC of Savage Species by Jonathan Janz to read in exchange for an honest review.
Savage Species, and by god they are savage, is a spin on the Wendigo Myth. A brutal race of creatures have been awoken thanks to the construction efforts in the opening of Peaceful Valley Nature Preserve. It doesn’t take long for the peaceful atmosphere to be lost to the horrific sounds of screams and mutilation.
This is a two-fold story. We have Charly, dealing with her idiot of a husband, her crush, and the terrible kidnapping of her baby by the creatures. We also have Jesse, Emma and Colleen, who have been assigned by their paper to cover the opening. They got more of a story than they bargained for. The separate story arcs come together neatly, culminating in one great finale.
The characters are all written so flawlessly. There is real sense of fear and urgency from all of them. You feel how scared they all are, how trapped and helpless they feel in this nightmare situation. The oppressive feel of the tunnel and the caves is real; you get a distinct feel of the claustrophobic atmosphere, and the tense nature of their predicament.
The balance between the human characters, with their own issues, and the monsters is scaled nicely. It’s that real sense of humanism, the characters become alive, they have real life problems and issues, they are just like the rest of us, not over dramatised or exaggerated. They are real. It is this, and the fast yet steady pace of the story which really knits it all together.
The creatures, two different creatures, are written frighteningly well. You get a real picture of them in your mind’s eye. Their human qualities, and their beast qualities, make them a truly terrifying creature to behold. The brutal descriptiveness of the initial attack by these creatures was, as the title suggests, savage. The fierce nature of the beasts, the primal instincts and the absolute brutality was captured with the sense of realism that I so admire in the author’s writing.
I have to mention my favourite character, Frank Red Elk, he is a piece of work. I love him. A ‘soft-porn’ obsessed Native American who lives on the land. I really appreciated the comedic value this guy added to story. It paired well with the brutality, breaking it up in just the right places. He is one of my favourite characters I have had the pleasure to read I think.
Synopsis: “Jesse thinks he’s caught a break when he, Emma (the girl of his dreams), and her friend are assigned by their newspaper to cover the opening weekend of a sprawling new state park. But the construction of the park has stirred an evil that has lain dormant for nearly a hundred years, and the three young people–as well as every man, woman, and child unlucky enough to be attending the Algonquin Falls grand opening–are about to encounter the most horrific creatures to ever walk the earth. Charly has three young children and a jerk for a husband, a hot shot girls basketball coach with a penchant for seducing his female assistants. When Charly’s baby is kidnapped by one of the creatures, she turns to Sam Bledsoe, the man who constructed her house (and the man on whom she has developed a sizable crush) for help. Sam, Charly, her husband, and the newest hot assistant coach soon find themselves underground and on the trail of Charly’s baby. Jesse’s trio, a group of professors, and Frank Red Elk–a Native American who specializes in women and booze–take refuge in the caves hoping to find a way out of the park. But like Charly and the others, Jesse’s crew will soon learn just how monstrous the creatures are. And how cunning. Together, they will all try to save Charly’s baby, escape with their lives, and take down as many of the monsters as they can. But the creatures are hungry. They delight in human suffering. And they will stop at nothing to prove that they are the dominant species.”
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“He is close. So close now. He Feels it. He feels everything”
Thank you to Grey Matter Press for this copy of Little Black Spots, a short story collection from John F. D. Taff.
The Immolation Scene is up first. This is a very intense story of loneliness and helplessness, emphasizing just how far people are willing to go to feel, to feel anything.
Corey is besotted with Amy, his ex and also his colleague. They engaged in a 6 month passionate affair before Amy abruptly ended it, claiming love wasn’t enough.
Both Corey and Amy have a special, yet dangerous, ability. They can ‘burn’; they both have the ability of spontaneous combustion. They can ignite their flesh, sometimes without realizing. Neither knew of the others ability, until a chance meeting when they cross paths during work. Amy is clearly more comfortable with their ability than Corey, he can’t bear the pain, the burnt flesh, the scars it leaves. The smell of the burning flesh is overwhelming. It’s too much to see, to deal with and to cope with, Amy wants them to be together completely, to burn bright as one, but he cannot commit to that, breaking Amy’s heart.
“How far are you willing to go this time”
“How much are you willing to feel”
Corey returns to his mundane existence, ‘numb’ from losing Amy again. He is lonely, the emptiness eating away at him.
I loved this opening to Little Black Spots, it’s a perfect story examining the human condition and how we are afraid of what we don’t totally understand. We are willing to sacrifice our own happiness, willing to miss out on what could be a pivotal life changing moment, because of fear, fear of the unknown and our innate resistance to change.
I’m looking forward to the next story very much after this one, ‘The Bunny Suit’.
Little Black Spots – https://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=x_gr_w_bb?keywords=9781940658841&index=books&linkCode=qs&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20
Bad Pennies: A Supernatural Horror Novel (The Scaeth Mythos #1)
John F. Leonard
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
“DARK FORCES SWIM BELOW THE SURFACE OF THE WORLD…
THEY CHANGE THEIR SHAPE BUT NEVER GO AWAY…
THEY FIND A WAY THROUGH…THEY ONLY NEED A TINY GAP
Chris Carlisle is about to experience an everyday horror. A morning that starts out bad is going to get infinitely worse. It’s gonna go to hell.
Wrong place at the wrong time and life takes a wrong turn.
But even the blackest clouds have silver linings. He’s going to get a little slice of luck to balance out the horror.
Just goes to show, bad often comes bundled with good.
Sometimes, they bleed into each other until you can’t tell them apart.
That’s where the strangeness begins, when the miraculous starts to rub shoulders with the mundane and monstrous.
It is only the beginning…
Chris has stepped onto a long road that leads to a hideous and horrifying destination. Dark and dangerous stops are dotted along the way. The pavement is crumbling and craziness shining through the cracks.
Enough for him to question his sanity and come to the conclusion that madness may be the easiest way out.
Sometimes need and greed get mixed into a deadly and deceptive cocktail.
He’s going to discover that dark and dreadful things lurk within spitting distance of the ordinary and routine.
That there are levels of horror and layers of knowledge which defy any rational explanation.
Impossible creatures crawl along the shady seams of the world.
Monsters wait in the shadows.
The walls of reality are thinner than we know. In places, they’ve been hollowed to a hazy veil that struggles to hold back the horror of what lies on the other side.
Chris is going to get a glimpse of an eternal darkness.
Become acquainted with a supernatural hunger that has endured aeons and echoes down the ages.
HE’S GOING TO ENCOUNTER THE SCAETH. A CREATURE THAT IS OLDER THAN TIME AND TWICE AS MERCILESS.
Chris thought life was grim. He has no idea.
He thought he was hard up. He doesn’t know what debt is.
They say that money is the root of all evil. They also say that the bad penny always turns up. That’s so true. Those crappy coins have a nasty habit of coming back.
BAD PENNIES is the first book of the SCAETH MYTHOS, a terrifying vision of horror that will haunt your dreams.”
The first thing that really grabbed my attention with this book was Chris Carlisle. A guy, just trying to make it through life, struggling the same way we all do. Mundane job, living payday to payday, debating with himself over the now regular winter ‘heating or eating’ dilemma. This is a great story, a supernatural horror story encompassing not only the horrors of the supernatural world, but also the horrors of our own everyday existence. I felt his internal struggle, his guilt, and his overwhelming need. He needed the money, he knew he was wrong, but it was going to help him more than the dead guy wasn’t it? Or so he thought. I really loved the undertones about our general money worries, and the depths we can be driven to in desperation. For me personally, it felt like John F. Leonard was getting right into the nitty gritty of our materialistic society. The rich get richer and the poor get squashed. Our ‘need’ as it were, for the things we don’t really need, take over our senses and cause us to do things completely out of character, ruining our lives and those of our loved ones. Those of us who are desperate enough can be completely blinded by obsession and greed. To me, this was a story examining just how far one is willing to go, and how much is one prepared to turn a blind eye to, just to get on in this mundane existence we have created for ourselves.
A particular quote I loved “I might have no time for Fleecebook and Twitter-Tattle, Snapshat or Instawhatever, but it loves them like naughty sons. The more noise the better as long it keeps a few real truths quiet.”
I felt this partly summed it up, our materialistic obsession. We love sharing so much with friends via social media. We lose ourselves in the moment, rather than enjoying what is in front of us right now, we sacrifice it for a few likes and retweets. We are missing so much. I am as guilty as the rest for this. There is a pressure here too, the ‘keeping up with the Jones’’, the need to acquire things just to show we have them. We don’t like the idea of people knowing we are struggling, we don’t always ask for help when we should. It’s like this ‘shame’ has been bred into us. There is no shame in needing help. To me anyways, it felt like this was one of the points of the books. Speak to people, ask for help if you need it. Don’t leave it so the ‘help’ seeks you out. Evil is attracted to the most vulnerable among us.
My favourite character has to be Ronald Hodge. My god that guy is a creep. I felt like I needed a shower each time he was in a chapter. He is one horrendously bad man, in every possible way. I absolutely loved the development of his story. The way it just kept getting worse and worse (in a very good way), he is awful. Reading about Steph in his house gave me chills. It was so bad yet so good. I really don’t want to say too much on Ronald as I don’t want to totally ruin it for people. This is must read, for this character if nothing else.
Bad Pennies is brilliantly thought out and written, it flows so easily from one chapter to the next. The switch up in characters is obvious without being confusing. The fluidity of the story and realness of all the characters made this a truly horrifying pleasure to read.
I am very much excited to delve deeper into The Scaeth Mythos, it’s fascinating. The other realm, the manipulations of our reality and the descriptions of the, do I call them familiars? I’m not sure. King Ratty was a definite favourite. When he became spider-rat, oh god, I was itching all over. I hate spiders! I really can’t wait to read the next instalment.
Anyway, that is more than enough from me raving about how much I loved this book.
Go buy it, go on, you can get it right here on Amazon (UK):
5/5 – I love it!!
Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)
Eat the Rich
Hindered Souls press
5* Book Review
When Ed Anderson discards his life to become a homeless person, he has no idea of the shit storm about to happen. Almost overnight, the city’s homeless population spikes.
So does the murder rate.
Ed learns that aliens posing as homeless people are eating the city’s wealthiest residents. He tries to warn the police, but they think he’s crazy.
The situation is worse than Ed describes, though.
He’s right about the aliens. They’re here to free humans from wealth and poverty. The flesh of the rich is just a tasty reward for their hard work. And if humans refuse to embrace the utopia imagined for them, there is a plan B:
Eat the Rich, a fantastic grotesque look into the idea that we can all be equal. Abolish money, abolish the oppressive nature of the so-called ‘1%’ and live out our lives as equals. We each receive the same food, the same clothing, just all the basics we need to survive. Yeah… it’s just never going to work is it? We humans are an interesting breed. We want to be equal, we shout a lot about equal rights, equal pay, equal this that and the other. But if it ever comes to that, whether it be through an alien invasion or some other means, we all know it’s not what we want. This book does a great job of highlighting this, “No reason to work harder or to even dream about anything. It’s all just what it is and it’ll never change if the aliens have their way. I find that disheartening”. Don’t get me wrong, I whole heartedly believe that things need levelling up as it were, really, come on, 2018 and we still have people living on the streets and children having to be fed from food banks. There is absolutely no need. But total equality in every way, that is where we lose ourselves. It’s our hopes and dreams that drive us, the hope of a promotion, dreaming of that perfect life we have long desired. It’s this that keeps us going. Hope is a powerful tool. If we have nothing to aim for, nothing to strive for, what do we have? I think as a species we are still a long way from that Star Trek utopia where poverty is gone along with money. The idea of working to better ourselves is a noble one indeed, realistic and achievable? I really don’t know.
This is a great read; you have alien invasion, gruesome murders, cannibals, and plenty of rebellion. It’s rather funny in parts too, plenty of quirky one liners from human and alien alike. Ed is the unlikely hero, just a ‘regular Joe’, materialistically rich through debt, living with a lazy wife who is just in it for what she can get. He leaves her and his life behind to be free. Living on the streets he soon gets himself tangled up in this mess, first getting arrested, then infiltrating the alien camp and winding up in a mental ward, finally becoming the forced face of the alien invaders and finally the leader of a rebellion.
I couldn’t decide who I actually was supporting in parts, human or alien. Both sides I have to say had valid arguments, and I can completely see why our alien overlords thought they were doing the right thing. I didn’t think I was one of those supporters of government until they were all destroyed… They may suck and their jobs, some more than others naming no names. As a country though, we do need the structure. Without some form of structure, anarchy will prevail.
This book is most definitely a conversation starter, I can hear the political debates in my head already.
Enough from me though now.
I really did enjoy this book and would love you all to give it a go. You can find it hear via Amazon (UK) – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eat-Rich-Renee-Miller-ebook/dp/B07DKCD6VR/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541344578&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=EAT+THE+RICH+RENNE+MILLER
And it’s free (who doesn’t like freebies) via Kindle Unlimited.
Give it a go. You won’t regret it, I promise.
Housewife of Horror
The Five Senses of Horror
Sarah Totton (Contributor), Poppy Z. Brite (Contributor), Sarah Singleton (Contributor), Lisa L. Hannett (Contributor), Richard Christian Matheson (Contributor), Norman Prentiss (Contributor), David McGroarty (Contributor), Chris Bell (Contributor), John F.D. Taff (Contributor), John Farris (Contributor), Jessica Bayliss (Commentary), K.H. Vaughan (Afterword), Nils Bross (Illustrator)
Dark Moon Books
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads: “Hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste: Our impressions of the world are formed by our five senses, and so too are our fears, our imaginations, and our captivation in reading fiction stories that embrace these senses. Whether hearing the song of infernal caverns, tasting the erotic kiss of treachery, or smelling the lush fragrance of a fiend, enclosed within this anthology are fifteen horror and dark fantasy tales that will quicken the beat of fear, sweeten the flavor of wonder, sharpen the spike of thrills, and otherwise brighten the marvel of storytelling that is found resonant!
Editor Eric J. Guignard and psychologist Jessica Bayliss, PhD also include companion discourse throughout, offering academic and literary insight as well as psychological commentary examining the physiology of our senses, why each of our senses are engaged by dark fiction stories, and how it all inspires writers to continually churn out ideas in uncommon and invigorating ways.
Featuring stunning interior illustrations by Nils Bross, and including fiction short stories by such world-renowned authors as John Farris, Ramsey Campbell, Poppy Z. Brite, Darrell Schweitzer, and Richard Christian Matheson, amongst others. Intended for readers, writers, and students alike, explore THE FIVE SENSES OF HORROR!”
Table of Contents includes:
“Preface: The Five Senses of Horror” by Eric J. Guignard
“Introduction: Why Do Horror Stories Work? The Psychobiology of Horror” by Jessica Bayliss, PhD
“Thoughts About the Sense of Touch” by Jessica Bayliss, PhD
“Heading Home” by Ramsey Campbell
“Soft” by Darrell Schweitzer
“Feel the Noise” by Lisa Morton
“Thoughts About the Sense of Hearing” by Jessica Bayliss, PhD
“In the Cave of the Delicate Singers” by Lucy Taylor
“Sounds” by Kathryn Ptacek
“Malleus, Incus, Stapes” by Sarah Totton
“Thoughts About the Sense of Taste” by Jessica Bayliss, PhD
“His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood” by Poppy Z. Brite
“Cassilago’s Wife” by Sarah Singleton
“Sweet Subtleties” by Lisa L. Hannett
“Thoughts About the Sense of Sight” by Jessica Bayliss, PhD
“The Beholder” by Richard Christian Matheson
“In the Porches of My Ears” by Norman Prentiss
“The Impression of Craig Shee” by David McGroarty
“Thoughts About the Sense of Smell” by Jessica Bayliss, PhD
“Shem-el-Nessim: An Inspiration in Perfume” by Chris Bell
“The Scent” by John F.D. Taff
“The Odor of Violets” by John Farris
“Understanding and Incorporating the Five Human Senses into Modern Horror Short Fiction Writing” by Eric J. Guignard
“Afterword: Sensation and Perception” by K. H. Vaughan, PhD
“Suggested Academic Reading for Further Study”
“A Brief Reading List of Modern Fiction Short Stories with Relation to the Senses (1940–2015)”
Our five senses: Touch, Hearing, Sight, Taste and Smell. All of which are explained and explored from both a psychological perspective, and from that of the horror writer.
Thank you to Eric J. Guignard and Dark Moon Books for allowing to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
A wonderful collection of short horror stories, split into five sections (the five senses obviously), all with fascinating introductions explaining the psychology behind the sense. I found those introductions, courtesy of Jessica Bayliss, PhD, very insightful and thought provoking. The short stories themselves were all very well chosen, fitting in even so well with their specific sense. The introductions for me seemed to also add to the feelings I had while reading each story. It felt like the explanations to our responses to fear stimuli actually invoked a fear response from me before I read the story itself. That may have been helped along though by a long discussion about the fear of spiders – I hate spiders.
It’s quite difficult to choose a favourite. They are all so good. If pressed though, I would have to pick ‘In the Cave of Delicate Singers’ by Lucy Taylor. This short story I found to be especially haunting.
***beware of spoilers***
The Brotterling cave complex is a deep network of caves, chambers and tunnels, with a dark history behind it.
This doesn’t sway Matthew and Lionel Hargave, brothers, and experienced cavers. They both went in, but only one, Lionel, returned. In a cruel twist of fate, Lionel was the lucky one; he had lost his hearing in Iraq years courtesy of a roadside IED. This terrible accident was what saved his life here; he could not be called by the maddening siren song within the depths of the cave.
A search and rescue team are dispatched, confident and disbelieving of the rumours and stories of death. They are soon to find out the caves history is all too real.
Karyn, a junior member of the team goes solo against orders to try and rescue her friends. What she finds are mutilated corpses, her friend and one time lover, Pree, being absorbed into the cave itself.
This is a song that must be heard.
“Madness made tangible.
Contagion by sound.
It spews from my lips – a song of such deadly beauty and unholy allure that I experience only the briefest frisson of horror – an emotion something inside me instantly quells – when their mouths fall open, songstruck, enthralled, and they begin to rend their own flesh and tear each other apart”
A story that definitely resonates with today’s busy modern world of chaos is ‘Sounds’, by Kathryn Ptacek. This tells a tale of a woman plagued by sound – the constant din of the town where they live, the never ceasing intrusive soundtrack of life – to the point of madness.
This is a particularly relevant story I felt, especially as I live in quite a built up area. We never get complete peace and quiet. There is always something going on. Whether it be the neighbours banging, cars revving, the garbage truck or the mail. There is always noise of some description. It is never ending. It’s easy to see how very real this story’s conclusion could become in today’s society.
What is most frightening though, is that we have done this to ourselves.
This is a wonderful anthology of stories from some great authors, which will appeal to all walks of horror fan. It contains a wonderful mix of the paranormal, the supernatural, as well as the most terrifying side of the human condition.
Highly recommended and worth a read as soon as you get the chance.
Available via Amazon (UK) here:
Dark Moon Books:
Lesley-Ann (Housewife of Horror)