Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, Folk Tales, Horror Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller

Dog Rose Dirt Jen Williams 4*#Review @sennydreadful @HarperFiction @HarperCollinsUK #BookReview #Fairytales #Folklore #horror #psychologicalsuspense #DogRoseDirt

A convicted murderer with a story to tell

Serial killer Michael Reave – known as The Red Wolf – has been locked in Belmarsh Prison for over 20 years for the brutal and ritualistic murders of countless women.

A grieving daughter with a secret to unearth

Ex-journalist Heather Evans returns to her childhood home after her mother’s inexplicable suicide and discovers something chilling – hundreds of letters between her mother and Reave, dating back decades.

A hunt for a killer ready to strike again

When the body of a woman is found decorated with flowers, just like his victims, Reave is the only person alive who could help. After years of silence, he will speak to Heather, and only Heather.

If she wants to unearth the truth and stop further bloodshed, she’ll have to confront a monster.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Harper Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story has many elements which make it absorbing and addictive reading.

Heather returns to her childhood home after her mother’s death. She is not in a good place in her life and struggles to accept her mother’s apparent suicide. Heather, an unreliable protagonist, finds copious correspondence between her mother and a serial killer, ‘The Red Wolf’. Unsure what to make of it, and in the light of similar recent murders, she sends them to the police and begins an unorthodox investigation of the past and present crimes.

Atmospheric, and horrifically graphic in parts, it intertwines fantasy, folklore, horror and psychological suspense. The settings are cleverly crafted and provide a menacing ethos. It uses folklore and fairytales, drawing out their darkness, fusing them with psychological suspense and noir characters. It’s about good and evil, but the lines are blurred.

This story delivers the shocks of horror fiction, with the illusions and secrets of folklore, making this a creepy, disturbing and often grisly read.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Horror Fiction, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Thriller

The Runner P.R.Black 5*#Review @Aria_Fiction @PatBlack9 #Thriller #PsychologicalThriller #CrimeFiction #horror #BlogTour #TheRunner #BookReview

You can’t escape him.

He abducts lone joggers and forces them to run for their lives. When he catches them, he pulls out his blade…

Now he’s locked away and will be in prison for years. They call him a psychopath, a murderer, the ‘Woodcutter Killer’.

But what if you just found out you’re supposed to call him father?

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I received a copy of this book from Aria Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is powerful psychological suspense with authentic characters and a compelling investigation that is addictive reading. Freya finds out her previously unknown father is in prison and possibly a notorious killer. She is determined to discover the truth. What follows is a true-crime investigation with two unlikely detectives and some grisly discoveries. Some of the descriptions are graphic but are integral to the twisty plot and impactful ending.

Pat Black is kind to spiders.

He is the author of The Long Dark Road and the Amazon bestsellers, The Beach House and The Family.

His short stories have been shortlisted for awards including the Bridport Prize and the Bloody Scotland short story competition. He was also longlisted for the William Hazlitt essay prize.

He was named one of the winners of The Daily Telegraph’s Ghost Stories competition, and his work has been performed on stage in London by Liars’ League.

He lives in Yorkshire, but will always belong to Glasgow. He knows full well what your opinions are about people who talk about themselves in the third person.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Extract, Horror Fiction, Paranormal

The Lazarus Child Jay Raven #Extract @JayRavenAuthor #BloodRiders @rararesources #Paranormal #Horror #histfic #Vampires #BlogTour

To save his missing daughter a distraught slayer must venture deep into the heart of darkness

Legendary vampire hunter Anton Yoska is on the edge, tormented by the rumour that the precious child he once thought dead is still alive and lost in a world of monsters.

One creature alone knows for sure what happened to Gretchen, but Terek Modjeski won’t divulge his secret – revelling in the twisted power over his long-time foe.

Despairing and drinking heavily, Anton stumbles from near disaster to near disaster as he puts his team in jeopardy, testing their friendship and loyalty to snapping point.

Only one diabolical solution is possible – to confront Terek in his maximum security cell and force the bloodsucker to end his game of cat and mouse. But making the cunning infernal talk will mean employing brutal methods that go against every code Anton has ever lived by, forcing him to become as much of a demon as the leeches he hunts.

Face to face with the evil, taunting vampire, the desperate slayer takes a decision that will change his destiny forever – sending him hurtling into danger to confront a terrifying truth about his lost child that risks not only his sanity but the future of mankind.

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Extract from The Lazarus Child Jay Raven

In this extract vampire slayer Anton Yoska visits Transylvania’s most notorious maximum security prison to interrogate one of its most feared Undead captives. But to get there he has to cross an eerie, fog-shrouded lake.

The boat set off, paddles splashing in unison, gliding smoothly into the smog. Immediately, chill wisps of fog swirled around them in a ghostly dance and, pulling his heavy cape tighter around himself, Anton glimpsed back over his shoulder. The jetty had already evaporated, all sign of Quintz and the wagon swallowed up in the grey haze. Up ahead was just the same – an impenetrable blanket of vapour blocking any view of the boat’s destination.

Each stroke of the oars intensified the sense of peril, and it was difficult to resist a growing apprehension, as though they were voyaging through some haunted, ethereal realm.

It wasn’t just the eeriness that troubled him. A dark ultimatum made him brood – Leopold’s condemning words fresh in his memory even though it had been some weeks before: “I tire of this whole business, Yoska. I only kept the infernals alive at your insistence that Terek Modjeski could produce useful information about the Brethren’s numbers and intentions. But, so far, your attempts at interrogation have proved useless. Not one jot of intelligence. Nothing. How many times is it now that you’ve questioned the prisoner?”

“Three times.”

“And you’ve failed dismally to make him talk. Intolerable. Simply intolerable. I thought you were supposed to be the man whose very name made nosferatu tremble. Well, it’s obvious that this is one infernal who doesn’t share their trepidation.”

Trying to argue had been pointless. The Crown Prince was implacable, declaring: “Frankly, I am of a mind to hand it all over to Julius Gant. I can promise you he will get results, unfettered by your tedious morality or squeamishness.”

There was no mistaking the sincerity of the threat.

“But what about my daughter?” Anton had asked, aghast. “If I’m denied access to the creature how can I ever learn the truth of what happened? He’s my only hope.”

“Not my problem, Yoska. And very soon, it won’t be yours either. I suggest that if you really want to find out the fate of your girl, you stop treating Terek Modjeski as though he is a human. He is a thing, less than a thing. A parasite. His very existence is a blasphemy. Break the monster’s silence, before I have Gant do it.”

One of the musket men touched his shoulder jolting him from the recollection.

“There it is,” the guard pointed out, as the mist thinned and a forbidding structure loomed in the distance.

Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Fantasy, Folk Tales, Friendship, Horror Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Suspense, Young Adult

The Tear Collector Shawn Burgess 4* #Review @ShawnBinjax Narrator Lou Petrella #Audiobook #Review #BlogTour @rararesources #AudibleUK #Horror #Mystery #ComingofAge

The misdeeds of our ancestors are debts passed from generation to generation. They lurk, hidden in the shadows, waiting for the right time to be collected. For the residents of Harper Pass—their debt is due.

When a young autistic girl goes missing from a small Appalachian community, the residents of Harper Pass descend into chaos. Brooks Raker and his friends stumble across the police investigation, and as they dig deeper into the mysterious events, the boys realize the fate of their missing classmate pales in comparison with the evil lurking in the shadows of the quiet little town.

With four boys who believe something sinister is at work, and an ambitious reporter breathing down his neck, Detective Holt of the Harper Pass Police Department must confront his doubts and follow the evidence. A chain of disappearances and suspicious deaths, leads Holt to the doorstep of the mysterious and reclusive Professor Wadlow who may know exactly what has come to collect in Harper Pass.

Can the detective and the boys work together to unravel the dark secrets of Harper Pass before those secrets devour them all?

Audible UK Amazon UK

I received a copy of this audiobook from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story starts with a tragedy and then returns to the present day where it appears, history is repeating its self. A missing girl and horrific deaths mean the inhabitants of Harper Pass are in danger but by whom or what?

The author builds a believable world centred around a group of young adults. The friendship and bullying described are relatable, and the team dynamic realistic. There are elements of horror and mystery. The author explores the susceptibility of young minds to the paranormal believably. The bond between young adults grows into a powerful force for good.

Perfect for audiobook media, the excellent narrator creates easy to identify characters, and traits bringing the story to life for the listener.

The story is claustrophobic and intense. The author’s use of sensory imagery immerses the reader into the characters’ lives. The ending is exciting and satisfying with a twist that makes you want to find out what next?

Shawn Burgess

Shawn Burgess has a BA in English from the University of Florida, and he focused on literature for his postgraduate studies at the University of North Florida. His travels have taken him to most parts of the country, where he often drew inspiration for his stories through meeting interesting people and experiencing unique places. Beware! If you find yourself behaving curiously within the crosshairs of his vision you might end up on one of his pages. In his spare time, Shawn enjoys travelling, attending concerts, reading, and playing golf. He typically makes year-round preparations for Halloween by building props and elaborate sets. Shawn claims Jacksonville, Florida as his home, but he has lived all over the southeastern United States. Many of his stories are set in those towns he once called home, or in fictional places inspired by them. He says, “I enjoy building upon the natural mysteries surrounding those areas I’ve personally experienced.” The Tear Collector is Shawn’s debut novel, but he’s currently working on a YA Fantasy novel, as well as The Tear Collector’s sequel. He is active on social media, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Fantasy, Horror Fiction, Noir, Paranormal, Short stories

The Deal by Jonathan Whitelaw 4* #Review @urbanebooks @JDWhitelaw13 @HoneyandStag #TheDeal @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

Following the sinful shenanigans of Hellcorp and The Man in the Dark, the hellishly handsome Devil turns his attention to the most frightening of all holidays … Halloween.

Jonathan Whitelaw has written a unique, one-off special tale starring Ol’ Nick himself – and set in the wild Wild West. After lending a hand to a down-on-his-luck prospector, The Devil returns thirty years later to collect his debt – but as ever when The Devil is involved, nothing ever goes to plan.

A prequel to the bestselling HellCorp, this enthralling and very funny tale is the perfect read for Halloween and fans of Ben Aaronovitch, Christopher Fowler and Benedict Jacka.

All proceeds from every sale of The Deal will be donated to Samaritans.

Amazon UK

I bought a copy of this book from Amazon UK for 99p.

My Thoughts…

Atmospheric with authentic historical detail this quirky short story takes the reader to 1850s California, where gold prospecting is a way of life. Abner is a young man hoping to make his fortune, everything about the place unnerves him, but the chance for riches keeps him there. Enter the devil who sees him as a soul ripe for the picking and the age-old battle of good versus evil commences.

The devil has an enticing manner with untold evil barely hidden beneath the surface. The writing style draws you into the story. It makes you suspend belief, and the ending shows how unpredictable humans and life can be.

An ideal Halloween read which makes you want to seek out the author’s other books.

Interview with Jonathan Whitelaw

Jonathan Whitelaw

Jonathan Whitelaw is an author, journalist and broadcaster.

After working on the frontline of Scottish politics, he moved into journalism. Subjects he has covered have varied from breaking news, the arts, culture and sport to fashion, music and even radioactive waste – with everything in between.

He’s also a regular reviewer and talking head on shows for the BBC and STV.

HellCorp, from Urbane Publications, is his second novel following his debut, Morbid Relations.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Horror Fiction, Mystery, Short stories

Whispers from The Dead of Night Lee Allen 4*#Review @_Lee_Allen_ @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #Halloween #horror #supernatural #mystery #Paranormal #noir #MondayBlogs #shortstories

Are you sitting comfortably, the fire crackling, a mug of cocoa in hand? Then let us begin…

A journey through fog and darkness, destination unknown…

A sexual obsession spiralling out of control…

A forbidden love…

A killer who preys on the lonely…

An investigation into a haunted monastery…

A visitation on Christmas Eve with diabolical intentions…

A night-time escape through the forest…

Seven tales of mystery and the supernatural for a winter’s evening.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

If you are looking for a haunting story, this Halloween, these short stories are this and much more. All fall into the horror genre with a fusion of sub-genres most notably mystery and paranormal. They are impactful and vividly written like most horror heavy on sensual imagery and light on plot complexity.

They explore the gamut of human depravity and emotions and the external evil they fear and worship.
Both contemporary and historical the characters are well written, and the stories are atmospheric. The collection is diverse and quick to read, although some need closer reading for a fuller understanding.

Lee Allen

Born in South Wales, Lee Allen was writing from a young age, developing his fascination with mystery, thrillers and the supernatural.

His debut novel, Those Crimes of Passion, a crime thriller, was published in 2012. He followed this with the novella Alone, a supernatural mystery, in 2014; and a second novella, The Jack O’Lantern Men, a horror chiller, in 2015.

His short story collection, Whispers from the Dead of Night, a hybrid of horror and multiple sub-genres, was published in early 2020, preceded by downloads of two of the stories: A Deathly Shade of Pale, at Hallowe’en 2019; and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, at Christmas 2019.

He is currently working on several future projects, including his second full-length novel.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Horror Fiction, Paranormal, Psychological Thriller

Mindworm David Pollard 4* #Review @dpollardauthor @rararesources #paranormal #PsychologicalThriller #Crime #Mindworm #BlogTour #BookReview #horror #paranormal

The placid life of a college librarian is plunged into a desperate fight for survival when he witnesses the death of his only friend. Suddenly he is forced to confront disturbing changes in his nature and appetites and their consequences. Suspected of murder and pursued by an implacable police detective he runs – but is he running from the law or from himself?

Amazon UK Amazon

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a strange and sometimes horrific story about a man’s metamorphosis into a mind devouring creature.  It starts with a road trip on a desert highway, the man is running, but you don’t know why. When the man stops, for the night, the shocks begin.

The story is short and pacy and doesn’t give you time to reflect. It conveys the sense of confusion and despair well. The characters are believable but don’t have a detailed backstory, as befits a story in the horror fiction genre.

Mindworm is a disturbing well written novella.

After more than forty years of paid employment David Pollard retired to glorious Hereford and immersed himself in the theatrical activities of the county. He is currently Chair of Hereford County Drama Festival.

David  sees himself as a teller of tales – he is a playwright, author of short stories and novels. He has a preference for dark and dystopian material. He is also an actor and theatrical director. Among the many authors admired by David is Robert Louis Stevenson – for his website David adopted the appellation Tuistala – Samoan for ‘Teller of Tales’ which the Samoan people called RLS.

Several of David’s plays have been published by Lazybee Scripts – one of which ‘Aspects of a Betrayal’ was shortlisted for the Kenneth Branagh prize at the Windsor Fringe Festival.

David has two works published on KDP/Amazon:

‘His Cat and Other Strange Tales’ – a collection of macabre short stories

‘The Alienation of Ludovic Weiss’ – a psychological thriller

The third book ‘Mindworm ‘ is scheduled for publication in September 2020

When not writing, directing or acting David runs a podcast platform for the streaming of radio plays and short story readings – Hand to Mouth Sound Theatre.

For relaxation David reads voraciously with a liking for history and thriller fiction. He also enjoys country walks of the strolling variety.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Horror Fiction, Noir, Thriller

Hinton Hollow Death Trip Will Carver 4*#Review #DetectiveSergeantPace @will_carver @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours #Eviliscoming #Crime #Thriller #noircrime #horrorfiction #BlogTour #BookReview

It’s a small story. A small town with small lives that you would never have heard
about if none of this had happened.
Hinton Hollow. Population 5,120.
Little Henry Wallace was eight years old and one hundred miles from home
before anyone talked to him. His mother placed him on a train with a label
around his neck, asking for him to be kept safe for a week, kept away from
Hinton Hollow.
Because something was coming.
Narrated by Evil itself, Hinton Hollow Death Trip recounts five days in the
history of this small rural town, when darkness paid a visit and infected its
residents. A visit that made them act in unnatural ways. Prodding at their
insecurities. Nudging at their secrets and desires. Coaxing out the malevolence
suppressed within them. Showing their true selves.
Making them cheat.
Making them steal.
Making them kill.
Detective Sergeant Pace had returned to his childhood home. To escape the
things he had done in the city. To go back to something simple. But he was not
alone. Evil had a plan.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Orenda Books in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The third book in the Detective Sergeant Pace series this story is complete and reads, as a standalone. However, reference is made to the detective’s former life and reading the previous books would give more information on this.

This is an impactful read which graphically explores inhumanity. I didn’t read the chapters that detailed animal cruelty. That apart, this is a well-written story. It’s told from a character called Evil’s point of view who judges humanity with a unique moral code.

Evil enacts a vendetta of sorts on Pace. The inhabitants of Hinton Hollow are collateral damage.

The ending befits what comes before. Whether you like it or not, and this story will divide its readers, it is a memorable experience.

Will Carver

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series.

He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children.

Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.

Posted in Cover Reveal, Horror Fiction, Paranormal, Psychological Thriller

Mindworm David Pollard #CoverReveal @dpollardauthor @rararesources #paranormal #PsychologicalThriller #Crime #Mindworm #Preorder #1September

The placid life of a college librarian is plunged into a desperate fight for survival when he witnesses the death of his only friend. Suddenly he is forced to confront disturbing changes in his nature and appetites and their consequences. Suspected of murder and pursued by an implacable police detective he runs – but is he running from the law or from himself?

Pre-Order Links:

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Publication Date – 1st September

After more than forty years of paid employment David Pollard retired to glorious Hereford and immersed himself in the theatrical activities of the county. He is currently Chair of Hereford County Drama Festival.

David  sees himself as a teller of tales – he is a playwright, author of short stories and novels. He has a preference for dark and dystopian material. He is also an actor and theatrical director. Among the many authors admired by David is Robert Louis Stevenson – for his website David adopted the appellation Tuistala – Samoan for ‘Teller of Tales’ which the Samoan people called RLS.

Several of David’s plays have been published by Lazybee Scripts – one of which ‘Aspects of a Betrayal’ was shortlisted for the Kenneth Branagh prize at the Windsor Fringe Festival.

David has two works published on KDP/Amazon:

‘His Cat and Other Strange Tales’ – a collection of macabre short stories

‘The Alienation of Ludovic Weiss’ – a psychological thriller

The third book ‘Mindworm ‘ is scheduled for publication in September 2020

When not writing, directing or acting David runs a podcast platform for the streaming of radio plays and short story readings – Hand to Mouth Sound Theatre.

For relaxation David reads voraciously with a liking for history and thriller fiction. He also enjoys country walks of the strolling variety.

Twitter Website  

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Horror Fiction, Paranormal

Daylight’s Deadly Kiss Jay Raven 4* #Review @JayRavenAuthor #BloodRiders @rararesources #RachelsRandomResources #Paranormal #Horror #histfic #Vampires #BookReview #BlogTour

In 19th century Europe the most deadly vampire-killing weapon ever devised is up for grabs – and both the Undead and the living will stop at nothing to possess it…   

It’s a legend, a fairy story parents tell frightened children to make them sleep. Basium Lucis – Daylight’s Kiss – the fabled compound that recreates sunlight in a bottle, and incinerates bloodsucking monsters on contact.

Vampire hunter Anton Yoska doesn’t believe in its existence or the whispered rumours of its creation by Leonardo Da Vinci 250 years before.

But when a mysterious Hungarian arts dealer claims to have uncovered the long-lost formula, Anton’s cynicism is shaken to the core as he is tasked to procure the pyrotechnic marvel for the Vatican’s centuries-old battle with the vampire sect known as the Brethren.

In a desperate race to beat nosferatu forces intent on destroying the wonder weapon, and cold-blooded gangsters who desire the Alchemist’s most prized invention for their own aggrandisement and riches, Anton is caught in a maelstrom of double dealing and lies..

Traps loom at every turn, and nothing is what it appears, but acquiring the Basium Lucis is tMyhe least of the his problems  – for the ferocious Modjeski vampire family want retribution for his slaughter of their clan chief a year before. And old flame and rival slayer, Nadia, has her own devious plans to thwart Anton’s quest.

As time runs out and predators circle, the beleaguered hunter realises he’s been tricked into a suicide mission. But Anton Yoska won’t go down without a fight – and he doesn’t care who he takes to Hell with him.

Amazon UK Amazon

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

It’s a while since I’ve stepped into the world of vampires and the paranormal. This story has rekindled my interest. Set in the nineteenth-century, it follows a quirky team of vampire hunters as they search for the Daylight Kiss. Pursued by the undead, and held to ransom by the Vatican, the hunters face danger and treachery, in a strange paranormal historical fantasy world.

This is the second in the Blood Riders series and is enjoyable as a standalone read. There is enough backstory to introduce the main characters, in the initial prologue. An engaging, exciting story, with intricate and vivid world-building, and vibrant and easy to visualise characters. Humour lightens the tension. There are some gory scenes, which are in keeping with the genre.

Paranormal adventure, an atmospheric historical setting, and memorable characters.

Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.

If you would like to be informed of new releases, enjoy free short stories and access exclusive giveways and competitions, please subscribe to Jay’s monthly newsletter on his website at http://www.jayraven.com

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