Bark at the Ghouls

Stay chill, it's only a silly book review.

I read the good, the awful & all of the "meh" in the middle. Mostly horror & romance of all kinds.

Rabid Heart by Jeremy Wagner

Rabid Heart - Jeremy Wagner

People say they’re sick of zombies or werewolves or vampires or demons or gawdforbid tentacles and I get it but I am not one of those people. I will read everything and anything if the writing is engaging. This is why one day my piles of books shall be the death of me. I don’t really care if the monster has been done to death because it can always be given new life by a new voice and that is most definitely the case with this book RABID HEART. It is a book about a world in the midst of a zombie apocalypse caused by warmongers who manufactured a rabies outbreak which went all kinds of wrong. The virus kills the host and turns them into flesh eating cujos! And words cannot express how much I love the fact that they’re called cujos throughout this entire story. 

Rhonda is a young 20-something who was happily living her life before the outbreak. She was engaged to the love of her life and working as a hairstylist. Now she’s stuck on a military-type base with her dad and spends her free time finding supplies and killing cujos. Everything she loved is gone and her relationship with her dad is complicated. In a cruel twist of fate, she runs across Brad , her cujo-fied fiancée, and he recognizes her. Not only that, he protects her. She impulsively decides to take him back to camp but the folks there are not at all thrilled with that idea. Understandably . . . he may be tame but he’s still a smelly flesh eating undead cujo. This forces Rhonda to make a series of choices that land her on a road trip through hell where she finds an important reason to carry on.

This is a fast paced story with an engaging writing style that grabbed me from the beginning. Rhonda is snarky and angry and heartbroken so her choices, crazy as they may be, are 100% understandable. The story is filled with gore and dark humor and a disgusting wet dream that made my black heart really freaking happy and it won’t rip out your soul like that damned Walking Dead show! I recommend it to anyone looking for a fun horror novel.

4 ½ stars

House of Fallen Trees by Gina Ranalli

House of Fallen Trees - Gina Ranalli

Well, I am sad to say that this book didn't work for me. I was very excited to start it and LOVED the gorgeous cover but I didn't enjoy this story. It was very dream-like and that's fine if I am invested in the main character but Karen didn't come alive for me. She was very bland and slightly annoying and though she tried to come across as a bad ass bitch she ran screaming to the menfolk whenever something scary occurred and that was annoying. Many people love and adore this story but I had some issues that I cannot ignore. Here are a few of them:

*An unclear timeline. Someone's lover dies (goes missing?) 6 months previous and this someone later says he's been trying to have sexy times with another guy for the past 6 months. WTF? That makes you a creepy jerk with no loyalty or feelings!

*Unrealistic and sometimes cringy dialogue. "Don't flatter yourself bi-boy" #NoJustNo

*Inconsistent characterization. One character is described as the quickest to laugh and 4 pages later he's a "gloomy Gus". Make Up Your Mind.

*It wasn't scary (to me).

*There was too much tedious telling and not enough showing.

*A lack of well done atmosphere. I should've felt a chill but I didn't.

*A character states animals do not have feelings. Screw you, Rory! Animals do too have feelings #SorryNotSorry

I'm giving it two stars because the dog Dusty lives. And you can yell at me for revealing that but if you are a dog person you NEED to know!

I wish I could write a positive review but I have to be honest.

The Terror At Turtleshell Mountain by Sean McDonough

The Terror At Turtleshell Mountain - Sean McDonough

Turtleshell Mountain is a theme park where people go to spend too much money and have the time of their lives. But there is a sinister underbelly beneath the happy façade and it is ready to come out and have some bloody fun!

The story focuses on a group of five adult friends who take the trip to Turtleshell. One of them has been going through a tough time with cancer treatments and they all want to forget about the sadness for a short time. There’s also a minister and his flock of youngsters visiting on a field trip and the Queen Beyotch who has worked at the park for decades. They’re all there at the worst possible time, of course, and though there are a LOT of innocents, a few of these people sort of deserve what they get and that’s always fun for me. 

This book actually caught me off guard a time or two which doesn’t happen very much. It doesn’t flee from the child death scenes and no one is safe so be warned if that’s a trigger for you. The carnage seeps in slowly which worked for me because I love a book where the setting is as much a character as all of the people and the setting is done spectacularly here. The writer spends some time focusing on the characters and their messy relationships and conflicted feelings before bringing on the murderous rampage of an entity known as The Single Rider. When the death and destruction begins to happen it’s grueling and joyous depending on the person losing body parts, lol. 

Reading this book was like watching a fantastic B horror movie from the 80’s; fun, messy, nail biting and even little sad and heartwarming in the most surprising way. The final reveal was satisfying and I highly recommend THE TERROR AT TURTLESHELL MOUNTAIN if any of this sounds good to you and your dark little heart (and, really, how could it not?!). 

 

This book is going in the CREEPY CARNIVALS bingo square.

 

 

Bingo Calls:

9/1   Classic Horror

9/3   Cryptozoologist

9/5   Cozy Mystery (not on my card)

9/7   New Release

9/9   Southern Gothic

9/11 Terrifying Women

9/13 A Grimm Tale

9/15 Modern Masters of Horror

9/17 Creepy Carnivals

9/19 Relics and Curiosities

9/21 Diverse Voices

9/23 Murder Most Foul

9/25 Amateur Sleuth

9/27 Genre: Suspense

9/29 Supernatural

10/1 Ghost Stories

10/3 Doomsday

10/5 Shifters

10/7 13 

10/9 Terror in a Small Town (not on my card)

10/11 Darkest London

Gothic

Genre Horror

Fear the Drowning Deep

Spellbound 

Country House Mystery

Dead Lands

 

I've Read These (none called):


Baker Street SADIE by Courtney Summers

Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY by John Everson
  

Read & Called!

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES 

Terrifying Women: THE GRIP OF IT by Jac Jemc

Suspense: PREDATORS by Michael Brent Collings

Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO by Jonathan Maberry

Free: CROSS HER HEART by Sarah Pinborough

New Release: WE SOLD OUR SOULS

Spellbound: BABY TEETH

Creepy Carnivals: THE TERROR AT TURTLESHELL MOUNTAIN by Sean McDonough

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Sadie - Courtney Summers

Sadie is only 19 but she has had a rough life. Her father is non-existent, her mother is a junkie. Sadie’s only bright light is her younger sister Mattie who she has basically raised as her own child. Their sister/mother figure relationship is complicated but Sadie loves Mattie more than anything in life. And then Mattie is murdered. This is not a spoiler. It is revealed in the very beginning. Sadie spends the book on an unwavering mission to track down Mattie’s killer and murder him.

 

 

“I’m going to carve my name into his soul.”

 

Ouch this book. It is raw and realistic and if you love a story full of grit and vengeance and despair, boy are you going to enjoy this one.

 

The way this story is told is unique, at least to me. It’s told from Sadie’s point of view but there’s also a podcast called “The Girls” that is attempting to provide insight into the story of Sadie and Mattie. I highly recommend listening to this book on audio because the podcast bits are exceptionally well done. The first few times “The Girls” podcast began I had to look down at my phone to make sure that I hadn’t hit my podcast app accidentally. If you’ve ever listened to a true crime podcast, these podcast segments sound just like one of them.

 

SADIE isn’t a typical YA book. In fact, I’d hesitate to throw it in that category at all. It is pitch black and stares down pedophilia, rape, abuse, and just some really rough stuff.

 

“His voice sounds like a knife that sharpens itself on other people.”

 

This is not a light and fluffy book no matter your age and it is likely going to break your heart. Sadie has a painful stutter but doesn’t let it slow her down. She’s brave, she’s smart and she is determined and you want her to win. I can’t tell you any more without ruining the entire thing for you. Just read it, if you want.

 

This one is going into the Baker Street Category 

 

Bingo Calls:

9/1   Classic Horror

9/3   Cryptozoologist

9/5   Cozy Mystery (not on my card)

9/7   New Release

9/9   Southern Gothic

9/11 Terrifying Women

9/13 A Grimm Tale

9/15 Modern Masters of Horror

9/17 Creepy Carnivals

9/19 Relics and Curiosities

9/21 Diverse Voices

9/23 Murder Most Foul

9/25 Amateur Sleuth

9/27 Genre: Suspense

9/29 Supernatural

10/1 Ghost Stories

10/3 Doomsday

10/5 Shifters

10/7 13 

10/9 Terror in a Small Town (not on my card)

10/11 Darkest London

Gothic

Genre Horror

Fear the Drowning Deep

Spellbound 

Country House Mystery

 

I've Read These (none called):


Baker Street SADIE by Courtney Summers

Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY by John Everson
  

Read & Called!

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES 

Terrifying Women: THE GRIP OF IT by Jac Jemc

Suspense: PREDATORS by Michael Brent Collings

Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO by Jonathan Maberry

Free: CROSS HER HEART by Sarah Pinborough

New Release: WE SOLD OUR SOULS

Spellbound: BABY TEETH

 

My Book Fair Haul

Here's my little haul from the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Fair. Next time I am bringing more money and hopefully I won't be quite so overwhelmed by it all. My shyness always gets the best of me and as much as I wanted to get everything signed and buy all the books and check out all the tables, part of me was screaming to RUN and get away from all of the people while I still had my sanity intact, lol.

 

The highlight of the event was meeting Char & Andi in person and having Grady Hendrix sign my copy of Paperbacks from Hell! He was so awesome in person, friendly, chatty and took a lot of time to create a memorable signature.

 

 

 

 

Halloween Bingo 2018 Free: CROSS HER HEART by Sarah Pinborough

Cross Her Heart - Sarah Pinborough

I think this book takes place in London but I'm not 100% certain so I'll put this in the "Free" space.

 

Behind Her Eyes by this same author was a five star read for me (and yep, I LOVED that ending) but this one was not. I’m giving it a three and that makes me sad because I was so looking forward to another amazingly nasty little read.

 

CROSS HER HEART started out great. It’s a story of dark secrets and lies and murder. That kind of thing screams my name but I can’t give it a high rating because I saw most everything coming before it was revealed. I am NOT good at the sleuthing and I am not afraid to admit it. I never figure out the murderer or the twisty twists on any of those mystery shows and I’m even worse with books. So, either my brain is getting better at detection, or this book was a little too heavy handed with the clues. I’m guessing it is the latter but it also could be because the characterization was so well done that many little clues stuck in my forgetful brain.

 

The story is about a woman named Lisa. Lisa has a dark past she’s desperately trying to keep hidden now that she’s built a respectable new life and is the mother of a 16 year old daughter named Ava. But someone is haunting her and taunting her with tidbits that remind her that this someone knows all of her secrets and may expose her past misdeeds and ruin her life at any moment. The story is told from the point of view of Lisa, her best friend Marilyn and daughter Ava. I loved the three different point of views because we soon realize that all of these ladies have a little darkness in their lives and are very good at secret keeping.

 

And that’s all I’m giving you. To say more defeats the purpose of reading the book. Lies are eventually revealed, characterization stays intense and there was plenty of crazy to keep my attention but the fact that the plot reveals, the twists, and the murderer were all so obvious and the stalkers motive so weak, I found myself a very disappointed reader by the end of it all.

 

This one is going into the Free Category.

 

Bingo Calls:

9/1   Classic Horror

9/3   Cryptozoologist

9/5   Cozy Mystery (not on my card)

9/7   New Release

9/9   Southern Gothic

9/11 Terrifying Women

9/13 A Grimm Tale

9/15 Modern Masters of Horror

9/17 Creepy Carnivals

9/19 Relics and Curiosities

9/21 Diverse Voices

9/23 Murder Most Foul

9/25 Amateur Sleuth

9/27 Genre: Suspense

9/29 Supernatural

10/1 Ghost Stories

10/3 Doomsday

10/5 Shifters

10/7 13 

10/9 Terror in a Small Town (not on my card)

10/11 Darkest London

 

I've Read These (none called):


Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Spellbound: BABY TEETH

  

Read & Called!

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES 

Terrifying Women: THE GRIP OF IT by Jac Jemc

Suspense: PREDATORS by Michael Brent Collings

Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO by Jonathan Maberry

Free: CROSS HER HEART by Sarah Pinborough

New Release: WE SOLD OUR SOULS

 

 

Halloween Bingo Suspense: Predators by Michaelbrent Collings

Predators - Michaelbrent Collings

This is a dark, grueling, unflinching character study and tale of survival in a desolate landscape that will put you through the emotional meat grinder. It was fantastic in all the ways that count.

 

A group of tourists travel to Africa to experience the wild locale and the exotic animals and instead find themselves caught up in a living nightmare. This book takes its time setting up the story and the unrelenting horror that follows and instead dives deep into the characterization. So when the plot turn happens and the struggle to survive begins you are pretty well invested in some of the characters and have a better understand of the one’s you might not like all that much. These aren’t just bodies doing stuff, these are well rounded people with pasts. I’m nosy and love taking a deep dive into what makes people tick and it’s done very well in PREDATORS.

 

If you’ve tuned out because you’re an action fan, stick with me because there’s plenty of it in the last half when the plot takes a bloody turn, desperate animals turn on man and it gets gory. Author Collings doesn’t shy away from the gruesome and isn’t afraid to push your face in it. But through it all the terrific characterization remains.

 

There are some amazingly strong female characters in this book and that includes the main beast herself. Her POV fascinated me. The humans are quite a mix. There’s a blind little girl and her dad, a grandma, a starlet, an abused woman and her rotten husband, a Harvey Weinstein type, a not-too-bright YouTuber who is good for some laughs and the tour guides who love what they do even though they have to cart around idiots, for the most part. Some start out weak and find strength and others appear frail but prove that looks are deceptive. A few are just arrogant, nasty or dumb and are there to get eaten but there’s nothing wrong with that. It was a nice mix of people you love to hate and those you grow to love and one or two somewhere in the middle. It’s also heartbreaking as hell so be warned. Fortunately, there are some much needed humorous bits of dialogue thrown in to stop you just when you’re getting ready to jump into a pit of hopeless despair.

 

The monsters are not supernatural but the terror is real. If a slower-paced, well-crafted book about doing what it takes to survive is your kind of thing, I think you’re really going to enjoy PREDATORS.

 

 

This one is going into the Suspense Category. I need to update my card with this one but I'm out of time right now. 

 

Bingo Calls:

Classic Horror 9.1

Cryptozoologist 9.3

Cozy Mystery 9.5

New Release 9.7

Southern Gothic 9.9

Terrifying Women 9.11

A Grimm Tale 9.13

Modern Masters of Horror 9.15

Creepy Carnivals 9.17

Relics & Curiosities 9.20 

Murder Most Foul 9.23

Amature Sleuth 9.25

Suspense 9.28

Supernatural

Ghost Stories

Doomsday

Terror In A Small Town

 

I've Read These (none called):

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES 
Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Spellbound: BABY TEETH

New Release: WE SOLD OUR SOULS

 

 

Read & Called!

Terrifying Women: THE GRIP OF IT by Jac Jemc

Suspense: PREDATORS by Michael Brent Collings

Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO

 

Friday Plans

#fridayreads These are my weekend plans. Buy pumpkins, finish up @mbcollings PREDATORS, start the audio of @SarahPinborough's CROSS HER HEART & finally watch THE RITUAL on #netflix. Yeah, I know one is a film but that's what I'm doing & I'm sticking to it! What're you up to? pic.twitter.com/A9kljEiywN

— Bark At The Ghouls

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix

We Sold Our Souls - Grady Hendrix

Everybody has been raving about this book. I haven’t read one negative thing and that’s rare in blogland. We like to complain and pick things apart. Or at least I know I do. I probably shouldn’t speak for everyone else. But I think that’s what makes us (or me) so fantastic, haha. Now that I’ve finally read it, (sorry Netgalley, I am late again but you really should know this about me by now) I totally understand why this book is being treated like horror gold. Author Grady Hendrix knows the horror scene and he’s created a modern day classic that gives the old “sold our soul to the devil” trope a fresh new spin. It’s firmly earned its place in a future Paperbacks From Hell volume.

This story is a lovingly written present to all heavy metal loving horror fans. If you grew up in the 80’s or 90’s listening to that stuff you need to buy yourself the beautiful physical copy of this book with the black binding. I’m going to do so as soon as I can. It’s seriously that good.

Kris is having a “what the hell happened to my life” moment. She’s 47 and works the front desk at a Best Western when a customer decides to piss all over the front desk. She was once a guitarist in an almost famous metal band when it all when to shit and she was forced into abandoning her dreams. When she sees a billboard with her nemesis’s face on it that declares he’s going back on tour, she decides to track down her old bandmates in order to stop the man who ruined them all.

Nothing goes as planned. And that’s what I enjoyed so much about this book. It takes turns and twists and I predicted none of them. Not a single one. It is filled with dark and disturbing surprises. I loved that the lead guitarist and main character is a strong, kick-butt kind of woman. I adored this character.

“Kris wasn’t a hugger. She had a body like a bag of knives.”

She’s also very sympathetic and determined. 

“Kris wanted to press her fist to the planet and leave a mark.”

And she thinks some very funny thoughts:

“Men never know when to shut up.” 

Sorry, guys, but sometimes it’s true (though the same can be said about me, I suppose!).

Music plays an enormous part in the story. It’s not a little set piece or an afterthought. This book would not exist without the music and the end is simply magical. I don’t know what else to say without giving too much away. I’m no good at writing 5 star reviews. I guess I’ll leave you with a drop everything and READ THIS BOOK RIGHT THIS MINUTE! If you hate it, you can always send your copy to me.

 

This one is going into the New Release Category. I need to update my card with this one but I'm out of time right now. 

 

Bingo Calls:

Classic Horror 9.1

Cryptozoologist 9.3

Cozy Mystery 9.5

New Release 9.7

Southern Gothic 9.9

Terrifying Women 9.11

A Grimm Tale 9.13

Modern Masters of Horror 9.15

Creepy Carnivals 9.17

Relics & Curiosities 9.20 

Murder Most Foul 9.23

Amature Sleuth 9.25

Suspense 9.28

Supernatural

Ghost Stories

 Doomsday

 

I've Read These (none called):

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES 
Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO
Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

Spellbound: BABY TEETH

New Release: WE SOLD OUR SOULS

 

Read & Called!

Terrifying Women: THE GRIP OF IT

 

 

Halloween Bingo: Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Baby Teeth - Zoje Stage

What would you do if you wanted nothing more out of life than to be a good, loving mom – everything your own mother wasn’t - and then you give birth to a beloved baby who grows into a monster that wants you dead?

“Make mommy go away and never come back.”

This is the horrible dilemma facing Suzette, a woman already with a lot of horror on her plate. She’s overcome a childhood of neglect and emotional abuse and now lives with Crohn's disease and the chronic and debilitating side effects that sap her energy, along with the fear that one surgery too many will leave her with a colostomy bag. She’s doing her best to raise Hanna, who remains purposely mute at the age of seven, with love but it’s difficult to love a child who despises you and undercuts you whenever the opportunity arises. Suzette’s husband is completely unaware of Hanna’s evil streak because Hanna is a master manipulator who has him wrapped around her little finger. And that’s just how Hanna likes it. Hanna loves her dad so much she wants to marry him and mommy is in the way . . . Yes, we are diving deep into weird V.C. Andrews territory here and it’s amazing!

I know this is going to make me sound strange but I have to say it, I LOVED this little monster and was one million percent thankful that she wasn’t mine because I have zero patience for that and might’ve had to run away forever. Hanna doesn’t speak aloud (in English, anyway) but all of her loathsome and strange thoughts are shared with us and she is one heck of a twisted, creepy kid who knows how to work the adults that surround her. Her character fascinated me. Her thoughts were so terrible and so deliciously evil that I didn’t want to turn away. Her mother was interesting as well with her tortured and conflicted thoughts toward her child. Dad was a bit of a pushover but I guess he had to be in order for this story to work.

“I promise I’ll be good.”

Sadly the end is bit disappointing. Everything was leading me to believe a big, awful thing was going to happen but instead the book ended with a rather lame little fizzle. Please tell me there is going to be another book and that all of the horrible, terrible things I imagined will actually happen in it because I will hit that buy button the moment it is released!

 

 

This one is going into the Spellbound Category (which only makes sense if you've read the book)

 

Bingo Calls:

Classic Horror 9.1

Cryptozoologist 9.3

Cozy Mystery 9.5

New Release 9.7

Southern Gothic 9.9

Terrifying Women 9.11

A Grimm Tale 9.13

Modern Masters of Horror 9.15

Creepy Carnivals 9.17

Relics & Curiosities 9.20 

Murder Most Foul 9.23

Amature Sleuth 9.25

Suspense 9.28

 

I've Read These (none called):

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES 
Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO
Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

Spellbound: BABY TEETH

 

Read & Called!

Terrifying Women: THE GRIP OF IT

 

 

Halloween Bingo Terrifying Women: The Grip of It by Jac Jemc

The Grip of It: A Novel - Jac Jemc

See this review and so much other good horror stuff at Ladies of Horror Fiction.

 

I’m not going to sugar coat things. This book was work and it was not a quick read. Not by a long shot. The chapters were super short so you would think the pages would fly, right? No. They absolutely do not fly. The writing style was literary, I knew that going in, and the language was lovely and often gutting in its honesty but what I didn’t anticipate were the alternating POV’s of the married couple who are haunted by their new house (or were they?). Every single time a new chapter began with the other’s POV it would throw me out of the groove of the story and take me several moments to get back into it. And since many of the chapters were only 2 – 3 pages long there was a lot of mental jostling going on here. Perhaps you won’t have this issue and this much of a struggle but I’d be lying if I didn’t cop to it.

With that said, the book was a treasure trove of eerie atmosphere and emotional turmoil. The writing was truly striking and the crushing and stifling dread closing in on the couple? Phew, I’m still feeling the remnants of those claustrophobic, paranoid feelings days later. Their struggle, their worry, and their confusion? That stuff was so amazingly well done. I LOVE that sort of writing thus I was determined to see this book through to the very end. Were they going mad together? Was the house haunted? Or was it something more sinister and grounded in the real world? And what was up with the weirdo neighbor? I’m not telling you any of these things because I am not 100% sure of the answers even after finishing it. I had to get this book back to the library so I’ll have to do a reread on audio someday to see if I can find all of my answers to all of my pesky questions.

So, do I think you should read it? Perhaps and perhaps not. What I do recommend is maybe grabbing yourself a sample and reading the first 50 -75 pages and see how it works for you personally. The Grip of It isn’t a book that will appeal to everyone but, damn, that writing was lush and I am sucker for lush writing especially when it’s creepy! I have zero regrets.

 

 

This one is going into the Terrifying Women Category

 

Bingo Calls:

Classic Horror 9.1

Cryptozoologist 9.3

Cozy Mystery 9.5

New Release 9.7

Southern Gothic 9.9

Terrifying Women 9.11

A Grimm Tale 9.13

Modern Masters of Horror 9.15

Creepy Carnivals 9.17

Relics & Curiosities 9.20 

Murder Most Foul 9.23

Amature Sleuth 9.25

Suspense 9.28

 

I've Read These (none called):

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES 
Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO
Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

 

Read & Called!

Terrifying Women: THE GRIP OF IT

 

Bad Call by Mike Scardino

Bad Call: A Summer Job on a New York Ambulance - Mike Scardino

This is a morbidly fascinating book if you are into gross and disturbing and strange true accounts of real life horror (yeah, that’s me). It takes a lot to gross me out but this book managed to do it. I do not recommend reading it while eating breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks.

 

Mike Scardino worked as what he calls an “Ambulance Attendant” to help fund his college tuition in the late ‘60’s. I think he wishes he hadn’t because by time the book ends, he seemed truly scarred for life after seeing and smelling some truly revolting and heartbreaking sights. The writing is unpolished but that is not a criticism. It felt natural, raw and almost like a personal journal. I love that it wasn’t scrubbed clean. My only complaint was the lack of question marks throughout the text. The lack of them kept tripping me up.

 

It’s not uplifting in any way and there’s only a wee bit of humor sprinkled throughout. The overall feel of the book once you’ve finished is pretty bleak, truth be told. People are stupid and have lousy self-preservation skills, yeah, but terrible things happen to everyone and there’s no stopping them usually. Babies fall out of windows, diabetes will come for your limbs, you will die and maybe no one will notice until the flies start to breed. Bad Call (and they’re mostly all bad calls here) is absorbing and once you start it’s oh-so-hard to look away but once you’re done you’ll want to find something to make yourself happy. If you like this kind of thing you’ll know it and you’ll want to get yourself a copy of this book.

 

Here are a few quotes to ruin your day (you’re welcome):

 

“What often bothers me more than seeing how people die is seeing how they live.”

 

And this one, it’s my favorite.

 

“Something is a little unsettling. It’s his blood. The way it feels.

 

It feels good. Warm as it is. Running down my hand and arm on this in seasonably cold night. Nice and warm. It feels really good.

 

God help me. What the hell is happening to me.”

 

Just pretend there’s a question mark there at the end, ok?!

 

It is finally Friday!

I did not think this week would ever end. I plan to do nothing but shop for pumpkins, read a book, watch some scary movies and maybe work on blogging tasks. Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

ri

DOOMSDAY Review: Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry

Patient Zero - Ray Porter, Jonathan Maberry

I listened to this one on audio and I didn't take notes so this will not be a real review, not that my other reviews are real either, ha. I tried reading another Maberry book called Ghost Road Blues (that sad excuse for a review is here) and I did not get along with it, its narrator, nor its male characters but so many love this Joe Ledger character that I figured I'd give the author try. And I'm glad I did.

 

I love this Joe Ledger person. He is crabby and sarcastic and amusing and one hell of a smart, resourceful guy. Thanks to all of you who pushed him on me :) Now I'm the first to admit that I'm not a fan of all action, all of the time so even though this story is filled with military action, evil maneuverings by evil people, medical terminology and pretty much non-stop zombie action in its latter half, I still enjoyed it a whole bunch. Why? How? Well, Joe Ledger. Author Maberry sets up his character development early on and I was hooked until the very end.

 

I'm even going to search out the others in this series and I hardly ever do such a thing.

 

I'm going to use this book for my Doomsday square because if it weren't for Joe Ledger the Doomsday would've certainly occurred in this book (and it may still in the next!)

 

 

Bingo Calls:

Classic Horror 9.1

Cryptozoologist 9.3

Cozy Mystery 9.5

New Release 9.7

Southern Gothic 9.9

Terrifying Women 9.11

A Grimm Tale 9.13

Modern Masters of Horror 9.15

Creepy Carnivals 9.17

Relics & Curiosities 9.19

Diverse Voices 9-21

 

I've Read These (none called):

Murder Most Foul: BIG LITTLE LIES
Slasher Stories: THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Doomsday: PATIENT ZERO
Supernatural: IN THE MOUTH OF THE DARK

 

The House by the Cemetery by John Everson

The House by the Cemetery (Fiction Without Frontiers) - John Everson

This is another book I read with a group of book buddies. I recommend reading all books with a buddy. It makes the experience so entertaining!

 

This book is about The House by the Cemetery, if you were wondering. The house is actually abandoned and rumored to be extremely haunted. An entrepreneur with more money than brains, apparently, decides it will be the perfect location to create a Halloween spook house. Yep, nothing could go wrong with that idea, right?

 

“This place is rotting, stinking and creepy. It should be left alone to trot into the earth and disappear.”

 

The story follows a group of makeup artists/designers and a carpenter named Mike as they prepare the house for opening night. Mike spends long hours all alone making the decrepit old house safe for thrill-goers. One day a young, attractive lady named Katie and her not so attractive friend (we know this because it’s mentioned every time she makes an appearance) start lurking around the house. Katie decides she and her friend want to help assist Mike with his work. He’s a sucker for any female attention and agrees to let them pal around and “assist” even though I think OSHA might’ve had some issues with that scenario. But OSHA will be the least of this guy’s worries once strange and terrible things begin happening in and around the house . . .

 

That’s the setup and as you can probably imagine nothing goes to plan. There are secret rooms, bones in the freaking walls, relationship dramas, kinky sexy times on a bed of nails, and something sinister at play behind the scenes. Everything culminates in a spectacular bloodbath that will thrill any gorehound. I LOVED the B-movie-ish bits of this book and the horror film references but I didn’t really love some of the extraneous character scenes. There were a bit too many exchanges that felt like padding and only served to make me dislike a few of the characters rather than feel any sort of compassion for them. But I read an ARC provided by Flame Tree Press so maybe your copy will be different? I also thought Mike was a complete fool. His blindness to reality was something to behold. He was both amusing and annoying in his sex-blindness. I wish there had been less of Mike and more time spent on the character building of a few of the other side-characters.

 

I’d give this story a 3 ½. It was a decently creepy, atmospheric story until probably the last third when it took a predictable turn for the bloody. I liked the bloody, don’t get me wrong, but I could see where it was heading and my need to read began to wane. I know I’ve probably read too many books and seen too many movies like this for my own good but it is what it is.

 

I think THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY is a decent choice for the Halloween spooky season if you’re in the mood for some creepy thrills, some foolish characters and a sea of blood.

 

I'm using this one for my slasher stories square in Halloween Bingo 2018.

 

 

 

Squares Called:

09/01/18-"Classic Horror"

09/03/18-"Cryptozoologist"

09/05/18-"Cozy Mystery"

09/07/18-"New Release"

09/09/18- "Southern Gothic"

09/11/18- "Terrifying Women"

09/13/18- "A Grimm Tale"

09/15/18- "Modern Masters of Horror"

09/17/18- "Creepy Carnivals"

 

 

Squares I've Read on My Card that are not called yet:

 

SUPERNATURAL: The Mouth of the Dark

MURDER MOST FOUL:  Big Little Lies

SLASHER STORIES - The House by the Cemetery

Audible Sale

The Bloody Chamber  - Angela Carter,  Emilia Fox, Richard Armitage


 
Do you remember when I said I was searching for a book for the Ladies of Horror Fiction Challenge? I found bins of books I forgot I owned but couldn't find the one book I was tracking down. Well, THAT BOOK WAS THIS ONE AND IT'S $2.95 @ Audible today. And, yes, I am screaming with joy! Go get yours now. The sale ends at midnight tonight.

 

 
Blurbage:
 
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories is a titillating series of dark, sensual and fantastical stories, inspired by well-known fairy tales and folklore. 
 
Dissatisfied with the unrealistic portrayal of women in these legendary fables, Carter turns them on their head, introducing subversively dark, sensual and gothic narratives. 
 
Breathing new and unexpected life into favourite childhood characters such as Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard and Beauty and the Beast, Carter shocks, seduces and amuses the listener with her unique, iconic and surrealist reimagining. 
 

Currently reading

Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction by Grady Hendrix